Will Power and Scott Dixon are your top two in points going into Milwaukee, but grid penalties due to unapproved engine changes have them starting 14th and 21st respectively today. That could mean big things for those trying to chase them down in the standings, including James Hinchcliffe (48 points behind Power), Helio Castroneves (-53) and rookie Simon Pagenaud (-57).
2. Losing their grip on things.
While drivers will get more downforce than they did last weekend at Texas, they're also expecting the Firestone tires to fall off around mid-stint once again, which means we should expect to see plenty of movement in the field as the race wears on. Finding the right set-up for the tricky one-mile oval is even more important as a result.
3. The "home team."
With Michael Andretti's promotions group taking control of the Milwaukee round this year, his three Andretti Autosport drivers will be keen on performing well today. Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won wire-to-wire in a 250-lap Champ Car event at Milwaukee in 2004, will start alongside Dario Franchitti on the front row. Hinchcliffe starts 8th and a results-starved Marco Andretti goes off 9th.
4. The turnout.
Michael Andretti and Andretti Sports Marketing have worked at a furious pace to rebuild the Milwaukee round into a hybrid "IndyFest" that combines street race amenities (rides, attractions, concerts, etc.) with oval racing. It's a concept that's something to think about for future ovals on the IndyCar schedule, but will it bring in good attendance today? Last year's Milwaukee race only had 15,000 spectators; that can't happen this time around if the Milwaukee Mile wants to stay on the schedule.