Know Your Drivers: Part One

Welcome to May- the most exciting month in motorsports! Thus far, the season has been full of surprises and no two races have come up with the same winner so, who should new fans cheer for?

The hometown hero and 2017 Firestone Grand Prix winner Sebastien Bourdais? One of the heavyweight veterans, Helio Castroneves or Tony Kanaan? Maybe one of the young guns like Josef Newgarden or Alexander Rossi? Let us help you out with a rundown this year’s 2017 IndyCar drivers.

Marco Andretti:
A legacy. His dad is Michael and his grandfather is Mario, yeah those ones. Cheering for Marco is cheering for history but, you shouldn’t appreciate him just for his lineage. Marco dominated in the Indy Lights before coming up to IndyCar at only 19 years old and winning Rookie of the Year in 2006. 11 years later and Marco is still a competitive dynamo.

Sebastien Bourdais:
The Frenchman who calls St. Petersburg, Florida home. 4 time consecutive Champ Car champion. With the series opener win behind him and 35 wins before that, he is now in sole position of sixth place for all-time wins in IndyCar.  Do we need to go on? If you want to cheer for a winner- this is your guy.

Ed Carpenter:
Owner of his own IndyCar team and rideshares with Spencer Pigot driving oval tracks while Pigot drives street and road courses. He is currently the only owner who also drives in the series. He also won consecutive Indy 500 poles in 2013 and 2014.

Helio Castroneves:
Has anyone seen this guy with a giant grin on his face? He’s got a lot to be smiling about, 49 poles, 29 wins and a Mirror Ball trophy making him a Dancing with the Stars champion. He’s versatile, a winner and happy as can be. Did we mention he’s Brazilian and can speak Portuguese, English and Spanish. Pure talent.

Max Chilton:
Only in his sophomore year of IndyCar, there’s a lot we haven’t seen of British driver Max, especially considering he used to drive Formula 1. Before getting into IndyCar, Max was incredibly successful in Indy Lights. You should jump on the Chilton Train early before everyone else joins because they will and they will soon.

Conor Daly:
Conor dominated in Star Mazda Championship before working his way into the IndyCar lineup. Last year was his first true IndyCar season racing in every race, narrowly missing the podium in Watkins Glen but, earning himself a spot in race 1 in Detroit, coming in second. Conor is friends with a lot of famous DJs, including Zedd, so this is a driver for all the young new fans but, for all you older fans? His dad is Derek Daly, boom.

Scott Dixon:
You like champions? We’ve got you a champion-a four time IndyCar Champion to be exact. You like Indy 500 winners? Won it from a pole positon. How about Most Wins from an Active Driver? Got it at 40 wins. What we’re trying to say is you absolutely cannot go wrong with cheering for Scott Dixon, he’s that good.

JR Hildebrand:
JR’s got something to prove and you better believe that he’s going to leave it all out on the track. He’s competed in the last 6 Indy 500s, including earning himself a dramatic 2nd place his first year in the race but, this is JR’s first year as a full-time driver under Ed Carpenter Racing. Plus he’s super smart- he was accepted into an engineering program at MIT before deciding racing was his calling.

James Hinchcliffe:
Mayor of Hinchtown. Dancing with the Stars runner-up. Canadian after our own heart. Easily one of the most personable drivers out there (and there are a lot of them in this series!) and super talented too. Last year was a big year for Hinch, shaking off the rust from a near-fatal crash in 2015, he still earned himself podiums in 3 races and a pole position in that little race Indy 500. This year has proven to be even bigger for him with a win at Long Beach already under his belt. Its hard not to cheer for Hinch because who wouldn’t want to?

Ryan Hunter-Reay:
Did you know in 2012, not only did Ryan win the IndyCar Championship but he also won 3 races consecutively? Awesome, right? That’s only 3 out of his 16 wins and doesn’t include his Indy 500 win. Only 3 times in his 10 year IndyCar series career has he not finished Top 10 in points. Plus his number 28 car is BRIGHT and you’ll never miss it on the track.

Next week we’ll take you through the other half of the pack. Stay tuned this weekend to find out which drivers make it to the top of the podium at the INDYCAR Grand Prix!

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