Dale Coyne Racing announced today that Carlos Huertas will be returning to the team for the 2015 season. Huertas piloted the No. 18 Coyne car to a race win last year in Houston. He is thankful for the track time ahead of the season opener.
“Last year was tough because some events I had never been to the place before and sometimes it was a two-day event of practice and then qualifying so it’s impossible to do miracles, especially on the ovals,” said Huertas, who was confirmed to drive the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda for the second consecutive season. “I think I drove really well. I finished a lot of races, I was consistent and for a first year without any testing before the first race I think it was pretty good.”
Huertas held his own throughout the season, and even won the first race of a doubleheader at Houston. Overall, he advanced a cumulative 37 positions relative to his qualifying in the 18 starts (finishing better than/tying his qualifying spot 12 times).
“I won a race in my rookie year and not a lot of other people have done that so that was pretty good, but I think I had some other good performances that I didn’t get the result because of some things that happened – like a penalty at Long Beach and a messed up pit stop at the Indy road course,” he said.
Added team owner Dale Coyne: “Carlos surprised everyone last year with his performance. The effort the team has made over the winter, as shown by our Sebring test with Carlos, gives us confidence for the upcoming season.”
The supporting cast of chief engineer Robert Ridgely, race strategist Darren Crouser and chief mechanic Greg Senerius returns, which also will benefit the second-year driver.
“We did a test a few weeks ago at Sebring where we tried out a lot of stuff that was productive and I really enjoyed my time in the car,” he said. “Coming to this test (at Barber) I know this place, how the series works and how the team works so that is a positive.”
Francesco Dracone is testing alongside Huertas today and tomorrow during the test at Barber. The team also announced that he would drive the No. 19 car for the first four races of this season. Dracone made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in 2010 with Conquest Racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and also competed at Sonoma Raceway.