2013 Sonoma Scores
Here are your four drivers to watch ahead of this weekend's race:
- Power -- First, we take a look at His Overlordship: Will Power. My arbitrary favorite driver has been looking in fine form of late, winning at Milwaukee and taking a commanding position in the Verizon IndyCar Series points. Last year, Power took the win in Sonoma after qualifying P3. Now, it was a win marked with controversy, when Scott Dixon was penalized for hitting one of Power's crew members who was (intentionally or not) carrying a tire a little wide. But, at the end of the race, it was Power crossing the line first. If he does it again, he'll be hard to top for his first title, even with double points on offer in Fontana.
- Castroneves -- Now we come to Power's closest competition. Helio's effort at the 2013 trip to wine country was solid but not spectacular. Solid, but not spectacular might be all the Castroneves needs too give himself a puncher's chance in the season finale, which might be all that he needs to secure his first title with a winning performance over those last 500 miles.
- Rahal -- I admit it. I find Graham Rahal compelling. He probably shows up on more of these "4 to Watch" lists than he needs to. But, as long as we're talking about him, let's talk about him. My usual gripe with Rahal is that he qualifies so poorly that his making up positions on track doesn't help him enough. And, that has been his issue in Sonoma in general. In 2011 and 2012, he started back in P13, which made things hard on him (despite P5 and P8 finishes). Well, in last year's Sonoma race, he flipped the script on himself. He qualified up in P8, but couldn't manage to do anything with it, basically holding station for the first quarter of the race then getting mired back in the pack. Rahal has had a bit of form recently with two good drives in the last three road/street events (Mid-Ohio and Toronto 1). Does it extend to Sonoma?
- Dixon -- Scott Dixon could have won at Sonoma last year. He was locked in a battle with Will Power, which looked to be ending Dixon's way before the penalty. That set up what (at least) I remember as a high-drama finale. This year, Dixon is in the opposite position. This year, he can't win it all, but he can spoil. How will Dixon adjust to the new role? Will he attack with reckless abandon, like Power in 2013? Or, will the Ice Man melt? My money's on two good races from him.
That's all the warm-up for now. Be sure to follow me @ScoringIndy on Twitter for all the updates, and the mega-post with scores coming up soon! See you then!