IRR lets readers in on a sizable statistical secret.
A significant part of the reason we’ve been so successful in our IndyCar predictions the last few years is simple mathematics. Or – more precisely – damned statistics. It’s a pity we haven’t been putting the information to better use by wagering boatloads in Vegas.
“There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” – Benjamin Disraeli
No, we’re not a stats site as our readers well know. It being tax time, we’re particularly afraid of figures at present. Lord knows there’re enough purely statistical destinations out there and – other than this article – stats and humor go together about like NPR and Alabama Slammers. They’re just too damned different in their purposes.
Photo from timeout.com
This week’s special prediction for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is another Penske pavement party. The team’s won a majority of races going back years – not to mention poles, championships, et cetera – with defending champ Newgarden’s win at Phoenix merely serving as the most recent example. When it comes to pole, semi-retiree Helio started first in SoCal the last three races. By anyone’s calculation, the team’s peerless.
Pole sitter admittedly is a toughie as we discussed in the preview, but even with Helio out of the picture odds overwhelmingly point to one particular three car team. Statistically, you can’t go wrong with Penske especially on a street course, so it’ll probably be Power in P1. Off to a dreadful start as evidenced by his fourteenth place standing, Will’s due for one. As the numbers bear out, he’s awfully tough to beat in qualifying.
Photo from speedsport.com
First out of the race has to be Juncos Racing’s Rene Binder, who’s just plain awful – and that conclusion’s data driven. At his St. Pete debut the Austrian rookie spent more time on the wall than at speed, finishing ahead only of Jack “Off course” Harvey and Matt “Last place” Leist, both also likely candidates.
The biggest surprise of the entire GP will be fans’ realization that compared to oval track racing like we got a savory taste of at Phoenix, street course competition is lacking. Lacking speeds, passing, lead changes, danger and all the rest. Everything but the attendance and audience numbers, oddly enough.
Photo from indycar.com
Race winner’s as plain as the nose on your face, statistically speaking. While it’s true Hinchcliffe won last year, we all know “Team Canada” crucially lacks a vital element of the equation required to win in this series right now – luck. As you’ve probably surmised, there’ll be a Penske in victory lane yet again, damn it. Statistics dictate it.
Pagenaud won controversially in 2016 and gained the most positions last year to finish fifth. With the data and resources at his disposal – not to mention race control on his side – it’s highly likely he’ll win again. Pagenaud’s number one challenge this weekend will be fending off his equally analytically armed teammates. Viewers’ top task will be not nodding off.