INDYCAR Previews

Preview – 2017 INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen

By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel

The INDYCAR season continues this weekend at Watkins Glen International for the Verizon IndyCar Series INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen and the Mazda Indy Lights Watkins Glen Grand Prix Presented by Cooper Tires. The Open Wheel will be covering the action all weekend so stay tuned to this site and our Twitter page @openwh33l for all of the latest news.

Preview - 2017 INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen - Watkins Glen 2016 5

Photo by Christy Reynolds/The Open Wheel

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Indy Lights Preview: Mazda Indy Lights Watkins Glen Grand Prix Presented by Cooper Tires (Entry List), Race – Sunday, September 3, 2017 10:50AM (ET) – Zach Veach led every lap of the Lights race at Watkins Glen in 2016. Championship leader Kyle Kaiser only needs to start the race to seal the title and he’s the top returning finisher from last year (P4). Santi Urrutia won the pole last year but struggled from the start before he had a tire rip to shreds on him halfway through the race. Neil Alberico finished P5 last year and is in need of a good result after a disappointing second half of 2017. The Andretti cars struggled here last year so it will be interesting to see what Colton Herta and the rest of the team can do this weekend. My pick to win: Santi Urrutia

Verizon IndyCar Series Preview: INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen, Sunday, September 3, 2017 1:00PM (ET) NBCSN – The news of the weekend is that Jack Harvey will make his road course debut in the Verizon IndyCar Series as he takes over the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports No. 7 car for the final two races of 2017. Previous driver experience shows 3 former winners at Watkins Glen in the field in Scott Dixon (4), Ryan Hunter-Reay (1), and Will Power (1). The Top 5 in laps led at WGI racing this weekend are Dixon (118), Helio Castroneves (52), Power (47), Marco Andretti (11), and Tony Kanaan (11). Dixon dominated the series’ return to WGI in 2016 as the Verizon IndyCar Series arrived for the first time since 2010. The full Top 5 was Dixon, Josef Newgarden, Castroneves, Conor Daly, and Sebastien Bourdais. Championship leader Newgarden figures to be just as impressive this year with his Team Penske equipment and recent hot streak. My pick to win: Scott Dixon – It’s hard to pick against Dixon at Watkins Glen. He’s won four of his seven starts at the circuit with a Top 5 and Top 10 in two of the other three. He was fastest in every practice session and won the pole last year. A switch to Honda power may slow that domination, but he still has to be considered a strong favorite.

My picks: Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Alexander Rossi, and Max Chilton – While I think Dixon is the favorite to win, his $31 price doesn’t allow for a Team Penske driver to fit with a roster I like. Therefore, I’m going with the Team Penske duo of Will Power and Simon Pagenaud to “headline” the team. Each will be highly motivated by disappointment at Gateway and need big results to put the championship in play at Sonoma. Rossi has four straight Top 6 finishes and finished P8 last year at Watkins Glen in his rookie year. Chilton loves smooth, natural terrain road courses as that’s what he’s used to in Europe. Like Rossi, he managed a Top 10 last year in his rookie year and should be faster this weekend.