Wow... It's so... Sudden. At this time on Saturday night, We'll be settling in for the final race of the 2014 Indycar season. I guess I understand not going up against football, but this sure seems harsh... On the bright side, this will give me more time to pin Indycar posters to my garage wall and design new T-shirts. Speaking of which, please notice the link above to order Flat Into One t-shirts. Remaining quantities of my modern Indy car shirt are on special through the Fontana race: $15 shipped within the USA! Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled program:
Talking about the championship is kind of silly at this point. In all likelihood, it will be Will Power. Yes, Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud have shots at the title, but they rely on some bad luck for Power. I'd like to see Pagenaud win because the come-from-behind story would be a great one. That, and his season hasn't been studded with boneheaded mistakes like Power's has. By my count, he could have had at least 7 wins at this point in the season if not for penalties. Power might be the most phenomenal driver in the field, but he seems at times like the most likely to make a mistake under pressure.
To those who say that this season's championship has been wide-open all year, I don't think you were paying attention. That's a statement more applicable to 2013, when Dixon, Power, Pagenaud, Andretti, Sato, and Hunter-Reay all looked like champion material at one time or another. This season has been Power's to lose all along. Despite his own best efforts, it looks like this year will be his.
And some more comments:
Currently at 8th in the championship is... Sebastien Bourdais?!? With a win and 2 poles to his credit, no less! KVSH Appears to be a more productive and stable environment than Dragon could ever have hoped to have been. The Toronto win must have felt like validation and vindication for everyone involved. I hope that they are able to keep this team together and keep producing in 2015.
Also in the 'Past Champion Driver Who Scored Their First Indycar Win In a Long Time' category is Juan Pablo Montoya. His season has been uneven, but the display of his enormous ability and the victory at Pocono mean that it's been a successful one. I'm surely not the only one looking forward to next season, after he's had a year of experience in these cars.
This is based on nothing but a gut feeling, but something seems 'off' at Andretti Autosport these days. James Hinchcliffe seemed to allude to it when his car failed to leave the grid at Houston last year, and his 2014 has been dismal. Marco Andretti was tight-lipped at Milwaukee, but apparently said something about needing a "long team meeting." I haven't looked at the stats, but it seems like no other team suffers mechanical failures at the rate Andretti cars do. Which seems odd for the organization widely regarded as one of the top three in the series. You could point out that Ryan Hunter-Reay has 3 wins this year, including Indianapolis. My only response is that maybe RHR's driving (and the chemistry with his crew) have been able to transcend whatever the problem is. My gut feeling could be wrong, but if I were Hinchcliffe or Marco, I might be looking elsewhere for employment. No matter how awkward it makes Thanksgiving. It also makes me hope that the rumors of Pagenaud in a 5th car are untrue.
I'll wrap it up for tonight, but I hope to see some of you on Twitter throughout the weekend's action!