Monday, August 25, 2014

Winners and Losers: Sonoma

Here are your winners, losers, and Cone of Shame "winner" following the 2014 Go Pro Grand Prix of Sonoma:

Winners

Scott Dixon
Scott Dixon can surely hold his head up high with the performance he has put forth in the second half of the season. Two wins in the last three races has vaulted the legendary driver into the top-five in the championship.


Ryan Hunter-Reay
Ryan Hunter-Reay salvaged any hope at winning the championship with a second place finish at Sonoma. Whether he can win or not is still a long shot, but Ryan certainly did himself some favors with a great result this weekend.


Will Power
Despite not winning with the best car in the race, and spinning on his own, and passing some cars controversially at the end of the race, and surrendering points to championship hunters Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud, Will Power can come out of Sonoma with his head up high. He is still in prime position to win the championship.


Simon Pagenaud
Despite having a terrible weekend leading up to the race, Simon Pagenaud came through and claimed a podium when it counted. Not only did he do well, but Simon gained points on championship leader Will Power. Simon is still alive in the championship.



Losers

Graham Rahal
Graham Rahal strategerized (that's a word) his way to the front, and then fought his way to P1, only to end up short on fuel. He then proceeded to cut a corner and speed in the pits, which kind of put some salt in the wound. A win would have gone a long way to 'wooo' a sponsor next season.


Tony Kanaan
Tony Kanaan was in the same boat as Graham Rahal. A great race ruined by the inability to save enough fuel. Tony still does not have a win with the Chip Ganassi outfit, which has come as a surprise to many. Fear not, there is still one race to go this season.


Ryan Briscoe
Ryan Briscoe pretty much had his result ruined right away by Sebastien Bourdais in the second corner of the race. His race was thrown for a loop and a string of good results was ruined for Briscoe. He can still end his season on a high note.


Mike Conway 
Mike Conway literally ran out of fuel one turn away from the championship, which has to be a bummer. Although he didn't have the best car in the race, Conway managed to get to the front. A great result would have gone a long way to a new deal with Carpenter next season.



Cone of Shame



Helio Castroneves
The only driver in championship contention to surrender points to Will Power was Helio Castroneves. Not only did Helio give up some ground to Power at Sonoma, but he has not lost points in the last three races. A subpar effort at Mid-Ohio and a bad race at Milwaukee last weekend coupled with disaster at Sonoma has put Helio in a serious hole heading into Fontana. Helio was wrecked in turn two on lap one and made a self-inflicted error later on in the race, limping home to a P18 finish. Helio has failed in the clutch so far. Can he bring home a championship next weekend?


Let me know what you think!

-Matthew Hickey

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