IndyCars take on the road course
WATKINS GLEN--When the IndyCar racing series visits Watkins Glen International a fair question to ask is 'how fast is Scott Dixon?' The veteran driver has four wins at The Glen, including last year, and is looking to return to victory lane this weekend. His blistering pole lap of 1:22.5259 (147.008 mph) last season only further asks the question.
The IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen will run from Friday, Sept. 1 to Sunday, Sept. 3 at the historic road course. In addition to the premier series, there will also be the Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, USF2000 Championship, Mazda MX-5 Cup and SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks at the track.
On-track events begin Friday, with practice for the various classes beginning at 8 a.m. There will also be autograph sessions during the day. MX-5 Cup drivers will be available from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; Verizon IndyCar Series from 1-2 p.m.; Indy Lights 2:30-3 p.m.; USF 2000 3:15-3:45 p.m.; and Pro Mazda 4-4:30 p.m.
Saturday begins the official racing with an MX-5 event at 9:30 a.m. Pro Mazda goes green at 11:30 a.m. and the Super Trucks start at 12:30 p.m. The USF 2000 will begin at 1:15 p.m., while a second MX-5 race starts at 4:30 p.m. There is also qualifying for the IndyCar series at 3:00 p.m. Other practices and qualifying will occur during the day.
Sunday will get underway bright and early with the Pro Mazda class competing at 7:55 a.m. The Indy Lights begin at 10:50 a.m. and are followed by the truck series at 12:10 p.m. The main event, the IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen, starts at 1:47 p.m. for 60 laps on the full course.
Coming into Watkins Glen, Team Penske's Josef Newgarden currently leads the driver standings in the Verizon IndyCar Series. He is followed by Scott Dixon with Chip Ganassi Racing and Helio Castroneves also for Team Penske.
Last weekend the pack competed at Gateway Motorsports Park in Illinois. Newgarden and Dixon recorded a one-two finish and Simon Pagenaud was third.
"I felt like the PPG Chevrolet was going to be good tonight," said Newgarden. "We had four good cars at Team Penske. Happy to get the win on the No. 2 car side because I felt like we had the car to beat. I didn't want us to be denied tonight for sure."
Dixon credited the grip of his car but wished for more speed. "I think we had a better mechanical grip than the group we were racing with, with the Penskes, and especially toward the end of the run. We could sort of come back towards them. We had so much drag. We could get to them, but we couldn't pull out and pass them."
Being that the Watkins Glen race is the second to the last for the IndyCar Series, Pagenaud was considering championship implications. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out there at the end. I can't say that I'm overly pleased, but that's racing. We still have the championship out there, so we'll get ready for Watkins Glen."
Tickets and camping passes are available for the weekend. General admission tickets are $95, with the Sunday only pass at $80. For more see www.theglen.com.