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IndyCar: Some Honda entries won’t test today at Texas

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So, there’s a Verizon IndyCar Series open test today at Texas Motor Speedway but, there’s been some news this morning that may have overshadowed it.

What was meant to be an all-22 car test at TMS on the reprofiled track – listed by INDYCAR at 1.455 miles (even though TMS President Eddie Gossage said on Twitter this will be corrected) – will feature fewer cars than that after some Honda teams have scaled back.

The release from INDYCAR with the details:

INDYCAR confirmed today that several Honda-powered entries will not participate in the Verizon IndyCar Series open test today at Texas Motor Speedway.

The entries in question arrived at the 1.455-mile oval track mounted with higher-mileage engines, and officials decided to take a cautious approach.

INDYCAR released an entry list with 22 cars scheduled to participate in the test to gather data on the track’s new surface and configuration, with plans for cars to run in groups during parts of the day to help set appropriate downforce levels for the Rainguard Water Sealers 600 race weekend June 9-10.

The action includes the full-season entries designated for Mikhail Aleshin, Max Chilton, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Sebastien Bourdais, rookie Ed Jones and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Others may be identified in technical inspection prior to the test beginning.

Test sessions are scheduled for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. ET today. A live video stream and timing and scoring will be available at RaceControl.IndyCar.com.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”