INDIANAPOLIS – The IndyCar Series continues to rise higher and higher. On Tuesday, Dale Coyne Racing filled out their 2019 full time driver lineup. Yes, it’s before Thanksgiving still and DCR knows who their two full time drivers will be next season.
DCR announced that Santino Ferrucci will drive the No. 19 Honda next season as the American will join an already talented rookie class. Despite making select starts in the series last season, Ferrucci will still maintain his rookie status.
Now, Ferrucci will go head-to-head against Patricio O’Ward, Colton Herta, Marcus Ericsson and Felix Rosenqvist for Sunoco Rookie of the Year Honors. How great of a class is that?
It wasn’t all that long ago that drivers were winning ROY of the year honors by default. There may have been just one or two rookie drivers racing full time in a given season. Now, we have five very talented drivers, all with good rides, going for the top honors in 2019.
Ferrucci, was a rising talent overseas with a shot at an eventual Formula One ride. Unfortunately, some politics and some heated antics of his own doing unraveled that. F1’s loss is IndyCar’s gain as Ferrucci has the speed and talent to compete.
Speaking of F1’s loss, what about Ericsson. He has a chance to become a quick winner with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, a team that produced the most recent ROY in Robert Wickens. Ericsson, by all accounts, has every reason to be strong here and if he had been with a better team in F1, he could have been a winner there too.
Ericsson’s countrymate in Rosenqvist may be the most ready out of all. He has shined in his few tests so far and has the top team among them with Chip Ganassi Racing.
O’Ward and Herta will drive for Harding/Steinbrenner Racing, a team that can compete instantly too. Both have a ton of talent too and can make a valid case to win ROY honors as well.
It’s going to be hard to predict the ROY as all can make valid cases to even finish in the top 10 of the final standings. Mix that with the already strong veteran talent and the series from top to bottom just got even stronger.