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Indy Car Shaken But Not Deterred In Wine Country
Winner Circle
Scott Dixon, center, raises his first place trophy in celebration after taking the checkered flag at Sonoma on Sunday. It was his second career win there; flanking him are the second and third place finishers, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud. - photo by Mike Burghardt/The Times

The 2014 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma got off to a shaky start Sunday morning, literally. A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck nearby American Canyon and shook the race track, the racers, and many other local towns in the area. After a thorough inspection of the race track and spectator areas, such as the grandstands and tunnels, the track was opened and ready for the Verizon Indy Car series action. This was the next to last stop on the Verizon Indy Car Series season. The Championship is still mathematically up for grabs to five racers. Will Power leads with Helio Castroneves close behind in second. Both drivers would find themselves in trouble Sunday. Scott Dixon, a three-time defending Indy Car champion who is sitting fifth in the points, found his way to victory lane.

Pole sitter for the race was Will Power in his #12 Verizon Chevrolet. It looked to be all Power on Sunday as he charged out to a 10.773 second lead over Scott Dixon, when the second caution of the day flew. The caution erased his lead and would change the course of the race for Power. On the restart car #17 Sebastian Saavedra spun in turn seven, bringing out the yellow flag again. After pitting during the yellow he was shuffled back in the field of 22 cars. Power found himself in trouble in turn seven and was spun out and headed to the back of the pack. He was able to work his way back to the top 10 by the end of the race and salvaged some valuable points.

Dixon, a former winner of the grand prix of Sonoma, worked his way to the front with the help of his pit strategy. Pit strategy would be a play a key role in this race as Graham Rahal and Mike Conway learned. Rahal had the lead from lap 64 until lap 82 when his National Guard Honda ran out of fuel and headed down pit road with only three laps remaining. Conway was in fuel conservation mode which allowed Dixon to catch up and pass him with two laps to go. Conway ran out of fuel on the final lap and finished in 14th position. Dixon took the checkered flag for the second time in Sonoma.

Castroneves started the day in the sixth position. He got caught up in a first lap track incident in turn two that he could never fully recover from. He finished in 18th position losing valuable ground on points leader, Will Power.

The final stop for the Verizon Indy Car Series is Auto Club Speedway at Fontana, over the Labor Day weekend.