INDYCAR Previews

Preview – 2016 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel

This weekend the Verizon IndyCar Series heads to Sonoma Raceway for the final race of the championship, the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. The championship will be decided between contenders Simon Pagenaud and Will Power. The Open Wheel will be on-site covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.

2015 - Sonoma - 84

Photo by Parker Hall/The Open Wheel

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Verizon IndyCar Series Preview: GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Sunday, September 18, 2016 6:30PM (ET) NBCSN – Previous driver experience at Sonoma Raceway shows Will Power and Scott Dixon as the only current drivers with multiple wins at the circuit (3 each). Andretti, Castroneves, and Kanaan each have wins at Sonoma. Dixon won the last two races at Sonoma Raceway as you can see in the box scores from 2015 and 2014. Ryan Hunter-Reay has finished P2 in each of the last two races. No other drivers put together back-to-back Top 5’s in that time but Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power, Takuma Sato, and Mikhail Aleshin also had Top 10’s in the last two years at Sonoma. Simon Pagenaud managed a podium finish in 2014 but finished back in P16 last year after starting in P4. My pick to win: Will Power – Power has won the pole at Sonoma five times in his seven starts and will obviously be highly motivated this weekend. He won this race three times in four years between 2010-2013 and has Top 10’s in each of the last two years. I think Power will do all he can do to put pressure on Pagenaud this weekend and he’s going to dominate start to finish.

My picks: Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mikhail Aleshin, Marco Andretti – You know my thoughts on Will Power. Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest in each session of testing last week at Sonoma and the word is that all of the Andretti Autosport cars were fast. Because of that, I like their chances for a big weekend and I think Marco is surely due for a good result. They allegedly have some of their grip issues sorted and I have to think that will make Marco more comfortable. Aleshin has Top 10’s in each of his races at Sonoma (including his only Verizon IndyCar Series start last year) and has been very fast lately so he should have a great weekend.