for your iPhone
for your iPad
IndyCar

IndyCar Links

2014 Schedule

2014 IndyCar Rules

2014 Indy Lights Rules

2014 Pro Mazda Rules

2014 USF2000 Rules

2014 Drug Policy

2014 Teams

2014 Scanner Freq

Race Car Comparison

Lap Time Comparison

History CART/IRL Split


2014 Standings
After Toronto
Driver Standings

Driver Standings
1 Helio Castroneves 533
2 Will Power 520
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay 464
4 Simon Pagenaud 462
5 Juan Pablo Montoya 428
6 Scott Dixon 387
7 Carlos Munoz (R) 384
8 Tony Kanaan 380
9 Marco Andretti 375
10 Sebastien Bourdais 358
11 Ryan Briscoe 344
12 James Hinchcliffe 330
13 Charlie Kimball 317
14 Justin Wilson 311
15 Mikhail Aleshin 298
16 Josef Newgarden 288
17 Jack Hawksworth (R) 287
18 Graham Rahal 266
19 Carlos Huertas (R) 265
20 Takuma Sato 234
21 Sebastian Saavedra 229
22 Mike Conway 218
23 Ed Carpenter 168
24 Oriol Servia 88
25 Kurt Busch (R) 80
26 JR Hildebrand 66
27 Sage Karam (R) 57
28 Luca Filippi 46
29 James Davison (R) 34
30 Jacques Villeneuve 29
31 Alex Tagliani 28
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 384
2 Mikhail Aleshin 298
3 Jack Hawksworth 287
4 Carlos Huertas 265
5 Kurt Busch 80
6 Sage Karam 57
7 James Davison 34
8 Martin Plowman 18

Wins
T1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 3
T2 Will Power 2
T2 Simon Pagenaud 2
T2 Mike Conway 2
T5 Helio Castroneves 1
T5 Carlos Huertas 1
T5 Ed Carpenter 1
T5 Juan Pablo Montoya 1
T5 Sebastien Bourdais 1

Podium Finishes
T1 Will Power 6
T1 Helio Castroneves 6
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay 5
4 Tony Kanaan 4
T5 Carlos Munoz 3
T5 Juan Pablo Montoya 3
T7 Marco Andretti 2
T7 Simon Pagenaud 2
T7 Mike Conway 2
T10 Carlos Huertas 1
T10 Scott Dixon 1
T10 Josef Newgarden 1
T10 Graham Rahal 1
T10 Charlie Kimball 1
T10 Ed Carpenter 1
T10 Jack Hawksworth 1
T10 Mikhail Aleshin 1
T10 Sebastien Bourdais 1
Manufacturer Standings:
1 Chevrolet 2056
2 Honda 1042

Lap Leaders:
1 Will Power 353
2 Tony Kanaan 326
3 Helio Castroneves 241
4 Ryan Hunter-Reay 167
5 Ed Carpenter 116
6 Juan Pablo Montoya 74
7 Takuma Sato 67
8 Sebastien Bourdais 60
9 Simon Pagenaud 59
10 James Hinchcliffe 56
11 Scott Dixon 44
12 Jack Hawksworth 32
13 Justin Wilson 25
14 Marco Andretti 22
T15 Mike Conway 15
T15 Josef Newgarden 15
17 Sebastian Saavedra 14
18 Graham Rahal 10
T19 Oriol Servia 7
T19 Carlos Huertas 7
21 Ryan Briscoe 5
22 Mikhail Aleshin 4
23 Alex Tagliani 3

Entrant Points
Pos. # Entrant Points
1 3 Team Penske 533
2 12 Team Penske 520
3 28 Andretti Autosport 464
4 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports 462
5 2 Penske Motorsports 428
6 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 387
7 20 Ed Carpenter Racing 386
8 34 Andretti Autosport/HVM 384
9 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 380
10 25 Andretti Autosport 375
11 11 KVSH Racing 358
12 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing 344
13 27 Andretti Autosport 330
14 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing 317
15 19 Dale Coyne Racing 311
16 7 Schmidt PetersonMotorsports 298
17 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 288
18 98 BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian 287
19 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 266
20 18 Dale Coyne Racing 265
21 14 A.J. Foyt Racing 234
22 17 KV/AFS Racing 229
23 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 134
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 5.38
T2 Kurt Busch 6.00
T2 Will Power 6.00
4 Simon Pagenaud 6.92
5 Sage Karam 9.00
6 Scott Dixon 9.61
7 J.R. Hildebrand 10.00
8 Tony Kanaan 10.23
9 Ryan Hunter-Reay 10.38
T10 Juan Pablo Montoya 11.15
T10 Sebastien Bourdais 11.15
12 Ryan Briscoe 11.38
13 Justin Wilson 11.92
14 Carlos Munoz 12.00
15 James Hinchcliffe 12.46
16 Oriol Servia 12.5
17 Marco Andretti 12.69
18 Ed Carpenter 12.75
19 Alex Tagliani 13.0
20 Charlie Kimball 13.23
21 Takuma Sato 13.46
22 Mikhail Aleshin 13.61
23 Jacques Villeneuve 14.0
24 Mike Conway 14.66
25 Graham Rahal 15.0
26 James Davison 16.0
27 Carlos Huertas 16.07
28 Josef Newgarden 16.92
29 Sebastian Saavedra 17.0
30 Jack Hawksworth 17.16
31 Luca Filippi 18.50
32 Martin Plowman 20.5
33 Franck Montagny 22.0
34 Pippa Mann 24.0
35 Townsend Bell 25.0
36 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
T4 Scott Dixon 1
T4 Sebastien Bourdais 1

Appearances in the Firestone Fast Six
1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 5
T2 Helio Castroneves 4
T2 Will Power 4
T3 James Hinchcliffe 3
T3 Scott Dixon 3
T3 Jack Hawksworth 3
T7 Simon Pagenaud 2
T7 Josef Newgarden 2
T7 Tony Kanaan 2
T7 Sebastien Bourdais 2
T11 Takuma Sato 1
T11 Marco Andretti 1
T11 Sebastian Saavedra 1
T11 Mike Conway 1
T11 Juan Pablo Montoya 1
T11 Ryan Briscoe 1
T11 Luca Filippi 1

Qualifying Average
1 Helio Castroneves 5.53
2 James Hinchcliffe 6.90
3 Ed Carpenter 7.00
4 Luca Filippi 7.66
5 Simon Pagenaud 7.69
6 Will Power 7.76
7 Scott Dixon 8.84
8 J.R. Hildebrand 9.00
9 Sebastien Bourdais 9.76
10 Carlos Munoz 10.3
11 Tony Kanaan 10.53
12 Ryan Hunter-Reay 10.61
13 Juan Pablo Montoya 10.84
14 Takuma Sato 11.69
15 Kurt Busch 12.0
16 Marco Andretti 12.61
T17 Josef Newgarden 12.92
T17 Ryan Briscoe 12.92
19 Justin Wilson 13.0
20 Jack Hawksworth 14.5
21 Mike Conway 14.66
22 Mikhail Aleshin 14.84
23 Graham Rahal 15.38
24 Sebastian Saavedra 16.53
25 Charlie Kimball 17.15
26 Carlos Huertas 17.84
27 Franck Montagny 21.0
28 Pippa Mann 22.0
29 Alex Tagliani 24.0
30 Martin Plowman 24.5
31 Townsend Bell 25.0
32 Jacques Villeneuve 27.0
33 James Davison 28.0
34 Sage Karam 31.0
35 Buddy Lazier 33.0
Naive to think NASCAR's NBC deal is good for IndyCar

by Brian Carroccio
Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Advertisement

It's time for the IndyCar set to take off their rose colored glasses. Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you believe NASCAR on NBC is going to help IndyCar, we have a bridge we want to sell you.
I don't want to be overly dramatic. But with just over 24 hours after news broke that NBC Sports and NASCAR have finalized a ten-year deal worth over $4 billion (yes with a b), I am shocked by the reaction of those within IndyCar articulating the deal's merits for the series.

Now, I should admit I do have some biases that may influence my thinking. For one, I've long been of the belief that IndyCar should differentiate itself as much as possible from NASCAR. Others view the concept of bringing different entities  under one umbrella as a positive for motorsport, and I can't outright reject the validity in such thinking. Of course, NBC Sports Network is contracted in conjunction with ABC/ESPN to carry IndyCar through 2018. Plus, considering NBC Sports acquired the rights to Formula One last year, the network has suddenly become quite the motorsports outlet.

And generally speaking, there are many prominent figures in the world of IndyCar and motorsport in general, who have expressed optimism regarding the deal. This I cannot deny.

Still, regarding IndyCar's place in the new alliance between NASCAR and NBC Sports, I have major, major concerns, all centering around one theme: the reasons many are citing as a positive about the new television deal, again with respect to IndyCar, are the very things that arguably support the contrarian view. Yes, those who contend NASCAR joining forces with NBC Sports Network will somehow help IndyCar, are ironically the ones best articulating the reasons it will not. 

Let me explain.

To begin, one reason most commonly cited explanation arguing the new deal is good for IndyCar is that NASCAR's presence on NBCSN will raise the profile and reach of the growing-slower-than-some-would like cable network.

As stated above, this is undoubtedly true., and no reasonable person would disagree.

Simply put, NASCAR is an incredibly valuable sports entertainment property, and NASCAR fans are incredibly loyal. They will find NBCSN. If they don't currently have access to NBCSN, most will upgrade their cable package and gain access to it.

Yes, acquiring the NASCAR rights will undoubtedly result in more eyeballs viewing NBCSN.

But here's my concern: this argument presumes IndyCar's poor television ratings are attributable to NBCSN's limited reach. However, a real simple argument can be made that the inability for people to find a channel while by no means good, is not the root of IndyCar's well-documented television problems.

After all, I've yet to hear anyone say they have difficulty finding ABC. Yes, the ratings of ABC IndyCar races are clearly better than those on NBCSN. Still, no one is happy with the ratings as they stand now on either ABC or NBCSN. No one is happy with the consistent decline in the ratings over time. Yes, NBCSN's lack of reach is a problem, but with ABC as clear evidence, no one can reasonably say the only problem.

Also, others have noted that NASCAR moving to NBCSN makes the upstart network the undisputed leader in motorsports coverage, providing ample opportunity for cross-promotion, and auxiliary programming.

Again, taken at face value, no one can dispute this. With two strokes of the pen in the last year, the first being the acquisition of Formula One and now NASCAR, NBCSN has become the undisputed motorsports leader. Or at least they will be come 2015.

And according to IndyCar vice president of marketing Kasey Coler “We fully expect significant cross promotions across NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One [on NBC Sports Network].”

I should point out that Coler didn't say he was sure there would significant cross promotion, only that he expected it. As a major IndyCar executive, I would hope that he knows what exactly the plans are sometime soon. Mark Miles was asking Curt Cavin (on his radio show) about the deal.  IndyCar hasn't a clue what's going on. In the dark because they never were, and never will be, a true partner with NBC.

In the meantime, he should be reminded of this: the next time NASCAR and IndyCar successfully collaborate on a commercial endeavor that benefits both organizations will be the first. And Coler needs to look no further than the initial motivation IndyCar had to enter into a contract with NBCSN.

Of course, there were significant complaints back when IndyCar was exclusively an ESPN property regarding the lack of promotion. This point was magnified when ESPN/ABC became a NASCAR partner beginning in 2007, and the perception was ESPN/ABC did more to promote NASCAR than IndyCar. There was also frustration over ABC/ESPN's small coverage windows, and a general sentiment that a network without so many commitments could better serve the goals of IndyCar.

At the very least, these were some one of the reasons cited for the series entered into a deal with Versus in 2009 (which later become NBCSN). And I'd like to ask Coler what exactly has changed between now and when IndyCar went to Versus frustrated by the lack of cross-promotion with a network that had a larger investment in NASCAR?

Also, when ESPN/ABC had NASCAR and was supposedly indifferent towards IndyCar, this was despite the fact they owned the sport's greatest television property: The Indianapolis 500. In 2015, NBCSN is not going to own the Indianapolis 500. Remember, according to the terms of the current contract ABC is the exclusive network home of the IndyCar Series, and owns the rights to the Indy 500. NBCSN will simply have a balance of IndyCar races after ABC selects their schedule.

Yes, NBCSN will remain a partner of IndyCar, contractually at least. But keep this in mind: NBC will have a $4 billion investment in NASCAR. Or stated another way an investment about 200 times greater than their remaining commitment to IndyCar. And this doesn't even take into account their commitment to F1. 

Still, Coler thinks there will be "significant cross-promotions." But I have to ask: why?

In other words, what is the motivation for NBC Sports to grow IndyCar? Where does IndyCar fits in with the goals of NBCSN going forward? When push comes to shove will there be a place for IndyCar to grow amongst the Premier League soccer, NFL auxiliary programming, college football, NHL, F1, NASCAR (Sprint Cup and Nationwide)?

Coler "expects," there will be, but he didn't offer much more. In other words, he is telling us there he expects the deal to be good, but it's conceivable even he doesn't know.  There is a better chance NBC will use the IndyCar broadcast to drive fans to watch the NASCAR race so they can pay that $4.4B nut they just committed to.  They are not going to drive fans toward IndyCar, they want all the eyeballs watching NASCAR.

Now, I don't want to be entirely morbid. Like I said earlier, I'm still somewhat digesting this. I suppose there may be some sort of grand plan we are unaware of. I suppose there are some creative scheduling opportunities that can be explored such as week-night races which would help IndyCar reach a prime-time audience but result in near-zero fans in the grandstands.

But considering the history of IndyCar and NASCAR on the same network, I have serious doubts that such creativity will be allowed within the confines of a suddenly crowded slate of programming for NBCSN, which brings me to my next point. 

Ultimately, what IndyCar needs is not a better television deal, or even a network with greater penetration. Sure, those things would be nice, but focusing solely on such things misses the larger picture.

What IndyCar ultimately needs, and what it has been lacking in recent years is a partner. Yes, IndyCar has been contractually a partner for NBCSN and ABC/ESPN. But in reality, IndyCar has merely been another sports entity to fill programming time; a sports entity with a committed, albeit small, diehard fan base. For whatever reason(s), the interests of IndyCar have not aligned with either the television partners to benefit both sides commercially in a meaningful way.

To be fair, one can't necessarily blame ABC/ESPN and NBC for this. Sure, we make fun of ABC with the "Always Bad Coverage," moniker, which I would argue is somewhat deserved. Yes, we make fun of NBCSN's minuscule television ratings, and odd programming such as fishing shows. 

Yet, at the end of the day, these are branches of major corporations that don't fulfill our wishes. They have bottom lines to look after and shareholders to answer to. For whatever reason(s), these entities have not seen value in marketing IndyCar as many of us would like, as aligned with those goals.

In other words, each side has seen value in filling airtime with IndyCar, neither side has seen value in a significant partnership with IndyCar. The indifference of ABC of course, is well-documented. But if anyone suggests NBC is somehow different, my reply is simple: they just committed $4 billion to another motorsports property.

And I'd like to say this means NBCSN is going to make motorsports a centerpiece of their programming, and they see IndyCar as enhancing that. I'd like to say this means the network has plans to cross promote, and run one motorsports property before another motorsports property in attempts to attract viewers of the prior program. I'd like to say there are plans afoot that will benefit motorsports as a whole, which has seen a decline in popularity in recent years, something we've outlined on AutoRacing1.com.

I'd like to, but I can't.

That's not to say that won't ultimately be the case. But right now it's hard to get on board with the virtues of this new TV deal, particularly when the very people advocating for it, seem to be validating the arguments against it. 

Brian Carroccio is an IndyCar Columnist for AutoRacing1.com. He can be contacted at BrianC@AutoRacing1.com

Feedback can be sent to feedback@autoracing1.com

Go to our forums to discuss this article