IndyCar Series: São Paulo Indy 300: Can Anyone Stop Team Penske?

James WilliamsAnalyst IIIApril 23, 2012

Will Power is the early favorite to win in Brazil.
Will Power is the early favorite to win in Brazil.Robert Laberge/Getty Images

It is the fourth race of the IndyCar season and the race teams are all in Brazil. Sunday will be one of the most exotic races on the entire schedule. São Paulo Indy 300 will go off at 11 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, IMS Radio and the Sirius-XM IndyCar channel.

Three races into the season, Team Penske, lead by Helio Castroneves and Will Power, is undefeated with wins in St. Petersburg, Alabama and Long Beach. Thus far the Penske gang has figured out how to use their brand new Chevrolet powered engines to not only run well but dominate the Honda and Lotus powered teams.

The São Paulo course is a 2.6 mile, 11-turn temporary street course that has been refined a bit from last year. Nothing major was done, but the tweaks were made to make the track run quicker. It will be less bumpy and much flatter.

Right now it looks like Power is the early favorite to win his third race in a row and his second straight São Paulo Indy 300. Last year’s race was a rain delayed event as many of you know, but this year, the weather should be fine, so the race should be fun.

So who knocks off Team Penske for the first time this year?

Truth be told, the gang at both Andretti Autosport and Target Chip Ganassi Racing have been very close this year. James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ryan Briscoe have all run well and will be a factor this weekend.

Course advantage goes to a couple of Brazilians Tony Kanaan and of course Castroneves. Both will get plenty of coverage and the vast majority of crowd support. The two each have the cars to win in Brazil, and they will be stoked to get the checkered flag in front of the home crowd.

How about a surprise winner?

Rookie Simon Pagenaud has been impressive, and I really like how the set up in São Paulo is a great fit for his vast driving talents.

Well it will be samba time for the IndyCar gang this week, and it is a wide open race. But Team Penske remains the team to beat.