MRTI: Indy Lights, Pro Mazda title battles head to penultimate weekend

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While the Verizon IndyCar Series title battle will get most of the attention this weekend, the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires championships are also at a crucial point this weekend at the Milwaukee Mile.

Both series have had a number of doubleheader race weekends this year, but there’s only one race for both series in Milwaukee. Pro Mazda’s 100-lapper runs Saturday night with Indy Lights’ 100-lapper Sunday morning. Here’s the quick title battle synopsis:

INDY LIGHTS (Entry List)

On paper, this represents Zach Veach’s best shot to claw back the 24-point gap to points leader Gabby Chaves (431-407). Veach nearly won this race a year ago, but burned off his tires too quick and fell into Sage Karam’s clutches. Veach won twice earlier this year and as he’s solid on ovals, this is where he can capitalize.

Chaves, so long as he keeps Veach within three to four spots ahead, will be able to sustain the points lead. The only way he won’t is if he finishes seventh or eighth in the admittedly small eight-car field.

The wild card is Jack Harvey, who’s new to the circuit and has suddenly played himself into title contention following a Mid-Ohio doubleheader weekend sweep. Harvey sits second in points, 18 behind Chaves (431-418). He may not take the points lead away this weekend but if he limits the damage to his two title rivals, he’ll still be in with a shot at Sonoma next weekend.

Those playing spoilers? Basically the rest of the field, with Matthew Brabham, the Pro Mazda winner here last year, most likely to hassle the title contenders. Although listed, Zack Meyer’s Team Moore Racing entry is not here this weekend.

PRO MAZDA (Entry List

The two-horse race that is the battle between Spencer Pigot and Scott Hargrove continues at Milwaukee. Pigot should have the edge heading into the weekend and it remains to be seen if Hargrove can continue his second-half surge. Pigot leads Hargrove by 14 (259-245) entering the weekend.

Their respective teammates, Kyle Kaiser (Pigot’s) and Neil Alberico (Hargrove’s) as well as the Andretti Autosport pair of Garett Grist and Shelby Blackstock have the opportunity to play spoiler.

Get your motor running: American Flat Track’s new season premieres Sunday on NBCSN

Photos courtesy American Flat Track
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If you like racing two-wheel style, make sure you catch the debut of a new multi-year TV broadcast deal featuring the American Flat Track motorcycle racing series on NBCSN.

The 18-round series debuts this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN with the season-opening race that was held at Daytona International Speedway on March 15.

Going forward, all 18 rounds of the series will be televised on NBCSN in highly-coveted weekend afternoon programming slots without two weeks of each event.

Last season, AFT drew nearly two million viewers on NBCSN with regular primetime coverage on Thursday nights.

This season, the one-hour, tape-delayed telecasts will be part of NBCSN’s regular weekend programing, following or preceding coverage of NASCAR, INDYCAR and Pro Motocross.

AFT is now in its 65th season, with two distinct classes: powerful, twin-cylinder rides in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines division, and the competition in the 450cc AFT Singles division.

“We are very excited to kick-off our second season of AFT on NBCSN,” NBC Sports Group Senior Director of Programming Jeff Macaluso. “The 2017 season provided us with some incredible racing and showed us how passionate the riders and fans are of this historic sport.

“The move to weekends this year, around other marquis motorsports properties, is sure to raise the level even higher.”

Here’s the 2018 AFT schedule on NBCSN:

Round Track, Location Track Type Premiere Time (ET) Time (PT)
1 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL TT Sun, 3/25 2:00 PM 11:00 AM
2 Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA Short Track Sat, 4/14 5:30 PM 2:30 PM
3 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX Half-Mile Sun, 5/06 4:00 PM 1:00 PM
4 Calistoga Speedway, Calistoga, CA Half-Mile Sun, 5/20 12:00 PM 9:00 AM
5 Turf Paradise, Phoenix, AZ Mile Sat, 5/26 3:00 PM 12:00 PM
6 Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA Mile Sun, 6/03 2:00 PM 11:00 AM
7 Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL Mile Sat, 6/09 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
8 Red Mile, Lexington, KY Mile Sat, 6/16 12:00 PM 9:00 AM
9 Remington Park, Oklahoma City, OK Mile Sat, 6/23 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
10 Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, OH Half-Mile Sat, 7/07 2:30 PM 11:30 AM
11 Weedsport Speedway, Weedsport, NY Short Track Sun, 7/15 6:00 PM 3:00 PM
12 Buffalo Chip Campgrounds, Sturgis, SD TT Sat, 8/11 12:30 PM 9:30 AM
13 Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, SD Half-Mile Sat, 8/18 2:00 PM 11:00 AM
14 Peoria Motorcycle Club, Peoria, IL TT Sat, 9/01 3:00 PM 12:00 PM
15 Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL Mile Sat, 9/22 2:30 PM 11:30 AM
16 Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA Half-Mile Sun, 9/23 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
17 Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN Mile Sun, 10/14 5:00 PM 2:00 PM
18 Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ Mile Sun, 10/21 2:00 PM 11:00 AM


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