From left: Andrew Hines, Billy Torrence, Greg Anderson, Robert Hight. Photo: NHRA.

NHRA Sonoma winners: Hight, B. Torrence, Anderson and Hines

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Even though his boss continues to chase a milestone 150th career win, Robert Hight earned his own milestone in Sunday’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, capturing the 50th win of his Funny Car career.

Hight (3.973 seconds at 325.45 mph) defeated Matt Hagan (4.030 seconds at 316.60 mph) to earn his fifth win of the season. In doing so, he continues to maintain a stranglehold on the Funny Car point standings, which he’s led since the season-opening race at Pomona, California in February.

Hight is now one of only three drivers to win at least 50 races in Funny Car history, joining Force and Ron Capps.

Hight, who is married to Force’s oldest daughter, Adria, was No. 1 qualifier for Sunday’s eliminations and also earned a first-round bye. He then defeated Blake Alexander and last week’s winner at Denver, Tommy Johnson Jr., in the quarter-finals and semifinals, respectively.

The first national event I ever attended was right here (at Sonoma), and I never honestly dreamed I would get to drive a Funny Car,” said Hight, who now has three career wins in Sonoma. “I still have to pinch myself. It’s hard to believe I’m at 50 (wins).”

Hagan, meanwhile, defeated Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman and 2018 Funny Car world champion J.R. Todd in the first two rounds, then beat Force in the semifinals before his matchup with Hight.

Matt Hagan had the best car out there in the second and third round, and we had to step up in the final,” Hight said. “We didn’t want to get outrun, and we really pushed in the final and got the win.”

In Top Fuel, Steve Torrence was stopped from earning his fourth win in a row and his 10th win in the season’s first 15 races by someone he knows quite well: his father, Billy, who earned his third career Top Fuel win – all of which have come in the last year.

To add icing to his victorious cake, Billy Torrence is now just 31 points from becoming one of 10 drivers to qualify for the upcoming six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs. What makes that potential achievement unique is that Billy Torrence is only a part-time driver on the Top Fuel circuit.

Billy Torrence defeated his son Steve in the first round, and Austin Prock and Steve Faria in the next two rounds. Billy Torrence (3.804 seconds at 320.20 mph) then defeated No. 1 qualifier Clay Millican (3.842 seconds at 321.65 seconds) in the final round to earn the event win.

Millican, meanwhile, had a bye in the first round and then defeated three-time champion Antron Brown and 2017 champion Brittany Force before meeting up with Billy Torrence in the final round.

We had a good car going into raceday and we were just steady,” Billy Torrence said. “We had a really tough race against Steve, and we knew Clay had a good car. It took it all (to beat him).

We have a good car and we’re capable of winning everywhere we go. I couldn’t do this without Steve’s team and it takes all of those guys. They make certain I have a very well-prepared car every time I show up, and they make me look good.”

Still, Billy Torrence is going to really enjoy this weekend, joking to NationalDragster.com, “There will be a little bragging going on at home tomorrow.”

In Pro Stock, Greg Anderson won his second race in a row and the second in the Western Swing. Anderson, who had gone a year before his win at Denver last week, covered the quarter-mile in 6.602 seconds at 208.71 mph to defeat Alex Laughlin in the final round at Sonoma. Anderson now goes for the sweep at Seattle.

Anderson previously swept the Western Swing in 2004, the only driver in Pro Stock history to sweep the Swing. Sunday’s win is the 93rd of his Pro Stock career.

Anderson defeated, in order, Kenny Delco, Jeg Coughlin Jr. (car would not start) and K.B. Racing teammate Jason Line in the semifinals before meeting Laughlin in the final.

It’s been a long time since I won two races in a row and it’s more of a mind game than anything, and you’ve got a find a way to get that right,” said Anderson, who has a class-best six victories at Sonoma. “This is going to do a lot for me.

Sonoma has always been one of my very favorite tracks on the circuit. I love the tracks where the cars run fast. As two races have shaken out, I’m the only guy standing with a chance to (sweep the Swing), and I’ll go into Seattle with a smile on my face, eager to race and see if the cards can fall the right way again.”

Laughlin, meanwhile, began Sunday as the No. 1 qualifier for the second time in his career. He then defeated, in order, Val Smeland, Erica Enders and Bo Butner before facing Anderson in the final round.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Andrew Hines won for a record seventh time this season (6.790 seconds at 198.00 mph), defeating defending PSM champion Matt Smith (6.822 seconds at 197.36 mph). It was the culmination of a great weekend for Hines, who also won Saturday’s Mickey Thompson Pro Bike Battle – a race within a race – for the seventh time in his career and the $25,000 first place prize that goes with it, defeating Vance & Hines teammate Eddie Krawiec.

Hines defeated Jerry Savoie, Scotty Pollacheck and Kelly Clontz to reach Sunday’s final round match-up vs. Smith.

“This might be the best motorcycle I’ve ever had underneath me,” Hines said of the 55th PSM win of his career and third career win at Sonoma. “It’s absolutely mind-boggling what we’ve been able to achieve this year.

The confidence with my motorcycle and my team, and the level of performance and professionalism the guys bring to the starting line every single time, it’s unsurpassed right now. I can sit on that starting line with confidence and it’s just unreal. I feel I’m probably riding the best in my career and I just want it that much more.”

The Pro Stock Motorcycle category returns to action at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend in suburban Indianapolis.

The final event of the three-race Western Swing for Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock continues next weekend (August 2-4) in the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle.

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FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

TOP FUEL: 1. Billy Torrence; 2. Clay Millican; 3. Steve Torrence; 4. Antron Brown; 5. Brittany Force; 6. Doug Kalitta; 7. Austin Prock; 8. Richie Crampton; 9. Mike Salinas; 10. Leah Pritchett; 11. Terry McMillen; 12. Cameron Ferre; 13. Scott Palmer; 14. Steve Faria; 15. Steven Chrisman.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Robert Hight; 2. Matt Hagan; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 4. John Force; 5. Jack Beckman; 6. Blake Alexander; 7. Bob Tasca III; 8. Shawn Langdon; 9. Cruz Pedregon; 10. Tim Wilkerson; 11. J.R. Todd; 12. Ron Capps; 13. Jeff Diehl; 14. Jim Campbell; 15. Terry Haddock.

PRO STOCK: 1. Greg Anderson; 2. Alex Laughlin; 3. Jason Line; 4. Bo Butner; 5. Deric Kramer; 6. Erica Enders; 7. Chris McGaha; 8. Jeg Coughlin; 9. Richard Freeman; 10. Kenny Delco; 11. Steve Graham; 12. Val Smeland; 13. Fernando Cuadra; 14. Steve Matusek; 15. Fernando Cuadra Jr.; 16. Matt Hartford.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Andrew Hines; 2. Matt Smith; 3. Jerry Savoie; 4. Hector Arana; 5. Scotty Pollacheck; 6. Katie Sullivan; 7. Angelle Sampey; 8. Ryan Oehler; 9. Karen Stoffer; 10. Eddie Krawiec; 11. Joey Gladstone; 12. Angie Smith; 13. Cory Reed; 14. Hector Arana Jr; 15. Kelly Clontz; 16. Jianna Salinas.

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SUNDAY’S FINAL RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: Billy Torrence, 3.804 seconds, 320.20 mph def. Clay Millican, 3.842 seconds, 321.65 mph.

FUNNY CAR: Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.973, 325.45 def. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.030, 316.60.

PRO STOCK: Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.602, 208.71 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 7.203, 175.68.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.790, 198.00 def. Matt Smith, EBR, 6.822, 197.36.

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FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Austin Prock, 3.744, 327.66 def. Leah Pritchett, 3.774, 324.44; Doug Kalitta, 3.795, 324.83 def. Scott Palmer, 6.455, 93.38; Clay Millican, 3.725, 328.94 was unopposed; Billy Torrence, 3.758, 325.53 def. Steve Faria, 6.618, 89.58; Steve Torrence, 3.802, 324.36 def. Steven Chrisman, 9.016, 65.91; Antron Brown, 3.863, 312.35 def. Cameron Ferre, 3.992, 254.47; Richie Crampton, 3.798, 319.52 def. Terry McMillen, 3.855, 308.99; Brittany Force, 3.718, 335.15 def. Mike Salinas, 3.740, 327.74; QUARTERFINALS — S. Torrence, 3.825, 321.19 def. Crampton, 5.115, 138.41; B. Torrence, 3.838, 307.09 def. Prock, 4.667, 177.67; Brown, 4.064, 304.74 def. Kalitta, 4.637, 191.29; Millican, 3.838, 315.05 def. Force, 4.072, 270.10; SEMIFINALS — Millican, 3.858, 320.74 def. Brown, 3.931, 306.95; B. Torrence, 3.779, 324.75 def. S. Torrence, 3.822, 311.92; FINAL — B. Torrence, 3.804, 320.20 def. Millican, 3.842, 321.65.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 3.944, 325.85 def. Jim Campbell, Dodge Charger, 4.559, 187.29; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.925, 327.35 was unopposed; Shawn Langdon, Toyota Camry, 3.952, 315.71 def. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 6.548, 102.27; Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.996, 320.74 def. Jeff Diehl, Camry, 4.529, 195.45; John Force, Camaro, 3.917, 327.11 def. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.216, 228.89; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.084, 273.72 def. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, Foul – Red Light; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.958, 324.59 def. J.R. Todd, Camry, 4.441, 197.97; Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.010, 314.75 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.466, 197.22; QUARTERFINALS — Johnson Jr., 4.031, 318.47 def. Tasca III, 5.622, 129.85; Hight, 4.007, 323.35 def. Alexander, 4.055, 303.98; Force, 4.111, 312.13 def. Langdon, 5.664, 128.65; Hagan, 3.924, 325.37 def. Beckman, 3.995, 321.81; SEMIFINALS — Hight, 4.011, 323.19 def. Johnson Jr., 4.046, 318.54; Hagan, 3.962, 322.42 def. Force, Broke; FINAL — Hight, 3.973, 325.45 def. Hagan, 4.030, 316.60.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Erica Enders, Chevy Camaro, 6.579, 210.54 def. Fernando Cuadra, Camaro, 6.611, 209.46; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.570, 210.08 def. Richard Freeman, Camaro, 6.585, 210.01; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.570, 209.52 def. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.594, 209.69; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.577, 209.75 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, Foul – Centerline; Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.552, 210.57 def. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.594, 208.17; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.561, 210.47 def. Steve Matusek, Ford Mustang, 6.611, 209.49; Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.553, 209.92 def. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.610, 209.43; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.559, 209.98 def. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Camaro, Foul – Red Light; QUARTERFINALS — Butner, 6.593, 210.05 def. McGaha, 6.745, 180.28; Anderson, 6.568, 211.10 def. Coughlin, Broke; Line, 6.574, 209.85 def. Kramer, 6.578, 210.41; Laughlin, 6.578, 209.10 def. Enders, 6.651, 208.14; SEMIFINALS — Laughlin, 6.614, 209.95 def. Butner, Foul – Red Light; Anderson, 6.625, 209.52 def. Line, 6.593, 208.71; FINAL — Anderson, 6.602, 208.71 def. Laughlin, 7.203, 175.68.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: ROUND ONE — Katie Sullivan, Suzuki, 6.927, 194.21 def. Hector Arana Jr, Foul – Red Light; Ryan Oehler, 6.892, 196.22 def. Cory Reed, Foul – Red Light; Hector Arana, 6.868, 197.02 def. Angie Smith, 6.914, 194.04; Scotty Pollacheck, 11.395, 72.34 def. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, Foul – Red Light; Angelle Sampey, Harley-Davidson, 6.886, 194.44 def. Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.874, 197.02; Andrew Hines, Harley-Davidson, 6.807, 197.62 def. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 7.060, 191.38; Matt Smith, 6.878, 196.47 def. Jianna Salinas, Suzuki, 7.096, 191.48; Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.827, 197.39 def. Joey Gladstone, 6.898, 192.74; QUARTERFINALS — M. Smith, 9.900, 88.18 def. Oehler, Broke; Arana, 6.882, 198.12 def. Sampey, Foul – Red Light; Savoie, 6.794, 198.96 def. Sullivan, 6.938, 194.72; Hines, 6.801, 198.67 def. Pollacheck, 6.896, 196.36; SEMIFINALS — M. Smith, 6.880, 198.06 def. Arana, 6.976, 196.93; Hines, 6.805, 198.23 def. Savoie, 6.807, 197.88; FINAL — Hines, 6.790, 198.00 def. M. Smith, 6.822, 197.36.

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UPDATED POINT STANDINGS:

TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence, 1,486*; 2. (tie) Antron Brown, 914; Clay Millican, 914; 4. Brittany Force, 894; 5. Doug Kalitta, 887; 6. Mike Salinas, 802; 7. Leah Pritchett, 749; 8. Richie Crampton, 719; 9. (tie) Terry McMillen, 641; Austin Prock, 641.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Robert Hight, 1,283*; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr., 1,084*; 3. John Force, 1,035; 4. Jack Beckman, 964; 5. Ron Capps, 962; 6. Bob Tasca III, 924; 7. J.R. Todd, 889; 8. Matt Hagan, 888; 9. Shawn Langdon, 786; 10. Tim Wilkerson, 757.

PRO STOCK: 1. Bo Butner, 781*; 2. Greg Anderson, 675; 3. Alex Laughlin, 658; 4. Jason Line, 582; 5. Matt Hartford, 567; 6. Deric Kramer, 558; 7. Jeg Coughlin, 544; 8. Erica Enders, 535; 9. Chris McGaha, 477; 10. Rodger Brogdon, 320.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Andrew Hines, 967*; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 770*; 3. Matt Smith, 712*; 4. Hector Arana Jr, 658*; 5. Karen Stoffer, 452; 6. Angie Smith, 419; 7. Ryan Oehler, 408; 8. Hector Arana, 400; 9. Angelle Sampey, 397; 10. Jerry Savoie, 379.

* Clinched berth in NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship

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INDYCAR: what drivers said after Pocono

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Here’s what drivers said after Sunday’s 14th race on the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series schedule – the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway:

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet) – WINNER: “I had a few issues during the race but we just kept coming back. Full credit to the team. We had a great car and we just kind of hung there and saved fuel and when it was time to go, I went. I was so determined and I really wanted to win. This is my 13th year in a row of winning races and I have been thinking about that. I just wanted to win a race for Verizon and these guys who have worked their butts off all year and just haven’t had the results.”

SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) – finished second: “Definitely gets exciting in that situation. We definitely had some luck. Today the car went through some good changes. The car was pretty quick.  Not sure really what happened on the last stint there. We put more front wing in there, more pressure on the right rear tire. Couldn’t turn the car. We were running 213, 214 (mph), struggling to do 208. So much understeer. Will was definitely extremely strong today. It was good to see him get another victory this season. Had we gone back out, even with headlights on, I think Will was going to take the race. Congrats to him and Team Penske. We’ll keep our head down and see what we can come up with for the last three races.”

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 Penske Truck Rental Chevrolet) – finished third: “Well, it’s a great day. Very happy for Will and Team Penske to get another win here in Pocono. It’s pretty awesome. I think we showed our cars were the strongest today. Overall it’s a pretty good points day for us on the 22 car this weekend. Obviously, yes, I did think we could have done a little better. At least we would have tried. I think we had the car to do so… Who knows what would have happened, but I think we could have challenged at least. At the end of the day it’s not a bad day. We’ll take it. Go to the next one, keep pushing.”

SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda) – finished fourth: “This weekend has been pretty amazing to have over 120 people here, from family and friends to sponsors and to race in front of such a large crowd. Hats off to the whole team, we rolled the car off the trailer and it was fast. I’d say that’s a job well-done and homework well-researched. The No. 19 Cly-Del Manufacturing Honda was on rails. I think we definitely had a top three in us and we were fighting for a chance to win the race at one point. Obviously with the conditions and everything, I’m still happy to bring home a top-five. It makes a huge difference in the rookie championship and moves us up to 12th overall. With three races to go and one more oval, we’ll see how much further we can move up.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet) – finished fifth: “It was kind of an interesting day, but it could have been worse. It was sort of like qualifying yesterday where qualifying got rained out but we started on the pole. We didn’t finish this race but we finished fifth. We’ll take it. I wish we could have been a little bit higher, but I think Will (Power) was going to be tough to beat today. He looked very strong. Certainly towards the middle of the race I thought he was looking very good. We fought with what we had today and I thought the Hitachi Chevy was pretty good. Coming out of here with a decent finish allows us to now focus on the last three events. We just need to set our sights on Gateway next weekend and execute. I think we will have a good car. I always feel confident with Team Penske, and Team Chevy has been pushing hard, so I’m looking forward to it.”

ED CARPENTER (No. 20 SONAX Chevrolet) – finished sixth: “We needed a decent run. We DNF’ed at Iowa, which wasn’t good. I feel like we have been performing better this year, we just haven’t really been able to put it together. It was nice to be in the mix, racing with the guys you need to race with to be up there fighting for wins. I wish we could have seen out all 500 miles, but Pocono always has its own craziness when it comes to the weather. Hopefully, all of the fans got to their cars before they got too wet. I thought it was a really good turnout today, it was a fun race while we were out there. It was unfortunate to see guys kind of lose their minds a bit there at the start, but all in all it was a fun day and nice to be moving forward.”

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 SealMaster Honda) – finished seventh: “It was a strong run for the No. 18 SealMaster Honda. We were quick and I got up to fourth at one point. I think we deserved that position. It was kind of a broken up race and unfortunately, on the last restart, the guys in front of me checked up and I got swallowed up and lost four positions. I got one position back, then the race was stopped because of the weather. I think if the race continued we would have finished better than seventh, but that’s racing.”

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet) – finished eighth: “Good day for us, another top 10. We have a few things to improve still but we’ll take it from where we started. We had a competitive car all weekend. The goal was to finish in the top 10 and we finished eighth, which is my best result of the year. It’s a good energy boost for the boys.”

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 TOTAL Honda) – finished ninth: “We need a little more pace. We were a little slow on the straights for some reason, but we’ll keep digging into it. I had a bad restart (went from fifth to ninth), but it wasn’t that bad actually. I was pulling up on the guys in front of me, but I just got driven around and was in a position where I was a little bit of a sitting duck and lost a bunch of spots and that killed our race from then-on, frankly. We were scrambling just to get ourselves back in position. I had another good restart later and went from 13th to ninth and made some of those spots back up.”

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Tresiba Carlin Chevrolet) – finished 10th: “First and foremost, I’m glad that everyone is OK from the incidents on track today. Secondly, I’m just really proud of this Carlin crew. We made great progress with the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet in superspeedway trim and we learned a lot after coming here last year. The racing at Pocono Raceway is really tough, but these guys just kept their head down and made it happen. I made a mistake in the first pit stop, but we were able to run our strategy and get a really good run going. To come away with a top-10 finish from a very challenging weekend where we didn’t get to qualify is really a credit to the entire Carlin team. It was really great to get that top-10 finish in front of all of our Novo Nordisk guests who made the trip out to the track to support us and also to round out the top 10 with a bowtie for Team Chevy.”

CONOR DALY (No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet): – finished 11th “After where we started at the back of the field, to finish 11th is awesome. It’s unfortunate though, because we were really just starting to get to the point where I was happier with the No. 59 Gallagher Carlin Chevrolet. The last few laps before the final red flag, we were the fastest car on the track, so we were definitely moving in the right direction. We were catching all of the people in front of us and starting to get to where we needed to be, but these 500-mile races are long and the goal is to be strong at the end, which I really felt like we were working toward that for sure. To be 11th is really good and it’s another strong finish for this group of people here at Carlin. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going into Gateway and that’ll be even more fun.”

MARCUS ERICSSON (No. 7 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) – finished 12th: “It was a tough race. I thought I had some really good starts and restarts; we made up positions there. Unfortunately, throughout the race we were struggling a bit with the balance of the car throughout the stints, so I was struggling to keep up with the pace with the guys ahead or behind us. I thought at one point there after the second restart and we were up to P5, the day was looking to potentially be really good. Just a tough race trying to hang on and make the best of it. We learned a lot and the Arrow SPM guys did a great job with stops, but disappointed we didn’t have a better result than that.”

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Gainbridge Honda) – finished 13th: “Thirteenth obviously isn’t where we wanted to finish – but all things aside, it was an OK day for us. Just lacking overall grip, I think as a team, but we moved forward from our starting spot – which with qualifying being canceled hurt us. I’m thankful for all the work the guys did. Honestly, walking away 13th isn’t what we want, but we did all we could and I’m proud of that. We’ll go to Gateway and have a better result.”

MATHEUS LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet) – finished 14th: “The car was good. The stops were perfect and I think we had a good strategy. We went a lap down cause we had too much vibration in one of our tires, so we had to stop early and that was it from there.”

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 US Concrete / Curb Honda) – finished 15th: “Mainly, I’m just glad everyone walked out OK after the wreck on the start. I had an issue with one of my head pads coming out and we lost some time fixing that. Beyond that, the car had a big imbalance and by the time we got that resolved, we were a lap down. There wasn’t much we could do, and it made for a long day. Looking ahead to Gateway and working to finish the season strong.”

COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda) – finished 16th: “The No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda guys gave me a great car for the ABC Supply 500, I think we had one of the better cars on track today and definitely a better car than where we finished. It’s unfortunate that we got into the wall there. It’s very disappointing. I know we’ll be able to rebound next week at Gateway. I really like racing there and I’m excited to compete under the lights.”

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Autogeek Chevrolet) – finished 17th: “That was a frustrating end to the day, we hit a bump in Turn 1 and it caused something to break on the front of the car. From then on, I was just a passenger and went straight up into the wall. I had no steering at that point, unfortunately. We were running pretty comfortably there in seventh and the car was feeling pretty good. We had lost touch with the group in front but I felt like we had a solid car. I feel bad for everyone at Ed Carpenter Racing, we have a race again next weekend and now there is a lot of extra work to do.”

ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 MilitaryToMotorsports.com Honda) – finished 18th: “Obviously, I didn’t get a good start – so that’s on me. But we were three-wide; Ryan was on the inside, I was in the middle and Takuma was on the outside. I can’t even begin to understand how after last year Takuma thinks that any sort of driving like that is acceptable. To turn across two cars, at that speed, in that corner at a 500-mile race is disgraceful, upsetting and may have cost us a championship. It’s upsetting. This team works too hard to have something like that happen. The whole team worked tirelessly to get the 27 car back on track. Once we got out there, the car just didn’t have the handling we needed so we held on to make up as many points as we could. Unfortunately, the weather came, and the race was called one lap before we could gain another spot. We have a couple days to rebound and go for race wins now – that’s all that matters.”

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda) – finished 19th: “The opening lap wreck was ridiculous and thank God everybody was alright. It’s so unfortunate at the beginning of a 500-mile race. The car was good yesterday and we just needed to put together 500 clean miles. The DHL car deserved to be fighting for a win today. We did all we could do after coming back out. The guys did a great job; unbelievable effort in getting the car turned back around. But we were really loose in (Turn) 3, and it turned out we had holes in the underwing from the crash. The last thing we want to do is be a risk out there and damage more equipment, so we got the points we could and came in just before the weather hit.”

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda) – finished 20th: “It unfolded in front of us. We had a pretty good start with the No. 5 Arrow car. We were heading into Turn 2 kind of three-wide, and I knew that wasn’t a good idea, so I backed out. I thought I was actually gonna save us because it happened in front of me. I couldn’t see exactly what started it, but then the wreck sorta moved down to the inside… I was able to slow down, but it just slid out to where I was. There was nowhere I could go. It sucks. I mean it wasn’t too hard a hit, so glad everybody is ok. It’s a 500-mile race, I don’t know how many times we have to do this before people figure out that you can attack all you want, but it doesn’t give you a chance to win if you are in the fence.”

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda) – finished 21st: “First of all, I am worried about Felix. Hopefully he is OK. I am sorry for all the guys fighting for the championship. Ryan and I were obviously racing at the exit of Turn 1 and it looks like Alexander had a slow start. We both went right and left (of Rossi) and I thought it was all clear. All the (track) seams also are putting the car really easy to get the lane change and everybody gets close. Unfortunately, it looks like we made contact for that.”

FELIX ROSENQVIST (No. 10 NTT Data Ganassi Racing Honda) – finished 22nd: “First of all, it’s good to see that I’m cleared from the medical checks. Just with minor back pain and some headache. Hopefully I should be back to normal in a couple of days. A big thanks to the INDYCAR track staff and medical staff, did an awesome job looking after everything. Luckily the other drivers are OK as well, I think that’s the main thing. A shame that we were caught out already on lap one. I think we had a good car today. Good to see Scott being up there all day. Good points for him, probably throwing him up there in the championship hunt. Looking forward to get back in the car in Gateway.”

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