In what’s being called one of the best championship battles in motorsport, no less than five drivers are in the running to clinch the 2003 IRL title at the Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.

In what’s being called one of the best championship battles in motorsport, no less than five drivers are in the running to clinch the 2003 IRL title at the Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.


Heading to the Chevy 500 this Sunday at the high-banked 1.5-mile Speed bowl, the standings are the closest they have ever been heading into the final race of the season, with Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves and Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon tied for the lead with 467 points. Andretti Green Racing's Tony Kanaan is third with 460, followed by two-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish at 448 and 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran at 437.


Castroneves controls his own destiny in the points chase. If he wins the Chevy 500, he wins the championship. He can finish as low as 21st and still win, depending on where the other four drivers finish.


Dixon also controls his own destiny in the points chase. If he wins on Sunday, he wins the championship. He can finish as low as 21st and still win, depending on where the other four drivers finish.


Kanaan, like Castroneves and Dixon, controls his own destiny. If he wins the Chevy 500, he wins the championship. But Kanaan can finish 14th and still win, depending on where the other four drivers finish.


For Hornish however, Sunday's race is not only a must-win but he also realistically needs to dominate the race. Even if Hornish wins the race and leads the most laps, earning the two bonus points to claim 52 total points, he still needs Castroneves and Dixon to finish no better than fourth in order to win the championship. Should that happen, even if Kanaan finished second, Hornish would win the championship.


If Hornish wins and does not earn the two bonus points for leading the most laps, Castroneves, Dixon and Kanaan must finish outside of the top three. Hornish can finish in seventh and lead the most laps and still win, depending on where the other four drivers finish.


De Ferran needs to win the Chevy 500 and needs a lot of help in order to win the IndyCar championship in his final season. If he wins the race, he needs Castroneves and Dixon to finish no better than 10th, Kanaan to finish no better than seventh and Hornish to finish no better than third. De Ferran can mathematically win if he finishes second, but should he finish third or worse, he will not win the championship.