Monday, August 20, 2018
Sports

Rain could falls on Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono

LONG POND, Pa. — Rain played a little havoc with NASCAR's schedule on Saturday at Pocono Raceway.

It could have a bigger effect today.

Rain is forecast for at the 21/2-mile track in the Pocono Mountains, about 100 miles north of Philadelphia.

The start for the Axalta 400 is set for 1 p.m., but rain is due in the morning, according to the forecast. Any delay of more than an hour could mean a shortened race, which is what happened in Saturday's Xfinity series event. A lot of rain could mean the race is pushed back to Monday because Pocono has no lights.

Questions about the weather are not the only ones that might affect strategy, pole-sitter Brad Keselowski said.

"This race always kind of unfolds being either strategy or a race where the restarts dictate who wins," Keselowski said Friday. "Those things come to mind and they are a little more of a crapshoot. It feels a little more like Talladega to me than it does a lot of our other racetracks. There are some things you control and a lot that you can't.

"That said, our approach for the weekend is always shifting and adjusting based on how the rules package flows and how our own team developments flow and Pocono always seems to line up where the first Pocono, we are a lot less competitive than the second Pocono for whatever reason. We are hoping we can maybe break that run for us. I guess we will see."

Kyle Larson won Saturday's Pocono Green 250 Xfinity series race at the track; he was leading when the race was red-flagged after 53 of a scheduled 100 laps because of rain.

"These rain races, a lot of it is luck," he said. "I haven't had a lot of luck this year, or my NASCAR career. Hopefully, the luck has turned and maybe we can start winning some Cup races, as well."

Bourdais wins IndyCar event in Detroit

DETROIT — St. Petersburg resident Sebastien Bourdais earned his first IndyCar victory this season, beating Conor Daly by 2.0401 seconds at the Duel in Detroit Race 1 at Belle Isle.

Bourdais led the final nine of 70 laps on the 2.35-mile street course after Daly made a pit stop and gave up the lead. Bourdais won for the 35th time in his IndyCar/Champ Car career, breaking a tie with Al Unser Jr. and tying Bobby Unser, Al's uncle, for sixth all time. He won't have to wait long; today's race is the second half of the doubleheader.

"It's like playing poker," Bourdais said. "You know what hand you have right now at the moment, but every bet you make is going to work or not work based on what's going to happen later on. You just have to make decisions and today we just got the lucky hand. The guys in the pits made the right call."

Bourdais qualified 13th and spent the early stages of the race in the bottom half of the field. But a pit stop on Lap 13 under caution was crucial. He stopped again on Lap 35, and when a dozen cars pitted on Lap 43 Bourdais moved from the middle of the pack toward the lead.

NHRA: Antron Brown led Top Fuel qualifying for today's New England Nationals in Epping, N.H. Ron Capps topped Funny Car and Jason Line led Pro Stock.

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