ARCA driver heads to University of Alabama on Presidential scholarship for Aerospace Engineering

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One of the more interesting stories in this weekend’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race at Talladega Superspeedway, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200, comes in the form of series rookie Tyler Audie.

Audie – whose name is only one letter away from the German car manufacturer – has a different goal he’s looking to achieve beyond the racetrack in the No. 12 Audie Expo-NP Properties Toyota

The series rookie has been accepted to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a Presidential scholarship. That means the Orlando, Fla. resident will have full out-of-state tuition covered as he pursues a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the College of Engineering.

“Nothing’s really set in stone, but I’d like to fly planes in the Navy,” Audie said, via a series release.

“My cousin on my mom’s side is an Army pilot and flies the newer version of the Black Hawk helicopter. My dad also flies…licensed for single engine airplanes. I’ve always enjoyed it.”

Per the release, Audie will soon graduate from Lake Highland Preparatory School with an overall grade point average of 3.7 and an ACT score of 32.

His racing career has followed the traditional path of Bandoleros, Legends Cars, Pro Late Models and Super Late Models before moving into ARCA.

Audie will do a meet and greet at the University of Alabama this afternoon from 12 to 4 p.m.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).