And then there were 5. That is the number of races that we have remaining in the 2021 IndyCar season, and we have a race that looks set to go down to the wire. There have been a couple of younger drivers who have emerged this season as potential champions, but they are going to need to hold off the veterans in the final few weeks if one of them is to go on and win this thing. That begins this weekend with the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). This is one of the biggest races on the Indy calendar, and it may go a long way towards deciding who will be champion at the end of the season. Let’s take a closer look at the current favorites along with their IndyCar odds.
2021 Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix | IndyCar Betting Analysis
Colton Herta (+500)
The 2020 season proved to be a breakthrough season for Herta, and while he did not come out on top at the end of the year, his 3rd place finish was outstanding. He has struggled this season after picking up a win in the second race of the year and currently finds himself down in 8th in the driver standings. In the 7 races since that win, he has only been on the podium once, which may make you wonder why he is among the favorites this weekend. The answer to that is simple and it is that in 3 races at IMS last season, he never finished worse than 4th.
Scott Dixon (+500)
The man who has won 4 titles since 2013 in once again in the hunt and sitting just off the pace in 2nd spot in the driver standings. After a bit of a wobbly patch earlier in the season, Dixon has righted the ship and has not been worse than 4th in each of his last 3 races. The points he picked up there have helped him creep a little closer to the lead. Given his track record, you would not be surprised to see him leap into the top spot over the final 5 races. He won 1 of the 3 races at IMS last season and needs to be viewed as a threat here.
Josef Newgarden (+500)
The chances of Newgarden running down the leader at this point seems pretty slim, but let’s not forget that this is a two-time champion, so it’s perhaps not best to count him out completely. He looked like he was back in business a couple of weeks ago with a win at Mid-Ohio, but he followed that up with a disappointing 10th place finish in Nashville in the last race. That inconsistency has been part of his issue this season, but maybe he can change that this weekend, as he did have a win at IMS last season.
Pato O’Ward (+750)
After 2 wins through the opening 8 races of the season, O’Ward has cooled off a little and slipped down to 3rd in the driver standings. If he finished that way, it would still be an improvement over last season, but he is at a stage now where he believes he should be winning more regularly. He had a pair of top 10 finishes at IMS last season, so not exactly the type of form that would suggest he can turn things around this weekend.