Scott Goodyear, a longtime star in open-wheel racing and now an analyst on the IndyCar Series TV broadcasts on ESPN, said he is expecting some serious racing in Sunday’s season-ending race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti goes into the PEAK Antifreeze Indy 300 with a three-point lead over 2003 series champion Scott Dixon and a 39-point edge over Andretti Green Racing teammate and 2004 series champion Tony Kanaan, the only other driver with a shot at the title.
“These drivers have the same mind-set going into the championship that they have going into the Indianapolis 500,” Goodyear said. “It’s the risk vs. reward ratio and, at Indy, they’re willing to take big risks and go for it. The feeling is it’s all or nothing.”
Goodyear, who finished second twice at Indy, said the race on Chicagoland’s 1.5-mile oval will be considerably different than last Sunday’s event on the tight street circuit at Detroit’s Belle Isle.
“On a street course like Detroit, the driver really factors into it,” Goodyear said.
“At Chicago, you really have to have a machine underneath you that’s capable of being at the front.
“If one of the championship contenders doesn’t have that, then just what kind of strategy will come into play? What will the teams do? That will make it very interesting.”