Wednesday, October 10, 2012

IndyCar Fans Didn't See That Coming

Back before the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season began, I did a survey that asked fans to make their predictions on how the season would unfold. Now, I didn't want to pick at fresh wounds right after this season ended, but man, we did a really mixed job of predicting how things would pan out. Bear in mind, this survey garnered over 400 individual responses.

It's ok, though: unpredictability in which teams will win is a welcome feature in a racing series. Let's see how some key questions turned out:

1) How many different teams will win during the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season?
59% 3-4
40% 5-6
1% 2

This one was close, but with Penske, Target Chip Ganassi, Dale Coyne Racing, Andretti Autosport, and Ed Carpenter Racing grabbing wins, the 40% that said 5-6 different teams winning was the correct answer. 0-for-1, guys.

2) Which engine manufacturer will win the most races in the IZOD IndyCar Series this year?
69% Chevy
29% Honda
2% Lotus

OK, so this response tells us two things: a) We did a fine job as a fan base discerning Chevy would have the upper hand this year, and b) two percent of the fan base were wildly optimistic, or living in an alternate reality.

Moving on:

3) Will Lotus win a race in the IZOD IndyCar Series this year?
54% No
33% Yes
13% I Don't Know

One third? Did we really think that? Were we ever that optimistic about Lotus? Were we ever so young and naive? Seems a lifetime ago, doesn't it?
(Courtesy IndyCar Media)

4) Which of these drivers will finish higher in the final points standings for the 2012 season?
68.7% Tony Kanaan
32.3% Rubens Barrichello

Good call there.

5) How will E.J. Viso do this year?
45% He Should Be Slightly Better Than Last Year
35% He Should Perform About The Same As Last Year
14% He Should Be Much Better Than Last Year
6% He Will Regress, And Perform Worse Than Last Year

This one was also a pretty good call. Depending on your viewpoint, either 45% or 35% got this one right.

6) Who will be the Sunoco Rookie of the Year?
59% Simon Pagenaud
37% Josef Newgarden
4% Katherine Legge

Hey, we're on a roll! Let's see if we could keep it going:

7) Which driver will win the Indianapolis 500?
21% Tony Kanaan
12% Scott Dixon
12% Dario Franchitti
9% Marco Andretti
9% Helio Castroneves
9% Will Power

...well, the heart wants what it wants. I can't fault anyone for a sentimental pick (especially since I made the same one). TK gave it a good go, as always. It's about to get worse, though:

TK at Indy: A popular pick...every year, probably.
(Courtesy Indianapolis Motor Speedway)
8) Which driver will win the the A.J. Foyt Oval Trophy?
31% Scott Dixon
27% Dario Franchitti
11% Helio Castroneves
8% Ed Carpenter
7% Tony Kanaan
4% Ryan Briscoe

The correct answer, Ryan Hunter-Reay, polled less than a single percentage point in the original survey.

9) Which driver will win the Mario Andretti Road/Street Trophy? 
56% Will Power
17% Rubens Barrichello
6% Dario Franchitti
5% Scott Dixon
4% Mike Conway
3% Ryan Hunter-Reay

That was a gimme. Now, for the big question...

10) Which driver will be 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series Champion?
43% Will Power
17% Scott Dixon
12% Dario Franchitti
7% Tony Kanaan
7% Helio Castroneves
4% Rubens Barrichello

When all was said and done, Ryan Hunter-Reay, our 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series champ, polled right at 1%.

Oof. Well, I was going to make a prediction on who would make the jump up the ladder next year, given this  week's Chris Griffis Mazda Road to Indy test, but I think I'll just wait and see.


  1. Actually, the fans got it pretty right for the Indy 500 questions.

    The top 3 guys in the poll finished 3rd, 2nd and 1st. And the 4th guy in the poll - Marco - led the most laps.

    No one saw Sato coming, though!

    1. That much is true, for certain--Sato was a big surprise.