IndyCar points shift after new structure of Month of May

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The Verizon IndyCar Series points standings have shifted a bit after the Indianapolis 500, and all the extra points that came with it.

Here’s a table breakdown of points after the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, then after the Indianapolis 500. The GP of Indy breakdown is on the left, the post-Indy 500 breakdown is on the right.

P # Driver Pts P # Driver PRE-INDY INDY TOTAL
1 12 Power 149 1 28 Hunter-Reay 148 126 274
2 28 Hunter-Reay 148 2 12 Power 149 85 234
3 77 Pagenaud 143 3 3 Castroneves 102 118 220
4 3 Castroneves 102 4 77 Pagenaud 143 68 211
5 9 Dixon 102 5 25 Andretti 89 103 192
6 20 Conway 93 6 34 Munoz 61 99 160
7 25 Andretti 89 7 2 Montoya 70 82 152
8 19 J.Wilson 87 8 11 Bourdais 81 62 143
9 10 Kanaan 82 9 9 Dixon 102 30 132
10 11 Bourdais 81 10 19 J.Wilson 87 36 123
11 8 Briscoe 80 11 8 Briscoe 80 41 121
12 14 Sato 75 12 14 Sato 75 38 113
13 67 Newgarden 71 13 98 Hawksworth 71 42 113
14 98 Hawksworth 71 14 67 Newgarden 71 38 109
15 2 Montoya 70 15 27 Hinchcliffe 56 49 105
16 83 Kimball 67 16 10 Kanaan 82 22 104
17 17 Saavedra 63 17 17 Saavedra 63 38 101
18 18 Huertas 63 18 7 Aleshin 59 37 96
19 34 Munoz 61 19 20 Conway 93 93
20 7 Aleshin 59 20 18 Huertas 63 30 93
21 27 Hinchcliffe 56 21 83 Kimball 67 25 92
22 15 Rahal 55 22 16 Servia 55 33 88
23 16 Servia 55 23 26 Busch 80 80
24 41 Plowman 12 24 15 Rahal 55 24 79
25 26 Montagny 8 25 21 Hildebrand 66 66
  26 22 Karam 57 57
  27 20 Carpenter 53 53
  28 33 Davison 34 34
  29 5 Villeneuve 29 29
  30 68 Tagliani 28 28
  31 6 Bell 22 22
  32 63 Mann 21 21
  33 41 Plowman 12 6 18
  34 91 B.Lazier 11 11
  35 26 Montagny 8 8

With that established, here’s how everyone got the points they did at the Indianapolis 500. Indianapolis points were determined in two ways: Saturday qualifying Positions 1-33 were awarded points in decreasing order from 33 for first down to 1 for 33rd, plus a run of 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 for the Fast Nine on Sunday. Then in Sunday’s race, double points were awarded per finishing position, with 1 bonus point on offer for leading one lap and 2 for leading the most laps. 

P # Driver INDY QUAL INDY RACE INDY TOTAL
1 28 Hunter-Reay 23 103 126
2 3 Castroneves 37 81 118
3 25 Andretti 32 71 103
4 34 Munoz 35 64 99
5 12 Power 36 49 85
6 2 Montoya 21 61 82
7 26 Ku.Busch 24 56 80
8 77 Pagenaud 32 36 68
9 21 Hildebrand 26 40 66
10 11 Bourdais 10 52 62
11 22 Karam 13 44 57
12 20 Carpenter 42 11 53
13 27 Hinchcliffe 38 11 49
14 98 Hawksworth 22 20 42
15 8 Briscoe 17 24 41
16 17 Saavedra 8 30 38
17 14 Sato 16 22 38
18 67 Newgarden 28 10 38
19 7 Aleshin 18 19 37
20 19 J.Wilson 20 16 36
21 33 Davison 6 28 34
22 16 Servia 5 28 33
23 9 Dixon 19 11 30
24 18 Huertas 4 26 30
25 5 Villeneuve 7 22 29
26 68 Tagliani 3 25 28
27 83 Kimball 15 10 25
28 15 Rahal 14 10 24
29 10 Kanaan 11 11 22
30 6 Bell 12 10 22
31 63 Mann 9 12 21
32 91 B.Lazier 1 10 11
33 41 Plowman 2 4 6

Note the biggest movers in the standings from pre-Indy 500 to post-Indy 500:

  • Carlos Munoz, +13, P19 to P6
  • Juan Pablo Montoya, +8, P15 to P7
  • James Hinchcliffe, +6, P21 to P15
  • Scott Dixon, -4, P5 to P9
  • Charlie Kimball, -5, P16 to P21
  • Mike Conway, -13, P6 to P19 (did not race)

Note also four drivers, Oriol Servia, Martin Plowman, Alex Tagliani and Jacques Villeneuve, incurred 10 driver and entrant point penalties for unapproved engine changes. Those 10 points were taken out of their Indianapolis 500 points totals.

There were not giant fluctuations in the positions, evidenced by the fact the top four in the standings entering the Indy 500 are still the top four leaving it. The points gaps themselves though, have increased, between drivers who either did or did not have a good month of May.

As we head to Detroit this weekend, the championship could swing yet again, as we head to our first double-header weekend of 2014.

In 2013, Scott Dixon thoroughly dominated the doubleheaders as he scored 83 more points than any other driver in the six races, on the three doubleheader weekends.

Chances are the points will swing once more through this weekend.

Comedian Adam Carolla makes pro racing debut in Trans Am

Adam Carolla pilots the No. 33 GoShare Corvette at Willow Springs International Raceway. Photo: Burtin Racing
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As the host of such shows as CarCast, Ace on the House, and Adam Carolla and Friends Build Stuff Live, and with a massive classic car collection to boot, funnyman Adam Carolla is an unapologetic gearhead who is well-versed in the car industry. He even made a documentary honoring Paul Newman in recent years. However, he recently took his love of all things automotive one step further: he contested his first professional car race.

He joined the Burtin Racing team, which fields Corvette C7.Rs in the Trans Am presented by Pirelli West Coast Championship, at California’s Willow Springs International Raceway for the High Desert Challenge, the season opener for Trans Am’s 2017 season. He piloted their No. 33 GoShare entry as a teammate to Richard Wall, who signed as a last-minute entrant for team’s the No. 7 machine.

Carolla was not daunted by the challenge. He quickly came to grips with the 850-horsepower beast and qualified a solid fifth for the 100-mile feature. In the race itself, he worked his way up to third before facing a tough challenge from Trans Am veteran and former champion Greg Pickett, who previously ran the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing effort in the American Le Mans Series and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Photo: Burtin Racing

However, Carolla was unfazed by Pickett’s advance and he held off the former champion to claim third, not far behind teammate Wall, who crossed the line in second. Tomy Drissi won the event in the No. 8 Ghost in The Shell Chevrolet Corvette.

For Carolla, simply contesting the Trans Am event was an honor. “For me, Trans Am has always been huge,” said Carolla, who earned the COOLSHIRT Systems “Cool Move of the Race” award for his performance.

“I have old Trans Am cars from the 70’s and 80’s. I have some 2.5 (liter) Trans Am cars from the 70’s and I have Paul Newman cars that were raced in Trans Am. So just the idea of being asked to race in the modern Trans Am was a huge honor. Just being able to hold my own in modern Trans Am was exciting to me.”

Team owner Claudio Burtin was ecstatic with Carolla’s performance. “I think we all have to take our hat off to Adam Carolla on his debut in Trans Am,” he said of Carolla. “This is a fast and difficult track at Willow Springs, and the team is ecstatic with Adam’s podium finish. GoShare is thrilled with the results and we will work to improve one step higher on the podium next time.”

The Trans Am presented by Pirelli West Championships resume action on April 29-30 at Auto Club Speedway.

Preferred Freezer Services expands partnership with Hildebrand, Ed Carpenter Racing

Mike Finnegan/Ed Carpenter Racing
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Preferred Freezer Services, which has been a sponsor of Ed Carpenter Racing and driver J.R. Hildebrand since 2014, is set to expand its partnership with both driver and team. Hildebrand’s No. 21 Chevrolet with sport the white and blue Preferred Freezer Services livery at four races during the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season, the first being at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 7-9. The expansion also includes the entire month of May, which will see the brand on the No. 21 for the INDYCAR Grand Prix and the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500. They will return as a primary sponsor for the Honda Indy Toronto in July and will be an associate sponsor throughout the season.

“Preferred Freezer Services was a big part of helping me get to running just the Indy 500 with ECR the first year in 2014. We’ve been fortunate to see the program grow and help it expand over the last few years,” Hildebrand said of the relationship. “I’m really excited to be able to continue that partnership and have them on board for a few more races this year! It is great to work with these guys again and I can’t wait to kick it off at such an awesome event as Long Beach.”

As Hildebrand explained, the partnership between sponsor, driver and team dates back to 2014, when Preferred Freezer Services adorned a then one-off No. 21 entry for Hildebrand, incidentally his first start for Ed Carpenter Racing. They expanded their partnership in 2015, adorning Hildebrand’s entry at that year’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis and Indy 500. Their presence grew even more last year, when they appeared on the cars of Hildebrand and Josef Newgarden at both races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Hildebrand has finished in top ten in the last three Indianapolis 500 mile races. However, his best finish remains his infamous second place at the 2011 race, in which he crashed in the final corner while leading, which yielded victory to Dan Wheldon.

Pippa Mann returns to Dale Coyne Racing for fifth straight Indy 500

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Dale Coyne Racing has confirmed Pippa Mann will be back in the team’s third car for the 2017 Indianapolis 500, which will mark her fifth consecutive year with the team and sixth start in the race overall.

She joins Sebastien Bourdais and rookie Ed Jones as Coyne’s three drivers in for the race, as the Coyne team is expected to focus just on these three after running four cars last year.

“I’m very happy to be rejoining Dale Coyne Racing for my fifth consecutive year with the team at the 101st Indy 500,” Mann said in a release.

“Dale has invested heavily in the team over the winter, and it’s an exciting time to be part of his organization. I’m looking forward to working with the same familiar faces from my 2016 campaign, like my race engineer Rob Ridgely, as well as working with the new members of the team, including my new teammates Sebastien (Bourdais) and Ed (Jones). I’m thrilled to be getting back on the race track this May for my sixth Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Mann continues her relationship with Susan G. Komen, the supporters of the pink No. 63 Honda for the last three years in an effort which first began in 2014.

As she’s done for the past four consecutive years, Mann will continue to raise awareness for the Get Involved Campaign alongside her racing program. This year, the campaign that raises money for Susan G. Komen® is partnering with Auction Cause, a premier cause marketing agency, that will run the auction on eBay for Charity. The campaign will launch May 1 and close the week following the Indy 500. The funds raised will be used to support Komen’s global breast cancer research, and community based programs throughout the U.S.

Komen continues as a key partner and Mann has announced another partnership with OrthoIndy, with further partnerships to be released soon.

“I’m also excited about the link up with Auction Cause and eBay for Charity this May,” she added. “They have so much experience running online campaigns, I feel like it’s a huge step for me, and for the Get Involved Campaign to partner with them. This new format has allowed me to reach out to more drivers, get them involved with more signed items, and I’m hoping we’re able to reach more race fans, and raise even more money for Susan G. Komen than we have ever done before.”

“It’s always a pleasure to have Pippa on board for the Indy 500 and to help promote the Get Involved Campaign, raising funds for Susan G. Komen,” Coyne said. “Pippa works hard every year to put together this program and to race in the Indy 500. With her perseverance and enthusiasm for our sport, it’s only fitting that we continue this relationship that started five years ago.”

Newgarden hails ‘spectacular’ Montoya after JPM’s first 2017 test

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At 26 years old, Josef Newgarden was watching Juan Pablo Montoya win races in CART, then Formula 1, then NASCAR as his own career was starting out.

When Montoya returned to IndyCar in 2014 at age 38, Newgarden was just 23, and the two had the chance to share a race track together for the first time.

After Newgarden’s subsequent rise over the years, he was scouted by Team Penske, and eventually signed to replace Montoya in the team’s No. 2 Verizon Chevrolet for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

But Montoya remains part of the Team Penske landscape in 2017, driving the team’s fifth car during the month of May at both the IndyCar Grand Prix in Indianapolis and the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

He’s also been mentioned as the leading candidate to drive with Penske’s highly likely but not officially confirmed future sports car program, which Penske discussed openly during a media roundtable at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg season opener.

At last week’s test at Barber Motorsports Park, Newgarden and Montoya had the chance to work together as teammates and as Newgarden explained, having the chance to study his predecessor’s data was something he relished.

“Juan’s fun to be around. He’s an interesting guy,” Newgarden told NBC Sports. “He’s so competitive… and you can tell how competitive he is interacting with him. But it’s fun to look at his data, and have the privilege to look at that.

“I’m excited to see that at Indianapolis, because that’s the big race for all of us together at Team Penske.”

Montoya has mentioned his appreciation for Newgarden in the past, particularly after the two raced so closely for position at the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America last season.

Newgarden said he’s looked up to Montoya for years and seeing him in this element provided such a rare glimpse into his world.

“The level of respect I have for Juan is tremendous,” he said. “He’s been so spectacular, and is even more so on ovals. I’ll be so thankful to get the chance to look at his data.”

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Newgarden, who today is promoting the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 9, 4 p.m. ET, NBCSN) and has that sandwiched in-between two tests at the Indianapolis oval. Team Penske used a team test last Friday and will be back in action as part of a Chevrolet manufacturer test on Saturday.

“It’s a great couple days to get my feet wet,” he said. “I hadn’t been around there with Team Penske yet. It’s good to get that type of knowledge early on.”