INDIANAPOLIS – It’s hard to believe, but the 2017 season for the Verizon IndyCar Series as well as all three rings of the Mazda Road to Indy are coming to a close soon. The Verizon IndyCar Series has two weeks off before returning to the Pocono Raceway on Aug. 20. Counting Pocono, they have just four races left (Pocono, Gateway, Watkins Glen, Sonoma).
But, the MRTI series’ is right there with them.
The Indy Lights drivers have three weeks off before returning to Gateway. They have just two races left, one at Gateway, one at Watkins Glen. The Pro Mazda Series doesn’t race again until Gateway either and has three total races left. They have a doubleheader at the Glen.
The USF2000 drivers won’t race again until their season finale at Watkins Glen.
With that being said, they each have a tight points battle in all four series.
Oliver Askew leads Rinus VeeKay by just 13 points heading to the USF2000 finale. Askew, 20, has dominated this year by winning six times and having nine podiums. But, 16 year old VeeKay has eight straight podiums and 11 in 13 races this season. The champion will graduate to Pro Mazda in 2018.
Speaking of Pro Mazda, Anthony Martin holds a four points lead on Victor Franzoni. Both combined to win all three races at Mid-Ohio last weekend, with Martin, 22, having five wins and eight podiums in nine races this season, while Franzoni, 21, has five victories and nine podiums. One of these two drivers will make it to Indy Lights in 2018.
Then, the Indy Lights title is tightening up. Kyle Kaiser looked like the favorite to win the title, but he came away with two bad results at Mid-Ohio. He leads Santi Urruita and Colton Herta by just 42 points. Matheus Leist is 48 back, while Nico Jamin and Zachary Claman De Melo are each 54 points back in a tie for fifth in the standings. Even Aaron Telitz is in striking distance in sixth in the points with being 64 points out himself.
This is something to watch too. The champion there gets a three race deal in the Verizon IndyCar Series, including the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.
But, the IndyCar title is heating up too. Josef Newgarden leads Helio Castroneves by just seven points, while Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud trails by 10 and 17 points respectively. Even Will Power and Graham Rahal are right there too.
As you can see, the seasons of each series will come to a rest here for a few weeks before really heating up in a final three week push.