This is it — time to decide if the 2022 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey odds prove accurate, and we’ll be crowning Josef Newgarden his third championship. But it’s not as cut-and-dry — as Scott McLaughlin (9-2), Will Power (11-2), and Scott Dixon (11-1) are not far behind. Power leads the standings, possibly clinching the title with a first-place finish at the WeatherTech Raceway. But for Newgarden, it’s not that simple…
2022 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey Information
- Race: Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey
- Location: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey County, California
- Day/Time: Sunday, September 11, 3:00 p.m.
- Television: NBC/Peacock
Title-Clinching Scenarios for Top-Three Contenders
Power leads the driver’s IndyCar standings by 20 points (523) over Newgarden and Dixon (503 each). He can still win the championship even if Newgarden or Dixon finish first, so long as he finishes in the top four per the scoring system. The winning driver earns 50 points while the second gets 40 points, the third 35, the fourth 32, and the fifth 30.
Should Newgarden or Dixon win, they’ll hit 553 points. But if Power finishes in the top four, he’ll have enough points to beat Newgarden. In the event of a tie, Newgarden and Dixon will have the tiebreakers as they’ve won more races (five and two, respectively) than Power (one). It happened in 2015 when Dixon came from behind to edge Juan Pablo Montoya on a tiebreaker.
“I feel the pressure is definitely more when you have to win to win it,” Power said when asked about Dixon’s comments on the pressure being on Power being the season leader. “I’ve been in that situation a few times. I’m definitely in the best position in the field mathematically, and I understand that.”
Power can avoid this tiebreaker by earning extra points with a pole position (1 point), leading a race lap (1 point), and leading the most race laps (2 points). He’s had nine races with at least one point earned from having the fastest lap while he’s also earned four pole positions, the most for the season.
Either way, the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey odds have Team Penske coming out on top whether it’s Power, Newgarden, or McLaughlin.
Ericsson and McLaughlin Need Some Luck
McLaughlin sits fifth in the standings, just two points back of Chip Ganassi’s Marcus Ericsson. Those who bet on IndyCar race could make some moolah taking either to win the championship. But they will need a bit of “help” as the drivers ahead of them will need to finish with few enough points to give either the win.
A first-place finish for McLaughlin or Ericsson puts them at 532 and 534 points, respectively. To win the 2022 IndyCar Driver’s Championship, Power can’t gain more than 10 or 12 points so he’ll need to finish outside of the top 20. That’s a tough ask as Power has finished no worse than 19th and has been in the top 10 in all but three races this season.
The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey odds also significantly favor McLaughlin over Ericsson. The latter won the Indianapolis 500 but hasn’t finished in the top five in his last six races. He finished sixth at Laguna Seca last season. McLaughlin has some momentum as he won Portland last week and has finished on the podium in four of his last five races (he was fourth in the Gallagher Grand Prix).
Another Dramatic Conclusion at Laguna Seca
We could be in for another nail-biter finish at the Laguna Seca. This has been the site of many iconic moments like Mario Andretti’s final IndyCar race as well as “The Pass”. The course is famous for its downhill-plunging “Corkscrew” at Turns 8 and 8A. This is the scene where Alex Zanardi executed that legendary maneuver to pass Bryan Herta and win the race.
Everything is on the line for the top contenders here. Even the likes of Patricio “Pato” O’Ward and Colton Herta, who are out of the running to finish first, are gunning for first. For O’Ward, there is a lot of pride at stake as he should be the local favorite given the demographics of Salinas.
“He’s Mexican, he’s representing us and on top of that, he’s good at what he does,” Ricardo Perez, a local resident said in an interview. “He’s one of the top racers right now.”
Buckle up for the final race of the 2022 IndyCar Series.Follow us on Twitter