TUDOR: Braun, Bennett take CORE to PC class win at Kansas

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After going from fifth to first in the opening two laps, Colin Braun went on to take the checkered flag for the No. 54 CORE Autosport team in the second 45-minute segment of last night’s Grand Prix of Kansas.

The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event took place on Kansas Speedway’s “roval” layout and consisted of two, 45-minute races with the TUDOR Championship’s Prototype Challenge class going wheel-to-wheel with the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites division.

Braun won Segment 2 by a margin of 4.652 seconds over runner-up Renger van der Zande (No. 8, Starworks Motorsport). His co-driver, CORE owner Jon Bennett, also contributed to their win with a fifth-place finish in Segment 1.

“[The segmented format] was good in one way because I could sit down and pick Jon’s brain on how the first race went,” Braun said. “I knew a little bit about what to expect and was able to build a little bit of a game plan based on what he told me.

“I was prepared for the start of [Segment 2] to go one of two ways; either everybody would end up double file into Turn One, or we’d stack up, which is what happened. I was fortunate that I picked the path of least resistance, teed it up and was able to get by most of the guys in the first corner.”

Completing the podium at Kansas was 8Star Motorsports, which had Sean Rayhall win Segment 1 in their No. 25 ORECA before handing the car to Luis Diaz for Segment 2.

In the Lites division, Mikhail Goikhberg picked up his third victory of the year after narrowly finishing second to Tony Bullock in the first race and winning the second.

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.