Just one race remains in the 2022 IndyCar Series, so we ask who you think will win the title, in this week’s Pirtek Poll.
In an unpredictable season which has produced eight different winners and nine different pole-sitters in 16 races so far, five drivers can lay claim to being a mathematical chance of taking out the series, and three of those have particularly strong claims.
The Queenslander’s team-mate Josef Newgarden and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon are tied for second, with another Ganassi driver in Marcus Ericsson 39 points off the pace and Penske’s Scott McLaughlin 41 points behind.
For context, up to 54 points are up for grabs this coming weekend at Laguna Seca, that figure being the sum of 50 for winning the race, one for leading at least a lap, two for leading the most laps, and one for qualifying on pole.
McLaughlin did all of that in the last 24 hours at Portland, but it is unlikely to be sufficient even if he repeats the feat in California.
While there are any number of permutations, some of the key thresholds in the finale are, before fully accounting for those qualifying and lap-leading bonuses:
- Power wins the series by finishing third or better
- Ericsson cannot win the series if Power finishes 14th or better
- McLaughlin cannot win the series if Power finishes 16th or better
- The first tie-break, being total race wins, would go in Newgarden’s favor
Notably, the top three in the standings are all already series winners; Power in 2014, Newgarden and 2017 and 2019, and Dixon six times.
Ericsson won this year’s Indianapolis 500 but has not yet closed out a series / championship at a particularly high level, while McLaughlin did win the Supercars Championship three times before moving to the United States.
For Power, a typical 2022 result would just about be good enough, considering he not only has eight podiums but another three fourths, meaning he has driven the # 12 Chevrolet to a top four in almost 69 percent of races this year.
Newgarden, on the other hand, is virtually win or bust. The Tennessean has five victories this year, more than anyone else, but his tally of podiums so far sits at… five.
Then there is Dixon, who somehow finds a way to salvage something almost every time.
Counting in his favor is that Ganassi took its final test day at Laguna Seca a week ago.
Penske, on the other hand, saw fit to test at Portland days prior to thatturning its weakness at the Oregon circuit last year into incredible strength this year, highlighted by a top three sweep in qualifying.
Could their Honda adversaries pull off something similar this weekend?
If they can, will it be enough for Dixon, or maybe even Ericsson, to loft the Astor Cup on Sunday (local time)?
Who will win the 2022 IndyCar Series? Cast your vote in this week’s Pirtek Poll.