No timetable for RLL driver, commercial announcements

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Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has at least one announcement coming shortly, but it’s not going to be the team’s second IndyCar driver or commercial partners.

“We have another guy who’ll be announced soon that will be a huge addition to our team,” Graham Rahal said during this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. Graham was part of the lineup in the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE in the GT Le Mans class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

In a brief follow-up, Rahal confirmed that was related to “personnel,” and not the driver lineup. When asked if he knew when the lineup would be coming, Rahal said, “We’re all having to wait and see.”

RLL has not yet announced its 2014 commercial partners, and a team official also confirmed there was no timetable on when an update on those will come.

Deltran Battery Tender, which was an associate sponsor for RLL’s IndyCar program in 2013, has re-upped for IndyCar and added the pair of BMWs to its sponsorship portfolio.

The Midas and blu eCigs brands also adorned Rahal’s No. 15 Honda-powered DW12 in 2013.

Some drivers who could very likely be in play for the open second seat, per sources, are Oriol Servia, Conor Daly, JR Hildebrand and Alex Tagliani. A driver outside of that quartet could be considered for the second seat, depending on budgetary concerns.

Servia has past experience with RLL, when he drove for the team at the 2009 Indianapolis 500. He was one of two drivers who took over the National Guard-backed seat at Panther Racing in the second half of 2013, when Panther released Hildebrand from his contract.

Daly and Tagliani, meanwhile, co-drove in RSR Racing’s PC class No. 08 ORECA FLM09 in the Rolex 24 this weekend.

The PC class schedule has three conflicts with IndyCar weekends this year.

On June 7, the TUDOR Championship PC class races at Kansas Speedway, while IndyCar takes to the high banks of Texas Motor Speedway.

The last weekend of June, the 28-29, IndyCar races a weekend doubleheader in Houston while TUDOR races the six hours of Watkins Glen on Sunday.

Lastly on August 24, TUDOR is at Virginia International Raceway while IndyCar races on the west coast in Sonoma.

At the moment, RLL is not listed to test at all in the month of February, per IndyCar’s latest testing schedule update.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.