Categories
Formula One Open Wheel Power Rankings

POWER RANKINGS: Italy

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Throughout the season, POPULAR SPEED will rank the top-10 drivers in Formula 1 following each event. Feel free to comment on the story at the POPULAR SPEED Facebook page.

Team Rankings

2017 Constructor’s Championship After Italy

  1. Mercedes (NC)
  2. Ferrari (NC)
  3. Red Bull (NC)
  4. Force India (NC)
  5. Williams (NC)
  6. Toro Rosso (NC)
  7. Haas (NC)
  8. Renault (NC)
  9. McLaren (NC)
  10. Sauber (NC)

The Rankings reflect no movement in following the last race at Spa.

Driver Rankings After Italy

  1. Lewis Hamilton takes the number one spot in the Driver’s Championship for the first time in 2017 thanks to his sixth win of the season at Monza.
  2. Sebastian Vettel appears in second place for the first time this year, but he’s only three points out to Hamilton, for now.
  3. Valtteri Bottas remains third, looking less like a title contender and more like Best Supporting Driver. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
  4. Daniel Ricciardo still fourth but is only six points over fifthplace Kimi Raikkonen.
  5. Kimi Raikkonen stays in fifthplace, again.
  6. Max Verstappen – very popular for a sixth-place driver with the fewest laps run.
  7. Sergio Perez leads his teammate Ocon by only three points.
  8. Esteban Ocon looks poised to step up to seventh. Woo hoo!
  9. Carlos Sainz, still ninth, but may be tenth if Hulkenberg keeps finishing so well.
  10. Nico Hulkenberg holds onto tenth only two points from Sainz.

Our rankings resume in two weeks, after Singapore.

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management, or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
Formula One Open Wheel Power Rankings

POWER RANKINGS: Belgium

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Throughout the season, POPULAR SPEED will rank the top-10 drivers in Formula 1 following each event. Feel free to comment on the story at the POPULAR SPEED Facebook page.

Team Rankings

2017 Constructor’s Championship After Belgium

  1. Mercedes (NC)
  2. Ferrari (NC)
  3. Red Bull (NC)
  4. Force India (NC)
  5. Williams (NC)
  6. Toro Rosso (NC)
  7. Haas (NC)
  8. Renault (NC)
  9. McLaren (NC)
  10. Sauber (NC)

The Rankings reflect no movement in Ranks from the last race in Hungary and the Summer Recess.

Driver Rankings After Belgium

  1. Sebastian Vettel’s lead over Lewis Hamilton is cut in half to seven points. In spite of the season long see-saw, Vettel has been first place all season. So far.
  2. Lewis Hamilton is still in second with his advantage ahead of  Valtteri Bottas  now at 14 points.
  3. Valtteri Bottas appears to have a lock on third-place, maintaining his position as the number two Mercedes driver.
  4. Daniel Ricciardo remains in fourth but is only four over fifth-place Kimi Raikkonen.
  5. Kimi Raikkonen stays in fifth-place.
  6. Max Verstappen – still in sixth.
  7. Sergio Perez leads his teammate Ocon by nine points.
  8. Esteban Ocon remains solidly in the number eight position.
  9. Carlos Sainz, still ninth.
  10. Nico Hulkenberg holds onto tenth only two points from Sainz.

Our rankings resume in one week, after the Italian Grand Prix.

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
Commentary Open Wheel Power Rankings

POWER RANKINGS: St. Louis

Indycar_Power_Rankings_logoThroughout 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.

He’s not there yet, but Josef Newgarden’s victory in the Bommarito Automotive Group 500k at Gateway Motorsports Park puts him another step closer to the ultimate destination. Two tough tests remain though; this weekend at Watkins Glen and then at Sonoma.

 

Team Rankings:

  1. Team Penske (Unchanged)

The Captain’s quartet owned last weekend’s proceedings. Although things ended with a little controversy between Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud, it will take something catastrophic to dethrone the big dogs from securing the top team honors for 2017.

  1. Chip Ganassi Racing (Unchanged)

Scott Dixon took runner-up honors in St. Louis, but never showed the potential for snatching the win from any of the Penske pilots. He was there late to take advantage of Pagenaud’s misfortune, however. Decent showing from Charlie Kimball to take seventh at the flag, a rare sunny moment for what’s been a painful year for the American.

  1. Andretti Autosport (Unchanged)

If Alexander Rossi is fighting to stay on the IndyCar grid in 2018, he is making a positive impression, at least in the last four races. Sixth-place was a well-earned finish and a rare thumbs up moment for the Andretti effort at St. Louis. Marco Andretti was never a threat on Saturday night, and DNFs fell upon both Takuma Sato and Ryan Hunter-Reay.

  1. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (+1)

Solid recovery after the double retirement suffered at Pocono. James Hinchcliffe takes eighth at St. Louis, while Sebastian Saavedra closes out his 2017 slate with a quiet, but effective 11th-place run.

  1. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (-1)

No fireworks from Graham Rahal on Saturday as he settled for 12th at the finish. Returning to the road courses could regain number four placement by the end of the season.

  1. Dale Coyne Racing (Unchanged)

Strong comeback race for Sebastien Bourdais, who managed to reach the lead at one point on his way to reaching tenth at the climax. No challenge from Ed Jones at St. Louis; 13th was the result for the Dubai-based rookie.

  1. A.J. Foyt Racing (+1)

Finally, this is what we expected for Super Tex’s squad at the start of 2017. Outstanding effort from Conor Daly to run with the lead pack late, taking fifth at the conclusion. Carlos Munoz also handled things well in St. Louis, coming home in ninth. The focus in the final two rounds is building momentum for 2018.

  1. Ed Carpenter Racing (-1)

A substantial repair bill was dropped upon ECR in what was likely their last chance to make an impact in 2018. Wild ride on the opening lap eliminated team boss Ed Carpenter, while a crash at the other end of the Gateway Motorsports Park circuit removed J.R. Hildebrand from the action.

  1. Harding Racing (=)

Assuming Harding does indeed go full-time in 2018, Gabby Chaves and company will face a steep learning curve. Still, the Larry Curry-managed squad could be a threat on the ovals at least.

  1. 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.

 

Driver Rankings

  1. Josef Newgarden (Unchanged)

Three wins in the last four events is stout. Even if one were to discount the St. Louis triumph with the contact to Simon Pagenaud, a runner-up showing would not have ruined the recent dominant form. There is work to be done to lock up his first IndyCar championship, but as long as he does not defeat himself, this is the favorite with two to run.

  1. Simon Pagenaud (Unchanged)

Only Newgarden has been more impressive than the reigning champion. While a successful defense of the crown is a long shot, he still could reach second on the points table before the year closes out.

  1. Will Power (-2)   

The pole position on Friday was lost by a first lap crash on race day. Road course ace still with an outside chance, but surrendered any momentum gained in previous showings.

  1. Helio Castroneves (+1)

Bad pit stop relegated the Brazilian to fourth-place last Saturday. He has not had a poor result since Texas retirement; however, he may have too much to do to win championship in possibly his final full year.

  1. Scott Dixon (+1)

Second-place at St. Louis stopped a four-race skid without a top-five. Honda has been a few steps behind at the recent road course efforts compared to the Penske Chevrolets. That trend must change if the Iceman is to stay in the battle for a fifth title.

  1. Alexander Rossi (Unchanged)

Sixth-place at St. Louis continues a recent move forward for the 2016 Indy 500 champion. Could reach the top-five on the standings list with two more good runs, coupled with some bad luck from those ahead of him.

  1. James Hinchcliffe (Unranked)

Canadian absorbed the bad effort at Pocono, with a clean run from start to finish in St. Louis. The eighth-place result puts the Mayor back into the rankings this week.

  1. Graham Rahal (-1)

Rahal hung around the top-ten for most of the first three-quarters of Saturday night’s proceedings. However, the story repeated itself from Pocono as the Ohioan fell to 12th in the final moments.

  1. Ryan Hunter-Reay (Unchanged)

Five DNFs have derailed the 2012 series champion, who is better on paper than his 11th-place spot in the points would lead you to believe.

  1. Tony Kanaan (Unranked)

Four of the last six rounds have ended with finishes of 16th or worse. If not for a mediocre bottom half in the IndyCar Series, TK would have dropped off the list this week.

Dropped Out: Takuma Sato (Was No. 10 after Pocono)

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @MattEmbury

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
Formula One Open Wheel Power Rankings

POWER RANKINGS: Hungary

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Throughout the season, POPULAR SPEED will rank the top-10 drivers in Formula 1 following each event. Feel free to comment on the story at the POPULAR SPEED Facebook page.

Team Rankings

2017 Constructor’s Championship After Hungary

  1. Mercedes (NC)
  2. Ferrari (NC)
  3. Red Bull (NC)
  4. Force India (NC)
  5. Williams (NC)
  6. Toro Rosso (NC)
  7. Haas (NC)
  8. Renault (NC)
  9. McLaren (+1)
  10. Sauber (-1)

The Rankings reflect one movement in Ranks from the last race in Britain due to McLaren’s landing of both its drivers in the top 10 is the cause. At the top, the Mercedes lead continues.

Driver Rankings After Hungary

  1. Sebastian Vettel’s lead over Lewis Hamilton grows to 14 points due to his win at the Hungaroring.
  2. Lewis Hamilton is still in second with a gap of 19 over Valtteri Bottas.
  3. Valtteri Bottas appears to have a lock on third place, making himself the second in command for the top team.
  4. Daniel Ricciardo remains in fourth but is only one marker over fifth place.
  5. Kimi Raikkonen stays in fifth.
  6. Max Verstappen is still in sixth.
  7. Sergio Perez leads his teammate Ocon by 11 points.
  8. Esteban Ocon remains solidly in the number eight position.
  9. Carlos Sainz no movement this race, still ninth.
  10. Nico Hulkenburg holds onto tenth. For now.

Our rankings resume in four weeks, after the Belgian Grand Prix.

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
IndyCar Open Wheel Power Rankings

POWER RANKINGS: Mid-Ohio

Indycar_Power_Rankings_logoThroughout 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.

Josef Newgarden was moved up to number one following victory in the Honda Indy Toronto and closed out the month of July with an equally stout performance to win at Mid-Ohio. While the Tennessean is far from securing his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship, he appears to have the momentum in his corner as the circuit is off until the third weekend of August for the Pocono 500.

Team Rankings:

1. Team Penske (Unchanged)

Four drivers in the top-seven places at Mid-Ohio, with all four in the first five of the championship standings. Not as dominant as the Captain’s reign of terror last year, but boy it is just as solid.

2. Andretti Autosport (+1)

A strong outing from Michael’s quartet in the Buckeye State. Three of the four pilots on the squad placed in the first ten, and with a high-speed oval next on the docket, the chances for a race win should increase.

3. Chip Ganassi Racing (-1)

It is time to drop CGR down the list. With Scott Dixon continuing to be mired in the back half of the top ten, his three teammates have not picked up the slack to merit a number two ranking. May not be able to justify a top-three spot if the trend continues in Pennsylvania.

4. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (+1)

Home-court advantage or not, Graham Rahal was in contention from the start on Sunday and was rewarded with a podium finish. Can manage a good result at Pocono, but may need the same attrition levels as seen at Texas to get there.

5. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (-1)

There was nothing special from either James Hinchcliffe or Mikhail Aleshin at Mid-Ohio. If the team can revert to its 2016 oval track muscle at Pocono, they could be a contender. They at least have the stronger power plant to boast about.

6. Dale Coyne Racing (Unchanged)

Whether Coyne hustles Sebastien Bourdais back into action or not, the momentum gained to open the 2017 campaign is just a memory now. 18th or worse in the last three starts for Ed Jones and Esteban Gutierrez’s trial by fire continued at Mid-Ohio.

7. Ed Carpenter Racing (Unchanged)

The teeth pulling for ECR is momentarily on hiatus. J.R. Hildebrand and team boss Ed Carpenter are back on an oval. Speed is not an issue, but getting to the finish might be.

8. Harding Racing (Unchanged)

Gabby Chaves and company return to action at Pocono. So far the new entity has yet to suffer a significant adversity and will continue to play its cards close to the vest at the Tricky Triangle.

9. A.J. Foyt Racing (Unchanged)

If Conor Daly can build on his first legit top-ten of 2017 at Mid-Ohio, that might be enough to jump at least Harding Racing by season’s end. Not much positive to say about Carlos Munoz’s effort, however.

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.

Driver Rankings

1. Josef Newgarden (Unchanged)

Back-to-back wins and the points lead is now his, but not firmly. Considering Chevrolet is at a disadvantage on super speedways, Pocono could be the last major road block between the No. 2 Chevrolet and a possible title.

2. Simon Pagenaud (+2)

The Frenchman is not winning races, but he continues to compile high placings more often than not. Whether that’s enough to defend his title from a year ago successfully is now the major issue. 

3. Helio Castroneves (-1)

Seventh-place run at Mid-Ohio cost him the points lead, but his oval track savvy could jump back to the one or two maybe after Pocono.

4. Scott Dixon (-1)

The Iceman is still well within the range of his fifth championship; but, the last three races have been a fight to salvage decent results. It will be curious to see how he fares at Pocono, after suffering accidents in his last two showings on 200 miles per hour plus layouts.

5. Graham Rahal (+1)

Third-place at Mid-Ohio and now the Honda chauffeur seeks his second-straight win on a major oval. While he has done well in Texas, it has not translated to Indy or Pocono.

6. Will Power (+2)

We are continuing the give the former series champion the benefit of the doubt. Assuming luck is on his side, he is capable of earning high finishes on a consistent basis.

7. Alexander Rossi (-2)

Good run for Rossi at Mid-Ohio. Only drops down the list based on the efforts of both Rahal and Power  nothing more, nothing less.

8. Ryan Hunter-Reay (-1)

Have to like RHR’s chances at Pocono, assuming the engine blow-up that occurred at the Indy 500 avoids an encore in the Keystone State.

9. Takuma Sato (Unranked)

Top-five at Mid-Ohio is a plus, but that was preceded by a hollow period of three finishes of 16th or further down the list. Needs to finish the year off strong to be able to claim year a success, even with triumph at the Indy 500 included.

10. James Hinchcliffe (-1)

11th-place finish was a ho-hum outing for the Mayor. Despite only six top-ten efforts in 2017, the Canadian is still on the verge of his best points placing since 2013.

Dropped Out: Max Chilton (Was No. 10 after Toronto)

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @MattEmbury

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
NASCAR Cup Series Power Rankings

Power Rankings: Where does your Favorite NASCAR Driver Stand?

With just five races left in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, it’s time to take a closer look at where the top drivers rank as the playoffs near.

With the battle for the final playoff spots building to a fever pitch, here are this week’s PopularSpeed.com Power Rankings:

 

  1. Martin Truex Jr.

With 29 playoff points, the Furniture Row Racing driver is ideally positioned for a deep playoff run as he pursues his first Cup championship.

 

  1. Jimmie Johnson

Yes, Johnson is in his usual summer slump. But seven championship rings are proof positive you’d be a fool to bet against him.

 

  1. Brad Keselowski

Whatever Keselowski’s Team Penske Fords may lack in speed — and it isn’t much — the 2012 champ makes up for it in consistency. He has the most top fives in the series and is tied for the lead in top 10s.

 

  1. Kyle Busch

Will Busch’s breakthrough Pocono victory trigger a white-hot streak where he wins a bunch of races? It certainly is possible.

 

  1. Kevin Harvick

A past champion, Harvick and his Stewart-Haas Racing team are battle-tested and at their best when the pressure is on.

 

  1. Kyle Larson

In addition to his two victories, Larson has seven second-place finishes. And he has four finishes of 26th or worse in the last six races.

 

  1. Denny Hamlin

Now that Joe Gibbs Racing has found some speed, Hamlin could be a threat, as he showed when won at New Hampshire.

 

  1. Clint Bowyer

In his last six races, Bowyer has had runner-up finishes at Sonoma and Daytona and additional top 10s at New Hampshire and Pocono. He’s ripe to win.

 

  1. Matt Kenseth

In his final season with Joe Gibbs Racing, Kenseth has finished ninth or better in each of the last three races, when he has contended for wins.

 

  1. Kurt Busch

Since winning the season-opening Daytona 500, Busch has only one more top-five finish, a fourth-place run at Pocono in June.

 

  1. Chase Elliott

Right now, Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets don’t have the speed necessary to win, but Elliott is generally good at finishing well.

 

  1. Ryan Blaney

After winning at Pocono in June, Blaney is trending in the wrong direction, with five finishes of 19th or worse in his last seven races.

 

  1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Restrictor-plate victories at the spring Talladega race and the July Daytona race were great, but Stenhouse hasn’t finished better than 14th in the last four races.

 

  1. Jamie McMurray

Riding a streak of three consecutive finishes outside the top 15, McMurray has no playoff points and has led only 3 laps since the Daytona 500.

 

  1. Erik Jones

Although not as consistent as fellow rookie Daniel Suarez, Jones has flashed good speed most of the year and could win.

 

  1. Daniel Suarez

In each of the last three races, Suarez has finished seventh or better, but he’ll need to win to make the playoffs.

 

  1. Joey Logano

Since his encumbered victory at Richmond, Logano and the No. 22 Team Penske Ford have hit hard times, with seven finishes of 21st or worse.

 

  1. Ryan Newman

In addition to his Phoenix victory, Newman finished third in the Brickyard 400, fourth at Dover and fifth in the July Daytona race.

 

  1. Kasey Kahne

With his surprising victory in the Brickyard 400, Kahne is suddenly in the playoffs. Can he do anything once he gets there?

 

  1. Austin Dillon

For the final spot this week, Dillon barely gets the nod over Dale Earnhardt Jr. because he’s won a race and Earnhardt hasn’t. But Dillon hasn’t finished better than 13th in any of the last nine races.

All article photos courtesy of Nigel Kinrade Photography © 2017

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @tomjensen100

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
Formula One Open Wheel Power Rankings

POWER RANKINGS: Great Britian

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Throughout the season, POPULAR SPEED will rank the top-10 drivers in Formula 1 following each event. Feel free to comment on the story at the POPULAR SPEED Facebook page.

Team Rankings

2017 Constructor’s Championship After Great Britain

  1. Mercedes (NC)
  2. Ferrari (NC)
  3. Red Bull (NC)
  4. Force India (NC)
  5. Williams (NC)
  6. Toro Rosso (NC)
  7. Haas (NC)
  8. Renault (NC)
  9. Sauber (NC)
  10. McLaren (NC)

The Rankings reflect no movement in Ranks from the last race in Austria. The Mercedes lead over the other teams continues to grow.

Driver Rankings After Great Britain

  1. Sebastian Vettel’s advantage over Lewis Hamilton has shrunk to 1 point.
  2. Lewis Hamilton is still second. His lead grows to 22 markers over his teammate Valtteri Bottas.
  3. Valtteri Bottas remains third.
  4. Daniel Ricciardo now has a  convincing gap of 19 points over  Kimi Raikkonen.
  5. Kimi Raikkonen stays in fifth place with no danger of losing that anytime soon.
  6. Max Verstappen climbs back to sixth with the apparent end of his points drought.
  7. Sergio Perez falls to seventh but is only five markers away from his rival Verstappen.
  8. Esteban Ocon remains solidly in the number eight position.
  9. Carlos Sainz experiences no movement this race  – but maybe not for long. He’s only three points over 10th.
  10. Nico Hulkenburg’s amazing sixth place finish at Silverstone was a boon to Renault on the 40th anniversary of their Formula One debut. It also pushed Hulkenburg up into tenth place in the Driver Rankings. Great for them, but adieu to Felipe Massa, who drops out of 10th place at least for now.

Our rankings resume in two weeks, after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
Commentary Open Wheel Power Rankings

POWER RANKINGS: Toronto

Indycar_Power_Rankings_logoThroughout 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. 

Team Rankings:

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.

Driver Rankings

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)

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @MattEmbury

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
Formula One Open Wheel Power Rankings

POWER RANKINGS: Austria

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Throughout the season, POPULAR SPEED will rank the top-10 drivers in Formula 1 following each event. Feel free to comment on the story at the POPULAR SPEED Facebook page.

Team Rankings

2017 Constructor’s Championship After Austria

  1. Mercedes (NC)
  2. Ferrari (NC)
  3. Red Bull (NC)
  4. Force India (NC)
  5. Williams (NC)
  6. Toro Rosso (NC)
  7. Haas (NC)
  8. Renault (NC)
  9. Sauber (NC)
  10. McLaren (NC)

The Rankings reflect no movement from the last race in Azerbaijan.

Driver Rankings After Austria

  1. Sebastian Vettel continues to occupy the first spot and now leads Lewis Hamilton by 20 points.
  2. Lewis Hamilton is still in second, but his lead over Valtteri Bottas has been cut to 15 points.
  3. Valtteri Bottas remains third. Another win over Vettel and Hamilton will place him solidly in a three-way contention for the championship.
  4. Daniel Ricciardo’s podium puts him 24 points ahead of fifth place Kimi Raikkonen.
  5. Kimi Raikkonen stays solidly in fifth place.
  6. Sergio Perez climbs to sixth due to Max Verstappen continuing to score no points.
  7. Max Verstappen falls to seventh due to DNFs and no points for several races.
  8. Esteban Ocon remains in the number eight position.
  9. Carlos Sainz experiences no movement this race, still ninth.
  10. Felipe Massa still cannot buy a break so stays tenth.

Our rankings resume in one week, after the British Grand Prix.

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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IndyCar Open Wheel Power Rankings

POWER RANKINGS: Road America

Indycar_Power_Rankings_logoThroughout 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.

Whether Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix at Road America represented a shift in favor of the bigger, betterfunded organizations or not, one thing is for certain. Outside of two bad finishes on high-speed ovals, Scott Dixon has been the rabbit of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season to date. It is also apparent that our continued disrespect of Simon Pagenaud must end immediately. While the rankings committee has looked more at the end game scenarios, the Frenchman seems to be reverting to the form that bagged him the title in 2016.

Things are going smoothly for the above two options, but the same cannot be said for Will Power. There is no question that in a perfect world, the Australian is the best of the bunch on any road course one could face. The problem in 2017 is consistency. Team Penske swept the first two rows in qualifying; but in race trim, he suddenly found himself behind his three teammates.

So while the team rankings stay mostly untouched, the drivers top ten has seen some movement.

Team Rankings:

1. Team Penske (Unchanged)

The Captain’s quartet did not grab the brass ring in Wisconsin, however placing four in the top-five is nothing to sneeze about. As noted earlier, Power’s hit or miss practices in 2017 is a head scratcher. If anything, Josef Newgarden should be the one doing that being in his first year with Penske, not the Aussie. As for Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves, we are starting to get an idea that their title challenges are legit after all.

2. Chip Ganassi Racing (Unchanged)

Difficult to fathom that Dixon was minus a victory before Sunday, yet his consistency put him on top of the points table. One has to be getting nervous that the Kiwi now is adding P1s to his long line of top-fives. The Iceman was not alone though in the laurels of success. Charlie Kimball enjoyed his best effort of 2017 with a sixth-place finish, while Indy 500 top lap leader Max Chilton scored a ninth.

3. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (+1)

Yes, one is the loneliest number – unless you are referring to RLLR and Graham Rahal. For the third straight year, the No. 15 Steak N’ Shake Honda is shaming most of the giant fish in the IndyCar pond and once again is joining the conversation for another top-five result at season’s end.

4. Andretti Autosport (-1)

The weekend started bad and ended worse. Marco Andretti was unable to make the most of a good grid position and placed 18th. Contact with Tony Kanaan may have hampered Alexander Rossi’s 13th-place effort, while Ryan Hunter-Reay and Takuma Sato were mired in the bottom half of the order throughout the proceedings. They are no longer a 1-A to Ganassi’s number official number one placement in the Honda camp. Thanks to RLLR they may not be the second in the queue either.

5. Dale Coyne Racing (+1)

If Road America form continues onward to Iowa and beyond, Ed Jones looks set to lead DCR back into the victory conversation started by Sebastien Bourdais at St. Petersburg. While winning one of the remaining events is not a lock, it would be far from a shocker for more or less the 2017 IndyCar Rookie of the Year.

6. Schmidt Peterson Motorsport (-1)

A top-ten finish for Mikhail Aleshin was well earned considering the Russian suffered from a lack of track time due to a visa snafu. James Hinchcliffe meanwhile, has undergone a complete reversal of fortune. After opening 2017 with three straight top-tens, the Canadian has just one of those placements since. With Honda starting to close in on trumping Chevrolet, Schmidt Peterson appears to have missed the depart time and has been left at the gate so far.

7. Harding Racing (Unchanged)

Inactive until Pocono, yet nothing from Carpenter or Foyt merits dropping them down the list.

8. A.J. Foyt Racing (+1)

Carlos Munoz deserved better than an eleventh-place output at Road America, but that pretty much explains the lack of competitive drive shown from this team and its pilots. 2018 cannot come soon enough.

9. Ed Carpenter Racing (-1)

Road course ace Spencer Pigot could not save the sinking ship and after multiple issues on Sunday, settling for 12th. Once again, J.R. Hildebrand made zero impact and came home 18th. If Iowa does not provide comfort, painful outcomes seem stuck to Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s home team for the remainder of 2017.

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.

Driver Rankings

1. Scott Dixon (+1)

People of New Zealand, we sincerely apologize. If there were any questions about the Kiwi’s ability to maintain his solid pace, those worries were silenced on Sunday. On to Iowa.

2. Josef Newgarden (+1)

Right now the pronunciation should be NEW-GUARD. The Tennessee-native has fit in well with Team Penske and appears capable of challenging for a championship in year one, much like Al Unser, Jr. did with success in 1994. Another Iowa tour de force will make his effort official.

3. Simon Pagenaud (+3)

We continued to doubt the staying power of the reigning IndyCar king and the Frenchman has continued to admonish us for doing so. Second in points and deservedly so.

4. Helio Castroneves (Unchanged)

The Brazilian squandered yet another front row start and settled for third at the checkered flag. While the results continue to keep him in the conversation, SpiderMan must find a way to end a 53-race losing skid.

5. Will Power (-4)

Well, our crystal ball premonition did not mean all that much. A fifth-place result is alright, but iffy when all his Penske counterparts finished ahead of him. Iowa on paper is not the place for a bounce back.

6. Graham Rahal (+1)

The Ohioan proves that a single-car team can still prosper, even when this same performer questioned whether that was still possible earlier this season. Four top-tens in a row headed to Corn City.

7. Takuma Sato (-2)

Just when the Japanese hero looked set to be a mainstay at the front of the IndyCar lineup, along came Elkhart Lake. The Kohler Grand Prix was a complete clunker for Sato, who never made a positive impact in qualifying or the race. Skeptics are returning to this conversation.

8. Alexander Rossi (Unchanged)

Unlike his Andretti compatriots, Rossi showed promise until his meeting with Tony Kanaan. While TK found the fence, the 2016 Indy 500 champion must have damaged his car as he faded outside the top ten in the final laps. Only a sub-par bottom half of the rankings keeps him in the top ten this week.

9. Ed Jones (Unranked)

The on the list, off the list syndrome for the Dubai-based entrant would come to a head if more consistency were present. Just a friendly suggestion while looking ahead to Iowa Speedway.

10. Max Chilton (Unranked)

We have a new customer! While the ex-Formula One racer has not set the IndyCar world on fire in 2017, he does have four top-tens in the past seven races. That’s something most in the full-time fleet cannot claim.

Dropped Out: Tony Kanaan (Was No. 9 after Texas), James Hinchcliffe (Was No. 10 after Texas)

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.