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IndyCar’s top drivers ready for road course

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The IndyCar series drives into the Circle City this week to break in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before the Indy 500.

“The best month of the year, it’s here,” Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou said.

Excitement is in the air at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Racing for the Month of May kicks off with the GMR Grand Prix Saturday. The biggest names in IndyCar are ready to get on the track.

“It’s a very exciting month for us all,” Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin said. “We’ve talked about it. It’s our Super Bowl. It’s really a lot of things rolled into one for our series. Very important month for us all.”

“Our highlight of the year is the Month of May, and to start it off with a race on the road course is, in my opinion, the perfect way to do it,” said Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson, who won the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500. “It’s usually quite fun races here. The track itself is maybe not the most challenging on the calendar, but it does produce some good racing. It’s always super close.”

“That’s where I had my first pole. It’s where I had my first podium, so it’s always going to be a very special Grand Prix for me,” Andretti Autosport’s Romain Grosjean said.

All the drivers want a strong showing to start off May at the Grand Prix this weekend. Just 15 points separate the first and fifth place in the standings. This weekend’s run on the road course is much more about gaining points for the championship than momentum for the 500.

“The competition is tough,” Ericsson said. “It’s incredible to see the top ten in the championship and how close it is. It’s super cool for the series and shows how competitive it is.”

“I think it’s important to finish well on the road course for the championship,” Grosjean said. “The momentum is great, but it’s the points that matter at the end of the year.”

“Honestly, I’d be happy with a podium here,” Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward said. “We’ve never been on the podium at the road course. We just have to continue working at it.”

The rubber finally meets the road course Friday for the first round of practices.