What’s up, doc? Aspiring M.D., NASCAR driver Patrick Staropoli featured in prestigious magazine

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NASCAR has seen its share of doctors along pit road, including broadcasters Dr. Jerry Punch and Dr. Dick Berggren.

But soon, we may see a doctor actually behind the wheel of a Sprint Cup car.

A great article about racer Patrick Staropoli crossed our desk on Christmas Eve, one that we just had to share with MotorSportsTalk readers.

It’s not so much that the story was about Staropoli, who we’ve written about in the past, but rather WHERE the story appeared.

In likely the first-ever NASCAR-related story that appeared in its hallowed pages, Harvard Magazine – as in the prestigious Harvard University – told Staropoli’s interwoven racing and medical stories.

It’s not surprising that Harvard Magazine would write about Staropoli. After all, he’s a graduate of the Ivy League juggernaut, having received his B.A. in 2012 before enrolling in medical school at the University of Miami.

While Staropoli still has a few years to become an M.D., he’s already a magna sum laude both at Harvard, as well as in the world of racing.

Staropoli is coming off an especially great weekend last week, when he recorded the second- and third-fastest speeds at Daytona International Speedway during a two-day ARCA test – his first time at the legendary NASCAR track in an ARCA car.

Staropoli wasn’t even scheduled to be at DIS for the test, but when a teammate driver fell ill, he drove through the night from Charlotte to Daytona and began racing with just one hour of sleep (much like a surgeon typically does at the hospital).

The story on Staropoli was written by a familiar name to many motorsports fans: Steve Potter, former racer and New York Times motorsports columnist – and a 1969 grad of Harvard, as well.

Click here to read Steve’s fine story on Staropoli.

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IndyCar race weekend doubleheader schedule at IMS road course

IndyCar weekend schedule Indianapolis
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The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.

The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.

The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.

ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend

The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.

A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.

Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:

(All times are Eastern)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1

Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2

10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3

10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout

IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4

10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race