Points leader Ryan Briscoe went wheel to wheel with fellow championship contender Scott Dixon on the last lap and came out on top, winning Saturday night’s IndyCar series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., by only 0.0077 of a second.
Dixon finished second by a nose, followed by Mario Moraes and another championship contender, Dario Franchitti -- keeping the series title fight tight going into the last two races of the season. Graham Rahal finished fifth.
Briscoe’s Penske Racing teammate, Helio Castroneves, appeared to break a suspension part and hit the wall with 16 laps to go.
It was the fourth-closest finish in series history. Three of the series’ four closest finishes have come at Chicagoland.
With his third victory of the season, Briscoe leads Franchitti by 25 points and Dixon by 33 going into the final two races. Castroneves, who came into Saturday night’s race fourth in the points, was eliminated from title contention after his crash.
Graham Rahal rounded out the top five. Danica Patrick finished 12th.
The race was fast and caution-free until nearly the halfway point, when Andretti Green Racing driver Hideki Mutoh lost control of his car and hit the wall hard on Lap 92. Mutoh was able to climb out of the car on his own.
Giancarlo Fisichella gave Force India its first F1 pole during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
The 36-year-old Italian earned the Indian team its maiden pole with a lap of 1 minute 46.308 seconds around the high-speed circuit.
Toyota’s Jarno Trulli will start second ahead of BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld in today’s 44-lap race.
Overall F1 leader Jenson Button will start a season-worst 14th after failing to reach the last qualifying session for the first time. Teammate Rubens Barrichello will be fourth.
Marcos Ambrose has won the Nationwide Series pole at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal in the rain.
Ambrose turned a fast lap of 80.905 mph to hold off Carl Edwards, whose best lap was 80.116 mph. Defending race winner Ron Fellows of Canada was third at 79.717 mph, followed by fellow road-race ace Boris Said.
Brad Coleman was fifth, followed by former Formula One star Jacques Villeneuve, who made a gallant run on the track named after his father despite standing water on the 14-turn, 2.7-mile street course.
Series points leader Kyle Busch will start 12th.
Dani Pedrosa of Spain won the pole for the Indianapolis MotoGP race with a qualifying lap of 1 minute 39.730 seconds at Indianapolis.
Jorge Lorenzo of Spain was second in qualifying with a 1:40.236. Valentino Rossi of Italy, the defending race winner and points leader, was third in 1:40.609.
Colin Edwards was the top American qualifier at 1:40.961. He will start fifth in today’s race.
Matt Goerke became the sixth first-time winner, taking the 450 Class at the penultimate round of the AMA Pro Motocross at Southwick, Mass.
Justin Barcia also earned his first career victory, winning the 250 Class, and teammate Jessica Patterson won the WMX Class.
Chad Reed, who clinched his first class championship last weekend, appeared on his way to a fifth straight victory before crashing out of the lead in the final moto, allowing Goerke to assume the top spot.
Nick Joanides of Woodland Hills swept the NASCAR ACDelco Super LateModel twin 40-lap feature races at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale.
Joanides earned his 12th and 13th victories of the season and maintained his division championship points lead over Rip Michels.
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Sprint Cup standings
The top 12 drivers qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The current standings:
*--* Rk Driver Points Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 1. Tony Stewart 3,564 24 3 13 18 2. Jimmie Johnson 3,344 24 3 9 15 3. Jeff Gordon 3,310 24 1 11 16 4. Denny Hamlin 3,141 24 1 8 12 5. Carl Edwards 3,110 24 0 7 11 6. Kurt Busch 3,103 24 1 6 13 7. Ryan Newman 2,995 24 0 5 10 8. Greg Biffle 2,986 24 0 8 11 9. Juan Montoya 2,975 24 0 1 11 10. Mark Martin 2,971 24 4 7 12 11. Kasey Kahne 2,963 24 1 4 9 12. Matt Kenseth 2,945 24 2 4 9 13. Kyle Busch 2,911 24 4 6 8 14. Brian Vickers 2,906 24 1 4 11 15. Clint Bowyer 2,833 24 0 4 10 *--*
The two races left in NASCAR’s “regular season":
* Sept. 6: Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
* Sept. 12: Chevy Rock ‘n’ Roll 400 at Richmond (Va.) Int. Raceway.