Can 2020 Produce More Close Racing? A Look At The Past Stats

The NTT IndyCar Series certainly had close racing in the recently completed 17-race season last year, and the proof is in the finishes.

On six occasions in 2019, the race winner’s margin was less than one second, the most for a season over the past five years. Thirteen of the 15 races that finished under green – or 86.6 percent of the time – the winning margin was less than three seconds, again the most over a five-year span. Two tracks – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway – also established Indy car records for closest margin of victory this season. Scott Dixon nipped Chip Ganassi Racing rookie teammate Felix Rosenqvist by 0.0934 of a second at Mid-Ohio while Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato edged  Ed Carpenter of Ed Carpenter Racing by 0.0399 of a second at WWT Raceway.

By comparison, in 2018, there was only one finish of less than a second: Sato’s 0.6084-second victory over Ryan Hunter-Reay at Portland International Raceway. Also, there were only six finishes where the winning margin was less than three seconds.

Races that end under caution do not have an established margin of victory. That means this year’s races at Toronto and Pocono were not factored in.

Margin of victory less than 1 second:

2019: 6

2018: 1

2017: 5

2016: 4

2015: 3

Margin of victory less than 3 seconds:

2019: 13

2018: 6

2017: 10

2016: 8

2015: 9

With similar tracks in 2020 (Richmond over Pocono only change) and a third year with this car, will the AeroScreen change the racing much or will we be treated to another thrilling finish for all 17 races run?

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