Race Report: Kohler Grand Prix
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – With over 900 ABC Supply guests in attendance at the Kohler Grand Prix at the picturesque Road America, Carlos Munoz put on a show in the closing laps of the race.
Munoz, who started 13th, spent much of the race in the top 10 despite a variety of fuel strategies in play over the 55-lap race. Unfortunately a full course yellow with nine laps to go, did not work for his fuel strategy. The only lead lap car to pit under yellow—he was eighth at the time, Munoz came out in 15th.
With eight laps left, he came back to finish 11th, and might have had a shot at 10th place Mikhail Aleshin had a fast-fading Ryan Hunter-Reay not gotten in the way. Still Munoz was encouraged by the pace of his ABC Supply Chevrolet.
“All the race we were top 10 but we were just was missing time on the out laps,” Munoz said. “We have to figure out why we are losing so much time on the out laps. The last yellow didn’t help us at all. We went to the back of the field, but we were able to overtake a lot of cars at the end. We just missed the top 10. We think we’ve improved for sure compared to the other road courses—the Indy GP and Barber. We were a little more competitive it’s just a shame the strategy didn’t pay off.”
Conor Daly, who started 21st, was not as pleased with his race. He finished 15th.
“We just struggled all race,” Daly said. “The gear ratio was just a little short. It was tough to battle with people. But the car felt good, it was nice to drive throughout the race. For some reason, I got caught with cars that were a lap down that were making silly decisions on the last restarts. That was a shame because I think we could have been in a better position than where we ended up. There was a lot of ridiculous driving at the end and it’s a shame we were on the sour end of it.”
The race was slowed by two full course yellows, both for incidents in Turn 11. In the first, Takuma Sato spun and made contact with the barrier but he was able to rejoin the race. The final caution on lap 46 was for Tony Kanaan, who made slight contact with Alexander Rossi and then veered off course into the barrier in Turn 11. Neither driver was injured.
Scott Dixon outdueled the Team Penske juggernaut to take his first win of the season. Team Penske took the next four spots: Josef Newgarden, pole winner Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.
The Verizon IndyCar Series teams have next weekend off and will be back in action at Iowa Speedway for the Iowa Corn 300 on July 9th. It will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network starting at 5 p.m. EDT.