By the Numbers: IndyCar Championship
August 30, 2012 | 2:12 P.M. EST
Power leads Ryan Hunter-Reay by 36 points. It's the fourth-smallest lead that Power has held this season. He led by 10 points after Round 1 at Brazil and 11 points after Indianapolis and Iowa. (Photo: Getty Images)
Will Power leads the IZOD IndyCar Series championship with two races remaining for the third consecutive season. He has failed to win the championship in each of the last two seasons despite leading the Championship with two races to go.
- Power leads Ryan Hunter-Reay by 36 points. It's the fourth-smallest lead that Power has held this season. He led by 10 points after Round 1 at Brazil and 11 points after Indianapolis and Iowa.
- There are eight drivers still mathematically eligible for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship: Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan, James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Briscoe.
- Seven drivers, including three-time defending IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti, were eliminated from championship contention at Sonoma.
- This is the second event on the streets of Baltimore. The winning driver at Baltimore has not won the championship in the same season.
Drivers still eligible for championship: 8
Key Championship point statistic: The driver who has led the championship with two races to go has failed to win the championship in four of the last six seasons. Only Sam Hornish Jr. (2006) and Scott Dixon (2008) won the title when they led the penultimate round.
Largest 1-2 point differential since: 2008. With two races to go, the 2012 points battle (36 points separate first and second) is the largest that it's been since the 2008 season when first and second place were separated by 43 points. The average point deficit with two to go since 2006 is 17.8 points.
Championship-eligible drivers with strong results at Baltimore: Will Power won the inaugural Grand Prix of Baltimore in 2011. Tony Kanaan finished third and Scott Dixon finished fifth. Ryan Hunter-Reay finished eighth.
Championship-eligible drivers with poor results at Baltimore: Both Helio Castroneves (17th) and Ryan Briscoe (14th) finished outside the top 10. James Hinchcliffe finished 24th.
Championship chases with two races left:
Leader: Will Power (542) Second: Dario Franchitti (-11). Third: Scott Dixon (-59)
Final Margin and Champion: 18 points. Dario Franchitti
Leader: Will Power (552). Second: Dario Franchitti (-17). Third: Scott Dixon (-83)
Final Margin and Champion: 5 points. Dario Franchitti
Leader: Ryan Briscoe (550). Second: Dario Franchitti (-25). Third: Scott Dixon (-33)
Final margin and champion: 11 points. Dario Franchitti
Leader: Scott Dixon (576). Second: Helio Castroneves (-43). Third: Dan Wheldon (-124)
Final margin and champion: 17 points. Scott Dixon
Leader: Scott Dixon (560). Second: Dario Franchitti (-4). Third: Tony Kanaan (-62)
Final margin and champion: 13 points. Dario Franchitti
Leader: Sam Hornish Jr. (418). Second: Helio Castroneves (-7). Third: Dan Wheldon (-24)
Final margin and champion: Tie between Hornish and Wheldon. Hornish won by virtue of most victories