I hear Happy Gilmore in my head, but instead of saying, "Someone learned how to putt. Uh-oh...", I imagine him saying, "Someone learned how to race on ovals. Uh-oh..." in reference to Will Power's new found speed on ovals. Power, who takes a strangle hold on the championship, won at Sonoma and Fontana last year. Can he finally close out that elusive championship?
Juan Pablo Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya has found his comfort zone. The man has found his stride in Indycar. He looks like the JPM that was aggressive and fast in 1999. He still has an outside chance at winning the championship. Can he do the unthinkable?
The Tony Kanaan in the second half of the season is the Tony Kanaan that we have all been expecting. Speed in the races, running up front consistently, and great results are the kind of things that Tony Kanaan was expected to do when he was signed. Hopefully Kanaan can carry this momentum into the last two races and into 2015.
Josef Newgarden was caught out by late strategy that almost won him the race, but he still managed to finish P5 which was a miracle. The results keep coming his way, but not the result that he and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing have been looking for: a win.
Helio Castroneves had an average race, but a person like Helio is not in any position to be having average races at this point in the season. Coming into the race, Helio was down three points to teammate Will Power. Now he's down 37. While a championship is certainly not out of the question, it just became that much tougher for Helio.
Well, Charlie Kimball did not have a good race. But it's not his bad race that put him on the list. It is the fact that his teammates, Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon, and Ryan Brisoce all finished 3rd, 4th, and 6th respectively. One would expect Kimball to run at the same pace as his mates, yet Kimball could only manage P16. That's not good enough.
Well, in front of all of his sponsors in the team's home race, Takuma Sato did what he's done all season. That is, finish in a below average fashion. This, coupled with the fact that Sato almost spun on the first drop of the green flag, and you get what I think is a recipe for a pink slip. This team has to start fresh.
Dale Coyne Racing
Dale Coyne Racing is having a very troublesome year when it comes to the ovals. Early on in the race, rookie Carlos Huertas and veteran Justin Wilson were scrapping with one another just to stay on the lead lap. It's a shame to see a great organization like Dale Coyne Racing suffer with poor results on ovals. Wilson managed only P17 and Huertas P20. Hopefully they can finish out the season strong.
Cone of Shame
How terrible of a weekend did Andretti Autosport have? Marco Andretti was the best finisher from the four car team, and all he could manage was P13. His race was derailed after the fueler dropped the hose on a pit stop. Still, P13 is a breeze compared to his teammates. James Hinchcliffe had pit equipment issues all day, forcing him to finish P19. Championship contender Ryan Hunter-Reay suffered a broken suspension and finished P21. And rookie Carlos Munoz finished P22 after making contact with the wall.
Let me know what you think!