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GoDaddy’s Sunday features Danica’s passes, Hinch’s humor

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GoDaddy’s pair of drivers in NASCAR and IndyCar went in opposite directions Sunday, possibly counter to expectations.

Danica Patrick drove to a respectable 12th place finish in her first Sprint Cup start at Martinsville, on the lead lap. She started from the rear of the field after an engine change. It wasn’t entirely smooth sailing, as she had a spin and also contacted Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“Yeah never being to Martinsville before, I didn’t know what to expect,” she said in her post-race interview to FOX Sports. “I thought it would be crazy. The bumping and banging here really gets going. (Brian) Vickers gave me a bump, I get it. It’s good to do for GoDaddy. I felt like I made a lot of passes, and I feel like I passed people all day. It was nice to have a good weekend, after some bad ones since Daytona.”

James Hinchcliffe, meanwhile, was left stranded on course early in IndyCar’s race at Barber, and thus unable to provide an encore to his victory in the season opener at St. Petersburg.

IndyCar race control reported that as Hinchcliffe’s car was missing a wheel, they didn’t want to tow the car back to cause more damage. A plan to bring the car in on the next yellow never developed, as the race went green the rest of the way after a restart.

“I wish I could have taken a nap, but these race cars are going around making all this noise. It’s really rude of them,” he joked. “We got hit on Lap 1 and when we got the call for one to go (for the green flag) the wheel came off. I was hoping they were going to let us tow back and throw a new one on because nothing else was bent. But you dig yourself in a hole, qualify back there and these things happen. It’s a weekend to forget. We just have to come back stronger and get the GoDaddy car back on the podium.”

Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.