The IndyCar championship comes down to Saturday’s finale at Homestead-Miami fitting since the series main stay track has always been the 1.5-mile ovals.
Three drivers, two team battle royale for the title and, while we know either a Target/Ganassi or Team Penske driver will likely be standing in victory lane, we don’t know which one.
Scott Dixon,with a five-point lead over teammate Dario Franchitti and is eight points in front of Ryan Briscoe, has a slight advantage.
In the five 1.5-mile shows this season, Dixon has led 367 laps and come away with a pair of wins at Kansas and Japan. His average start on these ovals is third and his average finish is 2.8.
And the two-time IndyCar champion is the only one of this trio with a Win here, last year and in 2003.
Franchitti, who looked like his old self straight away following one year in NASCAR, is use to the pressure of a championship being decided in the last race.
The 36-year-old Scotsman lost the 1999 CART title to Juan Montoya on a tie-breaker and captured the 2007 IRL crown on the final lap of the season.
James Davison, seeking to finish runner-up to Firestone Indy Lights champion J.R. Hildebrand, earned the pole for the Homestead-Miami 100.
It’s the third pole start of the season and fourth of his two seasons in the series (Nashville Superspeedway). Davison, driving the No. 21 People*s Liberation car for Vision Racing, had a two-lap average of 185.546 mph (57.6245 seconds cumulative) on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Wade Cunningham, the final qualifier, grabbed a front-row spot with an average of 185.428 mph (57.6613) in the No. 11 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car.
Davison leads Cunningham by 28 points as both drivers seek to finish second in the standings to Hildebrand, who clinched the title at Chicagoland Speedway last month. Sebastian Saavedra, sitting between Davison and Cunningham and involved in the chase for second and Rookie of the Year, did not record a qualifying time as the No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc. car experienced fuel pressure issues on its first lap.
Pippa Mann will start a season-best third following a 185.364 mph average in the No. 16 Panther Racing car. Brandon Wagner followed his pole start at Chicagoland with a fourth starting position (185.339) in the No. 32 Davey Hamilton/Kingdom Racing car.
Charlie Kimball tied his season best by starting fifth (185.251) in the No. 35 Palm Beach International Raceway entry, and he’ll be joined on the third row by Mike Potekhen (185.210) in the No. 24 Efusjon Energy Club/Alliance Motorsports car.
Hildebrand (184.848) will be joined on Row 4 by Logan Gomez (184.764), driver of the No. 20 IZOD/Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car.