Simon Pagenaud didn’t take the lead for good until the 85th of 90 laps when Conor Daly pitted for fuel, but the Frenchman really won the race Sunday on a restart on Lap 66.
Pagenaud outraced Team Penske teammate Will Power to move ahead of him for good, and ended up beating the Australian by 4.16 seconds in the Honda Indy 200 in Lexington, Ohio.
The pair nearly came together on the last of the 13 turns on the 2.2-mile at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during after the race went back to green, but both escaped.
“We’re battling for a race, we’re battling for a championship,” Pagenaud said.
Power said he was cognizant that he was going against a teammate.
“In the last turn if I hadn’t backed off we would have crashed,” he said. “At that point I knew it was a teammate. (Team owner Roger Penske) would have been pretty mad if we had taken each other out.”
Pagenaud took the lead at the end when Daly gave up a 10.5-second advantage over Pagenaud to make a fuel stop. Even with a 4.8-second stop, Daly fell to eighth and ended up sixth.
Carlos Munoz was third and 2015 race winner Graham Rahal was fourth, 7.01 seconds.
A fourth victory of the season and the eighth of his IndyCar career increased Pagenaud’s series points lead to 58 over Power. Pagenaud knew his advantage would have been down to 38 if Power had won, so he took a chance on the restart.
“I didn’t have much to lose,” Pagenaud said. “It was my time.”
Power blamed himself for letting Pagenaud pass him.
“I just blew it,” Power said. “I needed to do a much better job on that restart. It was not the greatest. I was quite slow. I put myself in the position to allow him to have a shot. When you have a shot, of course, you’re going to go for it.”
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton surged into the lead at the start of the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim and held on to win the last race before the summer break and increase his championship lead.
Hamilton, second on the grid, was faster off the mark than teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg, who started from pole but dropped to fourth before the first corner. Hamilton, a three-time Formula One champion who has won the title the last two seasons, now takes a 19-point lead over Rosberg into the four-week break.
Hamilton has won six of the past seven races and has 49 career victories.
Daniel Ricciardo was second, ahead of Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, the first time these two Red Bull drivers shared the podium. Red Bull pushed past Ferrari into second place in the constructors’ standings.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, was been postponed until Monday because of rain.
The race will run at 8 a.m. PDT. Martin Truex Jr. is on the pole and Kurt Busch tries to sweep Pocono in the track’s second Monday race of the season.
Rain also delayed the June Pocono race a day. NASCAR said this was the first time a track had two rain-postponed races in the same season.
John Force raced to his second consecutive Funny Car victory Sunday, beating Ron Capps in the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals in California.
The 67-year-old Force pushed his record Funny Car victory total to 145. He powered his Chevy Camaro to a 3.948-second run at 324.59 mph, while Capps had a 3.960 at 320.13.
J.R. Todd won in Top Fuel, Greg Anderson in Pro Stock, and LE Tonglet in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
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