By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES 2021 The Open Wheel’s INDYCAR preview of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES 2021 REV Group Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The Open Wheel will be covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.
Photo by Christy Reynolds/The Open Wheel
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Preview: Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America – Spotter Guide – Race 1: Saturday, June 19, 2021 3:55PM (ET) Peacock & Race 2: Sunday, June 20, 2021 9:35AM (ET) Peacock – The Indy Lights championship standings shows the Top 3 separated by just four points heading into the weekend as the Linus Lundqvist holds a small lead over competitors David Malukas and Kyle Kirkwood. Expect that trio to be upfront all weekend as they’ve taken all of the pole positions and race wins between them with Toby Sowery often close behind. Kirkwood has won all four Road to Indy races he’s driven at Road America sweeping weekends in Indy Pro 2000 (2019) and USF2000 (2018).
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Preview: REV Group Grand Prix – Sunday, June 20, 2021 12:00PM (ET) NBCSN – An already wild and unpredictable NTT INDYCAR SERIES season heads to one of its most popular circuits this weekend with two drivers making their series debut in Kevin Magnussen (Arrow McLaren SP No. 7) and Cody Ware (Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing No. 52) as well as Oliver Askew filling in driving the Ed Carpenter Racing No. 21. Ware’s debut has been a work-in-progress for the team, but Magnussen is filling in for Felix Rosenqvist following the Swede’s big crash at Belle Isle last week and Askew is subbing for Rinus VeeKay after a cycling incident left VeeKay with a broken clavicle.
Previous driver experience at Road America shows six former winners in the field in Scott Dixon (2), Sebastien Bourdais (1), Josef Newgarden (1), Will Power (1), Rosenqvist (1), and Alexander Rossi (1). Dixon and Rosenqvist won the two races in the doubleheader in July last year. Looking at the box scores from 2020 Race 1 and Race 2, only Colton Herta finished in the Top 5 in both races. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, Herta is joined by Pato O’Ward, Marcus Ericsson, Santino Ferrucci, Alex Palou, and Takuma Sato. The active Top 5 in laps led at Road America are Bourdais (92), Newgarden (91), Power (60), Rossi (54), and O’Ward (43).
My pick to win: Race: Alex Palou – Alex Palou has a win and a podium in the first two road course races this season and has obviously looked fast everywhere. Chip Ganassi Racing won both races last year despite not qualifying in the Top 5 so you know they have race pace and strategy figured out. I like Palou to have a big weekend after a couple outstanding efforts at Road America last year with Dale Coyne Racing.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Alex Palou, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, & Ed Jones – You know my thoughts on Palou. Hunter-Reay qualified in the Top 4 of each race last year and has three Top 5 finishes since 2016. Rossi’s last win was at Road America in 2019 and his luck has to turn around at some point, right? The Dale Coyne Racing cars were fast at Road America last year so Ed Jones should be a solid budget pick this weekend.