Following up on yesterday’s post that they’d be testing at Barber Motorsports Park this week, now both Carlos Huertas and Francesco Dracone have been confirmed for Dale Coyne Racing in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Huertas, the 2014 Houston race one winner, will return for a full season in the No. 18 Honda with Dracone, a two-time IndyCar race starter in 2010, confirmed for the opening four rounds, through Barber on April 26 in the sister No. 19 Honda. These two signings complete the expected 24-car field for the season.
Both drivers tested today, although Huertas’ car had the new Honda aero kit while Dracone’s did not, and was running in the base Dallara package.
Coyne expanded on both signings in releases out today from the team.
“Carlos surprised everyone last year with his performance. The effort the team has made over the winter, as shown by our Sebring test with Carlos, gives us confidence for the upcoming season,” Coyne said of Huertas.
As for Dracone, Coyne offered, “Francesco shows great enthusiasm for our sport. We look forward to working with the rookie in preseason testing and early races as he looks to IndyCar for his future.”
Huertas showed flashes of impressive moments during the 2014 season and will look to improve on it this year. He’s the third full-time Colombian in the field, joining Juan Pablo Montoya and Carlos Munoz.
“I am very happy to be back with the team this year. I expect to have a better year than last year because I obviously have the experience of a full season and winning a race last year,” Huertas said. “That helped a lot for my confidence for this year. The guys did such a great job last year with the car and race strategy that I’m sure we will have a successful year.”
Dracone, the Italian, was less successful in his two starts with Conquest Racing in 2010. Still, he thanked Coyne for the opportunity.
“It is good to be back in America and great to be back in IndyCar,” he said. “I feel that it is the best single seater series for a driver to be in. Working with Dale Coyne is an honor and a privilege because he is one of the most experienced team owners and he runs a great team.”
IndyCar’s season opens March 29 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.