Through Our Lenses: Best INDYCAR photos of 2017, Volume 2

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As we begin to look toward the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season, our INDYCAR Digital Media and Photography groups wanted to give one last holiday present. Earlier this month, we challenged our photographers to provide their favorite images captured from this past year, along with a few words on each image.

In Volume 1, we started with our photographers' favorite images from the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule through Iowa. Today, we bring you Volume 2 covering our races from Toronto to Sonoma, plus a few others from the postseason. Enjoy!

Photographer: Shawn Gritzmacher
Josef Newgarden emerged from the shadows to capture his first championship in 2017 ... Next year, he will have nowhere to hide.

Josef Newgarden

Photographer: Matt Fraver
Bryan Herta was one of my favorite drivers growing up, so it's great to see his son Colton follow in his footsteps. Here they are discussing strategy (or what to get Colton's mom for her birthday) at Mid-Ohio.

Bryan Herta and Colton Herta

Photographer: Matt Fraver
Being an Ohio native, I grew up at Mid-Ohio and am a huge Ohio State University fan, so this was a huge moment for me. My uncles would talk about how amazing OSU running back Archie Griffin was and I remember Graham Rahal rolling around the paddock on his scooter when he was a little kid. Seeing these two Ohio legends during prerace festivities was an honor. O - H ! ! !

Graham Rahal and Archie Griffin

Photographer: Chris Jones
Graham Rahal’s “home track” is Mid-Ohio, and although he didn’t win this year, he enjoyed celebrating his third-place finish with the fans.

Graham Rahal

Photographer: Matt Fraver
After the victory circle celebration, you always find yourself looking for artistic photos of the car, the driver, the team, etc. I really liked this image of Josef Newgarden's car, the trophy, the confetti and a few battle scars.

Josef Newgarden

Photographer: Bret Kelley
Besides the Indianapolis 500 starts, the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway starts with the field coming at me three-four-five-six wide into Turn 1 is an awesome rush. It's almost like there's a moment where drivers turn the race into a video game at 230-plus mph.

ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway

Photographer: Bret Kelley
After the first full test at Gateway Motorsports Park, the track did a complete repave of the racing surface. When the series arrived for the event weekend, the track was still really new, giving that glass-like sheen off the surface. My roof position for the opening Gateway practice was perfect for some cool track reflections.

Tony Kanaan

Photographer: Bret Kelley
This shot at Gateway was one of the coolest photos I’ve shot for a pace lap. The pyrotechnics on the backstretch plus the three-wide salute to the fans -- that's stuff that makes you realize you're not attending a race, you're attending an EVENT, and the folks at Gateway sure know how to put on an EVENT.

The Bommarito Automotive Group 500

Photographer: Shawn Gritzmacher
The setting in St. Louis this year was unparelled. The light from sunset to moonrise was a photographer’s delight!

Simon Pagenaud

Photographer: Bret Kelley
At the end of the day, I just really like the angle and speed this image shows of our new Verizon IndyCar Series champion on his way to the race win.

Josef Newgarden

Photographer: Joe Skibinski
Alexander Rossi was on it all weekend at Watkins Glen. He finally broke out and showed people he is going to be the real deal. He definitely showed his Indianapolis 500 win wasn't a fluke.

Alexander Rossi

Photographer: Joe Skibinski (Editor's Choice)
When we entered the Watkins Glen weekend, racing pundits would probably have said this was going to be the Scott Dixon show. The car was perfect, there was rain in the forecast and he just knows how to "make fuel" on natural road courses. In the end, Alexander Rossi bested Scott Dixon at his own game. To see these two congratulate each other on well-run races in victory circle, one could say youth was served, but Scott still holds the torch to be passed one day -- but not just yet.

Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Scott Dixon

Photographer: Chris Owens
Graham Rahal lowering into his Honda-powered machine on pit lane prior to the opening practice at Sonoma. I take a lot of the same style photos week to week. Every now and again, I like to over-edit a few just to keep things new and fresh.

Graham Rahal

Photographer: Joe Skibinski
James Hinchcliffe spun out at the top of the hill exiting Turn 2 and sat there for a while before it was clear. You could hear him revving the engine and I knew he was going to do an awesome burnout. Sure enough, he spun the car around and had this huge smoke trail behind him.

James Hinchcliffe

Photographer: Chris Owens
The Champ. Our Verizon IndyCar Series logo made for a very nice background for this deserving champion. His kiss shows ownership and how much it means to him to be champion.

Josef Newgarden

Photographer: Shawn Gritzmacher
The men and women who work in the pits and at the shop work from the shadows. However, it takes a complete team to make a championship team.

Photographer: Joe Skibinski
Getting to shoot the testing of the new 2018 universal aero kit car was really exciting. The car looks really good. I'm excited to see these cars race each other next year.

James Hinchcliffe

Photographer: Joe Skibinski
Josef Newgarden was the man all year. Watching him the past few years, I knew he would become a champion. All his hard work and determination paid off in his first year at Team Penske.

From the fans