LONG POND, PA – We’re now through a very scary ABC Supply 500 at the Pocono Raceway and head back west for the final three races of the Verizon IndyCar Series season. At this point, we’re 14 of 17 races into the year with races left at Gateway (Aug. 25), Portland (Sept. 2) and Sonoma (Sept. 16).
With that being said, a few drivers head to the final three races hot while a few others are not.
Who’s on which list?Who’s Hot
He’s the hottest driver in the series right now. Rossi, has dominated each of the last two races as he’s led 246 of the last 290 laps. That’s 85-percent of them. That’s allowed him to trim Scott Dixon’s points lead by 41 points as he only trails by 29 markers with just three races remaining.
Rossi, leaves Pocono with four straight top 10 results.
These two drivers have won the last three races overall as the last time someone other than Dixon or Rossi won an INDYCAR race was July 8. Dixon, now has three straight top five finishes and nine top fives over his last 10 starts on the season.
He’s starting to heat up too. Power, finished sixth at Iowa, third at Mid-Ohio and now second at Pocono for three top six finishes over his last four starts on the season. If you take his crash out at Toronto and he’s likely battling even further up for the title.
Power, has five top four finishes in six tries at Pocono.
He’s been quiet lately but how can you leave him off of here? Newgarden, earned his fourth top five finish over his last five starts on the season on Sunday and now has a top 10 finish in every race since June 24.
You also have to have all three Penske drivers on this list. Pagenaud, may have struggled with his car on Sunday but he did earn his third eighth place run over the last four races and seventh consecutive top 10 finish on the season.
He may be driving for a brand new team but Kimball keeps impressing. He finished ninth on Sunday in Pocono for his second top 10 finish over the last three races. Since Belle Isle 2, Kimball has four top 10 results in seven tries.
At one point, he was on the “hot” list but since mid July, he’s made his way to the “not” list. From Belle Isle 1 through Iowa, Sato has four to 10 finishes in five tries including three of which inside of the top five. But, in the three races since, Sato has finished outside the top 20 in two of them. His best finish since Iowa is 17th.
Sato, was an innocent bystander in the Lap 6 melee in Turn 2 as he had to settle for a 21st place result on Sunday. It was his fourth finish of 20th or worse in six tries at Pocono.
He’s in the exact same boat in the exact same races. From Belle Isle 1 through Iowa, the Ed Carpenter Racing driver had four top 11 finishes including a runner-up on the Iowa Speedway. In the three races after, he’s finished 20th, 13th and now 16th respectively in his No. 21 Chevrolet. He was involved in the opening lap crash heading towards the green flag.
His streak of leading at least one lap in every race at Pocono is now over. Kanaan, entered Sunday’s race with an outside chance of a win. Kanaan, had led laps in each of the last five Pocono races of 15, 78, 21, 1 and 32 respectively. But, the Brazilian had a throttle problem early on in Sunday’s race and had to retire as a result. It was his fifth finish of 14th or worse in his last six races.
What’s odd is despite being so strong over the course of his career at Pocono in terms of laps led, Kanaan now has four finishes outside of the top 10 in six tries.
He was looking like a legitimate title contender from the Indy 500 through Road America as the Andretti Autosport driver ended his long winless streak in Belle Isle 2 and had five straight top five finishes in his No. 28 Honda. Since though, three of his last four races have seen him finish outside the top 15.
Hunter-Reay was involved in that scary crash with Robert Wickens on Lap 6 which ended his day with a 18th place finish. He’s now finished 19th, 16th, seventh and 18th respectively over his last four starts.
Here’s another driver that was so strong in the month of June. Jones, had four straight top 10 finishes two months ago with results of sixth, third, ninth and ninth respectively. Over his last four races though, he’s yet to score a top 10.
He finished 13th, 12th, 15th and 12th now respectively.