Sunday, April 6, 2014

Power Rankings: Post-St. Petersburg

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 (1)
Will Power starts out the season strong once again, dominating the race on his way to a win. With Long Beach and Barber next up on the schedule, two tracks he has been very quick at, expect Power to linger towards the top of the Indycar points standings.

Will Power of Australia, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his victory in the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at the Streets of St. Petersburg on March 30, 2014 in St Petersburg, Florida.
Cracking start to the season for Power (Photo: Chris Trotman / Getty Images North America)

2) Ryan Hunter-Reay (1)
RHR starts off his 2014 campaign much better than he did in 2013, finishing second. If he keeps up this form, watch out field. Ryan now goes to Long Beach, often considered his hometown track. He has also won there. And then they go to Barber, where he won last year.


3) Scott Dixon (-2)
Scott Dixon should be walking out of St. Pete with his head held high. P4 is a great start to the season for Dixon, one that he would have yearned for in years past. If he does a better job in the opening rounds of the season, especially at St. Petersburg and Long Beach, look for Dixon to not have to comeback later in the season like he did in 2003 and 2013.


Scott Dixon - Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Scott Dixon being chased by Simon Pagenaud and Takuma Sato, all of whom are on
the latest Power Rankings (Photo: Rob Foldy / Getty Images North America)

4) Helio Castroneves (0)
A good start to the season for Helio Castronves is hopefully what he needs to get his first championship under his belt. I fully expect more consistent and stable results like the one we just saw at St. Pete, finishing P3.


5) Simon Pagenaud (0)
Oh hey look, Simon Pagenaud is doing boss ass things again. Nothing new here, carry on.


6) Tony Kanaan (0)
Tony Kanaan started out the weekend off the pace. Then qualifying happened, where he put the car on the front row, which makes total sense. He didn't show that kind of pace in the race, but he did well on his way to finishing P6.


7) Justin Wilson (2)
Yes, Justin Wilson is still very much a badass. P8 in the first race is a great result for him. Look for Justin Wilson to once again be in the championship discussion in 2014.


8) Takuma Sato (N)
Takuma Sato started off the weekend in fine form, earning the pole for AJ Foyt Enterprises. Even though the race did not go as he hoped, St. Petersburg sheds some light on what could be a solid second season for the Sato-Foyt relationship.


9) Ryan Briscoe (N)
Flyin' Ryan Briscoe started off his second tenure with Chip Ganassi Racing on the right foot, securing a top-ten finish after being quick in just about every session all weekend. I fully expect Ryan to be on the podium in Long Beach (you heard it here first).

Ryan Briscoe of Australia, driver of the #8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet drives during the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at the Streets of St. Petersburg on March 30, 2014 in St Petersburg, Florida
Ryan Briscoe off to a good start (Photo: Rob Foldy / Getty Images North America)

10) James Hinchcliffe (-2)
I kept Hinch on the list because clearly the car wasn't firing on all cylinders at St. Petersburg. I would find it very hard to believe that the winner at St. Pete from last year could be that slow when it mattered most. Onto Long Beach for Hinch.


New to the list: Ryan Briscoe and Takuma Sato
Off the list: Juan Pablo Montoya and Marco Andretti


Let me know what you think of the list!

-Matthew Hickey

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