NBCSN’s Kevin Lee hosts first annual kart event for charity

Auction items. Photos courtesy Kevin Lee
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The Verizon IndyCar Series season starts next week in St. Petersburg and the first race on NBCSN will follow on April 2 at Phoenix.

In the build-up to the new season, though, NBCSN pit reporter Kevin Lee is putting together a great new event for charity, the first “Kevin Lee Grand Prix” in partnership with Fastimes Indoor Karting in Indianapolis.

Here’s more information about the event and the charity raising efforts:

KLee GP

Fastimes Indoor Karting in Indianapolis and 93.5/1070 The Fan radio are teaming up to present “The Kevin Lee Grand Prix,” on Tuesday, March 8, from 6-10 p.m. ET. The event will raise money for children’s cancer research with funds going to The Caroline Symmes Cancer Endowment at Riley Hospital for Children.

“The Kevin Lee Grand Prix” is also in honor of Ben Burchard, a 12-year-old quarter midget racer from Brownsburg, Indiana, who recently lost his battle to Osteosarcoma.

Lee is a pit reporter on NBCSN’s IndyCar coverage and the host of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and Mazda Road to Indy shows on NBCSN and also co-hosts “Trackside” – a weekly IndyCar radio show with Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star on 93.5/1070 The Fan in Indianapolis. A live edition of the radio show will originate from the event from 7-9 pm.

Tickets are available at this Eventbrite link.

A $50 donation includes at least one kart race including at least one professional driver or Indianapolis-area celebrity, along with food, drink and access to the event. A $25 donation is good for everything except a race.  The first 80 to register also receive an event T-shirt. Donations are also welcome. There will also be a silent auction with racing and sporting memorabilia and experiences.

For more information contact: Bryan Puckett, Fastimes – bryan@ftik.com or 317-566-0066.


Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III