Top Five Drivers in Indycar

Using statistics, analysis of driver ability, and many more factors, I have created a list of the five best Indycar drivers who are currently in the 2014 championship. Here it is (statistics are current as of 8-5-14):

5) James Hinchcliffe
      Starts: 65
      Wins: 3
      Podiums: 7
      Championships: 0
      Poles: 0

James Hinchcliffe - Chevrolet Indy Dual In Detroit - Dual I
Photo: Robert Laberge / Getty Images North America

I know what you're thinking. "Oh this Hickey kid is full of shit. Ain't no way James Hinchcliffe is better than the likes of Helio Castroneves, Tony KanaanJuan Pablo Montoya, Sebastien Bourdais, Justin Wilson, and several others." I can see where you would be coming from, but James Hinchcliffe is an abolsutely fantastic driver. Many fans love him for his great personality, and I like that too. But he's a favorite of mine because he is an even better driver. His main focus is on winning. There have been several times where I've seen Hinch absolutely pissed off and I thought, "that's my kind of driver." Detroit 2012, Houston 2013, Long Beach 2014. Whatever the case may be, Hinch wants to win.

Although 2014 hasn't gone quite to plan (lots of rotten luck if you ask me), I still believe that Hinch is one of the best drivers in Indycar. He shows speed at every track he goes to. If he doesn't finish in the top-ten, then I'm going to go ahead and assume that some circumstance came up in the form of a mechanical issue or contact from another driver that caused the result. Call me crazy, but I think Hinch has earned a spot on this list. Statistics don't favor him, but believe me, at age 27, he still has many years to go. 

4) Simon Pagenaud
      Starts: 66
      Wins: 4
      Podiums: 9
      Championships: 0
      Poles: 1

Simon Pagenaud - Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio: Day 1
Photo: Chris Trotman / Getty Images North America

Who knew when Simon Pagenaud came to Indycar full-time in 2012 with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports that it would blossom into one of the best driver-team combinations in Indycar at the moment. Pagenaud is one of the most consistently quick and aggressive drivers in Indycar. I love the passes he makes and results he get.

One of the things that impresses me the most about Pagenaud is his ability to make championship runs. At the rate he's going, Pagenaud will win a championship soon. P5 in 2012, P3 in 2013, and being in the top-five all season in 2014 shows that Simon can win a championship if a couple things go his way. Another thing that Pagenaud does amazingly well is ovals. Pagenaud, who hails from France and grew up in the European ranks, has adapted to ovals very well. Overall, Simon Pagenaud is an absolute boss.

3) Will Power
      Starts: 136
      Wins: 23
      Podiums: 44
      Championships: 0
      Poles: 35

Will Power - Honda Indy Toronto - Day 2
Photo: Robert Laberge / Getty Images North America

Will Power is easily the best driver in Indycar to have never won a championship. I don't reckon ever seeing a driver as bluntly fast on a road course as Power. He carries so much speed through the corners, and he is so good under breaking. But Power has always been thought of as a one-dimensional driver, only being successful on road courses. That is quickly changing. Power has shown a dramatic increase in skill on ovals, highlighted by a win at Fontana last season. 

The unfortunate part about Will Power is that he is his own worst enemy. He gets into so many incidents and crashes that could be avoided. I would mention some, but there are way too many to name that I wouldn't even no where to start. Will Power is the only thing preventing Will Power from being #1 on this list. I think he's that talented. Maybe with some years, Power can mature a little bit and realize the big picture. He is in a serious position to win the championship this season despite some obstacles. Let's see if he can pull it off.

2) Ryan Hunter-Reay
      Starts: 166
      Wins: 14
      Podiums: 28
      Championships: 1
      Poles: 6

Ryan Hunter-Reay - Raceway on Belle Isle: Day 1
Photo: Robert Laberge / Getty Images North America

No driver has had quite the up-and-down career like Ryan Hunter-Reay. At one point, his career in Indycar seemed to be over. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing gave RHR a chance to shine in 2007, and in 2008, Hunter-Reay won at Watkins Glen. Michael Andretti saw the potential for greatness, and hired Hunter-Reay in 2010. The rest is history.

Since joining Andretti Autosport, RHR has collected 11 wins, including a superhuman drive on his way to winning the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Ryan also won the 2012 Championship against all odds. He was out of it halfway through the season before winning three straight races leading up to finale, where he gained enough points on Will Power  to capture the title. It seems like every weekend, Ryan is fast. He drives insanely quick on road courses, street courses, and ovals. Ryan also has 5-10 years left to race. He could end up solidifying himself as an Indycar legend here soon! USA-USA-USA!

1) Scott Dixon
      Starts: 235
      Wins: 34
      Podiums: 79
      Championships: 3
      Poles: 23

Scott Dixon - Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Photo: Chris Trotman / Getty Images North America

There is no driver in Indycar that is better than Scott Dixon. They guy is an absolute legend. His statistics are mind boggling. 34 career Indycar wins puts Dixon tied for 7th on the all-time wins list. The only drivers in front have the last names Foyt, Andretti, and Unser. That is not bad company to be in. Dixon also has three Indycar championships, making him one of 16 drivers who have won three or more championships.

Dixon may not seem like a legend to many people because he is a quiet guy, who wins his races methodically and tactically. That doesn't matter. No driver has schooled other drivers in the last decade quite like Scott Dixon. His forte is the ability to go insanely quick while saving a lot of fuel. This, plus his ability to setup and execute passes is the reason Scott Dixon is the best driver, and one of the greatest drivers (ever), in Indycar.

If you want to know why a driver wasn't included on the list, let me know and I'll explain. If you have a different combination of drivers or think my order is incorrect, let me know! Don't be shy!

-Matthew Hickey