RaceDayScore IndyCar: Kohler Grand Prix

RaceDayScore IndyCar: Kohler Grand Prix

This article is part of our RaceDayScore IndyCar series.

Kohler Grand Prix

Location: Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Course: Road America
Format: 4.0-mile road course
Laps: 50

Race Preview

The Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway was a washout for the IndyCar series. The Saturday night event got underway a day late and the cars only got in 71 laps before rain came again to force the postponement. What remains of the race will resume in late August. However, the postponement didn't come soon enough for Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden, who tangled and collided hard with the wall. Newgarden suffered broken bones in his hand and shoulder, and remains questionable for a return to the cockpit. J.R. Hildebrand will substitute for the injured Newgarden when the series resumes its affair with Road America this week. The Wisconsin road course was a staple of the schedule in past decades, but hasn't had a place on the IndyCar schedule since 2007.

Key Stats at Elkhart Lake (1982-2007)

Number of previous races: 25
Winners from pole: 8
Winners from top-5 starters: 20
Winners from top-10 starters: 27
Lowest starting position to win: 13
Fastest race (current distance): 137.697 mph

Previous Road America Winners

2007 - Sebastien Bourdais
2006 - A.J. Allmendinger
2004 - Alex Tagliani
2003 - Bruno Junqueira
2001 - Cristiano da Matta
2000 - Paul Tracy
1999 - Christian Fittipaldi
1998 - Dario Franchitti
1997 - Alex Zanardi
1996 - Michael Andretti

IndyCar hasn't raced at Road America since 2007, which was under the CART banner at the time. Sebastien Bourdais was the winner of that last event on the 4.0-mile road course. The beloved track is one of the classic American road courses that evokes memories of past generations of superstars wheeling their machines through the countryside. The course has significant elevation changes as well as many high-speed corners, making it a challenge for drivers to piece together a perfect lap. Good levels of downforce in fast turns coupled with mechanical grip to aid acceleration out of the tight ones will make the difference this weekend. Qualifying has been incredibly important at this circuit, with the vast majority of winners having started from the first three rows. Look for practice and qualifying pace on Friday and Saturday to be a telling prelude to choosing a winner on Sunday.

RACE DAY SCORE VALUE PICKS
(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

Tier 1 Values

Simon Pagenaud - $11,300
Scott Dixon - $11,100
Will Power - $10,600

Tier 2 Values

Graham Rahal - $10,400
Ryan Hunter-Reay - $10,200
Sebastien Bourdais - $10,000

Tier 3 Values

Marco Andretti - $9,700
Takuma Sato - $9,400
Alexander Rossi - $9,000

Long-Shot Values

Conor Daly - $8,700
Mikhail Aleshin - $8,400
Max Chilton - $7,500

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Cash Game Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Simon Pagenaud - $11,300
Will Power - $10,600
Sebastien Bourdais - $10,000
Takuma Sato - $9,400
Conor Daly - $8,700

It almost goes without saying that the top fantasy choice on a circuit like Road America this season is going to be Pagenaud. He had trouble in the first Detroit race, but bounced back to finish second in the next one and has three wins this season. Teammate Will Power is the most recent winner, and could be reeling in Pagenaud in terms of momentum. Not only is Bourdais now a Le Mans winner, but he's also the most recent victor at Road America and he has a Detroit victory to boot. Sato's Formula 1 background should be an advantage at this track, and he has been relatively competitive on the road courses so far this season with a smaller team. The last add to the lower-risk option is Conor Daly, who crashed last week in Texas but has top-10 finishes in each of the last three road course races.

Higher-Risk Tournament Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Scott Dixon - $11,100
Juan Pablo Montoya - $10,700
Graham Rahal - $10,400
Alexander Rossi - $9,000
Mikhail Aleshin - 8,400

Scott Dixon would be the next logical choice behind Pagenaud this weekend, and that's why he leads the higher-risk lineup. He has one win so far this season and only has one finish outside of the top 10. Montoya has had slightly more inconsistency than Dixon with two finishes outside of the top-10 but is always a contender at circuits like this one. Another driver with a style that suits Road America is Rahal. He scored top-five finishes in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and in Detroit, and should be in contention again this week. Rossi is another former Formula 1 driver who may see a boost this week. He has three top-10 finishes in the last four road course races. Finally, Aleshin hasn't yet had the chance to truly prove his potential in this series. His lone top-five this year came in the first race of the season, but his outright pace shows that he could be a threat to score a first series win.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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