2020 REV Group Grand Prix of Road America – Race One Recap

2020 REV Group Grand Prix of Road America – Race OneArrow McLaren SP Recap
The first of two action-packed days at Road America had more than its fair share of ups and downs but at the end of a very long day one, Arrow McLaren SP finished with a solid result and something to build on for day two.  

Saturday in Elkhart Lake began with the weekend’s only practice session, giving the entire field only 75 minutes to prepare their entries for the 4.048 mile road course. The Chevrolets of Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew both worked on finding pace throughout the session, improving slightly but not quite taking the final step. O’Ward finished Practice in 10th and Askew wasn’t far behind in 13th.  

The duo was split in qualifying, with O’Ward in Group 1. A steering issue kept the Mexican driver from getting the most out of his car but he was able to put together a lap and qualify the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet in 12th. Askew, in the challenging Group 2, struggled to find clear track to put down a flying lap. He ended qualifying 21st and would have ground to make up in the race.  

Lap 1 of REV Group Grand Prix Race One saw immediate excitement throughout the the entire field. The 23 Indy cars managed to avoid a yellow flag and the race began to settle in. Both AMSP drivers worked on hitting their fuel numbers and began to make up spots on the leaderboard. The streak of green flag racing came to an abrupt end later in the race, when a trio of yellow flags stacked up the field and led to a restart with six laps to go. O’Ward and Askew each were able to make passes in the final laps, and at the end of the day, the AMSP drivers had made up a combined ten places with O’Ward finishing eighth and Askew 15th.  

The entire team gets another shot tomorrow with Race Two of the Road America doubleheader. Make sure to tune in on NBC at 12:00 p.m. ET. 
Pato O’Ward – No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Practice: 10th
Qualifying: 12th
Started: 12th
Finished: 8th 
“I truly feel like I gave it my all out there today. We need to work on our black tire pace but our red tire pace is strong. Locking up in the last stint really put us back into the guys behind but we had the pace to catch the guys in front and try to challenge. I had to make some really late breaking moves to get by some people. I think it’s something good that we can work on tomorrow, just seeing what the tires did over the course of a stint. I want to qualify up front tomorrow. We have the car and I know the Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolets can run up front.”
Oliver Askew – No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Practice: 13th
Qualifying: 21st
Started: 21st
Finished: 15th 
“It was good to gain six positions today in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet and put what happened last weekend at IMS behind us. We obviously have a lot to work on for tomorrow but luckily it will be a fresh start. The whole team is going to learn as much as we can from today and have a better race tomorrow. It was awesome to see fans back at the racetrack today and look forward to putting on a show for them tomorrow.”
Taylor Kiel
Managing Director
“There are a lot of good things coming out of today for Arrow McLaren SP and a lot of things that we need to clean up as well. The pit stops were really good for the No. 5 car. The guys responded well after Texas and Indy and we had flawless stops all day. I’m really proud of that. Pato drove a great race. It’s really hard to pass in this style of car and at this racetrack so for him to gain the positions that he did, I’m really happy with that. It was a really good race for him finishing P8, another Top 10. We’re putting those in the bank and building a lot of momentum and experience to keep moving forward. With Oliver and the No. 7 car, they seemed to struggle all day. We are going to look into it really hard tonight. I know the engineers are going to burn the midnight oil trying to figure out what’s going on. We have all the confidence in Oliver and the group to figure out what’s going on and make it right for tomorrow. The good thing is, we get another chance tomorrow.”