Last year's GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. (Penske Entertainment/James Black)

IndyCar Notes: May In Indianapolis Is Finally Here

The month of May for the NTT IndyCar Series kicks off this weekend with the series tackling the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course for the GMR Grand Prix on Saturday.

With four races and four different winners to this point in the season, defending Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson leads the standings by three points over Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward, with the top five drivers separated by only 15 markers. 

A solid run in the GMR Grand Prix may be crucial for a driver and team to carry momentum into The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

Here are some of the top storylines:

Quick Facts:

Distance: 85 Laps / 207.32 miles

Qualifying Record: Will Power, 1:07.7044, 129.687 mph, May 12, 2017 

Most Lead Changes: 12, May 10, 2014

Most Wins: Simon Pagenaud (Three)

Is It Finally Grosjean’s Weekend?

It’s a recurring storyline, but the question continues to rise — When will Romain Grosjean win? The Andretti Autosport driver has been off to a hot start with two pole positions and two podium finishes in four races.

Grosjean nearly won IndyCar’s last event at Alabama’s Barber Motorsports Park, but a fierce battle with Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin in the closing laps went to the Kiwi. 

Perhaps the perfect place for Grosjean to breakthrough is Indianapolis. In his first two starts at the Indy Road Course, he picked up a pole and two podiums. 

The driver of the No. 28 Honda is fifth in the standings. 

A Quiet Scott Dixon Eyes A Breakthrough 

After four races, one name that hasn’t been mentioned in the title conversation has been six-time champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing. 

Dixon’s season has been typical for the Iceman — consistent. Outside a run-in with O’Ward in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, Dixon hasn’t finished worse than seventh. 

Currently eighth in points, Dixon is in need of a victory sooner rather than later. The only time the CGR driver visited victory lane at the 2.439-mile road course came in July of 2020. 

With an average finish of 6.4 in nine starts at the event, Dixon will be a threat up front. 

MSR’s Indianapolis Strength

To put it bluntly, Meyer Shank Racing’s season to date is nothing to write home about. After four races, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud are tied for 20th in points.

The best finish from either driver this season came at Texas Motor Speedway, where Castroneves finished 10th. 

An added focus on the month of May is sure to be on the team’s mind heading to the Indy GP. 

Pagenaud, a three-time winner of the event (Two with Team Penske, one with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports), earned his best result with MSR (second) in a wet and rainy GMR Grand Prix last year. 

Penske Dominance

The Indy GP can’t be talked about without mentioning the pure domination of Team Penske since the inaugural event in 2014. 

In nine GMR Grand Prix races, a Penske driver has won five times (55 percent). 

Most notably, the winningest driver on the Indy Road Course is reigning series champion Will Power (Five wins). Power is also fresh off his first podium of the season in Barber (Third).

Not to mention, Power’s average start at the Indy road course is an outstanding 3.8 with an average finish of 6.3. 

Power’s teammate Josef Newgarden owns one win on the road course, which came on the second of three races held at the Indy Road Course in 2020. 

The hot hand of McLaughlin also shouldn’t go unnoticed heading into the weekend. The last time the series visited the Indy Road Course (July, 2022) McLaughlin finished fourth.