Norman aiming for 2020 IndyCar graduation

Andretti Autosport Indy Lights driver Ryan Norman is working on a graduation plan that would take the Ohio native from the Road To Indy to the NTT IndyCar Series in 2020.

“We’re definitely working towards that for next year,” he said. “I don’t know if that would be a full program. I’m just trying to put something together for next year. Obviously, we’re looking for sponsorship still, and starting to have conversations with everyone that we can. So we’re at the beginning stages of course, but that’s our goal.”

Holding third in the championship with seven races left to run, the 21-year-old has used Indy Lights as the primary series to learn his trade. Unlike teammates Oliver Askew and Robert Megennis, whose lives have been filled with open-wheel racing, Norman’s path to Andretti’s outfit has been the opposite of traditional.

A youth spent in motocross competition meant Norman’s transition from two wheels to four came much later than his rivals, and rather than spending three or four years on the lower rungs of the Road To Indy, Norman used two seasons of club racing, including time spent in a Formula Atlantic car, as preparation for the big leap into pro-grade competition with Indy Lights.

Where Indy Lights has been akin to a finishing school for aspiring IndyCar drivers, Norman’s approach has bundled some of the hardest lessons – and even the basic ones – in deep waters. With an oval win last year and a road course win last month, the plan is starting to pay off.

“Coming into lights three years ago, I had pretty much barely any experience, to be honest,” he said. “Obviously, we had a long-term goal of doing two to three years just getting the experience up and learning everything. And the Road To Indy has definitely helped that with being able to be at the same race weekends and tracks .”

“Being able to, especially with Andretti Autosport, being able to work with their IndyCar guys, and have Michael on the team is a huge help as well. So just really just surrounding myself with a whole bunch of experience and just trying to gain that over the past couple of years.”

Having completed a successful first IndyCar test in late June with the Andretti team at Mid-Ohio, Norman is making the necessary steps for 2020. With consistent sponsorship on display with his No. 48 Andretti Indy Lights car, his chances of finding a seat in the big series, even on a part-time basis, are strong. Where he’d land is greatest question left to be answered.

New Beyond the Flag power rankings article format

With a change set for the presentation style of the Beyond the Flag Formula 1, NASCAR Cup Series, IndyCar and Formula E power rankings, here is how the new articles will be formatted. As announced earlier today, we will be updating the way we present the driver power rankings and the team power rankings for Formula 1, […]

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Preview – 2019 Iowa 300

By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel

The INDYCAR season continues this weekend with the NTT IndyCar Series Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. The Open Wheel will be covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.

2018 IOWA 4

Photo by Parker Hall/The Open Wheel

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NTT IndyCar Series Preview: Iowa 300 – Saturday, July 20, 2019 7:00PM (ET) NBCSN – Previous driver experience at Iowa Speedway shows five former winners in the field in Ryan Hunter-Reay (3), James Hinchcliffe (2), Marco Andretti (1), Tony Kanaan (1), and Josef Newgarden (1). The Top 5 in laps led are Newgarden (623), Kanaan (523), Hinchcliffe (290), Scott Dixon (126), and Andretti (94). Note that Hunter-Reay incredibly has three wins with only 54 laps led. Hinchcliffe and Castroneves have won over the last two years. Looking at the box scores from 2018 and 2017, no one has finished in the Top 5 in each of the last two years, but the Ed Carpenter Racing No. 21 car has finished in the Top 2 in each of those races albeit with two different drivers. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, the list includes Hinchcliffe, Newgarden, Will Power, Graham Rahal, and Simon Pagenaud. My pick to win: Josef Newgarden – This is a track where Newgarden has had plenty of success and a good chance for him to put some distance between himself and fellow championship contender Alexander Rossi.

My picks: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon, Colton Herta, & Spencer Pigot – You know my thoughts on Newgarden, but it’s hard to put together a strong team with him included at a price of $33, so we’ll try and scoop up the best of the rest. Ryan Hunter-Reay’s three wins on just 54 laps led show he’s capable of hanging around long enough to take advantage at the finish so he’s a strong pick. Iowa isn’t Scott Dixon’s best track, but he does have a 50% Top 5 rate there and needs a big result to keep within touching distance of the championship. Colton Herta has been lightning fast everywhere and will be eager for a good result to backup his exciting performances on ovals this year. Spencer Pigot has the good fortune of driving the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing car that has been the class of the field at Iowa over the last few years while being driven by Newgarden, JR Hildebrand, and last year himself to a P2 finish. It’s a great opportunity for the struggling American to earn a much needed strong result.


Beyond the Flag power rankings format to experience minor change

The Beyond the Flag power rankings format for Formula 1, the NASCAR Cup Series, IndyCar and Formula E is slated to experience a minor change. As our dedicated readers of the past few years are aware, we implemented a power rankings formula ahead of the 2018 season for Formula 1, the NASCAR Cup Series, IndyCar […]

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