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Herta scrambles to first win of season

Associated Press

Bryan Herta no longer has reason to feel left out.

The Andretti Green Racing driver became the fourth and final member of his team to win a IndyCar series race this season, capturing Sunday’s Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

Herta held off three drivers in a scramble to the finish, beating teammate Dan Wheldon by less than a car length on the wide, 2-mile oval for his first victory since 2003.

“It was frustrating, in a way,” Herta said of the victory drought. “As much as I wanted to win, though, those guys kept me really up. They said, ‘Bryan, you’ll get one soon, and it’ll be a big party when you do.’ “

Herta finished with an average speed of 167.197 mph, with Wheldon, the series points leader, second. Tomas Scheckter was third, followed by Tony Kanaan and Sam Hornish Jr.

Wheldon leads Andretti Green drivers with four wins in the season’s first 11 races. Teammates Kanaan, Dario Franchitti, and now Herta, have one.

Rookie Danica Patrick, who had performed well on large ovals all season, struggled. She finished 20th after blowing an engine on the 164th lap.

Champ Car

Sebastien Bourdais drove an almost perfect race on an imperfect track, pulling away at the end to win the San Jose (Calif.) Grand Prix.

“I think I was in the preferred position, but it was not an easy day,” said Bourdais, who started from the pole and led 63 of the 93 laps on the way to a dominating victory.

The combination of a washboard-like track and looming concrete walls on the narrow downtown street circuit took out half the 18-car field during the 75-minute, timed race. But Bourdais, the reigning Champ Car World Series champion, managed to avoid the pitfalls and came away with his second win in a row and third of the season.

Paul Tracy, trailing Bourdais in the season standings, did everything he could to catch the 26-year-old Frenchman, but he came up 3.724-seconds – nearly the entire pit straightaway – short as Bourdais sped up late in the race, turning the fastest laps of the day.

“He only made one mistake in the hairpin and we weren’t close enough to take advantage,” said Tracy, who slipped from 22 to 28 points behind Bourdais with six races to go in the championship battle.

Oriol Servia, Bourdais’ Newman/Haas Racing teammate, was third, followed by Justin Wilson, Mario Dominguez and rookies Timo Glock, Ronnie Bremer and Bjorn Wirdheim.

•Katherine Legge is becoming a real force in the Toyota Atlantic Series.

The only woman driving in Champ Car’s top developmental series pulled off a difficult pass for the lead and went on to win in the streets of downtown San Jose, her second straight win and third of the season.

The win also boosted the 25-year-old Englishwoman from fifth to second in the season standings, trailing Charles Zwolsman by 35 points after nine of 12 races.

Formula One

Kimi Raikkonen blew away the field at the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest, Hungary, winning by 35.5 seconds for his fourth victory of the season.

Pole-sitter Michael Schumacher finished a distant second, with his brother, Ralf Schumacher, taking third.

Raikkonen’s sixth career victory gave him 61 points this season, second to Formula One points leader Fernando Alonso.

Alonso finished out of the points, but still holds a commanding lead with 87 points. He was forced into the pits after the first lap and finished 11th.

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