Will Power will look to seek revenge, and gain momentum on points leader Dario Franchitti as the series heads to Edmonton, Alberta this weekend.
Power won this race in 2009, but two-time winner Scott Dixon will look to add another trophy to his collection, while battling Power for second place in the Championship standings.
The new 2.256-mile, 13-turn layout will challenge drivers and provide plenty of action for fans. The 90-degree first turn is going to be filled with drama, especially during the double-file restarts. There also are two long straights for drag racing that should provide plenty of passing opportunities. Sunday afternoon’s race will present some new changes for the teams and drivers.
Edmonton is a tourism hot spot, boasting the world’s largest shopping mall, the largest stretch of urban parkland in North America, and an array of diverse attractions. They will once again show strong support for Canadian drivers Paul Tracy, Alex Tagliani, and James Hinchcliffe. This weekend though, all eyes will be on Power, Franchitti and Dixon.
If it is possible to be both the hottest driver and the driver most under the radar, Dixon is the one. He has slowly been on the heels of Dario and Power, waiting for one of them to slip.
His impressive number of runner-up finishes this year has put him where he is today. He has won here twice, and we all know the Ganassi cars will have plenty of horsepower to start up front.
I am just going to go out on a limb here and say that someone does something really stupid going into the hairpin turn on the first lap.
It will be anyone's guess as to who will make that mistake, but I am leaning towards Sebastian Saavedra with this one.
In two starts in Edmonton, Rahal has run fairly well. He does have one top-five start, and a best finish of seventh place.
He has been running extremely well all season long, so this one shouldn’t be far fetched at all. With the two long straights and absence of walls, this could be the perfect course for Graham to find another win.
We all know how dominant Will is on the road/street courses, but this one is different. There are going to be a lot of passing lanes, and the track will be wide open. He won here in 2009, but he will have his hands full this year.
He has started in the top five in all three races here, including from the pole. Perhaps the most interesting statistic of this race: Power has led 166 total laps here, which is more than the other six drivers that have led here combined (115).
Surprise, surprise, another runner-up finish for Scott. He will take it though, as he continues his pursuit of second place in the standings.
As he steadily moves his way towards Power, he could soon take over the second position, giving Chip Ganassi first and second place heading into the final handful of races.
Dixon is a two-time winner here, and what might be just as impressive is the fact that he has started and finished in the top five in all three races at Edmonton. I am confident that he can get the pole and be up front all day, but I have to go with my gut feeling for this year's winner.
We have all been waiting for Briscoe to find victory lane this year. He has looked so good in so many races this year, only to be taken out by some unfortunate luck. I feel confident he will finally be able to put an end to that bad luck this Sunday.
Briscoe has started in the top five in all three races in Edmonton, including from pole position. His best finish is fourth place, but he has finished in the top five here twice.
Another interesting statistic that could end his bad luck; He has completed every single lap in all three races at Edmonton (281). Only two other drivers (Dixon and Helio) can lay claim to that fact.
Once again the three Canadian drivers will battle for supremacy amongst the hometown fans. In Toronto, James Hinchcliffe got quite a hand from the crowd after the race, but it paled in comparison to the cheers and screams that Paul Tracy received.
I think that all three of these drivers have a solid chance at a podium in this race, but if I had to go with one of them, I would say Tagliani probably gets the edge.
His team should benefit from the long straights on this new course, and there should be plenty of room for him to get around the other cars this week.