Hawksworth takes opening Indy Lights race of 2013

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Jack Hawksworth opened his and the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights Series account with a win in St. Petersburg. The Englishman, who romped to the 2012 Star Mazda Series championship, has a chance to become the fourth different driver to win his series debut, then the title, for Sam Schmidt’s team in as many years.

Hawksworth, now of the renamed Schmidt Peterson Motorsports squad, took the lead when Carlos Munoz and Gabby Chaves made contact at Turn 1 on lap 10. Munoz went to Chaves’ inside, which pitched the two into a spin, and Hawksworth swept through.

Chaves was done on the spot and Munoz would receive a penalty for avoidable contact.

That left the race to a restart and when Peter Dempsey couldn’t capitalize, Hawksworth went ahead to the victory.

Dempsey was second for Belardi Auto Racing ahead of another Schmidt Peterson entry, rookie Sage Karam.

Juan Pablo Garcia, Zach Veach and Jorge Goncalvez completed the finishers. Only nine cars started the race and the ninth, rookie Ethan Ringel, retired with mechanical issues before completing a lap.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).