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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

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
Why gimmicks won't fix Indy 500 qualifying

by Brian Carroccio
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Advertisement

Hulman & Co., CEO Mark Miles has a point.

Something needs to be done about Indianapolis 500 qualifying weekend. While there has been the occasional compelling storyline in recent years (i.e. Andretti Autosport’s struggles to qualify in 2011), the process of gaining entry to The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, has been much more routine than drama in recent years. And nothing illustrates that better than the events of the last two years.

Whereas, the last day of qualifying was once characterized by drivers making desperation go-for-broke attempts to make the field of 33, the last two have few years have been well, more about trying to fill the 11 rows of three. This past year, Katherine Legge, who secured a ride the day before final qualifications, secured the thirty-third starting sport at 12:53 p.m., and turned out to be the last qualifier of the day. The remaining five plus hours were spent waiting to see if Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver Michel Jourdain, Jr. would make a qualifying attempt, which due to a poor handling car, never happened. 

Understandably, Miles wants to avoid a repeat scenario. Hours of dead track time do not create value for spectators nor is it the formula to get people in front of the television on nice spring days. Plus, it would stand to reason there was no chance, ABC/ESPN would be interested in covering final-day qualifying as it was the past two years with hours of dead track time. Since, Miles has apparently packaged the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the IMS road course and qualifying weekend with the race for ABC/ESPN, it would also stand to reason that they would have some say in the format of qualifying weekend.

And the rumored changes to the format make sense from the perspective of television and ticket buyers. The field of 33 will be set Saturday, while Sunday will see two sessions to determine the starting order. Qualifiers 10-33 from Saturday will participate in a session for those grid positions, with qualifiers 1-9 from Saturday participating in the Fast Nine Shootout at the end of the day.

In short, the days have reversed. Pole Day is now Sunday, while Bump Day is Saturday. Doing this, Miles has guaranteed there will be on track action both days, adding value for ticket-buyers and guaranteeing on track action for the TV audience. Fair enough.

But let’s be clear: that’s all Miles guaranteed.

However, it wasn't the guarantee that cars would be circling the track that made Indy 500 qualifying compelling theatre. And any notion that Miles' proposal will begin to restore the lost luster of Indy qualifying show a complete ignorance to what made qualifying at Indy great. Yes, Miles’ tweaks may have been necessary to secure the ABC/ESPN deal. But they've moved us no closer to the glory days of Indy qualifying. If anything, Miles and IMS seem to have sadly resigned themselves to the reality those days may forever remain a distant memory.

See, idle track time on the final day of qualifying is not the problem, per se. It’s certainly a symptom of the problem. But the problem is that there are not enough competitors (drivers, teams, manufacturers, etc.) with a compelling enough reason to run. In other words, whether the issue is commercial, too few engines, or adequate return on investment, or a combination of factors, the simple truth is there are not enough compelling reasons to attract more than 33-35 participants. Hence, there is no competition to make the field.

I suppose, there is some intrigue as to who will qualify where, particularly the pole position.

But there is no intrigue as to whether someone will or will not make the field. There is no possibility of an underdog type like Willy T. Ribbs in 1991 erupting in joy after achieving his dream of racing in the Indianapolis 500. Contrarily, there is no possibility a marquee driver from a top team, a la Ryan Hunter-Reay two years ago, might fail to qualify not. We witnessed Bobby Rahal as the defending series champion, fail to qualify in 1993. There was the even more dramatic case of Team Penske in 1995, failing to qualify Emerson Fittipaldi and Al Unser, Jr. after thoroughly dominating the previous year in their purpose built Mercedes 209 engines.

Of course, that brings us to another issue in that the technical diversity and innovation has been absent from Gasoline Alley for nearly two decades now. Gone are the days where we see a rear-engine marvel competing against the powerful, elegant front-engined roadsters. No longer do we have high boost, “stock-block” Buicks competing against the regular race-built engines.

No, there are 33 Dallaras, half powered by Honda, the other half by Chevrolet. Plus, everyone makes the field. Sure, this may be a result of the current economic realities. But let it be known the uncertainty over whether Tristan Vautier will qualify 27th or 28th is not what made Indy qualifying compelling theatre. Speed records, innovation, and the race to be in one of the 11 rows of 3 did.

Nothing about Miles’s plan moves us the least bit closer to that.

Now, as outlined above that may be the predicament Miles finds himself in. Plus, if this is part of what Miles had to do to get ABC/ESPN to cover more than just the race, well, so be it.

But if Miles and IMS want to re-capture the glory days of qualifying, this measure doesn't even begin to address the problem. And while I doubt we'll hear Mark Miles acknowledgement that publicly, I hope for IndyCar's sake, he realizes it privately.

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