IndyCar: Firestone 600 at Texas entry notes

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Not too many entry notes and changes ahead of this weekend’s Firestone 600 for the Verizon IndyCar Series at Texas Motor Speedway (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN) but here they are:

  • Helio Castroneves and Sebastien Bourdais return to liveries they last raced at Barber Motorsports Park. Castroneves will be in the blue-and-white No. 3 AAA Insurance Team Penske Chevrolet – same colors he won with last year at Texas – while Bourdais will be in the No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet black-and-green this weekend.
  • Tony Kanaan will carry Suave for Men gray colors on his No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet this weekend, the first time that livery has run since Detroit last year (pictured). Difference is, TK’s got a shaved head and his predecessor, Dario Franchitti, was a more fitting livery ambassador given his full, flowing head of hair…
  • Josef Newgarden returns to the Strike livery last seen at Houston last year aboard his No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Honda. Meanwhile Simon Pagenaud will be back from orange to white for Lucas Oil signage adorning his No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports Honda. Pagenaud has not had the same livery in consecutive race weekends yet this year.
  • Carlos Huertas will be in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda for Texas, which isn’t too much of a surprise but does more or less confirm he’ll be in that car for the foreseeable future this season. Huertas, the fourth rookie and fourth Colombian in this year’s field, had initially been in for the first four road and street races and the Indianapolis 500. But thus far he’s completed every race lap in seven races, in what’s been a very solid debut stretch.

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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