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Dakar 2017: Loeb, Barreda fight back with wins on Day 8

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Sebastien Loeb and Joan Barreda have taken car and bike wins on the eighth day of competition in the 2017 Dakar Rally, with Loeb then moving into the lead in cars after his third stage win this year.

The wins are particularly important with stage nine being canceled (more on that to come in a separate post). The next round of coverage for the 2017 Dakar Rally is on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Quick recaps of the day are below.

The Uyuni to Salta stage was another modified layout owing to the poor weather that’s affected several stages of the rally. Rally organizers posted the update at the start of the day.

The trio of Peugeot competitors continued their battle both in the stage and the overall rankings in cars. Loeb surged ahead with his third stage win of the rally, and the win has now moved him past Stephane Peterhansel for the overall lead in cars with now just thee stages remaining in the rally.

Just one minute and 38 seconds separates the two, with Cyril Despres now 17-plus minutes back in third.

Barreda, on his Honda, dominated the bikes stage over Matthias Walkner and Sam Sunderland, with KTM rider Sunderland solidifying his lead on the bikes overall standings thanks to another day of damage limitations in third.

Barreda’s quite a ways back (more than an hour back) in ninth in bikes but will keep pushing. Stage 7 winner, American Ricky Brabec, was 12th on the stage and is now 12th overall in the rally.

Ignacio Casale (Quads) and Martin Van Den Brink (Trucks) won their stages in these classes.

STAGE RECAPS

Stage sevenΒ (rest day VIDEOS)
Stage six (cancelled due to weather)
Stage five (shortened due to weather)
Stage four and (VIDEOS)
Stage threeΒ and (VIDEOS)
Stage twoΒ and (VIDEOS)
Stage one and (VIDEOS)

IndyCar will eliminate double points from the 2020 season finale

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Though the NTT IndyCar Series hasn’t confirmed the date of its 2020 season finale, it has determined that double points won’t be in play.

An IndyCar official confirmed Monday to NBCSports.com that whether the season ends at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, or on the streets of St. Petersburg, neither race will feature double points. Team owners were informed of the change during a conference call last week.

The news was first reported by RACER.com.

With the original 17-race schedule having been shortened by the cancellation of at least three races (Circuit of The Americas, Barber Motorsports Park, the Long Beach Grand Prix), using double points in the finale would have carried even greater weight (and perhaps more so if more races are unable to be run because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has been using double points at select races since the 2015 season. The 104th Indianapolis 500 will remain a double-points event.

In rescheduling the Indy 500 to Aug. 23 last week, IndyCar unveiled a revised schedule that listed Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as TBD for its season finale. The race originally had been scheduled to open the season before being called off because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

IndyCar CEO Mark Miles told reporters last week that St. Pete probably would be slotted into the first two weeks October after the Sept. 20 race at Laguna Seca that had been slated to be the season finale for the second consecutive year.