IndyCar championship battle to come down to the wire again

For the 13th consecutive IndyCar season, the championship is set to be decided in the season finale, which is set to be hosted by Sonoma Raceway this year.

Josef Newgarden

In every IndyCar season from the 2006 season until the 2017 season, multiple drivers entered the season finale with a chance to win the championship. That will not change this season, as four drivers are still mathematically in championship contention with only the 17th race of the 17-race 2018 season, the IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma, at Sonoma Raceway yet to be contested.

These drivers are Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon, Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi and Team Penske teammates Josef Newgarden and Will Power. Dixon leads the championship standings with 598 points while Rossi sits in second place with 569 and Newgarden and Power are tied for third with 511.

All four of these drivers have won three races so far this season. Dixon won the first of two races on the streets of Belle Isle in Detroit Michigan, the race at Texas Motor Speedway in Forth Worth, Texas and the race on the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Rossi won the race on the streets of Long Beach, California, the race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio and the race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

Newgarden won the race at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona, the race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama and the race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Power won the race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in Speedway, Indiana as well as the race on the track’s oval (the Indianapolis 500). He also won the race at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.

Dixon is hunting for his fifth career IndyCar championship, as he won the titles in the 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015 seasons. If he wins his fifth, he will move into second place on the all-time IndyCar titles list behind only seven-time champion A.J. Foyt. Rossi is hunting for his first career IndyCar championship while Newgarden and Power are both hunting for their second. Newgarden won last season’s title and Power won it in the 2014 season.

Rossi, who really trails Dixon by 29 points in the championship standings, technically trails him by 14.5 points. Newgarden and Power, who really trail him by 87 points, technically trail by 43.5 points.

Because Dixon’s gap over Newgarden and Power is so large, it is very unlikely, albeit still possible, that either one of them will win the championship. This year’s title will likely come down between Dixon and Rossi, but if they falter to a great extent in the season finale, Newgarden or Power could potentially still be in a position to capitalize if everything else goes their way.

Source: Beyond the Flag