A Year “2” Remember

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The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season is definitely one to remember. All of the close battles, spectacular crashes, and amazing finishes have made this season a memorable one. With seven different pole winners and seven different race winners, it gave the series a wide variety of drivers that proved that they were a force to be reckoned with. Even though there were seven different winners, one driver really stuck out over the rest. With a win at the season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Josef Newgarden was the class of the field all season long. He was really consistent and came out of the 2019 season as a two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion.

The 2019 season started off like every other typical season with amazing battles, some early season busts, and some new faces to the sport. The rookies this season weren’t your typical rookies. They came to win races. The rookies to watch out for all season long were Felix Rosenqvist, Colton Herta, and Santino Ferrucci. When the series went to the Circuit of the Americas for the second race, that’s when things started to take a turn for the series where rookie Colton Herta made IndyCar history by becoming the youngest winner in series history. The next two races saw dominating performances from Takuma Sato at Barber and Alexander Rossi at Long Beach winning their respective races. When the Month of May came, that’s where we saw the season start to take shape.

In the IndyCar Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Scott Dixon looked to get his maiden win at the event after a dominating performance, but Simon Pagenaud had better plans. With six laps to go, Pagenaud was 11 seconds behind Dixon and looked like Dixon would run away with the win, but Pagenaud was closing in fast. With two laps to go, Pagenaud was all over the rear of Dixon’s car. Going into the turn seven-eight-nine complex, Pagenaud made his move on Dixon and took the lead and pulled away. This led to Pagenaud winning the event for the third time. Pagenaud’s charge wasn’t done yet. The Indy 500 was next on his list and he delivered.

With leading 116 of the 200 laps, Simon Pagenaud took home his maiden Indy 500 with an amazing battle with 2016 winner Alexander Rossi. After the final restart, Pagenaud and Rossi were swapping the lead back and forth. Even though Pagenaud lead the most laps, Rossi had the faster car. Rossi passed Pagenaud with three laps to go and it looked like Rossi was going to win his second Indy 500. But Pagenaud made a bold pass into turn three the next lap and took the lead. Rossi had one last chance on the final lap and attempted a pass into turn three, but it didn’t work. Rossi had a last lap dash to the finish, but it wasn’t enough. Simon Pagenaud took home his maiden Indy 500 and sweeping the Month of May.

The rest of the 2019 season was filled with amazing battles and finishes. Newgarden and Rossi scrapping it out for the win at Texas, Rossi dominating and winning at Road America, Dixon and Rosenqvist amazing battle for the win at Mid-Ohio, and Sato barely edging out Carpenter at Gateway. The championship battle was shaped because of these races. Four drivers had a mathematical shot at winning the title, but one could only come out on top. Josef Newgarden, Alexander Rossi, Simon Pagenaud, and Scott Dixon battled it out for the 2019 championship, but Newgarden is the one that came out on top. 

With a win at the season opener at St. Petersburg to winning the championship at Laguna Seca, Josef Newgarden was the class of the field all season long. With four race wins and seven podiums, Newgarden showed everyone that he was here to win a championship; and he did. He brought his No. 2 Hitachi Chevrolet to championship number two. Newgarden has joined an elite list of drivers that have won multiple IndyCar championships. The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season was one to remember. I know the 2020 season will be even better! I can’t wait for the season opener at St. Petersburg to see what the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season brings!

 

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