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Locks, Drops & Sleepers: Who to watch in Milwaukee

Zach, Kyle, Kristin
| Jun 14, 2011


Lock: Scott Dixon
Scott has been right there for the last few races now, always in contention for the win. One gets the feelings he’s due to break out and win soon, and with this team’s performance as of late, Milwaukee is as good a track as any. Don’t forget, Dixie won the previous IZOD IndyCar Series race here in 2009.

Drop: Ed Carpenter
Ed will get his due in qualifying well, but he dropped like a rock in both Texas races. Coming to a place where it’s easy to go a couple of laps down in no time at all, that’s not a confidence-builder. Until Sarah Fisher Racing puts some longer quality runs together, I’d hold off on using him—save it for Kentucky, in any case.

Sleeper: Vitor Meira
Vitor had a nice pair of races at Texas (P8, P11), and continues to quietly have a pretty consistent sort of season. He’s probably not a threat to out-and-out win unless things get crazy, but Foyt’s driver should be a relatively safe, conservative pick to stretch your roster. He’s had three Top 10 finishes at the Mile since 2004, and he’s a good bet to land another.

---Zachary Houghton’s picks

Lock: Scott Dixon
The last time the series visited The Milwaukee Mile (2009), Dixon came out victorious. The year prior (2008), he led the most laps before finishing second. Prior to that, in 2007, he finished fourth. Always a model of consistency, Dixon has always run well on the historic one-mile oval. Expect more of the same, especially after finishing second in each of the Twin 275's at Texas. Dixon will be hungry for a win this weekend.

Drop: Marco Andretti
Even though he has finishes of fifth and seventh, he also has a pair or crashes in his four previous starts at Milwaukee. In short, he has been hit-or-miss. When he can finish, he'll be alright. But, with only a 50% finishing rate, it is not a guarantee that he'll see the checkered flag. Even though he only his record at Milwaukee includes only four starts, they don't speak too highly of him.

Sleeper: Graham Rahal
Rahal has shown very well in his two runs on "The Mile." In 2008, he started second and ran in the top five throughout the race before bu,ping the turn four wall. In 2009, he learned from that mistake, staying patient and running mistake-free in the top five. He eventually finished fourth. He and the Service Central Chip Ganassi team get better with every race and Sunday's Milwaukee 225 could their day.

---Kyle Lavigne’s picks

Lock: Dario Franchitti
The race for the championship is on and the oval masters have their eyes on the prize. Team Target came back strong from their disappointing Indy 500 at Texas but good enough is never enough for Chip and his drivers. They’ll be looking for as many victories as possible, especially on the ovals, to wrap up the season. As much as I’d like to give the Milwaukee Mile to Dixon, we all know that hasn’t gone well for me in the past. So I’ll pick his teammate for this one, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see either the #9 or #10 in victory lane.

Drop: Mike Conway
The rest of Team Andretti has rebounded fairly well from their disastrous Month of May but Conway still doesn’t seem to be up to par. I think it’ll take a few more races for him to get his feet back under him and get his confidence back.

Sleeper: Alex Tagliani
Tags is about ready to graduate from the sleeper category to the lock. It won’t be long before he gets his first oval win. For now Ganassi and Penske will still get the best of him. But I think he has several podium finishes in his future. He is by far the most impressive story of the season and he deserves to be mentioned with likes of Dixon, Franchitti, and Power this year.

---Kristin Slevin’s picks

Lock: Ryan Briscoe
I'm noticing a lot of love for Scott Dixon, and he's indeed pretty good here at Milwaukee. But Briscoe returns to the Mile coming off a victory in 2008 and a pole and second-place finish in 2009. I think he can keep the Milwaukee momentum going, even with a year's absence.

Drop: Helio Castroneves
Castroneves has been "dancing" up and down the pylon over the last few years at the Mile. His last five results in Milwaukee from 2004 to 2009: 12th, 16th, 14th, 16th, fifth, 11th. Qualifying's not the problem, as he had top-5 starts in the races from '04 to '08. But for some reason, he seems snake-bit at this place on race day.

Sleeper: Danica Patrick
Patrick's had some solid results here and returns to the Mile with a streak of four straight top-10 runs there. A victory isn't entirely out of the question with a steady run (and some problems from the front-runners); at the least, she'll get you a decent amount of points.

---Chris Estrada's picks


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  16. 16 Keith smith 14 Jun
    My sleepers. TK, Servia, Rahal. Dixon is always good there but, would like to see a shakeup. Especially TK driving the Jim Clark colored and numbered car. Milwaukee was JC's first American win.

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