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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
An objective look at Graham Rahal's IndyCar career

by Brian Carroccio
Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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Rahal in 2008
On a wet, dreary day in early April of 2008, a then-recently unified IndyCar Series was running its second race of the season in St. Petersburg, FL.  Displaying talent and maturity beyond his years, a then 19-year old Graham Rahal captured an impressive first victory in only his 15th Indy car start. 

And as young Rahal celebrated the momentous occasion with his father Bobby, a three-time CART champion, the future seemed bright.  After all, young Rahal certainly had the bloodlines, and seemingly the talent and savvy to become one of the sport’s next great stars.  Already, Rahal was being projected as the face of the newly unified IndyCar Series; the star, who many believed would help grow the sport, after more than a decade of senseless civil war.  Unfortunately, things haven’t exactly worked out that way. 

Sure, Rahal has remained a formidable driver, finishing in the top-10 of the championship the past two seasons, and boasting 11- career podium finishes. However, with 91 career starts and all or parts of six Indy car seasons to his credit, Rahal's career has seemingly stalled.  The St. Pete victory remains Rahal’s lone win, as the young Ohioan has yet to fulfill the promise he displayed at such a young age.   

And in fairness, Rahal is still quite young, and will be a mere 24 years of age when the green flag falls in the 2013 opener at St. Pete.  Still, after, a lackluster 2012, in which he arguably regressed, and seemingly fell out of favor with his team, asking whether Rahal will ever become the star so many predicted is suddenly a fair question. 

Historically speaking, there is evidence both for and against. 

Now, it should be noted that young Rahal makes for something of a complicated study.  For one, few drivers have begun their careers at such a young age.  Even other second-generation drivers such as Michael Andretti and Al Unser, Jr. did not begin at the age Rahal did.

Also, while Rahal, has by and large spent a lot of his career with good teams, he hasn’t necessarily enjoyed the best equipment.  For example, two of his three seasons at Newman/Haas were during the transitional years of 2008 of 2009, when the former Champ Car teams were adjusting to the IRL cars, and reportedly not receiving the most up to date parts.  The past two seasons with Ganassi, Rahal was part of the “B” or “G2” operation.  And on numerous occasions, Rahal has indicated he was less than pleased with the second-class citizen status he seemed to think the “G2” team had in the Ganassi empire. 

In short, there are some elements of Rahal’s career that make a conclusive evaluation difficult. 

Of course, the biggest factor working for Rahal is an obvious one: time.  As mentioned earlier, Rahal will be only 24 when the green flag falls next March in St, Pete, younger than the age at which many of Indy car racing’s all time greats captured even their first win. 

For example, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Rick Mears, Dario Franchitti, his father Bobby and numerous others were all older than Rahal is now when they captured their first Indy car victory.  Bobby Unser, who won 35 career races, fifth all-time, didn’t win his first race until turning 32.  Ditto for Rodger Ward, who won 26.  Danny Sullivan, who won 17 races didn’t find victory lane until turning 34. Emerson Fittipaldi won 22 Indy car races, and didn’t score his first win until the age of 38. 

Thus, at 24, it would seem young Rahal is well ahead of schedule.  If anything, evidence exists that Rahal may even be years away from entering his prime, as many Indy car drivers peak in their 30s.  One modern example of this would be Franchitti, who has captured 21 of his 31 career wins in his 30s.  Another example would be current IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2012 at the age of 31. 

The point of course, is Rahal has time: lots of it!

Still, despite Rahal’s youth, there is compelling evidence indicating Rahal may never become the regular race-winner/championship contender so many of us expected.  See, if one studies the history of Indy car racing’s best with regards to races started, not age, Rahal is not ahead of schedule, rather well behind.

Remember, Rahal has 91 career starts, which is more than Bill Holland (65), Tommy Milton (89) and Ted Horn (71), who have 20, 21 and 24 career wins respectively.  Strangely, Rahal has only three fewer starts than Bourdais who boasts 31 career wins. 

Anyway, studying the 22 drivers with 20 or more wins reveals that to be an all-time great, winning early; or at least earlier than Rahal is paramount.  In other words, if a driver isn’t successful early in his career (in terms of race starts), the chances of being an all-time great, diminish significantly. 

See, when studying the history of Indy car racing, how a driver performs before 100 career starts is a much better indicator of career success than the afore-mentioned metric, age.  In other words, history indicates that what you are at 100 career starts is well, what you’re likely going to be. 

Let me explain. 

See, of those 22 drivers, only one, Johnny Rutherford, failed to score their second win before the 91 starts Rahal has already reached.  Yes, “Lone Star JR” did not win his second race until start #130.  And if you expand the list to the 43 drivers with ten or more wins, only one driver, Tony Kanaan, can be added to that list.  Kanaan, who has 15 career wins, scored win #2 in start #96. 

Thus, the only drivers, who have 10 or more wins, who scored win #2 later (in terms of starts) than Rahal are Rutherford and Kanaan.

Interestingly, both Kanaan and Rutherford also found their greatest success on oval tracks.  Twelve of Kanaan’s fifteen career wins have come on ovals, while Rutherford scored 26 of 27 wins on ovals. 

So, what does this all mean for Rahal?  Hard to say.

Clearly, Graham is still coming into his own as a driver, and there is no doubt that having the full support of father Bobby’s team this coming year will help.  Also, the incredibly early start to Graham’s career is something that has little historical parallel.  Further, Rahal has been in some unique situations that are incredibly difficult to judge. 

However, a look at the history of Indy car racing, tells us Rahal probably needs to start winning sooner than later.  Remember, Rutherford is the only driver with more than 10 wins, who won his second race after 100 starts. 

Now, could Rahal be the next coming of Rutherford?  Possibly.  There is no doubt he has shown flashes of brilliance.  For example, his drive from the back of the field to third at Indianapolis in 2011, was extraordinary.  He ran toe to toe with the best road racer of this generation Will Power at Baltimore that year as well, before an ill-advised pit stop took him out of contention. 

Yes, Rahal has talent.  Plus, he has the charisma, smarts, and business savvy that are necessary to survive in this age of financially driven racing decisions.  The past three seasons, Rahal has put together sponsorship packages with TBC Retail.  Undoubtedly, Rahal is committed to making himself supremely successful both on the track and off.  Further, all indications are Rahal has a decade and a half left in IndyCar. 

The question becomes, can he take that step forward.  Given his youth, it would seem more than plausible.  However, a look at the sport’s history suggests that if it doesn’t happen sooner, it assuredly won’t happen later. 

Brian Carroccio is an IndyCar columnist for AutoRacing1.com.  His first memory of Indy car racing is Danny Sullivan’s 1985 “Spin and Win,” at Indianapolis. 

Brian lives in Rockville, MD.  He is a lifelong fan of the Washington Redskins and passionate supporter of Manchester United.  You can follow Brian on Twitter @BrianC_AR1

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