Photo courtesy of IMSA

Taylor brothers make it 3 for 3 on season and at Long Beach

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) Wayne Taylor Racing made it three in a row Saturday, on the season and at Long Beach.

The team remained perfect this season by winning the IMSA Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach, its third win in three races this year. It’s also the team’s third consecutive victory on the streets of Long Beach.

This time Jordan Taylor got to close out the victory and drove his Cadillac past the Nissan of Ryan Dalziel to take the lead and the victory with about seven minutes remaining in the 90-minute race. Older brother Ricky had closed out the wins at Daytona and Sebring this year.

The win for the Taylor brothers came despite IMSA three times lowering the horsepower in its Cadillac in an attempt to even the field. IMSA also mandated which gears the Cadillacs could run.

Dalziel and Scott Sharp were second in the No. 2 Nissan to give the Japanese manufacturer its first overall podium.

Action Express Racing had finished second to the Taylors in the first two races of this season, but its No. 5 Cadillac was taken out of winning contention when Christian Fittipaldi crashed early in the race. The No. 31 Cadillac was eliminated when Dane Cameron crashed while running third with 30 minutes to go.

In the GTLM class, Tommy Milner benefited from a pile-up in the final corner to beat Corvette Racing teammate Antonio Garcia. Milner and co-driver Oliver Gavin lost the race in the same hairpin turn last year, but came out on the winning end this time.

Robert Alon made contact with several other GTD contenders while fighting for position on the final lap, and three cars stacked up on the turn. Garcia was leading, but when a gap opened in the gridlock, Milner slid through the traffic. Ryan Briscoe followed Milner in the No. 67 Ford GT to take second, but Garcia and co-driver Jan Magnussen fell to fourth.

In GTD, Gunnar Jeannette secured back-to-back class wins for Mercedes-AMG, teaming with Cooper MacNeil to win.

More AP auto racing: racing.ap.org

BREAKING NEWS: Phoenix will not be on IndyCar schedule in 2019

The sun has set on IndyCar racing at Phoenix, at least for the foreseeable future. Photo: Getty Images
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The sun has set on INDYCAR continuing to race at ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix International Raceway).

ISM Raceway president Bryan R. Sperber announced late Friday afternoon that the Avondale, Arizona track (in suburban Phoenix) will not host a Verizon IndyCar Series race in 2019.

Michael Knight of the Arizona Republic first reported the story, followed by an official statement from Sperber:

“We have enjoyed having INDYCAR at our venue for the full three years of our agreement. The series officials and teams have been tremendous partners.

“INDYCAR will not be on our schedule in 2019, we’re currently taking a pause to review schedule options for the future. INDYCAR is currently discussing with International Speedway Corporation (ISC) other potential venues and opportunities.

“We’d like INDYCAR to be on our calendar in the coming years, and we will work with INDYCAR to find a date that will help deliver a successful event.”

INDYCAR and previous open-wheel series have raced at the 1.022-mile short track since 1964:

* 1964-1978 as part of the AAA/USAC Champ Car Series

* 1979-1995 as part of the CART/Champ Car World Series

* 1996-2005 as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series

* 2016-2018 – The IndyCar series returned to ISM Raceway after a 10-year absence, However, poor attendance for each of the three years prompted both sides to not extend the three-year agreement that expired after this year’s April race.

Here’s the official INDYCAR statement:

“INDYCAR has enjoyed its time racing at ISM Raceway, but attendance in the past three years has been disappointing despite considerable investment from both sides.

“Track president Bryan Sperber and his team have been terrific partners and are developing a beautiful facility, and IndyCar will reconnect with them when conditions are right for both parties.

“Meanwhile, INDYCAR is moving forward with building a terrific schedule for the 2019 season.”

Because ISM Raceway is owned by International Speedway Corporation, speculation has already begun as to what other ISC tracks INDYCAR may seek to hold races at.

Among potential ISC properties that could host ISC events – and some already have in the past – include Chicagoland Speedway, Watkins Glen Intentional, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway and Richmond Raceway.

Other ISC facilities include Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Martinsville Speedway and Darlington Raceway.

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