2023 Writers’ Roundtable, Vol. 44: Brothers in INDYCAR?

  • Racing News
Kyle Busch

Today’s question: With the possibility of Enzo Fittipaldi joining his brother, Pietro, in next year’s Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, which set of motorsports brothers -- past or present -- would you want to see competing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES?

Curt Cavin: Michael and Ralf Schumacher. For starters, Michael would be my dream choice for a ride in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES even without his brother, a six-time race winner in Formula One. Next to Jeff Gordon, it can be argued that no non-INDYCAR driver has more of a connection to Indianapolis Motor Speedway than Schumi, a champion of seven F1 seasons and 91 grand prix wins, including five (and it should have been six) at IMS. His global stardom would have done for this series what Nigel Mansell’s did when he arrived here as the reigning F1 champion in 1993 (he won five of his 15 races en route to the season championship). I spent a fair amount of time with Michael in the years when F1 raced at IMS and while it was clear he had no interest in oval racing, he was fascinated by the competition in this series. Had he come to the series following the end of his Ferrari run – 2006 was his last season – he would have joined a field that featured Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Sam Hornish Jr., Helio Castroneves, Dan Wheldon and Tony Kanaan in their prime, and it would have been fantastic.

Eric Smith: The thought of both Busch brothers racing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES on a full-time basis is a perfect combination. For starters, the star power among them is massive. There’s not all that many brothers in the sports world that will one day share a place in their respective sports’ Hall of Fame -- Kurt and Kyle Busch will be among the few. Kurt (2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year) and Kyle (NASCAR Cup Series champion in 2015 and 2019) are not only good at turning left, but they’re also each stout at making right-hand turns as well with five combined NASCAR Cup Series wins on road courses. If given the right opportunity, one has to think that both could compete for success in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

Paul Kelly: Jordan and Ricky Taylor. The talented sons of legendary sports car driver and owner Wayne Taylor already have reached lofty heights during their respective sports car driving careers, so they may seek different challenges. Jordan has won three IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championships in two classes since 2014 and a class victory in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, while Ricky has two IMSA championships in the Prototype class during that span. When most observers create a list of American driving talents who haven’t raced an INDYCAR SERIES car, the Taylor brothers are almost always on it and probably should be. While some observers think they would be almost certain successes in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, I’m not so sure. So, what better way to find out than to put them into competitive cars for a season? That would be the true barometer, and it would be cool if they flourished in the most competitive open-wheel series in the world. Plus, Jordan’s alter ego as crazed NASCAR fan “Rodney Sandstorm” would elevate paddock comedy to an all-new level in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. Find cars for the Taylors!