By: Spencer Neff
September 19, 2019 | 1:37 PM
This is it, everyone. On Sunday, the NTT IndyCar Series will compete for the final time in 2019.
In addition to the four-man battle for the series championship, IndyCar returns to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the first time since 2004. For the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course in Salinas, California, it will be their first time hosting the season finale since 1996.
Ahead of the 17th race of the 2019 championship, check out our picks to click for the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey!
Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport) $33
The phrase “must-win” gets mentioned frequently in sports. For Alexander Rossi and his Andretti Autosport team, this rings true. At 41 points back in the title chase, Rossi heads to the finale once again second in points behind Josef Newgarden. If Rossi is to clinch his first title, Newgarden can finish no better than fifth.
While that is not insurmountable, it will be difficult. For the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner, it will be imperative for he and his team to focus on their own effort. As they have shown in their wins at Road America and Long Beach, the No. 27 team is tough to beat when they execute.
Will Power (Team Penske) $31
For the 2014 series champion, 2019 got off to a rocky start. Despite starting on pole in each of the first two races, he had no wins and just three podiums in the opening 13 rounds. Since then, the Team Penske driver has won twice in the last three races.
This weekend, Power is the only Team Penske driver not in contention for the title. Although Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud will be fighting for the championship, Power could be a factor in this race.
Other Favorites: Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) $34, Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) $31, Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) $29.
Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing ) $20
Three weeks ago, Harvey’s strong fourth-place qualifying effort was derailed by Lap 14 contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay. This weekend, the two-time Indy Lights runner-up returns as he and MSR make their 10th start of 2019.
Throughout the season, Harvey and his team have shown marked improvement, including their first podium in IndyCar on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in May. Coupled with the team’s experience at Laguna Seca, they could be in for another surprise finish.
Max Chilton (Carlin Racing ) $20
After failing to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, Chilton later turned his focus to just the road and street course portion of the calendar. Coupled with some team damper upgrades, the fourth-year driver is seeing improvements.
At Portland, Chilton recorded a season-best finish of 11th earlier this month. For the last race of their second year in the series, look for a strong run by Chilton and his Carlin team.
Other Sleepers: Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing) $22, Conor Daly (Andretti Autosport) $23, Ed Jones (Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa) $20
Spencer’s Fantasy Picks for Laguna Seca
- Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport ($33)
- Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan ($24)
- Colton Herta, Harding Steinbrenner Racing ($22)
- Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing ($20)
Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR