Coyne confirms No. 19 plans, as Vautier to qualify, Davison to race Indy 500

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It’s taken until Thursday to make it official but is now confirmed: Tristan Vautier will practice and qualify the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda through Sunday, before James Davison returns to the car to race it in next weekend’s Indianapolis 500.

Davison is participating in the Pirelli World Challenge series race outside Toronto at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park this weekend in the No. 33 AE Nissan GT Academy Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.

Given the commitment, Davison and Coyne needed a replacement driver for the weekend, and the 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series rookie of the year, Vautier, was available.

After getting back up to speed on Tuesday, on Wednesday, Davison ended fourth overall north of 228 mph in a  solid day’s work. He did have an interesting moment in a drafting sequence with Ryan Hunter-Reay, which carried over to Davison’s Instagram page.

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2 trailer park girls.. 🎧

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Vautier is out Thursday morning to complete his refresher laps in the car.

Vautier joins a crowded list of drivers who have competed in an official session for Dale Coyne Racing this year.

Carlos Huertas, Conor Daly and Rodolfo Gonzalez have raced the No. 18 Honda, Rocky Moran Jr. practiced it at Long Beach, Francesco Dracone, Davison and now Vautier have been in the No. 19 car and Pippa Mann races this month in the No. 63 Susan G. Komen Honda. Mann is expected back out Friday after her accident the end of the day on Wednesday.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.