Circuit of the Americas

Track Talk: IndyCar Meet COTA

New season, new track! The IndyCars are at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Track Talk previews the 2019 IndyCar Classic.

Can a former Formula One driver channel experience into a win? The Circuit of the Americas is home to the United States Grand Prix, and the NTT IndyCar Series is home to a host of former Formula One drivers. Alexander Rossi, Max Chilton, and Marcus Ericsson are all former USGP competitors. Both Rossi and Chilton have a single start apiece, while Ericsson has raced in four USGPs and is arguably has the most experience racing at the COTA. Can the rookie translate that experience into a win?

And speaking of rookies: Colton Herta posted the fastest overall time during IndyCar spring training at the COTA. Can he find the same speed come race day?

And speaking of rookies, part 2: Reigning Indy Lights champion, Pat O’Ward, makes is 2019 debut as a part time driver for Carlin. In his first and only IndyCar start back at Sonoma in 2018, the young driver wowed the entire paddock by qualifying 5th and finishing 9th.

And speaking of rookies, part 3: Felix Rosenqvist almost won in his St. Petersburg debut, leading 31 laps and finishing 4th. Keep an eye on Rosenqvist. He’s our pick to become the next first-time IndyCar race winner.

Team Penske starts off strong: Will Power started on pole and finished 3rd in St. Petersburg, while 2017 IndyCar champion, Josef Newgarden, started 2nd and won the race. If the season opener taught us anything it’s that the race for the championship might come from within Team Penske.

Can Simon Pagenaud bounce back? While Power and Newgarden are off to strong starts, teammate Simon Pagenaud continues to trail them by a couple of places. The 2016 champion and 2017 runner-up went winless in 2018, and will be looking to get the monkey off his back.

TrackTalk’s pick to win the IndyCar Classic: Keep an eye on Felix Rosenqvist and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

 

Victor Genova is the host of the Media People Podcast and a freelance racing writer. You can follow him on Instagram at @VicGenova