Filippi set for American street course challenge for Barracuda in Baltimore

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With solid pace but unfortunate luck in his IZOD IndyCar Series debut at Mid-Ohio, Italian rookie Luca Filippi now faces a new challenge this weekend in Baltimore: learning an American street course.

Filippi will make his second start in the No. 98 Barracuda Racing Honda for the Bryan Herta/Steve Newey-owned team. He’s raced the legendary Monaco street course during his GP2 days, and also the lesser distinguished Valencia and Singapore street courses, but never had the opportunity to race on America’s best concrete canyons.

At Monaco, Filippi scored a third-place finish in the 2011 feature race. His best finish at Valencia was seventh in the 2009 feature, and he failed to finish in his only start at Singapore.

“”After racing in Mid-Ohio with the Barracuda team, I’m very motivated. I felt we were fast and competitive, so this will be a chance to continue at that pace,” Filippi said in a team release. “I can’t wait to get on track in Baltimore. It’s a spectacular street circuit that looks very tricky and challenging, but I have experience on street circuits and I’ve always loved them. So I’m very excited to get there and see what we can do.”

Happy 83rd birthday to “Super Tex,” the legendary A.J. Foyt

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There’s only one A.J. Foyt.

He’s a true American treasure, a legendary race car driver and multiple champion, as well as an IndyCar team owner.

And today, Anthony Joseph Foyt celebrates his 83rd birthday.

Here’s some of the celebratory messages A.J. received via Twitter: