ELKHART LAKE, Wis – Last year, Robert Wickens showed up to Road America with a helmet in hand with a prime opportunity to hop into a Verizon IndyCar Series ride at Road America. The then current Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Mikhail Aleshin was having problems in customs getting back into the country as the Russian driver just raced in LeMans the week prior. So, SPM called up Wickens. He got one practice session in the books before giving way to Aleshin who arrived late in the day.
At that point, Wickens had no INDYCAR ambitions. But, after getting in the car and his future overseas in doubt, it was enough for him to give it a look for the future. Fast forward 365 days, he’s back with that same team, in that same car as the top rookie in the series. Wickens, has been nothing less than stellar in 2018. He nearly won the first two races, both on tracks he’s never been to before, one of which an oval.
Now, he’s showing that he’s got a real shot to win Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix (12:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/INDYCAR Radio Network). Wickens, was fourth fastest in the first practice session of the day in his No. 6 Honda and backed that up with being second overall in the second practice on the 4.014-mile Elkhart Lake circuit. If anyone has anything for the Penske’s this weekend, it’s Wickens.
He topped all three Penskes and everyone else for that nature in Saturday morning’s practice. That made him fourth, second and first respectively in the three practice sessions this weekend.
He’s the top Honda right now and after how Texas ended for him two weeks ago, he’s ready to get his first career INDYCAR victory.
With how this weekend’s going, I’d say he has a good as a shot as any.