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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
Random thoughts from the Sonoma IndyCar race

by Stephen Cox
Sunday, August 26, 2012

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A happy Ryan Briscoe
IndyCar/LAT USA
Sunday's IndyCar race at Sonoma was enjoyable to watch and the series is still making forward strides. It was nice to see Rubens Barrichello get a top five finish (you're not in Kansas anymore, Rubens). It's good to have the series revisiting some legendary venues.

The battle between Sebastian Bourdais and Joseph Newgarden was fantastic. Thankfully, Newgarden appeared unhurt after his enormous impact with the wall when he and Bourdais crashed late in the race (IndyCar reported after the release of this story that Newgarden had injured his left index finger).

But when Will Power's “push to pass” button stopped working late in the race, I couldn't help but reconsider just how far IndyCar has wandered from its roots.

The infamous “push to pass” buttons are a colossal failure. No, more than that. They are an embarrassment. Push to pass is an open admission that the current spec formula does not produce good road course racing.

This is no surprise. Spec cars generally produce road course races with the approximate entertainment value of drying paint. They all share the same chassis, the same tire manufacturer, and their engines have roughly the same power output regardless of whose name you stamp on the valve covers.

This makes everyone go roughly the same speed, which – contrary to popular opinion – does not produce good racing. It produces terrible racing, especially on road and street courses.

Push to pass is a band-aid that will never the cure the real disease. When IndyCar once again becomes an open formula in which teams can build or buy their own engines and chassis from any source, passing will happen without the need for fake props like push to pass or soft compound tires.

About twenty years ago some goober came up with the silly idea that costs could be contained by mandating a spec chassis and limiting engine manufacturers. I can only presume that this individual was previously unemployable in the real world and instead ran for public office. The theory didn't work. The deep-pocket teams still had deep pockets – they just spend the extra money elsewhere.

If everyone could buy a new Dallara chassis for 89 cents and IndyCar engines were two dollars each, Penske, Ganassi and Andretti would still win all the races because they still have the biggest budgets. They would simply spend their money on additional testing, better engineers and more aerodynamic wind tunnel work instead of a better engine and chassis.

And if you outlaw testing, wind tunnels and engineers, they'll find another place to spend their money to obtain an advantage. Either way, the low-budget teams still lose.

If spec chassis and engines actually produced parity, Sarah Fisher-Hartman Racing would be celebrating a series championship and Dale Coyne would have a garage full of Borg Warner trophies.

But they don't. Because spec racing is wishful thinking that doesn't deliver what it promises.

On the contrary, outlawing all engine manufacturers other than those designated by IndyCar has actually increased the cost of racing dramatically.

A full-season engine lease in IndyCar costs at least 600 to 700 thousand dollars. What do you get for your money? An engine so weak it requires a turbocharger to produce a puny 600 horsepower and blows up after about 2,000 miles. For crying out loud, any part-time mechanic could build an engine better than that in his garage over the weekend. This is not brain surgery.

You can call my engine sponsor (McGunegill Engine Performance) and order a small block V8 that produces 600 horsepower for less than $20,000. And McGunegill guarantees their engines to last the entire season with nothing more than fresh spark plugs and oil changes.

And if you're still not happy, just call up Ford and buy one of those new 661-horsepower engines they're putting in the 2013 Shelby GT 500 Mustangs. You'll whip the entire IndyCar field with an engine that lasts more than 100,000 miles and actually burns fuel that real people can buy.

IndyCar teams are currently forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for an underpowered engine that has no meaningful lifespan. Yet the racing is no better than it ever was, and the well-funded teams still dominate.

There is a place for spec racecars in the auto racing world. It is called Spec Miata. But spec formulas do not belong at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or anywhere else on the IndyCar circuit. I hope series chief Randy Bernard sees the light soon.

In the meantime, the only passing we'll see on road courses will come at the push of a button.

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