60 for 60: Day 54 – The IndyCar king of Sonoma?

Will Power tastes victory at Sonoma.  (Photo: Scott Bloom)

Will Power tastes victory at Sonoma. (Photo: Scott Bloom)

Other than a horrifying crash that led to a back injury in 2009, Will Power has mostly dominated the IndyCar races at Sonoma.  Power has three wins and Team Penske has won the last four races.  In 2013, Power was out of serious championship contention by the time the series returned to the wine country.  Dario Franchitti qualified on pole, and Scott Dixon’s pitlane penalty was the talk of the town, but it was Power who won the race.  It reignited the Australian’s season, leading to a second win in Houston and another at the season-ender in Fontana.

We’re closing out our 60-day celebration of this year’s racing with a few images of winners, champions, and decisive moments.

60 for 60: to celebrate the end of our racing year, we’re posting the 60 favorite images we captured this season, one each day from November 1 to December 31.

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60 for 60: Day 53 – One good turn deserves another

Sykes and Laverty in the Corkscrew. (Photo: S. Bloom)

Sykes and Laverty in the Corkscrew. (Photo: S. Bloom)

Flying down the Corkscrew at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is the equivalent of driving down a three-story building.  A high speed approach, a diving left, an exit chute and  out. Getting right is never easy, and more than a few racers have found themselves getting it wrong.  It takes skill and balls, commitment into the turn but a deft touch on the way out. We think it’s the best seat in racing, and one of the most exciting turns in the sport, but we know you have your favorites too.

60 for 60: to celebrate the end of our racing year, we’re posting the 60 favorite images we captured this season, one each day from November 1 to December 31.

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60 for 60: Day 52 – Honda wins a WTCC title

Honda wins another title (Photo: S. Bloom)

Honda wins another title (Photo: S. Bloom)

Honda entered the World Touring Car Championship as a manufacturer entry in 2013, bolstering the grid after both Chevrolet and Ford withdrew support for their WTCC programs.  With Citroen set to join in 2014, along with a radical new rules package, Honda saw this year as an opportunity to win a championship.  When it did, at Sonoma, the look on Gabriele Tarquini’s face said it all.  In the photo above, taken in the media center after the race, Tarquini is joined by Mehdi Benani (left), who scored another career high with a second place finish.

60 for 60: to celebrate the end of our racing year, we’re posting the 60 favorite images we captured this season, one each day from November 1 to December 31.

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60 for 60: Day 51 – The waiting game

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For a driver, a pit stop must seem like an eternity.  Heart rate elevated, body temperature up, adrenaline working overtime – in the middle of a race, a seven-second wait might as well be an hour.  Here, Helio Castroneves waits for four tires and fuel in the pits at Sonoma.

60 for 60: to celebrate the end of our racing year, we’re posting the 60 favorite images we captured this season, one each day from November 1 to December 31.

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60 for 60: Day 50 – Seeing Red

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The final ALMS race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca brought back a lot of memories.  From our first race to the final flag, we feel privileged to have enjoyed some of the world’s best sports car racing over the last 15 years.  Although the new Tudor United Sports Car Championship promises many of the same competitors and machines, the legendary mix of machinery in the ALMS brought together storied marques from racing history: Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, and Corvette.  This Team West Alex Job Racing Ferrari 458 GT caught our eye in the paddock at Laguna Seca earlier this year.  With the back end removed, the car is drawing the attention of the engineers on a test day before the race.

60 for 60: to celebrate the end of our racing year, we’re posting the 60 favorite images we captured this season, one each day from November 1 to December 31.

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60 for 60: Day 49 – Mano y mano

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They don’t look like rivals.  From the looks of this picture, they could almost be mistaken for buddies.  But during the course of the summer, Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon were locked in a battle for the championship that ended with the Kiwi claiming the crown.  At Sonoma, where Castroneves entered the championship with a healthy lead, Dixon’s title quest took a turn for the worst when he was penalized for contact in the pit lane. Undaunted, Dixon charged back and finally won the championship at Fontana.

60 for 60: to celebrate the end of our racing year, we’re posting the 60 favorite images we captured this season, one each day from November 1 to December 31.

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60 for 60 – Day 68: S2K FTW

Andrie Hartanto at the USTCC round at Sonoma.  (Photo: S. Bloom)

Andrie Hartanto at the USTCC round at Sonoma. (Photo: S. Bloom)

The US Touring Car Championship sponsored by Nitto Tires was on the bill at Sonoma for the World Touring Car Championship’s “Race of USA”.  Although the USTCC takes a back seat to its better known global cousins, the mixture of street machinery is entertaining and fierce.  Brad McClure won the championship in his rookie year; Geoff Sykes won in GT and the photo above is Adrian Hartanto.

60 for 60: to celebrate the end of our racing year, we’re posting the 60 favorite images we captured this season, one each day from November 1 to December 31.

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60 for 60: Day 47 – Charlie’s moment

Charlie Kimball scored his first win in 2013, at Mid-Ohio.  (Photo: S. Bloom)

Charlie Kimball scored his first win in 2013, at Mid-Ohio. (Photo: S. Bloom)

Until 2013, Charlie Kimball was a likeable driver without many results in IndyCar.  His performance in 2013 changed that perception, as the California native captured his first win and finished in the top 10 in the driver’s championship for the first time.  The win followed a convincing podium at Pocono along with teammate (and series champion) Scott Dixon.

60 for 60: to celebrate the end of our racing year, we’re posting the 60 favorite images we captured this season, one each day from November 1 to December 31.

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60 for 60: Day 46 – Oriol’s Oriole

Astute observers of baseball will note the Baltimore Oriole on Oriol Servia's lid. (Photo: S. Bloom)

Astute observers of baseball will note the Baltimore Oriole on Oriol Servia’s lid. (Photo: S. Bloom)

Oriol Servia is a Spanish IndyCar driver who drove for Panther Racing on a part-time basis this year.

The Baltimore Oriole is a bird and a baseball team.  Rarely do the Baltimore Orioles and Oriol Servia fly in the same direction, until we noticed a tiny detail on Servia’s helmet during a test day at Sonoma.  A very small Oriole bird, similar to the baseball team’s logo.  A perfect fit.  The kind of detail that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

60 for 60: to celebrate the end of our racing year, we’re posting the 60 favorite images we captured this season, one each day (more or less – ed.) from November 1 to December 31.

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60 for 60: Day 45 – American superbike

Retirement from race one, and 14th in race two for American Danny Eslick.  (Photo: S. Bloom)

Retirement from race one, and 14th in race two for American Danny Eslick. (Photo: S. Bloom)

World Superbike rules allow for a wildcard local from each event the series visits. At Laguna Seca, American Danny Eslick rode a Suzuki for Michael Jordan with average results.  Somehow, this photo – coming out of the Corkscrew – captures the speed as riders descend the equivalent of a two-story building and get back on the power for a sweeping left at the exit.

60 for 60: to celebrate the end of our racing year, we’re posting the 60 favorite images we captured this season, one each day from November 1 to December 31.

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