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2014 Standings
After Long Beach
Pos. Driver Points

1 Will Power 93
2 Mike Conway 66
3 Simon Pagenaud 60
4 Helio Castroneves 55
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay 54
6 Scott Dixon 51
7 Carlos Munoz 48
8 Juan Pablo Montoya 47
9 Mikhail Aleshin 46
10 Sebastian Saavedra 42
11 Tony Kanaan 40
12 Justin Wilson 38
13 Takuma Sato 36
14 Josef Newgarden 34
15 Ryan Briscoe 33
16 Sebastien Bourdais 33
17 Graham Rahal 33
18 Marco Andretti 32
19 Carlos Huertas 32
20 Oriol Servia 26
21 Jack Hawksworth 24
22 James Hinchcliffe 20
23 Charlie Kimball 17

Wins
T1 Will Power 1
T1 Mike Conway 1

Podium Finishes
1 Will Power 2
T2 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1
T2 Helio Castroneves 1
T2 Mike Conway 1
T2 Carlos Munoz 1

Lap Leaders:
1 Will Power 74
2 Ryan Hunter-Reay 51
3 Takuma Sato 33
4 Scott Dixon 22
5 Mike Conway 4
6 Sebastian Saavedra 3
7 Helio Castroneves 2
8 Josef Newgarden 1


Prize Money
1 Will Power $50,000
T2 Mike Conway $30,000
T2 Ryan Hunter-Reay $30,000
4 Simon Pagenaud $18,000
5 Takuma Sato $17,000
T6 Helio Castroneves $15,000
T6 Carlos Munoz $15,000
T8 Juan Pablo Montoya $10,000
T8 Scott Dixon $10,000
T10 Mikhail Aleshin $8,000
T10 Tony Kanaan $8,000
12 Oriol Servia $7,000
T13 Justin Wilson $5,000
T13 Marco Andretti $5,000
T15 Sebastian Saavedra $4,000
T15 Josef Newgarden $4,000
T17 Ryan Briscoe $2,000
T17 Carlos Huertas $2,000

Entrant Points
Pos. # Entrant Points
1 12 Team Penske 93
2 20 Ed Carpenter Racing 66
3 77 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 60
4 3 Team Penske 55
5 28 Andretti Autosport 54
6 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 51
7 34 Andretti Autosport – HVM Racing 48
8 2 Team Penske 47
9 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 46
10 17 KV AFS Racing 42
11 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 40
12 19 Dale Coyne Racing 38
13 14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises 36
14 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 34
15 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing 33
16 11 KVSH Racing 33
17 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 33
18 25 Andretti Autosport 32
19 18 Dale Coyne Racing 32
20 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 26
21 98 BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian 24
22 27 Andretti Autosport 20
23 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing 17

Finishing Average
1 Will Power 1.5
2 Simon Pagenaud 5
T3 Helio Castroneves 7
T3 Oriol Servia 7
5 Scott Dixon 8
6 Mike Conway 8.5
7 Mikhail Aleshin 9
8 Juan Pablo Montoya 9.5
T9 Sebastian Saavedra 10
T9 Carlos Munoz 10
11 Ryan Hunter-Reay 11
T12 Tony Kanaan 12
T12 Justin Wilson 12
T14 Ryan Briscoe 13.5
T14 Sebastien Bourdais 13.5
T14 Graham Rahal 13.5
T17 Josef Newgarden 14
T17 Carlos Huertas 14
19 Takuma Sato 14.5
20 Marco Andretti 15
21 Jack Hawksworth 18
22 James Hinchcliffe 20
23 Charlie Kimball 21.5

Pole Positions
T1 Takuma Sato 1
T1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1

Appearances in the Firestone Fast Six
1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 2
T2 Scott Dixon 1
T2 Tony Kanaan 1
T2 Sebastien Bourdais 1
T2 Will Power 1
T2 Takuma Sato 1
T2 Marco Andretti 1
T2 James Hinchcliffe 1
T2 Josef Newgarden 1
T2 Simon Pagenaud 1
T2 Jack Hawksworth 1

Qualifying Average
1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 2
2 Scott Dixon 6
3 Jack Hawksworth 6.5
4 Marco Andretti 7
5 Tony Kanaan 7.5
T6 Takuma Sato 8
T6 Sebastien Bourdais 8
T8 Will Power 9
T8 Carlos Munoz 9
10 Helio Castroneves 9.5
11 Simon Pagenaud 10
12 James Hinchcliffe 10.5
13 Oriol Servia 12
T14 Josef Newgarden 13
T14 Justin Wilson 13
16 Ryan Briscoe 13.5
17 Mike Conway 14.5
18 Sebastian Saavedra 16.5
19 Juan Pablo Montoya 17
20 Mikhail Aleshin 17.5
21 Carlos Huertas 19
22 Charlie Kimball 19.5
23 Graham Rahal 22
Dixon leads Ganassi 1-2 at Mid-Ohio

by Tim Wohlford
Sunday, August 07, 2011

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(L to R) Dario Franchitti (2nd), Scott Dixon (1st) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (3rd)
Mark Scheuern/AR1.com
Scott Dixon took command of the 2011 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio with a restart on lap 60, pulling away from Dario Franchitti and Ryan Hunter-Reay.  Due to bad luck in pit strategy, Will Power finished 15th, putting severe damage on his championship hopes.

Takuma Sato and Tony Kanaan rounded out the top-5.

The skies cleared this morning, the crowd filled the stands, a clean race was run, and then the storm clouds and lightning rolled in again. Somewhere, God must’ve wanted an IndyCar show today.

The start of the race seemed to be the best time of the day to pass. Will Power made contact with Dario Franchitti, Helio picked up 3 spots and Marco picked up four.  However, drivers in both IndyCar and ALMS (ALMS ran the day before) commented on the chronic lack of grip on the track.  In the post-race interview, all three podium drivers commented that the tires were very loose when cold, and took at least 5 laps to come up to temperature.  All three said that the cars in this race were more sideways on cold tires than any other dry race they could remember.

James Hinchcliffe had by far the most adventurous day.  On the first lap he was crowded into the grass by Alex Tagliani in turn 6, who himself was avoiding traffic.  No penalty was give to Tagliani, who was already on probation, and Hinchcliffe continued on at the back of the field.  Hinchcliffe pitted for black tires on lap 20, just in time for the yellow flag to come out as Sebastian Saavedra spun out in the “Keyhole” turn 2.  Saavedra had been battling Danica for position, and it wouldn’t be the last time Danica would see a competitor off into the Keyhole weeds.

Saavedra’s day was done, but Hinchcliffe’s just got interesting, because after all of the pit stops he went from last place to second place, just behind a non-pitting Danica.  Within a few yards of the restart Hinchcliffe was in the lead, followed by Scott Dixon. 

During that restart, EJ Viso and JR Hildebrand touched, collecting Helio Castroneves in the process.  All continued on, but all three suffered for the rest of the day.  EJ finished 15th, Helio finished 19th, and JR ended up 25th, the last car running.

However, back at the front, Hinchcliffe was having fun leading the race, the first time in his IndyCar career, and the first time for a long time for the Newman-Haas team.  Dixon, not seriously challenged for second place by his team mate Dario Franchitti, settled in on a fuel run in second, and that’s how things went for a lot of laps – from lap 26 until lap 53, when Hinchcliffe finally pitted.  The Ganassi cars of Dixon and Franchitti stayed out, and when Dixon did pit on lap 55 he came out in front of Hinchcliffe, both following Dario Franchitti.

On lap 56, Danica tangled again in the Keyhole (turn 2), this time with local hero Graham Rahal.  Rahal ended up stalled in the kitty litter, fell 2 laps down, and finished 24th.  Danica ended up with a serious NASCAR-style donut on the side of her car and finished 21st. 

Even worse, this little incident probably ended Will Power’s chances at being IndyCar champion.  Neither he nor Briscoe had pitted when the yellow came out, and when they went from being 1-2 to 19th and 18th respectively.  Will Power ended up 14th, Ryan Briscoe 16th, and Helio Castroneves 19th, in a very disappointing showing for Team Penske.

When the green flew again on lap 61, Dario Franchitti led for a few corners, but Scott Dixon passed him in turn 4.  Former leader James Hinchcliffe then managed to do the impossible – spin out in the Keyhole, land in the gravel, but doing a donut kept going and rejoined the race.  Hinchcliffe finished 20th, not at all what he could’ve finished.

After that point it was all Scott Dixon.  Dixon was the fastest in practice, sat on the pole, and when he got the chance, pulled out to a sizable lead in the race. Dixon “Had they not been teammates, it would’ve been a difficult pass” remarked a Ganassi team member after the race. 

“Let’s be honest, Scott had one of those days," Franchitti said. "He was on a different course today and deserved to win it. From the time we came here for the test (July 28) he’s been on a mission. Great job by the Target boys going 1-2. Good points day for us despite Will’s best efforts at the start to spin me around. We managed to get out of that and I think it was a great job in a tough race.”

************

Today was Martin Plowman’s first run in an IndyCar race.  Running for Sam Schmidt, he kept the car out of trouble, and finished a respectable 18th, ahead of Helio. 

**********

Discussion in the paddock area raises some questions about Alex Tagliani’s future at Sam Schmidt.  He hasn't shown the results that most had hoped for (although today he ran 6th), usually because he's been involved in some incident.  Certainly the large numbers of people who are rumored to be running for Sam Schmidt next year can't be comforting.

***********

Justin Wilson was transported via helicopter to Methodist Hospital this morning, where he will be under the care of long-time IndyCar bone man Dr. Terry Trammel.  Strangely, his car went off track during the race in the same spot (with Simon Pagenaud driving it), but it seems like the track officials had smoothed off that area and Pagenaud was able to continue.  Pagenaud finished a very strong 13th, and no doubt he should be part of the silly season rumors for a prime driver's seat next season.

*************

Don't get me wrong -- Mid-Ohio is a great place to race, and to watch a race.  But it's no secret that the new owners are looking to do improvements, and lots are needed.  From bathroom facilities to pit road enhancements (lengthen the pit boxes), there is lots to do.    But this is still a great place to watch a race, and hopefully Kim Green and Kevin Savoree can take up where Jim Trueman left off.

Franchitti leads Power by 62 points heading into the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at the 1-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Four of the final six races are at tracks new to the series this season.

The next IZOD IndyCar Series event is the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225  on Aug. 14 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The race will be televised live at 3:30 p.m. (ET) by ABC and broadcast by the IMS Radio Network. The next Firestone Indy Lights race is New Hampshire 100 on Aug. 14 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. VERSUS' coverage of the Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres will air at 4 p.m. on Aug. 17.

POST-RACE QUOTES:

DARIO FRANCHITTI (No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished second): "Let's be honest, Scott had one of those days. He was on a different course today and deserved to win it. From the time we came here for the test (July 28) he's been on a mission. Great job by the Target boys going 1-2. Good points day for us despite Will's best efforts at the start to spin me around. We managed to get out of that and I think it was a great job in a tough race."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY ( No. 28 Team DHL/Circle K/Sun Drop Soda, finished third): "I didn't have any drink bottle and that's tough because it was a physical race and you don't realize how much you rely on that thing. It was physical race but a lot of fun. Dario (Franchitti) was just fast in the right spots coming out of the tight corners."

TAKUMA SATO (No. 5 KV Racing Technology - Lotus, finished fourth): "I am very pleased with today's result.  It has been a tough weekend and considering the circumstances we achieved the best result possible.  The warm-up this morning was not particularly easy for me, but we came back in the race.  We got a very solid job from the engineering staff and a great performance by the crew during pit stops.  I was patient all through the race and saved my resources until I needed them.  I made some positions up on the last restart, which was exciting and the key the result.  In the end, to be able to challenge the top-three and finish in fourth hopefully will give us some momentum."

ALEX TAGLIANI (No. 77 Bowers & Wilkins/Sam Schmidt Motorsports, finished sixth): "We had a good start and picked up a spot. The team did a great job with good pit stops. Everybody worked really well over the weekend. It's a decent result. We had a good balanced car, but just not enough grip. I was really pushing hard all weekend long to try and get lap times out of it. On the last restart, I got caught on the inside and I didn't want to risk it. Sato and TK went three deep. I kept the car clean and its good sixth-place points. It was hard work just to keep the car at its limits without making any mistakes. Good fitness and good training is always good for tracks like this, but I feel good. Overall, it was a fair weekend for the Bowers & Wilkins team." 

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 26 Team Venom Energy, finished seventh): "Not a bad day overall. We're still struggling for grip with the car, but we came into today read to fight and that's what we did.  The guys did well in the pits and we gained where we could on the track. We salvaged what we could and were able to gain 12 positions for the Venom car."

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 2 Telemundo Newman/Haas Racing, finished eighth): "It was a weekend where I didn't have the pace that I thought I was going to. It's usually a place where I have always been quick and we had a good test but I couldn't put it together in qualifying. Starting 20th really makes it hard to pull off any miracles. Finishing eighth is not too bad but it's not really what we came here to do. I guess we salvaged the situation; it could have been worse. Back to the ovals now and we were very strong at the last two so I am looking forward to it."

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing): "It was helluva effort by Team Target; they didn't put a foot wrong. The car was superb this weekend. Sorry to make it so boring toward the end of the race, but I didn't mind (winning by more than 6 seconds). On the (Lap 61) restart I was going to try to get beside him, but I got a bit of a jump and I out-braked him going into Turn 4. It was a bit touch and go but he's a true professional and gave me plenty of room."

VITOR MEIRA (No. 14 ABC Supply Co./A.J. Foyt Racing, finished 10th): "As competitive as it is we'll accept a top 10 under any conditions, especially coming from 21st. Our only good session was the one that counted - the race. No matter how bad we start, our ABC Supply team never gives up. The team gave me a good car and good pit stops. Another top 10 on a road course - we'll take it!"

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 06 Sprott Newman/Haas Racing): "We started from our best road course starting spot and on the first lap Tag (Tagliani) decided I didn't deserve enough race track to stay on the race track and I got pushed off in Turn 5 so we fell right to the back. I thought I may have bent something on the car so we sat around the back (of the field) for a bit. We decided to take the early pit window and go for the lucky yellow and it worked out just perfectly. We got around Danica on that restart and managed to keep Scott and Dario at bay while making the fuel mileage that we needed because obviously we were stretching it a little bit. We came in for our second stop and it looked like we were going to cycle out about third and then that caution came out and that's what really threw us for a loop because we opted for the black tires that last stint because I had run so well on them in the middle stint but we knew from warm-up that they took a little longer to come up to temperature. When it came up to that restart I got passed by a couple of the KV cars and was going into the keyhole trying to keep TK (Kanaan) behind me and made a rookie mistake. It's one of the tough things about being a rookie is that when you make those mistakes it's usually very public. And after the day we had its unfortunate because the guys did such a good job. The car was obviously phenomenal. I can deal with failures, I can deal with being taken out but my own personal mistakes are the toughest thing to deal with."

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Levemir and NovoLog FlexPen): "It was a great day for the No. 83 Levemir and NovoLog FlexPen car. We were quick all day and running inside of the top-10, where we qualified, all day. It was nice to be up front. I pressured Tony Kanaan into a mistake for fifth. Not many people do that. I just went into the next corner pushing to get a gap but dropped a wheel, spun and ended up 11th .  I'm really proud of the whole effort from the Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing crew this weekend."

RYAN BRISCOE (No. 6 Penske Truck Rental): "We were just really unlucky today. In the first stint the Penske Truck Rental car was able to stay with (Scott) Dixon, we were saving fuel and we were pretty comfortable. We had trouble with a tire change on our first pit stop, which hurt us, but we were still in good shape. We did a good job saving fuel - I think Will and I were able to go farther than everyone else - but we just got caught out by the yellow flag. In the end, that's what really hurt us. It's just really frustrating. We had a great car today - a winning car - but we just caught a tough break."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 38 Service Central): "It was a tough day for the Service Central team. The No. 38 Service Central car was really good during the first stint. I really felt like we were going to have a good day; it was shaping up really well. We came into the pits, had a good stop, then when I went to exit the pit box James Jakes was coming in and we hesitated. The team waved me and then stopped me so Jakes and I wouldn't make contact and when I tried to stop the car, I stalled it. That put us way back. I went out to run the next stint and passed a couple of cars, but couldn't make much headway on the blacks. Luckily, we were able to save fuel but we were on a longer run. I came in for my second pit stop for reds. Then, I went up into the keyhole and jumped ahead of Sebastien Bourdais and Danica Patrick, which I don't know where they were but certainly four or five positions ahead of me. We were looking to make up that kind of time. Bourdais slipped underneath of me, but that wasn't a surprise due to the fact that he was on warm tires. I filed in behind him and I think Danica tried to fill a hole that wasn't there and I spun. It's a shame because I thought the Service Central team had a great run going and were able to move up in the end."

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Penske Truck Rental): "I'm just very frustrated. We worked hard all weekend and we finally got the Penske Truck Rental No. 3 car where we wanted it. But, the double-file restarts hurt me again. I try to stay away from trouble but somehow trouble seems to find me. Somebody touched the No. 4 car (J.R. Hildebrand) and he lost control and hit me and we needed to come in and change our front wing. That really did us in for the race. I feel really bad for my guys. To work so hard and finish 19th is really tough."

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske): "Today was tough. The Verizon car was fast even while I was saving fuel. We were making great fuel mileage and we were going to go a lap or two longer than the leaders on the second stop, which would have put us in great position to challenge for the race lead in the last stint. Basically, today we suffered for doing  a great job of driving a smart race. I have to thank the Verizon crew, they gave me great pit stops today we just got caught out by that last yellow flag."

E.J. VISO (No. 59 PDVSA - KV Racing Technology - Lotus: "Unfortunately the contact with JR Hildebrand messed up my result today. I was running in a good position behind Sato, when suddenly J.R. who was a few positions behind, came in  from the outside causing me to lose positions as I braked hard to avoid contact with him.  We had a pretty good start and I was following Takuma through my first stint and things were looking good until then.  I was able to gain some places back but the last 20 laps were very tricky because I had to save a lot of fuel.  This is not something we deserve after such a good weekend.  We put so much effort in and it paid off for the team with Takuma's fourth and Tony's fifth place finish."

DANICA PATRICK (No. 7 Team GoDaddy.com): "It was a tough day for the GoDaddy.com car. A couple of the yellows didn't work in our favor, and we just didn't quite have the speed to make up lost opportunities. It's so difficult to pass on this track, and you need that speed from the start. The guys did a good job in the pits, so I wish we were able to pull off a stronger finish."

MARTIN PLOWMAN (No. 17 Snowball Express/AFS/Sam Schmidt Motorsports): "I met all my goals except for getting a top-10 finish. After what happened today, I mean I absolutely can't be disappointed. I can only be proud of myself and the team. That first stint was pretty solid. We passed three or four cars right away until I was about to pass Saavedra, then he went off. He brought out a full-course yellow. I came in for the pit stop. I had an electrical problem, and I couldn't get first gear. So I had to sit there until they went in to emergency mode. So, then we went all the way to the back again and I had to start all over again. It took me a while to get pass Ed. He was on Red tires and I was on Blacks. Once I got past him, we started picking away again. Then we got past two more cars, I think Jakes again for sure. Then we came in for the last stop and got back on the Reds. I got past Viso, and then the rest of the race was all about saving fuel.  I was hanging on to Briscoe and Power and trying to keep Castroneves behind me. Here I was in my first IndyCar race and I'm behind two Penskes and hanging with them, and keeping another Penske behind me, and still saving fuel. It was good to know that I could do that in my first race without giving 100 percent. That gives me a lot of confidence for the next race. "

Results

Pos

Car Driver Diff. Gap Best Lap Start Comment
1 9 Scott Dixon 0.0000 0.0000 1:09.1271 1 Running
2 19 Dario Franchitti 7.6508 7.6508 1:09.5674 3 Running
3 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay 9.0784 1.4276 1:09.6707 5 Running
4 5 Takuma Sato 12.3062 3.2278 1:09.6611 9 Running
5 82 Tony Kanaan 19.9748 7.6686 1:10.2227 16 Running
6 77 Alex Tagliani 20.6267 0.6519 1:10.1199 8 Running
7 26 Marco Andretti 20.9094 0.2827 1:10.1805 19 Running
8 2 Oriol Servia 23.0252 2.1158 1:10.0524 20 Running
9 19 Sebastien Bourdais 23.6411 0.6159 1:09.9415 11 Running
10 14 Vitor Meira 26.2582 2.6171 1:10.1514 21 Running
11 83 Charlie Kimball 27.4550 1.1968 1:09.6998 10
12 78 Simona de Silvestro 29.0438 1.5888 1:10.0816 14 Running
13 22 Simon Pagenaud 29.7880 0.7442 1:09.9332 18 Running
14 12 Will Power 42.5675 12.7795 1:09.2376 4 Running
15 59 EJ Viso 45.3255 2.7580 1:10.2770 12 Running
16 6 Ryan Briscoe 45.7141 0.3886 1:09.5698 2 Running
17 24 Ana Beatriz 47.0943 1.3802 1:10.7254 25 Running
18 17 Martin Plowman 48.3700 1.2757 1:10.3911 26 Running
19 3 Helio Castroneves 48.8679 0.4979 1:10.2975 15 Running
20 06 James Hinchcliffe 49.4093 0.5414 1:09.7784 7 Running
21 7 Danica Patrick 59.9851 10.5758 1:10.4478 23 Running
22 67 Ed Carpenter 69.2913 9.3062 1:10.8268 27 Running
23 18 James Jakes 69.5303 0.2390 1:10.3859 24 Running
24 Graham Rahal 2 LAPS 2 LAPS 1:09.7219 6 Running
25 4 JR Hildebrand 4 LAPS 2 LAPS 1:09.7994 13 Running
26 27 Mike Conway 22 LAPS 17 LAPS 1:09.8897 17 Mechanical
27 34 Sebastian Saavedra 65 LAPS 43 LAPS 1:11.1876 22 Contact

Race Statistics
Winners average speed: 105.861 mph
Time of Race: 01:48:46.9509
Margin of victory: 7.6508
Cautions: 2 cautions for 8 laps
Lead changes: 7 among 5 drivers

Lap Leaders: Dixon 1 - 23, Patrick 24 - 26, Hinchcliffe 27 - 52, Dixon 53 - 54
Franchitti 55 - 56, Power 57 - 58, Franchitti 59 -60, Dixon 61 - 85

Point Standings: Franchitti 428, Power 366, Dixon 335, Kanaan 283, Servia 268, Andretti 258, Briscoe 253, Rahal 230, Castroneves 224, Hildebrand 222.

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