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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.

2016 Knoxville Nationals champ Jason Johnson succumbs to injuries from sprint car crash

Photo courtesy Jason Johnson Racing official Facebook page
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Former Knoxville Nationals champion sprint car driver Jason Johnson has died from injuries suffered in a crash Saturday night in a World of Outlaws race at Beaver Dam (Wisconsin) Raceway).

Known as the “Ragin’ Cajun” for his aggressive style of racing, Johnson, 41, passed away this morning, according to an announcement by WoO. He was one of the most respected and well-liked drivers on the circuit by both fellow competitors and fans.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Johnson, a Eunice, Louisiana resident, was racing for the lead in the main event on the one-third-mile clay track with eventual race winner Daryn Pitman, when Johnson crashed on Lap 18 shortly after a restart.

Johnson’s car left the track surface in Turn 3 and flew through at least one billboard adjacent to the racetrack, according to media and witness reports.

It took rescue workers several minutes to extricate Johnson, who was taken by ambulance to a local hospital before being airlifted to Aurora Summit Hospital in Summit, Wisconsin, according to the Journal Sentinel report.

How many will remember Johnson:

Johnson, who won the 2016 Knoxville Nationals – the sport’s biggest race – in Iowa in storybook fashion, had been a primarily part-time racer on various sprint car circuits from 1998 until he went full-time on the Outlaws series, capturing Rookie of the Year honors in 2015.

MORE: Knoxville win should be big boost to Jason Johnson’s season, career

Johnson had 12 wins on the Outlaws circuit, including two victories this season.

The Journal Sentinel also posted a statement from SLS Promotions, which promoted Saturday’s race:

“Everyone at SLS Promotions offers our deepest, most sincere thoughts, prayers and condolences to Bobbi Johnson (Jason’s wife), Jaxx Johnson (the couple’s son) and the entire Johnson family and JJR Racing team.

“Jason was a great competitor and true ambassador for the sport. It was an honor and a privilege to work with him during his time on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series trail. Jason will never be forgotten”

Other notables also commented on his death on social media:

According to the Journal Sentinel, Johnson is the second driver in four years to die at the small track northwest of Milwaukee. In September 2014, Scott Semmelann, 47, was killed there while practicing for an Interstate Racing Association event.

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