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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
Detroit GP postscript

by Brian Carroccio
Wednesday, June 04, 2014

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The Captain (L) has put his mark on the Detroit GP
IndyCar and the Detroit GP come from shaky pasts. From one perspective, they can both be construed as cautionary tales; living, gasping-for-air reminders of how greed, internecine political squabbles, and short-sightedness can reduce once thriving kingdoms to rubble. Making matters worse, both are subjected to ubiquitous, constant and painful material reminders of what once was, what could have been, and the sad story of profound human failure they both represent.

For the City of Detroit such reminders may appear in the form of abandoned buildings and waist-high uncut grass further than the eye can see. For the sport of Indy car racing it can be seen in minuscule television ratings, diminished relevance and submissive abdication with regard to its Southern counterpart NASCAR, and the success of a quintessentially American phenomenon in the past century. While one could argue those successes form a reasonable basis of hope for better days ahead, one could likewise contend at least in the case of IndyCar, the contrary. Similar to one subjected to the eternal torment of wallowing in the self-inflicted misery of a lost love, I’d offer that Indy car racing is at times not helped by its glorious past, rather haunted by it. saloon racing.

Sure, both Detroit and Indy car racing can lay rightful claim to celebrated golden ages

And that’s where Detroit comes in.

From my experience visiting The Motor City the past two years, the residents of Detroit are neither delusional prisoners of their glorious past, nor scorned captives of their far-from-ideal present. Rather, they are a resilient collection of citizens who view the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans, not as an inconvenience that causes traffic problems or noise pollution, but as a showcase of their reviving city to a broader audience.

Sure, a visit downtown or drive through the surrounding areas reveals the turmoil that has and continues to plague The Motor City. But when strolling the grounds of Belle Isle, there is no sense of bitterness from a beleaguered town. Rather, through the investment and first-class operational manner of one Roger Penske, and the collective resilience of a city that views abandoned buildings not as eyesores or relics of glory lost, but as opportunities to rebuild and start anew, we are witnessing the emergence of what is becoming a cornerstone event for the Verizon IndyCar Series.

In short, IndyCar has found an unlikely partner in The Motor City. Certainly, reasonable questions abound regarding whether each can revive in a landscape far different from that in which they emerged. However, these two glorious entities of the 20th century, find themselves in a very common place seeking relevance in the 21st. And when you really think about it, the two may have found a wonderful partnership in each other.

Today, in our Detroit Postscript we will review the third installment of the latest re-installment of Indy car racing’s annual visit to Belle Isle.

Welcome to Detroit

To be clear, I say this not as some patronizing “look at the beleaguered city shine” nonsense. However, having attended nine IndyCar events in the last 13 months, I can unequivocally say Detroit boasted the friendliest, most welcoming, most helpful people. Everyone from hotel clerks to race volunteers, waiters and cab drivers, genuinely go out of their way to be welcoming and friendly.

The Captain

Of course, the race in Detroit would not have been possible without the leadership, investment and initiative one Roger Penske.

From all indications, The Captain is probably sinking some of his own money into the event trying to help two entities he has a deep passion for: IndyCar and Detroit. And while the Belle Isle circuit has some less than ideal elements (i.e. one bridge to access the island), Penske has invested substantially in the event the past three years. From redesigning the course to repaving the circuit, and improving the infrastructure of the island for Michigan residents, The Captain has put his money where his mouth is.

Also, when I got home and watched the DVR of the telecast, I thought the circuit looked excellent on television. While the weather Gods no doubt provided an assist, the Belle Isle race facility has banished its once unfortunate ‘Hell Isle’ moniker to the ashbin of history. That can be interpreted as nothing other than a testament to Penske.

And this weekend The Captain was awarded with a…

Sweep

Funny, in the closing laps of Saturday’s race I was watching the lap times as 2nd place Graham Rahal was closing on leader Will Power. I turned to the person sitting next to in the media center and said “I think Rahal is going to catch Power.”

I was wrong of course, as Power held off Rahal for the win. The undercurrent of my message was of course, such a result would have been well, so IndyCar. You know like Ford and Toyota winning the first 6 races at Honda-owned Motegi, or Honda winning the one race in 2012 and sweeping the doubleheader last year in Chevrolet’s backyard.

Sure, Rahal capturing the win would have been a good story. However, a Chevrolet sweep in Detroit, and a Penske sweep at that (Helio Castroneves won Sunday), was somewhat fitting.

Speaking of Chevy

After the Indianapolis 500, AR1 President Mark Cipolloni went out of his way to remind readers that Honda powered cars (he picked Honda to be manufacturer champion) had won three races in a row  (Barber and the two Indy races). This weekend was of course, a savage setback for Honda, which placed only Rahal on the podium Saturday, and saw Chevy sweep the top four positions Sunday. Cipolloni says Honda laid down to allow Chevy to bask in the glory of a race in their backyard and a race they heavily support.

Although, I’m well aware of Honda’s prowess, I will reiterate what I said at the beginning of the year. I lean slightly towards Chevrolet in the Manufacturers Championship mainly due to the superior quality of their teams. Also, while they haven’t won yet this year, the Ganassi team placed cars on the podium in both Detroit races. And if Ganassi gets going, The Bowtie Brigade is going to be even stronger.

RHR

Part of what made the weekend a tough one for Honda was the well-below par performance of the Japanese marque’s best driver Ryan Hunter-Reay. Coming off what had to have been a tiresome, whirlwind week, the 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner had three encounters with the wall, qualified 21st both days, finished 16th Saturday and 19th Sunday. After entering the weekend with the points lead, RHR now sits third.

Just remember that Hunter-Reay (like Power) drives better when he is the hunter, not the hunted. I imagine he’ll bounce back from a tough weekend in The Motor City by about the first practice session Friday in Texas.

Regarding other Honda drivers…

I’m not the biggest believer in luck. Nor can I empirically quantify which drivers have better or worse luck.

That said, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver Josef Newgarden seems to have some of the most rotten luck I’ve ever seen. Ditto for Jack Hawksworth, who suffered of all things Saturday, a brake disc explosion. 

Both have at times been very fast. Neither have anywhere near the results worthy of their form.

Going Forward

While Belle Isle certainly has improved over the last three years, there are some imperfections. The first is something no reasonable person would fault Belle Isle or the City of Detroit for: timing.

Yes, the doubleheader format, which certainly helps the overall gate (even if it hurts the Sunday gate), is a drain on the teams. In particular, the doubleheader is grueling considering it directly follows what is already a draining month in Indianapolis.

Of course, the event has established some date equity in the past three years. Also, one has to imagine Penske wields a pretty strong influence as to when the race will be and the fact it is broadcast on ABC. Also, Texas Motor Speedway has some very established date equity, two weeks after the Indy 500.

In short, I see neither Texas nor Detroit, and certainly not the Indy 500 moving. One also has to think the Grand Prix of Indianapolis will stay in its Saturday before Mother’s Day date.

Going forward, this looks like it will be a grueling stretch on the team personnel and those who travel regularly with the tour. And given the constraints in place, I don’t really see anyway of that changing.

Brian Carroccio is a columnist for AutoRacing1. He can be contacted at BrianC@AutoRacing1.com.

Feedback can be sent to feedback@autoracing1.com

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