Indy Lights: Brabham back for Andretti; 8Star likely out for Long Beach

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One of the two one-off entries that raced in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season opener will be back for Long Beach this weekend, with Andretti Autosport confirming Tuesday that Matthew Brabham will make another start in the team’s No. 83 Stellrecht Company Dallara IL15-Mazda.

“I am incredibly happy and grateful to be heading to Long Beach, a big thanks must go to Bob Stellrecht for believing in me and giving me this opportunity,” said Brabham. “I am confident we will be right up there at the top and fighting competitively.

“The team has been doing a great job and we were constantly learning and improving the car at St Pete. It is an awesome race car and I couldn’t imagine anything better than muscling it around the wall jungle of Long Beach.”

Brabham finished third in last year’s Long Beach race.

Unfortunately for Brabham’s St. Petersburg sparring partner Scott Hargrove, it appears unlikely that his Florida-based 8Star Motorsports team will make the trip out west to Long Beach.

Per a source to MotorSportsTalk, neither driver nor team was able to find the necessary funding to make the trip.

Assuming there isn’t an 11th-hour deal, it will leave the field at 12 cars for Long Beach. However, there is the prospect of one Indy Lights team announcement occurring at Long Beach, which would add to the field going forward.

NBCSN will present ‘Race and Sports in America: Conversations’ Monday

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With motor racing reckoning with its own issues of diversity and equality, “Race and Sports in America: Conversations” will tackle the topics of social justice with several athletes. The show will air at 8 p.m. ET Monday, July 13 on NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic channel and on regional sports networks.

The roundtable discussions will be hosted by Damon Hack and feature Charles Barkley, Steph Curry, Jimmy Rollins and Ozzie Smith in one segment. The other segment will include Kyle Rudolph, Anthony Lynn, Troy Mullins and James Blake.

Race has been a major topic in motorsports this year.

NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at its race after lobbying by Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in the premier Cup Series. In Formula One, six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton has joined Black Lives Matter marches in London and also formed a panel on diversity. The lone Black driver in F1 also led 14 of 20 drivers taking a knee before the season opener in Austria.