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Locks, Drops, & Sleepers: Grand Prix of Baltimore

Steve Wittich, Zachary Houghton, and Chris Estrada
| Aug 29, 2012

With two races remaining in the IZOD IndyCar Series season (where has the time gone?), some drivers are still fighting for the championship. Others might be out of the title fight, but are still doing everything to grab a win in one of the final two events. The same may be said for many of the owners in INDYCAR Fantasy Racing. To help you finish strong, our panelists are back with another round of INDYCAR Locks, Drops, and Sleepers for the Grand Prix of Baltimore:


Steve Wittich, IndyCar Nation Contributor

Lock: Will Power

Some of the most impressive laps in the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series were turned by Will Power at the inaugural Grand Prix of Baltimore.  The ten “qualifying” laps he ran to gap Oriol Servia in the second half of last year’s race were nothing short of spectacular.  His success at Baltimore last year combined with his incomparable skill on street circuits makes it hard to bet against a podium finish.

Drop: Rubens Barrichello

Rubens enjoyed his IndyCar best finish of fourth this past weekend on the natural terrain course at the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma.  Unfortunately, I don’t see that momentum carrying over to Baltimore.  The differing track surfaces and lack of practice time at street circuits have not been a kind combination for the popular Brazilian.

Sleeper: Oriol Servia

In the first half of the season Servia and Panther DRR had a few issues with their qualifying program but rallied often to top 10 finishes.  In the second half of the season, the team has improved their qualifying program but have struggled with results.  Oriol had a great podium run at Baltimore last year, and I have a feeling that this is the race the team finds the right balance and a top 5 result.


Chris Estrada, IndyRacingRevolution.com

Lock: Will Power

The IndyCars are heading across the country this weekend, but they’ll arrive at another stop where Power has the edge. Last year at Baltimore, the Australian led 70 of 75 laps en route to victory. This year, he returns with some cushion in the championship (36 points) after all of his title rivals faltered last weekend. One more dominant effort in Charm City from Power may effectively put an end to the championship battle

Drop: James Hinchcliffe

After running as high as second in the championship, the Canadian driver has fallen back to Earth and now sits seventh in the standings. Hinch’s season on the streets has been feast or famine: He’s had top-5 runs at St. Pete and Long Beach (where he earned his first career podium), but mechanical woes saddled him with poor results at Belle Isle and Toronto. Thus, you wonder which will win out in B-More: A highly formidable driver or more rotten luck.

Sleeper: Oriol Servia

Throw out the three early street course events that Servia ran while he had an off-the-pace Lotus engine, and the Spaniard has been strong in this discipline as of late. At Belle Isle, he moved up 11 positions to finish fifth, and in Toronto, he jumped nine spots for another fifth-place result. Servia also finished second in 2011 at Baltimore.


Zachary Houghton, IndyCarAdvocate.com

Lock: Scott Dixon

My first choice this weekend would be Will Power, but I suspect that well has gone dry in a number of series. If you still have him available, go with Scott Dixon. He finished P5 at Baltimore last year, but more importantly, dating back to the merger, in the last two races of any season, he has finished on the podium in 7 of 8 races. Dixie knows how to pour it on at the end of the season, so if you’ve saved him until now, it should pay off big.

Drop: Rubens Barrichello

After a good outing at Sonoma, expect the Brazilian F1 veteran to level back out a bit this week. Rubens has had issues with rough tracks this year, and there are enough  differing track surfaces at Baltimore to give him a hard time. You’re better looking elsewhere this week.

Sleeper: Tony Kanaan

Despite his being P6 in the standings, there hasn’t been too much chatter regarding Kanaan recently. Baltimore seems to be a course that suits his driving style, as evidenced by his podium finish in last year’s inaugural event. KV has had their struggles this year, but I like TK to have a least one more good result before the season is out.


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