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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 maturing of Marco Andretti

by Brian Carroccio
Thursday, August 15, 2013

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Marco Andretti
I had the pleasure of attending today's media luncheon for The Grand Prix of Baltimore Presented by SRT. The luncheon was held at Kona Grill on Pratt Street, the main straightaway, and hosted by Dave Curley and Harry Hammel of Sandy Hillman Communications, the public relations firm of The Grand Prix. The guest of honor was driver of the #25 RC Cola Chevrolet Marco Andretti.

Andretti, who currently sits fourth in the 2013 Izod IndyCar Series championship standings, drove down for a noon lunch from his home in Nazareth, PA. He noted that the trip normally takes three hours, but he managed to make it in two and a half. He also noted that he was somewhat under the weather as he had been travelling for the better part of a week. Of course, Andretti tested in Sonoma ahead of next weekend's GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, where he won in 2006, and will also test again at the track next Wednesday.

In the meantime, he plans to kick the cold and get some rest.

Today, however, young Andretti took a few hours of his time to meet with members of the media, most of whom were local Baltimore media. In a rather relaxed setting, Andretti spoke on a variety of topics, and I found some of his answers quite interesting. Enjoy.

His Improved Form in 2013:

Of course, much has been made about Andretti working with a driving coach this past offseason. And while he briefly mentioned that, he said that much of the improvement came from "spending time in the office."

He spoke of watching in-car cameras of certain drivers (notably Ryan Hunter-Reay), studying hands, braking points and overall comparing his data with that of others. He mentioned that grandfather Mario told him, "there was no magic," and that he would be wise to study what other successful drivers were doing. The conclusion as Andretti has said on numerous occasions was he was "overdriving," the car, or too often "asking for something that wasn't there."

Also, Andretti noted that he has made a conscious effort to improve his mental approach. He says he tries to not dwell on what could have been, rather ask "what can we do," to improve. 

Of course, Andretti did say that while he was happy with the improvement, he still wasn't satisfied, and won't be until he is regularly winning races and championships.

That said, Andretti has had some disappointing finishes in 2013, but if you go back and look at the season, he has yet to have even one really bad weekend. 

On the inevitable comparisons with his father and grandfather:

Marco said there is "always pressure." However, the pressure that comes with carrying the Andretti name "is no greater than the pressure I put on myself."

On the Baltimore circuit:

Interestingly, we racing people often think of chicanes as somewhat Mickey Mouse. However, Andretti said the chicane that was in place the first two years to slow the cars before going over the Light Rail tracks was incredibly tricky and "hard to get right lap after lap."

Of course, the chicane this year has been changed somewhat. Still, I found the answer interesting, and now that I think about it should have followed up.

As for the rest of the circuit, Andretti said it had a good variety of corners, passing opportunities, and was "very physical."

On living at father Michael's old house:

Michael Andretti, has of course, relocated to Indianapolis while Marco lives at his father's house in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. While I didn't get the exact details of the property layout apparently grandfather Mario lives rather close by. Marco noted that he often sees his grandfather walking his dog near his house, and joked that he should call 911 if he comes on his property

For some reason, I found that quite humorous.

Also, Andretti pointed out that Michael's house had a golf course, but that he didn't play much, because he lacked the patience for golf. I should have offered to swap houses with him.

The 2006 Indy 500:

Young Andretti did mention to a local reporter how close he came to winning the 2006 Indy 500. I, somewhat cautiously, mentioned to him that it looked like Sam Hornish, Jr. had nitrous oxide in his engine, Marco smirked and said, "yeah, something like that."

Other racing series:

Marco noted that he had and would in the future look to drive sports cars on off weekends for IndyCar. But he said "his heart," was in IndyCar. And when the subject of NASCAR was inevitably brought up, Andretti seemed to have no real interest. In fact, he replied noting that his pole record at Pocono was 41 mph faster than Jimmie Johnson's NASCAR speed. He also referenced other instances for the local media of how Indy cars were faster than stock cars.

This was an example of Marco selling IndyCar, something that occurred a few times during the lunch.

An Observation:

Considering that the media in attendance was more local (to my knowledge I was the only "IndyCar" media in attendance), there were questions that were of a somewhat elementary level in terms of racing. This, of course, happens regularly at IndyCar events, as the local media are covering the event from a local perspective, whereas someone from a racing outlet is covering the event from a racing perspective.

Let me just say, that Marco was very patient, and very good at explaining nuances of the sport to a non-IndyCar audience. While I've seen other IndyCar drivers do the same, Marco usually does not get the credit for being "media savvy," like some others. He should in this instance.

Marco Andretti media savvy?

Ok, let's not go that far. Andretti is by nature somewhat shy, and reserved. And  if one were to compare Marco to his father or grandfather, Marco probably tends to be more reserved like Michael. Further, no one will ever mistake Marco for say, his Andretti Autosport teammate James Hinchcliffe. When listening to the outgoing Canadian one almost gets the sense, whether this is the case or not, Hinchcliffe actually enjoys talking to the media. And while this is an observation not a criticism, you don't get that sense with Marco.

Still, what I did see in Andretti today was not necessarily a personality change but greater self-awareness, if you will. While he isn't necessarily a natural with the public, I saw a deliberate effort on his part to make a good public impression and engage others even if they weren't terribly knowledgeable about racing.

Overall Impressions:

This was the first time I've witnessed Andretti outside the setting of a race weekend. So, in fairness, I can't say harkens back to an interview from three years ago, and say this has changed or that has stayed the same.

However, from my observations, I came away with a sense that Andretti has made significant strides in the past year. He talked at length about the measures he took to improve his driving, and also seemed cognizant of making a good public impression. I also did not hear any excuse about we should have won this race, or deserved to win that race. In other words, the attitude of Andretti had not a hint of entitlement. Rather, his attitude seemed to be we've improved this year, yet still have a ways to go.

Overall, I was impressed with Andretti's outlook and insight. He seemed self-assured of the steps he had taken, and confident of the prospects that lie ahead.

In closing, I would like to thank Harry Hammel and Dave Curley for hosting today's luncheon. I would also like to thank Marco for sharing his insights, which I hope everyone enjoyed.

Brian Carroccio

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