Fast Facts: Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana

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The INDYCAR PR staff has assembled the following details for this weekend’s Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana. Here are the fast facts heading into this weekend’s race (Sunday, 2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN):

INDY GRAND PRIX OF LOUISIANA FAST FACTS

Track: 2.74-mile, 13-turn road course (clockwise)
Race distance: 75 laps / 205.5 miles
Entry List:  Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana (PDF)
Push-to-pass parameters: 10 activations for 20 seconds each
Firestone tire allotment: Eight sets primary, three sets alternate
Twitter: @GPofNOLA, @IndyCar, #GPofNOLA, #IndyCar
Event website: www.gpofnola.com 
INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com
2014 race winner: New event
2014 Verizon P1 Award winner: New event
Qualifying lap record: New event

NBCSN race broadcast: Sunday, April 12 (2:30 p.m. ET)
NBCSN qualifying broadcast: Saturday, April 11 (5 p.m. ET)

Brian Till will be the play-by-play announcer for NBCSN’s broadcast of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy. Marty Snider, Kelly Stavast, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller are the pit reporters.

Video Streaming: All practice sessions for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season will be available on the INDYCAR YouTube channel www.youtube.com/indycar and RaceControl.IndyCar.com .

Radio broadcasts: Paul Page is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Qualifying and all Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the IMS Radio Network, Sirius 213, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR 15 app. Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions are on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app.

At-track schedule (all times local): 
Friday, April 10 
12:15-1:45 p.m. (Verizon IndyCar Series practice)
4:15-5:35 p.m. (Verizon IndyCar Series practice)

Saturday, April 11
12:30-1:15 p.m. (Verizon IndyCar Series practice)
4:15 p.m. (Three rounds of Verizon IndyCar Series qualifications)

Sunday, April 12
11-11:30 a.m. (Verizon IndyCar Series warm-up)
1:30 p.m. NBCSN on air
2:37 p.m. Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana green flag

Race Notes:
* The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana is the first Indy car race at NOLA Motorsports Park and first major auto race in the state of Louisiana since a 1995 IMSA GT race in downtown New Orleans.

* Juan Pablo Montoya started the Verizon IndyCar Series season by scoring the win in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Can he continue his strong start by adding another win at NOLA Motorsports Park?

* With a third-place finish at St. Petersburg, Tony Kanaan has finished on the podium in six of his last eight races. Now the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner looks to add a win at NOLA Motorsports Park. Can Kanaan keep up his podium streak?

* Kanaan seeks to start his 235th consecutive race, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 176 consecutive starts.

* Team Penske, which earned its 175th Indy car win at St. Petersburg, will field a formidable four-car juggernaut in New Orleans hoping to sweep the podium after placing all four cars in the top five at St. Petersburg. St. Pete race winner Montoya is joined by reigning series champion Will Power, who finished second at St. Petersburg, Helio Castroneves, who finished fourth at St. Petersburg, and Simon Pagenaud, who finished fifth in his team debut.

* Dixon, the longest-tenured driver for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, is tied with Bobby Unser for fifth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 35.

* Simona de Silvestro, who made 65 starts over four Verizon IndyCar Series seasons, is the only female driver entered in the race. She made her return to the series at St. Petersburg after a one-year absence, finishing 18th.

* The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg marked the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda. Cars are differentiated by their shape on the street course as the manufacturers have designed separate aero kit specifications for road and street course/short ovals and speedways for the Dallara IR-12 chassis. References to the cars will incorporate the name of the corresponding manufacturer.

* The No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Dallara crew of Tony Kanaan won the Firestone Pit Stop Performance Award during the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with a total pit lane time of 99.024 seconds. The NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing crew will receive its $10,000 award during pre-race festivities at the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana.

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).