Absolutely, Paul Page.
A lot has happened in a year, let alone the last time IndyCar held a race weeks ago. The Turbo Saga (ah, the good-ole days of engine wars have indeed returned), The messy Lotus divorces, Inspector Clouseau getting an IndyCar ride, Jay Howard getting a ride...then not...then so...then not, certain former IndyCar drivers forgetting to act like IndyCar drivers...and it's only the first week of May.
Well, where to begin for this year's Indy 500? I know...blog about DEGENERATE GAMBLING!!!! It's how this country was built and continues to operate, by people getting down and DERPing away coin! Wait, blogging about gambling? ESPN GIG HERE I COME!!!
It appears Sportsbook.ag says that Team Penske, despite their DERPtastic performance last year, are the odds on favorites for the Indy 500. Apparently they think their dominance on the road courses translates to an upcoming oval beat-em-down; obviously they know nothing about Honda's turbo upgrades or the ability of Will Power's pit crew to flush oval races down the drain. Place bets on the Ganasshats if you like placing bets on front-runners and want to receive COIN the easy way.
As for the long shots, Rahal at 30/1? CASH. He was right behind the Wheldon/JR finish last year (and wait a minute...he's a Ganasshat, too! Sportsbook, FIX YO BOOKIES). Oriol Servia at 50/1? CASH. Now that he has a Chevy and is teamed up with Panther Racing expect him to be a legit threat. Tagliani at 60/1? CASH. Last year's pole winning driver paired up with last year's race winning team now with the hot Honda engine? Gimmie THAT.
Simona de Silvestro at 100/1? What, did they run out of zeros? Heh, heh...heh, heh...heh...
Why must fate forsaken her AGAIN, now being the lone full-time Lotus car? All the Lotus teams get new and shiny (and WORKING) NON-LOTUS engines and she doesn't? I'm beginning to think that either in a past life she executed millions of innocent puppies, or there might actually be a Lotus pentagram displayed somewhere in her apartment and she wants nothing but the absolute destruction of Colin Chapman's legacy. THESE ARE VERY LOGICAL EXPLANATIONS, PROBABLY.
Speaking of someone who's hot, who's hottest in this week's Power Rankings entering the hot (hopefully not wet) month of May?
Like last year the winner of the 500 will get honorary P1 placement and accolades for the next Power Rankings, even if they are only a part-timer and/or a back-marker.
(This week's Power Rankings after the jump)
1. Will Power
Previous ranking: 1 (no change)
Back on an oval? Guess it's time for him to get hit in pit lane, his pit crew to go knucklehead, or both.
2. James Hinchcliffe
Previous ranking: 3 (+1)
A Canadian shaves during the hockey postseason? KARMA WILL NOT APPROVE. Expect either getting bumped from the field or a DNF. Grow it back. You've been warned...
3. Simon Pagenaud
Previous ranking: 2 (-1)
His Indy career was but a day old and the track already gave him the bird. I don't like his chances...
4. Helio Castroneves
Previous ranking: 4 (no change)
Recently had a birthday, and the AP's Jenna Fryer sent him the only appropriate gift for such a man.
5. Ryan Hunter-Reay
Previous ranking: 6 (+1)
He HAS to qualify on time this year...Foyt runs Hondas.
6. Scott Dixon
Previous ranking: 5 (-1)
He was the fastest in the first official oval test in Texas, which means score a big one for Honda in the Turbo Wars.
7. JR Hildebrand
Previous ranking: 8 (+1)
Remember, 500 miles is 800 turns. Not 799...
8. Takuma Sato
Previous ranking: 12 (+4)
Since leaving KV Racing he's been a monster performance-wise and finally got a race that didn't see him blowing up a motor or getting hit. And it was a podium.
9. Rubens Barrichello
Previous ranking: 10 (+1)
Just one race from now he will have gained more respect on this side of the pond than former teammate Schumacher...for he didn't call Indy suicidal or wuss out at the sight of an oval.
10. Ryan Briscoe
Previous ranking: 7 (-3)
One more Indy DERP and he gets Cogan-ed out at Penske...barring a contract-saving win (or three) elsewhere.
11. Josef Newgarden
Previous ranking: 9 (-2)
If Sarah Fisher can improve this team almost overnight this much on the road-courses with a rookie...
12. Graham Rahal
Previous ranking: 11 (-1)
Bud returns to Indycar. With the prodigal Son of 'Stache. Now he HAS to grow a 'stache of his own. It's mandatory at this point...
13. Tony Kanaan
Previous ranking: 14 (+1)
Somewhere beyond our world a certain two-time Indy champion is arranging fate to finally give one to a former teammate and old friend...
14. Justin Wilson
Previous ranking: 13 (-1)
As much as an improvement this team is for him compared to Dreyer and Reinbold Racing...remember last year Dale Coyne Racing BARELY got one in the race.
15. Dario Franchitti
Previous ranking: unranked
Welcome back to the living?
DNQ (Bumped from the field)
Over/Under an engine kerblammo and an Andretti slowing on the backstretch: Lap 125 1/2. Under.
Fitting...the driver who DNQ'ed for Andretti now drives for the owner who gave a spot to another Andretti DNQ'ed driver. Watch your back, Wade.
"YAY, I NO MOAR HAZ LOTUS ENGINES!!!"
(see Oriol Servia)
(see Alex Tagliani)