IndyCar: Winning’s been a curse, not a blessing, over last six races

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We took a look last week into the points at the end of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ marathon six race in four weekend stretch.

But there was another intriguing observation that’s come out of the last six races: winning a race has been something of a curse for the following rounds.

Since Carlos Huertas took a surprise win in Houston race one, the race winner has only recorded one top-five finish in the subsequent races since (Simon Pagenaud’s fourth place in Toronto race one).

Take a look at the last six winners, and their results since those wins:

  • Carlos Huertas: Won Houston Race 1, then 23rd, 20th, 20th, 14th, 15th
  • Simon Pagenaud: Won Houston Race 2, then 6th, 11th, 4th, 22nd
  • Juan Pablo Montoya: Won Pocono, then 16th, 18th, 19th
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay: Won Iowa, then 21st, 14th
  • Sebastien Bourdais, Won Toronto Race 1, then 9th
  • Mike Conway: Won Toronto Race 2 … ?

Those six have followed the three other winners this season, in Ed Carpenter (Texas), Helio Castroneves and Will Power (the two Detroit races).

So we’ve had the nine winners this season win each of the last nine races. But winning itself has, coincidentally, been one of the worst things for drivers in subsequent races.

It’s largely been due to mechanical issues, incidents or circumstances outside the drivers’ control.

It’s a weird and bizarre run of results, but something to note heading into the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend.

Gabby Chaves to sub for Joao Barbosa at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen

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Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.

The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.

Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.

Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.

“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”

Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”

Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.

The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.

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