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Indycar swiftly moves to the Texas Motor Speedway for a 600km race this year, pairing with Nascar trucks.
Is this one of the double points races? Looks like an attempt to get some more fans on board as well, backing with NASCAR trucks (aka GP3!).
It’s interesting to see how the championship plays out… Power weaker on Ovals but stronger on Road/Street. The double points and Indy Q points will really even it up, when comparing Ovals with Street/Road?
No, only Pocono and Fontana will be double points. Trucks isn’t really GP3, there are some young drivers there but plenty of old-timers that make a career out of it. In GP3 you’re not going to get paid to drive, and it’s purely intended as a feeder series.
As for the overall championship, Will Power could be quite strong at Houston (the next doubleheader in 3 weeks) so finishing lower at Texas won’t hurt him that much. Pocono and Fontana may be weak points (Hunter-Reay is definitely my pick for finishing ahead there), but Toronto is a chance to claw back points after Pocono. Then there’s Mid-Ohio and Sonoma, tracks that Power is very strong at. Still, a long way to go yet.
Weather is looking good for the race. A chance of storms Sunday, well after the race ends Saturday night. It will be breezy though, with south winds at 15-20 mph, gusting up to 30 mph.
Ganassi look very strong in practice so far, 3 of their 4 cars are up front. Almost 8mph between the fastest (Kanaan, 219mph) and slowest (Aleshin, 211mph) drivers. Qualifying is in around 2 hours time, live timing as usual is on racecontrol.indycar.com
Points leader Power on pole with team mate Montoya enjoying his best starting position of the season so far but Hunter-Reay and Castroneves in the thick of the pack:
1. (12) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 218.896
2. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 217.835
3. (10) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 217.826
4. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 217.724
5. (20) Ed Carpenter, Dallara-Chevy, 217.677
6. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 217.222
7. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 217.128
8. (19) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 217.007
9. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 216.967
10. (34) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 216.960
11. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 216.880
12. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 216.823
13. (8) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 216.667
14. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 216.591
15. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 216.151
16. (14) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 216.064
17. (25) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 215.697
18. (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 214.407
19. (17) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 214.156
20. (98) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 214.145
21. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 213.292
22. (18) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 212.191
Kanaan is a strong candidate for the win, based on his speed in race trim during practice (not to mention he’s completed 99.9% of previous race laps at TMS).
With Power being 1 mph clear in Q, is his car set up too much for qualifying and not a race run?
Something must be up with Rahal’s car or team, he was slow at Indy as well. Huertas and Hawksworth are oval rookies, although so is Aleshin.
Well there’s no parc ferme rules to worry about so the setup can be changed ;-)
RLLR hired some good engineers over the off-season but it hasn’t done much for their results. Graham Rahal seems to do better when he has a teammate as well, so far there’s been no word on whether funding is in place for a second car.
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