The NTT IndyCar Sequence is all the way down to its closing laps of the season with the 2022 marketing campaign set to conclude Sunday on the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in California.
It is the closest title chase within the sequence in 19 years with 5 drivers in rivalry for the championship and solely 41 factors separating the quintet. All three of Roger Penske’s drivers — Will Energy, Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin — are in rivalry for the championship together with a pair from Chip Ganassi’s secure — Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson.
This is a take a look at who might declare the Astor Problem Cup and be topped IndyCar Sequence champion.
1. Will Energy (Staff Penske)
Factors in 2022: 523
Wins in 2022: 1 (Detroit)
Energy is within the driver’s seat, pardon the pun, because the championship chief heading into the finale and controls his personal future, needing to simply end throughout the high three (or fourth with a bunch of bonus factors) to clinch the championship.
The 41-year-old Australian driver is aiming to win his second IndyCar championship after capturing the title as soon as earlier than in 2014.
Energy picked up his lone victory of the season (to this point) on Belle Isle in Detroit, however his general consistency has been stellar as he is completed on the rostrum a complete of eight occasions, together with a runner-up end result final weekend in Portland. He is additionally secured pole place 4 occasions this season and, with 67 on his profession, Energy is now tied with the legendary Mario Andretti for first all-time in that class.
There is a tremendous small pattern dimension of Laguna Seca outcomes — IndyCar has solely raced on the observe twice in recent times — with Energy ending second in 2019 and a distant twenty sixth in 2021, so this might go both manner.
2. Josef Newgarden (Staff Penske)
Factors in 2022: 503
Wins in 2022: 5 (Texas, Lengthy Seaside, Street America, Iowa 1 and Gateway)
Newgarden has essentially the most wins this season at 5, nevertheless, he is additionally completed outdoors of the highest 10 (or in no way) simply as many occasions. Destiny is not solely in Newgarden’s palms as a sixth win — and even incomes all 4 attainable bonus factors — would not assure him the title alone because it’ll additionally rely on the place Energy finishes because of the 20-point hole.
The 31-year-old from Hendersonville, Tenn., is a two-time IndyCar champion (2017 and 2019) and trying to keep away from ending runner-up for the third consecutive season. Newgarden completed eighth at Laguna Seca in 2019, which was sufficient to clinch him the championship that yr.
3. Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing)
Factors in 2022: 503
Wins in 2022: 2 (Toronto and Nashville)
Dixon is degree on factors with Newgarden however ranked behind him based mostly on wins. The 42-year-old New Zealander’s victories in Toronto and Nashville tied after which surpassed Andretti for second place on the all-time IndyCar wins record at 53.
Dixon appears to proceed his march on the report books because the six-time sequence champion might equal A.J. Foyt for essentially the most titles. He is completed outdoors of the highest 10 simply as soon as this season — sadly for him, it was on the Indianapolis 500 the place factors are doubled. Dixon began on pole place and led essentially the most laps however a late pit lane penalty took him out of rivalry resulting in ending twenty first.
He has essentially the most expertise at Laguna Seca out of all of the contenders — having additionally raced there throughout his first two seasons in CART again in 2001 and 2002 — along with his finest end result on the observe coming third in 2019.
4. Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing)
Factors in 2022: 484
Wins in 2022: 1 (Indianapolis)
Talking of the Indianapolis 500, Ericsson was the victor at this yr’s “Biggest Spectacle in Racing” and incomes double factors has saved him in rivalry ever since. The 32-year-old Swede appears to develop into the primary driver to win each the Indy 500 and the IndyCar Sequence championship since Dario Franchitti in 2010.
Ericsson has reached the rostrum two different occasions this yr, ending third in Texas and second at Street America. The previous F1 driver has to choose up the tempo in Laguna Seca, nevertheless, as he is completed outdoors of the highest 10 in three of the previous 4 races.
5. Scott McLaughlin (Staff Penske)
Factors in 2022: 482
Wins in 2022: 3 (St. Petersburg, Mid-Ohio and Portland)
There’s been no sophomore droop for McLaughlin, who kicked off his second full season with Penske by making an announcement and profitable the opener in St. Petersburg from pole place no much less.
McLaughlin additionally transformed a pole place into victory simply final week in Portland to stay in rivalry (mathematically at the least).
The 29-year-old New Zealander is a veteran of Australia’s Supercars Championship with three titles in that sequence and is in search of his first in IndyCar.