IndyCar Power Rankings: Josef Newgarden starts 2023 at top of Penske-Ganassi pyramid 2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Arlington: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Eli Tomac
Despite all the hype around the highly competitive NTT IndyCar series, determining the pre-season power rankings essentially comes down to two teams – as it has in every championship over the past decade.
Since the 2012 Ryan Hunter-Reay Championship for Andretti Autosport, the last 10 titles have been won by either Chip Ganassi Racing drivers or Team Penske drivers. Between Ganassi’s Scott Dixon (2013, 15, 18, 20) and Penske’s Willpower (2022, 14) and Joseph Newgarden (2017, 19), the three riders combined for eight championships.
Drivers Ganassi and Penske are naturally six of the top seven in NBC Sports IndyCar’s preseason rankings, but there are signs that the new team may finally break the stranglehold.
ST. PIT PRIMER: Schedule, start time and how to watch the opening of the 2023 IndyCar season
It starts with Arrow McLaren, who added 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi to their 1-2 combination of Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenquist. Andretti is looking to bounce back with Colton Gerta, and 2022 Rookie of the Year Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard looks destined to be the next inaugural winner.
Here is the first edition of NBC Sports’ assessment of the top 10 IndyCar drivers. participation in the Sunday Firestone Grand Prix in St. Petersburg, which opens the season:
NBC Sports IndyCar Power Ranking
1. Josef Newgarden (2nd overall in 2022 points) “The championship runner-up of the past three years led the way in wins last season and is set to win a third title and his first Indy 500 this year.
2. Willpower (first in 2022) “He turns 42 this week and the Team Penske driver seems to keep getting better, especially after winning his second championship with a new level of stability.
3. Scott Dixon (3rd in 2022) – Losing six times to IndyCar is uncountable, but superstar Chip Ganassi Racing and the No. 9 team must resolve their qualifying challenges to claim their seventh championship title.
4. Alex Palou (fourth in 2022) – After last year’s contract mess, the 2021 champion should head into what will likely be his final season with Chip Ganassi Racing with a clear mind and a fast car.
5. Pato O’Ward (7th in 2022) This will be a critical season for the Arrow McLaren star as his team adds a third car and attempts to rediscover the magic of the 2021 season.
6. Scott McLaughlin (fourth in 2022) “He had a big break with three wins in his second season of IndyCar, but he still competes against two tough Penske teammates.
7. Markus Ericsson (6th in 2022) – The 2022 Indy 500 winner was in contention for the championship until last year’s final as he climbed the ovals. The diligent Swede still has work to do this year.
8. Colton Herta (10th in 2022) – Burnt by a few blunders and a bad year for Andretti Autosport, Herta wants to prove that he remains one of the fastest drivers in IndyCar.
9. Christian Lundgaard (14th in 2022) “He made huge strides as last year’s Rookie of the Year and was consistently one of the fastest in pre-season spring testing. Soon there will be a victory for Rahal Letterman Lanigan.
10. Alexander Rossi (8th in 2022) – The most intriguing new combination of rider and team. Rossi is starting a new chapter with the Arrow McLaren after ending a three-year winless drift last year.
just missed: Felix Rosenquist (still unwinnable since 2020 but did well finishing ninth last year and will fight for his future – again – this year) Graeme Rahal (already said he feels much better this season than he did in 2022, which started off with a disappointing record); Rinus VeKay (missed win at Barber Motorsports Park and seems motivated after a disappointing season).
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An accident leading the final race of the Arlington Monster Energy Supercross kept Eli Tomac from an overall victory, but a top five in two races keeps him at the top of the NBC Sports SuperMotocross Power rankings by a narrow margin. tenth of a point. Some cracks are starting to show, but this is the sixth time Tomac has been at the top of the charts with a worst overall record of sixth in Anaheim 2 and a 2.6 average in the first seven rounds.
In Arlington, Tomac got off to a strong start, winning the first film. Race 2 wasn’t as productive with fourth place, but Tomac was able to take the overall win until he crashed on the back of the tunnel and fell out of the top three. Having lost momentum, Tomac continued to slide back and finished sixth. However, this was enough to take third place overall and maintain the lead in the strength rankings.
Jason Anderson got off to a rocky start in Arlington. He crashed early in race 1 and was only able to move up to eighth when the checkers swung over the first element. He recovered in race 2 to win the feature and ended the night with another podium, but the damage was done and he finished fourth when the three race points were tallied. In the last 45 days, Anderson has finished below fifth in 16 races three times, and that consistency has served him well.
Now that the floodgates have opened, Cooper Webb approaches Tomac. Webb’s overall victory in the Arlington Triple Crown reduced the lead to two points.which means his fate is in his own hands. A win at Dayton this week would earn him a red plate. The SuperMotocross Power rankings after Arlington take into account not only the results presented, but also the heats and individual races that make up the weekend, and second place in the second main heat also gave Webb a lot of percentage points.
MORE: Cooper Webb closes on Eli Tomac within two points
Chase Sexton hasn’t been faultless in the last few races, but he tends to have a big enough lead over fourth to minimize the loss of points. Sexton has led the podium in his last 13 runs, mains and totals, and his worst performance, when he finished 20th in the San Diego preliminaries, is about to become obsolete compared to the 45-day formula.
Ken Roczen continues to be at the forefront of the pack. At Arlington, he finished 2-6-4 in three races to round out the top five. This is enough to stay in the top five in the SuperMotocross Power rankings for another week. What’s more, his fifth-place finish last week erased the memory of Roczen’s only non-top 10 finish, which he earned two weeks ago in Oakland.
Christian Craig doesn’t see the transition to a 450 as painless, but he rides consistently enough to gain experience. He has finished in the top 10 in 13 out of 16 races over the past 45 days, and although few of them have been in the top five, this week he has moved up two places from 13th to 11th.
[4 Main; 5 Heat Wins]
[4 Main Wins]
[2 Main; 1 Heat Wins]
[1 Main Win; 4 Heat Wins]
[1 Heat Win]
Supercross 450 points
Here is your updated scoring position after round 7️⃣ @Inhuman Energy Supercross 📋#SupercrossLIVE #SuperMotocross pic.twitter.com/dGHnHxkuV5
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Championships are won on a rider’s bad days. Hunter Lawrence had a terrible accident on the first turn of the final race. He ran out of real estate and crashed in traffic. When Max Anstie crashed into his bike and ejected over the handlebars, Lawrence was trapped under both bikes for a few seconds and fell on the back of the backpack. Lawrence moved up to sixth in that race, dropping him to third overall.
In a close battle with his brother Jett Lawrence, Hunter lost the overall lead in the 250 SuperMotocross Power after Arlington, but maintained a significant lead over Nate Thrasher as the best in the Eastern division.
Although he failed to win in the individual heat, Thrasher took his first overall victory in 2023. Finishing 2-2-3 in the Triple Crown, he moved up five places in the standings to finish third overall. Adding to his feat was the fact that he was driving with an injured knee. If he doesn’t give his 100 percent this weekend in Dayton, the challenging hybrid circuit will prove to be very difficult.
After placing third in race 1 and fourth in race 2, Anstey had a chance to earn his third podium in three rounds of the 250 East until he crashed Lawrence in the final film. He crossed over and finished ninth in that race, which cost him his position in the power rankings.
Supercross 250 points
Jordon Smith won stage two last week and could have caught his teammate Thrasher had it not been for a last lap miss at Arlington. That win and top fives in the other two races moved him up four spots in the rankings, but a poor performance in Tampa left him only sixth in the 250 Eastern championship standings.
Tom Vialle is getting better every week. He is narrow…