Bourdais crushes field at Milwaukee for second win of year (VIDEO)

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MILWAUKEE – Sebastien Bourdais partied like it was the old Champ Car days at the oldest continuously operating race track in North America.

The Frenchman won his second race of the Verizon IndyCar Series season at the Milwaukee Mile, controlling the second half of the 250-lap race, the ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers. He also won at the track in 2006.

WATCH: Full replay of ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250

The driver of the No. 11 Hydroxycut KVSH Racing Chevrolet drove an utterly dynamic middle stint of the race after the halfway mark, gapping the field by anywhere from three to four mph per lap and stretching his lead on the one-mile oval to a full lap, in running a “rabbit” strategy on pure pace.

Bourdais needed a final stop on Lap 212 to ensure he made the finish, but his lead was almost never in doubt after his prior 90 laps.

A late caution on Lap 222 when Justin Wilson stopped in Turn 1 with a mechanical issue nearly sabotaged Bourdais’ race.

Most of the field pitted for fresh tires, Bourdais had a two-car gap between he and the rest of the field, as Juan Pablo Montoya and Ed Carpenter stayed out.

Bourdais held off Helio Castroneves, who made a great drive from last in the field up to second, and Graham Rahal, who followed up his Auto Club Speedway win with another podium.

Montoya and polesitter Josef Newgarden completed the top five.

Montoya held on on the older tires, and in the process extended his points lead. He is now up by 54 points over Scott Dixon, who finished seventh after a late fallback.

Newgarden led three times for 109 laps, including all but six of the first 100 laps, but was caught out on strategy. He made it home fifth and said he could afford to be disappointed with his first top-five of the year that wasn’t a win.

Tony Kanaan was sixth ahead of Dixon. Marco Andretti, Simon Pagenaud and Ed Carpenter completed the top 10 finishers.

Will Power crashed out just past the halfway mark, caught up with nowhere to go when Ryan Briscoe lost control through Turns 3 and 4.

Montoya now leads Dixon by 54, Castroneves and Rahal by 69 and Power by 70 heading to Iowa Speedway next week.

RESULTS

WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Results Sunday of the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 1.015-mile Milwaukee Mile, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, aero kit-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1.  (11) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 250, Running
2.  (24) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 250, Running
3.  (6) Graham Rahal, Honda, 250, Running
4.  (8) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 250, Running
5.  (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 250, Running
6.  (4) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 250, Running
7.  (10) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 250, Running
8.  (9) Marco Andretti, Honda, 250, Running
9.  (17) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 250, Running
10.  (22) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 250, Running
11.  (12) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 250, Running
12.  (7) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 250, Running
13.  (16) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 250, Running
14.  (13) Takuma Sato, Honda, 250, Running
15.  (18) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 250, Running
16.  (20) Tristan Vautier, Honda, 248, Running
17.  (21) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 221, Running
18.  (15) Justin Wilson, Honda, 219, Mechanical
19.  (3) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 183, Contact
20.  (19) Stefano Coletti, Chevrolet, 156, Mechanical
21.  (2) Ryan Briscoe, Honda, 130, Contact
22.  (14) Will Power, Chevrolet, 130, Contact
23.  (5) James Jakes, Honda, 113, Mechanical
24.  (23) Pippa Mann, Honda, 27, Handling

Race Statistics
Winners average speed:  130.373
Time of Race: 01:56:46.8264
Margin of victory: 2.2366
Cautions: 3 for 36 laps
Lead changes: 9 among 6 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Newgarden 1 – 54
Rahal 55 – 59
Newgarden 60 – 100
Bourdais 101
Wilson 102
Dixon 103 – 116
Bourdais 117 – 170
Newgarden 171 -184
Kanaan 185 – 187
Bourdais 188 – 250

Verizon IndyCar Point Standings: Montoya 439, Dixon 385, Rahal 370, Castroneves 370, Power 369, Bourdais 343, Andretti 332, Kanaan 314, Newgarden 309, Pagenaud 278.

Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.