By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend with the NTT IndyCar Series INDYCAR Classic and the Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, 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
Indy Lights Preview: Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products (Entry List), Race 1 – Saturday, March 23, 2019 1:45PM (ET) & Race 2 – Sunday, March 24, 2019 10:10AM (ET) – This is the first time Indy Lights will race at COTA, but we do have results from testing to get some idea of what to expect this weekend. Andretti Autosport paced the test, led by Oliver Askew, and had three cars in the Top 4 spaces as well as four of the Top 6. Rinus VeeKay (P3) and Zachary Claman (P5) were the “best of the rest” and they figure to be strong again as they won the season opening races on the Streets of St. Pete. My picks to win: Oliver Askew & Rinus VeeKay
NTT IndyCar Series Preview: INDYCAR Classic – Sunday, March 24, 2019 1:00PM (ET) NBCSN – This will be the NTT IndyCar Series’ first race at COTA as well. However, Max Chilton, Marcus Ericsson, and Alexander Rossi have raced at the circuit before in Formula 1. Testing was led by Harding-Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta, both with the overall fastest lap and by topping three of the four sessions. The rest of the combined Top 5 from the COTA Open Test was Rossi, Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Simon Pagenaud. Expect Team Penske to be strong as always as their three car lineup will surely find something that works over the first couple days of running. My pick to win: Alexander Rossi – Rossi has plenty of experience at COTA and showed ample speed at the Open Test so he’ll be one of the major favorites this weekend. He’ll be hungry for the opportunity to win the first race at COTA after a solid, if not spectacular, opening weekend in St. Petersburg.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Alexander Rossi, Graham Rahal, Simon Pagenaud, & Colton Herta – You know my thoughts on Rossi. This group as a whole all finished in the Top 7 in the combined results of testing at COTA in February. Rahal has been one of the best drivers on race day for a while now and should be strong at a circuit expected to feature plenty of passing. Pagenaud showed pace at St. Pete after being hampered by bad luck in qualifying. Herta was lightning quick in testing and at St. Pete.