IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Rodolfo Gonzalez


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.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”