Parity reigns supreme during first four IndyCar races of 2013

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Parity is a great word to describe how the first four IZOD IndyCar Series races of the year have played out. The on-track product IndyCar is putting out on road and street courses this year has offered up these numbers:

  • Green flag margins of victory: 1.0982 (St. Petersburg), 0.6363 (Barber), 0.3463 (Brazil)
  • 8 different podium finishers (Hinchcliffe, Castroneves, Andretti, Hunter-Reay, Dixon, Sato, Rahal, Wilson), 13 different drivers with at least one Firestone Fast Six appearance (Hunter-Reay, Viso, Hinchcliffe, Castroneves, Power, Dixon, Franchitti, Kimball, Kanaan, de Silvestro, Sato, Conway, Vautier)
  • 8 different teams in the top 10 in points (Foyt, Andretti, Penske, Ganassi, Coyne, Panther DRR, KVRT, Schmidt Hamilton)
  • 3 different race winners, 3 different polesitters, 4 different drivers with fastest race lap
  • 15 of 25 full-season drivers with at least one top-5 finish (Hunter-Reay, Castroneves, Hildebrand, Dixon, Franchitti, Kanaan, Power, Sato, Rahal, Wilson, Servia, Andretti, Hinchcliffe, Newgarden, Kimball)
  • 20 of 25 full-season drivers with at least one top-10 finish (same 15 plus Pagenaud, de Silvestro, Viso, Tagliani, Vautier)
  • Most laps led: Sato 72, Hunter-Reay 70, Castroneves 67
  • 71 points separates first (Sato, 136) from 20th (Bourdais, 65) in points. In 2012, that was 121 points after four races between Power (180) and Bourdais (59).
  • Dario Franchitti is 15th and Will Power is 18th in points. Neither has won a race in a year (Power, Brazil 2012, Franchitti, Indy 500 2012).

MRTI: Sunday Barber Notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Mother Nature intervened heavily on Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park, and the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires both completed their second races of the weekend on a wet track.

Indy Lights saw Andretti Autosport’s Pato O’Ward complete the weekend sweep – he won Race 1 on Saturday – while Pro Mazda had a wet and wild race of survival that saw a pair of leaders go off, giving way to another first-time winner in Pro Mazda at the end of the day.

Reports on both races are below.

Indy Lights: Race 2 Victory Completes Dominant Weekend for O’Ward

Pato O’Ward celebrates his Race 2 victory at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Andretti Autosport’s Pato O’Ward completed a perfect weekend at Barber Motorsports Park by claiming victory in Indy Lights Race 2 on Sunday.

Officials were forced to move the race up to 10:45 a.m. local time (11:45 ET) due to weather, and Race 2 began under a rain shower.

However, it did not deter O’Ward one bit, who rocketed off into the lead from the pole, and was never headed on his way to winning by over five seconds.

In addition to winning both races, O’Ward led every lap in both races, completing a weekend of utter dominance for the 18-year-old native of Mexico.

Juncos Racing’s Victor Franzoni came home in second, his best finish since moving up to Indy Lights this year, with Andretti Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta rounding out the podium.

The Belardi Auto Racing duo of Aaron Telitz and Santi Urrutia finished fourth and fifth, with Telitz finally finishing a race after only completing a combined four corners in the first three races of the season.

Urrutia, meanwhile struggled somewhat and faded to fifth after starting third.

Andretti’s Dalton Kellett and Ryan Norman and Juncos’ Alfonso Celis Jr. rounded out the field in sixth, seventh, and eighth.

Results are below.

Pro Mazda: Harrison Scott Survives the Rain to Take First Pro Mazda Win

Harrison Scott and RP Motorsports celebrate victory in Pro Mazda Race 2 at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

RP Motorsport’s Harrison Scott managed to survive a track that started out damp, began drying out, and then became very wet during a downpour in the final laps to win in Pro Mazda Race 2 from Barber.

Scott, who started second, was able to pass Exclusive Autosport’s Parker Thompson, the polesitter and Race 1 winner, on the inside entering Turn 5 on Lap 2, with Thompson running slightly off track on corner exit and falling back to third, with Team Pelfrey’s Andres Gutierrez going through into second.

Scott, Gutierrez, and Thompson stayed close the rest of the way, and Gutierrez even managed to make a nifty outside pass on Scott in Turn 5 on Lap 9 to take the lead.

However, rain, which hit the track briefly and stopped about 30 minutes before the race started, returned in the second half of the race, and progressively got heavier.

It all came to a head on Lap 21, when the slick conditions sent Gutierrez off course in Turns 7 and 8. He rejoined the track, but fell back to seventh, allowing Scott back into the lead.

Race Control quickly threw a caution as a result of the conditions, and the race finished under yellow, with Scott taking the checkered flag for his first Pro Mazda win.

Behind Scott, Thompson came home in second, with Juncos Racing’s Carlos Cunhas in third. Cunha’s teammate Rinus VeeKay was fourth, with BN Racing’s David Malukas rounding out the Top 5.

Of note: Cape Motorsports’ Oliver Askew was one of a couple drivers who pitted for rain tires under the late yellow, gambling that the race may go back to green – he was running tenth at the time. However, because the race never went back to green, Askew was relegated to 12th at the end.

Results are below.

Note: Check back later for driver quotes.

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