Photo Credit: Racing Nation (featured image), IndyCar (all other icons)
8. 2016 Honda Indy Toronto, Streets of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Race Winner: Will Power
In a race dominated by Scott Dixon, Will Power lucked out with a late caution having already made his final pit stop. Dixon as well as Simon Pagenaud were really messed up by this caution, as they still needed to pit. Having to pit meant that they would come out of the pits buried towards the middle of the field. This was the case, and it helped Power hold on to win the race even after a couple of late caution flag periods and restarts took place following this extremely fortunate sequence of events for him in the pits.
7. 2016 Dual in Detroit Race #1, Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Belle Isle, Michigan
Race Winner: Sebastien Bourdais
It looked like the Team Penske cars were the dominant cars during this race, as they ran in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for a decent amount of the early stages of the race. On the track, they were, but in the pits and in the strategy element of racing, that honor belonged to Sebastien Bourdais and his team. Bourdais did not pit while much of the field pitted so that he could wait to pit at the right time and not have to save fuel later on the race, allowing him to need less fuel on his final pit stop than the rest of the field, which would, in turn, allow him to come out of the pits ahead of everyone. This risky strategy paid off, and Bourdais ruined the day for Roger Penske’s drivers with a solid win.
6. 2016 Honda Indy 200, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio
Race Winner: Simon Pagenaud
Usually a win by Simon Pagenaud would just be a normal race. This one, however, was different. After picking wrong pit strategy early in the race, Pagenaud was buried in the middle of the field with teammate Will Power following the first round of pit stops. Mikhail Aleshin took a huge 10+ second lead over Pagenaud and Power, who had worked their way back up through the field, before a caution flag came out. Much of the field had to pit at once now, and Aleshin and Josef Newgarden got in an accident on pit road. This allowed Pagenaud and Power to get back to the front of the field, and they battled hard for the race win, bumping wheels around the track, before Pagenaud finally made the move to get around Power that sealed him the race victory.
5. 2016 Iowa Corn Indy 300, Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa
Race Winner: Josef Newgarden
There was a lot of competitive action in the race, despite Josef Newgarden being in a class of his own and nearly lapping the entire field over the course of the race. He ended up leading an IndyCar all-time record of 282 laps, and he did so in just his 2nd race back from a terrifying crash that left him in the hospital less than a month before at Texas Motor Speedway. This race solidified him as a true IndyCar “big name” driver, as well as a likely championship contender in the sport for years to come.