If ever a year could demonstrate the quality of the IndyCar field, it was 2018. Shorn of downforce 'band-aids' in the new aerokit era, and welcoming an influx of new drivers and teams that led to a stronger grid, the series fulfilled Roger Penske's prediction that the cream would rise to the top.
Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon won his fifth IndyCar title and deservedly elevated himself into the realm of the series' legends, but the double-points finale belies the closeness of the title fight between Dixon, Alexander Rossi and Penske duo Will Power and Josef Newgarden.
The quartet won just three out of 17 races each, while the other five victories were split between four drivers, perfectly demonstrating the knife edge upon which IndyCar success was balanced. Picking the star performers, then, is no easy feat with such fine margins.