Leeds, Alabama (April 17, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean celebrated his birthday on Saturday by taking part in his first official on track activities in the NTT IndyCar Series and by qualifying an impressive seventh for his debut race in his #51 Nurtec ODT Honda.
The rookie entered his first qualifying session with the hopes of making it into the Fast 12. Grosjean easily accomplished that goal by placing second in Group 2 of Round 1 of qualifying and then exceeded his expectations by registering a fastest lap of 1:05.76 to place himself seventh on the starting grid. The Frenchman missed out on the Fast 6 by a mere six hundredths of a second.
“What a day, seventh in qualifying, that’s clearly above expectations!” expressed Grosjean. “But being so close to the Fast 6, obviously, I was really hoping we would get in but it’s still really great. The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team really helped me to understand the qualifying tires. We’ve done really good work with the set up and I think we know where to look to go faster which is very positive. We’re going to enjoy this today but let’s focus on tomorrow. We have 90 laps of racing to do, I need to learn tire degradation, fuel saving, refueling, pit stops, how an IndyCar race goes. So, still a lot to learn tomorrow but I’m really happy with today.”
Drivers will also get a 30-minute warm up on Sunday, April 18 at 10:30am local time (11:30am ET) that will be streamed live on Peacock.
The 90-lap season opening round will go green at 2:42pm Local time (3:42pm ET) on Sunday, April 18 and will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 2:00pm local time (3:00pm ET).