VIDEO: RACER's Robin Miller, Marshall Pruett and Barracuda Racing's JR Hildebrand preview the MAVTV 500.
It's not quite as dramatic as Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October, but Helio's Hunt for the Red No. 9 in October will require some deft maneuvering on his part. Castroneves, with his three Indy 500 victories, continues to seek his first Indy car championship – an honor that has been out of his reach since graduating from Indy Lights to CART in 1998.
For championship leader Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 Honda, the 25-point lead he carries into Saturday night's IndyCar Series title decider will have Castroneves' Team Penske engineers busily scanning through their spreadsheets, calculating where the 38-year-old needs to finish to prevent Dixon from earning his third IndyCar crown.
With 50 points up for grabs for the winner, another point for pole, one for all those who lead a lap and two points for the person who leads the most laps, a maximum of 54 points is on offer.
Dixon, at 546 points, has a modest margin over his Brazilian rival, who sits on 521 points. Come Saturday night, he'll have 500 miles of racing and two motivated teammates to help him bridge the gap, and by looking at the most likely points scenarios, the challenge he faces is revealed.