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Roger Diez: Rossi breaks streak in dominating fashion


Roger Diez

Last weekend’s Indy doubleheader provided exciting racing for the NTT IndyCar series as well as the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity series. On July 30 Alexander Rossi broke a 39-race losing streak taking the Gallagher Grand Prix victory in convincing fashion while leading 44 of the 85 laps . Christian Lundgaard’s second place was the best finish of the season for the Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan team, while the Team Penske trio of Will Power, Scott McLaughlin, and Josef Newgarden rounded out the top five.
Also on July 30, AJ Allmendinger once again proved his road-racing prowess in the Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard for the Xfinity cars, leading 42 of the 62 laps. Allmendinger is at the top of the Xfinity standings with three wins and 789 points with four-time winner Ty Gibbs just 30 points behind.
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Sunday’s Verizon 200 at the Brickyard for the NASCAR Cup series went to Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick, but not without controversy. Reddick had to fight for the win after an overtime restart when Ross Chastain blew through turn one and came back on the access road to challenge Reddick for the lead. Tyler prevailed and NASCAR levied a 30-second penalty on Ross for his questionable track re-entry, dropping him to 27th.
Allmendinger collapsed after the Sunday Cup race, overheated from a non-functioning cool suit and dehydration. Anybody who says race car drivers aren’t athletes should try it sometime.
With just four more races to go in the regular season and 14 individual winners, there is still the chance that the lowest-scoring winner or two might not make the playoffs.
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After problems in qualifying, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen looked unlikely to win the Hungarian Grand Prix last Sunday. But Ferrari self-destructed with poor strategy calls and slow pit stops. Their miscues handed the race to Verstappen with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finishing second and third, the second double podium finish in a row for Mercedes.
The series is now dark for their traditional summer break, returning to action on Aug. 28 at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium. Can Mercedes continue their improvement in car performance? Can Ferrari get their act together and capitalize on arguably the strongest car on the grid? Will Max win his first legitimate championship? All those questions and others will be answered starting at the end of the month.
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This weekend the NASCAR Cup is in Michigan for the Firekeepers Casino 400. This could be the best chance for a 15th different winner, as Ryan Blaney won there last year, and Kevin Harvick has five Michigan wins including four of the last six races. Looking to add to their 2022 win totals are Kyle Larson and Joey Logano with three Michigan wins apiece.
The Xfinity series races Saturday, airing at 12:30 pm with the Cup race at noon Sunday, both on the USA Network.
The NTT IndyCar series takes to the streets of Nashville on Saturday for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix. Marcus Ericsson won last year’s inaugural event. With only four races remaining in the 2022 season, there are still several drivers in the hunt for the championship . Will Power leads the pack with 431 points, nine ahead of Indy 500 winner Ericsson. Josef Newgarden has 399, Scott Dixon 393, Pato O’Ward 385, and 2021 champion Alex Palou 379. With over 200 points on offer for winners of the remaining races, the championship is far from settled. Qualifying airs on Peacock on Saturday at 1:30 pm with the race Sunday at noon on NBC.
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Finally, with the recently announced retirement of Sebastian Vettel from the Formula 1, Aston Martin has wasted no time in snapping up the services of two-time champion Fernando Alonso. Aston-Martin has signed the Spaniard to a multi-year contract beginning in 2023 .

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