IndyCar notes: Hinch begins St. Pete track construction; IMS ticket unveiled

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A couple quick news and notes from the IndyCar world, as we enter the final month of five this offseason before the season opener:

  • 2013 St. Petersburg winner James Hinchcliffe (right) headed down to the site of this year’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to help participate in the ceremonial start of the track build. More than 20,000 feet of steel-reinforced concrete block will line the picturesque but challenging 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit that incorporates a runway of Albert Whitted Airport. Said the Canadian, who’s also riding high on the backs of his national hockey team’s double Gold medal-winning performance in Olympic hockey, “Obviously, with what happened last year, it holds a special place in my heart. It was a very emotional day last year on race day for all the right reasons.”
  • While the “Mayor of Hinchtown” was deployed to St. Pete, 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan was at the Crane Bay Event Venue in downtown Indianapolis to unveil the 2014 race tickets for this year’s race. The tickets feature the likeness of the defending champion; it’s the latest in a series of events Kanaan has done to promote his win, which this winter also included receiving a “Baby Borg” and “Mini Baby Borg” from BorgWarner for both him and son, Leo.
  • Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will make a team announcement regarding its third driver on Wednesday for the Indianapolis 500, although the identity of that driver already has been released by RACER.com on Monday night. We’ll do further posts after the official announcement, and what it could mean for the sport and/or the race at that time.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup