INDYCAR Previews

Preview – 2018 KOHLER Grand Prix

By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel

The INDYCAR season continues this weekend with the Verizon IndyCar Series KOHLER Grand Prix and the Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of Road America Presented by Cooper Tires 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.

Preview - 2018 KOHLER Grand Prix - 2017 RA SUN 8

Photo by Parker Hall/The Open Wheel

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Indy Lights Preview: Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of Road America Presented by Cooper Tires (Entry List), Race 1 – Saturday, June 23, 2018 1:00PM (ET) & Race 2 – Sunday, June 24, 2018 10:50AM (ET) – The winner in Indy Lights Race 1 and Race 2 at Road America last year, Matheus Leist and Zachary Claman De Melo, have moved on to the Verizon IndyCar Series. Colton Herta and Santi Urrutia each picked up podium finishes in 2017. Of the returning drivers, only Ryan Norman and Dalton Kellett finished in the Top 10 of each race last year. O’Ward finished P4 in each of his two races at Road America in Pro Mazda in 2016. Wisconsin native Aaron Telitz has yet to win this season but has raced well lately and has two wins at Road America in Pro Mazda in 2016. My picks to win: Colton Herta & Aaron Telitz

Verizon IndyCar Series Preview: KOHLER Grand Prix, Sunday, June 24, 2018 12:30PM (ET) NBCSN – Previous driver experience shows three former winners at Road America in the field in Sebastien Bourdais (1), Scott Dixon (1), and Will Power (1). The active Top 5 in laps led at Road America are Bourdais (92), Power (46), Dixon (24), Josef Newgarden (13), Simon Pagenaud & Graham Rahal (2). The last two winners at Road America are Dixon and Power. Looking at the box scores 2017 and 2016, Power is the only driver to finish in the Top 5 in each of the last two years. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, he’s joined by Newgarden, Charlie Kimball, and Rahal. Claman De Melo and Leist’s wins in Lights last year could make them rookies to watch. Alfonso Celis Jr. will make his Verizon IndyCar Series debut this weekend with Juncos Racing. My pick to win: Scott Dixon – Dixon has won two of the last three races in the series and won this race last season. A hot Scott Dixon is dangerous for the rest of the field and he has a big chance to widen his championship lead this weekend. Dixon has qualified in the Top 5 in each of the two races at Road America since the Verizon IndyCar Series returned in 2016. He won last year and had to drop out early in 2016 with a mechanical issue.

My picks: Scott Dixon, Will Power, Robert Wickens, Charlie Kimball – You know my thoughts on Dixon. Power has been on fire lately and has started on the front row with Top 5 finishes in each of the last two races at Road America. Wickens continues to impress and that should continue this weekend as he has Verizon IndyCar Series experience at Road America having filled in on Friday or Mikhail Aleshin last year. Kimball could be an excellent value pick this weekend at $14. He’s raced well lately, Carlin has shown improvement as the season has gone on, and he has Top 10’s at Road America in each of the last two years.