By: Spencer Neff
August 16, 2019 | 11:12 AM
Happy race week, everyone. After two weeks off, the NTT IndyCar Series returns to action this weekend. On Sunday, the season’s final superspeedway race will be contested, as the 2.5-mile triangle-shaped Pocono Raceway hosts the ABC Supply 500.
With this weekend and next weekend’s races being contested on ovals, it could provide an opportunity for drivers needing championship points.
At Mid-Ohio, my team (16th Street Bullies) finished fifth in the Open-Wheels.com league to keep my fourth-place spot in the season-long standings.
Now, here are some drivers to consider for your lineup.
Will Power (Team Penske) $28
2019 has been a frustrating season for Power. Despite three pole wins and three podium finishes, the 2014 series champion has yet to win a race this season. This weekend, he returns to a track that has been kind to him in the past.
In six previous starts, the Toowoomba, Australia-native has started and finished in the top 10 each time. Last year, Power won his first pole at “The Tricky Triangle” and finished second in his bid for three straight Pocono wins.
If Power and his team can keep the mistakes to a minimum, a third win in four years is a strong possibility.
Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) $34
After a last-lap spin at Mid-Ohio cut his points lead over Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden looks to continue his dominant season.
In six previous starts at Pocono, the 2017 IndyCar champion has six top-10 finishes, including runner-up efforts in 2015 and 2017. Heading into the 14th round of the championship, Newgarden has won the previous two oval track races. Don’t be surprised if he makes it a hat trick and stretches his points lead.
Other Favorites: Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport), Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske), Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing)
Charlie Kimball (Carlin Racing) $19
For the first time since Texas in June, Charlie Kimball returns to the driver’s seat for Carlin Racing. In what has become one of two split seats at Carlin, Kimball will make his fourth of five scheduled starts.
Throughout his IndyCar career, Pocono has been a solid track for Kimball in terms of results. In 2013, he earned a runner-up finish during IndyCar’s return, his career-best oval finish. Last year, Kimball gave Carlin a top-10 in their debut at the track, racing from 19th to ninth.
With Kimball’s veteran savvy, another solid run for he and Carlin may be on tap this weekend.
Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing) $22
For the second-generation driver, the 2019 season has been a mixed bag of results. In particular, this adage has proven true regarding Herta’s first two superspeedway events.
In May, he was the fastest rookie and Honda driver, qualifying fifth. Unfortunately, he completed just three laps of the Indianapolis 500 and finished 33rd.
Two weeks later, Herta started 10th and was in contention for at least a podium finish at Texas Motor Speedway. With 20 laps to go, Herta tangled with Scott Dixon and he finished 18th as a result of the crash.
During his first full-time season, Herta has impressed throughout the paddock. After some disappointing stretches as of late, keeping things together will be key for both driver and team. With the speed they’ve shown in 2019, Pocono could help turn things around.
Other Sleepers: Zach Veach (Andretti Autosport), Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing), Conor Daly (Carlin Racing).
Spencer’s Fantasy Picks for Pocono
- Will Power, Team Penske ($28)
- Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport ($28)
- Santino Ferrucci, Dale Coyne Racing ($22)
- Colton Herta, Harding Steinbrenner Racing ($22)
Header Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR