2018 IndyCar Series

2018 IndyCar season
Verizon IndyCar Series
Season
Races17
Start dateMarch 11
End dateSeptember 16
Awards
Drivers' championNew Zealand Scott Dixon
Manufacturers' CupJapan Honda
Rookie of the YearCanada Robert Wickens
Indianapolis 500 winnerAustralia Will Power
Discipline champions
Oval championAustralia Will Power
Road course championNew Zealand Scott Dixon
← 2017
2019 →
Scott Dixon (left) won his fifth Drivers' Championship while Alexander Rossi (right) finished second in the championship.

The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series was the 23rd season of the Verizon IndyCar Series and the 97th official championship season of American open wheel racing. The premier event is the 102nd Indianapolis 500, with Takuma Sato entering as the defending Indianapolis 500 winner. Josef Newgarden entered the season as the defending National Champion.

The season marked the debut of a new universal aerokit, replacing the manufacturer-designed kits used from 2015–2017. It is the final season for Verizon Communications as the series sponsor as well as being the final season that the series will be broadcast by both ABC and NBC Sports. A new series sponsor will be introduced and NBC will be the sole broadcaster for the series beginning in the 2019 season.

Honda won the engine manufacturer's championship for the first time since 2011. Robert Wickens won Rookie of the Year despite missing the final three races after a crash at the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono. Will Power won the 102nd Indianapolis 500. Scott Dixon won his fifth IndyCar title, and is now second to A.J. Foyt's all-time record for United States open wheel titles. Dixon won three races over the course of the season.

Series news[]

Technical changes[]

Entries[]

The following teams and drivers are confirmed to compete in the 2018 IndyCar Series season. All teams use a spec Dallara IR18 chassis and Firestone tires.

Team Engine No. Driver(s) Round(s)
A. J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet 4 Brazil Matheus Leist[12]  R  All
14 Brazil Tony Kanaan[13] All
Foyt with Byrd / Hollinger / Belardi 33 Australia James Davison[14] 6
Andretti Autosport Honda[15] 25 United Kingdom Stefan Wilson[16]  R [N 1] 6
26 United States Zach Veach[17]  R  All
27 United States Alexander Rossi[18] All
28 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay[19] All
29 Colombia Carlos Muñoz[20] 6
Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian 98 United States Marco Andretti[18] All
Carlin Chevrolet 23 United States Charlie Kimball[21] All
59 United Kingdom Max Chilton[21] All
Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon[22] All
10 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones[23] All
Dale Coyne Racing Honda 19 Canada Zachary Claman DeMelo[24]  R  1, 3–6, 9–12
Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi[24]  R  2, 13–17
United States Santino Ferrucci[25]  R  7–8
39 16–17
63 United Kingdom Pippa Mann[26] 6
Dale Coyne Racing dba Thom Burns Racing 17 United States Conor Daly[27] 6
Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan 18 France Sébastien Bourdais[28] All
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Chevrolet[29] 24 United States Sage Karam[30] 6
66 United States J. R. Hildebrand[31] 6
Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 13 United States Danica Patrick[32][33] 6
20 United Kingdom Jordan King[34]  R  1, 3–5, 7–8, 10, 12–13, 16–17
United States Ed Carpenter 2, 6, 9, 11, 14–15
21 United States Spencer Pigot[35] All
Harding Racing Chevrolet 8 Mexico Patricio O'Ward[36]  R  17
88 Colombia Gabby Chaves[37] 1–11, 15–16
United States Conor Daly[38] 12–14
United States Colton Herta[36]  R  17
Juncos Racing Chevrolet 32 Austria René Binder[39][40]  R  1, 4, 7–8, 12–13
United States Kyle Kaiser[41]  R  2–3, 5–6
Mexico Alfonso Celis Jr.[42]  R  10, 16
Michael Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson Honda 60 United Kingdom Jack Harvey[43]  R  1
Meyer Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson 3, 6, 13, 16–17
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda 15 United States Graham Rahal[44] All
30 Japan Takuma Sato[45] All
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda[46] 5 Canada James Hinchcliffe[47] All
6 Canada Robert Wickens[47]  R  1–14
Colombia Carlos Muñoz[48] 16–17
SPM / AFS Racing 7 United Kingdom Jay Howard[49] 6
Scuderia Corsa with RLL Honda 64 Spain Oriol Servià[50] 6
Team Penske Chevrolet[46] 1 United States Josef Newgarden[51][52] All
3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves[53] 5–6
12 Australia Will Power[51] All
22 France Simon Pagenaud[51] All
R Rookie

Team changes[]

Chip Ganassi Racing announced that the team will scale down to a two-car team for the first time since 2010 due to cost efficiency, with Scott Dixon remaining at the No. 9 car.[54] CGR announced on October 25, 2017 that 2017 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year Ed Jones would drive the No. 10 car in 2018, replacing Tony Kanaan.[55]

Team Penske will downsize to three cars, due to Hélio Castroneves moving to Team Penske's WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team from the 2018 season onwards. However, Castroneves will return for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 with Team Penske for a one-off appearance.[56]

Michael Shank Racing will compete in at least six races in the 2018 season with driver Jack Harvey, with a technical partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.[57] The team was renamed Meyer Shank Racing on April 6th, 2018 after Sirius XM CEO Jim Meyer joined as a team co-owner.[58]

Carlin will enter the series with two full-time Chevrolet-powered entries for the 2018 season, running ex-Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball.[21]

Harding Racing confirmed a full-time schedule with Gabby Chaves after running part-time in 2017.[37] Brian Barnhart was named President of the team on November 29, leaving his post as President of Race Operations and Race Director of IndyCar.[59] Following the Road America round, Barnhart confirmed rumours that they wish to expand to fielding two cars as early as the latter part of the 2018 season, specifically naming Sonoma. He further confirmed the team was in talks with several drivers including current Indy Lights drivers.[60]

Lazier Partners Racing will not enter the Indianapolis 500 for the first time since 2012 due to crash damage incurred at the 2017 Indianapolis 500 by Buddy Lazier to their only car.

Driver changes[]

After winning the 2017 Indy Lights championship, Kyle Kaiser will participate in at least four IndyCar events in 2018 with Juncos Racing, including the Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Grand Prix.[61][62] On January 5, 2018, Juncos announced Formula V8 3.5 driver René Binder would contest the races in St. Petersburg, Barber, Mid-Ohio, and Toronto, with an entry at Detroit being confirmed later.[40]

After competing at Barber for Ed Carpenter Racing as a replacement for J. R. Hildebrand and at the Indianapolis 500 for A. J. Foyt Enterprises in 2017, Zach Veach will make his full-season début with Andretti Autosport, replacing Takuma Sato.[17]

After competing in road and street courses only for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2017, Spencer Pigot will make his full-season début with the team, replacing J. R. Hildebrand in the No. 21 car.[35] Former Formula 2 driver Jordan King will drive the No. 20 on road and street courses.

2017 Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato left Andretti Autosport after only one season with the team, and will return to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the 2018 season.[45]

Stefan Wilson joins Andretti Autosport to return to the Indianapolis 500 for the first time since 2016.

After spending four seasons with Chip Ganassi Racing, Tony Kanaan will switch to A. J. Foyt Enterprises for the 2018 season.[13]

After six seasons in the German Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, Robert Wickens will make the switch to IndyCar to drive the No. 6 car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, replacing Mikhail Aleshin. Wickens previously replaced Aleshin in the first practice session at Road America in 2017, but did not get to compete in the race. Wickens suffered severe injuries in a crash at the 2018 ABC Supply 500 and was forced to miss the rest of the season. Due to damage incurred in the crash, the #6 car was withdrawn for the next race at Gateway. On August 29, SPM announced Carlos Muñoz as Wickens' replacement in the #6 car at the Portland and Sonoma rounds. [47]

On November 16, 2017, A. J. Foyt Enterprises announced that Brazilian Indy Lights driver Matheus Leist would drive the No. 4 car in 2018, replacing Conor Daly. Leist will become the youngest IndyCar Series rookie since Marco Andretti in 2006.

After six seasons with Stewart-Haas Racing in NASCAR, Danica Patrick announced intentions to return to the Indianapolis 500 for the first time since 2011.[63] The 2018 Indianapolis 500 will be the last race of Patrick's professional career.[64] She will run a third entry for Ed Carpenter Racing,[32] carrying sponsorship from former long-time partner GoDaddy.[65]

After spending one season with A. J. Foyt Enterprises, Carlos Muñoz rejoins Andretti Autosport for the Indianapolis 500.[20]

On February 6, 2018, 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 champion Pietro Fittipaldi was announced to drive the #19 for Dale Coyne Racing in 7 races, including the 2018 Indianapolis 500. The #19 will be driven by Zachary Claman DeMelo, who partook in the 2017 Indy Lights season with Carlin and the 2017 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, in the other 10 events. On May 4, Fittipaldi was injured in a crash while qualifying for the 2018 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. DeMelo took over the #19 for both Indianapolis races and Texas, while Trident Formula 2 driver and Haas F1 test driver Santino Ferrucci was signed for the two Detroit races.

On March 1, 2018 it was confirmed that Nazareth, Pennsylvania native Sage Karam would be returning to race in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. This will be the 3rd straight and 4th total Indianapolis 500 between them. The primary sponsor for Karam’s car will be WIX Filters.

On March 6, 2018 it was announced Conor Daly would be driving in the 102nd Indianapolis 500. He would be racing for Thom Burns Racing with Air Force as the primary sponsor.

On March 20, 2018 it was announced Pippa Mann would drive a 4th car for Dale Coyne Racing at the Indianapolis 500, with sponsorship from Donate Life Indiana.[66]

On April 12, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing announced that J. R. Hildebrand would drive for the team in their second entry into the Indianapolis 500.[31]

On April 13, 2018 it was announced that Jonathan Byrd's Racing, Hollinger MotorSport, and Belardi Auto Racing would work in conjunction with A. J. Foyt Enterprises to field a car for James Davison for the Indianapolis 500.[14]

On May 10, Juncos Racing announced that Alfonso Celis Jr. would make his IndyCar debut with the team at Road America.[42] On August 3, the team announced that Celis would also compete at Portland.[67]

On July 10, Harding Racing announced that Conor Daly would replace Gabby Chaves for round 12 in Toronto. The team also stated that they would experiment with their driver lineup for the remainder of the season in preparation for 2019. They want to test current top three Indy Lights drivers Colton Herta, Santiago Urrutia and Patricio O'Ward, the latter having already received a seat fitting with the team. Nevertheless Chaves is expected to return to the track in 2018 and remain under contract as the team's driver through 2019.[38] Daly would be confirmed for the Mid-Ohio round on July 24. [68] On September 2, it was announced that 2018 Indy Lights champion Patricio O'Ward and 2018 Indy Lights runner-up Colton Herta would make their IndyCar debuts with Harding at the final round at Sonoma.

Schedule[]

Rd. Date Race Name Track City
1 March 11 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg  R  Streets of St. Petersburg St. Petersburg, Florida
2 April 7 Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix  O  ISM Raceway Avondale, Arizona
3 April 15 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach  R  Streets of Long Beach Long Beach, California
4 April 22/23* Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama  R  Barber Motorsports Park Birmingham, Alabama
5 May 12 IndyCar Grand Prix  R  Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course Speedway, Indiana
6 May 27 102nd Indianapolis 500 Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil  O  Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana
7 June 2 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear Corporation  R  Belle Isle Park Detroit, Michigan
8 June 3
9 June 9 DXC Technology 600  O  Texas Motor Speedway Fort Worth, Texas
10 June 24 Kohler Grand Prix  R  Road America Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
11 July 8 Iowa Corn 300  O  Iowa Speedway Newton, Iowa
12 July 15 Honda Indy Toronto  R  Exhibition Place Toronto, Ontario, Canada
13 July 29 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio  R  Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, Ohio
14 August 19 ABC Supply 500  O  Pocono Raceway Long Pond, Pennsylvania
15 August 25 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Presented by Valvoline  O  Gateway Motorsports Park Madison, Illinois
16 September 2 Grand Prix of Portland  R  Portland International Raceway Portland, Oregon
17 September 16 Indycar Grand Prix of Sonoma  R  Sonoma Raceway Sonoma, California
O Oval/Speedway
R Road Course/Street Circuit

Schedule changes and notes[]

Season summary[]

Race results[]

Round Race Pole position Fastest lap Most laps led Race Winners Report
Driver Team Manufacturer
1 St. Petersburg Canada Robert Wickens United States Alexander Rossi Canada Robert Wickens France Sébastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda Report
2 Phoenix France Sébastien Bourdais France Sébastien Bourdais Australia Will Power United States Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet Report
3 Long Beach United States Alexander Rossi United States Josef Newgarden United States Alexander Rossi United States Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda Report
4 Birmingham United States Josef Newgarden Canada Zachary Claman DeMelo United States Josef Newgarden United States Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet Report
5 Indianapolis GP Australia Will Power New Zealand Scott Dixon Australia Will Power Australia Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet Report
6 Indianapolis 500 United States Ed Carpenter Brazil Hélio Castroneves United States Ed Carpenter Australia Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet Report
7 Detroit 1 United States Marco Andretti[N 2] United States Ryan Hunter-Reay New Zealand Scott Dixon New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Report
8 Detroit 2 United States Alexander Rossi[N 3] United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Alexander Rossi United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda
9 Texas United States Josef Newgarden United States Josef Newgarden New Zealand Scott Dixon New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Report
10 Road America United States Josef Newgarden United States Zach Veach United States Josef Newgarden United States Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet Report
11 Iowa Australia Will Power Australia Will Power United States Josef Newgarden Canada James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda Report
12 Toronto United States Josef Newgarden Australia Will Power New Zealand Scott Dixon New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Report
13 Mid-Ohio United States Alexander Rossi New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Alexander Rossi United States Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda Report
14 Pocono Australia Will Power France Sébastien Bourdais United States Alexander Rossi United States Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda Report
15 Gateway New Zealand Scott Dixon[N 4] Australia Will Power New Zealand Scott Dixon Australia Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet Report
16 Portland Australia Will Power Colombia Carlos Muñoz United States Alexander Rossi Japan Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Report
17 Sonoma United States Ryan Hunter-Reay New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda Report

Driver standings[]

Pos Driver STP PHX LBH ALA IGP INDY DET TEX ROA IOW TOR MDO POC GAT POR SNM Pts
1 New Zealand Scott Dixon 6 4 11 6 2 39 1* 4 1* 3 12 1* 5 3 3*c 5 2 678
2 United States Alexander Rossi 3 3 1* 11 5 4 3 12* 3 16 9 8 1* 1* 2 8* 7 621
3 Australia Will Power 10 22* 2 21 1* 13 7 2 18 23 6 18 3 2 1 21 3 582
4 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay 5 5 20 2 18 5 2 1 5 2 19 16 7 18 20 2 1* 566
5 United States Josef Newgarden 7 1 7 1* 11 84 9 15 13 1* 4* 9 4 5 7 10 8 560
6 France Simon Pagenaud 13 10 24 9 8 62 17 10 2 7 8 2 8 8 4 6 4 492
7 France Sébastien Bourdais 1 13 13 5 4 285 13 21 8 13 11 19 6 4 21 3 6 425
8 United States Graham Rahal 2 9 5 7 9 10 23 5 6 6 7 21 9 14 10 23 23 392
9 United States Marco Andretti 9 12 6 10 13 12 4 9 14 11 16 10 11 7 14 25 5 392
10 Canada James Hinchcliffe 4 6 9 3 7 DNQ 11 16 4 10 1 4 14 20 15 22 15 391
11 Canada Robert Wickens  RY  18* 2 22 4 3 9 8 6 19 5 5 3 2 19 391
12 Japan Takuma Sato 12 11 21 8 10 32 5 17 7 4 3 22 17 21 9 1 25 351
13 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones 8 20 3 20 22 31 6 3 9 9 13 12 15 12 8 24 10 343
14 United States Spencer Pigot 15 14 15 15 15 206 10 23 11 8 2 20 13 16 6 4 24 325
15 United States Zach Veach  R  16 16 4 13 23 23 12 13 16 22 20 7 10 6 5 19 14 313
16 Brazil Tony Kanaan 11 8 8 18 14 25 14 7 21 14 17 6 18 17 13 11 12 312
17 United States Charlie Kimball 20 17 10 23 20 18 19 8 10 18 14 5 16 9 19 7 22 287
18 Brazil Matheus Leist  R  24 19 14 12 21 13 15 14 22 15 22 15 19 11 16 14 19 253
19 United Kingdom Max Chilton 19 18 17 22 16 22 20 11 12 17 15 23 24 13 17 18 21 223
20 United States Ed Carpenter 7 2*1 20 10 10 12 187
21 Colombia Gabby Chaves 14 15 19 17 17 14 18 19 15 19 21 18 13 187
22 United Kingdom Jordan King  R  21 18 14 24 16 18 12 11 12 15 13 175
23 Canada Zachary Claman DeMelo  R  17 23 19 12 19 17 21 18 14 122
24 United Kingdom Jack Harvey  R  23 12 16 20 16 17 103
25 Colombia Carlos Muñoz 7 12 18 95
26 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi  R  23 23 22 11 9 16 91
27 United States Santino Ferrucci  R  22 20 20 11 66
28 Austria René Binder  R  22 16 21 22 17 21 61
29 United States Conor Daly 21 13 22 15 58
30 United States Kyle Kaiser  R  21 16 19 29 45
31 Mexico Patricio O'Ward  R  9 44
32 Brazil Hélio Castroneves 6 278 40
33 United States J. R. Hildebrand 11 38
34 United Kingdom Stefan Wilson  R  15 31
35 Spain Oriol Servià 17 27
36 Mexico Alfonso Celis Jr.  R  20 17 23
37 United States Colton Herta  R  20 20
38 United States Danica Patrick 307 13
39 United Kingdom Jay Howard 24 12
40 United States Sage Karam 26 10
41 Australia James Davison 33 10
United Kingdom Pippa Mann DNQ 0
Pos Driver STP PHX LBH ALA IMS INDY DET TEX ROA IOW TOR MDO POC GAT POR SNM Pts
Color Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green 4th & 5th place
Light Blue 6th–10th place
Dark Blue Finished
(Outside Top 10)
Purple Did not finish
Red Did not qualify
(DNQ)
Brown Withdrawn
(Wth)
Black Disqualified
(DSQ)
White Did Not Start
(DNS)
Race abandoned
(C)
Blank Did not
participate
In-line notation
Bold Pole position
(1 point; except Indy)
Italics Ran fastest race lap
* Led most race laps
(2 points)
DNS Any driver who qualifies
but does not start (DNS),
earns half the points
had they taken part.
1–9 Indy 500 "Fast 9" result,
with points as follows:
9 points for 1st
8 points for 2nd
and so on down to
1 point for 9th.
c Qualifying canceled
no bonus point awarded
 RY  Rookie of the Year
 R  Rookie

Manufacturer standings[]

Pos Manufacturer STP PHX LBH ALA IMS INDY DET TEX ROA IOW TOR MDO POC GAT POR SNM Pts
1 Honda 1 2 1 2 2 3 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1467
2 3 3 3 3 4 2 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 2 2
96* 76 91* 76 75 67 96* 91* 90* 75 90* 90* 96* 90* 77 95* 96*
2 Chevrolet 7 1 2 1 1 1 7 2 2 1 2 2 3 2 1 4 3 1203
10 7 7 9 6 2 9 7 10 7 4 5 4 5 4 6 4
46 81* 66 77* 84* 98* 48 66 61 82* 73 71 67 71 87* 61 67

Footnotes[]

  1. ^ Stefan Wilson is considered a rookie in the IndyCar Series; however, he was no rookie in the 2018 Indianapolis 500 as he participated in the 2016 Indianapolis 500.
  2. ^ The qualification format for this race featured two separate qualification groups, with the fastest qualifier in each group earning a championship point; the faster of the two group fastest qualifiers would then start on pole, while the other would start from the outside of the front row. Andretti set the fastest overall lap, and was awarded the pole position. Scott Dixon set the fastest lap in the other qualifying group, and was also awarded a championship point.
  3. ^ The qualification format for this race featured two separate qualification groups, with the fastest qualifier in each group earning a championship point; the faster of the two group fastest qualifiers would then start on pole, while the other would start from the outside of the front row. Rossi set the fastest overall lap, and was awarded the pole position. Robert Wickens set the fastest lap in the other qualifying group, and was also awarded a championship point.
  4. ^ Qualifying for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 was cancelled due to weather. The grid was set by entrant points, so Scott Dixon was gifted the pole position. Because of this, he was not awarded the bonus point typically awarded for qualifying on pole position.

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