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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.

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IndyCar

Racing Notebook: Pocono NASCAR Weekend approaching; INDYCAR in Toronto; PVGP hits the track and more

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Pocono Raceway

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.
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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.
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IndyCar

Racing Notebook: O’Ward on Mid-Ohio INDYCAR pole; Blomqvist on CTMP IMSA pole and more

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Penske Entertainment: Chris Owens

Sunday’s Racing Notebook has the lineups for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex, IMSA’s race at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park plus NASCAR at Road America and SRX at Stafford.

O’Ward Wins INDYCAR Mid-Ohio Pole:

  • Arrow McLaren SP’s Patricio O’Ward is on the pole position for Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex.  O’Ward’s fast lap of of 1 minute, 6.7054 seconds in the No. 5 Chevrolet edged Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin, who will start second after a fast lap of 1:06.8382 in the No. 3 Chevrolet.  Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta will start third (1:07.0262) with O’Ward’s teammate Felix Rosenqvist alongside in fourth (1:07.2163).  Scott Dixon led Chip Ganassi Racing with a fast lap of 1:07.4047 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda.  Dixon’s CGR teammates Alex Palou starts seventh, Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson starts 13th and Jimmie Johnson starts 27th. IndyCar Mid Ohio Lineup

Blomqvist Puts Acura on CTMP IMSA Pole:

  • Tom Blomqvist set an IMSA record in the No. 60 Acura around the iconic 2.459-mile, 10-corner Canadian Tire Motorsports Park road course in 1 minute, 4.394 seconds for an average speed of 137.472 mph. The fastest previous lap, ironically, was set by Blomqvist’s current teammate Oliver Jarvis in 2019 at Daytona International Speedway (136.792 mph).  Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque will start second in the No. 10 Acura.  The JDC Miller Cadillac lines up third followed by the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac.  The No. 01 CGR Caddy will start sixth. IMSA CTMP Lineup
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Elliott On NASCAR Cup Series Road America Pole:

  • Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott is on the NASCAR Cup Series pole position for Sunday’s road course race at Road America.  Elliott’s fast lap of 134.427-seconds (108.407 mph) was a tick faster than Stewart Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe, who will start second (108.376 mph).  Elliott’s HMS teammate Kyle Larson starts third (108.21mph) with Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick fourth (108.155mph), and Team Penske’s Austin Cindric fifth (108.123mph). Cup Series Road America Lineup

Gibbs Takes Xfinity Win At Road America:

  • Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs passed Hendrick Motorsports Kyle Larson on the final lap of NASCAR Overtime to win Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Road America. Larson was leading as he passed under white flag, but Gibbs drafted Larson down the frontstretch, took advantage of an opening to the inside in Turn 3 and powered his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota past Larson for the lead and the win.

Newman Bumps Andretti For First SRX Win:

  • Ryan Newman used the bump-and-run to pass Marco Andretti for the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) victory at Stafford Motor Speedway.  Andretti held off Paul Tracy for second.  Tony Stewart finished fourth and Bobby Labonte rounded out the Top 5. Ryan Hunter-Reay won Heat 1 and Labonte won Heat 2. Next up for the Camping World SRX Series is the Nashville Fairgrounds on Saturday, July 9.
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IndyCar

Racing Notebook: Rossi on INDYCAR pole; Larson on Cup pole; Busch wins Truck Race

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Penske Entertainment

Sunday’s Racing Notebook has details on the starting lineups for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Road America and the NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma as well as Kyle Busch winning another truck series race>

Rossi on INDYCAR Series Pole:

  • Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi earned his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole position in three years by beating Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden in knockout-style qualifying for Sunday’s race at Road America.  Rossi’s fast lap of 1 minute, 44.8656 seconds edged Newgarden’s 1:44.9371 in the No. 2 PPG Chevrolet. Defending series champion Alex Palou, who led the final warmup session on Saturday afternoon, qualified third at 1:45.3822 in the No. 10 American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Teammate and 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson joins Palou in the second row after his best lap of 1:45.4240 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Road America INDYCAR Lineup
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Larson Leads Hendrick Cup Series Front Row:

  • Hendrick Motorsports Kyle Larson is on the pole position for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma.  Larson’s fast lap of 92.111 mph (1m70.776s) edged teammate Chase Elliott’s 92.083 mph in the No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet.  Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing’s Chris Buescher qualified third at 91.919 mph after missing last week’s race due to Covid-19. Michael McDowell starts fourth after posting a fast lap of 91.916. Sonoma Cup Lineup

Kyle Busch Wins Truck Series Race:

  • Kyle Busch held off Zane Smith to earn his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the year Saturday at Sonoma.  The win extended his record career total to 62 series victories and a streak of 10 consecutive years with at least one series win.  Busch led 45 of the 75 laps in the victory.  Wexford’s Kris Wright finished 26th in the No. 44 FNB Chevrolet after starting 30th in his first race at Sonoma. Sonoma Truck Results
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