IndyCar racing is doing quite well. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was a success, only because it opened its gates and held a race. Will Power led from green to checkered flag which is good, depending on who you ask. Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Marco Andretti, and Oriol Servia rounded out the top five. Fast forward to today. Thursday April 28, 2011. Two days from the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle. There are six different teams represented in the top 10 in point standings. You may say that’s blah, but actually it’s great to watch. For a long time, IndyCar fans have gotten accustomed to Penske, Ganassi, and Andretti dominating the sport. This season has definitely been a refresher.
Last race was won by Mike Conway, a first time winner, who luckily walked away from a horrific crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year. He was sidelined for the rest of the season. During the off-season he signed with Andretti Autosport, which has given them a different aggressiveness on the road courses. No disrespect to their returning drivers from last season. But Mike’s already producing.
It’s been an interesting start for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Dario Franchitti leads the point standings. Not surprising, since he is the defending champion. Their team operates almost flawlessly. Scott Dixon on the other hand is seventh. It will be interesting to see that team work their way back to the front. Even though they’re focused on Sao Paulo, I’m sure they can’t wait to get to Indy. Charlie Kimball and Graham Rahal, are 19th and 21st respectively out of different arrangements.
Team Penske has had their ups and downs already. Helio Castroneves is being watched for aggressive driving, after being a fan favorite for so long. Ryan Briscoe is currently eight in the point standings. Briscoe had some season opening bad luck, and is trying with everything he has to dig his team out of the whole. Good luck with that. The standings haven’t looked like they look now in a long time. When we get to the ovals, I’m sure there will be teams moving up the standings. Likewise, there will also be teams moving down the ladder due to failing equipment, or old fashioned driver error. Will Power hasn’t lost a step and currently sits second in the point standings. He has won all three pole awards for this year. It’s almost as if nobody has anything for Mr. Power on courses with multiple turns.
The race in Brazil is really going to be something special to see. Five drivers come to Brazil trying to win on their home track. Ana Beatriz, Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Raphael Matos and Vitor Meira are all considered favorites by the home crowd. Vitor Meira placed third in last year’s race, and expects to improve in all aspects of his race. Meira, who drives for A.J. Foyt Racing, is also excited because this will be his first race as a proud dad. I’m sure he’ll do well from the motivation of his countrymen and American fans alike.
All the IZOD IndyCar Series teams and equipment, are either in Brazil now, or are on their way. I can’t wait to see the show. It’s going to be a good race no doubt, but I can’t hide the fact that I’ve been anxiously awaiting the Indy 500 since the checkered flag last year. You might just see me spending the night in front of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. You’ll just have to wait and see.