By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES 2021 Genesys 300 and XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. 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, May 1, 2021 7:00PM (ET) NBCSN & XPEL 375 – Sunday, May 2, 2021 5:00PM (ET) NBCSN – The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is back on track for the third weekend in a row with a doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway. It’s a two day show making it tough on the teams to prepare and execute with practice, qualifying, and the first race all in one day on Saturday before the second race on Sunday.
Previous driver experience at Texas shows six former winners in the field in Scott Dixon (4), Will Power (2), Ed Carpenter (1), Tony Kanaan (1), Josef Newgarden (1), and Graham Rahal (1). The entered Top 5 in laps led at the facility are Dixon (674), Power (432), Kanaan (372), James Hinchcliffe (196), and Newgarden (162). The last two winners are Dixon and Newgarden. Looking at the box scores from the last two Texas races in 2020 and 2019, only Newgarden has finished in the Top 5 in each of the last two races. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, Newgarden is joined only by Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
My picks to win: Race: Scott Dixon & Simon Pagenaud – Scott Dixon absolutely dominated at Texas last year and it would be silly not to predict him to win at least one of the two races after the performance he and his team put on. His at-the-time Ganassi teammate Felix Rosenqvist was the only car in the field that seemed to be driving the same race (so keep an eye out here for the rest of Ganassi bunch this weekend). Pagenaud has been a steady performer at Texas since his switch to Penske racking up Top 5 finishes in four of his six Texas starts with the team and finishing in the Top 11 of all six. Pagenaud has developed into one of the best oval drivers in the series and has to be one of the favorites this weekend in my opinion. He’s due for a win at Texas.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, Conor Daly, and Pietro Fittipaldi – You know my thoughts on Dixon and Pagenaud. Daly was incredible in Carlin colors last year when he filled in for Max Chilton at the non-Indy 500 ovals. He elevated the team around him and put in his best performances of the season with the team. I like his chances to put in one or two excellent finishes again this weekend for a good value at $23 in a harshly priced fantasy weekend. Fittipaldi is a total flyer at $19 but we know Dale Coyne Racing can get a car ready for ovals based on Bourdais and Ferrucci’s oval performances in recent seasons. He’s worth a shot if he and the team appear any kind of competitive in practice and qualifying.