30 May 2009

MIlwaukee Preview

With Helio Castroneves starting second-to-last (Stanton Barrett crashed during practice and will technically start last, but I don't see him actually taking part in the race.), it seems to open up the ABC Supply A.J. Foyt 225 on Sunday at 3:30 ET.

While the three-time Indianapolis 500 champion will start 20th, his teammate and defending Milwaukee champion Ryan Briscoe will start on the pole. It was at Milwaukee last year that Briscoe turned his season and perhaps his IndyCar Series career around - beating Scott Dixon across the finish line after a wreck with three laps to go put "Poor" (it seems like everyone refers to Vitor as "poor Vitor" these days) Vitor Meira flying above Marco Andretti's car.

Briscoe's win was his first career ICS win and the first of three during the 2008 season. In 2009 Milwaukee qualifications, he was .2 mph quicker than his front row partner, Graham Rahl. The Penske and Newman/Haas/Lanigan teams were the only ones to crack 168.00 mph during qualifications, which should help them stay out front of the field, theoretically.

However, lurking in the inside of row two is Tony Kanaan, who has never finished worse than fourth at the one-mile ring, picking up victories in 2006 and '07.

Scott Dixon will start next to Kanaan, and I see him, Kanaan and Briscoe challenging for the lead most of the day.

I fear that Castroneves will either be too aggressive in passing his way through the field or use up too much of his car in doing so; however, I see a top 5 finish for him.

So, my predictions for the ABC Supply A.J. Foyt 225:
  1. Tony Kanaan
  2. Ryan Briscoe
  3. Scott Dixon
  4. Helio Castroneves
  5. Dario Franchitti
  6. Graham Rahal

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