Storylines for IndyCar at Sonoma

With the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season coming to a close, here is a look at some of the storylines heading into the season finale at Sonoma

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Storylines for IndyCar at Sonoma
Fuente imagen: NAPA Valley Register

The Championship Race - With Scott Dixon currently leading the IndyCar Championship by 29 points to contender Alexander Rossi, it seems likely that only those two will be the in contention to win the championship. However, Team Penske's Will Power and Josef Newgarden are each 87 points back respectively, each needing something unforseen to happen to really even have a chance with double points available.

Quality of Racing at Sonoma - Other than the superspeedways, the new UAK18 has seen improvements in the quality of racing at almost every track this season, although a monster that has always been hard to tame is Sonoma, with passing oppurtunities almost nonexistent. How could this shake up the championship however? Dixon has been weak on qualifying for road courses almost the entire season, and with Sonoma almost always being a track position race, this could lead to Rossi taking home his first IndyCar Championship, or a Penske somehow sneaking into contention at a track where they have been so dominant?

Harding Racing - Earlier in the season, when Colombian driver Gabby Chaves had virtually no chance at making the top 10 in the championship. Team Owner Mike Harding made the decision to take the remainder of the season to test out prospective drivers who could potentionally drive a second car for the team next season, bringing in Conor Daly for a few races. Mike Harding also stated that he would really like to give a few of the current Indy Lights stars a chance come the end of the season.

Colton Herta - Speaking of current Indy Lights stars, second generation driver Colton Herta is already confirmed to drive for Harding Racing in the season finale at Sonoma after coming in second in the Lights championship to Patricio O'Ward. This comes as a result of not only a solid season in the Indy Lights Series, but also as result of a test at Portland that went really well for the young American. 

Pato O'Ward - Also known as Patricio O'Ward, this year's Indy Lights champion and 2017 IMSA Prototype Challenge Champion, has a test with Harding Racing this upcoming Thursday which will dictate whether or not he is driving a second Harding car on September 17th at Sonoma. Already drawing comparisons to three time Indy 500 Champion Helio Castroneves, his driving style is aggressive and clean, but most importantly, fast. He is no stranger to winning big events, with class wins at the Daytona 24 Hours and the 12 Hours of Sebring being the youngest driver ever to win both at 17 years old. Expect big things to come in the next few years for the youngster.

Juncos - There have been rumblings going around that Juncos will field a car at Sonoma, but given that they have yet to announce plans and would indeed need a pay driver. It seems unlikely at the moment that they will field a car, but not out of the question.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing - Talk throughout the season has led people to the indication that the Rahal team will go to three full time cars next season. Two of those prospects are IMSA driver Colin Braun, and former F1 driver Felipe Nasr. Bobby Rahal has expressed interest in testing both in the coming weeks but has said that it is possibly too late to run a third car at Sonoma, however with Takuma Sato recently winning the Portland Grand Prix, could that give the Rahal team enough momentum and potential backing to run a third driver?

McLaren and Alonso - While this isn't a Sonoma storyline, it is important to state that the two time F1 World Champion has a private test being ran by Andretti Autosport on Wednesday, September 5th. While Alonso has said that this test at Barber Motorsports Park has no indication as to what he will be doing next year, people can only speculate that this means he will be in IndyCar in some way or another.

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