PREVIEW: REV Group Grand Prix at Road America

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After a pair of tight street course events and the daunting high speeds of a two-mile oval, the NTT IndyCar Series schedule variety continues to deliver as the series will tackle the permanent road course in Wisconsin known as Road America.

Josef Newgarden enters the event as the point leader following his victory at Texas Motor Speedway, 25 points ahead of Alexander Rossi. The past series champion could easily extend his advantage over the next couple of races, as he has been successful at not only Road America but on the streets of Toronto. Specifically, he won last year at Road America and boasts the best average finish of active drivers (3.7) across three previous starts.

Rossi also enters the weekend with momentum on his side, as he finished runner-up to Newgarden at Texas with his Andretti Autosport team placing three entries in the top-10. He has not been as successful at Road America in the past, though, with a best finish of 13th in three previous starts.

His teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay could possibly offer some pointers to help improve the performances, following a pair of top-five’s in his three appearances at Road America, including a runner-up last season. The Californian also has momentum in his corner, with a top-five finish in the last three series races.

If you are looking for someone to challenge for the victory, then you should rather take a glance at past series champion Scott Dixon who won at Road America two years ago. He then backed up that victory with a third-place finish last season, as well. He could ultimately use a strong run on Sunday after crashing out at Texas Motor Speedway.

Graham Rahal is another competitor to keep an eye on this weekend, as he boasts the second best average finish (5.7) of drivers entered into the event. Despite sitting eighth in points, he has posted a top-10 finish in the last three races, highlighted by a third at Texas.

His teammate Takuma Sato has been the stronger driver to watch this season, highlighted by a dominating performance at Barber Motorsports Park, another permanent road course. Another showing like that could easily turn Sato’s season around as he has failed to finish in the top-10 the last two races. Notably, he scored placed fourth in 2018 at Road America.

Team Penske also has more than one driver to watch, considering that Simon Pagenaud currently joins his teammate in the top-three in the standings, with just two finishes outside of the top-nine this season. Although he finished 13th in his first appearance at Road America, he has placed fourth and seventh in the races since.

The Captain also knows what it’s like to win at Road America, courtesy of Will Power in 2016. Although the Australian failed to finish last year due to a mechanical issue, he scored a fifth-place finish in 2017. The past series champion enters with momentum as well, with finishes of third and ninth in the last two series events.

Dale Coyne Racing’s Santino Ferrucci has momentum on his side, following a career-best NTT IndyCar Series finish by placing fourth at Texas Motor Speedway. It continues a strong stretch for the rookie with just one result outside of the top-10 in the last five races.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin is currently studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber while writing for multiple websites. She also serves on the managing staff for a select few. Born in North York, Ontario, McCubbin currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area where she enjoys taking photos and working on websites.

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