Scott Dixon celebrates last years win at Road America. Photo: IndyCar.

INDYCAR: KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America Fast Facts

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After a weekend off, the Verizon IndyCar Series resumes with the 10th race of its 17-race 2018 season.

This weekend, the series visits one of the most popular and also most difficult road courses in the U.S., Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

IndyCar points leader Scott Dixon is the defending race winner and comes into the weekend having won two of the last three races (Belle Isle 1 and Texas).

Don’t forget to tune in to the race on NBCSN.

Here’s what you need to know about this weekend’s event (courtesy IndyCar Media Relations):

INDYCAR: KOHLER Grand Prix Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, June 22 – Sunday, June 24

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

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.

Firestone tire allotment: Eight sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams must use one set of primary and one new set of alternate tires for at least two laps in the race.

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

Event website: www.roadamerica.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2017 race winner: Scott Dixon (No. 9 NTT Data Honda)

2017 pole winner: Helio Castroneves (No. 3 REV Group Team Penske Chevrolet), 1 minute, 41.3007 seconds, 142.649 mph

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

NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday, June 23 (same-day delay); Race, 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday, June 24 (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for the NBCSN broadcasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Kelli Stavast and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn. Jake Query, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young are the turn announcers, with Dave Furst and Ryan Myrehn reporting from the pits. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 217, 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).

At-track schedule (all times ET):

Friday, June 22

Noon – 11:45 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

4:15 – 5:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #2, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

5:20 – 5:40 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

Saturday, June 23

Noon – 12:45 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #3, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

4 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (three rounds of knockout qualifying), RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live); TV: NBCSN (6:30 p.m. ET, same-day delay)

Sunday, June 24

9 – 9:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series warmup, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)

12:30 p.m. – Driver introductions

1:06 p.m. – Command to start engines

1:12 p.m. – KOHLER Grand Prix (55 laps/220.77 miles), NBCSN (Live)

Race notes:

  • There have been six different winners in the nine previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway and Barber Motorsports Park), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500), Scott Dixon (Raceway at Belle Isle-1 and Texas Motor Speedway) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Raceway at Belle Isle-2). Dixon’s win at Texas on June 9 gave him sole possession of third on the all-time Indy car victory list with 43 wins.
  • The KOHLER Grand Prix will be the 28th 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 2018. Each of the previous six races was won by different driver: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix), Scott Dixon (Raceway at Belle Isle-1) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (Raceway at Belle Isle-2).
  • Will Power, Scott Dixon and Sebastien Bourdais are the only entered drivers who have won an Indy car race at Road America. They are the three most recent winners at the track. Dixon won the race last year while Power won in Indy car’s return in 2016 – the first race at the track since Bourdais’ win in 2007. 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. Seven of those drivers have led laps at the track (Sebastien Bourdais 92, Will Power 46, Scott Dixon 24, Josef Newgarden 13, Simon Pagenaud 2, Graham Rahal 2 and Charlie Kimball 1).
  • 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 three times at Road America (1997, 2001 and 2017). Newman/Haas Racing won a record 10 times at Road America.
  • At least five drivers – Alfonso Celis Jr., Zachary Claman De Melo, Matheus Leist, Zach Veach and Robert Wickens – will race a Verizon IndyCar Series car at Road America for the first time this weekend. Wickens participated in Friday practice for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports at the track in 2017. Celis will be making his series debut with Juncos Racing.
  • Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 293rd consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Scott Dixon has made 233 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Marco Andretti has made 209 consecutive starts, which is the fourth-longest streak in Indy car racing.

Title contenders stumble on the streets of Toronto

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The championship picture of the Verizon IndyCar Series saw a massive shakeup after Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto. While points leader Scott Dixon ended up in victory lane, his third win on the streets of Toronto and his third win of the 2018 season, all of his championship rivals stumbled.

Josef Newgarden, the pole sitter and second-place man in championship – he trailed Dixon by 33 points entering Sunday – led from the pole and looked to be a contender for the win, but a Lap 34 restart saw his day come apart.

Newgarden ran wide exiting the final corner coming to the green flag and smacked the outside wall. He plummeted through the field and pitted under caution – for a Turn 1 pileup involving Graham Rahal, Max Chilton, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, and Sebastien Bourdais – to allow the No. 1 Hitachi Chevrolet Team Penske group to examine the car for damage.

Newgarden continued on, but was never a contender the rest of the day, ultimately finishing ninth.

“I knew it would be low grip, but not zero grip. I just lost the front end completely,” Newgarden said in describing how the wall contact happened. “I feel terrible, it’s not fun to make a mistake.”

Alexander Rossi, who sits third in the championship, ran a steady sixth in the first stint until Lap 27, when contact with Will Power damaged his front wing. Rossi was then caught up in the melee on the Lap 34 restart, getting airborne over the left-front of his Andretti Autosport teammate Hunter-Reay.

Rossi again pitted for a new front wing – he had six stops in total – and ended up eighth on a day when he felt like a podium beckoned.

“It’s a pretty disappointing result. I don’t think we had the car to beat Scott (Dixon), but for sure with the problems that everyone had, we could’ve finished second. It’s been a difficult string of races,” Rossi said afterward.

Hunter-Reay, too, had a day forget. After going from sixth to third on the start, he spun his No. 28 DHL Honda into the Turn 3 Barrier on Lap 27. And like Rossi, he was caught up in the Lap 34 pileup, falling off the lead lap in the process.

Hunter-Reay languished in 16th at the checkered flag.

“It was a very unfortunate day and a big loss for us in points,” Hunter-Reay lamented. “The DHL Honda was running comfortable in third and pushing hard, but I had too much front brake lock and found the tire barrier – that’s my fault. Then after that, we got caught up in a wreck, which put us a lap down. From there we just fought to stay in front of the leader.”

Power, too, hit his struggles after the first stint, when contact with the Turn 11 wall, an incident similar to the one that his Team Penske teammate Newgarden had, bent the right-rear suspension of his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet. He also had contact with Rossi later that lap.

Power lost two laps in the pits as the team made repairs, and he took the checkered flag in 18th.

“In the last corner, I brushed the wall and bent a rear toe link, so the car was a little bit out of whack. I didn’t even know that (Alexander) Rossi and I touched. I was just kind of trying to hang on until we got a yellow and could pit,” Power explained. “I’ve never had so many DNFs; not DNF for this race, but like a DNF in a season. Still, it’s kind of how this sport can go.”

All told, their struggles mean that Dixon leads the championship by 62 points over Newgarden. Rossi sits third, 70 points of the lead, followed by Hunter-Reay and Power, who sit 91 and 93 points out of the lead respectively.

And the next race, the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (July 29 on NBCSN) won’t make it easy for them to make up ground, as Dixon’s record there is astoundingly strong. The four-time IndyCar champion has five wins at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, his most recent triumph coming in 2014, a race in which he famously came from last on the grid (22nd) to win.

Conversely, Newgarden, Rossi, Hunter-Reay, and Power have a combined one win at Mid-Ohio (Newgarden, last year).

However, the likes of Newgarden and Rossi still appear confident that they can make up for their Toronto struggles.

“We have to move on now and try to pick it back up. With the championship battle, we’ve got a long way to go. This doesn’t help but look, we have plenty of racing (left),” said Newgarden. “We need to keep our head up here. We’re going to be just fine, we’ve got fast cars and the best in the business. If we get our mistakes sorted out, we’re going to be just fine.”

Rossi, who finished sixth at Mid-Ohio last year, echoed similar sentiment, and thinks Mid-Ohio presents an opportunity to get back on track.

“We’re very good at Mid-Ohio, we’re kind of circling Toronto and Mid-Ohio as two races we were going to be pretty good at, so we got to reset, man, and just execute,” Rossi explained afterward. “We’re fast. We’re there every weekend. That’s the important thing. It’s a lot harder to be outside the top 10 and looking for answers. We’re fighting for pole every weekend. We’re in the Fast Six virtually every weekend, so you’re putting yourself in position to have a good result, it hasn’t come really since Texas.”

The 2018 championship is far from over – the season-ending GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma being a double-points event helps ensure as much. But, if Dixon does claim the 2018 title, Toronto may be the race that serves as the turning point.

Follow@KyleMLavigne