Grosjean Oval Debut – Race Report

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

Madison, IL (August 21, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean impressed in his oval debut on Saturday night at World Wide Technology Raceway. The rookie gained a ton of experience and put on quite the show as he made it all to way to eighth before taking the checkered flag in 14th, a result that was no way indicative of his on-track performance.

Grosjean, who was starting 14th, didn’t get a chance to get into a rhythm early on as the first part of the race was marred by caution periods. It wasn’t until a Lap 77 restart, that things truly got under way. 

The driver of the #51 Nurtec ODT was sitting 14th at the restart. On lap 84 he got by oval veteran Tony Kanaan for 13th, then he made his way around Dalton Kellett one lap later to take over 12th. Three laps later he got by Conor Daly for 11th and then moved into the top 10 on Lap 90 after passing Jack Harvey. 

That wasn’t it for Grosjean as he gained one more spot to move into ninth after getting the better of fellow rookie Scott McLaughlin.

The Swiss-born Frenchman then took over eighth place when a car ahead of him headed to pit lane. He remained in that position until his second pit stop on Lap 124.

With track conditions changing, passing became more difficult as the race went on, and with an unlucky yellow flag following his third stop on Lap 183, Grosjean fell to 14th, where he would eventually cross the finish line.

“I finished my first oval race. It was a very, very good experience. We tried a strategy that didn’t quite go our way, so the end result isn’t as good as our race, but we had a fast car, we learned a lot. I made a couple of mistakes on cold tires and got into the marbles, but I was able to save it and I managed to make some good passes. I’m happy with this first oval race, I’m a little dizzy right now but tomorrow should be better,” said Grosjean. 

In ten starts this season, Grosjean has three top five and five top ten finishes and has led 49 laps. He has one pole position and has started in the top seven in seven events.

Dale Coyne Racing with RWR will be back on track in three weeks, September 11 – 12, 2021 for the Grand Prix of Portland. The first of three back-to-back races that will close out the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.