By JERRY BONKOWSKI | Motorsport.com
Romain Grosjean leads all the laps at Barber but has to settle for another second-place finish.
When, oh when, will Romain Grosjean finally earn his first IndyCar win?
The former Formula One driver had nothing to hang his head about in finishing second in Sunday’s Children’s of Alabama race at Barber Motorsports Park.
But the numbers keep hitting him like a tire in the face: Sunday was his sixth podium since coming to IndyCar in 2021, of which five of those finishes have been runner-up showings.
Yet, still no win, something that is frustrating the Swiss driver.
“I hurt, I’m going to be honest,” Grosjean said. “The three-stop (pit strategy) never wins at Barber, but today the pits stayed open and gave McLaughlin an edge on the three-stop.”
“I hurt, I’m going to be honest.”
Grosjean led 62 of the first 71 laps before McLaughlin passed him when Grosjean inadvertently swung wide in Turn 5. From that point on, it was all McLaughlin, as Grosjean was out of push-to-pass help.
“We had an incredible car, drove really well, gave it 100 percent, but we just got unlucky with (an early) yellow,” Grosjean said of his team’s two-pit strategy vs. Team Penske’s three-stop gameplan.
Team owner Michael Andretti came up to Grosjean after the race and tried to console him, saying, “Don’t get your head down, that’s one of the best rides (Andretti) had ever seen (out of Grosjean).”
Still, while Grosjean remains frustrated, he also has increased optimism that after back-to-back runner-up finishes two weeks ago at Long Beach and Sunday at Barber, he may finally breakthrough in the month of May on either the GMR Grand Prix or Indianapolis 500 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“I gave it all,” said Grosjean, who is reportedly in the process of negotiating a contract extension with Andretti. “It’s good for Scott (McLaughlin). Congrats to him, he deserves the win. We got good points today, and our day will come.”