IndyCar starting lineup for St. Pete Grand Prix

IndyCar St. Petersburg starting grid
Joe Skibinski/IndyCar
0 Comments

For the record-extending ninth time on the 14-turn, 1.8-mile street circuit, Will Power will lead the starting lineup to the green flag for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC), the season finale for the NTT IndyCar Series.

It’s the series-high fifth pole position for the Team Penske driver and the 62nd of hid IndyCar career, five short of tying the legendary Mario Andretti. Power also won the pole position for the most recent race, winning Oct. 3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet.

“That would mean a lot,” Power said about possibly breaking Andretti’s record. “That would be a great achievement for me personally, to be up there with a name like Mario Andretti. It’s something that I just love about racing, is when you get to absolutely get the most out of the car in one lap. That’s qualifying.

SUNDAY AT ST. PETEDetails for watching the Firestone Grand Prix on race day

“To be at the top of the list for that would almost sum up my career, I guess, as far as being the speed that I have, maybe not the championships. Certainly a lot of race wins, as well.”

Alexander Rossi, who has a streak of three consecutive podium finishes but still is seeking his first victory this season, will start second.

Points leader Scott Dixon will start 11th, three spots behind championship rival Josef Newgarden. With a finish of 11th or better, Dixon will clinch his sixth championship.

QUALIFYING RESULTSClick here for the full rundown

ROUND BY ROUNDGroup 1 l Group 2 l Round 2 l Fast Six

Here’s the IndyCar starting lineup Sunday in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Position, car number, driver, manufacturer, time):

1. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 1 minute, 1.0369 seconds
2. (27) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 1:01.1730
3. (88) Colton Herta, Honda, 1:01.1815
4. (26) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 1:01.3626
5. (60) Jack Harvey, Honda, 1:01.3675
6. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 1:01.7725
7. (14) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 1:00.8102
8. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 1:00.8676
9. (21) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 1:00.8837
10. (7) Oliver Askew, Chevrolet, 1:00.9772
11. (9) Scott Dixon, Honda, 1:01.0283
12. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 1:01.2298
13. (30) Takuma Sato, Honda, 1:00.9423
14. (20) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 1:01.1609
15. (8) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 1:00.9619
16. (55) Alex Palou, Honda, 1:01.1630
17. (15) Graham Rahal, Honda, 1:01.1458
18. (18) Santino Ferrucci, Honda, 1:01.1797
19. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 1:01.1732
20. (4) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 1:01.2425
21. (3) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 1:01.6409
22. (10) Felix Rosenqvist, Honda, 1:01.5224
23. (98) Marco Andretti, Honda, 1:01.6833
24. (59) Max Chilton, Chevrolet, 1:21.7909

Jack Miller wins the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his downward points’ slide

0 Comments

Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.