Each full-time 2022 IndyCar driver ranked

With 17 races on the invoice and a double-points race distorting the standings, we’re digging deeper to rank each single full-time driver in IndyCar this season.

It’s been an intriguing yr and putting every driver in a rating isn’t straightforward while you’re balancing a five-car title combat, an ace rookie class and a bunch of huge names who have been trying to enhance on tough years final season.

We’ve crunched the obtainable stats to convey you our rating of the entire full-time area from worst to greatest (and with drivers who missed multiple race discounted).

25 – Dalton Kellett

Dalton Kellett Bommarito Automotive Group 500 By Chris Owens Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M68456

AJ Foyt Racing
Championship place: twenty fifth
Finest end: seventeenth (Texas)

It’s a disgrace to place Dalton to date down on this checklist. Whether or not it’s his curiosity in images and astrology, TikTok explanations of automobile engineering or his talking out on key political and human rights points that aren’t all the time straightforward to debate as a high-level sportsperson, he’s a really endearing character.

He’s nearly definitely higher than the factors make him look, too, however sadly the IndyCar Sequence is extremely aggressive and he won’t be minimize out for this stage. I nonetheless suppose he’d be a succesful IMSA driver in any class.

24 – Kyle Kirkwood

Kyle Kirkwood Honda Indy Toronto By Joe Skibinski Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M64093

AJ Foyt Racing
Championship place: twenty fourth
Finest end: tenth (Lengthy Seashore)

Maybe it’s harsh to have Kirkwood so close to the underside, however his flashes of tempo have been met with far too many errors.

Given the unimaginable junior single-seater profession he had, his first IndyCar yr has been a disappointment.

It’s nice to not ship as a lot as a few of his different rookie rivals in higher gear, nevertheless it’s not OK to make key errors when in positions to attain respectable factors for the staff.

Kirkwood positively belongs in IndyCar and he could be one of many brightest abilities within the collection. He simply must make fewer errors and be extra constant. Perhaps the Andretti change will assist that in 2023.

23 – Devlin DeFrancesco

Devlin Defrancesco Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix By Karl Zemlin Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M60972

Andretti Autosport
Championship place: twenty third
Finest end: twelfth (Gateway)

He might need made loads of errors in his rookie yr – and he took accountability for them admirably – however DeFrancesco has additionally made strides ahead.

He most likely lacks the elite tempo wanted to be a prime 10 risk on this collection in the intervening time, however he’s a driver nonetheless clearly creating.

It’s harsh on Kirkwood to position DeFrancesco forward given Andretti’s benefit over Foyt, however Kirkwood squandered loads of possibilities to sneak forward and that needs to be factored in.

22 – Jack Harvey

Jack Harvey Indianapolis 500 Open Test By Chris Owens Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M54354

Rahal Letterman Lanigan
Championship place: twenty second
Finest end: tenth (Nashville)

It’s no secret Rahal Letterman Lanigan has struggled this yr. However Harvey has been totally embarrassed by his team-mates.

Harvey has been touted as a possible race winner previously however his first season at RLL ends with him having not been the highest-finishing automobile from the RLL secure in any of the 17 races.

Folks may examine this yr to Felix Rosenqvist’s 2021 in an excellent driver having a catastrophe. Rosenqvist has bounced again this yr and Harvey may too, however there’s no actual signal of that at the moment.

He’s fortunate to retain his seat and has to do higher within the subsequent marketing campaign.

21 – Conor Daly

Conor Daly Firestone Grand Prix Of Monterey By Travis Hinkle Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M70926

Ed Carpenter Racing
Championship place: seventeenth
Finest end: fifth (Indy GP)

Daly is a likeable character and to lastly see him get a full season after an impromptu assembly in Las Vegas led to his BitNile sponsorship was enjoyable.

Sadly his second half of the season has been disappointing and his common end is just 16.5, the twentieth greatest within the area.

Exiting Might it regarded like he may given highly-rated team-mate Rinus VeeKay a a lot nearer run to the end, however he hasn’t delivered on that, which is a disgrace.

It’s onerous to know whether or not to encourage the notion that Daly’s able to sturdy outcomes or criticise the very fact he doesn’t get them as usually as he ought to.

20 – Helio Castroneves

Helio Castroneves Firestone Grand Prix Of Monterey By James Black Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M70745

Meyer Shank Racing
Championship place: 18th
Finest end: seventh (Indy 500)

It was an enormous problem at 47 years outdated to return again to a full marketing campaign for Castroneves.

He’s been comparatively constant as a prime 15 risk which is not any imply feat with the usual of driver within the collection, however like Takuma Sato, we haven’t actually seen any of the peaks we’ve come to anticipate.

You might make the argument he’s employed primarily for his Indy 500 prowess, A tough qualifying draw meant beginning outdoors the highest 25 for it this yr and seventh was a wonderful restoration, exhibiting his worth.

However there’s little question that worth comes primarily on the ovals and particularly the five hundred, and he was in a full-time seat.

Plus Meyer Shank struggled at Iowa and Gateway and he was taken out at Texas. So his possibilities to shine on ovals have been restricted. Outcomes there may have bumped him into the highest 15.

19 – Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson Grand Prix Of Portland By James Black Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M69962

Chip Ganassi Racing
Championship place: twenty first
Finest end: fifth (Iowa)

Johnson’s oval performances prop up one other street course wrestle.

However the sheer pleasure he induced on ovals was infectious and powerful leads to all however the 500, the place he crashed from a good place, present what he’s nonetheless capable of convey to the desk.

Even together with his street course points his automobile would comfortably be within the cut-off for vital collection prize cash if it counted for groups with greater than three automobiles.

If he’s reaching (he was fifteenth in factors scored on ovals) and having fun with what he does, then that’s nice by me. He’s definitely making strides and I hope we get a 3rd season as anticipated to see what which may appear like.

18 – Takuma Sato

Takuma Sato Firestone Grand Prix Of Monterey By James Black Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M70690

Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing
Championship place: nineteenth
Finest end: fifth (Gateway)

A disappointing first yr at Coyne for Sato, who was outperformed by his rookie team-mate and barely regarded like a automobile in competition for race wins or podiums outdoors of his season-high fifth at Gateway.

There’s been some unhealthy luck and errors – each aren’t uncommon in a Sato marketing campaign – however this one lacks the peaks a few of his current efforts with Rahal managed.

Some good outcomes imply rumours of an oval-only change subsequent season could be untimely, however he must step it up in 2023 if not.

17 – Simon Pagenaud

Simon Pagenaud Acura Grand Prix Of Long Beach By Chris Owens Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M53417

Meyer Shank Racing
Championship place: fifteenth
Finest end: 2nd (Indy GP)

Contemplating one of many causes Pagenaud was employed by MSR was to make use of all of his automobile and mechanical data to push this staff ahead, outcomes weren’t the principle defining issue for Pagenaud this yr.

Seven prime 10s in 17 races present he has hit the bottom operating effectively, particularly figuring out how powerful it’s to be a daily contender at that stage week in week out within the collection.

A podium at Indy was a bonus, and the work he’s carried out to assist refine this comparatively new staff’s method factors to excessive worth past being behind the wheel.

16 – Rinus VeeKay

Rinus Veekay Indianapolis 500 Front Row By Chris Owens Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M58808

Ed Carpenter Racing
Championship place: twelfth
Finest end: third (Barber)

Veekay is a searingly quick driver at instances, however there have been too many events he dissatisfied in 2022.

Whether or not it’s the drop-off in kind when he was linked to McLaren in Might, the crash out of tenth on the final lap in Detroit, failing to make use of his push-to-pass which value a win at Barber and smashing into Johnson in some of the ridiculous incidents of the yr at Portland, it’s been a tricky one.

With a multi-year deal signed to remain at Ed Carpenter, maybe that continuity will assist VeeKay to determine a extra constant problem in 2023.

He’s too good to be letting errors like these hamstring his campaigns.

15 – Callum Ilott

Callum Ilott Honda Indy 200 At Mid Ohio By Matt Fraver Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M63416 (1)

Juncos Hollinger Racing
Championship place: twentieth
Finest end: eighth (Indy GP)

There’s an argument to be made that Ilott ought to be a lot larger regardless of solely being twentieth within the standings. Maybe my concern of the accusation of British bias means Ilott is hindered.

Whereas the outcomes haven’t all the time been sterling and there have been errors, Ilott seems like a liberated expertise in 2022 given the liberty to go and make errors figuring out he has a contract for the subsequent season in his again pocket, not like his years toiling on the junior ladder.

The tempo the staff has proven being a one-car entry with no extra information from different automobiles is nothing in need of improbable, and whereas there ought to be a pair extra prime 10s within the order, a quiet run to ninth at Portland factors to Ilott marrying his velocity with some poise and a measured method.

A very spectacular yr from driver and staff and being lower than a tenth of a second off pole at Laguna Seca capped it off higher than his engine failure within the race.

14 – Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean Gallagher Grand Prix By Joe Skibinski Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M66064

Andretti Autosport
Championship place: thirteenth

Finest end: 2nd (Lengthy Seashore)

Grosjean has the eighth-best beginning common within the collection however his marketing campaign with Andretti has barely matched his rookie yr with Dale Coyne, not to mention produced the anticipated problem for the title.

He’s had some unhealthy luck, certain, however he’s made loads of errors too.

With a yr to suss out this staff and the Andretti automobile, maybe he can use his expertise to rebound.

Alexander Rossi being on the way in which out – the 2 having not received alongside – may enable Grosjean to stamp his authority on the staff a bit extra. Whether or not that’s an excellent factor or if it would harm from shedding Rossi’s IndyCar expertise is but to be seen.

13 – David Malukas

David Malukas Bommarito Automotive Group 500 By Sean Birkle Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M68742

Dale Coyne Racing with HMD
Championship place: sixteenth
Finest end: 2nd (Gateway)

His Gateway second place was a revelation for as a lot as the very fact a wider fanbase received to see how enjoyable and endearing Malukas is.

There have been loads of self-confessed rookie errors within the first half of the yr. Nonetheless, throughout and after the Indy 500 Malukas was rather more constant and capable of actually constantly beat his team-mate Sato, a a number of race winner and double Indy 500 winner.

12 – Christian Lundgaard

Christian Lundgaard Big Machine Music City Grand Prix By Joe Skibinski Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M67538

Rahal Letterman Lanigan
Championship place: 14th
Finest end: 2nd (Indy GP 2)

It was an terrible first half of the season for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan staff, and Lundgaard definitely bore a number of the brunt of that – coming to many tracks for the primary time with an ill-handling automobile.

Even underneath strain within the rookie battle from Malukas within the second half of the yr although, Lundgaard regarded actually constant and barely made errors regardless of how effectively or badly his day goes.

As he and Bobby Rahal prefer to level out, after Rossi failed post-race tech on the second Indy street course race they have been the primary authorized automobile house and due to this fact received a race in a approach. The final rookie winner was coincidentally Rossi in 2016, in order that reveals how sturdy Lundgaard has been.

His qualifying is the one factor that has let him down however that’s been a shortcoming of the staff too and his race runs have been up there with Graham Rahal – who is nearly all the time a prime 10 risk.

11 – Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal Gallagher Grand Prix By Joe Skibinski Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M66261

Rahal Letterman Lanigan
Championship place: eleventh
Finest end: 4th (Toronto)

All the eye has been on Lundgaard for what he has carried out in his rookie yr, however Rahal as soon as once more introduced consistency to Rahal Letterman Lanigan with 9 prime 10s in 17 races.

Errors at Nashville and Detroit and being taken out at Texas have been the one main poor finishes, and all that within the context of RLL having an almighty wrestle for uncooked velocity in 2022.

His racecraft, savvy and tyre conservation made certain he was a risk for the highest 10 within the factors although he didn’t get any podiums this yr.

10 – Colton Herta

Colton Herta Gallagher Grand Prix By Matt Fraver Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M66533

Andretti Autosport
Championship place: tenth
Wins: 1 (Indy GP)

Herta could be a bit decrease than his peak efficiency deserves right here nevertheless it’s simply been such a disappointing yr.

It looks like Andretti hasn’t given him a profitable automobile as usually because it did final yr, however each driver and staff have made as many errors, which has allowed Rossi to shut in and finally have a greater season in most measurable metrics.

Whereas which may not essentially imply a backwards step for Herta – Rossi’s greater than able to enhancing his kind even once more on what we’ve seen in 2022 – it does imply Herta hasn’t taken the strides many anticipated. He ought to have been a title contender final yr however wasn’t by way of loads of unhealthy luck. This yr hasn’t been clear sufficient as a bunch to warrant the identical declare.

9 – Alexander Rossi

Alexander Rossi Big Machine Music City Grand Prix By Joe Skibinski Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M67896

Andretti Autosport
Championship place: ninth
Finest end: 1st (Indy GP 2)

It’s nonetheless not what we’d come to anticipate of Rossi pre-aeroscreen, however 2022 felt like a step in the correct route.

Even Herta has struggled this season so we will minimize Rossi some slack for that, and the very fact he’s been a lot nearer to Herta’s tempo constantly than in any of the previous three seasons actually means it’s been a profitable marketing campaign.

That’s very true on street programs, the place he had the third highest variety of factors earlier than you bear in mind his penalty on the second Indy street course. He had the beautiful drive to second at Detroit on the road course and a pleasant fifth at Indy from a difficult qualifying place, so he’s been good throughout. Not nice, however good.

8 – Felix Rosenqvist

Felix Rosenqvist Gallagher Grand Prix By Joe Skibinski Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M65782

Arrow McLaren SP
Championship place: eighth
Finest end: third (Toronto)

Rosenqvist will get the nod forward of Herta and Rossi – who each had larger peaks – due to his newfound relative consistency and the turnaround from 2021.

2021 Avg begin Avg end Wins Poles Factors place
O’Ward 8.38 8.31 2 3 third
Rosenqvist 13.73 16.36 0 0 twenty first
2022 Avg begin Avg end Wins Poles Factors place
O’Ward 6.65 10.35 1 1 sixth
Rosenqvist 9.76 11.76 0 2 ninth

Not many drivers go from twenty first within the championship to ninth, however with a automobile extra compliant and simpler to drive, Rosenqvist has been a lot nearer to Pato O’Ward in 2022 and is reaping the rewards for it. He’s now coveted within the 2023 foolish season.

7 – Alex Palou

Alex Palou Firestone Grand Prix Of Monterey By James Black Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M70915

Chip Ganassi Racing
Championship place: fifth
Wins 1 (Laguna Seca)

If Palou had produced the shape he managed at Laguna Seca earlier within the season, we could be a profitable IndyCar championship defence!

Sadly, Palou’s season was soured by a choice of his personal making, electing to announce a transfer to McLaren and shortly afterwards his Ganassi staff sued him over a contract that it had prolonged earlier than that McLaren transfer emerged.

He nonetheless managed the third-best common end this yr, forward of Ericsson, Newgarden, McLaughlin and O’Ward.

A win earlier within the season might need given him a bit extra pomp within the championship combat however the truth that he needed to wait till the final race for a win meant his title defence wasn’t very imposing and he was out of the title combat mathematically by then.

Solely Energy scored extra podiums which reveals how constantly good Palou was. An uncharacteristic error in spinning on the moist Indy GP – he’s been mega within the moist earlier in his profession – and never seeing Marcus Ericsson coming, which led to contact and put him out, at Highway America are the one memorable blemishes on a powerful yr.

6 – Pato O’Ward

Pato O Ward Wins The Ntt P1 Award Honda Indy 200 At Mid Ohio By Joe Skibinski Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M63587

Arrow McLaren SP
Championship place: seventh
Wins 2 (Barber and Iowa)

If McLaughlin hadn’t had three wins and Ericsson hadn’t received the five hundred in such beautiful model, O’Ward will surely be larger up this checklist and it feels fallacious to have him this low to be trustworthy.

He’d be proper within the title combat if he hadn’t had two mechanical failures in consecutive races the place at the very least a podium was on supply in each, at Highway America and Mid-Ohio.

His early season declaration he’d look outdoors of Arrow McLaren SP as a result of he hadn’t had an appropriate new deal supplied definitely created a number of drama, however just like Scott McLaughlin after a difficult run it inspired a refreshed angle from O’Ward the place he lastly blocked out the noise and targeted on having fun with his racing.

With that and a brand new deal quickly supplied, his season took off through a win at Barber and second at Indy.

He has the tied-best qualifying common of the yr with Newgarden and a spin whereas up entrance within the moist Indy GP and being caught in a crash at Nashville have been his solely blemishes elsewhere.

5 – Scott McLaughlin

Scott Mclaughlin Big Machine Music City Grand Prix By James Black Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M67808

Crew Penske
Championship place 4th
Wins: 3 (St Pete, Mid-Ohio, Portland)

We’ve run out of superlatives for Scott McLaughlin who, simply over two years faraway from being an Australian Supercars champion, received three races in his second yr of open-wheel racing and scored extra factors than anybody on street programs. A baffling set of statistics.

He additionally has the third greatest common begin within the collection, and mixing that together with his different numbers, it’s onerous to see how he wasn’t nearer to the title.

The three-race run of a spin within the moist on the Indy street course, a crash whereas seventh within the Indy 500 and a spin at Detroit have been expensive, however in addition they inspired a again to fundamentals ‘let’s simply get pleasure from what we’re doing once more’ method which yielded a very excessive stage of efficiency within the second a part of the season.

He’s positively future champion materials after frequently matching and beating his sensible team-mates this yr.

4 – Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson 106th Indianapolis 500 By James Black Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M60204

Chip Ganassi Racing
Championship place: sixth
Wins: 1 (Indy 500)

I actually felt that Ericsson’s Indy 500 win ought to have positioned him larger on the checklist, nevertheless it simply wasn’t potential given the highest three’s efficiency. The truth that it was a five-way title decider reveals how powerful it’s to separate the hairs of the highest IndyCar drivers this season.

With street programs a wrestle for Ganassi, it needed to make up for it elsewhere and Ericsson’s 500 – which I’m certain can be rated rather more extremely in years to return for the way he was capable of defend in circumstances which favour the follower not the chief – added to that.

Sadly it was avenue programs the place Ericsson couldn’t add sufficient extra factors to be a correct contender.

He was the star of the primary half of the yr however he and Ganassi simply struggled for Penske’s stage of kind within the second half. Nonetheless an excellent season that pointed to the truth that he’s in IndyCar’s elite group of drivers and can be able to a title given the equipment.

3 – Josef Newgarden

Josef Newgarden Sonsio Grand Prix At Road America By James Black Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M62543

Crew Penske
Championship place: 2nd
Wins: 5 (Texas, Lengthy Seashore, Highway America, Iowa, Gateway)

What a season from Newgarden. Within the context of shedding his ace engineer Gavin Ward on the eve of the season and having all of the strain of the staff on his shoulders, it was a rollercoaster yr the place they delivered outstanding highs and trap-door lows.

Iowa particularly the place a suspected rear-right damper failure prompted a crash from the lead which might have given him the title all issues remaining the identical, was a really key second. However his yo-yo kind outdoors of profitable races was very un-Newgarden-like.

That’s not all on him given the upheaval throughout the staff. However he did make errors on his facet that we haven’t seen a lot of previously.

An altogether excellent season that simply didn’t fairly have the components for a title. You might say the identical about 2020 and 2021, although!

2 – Scott Dixon

Scott Dixon Bommarito Automotive Group 500 By Chris Owens Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M68482

Chip Ganassi Racing
Championship place: third
Wins: 2 (Toronto, Nashville)

It would increase a couple of eyebrows putting Dixon forward of Newgarden, primarily for the truth that Newgarden has 5 wins in a season which is an unimaginable stat, and Dixon’s error on the Indy 500 rushing in pitlane nearly definitely value him the title. He would even have wrapped it up a spherical early.

However I feel it’s tougher to be extremely constant in IndyCar than it’s to win 5 races.

Dixon completed two races outdoors of the highest 10 all season, whereas Newgarden had as many races outdoors of the highest 12 as he did wins within the yr.

Both driver can lay declare to having a purpose they need to have received the title, however I’ve given Dixon the nod on account of getting a ending place nearly two locations larger on common.

Energy confirmed that being uber-consistent can win you the title, and profitable 5 races didn’t assist Newgarden ultimately.

Dixon additionally managed that kind in a season the place Penske had a significantly better package deal than Ganassi on street programs. So there’s one other nudge in Dixon’s favour.

1 – Will Energy

Will Power Firestone Grand Prix Of Monterey By Joe Skibinski Referenceimagewithoutwatermark M70897

Crew Penske
Championship place: 1st
Wins: 1 (Detroit)

There’s little question in my thoughts Will Energy has been the very best driver within the 2022 IndyCar season, purely as a result of he’s made far fewer errors than his rivals even when they’ve trigger to say they need to have received or received nearer to the title.

Energy’s been knowledgeable at turning some poor qualifying performances – ironic given he additionally broke the IndyCar pole report this yr – into sturdy outcomes, and his eight podiums is a gigantic quantity.

Is he the best champion for IndyCar at house and internationally in advertising and marketing phrases? No. Is his one victory horny sufficient when his team-mates received eight out of 17 races between them? In all probability not.

However none of that issues as a result of he was probably the most constant and error-free, due to this fact the very best.

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