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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 needs to revamp its schedule

by Brian Carroccio
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

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The Indy 500 isn't the only IndyCar race that can get good TV ratings
Imagine a Formula One race at Monza without the screaming Tifosi. What about a Grand Prix at Monaco without any of the royals, or any of the other beautiful people?

In fact, let's go a little further. Try picturing an F1 season entirely devoid of spectators. All the events run as planned with practice, qualifying and the race, but not one person purchases a ticket, not one person witnesses the racing live. What would be the reaction of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone?

He probably wouldn't even care.

If anything, Bernie might actually enjoy the weekend minus the unwashed masses. Sure, he'd have to listen to some grumpy promoters, but that's pretty standard for Bernie. So long as Ferraris, Renaults and Mercedes sponsored by Vodafone, Petronas, Total and Red Bull continued to contest the championship, which they would, life for Bernie would, minor irritations aside, proceed as usual.

See, Bernie doesn't get carried away if an event draws 110,000 instead of 125,000. Bernie knows that 100,000 or so paying customers are a mere drop in the bucket compared to the estimated 350 million worldwide watching on television. And as long as that number remains, it really doesn't matter who, if anyone, shows up.

Yes, Bernie realized something long ago, that others seem to be quite slow at picking up on: Television drives everything. Sponsors, who are the lifeblood of racing, are not concerned so much with those in those that are there, rather the total number of those watching.

Of course, as we've outlined the prior two weeks, there aren't too many people watching IndyCar races these days. Amongst the issues facing IndyCar are the sport's lack of brand awareness, the poor production on ABC/ESPN, and the limited reach of NBC Sports Network.

However, there is something IndyCar can do to raise its television audience. To start, I'm going to take you back three days to this past Saturday.

With cold weather throughout much of the country, no football, college or pro on air, IndyCar's network television partner (albeit not a great one) ran local programming, 20/20, and a network broadcast of the Will Ferrell/Jon Heder movie Blades of Glory from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time. Yes, while much of the nation froze, IndyCar missed a wonderful opportunity to open their season before a prime-time television audience. Sure, there was some college and professional basketball on. Also, the opening of the National Hockey League season after a months-long lockout would have unexpectedly eaten into the audience a little.

But for a series desperate to increase its woeful television audience, IndyCar must consider adjusting its television-unfriendly race schedule.

Now, I'm aware this will not be a simple project. The series will need viable warm weather venues, a promoter, and willing television partner. Also, the series has to be careful in that other racing series have events in warm-weather locales during this time of year. For example, starting with next week's 24 Hours of Daytona, there are numerous racing events in Florida for the next two months. Further, the series has done a better job building "date equity," at some events in recent years, which I know they don't want to surrender.

Also, I'm not necessarily saying IndyCar should open their season the third Saturday of January every year, as there are viable opportunities in February as well. Considering IndyCar does not start until late March, the series would likely have to build up to starting in January.

And while I have been critical of the new Hulman and Company/IMS/INDYCAR management team, this is in fairness, an issue they have inherited and one that will not be fixed overnight. However, a 3-5 year plan should seek to find greater television slots for the series. Below we will outline a plan to better maximize IndyCar's television exposure, arguably the most critical issue facing the sport, going forward.

1. To begin, it must be repeated that the television audience drives everything:

The example of Bernie Ecclestone and F1 helped highlight this.

In short, because of its potential global reach, the television audience is vastly more important than the live audience. And while this issue will not be explored in detail here, IndyCar would arguably be better served moving some of its events to weeknight primetime slots. While the live audience would be weaker, the television audience, and in turn sponsor's exposure, would be much stronger.

2. Step 1 in maximizing the television audience is to begin the season earlier...

Currently, IndyCar begins WAY too late. This year, St. Petersburg is March 24, the second weekend of the NCAA tournament, and a whole month after NASCAR begins. While NASCAR is taking advantage of the television friendly, cold-weather months to build momentum, IndyCar is well, waiting to begin, sitting idly as they squander potential momentum.

In short, IndyCar must look to start earlier. In particular, the third Saturday in January is the first weekend slot with no football, and an ideal one for IndyCar to look at. And to do so, IndyCar will need to secure some warm weather venues, which we will discuss in greater detail below.

3. Step 2 in maximizing the television audience is to end the season earlier.....

Given the modern hegemony of American football, IndyCar should try to begin as football is ending (January), and end when football is beginning (Labor Day).

Even this year's Fontana race on September 15th was too late. IndyCar was up against Notre Dame playing Michigan State in football. Keep in mind, not only is Notre Dame football a huge draw, but a lot of IndyCar fans are also Notre Dame fans.

This year, Houston and Fontana will be in October, competing against pro football, college football, baseball playoffs, NASCAR and whatever else. Not good!

In short, football is boss in America. IndyCar should do whatever possible to avoid competing with football, college, pro, and even high school.

4. To run in January and February, you need warm weather venues:

I'm perplexed at how often I hear IndyCar discussing warm-weather venues in months such as September and October. For example, there is no reason to run Houston in October, at the heights of football season, in football crazed Texas. Why not run Houston in say, February or January? A doubleheader with Race 1 under the lights, Race 2 Sunday afternoon?

Fort Lauderdale, of course, has had serious discussions with IndyCar about a downtown event. Apparently, the stumbling blocks for the event are money, and an October boat show that would conflict with the event. Although I cannot say for sure, I don't believe there is a boat show in January.

Often, the desire to have events at certain times of the year are driven by local promoters, who are attempting to have a well-attended event. For example, the Fort Lauderdale group may not be interested in January because of the abundance of races in Florida in February and March.

However, from a television perspective both Houston and Ft. Lauderdale would be best in for January and February, not October. October belongs to football, playoff baseball, and to a lesser extent NASCAR. While IndyCar might have well-attended events in October, the competition for television interest is simply too much.

5. In addition to running earlier and ending earlier, IndyCar needs to run at night as often as possible.

Simply put, the television audience is larger at night than during the days. While there will be greater expense in running at night, the potential payoff for IndyCar is vast, particularly if they run night races during the winter months when people are home watching television.

Below, is a proposed schedule, we have for IndyCar. Again, it is not realistic to enact immediately or even next year. Rather, IndyCar should have a 3-5 year plan with the goal of a schedule like the one below.

I used the 2014 calendar for dates:

Saturday, January 18: Fort Lauderdale (Night race in a beautiful downtown area, which would look spectacular at night.  NASCAR opens its season with a spectacular event, and so should IndyCar.)

Saturday, February 1: Fontana (night race on eve of the Super Bowl. While it is seven weeks before the NASCAR race, remember our larger concern is the television audience.)

Saturday, February 15: Houston Race 1 (under lights)

Sunday, February 16: Houston Race 2 (day or night)

Sunday, March 2: Sao Paulo

Sunday, March 9: South American venue #2 (I've long believed IndyCar should do 2 international events if they make the effort to travel for one, and split the costs between promoters. Also, South America is good because it is on a similar time schedule as North America. Thus, the television audience is unaffected.)

Sunday, March 23: St. Petersburg

Sunday, April 6: Barber

Sunday, April 27: Long Beach (Easter Sunday is April 20, 2014, the traditional Long Beach date. Also, Masters is April 10-13)

Sunday, May 4: Pocono (Not a fan of this race wedged between two NASCAR races. A good lead-in to the Indy 500 is another big oval race).

Saturday, May 24: Indianapolis (Saturday night. Traditionalists will cry bloody murder, but IndyCar needs to raise its television profile. Memorial Day Sunday is often full with graduations, barbeques, and other activities that take people away from the television set. When Mark Miles says he wants lights at the Speedway, it should not be the NASCAR race, but the 500.)

Saturday, May 31: Detroit #1 (The well-promoted Detroit event is making a nice comeback.)

Sunday, June 1: Detroit #2

Saturday, June 7: Texas (night race, again good for TV)

Saturday, June 14: Milwaukee (would prefer a night race)

Sunday, June 22: Iowa (again would prefer Saturday night)

Saturday, July 12: Toronto #1

Sunday, July 13: Toronto #2

Sunday, August 3: Mid-Ohio^^^^^

Sunday August 17: Baltimore

Sunday, August 24: Sonoma

Sunday, August 31: Brickyard 400 (Sunday night for the IndyCars. Yes, if they have any sense, IndyCar will get rid of the NASCAR Brickyard 400, which does immeasurable damage to the IndyCar brand, and replace it with a well promoted end of season IndyCar race. IndyCar races will bookend the summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day.)

^^^^^IndyCar needs to make alternative plans for the Mid-Ohio race, as NASCAR will kill that event with their Nationwide event.

As you can see, our proposed schedule has completely moved IndyCar away from competing with football. Also, we've outlined a plan to raise the television audience for the series by placing it in more opportune times. Further, we have done so in a way that does not significantly compromise date equity, moving only the newer events on the schedule.

In closing, IndyCar must address their woeful television performance. Fortunately, however, there is a strategy Miles and company can adopt. Will they be able to pull it off? Time will tell.

Brian Carroccio is an IndyCar columnist for AutoRacing1.com. He grew up around racing as the son of a longtime SCCA crewman, who regaled him with romantic tales of Jimmy Clark and Dan Gurney. His first vivid memory of Indy car racing is Danny Sullivan’s 1985 “Spin and Win,” at Indianapolis.

Brian lives in Rockville, MD. As a lifelong fan of the Washington Redskins his favorite colors are burgundy and gold. He is also a passionate supporter of Manchester United.

For witty insight on our beloved sport of Indy car racing, and thoughts on other topics of interest to Brian, you can follow him on Twitter @BrianC_AR1.

Feedback can be sent to feedback@autoracing1.com

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