Five things to watch during 2013 IndyCar season
Auto Racing Videos
1. Will Power is man to beat — again
Power acknowledges it has been painful having the IndyCar championship slip away the past three years. He has a better-than-average shot at winning the title this year, and he should, considering Team Penske has the money and resources to allow him to run up front every race. He'll be pressured to exorcise the demons that have haunted him, mostly from teammates Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe. Power posted the quickest lap (123.33 mph) in his Chevrolet-powered car during testing at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. It could be a sign of things to come from a driver hungry to capture that elusive title.
2. Andretti Autosport a major open-wheel player
With Ryan Hunter-Reay winning last year's championship, Michael Andretti's team finally has escaped the shadows of Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing. The loss of Danica Patrick to NASCAR only fueled this team's competitive fire. Still, there's uncertainty surrounding Marco Andretti, E.J. Viso and James Hinchcliffe.
3. No Patrick, no problem
If 2010 was the year of women at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, this is the year for women to make some noise not just at the Brickyard. Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann and Ana Beatriz will be pressed to prove they can win on street courses and speedways. Beatriz won Indy Lights Series races in 2008 and '09 to earn a seat at the 2010 Indianapolis 500. She's been up and down, but she and de Silvestro will get far more attention this year because the expectations are higher.
4. Father and son reunion
At times, Graham Rahal had the look of a contender during his two-year stint with Chip Ganassi Racing. Now he's in a full-time ride funded by his father, 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal. While the Marco and Michael Andretti tandem has produced mixed results, the Rahals are confident they can contend for the driver's title. After all, Andretti Autosport does have the defending points champion in Hunter-Reay. The Rahals teamed up for a fifth-place finish at the Brickyard in 2010, but the expectations are higher this time around. The 24-year-old Graham Rahal has won two poles (St. Petersburg and Kansas), and he became the youngest winner in series history at 19 when he captured the checkered flag in St. Petersburg in his rookie season.
5. Doubleheheader weekend racing
The IndyCar Series sought to spice things up this year by adding doubleheader weekend races at three venues: Detroit, Toronto and Houston. There are obvious challenges for this out-of-the-box idea. Which race becomes the feature event? How many backup cars will each team need to survive two races? Clearly, the teams with the deepest pockets have a decisive advantage. Most teams will treat these weekends as if they were separate events, but cash-strapped teams might find this a different kind of challenge.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Hills superintendent resigns
- Crosby banned from Jets game because he missed All-Star Game
- LeBeau won’t join Cardinals coaching staff
- Pine-Richland’s DiNucci commits to Pitt; Kittanning’s Bowers opts for Penn State
- Mt. Lebanon board awards contract to trap, euthanize deer
- Leader Times roundup: Snow postponements piling up, 7 games rescheduled
- Funeral for Joey Fabus, honorary Bethel Park police officer, draws crowd
- Christian day camp in Somerset County sued over sexual assault
- NFL notebook: Patriots employee under scrutiny in underinflated footballs probe
- Teen found in Riverview Park last year died of overdose
- Three arrested in armed robbery in Lawrenceville