Three races remain in the 2014 IndyCar season, that’s it. The first comes this weekend in Milwaukee, the next in Sonoma, California, and the final is the double points finale race in Fontana, California.
- Qualifying: 6 p.m 8/16 EDT
- Race 3:45 p.m. 8/17 EDT
Going into these championship deciding races Will Power holds the championship lead by just four points. This is one of the tightest the standings have been all season. Power took over the points lead last week in Mid Ohio after a sixth place finish, hardly a great performance after starting in the same spot. But what really gave Power the edge was just how poorly Castroneves finished, down in 19th place and only scoring 11 points.
That 19th place finish was Castroneves’ second worst of the season (his worst came in the second race in Houston with a 21st place finish), and ultimately cost him the championship lead.
With the season heading to Milwaukee, all eyes will be on the driver third in the points, Ryan Hunter-Reay. Hunter-Reay won at the mile the last two years, and in pretty commanding fashion as well. His average margin of victory for his wins was 4.91 seconds, certainly not anything to frown upon. The only races that had a victory gap that large this year were race two of Houston (7.26 sec.) and Mid-Ohio (5.39 sec.).
If Ryan Hunter-Reay wins this weekends race, as expected, he would be able to gain a max of 54 points. Even with a great result such as that, he would still be too far out (Hunter-Reay is currently 63 points behind Power) to claim the lead this weekend.
If we take a look at Power and Castroneves, the latter historically has the upper hand at this track, but only slightly. Castroneves has out raced Power two out of the last three times at the track and never failed to finish outside the top ten (Power has on one occasion).
The championship standings could swing quite a large margin this race, so we’ll take a look at how the points could play out here:
- If Will Power finishes the race in front of Helio Castroneves, he will retain his points lead. Power will also gain at least a 15 point lead on Castroneves if he wins the race. This is due to his current four point lead, the 10 point difference between first and second, and one point for leading a lap (the final one at least). Power would gain a bigger lead if he wins pole, leads the most laps or Castroneves finishes worse.
- If Helio Castroneves finishes the race in second or better and above Power, he will take the championship lead. If Castroneves finishes second with Power in third, he would have a one point lead. Of course, this would all change depending on if Power led the most laps, led a lap, or won pole position.
- If Ryan Hunter-Reay wins the race, he won’t be able to take championship lead, no matter what. He is too far back in the standings (63 points back from Power) to make up the points all in one race. However, if he does win he’ll put himself in a good position for the final two races.
- Obviously, these are not all of the possible race scenarios and outcomes. We’ll be tweeting out updated points standings throughout the race. For as-they-run points updates during the IndyFest, follow Single Seater on Twitter here.
|The forecast for this weekend’s IndyFest.