Heading to Detroit, the Indy 500 shook up IndyCar’s points

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Simon Pagenaud still leads the Verizon IndyCar Series points standings heading to this weekend’s Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans, but his lead’s been reduced after an Indianapolis 500 that saw him and the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet revealed as “human.”

After starting eighth and finishing 19th in the 100th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, never really a factor, Pagenaud’s ridiculous two seconds, three wins to start 2016 meant he lost a sizable chunk of his points lead for the first time this year.

Pagenaud left the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis with a 76-point lead and after qualifying points were added in Indy, his lead expanded to 83 points with a plus-seven net on Scott Dixon.

But with Dixon ending eighth in the race to Pagenaud’s 19th, the Frenchman’s lead into Detroit this weekend – in what is now the No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Team Penske Chevrolet – is down to 57 points.

With 10 races to go and still this weekend’s doubleheader, plus the Sonoma double points finale, this points championship is now wide open.

Other big movers from the Angie’s List Grand Prix to the Indianapolis 500 include the biggest mover, Alexander Rossi, who gained 11 spots after pulling off the shock but impressive win. Carlos Munoz and Josef Newgarden, who finished second and third, each gained eight spots.

Drivers who fell back were Juan Pablo Montoya and Graham Rahal, who both lost seven spots.

Another interesting note: In the series Sunoco Rookie of the Year battle, it was Conor Daly 88, Max Chilton 80 and Rossi 79. But Rossi’s win has blown that title wide open, now at 203 to Chilton’s 122 and Daly’s 108.

Here’s a breakdown of points after the Angie’s List Grand Prix on the left, versus the Indianapolis 500 on the right, with the positions gained and lost:

1 22 Pagenaud 242 1 22 Pagenaud 292
2 9 Dixon 166 2 9 Dixon 235
3 2 Montoya 160 3 3 Castroneves 224 +1
4 3 Castroneves 159 4 21 Newgarden 211 +8
5 15 Rahal 133 5 5 Hinchcliffe 205 +3
6 10 Kanaan 111 6 98 Rossi 203 +11
7 83 Kimball 111 7 26 Munoz 199 +8
8 5 Hinchcliffe 110 8 10 Kanaan 192 -2
9 28 Hunter-Reay 109 9 42 Kimball 189 -2
10 12 Power 105 10 2 Montoya 187 -7
11 14 Sato 102 11 12 Power 178 -1
12 21 Newgarden 100 12 15 Rahal 173 -7
13 18 Daly 88 13 28 Hunter-Reay 162 -4
14 7 Aleshin 87 14 11 Bourdais 134 +5
15 26 Munoz 84 15 14 Sato 134 -4
16 8 Chilton 80 16 27 Andretti 130 +2
17 98 Rossi 79 17 7 Aleshin 127 -3
18 27 Andretti 76 18 8 Chilton 122 -2
19 11 Bourdais 75 19 18 Daly 108 -6
20 41 Hawksworth 60 20 41 Hawksworth 91
21 19 Filippi 45 21 6 Hildebrand 84 +6
22 16 Pigot 35 22 77 Servia 72 +3
23 61 Brabham 14 23 29 Bell 55
24 19 Chaves 13 24 16 Pigot 50 -2
25 12 Servia 12 25 19 Chaves 46 -1
26 20 Carpenter 9 26 19 Filippi 45 -5
27 6 Hildebrand 8 27 61 Brabham 37 -4
28 35 Tagliani 7 28 35 Tagliani 35
29 63 Mann 33
30 20 Carpenter 33 -4
31 24 Karam 22
32 88 Clauson 21
33 25 S.Wilson 14
34 4 B.Lazier 12

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.



Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III