Photo from autosport.com
Expect high speeds, plenty of passing action and lots of sparks flying on track in Texas Saturday night. As Napoleon said, “that which is large is beautiful,” and Texas Motor Speedway certainly qualifies. Also, there’ll be no preordained Penske parades like we saw Sunday in Detroit. In our eyes, that’s just huge.
Photo from foxsports.com
This week’s special prediction for the race is some good old fashioned, hugely entertaining oval track racing. Last year’s race was one of those rare Texas IndyCar contests that failed to fulfill fans. Caution free, Scott Dixon ran away with it cruising to an almost eight second margin of victory. Truly, Dixie did Dallas last year – in a huge way.
Photo from sundownpictures.com
The broadcast will also be noticeably superior to those of the last several races. NBCSN is not only covering the race and qualifications on its air, but also a bonus practice session Friday morning. Throw in the talents of the delightful and diminutive dame Katie Hargitt and you’ve got the makings of a huge event this weekend.
Photo from indycar.com
Our pick for pole sitter is Helio Castro Neves, who’s now older than Fidel was when he took over Cuba. Helio knows TMS, having won four times and claimed a number of poles. He’ll add to that already hugely impressive list Friday, although not on Saturday.
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For first out of the race we’ve got to go with Max Chilton again, especially after he proved us so prescient in Detroit – twice. You remember Max, who replaced Sage Karam at CGR in part because Sage was too reckless. Chilton now has two straight DNFs and – being slow to fully embrace oval track racing – is likely to make it three in a row.
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The biggest surprise of the race will be Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi, who unlike his fellow f-ing F1 invaders actually enjoys ovals – especially when he isn’t running out of gas. In fact, he’s said Texas is his favorite oval track since he tested there a few weeks ago. Blasphemy aside, another solid outing on a big oval would be huge for the American ROY candidate.
Photo from sports.usatoday.com
Who gets to fire the six shooters in victory lane this year? Last year’s winner Scott Dixon will repeat, adding to his already sizable collection of firearms – huge by some standards. His third win at Texas will help awaken Chip Ganassi Racing from its usual early season slumber and serve to get Dixie back in the title hunt. Going back to back at Texas will be huge for the Target driver’s championship chances. Plus, no one wants another unhinged Twitter rant from his gorgeous but temperamental wife.