Michael Andretti hadn’t missed a Verizon IndyCar Series race on-site since his one-year voyage to Formula 1 in 1993, and returned to the series in 1994.
He missed today’s Iowa Corn 300 though, because his Red Bull Global Rallycross team was doing work not far from the Andretti Autosport team’s home soil in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Raceway.
The decision to miss one team’s race for another paid dividends as the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team delivered the goods on Sunday in Red Bull GRC’s maiden visit to Indy.
Scott Speed completed a perfect day in his No. 41 Oberto Circle K Beetle GRC, winning two heats, a semifinal and then the 10-lap finals in the Supercars class. He’d won another heat on Saturday.
The final was a 1-2 finish for the Volkswagen Andretti teammates as Speed beat teammate Tanner Foust in his No. 34 Rockstar Energy Drink Beetle GRC.
This is Speed’s second win of 2017 (Memphis, Round 1) and the fourth 1-2 for the Volkswagen Andretti team this season.
“We had a great car all weekend from the moment we pulled it off the hauler, until the last lap of the Final; the team just did a great job,” Speed said. “The track was unbelievably fun. This is the first time we’ve been to a track that was predominantly some sort of gravel mix and it was just so fun because every time you went out onto the track it was a little bit different. There was water in areas there wasn’t before and the track was changing during the race.
“It was the most fun I’ve had driving yet. I’m so glad it happened here in Indy because it’s our home race and there was so many friends and family that were able to come to this one. I’m definitely looking forward to coming back here and big shout out to everyone at Oberto, Circle K and Expedite Home Loans.”
Foust, who still leads the championship by 10 points unofficially (488-478) after today’s race, was pleased to end second after a tougher weekend.
“Today was pretty hard. We had penalties in two out of the three heat races this weekend which had us swimming uphill,” he said. “To get into the middle of the front row for the final was a big win for our team. The guys have just been cranking all year.
“This is just a one-race weekend and not a doubleheader, but it’s amazing how difficult it is but it’s so nice to be in Indianapolis. Last time I was here on a racetrack, I was the yellow driver for the Hot Wheels jump at the Indy 500 and that was almost as much fun as it is to race a Global Rallycross car …almost. I was so excited to see so many Indianapolis fans out here to see a new sport. We have a blast every weekend.”
Loenbro Motorsports’ Steve Arpin kept up his strong season by finishing third in his Ford, with Oliver Eriksson best of the Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE trio in fourth and Austin Dyne banking a fifth place for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in his Ford.
With car damage, Honda OMSE’s best driver this year, Mitchell deJong was unable to start the final.
Red Bull GRC is off until Atlantic City for Rounds 8 and 9, in mid-August.