Andretti, Montoya fastest in final IndyCar practice at Sonoma

Photo: IndyCar

While the Verizon IndyCar Series championship battle between Simon Pagenaud and Will Power is this weekend’s big story, there were several other significant storylines in Saturday’s third and final practice for Sunday’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway:

* Several drivers that have had very rough seasons tried to make one last hurrah, as Marco Andretti and former series champion Juan Pablo Montoya were quickest and fastest in the 45-minute session. Andretti had a best lap time of 1:16.3052 (at 112.522 mph), while Montoya was close behind at 1:16.3756 (at 112.418 mph).

“I think we got a lot out of it this morning,” Andretti told IndyCar Radio. “Hopefully, the team is hitting on something that we can carry on for next year.”

* Power, a three-time winner at Sonoma, was fourth on the timing and scoring chart at 1:16.4396 (at 112.324 mph).

* Pagenaud was just a couple ticks behind Power, sixth quickest at 1:16.4557 (at 112.300 mph).

* Rounding out the rest of the top 10, Ryan Hunter-Reay was third quickest (1:16.4339/112.332), Carlos Munoz was fifth quickest (1:16.4418 at 112.321), Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi was seventh (1:16.4685/112.282), followed by Jack Hawksworth (1:16.4804/112.263), defending series champion Scott Dixon (1:16.6003/112.088) and Charlie Kimball (1:16.6253/112.052).

* With less than three minutes remaining in the session, James Hinchcliffe lost control and slammed his left front end into the wall, sustaining damage to both the front and left rear. Hinchcliffe’s best effort of the session was good for 15th: 1:16.7880 at 111.814 mph.

* Just prior, with about eight minutes left in the session, Josef Newgarden in the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet lost traction coming off Turn 2 and went into the tire barrier. It appeared he suffered some damage to the left front suspension, as well as broke part of the right front wing. His car was towed away. Prior to the incident, Newgarden had recorded the 16th quickest practice lap (1:16.8624 minutes at 111.706 mph).

“I just got loose and got into the wall,” Newgarden said. “I think we’ll be okay for qualifying. We’ve got a task at hand here. This team needs a good sendoff into the off-season.”

Qualifying is slated for later today at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. This session will air as a precursor at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT.

The season-ending race will be televised live on Sunday on NBCSN at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

Times are below:


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Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”