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Formula One Team Haas hopes to return to America fourth in constructors’ standings

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With one race remaining before Formula One Team Haas returns to home soil, they have a mathematical opportunity to move up to fourth in the constructors’ standings if they can do something they have done only once this season: score 12 or more points in this week’s Japanese Grand Prix at the 3.608-mile Suzuka Circuit.

“Hopefully on the flight back, I can think about a lot of points,” team principal Guenther Steiner said earlier this week in a press release. “That always puts your spirits high – when you fly home and you bring something back. We’ve never had a strong United States Grand Prix. I know everyone wants this to happen – to have the American team having a strong home race. Everybody’s working hard for that. Hopefully, this year we can pull it off.”

The laudable, albeit slightly unrealistic, goal has been made possible by the team scoring more points this year than in their two previous seasons combined. Haas earned 29 points in its inaugural 2016 season. Last year, they stretched that to 47 points. Through 16 of 21 races in 2018, Haas has amassed 80 points, which puts them behind fourth-place Renault by 11.

Haas’ best points performance came in Round 9 in Austria when Romain Grosjean placed fourth and Kevin Magnussen was fifth for a combined 22 points.

So far this season, Haas has placed their two drivers Magnussen and Grosjean in the points in the same race three times. The most recent of these came four weeks ago in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Grosjean finished seventh; Magnussen was eighth for a combined 10 points – narrowly missing the mark they need to achieve at Suzuka.

Last week, Haas F1 announced Magnussen and Grosjean would return to the organization for 2019, giving both drivers the security needed to place in the points.

“It’s always good to know what your future’s like,” Grosjean said. “For us, it’s great that it’s been confirmed. It’s a positive thing. We’re looking forward to the future.”

“It’s just nice to know I have a few more years here with Haas F1 Team,” Magnussen said. “I’m looking forward to that challenge and continuing the relationship that we’ve built over the last two years.”

After last week’s announcement, Haas F1 missed placing both drivers in the points by one position.

Magnussen finished eighth while Grosjean was 11th.

But Grosjean is confident entering the Japanese GP.

“Suzuka is definitely my favorite,” Grosjean said. “I always look forward to going there. We want to do well everywhere. We’re going to fight as hard as we can everywhere to get those points and try to beat Renault.

“It’s always difficult to say exactly why. I think it’s the flow, the corners, the high-speed nature of the track. There’s a risk, as well, with all the gravel and the narrow parts of the circuit. Overall though, it’s not one thing, and sometimes you don’t know why you like something, you just do.”

In their brief two-year history, F1 Team Haas has placed both of their drivers in the points one time in Japan.

This will be Grosjean’s eighth Japanese GP. He has three previous top-10s to his credit with a best of third in 2013 a race in which he led a career-best 26 laps. Last year, he finished ninth.

Magnussen will make his fourth start in Japan. He also placed in the top 10 with an eighth-place finish after starting 12th.

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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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