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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook – Tuesday, January 28

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IMSA

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Scott Dixon wins his 3rd Rolex watch, a recap of Kyle Busch’s Rolex 24 At Daytona as well as some NASCAR, IndyCar and Local Racing News are in today’s Racing Notebook:

SCOTT DIXON WINS THIRD ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA

Five-time NTT IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon is the 15th driver in Rolex 24 At Daytona history to win three overall victories in the twice-around-the-clock endurance event.

Dixon picked up his third Rolex watch this wekeend as one of the co-drivers in Wayne Taylor Racing’s winning No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R (pictured above).  Only six drivers have won more.

Dixon, who drives the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing in the NTT IndyCar Series, claimed overall Rolex 24 victories in 2006 and 2015 with Chip Ganassi’s team, which did not field an entry this year.

“We had times during the race with adversity, but the team was able to rebound with strategy and the driver lineup just worked through it in a calm manner, which is hard to do,” said Dixon.  “I’ve been a part of many 24-hour races in my career, but to come back from the many deficits we had in this race showed the absolute commitment from the team.  I’m really proud to be a part of the team, and I have to thank Chip (Ganassi) for letting me join Wayne (Taylor), Max (Angelelli) and everyone at Konica Minolta.  We’re Winners, that’s all that counts.”

Dixon went from Daytona to Australia to compete in the fames Bathurst 12-hour sports car race.  Dixon will co-drive the No. 76 Aston Martin of R-Motorsport with Jake Dennis and Rick Kelly.

KYLE BUSCH IMPRESSES IN ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA DEBUT

Kyle Busch participated in his first Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance race this past weekend, getting behind the wheel of AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3.

Busch completed four driving stints encompassing more than 6-hours behind the wheel.  Busch was fast enough to make up last on track and had the fastest lap in the car up until the last driver change.

“There was a lot going on and a lot to learn and kind of pick-up on and figure out,” said Busch.  “Overall it was good.  We had a lot of fun, I enjoyed it.  Unfortunately we just got a little behind with a brake change, had some issues on the right-front caliper.  I guess that got us a little farther back than we wanted to be.”

Busch’s team owner, 1996 IndyCar Champion Jimmy Vasser, was glad to have the defending NASCAR Cup Series Champion behind the wheel.

“A great team effort,” said Vasser, who drove for Chip Ganassi Racing from 1995-2000.  “With the troubles we had, nobody gave up, everybody pitched in and speaking on Kyle, he impressed.  I’m not sure why he impressed.  He’s a NASCAR Champion.  He’s won more NASCAR races in the modern day than anybody but it takes a lot of confidence and guts to jump into a discipline that he’d never really done before and he did it with ease.  He was really, really impressive.”

KYLE KIRKWOOD JOINING ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT

Kyle Kirkwood, the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Champion is joining the Andretti Autosport Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires team for the 2020 season. The rookie stand-out will drive the No. 28 car for the reigning championship team.

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“We are very excited about the addition of Kyle to our Indy Lights program,” said Michael Andretti, CEO and Chairman, Andretti Autosport. “We’ve followed Kyle’s career from when he started in 2018 with the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and have been impressed with his success in every race that led to his Indy Pro 2000 Championship last year. As a championship-caliber team, Kyle displays the desire and talent that we look for in our drivers and are excited to see him hit the track for the 2020 Indy Lights season.”

“I am ecstatic that I can now say I am competing in Indy Lights with Andretti Autosport this season,” said Kirkwood. “They have established a winning program in Indy Lights and we plan on carrying that reputation throughout 2020.”

Kirkwood will take to the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, for the Indy Lights season opener March 13 – 15.

ARROW McLAREN SP PARTNERS WITH MISSION FOODS

Arrow McLaren SP and Mission Foods are teaming up in a multi-year partnership in the NTT IndyCar Series.

Mission, the leading manufacturer of the world’s best-selling tortillas, wraps, flatbreads and other food products, will be represented on the team firesuit and crewshirts and the nose, cockpit side, in-car camera view and tire ramp of the car. The Mission brand will also be carried by team drivers Oliver Askew’s and Pato O’Ward’s firesuits and helmets.

“We are very excited and proud to partner with the Arrow McLaren SP team in the NTT IndyCar series and continue our involvement with McLaren Racing,” said Juan Gonzalez, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mission Foods.  “Both brands have a tremendous commitment to quality and the partnership gives us a great opportunity to interact with our consumers in a fun and exciting environment.”

TICKETS ON SALE FOR “FGL FEST” AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Tickets are on sale now for FGL Fest, the exciting concert headlined by global music superstars Florida Georgia Line on Saturday, July 4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The concert takes place during the annual Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line race weekend, July 3-5 at IMS. Other artists in the star-studded lineup will be announced soon.

“FGL Fest” is one of the highlights of the exciting, revamped event on Fourth of July weekend.

Tickets are available at IMS.com or by calling the IMS Ticket Office at 317-492-6700. General admission starts at $45, with Front Stage Concert Pit tickets $85 and VIP Concert tickets $195. All tickets include admission to all NASCAR action that day, including the historic inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series sponsored by Pennzoil on the IMS road course and NASCAR Cup Series practice. Buy tickets now, as prices will increase closer to the show.

GEORGE AND FEREE HONORED AT LERNERVILLE SPEEDWAY BANQUET

Rod George and Ed Ferree are the newest members of the Lernerville Speedway Hall of Fame.  Both were inducted into the HOF this past weekend at Lernerville’s award banquet.

George’s career featured 45-Sprint Car Feature wins along with 2-track Championships.  Ferree scored over 20-Late Model wins and back-to-back Championships in 1985 and 1986.

IndyCar

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

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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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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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