2022 IndyCar Recap: Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America

2022 IndyCar Recap: Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America

by June 13, 2022 0 comments

Before a multi-week break, IndyCar made their annual stop at one of America’s premier road courses, Road America. The four-mile road course has played a role in U.S. open-wheel racing dating back to the early 80s and consistently provides good racing. Josef Newgarden dominated this race a year ago before a gearbox issue on a late restart pushed him back to 21st. This year, the Penske driver qualified second, with last year’s race winner Alex Palou behind him in third. On the pole; a potentially surging Alexander Rossi, who looked great at Belle Isle last time out.

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Riding the Fence

The start of this race very well could have been delayed. Earlier in the morning during the Indy Lights race, driver Christian Bogle obliterated the fencing down by turn five. He hit the outside curbing trying to find some room and went airborne, essentially wheelieing into the fence, taking a healthy chunk of it down. The best possible news here is Bogle was checked and released from the infield care center. As for the race, due to the fence repair, it wrapped up after the IndyCar Series race.

Buy One, Get Two Free

The opening 10 laps of this race, well, happened. Things started with a nearly 3:1 laps to caution ratio which isn’t ideal. Jimmie Johnson kicked things off by getting forced off track in turn three. Next up, there was some Ganassi on Ganassi crime, as Marcus Ericsson made contact with Palou going into turn five. Palou, who was on the outside when the contact occurred, suffered race-ending damage to the front suspension. A massive blow to the reigning Champion’s hopes to repeat, as he officially finished dead last.

Incident No. 3 also happened in turn five. Rookie Devlin DeFrancesco intentionally dumped Will Power clean as a whistle after some contact on the long straight/turn four. Luckily for Power, all he needed was a new front nose and he was back going in no time. He even got back to DeFrancesco and gave him a good ole shot going into turn one later on in the day.

Pato’s Yo-Yo Season Continues

There is a universal guarantee with Pato O’Ward this IndyCar season. He is either a near-mortal lock for a top-five or a finish outside the top 15. The only race where that hasn’t panned out is St. Petersburg where he finished 12th. Unfortunately for O’Ward, the lower-end finish was the result on Sunday. An engine failure with under 10 laps to go put him second to last in the running order. A brutal turn of events, as he was in line for a sure top 10 at the time of his final pit stop a few laps prior.

Jackpot

After another caution after the O’Ward engine failure, the race came down to Newgarden, Rossi, and Ericsson. Ericsson, with ample push to pass available to him, was able to get by the Andretti-Autosport driver, but Newgarden was up by over a second at that point. After letting one slip through the cracks here a season ago, Newgarden gets the job done this year. Even better is that the Penske driver won a hefty chunk of cash, one million dollars to be exact.

Earlier this year, IndyCar partnered up with PeopleReady to come up with what is in essence, an IndyCar version of the old-school NASCAR Winston Million. To get the prize, a driver had to be the first to win on an oval, street course, and road course. With wins at the abomination known as Texas Motor Speedway and Long Beach, this win secured the money for Newgarden. Half of which goes to him/Team Penske. The other half will go to a charity of his choosing. For Newgarden, this is career win No. 19, good for 19th all-time.

2022 IndyCar Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America

1st No. 2 Josef Newgarden

2nd No. 8 Marcus Ericsson

3rd No. 27 Alexander Rossi

4th No. 28 Romain Grosjean

5th No. 28 Colton Herta

6th No. 7 Felix Rosenqvist

7th No. 3 Scott McLaughlin

8th No. 15 Graham Rahal

9th No. 9 Scott Dixon

10th No. 30 Christian Lundgaard


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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images 

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