Simon Pagenaud on track

Track Talk: The Summer Break is Over

After a short summer break the NTT IndyCar Series is back in action for the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. #TrackTalk previews the race.

The chase for the Astor Cup heats up: Just 16 points separate leader Josef Newgarden and 2nd-place Alexander Rossi. Newgarden has never finished lower than 8th at Pocono, and owns a pair of podium finishes. In Rossi’s three starts he has a DNF, a 2nd place, and won last year’s race. Expect a close battle between the two of them. 

Look to the Indy 500 for your fantasy picks: Looking for help with your IndyCar fantasy pool? Then look no further than the Indy 500. Drivers who perform well at the Indy 500 typically run strongly at Pocono. As a matter of fact, since IndyCar’s return in 2013 every Pocono winner is either an Indy 500 champion, or would go on to win the Indy 500 later in their career.

Don’t count out Simon Pagenaud: You can’t look at past Indy 500 winners without putting Simon Pagenaud at the top of your list. He didn’t put a wheel wrong last May and should be a factor at Pocono. He sits a distant 3rd in points, but a win could easily turn this into a very close three-way championship battle.

Don’t count out Scott Dixon: 4th in points, Scott Dixon is a past Pocono winner and a driver who typically excels in the back-half of the season. He’s coming off a win at Mid-Ohio—can he parlay that into a victory this weekend?

McLaren joins IndyCar full time in 2020: Silly season was supposed to be short, and revolve solely around where Rossi would land...and then the McLaren bombshell dropped. In case you missed it, McLaren is entering the NTT IndyCar series full time in 2020 through a partnership with Arrow SPM. Recent history between McLaren’s Formula One team and their time with Honda means the newly-named Arrow McLaren Racing SP will move from Honda to Chevrolet engines next season. Many believe that this could push James Hinchcliffe squarely into the silly season mix. Hinchcliffe already has a contract with SPM for 2020, and serves as a spokesperson for Honda in national advertising campaigns in the US and Canada. Could the Mayor be looking for a new Honda home next season? 

Victor Genova is the host of the Media People Podcast and a freelance racing writer. You can follow him on Instagram at @VicGenova