Josef Newgarden continues riding atop the INDYCAR Power Rankings through the first three races of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season.
Developed with an algorithm relying on INDYCAR’s advanced statistics and data, the Power Rankings are compiled using a weighted formula to rate drivers after each race this season. We dig deeper than just looking at the race results, factoring in qualifying performance, on-track passes in the race, on-track position passes and average race running position to come up with each driver’s rating for the event. Those ratings are then combined with ratings from other recent races to assemble the Power Ranking of the top-10 drivers.
This week, the rankings are based on the first three races of the season. Moving forward, they will be determined by the four most recent races, with the most recent race weighted most heavily and the oldest race the least.
So, following Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst at Barber Motorsports Park, here’s a look at the NTT IndyCar Series drivers in the INDYCAR Power Rankings:
STILL NO. 1
Josef Newgarden – Three weeks atop the point standings and the power ratings for the Team Penske driver. Newgarden, who won the season opener at St. Petersburg, Florida, and notched his third straight top-four finish of the season at Barber, leads the NTT IndyCar Series standings by 27 points over five-time champion Scott Dixon heading into the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday.
ON THE RISE
Takuma Sato – On the strength of his win at Barber, Sato charged from nowhere in the Power Rankings to second place this week. The Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver scored maximum points in nearly every category measured and had a nearly perfect rating from Barber to vault into the fray.
LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK
Colton Herta – Two weeks after becoming the youngest winner in Indy car history, Herta finished 24th after his car was plagued with fuel pickup issues at Barber. With King Taco (his favorite victory celebration meal) on the No. 88 Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda this weekend at Long Beach, maybe Herta will be inspired to climb back near the top of the Power Rankings.
THE TOP 10
(after three races)
1. Newgarden (Last Rank: 1)
2. Sato (Last Rank: not ranked)
3. Scott Dixon (Last Rank: 4) – Two second-place finishes in the first three races have Dixon off to a strong start in 2019.
4. Alexander Rossi (Last Rank: 5) – One of two drivers with top-10 finishes in every race this season, along with Newgarden. Rossi is still looking for his first podium of 2019 but is the defending Long Beach winner.
5. Will Power (Last Rank: 3) – A weekend to forget for Team Penske’s Power, who saw his streak of poles end at two at Barber and failed to lead a race for the first time since Road America last June.
6. James Hinchcliffe (Last Rank: 9) – A solid weekend at Barber, which saw Hinchcliffe make the Firestone Fast Six and finish sixth for the second time in 2019. He’s another past Long Beach winner, too.
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay (Last Rank: 6) – Another top-10 finish for Hunter-Reay at Barber as he continued to dig out of the hole created when a mechanical failure saddled him with a 23rd-place finish in the St. Pete opener.
8. Sebastien Bourdais (Last Rank: not ranked) – Played a two-stop strategy to perfection at Barber, the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan driver breaks into the ratings with a second straight top-five finish.
9. Felix Rosenqvist (Last Rank: 8) – Top rookie in the ratings, the Chip Ganassi Racing pilot finished 10th at Barber to record his second top-10 in three starts.
10. Colton Herta (Last Rank: 2)
Dropped out of ranking: Rahal (7) and Pagenaud (10)