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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
Will racing give Ethanol legitimacy?

by Tim Wohlford
Monday, May 19, 2008

Advertisement

Ryan Hunter-Reay's Ethanol sponsored IndyCar
Gail Miller/AutoRacing1
Okay, let's be honest here...  AutoRacing1.com hasn't always been a fan of ethanol fuels for any vehicles, much less our race cars. However, perhaps there is a method to the madness, and maybe, just maybe, ethanol – and other “green” efforts -- will not only make a better world, but give auto racing a new legitimacy.

**

Starting in the aftermath of the 1964 Sachs-MacDonald crash, Indy car racing relied almost exclusively on methanol for its racing fuel until 2006, when Paul Dana finally convinced the manufacturers of ethanol – the corn liqueur “white lightnin” extra-carbon-atom-added cousin of methanol – to sponsor his IRL Indy car, AND the entire series, AS WELL AS provide ethanol as fuel to the entire series.  Critics – notably those from the Champ Car ranks – howled, making jokes about booze from the corn fields sponsoring cars that sounded like tractor motors.  Other AutoRacing1.com readers simply noted that American ethanol – almost totally made from corn – needed over a gallon of petroleum to produce a gallon of ethanol.  The questions fell on two fronts: Would ethanol prove to be a suitable fuel for auto racing?  And, would ethanol prove to be a long-term solution as a replacement for gasoline?

To the surprise of many, ethanol proved to be a great fuel for auto racing, in many ways superior to the methanol it replaced.  As most AutoRacing1.com readers know, methanol fumes are nasty, quickly leading to watery eyes and burning sinuses.  When spilled on the skin it is likely to cause chemical burns.  Spill it on the ground and you've got a contamination issue.  In other words, it's nasty stuff.  By contrast, ethanol actually had a higher octane, produces a bearable (if not pleasant) smell when burned, and like a bottle of Everclear (200+ proof booze), it has no negative effects when spilled on human skin.

In fact, ethanol IS simply pure grain alcohol, the same stuff that Junior Johnson used to haul in his younger days, corn in a jar, mighty mighty fine, white lightning.  Racing ethanol is actually 98% pure ethanol, with 2% gasoline added to keep the Feds happy.  Ethanol (and Rahal Letterman Racing) spokesman Eric Mauk explained, “The tariffs on transporting a tanker of 100% ethanol fuel, which would be corn liqueur, to take it across state lines, would cost you something like a quarter of a million dollars.”

Eric's team became the spokespeople for ethanol when Paul Dana joined Rahal Letterman Racing in 2006.  Sadly, Paul was killed before he saw the project through to completion, but his legacy is certainly intact as a man who changed Indy racing for good, possibly forever.  Rahal Letterman Racing still retains a car sponsored by the ethanol manufacturers, and have taken the lead in championing the ethanol cause.

Not only is ethanol nicer to work with, it's been very friendly to racing, and race budgets.  Mauk commented, “It's been amazing... We haven't had an engine failure (from ethanol), we're getting better gas mileage, so the fuel tanks are smaller, lightening up the cars.  One hundred thirteen octane – it was only 107 with the methanol – that extra octane gives you better response on the road courses, you're quicker off and on the throttle, meaning better lap times on the road courses.”  Indeed, the IRL hasn't seen a motor failure of any kind for at least a year and a half.  So well proven was the technology that the Champ Car people were considering moving to 85% ethanol (E85) for this season, one of the few times when the IRL showed the CCWS a better way of doing things.

Ethanol's sponsorship of the IRL has allowed the producers of ethanol that one doesn't have to accept awful performance for alternative fuels. “And that was the whole hook for the ethanol industry,” continued Eric. “And that's why they're here... to show the performance benefits of ethanol.”

However, the issues raised in the past few months on ethanol no longer center on whether the stuff works as fuel – it obviously does – but on the effects of using corn in a massive production of ethanol.  Mauk observed, “It's a different feel this year.  The same people that put so much time and effort into promoting Ryan (driver Ryan Hunter-Reay) and our race team last year are finding themselves fighting on so many different fronts.  Time magazine comes out and says that, 'Ethanol should be abolished'... there's so many critics now that they're spending more time fighting those off and less time here...”

Fortunately, the Indy 500 is the world's largest PR event, and the manufacturers of ethanol are getting out a new message.  First, they are perfecting the process of corn-based ethanol production.  Eric explained to AutoRacing1.com, “Lifeline Foods in St. Josephs, Missouri, is the plant that's the exclusive fuel supplier of IndyCar Series.... They're now able to use the entire kernel of corn, using part of the kernel of corn to use ethanol, and using the part of the kernel and making food out of it.  And they're taking what's left over from that and converting that to fuel their plant.  So what that's doing is that it lessens that ratio that a lot of people want to talk about, saying, 'Well, it takes more energy to power your plant than you're getting out of ethanol that you're producing.'  They're lessening the need for outside power.  And right now, they're the only ones doing it... (but) I think you're going to see a lot of other plants around the country doing this.  They've almost got the process perfected where they use every single bit of every kernel now.  Not only are you getting food, and you're getting your ethanol, but you're getting distiller grains that are going back into cattle feed.  That's a much more efficient use, something that wasn't done in the ethanol industry 2 years ago.”

However, ethanol producers know that corn isn't the final answer.  Mauk explain that, “Right now they're using corn because it's plentiful, the process is more advanced... To get this foothold that they've got, and getting just the idea of ethanol accepted, that's why they're going with the corn right now.”  However, there are 3-4 different sources that they're investigating.  Perhaps the most promising technology, the holy grail in this business, is something called “cellulosic ethanol” which uses lignocellulose-- found in virtually every plant – to make ethanol.  If perfected, it would mean that virtually any plant materials, including switchgrass and waste paper, could be used.  In addition, cellulosic technology would greatly reduce greenhouse gases emissions as compared to gasoline and current ethanol products.

Granted, there are all sorts of jokes that start with “if” that end with punch lines like, “My sister would be my brother.”  However, think of it this way – it's been a long time since auto racing was truly a proving ground for auto technology, perhaps decades.  Suddenly, auto racing is transformed from a somewhat politically incorrect pastime to a means to save the planet, or at least wean us away from fossil fuels.  It's not a thought that is confined to Indy.  The new specs for the next generation F1 / FIA engines are being debated, and rumors abound that some “green” ideas will be included.  If auto racing can keep some alternative fuel ideas in the public mind, then perhaps they can gain funding, and buy some time, as they close the 100-year head start that petroleum has on these ideas.  Just as it took decades for the rear view mirror – an innovation pioneered at Indy – to be widely adopted, so too it will take time to perfect any alternative fuel, and it might be auto racing that keeps the idea alive between gasoline crunches.

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