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2017 Point Standings
After Sonoma
Rank Driver Points

1 Josef Newgarden 642
2 Simon Pagenaud 629
3 Scott Dixon 621
4 Helio Castroneves 598
5 Will Power 562
6 Graham Rahal 522
7 Alexander Rossi 494
8 Takuma Sato 441
9 Ryan Hunter-Reay 421
10 Tony Kanaan 403
11 Max Chilton 396
12 Marco Andretti 388
13 James Hinchcliffe 376
14 Ed Jones 354
15 JR Hildebrand 347
16 Carlos Munoz 328
17 Charlie Kimball 327
18 Conor Daly 305
19 Mikhail Aleshin 237
20 Spencer Pigot 218
21 Sebastien Bourdais 214
22 Ed Carpenter 169
23 Gabby Chaves 98
24 Juan Pablo Montoya 93
25 Esteban Gutierrez 91
26 Sebastian Saavedra 80
27 Oriol Servia 61
28 Jack Harvey 57
29 Fernando Alonso 47
30 Pippa Mann 32
31 Zachary Claman DeMelo 26
32 Jay Howard 24
33 Zach Veach 23
34 Sage Karam 23
35 James Davison 21
36 Tristan Vautier 15
37 Buddy Lazier 14

Rookie of Year Standings
1. Ed Jones 354
2. Esteban Gutierrez 91
3. Jack Harvey 57
4. Fernando Alonso 47
5. Zach Veach 23

Manufacturer Standings
1. Chevy 1489
2. Honda 1326

Heady times for first-year driver Jakes

IndyCar rookie ready for go at Indy 500
Monday, May 9, 2011

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James Jakes
The rising sun May 12 will elevate the temperature along with the anticipation of seven drivers seeking to compete in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time. James Jakes, a 23-year-old Orlando resident by way of Leeds, England, isn't immune.

He might have driven in GP3 and GP2 on some of the grandest stages in Europe, but the first-year IZOD IndyCar Series competitor says nothing else compares to the 500 Mile Race. Emerging from the Pagoda for driver introductions to be greeted by the brightly colored sea of spectators, the pageantry of the ceremonies and the solemnity of the playing of "Taps" - with the bonus of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway marking the 100th anniversary of the race - will be a special occasion in Jakes' blooming career.

"I want to call it a sporting event but it's a global event," says Jakes, who will participate in the Rookie Orientation Program on the 12th before joining all entrants May 14 for practice on the 2.5-mile oval. "Everybody knows what Indy is, and when people are talking about it it's bigger than a one-day sporting event.

"You obviously have a lot of people telling you how it's going to be, but I've tried to lay back and take it as it comes. I'm trying to stay calm about it, but I do get excited from time to time. It's going to be a spectacular time."

First comes the evaluation program, which consists of turning 10 consistent laps at four speed phases: 200-205 mph, 205-210, 210-215 and 215 or more. INDYCAR president of competition Brian Barnhart expects drivers to complete at least three phases during the 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. session.

"It isn't until you get fully involved with it that you realize the process," Jakes says. "Until a couple of months ago, I thought we'd have a few test days the week before and then we'd go race. It's a long process, and it's great because it gives rookies a chance to get up to speed and there is a lot of fine-tuning of the cars. I'm so excited to get going there."

The Dale Coyne Racing driver will have Alex Lloyd as an oval racing sounding board for the remainder of the season, just as he has worked with four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais on the four road/street courses. Bourdais will return to the team for the five non-ovals on the calendar starting in July. 

"I think you have to be open; I have nothing to base it on," Jakes adds. "There's so much information that you just have to take it all in and use it. Don't go in with any preconceived ideas or it could backfire. I've never driven on an oval so it's going to be difficult, and what a one to start on. That's one of the reasons why you just have to be open-minded and take it as it comes.

"There's a lot of running, which is good. Indy will give us that whole week to build up and it should be a great (qualifying) weekend. Before you get to the four laps of qualifying I think you'll have a good idea of where you are. It's full power all the way around, and it's not as if a driver carrying 10 more miles an hour is going to happen. You're going to know on the Thursday or Friday where you're at, and if it's looking good you should be able to qualify. If it's not, then you just have to try to find something in the car, in yourself or the lines."

Jakes' No. 18 car has been running at the finish in three of the events - with a high placing of 15th in all three - and has advanced an average of eight positions in each.

"We've been quick in the races, but we're just taking too long to get up to speed in qualifying," he says. "What I've seen is what separates (the IZOD IndyCar Series) from a lot of other series is that even if you're at the back of the field you can race through and get a good result. We got up to second at St. Pete. We were quick. I made too many mistakes or we could have had a good result.

"Indy is a long race. You just have to be patient, have a good strategy and anything can happen."

Jakes was a late addition to the Coyne car, getting in two days of testing at Barber Motorsports Park preceding the season opener a week later on the temporary St. Petersburg street course that included the debut of the double-file start/restarts. Two months later, he's convinced heading across the pond was the correct career decision.

"The exposure that IndyCar offers in the series, the TV is great," Jakes says. "For me, it was the right decision with the new car coming next year. Having to learn the tracks and then developing the car next year would have been doubly hard. Get the tracks out of the way this year. OK, there might be some additions, but you'll have driven on an oval so it was important to learn the tracks this year and there should be some good results out there for us."

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