Five contenders from two powerhouses will face off for the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series championship in the Sept. 11 season finale at WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway.
Representing Team Penske are points leader Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin. Chip Ganassi Racing has Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson.
Dixon (2003, ’08, ’13, ’15, ’18, ’20), Newgarden (’17, ’19) and Power (’14) are past champions; Ericsson and McLaughlin are seeking their first titles.
Either a Penske or Ganassi driver has won the NTT IndyCar Series championship in 13 of the past 14 seasons.
In the closest championship battle in nearly 20 years, Power has a 20-point lead over Newgarden and Dixon, 39 points over Ericsson and 41 points over McLaughlin.
After McLaughlin’s victory at the Grand Prix of Portland, here’s what each of the remaining title contenders was saying about the season finale (watch their postrace interviews in the video above):
“I just want to win this championship for the guys who have been with me for more than a decade like my engineer Dave (Faustino) and my data acquisition guy Robbie (Atkinson) and the group. It’s a lot less selfish for me this time around because they deserve it. I feel their pain over the years of losing so many. I’d love to win it for them. … We’re in the best position and have the best shot. We’ll do everything we can.”
“At this point, it just kind of is what it is. We’re going to try to win that race and go for broke. It’s been kind of a weird year. Everyone has done such a great job on this 2 car. I’m so proud and happy with everybody. They’ve really put a good effort together. It’s either been winning the race or some weird luck has happened. We just seem to be on the odd end of these things and they’re not working out. I don’t know how Laguna is going to play out. We’re going to go and play to win. We’ll see what happens.”
“Laguna is probably the slipperiest circuit we go. Anything is possible. We’ve won on tiebreakers. We’re in it and won’t give up as a team until it’s over. It’s going to be interesting. It’s pretty tight between three to four cars. Ultimately, if we’re in it, we’ll try everything that we can do.”
“The championship is quite far away now. I go (into Laguna Seca) to win the race. We had a good test there, the car’s been good in the past, and I aim to win, and we’ll see how far that gets us up there. That’s the mindset for the last one.”
“I’m a big golf guy and the (IndyCar Championship Media Day) is actually at Pebble Beach so I’m really excited for that. I wanted to be in the championship fight so I can go to Pebble. It’s working out and we’re going there. I’m so excited. I think Greg (Penske) told me I could play Pebble, so all good as long as I can bring some friends.”
What the IndyCar championship contenders are saying entering the Laguna Seca finale originally appeared on NBCSports.com