IndyCar stars take in NASCAR finale in Miami

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The Verizon IndyCar Series is off until March 2018 but as has been the case in recent years, Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway witnessed a good contingent of IndyCar regulars on site at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season finale.

As NBC Sports NASCAR and IndyCar pit reporter Marty Snider noted on Twitter, it marked a great opportunity to do some advance prep work for the 2018 season!

Here’s a look at who was on site.

THE CHAMP IS HERE

This year’s IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden continued his hectic postseason tour of events, and added the NASCAR finale to his appearance at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas last month. Newgarden, who won the title in his No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, was seeing if Brad Keselowski could take his No. 2 Miller Lite Ford to his second title (2012).

Newgarden also stopped to record an episode of the NASCAR on NBC podcast with Nate Ryan. That will be released in the coming days.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts by clicking here or visiting the www.ApplePodcasts.com/nascaronnbc landing page. It also is available for subscription on Stitcher or by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

HELIO JOINS THE PENSKE PARTY

He won’t be a full-time IndyCar driver anymore, but Helio Castroneves seems set for lifetime membership in the Team Penske alumni roster after 18 seasons (and 20 overall). Castroneves, who shifts to Acura Team Penske in 2018 in IMSA, was on-site throughout the weekend as well.

Castroneves had the opportunity to reunite with his old IndyCar teammate Sam Hornish Jr., whose second place finish in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race in the No. 22 REV Group Ford netted Penske the Xfinity owner’s championship.

He then had a chance to join now fellow one-off participant in the 2018 Indianapolis 500, Danica Patrick, pre-grid on Sunday. Patrick’s pass of Castroneves late in the race at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan, in April 2008 netted Patrick her only IndyCar victory.

ANDRETTI, ROSSI MAKE THE PILGRIMAGE

Andretti Autosport teammates Marco Andretti and Alexander Rossi were also on site. Both have taken in NASCAR races before, Andretti having been to Miami in past years and Rossi at the Brickyard 400 and Watkins Glen International.

Andretti then posted a photo with himself, Rossi, Conor Daly and seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson late Sunday night.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbsTlYIlRlf/?taken-by=alexanderrossi

DALY DOES IT FOR DALE, MUNOZ MAKES MAIDEN NASCAR MEMORIES

Conor Daly has never been accused of not being patriotic and not representing ‘Merica well. So it only stood to reason that Daly would make a last-minute decision to leave Nashville to go to Miami and make it there for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s last race.

This follows a somewhat similar – albeit more planned out – voyage Daly’s friend Daniel Ricciardo did to Texas Motor Speedway a couple weeks ago to watch Earnhardt’s last race there.

Once on site, Daly got the appropriate Dale Jr. attire and soaked up the atmosphere, which you can see below. He also reunited with fellow Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires champion and alumnus Michael McDowell to watch McDowell’s final start in the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet.

Daly’s fellow 2017 A.J. Foyt Enterprises teammate, Carlos Munoz, was also on site for his first NASCAR experience. Munoz lives in Miami and just wrapped his fourth full-time IndyCar campaign, and fifth overall dating back to 2013.

Neither of these two drivers has a ride for 2018 in IndyCar, both somewhat unceremoniously jettisoned from Foyt after a single season. But high on experience and potential, they’re both working to land rides for future IndyCar races in 2018 (a projected grid outlook is here at the moment).

MR. JONES CONTINUES HIS GANASSI INTEGRATION

Newly signed Chip Ganassi Racing driver Ed Jones got a chance to experience the atmosphere with Ganassi’s NASCAR operation for the weekend, and also dropped the hint he’d love to try a NASCAR race himself if given the opportunity. The Dubai-based Brit has made his U.S. residence in Miami since arriving in 2015.

OTHERS CHIME IN

Beyond those on site, a handful of other IndyCar regulars chimed in on the race and Martin Truex Jr.’s popular first championship victory for the small Furniture Row Racing team based in Denver.

World of Outlaws release 2023 Sprint Car Series schedule

2023 Outlaws Sprint schedule
World of Outlaws
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The 2023 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series schedule features 87 races, almost identical to the last year’s number, to be contested at 36 venues across 19 states. With cancelations for mostly weather, they closed out this year’s calendar on November 5 with 69 events in the books. Carson Macedo won a series high 11 races.

In 2022, David Gravel chased Brad Sweet into the three-race finale on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in one of the most hotly contested championships in Outlaws history. Sweet emerged victorious for the fourth straight year.

For the 19th consecutive season, the Outlaws Sprints will begin their season at Volusia Speedway Park for the DIRTcar Nationals from Feb. 9-11 and will return March 5-6 for another two-day show before hitting the road with a three-track swing into Pennsylvania to take on the Posse.

MORE: 2023 World of Outlaws Late Model Schedule

“Every year we continue to build the best schedule we can for drivers and fans across the country,” said World of Outlaws CEO Brian Carter is a series release. “I’m excited for the journey we’ve put together, which includes the biggest races in Sprint Car racing, our new Spring Swing through Pennsylvania, the thrill of combining the World of Outlaws and ‘Bike Week’ and so much more.”

Some tracks returning from hiatus and one brand new course include 81 Speedway in Park City, Kans. in April and again in October, Tri-City Speedway in Pontoon City, Ill. in April, Ogilvie (Minn.) Raceway in June and BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Penn.

BAPS hosts its first race in more than 30 years when the track was known as Susquehanna Speedway. This midweek show will give the local Pennsylvania Posse 14 attempts to beat the traveling Outlaws.

Ogilvie Speedway is completely new to the series and makes it the 224th different venue they will have challenged.

MORE: Brad Sweet protects his place in history

Notably missing from the calendar are Vado (N.M.) Speedway Park, Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige, Texas, Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

In addition to the new spring Pennsylvania Swing, the second date at Volusia Speedway will coincide with Daytona Beach’s Bike Week and bring new eyes to the sport.

Knoxville Raceway adds another multi-night show to the calendar in April, giving this track eight sanctioned events in 2023.

And of course, there are plenty of mainstays and high dollar events, such as the Memorial Day Spectacular at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, the 35th running of the Brad Doty Classic in July and the Labor Day Spectacular at Gray’s Harbor in Elma, Wash.

Several big paydays are on the line in 2023 including the 40th annual Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio paying $175,000 to the winner, the Huset’s High Bank Nationals’ $250,000-to-win finale and the grandaddy of them all, the 62nd Knoxville Nationals with a total purse exceeding $1 million.

2023 Outlaws Sprint Schedule

Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 9-11 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)

Sunday-Monday, March 5-6 – Volusia Speedway Park (Barberville, FL)
Friday-Saturday, March 10-11 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, March 17 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday, March 18 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday, March 24 – Talladega Short Track (Eastaboga, AL)
Saturday, March 25 – Magnolia Motor Speedway (Columbus, MS)
Friday, March 31-Saturday, April 1 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX)

Friday, April 7 – US-36 Raceway (Osborn, MO)
Saturday, April 8 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, April 14-15 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Friday-Saturday, April 21-22 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday, April 28 – Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
Saturday, April 29 – Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)

Friday-Saturday, May 5-6 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, May 10 – Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA)
Friday-Saturday, May 12-13 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Friday, May 19 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Saturday, May 20 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, May 26-27 – Atomic Speedway (Chillicothe, OH)
Monday, May 29 – Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)

Friday, June 2 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, June 3 – Ogilvie Raceway (Ogilvie, MN)
Friday-Saturday, June 9-10 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Friday-Saturday, June 16-17 – Beaver Dam Raceway (Beaver Dam, WI)
Wednesday-Saturday, June 21-24 – Huset’s Speedway (Brandon, SD)
Friday, June 30-Saturday, July 1 – Cedar Lake Speedway (New Richmond, WI)

Friday, July 7 – 34 Raceway (West Burlington, IA)
Saturday, July 8 – Wilmot Raceway (Wilmot, WI)
Tuesday, July 11 – Attica Raceway Park (Attica, OH)
Friday-Saturday, July 14-15 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Wednesday, July 19 – BAPS Motor Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Friday-Saturday, July 21-22 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Saturday-Sunday, July 29-30 – Weedsport Speedway (Weedsport, NY)

Friday-Saturday, Aug. 4-5 – Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
Wednesday-Saturday, Aug. 9-12 – Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 17-19 – Jackson Motorplex (Jackson, MN)
Friday, Aug. 25 – River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks, ND)
Saturday, Aug. 26 – Red River Valley Speedway (West Fargo, ND)
Thursday, Aug. 31-Saturday, September 2 – Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA)

Monday, Sept. 4 – Grays Harbor Raceway (Elma, WA)
Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 7-9 – Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA)
Friday, Sept. 15 – Keller Auto Speedway (Hanford, CA)
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Placerville Speedway (Placerville, CA)
Friday, Sept. 22 – Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Saturday, Sept. 23 – Sharon Speedway (Hartford, OH)
Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30 – Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7 – Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Friday, Oct. 13 – 81 Speedway (Park City, KS)
Saturday, Oct. 14 – Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 20-21 – TBA

Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 1-4 – The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC)