The 2022 IndyCar season reaches the midpoint this weekend in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The iconic Road America circuit hosts 27 drivers and thousands of race fans in what has become one of the most popular stops on the schedule. All of the action began today with the first practice session around the 4.048-mile, 14-turn permanent road course.

Andretti Autosport had the quickest two drivers today, with Alexander Rossi (1:45.6027) and Colton Herta (1:45.7361) both taking turns at the top of the speed chart. Before most of the drivers went to the faster Firestone red tires, the team had three drivers inside the top four.

Michael Andretti’s team should be in for a solid weekend, as this is the site of Rossi's last victory back in 2019. The driver of the No. 27 Honda nearly pulled off a sensational victory last weekend at Belle Isle, but needed just one more lap to complete his charge to the front of the field. His teammate Romain Grosjean is also quite fond of Road America, as the track has many European qualities to it that he can relate to.

"I love Road America, it reminds me of Spa Francorchamps," Grosjean said. "The atmosphere and the fans at the track are some of the best. It’s a really high-speed track with some great opportunities for overtaking and racing. I’m very much looking forward to the weekend." This could be an opportunity for Andretti to come up with a much-needed podium sweep.

Herta has been incredible at Road America, despite never leading a lap in his four starts. He has qualified on the front row three times, including pole position in his first race in 2019. He has finished 8th, 5th, 5th, and a career-best 2nd last year, in hopes of improving that on Sunday.

Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson was 3rd fastest today, leading the way for Chip Ganassi Racing. Will Power was the fastest Chevrolet today in 4th while reigning series champion Alex Palou rounded out the top five on Friday.

There are several other contenders to keep an eye on this weekend, including two-time winner Scott Dixon. The six-time champion is the only active driver to win here more than once, and while he is still searching for his first win this season, he has been knocking on the door. After dominating the Indy 500 from pole position, his heartbreaking pit road speeding violation took him out of the mix. He finished on the podium last week in Detroit and has finished inside the top-five in five of the last six Road America races.

Power has all of the momentum coming into this weekend, fresh off his victory at Belle Isle. He has finished inside the top four in every race this season outside of the 500 and has won here at Road America before. In fact, the Team Penske driver has finished on the podium in three of the last four races here, but it has been six years since his victory.

Power's teammate Josef Newgarden dominated this race last year, but after leading 32 laps from pole position, a mechanical issue on his No. 2 Chevrolet ruined his day in the closing laps of the race. Josef still has three poles and three podium finishes in his seven starts. He has also led 123 laps here, which is most among all active drivers.

Sunday will be the 33rd race for the series at Road America, and the first time since 2015 that two females will be competing behind the wheel. Rookie Tatiana Calderon will be slotted in her No. 11 Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing and she will be joined by fan-favorite Simona De Silvestro. The veteran racer will be driving the No. 16 Paretta Autosport Chevy in what is her first visit to the world-famous venue.

"I’m super excited to get back in the car," Simona said. "It’s been a while since we announced it, so there was a lot of time to think about it, maybe overthink it. Talking a lot with the engineers and stuff like that. I’m just really glad to be in the week of the race now, kind of just getting down to work and get going. I’ve been waiting for this for a while now, especially on the road course."

Unfortunately, for Simona and the team, their practice session was limited after a small fire began on the rear wheel of her machine. The crew worked to try to extinguish the flame without any further damage being done to the car. Ed Carpenter will be on her radio this weekend, as his team has a technical alliance with Paretta Autosport.

Simona is not the only driver making her return this weekend, as Callum Ilott returns to the Juncos Hollinger Racing team after missing last week's event at Belle Isle. His injured right hand has improved and he has been cleared to drive by the medical team.

“We looked quite extensively at my hand and the risk of further damage is a lot lower,” Ilott said. “It’s still a factor, but the track surface in Road America is a lot less bumpy than Detroit. It’s a good high speed fun track and quite long as well. There are some good overtaking zones, so it should be a fun weekend with a lot of action.”

Rinus VeeKay is making his Road America return after missing last year's race following surgery to repair a fractured clavicle. "Road America is my favorite track," the ECR driver said. "It’s been two years since I’ve last driven here so I am excited for this weekend. The track suits my driving style and the team has made huge progress. It should be a good weekend. I’m really ready to get back on track there with all of my bones in the right place places this year!"

The next practice session kicks off at 9:45 ET tomorrow morning, followed by qualifying for the Sonsio Grand Prix which begins at 12:45 on Saturday. A final practice will take place at 4:20 as teams and drivers prepare for Sunday's 55-lap race.