Aleshin confirms IndyCar test, race return at Sonoma with SPM

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“The Russian” is indeed back to kick some ass.

Mikhail Aleshin has confirmed he’ll make a one-off start in the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Sonoma Raceway on August 30, in a third car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

He’ll test before then this month for a refresher day, having not driven the new Honda aero kit.

“Friends! Officially! I’m coming back to Indycar!!! Will participate in Sonoma tests & race!!” Aleshin wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning.

SPM’s Indy Lights crew was available to service the extra car, which also ran at the Indianapolis 500 with Conor Daly, as the Indy Lights series is off until Monterey in September. This is the “extra car” we hinted at at Mid-Ohio.

Aleshin will now compete in the season finale he missed last year, after suffering injuries in a devastating accident at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

He has since moved on to SMP Racing’s European Le Mans Series program with the new BR01 Nissan LMP2 car.

Aleshin told this writer back at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans that he did indeed want to come back to IndyCar.

When asked about it, he said, “Definitely. One day I’m gonna come back there for sure. I’m gonna kick some ass.”

He’ll have his first chance to do so later this month.

With tree in tow, Robert Wickens is already in the Christmas spirit

Robert Wickens' official Twitter page
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It may be a week before Thanksgiving, but IndyCar driver Robert Wickens is already obviously in a festive Christmas mood.

Wickens took to Twitter and Instagram Wednesday to post a video showing he just gave himself an early yuletide present: a Christmas tree:

“Got myself a tree! I figured it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit! It’s a very real tree and my arms are itchy to prove it!”

He even ended his tweet with a Christmas tree emoji.

And for good measure, Wickens — wearing a winter ski cap with his name on it — and some of the staff at his rehab facility broke into an impromptu version of “Oh, Christmas Tree!”

Check out what Wickens posted and enjoy a little early Christmas cheer sure to put a smile on your face: