What to watch for: IndyCar at Detroit, Race 2

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WILL POWER VS. SIMON PAGENAUD

Yesterday’s on-track skirmish between Dual 1 winner Will Power and Simon Pagenaud was the second such incident they’ve had this Verizon IndyCar Series season. While Pagenaud suffered terminal suspension damage, Power also says he sustained a sore left wrist.

No penalties came of the incident but for today’s race, they’ll be starting together in Row 4. Will we see more fireworks between the Australian and the Frenchman? Considering the tight confines of Belle Isle, it could happen.

DAMAGE CONTROL FOR RHR

After being on top of the world with his Indianapolis 500 victory, Ryan Hunter-Reay has endured a hard weekend in Detroit. Yesterday, he tagged the wall in qualifying and then finished 16th after a final-lap crash. Then this morning, he once again found the wall and will have to start today’s race on the final row alongside Scott Dixon.

Hunter-Reay’s championship lead is down to three points over Power – and that lead could be gone by the end of today unless he has a stellar drive from the back.

ANOTHER STRATEGY RACE?

You needed a white board to keep track of all the different strategies that played out during yesterday’s 70-lap race, and we may see more of the same in today’s race.

A note to keep in mind: All but one driver – fourth-place starter Mike Conway – will start today on the Firestone alternate “red” tires (faster than the primary ‘blacks’, but not quite as durable). That should mean early stops for the majority of the field.

GOTTA KEEP FOCUS

One full race around Belle Isle is tough enough, but now the IndyCar guys have to do it all over again today. Doubleheader weekends are a physical and mental drain on everyone, from the drivers to the crews. But one mistake from either the cockpit or the pit box can lead to a wasted afternoon.

F1: Lewis Hamilton roars back from starting 14th to win German GP, regain points lead

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Heading into Sunday’s German Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton wasn’t given much of a chance after qualifying so poorly (14th) one day earlier.

But in one of the most significant rallies of the 2018 Formula One season, Hamilton roared back to not only win at Hockenheim, but also regain the lead in the F1 drivers championship standings at the halfway point of the season.

Ditto for Mercedes in the Constructors Championship.

“It was so tough out there,” Hamilton told Sky Sports/ESPN. “Conditions were perfect for business time. When it rained, I knew I’d have a good position, but you never know what’s going to happen behind the safety car.”

Despite rainy conditions for part of the race, not to mention wet overall conditions that caused a number of drivers to spin, Hamilton won the 66th race of his F1 career (44th with Mercedes AMG Petronas) in a time of 1:32.29.845 and took home 25 points for his fourth win of 2018.

It’s the furthest back a driver has come from back in the pack to win since Fernando Alonso started 15th and won the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008.

The win comes just a couple days after Hamilton re-signed with Mercedes AMG through the 2020 season, leading him to pay an immediate return on investment, so to speak.

“It’s obviously very, very difficult (to win) from that position and highly unlikely, but you’ve always got to believe,” Hamilton said. “I said a long, long prayer before the race started.

“When we did the parade lap, I could see how much support we had and I just wanted to stay collected and stay calm. The team did such a great job today, the car was fantastic, I’m so grateful.

“I would never have thought you could do something like that today, but I kept pushing and kept believing and it happened, so I really manifested my dreams today. Thanks to God.”

It was also the 125th F1 podium finish of Hamilton’s career.

To make the win even sweeter, Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, finished second, the first time in German GP history that homeland team Mercedes has finished 1-2.

It’s Bottas’ fifth podium of the season, all being runner-up finishes.

Kimi Raikkonen finished third, 6.5 seconds behind Hamilton, followed my Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg. For Raikkonen, it was his 28th podium since his last win.

Sixth through 10th were Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon, Marcus Ericsson and Brendon Hartley.

Kevin Magnussen finished 11th, followed by Carlos Sainz, Stoffel Vandoorne, Pierre Gasly, Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso was the last running car, finishing 16th.

Failing to finish (17th through 20th) were Lance Stroll, pole sitter Sebastian Vettel (who made a mistake and crashed), Sergey Sirotkin and Daniel Ricciardo.

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