The battle lines have been drawn, all the talking has finished. There have been no mind games. It is time for Team Penske to win the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. The question is. who will it be? Series points leader Simon Pagenaud or his team mate Will Power.
The final race of the season, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma takes place later today and now it is race day, the two drivers in contention for the championship can just focus on the task at hand to delivery Roger Penske’s 14th Verizon IndyCar Series championship as he celebrates sixty years in motorsport.
In qualifying on Saturday, Pagenaud secured a bonus point for claiming the Verizon P1 Award and in doing so goes into today’s race with a 44 point lead of Will Power.
The extra point relieves some of the pressure from Pagenaud who has lead the championship since the second race of the season in Phoenix. The Frenchman has been completely flawless this season.
After seven months, 15 races, crisscrossing the United States with a jump across the border to Canada for the Honda Indy Toronto it all comes down to Sonoma Raceway.
Today’s race is worth double points with the winner receiving 100 points for the win however there are bonus points on offer for leading the most laps in the race and setting the fastest lap time of the event.
Pagenaud and Power go into the race level on race wins with fourth apiece, should the championship come down to a tie like it did between Scott Dixon and Juan Pablo Montoya last year Pagenaud would win it on count back as the Frenchman has seven Verizon P1 Awards to Power’s 2.
The championship is not the only thing that has to be settled today with the battle to be best of the rest up for grabs too. Scott Dixon, the reigning series champion is in third place equal on points with Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves.
Castroneves starts the race from the front row alongside Pagenaud while Dixon starts the race from seventh place. However, Josef Newgarden, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, Carlos Munoz, Charlie Kimball, James Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi are all still in with a chance at finishing the season in the top three so so hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen, and keep all arms inside the car at all times, the roller coaster that has been the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season is set for one more dramatic ride. DON’T MISS IT!