The following is Christopher DeHarde's recap of both races for the Rookie Of The Year candidates.
Race 1 Start: 22nd Finish: 17th
He pitted again under caution on lap 43, so he may not have had the best strategy, which didn’t help him with regards to Hinchcliffe. However, he also got served a penalty for blocking Takuma Sato, but Sato was several laps down when trying to overtake Aleshin. Because he was able to stay in the top 10 for the majority of the event, I’ll give him a 3/5 for the race.
Race 2 Start: 16th Finish: 7th
Aleshin managed to lead another lap in the second race and wound up 7th after using pit strategy to move his way through the field. He got the highest finish of a rookie in the second race, and was able to keep himself out all the wrecks, even when Carlos Munoz forced his way past in a risky move. However, he didn’t gain any positions in the last 19 laps. Either way, he’s the highest placed rookie in Race Two, so he gets 3/5 for this one.
Race 1 Start: 3rd Finish: 19th
Hawksworth was doing very well in the beginning of the race, sitting solidly in second place, but a parts failure negated what was a great drive by the rookie. Hawksworth ended up setting his fastest lap of the race with a couple of laps to go, so at least he kept his foot in it, despite the left front rotor breaking on him. Had he finished in the top 5, he would’ve gotten 4/5 for this race, but he’ll get 3/5 from me on this one.
Race 2 Start: 19th Finish: 14th
Hawksworth led a lap thanks to pit strategy but fell back afterwards and didn’t gain much after his final trip to pit road. He was handed a pit lane speeding penalty which dropped him down a lot after his stop on lap 34. He didn’t have much of a recovery after that penalty and ended up finishing ahead of Huertas when Huertas had an issue late. Even after Briscoe got between him and Sato, Hawksworth was able to keep his nose clean to the finish. Hawksworth was able to better his position from the start of the race, so I’ll give him 3/5 for this one, too.
Race 1 Start: 12th Finish: 8th
Race 2 Start: 12th Finish: 15th
Huertas was really a non-factor during the race. I don’t recall hearing much about him during the event itself and he only finished ahead of Marco Andretti on the lead lap because of Andretti’s penalty. Because he didn’t do anything stupid, I’ll reluctantly give him a 3/5, because although he didn’t go anywhere, he didn’t do anything that prevented him from bringing the car home in one piece.
Race 1 Start: 11th Finish: 7th
Munoz had a run-of-the-mill race where he advanced when others pitted and basically took advantage of late pit stops to move up in the field. He ended up 7th as the highest finishing rookie in Race One, with a 3/5 drive.
Race 2 Start: 6th Finish: 8th
Munoz made an aggressive move on Aleshin during the race that caused Aleshin to drop a few positions, but Aleshin was able to get back around Munoz during the last round of pit stops. Munoz was not able to return the favor to Aleshin in the end, but was still the best performing rookie of the weekend in terms of average finish. He’ll get 3/5 for Race Two since he didn’t improve his position. Had he improved to a top five, he would’ve gotten a 4.
Mikhail Aleshin: 6/10 Jack Hawksworth: 6/10 Carlos Huertas: 6/10 Carlos Munoz: 6/10
Aleshin: 20/35 Hawksworth: 22/35 Huertas: 20/35 Munoz: 20/35