INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Oct. 21, 2005 Today's IRL headlines 1. 2005 Season: By the numbers 2. Giebler, Speed claim Stars of Karting titles 1. 2005 Season: By the numbers: With the 2005 IRL IndyCarÂ® Series season in the books and...
INDY RACING LEAGUE NEWS AND NOTES -- Oct. 21, 2005
Today's IRL headlines
1. 2005 Season: By the numbers
2. Giebler, Speed claim Stars of Karting titles
1. 2005 Season: By the numbers: With the 2005 IRL IndyCar® Series season in the books and Dan Wheldon crowned the champion, let's take a look at some statistics of note from the season that began at Homestead-Miami Speedway in March and ended Oct. 16 at California Speedway.
Along the way, drivers competed on short ovals, superspeedways, one temporary street course and two road courses to test their skills. Competition was the operative word as there were an average of 12.2 lead changes per race (about one every 16 laps at the Toyota Indy 400 at California Speedway), an average of 5.8 leaders per race, and 27 lead changes in the 89th Indianapolis 500.
Wheldon, buoyed by four victories in the initial five races -- including the Indianapolis 500 -- came out on top. Andretti Green Racing teammate Tony Kanaan was second in the standings, with two-time series champion Sam Hornish Jr. finishing third.
Here are some numbers to note:
0 -- First-time winners in 2005, the first season there has not been one.
1 -- 1-2-3-4 sweep by Andretti Green Racing (St. Petersburg), a series first
3 -- Consecutive victories by Dan Wheldon (St. Petersburg, Motegi, Indianapolis), which tied Kenny Brack's 1998 record.
6 -- Wins by Dan Wheldon, most in a season in IndyCar Series history.
8 -- different pole and race winners -- second most in IndyCar Series history.
16 -- Top-10 starts by Dario Franchitti, most in a season
18 -- Cars on lead lap at finish of race at Kansas, most in series history.
628 -- Points earned by Wheldon, most in a single season
$3,721,005 -- Earned by Wheldon, most in a single season.
Some other statistics of distinction:
* Patrick Carpentier was running at the finish in 16 of the 17 races. Next was Wheldon with 15.
* Carpentier has a streak of 12 consecutive races in which he has been running at the finish.
* Wheldon and Kanaan shared honors with 12 top-5 finishes, which tied for second-most in series history. Hornish. was third with nine.
* Carpentier led with 3,081 laps completed of 3,140. Wheldon was second with 3,007.
* Hornish, Bryan Herta, Danica Patrick and Tomas Scheckter set the pace with three pole starts each.
* Wheldon led 15 races, a series record. Kanaan, the 2004 series champion, led 13.
* Wheldon has led eight consecutive races. The series record is 12 held by Kanaan
* Wheldon topped the laps led chart at 752, fourth most in series history.
* Wheldon scored 15 top-10 finishes, second most in series history.
* Scott Sharp has made 107 consecutive starts. He has made 115 starts.
* Four times the MBNA Pole Award winner went on to win the race.
* It was the second year in a row in which Andretti Green Racing teammates Wheldon and Kanaan finished 1-2 in the standings. Last year, the order was reversed.
2. Giebler, Speed claim Stars of Karting titles: Former Menards Infiniti Pro Series driver Phil Giebler made a triumphant return to karting by capturing the ICA National Championship last weekend at the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the Indy Racing League MINI Cooper National Finals in Austin, Texas.
Giebler, who had one victory in seven Menards Infiniti Pro Series starts in 2004 and competed for Vision Racing at Watkins Glen International this year, won the ICA (direct drive) race to claim the championship. Runner-up Joel Miller received the Jim Trueman Award, which will provide him $25,000 toward an auto racing venture in 2006. Kyle Wiegand of Bargersville, Ind., received the Skip Barber Racing Scholarship, which will provide a fully funded drive in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship next year.
Alex Speed successfully defended his ICC (shifter class) national championship. The younger brother of Red Bull Formula One test driver Scott Speed, plans to concentrate on college studies next year.
The series, founded in 2000 by IndyCar Series driver Bryan Herta and the late Hollis Brown, was developed to provide a career starting point in the top levels of motorsports, including the Indy Racing League. Now owned by 1986 Indianapolis 500 champion Bobby Rahal, Herta and veteran karting promoter Paul Zalud, the Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the Indy Racing League has established proper structure and competition in North American karting.
Karting has been the starting point for such drivers as 2005 IndyCar Series champion Dan Wheldon, 2005 Bombardier Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick, Michael Andretti, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran, Dario Franchitti, Herta, seven-time Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher and 2005 Menards Infiniti Pro Series champion Wade Cunningham.
The IRL IndyCar Series opens the 2006 season with the Toyota Indy 300 on March 26, 2006 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ABC Sports and the IMS Radio Network. Highlights of the 2005 Indy Racing League Championship Celebration will be televised by ESPN2 at noon (EDT) on Oct. 23. The fifth season of Menards Infiniti Pro Series competition also opens on March 26 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.