IndyCar Racing

Road America Notebook – Motorsports Tribune

Road America Notebook – Motorsports Tribune

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – The NTT IndyCar Series weekend in Wisconsin is complete, with Team Penske pulling off a podium sweep and Will Power breaking a nearly two-year winless streak in the process.

In addition, there were a number of drivers happy with the way things went at Road America and others that left with nothing but hurt feelings.

Two drivers that needed a pick-me-up of a weekend were Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Romain Grosjean and Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver Graham Rahal.

Grosjean started the weekend with his No. 77 Chevrolet buried windshield deep in the tire barrier after crashing in practice and making for a long night of work to get his car repaired for the following day.

The Frenchman rolled off from 14th place on Sunday and found himself in the top-10 in short order after avoiding the chaos in Turn 1 on the opening lap. From there he was able to just run a steady race and bring home his car in one piece with a much-needed finish inside the front quarter of the field.

His seventh-place result on Sunday marks his best finish of the season, one position better than his previous season-best of eighth at Long Beach.

“I think it’s what we needed,” Grosjean said. “It’s such a great race track. There’s so much passing you can do. The car was outstanding. Wind is not easy, the conditions were not easy, but we had a great setup and I’m really happy with what we were able to do.

“The pit stops were great. We executed as much as we could. Obviously there’s more that we want to learn. The only problem today was Penske was too strong for everyone else.”

As for Rahal, he had his work cut out for him to start the day, starting all the way back in 24th place, but despite the long odds of making something out of the day, he was able to do just that.

Methodically, Rahal inched his way forward through the field, putting himself within striking distance of the top-10 as the final round of pit stops played out. When all was said and done, Rahal was able to move up to 10th place with nine laps to go and held onto the spot all the way to the finish.

With the 14-place differential between the start and finish, Rahal was the biggest mover of the day, scoring his second top-10 of the season.

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