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Honda identifies problem part in engine failures

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Honda Performance Development believes it has unearthed the answer to the problem that has plagued its cars all season long: engine failure.

Since the start of May, at least a dozen of Honda’s engines have quit, including those in the cars of Fernando Alonso, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Charlie Kimball during the Indianapolis 500.

But Honda Performance Development President Art St. Cyr said Saturday at Road America that his team has identified the problem.

“We have done a lot of analysis,” St. Cyr said. “It’s actually pretty deep in our engine. The part that failed is one we’ve been using for quite a while. Ultimately it came down to a parts processing issue for that, but we have been able to identify the part that is failing.

“We have some fixes in place for the rest of this year. As it stands right now, we are getting those parts into HPD at this point.”

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Before Honda drivers — and their fans — get too excited, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind. First, there’s no guarantee those fixes will work.

“Honda has done a hell of a job,” Graham Rahal said after qualifying sixth on Saturday. “I said yesterday in my press conference, they’re pushing to win. They did figure out what the problem is, but is there an immediate fix? Who knows. They say there is, but it’s going to take a little bit of time to phase it in.”

St. Cyr conceded the point. He said HPD has begun to build new engines with the appropriate changes made, but they won’t be implemented immediately.

“Unfortunately, with the durability plans that we have, 2500 miles, it’s going to take a while to cycle those engines into our pool,” St. Cyr said. “We hope to have those engines in our spares pool optimistically at Iowa, but more realistically in Toronto. … “Our expectations are that once we get the engines in the spares pool, we will continue the engines that are in the car throughout the remainder of their lives, then those will be replaced with new engines, like I said, hopefully, knock on wood, some of them at Iowa, but more realistically probably in Toronto is when that will really start to show up.”

St. Cyr added that the problem part flares up in about one of every eight engines, accounting for the random nature of the issue.

He also said that Honda’s increased horsepower this year was likely a factor in the failures.

Honda identifies problem part in engine failures

Fernando Alonso was knocked out of the Indianapolis 500 by engine failure. (Brian Spurlock, USA TODAY Sports)

“Yes, the increasing power is an attributing factor to (the failures), because obviously there is more stress on (the engine) in general.

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Honda identifies problem part in engine failures

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Honda Performance Development believes it has unearthed the answer to the problem that has plagued its cars all season long: engine failure.

Since the start of May, at least a dozen of Honda’s engines have quit, including those in the cars of Fernando Alonso, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Charlie Kimball during the Indianapolis 500.

But Honda Performance Development President Art St. Cyr said Saturday at Road America that his team has identified the problem.

“We have done a lot of analysis,” St. Cyr said. “It’s actually pretty deep in our engine. The part that failed is one we’ve been using for quite a while. Ultimately it came down to a parts processing issue for that, but we have been able to identify the part that is failing.

“We have some fixes in place for the rest of this year. As it stands right now, we are getting those parts into HPD at this point.”

MORE FROM ROAD AMERICA:

Penske drivers stay loose while dominant in qualifying
Tony Kanaan: “I think I have a championship in me”
More redemption ahead for Indy 500 champ Takuma Sato?
Rookie thrust into leadership role for Dale Coyne Racing

Before Honda drivers — and their fans — get too excited, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind. First, there’s no guarantee those fixes will work.

“Honda has done a hell of a job,” Graham Rahal said after qualifying sixth on Saturday. “I said yesterday in my press conference, they’re pushing to win. They did figure out what the problem is, but is there an immediate fix? Who knows. They say there is, but it’s going to take a little bit of time to phase it in.”

St. Cyr conceded the point. He said HPD has begun to build new engines with the appropriate changes made, but they won’t be implemented immediately.

“Unfortunately, with the durability plans that we have, 2500 miles, it’s going to take a while to cycle those engines into our pool,” St. Cyr said. “We hope to have those engines in our spares pool optimistically at Iowa, but more realistically in Toronto. … “Our expectations are that once we get the engines in the spares pool, we will continue the engines that are in the car throughout the remainder of their lives, then those will be replaced with new engines, like I said, hopefully, knock on wood, some of them at Iowa, but more realistically probably in Toronto is when that will really start to show up.”

St. Cyr added that the problem part flares up in about one of every eight engines, accounting for the random nature of the issue.

He also said that Honda’s increased horsepower this year was likely a factor in the failures.

Honda identifies problem part in engine failures

Fernando Alonso was knocked out of the Indianapolis 500 by engine failure. (Brian Spurlock, USA TODAY Sports)

“Yes, the increasing power is an attributing factor to (the failures), because obviously there is more stress on (the engine) in general.

...

Jordan Spieth takes one-shot lead into final round at Travelers

William S. Paxton, Special for USA TODAY Sports Published 6:57 p.m. ET June 24, 2017 | Updated 16 minutes ago

2017-06-24 Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth has a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the Travelers Championship. (Photo: Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports)

CROMWELL, Conn. — The rest of the field took their best runs at Jordan Spieth, but the 23-year-old star remained king of the mountain at the Travelers Championship for another day.

Spieth sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to take an one-shot lead over Boo Weekley on a low-scoring Saturday at TPC River Highlands.

"It’s not the easiest course to hold the lead on," Spieth said. "I think I said the same thing at the John Deere in 2015. I was leading after 54 (holes) by a shot or two, and it’s just not the easiest course because guys get out there an hour before you tomorrow in twosomes and all of a sudden there’s a group that is one back or you may not be leading anymore."

Spieth, who is trying for his 10th career win, finished the round at 4-under 66 and is 12-under overall. After shooting 7-under in the opening round on Thursday, Spieth has only lost the lead for a hole twice, with Charley Hoffman holding it briefly in the third round.

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"I think I've got to stay really positive," he said. "I've got to stay focused on my goal. Just any other noise that's out here, throw it out the window, stay focused on the goal that we set for the round tomorrow."

While Spieth has become one of the golden boys of golf, Weekley, 43, is the tour grinder who has battled back from injuries and personal problems to stay on tour. He posted four birdies on the back nine to shoot 5-under (11-under overall) and is looking for his first win since the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.

"It’s been awhile since I’ve been sitting up here," Weekley said about being brought into the media room after his round. "I’ve been having some personal troubles back home and I’ve been trying to get that taken care of.

"It feels surreal to be back up here."

Daniel Berger sits alone in third place at 9 under, while three players are at 8 under including 2015 runner-up Paul Casey. C.T. Pan, who shot the low round of 6 under, and David Lingmerth are tied for fourth, too.

"Jordan’s at the top of the leaderboard," said Casey, who was one of 12 players to shoot 4-under or better in the third round. "It’s looking pretty stacked where I'm at and maybe some guys just behind me. It’s a par 70, and it can be a difficult one to, you know, sometimes break par on. We’ve seen some great players this week who missed the cut."

Hoffman was able to wrestle the lead from Spieth, who lead after the first two rounds. The 40-year-old journeyman moved to the top with a birdie putt at

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So Yeon Ryu shoots course-record 61 to take LPGA lead in Arkansas

AP Published 2:57 p.m. ET June 24, 2017 | Updated 2 minutes ago

2017-06-24 So Yeon Ryu

So Yeon Ryu has a five-shot lead heading into the final round of the NW Arkansas Championship. (Photo: Drew Hallowell, Getty Images)

ROGERS, Ark. (AP) — A few weeks off was all So Yeon Ryu needed to kick-start what is shaping up to be possibly the best year of her LPGA Tour career.

The third-ranked South Korean star shot a course-record 10-under 61 on Saturday in the NW Arkansas Championship to take a five-stroke lead into the final round, putting in in great position to become the first repeat winner this year.

The ANA Inspiration winner in April for her second major title, she reached 16 under to break the tournament 36-hole record by two strokes. She had her lowest score on the LPGA Tour and matched her professional best set in the 2012 Australian Ladies Masters.

Ryu opened the year with eight straight top-10 finishes, including the major victory. She struggled in her two events after that run, finishing 56th and then missing the cut at the ShopRite LPGA Classic this month in New Jersey. Coming off a two-week break, she has returned to her early season form — and then some.

"I played really well the beginning of this year, then I didn't really play well at the last championship, kind of lost confidence a little bit," Ryu said. "But I think it was great to have two weeks off, because when you have two weeks off you totally forget about how you played the last few tournaments."

Local favorite Stacy Lewis and Moriya Jutanugarn were tied for second. They each shot 65.

"I think I go try to play a round like I have the last couple of days, really," Lewis said. "That's all I can do, and then hope for some help."

First-round leader Sung Hyun Park followed her opening 63 with a 73 to drop into a tie for 10th at 6 under. Defending champion Lydia Ko was 5 under after a 67.

A day after opening with a 65 in gusty afternoon conditions, Ryu preyed on the Pinnacle Country Club course on a calm Saturday morning.

She needed only 25 putts, posting a 30 on her opening nine holes before closing out the blistering round with three birdies on her final four holes. Ryu capped the round with an uphill 10-foot birdie putt on the par-4 nine, much to the delight of the gallery.

She also earned the praise of Ai Miyazato, the retiring Japanese star who finished a group ahead of Ryu and was nearby at the scorer's tent as the South Korean walked off the course.

"Way to go, So Yeon," Miyazato said. "You were on fire out there."

The previous course record was 62, set by Angela Park and Jane Park in 2008 and matched last year by Ko and Ayako Uehara. Ko went on to win the tournament with a record score of 17 under.

Ko and

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