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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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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Knaus Promoted At Hendrick; NASCAR Revises Schedule; Jarett Andretti To Run Tribute Scheme And More

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Hendrick Motorsports

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Hendrick Motorsports promotes Jeff Andrews and Chad Knaus; NASCAR revises the schedule for the Kansas weekend October plus Jarett Andretti to run a tribute paint scheme at Indianapolis and ABeam Consulting to be primary sponsor for Takuma Sato at Harvest GP.

Hendrick Motorsports Elevates Andrews And Knaus:

  • Hendrick Motorsports is elevating Jeff Andrews and Chad Knaus into leadership roles at the 12-NASCAR Cup Series Championship organization.  Andrews becomes Executive Vice President and General Manager effective immediately.  Andrews has been Hendrick’s Vice President of Competition since 2017.  Knaus becomes the Vice President of Competition after serving as Crew Chief since 2006, winning seven Cup Championships and 82-races with Jimmie Johnson.  Knaus moves into his new role after the 2020 season.

NASCAR Revises Kansas Weekend Schedule:

  • NASCAR is revising the weekend schedule at Kansas Speedway due to programming changes.  The ARCA Menards Series will take place Friday, October 16 at 8:30 p.m. ET (originally at 10 p.m. ET). The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will now take place on Saturday, October 17 at 4 p.m. (originally Friday, October 16 at 7 p.m. ET).  The NASCAR Xfinity Series will move to 7 p.m. ET (originally 3 p.m. ET).
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Jarett Andretti To Pay Tribute To Father John:

  • Jarett Andretti will run a tribute scheme to his late father John this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The No. 36 Andretti GT4 McLaren will run a Window World paint scheme reminiscent of the paint scheme that John Andretti ran in his final Indianapolis 500.

ABeam Consulting To Be Primary Sponsor For Sato At Harvest GP:

  • ABeam Consulting will be the primary sponsor of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato at Race 1 of the Harvest Grand Prix on the road course at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 2.  ABeam has been an associate sponsor of Sato’s No. 30 Honda in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES since 2017.

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

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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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