SALINAS, Calif — Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon and Scott McLaughlin had combined to have won 10 of the 17 races run this season. Will Power had just 1 trip to victory lane. He beat them all in scoring his 2nd career NTT INDYCAR Series championship.
Dixon speeding on pit road for the Indy 500 was a big reason why. If he didn’t go .6 mph over the speed limit back on May 29, he was going to win and would have easily scored his 7th career championship on Sunday in Monterey. The double points would have had him scoring 109 points that day. Instead he accumulated 33.
Newgarden won 5 times this year alone, but that crash while leading late in the 2nd Iowa race cost him. He scored 9 points that day instead of 53. If that doesn’t happen and the Indy 500 doesn’t happen to Dixon, these are instead battling for the title on Sunday.
So is McLaughlin if 20th, 29th and 19th doesn’t happen between the GMR Grand Prix, the Indy 500 and Belle Isle. McLaughlin had 6 straight top 6 finishes to end the season but was in a tie for 4th at the end.
Alex Palou even could have had a say in it. He had 3 podiums in the first 4 races run on the year but only 3 more over the final 13 including a dominating half of a minute win in the season finale.
So where did Power come from?
Consistency is where.
Power had a front row seat at all those drivers’ misfortunes as well as their fortunes too. Power ended 2022 with 9 podiums and 12 top 5 finishes. That’s why despite 3 less top 10’s than Dixon and only 1 less win, he’s hoisting some hardware in California.