Sebastien Bourdais leads at halfway point in Milwaukee

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Sebastien Bourdais currently leads the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 after assuming the lead of the race just before half-distance at the Milwaukee Mile.

The first half of the race had been all green until lap 115, when a caution was called for James Jakes when he stopped at the side of the track.

Starting from pole position, Josef Newgarden managed to retain his advantage from the rolling start ahead of Tony Kanaan and Sage Karam as Ryan Briscoe dropped down to fourth place.

Briscoe did not back down, though, fighting his way back up into second place before hassling Newgarden for the lead ahead of the first round of pit stops.

However, his hopes took a hit thanks to a slow pit stop, giving Newgarden some breathing room at the front of the field. Graham Rahal’s decision to go deeper into the race before pitting looked to bring him into the fight for the lead, but he too suffered a problem on pit lane.

It was then left to Scott Dixon to take the fight to Newgarden. The Ganassi driver closed up on the back of the leader before the second round of stops before blinking first and diving into the pits on lap 99.

Newgarden responded two laps later, but a slow stop caused him to fall behind Dixon into second place. Despite starting 11th, Sebastien Bourdais managed to fight his way up into third place ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya after the second round of stops.

The first caution of the race was called when James Jakes’ car began to exude smoke before stopping at the side of the track, sparking a flurry of pit stops. Dixon managed to retain his net lead as Marco Andretti and Will Power both made up positions, whilst Newgarden dropped back yet again.

At the halfway point, it is Bourdais who leads after he opted not to pit under the caution, followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud. Dixon runs as the leading driver to have stopped three times in sixth place.

You can watch all of the action live on NBCSN and Live Extra now, or via live stream here.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”