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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
IndyCar: Gladiators working for the Circus

Keith Ori
Monday, October 29, 2012

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The late, great Carroll Smith once said something to the effect that ‘Nobody should pursue a career as a race car driver unless they simply cannot be happy doing anything else” and those words have perhaps never been more true than today.

I’m 43 years old and I’ve been following, racing, writing about, and just being a fan of racing for 30 years. You don’t know my name, so I didn’t make it to the bigs. But I went for it and I was prepared to risk everything once upon a time. A lot of us were. The ones who made it did risk everything to get there. And some of them died doing it. Jovy, Gonzo, Greg, Krosnoff, Brayton, Renna, Dana, and Dan.

I guess that’s what pisses me off most about the fact that IndyCar is governed by an incompetent, detached Midwestern aristocracy and a group of team owners that make the NHL look like the NFL.

IndyCar drivers are some of the most competent people in sports; they have to be masters of marketing, fitness, engineering, physics, and of course be some of the best drivers on the planet. Add to that an unreasonable sense of self confidence and the sheer bravery to go into turn one, three wide, at 225 mph.
Just for a shot at the show, drivers make sacrifices and take risks, from age 5 or 6, that defy credibility, common sense, and all mathematical probability. Nigel Mansell mortgaged his house to continue racing, and he wouldn’t even make the discussion.

IndyCar drivers are willing to risk their lives to participate in Indycar’s product.

In return for this rather astonishing commitment, IndyCar is run like a used car dealership who’s owners have a coke problem (that’s a lower case C there, TG). This has been going on for as long as I can remember. Andrew Craig, Chris Pook, Joe Heitzler, Tony George, etc.

It’s like Seal Team Six taking orders from The Three Stooges.

Then, a couple of years ago, IndyCar managed to land Randy Bernard. Why he took the job, I have no idea. Maybe they didn’t have the internet on the PBR circuit and he simply wasn’t aware he was about to be Henry the VIII’s seventh wife.

What happens? Success, traction, forward progress. Randy took the risks that a sport defined by risk needed to take. Most succeeded, some failed. You couldn’t expect more. Besides possibly Obama himself, did anyone seriously think Obama was going to be able to fix the nuclear IED that previous administrations detonated on our economy in just four years? Hell no. These things take time, but for the first time I can remember IndyCar/IRL/CART/Champ Car had someone with vision (that’s a lower case V there, TG), energy, competency and a willingness to take risks.

IndyCar finally starts getting some respect back in the business world. They have a guy that can put deals together, that will fly to Bishkek to get a deal done and who’s open to all kinds of crazy ideas. Oh, and the fans love his ass. He’s real, approachable, responsive, and tireless. For once, the guy in charge of open wheel racing in America doesn’t resemble one of the Duke Brothers from Trading Places. Unfortunately everybody he’s surrounded by does.

Instead of the loyalty bordering on worship that he deserves, the knives come out. “Et tu Tony?”

That’s why I’m mad as hell. For tarnishing the dream. Again. For all the drivers who didn’t make it, for those that did, those still trying, and for those that died trying, I think it’s despicable to take any enterprise that people are willing to risk their lives for and make a mockery out of it. The reason doesn’t matter. Serial incompetence, personal gain, some twisted sense of birthright, whatever. It’s all venal and reprehensible.

How the hell did these people ever get to be the stewards of the dream?

It’s the dream that compels every IndyCar driver, and everyone who ever tried to be one, in the face of overwhelming odds.
It’s why racing people laugh when baseball has a ‘labor dispute’. “So the overweight, full-blood idiot, one-trick-pony with a substance abuse problem of a shortstop you have wants more money, and the 90-year-old billionaire owner doesn’t want to give it to him?” Yeah, that’s cute.

In baseball they offer the facetious compliment to a player’s commitment by saying that “He’d probably still play the game even if he weren’t getting paid.”

In IndyCar, they actually do that sometimes.

I wonder how many players MLB would have if they didn’t get paid and had a statistically significant mortality risk.

The racing dream is all consuming. To race, people have lost fortunes, left wives, robbed banks, run Ponzi schemes, and in the case of nearly a whole racing series in the 80’s, smuggled drugs. That’s the dark side.
If you want to know the beautiful, brave and heroic stuff drivers have done to race, read a pros biography. Helio’s is a good place to start. Greg Moore’s is textbook, though Shakespearean.

The thing is that I can’t think of a job, save perhaps Astronaut, that is a tougher goal to achieve than being an IndyCar or F1 driver on merit.
So given everything that a person has to do to get there, all the sacrifices, all the risks, for IndyCar to run their sport like the Nixon administration is just about unforgivable.

Am I suggesting that every driver on the circuit wanted to retain Randy Bernard? No. But you can be damn sure not one of them wanted their dreams managed like this.

Going to one further degree of separation, think about the hundreds of father and sons and daughters out there karting, dreaming about Indy. They call it the Road to Indy, but I can’t help wondering what’s going to be left at the end of that road when they get there.

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