2020 NTT IndyCar Series Season Opener Preview

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The NTT IndyCar Series head to the streets of St. Petersburg for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend. This is the first race of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season and we can see how everyone will perform together on track. There are some changes like every new IndyCar season. New faces are on the grid this year.  familiar faces are also on the grid, but with a different team. The addition of the aeroscreen biggest change heading into the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season. With new faces, veterans with different teams, and the addition of the aeroscreen, this could be a very interesting IndyCar season. 

The aeroscreen is the biggest story heading into the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season. The cockpits are covered and protected for the first time in IndyCar history. People have questioned the aeroscreen and how it could affect the driver’s vision and so on. The bottom line is that there are no issues with the aeroscreen. The drivers can see perfectly fine when they drive in wet or dry conditions, they can get in and out of the car perfectly fine, and it will help protect the drivers even better than before. The aeroscreen is one of the biggest safety innoventions that IndyCar has done and the safety for the drivers is their number one concern. So the aeroscreen is a perfectly welcomed addition to the NTT IndyCar Series.

The NTT IndyCar Series have had about 20 to 22 car grids for the full season for the past few years. There would occasionally be a few races where there would be a few extra drivers, which was great to see. We are going to see bigger grids for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season. There are 26 drivers that will be racing at the IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg this weekend. I haven’t seen a field with over 22 to 24 cars for many years. Seeing 26 drivers for the season opener is amazing even though some of the entries are part-time. We’re going to have one wild season if there are 24 to 26 cars every race because more drivers will have a shot to win. When you get more drivers on the grid, they will race aggressively and race for the win. With more entries expected this year, this might be a very action-packed IndyCar season. 

The streets of St. Petersburg had some amazing racing the past few years because of the new aero-kit IndyCar brought in the 2018 season. The racing and the field have been closer than ever before and I don’t think that will change this season. It’s very hard to predict who’s going to win for the first race because we don’t know the performance of each driver. Team Penske has been the team to beat for the past couple of years at St. Petersburg because they always bring cars that can win every week. I think that they will lack this weekend and Andretti Autosport is going to get the spotlight.

The addition of 2019 rookie sensation Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport is looking to be one of the teams to beat in 2020. The Andretti cars looked quick when they tested at the Circuit of the Americas last month. Herta really stuck out over his Andretti Autosport teammates because he was the fastest of the five cars in the COTA test. I think that all five Andretti cars are going to have a great weekend at St. Petersburg. I think all five drivers will be running in the top 10 or to 15 all race long. I also think that Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, and Colton Herta will be the drivers to watch out for. Hunter-Reay is looking for redemption from his early DNF last year with a blown engine, Rossi is looking to get redemption of almost winning the race in 2018 after wrecking very late in the race, and Herta is looking to continue to be a race winning team each week after winning the season finale last year.

I predict that Ryan Hunter-Reay or Alexander Rossi is going to win the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend. I can’t decide on which one of the two drivers will win because they both are very good and run up front for the win. But I think Hunter-Reay or Rossi will be the one to win at St. Petersburg this weekend. Watch the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season opener for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this Sunday at 3:30 P.M. EST on NBCSN.

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