Razia claims Freedom 100 Indy Lights pole

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Luiz Razia captured his first Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire win two weeks ago in the second race of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

He’s carried the momentum nicely into the pole position for his first oval start in Indy Lights, Friday’s Freedom 100 (noon ET, NBCSN).

Razia, one of four drivers in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports quartet, went out ninth of 11 drivers and posted a two-lap average of 187.710 mph to claim the pole in the No. 7 car.

Teammate Jack Harvey, who finished on the podium in both GP of Indy races, lines up second in the No. 42 car after his average was 186.573.

The Schmidt pair’s excellent GP of Indy weekend propelled them back into title contention against the dominant pair of Zach Veach and Gabby Chaves, who split the opening four races of the year two wins apiece.

Points leader Veach rolls off fourth, alongside teammate and GP of Indy Race 1 winner Matthew Brabham. Chaves makes it all five in the top five in points starting from the top five positions on Friday.

The remainder of the 11-car grid is Juan Pablo Garcia, Chase Austin, Juan Piedrahita, Alex Baron, Scott Anderson and Zack Meyer. A 12th car, which was set for Emerson Newton-John, was withdrawn at the last minute due to a sponsorship issue.

For Razia, Harvey and Brabham, this will be their first Freedom 100, while Chaves seeks to avenge a narrow runner-up finish in the four-wide affair last year. Veach finished fifth last year, behind the top four.

Entering the weekend, Veach leads the standings with 229 points, with Razia at 224, Chaves on 215, Harvey on 207, and Brabham with 192.

Kevin Lee, Anders Krohn, IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden and Jake Query will call the action on NBCSN tomorrow at noon ET.

F1 Paddock Pass: United States Grand Prix post-race (VIDEO)

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As Lewis Hamilton took another step towards his fourth Formula 1 World Championship Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, plenty of other topics of discussion emerged in the wake of Round 17 of the season from Austin.

Hamilton’s win came as his Mercedes AMG Petronas team claimed its fourth consecutive Constructor’s Championship, Scuderia Ferrari came up short once again despite a valiant effort in second and third, and Max Verstappen’s penalty after the race was the major talking point.

Elsewhere Valtteri Bottas struggled again, the Sahara Force India twins continued to pick up points, Carlos Sainz Jr. made a major positive impact in his first start with Renault, Brendon Hartley impressed on debut at Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean and Haas F1 Team endured a tough weekend on Haas’ home soil.

Check out all the recap from the latest USGP in the latest post-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, below.