I wrote entering this season that the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series Rookie Class could be one of the best to come through here. Yes, last year’s class would be tough to beat, but if you throw Pato O’Ward in the mix even though he technically isn’t classified as a rookie this year, then you’d get a class that could rival 2019’s.
O’Ward only hade eight career starts prior to this season. He missed the rookie designation by one start. Plus, he’s not raced on a majority of these tracks in the open wheel series before.
So, after four races run this year, the case as this being the potential best class is still there. Especially, when you factor in that this isn’t a traditional schedule this year either. We get just one practice session a weekend and a short one at that. Then, it’s turn around and qualify and race.
Nothing about 2020 resembles anything close to the past. That’s why what this rookie class is doing is even more impressive.
Oliver Askew had a top 10 in his Indy Car debut at Texas in opener. Rinus VeeKay earned a top five in the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. Alex Palou netted a podium in his first ever visit to Road America last Saturday. O’Ward qualified on the pole for the second race of the Road America weekend a day later and finished second.
This young crop is something to be talked about. Trends say one of them will win Friday night now.
Heck, even last year’s class is thriving. Colton Herta is sitting second in points. He’s finished in the top seven in all four races. Marcus Ericsson has three top 10’s in four tries too. Santino Ferrucci was 21st, ninth, sixth and sixth respectively in his No. 18 Honda. Then, last years Rookie of the Year goes out at beats O’Ward at Road America last Sunday.
Rosenqvist, was also heading towards a top two finish in Texas before crashing with a few laps left while getting caught in the slippery substance in the corners. He limped home with not so good finishes over the next two races, but got out of that slump last Sunday in Road America.
While a doubleheader at Iowa will be challenging this weekend, I’d put nothing past this group of eight drivers. The future in the series is bright.