IndyCar Sunday starting lineup at Gateway

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IndyCar will complete its race weekend doubleheader Sunday at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway with the hottest driver in the series leading the starting lineup to green.

After winning his second Indy 500 Sunday, Takuma Sato nearly made it consecutive victories Saturday, coming up just 0.141 seconds short of winner Scott Dixon in the second-closest IndyCar finish in track history.

Dixon will start sixth Sunday after winning four of the first eight races this season. With five races remaining in the season, he has built a seemingly insurmountable 117-point lead on defending series champion Josef Newgarden, who will start second Sunday.

DIXON MAKES 50: Fourth win of season for points leader

Will Power, who started on the pole Saturday and led 61 laps before being shuffled to 17th by an inopportune caution, will start third beside Pato O’Ward, who led a race-high 94 laps in finishing third Saturday.

IndyCar will be hoping for a better start than Saturday when six cars were involved in a crash as the green flag waved for Lap 1.

The lineup for Sunday was set by the second lap during Saturday’s qualifying session (the first lap set the starting order for Saturday’s Race 1).

Here’s the starting lineup for IndyCar’s Sunday race at Gateway:

1. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda, 182.499 mph
2. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 182.477
3. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 182.474
4. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 182.280
5. (60) Jack Harvey, Honda, 181.800
6. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 181.735
7. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 181.723
8. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 181.457
9. (10) Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 181.387
10. (88) Colton Herta, Honda, 181.164
11. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 180.825
12. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 180.618
13. (7) Oliver Askew, Chevrolet, 180.579
14. (55) Alex Palou, Honda, 180.560
15. (59) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 180.374
16. (18) Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 180.197
17. (26) Zach Veach, Honda, 179.791
18. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 178.690
19. (14) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 178.630
20. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 178.563
21. (4) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 178.295
22. (20) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 177.728
23. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 176.803

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
Chris Owens/IndyCar
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

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“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”