INDYCAR Pre-Race Media: top favorites for this weekend at Texas including race preview

TRACK: Texas Motor Speedway (1.5 mile oval with a dogleg), DISTANCE: 212 Laps (318 Miles) for Race 1, 248 Laps (372 Miles) for Race 2

Favorites – Can Chevy Drivers Close Gap With Honda?

Scott Dixon

This will be his 22nd career Texas start. He’s won four times, three of which coming since 2015 including 2 of the last 3 years overall.

Josef Newgarden

He won this race in 2019 and was third last year. Worth a look.

Simon Pagenaud

He has three podiums in his last four Texas starts and a top six in five straight years.

Alexander Rossi

A pair of podiums in his last three tries, go for it.

Graham Rahal

He’s a past winner (2016) and has four top six results in his last five Texas tries.


Race Preview

No rest for the weary. The NTT IndyCar Series drivers and team move from St. Pete to Texas to race in not one, but two races this weekend. That’s difficult in itself, but factor in a two-day test at Indy a few weeks ago, followed by the season opener at Barber a week later then a week after that going to the streets of St. Pete then six days after there to Texas for a doubleheader and you get some tired folks in the paddock.

Plus, Barber and St. Pete are two of the more physical tracks on the schedule. Now, you get what will likely be a tough weekend mentally and physically at Texas.

With this being a superspeedway, this is two opportunities to get your car dialed in for Indy as well. What better preview for Indy than running on a superspeedway not once, but twice before.

Honda’s have dominated at Texas lately but Josef Newgarden has been right on their trail. Can he or his Team Penske teammates beat them? It’s likely going to come down to Penske vs. Ganassi vs. RLL as the trio of teams have combined to win each of the last six races at Texas in general.

Andretti needs to get things going for 3 of their 4 drivers. Colton Herta is off to a great start with a win last Sunday, but Alexander Rossi, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay are all towards the bottom of the points standings coming to Texas. Can they turn things around?

The other thing to watch is going to be the traction compound. Did they do enough to remove it between last year and this? They’ve been working on it, but it still make life difficult for the drivers in the test a few weeks ago. It’s really just a stain on the racing surface but the stain is very slippery. How much of a factor will this play?


Of Note

Honda’s have led 74-percent (515 out of 696) of the Texas laps over the last three years. Josef Newgarden is the only Chevy driver to have even led a lap at Texas since 2019.


Key Stat

Just twice in the last nine Texas races has the eventual race winner came from a top five starting spot.

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