IndyCar: CFH confirms Luca Filippi as road/street race driver of No. 20 car

3 Comments

Italian Luca Filippi will have his longest and perhaps best opportunity yet in a Verizon IndyCar Series seat next season, as he has been confirmed as the road and street course driver of the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet for CFH Racing.

Filippi will race 10 events this season, starting with the St. Petersburg race in March and ending with the Sonoma season finale in August. Team co-owner Ed Carpenter will race the six oval events remaining on the calendar.

“It’s a great feeling. I can’t wait to race and share the No. 20 with Ed this year,” Filippi said in a release. “I have to thank Ed, Fuzzy’s Vodka and CFH Racing for this fantastic opportunity and I look forward to the successes we will enjoy this season!”

He replaces Mike Conway, who was officially confirmed overnight as a full-season driver for the FIA World Endurance Championship with Toyota Racing. Conway won at Long Beach and Toronto race two last year.

For Filippi, the 10 events will eclipse the eight he has driven previously in his IndyCar career.

He showed impressive speed in four outings for Bryan Herta Autosport in 2013, with one top-10 finish and the fastest race lap in race two at Houston.

Again at Houston in 2014, Filippi qualified in the Firestone Fast Six in his first time back in an IndyCar in nine months when in a second Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entry.

“We have seen the potential that Luca has shown over the past two seasons in his limited races and we feel that he will allow us to continue to compete for wins,” Carpenter said of Filippi. “I cannot wait to get the season started so we can work towards our goal of claiming the entrant points championship.”

Like several others (CFH teammate Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud), Filippi is a longtime Honda-affiliated driver who is making the switch to the Bowtie brigade in 2015.

After eating just one chip, NHRA drag racer says: ‘I seriously thought I was going to die’

Alex Laughlin official Instagram page
Leave a comment

Editor’s note: Due to rain, Sunday’s final eliminations of the NHRA Carolina Nationals have been postponed to Monday morning at 10 a.m. ET. In the meantime, check out this rather unusual tale:

Remember the old Lays Potato Chips commercial from back in the 1980s that bragged “No one can eat just one”?

Well, ask NHRA Pro Stock driver Alex Laughlin and a few members of his team, and they’ll tell you they learned a very valuable lesson that there indeed IS a chip that you can only eat one of.

According to NHRA’s National Dragster, Laughlin and Elite Motorsports crew members Chase Freeman, Kelly Murphy and Brian Cunningham took part Friday night in the Paqui One Chip Challenge.

If you haven’t heard of the Challenge, Paqui Chips has produced a tortilla chip that the company boldly claims is the hottest chip ever made anywhere in the world. The secret is the “Carolina Reaper” pepper, considered the hottest chili pepper in the world, with a rating of 1.9 million Scoville units, according to PuckerButt Pepper Company.

How hot is 1.9 million Scoville units? Let’s put it this way: the Devil might even have a hard time taking this kind of heat. By comparison, a Jalapeno pepper only reaches 10,000 units on the Scoville rating. 

So while they were enjoying some downtime Friday night after the first two rounds of qualifying for the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina (suburban Charlotte), Laughlin and Co. paid $30 for one chip – you read that right, $30 for one chip, it’s THAT hot – and thought they could take the heat.

They thought wrong.

“This is the hottest chip in the world,” Laughlin said on an Instagram post that documented the entire experience, adding a warning, “What to expect: Mouth on fire, short-term loss of speech, impaired vision from tears, extreme profanity — or death.”

View this post on Instagram

Never. Ever. Again.

A post shared by Alex Laughlin (@alexlaughlin40) on

 

Laughlin’s post also includes several reader comments that Laughlin and his crew should have had milk on hand instead of water to try and cool things down because milk has a natural antidote to cool your mouth down after eating hot food.

Sunday morning, with his mouth and throat still a bit sore, Laughlin recalled the red-hot episode to National Dragster’s Kevin McKenna:

Never again. Never. Ever. Ever,” Laughlin told McKenna. “It was definitely not the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

One of our guys showed me a You Tube video and it looked like it wasn’t going to be too bad. I like spicy food and it’s usually never a problem. I’ve been to those places with hot wings where you have to sign a waiver before you eat them and that’s never been a problem.

But this? This is on a whole different level. I thought it might last ten minutes. Fourteen hours later, I was still in bad shape. I woke up at 3 a.m. and Googled “internal bleeding.” I seriously thought I was going to die. We all did.”

So if the heat from the chip was off the hotness Richter scale, where did the stunt rank on Laughlin’s own personal Richter scale?

I’ve done some dumb things, but this is right up there.

Well, I really didn’t think it would be that bad,” Laughlin told McKenna with a shrug. “I mean, it’s just one tortilla chip. Like I said, I can usually eat stuff that other people won’t eat, but I had no idea what I was in for.

“I’ve done some dumb things, but this is right up there.”

If you’re up for another challenge in the future that involves eating hot food, Alex, here’s a suggestion: Even though it’s a few years old now, maybe you should try the Ice Bucket Challenge (but fill it with milk) to cool down quick. Just a thought.

Follow @JerryBonkowski