The 2022 IndyCar season has been a wild one to say the least. A driver with one win leads the championship standings over drivers that have collected 5,3 and 2 wins on the year. On Sunday, Scott McLaughlin continued his rise to stardom in IndyCar with his third win of the year. As IndyCar makes the final turn of 2022 at Laguna Seca, Will Power leads Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden by just twenty points. In 2021, Josef Newgarden scored a 7th place finish in the season finale with Scott Dixon driving home 13th and Will Power finishing 26th, two laps off the pace. With one race to go, here are your IndyCar power rankings before the championship finale.
NEW TO THE TOP 10
1. SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN: (UP 3) - The man 5th in points 41 back of the lead with seemingly no shot to win the title is #1 heading into the final race? Your DAMN right! He’s had the most impressive season of anyone in the field in 2022 and hasn’t finished a race lower than 4th in his last 5 outings. If the month of May would have been kind to the #3 team, their championship hopes would be a lot higher. Team Penske announced a extension to keep McLaughlin in the #3 for many years to come.
2. WILL POWER: (UP 1) - Power controls his own destiny in pursuit of a second IndyCar Championship. A 9th podium finish this weekend would seal the deal for Power. However, he had a rough go of it last year at Laguna Seca, finishing 26th as mentioned.
3. JOSEF NEWGARDEN: (DOWN 2) - Newgarden and his 5 wins on the season sit just 20 points back of teammate Will Power for the title. The race within the race this weekend will be the battle between Power, Newgarden and Dixon. At every point this season when Newgarden has critically needed a podium finish, he has gotten it or better. Can he come in in the clutch on Sunday? We will see.
4. SCOTT DIXON: (DOWN 2) - You could flip flop Dixon and Newgarden if you wanted in this, but Dixon HAS to qualify better to win this championship. He had an impressive run to a podium last week at Portland, but starting outside the Top 6 this weekend could eliminate his chances before the green even flies. I do expect all three title contenders to be up front after qualifying and throughout the race.
5. MARCUS ERICSSON: (UP 1) - Ericsson hasn’t contended for the title after receiving double points for his win in the Indy 500. But, who cares, dude won the Indy 500 and that is the best feeling in the world so congrats to him on that!
6. PATO O’WARD (DOWN 1) - O’Ward came home with his second consecutive 4th place finish at Portland last week. O’Ward will look to finish the season strong after two wins on the 2022 campaign, one on a road course and another on the oval at Iowa. O’Ward should be in the title fight in 2023.
7. CHRISTIAN LUNDGAARD (UNRANKED) - Lundgaard had a great weekend at Portland until late in the going. He has shown pace on every road and street course in 2022 and has a five point advantage over Malukas. He’s my pick based solely on the fact he has qualified better on road courses.
8. DAVID MALUKAS (DOWN 1) - Malukas and Lundgaard make the list as they battle it out for the Rookie of the Year honors. Malukas was the talk of IndyCar after his runner up finish at Gateway. He sits just five points back. This should be an epic battle all the way to the wire.
9. ALEX PALOU (DOWN 1) - Shuffled down to squeeze in the rookies who have something to run for this weekend. This will more than likely be Palous last run in the car he won the 2021 IndyCar championship with. Although no one wants the season to end, we are definitely waiting to see what happens in the Palou/McLaren/Ganassi saga this offseason.
10. COLTON HERTA (NO CHANGE) - Graham Rahal almost took the final spot in the rankings but this could also be Herta’s final run in an IndyCar, at least for the foreseeable future. Rumors of him heading to F1 as soon as 2023 have continued to surface over the last week or so. Oh by the way, he’s been dominant at Laguna Seca, winning both times and scoring pole position both times.
All good things have to come to an end and unfortunately it’s time for the 2022 season to end. It’s been tons of fun attending races in the first year of Burnout Sports and I can’t thank everyone enough for giving these articles a read. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I have putting them together and look forward to continuing these in 2023. Cheers to an awesome finale at Laguna Seca and a champion to be crowned in one of the most competitive seasons in recent IndyCar memory!
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