Fantasy Expert: Steve Wittich

There are currently four drivers dominating the NTT IndyCar Series statistics. Josef Newgarden, Alexander Rossi, Simon Pagenaud and Scott Dixon have combined to win nine of the first 11 races of 2019 and stood on 63.6% of the available podiums so far this year.

Given that quartet’s supremacy, it’s understandable that they are priced between $29 and $34. That means you’ll only be able to choose one of those drivers to lead your #INDYCAR Fantasy Challenge driven by Firestone.

The average Iowa Speedway finish of the four drivers is between 7.0 and 8.7, making any of them a solid pick for the first short-oval race of the season.

One driver, Newgarden ($33) does stand out above the others. The Team Penske driver drove away from the field on the way to a dominant 2016 victory at the 0.894-mile Iowa Speedway oval. Since 2014, the current NTT IndyCar Series points leader has led 623 laps and finished no worse than sixth.

My choice of Newgarden leaves me with only $67, or just over $22 per drivers.

James Hinchcliffe at $25, comes close to breaking my budget, but as one of only three drivers with multiple wins in the Hawkeye State, the Canadian is worth the extra dough. It also helps that the 2013 and 2018 winner’s teammate Marcus Ericsson is one of only three drivers to test at Iowa Speedway on June 25, giving the team a slight advantage with some pre-event data.

The choice of Newgarden and Hinchcliffe as my top two drivers leaves me with only $42 to spend on their teammates.

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot ($21) made his first NTT IndyCar Series start at Iowa Speedway in 2018, finishing second. The 25-year-old American qualified third for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge and sixth for the DXC Technology 600, proving that the Speedway, Indiana based team has the pace for good results on the Iowa Speedway oval.

Conor Daly ($19) was drafted to replace Max Chilton at Carlin for the second straight oval race. The super-sub has started both oval races of the season, scoring the ninth most points on the left-turn only tracks. The Noblesville, Indiana-born driver is a past winner on the 0.894-mile Iowa Speedway oval, starting on the pole and leading every lap on the way to an Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires win in 2010.

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