* Passing Index (PI) is number of passes per 100 miles completed. Position Passing Index (PPI) is number of position passes per 100 miles completed. For historical passing analysis, visit the History tab.
The 2023 Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America was 55 laps on the 4.014-mile road course totaling 220.77 miles. The pit road speed was dual stage with 90 mph and 45 mph zones. The race started the third time past the flag stand with pole sitter Colton Herta gridded drivers' left.
The start was double file and the restarts were single file. The race leader accelerated for restarts just before Turn 14.
The fuel window was 12–16 laps under green-flag conditions, depending on the type of tires being used.
All cars but those of Santino Ferrucci, David Malukas, Felix Rosenqvist, Callum Ilott, Romain Grosjean, Agustin Canapino, Scott Dixon, Jack Harvey, Sting Ray Robb, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay started the race on black primary tires. Each car was required to use one set of new alternate red tires and one set of primary black tires during the race.
At 12:20 p.m. CDT, 10 minutes before the scheduled green flag time, the ambient temperature was 73 degrees with overcast skies. The track temperature was 107 degrees according to Firestone Racing.
At 12:23 p.m., Dave Wirth, Premier Truck Group's vice president of finance and insurance, gave the command, "Drivers, start your engines." All engines fired and all cars rolled onto the racetrack.
On Lap 1, Herta led the field off Turn 14 and onto the front straight. The No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda of Kyle Kirkwood spun off course in Turn 1, bringing out the race's first full-course yellow flag. Leaders under the first caution were Herta, Alex Palou, Marcus Armstrong, Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi.
Employing an alternate strategy to get off the Firestone alternate tires as soon as possible, several cars pitted on Lap 2 including those of Rosenqvist, Dixon and Hunter-Reay.
The race resumed on Lap 3 and ran under a green flag until the second caution came out on Lap 12 just as leader Herta and chaser Palou hit the pits. The second full-course yellow flag was for the No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda of Romain Grosjean which went off course at Turn 3.
On Lap 15, Herta led the field out of Turn 14 as the race restarted. Behind, the No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda of Jack Harvey went off course at Turn 14 and made like contact with the tire barrier. The incident brought out the third full-course yellow flag.
Lap 19 served as the penultimate restart lap with green-flag running lasting until Lap 25, when the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Honda of David Malukas stopped off course in Turn 8. Leaders at the time of the fourth and final caution were Herta, Newgarden, Palou, Rossi and O'Ward.
On Lap 26, under caution, the leaders pitted together except for the No. 11 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda of Marcus Armstrong which stayed out and inherited the race lead.
Green-flag racing resumed on Lap 28 with Armstrong leading until his pit stop on Lap 31 when he transferred the lead to Will Power, although Power was also on an alternate strategy. Power pitted two laps later, returning the race lead to Herta who went on to lead a race-high 33 laps.
Palou passed Herta for the lead in Turn 1 on Lap 49 and continued to lead the remaining laps. Palou led a total of 10 laps over the course of the 55-lap race.
Palou took the white flag with a 5.1758-second lead over Newgarden and crossed the finish line with a 4.5610-second margin of victory.
The win marked Palou's third victory of 2023 and the seventh win of his NTT IndyCar Series career. He extended his championship points advantage to 74.
Unofficial points after the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America:
Warm-up for the 2023 Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America started on time at 9:15 a.m. CDT. As the session began, Race Control issued a penalty to Callum Ilott for taking a lap after the checkered flag in a previous session. Ilott was stripped of 10 minutes of practice time, to be served the final 10 minutes of warm-up.
Two red flags stopped the action:
At 9:22 a.m., the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet of Ryan Hunter-Reay spun off course in Turn 6.
At 9:30 a.m., the No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda of Romain Grosjean spun in Turn 12.
Both drivers were assessed five-minute time penalties for being involved in red flags and both race cars had to be restarted by the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team.
Alexander Rossi ended the session with the fastest lap, a 1:41.7917 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet.
Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award consists of three segments. In the first round, each group receives 12 minutes of track time. The fastest six cars from each group advance to Round 2 while the remaining cars are assigned positions 13 to 27. Group 1 drivers will occupy the odd-numbered positions while Group 2 drivers will occupy the even-numbered positions based on their fastest lap times. During Round 2, the 12 advancing cars receive 12 minutes of track time with the fastest six advancing to the Firestone Fast Six while the remaining cars are ranked in positions seven through 12 based on their fastest laps. During the Firestone Fast Six, the six cars receive eight minutes of guaranteed green-flag time. At the end of session, cars are ranked one through six based on their fastest laps.
Qualifying at Road America began on time at 12:55 p.m. CDT. The ambient temperature was 76 degrees with 56% humidity and partly cloudy skies. The track temperature was 110 degrees according to Firestone engineers.
All segments of knockout qualifying were without incident except for Group 2 which saw Ryan Hunter-Reay's No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet run off course in Turn 14 and make contact with the tire barrier. Hunter-Reay was stripped of his two fastest laps and the ability to advance to Round 2.
Colton Herta, Alex Palou, Kyle Kirkwood, Pato O'Ward, Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi were fastest in Round 2 and advanced to the Firestone Fast Six for the NTT P1 Award.
After the checkered flag for Round 2, the engine in Kirkwood's No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda expired, preventing him from competing in the third round of qualifying.
Herta ended the final round of qualifying with the fastest lap: 1:41.1945. The achievement marked Herta's 10th NTT IndyCar Series pole and his first since Toronto in 2022. Herta became the sixth different pole winner in eight races in 2023.
Practice 2 at Road America was 45 minutes in duration within a one-hour window starting at 9:55 a.m. CDT.
Five red flags paused the action:
Seven minutes after the green flag, the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda of Alex Palou made contact with the barrier in Turn 14. Palou was able to climb from his race car without assistance from the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team. The session resumed at 10:08 a.m.
Five minutes later, the No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda of Scott Dixon and the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet of Will Power came together with each other in Turn 12. Both cars made further contact with the Turn 12 barrier. The incident was precipitated by a spin for Dixon. Green-flag running resumed at 10:24 a.m.
At 10:30 a.m., the No. 14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet of Santino Ferrucci was stalled on track after a spin in Turn 12. Practice resumed with approximately 21 minutes remaining.
With six minutes left on the clock, the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda of Colton Herta was stopped in the Turn 12 runoff. The fourth red flag lasted for two minutes.
At 10:53 a.m., two minutes before the session's scheduled end time, the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda of Simon Pagenaud went off track at Turn 14 and made contact with the barrier. Practice did not resume.
In addition to five-minute time penalties for drivers involved in red flags, Devlin DeFrancesco was assessed a drive-through penalty for a pit speed violation at pit in.
Alexander Rossi ended Practice 2 with a 1:40.9112 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, 1.0452 seconds off the track record set by Dario Franchitti in 2000.
Practice 1 for the 2023 Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America ran for its entire 75-minute duration without interruption.
At the start of the session, the ambient temperature was 67 degrees with overcast skies and 70% relative humidity. The track temperatures was 110 degrees according to Firestone engineers.
At the conclusion of practice, the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet of Alexander Rossi was fastest with a 1:41.7790. Marcus Armstrong was the fastest rookie with a 1:42.2146 in the No. 11 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
200 seconds of total time with a maximum
time of 20 seconds per activation.
Tires Available per Entry
Seven sets primary, four sets alternate for use during the race weekend. One additional set of primary tires may be used by teams fielding a rookie driver. Teams must use one set of primary and one set of new (sticker) alternate tires for at least two laps in the race.
— 2022: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
— 2021: Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing
— 2020 Race 2: Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing
— 2020 Race 1: Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing
— 2019: Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport
— 2018: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
Last Six Poles
— 2022: Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport (1:44.8656)
— 2021: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske (1:46.0168)
— 2020 Race 2: Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP (1:44.8971)
— 2020 Race 1: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske (1:45.5191)
— 2019: Colton Herta, Harding Steinbrenner Racing (1:42.9920)
— 2018: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske (1:43.2026)
Qualifying Lap Record
1:39.866, 145.924 mph (Dario Franchitti of Team Green on Aug. 19, 2000)
Historical Passing Analysis
2020 Race 1
2020 Race 2
* Passing Index (PI) is number of passes per 100 miles completed. Position Passing Index (PPI) is number of position passes per 100 miles completed.