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2014 Standings
After Pocono
Driver Standings

1 Will Power 446
2 Helio Castroneves 446
3 Simon Pagenaud 402
4 Juan Pablo Montoya 391
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay 388
6 Carlos Munoz (R) 340
7 Marco Andretti 325
8 Scott Dixon 297
9 Ryan Briscoe 285
10 Sebastien Bourdais 271
11 Tony Kanaan 267
12 James Hinchcliffe 266
13 Mikhail Aleshin 263
14 Justin Wilson 253
15 Charlie Kimball 239
16 Jack Hawksworth 227
17 Carlos Huertas (R) 224
18 Josef Newgarden 220
19 Graham Rahal 202
20 Sebastian Saavedra 196
21 Takuma Sato 189
22 Mike Conway 152
23 Ed Carpenter 138
24 Oriol Servia 88
25 Kurt Busch (R) 80
26 JR Hildebrand 66
27 Sage Karam (R) 57
28 James Davison (R) 34
29 Jacques Villeneuve 29
30 Alex Tagliani 28
31 Luca Filippi 24
32 Townsend Bell 22
33 Pippa Mann 21
34 Martin Plowman (R) 18
35 Buddy Lazier 11
36 Franck Montagny 8

Rookie of the Year
1 Carlos Munoz 340
2 Mikhail Aleshin 263
3 Jack Hawksworth 217
4 Carlos Huertas 204
5 Kurt Busch 80
6 Sage Karam 57
7 James Davison 34
8 Martin Plowman 18

Wins
T1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 2
T1 Will Power 2
T1 Simon Pagenaud 2
T4 Mike Conway 1
T4 Helio Castroneves 1
T4 Carlos Huertas 1
T4 Ed Carpenter 1
T4 Juan Pablo Montoya 1

Podium Finishes
T1 Will Power 5
T1 Helio Castroneves 5
2 Ryan Hunter-Reay 4
T3 Carlos Munoz 3
T3 Juan Pablo Montoya 3
T6 Marco Andretti 2
T6 Simon Pagenaud 2
T8 Mike Conway 1
T8 Carlos Huertas 1
T8 Scott Dixon 1
T8 Tony Kanaan 1
T8 Graham Rahal 1
T8 Charlie Kimball 1
T8 Ed Carpenter 1
T8 Jack Hawksworth 1
T8 Mikhail Aleshin 1

Lap Leaders:
1 Will Power 348
2 Helio Castroneves 174
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay 165
4 Ed Carpenter 116
5 Tony Kanaan 79
6 Juan Pablo Montoya 74
7 Takuma Sato 67
8 James Hinchcliffe 56
9 Simon Pagenaud 53
10 Jack Hawksworth 32
11 Scott Dixon 27
12 Marco Andretti 22
13 Justin Wilson 20
14 Sebastian Saavedra 14
15 Graham Rahal 10
16 Mike Conway 8
17 Josef Newgarden 8
T18 Oriol Servia 7
T18 Carlos Huertas 7
19 Ryan Briscoe 5
20 Mikhail Aleshin 4
21 Alex Tagliani 3
22 Sebastien Bourdais 2

Entrant Points
Pos. # Entrant Points
1 12 Team Penske 446
2 3 Team Penske 446
3 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports 402
4 2 Team Penske 391
5 28 Andretti Autosport 388
6 34 Andretti Autosport/HVM 340
7 25 Andretti Autosport 325
8 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 297
9 20 Ed Carpenter Racing 290
10 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing 285
11 11 KVSH Racing 271
12 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 267
13 27 Andretti Autosport 266
14 7 SMP Racing 263
15 19 Dale Coyne Racing 253
16 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing 239
17 98 BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian 227
18 18 Dale Coyne Racing 224
19 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 220
20 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 202
21 17 KV/AFS Racing 196
22 14 A.J. Foyt Racing 189
23 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 112
24 26 Andretti Autosport 88
25 21 Ed Carpenter Racing 66
26 22 Dreyer and Reinbold 57
27 33 KV Racing Technology 34
28 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 29
29 68 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 28
30 6 KV Racing Technology 22
31 63 Dale Coyne Racing 21
32 41 A.J. Foyt Racing 18
33 91 Lazier Partners Racing 11

Finishing Average
1 Helio Castroneves 5.81
2 Kurt Busch 6.00
3 Will Power 6.09
4 Simon Pagenaud 6.72
5 Sage Karam 9.00
6 J.R. Hildebrand 10.00
T7 Scott Dixon 10.18
T7 Carlos Munoz 10.18
9 Juan Pablo Montoya 10.45
10 Ryan Hunter-Reay 10.72
11 Ryan Briscoe 11.75
12 Marco Andretti 12.125
13 Carlos Munoz 12.375
T14 Oriol Servia 12.5
T14 Justin Wilson 12.5
16 Alex Tagliani 13.0
17 Sebastien Bourdais 13.25
18 Charlie Kimball 13.625
19 Mike Conway 13.66
T20 Jacques Villeneuve 14.0
T20 Ed Carpenter 14.0
22 Carlos Huertas 14.25
23 Mikhail Aleshin 14.875
24 James Hinchcliffe 15.125
T25 Takuma Sato 15.5
T25 Jack Hawksworth 15.5
27 Sebastian Saavedra 15.75
28 James Davison 16.00
29 Josef Newgarden 16.375
30 Graham Rahal 16.625
31 Martin Plowman 20.5
32 Franck Montagny 22.0
33 Pippa Mann 24.0
34 Townsend Bell 25.0
35 Buddy Lazier 32.0

Pole Positions
T1 Takuma Sato 2
T1 Will Power 2
T1 Helio Castroneves 2
T4 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1
T4 Sebastian Saavedra 1
T4 Ed Carpenter 1
T4 Simon Pagenaud 1
T4 Juan Pablo Montoya 1

Appearances in the Firestone Fast Six
1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 4
T2 Scott Dixon 3
T2 Will Power 3
T2 James Hinchcliffe 3
T2 Helio Castroneves 3
T2 Jack Hawksworth 3
T7 Simon Pagenaud 2
T7 Josef Newgarden 2
T9 Takuma Sato 1
T9 Marco Andretti 1
T9 Sebastien Bourdais 1
T9 Tony Kanaan 1
T9 Sebastian Saavedra 1
T9 Mike Conway 1
T9 Juan Pablo Montoya 1
T9 Ryan Briscoe 1
Practice Report from the Indy 500 - Car underpowered

by Stephen Cox
Sunday, May 13, 2012

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The new IndyCar appears underpowered for the downforce the chassis makes.  Can you say easy flat?  IndyCar will allow more turbo boost for qualifying.  The car has so much bodywork, it looks bloated.  Some call it the 'Walrus'.  The Walrus plows so much air that it creates a turbulent wake behind it that even if you’re off to the side, you don’t get much clean air,” noted Oriol Servia. “You’re just scrubbing the front tires all the way through the corner."
IndyCar/LAT USA
The opening weekend of practice for the 2012 Indianapolis 500 is behind us and things just get weirder and weirder. Rather than dwell on headlines that are already well covered in mainstream news releases, let me dive into a few behind-the-scenes observations and some educated guesswork.

My personal, unofficial opinion (which I reserve the right to deny later) is that the new Dallara/Firestone combination simply provides more grip than this engine package is capable of surpassing.

When you look at Sunday’s official speed charts, there are two entries for Ana Beatriz’s car and two more entries for Rubens Barrichello. The same car number is shown on the speed charts twice for each machine. Why? Because those drivers were temporarily replaced late in the day by a teammate in order to get a second opinion on car setup.

So forget what you read in the official press release. Here’s what really happened…

Ana Beatriz was turning unspectacular laps in the 214 mph range, with a best of 214.745. Nobody was overly happy about it. Andretti Autosport put Marco Andretti in Ana’s car at about 5:40 pm to see if he could do any better. The result? Marco duplicated Ana’s speed at precisely 214.745.

That tells you it’s not the driver; it’s the car. It just won’t go any faster with that setup. And that wheezing sound you hear in the distance is a sigh of relief from Ana Beatriz.

KV Racing was having the same issue with Rubens Barrichello floundering in the mid 215’s. Barrichello took a break while teammate Tony Kanaan jumped into Barrichello’s car and went for a spin. It didn’t last long. Kanaan managed a lap at 213.6 and pulled back in, unable to find any more speed.

Once again, it wasn’t the driver; it was the car. The thing just wouldn’t go any faster.

Now let’s look at the frontrunners. Sebastian Saavedra set Sunday’s fast time at 221.526 while picking up a tow (aerodynamic draft) from Josef Newgarden and Bryan Clauson, both of whom were running a few yards in front of him.

Five minutes before the weekend practice sessions ended, Justin Wilson tried to steal the day’s quick time by running in Newgarden’s draft. Wilson clipped off a lap at 220.6 but failed to best Saavedra’s quick time. 

Newgarden tried the same trick but couldn’t find anyone to give him a tow. He gave up and returned to the pits.

Scott Dixon was the only driver in the top five (that I could see) who could turn “honest” times without using a draft to artificially prop up his numbers. Remember that on Pole Day. Dixon is quick.

What else was missing from this weekend’s practice? Crashes. They’re not wrecking and they’re not spinning out. Even the rookies look solid and steady in the corners. I don’t think the drivers are “hanging it out” lap after lap like they were when Jim Crawford, Arie Luyendyk and their pals posted those ridiculous 235-239 mph laps in the 1990’s.

The real movers on the speed charts were the guys who were deliberately running without a tow, and their stories were largely ignored by the media, which focused instead on the hot laps being laid down by the frontrunners.

Michel Jourdain started the day at 210 and jumped to 214 by the close of practice on Sunday. Ed Carpenter ran an honest 218.4 at 5:45 pm Sunday without another car in sight, jumping ten spots on the speed charts.

The serious gains are not being made at the front of the field; they’re being made at the back.

So what does all this mean?

In my opinion, it means that the teams are simply unable to get any more out of this car. It goes 215 to 217 no matter who sits in it. The only way to go faster is to find a tow from another car. Excluding the impotent Lotus cars, I look for a 4 mph spread to cover the field in qualifying next weekend.

Lotus chose Judd over Cosworth because Judd gave them a lower price, but you get what you pay for and now the Lotus cars are sleds.
Speaking of Lotus, the proverbial wheels are coming off their IndyCar program. The well-publicized lawsuit against Lotus by Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing has been a public relations nightmare.

Their on-track performance is no better. Formula 1 veteran Jean Alesi is stuck at 209 mph, while Lotus pilot Simona de Silvestro’s 202 mph top lap is nothing short of embarrassing. 

Indy is actually turning out worse than expected for Lotus… if that’s even possible. With the entire field using the same chassis, the only distinction between the cars is the engine and Lotus isn’t even in the game. The entire Lotus program is now on life support.

To make matters worse, three of the next four races after Indianapolis are on ovals, where horsepower reigns supreme. If Lotus can survive until the series returns to road racing in July, it might have a chance. Emphasis on “might.”

Despite the train wreck they’re now suffering through, the Lotus brand is good for IndyCar and everyone should be pulling for them to hang on and become competitive. They need horsepower. Even 20 more horses would make a difference at this point. They need a marquee driver to replace Oriol Servia, Sebastian Bourdais and Alex Tagliani, all of whom recently departed.

And they need to survive for another 8 weeks so they can return to road racing where they’re underpowered engines will be at less of a disadvantage.

Like I said. Things just get weirder and weirder around here.

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