We’re 12 races down with just five races to go in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season. After Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto, we have a week off before returning to action in two weeks from today in Mid-Ohio.
With that being said, here are some hot and cold drivers heading into the off week.
Who’s Hot –
After a season worst result of 12th last week in Iowa, Dixon backs that up with one of his best races of 2018 a week later. The Chip Ganassi racing driver led 49 of 85 laps on Sunday en route to the victory. It was his third win of the season, all coming in the last six races. But, if you go back to the start of May, Dixon has finished inside the top four in all but one race. With such a big points lead, good luck catching him now.
He ended a winless drought last weekend in Iowa and now leaves his home race of Toronto with a fourth place finish. Hinchcliffe, now has four straight top 10 finishes heading into the week off, three of which coming in the top four.
I think Schmidt Peterson Motorsports as a whole may be the hottest team in INDYCAR. We touched on Hinchcliffe’s recent streak above this, now look at his rookie teammates. Robert Wickens has three straight top five finishes after bringing his No. 6 Honda home third on his hometrack on Sunday afternoon. Wickens, has eight top 10 finishes over his last nine starts on the season. The only reason that’s not nine straight is while dominating and looking like the car to beat at Texas, he crashed out while trying to pass a lapped Ed Carpenter.
SPM is on a roll.
It was a disastrous start to the 2018 campaign for the Frenchman. Pagenaud, had no top five finishes heading into the Month of May at Indy. He sat outside of the top 10 in the points and had a best finish of ninth. But, the season has since turned around. He leaves Toronto on the heels of five straight top 10 finishes, two of which runner-up efforts. In both of those second place finishes, he’d cross the finish line behind only Scott Dixon. Since his ninth place run in Barber, Pagenaud has finishes outside the top 10 just once. That’s propelled him up to seventh in the standings.
Who’s Not –
Once upon a time, Bourdais looked like a legitimate championship contender. He won the season opener in St. Pete and came into the Indianapolis 500 third in points. Unfortunately, his season hasn’t been the same since.
Bourdais, finished 19th in Sunday’s race in Toronto for his sixth finish outside of the top 10 in the last seven races. That has dropped him from third in the standings in May to 11th with five races left.
He was blazing hot from Barber through Road America. In that seven race stretch, the Andretti Autosport driver went from ninth in the points standings to second. He’d end his near three year winless drought and score six top five finishes in that timeframe. But, over the last two weekend, he struggled at Iowa and came home 19th and then was collected in two accidents in Toronto and finished 16th. He’s cooled off and has since fallen to fourth in the championship standings again.
Who would have thought that Power would be on this list back in May? After sweeping both races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Power has gone from the points leader to falling down to fifth, 93 points out of the lead now. In the last six races, he’s taken his No. 12 Chevrolet to just one top five finish (2nd in Belle Isle 2) and three finishes of 18th or worse in the last four races. His title hopes are in theory, all but done.