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2014 Standings
After Long Beach
Pos. Driver Points

1 Will Power 93
2 Mike Conway 66
3 Simon Pagenaud 60
4 Helio Castroneves 55
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay 54
6 Scott Dixon 51
7 Carlos Munoz 48
8 Juan Pablo Montoya 47
9 Mikhail Aleshin 46
10 Sebastian Saavedra 42
11 Tony Kanaan 40
12 Justin Wilson 38
13 Takuma Sato 36
14 Josef Newgarden 34
15 Ryan Briscoe 33
16 Sebastien Bourdais 33
17 Graham Rahal 33
18 Marco Andretti 32
19 Carlos Huertas 32
20 Oriol Servia 26
21 Jack Hawksworth 24
22 James Hinchcliffe 20
23 Charlie Kimball 17

Wins
T1 Will Power 1
T1 Mike Conway 1

Podium Finishes
1 Will Power 2
T2 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1
T2 Helio Castroneves 1
T2 Mike Conway 1
T2 Carlos Munoz 1

Lap Leaders:
1 Will Power 74
2 Ryan Hunter-Reay 51
3 Takuma Sato 33
4 Scott Dixon 22
5 Mike Conway 4
6 Sebastian Saavedra 3
7 Helio Castroneves 2
8 Josef Newgarden 1


Prize Money
1 Will Power $50,000
T2 Mike Conway $30,000
T2 Ryan Hunter-Reay $30,000
4 Simon Pagenaud $18,000
5 Takuma Sato $17,000
T6 Helio Castroneves $15,000
T6 Carlos Munoz $15,000
T8 Juan Pablo Montoya $10,000
T8 Scott Dixon $10,000
T10 Mikhail Aleshin $8,000
T10 Tony Kanaan $8,000
12 Oriol Servia $7,000
T13 Justin Wilson $5,000
T13 Marco Andretti $5,000
T15 Sebastian Saavedra $4,000
T15 Josef Newgarden $4,000
T17 Ryan Briscoe $2,000
T17 Carlos Huertas $2,000

Entrant Points
Pos. # Entrant Points
1 12 Team Penske 93
2 20 Ed Carpenter Racing 66
3 77 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 60
4 3 Team Penske 55
5 28 Andretti Autosport 54
6 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 51
7 34 Andretti Autosport HVM Racing 48
8 2 Team Penske 47
9 7 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 46
10 17 KV AFS Racing 42
11 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing 40
12 19 Dale Coyne Racing 38
13 14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises 36
14 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing 34
15 8 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing 33
16 11 KVSH Racing 33
17 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 33
18 25 Andretti Autosport 32
19 18 Dale Coyne Racing 32
20 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 26
21 98 BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian 24
22 27 Andretti Autosport 20
23 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing 17

Finishing Average
1 Will Power 1.5
2 Simon Pagenaud 5
T3 Helio Castroneves 7
T3 Oriol Servia 7
5 Scott Dixon 8
6 Mike Conway 8.5
7 Mikhail Aleshin 9
8 Juan Pablo Montoya 9.5
T9 Sebastian Saavedra 10
T9 Carlos Munoz 10
11 Ryan Hunter-Reay 11
T12 Tony Kanaan 12
T12 Justin Wilson 12
T14 Ryan Briscoe 13.5
T14 Sebastien Bourdais 13.5
T14 Graham Rahal 13.5
T17 Josef Newgarden 14
T17 Carlos Huertas 14
19 Takuma Sato 14.5
20 Marco Andretti 15
21 Jack Hawksworth 18
22 James Hinchcliffe 20
23 Charlie Kimball 21.5

Pole Positions
T1 Takuma Sato 1
T1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1

Appearances in the Firestone Fast Six
1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 2
T2 Scott Dixon 1
T2 Tony Kanaan 1
T2 Sebastien Bourdais 1
T2 Will Power 1
T2 Takuma Sato 1
T2 Marco Andretti 1
T2 James Hinchcliffe 1
T2 Josef Newgarden 1
T2 Simon Pagenaud 1
T2 Jack Hawksworth 1

Qualifying Average
1 Ryan Hunter-Reay 2
2 Scott Dixon 6
3 Jack Hawksworth 6.5
4 Marco Andretti 7
5 Tony Kanaan 7.5
T6 Takuma Sato 8
T6 Sebastien Bourdais 8
T8 Will Power 9
T8 Carlos Munoz 9
10 Helio Castroneves 9.5
11 Simon Pagenaud 10
12 James Hinchcliffe 10.5
13 Oriol Servia 12
T14 Josef Newgarden 13
T14 Justin Wilson 13
16 Ryan Briscoe 13.5
17 Mike Conway 14.5
18 Sebastian Saavedra 16.5
19 Juan Pablo Montoya 17
20 Mikhail Aleshin 17.5
21 Carlos Huertas 19
22 Charlie Kimball 19.5
23 Graham Rahal 22
IndyCar is Running Out of Heroes

by Stephen Cox
Monday, November 18, 2013

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IndyCar loses one of its few remaining heroes, Dario Franchitti.  Readers of AR1.com know that over the years we have stressed that heroes drive every sport.  Each hero IndyCar loses results in a drop in TV ratings.
The trouble with IndyCar is not that there's no one available to take Dario Franchitti's place. The trouble with IndyCar is that no one cares who takes Dario Franchitti's place. The series is fast running out of heroes and reinforcements aren't arriving quick enough. This is bad business.

Let's look for a moment at a few successful business models.

When high school basketball star Damon Bailey began playing for Indiana University in 1990, be brought legions of fans with him. Everyone in the state knew of Bailey long before he arrived at IU because he had played at every small-town gymnasium for 100 miles in every direction for years. Damon Bailey drew interest from the target audience and as a result, the university sold tickets.

Everybody thinks former heavyweight champion and MMA superstar Randy Couture made his name in mixed martial arts. Wrong. He was a three-time NCAA All American wrestler and a three-time national champion runner-up long before his MMA career ever began. He brought his grass roots following to the UFC and as a result, ticket sales soared and mixed martial arts have gone mainstream.

Matt Kenseth used to run at Wisconsin's LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. I was there three weeks ago and saw his name engraved on the wall. Jeff Gordon used to drive at Bloomington Speedway when I raced stock cars there in the 80s. They took their fans with them to NASCAR.

Does anyone see a pattern here?

What are the chances Carlos Munoz from Colombia will become an IndyCar hero?
Now let's take a look at the grass roots following that the next generation of IndyCar drivers will bring to the sport.

Carlos Munoz of Indy Lights started his open wheel career in Italian Formula Renault before going to the West European Cup series. Jack Hawksworth ran the British Formula Renault series and arrived in America having run fewer than twenty races in full-sized automobiles in his life.

I spoke with Luca Filippi on the phone a few weeks ago. He's a great guy and a fine driver. I really mean that. But his background is in Asian and European formula cars.

These guys will put on a great race, but the average American sports fan won't watch it because the competitors have absolutely no grass roots following from the target audience. 

Look, this is not the old IRL-CART argument, nor is it a plea for sprint car drivers to take over IndyCar. And this isn't about “getting more American drivers.” I couldn't care less what nation a driver came from.

This is just business. IndyCar needs to sell tickets to its target audience, which, like it or not, is still primarily American.

Precious few American auto racing fans know or care who won the last Formula-Whatever-Gizmo championship for rich kids in Europe. And no, they don't know or care who won the last Formula Mazda title in the USA, either. The “why” doesn't matter. They just don't. 

If a great foreign driver like Franchitti, Mario Andretti or Alex Zanardi  stays and wins in the USA long enough they could become a hero.  But in most cases they are gone once the money runs out.  Because IndyCar chooses to stay with low TV ratings and collect the NBCSN check rather than do what is right, the sport relies on foreign ride-buyers to survive. Order the flowers and plan the funeral.
IndyCar is not bringing in new heroes from short tracks and club racing. The barriers to entry are too great, the expenses are too high, and no one needs a good oval driver when the cars can be driven flat out around the entire track.

Instead, the series is relying on one race – the Indy 500 – to create their own heroes out of drivers who have little or no prior familiarity with an American audience. And with Franchitti, it worked. After three Indy wins he was a genuine star.

But with only one Indy 500 per year, there aren't enough Borg Warner faces to continually re-stock IndyCar's depleted corps of superstars. And the new guys coming into the sport have no real support from American auto enthusiasts. We don't know these guys. They climbed the racing ladder overseas and arrived in the US carrying a bucket of cash with no following from local club races or short tracks.

And that is why, generally speaking, no one really cares who replaces Dario Franchitti. Stock car fans in Wisconsin don't care. Sprint car fans in Iowa don't care. Road racers in Texas don't care. And the predictable result is that they are less likely to buy tickets to an IndyCar race. And that is a bad thing.

Dario's departure leaves IndyCar with one less hero, and we're starting to run out of replacements.

Stephen Cox
McGunegill Engines/Boschett Timepieces #31

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