Competition Level In IndyCar At Amazing High


Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, with a pair of fourth-place finishes, was the biggest mover over the weekend – from eighth in the standings following the Indianapolis 500 to fourth. That was matched by Pagenaud, who with his first IZOD IndyCar Series victory and 12th place advanced to fifth.

Another full-points doubleheader weekend in Toronto on July 13-14 closes the middle portion of the 19-race schedule, while the twinbill in Houston on Oct. 5-6 likely will stir up the points heading into the championship finale at Auto Club Speedway.

“We leave Detroit tied for the top of the points standings, which is where we want to be, so overall it was a good weekend,” said Castroneves, who posted fifth- and eighth-place finishes on the 2.346-mile, 13-turn street course. “Our goal all season has been consistency and this weekend we met the challenge once again.”

Andretti has six top 10s, highlighted by third-place finishes in the St. Petersburg opener and Brazil.

“We were missing a little bit to the top guys (in Race 2), but I think we got about as good as we can get from starting 14th,” said Andretti, who placed fifth. “It’s good to get back up there in the points and we’ll keep marching forward at Texas next weekend.”

The always-entertaining Firestone 550 at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway on June 8 kicks off a spate of four races in six weeks – on two superspeedways and two short ovals.

“We never know who is going to be on top each weekend,” Pagenaud said. “Everybody was impressed with Dale Coyne and Conway (for winning Race 1 and the pole for Race 2). It’s great to see what INDYCAR has been able to provide, a product that’s helping every team to be able to be competitive. There are a lot of smart people in every team right now. It’s about who’s going to be the smartest every weekend.

“It’s certainly very, very competitive, very difficult to pick a winner every race.”