By: Spencer Neff
June 18, 2021
This weekend, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES closes out their on-track schedule for the month of June. On Sunday, the field will run at Road America in Elkhart, Lake Wisconsin. It will be the 32nd race on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn road course, which first hosted Indy Car in 1982.
Before the weekend, begins, here’s some of the stories to look out for.
Last weekend, Marcus Ericsson became the seventh winner in as many races from as many different countries in Race 1 of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Dual in Detroit.
After Will Power was unable to refire before the last restart, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver held on and became the fourth first-time winner in 2021.
The next day, Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward used another late-race restart to storm past pole sitter Josef Newgarden with three laps to go. O’Ward became the season’s first two-time winner and grabbed the points lead over Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou by a single point.
Now, the Monterey, Mexico native returns to the site of his first career pole (Race 2-2020). With two laps remaining in that race, Felix Rosenqvist passed O’Ward for his first career victory.
Now, the two are teammates but Rosenqvist is still not cleared to drive following his accident in Saturday’s race. In his absence, Kevin Magnussen will make his IndyCar debut in the No. 7 Dallara-Chevrolet.
Magnussen will be reunited with McLaren following a stint in F1 with them from 2014-2015. The Roskilde, Denmark native will share the track with former Haas F1 Teammate Romain Grosjean (2017-2020) and will make his IndyCar debut 25 years after his father Jan did so.
“I can’t wait to make my NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut this weekend in the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet,” he exclaimed this week.
“I want to send well wishes to Felix Rosenqvist, who is continuing to recover after a hard crash in Detroit. It will be a big challenge to go straight into a race having never driven an Indy car before but I couldn’t say no to this opportunity. INDYCAR has some of the best racing in the world and I’m excited to be a part of it. Road America is a beautiful course and this will be my first time racing there, so I’m looking forward to that as well.”
Earlier this week, Ed Carpenter Racing’s RInus VeeKay fractured his right collarbone. The GMR Grand Prix winner had successful surgery but will not be able to drive this weekend. After making his 2021 debut substituting for Rosenqvist, 2019 Indy ]Lights Champion Oliver Askew will drive the No. 21 this weekend.
In addition to Magnussen, one additional driver will make his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut this weekend. Cody Ware is set to drive the No. 52 entry for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR.
The 2019-2020 Asian Le Mans Series LMP2-AM Champion previously completed his Rookie Orientation Program for the Indianapolis 500 in April and participated in another test at Texas Motor Speedway,
“To be a part of an NTT INDYCAR SERIES race is such an honor, and a surreal experience for me. I never would’ve thought that I would ever go down the open wheel route for a multitude of reasons,” the Greensboro, North Carolina native noted this week.
“But thanks to RWR, Dale Coyne Racing, and Biohaven / Nurtec ODT I am getting an opportunity to compete at the highest level of open wheel motorsport in the US. Road America is an ideal place to make my debut and I am so excited to learn and soak it all in. Having two great teammates such as Romain Grosjean and Ed Jones will help take some of the edge off the learning curve if only a little.”
Ware, Magnussen and Askew have made their mark in other series before and in Askew’s case, IndyCar as well. This weekend, the trio will look to make their mark in another opportunity.
Before Friday afternoon’s opening practice, here’s a look at some key info for this weekend.
REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR Fast Facts
Race weekend: Friday, June 18 – Sunday, June 20
Track: Road America, a 4.014-mile, 14-turn permanent road course (clockwise), in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Race distance: 55 laps / 220.77 miles
Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate for use during the race weekend. One additional set of primary tires may be used by teams fielding a rookie driver. Teams must use one set of primary and one set of new (sticker) alternate tires for at least two laps in the race.
Twitter: @RoadAmerica @IndyCar, #REVGROUPGP, #IndyCar
Event website: http://www.roadamerica.com
INDYCAR website: http://www.indycar.com
2020 race winners: Scott Dixon (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) and Felix Rosenqvist (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda)
2020 pole winners Josef Newgarden (No. 1 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet), 1 minute, 45.5191 seconds, 136.964 mph and Pato O’Ward (No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet), 1:44.8971, 137.758 mph
Qualifying record: Dario Franchitti, 1:39.866, 145.924 mph, Aug. 19, 2000
NBC Sports telecasts: Qualifying: Midnight ET Saturday, NBCSN (taped); Race: Noon ET Sunday, NBCSN (live). Kevin Lee will serve as the lead announcer for NBCSN’s REV Group Grand Prix telecast alongside analyst Townsend Bell.
Peacock Premium Live Streaming: All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analysts Davey Hamilton and Nick Yeoman. Jake Query and Michael Young are the turn announcers with Ryan Myrehn and Joel Sebastianelli in the pit lane.
The REV Group Grand Prix will air live on network affiliates, SiriusXM 205, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. All NTT INDYCAR SERIES practices and qualifying are available on SiriusXM 205, indycar.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.
At-track schedule (all times Eastern Time):
Friday, June 18
5 – 5:45 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 1, Peacock Premium
Saturday, June 19
11:10 – 11:55 a.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Practice 2, Peacock Premium
2:30 – 3:45 p.m. – Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award (Three rounds of knockout qualifying), Peacock Premium/NBCSN (Taped, midnight, June 20)
5:30 – 6 p.m. – NTT INDYCAR SERIES Final Practice, Peacock Premium
Sunday, June 20
12:05 p.m. – Driver introductions
12:38 p.m. – Command to start engines
12:45 p.m. – REV Group Grand Prix (55 laps/220.77 miles), NBCSN (live)
Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR, Fast Facts By INDYCAR MEDIA