Racing Notebook: Bowman To Hendrick’s 48; Hamlin On Pole For ROVAL and more
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details on Hendrick Motorsports choosing Alex Bowman to replace Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet; NASCAR sets the lineup for this weekend’s Cup Series race on The Roval; Rahal Letterman Lanigan to build new headquarters; Jarett Andretti headed to IMSA in 2021; Indy Lights to return in 2021; Suarez lands new Cup Series Ride and Deegan to make Truck Series debut at Kansas.
Hendrick Putting Bowman In The No. 48:
- Hendrick Motorsports is putting Alex Bowman in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet for the 2021 season. Bowman’s crew chief will remain Greg Ives. Bowman takes over the seat that is being vacated by 7-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson. Johnson is retiring from NASCAR competition but not racing as Johnson is planning to run the Road and Street courses in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Denny Hamlin To Start On Roval Pole At Charlotte:
- Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin will start on the pole position for the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course. Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott, the defending winner at the Roval, will start second. The second row consists of Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski and Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick. The green flag drops on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on NBC. Roval Starting Lineup
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing To Build New Headquarters:
- Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing is going to build a new headquarters in Zionsville, Indiana. The new state-of-the-art, 100,000-square foot facility will consolidate RLL’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES operation (currently in Brownsburg, IN) and IMSA operations (currently in Hilliard, OH) under one roof. RLL expects to break ground on its headquarters in late 2020 and be fully operational by Spring 2021.
Jarett Andretti and Andretti Autosport Headed To IMSA In 2021:
- Andretti Autosport announced today that Jarett Andretti will enter the 2021 IMSA Prototype Challenge in the LMP3 class. Following a successful two years behind the wheel of his GT4 machine, the third-generation driver is ready to tackle the new experience in the Ligier JS P320. The IMSA Prototype Challenge highlights six races on the 2021 schedule with each race one hour, 45 minutes in length. As a champion is crowned for the IMSA Prototype Challenge, the championship-winning driver will receive a $100,000 IMSA credit applicable for the 2022 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.
Indy Lights To Return in 2021:
- The Indy Lights Series, the final stepping stone on the ‘Road To Indy’ ladder system, will be back on the grid in 2021. The rejuvenated Indy Lights Series will benefit from additional initiatives being formulated in conjunction with INDYCAR, including an increased value of the champion’s scholarship award to $1,250,000. A guaranteed entry for the champion into at least three 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES events, including the Indianapolis 500, will remain. Also new in 2021, the top-three finishers in the Indy Lights championship will each receive a NTT INDYCAR SERIES test at the conclusion of the season. Twenty-three of the 33 starters in this year’s Indianapolis 500 were Indy Lights graduates including eight Indy Lights champions.
Daniel Suarez To Drive For New Cup Team:
- Trackhouse Entertainment Group announced today the formation of a new NASCAR Cup Series team that will make its on-track debut at the 2021 DAYTONA 500. Piloting the No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will be 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion and NASCAR Cup Series veteran, Daniel Suárez. Trackhouse Entertainment Group, an investor in and operator of motorsports business, was founded and is owned by Justin Marks.
Hailie Deegan To Make NASCAR Truck Series Debut:
- ARCA Series driver Hailie Deegan is going to make her NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series debut next weekend at Kansas Speedway with DGR Crosley. Deegan made the announcement today on her Twitter feed.
Racing Notebook: Rosenqvist earns INDYCAR Pole; Dixon starts 2nd; Hocevar, Smith earn NASCAR victories
FORT WORTH, TX – (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The NTT INDYCAR SERIES gets back on track Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway with Arrow McLaren and Chip Ganassi Racing leading the field to green. In NASCAR, Carson Hocevar and Chandler Smith each earned victories on Saturday and Alex Bowman will lead the Cup field to green on Sunday.
Felix Rosenqvist wins INDYCAR Texas Pole:
- Arrow McLaren Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist is on the pole position for Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES PPG 375. Rosenqvist’s 2-lap average of 220.264 mph was slower than the 221.110 mph he posted in 2021. The pole is the second consecutive for Rosenqvist at the 1.5-mile oval. “I think we just built on last year,” said Rosenqvist. “Maybe it was a good thing to start early. The track kind of warmed up. We’ll take it. We’ve always been good here, but this is a whole different confidence level compared to last year. Let’s try to wrap it up tomorrow.” The 250-lap race starts at Noon (ET) Sunday with live coverage on NBC, Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.
Dixon Puts PNC Bank Honda on front row:
- PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon will start on the outside of the front row for Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES PPG 375 at Texas Motor Speedway. Dixon’s 2-lap average around the 1.5-mile oval of 219.972-mph was 0.292-mph behind pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist. Dixon, a 6-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion has five career victories at Texas, including wins in four of the last nine races. Dixon’s CGR teammates Takuma Sato and Alex Palou will start 6th and 7th respectively. CGR’s Marcus Ericsson will roll off 16th in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Honda.
Carson Hocevar Wins NASCAR Truck Race at Texas:
- Carson Hocevar avoided a crash on the white flag lap to power to the win in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Hocevar made contact with the back of the truck of Nick Sanchez, as Sanchez was recovering from door-to-door contact with Zane Smith. Sanchez spun and collected Smith as Hocevar avoided the mayhem to take the double-overtime victory. The win was Hocevar’s first career win. “I didn’t mean to get into him, I just meant to give him a push and he got sideways the second I hit him, I apologize to them, I’ll take the fall for it.”
Chandler Smith takes NASCAR Xfinity win at Richmond:
- Rookie Chandler Smith earned his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory Saturday afternoon at Richmond (Va.) Raceway holding off John Hunter Nemechek on a final race restart to win the ToyotaCare 250. Smith’s margin of victory was .298-seconds. Smith’s No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet led a race best 83 of the 250 laps.
Alex Bowman on NASCAR Cup Series Pole at Richmond:
- Current NASCAR Cup Series championship leader Alex Bowman will start Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) from pole position in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet with Kyle Busch completing the front row in the No. 8 Richard Childress Chevy after NASCAR’s Cup Series practice and qualifying sessions were cancelled Saturday morning at Richmond (Va.) Raceway because of poor weather.
Racing Notebook: MSR Penalized; Taylor to sub for Elliott and more
(Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of the Racing Notebook details Meyer Shank Racing’s post-Rolex 24 penalty plus Jordan Taylor to take the wheel of a Hendrick Chevy; two F1 veteran in Cup race at COTA and more:
Meyer Shank Penalized by IMSA:
- Meyer Shank Racing is $50,000 lighter in the pocketbook after being penalized by IMSA for infractions discovered after the team won the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona. IMSA became aware of the manipulation of tire pressure data from the No. 60 car to IMSA as the monitoring point for the minimum tire pressure regulation. In addition to the $50k fine the team and drivers lost lost 200-Championship points, lost all Michelin Endurance Cup points, lost race prize money, and team owner Mike Shank placed on probation through June 30, 2023 and team engineer Ryan McCarthy was placed on indefinite suspension.
Jordan Taylor to sub for Chase Elliott at COTA:
- Jordan Taylor will be behind the wheel of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet this weekend as the NASCAR Cup Series hits the road course at Circuit of the Americas. Taylor, a three-time Champion in IMSA’s DPi and GT classes, has been working with Hendrick’s Garage 56 program for the 24-Hours of Le Mans. Elliott, the 2020 Cup Series Champion, is expected to miss approximately six-weeks after suffering a broken leg snowboarding before this past weekend’s event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Jensen Button to make Cup debut at COTA:
- 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jensen Button will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut this weekend at Circuit of the Americas driving the No. 15 Mobil 1 Ford for Rick Ware Racing. This marks the first of three Cup Series starts in 2023 for Button, who will also compete at inaugural Chicago street race and the road course race at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Button has been testing Hendrick’s Garage 56 Camaro at Sebring, Daytona and COTA. Kimi Raikonnen will also be in the field as he returns to Trackhouse Racing for the COTA event.
54 entries for 12-Hours of Sebring:
- 54-cars are on the preliminary entry list for the 12-Hours of Sebring. Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 2 Cadillac is not in the 12-Hour field as that car begins its World Endurance Championship (WEC) with the 1000-miles of Sebring the day before the 12-Hour. IMSA has also adjusted the Balance of Performance for GTD following the Rolex 24. All the cars have gained weight from the 1030kg minimum used at Daytona, with the Acura ARX-06 gaining the most at 1054kg, and Cadillac the least at 1038kg. BMW is at 1040, while Porsche is at 1048. Qualifying for the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship takes place Friday, March 17 at 9 a.m. with the green flag dropping Saturday at 10 a.m.
Racing Notebook: Pocono NASCAR Weekend approaching; INDYCAR in Toronto; PVGP hits the track and more
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The Pittsburgh Racing Now Racing Notebook is jam-packed with NASCAR, INDYCAR, and Vintage racing news:
Limited Tickets Remain for Pocono NASCAR Weekend:
- Pocono Raceway’s NASCAR weekend is a little over a week away and if you want to go, get your tickets now! Pocono announced on Thursday that a limited number of grandstand seats are the only options remaining for the marquee M&M’S® Fan Appreciation 400 NASCAR Cup Series race next Sunday, July 24. The remaining grandstand seats for the Cup Series race are at three price points ($45, $80 and $95) and scattered throughout the various sections of the main grandstand. The only RV camping option currently available is general admission for $250, which includes two guest passes and free admission for up to 4 children 12 and under. To purchase tickets or learn more, please visit poconoraceway.com or call 800-722-3929.
INDYCAR Returns To Toronto:
- The NTT INDYCAR SERIES returns to the Streets of Toronto for this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto. All eyes will be on Defending Series Champion Alex Palou, driver of the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. CGR announced on Tuesday afternoon they were exercising their option on Palou for 2023, only to have Palou announce on Social Media later that evening that he was not returning. Moments after Palou’s announcement, McLaren Racing announced they signed Palou for 2023. CGR has won seven times at Toronto, the most recent being Scott Dixon in 2018. Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi was fastest in the first practice on Friday. A second practice session takes place Saturday morning with three rounds of knockout-style qualifying taking place Saturday afternoon. The race is Sunday at 3 p.m.
Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix at Pitt Race:
- The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix hits the Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum this weekend in a tune-up for next weekend’s race on the streets of Schenley Park. Since 2004, racers from all over the country have come to the 2.8-mile purpose-built track 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh for fierce competition. The ‘Black Tie and Tailpipes Gala’ took place last night at The Grand Concourse at Station Square. For more information visit pvgp.org.