by Frank Santoroski
The Verizon Indycar Series has concluded its final off weekend of the 2014 season. The teams then begin a three-week stretch that will take them to Milwaukee, Sonoma and finally to Fontana for the season-ender. Five teams chose to spend the off weekend testing at Sonoma in anticipation of the GoPro Grand Prix to be held August 24th.
As the Championship boils down to the final three events, Team Penske still stands atop the points standings with Will Power and Helio Castroneves keeping the battle close. The two have swapped the lead back and forth recently and Power currently holds a slim 4 point advantage coming out of Mid-Ohio.
Their closest competitors, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud, lie a little over 60 points out of the lead and are separated by a single point. While the Penske advantage might look commanding on paper, it can be swallowed up in a single weekend given the points structure. Throw in the fact that Fontana pays double points, and this is anybody’s game. The attrition alone at the 500-miler in California will be a game-changer.
In fact, drivers all the way down to the 13th spot are mathematically able to take the title. Mind you, 13th place Charlie Kimball would need a ton of help to get there, but the top five to eight drivers in the standing have a realistic shot at the cup. Juan Montoya, Scott Dixon, Carlos Munoz, Sebastien Bourdais and perhaps even Tony Kanaan can vault to to top of the standings is things fall their way. Read more