As Justin Wilson is remembered, Oriol Servia hopes he did the car, family proud (VIDEO)

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SONOMA, Calif. – “Nobody said it was easy. / It’s such a shame for us to part.”

“Nobody said it was easy / No one ever said it would be this hard.”

The second part of that first lyric from Coldplay’s “The Scientist” might be an apt term for the communal loss shared by the IndyCar community following Justin Wilson’s passing.

The first part probably describes the effort done by the Andretti Autosport crew to even prepare the No. 25 Honda for this weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Sonoma Raceway, and for the Wilson family in partnership with the team and Honda to make a decision to have Oriol Servia on board.

Sunday at Sonoma, race day, when Wilson was remembered pre-race before all 25 cars had their engines fired, was the final line in the lyric mentioned above.

Servia shared several interviews throughout the weekend with NBCSN’s Jon Beekhuis (see qualifying interview here) and the interviews, and emotions, continued on Sunday morning.

See several Wilson-related videos below, including an interview with Wilson’s younger brother Stefan and a moment of silence pre-race (Robin Miller’s touching tribute is linked separately, here).

Once the tough portion of the day was over, focus turned to the race itself and how Servia would progress forward from 19th place on the grid.

Servia – who struggled through the early part of the weekend in his first IndyCar road race since the May 2014 Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, then driving with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – got better and better as the weekend went on.

In the race itself, he got up as high as third and was well-positioned on a similar strategy as Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti and past Andretti driver Sebastian Saavedra, who did well on the day for Chip Ganassi Racing.

A late caution scuppered their strategy and resigned them to midpack, but all told Servia was pleased to come away with 12th – split directly between Andretti in 11th and Saavedra in 13th.

“It was actually great. I had a great time from the beginning,” Servia told Beekhuis post-race. “Friday I was struggling to even stay in the seat. Yesterday I made big improvements.

“Today every lap I got better, remember how to drive these machines. I was fighting with (Ryan) Briscoe (who ultimately finished fifth, one spot ahead of Montoya). I thought we had a better car than him. The last yellow didn’t work for me and everyone on my strategy and we got sent to the back. I thought we would have been top five. I hope Justin was proud of what we did.

“The most important thing, I had fun. He wanted me to have fun.”

Asked whether he felt he made a difference in helping the family, the team and the community moved forward, Servia said this weekend was a necessary first step.

“For sure, the adrenaline of the race kept me strong. There’s nothing that is gonna help us not fill the void of Justin not being here.

“But as I said at the bginning, we remember him, and inspire us to be a little better humans, like he was.”

Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

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Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

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“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).