With May finished, the Verizon Indycar gets back to the business of deciding a series champion. The first stop as the second third of the season begins is Detroit for two races. Just ten points separate the top three. Will Power leads Alexander Rossi by two points and Josef Newgarden is ten points behind. Scott Dixon is 25 behind in fourth. Surprisingly, James Hinchcliffe is still in the top ten despite missing the 500. Sebastien Bourdais also lost a lot of ground by crashing in last Sunday’s race, dropping to eighth. The standings will scramble again after this weekend.
The points leader after this Sunday will be the one of the top three who has the best average finish of the two races. I like Rossi’s chances. Honda and Chevy are more equal on road and street courses. Honda and Chevy have each won two non oval events this year. Honda has dominated the street circuits and Chevy has been slightly stronger than Honda at the road courses.
Saturday’s race looks to be dry, but there is now the threat of a wet race on Sunday. I have been to wet races here. They are chaotic, but there are a lot of different strategies employed. This type of race usually produces a surprise winner. If it rains, look for Sebatien Bourdais to regain some of the ground he lost last week. Alexander Rossi will win one of the races, likely Saturday when the track is dry.
McLaren Visiting Detroit
Zak Brown, head of McLaren, will be in Detroit to talk with teams about a partnership as a full time Indycar team next year. Fernando Alonso’s manager is also attending the meetings. Andretti is said to have the inside track since they partnered to field Alonso in last year’s 500. Rahal Letterman Lanigan is also interested in working with McLaren.
2019 Indy 500 Field Already Beginning to Form
Team Penske announced earlier this week that Helio Castroneves will return for another shot at winning his fourth Indianapolis 500 next May.
Scuderia Corsa, whose entry with Oriol Servia led 16 laps at the 500 this year, also confirmed they will return to Indianapolis in 2019. They are still considering entering Indycar full time.
At this pace, it appears likely there will be bumping again.
Pit Lane Parley
This week’s episode of Pit Lane Parley features Indy lights Driver Aaron Telitz. Telitz currently sits seventh in Indy Lights points. He had a difficult start to the season, not completing a lap until the fourth race of the season. Pit Lane Parley airs at 3:15 EDT on Wildfireradiosports.com and is available on Podbean and other apps.
Hard to believe Scott Dixon has not led a lap this season. This weekend may end that drought.
I am interested to see the new aerokit perform at Texas. I think that will be the true test of how this new superspeedway package works. Jay Frye said this week they will look at possible tweaks to the Indianapolis package.
I will be onsite at Detroit beginning Saturday morning. Look for updates throughout the weekend.
Thanks for reading this month. It was a lot of fun producing stories.