IndyCar: James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden are happy Space Campers (VIDEO)

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Back when I was a little boy, I would watch Nickelodeon after I finished my elementary school homework. And when I recall those times, I remember that a lot of their game shows back then – you know, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Double Dare, and the like – had their grand prizes often be a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

I was never really enamored with space growing up, so going to Space Camp wasn’t a childhood dream of mine. But I figure it was a childhood dream for many other kids.

And based on the video above, I figure it was indeed such for Verizon IndyCar Series drivers James Hinchcliffe and Josef Newgarden, who both visited the Camp before getting down to business this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.

You’d figure that the happy-go-lucky duo would have a ball with the visit, and it looks like they did.

But while they had their fun, they also spoke with a group of campers from Dubai and Puerto Rico about the importance of teamwork and excelling in STEM – science, engineering, technology and math – according to AL.com.

Hinchcliffe and Newgarden will both look to put a tough Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach behind them this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

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Hanging with @josefnewgarden at @SpaceCampUSA. I'm home.

A post shared by James Hinchcliffe (@hinchtown) on

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MRTI: pre-season testing Day 3 notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Day 3 of pre-season testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway saw the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda continue testing for the second day in a row, with each series completing three sessions on what was their final day of running.

Quick reports on both series are below.

Pro Mazda: Cunha Surges to the Front

While Saturday saw Pro Mazda newcomers like Oliver Askew, Parker Thompson, and Rinus VeeKey lead the way, Sunday saw a pair of second-year Pro Mazda drivers take their turns at the top of the speed charts. In the combined results, Juncos Racing’s Carlos Cunha turned the fastest lap of the final session, also good enough to be the outright fastest lap of the weekend, taking advantage of a fresh set of Cooper Tires to do so.

“I’m really happy, Juncos Racing is an amazing team,” Cunha said of the team’s performance. “On track, we are always improving, never going backwards and that’s very good. We have tested a lot but we still need to learn a lot about the car, though we are almost to a perfect setup. The team has given me everything I need to be comfortable inside the car, to know what the car needs, and to know what I need to be a better driver. We have time to improve and we are moving forward quickly.”

Fellow sophomore driver Sting Ray Robb, now with Team Pelfrey, was right behind Cunha in second.

Combined results across both Saturday and Sunday can be found here.

USF2000: Kirkwood, Cape Motorsports Stay On Top of Deep USF2000 Field

New Cape Motorsports driver Kyle Kirkwood, who topped Session 2 on Saturday, stayed on top of the combined speed charts across the weekend on the strength of his best lap from Session 3 of the weekend on Saturday.

Pabst Racing’s Rasmus Lindh was right behind Kirkwood, on the strength of his quick lap from Session 1.

However, Sunday’s running saw a different driver assert his authority, with Kaylen Frederick, Lindh’s teammate at Pabst, turning the fastest lap during the final session.

Frederick ended up fourth in the combined results, which can be viewed here.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires will take to the Homestead-Miami road course on Monday for the final day of testing for the Mazda Road to Indy.

Follow@KyleMLavigne