25 July 2009

Penske, Penske, Penske

(Say that in your best Jan Brady voice.)

I went looking for a new car last week with my wife, and we settled on obtaining a Saturn Vue. Aside from it being a solid car with nice features, my thought process turned to supporting Roger Penske, who recently bought Saturn. My way of thinking was that in buying a Saturn I would be helping to support IndyCar Racing.

I'm not sure Penkse needs that kind of help; The three Penske cars qualified 1-2-3 for the Rexall Edmonton Indy, with part-timer Will Power claiming the pole.

For Power, he's been dominant this season with Penske, helping set the stage for Helio Castroneves' return early in the year. Without a full-time ride, Power has made four starts in 2009, not counting Edmonton. In those starts, Power has three top-five finishes and four top-ten results. Now, he sits on the pole for the first time this season.

With that in mind, Penske will need to strongly consider running Power full time in 2010. If Power can secure sponsorship (his yellow and blue Penske Truck Rental car is pretty sweet looking), he'll definitely have a chance. Right now, though, Penske is committed to running ALMS, leaving Power without a pit crew several weekends.

In 2010, at the worst, Power will continue to fill in a part-time basis for Penske. At best, he's running a third car for Penske. In his five appearances in 2009, Power has definitely shown himself to be worthy of a ride in the IndyCar Series.

With that in mind, you have to like Power's chances at a win tomorrow, as the Penske cars clearly looked better than the Ganassi cars during qualifications. So maybe I'll revise my predictions so they look like this:
  1. Briscoe
  2. Power (does he protect Briscoe late or go for the win?)
  3. Franchitti
  4. Castroneves
  5. Dixon
  6. Tracy
  7. Wilson
  8. Rahal
  9. Matos
  10. Kanaan (sure, AGR can barely qualify, but I can't quit Kanaan - not when Oriol Servia is helping him this weekend.)

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