PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – NASCAR postpones Martinsville due to COVID-19 plus Bruno Spengler stays undefeated in IMSA iRacing Pro Series Competition and INDYCAR drivers get ready to return to Twin Ring Motegi via iRacing.
NASCAR Postpones Martinsville:
- The Coronavirus has forced NASCAR to postpone events at Martinsville Speedway. The sanctioning body released a statement saying “NASCAR is postponing the scheduled events on May 8-9 at Martinsville Speedway. Our intention remains to run all 36 races, with a potential return to racing without fans in attendance in May at a date and location to be determined. The health and safety of our competitors, employees, fans and the communities in which we run continues to be our top priority. We will continue to consult with health experts and local, state and federal officials as we assess future scheduling options.” Including Martinsville, NASCAR has postponed eight events.
Bruno Spengler Undefeated In IMSA iRacing Competition:
- Bruno Spengler picked up the win in Thursday night’s IMSA iRacing Pro Series Challenge at virtual WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Spengler’s BMW M8 GTE crossed the finish line 1.772-seconds ahead of New Zealand’s Shane Van Gisbergen. Nicky Catsburg grabbed the third spot on the podium. The next round of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series is set for Thursday, April 30 at the virtual Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Round 4 will be held at virtual Road America on Thursday, May 14 and the fifth round will be at virtual VIRginia International Raceway on Thursday, May 28.
INDYCAR Drivers Ready For Return To Twin Ring Motegi:
- The NTT INDYCAR SERIES has not raced at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan since 2011 and the last time they raced on the oval was in 2010 so many veteran drivers are looking forward to a return to the egg-shaped track albeit virtually. Ten drivers in the field for the Firestone 175 on Saturday also competed in the last INDYCAR event at Twin Ring Motegi on Sept. 18, 2011: Scott Dixon (winner), Will Power (second), Marco Andretti (third), Sebastien Bourdais (sixth), Takuma Sato (10th), Graham Rahal (12th), James Hinchcliffe (15th), Tony Kanaan (17th), Helio Castroneves (22nd) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (24th). The races starts at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the NBC Sports App.
NASCAR Back On (Virtual) Track This Sunday At Richmond Raceway:
- The eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series is back in action this weekend at virtual Richmond Raceway for the Toyota Owners 150. The unique 150-lap eNASCAR iRacing event will feature a 30-car field (26 invited entries and four transferring from a Sunday morning qualifying race). The starting lineup will be set by a qualifying session, and each driver gets one reset during the main event. Sunday morning’s Richmond Qualifier will consist of 13 drivers, ranging from fan-favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. and NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Labonte to current NASCAR Cup Series drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Daniel Suarez. The top two finishers from the 25-lap event will advance to the main race, as well as two additional provisionals chosen by FOX. The race will be televised by FOX, FS1 and the FOX Sports App on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
Racing Notebook: Kanaan Back With Ganassi For 500; Calderon Joins Foyt and more
(Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The racing world is gearing up for the 2022 season and there is plenty happening in the new year as deals continue to come together for the 2022 season. Here are the latest headlines from our Racing Notebook:
Kanaan Back With Ganassi For 2022 Indy 500:
- Chip Ganassi Racing is fielding a fifth entry in the 2022 Indianapolis 500 mile race for 2013 winner Tony Kanaan. The American Legion, who sponsored Kanaan in four races in 2021, returns for 2022. Kanaan was scheduled to drive the oval events in 2022 in the No. 48 Honda until Jimmie Johnson decided to run the full schedule. Kanaan says the Ganassi team plans to use crew members from the team’s IMSA squad for Indy.
— Tony Kanaan (@TonyKanaan) January 17, 2022
Calderon Joins A.J. Foyt Racing:
- A.J. Foyt Racing is expanding to three-cars for the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. ROKiT Group is expanding their partnership to field a second ROKiT Chevrolet for driver Tatiana Calderon, who will drive participate in the road and street course events. Calderon joins Kyle Kirkwood, who will drive the No. 14 Chevy, and Dalton Kellett, who will pilot the No. 4 K-Line Insulators USA Chevy.
2022 INDYCAR DRIVER ! A dream come true to be back in the🇺🇸 thanks to Jonathan Kendrick, @rokit and @AJFoytRacing for the opportunity! Can’t wait to Rokit! 🚀🏎 follow the #11 Rokit Chevrolet!😉 pic.twitter.com/4VqqhDNZ4i
— Tatiana Calderon (@TataCalde) January 17, 2022
Tanner Thorsen Wins Chili Bowl:
- Tanner Thorsen held off Christopher Bell to win the 36th annual Chili Bowl Nationals inside the Tulsa Expo Center. Bell led 36-of-55-laps but Thorsen was able to pull off the pass between turns 1 and 2 on lap 37. Bell held on for second place with teammate Rico Abreu coming home in third.
Robert Wickens Returns To Racing:
- Robert Wickens is returning to the drivers seat in 2022 driving for Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. Wickens, who suffered a spinal cord injury at a devastating crash at the INDYCAR event at Pocono Raceway in 2018, told reporters his recovery has plateaued so he will race with hand controls on the No. 33 Elantra N TCR he will share with countryman and IMPC champion Mark Wilkins.
Racing Notebook: Pocono Camping Sold Out; Firecracker 100 weekend starts Thursday and more!
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of the Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook is getting you ready for a busy weekend of racing in the Keystone State with NASCAR out East and the World of Outlaws Late Models at Lernerville. Plus the NTT INDYCAR SERIES makes a schedule adjustment.
Pocono Camping Sold Out:
- Pocono Raceway has sold out all available camping for this weekend’s NASCAR Doubleheader at ‘The Tricky Triangle’. Pocono started the week on Monday with only 71-sites available but those quickly sold out. The action gets started Friday with the ARCA Menards Series General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200. On Saturday it’s the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series CRC Brakleen 150 and the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Organics CBD 325. Sunday features the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pocono Green 225 presented by J.P. Mascaro & Sons and the NASCAR Cup Series Explore the Pocono Mountains 350. Tickets are available at www.poconoraceway.com.
Pocono Organics CBD To Sponsor Cup Race:
- Pocono Organics, one of the largest Regenerative Organic Farms in North America, will sponsor the NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, June 26. Pocono Organics will highlight their line of USDA Certified Organic, Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD products with the Pocono Organics CBD 325. The Pocono Organics CBD 325 is part of the 2021 NASCAR Doubleheader at ‘The Tricky Triangle’ featuring five NASCAR & ARCA Races in three days, including two NASCAR Cup Series races taking place on back-to-back days, from June 25-27.
Tickets On Sale For Grand Prix of Portland:
- Ticket sales are open for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Grand Prix of Portland. After missing their visit last year due to the global pandemic, the stars and cars of the Indianapolis 500 are coming back to Portland International Raceway for the first of three stops on its west coast swing to end the 2021 season September 10-12, 2021. Pricing starts at $85 for Bronze-level 3-Day Grandstand seating, $105 for Silver, and $165 for Gold which includes a Paddock Pass. General Admission for the entire three-day weekend is $65. Single-Day tickets will be released for sale in July. Tickets are available at portlandgp.com.
INDYCAR Will Not Replace Toronto:
- The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will not replace this year’s race on the street of Toronto with another race on the schedule. Toronto had to be cancelled for the second year in-a-row due to the global pandemic. Options to replace the race with one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or maybe turning the Mid-Ohio weekend into a doubleheader were considered but the timing of the cancellation failed to give promoters enough time to secure sponsorship to host an additional race.
Firecracker 100 Weekend Begins Thursday:
- The World of Outlaws Late Model Series rolls into Lernerville Speedway this weekend for the legendary ‘Firecracker 100’. The Racing starts Thursday night with the $6,000-to-win Firecracker 100 qualifier along with the RUSH Late Model Series preliminaries for the Bill Emig Memorial and continues on Friday with another WoO qualifier and more prelims for RUSH LMS. Saturday is the 15th Annual Firecracker 100 for the WoO and the Bill Emig Memorial for the RUSH LMS. Tickets and information is available at www.lernerville.com.
Points Battles Continue Sunday At Tri-City:
- As the racing season nears the halfway mark, four familiar names appear at the top of the point standings at Tri-City Raceway Park. In the Shawgo Real Estate LLC 410 Sprint division, defending champion Jack Sodeman, Jr. leads the standings on the strength of multiple feature wins. Jeremiah Shingledecker, the leading winner in the Krill Recycling 358 Modifieds, leads the way with 406 points. The closest battle for supremacy is in the Hovis Truck & Auto Supply Pro Stock class. William Hurrelbrink’s consistency has him in control, with 296 points, even though he has yet to take a checkered flag. Dalton Speer, with multiple wins in the 4 Your Car Connection Mini Stocks, leads with 408 points, the highest tally of any driver in any division. The action will start at 6 p.m. on Sunday evening. Gates will open at 4 for the fans and 2 for the racers. Tickets are available at Tri-CityRacewayPark.com.
Racing Notebook: Carb Day delayed by rain; NASCAR At Charlotte; Extreme E At Ocean Prix and more
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook is waiting out the rain at the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Carb Day; NASCAR gets to actually qualify for two weeks in-a-row; Chase Elliott will be without his spotter this weekend after NASCAR announces a suspension; Extreme E readies for race No. 2 and Tri-City Raceway Park gears up for sprint cars this Sunday.
Carb Day Delayed By Rain:
- The final practice for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge has been delayed by rain. The two-hour ‘Carb Day’ session was supposed to run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. but lingering precipitation is preventing the cars from getting out on the track. Officials from INDYCAR are hoping to get a window to allow teams to run this afternoon, even if it is an abbreviated session.
NASCAR To Use Qualifications At Charlotte:
- NASCAR teams will get to actually qualify this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR has been using a ‘performance matrix’ to determine starting lineups during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Last weekend at Circuit of the Americas teams were allowed to qualify since it was the sanctioning bodies first visit to the facility. The Camping World Truck Series will qualify Friday night while the Xfinity Series and Cup Series will qualify on Saturday.
Elliott Spotter D’Hondt Suspended:
- NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports has indefinitely suspended Eddie D’Hondt, the spotter for the No. 9 Chevrolet of Chase Elliott, for two violations: Member Conduct Guidelines and Required Notice. D’Hondt was charged May 12 with two misdemeanor charges of assaulting a woman and battery of an unborn child. The charges are related to a September 2020 incident at a retail store. D’Hondt failed to notify NASCAR of the arrest. D’Hondt’s attorney denied the charges to Fox Sports.
Extreme E Readies For Ocean Prix:
- Extreme E, the electric off-road racing series, is racing this weekend on the West African Senegalese coast for its Ocean X Prix at Lac Rose, Dakar, Senegal, May 29-30. The shores of Lac Rose hosted the finish of the world’s most famous cross-country rally – the Paris-Dakar – on numerous occasions between 1979 and 2007. Drivers will once again face a mostly sandy terrain as the race will take to the existing tracks surrounding the lake, named after, and renowned for its striking pink colour, caused by algae that thrives within its highly-saline waters. Rosberg X Racing (RXR) took victory in the inaugural X Prix last month in the Saudi Arabian deserts.
Tri-City Raceway Park Hosting Sprints On Sunday:
- The four divisions making up the ‘Sunday Thunder’ racing program will return to Tri-City Raceway Park this Sunday, May 30. 410 Sprint Cars, 358 Modifieds, Pro Stocks and Mini Stocks will all be in action. Information regarding Tri-City Raceway Park can be reached by calling the track office, at 724-967-4601, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out the website at www.Tri-CityRacewayPark.com,