Photo courtesy of IMSA

Scott Pruett hails Action Express setup, car at Sebring

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SEBRING, Fla. – Scott Pruett is one of the greatest sports car drivers of his generation, so when he speaks volumes about a team’s setup and engineering, it is worth taking extra note.

Pruett, who this week shifts to Action Express Racing’s No. 31 Whelen Engineering/Team Fox Corvette DP he’ll share with Dane Cameron and Eric Curran, said that the Action Express setup at Sebring International Raceway is unlike any other car he’s driven at this track.

“These guys killed it last year,” said Pruett, who raced for Chip Ganassi Racing last year and finished fourth co-driving with Joey Hand and Scott Dixon in a Riley-Ford.

“There are certain setups that teams develop that match a track really well.

“What they’ve developed here, is a rock star here. I’ve never driven a car this good here, ever.

“It’s just, you can drive it anywhere. It goes fast. Like yesterday I ddi my fastest lap with 25 laps on the tires and we were P1. It was magic.”

With Dane Cameron leading Friday morning’s fourth practice session – the last for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship before qualifying for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida – it means Action Express has completed a four-session sweep at the top of the timesheets.

Pruett, who raced the team’s No. 5 Mustang Sampling Corvette DP at the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque, is on standby for the No. 5 car this week.

Barbosa sustained a wrist injury in a rare, random hoverboard accident but is all good to go this week with his family on site.

“I’m on standby there,” Pruett said. “With Joao having hurt his wrist, because I drove the car at Daytona, I can get in and out of the car if needed. It’s more we wait and see how’s the wrist, and how is he feeling.

“I’ll be on standby if need be, but primarily in the 31.”

The No. 5 car won this race last year courtesy of storming drives from Barbosa, Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais.

This is Pruett’s last scheduled start with Action Express before the F Performance Racing program debuts later this year, likely at Detroit, with the new Lexus RC F GT3 he’ll share with Sage Karam in the GT Daytona class.

Pruett said testing should intensify on that program in April.

Also of note for Action Express this weekend is a newly announced partnership with SONIC Tools.

“When we made the decision to enter IMSA at the end of 2015, we knew we were going to have the opportunity to partner with some of the best race teams in the world. We believe that Action Express Racing has certainly demonstrated that over the past couple of seasons and we’re excited that they’ll be using our tools in their pursuit for a third championship”, said SONIC Tools’ Chief Marketing Officer, Colby McConnell.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.