Sandell secures his, Herta’s first Red Bull GRC win of year in Detroit race two

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If speed was the only thing required to win Red Bull Global Rallycross races, Patrik Sandell would have had one by now in 2015.

But with luck having sabotaged most of his season, it took until Sunday for the second of two races in Detroit and Round 6 on the season for the driver of the No. 18 Bryan Herta RallySport Kobalt Tools Ford Fiesta ST to finally win one.

The Swede was afforded a reprieve after being caught up in a four-car, first-lap pileup off the first start of the race on Belle Isle Park before going into the Kobalt Tools Joker.

Sandell and Scott Speed, in the No. 41 Kinetic Vision Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Volkswagen Beetle, were side-by-side, with Speed coming down on Sandell as he sought to make the Joker around the fountain section of the course.

The contact knocked Sandell into Ken Block, in the No. 43 Monster Energy Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta ST, and Block into Speed’s VARX teammate Tanner Foust in the No. 34 Rockstar Energy Volkswagen Beetle.

Foust incurred the worst damage from the accident and was out on the spot; meanwhile, Block was issued a penalty for rough driving by series officials and sent to the back of the grid for the restart.

The 10-lap final was uneventful from there and Sandell, whose car wasn’t significantly damaged from the Speed contact, led Speed as both completed the Joker cleanly on the second attempt.

Sandell pulled away en route to his first win of the year, with Speed coming second for the second straight race.

“Yeah finally!” an excited Sandell told NBC’s Will Christien. “The team has been working so hard. I’m so happy for Bryan Herta RallySport. We’ve been fast all year but a lot of bad luck. Now we won and we really showed where we want to be here.”

A less than pleased Block, who unofficially saw his championship lead shrink from 45 points to 26, did not agree with the penalty call. He was resigned to a seventh place finish after banking a second, first and first in the previous three finals.

“I got hit, that’s all that happened. Thanks, officials,” Block told NBC’s Kristen Kenney with a peace sign and a quick walk-off back into his motor coach.

Olsbergs MSE teammates Sebastian Eriksson and Joni Wiman were third and fourth, Wiman equaling his best finish of the season, with Brian Deegan completing the top five for Chip Ganassi Racing. Deegan was the only CGR car to make the final after Steve Arpin had a crash in the Last Chance Qualifier.

Round 7 of the season from Washington D.C. is next up, and will air live at 3 p.m. ET on NBC on Sunday, August 15.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.