Ericsson to make 50th IndyCar career start at Barber

Competing in his fourth full-time season in the NTT IndyCar Series, Marcus Ericsson is primed for a milestone start. By taking the green flag in this weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, the driver of the No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara-Honda will reach 50 career starts in the IndyCar Series.

A native of Kumla, Sweden, Ericsson, a former champion of Formula BMW UK and Japanese Formula Three who also competed in five full-time seasons in Formula One, made his inaugural presence in the IndyCar Series at the start of the 2019 season. By then, Ericsson, who lost his full-time F1 seat at Alfa Romeo Sauber to Antonio Giovinazzi following the 2018 season, transitioned to full-time IndyCar competition with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the upcoming season.

Making his debut in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in March, Ericsson started 18th and finished 20th due to water pressure issues. His best on-track result through the first seven events of the season was seventh in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in April. Soon after, he achieved his maiden IndyCar podium result in the second of a Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader feature at The Raceway at Belle Isle, Michigan, by finishing second behind Scott Dixon. Despite being absent for the Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway in September due to being on standby for Kimi Räikkönen for the Belgian Grand Prix in September, Ericsson earned another top-10 result (seventh at Texas Motor Speedway) during the final nine scheduled events before capping off his first IndyCar season in 17th place in the final standings.

In 2020, Ericsson joined Chip Ganassi Racing to pilot the No. 8 Dallara-Honda on a full-time basis. Commencing his sophomore IndyCar season with a 19th-place result at Texas Motor Speedway in June, he notched three top-five results throughout the 14-race schedule, including a season-best fourth-place result in the second of a Road America doubleheader feature in July. When the season concluded at the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, in October, Ericsson ended up in 12th place in the final standings.

Remaining at Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2021 season and on a new multi-year contract deal, Ericsson finished in the top 10 in three of the first six races of the season. After finishing 11th in the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500, he achieved his maiden IndyCar career win in the first of a Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader feature in June after leading the final five laps and benefitting from a late mechanical issue that eliminated initial leader Will Power from contention. 

The momentum for Ericsson continued throughout the summer as he earned a strong runner-up result at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in July and his second IndyCar career triumph in the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix at the Streets of Nashville, Tennessee. The win came after Ericsson rallied from a bizarre early accident, where he ran into the rear of Sebastien Bourdais and went airborne, to lead 37 of 80 laps and fend off late challenges from Colton Herta and teammate Scott Dixon. Following his victory at Nashville, Ericsson was ranked in fifth place in the standings and trailing points leader and teammate Alex Palou by 79 points. Despite finishing in the top 10 in four of the final five IndyCar events to the schedule, the Swedish competitor ended up with a strong sixth-place result in the final standings and in a season where his average-finishing result was 9.1.

Photo by James Black (Penske Entertainment).

Through 49 previous IndyCar starts, Ericsson has achieved two victories, five podiums, 65 laps led and an average-finishing result of 11.9. He is currently ranked in eighth place in the 2022 IndyCar Series standings on the strength of a third-place result at Texas Motor Speedway in March

Ericsson is scheduled to make his 50th NTT IndyCar Series career start at Barber Motorsports Park for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, which will occur on Sunday, May 1, at 1 p.m. ET on NBC.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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