The fine-tuning is over. All the preparations have been made. And now, all that’s left to do is crown a champion.
“Set-Up Saturday” at Homestead-Miami Speedway ended with the top two Sprint Cup title contenders leading Sprint Cup final practice for tomorrow’s season-ending Ford Ecoboost 400.
Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson went 1-2 in “Happy Hour,” with Kenseth’s top lap at 171.980 mph narrowly beating out Johnson’s at 171.647 mph.
However, Johnson – who leads Kenseth by 28 points for the championship going into tomorrow’s race – had the fastest 10-consecutive lap average in the session. Johnson’s first ten laps in the session averaged out at 167.905 mph.
On the overall chart, Brad Keselowski was third-quickest (171.559), followed by Martin Truex Jr. in fourth (171.342) and Kevin Harvick in fifth (170.864).
Kenseth starts on pole tomorrow, while Johnson starts seventh. Harvick, who is still in contention for the championship as well at 34 points behind Johnson, starts sixth.
Honda’s Verizon IndyCar Series teams are set visit Sonoma Raceway on April 4 for an all-day test session for the manufacturer.
Andretti Autosport (Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, and Takuma Sato), Chip Ganassi Racing (Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, and Max Chilton), Dale Coyne Racing (Sebastian Bourdais and Ed Jones Jr.), Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin), and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (Graham Rahal) are all scheduled to run. Of that group, Kanaan, Andretti, and Dixon are former winners at Sonoma Raceway.
The Sonoma test follows Honda’s March 24 test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. However, Team Penske also scheduled a team test at the 2.5-mile oval on the same day, forcing Honda to share the track with their rival manufacturer.
However, no such conflict appears to be in play for Sonoma. The test will be open to the public as well with free admission into the facility. Testing will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time.
Justin Timberlake to play this year’s U.S. Grand Prix at COTA
It’s been 40 years since A.J. Foyt won his fourth and final Indianapolis 500 as a driver in 1977. Perfect timing, then, for a special Foyt exhibit to grace the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which will premiere next month.
The release from the museum is below:
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of his record-setting fourth Indianapolis 500 win, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is proud to present a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit honoring auto racing icon A.J. Foyt, opening April 14.
A.J. Foyt: A Legendary Exhibition, presented by ABC Supply is a limited-run celebration that traces the superstar’s rise from the dirt tracks of Texas to the pinnacle of auto racing history.
Nearly three dozen cars that Foyt drove in competition will be on display, including all four of his Indianapolis 500 winning machines, the 1961 Bowes Seal Fast Special, 1964 & 1967 Sheraton-Thompson Specials, and the 1977 Gilmore Coyote.
“Everyone knows that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favorite track and that people wouldn’t know me if it weren’t for the Indy 500, but to have the Museum put on this exhibit there, well I feel truly honored,” said the legendary Foyt. “This exhibit will give people a chance to see my winning Indy cars but also some of the other race cars I drove and won in over the years.”
In addition to several of Foyt’s IndyCars, many incredible machines representing Foyt’s career in NASCAR, USAC and road racing will be on display, many for the first time, and visitors will also have the chance to see rare memorabilia from Foyt’s personal collection.
“Based on the stuff we shipped to Indy, I think the Museum has a lot of personal memorabilia and photos that their visitors will like seeing” Foyt said. “I haven’t seen some of the cars in many, many years so to be truthful, I’m looking forward to the exhibit too!”
“A.J. Foyt is perhaps the most iconic driver in the 108-year history of the Brickyard” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Director & Curator Ellen Bireley. “We are proud to honor this incredible champion with an exhibit of memories and memorabilia that pays tribute to one of the most diverse and successful careers in auto racing history.”
A.J. Foyt: A Legendary Exhibition is presented by ABC Supply, with additional support from Chevrolet and Al-Fe Heat Treating. The exhibit runs until October 31.
Social roundup: Media day at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is still more than a week away, but Media Day was in full swing on Tuesday with a number of attractions for fans and media in attendance.
That being said, it’s easier to get all the pre-advance work done before cars from six different series hit the track starting on Friday, April 7. The Long Beach IndyCar race airs on April 9 at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
The day began with Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden fielding interviews with the local L.A. affiliates for NBC, Fox, and ABC before being a attending a midday luncheon. He also did various interviews with other outlets.
There were also a number of opportunities for rides around the 1.968-mile street circuit. IndyCar drivers Zach Veach and Gabby Chaves were in charge of the Verizon IndyCar Series two-seater while Scott Pruett manned driving duties in a two-seat version of his Lexus RC F GT3. Rocky Moran Sr. and Jr. also held demo rides of their own around the circuit in a Camry; James Sofronas took folks for rides in a GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.