By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend at Pocono Raceway for the Verizon IndyCar Series ABC Supply 500. The Open Wheel will be covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.
Photo by Parker Hall/The Open Wheel
Verizon IndyCar Series Preview: ABC Supply 500, Sunday, August 20, 2017 2:00PM (ET) NBCSN – This weekend sees the return of the successful new Harding Racing team with Gabby Chaves at the wheel while Sebastian Saavedra takes over the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports No. 7 car from Mikhail Aleshin. Previous driver experience at Pocono Raceway shows 3 former winners in the field in Scott Dixon (1), Ryan Hunter-Reay (1), and Will Power (1). The Top 5 in laps led at Pocono racing this weekend are Will Power (141), Tony Kanaan (115), Marco Andretti (88), Josef Newgarden (69), and Ryan Hunter-Reay (60). Looking at the box scores from 2016 and 2015, Power, Hunter-Reay, and Newgarden are the only drivers to finish in the Top 5 in each of the last two years. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, that trio is joined by Dixon and Carlos Munoz. My pick to win: Ryan Hunter-Reay – RHR won this race in 2015, drives for the Andretti Autosport team that’s dominant at the big ovals, and he’s beyond due for a result to go his way. He’s led nine times for a total of 60 laps over the last two years at Pocono. He was at the front at Indianapolis this year when his engine blew up but Honda believes they’ve since fixed their reliability issues. All of the Team Penske cars will be strong, as should the Ganassi duo of Dixon and Kanaan, but I think Andretti Autosport will have a big day with Hunter-Reay finishing at the front.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, & JR Hildebrand – You know my thoughts on Hunter-Reay. Power won at Pocono last year and has finished in the Top 10 in each of his four starts at the circuit. He’s been quick on ovals all year and will definitely be a contender on Sunday. Castroneves drove a tremendous race at Indianapolis early this year and should be a big factor on Sunday. This is a big race for his championship chances and I expect a great weekend from him. Hildebrand has been fast on ovals all year-long and is an excellent value pick at $17 this week.