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Romain Grosjean Scores Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Best Finish with 4th at Laguna Seca

Romain Grosjean needed an uneventful IndyCar race and the former Formula 1 racer got just that on Sunday (June 23) at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. After starting eighth, the Swiss-born Frenchman finished fourth in the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.

Grosjean lost some ground at the start of the 95-lap race around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course but climbed back to his starting position after the first round of green flag pit stops ended on lap 27.

The No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing (JHR) crew had a decision to make at the race’s first full course yellow after Luca Ghiotto spun exiting turn 4 and hit the tire barrier.

The team elected to keep Grosjean on the race track instead of bringing him to pit road. That decision brought Grosjean up from eighth to third place when the race restarted on Lap 40.

Before the caution came out for Nolan Siegel‘s spun car at the exit of turn 2, Grosjean had already moved by Pato O’Ward to snatch second place from the Mexican driver, putting Grosjean right behind eventual race winner Alex Palou.

Grosjean pitted for the second time on lap 54 and for the final time on lap 70, his final stop dropping him to fifth place. That changed after second place-runner Josef Newgarden went off track exiting turn 5 on lap 80, giving Grosjean enough room to get by and make his final overtake of the race.

Despite a late race yellow for an accident involving Kyffin Simpson and Graham Rahal providing one more restart for Grosjean to gain a place on the post-race podium, Grosjean had to settle for fourth, 4.82 seconds behind Palou.

The result was JHR’s best finish since re-entering IndyCar competition at the end of the 2021 IndyCar season.

“A great result for all of us,” Grosjean said of the finish. “I think yesterday in qualifying we had a lot more than we could show and I think today we also had a bit more we wanted (to show). One set of tires was a bit strange in the middle stint that cost us quite a bit of time. On the last stint, sadly there were too many safety cars. I knew the [tire] deg was on our side, and we didn’t have much problem with that. I knew I could catch at least [Alexander] Rossi, maybe [Colton] Herta. We spent most of that stint under yellow, but it is what it is.

“Very happy for the whole team, for Chevy and for myself. It was a tough one. I’ll tell you, the car was hard to drive ,but I think for everyone it’s hard to drive. Saw a lot of guys going off and it was a tough race. Happy where we are. We’ll keep going.”

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