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Racing Notebook: Mercer and Tri-City Remember Brandon Hawkins; Penske Thanks 500 Fans and more!

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Rick Rarer

PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details on two tracks remembering the late Brandon Hawkins this weekend plus Roger Penske thanks Indy 500 fans, Hendrick teammates honor Jimmie Johnson with their “throwbacks” and the Grand Prix of Portland will continue through 2023.

Mercer Raceway To Honor Hawkins On Saturday:

  • Michael’s Mercer Raceway is planning on honoring the late Brandon Hawkins on Saturday night with the $2727 to win, $227 to start “Big Mav Classic”.  Hawkins tragically lost his life at age 26 on July 20 at a construction accident.  Hawkins is survived by his son Maverick, his parents Dave and Chrissy and his girlfriend Ashley.  Hawkins 27H car will be driven by Kyle Colwell and start 27th.  Every car that finishes behind the 27H will donate and extra $50 to start the race back to Maverick Hawkins.  For more information visit www.mercerracewaypark.com.

Tri-City and RUSH Sprints To Honor Hawkins On Sunday:

  • Tri-City Raceway Park and the RUSH Sprint Car Series will pay tribute Hawkins, a former Micro Sprint standout, moved to the RUSH Sprint Cars when the class debuted in 2018 along with his brother Scott and father Dave. The trio also competed together in 2019 as well before Brandon made the move to the “305” Sprints where he won his first feature on July 17 at Bedford Speedway, just days before his passing. Jeremy Weaver leads the Equipment Rental Options Weekly Series points by 31 over Zach Morrow.  For more information visit www.tricityracewaypark.com.

Roger Penske Pens Letter To Indy 500 Fans:

  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NTT INDYCAR SERIES owner Roger Penske, who bought the speedway and series earlier this year, wrote a letter to Indy 500 season ticket holder and race fans who usually attend “The Greatest Spectacle In Racing” but will be unable to in 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions:
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Hendrick Teammates Honor Jimmie Johnson With “Throwbacks”:

  • The Hendrick Motorsports cars of Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and William Byron will honor teammate Jimmie Johnson with their “throwback” paint schemes at Darlington Raceway.  Johnson is retiring from full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition after the 2020 season.  Johnson has expressed an interest in running the NTT INDYCAR SERIES road and street courses in 2021.

City of Portland Extends G.P. Agreement:

  • The City of Portland and Green Savoree Portland LLC have reached an agreement on a three-year extension for the Grand Prix of Portland.  The event was cancelled this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Oregon’s statewide restrictions n public gatherings.  The new agreement extends the Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway through at least 2023.  For tickets and information visit www.portlandgp.com.
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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: 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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