PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The latest edition of The Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook includes news about Matt DiBenedetto’s extension at Wood Brothers Racing. Austin Cindric gets a contract extension at Team Penske plus Chip Ganassi Racing helps create personal protective gear and Dalton Kellett promotes STEM.
Wood Brothers Extend Matt DiBenedetto Through 2021:
- Wood Brothers Racing announced on Thursday that they have picked up the option on driver Matt DiBenedetto for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Season. DiBenedetto joined the Wood Brothers this season after Paul Menard retired. DiBenedetto has earned a single-season high eight top-10 finishes in 31-races and qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs for the first time in his career. The playoff appearance is on the second for the Wood Brothers.
Austin Cindric Gets Contract Extension From Team Penske:
- Team Penske announced Thursday that they have signed Austin Cindric to a contract extension that will see the 22-year-old remain with the team driving in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) and NASCAR Cup Series (NCS). Cindric will return to race full-time in the 2021 Xfinity Series while also earning the opportunity to drive in select Cup Series next season. In 2022, Cindric will race the full season in the Cup Series as he will transition to Wood Brothers Racing to drive the iconic No. 21 Ford Mustang.
Chip Ganassi Racing Helps 1st Responders:
- Chip Ganassi Racing is helping first responders by teaming-up with Daniel de los Reyes, the drummer of the Zac Brown Band, on a new face shield. De los Reyes founded Mini-Shield USA to help the music industry because of the devastation that COVID-19 has done to musicians ability tour in support of their music. De los Reyes initially had the idea to repurpose drum heads, that were meant to be used during the 2020 Zac Brown Band tour, into functional protective wear.
A.J. Foyt Racing’s Dalton Kellett To Promote STEM:
- A.J. Foyt Racing‘s Dalton Kellett is announcing a national STEM partnership in US schools. Kellett is teaming with the InterNational STEM League and the iNSL iRacing Student Innovation Challenge, a partnership between Ten80 and iRacing, to promote engineering in schools across the United States. With a goal of promoting STEM education, the challenge allows students from across the U.S. to become R&D crews for a simulated racing team, gaining points through Qualifiers and earning a place on track for the winter’s sanctioned race series.
Racing Notebook: Rossi on INDYCAR pole; Larson on Cup pole; Busch wins Truck Race
Sunday’s Racing Notebook has details on the starting lineups for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Road America and the NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma as well as Kyle Busch winning another truck series race>
Rossi on INDYCAR Series Pole:
- Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi earned his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES pole position in three years by beating Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden in knockout-style qualifying for Sunday’s race at Road America. Rossi’s fast lap of 1 minute, 44.8656 seconds edged Newgarden’s 1:44.9371 in the No. 2 PPG Chevrolet. Defending series champion Alex Palou, who led the final warmup session on Saturday afternoon, qualified third at 1:45.3822 in the No. 10 American Legion Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Teammate and 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson joins Palou in the second row after his best lap of 1:45.4240 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Road America INDYCAR Lineup
Larson Leads Hendrick Cup Series Front Row:
- Hendrick Motorsports Kyle Larson is on the pole position for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma. Larson’s fast lap of 92.111 mph (1m70.776s) edged teammate Chase Elliott’s 92.083 mph in the No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet. Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing’s Chris Buescher qualified third at 91.919 mph after missing last week’s race due to Covid-19. Michael McDowell starts fourth after posting a fast lap of 91.916. Sonoma Cup Lineup
Kyle Busch Wins Truck Series Race:
- Kyle Busch held off Zane Smith to earn his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the year Saturday at Sonoma. The win extended his record career total to 62 series victories and a streak of 10 consecutive years with at least one series win. Busch led 45 of the 75 laps in the victory. Wexford’s Kris Wright finished 26th in the No. 44 FNB Chevrolet after starting 30th in his first race at Sonoma. Sonoma Truck Results
Racing Notebook: Bourdais puts Ganassi Caddy on IMSA Pole; Kirkwood fastest in INDYCAR first practice; Acura LMDh teaser and more
The latest edition of the Pittsburgh Racing Now Notebook has details on IMSA qualifying, the first practice on the Streets of Belle Isle for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Acura teases their LMDh entry and NASCAR at Gateway:
Bourdais Wins IMSA Pole:
- Sebastian Bourdais in on the Pole Position for Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Series race at Belle Isle. Bourdais fast lap of 1:18.818/107.335 mph in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac edged Tom Blomqvist in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Acura (1:18.928) for the top spot despite making contact with the wall at Turn 2. “It was a bit of a messy qualifying, and I don’t think I’ve hit that many walls in succession in a very long time,” Bourdais said. “You have to hustle the cars and push so hard here that you really expose yourself. It proves that we really have to dig deep to keep those Acuras at bay,” said Bourdais. IMSA Detroit Qualifying
Kirkwood Fastest In INDYCAR First Practice:
- Rookie Kyle Kirkwood turned the fastest lap in the first practice session for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. Kirkwood’s fast lap of 1:16.1345 in the No. 14 RoKit Chevrolet. Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward was second fastest in the No. 5 Chevrolet (1:16.1556). Alexander Rossi was third quickest at 1:16.5146 in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda. Simon Pagenaud was fourth at 1:16.6177 in the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda, while newly crowned Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson rounded out the top five at 1:16.6574 in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. INDYCAR Detroit Practice One
Rossi Fastest in INDYCAR Second Practice:
- Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi turned the fastest lap in the second NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice Saturday morning on Belle Isle. Meyer Shank Racing’s Simon Pagenaud was second quick at 1:15.880 in the No. 60 Honda. Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden was third quick at 1:15.911. MSR’s Helio Castroneves turned the fourth fastest lap at 1:16.041. Rookie David Malukas rounded out the Top 5 at 1:16.118. Alex Palou was the fastest of the Ganassi cars in 9th (1:16.384) with Scott Dixon 13th and Marcus Ericsson 14th. Knockout-style qualifying takes place from 12:35 to 1:50 p.m. and can be seen on Peacock Premium.
Acura Teases New ARX-06 LMDh Entry:
- Acura Motorsports on Friday released images of it’s ARX-06 LMDh prototype which will race in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship hybrid-powered GTP category in 2023. Based on the ORECA LMDh chassis, the ARX-06 features Acura-specific internal combustion power unit, bodywork and aerodynamics. Acura will continue to partner with Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing to campaign the entry in 2023.
Penske Trio Leads First Cup Practice at Gateway:
- The Team Penske Ford’s of Joey Logano (32.906-seconds, 136.753-mph), Ryan Blaney (136.260) and Austin Cindric (136.104) led the first NASCAR Cup Series practice at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Kurt Busch’s 23XI Racing’s Toyota was fourth (136.096) and Petty GMS Racing’s Erik Jones was fifth (136.001). Teams will qualify today at 11 A.M. ET.
Racing Notebook: Power on INDYCAR GMR Pole; Acura’s quickest at Mid-Ohio and Lernerville winners
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Will Power wins the pole position for Saturday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway plus a pair of Acura’s lead the way at the Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio and Fab4 Friday action from Lernerville and more.
Power on GMR Grand Prix Pole Position
- Team Penske’s Will Power is on the pole position for Saturday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES GMR Grand Prix on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Power’s fast lap of 1 minute, 9.7664 seconds was just enough to edge defending Series Champion Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing. Power’s teammate, two-time series champion Josef Newgarden, will start third after a lap of 1:09.8343. Conor Daly earned his best starting spot of the season by qualifying fourth at 1:09.9063 in the No. 20 BitNile Chevrolet. GMR GP Qualifying
Acura Leads 1st IMSA Practice at Mid-Ohio
- Filipe Albuquerque led an Acura DPi 1-2 after the first practice session at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Friday. Tom Blomqvist was second. Earl Bamber was third in the No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac. Pipo Derani was fourth in the Whelen Caddy with Sebastian Bourdais rounding out the top 5 in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac. A second practice starts at 9 a.m. ET Saturday on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. Motul Pole Award qualifying streams live on IMSA.com/TVLive at 1:15 p.m. Saturday. The race airs live on USA Network beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Lernerville Friday Results
- ‘Willie & Conda McConnell Memorial’ ULMS Feature $3,500 to-win: 1. 22-Gregg Satterlee; 2. 44H-Dave Hess; 3. 1*-Chub Frank; Peoples Natural Gas Feature: 1. 42-Sye Lynch; 2. 2-AJ Flick; 3. 29-Dan Shetler; Diehl Automotive Feature: 1. 61-Dave Murdick; 2. 83-Brian Swartzlander; 3. 11R-Brad Rapp; Millerstown Pic-A-Part Feature: 1. 29-Curtis Bish; 2. 55-Chris Schneider; 3. 45-Todd Weldon;