No. 968
October 17, 2018
 

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Sep172018

SEPTEMBER 19, 2018

(Photo by Chris Jones/INDYCAR)
Ryan Hunter-Reay (No. 28 Andretti Autosport DHL Honda Turbo V6/Dallara) 
led 80 of 85 laps of the INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway in a commanding performance to win the 2018 season finale from the pole position. Scott Dixon (No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing PNC Bank Honda Turbo V6/Dallara) started second and finished there, which was more than enough to secure the season crown (See "Fumes" for more on Dixon -WG). Dixon entered the race with a 29-point lead, knowing he essentially only had to finish ahead of second-place Alexander Rossi (No. 27 Andretti Autosport NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda Turbo V6/Dallara) in the double-points race. When Rossi damaged the front wing on his car and punctured a tire in first-lap with teammate Marco Andretti, Dixon was content to trail Hunter-Reay and bring home the crown that earned Dixon another Astor Cup and $1 million prize. Hunter-Reay commanded the race on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn Sonoma Raceway road course from the outset, surrendering the lead only briefly through pit stop cycles. When Hunter-Reay crossed the finish line, he collected the 18th win of an Indy car career that began in 2003. It moved the Andretti Autosport driver into sole possession of 26th place on the all-time Indy car wins list. "It was nice to go from pole (to) win, lead the most laps, the whole thing," Hunter-Reay said. "That's an ideal race. May not be the most exciting thing for the fans at times, but from a race car driver's point of view, team owner, race team, it's the ideal race. "Felt like the race just didn't want to end," Hunter-Reay added. "I guess that's what happens when you spend the whole day out front. Any time I needed the pace to put it down, we leapt out to a lead (and) I was able to maintain that." Watch an excellent video narrated by Mike Tirico about Roger Penske's 500 wins 
(Photo by Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR)
Will Power (No. 12 Team Penske Verizon Chevrolet Turbo V6/Dallara) gets pit service from his Team Penske crew. Power finished third to secure third in the point standings. Hunter-Reay ended up fourth in the championship, with Josef Newgarden (No. 1 Team Penske Verizon Chevrolet Turbo V6/Dallara) fifth following his eighth-place race finish.
(Photo by Richard Dowdy/INDYCAR)
Alexander Rossi (No. 27 Andretti Autosport NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda Turbo V6/Dallara) dropped to last place in the 25-car field following the Lap 1 incident, but he charged back to finish seventh. It left the 26-year-old Californian 57 points short of Dixon in the quest for his first series championship. "It was unfortunate because I thought we got a good start," Rossi said of the with Andretti heading up the hill in Turn 1. "Just two cars going for the same spot type of thing." "At the end of the day, the (No.) 27 NAPA team did an amazing job of getting us back to a point where we could at least be in contention if something did happen to Scott. I knew it was probably a 1 percent shot at getting anything done at the end of the day. I just tried to attack it, move up as many positions as we could."
(Photo by Chris Jones/INDYCAR)
Patricio O'Ward (
No. 8 Harding Group Chevrolet Turbo V6/Dallara), the newly-crowned Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion, made an impressive Verizon IndyCar Series debut, qualifying in the Fast Six and finishing ninth. "It was a really great weekend, we learned a lot," O'Ward said. "We qualified the car fifth and we ended the race ninth. As a driver, you want to stay in your qualifying position or get better. But I think for a first try, especially with a super long race with three or four pit stops that was a job well done. I'm really satisfied, and I just want to get better for next year."
(Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Autotrader Ford) won Sunday's 
South Point 400 in Las Vegas, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs opener. It was the 500th organizational victory for Team Penske in its 52nd season of competition and the third NASCAR Cup win in a row for Keselowski. “What an incredible finish in Las Vegas and an amazing way to earn Team Penske’s 500th victory,” Roger Penske said in a team release. “Great job by Brad (Keselowski) and the No. 2 Autotrader Ford team to start the Playoffs with a win and a great finish by all three of our cars today. … Thanks to everyone throughout our organization for their hard work and all their dedication for helping us reach this special milestone of 500 wins.” The win was Keselowski’s 59th for the organization, tied for the most of any driver along with Mark Donohue. Rusty Wallace is third with 37 wins. It was the 111th Penske win at NASCAR’s top level. Penske teams have won 203 times in the IndyCar Series and 67 times in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. “Winning 500 races as an organization is such an incredible accomplishment,” Keselowski said. “Roger Penske was already in an elite category and this milestone only enhances that. I’m thrilled for Roger and everyone at Team Penske and I’m incredibly proud to drive for him.” Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing DC Solar/Vegas Strong Chevrolet) was second in the chaotic race and Martin Truex Jr. (No. 78 Furniture Row Racing 5-Hour Energy Toyota) finished third.
(Pirelli)
Lewis Hamilton (No. 44 AMG Petronas Motorsport) scored a dominant victory from pole position in the Singapore Grand Prix Sunday, and he's confident that he and his Mercedes team are in a great position to win the Formula One world championship.  The British driver 
has a 40-point lead over Sebastian Vettel (No. 5 Scuderia Ferrari) with six races remaining. Hamilton's pole lap was exceptional - observers are already calling it one of the greatest F1 laps of all time - including Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, who described it as “stardust” and the best lap he had ever seen. Hamilton has now won four of the last five races. “We are going from strength to strength in terms of our understanding of the car,” he said. “We are far more comfortable at our job now. Six races ago we were struggling and trying to find that bit of magic, but we have now figured the car out.” Max Verstappen (No. 33 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing) was second and Vettel finished third. Watch the race highlights .
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