IndyCar issues fresh engine update prior to Mid-Ohio

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INDYCAR issued a fresh engine update on Tuesday, prior to this weekend’s Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Grid penalties will be enforced for teams that surpass the five engine limit, and as you can see below, some are coming dangerously close to that mark. Grid penalties are also enforced for teams that change out their engines before hitting the enforced mileage limit of 2,000 miles.

Here is the status of all 24 cars, as issued by INDYCAR, below. Note the No. 98 is an official TBD, but earmarked for Italian rookie Luca Filippi to make his series debut at Mid-Ohio this weekend after testing on Wednesday.

CAR   ENTRANT                      DRIVER           ENGINE STATUS 
No. 1  Andretti Autosport               Ryan Hunter-Reay    On Engine #4 
No. 3  Team Penske                      Helio Castroneves   On Engine #4 
No. 4  Panther Racing                   Oriol Servia        On Engine #3 
No. 5  Team Venezuela-Andretti-HVM      E.J. Viso           On Engine #4 
No. 6  Dragon Racing                    Sebastian Saavedra  On Engine #3 
No. 7  Dragon Racing                    Sebastien Bourdais  On Engine #3 
No. 9  Target Chip Ganassi Racing       Scott Dixon         On Engine #4 
No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing       Dario Franchitti    On Engine #5 
No. 11 KV Racing Technology             Tony Kanaan         On Engine #4 
No. 12 Team Penske                      Will Power          On Engine #4 
No. 14 A.J. Foyt Enterprises            Takuma Sato         On Engine #4 
No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing   Graham Rahal        On Engine #5 
No. 16 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing   James Jakes         On Engine #5 
No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing                James Davison       On Engine #6 
No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing                Justin Wilson       On Engine #4 
No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing              Ed Carpenter        On Engine #4 
No. 25 Andretti Autosport               Marco Andretti      On Engine #4 
No. 27 Andretti Autosport               James Hinchcliffe   On Engine #4 
No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports     Tristan Vautier     On Engine #4 
No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing      Josef Newgarden     On Engine #5 
No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports     Simon Pagenaud      On Engine #4 
No. 78 KV Racing Technology             Simona De Silvestro On Engine #4 
No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Charlie Kimball     On Engine #4 
No. 98 Barracuda Racing                 TBD                 On Engine #4

Hunter and Jett Lawrence walk a delicate balance between winning races and favoring the fans

Hunter Jett Lawrence fans
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ANAHEIM, California – Hunter and Jett Lawrence are two of the most popular riders on the Monster Energy Supercross circuit, with fan bases that established and grew immediately when they came to America to ride for HRC Honda. Connecting with those fans came naturally for the charming Australian brothers, but it has not come without cost.

“It’s cool they’re there and it’s one of the things we try to do is give the fan that interaction,” Hunter told NBC Sports during Supercross Media Sessions ahead of the 2023 season. “It’s why we do ride days, meet-and-greets, press conferences  – all that stuff, because it’s exciting for them. We are trying to bridge the gap so they get personal interaction. Because that’s all they’re after. It’s all about getting that fan to think, ‘I know that guy. I didn’t meet him, but I get him. I get his humor.’ ”

There is no artifice in either brother. Their fan appeal is directly attributable to who they are at their core. And it’s that very genuineness that has throngs of fans standing outside their hauler, waiting for just a moment of their time.

“It’s about being yourself – talking to people,” Hunter said. “It’s not like I turn it on or turn it off; it’s just about being yourself. This is who we are, this is who you get and this is how it will be. You can’t portray something you’re not. If you keep saying you’re an orange, but apples keep popping out, it’s only a matter of time [until they figure it out].”

The key word is ‘throngs’, however. One person wanting just a few moments of time is incidental. Dozens are an entirely different matter.

“It’s tough in Supercross because it’s such a long day,” Hunter said. “The recovery side of it’s tough to do everything. We get stuck outside the grid; we can’t be there for like 10 minutes. We’re stuck there for like an hour. It gets overwhelming at times.

“You feel bad because you want to sign everything, but you’re still here for a job. Every race day is like that. We do the best we can, but there are so many people who wait out front. They’re screaming for you. Even when we’re coming off the sessions, they’re already yelling before you put your bike on the stands. You don’t even get time to take you helmet off.”

It can be a double-edged sword. Personality is only one part of the equation. A much bigger part of the brothers’ fan appeal comes because of their success. Hunter finished second in the last two Supercross 250 West title battles and third in the past two Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.

Jett won the last three titles he competed for, including last year’s 250 East Supercross Championship and the last two Motocross contests.

“I think they expect me to have nothing else to do on a Saturday and that I have unlimited energy,” Jett said. “But, I’m trying to recover for the next race.”

It’s a matter of timing. Jett has gained a reputation last year for handing out hundreds of donuts before the races during Red Bull fan appreciation sessions. And after the race, once the business at hand has been settled, Jett is equally available to the fans.

“After the race it’s fine; I’ll stay behind.” Jett said. “My job is done on the racing side of things, but until that last moto is done, my main thing is dirt bikes. The fans come along with it. The fans are part of the job, but main job at hand is the racing side of things. After the race, I’ll stay there for an hour or so. It’s a lot calmer.”