Because Team Penske dominated the headlines, on and off the track, one might assume IndyCar was pretty ho-hum in 2017 but nothing could have been further from the truth as RACER‘s Robin Miller explains in his yearly wrap-up video.
Sure, Josef Newgarden captured the title for The Captain as a rookie with four victories and some ballsy passes and teammate Helio Castroneves chased that elusive championship in what turned out to be his final full-time IndyCar season, while Simon Pagenaud turned in another excellent run to finish second in the points and Will Power was fast (six poles) but things didn’t go his way in the points race as Penske’s drivers won 10 of the 17 races.
But equally as newsworthy were the miraculous escapes of Sebastian Bourdais and Scott Dixon in big crashes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Seabass suffered a broken pelvis in his near head-on crash during qualifying and was racing again three months later while Dixon walked away from an altitude record flip during the race.
Graham Rahal swept the Detroit weekend, James Hinchcliffe got back in Victory Lane and Alexander Rossi put on the drive of the year with a masterpiece at Watkins Glen.
Gateway staged the best new oval race in a decade with a crowd of 40,000 and showed what good promotion can reap.
And 2018 promises to be better with universal aero kits and four owners (Trevor Carlin, Mike Harding, Mike Shank and Ricardo Juncos) running full or partial seasons and a return to Portland.