Matt Kenseth was a five-time winner this time last year and an established championship threat. He doesn't feel any less confident about his title chances this season even though he has not visited Victory Lane.
Will Power thought the world was ending when an earthquake shook him out of bed. A few hours later at Sonoma Raceway, the sleep-deprived driver plummeted from the pole to 20th place before fighting back for a finish that actually increased his IndyCar points lead.
Nico Rosberg extended his championship lead and deepened his rift with Lewis Hamilton. The gloves are now well and truly off between the Mercedes rivals in their bitter fight for the Formula One title.
Denny Hamlin got spun out and wrecked while racing as the leader by Kevin Harvick at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night. Hamlin later fired his HANS device at Harvick's car as it passed under caution.
Just two races stand between Will Power and his first IndyCar series championship. After a big victory in last week's race, he starts on the pole Sunday on a track he has utterly dominated for the past four years.
Tony Stewart took his seat on the podium — unshaven, his eyes glassy — and unfolded a sheet of paper. His voice quivered as he read, pausing to maintain his composure as he described the death of a driver he hit as "one of the toughest tragedies I've ever had to deal with."
Helio Castroneves won the pole position and earned a bonus point, while his Team Penske teammate and championship leader, Will Power, qualified 21st for Saturday night's IndyCar Series season-ending race at Auto Club Speedway.
Will Power will start the final race in his IndyCar championship chase from the next-to-last spot on the grid. Way up front on the pole is Helio Castroneves, Power's teammate and the driver with the most realistic chance of catching him for the series title.