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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
'A how to: Treat 'em like Rock Stars'

By Brian C. Mackey
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

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No one gets into the F1 paddock unless you are 'special.'  Ditto for NASCAR.  It is a very exclusive club.
I've read numerous articles over the past few days/weeks/months/years (pick one) about how INDYCAR needs to better promote their drivers in hopes of retrieving and reviving lost fans.  That is to say, I’ve read articles about who INDYCAR should promote, RHR, Americans, new faces, 3x Indy 500 winners, etc.  I’ve read plenty about why INDYCAR needs to improve promoting drivers.  But I’ve read precious little, if anything on how INDYCAR should do it.

We’re all good, even me, at pointing out what’s wrong with the sport, just not as eager to provide insights into how it can be transformed.  Put your money where your mouth is people, I can hear INDYCAR management say. 

So, at the risk of willingly stepping into territory rarely traveled and subjecting myself to criticism, I shall provide my ideas on the topic.  These recommendations come by way of observations, some relevant and some less obviously so. 

My intention is to create recurring themes that can be used to address the challenge at hand – how to better promote INDYCAR drivers.  Rest assured, INDYCAR is doing some of this and none of it is rocket science, but in reality there hasn’t been much discussion on the legitimate topic of how to purposely affect the popularity of a driver.

Observation #1:  Years ago, I worked for a television production company that specialized in motorsport television production.  At one NASCAR event, my boss told me that I was going to help him get the on-air talent, a retired NASCAR driver, from track side to the press booth and in so doing, we were to traverse through the grandstand.  My boss would stand in front, I was to stand behind the talent, and the three of us would quickly walk through the grandstand and provide “cover” for the “famous” driver.  He’ll be mobbed I was told if we don’t.

To this day, I’m not sure the driver couldn’t have just as easily casually walked through the grandstand with maybe a baseball cap for disguise and few would have taken notice.  But the perception was that he was a huge NASCAR star, worthy of some form of extra attention to do even the simplest of tasks, to walk through the grandstand.  So we did, and there were fans that cheered, hooted and hollered as we walked through.  In some ways, our extra attention to the task, created extra attention to the task.  Make a note.

Observation #2:  Several years ago, it was my honor to be a guest of the Minardi F1 team, back in the day when Gian Carlo Minardi ran the team.  Minardi provided me a credential pass, with the famous “Paddock Club” sticker attached.  A race fan who saw me walking through the parking lot half-jokingly offered me $5000 for my credential.  Make a note.

Observation #3: At a F1 race, the fans are essentially segregated from the drivers and the cars.  Most fans can get no closer to their favorite driver than when the car is on the track and the fans are in the grandstands.  Access is incredibly limited.  The paddock area resembles a top secret air base, with check points at every entrance.  The only way in is with the hard to obtain and aforementioned race credential — unless of course, you’re a sponsor guest.  Make a note.

Observation #4:  Drivers need what I would call “situational awareness,” and I’m sure most INDYCAR drivers have it and use it.  They realize that their future is tied to promoting their names and their sport.  On those occasions when interaction is more happenstance, drivers need to be ready, even when it’s not overly convenient.  And at a race, for a driver, it rarely is.  Not to date myself, but I once saw Little Al at Phoenix Speedway on his scooter tearing through the paddock.  In an instant, he slammed on the brakes and came to a complete stop.  It was then that I noticed that he had noticed a fan trying to take a photo of him.  Back in the days of film cameras and variable focus, you can imagine how challenging it was for the fan to get a good picture of Little Al as he was scooting past.  To his eternal credit, Little Al stopped and took the time for the fan, not a professional photographer, to get a good shot of the driver star.  Memories are made on a lot less.  Make a note.

Here’s a newsflash for INDYCAR.  If you want your drivers to be “stars” – treat them that way.

I’m not suggesting cutting the fans off from gaining access to the drivers.  But I am saying that it should be treated with a special awareness and highly prized “inventory” available to the series. 

It’s not just about gaining exposure and visibility for the drivers by granting more access.  It most definitely should not be wasted.  It’s about designing that access to better create the image intended. 

I believe the drivers should be promoted as “larger than life” because they do things that are, well….”larger than life.”  AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, Rick Mears, are all larger than life driver stars.  Not all drivers can be of course, or even should be, but those few at the sharp end of the championship should be treated as if they are the biggest stars. 

Treat them like rock stars. 

The bigger the star, the more the access should be highly prized and the more “extra attention” devoted by the series in every aspect of the drivers available time at the race track. 

At the extreme end is F1, where drivers are barely accessible to fans at all!  Sponsors, yes.  But make no mistake; there is a reason for it.  There is an image at play and to be a F1 driver is to be at the ultimate end of the scale, in perception if not reality.  The access is highly prized.  In my terms, an off-handed, not completely serious offer of $5000 comes to mind.  But highly prized is obvious. 

In the modern age, with social media and the rest, it is difficult to achieve this rarefied position of less than over exposure while making interaction with the driver highly prized and highly sought after.    Many seem to think that it is just a matter of creating visibility, without much rhyme and reason to it.  I disagree. 

Today, more than ever, it’s all about rhyme and reason.  A good example is Dario Franchitti driving Jimmy Clark’s Indy car a couple years back.  Not an overly exciting video but a great piece of driver promotion for the Indy 500.  Perhaps, more professional editing would be an improvement, but by driving Clark’s car, Franchitti is unquestionably treated like a star.  And looks like one. 

Good work.

Think of other sports, MLB, NFL, NBA or even golf.  There is little “on the playing field” interaction between the players and the fans, even on the sidelines and little that is seemingly random.  Fans are in the stands.  Players on the playing field.  Access fans do get is designed to create greater impact and I suspect, highly controlled in the case of the biggest "stars."  Fewer wasted opportunities.  There is a lot  of security and hoop-la.  The players are all treated like VIPs.  How could it be any other way?

Maybe we should make a note of that too.

Because within those observations is the pathway to stardom.  In sports.  In entertainment.  And, I think, in INDYCARS.

Brian C. Mackey
Mackey Marketing Group, Inc.

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