Houston’s Reliant Park set to welcome back IndyCar (VIDEO)

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The relatively short 1.7-mile MD Anderson Cancer Center Speedway at Reliant Park should provide for plenty of action during this weekend’s Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader (Sat., 3 p.m. ET and Sun., 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra).

As far as passing zones and hot spots go on this circuit, two immediately stand out. After drivers barrel through the dogleg main straightaway, they’ll have to hit the brakes hard to navigate a left-right chicane.

The chicane could wind up being a pretty hectic scene all weekend on starts and restarts, but especially at the beginning of Race 1 of the doubleheader, which will feature a standing start.

The other key point of the circuit is Turn 6, a 90-degree lefty that comes along after drivers have made their way around the historic Astrodome and down toward the ultra-modern Reliant Stadium (home of the NFL’s Houston Texans).

Those that get a proper exit off Turn 4 into the Astrodome-Stadium section can get into position to catch and pass going into Turn 6.

For a quick spin around this unique layout, watch the virtual lap video above.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”