Ericsson earlier than you go the correct approach. (IndyCar picture)
Indianapolis – What makes the NTT IndyCar Collection distinctive is the possibility for drivers to have one thing to have fun on the finish of the season.
For the collection champion, the feat got here by holding off the competitors for a whole season and scoring extra factors than another driver. One other driver who would have fun one thing large is the winner of the Indianapolis 500, the most important race on this planet. This driver ought to have fun this victory for all times.
The winner of the Indianapolis 500 turned a part of the lengthy and prestigious historical past of the well-known race that started on Could 30, 1911.
The winner of the 106th Indianapolis 500 on Could twenty ninth was Marcus Ericsson of Sweden. His face is now a everlasting a part of the Borg-Warner Trophy, together with the faces of different drivers who’ve gained the Indianapolis 500.
“It is the most important single race on this planet with the perfect trophy on this planet,” Ericsson informed SPEED SPORT. “I’m very proud to have gained the title and really proud to have gained.”
Despite the fact that Ericsson is just 32 years outdated, he got here to IndyCar after competing in 97 System One competitions in his profession from 2014 to 2018. In 97 begins, Ericsson was unable to achieve the rostrum in System One and earned a seventeenth in factors in 2018 and 18th in 2015.
“I have been combating and attempting to show what I can do,” mentioned Erickson. “In System 1, my 5 seasons had been troublesome as a result of I did not get the possibility to indicate what I may do with the automobiles I used to be driving. Coming to America, I focus quite a bit on American racing and reaching success.”
The chance to compete at a really excessive degree in IndyCar drew Ericsson to the US in 2019 when he competed with Arrow McLaren SP Racing. In his eighth IndyCar begin, Erickson completed second within the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix of Belle Isle when he completed simply 1.942 seconds behind race winner Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing.
Erickson turned considered one of Dixon’s teammates the next season when he joined Chip Ganassi Racing as the motive force of the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chevrolet. He completed twelfth within the standings through the 14-race COVID schedule in 2020, however burst onto the scene in 2021 with two wins, together with Detroit and Nashville the place he completed sixth within the standings.
Final season, Erickson gained the 106th Indianapolis 500 in dramatic vogue, warding off a snagging Pato Oward assault on the way in which to the back and front straights to interrupt drag.
His victory within the 500 propelled him to the NTT IndyCar Championship Collection lead and to historical past.
“I used to be near profitable the championship this yr,” mentioned Ericsson. “I had been driving it for a very long time and it slipped just a little bit on the finish. That is one thing I am dissatisfied with.”
Regardless of ending sixth within the standings, Ericsson entered the ultimate race from fourth within the standings and had a mathematical likelihood, regardless of the issue of profitable the title. Ericsson provides group proprietor Chip Ganassi one other top-tier driver that additionally contains six-time NTT IndyCar Collection Champion Dixon, 2021 IndyCar Champion Alex Palou and proficient rookie from New Zealand, Marcus Armstrong.
In some ways, Ericsson has developed into one of many largest stars in IndyCar.
“I believed primarily based on what Marcus has achieved right here at Chip Ganassi Racing, if he had been in Lewis Hamilton’s automobile, his profession path would have been very completely different in System One,” Mike Corridor, Managing Director of Chip Ganassi Racing informed SPEED SPORT. “He has the power. He has the mentality. He has the psychological knowledge to grasp methods to chase the racetrack with the provider. He would not carry all of it by himself. He understands group ethics very emphatically.”
“He proves it. He proves what he ought to have been in a position to present in System 1. In case you requested him, he would inform you if he was on a special group with equal sources to groups profitable championships, he would have been there.”
Ericsson has confirmed his talent as a racing driver, particularly after profitable the Indianapolis 500. His subsequent aim is to turn out to be a back-to-back winner in 2023. This has not been achieved since Helio Castroneves at Group Penske in 2001-02.
“It is about time now we have a back-to-back winner and I believe we’ll have an excellent shot,” mentioned Ericsson. “I am very assured in my group. We’ll have nice automobiles on the market. However as everyone knows it is a very powerful race to win with quite a bit occurring. We’ll positively exit and attempt to defend the title little question about it. We’ll have a powerful group and a powerful line-up of drivers and that feels excellent.” .
Huge targets for subsequent yr. Attempt to win your first championship and defend your victory on the Indianapolis 500.
“These are excessive targets for positive, however you need to dream large to make one thing occur.”