Plymouth, WI – This was Team Penske’s race to lose this weekend at Road America. Last year, they led 48 of the 50 laps here and took the win with Will Power. Entering this weekend’s race at Elkhart Lake, Penske drivers led 161 of the 175 laps on natural road courses, including both victories.
In two of the three practice sessions on the 4.014-mile road course this weekend, Penske drivers were 1-2-3-4 on the speed charts. In qualifying on Saturday afternoon, they remained the same in taking the top four spots in the starting lineup.
Seemed to be a battle amongst themselves right?
The four drivers all seemed to think so. They all talked like this was a Penske battle for the win. Someone forgot to alert Scott Dixon.
Dixon, powered by Josef Newgarden for the lead on the Lap 30 restart, and it played out to be his day en route to a win for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Penske did see all four cars come in the top five, but they took spots 2-3-4-5 instead of having that “1” on their side.
That’s a disappointment with how strong they were this entire race weekend. Plus, it was a loss to a rival team in Ganassi. That stings even more.
Newgarden, came home second while Helio Castroneves finished third. Simon Pagenaud and Will Power had a hard fought fourth and fifth place run respectively.
The good news for the team is that all four drivers are now solidly in the top six of the points standings heading to a track where they should dominate next weekend at Iowa. It’s shaping up to be a battle of today’s top five finishers for the 2017 IndyCar championship.