AUSTIN, TX – 2018 gave the NTT IndyCar Series a brand new toy. Gone was the past aero kits and in was a new universal race car. While the new universal Indy Car was hit with rave reviews, if there was anyone that was sad to see the past car leave it had to be the Chevrolet camp. Since the DW12 was introduced for the 2012 season, also the year Chevy returned to the series, the bowties won 67 of the 101 IndyCar events in that era of car.
When the aerokits were adopted for the 2015 season, Chevy won 34 of 49 races too. When it was all said and done, Chevy won at least 10 races in every season in that time frame.
But, with the new car for 2018, Chevy saw just six checkered flags first in the 17 events run. Honda, now had the leg up instead. With a full season under their belts with the new car, did Chevy make enough gains in the offseason?
That’s the million dollar question.
In 2018, Chevy won four of the first six races, including a Month of May sweep with Will Power. But, over the final 11 events, they reached victory lane just twice. It was the lowest output since Chevy came back to the series in 2012.
Now, can Chevy regain their form?
One thing they’re missing too is success from their other teams. Team Penske has won the last 16 times for Chevy. The last time a non Penske Chevy driver won was Sept. 4, 2016 with Scott Dixon at Watkins Glen. The last time a current Chevy team won a race was on July 10, 2016 at Iowa when Ed Carpenter Racing’s Josef Newgarden dominated.
Last year, all three Penske drivers finished in the top six of the final standings. The best non Penske driver was 14th (Spencer Pigot). Can Chevy get more production out of their other teams?
Chevy will have three other full time organizations with Penske in 2019. ECR will run Ed Carpenter on ovals with Ed Jones at all road/street events. Pigot, will contest the full season.
Jones and Pigot have never won an IndyCar race before and Carpenter hasn’t won since 2014. The team in general has seven career trips to victory lane but just three since the start of the 2015 season, all with Newgarden.
Carlin will have Max Chilton full time but he’s yet to win a race.
AJ Foyt Racing will return Matheus Leist and Tony Kanaan, but Kanaan hasn’t won since the 2014 season finale at Fontana and Foyt in general hasn’t won since the 2013 Long Beach Grand Prix.
Combined, four of their six full time entrants outside of Penske will be filled by drivers that have never won a race. One organization has never won, a second hasn’t won since 2013. The third hasn’t won since 2015.
This needs to change for Chevy to be successful.