Dempsey (leading) and Garcia (trailing) trade rides. (IndyCar photo)

Unofficial “trade” sees Dempsey, Garcia change Indy Lights rides

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There’s been a driver exchange in the Firestone Indy Lights Series for Houston, although not one that goes down as an “official trade.”

Peter Dempsey and Juan Pablo Garcia will both be racing at Houston after all, in the seat occupied by the other the first 10 races this season.

Dempsey moves into the No. 2 Team Moore Racing entry, with support from TMR/Global Tubing/ALS Association. He had been replaced at Belardi Auto Racing when funding failed to develop to support him for the last two races.

“Team Moore Racing is giving me the opportunity to keep my title fight alive, and for that, I will always be thankful,” Dempsey said in a release. “I’d really like to thank all of my team sponsors along with my personal sponsors for making this all come together.”

He enters the weekend fifth in points and still with a remote shot at the championship, at 35 points behind leader Sage Karam. His teammate this weekend will be Conor Daly in the No. 22 car.

Garcia, meanwhile, takes over Dempsey’s seat at Belardi for the final two races at Houston and Fontana. He will race the No. 5 International/Mapfre/Euclid Chemical/TVC + Latino/AutoShow TV/Belardi Auto Racing entry, the team’s third car alongside teammates Jorge Goncalvez and Giancarlo Serenelli. Garcia ranks eighth in points this season.

A season-high 12 cars are entered with the eight full-season cars (three Schmidt, two Andretti, two Belardi, No. 2 Moore) plus Serenelli (No. 6 Belardi), Daly (No. 22 Moore), Axcil Jefferies (No. 28 BHA) and Matthew Di Leo (No. 56 MDL) also racing the streets of Houston.

With tree in tow, Robert Wickens is already in the Christmas spirit

Robert Wickens' official Twitter page
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It may be a week before Thanksgiving, but IndyCar driver Robert Wickens is already obviously in a festive Christmas mood.

Wickens took to Twitter and Instagram Wednesday to post a video showing he just gave himself an early yuletide present: a Christmas tree:

“Got myself a tree! I figured it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit! It’s a very real tree and my arms are itchy to prove it!”

He even ended his tweet with a Christmas tree emoji.

And for good measure, Wickens — wearing a winter ski cap with his name on it — and some of the staff at his rehab facility broke into an impromptu version of “Oh, Christmas Tree!”

Check out what Wickens posted and enjoy a little early Christmas cheer sure to put a smile on your face: