Drivers let loose across USA on Indianapolis 500 media day

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IndyCar’s Indianapolis 500 Media Day on Tuesday took part not just in Indianapolis, but nearly two dozen cities across the country.

From San Francisco to Milwaukee to New York City and points in-between, drivers who will compete in Sunday’s 99th edition of the 500 had a chance to have some fun and – for at least one day – not worry about the inherent pressure of race day.

Thanks to the Twitterverse, here’s some of the highlights:

— Simon Pagenaud got a bit cheesy before taking a big ride in Milwaukee:

 

— Pippa Mann was ready for a Royal time in Kansas City

 

 

— Tony Kanaan and NASCAR drivers Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray enjoy a cold drink – of milk – in Charlotte

 

 

— Speaking of milk, rookie driver Gabby Chaves had a taste for milk, so he went right to the source

 

— JR Hildebrand looks like he’ll leave his heart in San Francisco

 

 

— Simona De Silvestro has a pre-Indy 500 makeover in the Big Apple

 

 

— Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud try their hands at tennis. A bit of advice, guys: Don’t give up your day jobs!

 

— Graham Rahal returns to his dad’s old hometown, the Windy City, Chicago.

 

— Rahal shows decent form when he throws out the first pitch before the White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field.

 

— Carlos Munoz, Oriol Servia and Sebastian Saavedra say “Hola!” to Miami

 

 

— Ed Carpenter does a little high-speed motoring in Motown, at Detroit’s Belle Isle, where the IndyCar Series will race at May 30-31.

 

 

— Jack Hawksworth gets some kicks with the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.

 

 

— Justin Wilson learns that everything is bigger in Texas, including the media.

 

 

— There’s no generation gap here: School kids visiting Indianapolis Motor Speedway know who A.J. Foyt is.

 

 

— Charlie Kimball got some practice spraying champagne in Detroit. Could it be for real on Sunday?

 

Follow @JerryBonkowski

 

Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter