Erik Jones to talk racing, officially graduate high school Saturday

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Since he’s not racing Saturday night, Camping World Truck Series phenom Erik Jones will do the next best thing:

He’ll talk racing.

The 18-year-old Jones will highlight “A Night at the Races” at the Swartz Creek (Mich.) Performing Arts Center, just a short burnout from his Byron, Mich. home.

“Photo-ops, photo booths, pit stop challenge where you get to be like the pit crew on the race car at the track,” Jones told WJRT-TV. I’ll be there, we’ll be showing video of the races. There’s going to be confetti flying. It’s going to be wild.”

There’ll even be a special ceremony honoring Jones, not for his racing but his smarts.

Even though Jones had an impromptu and remote high school graduation ceremony earlier this year at Texas Motor Speedway, Saturday night will be Jones’ “official” graduation from Swartz Creek High School.

Jones completed the requirements for his diploma online through the school’s Global Learning Hub.

“I did it all for three years and made it a priority to get it done,” Jones said. “I finished up my senior year earlier this year, great to finally get it done and cool to be back here.”

The event will raise money for an educational fund for adults to earn their GED as well as to urge students to remain in school and get their diploma.

“It’s really about trying to reduce the drop out rate in Michigan, which is at around 26 percent right now. That’s above the national average,” Jones said.

Admission will be free and begins at 7 pm ET Saturday night.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

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.