INDYCAR: Power Rankings (Motegi)

I'm going to laugh if this Motegi road-course is more entertaining than the oval. It's been sitting there all along.

So it's safe to say that Baltimore was a success.  It had the highest TV ratings for an IndyCar race on Versus ever and drew a massive crowd.  Oh yea, and the point fight is dangerously close now.   Also the positive momentum continues with the Lotus/Judd engine program isn't quite as "vaporware" as some internet trolls think it is and now the 5 million dollar Vegas challenge (that had no takers) is now a 5 million dollar bet on Indy 500 champ Dan Wheldon and a fan can go 50/50 on the winnings with him.

So, how can IndyCar keep up the momentum?   A road-course race halfway across the world that starts late and ends in the middle of the night.  Doh.

Positive waves, guys! Positive waves!  Maybe none of the top drivers can figure out the course?  Maybe we can see a first-time winner? Who knows. What I do know is that the Power Rankings has a new leader heading into Motegi (well, he hasn't been up top in a while).

THE GRID

(Cue the grid music....and Murray Walker, I guess)

 

1.  Will Power

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Previous Ranking: #2 (+1)

Since the bird incident he's been unstoppable. The key to success is being pissed off, apparently.  Graduate of the Mike Ditka school of Racing?

 

2.  Dario Franchitti

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Previous Ranking: #1 (-1)

He might lose the title due to either the draw in Texas and/or the earthquake in Japan forcing the use of a road course.

 

3.  Scott Dixon

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Previous Ranking:  #3 (no change)

His wife just gave birth, also Sarah, and within the past year or so a few bloggers have had children as well...which begs the question WHAT IS IN THE ETHANOL?

 

4.  Oriol Servia

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Previous Ranking:  #4 (no change)

Baltimore Oriol

 

5.  Tony Kanaan

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Previous Ranking:  #6 (+1)

LUCKY

 

6.  Ryan Hunter-Reay

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Previous Ranking:  #7 (+1)

Just think of the year he would be having had not for the bad luck of the first half. He would be fighting for the Best-of-the-Rest title with Servia/TK.

 

7.  Ryan Briscoe

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Previous Ranking:  #5 (-2)

The Golden Bowling Ball Award goes to...the man who caused a 15-car pileup.

 

8.  Graham Rahal

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Previous Ranking:  #9 (+1)

Some strategy. Went from fighting with Will Power for the race win to irrelevant and anonymous Top-10.

 

9.  Marco Andretti

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Previous Ranking:  #8 (-1)

Every primer-colored car I've ever known has been slow and broken down. Appropriate choice, Dr. Pepper.

 

10.  Vitor Meira

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Previous Ranking:  #10 (no change)

His season has been pretty uneventful and decent. For Foyt Racing, that's equivalent to a Top-5 season finish.

 

11.  Danica Patrick

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Previous Ranking:  #12 (+1)

Danica vs. Brazil....WHO YA GOT?!?!?

 

12.  Alex Tagliani

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Previous Ranking:  #13 (+1)

If the rumors are true he's driving for his next ride. If he can find one.

 

13.  James Hinchcliffe

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Previous Ranking:   #11 (-2)

Like Simona De Silvestro did last year he's giving up way too many points on the road courses for the Rookie of the Year title. Like Simona, it's not entirely his fault.

 

14.  Simona De Silvestro

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Previous Ranking:  unranked

PORKCHOP LEADS...IndyCar racing as a concept is over.

 

15.  Takuma Sato

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Previous Ranking:  #14 (-1)

All the homecomings this year for the drivers have been disasterous in luck and results. Just being at Motegi should be enough for him.

 

DNQ (Bumped from the field)

 

Helio Castroneves

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Previous Ranking:  #15

Another anvil drops from the sky. In this case, it was Tony Kanaan.

 

JR Hildebrand

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Previous Ranking:  unranked

He's incredibly lucky Mayor Hinch hasn't put a significant dent in his Rookie of the Year lead.

 

Ana Beatriz

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Previous Ranking:  unranked

Having part-timer teammates outperforming her can't be good for her 2012 prospects, unless the checkbook is big enough.

 

Mike Conway

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Previous Ranking:  unranked

With this being the last road course race he has one more time to shine.

 

EJ Viso

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Previous Ranking:  unranked

Clutch performance of the Baltimore Grand Prix: on the final laps he remembered he was indeed EJ Viso and DNF'ed.

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