Marcus Ericsson said over and over last year that if you give him a second shot on these NTT IndyCar Series tracks, then watch out. I mean, he wasn’t wrong. In 2019, it was the first time that the Sweden native had ever really seen any of these Indy Car tracks before. The only one that he even had any experience on was COTA and that was in F1.
Now, as a rookie in arguably the most challenging racing series on the planet, he saw first hand on how tough this sport was. But, he also showed if given that second opportunity on these tracks, just what he could do.
The only track he raced twice on was Belle Isle. He finished second in Race 2 last June.
This year, he was able to come back for a sophomore season. He did so with a new team. In fact, one could say it’s the top team in the sport right now at Chip Ganassi Racing.
Ericsson, is proving that example right. Through four races run, he has three top 10 finishes. He was sixth on the Indy road course, 10th in race 1 at Road America and fourth on Race 2.
If he’s improving in his second season, just think of what he could do in Year 3.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to Iowa,” Ericsson said. “It’s another doubleheader, and I look forward to building on the strong performance we showed as a team in Road America.
“Also, personally, I feel I had a really good weekend at Road America with two top-10 finishes and two good races. So, we’re bringing a lot of confidence from that. Going into Iowa, I had a really good weekend there last year with a strong qualifying and was running well in the race. I was going for a podium even until I had a late pit entry violation that caused me a penalty.
“So, I feel like I have some unfinished business. It’s one of the most fun tracks in the calendar, in my opinion. It’s super-small and bumpy, but it’s a super-fun short-track oval. The racing there is great. You always feel like you’re side by side there with someone. I’m really looking forward to it. I think as a team we want to continue this strong start to the year, so we’ll see what we can do in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda.”
Ericsson, finished 11th at Iowa last year, the site of this weekend’s doubleheader, in his first start on the bullring. What can he do in his No. 8 Honda on Friday and Saturday night?
I sense we could be seeing a top 10 points season for Ericsson in 2020 if he keeps improving this way.