Sprint Cup car to play tribute to shooting victims

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The Sprint Cup car Regan Smith is driving this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will honor victims of the shootings at a Colorado movie theater.

Smith drives for the Furniture Row Racing Team, whose shop is about seven miles from the Aurora theater where a gunman launched an attack July 20 that killed 12 people and injured 58 others.

The car lists the names of the 12 killed, plus the inscription, “For Those Lost, Those Injured And Countless Acts of Bravery 7/20/12.”

TOUGH TEST: For drivers, today’s first-ever NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway represents a chance to run on perhaps the most famous track in racing.

It’s also one of the tougher tests they’ll face all season.

The historic 2.5-mile oval has had NASCAR’s top-level Sprint Cup series since 1994, but didn’t add the second-tier Nationwide Series until this year.

For many drivers in the field, it will be their first time racing at Indy – and they’re in for a challenge.

Nationwide points leader Elliott Sadler said the track is “not forgiving at all,” given its long high-speed straightaways and challenging unbanked turns.

The challenge certainly doesn’t diminish the thrill of getting to run at Indy for brothers Austin and Ty Dillon, the grandsons of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress.

“I asked them both what it felt like,” Richard Childress said.

“I could see the smile on their face. They didn’t have to even say anything (to show) how special it was to be able to drive around and to be able to come to Indianapolis to race because there is so much history.”

GRAND AM ROLEX: In Indianapolis, Sebastien Bourdais took the lead with just over a half hour remaining, and held on to win the Grand Am Rolex Series race Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Bourdais held off a charge from Ricky Taylor on a restart with just over seven minutes left, and the three-hour timed event ended under yellow after a crash brought out a caution with just under five minutes remaining. The No. 2 Ford Riley was co-driven by Bourdais and Alex Popow.

The No. 01 BMW Riley co-driven by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas finished second.


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