INDIANAPOLIS – We’re just a little over a month away from the season opening race of the NTT IndyCar Series season in St. Pete. The series has found a great amount of stability the last two years and enters with some big momentum.
Last year, we saw Alexander Rossi stamp his name as a star in the series. A couple of years prior was Josef Newgarden’s turn.
With that being said, who’s this year’s breakout star?
Here are five names you should get to know.
His first year in IndyCar went great. He was running at the finish in all 17 races and ended the year on a surge. From mid July on, Veach had four top 10 finishes in six tries. All four were on different types of tracks.
He was seventh on a street course in Toronto, 10th on a natural road course at Mid-Ohio, sixth on a superspeedway in Pocono and fifth on a short oval in Gateway.
With that type of momentum and a second year with Andretti Autosport, expect Veach to contend more often than not in 2019.
Even though his No. 10 Honda hasn’t visited victory lane since the end of 2014, Rosenqvist could be the man to end that drought. The Swede did great in his brief Indy Lights stint. He won three times in nine tries. He wowed Ganassi in his tests and has shown the speed in everything that he’s raced in.
Watch out for Rosenqvist as he will give Scott Dixon some help with Ganassi.
I’m high on him for 2019. I’ve said time and time again that if given the right amount of time, he could be as good for Ed Carpenter Racing that Josef Newgarden was in his tenure there. Pigot, had two top six finishes in the final three starts of the 2018 season. From June on, he had six top 11 finishes in his No. 21 Chevrolet.
He made the Fast Nine at Indy and with another year to hone his skills, Pigot could reach victory lane in 2019 to give ECR their first trip to victory lane since July 2016 (Iowa).
Before I get backlash here, he’s a driver that I have my eyes on. Ferrucci, was really fast in his few attempts in his seat with Dale Coyne Racing last year. He just needs to be a bit more disciplined but keep some of his same aggression.
It didn’t work out overseas but the once dubbed American phenom or next American F1 great is IndyCar’s gain.
With how DCR has been improving lately, Ferrucci could land in victory lane at some point in 2019.
The second generation driver has the speed that it takes to win. He had 13 podiums in 17 tries in 2018 including four wins and seven runner ups. The only reason he wasn’t the season champion was his teammate Pato O’Ward was just a little bit better and Herta had a disastrous weekend in Toronto.
This year, he’s with Honda, a powerplant that won 11 times in 2018 and with a fast Harding team. Herta can contend for top 10’s and even top fives in 2019.