Sadly much of the excitement in the championship battle has been extinguished thanks to the blunders of Castroneves and Tagliani at Sonoma.
Heading into the penultimate race at Baltimore Power has a 36-point lead over Ryan Hunter-Reay and can clinch the title this weekend.
A win from pole position with most laps led would give Power a total of 475 points. In that scenario Hunter-Reay would be the only driver who could keep him in range going into the season finale at Fontana. He would have to score at least 36 points and the only way he could do that would be by finishing second behind Power. Castroneves, Dixon and the rest would be unable to stay in contention.
It’s crunch time for Power’s rivals – they have to finish in front of him to keep their title hopes alive. But Power dominated this race last year, winning from pole position and leading 70 of the 75 laps.
Here’s the points standings:
1. Will Power – 422
2. Ryan Hunter-Reay – 386
3. Helio Castroneves – 381
4. Scott Dixon – 368
5. Simon Pagenaud – 337
6. Tony Kanaan – 327
1 point for pole position, 2 for most laps led. Finishers awarded 50, 40, 35, 32, 30, 28, 26, 24, 22, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13 then 12 for 18th-24th and 10 for 25th-33rd.