State of the Championship: Who Benefits if IndyCar Adds More Races?

Yesterday IndyCar announced that the series will not race at Portland or Laguna Seca this season due to the coronavirus. In their places, IndyCar will add a doubleheader at Mid Ohio next week and a second race at the Indianapolis road course in October. Despite the cancellations and additions, the schedule winds back up at 14 races long for now, the shortest season in over a decade.

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State of the Championship: Dixon Out to an Early Lead, Power Needs Help

With the IndyCar season shortened in 2020, every race becomes more important for drivers looking to win the championship. Mechanical failures and crashes are more costly and might even take drivers out of the championship hunt completely. With the first race of the season complete, The Single Seater’s championship projection model is now live. I’ve already talked about a few of the updates to this year’s model here, so this article will walk through how it sees the championship race panning out with 13 races remaining.

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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 Many Cautions Will We See at St. Petersburg?

Photo: Chris Jones

St. Petersburg has had on average about four cautions per race since 2005, making it very likely we’ll see multiple caution flags waved on Sunday. Frequent cautions are a product of street courses, and St. Petersburg has some especially tight sections that make it prone to contact with the wall and other cars.

With St. Pete also the first race of the year after a long offseason, drivers are itching to get going and start off the season well when they are here (meaning they’re more likely to make dumb mistakes or be extra aggressive).

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Rain showers likely during qualifying and race

2015 Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana Weather

The chance of rain throughout the weekend never dips below 50%, according to RaceCastWx’s
forecast shown here. However, even though the track conditions may be wet, the temperature is in the lower 80’s for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Friday’s practice sessions will have to contend with up to an inch of rain and thunderstorms. The wind is relatively calm, 5-10 mph for most of the day. Teams will get good wet weather practice if they choose to run on Friday.

Saturday’s weather is pretty much the same as Friday’s. Cloud cover throughout most of the day and a chance of rain. This could make for some interesting qualifying results.

Sunday, race day, should bring some sun with it as the forecast calls for “mostly cloudy” and a 50% chance of rain. If it does start to precipitate during the race, it will be interesting to see how the teams and aero kits respond. We could start to see more modifications to aero kits to increase down-force if rain is expected during the race.

For a more detailed forecast and updates throughout the race weekend, follow Racecast Weather on Twitter.