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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
IndyCar championship wide open

With three races remaining
Monday, August 20, 2012

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Graham Rahal doesn't have to think hard to answer why the IZOD IndyCar Series has been so competitive in 2012. All he has to do is look back to the series' last race - the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio and he has the answer.

"I don't know if I've seen a field that is that competitive or that close worldwide," the second-generation driver said. "At Mid-Ohio, you're talking about a track that's over a couple miles long, with lots of elevation (changes), and with different engines, different teams. The whole thing. If you missed by a tenth and half in qualifying, like we did, you start 22nd. That's how competitive it is. We weren't far off the pole time and we were that far back. It shows how the quality of the driving has gone up. You have to be on top of your game every session of every race."

With three races to go entering this weekend's GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, there are 15 drivers, including Rahal, still mathematically eligible for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship.

It's the most since 2000 when 24 drivers were still mathematically eligible to win the title with three races remaining in a nine-race season. And while there are 15 races on the 2012 slate, another of the title-contending drivers, Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's Oriol Servia, said 2012 has been the most competitive Indy car racing season he's experienced.

"I've had seasons with very competitive fields, but it really seems this year that all the best drivers of CART, Champ Car and IndyCar have gotten together. There's not one driver of the top 20 that could not win the race," Servia said. "You see it in qualifying. You could be fighting to be in the top six or you could be 18th. And those in the middle are very close. In qualifying, you feel as if you really have to give everything you have to make the top six. You feel empty after because it's such a challenge physically and emotionally. When the competition is that high, it just takes you to a level you didn't know you could reach. It's part of the addictive thing that we do."

Team Penske's Will Power, who leads the series point standings by five over Ryan Hunter-Reay, said the introduction of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series chassis and the ability to run closer together has raised the level of competition on both ovals and road/street courses.

"It's insanely competitive," the two-time series runner-up said. "You haven't seen anyone consistently win poles or win races. No one dominates this series. It just proves how tough it is and tight it is. You have to work on all the finer points of your driving just to be competitive. Anyone in any other series in the world could come here and I can guarantee you it would take them a good year to get competitive, if they are a good driver."

Any driver within 107 points of the lead will remain eligible for the championship as the series heads to Baltimore on Sept. 2. But the closeness of the competition among drives almost assures that the title race will go down to the final race of the season for the seventh consecutive season.

"It's the beauty of the series going from a road course to a street course to a fast oval," Servia said. "It's what I've always loved about (Indy car racing) - the mixed schedule. Teams have to change a lot of different things in the car and the drivers have to have different skills. I love the challenge and love that we show the challenge to the fans. The championship will be a fight to the end."

Did You Know: 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series Championship

Drivers still eligible for championship: 15

Key Championship point statistic: The 15 championship-eligible drivers with three races to go is the most since 2006 when there were 13 drivers eligible. The most was in 2000 when 24 drivers remained eligible, but the schedule was made up of nine races compared to this season's 15- race schedule.

Closest 1-2 point differential since: 2011. With only three races to go, the 2012 points battle (5 points separate first and second) is the same as it was in 2011 when Dario Franchitti led Will Power by five points. The average point deficit with three to go since 2006 is 18.7 points.

Championship-eligible drivers with strong results at Sonoma: Dario Franchitti has six starts at Sonoma with an average finish of 3.5. Scott Dixon has made seven starts at the facility with an average finish of 6.3. Helio Castroneves and Franchitti each have five top-five finishes. Will Power has two wins in the three starts he's made at Sonoma.

Championship-eligible drivers with poor results at Sonoma: Ryan Hunter-Reay has historically struggled at Sonoma. Hunter-Reay has never finished in the top-five at Sonoma in five previous starts. Simon Pagenaud finished 15th in his only start at Sonoma and JR Hildebrand's average finish in Sonoma is 23.5.

Charting the leaders: With 53 maximum points available at Sonoma, the points lead could change as it did at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 5. The championship lead has exchanged hands four times this season (see chart below). The leaders: Helio Castroneves (St. Petersburg-Barber); Will Power (Long Beach-Toronto); Ryan Hunter-Reay (Edmonton); Will Power (Mid-Ohio).

One-race positioning: Will Power went from third in points after Edmonton (26 points behind) to first at Mid-Ohio with a runner-up finish in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. Scott Dixon went from 61 points behind at Edmonton to 28 points behind with his win at Mid-Ohio.

Championship chases with three races left:

2011

Leader: Dario Franchitti (507). Second: Will Power (-5). Scott Dixon (-77)

Final Margin and Champion: 18 points. Dario Franchitti

2010

Leader: Will Power (528). Second: Dario Franchitti (-23). Third: Scott Dixon (-85)

Final Margin and Champion: 5 points. Dario Franchitti

2009

Leader: Ryan Briscoe (497). Second: Dario Franchitti (-4). Third: Scott Dixon (20)
Final margin and champion: 11 points. Dario Franchitti

2008

Leader: Scott Dixon (558). Second: Helio Castroneves (-78). Third: Dan Wheldon (-138)
Final margin and champion: 17 points. Scott Dixon

2007

Leader: Dario Franchitti (518). Second: Scott Dixon (-8). Third: Tony Kanaan (-52)
Final margin and champion: 13 points. Dario Franchitti

2006

Leader: Helio Castroneves (376). Second: Sam Hornish Jr. (-8). Third: Dan Wheldon (-17)
Final margin and champion: Tie between the three. Hornish won by virtue of most victories

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