Throughout the season, POPULAR SPEED will rank the top-10 drivers in the Verizon IndyCar Series following each event. Feel free to comment on the story at the POPULAR SPEED Facebook page.
Scott Dixon’s extended stay at number one in the driver rankings has come to an end. Following the New Zealander’s second straight subpar outing in Toronto, a Team Penske pair have jumped ahead of him. Initially, the primary benefactor looked to be Helio Castroneves who heads to Mid-Ohio in just over one week only three points in the rears of the championship leader.
However, the Brazilian only placed eighth compared to the Iceman’s finish in tenth. Couple that with Josef Newgarden’s second win of 2017 and the Tennessee-native vaults past both of the long-time veterans. Although the No. 2 Chevrolet pilot ranks only fourth on the current table, he has the momentum lacking from Dixon, Castroneves, and Simon Pagenaud.
Assuming we have not placed a jinx on Newgarden as we did to Will Power recently, “Jo Cool” could be here for a little while longer than the Aussie managed.
1. Team Penske (Unchanged)
Newgarden’s Honda Indy Toronto win was being in the right place at the perfect moment. Pagenaud and Castroneves both scored in the top-ten’s, while Power’s nightmare tour in 2017 continued in Canada as he was ousted in an first lap shunt Sunday.
2. Chip Ganassi Racing (Unchanged)
Far from a great outing in Canada for CGR’s quartet. Max Chilton did salvage a seventh-place finish, as Dixon languished back in tenth. Charlie Kimball (12th) and Tony Kanaan (19th) never threatened the top half of the order on Sunday.
3. Andretti Autosport (+1)
Great bounce back from Alexander Rossi after failing to post a top-ten since Detroit; he took advantage of the same full course caution that aided Newgarden and chased the Penske chauffeur all the way to the flag, settling for second. Marco Andretti also benefited to secure his first top-five effort in 32 events. Ryan Hunter-Reay finished sixth on Sunday, while the Indy 500 victory hangover continues for Takuma Sato, who came home in 16th.
4. Schmidt Peterson Motorsport (+1)
Whether the home-court advantage was the reason or not, James Hinchcliffe’s third-place finish is his second-consecutive result in the top half of the field. Money issues cost Mikhail Aleshin his seat at Toronto, yet Sebastian Saavedra posted a respectable 11th-place.
5. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (-2)
Ninth-place is not a complete disaster, but it will not cut it in this rankings list, as podium finishes from those in pursuit drop RLLR down two notches.
6. Dale Coyne Racing (Unchanged)
An early exit from Ed Jones (20th), coupled with a not-so-great showing from Esteban Gutierrez (14th). DCR holds ranking as ECR and Foyt also failed to feature at Toronto.
7. Ed Carpenter Racing (Unchanged)
J.R. Hildebrand, unfortunately, reverted to his recent road racing form in Canada. Spencer Pigot was in the top ten, but once again got another taste of misfortune. Pocono cannot come soon for this operation.
8. Harding Racing (Unchanged)
Inactive until Pocono, but should feature in the top half of the final order assuming a clean trip.
9. A.J. Foyt Racing (Unchanged)
Carlos Munoz looked good early at Exhibition Place, but faded to 15th at the checkered flag. Conor Daly’s 17th-place effort continues his year of humiliation.
10. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (=)
Season’s over, but 2018 Indianapolis 500 could be promising if the team continues the same course with Sage Karam. The driver-squad pairing seems perfect for one-off outings.
1. Josef Newgarden (+2)
Sixth or better in five of the last seven races. The only setbacks were at the Indy 500 and Texas where accidents not of his own doing were the culprit. The resume says position number one, even if the points list claims otherwise.
2. Helio Castroneves (Unchanged)
P8 in Canada was enough to pass the Iceman, but gives way to Mr. Newgarden.
3. Scott Dixon (-2)
Eighth at Iowa and tenth in Toronto result in the Kiwi’s lowest placement in the power rankings this season.
4. Simon Pagenaud (+1)
Honestly, the Frenchman should have garnered better than a fifth-place at Toronto so he only jumps Will Power this week.
5. Alexander Rossi (+2)
Superior strategy greatly aided Rossi, who snatched up his best result of 2017 in Canada.
6. Graham Rahal (Unchanged)
While the full course caution aided some, it hampered the Ohioan. Ninth-place was good considering the handicap.
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay (+1)
RHR is showing his superior self following a pair of top-six outings at Iowa and Toronto.
8. Will Power (-4)
The Australian just cannot avoid trouble this season. Unless he can run the table in the final five races, a second series championship must wait until 2018.
9. James Hinchcliffe (Unranked)
A third-place showing in Toronto reminds us of what the Mayor can achieve. Whether he can do it on a regular basis is now the major issue.
10. Max Chilton (Unchanged)
Seventh-place in Toronto means Chilton stays at No. 10 for the third straight race.
Dropped Out: Tony Kanaan (Was No. 9 after Iowa)
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