By Dylan Reynolds, The Open Wheel
Our new reoccurring feature at The Open Wheel continues with the production of Verizon IndyCar Series point standings over the last 52 weeks of the calendar. All points are accumulated based on what the driver earned in applicable races via the standard Verizon IndyCar Series points system. Date equity continues to make this relevant as the series heads to Barber Motorsports Park this weekend and that race falls off our rankings AFTER this week. Defending Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon continues to lead the rankings.
Here are the rankings for the last 52 weeks as of Monday, April 18, 2016:
Scott Dixon not defending his 2015 win at Long Beach allowed Juan Pablo Montoya to close the gap to 46 points from 55 points last week. Graham Rahal’s gap from third also shrunk his week and is now just over 100 points at 102. Simon Pagenaud’s win moved up him two places from eighth to sixth and he’s right on the verge of a Top 5. Looking further back, Takuma Sato’s strong Top 5 run at Long Beach moved him above Carlos Munoz from thirteenth to fourteenth but Jack Hawksworth is still the last placed driver of those that have ran every race over the last year. Hawksworth’s gap to P14 is now 96 points which is up from 86 last week. The Hawk desperately needs some good results for this ranking’s sake.
Looking ahead to this weekend, last year’s podium of Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Scott Dixon have plenty of points to defend. Juan Pablo Montoya has a big chance to close the gap on Dixon as he only gained 17 points at Barber last year. Further back in the field, James Hinchcliffe has plenty of points to defend after his solid finish at Barber last year. Conor Daly effectively has three straight races of little to no points from last year as he didn’t race at Barber or the GP of Indy and didn’t take the start of the race at the Indy 500.
We’ll add more features to these rankings as time goes on. We have some big ideas for this project. Check back every Monday for an update.
All stats courtesy of INDYCAR.