NBC documentary will honor four four-time Indy 500 winners for their only sitdown

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On the eve of the 106th Indy 500, “Pennzoil presents The Club” will honor the four four-time winners of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing in a documentary that will make its debut at 2 p.m. ET Saturday, May 14 on NBC.

Leading into coverage of the GMR Grand Prix NTT IndyCar Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, “The Club” will present the only recorded conversation with Helio Castroneves, A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser (a trailer of the feature is available here).

On May 30, 2021, Castroneves became the fourth four-time Indy 500 winner. The Brazilian gathered July 21 at IMS with Foyt, Mears and Unser, who died Dec. 9 after a longtime battle with cancer.

On May 29, Castroneves will try to become the race’s first five-time winner in the 106th Indy 500 with broadcast coverage beginning at 11 a.m. ET on NBC.

“This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch and discuss sports history,” IMS president J. Douglas Boles said in a release. “For fans around the globe, it’s an epic way to start the Month of May on NBC before tuning in to the GMR Grand Prix and Helio’s historic ‘drive for five’ on Indy 500 Race Day.”

Boles arranged for the secret sitdown of the four-time Indy 500 winners shortly after Castroneves’ record-tying victory. IMS Productions had a crew on hand for a meeting that took place in downtown Indianapolis and the famous Yard of Bricks at the fabled 2.5-mile oval.

“It’s still hard for me to believe that I am a part of this group of drivers,” Castroneves said in a release. “These are drivers that I have looked up to and watched all my life and to now be standing on the same level as them is incredible. My best memories have come from winning the Indianapolis 500, there is no other race in history that has that same feeling; the feeling of a month’s long hard work all coming to an end in the best way possible.

“I will forever be grateful for the people who have helped me achieve such a monumental accomplishment because it was not just me, it was a team effort each of those four years.”

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

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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.