LONG POND, PA – It’s no secret, the “Big 3” teams in the NTT IndyCar Series are likely to win Sunday’s ABC Supply 500. After all, they’ve won each of the last 10 races on the season and have also combined to win all six trips that the series has made back to the Tricky Triangle since 2013.
Furthermore, they’ll start in spots 1-6 for the 500 mile race this weekend too now.
But, if you want to see a potential sleeper, look no further than Carlin or Dale Coyne Racing.
Charlie Kimball has finished well at Pocono in the past. He had a fast car back in May in Indy. On Saturday, Kimball was P8 (214.818 mph) in practice. That gives him high hopes for Sunday’s race.
Same for his Carlin teammate of Conor Daly. He’s finished in the top 11 in both superspeedway starts this season and was 14th fastest overall in Saturday’s lone practice session too.
Also, Dale Coyne Racing was fast in Saturday’s practice too. Rookie Santino Ferrucci was second quickest (215.377 mph) while his teammate Sebastien Bourdais (215.267 mph) was P7.
Bourdais, has never been confused as an oval specialist. Out of his 35 career NTT IndyCar Series wins, only five of them have come on ovals. The last came in Milwaukee in 2015. The last one prior to that?
But, Bourdais is actually a legitimate sleeper to win Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at the Pocono Raceway. The Dale Coyne Racing driver enters this weekend with four top 10 finishes in his last six tries on the season. He was in the top 10 solidly at Indy before crashing with 24 laps-to-go in the Indy 500. He started third and finished eighth in Texas back in June.
At Pocono the last two years, he finished fifth and fourth respectively. I think he can grind out a podium on Sunday.
Ferrucci, had always said that street courses are his favorites. He’s scored 82 points on them in 2019 which ranks only 16th best. On natural road courses, he’s scored another 74 points which is ranked 18th.
But, where he’s excelling at is on ovals. For a driver with no past oval experience, Ferrucci has scored 103 points, which is tied with Will Power for fourth most in the entire series.
The only drivers that have as many or more points than him are the three Penske’s and Alexander Rossi. That’s how remarkable he’s been.
In Iowa, he put on a show. In Indy, he made daring passes and maneuvers through places no one dared go. He looked a lot like Rossi in fact. Now, he heads to Pocono eyeing his first career win.
Ferrucci, ran extremely well on the last superspeedway at Texas in finishing fourth. He was seventh in Indy.
Seven to four is a three spot gain in two superspeedway starts. If he can get another three spot gain on Sunday – he will be celebrating in victory lane.