Two days after finishing second in the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix on one of IndyCar’s shortest ovals to take the Verizon IndyCar Series points lead, Simon Pagenaud headed north to help promote the June 26th race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
While the two tracks are distinctly different in terms of size and configuration, they share one thing in common. Both return to the 2016 Verizon IndyCar schedule after extended absences.
IndyCar last ran at Phoenix International Raceway in 2005. Road America hosted a race under the Champ Car banner in 2007 (Pagenaud was a rookie that year and finished 11th), so local fans needed a little refresher beyond the test the track hosted in September.
“(Phoenix) was a great event, and I think here is going to be awesome,” Pagenaud told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “The fans are always great here in Road America. I had a chance to race a lot in sports cars here and the fans always show up. It should be a great race. It’s quite a unique track.
Pagenaud took to the WFRV television studio in Green Bay, Wis. to promote the race.
But as he spoke, he had other things on his mind. A trip to Green Bay would not be complete without a visit to the iconic Lambeau Field—which was at least not frozen at this time of year. And a visit to the stadium would not be complete without a chance to make the Lambeau Leap.
This June, Pagenaud may literally have a step up on the competition. Before he left the stadium, he took a moment to rub Vince Lombardi’s feet for good luck.
IndyCar visits Road America the weekend of June 26th.