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IndyCar at Sonoma: Results, notes, videos from season finale

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SONOMA, Calif. – Ordinarily we would put the usual good, bad, notable and quotable elements of a Verizon IndyCar Series race into the main report.

However with today’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma being the season finale, we figured it would be a bit easier to do this separately beyond the norm, with Josef Newgarden’s championship post, Simon Pagenaud’s race win post, the other title contenders post and a wrap up of videos post all separately.

Without further adieu, here’s notes on the rest of the day:

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Pagenaud’s win ensured he’s won two or more races in four of the last five seasons. The only exception was 2015, his first year at Team Penske. … The Penske and Ganassi teams locked out the top-five positions. … Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti led the rest of the runners in sixth and seventh, Andretti having an all-around solid weekend. … Both Sebastien Bourdais and Conor Daly ended the year with solid top-10s, Daly’s another impressive run and he led three laps for his and A.J. Foyt Enterprises’ first laps led this year. … Debutante Zachary Claman DeMelo kept it clean and quick to end 17th on debut, ahead of fellow Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires veterans Jack Harvey and Ed Jones.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Jones’ tough late season run of results continued in 19th with a DNF, ahead of Takuma Sato, Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe, who all had issues.

NOTABLE: From INDYCAR: This is Simon Pagenaud’s second win of 2017 and the 11th win of his Indy car career. … This is the 197th Indy car victory for cars owned by Roger Penske. … Josef Newgarden finished second and won his first Verizon IndyCar Series title over Simon Pagenaud 642 to 629. … Today’s championship is 15th Indy car championship for Team Penske and the third in the last four seasons. Will Power won the 2014 championship and Simon Pagenaud won the 2016 championship. … Will Power finished third. It is his seventh podium finish of the season.

QUOTABLE: Newgarden, on the title: “I’m so proud of these guys. I don’t even know what to say. It was all year and it took a lot to make it happen. Thank you to my teammates. They were giving me a lot of help to make sure we got this done. It’s huge team effort at Team Penske.”

VIDEOS

Klay Thompson gives command to start engines

Conor Daly catches air when battling JR Hildebrand and Charlie Kimball

Simon Pagenaud holds off Josef Newgarden’s advances following final pit stops

Pagenaud brings home the win while Newgarden brings home the championship

RESULTS

Click HERE to view and download the official box score from the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.

SONOMA, California – Results Sunday of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.385-mile Sonoma Raceway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (3) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 85, Running
2. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 85, Running
3. (2) Will Power, Chevrolet, 85, Running
4. (6) Scott Dixon, Honda, 85, Running
5. (4) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 85, Running
6. (9) Graham Rahal, Honda, 85, Running
7. (11) Marco Andretti, Honda, 85, Running
8. (7) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 85, Running
9. (10) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 85, Running
10. (13) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 85, Running
11. (15) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 85, Running
12. (14) Max Chilton, Honda, 85, Running
13. (17) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 84, Running
14. (20) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 84, Running
15. (22) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 84, Running
16. (12) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 84, Running
17. (21) Zachary Claman DeMelo, Honda, 84, Running
18. (19) Jack Harvey, Honda, 84, Running
19. (18) Ed Jones, Honda, 69, Off Course
20. (5) Takuma Sato, Honda, 62, Off Course
21. (8) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 60, Running
22. (16) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 52, Electrical

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 104.968 mph
Time of Race: 1:55:52.6840
Margin of victory: 1.0986 seconds
Cautions: 0
Lead changes: 6 among 3 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Newgarden 1-17
Daly 18-20
Pagenaud 21-29
Newgarden 30-39
Pagenaud 40-47
Newgarden 48-61
Pagenaud 62-85

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings:
 Newgarden 642, Pagenaud 629, Dixon 621, Castroneves 598, Power 562, Rahal 522, Rossi 494, Sato 441, Hunter-Reay 421, Kanaan 403.

F1 2017 driver review: Kevin Magnussen

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Kevin Magnussen

Team: Haas
Car No.: 20
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P7 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 19
Championship Position: 14th

Kevin Magnussen’s move to Haas proved to be a win-win situation for both parties through 2017 as they banished the struggles of the previous Formula 1 season.

For Magnussen, the move came after a difficult one-season stint with Renault who despite offering him a way back into F1 after a year on the sidelines were unable to produce a car allowing the Dane to fight far up the order.

Haas had not expected to be able to be that much further ahead, but Magnussen nevertheless immediately offered an uplift in performance after replacing Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to score a single point through 2016.

Magnussen picked up Haas’ first points of the season with a solid drive in China, and was able to capitalize on the bonkers Baku race to take P7, which would ultimately be his best result of the season.

Consistency was a real issue for Haas throughout the year as it continued to have teething problems most new teams encounter, and while Magnussen was more able to drive around the problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, he lacked the ultimate pace of his teammate.

That said, Magnussen’s season highlight came in Mexico, a track Haas expected to be its worst of the season. The ex-McLaren driver qualified on the last row but produced a stunning display to finish eighth, soaking up pressure from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton late on.

The signs are positive moving forward. Next year should be Haas’ best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations, presenting a good opportunity for Magnussen to prove his star quality.

Season High: Taking P8 in Mexico when Haas expected to be slowest.

Season Low: Lagging home P15 at Spa as Grosjean hit the points.