Photo: Josef Newgarden looks to regain the Indycar title. Indycar photo
Long Beach, September 26- The NTT Indycar Series championship hinges on who finishes ahead of whom. Will Scott Dixon win his seventh title? Does Josef Newgarden win his third? Will Alexander Rossi finally earn the trophy he covets?
This is the scenario I see playing out in the season finale. I’m not ready to declare that the young drivers will be battling each other. We might see a brief spurt mid season where Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta are ibn the hunt, maybe one of them leading for a bit, but I think we have one more year of the old guard. By old guard i mean drivers over 25.
I see O’Ward winning multiple times and another first time winner out of the group including Jack Harvey, Rinus VeeKay, and Alex Palou.
While a driver has just seventeen chances to win in a season, there are 51 chances to get on the podium. The number of podiums could well determine the title since I thin there will be nine different winners in 2021.
The early schedule favors Newgarden. He has dominated at barber the last few years, and he won St. Pete last fall. As always happens, though, is the early leader comes back to the field. Dixon has not won at either of the first two tracks. The lack of short ovals will later be a disadvantage to Newgarden.
It’s gong to be wild ride to the finish line.
Who are the nine winners this year? I will name them, but unlike some stories I’ve seen, I won’t assign a number of wins. Here they are, in no particular order:
Harvey or VeeKay
Will Bourdais Help Foyt?
A storyline to watch is how much will having Sebastien Bourdais in the team’s number 1 car help A. J. Foyt Racing? The season starts at two tracks where Bourdais has done well. In 2020, Bourdais started seventh and finished fourth at St. Pete. I think Bourdais will improve the qualifying and will have several top 10s and a couple of top 5s. A podium spot may sneak in there as well.
Will Peacock Ruffle Some Feathers?
Practices and most qualifying will be on the new Peacock streaming service this season as NBC is phasing out NBCSN. The service is $.99 a month and can be cancelled anytime. If you just get it for the months of the Indycar season, it is 4#0. NBC Gold costs almost $50 for the year. I bought Peacock in tuime for last week’s open test at IMS. I was impressed by the coverage and the picture quality, even on my phone and tablet.
Peacock has now built an Indycar page which has the upcoming broadcasts for the next two weekends. Don’t dismiss it until you try it.
Josef Newgarden will win his third Indycar title in 2021. Scott Dixon has always had a difficult time in a year where he is defending his championship. Alexander Rossi and Andretti Autosport need a strong run at the Indianapolis 500 to have a chance. Last week’s test did not give me hope for that to happen.
Scott McLaughlin will win Rookie of the Year simply because he is the only rookie who will drive in all 17 races. He would probably win anyway.
Graham Rahal will win the Indianapolis 500. The team dominated with a first and third in 2020. I expect them to be strong again in May.