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The 2004 IRL IndyCar Series was dominated by two teams, Andretti Green Racing and Rahal Letterman Racing. While there was great parity in 2003 between Honda and Toyota powered teams, in 2004 Honda began to outshine Toyota bringing their teams Penske Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing down with it, leaving Scott Dixon winless and in 10th place in his attempt to defend his 2003 championship.

2004 IndyCar season
IndyCar Series
Season
Races16
Start dateFebruary 29
End dateOctober 17
Awards
Drivers' championBrazil Tony Kanaan
Rookie of the YearJapan Kosuke Matsuura
Indianapolis 500 winnerUnited States Buddy Rice
← 2003
2005 →
Tony Kanaan (left) won his first Drivers' Championship while Dan Wheldon (right) finished second in the championship.

Season champion Tony Kanaan set a record by completing all 3,305 possible laps, the first IndyCar driver in modern history to do so.

This season was the last to feature an all-oval tracks schedule, which was part of the concept that led to the creation of the Indy Racing League. By 2005, road and street courses started to appear in the schedule, and by 2015, there are more races run in road/street courses than in oval tracks.

Changes for 2004Edit

  • The engine displacement for all IndyCar Series cars were reduced from 3.5 L (214 cu in) to 3.0 L (183 cu in) starting from the 2004 Indianapolis 500 in an effort to reduce speeds and ensure safer and exciting racing. The 3.5 L (214 cu in) engine displacement were used at the first three races of the season but a 3-inch by 12-inch slot was cut into the airbox and engine cover, behind the driver's head. The slot decreased positive airflow to the engine, reducing horsepower as well as reducing overall speeds.[1]

Team and driver chartEdit

Team Chassis Engine No. Drivers Rounds
  Target Chip Ganassi Racing G-Force Toyota 1   Scott Dixon All
10   Darren Manning 1-15
  Panther Racing Dallara Chevrolet 2   Mark Taylor 1-6
  Townsend Bell 7-16
4   Tomas Scheckter All
  Marlboro Team Penske Dallara Toyota 3   Hélio Castroneves All
6   Sam Hornish, Jr. All
   Aguri-Fernández Racing G-Force Honda 5   Adrián Fernández 2-16
55   Kosuke Matsuura All
  Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda 7   Bryan Herta All
11   Tony Kanaan All
26   Dan Wheldon All
27   Dario Franchitti All
  Kelley Racing Dallara Toyota 8   Scott Sharp All
  Mo Nunn Racing Dallara Toyota 12   Toranosuke Takagi All
  Access Motorsports G-Force Honda 13   Greg Ray 1-7
  Mark Taylor 8-16
  A. J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara Toyota 14   A. J. Foyt IV All
  Rahal Letterman Racing G-Force Honda 15   Buddy Rice All
17   Vitor Meira 3-16
  Patrick Racing Dallara Chevrolet 20   Al Unser, Jr. 4-6
  Jeff Simmons 7
  Jaques Lazier 8-14
  Tomáš Enge 15-16
  Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara Chevrolet 24   Robby Buhl 1-3
  Felipe Giaffone 4-16
  Cheever Racing Dallara Chevrolet 51   Alex Barron All
52   Ed Carpenter All
Part Time and Indy 500 Entries
  Rahal Letterman Racing G-Force Honda 16   Roger Yasukawa 3-4
  PDM Racing Dallara Chevrolet 18   Robby McGehee 4
  Mo Nunn Racing Dallara Toyota 21   Jeff Simmons 4
  Roth Racing Dallara Toyota 25   Marty Roth 4
  Sam Schmidt Motorsports G-Force Toyota 33   Richie Hearn 4
  Newman/Haas Racing G-Force Honda 36   Bruno Junqueira 4
  Kelley Racing Dallara Toyota 39   Sarah Fisher 4
  A. J. Foyt Enterprises G-Force Toyota 41   Larry Foyt 4
  Robby Gordon Motorsports Dallara Chevrolet 70   Robby Gordon 4
  Jaques Lazier
  Hemelgarn Racing Dallara Chevrolet 91   Buddy Lazier 4
  CURB/Agajanian/Beck Motorsports Dallara Chevrolet 98   P. J. Jones 4

ScheduleEdit

Race summariesEdit

Toyota Indy 300Edit

This race was held at Homestead-Miami Speedway on February 29. Buddy Rice won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 6- Sam Hornish, Jr.
  2. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  3. 26- Dan Wheldon
  4. 12- Toranosuke Takagi
  5. 4- Tomas Scheckter
  6. 10- Darren Manning
  7. 15- Buddy Rice
  8. 11- Tony Kanaan
  9. 8- Scott Sharp
  10. 24- Robbie Buhl

Copper World Indy 200Edit

This race was held at Phoenix International Raceway on March 21. Dan Wheldon won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 11- Tony Kanaan
  2. 1- Scott Dixon
  3. 26- Dan Wheldon
  4. 51- Alex Barron
  5. 10- Darren Manning
  6. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  7. 7- Bryan Herta
  8. 12- Toranosuke Takagi
  9. 15- Buddy Rice
  10. 13- Greg Ray

Indy Japan 300Edit

This race was held at Twin Ring Motegi on April 17. This was Honda's first win in the annual oval race held at their own track. Dan Wheldon won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 26- Dan Wheldon
  2. 11- Tony Kanaan
  3. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  4. 10- Darren Manning
  5. 1- Scott Dixon
  6. 15- Buddy Rice
  7. 27- Dario Franchitti
  8. 55- Kosuke Matsuura
  9. 8- Scott Sharp
  10. 12- Toranosuke Takagi

88th Indianapolis 500Edit

The 88th Indianapolis 500-mile (800 km) race was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 30. Buddy Rice sat on pole. The race was shortened to 180 laps (450 miles) due to rain.

Top ten results

  1. 15- Buddy Rice
  2. 11- Tony Kanaan
  3. 26- Dan Wheldon
  4. 7- Bryan Herta
  5. 36- Bruno Junqueira
  6. 17- Vitor Meira
  7. 5- Adrián Fernández
  8. 1- Scott Dixon
  9. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  10. 16- Roger Yasukawa

Bombardier 500Edit

This race was held at Texas Motor Speedway on June 12. Dario Franchitti won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 11- Tony Kanaan
  2. 27- Dario Franchitti
  3. 51- Alex Barron
  4. 6- Sam Hornish, Jr.
  5. 5- Adrián Fernández
  6. 17- Vitor Meira
  7. 13- Greg Ray
  8. 10- Darren Manning
  9. 24- Felipe Giaffone
  10. 12- Toranosuke Takagi

SunTrust Indy ChallengeEdit

This race was held at Richmond International Raceway on June 26. Hélio Castroneves won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 26- Dan Wheldon
  2. 17- Vitor Meira
  3. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  4. 7- Bryan Herta
  5. 11- Tony Kanaan
  6. 15- Buddy Rice
  7. 5- Adrián Fernández
  8. 1- Scott Dixon
  9. 8- Scott Sharp
  10. 24- Felipe Giaffone

Argent Mortgage 300Edit

This race was held at Kansas Speedway on July 4. Buddy Rice won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 15- Buddy Rice
  2. 17- Vitor Meira
  3. 11- Tony Kanaan
  4. 27- Dario Franchitti
  5. 7- Bryan Herta
  6. 5- Adrián Fernández
  7. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  8. 6- Sam Hornish, Jr.
  9. 26- Dan Wheldon
  10. 51- Alex Barron

Firestone Indy 200Edit

This race was held at Nashville Superspeedway on July 17. Buddy Rice won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 11- Tony Kanaan
  2. 6- Sam Hornish, Jr.
  3. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  4. 10- Darren Manning
  5. 2- Townsend Bell
  6. 15- Buddy Rice
  7. 13- Mark Taylor
  8. 1- Scott Dixon
  9. 55- Kosuke Matsuura
  10. 5- Adrián Fernández

Menards A.J. Foyt 225Edit

This race was held at the Milwaukee Mile on July 25. Vitor Meira won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 27- Dario Franchitti
  2. 15- Buddy Rice
  3. 6- Sam Hornish, Jr.
  4. 11- Tony Kanaan
  5. 17- Vitor Meira
  6. 2- Townsend Bell
  7. 51- Alex Barron
  8. 5- Adrián Fernández
  9. 7- Bryan Herta
  10. 55- Kosuke Matsuura

Michigan Indy 400Edit

This race was held at Michigan International Speedway on August 1. Tony Kanaan won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 15- Buddy Rice
  2. 11- Tony Kanaan
  3. 26- Dan Wheldon
  4. 6- Sam Hornish, Jr.
  5. 17- Vitor Meira
  6. 7- Bryan Herta
  7. 1- Scott Dixon
  8. 2- Townsend Bell
  9. 8- Scott Sharp
  10. 3- Hélio Castroneves

Belterra Casino Indy 300Edit

This race was held at Kentucky Speedway on August 15. Buddy Rice won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 5- Adrián Fernández
  2. 15- Buddy Rice
  3. 26- Dan Wheldon
  4. 55- Kosuke Matsuura
  5. 11- Tony Kanaan
  6. 27- Dario Franchitti
  7. 17- Vitor Meira
  8. 52- Ed Carpenter
  9. 7- Bryan Herta
  10. 10- Darren Manning

Honda Indy 225Edit

This race was held at Pikes Peak International Raceway on August 22. Tony Kanaan won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 27- Dario Franchitti
  2. 5- Adrián Fernández
  3. 6- Dan Wheldon
  4. 10- Darren Manning
  5. 11- Tony Kanaan
  6. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  7. 17- Vitor Meira
  8. 20- Jaques Lazier
  9. 7- Bryan Herta
  10. 51- Alex Barron

Firestone Indy 225Edit

This race was held at Nazareth Speedway on August 29. Hélio Castroneves won the pole. The race was heralded as the series' 100th event. This was also the final IndyCar race at the track which closed down following this race.

Top ten results

  1. 26- Dan Wheldon
  2. 11- Tony Kanaan
  3. 27- Dario Franchitti
  4. 15- Buddy Rice
  5. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  6. 10- Darren Manning
  7. 5- Adrián Fernández
  8. 7- Bryan Herta
  9. 1- Scott Dixon
  10. 17- Vitor Meira

Delphi Indy 300Edit

This race was held at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12. Hélio Castroneves won the pole. This race was memorable due to a scary crash involving Buddy Rice with 15 laps remaining as he slid down the backstretch upside down.

Top ten results

  1. 5- Adrián Fernández 200 laps in 2:09:31.3301
  2. 7- Bryan Herta +0.0716
  3. 11- Tony Kanaan +0.1239
  4. 26- Dan Wheldon +0.2464
  5. 17- Vitor Meira +0.4873
  6. 6- Sam Hornish, Jr. +0.5402
  7. 1- Scott Dixon +0.6109
  8. 24- Felipe Giaffone +1.1137
  9. 8- Scott Sharp +1.1878
  10. 3- Hélio Castroneves +1.2595

Toyota Indy 400Edit

This race was held at California Speedway on October 3. Hélio Castroneves won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 5- Adrián Fernández
  2. 11- Tony Kanaan
  3. 26- Dan Wheldon
  4. 6- Sam Hornish, Jr.
  5. 15- Buddy Rice
  6. 27- Dario Franchitti
  7. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  8. 1- Scott Dixon
  9. 2- Townsend Bell
  10. 13- Mark Taylor

This was Adrian Fernandez's final IndyCar victory

By finishing in 2nd, Tony Kannan clinched the championship with 1 race remaining.

Chevy 500Edit

This race was held at Texas Motor Speedway on October 17. Hélio Castroneves won the pole.

Top ten results

  1. 3- Hélio Castroneves
  2. 11- Tony Kanaan
  3. 26- Dan Wheldon
  4. 17- Vitor Meira
  5. 5- Adrián Fernández
  6. 1- Scott Dixon
  7. 13- Mark Taylor
  8. 8- Scott Sharp
  9. 2- Townsend Bell
  10. 14- A. J. Foyt IV

Season summaryEdit

Race resultsEdit

Rnd Race Pole position Fastest lap Most Laps Led Winner
1 Homestead-Miami   Buddy Rice   Sam Hornish, Jr.   Hélio Castroneves   Sam Hornish, Jr.
2 Phoenix   Dan Wheldon   Darren Manning   Tony Kanaan   Tony Kanaan
3 Twin Ring Motegi   Dan Wheldon   Dan Wheldon   Dan Wheldon   Dan Wheldon
4 Indianapolis   Buddy Rice   Vitor Meira   Buddy Rice   Buddy Rice
5 Texas 1   Dario Franchitti   Vitor Meira   Tony Kanaan   Tony Kanaan
6 Richmond   Hélio Castroneves   Sam Hornish, Jr.   Dario Franchitti   Dan Wheldon
7 Kansas   Buddy Rice   Tomas Scheckter   Buddy Rice   Buddy Rice
8 Nashville   Buddy Rice   Vitor Meira   Vitor Meira   Tony Kanaan
9 Milwaukee   Vitor Meira   Dario Franchitti   Dario Franchitti   Dario Franchitti
10 Michigan   Tony Kanaan   Darren Manning   Tony Kanaan   Buddy Rice
11 Kentucky   Buddy Rice   Vitor Meira   Tony Kanaan   Adrián Fernández
12 Pikes Peak   Tony Kanaan   Dan Wheldon   Dario Franchitti   Dario Franchitti
13 Nazareth   Hélio Castroneves   Sam Hornish, Jr.   Hélio Castroneves   Dan Wheldon
14 Chicagoland   Hélio Castroneves   Vitor Meira   Adrián Fernández   Adrián Fernández
15 Fontana   Hélio Castroneves   Vitor Meira   Hélio Castroneves   Adrián Fernández
16 Texas 2   Hélio Castroneves   Bryan Herta   Hélio Castroneves   Hélio Castroneves

BOLD indicates a Superspeedways. Note: All races ran on Ovals/Speedways.

Final driver standingsEdit

Pos Driver HMS PHX MOT INDY TXS RIR KAN NSH MIL MIS KTY PIK NAZ CHI FON TXS Pts
1   Tony Kanaan 8 1* 2 2 1* 5 3 1 4 2* 5* 5 2 3 2 2 618
2   Dan Wheldon 3 3 1* 3 13 1 9 13 18 3 3 3 1 4 3 3 533
3   Buddy Rice 7 9 6 1* 15 6 1* 6 2 1 2 22 4 14 5 20 485
4   Hélio Castroneves 2* 6 3 9 12 3 7 3 12 10 12 6 5* 10 7* 1*1 446
5   Adrián Fernández 20 18 7 5 7 6 10 8 12 1 2 7 1* 1 5 445
6   Dario Franchitti 17 17 7 14 2 12* 4 20 1* 22 6 1* 3 20 6 15 409
7   Sam Hornish, Jr. 1 15 19 26 4 13 8 2 3 4 14 18 11 6 4 17 387
8   Vitor Meira 17 6 6 2 2 12* 5 5 7 7 10 5 21 4 376
9   Bryan Herta 13 7 14 4 19 4 5 18 9 6 9 9 8 2 17 16 362
10   Scott Dixon 18 2 5 8 14 8 12 8 DNS 7 13 20 9 7 8 6 355
11   Darren Manning 6 5 4 25 8 20 11 4 19 13 10 4 6 15 DNS 323
12   Alex Barron 16 4 12 12 3 22 10 17 7 11 11 10 12 12 18 14 310
13   Scott Sharp 9 13 9 13 18 9 20 14 15 9 17 15 19 9 11 8 282
14   Kosuke Matsuura  RY  11 11 8 11 16 14 18 9 10 17 4 13 21 21 13 19 280
15   Toranosuke Takagi 4 8 10 19 10 19 21 11 20 20 20 19 17 13 14 12 263
16   Ed Carpenter  R  12 19 22 31 21 16 14 22 11 14 8 11 20 11 12 21 245
17   Mark Taylor  R  19 12 16 30 17 18 7 14 21 19 14 22 17 10 7 232
18   A. J. Foyt IV 15 14 15 33 22 11 13 16 16 15 18 21 15 16 19 10 232
19   Tomas Scheckter 5 16 13 18 20 17 15 19 21 19 22 17 13 19 15 18 230
20   Felipe Giaffone 15 9 10 16 15 13 16 16 16 16 8 20 11 214
21   Townsend Bell 17 5 6 8 21 12 18 22 9 9 193
22   Jaques Lazier DNQ 21 17 18 15 8 14 18 104
23   Greg Ray 14 10 20 27 7 15 Wth 99
24   Robby Buhl 10 18 21 44
25   Al Unser, Jr. 17 11 21 44
26   Roger Yasukawa 11 10 39
27   Tomáš Enge  R  16 13 31
28   Bruno Junqueira 5 30
29   Jeff Simmons  R  16 19 26
30   Richie Hearn 20 12
31   Sarah Fisher 21 12
32   Robby McGehee 22 12
33   Buddy Lazier 23 12
34   Marty Roth  R  24 12
35   P. J. Jones 28 10
36   Robby Gordon 292 10
37   Larry Foyt  R  32 10
Pos Driver HMS PHX MOT INDY TXS RIR KAN NSH MIL MIS KTY PIK NAZ CHI FON TXS Pts
Color Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green 4th & 5th place
Light Blue 6th-10th place
Dark Blue Finished
(Outside Top 10)
Purple Did not finish
(Ret)
Red Did not qualify
(DNQ)
Brown Withdrawn
(Wth)
Black Disqualified
(DSQ)
White Did not start
(DNS)
Blank Did not
participate
(DNP)
Not competing
In-line notation
Bold Pole position
Italics Ran fastest race lap
* Led most race laps
(3 points)
DNS Any driver who qualifies
but does not start (DNS),
earns all the points
had they taken part.
 RY  Rookie of the Year
 R  Rookie
  • Ties in points broken by number of wins, followed by number of 2nds, 3rds, etc., and then by number of pole positions, followed by number of times qualified 2nd, etc.

Notes:

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "IRL: IndyCar engines reduced to 3.0 Liters for 2004". Motorsport.com. December 17, 2003. Retrieved December 17, 2003.

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit