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Chad Boat not medically cleared for Indy Lights debut at Iowa

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The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires field was expected to grow by one to 15 cars for Iowa Speedway, as Belardi Auto Racing was set to field Chad Boat for his series debut.

But the short track veteran and sometimes stock car driver has been ruled out in advance, not medically cleared, as initially reported by Trackside Online. It pushes his debut back to Gateway Motorsports Park next month.

The team’s release is below.

As reported in the motorsports media, Belardi Auto Racing can confirm that driver Chad Boat, who was set to make his Indy Lights debut this weekend at Iowa Speedway, has not been medically cleared to race in the Mazda Iowa 100 Presented by Cooper Tires due to injuries sustained during a National USAC midget race on Sunday, July 2.

“To say I’m disappointed doesn’t begin to describe how I’m feeling right now, but I trust the doctors and medical staff at INDYCAR and know they have my best interest in mind,” said Boat. “I’ll continue to follow the instructions I’m receiving for recovery and look forward to being back soon. Thanks to Pristine Auction and Belardi Auto Racing for the opportunity.”

Boat was evaluated at Iowa Speedway’s medical center on Friday morning where INDYCAR’s medical staff made the official call.

“We’re all extremely disheartened that Chad won’t be able to run the #84 with us this weekend, but we remain excited and positive about the future based on his pace in last week’s test,” added Brian Belardi, Team Owner. “We’ll have him back with the team at Gateway in August and we’ll keep looking to the future.”

The 25-year-old will be back with the team at Gateway Motorsports Park in the No. 84 Pristine Auction Dallara IL-15 on August 26. Indy Lights fans can use the time to get up-to-speed on the quick Cornelius, NC driver by following Boat on Twitter at @ChadBoat for all racing updates.

Usain Bolt, Bill Clinton among headline guests for USGP at COTA

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The Circuit of The Americas paddock ahead of the United States Grand Prix may have been busy with teams and drivers preparing for lights out, but much of the attention lay with a number of headline guests including former presidents and Olympic champions.

As part of its plans to up the excitement levels ahead of Sunday’s grand prix and mirror other sporting events, F1’s new owner, Liberty Media, announced plans a couple of weeks ago to link up with iconic boxing announcer Michael Buffer and eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt for the pre-race festivities.

Ahead of today’s race in Austin, Buffer will introduce the drivers in a number of groups before offering the call for drivers to start their engines, similar to the pre-race procedure for the Indianapolis 500.

Honorary race starter Bolt, who competed in his last athletic world championship event in London earlier this year, will appear on the start line to complete his signature victory pose before waving the green flags to launch the formation lap.

Bolt was also treated to a hot lap around COTA by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton before the start of the formal pre-race build up program in Austin.

Liberty issued a list of celebrities and other public figures who are confirmed to be attending today’s race, including Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden and actor Owen Wilson among others.

One name that wasn’t on the list? 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, who quickly became a focus for the paddock upon arrival three hours before lights out.

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET today.