Editor’s note: Over the next two weeks, MotorSportsTalk will review how each organization in the IndyCar Series performed in 2018 and also take a look ahead to 2019. We kicked off the series Wednesday with Juncos Racing and continued on Thursday with Meyer Shank Racing. We continue today with Carlin Racing.
The addition of Carlin Racing to the IndyCar paddock is undoubtedly a boon for the series. A powerhouse in Europe’s junior categories, with multiple championships across a variety of series, and an Indy Lights championship to boot (2016, with Ed Jones), Carlin adds a lot of depth to a paddock already laden with talent.
The 2018 season, their first in the IndyCar ranks, was always going to be an uphill battle as they were starting from scratch and without a technical partnership with another team to help bolster their effort.
However, they improved as the year went on, and have a strong foundation on which to build going forward.
Team: Carlin Racing
Years in IndyCar: 8
Career wins and podiums: 1 wins, 6 podiums
2018 final standing: 17th
2018 final stats: 17 starts; 0 wins, 0 podiums, 1 top five; 6 top 10s
2018 best race finish: 5th (Streets of Toronto)
SEASON WRAPUP: Charlie Kimball gave Carlin a handful of bright spots in the team’s debut season. His six top 10s were the only ones the team scored, and they all came after Detroit, highlighting the team’s improvements in the second half of the year.
A mechanical problem ended his day early at Sonoma Raceway to conclude the season, but better days are likely ahead of Kimball and Carlin.
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019: Assuming he returns to Carlin in 2019 (he is yet to be confirmed) Kimball will look to continue to improve, with the goal of the team’s first podium in sight.
QUOTE (following Sonoma, where he finished 22nd): “It’s too bad we had a mechanical problem today. I can’t complain about the preparation of the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet from the team, the mechanical issue was just out of their control. All year the team has done an incredible job, even today our pit stops were on point. It was a hard day out there today. I think we’re still missing something in the grip and platform window, but now we at least have a year’s worth of data to learn from and be even better next season. A huge thanks to the whole Carlin team, Novo Nordisk, and everyone who supported us this season.”
Team: Carlin Racing
Years in IndyCar: 3
Career wins and podiums: 0 wins, 0 podiums
2018 final standing: 19th
2018 final stats: 17 starts; 0 wins, 0 podiums, 0 top fives; 0 top 10s
2018 best race finish: 11th (Detroit, Race 2)
SEASON WRAPUP: Chilton had by far the worse season of the Carlin duo, without a single top 10 to his name in 2018. This comes after a 2017 season in which he scored six top 10s and battled for an Indy 500 win, with Chip Ganassi Racing.
To call the season frustrating might be an understatement, but given that this was Carlin’s debut year, the struggles can easily be classified as growing pains that any first-year team experiences.
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019: Like Kimball, Chilton will look to improve in 2019, and get himself back into the top 10 on a regular basis.
QUOTE (following Sonoma, where he finished 21st): “We were obviously hoping for a better result this weekend for the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet, but I’m proud of how this team came together this weekend and really all season. This whole weekend has been tough, and the race was a difficult one, but we had much better pace in the second half of the race. That’s a big positive that we can take into next season and it’s even more data we can use here and at other road and street courses next season. Thank you to Carlin and everyone at Gallagher for making this first season such a good one.”