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Takuma Sato wins pole position for DXC Technology 600 at Texas

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Takama Sato won the pole position for the DXC Technology 600 Friday evening with an average two-lap speed of 220.250 mph around the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway.

 

The pole is the second of the season for Sato, who previously won from the pole at Barber Motorsports Park earlier this year.

Defending race champion Scott Dixon will start alongside Sato in Row 1, qualifying second-fastest with an average speed of 220.162 mph.

Row 2 consists of Sebastien Bourdais (219.746 mph) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (219.537 mph). Behind them in Row 3 will be Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud (219.355 mph) and Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot (219.099 mph).

Series points leader Josef Newgarden (218.666 mph) will roll off seventh as he tries to increase his 15-point lead over Alexander Rossi.

Rossi is among the notables who will start from further back, as he’ll go from 11th on the grid. Also facing a climb are Will Power (15th, 217.899 mph), and Rookie of the Year candidate Felix Rosenqvist (16th, 217.182 mph).

Tony Kanaan’s No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet hit the outside wall on the first lap of his qualifying run. The 44-year-old Brazilian will start from last in the 22-car field, and faces a steep challenge tomorrow night as he tries to deliver a good finish for team owner and native Texan A.J. Foyt.

Kanaan is set to tie “Super Tex” for No. 2 on the all-time list for career starts, when he takes the green flag for his 369th start.

Coverage of the DXC Technology 600 begins tomorrow evening at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Click here for full qualifying results

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Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).