Power Rankings: Barber

By Tony Donohue
May 04, 2022

For the first time in 2022 Team Penske didn’t land a driver in the winners circle in IndyCar competition. Will Power continued his streak of top 4 finishes by scoring his 4th consecutive Top 4 showing. Pato O’Ward stole the show late in the going at Barber for his first win of the young season. O’Ward charged late to pass Rinus VeeKay and hold off Alex Palou for the victory. VeeKay dominated the afternoon, leading 57 laps on the day. As we head into the month of May, Alex Palou is the new points leader after scoring his third podium in four races. For this power ranking, we keep in mind the first four races of the 2022 season and how each driver performed in the month of May last year.

PHOTO COURTESY OF INDYCAR / ILLUSTRATION BY BURNOUT SPORTS

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DOWN THIS WEEK


UP THIS WEEK

1. JOSEF NEWGARDEN: (NO CHANGE) - Despite a disappointing 14th place finish and fall to 3rd in the championship standings, I still have Newgarden #1. His two wins in hand and topping the speed charts in the Indy 500 oval test two weeks ago, Newgarden heads to Indy with one win on the road course under his belt and an early favorite to win the Indy 500.

2. SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN: (NO CHANGE) - After a 6th place finish at Barber, McLaughlin heads to Indy currently 2nd in points. The month of May will be telling for McLaughlin and if he is a legit championship contender. He finished 8th and 23rd on the IMS road course in 2021 and came home 20th in the 500.

3. ALEX PALOU: (UP 1) - Palou took the points lead heading into Indy with a stellar 2nd place run on Sunday at Barber. He comes to Indy looking for his first win of the season after finishing on the podium on the road course race in May last season and runner up in the Indy 500. Can Palou have another strong month of May to stretch his points lead like he did in 2021?

4. WILL POWER: (DOWN 1) - Power has been the most consistent driver in the sport through the first four races with finishes of 3rd, 4th, 4th and 4th yet only sits 4th in the power rankings. It just goes to show how intense the competition is in IndyCar right now. Power heads to the Indy GP with five wins on the road course inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a win in the Indy 500. If Power can find speed in qualifying for the 500, he will cement himself as a championship contender.

5. PATO O’WARD: (UP 5) - What a difference a few weeks makes for O’Ward and the Arrow McLaren team. As rumors swirled through the first two races on the future of O’Ward and the #5 car, the results were not where they wanted them to be with a 12th and 15th place showing at St. Pete and Texas. All things look clear for O’Ward to sign an extension with the team and winning at Barber puts his future in his own hands. O’Ward will be a factor in both races at Indy next month.

6. RINUS VEEKAY: (UP 2) - VeeKay was dominating the race at Barber on Sunday before pit stops cycled him back to 3rd. After starting from the pole, VeeKay led a race high 57 laps and will now head to IMS where in 2021 the young Dutchman scored his first career win on the road course and qualified on the front row for the Indy 500. VeeKay and the Ed Carpenter Racing #21 team are starting to get rolling.

7. SCOTT DIXON: (DOWN 1) - Dixon charged from his 13th starting position to finish 5th at Barber. He’s the current favorite in most sports books to win the Indy 500, something he has only accomplished one time. Dixon is lurking and will be up front all month long at Indy, just you wait and see.

8. ROMAIN GROSJEAN: (DOWN 3) - Grosjean only moved down a few spots because of the great weekends that VeeKay and O’Ward had. A solid 7th place finish at Barber gives the #28 team momentum heading into May. Grosjean finished 2nd both times in 2021 on the road course at IMS and there will be so much hype about his first Indy 500 run, and his feud with Graham Rahal of course.

9. GRAHAM RAHAL: (UP 1) - Rahal had plenty of pace over the weekend and came home 8th at Barber. He was heated after the race about contact made with Romain Grosjean. Rahal has a big month of May ahead of him to get the season on the right track. He scored two top 10 finishes on the road course at IMS in 2021 and had a great chance to win the Indy 500 before his accident.

10. COLTON HERTA: (DOWN 1) - Herta drove one of the most angry races I have ever seen him drive on Sunday at Barber resulting in a 10th place finish. He made contact with teammates and a few daring moves to move his way up. Starting 10th, finishing 10th while sitting 11th in the standings lands him in the final spot on the power rankings.

HONORABLE MENTION:

CALLUM ILOTT Despite the spin in the race, Illot and Juncos-Hollinger Racing showed pace throughout the weekend. He made his first Firestone Fast 12 over the weekend and was running well inside the top 10. Great to see the 77 car show speed.

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