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2018 Point Standings
Final after Sonoma
Rank Driver Points

1 Scott Dixon 678
2 Alexander Rossi 621
3 Will Power 582
4 Ryan Hunter-Reay 566
5 Josef Newgarden 560
6 Simon Pagenaud 492
7 Sebastien Bourdais 425
8 Marco Andretti 392
9 Graham Rahal 392
10 James Hinchcliffe 391
11 Takuma Sato 351
12 Ed Jones 343
13 Spencer Pigot 325
14 Zach Veach 313
15 Tony Kanaan 312
16 Charlie Kimball 287
17 Matheus Leist 253
17 Max Chilton 223
19 Jordan King 175
20 Jack Harvey 103
21 Carlos Munoz 95
22 Pietro Fittipaldi 91
23 Santino Ferrucci 66
23 Patricio O'Ward 44
25 Colton Herta 20

Rookie of Year Standings
Not Updated Yet
1. Robert Wickens 391
2. Zach Veach 270
3. Matheus Leist 215
4. Jordan King 126
5. Zachary De Melo 122
6. Jack Harvey 63
7. Rene Binder 61
8. Kyle Kaiser 45
9. Pietro Fittipaldi 41
10. Stefan Wilson 31
11. Santino Ferrucci 18
12. Alfonso Celis Jr. 10

Manufacturer Standings
1. Honda 1365
2. Chevy 1046

IndyCar Somoma GP Preview

Season finale to decide champion
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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Lat year's IndyCar champion, Josef Newgarden, celebrates at Sonoma
Lat year's IndyCar champion, Josef Newgarden, celebrates at Sonoma
Race weekend:
Friday, Sept. 14 - Sunday, Sept. 16

Track: Sonoma Raceway, a 2.385-mile permanent road course in Sonoma, California

Entry list: INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma (PDF)

Race distance: 85 laps / 202.7 miles

Push-to-pass parameters: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation.

Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate. Teams must use one set of primary and one new set of alternate tires in the race.

Twitter: @RaceSonoma, @IndyCar #IndyCar, #SonomaGP

2017 race winner: Simon Pagenaud (No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet)

2017 Verizon P1 Award winner: Josef Newgarden (No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet), 1 minute, 15.5205 seconds, 113.691 mph

Qualifying record: Josef Newgarden, 1:15.5205, 113.691 mph, Sept. 16, 2017 (set in Round 3 of qualifying)

NBCSN telecasts: Practice 1, 4 p.m., ET Friday, Sept 14 (same-day delay); Practice 2, 6 p.m., ET Friday, Sept. 14 (live); Qualifying, 8 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 15 (same-day delay); Race, 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 16 (live). Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for NBCSN alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Pit reporters are Jon Beekhuis, Katie Hargitt, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn. Nick Yeoman (Turn 7) and Jake Query (Turn 9) are the turn announcers with Dave Furst, Michael Young and Dan Rusanowsky reporting from the pits. The INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma race airs live on network affiliates, Sirius 216, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practices and qualifying are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app, with qualifying also airing on Sirius 219 and XM 209.

Video streaming: All sessions not covered by live television will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar).

At-track schedule (all times local):

Friday, Sept. 14

11 - 11:45 a.m. - Verizon IndyCar Series practice 1, RaceControl.IndyCar.com; NBCSN (4 p.m. ET, same-day delay)

3 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Verizon IndyCar Series practice 2, NBCSN (live)

4:05 - 4:20 p.m. - Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice

Saturday, Sept. 15

11 - 11:45 a.m. - Verizon IndyCar Series practice 3, RaceControl.IndyCar.com (live)

3 - 4:15 p.m. - Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying (three rounds of knockout qualifying), NBCSN (8 p.m. ET, same-day delay)

Sunday, Sept. 16

3 p.m. - Driver introductions

3:30 p.m. - NBCSN on air

3:33 p.m. - Start engines command

3:40 p.m. - INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma (85 laps/202.7 miles), NBCSN (live)

CHAMPIONSHIP FACTS:

  • There are four drivers mathematically eligible for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series championship: Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Will Power and Josef Newgarden. Dixon has won four Verizon IndyCar Series championships, while Power and Newgarden won the Verizon IndyCar Series championship in 2014 and 2017, respectively. Rossi has never won the championship.
  • Scott Dixon leads the Verizon IndyCar Series championship with one race to go for the fifth time in his career. Dixon, who took the championship lead following his win at Texas in June, won championships in three of the previous four seasons that he led with one race to go (2003, 2008 and 2013).
  • Scott Dixon leads Alexander Rossi by 29 points, with Will Power and Josef Newgarden both 81 points behind. With 104 maximum points available at Sonoma, the championship is nearly a winner-take-all situation for the top two drivers in the championship.
  • This is the 13th consecutive year that the Verizon IndyCar Series champion will be determined at the final race of the season.
  • This is the 15th Indy car race at Sonoma. The winning driver at Sonoma has won the championship three times in the prior 14 races (Dario Franchitti in 2009, Scott Dixon in 2015 and Simon Pagenaud in 2016).

Who will kiss the Vanderbilt Cup this year?
Who will kiss the Vanderbilt Cup this year?
Key championship point statistic: This is the 13th straight season that the Verizon IndyCar Series championship will be decided in the final race.

Point differential: The 29 points which separate Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi is the fifth-largest margin with one race to go since 2006. The closest margin with one race to go was 2006 when Helio Castroneves led Sam Hornish Jr. by one point. The average deficit with one to go since 2008 is 20.3 points.

Championship-eligible drivers results at Sonoma: Scott Dixon has seven top-five finishes in 13 Sonoma starts, including wins in 2007, 2014 and 2015; Rossi finished fifth in his first start at Sonoma in 2017; Power has five podium finishes in nine starts, including wins in 2010, 2011 and 2013; Newgarden has one top-five finish at Sonoma. He recorded his best finish (second) in six starts in 2017.

RACE NOTES:

  • There have been eight different winners in the 16 previous Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway, Barber Motorsports Park and Road America), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Pocono Raceway), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500 and Gateway Motorsports Park), Scott Dixon (Raceway at Belle Isle-1, Texas Motor Speedway and Streets of Toronto), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Raceway at Belle Isle-2), James Hinchcliffe (Iowa Speedway) and Takuma Sato (Portland International Raceway). Dixon's win at Toronto on July 15 was his 44th career win, which ranks third on the all-time Indy car victory list. Bourdais' win at St. Petersburg on March 11 was his 37th, which ranks sixth all-time. Power's win at Gateway on Aug. 25 was his 35th and tied Bobby Unser for seventh on the all-time Indy car victory list.
  • The INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma will be the 11th road/street course race of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule with seven drivers winning the previous 10 races: Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park and Road America), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix), Scott Dixon (Raceway at Belle Isle-1 and Streets of Toronto), Ryan Hunter-Reay (Raceway at Belle Isle Park-2) and Takuma Sato (Portland International Raceway)
  • The INDYCAR Grand Prix of Sonoma will be the 15th Indy car race at Sonoma Raceway. Simon Pagenaud is the defending race winner. This will be the seventh race on the 12-turn, 2.385-mile layout. The Verizon IndyCar Series competed on a 12-turn, 2.303-mile layout from 2005-2011.
  • Will Power, Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud are the only drivers to win at Sonoma more than once. Dixon won the race in 2007, 2014 and 2015, Power won in 2010, 2011 and 2013 and Pagenaud won the race in 2016 and 2017. Past winners Dixon, Power, Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan (2005) and Marco Andretti (2006) are entered in this year's race.
  • Will Power has won five of the last eight pole positions at Sonoma (2010-12 and 2014-15). Other past pole winners entered this weekend are Scott Dixon (2006), Simon Pagenaud (2016) and Josef Newgarden (2017). Four drivers have won the race from the pole: Castroneves (2008), Dario Franchitti (2009), Power (2010-11) and Pagenaud (2016).
  • Three drivers have competed in every race at Sonoma since Indy cars returned to the track in 2005: Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan. Dixon and Kanaan are entered. Dixon is the only driver to complete every lap in the previous 13 races.
  • Team Penske has won at Sonoma seven times, including six of the last eight races with Josef Newgarden (2017), Simon Pagenaud (2016), Will Power (2010-11 and 2013) and Ryan Briscoe (2012). Chip Ganassi Racing has won four times at Sonoma (Scott Dixon in 2007, 2014-15 and Dario Franchitti in 2009) and Andretti Autosport has won twice (Tony Kanaan in 2005 and Marco Andretti in 2006).
  • Eight rookies - Santino Ferrucci, Pietro Fittipaldi, Jack Harvey, Colton Herta, Jordan King, Matheus Leist, Patricio O'Ward and Zach Veach - are entered. Robert Wickens, who will not race due to injuries sustained in an accident at Pocono, has clinched the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors for 2018. O'Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champion, and Herta, who finished second in Indy Lights in 2018, are attempting to make their series debut.
  • Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 300th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Scott Dixon has made 240 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing. Marco Andretti has made 216 consecutive starts, which is the third-longest streak in Indy car racing.

INDYCAR GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA PRE-EVENT QUOTES:

JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "It's been a very up-and-down season, but we're ready to do everything we can to make a run at the championship. Some races have gone our way and some have not, but we're going to forget about all that and put a strong effort forward with the No. 1 Verizon Chevrolet. Sonoma is a really fun racetrack and I'm bummed we won't be returning in 2019, but I'm excited that we will be racing at a few new places that the fans are really happy to see on the schedule. We've put forward a strong effort in 2018 and we're ready to go out on a high note to end our season."

MATHEUS "MATT" LEIST (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): "Headed to Sonoma this weekend and just realized that the season flew by. I remember St. Petersburg and Indy like it was yesterday, and now my first Verizon IndyCar Series season is almost over. It has been a great year! Sonoma is a place that I've never raced before but grew up playing video games there and thinking about racing in that place one day. It's such a pretty city and a fun track to drive, it has lots of elevation changes which make things pretty interesting. After a great pace in Portland, the ABC Supply car No. 4 is going to give its all to finish the season on a high. I definitely can't wait for it."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda): "With Portland and the rest of the season in the rear-view mirror, all of our focus is on the (season) finale weekend in Sonoma. With so many ups and downs this year, our goal is to finish the season strong and look ahead to a stronger 2019. The Arrow Electronics crew and the entire SPM team has worked so hard all year. I'm hopeful we can end our time in Sonoma on a high note."

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 6 Lucas Oil SPM Honda): "Sonoma: the last race of the season and my third race this year. I think we will arrive at a different level compared to Portland. I know the Lucas Oil car a bit more. I know the team more, so for sure, that will help. It will be the last race at Sonoma for INDYCAR. It's a really challenging track for all the teams, and for me personally, it's one of the most challenging tracks because the track changes so much, but I'm really looking forward to it. The goal is to do the best, bring home a nice result for the team, (and) don't make any mistakes. Again wishing a speedy recovery for Robbie (Wickens). We're all thinking about him."

PATRICIO O'WARD (No. 8 Harding Group Chevrolet): "I honestly am really grateful for the opportunity that presented in front of me by Harding Racing, and I got to drive an Indy car a few days ago in Sonoma, and I also really loved, loved the car. It is fast. It is very grippy, and it's basically like an Indy Lights car, just so much faster and so much more grip. I honestly couldn't be more excited for my first Verizon IndyCar Series race. It's going to be my debut, and I was really, really satisfied and happy with the testing, so I'm looking forward to the weekend."

Scott Dixon at Sonoma last year
Scott Dixon at Sonoma last year
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "Well, I think we were a bit lucky in Portland, and you have got to take those days. We've been on the other side of it before. Some situations we've lost championships like that, too. It sucks when you're on the other side. Maybe it happens to us at Sonoma. We hope it doesn't, but it has full potential. We'll go there, we'll try to have the fastest car we can prepare, qualify where we can and put our heads down. That's what we can do. Everyone on the PNC Bank team has been focused and working hard and we'll just keep pushing like we have been all season and see what happens."

ED JONES (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda): "I'm hoping to end the 2018 season on a high note, for sure. We've had some very good runs throughout the year, but I don't think we've had any help in the luck department. There were several things that didn't go our way like cut tires at various races, but we're focused on getting a good result in Sonoma. Qualifying here on these types of road courses are always key. We need to unload fast and get the car balanced quickly. Hopefully, if we do that, things will fall into place for the NTT DATA car to run at the front where we need to be."

WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): "We're headed to Sonoma knowing we need to fight for every point we can for a chance at the championship. We'll need a lot of luck on our side, but it's still something we can achieve. We've had a season that was a bit all over the place. We won a few races including the Indianapolis 500, which was incredible, but then we've had a number of DNFs. The No. 12 Verizon Chevy team has worked so hard this season, but we need to keep at it for a run at the championship. We want to do everything we can to really put on a really good show for the last race of the season and give it all we got."

TONY KANAAN (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): "Sonoma is such a cool place to drive. It's fast, technical and full of elevation changes. When you put all that together, it makes for a pretty challenging track. I've enjoyed racing in Sonoma since INDYCAR started there in 2005. You know it always has a great crowd, great fans and an awesome atmosphere overall. It's a track that will surely be missed by the paddock. It's unbelievable how fast the season has gone and we're looking forward to finishing it up on a high note to lead the No. 14 ABC Supply car into the offseason with a morale booster. We've all been working very hard to rebuild the team hopefully we'll see the results soon."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 TOTAL Honda): "Sonoma has always been a tough track for me personally but I have had good results there. I probably have more top-10s there than almost anywhere else in my career. It's an important race with double points on the line. It's going to be important to have a really solid run there. We can move all the way up to sixth place (in the championship) but we can also move back quite a ways. We're going to keep our eyes and minds focused forward and try to move up in points. Penske has been the standard there, so from a competitive standpoint, I think we will be OK but we need to find a little bit more to end the season strong. From the championship perspective, however it ends up, there will be a great champion. Someone that is obviously very deserving of the honor. Alexander Rossi has had an amazing year and so has Dixie (Scott Dixon) and (Will) Power. It really could be anybody's championship at the end of this thing."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda): "The SealMaster Honda No. 18 has been good on the permanent road courses this year and we test at Sonoma on Thursday, so that will be a big help. Hopefully, we'll come off the transporter with a good baseline, are competitive and just have to fine-tune the car. The season finale in Sonoma is worth double points, so we still have a chance to pick up a position or two and finish solidly in the top 10 in the championship. That is our goal. We just have to keep working hard and do the best we can."

PIETRO FITTIPALDI (No. 19 Paysafe Honda): "I obviously want to keep the momentum going at Sonoma. We had a good weekend at Gateway and then again at Portland, and hopefully we can have another good one at Sonoma to end the season. We tested there in February and it went really well. The No. 19 Paysafe car was strong but the conditions were very different from what it will be this week. It was a cold track back then and now it's going to be a lot warmer. But again, we're coming off of two strong race weekends, the car has been consistently fast, so I'm looking forward to this weekend. I'm recovering every week, I'm getting better every weekend that I'm back in the car, I'm getting stronger and faster, so I'm happy with that. We just have to keep it going."

JORDAN KING (No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet): "My first time in an Indy car was at Sonoma Raceway, so I am ready to go back to see my progress and what I can do after a year in the car. We were pretty strong at Sonoma in preseason testing and we've made good progress throughout the year, so I am looking forward to seeing the comparison."

SPENCER PIGOT (No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Fuzzy's Vodka Chevrolet): "Going to Sonoma Raceway is always a little bittersweet because it's such a great area and track, but it's the last time we get to race this year, which is a shame. It's a very difficult track to manage outright speed and tire degradation, so we will need to develop a plan very quickly once we start practice. We've had some really good races recently; hopefully, we can have one more and end the season on a high note for the Fuzzy's Vodka team."

SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 22 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet): "I can't believe it's the last race of the season already. It's been a tough season but we're ready to finish it out strong. We won last year's race at Sonoma, so myself and the No. 22 DXC Technology Chevrolet team feel good about the race. It's unfortunately our last race at Sonoma and I'm definitely going to miss it. It's a really great road course with a lot to do locally for race fans and people working in the series, so I know we're all going to miss it but I'm looking forward to giving our last race there my all."

CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet): "It's been such a whirlwind year for the Carlin team - from our first tests in the winter, to qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, a top-five finish and all of the ups and downs in between. Going into this season there were so many unknowns, but I knew Carlin had the right people with the right work ethic who would do everything possible to make every weekend a success. Sometimes success looked like a top-five finish and sometimes it was just evaluating and learning after a tough race. But as we go into the finale at Sonoma Raceway, I know this entire team has grown leaps and bounds since our first laps in St. Pete. I'm looking forward to finishing out the season on a strong note for the No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet team."

ZACH VEACH (No. 26 Group 1001 Honda): "It's hard to believe we're already at the last race of my rookie season in (the Verizon) IndyCar (Series). We've accomplished a lot this year, top-10s, a couple top-fives and just last weekend our first (Firestone) Fast Six (in qualifying). We'd definitely love to close the season out with a best finish in the Group 1001 car. I know we have the speed to keep the momentum up in Sonoma."

Can Rossi catch Dixon?
Can Rossi catch Dixon?
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS Honda): "It's crazy to think that we are already at the end of the season. 2018 has been a great year for many reasons and I am excited to be able to close it out at my home track in front of an always large group of family and friends. We have had some really strong pace in the second half of the year, so we will be looking to execute the same thing this weekend, and hopefully, it will be enough to walk away with our first INDYCAR championship."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): "It's been a season of highs and lows and we're heading into the season finale coming off our strong effort in Portland, where we nearly won. The DHL team will be looking to close out the year on top with a win and double points at Sonoma."

TAKUMA SATO (No. 30 Mi-Jack / Panasonic Honda): "Sonoma Raceway is a very challenging track in terms of engineering because there are many corners that could conflict with each other for best performance, so it is always tough to find a good compromise point. It's very challenging for drivers, too, with high speeds and a few blind corners, which makes it a lot of fun, but you definitely need a good commitment. There is always high motivation for any race weekend but winning is such a special moment and the boys (crew) and engineers should really feel proud and positive. I certainly hope the win (at Portland on Sept. 2) provides extra motivation! It definitely gave us good momentum for the next race, for sure. An off weekend after a win is very good. I enjoyed the moment. It's been a tough season for the team, but we always fought back strong and at the mid-season point we were very strong despite some unlucky moments. Sonoma is going to be a big weekend for everyone. We will focus on being at a high competitive level. If we could finish strong, then the overall standing should raise, too. I want to have a good race. The championship fight will be quite exciting to watch. I think all of the top three guys have a chance to win the championship and that shows how competitive INDYCAR was all year."

SANTINO FERRUCCI (No. 39 Cly-Del Honda): "I've never been to Sonoma, so, fortunately, we have the test day on Thursday. The extra track time should be beneficial in helping me get up to speed before official practice starts on Friday. I'm feeling confident heading into the weekend. We ran really strong in Portland and I think we can do the same thing in Sonoma. I know the track layout is fast, it's very technical and I'm grateful to have a teammate like Sebastien (Bourdais), who I'm sure will be a huge help once again, especially on the test day."

MAX CHILTON (No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet): "I'm excited to get back to Sonoma this weekend - the track is really fun to drive. It's very physical and hilly - great for the fans. Sonoma does a great job of giving fans multiple viewing points up high where they can see more than one corner. It's hard to believe it's already the last race of our first season at Carlin and I'm really hoping we can end the season with a good result for all of the Gallagher guests who will be in Sonoma on Sunday. It might not have always shown in our results, but this team has come so far and I'm proud to be a part of the Carlin family. Obviously, we were hoping for stronger results throughout the season for the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet, but the data and experience we've gained throughout the team's rookie season will be invaluable in making next season even stronger."

JACK HARVEY (No. 60 AutoNation SiriusXM MSR with SPM Honda): "Sonoma is a special place for me. I swept the (2014) weekend there in Indy Lights with both poles and both wins and Sonoma was also where I had my first Indy car test. I raced there last year but we didn't have the result that we had hoped for. I am hoping that we can continue the momentum that the team has from our weekend in Portland and then the team's sports car win at Laguna Seca this past weekend. We have been improving every race and I think we can keep this flow of momentum heading to Sonoma."

COLTON HERTA (No. 88 Harding Group Chevrolet):  "I'm super happy to get my start in (the Verizon) IndyCar (Series this) weekend for the Sonoma Grand Prix. (Team owner) Mike Harding and (team president) Brian Barnhart have been very supportive in this effort and I can't think of a better place to get my start in (the) IndyCar (Series). There are too many people to thank for this opportunity, but I'm very thankful for Harding Racing." 

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 98 U.S. Concrete / Curb Honda): "It's very important to end our year strong with the double points. We haven't been finishing where our pace deserves lately. We need to capitalize here, especially with it being the last Sonoma race. It would be cool to get a second win there."

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