IndyCar: Martin Plowman to kick off GP of Indy week with charity go-kart race

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Martin Plowman will make his return to the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend in the No. 41 Alfe Heat Treating Honda for A.J. Foyt Racing at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. But first, he’ll be kicking off the weekend on Wednesday with a charity event for a good cause.

Plowman, who has worked with the Snowball Express charity for children of fallen military heroes for several years (since 2011), and fiancee Nicole Pollard have organized a charity go-kart race at Fastimes Indoor Karting on Wednesday night. All proceeds from the event go to Snowball Express.

It’s a two-and-a-half hour endurance kart race with nine teams. A mix of athletes from the NFL and IndyCar will be in attendance. Those NFL players coming from the Indianapolis Colts include Pat McAfee, Dwayne Allen, Matt Overton, Anthony Heygood and Ryan Baker.

Meanwhile the IndyCar contingent in attendance include rookie Jack Hawksworth, Indy Lights driver and the very similarly named Jack Harvey, and Indy Lights veteran and current off-road truck racer Arie Luyendyk Jr.

Plowman, who won the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 Driver’s Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans driving for OAK Racing, makes his first IndyCar start since 2011 this weekend. He’ll also compete in the No. 41 ABC Supply Co. Honda for the Indianapolis 500. He competed in three IndyCar races (Mid-Ohio, Sonoma, Baltimore) in 2011.

More information is available here, via Plowman’s official website.

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski