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The 2020 IndyCar Series season is the 25th season of the IndyCar Series and the 109th season of American open wheel racing. It includes the 104th Indianapolis 500, set for May 24. James Hinchcliffe entered as the reigning drivers' champion.
Drivers and Teams
#26 Santiago Urrutia- After Marco Andretti was let go after failing to reach his expectations, 2017 Indy Light champion Santiago Urrutia has been called upon by Michael Andretti for the 2020 season. Urrutia showed some potential in his first two years with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and his hoping to challenge for his first race win with his new team.
#27 Dean Stoneman- 2016 Indy Lights runner-up and 2018 Rookie of the Year Dean Stoneman returns for another season with Andretti Autosport. After winning his first career race last year, Stoneman expects more for the 2020 season.
#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay- The experienced veteran, 2012 IndyCar Series champion, and 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion turns 40 in December and officially announced that this will be his final year. Hunter-Reay hopes to end his career on a high note.
Andretti Herta Autosport:
#98 Alexander Rossi- Andretti Autosport and Bryan Herta Autosport continue their alliance for a fifth year and again returns with former F1 driver and 2016 Rookie of the Year and Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi. Rossi has been a consistent driver ever since his Indy 500 win. Rossi hopes to be a real contender for the championship all the way to the final race of the season.
#30 Ed Jones- Underdog team Carlin returns with 2016 Indy Lights champion Ed Jones for a fourth season. Carlin's aim this year is for their first IndyCar podium. It will still be a long, hard climb for Carlin to compete for race wins.
Chip Ganassi Racing:
#8 JR Hildebrand- The 2017 Indianapolis 500 champion moves from Ed Carpenter Racing to Chip Ganassi Racing, after the release of Sage Karam. Hildebrand showed consistency and an occasional race win with Ed Carpenter Racing and is hoping to bring that to Chip Ganassi Racing.
#9 Scott Dixon- The future hall of famer, 4-time IndyCar Series champion, and 2008 Indianapolis 500 champion turns 40 in July, but is still a good bet for a win each and every race weekend. Dixon will try for a 5th championship in 2020.
#10 Josef Newgarden- The 2018 IndyCar Series champion heads into the 2020 season searching for a second championship. If he does win his second, it will be the first time since 2015 that IndyCar has had a non-first time champion.
#38 Spencer Pigot- After winning his first race in 2018 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, 2017 Rookie of the Year Spencer Pigot has been a strong bet for a dark horse prediction on race weekend. After finishing 7th in the championship last year in his first season with Chip Ganassi Racing, I don't think we can call him a dark horse. Expect Pigot to be a contender for the championship all the way up to the final race.
Ed Carpenter Racing:
#6 Patricio O'Ward- Last year's rookie of the year and 2018 Indy Lights champion Patricio O'Ward will try to improve on last year's performance, but this time he comes without his mentor JR Hildebrand, who moved to Chip Ganassi Racing.
#21 Parker Thompson- Last year's Indy Lights runner-up Parker Thompson will be one of two rookie of the year candidates. Thompson hopes to translate his success in the Mazda Road to Indy to the big stage. It will be a struggle for him and O'Ward, because of the youth of the team. O'Ward turns 21 in May, while Thompson turns 22 right before the season begins in March. This may be the team of the future, but for now Ed Carpenter will have to cope with the youth of his drivers.
#18 Kyle Kaiser- After Dale Coyne Racing filed for bankruptcy in the offseason, it was announced that Road to Indy powerhouse Juncos Racing will take over the assets of DCR. DCR's previous driver Kyle Kaiser will move over to Juncos along with DCR's assets. It will be a struggle for Juncos to just manage top ten finishes, but Ricardo Juncos is prepared for a long and lengthy process.
#11 Ben Barnicoat- After Carlos Munoz's run of bad luck for KVSH, rookie of the year candidate and 2019 Indy Lights champion Ben Barnicoat will join KVSH in attempt to save the money-depleted team. Barnicoat will have to fight hard for top ten finishes and it is bound to be a struggle, but the team is prepared to get through it.
PIRTEK Team Murray:
#61 Matthew Brabham- Another underdog team will return with Matthew Brabham. After joining IndyCar in 2018 it has been a struggle just to compete for top tens. Brabham will try to bring Team Murray out of its shell and put his car in a position to score occasional top tens.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing:
#15 Graham Rahal- The 2017 IndyCar Series champion has been in a post-championship slump with only one win since his championship, which happened to be the 2018 Indianapolis 500. Rahal will try to break out of his slump and be a multiple race winner fighting for the championship into the late stages of the season.
#32 Charlie Kimball- Last year after being released by Chip Ganassi Racing, Charlie Kimball was able to put together a last second deal with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing who was still looking for a second driver after losing Spencer Pigot to CGR. Kimball struggled last year in his first year with RLLR and is seeking more consistency heading into the 2020 season.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
#1 James Hinchcliffe- The reigning series champion announced that he will be exercising the option to run the champion's #1 car. Hinchcliffe will be looking to carry on with his success and hopefully become the first driver since Dario Franchitti in 2011 to win back-to-back championships.
#7 Sage Karam- After being released for a second time by Chip Ganassi Racing, Sage Karam takes refuge at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Having only one career victory at Iowa in 2018 and being one of the most inconsistent drivers in the sport, Sage Karam seeks fewer retirements and more consistency.
#3 Conor Daly- Last year, Roger Penske signed Daly to replace Juan Pablo Montoya, after he showed promise with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. But last year Daly had an incredibly inconsistent year. He did pick up his first career victory, but he also retired in half of the races. If Daly finds consistency, he could definitely be a championship contender for years to come.
#12 Will Power- 39 year old IndyCar Series champion Will Power has not been a real factor for the championship heading into the final race, ever since his 2014 IndyCar Series championship. With a short amount of years left in his career, this may be one of the last years the aging Will Power has to win a championship. Look for Power to be very hungry this season and to be contender to the finish.
#22 Simon Pagenaud- Last but not least is 2016 IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud. Pagenaud will be hungrier than ever before after suffering one of the biggest championship letdowns in the history of IndyCar last year. Pagenaud had a stranglehold on the championship with two races left, but crashed with four laps to go at Pocono while in seventh at Chicago. He still had a 36 point lead in the championship heading into the final race. In the final race at Sonoma, Pagenaud got wrecked by Ryan Hunter-Reay in the first turn of the first lap. He eventually finished third in the championship after this. This year Pagenaud is putting what happened last year in the back of his head and will be attempting to become a two-time IndyCar champion.