The Sophomore Swedes – Chip Ganassi Racing teammates and Sweden natives Felix Rosenqvist and Marcus Ericsson – have run well in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.
But race drivers are rarely satisfied. They want more.
Rosenqvist was set to challenge CGR teammate Scott Dixon for victory in the season-opening race in June at Texas Motor Speedway before he crashed with 10 laps remaining. Three races later, Rosenqvist rebounded with a dramatic victory in the second race of the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America on July 12.
At the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway, Rosenqvist started another streak of solid finishes. Those included eighth and seventh at Gateway and a sixth place in the first of two races in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
He entered the second race at Mid-Ohio ninth in points but never made it through the opening corner in the race when he was part of a crash that also included Santino Ferrucci and Alex Palou.
2019 series Rookie of the Year Rosenqvist enters next weekend’s INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR 11th in points. He is confident he can finish the season sixth in the championship – the same final spot as last season – if he returns to form over the final three races.
“I think it’s a good ending to the season for me,” Rosenqvist said. “To go from Mid-Ohio, Indy GP and St. Pete, those are places I like to go. I like most tracks on the calendar, but it doesn’t hurt me to end on these tracks.”
The consistency needed to reach the goal of sixth is something that has been fleeting this season for Rosenqvist in the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda.
“The consistency has been pretty good in qualifying and the race overall, but there have been too many bad races,” Rosenqvist said. “You can’t have that in INDYCAR. Every time we’ve had a chance to win the race or finish on the podium, we haven’t finished the race. That kills you in the championship. It hasn’t been my year, for sure.”
Ericsson produced some solid drives last year for the team then known as Arrow Schmidt Peterson. He finished 17th in the standings, with the highlight a second-place finish to race winner Dixon in the second race of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle.
Ericsson moved to the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda for 2020. The combination got off to a fine start with three top-10 finishes in the first four races, including a fourth place in Race 2 of the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America. Ericsson was up to sixth in points, where he stayed through the end of the first of two races at Iowa Speedway.
A pair of ninth-place finishes at Iowa had Ericsson primed for more at the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Unfortunately, a crash on Lap 24 gave Ericsson a 32nd place finish in the double-points paying race.
A fifth-place finish in the next race on the schedule at Gateway helped make up for the Indy 500 disappointment, but consecutive finishes of 23rd in the second Gateway race and a 15th in the first Mid-Ohio contest put him 14th in the standings. He rallied with an impressive fifth-place finish at Mid-Ohio and is 12th in the standings heading into next weekend’s doubleheader at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
“I really do believe I have shown strongly this year,” Ericsson said. “I was running in the top six in the championship. The biggest problem for me was crashing out early in the Indianapolis 500 with double points. That really hurts your championship if you do that. That dropped me from P8 in the championship to (a tie for) P12 where I am now.
“I’m still missing that podium. I want to step up on that podium at least once before the year is finished. That would put a good end to the year. Overall, it’s been a strong year. I’ve been very consistent and running in the top 10 every weekend. I’ve been happy with that, but I want a bit bigger result.
“That’s the big goal over the last three races, to try to get the big result before the year is up.”