Sean Rayhall finally gets his Indy Lights shot with 8Star

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When 8Star Motorsports announced its program in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship this season, logic would have dictated the team’s standout driver from the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Sean Rayhall, would have moved up with them.

Alas, despite a seat fit and signs pointing to him having the shot, he was unable to strike a deal ahead of the season-opening round at St. Petersburg. The Enzo Potolicchio-led team made it to St. Pete with Scott Hargrove, another talented young prospect, who had done well in winter testing.

But Rayhall will get his first shot this weekend, in 8Star’s entry for the pair of races at Barber Motorsports Park, for what both hope will be the first of many more weekends together in the series.

“I am so excited to have this chance to be back with 8Star Motorsports and to make my Indy Lights debut. I am very fortunate to have Bass Egg and Edvisors who believed in me to put together the funding for this event. I am beyond grateful for their efforts! ,” Rayhall said in a team release. “I am really looking forward to get back on track at Barber where I have had experience before and get my first laps in the Dallara IL-15!”

Added team manager Gary Neal, “After a succesfull 2014 season with Sean, it is good to have him back, this time in the 8Star Motorsports Indy Lights. Even though we missed the Long Beach race and lost a little room against the other teams, we are now back on track with Sean (Rayhall) and his effort to be at Barber. Sean is very talented and we will work hard in the practices leading up to the race to make him as comfortable as possible in the car and have a good, clean race.”

The Rayhall confirmation will leave the Indy Lights field at Barber at either 12 or 13 cars, depending now if Andretti Autosport confirms Matthew Brabham for a third consecutive weekend. The series is yet to release the entry list.

With tree in tow, Robert Wickens is already in the Christmas spirit

Robert Wickens' official Twitter page
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It may be a week before Thanksgiving, but IndyCar driver Robert Wickens is already obviously in a festive Christmas mood.

Wickens took to Twitter and Instagram Wednesday to post a video showing he just gave himself an early yuletide present: a Christmas tree:

“Got myself a tree! I figured it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit! It’s a very real tree and my arms are itchy to prove it!”

He even ended his tweet with a Christmas tree emoji.

And for good measure, Wickens — wearing a winter ski cap with his name on it — and some of the staff at his rehab facility broke into an impromptu version of “Oh, Christmas Tree!”

Check out what Wickens posted and enjoy a little early Christmas cheer sure to put a smile on your face: