The question of who will be driving the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda for the 99th Indianapolis 500 has been temporarily solved, with Australian James Davison turning his first laps of the month on Tuesday in the blue-and-white car.
Davison is yet to be officially confirmed for the race itself, but indications are pointing that way. Additionally, paddock sources suggest 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series rookie-of-the-year Tristan Vautier will qualify the car this weekend while Davison is on assignment in his No. 33 AE Nissan GT Academy Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 for the Pirelli World Challenge race weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
As it is, Davison ran 15 laps on Tuesday for his first time in an IndyCar since driving the No. 33 AE KV Racing Technology Chevrolet in last year’s Indianapolis 500, when he finished 16th.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to be back in an IndyCar at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Davison said post-practice on Tuesday, via IndyCar.
“It was the windiest conditions I have driven in. I was quite fortunate last year to drive in very ideal conditions, so there was a lot more movement in the car than I had experienced before. We were regulated to run under 215 (mph) and I’m just really looking forward to getting on with our proper program tomorrow.”
While Davison continues to bank laps, two-time Indianapolis 500 starter Katherine Legge is also pounding the pavement this week in search of any potential opportunities that may arise.
Coming off his best Supercross season to date, Enzo Lopes has re-signed with Muc-Off / ClubMX Yamaha and will race for the team in 2024. The deal is for Supercross only.
Lopes debuted in the Supercross series in 2019 on a Suzuki and scored his first top-10 finishes in his last two starts of that season. Showing consistent improvement, he earned six top-10s in eight Main events the following year and finished fifth in the 250 East standings. In 2022, he scored his first top-five at Daytona and finished in the top five in points again.
“I am happy to be returning to ClubMX for another season,” Lopes said in a press release. “It is like family to me there and that is very important. Although I had many options, staying where I am makes the most sense for many reasons. The bikes are great, the people are great, the tracks are amazing, and I am surrounded by people that care about me. We all want to win and together we will get there.”
While he improved his season-best performance by only one position this year, it was nevertheless a breakout season. Lopes barely missed the podium three times in 2023 with fourth-place finishes at San Diego, Seattle, and Denver.
His strong performance him rumored to be speaking with factory teams.
“We could see the growth from Enzo every time he gets on the bike,” said team owner Brandon Haas. “We all knew it was just a matter of time before he would be noticed by everyone, and we are proud of him on many levels. He had some heat race wins and qualified fastest at three events this season. It would be hard not to be noticed going that fast. He had a big decision to make and we are glad he chose to stay with us at ClubMX.”
Lopes had three podium finishes in heat races this year, including a win preceding his fourth-place finish in Denver.