It’s seems like forever since the last race of the 2014 IndyCar Series season but it’s only been about two months. With four months still to go before the start of the 2015 season, the picture is starting to clear but there are still plenty of pieces needing to fall during this edition of silly season. However, two of the biggest pieces are in place for 2015 onward.
Will Power is easily the best driver in IndyCar right now. He’s been the best driver in IndyCar since joining Team Penske in 2009. However, he hasn’t been able to seal the deal and win the IndyCar Series championship. His poor form on ovals and an occasional bout of bad luck has resulted in him finishing in the top five in each of the last four seasons and three-straight runner-up finishes from 2010 to 2012.
Unfortunately for the IndyCar series field, Power seems to have found his oval form. He finished 8th in the 500, 2nd in Texas and a blocking penalty away from a podium or even a win in Pocono. The final stretch of the 2014 IndyCar Series season seems to be the start of a coronation as Will Power won the Wisconsin 250 and stretched his championship lead.
When he was dropped from Formula One by McLaren, many people thought that Juan Pablo Montoya was done in motorsports. His prime was behind him and he was going from the pinnacle of motorsports to stock cars, a discipline that he never run before in his life. Naturally, that run wasn’t as successful as his time in CART or F1.
After his NASCAR contract expired at the end of last season, it looked as though Montoya was going to spend the rest of his careers in sportscars. Instead, Roger Penske snapped up the long-time Ganassi driver to run in IndyCar and what an inspired move it was. It started something of a career resurgence for Montoya capped off (thus far) with a win in the Pocono 500.
Love ’em or hate ’em, these street course doubleheaders sure end up with some exciting racing. While we usually dread Formula One street course races, IndyCar street races tend to be the more exciting of the events that require right turns in addition to the left turns.
The one recurring theme this weekend was Penske. It’s Roger Penske’s event with the first race led from the pole by Helio Castroneves in a Penske car. Therefore, it was only fitting that Will Power and Castroneves drove to victory in Penske cars at Penske’s race.
For the first seven races of the season, Team Penske had been watching everyone else win races. You knew that it was just a matter of time before they broke through for their first win of the season and they did it in a big way in Texas. Helio Castroneves didn’t just win his first race of the season but dominated the field en route to the win which made him the seventh winner in eight races this season.
For only the second time, the stars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series strapped into the Nationwide Series next generation car. They were first seen in Daytona for the Fourth of July weekend night race won by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Junior wouldn’t be running at the Michigan International Speedway. That left the door wide open for someone else to take their first win in the new car. This win would be all the more important because of the bragging rights that come from winning in the backyard of the American automotive industry. Continue reading