IndyCar: Marco Andretti is both paying it forward, and set for another number change

1 Comment

With Conor Daly testing next week at Sebring for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Daly took the opportunity to thank a friend and potential on-track rival who assisted in the opportunity.

Daly noted how Marco Andretti helped to pitch in so Daly could pay for his first Verizon IndyCar Series test in nearly two years. See a message from Daly posted on Twitter, below:

Andretti, meanwhile, has another number in mind: 27.

The Nazareth, Pa. native is set to switch from 25, which he has had the last two seasons, after carrying the No. 26 from 2006 through 2012.

“#27in15” Andretti posted on Twitter on Friday, before posting another image of his car’s rear wing with that new number to Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

#27in15. #Snapple #MutualOfOmaha #Honda

A post shared by Marco Andretti (@marcoandretti) on

The Andretti Autosport team more or less confirmed the switch to 27 on Friday, as well.

From a numerology standpoint, this means Andretti will take on James Hinchcliffe’s old number of 27, with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Munoz set to retain their 2014 numbers of 28 and 34, respectively.

It leaves open Andretti Autosport’s Nos. 25 and 26 for a fourth and/or possible fifth entry, that are still in the process of being finalized.

Justin Wilson has been mentioned as a possibility for the seat and/or seats; 2014 F1 drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Kevin Magnussen were tossed out within the last couple months; Zach Veach is keen on a program after two years with the team in Indy Lights and German Daniel Abt is the only driver in this group who has actually tested for the team this winter. Vergne has raced the last two FIA Formula E events for Andretti’s team, and has also been confirmed as a test driver for Ferrari in the last month or so.

Donny Schatz edges Kyle Larson for Outlaws victory at Lake Ozark

Trent Gower/World of Outlaws
Leave a comment

Donny Schatz made a last-lap pass on Kyle Larson, snatching a World of Outlaws victory Saturday night at Lake Ozark Speedway.

Larson started on the pole, led 30 of 35 laps and was in control until a caution set up a two-lap shootout to the finish before a limited crowd in Eldon, Missouri.

Schatz and Larson traded the lead twice over the final two laps, but the 10-time champion emerged with his first victory since the NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returned in mid-May from a two-month layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

‘THEY’VE STUCK BEHIND ME’: Kyle Larson comments on future, Outlaws plans

“Man, I don’t know what to say, but Kyle’s a damn good racer,” Schatz, who led five laps, told DirtVision after his 296th Outlaws win. “I kind of had to go where he didn’t. We got that green-white-checkered, and I decided I was going to send it. He decided the same thing.

Donny Schatz celebrates at Lake Ozark Speedway after his second Outlaws Sprint Car victory of the season (Trent Gower).

“I’m glad to get the win. It feels like it’s been forever. I’ve been out here 24 years, and every night is a learning experience still.”

Larson finished second in his fifth start since he began racing with the Outlaws after being suspended from NASCAR.

“Obviously, it would have been nice to get the win,” Larson said on DirtVision. “I figured Donny would rip the middle. The restarts before, he’d almost clear me in (turns) 3 and 4. I should have known to protect and block his momentum. I felt I exited 2 OK. We don’t have spotters or rearview mirrors so you can’t see how close he is or really hear it when the pace is so slow.

“I just didn’t do a good enough job to run a smarter final couple of laps.”

Brad Sweet, Larson’s brother in law, finished third, with Shane Stewart and David Gravel rounding out the top five.

Larson rebounded from a 10th in Friday’s feature at Lake Ozark Speedway, continuing his streak of top-10 finishes in all five of his starts since the Outlaws’ return.

“We got our car a lot better from last night, so that was a plus,” said Larson, who finished second and first in back-to-back nights last week at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at Pevely, Missouri. “These guys are really tough. To be on the podium with Donny and Brad, they’ve won lots of big races and championships, it’s nice. I just didn’t do what I needed to do that last restart.”

Larson nearly had a flawless night Saturday, turning a 11.426-second lap to capture his second pole position this season and won the pole dash to start first in the feature.

Larson, who was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing from his NASCAR Cup Series ride last month for using a racial slur in an iRacing event, said last week that he plans to run several more NOS Energy Sprint Car Series races this year.

Larson remains indefinitely suspended by NASCAR but was approved to race by the Outlaws after completing sensitivity training.