Tony Kanaan leads final practice at Texas


Tony Kanaan appears ready to make his way from 13th starting position in tomorrow night’s Firestone 550 at Texas Motor Speedway (8:30 pm ET, check local listings), as he led final practice tonight on the 1.5-mile oval with a lap at 218.551 miles per hour in the No. 11 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet.

Kanaan won at Texas in 2004 and was a contender for the win there last season, but wound up relegated to an 11th-place finish after getting his front wing damaged in a late restart incident with Will Power.

James Hinchcliffe is hoping his up-and-down season hits another peak this weekend in Fort Worth. He’ll start 12th on Saturday night but posted the second-fastest time in tonight’s practice at 217.575 mph in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Chevrolet.

Power, your pole sitter for Saturday, was third-fastest at 217.134 mph in the No. 12 Team Penske Chevrolet. He was followed by a pair of Hondas in Scott Dixon (fourth-quickest, 216.710 mph) and James Jakes (fifth-quickest, 216.572 mph), who comes to Texas after claiming his best IndyCar finish to date with a runner-up effort in the second Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit race last Sunday.

Takuma Sato, Simona de Silvestro, Detroit Dual 2 winner Simon Pagenaud, Dario Franchitti and Pippa Mann rounded out the Top-10. Both de Silvestro and Pagenaud, along with rookie Tristan Vautier, will be hit with 10-spot grid penalties tomorrow night for unapproved engine changes.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”