PLYMOUTH, Wis – We’re 10 races into the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season. Despite having seven races remaining still, it’s clear that this has become a two horse race for the season championship.
As we leave Road America on Sunday, the top two drivers are separated by seven points. But, third place is a wide 61 points back. Fourth place if 94 points out. Those are the only ones within 100 points.
Will Power and Takuma Sato are 108 and 110 points out respectively. Ryan Hunter-Reay is now 131 points back.
So, barring some unforeseen disasters, the 2019 championship will be Penske vs. Andretti. Josef Newgarden vs. Alexander Rossi.
While the series normally prides itself in 4+ drivers being in the hunt for the title towards the end of the season, it doesn’t necessarily mean only having two drivers will be any less thrilling. In fact, it could be more thrilling.
This is American vs. American. It’s two of the top teams in the sport with two of the best drivers. They’ll be racing around each other a lot.
Just look at their stats. Since 2017, Newgarden has 10 wins compared to Rossi’s six. Newgarden leads the podiums but only by two 18-16. In top fives, it’s 24-23 advantage going to Newgarden. Top 10’s? 35-33.
The only driver with as many wins in this time frame is Will Power is six himself. But, he’s 108 points out remember.
Rossi, has four top two finishes in the last five races of the season. He’s had a top five in eight of the 10 races run in 2019.
Newgarden, has four top four finishes in the last five races. He has eight top fours in 10 races run in 2019 too.
Then, when you look at what’s ahead, I don’t see either driver dropping off enough to allow the door to open to let anyone else in. I mean, who can make up 60+ points on BOTH drivers in seven races?
That’s why this is going to be between Newgarden and Rossi for the championship. Buckle up too. It’s going to be fun.