Tagliani gets to drive a Ferrari in Kansas

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Cool news as Alex Tagliani’s post-Barracuda Racing period without a vehicle – other than a tricycle while wearing a beaver suit – will include his return to the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and a chance to race a Ferrari F458 Italia.

The Canadian steps into what has become a revolving door at the R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari No. 61 car alongside full-season driver Jeff Segal. Segal’s full-season co-driver Max Papis has been called to NASCAR duties in Watkins Glen for Tony Stewart this weekend, then in Mid-Ohio for the Nationwide Series race the following weekend.

So Kenny Wilden, a one-time rival of Tagliani’s in the Formula Atlantic series in the 1990s, steps into the No. 61 F458 this weekend at Road America and Tagliani will do at Kansas, a roval, on Aug. 17.

“It’s not every day that a driver has the chance to drive a red Ferrari in racing, and doing it for R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport means even more,” Tagliani said in a team release. “I have a great respect for Ian as an engineer and Andrew, whom I raced against. They have been long-time friends on and off track. Driving Remo’s car is a great opportunity and an honor for a Canadian-born driver with Italian heritage. Remo is such a passionate guy for motorsports and I can already feel a great vibe in this team.”

It’s good to see “Tag” land back on his feet so quickly and continue racing something, as his IndyCar team evaluates their drivers for next year.

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).