Friday Morning Update from Sonoma Raceway

Dixon looking for the 5th Champoinship
Dixon looking for the 5th Championship

Good morning from the beautiful area around Sonoma Raceway. The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to Sonoma Raceway for the final time for the series finale to the 2018 racing schedule. The competition will be hotter than ever as double points are on the line, and a solid performance in Sonoma will determine whether four time champion Scott Dixon or the 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will reign as this year's champion.

Also running for that championship is the 2014 Champion Will Power and last years' Champion Josef Newgarden. Their chances are pretty slim for these two drivers unless Dixon and Rossi both do not start the race or have a horrible day on Sunday.

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.

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 are in the mix in the 25 car field. Santino Ferrucci, Pietro Fittipaldi, Jack Harvey, Colton Herta, Jordan King, Matheus Leist, Patricio O'Ward and Zach Veach are entered for the 85 lap event.

Bourdais comments on track
Bourdais comments on track

Sebastien Bourdais, a four time champion who has never won here in Sonoma, expressed his feelings about this track. The Frenchman stated that there is no grip here because the track has not been resurfaced in a long time. Tire wear should not be a factor during the race.

The first practice session is at 11 am for 45 minutes. The second practice session is scheduled for 3 pm for an hour. All sessions are being broadcast on NBCSN. The first one will be delayed until 4 pm Eastern Time.

Stay tuned to updates during the day.

Lucille Dust reporting live from Sonoma Raceway

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