By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
The INDYCAR season continues this weekend on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Verizon IndyCar Series INDYCAR Grand Prix and the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Indianapolis Presented by Royal Purple Synthetic Oil Supporting Lupus Foundation of America. 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 Matthew Griffith/The Open Wheel
Indy Lights Preview: Grand Prix of Indianapolis Presented by Royal Purple Synthetic Oil Supporting Lupus Foundation of America (Entry List), Race 1 – Friday, May 12, 2017 5:50PM (ET) & Race 2 – Saturday, May 13, 2017 1:15PM (ET) – The 2016 Indy Lights races on the road course at IMS were won by the departed Ed Jones and Dean Stoneman. However, Santiago Urrutia finished in P2 in both races last year and is due for a strong weekend. Kyle Kaiser was the next-best finisher in each race last year. Here are the results of last year’s races: Race 1 & Race 2. Pato O’Ward won both races at IMS in Pro Mazda last year but has not been confirmed for Team Pelfrey this weekend so he will miss out on the chance to move up at IMS this year. Nico Jamin had two Top 5’s in Pro Mazda last year and Aaron Telitz had a P2. After his strong showing at Barber and throughout the rest of the season, you have to expect Colton Herta will be strong once again. My picks to win: Kyle Kaiser & Colton Herta
Verizon IndyCar Series Preview: INDYCAR Grand Prix, Saturday, May 13, 2017 3:30PM (ET) ABC – The big news of the weekend is the return of Juan Pablo Montoya as he will drive the Team Penske No. 22 in both races at IMS this month. Previous driver experience shows both of the former winners on the road course at IMS will race this weekend in Simon Pagenaud (2) and Will Power (1). Charlie Kimball has finished in the Top 5 in all three years of the race. Looking at box scores from 2016 and 2015, Graham Rahal and Kimball are the only drivers to finish in the Top 5 in this race in each of the last two years. They are joined by Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, and Montoya if that’s expanded to the Top 10. Rookie Ed Jones won an Indy Lights race here last year so he could be one to watch this weekend. My pick to win: Simon Pagenaud – Pagenaud has won two of the three races on the IMS road course and had a Top 5 going in 2015 before dropping out with a mechanical issue after Lap 57. After picking up his first oval win last time out at Phoenix, he may be my pick for both races at IMS this month.
My fantasy.indycar.com picks: Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Alexander Rossi, & Conor Daly – You know my thoughts on Pagenaud. Power won in 2015, should have won at Barber before suffering a tire issue, and will be hungry for his first win of the season. Rossi returns to IMS for the first time since his legendary win in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in need of a great result. He’s been fast all year but he (and the rest of his Andretti team) need to start putting results together and I think he does that this weekend after a Top 10 last year in his rookie year. Daly served notice to the field last year by passing Castroneves and leading 14 laps and his Foyt team is starting to figure out their Chevy equipment after showing speed at Phoenix and leading the test at Gateway.