Josef Newgarden took a massive bit out of Alex Palou’s championship lead this weekend by sweeping both races at Iowa Speedway. The Team Penske ace now sits 80 points behind the Chip Ganassi Racing driver. Palou managed to maintain a comfortable lead by having a fairly decent weekend overall. The 2021 champion finished 8th in Race 1 yesterday and earned a 3rd place result in Race 2 today.
Scott Dixon scored a pair of 6th place finishes this weekend to hold steady in third place. The six-time series champion still has a slight shot at another title but he is likely going to have to win multiple races to close the season. Dixon, who has won at least one race in 18 consecutive seasons, still has not won a race this year. He has also never won at Portland or Laguna Seca, the final two stops on the schedule.
Dixon’s teammate Marcus Ericsson had a decent weekend and maintains fourth in the standings, with Scott McLaughlin rounding out the top-five. Pato O’Ward sits in sixth place, and while all of these drivers are still mathematically eligible to win the title, it is merely a pipe dream at this point in the season.
The next event takes place on the streets of Nashville in two weeks. Ericsson won the inaugural race there two years ago and Dixon won the event last season. Palou has finished 7th and 3rd in the two races at Nashville, and Newgarden finished 10th and 6th in the two races there. Unless Newgarden can chew into Palou’s lead once again, the title race may very well be over.
|2023 INDYCAR Series Championship Standings|
|1||Alex Palou||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||477|
|2||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||Chevrolet||397|
|3||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||357|
|4||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||330|
|5||Scott McLaughlin||Team Penske||Chevrolet||329|
|6||Pato O’Ward||Arrow McLaren||Chevrolet||329|
|7||Will Power||Team Penske||Chevrolet||316|
|8||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport||Honda||276|
|9||Christian Lundgaard||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||275|
|10||Alexander Rossi||Arrow McLaren||Chevrolet||265|
|11||Kyle Kirkwood||Andretti Autosport||Honda||237|
|12||Felix Rosenqvist||Arrow McLaren||Chevrolet||233|
|13||Romain Grosjean||Andretti Autosport||Honda||212|
|14||Callum Ilott||Juncos Hollinger Racing||Chevrolet||185|
|15||Rinus VeeKay||Ed Carpenter Racing||Chevrolet||183|
|16||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||Honda||182|
|17||David Malukas||Dale Coyne Racing||Honda||176|
|18||Marcus Armstrong||Chip Ganassi Racing||Honda||156|
|19||Santino Ferrucci||AJ Foyt Racing||Chevrolet||151|
|20||Helio Castroneves||Meyer Shank Racing||Honda||143|
|21||Agustin Canapino||Juncos Hollinger Racing||Chevrolet||132|