Pags’ Prowess Proves Penske’s Program Perfectly Prepared, Poised For Prominence

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Image from Indy Race Reviewer

Simon Pagenaud’s signing with Team Penske immediately turned them into a formidable four car IndyCar juggernaut and easily outpaced everything else as story of the year. With ebullient Helio Castro-Neves, 2014 Champ ‘Mad’ Will Power and prodigal son Juan Montoya returning to the lineup for 2015, the fearsome foursome undoubtedly will be favorites and challenge for victories at every stop on the IndyCar schedule. Impressive as these pilots’ performances have been, the pressure just increased immensely for those fortunate few seated at the Captain’s table.

WillPower

Image from dailytelegraph.com.au

Roger Penske added a fourth car to his stable for the first time in his storied IndyCar history for a specific reason. He wants to defeat Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Andretti Autosport, SFH Racing and all the rest resoundingly. Herr Kapitan desires to win the Indianapolis 500, to repeat as series champion and if possible sweep the top four spots in points. The Captain’s goal for 2015 is clear – to again attain Penske perfection and in the process obliterate the competition. Only Penske could dare to be so audacious, and only he could realistically pull it off.

wizardofpenske

Image from Indy Race Reviewer

For Power, an already pressure packed title defense just grew more difficult with the addition of the Frenchman Pagenaud to the team. The on track altercations between the two became almost legendary last season when they repeatedly banged into each other in several races. An Aussie, ‘Craze’ Power dangerously demonstrated at Pocono and elsewhere that he doesn’t mind cutting off team mates at two hundred plus miles per hour in his quest for the magic didgeridoo. Power and Pags have grown to dislike one another intensely – “no vacation plans next year” & “obsessed with me” – so their intra-team relationship will be highly entertaining to observe.

foxsportcomau

Photo from foxsports.com.au

Helio’s the solid veteran of the team and always poses a threat to win, though he isn’t getting any younger nor are his victory lane appearances growing in frequency. After more than a decade out of the car Montoya scored a win, three podiums and a pole in his 2014 return to real racing, but as the eldest of the newcomers the pressure on him is perhaps most intense of all. Pagenaud’s good for at least a win or two in Penske equipment this year – at whose expense those wins come will prove critical to the future fortunes of the other three.

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Photo from usatoday.com

Will Penske remain a four car outfit for the foreseeable future? Perhaps, although he’s expanded and contracted his IndyCar program before and will undoubtedly do so again. There’s no doubt the Cap’n will be the one to beat in the upcoming season. The question for the Penske power house is, who’ll end up in fourth and final place on the best team in the history of the sport? For it’s he who must be wary of new king Pagenaud’s prowess, as Penske’s program will prove to be perfectly prepared and poised for prominence, as usual.

King Pags

Image from Indy Race Reviewer

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