Romain Grosjean’s first oval experience gave the Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing every he needed to commit to racing at the August 21 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway.
Having passed his rookie test with IndyCar, survived a half-spin where no damage was incurred, and recorded more than 100 laps around the 1.25-mile oval formerly known as Gateway in the No. 18 Honda, Grosjean got the green light from the series and his team to join the field for the last oval race of the season.
“We went through the day and gathered a lot of information,” he said. “In that aspect it was super positive. We worked well and we learned that we could extract more performance from the car, which is great. At the end of the day, on the last, long run the car felt very nice and I was happy with it. I think that was key for us today — getting some key data, getting me comfortable in the car and being able to attack on a long run. Now we can put it all together when we come back in a few weeks for my first oval race. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Holding 16th in the championship, Grosjean has a strong opportunity to rise in the standings while contesting the six races set to close the IndyCar calendar. With the three previous ovals missing from his season’s tally, the race experience at Gateway should prime the 34-year-old for a big future in the series where contesting the full championship would be an option.
As RACER has reported, Grosjean is tipped to join Andretti Autosport and become part of the Acura/Honda/Honda Performance Development family in 2022.