An all-Team Penske podium with Josef Newgarden (left), Will Power (middle) and Scott McLaughlin at Road America. (IndyCar Photo)

IndyCar Notes: Team Penske’s Dominant Road America Day

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Andretti Global enjoyed a solid day Sunday at Road America, with all three of its NTT IndyCar Series entries finishing in the top 10 in the EXPEL Grand Prix of Road America and Jamie Chadwick winning the Indy NXT race.

Kyle Kirkwood, who ranks fifth in the standings came home fifth on the four-mile road course, while Colton Herta was sixth and Marcus Ericsson finished ninth.

“It was a decent day,” Kirkwood said. “Of course, you always want to win, especially when you lead some laps here, but top five is always a good result, and that’s what we got here today. The Honda had great fuel economy, we just couldn’t make the tires last to actually use all the fuel. But as I said, a decent day, and we’re still fifth in the points, so we’ll go on to Laguna Seca happy with the finish.”

Herta, meanwhile, was caught up in a first-lap melee when he was spun around after contact from Josef Newgarden. He battled back throughout the day to finish sixth.

“I’m not happy with sixth place with the car that we had and the pace that we had,” said Herta, who started outside the front row. “We had a little bit of damage from the incidents and that did make it harder to get back up there. But, because of our strategy, we were able to go so much longer on fuel and get so much more clean air that it just kind of worked in our favor.

“It’s disappointing for everybody on a weekend that I feel like we could have won,” Herta continued. “It’s disappointing for our team, and for Honda, that we aren’t at least on the podium.” 

• Meanwhile, it was not the best of days for Chip Ganassi Racing.

The start of NTT IndyCar Series race at Road America. (IndyCar Photo)

Rookie Linus Lundqvist, who won his first IndyCar Series pole on Saturday, was contacted by teammate Marcus Armstrong entering the first turn of the race, triggering a multi-car incident. Lundqvist was eliminated in the accident and Armstrong was penalized for unavoidable contact and later dropped out of the event.

Another CGR rookie, Kyffin Simpson, crashed and finished last.

Scott Dixon entered the race as the series point leader but battled blistered tires and finished 21st.

The lone bright spot was two-time series champion Alex Palou, who fought his way to a fourth-place result. He was the best-finishing Honda driver.

“It was a good solid day for the No. 10 DHL Honda,” Palou said. “We made up some positions, but it was just a shame we didn’t have the ultimate car speed today. Overall, a good result, and we’ve gained some points in the championship as well.”

• Pato O’Ward ventured through the grass to avoid being caught up in a wild first-lap accident at Road America. He restarted his Arrow McLaren 21st after pitting and rallied to finish eighth. He was still upset about the start of the race after taking the checkered flag.

“Man, I just want a clean start (to a race),” said O’Ward, who started 11th. “I want to get through turn one without any issues. I’m just playing a survival game in every start … I guess that’s what we get for qualifying in the middle.”

• Full-time Indy NXT driver Nolan Siegel made his second IndyCar Series start Sunday in a substitute role for Agustin Canapino with Juncos Hollinger Racing. The 19-year-old Californian finished 23rd.

“Overall, I’m happy with the way we handled the variables that were in our control today,” Siegel reported after the race. “The car was fast all weekend and we got the balance into a very comfortable window that allowed for some solid stints. Unfortunately we had an issue with our second set of reds that forced us to do an extra stop and took us out of contention, but I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity. Huge thank you to Ricardo, Brad and everyone at Juncos Hollinger for their trust.”

• Five Chevrolet drivers finished in the top eight positions at Road America, led by the podium sweep executed by Team Penske drivers Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin.

• Romain Grosjean finished seventh in the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet.

“Very good day at Road America,” Grosjean said. “One of the best tracks of the season, and we had one of our best races. P7 at the end, I think we could be very proud of that. Did a hell of a job, and a lot learned this weekend. Excited for Laguna Seca.”

• Rinus VeeKay was making his way to the front when a broken suspension component ended his day in 24th position. VeeKay, who has had a difficult start to the season, is looking forward to the week off before the next race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

“Really a bummer and I really hope our luck goes the other way some time,” VeeKay said. “Looking forward to a weekend off and hugging my dog.”