IndyCar: Hawksworth drives from last to third for first career podium

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Starting 23rd and last on Sunday, there wasn’t much in the way of odds on Jack Hawksworth scoring his first career podium finish in the No. 98 Integrity Energee Drink BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian Honda.

Then again, this was a Verizon IndyCar Series weekend in Houston where nothing seemed to go according to odds and plan. And thus, the English rookie who’s shown so much speed in qualifying and some races this year delivered a dynamic comeback drive from the rear of the field up to third by the checkered flag.

A methodical drive forward coupled with being in the right position on pit strategy left Hawksworth in the top five despite a flurry of mid-race cautions. From there, his final stint of the race saw him, Juan Pablo Montoya and Charlie Kimball locked in an intense battle for fourth place, with Hawksworth doing everything within his power to hold the other two off.

Fourth became third when Will Power had a mechanical issue with two laps remaining, and suddenly Hawksworth made it through to the podium behind the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammates.

It betters his Saturday result of sixth, after he’d started 21st, which had been his previous best result. Additionally, it’s the team’s first podium finish since the team’s first and thus far only career victory achieved by the late Dan Wheldon at the 2011 Indianapolis 500. In two full seasons of 2012 and 2013, the team captured several top-fives but had not returned to the top three.

“Just a fantastic day really. We’ve started at the front so many times but it’s not happened for us. Today we were terrible qualifying and ended up on the podium,” Hawksworth said to NBCSN post-race.

“We passed cars at the right time. It’s been tough, we’ve been so good this year but it hasn’t come together. I’m just so delighted for the whole team. Just really proud of all the guys, totally deserved.”

Hawksworth is the fourth rookie and 16th driver overall to score a podium this season. He praised the level of competition as well.

“The competition in the whole field has been strong all year,” he said. “Really anyone can stick it on the pole or win a race. And each weekend it seems to change. So you have to be perfect every weekend.”

And on a weekend where he had a practice crash and two of his worst starts of his young career, Hawksworth made his results count.

IMSA race at Daytona: How to watch, start times, schedule, TV info, more

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IMSA start times: For the first time in more than five months, Daytona International Speedway will have a sports car race as the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series returns to the same place it left off today (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

After being sidelined by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic since the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, the premier sports car circuit will wave the green again on its 2020 season today. But instead of the annual 24-hour endurance classic, Saturday’s WeatherTech 240 will be a “sprint race” around the 3.56-mile road course.

Here are the details for IMSA’s second race of the season at Daytona (all times are ET):


IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona race information

TV: 6 p.m. NBCSN, NBC Sports App and TrackPass

RADIO: IMSA Radio will have live radio coverage throughout the weekend on IMSARadio.com, as well as Sirius Channel 216, XM 210, Internet 970

RACE DISTANCE: Two hours, 40 minutes around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 88 degrees with a 51% chance of rain at the green flag.

ENTRY LIST: Click here to see the 26 cars entered in Saturday’s race.


IMSA weekend schedule: Friday, July 3

11 a.m. — WeatherTech Championship Transporter Load-In

1 p.m. — Garages open; pit lane equipment setup

6:15-7:15 p.m. — First practice WeatherTech Championship (all classes)

9:30 p.m. — Garages close

IMSA weekend schedule: Saturday, July 4

8 a.m. — Garages open

8:45 a.m. — Fuel rig inspection

10:15 a,m — 11:30 am — Practice (restricted by classes: 10:15-10:45 a.m., GTD Silver/Bronze; 10:30-11:30 a.m., DPi/GTLM; 10:45-11:15, GTD all drivers)

1:55 p.m. — GTD qualifying

2:20 p.m. — GTLM qualifying

2:45 p.m. — DPi qualifying

6 p.m. — Formation laps

6:10 p.m. — IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona (2 hours, 40 minutes)

11:30 p.m. — Garages close