IndyCar penalizes Hunter-Reay for conduct
Ryan Hunter-Reay’s bid to win a fourth consecutive IndyCar Series race got off to a rough start in Edmonton, Alberta.
The series points leader was penalized in Friday’s first practice session – he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct – for running James Jakes wide on the course. Later, IndyCar said he’ll be dropped 10 spots on the starting grid because his Andretti Autosport team changed his engine after the July 8 race at Toronto.
“It was a rough day,” Hunter-Reay said, adding Jakes “was off the pace on the racing line.”
Jakes had slowed going into Turn 12 in front of Hunter-Reay, and Hunter-Reay responded by moving his car over and forcing Jakes off the track. IndyCar initially said Hunter-Reay flashed an obscene gesture at Jakes, but replays showed he just waved his hand at the driver.
“I talked to him since. No big deal. It’s all sorted out. No problem at all,” Hunter-Reay said. “When you’re running slower, let’s say you blew your corner and you’re kind of taking your time on the way into the pits, you’re supposed to move out of the way for the guys on the hot lap.”
Hunter-Reay goes into Sunday’s race with a 34-point lead over Will Power in the standings. His streak of three consecutive wins pushed him to the top of the standings, and he’s the first American driver to lead the points since Sam Hornish Jr. in 2006.
Meanwhile, IndyCar said Scott Dixon, who is fourth in the standings, and Simona de Silvestro will also be penalized 10 spots on the starting grid because both arrived in Edmonton with their sixth different engine.
Bodine closes in on career milestone
Todd Bodine will make a milestone start in tonight’s Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.
The event will be the 200th for Bodine, and it will make him the only driver with at least 200 starts in all three of NASCAR’s national series.
“You get into this sport because you love it, want to go in circles, win races and have fun, and here we are 21 years later with all these starts, and a lot of wins, good times and great friends,” the 48-year-old Bodine said. “It seems just like yesterday I was running my first race at Stafford Springs.”
Schumacher crashes in practice
Michael Schumacher crashed near the end of a wet second practice for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim and was unhurt as he walked from his damaged Mercedes.
Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela, winner of the Spanish GP, ended with the fastest time in his Williams.
Schumacher, in the third and possibly last season of his comeback, lost control on bend 12, spun out and hit the tire barrier, ripping off the rear of his car and damaging the left side.
“I simply slid off track because I lost a little concentration. We were talking on the radio and I was altering some settings at the same time,” Schumacher said.
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