After tough recent outings, Jack Hawksworth relishes 10th-place showing at Fontana

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While Takuma Sato’s day ended prematurely, just nine laps from the finish, A.J. Foyt Racing teammate Jack Hawksworth enjoyed one of his better runs of 2015 in Saturday’s MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.

Hawksworth, driver of the No. 41 ABC Supply Honda, finished 10th – his fourth top-10 showing of the season.

“We finally got another top 10 after what seems like a long, long time,” Hawksworth said. “Really a good job from the ABC guys.”

For the record, it was his first top-10 since earning back-to-back seventh-place showings late last month in the two races at Belle Isle.

After that, the 24-year-old England native finished last in the 23-car field at Texas, and was 14th at Toronto.

“It’s been a difficult few races but at least we got some points on the board,” said Hawksworth, who climbed from 18th to 17th in the IndyCar standings after Fontana.

“The race itself was quite long, we seemed to be good on old tires at the end of the stint, but on new tires at the start we weren’t quite quick enough,” Hawksworth said.

“Overall, the car was pretty decent and we just kind of hung in there and ended up finishing 10th, so not too bad.”

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Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).