05/26 19:59 CDT The Latest: Keselowski takes first 2 stages at Coca-Cola 600
The Latest: Keselowski takes first 2 stages at Coca-Cola 600
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) --- The Latest on motorsport's busiest day (all times local):
Brad Keselowski has emerged as the driver to beat at the midway point of the
Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's longest race.
Keselowski has won the first two stages of the crown jewel event in his No. 2
Ford and picked up two playoff points. He has won three Cup Series races this
season and is looking to give team owner Roger Penske a sweep of the
Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 for the first time ever.
Keselowski started the race in 21st place, but has led 73 of 200 laps.
There have been 10 caution flags in the first half of the race and five cars
are out of the race.
Cars were stopped just short of the finish line at the halfway point of the
race to honor fallen soldiers with a moment of remembrance on Memorial Day
Toyotas are struggling to stay on the track at the Coca-Cola 600.
Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones and Matt DiBenedetto all sustained
right front tire issues and have made contact with the outside wall at
Charlotte Motor Speedway in the first half of the race. Kyle Busch is the only
high-profile Toyota driver who has managed to avoid hitting the wall.
Jones and DiBenedetto are already out of the race. Truex and Hamlin sustained
damage to their cars, but have fallen back to the middle of the pack. They
remain on the lead lap.
Brad Keselowski is leading the race after 175 of 400 laps.
Brad Keselowski has captured the first stage of the Coca-Cola 600.
Keselowski, who is hoping to give Roger Penske a sweep of the Indianapolis 500
and the Coca-Cola 600, took the lead on Lap 82 with a pass of Daniel Hemric.
Keselowski started the race 21st but steadily moved up through the pack and
held off Kyle Busch to earn a playoff point.
Martin Truex Jr., one of the pre-race favorites, crashed on Lap 75 after his
car hit the outside wall when his car simply "took off" while running ahead of
the pack. But Truex, who dominated the race in 2016 leading 392 of 400 laps,
remains on the lead lap.
Erik Jones, Matt DiBenedetto and Cody Ware are out of the race.
Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing has hit the outside wall on Lap 23 of the
Coca-Cola 600 and his car is now behind the wall.
Jones sustained heavy damage to the right side of No. 20 Toyota after a right
front tire went down, sending him up the track and into the wall in turn three.
Jones was considered one of the favorites to give Gibbs a championship at
NASCAR's longest race.
Pole sitter William Byron led the first 23 laps.
All-Star race winner Kyle Larson hit the wall early in the race, but remains in
The 60th running of the Coca-Cola 600 is underway at Charlotte Motor Speedway
with hometown kid William Byron leading the way from the pole for the nightcap
of a busy day of racing.
Earlier Sunday, Lewis Hamilton won the Monaco Grand Prix while Simon Pagenaud
won the Indianapolis 500. Both started from the pole.
The 400-lap race on the 1 1/2-mile oval is the longest race on the NASCAR
circuit, with the race beginning late in the day and continuing well into the
night. It was 91 degrees as the race began.
Kyle Busch is looking to become the first repeat champion since Jimmie Johnson
President Donald Trump says he is looking forward to welcoming Roger Penske and
Simon Pagenaud to the White House to celebrate their win in the Indianapolis
The IndyCar team owner and his French driver were invited by tweet shortly
after winning Sunday's race. Trump says he was in Japan, where he was meeting
with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe but was up early to watch the race.
Trump declared Pagenaud's back-and-forth duel with Alexander Rossi over the
final 13 laps "one of the greatest races in the history of the sport."
Penske visited the White House in late April with Joey Logano to celebrate
their NASCAR Cup Series championship from last year. Trump and Penske have
known each other for years, and Trump said that day that the team owner "is a
great man and a great guy."
Penske said he got a call from Trump while they were in the winner's circle at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway. According to Penske, Trump told him he "must have
been your good luck charm." The president was also able to speak with Pagenaud.
Charlotte native William Byron leads the field at the Coca-Cola 600 at
Charlotte Motor Speedway as a busy racing weekend continues.
The 21-year-old Byron became the youngest driver to win the pole for the
NASCAR's crown jewel event and is looking for his first career Cup Series win.
Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are hoping to give Roger Penske a
sweep of the American races after Simon Pagenaud won the Indianapolis 500.
Logano leads in the points standings, while Keselowski is fifth --- although he
has three wins this season.
The heat could play a factor in the race as current temperatures are in the low
90s. The 400-lap race will begin in the daytime and finish at night.
Last year's winner, Kyle Busch, will start third. The dark horse could be
Jimmie Johnson, who is looking to snap a winless streak of 71 races and capture
his fifth Coca-Cola 600 to match Darrell Waltrip for the most wins ever in this
Simon Pagenaud took an unconventional route to victory lane, stopping his car
on the front stretch at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to celebrate his dramatic
Indy 500 win with fans.
Once he arrived, he said: "Sorry, that took a little while."
Pagenaud proceeded to dump the traditional milk right over his head, leaving
nothing in the bottle when he tried to take a sip. The veteran French driver
called it "a dream come true" to win the 103rd running of "The Greatest
Spectacle in Racing."
Pagenaud says his car was "on rails" down the stretch, when he dueled with
Alexander Rossi for the win. Pagenaud wound up leading 116 laps in a dominant
Chevrolet from Team Penske.
Simon Pagenaud has won his first Indianapolis 500, making an audacious pass of
Alexander Rossi before taking the white flag and holding off the hard-charging
driver from Andretti Autosport.
Pagenaud's victory after an incredible duel with Rossi completed a sweep of the
Month of May for him. He came into the season trying to hang onto his job with
Team Penske, and a brazen move near the end of the Indianapolis Grand Prix gave
him a win two weeks ago.
His latest win gave team owner Roger Penske his 18th victory in his 50th year
at the track.
Takuma Sato was third, Josef Newgarden fourth and defending champion Will Power
Graham Rahal and Sebastien Bourdais brought out the red flag with 23 laps to go
in the Indianapolis 500 when they touched wheels down the backstretch and
triggered a heavy five-car wreck.
Felix Rosenqvist, Charlie Kimball and Zach Veach also were involved.
Rahal had gone low to pass Bourdais when he got squeezed heading into Turn 3,
and the brief touch of tires sent both into the fence. Rahal already was
gesturing wildly at Bourdais before the cars came to rest next to each other,
and he quickly jumped from his car to get in his face.
James Hinchcliffe neatly avoided the wreck, slipping through a crack between
sliding cars as his spotter shared rapid-fire guidance over the radio.
Chris Minot, a crew member with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, has been
transferred to Indiana University Methodist Hospital for evaluation of a leg
He was injured when rookie Jordan King hit him along pit lane.
Minot initially was taken to the track's infield medical center and then was
transported to the nearby hospital.
Minot's injury was the only one stemming from a series of pit-lane miscues,
which included defending champion Will Power being sent to the rear of the
field on a restart for hitting one of his crew members.
Simon Pagenaud headed to the pits on Lap 99 of the Indianapolis 500, leaving
local boy Ed Carpenter in the lead as the race hit the midway point and became
Most of the drama so far has been on pit road.
Helio Castroneves was penalized for hitting James Davison, Jordan King hit a
crew member and Will Power bumped his own fueler on a stop. Power was ordered
to the back of the field.
Pagenaud has dominated the race from the pole after leading just 36 laps total
in his seven previous Indy 500 starts. But he's been struggling with fuel
mileage, which could play a factor later in the race.
Kyle Kaiser of feel-good story Juncos Racing has brought out the caution flag
in the Indianapolis 500 after spinning in Turn 4 and hitting the outside wall.
Kaiser was in a higher line with Sage Karam below him and went up the track,
hitting the outside wall.
The wreck came moments after Jordan King locked up entering the pits and slid
into his right-front tire changer. The pit crew member was helped over the wall
and checked by medical staff.
Rookies Ben Hanley and Colton Herta are already out of the race.
Hanley slowed abruptly as he detected a suspension problem before navigating
his way across the 2.5-mile oval and into pit lane. The DragonSpeed team's crew
replaced the tires and sent him back onto the track but one tire was not
spinning and the crew ended up pushing him back into the pit box.
Herta was the first driver out of the race. He was towed in with a gearbox
problem after completing just four laps of the 200-lap race.
The Indianapolis 500 has begun on time amid concerns rain might impact the
103rd running of the showcase race.
Retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the pace car, Mario Andretti was
honored before the race on the 50th anniversary of his win and Simon Pagenaud
started from the pole for Team Penske on the 50th anniversary of the team's
first Indy 500 start.
Colton Herta's car rolled to a stop with smoke billowing out from the back of
his car after just six laps, bringing out the first yellow flag of the race.
Mario Andretti celebrated the 50th anniversary of his only Indianapolis 500 win
by receiving a new trophy: the baby Borg-Warner, which each 500 winner receives
When Andretti won in 1969 the baby Borg was not part of the tradition. Instead,
the winners received a plaque with a photo of the winning car. Andretti's
oldest son, Michael, remembers his father hanging the plaque on an office wall
in the family home.
After Mario Andretti was honored with a parade lap in a convertible just before
Sunday's race, Michael Andretti presented his father with the trophy --- one
Mario Andretti said he would cherish.
Lewis Hamilton has won the Monaco Grand Prix to extend his Formula One
championship lead over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton was under constant pressure from Red Bull's Max Verstappen but held
on. Verstappen picked up a five-second time penalty earlier, so he was bumped
down to fourth place behind Bottas in third and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in
Drivers wore red caps a minute's silence was held before the race in memory of
three-time F1 champion Niki Lauda, who died on Monday at the age of 70.
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is out of the Monaco Grand Prix.
He punctured his right rear tire, sending carbon debris from his shredded tire
onto the track, after a bold overtaking move backfired early in Sunday's race.
Leclerc tried to get past Nico Hulkenberg's Renault on the outside heading into
the La Rascasse turn, one turn after making the same move to overtake the Haas
car of Romain Grosjean.
The incident prompted a safety car to come out as debris was removed. Leclerc
retired from his hometown race on lap 19 of 78.
Drivers profited from the safety car to come into the pits for new tires and as
they emerged, there was a near miss as Max Verstappen's car was released too
soon and he almost hit the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas. Verstappen was under
investigation by race officials.
Lewis Hamilton has made a good start from pole position at the Monaco Grand
The defending Formula One champion had little trouble holding position heading
into the first turn at Sainte Devote.
Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen were unable to
find a gap to squeeze through on the narrow 3.3 kilometer (2-mile) street
Starting from 15th place on the grid after Ferrari bungled his qualifying on
Saturday, home favorite Charles Leclerc jumped up a couple of places in the
first five laps.
Drivers are wearing red caps with Niki written on them ahead of the race in
memory of Niki Lauda.
The three-time F1 champion died on Monday at the age of 70, less than one year
after a lung transplant.
Lauda, who suffered third-degree burns and lost most of his right ear after
being rescued from a burning car at the German GP in 1976, was hugely popular
in F1. He often stood out when walking around the paddock with his distinctive
red cap on.
Further tributes were to be held for Lauda with a minute's silence at 2:53 p.m.
Fans watching from the stands and those on yachts in the harbor were also
encouraged to express their support.
One of the busiest days in motorsports will get underway on the French Riviera.
Formula One kicks it all off with the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, when the
dominant Mercedes team will look for a sixth straight win this season. The
Silver Arrows are well placed to do so with defending F1 champion Lewis
Hamilton on pole position and teammate Valtteri Bottas second on the grid.
Ferrari is struggling --- again --- with Sebastian Vettel starting from fourth
and Charles Leclerc down in 16th after a baffling strategical team error during
Simon Pagenaud starts from the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in a car owned by
Roger Penske, who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first race at
Indy. Penske has won the 500 a record 17 times, and has defending race winner
Will Power in his stable.
The field is the tightest in Indy 500 history based on qualifying speeds from
first to 33rd.
William Byron starts up front at the Coca-Cola 600 after becoming, at 21 years
old, the youngest driver to capture the pole for NASCAR's longest race. Aric
Almirola will start second with defending race champion Kyle Busch in third.
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