Justin Wilson has first ride of 2015 confirmed, back with Shank at Sebring

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The ongoing offseason saga of whether Justin Wilson will or will not have a ride now has a brief interlude:

He does, with a familiar team, in an unfamiliar car, in a different series.

The lanky, likable Englishman will make a one-race cameo as third driver aboard the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda, co-driving with Ozz Negri and John Pew for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The team confirmed the signing on Wednesday.

This will be Wilson’s first start in the team’s new car, second Sebring with the team, fourth Sebring overall and 14th overall start with MSR.

He’ll fill in for Matt McMurry, as the teenager is scheduled to race in the IMSA Prototype Lites races at Sebring during the week.

“Everyone at Michael Shank Racing has been working so hard to be ready for Sebring,” Wilson said in a team release.

“It seems like a big break between the 24 and Sebring, but they’ve been at it non stop. The test was really productive for them so we’ll have a good bit of data to start with when we head down there. It is a very demanding race track and you never know what can happen, but hopefully we can help get Honda a win there.”

As for Wilson’s IndyCar prospects, there are only four expected full-time seats remaining: one at Andretti Autosport, the second seat at KV Racing Technology, and the two at Dale Coyne Racing.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).