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Locks, drops & sleepers for Edmonton

by
Zach, Kyle, Chris & Kristin
| Jul 21, 2011

 

Lock: Scott Dixon
Edmonton has traditionally been perhaps Dixie’s best track (2 wins and a P3), but you have to remember, this is an all-new setup this year. Still, you have to think his first win of the season isn’t far off. Something about Edmonton seems to agree with Scott Dixon; given how close he’s been to winning already this year, I don’t expect that to change.

Drop: Paul Tracy
It probably goes against popular convention to pick against a Canadian for a Canadian race, but Tracy simply has not looked up to par this year. There have been too many on-track incidents and plenty of off-track distraction as well. It’s not that I don’t think he can do well here, but his aggressive driving has a better-than-average chance of seeing him out of contention. If you make this pick, consider it high-risk.

Sleeper: Alex Tagliani
Tag was apparently very impressed with the reconfigured Edmonton course during a promotional tour last week. The long straights should play towards SSM’s knack for speed, and Tag needs a good finish after a string of disappointments.

---Zach Houghton

Lock: Scott Dixon
Two of the last three races in Edmonton have been won by Dixon (2008 and 2010), and he finished third in the on he didn't win (2009). Even though last year's triumph was surrounded by controversy after Helio Castroneves was penalized for blocking, it does not detract from the pace that Dixon has always shown. He should be one of the fast guys all weekend.

Drop: Vitor Meira
Edmonton has never been kind to either Meira of A.J. Foyt Enterprises. The team's best result is 10th (Darren Manning 2008) and each of the of last two seasons, they're finishes have been 17th (2009) and 16th (2010). Meira's two results (he missed the 2009 race) aren't much better, with a 19th (2008) and a 16th (2010, with Foyt). I don't see that changing this weekend. Even though they enjoyed a fifth place finish at Toronto, I don't foresee the same happening in Edmonton.

Sleeper: James Hinchcliffe
It's not quite a home race for him, but he'll remain a fan favorite amongst the Canadian crowd. And, he has good history at the circuit, with an Indy Lights win last year. If not for the the melee in Toronto, he would have had a top ten there. His confidence grows with every race and this could be another strong weekend.

---Kyle Lavigne

Lock: Scott Dixon
Target Chip Ganassi Racing has gained the upper hand in its championship battle with Team Penske, and now it's time for some of that momentum to rub off on Dixon. He's been very stout at Edmonton in years past, and even with the new layout, expect that to continue.

Drop: Danica Patrick
With finishes of 18th, 11th and 15th in her three Edmonton races, this place hasn't been too hospitable to the IZOD IndyCar Series' most popular driver. With the new layout, things could get even tougher if she and her team can't pick it up quickly.

Sleeper: Justin Wilson
Despite finishing in the back last season, Wilson has shown that he can certainly do well at Edmonton in the past. He hit the podium in 2008 and collected a top-10 finish in 2009.

---Chris Estrada

Lock: Will Power
This is where I’d like to just insert last week’s “Lock” paragraph. Not to be repetitive but this seems like a no-brainer. Edmonton’s 13-turn road course maze is like Mecca for Power. Even without mentioning the heated Twitter spat between him and Dario Franchitti following Toronto, Will has more than enough motivation and determination to drive into victory lane this week.

Drop: Ryan Briscoe
Did you see how well my reverse psychology worked on my man Scott Dixon in Toronto? Picked him as my drop and ended up in second. So I’ll do the same this week for one of my other favorites. Despite being one of the most promising young drivers in the series, Briscoe has only put up average stats this season. Roger Penske knows how to pick his talent and I don’t think he was wrong with Briscoe. But he’s going to have to pick it up in the last half of the season to be of Team Penske caliber.

Sleeper: Alex Tagliani
Good old Tags has kept his nose clean the last couple races and he’s holding strong in tenth place in the championship points. And after his test at the track, last week he’ll be feeling even more comfortable and confident in the car. I expect big things this week from the Canadian-native.

---Kristin Slevin

7 Comments

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  4. 4 MIXSTIR 23 Jul
     LOCK- DARIO FRANCHITTI, SAY WHAT YOU WANT BUT DARIO IS ON A RAIL FOR ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP AND HIS TEAMATE DIXON WILL DO ALL THE SUPPORT HE CAN AT EDMONTON. WORK AS TEAMATES IN THE RACE WITH A TOP 5 FOR DIXON.                                                                                                                     DROP- E.J.VISO, HAS NOT CALMED DOWN ENOUGH TO BE CONSISTENT. NEEDS MORE THAN A FEW SHINING MOMENTS TO REACH A PODIUM. BETTER OFF WITH KANAAN FROM TEAM LOTUS.                        SLEEPER- ORIOL SERVIA, VERY SUPRISED HE HAS NOT PICKED OFF AT LEAST ONE ROAD/STREET COURSE THIS SEASON. FAST AND VERY CLOSE TO GETTING IT DONE WITH THE NEWMAN/HAAS TEAM WHICH HAS A VERY GOOD RECORD FOR THIS TYPE OF TRACK.
  5. 5 Zachary 22 Jul
    Interesting pick on Bourdais, Alex! I've mentioned in my fantasy column the proclivity for a lot of players to expend all their top-tier choices too early in the season. Sounds like you've got it figured out. If Bourdais holds true to his Toronto form, that could really pan out for you! 
  6. 6 Alex M 21 Jul
    Where did the paragraphs go in my post? Aw well, that's what I get for posting on my iPod
  7. 7 Alex M 21 Jul
    LOCK: WILL POWER If Will Power isn't the best road course driver in indycar right now, then he is the best one with top equiptment. I would deffinenty put my chips down on a guy of Power's caliber to pick up a brand new configuration quick then the rest. Plus Will has a little fire in his belly after two consecutive weeks of crashing out, especially after Toronto, a race he could have one, but had a dust-up with his points rival Dario who won te race while Will didn't finish. However, a new configuration also allows other drivers to prove them selves. Also watch for Graham Rahal off his hot week, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mike Conway, Oriol Servia, and Justin Wilson to show there natural road racing talent on this new track. Don't rule Marco out either, he come off a win and a fourth. DROP: PAUL TRACEY It's hard to say who to drop on a new circuit but, despite it being a Canadian road race, don't take Paul Tracey. He is a great road racer and all, but the equipment he is in isn't even close to par. Right now he is just trying to make the best of a slow situation, so I won't expect the fastest run from that #8 car. I might be wrong, you never know on a new track, but your roster will be safest without PT. SLEEPER: S√ČBASTIAN BOURDAIS Now hear me out on this. You want a sleeper, I'm going with the guy who won 4 championships, 31 races, and 44 podiums in his stay in Champ Car. The man knows how to drive a road course and although he hasn't amazed anyone yet in his return to American Open Wheel racing, Bourdais is almost there. In just 5 races (technically 4 with the St. Pete issues) he has slowly progressed to the point where he came back to Toronto without driving since Brazil and scored a 6th place after a strongest run since his return. He is remembering fast and a new configuration nobody has drove before may be the ticket for him to wow some people. At the rate he is at he will impress you before seasons end and it might be at Edmonton. So give some of the other drivers you have used a bunch this year a break, save em' for later, and use your S√©bastien Bourdais.

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