Will Power was one of three Team Penske drivers that took part in Thursday's test at Sonoma Raceway. Photos courtesy Sonoma Raceway.

Six drivers go through paces in Sonoma Raceway test on Thursday

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Sonoma Raceway media release

SONOMA, Calif. (Sept. 6, 2018) – Six drivers from three Verizon IndyCar Series teams took part in a one-day test session at Sonoma Raceway on Thursday, Sept. 6.  The series returns to Sonoma for the season finale at the IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma, Sept. 14-16.

Will Power and Josef Newgarden, who both remain in the championship hunt, took part in the seven-hour test session alongside Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato, who won last weekend in Portland, as well as Harding Racing’s Patricio O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights Series champion who made his first laps in a Verizon IndyCar Series car.

This marked an important test session for Team Penske. The team boasts seven wins in 13 races in wine country as they head into the final race of the season.

Josef Newgarden takes laps during Thursday’s test at Sonoma Raceway.

“We’ve always tried to prioritize the finale for a test that’s big for us,” said reigning series champion Josef Newgarden, who sits fourth in points. “The race is double points, which is two races essentially, so it’s important to be strong at the finale. Penske cars have always been good here traditionally, so we’re hoping we keep that tradition alive, but you can never be too comfortable. I don’t think you can underestimate anyone now. You’ve got to be on the lookout for people improving.”

Heading into the finale in Sonoma, four drivers remain mathematically eligible to win the championship. Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) holds a slim 29-point lead over Nevada City native Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport). Power and Newgarden sit in third and fourth, respectively. Dixon, Rossi, Power and Newgarden have each posted three wins so far this season, and with double points on the line in Sonoma the championship will likely come down to the final lap.

“Having a full test day before race weekend is always handy, hopefully the conditions are similar and we can get some good information to go over for next week,” said Power, who has three Sonoma wins. “It’s important to get in a good window and understand what makes the car fast around this place. It’s a track I’ve always enjoyed, so I’d love to finish it out with a win.”

Four IndyCar teams are slated to take part in a final test session next Thursday, Sept. 13, prior to race weekend, including Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing, Carlin and Harding Racing. The IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend kicks off with two practice sessions on Friday, practice and qualifying on Saturday and the championship race beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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