Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Conway wins Detroit IndyCar race

DETROIT — Mike Conway went from watching to winning IndyCar events in a week. And that came less than a year after he backed out of an oval race and wondered when he'd get another shot.

"Amazing," he said.


The British driver dominated the first of two weekend races at the Detroit Grand Prix, finishing nearly 13 seconds ahead of defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay in Saturday's Dual in Detroit 1.

"What a weekend for Conway to show up" Hunter-Reay said.

Conway's only other IndyCar win was in 2011 at Long Beach, Calif.

Team owner Dale Coyne picked Conway to drive one of his two cars this weekend — after Conway helped tend his father's garden in England during the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday — and wasted no time offering him another opportunity.

"You want to go to Toronto now?" Coyne asked Conway after the race.

Yes he does, because the Toronto event in July — also a doubleheader — suits Conway's road-racing preference.

Conway's teammate, Justin Wilson, led three laps and finished third, giving Coyne two drivers on the podium.

Conway sat out last September's season finale at Fontana, deciding he's uncomfortable racing on ovals. He had serious leg and back injuries after a 2010 crash at Indianapolis and wrecked there again in 2012.

In his only other IndyCar race since, he finished 25th this year at Long Beach for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Conway, 29, also earned the pole for today's Duel in Detroit 2 at 108.326 mph. James Jakes starts second with Will Power third.

Also, IndyCar rescinded the $10,000 fines levied against Graham Rahal and Jakes from the Indianapolis 500.

Logano defeats old teammates: Joey Logano savors the times he led Joe Gibbs Racing to Victory Lane. Turns out, he enjoys beating JGR so much more.

Logano changed his team, but not the result, for his third straight Dover victory in the Nationwide series.

Unlike the previous two, Logano won this one for Penske Racing. He held off JGR drivers Brian Vickers, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch for the checkered flag.

"I wanted to beat them really bad," Logano said.

Busch, who won Friday's trucks race, led 72 of 200 laps in the 5-Hour Energy 200 at the "Monster Mile". But he was 10th off the final restart, couldn't get to the front of the field and finished fifth.

Barrier issue: After a rattling crash into the wall last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday, veteran Sprint Cup driver Jeff Gordon is questioning why NASCAR tracks don't standardize SAFER-barrier technology.

"I had a rough week. I didn't quite understand the pain I was feeling that night until I went back and watched the video and realized the angle I hit, as well as the fact that there was no SAFER barrier," Gordon said Friday. "That blew my mind that there wasn't one.

"Certainly I said something and when I get the opportunity, I'll talk to others as well about it."

During a media appearance last week in Charlotte, NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said, "When we need to put additional SAFER barriers around, we will do it," but stopped short of setting a standard.

NHRA: Clay Millican earned his first career Top Fuel No. 1 qualifying position at the Summernationals in Englishtown, N.J., with a run of 3.792 seconds at 321.27 mph. Matt Hagan topped the Funny Car field, Mike Edwards qualified first in Pro Stock, and Steve Johnson led Pro Stock Motorcycle heading into today's eliminations.


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