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INDYCAR NEWS 

IndyCar confirms 2014 Leaders Circle entrants

IndyCar has announced revisions to its Leaders Circle programme for 2014 and confirmed the teams that have qualified for the system this season.

The Leaders Circle programme was introduced in 2002 to provide financial incentives to teams that complete the entire season, with each participating entrant guaranteed a minimum of $1 million provided that it successfully qualifies for the Indianapolis 500.

The number of eligible entrants has been reduced by one, with the series having announced a total of 21 for this year.

The list includes 20 cars that earned their place via their finishing positions in last year's entrants points standings, with the 21st spot being granted to the third Penske car being driven Juan Pablo Montoya as part of a deal with the now-absent Dragon Racing.

The bonus payout system has also changed. Previously, the top five finishers at all races aside from the Indy 500 were awarded bonuses, with a win attracting an additional $35,000.

That has been reduced to $30,000 this year, with other payouts also having been correspondingly lowered, however the bonuses will now be awarded all the way down to 10th place.

"The Leaders Circle programme is an important resource for full-time teams in the IndyCar Series," said Derrick Walker, IndyCar president of competition and operations.

"We are looking at ways to continue to grow this resource in the future and further reward our teams for their continued participation in the series."

The winner at Pocono and Fontana will receive a payout of $40,000, with the remaining payouts pegged at the same level as other races.

Additional bonuses are also available at all races aside from the Indy 500 for the non-Leaders Circle entrants, with the top three earning $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.

The bonus for the winner will increase to $30,000 at Pocono and Fontana.

Panther Racing is the only 2013 Leaders Circle entrant to have fallen off the list this year.

2014 IndyCar Leader Circle entrants               
                                                               
No. Team                    Engine     Driver         
2   Team Penske             Chevrolet  Juan Pablo Montoya      
3   Team Penske             Chevrolet  Helio Castroneves       
7   Schmidt Peterson        Honda      Mikail Aleshin          
9   Chip Ganassi Racing     Chevrolet  Scott Dixon             
10  Chip Ganassi Racing     Chevrolet  Tony Kanaan             
11  KV Racing               Chevrolet  Sebastien Bourdais      
12  Team Penske             Chevrolet  Will Power              
14  AJ Foyt Racing          Honda      Takuma Sato             
15  Rahal Letterman Racing  Honda      Graham Rahal            
17  KV Racing Technology    Chevrolet  Sebastian Saavedra      
18  Dale Coyne Racing       Honda      TBA                     
19  Dale Coyne Racing       Honda      Justin Wilson           
20  Ed Carpenter Racing     Chevrolet  Ed Carpenter/Mike Conway
25  Andretti Autosport      Honda      Marco Andretti          
27  Andretti Autosport      Honda      James Hinchcliffe       
28  Andretti Autosport      Honda      Ryan Hunter-Reay        
34  Andretti Autosport      Honda      Carlos Munoz            
67  Sarah Fisher Hartman    Honda      Josef Newgarden         
77  Schmidt Peterson        Honda      Simon Pagenaud          
83  Chip Ganassi Racing     Chevrolet  Charlie Kimball         
TBA Bryan Herta Autosport   Honda      TBA                     
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