With the IndyCar season in the books and a limited amount of news to come since the season finale at Fontana, my MotorSportsTalk colleague Chris Estrada and are taking a look back at the 2013 season just past. Chris and I each ranked our top 10 drivers and some of the biggest stories; now we take a look back at the field driver-by-driver.
P23 despite making only seven starts, the quiet but talented Mike Conway…
2013 SEASON PREVIEW (Long Beach signing)
- Teams: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Dale Coyne Racing
- 2012: 21st Place, Best Finish 3rd, Best Start 4th
- 2013: 23rd Place (7 Starts), 1 Win, 1 Pole, 2 Podiums, 2 Top-5, 5 Top-10, 78 Laps Led, 11.1 Avg. Start, 9.7 Avg. Finish
DiZinno says: To some, Conway’s IndyCar reputation – fairly or unfairly – took a hit after he opted to withdraw from racing on ovals at Fontana last year. So it was great to see him turn up at Long Beach in a third Rahal Letterman Lanigan car, with a one-off crew, and promptly remind everyone what a silent ninja assassin he is on a street circuit. His Firestone Fast Six appearance didn’t come good in the race due to mechanical gremlins, but he’d made an impact. Dale Coyne rang him for Detroit, where Conway delivered a stunning but dominant drive in Race 1 for the win. He got picked up for the other doubleheader weekends and finished second to Dixon in points in those six races (263 to 180). The “super sub of the year.”
Estrada says: Conway’s run of street course cameos in 2013 had a few star turns along the way. From popping off a Firestone Fast Six run at Long Beach to his tremendous double-podium weekend in Detroit, the quiet Englishman made his share of noise. But let’s not forget the doubleheader in Toronto. He earned a pair of seventh-place finishes, but he came from 20th on the grid in Race 1 and then even further back in 23rd for Race 2 – that’s 29 positions gained on one of the wilder street courses on the calendar. Is it any wonder that Ed Carpenter’s bringing him on as the road racer for his No. 20 car next season?
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.