Friday, October 4, 2013

Project "Penske Title"

With only 3 races at 2 venues remaining in the Indycar season, despite Helio Castroneves' leading the championship battle so far, the Penske camp has proven to all in motorsports that it's really not over.

Team Penske's other driver Will Power, has come up second in the championship chase in 2010, 2011, and 2012. This year Power has not even figured at all as a championship contender.  Is he burned out?

In previous years despite Power being the clear championship contender during the twilight of the season,  his teammates were always still after their own personal gain. The intramural squabble has always left the Verizon sponsored driver lacking in points to the eventual championship winner.

But this is 2013. And if there was a time to cheer for a large team with a disproportionate amount of resources, it is now. Roger Penske as the team owner deserves a championship. Chevrolet coming back to the series, was in part due to a team of Penske Racing's caliber campaigning their engines. That in turn has encouraged the development of the engines which in turn is good competition for the series' fans.

There are many other fringe benefits to the series' other teams that Penske has helped bring along. The popularity of Penske's drivers gives exposure to the series. Penske brings to the series another marketing dimension that Andretti and Ganassi have simply not tapped or been able to match.

So how can the Penske team assure itself of a driver championship at the end of the season? It's simple but not easy.

1- Will Power has to become Helio's wingman. He does not challenge him for position, and if he's a ahead he yields his positon to him.
2- Helio should not be racing to win. He should run a strategic race. Theoretically, he only has to finish right behind the highest finishing championship contender in each race.
3- No crashes. No description needed. We need to send a formal appeal to Indycar to make the last race of the season a road course. Ovals are very crash prone. It's never fun when a contender is taken out in a crash he might not have a chance to avoid.
4- Roger Penske should give a Dad to Son advice to Jay Penske, and instruct him to advise his drivers (Bourdais and Saavedra) not to fight too hard when a certain 3-time Indy 500 winner drives by them.

Drivers such as Sebastian Bourdais, Marco Andretti and Even Justin Wilson could still be on a mission for their first win of the season. The driver who has been on a hot tear lately is Simon Pagenaud, and he is set to go for the maximum points in each outing.

Penske racing has enough brain trust behind the pit wall to come up with all the strategies to get Helio the title, so long as he drives to his and his car's abilitities. Another missed opportunity would be very incomprehensible.