If it seemed the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES was one of the most competitive seasons ever, statistics bear that out.
From the total number of passes to five venues posting passing records to the amount of track activity across all on-track sessions, this season was certainly one to remember.
Start with passes for position at all 17 races: The increase was 40 percent higher than the total posted last season. In 2021, there were 3,526; this year’s total was 5,881, which was the most for the series in seven years.
Then consider that passes per race, which were first recorded in 2006, reached record highs at five venues: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, the streets of Nashville, World Wide Technology Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
INDYCAR President Jay Frye noted the diversity of those tracks as it relates to the records set in 2022.
“(This car) has shattered many on-track passing records on all different configurations of tracks: street circuits, road courses, short ovals,” he said. “So, the car is fast, it’s safe, and it races well.”
Equipment reliability was at a record level in 2022, as well. Thirty-five drivers completed a combined 56,148 race laps, with series champion Will Power and Scott Dixon completing all 2,268 laps. Only five drivers in series history have completed every lap in a season, and Dixon has now done it twice.
In all sessions this year, 98,145 laps were turned, the most since 2011, and the mileage totaled (186,224 miles) was the most since 2013.
Drivers were competitive with one another, too. The series lead exchanged hands seven times, with five drivers in contention for the championship at the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The 41 points separating those five drivers at the last race made it the tightest title tilt in 19 years (30 points separated the Indy Racing League’s 2003 finale). It also was the 17th consecutive year that the championship came down to the season’s final race.
Even the Rookie of the Year battle was tight as Christian Lundgaard and David Malukas went to the final race separated by just five points, the closest battle in more than a decade.
The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville saw the closest street circuit finish in INDYCAR SERIES history, with Dixon holding off Scott McLaughlin by .1067 of a second.
In qualifying, nine drivers won poles to start the season, the most since 1961. Among those was Power, who extended his INDYCAR SERIES record for consecutive seasons with at least one pole to 14.
Dixon extended his INDYCAR SERIES record for seasons with at least one race win (20) and consecutive seasons with at least one race win (18). Power is second in the latter category with a streak of 16 seasons in succession.
In the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, records were set for the fastest pole speed, the fastest front row and the fastest field.