The Verizon IndyCar Series heads into its final week of 2016 on track competition and with that in mind we thought it would be a good idea to look back on what has been a fantastic season.
It all started in March with Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet missing the season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg with Verizon IndyCar Series veteran Oriol Servia stepping in for Power.
The opening of race of the year was won by 2015 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya for Team Penske.
Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud gave Roger Penske his first 1-2 of the season coming home in second place while Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter Reay finished third. On his return to the cockpit in Phoenix, Will Power finished on the podium in third place behind Pagenaud and race winner, reigning series champion Scott Dixon who took victory for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Following his podium in Phoenix, Pagenaud took the lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series points standings.
At the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Helio Castroneves secured his first podium of the season in the No.3 Hitachi Chevrolet coming home in third place. Simon Pagenaud also took his first victory of the season.
At the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Pagenaud took his second win in succession coming home just ahead of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal with Josef Newgarden scoring his first podium finish of the season for Ed Carpenter Racing. Pagenaud scored his third win on the bounce at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis winning the race just ahead of Helio Castroneves and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe who scored his first podium finish of the season.
One of the biggest moments of the season happened just ahead of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, as Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe who nearly lost his life is horrendous crash at Indianapolis last year took an incredible pole position.
However, the best was yet to come as in the Indy 500 itself, Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Alexander Rossi driving the No.98 NAPA Auto Parts Honda for Bryan Herta Autosport, did an incredible job saving fuel in the closing stages of the race to claim a famous victory in the race.
Rossi led home an Andretti Autosport 1-2 with Carlos Munoz finishing the race in second place while Josef Newgarden who started the race from the front row completed the podium in third place.
The Indy 500 win was Honda’s first victory of the season. At the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit race 1, KVSH Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais took victory with Dale Coyne Racing’s Conor Daly in the No.18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality and Restaurant Group Honda securing his first ever IndyCar podium with a great drive finishing the race in second place.
Juan Pablo Montoya finished the race in third place. In race 2, Team Penske’s Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet who missed the opening race of the season secured his first win of the year, ending the race just ahead of points leader and team mate Simon Pagenaud with Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter Reay finishing in third place.
The Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway was abandoned due to poor weather and was a tough race for Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden. ECR’s Newgarden suffered a fractured wrist and clavicle. Newgarden had surgery and was back in the car for the very next race at Road America which was won by Will Power who secured his second win in a row.
Tony Kanaan in the NTT DATA Chevrolet ended the race in second place just ahead of Graham Rahal.
At the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway, Josef Newgarden started the race from second and was extremely quick completing dominating race, taking his first win of the season with Will Power and Scott Dixon completing the podium.
At the Honda Indy Toronto, Scott Dixon took the Verizon P1 Award and dominated the race but due to a strategy error he finished the race in eighth place. Will Power took his third win of the season ending the race just ahead of Helio Castroneves, giving Roger ‘The Captain’ Penske his fourth 1-2 finish of the season.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe secured his first podium at home finishing the race in third place.
At the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Penske secured a fifth 1-2 of the season with Simon Pagenaud winning the race just ahead of Will Power while Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz who secured his second podium finish of the season finishing the race in third place.
At the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, Will Power took victory just ahead of Mikhail Aleshin who had secured his first every Verizon P1 Award with Ryan Hunter Reay ending the race in third place.
Graham Rahal took victory at the rescheduled Firestone 600 ending the race just ahead of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe while Tony Kanaan finished the race in third place.
At the IndyCar Grand Prix at Watkins Glen presented by Hitachi, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon in the No.9 Target Chevrolet dominated the race weekend, taking the Verizon P1 Award and winning the race ahead of Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves.
Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud and Will Power are the only two drivers mathematically in the hunt for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series championship with just the season finale, the double points GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma which takes place on September 18.