Swiftly following on from IndyCar’s second race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) road course, the series heads to the World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR) for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500.
Alex Palou will enter the weekend still the points leader in the driver standings. This despite the Spaniard being forced into retirement last weekend due to an engine issue. His first retirement of the 2021 season.
Palou now has a 21 point advantage over nearest rival Pato O’Ward, the latter having claimed pole position and ultimately going on to finish fifth last weekend. It was O’Ward’s sixth top five finish this year.
Completing the top three in the driver standings is Scott Dixon who after finishing second in Nashville had to settle for seventeenth at IMS. The Chip Ganassi driver is 13 points behind O’Ward and therefore 34 points behind teammate Palou. There is then a 21 point gap between Dixon and fourth placed Josef Newgarden, the latter having finished eighth at IMS.
Will Power went on to claim victory last weekend, the Australian’s first victory of the season and the second for Team Penske following Newgarden’s victory at Mid-Ohio. Power’s victory was his third classified finish inside the top three in 2021, the other two being at Road America and at Barber Motorsports Park.
Power heads into this weekend ninth in the standings with Simon Pagenaud 17 points ahead of him in eighth while behind the Australian is Rinus Veekay, nine points separating the two. Neither Pagenaud or Veekay had a successful second race at IMS with the former being classified in sixteenth while Veekay would go on to finish down in twenty fourth.
There is likely to be added intrigue surrounding this weekend’s race as Romain Grosjean is set to make his oval racing debut. The Frenchman once again starred on the IMS road course where he finished runner-up once more. Grosjean is fifteenth in the championship and seven points behind Jack Harvey and Scott McLaughlin who are directly ahead of him in the driver standings, while 17 points directly behind Grosjean is Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The WWTR is the final oval race of the 2021 IndyCar season and last year held a double header which saw Dixon claim victory in the first race with Josef Newgarden taking victory the following day in the second race.