Here are your winners, losers, and Cone of Shame and "winner" following the 2014 MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway:
He has finally done it. Will Power has won his Indycar Championship! He drove a world-class race, almost Dario Franchitti and Alain Prost-esque, meaning that he managed to do just enough to win, not pushing the car or the danger level and bringing the car home in one piece. Way to Power, who was easily the class of the field all season. Also, he will run the #1 next season! Respect level for him and Team Penske went up a little.
Tony Kanaan gets his first win during his tenure with Chip Ganassi racing and not a moment too soon! It should have come much sooner, but hey, he got the win and that's what matters. Proud of TK, who had a lot of ups and downs this season.
Scott Dixon did a fine job at Fontana, finishing P2. He did an even finer job in the last eight rounds (Pocono-Fontana), finishing 5, 4, 5, 7, 1, 4, 1, and 2 respectively. What an amazing job. If he could have just gotten some better results in the earlier part of the season, Dixon could have made a case for defending champion.
Ed Carpenter did very well again at Fontana, earning a third straight podium on the track. This is a great result for the last race under the banner Ed Carpenter Racing. A long offseason full of many tasks awaits Ed and the newly formed Carpenter Fisher Hartman Racing.
Mikhail Aleshin, one of my favorite drivers, was involved it what could have potentially been a fatal accident, but thankfully, Mikhail is "okay" to an extent. Some broken ribs, a broken clavicle, and a concussion renders Mikhail a lucky man. We all wish him a speedy recovery.
Retiring for "Driver illness" is slang for "I'm not comfortable on ovals." Carlos Huertas just does not see in touch with ovals and therefore he should not be continued to be sent out there. Hopefully that changes next season.
Well, there's a lot to be said about Graham Rahal. I'll do my best to rip him a new one in my season reviews in the offseason. For now, just know that Rahal's season did not go well at all.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was running all fine and dandy for a majority of the race before he brought out the first and only caution on a no-contact spin that sent him to the back of the field. Not a fine way to cap of his season.
Cone of Shame
Helio Castroneves had it stacked against him going into the race. He needed to finish first and have championship rival Will Power finish seventh or worst. In the late stages of the race, Helio made a mistake that destroyed all hopes of winning the title, crossing the white commitment line. He was forced to make a drive through penalty. I could not believe it when I saw it. It kind of sums up Helio's career, failing to come through in the clutch. Another year, another championship lost. Maybe next year...For the 18th time...
Thanks for reading them all of these years!