Contrary to popular belief, the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series points championship isn't over, far from hit. Sure, Penske Racing's Will Power has a solid 41 point lead over Target Chip Ganassi's Dario Franchitti, but it's nothing the Scottish veteran can't overcome.
With just 5 races to go, 4 of which are on ovals, Power will be forced to defend the top spot on his weakest circuits. Through the first 4 ovals of the season, Kansas, Indianapolis, Texas and Iowa, Power averaged a 9.75 finishing position, and just 25.5 points. On the flip side, Dario Franchitti and the #10 Target crew averaged a 6.5 place finish and 37 points when leaving an oval. So, if the means continue, the 2010 '500' champ will chop off 11.5 points per event, giving him a 5 point advantage over the 4 oval stretch. That is of course, not counting the yet to be determined results from Infineon.
With 8 down and only 1 road/street course to go, this may be a must win for Will Power who averaged 44.875 points on the right-turn circuits this season. Dario Franchitti on the other hand averaged 34 points on each twisty in 2010, and assuming the oval advantage continues, only needs to finish ahead of, or close to Power to keep the overall points championship comfortably in reach.
Some may say the pressure is on Franchitti to come away from Northern California with the win, but I'd argue the other way around. Will Power must have a strong showing August 22nd, or he may be a sitting duck.