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Briscoe Wins GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

indycar 20650278Ryan Briscoe (pictured) had finished second, third and fourth at Sonoma in the past four years. Needless to say, he was due to visit Wine Country Winners Circle at the raceway at Sonoma.

Briscoe, who started next to Team Penske teammate and pole sitter Will Power, held off Power on a pair of late restarts and won the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma by 0.4408 of a second for his first victory since Texas in 2010. He became the seventh different winner in 13 IZOD IndyCar Series races this season.

Briscoe gained the lead on a pit stop sequence on Lap 65 when he hit the blend line ahead of Power, who had pitted a lap earlier but was caught behind traffic during the first full-course caution in more than 2½ races.

Power, who clinched the Mario Andretti Road Course Trophy for the third consecutive year, increased his championship points lead from five to 36 over Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport with two races remaining.

Hunter-Reay was running third behind the Team Penske duo when the No. 28 Team DHL/Sun Drop Citrus Soda car was bumped from behind by the No. 98 Barracuda Racing car driven by Alex Tagliani in Turn 7 on Lap 75 and stalled. The turn of events dropped Hunter-Reay to an 18th-place finish.

Dario Franchitti finished third and Rubens Barrichello posted a season-high fourth place after starting 11th. Graham Rahal placed fifth and Helio Castroneves was sixth. Simon Pagenaud clinched the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award with a seventh-place finish.

The top eight drivers are mathematically eligible for the championship heading to the Grand Prix of Baltimore on Sept. 2.

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