Juan Pablo Montoya. In a Team Penske IndyCar. At Phoenix International Raceway.
This is as close to a stocking stuffer as could be possible for IndyCar fans this time of year, especially considering that the series itself won’t be racing at the flat, challenging 1-mile oval anytime soon.
But Montoya’s testing there today, in what will be his first oval running in an IndyCar since 2000 at Auto Club Speedway at Fontana. The Colombian and teammate Helio Castroneves were scheduled to test at ACS on Monday, but the test was postponed due to high winds.
Montoya did get his first IndyCar running in in late November at Sebring and was immediately within three tenths of his other teammate, Will Power.
Power, meanwhile, will take on a new social media role later today as he’ll be participating in IndyCar’s first Vine chat at 2 p.m. ET this afternoon. Tweet questions using #PowerVine and starting at 2, he’ll be answering. Further details are in the @IndyCar tweet below, and also available @PenskeRacing.
Tomorrow – we’re doing our first ever Vine chat, starring @12WillPower! Tweet qs using #PowerVine & come here at 2pm for his video answers!
Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.
Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.
The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.
In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.
Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.
Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.
Last Five Seattle Winners
450s 2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto