Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Power Rankings: Post-Long Beach

Based on my opinions as well as statistics, here are the updated top-ten Power Rankings for the 2014 Verizon Indycar Season following round one (number next to driver represents how far they fell from the previous power rankings, with N indicating that they are new to the list):

1) Will Power (0)
Will Power leads the Indycar by a wide margin at the moment, having won the first race of the season and finishing second at Long Beach. If Will Power combines his speed with consistency that his teammate (Helio) exemplifies, look out. The field could be in trouble.

Will Power of Australia driver of the #12 Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet during qualifying for the IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 12, 2014 on the streets of Long Beach, California.
Power is ruling Indycar at the moment (Photo: Robert Laberge / Getty Images North America)
2) Simon Pagenaud (3)
Simon Pagenaud has been a straight beast this season, finishing fifth in both races so far on his way to P2 in the championship. He finished fifth even after being taken out by Will Power early on in the race. Simon Pagenaud is a championship caliber driver.


3) Scott Dixon (0)
Scott Dixon was a couple laps short of winning his first race at Long Beach. Despite the hit he took in the championship, make no mistake, Dixon has been his usual self so far this season.


4) Ryan Hunter-Reay (-2)
Hunter-Reay was one inept move away from being in the top of the championship leader board. Instead, he thought it was wise to make a daft move on Newgarden. RHR is a marked man from now. Despite the crash, you cannot take away the fact that Hunter-Reay has been quick all season.

Ryan Hunter-Reay - Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
Pole at Long Beach is an indication of the pace RHR has so far
(Photo: Jonathan Moore / Getty Images North America)
5) Helio Castroneves (-1)
Helio Castroneves had a a really good race going on before the lap 55 incident. Helio had a minor brush in that incident, but he would continue. He later got penalized, which led to the infamous post race Twitter moment where Helio tweeted a photo denouncing Indycar officiating. He would later go on to blame his sister. Helio has been bringing some of the speed he had in 2013 over to this season.


6) Tony Kanaan (0)
Tony Kanaan was another one of the drivers collected in the lap 55 accident. Kanaan, who had a solid debut at St. Petersburg, was having another consistent, top-ten effort going at Long Beach before the crash. Impressed with his efforts so far.

Tony Kanaan of Brazil driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Chevrolet during the Verizon IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 13, 2014 on the streets of Long Beach, California.
Photo: Robert Laberge / Getty Images North America
7) Justin Wilson (0)
Justin Wilson's race came at the expense of an incident with Scott Dixon. Wilson was also spun by Graham Rahal early on in the race. In true Justin Wilson fashion, he was running towards the top. Love the pace he is showing so far.


8) Josef Newgarden (N)
The biggest surprise this season has been the emergence of Josef Newgarden. A solid run at St. Petersburg and a P1 effort going at Long Beach before being wrecked by Hunter-Reay. Despite this, Newgarden has been pegged as one of the best drivers so far this season.


9) Takuma Sato (-1)
Takuma Sato, like many drivers on this list, had their race ended on lap 55. Sato, who won at Long Beach last season and sat on the pole at St. Petersburg two weeks ago, once again showed quick pace this weekend. Things came to a halt at no fault to his own. But so far, Sato has been a quick driver.


10) Juan Pablo Montoya (N)
THAT'S THE JUAN PABLO MONTOYA WE KNOW AND LOVE! JPM, who had mechanical issues in St. Petersburg hampering him from making a legit effort, had a major bounce back week at Long Beach, making some thrilling passes on his way to a P4 effort. Can JPM keep this momentum up?


New to list: Josef Newgarden and Juan Pablo Montoya
Off the list: Ryan Briscoe and James Hinchcliffe


Let me know what you think!

-Matthew Hickey

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