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Dakar Stage 9 Highlights: Sainz’s lead down to 24 seconds over Al-Attiyah

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While stage 9 of the Dakar Rally saw the overall leaders in the motorbike, SxS, quad and truck classes continue to build on or maintain healthy advantages, Carlos Sainz’s lead in the cars category has nearly been erased.

Here are some of Tuesday’s highlights:

In the cars class, Stephane Peterhansel collected his third stage victory, as Nasser Al-Attiyah closed in on overall leader Carlos Sainz.

Al-Attiyah finished 0:15 behind Peterhansel, narrowing his overall deficit to a mire 0:24 behind Sainz.

Both Peterhansel and Al-Attiyah remained up front for the majority of the stage, with the duo finishing first and second at nearly every waypoint. A combination of a navigation error and lost tread on a tire caused Sainz to finish fifth, 6:31 behind Peterhansel.

Dakar rookie Fernando Alonso had another strong outing, finishing 13:03 behind in ninth place. The two-time Formula One champion is now ranked 10th overall.

Overall: Carlos Sainz holds an advantage of 0:24 over Nasser Al-Attiyah.

In bikes, Pablo Quintanilla took his first stage win of the 2020 rally, erasing just under four minutes in his overall deficit to Ricky Brabec.

Toby Price finished second, 1:54 back, while Joan Barreda Bort held on to finish third despite a small crash.

Overall: Ricky Brabec holds an advantage of 20:53 over Pablo Quintanilla.

In side by sides, Casey Currie continued to race towards his maiden Dakar victory, extending his lead in the overall standings to over 23 minutes.

Currie finished Tuesday’s stage in the third position, finishing behind fellow Americans Blade Hildebrand and Mitch Guthrie, both of whom are competing in the ‘Dakar Experience’ category following previous retirements earlier on in the rally.

Overall: Casey Currie holds an advantage of 23:37 over Francisco Lopez Contardo.

In quads, Ignacio Casale narrowly won by 0:03 over Giovanni Enrico. The victory is Casale’s fourth of the rally, and he now leads the overall standings by nearly 45 minutes.

Tomas Kubiena finished in the third position, 6:27 behind, while Casale’s closest title rival Simon Viste finished sixth, 8:14 back.

Overall: Ignacio Casale holds an advantage of 44:57 over Simon Viste.

In trucks, Kamaz driver Andrey Karginov won his fourth consecutive stage, finishing 3:19 ahead of second-place Siarhei Viazovich. Karginov now leads the overall standings by nearly 40 minutes.

Eduard Nikolaev finished third, 9:24 behind.

Overall: Andrey Karginov holds an advantage of 38:35 over Anton Shibalov.

Stage Wins:

Cars: [3] Carlos Sainz (Stage 3, 5, and 7), [3] Stephane Peterhansel (Stage 4, 6 and 9), [1] Vaidotas Zala (Stage 1), [1] Giniel De Villiers (Stage 2) and [1] Mathieu Serradori (Stage 8)

Bikes: [2] Toby Price (Stage 1 and 5), [2] Ricky Brabec (Stage 3 and 6), [1] Ross Branch (Stage 2), [1] Jose Ingacio Cornejo (Stage 4), [1] Kevin Benavides (Stage 7) and [1] Pablo Quintanilla (Stage 9)

Side-by-sides: [2] Gerard Farres Guell (Stage 3 and 6), [2] Blade Hildebrand (Stage 7 and 9), [1] Francisco Lopez Contardo (Stage 2), [1]  Aron Domzala (Stage 1), [1] Mitch Guthrie (Stage 4),  [1] Cyril Despres (Stage 5) and [1] Reinaldo Varela (Stage 8)

Quads: [4] Ignacio Casale (Stage 1, 2, 4 and 9), [2] Simon Viste (Stage 6 and 7), [1] Giovanni Enrico (Stage 3) and [1] Romain Dutu (Stage 5)

Trucks: [5] Andrey Karginov (Stage 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9), [2] Anton Shibalov (Stage 1 and 4), [1] Siarhei Viazovich (Stage 2) and [1] Dmitry Sotnikov (Stage 5)

Highlights of Stage 9 will air on NBCSN tonight at 5:30 p.m. ET.  The rally runs through Friday.

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.