Race Weekend Central

Five Points to Ponder: Five Winners, Fontana In The Chase And The Real Deal

ONE: Five Winners in Five Weeks So that’s five winners in five weeks, with Kyle Busch joining Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards among those locked into the Chase — or so goes the conventional wisdom. But there’s a bit of trouble brewing with that philosophy. History had shown us that …

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Happiness Is… FOX, F1, California, and Points

This racing season is off to a fantastic start. Really. Two 12-hour races in Cup. The last three Nationwide races were won by Cup drivers. The Truck Series… wait, do they still race? Even Formula One is rolling hot with derision over its new six-cylinder engine and the lack of noise it produces. And INDYCAR hasn’t even …

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Pace Laps: NASCAR’s Miracle Moment, Cautions Breed Controversy And “21”

_Did you miss an event during this busy week in racing? How about a late-night press release, an important sponsorship rumor, or a juicy piece of news? If you did, you’ve come to the right place! Each week, The Frontstretch will break down the racing, series by series, to bring you the biggest stories that you need to watch going forward for the week ahead. Let our experts help you get up to speed, no matter what series you might have missed, all in this edition of Pace Laps!_

IndyCar Recap: Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300

*In A Nutshell:* With varying pit strategies, and after a number of wrecks, the final 20 laps came down to a battle between Takuma Sato, Josef Newgarden, and James Hinchcliffe. Sato held strong, with a few questionable moves that seemed like blocks, but he could not gap those behind him and ultimately fell victim to Hinchcliffe’s better car during the final lap. Hinchcliffe earned his second win of the year (and his career) while Sato took second, Marco Andretti third, Oriol Servia fourth, and Newgarden faded to fifth.

IndyCar In-Depth: Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300

*What’s News?*

Longtime series participants Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have announced the No. 22 car driven by Oriol Servia will continue to run through the Indianapolis 500; then, the team will be shutting down with hopes of regrouping for a return in 2014. Servia finished sixth in Long Beach and will be running in Sao Paulo this weekend; however, his plans beyond this month are unknown. DRR formed a strategic alliance with Panther Racing prior to the Indy 500 last season and notes that Panther’s operations will be unaffected by this decision.

Open Wheel Wednesday: Score One For The Little Guys … Or Two Or Three

Takuma Sato’s win last week in Long Beach was a real feel good story for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series. A.J. Foyt’s long-struggling team hadn’t won a race since July of 2002, when the team went to Victory Lane with Brazilian driver Airton Dare at Kansas Speedway. For the last road / street course victory for the operation, you have to go all the way back to October of 1978, when Foyt himself won at Silverstone in England. It was also the first IndyCar Series win ever for a Japanese driver.

Before I go any further, those are all wonderful things and I don’t mean to decrease the significance of any of them in the least. It really was a win that was a long time coming, for both team and driver and it was great to see. (Although I really wish A.J. had been present for the moment; instead, he was at home preparing for back surgery.) It was a David slew Goliath kind of day.

Inside The IndyCar Series: Long Beach Race Recap

*In A Nutshell:* Takuma Sato finally broke through and earned his maiden IndyCar win. Sato ran up front for much of the day and only was truly challenged by Graham Rahal towards the race’s conclusion, marking the first triumph for the Japanese driver for AJ Foyt Racing. Sato cruised to the line over Rahal, with Justin Wilson, Dario Franchitti, and JR Hildebrand rounding out the top 5.

*Key Moment:* Late in the race, Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal had checked out on the field and appeared primed to duel to the finish. However, Rahal was short on fuel and was thus forced to save until the end. Sato capitalized on this shortcoming and drove away with ease down the stretch.

IndyCar In Depth: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Preview

After beginning the season on the East Coast, with races at St. Petersburg and Barber Motorsports Park, the IndyCar Series jaunts West to the familiar Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This event is the longest tenured “street” race in the United States, having begun in 1975. (For more information on its history, “go here).”:https://frontstretch.com/tmontgomery/42832/ The race is on April 21, at 4 ET, and can be found on the NBC Sports Network.

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