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A special prediction deals with Pocono Raceway‘s proximity to New Jersey, which failed to land an F1 race but did give the world Governor Chris Christie. Sporting a rough reputation as perhaps America’s rudest state, Jersey’s also high in the running for funniest accent, most mobbed up state and much more. Just like the Jersey turnpike, IndyCar fans can expect lots of traffic jams to go with miles of pavement and full service fill ups this weekend.
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The biggest surprise of the race fittingly enough will be Charlie Kimball. Ganassi – an honorary Jersey guy, obviously – won three years ago with Scott Dixon and Kimball’s definitely developed an east coast approach to racing this year. As Juan Montoya said after one recent on track tiff, “That’s Charlie! Ask anybody!” Charlie’s unacceptably rude behavior currently has him tenth in the standings, two spots ahead of Juan. Speaking of Montoya, the prickly Penske pilot’s our pick to win pole. Funny accent? Check.
First out will be another Ganassi driver, the effete Englishman Max Chilton. The original Jersey’s in the UK of course, although the attitude difference between there and the Delaware couldn’t be greater. Max has lacked aggressiveness in his rookie campaign and could use more “in your face” driving, for certain. His performances have been so bad in the oval races that he’s seemed like a Jersey barrier on track.
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The “a little bit slow” category features the race’s top Honda, which rarely is a race at all. The Jersey connection should be obvious. Graham Rahal somehow will once again make his Honda competitive, largely through sheer talent and force of will. Son of ‘stache is usually connected for the 500 milers and this weekend will be no different. Or else.
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Our pick for race winner triumphed in the last (completed) oval months ago at Iowa, Josef Newgarden. He’s been close in several other races this season too, including the 100th Indy 500. The ECR ace may want to do some partying down on the Jersey shore after his big win this weekend. Then again, maybe not.
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