After an eventual first race there’s been some shake up in my power rankings. I just had to remove J.R. Hildebrand for running over Will Power under caution.
No. 1 Will Power: Had a lapped driver not been playing with his wheel and literally flew over his right side Power probably would have been a factor for the win at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He dominated testing at Barber and there’s no reason to think he won’t walk away with the win. Previous Rank 1
No. 2 Helio Castroneves: It looks like the three-time Indy 500 winner is back to form. He finished second at St. Pete and has to be a favorite in Alabama where he’s the defending champ. Previous Rank 2
No. 3 Scott Dixon: It’s clear that the Target cars don’t have the speed they’ve shown in past years, but Dixon fought his way through the field from 20thto beat Simona for fifth. Champions take bad days and make respectable finishes out of them. Previous Rank 7
No. 4 Ryan Hunter-Reay: This is not a good track for the defending champ. He’s never finished higher than sixth here, but showed some speed in testing here. He’ll be looking to run up front at Barber. Previous Rank 4
No. 5 James Hinchcliffe: Coming off the win at St. Pete there’s every reason to think he’ll be just as competitive at Barber Motorsports Park, where he was consistently turning in times close to Will Power. Previous Rank 8
No. 6 Simona de Silvestro: Simona put in a gutty performance over the closing laps at St. Pete and was constantly in the top 10 during preseason testing at Barber. I’m sure she has high expectations over the year. Previous Rank 16
No. 7 Dario Franchitti: A series of misfortunes out of his control knocked him out of the championship early in the season last year, and he got more of the same at St. Pete. Maybe Barber will be better for him. Previous Rank 3
No. 8 Tony Kanaan: Fast in testing, finished fourth at St. Pete, it looks like the changes KV Racing made during the offseason worked out at the opening race and he tested well at Barber. He should be considered a contender for the win this weekend. Previous Rank: 9
No. 9 Sebastien Bourdias: Didn’t show any speed at St. Pete, and what’s weird is his teammate did. Hopefully Seb rights the ship at Barber. Previous Rank 6
No. 10 Simone Pagenaud: Like Sebastien he underperformed at St. Pete while his teammate flourished. Believe or not Barber is one of the tracks were he has the most career starts, maybe that will translate into a better finish Previous Rank 5.
No. 11 Alex Tagaliani: So I forgot him last week. But Tag is consistently finishing in the back half of the top-ten. There’s no reason to think that he won’t finish somewhere between eighth and twelfth at Barber.
No. 12 Justin Wilson: Barber hasn’t been one of his better tracks, in the last two years he’s finished 19th both times. Previous Rank 11
No. 13 Oriol Servia: He finished 13th with a Lotus engine/anchor in his car last year but has yet to show any significant speed this year. Previous Rank 12
No. 14 Takuma Sato: So I may have underestimated him, but who would have thought he would be the fastest Honda driver? He was fast at Barber last year with Rahal Letterman Lanigan until some mechanical error finished his day. Previous Rank 18.
No. 15 Graham Rahal: Has not shown any speed to date with his Dad’s team. Was slow in testing, slow at St. Pete and needs to get up to speed soon Previous Rank 10
No. 16 Marco Andretti: If any track owes Marco a win it’s Barber, and he was great at St. Pete, but I’m going to need to see some consistency from him before I think he’s for real. Previous Rank 20
No. 17 Tristian Vautier: Was impressive before a mechanical problem ended his day at St. Pete. There is every indication that he is the talented, fast driver we thought he was. Previous Rank 15
No. 18 Charlie Kimball: Was the fastest Ganassi car in qualifying at St. Pete, but only got a top 15 for his trouble. Previous Rank 18.
No. 19 E.J. Viso: Showed speed and consistency at St. Pete, and was in a three-way fight for fifth place on the final lap. Like Marco, I really need to see him show some consistency before I believe he’s for real this year. Previous Rank: None
No. 20: Joseph Newgarden: Newgarden once again showed some speed but wasn’t able to capitalize on it because of a mechanical issue. Previous Rank 19
Not Ranked: J.R. Hildebrand, Ed Carpenter (No ovals till May) Sebastien Saavedra, James Jake, Ana Beatriz, A.J. Allmendinger