By: Tony Donohue
The final three races of the year are here, and as I look back, wasn't it just yesterday I was walking the garages of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the month of May? After Kentucky, I for one cannot wait to see what takes place at Chicagoland, under the lights for the first time at the 1.5 mile oval.
After the dramatic finish at Kentucky almost a month ago, The Indy Car Series returns to an oval with much antisipation. If Kentucky was any indicator, this weekend at Chicagoland could shape up to be one of the best races of the 2009 season. Last season, that championship was decided, and a photo finished wowed, and confused the fans. Scott Dixon at first was named the winner of the Peak Anti Freeze Indy 300, but upon further review, the win was awarded to Helio Castroneves. Dixon, clinched the title with the second place run, his second career championship. The three drivers in contention for the championship will be front runners Saturday night, Dario Franchitti, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon will look to keep the nose cones clean, and battle for the win. Dario Franchitti is the only one of those three drivers to have a win at Chicagoland. Dixon has been second at Chicago the past three years. There should be alot of contenders this weekend, not just the red and white Penske and Ganassi cars. Look for it to be one of the most competitive races of the season.
After Ed Carpenter's performance at Kentucky, he proved to the Indy Car world he is worthy of the seat, and that Vision Racing is a force to be dealt with. Dreyer and Reinbold has also made great strides on the ovals, and Mike Conway is riding high after the podium at Sonoma. HVM should be pretty competitive as well, EJ Viso ran well here last season, and Doorbos sat on the front row at Kansas. Andretti Green is always strong at Chicagoland, all four drivers will be up front, trying to finish their season on high notes. Also, Ryan Hunter-Reay is poised for a great run for AJ Foyt Racing.
My predictions are going to be hit or miss this week, as anything can happen. Out of the four red cars, I will take Scott Dixon. even thought Helio has been the man at Chicagoland, I think all the second place finishes for Scott Dixon will pay off this weekend and will head to victory circle. My darkhorses, well just like Kentucky, I am going to take Ed The Hammer Carpenter. I don't think he should be in the darkhorse catagory anymore, but he is one of my picks for this weekend. Tomas Scheckter will also be strong, but his record in the 43 car this year has been subpar. I will also take Oriel Servia to be a contender and a strong runner for a top five.