First some apprecation of racing/motorsport history: I have enjoyed following auto racing, in all its expressions, since my youngest years. I don’t have a favorite track or driver…it’s all good. Over time I have given respect to those drivers that dominate over a period of years, and same respect due to tracks that stage the most competitive situations. This level of respect I apply to other sports as well. I root for the dynasties, the kings (and queens) of mountains, and the ability to stay on the mountain and defy all-comers before the next one eventually unseats him/her/it.
I was inspired by a group of stats in Wikipedia that list the most notable of tracks that stage the most prestigious races, along with championship series. Specifically pointing to the drivers that have won across different endurance races and racing series, I posit that these drivers are truly the best were/are the best in the world. Put them in any sort of race, and they (and crew) will do just what it takes.
Musing on this list a bit, 3 drivers immediately stand out as being the best ever: Andretti, Foyt, Hill. There was a period of time, 1967-1972, where all 3 were competing vs each other over a number of the racing series. I was curious to see just who won out…here are the results:
*Indy 500: in 1967, Foyt won, while Andretti and Hill retired very early onward. In 1968, Hill barely outraced Foyt, but neither were a factor, while Andretti was last. In 1969 and onward, Hill had focused on other racing series, while Andretti maintained a good advantage on Foyt for the most part.
*For the F1 championship: Hill dominated 1967-70, tho Andretti did get very competitive from then on. Foyt did not participate.
*Monaco GP: Within F1. Hill was toward the end of his historic dominance of this track, winning in ‘68 and ‘69. Andretti never successfully qualified for a race in the period, and Foyt never entered.
*24 Hours of Le Mans: Foyt won in ‘67 ahead of Andretti (24th).
*12 Hours of Sebring: Andretti shows his dominance, winning in 3 years. 1967: Andretti and Foyt finished 1-2.
*24 Hours of Daytona: Foyt and Andretti were DNF in 1967.
*Daytona 500: 1967 saw Andretti win, with Foyt out early, finishing 37th.
No conclusion to be drawn just yet from this study.
Meanwhile, there’s a compelling group of drivers that are active with fewer wins across racing series that certainly command attention, and a number of them are racing at Indy this year (noted by an asterisk):
Juan Pablo Montoya is probably the most accomplished of the list, but not running at Indy this year…instead is at NASCAR. He has twice won the 24 of Daytona, and already a winner at Indy and Monaco.
*Scott Dixon won 24 of Daytona in ‘06, and Indy in ‘08.
*Dario Franchitti won Indy in ‘07, then 24 of Daytona in ‘08
Buddy Rice won Indy in 2004, then 24 of Daytona last year. Buddy is not at Indy..he apparently is off the racing scene.
Jacques Villenueve won Indy back in 1995, and also won the F1 title in 1997. Still pursuing F1 driver opportunity, and intends to race the 24 of Le Mans until he wins it.
*Dan Wheldon won Indy in 2005, and 24 of Daytona in 2006.
Finally a look at who are best suited to win, based on biorhythms. Taking the stance that the best drivers are those who have positive cycles pointing upward or peaking….I focused on the drivers with the most number of cycles in this direction, subtracting those with negative cycles pointing down.
Here are the top drivers, best to worst:
Dario Franchitti is on a physical and emotional high, plus high marks in the ‘passion’ cycle, giving him the motivation and drive to finish the grueling 500 miles.
Ryan Briscoe is on an emotional high, and is in peak position for his passion and wisdom cycles, the latter measuring his ability to make crucial decisions:
Scott Dixon is on physical high plus highs in mastery (pure athletic potential) and passion.
Those are my top 3. Here are 2 others that should also do well:
Justin Wilson is positive emotionally and peaking in the passion cycle as well:
Mike Conway has positive cycles all around and at his best on the physical/passion levels:
One great handicapping note is that there are 9 starting positions that have never won the big race. #29, Sarah Fisher, and #33, Tony Kanaan, have the best chance of these.
Those that I predict will fall from grace and have some tough goings include this list:
Davey Hamilton, Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick, Will Power (starting at #2), Townsend Bell, and Alex Lloyd.