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NTT IndyCar Series Winter Notebook

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SPEEDWAY, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The calendar has flipped to 2020 and the NTT IndyCar Series is gearing up for Pre-season testing and the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which is just over 2-months away.

Recapping the off-season changes must start with the change at top of the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Roger Penske took control of the Series and Speedway earlier this month when Penske Corporation closed on the sale from Hulman & Co. on Monday, January 6th.

In other off-season IndyCar News:

  • Conor Daly is joining Ed Carpenter Racing, taking over on the road courses for the owner-driver, who will run the ovals and field three cars at the Indy 500.
  • DragonSpeed Racing announced plans to run a six-race IndyCar program in 2020 beginning at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with Ben Hanley in the cockpit for the season-opener.
  • Sebastien Bourdais and Dale Coyne Racing have parted ways with Spaniard Alex Palou joining the team in a partnership with Kazumichi Goh.
  • Craig Hampson, the veteran engineer who worked with Bourdais at Coyne and at Newman Haas Racing, left Dale Coyne Racing to join Arrow McLaren SP.
  • XPEL joins Josef Newgarden and Team Penske as primary sponsor of the No. 1 Dallara Chevrolet for two races in 2020.
  • SuperCars Champion Scott McLaughlin tested a Team Penske IndyCar at Sebring International Raceway as several teams tested on the permanent road course.
  • IndyCar is tweaking several rules according to RACER:
    • Revising the rule prohibiting teams from working on damaged race cars during a red flag condition, adding expulsion if a team is found in violation.
    • Revising the track limits at Circuit of The Americas’ Turn 19, installing a timing line at the exit of the high-speed corner to force drivers to stay inside the curbing.
    • Revising the “Push-to-pass” system to remove the ability for teams to track its use during the race. No changes to the amount of horsepower boost, 40hp.
    • Expanding the two-stage pit speed limiter used at Texas to the remaining overall on the schedule.

The NTT IndyCar Season kicks off March 13-15 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.  Tickets are available at www.gpstpete.com.

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The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast – Episode 15 – Aaron Reutzel, Matthew Dillner, Chip Ganassi and more!

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast features the 2-time and defending Champion of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 Aaron Reutzel.  We also talk to Matthew Dillner of Dirty Mo Media about the new show he co-hosts with Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Chip Ganassi takes his own trip down memory lane and we hear from Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials about safety protocols in place at this year’s Indy 500.

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Racing Notebook: Cole Pearn Joins Ed Carpenter Racing; Paul Tracy Joins SRX and Road To Indy At Mid-Ohio

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has news about Engineer Cole Pearn joining Ed Carpenter Racing for the Indy 500 plus Paul Tracy joins SRX Racing.

Cole Pearn Joins Ed Carpenter Racing For The Indy 500:

  • Championship-winning Crew Chief Cole Pearn is joining Ed Carpenter Racing for the Indianapolis 500.  Pearn will serve as the lead engineer for Conor Daly. Daly will compete in ECR’s third entry, the No. 47 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet.  Pearn and driver Martin Truex Jr captured the NASCAR Cup Series title in 2017 with Furniture Row Racing.  Pearn left full-time NASCAR competition at the close of the 2019 season, returning to his home country of Canada with his wife Carrie and their two young children. The couple now own and operate Golden Alpine Holidays, which includes four backcountry lodges in British Columbia.
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Paul Tracy and Tony Kanaan Join SRX Racing Series:

  • Paul Tracy and Tony Kanaan are signed on as drivers in the Superstar Racing Experience, the new series founded by Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham. Tracy joins Tony Stewart and Tony Kanaan as the third confirmed driver for the series that will air Saturday nights in primetime on CBS Television Network in the Summer of 2021.

Road To Indy Racing At Mid-Ohio:

  • Braden Eves from New Albany Ohio too home the victory in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex.  Eves held off Daniel Frost and Parker Thompson, who rounded out the podium.  Colin Kaminsky, who is the goaltender for the University of Pittsburgh Hockey Team, finished sixth.
  • Christian Rasmussen was victorious Wednesday afternoon in the USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders. Second-generation Brazilian racer Eduardo Barrichello held on for a career-best second-place finish, despite a determined challenge from 15-year-old Floridian Reece Gold who also secured his best result to date for Cape Motorsports.
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7-time NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson Tests Chip Ganassi Racing INDYCAR

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SPEEDWAY, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson is spending his Tuesday testing one of Chip Ganassi Racing’s INDYCAR’s on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Johnson was supposed to test at the Speedway on July 8 following the INDYCAR/NASCAR doubleheader weekend on the Fourth of July, but Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 forcing him to miss the Brickyard 400.  Johnson tested negative for the virus a few days later and only missed that one race, opening the door to reschedule this test.

Johnson climbed aboard the No. 10 NTT Data Honda that is usually driven by Felix Rosenqvist and after his initial run he hopped on the team radio.  CGR Managing Director Mike Hull shared Johnson’s comment on his Twitter feed.

5-Time NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion Scott Dixon, driver of the No. 9 PNC Bank CGR Honda, was on hand to help Johnson too.

Seven-time even took a few minutes to thank five-time:

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No official speeds were available but if Johnson’s social media posts were any indication it was a productive day.

 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles presented Johnson with a gift following the test.

Johnson has expressed an interest in competing in a few INDYCAR races in 2021 since he is retiring from full-time NASCAR competition following the 2020 season and after the day seemed like he’s ready to give it a try.

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