IndyCar racing is back. Eight and a half months on from the last event at Laguna Seca, the green flag will fly at the Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday to signal the start of the 2020 season.
The track hosts the Genesys 300, and this weekend’s race will mark the first time the Fort Worth circuit will open a new IndyCar season, with St. Petersburg, the traditional season opener, now scheduled as the finale amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Texas Motor Speedway is 1.5 miles in length and has a front straight and back straight banking of five degrees. Through the corners, Turns 1 and 2 have a 20-degree banking, while IndyCar drivers are forced to contend with a banking of 24 degrees at Turns 3 and 4.
One of the biggest talking points heading into the weekend will be the debut of the Aeroscreen in IndyCar, a mandatory safety device that will offer more protection to a driver’s head in the event of an accident.
While drivers and fans got a chance to become accustomed to it during the iRacing challenge that took place involving many IndyCar drivers over the last number of weeks, seeing it on track will give the device its competitive baptism.
“Is the Aeroscreen ready for primetime? Absolutely,” affirms Josef Newgarden. “It’s been tested, been run through its paces at many different types of tracks, short ovals, speedways, road and street courses. It is absolutely ready to go.”
With no IndyCar race preceding this one in 2020, there is no form guide to bounce off to suggest who is favourite for the victory. However, Team Penske has won the race five times since 2010, Chip Ganassi three times, and Dayle Coyne, Ed Carpenter and Rahal Letterman Lanigan once each.
Last time out at the Texas Motor Speedway, Newgarden took the chequered flag and will be hoping to do the same this weekend, as he begins what he hopes will be the route to his third IndyCar championship.
Tony Kanaan, who will retire from IndyCar racing at the end of the 2020 season, makes his 318th consecutive start in the championship and will sport the 7-Eleven livery this weekend.
Session start times
For Europeans watching the Texas IndyCar race unfold, it will be a late start when the green flag is waved.
|Session||Time (ET)||Time (UTC)|
|Practice||1:00 – 3:30 PM||5:00 – 7:30 PM|
|Qualifying||5:00 – 6:00 PM||9:00 – 10:00 PM|
|Race||8:10 – 9:50 PM||12:10 – 1:50 AM|
Driver entry list
Three drivers will make their IndyCar debuts this weekend, with those being Oliver Askew of Arrow McLaren SP, Alex Palou of Dale Coyne Racing and Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing. For Palou, it will be his first-ever race on an oval circuit.
|4||Charlie Kimball||A.J. Foyt Racing||Chevrolet|
|14||Tony Kanaan||A.J. Foyt Racing||Chevrolet|
|26||Zach Veach||Andretti Autosport||Honda|
|27||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||Honda|
|28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||Andretti Autosport||Honda|
|29||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Autosport||Honda|
|88||Colton Herta||Andretti Harding Steinbrenner||Honda|
|98||Marco Andretti||Andretti Herta||Honda|
|5||Pato O’Ward||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevrolet|
|7||Oliver Askew (R)||Arrow McLaren SP||Chevrolet|
|8||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda|
|9||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda|
|10||Felix Rosenqvist||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda|
|18||Santino Ferrucci||Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan||Honda|
|55||Alex Palou (R)||Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh||Honda|
|20||Ed Carpenter||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet|
|21||Rinus VeeKay (R)||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet|
|60||Jack Harvey||Meyer Shank Racing||Honda|
|15||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda|
|30||Takuma Sato||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda|
|1||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Chevrolet|
|12||Will Power||Team Penske||Chevrolet|
|22||Simon Pagenaud||Team Penske||Chevrolet|
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