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Wilson tops Rahal at IndyCar’s Firestone 550

SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2012

Justin Wilson was the surprise winner of IndyCar’s Firestone 550 Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where Graham Rahal wrecked while leading a topsy-turvy race that took out several contenders.

Rahal took control of the race with a strong pass of Ryan Briscoe 28 laps from the finish. He had pulled away from the field and seemed headed to his first victory since 2008, but his car drifted high into the wall as he exited the fourth turn.

Rahal bounced back onto the track and kept going, albeit slower, and Wilson charged past him with two laps remaining. The Englishman pulled away from Rahal to snap a 46-race winless streak, dating to Watkins Glen in 2009.

“That’s just fantastic,” Wilson said. “I just can’t believe we managed to pull this off.”

A disappointed Rahal settled for second, his best finish of the season and best finish at Texas. Honda drivers finished first and second.

“I just messed up, honestly. There’s not much else to say,” Rahal said. “I didn’t expect it honestly.”

Briscoe was third for Chevrolet.

Sprint Cup

Thanks to a repave that led to blistering speeds, Pocono Raceway’s track record was topped 36 times in Long Pond, Pa.

Joey Logano had the fastest speed of them all.

Logano turned a lap of 179.598 mph to set the track record during qualifying for today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono. Logano won his first pole of the season and fourth in 125 career Sprint Cup starts.

He drove the No. 20 Toyota around the 2 1/2-mile track in 50.112 seconds.

“It’s cool to get a pole here,” Logano said. “A new track record, too.”

Logano went out 18th out of 44 cars and waited for about 45 minutes until the final qualifying lap was turned and he could celebrate. Kasey Kahne held the record of 172.533 mph set on June 11, 2004. Consider this: Kahne starts 10th today and went 177.823 mph.

Carl Edwards joins Logano on the front row for the 400-mile race. Paul Menard, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Formula One

Sebastian Vettel earned the pole position for Formula One’s Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. It’s the second straight year Vettel had the fastest qualifying time at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Lewis Hamilton also will be in the front row for today’s race on the 2.71-mile course.

Fernando Alonso was third.


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