And can Romain Grosjean join this category this season?
Following Debutante IndyCar winner Kyle Kirkwood’s maiden W’ at Long Beach, remember that Y’all? I began wondering How many first timeIndyCar winners there’s been recently? For which I’ve elected to go back to when the series became Whole once again, i.e.; since the Reunification. For which it turns out, Thars far more than I’d expected! And can you guess How many?
Whilst I still believe I watched that race, is sure Don’t feel like “Yesterday” to Mwah! As Graham Rahal in only His 16 Start, and second round of the newly Mergified IndyCar Series, having failed to compete at Homestead. As Rahal crashed in Miami and the Newman/Haas/Lanigan Boyz’ weren’t able to repair His damaged Dallara/Honda in time for the race. Won His Debutante IndyCar race at St Pete. As Rahal became the series youngest winner at 19yrs and 93 Days Old, eclipsing Marco Andretti’s 2006 Breakthru victory.
The record books claim that Graham also became just the fourth IndyCar winner to win in His first IndyCar Start. Joining Buzz Calkins, Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Dixon, Huh?
Since is this just one more Slight towards the Champ Car World Series? (CCWS) Revisionist History? Or simply trying to Not recognize that Ugly twelve year chapter in Open Wheel Racing forever known as The Split!
As I’ve got a Hard time believing this “Record.” Especially since Graham contested the entire 15 rounds 2007 Champ Car campaign for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing aboard one of those stellar Panoz DP01 Cosworth XFE 2.65-litre V-8 turbocharged racecars! For which I’m certain I “Saw” Him racing alongside my then Numero Uno IndyCar driver Justin Big Unit’ Wilson at Portland International Raceway, but I digress!
The next race was held in Japan on Twin Ring Motegi on April 19, when History was made again. When Danica Patrick, along with Helio Castroneves and Ed Carpenter played the Fuel Strategy game by topping up Her tank on Lap-149 in Hopes the race would remain Green until the end. As Danica resumed in seventh place in Fuel saving mode. Then with 10-laps remaining, the leaders All began making Splash ‘N go Pitstops. Seeing Patrick steadily moving forwards, before passing a slowing Castroneves with two laps remaining to become the first ever Female to win an IndyCar race.
At the Milwaukee Mile, one week after Scott Dixon won the Indianapolis 500. Dixon dueled with eventual first time winner Ryan Briscoe, whose victory was El Capitano’s, nee Roger Penske’s 300th victory Overall!
No First time IndyCar winners.
Following His very scary, wicked last lap accident with Ryan Hunter-Reay’s slowing car at Indianapolis in 2010. Mike Conway scored His maiden IndyCar victory for Andretti Autosport at the 2011 Long Beach event.
Ed Carpenter, whose become known as Fast Eddie’ here upon No Fenders, scord His maiden IndyCar win on the Kentucky Oval for Sarah Fisher Racing.
No First time IndyCar winners.
This was a Busy year! As thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’, aka James Hinchcliffe won for the first of three times this year at the season opening St Pete race.
Next at Round 3, Takuma Sato driving for A.J. foyt claimed His Debutante IndyCar win at Long Beach aboard the storied No. 14. Which sadly, is a.J. foyt enterprises last IndyCar win, a decade ago!
At Round 8, Belle Isle’s Detroit Double Header Race 2 saw Symone’, nee Pageantry’, aka Simon Pagenaud claim His first IndyCar win for Schmidt Peterson Hamilton HP Motorsports. The first of His two victories this season. As Pagenaud and Hinchcliffe had Breakout seasons.
And then ‘Ol Narly Pinball’, aka Charlie Kimball scored His First and Only IndyCar victory at Round 14’s Mid Ohio Sports Car course driving for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Obviously it’s a little Foggy now. As I believe it was the Master of Strategy Dale Coyne that got the long forgotten Carlos Huertas His first and Only IndyCar victory in Round 9’s Houston Double Header Race 1 for Dale Coyne Racing.
For the Conclusion of this First time Winners story covering years 2015-2023, please visit the following No Fenders link below.