IndyCar extends agreement with Pocono Raceway through 2018

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The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to Pocono Raceway for its fourth straight year next weekend, Aug. 20-21.

And there now will be at least two more races to come as the sanctioning body and racetrack officials announced Wednesday morning a two-year contract extension to continue holding IndyCar races at the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle through 2018.

The exact race dates for both upcoming seasons are still to be determined.

“We are thrilled to share this great news that we will host the Verizon IndyCar Series through 2018,” Pocono Raceway president Brandon Igdalsky said in a statement. “Our track was originally designed for open-wheel cars and our fans really enjoy the action on the track.

“When you see these cars going six- and seven-wide it is incredible. We also received positive feedback from teams and drivers and worked together with IndyCar to make sure Pocono Raceway stays on the schedule.”

The IndyCar Series has raced at Pocono since 2013. Winners to date have been Scott Dixon (2013), Juan Pablo Montoya (2014) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2015).

Pocono previously hosted the CART Series from 1980 through 1989, with the exception of 1981.

“We’re thrilled to announce today’s two-year extension with Pocono Raceway – an iconic oval track with a long history of hosting great open-wheel racing events,” said Jay Frye, Verizon IndyCar Series President of Competition and Operations. “It’s very clear that Pocono is one of the favorites amongst the drivers, teams and fans of the Verizon IndyCar Series and we look forward to competing there for the foreseeable future.”

Several other notables also chimed in on the contract extension:

Team owner Roger Penske: “Pocono has been a terrific track for IndyCar racing and I think the teams, the sponsors and the fans have really enjoyed an entertaining show there since the series returned a few years ago. Team Penske has certainly produced some special moments at Pocono and we are looking forward to creating some more memories at the track in the future.”

Graham Rahal: “This is great news. We all love coming here. This place is one of the most entertaining and interesting ovals we go to and one of the most interesting tracks we go to period. And one of the most demanding. It’s three corners that have nothing in common and it’s difficult to make it work. It’s a lot of fun.”

Charlie Kimball: “This is great news. The Verizon IndyCar Series prides itself on having the most versatile drivers because we race on so many different tracks. Pocono Raceway is unique in that it’s 2.5 miles and has three corners. It really is unique and unlike anywhere else we race. I think it’s great that we can keep Pocono Raceway on the schedule and fans can mark their calendars and book their vacations and come out to the raceway. It’s a great event and IndyCar racing here is always spectacular.”

Tony Kanaan: “I think this is great. I am a big fan of this racetrack and consistency on the schedule is extremely important so I am all for it.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay: “The on track show, the product we put on here last year was phenomenal. Lead changes throughout the race, six-wide throughout the straights, passing throughout the field, you couldn’t ask for a better product and hopefully we can do it again for the fans.”

Marco Andretti: “This is my home track so selfishly this is great news. There is a great long history of racing here at Pocono Raceway and I am excited we will continue to come back. I think our cars were made for this track. Trying to find the balance between turn one and turn three it will be a tremendous challenge.”

Scott Dixon: “That sounds fantastic. Pocono Raceway needs to be a place we visit each year and to build on the product we need to come here for a while. We need some longevity here.”

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Adam Cianciarulo sweeps to second straight Pro Motocross 450 win

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Adam Cianciarulo (450) and Dylan Ferrandis (250) swept both motos of their divisions Saturday in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship event at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota, significantly impacting the points standings.

After scoring his first career victory Sept. 8 at RedBud, Cianciarulo made it two consecutive victories on his Monster Energy Kawasaki. He won the first moto by 1.7 seconds over Blake Baggett and the second moto by 2.7 seconds over Baggett.

“Man, what a dream come true,” Cianciarulo said. “I really wanted to go 1-1 last round at RedBud and had that silly mistake. Today, we got the job done and made it happen. Two consecutive victories in the 450 Class just feels really good. I just want to keep the ball rolling.”

With three rounds remaining, Cianciarulo is ranked second in the standings at a 15-point deficit to Zach Osborne, who won three of the first five rounds.

In the 250 standings, Dylan Ferrandis jumped ahead of Jeremy Martin (who won three consecutive events earlier in the season) by three points (257-254).

Dylan Ferrandis swept both motos for his second win of the season in the 250 class (Align Media).

Ferrandis beat third-ranked RJ Hampshire in the first moto and nipping Martin by 0.4 seconds in the second.

“That was a difficult race in the second moto and the pressure was on,” Ferrandis said. “It was really good for me to have that battle and come out on top in the second moto. The championship is really close and I think that we were able to put on a good show for everyone today. Jeremy [Martin] and I have a good relationship I think and we congratulated each other and talked about the battle after the race.”

NEXT: The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will hold its seventh round Sept. 26 with the Geico Motorcycle WW Ranch National at Jacksonville, Florida.


RESULTS

Thor Spring Creek National (Spring Creek MX Park, Millville, Minnesota)

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (1-1)
  2. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (2-2)
  3. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (5-4)
  4. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (8-3)
  5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (6-5)
  6. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-10)
  7. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (7-6)
  8. Joey Savatgy, , Suzuki (9-7)
  9. Max Anstie, United Kingdom, Suzuki (10-8)
  10. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (4-16)

450 Class Championship Standings

  1. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 235
  2. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 220
  3. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 215
  4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 196
  5. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 194
  6. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 190
  7. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 173
  8. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda – 141
  9. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha – 134
  10. Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki – 122

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-1)
  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (5-2)
  3. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki (4-4)
  4. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (3-6)
  5. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (9-3)
  6. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (2-11)
  7. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (7-5)
  8. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Honda (12-8)
  9. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki (11-9)
  10. Derek Drake, San Luis Obispo, Calif., KTM (8-12)

250 Class Championship Standings

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 257
  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 254
  3. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 202
  4. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki – 194
  5. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Yamaha – 186
  6. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 164
  7. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 162
  8. Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki – 140
  9. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki – 123
  10. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., KTM – 114
Adam Cianciarulo won the holeshot in both motos at Spring Creek (Align Media).