Mark Miles: IndyCar plans to return to Iowa Speedway

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After Graham Rahal referred yesterday to rumors that the IZOD IndyCar Series may not return to Iowa Speedway next season, Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar parent company Hulman & Co., has revealed that he is working on a multi-year agreement with track officials to keep North America’s top open-wheel series racing at the Midwest short oval.

According to Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star, Miles said that he expects to see the Iowa Corn Indy 250 remain around its current position on the schedule, although a date for 2014 has not yet been finalized. The series has raced at Iowa since the 2007 season.

Rahal caused a bit of a stir during Saturday’s sessions with his comments, which came as he talked about the hope of a strong crowd for today’s 250-lap race.

“There’s a lot of rumors we won’t be coming back here and I hope that’s not true,” the driver of the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda told the Associated Press. “I mean, it’s a fun place to go race.”

When asked about Rahal’s comments, Miles said: “I doubt if [Rahal] meant to be setting policy.” The AP also reports that Miles called Iowa a “cornerstone” of the IndyCar schedule.

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).