Everyone is going to be talking about Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport this weekend. Rightfully so too. Penske and Ganassi have combined to win all three trips back to Road America since the NTT IndyCar Series return in 2016 to go along with scoring six straight wins on the season and seven of nine overall in 2019.
But, don’t sleep on Dale Coyne Racing, most importantly Sebastien Bourdais this weekend. The Frenchman has finished in the top 11 in literally seven of his nine starts this season in his No. 18 Honda. If not for a run in with Graham Rahal in the closing laps of the Indy 500, it would be in all but one race.
Now, Bourdais is hoping to add a win at Road America. It’s not like he hasn’t won there before as he won in Champ Car in 2007. He was third in 2004 and 2006 and runner-up as a rookie in 2003. Since his return to Indy Car, Bourdais hasn’t had the best of luck at Road America, but he’s aiming to change that this weekend at what Bourdais calls his favorite road course in North America.
“I’m really looking forward to racing at Road America again,” said Bourdais. “It’s my favorite road course in the United States. It’s a lot like the tracks I grew up with in Europe. I’ve raced at Road America four times back in the CART and Champ Car days and finished on the podium every time. At one point I was wondering if I would ever win there and finally did in 2007.
“The SealMaster Honda was strong last year, but we had an issue and that prevented us from scoring a top-five. We’re 10th in the championship race right now and we are going to have to dig deep, keep working hard and have a couple of strong performances over the next few races if we’re going to be in contention at the end of the season.”
On natural road courses this year, Bourdais has two top five finishes in three tries. He was third in Barber and fifth at COTA. I’d say he’s a sleeper for sure on Sunday.