Skip to content

Stat surprises through two IndyCar race weekends

Apr 11, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

Sebastian Saavedra AP

With St. Petersburg and Barber in the books, there’s a couple interesting nuggets to note from the first two rounds of the IZOD IndyCar Series season.

QUALIFYING SURPRISES

Three teams – Dragon Racing, KV Racing Technology, and Sam Schmidt’s teams – have seen the regarded “junior” driver outqualify their more experienced teammates in both races.

Since Simon Pagenaud (Schmidt Hamilton) is regarded as one of the fastest young drivers in the series, it’s been surprising to see Tristan Vautier (Schmidt Peterson) outdo him on both occasions. Vautier is one of three drivers, along with Team Penske’s Will Power and Helio Castroneves, to qualify in the Firestone Fast Six both races.

Simona de Silvestro has rebounded nicely from her Lotus engine nightmare 2012 season and pushed Tony Kanaan at KV. Receiving less attention but no less noteworthy, Sebastian Saavedra (right) has outqualified Sebastien Bourdais by at least 12 positions the first two races, ending ninth each time.

One other qualifying stat of note: the first two races have seen JR Hildebrand, Ana Beatriz and Ed Carpenter each locked into the bottom three spots on the grid. In a field this tight, setup or car differences have made relatively small gaps of more than one second to the session leader look larger.

CLOSER MARGIN OF VICTORIES

Andretti Autosport’s winning drivers – James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay – have withstood pressure from Castroneves and Scott Dixon, respectively, to take the first two wins of the year.

Hinch’s St. Pete win came in at 1.0982 seconds, while last year Castroneves beat Dixon by 5.5292 seconds. At Barber, the MOV dropped from 3.3709 (2012, Power over Dixon) to 0.6363 of a second.

MARCO IMPROVING, BUT STILL HUNGRY

The re-focused Marco Andretti has only one less top-10 finish in the first two races (two) as he did the entire 2012 season. Still, with a win having eluded him since Iowa 2011, he’s itching to get back on the top step of the podium.

Latest Posts
  1. Could F1 have its sixth different winner in China in last six years?

    Apr 16, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

    Force India Getty Images

    After five winners in last five Chinese Grands Prix, is a sixth possible?

  2. Le Mans: Satoshi Motoyama completes Nissan ZEOD RC lineup (VIDEO)

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:48 AM EDT

    Photo: Nissan NISMO Photo: Nissan NISMO

    All-electric Garage 56 prototype features another familiar Nissan name in his Le Mans return.

  3. Cup drivers expecting speeds to go up at Kansas

    Apr 15, 2014, 8:33 PM EDT

    Hollywood Casino 400 Getty Images

    If Sprint Cup drivers’ comments during today’s Goodyear tire test at Kansas Speedway are an indication, we can expect to see track records fall next month on the 1.5-mile oval.

  4. NASCAR AMERICA: Tuesday Round-Up (VIDEO)

    Apr 15, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    nascar america

    Kyle Petty breaks down critical pit strategies in recent races, and Nate Ryan reports on today’s Goodyear tire test at Kansas.

  5. Austin Dillon doing what he has to do so far in rookie year

    Apr 15, 2014, 6:42 PM EDT

    Bojangles' Southern 500 Getty Images

    Rookie rival Kyle Larson has been more flashy, but Dillon’s consistency has paid off in the season’s first eight races.

  6. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 6 p.m. ET

    Apr 15, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT

    nascar america

    On tap: The decision of four tires or two; Jeff Gordon’s crew chief, Alan Gustafson; today’s tire test at Kansas; and the Darlington edition of “Scan All 43.”

  7. Former FIA prez Max Mosley rubbishes F1′s ongoing noise saga

    Apr 15, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

    Max Mosley And Representatives Of The NUJ Arrive To Give Evidence To A Select Committee On Regulation Of The Press Getty Images

    Mosley’s advice to current FIA president Jean Todt? “Take no notice.”

  8. World Challenge: Make-up race to be run at season-ending weekend in Utah

    Apr 15, 2014, 4:01 PM EDT

    WC

    The first race of last month’s season-opening weekend in St. Petersburg was rained out.

  9. Sergio Perez: Target is to “keep improving” after Bahrain podium

    Apr 15, 2014, 3:16 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Qualifying Getty Images

    The Force India driver will look to continue his momentum this weekend in China.

  10. 19 car/driver combos expected at IndyCar test in Texas

    Apr 15, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT

    Firestone 550 Getty Images

    The test will help determine the aerodynamic options available to teams for this June’s IndyCar event on the 1.5-mile oval in Fort Worth.

  11. F1 flashback: Ten years since first Chinese Grand Prix, too (VIDEO)

    Apr 15, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of China - Race Getty Images

    Video highlights from the first Chinese Grand Prix, already 10 years ago.

  12. Jeff Gordon’s 6-year-old daughter takes to the track (PHOTOS)

    Apr 15, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

    Federated Auto Parts 400 Getty Images

    Like father, like daughter? Ella Sofia Gordon got her first taste of a quarter-midget car earlier this week.

  13. IndyCar: Stats of note and points through two races

    Apr 15, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Conway AP

    Some of IndyCar’s top performers, stats of notes and points after two races.

  14. Indy Lights: Lloyd Read is a seriously unlucky – or lucky – individual (VIDEO)

    Apr 15, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    ReadGPSTP

    Indy Lights rookie Lloyd Read has either been really unlucky with circumstances or really lucky to avoid worse circumstances in the first two races, depending on your interpretation.

  15. NASCAR points observations through eight races

    Apr 15, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    Harvick Getty Images

    Where the NASCAR points standings sit after eight races, now post-Darlington.

  16. Ten with Townsend: Long Beach Debrief

    Apr 15, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    Hunter-Reay AP

    Expert insight from NBCSN’s IndyCar ace analyst Townsend Bell returns for a second season on MotorSportsTalk.

  17. Ricciardo Australian GP disqualification upheld by FIA

    Apr 15, 2014, 10:07 AM EDT

    Ricciardo AP

    No overturning of Red Bull’s appeal at Melbourne.

  18. Roller coaster days for Dixon, Wilson, RHR Sunday at Long Beach

    Apr 14, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    Dixon Getty Images

    See what changed between Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon for three of IndyCar’s best – a street race at Long Beach where the gloves came off.

  19. Schumacher’s manager: ‘Small signs of progress’ made by F1 legend

    Apr 14, 2014, 7:37 PM EDT

    (Photo: Tony Gentile / Reuters) Reuters

    Sabine Kehm also talks about the Schumacher family having to deal with “untruths” in media reports about the seven-time F1 champion’s health.

  20. NASCAR AMERICA: Monday Round-Up (VIDEO)

    Apr 14, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    Rick Allen and Kyle Petty discuss the Darlington efforts from Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, and Jimmie Johnson – as well as Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer’s late incident.

Today on NASCAR AMERICA

More from NASCAR America

Inside the Goodyear tire test at Kansas

Featured video

Recapping a race under Baharain lights
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. McMurray (29756)
  2. K. Harvick (7995)
  3. M. McDowell (3908)
  4. C. Edwards (1864)
  5. T. Bayne (1437)
  1. T. Stewart (1350)
  2. J. Logano (1258)
  3. K. Larson (1254)
  4. K. Busch (1226)
  5. K. Kahne (1190)