Archive for September 16th, 2017

Points Leader Newgarden Wins Sonoma Pole with Record Lap

SONOMA, California (Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017) – Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Josef Newgarden withstood constant pressure from his nearest championship competitors, setting a track record to win the Verizon P1 Award in GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma qualifying.

Newgarden earned his first pole of the season and second of his six-year career with a scintillating last lap of 1 minute, 15.5205 seconds (113.691 mph) on Sonoma Raceway’s 2.385-mile, 12-turn permanent road course. The championship bonus point Newgarden collected for winning the pole stretched his advantage to four points over Scott Dixon heading into Sunday’s season finale that offers double race points.

GOPRO GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA: Qualifying results

The pole-winning lap from Newgarden in the No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet edged teammate Will Power for qualifying honors. It was the 11th pole position won by a Team Penske driver this season and No. 256 in the team’s Indy car history.

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Solomito Scores Crucial Win at Riverhead

Fourth Win of 2017 Keeps Him in Whelen Modified Title Hunt

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Timmy Solomito needed a win to keep pace in the frantic NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship race. He got it at his home track.

The 25-year-old from Islip, New York, powered by Doug Coby with four laps left to take the Miller Lite 200 checkered flag Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway.

Solomito, dominant for the first two-thirds of the event in the No. 16 Starrett Racing Ford, was outmaneuvered by Coby in lap traffic for the lead on Lap 155. The four-time tour titlists Coby was poised for his first career win at Riverhead, but Solomito recaptured the lead on the frontstretch on Lap 196 and drove to the checkers.

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Champion Christopher Passes Away

Connecticut Driver Involved In Plane Crash

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR champion Ted Christopher passed away Saturday after being involved in a plane crash in Connecticut. He was 59.

Christopher is one of two drivers to win the NASCAR Whelen All-Amercian Series national title and a touring series championship. The Plainville, Connecticut, driver won the short-track national title in 2001 and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour crown in 2008. He was the winningest driver at a pair of Connecticut’s historic tracks: Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

He was one of two people on board a plane that went down in Guilford, Connecticut, Saturday afternoon. The crash claimed the life of both.
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Statement from NHMS GM David McGrath on the Passing of Ted Christopher

Statement from David McGrath, Executive Vice President and General Manager at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, on Ted Christopher, who died today in a plane crash in Guilford, Conn.:
“The short track community is one of the tightest-knit groups in motorsports, and today it lost one of its most passionate, talented and well-respected members. Ted Christopher was the gold standard when it came to short track racing, specifically the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. With 10 career victories, Teddy is one of New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s most prolific drivers. I know that I can speak for everyone here, as well as our entire Speedway Motorsports, Inc. family, when I say that while Teddy may be gone, his legacy will carry on for generations to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and fellow competitors at this very difficult time.”

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“What They’re Saying” from qualifying at GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet): “That was really close. I can’t be unhappy with the DXC Technology Chevrolet. I thought we had as good a chance as any at the pole, but Josef (Newgarden) and Will (Power) were a little bit faster. Third is not a bad starting position at all. We’ll be right there if they make a mistake and right there to apply some pressure. We’ll continue to work on the car this evening and tomorrow morning in final practice, then put together our race strategy. We plan for it to be a great day for the No. 1 team, but expect it to be a great day for Team Penske.”

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I can’t say that I necessarily expected it, but it’s really great to get the No. 2 Hum by Verizon Chevy team a Verizon P1 Award. We’ve had a few chances at it this year, but for various reasons came up a little short. Honestly, I wasn’t sure we’d get this one, but we knew the car was fast and it was good to get it done. The track was really gripped up from the earlier race. It was a little slick at first, but after the first lap it was gripped up nicely. That was just part of the job. We need to come back tomorrow and complete the job.”

HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “The talent of our group is incredible. Great job on Josef Newgarden winning the pole. Our team is really strong and we work really well together. It’s really exciting for Team Penske that we will start in the front tomorrow. I’d rather Josef get the pole and we get the victory. For us with the No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet, we wish we had a little more speed during qualifying. We have a great spot up front, but wish we had a little more. It’s going to be quite a battle tomorrow with my teammates and Scott Dixon and we are ready for the challenge.”

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QUALIFYING: Solomito Right at Home

Earns Top Spot for Tonight’s Miller Lite 200

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Timmy Solomito kept his Riverhead Raceway roll going Saturday evening in qualifying for the Miller Lite 200.

Solomito piloted his No. 16 Starrett Racing Ford to a fast lap of 12.017 seconds around the Long Island quarter-mile for his sixth career Coors Light Pole Award. It marked his third at Riverhead, his home track.

Rookie Kyle Soper – who paced afternoon practice – laid down a lap of 12.154 and will start alongside Solomito in the front row for tonight’s tussle, slated to go green at 8 p.m.
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