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BC-CAR--Race Day-The Latest

May 26, 2019

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on motorsport’s busiest day (all times local):

6:25 p.m.

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 in 2005.

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5:15 p.m.

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 500.

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.

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4:35 p.m.

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 race.

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4:10 p.m.

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.

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4 p.m.

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 was fifth.

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3:10 p.m.

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.

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2:30 p.m.

Chris Minot, a crew member with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, has been transferred to Indiana University Methodist Hospital for evaluation of a leg injury.

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.

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2:10 p.m.

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 official.

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.

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1:45 p.m.

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.

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12:55 p.m.

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.

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12:15 p.m.

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 today.

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.

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5 p.m.

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 second.

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.

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3:30 p.m.

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.

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3:20 p.m.

Lewis Hamilton has made a good start from pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix.

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 circuit.

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.

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2:10 p.m.

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.

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1:05 a.m.

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 qualifying.

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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