INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing is gearing up for the Extreme E Series by signing American Kyle LeDuc to pair with Sara Price for the 2021 season.
“I am beyond excited to announce that I will be driving in the Extreme E series for Chip Ganassi Racing,” said LeDuc. “Not only do I get to drive these fully electric 4-wheel drive cars around the world, but I get to do it for the man himself, the biggest team in motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing.”
Extreme E is a five-race global series spanning four continents that will highlight the impact of climate change and human activity on some of the world’s most remote locations, while promoting sustainability and the adoption of electric vehicles to help protect the planet.
Competitors like LeDuc and Price will drive Extreme E’s revolutionary battery-electric, 550-horsepower, 3640-pound Electric-SUV that is capable of going from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent!
“The 2021 Extreme E series is going to be groundbreaking and we are going in with the goal of victory,” proclaimed LeDuc. “Some of the unprecedented features of this new series will be splitting these races 50/50 and racing worldwide in climate-affected areas. This is a huge opportunity for all involved and we cannot wait to get this thing started!”
LeDuc, a six-time Pro-4 Short Course Off-Road Champion with a record of 101 victories, will pair with Off-road Truck Champion and X Games Price in a format that will see teams field both a male and female driver in its races – promoting gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors. They will compete together in every two-lap race as driver and co-driver, with each completing one lap behind the wheel of the ODYSSEY 21 electric-SUV, with a changeover incorporated into the race format.
“I’m looking forward to working with my teammate, Sara Price,” said LeDuc. “I was born and raised around racing with my family and to see the desire and determination in Chip and the entire team to be successful and win in this newly developed form of motorsports has given me the drive to bring victories to this program.”
“Congratulations to all at Chip Ganassi Racing for completing their driver line-up and a big welcome to the Extreme E family Kyle,” said Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO, Extreme E. “I’m really looking forward to seeing both Sara and Kyle race, they’re both super successful in their motorsport endeavors and have already achieved so much. I’m sure they’ll be bringing this determination and skill to the Extreme E paddock.”
Skill and determination is exactly what LeDuc brings to CGR. LeDuc was the youngest active driver in off-road racing and became the 2003 Prolite World Champion at Crandon International Raceway at the age of the 20.
The following year LeDuc became Prolite Champion. In 2008 LeDuc entered the Pro-4 category and has since won six Pro-4 Championships in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS), with his first coming in 2012 and his most recent in 2019.
These titles became the norm for LeDuc as he continued to achieve a career-total of three LOORRS Challenge Cup wins, two Pro-4 World Championships, and two LOORRS Driver of the Year titles.
LeDuc has also competed in several Trophy Truck races with great success including the 2016 Baja 1000 where he qualified first and started first on the road and finished fifth in his first ever attempted Trophy Truck race. Not only is LeDuc one of the best in off-road, he has the mind of an engineer and builds his own race vehicles from the ground up.
“We are really excited about Kyle joining our team and being a teammate to Sara in Extreme E,” said Mike Hull, Managing Director of Chip Ganassi Racing. “Kyle is a really quality off-road, all-terrain driver. Presently, Kyle has 101 victories in off-road racing. He is a true champion, a race winner, and understands how to drive in all terrains. He will have a positive effect, not only behind the wheel but also with our team with his experience. We are looking forward to him joining Chip Ganassi Racing!”
The 2021 Extreme E Series debuts January 22-24 in Lac Rose, Senegal.
INDYCAR and NBC sign multi-year extension
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The NTT INDYCAR SERIES and NBC Network announced on Tuesday a multi-year extension to the media rights of the open wheel series.
NBC Sports will continue to be the exclusive home of the Indianapolis 500 and will provide coverage of all NTT INDYCAR SERIES races, qualifying, practices and Indy Lights races across its linear, digital and streaming platforms, including Peacock. Terms of the deal were not announced.
“NBC Sports is proud to extend its partnership with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and continue to serve as the exclusive home of the most competitive open-wheel racing series in the world and ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’” said Jon Miller, NBC Sports.
“NBC Sports has been the ideal partner for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, bringing our bold and audacious style of racing to a significantly larger domestic audience and fully leveraging the power and scale of the Indianapolis 500,” said Mark Miles, President and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp. “This new deal represents a significant expansion of our network TV exposure and sets us up for continued growth and success alongside a committed, innovative and world-class broadcast partner.”
INDYCAR and NBC are enjoying strong ratings for the 2021. Ratings are up 30% this year.
As part of the agreement, 13 races will be broadcast on NBC. USA Network and Peacock Premium will show the remaining races. Telemundo Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage of the season-opening race, the Indianapolis 500 and the season finale.
Peacock will stream all races on NBC and USA Network and will continue as the streaming home of NTT INDYCAR SERIES qualifying and practices sessions, Indy Lights races and full-event replays. Peacock will stream two races exclusively, which will be announced at a later date.
Chase Elliott wins SRX finale at Nashville, Stewart wins Championship
NASHVILLE, TN (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chase Elliott joined the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) for their season finale at Nashville Fairgrounds and took home the checkered flag beating Tony Stewart and his father Bill Elliott in the feature. The win was the first series victory for the younger Elliott.
Chase Elliott was on the inside with Stewart on the outside on a restart with 7-laps-to-go followed by Bill Elliott and Bobby Labonte in Row 2.
Chase Elliott beat Stewart into turn one and two with Bill Elliott and Bobby Labonte side-by-side for third.
Caution came out with 5-laps-to-go when Paul Tracy made contact with Marco Andretti, sending Andretti into a spin after picking up three spots following the restart.
Chase Elliott got the jump on Stewart on the restart and held on to pick up the win. Stewart finished second and took home the inaugural series Championship.
“Man it was so much fun,” said Chase Elliott. “I had a ball. I got to race against two of my heroes tonight and I got to race against Dad there throughout the race and those are moments that I’ll cherish forever. Thanks to Ray (Evernham, Series co-owner) and Tony (Stewart, Series co-owner) and I appreciate NAPA being on the car.”
NASCAR Hall-of-famer Bill Elliott, 65, finished third and picked up a win in the first heat race where he started side-by-side with his son Chase.
“I messed up in one not getting all the stuff (marbles) off my tires,” said Bill Elliott, the 1988 NASCAR Cup Series Champion. “Man I tell you it was a lot of fun. I knew the way the tires were on these cars and the way Chase manages his stuff he was going to be tough to beat.”
“I don’t know what lit a fire under him tonight,” said Chase Elliott. “But he was as aggressive as I have seen him in years. It was amazing and a lot of fun. I thought it was going to be between he and I but he got a little high going into (turn) one.”
The win was also special for the Elliott Family as they were able to park the No. 94 in Victory Lane. Casey Elliott, the late son of legendary engine builder Ernie Elliott, raced the No. 94 in the ARCA and Busch (now Xfinity) Series before his life was cut short by cancer.
“Obviously a special number too,” said Chase Elliott. “My late Cousin Casey Elliott ran the 94 for years and years and it’s always special to run that number and I’m glad we were able to get it in Victory Lane at Nashville.”
“How could you ask for more than to finish between two Elliott’s, that’s pretty bad-ass in itself,” said Stewart. “To win this Championship is awesome. I really appreciate Marcus Lemonis and everyone at Camping World for stepping up and helping us get this thing off the ground. To be the last guy to win an IROC Championship and the first one to win an SRX Championship means a lot.”
Josef Newgarden ends Penske INDYCAR win drought at Mid-Ohio
LEXINGTON, OH (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden picked up his, and Team Penske’s, first win of 2021 holding off Marcus Ericsson to win Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
Newgarden started on the pole position and led 73-of-80-laps to pick up his first win since the 2020 season finale at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
“This team has been doing the job,” said Newgarden. “Everyone has been giving me a hard time, asking what’s up with us not winning a race. But I don’t think these people at Team Penske could have done anything different. We’ve been in the game almost every race, had great performance. It’s great to seal a win here finally.”
Newgarden spoiled a tremendous afternoon for Chip Ganassi Racing, the winningest INDYCAR team at Mid-Ohio.
CGR’s Ericsson finished second, 0.8790-seconds behind Newgarden. The second place finish was Ericsson’s seventh top-10 finish of 2021.
“We were hunting him down there,” said Ericsson. “He (Newgarden) was really struggling with his tires the last five laps. Just catching him quickly. Another lap or two would be even better, but I’ll take second today.”
Ericsson’s CGR teammate Alex Palou and Scott Dixon finished third and fourth respectively to give Chip Ganassi three cars in the top 5.
“It’s always good to start P7 and you finish on the podium,” said Palou. “Yeah, I think today was a good result.”
“I think it was a great day, great day for the team, to have me, Alex and Scott, P2, P3 and P4,” said Ericsson. “It’s a strong result. Shows how strong we are at the moment”
Palou remains the Championship points leader, 39 points ahead of Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren SP. Dixon is third, 56 points behind Palou. Newgarden remained fourth, 69 points back of the leader, and Ericsson jumped three positions to take fifth in the standings, 104 points behind Palou.