Top five IndyCar drivers who need to perform at Texas

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IndyCar heads to Texas for a showdown in Forth Worth after the duel in Detroit. Here's Christopher DeHarde with a list of five drivers who are hoping for a strong and uneventful showing this weekend...

Coming off of a grueling doubleheader at Detroit, the Verizon IndyCar Series makes its first of two visits to the Lone Star State this weekend with the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Below are five drivers that are in need of a good performance and why.

1. Ryan Hunter-Reay

The Indianapolis 500 champion and winner of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama had a disastrous weekend in Detroit. Hunter-Reay went from leading the championship standings to third, trailing Will Power by 27 points. Detroit was the only weekend where everything went truly bad for RHR, since he did well at Long Beach until he and Josef Newgarden got into it. If RHR wants to regain his championship momentum, Texas would be the ideal place to regain it. He finished second last year, so a repeat performance would be a welcomed breath of fresh air.

2. Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing after the start crash
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing after the start crash

Photo by: Walter Kuhn

The almost-winner of the 2012 Texas IndyCar event had a banner race in Detroit on Saturday before it all fell apart on Sunday. Rahal has had a less-than stellar year driving for his father’s team, so much so that after Indianapolis, he was behind Kurt Busch in the points standings for the year. Rahal sits 20th in the standings, so if he can get a momentum swing started at Texas, he might get into the top 15 by the time the series gets to Pocono, or even higher depending on how others fare in Texas.

3. Jack Hawksworth

Hawksworth has been a case of missed opportunities this year. He qualified very well at Long Beach, Indianapolis and Detroit’s first race, but one thing after another led to finishes lower than where he started. If Hawksworth and his Bryan Herta Autosport team can put a good performance together, we might see the rookie get a top five or top 10 finish if everything can hold together.

4. Will Power

Sure, he’s the points leader, but Detroit had its fair share of controversy for Will Power, and given how he lost the title in 2010, 2011 and 2012, who knows how valuable points will be for the Toowoomban Tornado. He’s returning to the site of his first oval win back in 2011 and will be looking for another success in Texas to get more of a lead over his teammate Helio Castroneves. If Power wants to further stamp his authority on the championship lead, a pole and a win here will go a long way toward helping him achieve that goal.

5. Justin Wilson

With three top ten finishes this year, Wilson’s off to an okay start to his 2014 campaign, but his Indy 500 performance left a lot to be desired. He’s returning to the site of his last win in IndyCar racing and needs to capitalize on the opportunity to vault him into the top five in points. He ended last year sixth in the standings, so this race could be the turning point for him.

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Series INDYCAR
Tags graham rahal, indycar, jack hawksworth, justin wilson, ryan-hunter-reay, will power