IndyCar Live in Primetime at Texas [Firestone 550 Live Thread]
Behind Power are other usual suspects. Marco Andretti, currently tied for the points lead, will start 2nd. Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario Franchitti make up the 2nd row, with EJ Viso and other points co-leader Helio Castroneves in the 3rd row. It looks like Penske and Ganassi will have plenty of chances to win, something they actually haven't done yet in 2013. In fact, the two traditional power teams haven't even hit the podium in the last five races.
In the end though, starting position doesn't mean that much at Texas. Being an oval, drivers can move through the pack. However, don't expect this race to look like the Indy 500. In order to keep pack racing from happening, the series takes away a lot of downforce at Texas, more than any other oval. It makes the cars harder to drive, and makes taking care of tires a priority. The cars can and do drop off quickly. This was best shown at the end of last year's race. Graham Rahal look in the clear until he slapped the wall with 2 laps to go. This allowed Justin Wilson to go by and pick up his first ever win on an oval. This race won't have endless passing or 20 cars within a second of each other, but all signs point to an exciting, strategic race nonetheless.
Also to be noted are two more driver changes. Oriol Servia takes over the #4 Panther Racing National Guard car this week. Servia missed the Dual in Detroit due to the shutting down of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. Pippa Mann, meanwhile, takes over the #18 Dale Coyne Racing ride, which of course just saw victory lane last week, albeit at a very different course.
Coverage begins at 8:30 on ABC, with the green flag at around 8:50. Timing and scoring can be found here, and More Front Wing's indispensable Event Summary can be found here. Q it up throughout the Firestone 550.