MRTI: Harvey sweeps; title battle shift during Mid-Ohio 7-race weekend

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Here’s  a quick roundup of the results from the weekend for the Mazda Road to Indy at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course:

INDY LIGHTS

English rookie Jack Harvey delivered his first Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires win on Saturday in dominant fashion and completed the weekend sweep on Sunday with another win, this time by “only” 12.180 seconds compared to 17-plus on Saturday. In both races he started from pole and set the fastest lap.

Additionally and suddenly, the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian driver is in title contention with three races to go.

Points leader Gabby Chaves posted finishes of second (race 1) and third (race 2) with Zach Veach ending fourth (race 1) and second (race 2). It leaves Chaves now 18 points ahead of Harvey (431-413) with Veach now third, his lowest position of the season, on 407 points, with just three races remaining.

RESULTS: Race 1, Race 2

PRO MAZDA

A pair of abnormal winners came through to win the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires races at Mid-Ohio. Nicolas Costa of Brazil scored an overdue first win for Team Pelfrey on Saturday, and his team manager Nigel Tuckey and resident Pelfrey mentor/adviser/goofball Anders Krohn jumped in the pond outside the Mid-Ohio media center to celebrate. Garett Grist won Sunday’s race two for Andretti Autosport.

Despite tough weekends, Spencer Pigot held onto the points lead over Scott Hargrove. The Canadian closed to within 14 points of the Rising Star Racing American driver with three races to go.

RESULTS: Race 1, Race 2

USF2000

Each of the three title contenders in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda bagged a win in the Mid-Ohio triple header weekend, with things now murkier exiting the weekend than they were going in. In order, RC Enerson, Jake Eidson and Florian Latorre grabbed the victories – Eidson’s in race two the most fortuitous following an incident between Enerson and Victor Franzoni at Turn 4 in a green/white/checkered finish on a damp and drying track.

The points standings leaving the weekend: Latorre now leads Eidson by 30 with Enerson third, a further three points behind Eidson. Just two races remain for USF2000.

RESULTS: Race 1, Race 2, Race 3

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).