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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

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
The Miracle in Phoenix: An Interview with Jim Guthrie

by Stephen Cox
Monday, October 21, 2013


Jim Guthrie down low in the No. 27 races Stephane Gregoire at Indianapolis, 1997
One of the biggest miracles ever performed on four wheels took place on March 23, 1997 at Phoenix International Raceway. I remember sitting in my living room and watching the entire Indy Racing League Phoenix 200 on ABC, stunned into silence.

It was an upset so staggering that it transcended the petty IRL-versus-CART arguments. I bet you remember this race, too. So I called up Jim Guthrie's New Mexico office last week and asked him to re-live the moment for us. The story goes like this...

Jim Guthrie was $180,000 dollars in debt. And for normal guys like Jim, that's a lot of money.

His new team, Blueprint Racing, was flat broke and desperate. They had one engine, one race car, no trailer to haul it and no sponsor to paint on it. Their race crew was comprised of volunteers because they had no money to hire anyone.

Jim Guthrie's dream was to drive Indycars full time. Like so many other American drivers, he had paid his dues in Trans-Am, Formula 2000 and many other series only to find that there was no chance of a grass roots racer making it in CART. Then Tony George's IRL – for better or worse – offered a narrow window of opportunity.

Guthrie bought a Dallara Indy car. In 1996-97 he ran a handful of races and found that he was surprisingly competitive. The tour's upcoming stop was at Guthrie's home track in Phoenix, where he had hundreds of laps in many different types of cars.

“We rolled off the trailer and we were quick,” Guthrie remembered of his first practice session for the 1997 Phoenix 200. “So we'd run a few laps and come in and make a few shock changes or a little ride height. Nothing major. Then we'd go out and run a few more laps. We had only one engine so we did very short runs. Then we just parked the car.“

Surprisingly, Blueprint Racing qualified on the front row, losing the pole position to Team Menard's Tony Stewart by the narrowest of margins. That, in itself, was success beyond anything the racing world expected.

Once time trials were finished, the crew had little to do other than eat dinner and wait. “Everybody else was changing engines and going through everything. But all we did was wax the car and change the oil because it's all we could do. We didn't have anything else.”

Jim Guthrie qualified at Indy
Race day was sunny and cool. Guthrie's wife, children and parents were there, knowing that all of his hopes and dreams were on the line. “So we go out to Phoenix with borrowed parts on the car. We knew it was a do-or-die situation. I had borrowed money from relatives and friends and vendors.”

Still, something felt right. His confidence soared. Just before climbing into the cockpit, Guthrie fastened his helmet, slipped on his gloves and turned to his wife. “Make sure my Dad knows how to get to Victory Lane because I'm gonna win this race.”

The green flag fell to the beautiful roar of naturally-aspirated engines and it soon became apparent that the race would be a showdown between Guthrie and IRL superstar Tony Stewart. Early in the event, future Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack and reigning IndyCar champion Scott Sharp took turns at the front of the field. There were plenty of other heavyweights in the race including Roberto Guerrero, Scott Goodyear and Arie Luyendyk. But ultimately, none of them had anything for Guthrie and Stewart.

The strategy was already settled in Guthrie's mind. “I just wanted to follow. (Stewart) was on Goodyears and I was on Firestones. I knew if I pushed him, I could make him wear his tires out. And sure enough, I was on him and I could watch him. Every time, coming off Turn 4, he was leaving rubber. So I just kept pushing him. I thought that I had complete control of the race. I was so comfortable.”

Brack still led after 140 of 200 laps, with Davey Hamilton, Stewart and Guthrie all in the running. The heavily favored Tony Stewart drove like a man possessed. He sliced through traffic, going three-wide through Turn 4 and charging to the front. When Brack smacked the wall in Turn 3, Stewart inherited the lead and appeared to be in control until stopping for a final splash of fuel.

The move defaulted the lead to Guthrie, who had carefully planned his fuel mapping for a two-stop race and was waiting for just such a moment. Then Jim Guthrie did something amazing. He began to pull away from the field.

It was only then that the world woke up and realized that Guthrie might actually win. ABC commentator Jack Arute said, “They're unsponsored... they're like the David and Goliath story.” TV anchor Paul Page was shocked when Guthrie began laying down lap times nearly 4 mph faster than anything Stewart could manage.

With an urgency in his voice, Team Menard manager Larry Curry shouted at Stewart on the radio, “The leader is getting away from us!” He was right. For those who hadn't been paying attention during testing, practice and qualifications, it was becoming painfully obvious that this was no fluke. Despite all of Blueprint Racing's shortcomings, their lack of funding and their near total inexperience in Indycars, they were simply faster than anyone on the race track.

Sam Schmidt's crash with about twenty laps remaining bunched up the field and gave Stewart one last shot. Team Menard pitted for new, softer tires and trimmed the car out for a final run to the checkers. 

“That yellow was probably the saving grace for me,” Guthrie said. “Otherwise we would have definitely had a shootout because I would have had to pit for fuel. Every time it went yellow I swung out in the open to keep the car cool. If it got warm I'd click the fuel dial up one position. Again, we had our own fuel dial back then so you could manage your own fuel consumption.”

On the re-start, Guthrie deftly waited for second-place Davey Hamilton to accelerate too soon and then hit his brakes. A microsecond later, Guthrie nailed the throttle and cruised away from the field, holding off a late charge from Stewart to win the race.

Other than the cars of Hamilton and Stewart, Guthrie had lapped the field.

“The only thing that was a little unsettling was when I caught Buzz Calkins down in the middle of Turn 1 and 2 right before the end,” Guthrie said. “That allowed Tony to close the gap. I wanted to be super cautious and not screw up on the last lap so I went down a gear, cruised around Buzz, and then just squeezed the throttle, went into high gear and finished the race.”

“But on that last yellow I never looked back. It was weird. Eddie Cheever came up to me after the race and said, 'I was watching you and you never looked in your mirror.' I said, 'Nope. There was no reason to.'”

Guthrie won $185,400. He owed $180,000. Now he was broke again. The next race was Indy. That meant more borrowing and more begging for free parts and help. And he was running out of friends to borrow from.

Returning home after the Phoenix 200, Guthrie found a strange message on his voice mail. It was from the CEO of a company he'd never heard of called “US Industries.” The message was brief.

“Jim, with good equipment I know what you can do,” the mystery voice said. “I can't get a million dollars past the board, but... what can you do for $950,000?”

Stephen Cox
McGunegill Engine Performance/Boschett Timepieces #31

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