Fixing IndyCar's math
A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1, Regarding the wide open points chase article on your Home page, if IndyCar does revenue projections like it does points computations, it may be one of the reasons IndyCar is in so much trouble.
I’m guessing what they did is determine how far behind someone is and if they were within 159 points (53 x 3) they had a chance to win. Of course that assumes that whoever they were leapfrogging gets no points, which is impossible since twelve points are awarded to the top twenty-five drivers just for starting the race.
The absolute maximum any driver can earn in the last three races is 159 points. You can earn a maximum of 53 points (50 for winning, 1 for pole, and 2 for leading the most laps) per race and there are three races left (53 x 3 = 159). I won’t even go into the chances of say Rahal or Servia totally dominating a race for the first time in their careers in one of the next three races but it is mathematically possible I guess.
If Will Power takes only minimum points from the next three races, 12 pts minimum with 25 entries even if Power blows up on the first lap at every remaining race, that would equals 36 points and those points combined with his current 379 points would give him 415 points total eliminating every driver other than the top nine in points currently. So I don’t know who did the analysis for IndyCar but they need to re-think their conclusions.
Then if you consider if any of the currently ranked top four drivers in the Championship only averages top five results (Dixon in fourth currently has 351 points and averaging a top five over the last three races would earn him 90 additional points for a total of 441 points) over the next three races, that would eliminate Briscoe and Franchitti, currently sitting 7th and 8th in the Championship respectively, as well. Realistically, it is a four horse race as even the fifth place driver, Hinchcliffe, is 63 points behind the leader, Power, and 35 points behind Dixon in fourth.
Power will have a minimum of 415 points (379 36) points and if you credit every driver below with maximum points (win, pole, lead most laps) only the top nine even have a mathematical chance at the championship, not the top fifteen.
Power 379 36 = 415
07. Kanaan 307 159 = 466
08. Franchitti 271 159 = 430
09. Briscoe 267 159 = 426
10. Rahal 256 159 = 415
11. Servia 237 159 = 396
12. Wilson 234 159 = 393
13. Sato 233 159 = 392
14. Hildebrand 233 159 = 392
15. Marco 227 159 = 386
Regards, Mark Rubio, Pine Bluff, Arkansas