Ben's Car Blog
June 16, 2024 /

2024 XPEL Grand Prix

2024 XPEL Grand Prix

Recently I was fortunate to be invited as a guest to the IndyCar XPEL Grand Prix at Road America! A huge thanks to XPEL for the invitation - I was able to take my Dad to his first ever Road America race as an early Fathers Day present!

My experience with IndyCar is relatively limited, as the only other race I had attended was the Road America Grand Prix a few years prior. I’ve since become a big fan of F1, so I was excited for my second Indy race to compare and contrast the two sports!

Arriving at Road America, it was hard not to get excited! We could hear the roar of the NXT series (sort of a Formula 2/seed series for Indy) race going on as we prowled around the venue in search of a parking spot. I was nervous we’d be stuck parking in the boonies and hiking to the racetrack, but we managed to find plenty of open parking right near the main gate and VIP tower!

Once inside, we strolled through the team trailers towards to the main straight, and found some space to watch the NXT drivers blast by on their last laps.

Next, we headed to the pit lane area to check out the crew trailers and maybe catch a glimpse of some of the IndyCar drivers.

The different IndyCar team trailers

I was pleasantly surprised how close we could get to the pit crews! As general admission ticket holders, I assumed we’d be restricted to a less-exciting view, but with IndyCar (or maybe just Road America) you really can just walk into the thick of it! We were dodging team carts and dollies carrying parts and tires.

As a McLaren fan, it was cool to get up close and personal with the Arrow McLaren pit box and crew area!

The Arrow McLaren pit lane for #5, Pato O’Ward
The #5 Arrow McLaren IndyCar
The Arrow McLaren garage with Pato O’Ward's car being worked on

Next, we checked out the XPEL booth, chatted with the reps, and ogled the C8 Corvette they had on display.

The XPEL sponsor booth at Road America

Before grabbing some lunch, we decided to scope out a few of the most popular corners - including turn 5, one of the best spots to watch from. There’s a long downhill straight and a sharp left hand turn, so it’s an exciting corner to watch overtakes as the drivers jockey each other with late braking and aggressive maneuvering!

Afterwards, we snuck in a quick bite before the IndyCar race (I was pleasantly surprised how affordable the food was relative to other sporting venues I’d been to!) and headed back to the pit lane to watch the start.

The first few laps were pretty action-packed, with multiple yellow flags but we missed the mayhem near turns 1 and 2. Throughout the rest of the race, we walked around much of the track, watching a few laps from some of the best vantage points and enjoying the atmosphere!

Making their way up the hill to the main straight
Running down towards turn #5
The infamous Carousel corner

As the race concluded, we headed back to the main area and got a jump on traffic as Will Power crossed the finish line in first place, locking out the podium for the Penske team (including third for the XPEL driver, Scott McLaughlin!).

The final laps of the race

Overall it was a fantastic day, and I felt so fortunate to have shared the experience with my Dad! Since moving last year, we only live about an hour from the track now, and I expect I’ll be back again soon for another race!

Road America definitely delivered on excitement, and surprised me with how accessible and affordable the whole experience was! Maybe next year we’ll get a golf cart though…🚶


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