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IndyCar 2016 team preview: KVSH Racing

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NBC Sports takes a look through the teams competing in the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series. KVSH Racing has been a solid mid-level force for more than a decade and an Indianapolis 500-winning outfit; could this be the year they follow through on the hopes of two of its co-owners and actually contend for a title?

Team: KVSH Racing (No. 11), PIRTEK Team Murray (No. 61)
Engine/aero kits: Chevrolet
Sponsors: HYDROXYCUT, Mouser, Geico, American Racing Wheels (No. 11), PIRTEK, Chris Kyle Frog Foundation (No. 61)

2015 STATS

Races: 16
Wins: 2 (Bourdais 2)
Podiums: 2 (Bourdais 2)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 2 (Bourdais 1, Coletti 1)
Points: 619 (Bourdais 406, Coletti 203, Clauson 10)
Laps Led: 145 (Bourdais 145)
Championship Position: 10th (Bourdais), 19th (Coletti), 39th (Clauson)

2016 LINEUP (Engineer in parentheses)

11 Sebastien Bourdais (Olivier Boisson)
61 Matthew Brabham (TBC)

2015 RECAP (Bourdais, Coletti driver recaps)

Sebastien Bourdais enjoyed another typical season since he’s been back in North America, where he frequently overachieved on occasion but lacked the week-to-week consistency to mount a serious title challenge. His win at Milwaukee was one of the most impressive oval victories in recent years, while a strategy gamble at Detroit race two paid dividends. The second car was again a disappointment, with rookie Stefano Coletti finding the wall seemingly more often than the finishing line in a highly underwhelming season.

2016 OUTLOOK

The KVSH team led by Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan has the potential to deliver an RLL-in-2015 type season, where with a reduced, single-car focus there could be better overall consistency. Bourdais and engineer Olivier Boisson work well together and will seek to deliver results up against the mights of the four-car powerhouse organizations, although Bourdais admitted the team was inadvertently hampered as the commercial deals for the year got finalized late. Still, wins are likely, and a top-five championship finish is a realistic target. The only second car planned at the moment is the PIRTEK Team Murray entry for Matthew Brabham in the month of May.

NBCSN will present ‘Race and Sports in America: Conversations’ Monday

NBCSN
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With motor racing reckoning with its own issues of diversity and equality, “Race and Sports in America: Conversations” will tackle the topics of social justice with several athletes. The show will air at 8 p.m. ET Monday, July 13 on NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic channel and on regional sports networks.

The roundtable discussions will be hosted by Damon Hack and feature Charles Barkley, Steph Curry, Jimmy Rollins and Ozzie Smith in one segment. The other segment will include Kyle Rudolph, Anthony Lynn, Troy Mullins and James Blake.

Race has been a major topic in motorsports this year.

NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at its race after lobbying by Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in the premier Cup Series. In Formula One, six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton has joined Black Lives Matter marches in London and also formed a panel on diversity. The lone Black driver in F1 also led 14 of 20 drivers taking a knee before the season opener in Austria.