Josef Newgarden is defending winner at Gateway. Photo: IndyCar

IndyCar: Fast Facts for this weekend’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500

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Here’s what you need to know about this weekend’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 IndyCar race at Gateway Motorsports Park in suburban St. Louis:

Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, Aug. 24 – Saturday, Aug. 25

Track: Gateway Motorsports Park, a 1.25-mile oval in Madison, Illinois

Race distance: 248 laps / 310 miles

Entry List: Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline (PDF)

Firestone tire allotment: Eleven sets for use throughout the weekend

Twitter: @GatewayMSP @IndyCar, #Bommarito500, #IndyCar

Event website: http://www.gatewaymsp.com/

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2017 race winner: Josef Newgarden (No. 2 PPG Automotive Refinish Team Penske Chevrolet)

2017 pole winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), 47.4579 seconds, 189.642 mph (two laps)

One-lap qualifying record: Will Power, 23.7206 seconds, 189.709 mph, Aug. 25, 2017

Two-lap qualifying record: Will Power47.4579 seconds, 189.642 mph, Aug. 25, 2017

NBCSN television broadcasts: Qualifying, 5 p.m. ET Friday, Aug. 24 (live); Race, 8 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 25 (live); Kevin Lee is the lead announcer for the NBCSN telecasts this weekend alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt, Anders Krohn and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Kyle Kaiser. Jake Query is the turn announcer with Rob Howden, Nick Yeoman and Michael Young reporting from the pits. The Verizon IndyCar Series race is broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 121, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app, with qualifying also available on Sirius 216 and XM 209.

Video streaming: Practice sessions for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar)

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, Aug. 24

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice #1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)

4:15 – 5:15 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (single car/cumulative time of two laps), NBCSN (live)

8 – 9 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series final practice, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)

Saturday, Aug. 25

6:56 p.m. – Driver introductions

7:35 p.m. – Command to start engines

7:40 p.m. – Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline (248 laps/310 miles), NBCSN (live)

Championship facts:

  • Scott Dixon leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with three races to go for the second time in his career. He also led the championship with three to go when he won the title in 2008. Dixon has held the championship lead since his win at Texas Motor Speedway in June.
  • Scott Dixon leads Alexander Rossi by 29 points with defending series champion Josef Newgarden (-66) in third and Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power (-81) in fourth.
  • There are 10 drivers still mathematically eligible for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Robert Wickens, Simon Pagenaud, Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe and Sebastien Bourdais. Any driver who trails the points leader by 159 points or more following the race will be eliminated from contention.
  • Since the first Indy car race at Gateway Motorsports Park in 1997, only Alex Zanardi (1998) and Josef Newgarden (2017) have won the Gateway race and the championship in the same season.


Key championship point statistic:
 Since 2010, the driver who has led the championship with three races to go has won the championship four times – Dario Franchitti in 2011, Will Power in 2014, Simon Pagenaud in 2016 and Josef Newgarden in 2017.

Point differential: The 29 points which separate Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi is the fourth-largest margin with three races to go since 2010. Will Power led Helio Castroneves by four points in 2014 and Ryan Hunter-Reay by five points in 2012. The average deficit with three races to go since 2010 is 22.6 points.

Championship-eligible drivers’ results at Gateway: Scott Dixon is the only championship-eligible driver to have raced Indy cars at Gateway Motorsports Park more than once. Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe and Sebastien Bourdais all raced there for the first time last year…Newgarden won at the track in 2017 followed by Dixon and Pagenaud.

Race notes:

  • There have been seven different winners in the 14 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park and Road America), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Pocono Raceway), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500), Scott Dixon (Raceway at Belle Isle-1, Texas Motor Speedway and Streets of Toronto), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Raceway at Belle Isle-2) and James Hinchcliffe (Iowa Speedway). Dixon’s win at Toronto on July 15 was his 44th career win, which ranks third on the all-time Indy car victory list.
  • The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta & Valvoline will be the ninth Indy car race at Gateway Motorsports Park. Josef Newgarden won in 2017, the first Indy car race at the track since 2003. Paul Tracy won the first Indy car race at Gateway in 1997. Newgarden is the only former winner entered in this year’s race.
  • Three drivers have won at Gateway Motorsports Park from the pole – Juan Pablo Montoya (2000), Gil de Ferran (2002) and Helio Castroneves (2003).
  • Team Penske has won four times at Gateway Motorsports Park. Penske’s winning drivers are Paul Tracy (1997), Gil de Ferran (2002), Helio Castroneves (2003) and Josef Newgarden (2017). Chip Ganassi Racing has two wins at Gateway with Alex Zanardi (1998) and Juan Pablo Montoya (2000).
  • Sixteen drivers entered in the event have competed in past Indy car races at Gateway Motorsports Park. Tony Kanaan has five starts, most among the entered drivers. Seven entered drivers have led laps at the track (Josef Newgarden 170, Scott Dixon 78, Kanaan 21, Simon Pagenaud 13, Sebastien Bourdais 5, Will Power 5 and Max Chilton 3).
  • Three rookies – Pietro Fittipaldi, Matheus Leist and Zach Veach – are expected to compete. None of the rookies nor veteran drivers Gabby Chaves and Spencer Pigot has made an Indy car start at Gateway Motorsports Park.
  • Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 298th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Scott Dixon has made 238 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Marco Andretti has made 214 consecutive starts, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.

Dakar Stage 8 Highlights: Ricky Brabec blows engine, retires

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The motorcycle class of the Dakar Rally has been a seesaw affair through seven stages, but Ricky Brabec seemed poised to win the class for the USA. Until he blew an engine in Stage 8 that is – and gave up a more-than seven second lead. He was the second rider to retire after starting the stage as the leader. Joan Barreda retired in Stage 3.

Brabec was looking to become the first American rider to win in 27 years, but his fate was eerily similar to last year. Three days from the end of the stage, he retired about 50 kilometers into the stage, which is precisely when and where he retired in 2018.

With Brabec’s trouble, Toby Price leapfrogged from third to second in class despite riding with a metal pin in his wrist. In the world’s most grueling endurance event, it has never been more obvious that it isn’t over till it’s over.

Meanwhile, Nasser Al-Attiyah continues to run a consistent rally. With a 46 minute advantage over Nani Roma and Sebastien Loeb, all he needs to do is stay error free for the final two stages to win his third Dakar.

Here are some of the other highlights:

In the cars class, Sebastien Loeb scored his fifth stage win of the Rally by seven minutes over Nasser Al-Attiyah, but problems in Stage 3 have kept him from being competitive for the overall lead. … Jakub Przygonski earned his third podium of the Rally. All of these have been third-place finishes.

Class Leaders: Al-Attiyah holds an advantage of 46:29 over Roma and 46:45 over Loeb.

In motorcycles, Ricky Brabec’s blown engine opened up the class once more. … Matthias Walkner narrowly edged Pablo Quintanilla by 45 seconds. … But it was Toby Price’s third-place finish that helped elevate him to the class lead. … Sam Sunderland was supposed to blaze the path for the riders, but a malfunctioning navigation system kept him from rolling off first. Blazing the trail is a disadvantage and officials adjudged him to have tampered with his system to avoid that fate. Sunderland was penalized an hour to finish 35th on the stage. He dropped to ninth in class.

Class Leaders: Price inherited the lead over Quintanilla by 1:03 and 6:35 over Walkner

In side by sides, Francisco Lopez Contardo scored the victory over Cristian Baumgart by 4:47. … Gerard Farres Guell rounded out the top three.

Class Leaders: Contardo holds an advantage 0f 54:10 over Rodrigo Piazolli and one hour, 08:09 over Guell

In quads, there was no surprise in Nicolas Cavigliasso winning his seventh stage of the season. … He padded his overall advantage over Gustavo Gallego by more than nine minutes. … Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli finished third.

Class Leaders: Cavigliasso holds and advantage of one hour, 24:52 over Ferioli and one hour, 44:04 over Gallego

In trucks, Dmitry Sotnikov won the stage to take over the class lead. He beat Ton Van Genugten by 22:01. … Siarhei Viazovich rounded out the top three. … Eduard Nikolaev lost the class lead by finishing eighth – nearly one hour behind Sotnikov.

Class Leaders: Sotnikov holds an advantage of 26:49 over and one hour, 7:43 over Gerard de Rooy

Stage Wins

Motorcycles
Sam Sunderland [2] (Stage 5 and 7), Matthias Walkner [2] (Stage 2 and 8), Joan Barreda [1] (Stage 1), Xavier de Soultrait [1] (Stage 3), Ricky Brabec [1] (Stage 4) and Pablo Quintanilla [1] (Stage 6)

Quads
Nicolas Cavigliasso [7] (Stage 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8) and Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli [1] (Stage 3)

Cars
Sebastien Loeb [4] (Stage 2, 5, 6 and 8), Nasser Al-Attiyah [2] (Stage 1 and 4) and Stephane Peterhansel [2] (Stage 3 and 7)

Side-by-sides
Francisco Lopez Contardo [4] (Stage 2, 6, 7 and 8), Reinaldo Varela [1] (Stage 1), Gerard Farres Guell [1] (Stage 3), Sergei Kariakin [1] (Stage 4) and Rodrigo Piazzoli [1] (Stage 5)

Trucks
Eduard Nikolaev [3] (Stage 1, 2 and 5), Andrey Karginov [2] (Stage 3 and 4), Dmitry Sotnikov [2] (Stage 6 and 8) and Gerard de Rooy [1] (Stage 7)

For more watch the daily highlight show on NBCSN. Click here for the complete schedule.

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