Competition Level In IndyCar At Amazing High
DETROIT – Mike Conway and Simon Pagenaud added to the IZOD IndyCar Series’ season of surprises over the weekend in the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.
Their victories in the 70-lap races of the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series doubleheader didn’t necessarily take anyone by surprise, but underscored the competitiveness through the field.
“It’s really unique,” said James Jakes, who recorded a series-best runner-up finish to Pagenaud in the second race. “There are 25 guys who can win a race, and I don’t think there is any other championship where you can say that.
“IndyCar is a great product right now, and the depth of the drivers is fantastic.”
So deep that six different drivers – from six different countries – have claimed victories through the initial seven races, including three who have earned their maiden wins. So deep that five different teams have joined in victory celebrations. There also have been six different pole sitters.
Such parity has led to the championship points lead changing hands five times among four drivers. Two full-points races at Belle Isle were expected to toss the standings, which occurred with drivers who didn’t follow through with top 10s.
Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti are tied at the top, though neither is among the race winners. Reigning series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay is 15 points back, and there’s a 57-point difference from first to Charlie Kimball in 10th. Last year through seven races the margin was 100 points between front-runner Will Power and 10th-place Justin Wilson, who scored maximum points with the victory at Texas Motor Speedway.