Motorsport News

2024 IndyCar XPEL Grand Prix at Road America Preview

Colton Herta Leads At The Start Sonsio Grand Prix At Road America By Karl Zemlin Ref Image Without Watermark M85201

Take high-speed IndyCar machines, imagine having them race inside the trails in a national park like Yellowstone or the Great Smokey Mountains, and you have what is next for the 2024 season.

America’s National Park of Speed at Road America is round seven for the NTT IndyCar Series, with its over four miles of asphalt shrouded in the beautiful terrain of central Wisconsin.

One of the best road courses in the country, the 14-turn road course is comparable in facility size to Indianapolis Motor Speedway if the track was dropped into a setting for James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans.

Great racing is always in store as drivers are challenged by various turn angles and elevation changes. 

Last Year

Before the green flag flew, the first big storyline was how the newly paved circuit would race. It was the first of two events in the 2023 season with a new surface (the other was WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca). In the race, drivers pushed their cars further beyond previous limits as the new asphalt had more grip than their muscle memory was used to, and it bit drivers multiple times in the race. All four yellows in the race were due to accidents on course. 

As for the race itself, Colton Herta started on pole and had the race in hand after getting out in front on the last round of green-flag pit stops. However, the decision to come in on lap 40, while the rest of the leaders pitted four miles later proved detrimental to the run to the finish. That one-lap difference forced Herta to conserve fuel in the final stages, which allowed Alex Palou, who came in on lap 41, to overtake the young American with seven to go. 

Herta faded to finish fifth, and the following week his team Andretti Global made crew changes, raising Rob Edwards to race strategist. Palou meanwhile took his second win in as many events after winning Detroit the week before.


The fuel miscalculation ruined Herta’s best shot at a win in 2023. His 33 laps led were dominating but to come out empty-handed hurts. However it was his best showing as far as pace, as he’d not led in his five previous attempts in Elkhart Lake. Even with the drop to fifth in the closing laps, Herta kept an almost mind-blowing string of finishes going – in six races he has placed fifth in four of them. Couple that with his runner-up in 2021 and an eighth in his rookie year, the second-generation IndyCar driver is good here.

While 2024 started off…

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