MotorSportsTalk continues its run through the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with Francesco Dracone, who made five early season starts for Dale Coyne Racing.
Francesco Dracone, No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda
- 2015: 34th Place (5 Starts); Best Finish 21st, Best Start 22nd, 23.2 Avg. Start, 22.4 Avg. Finish
After a two-race stint in 2010 with Conquest Racing, Dracone returned to IndyCar for the first time since five years later. His five starts were only mildly better this go-around.
Dracone was in no-man’s land to begin with when he was stuck testing the old Dallara DW12 chassis but with the new 2015 floor in Spring Training, so the first time he even sat in the car with the new full Honda aero kit was at St. Petersburg. Privately, some drivers expressed concerns over Dracone’s licensing, and even though he was far closer to the pace this time around than he had been in 2010, he was still mired at the back.
At NOLA, Dracone lost control on pit entry and crashed into a crewmember, which kicked off an unfortunate series of Coyne car-to-crewmember pit incidents. He never looked realistically competitive but to his credit, he cut down the gap with every passing race and was calmed, and likely tutored, by ace veteran engineer Michael Cannon.