Auto Racing Notebook – Thursday January 23rd
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.
We're excited to welcome @CharlieKimball and Novo Nordisk to the team for the 2020 @indycar season!
Full Release: https://t.co/hCuVxCZXQQ@racewithinsulin | #4TheLoveOfRacing | #INDYCAR pic.twitter.com/UjThY2uWCA
— AJ Foyt Racing (@AJFoytRacing) January 22, 2020
- 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.
Thanks for jumping behind the wheel, @mattdracing! pic.twitter.com/SN3jXnPANS
— NASCAR Xfinity (@NASCAR_Xfinity) January 22, 2020
- 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.
It’s official! We are pleased to announce @SantinoFerrucci as our driver of the no.18 @SealMasterNet machine for the 2020 @IndyCar season. #INDYCAR pic.twitter.com/4eaEpzy1FL
— Vasser Sullivan IndyCar (@vsindycar) January 23, 2020
- 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.
‼️ Word is out! ‼️@Castrol comes on board @roushfenway as official oil partner, will serve as primary for @RyanJNewman in select events.#NASCAR // @FordPerformance pic.twitter.com/w0Ri4qf34i
— No. 6 Team (@Roush6Team) January 22, 2020
- 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.
Factory Motor Parts brand FVP to be the Primary Sponsor of @GrahamRahal’s entry at @WWTRaceway and a full season associate sponsor in 2020. 🙌🏼
Welcome to the team and also to @IndyCar, FMP! 🏎
MORE: https://t.co/HzHWcbLTOL#indycar #sportsbiz #sponsorship pic.twitter.com/8CoffRssDx
— Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (@RLLracing) January 23, 2020
- Rudolph Motorsports Brew House Racing announced a marketing partnership with the Gibsonia Giant Eagle grocery store for the 2020 racing season.
Rudolph Motorsports Brew House Racing Is happy to announce a marketing partnership with the Gibsonia Giant Eagle for the 2020 racing season. We are excited to have them join our race team. pic.twitter.com/Sj7IzRzajj
— Chris Rudolph (@rudyracer25) January 22, 2020
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Racing Notebook: Rosenqvist earns INDYCAR Pole; Dixon starts 2nd; Hocevar, Smith earn NASCAR victories
FORT WORTH, TX – (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The NTT INDYCAR SERIES gets back on track Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway with Arrow McLaren and Chip Ganassi Racing leading the field to green. In NASCAR, Carson Hocevar and Chandler Smith each earned victories on Saturday and Alex Bowman will lead the Cup field to green on Sunday.
Felix Rosenqvist wins INDYCAR Texas Pole:
- Arrow McLaren Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist is on the pole position for Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES PPG 375. Rosenqvist’s 2-lap average of 220.264 mph was slower than the 221.110 mph he posted in 2021. The pole is the second consecutive for Rosenqvist at the 1.5-mile oval. “I think we just built on last year,” said Rosenqvist. “Maybe it was a good thing to start early. The track kind of warmed up. We’ll take it. We’ve always been good here, but this is a whole different confidence level compared to last year. Let’s try to wrap it up tomorrow.” The 250-lap race starts at Noon (ET) Sunday with live coverage on NBC, Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.
Dixon Puts PNC Bank Honda on front row:
- PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon will start on the outside of the front row for Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES PPG 375 at Texas Motor Speedway. Dixon’s 2-lap average around the 1.5-mile oval of 219.972-mph was 0.292-mph behind pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist. Dixon, a 6-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion has five career victories at Texas, including wins in four of the last nine races. Dixon’s CGR teammates Takuma Sato and Alex Palou will start 6th and 7th respectively. CGR’s Marcus Ericsson will roll off 16th in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda.
Carson Hocevar Wins NASCAR Truck Race at Texas:
- Carson Hocevar avoided a crash on the white flag lap to power to the win in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Hocevar made contact with the back of the truck of Nick Sanchez, as Sanchez was recovering from door-to-door contact with Zane Smith. Sanchez spun and collected Smith as Hocevar avoided the mayhem to take the double-overtime victory. The win was Hocevar’s first career win. “I didn’t mean to get into him, I just meant to give him a push and he got sideways the second I hit him, I apologize to them, I’ll take the fall for it.”
Chandler Smith takes NASCAR Xfinity win at Richmond:
- Rookie Chandler Smith earned his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory Saturday afternoon at Richmond (Va.) Raceway holding off John Hunter Nemechek on a final race restart to win the ToyotaCare 250. Smith’s margin of victory was .298-seconds. Smith’s No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet led a race best 83 of the 250 laps.
Alex Bowman on NASCAR Cup Series Pole at Richmond:
- Current NASCAR Cup Series championship leader Alex Bowman will start Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) from pole position in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet with Kyle Busch completing the front row in the No. 8 Richard Childress Chevy after NASCAR’s Cup Series practice and qualifying sessions were cancelled Saturday morning at Richmond (Va.) Raceway because of poor weather.
Racing Notebook: MSR Penalized; Taylor to sub for Elliott and more
(Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of the Racing Notebook details Meyer Shank Racing’s post-Rolex 24 penalty plus Jordan Taylor to take the wheel of a Hendrick Chevy; two F1 veteran in Cup race at COTA and more:
Meyer Shank Penalized by IMSA:
- Meyer Shank Racing is $50,000 lighter in the pocketbook after being penalized by IMSA for infractions discovered after the team won the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona. IMSA became aware of the manipulation of tire pressure data from the No. 60 car to IMSA as the monitoring point for the minimum tire pressure regulation. In addition to the $50k fine the team and drivers lost lost 200-Championship points, lost all Michelin Endurance Cup points, lost race prize money, and team owner Mike Shank placed on probation through June 30, 2023 and team engineer Ryan McCarthy was placed on indefinite suspension.
Jordan Taylor to sub for Chase Elliott at COTA:
- Jordan Taylor will be behind the wheel of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet this weekend as the NASCAR Cup Series hits the road course at Circuit of the Americas. Taylor, a three-time Champion in IMSA’s DPi and GT classes, has been working with Hendrick’s Garage 56 program for the 24-Hours of Le Mans. Elliott, the 2020 Cup Series Champion, is expected to miss approximately six-weeks after suffering a broken leg snowboarding before this past weekend’s event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Jensen Button to make Cup debut at COTA:
- 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jensen Button will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut this weekend at Circuit of the Americas driving the No. 15 Mobil 1 Ford for Rick Ware Racing. This marks the first of three Cup Series starts in 2023 for Button, who will also compete at inaugural Chicago street race and the road course race at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Button has been testing Hendrick’s Garage 56 Camaro at Sebring, Daytona and COTA. Kimi Raikonnen will also be in the field as he returns to Trackhouse Racing for the COTA event.
54 entries for 12-Hours of Sebring:
- 54-cars are on the preliminary entry list for the 12-Hours of Sebring. Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 2 Cadillac is not in the 12-Hour field as that car begins its World Endurance Championship (WEC) with the 1000-miles of Sebring the day before the 12-Hour. IMSA has also adjusted the Balance of Performance for GTD following the Rolex 24. All the cars have gained weight from the 1030kg minimum used at Daytona, with the Acura ARX-06 gaining the most at 1054kg, and Cadillac the least at 1038kg. BMW is at 1040, while Porsche is at 1048. Qualifying for the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship takes place Friday, March 17 at 9 a.m. with the green flag dropping Saturday at 10 a.m.
Racing Notebook: Pocono NASCAR Weekend approaching; INDYCAR in Toronto; PVGP hits the track and more
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Pittsburgh Racing Now Racing Notebook is jam-packed with NASCAR, INDYCAR, and Vintage racing news:
Limited Tickets Remain for Pocono NASCAR Weekend:
- Pocono Raceway’s NASCAR weekend is a little over a week away and if you want to go, get your tickets now! Pocono announced on Thursday that a limited number of grandstand seats are the only options remaining for the marquee M&M’S® Fan Appreciation 400 NASCAR Cup Series race next Sunday, July 24. The remaining grandstand seats for the Cup Series race are at three price points ($45, $80 and $95) and scattered throughout the various sections of the main grandstand. The only RV camping option currently available is general admission for $250, which includes two guest passes and free admission for up to 4 children 12 and under. To purchase tickets or learn more, please visit poconoraceway.com or call 800-722-3929.
INDYCAR Returns To Toronto:
- The NTT INDYCAR SERIES returns to the Streets of Toronto for this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto. All eyes will be on Defending Series Champion Alex Palou, driver of the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. CGR announced on Tuesday afternoon they were exercising their option on Palou for 2023, only to have Palou announce on Social Media later that evening that he was not returning. Moments after Palou’s announcement, McLaren Racing announced they signed Palou for 2023. CGR has won seven times at Toronto, the most recent being Scott Dixon in 2018. Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi was fastest in the first practice on Friday. A second practice session takes place Saturday morning with three rounds of knockout-style qualifying taking place Saturday afternoon. The race is Sunday at 3 p.m.
Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix at Pitt Race:
- The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix hits the Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum this weekend in a tune-up for next weekend’s race on the streets of Schenley Park. Since 2004, racers from all over the country have come to the 2.8-mile purpose-built track 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh for fierce competition. The ‘Black Tie and Tailpipes Gala’ took place last night at The Grand Concourse at Station Square. For more information visit pvgp.org.