IndyCar Driver Review: The part-timers


We take a brief look at the part-time drivers, most of whom only did one or two race weekends, in this final look at our driver-by-driver segment of MotorSportsTalk’s 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season review.

24. Oriol Servia
25. Kurt Busch
26. JR Hildebrand
27. Sage Karam
28. Luca Filippi
29. James Davison
30. Jacques Villeneuve
31. Alex Tagliani
32. Townsend Bell
33. Pippa Mann
34. Martin Plowman
35. Buddy Lazier
36. Franck Montagny

Compared to 2013, there were very few part-time campaigns to note where drivers shone in limited opportunities.

Only Oriol Servia and Luca Filippi drove more than two, but less than six races this season. Each had four races in Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s second car.

Servia overachieved at Long Beach with seventh, and was a caution away from stealing a win at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Filippi got another four-race cameo of his own later in the year but his results didn’t match his speed at Houston or Toronto. Sadly, it remains to be seen if we’ll see either in an IndyCar again.

Of the month of May-only one-offs, NASCAR’s Kurt Busch and Indy Lights champion Sage Karam each drove stellar Indianapolis 500s. It would have been nice to see JR Hildebrand earn further drives with Ed Carpenter Racing; likewise, fellow Californian and NBCSN analyst Townsend Bell nearly stole the show at the Indianapolis 500 in one of his best ‘500 drives.

Back in an IndyCar for the first time in three years, Martin Plowman had a month of May to forget when he launched over fellow one-off driver Franck Montagny at the GPI, then hit Josef Newgarden under caution in the ‘500 two weeks later.