no images were foundThe IZOD IndyCar Series starts a stretch of three ovals this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway and with it, the prospect of a championship shift. Will Power currently leads the championship by 36 points over Target Chip Ganassi driver Scott Dixon. One could look at this stretch of three races as the point in the season where Dixon really takes the fight to his Penske rival. However, the number and type of ovals on the schedule this year will really benefit Power and may see him take the lead back to the road and street courses.
While Dixon has been the man on mile and a half tracks in years past, only Texas presents high speed layout that suits him. Both Milwaukee and Iowa are short ovals that are driver’s tracks and require finesse as opposed to a heavy gas pedal. That is not to say that Dixon cannot compete on those tracks, but it does play into the hands of Will Power too.
Power put up a solid P4 at Milwaukee last season and a not so impressive finish at Iowa after contact ended his race. Regardless, these tracks are a welcome sight after the likes of Texas, Kentucky. Granted Power won the second race at Texas Motor Speedway last season, I am hesitant to include that result given the format of the race. No disrespect to Will, but a random draw seen a lot of competition start towards the rear of the field.
Now the last couple of years have seen the Ganassi crew really make up ground and even add ground in the championship when we get to the ovals, but this year is different and the numbers of ovals are slashed in half. Plus, the shorter layouts will really help Penske and Will Power as he tries to keep the title lead going forward.
While the Ganassi Hondas have really come to life the last couple weeks, it is really really tough to smash Will Power on the road and street courses every single weekend. Not to mention, Chevrolet will surely get a performance boost when the league allows it in a few weeks time. I mean fair is fair right? Honda got the upgrade a little early, would only make sense to send it back to Chevrolet as Honda smashes everyone in sight.
If Will Power can come out of the next three races with the championship lead, I find that it will be next to impossible to stop him from taking this year’s crown. The only other objective that would get in his way is the season finale in California. By then I am afraid that it will all ready be a near done deal.
I said it at the beginning of the year and I still stand by what I said, the championship this year was Will’s to lose given the schedule and the lack of ovals. I really see this weekend’s race as the last major objective that Power will need to survive points wise in his quest for a first championship.