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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.

Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Ed Jones To Coyne Vasser Sullivan; Ty Dillon To Run For JGR; Pocono Honors Bubba Wallace and more

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Chris Jones

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has news about Ed Jones joining Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan.  Ty Dillion is going to run some Xfinity races for Joe Gibbs Racing; Pocono Raceway honors Bubba Wallace and Kaulig Racing details 2021 plans.

Ed Jones Joins Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan:

  • Ed Jones is returning to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2021.  Jones is going to replace Santino Ferrucci in the Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Honda.  Jones broke into the INDYCAR series with Coyne in 2017 as a teammate to Sebastien Bourdais.  Jones best finish was third in the Indianapolis 500.  Jones’ car will carry the SealMaster sponsorship previously carried by Bourdais and Ferrucci.  Coyne says an announcement is forthcoming on who will be Jones teammate.
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Ty Dillon To Run Some Xfinity Races For JGR:

  • Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Wednesday that Ty Dillon will drive the team’s No. 54 Toyota Supra in select NASCAR Xfinity Series races in 2021, including the season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 13. Beyond Daytona, Dillon’s Xfinity Series schedule currently includes races at Homestead-Miami Speedway (February 27), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 6) and Talladega Superspeedway (April 24).  Dillon was without a ride for 2021 after Germain Racing closed following the end of the 2020 season.

Bubba Wallace Wins Pocono Spirit Award For 2020:

  • Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. is the winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Pocono Spirit Award for 2020.  The NMPA Pocono Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. The award is sponsored by Pocono Raceway and has been presented annually since 1992.

Kaulig Racing Details 2021 Lineup:

  • Jeb Burton will begin his 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season with primary partner, Nutrien Ag Solutions, at Daytona International Speedway in the No. 10 Chevrolet. Nutrien Ag Solutions will be on board the No. 10 for 16 races in 2021.  Justin Haley returns to the No. 11 Chevrolet for a third-straight year. The team is also thrilled to announce the return of primary partner, LeafFilter Gutter Protection. LeafFilter has donned the No. 11 Chevrolet since the team’s inception in 2016. AJ Allmendinger will kick off his first, full NASCAR season since 2018 with partner, Ellsworth Advisors on the No. 16 Chevrolet at Daytona. In addition to his return to full-time competition, Allmendinger will pilot the No. 16 Camaro ZL1 1LE at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course race in the team’s part-time NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) entry.
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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Hinchcliffe To Run Full INDYCAR Season For Andretti; Acura Commits To LMDh; Western PA Sprint Speedweek Sponsor News and more!

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Matt Fraser

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has the latest on James Hinchcliffe’s plans for 2021; Acura commits to field a car in LMDh plus the Western Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek gets a sponsor; Chip Ganassi Racing teams up with GMC and the NASCAR Foundation announces new board members.

James Hinchcliffe To Run Full NTT INDYCAR SERIES Schedule In 2021:

  • James Hinchcliffe is set to run the full 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES for Andretti Autosport. Hinchcliffe will be sporting the Genesys orange for 10 races throughout the 2021 season, including the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Genesys, the global leader in cloud customer experience and contact center solutions, served as Hinchcliffe’s sponsor at three of INDYCAR’s marquee events in the 2020 season.

Acura Commits To IMSA’s LMDh Category For 2023:

  • Acura Motorsports on Tuesday confirmed it will continue to compete in the top category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2023 under the new Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) format. Acura expects to share more information on their LMDh plans later this year.  Acura Motorsports will compete in the top category in IMSA, Daytona Prototype International (DPi), this year with two new teams, Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing, beginning with this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
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Schaeffer’s To Sponsor Western PA Sprint Speedweek:

  • Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants has signed on to be the title sponsor of Western PA Sprint Speedweek.  Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants manufactures and supplies all types of synthetic motor oils, hydraulic fluids, diesel fuel additives, industrial lubricants, greases and oils, chain lubes, and degreasers. Western PA Sprint Speedweek returns Jun. 2nd-6th 2021 when the ‘410 Sprints’ compete for five straight nights around the Western PA racing circuit, with each show featuring a robust purse highlighted by the $3,000 winner’s share.

GMC Partners With Chip Ganassi Racing In Extreme E:

  • GMC is partnering with Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) on the team’s Extreme E program, which makes its debut in April.  CGR’s 550-horsepower electric SUV, will feature a unique grille, graphics and bodywork, inspired by the GMC HUMMER EV, the world’s first all-electric supertruck.  Sara Price and Kyle LeDuc will get to drive the Ganassi/GMC Hummer EV when the Extreme E season debuts in April.  Pittsburgher’s may remember that Chip’s sister Annette used to own a GMC dealership on Route 8.

NASCAR Foundation Names New Board Members:

  • The NASCAR Foundation on Tuesday announced two additions to its Board of Directors. Veteran race car driver Hurley Haywood and Rev Racing Co-owner Dr. Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel accepted nominations to join the board led by Chairman Mike Helton. Haywood is widely known for winning the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA five times, the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times and 12 Hours of Sebring twice. He is credited with the 1988 Trans-Am title, two IMSA GT Championship titles and 23 wins, three Norelco Cup championships, a SuperCar title and seven IndyCar starts. Satterfield-Siegel, a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist, is a member of the Payton Manning Children’s Hospital Craniofacial Team as well as treating patients in her private practice. She and her husband co-own Rev Racing, the exclusive manager of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Program.
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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: INDYCAR Moving Season Opener; Roar Before The 24 Begins For IMSA Teams and more

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Chris Owens/INDYCAR

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A schedule change for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES; IMSA teams hit the track at Daytona International Speedway plus Landon Cassil lands a ride for 2021 and Hagerty partners with Shift Up Now to help female racers.

NTT INDYCAR SERIES Opener Pushed Back A Week:

  • The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is pushing their season-opener back one week.  The Honda Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst was originally scheduled for Sunday, April 11 at Barber Motorsports Park but will now be held on Sunday, April 18.  The move will allow the race to be featured on NBC network television.  “Zoom Motorsports and Barber Motorsports Park jumped at the opportunity to have our event showcased on NBC network television”, said Gene Hallman, CEO of Zoom Motorsports.  The change means there will be four races in 15-days to start the 2021 season.

IMSA Teams At Daytona For Roar Before The Rolex 24:

  • IMSA Teams are at Daytona International Speedway for the annual ‘Roar Before The Rolex 24’.  Practice and qualifying as well as the first Prototype Challenge Race (Saturday) are on the schedule this weekend.  Chip Ganassi Racing makes a return the sports cars in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class fielding a Cadillac for drivers Renger Van Der Zande and Kevin Magnussen.  CGR did not participate in 2020 following the  end of the Ford GT program.  2020 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott gets his first taste of sports car competition this weekend driving for Action Express Racing.
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Landon Cassill To Run Full Xfinity Series Schedule:

  • Landon Cassill is going to run the full NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) schedule in 2021.  Cassill is returning to the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller stables and will drive the No. 4 Chevrolet.  Cassill has driven for team owner Johnny Davis on a number of occasions over the years including full-time campaigns from 2013 to 2015.  Cassill has one Top 5 and fourteen Top 10 finishes in NXS competition and has made over 300 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Hagerty Partners With ‘Shift Up Now’:

  • Automotive lifestyle brand Hagerty is partnering with ‘Shift Up Now’.  Shift Up Now is an advocacy organization who’s mission is help female athletes in motorsports.  Hagerty will provide associate sponsorships for Athletes Michele Abbate, Hannah Grisham and Emily Linscott in the 2021 racing season.  Abbate will carry the Hagerty logo on her Trans Am TA2 Grr Racing entry in the SVRA-sanctioned series on the West coast. Grisham will race for Hixon Motor Sports at Daytona and Road Atlanta in Mx5 Cup. Linscott is aiming to race a partial season in the United States F4 Championship powered by Honda, and will also be sanctioned by SVRA on the East coast in 2021.

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