It is that time of the year, people! After a 6-month hiatus from along, long offseason, we have IndyCar racing back.
Last year’s race was kind of a 3-part race: exciting, then dull, then exciting! Helio Castroneves (my favorite driver, if you are not tired of reading this!) is the defending Champion of the race. Every lap, pole, start and win Mr. Castroneves completes he pushes himself into IndyCar lore.
The field of drivers is the most competitive in years and the championship should be decided again at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California’s Season Finale. More on my predicitions on a later blog post.
Now, the weather could be a factor at St Pete as rain is expected in the afternoon. My trusted friend, IndyCar Weatherman (@Indycar_Wxman) has confirmed this: “@IndyCar_Raider right now I think race starts dry, with rain to the north moving into TB/StP area in 2-3pm timeframe…” . So we could see a flurry of strategies going overboard as the rain could catch up by the last 10-20 laps.
My Top 5 for the race are Castroneves, De Silvestro (yes, you read right!), Bourdais, Pagenaud and Hunter-Reay. As you can read Will Power is not on the Top 5. He has dominated all practices and spring training but strategy usually hurts his chances as this venue and will do so again. The Ganassi boys have looked slow and they are hurting from the, dare to say, the Honda’s lack of power.
There will be lots of contact as these drivers are still rusty from the long offseason and weather could be a factor.
The race will air on the NBC Sports Network (Dish Network Channel 159) at noon with pre-race coverage. Today is the qualifying efforts brought to you LIVE by NBC Sports Network at 2:30pm EST.