Dakar: Stage winners Sunderland (bikes), Bonetto (quads) among latest to withdraw

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The 2015 Dakar Rally continues to take a heavy toll.

Stage 1 motorcycle winner Sam Sunderland of the factory KTM team, as well as Stage 3 quad winner Lucas Bonetto, are among the latest to withdraw from the event.

Sunderland (pictured) crashed near the 60km mark in yesterday’s Stage 4 from Chilecito, Argentina to Copiapo, Chile. His shoulder was injured in the incident, and while KTM reported that X-rays did not reveal any fractures, the British rider is still going home after another rough Dakar.

Sunderland himself detailed his experiences in a Facebook post:

After his Stage 1 victory last Sunday, Sunderland made a navigation error in Stage 2 and promptly fell down the overall standings as a result of the mishap. He bounced back to finish 11th in Stage 3 before crashing yesterday.

His withdrawal continues his bad luck in the world’s toughest rally. Sunderland suffered an electrical failure in 2012, failed to start in 2013 with broken wrists, and lost an engine in Stage 4 last year – the same stage where he’s bowing out now.

As for Bonetto, who thrilled his fellow Argentinians with his win on home soil from San Juan to Chilecito, he was forced to give up the fight due to mechanical problems on his Honda quad.

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

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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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.