IndyCar Season at Halfway Point En Route to Homestead-Miami Championship Oct. 2
Will Power has dominated the Road Courses to lead the IndyCar standings halfway through the year. However, the season ends with four straight ovals. Who will emerge as Champion? (Courtesy Nick Laham Getty Images Sport)
Seven different teams were represented in the top 10 of the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen on July 4. That's not surprising to race winner Will Power; he's felt the heat of the competition all season. Will Power will be seeking his first-ever IndyCar Championship Oct. 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Lock in tickets to see the 2010 Champion crowned in Miami this fall by logging on to THEChampionshipTrack.com or by calling (866) 409-RACE.
"No question it's more competitive than it's ever been," said Team Penske's Power, who is the only multiple winner through nine of the 17 IZOD IndyCar Series events. "It's going to be tight. It could come down to five people at the end of the year; it's that close with someone different winning every week."
Thirteen drivers representing seven different teams have finished on the podium, and 16 drivers from nine different teams have recorded at least one top 5. There have been at least 24 cars on the starting grid in every race (plus the traditional 33 for the Indianapolis 500), with averages of 8.4 lead changes and 20 cars running at the finish on the four ovals and five road/street courses to accentuate the competitive fields.
With last season’s Championship coming down to the final lap of the Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, drivers need every point they can get to try and win a Championship during NextEra Energy IndyCar Championship Weekend (Oct. 1-2) at THE Championship Track. Lock in tickets to see the 2010 Champion crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway this fall by logging on to THEChampionshipTrack.com or by calling (866) 409-RACE.
Power increased his lead in the championship standings from 11 to 32 heading into the Honda Indy Toronto on July 18. Dario Franchitti—who claimed the 2009 IndyCar title last fall at Homestead-Miami Speedway—is second and Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon is 40 points behind the leader in third. Ryan Briscoe (-46) sits in fourth, with Team Penske teammate and South Florida resident Helio Castroneves (-54)—who will be racing for his first IndyCar Championship on his “home track” of Homestead-Miami Speedway Oct. 2—in fifth. South Florida’s Ryan Hunter-Reay and Tony Kanaan sit in sixth and seventh respectively
They're all race winners this season and likely to keep the pressure on Power as they head toward the NextEra Energy Indy Championships at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 1-2).
"That's not that much (of a margin)," said Power, who also leads the Mario Andretti Road Course Championship standings. "You could have a bad race, somebody wins, you're back behind again. The guys I'm competing against, it's really tough. It's really competitive. You can't relax. "
"It's like I thought at the beginning of the year. It's about who's going to make the least amount of mistakes on the track, in the pits, your in and out laps. More details count this year than any year. You leave anything on the table and you get beaten."
Through Watkins Glen International, which played host to the first of five consecutive road/street course races extending into late August, Power has finished no worse than fourth on the five non-ovals to outscore his opponents. But the schedule concludes with four oval races, including the IndyCar Championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway Oct. 1-2; he had one top-five finish (fifth at Iowa Speedway) in the initial set of four ovals.
Dixon has accumulated the most points on ovals (151), with Franchitti three points behind. Briscoe has 137, Kanaan 135, Castroneves 121 and Danica Patrick 111. Power has 102, four points behind South Florida resident Marco Andretti.
"The top six are all within (54) points, which is nothing when we're halfway through the season," said Briscoe, who was runner-up at The Glen for the second year in a row. "It's just that competitive. No one has been able to go out and have podiums every weekend. It's not like it used to be and there are so many teams and drivers capable of winning and getting those podiums it's difficult to find that groove and be consistent.
"So when you do get the podiums they mean a whole lot more this year. My teammates will be the guys I'll be racing for the championship."
With just 54 points separating the Top 5 drivers in the points standings, the hunt continues for the 2010 IndyCar Championship, which will be crowned in Miami on Oct. 2. Lock in tickets to see the 2010 Champion crowned in South Florida this fall by logging on to THEChampionshipTrack.com or by calling (866) 409-RACE.
Castroneves, Patrick, Dixon, Power, Franchitti and the rest of the IndyCar elite will resume the pursuit for fall glory in Miami on Sunday, July 18, at Toronto—Race 10 of 17 en route to IndyCar Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Oct. 2). Lock in tickets to see the 2010 Champion crowned in South Florida this fall by logging on to THEChampionshipTrack.com or by calling (866) 409-RACE.