The kettle is getting hotter...

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5 rounds to go and 20 drivers are mathematically capable of winning the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series Championship. As a race fan, does it get any better?-yes of course it does, it always dos.

Yesterday practice 1 and 2 took place at the Sonoma Raceway venue. The track is 2.385 miles on natural terrain located in California. This makes for a very challenging and technical circuit. Many blind corners are a feature of this track with. the track and uh..well how about I let the IndyCar folks explain : GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Track Guide (click the link)

Tired? well don't be. You aren't in the car! You can see where this track is a challenge for both the driver and crew when it comes to setting up the car. This will allow for different setup strategies with the key to the race win will be down to who has done the best job at getting the car balanced.

Practice 1 saw Ryan Hunter-Reay at the top with a 1:18.6814 followed by Helio Castroneves with a 1:18.6976 and Dario Franchitti with a 1:18.8124. Can we get any closer?!
  The session saw the return of JR Hildebrand driving for Bryan Herta after parting ways with Panther Racing after Indy. Sara Fisher Hartman Racing has acquired Lucas Luhr and Ryan Briscoe has made a comeback after breaking his wrist in Toronto.

And what about James Hinchcliffe? he was 10th fastest in Practice 1. Now on to P2

P2 saw the top three title contenders take the top 3 spots of the timing charts with Scott Dixon 1:18:3145 followed by Helio Castroneves 1:18.6694 and Ryan Hunter-Reay 1:18/6814. James Hinchcliffe sat in 14th.

Things to take away from the 2 sessions: The big three Andretti, Ganassi and Penske are in the hunt. Expect to see these teams racing and pushing hard in qualifying. The Ganassi's have made the biggest gains in the past few races and I expect them to keep the momentum going. I see an Andretti Autosport car take Pole Position with Ryan Hunter-Reay. He has been so fast in qualy this season it be crazy to think other wise. And once again, expect the unexpected as always.

Qualifying takes place later today at 5:30pm Pacific time.
 (photos from
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