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Pace Laps: Kahne In, Harvick Cruises, IndyCar Adieu, and More

Pace Laps: Kahne In, Harvick Cruises, IndyCar Adieu, and More

Cup: Sweet Relief for Kahne          By racing for the Cup juggernaut Hendrick Motorsports, there are high expectations for Kasey Kahne.  That his brethren at the organization have all earned three wins apiece makes his season look all the worse.  In fact, with only two top-5 finishes in 2014, Kahne was looking like a second-tier driver and one who had to be glancing over his shoulder at the upstart Nationwide and de facto Hendrick development driver, Chase Elliott. ... Read More »

IndyCar MAVTV 500:Will Power Clinches First Championship

IndyCar MAVTV 500:Will Power Clinches First Championship

The MAV TV 500 from Auto Club Speedway In a Nutshell: For the ninth consecutive year, the last race of the season determined the IndyCar champion.  This time, Will Power, three times a runner-up, hoisted the Astor Cup by finishing ninth.  Tony Kanaan held strong all night, seemingly in the top five the whole event, and passed Power with 53 laps to go to hold on and win his first race of the season.  With Kanaan’s victory, eleven different drivers ... Read More »

Castroneves earns Pole, Power 21st; Other Post-Qualifying Thoughts

Castroneves earns Pole, Power 21st; Other Post-Qualifying Thoughts

The qualifying session for the IndyCar series race at Auto Club Speedway took place in the heavy heat in the middle of the day in Fontana, California.  Helio Castroneves, going out last, earned the pole position with an average of 218.640 mph.  The track temperature during the session hovered around 136 degrees. Qualifying was based on the average of a two-lap run. Juan Pablo Montoya went out early and laid down an average of 217.621 and then held on as ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Denny Hamlin, the Schedule & Tony Stewart’s Return

Happiness Is… Denny Hamlin, the Schedule & Tony Stewart’s Return

The schedule came out this past week and it gave everyone who follows NASCAR something to gripe about.  In truth, all the criticisms are valid because NASCAR, due to the way the business is run, is unable to make serious changes that would make people feel happy, though that can be a moving target. The one big positive is that the Darlington race, has once again moved back to its fabled spot on the calendar: Labor Day weekend.  In discussing ... Read More »

IndyCar Preview: MAVTV 500

IndyCar Preview: MAVTV 500

What’s News? What else? This is it, the end of the season, so it’s time to decide the championship! The Verizon IndyCar Series seems to have a knack for making it come down to the final race of the season as this is the ninth year in a row that’s been the case. As our Huston Ladner pointed out the other day, both of the top contenders, points leader Will Power and second place Helio Castroneves, both driving for the ... Read More »

Open Wheel Wednesday: Thoughts On The IndyCar Finale

Open Wheel Wednesday: Thoughts On The IndyCar Finale

The Verizon IndyCar championship will be decided this weekend.  The race, being held at Auto Club Speedway, on Saturday night, is likely to be captivating, with a battle down to the end between Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves.  Should they both find a banana peel on the racetrack, Simon Pagenaud is lurking, sitting just out of the main picture. Last year I went to the finale with a confounded mind and it’s one that will accompany me again ... Read More »

IndyCar Recap: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

IndyCar Recap: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma started under rather inauspicious circumstances, as a massive earthquake nailed the Napa/Sonoma area around 6 am.  The IndyCar series let it be known that the event would go on as scheduled.  Hence, as the on-track festivities began, with the IndyLights race and the air show, one would never know that Napa was digging itself out of the rubble and looking at the damage that had been done. But as the adage states: the show ... Read More »

Happiness Is… Bristol, the Pole & Another Soap Opera

Happiness Is… Bristol, the Pole & Another Soap Opera

So, let’s rewind for a moment and go back to Michigan. OK, that may not be the best way to put it, as most fans are happy to put Michigan in the rear-view mirror and look toward Bristol, where the hope is that the track might restore some of its past flavor and produce some good ol’-fashioned dust-ups and some angry drivers. But the Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan deserves one quick moment of review. Brad Keselowski bounced off ... Read More »

IndyCar Preview: 2014 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

IndyCar Preview: 2014 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

Last year, midway through the 2013 IndyCar Series season, IndyCar head honcho Mark Miles vowed that as part of his plan to rejuvenate the sport of American open wheel racing, he would see to it that the IndyCar Series schedule would be chopped, screwed and condensed in an effort to raise week-to-week excitement and avoid late season competition with sporting juggernauts like the NFL and NASCAR. His plan has worked thus far: ratings are up nearly 98 percent (!!!) for ... Read More »

Open Wheel Wednesday: Is Will Power the un-likable Favorite?

Open Wheel Wednesday: Is Will Power the un-likable Favorite?

Will Power somehow extended his lead from four points to 39 over Helio Castroneves at Milwaukee.  Somehow?  Well, Power has frequently struggled when racing on oval tracks, something he has frequently admitted.  At the Milwaukee Mile, however, he displayed a rare sense of calm and confidence, earning the pole and then leading for much of the race – only pit stop strategies seemed to take him out of the lead. Now, with two races left, Power sits in the prime ... Read More »