The IndyCar Series is the premier level of open wheel racing in North America. Its parent company began in 1996 as a competitor to CART known as the Indy Racing League (IRL) which was created by then Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony George. In 2008, the IndyCar Series merged with the Champ Car World Series (formerly CART). The series is self-sanctioned by INDYCAR.
The series’ premier event is the Indianapolis 500.
The inaugural race of the Indianapolis 500 was held in 1911 and was won by Ray Harroun. The event celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011, and the 100th running was held in 2016. Takuma Sato is the current champion. The most successful drivers are A. J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr., and Rick Mears, each of whom have won the race four times. The active driver with the most victories is Hélio Castroneves, with three. Rick Mears holds the record for most career pole positions with six. The most successful car owner is Roger Penske, owner of Team Penske, which has 16 total wins and 17 poles.
The Verizon IndyCar Series is not an open formula motor sport archetype. A spec-series, the league mandates chassis and engine manufacturers which teams must use each season. The league mandates horsepower level, aerodynamic configuration, and maximum engine speed to which all entrants must adhere. The league also mandates direct control over all drivers, with an officially designated race boss in race control headquarters, maintaining constant two-way radio communication with each driver during every race. The league’s choice of manufacturers are reviewed every three years. Currently, Dallara provides a specification chassis to all teams, with Honda and Chevrolet providing Indycar its engines. Teams are prohibited from performing engine or chassis modifications.
Like other governing bodies, IndyCar awards points based upon where a driver finishes in a race. The top three drivers are separated by ten and five points respectively. The fourth through tenth-place finishers are separated by two points each. Eleventh through twenty-fifth are separated by one point each. All other drivers who start the race score five points. Bonus points are awarded as follows: one point to the driver that earns the pole each race (except at Indianapolis), one point to any driver that leads at least one lap in a race, and two additional bonus points to the driver that leads the most laps each race. For the Indianapolis 500, qualifying points are awarded for all 33 cars at the Indianapolis 500. The point scale slides based on the teams that qualify for the top-nine shootout, then descending by speed and position.
As of 2014, the Indianapolis 500 now awards double points for finishing place. In the case of a tie, IndyCar Series will determine the champion based on the most first-place finishes. If there is still a tie, IndyCar Series will determine the champion by the most second-place finishes, then the most third-place finishes, etc., until a champion is determined. IndyCar Series will apply the same system to other ties in the rankings at the close of the season and at any other time during the season.
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VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES POINTS STANDINGS – TOP 5 OVERALL