Harcus (next to trophy, right side) stays with Andretti. Photo: IndyCar

New driver horizon for ‘Ziggy’ Harcus as Sato heads to RLL

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It’ll be another new driver for Andretti Autosport race strategist Paul “Ziggy” Harcus to work with in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

After just one year working with Takuma Sato during the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season, he will not follow Sato to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in 2018. Sato, who signed with RLL earlier in the year, won the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and contested his best year in IndyCar to date with Harcus on top of the pit stand this year.

The Andretti crew was on site with Sato at last week’s face unveil on the Borg-Warner Trophy in Indianapolis.

Harcus, who is staying at Andretti Autosport, did not indicate which of the team’s four drivers he’ll be working with next year. However, with Zach Veach taking the spot vacated by Sato, Harcus being assigned to mentor the young driver and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race winner is a strong possibility.

“We don’t like to change to make a change, but we’ll see with the mechanics, and engineering,” Harcus told NBC Sports about any potential shakeups in the Andretti crew.

“Just because Zach’s new doesn’t mean he will get worst of the lot. He could be our next generation. You never know. There’s a good possibility I might be with Zach. If they move it around, I go with it.”

Harcus also added that Veach has made a good first impression and if he is assigned to work with him, he is confident that they’ll work well together.

And in spite of Veach’s small frame, Harcus emphasized he could still find success, using Sato –  who at 5’5″ is just barely taller than Veach – as a reference point.

“Here’s another tiny little guy, just like Taku… and I’m not exactly a giant!” Harcus quipped. “But I’ve always liked (Zach). Nice guy to work with. Pleasant, polite, knows how to win.

“You doubt if he’s the size to win the Indy 500 but look (at Sato) right herein front of you – here’s the proof.”

Andretti Autosport won’t be able to test until the new year, when team testing opens up for 2018 after the manufacturer testing concludes.

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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