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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: Wood Brothers Extend Matt DiBenedetto; Cindric Extension At Penske and more

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images

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.
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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:

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

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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IndyCar

Racing Notebook: Power Wins Grand Prix Of St. Pete Pole; Burton Wins At Texas; Robb Wins Indy Pro 2000

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Joe Skibinski

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team Penske’s Will Power wins the pole position for the INDYCAR race at St. Petersburg plus Harrison Burton wins the NASCAR Xfinity Series Race at Texas Motor Speedway; Road To Indy Winners and Carvana partners with Jimmie Johnson and Chip Ganassi Racing for their 2021 INDYCAR effort.

Will Power Wins INDYCAR Pole At St. Pete:

  • Team Penske’s Will Power is on the pole position for Sunday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.  Power’s fast lap of 1-minute, 1.0369-seconds (106.165 mph) was 0.14-seconds faster than Andretti Autosports Alexander Rossi (01:01:1730/105.929 mph) in the third and final round of knockout-style qualifying.  Championship contenders Josef Newgarden will start eighth and Scott Dixon will start eleventh after failing to advance past the second round.  The green flag drops at 2:30 p.m. on NBC. St. Pete Starting Lineup

Harrison Burton Wins NASCAR Xfinity Series Race At Texas:

  • Joe Gibbs Racing’s Harrison Burton took home the victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday.  The victory was Burton’s third this season.  JR Motorsports Noah Gragson finished second followed by Richard Childress Racing’s Anthony Alfredo.  Team Penske’s Austin Cindric finished fourth.  Points leader Chase Briscoe finished 24th. Xfinity Texas Results  Xfinity Drivers Points
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Sting Ray Robb Wins At St. Pete:

  • Juncos Racing’s Sting Ray Robb wired the field in Saturday’s Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by Cooper Tires.  Robb, who started on the pole position, quickly pulled out to a 1.2-second lead and never looked back. “That was a hard race, even though I was leading the whole way. The team set a goal for me to hold a certain lap time and I did, until I saw Danial starting to catch me. I started pushing harder and set the quick race lap time, bettering my own race record from last year. Two lap records in one day here, that’s pretty special!”  Danial Frost finished second followed by Robb’s teammate Artem Petrov.  Robb will also start on the pole in Sunday’s season finale.  Colin Kaminsky, the goalie for the University of Pittsburgh hockey team, finished ninth.  indypro2000-race-results-r1

Porto Grabs USF 2000 Victory At St. Pete:

  • Kiko Porto claimed a well-deserved maiden Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship victory Saturday afternoon in the USF2000 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Andersen RacePark. Eduardo Barrichello finished in second place for Pabst Racing with Reece Gold taking third for Cape Motorsports.

Carvana Partners With Jimmie Johnson & Chip Ganassi Racing:

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Racing Notebook

Racing Notebook: McLaughlin To INDYCAR for Penske in ’21; Sato Back With Rahal For ’21 and more!

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – A busy start to the weekend in the racing world as Team Penske confirms Scott McLaughlin’s switch to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES plus Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato will return to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2021; Firestone renews sponsorship of St. Pete and Cup Series starting lineup.

Scott McLaughlin Leaving Supercars For INDYCAR:

  • Team Penske is leaving Australian Supercars but is brining Scott McLaughlin over to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.  The team announced late Friday that McLaughlin will transition from Supercars to complete the team’s four-car, full-season lineup in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The 27-year-old McLaughlin will make his INDYCAR SERIES debut this weekend at the 2020 season finale at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
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Takuma Sato To Return To Rahal Letterman Lanigan In 2021:

  • Takuma Sato is returning to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) for the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.  Four of Sato’s six INDYCAR wins have come with RLL.  Sato, a two-time Indy 500 winner (2017 & 2020), joined RLL for the 2012 season and then returned in 2018.  2021 will mark his fourth consecutive season with the team and fifth overall. “Clearly it has been a successful partnership over the last several years, culminating in this year’s Indy 500 victory and I look forward to further success with Takuma throughout 2021.” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan.

Firestone Renews Sponsorship of Grand Prix of St. Petersburg:

  • Bridgestone Americas, Inc. is extending their Firestone brand’s title sponsorship of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for an additional three-years. “While the road to St. Petersburg has certainly been different this year, we are thrilled to return to the streets of St. Pete and help crown an NTT IndyCar Series champion,” said Lisa Boggs, director of Bridgestone Americas Motorsports. “Firestone tires have taken the checkers with the winner at all 15 IndyCar Series races here, and we’re proud to continue growing our partnership with Green Savoree Racing Promotions to support this marquee event in a community that shares our passion for the sport.”

Kevin Harvick On Cup Series Pole Position:

  • Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick will start Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader Echo Park Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway from the pole position.  Team Penske’s Joey Logano will start on the outside of the front row.  Penske’s Brad Keselowski and Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott will makeup row 2.  The race is Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on NBCSN.  The starting lineup was determined by NASCAR’s ‘performance matrix’. Texas Cup Series Starting Lineup
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