Following their first weekend off since the opening week of May, drivers and teams of the Verizon IndyCar Series will travel to Wisconsin for one of the most beloved races on the 2018 calendar.
One would be hard-pressed to find a driver not looking forward to racing at Road America this weekend. With high speed sections, undulating elevation and opportunities to pass, this historic 14-turn circuit is a true racer’s track that will test talent and discipline.
With two wins in the last three races, Scott Dixon has launched into the points lead for the first time this season and holds a 23-point advantage over Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi.
At the conclusion of the rain-soaked race at Barber Motorsports Park, Dixon was 7th in the championship. In the five races since then, the Kiwi has an average finish of 2.2 with two wins and four podium finishes to his credit. In traditional form, Dixon is heating up this season as the summer temperatures rise.
Moving down the championship leaderboard you will find Will Power 3rd in the points, still soaring from his Indianapolis 500 win in May. While Power is 36 markers back from Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay is surging through the points and currently sits in 4th.
Following his 18th-place finish at the INDYCAR Grand Prix on May 12, Hunter-Reay has reeled off finishes of 5th (Indianapolis 500), 1st & 2nd (Detroit) and 5th (Texas) to move from 9th to 4th in the championship over just four races.
“Road America has always been one of my favorite tracks on the INDYCAR schedule,” said Hunter-Reay this week. “The DHL team had a strong race here last year, so I’m looking forward to building on that and the momentum we’ve had as a team through the last several races.”
Combining various events since 1982, this will be the 28th Indy car race held at Road America. The three current drivers that have won at Road America previously – Dixon, Power and Sebastien Bourdais – have each won on either a road or street course already in 2018.
At age 39, Bourdais has made five starts between Champ Car and INDYCAR at Road America and trails only Tony Kanaan (7) for most professional appearances at the track. The French driver has an incredible average starting position of 3.6 while four podiums have bolstered his average finish to 5.4.
Bourdais has completed each Road America event he has entered and has led in 3 of the 5 starts, winning back in 2007 with Newman Haas Racing.
Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix will be shown live on NBCSN and on the INDYCAR Radio Network, with the green flag scheduled for 1:12 p.m. Eastern. Stay tuned for updates from Wisconsin throughout the weekend.
KOHLER Grand Prix Fast Facts
Race weekend: Friday, June 22 – Sunday, June 24
Track: Road America, a 4.014-mile, 14-turn permanent road course (clockwise) in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Race distance: 55 laps / 220.77 miles
Entry List: KOHLER Grand Prix (PDF)
Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
Firestone tire allotment: Eight sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams must use one set of primary and one new set of alternate tires for at least two laps in the race.
Twitter: @RoadAmerica, @IndyCar, #KOHLERGP, #IndyCar
Event website: www.roadamerica.com
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2017 race winner: Scott Dixon (No. 9 NTT Data Honda)
2017 pole winner: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevrolet), 1 minute, 41.3007 seconds, 142.649 mph
Qualifying record: Dario Franchitti, 1:39.866, 145.924 mph, Aug. 19, 2000
NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday, June 23 (same-day delay); Race, 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, June 24 (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Kelli Stavast and Robin Miller.
Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn. Throughout the weekend, IndyCar Radio will use a slew of announcers around the historic Road America circuit. On race day it will be Jaynes and Krohn in the booth, Michael Young in Turn 1, Dave Furst in Turn 5, Jake Query in Turn 8, and Rob Howden and Ryan Myrehn in the pits.
All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on IndyCar Radio Network affiliates, Sirius 217, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com , indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.
At-track schedule (all times Central):
Friday, June 22
11 – 11:45 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com
3:15 – 4:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, RaceControl.IndyCar.com
4:20 – 4:40 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice, RaceControl.IndyCar.com
Saturday, June 23
11 – 11:45 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #3, RaceControl.IndyCar.com
3 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live); TV: NBCSN (6:30 p.m. ET, same-day delay)
Sunday, June 24
8 – 8:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series warmup, RaceControl.IndyCar.com
11:30 a.m. – Driver introductions
12:06 p.m. – Command to start engines
12:12 p.m. – KOHLER Grand Prix (55 laps/220.77 miles), NBCSN
Image provided by Christopher Owens/INDYCAR and Fast Facts courtesy of INDYCAR Media.