There would not have been a different champion if the NTT IndyCar Series had awarded double points in Sunday’s season finale at St. Petersburg, but there certainly would have been a lot of chewed-up fingernails in the Ganassi pit.
Even using double points for the last race, which IndyCar had done the past several years, Scott Dixon still would have captured his sixth championship for Chip Ganassi by finishing third.
But he would have only beaten Josef Newgarden by one point!
Trailing by 32 points heading into the Florida weekend, Newgarden did all he could –- storming from eighth to win his fourth race of 2020 –- yet the Penske driver still lost out on what would have been his third IndyCar title by 16 points. He accumulated 51 points (50 for winning and one for leading a lap) while Dixon, who also made a dramatic charge from 12th to third, collected 35 points.
With double points, Newgarden would have racked up 101 to Dixon’s 70.
In 14 races, both drivers scored four wins with Dixie taking three additional podiums and Newgarden getting two. The 29-year-old native of Tennessee also claimed three pole positions.
If there had been double points, two of the top 10 in points would have swapped places, with Pato O’Ward’s second-place leap-frogging him over Colton Herta into third in the season standings and teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alex Rossi swapping ninth and tenth.