IndyCar Kohler GP preview

Last year's winner Will Power
Last year's winner Will Power

KOHLER Grand Prix Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, June 23 – Sunday, June 25

Track: Road America, a 4.014-mile, 14-turn permanent road course (clockwise)

Race distance: 55 laps / 220.77 miles

Entry List: KOHLER Grand Prix (PDF)

Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation. (for each race)

Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams must use one set of primary and one new set of alternate tires in the race.

Twitter: @RoadAmerica @IndyCar, #KOHLERGP, #IndyCar

Event website: www.roadamerica.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2016 race winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet)

2016 pole winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), 1 minute, 42.2105 seconds, 141.379 mph

Qualifying record: Dario Franchitti, 1:39.866, 145.924 mph, Aug. 19, 2000

NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 5 p.m. ET Saturday, June 24 (same-day delay); Race, 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, June 25 (live). Rick Allen is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Katie Hargitt and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young are the turn announcers with Dave Furst and Rob Howden reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video streaming: All practice sessions for the KOHLER Grand Prix will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar).

INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon's INDYCAR Mobile app is available across all carriers. Exclusive features for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.

Track schedule (all times local):

Friday, June 23
10:45 – 11:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
3:15 – 4 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
4:05 – 4:20 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

Saturday, June 24
11 – 11:45 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #3, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
3 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), NBCSN (5 p.m. ET, same-day delay)

Sunday, June 25
8 – 8:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series warmup, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
11:32 a.m. – Driver introductions
12:10 p.m. – Command to start engines
12:17 p.m. – KOHLER Grand Prix (55 laps/220.77 miles), NBCSN (Live)

Race notes:
• There have been seven different winners in the nine previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2017: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park), Simon Pagenaud (Phoenix Raceway), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix and Texas Motor Speedway), Takuma ( (Indianapolis 500) and Graham Rahal (Raceway at Belle Isle-1 and Raceway at Belle Isle-2). Bourdais' win at St. Pete on March 12 gave him sole possession of sixth on the all-time Indy car victory list. Power's win at Texas on June 10 tied him with Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy for ninth on the all-time list with 31 wins.

• The KOHLER Grand Prix will be the 27th Indy car race at Road America since it hosted its first Indy car event in 1982.

• The KOHLER Grand Prix will be the seventh race on a road/street course in 2017. The first six races were won by Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix) and Graham Rahal (Raceway at Belle Isle-1 and Raceway at Belle Isle-2).

• Will Power is the only entered driver who has won an Indy car race at Road America, winning Indy car's return last season following a nine-year absence. Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi have the most wins by an Indy car driver at the track (three).

• Eighteen drivers entered this weekend have previously raced Indy cars at Road America. Four of those drivers have led laps at the track (Will Power 46, Helio Castroneves 24, Simon Pagenaud 2 and Graham Rahal 2).

2016 Start
2016 Start

• Seven drivers have won the Road America race from the pole: Mario Andretti (1983, 1984 and 1987), Danny Sullivan (1989), Paul Tracy (1993), Jacques Villeneuve (1995), Bruno Junqueira (2003), Sebastien Bourdais (2007) and Will Power (2016).

• Drivers who have won at Road America have gone on to win the Indy car championship six times: Mario Andretti (1984), Michael Andretti (1991), Jacques Villeneuve (1995), Alex Zanardi (1997), Cristiano da Matta (2002) and Sebastien Bourdais (2007).

• Team Penske has won four times at Road America (1989, 1992, 1993 and 2016) and is one of two current teams with wins at the track. Chip Ganassi Racing has won twice at Road America (1997 and 2001). Newman/Haas Racing won a record 10 times at Road America.

• At least two drivers, rookie Ed Jones and veteran JR Hildebrand, will race a Verizon IndyCar Series car at Road America for the first time this weekend. Both have raced at the circuit in open-wheel ladder series.

• Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 275th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 216 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing.

• Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 337th career Indy car start, which ranks third on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan will attempt to make his 336th Indy car start, which is fourth all-time. Both are competing in their 20th season of Indy car racing in 2017.

KOHLER GRAND PRIX PRE-EVENT QUOTES:

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion): "It's a great race, especially for our main partner Menards because it's where they're based at. We're going to have Menards back on the No. 1 Menards Chevrolet, and I'm really excited about that. I'm also excited to go to that track because it's one of the most beautiful tracks we have in the country. The fans always come in mass, and last year we had a great car there. I think we're going to have a great show and can hopefully bring another win."

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 DeVilbiss Team Penske Chevrolet): "I was pretty disappointed on how our day ended at Texas since we had such a great car. But I'm over that and am switching gears with the entire No. 2 DeVilbiss Chevy team to focus on Road America. Road America is a road course somewhat similar to Barber, where we were able to capture a win earlier this season. We feel confident with our car and are ready to put a show on for our fans at Elkhart Lake. The crowd was amazing last year. I really can't wait to get back there."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevrolet): "We had a tough break at Texas that was really unfortunate. We've been working hard on our car during the week off and have put together a great No. 3 REV Group Chevy for Road America. Road courses can be a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to seeing the crowd at Elkhart Lake. It was great to go back there last year and it should be even better this time."

CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): "I don't think you'll find many drivers who aren't excited about Road America. It's one of the best tracks in America and it produces great Indy car racing. We had a great race going last year until we had a failure, so I'm excited to get back. We've got some good momentum going after Detroit and Texas, so hopefully, we can capitalize on it."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): "Road America is one of my favorite tracks in the world. Getting to drive an Indy car around there is pretty much the most fun you can have with your clothes on. We're super excited for the race this weekend. Last year the weekend didn't go super awesome for us, and unfortunately at the test last week, we had a technical failure that kept me out of the car. We're starting a little bit on the back foot, but we found some good stuff in the second half of last year that I think will make our road course car stronger. Hopefully we can have a good car off the truck like we have done at a bunch of races this year, and really try and get our luck turned and put a good result on the board."

MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): "After a good week in France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, I'm ready to get back to America and get back in my Lucas Oil Honda. We had a decent finish at Road America last year, and I'm hoping we can improve on everything we've learned in the first half of the season to come away with a good result."

MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda): "I was pleased with the pace of the Gallagher car (at Road America) last year. We had a great qualifying result as well and just missed out on the Firestone Fast Six round. I think we can really put to use some of the things we learned here last year and get a good result for the No. 8 program."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 NTT Data Honda, 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series championship leader): "Road America's course is just amazing to drive, and I'm sure every single driver will say so. I thought we had a car capable of winning last year. We were excited to return here and compete and contend, but had a mechanical failure just a handful of laps into the race before we really even got started. I hope we can have a strong result this time around and get maximum points."

TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): "It's been a crazy couple of weeks with the intense race in Texas and then going straight to Le Mans, but I've got to say that I'm excited to be back in the car and on track at Road America this weekend. The track itself is great and the scenery is amazing. This is definitely one of the top road courses in the U.S. Last year was our first year back to Road America and the event and the fans reminded all of us who have been here in the past why we love racing here. We almost pulled off a win last year, but we just weren't able to get around (Will) Power when it counted. I'm hoping we can finally get that win here with the No. 10 NTT Data Honda."

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, 2016 KOHLER Grand Prix winner): "I'm really looking forward to racing at Road America after the race at Texas. It was a crazy race but the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet team worked hard together to pull off a win. I'm confident that the momentum we've built off of that win can definitely be a huge benefit for us as we head to Elkhart Lake and get into the championship hunt. It's a fun, energetic crowd there and a fun course. I'm just ready to get back on track."

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): "Road America is more or less a European style track – really long and really fast. It's really technical as well. It has a lot of history in America and it is for sure a tough track, but I really enjoy it. We've made a lot of progress over the last few races. We've been more competitive, so hopefully, we can continue to show that. I'm looking forward to this race weekend."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 GEHL/D-A Lubricant Honda): "It's always great to go to Road America. I would say it's the best circuit in North America that I have ever seen, and I think my dad and many others would agree. It's awesome to go back there this year, and particularly with where we are at in the championship, it should be a good place to try to continue our momentum. Last year we had a great run at Road America. We qualified in the Fast Six, ran up towards the front and finished third, which we were very happy about, but obviously, we would like to get a win. And it would be fun to get a win there with (primary sponsor) GEHL being a local company and supporter of mine since 2006. We certainly have momentum right now. It feels like we're headed down the right path as a team. We've had a lot of good results lately although (our result at) Indy is still a bummer because I really feel like we had a car that could have contended to win, so to not see that come together is still disappointing. But we definitely have momentum on our side. We would like to keep that going and roll through the summer. This is an important time, an important stretch of the year for us points-wise. It's where we really excelled in 2015 and I hope that we can do it again. Road America is a track that we're comfortable and confident at. I'm excited to go there. There is just a great atmosphere there and I hope we can go there and hopefully keep our strong performance going. Adding five more laps (to the race length) will hopefully get it away from being a fuel-strategy race. Not that last year was that bad, but you were just stuck at the number of laps that we were all faced with making (per stint), so this might free that strategy up and give us an extra stop and hopefully just make everybody push harder from the start and put on an exciting race."

ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): "It's good to go back to a road course. Road America is one of my favorite tracks in the United States. We had a good test day there last week so I feel like we'll be very well prepared when we get on track on Friday. I think it's a track that should suit us well, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes. It's a track I raced at last year so that should help. The team was also competitive there last season, so we should have a good starting point. The weather looks like quite changeable at the moment, and it could be wet this weekend, so that will be another thing to watch out for. Overall, I think we'll have a good package and I'm confident for the weekend."

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet): "Road America is one of the best tracks I've ever been to. Nothing beats driving an Indy car around there. We had a pretty good run there last year and have been strong on the road courses so far this season, so I'm excited about our potential this weekend. It's the home race for one of our partners, Direct Supply, so hopefully, we can get a good result for them. It's been nice for everyone to have a few days off since Texas, but I know the Fuzzy's Vodka crew is looking forward to being back at the track and fighting for a good result."

JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet): "This is one of the events on that calendar that you circle at the beginning of the year and look forward to until you get there. I'm so glad that the Verizon IndyCar Series races at Road America again and that I get to be a part of it. I can't wait to get out on track in the Direct Supply car this weekend."

TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): "Road America is one of the favorite tracks between both fans and competitors. While I was in Japan last week for an Indy 500 victory tour, the team had a very productive test. Though I was not able to take part in the test, we had a really good time in my home country celebrating, and I will lean on my teammates for feedback and data from the test. We put (on) a great show last year at this event, and I'm so excited to go back racing this weekend."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda): "We had a solid test at Road America last week and we're hoping to have a good roll-off balance when we get back and can improve from there. We need to leave Road America sitting top 10 in points, so we have big goals for the weekend. Road America is my favorite road course and I'm excited to race there again."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): "Road America is always a highlight on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, and it's certainly one of my favorite racetracks. As usual, the racing should be intense with a lot of drafting and passing opportunities. After finishing fourth at Road America last year, the DHL team is hoping to improve on that and get some much-needed momentum going for the remainder of the season."

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): "The Novo Nordisk team is definitely coming off of a roller coaster of a weekend after getting the pole in Texas and then being forced to retire early from the race with mechanical issues. I think it was a good thing that we had last weekend off to regroup before heading straight into another race. That being said, I love Road America and I'm really excited to get back there this weekend. This track is amazing and really unlike any other tracks on our schedule. You just feel the speed at the end of every straight and going into those long corners. I've been coming to this track for many years with different series, and it honestly just gets better and better every time I get to come back. I'm really hoping we can turn our luck around for the No. 83 team and turn the second half of this season into some positive results."

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda): "The second half of the season starts now and the pressure is on to close the gap up to the (points) leaders. We've been fast and we've been unlucky, so now we just need to keep focusing on performance and the rest will come for the NAPA team. I am very much looking forward to Road America. It's one of the best races and tracks of the whole year."

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