State of the Championship: What’s going on with Palou’s numbers?

With seven races to go in this IndyCar season, Alex Palou has 349 points and leads Pato O’Ward and Scott Dixon by 28 and 53 points, respectively. At Road America, Palou was able to come away with 51 points after his win and Dixon had a quiet day that saw him move from 13th to 4th throughout the 55 laps to earn some much needed points in order to keep the championship battle within reach.

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State of the Championship: Dixon Maintains Early Edge

The season has started and that means The Single Seater’s championship simulations are running. Things are pretty similar in the simulation as last season. We simulate each remaining race using our Elo ratings, add up the points earned in those races, and add them to how many points drivers currently have in the championship. We run these simulations “hot” so drivers can gain or lose Elo rating points during the simulations which allows for more variation in the outcomes and reflects the truth that we don’t know everything about driver performance and it might change as the season goes on.

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State of the Championship: Looking Past the Champion We Can Still Find Excitement

Usually these posts are almost exclusively centered on the battle to win the IndyCar championship, but Scott Dixon has made that a lot less exciting to write about this season. Assuming the Mid Ohio doubleheader gets scheduled for September like is planned, we will have five more races this season to enjoy. Dixon currently has a 96 point lead in the points standings and our projections give him a 99.9% chance of winning the 2020 IndyCar Championship. The only other driver with a slim chance of winning is Josef Newgarden, who has about a 1 in 1000 chance of pulling off a miraculous late season challenge to Dixon.

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Upgrading the Championship Projection Model

If you followed this site last year you’ll remember the championship projections model that simulated the remaining races of the season 50,000 times and returned the probability of every driver finishing in every position in the championship. This model was rooted in each driver’s average finishing position, average track position, consistency, and influenced by how many races had already been completed. For this season I have completely overhauled the projection system and I am going to run through a few of the major changes in this article.Read More »