Daniel Abt impressed after first IndyCar test with Andretti

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It was a good first day at the office for Daniel Abt, the German youngster who had his first day in an IndyCar Monday at Barber Motorsports Park.

“I’m just at a certain stage of my career where I want to take the next step and IndyCar is certainly a great option so that is why I’m here,” Abt said, via IndyCar.com.

“I’m not just doing the test because I’m bored and I want to spend some time racing. First of all, I want to get a feeling for the car and the people. I don’t know what the options are at the moment, but I’m interested in doing the season if the package is right and everything is like I want it to be.”

Abt drove with Andretti Autosport, who seeks to fill a vacancy in its fourth car alongside Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz.

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It’s still relatively early days in the long IndyCar offseason, but there’s realistically one of two options for Abt for Andretti next year.

He could be able to fill the fourth seat on his own provided he gathers enough budget to cover the gap between what the team already has lined up in commercial partners.

Alternatively, it could be possible he gathers a partial budget to make sporadic appearances in a fifth-car, part-time, if the team has enough staffing and personnel for it.

Of late, Michael Andretti has stayed quiet in terms of the team’s plans for its fourth car.

But all expectations point to four cars returning full-time and a fifth could be possible for Abt and/or other drivers – Andretti has Zach Veach and Matthew Brabham in his internal “farm system” after they’ve each completed another season of Indy Lights, and Michael has said he has time for both of them.

Abt also races in the FIA Formula E Championship with Audi Sport Abt (pictured right), and in GP2.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.