AUSTIN, TX – The time has come to light the wick on the NTT IndyCar Series’ debut at the Circuit of the Americas. Since the track started hosting Formula One events in 2012, it became a desirable place for the series to visit.
Seven years later, the time is here.
Four test sessions, three practice sessions and a qualifying round are behind us. Now, it’s time to set the stage to who can win Sunday’s IndyCar Classic (1 p.m. ET/NBCSN/IndyCar Radio Network).
Here are who the top betting odds are favoring.
Josef Newgarden (+400)
He won the season opener in St. Pete and was fastest in the opening practice session of the weekend. He backed that up with being ninth and fifth respectively the other two sessions too. Penske has also dominated on natural road courses lately. Over the past 18 natural road course races, Penske drivers have won 12 of them. They have the best program on these tracks. Can they avoid a drop off?
Will Power (+450)
He finished third in St. Pete and is always a threat on natural road courses. He was eighth, first and seventh respectively in practice and is coming off of a podium in St. Pete. He starts on the pole.
Alexander Rossi (+500)
He’s got to be the favorite. He has past F1 experience in COTA and was one of the first drivers to test an IndyCar at COTA. Rossi, was also fast in the test back in February. He finished fifth in St. Pete two weeks ago and was third, third and first respectively in practice. He rolls off second.
Scott Dixon (+550)
How fitting would it be if the defending series champion to win the first race on a new track. He did so in Phoenix a few years ago, which coincidentally enough, is the track that COTA replaced. Dixon, finished runner-up in St. Pete two weeks ago and should be in the hunt for a top five on Sunday. He was P6 in final practice on Saturday morning and starts there for Sunday’s race.
Ryan Hunter-Reay (+700)
If his engine holds up, Hunter-Reay will be a factor. He’s been quiet which is good for him. The American was fourth in all three practice sessions in his No. 28 Honda and rolls off third.
Felix Rosenqvist (+1600)
The Swedish rookie is at a track that favors him. He finished fourth two weeks ago in St. Pete and was fast at COTA in February. He’s been among the top drivers this weekend in being sixth, second and second respectively in practice. He even qualified fifth too.
Graham Rahal (+1800)
Rahal, is the top driver not of the “Big 3” this weekend. Rahal, was fifth quickest on Friday morning and third on Saturday in his No. 15 Honda. He said he has a good car this weekend and is backing those claims up. He starts 10th.
Colton Herta (+3300)
Herta was in the top two in all four test sessions back in February. He was P2 on Friday before an engine blew. Herta also finished eighth in the season opener in St. Pete and is a solid sleeper. He’ll start fourth.
Takuma Sato (+4000)
RLL is the top team not of the “Big 3” this weekend. Sato, was eighth quickest on the day on Friday and 13th on Saturday. He won the race in Portland last year which was the last new track before COTA.
Zach Veach (+8000)
He ended 2018 strong and is off to a good start in 2019. Veach, was sixth and 11th quickest respectively over the final two practice sessions of the weekend and will start ninth for Sunday’s race. May be wise to throw some money his way.