Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team
Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.
Some 20 years ago, if you learned that a driver had landed a ride at Dale Coyne Racing, you didn’t know whether to congratulate or commiserate. Coyne had been struggling with mostly pay drivers for several years, and the picture had become muddied. Were the results not coming because DCR couldn’t find good enough drivers in what remained a deep field in Champ Car? Or was the team too cash-poor to grab the right personnel and the best equipment, thereby scaring the better drivers away? No one truly knew which came first – the stunted chicken or the malformed egg.
Coyne missed almost the entire 2001 and ’02 seasons in order to save money, regroup and return, and that opportunity came in ’03. With Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Green Racing now all in the Indy Racing League, Champ Car owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerry Forsythe needed to boost the car count, and Coyne returned. Then, with the grid further thinned in 2004 by the defection of Rahal Letterman Racing and Fernandez Racing, Dale Coyne Racing’s results improved, to the extent that lead driver Oriol Servia delivered not only the team’s second-ever podium, but also 10th place in the championship.
In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers
Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?
Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.
Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.
Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.
Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.
One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title
The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.
Top 10 F1 to Indy car converts ranked
IndyCar: OEMs “positive” over 2023 regs despite Ferrari rejection