With three races left, who could still win in IndyCar, season 2015?

1 Comment

With only three races remaining in the Verizon IndyCar Series season, there are still a number of outstanding drivers who are yet to win a race this year.

Ryan Hunter-Reay made it nine winners in 13 races at Iowa Speedway and if three of the below drivers pull it off in the final three races at Mid-Ohio, Pocono and Sonoma, it will set a record for number of different winners in a season with 12.

The previous mark of 11 has been set three times: 2000 and 2001 in CART, and last year in IndyCar.

So who could still bank a win in the final three races this year? We examine:

Helio Castroneves, No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet

Castroneves has two prior wins at Mid-Ohio (2000, 2001) and one at Sonoma (2008), but it’s been dry spells for both. Incredibly quick in qualifying this year, as his only start outside the top seven all year came at Milwaukee, when his team missed qualifying.

Mid-Ohio has been a recent house of horrors for him with these four starts: 15th, 23rd, 14th and 15th and these four finishes: 19th, 16th, sixth and 19th, in the last four years.

BEST CHANCE: Pocono
WORST CHANCE: Mid-Ohio

Marco Andretti, No. 27 Snapple Honda

Andretti seeks to break a four-year dry spell but he has two decent shots in the last three races to do so.

Andretti was the out-and-out fastest driver at Pocono two years ago but struggled last year… considering how strong the Hondas have been on ovals, a relative home track win for the driver from nearby Nazareth is certainly possible there. He also, of course, won his first race at Sonoma in 2006. Without any top-fives at Mid-Ohio in eight prior starts, it’s unlikely he’ll break his duck this weekend.

BEST CHANCE: Pocono
WORST CHANCE: Mid-Ohio

Tony Kanaan, No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

Follow the above two capsules and apply it to TK, as well. Despite not having had much success at either Sonoma or Mid-Ohio, good win potential exists for him at Pocono, a race he dominated last year.

For Mid-Ohio, Kanaan finally broke a miserable qualifying string last year. He qualified third, which broke a run of 20th, 16th, 18th and 19th in the previous four years.

BEST CHANCE: Pocono
WORST CHANCE: Mid-Ohio

Simon Pagenaud, No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet

Pagenaud’s first season at Team Penske has followed an abnormal career form: qualify well, but fall back on race day. Usually he’s overcoming poor qualifying efforts but this year has seen the reverse.

Still, he should win either of Mid-Ohio or Sonoma, on paper. Pagenaud won overall in Mid-Ohio in the 2009 ALMS race, did a yeoman’s job filling in with short notice for Justin Wilson in the 2011 IndyCar race, then has finished third, second and ninth the last three years. If there’s a place for Pagenaud to win, it’s there… or Sonoma, where he has finished seventh, fifth, and third the last three years.

BEST CHANCE: Mid-Ohio or Sonoma
WORST CHANCE: Pocono

Charlie Kimball, No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

The 2013 Mid-Ohio winner has been dynamic on permanent road courses throughout his career. Oddly, it’s Pocono where he might be an even better choice, as he’s also done well in 500-mile races.

BEST CHANCE: Mid-Ohio or Pocono
WORST CHANCE: Sonoma

Takuma Sato, No. 14 ABC Supply Co. Honda

Sato’s qualified very well at Pocono the last two years but it hasn’t come through with a result yet. That could well change this year, as Sato ran strongly at the most recent 500-mile race in Fontana.

BEST CHANCE: Pocono
WORST CHANCE: Mid-Ohio

Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Schmidt Peterson Honda

A past winner at both Mid-Ohio and Sonoma, and having banked his best finish of 2014 at Pocono last year, don’t be surprised if Briscoe steals one of the final three races. The Australian has been quick, if unlucky, throughout his fill-in role in the No. 5 car this year.

Justin Wilson, No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda

Hard to believe but second at Sonoma two years ago marks Wilson’s most recent podium finish on a permanent road course (he also came third in Houston a couple races later). Would qualify as a surprise because the car is a part-time entry, even though the driver isn’t lacking in skill.

THE FIELD

Save for Briscoe, Wilson and Ed Carpenter, the remaining drivers from 15th on back in the points standings have never won an IndyCar race.

Luca Filippi could well spring a surprise at Mid-Ohio or Sonoma and three-time winner Carpenter must not be counted out at Pocono; the same is true for rookie Sage Karam.

But seeing any of those three, plus James Jakes, Gabby Chaves, Jack Hawksworth, Stefano Coletti, Tristan Vautier or whoever else fills out the second Dale Coyne car would qualify as a definitive surprise, highly unlikely winner.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Houston

0 Comments

Eli Tomac led all 23 laps of the Monster Energy Supercross race at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas and the results show he now has three wins in the season and is one shy of tying Ricky Carmichael’s 48 for third on the all-time list. With this win, he takes a seven point lead in the standings with 12 rounds remaining.

For Tomac at Houston, it was literally a tale of two races. Both his heat and the main started the same with Tomac grabbing the holeshot, but he was passed quickly by Chase Sexton in the heat. Tomac faded quickly after getting passed and was trailing by almost eight seconds at the checkered flag, which caused him to retreat to the hauler and reassess his lines. Without making any adjustments to the bike, Tomac entered the Main with a new attitude, and simply rode better.

Supercross Results Houston
Chase Sexton played it safe in the sand, but he was aggressive in every other turn. – Feld Motor Sports

Sexton had so great a lead in his heat that one could not even use the cliche that he left Tomac in his dust. By the time the rider with the No. 1 plate crossed the same real estate as the No. 23, the dust was well settled. Sexton had a modest start on the initial gate drop and ended Lap 1 in fourth. He worked his way past Aaron Plessinger on Lap 3 and got around Jason Anderson three laps later. Sexton was able to catch Tomac and pressure him, but he picked a safe, i.e. slow line through the sand section and could never get alongside his rival.

RESULTS: Click here for 450 Results; Click here for full 250 East Main Results

After starting the season with back-to-back seventh-place finishes, Anderson now has a pair of podiums. He won his heat and was easily one of the top three riders in the field, ultimately finishing behind the riders who finished 1-2 in the other preliminary. Anderson was subdued on the podium – happy he was there, but disappointed he has not yet found a way around the riders he is chasing in the points.

In the early stages of the race, Plessinger appeared to have a bike capable of winning. He pressured Tomac on the first two laps and was setting up the pass just as a red flag waved for an injury to Dylan Ferrandis that brought out a red flag. He lost second to Anderson on the restart and eventually slipped to fourth to score his first top-five of the season.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five. Along with Sexton, he is now one of just two riders with a sweep of that mark in 2023, but with Tomac’s three wins, he is beginning to slip in the points. Webb sits third in the standings, 12 points behind the leader.

Ken Roczen entered the race as the third rider with a sweep of the top five and progressively better results in the first three races of 2023. Had the pattern held, he would have finished at least second, but he struggled for most of the night, finishing fifth in his heat and eighth in the Main. There may have been extenuating circumstances, however. Ferrandis’ injury was suffered when he landed on the back of Roczen’s bike and potentially damaged the No. 94 Suzuki.

Click here for 450 Main results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points | Lap Chart


The 250 East division made their 2023 debut in Houston, but the name atop the board was familiar. Hunter Lawrence joined his brother Jett Lawrence as the early points’ leader in their respective divisions, but it didn’t come without a little anxiety.

Riding behind Supercross newbie Tom Vialle on the second lap, Lawrence was forced to take evasive action when the leader pitched his bike sideways to scrub speed over a jump. Lawrence veered left and landed off course, but he cleared the Tuff Blox and kept his bike straight. Lawrence made the pass for the lead on Lap 18 and never relinquished it.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier

In his first attempt on a 250, Max Anstie ascended to the podium. – Feld Motor Sports

England’s Max Anstie made the move from 450s to 250s this year after scoring a best result of 11th on the big bike at Anaheim 2 last year. It didn’t take anytime at all to find the front for Anstie, who finished second in both his heat and main.

It has been a while since Jordon Smith stood on the podium: February 23, 2019 to be exact when he finished that well in Detroit. A series of injuries kept him off the bike for much of 2020 and 2021, but he’s proving to be a factor when he’s healthy.

Click here for 250 Main results | 250 East Rider Points | Combined Rider Points | Lap Chart

There was a lot of hype surrounding the debut of Haiden Deegan in the 250 class and he proved it was merited. He finished fourth in his heat and main. He was as far down as ninth at one point in the feature before slowly picking off riders on his way to the front.

Jeremy Martin finished fifth and now has a streak of three consecutive top-fives to his credit stretching back to last year. Unfortunately, his pair of strong runs in 2022 were interrupted by injury.

Making impressive debuts in the 250 division, Vialle recovered from a fall to finish seventh, Chance Hymas finished eighth, and Talon Hawkins just missed the top 10 with an 11th.

2023 Results

Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Chase Sexton falls
Week 1: Eli Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s