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  • 04 June 2019
    WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- As the Andretti Autosport teams clogged the qualifying leaderboard, it sure looked as if the fix was in at the Milwaukee Mile. Andretti drivers have won four of the last eight IndyCar races at Milwaukee, and Michael Andrettis marketing group is in its second year promoting the event. So when his son, Marco, jumped to P1 in Fridays qualifying session, followed by all three of his teammates, he could chuckle that perhaps something was awry. "We get extra horsepower here," Michael Andretti joked. In the end, Will Power of Penske Racing prevented an Andretti sweep by wedging himself in the middle of the four Andretti cars. When the field goes green Saturday, it will be Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe starting on the front row, followed by Power and then Andretti drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay, the defending race winner, and E.J. Viso. Asked what was up with the Andretti domination, Hinchcliffe had an answer far more entertaining than a claim of extra horsepower. "Pixie dust," Hinchcliffe said. "We were cleaning out the attic at the shop and came upon this little bag, and we spread the dust over all the cars." All jokes aside, its shaping up to be a race for an Andretti driver to lose in Saturdays 250-mile event. Marco Andretti won the pole with a two-lap average speed of 170.515 mph around the mile oval. Its his second career at Milwaukee, and third overall, and he beat Hinchcliffes average of 170.418 for a front row sweep for the Andretti cars. "Thats as good as I could have done," said Andretti, who scoured the qualifying order after his lap. "Im dying to see who is out there who can beat me." Power was third at 170.212, followed by Hunter-Reay and Viso. Sebastian Saavedra was sixth and Tony Kanaan was seventh as Chevrolet drivers swept the top seven spots. Josef Newgarden was the highest qualifying Honda at eighth. Helio Castroneves, last weeks winner at Texas, qualified 18th. His car failed post-race inspection Saturday night and IndyCar this week fined Penske Racing $35,000 and docked Roger Penske 15 owner points. But Castroneves maintained his lead in the IndyCar Series standings, which is 22 points over Marco Andretti. Marco Andretti, though, has his eye on the winners circle Saturday. Hes finished inside the top seven in seven of the eight IndyCar races this year and is eager to grab his first victory since 2011. "Man, I am so hungry to get the monkey off my back because once I do, I think they (wins) are going to steamroll from there," Andretti said. "Were knocking on the door and thats all weve got to do. Hopefully it will come through." And the pressure is on for Andretti to do it this weekend at Milwaukee as a Fathers Day gift to Michael. "It would be huge, and I told him hopefully this is only part of his Fathers Day gift," Marco said. "We have the car to do it, we have four great shots. I also have to credit Andretti Autosport as a whole, four out of the top five is pretty awesome." Especially considering how far off Hinchcliffe was in both practice sessions Friday. He smacked the wall in Turn 2 in the first session, damaging his car, and was far off of his teammates pace. "Change after change didnt seem to make it any better and it was tough," Hinchcliffe said. "We were scratching our heads wondering what we should do, and our teammates were first, second and fourth, just making us look stupid. We went through the whole car and my head was in the wrong place. "But everybody did a good job. The team did its job in getting the car sorted, and I pulled my head out to forget about practice and here we are." Cheap Chicago Cubs Jerseys China . Then the Pacers gave Oladipo and his Orlando teammates the cold shoulder. 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Still, Pittsburgh knows its taut 3-2 win over the Bruins on Wednesday night is a pretty good place to start laying the groundwork. "They are a very good defensive team," Penguins forward Brandon Sutter said.Royal Challengers Bangalores batting line-up contains Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson – but Sky Sports IPL presenter, Matt Floyd, reckons they WON’T make the play-offs… Caught your breath back after that stunning finish to the World T20?Its going to be hard to top that but the IPL is probably the only tournament that might be able to - it was, after all, this giant of T20 entertainment that helped mould some of the stars who shone for their national sides in India. A large number of them have stayed on for IPL 9, an edition that will have a slightly different feel to it.Firstly, IPL wouldnt be IPL without some sort of front-page controversy in the off-season. To cut a long story short, Gurunath Meiyappan (ex-team principal of Chennai Super Kings) and Raj Kundra (former co-owner of Rajasthan Royals) were found to have been involved in betting activity and their teams have been suspended for two years.Obviously this came as a huge shock to many and it will seem a little odd not to see MS Dhoni masterminding another tight win in yellow or the Royals unearthing another local star from nowhere, but the show must go on and we have two new franchises.Dhoni will captain in a mixture of pink, purple and blue this time (think Harlequins rugby) as he was snapped up by the Rising Pune Supergiants. I know what you are thinking: What on earth is a Supergiant? No idea, but it sounds big.Anyway, Dhoni took CSK stalwarts Ravi Ashwin and Faf Du Plessis with him, and many are intrigued to see how he will handle Kevin Pietersen. Kevin Pietersen will play for Rising Pune Supergiants in 2016 Gujarat Lions are the other new team and arguably theyve done even better in the draft - captain Suresh Raina could have some hard decisions to make with a squad containing the likes of Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner, Dwayne Smith and Dale Steyn.Looking a little deeper at the two new squads, though, it suggests they may have been hampered by a lack of options overall, with the six other teams having already retained the players they wanted. How Pune and Gujarats unproven local players perform could be vital to their success. The IPL returns on Saturday with Mumbai Indians versus Rising Pune Supergiants. KP and Eoin Morgan are back but the ex-England international might get more game time than the current limited-overs skipper. The Supergiants look a little short on batting fiirepower so I expect KP to play an important role.dddddddddddd Morgans Sunrisers, though, dont have the same issues.Only four overseas can play from Kane Williamson, Morgan, David Warner, Moises Henriques, Ben Cutting, Trent Boult and Mustafizur Rahman, and it may be that the Hyderabad franchise feel they need to go for a bowler or all-rounder ahead of the England captain. Hopefully not! Will Eoin Morgan get regular game time at Sunrisers? The other two Englishmen in the competition will have plenty of intrigued fans keeping an eye on their scores. but will Jos Buttler and Sam Billings see much game time? I reckon they will, especially Buttler.Reigning champions Mumbai are a very strong outfit but a) hes got an X factor rarely seen around the world and b) there is an injury cloud over Lasith Malinga. He couldnt have picked a tougher side to break into for a foreigner (barring RCB perhaps) but his stock is high after the World T20 and IPL 9 could be the time when he fully announces himself on the big stage.Billings will find it harder, especially as Delhi have two excellent keeper/batsmen in their squad in Quinton De Kock and Sanju Samson, but he could play as a specialist batsman as that is an area where the Daredevils look a little thin.So, whos going to take home the trophy? Looking at the squads it seems a bit of a lottery (every side has a few match-winners!), so Ill go with the usual tactic of favouring the best bowling attacks as stats will tell you they generally win tournaments. AB de Villiers adds to a powerful Bangalore batting line-up Royal Challengers undoubtedly have the best top three with Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers and theyve signed Shane Watson, but with no Mitchell Starc their bowling could potentially be toothless, so, at the risk of looking extremely stupid, I dont think theyll win it and may not even make the play-offs.Kolkata finished fifth last year and theyve hardly changed their squad but I fancy them to improve on that. Even if Sunil Narine isnt the force he once was they still have an impressive array of spinners to prosper on a pitch that usually takes turn - step forward Brad Hogg, Shakib Al Hasan, Piyush Chawla and Yusuf Pathan.Its hard to look past Mumbai as well and I reckon Sunrisers could spring a surprise - new signings Yuvraj Singh, Deepak Hooda, Ashish Nehra and Mustafizur could well drive them into the knock-out stage for the first time since 2013. Ill go for the Gujarat Lions as the final team to go through as theyve got some great all-round options.It all kicks off with a bang on Saturday as Mumbai Indians take on Rising Pune Supergiants at the Wankhede Stadium. Champs v Newbies, Buttler v KP, Rohit v Dhoni. Well see you then!Sky Sports is the only place you can watch all the action from the 2016 IPL, starting on Saturday as Kevin Pietersen and the Rising Pune Supergiants face defending chapions Mumbai Indians, including Englands Jos Buttler, live on Sky Sports 3 from 3pm. Or watch live without a contract, on NOW TV. Also See: Best of Buttler Kevin Pietersens year IPL: How to watch Johnson pumped for IPL ' ' '