Good morning from the Monterey Peninsula area where Laguna Seca is located. Temperatures should be in the middle 60s around the scheduled race time of noon local time, which is a bit warmer than we have had in the last two days.
Colton Herta, the winner of the last race held here in 2019, is on the pole once again for today’s 95 lap race on the flowing road course. Herta, a California native, does not know why he is so good at this track. “Honestly, I have thought about this a whole bunch myself. I just can’t answer the question. I don’t know what makes me better here. ”
“Maybe it’s a bit of the tire wear and and having a car that’s uneasy and you’re not really certain where the grip level is. Maybe it is something like that. But I can’t say 100% what it is.”
Tire degradation looks to be the theme for today. Herta thinks that the black tires will be the choice of tires for the race. “The drivers are going to want to get off the red tires. The important factor is how long can we make those tires last before the huge dropoff comes in.”
Pato O’Ward, second in the championship, spoke with AR1 and gave his thoughts on tires for the race. “In the race, I think it will be interesting in terms of tire deg. This track destroys tires. I think it is going to be a big factor into how long you can go on stints without losing too much time on in and out laps.”
Alexander Rossi, the Andretti Autosport driver who will be staring second, also had this to add regarding tires. “The tire deg is pretty aggressive. A lot of drivers will be wanting to pit for new tires, like in practice it was after only twelve laps, and we have to go to lap 25 during the race. There’s going to be a lot of screaming on the radio from the drivers today.”
I am hoping that the field can make the first few turns without causing a yellow flag, like what happened in the Portland and Nashville races.
The warm up is at 9 am local time this morning. Within two hours after warmup, the cars will be gridding for the race which starts at Noon.
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Lucille Dust reporting live from Laguna Seca