The month of short-track racing is behind us now, and we now commence on a very different month for the IndyCar series. With events at Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, Nashville and Edmonton there is no hesitation in calling this what it is: "Parade Month".
Seriously friends, don't expect too much passing to happen in July as these courses are not exactly known as multi-groove circuits. Just a guess but Edmonton might be the most racy of the bunch since Sebastien Bourdais won't be there...wait, somebody stop me before I go all Champ Car Fanatic here.
The one positive of the Watkins Glen race and the others in "Parade Month" is that there will be at least 26 cars on each track, so at least the possibility of position changes outside of the pits is certainly increased. Attention ESPN: please feel free cut away from Scott Dixon pulling away by 10 seconds and show the passing whenever it may infrequently occur. At these tracks it won't happen all that often, so use your massive technology to help us through this nap-infested month. Please.
Favorite: Scott Dixon. Four words: three-time defending champion. Forecast calls for a regularly schedule Ice storm.
Contender: Justin Wilson. The Cajun Sheff has been waiting patiently until the the first road course event and now he's ready to bust out his crazy mad skillz. Look for Wilson to challenge for the lead early and give McDonalds some quality ROI on Sunday. I guar-on-tee it.
Longshot: Helio Castroneves. Hey, with a 24-race winless streak and starting a career worst P26 he's not favored to do squat. But he did manage to claim the pole position the last three years at The Glen, so with some Penske Perfect pitstops he could advance quite a bit.
Driver to Watch: Ryan Hunter-Reay. The Hunter has been up near the front a lot these last few weeks, just not when the checkered flag flies. Is this the race he finally breaks into the Top 5? Who knows, but for comparison here are career stats in the same car:
Best finish: 6th
Top 10s: 7
Avg finish: 12.33
Best finish: 6th
Top 10s: 11
Avg finish: 12.78
Danica Threat Level: DanCon Five. We're down to the lowest level due to her poor qualification (14th) and general lack of competitive speed lately. Oh, and she's racing against a field full of "road course specialists". Lotsa luck, Mrs Hospenthal.
Stat of the race: Buddy Rice has finished in the Top 6 in the last two races at The Glen. For real. Strange things happen on road courses.
Drinking term: "Vision Racing". Ed Carpenter and AJ Foyt IV are starting 21st and 22nd, so they probably won't get a lot of air time. We shall toast them when they do, so long as they are in cars moving in the proper direction.
pressdog says: "Dixon failing to bitchslap the field the last couple races may have emboldened the masses. Let's see, I'm down to Justin Wilson or Will Power. Lots of oval frustration/rage ready to pour out. Despite driving with his knees up by his elbows, I'm calling it for Wilson. Score one for the nice guys."
To be fair everyone here at My Name Is IRL World Headquarters is still hoping for an exciting event, but we've seen Dixon run away and hide often here. Since the race starts just after noon here in Arizona we'll have some coffee left in the pot just in case the race becomes, well, not a race. Stay tuned and enjoy the show!
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