RCR, Germain to enter technical alliance next season

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As part of Germain Racing’s jump to Chevrolet next season, the team – which currently fields the No. 13 Toyota for Casey Mears in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – will form a technical alliance with powerhouse Richard Childress Racing starting next year.

According to an RCR release, the alliance will feature technology sharing, engineering, research and development, and also see the Germain No. 13 use ECR Engines. Germain has fielded a Sprint Cup program since the 2009 campaign, and has earned two Camping World Truck Series championships (2006, 2010) in its history.

“Richard Childress and RCR have an extremely competitive program with a long history of winning races and championships,” Germain Racing team owner Bob Germain, Jr. said in a statement. “They have great people and tremendous resources which will allow us to continue to improve our GEICO team’s performance in 2014 and beyond.”

Mears and Germain have just one Top-10 this season, a ninth-place result in July’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. However, the alliance will allow Mears to get re-acquainted with RCR after he ran for them in 2009; he collected four Top-10s that year in the No. 07 Chevy.

“We are very pleased to have a team like Germain Racing become our partner,” RCR owner Richard Childress said. “Bob and his team have been very committed to this sport and worked hard to improve every year.

“We have worked with Casey before and he’s a very talented driver. We look forward to working with him and his crew chief Bootie Barker.”

IndyCar will eliminate double points from the 2020 season finale

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Though the NTT IndyCar Series hasn’t confirmed the date of its 2020 season finale, it has determined that double points won’t be in play.

An IndyCar official confirmed Monday to NBCSports.com that whether the season ends at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, or on the streets of St. Petersburg, neither race will feature double points. Team owners were informed of the change during a conference call last week.

The news was first reported by RACER.com.

With the original 17-race schedule having been shortened by the cancellation of at least three races (Circuit of The Americas, Barber Motorsports Park, the Long Beach Grand Prix), using double points in the finale would have carried even greater weight (and perhaps more so if more races are unable to be run because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has been using double points at select races since the 2015 season. The 104th Indianapolis 500 will remain a double-points event.

In rescheduling the Indy 500 to Aug. 23 last week, IndyCar unveiled a revised schedule that listed Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as TBD for its season finale. The race originally had been scheduled to open the season before being called off because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

IndyCar CEO Mark Miles told reporters last week that St. Pete probably would be slotted into the first two weeks October after the Sept. 20 race at Laguna Seca that had been slated to be the season finale for the second consecutive year.