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100th Indianapolis 500 team preview: KVSH Racing/KVRT

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MotorSportsTalk looks through the Verizon IndyCar Series grid ahead of the 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Next up is KV Racing, which has three cars entered but under three different entrant names: KVSH Racing, KV Racing Technology and PIRTEK Team Murray.

Three cars with three team names here, for the team co-owned by Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan, which captured the 2013 ‘500 win with Tony Kanaan. Its No. 11 car is traditionally its best bullet at Indy; meanwhile in the other two cars, they have a pair of ‘500 first-timers, nearly identical to last year. One could argue though that Wilson and Brabham are an upgrade over Stefano Coletti and Bryan Clauson.

ENTRIES

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 11 KVSH Racing Chevrolet (Car name TBA; will be updated)
Stefan Wilson-R, No. 25 Driven2SaveLives – KVRT Chevrolet
Matthew Brabham-R, No. 61 PIRTEK Team Murray Chevrolet (KVRT technical alliance)

2016 SEASON SO FAR

It’s been a year of frustration thus far for Bourdais and the No. 11 crew, who’ve been either bloody quick but unlucky, or unlucky and then able to rebound. St. Pete and Barber saw the former occur with Phoenix and Long Beach sandwiched in the middle. Bourdais has been one of the few drivers able to pass with regularity this year and remains a force in working with lead engineer Olivier Boisson.

INDY OUTLOOK

True to form, Bourdais will be the team’s best bet this year at Indy. In rookies Wilson and Brabham, this group has two great story lines based on their family histories, but less-than-likely contenders on race day. For both first-year drivers, the goal is to bank laps, make the finish and shoot for a top-15, perhaps top-10 result. Such a result would put either or both drivers in contention for rookie-of-the-year honors for the month.

RECENT RESULTS 

  • 2015: 11. 11-Bourdais (7; KVSH), 25. 4-Coletti (29; KVRT), 31. 88-Clauson (30, KVSH/Byrd’s)
  • 2014: 7. 11-Bourdais (17; KVSH), 15. 17-Saavedra (32; KV/AFS), 16. 33-Davison (28; KV/AE); 25. 6-Bell (25; KVRT)
  • 2013: 1. 11-Kanaan (12; KVSH), 17. 78-de Silvestro (24; KVRT)
  • 2012: 3. 11-Kanaan (8; KVSH), 11. 8-Barrichello (10; KVRT), 18. 5-Viso (9, KVRT)

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).