7 Drivers Left Eligible For IndyCar Title Heading to Season Finale

Watkins Glen, NY – Now that the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Watkins Glen is in the rear view mirror, the only thing left for this season is crowning a champion in two weeks at Sonoma. With that being said, eight drivers entered this weekend mathematically elgible to still hoist the Astor Cup trophy in northern California in a few weeks. Now, just eight drivers remain.

Who are those eight and how have their fared this year?

Josef Newgarden in Sunday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at Watkins Glen

Josef Newgarden

In his first year with Penske, Newgarden has shined. He started out of the gates hot with one win, two total podiums and four top 10’s in his first four races with the team. After a rough Month of May at Indy that saw him finish 11th and 19th respectively, he’s had just two finishes now outside the top 10 in the 10 races since. In fact, out of those 10 races, he has had three wins, six podiums and eight top six finishes. He’s had four top two efforts in his last five races.

Wins: 4

Podiums: 8

Top 5’s: 9

Top 10’s: 12

Laps Led: 349

Sonoma Stats

Starts: 5

Wins: 0

Top 5’s: 0

Top 10s: 2

Laps Led: 2

Average Finish: 16.0

Last Year: 6th

Scott Dixon practicing this weekend at Watkins Glen

Scott Dixon (-3)

This has been a battle between the Penske quartet this season, but Scott Dixon has done what he normally does. He’s stayed out of the limelight and under the radar but also in contention too. Dixon, has 10 straight top 10 finishes and 15 in 16 races this year. Yes, he has just one win in 2017, but he has been consistently up front.

Wins: 1

Podiums: 7

Top 5’s: 9

Top 10’s: 15

Laps Led: 131

Sonoma Stats

Starts: 12

Wins: 3

Top 5’s: 6

Top 10s: 7

Laps Led: 121

Average Finish: 7.6

Last Year: 17th

Helio Castroneves during Sunday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen

Helio Castroneves (-22)

Castroneves has to be thinking what do I have to do to win a championship? He ended his three-year long winless drought in dominating fashion at Iowa back in July. He’s finished in the top 10 in every race but one and here he is third in the standings. How? It’s all about the lack of wins and podiums is how.

Wins: 1

Podiums: 3

Top 5’s: 8

Top 10’s: 15

Laps Led: 442

Sonoma Stats

Starts: 12

Wins: 1

Top 5’s: 5

Top 10s: 8

Laps Led: 58

Average Finish: 8.9

Last Year: 7th

Simon Pagenaud during Sunday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen

Simon Pagenaud (-34)

Pagenaud is getting frustrated. The defending series champion has done everything he’s needed to do to go back-to-back in series crowns. He’d had top 10’s in all but two races and has completed every lap of the season. Only one other driver has ever done that in the history of the sport. But, he’s sitting too far out to realistically strike gold at Sonoma despite having eight straight top 10 finishes on the season. Seven of those eight have been in the top five too.

In fact, he’s had 12 top fives all year, three more than anyone else and here he is that far back.

Wins: 1

Podiums: 5

Top 5’s: 12

Top 10’s: 14

Laps Led: 146

Sonoma Stats

Starts: 6

Wins: 1

Top 5’s: 3

Top 10s: 4

Laps Led: 76

Average Finish: 7.8

Last Year: 1st

Will Power practicing this weekend at Watkins Glen

Will Power (-68)

Prior to Gateway, it looked like we were going to see another Will Power dominating end to an IndyCar season. From the second Belle Isle race through Mid-Ohio, Power had six top fives in seven races. Two of those were wins, both on superspeedways at that. But, after earning a pole at Gateway, he crashed on the first green flag lap and came home 20th. That really ruined any title hopes. But, he’s still eligible.

Wins: 3

Podiums: 6

Top 5’s: 8

Top 10’s: 9

Laps Led: 443

Sonoma Stats

Starts: 8

Wins: 3

Top 5’s: 4

Top 10s: 6

Laps Led: 276

Average Finish: 8.4

Last Year: 20th

Alexander Rossi practicing this weekend at Watkins Glen

Alexander Rossi (-84)

No one is as hot as Alexander Rossi right now. He has five straight top six finishes, including a pole and win on Sunday at Watkins Glen. In fact, three of those five finishers were inside the podium.

Rossi is surging and if not for being so far out, he would be a championship contender in Sonoma.

Wins: 1

Podiums: 3

Top 5’s: 5

Top 10’s: 10

Laps Led: 99

Sonoma Stats

Starts: 1

Wins: 0

Top 5’s: 1

Top 10s: 1

Laps Led: 0

Average Finish: 5.0

Last Year: 5th

Graham Rahal practicing this weekend at Watkins Glen

Graham Rahal (-94)

After a miserable start to the season that saw him 17th in points heading to Indy, Rahal has surged to being in the hunt once again. In the 12 races since that first lap crash at Phoenix, he’s had 11 top 10 finishes, including two wins. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to gain on the Penske’s and Dixon as he’s in a fight to be next in class again.

Wins: 2

Podiums: 3

Top 5’s: 6

Top 10’s: 11

Laps Led: 110

Sonoma Stats

Starts: 9

Wins: 0

Top 5’s: 2

Top 10s: 5

Laps Led: 20

Average Finish: 11.3

Last Year: 2nd

Related posts

Leave a Reply