Pato O’Ward: Rookie Season Projection

Photo: Mike Young

Pato O’Ward is one of the best drivers to come out of Indy Lights in recent memory. Although racing in a limited field of eight or nine cars for most races, O’Ward was dominant in 2018 winning nine of the seventeen races and holding pole position for nine as well.

This season he’ll run in 13 races with Carlin Racing starting this weekend at COTA and including the Indianapolis 500. O’Ward has one start in IndyCar that came at Sonoma in 2018 where he qualified fifth and finished eighth for an impressive debut. Read More »

How Much Does Starting Position Matter?

Photo: Joe Skibinski

In 2018, only three races were won by drivers starting outside of the top ten. Qualifying has always been recognized as a pivotal part of the race weekend as it is what sets drivers up for a good result on Sunday.

Using data from 2008-2018 which includes 187 races, I took a look at three interesting questions related to starting position and how races play out.

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What is Expected Points and Why Does it Matter?

Photo: Chris Jones

New for 2019, I will be keeping track and updating Expected Points (xPts) for every race and for the season as a whole. xPts is the number of points we would expect to see a driver earn in a race given how he ran as judged by their average track position (ATP) and ATP25. The last 25% of the race is given extra weight as it is when the race is finally coming down to the wire and performance is more crucial. If two drivers both had an ATP of 5 but one had an ATP25 of 3 and then other an ATP25 of 18, while they both had good days from their general ATP, we would still expect the former to score more points than the latter.

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