The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires field was expected to grow by one to 15 cars for Iowa Speedway, as Belardi Auto Racing was set to field Chad Boat for his series debut.
But the short track veteran and sometimes stock car driver has been ruled out in advance, not medically cleared, as initially reported by Trackside Online. It pushes his debut back to Gateway Motorsports Park next month.
The team’s release is below.
As reported in the motorsports media, Belardi Auto Racing can confirm that driver Chad Boat, who was set to make his Indy Lights debut this weekend at Iowa Speedway, has not been medically cleared to race in the Mazda Iowa 100 Presented by Cooper Tires due to injuries sustained during a National USAC midget race on Sunday, July 2.
“To say I’m disappointed doesn’t begin to describe how I’m feeling right now, but I trust the doctors and medical staff at INDYCAR and know they have my best interest in mind,” said Boat. “I’ll continue to follow the instructions I’m receiving for recovery and look forward to being back soon. Thanks to Pristine Auction and Belardi Auto Racing for the opportunity.”
Boat was evaluated at Iowa Speedway’s medical center on Friday morning where INDYCAR’s medical staff made the official call.
“We’re all extremely disheartened that Chad won’t be able to run the #84 with us this weekend, but we remain excited and positive about the future based on his pace in last week’s test,” added Brian Belardi, Team Owner. “We’ll have him back with the team at Gateway in August and we’ll keep looking to the future.”
The 25-year-old will be back with the team at Gateway Motorsports Park in the No. 84 Pristine Auction Dallara IL-15 on August 26. Indy Lights fans can use the time to get up-to-speed on the quick Cornelius, NC driver by following Boat on Twitter at @ChadBoat for all racing updates.
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.