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  • May 9, 2024
  • 68°

Auto Racing

Former Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell says he will not return to Front Row Motorsports after this season. The 39-year-old has been with Front Row Motorsports since 2018. McDowell won the Daytona 500 in 2021 and last year’s Cup race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course driving the No. 34 Ford for Front Row. He said he’s not retiring and is looking for a new seat in the Cup Series.

Kyle Larson's points lead in NASCAR's Cup Series is growing. Larson won at Kansas, his second victory of the season, and now leads Martin Truex Jr. by 29 points and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott by 55 as all three national series head to Darlington. Larson is the third multiple race winner this season. Landon Norris did something he'd not done in his first 109 Formula One races: win. His victory at Miami ended the dominance of Max Verstappen in Florida, where he'd won the previous two races. The IndyCar series begins a three-week stay in Indianapolis with a road race Saturday.

Roger Penske took tough action on his race team by suspending two senior leaders and two engineers ahead of the Indianapolis 500 as punishment for a cheating scandal that has engulfed Team Penske. The issue involves Josef Newgarden’s illegal use of the push-to-pass system in his March 10 season-opening victory at St. Petersburg. The P2P software allows drivers to hit a button on their steering wheel that gives a horsepower boost as the driver is attempting to pass another car. A look at what happened and how IndyCar will handle it moving forward.

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Roger Penske has suspended the president of Team Penske and three others for two races for their roles in the cheating scandal that has rocked IndyCar. Tim Cindric oversees Team Penske’s operations and is the strategist for Indy 500 defending champion Josef Newgarden. The push-to-pass scandal dates to the season-opener in March, though the illegal software used by three Team Penske cars wasn't discovered until last month. The suspensions include this week’s road race at Indianapolis and the Indianapolis 500 at the end of the month.

Lando Norris scored his first career F1 win at the Miami Grand Prix and McLaren this year now has scored wins in F1, Formula E and IndyCar. Now begins the most important part of the IndyCar season — the next three weekends are spent at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the buildup to the May 26 Indianapolis 500. McLaren has to be feeling some pressure after a winless 2023 season and somewhat disastrous Indy 500 after it had showed so much early promise. But the entire McLaren organization is intertwined and the F1 victory is a boost at the perfect time of the season.

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Kyle Larson beat Chris Buescher to the line at Kansas Speedway on Sunday in the closest finish in NASCAR history. The official winning margin for the Cup Series race Sunday was a thousandth of a second. A caution flag forced a green-white-checkered finish, and Larson pulled behind Buescher on the backstretch of the final lap, then came around him through the final corner. The two cars banged doors as they headed for the stripe. Martin Truex Jr. finished fourth and Denny Hamlin, who had the lead on the final restart, faded back to fifth. The win was Larson's second of the season.

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Lando Norris needed 110 starts and a mistake by Max Verstappen to earn his first ever Formula 1 race and end Verstappen’s dominance at the Miami Grand Prix. Verstappen started from the pole and was out front when he hit a chicane and knocked a cone out of place on the circuit. It forced the three-time reigning F1 champion to pit and gave Norris the lead. The 24-year-old driver for McLaren then controlled the race to give the organization its first win since a Daniel Ricciardo victory in 2021. It also made him the second British driver in F1 history to be feted on the podium by “God Save the King.”

Christopher Bell put an end to a run of misfortune by qualifying on the pole for the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. Bell turned a lap of 183.107 mph in his No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing, putting him on the front row alongside Ross Chastain for Sunday’s race. Noah Gragson and Kyle Larson will start a row behind them, while Kyle Busch qualified fifth. Bell has dealt with tire problems, spins in qualifying and crashes during races in recent weeks. But he was nearly perfect while whipping around Kansas Speedway, earning his third pole in his last five Cup Series visits to the track.

Kyle Larson's busy month of May is getting going at Kansas Speedway. He will be driving his No. 5 for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday. That comes after two nights driving his sprint car at nearby Lakeside Speedway. But the big weekend will be Memorial Day weekend, when he tries to pull off “the double” by finishing every lap of the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Tony Stewart remains the only drive to pull off the feat. Larson was second to Denny Hamlin in the spring race at Kansas last year. He also was second to Hamlin last week at Dover.

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