Gallagher GP Wrap Up

While it was not the most exciting race of the year, Indycar’s Gallagher Grand Prix at IMS on Saturday did have some drama. Would Alexander Rossi get his first win in three years? How far might Marcus Ericsson drop in the standings starting last? How would Josef Newgarden fare after his accident in Iowa?

Yes, Rossi did hold on to win. It is the seventh time in 2022 that the driver starting second has won. Newgarden has done it four of those times.

Will Power is the new points leader

Ericsson is just nine points behind Will Power as the series heads to the track where Ericsson won in 2021.

Newgarden drove a steady race to fifth place. He pretty much stayed there the entire day.

A couple thoughts I did not get to yesterday.

The Disappearing Yellow

When Simon Pagenaud coasted to a stop on lap 34 after his car ran out of fuel, his car sat at the edge of the track. No yellow flag came out even thought the car was in a dangerous position. Indycar justified the decision by saying they wanted to give everyone a chance to pit before throwing a yellow.

I disagree with this decision. What if someone came up to Pagenaud’s car at speed and lost control, plowing into the motionless racecar? How would Indycar explain that?

I don’t like withholding a yellow just so everyone can pit. The series can’t control when yellows happen. in this case Race Control was trying to manipulate the race. If someone’s race is affected by a caution while they are pitting, it’s just the breaks of the game. sometimes being fair can be carried to an extreme.

The Colton Herta situation I thought also called for a caution flag. His car is sitting still just inside pit in. yes there was room to get by, but we have seen cars spin entering the pits. The location of Herta’s car should have been an immediate yellow flag.

Indycar is playing with fire with deciding the moment to wave the caution flag. They are going to get burned someday.

Is Three Races at IMS too Many?

You know how much I love being at IMS, and how much i love watching Indycar there. But should any single venue comprise nearly 20% of the series schedule? I understand that more races at he Speedway were necessary during the pandemic, but since we are past that horror for now, this spot on the calendar needs to move to another track.

On Saturday I did not feel any kind of buzz or anticipation for the Indycar race. The event was truly the opening act for the weekend. Indycar should not accept this kind of treatment, especially in their own house.

My understanding is that this same format is planned for 2023. for 2024 there is talk of NASCAR returning to the oval. If they do return to the oval, Indycar would probably not run the road course that same weekend.

Let Indycar stick to May. NASCAR can have August, and starting in 2023, IMSA can have September. I will have some thoughts on the sports cars tomorrow.

Rossi Returns to Victory Lane; Thoughts on the Gallagher Grand Prix

Indycar photo by Joe Skibinski

It took 49 races and more than 1,100 days for Alexander Rossi to once again see the checkered flag first. It happened to be in the same venue where he won his first race, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The track layout was different than when he won the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, but a win is a win.

It’s not that Rossi forgot how to drive. He endured a telephone book’s worth of issues n the pits, bad luck, and untimely mechanical failures. How did he keep going through all of the frustration?

He told the media,

“It’s human nature to start to question things when it continually doesn’t kind of fall your way. You just have to remember that you’ve done it before, you can do it again.”

Rossi tried to take the lead on lap 2 with a bold move on Felix Rosenqvist going into turn one, but ended up off course and fell back to third. He later passed Rosenqvist and set off after teammate Colton Herta, who had charged from ninth to take the lead.

It appeared to be Herta’s race, but he slowed on lap 42 and barely coasted into the pit entrance. Rossi inherited the lead and never looked back.

Rossi’s eighth career win comes as his time with Andretti Autosport nears its end. He was happy that he could win for his crew. Rossi spoke about what winning at IMS means/
“…it’s a hard one to put into words. Every time I come here, I just appreciate it more and more, whether it’s for an event — I mean,
obviously the 500, but whether it’s this event, a
sponsorship thing, a media thing, giving laps around the
track. Like it’s just such an amazing place for us.
For me, being my seventh season in the series and
knowing what it means to the NTT INDYCAR Series, as
well, yeah.

I kind of was hoping on the Road America
weekend for it to kind of start and end this drought or
whatever there, but it actually ended here was actually kind
of a cooler story. To be able to go up on the lift with the
guys and let them experience that because that didn’t exist
in 2016, there’s a lot of special things about this place. The
fan turnout here for us as INDYCAR drivers is always
amazing, and seeing everyone with the merch and the
autograph session, it’s just a very special thing today for

I have a feeling the gap to his next win will not be as long. Arrow McLaren SP will be very happy to have Rossi driving for them.

Great day for RLL

Overshadowed by Rossi’s win was Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s best day of the season. The team has struggled for results all season, but today rookie Christian Lundgaard finished a career best second, and Graham Rahal came home in seventh. It would be great to see this team become a factor over the last four races of the year.

Christian Lundgaard

Lundgaard extended his lead in the rookie standings to 27 points over David Malukas.

Power Leads- For Now

Will Power retook the points lead over Marcus Ericsson. The difference between them is just nine points. Ericsson won at Nashville, the next race on the schedule.

The top five in points are separated by just 46 points. This race is still wide open.


Colton Herta may not want to race on Saturday anymore. Last Saturday in Iowa he made a great run through the field from his 17th starting spot only to have a mechanical issue and finish 24th. Today he took the lead from ninth and was in control at the halfway point when another issue put him out of the race.

I will have a race wrapup post tomorrow where I will discuss the call to stay green with a car stalled on track, whether three Indycar races at IMS is too many, and if this current shared weekend format should continue.

Thanks for following along. I appreciate you.

Points Lead Up for Grabs on Race Day at IMS

Today’s Indycar Schedule:

Gates Open 7:30

8:15 AM – 8:45 AM ET Warmup Peacock

12:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET (Green Flag 12:30 PM) Gallagher Grand Prix NBC, Peacock

Today’s Gallagher Grand Prix at IMS will set the stage for the final run for the series title. Marcus Ericsson leads Will Power by eight points. Power starts fourth, Ericsson 25th. Ericsson could drop as low as third since Josef Newgarden, 34 points behind, starts fifth. I don’t think the outlook is that dire for Ericsson.

Felix Rosenqvist looks for his first win from the pole position

I think he will finish in the top 10 and minimize his points loss. I think either Power or Newgarden will have a problem and not finish well.

The big question is can Arrow McLaren SP show some consistency and have another strong finish? Felix Rosenqvist starts on pole, and Pato O’Ward, last Sunday’s Iowa winner, starts third. Rosenqvist has yet to win from pole. O’Ward seems to do better when he does not start on the pole.

Only Scott McLaughlin has a win from the pole this year. he did that in the first race of the season at St. Pete. The second place starter has won six times in 2022.

Rossi’s day at last?

I look for a battle between O’Ward, Rosenqvist, Power, and Alexander Rossi for the top spot. I think Rossi prevails, ending a couple years of frustration, and handing Michael Andretti a lovely parting gift.

Qualifying Results

Rosenqvist on Pole; The Future of AMSP 1-2-3

Felix Rosenqvist denied Will power a shot at history by winning the pole for tomorrow’s Gallagher Grand Prix. It was Rosenqvist’s second pole on the IMS road course, and his second of the season. Of more significance, Alexander Rossi, who will join AMSP in 2023, will start second, and Rosenqvist’s current teammate .Pato O’Ward, starts third. It is possible the three drivers will all be teammates next season.

Power remains one pole behind Mario Andretti with 66 career poles. he has four more opportunities this season to tie Andretti. Power is also one win behind Michael Andretti for third place in career victories with 41. He has a chance to get that mark tomorrow.

Rosenqvist doesn’t consider IMS his best track, but one that he and the team have worked to improve their performance here.

“I’ve been struggling a little bit here in the
races historically. I just feel like we’ve worked very hard as a team to improve this track as we go here twice a year, and at some point
last year we were like, guys, we need to improve at the
Indy GP because we’re struggling.
Since then every time we come back here I feel like we’re
just getting better and better. We had a test here a couple
of weeks ago where I think we found some really good
things, and we were pretty sure where we wanted to start
today in terms of setup, and yeah, it’s just been a smooth


The two rookies battling for Rookie of the Year both made the second sound. Christian Lundgaard, who leads David Malukas by four points, advanced to the Fast Six and will start sixth. Malukas will star 11th.

Points leader Marcus Ericsson shut off his car in turn on his first out lap when the crew noticed a problem on the telemetry. Ericsson will start last Saturday.

Professionals– Josef newgarden, Alexander Rossi, and Alex palou entered today with some baggage, but all three ust went about their business. Rossi qualified second, Newgarden fifth, and Palou seventh, just missing the Fast Six.

Newgarden was cleared to race after this morning’s practice. Rossi announced in June that he would leave Andretti Autosport to drive for AMSP next season. Palou is embroiled in a dispute as to whom he will drive for in 2023.

Ed Carpenter Racing continues to show signs of improvement in their road course program. Both Conor Daly and Rinus VeeKay made the second round. Daly led his group in round 1. VeeKay will line up eighth and Daly 10th.

The starting lineup:

Rossi Leads Practice

Alexander Rossi led the lone practice session for the GMR Grand Prix at IMS with a lap of 1:10,091. Josef Newgarden was second quick. Newgarden showed no ill effects from his crash last Sunday but still needs to be evaluated before he is allowed to continue the rest of the weekend.

The session run without interruption, although several drivers had some off track excursions and some half spins.

Top 13 Results:

Gallagher Grand Prix Race Preview

Today’s Indycar Schedule: All Times Eastern

Gates Open 8:30 AM

9:30 AM – 11:00 AM ET Practice 1 Peacock

1:00 PM – 2:15 PM ET Qualifying Peacock

NASCAR practices run in between the Indycar sessions.

Indycar once again gets to be a guest in their own house. The Gallagher Grand Prix, a part of Brickyard Weekend, is somewhat a leftover from the pandemic years when Indycar scrambled to build a schedule.

There are just four on track sessions for the series, which completes its entire program around 2:30 tomorrow afternoon.

The IMS road course has been dominated by Team Penske drivers, who have have won eight times on this layout. Will power leads the way with five, including his victory in the 2021 race on this weekend. He is the heavy favorite again.

The NTT Indycar Series has had great momentum this season with really good racing and improved attendance at most tracks. I hope the off track drama involving Alex Palou and his Chip Ganassi Racing Team, and to some extent McLaren, can be shoved completely out of the way for a couple days.

I think that may be hard, as all eyes will be on Palou’s performance and the team’s strategy. Palou has finished sixth, sixth, and 13th in his last three races and is 44 points behind leader Marcus Ericsson.

A Change at the Top?

Will Power trails Ericsson by just eight points and he has a good chance to retake the top spot tomorrow. In May, Power finished third and Ericsson fourth in the GMR Grand Prix. Power also won the pole for that race.

Will Power can take the points lead at a track where he has dominated

The results in May gave Power the points lead, which Ericsson took over two weeks later by winning the Indianapolis 500. How ironic should Power take the lead for the second time at the same track.

Will Newgarden Race?

Late Thursday afternoon, the Indycar medical staff cleared Josef Newgarden to drive in this morning’s practice only. He will undergo another evaluation afterwards to determine if his weekend can continue.

Newgarden is third in points, 34 points behind. Missing a race would be a severe blow to his title chances, but the health and safety of the drivers has to take priority here.

Rookie Battle Tightening

Christian Lundgaard’s DNF Sunday and David Malukas’ eighth place finish shrunk Lundgaard’s lead to just four points in the rookie standings. I think Malukas will take the lead after tomorrow’s race. He has matured quickly after a difficult start to the season.

Consistency from AMSP?

Pato O’Ward had a win and a second place last weekend. Felix Rosenqvist finished seventh Sunday after crashing out of Race 1 at Iowa. The team has had difficulty stringing successful weekends together. If O’Ward is to make a run at the title, a series of strong results is imperative.


I think this is Power’s race to lose. The end of the season is setting up with some intramural team battles. Team Penske has Power and Newgarden , Ganassi has Ericsson, Scott Dixon, and Palou is still in the mix.

Tomorrow will be Alexander Rossi’s last race for Andretti Autosport at IMS. It’s sad to see his time at the team end on such a sour note. Rossi won the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie in 2016 with Andretti.

IMS has scheduled a major announcement at 11 AM this morning in the Dex Imaging Media Center. I suspect a new series is coming to the track in 2023.

Newgarden Cleared for Practice

A statement from the NTT Indycar Series:

Newgarden crashed on while leading on lap 235 of Sunday’s HyVee Salute to Farmers 300. He was released from the track medical center, then later lost conscious and received a cut to the back of his head.

Santino Ferrucci remains on standby should Newgarden not be allowed to continue after tomorrow morning’s practice.

Gallagher Grand Prix Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, July 29 – Saturday, July 30Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course (clockwise)
Race distance: NTT INDYCAR SERIES 85 laps / 207.3 miles
Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time, with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
Firestone tire allotment: Five sets primary, four sets alternate (Note: A sixth set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie driver.)Twitter: @IMS @INDYCAR, #GallagherGP, #IndyCar
Event website:
2021 race winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet)
2021 NTT P1 Award winner: Pato O’Ward (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet), 1:10.7114, 124.167 mph
Qualifying lap record: Will Power, 1:07.7044, 129.687 mph, May 12, 2017 (Set in Round 3 of knockout qualifying)
NBC Sports race telecast: Noon ET Saturday, July 30, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the play-by-play announcer for NBC’s coverage of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, alongside analysts Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe.
Peacock Premium Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product. and NBC’s Gallagher Grand Prix race telecast will be simulcast on the streaming service, while Peacock Premium’s exclusive post-race show – featuring driver interviews, podium ceremonies and post-race analysis – will be streamed following the race.
INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the anchor alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Chris Denari, Jake Query, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young are the turn announcers. Ryan Myrehn, Brad Gillie and Brett McMillan are the pit reporters. The Gallagher Grand Prix race (noon ET Saturday) and all NTT INDYCAR SERIES practices and qualifying sessions air live on network affiliates (race only), SiriusXM 160, and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.
At-track schedule (all times local):
FRIDAY, JULY 29 (All times are local)
9:30-11 a.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice (90 minutes), Peacock Premium
1 p.m.: Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of NTT INDYCAR SERIES knockout qualifications), Peacock Premium(Live)
8:15-8:45 a.m.: NTT INDYCAR SERIES warmup, Peacock Premium
NBC on air12:23 p.m.: “Drivers, start your engines”
12:30 p.m.: Gallagher Grand Prix (85 laps/207.3 miles), NBC (Live)
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championship facts:
Marcus Ericsson leads the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship with five races to go for the first time in his INDYCAR SERIES career. Ericsson, who took the points lead at Road America in June, has led the point standings after six of the 12 races this season.
Since the first INDYCAR SERIES race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course, the winning driver has won the INDYCAR SERIES championship twice: Simon Pagenaud in 2016 and Scott Dixon (2020-Race 1).
Key championship point statistic: Since 2008, the championship leader with five races to go has gone on to win the championship eight times. Those drivers were: Scott Dixon (2008, 2018 and 2020), Dario Franchitti (2011), Ryan Hunter-Reay (2012), Simon Pagenaud (2016), Josef Newgarden (2019) and Alex Palou (2021).
Point differential: The eight points that separate Marcus Ericsson and Will Power is tied — with the 2009 season – for the second-closest point margin with five races remaining since INDYCAR SERIES racing was unified in 2008. Before this season, the average lead with five races to go since 2008 was 43.7 points.

Six drivers have competed in every INDYCAR SERIES race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – Scott DixonJosef NewgardenSimon PagenaudWill PowerGraham Rahal and Takuma Sato. All are entered this year.
Team Penske has eight wins on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020-Race 2, 2020-Race 3, 2021-Race 2). Andretti Autosport, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing and Arrow McLaren SP are the only other teams to win at the track. Andretti Autosport won the GMR Grand Prix with Colton Herta in May, while Ed Carpenter Racing won in 2021-Race 1 with Rinus VeeKay. Chip Ganassi Racing won with Scott Dixon in 2020-Race 1, and Arrow McLaren SP won the inaugural race in 2014 with Simon Pagenaud when it was known as Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Five NTT INDYCAR SERIES Rookie of the Year contenders – Devlin DeFrancescoCallum IlottKyle KirkwoodChristian Lundgaard and David Malukas – are entered. All five raced in the GMR Grand Prix in May.
Milestones: Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 370th INDYCAR SERIES start, which would break a tie with A. J. Foyt and give him sole possession of third on the INDYCAR SERIES all-time starts list … Scott Dixon will attempt to make his 301st consecutive start, the second-longest streak in INDYCAR SERIES history … With his next win, Dixon will break a tie with Mario Andretti and take sole possession of second on the INDYCAR SERIES all-time victory list with 53 wins … With his next pole position, Will Power will tie Mario Andretti for the INDYCAR SERIES record for most career poles with 67 … With his next win, Power will tie Michael Andretti for fourth on the INDYCAR SERIES all-time victory list.