Images via Joe Skibinski/IndyCar (1); NHRA (2)
Who impressed you the most in the past week of racing? Each week, Jim Beaver shares his latest power rankings on the Down and Dirty Show Powered By Polaris RZR and highlights the top performances in worldwide action motorsport. Here’s a look at Jim’s rankings from the show this week, as well as Down and Dirty Show columnist/media manager Chris Leone’s rankings.
Jim Beaver’s Power Rankings
1. Roger Penske: Last week he made my list for earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This week, he earned it for buying the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar itself. Not a bad month for the Captain!
2. Kevin Harvick: Hello Homestead! Harvick clinched his spot in NASCAR’s Championship 4 with a win in Texas, and gets to go to Phoenix—one of his best tracks—without a do-or-die scenario.
3. Erica Enders: Enders seems like a lock for her third career NHRA Pro Stock title after winning twice in the Countdown. Her Las Vegas win was also the 150th for a woman in NHRA history.
4. Valtteri Bottas: He didn’t extend his championship battle with Lewis Hamilton for another race, but Bottas clinched the best season of his F1 career when he won at Circuit of the Americas on Sunday.
5. Brittany Force: Just moments after Erica Enders earned win number 150 for a woman on the NHRA circuit, Force made it 151 by taking down rival Steve Torrence in Las Vegas. Pomona will be a showdown!
Chris Leone’s Power Rankings
1. Roger Penske: Technically, Penske’s purchase of IndyCar and IMS got announced on Monday, but that means it probably got done last week. I’d say that counts.
2. Erica Enders: This NHRA Countdown has been as unpredictable as it gets. Honestly, Enders has been the closest to a dominant driver that we’ve seen in any class with multiple Pro Stock wins.
3. Matt Hagan: Back-to-back victories in the last two rounds have Hagan back in the championship hunt going to Pomona. Does he have what it takes to catch Robert Hight later this month?
4. Kevin Harvick: Spot number four for Driver #4. Happy Harvick has to be just that now that he knows his title berth is already in hand. Winless until July, he’s now won four times in the past 15 races.
5. Lewis Hamilton: I don’t know why I’m so excited about having an F1 champion clinch on American soil, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a special moment—no matter how much of a given it was.