Legge Injured, More Pics from Road America, and Other News

Photo above: Scott Dixon celebrates career win number 49 Saturday

Former Indycar driver Katherine Legge suffered a broken left leg and and sprained right wrist in a testing accident at Paul Ricard circuit in France today. Legge was testing for th eupcoming European leMans Series race for the Richard Mille racing Teamin an Oreca 07-Gibson. She made contact with the guardrail.  Legge never lost consciousness and was flown to a nearby hospital.  The leg will require surgery.

Legge has many fans in the Indycar community. We wish her a speedy recovery.

Chuck Hulse 1927-2020

On Monday Chuck Hulse, the oldest living driver to have driven both front engine and rear engine cars, died at age 93. he first race in the Indianpolis 500 in 1962, finishing 21st. the following year he finisghed 6th. In 1964 he suffered an eye injury in a sprint car accident at New Bremen and missed the rest of that year and 1965.

he was slated to drive the Dean Van Lines Special with chief mechanic Clint Brawner. Because of his injury Hulse was replaced by Mario Andretti, who turned to be pretty good.

Hulse returned in 1966, finishing 20th in the 500. In the 1967 race he finished 7th despite crashing on the last lap. he then retired from racing.

In 60 Indycar starts Hulse with a best finish of second at Phoenix and Sacramento.

A Note from Road America

Dave Kallman of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted today that Road America turned no one away last weekend during the REV Group Indycar Grand Prix because their temperature was too high.

A few More Pics from Last Weekend

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Pato O’Ward on his pole winning run Sunday morning
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Josef Newgarden (1) and Ryan Hunter-Reay fight for the lead on lap1 Saturday
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Jack Harvey leads Simon Pagenaud through turn 7
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Sunday morning qualifying

Tomorrow my Iowa preview including some tips for going to the track.

Quick Thoughts- GMR Race 2

First, I want to send best wishes to George and Susan Phillips as Susan begins her journey to recover from cancer. This issue hits me hard. I know they will be fine in the end. I’m glad I got to spend some time with them this weekend. they are such great people.

I though history might be made today. There was, but not the history I expected. The youngest front row in history. I’m sure someone has stats on this, but it may have been the youngest top 3 starters in history.

This was a day for the younger generation to shine. Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta on the front row  had less than two full years of experience between them, and third place starter Alex Palou is a rookie. The duel at the end between O’Ward and seconds year driver Felix Rosenqvist was compelling. Rosenqvist has been close to winning before. he nearly nipped Dixon at mid Ohio last year. This is probably the most patient race I’ve sen Rosenqvist drive.

It was an exciting finish to what was mostly a processional race. Two younger drivers, one Honda, one Chevy, battling in the closing laps, made for great drama..  I happened to be in the right spot at the right time at the end to catch the photos in this piece. The main photo is after.

Before:

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Scott Dixon didn’t go four for four on the season, but the Ganassi team did. The pit bobble bug hit Dixon today. His car didn’t seem to have the pace it had Saturday.

Colton Herta missed the pole, but he had his fourth top 10 and third top 5 of the season. Herta is now second in the point standings. Maybe the television crew could talk about him more than they talk about Ferrucci now?

I watched the replay of yesterday’s start. It seemed O’Ward brought the field to the line a little slow. that  usually leads to the cahos that occurred after the green flag. The restarts looked to be at the correct pace.

Alexander rossi finally got the result that everyone had expected to see all season. A series of unfortunate events has seen Rossi finishing at the bottom of the field. Third place must feel like a victory to him.

Charlie Kimball had a good weekend for A. J. Foyt Racing with an 11th on saturday and a 10th yesterday. Kimball could have a decent season. The team is showing more consistency this year.

I’m not sure what Will Power was doing at the start. It’s too bad NTT Indycar Series officials could only issue one penalty.  I think the penalty of going to the rear of the field is too light, especially when it is assessed that early in the race. It allowed Power to go off strategy and take the lead at one point. I think a drive through at least would be more appropriate.

All in all, it was great to be back at a race.

Safety Protocols

I saw a lot of social media concerns about what was seen on television and posts from the track about lack of social distancing and people not wearing masks. From what I observed, masks were not as prevalent as I expected. Some track personnel weren’t even wearing one. I had mine on when i was walking about, but took it off when I was with people I knew to safe. Some people I saw never wore one all weekend.

As for distancing, there were some large groups of people who seemed to be together both days. The track signage said family groups could be together. I assumed that meant living in the same household. Groups were bigger than that. the top of hill in utrn 5, the most popular viewing spot, was pretty packed on Saturday. yesterday the crowd was lighter and more spread out there. I watche d yesterday from turn 7. A decent amount of people, not a huge group by any means, spread out in their groups. Groups gave each other plenty of space.

The track did everything it could as far as signage and PA announcements. track personnel could not police the entire area. What Road America could have done is sell fewer tickets to this event. Compliance was left up to each individual. Sadly, many chose to not follow the protocols. I don’t believe the track is at fault. their efforts were commendable, but as i said, they couldn’t force anyone to follow their guidelines.

I’m interested to see how Iowa handles distancing in their grandstands next weekend. From what i saw, I just don’t see how IMS can hold the 500 next month. There will be more than three times as many people as there were at Road America. I don’t expect to see better compliance than I saw this weekend.

 

 

Power’s Strong Last Lap Nips Harvey for P1in Practice

With Power did a Will Power thing, laying down his quickest lap on the final lap of practice

He nipped Jack Harvey who looked to lead the session until the final seconds.

Power will lead Group 2 I qualifying this afternoon and Harvey will lead Group 1.

AlexaThe nder Rossi finished eighth in the session.

The top 5-

Power

Harvey

Rosenqvist

Hunter-Reay

Scott Dixon was near the bottom of the charts the entire session.

Notes

Much larger crowd today. Still not an abundance of masks or distancing.

I am having issues uploading photos and data. I apologise for the lack of information.

Still very few vendors on site.

Fuel and tire management will be crucial in today’s race. This is a tough track to undercut on pit strategy.

Back after qualifying.

 

 

Race Day 1 at Road America

Good morning from the remote Road America media center, located five miles from the track in Plymouth. Talk about distancing.

The NTT Indycar Series begins a four races in nine days stretch toiday with the first of two races at Road America. The REV Group Grand Prix begins at 5:15 Eastern time. NBCSN begins their broadcast at 5 pm Eastern.

Today’s schedule: (All Times Eastern)

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Indycar will use the double header qualifying format that is used at Detroit. Practice divides the field into two groups. Each group gets 12 minutes on track. The fastest driver in each group gets a point. The faster of the group leaders is on the pole. On Sunday the order of the groups is reversed.

The 55 laps will require three pit stops. This race will be difficult to run with just two. There have not been any caution laps the last two years.

Spotter’s Guides for today and tomorrow:

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Back later with practice results.

The Day at Road America- New Things, Reunions, A Different Atmosphere

First, it was great to back at a race track. Watching cars speed by was good therapy. What I found even better was getting to see friends I would have seen months ago under normal circumstances. The world was right again for a day. In addition to the changes Road America has made for the fans’ health, there are also physical improvements to the facility.

The main photo is the new viewing terrace on the inside of Canada Corner. This four tier area should relieve some of the congestion on the trail. I tried it for a bit. It presents a nice view of a great corner.

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The biggest structural improvement is to the concession stand near the paddock. The area had been a crowded jumble of people, picnic tables, and golf cart parking confusion. Now, the entrance is elevated, the building remodeled, and carts can’t park right up to the dining area.

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The paddock had a different feel to it. It sat empty until about 4 pm when the transporters began arriving. Seeing the trucks pull in and lineup was exciting. It meant there will be racing tomorrow. The Honda teams are toward turn 14 and the Chevy teams are toward turn 1. Until the transporters arrived, it was sad seeing an empty expanse of concrete that normally is buzzing with activity.

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The crowd was small enough that fans could keep distance from each other. I expect a few more people the next two days. It was a smaller crowd than most days at Road America. Masks seemed to more prevalent this afternoon. I talked to some people who arrived later in the day. They did receive a mask and hand sanitizer. I think I enter a different gate tomorrow.

New Spotter Guides

Indycar has released a spotter’s guide for each race this weekend. The only car changing liveries is the 15 of Graham Rahal.  I will have those posted no later than tomorrow morning.

 

 

Road America First IndyCar Track to Welcome Fans

Good morning from Elkhart Lake.  Due to social distancing my seat in the media center  is five miles from the  track.  I can barely see the cars.

Today’s  Schedule: All times Central

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It will be a pleasant day at the track with a high of 81 predicted for mid afternoon. Rain chances drop to 20% at 8 am then are 15% or less the rest of the day. Last night we had some storms. Milwaukee was under a tornado warning early in the evening. The weekend still looks good.

I’m looking forward to seeing cars on track again.  I will also be observing track practices to see how Road America’s plans have worked out in real time. Look for my thoughts this evening.

Today is the day for the Road to Indy to have the track all to themselves. It’s nice when they get a full day on an Indycar weekend.

I will post short bulletins but look for updates on The Pit Window on Facebook and @PitWindowToo on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Doubleheader Fast Facts

Race weekend: Saturday, July 11 – Sunday, July 12

Track: Road America, a 4.014-mile, 14-turn permanent road course (clockwise), in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

Race distance: 55 laps / 220.77 miles (each race)

Media links: Race 1 Entry List | Race 2 Entry List | Trackside Book

Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

Firestone tire allotment: Nine sets primary, five sets alternate for use during the race weekend. Teams must use one set of primary and one set of alternate tires for at least two laps in the race.

Twitter: @RoadAmerica @IndyCar, #REVGROUPGP, #IndyCar

Event website: www.roadamerica.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2019 race winner: Alexander Rossi (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda)

2019 pole winner Colton Herta (No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda), 1 minute, 42.9920 seconds, 140.306 mph

Qualifying record: Dario Franchitti, 1:39.866, 145.924 mph, Aug. 19, 2000

NBC/NBCSN telecasts: Race 1 Qualifying: 2:15 p.m. ET Saturday, NBCSN (live); Race 1: 5 p.m. ET Saturday, NBCSN (live). Race 2: Noon ET Sunday, NBC (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for NBC broadcasts alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.

NBC Sports Gold livestreaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.

INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton with Jake Query, Michael Young and Nick Yeoman in the turns. All NTT INDYCAR SERIES races are broadcast live on the INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 211, XM 205, IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR MOBILE APP powered by NTT DATA. Live coverage of NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying is available on Sirius 211, XM 205, IndyCar.com, and the INDYCAR MOBILE APP.

At-track schedule (all times Eastern Time):
Saturday, July 11
11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice, NBC Sports Gold
2:15 p.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (two groups), NBCSN (Live)
5 p.m. – NBCSN on air
5:08 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”
5:15 p.m. – REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Race 1 (55 laps/220.77 miles), NBCSN (Live)

Sunday, July 12
9-9:30 a.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (two groups), NBC Sports Gold
Noon – NBC on air
12:35 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”
12:42 p.m. – REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Race 2 (55 laps/220.77 miles), NBC (Live)