When it comes to the domination of a race series by a single driver or team, I think there are some fans who enjoy watching that same driver win race after race, while other fans, like me, prefer a series with a wide variety of winners. To me, it shows an even playing field, as auto racing is one sport where, without regulations, teams with deep pockets can easily spend their way to victory.
As both an IndyCar and Formula 1 fan, I've written how I prefer the 2012 F1 season over the 2011 F1 season as there's been a wide range of winning drivers, not just Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel winning every race.
It seems the 2012 IZOD IndyCar series has been dominated by two drivers, Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay and Team Penske's Will Power, each with three wins. I like how the other podium positions have been filled by lesser-known drivers like KV Racing Technology's Tony Kanaan and Schmidt/Hamilton Motorsports' Simon Pagenaud, but we continue to see the domination by big budget teams like Andretti Autosport and Team Penske (holding the top three spots), which I don't think is a good thing for the series. The less competition there is, the less people want to watch the races and I think television ratings and race attendance can suffer.
The top five
In first place in the IndyCar driver rankings with three wins and 335 points is Hunter-Reay, who I think will win this year's championship. Second place is held by Will Power, who also has three wins, but only 301 points. At number three is Team Penske's Helio Castroneves, with one win and 289 points. I think Helio looked strong with his win at the season's first race in St. Petersburg, but seems to have lost his momentum as the season progressed. Target-Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon is in fourth place with one win and 281 points. Coming in at fifth place is my favorite driver, Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe, who has 268 points, even though he has yet to win a race. To me, that shows consistently strong driving and just some bad luck in not being able to complete the mission.
Target-Chip Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti is in eighth place win a single win, but only 230 points. His win was the Indianapolis 500 and while that carries a lot of prestige, it still earns drivers the same number of points as any other win. In 13th place is Dale Coyne Racing's Justin Wilson with a single win (the Firestone 500 in Texas) and 200 points. Wilson, racing in IndyCar since 2008, has always been a strong contender, but just has not been able to string together the multiple wins needs to be a series champion.
With five races to go in the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season, I think anything is possible and probably any one of the top eight drivers could get on a roll and end up the 2012 season champion.
A lifetime auto racing fan, Freddy Sherman collects vintage muscle cars and attends races and rally events in the U.S. and around the world. He writes about Formula 1 and IndyCar racing and you can follow him on Twitter -@thefredsherman
More from this contributor:Wide Range of F1 Race Winners is a Good Thing: Fan's View
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