INDIANAPOLIS – Yes, the big storyline surrounding this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Watkins Glen has to be about the return. It’s the first race back at the upstate New York track since 2010. But, the other big storyline to watch is going to be Will Power vs. Simon Pagenaud. Can Power close more points between the two, as this is his last chance to do so before double points in the season finale at Sonoma in two weeks.
This is the chance to see how many points he needs to make up in the finale is he wants to win his second career Verizon IndyCar Series championship.
Power, was quickest in the test there a few weeks ago and is primed to be ready to score max points. He led 45 of the 60 laps in the last IndyCar race at The Glen and was victorious.
Also, Power has six top two finishes, including four victories in his last seven starts in that same time frame. He’s proving that he’s not going anywhere and with his remarkable streak entering this weekend and winning the last time out in Watkins Glen, as well as being quickest in the test, he appears to be the favorite.
But, Pagenaud is no slouch either. Yes, he’s never made an IndyCar start at Watkins Glen and yes he wasn’t in the top 10 of the speed charts during the test on Aug. 11, but the Frenchman has been so strong on terrain courses like Watkins Glen this season.
Pagenaud has won three of the four terrain circuits in 2016, and if not for a power unit going out in the end of the Road America race, he would have four top two finishes on these courses.
That should take some of the pressure off, as his No. 22 Chevrolet has been hooked up on these type of courses this season. It doesn’t matter that Power is closing fast and has all the momentum, what matters is Pagenaud keeping his head down and doing what got him here.
So, can Power score max points this weekend and really cut a deficit out of Pagenaud’s lead heading to the last race of the season? Sure, but Pagenaud can make sure that he doesn’t cut many out as he’s going to have a podium type of effort/car this weekend too. Yes, Power is the favorite but Pagenaud’s stats this year show he can win too.
This is the battle worth watching this weekend.