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Thursday, October 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Auto notes: Castroneves leads way in Phoenix

Associated Press

IndyCar’s return to the desert got off to a blazing start.

Helio Castroneves had the fastest qualifying lap during a day of records in IndyCar’s return to Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona, on Friday.

Castroneves had the final of six track-record runs on the mile oval, turning a lap at 192.324 mph for a two-lap elapsed time of 38.2604 seconds.

“It’s an honor to be breaking the record and show that the cars are fast,” Castroneves said.

The high speeds and split-second decisions that come with them benefited the older, more experienced drivers during qualifying.

Tony Kanaan will start on the front row with Castroneves in Saturday night’s 250-mile race.

Juan Pablo Montoya, the winner in the season opener at St. Petersburg, qualified third after originally breaking the track record on both his qualifying runs.

Charlie Kimball qualified fourth, Ed Carpenter fifth and Scott Dixon sixth.

Sprint Cup

Joey Logano won the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville (Virginia) Speedway.

It is the third consecutive pole for Logano on the smallest and oldest track in the premier series. He’s the first driver to do that on the 0.526-mile oval since Jeff Gordon won three in a row in 2003-04.

Logano, the fastest in all three rounds of qualifying, barely edged Kasey Kahne with a speed of 97.043 mph, while Kahne’s best lap was at 97.033 mph.

Formula One

Nico Rosberg kept the upper hand on his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by setting the fastest time in Friday’s practice sessions for the Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir, as Formula One’s top team dominated again.

Rosberg, who won the season-opening race in Australia and the final three races of last season, set a best time of 1 minute, 31.001 seconds at the Sakhir circuit, a quarter of a second better than Hamilton.

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Fall means the onset of the cold and flu season.