This weekend's black and white for Cessna in Baltimore (CGR)

Franchitti’s 10th different 2013 paint scheme highlights fresh Baltimore liveries

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Dario Franchitti heads into this weekend’s Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT by leading the IZOD IndyCar Series in a category you might not think of off the top of your head: most different paint schemes.

Franchitti’s No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda will be adorned in the black and white of Cessna this weekend. It’s the fourth different all-black variation of the No. 10, after Lexar (Brazil), Suave Men (Detroit) and Energizer (Pocono).

In total, it’s the 10th overall for Franchitti in 16 races with other guest appearances by Banana Boat (Barber), Belkin (Texas), Huggies (Miilwaukee), Glad (Iowa) and GE Reveal (Mid-Ohio). Interestingly, Franchitti has driven with primary Target sponsorship on only five race weekends (St. Petersburg, Long Beach, Indianapolis, Toronto, Sonoma) this year!

See the images linked below for a run through all the variations of Franchitti’s car this year.

source: Getty Images
Franchitti’s normal Target livery.
source: Getty Images
A Charlie Kimball look-alike Banana Boat blue and orange in Barber.
source: Getty Images
Lexar black and gold in Brazil.
source: Getty Images
Suave Men black and white for the Dual in Detroit.
source: Getty Images
James Hinchcliffe look-alike for Belkin in Texas.
source: Getty Images
Red and white, but with Huggies on sidepods in Milwaukee.
source: Getty Images
Black and yellow with Glad in Iowa.
source: Getty Images
Back to all black in Pocono.
source: Getty Images
Blue and purple for GE Reveal in Mid-Ohio.

Other livery changes to look out for this weekend:

  • Points leader Helio Castroneves is back in the blue-and-black for PPG after the red-and-black Hitachi No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet at Sonoma.
  • Graham Rahal has his second start in the blue, white and black No. 15 blu eCigs Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (Brazil).
  • Series debutante Stefan Wilson will run the white-and-green No. 18 Nirvana Tea Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.
  • Marco Andretti reprises the Dr Pepper livery of his No. 25 Andretti Autosport Chevrolet as he ran in Toronto.
  • Rookie Tristan Vautier is listed with the traditional orange, white and black on his No. 55 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda, after two races in the green, yellow and black of Angie’s List.

Female racer makes history with record finishes in dirt national midget events

Photo courtesy Toyota Racing
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Holly Shelton is riding high after setting a milestone for a female driver in a national midget series feature event on dirt this past weekend.

The Sacramento, California-area resident recorded the highest finish ever for a female dirt national midget series driver with a runner-up finish last Friday at the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League double-header weekend at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri.

Shelton broke her own national record for top finish by a woman in a national dirt event – she finished third in a USAC race at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, last year.

One night after setting her new national record, Shelton and her Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota roared back Saturday to finish third (started on the outside pole) in the second half of the weekend double-header, making her the first female dirt driver ever on the national midget circuit to earn back-to-back podium finishes.

“It’s cool making history as a female, but my number one thing is I just want to win,” said Shelton, who will be graduating from Cal-State Sacramento with a B.A. in Criminal Justice this fall. “Truthfully, on the track I don’t even remember that I’m a girl. I’m just racing all the guys with the same goal they have – to win.”

Only one other woman has finished second in either a USAC or POWRi midget feature – Sarah McCune at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in 1999 – but that was on pavement, not dirt.

The record-setting weekend was great consolation for Shelton, who missed three races earlier this season due to surgery and then sat out three other races last month after suffering a race-related concussion.

“It felt good,” she said of her back-to-back podium finishes. “It builds up my confidence. The car is fast and we keep getting better and we want to build on it.”

Shelton was one of four women that competed in midget competition this weekend. The others were 19-year-old Maria Cofer and 16-year-olds Holley Hollan and Presley Truedson.

“It’s awesome seeing all the little girls come up to me excited to see me at the track,” Shelton said. “Hopefully, it encourages them to pursue their dreams as well and, as the years go on, more girls will get into it.”

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