Sunday, August 17, 2014

Morning Warm-Up: Milwaukee 2014

Will Power Look to Take Control of the Championship at Milwaukee
Will Power starts from pole position as the Australian looks to take firm grasp of the championship. The points leaders has two career oval victories. His first being race two of the Texas twin races in 2011 and last year's 500-miler at Fontana. Power finished third last year, his best finish at Milwaukee. Joining Power on row two will be Tony Kanaan. Kanaan is still looking for his first victory of 2014 and he has two previous victories on the historic one-mile oval in Wisconsin. This is Kanaan's eleventh consecutive top ten start at Milwaukee but second career front row start. The first came ten years ago. He finished fourth that day.

Juan Pablo Montoya starts third in his first Milwaukee appearance since 2000. In his two previous Milwaukee starts, Montoya has finished tenth and first and led 263 laps. Ryan Briscoe starts fourth, matching his best start of the 2014 season. Briscoe won in 2008 at Milwaukee and finished second the following year. Since the consecutive podiums, Briscoe has failed to finish in the top ten at Milwaukee.

Josef Newgarden starts fifth, his fourth top five start of the season. Newgarden is still looking for his first top ten finish at Milwaukee. He finished eleventh last year. Charlie Kimball makes it an all-American row three. This is Kimball's best start of 2014 and only second top ten start of the season. He averages the second worst starting position out of all the drivers on the grid at 17.46. Kimball has finished seventeenth in the last two Milwaukee races.

Ed Carpenter will match his career best Milwaukee starting position today from seventh on the grid. Carpenter's best career Milwaukee finish is seventh. Hélio Castroneves starts eighth. The Brazilian has there consecutive top ten finishes at Milwaukee. Marco Andretti is the top Andretti Autosport driver in ninth. The team is looking to extend their short track winning streak to eight consecutive victories. Andretti's best Milwaukee finish was fifth in his first appearance at the track in 2006. Takuma Sato rounds out the top ten. He led 109 laps last year before being caught in the pit lane caught him one lap down. Sato would recover to finish seventh.

Scott Dixon starts eleventh. Dixon has eight top tens in ten Milwaukee starts and was the winner in 2009. Justin Wilson joins Dixon on row six. He finished ninth last year at Milwaukee. Wilson's best Milwaukee finish is second which came in 2006 in Champ Car. James Hinchcliffe will start thirteenth. The Canadian was fastest in each practice session but had an accident in final practice. Hinchcliffe has finished in the top ten in each of his three Milwaukee starts. Graham Rahal starts on the outside of row seven. He has three top tens in five Milwaukee starts.

Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports swept row eight with the rookie Mikhail Aleshin leading senior statesman Simon Pagenaud. Aleshin has finished either seventh or twenty-first in his only four oval races entering today while Pagenaud has yet to finish on the lead lap in a Milwaukee race. Jack Hawksworth starts seventeenth. He finished last place in last year's Indy Lights race at Milwaukee. Sébastien Bourdais starts eighteenth. Bourdais won at Milwaukee in 2006.

Ryan Hunter-Reay starts nineteenth, a career worst for him at Milwaukee. Hunter-Reay has won the last two Milwaukee races. The American did win from nineteenth position earlier this year at the Indianapolis 500. Only once has a Milwaukee winner come from nineteenth on the grid. It was in 1959 when that year's Indianapolis 500 winner Rodger Ward picked up one of his seven Milwaukee victories. Carlos Muñoz rounds out the top twenty. The Colombian finished second in last year's Indy Lights race at Milwaukee.

Sebastián Saavedra and Carlos Huertas makes it an all-Colombian row eleven. Saavedra finished thirteenth at Milwaukee last year while this will be Huertas' first Milwaukee start. Huertas' best oval finish this season is sixteenth at Texas.

When the green flag falls, Will Power's point lead will immediately grow to 31 points and should he lead a lap, Power will have a 32 point advantage over his Team Penske teammate Hélio Castroneves. Simon Pagenaud will jump ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay but fall to 101 markers back of his former teammate while Hunter-Reay will trail by 103 points. Juan Pablo Montoya will be 117 back of Power and Scott Dixon will be 140 back.

NBCSN's coverage of the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 will be 3:00 p.m. ET with green flag at 3:45 p.m. ET.