IndyCar: Hinchcliffe leads again, but crashes in Milwaukee second practice

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James Hinchcliffe followed up setting his fastest time in Milwaukee first practice by doing so again in the second, but a crash in Turn 2 will leave his Andretti Autosport crew scrambling before qualifying later this afternoon.

Hinchcliffe, in the No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda, lost the back end while running behind Helio Castroneves going through Turns 1 and 2 with just more than 10 minutes remaining in the second one-hour practice session. He hit the wall with the rear and knocked the wing off, and also incurred some right rear corner damage. Hinchcliffe was checked, cleared and released.

The accident brought out the fourth yellow flag of the session; others flew for minor stops by Josef Newgarden for a minor electrical issue, a track inspection, and Hinchcliffe’s teammate Marco Andretti stopping on-track through 1/2. Both Newgarden and Andretti got back out.

Prior to the wreck, Hinchcliffe improved his morning time and speed, with a new best lap of 165.677 mph (22.0549 seconds). Hinchcliffe was the only driver in the 165s; this afternoon’s practice ran at 83 degrees ambient and 111 on track, nearly 10 degrees ambient and 23 track warmer than this morning.

Ed Carpenter, Tony Kanaan, Mikhail Aleshin and Newgarden rounded out the top five.

Due to the yellows, the session was extended an extra five minutes.

Times are below:


Qualifying is next and will run from 5 to 6:15 p.m. CT/local time. Here’s the order for that:

1. 18-Carlos Huertas
2. 28-Ryan Hunter-Reay
3. 19-Justin Wilson
4. 34-Carlos Munoz
5. 3-Helio Castroneves
6. 98-Jack Hawksworth
7. 8-Ryan Briscoe
8. 2-Juan Pablo Montoya
9. 12-Will Power
10. 17-Sebastian Saavedra
11. 83-Charlie Kimball
12. 67-Josef Newgarden
13. 10-Tony Kanaan
14. 77-Simon Pagenaud
15. 15-Graham Rahal
16. 14-Takuma Sato
17. 7-Mikhail Aleshin
18. 11-Sebastien Bourdais
19. 20-Ed Carpenter
20. 25-Marco Andretti
21. 27-James Hinchcliffe
22. 9-Scott Dixon

Qualifying airs tonight on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET.

NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing

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The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.

Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.

Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.

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Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.

Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.

Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.

“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”

“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

F1 Grand Prix of Germany
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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski