Friday, May 12, 2023

Can Romain Grosjean Win at Indianapolis?

Or will Andretti Autosport teammate Colton Herta Steal Romain’s Thunder and Win for the First time in a Year?


Although I really cannot say that I’ve ever been a Fan of Romain Grosjean’s, especially when He was what I considered a Hot Headed Formula 1 driver! I did enjoy His embracing Indy Cars upon His rookie season with Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing in 2021.


Thus, I suppose I’d like to see the Frenchman finally “Break His Duck” in IndyCar, by securing His long awaited maiden victory.


According to Racer’s Marshall Pruett, for which I wasn’t aware of. Grosjean’s in some rarefied company right now, albeit tied for third with Russ Snowbird and Raul Boesel with five second place finishes without a win.


Whilst Vitor Meira Holds the record for most Second places without ever winning an IndyCar race with eight Runner-up finishes. With Geoff Brabham P2 with His notching of six Second place finishes.


Continuing my recapping First time IndyCar winners circa 2008 that Grosjean’s Chasing. For which if I’ve done my ryth-muh-tickin’ correctly? Romain’s one of twelve current IndyCar drivers on the Grid searching for His maiden victory. As Here’s the Rest of the previous first time Winners…



At the venue that I believe He called His Home track, since Nashville wasn’t on the schedule yet. Josef Newgarden scored His Debutante IndyCar W’ during the fourth round of the season, at Barber Motorsports Park driving for CFH Racing. As it would be a Breakout year for Newgarden who scored two wins that season.


Round 7’s Belle Isle Detroit Race 1 saw another first time Columbian winner. When Carlos Munoz won His First and Only IndyCar race driving for Andretti Autosport.



It seems like a lifetime ago that I witnessed Alexander Rossi score undoubtedly what was an unexpected victory at Mother Speedway’s 100th running. As Rossi scord His first W’ as a rookie No less in the Indianapolis 500 driving for Andretti Herta Autosport. And currently is the last rookie to date to do so…



No First time IndyCar winners.



In only His third ever IndyCar start driving for Harding Steinbrenner Racing. Colton Herta became the series youngest ever winner at Circuit Of the Americas, (COTA) in Austin, Texas at Age 18 years, 359 days Old! Herta would subsequently become the youngest ever Pole sitter later that year as a 19yr Old Teenager at Road America. And then for good measure, Colton won the season finale at Laguna Seca.



This one still pains me, even if I do like the Swede! It’s just that Felix rosenqvist, then driving for Chip Ganassi Racing. Snatched His First, and so far Only IndyCar victory away from my current Numero Uno IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward with just One and a Half laps remaining at Elkhart Lake. When Felix-the-Cat’ won in Round 4’s Road America Race 2, which I lamented over in the following No Fenders tome…



Second year driver Alex Palou sent Shockwaves thru the IndyCar paddock upon winning for the First time at Birmingham’s season opening race for chip Ganassi Racing. As it would be the first of Palou’s eventual three wins enroute to a surprising IndyCar Championship!


Pato O’Ward finally got the Monkey Off His Back by winning His maiden IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway’s Race 2. As the win was fitting since it came in His adopted Home State and came just some four days before His 22nd Birthday, driving for then Arrow McLaren SP, then better known as “SPAM!”


The following race, Round 5 on Mother Speedway’s Infield Road Course. Rinus VeeKay won the GNR Indy Grand Prix for Ed Carpenter Racing.


Round 7 at Belle Isle’s Detroit Race 1 saw Will Power go Ballistic when His Chevy lump’ wouldn’t refire after a late Red Flag. Seeing Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson aboard the No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda claiming His Debutante IndyCar victory.



Kiwi’ Multi-Supercars Champion Bad Arse ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin clamed His maiden IndyCar W’ at the season opening St Pete race, where He put a Beatdown upon the field! A la what I’d witness Him doing at Portland, leading 104 of 110 laps from Pole! His third victory of the season, with Mid-Ohio in-between, during His Breakout season for Team Penske.



And that leads us to this year, which so far we’ve witnessed Kyle Kirkwood at Andretti Autosport in just His 20th IndyCar race become a series First-time winner.


Which leads us to the $64k Question. Can Romain Grosjean become the newest First time IndyCar winner this weekend on Mother Speedway’s Infield Road Course? Since Romain seems to have an affinity for this Twisty’s racing circuit. Having claimed His first Pole position and first two Podiums at IMS, albeit Not on that Oval portion…


As Grosjean’s gotten off to a Hot start this year, looking poised for victory at St Pete. Along with another possible podium at Texas Motor Speedway. Followed by His two Second place finishes the last two races.


Of the current twelve IndyCar drivers chasing their Debutante W’, I’d have to say that following Grosjean, who seems the most likely to finally stand atop the Podiums. I’d have to rate Christian Lundgaard the next most likely to score His first IndyCar win. And then either Callum Ilott or David Malukas…


Our latest newcomer to this ever growing list is Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard, who was my second choice for breaking their IndyCar “Duck”.


This was the 22yr old Dane’s Breakout season, having clamed His maiden Pole at the track He began His IndyCar career on. Taking the “guns ‘n roses” (GMR( Indy GP top qualifying position.


Then at Toronto in July, just five days before His birthday. Lundgaard had an epic weekend, where He made a Clean Sweep! Claiming His second Pole, the Fastest lap, Most laps led enroute to His Debutante IndyCar victory! Scoring RLLR’s first W’ in some three years…


As Lundgaard celebrated His win by promptly shaving off His mustache! Having made a deal with a good friend to not shave it off until He won His first IndyCar race!