Englishman Toby Sowery finished second for BN Racing/Team Pelfrey, while local favorite Dalton Kellett, from Stouffville, Ont., secured his best finish of the season, a popular third, for Juncos Racing.
After yesterday extending a slender three-point championship lead over VeeKay to six points after finishing second, one place ahead of his primary rival, Askew added another point to his tally by claiming the pole during qualifying this morning. At the first corner, however, Askew had little option then concede to an aggressive outbraking move from Saturday winner Telitz, who is competing on a race-to-race basis for Belardi Auto Racing. VeeKay also took advantage by nipping through into second place ahead of Askew, with Kellett slotting into fourth.
Telitz set a torrid pace from the outset, quickly establishing a small but appreciable advantage over VeeKay, but it wasn’t long before the Dutch teenager was into his stride and closing the gap down to just a few car lengths.
After a failed attempt to wrest away the lead at Turn Three on Lap 11, VeeKay settled back for a few laps before redoubling his efforts. On Lap 24, Telitz made an error under braking for Turn Eight and only narrowly averted disaster. VeeKay realized this might provide his best opportunity to make a move for the lead, and indeed he did just that on the fastest part of the track, Lake Shore Boulevard. VeeKay nosed alongside on the outside line, but in doing so left his braking just a fraction too late for Turn Three. Angling toward the apex and trying desperately to scrub off speed, VeeKay barely clipped the front of Telitz’s bright red Dallara before nosing into the tire barrier on the outside of the turn. Telitz, too, was unable to make the corner, but Askew, who had been following around 1.5 seconds behind, had no such trouble.
Once into the lead, Askew reeled off the remaining laps without incident to score a comfortable win by 6.8331 seconds over Sowery, who had overtaken Kellett at Turn Three in the early stages. Kellett finished a delighted third after holding off a determined late challenge from Ryan Norman (Andretti Autosport), from Aurora, Ohio, who started eighth, fell to last place on the opening lap, then worked his way through nicely to claim the Tilton Hard Charger Award.
Provisional championship points after 11 of 18 races:
1. Oliver Askew, 285
2. Rinus VeeKay, 260
3. Ryan Norman, 222
4. Robert Megennis, 218
5. Toby Sowery, 213
6. David Malukas, 175
7. Dalton Kellett, 163
8. Lucas Kohl, 150
9. Zachary Claman, 124
10. Aaron Telitz, 105
Day 2 at the ARX of Gateway was nothing short of action packed. After a rough start to the doubleheader weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway, the Andretti Rallycross team was ready to bounce back for the third round of Americas Rallycross competition.
Veteran ARX racer Tanner Foust was hungrier than ever proved nothing less than that while out on track during today's qualifiers. Despite a difficult qualifier Heat 2, Foust advanced through the Semi Final to start third in the Final race. Continued momentum allowed Foust to challenge for the lead in the Final race from second, before ultimately finishing third and delivering the team its first podium of the season.
Sunday proved to be another day full of ups and downs for Cabot Bigham. Bigham showed promising speed all day long and was poised to advance to his first Final. A tough lineup in Semi Final Race 1, Bigham was holding the third spot before ultimately finishing fourth.
The Andretti Rallycross team now takes a break before heading north of the border for Round 4 at Trois Rivieres in Canada on August 3-4.
French driver Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske showed the NTT IndyCar Series how to celebrate Bastille Day.
Pagenaud capped a near-perfect weekend in Canada by dominating the Honda Indy Toronto, scoring his third victory of the season - the 14th of his career - on France's national day.
The pole sitter led 80 of the 85 laps at Exhibition Place and held back five-time series champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing in the late going to score his first victory on the 11-turn, 1.786-mile temporary street circuit.
"I'm very proud to fly the French flag here in a cousin country, which is Canada," said Pagenaud, the winner of this year's Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. "I guess (countryman Julian Alaphilippe) is leading the Tour de France today on the bike. I felt like I had to do the same."
Official results: Honda Indy Toronto
Pagenaud was only threatened a couple of times, the first being in the opening-lap dash to Turn 1. Dixon challenged him but couldn't execute the pass. From there, Pagenaud began building a lead, which became eight seconds before he incurred traffic in the final laps.
"We took off and the car handled really well," Pagenaud said, driver of the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet. "We definitely had an advantage on the tire wear. I knew we had a really good race car. We were able to match the Honda power (of Dixon) pretty well; (it) helped us to perform even better, so thanks to Chevy."
Said Dixon: "(Pagenaud's) straight-line speed was ridiculous today, to be honest."
Dixon's No. 9 PNC Bank Honda was hampered by wall contact early in the race. He drove the rest of the way with the steering wheel misaligned.
"I made a mistake, a pretty big mistake, probably around Lap 12 or 15 where I hit the inside wall on (Turn) 9," he said. "Bent the suspension pretty bad. I thought I had a (tire) puncture."
Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport finished third, one position ahead of series points leader Josef Newgarden of Team Penske. The first four finishers are the top four drivers in the standings heading to Saturday night's Iowa 300, a short-oval race at Iowa Speedway.
With Rossi, Dixon and Rossi finishing ahead of Newgarden, the championship race tightened. Rossi drew to four points with six races remaining. Pagenaud, who scored the maximum number of points in this race, is 39 points of the lead with Dixon 86 back.
Ontario native James Hinchcliffe of Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports finished sixth in his home race. He was the driver who advanced the highest number of positions (eight) among the entire field.
Another Toronto-area native - driver Robert Wickens, who finished third here last year - gave the race an inspirational start by driving a specially prepared Acura NSX. Wickens, who is rehabilitating use of his legs following a racing accident 11 months ago, used hand controls developed by Arow to drive around the track and gave the command to start the race.
Wickens' fiancé, Karli Woods, rode with him during the two laps around the track.
To watch race highlights in less than seven minutes, visit https://youtu.be/Q-KQ8xnK_fw
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Team Panoz Racing took the weekend by storm at Portland International Raceway, claiming both Am victories in the two, Sprint-X races. Preston Calvert and Mathew Keegan co-drove the #51 Panoz Avezzano GT and started in second and first in the two races respectively, but following quick driver changes and expert driving, both drivers took the chequered flag in first.
In Saturday’s qualifying, Calvert qualified in 11th, second in class with a 1:18.496 in the first session. Keegan took the second session, qualifying ninth overall and top in class with a 1:17.656.
Race 1: Calvert started the race and during his stint moved up from an 11th starting position into 8th. Keegan took the wheel at the pit and returned to the track before assuming the Am class lead. Keegan crossed the line in 7th overall and 1st in the Am class.
Race 2: During the first lap, Keegan made ground, moving up from ninth to seventh in the #51 Panoz Avezzano GT. During the race, there was a lot of movement from the Pro-Am cars making their way through the field. After the pit, Calvert slotted into ninth overall, first in Am, and went on maintaining the Am lead throughout the stint, to take the checkered flag in first.
In the Championships, currently Team Panoz Racing are:
• Leading the Sprint Drivers Championship, with 136 points.
• Leading Sprint-X Am Drivers Championship with Mathew Keegan and Preston Calvert jointly taking the top position with 177 points.
• Leading the Sprint Teams Championship with 138 points.
• Third in the Sprint-X Teams Championship with 46 points.
• Joint-first in the Sprint Manufacturers Championship with 159 points with McLaren.
• Third in the Sprint-X Manufacturers Championship with 119 points.
The next race for Team Panoz Racing is at Watkins Glen International, August 31st to September 1st, 2019, where both the #50 and #51 Panoz Avezzano GT4 will be racing.
Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) announced today that Roberto Guerrero, a major force at the Indianapolis 500 in the 1980s and 90s has entered the Vintage Race of Champions Charity Pro-Am presented by Chopard Watch. The race will take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 3.
“Roberto is no stranger to our events as he, along with Davy Jones, is a big part of Jaguar’s sponsorship of our series. Still, it’s special when he actually competes wheel-to-wheel in a race this important,” said SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “Roberto’s career speaks for itself with remarkable accomplishments in Indy car as well as the opportunity to race in the elite Formula One World Championship as well as the original IROC series.”
Guerrero raced in 15 Indianapolis 500s beginning with his rookie-of-the-year performance in finishing second in 1984. He also won the series rookie-of-the-year award the same year. He finished second in the 1987 Indy 500 after leading late in the race. A delay in the pits dropped him behind eventual winner Al Unser. In his first four “500s” Guerrero never finished out of the top four. He set the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record in 1992 at 232.482 mph, the first driver to win the pole with a speed over 230.
Guerrero started racing with karts in 1972 in his native Columbia, winning two national championships by 1977. The following year he ventured into British Formula Ford and won eight races. He progressed to British Formula Three where he scored five victories. Guerrero raced European Formula Two in 1981, picking off the Jochen Rindt Memorial Trophy. His success led him to two seasons in Formula One with the Ensign and Theodore teams. He came to America in 1984 to race Indy cars. Over the next few years, in addition to his impressive results in the Indianapolis 500, he scored two race wins at Phoenix and Mid-Ohio. In an Indy car career that spanned 17 years he also earned numerous pole positions and 41 top-ten finishes. His achievements garnered him an invitation to the elite IROC series in 1988.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Brickyard Invitational VROC Charity Pro-Am will benefit the Morgan Adams Foundation. The foundation supports laboratory and clinical research in the area of pediatric cancer, with an emphasis on tumors on the brain, spine, and central nervous system. Morgan Adams was a five-year-old girl who lost her battle with brain cancer in 1997. The foundation has a history of working with vintage racers to support their cause.
The VROC Charity Pro-Am presented by Chopard Watch is a Saturday feature event at the Brickyard Invitational. The cars are 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros, and Mustangs of SVRA “Group 6” A and B Production. The professionals will be paired with amateur drivers. Amateurs will start the race and be required to drive a maximum of seven laps.
The Pro-Am is one element of SVRA’s “Speed Tour,” where there will be a festival of other activities at the Brickyard Invitational including professional Trans Am by Pirelli series races on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend also presents the Hagerty Insurance “cars & caffeine” car corral, and 300+ vintage racers ranging over 100 years of automotive history racing in SVRA Groups 1 through 12.
Brickyard Invitational ticket information: Fans can order Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational tickets for either or both days of the event online through the Speedway or by calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Fans can also visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at 4790 West 16th Street between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information. Children 15 and under are admitted free each day when accompanied by an adult. RV camping passes in the IMS infield start at $60 and camping access begins Friday, August 2.
Andretti’s #18 Andretti Autosport Superior Auto sponsored entry will feature a deep cherry red body with white and chrome silver accents. The colors and design are reminiscent of the 1985 midget raced by Andretti’s father, John Andretti for Rollie Helmling.
John Andretti, Team Owner of Andretti Autosport Short Track states “We always want to do something special for our friends at Superior Auto so Jarett and I decided on a throwback scheme based on a USAC midget that I raced in the late 80s for a car owner that would become one of my best friends, Rollie Helmling. I am excited to get to see it on track in the next few days as sprint week starts up!”
Added Jarett Andretti, "Sprint Week is the most intense stretch of races during the entire year so it seems fitting to run our yearly throwback scheme during that week. I'm excited to unveil it later this week in the longest Sprint Week I've ever competed in!"
Superior Auto President Chad Melchi shared his thoughts on the special livery and stated “Everyone at Superior Auto takes pride in our relationship with Andretti Autosport Short Track and it's been amazing to be a part of Jarett’s career since the beginning. Our team at Superior Auto gets excited to watch the #18 car race especially with these throwback designs. It is very special this year to honor Jarett’s father, John, as both Jarett and John have become good personal friends too!”
Indiana Sprint Week debuted in 1988, but first became USAC-sanctioned in 1996. Since then, the event has grown from a single weekend to eight races over a week-and-a-half and has become the marquee event on the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car trail that draws massive crowds and welcomes travelers from around the world, both driver and fan alike.
Indiana Sprint Week will expand to its largest schedule in over a decade when the 32nd annual edition of the wildly-popular event arrives in 2019 for eight races in ten nights between July 18-27. The action begins on July 18th at Gas City I-69 Speedway in Gas City, IN.
Christian Eckes (No.15 JBL Audio Toyota) returns to action traveling to the Hawkeye state this time for his fourth track appearance in Friday night’s ARCA Menards Series Fans with Benefits 150 at Iowa Speedway.
Eckes, a five-time series winner is looking to hit the reset button after a final lap spin from teammate Michael Self took away what seemingly appeared to be a fourth place finish at Elko but instead delivered a heartbreaking 11th place finish for the championship contender.
It’s been an up and down season so far for Christian Eckes and his JBL Audio Toyota race team. After leading the point driver point standings early in the season, Eckes was forced to miss the race at Salem Speedway back in April due to illness. Down but not out the talented teenage driver has kept his focus. Eckes picked up his first win of the season at Nashville and has scored four top-five finishes since.
Aiming for more Eckes looks ahead to the dog days of summer ready to turn things around during the final seven races of the season. Despite losing out on valuable points at Salem, the eighteen-year-old driver currently finds himself occupying the fourth spot in the championship standings – 115 points behind teammate Michael Self.
“It’s definitely been a rough run at it so far this year,” said Eckes. “Our #15 JBL Audio Camry has had so much speed, just things haven’t been going our way by any means. Morale is high heading into Iowa this weekend, we’re ready to turn it around! We’ve done before and we can do it again, let’s do it.”
The Middletown, NY native has tallied six top-five’s, 10 top-ten’s and two General Tire Pole Awards on the season and leads the Bounty Rookie of the Year standings.
Eckes will join VMS teammates Michael Self, Chandler Smith and Gavin Harlien in Iowa. VMS has dominated series competition thus far winning eight of the first thirteen events in 2019. Fast to start each race, VMS has claimed an unprecedented 12 General Tire Pole Awards to start the season, only missing out on the honors during the third race of the season at Salem Speedway,
Practice at Iowa Speedway is scheduled for 12:45 pm ET/11:45 am CT with General Tire Pole Qualifying to follow at 4:45 pm ET/3:45 pm CT and the Fans with Benefits 150 to close the night at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT. The race will be televised live flag to flag on MAVTV.