IndyCar

Demelo named to replace Fittipaldi for Indy 500 bid, passes orientation test

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Tuesday was one of the most memorable days of rookie IndyCar driver Zachary Claman Demelo’s racing career.

In the morning, the Canadian native was named by Dale Coyne Racing to replace the injured Pietro Fittipaldi in the No. 19 Paysafe Honda in its bid to make the May 27th 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Fittipaldi suffered a fractured left leg May 4 at Spa in Belgium and will be sidelined for at least eight weeks.

Then in the afternoon, Demelo easily passed his final rookie orientation test for the 500, with the fastest speed of his group (220.852 mph). This is the first oval that Demelo will compete upon in his IndyCar career (although he finished sixth at IMS in last year’s Indy Lights race there).

Now, Demelo – who finished 12th in Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix – will bid to become one of the 33 drivers to make the final 500 race field in this weekend’s qualifying. Two of the 35 drivers that will attempt to qualify will not make the race.

“Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an iconic venue and I’m extremely fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to drive here,” Demelo said after Tuesday morning’s announcement. “It’s unfortunate that it’s under these circumstances with Pietro’s injuries, so I realize how lucky I am to have this chance.”

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.