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Kohler GP IndyCar Notes

A tight field heads into turn three at the start of the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America. [Andy Clary Photo]

A tight field heads into turn three at the start of the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America. [Andy Clary Photo]

by Paul Gohde

Winner Dixon’s Ganassi Racing Honda crew solved his pre-race fuel cell issues, but he was quick to give the crew credit for the fix by admitting: “I didn’t fix it.”…Third-place finisher Helio Castroneves was unavailable to the press after the race because he was being treated for dehydration and wasn’t feeling well…Mikhail Aleshin didn’t need a visa to get into Road America Saturday morning, but after spending extended time in Europe Thursday and Friday due to immigration problems, and having his Indy car practiced by another driver, the deprived-of-sleep Russian managed an amazing tenth-place finish Sunday after starting 19th…Dixon seemed truly appreciative of the reception he was accorded by the large crowd while cruising around on his cool-down lap. “What an amazing crowd. They seemed really engaged and I could see them waving and clapping as I made my way around. Great place and great race.” … The “kink” on the backstretch saw some action when Alexander Rossi seemed to block Tony Kanaan sending TK for a ride into the barrier. “He blocked me and put me in the grass. My wrist and leg hurt a little.” 2016 Indy winner Rossi also had a number of close calls while holding off other overtaking car. Takuma Sato also spun after contact while approaching the kink earlier in the race…Though he was recovering from a Texas Speedway racing injury last season when he raced at RA, Josef Newgarden didn’t feel any different competing here Sunday than he did then. “There really wasn’t that much difference here today than last year when I had a broken collarbone. It was more of a distraction then and not a physical issue.” …On lap 17 IndyCar control told Will Power to give back a position to Simon Pagenaud that he had gained due to blocking…The race produced seven lead changes among four drivers with Dixon at the front for 24 laps…The win for Chip Ganassi Racing was the team’s 101st in Indy car competition.

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Paul Gohde heard the sound of race cars early in his life.

Growing up in suburban Milwaukee, just north of Wisconsin State Fair Park in the 1950’s, Paul had no idea what “that noise” was all about that he heard several times a year. Finally, through prodding by friends of his parents, he was taken to several Thursday night modified stock car races on the old quarter-mile dirt track that was in the infield of the one-mile oval -and he was hooked.

The first Milwaukee Mile event that he attended was the 1959 Rex Mays Classic won by Johnny Thomson in the pink Racing Associates lay-down Offy built by the legendary Lujie Lesovsky. After the 100-miler Gohde got the winner’s autograph in the pits, something he couldn’t do when he saw Hank Aaron hit a home run at County Stadium, and, again, he was hooked.

Paul began attending the Indianapolis 500 in 1961, and saw A. J. Foyt’s first Indy win. He began covering races in 1965 for Racing Wheels newspaper in Vancouver, WA as a reporter/photographer and his first credentialed race was Jim Clark’s historic Indy win.Paul has also done reporting, columns and photography for Midwest Racing News since the mid-sixties, with the 1967 Hoosier 100 being his first big race to report for them.

He is a retired middle-grade teacher, an avid collector of vintage racing memorabilia, and a tour guide at Miller Park. Paul loves to explore abandoned race tracks both here and in Europe, with the Brooklands track in Weybridge England being his favorite. Married to Paula, they have three adult children and two cats.

Paul loves the diversity of all types of racing, “a factor that got me hooked in the first place.”