Will Power, Castroneves and AJ Allmendinger swept the front row in qualifying for Saturday night’s season finale at Auto Club Speedway, where Castroneves is trying to chase down Scott Dixon for the IndyCar title.AJ Allmendinger, Auto Club Speedway, Helio Castroneves, IndyCar, Scott Dixon, Will Power
Roger Penske, needing nothing short of a miracle for Helio Castroneves to win the IndyCar title in this weekend’s season finale, will run a third car for AJ Allmendinger in what’s presumed to be a strategic move to aid their championship chances.
But if the plan is for Allmendinger to try to snatch points away from championship leader Scott Dixon, Penske isn’t showing his hand.AJ Allmendinger, Helio Castroneves, IndyCar, Penske Racing, Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon took control of the IndyCar championship race when Helio Castroneves suffered his second mechanical failure in two days at the Grand Prix of Houston, where the race ended when Dario Franchitti’s car went airborne into the fence on the final lap.
The accident in Turn 5 happened when the car of four-time IndyCar champion Franchitti launched over Takuma Sato’s and sailed into the fence. Debris was showered into the grandstand from both the cars colliding and the impact with the fence, and Franchitti’s badly damaged car bounced back onto the track. E.J. Viso then hit Sato’s car.Dario Franchitti, EJ Viso, Helio Castroneves, Houston GP, IndyCar, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato, Will Power
Scott Dixon made the opening race of the Houston Grand Prix a Penske Racing nightmare, grabbing a series-best fourth victory while slicing a huge chunk off Helio Castroneves’ lead in the IndyCar championship race.
Dixon, who entered Saturday’s race trailing Castroneves by 49 points, cut his deficit to eight points heading into Sunday’s race. A sweep of the doubleheader through Reliant Park would put the New Zealander in control headed into the Oct. 19 finale at Fontana, California.Helio Castroneves, Houston GP, IndyCar, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Simona de Silvestro, Will Power
Chip Ganassi Racing added another Indianapolis 500 winner to its team Friday and dropped Honda for Chevrolet in an engine manufacturer switch that seemed to be in the works since the start of the season.
Both moves could have a ripple effect throughout the IndyCar paddock.
KV Racing must now replace reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, who turned down an offer to return to the team that rescued him just before the start of the 2011 season when Kanaan didn’t have a ride. The KV extension didn’t require the Brazilian to bring any sponsorship money to the team, but Kanaan chose instead to join Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball at Ganassi, which next year will field cars for five of the last seven Indy 500 winners.Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing, Dario Franchitti, IndyCar, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan