By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season concludes this weekend with the Verizon IndyCar Series INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. The Open Wheel will be on-site 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: INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma – Sunday, September 23, 2018 6:30PM (ET) NBCSN – There are 25 entries once again for the championship decider. Indy Lights stars Colton Herta and Patricio O’Ward will make their Verizon IndyCar Series debuts with Harding Racing. The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion will be decided between Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Will Power, and Josef Newgarden. Previous driver experience shows five former winners at Sonoma in the field in Dixon (3), Power (3), Simon Pagenaud (2), Marco Andretti (1), and Tony Kanaan (1). The active Top 5 in laps led at Sonoma are Power (276), Dixon (121), Pagenaud (117), Kanaan (49), and Josef Newgarden (43). Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud has won the last two races at Sonoma. Looking at the box scores from 2017 and 2016, Pagenaud is the only driver to finish in the Top 5 in each of the last two years. If that’s expanded to the Top 10, Pagenaud is joined by Newgarden, Graham Rahal, Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais. My picks to win: RACE – Will Power & CHAMPION – Scott Dixon – Team Penske has dominated at Sonoma Raceway in recent years so they have to be the pick for the race win. Power has an incredible five poles in nine starts at Sonoma and has started in the Top 5 in all of those nine starts. With that record and the fact that he’s desperate for a win to keep his title hopes alive, Power is my pick for the race win this weekend. I say Dixon barely hangs on to the title by finishing just behind Rossi in a dramatic finish. Rossi has been fast everywhere this year but Dixon has a way of maximizing every result and I think he takes advantage of his points lead heading into the weekend.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Will Power, Alexander Rossi, Zach Veach, and Matheus Leist – You know my thoughts on Power. You know Rossi is going to find a way to put himself into the mix and his Andretti Autosport teammate Veach has been as fast as almost anyone over the last couple months. Leist is due for a good result and could prove to be good value at $13 if you’re looking to stack the top part of your lineup as Daly finished in the Top 10 in the No. 4 car last year.