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Racing Notebook

Auto Racing Notebook – Thursday January 23rd

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IMSA

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A lot of news this week in IndyCar and NASCAR as well as coming out of Daytona as the cars take to the track in preparation for the Rolex 24-Hours.

  • Oliver Jarvis (pictured above) is on the pole positions for this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona after turning a fast lap of 1:33.711-seconds (136.760 mph) in the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest RP-24T Daytona Prototype International (DPi).  Juan Pablo Montoya, a 3-time Rolex 24-Hour winner, will start on the outside of the front row in his No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05.
  • Ben Keating won the LMP2 pole position after turning a best lap of 1:37.446 (131.519 mph) in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA.
  • IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball is joining A.J. Foyt racing and is bring his Novo Nordisk sponsorship with him.  Kimball, who drove for Pittsburgh’s Chip Ganassi from 2011 through 2017 and drove a partial schedule last year with Carlin Racing, will be the full-time driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet in 2020.  Kimball is scheduled to be a guest on a future episode of the Pittsburgh Racing Now Podcast.

  • Penske Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto tested a NASCAR Xfinity car on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.  DiBenedetto tested both the IndyCar course and the old F1 course.  The IndyCar course adds a right – left- right turn off the south short chute that exits onto the oval at turn 1 before continuing onto the front stretch.  The old F1 course bypasses that so cars exit the infield road course near the oval turn 2 and then run clockwise through the south short chute through turn 1 onto the front stretch.

  • Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan confirms that Santino Ferrucci is returning to the team but in the No. 18 Honda with backing from Sealmaster.

  • Roush Fenway Racing announced that Castrol is joining the team as official oil partner and will be a primary sponsor on Ryan Newman’s No. 6 Ford Mustang for select races in 2020.
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  • Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing announced that Factory Motor Parts (FMP) is joining the team as the primary sponsor for Graham Rahal’s No. 15 Honda at World Wide Technology Raceway and as an associate on the car for the 2020 season.

  • Rudolph Motorsports Brew House Racing announced a marketing partnership with the Gibsonia Giant Eagle grocery store for the 2020 racing season.

If you have a news release you would like featured on our Racing Notebook please email your press releases to PghRacingNow@gmail.com.

IndyCar

Racing Notebook – Ohio Racing Gets Red Flagged; New Series from Stewart and Evernham plus Weekend Winner Recap

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Steve Skarupa Photography

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Monday’s Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details on new restrictions placed on events in Ohio plus Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham are teaming up to start a new series and we look back at the winners on track this past weekend.

New Restrictions On Events In Ohio:

  • The Ohio Department of Health has mandated activities to be limited in the state of Ohio due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic. These restrictions are forcing Sharon Speedway to cancel this Saturday’s events, including the RUSH Late Model Series “Bill Forney Memorial”.  Sharon Speedway plans on resuming their 2020 schedule of events when the restrictions are lifted.

Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham Starting New Series:

  • NASCAR Hall of Famers Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham are teaming up to start a new racing series.  The Sports Business Journal first reported the deal, which includes former NASCAR executive George Pyne and sports agent Sandy Montag.  The Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) will feature six races on short tracks and will include top drivers from a variety of backgrounds.  The SRX will be similar in scope the defunct IROC Series and is set to debut in 2021 and will be televised by CBS Sports.

Cole Custer Gets 1st Career Cup Win At Kentucky:

  • Stewart Haas Racing’s Cole Custer picked up his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory Sunday at Kentucky Speedway winning a thrilling battle on the last lap with saw Custer four-wide with Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr and Ryan Blaney.  Truex held on for second and Matt DiBenedetto finished third.

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Chip Ganassi Racing Sweeps Road America:

Larson and Conley Take Sharon Speedway wins:

Saturday Winners At Pittsburgh’s PA Motor Speedway:

  • Chas Wolbert picked up his second straight win taking the RUSH Sportsman Modified 15-lap main event. Keith Barbara picked up his first win of the season in the RUSH Late Model Dirt Series 20-lap feature.  Jason Fosnaught was victorious in the PPMS Pro Stock division.  Stephen Shelpman continued to dominate the Keystone Coach Works Hobby Stock division with another victory. Philip and Noah Bubeck were each victorious in the Four Cylinder and Young Guns divisions respectively.

Saturday Winners At Jennerstown Speedway:

  • Defending Track Champion, Teddy Gibala won for the first time this season in the Martella’s Pharmacies Late Model division of racing, becoming the fourth different winner in four events. Also celebrating in Stoney’s Beer Victory Lane were R.J. Dallape (Stoystown Auto Wreckers Modifieds), Aaron Van Fleet (Ron’s Collision Center Street Stocks), Dale Kimberly (Farmers Union Co-Op Chargers), and Evan Nibert (Somerset Trust Company Fast ‘n Furious 4-Cylinders).

Matt Kenseth’s New Colors For All-Star Race:

  • Wednesday’s NASCAR Cup Series All-Star race at Bristol Motor Speedway is going to feature a different style paint scheme that fans are not used to seeing on race cars.  The number and some sponsor placement is moving.  Here is a look at the McDonald’s Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 of Matt Kenseth:

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Local Racing

Friday Racing Recap: Larson and Cindric Win Again; Mother Nature Wins At Lernerville

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Paul Arch

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Friday night sees two of the hottest drivers in racing visit victory lane again; Mother Nature Wins at Lernerville and Steve Buckwalter takes the checkered flag at Williams Grove.

Larson Wins Dean Knittel Memorial:

  • Kyle Larson led wire-to-wire to win The Ollies Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions main event, the Dean Knittel Memorial, at Portsmouth Raceway Park.  Aaron Reutzel finished second and Brock Zearfoss finished third.  The victory was Larson’s second Ohio Sprint Speedweek victory in four tries.  The All Stars move on to Sharon Speedway Saturday for the Lou Blaney Memorial and Sunday for Justin Snyder’s Salute to the Troops.

Austin Cindric Takes 2nd Straight Xfinity Win:

  • Austin Cindric dominated the Alsco 300 leading 130 laps at Kentucky Speedway to capture his second consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) victory of the 2020 season Friday night and his fourth career NXS victory. Cindric started the 200-lap event from the 15th position after the top-15 finishers from Thursday’s race at Kentucky were inverted. The driver of the No. 22 Snap-on Ford Mustang sits third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings, 33 markers behind leader Chase Briscoe.
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Frost, Petrov Share Indy Pro 2000 Honors at Road America:

  • Singapore’s Danial Frost and Russian Artem Petrov each scored a victory in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires season openers at Road America.  Frost came from last to first in his victory in race one with Canadian Devlin DeFrancesco in second.  Colin Kaminski, who is the University of Pittsburgh’s Hockey Goalie, rounded out the podium with a 3rd place finish.  In race two Petrov drafted past Frost to take the lead and ultimately the win.  Braden Eves finished second followed by Frost.

Steve Buckwalter and Anthony Macri Win At Williams Grove:

  • Steve Buckwalter captured the 410 Sprint Car feature Friday night at Williams Grove.  Matt Campbell finished second followed by Kyle Reinhardt.  Anthony Macri won the United Racing Club’s 360 Sprint Cars feature. The victory was Macri’s first career feature win of any sort at the famed half mile.  Buckwalter finished second followed by Tyler Ross in third.  Check out Lou Long’s story here.

Mother Nature Wins At Lernerville:

  • A heavy rain storm late Friday afternoon wiped out Friday night’s schedule at Lernerville Speedway.  Fans who were sent home thanks to Mother Nature can have their ticket stubs used for entry for either of the next two Fab 4 Friday nights.

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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook – NASCAR Goes Road Racing at Daytona; Cap Henry Grabs 2nd OH Speedweek win plus INDYCAR Drivers On IMS and more

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Today’s Racing Notebook includes details on the updated NASCAR schedule, Ohio Speedweek continues plus INDYCAR drivers like what new owner Roger Penske has done with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Jimmie Johnson cleared to drive after COVID-19 and more:

NASCAR Updates Schedule Through Regular Season Finale:

Cap Henry Gets 2nd Win Of Ohio Speedweek:

  • Cap Henry passed Cole Conley with two laps remaining to win Monday’s Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All-Star Circuit of Champions feature at Wayne County Speedway.  The victory was the 2nd for Henry in Ohio’s Sprint Speedweek as he won Friday night at Attica Raceway Park.  Ohio Sprint Speedweek continues Wednesday night at Brushcreek Motorsports Complex in Peebles, Ohio.
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Jimmie Johnson Cleared To Drive at Kentucky:

  • Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson has been cleared to resume NASCAR Cup Series competition this weekend at Kentucky.  Johnson missed this past weekend’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.  Johnson passed NASCAR’s requirements in order to return which included two negative COVID-19 tests at least 24 hours apart, an absence of symptoms, and medical clearance from a physician.

INDYCAR Drivers Psyched About Penske’s Changes At IMS:

  • NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers were impressed at how different the Indianapolis Motor Speedway looked when they arrived at the facility for this past weekend’s GMR Grand Prix, the first under new owner Roger Penske.  The improvements include a wide concourse between the front stretch grandstands and Georgetown Road; 30-New LED Video Boards; 5G Wireless Connectivity; 3-acres of new sod; 75-metal frame picnic tables; 5-miles of new fencing; 400,000-square feet of new asphalt; 4,000-gallons of paint; 50-renovated concession stands and 225-updated restrooms with new paint, LED Lighting and hand dryers.  “Spotless,” said Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner.  “Like his team, his race cars, his trucks.  Up to Roger’s standards in every way.”

Kurt Busch to Guest Star on Jay Leno’s Garage:

  • Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 1 Monster Energy/Gearwrench Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Camaro will be one of the featured guests in tonight’s season finale of “Jay Leno’s Garage”.  Busch took to his Twitter account to share the news and a sneak peek.

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