IndyCar Championship Standings: Helio Castroneves takes demanding lead

Robert Laberge

Helio Castroneves took a 22-point championship lead over Marco Andretti after winning the Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway.

With a win in Saturday's Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway, Helio Castroneves broke a championship deadlock with Marco Andretti.

The two drivers entered the race in a tie but Castroneves left with a 22 point lead over Andretti and opened up the first real championship gap of any leader this season. Nine drivers entered the weekend within 52 points -- the most a driver can earn in one race -- but only three would leave within that distance.

Defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay is that driver behind Castroneves and Andretti.

Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter were the big gainers of the weekend, having picked up four spots respectively. Kanaan jumps to fourth in the standings while Ed Carpenter, the oval ace, jumps all the way up to 16th.

Dario Franchitti continued his steady march back into championship contention, finally cracking the top-10 after Texas and sits just 91 points behind Castroneves. It's quite the remarkable comeback given that he started the season with two straight 25th-place finishes and was dead last during that span.

It's never too late to count out the four-time IndyCar Series champion.

Meanwhile, his Target Chip Ganassi teammate, Scott Dixon was the biggest victim from Texas, losing three spots after having mechanical issues early at Texas. He drops to seventh and is 66 points out of the top spot, still in range to make a mid-season run back to the championship.

While Castroneves has pulled away due to winning at Texas, the championship is still wide open with 11 races remaining. The complete championship standings can be found below.

  1. Helio Castroneves Ldr.
  2. Marco Andretti -22
  3. Ryan Hunter-Reay -27
  4. Tony Kanaan -64
  5. Takuma Sato -65
  6. Simon Pagenaud -65
  7. Scott Dixon -66
  8. Justin Wilson -75
  9. James Hinchcliffe -83
  10. Dario Franchitti -92
  11. Charlie Kimball -97
  12. Will Power -107
  13. E.J. Viso -109
  14. Josef Newgarden -111
  15. James Jakes -111
  16. Ed Carpenter -119
  17. Simona de Silvestro -122
  18. Graham Rahal -124
  19. Oriol Servia -136
  20. Tristan Vautier -138
  21. Sebastien Bourdais -150
  22. Alex Tagliani -156
  23. Mike Conway -162
  24. Sebastian Saavedra -171

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