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Piedrahita confirmed as Team Pelfrey’s first Indy Lights driver

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Juan Piedrahita will return to the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series for a third season, now with Team Pelfrey for the team’s maiden voyage in its first full season.

The 23-year-old Colombian will also be with his third different team in as many years.

“Team Pelfrey has a rich history in fielding great Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires cars,” Piedrahita said. “When I found out they would have an Indy Lights team, I knew they were going to be a top contender.”

Piedrahita ran in 2014 with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and in 2015 with Belardi Auto Racing. He scored his first career podium finish at the Milwaukee Mile last year, when he finished third.

In 30 career starts, Piedrahita has four top-five finishes. He’s also spent a couple years in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires so he’s been a longtime staple of the Mazda Road to Indy.

Pawco, a company that makes innovative pet products in the United States, and Petrosur are the two major sponsors for Piedrahita.

“I’m very excited to have Pawco as a new partner for this season. I am happy to carry their paw logo on the car and join them in dog adoption campaigns. We also have Petrosur as a partner for one more year. They have been backing my career for more than ten years, and I am very grateful to have them one more year.”

For more information on Team Pelfrey’s hopes and insight into the Gary Neal-led, Dale Pelfrey-owned team, check out a feature on the team from last month.

Here’s the confirmed Indy Lights lineup as it stands:

  • Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (2): RC Enerson, Santiago Urrutia
  • Andretti Autosport (2): Shelby Blackstock, Dalton Kellett
  • Carlin (3): Ed Jones, Felix Serralles, Neil Alberico
  • Juncos Racing (2): Kyle Kaiser, Zachary Claman Demelo
  • Belardi Auto Racing (1): Zach Veach
  • Team Pelfrey (1): Juan Piedrahita

Figure Schmidt will add two more cars, Belardi one more car, with Andretti and/or Carlin with the potential to add one more to their already announced drivers. Pelfrey may also add a second car.

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).