Indy’s highway course places on a present
For all these individuals who clamor for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar to alter the highway course, or run it in reserve, or mess with it in any approach, hopefully Friday’s Harvest Grand Prix modified their thoughts.
In probably the most entertaining and fiercely-contested highway races in IndyCar historical past, there have been over 200 on-track passes for place – together with 4 for the lead – and a number of the greatest driving on show.
“It was an awesome struggle at present,” mentioned winner Josef Newgarden, who had a pleasant tussle with Colton Herta for the lead. “It was all about technique, shut fight and all the pieces you need in an IndyCar race.”
From Herta out-jumping pole-sitter Rinus Veekay to take the lead going into Flip 1 on the opening lap, to Veekay returning the favor on lap 2 at Flip 8, to Herta passing Newgarden on lap 24 for the highest spot, it was all the pieces you don’t often see in a highway race. After which Newgarden lastly pressured Colton into over-shooting Flip 1 on lap 60 to just about resolve issues.
However there have been nice duels early and infrequently across the 14-turn, 2.4-mile observe that can host NASCAR for the Brickyard 400 in 2021.
“We’ve by no means run good right here on the highway course and it was a grind, however I’m happy with this group to get on the rostrum,” mentioned Alexander Rossi, whose cost from fifth to second was one other factor of the motion.
Whether or not it was Will Energy, Scott Dixon and Rossi going at it for fifth place midway by means of the 85-lapper or Energy, Dixon, Graham Rahal and Jack Harvey leaning on one another at each nook for seventh place with 5 laps left, or Veekay charging from sixth to 3rd within the closing laps, the ten,000 followers in attendance received their cash’s price.
“It was a troublesome race,” mentioned Veekay, whose rookie yr continues to be spectacular. “I fought arduous and I drove as arduous as I might. I believe I did fairly properly with passing, and I believe I’m all the time subsequent to Colton (Herta) preventing for place. But it surely’s enjoyable – the 2 youngest guys within the sequence battling it out. Everyone seems to be on high of their sport, and it’s an actual reward to go these guys.”
Amazingly, with all of the arduous racing, dive-bombing and shut calls, there have been no full-course yellows, and just one actual incident when Ryan Hunter-Reay and Santino Ferrucci tangled going into Flip 1. They each spun and continued.
Graham Rahal recovered from an early spin to take seventh, and may need received the passing award.
“I spun early and by chance didn’t find yourself hurting us, but it surely was a troublesome day,” mentioned Rahal. “We had been capable of go quite a lot of automobiles, however ultimately we had been on blacks and out of overtake in order that didn’t assist.”
As he was signing off the telecast, former IndyCar champion Paul Tracy turned NBC analyst summed up the day. “That’s probably the greatest highway course races I’ve seen in a very long time.”