MotorSportsTalk continues its look through the field who competed in the Verizon IndyCar Series this season, driver-by-driver. Next up was 26th-placed Rodolfo Gonzalez, who performed reasonably well in limited starts with Dale Coyne Racing.
Rodolfo Gonzalez, No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda
- 2014: 24 Hours of Le Mans, Murphy Prototypes
- 2015: 26th Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 9th, Best Start 21st, 0 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 22.3 Avg. Start, 18.3 Avg. Finish
Gonzalez was always going to make some starts in 2015 after completing several offseason tests for Coyne and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. They came infrequently but more often than not the Venezuelan outperformed the minimal expectations in play.
He held his own, pace-wise, on debut at Barber – almost to the point he hassled the mid-pack – before falling back into the clutches of the leaders to get lapped. Detroit was a disaster weekend where spins were frequent. But on strategy, Gonzalez was respectable enough to stay out front when he had the chance in Toronto, before eventually pitting and dropping back. With enough yellows, he might have pulled a Carlos Huertas-at-Houston 2014 shock victory. In Sonoma, he starred with a great drive from 24th to a career-best ninth to secure a Leaders Circle position for the No. 18 car next season.
Is Gonzalez ever going to be a superstar in IndyCar, based on his resume? It’s unlikely. But in limited appearances, he was never out to lunch in a car many would consider the least prestigious on the grid, and that said something of his respectability.