Sebastien Bourdais has made it perfectly known that his bread and butter are on road/street courses. Out of his 37 career Indy Car wins, only five of them have come on ovals and just one of which has come since July 2006 on. But, he’s been much better on ovals this season, so much so it gives him high hopes for Saturday’s Iowa 300 (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/INDYCAR Radio Network).
Bourdais, has qualified well in both, starting seventh for the Indianapolis 500 and third for the DXC 600 at Texas. He’s hoping to qualify well on Friday to give him great track position for Saturday’s short track trace at the Iowa Speedway.
“We have qualified well on the ovals this year and the No. 18 SealMaster Honda has been strong in the races, so I am pretty happy about that,” Bourdais said ahead of this weekend’s race. “Iowa’s track is trickier than the other ovals, especially if as expected, the weather is hot.
“The team tested there with Santino (Ferrucci) and we got some data, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go. Hopefully, we’ll unload and have another competitive oval car. At this point in the season, I’m just looking to have a good result and see how things play out. We just need to keep working hard and hopefully catch a break.”
Bourdais, has three top 10 finishes in his last four starts on the year. In fact, if you go back to Long Beach, he’s finished worse than 12th just once. Unfortunately, despite consistent results, he just hasn’t had top fives to go along with it. The Dale Coyne Racing driver has just two top fives all year but none since Barber on April 7.
This weekend in Iowa, starting position for whatever reason hasn’t mattered. The pole sitter has never won a race in 12 tries on the bullring while the outside front row starter has won just twice. Three of the last five winners have started 9th or worse.
So, for a driver that has finally got his qualifying game down on ovals, it may not matter this weekend.