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Rolex 24 At Daytona Friday Notebook

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DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), announced Friday before the Rolex 24 At Daytona that both sanctioning bodies are converging the top categories of endurance racing.

Pierre Fillon, President of the ACO, and Jim France, IMSA Chairman, unveiled the guiding principle for the platform – the introduction of the top category of competition LMDh, which will be eligible for both the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The convergence will allow auto manufacturers to compete with the same car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, at SuperSebring or at Spa-Francorchamps, at the Motul Petit Le Mans or even Silverstone.  The future top category of endurance racing will include both LMDh and Le Mans Hypercar.  A balance of performance (BoP) system will ensure fair competition.

“When my father, Bill France Sr., brought the first Daytona Continental SportsCar race here to Daytona International Speedway back in 1962, he wanted to bring together sports car drivers, teams and manufacturers from around the world,” said Jim France.  “With the ACO, IMSA and manufacturers aligned, today’s announcement proudly takes my father’s vision to the next level.”

“This announcement today is the crucial starting point for a joint endurance racing future, supported by both the ACO and IMSA,” said Fillon.  “We can’t emphasize enough, as it’s exceptional, how many opportunities this long-term sporting and marketing vision will open up.”

“The big winner today is endurance racing as the door is now opened to many additional competitors to compete at the highest level on both sides of the Atlantic with the same car,” said Gerard Never, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship.  “The two sanctioning bodies should be congratulated for their vision and spirit of collaboration.  Le Mans Hypercars and the new LMDh cars racing together at Le Mans or Daytona will be an incredibly exciting prospect for endurance fans across the world.”

 

RILEY MOTORSPORTS MERCEDES-AMG WINS MICHELIN PILOT CUP CHALLENGE ENDURANCE RACE

The Riley Motorsports No. 34 Mercedes-AMG GT4 driven by Dylan Murry, Jim Cox and Jeroen Bleekmolen took home the Gran Sport victory in the BMW Endurance Challenge on Friday.  The win is Riley Motorsports second consecutive endurance win in IMSA. The same trio of drivers also won last summer’s four-hour race at Watkins Glen International – and Murry and Cox also won November’s four-hour Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring.

“We’re petitioning IMSA to make all races four hours now,” said Cox.

The Winward Racing No. 57 Mercedes-AMG driven by Philip Ellis and Bryce Ward claimed the runner-up spot while their sister car, the No. 4 shared by Indy Dontje and Russell Ward finished third to make it a podium sweep for the German manufacturer.

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ROAD SHAGGER RACING AUDI WINS TAKES TCR CLASS VICTORY

The No. 61 Road Shager Racing Audi RS3 LMS took home the victory in the TCR class.  The victory was the second for the team, who won last year at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Mikey Taylor and William finished second in the No. 32 Speed Syndicate Motorsports Audi while Stephen Simpson and Michael Johnson finished third in the No. 54 JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi, giving another German manufacturer a podium sweep.


 

CHALLENGING DEBUT FOR HAILIE DEEGAN

Ford Performance development driver Hailie Deegan’s first foray into IMSA sports cars and endurance racing proved to be eventful for the 18-year-old rising star.

Deegan was running as high as 12th when her No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang suffered a pair of mechanical issues, at one point requiring about half an hour of work in the garage. But after driving more than two hours, Deegan brought the car into the garage for work and a driver change, leaving Ford teammate Chase Briscoe to finish the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge.

“I feel like I just gained a lot of experience,” Deegan said after climbing out of the car. “I’m here to gain experience after that three-day road test, coming here and practicing for two days. I just feel like I know a lot more about racing than I did before and that’s why I’m here and supposed to be doing.  I’m gaining experience and that’s what I’m here to do.’’

Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Hinchcliffe Replaces Veach; Askew In Concussion Protocol, Helio To Fill-in and more!

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James Black

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A jam packed edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details on Zach Veach’s replacement at Andretti Autosport plus Arrow McLaren SP’s Oliver Askew sidelined by a concussion so Helio Castroneves is going to fill-in; Hendrick Motorsports penalized for violating wind tunnel time; Limited amount of fans at Charlotte Roval and the World of Outlaws in Ohio before Lernerville stop.

Hinchcliffe To Replace Veach At Andretti:

  • James Hinchcliffe will finish out the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda for Andretti Autosport.  Hinchcliffe replaces Zach Veach, who parted ways with the organization earlier this week.  Hinchcliffe drove full-time for Andretti from 2012-2014 and in three races this year.  The NTT INDYCAR SERIES continues next Friday and Saturday with the Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Askew Out With Concussion; Helio To Fill-in:

  • Arrow McLaren SP’s Oliver Askew will not be behind the wheel of the No. 7 Chevrolet at next weekend’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader.  Askew told the Associated Press he hasn’t felt right since a wreck at the Indianapolis 500.  Askew has since been diagnosed with a concussion and is undergoing treatment at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Sports Medicine Concussion Program.  Helio Castroneves will replace Askew at the Harvest GP.
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Hendrick Motorsports Penalized For Rules Violation:

  • NASCAR is fining Hendrick Motorsports $100,000 and docking the organization 10-hours of wind tunnel time in 2021 for going over their allotted time this year.  The team self-reported the violation when they realized they went over the 70-hours teams are permitted to use in 2020.  The teams will get 80-hours in 2021, leaving Hendrick with only 70.

Limited Amount Of Fans At Charlotte:

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway will be permitted to host a limited amount of fans at their NASCAR weekend October 10-11.  The State of North Carolina will allow outdoor sports venues that have a capacity of more than 10,000 to host events with fans up to seven percent of their capacity.  CMS is expected to be able to around 7,000-fans.  Season ticket holders are being contacted about the Cup series race but tickets are available for the Xfinity and IMSA races on Saturday.

World of Outlaws At Wayne County Tonight:

  • The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car Series is at Wayne County Speedway outside of Canton, Ohio tonight, one night before the Outlaws invade Lernerville Speedway for the ‘Commonwealth Clash’.  Brad Sweet, last year’s winner of the Clash, holds a 20-point lead over Logan Schuchart in the Championship standings heading into this weekend.
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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Gravel Wins At Eldora; Mid-Ohio Gearing Up For IMSA; Briscoe On Xfinity Pole and more

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Campbell Photography

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook recaps David Gravel’s win at Eldora, IMSA’s trip to Mid-Ohio this weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series starting lineup at Las Vegas, the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series lineup and pilot error cited in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2019 plane crash.

Gravel Wins Governors Reign At Eldora:

  • David Gravel held off Kyle Larson to win The Ollies Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions Governors Reign at Eldora Speedway Wednesday night.  Gravel started on the pole position and led all 35-laps but not without a fight from Larson.  Larson started 10th and worked his way into the top 5 before the midway point and into second place after a restart following a lap 20 caution.  Gravel took off on that restart but Larson kept chiseling away at Gravel’s lead, trying a slide job on the last lap only to lose the drag race to the checkered flag.  Gravel took home $52,000 for the win.

Mid-Ohio Preparing For IMSA Weekend:

  • The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is gearing up for a weekend of sports car racing as the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) brings four series to the 2.258-mile, 13-turn natural terrain road course.  The Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio showcases the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is Sunday’s headliner.  The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge races on both Saturday and Sunday.  The IMSA Prototype Challenge and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA will hold a triple header while the Mazda MX-5 Cup will hold a doubleheader.  A limited amount of fans will be permitted to attend but must purchase tickets online at www.midohio.com because tickets will not be sold at the gate.
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Chase Briscoe Awarded Xfinity Series Las Vegas Pole:

  • Stewart Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe has been awarded the pole position for Saturday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco 300 Playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Team Penske’s Austin Cindric will start second.  JR Motorsports Justin Allgaier will lineup third with Kaulig Motorsports Ross Chastain starting fourth.  The lineup was set by NASCAR’s ‘performance matrix’.  Briscoe and Cindric both open the playoffs with 2050 points but Briscoe is first due to a series-high 7-wins.  The green flag flies Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. Xfinity Las Vegas Starting Lineup

Brett Moffitt Awarded Las Vegas Truck Series Pole:

  • GMS Racing’s Brett Moffitt has been awarded the pole position for Friday night’s NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  The race is the second of the NASCAR Playoffs for the Truck Series.  Moffitt finished second in last weekend’s playoff opener at Bristol Motor Speedway.  Moffitt’s GMS Racing teammate Sam Mayer, who is running a part-time schedule won that race.  The green flag for the Westgate 200 drops at 9:00 p.m. ET. NASCAR Trucks Las Vegas Lineup

Pilot Error Cited In Dale Earnhardt Jr Plane Accident:

  • The National Transportation Safety Board is blaming the pilots for the crash August 2019 crash involving Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family.  Investigators said the probable cause of the incident was decisions by the pilots, including approaching the runway too fast and a failed attempt to abort the landing.  The report says the plane bounced four times and “the airplane touched down hard and the right main landing gear then collapsed under the wing.”
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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Marks Wins At Eldora; Veach Out At Andretti; Harvick On Vegas Pole and more

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Paul Arch

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details on Brent Marks win at Eldora plus Zach Veach and Andretti Autosport part ways and Kevin Harvick is awarded the pole at Las Vegas and Acura partners with Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing for 2021.

Brent Marks Wins Governors Reign Opener At Eldora Speedway:

  • Brent Marks held off Kerry Madsen following a late race caution to win The Ollies Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions Governors Reign opener at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg Ohio.  Marks started fourth and was in the lead by lap 10.  The victory earned the Myerstown, PA native $10,000.  The Governors Reign will continue on Wednesday evening, September 23, with a second, full All Stars program that will award $52,000.
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Zach Veach Out At Andretti Autosport:

  • NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Zach Veach is relinquishing his role of driver of the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda for Andretti Autosport.  In a statement Veach said, “The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car. This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 INDYCAR season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.”  No replacement has been named for next weekend’s Harvest GP on the road course at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kevin Harvick Awarded Las Vegas Pole Position:

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Points leader Kevin Harvick will start on the pole position for Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Harvick was awarded the pole based on NASCAR’s ‘performance matrix’.  Kyle Busch will start on the outside of the front row.  Chase Elliott and Aric Almirola will make up row 2.  The South Point 400 takes place Sunday, September 27 at 7:00 p.m. ET. Las Vegas Cup Starting Lineup

Acura Partners With Meyer Shank and Wayne Taylor For 2021 DPi Program:

  • Acura Motorsports is partnering with Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing to field a pair of Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, beginning in 2021.  Read our complete coverage here.
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