The IndyCar series delivered another thrilling race and further twists in the championship battle. It was however the drivers outside the top 5 that excelled as the points leaders experienced mixed fortunes.
A victory for Ganassi has looked on the cards for weeks. Dixon’s poor qualifying and Kanaan’s first lap shunt seemed to have delayed the inevitable but instead the master of Mid-Ohio did it the hard way. The win was a beautifully judged mix of strategy and race craft but more fascinating is what it means for the remaining 3 races. Dixon is going to take more big points before season end.
So too will Sebastien Bourdais. Suggestions that the Frenchman had only cracked street courses were wide of the mark. There is more to come from Bourdais in the remainder of the season and whilst we only have 1 more road course to go, the unique nature of the Milwaukee Mile could make it a happy hunting ground for the former F1 driver.
For the main title contenders Castroneves’ throttle issues were a prime opportunity to make gains. Power salvaged as much as he could but Helio will be relieved that the Aussie was only able to take a slim 4-point advantage. Both Hunter-Reay and Pagenaud, whilst scoring points, couldn’t take advantage of Penske’s general lack of race pace. Time is running very short for either driver to start making inroads to the Power/Castroneves lead.
Toronto and Mid-Ohio have shown that as we enter the final races of the season, the leading drivers now need to worry about more than just their main title rivals.