Tagliani takes us on a tour of Long Beach circuit

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IZOD IndyCar Series driver Alex Tagliani has a simple theory on why Turn 1 of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach course seems to be every bit a spot for trouble as it is a spot for overtaking.

“I’m wondering if it’s not that big Firestone sign that becomes bigger and bigger, and all of a sudden you see all of these beautiful California girls on the bridge,” the Canadian racer muses while on a track walk of the 1.97-mile circuit. “You’re looking up and you get distracted, and for a fraction of a second — ‘Oh, Turn One is coming!’ And everybody’s in the fence.”

As you can probably figure, there’s a bit of humor involved in this particular track walk with the driver of the No. 98 Barracuda Racing Honda, who is fashioned as “The Amazing Alex Tagliani” (‘Feared by men, desired by women, loved by all,’ according to the intro) in an ongoing series of at-track vignettes.

But as his video from Barber Motorsports Park attests, even Tag seems to have his own fears — namely, giant bugs and unicycle-riding men that bear a striking resemblance to IndyCar’s old championship trophy.

You can catch Tagliani and the rest of IndyCar’s finest in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach — today at 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports Live Extra for online and mobile devices.

‘No desire’ for Lewis Hamilton to race in Indianapolis 500

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Lewis Hamilton has ruled out a future appearance in the Indianapolis 500, saying he has “no real plans” to do any serious racing once his time in Formula 1 is over.

Former teammate and current McLaren driver Fernando Alonso took part in the 101st running of the Indy 500 in May, qualifying fifth and running high up the order before retiring late on with an engine issue.

The F1-to-IndyCar crossover proved to be one of the biggest motorsport stories of the year, and has stirred the imagination of other drivers to make a similar step into other events in the future, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans which is known to be on Alonso’s radar as well as that of Haas racer Romain Grosjean.

Three-time F1 world champion Hamilton admired 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato’s victory ring when on the podium at the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month, trying it on and joking it may spur him to enter the race to try and win the jewelry.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, Hamilton stressed he made the comment in jest, saying he holds not interest in entering the ‘500.

“Honestly it hasn’t inspired me to do the Indy 500,” Hamilton said.

“I’ve always respected it and appreciated it. I got to watch part of it when Fernando did it which I thought was super exciting. I love the idea of drivers being able to do more than one series.

“Just the other day I got to drive an F1 car on an oval circuit which was interesting. I have a huge amount of respect for those drivers as it is quite scary approaching those banks at the speeds that they do.

“I personally don’t have a desire to drive it. Maybe one day I will go out and have some fun.

“I have a lot of opportunities to do those kinds of things, but no real plans to do anything serious.”

Hamilton has previously said he would like to try a NASCAR race for fun one day, but has made clear his plan after his F1 career is over is to distance himself from racing in order to pursue other interests.