Panther CEO to testify on veteran unemployment

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Panther Racing CEO John Barnes is slated to testify in front of a U.S. House of Representatives committee as part of a hearing on veteran unemployment.

Barnes, whose IZOD IndyCar Series team is backed by the National Guard, will speak this morning before the House’s Committee on Veterans Affairs about a current Panther program called “Operation: Hire Our Guard” that educates business leaders about the benefits of hiring Guard soldiers.

“We have a responsibility to do everything we can to support our National Guard, and that means ensuring those who have served in uniform have the opportunity to provide for themselves and their family when they get home,” Barnes said in a statement.

Battling the high unemployment rate amongst veterans has been a key element of Panther’s partnership with the Guard. On race mornings, the team hosts local business and military leaders to explain the importance of hiring veterans – an initiative that began in the 2009 season.

According to the team, as many as 4,300 Guard soldiers have been employed through its “Operation: Hire Our Guard” program based on “a conservative approach.”

Barnes’ hearing can be seen online starting approximately at 10 a.m. ET via a webcast at veterans.house.gov. Once you’re there, be sure to mouse over the “Hearings” tab and then click “113th Congress Hearings” in the drop-down menu.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.