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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
Iowa IndyCar postscript

by Brian Carroccio
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

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Scott Dixon leads Ana Beatriz
I was unaware that sour cream was its own food group.

Likewise, at this time last week, I could not have told you why corn peaks in July. Nor would I have been able to recall the last time I saw a sign cautioning drivers to watch out for "horse drawn vehicles."

Also, being something of a "city," kid, I admittedly was the first to roll my eyes about 7-8 years ago, when the "Corn Indy," was first announced. Further, I'm not one to romanticize the smell of fresh manure in the morning, something I had the privilege, if you will, of taking in just outside my hotel room.

But after a weekend of fabulous scrambler dishes, juicy steaks, sour cream with every meal, beautiful country, hospitable people, and my first "solo" assignment covering a race for AutoRacing1.com, go ahead and consider me one of the converted.

And while I'm not sure my waistline can handle too many assignments in Iowa, IndyCar's annual pilgrimage to Iowa may become something of a regular one for me. Simply put, the racy layout in the middle of nowhere, was made for Indy cars. And while this year's crowd was down a little, this is a place that IndyCar needs to be going forward.

Let's take a look at a few of the stories from this weekend's Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by DeKalb.

The Crowd:

As mentioned, attendance was down. From reading the newspapers and talking to the locals, I gathered a few things were at work.

One, the 2013 U.S. Track and Field Championships were in Des Moines. While those races aren't enormous draws, they drew over 9,000 on Friday and 10,000 yesterday. Keep in mind, Iowa is not densely populated to begin with.

Plus, the Track and Field Championships were the cover story in the Des Moines sports section both Saturday and Sunday. While the IndyCar race was number 2, it took a back seat, or at the very least shared twin billing with the Track and Field championships.

Anyway, I know the difficulties of making a schedule, and I'm not blaming anyone. Also, from reading the paper (I confess I'm not an expert on this) it seemed Des Moines was part of a "rota," for the event a la The (British) Open in golf. They had last hosted the event in 2009, and may again in the future, although that is to be determined.
However, when I say IndyCar should be in Iowa, I say that under the pretense that they are the headline act. The market is simply too small for IndyCar to be fighting for attention with other events.
The second factor was simply the weather. It was very hot Saturday (and I didn't have to sit in a grandstand all day), and then the rain Sunday probably scared off any potential walk-up. Also, the area has been getting a lot of rain, which may have further discouraged people. 
Ryan Hunter-Reay also mentioned he thought the gate would be better if the race were moved back to Saturday evening. Certainly, Saturday night avoids, the brutal heat that we had Saturday. Of course, the race was moved to Sunday for television, so I suppose you choose your battles.....

The Mayor:

No one put up much of a battle for James Hinchcliffe Sunday. 

When he won the season opener at St. Petersburg, I wrote that while The Mayor of Hinchtown had shown promise, St. Pete was the first time we had the seen Hinch in a "put some hair on your chest," moment. We saw another such moment in Sao Paulo.

However, Iowa showed a continued element of Hinchcliffe's evolution, as the Canadian was thoroughly dominant. Yes, Hinch got his 'Mike Conway' on, if you will, leading 226 of the 250 laps, and was the unquestioned star of the show. Yes, he was challenged a few times on restarts but kept the car under him, and his stalkers at bay.   

Of course, when it comes to Hinchcliffe, his potential impact on IndyCar must be discussed. While Hinch is not yet the "face," of the sport, a la Ryan Hunter-Reay or Tony Kanaan, the charismatic Toronto native has all the elements to become that.

Hinch displays confidence without the pretense of arrogance, humor without being snide, the willingness to be marketable without it seeming contrived, and is accomplished without being aloof and distant. 

In short, Hinchcliffe, at least thus far, has been able to win, while maintaining that "Everyman," persona. While other drivers such as Dario Franchitti and Helio Castroneves can be engaging and personal on a certain level, one doesn't get the sense you could sit down and have a beer with Franchitti or Castroneves. To be clear, this isn't a criticism of either man.

It is however, an illustration of and testament to, an oh-so-rare quality the young Canadian seems to have in spades. And should more success follow, it will be intriguing to see what impact Hinchcliffe can potentially have on the sport.

Championship: Not so Wide Open

One quality I will say Hinch has yet to display is consistency. His three wins are his only podium finishes this season, and his next best finish is a fifth (Milwaukee). He also has three finishes outside the top-20. Currently, he sits fourth in the championship 55 points behind Castroneves. 

Now, personally I'd argue this is something of a flaw in the IndyCar points system, which places too much a premium on consistency, but that's another subject for another day.

Nevertheless, the 'ebullient' Brazilian Castroneves has been incredibly consistent so far with only one finish outside the top-10 (13th Sao Paulo). Castroneves has been on the podium four times, and recorded nine finishes of eighth or better.  Hinchcliffe only has four finishes of eighth or better.

Also, sitting third is Marco Andretti, who has been consistent, but yet to put together an entire weekend, and find victory lane. Fifth is Tony Kanaan, who you have to imagine will see a drop in form when the series returns to the road and street courses. Remember, Kanaan has only two podium finishes on road and street courses in the last five seasons. 

So, unless something changes the title race is going to come down to Castroneves and 2nd place Hunter-Reay. Since, the race in Sao Paulo the defending champion has quietly been on a tear, recording 5 podium finishes in the last six races. Also, the fact Hunter-Reay struggled in qualifying this weekend, and still finished second has to have the rest of the concerned. 

Still, if anyone is going to track down the top-2, the best bet is Hinchcliffe.

Rahal and Bia:

Graham Rahal and Ana Beatriz are not championship contenders. However, both made their presence very much known over the weekend in Iowa.

Rahal, of course, set off a mini-firestorm after telling the media on pit row, IndyCar might not be back in Iowa next year shortly after his qualifying run. Young Rahal was incredibly frustrated at the time, but came back later in the evening to put on a clinic in the second heat race, which he won after starting eighth.

On race day, Rahal ran in the top-five most of the day, before finishing fifth. 

Beatriz was unable to qualify prior to the heat races due to an engine change. The Brazilian would start the first heat race last, but provide quite a bit of entertainment as she passed Dario Franchitti, Sebastien Bourdais, and Sebastian Saavedra all in a span of about 8 laps. 

Also, Bia had made up some positions on race day, before a strange problem with her wheel bearings.

And while she had little to show result-wise, Bia caught the attention of many. In particular, her normally difficult to impress car owner Dale Coyne noted Bia "truly belongs in Indy Car and it is our sincere hope that the pieces will come together to insure her place in this sport for a long time to come."

And Left in Bia's Wake....

I never thought I'd say this: Sebastien Bourdais and Dario Franchitti brought up the rear in a heat race.

Yes, after Bia blew by them, the combined 8 Indy car championships of Bourdais and Franchitti were relegated to 8th and 9th (last) in the Heat Race 1. Both endured miserable weekends, finishing 14th and 20th respectively.

A Few Quick Things:

--Mike Conway still has more podium finishes in 2013 than Chip Ganassi's team.
--Carlos Munoz still has the exact same number of podium finishes in 2013 as Chip Ganassi's team.

--Of the twenty-two drivers who have started all 10 races, only Bourdais has yet to score a top-10 finish. 

--I'm not entirely sure of the sponsor/team/driver arrangement. However, I'm keeping my eye on Barracuda Racing where Alex Tagliani hasn't finished better than 21st in the past six races. With someone like Oriol Servia available (finished 7th this weekend), I wonder if team owner Bryan Herta will be compelled to make a change in the not too distant future.   

Brian Carroccio is an IndyCar Columnist for AutoRacing1.com. He lives in Rockville, MD and can be reached by email at BrianC@autoracing1.com.

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