Following Ryan Hunter-Reay’s IZOD IndyCar Series championship victory at the weekend, reporters covering the series were inundated with "numbers."
Andretti Autosport, Hunter-Reay’s employer, issued 30 "numbers of interest" and the IndyCar PR people sent out 26.
Both organizations were stretching things, so I’m not going to publish all 56.
But here are the Top Ten that I find most interesting.
1 – There is only one driver who has won races in IndyCar, CART/Champ Car, the American Le Mans Series and the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series. That driver is Ryan Hunter-Reay.
3 – Final points separating champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and second-place Will Power. It was the closest margin since 2006 when Sam Hornish Jr. beat Dan Wheldon on a tiebreaker. Only IndyCar 1996 (a tie between Scott Sharp and Buzz Calkins), CART 1999 (Juan Pablo Montoya won a tiebreaker over Dario Franchitti) and CART 1985 (Al Unser Sr. beat Al Unser Jr. by 1 point) were closer. It also tied the 1989 CART championship when Emerson Fittipaldi beat Rick Mears by 3 points.
8 – The points finish for Oakville racer James Hinchcliffe in his second IndyCar season, an improvement on his first year. "Hinch" also led 8 races, fourth best among all drivers in 2012.
8 (again) - There were eight different winners in the 15 races in 2012 as well as eight different pole-position winners.
18 - Positions gained by Ryan Hunter-Reay en route to his championship-clinching fourth-place finish at California Speedway, most of any driver in the field (which showed that even with Power out of the race, he really had to work for his title). In short-track racing, he'd be given the Hard Charger Award.
28 - Hunter-Reay's car number represents the 28 million people around the world who are suffering from cancer. He lost his mother, Lydia, to the disease in 2009. He let it be known at the Honda Indy Toronto that she was originally from Hamilton. Her death inspired him to help launch the Racing for Cancer Foundation. He is also one of 13 worldwide envoys for Lance Armstrong's Livestrong organization.
88 – Podium finishes for Dario Franchitti (who finished second on the weekend) in his Indy car career, tying Al Unser Jr. and Bobby Rahal for fifth on the all-time list.
196 - Consecutive Indy car starts for Tony Kanaan going back to the 2001 CART race in Portland. Kanaan is second to Jimmy Vasser's 211 straight starts.
1,968 - Total race laps in 2012. Helio Castroneves completed almost all of them: 1,965, most of any driver.
$1,000,000 - Prize money for winning the 2012 Izod IndyCar Series title.