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First practice complete for IndyCar at Texas

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Editor’s note: Practice coverage will air at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN (2:30 p.m. CT and local time), while qualifying will run at 4:15 p.m. ET (3:15 p.m. CT and local time) and will air live on the NBC Sports App, while it will re-air Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. A practice recap is below.

After a couple-hour delay owing to rain and track drying, the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Rainguard Water Sealers 600 first practice is in the books after all.

Scott Dixon went to the top of the speed charts after the one-hour session at 223.422 mph in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams right near the end of the one-hour session.

He supplanted his teammate, Charlie Kimball in the No. 83 Tresiba Honda, in the process.

Kimball and fellow Americans Alexander Rossi, Graham Rahal and Marco Andretti completed the top five. Rahal is in search of his second straight win at Texas and third overall this season, after sweeping last weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear doubleheader.

Ed Carpenter was the top Chevrolet runner in seventh, back in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet, at 220.824.

The two other drivers making their return to IndyCar competition did decently well. Tristan Vautier was 16th in his first running in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda with a best speed of 219.148 mph. Gabby Chaves was 21st in the No. 88 Harding Racing Chevrolet at 216.368, one spot ahead of Conor Daly.

There were several yellow flags for track inspections but none for incidents.

Times are below. A link to the qualifying order is here.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans

LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.