July 21, 2014 in Sports

Auto Racing: Sebastien Bourdais and Mike Conway win in IndyCar doubleheader

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IndyCar ran two races in Toronto on Sunday, where rain wreaked havoc on both the schedule and driver strategy.

The series had planned to run one race Saturday until rain washed it out.

It instead began Sunday morning, roughly five hours before the start of the second race, and was won by Sebastien Bourdais. He broke a 52-race losing streak dating to 2007 in claiming a dominating win on the dry street course at Exhibition Place.

But the rain returned for the second race, and IndyCar officials moved the start up 10 minutes in an attempt to run as much as possible in dry conditions. The sky eventually did open, the track became slick and drivers darted to pit road for rain tires.

When the track began to dry, Mike Conway gambled and made an early stop to remove his rain tires. A caution minutes later sent the bulk of the field to pit road to change their tires, and Conway shot up the leaderboard.

Conway was fifth on the restart, but his dry tires were far superior to the drivers still racing on rain tires, and he quickly moved through the field and into the lead. The race, which had been scheduled to run 65 laps or 80 minutes, whichever came first, then became a timed race.

A multicar accident stopped the clock for a cleanup with 4 minutes, 32 seconds remaining, and set up one final restart. Conway pulled away on the restart and easily held off Tony Kanaan.

“It was really difficult conditions and we were kind of struggling for a bit,” Conway said. “As soon as I saw the path and a dry line, I knew it was time to come in (for dry tires). It was great from there and we just kind of took off and just controlled the race.”

It was the second win of the season for Conway, who walked away from IndyCar at the end of 2012 season because he no longer wanted to race on ovals. He was hired this year to split the seat with driver/owner Ed Carpenter, who was willing to give up his car on road and street courses.

NHRA

J.R. Todd earned his first Top Fuel win of the season and first since 2008 by racing to victory at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado.

Todd outran Brittany Force with a pass of 3.878 seconds at 317.87 mph to the losing pass of Force at 3.968 at 297.35. This is the second win at Bandimere Speedway for Todd, who claimed his first career NHRA Drag Racing Series win at the facility in 2006.

Formula One

Nico Rosberg won the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim, Germany, to stretch his lead in the Formula One drivers’ championship over Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who finished third after starting 20th.

Rosberg led throughout to become the first German to triumph at Hockenheim since Michael Schumacher won in 2006.

Hamilton could not pass Valtteri Bottas in the closing laps and the Finn took second to give Williams its 300th F1 podium finish.


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