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Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma - Race highlights - Lap by lap coverage of the IndyCar racing in California

Published by Christine

Some off track action for Mutoh at Sonoma
IZOD IndyCar

Will Power took a dominant a lights to flag victory at IndyCar's final road course race of the season. The win gives Power a 59 point lead over second placed Dario Franchitti, with only four races remaining.

It was an action packed event, with multiple accidents and extended yellow flag periods. Power, the pole sitter, hadn't even crossed the start line before Dan Wheldon found himself upside down in the middle of the field, and so things continued as they'd started for 75 laps around Infineon Raceway.

Here's how the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma race played out lap by lap.

As it happened: 2010 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma

  • 22:16

    Hi all. Who signed me up for this?

  • 22:17

    We're ready to watch the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, which is due to get started in about half an hour.

  • 22:19

    We're watching live video and timing via

  • 22:20

    Will Power is on pole, with what I assume is his teammate Helio Castroneves behind him.

  • 22:20

    In more important news, Simona de Silvestro qualified 11th. Goooo Simona.

  • 22:21

    Danica Patrick qualified way down in 23rd, which might as well be last.

  • 22:24

    The fans pack in to the grandstands at Sonoma.

  • 22:25

    Also, how cool is the word Infineon?

  • 22:31

    QuoteComment from Lukeh: To infineon and beyond!

  • 22:31

    Who else do we care about? Justin Wilson used to be in F1, right? He's starting 7th.

  • 22:31

    Bertrand Baguette had a bit of a test for Renault, if I recall correctly. He's lining up 13th on the grid.

  • 22:32

    And everyone's favourite (eh-hem) Sato is in 17th.

  • 22:32

    The only people worse than Danica are Milka Duno and Francesco Dracone.

  • 22:33

    I can hear the National Anthem. I hope you're all standing.

  • 22:34

    Are those cannons??

  • 22:36

    Indy startLining up for the start.

  • 22:37

    TweetTweet from @FirestoneRacing: Current track temp is 117 and ambient is 78. Let's go racing! #IndyCar

  • 22:42

    I only caught the end of the sentence, but there are 15 pushes lasting 15 seconds each. I'm assuming this is either a) labour or b) an overtake button.

  • 22:43

    The drivers have started their engines.

  • 22:46

    The commentator reports bad blood between Sato and Patrick. Will they meet out on track?

  • 22:47

    The cars are moving, so this must be a formation lap.

  • 22:48

    Most people have red sticker tyres, with just a couple on whatever the non-red stickers are.

  • 22:48

    It seems as though that means the tyres can be referred to as stickers through the race.

  • 22:49

    It's a rolling start, so the chances are I'm going to blink and miss it.

  • 22:49 Lap 1

    Green flagRace started. I think.

  • 22:50 Lap 1

    CrashAccident - Dan Wheldon's car is upside down and he hadn't even got to the start yet.

  • 22:52 Lap 1

    Yellow flagReplays show someone his Wheldon from behind. They've righted the car and Dan seems fine. Full course yellows.

  • 22:54 Lap 1

    TweetTweet from @LVI56: Great to see with all that sliding and turning that the driver was ok with the open cockpit #Indycar

  • 22:57 Lap 1

    News updates: Milka Duno has been black flagged, whilst also the pit lane has opened.

  • 22:58 Lap 3

    Danica appears to be the only one who has pitted, which means she actually is last now.

  • 22:59 Lap 3

    Green flagRacing again. I think!!

  • 23:01 Lap 5

    Sato has overtaken Baguette. I've heard of both of them!!

  • 23:02 Lap 6

    QuoteComment from Pat W: It is worth noting the black flag rule is different here. It means 'come in for a penalty', in F1 it means 'go home'

  • 23:07 Lap 9
    Driver Positions
    1Will Power
    2Helio Castroneves+0.6931
    3Dario Franchitti+0.6289
    4Alex Tagliani+1.2061
    5Ryan Briscoe+0.5478
  • 23:08 Lap 11

    TweetTweet from @RacingBluejay: Come on @simdesilvestro would like to see you have a top 5 today at least :-) #IndyCar

    Currently still in 11th.

  • 23:09 Lap 11

    JR Hildebrand has pitted.

  • 23:10 Lap 12

    Milka Duno's black flag was due to the team radio not working, rather than driver performance.

  • 23:11 Lap 13

    Marco Andretti also pits.

  • 23:14 Lap 15

    We've been going for 15 laps and Duno is already four laps behind. She is our Yamamoto.

  • 23:15 Lap 16

    Alex Tagliani has fallen back two places - Briscoe and Dixon have passed him.

  • 23:16 Lap 16

    Justin Wilson hassling him now, makes the pass, leaving Hunter-Reay to, erm, hunt him.

  • 23:17 Lap 18

    Interview with Rob Edwards from Tagliani's team. "Too much understeer at the moment, trying to get him work with the tools in the car to get him back up again."

  • 23:18 Lap 18

    Like... a hammer or something?

  • 23:18 Lap 18

    Tagliani continuing to fall backwards. At least three cars have just streamed past him.

  • 23:19 Lap 19

    Tagliani has a flat tyre. That might explain it.

  • 23:20 Lap 19

    Whilst all that was happening, I missed Dario moving up to second over Helio. Lots of names ending in 'o' there.

  • 23:22 Lap 21

    Scott Dixon has moved up to fourth past Briscoe as well.

  • 23:24 Lap 21

    Briscoe falls behind Justin Wilson as well! Time for an update, I think.

    Driver Positions
    1Will Power
    2Dario Franchitti+7.7852
    3Helio Castroneves+4.1310
    4Scott Dixon+1.5962
    5Justin Wilson+1.8190
  • 23:24 Lap 22

    Sato may have pitted. Danica has definitely pitted, because that bright green car is the only one I recognise.

  • 23:27 Lap 24

    CrashAccident between Silvestro and Matos. They both continue.

  • 23:29 Lap 26

    The red sticker tyre things appear to be losing grip all over the place.

  • 23:29 Lap 26
    One to Watch
  • 23:31 Lap 27

    Simona comes into the pits, comes in from 4th, I think.

  • 23:32 Lap 28

    Simona spins off on her cold tyres, gets stuck in the run off but manages to save it. She's also under investigation for the hit with Matos.

  • 23:33 Lap 29

    My bad, Simona was bumped off track. She's down in 20th now. Boo.

  • 23:34 Lap 30

    QuoteComment from RG: Is there anything that hasnt hit or been hit by Simona?

  • 23:35 Lap 30

    TweetTweet from @curtcavin: The decision to pit sooner was good for Marco (2nd) and Hildebrand (third) at this point. Power still leading.

  • 23:38 Lap 32

    Yellow flagOne of the cars has stopped, and there are yellow flags.

  • 23:39 Lap 32

    Full course caution. Duno spun and stalled.

  • 23:41 Lap 34

    Lots of cars are pitting under the yellows.

  • 23:42 Lap 34

    QuoteComment from Steven Roy: We are just past half distance. Lap 34 of 75

  • 23:42 Lap 34

    Simona has pitted again for a new nose. She may be having troubles but at least she didn't stall it.

  • 23:43 Lap 35

    Green flagTrack is clear.

  • 23:45 Lap 36

    Danica is up to 14th, as Hideki Mutoh falls back a couple of places.

  • 23:47 Lap 37

    QuoteComment from Kate: Wow, Sato is still running!

    11th at the moment.

  • 23:48 Lap 38

    Yellow flagFull course caution again, as JR Hildebrand spun off and/or was booted off. (Covered all my options there.)

  • 23:48 Lap 38

    QuoteComment from Andrew: These guys don't seem to have this dirty air problem from what I can see. F1 really needs to sort it out.

  • 23:50 Lap 39

    Replays show Marco and JR came together, looks like Mr Andretti was a bit over-eager.

  • 23:51 Lap 39

    Hildebrand's mechanics are working on the car in the pitlane at the moment.

  • 23:51 Lap 40

    Green flagThey are go, go, go again.

  • 23:54 Lap 41

    The yellows have closed the field up considerably.

    Driver Positions
    1Will Power
    2Ryan Briscoe+1.1322
    3Dario Franchitti+0.6360
    4Scott Dixon+0.4465
    5Helio Castroneves+0.5182
  • 23:54 Lap 41

    No one can get close to Will Power though, can they?

  • 23:55 Lap 43

    Interview with JR: "It was a little rough. Got an okay run, tried to brake late, I tried to give him room. I only saw him coming into my sidepod."

  • 23:57 Lap 44

    Milka has spun it. Again.

  • 23:58 Lap 45

    TweetTweet from @AllenWedge: Power doesn't need Briscoe to be wide, hes a whole second faster per lap than the Target cars

  • 00:02 Lap 47

    Tagliani and de Silvestro both pit.

  • 00:03 Lap 48

    Apparently the early stoppers now are gambling on another yellow. It's not that much of a gamble is it?

  • 00:04 Lap 49

    Sato pits, and is held up a little, but he's away.

  • 00:05 Lap 49

    Patrick and Mutoh pit.

  • 00:06 Lap 50

    Matos and Lloyd have also stopped for the final time as well.

  • 00:07 Lap 51

    And Tony Kanaan. Who's left?

  • 00:08 Lap 52

    Ahh, everyone else was saving it to come in together.

  • 00:09 Lap 52

    Just the top five left to pit now.

  • 00:10 Lap 53

    Rahal and Wilson pit.

  • 00:10 Lap 53

    Tony Kanaan has passed Hunter-Reay.

  • 00:11 Lap 54

    Dario pits from second.

  • 00:11 Lap 54

    Mutoh and Tagliani collided, but both appear to have continued.

  • 00:12 Lap 55

    The front two runners - Power and Dixon - are the two left to pit.

  • 00:13 Lap 55

    Simona has passed Mario Moraes for 16th position.

  • 00:13 Lap 56

    Will Power has finally pitted, whilst Scott Dixon stays out to take the lead temporarily.

  • 00:15 Lap 57

    Backmarker watch: Dracone and Viso are 1 lap down, Duno is 6 laps down, Hildebrand and Wheldon retired.

  • 00:15 Lap 57

    Dixon becomes the last man to come in for his final stop.

  • 00:18 Lap 59

    QuoteComment from Pat W: Power is on reds, but they could go off before the end and allow Dario on blacks to catch him....

  • 00:20 Lap 61

    Will Power's final stopWill Power's final stop.

  • 00:22 Lap 62

    At last count, Franchitti has 14 overtakes left, and Dixon has 11. They started with 15, so they're not using them much!

  • 00:22 Lap 62

    Dixon has moved up to second place.

  • 00:25 Lap 64

    Sato took a bit of a dusty shortcut round a corner there.

  • 00:27 Lap 65

    Ten laps to go.

    Driver Positions
    1Will Power
    2Scott Dixon+3.4645
    3Dario Franchitti+3.4727
    4Ryan Briscoe+4.1717
    5Helio Castroneves+1.2595
  • 00:27 Lap 66

    CrashAccident between Baguette and Matos. Full course caution.

  • 00:27 Lap 66

    Baguette is out of the car, race over.

  • 00:29 Lap 66

    Looks like Viso was involved as well, but they are both continuing onwards.

  • 00:32 Lap 68

    Tagliani and Matos have pitted, still under yellows.

  • 00:33 Lap 68

    Matos' car has been shut off, he's out of the race.

  • 00:34 Lap 69

    Green flagTrack is clear.

  • 00:34 Lap 69

    Scott Dixon is so close behind Will Power, but it looks like Power can keep the lead.

  • 00:35 Lap 69

    Dixon pulls alongside to make an attempt, but falls back.

  • 00:35 Lap 70

    Hideki Mutoh has spun it, local yellows at the moment.

  • 00:36 Lap 70

    Mutoh's car is pushed out the way and gets going again, and as the pack reach them, the Safety truck is still straddling the track.

  • 00:37 Lap 71

    QuoteComment from RG: The one time they don't use the full course the probably should have?

  • 00:38 Lap 72
    One to Watch
  • 00:39 Lap 73

    Sato and Patrick have made contact and run side by side, bits of bodywork flying everywhere. That bad blood isn't going to get any better.

  • 00:40 Lap 73

    RadioTeam radio from Patrick: "That stupid ### did it on purpose."

  • 00:41 Lap 74

    Power leads for the final lap.

  • 00:42 Lap 75

    Chequered flagWill Power wins the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma!

  • 00:43 Lap 75

    It looks like Dracone stalled out on track, whilst Patrick limps to the finish with the front wing hanging off.

  • 00:44

    Will Power does some donuts. He might be a bit happy.

  • 00:46

    The top ten.

    Driver Positions
    1Will Power
    2Scott Dixon+0.7432
    3Dario Franchitti+5.8700
    4Ryan Briscoe+1.2475
    5Helio Castroneves+2.5987
    6Justin Wilson+0.4501
    7Tony Kanaan+0.6151
    8Ryan Hunter-Reay+0.3692
    9Graham Rahal+5.6081
    10Alex Lloyd+0.7050
  • 00:46

    Apparently the whole field get points, but I refuse to write all those names.

  • 00:48

    Thanks to everyone for joining us today. Great fun had by all (except maybe Danica. And Bertrand. And JR. You get the idea.)

  • 00:49

    I'm not promising when we'll be back, but I suspect it will be soon!