Photo: Andersen Promotions

Banner weekend for Juncos Racing as new shop opens; Kaiser re-signs

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Ricardo Juncos’ story of coming from Argentina to the U.S. and building a team from scratch, from karting initially through the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, is one of the best in North America. It’s been a 20-year-odd process.

This weekend, Juncos Racing moved from its old shop in Brownsburg to a new one in Speedway, Ind., with the grand opening held Friday night. This took three years of planning and 10 months of construction to move into the brand-new, 40,000 square foot facility at 4401 Gilman St.

The team first announced their plans to relocate and build this new facility in May of 2015 in conjunction with the Speedway Redevelopment Commission. The extensive project broke ground in January of 2016 on the corner of Gilman Street and Allison Way and finished on time in early November.

“This is a dream come true for us at Juncos Racing,” said Juncos. “This facility shows where we came from, where we are, and where we hope to go in the future. I left Argentina in 2002 due to the huge financial crisis the country was in and came to the United States. I had $400 in my pocket and no clear direction of where my career in racing would go.  To think that we would one day be moving into our own first class facility was not even a vision.

“However, two years ago the idea of this building became a reality and now here we are. We’re very excited to welcome everyone to our open house this Friday to showcase the future of Juncos Racing. I would like to thank the Town of Speedway, Speedway Redevelopment Commission, Tim McGovern (McGovern Construction), Scott Perkins (Blackline Studios), Dale Kruse (Kruse Consulting), Don Spencer (Spencer Engineering), the team and drivers, and my family for their incredible support this past year in making this opportunity possible.”

The 40,000 square foot building hosts multiple office spaces, eight car bays, a paint booth, simulator room, and machine shop along with parking for multiple transporters.

Additionally, this wasn’t the only bit of Juncos news confirmed over the weekend. Kyle Kaiser will be back with the team for a third season in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. He’s the team’s second confirmed driver along with rookie Nico Dapero, and should be a championship contender.

“Ricardo (Juncos) is an extremely passionate and dedicated team owner, and it has been a privilege to drive for him the past three years,” Kaiser said. “The work ethic from everyone in the team has made Juncos competitive every race weekend, and I’m thrilled to be returning for another year. It’s great to be working with a group of guys that I know so well and can trust to do everything it takes to win a championship.”

Photos and videos from the shop grand opening as posted on social media are below:

Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew ready for IndyCar ride

Road to Indy
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Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew has done nothing but dominate the 2019 season, winning seven of the 16 races run so far and finishing on the podium in all but two of those events.

Now all the 22-year-old Floridian needs to do to formally clinch the 2019 title is simply start the final two races of the season, both of which will be held this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

For Askew, his maiden Indy Lights season will likely be one he’ll never forget. 

“It’s been a dream come true,” Askew told NBC Sports. “Being with the championship-winning team from last year, we had a really good shot at winning it again for Andretti Autosport. It’s very rare that we show up to a track and struggle to find speed. 

“That’s a fantastic feeling, especially as a driver. That gave me a lot of confidence and hopes of holding the million dollar check at the end of the year. That was the goal going into it.”

This weekend, Askew will accomplish said goal. The championship will not only bring him a sense of pride, but also the opportunity of a lifetime. 

As an award for being crowned the Indy Lights champion, Askew will be awarded a scholarship that guarantees him entry into a minimum of three NTT IndyCar Series events next year – including the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Time will only tell which team Askew will race for in IndyCar next season, and whether or not Askew’s rookie campaign will be a full-time or part-time affair, but Askew’s performance during the last few seasons in the Road to Indy system has certainly drawn attention of IndyCar’s top team owners.

In August, Askew had the chance to drive an Indy car for the first time in his career during a test session at Portland International Raceway, driving the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda usually piloted by Scott Dixon.

“It was an opportunity with Chip Ganassi Racing that I was very fortunate to have,” Askew said. “I think with my experience in the past couple of years with Cape Motorsports and this year with Andretti Autosport, going into that test was very helpful.

“Going into the test, it was more of trying to treat it as just another day at the racetrack, when it really wasn’t. It was a fantastic opportunity for me – a great experience – and I hope I can take that into my rookie season next year in IndyCar.” 

The final two races of the 2019 Indy Lights season will take place this weekend on Saturday, September 21 at 6 p.m. ET and Sunday, September 22 at 12:05 p.m. ET. Both races will air live on NBC Sports Gold.

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