SALINAS, Calif – Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey was a prime example of just how bright the NTT IndyCar Series’ future is. A 19 year old American won the race from the pole. Colton Herta capped 2019 off with three poles and two victories. He moves over to a full funded Andretti car for 2020 after becoming the youngest driver to ever win an Indy Car race and pole.
Bright future there.
A 27 year old driver won Rookie of the Year honor though. Felix Rosenqvist charged from 14th in his No. 10 Honda to finish fifth on Sunday at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. That was enough to narrowly top Herta for the top rookie honors. Rosenqvist, drives for Chip Ganassi Racing and will be back with them next season.
Bright future there too.
28 year old Josef Newgarden finished eighth on Sunday to cap a championship season with Team Penske. It was his second title in the last three years for the young American. Newgarden, finished 2019 with four wins, seven podiums, 12 top five finishes and 14 top 10’s. He led a series high 490 laps.
Since he joined Team Penske in 2017, the Tennessee native has won 11 times, scored 28 top fives, 41 top 10’s and led 1,365 laps. He’s back with Penske in 2020.
Bright future there as well.
27 year old Alexander Rossi finished sixth on Sunday but third in the championship with Andretti Autosport. Since 2017, Rossi has six wins, 26 top fives, 38 top 10’s and has led 692 laps.
He and Herta are under the same roof next year. Bright future right?
McLaren is coming back in 2020. The car counts should be up again. Bright future.
Plus, the racing was superb yet again in 2019. Six races saw a margin of victory less than one second. There was only one such case in 2018. 13 of the 17 races were won by a margin of less than three seconds. The only reason that it wasn’t more was because two races finished under caution and two more saw Rossi blow out the field. Only six of the 17 races last year saw results of less than three seconds.
Four of the top seven in the final standings are 27 years of age or younger. The ones that are not are generational talents in Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon and Will Power.
The series had a phenomenal 2019, 2020 should be even better.