Qualifying May Determine Title Chances

Colton Herta looks to dominate at his home track again

Today’s Schedule All Times Pacific

:45 – 8:00 T&S On Track
8:15 – 8:45 Qualifying Spec Racer Ford
9:00 – 9:15 Warmup US Touring Car Championship
9:30 – 10:00 Qualifying 1 and Qualifying 2 Indy Lights
10:15 – 11:15 Practice 2 NTT INDYCAR Series Peacock
11:30 – 12:00 Race 1 Spec Racer Ford
12:25 – 1:20 Race 1 Indy Lights Peacock
2:05 – 3:20 Qualifying NTT INDYCAR Series Peacock
3:30 – 4:00 Autograph Session Indy Lights
3:35 – 4:25 Race 1 US Touring Car Championship
4:40 – 5:10 Race 2 Spec Racer Ford
5:25 – 6:35 Two Seater Rides

Good morning from cloudy California. A brief rain shower may occur in about an hour, but it should have no impact on today;s action. Qualifying today could give us a better idea of who may take possession of the Astor Cup tomorrow.

:45 – 8:00 T&S On Track
8:15 – 8:45 Qualifying Spec Racer Ford
9:00 – 9:15 Warmup US Touring Car Championship
9:30 – 10:00 Qualifying 1 and Qualifying 2 Indy Lights
10:15 – 11:15 Practice 2 NTT INDYCAR Series Peacock
11:30 – 12:00 Race 1 Spec Racer Ford
12:25 – 1:20 Race 1 Indy Lights
2:05 – 3:20 Qualifying NTT INDYCAR Series Peacock
3:30 – 4:00 Autograph Session Indy Lights
3:35 – 4:25 Race 1 US Touring Car Championship
4:40 – 5:10 Race 2 Spec Racer Ford
5:25 – 6:35 Two Seater Rides

Will Power can help hgis title hopes with another pole

Drivers described the track as slippery with high tire degradation yesterday. We could see qualifying rounds with minimal laps run.

Team Penske looks to be the favorite for the pole as of yesterday, with all three cars in the top 11 in practice. Colton Herta can never be counted out at this track either.

The Ganassi team, who =tested here last Monday, ended practice 10th (Ericsson), 14th (Palou), and 17th (Dixon), In a post practice statement, Dixon said they decided to try something new in practice. Seems a bit late wigth a championship on the line. I hope they find their way back,

I’ll be back after the morniung practice with a summary ab=nd to set up the qualifying rounds.

Some action from practice yesterday

Newgarden Leads Finale’s Opening Practice

Josef Newgarden fired the first shot as the battle for the series title began this afternoon at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca. Newgarden’s lap of 1:11.410 beat Colton Herta by 0.41 seconds.

Andretti Autosport finished second, third, and forth. Herta was followed by Romain Grosjean and Alexander Rossi.

Callum Ilott was fifth fastest.

Points leader Will Power was seventh. The other title contenderrs, Marcus Ericsson and Scott Dixon, were 10th and 17th. The Ganassi team tested here Monday.

Dixon explained, “We came with a pretty different setup than what we did at the test. WE just wanted to try a few different things. We could see that the 8 car already backed up some of those, so mit looked like he moved in a positive direction. Still, all of us outside the top 10 is not ideal. We’ll work out of here and see, make what we can out of it. It’s going to be a pretty high (degradation) race.”

David Malukas, second nin the rookie of the year battle, was ninth, and rookie leader Christian Lundgaard had the 15th fastest lap.

Asked if his quick time is representative of his advantage over the field,, Newgarden said,

“It’s hard to say. I didn’t even really put together my best lap, and I’m sure that was the case for the majority of the field. It’s always hard to read off the first session. I think we’ll tighten up tomorrow.
But just the early read is good. I felt like we made really
good use of our short time that we had today and short set
of tires that we had. We didn’t have a lot to work off of. So
I feel good early, but I feel like it’s early days.”


Fast Facts-Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey

Photo and content from Indycar

 Race weekend: Friday, Sept. 9 – Sunday, Sept. 11
Track: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, a 2.238-mile permanent road course in Monterey, California
Race distance: NTT INDYCAR SERIES: 95 laps / 212.61 miles | Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires: 35 laps / 78.33 miles / 55 min
Push-to-pass parameters: NTT INDYCAR SERIES: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation. | Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation
Firestone tire allotment: Six sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams must use one set of primary and one new set of alternate tires in the race. (Note: A seventh set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie driver.)
Twitter:@WeatherTechRcwy, @IndyCar, @IndyLights, #FirestoneGP, #INDYCAR
Instagram: @weathertechraceway, @IndyCar, #FirestoneGP, #INDYCAR
Facebook: @WeatherTechRaceway, @IndyCar, @IndyLightsOfficial, #FirestoneGP, #INDYCAR
TikTok: @IndyCar, #FirestoneGP, #INDYCAR
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
Indy Lights website: www.IndyLights.com
2021 race winners:NTT INDYCAR SERIESColton Herta (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda)Indy Lights Presented by Cooper TiresRace 1: Kyle Kirkwood (No. 28 Andretti Autosport)Race 2: Kyle Kirkwood (No. 28 Andretti Autosport)
2021 NTT P1 Award winner: Colton Herta (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda), 1:10.7994, 113.798 mph
Qualifying records:NTT INDYCAR SERIESHelio Castroneves, 1:07.722, 118.969 mph, Sept. 8, 2000
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper TiresMax Chilton, 1:14.2329, 108.534 mph, Sept. 12, 2015
NBC Sports race telecast: Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 11, 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, while NBC’s race telecast of the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will be simulcast on the streaming service. Peacock Premium’s exclusive post-race show – featuring driver interviews, podium ceremonies and post-race analysis – will be streamed following the race. The Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey doubleheader (3:15 p.m. ET Saturday and 12:50 p.m. ET Sunday) will be streamed on Peacock Premium with practice and qualifying being shown on INDYCAR Live!
INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the anchor alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young are the turn announcers. Georgia Henneberry, Ryan Myrehn and Dan Rusanowsky are the pit reporters. Charlie Kimball will provide additional commentary. The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey race (3 p.m. ET Sunday), Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey doubleheader (3:15 p.m. ET Saturday and 12:50 p.m. ET Sunday) and all NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires practices and qualifying sessions air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 160, racecontrol.indycar.com and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, Sept. 9 (All Times Local)
1:15-2:05 p.m. – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires practice 1, INDYCAR Live!
2:30-3:45 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 1, Peacock Premium
Saturday, Sept. 10
9:30-10 a.m. – Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Qualifying (Two 12-minute sessions / Session 1 determines the lineup for Race 1, Session 2 determines the lineup for Race 2), INDYCAR Live!
10:15-11:15 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice 2 (45 minutes limited guarantee), Peacock Premium
12:20 p.m. – Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey Race 1 “Drivers Start Your Engines”12:25 p.m. – Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey Race 1 (35 laps / 78.33 miles / 55 minutes)
2:05 p.m. –  Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey NTT P1 Award qualifying (three rounds of knockout qualifying), Peacock Premium
Sunday, Sept. 119 – 9:30 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES final practice, Peacock Premium
9:55 a.m. – Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey Race 2 “Drivers Start Your Engines”10 a.m. – Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey Race 2 (35 laps / 78.33 miles / 55 minutes)
Noon – NBC on air12:23 p.m. – Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey “Drivers, start your engines”
12:30 p.m. – Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey (95 laps/212.61 miles), NBC (Live)
Championship facts:Will Power leads the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship with one race to go for the fifth time in his career. Power previously led the championship with one race to in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. He won the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship in 2014.There are five drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship: Power leads Josef Newgarden by 20 points with Scott Dixon (-20), Marcus Ericsson (-39) and Scott McLaughlin (-41) behind.Power assumed the point lead following the Gallagher Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30. The lead has changed hands seven times between McLaughlin, Newgarden, Alex Palou, Power and Ericsson.Since the first INDYCAR SERIES race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the winning driver has won the INDYCAR SERIES championship six times: Bobby Rahal (1986 and 1987), Danny Sullivan (1988), Michael Andretti (1991), Alex Zanardi (1998) and Cristiano da Matta (2002).
Point differential: The 20 points that separate Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon is the sixth closest margin with one race remaining since 2008. The 41 points separating the top five drivers in the championship is the tightest title race since 2003, when 30 points separated the top five. The average deficit with one race to go since 2008 is 25.86 points.
Key championship point statistic: This is the 17th consecutive year that the NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion will be determined at the final race of the season.
Race notes:There have been eight different winners in 16 NTT INDYCAR SERIES races in the 2022 season. Scott McLaughlin (Streets of St. Petersburg, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Portland International Raceway), Josef Newgarden (Texas Motor Speedway, Streets of Long Beach, Road America, Iowa Speedway-1, World Wide Technology Raceway), Pato O’Ward (Barber Motorsports Park, Iowa Speedway-2), Colton Herta (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course-1), Marcus Ericsson (Indianapolis 500), Will Power (Raceway at Belle Isle Park), Scott Dixon (Streets of Toronto and Streets of Nashville) and Alexander Rossi (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course-2) have all won in 2022. The record for most different winners in a season is 11 in 2000, 2001 and 2014.
The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will be the 25th INDYCAR SERIES race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, but just the third since 2004. Teo Fabi won the first INDYCAR SERIES race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in 1983. Colton Herta, who won the two most recent races at the track in 2019 and 2021, and Helio Castroneves, who won at the track in 2000, are the only former winners entered in this year’s race.Thirteen INDYCAR SERIES drivers have won at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca from the pole – Teo Fabi (1983), Bobby Rahal (1985), Danny Sullivan (1988), Rick Mears (1989), Danny Sullivan (1990), Michael Andretti (1991 and 1992), Paul Tracy (1994), Alex Zanardi (1996), Bryan Herta (1998 and 1999), Helio Castroneves (2000), Cristiano da Matta (2002), Patrick Carpentier (2003) and Colton Herta (2019 and 2021).Team Penske has won six times at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Penske’s winning drivers are Danny Sullivan (1988 and 1990), Rick Mears (1989), Paul Tracy (1993 and 1994) and Helio Castroneves (2000). Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has three wins, with Bryan Herta (1998-99) and Max Papis (2001). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins, with Alex Zanardi in 1996 and Jimmy Vasser in 1997.
Twenty-one drivers entered in the event have competed in past INDYCAR SERIES races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Helio Castroneves has five starts, most among the entered drivers. Six entered drivers have led laps at the track (Colton Herta 174, Helio Castroneves 92, Will Power 6, Romain Grosjean 4, Scott Dixon 2 and Simon Pagenaud 1)
.Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires notes:The Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey doubleheader will be the series’ 25th and 26th races at WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca. Previous Indy Lights winners at Laguna Seca include Bryan HertaAndre RibeiroGreg MooreTony KanaanCristiano da MattaScott DixonTownsend BellSpencer Pigot and Rinus VeeKay. Current NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie Kyle Kirkwood swept the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey doubleheader in 2021.
Linus Lundqvist of HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing is enjoying a dominant season, leading the series in wins (five), poles (six) and top-five finishes (12) through 12 races. Lundqvist, a native of Sweden, owns a commanding 103-point lead over second-place Matthew Brabham of Andretti Autosport. Lundqvist will clinch the season championship by scoring points in Race 1.Benjamin Pedersen joined Danial Frost, Christian RasmussenHunter McElrea as first-time Indy Lights race winners in 2022. Can another talented prospect such as Sting Ray RobbKyffin SimpsonErnie Francis Jr. or series newcomers Flinn Lazier or Nolan Siegel score a first series win at Laguna Seca?Push-to-pass could play a key strategic role at Portland as Indy Lights drivers will have a bank of 150 seconds to use an added 50 horsepower to assist in overtaking, similar to the drivers in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The maximum amount of time for each press of the overtake system is 15 seconds.

Fewer Venues, More Doubleheaders on Revised Schedule

The NTT Indycar Series released another new schedule this afternoon in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in hopes of getting in as many races as possible.  To do that, Detroit has been cancelled and Iowa and Laguna Seca will host doubleheader weekends.

Texas is now the scheduled opener on June 6. Toronto remains on the schedule, but the city’s closed order going until June 30, I don’t see how there will be enough time for the track build. The situation remains fluid, but I think the series might be better served to hold off on schedule announcements until necessary. There will likely be more changes. I could see the Indianapolis 500 becoming the opener with a compacted schedule rather than the one previously announced.

What is good about the new schedule? The two night races at Iowa, one of which is on a Friday night. The October race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway brings back a hint of the Harvest Classic race meet run at IMS in  the fall of 1916. The October race shares the track with the previously scheduled sports car program. Both road course races at the Speedway will share time with other racing disciplines. I love the concept of seeing multiple series on the same weekend. We might see the beginning of a trend here.

St. Pete is still listed as an October TBA and will possibly be the finale. Including St. Pete, the schedule is now 15 races at 12 venues. I’m glad the race count stays where it is, but I don’t like the limited number of venues. I realize these are extraordinary circumstances.

I don’t think this schedule is done yet. Stay tuned.

The schedule as of today:


Updated- Pigot Out at Carpenter; Management Change at Laguna Seca

Photo: Spencer Pigot on Pole Day, 2018. Photo by Mike Silver

The 2019 Silly Season keeps spinning along. It seems as if it has been a decade  Alexander Rossi re-signed with Andretti and we all thought we were in for a boring off season. Today, two changes came to light. Neither is actually a surprise, but the reality always seems to hit hard.

After hearing rumblings all day, confirmation came that Spencer Pigot has lost his ride in the number 21 Ed Carpenter Racing car for 2020. The decision appears to be financial. Carpenter is looking for a driver who is bringing funding, which Pigot does not have. No replacement has been announced, but there are indications that 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay may be in line for that car.


On Friday November 15 Rinus Veekay issued the following statement:


Pigot won every step on the Road to Indy, but has not achieved much success in Indycar. his best finish was second at Iowa in 2018.  He may find an entry for the Indianapolis 500, but I think IMSA may be his best bet for steady employment next season. I have always thought Pigot had loads of talent, but he never consistently showed it in the NTT Indycar Series.

indy5day2 108
Pigot practicing for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May

There is speculation as to who will drive the number 20 on the road and street courses. Ed Carpenter struck down the talk of F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg joining the team next year.

SCRAMP Out as Laguna Seca Management

lagunawhales 159

In an email from SCRAMP today:

“After 62 years of continuous management of the Laguna Seca Raceway, the Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) has been advised via email by County of Monterey Assistant County Administrative Officer (ACAO) Dewayne Woods that “…the County is now in negotiations with another proposer for management services at Laguna Seca Recreational Area.”

According to the agenda for Tuesday, November 19 Board of Supervisor’s meeting, that proposal is centered on Monterey County’s direct management of the Raceway and Recreation Area.

“This news comes as a surprise to the SCRAMP organization,” said Tim McGrane, CEO of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and SCRAMP, who took over the position in June 2018. “We were starting to make real progress on getting the facility and the raceway operations turned around and poised for the future, but it appears at this time we may not have the opportunity to see these plans through,” continued McGrane.

“As the existing facility operator, we were stunned by the fact that we were not provided the opportunity to discuss our proposal with the ACAO. The entire process has been unconventional, ranging from the bypassing of the County’s usual Request For Proposal (RFP) process, the announcement in mid-October requesting proposals from any interested parties with only two weeks’ notice, and complaints that SCRAMP had not met deadlines to submit a proposal when in fact a submission date had been agreed upon in May, and subsequently met, has been challenging,” McGrane said.

This is not the first time that the County has sought an alternative to SCRAMP. “We have been in this position before with the County administration, but we, our fans, racing series and teams, do have to look at the possibility of the era of SCRAMP operating Laguna Seca Raceway coming to an end,” McGrane said.

In 2015, Monterey County began private talks with International Speedway Corporation (ISC) who, after a careful review of the operational parameters of the facility, determined not to submit a formal proposal for management of the track. In 2016, the Monterey County Administrators Office entered into negotiations with another group to replace SCRAMP for 2017 but were unable to agree to terms that were mutually acceptable. The County then reverted back to a three-year agreement with SCRAMP to continue running Laguna Seca.

In 2018, the SCRAMP-run Laguna Seca Raceway attracted 263,888 attendees and generated $84.4 million in direct spending generated by event attendees over 26 days of the seven major events. 2019 saw SCRAMP orchestrate the long-awaited and highly-successful return of IndyCars to Laguna Seca, with a larger than anticipated spectator count for the weekend.

“We’ve delivered an extensive, forward-looking proposal to the County for a new, long-term 20-year management and operating agreement that incorporates solid plans for revenue generation and expense reduction, expansion of the use of existing facilities, and development of Laguna Seca into a world-class destination,” said CEO McGrane. “We are building the right team, both paid staff and volunteers, with extensive motorsports experience, institutional knowledge, and the dedication to lead this important Monterey County asset into a successful future. We hope we still have the opportunity to present our plans directly to the County Board of Supervisors and we would be proud to continue SCRAMP’s 62-year stewardship of Laguna Seca on behalf of Monterey County.”

The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula, a 501(c)4 not-for-profit, was formed in 1957 by local business owners and civic leaders. SCRAMP’s goal was to raise the funds needed to construct a permanent motor racing circuit to maintain the tradition of sports car racing on the Monterey Peninsula which had begun in 1950 in the Del Monte Forest at Pebble Beach. SCRAMP is comprised of a Board of Governors, Race and Events Committees, and hundreds of loyal volunteers who donate thousands of hours each year to ensure the successful operation of events here.

The SCRAMP organization acquired leased land from the US Army at Fort Ord on August 7, 1957, and the now-legendary track, built with funds raised by SCRAMP, held its first race, the 8th Annual Pebble Beach at Laguna Seca SCCA National Championship Sports Car Road Races, on November 9 & 10, 1957. In 1974 the site was transferred from the Army to Monterey County, who together with SCRAMP, have managed the facility through this year.

SCRAMP’s current three-year management and operating agreement with Monterey County ends on December 31, 2019. SCRAMP currently employs a full-time professional staff of just over 40 team members. “

I thought the season finale at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca was a well organized event. The media center was one of the best all year.  I know there has been some differences between SCRAMP and the county.

My hope is that this change does not jeopardize the Indycar event in the future. I always get nervous when track management changes.

Back later this weekend with a review of Ford vs. Ferrari.





Laguna Seca Postscript-An Improved Finale

Photo; Turn 2 of lap 1.

I went to Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca with low expectations. When the race was announced as the season finale replacement for Sonoma, I thought it was just a lateral move. We would see the same processional race on another narrow track. The only similarity between the two is they are both in northern California. I was wrong on all counts. I was very impressed with the track. The racing was great. I was not anticipating any kind of decent crowd, but again I was pleasantly surprised.

The Track

Not since my first time at Road America have I been so impressed with a track at first glance. The top of the mountain was daunting as I entered the track grounds. My jaw dropped at my first glimpse of the Corkscrew. As massive as the track seems, it is really rather easy to navigate. The layout is actually quite simple.  Walking to the top of the corkscrew is quite a hike. There is a path to walk down from there to turn 10. It’s an easier walk down than up.

lagunawhales 159
Turn 9, 170 feet down from the Corkscrew

There are several vantage points from which at least 80% of the track can be seen. From the top you can see all of the track except for turn 6 and part of the front stretch. I watched the race from the outside of turn 2. I could see up to turn 5, the run to turn 10, and a bit of turn 11.

Another difference from Sonoma is the greenery.  Sonoma is green in the spring, but when Indycar came in September the scenery was brown. Laguna Seca has lots of evergreen trees and green grass.

The Crowd

I questioned the wisdom of the Indycar scheduling the  finale at this track  a week after the IMSA race. I thought for sure it would hurt attendance.  It was a pleasant surprise to see a good crowd there. I talked to several local fans. One fan told me he had attended every Indycar race at the track and was very happy the series had returned. Several fans were wearing vintage shirts.

A younger couple in the RV camping area told me when they called to reserve a spot the first day tickets went on sale, they each called on their own phones and were on the phone for three hours before one of them got through.

I have seen estimates of 25,000 on race day. I believe that is a credible number. So many fans are hidden from view at the Corkscrew, that it is difficult to gauge the size of the crowd. Sunday’s attendance is a good baseline to grow this event from.

The Race

I was expecting Sonoma 2.0, a race where position changes came about because of pit strategy. Fortunately, it was a good race with challenges for the lead all day, passing through the field, and fights for position in the top ten. Felix Rosenqvist and Sebastien Bourdais carved their way into the top ten from mid-pack. Colton Herta had his hands full holding off Scott Dixon after pit stops.

lagunawhales 224
Colton Herta leads Will power in the closing stages of the race

The brief yellow in the middle of a stint didn’t allow for pitting, which kept the caution shorter.  I hope this yellow period can serve as a model for the future, where the caution time isn’t extended to allow drivers to pit. I’ve always thought cars should pit under caution at the risk of the green coming back out at any time. IMSA has short yellows. It is something I’d like to see Indycar adopt as well.

It’s Still Not the Finale I’d Like to See

While the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey was a major improvement over the recent finales at Sonoma, I would still prefer the NTT Indycar series end its season on an oval and without double points. An oval provides more chances for drivers behind in the standings to overtake the points leader. If a driver is far enough behind that their only chance to win the title is to dominate a double points race, he or she likely doesn’t deserve the championship.

I’ll be back next week with a full season review and coverage of the aeroscreen test at IMS.

Quick Thoughts- Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey

I always wish that that there is still one more race after the season ending event. This year it seems I wish that even more. After a race like that, I’m really sad to see this year end.

If it’s September, a Herta is succeeding at Laguna Seca.

I’m not sure what the race looked on television, but here at the track there was lots of action and intrigue. There were great battles at the front of the field all day.

A masterful job by Colton Herta, who has learned how to manage tires. He should be in the conversation for the title next year. It was a nice way to end the season for  his current team.

Great rebound for Felix Rosenqvist after his qualifying penalty. His fifth place finish sealed Rookie of the Year.

Four poles and two wins is an outstanding record for this rookie class. More on the rookies next week.

All seven winners this year won multiple races.

I saw lots of action from my viewing spot in turn 2. It’s another spot here where most of the track can be seen.

Josef Newgarden has two titles in three years. Could he be the next Scott Dixon?

Simon Pagenaud said, “Do not repave the track. Leave it as it is. It creates the perfect racing. I hope nothing changes. It is the perfect format.”

I don’t remember a season when the contenders going into the final race had all had finishes below 15th at some point in the year.

It will be nice to see a car carrying the number 1 again next season. I think it should be mandatory for the champion to carry it on his car the following year.


I have lots of people to thank for making this season  a great one for The Pit Window. I will expand on that next week. But today I will thank everyone for reading all season. I still have some big things coming the next few months.

Some photos from today.










For the Last Time- Race Day

Good morning from Laguna Seca on the  NTT Indycar Series’ final race day of 2019.  It was a foggy drive in this morning, but the sky was clear by the time I got to the track. A decent line of cars was at the gate. The track is expecting around 20,000 fans today. I’m not sure if the attendance would be better if this race wasn’t a week after the IMSA event. I’m hoping attendance can grow from here.

The race is on NBC. Coverage starts at 2:30 Eastern Time.

I talked to Mike Hull this morning. He said that while the math says two stops, he thinks that is unrealistic with the tire fall off. he said reds and blacks are falling off equally. Hull expects a good race because of the tire fall off.

Tire choices for the start are at the end of this post. Only three drivers are staring the race on primary tires.

Here are a couple more photos from yesterday. The first one gives you an idea of the drop from the too of the Corkscrew to turn 9.



Tire Designations


Barring any breaking news, I will be back after the race with Quick Thoughts. My full race report will be on Wildfire Sports tomorrow. Enjoy the race.