IndyCar’s February testing schedule set to resume this week

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Four IndyCar teams were projected to test on Monday at Sebring International Raceway, to kick off February’s testing schedule. The rest of the month will see teams largely head west to California.

Per the official IndyCar testing schedule, Dale Coyne Racing (Justin Wilson and a second driver TBD), Schmidt Peterson’s Simon Pagenaud and Mikhail Aleshin, Panther Racing’s Carlos Huertas and an unnamed driver for Bryan Herta Autosport (likely Luca Filippi, but not confirmed) are listed for a single-day test today. Thus far, only SPM has tweeted its presence on site, via team manager Rob Edwards.

Wilson’s test would be his first running in an IndyCar since his accident in the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana last year. But the Englishman was back in racing action a little more than a week ago at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Pagenaud and Huertas are also listed to test on Tuesday, and will be joined by two other teams. Ed Carpenter Racing’s Mike Conway will be back in action and Andretti Autosport’s quartet of Hondas – Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz – is also listed.

The remainder of the schedule, as it stands now, is listed below by team:

  • Chip Ganassi Racing (Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Ryan Briscoe, Charlie Kimball): Feb. 10, Auto Club Speedway; Feb. 12, Sonoma Raceway
  • Team Penske (Juan Pablo Montoya, Helio Castroneves, Will Power): Feb. 10, Auto Club Speedway; Feb. 12, Sonoma Raceway; Feb. 20, Barber Motorsports Park
  • KV Racing Technology (Sebastien Bourdais, second driver TBD): Feb. 10, Auto Club Speedway; Feb. 12, Sonoma Raceway
  • Ed Carpenter Racing (Ed Carpenter, Mike Conway): Feb. 10, Auto Club Speedway (Carpenter); Feb. 12, Sonoma Raceway (Conway)
  • Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (Simon Pagenaud, Mikhail Aleshin): Feb. 12, Sonoma Raceway
  • A.J. Foyt Racing (Takuma Sato): Feb. 12, Sonoma Raceway
  • Dale Coyne Racing (Justin Wilson, second driver TBD): Feb. 17, Sebring International Raceway
  • Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (Josef Newgarden): Feb. 17, Sebring International Raceway
  • Bryan Herta Autosport (driver TBD): Feb. 17, Sebring International Raceway

Dodge to celebrate 50th anniversary of Hemi motor at NHRA U.S. Nationals

Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
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When this year’s NHRA U.S. Nationals plays out from August 29 through September 3 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, a lot of folks are going to be channeling one of the most famous lines in motorsports:

“Hey, that thing got a Hemi?”

Dodge and parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday – on National Hemi Day, no less – announced that it will celebrate the Hemi’s 50th anniversary of Super Stock cars with the 18th annual Dodge Hemi Challenge during the U.S. Nationals.

Cars that will take part in the Challenge will be 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda cars – “The most iconic of the Mopar package cars,” touted a Dodge press release – in a head-to-head battle.

The Dart and Barracuda were purpose built for use solely on a drag strip. The 23 entrants in the Challenge will drive their personally owned versions of the ’68 ‘Cuda and Dart.

The winner of the Challenge – which will be held August 30-31 – will take home a $15,000 purse, while cash rewards will be available for all 16 drivers that qualify for final eliminations.

“The Dodge brand is proud to serve as title sponsor of the NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, an event that spotlights the legacy and power of the 426 HEMI engine,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.

Beahm added, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars that debuted back in 1968 and are still competing today, which makes our support of this edition of the HEMI Challenge extra special.”

One special incentive for contestants is the 42.6-pound NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy, created in the spirit of the 426 (cubic inch) HEMI engine.

Jimmy Daniels has won the Challenge the last two years and goes for a three-peat in this year’s race within a race. His father, Jim Daniels, won the race in 2010.

The Challenge’s all-time winningest driver is Charlie Westcott Jr. of Parma, Michigan, who captured the Challenge in six different years: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

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