May 17, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; IndyCar Series driver Carlos Huertas poses for the traditional photo with his car after qualifying for the 2014 Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Upside: Huertas won at Houston as a rookie, and while not as fast as other first-year drivers, he arguably made the fewest mistakes with zero crash DNFs. His steadiness earned him the full-time ride from what began as just an audition. Prior to IndyCar, Huertas raced in Formula Renault 3.5, winning a rain-shortened race.
Questions: After opening the season with his victory and two other top 10s in the first nine races, Huertas never finished higher than 14th for the rest of the year. He had two “driver illness” retirements, both on ovals, and there’s debate about whether or not he wishes to race them in 2015.
Verdict: Huertas was at the IndyCar driver’s meeting this winter and lists the series schedule on his website. One option includes a partial schedule with Dale Coyne’s #18, his 2014 team, bypassing the oval problem.