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‘Motor Sports’ Articles

Hunter-Reay wins Long Beach IndyCar race; Power has gear mishap

compiled by staff, wire and IRL reports

Will Power was his usual self driving along as the pole sitter early in the race and tried to shift out of first gear to round a corner when the gear got stuck and he had to go to the pits. That mishap gave the lead to eventual winner Ryan Hunter-Reay and Justin Wilson room to take control of the race.

Ryan Hunter-Reay is the 2010 winner of the Grand Prix of Long Beach race. Hunter-Reay was the first American to win an IndyCar race at Long Beach since team owner Micheal  Andretti did in 2002.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (IRL)

Defending champion Dario Franchitti was never a factor, starting and finishing 12th.

Will Power’s consolation is that he still has the points lead headed into the oval portion of the IndyCar season, 42 points ahead of Helio Castroneves after finishing third at  Long Beach.

The hottest driver on the circuit, Power has yet to finish out of the top 5 this season, winning the opening two races in Brazil and Florida, finishing fourth at Alabama. The Australian also has a streak of three straight poles, one off the IRL record. The next two races are Kansas on May 1 and the Indianapolis 500 later in the Month.

NASCAR will move doubleheader to Monday at Texas Motor Speedway

compiled from staff and wire reports

This week’s NASCAR races have been held up by the elements in Texas.

Rain on Saturday wiped out the Nationwide race. It had been rescheduled for Sunday night after the Cup race and will be run Monday.

Persistent wet weather Sunday forced the postponement of the Sprint Cup race as well. The race was called about 75 minutes after its start.

Texas Motor Speedway (tms)

If both races are run Monday, that will mean that 15 drivers face the potential of 801 miles behind the wheel, 501 miles in the Cup race and 300 in the Nationwide race.

The last time there were 800 miles of NASCAR racing on one day was October 11, 2003, in Charlotte, North Carolina, when both Cup and Nationwide races were run. Jamie McMurray and Michael Waltrip both ran all 534 laps that day, and Kevin Harvick ran 533.

NASCAR RACE #8:TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY on Sunday April 18

This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup series goes to the Dallas suburb of Ft. Worth and the Samsung Mobile 500 on Fox. The race will start at 1 p.m. The race will go 334 laps or 501 miles.

The track has several characteristics. A fast 1.5-mile track made faster by improvements to the turns and the asphalt surface since its opening in 1997.

With a 138,122 seating capacity, Texas Motor Speedway is the largest sports facility in the state of Texas.

The Texas Motor Speedway had 12 different winners in its first 12 Cup races and did have a multiple winner until Jeff Burton, winner of the first race in 1997, won the spring race in 2007.

Texas Motor Speedway (file)

In recapping the 2009 Samsung 500, Jeff Gordon ended a 47-race winless streak, leading 105 laps to edge teammate Jimmie Johnson. Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth rounded ou the top five. Carl Edwards seemed poised to win, but a dropped lug nut on his final pit stop relegated him to 10th.

Kasey Kahne to drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012

compiled from staff and wire reports

Kasey Kahne has completed a deal to drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012 but still needs to iron out his driving plans for next season.

Most notably, it’s not clear where Kahne will drive in 2011. HMS is currently at NASCAR’s four-car limit, and Kahne is working out a deal to succeed Mark Martin in the number 5 car in 2012. Martin has one more season left on an extension he signed last year, and owner Rick Hendrick plans to honor that deal.

Kahne’s deal with Hendrick is done, but he still must figure out where he’ll race in 2011. Among his options are a potential ride with Stewart-Haas Racing, which has an alliance with Hendrick, another Chevrolet team, or, should Martin opt out of the final year of his contract, Kahne could get to drive the number 5 car early.

Kasey Kahne (nascar)

Although he has 11 career wins and two berths in the Chase for the Cup championship, Kahne has not felt he’s had the equipment to contend for a title. He was openly vocal and critical last season, when he overcame a hectic merger between Gillett-Everham Racing and RPM and severe financial issues inside the organization to win two races and finish 10th in the Chase.

Indy Grand Prix of Alabama goes to Helio Castroneves

compiled from staff, wire and IndyCar reports

“Spiderman” as Helio Castroneves is called because of his climbing of fences at the race track after a win, won the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on Sunday in Birmingham after carefully conserving fuel and then held off Scott dixon after a caution with two laps to go.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner took over in the stretch run when Marco Andretti headed to pit road with seven laps to go.

Helio beat Dixon by over half a second and nobody else was closer than 7 seconds to the lead, making it a two-man chase for the flag at the end. He didn’t allow any openings for Scott Dixon to pass him on the narrow race track that offers few easy if any ways to pass and makes fuel strategy as important as any daring andpassing on-track maneuvers.

Helio Castroneves (IRL)

Dario Franchitti finished third. Will Power, who won the first two races and was dominant during qualifying and practices, had to settle for fourth, still clinging to a comfortable points lead. Castroneves earned 50 points to move into second place place, ahead of Franchitti, Justin Wilson and Scott Dixon.

Everybody’s favorite driver, Danica Patrick continued to struggle, starting 19th and finished 19th.

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