Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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July 27, 2012

Racing shines through soggy day at IMS

SPEEDWAY — After a summer of rain that was missing in action, Mother Nature decided to remind drivers and fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway of her ugly side Friday.

Spotty showers interrupted both GRAND-AM races on the first day of the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard, bringing out cautions and affecting racing conditions consistently throughout the day.

The No. 2 Soloson Starworks Motorsport Ford Riley team of Sebastien Bourdais and Alex Popow won the overall race and Daytona Prototype class of the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Race under the ninth caution of the race. Winning the Grand Touring class was the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup team of Andy Lally and John Potter.

Bourdais, the four-time Champ Car World Series champion, and current driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series, led the final 17 laps of the three-hour race and notched his first victory at Indianapolis and of the season.

“It’s great to put it together midseason,” Bourdais said. “It’s just a cool bunch of guys, they are really fun to be around and it’s always unpredictable and never boring or a lack of fun.”

The prestige of winning at Indy was not lost on Popow, a native of Venezuela.

“It’s amazing being here sitting where I am right now, first place in the Brickyard is certainly is a dream come true,” Popow said.

The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year, Lally, has had experience winning in sports cars as a three-time Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona but this was his first victory since returning to the series.

“Just amazing, we just won Indy,” Lally said. “I’ve said it 60 times since we’ve taken the checkered flag, it was such a hard fought battle all day long with these guys.”

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