INDIANAPOLIS — I wrote on Friday how the future of the NTT INDYCAR Series was on full display in the first race of the Harvest Grand Prix race weekend.
Josef Newgarden has not yet turned 30 still. He won’t do that until Dec. 22. He’s won two championships in the last three years and closing in on a third in the last four in making up 85 points on Scott Dixon in the last five races. He won Friday’s Harvest Grand Prix and was fourth on Saturday.
Alexander Rossi just turned 29 on Sept. 25. He’s won seven times in five seasons including the Indianapolis 500. He finished second on an unseasonably cool Fall day in Indianapolis on Friday and third on Saturday. He has 51 top 10 finishes already in his career too.
Rinus VeeKay just turned 20 himself on Sept. 11. He earned his first career pole on Thursday, led his first career laps (15) on Friday and scored his first career podium as well.
Another 20 year old in Colton Herta earned his ninth top five of his career in finishing fourth on Friday and his 10th top five on Saturday in a runner-up.. 28 year old Felix Rosenqvist rounded out the top five in fifth on Friday.
Two young veterans followed by a rookie and two second year drivers.
The youth movement is on full display in INDYCAR and it was never more evident on Friday afternoon. The future is bright. But, lets not push out the veterans yet either.
Scott Dixon is 32 points and one race away from his sixth career championship. Only AJ Foyt (7) has more.
Dixon, ranks third in career wins (50), two shy of Mario Andretti’s 52 and 17 shy of AJ Foyt’s 67. He has 48 runner-ups, which is second most. He trails Andretti by eight in that category. His 122 podiums are 22 shy of Andretti for most ever. His 173 top five finishes are 21 shy of Andretti for most ever there too.
Then you have Will Power. He earned his 61st career pole on Friday morning which moves him shy of tying Andretti for most ever. He also won his 39th career race which ties him with Bobby Unser for fifth most ever too. He’s four wins shy of eclipsing Michael Andretti (42) for fourth most ever and only Dixon’s 50 would be next up.
These two are generational drivers with some generational drivers coming up behind them. It’s no wonder why INDYCAR is so competitive right now.