Meijer Indy 300 (Kentucky)

As the IndyCar Series heads to Kentucky this weekend, I’m doing all I can to resist the urge to make any references to banjos, blue grass and country music. Fight it. Fight it.

I won’t deny it – I love the ovals. And the push-to-pass option (along with a number of other newly-permitted adjustments) should make this racin’ like racin’ should be.

So here we go. My comfort pick of the week goes to Scott Dixon. As last year’s pole-sitter and race winner, he’s got the track familiarity. He describes Kentucky as “grippy, but bumpy.” Grippy, you say? Grippy indeed. And of course, when you’re leading in the points race, you’re a pretty safe bet for a podium finish.

If wishes can come true, I wish, I wish, I WISH that Tony Kanaan would take the checkered flag. TK has had more than bad luck this year, which one would assume has to end eventually. With his newly adorned “TK: The Torch” ride, I’m hoping to see his tremendous skill outperform the spell of bad luck that he’s dealt with for most of the season. Kanaan has lead 285 laps at this track. Fingers crossed for a repeat of his 2007 pole and victory.

My final pick for a podium finish this week is Dan Wheldon. Despite a fairly inconsistent record this season, he’s solid on ovals and has achieved nine victories on 1.5-mile ovals during the course of his career. He’s lead 176 laps at Kentucky and Panther Racing has an excellent record here as well. Following the disappointing outcomes in the land of maple leaves, I expect an “out to prove something” performance this week.

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