By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season finally kicks off this weekend with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The Open Wheel will be covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.
Photo by Parker Hall/The Open Wheel
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Preview: Genesys 300 – Saturday, June 6, 2020 8:00PM (ET) NBC – INDYCAR is back in prime time where practice, qualifying and the 200-lap race will all be held on the same day. Two-time Texas Motor Speedway winner Will Power is one of the favorites to win the race according to SBD. The day will be filled with COVID-19 protection measures for the drivers, teams, and officials on-site and there will be no fans in the stands on Saturday night.
Previous driver experience at Texas Motor Speedway shows six former winners in the field in Scott Dixon (3), Will Power (2), Ed Carpenter (1), Tony Kanaan (1), Josef Newgarden (1), and Graham Rahal (1). The active Top 5 in laps led are Dixon 517, Power 432, Kanaan 372, James Hinchcliffe 196, and Carpenter 92. Newgarden and Dixon are the last two winners. Looking at the box scores from 2019 and 2018, Rossi, Rahal, and Ryan Hunter-Reay have each finished in the Top 5 in each of the last two races. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, those three are joined by Simon Pagenaud.
There is so much to look forward to this weekend as INDYCAR kicks off its season in unexpected circumstances. The much discussed Aeroscreen makes its debut in the series on a high banked oval in crazy Texas heat. And it must be figured out fast with just one practice session in the early afternoon before qualifying and racing later in the day. The three rookies Oliver Askew, Alex Palou, and Rinus VeeKay will participate in their first race in the series at one of the craziest tracks, and for Palou it’s the first oval race of his career. Five drivers will begin the season with a new team in Charlie Kimball (AJ Foyt Racing), Patricio O’Ward (Arrow McLaren SP), Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing), James Hinchcliffe (Andretti Autosport for a second time), and Colton Herta’s first race as an “official” Andretti Autosport driver. It’s going to be an incredible day of NTT INDYCAR SERIES action!
My pick to win: Alexander Rossi – Rossi is one of the big favorites this weekend for good reason. First, Andretti Autosport cars are always quick at Texas. Second, Rossi is obviously one of the fastest drivers in the series and will be eager to start his quest for a championship strong at a track where he knows he can have success. He can have success because he’s finished second and third in the last two years and has been ultra fast under the lights at Texas. I think Rossi gets his first win at Texas Motor Speedway this year and gets to fire the guns as part of their incredible victory lane theatrics.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Alexander Rossi, Colton Herta, Felix Rosenqvist, & Conor Daly – You know my thoughts on Rossi. Herta was the fastest car in the field last year but crashed out in a close incident with Scott Dixon late in the race. Rosenqvist should provide good value at just $24 on a tough week budget wise after a Top 10 last year. Daly has raced well for Carlin despite poor luck in qualifying. He’s a good value pick for a Top 10 at just $22.