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Thirteen months ago, teenager Colby Howard made his most recent start in the ARCA Menards Series with a top ten result at Madison International Speedway. This weekend, he returns to the national touring series with Win-Tron Racing and the Project HOPE Foundation at Iowa Speedway for the third start of his career.

A year ago, Howard was a relatively unknown driver who performed well with a pair of top ten finishes in two ARCA starts after graduating from late model stock cars in South Carolina and surrounding areas. This year, he brings a much beefier stat sheet, having won multiple pro late model races with Anthony Campi Racing including a handful of statement wins over short track veterans like Bubba Pollard and Augie Grill at tracks like Five Flags Speedway and Montgomery Motor Speedway.

"I'm really excited to be back in the ARCA Menards Series and making my first start with Win-Tron this weekend," said Howard. "With our pro late model success, I was really wanting to try my hand at a bigger car again. I feel like I've grown as a driver and my management team at PMG hooked me up with Kevin Cywinski and Win-Tron to give me the opportunity to showcase my talents at this level once more. I've always enjoyed tracks where there are multiple grooves, and that's one reason I'm looking forward to Iowa this weekend. It's the biggest and fastest track I've ever been on, too."

Recently, Howard had the opportunity to travel to the corn belt and test the No. 32 Chevrolet prior to racing it this weekend. As suspected, the short track veteran needed a little time to acclimate to the faster speeds of the .875-mile facility, but he was feeling comfortable by the conclusion of the day.

"I'll admit, I struggled a little bit with the first part of it," Howard said. "We made some changes after the first couple runs and picked up a lot and were pretty happy with how the day ended. We have a direction now, and I think with a few more tweaks we should have a really good piece for the race."

Since the outset of the season, Howard has been partnered with the Project HOPE Foundation, an autism services organization based near his home outside Greenville, South Carolina. The group delivers a lifespan of services to families of autistic individuals which (H)elp families, (O)pen minds, (P)romote inclusion, and (E)xpand potential for those with autism. Project HOPE has been using their motorsports program to drive awareness and assist in fundraising efforts through special events and appearances with Howard and his racecar.

“Sometimes you would think that autism and racing would be very dissimilar,” explained Foundation Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Lisa Lane. “Our kids almost always have sound sensitivities, and nothing is louder than the powerful motors of these beautiful cars. But there are similarities. One of the defining characteristics of autism is repetition, repetitious behaviors, and attention to detail, some of the same keys to success in racing. The kids are always excited to see Colby and his racecars, and we're really excited about his jump to the ARCA Menards Series and the opportunities it can bring for everyone.”

The pairing will hit the track with the ARCA Menards Series for the first time in practice on Friday, July 19, at 11:45am CT. Qualifications roll off at 3:45pm CT while the green flag waves at 8pm CT at Iowa Speedway. The race can be seen LIVE on MAVTV or followed at ARCARacing.com. For more information on Colby Howard, visit his website at ColbyHowardRacing.com.

PMG PR

With billions of emoji sent daily and nearly every mode of transportation including cars, scooters, boats, spaceships and ski lifts among the 3,000 approved icons available to emoji users, truck fans noticed a glaring omission: There is no pickup truck. Ford decided it was time to do something about this and is celebrating World Emoji Day with the debut of the pickup truck emoji. 

 

When customers started demanding a truck emoji, we knew we had to help make it happen,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president, automotive. “Given the popularity of Ford trucks globally, there’s no one better than Ford to help bring an all-new pickup truck emoji to hard-working texters around the globe.”

 

In 2018, Ford submitted a proposal to the Unicode Consortium – the organization that reviews and approves proposals for new emoji – to add a truck to emoji keyboards everywhere. Now, the pickup truck emoji has been short-listed as a candidate for inclusion in a future version of Unicode.

 

The concept emoji’s capable styling has been tuned to meet current trends. “Our team spent a lot of time digging through message boards, texting influencers and watching social media feeds to really understand our customers’ needs,” said Craig Metros, Ford North America design director. “People want a truck emoji that’s fresh, stylish, carries their ideas, and ‘tows’ the line on what a truck means. The end result is a modern icon that should give all truck fans a smiley face emoji.”

 

If the pickup truck emoji is approved in early 2020, the design will be customized for all mobile platforms to meet the needs of customers from skilled tradespeople to active families and emoji lovers alike.

Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) rebounded from his worst result of the 2019 American Flat Track season in the best possible fashion, scoring a dominant victory in Saturday night’s New York Short Track at Weedsport Speedway.

 

Bauman saw his hard-earned AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines title lead cut down considerably when his season-long podium streak was snapped by a mechanical DNF last time out at the Lima Half-Mile. But rather than allow the pressure to cause additional difficulties to escalate, the championship leader responded with perhaps the most convincing performance of his standout ‘19 campaign.

 

At the start of the 30-lap Main Event, the recently rejuvenated Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Roof-Systems of Dallas/Indian of Metro Milwaukee FTR750) squeezed past Bauman and his brother, Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), to lead the opening lap.

 

But before Carver could even contemplate the possibility of completing his career Grand Slam with a maiden Short Track win, Bauman blasted back by and ripped open a gap at the front.

 

Smooth and in control throughout, Bauman took the win with 3.589 seconds in hand.

 

Despite the result representing his eighth podium (and seventh top two) in nine Main Events this season, the victory was Bauman’s first since his triumphant season opener.

 

He said, “I’ve got to thank my team -- they bust their butts during the week. The bike was insane… today we showed up and didn’t change a thing and we were good all day. It just feels good. It feels like it’s been a whole season since I got a win. Seconds are really cool… ‘I know there’s nothing’s wrong with silver’ -- said the great Ricky Bobby -- but I’m just glad to get a win again.”

 

Carver backed up his first podium of the year with a second consecutive runner-up result. He was followed to the stripe by Short Track standout Henry Wiles (No. 17 Bandit Industries/DPC Racing/Wilco Racing Indian FTR750) in third.

 

Bronson Bauman extended his streak of top fives to three with a fourth-place finish, while Robert Pearson (No. 27 R/J Performance/Hite Trucking Indian FTR750) secured his best result of the season in fifth.

 

Meanwhile, multi-time time defending AFT Twins champ Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) could manage just seventh on the night. As a result, Bauman stretched his advantage back out to 26 points (170-144) as the title fight reached its halfway point.

 

Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys

 

Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/Gobert Smash Husqvarna FC450) took maximum advantage of the opportunity before him in the 20-lap Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys Main Event.

 

Pre-race title leader Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda/Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R) was forced to watch from the fences after he failed to make the Main, finishing 0.135 seconds short of a qualifying position in his semi. And since Rush competed in the premier AFT Twins class in 2018, he earned no AFT Singles points and thus had no provisional start to call upon.


As a result, Gauthier fully capitalized. The ‘Comeback Kid’ dropped down the order early despite starting from pole, but he quickly demonstrated the speed he used to earn that starting slot in the first place. He exploded through a tight, back-and-forth pack contesting the lead and escaped from that early chaos to power to his second victory of the season and reclaim the AFT Singles championship lead in the process.

 

Gauthier said, “I picked up a lot of confidence tonight, and it’s definitely going to help us with this championship. The day went off so good. I was fast in practice and qualifying and felt really comfortable. I can’t thank Jimmy Wood at Öhlins enough for helping us out with our shock and our suspension. He was a gamesaver, and I felt so much more comfortable than I had before on this bike. And my mom’s here for her first National ever -- it’s awesome to win in front of her.”

 

Morgen Mischler (No. 69 Waters Autobody Racing/D&D Powersports KTM 450 SX-F) put in a late charge, slashing his way through the same talented pack Gauthier diced through earlier in the race, to work up to second position. Mischler even managed to dramatically close down the gap to Gauthier but ultimately ran out of laps, coming up 0.413 short of the victory at the checkered flag.

 

He was followed home by reigning class champion Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F). Just behind, Kevin Stollings (No. 99 Roof Systems/Motion Pro Honda CRF450R) finished fourth while Bromley’s teammate, Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing SX-F 450), completed the top five.

 

As a result of Saturday’s pivotal outcome, Gauthier now leads Rush in the AFT Singles championship chase 169-156. Defending champ Bromley remains in close contention at 151 points thanks to his remarkable consistency, despite still seeking the first Main Event victory of his title defense. 

 

Be sure to catch the feature broadcast of the New York Short Track on NBCSN with flag-to-flag coverage of both Main Events, enhanced by exclusive features and cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage. The broadcast will debut on Saturday, July 27, at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT and will re-air on Wednesday, August 7, at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT.

 

Next Up:

The American Flat Track competitors will take a few weeks to regroup and catch their breath before kicking off an intense and jam-packed August with the Buffalo Chip TT in Sturgis, S.D., on Sunday, August 4 and the Black Hills Half-Mile in Rapid City, S.D. on Tuesday, August 6. As always, live coverage will be available at FansChoice.tv. Tickets are on sale at www.americanflattrack.com.

 

For more information on American Flat Track visit www.americanflattrack.com.

 

To get the latest American Flat Track clothing and merchandise visit www.americanflattracker.com.

How to Watch:

NBCSN and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of American Flat Track. For the 2019 season, NBCSN’s coverage of AFT moves to highly-coveted, weekend afternoon programming slots within two weeks of each event. The complete schedule for AFT on NBCSN can be viewed at http://www.americanflattrack.com/events-nbcsn/. FansChoice.tv remains a cornerstone of AFT's digital strategy, providing live streaming coverage of every event on AFT’s live page while previous events and exclusive features are available on AFT’s VOD page.

Alex Tagliani drove a masterful race to win Round 4 of the 2019 NASCAR Pinty's Series held Saturday afternoon at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto. The late afternoon race, which was rain-delayed for an hour and a half, was a banger most of the way until lap 37 of the NASCAR overtime finish. Starting from the pole, Tagliani led all but three laps of the Pinty's Grand Prix of Toronto to score his second NASCAR win in Toronto, his ninth series victory.


Tagliani had some unfinished business in Toronto when lost the win to Andrew Ranger on the last lap in last year's NASCAR overtime race in the Queen City, but he was not to be denied this year. Andrew Ranger, who led three laps, finished second ahead of LP Dumoulin.

Over the course of its six-year history, the Pinty's Grand Prix of Toronto has only seen three drivers on the top step of the podium and history repeated itself again today with the win by Tag. All three are still leading the 2019 points standings but with a new leader in Andrew Ranger, winner in 2010, 2011 and 2018, two points ahead of. Kevin Lacroix, the Toronto winner in 2017. Third in the standings with only now 14 points back, is Alex Tagliani who won in 2016 and 2019.


Tag Wins the Pole
In Friday afternoon's qualifying, Tagliani used his final lap to score a dramatic pole position with his Team 22 Racing #18 EpiPen-RONA/St Hubert Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in a record time of 1 minute 15,918 seconds (133.437 kph) around the 2.874-km street course to claim his 10th NASCAR Pinty's pole, his second in a row in Toronto. In four Toronto NASCAR qualifying, Tag has claimed two poles and recorded two second-place starting positions.


"I am super happy to have brought this win to Team 22 Racing," said Tagliani. "The team gave me a really good car this weekend and we scored maximum points. I am really proud of the guys especially after a season debut that did not go as well as I had expected on oval tracks. They rolled up their sleeves and gave me a great car that enabled me to offer this performance. It shows they have pride. I was happy to see them all smiles and jumping for joy when I entered the pits after the race.


"There were some good fights during the race. Restarts were tough because of the nature of the track that makes the corners feel like you are entering a funnel. This is very inviting for those who want to pass you. The leader sets the tone with his breaking, but if you don't block enough, you invite the driver in third place to jump ahead of you, like Andrew (Ranger) did on lap 15. If you block too much the car behind you in third place, you open the door to the driver on the outside.


"I am not complaining about being first on restarts, but it's very stressing. The battles I had with Andrew, who was driving very aggressively but cleanly, are what makes car racing exciting. Today's feuds were similar to those we had last year, a battle that I lost, but not this year. This victory reduces the gap to the leader in the point standings. Overall, a very satisfying weekend.


"We also had a very busy weekend in the RONA tent with huge crowd coming in everyday to says hello and cheer us on as they tried all kinds of stuff,"
concluded the Toronto winner.


Nineteen drivers started the race with 16 crossing the finish line at the end of the Pinty's Grand Prix of Toronto.  Fifteen cars finished on the lead lap. The race was under full course caution three times for a total of 14 laps. The Pinty's Grand Prix of Toronto will air on TSN on Sunday, July 21 at 1:30 pm ET.


In four NASCAR Pinty's start in Toronto, Tagliani has finished, three times on the podium, winning twice. In 75 NASCAR Pinty's starts, Tag claimed ten poles, won 9 races, finished 33 times in the Top-5 and 51 in the Top-10.


The NASCAR Pinty's Series now take its annual Western trip to Saskatchewan and Alberta for a three-race showdown. The first two short track contests will be held in Saskatoon at Wyant Group Raceway on Wednesday, July 24th with a pair of 125-lap feature races and the third event, a 300-lap affair, will be held on Saturday night, July 27 at the Edmonton International Raceway.


TSN and TSN Direct subscribers can watch all NASCAR Pinty's Series races live on TSN.ca and the TSN app. The Saskatoon races will be streamed live on the TSN.ca and the TSN app on Wednesday, July 24th, starting at 8:30 p.m. Mountain Time. Fans in the United States can watch all races live on FansChoice.tv.


Summer of TAG
During his 2019 season, Alex Tagliani will race across Canada promoting the sixth annual Summer of TAG, which raises awareness about food allergies, and the importance of educating those afflicted. Alex and Food Allergy Canada, with the support of Pfizer Canada, are committed to creating a safer world for people with potentially life-threatening allergies.


For more information on Alex Tagliani, please visit
www.tagliani.com, follow him on Twitter at @TAGLIANI, @tagliani18 on Instagram and like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Tagliani.
 
Just one day after claiming his first Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship pole and podium finish, Denmark’s Christian Rasmussen went one better this morning to claim a conclusive first victory for himself and the Jay Howard Driver Development team. Rasmussen finished barely a car’s length ahead of yesterday’s winner Darren Keane (Cape Motorsports), from Boca Raton, Fla., at the conclusion of a dramatic 20-lap Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Toronto Presented by Allied Building Products on the challenging Exhibition Place street circuit.

Englishman Matt Round-Garrido (BN Racing) profited from a variety of incidents to claim a hard-earned first podium finish.

Anxious to atone for an error which cost him a potential victory yesterday, Rasmussen, who started second, made an incisive move to the inside of polesitter Keane at the first corner to take the lead. Behind, Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), from Homer Glen, Ill., also took advantage of Keane’s loss of momentum to sneak through into second place at Turn Three.

Rasmussen’s teammate, Christian Bogle, from Covington, La., was the biggest m
over on the first lap, pulling off an audacious outbraking maneuver at Turn Three – perfectly cleanly – to vault from 10th on the grid to fourth by the completion of the first lap ahead of Brazil’s Eduardo Barrichello (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports) and series leader Braden Eves (Cape Motorsports), from New Albany, Ohio.

Bogle soon slipped down the order but still seemed to be set for a career-best seventh-place finish until clipping a wall moments before the third and final full-course caution. Unfortunately for him, the clean-up was completed just in time for a one-lap dash to the checkers, so had no option but to head for the pit lane and retirement.

Up front, meanwhile, Rasmussen had managed to eke out a little breathing space by the time the caution flags waved for the first time after seven laps due to a spin for Barrichello in Turn Three. Rasmussen maintained his advantage over Kaminsky at the restart, and again following another caution period shortly afterward when Barrichello’s teammate, Jack William Miller, found the wall in Turn Five.

Rasmussen was gifted a much greater cushion on Lap 16 when Keane muscled his way past Kaminsky into second place at Turn Three. Kaminsky then came under intense pressure from the second Cape car of Eves, who attempted a similar move in Turn One which again ended in contact and ensured yet another full-course caution. Eves and Kaminsky were able to continue after stopping in the pits but could manage only distant 11th and 12th-place finishes respectively.

The one-lap dash to the finish saw Rasmussen barely hold off Keane, while Round-Garrido was hot on their tail in third, just ahead of DEForce teammates Manuel Sulaiman, from Puebla, Mexico, and 14-year-old Jak Crawford, from Houston, Texas.

Australian Cameron Shields rounded out the top six despite losing a lot of ground in the early stages. Next up was Brazilian Bruna Tomaselli (Pabst Racing), who earned the Tilton Hard Charger Award for climbing all the way from 16th on the grid to edge teammate Yuven Sundaramoorthy.

Rasmussen’s rousing victory ensured a first ever PFC Award for former USF2000 and Indy Lights champion Jay Howard as the winning team owner.

Provisional championship points after nine of 15 races:
1. Braden Eves, 233
2. Hunter McElrea, 192
3. Darren Keane, 180
4. Colin Kaminsky, 155
5. Christian Rasmussen, 141
6. Manuel Sulaiman, 138
7. Cameron Shields, 137
8. Reece Gold, 104
9. Bruna Tomaselli, 103
10. Jak Crawford, 99
 
The next two rounds of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship will be held July 27-28 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, where all three rungs on the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires open-wheel driver development ladder once again will run in support of the NTT IndyCar Series.
Kyle Kirkwood claimed a hard-earned third Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires victory of the season – and his third in as many starts at the unforgiving 1.786-mile Exhibition Place street circuit in Toronto – for the RP Motorsports USA team. Kirkwood, from Jupiter, Fla., who also won last year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 championship, was pushed every inch of the way by Canadian favorite Parker Thompson (Abel Motorsports), from Red Deer, Alb.

Championship leader Rasmus Lindh, from Gothenburg, Sweden, finished close behind in third for Juncos Racing.

The top three were barely separated by no more than a few car lengths throughout a gripping 30-lap race which was interrupted only briefly by an incident on the opening lap in Turn Four involving yesterday’s winner, Singaporean Danial Frost (Exclusive Autosport), and local driver Antonio Serravalle (Pserra Racing) which ended with Serravalle’s car making solid contact with the wall.

Kirkwood, who had defended his pole position perfectly on the run toward Turn One, maintained his lead at the restart but was never able to eke out any breathing room at all. The top five cars, driven by Kirkwood, Thompson, Lindh, Idaho native Sting Ray Robb aboard a second Juncos Racing Tatuus PM-18 and Frost, remained in a snarling high-speed train for the first 20 laps, with each of them trading fastest laps on a consistent basis.

All five were clearly very closely matched, but with overtaking no easy task on the Toronto streets, each of the protagonists knew they would require a mistake from the driver in front in order to make a pass for position.

The pace continued to intensify, with Lindh finally recording a new lap record of 1:07.0213 (95.934 mph) on the penultimate lap, but Kirkwood was flawless and his victory – and RP Motorsport’s third PFC Award of the season – was assured.

A last-ditch effort by Lindh to find a way past Thompson on the final lap saw Kirkwood cross the line with his biggest margin of the race, 1.7233 seconds over Thompson, whose fourth consecutive podium finish enabled him to move back to second place in the championship points table, narrowly ahead of both Kirkwood and Frost, who finally found a way past Robb for fifth after 20 laps.

Guatemalan Ian Rodriguez couldn’t find quite the same pace as yesterday but still finished a solid sixth ahead of Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports), from Louisville, Ky., who earned his second Tilton Hard Charger Award, after starting 12th on the grid, in as many days.

Provisional championship points after nine of 16 rounds:
1. Rasmus Lindh, 237
2. Parker Thompson, 207
3. Kyle Kirkwood, 205
4. Danial Frost, 202
5. Sting Ray Robb, 173
6. Nikita Lastochkin, 137
7. Phillippe Denes, 118
8. Kory Enders, 116
9. Moises de la Vara, 114
10. Jacob Abel, 106
 
Rounds 10 and 11 of the 16-race Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will be held July 27/28 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Oliver Askew claimed his fourth race win of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season today for Andretti Autosport on the streets of Toronto. Askew, from Jupiter, Fla., was perfectly positioned to take advantage when pacesetters Aaron Telitz and Rinus VeeKay tangled in Turn Three on lap 25 of the 40-lap Cooper Tires Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products. He now leads the chase for a scholarship prize which includes a guaranteed three starts in the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series, including the 104th Indianapolis 500, by a relatively comfortable 25 points with seven races remaining.

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
 
The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires title-chase will continue in two weeks’ time at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, with another pair of races to be held on July 27-28.

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

 Roman De Angelis is in a league of his own this year in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, as showcased once again this past weekend at Indy Toronto.
 
In a rare statistical feat, De Angelis started from the pole position in both rounds of the doubleheader weekend after having posted the two fastest laps in Saturday’s qualifying- with both Laps 8 and 9 being an identical time of one minute, 12.966 seconds. The first instance scored him the pole for Race 1 on Saturday, while the second scored him the pole for Race 2 – for which the grid is set by either a driver’s second quickest qualifying lap or their fastest lap in Race 1 – whichever is fastest. 
 
On Sunday, the 18-year-old from Belle River, Ontario, took ownership of the lead from the drop of the green flag and proceeded on to another flag-to-flag victory as he did on Saturday. It was De Angelis’ third consecutive weekend sweep in GT3 Cup Challenge Canada and seventh consecutive victory through eight rounds of the season.
 
As De Angelis describes, the only difference between his Race 1 win on Saturday and his Race 2 victory on Sunday was the weather. Drivers faced mixed weather conditions for the first race of the doubleheader, while Sunday offered sunny skies and higher temperatures.
 
“The heat definitely plays a factor when you’re driving, especially when there’s not a lot going on around you,” said De Angelis. “It was kind of quiet out there today, so trying to keep focused with the heat. You’re sweating and we’re losing our energy pretty much the whole time. Just trying to keep focused is really difficult.”
 
With four rounds remaining in the 2019 season, De Angelis holds a strong lead in the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada championship. The next two rounds will take place at Road America on August 2 – 4, which will be the second and final joint event of the year with Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, which De Angelis also competes in. The first came in June at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, which was De Angelis first doubleheader victory of the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada season.
 
“I’m looking forward to Road America. I think Montreal was really fun and a great event for us in general, so hopefully we can do the same thing we did there. It’s always fun when the Americans and the Canadians go at it together, especially being part of both, so I’m really looking forward to that.”
 
Finishing second on the podium in both races at Indy Toronto was Jeff Kingsley in the No. 16 Policaro Motorsport Porsche.
 
Third on the leaderboard and also earning the Yokohama Tire Hard Charger Award for gaining the most positions during the 45-minute race was Michael Di Meo in the No. 96 Porsche for OpenRoad Racing. Di Meo, at his hometown event, started seventh on the grid but ended up on the podium, even despite a scratch against the wall to start the race.
 
“We started seventh and in a field where all the cars are so closely matched, it’s tough to even gain one position in a race, let alone we came back to third,” said Di Meo. “We just drove hard, never lost focus even though we hit the wall pretty good in the first couple laps. I thought the car was going to be pretty mangled because it felt like a hard hit. The guys came on the radio and just said to stay calm, let the race come to you and drive it, whatever it is, just drive it and keep going.
 
“One by one we got lucky and we picked some people off and maintained the pace, which I thought was pretty good despite the car we had. I couldn’t believe we ended up in third.”
 
Meanwhile, following in the footsteps of his Mark Motors teammate, Marco Cirone in the No. 88 Porsche scored his fourth consecutive Platinum Masters victory, after sweeping the weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last week and doing so again this weekend at Indy Toronto. Cirone is in search of his sixth GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Platinum Masters championship
 
“That was fantastic,” said Cirone. “The team as usual gives me an awesome car. Today I woke up and I said, ‘I’m going to try as hard, I’m not going to be as timid as I was yesterday considering the conditions.’ I woke up to drive this morning. I was very aggressive. I tried to stay as clean as possible and the results were great for us. Finishing fourth overall and first in Masters, I couldn’t ask for any better.”
 
An incident early in the race halted on-track action for about 10 minutes, with the No. 99 Kelly-Moss/AM Motorsports Porsche Alan Metni scraping the wall and careening into the back of Patrick Dussault’s No. 77 Lauzon Autosport Porsche. While both cars made strong impact into the Turn 9 tire barriers, each driver was able to walk away.
 
The next two races for Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama at Road America will be streamed live on IMSA.tv over the course of the weekend on August 2 – 4. Alongside GT3 Cup Challenge USA, the first race of the weekend is scheduled for Saturday, August 3 at 11:30 a.m. ET, with Race 2 on Sunday at 9:40 a.m. The finale rounds of the 2019 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada season will take place at Circuit Mont-Tremblant on September 27 – 29.
 
To keep up with GT3 Cup Challenge Canada news and updates for the remainder of the season, please visit IMSA.com or Porsche.com/Canada and join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #GT3Canada and #IMSA.  
Robin Frijns rounded out the season in style with victory in New York for Envision Virgin Racing, as Jean-Eric Vergne pulled his way up into the points to clinch the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.
 
Vergne drove a clean and clever race, staying out of trouble and advancing up the order to seventh place and securing a second successive title. The DS TECHEETAH driver did enough to defend his crown and become the first back-to-back champion in Formula E history.
 
Entering the final E-Prix of the season, Vergne still held a sizable advantage in the points table and only needed to avoid a non-scoring finish to put himself in prime position to pick-up the prize.
 
After again struggling in the first group of qualifying, the Frenchman found himself down in 12th on the grid and looking to gain places during the race. However, he wasn’t the only championship contender eager to make a move forwards, with both Lucas di Grassi and Mitch Evans failing to make it to the super pole shoot-out.
 
Despite Sebastien Buemi’s best efforts, his championship chances were cut short after being beaten to pole position by Alexander Sims - missing out on the three precious points on offer.
 
Vergne kept di Grassi and Evans in his vision and calmly controlled his championship destiny by negotiating his way to ninth nearing the end of the race. Although it was settled shortly before the finish and quickly became a formality as di Grassi and Evans came to blows and ended in the barriers only four corners from the chequered flag.
 
Taking two places on the final lap, Vergne vaulted further up the field to seventh and crossed the line to confirm his place in the history books as the first double champion and the first driver to successfully defend his title.
 
Frijns fended off Sims and Buemi to finish in the points for the first time since winning on the streets of Paris back in April. The result moved Frijns to fourth in the standings and marks Sims first podium finish in Formula E.
 
It’s time to celebrate, but the countdown has started for the new season, with the ABB FIA Formula E Championship picking-up again in Ad Diriyah on November 22 & 23.
 
For more analysis and to read the full race report, visit - www.FIAFormulaE.com
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