Exclusive INDYCAR Nation News

Four IndyCar Drivers Poised For Big Years

Zachary Houghton
| Feb 20, 2013

In the race seasons prior to 2012, Ryan Hunter-Reay was regarded as a good multi-discipline driver, one with the ability to compete on any give oval or road/street race weekend. However, he was rarely mentioned in the top tier of championship competitors. He was part of that club of IZOD IndyCar Series race winners that didn’t quite come to mind as part of the top echelon of the sport.

That was before last year. Four wins, a dramatic championship fight, and a new #1 decal on his car later, Ryan Hunter-Reay’s big year was in the record books, and his place in the racing conversation had changed.

As we prepare for the 2013 edition of the IICS, it remains to be seen which teams and drivers will show the biggest improvements in terms of results. With that in mind, below are four drivers that just might be primed to have a big season, if not indeed a breakout one. Perhaps it won’t be as dramatic as Hunter-Reay’s drive for the title, but don’t sleep on these racers, either:

Sèbastien Bourdais

It seems odd to mention a four-time open wheel champion as poised for a big or breakout, but Seabass has yet to have a full, uninterrupted season in the IZOD IndyCar Series. When you lump in the fact he was negatively affected by having a Lotus engine in his car for the first few races of the season, it’s easy to see why there’s every expectation a full-time Bourdais will be in a much better position this season. Those of us who saw him drive the wheels off his Lotus machine to one of the hardest-earned Top 10s in recent memory at Alabama last year know there’s no question that the talent is still there. 2013 should be a fresh for Bourdais, and with a full season of Chevy-powered goodness ahead, it should be fun to watch.

Simona de Silvestro

The term “nightmare season” is often tossed about in sports, especially when someone’s season simply doesn’t goes as intended. As the driver for the only Lotus team to limp to the end of the season in 2012, Simona de Silvestro could put a trademark on the term, and I doubt very much anyone would object. HVM Racing simply could not do anything with the Lotus engine, and that is why de Silvestro could manage only a pair of P14s as her best finishes on the season. For a driver whose talent and quickness has never been in question, it was the height of frustration.

Yet what a difference a year makes! KV Racing Technology is the new home of the “Iron Maiden”, and Simona will find herself on a solidly mid-tier team, paired with Tony Kanaan as a teammate. After shoestring budgets, seasons of flying solo, and underpowered engines, KV may well seem like heaven for the 24 year-old racer. We’ve seen what she can do with very little; now fans will get the treat of seeing just what she can manage with something approximating a level playing field.

EJ Viso

It’s a change of scenery for Viso this year, as he moves to Andretti Autosport as their fourth full-time entry. You’ll find very few drivers in the field that produce a greater divide among the fan base than EJ, as the affable Venezuelan’s merits are the subject of many a debate online. In his earlier IndyCar years, Viso was seen as fast but reckless, and he had no shortage of “Did Not Finish” results from 2008-2010. However, beginning later in 2011 and through to the 2012 season, Viso seemed to settle down, and was much easier on the carbon fiber overall.

Now, in his sixth year in IndyCar, Viso finds himself at a top team, where the chemistry should be good, and the improvement in patience he’s made can be parlayed into even better results. In short, if EJ Viso is going to win in this series, he’s not going to get many better chances than this season. He’s got the speed, and he’s cut down on his mistakes. It’s time to see if it will pay off. For Viso, it all seems to be in place.

Josef Newgarden

Newgy has always had a reputation as a more aggressive driver. That was extremely evident last year when he immediately challenged Dario Franchitti from the front row at Long Beach. Unfortunately, that maneuver didn’t go as well as planned, and neither did Josef’s rookie campaign. In short, it was a rookie season, filled with a few too many poor choices and a fair amount of bad luck. However, Newgarden was also quick, and if he can find the right balance of attacking tempered with patience, he could give Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing plenty of good results in the upcoming season. A year under the belt can do wonders for a driver. Barely 22 years of age, the budding IndyCar star will still be learning this year, but should be able to produce results more in line with his burgeoning popularity. Let’s not forget, Sarah Fisher’s crew is entirely capable of winning in this Series, and can give Josef what he needs to succeed. It should be an exciting campaign from a talented driver moving his way up the learning curve.

Zachary Houghton runs www.indycaradvocate.com, which features regularly-updated INDYCAR, IZOD IndyCar Series, and Mazda Road to Indy interviews, commentary, and more. You can find him on Twitter at @indycaradvocate, or drop him a line at mail.rpgblog(at)gmail.com.


  1. 1 Dissertation writing services 24 Jan
    The article seems to befit the title given to it. We are here for your dissertation writing needs.
  2. 2 How to write a research paper 18 Jan
    A research is supposed to be the true representation of the efforts and dedication put into writing and preparing something.
  3. 3 How to write a research proposal 17 Jan
    Before a research takes place, a proposal has to be written stating the hows and whys of the research.
  4. 4 What is a research proposal 16 Jan
    There is no comparison between a well researched article and an article that hasn't been well-researched.
  5. 5 How to write a dissertation 16 Jan
    Quite a thoughtfully written piece here.
  6. 6 How to become a successful freelance writer 15 Jan
    As the saying goes, only hard work leads to success.
  7. 7 Common mistakes with critical essays 14 Jan
    It was critical indeed.
  8. 8 Essay Writing Service 03 Jan
  9. 9 Paper Writing Service 03 Jan
  10. 10 Thesis Writing Service 03 Jan
  11. 11 hilary 20 Dec
  12. 12 Badruddin 12 Dec
    Interesting article!
  13. 13 Redtube 20 Nov
    Great stuff ! I hope you can write more post like this :)
  14. 14 HUBERT 20 Jul
    I've been searching for excellent http://www.dissertationworld.biz/ in order to absolutely no get. I'm unsure basically 'm the main one searching within the incorrect path or even when they truthfully don't can be found. We observed out of your weblogs you have already been studying upon composing providers, are you able to assist me personally with this particular.
  15. 15 click here 26 Jun

    I prefer the blog.
    Amazing put up. It is somewhat the case, families needs to actually gain
    knowledge of previously he or she can gain knowledge of. lol i've met it
    again does seem comical and yet her best shown...
  16. 16 DT 11 Jun
    DTC strives to impart quality education to transform students to become dynamic in their approach, thinking, attitude & life style.DTC always tries to improve learning process as a Centre of excellence.
    Engineering college in bahadurgarh
    MBA admission 2015 in Delhi ncr
    BTech placement in Delhi ncr
    Best MBA College in Haryana NCR
  17. 17 ram15 23 Apr
    Year 2013 has been quite eventful. SRSG also witnessed events and evolved in terms of business verticals, technologies, people and processes.
    Apple service center Mumbai
    Yamaha monitors dealers
    Tools on Air Automation
  18. 18 Julius 17 Feb
    How you find so many sites in such a short time I will never quite understand. I mean, I have been looking for a good site to buy a superior paper for the past week and you found it in one night. You are just awesome!

You are not allowed to post comments.