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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
Am American revival in IndyCar

by Brian Carroccio
Friday, July 13, 2012

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Two Americas on the podium in Toronto with Hunter-Reay winning his third straight
Adriano Manocchia/AR1
Are those Americans we've been seeing on the victory rostrums at IndyCar races?  Of course, Ryan Hunter-Reay has won the series last 3 races, vaulting into the series points lead.  Clearly, the Florida native has found a home at Andretti Autosport and emerged as the man to beat for the series title. 

However, Hunter-Reay isn't the only one flying the Stars and Stripes during the victory celebrations.  Two weeks ago, third generation American Marco Andretti finished second to Hunter-Reay in Iowa.  Yesterday in Toronto, 27 year-old California native Charlie Kimball finished runner-up, after surviving an early shunt with Ganassi teammate Graham Rahal.  Kimball arguably pulled off the performance of the race with a spirited charge through the field, at one point passing two cars in the same corner.

And, if you go back before Iowa to the race at Milwaukee, Hunter-Reay was atop the podium, with American Rahal finishing second at Texas the week before. Thus, you have 4 consecutive American podium finishes, an American winning 3 straight races and Americans finishing one-two in back t back races. 
 
When was the last time any of those things happened?  Funny you ask.  As far as 4 consecutive races with at least one American on the podium, one would have to go back to the end of the 2006 IRL season, wrapping around to the beginning of 2007.  In late 2006, a Hornish win at Kentucky was followed by an Andretti win at Sonoma, before Hornish finished third at Chicago.  Hornish then finished third at the 2007 opener at Homestead. 

What about an American winning three straight races?  A.J. Allmendinger, who of course was, in conjunction with Hornish, in the news this the weekend, won Portland, Cleveland and Toronto, consecutively in 2006. 

Now, where do we find consecutive races in which Americans finished 1-2?  This one took some digging.  You have to go back to the 2001 IRL season, when Americans finished one-two in the last nine races.  Of course, the 2001 IRL season was not exactly the golden age of Indy Car racing, and the drivers making up these one-twos were men like Jacques Lazier, Mark Dismore, Greg Ray, and Eddie Cheever, none of whom exactly captured the imagination of the American public.  If you go back to the CART/Champ Car days, the last time American finished one-two in consecutive races?  1996.  Michael Andretti and Bobby Rahal finished one-two at Elkhart Lake and Vancouver, consecutively. 

What about the last time we had an all-American 1-2-3?  Indianapolis, 2006.  Hornish, Marco Andretti, and Michael Andretti. 

While we could go on, suffice it to say, recent history has not been kind to American Indy Car drivers.  Of course, the absence of successful, charismatic American stars, has often been cited in explaining a lack of appeal to mainstream America for a sport that contests 75-80% of its races in America.  Arguably, the abyss of American performance in Indy Car racing came in 2009, a year, in which no Americans won a race, and drivers from the USA combined for a mere 5 podium finishes. 

However, the recent performance of Hunter-Reay and others has provided hope this is about to change.  While Hunter-Reay-Kimball doesn't exactly evoke the nostalgia of Foyt-Andretti, IndyCar does boast a core of talented, American drivers under the age of 32, most of whom have won or shown the potential to be race winners. 

Of the following group, J.R. Hildebrand, Kimball, Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, and Ed Carpenter, all are under the age of 32.  Further, all with the exception of Newgarden have finished an IndyCar race on the podium. 

Also noteworthy, is that all of the drivers mentioned above are products of the IndyCar ladder system, which has improved as a byproduct of unification in 2008.  Whereas, a decade ago, owners looking to fill top rides bypassed junior formula standouts such as Anthony Lazzaro, Buddy Rice, Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty, Joey Hand and others.  In recent years, IndyCar owners have filled quality vacant seats with promising home-grown talent. 

Further, in contrast to Indy Car racing a decade ago, there is little evidence that any of the young American drivers mentioned above have aspirations outside IndyCar.  Formula One (F1) seems to have little interest in IndyCar drivers, and the trend of open wheelers defecting to NASCAR seems to have ended with Danica Patrick.  Having seen the struggles of Hornish, Dario Franchitti, Allmendinger, Juan Pablo Montoya and others, NASCAR teams have likely grown lukewarm to open-wheelers and vice versa.  In other words, all indications are that Hunter-Reay, Hildebrand, Rahal, et al., will be IndyCar drivers for years to come, providing the series an opportunity to build around them.

Of course, it isn't enough to simply fill the grid with young American drivers.  The drivers will eventually need to take after Hunter-Reay, and begin to find victory lane to generate a greater following for the sport.  Further, we've also seen that simply any American winning in IndyCar, think the charisma-deficient Hornish, will not move the sport into the consciousness of the mainstream.  Hunter-Reay, clearly has the looks, talent and polish to be that guy, but it remains to be seen if he can take IndyCar from outlets like The Chrome Horn to outlets like USA Today.

For now, IndyCar fans should take solace in the fact, there seems to be hope.  Like Kimball charging through the field yesterday, there is evidence to suggest that an American IndyCar resurgence is indeed, on the way. The Chrome Horn

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