A quarter of the way through the 2018 IndyCar season’s a terrific time to stop and assess who’s been exceeding expectations – by pointing out who hasn’t been. Besides, what else are you gonna do with yet another off putting three week gap in this joke of a schedule? Discover who’s about to get thrown under the Holmatro safety truck and – more importantly – who deserves to be.
Max “Paris” Chilton leads this ignominious group, part of the unimpressive new British outfit called Carlin Racing. Unable to make the cut with Ganassi during a couple of woeful seasons despite bringing money to the table, he’s doing no better this year. Chilton sits twentieth in points, last among drivers who’ve taken all four green flags.
Occupying nineteenth in the championship is Charlie “pinball” Kimball, who clearly isn’t “Tresiba rea-dy!” after all. Also with Carlin – whose team oddly enjoys a sterling reputation across the pond – Charlie was supposed to provide veteran IndyCar leadership the group so badly needs. He hasn’t, and blaming competitors for one’s problems isn’t a sign of growth.
Will “Sour Grapes” Power has been regularly out performed by his teammates – particularly Josef Newgarden – and is off to a dreadful start to the year. It’s true he ranks tenth in the standings, which is ahead of Pags by five spots, but only by fifteen points. The paddock’s greatest complainer has one top five along with two DNFs, including Barber. Plus, he hasn’t won a championship in four years and never sipped the milk. As you’ll no doubt fondly recall, at least Pags was crowned king for Penske in 2016.
Photo from indycar.com
The oldest driver in the field Tony Kanaan is also highly suspect. Whether wrecking by himself in qualifications at Barber or on the parade laps last year at Gateway, what AJ’s outfit was thinking when they hired him is beyond explanation. Last year’s Texas race fiasco was more than enough evidence for us, thank you very much.
Rookie Rene Binder’s shown little promise – beyond the checks his family writes – in his two outings for Juncos Racing. He trails teammate Kyle Kaiser who has the same number of starts, has finished merely half his races and been scary slow on track at times. IndyCar’s first Austrian in the modern era may not outlast the Alpine spring thaw.
Speaking of ride buying families, Marco Andretti’s is the third on our list. For reasons why we question his competence, see the last six seasons of futility – and all the B.S. fake news stories to the contrary.
Dishonorable Mention –
Scott Dixon, who’s been on a three year run of bad luck and poor showings with a mere three wins and as many poles over that span. That, or approaching age 38 he’s beginning to lose his mojo. Or perhaps he’s simply distracted . . .