How the championship can be won

The battle for the IRL IndyCar Series reaches what promises to be a thrilling climax this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, with no fewer than five drivers in contention for the crown

How the championship can be won

Helio Castroneves (Penske) and Scott Dixon (Ganassi) are currently tied for the lead of the championship, although Tony Kanaan (Andretti Green) isn't far behind. Sam Hornish Jr (Panther) is a little further back in fourth, with Gil de Ferran (Penske) a title long-shot.

With the IRL's scoring system one of the most complicated outside of NASCAR, the possibilities of how the championship battle can end are many and varied, but we've worked out what each of the five needs to do to secure the crown. Pay attention now:

Castroneves and Dixon have a relatively simple goal - win the race and they win the title. One of the duo could clinch the crown by finishing as low as 21st in the race, but that would depend on how well (or more specifically, badly) their rivals do.

Tony Kanaan is also guaranteed the championship if he wins the race. The Brazilian can clinch the crown by finishing as low as 14th, again depending on the results of others.

A win in Texas would certainly help Hornish, but it still wouldn't guarantee him the crown. Even if the reigning champ took the victory and the two bonus points for leading the most laps, he needs Castroneves and Dixon to finish fourth or lower to clinch the title. Hornish can finish in seventh and win the title, but this would need a lot of luck.

For De Ferran to win the championship, the Brazilian needs to win the race and for Castroneves to finish no higher than ninth, Dixon to finish no higher then 10th, with Kanaan sixth or lower.

Of course, the big question is which of the five will emerge triumphant. Predictably, even the drivers themselves aren't making any guesses.

"There is no doubt in my mind that a couple of us are going to be in the top three," said Hornish, "and it just seems to really pan out into our favour, and I don't know what is going to happen. I'm just excited to see what happens."

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