By: Tanner Watkins
June 19, 2019 | 8:00 AM
After a weekend off from IndyCar competition – the first open weekend since the INDYCAR Grand Prix back in early May – this year’s championship hunt begins its home stretch starting with the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America.
Entering Sunday’s 55-lap race there are seven drivers within 125 points of leader Josef Newgarden – with eight races left to complete and double points on the line at the season finale in Laguna Seca. The Tennessee native is riding high after a victory on the high banks of Texas and is gunning for a second IndyCar championship in three years.
“That win at Texas was just awesome. My team worked so hard to put together a great car and it really paid off,” said Newgarden. “We had a bit of time to relax with a weekend off but now we’re ready to get back to racing. I’m really excited to have REV Group onboard for my No. 2 Chevy, and it’s also cool that they’re sponsoring the race.
“Road America is one of the best tracks we visit because it’s just a really pretty track, it’s fun to race at and the fans are always so great. I’m definitely looking forward to this weekend.”
The primary threat to Newgarden’s championship throne this weekend comes in the form of Alexander Rossi, and we detailed the Andretti Autosport driver’s rocky history with the historic Wisconsin race circuit yesterday. Rossi will look to reverse his Road America luck this weekend at a place where he hasn’t finished better than 13th.
And while many drivers enjoyed a weekend off between Texas and Road America, a certain five-time champion looked at his IndyCar break differently. Scott Dixon filled his open space with a trip to the 24 Hours of Le Mans where he competed in the historic French race with Chip Ganassi Racing, and the New Zealand native thinks that is an advantage.
“We were fortunate enough to be racing last weekend at Le Mans when most others had an off weekend after Texas,” Dixon noted. “It will be good to be back in the PNC Bank car, though.
“We won at Road America in 2017 and have had strong cars there. It’s such a great track and one the drivers all love to compete at. We haven’t had the best luck or finishes over the past few rounds and now is the time for results.
“We’re at the halfway mark in the season and you really have to start collecting points to set up for the final races to have a shot at the championship. I think this weekend will be key for that reason.”
NTT IndyCar Series drivers will get two 45-minute practice sessions on Friday (plus a 30-minute pit stop practice session to end the day) and one final practice on Saturday morning. Qualifications will kick off at 4:00 PM Eastern time live on NBC Sports Gold – though fans can also catch the action on a one-hour delay via NBCSN at 5:00 PM Eastern time.
Sunday’s 55-lap race will get network television treatment with NBC carrying the coverage with a start time of 12:30 PM Eastern. The green flag is expected to drop at approximately 12:50 PM Eastern time, and you can also catch the race on the Advance Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network by visiting RaceControl.IndyCar.com – where there is also live timing and scoring.
Stay tuned to Open-Wheels for coverage of this weekend’s REV Group Grand Prix from one of the United States’ most historic circuits, Road America. For now, check out the weekend’s Fast Facts below!
REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Fast Facts
Race weekend: Friday, June 21 – Sunday, June 23
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: REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR (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, #REVGROUPGP, #IndyCar
Event website: www.roadamerica.com
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2018 race winner: Josef Newgarden (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet)
2018 pole winner Josef Newgarden (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), 1 minute, 43.2026 seconds, 140.020 mph
Qualifying record: Dario Franchitti, 1:39.866, 145.924 mph, Aug. 19, 2000
NBC/NBCSN telecasts: Qualifying: 5 p.m. ET Saturday, NBCSN (same-day delay); Race: noon ET Sunday, NBC. Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for NBC broadcasts alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Kelli Stavast and Robin Miller are the pit reporters.
Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn with Jake Query, Michael Young and Nick Yeoman in the turns. Dave Furst, Rob Howden and Ryan Myrehn will report from the pits. All NTT IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 219, XM 202, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. Live coverage of NTT IndyCar Series qualifying is available on Sirius 219, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.
NBC Sports Gold livestreaming: All NTT IndyCar Series practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
At-track schedule (all times Eastern):
Friday, June 21
12:05 – 12:50 p.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #1, NBC Sports Gold (live)
4 – 4:45 p.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #2, NBC Sports Gold (live)
5 – 4:30 p.m. – NTT IndyCar Series warmup/pit stop practice, NBC Sports Gold (live)
Saturday, June 22
12 – 12:45 p.m. – NTT IndyCar Series practice #3, NBC Sports Gold (live)
4 p.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), NBC Sports Gold (live); NBCSN (5 p.m. ET, same-day delay)
Sunday, June 23
12:06 p.m. – Driver introductions
12:43 p.m. – Command to start engines
12:50 p.m. – REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR (55 laps/220.77 miles), NBC (Live)
Header image by Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR.