Exclusive INDYCAR Nation News

Roundtable: Rookies, Favorites, and the 500

by
Steve Wittich, Zachary Houghton, Eric Hall, and Mark Wilkinson
| May 16, 2013

With practice times heating up at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, there’s plenty to discuss about this year’s Indianapolis 500. Some of our INDYCAR blogger friends got together to contribute to a practice week Indy 500 roundtable session:

***

Who is your early favorite to win this year's Indy 500?

Steve Wittich, OpenWheelWorld: It is not hard to pick 20 possible winners from the entry list for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500. Narrowing that list down to ten is very hard, and narrowing it down to one is darn near impossible. Do Helio Castroneves or Dario Franchitti win their fourth?  Does Tony Kanaan get the Indy monkey off his back and score what would be a very popular win? Can Takuma Sato avenge the final lap of the 2012 race? Can Marco Andretti join his grandfather in achieving something his father came oh so close to doing? Those would all be great choices but I think this is the year for the little guy. This is the year for hometown boy Ed Carpenter to win the Indianapolis 500.

Zachary Houghton, INDYCAR Nation / IndyCarAdvocate.com: With two three-time champions in the field, there has to be some respect for their accomplishments, but I genuinely believe we’ll see a first time winner this season. We’ve just had so much big oval parity, even dating back to last season, that anything seems possible. Personally, I really like Marco Andretti’s approach and attitude coming into the month, and think he or an Andretti teammate like James Hinchcliffe could very well make it happen. Just as strong could be the chances of Ed Carpenter—his team focuses on this race more than any other, and it should show. Ed did wonders last year before a late spin, and I think he could very well pull it off this year.

Eric Hall, anotherindycarblog: Marco Andretti. Coming off the best start to a season in his career, Marco Andretti is in prime position to be the driver to beat when the green flag falls in a little under two weeks. Always a perennial contender at Indianapolis, Marco often has more pressure on himself heading into May than he necessarily should. Be it crash damage, poor results, or just a plain sour luck, in 2013, none of that is present. Andretti looks to finally live up to expectations this year and his clean start will allow him to just drive the entire month and focus on a win instead of the larger championship.

Mark Wilkinson, New Track Record: Tricky question.  I can never separate my heart from my brain.  My early favorite is Tony Kanaan.  He continues to demonstrate that he can pass at Indy all day if need be.  His runs through the pack will finally be rewarded this year.  TK takes the checkered flag, and all IndyCar fans celebrate.  I'll keep my Kleenex handy.

***

Which Indy 500 rookie driver do you expect the most from?

Steve: Wow!  What a strong crop of rookies and what a hard question to answer. But if you are going to force me to choose, I am going to have to go with AJ Allmendinger. He doesn’t have a lot of open wheel oval experience, but he does have a lot overall oval experience. Couple that with being paired with Team Penske and he takes the Rookie of the Year crown by a nose.

Zack: It’s a great problem to have, but I could very easily see any of this crop of rookies turn out to be the Indy 500 rookie of the year. AJ Allmendinger would seem to be the favorite, since he’s with Team Penske and has so much racing experience, but Indy doesn’t always reward the obvious favorite. Provided he can stay patient, I like Carlos Muñoz for a good result this year. I think Andretti Autosport’s strong team approach could pay some big dividends.

Eric: AJ Allmendinger – With arguably the best equipment, team and management on the grid and his previous experiences in high horsepower cars, there should be nothing stopping AJ from having one heck of a race. If it clicks at some point in the month and AJ finally “gets it”, he could end up very well placed by the time the checkers fall. The other rookies in the field have a myriad of excuses to fall back on, but AJ has only his inexperience holding him back. With a good result, Penske could possibly secure the funding to keep Allmendinger in the #2 for the balance of the season.

Mark: The rookie with the highest expectations has to be Tristan Vautier.  He has demonstrated his chops on the road and streets, but it remains to be seen if he can tool around all day at 210 MPH without having brain fade. Carlos Munoz might have the better team at Andretti Autosport, but Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has the better driver.

***

Which team or driver has the most to prove right now?

Steve: Let's go with an outside the box pick here. I think that after being outmaneuvered by Honda Performance Development on race day in 2012, Team Chevy has the most to prove this year.  Chevrolet teams and drivers dominated practice leading up to qualifying for the 2012 Indianapolis 500. They swept eight of the nine spots available in the Pole Day Fast Nine Shootout with Ryan Briscoe scoring a pole for Team Penske. The trouble started for Team Chevy when the teams switched to the newest generation powerplants on Carb Day. The speed shown by Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti foretold what would happen on race day when the twosome looked untouchable. Don't expect Team Chevy to be caught out like that again.

Zack: How about Dragon Racing? After an offseason of intense scrutiny, they’ve faltered out of the gate, with both Sebastian Saavedra and Sebastien Bourdais struggling through a host of results. Something more than an extremely shiny livery is needed to turn their season around. If you don’t buy into that, there’s always Ryan Briscoe. Having been released from Penske, the 2012 pole winner finds himself with another shot with a top team at Indianapolis. Last year’s Top 5 was his first good Indy result since 2007. Let’s see if Briscoe can show Roger Penske what he’s missing this month.

Eric: Will Power. Not a single person doubts that Power is the most talented driver in the field on street and road courses, but after three years of being a championship contender, Power still does not sit in the same company as the top caliber oval racers in the field. If he wants the elusive championship trophy, his own oval acumen, his teams’ pit work, and his poor oval luck need a major upgrade this year. And there is no better place to start than Indianapolis.

Mark: The team with the most to prove right now is Penske Racing.  They have been beset with problems that have to fry the Captain's outwardly calm nerves.  Big pressure at Penske!  The driver with the most to prove is last year's pole sitter Ryan Briscoe.  His unceremonious dumping from Penske Racing last year has to chafe, and landing in a prime seat with Target Chip Ganassi Racing gives Briscoe a chance to audition for a full-time ride.  Do not count him out.

***

Which team or driver could be the biggest sleeper this month?

Steve: I’ll go with Justin Wilson and Dale Coyne Racing. They showed a lot of speed at Indianapolis last year and Justin proved the naysayers wrong with his win at Texas. Engineer Bill Pappas has had success at Indianapolis when he was with Ganassi and adding the third car could very well benefit them by having more data to pore over.

Zack: Charlie Kimball is always the quiet “other guy” at the Ganassi operation, but ran well in his sophomore effort at Indy last season. Another good result is not out of the question. My other pick would be from the Panther-DRR effort. No one around the paddock would consider Oriol Servia a dark horse, but neither is he usually mentioned among the favorites for victory this season. With the team’s financial struggles and Servia’s future in IndyCar questionable, the driver who finished P6 and P4 here the last two years could be motivated to turn in the performance of a lifetime.

Eric: Oriol Servia. DRR and Oriol Servia have everything to gain and nothing to lose with a top performance this month. It’s rare when we get to see such a talented full season driver and team able to tackle the 500 from a pure race-for-the-win mindset. Who knows what a trip to victory lane could produce for the team set to shutter their doors after the Memorial Day Classic? Everyone affiliated with the DRR operation is employed because of their love for Indy; their passion is undoubted and nearly unrivaled in the paddock. Even if the shop still closes, a good result would send the crew out on a somewhat positive note.&

Mark: With the parity in the series, it is hard to call anyone a sleeper.  Takuma Sato?  After last year's last lap move, it's obvious this team and driver have a chance to win.  Ed Carpenter?  With a win at the last oval race, he's hardly unnoticed.  My sleeper is Panther Racing's Townsend Bell.  He's smart, savvy, and stays out of trouble.  He's just the kind of driver who finds himself at the right place at the right time.  And that might just be crossing the yard of bricks first.

 

71 Comments

  1. 1 professional scribbling services 19 Apr
    You may comment on the download-ability of the blog. You could issue
    it’s magnificent. Your blog grades might expand your supporters.
  2. 2 CARRIE 19 Apr
    Document reckoned the software was going to come to be a lot of uninspiring unwanted content, but it really paid back just for great effort. I'm going to content a traffic to our document relating to great web page. Most probably great tourists find which usually worthwhile.

    read more
  3. 3 bloger 19 Apr

    Why do only so much

    written on this subject? Here you see more.
    best belly fat burning diet plan
     

  4. 4 bloger 18 Apr

    You
    possess lifted an essential offspring..Blesss for using..I would want to

    study better latest transactions from this blog..preserve posting..


    vaporizers
     

  5. 5 bloger 17 Apr

    You have done a
    great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I

    am confident they will be benefited from this site.

    online ebooks
     

  6. 6 sistema venus 16 Apr
    I must say that this is a splendid article. This is the best thing that
    I've perused not long from now. I am truly awed by this article and I
    trust that I will become acquainted with some more articles like this
    from you. Much appreciated, mate!
  7. 7 fountain 16 Apr

    On my website

    you'll see similar texts, write what you think. 

    troll face

  8. 8 bloger 16 Apr

    Great post! I am
    actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend.
    Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up

    the good work you are doing here.

     
    dr oz forskolin

  9. 9 bloger 14 Apr

    This is very
    useful, although it will be important to help simply click that web page

    link:
    download now
     

  10. 10 bloger 13 Apr

    I would also
    motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite

    assistance to assist posted the appearance.

    attraction spinner phrase
     

  11. 11 fountain 09 Apr

    I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to
    know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job!

    amazon girlfriend activation system
     

  12. 12 bloger 09 Apr

    This is a awesome

    thing, Blesss for offering me this info. Withhold posting.

    write up

  13. 13 bloger 08 Apr

    Great info! I
    recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would

    leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have.


    https://rebelmouse.com/
     

  14. 14 Apartamente de vanzare Bucuresti 08 Apr
    Its as if you had a great grasp on the subject matter, but you forgot to
    include your readers. Perhaps you should think about this from more
    than one angle.
  15. 15 Calculatoare Second Hand 06 Apr
    This topic is something that I have been looking into for a while now
    and your insight is exceptional. Thanks for sharing this information.
  16. 16 fountain 02 Apr

    This is a great

    article, Thanks for giving me this information. Keep posting.

     

    fun team building games

  17. 17 Mark 01 Apr

    There is so much in
    this article that I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives

    readers things to think about in an interesting way.


    ee telephone number
     

  18. 18 fountain 01 Apr

    Very informative
    post! There is a lot of information here that can help any business get

    started with a successful social networking campaign!

    Buy Viagra in Ireland Online 

  19. 19 fountain 31 Mar

    Should there be an
    alternate enticing post you can impart next time, I'll be without a doubt

    sitting tight for it. 

     
    Auto Profit Replicator

  20. 20 Mark 31 Mar

    Wow! What an eye
    opener this post has been for me. Very much appreciated, bookmarked, I can’t

    wait for more!

    binary boom 

  21. 21 Mark 29 Mar

    I've
    proper selected to build a blog, which I hold been deficient to do for a

    during. Acknowledges for this inform, it's really serviceable!

    Fitness Kickboxing Classes 

  22. 22 fountain 29 Mar

    Extremely
    educational post! There is a great deal of data here that can help any

    business begin with a fruitful informal communication fight!

     
    Get in shape with Belly Dance

  23. 23 jannat 28 Mar

    Extraordinary, This
    particular net page is genuinely exciting and delight to learn. I'm a
    colossal fan from the subjects specified. 

    Binary Boom 

  24. 24 fountain 28 Mar

    Really great post,
    Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all
    bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a

    much better place. Please keep it up!

     

    Good
    tattoo studio

  25. 25 fountain 28 Mar

    You have raised an
    important issue..Thanks for sharing..I would like to read more current

    affairs from this blog..keep posting..


    best lms software
     

  26. 26 Mark 28 Mar

    This is very
    interesting content! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your points and have

    come to the conclusion that you are right about many of them. You are great.


    single customer view platform
     

  27. 27 HUBERT 28 Mar
    I would also motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite assistance to assist posted the appearance.

    blogging system
  28. 28 hijack 28 Mar

    Great post! I am
    actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend.
    Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up

    the good work you are doing here.

    binboom.com review 

  29. 29 bloger 27 Mar

    So luck to come
    across your excellent blog. Your blog brings me a great deal of fun.. Good

    luck with the site.


    vizitează
    site-ul autorului

     

  30. 30 colin 26 Mar

    Initial
    You got a awesome blog .I determination be involved in plus uniform minutes.
    i view you got truly very functional matters , i determination be always

    checking your blog blesss.

     
    Guaranteed Outcome Review

  31. 31 colin 24 Mar

    wow this
    saintly however ,I love your enter plus nice pics might be part personss

    negative love being defrent mind total poeple ,


    www.teaterdating.com/techniques-to-help-turn-that-girl-friend-into-a-girlfriend
     

  32. 32 fountain 24 Mar

    I might
    want to thank you for the exertions you have made in composing this article.

    I am trusting the same best work from you later on also. 

    Opzioni Binarie 

  33. 33 fountain 24 Mar

    First
    You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you

    got really very useful topics , i will be always checking your blog thanks.


    Best
    Black Hair Stylist in Richmond Va

     

  34. 34 fountain 23 Mar

    I have recently
    started a blog, the info you provide on this site has helped me greatly.

    Thanks  for all of your time & work.  

     Guaranteed Outcome

  35. 35 fountain 19 Mar

    "This
    is just the information I am finding everywhere. Thanks for your blog, I just

    subscribe your blog. This is a nice blog. "

    WebHosting
     

  36. 36 fountain 19 Mar

    I've proper selected to build a blog, which I hold been
    deficient to do for a during. Acknowledges for this inform, it's really

    serviceable!


    get your
    ex back and keep him


     

  37. 37 bloger 19 Mar

     

    I just
    thought it may be an idea to post incase anyone else was having problems
    researching but I am a little unsure if I am allowed to put names and
    addresses on here.

    JEECUP 2015 Admit Card

  38. 38 bloger 18 Mar

    Extremely
    educational post! There is a great deal of data here that can help any

    business begin with a fruitful informal communication fight!

     
    Cool AC
    Repair Las Vegas


  39. 39 hijack 17 Mar

    I likewise profit
    from taking in the appraisals, however discover that alot of individuals
    should stay on article to attempt and include worth toward the real weblog

    discharge. 

    rate my
    obgyn


     

  40. 40 bloger 16 Mar

    I would also
    motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite

    assistance to assist posted the appearance.

    text your ex back
     

  41. 41 bloger 16 Mar

    Awesome
    dispatch! I am indeed getting apt to over this info, is truly neighborly my
    buddy. Likewise fantastic blog here among many of the costly info you

    acquire. Reserve up the beneficial process you are doing here.

    animation maker
     

  42. 42 hijack 16 Mar

    Actually your
    experimental writing capacities has motivated me to begin my own particular
    Blogengine blog now. Truly the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your

    compose up is a fine illustration of it. 

    click here
     

  43. 43 bloger 16 Mar

    You have raised an
    important issue..Thanks for sharing..I would like to read more current

    affairs from this blog..keep posting..

    Binary Bank Breaker

  44. 44 bloger 14 Mar

    You have made an
    extraordinary showing. I will most likely burrow it and generally suggest to

    my companions. I am sure they will be profited from this site. 

    www.enriqueiglesias.com/profiles/blogs/girlfriend-activation-system-review-enrique-has-a-hottie-do-you/

     

  45. 45 austin power 14 Mar

    Fabulous post, felt

    free to bookmarked your site. I can hardly wait to peruse more from you.

     Garage doors Thornton

  46. 46 bloger 14 Mar

    Thanks very much
    for this great article;this is the stuff that keeps me going through out

    these day.

    organic
    twin mattress


     

  47. 47 hijack 13 Mar

    Your
    texts on this subject are correct, see how I wrote   upholstery cleaning in richmond  this site is really very good.
  48. 48 bloger 12 Mar

    Actually I read it
    yesterday but I had some thoughts about it and today I wanted to read it

    again because it is very well written.

    high
    quality cowboy boots


     

  49. 49 bloger 11 Mar

    I was very pleased
    to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely
    enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new

    stuff you post.

    http://supcompare.gr
     

  50. 50 bloger 11 Mar

    Such a very useful
    content. Very exciting to study this content.I would like to thank you for

    the initiatives you had created for composing this amazing content.

     Wide Wallpapers

  51. 51 fountain 11 Mar

    Thanks for creating
    the page! Im positive that it will be very popular. It has good and valuable

    content which is very rare these days.

    high frequency trading
     

  52. 52 jassica monica 10 Mar

     

    Much appreciated a
    whole lot for this extraordinary article;this is the stuff that keeps me
    experiencing out these day. 

     Matt Lloyd

  53. 53 Daniel 09 Mar

    This article gives
    the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and

    gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.

     Matt Lloyd

  54. 54 bloger 09 Mar

    Hmm… I read blogs
    on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites

    and i’ll be your constant reader.

    MOBE

  55. 55 fountain 25 Feb

    The internet is
    bogged down with bogus blogs with no real message but the post was fantastic

    and well worth the read.Thank you for sharing this with me.

     

    Promaids groupe
    menage

  56. 56 bloger 25 Feb

    Thanks very much
    for this great article;this is the stuff that keeps me going through out

    these day.

     

    My Lead
    System Pro Review

  57. 57 austin power 24 Feb

    You have
    a real ability for writing unique content. I like how you think and the way
    you represent your views in this article. I agree with your way of thinking.
    Thank you for sharing. - See more at:                          maid service Naperville IL


  58. 58 hijack 24 Feb

    I've just decided
    to create a blog, which I have been wanting to do for a while. Thanks for

    this post, it's really useful!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvFQ7R5OoyE
     

  59. 59 hijack 23 Feb

    I should say only
    that its awesome! The blog is informational and always produce amazing

    things.

    grasmaaiers
     

  60. 60 fountain 23 Feb
    Exclusive and Original content for the most and latest relevant entertainment news, beauty topics, fashion, news and celebrity gossip of African, African American and the African diaspora...Click here for more :                    
    music 

  61. 61 fountain 22 Feb

    This is a great

    article, Thanks for giving me this information. Keep posting.

     Verified Trader

  62. 62 colin 22 Feb

    I might want to
    thank you for the exertions you have made in composing this article. I am

    trusting the same best work from you later on also. 

    mobil
    casino

     

  63. 63 austin power 22 Feb

    This article gives
    the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and

    gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.

     
    Online Business

  64. 64 fountain 21 Feb

    Should there be an
    alternate enticing post you can impart next time, I'll be without a doubt

    sitting tight for it. 

    Website Traffic
     

  65. 65 fountain 21 Feb

    Thanks for creating
    the page! Im positive that it will be very popular. It has good and valuable

    content which is very rare these days.

    Youtube Ads
     

  66. 66 Daniel 21 Feb

    I read this
    article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate

    your work.

    How To Make Money Online
     

  67. 67 bloger 20 Feb

    I like your post.
    It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important

    subject can be easily observed. more info view site 

    Mens
    Tungsten Rings


     

  68. 68 colin 20 Feb

    Nice share of
    information here. I really find this information really helpful for me.
    Thanks a lot, dude, for putting up this vital information on the internet for

    everybody to use.


    www.cbseresults.nic.in
    CBSE Result 2015 Official Website


     

  69. 69 hijack 20 Feb

    Mmm.. good to be
    here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for

    my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site.


    NHL
    Suites

     

  70. 70 hijack 17 Feb

    I just thought it
    may be an idea to post incase anyone else was having problems researching but

    I am a little unsure if I am allowed to put names and addresses on here.

    Clash of
    Clans Hack Online


     

  71. 71 jack 11 Feb
    I am looking for the really professional essay writing utility plus cannot appear to explore it. Where do you rationalize I could have individual? Are au writing utilitys expedient to wear for a amateur further how many do they typically expense?

You are not allowed to post comments.