The Verizon IndyCar Series rolls into California this weekend for the 2016 season finale, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
After seven months on the road it all comes down to an 85 lap shootout between Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud and Will Power which is fitting when Power was instrumental in persuading Roger Penske to sign Pagenaud to the team two years ago.
Power missed the opening race of the 2016 season, the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, a race which saw Pagenaud come home in second place behind team mate Juan Pablo Montoya. Power bounced back from missing the opening race of the season with a great drive in Phoenix to end the race on the podium in third place behind Pagenaud and race winner Scott Dixon.
At the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Pagenaud took his first win of the season while Will Power finished the race in seventh place. Long Beach also saw Pagenaud go on a winning streak of three races in Alabama and at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
The Indianapolis 500 was a disappointing race for Penske as none of their drivers were able to make it onto the podium for the 100th running of the race.
In the Chevrolet Dual In Detroit Race 1, Simon Pagenaud who started from pole position finished the race in 13th place while Will Power retired from the race with a mechanical issue.
In race 2 the following day however the Penske duo finished 1-2 with Will Power taking victory ahead of Pagenaud.
Power went on to take another victory at the following race, the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America while Pagenaud finished the race in 13th place.
In Iowa, Will Power finished the race runner up to winner Josef Newgarden while Simon Pagenaud finished the race in fourth place. The Verizon IndyCar Series crossed the border in July as they headed to Canada for the Honda Indy Toronto where Will Power took victory while Pagenaud finished the race in 9th place.
At the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, Simon Pagenaud took victory will Will Power finishing the race in second place.
At the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway, Will Power took victory while Pagenaud retired from the race following contact. The rescheduled Firestone 600 was only the second time this season that no Penske driver stood on the podium with Graham Rahal winning the race ahead of James Hinchcliffe while Tony Kanaan was third.
Simon Pagenaud finished the race in fourth place while Will Power came home in eighth. Last time out at the IndyCar Grand Prix at Watkins Glen presented by Hitachi, despite winning the race, Chip Ganassi Racing Scott Dixon was mathematically eliminated from the race for the championship.
Pagenaud finished the race in seventh place while Power retired from the race following contact. The season finale, GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma is set up nicely for the title show down with Simon Pagenaud leading the championship by 43 points from Will Power however in the Verizon IndyCar Series as this year has shown with a talented rookie, Alexander Rossi winning his first Indianapolis 500 absolutely anything is possible and the title will not be decided until Sunday night when the chequered flag falls on what has been an incredibly dramatic and exciting 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
The first practice session of the final Verizon IndyCar Series weekend of 2016 gets underway at 2PM ET on Friday afternoon.