Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

IndyCar: Ryan Hunter-Reay takes wet win in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Ryan Hunter-Reay coasted to his second straight victory at Barber Motorsports Park when Sunday's rain-shortened IndyCar race finished under caution.

A full-course caution came out for the final seven minutes of the timed race after rookie Mikhail Aleshin lost control and went off the track. That left Hunter-Reay unchallenged, with Andretti Autosport teammate Marco Andretti second in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Scott Dixon was third, followed by Simon Pagenaud and pole-sitter Will Power, a two-time winner at Barber who led early until sliding off the track under wet conditions.\

"He was out there cutting the grass," Hunter-Reay said. "I had to take advantage of that. It was so easy to do that today. I almost lost this race three times."

There was some slipping and sliding after the field switched from the wet tires, with several drivers leaving the track.

"That was horrible for everybody," Hunter-Reay said. "It was like an ice-skating rink."

Dixon said running a timed race was "annoying" and Andretti said it removed some strategy. The series made the decision after rain delayed the start for more than two hours.

Aleshin walked back to pit road as the rest of the field finished. Earlier, St. Petersburg resident Sebastien Bourdais had spun the Russian from behind, leaving him stalled. Bourdais received a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact.

NASCAR fallout: A shoving match turned into more after Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Richmond, when Marcos Ambrose punched Casey Mears in the face in an incident captured on video. "We're looking at the video," NASCAR's vice president of competition Robin Pemberton told reporters afterward of the punch. "It doesn't seem to be much. We'll take a look (today) and Tuesday."

NHRA: Erica Enders-Stevens earned her second Pro Stock victory this season at the SpringNationals in Houston, beating Allen Johnson in the final with a run of 6.594 seconds at 210.60 mph at her hometown track. It was the 99th victory by a woman in a major NHRA series. Antron Brown won in Top Fuel, and Robert Hight topped Funny Car.

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