After every race I will post our Power Grid, which is the top 11 drivers in my view. Why 11? Because everyone else does a top 10, and #11 TK is my favorite driver, so seems good enough reason for me! I will also post an updated IZOD Championship points graph.
1st – Will Power – No Change
IZOD Championship Points 232 – 1st
It’s really hard to make any judgements based on the Belle Isle race this weekend. Things could not have broken much worse for Will Power. He was running in 2nd all day, then after the comedy of the track falling apart and all the re-starts, he lost a few spots. I still think he is the car to beat this season, although we actually have a string of ovals this month, which will hurt his standing. But since we end the season with a longer string of road/street courses, I’m not worried that Will will make his way back up to the top. So long as all future tracks have sealed pavement.
2nd – Scott Dixon – No Change
IZOD Championship Points 206 – 2nd
Not a big Dixon fan, but I was going to feel bad for him if in the comedy of re-starts in those last 15 laps, he lost the lead and didn’t win that race. He was the class of the field yesterday, until the track broke. So it would have been a shame for him if he was unable to get the win due to some crazy wet/slick re-starts.
Since Dixon never got passed on track, this is a good time to mention that maybe we need to look at a redesign of this track? All we heard going in was how hard passing was going to be, and the parade that we saw on Sunday lived up to that billing. Why not just post the results from qualifying as the race results and call it a weekend? Ugh.
3rd – Dario Franchitti – No Change
IZOD Championship Points 176 – 4th Tied
Dont look now, but here comes Dario. The person who least wants to see this, Scott Dixon. Going into Indianapolis, it was looking like all the Ganassi muscle was going to be behind Dixon’s Championship for the whole season. Now he might be playing second fiddle once again.
Once again, another race where everything breaks perfectly into Dario’s favor. Did someone see him loosening up the asphalt patches before the race started? 😉
4th – James Hinchcliffe – No Change
IZOD Championship Points 174 – 4th Tied
Up until the track at Detroit came up and punted James, he had finished in the Top 10 in every race this season. I’m not going to drop him just because as he said it, he drew the bullet in the roulette game with the track.
5th – Helio Castroneves – No Change
IZOD Championship Points 177 – 3rd
Helio might have jumped Hinch in the Power Grid, had he not spun in those crazy last 15 laps. Now that we are entering the middle portion of the season, Helio might have his best chance to win a championship. Much like Dario and Dixon with Ganassi, Will Power has to be worried the longer that Helio stays close in the Championship, as Helio might get all the Penske muscle and not Power.
6th – Tony Kanaan – Up 2 Spots
IZOD Championship Points 141 – 9th
This race also broke pretty well for TK, as it went to red flag with him up to 3rd thanks to a fuel strategy move. I was a bit surprised to see him lose so many spots during all the final restarts, but it was slick and everyone was spinning out, so he must get credit for keeping his car going the right direction.
There are times that TK seems content to lose a few spots just to bring the car home in one piece. Seeing as how he probably wasn’t going to pass Dixon for the lead anyway, it was probably a good move this time.
7th – Simon Pagenaud – Up 3 Spots
IZOD Championship Points 171 – 6th
Quietly having a fantastic year. Not ever really a contender in any race thus far, but always seems to be up at the top. We’ll see if that changes as we get into our 3 ovals.
8th – Takuma Sato – Down 2 Spots
IZOD Championship Points 112 – 13th
Not sure if the track punted Takuma, or if it was just a normal Sato being Sato moment that put him into the wall.
9th – Ryan Hunter-Reay – No Change
IZOD Championship Points 169 – 7th
Was he even shown once during the ABC telecast?
10th – Ryan Briscoe – Down 3 Spots
IZOD Championship Points 142 – 8th
How many more years can Ryan continue to be mediocre in Penske equipment? Every year seems to be the end, yet he always finds a way to do just enough to get a reprieve.
I have nothing against Ryan, but at some point, I would like to see more out of him. Or maybe we can finally get one of these good rides to a young driver. The line-up at Penske & Ganassi has been pretty stagnate for the past few years. If I’m a talented young driver, a’la Josef Newgarden, I’m not going to wait around forever for one of these seats. My concern is that a kid like Josef could look to other series if he isn’t able to move into better equipment in a timely manner.
11th – Charlie Kimball – Unranked
IZOD Championship Points 120 – 11th
At the beginning of the season if you asked me if Kimball or Rahal would be the 3rd Ganassi car on the Power Grid, I wouldn’t have said Kimball. I don’t think many others would have either.
I’m glad to see Kimball start to put together some good runs, after what was a pretty forgettable rookie year last season.
Dropped from the Power Grid – Rubens Barrichello
2012 IZOD Championship Points Graph – After Belle Isle
(Click on graph to view it in full screen)