Track Talk: IndyCar GP Recap and Indy500 Pole Picks

It’s the month of May and in the world of IndyCar racing that means all things Indianapolis. We kick off today’s TrackTalk by reviewing the news and notes from the IndyCar Grand Prix, and then provide our pole position picks for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500.

Will Power dominates: 
Will Power has been plagued by bad luck all season. I noted a couple of week’s back that Indianapolis could be the opportunity Power needs to turn his season around. He delivered a dominating performance, leading 61 of the 85 laps from pole position. The driver who once sat as low as 17th in points has moved up to 5th. With double points up for grabs at the Indy 500, there’s a mathematical chance that a strong performance could put Power into the top-3.

Bourdais goes backwards: 
Sebastian Bourdais needs a break. The points leader for the first three races, he now sits 7thafter a string of bad luck. An engine failure saw the driver who finished 1st in St. Petersburg, wind up last at the IndyCar Grand Prix.

Pay attention to Scott Dixon: 
He’s yet to win a race this season, but three podiums and finishing no lower than 5th in the first five races has put the Ganassi driver squarely in the hunt for the championship. Only 10 points behind series leader, Simon Pagenaud, Dixon could very easily leave May as the new points leader.

Spencer Pigot’s finishes do not reflect his true speed: 
We’ve noted in previous editions of TrackTalk just how impressive Spencer Pigot’s drives have been. Once again, he qualified near the back, and raced his way into the top-10. If he hadn’t stalled during a pit stop, his 8th place finish might have been a top-5.

Indy 500 qualifying:
Weeklong Indy 500 practice has commenced, with an eye on the battle for pole position on Sunday. Here’s the problem- nobody will show their full speed until right before the weekend. Speeds should climb on Thursday, and then shoot right up for Friday. Marco Andretti cracked the 226mph mark earlier in the week, but at time writing, lap times have consistently been around the 222mph- far below the 230.946 James Hinchcliffe pounded out to take pole for last year’s race. With so little information, can we predict the pole winner at time of writing? If the rumors about Honda having a slight power edge on Chevrolet are true, then my gut says that pole position will go to a (Honda) powered driver. My picks? Either Scott Dixon or Ryan Hunter-Reay, with Andretti as my pole position dark horse.

Next week on #TrackTalk we’ll review qualifying, profile the Indy 500 rookies, and make our picks for the 101st running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing

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

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