Jack Hawksworth (IndyCar photo)

Hawksworth wins Indy Lights at Baltimore as title battle intensifies (VIDEO)

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Jack Hawksworth led a Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian podium sweep in Baltimore for his third win of the Firestone Indy Lights season.

A runner-up finish for Sage Karam moves him to the points lead, with Gabby Chaves third to complete the top three. The trio also went 1-2-3 at Iowa, with Karam leading Chaves and Hawksworth there.

Karam made an excellent move – one he called “the best of his career” on Lap 1 to go three-wide on the inside of Chaves and Carlos Munoz to move into second place at Turn 3.

Hawksworth’s Baltimore drive was peerless from pole, a flag-to-flag triumph in the 35-lap race. He also won on two other street circuits, St. Petersburg and Toronto.

The day was great for SPM but a disaster for Munoz, who crashed on Lap 5 with something that apparently broke on the back of his Andretti Autosport car and pitched him into the wall entering Turn 5. That dropped Munoz to a ninth place finish.

The result moves Karam to the points lead, unofficially, with 373 points. Munoz is second with 371, Chaves 369 and Hawkswoth fourth on 362 with a maximum 53 points earned in Baltimore.

Peter Dempsey, who finished fourth, is still alive as well with 338 points but would need to win at Houston and hope for the four ahead to have issues to gain back the deficit.

Jorge Goncalvez finished fifth at Baltimore ahead of Matthew Di Leo, Giancarlo Serenelli, Zach Veach, Munoz, and series debutante Dalton Kellett. Kellett and Serenelli had unscheduled appointments with the concrete barriers while Veach had mechanical issues.

The second-to-last race for Indy Lights will be at Houston on Oct. 6, the inaugural trip to the street course for the series.

Recapping the proper Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel rivalry (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).

However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.

However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.

Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.

 

Take a look behind the scenes of Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 qualifying runs (VIDEO)

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In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth. 

Simulator ride tells what Fernando Alonso can expect in Indianapolis 500 (VIDEO)

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On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).

Check out the above video.  

Legendary announcer Ken Squier gets you ready for Sunday’s big day of racing (VIDEO)

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Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.

Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).