Pole-sitter McMurray leads halfway in Sprint Cup race at Sonoma

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Pole-sitter Jamie McMurray is the leader at halfway of Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway.

Jeff Gordon, who leads all drivers at Sonoma with five career wins there, is running second, followed by Kevin Harvick in third.

AJ Allmendinger has dominated much of the first half of Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, but has fallen back to fourth position.

Allmendinger had led 37 of the first 55 laps in the 110-lap event.

Allmendinger, who is seeking the first career Sprint Cup win for both himself and JTG-Daugherty Racing, led the first 21 laps before yielding the lead to Harvick.

But Allmendinger rallied back to regain the front of the pack spot several laps later.

Michael Waltrip Racing is seeking its third consecutive win at Sonoma, with Clint Bowyer winning there in 2012 and Martin Truex Jr. (now with Furniture Row Racing) doing so in last year’s race.

Bowyer was fifth at halfway, followed by Kurt Busch and rookie Kyle Larson, who won the K&N race on Saturday at Sonoma, was running seventh.

Marcos Ambrose, favored by many to win the race, is running eighth.

Brad Keselowski got spun early when he pulled in front of Kyle Busch, but admitted over his team radio that it was he who made a mistake and had no issue with Busch.

Speaking of Team Penske, Keselowski complained over the team radio early about the setup on his Ford Fusion, prompting crew chief Paul Wolfe to get exasperated and tell his driver that the only way to fix the issue would be to bring the car into the garage.

Casey Mears is having handling issues after the front end of his car was crunched after being hit from behind by Clint Bowyer and pushed into the back of another car.

On Lap 31, Landon Cassill – the only driver to do the weekend double (raced Saturday in the Nationwide Series race at Road America and then in Sunday’s Cup event at Sonoma) – lost his motor, bringing out a full course caution.

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Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”