Ganassi still targeting four full-time IndyCar cars; Kimball’s new engineer named

Associated Press

Although the status of Sage Karam – or whether the 20-year-old Nazareth, Pa. native found a shirt – is to be determined, Chip Ganassi Racing is still working on maintaining a four-car, full-time lineup in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

It’s status quo as usual for Ganassi, which is also preparing for the strong likelihood of four cars at the season-opening IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, split two apiece between the new Multimatic-built Ford GTs in the GT Le Mans class and again, likely, two Daytona Prototypes with drivers to be revealed likely later this month.

“If you study the history of Chip Ganassi Racing and how we make announcements for our prototype division, I think that will follow suit,” managing director Mike Hull told MotorSportsTalk during Chevrolet’s championship celebration in Sterling Heights.

Hull also noted the desire to maintain the four-car full-time fleet for what would be a fifth time in six seasons, dating to 2011. The only exception came in 2013, when Ryan Briscoe was added as a fourth car for the Indianapolis 500.

“It’s the same as always (for this time of year),” Hull said. “We’re pushing really hard to have four full-time cars on the grid at St. Petersburg, and we hope to have four for the first official preseason test at Phoenix.”

At least one Indy Lights driver from the 2015 season is rumored to be in consideration for that fourth car, alongside the three returning drivers, champion Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball.

Kimball, meanwhile, will have a new engineer for 2016 in the form of Eric Cowdin, Hull confirmed. Brad Goldberg will serve as race engineer for Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 67 Ford GT in IMSA.

Cowdin has spent years working with Kanaan and has recently been on the No. 8 car, driven by Karam. It’s a natural transition to the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, confirming him before the fourth car program is finalized.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images

Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.