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Racing Notebook – Friday, June 26: Firecracker Weekend Continues; NASCAR rolls into Pocono and Indy 500 Fan Update

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Josh James

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Firecracker weekend continues Friday night at Lernerville Speedway plus NASCAR rolls into the Pocono Mountains for 5-races in 3-days and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces that the Indy 500 will be run with fans at 50% capacity.

Firecracker Weekend Continues At Lernerville Speedway

  • The Firecracker 100 Weekend continues Friday night at Lernerville Speedway as the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series continues with qualifying races and the RUSH Late Model Series continues with qualifiers for the Bill Emig Memorial.  Max Blair was the winner of the opening round of the Firecracker weekend in a hard-fought battle with Brandon Sheppard.
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NASCAR Visits the Pocono Mountains

  • All three NASCAR Touring Series are racing at Pocono Raceway this weekend for a pair of doubleheaders.  The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series Pocono Organics 150 and the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Organics 325 takes place on Saturday.  Johnny Sauter is on the pole position for the Truck race and Aric Almirola is on the pole for the Cup race.  Sunday’s events feature the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pocono Green 225 and the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 350. Pocono Saturday Starting Lineup

Indianapolis 500 To Be Run With Fans But At 50% Capacity

  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials confirmed June 26 their commitment to welcoming spectators to the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, Aug. 23, with the venue capacity limited to 50 percent attendance. “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” was postponed from its original date of Sunday, May 24 due to the COVID-19 health crisis.  IMS is communicating with existing ticketholders to learn of their intent to use their race tickets. Credits will be available for ticketholders who choose to adjust their order. Individuals in high-risk groups are encouraged to consider staying home and returning in 2021. In close consultation with public health officials, the IMS team is also working diligently to finalize a comprehensive plan of health measures that will be unveiled for spectators in the near future.
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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Castroneves Joins Meyer Shank Racing; INDYCAR tests at Laguna Seca and more.

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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of the Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details on Helio Castroneves joining Meyer Shank Racing plus Jimmie Johnson tests the Carvana Honda at Laguna Seca and Belardi Auto Racing closes its doors.

Helio Castroneves Joins Meyer Shank Racing:

  • 3-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves is joining Meyer Shank Racing for six NTT INDYCAR SERIES events in 2021.  Castroneves is slated to compete at Barber Motorsports Park, The Streets of Long Beach, Indianapolis 500, Indy Road Course, Portland International Raceway and Weather Tech Raceway at Laguna Seca. “We’re really excited to have Helio come onboard with us next year,” said team co-owner Mike Shank. “The idea to start off with six races for the second IndyCar was another strategic plan. As I’ve always said in the past, we will never bite off more than we can chew.” The ultimate goal is to run two, full-time entries.

Jimmie Johnson and Alex Palou Test At Laguna Seca:

  • The two newest members of Chip Ganassi’s INDYCAR squad, Jimmie Johnson and Alex Palou, spent Monday testing at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca.  The outing is the second test for both drivers with CGR after the joined the team following the conclusion of the 2020 NASCAR and INDYCAR seasons.  Johnson and Palou tested with teammates Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson last month at Barber Motorsports Park. Speeds and times were not released but Johnson and Palou had some cool social media posts.
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Belardi Auto Racing Closes:

  • Belardi Auto Racing, a fixture on the Road To Indy the past decade, is closing its doors.  Team Owner Brian Belardi cited personal health concerns as well as the economic effects from the COVID-19 pandemic as the primary reasons behind the decision.
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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Formula E Invests In Extreme E; NASCAR Gearing Up For Championship

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Extreme E

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of the Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook includes an update on Extreme E as well as how NASCAR teams are gearing up for the Championship Weekend and NTT IndyCar Series teams get a jump on 2021 with testing at Barber Motorsports Park.

Formula E Invests In Extreme E:

  • Formula E has today announced that it has become a minority shareholder in Extreme E – the radical new off-road motorsport which will see electric SUVs competing in remote ecosystems around the world.  United in their founding purpose to counteract climate change by accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles, Formula E and Extreme E have a natural strategic alliance which has been formalized by Formula E’s investment.
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NASCAR Teams Gearing Up For Championship At Phoenix:

  • The NASCAR Championship teams of drivers Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin are gearing up this weekend’s Championship at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale Arizona.  Logano won the last race at Phoenix in the Spring.  Elliott won the pole for that race and led 93-laps.  Elliott has also won the last two elimination races (Martinsville, Charlotte).

NTT IndyCar Series Teams Test At Barber:

  • 21 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Teams spent Monday testing at Barber Motorsports Park, a little over a week after their season ending race at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.  7-time NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson and Alex Palou got acclimated with their Chip Ganassi Racing team while Felix Rosenqvist was in his new ride at Arrow McLaren SP while Felix Antonio da Costa was in the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda for Graham Rahal.

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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Larson To Hendrick Finally Official; Extreme E Unveils Ganassi Livery And More

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Chip Ganassi Racing Extreme E

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Kyle Larson to Hendrick Motorsports is finally official plus Marcus Ericsson and Chip Ganassi Racing agree to multi-year deal and a Pittsburgh “look” for one of CGR’s new machines.

Hendrick Motorsports Signs Kyle Larson:

  • Hendrick Motorsports made it official by announcing the signing of Kyle Larson to a multi-year deal to drive the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Cup Series beginning in 2021.  Larson was reinstated by NASCAR earlier this month after being suspended for using a racial slur during a iRacing event this Spring.  Chip Ganassi Racing fired Larson and several sponsors dropped him as a result of that incident.

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Extreme E Debuts Chip Ganassi Racing Livery:

  • Chip Ganassi Racing’s entry in the Extreme E Series will carry some familiar colors when it makes its debut in 2021.  Extreme E is the electric, off-road rally series that will compete in the remote areas of the world affected by climate change.  Sara Price will be CGR’s female driver and Kyle LeDuc will be the male driver.  The Odyssey 21 SUV will carry a Black & Gold livery. To watch the Extreme E Global Launch click here.

Marcus Ericsson And Chip Ganassi Racing Agree To New Deal:

  • Marcus Ericsson will continue behind the wheel of Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 8 Honda.  The team announced on Wednesday a multi-year deal with the 30-year-old Swede.  Ericsson finished 12th in the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES final standings, which was his first year with the 13-time Championship organization.

 

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