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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Team Penske looks to continue GMR Grand Prix dominance

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The great organizations in sports simply find a way to win.

That in itself is one of the key components of a dynasty, and Penske Racing defines all of that and then some at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

While their incredible record of 18 wins in the Indy 500 will never be surpassed, they’ve been equally dominant in the NTT IndyCar Series road course event at IMS since its inception, and there’s really no reason to think of anyone else as a favorite this weekend as the GMR Grand Prix kicks off May racing at 16th Street and Georgetown Road.

While it was designed to be a lead-in to the legendary Indianapolis 500, the GMR Grand Prix has now become a fixture on the NTT IndyCar Series and been nothing less than a personal playground for Team Penske, which has won the event five out of six years.

While 2019 Indy 500 champion Simon Pagenaud won the inaugural event in 2014 driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports, he has since joined the ranks of Penske Racing and along with teammate and 2018 lndy 500 Champion Will Power have split the wins evenly at three each and are at the top of the prohibitive favorites list once again May 15.

They’ll be joined by yet another Penske driver, Josef Newgarden, and defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon as the cars to watch when the green flag drops at 2:45 p.m.

Notes: You can also watch the Force Indy USF 2000 team in action at IMS as team principal Rod Reid and driver Myles Rowe look to find victory lane for the first time this season. The team has registered some good qualifying efforts in addition to a couple of top-10 finishes as they continue to impress in their maiden campaign. You can follow them on Facebook at Force Indy 99. Keep an eye on this duo as they are ready for a breakout win soon.

Tickets are still available for the GMR Grand Prix and start at $35. Go to ims.com for more information.

If you can’t attend in person, you can watch it on NBC affiliate WTHR with the pre-race show beginning at 2 p.m.

Finally, I’d like to wish longtime Indianapolis Recorder production manager Jeffrey Sellers well with his recent retirement. He’s as talented as they come and has made my work look so much better than it really is for so many years.

He never complained about me missing deadlines and always had a kind word for yours truly. Thanks, Jeff, for tolerating me all this time. You’re the best.

Danny Bridges, who will be shocked if a Penske driver doesn’t pull in to Victory Lane at the GMR Grand Prix, can be reached at 317-370-8447 or at bridgeshd@aol.com.

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