Five things to watch for during the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono

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In six previous NTT IndyCar races at Pocono Raceway there have been five different winners. Will Power is the only driver to post more than one victory and his pair came in the back-to-back seasons of 2016/2017. To win his second, he had to be the last man standing after a record 42 lead changes among 10 drivers.

Scott Dixon won the inaugural race in 2013. Ryan Hunter-Reay (2015) and Alexander Rossi (2018) have a chance to become repeat winners this week along with Power.

Here are some of the storylines to watch this Sunday:

  1. Rossi and Josef Newgarden had been within two positions of one another in seven races prior to Iowa. Rossi lost five spots to Newgarden on the short oval, which caused us to wonder if he would close the gap again at Mid-Ohio. It turned out there was no reason to worry as Newgarden’s off-course excursion contributed to a 14th-place finish – nine spots behind Rossi.
  2. It turns out that Mid-Ohio was a streak-killer for a few racers. In addition to Newgarden’s culmination of a four-race, top-five streak, James Hinchliffe finished 23rd to snap a three-race, top-10 streak and Sebastien Bourdais failed to score three consecutive top-10s, which would have been the first time he did so in 2019. Bourdais did not miss by much with an 11th-place finish and each time his two-race streaks have ended, they did so with either an 11th- or 12th-place result.
  3. Racing is a zero-sum game. The travails of Newgarden, Hinchcliffe and Bourdais created opportunities for the field, not the least of which was Hunter-Reay who finished third to end a three-race string of results outside the top 10.
  4. One should not worry overly about Newgarden’s ability to bounce back immediately from his Ohio disappointment. Three active drivers have been perfect at Pocono in regard to top-10 finishes. Newgarden has never finished worse than eighth. Dixon’s worst finish is ninth and Power’s worst finish is 10th. Carlos Munoz (four) and Juan Pablo Montoya (three) have also been perfect at Pocono.
  5. The close but no cigar award has gone to Santino Ferrucci in recent races. Finishing either 11th or 12th in his last three attempts, he is looking to improve slightly and earn his first top-10 since he finished fourth at Texas – another high speed oval.

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WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

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