IndyCar championship winning scenarios for six finalists

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Double the amount of base points, in addition to bonus points, could have a major impact on who emerges as the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion following Sunday’s season-ending race at Sonoma Raceway.

Juan Pablo Montoya has led the points since winning the season opener at St. Petersburg. The 1999 CART champion is seeking his first IndyCar title after joining the series last season after seven years of competing in NASCAR.

To earn the championship and the Astor Cup trophy without needing any additional help, Montoya must finish first or second in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. One other way is if Montoya’s closest challenger, Graham Rahal, who comes into the race 34 points behind, fails to win Sunday and Montoya finishes no lower than third place.

Double base points brings an added dimension of excitement and uncertainty that ultimately means even the driver who is furthest behind Montoya in points – Josef Newgarden (-87 points) – still has a chance of pulling off a big upset, albeit a slim one.

But the bonus points and various scenarios don’t seem to matter much to Montoya, who remains confident he can win the title.

“Same thing as every week: Go out there and do the best we can, see what happens,” Montoya told IndyCar.com. “It’s double points, so it’s open for anything. I feel if we run a smart day all day, we’ll be fine.”

Also courtesy of IndyCar.com, here’s a chart of virtually all possible scenarios to determine this year’s champion:

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IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold