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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook – Tuesday, March 31: iRacing Ratings Up! Winner In Ganassi’s “Best Ever Paint Scheme” and more

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Ratings are in for this past weekend’s iRacing events plus we have a winner in Chip Ganassi Racing’s “Best Ever Paint Scheme” plus COVID-19 affecting events at The Pittsburgh International Race Complex.

iRacing Rating In For This Past Weekend’s Events”

  • The O’Reilly Auto Parts 125 eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational drew 1.339-million viewers according to Show Buzz Daily, that’s up from just over 900K for the opening virtual race from Homestead-Miami Speedway.  The next eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational is this Sunday from virtual Bristol Motor Speedway.

Fans Select Winner in Ganassi’s “Best Ever Paint Scheme”:

  • Race fans have spoken and a winner has been declared in Chip Ganassi Racing‘s “Best Ever Paint Scheme”.  The field of 32-was narrowed down to two paint scheme as fans voted on the team’s Twitter account.  The finals came down to Kyle Larson’s Mello Mello throwback versus Jamie McMurray’s Mac Tonight throwback.  Here is your winner:
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Goodwood Postpones 2020 Festival of Speed:

  • Goodwood has decided to postpone the 2020 Festival of Speed originally scheduled for July 9-12.  The Duke of Richmond and Gordon released a statement that in-part reads:  “Following all that’s happened in the last few weeks and the advice we have received from the UK Government, we have decided to postpone the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, to later in the year.  Goodwood has always prided itself on delivering the most incredible motorsport experiences and in order to do that customers, drivers, team members, volunteers and staff must be kept safe.  We obviously want to be sure of choosing the best possible date; this will require some careful consideration and as soon as we have that we will let you know”.

More Pittsburgh International Race Complex Cancellations:

  • The extension of the stay-at-home order is forcing the Pittsburgh International Race Complex to make some schedule changes.  The American Endurance Racing events schedule for April 3-5 have been postponed.  The Karting Egg Hunt scheduled for April 11th has been canceled.  The Pitt-Race Test and Tune scheduled for April 17 has been postponed.  The LeMons Pitt Maneuver scheduled for April 18-19 has been postponed and the N2 Track Days scheduled for April 25-26 have been postponed as well.  For more information on these events as well as all the other events at the track, visit www.pittrace.com.
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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Erik Jones Out At JGR; NASCAR Sets Playoff Schedule and more

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Sean Gardner/Getty Images

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has news about Erik Jones status at Joe Gibbs Racing plus NASCAR sets the remainder of their schedule for 2020 and local Late Model racers get ready for the Jook George Steel City Classic.

Erik Jones Out At Joe Gibbs Racing Following This Season:

  • Multiple media outlets including Fox Sports are reporting that Erik Jones will be out of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota after the 2020 season.  The 24-year-old has driven the No. 20 Toyota Camry for three seasons and has two career wins (Daytona, Darlington), and made the playoffs in 2018 and ’19.  JGR is reportedly moving Christopher Bell into the No. 20 since Leavine Family Racing has been sold.
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NASCAR Sets Playoff Schedule:

  •  NASCAR announced on Thursday that all 10-playoff venues and dates will remain intact from the original 2020 schedule with the postseason kicking off at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, September 6 on NBCSN. In the Xfinity Series, Talladega Superspeedway has been added as the second race in the opening round on Saturday, October 3.  Bristol Motor Speedway moves to the regular season finale on Friday, September 18.  The Xfinity Series Playoffs will begin at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 26.

NASCAR Announces Two Procedural Changes:

  • NASCAR announced on Thursday two procedural changes, one goes into effect this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.  Drivers will have the opportunity to choose their lane for restarts beginning this weekend.  The “choose cone” rule was tested at the All-Star race at Bristol Motor Speedway and was universally applauded by the drivers.  The second change is in regard to qualifying and goes into effect next weekend for the road course at Daytona.  NASCAR will use a “performance matrix” to determine the starting lineup and pit selection.  The matrix includes season-long performance, single-race performance as well as the most recent races finishing position, fastest lap and owners points.

Jook George Steel City Classic This Saturday At PPMS:

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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Crew Chief Change On Ganassi’s No. 42; Leavine Sells NASCAR Team;

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has news about a Crew Chief change on Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 plus Bob Levine sells Levine Family Racing

Crew Chief Change On Ganassi’s No. 42:

  • Chip Ganassi’s NASCAR program is making a Crew Chief change on the No. 42 Credit One Bank/McDonald’s Camaro. “Phil Surgen has been named crew chief for the No. 42 team at Chip Ganassi Racing beginning this weekend at Michigan International Speedway and for the balance of the 2020 season,” the team posted on its official Twitter account. “Surgen, who is currently a race engineer on the No. 42 team, has been with the team since 2016.”  Surgen replaces Chad Johnston, who is no longer with the team.

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Leavine Family Racing Is Sold:

  • Leavine Family Racing and its assets have been sold, team owner Bob Leavine announced. Leavine has fielded cars in the Cup Series since 2011 for various drivers.  This year Christopher Bell is behind the wheel of the No. 95 Toyota in an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.  Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal is reporting that Spire Sports & Entertainment, who field the Spire Motorsports No. 77, are the purchasers.

Heritage Trophy Up For Grabs At Michigan:

  • The top-finishing Manufacturer from the weekend NASCAR Cup Series events will be presented with the Michigan Heritage Trophy, which has been awarded by Michigan International Speedway since 2013. The Heritage Trophy gives well-deserved bragging rights to the winning manufacturer of the Michigan race weekend. This coming weekend a manufacturer must win one or both NASCAR Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway. If one manufacturer sweeps both races, that manufacturer will be declared the winner of the Heritage Trophy. If different manufacturer’s win on August 8 and 9, then the award will go to the manufacturer with the most points earned by top 10 finishers of both races.
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Local Racing

Weekend Racing Notebook

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Paul Arch

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The weekend winners from around the world of motorsports including Local tracks plus the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions, and IMSA.

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All-Star Circuit of Champions Weekend:

  • Cory Eliason picked up his first Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions victory Sunday night at the reopening of Huset Speedway.  Dominic Scelzi finished second and Kerry Madsen rounded out the podium.
  • Kyle Larson won his seventh straight Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 feature on Saturday night at Knoxville Raceway, setting a record with the series. Rico Abreu finished second and Gio Scelzi rounded out the podium.
  • Larson also picked up the win in Friday night’s feature at 34 Raceway.  Eliason finished second and Tucker Klaasmeyer finished third.
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Acura, Corvette, Lexus Claim IMSA Wins At Road America:

  • Helio Castroneves found traction with his Acura ARX-05 where others could not, as he and his Acura Team Penske co-driver Ricky Taylor prevailed in monsoon-like conditions in the final hour to win in the Daytona Prototype International Class in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Road America.
  • DragonSpeed USA’s Ben Hanley and Henrik Heeman took home the victory in LMP2.  Hanley switched from slick tires to rain tires as the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA, which was leading went off course due to the wet conditions.  They rallied to finish fourth behind the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA and the No. 18 Era Motorsports ORECA.
  • Corvette Racing scored a 1-2 finish at Road America in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.  The No. 3 Vette with Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia finished first with the No. 4 of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner coming home in second place.
  • Frankie Montecalvo and Townsend Bell parked the AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus in victory lane in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.  The victory was the third straight for the team. Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry finished second in their Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

Mother Nature Wins At Tri-City, PPMS, Jennerstown and Port Royal:

  • Rains throughout Western Pennsylvania forced several area race tracks to cancel their programs.  Tri-City cancelled their Sunday program while Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway (PPMS) and Port Royal had to throw the red flag on their programs Saturday night.

Norris, Flick, King Jr & Schneider Win At Lernerville:

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