Winners and Losers: Gateway

Here are the Winners, Losers, and Cone of Shame winner following the 2017 Bommarito 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park:


Josef Newgarden
Josef Newgarden has thrown the gauntlet to his Team Penske teammates, saying that this is my championship and we will be playing by my rules. After a savage but clean pass on Will Power in Mid-Ohio, it was clear Newgarden was playing for keeps. Now, after an even more savage pass that led to the win against teammate Simon Pagenaud, it is clear that Newgarden will do whatever it takes to the win the championship, and that is a great thing.

Scott Dixon
Somehow, Scott Dixon finished in P2 despite the odds. We look back at Road America in amazement, as despite a Penske 1-4 domination all weekend, Dixon broke through and stole the win from them. This time, he couldn't get the win, but he capitalized on the misfortune of Pagenaud, Castroneves, and Power on his way to a P2 finish.

Conor Daly
Hopefully this is a result Conor Daly can take to the bosses and say, "Hey look! This is what I can do when you all give me a competent car. A solid P5 finish in what has been a miserable year is easily the high point of the season for Daly, who was even mixing it up with the Team Penske drivers in the late stages of the race.

Sebastien Bourdais
It wasn't his best race, nor was his car the best, but a P10 finish in his startlingly quick return race was basically a win for Sebastien Bourdais, who suffered a devastating crash not too long ago. His top-ten may have come down to attrition rather than talent, but that's okay.


Simon Pagenaud
Simon Pagenaud is a champion, so he knows a thing or two about how to get it done. And yet, he's gotten it completely wrong this year. Staying safe and coming home with a P3 finish would normally bode well in a championship hunt. But when your teammate with tremendous stones continues to make ballsy moves every week on his way to a 1st, 1st, 2nd, and 1st place results in the last four races, a P3 won't cut it. It especially won't cut it when you could have altered the results. Newgarden made a grown man move on his teammate, but he was only able to do that because Pagenaud left the bottom open. If you don't want him to go there, SHUT THE DAMN DOOR. Don't even give him the chance to take the bottom. I was disappointed in the lack of aggression in Pagenaud, and at his response to Newgarden for making the move. If Newgarden can be consistent these last two races, the championship is his.

Tony Kanaan
Tony Kanaan was already going to be let go by Chip Ganassi Racing, but crashing before the race even started had to rub some salt in the wound. And to think, I was criticized by some for calling out Kanaan for crashing, as if it's an excusable thing to crash under yellow... Kanaan will need to find a new home next year.

Will Power
Well, that spin was the nail in the coffin of the championship for Will Power, who had a hot streak going. While he is still mathematically eligible, he will need to win at Watkins Glen and count on his rivals to have miserable results so he can remain alive in Sonoma.

Ed Carpenter Racing
How much money has Ed Carpenter Racing spent on crashed cars the last two weekends? Ed Carpenter crashed in practice last weekend, while JR Hildebrand crashed in the race, both very heavily. Yesterday, Carpenter's car got airborne after one turn, while Hildebrand crashed hard again, this time at no fault of his own. Several years ago, I said Ed needed to hand over his car on the road courses. Now, I think he needs to get out altogether.

Cone of Shame

Helio Castroneves
How do you stall coming into the pits?! How is that a thing?! I've seen that with cars coming into the pits with a couple drops of fuel left, but with Helio Castroneves, it was another rookie mistake that will likely cost him another shot at the championship. Many criticize me for ripping on Helio all the time, but it is so easy. And when you see history repeat itself, it's not surprising, yet equally hilarious.

Thanks for reading!

-Matthew Hickey