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Power suffers engine issues as KOHLER Grand Prix begins

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Engine issues appear to have befallen Team Penske’s Will Power, who entered the KOHLER Grand Prix third in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship standings – the Indianapolis 500 winner was 36 points behind leader Scott Dixon entering the weekend.

Power, who started second, immediately started plummeting through the field once the green flag waved, and he headed for the pits at the end of Lap 1.

His No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet Penske team quickly went to work to identify the problem before taking it back to the paddock area.

IndyCar on NBC pit reporter Marty Snider reported that the team identified it as a header problem, and while they tried making repairs – Power did get back out on track for one lap – they were unable to fix the issue and retired the car.

“They replaced the exhaust, and it just blew straight back out. So, there’s obviously something going on in there that’s gone wrong,” Power said to Marty Snider after he climbed out of the car. “I feel bad for all the guys. It’s just one of those things, you know – you’ll get that every now and then at some point. No good, but we’ll move on to the next one.”

Power will finish 23rd.

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Female racer makes history with record finishes in dirt national midget events

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Holly Shelton is riding high after setting a milestone for a female driver in a national midget series feature event on dirt this past weekend.

The Sacramento, California-area resident recorded the highest finish ever for a female dirt national midget series driver with a runner-up finish last Friday at the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League double-header weekend at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri.

Shelton broke her own national record for top finish by a woman in a national dirt event – she finished third in a USAC race at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, last year.

One night after setting her new national record, Shelton and her Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota roared back Saturday to finish third (started on the outside pole) in the second half of the weekend double-header, making her the first female dirt driver ever on the national midget circuit to earn back-to-back podium finishes.

“It’s cool making history as a female, but my number one thing is I just want to win,” said Shelton, who will be graduating from Cal-State Sacramento with a B.A. in Criminal Justice this fall. “Truthfully, on the track I don’t even remember that I’m a girl. I’m just racing all the guys with the same goal they have – to win.”

Only one other woman has finished second in either a USAC or POWRi midget feature – Sarah McCune at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in 1999 – but that was on pavement, not dirt.

The record-setting weekend was great consolation for Shelton, who missed three races earlier this season due to surgery and then sat out three other races last month after suffering a race-related concussion.

“It felt good,” she said of her back-to-back podium finishes. “It builds up my confidence. The car is fast and we keep getting better and we want to build on it.”

Shelton was one of four women that competed in midget competition this weekend. The others were 19-year-old Maria Cofer and 16-year-olds Holley Hollan and Presley Truedson.

“It’s awesome seeing all the little girls come up to me excited to see me at the track,” Shelton said. “Hopefully, it encourages them to pursue their dreams as well and, as the years go on, more girls will get into it.”

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