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Sean Rayhall makes Indy Lights return with Pelfrey in Monterey

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Sean Rayhall won twice in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires last year and also made the podium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca; he’ll have an opportunity to repeat the Mazda Raceway feat this weekend.

The talented 21-year-old Georgia native will step back into the second Team Pelfrey Dallara IL-15 Mazda, essentially with the same team and personnel he worked with last year when it was 8Star Motorsports. This was also a track where Rayhall starred in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2014, in an 8Star Prototype Challenge class car.

Rayhall adds an Indy Lights car to his diverse range of machinery he’s driven this year, which has also included the DeltaWing prototype, a Starworks Motorsport PC car, a Graff Ligier JS P3 LMP3 car in Europe and, most outside the box, a 360 winged sprint at Plymouth Speedway outside of Road America.

“I am extremely excited to return to Indy Lights this time with Team Pelfrey IL even though it’s the same group of guys,” Rayhall said.

“It’s been a busy year for me and I am blessed to add this [Indy] Lights weekend to the schedule. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has always been a great place for me as a driver and I hope to deliver a good result for Dale [Pelfrey] and the rest of the team.”

Team manager Gary Neal expanded on the team running two cars for the first time since Toronto, the last weekend for Juan Piedrahita then alongside Garett Grist. Grist continues once again but has run as a solo act at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Watkins Glen International.

“We are excited to work with Sean again as we have had two seasons together at 8Star Motorsports and with the help of our engineer, Yves Touron we achieved several wins and many podium finishes,” Neal said. “It will be very beneficial having two cars and being able to compare notes from both drivers and to find good setup for the final two races.”

IndyCar will eliminate double points from the 2020 season finale

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Though the NTT IndyCar Series hasn’t confirmed the date of its 2020 season finale, it has determined that double points won’t be in play.

An IndyCar official confirmed Monday to NBCSports.com that whether the season ends at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, or on the streets of St. Petersburg, neither race will feature double points. Team owners were informed of the change during a conference call last week.

The news was first reported by RACER.com.

With the original 17-race schedule having been shortened by the cancellation of at least three races (Circuit of The Americas, Barber Motorsports Park, the Long Beach Grand Prix), using double points in the finale would have carried even greater weight (and perhaps more so if more races are unable to be run because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has been using double points at select races since the 2015 season. The 104th Indianapolis 500 will remain a double-points event.

In rescheduling the Indy 500 to Aug. 23 last week, IndyCar unveiled a revised schedule that listed Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as TBD for its season finale. The race originally had been scheduled to open the season before being called off because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

IndyCar CEO Mark Miles told reporters last week that St. Pete probably would be slotted into the first two weeks October after the Sept. 20 race at Laguna Seca that had been slated to be the season finale for the second consecutive year.