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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
The Indy Lights Series is dying, and here's why!

by Stephen Cox
Monday, May 13, 2013

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Indy Lights - Great racing, few cars
Imagine you’re in a McDonald’s restaurant. You order a Big Mac. The cashier plops your sandwich on the counter and says, “That’ll be six hundred and twelve dollars, sir.”

“Uh… excuse me. Did you actually say six hundred and twelve dollars?”

“Yes, sir. Our Big Macs come with special sauce, lettuce and cheese. They’re really good.”

You would probably respond, “They’re not that good!” and walk out of the restaurant. 

I was recently offered a sponsorship package for the Indy Lights series. My sponsors were willing to spend $50,000 as an associate sponsor in four or five races. But it soon became apparent that no other sponsors were willing to chip in on the deal.

No problem. My sponsors are reasonable people. They reduced the expected number of races to only two… the Freedom 100 and any other race of choice. And I had specific offers from three teams. But the sponsorship necessary to support a two-race deal ranged from $92,500 to $160,000.

Still, I was not dissuaded. I sent my resume to IndyCar and they approved me for the Lights series. A two-hour visit to the friendly folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s infield medical facility got me through my physical with no problems. The IndyCar staff helped me plan my initial testing.

But money was still the issue. So I called the Indy Lights series directly to check out prices for myself. Turns out that engine leases are $10,000. And that only gets you a used motor that cannot be raced without a $17,000 rebuild. You are not allowed to buy an engine or build your own. You must lease and rebuild through the series, which owns all 50-some-odd engines.

Tires are $2,700 per set. They’re mandated, too. And constructed from a soft compound that burns up quickly. The series also prescribed two preliminary test sessions. Track rental, tires and travel expenses racked up a $25,000 bill for testing alone.

The $50,000 budget I was given would not even pay for an engine lease and the mandatory tests.

So I did the obvious. I asked my sponsors for more money. They are fair people. They looked at the series, the exposure, attendance and the television package and their response was simple and honest – “This series doesn’t return enough value to justify more than a $50,000 investment.”

Nay-sayers will indignantly claim that big time racing costs big time money. That’s all well and good. But two weeks later the Firestone Indy Lights Series opened the 2013 season in St. Petersburg with nine cars.

Reality stinks.

At the end of the day, the market says that the Indy Lights series is not worth fifty to eighty thousand dollars per event.

You can argue till you’re blue in the face, but corporate America will not pay six hundred and twelve dollars for a Big Mac and they are walking out of the restaurant.

It’s simply not worth it.

One more year for the old car
The Indy Lights series is set to introduce a new chassis in 2015 in the hopes of getting rich European bankers and South American oil tycoons to spoil their children by writing seven-figure checks to buy their way into IndyCar.

Okay, that’s a fair plan. But how’s it working out so far? Fan Force United has cars for sale. So do Younessi Racing and Andretti Autosport. Two other cars are rusting in a Texas warehouse. Conquest’s car is ready to race but has no driver. Bryan Herta’s team told me they were already spread too thin and would rather park the car than risk losing money on engines and tires.

Is seems there are more available cars than rich kids to drive them.

Dallara told me they have stacks of spare parts in their Speedway warehouse but no one to sell them to. Genuine, cash-paying sponsors have no interest in the series. And fifteen months from today, every Lights car in existence will have the approximate value of an 8-track player.

As business plans go, this one is only slightly better than the White Star Line’s idea for a new ocean liner.

I certainly have no bitterness against the series. On the contrary, the entire IndyCar staff could not have been more helpful. They openly wanted me in the series and did everything in their power to promote my program. They are fantastic people and I support them and the series wholeheartedly.

But like it or not, one of three things is going to happen to  Indy Lights:

1. The series will return vastly more value to its teams and sponsors.
2. The series will slash operating costs to a small fraction of their current levels.
3. The series will cease to exist.

There are no other alternatives. The writing is on the wall, and I hope someone reads it in time.

Stephen Cox

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