Photo Credit: autosport.com
RC Enerson, a 19-year-old American Indy Lights Series driver from New Port Richey, Florida, will be making his Verizon IndyCar Series debut on Sunday, July 31st at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the Honda Indy 200. He will drive Dale Coyne Racing’s no. 19 Honda-powered machine for that race.
Enerson sits 14th in this year’s Indy Lights standings, but that is because he has not raced since the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway back at the end of this past May. Instead, he has focused on landing a ride in an IndyCar, and that wait has paid off.
Last season, Enerson finished 4th in the Indy Lights championship standings after scoring 10 top 5 finishes, 5 podium finishes, and 1 win in 16 races. Consequently, that lone victory came at Mid-Ohio (see featured image), where the Verizon IndyCar Series will race in just over a week from now.
That win a year ago at Mid-Ohio should give the rookie some much-needed confidence as he climbs into the cockpit of an IndyCar for his first ever series race and gets read to battle head-to-head with some of the legends of the sport like Scott Dixon, 5-time Mid-Ohio winner and 4-time series champion, Helio Castroneves, 2-time Mid-Ohio winner and 3-time Indianapolis 500 champion, and Juan Pablo Montoya, a world-known driver who has won in every series he has driven in.
Enerson may, in fact, be in the cockpit of Dale Coyne’s no. 19 car after Mid-Ohio as well, but we will have to wait and see how he fares and whether or not the other drivers of the no. 19 car this season, Gabby Chaves and Luca Filippi, have a chance at getting back in the car.
Personally, given that Enerson is getting the ride at Mid-Ohio having won there last year in the Indy Lights Series, I think Chaves should get the nod for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, which is the following race in the Verizon IndyCar Series and will take place on Sunday, August 21st. Chaves was leading late in the race and was more likely than not going to win or at least claim his first ever podium finish had his Honda engine not exploded in the closing laps.
But, then again, Enerson could exceed all expectations next weekend and prove that he belongs in one of Dale Coyne’s cars as a 2nd full-time driver next to fellow American rookie Conor Daly.