Elo Ratings Had a Good 2021

Although I did not end up writing articles as much as anticipated in 2021, I did keep up as always with tracking IndyCar stats, including my Elo ratings. During the 2021 season I made some updates to how the ratings are calculated. This was partially an exercise to make sure my championship simulation was getting the best data possible, and also part of a regular process to make sure the model is tuned properly.

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State of the Championship: who is most likely to catch Palou?

After a few more weeks of summer break, IndyCar will head to the streets of Nashville for the first time on August 8th. Palou will enter the final six races of the season with a 39 point lead in the championship over O’Ward. Dixon sits 56 points out of first place and Newgarden is 69 points behind Palou. 

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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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Ranking IndyCar Drivers With Elo Ratings

This is a really fun article for me to write because one of my first “big goals” when I started writing about IndyCar statistics was to apply the Elo rating system to IndyCar drivers. Elo ratings were developed by Arpad Elo to rank chess players, but they have since been used to rank sports from soccer to football to basketball and more. Elo ratings have a couple of great qualities that make them a good choice to rank and compare IndyCar drivers. The first part of this article will detail how the ratings are calculated, but feel free to skip past that for the results or come back to it later!

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