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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
Dixon moves into elite company with IndyCar legends

by Brian Brian Carroccio
Wednesday, August 08, 2012

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Scott Dixon
Sunday Scott Dixon recorded an impressive win at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Trailing Team Penske's Will Power when both made their final pit stop, Dixon’s Target Chip Ganassi team provided their man with flawless service. On the heels of the quicker stop, Dixon opportunistically moved ahead and pulled away from Power, and went on to score his fourth career win at the venerable natural terrain road course. The victory was also the 29th of Dixon's career, tying him with Indy Car legend Rick Mears for tenth on the all-time list.

While Dixon matching Mears is certainly noteworthy, it is the age at which Dixon has equaled Mears that is the story here. See, Dixon is only 32. That, may be difficult to believe, as the classy Kiwi has been racing Indy Cars in one form or another for 12 seasons now.

Nevertheless, his accomplishments at a relatively young age place Dixon amongst in some rarified air. Further, with 29 wins already to his credit, combined with evidence suggesting his best years are yet to come, suggest the unassuming Dixon may just be getting started in making a quiet assault on the sport's record book.

To begin, lets briefly evaluate what Dixon has already accomplished at a relatively young age. Born July 22, 1980, Dixon celebrated his 32nd birthday during the Edmonton weekend a few weeks ago. Thus, using a driver's 32nd birthday as our benchmark, Dixon visited victory lane 28 times before turning 32. Only A.J. Foyt (32 times), Mario Andretti (31). Sebastien Bourdais (31), and Michael Andretti (29), won more races than Dixon before the age of 32.

Yes, you read that right. Dixon's 28 wins before turning 32 are only 4 less than Foyt, the all-time leader with 67 wins. Of course, Mario (52) and Michael Andretti (42) rank 2nd and 3rd respectively behind Foyt. Further, Dixon at 32, is currently younger than the age at which some of the sport's best, scored even their first win. All 26 of Rodger Ward's wins came after he turned 32, ditto for each of Bobby Unser's 35. Danny Sullivan, who won 17 races, did not visit victory lane until he was 34, and each of Emerson Fittipaldi's 22 wins came after he turned 38. While Johnny Rutherford scored one win before the age of 32, 26 of his 27 wins were recorded after he turned 35. Yes, the best may be still to come

Also, every driver currently ahead of Dixon on the all time list, save for Bourdais, who is only 33, won at least 13 races after turning 32. Below as follows: B. Unser (35), Foyt (35), Mario Andretti (21), Dario Franchitti (19), Al Unser (15), Al Unser, Jr. (14), Paul Tracy and Michael Andretti (13 each). Of those mentioned, only Michael Andretti failed to win a series championship after turning 32. Dixon also has other factors working in his favor.

For one, Dixon is strong on all types of circuits. He has won on large ovals, small ovals, medium ovals, airport circuits, natural terrain courses, and once on a street circuit. Strangely, his win on Belle Isle in June was his first street circuit win. However, if the sport were to alter the composition of its schedule, as it has so many times throughout its history, Dixon would be unaffected.

Second, he is with one of the sport's top teams. Team Ganassi has captured the last 4 series titles and 3 of the last 5 Indy 500s. And nothing suggests the prolific partnership between Ganassi and Dixon will terminate anytime soon. While Formula One (F1) may have been an option for Dixon a decade ago, that ship has long sailed. Also, the era of IndyCar drivers yearning to run mid-pack in NASCAR, seems thankfully, to be over. Thus, Dixon likely will not sacrifice years running in another series as Mario Andretti did running F1 during the 1970s or Franchitti did with his brief NASCAR sojourn.

Last, Dixon is by all accounts, very level-headed. Rarely, if ever have we seen him lose his cool on track, or do something stupid to cost himself a race. Also, there is no indication of the substance abuse and other off-track issues that plagued for example, Al Unser, Jr. In short, Dixon, seems to have his head screwed on straight.

Now, there are some factors working against him. For one, IndyCar racing in recent years has skewed young. There have been no 40 somethings like Mario, Emmo or Big Al, winning races and competing for championships in recent years. In fact, the oldest driver currently on the grid is 40 year-old Rubens Barrichello.
Also, while Bobby Unser, Rutherford, and Ward were all referenced earlier for their success at an advanced age, the era in which they raced was skewed more towards ovals. Ward, for example, made only one road course start in his entire career. Unser did win 5 times on a road course, Rutherford once. IndyCar nowadays is much more road and street course heavy, therefore more physically demanding, and more rewarding to younger drivers.

Probably, the best case study for Dixon is his current teammate Franchitti, currently 39. Interestingly enough, Franchitti is seven years older than Dixon, and has two more career wins. While Franchitti was good in his 20s, he has been other-worldly in his mid-late 30s, winning championships and Indianapolis 500s. And using our benchmark of a driver's 32nd birthday, Franchitti has won 19 times after turning 32.

Franchitti will also enlighten us as to how an elite modern IndyCar driver can fare after turning 40. For example, in the 1980s Indy Car racing was dominated by the graybeards. Al Unser, Mario Andretti, Rutherford and Fittipaldi all won championships during the 1980s, while in their 40s, something that has not occurred in recent years.

If Franchitti continues his winning ways the next few years, a la Rutherford, Fittipaldi, Mario, and Big Al, there would be no reason to think Dixon could not do the same. Were Franchitti to begin a decline in the next year or so, that may suggest that IndyCar has in fact, become more of a younger man's game, which would not bode well for Dixon continuing an assault on the sport's records into his 40s.

Regardless, there is nothing to suggest Dixie has anything other than a near decade remaining in which he will be at an elite level. Top level equipment, the ability to win on different circuits, a level head, and the possibility he has yet to even enter his prime, all bode well for Dixon's prospects. While I don't see Dixon getting another 38 wins to tie Foyt, I see him easily passing Michael Andretti's 42 victories, and making an outside run at Mario Andretti's 52.

Wherever he ends up, Dixon has quietly put together a tremendous career. And there is plenty to suggest, the best is yet to come.  The Chrome Horn

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