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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.

Racing Notebook

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

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Campbell Photography

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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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Marks Wins At Eldora; Veach Out At Andretti; Harvick On Vegas Pole and more

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Paul Arch

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details on Brent Marks win at Eldora plus Zach Veach and Andretti Autosport part ways and Kevin Harvick is awarded the pole at Las Vegas and Acura partners with Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing for 2021.

Brent Marks Wins Governors Reign Opener At Eldora Speedway:

  • Brent Marks held off Kerry Madsen following a late race caution to win The Ollies Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions Governors Reign opener at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg Ohio.  Marks started fourth and was in the lead by lap 10.  The victory earned the Myerstown, PA native $10,000.  The Governors Reign will continue on Wednesday evening, September 23, with a second, full All Stars program that will award $52,000.
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Zach Veach Out At Andretti Autosport:

  • NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Zach Veach is relinquishing his role of driver of the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda for Andretti Autosport.  In a statement Veach said, “The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car. This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 INDYCAR season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.”  No replacement has been named for next weekend’s Harvest GP on the road course at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kevin Harvick Awarded Las Vegas Pole Position:

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Points leader Kevin Harvick will start on the pole position for Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Harvick was awarded the pole based on NASCAR’s ‘performance matrix’.  Kyle Busch will start on the outside of the front row.  Chase Elliott and Aric Almirola will make up row 2.  The South Point 400 takes place Sunday, September 27 at 7:00 p.m. ET. Las Vegas Cup Starting Lineup

Acura Partners With Meyer Shank and Wayne Taylor For 2021 DPi Program:

  • Acura Motorsports is partnering with Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing to field a pair of Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype International entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, beginning in 2021.  Read our complete coverage here.
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Racing Notebook: Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan Start Race Team; Sage Karam To Race At Harvest GP and more

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Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details about Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin teaming up to start a new NASCAR Cup Series team plus Dreyer and Reinbold Racing to field a car for Sage Karam at the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Harvest GP weekend and NASCAR moves the All-Star race from Charlotte to Texas Motor Speedway for 2021.

Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin Start Race Team:

  • NBA Hall of Famer and Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan and NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin are teaming up to start a NASCAR Cup Series team and they are hiring Darrell “Bubba” Wallace to drive the car in 2021.  Jordan will be the primary owner of the team and Hamlin will be a minority owner while continuing to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing.  The team has acquired a NASCAR Charter from Germain Racing.

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Dreyer And Reinbold Enter Sage Karam In Harvest GP:

  • NTT INDYCAR SERIES team Dreyer & Reinbold Racing are entering a car for driver Sage Karam in next weekend’s Harvest Grand Prix on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Karam and DRR will be supported by Oil2Soil, an organic peat moss oil absorbent that is available on amazon.  DRR and Karam are running a partial schedule in 2020.

NASCAR Reportedly Moving All Star Race:

  • NASCAR is reported moving the All Star race from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Texas Motor Speedway.  The Athletic is reporting that the move will also include a date change from early May to closer to mid season.  The move also opens up the possibility for NASCAR to add the road course at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) to the 2021 schedule.
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