With the running of Saturday night’s MAV TV 500, the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season has come to a close. Tony Kanaan finally got his well-deserved first win for Chip Ganassi without waiting throughout the long offseason to wonder when that elusive victory would come. It finally did, but under the backdrop of Will Power winning the series championship. Neither driver clinched their respective victories in dramatic edge of your seat excitement. Kanaan led the final fifty-three laps while Power pretty well had the suspense ended for him when Helio Castroneves was assessed a drive-through penalty on Lap 218 for a pit-entry violation. The penalty put Castroneves a lap down, and it was pretty much over with after that.
Wasn’t it just a couple of months ago that the Verizon IndyCar Series was kicking off at St. Petersburg? Just as things seem to be on a roll, the series heads into the season-finale at Fontana – just a couple of nights after the final NFL pre-season football games took place. Oh well, as odd as it feels – I think I beat that horse to death on Wednesday.
The taste of crow is very unappealing, but as we approach the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale this Saturday night – I’m afraid it may be a big part of my Labor Day diet. For years, I’ve been beating the drum in favor of ending the season on Labor Day weekend. The thought was that it was a losing battle to try and go up against the NFL regular season, which starts the Thursday after Labor Day. It’s quite possible that a race going up against the NFL on their opening day, may actually register a 0.0 rating – and yes, that’s possible.
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.