When I had heard that there was a 6.1 magnitude earthquake near Sonoma in the wee hours of yesterday morning, I was afraid that would be the only excitement to come out of that region all day. Instead, we got a fairly entertaining race, by Sonoma standards.
Those that have been longtime readers of this site know that the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma is one of my least favorite races on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. In fact, the only thing that keeps it off of the bottom, is the fact that it takes place on a natural terrain road course instead of a temporary street circuit. Therefore, Belle Isle still sits at the bottom of my personal and very unscientific ranking system.
This past Sunday at Milwaukee, Will Power took a giant step towards his first-ever Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. But this thing is far from over. The double-points race at the season finale at Fontana throws a whole new kink into things.
A couple of weeks ago, I drew the ire of more than a few when I said this was a championship that no one seemed to want. Of course, I was exaggerating at the time. Why would a driver not want to win the championship? But at that time, no one was emerging as a clear-cut front-runner. That is no longer the case.
This has been a tough week all the way around. Hollywood has seen the death of a couple of legends, civil unrest in the heartland and the tragic story of what took place in upstate New York last Saturday night. I think we could all use a lift this weekend. I can’t think of a better way to chase the blues away than this weekend’s Milwaukee IndyFest.
The other night on Trackside, Curt Cavin threw out a stat that caught me by surprise. In this current field of twenty-two full-time drivers, only five have never won a Verizon IndyCar Series race – Josef Newgarden, Mikhail Aleshin, Carlos Muñoz, Jack Hawksworth and Sebastian Saavedra. He and Kevin Lee were speculating who might be the next to get their first win. They both seemed to think it might be Muñoz. My money is on Newgarden. He now has two second-place finishes in his short career. This past Sunday was just another race where Newgarden has been knocking on the door.