Tony Kanaan gets going with Ganassi at Sebring

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Two days ago, Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan had some fun seeing his face on the Borg-Warner Trophy for the first time. But today, he and his new teammates at Chip Ganassi Racing are putting in work.

Kanaan (pictured), reigning IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon, and American driver Charlie Kimball are testing at Sebring International Raceway this afternoon. For Kanaan, the session marks his first test with the team after leaving KV Racing Technology at the conclusion of the 2013 season.

“I’m excited, obviously,” Kanaan said this morning. “It’s a new challenge for me. I have a lot of things to learn today as far as the way [Chip Ganassi Racing] runs things here. I’m just enjoying it. It’s a really good day for me. I can’t complain.”

Along with Kanaan joining their own ranks, CGR is now part of the Chevrolet camp after running with Honda engines from 2006 to 2013. Dixon said the team was looking to compare between both power plants as part of their test work.

“Today is more comparison stuff – go over some of the late development things we had streaming through for the season, and obviously, the big compare between Chevy and Honda and see where we need to work and see what areas are good,” he said.

“There are a lot of new relationships, so it’s good to get an early test in before Christmas and start working on relationships that we hope prosper in the new year.”

Also keen on trying out the new Chevy engines and gaining a baseline for upcoming tests this winter was Kimball, who claimed his inaugural IndyCar win this past year at Mid-Ohio as part of a solid third season in the series.

“We have a lot of work for the day and it will give a direction of which way we need to head in the next few weeks before we really start preseason testing in January and February,” he said.

As for working with Kanaan, Kimball noted that the two have gotten along well early on.

“We’ve enjoyed getting to know each other,” Kimball said. “…When we get in the car, the relationship will develop more.”

Photo Credit: INDYCAR PR

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).