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Peterson, AFS working towards IMSA Prototype program

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LEXINGTON, Ohio – A potential new privateer entrant into the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype class ranks might come in the form of Gary Peterson and his AFS Racing outfit.

Peterson, the longtime supporter of Sebastian Saavedra in the Verizon IndyCar Series, has been exploring the potential of moving his team into IMSA for 2018 and may have a solution in the form of one of the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) chassis.

NBC Sports understands Peterson has had discussions with one of the existing Prototype teams racing this season, and if that team’s manufacturer will make another chassis available, there is a decent chance the car could materialize for the 2018 season.

“We’ve had discussions with teams in that paddock, and we’re looking at seeing if we can put together a DPi effort for next year,” Peterson told NBC Sports.

He plans to attend IMSA’s next race next weekend at Road America for further evaluation as the series releases more of its “state of the series” plan, including its 2018 series schedule.

If the program materializes, and given the number of likely available drivers depending on the Penske and Acura and Joest and Mazda team plans, there are plenty of possibilities who could drive alongside Saavedra, who’d naturally be on board.

Peterson hailed Saavedra’s performance in a one-off fill-in role for Mikhail Aleshin at Toronto with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. The Colombian driver improved methodically during the weekend en route to an 11th place finish.

“We were pleased,” Peterson said. “Sebastian’s job was to keep it clean and bring it home in one piece all weekend, and he did that. We’re not in the points so we accomplished what we set out to do.”

Peterson and Saavedra have been on site this weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, notably in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports pits, making the rounds as they prep their 2018 program and a potential full-time return in at least one series after a couple years of sporadic appearances only. They also hope to attend at least one more of the remaining IndyCar races on site later this year.

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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