Christopher DeHarde assesses the performance of all the rookies who aren't running the full IndyCar season, but did compete in the Indianapolis 500.
Many rookies in the Indy 500 won’t be running the full Verizon IndyCar Series, but their performance should be looked at in detail.
Start: 12th Finish: 6th
Busch took on the challenge of the Indy 500 very seriously, and had he stayed longer on the first day of qualifying, he might have made the top 9 shootout on Sunday. He didn’t lead any laps, but he managed to stay competitive all day long without putting a wheel wrong. Busch will get 4/5 on this one.
Start: 28th Finish: 16th
Davison really didn’t show up too much on my radar during the month. He came in as a last minute entry and hadn’t run on an oval since 2009. However, he kept his cool and ended up 12 places higher than his starting position. If he can get more funding, he might be able to have better showings. He’ll earn 3/5 for this race.
Start: 31st Finish: 9th
Karam impressed a lot of people this month. Despite tapping the wall on Carb Day, he managed to push his repaired car to finish 2nd in the Pit Stop Challenge. He made up the most positions compared to where he started and I’m willing to bet he’ll be in an IndyCar again before the season’s out. He’s a great candidate for rookie of the year, and considering that he’s only 19 years old, he could very well be the real deal. He’ll get 4/5 for the race.
Start: 29th Finish: 23rd
Rookie of the Year: I’ll award co-rookie of the year to Kurt Busch and Sage Karam. Both did well and both exceeded expectations for their performance. Kurt may have had the more successful month, but Karam had the more interesting race day performance.