On the Road Again: Sights & Sounds at Road America
In yesterday's post, I said I'd be back today to recount my experiences at Road America (go check if you don't believe me), and, because I am a man of my word, here we are.
Road America, in case you are wondering, is a four-mile, 14-turn road circuit/race track located in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and this weekend the track played host to the Verizon Indycar Series Kohler Grand Prix, with events taking place all weekend long between Thursday and Sunday.
Sunday's agenda included the main event — the weekend's eponymous 55-lap race that the crowds had all come out to see, us among them. Our little group arrived at the track just before 10 a.m. so that we could settle in for the big race, which was scheduled for 12:17 p.m. (don't ask why).
Honestly, I cannot claim to be a fan of NASCAR or racing generally — which would explain why I hadn't been to an event like this Grand Prix at any previous point in my life — and so I wasn't expecting a ton out of this. But we all picked out a car that we thought would win before things got underway, and it wasn't long before I found myself actually, genuinely rooting for the driver I'd chosen.
During the race, we sat in some wooden stands right on one of the track's corners — where it just so happened the eventual winner, Scott Dixon out of New Zealand, would do a few celebratory doughnuts after all was said and done. A morning race featuring not-Indycars was just getting underway as we took our seats, and it got off to a bit of a messy start.
The first two times the cars came around our corner, one driver or another found himself stalled out on the raceway or in the grass. My adept video recording skills can attest:
The main race, which started only slightly after its oddly-scheduled time, ran cleanly for the most part. I want to say the yellow flags came out three times during the course of the 55-lap affair. And only one driver ended up spinning out and rendering his vehicle useless.
Like I said above, Mr. Dixon earned top honors, while Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves came in second and third, respectively. Go figure: the dude I picked to win, Marco Andretti, finished in 18th place thanks to a hiccup during the middle of the race that saw him make a major slide through the grass.
I'm not going to go on pretending I have any idea what I'm talking about when it comes to racing and cars and what have you, but here are some more photos from my day at the track (click the images to cycle through the gallery):
Tomorrow morning I will set off for Chicago, where I'll be spending a single night before I head back to Michigan. Catch you on the flip side.