5 things to watch in today's Baltimore Grand Prix

Here are five things to look for in today's Baltimore Grand Prix, the inaugural IndyCar race for the city:

1. Is the track/course ready for its IndyCar debut? Drivers have politely pointed out over the weekend that there are some issues with the course. We say politely because the drivers don't want to bash a city hosting its first IndyCar event. But if cars are stacked up like overturned Matchbox cars at Turn One today, or there is a crash in the pits, we can assure you the politeness will go away.

2. Can Dario Franchitti keep his season points lead over Will Power? Power is the ultimate road/street racer, but Franchitti isn't too bad himself. If Franchitti wants to keep his season points lead over Power, he'll have to stay close to the Australian, who happens to be on the pole.

3. Will Danica Patrick overcome poor qualifying? After saying Friday that she thought this course could be good for her, Patrick went out and qualified 25th of 28 cars on Saturday. She's currently 12th in the points race and a good showing here will quiet whispers that she can't wait to get to NASCAR. For her many, many sponsors she needs to have some decent finishes the rest of the season.

4. How big will the crowd be? Depends on who you believe. Police said they were told that 40,000 showed up on Saturday. Grandstands seemed to be near capacity and a lot of folks were lined up along the course. We're hoping for an Ashley Judd sighting. She's Franchitti's wife.

5. And the winner is ... Let's hope Baltimore can finally see an Oriol win. Oriol Servia will have to start from 16th, but he's driving the No. 2 car. And is there a No. 2 having a better season than the Orioles' J.J. Hardy? So why not root for the Oriol?