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Australian James Davison uninjured as car hits wall hard at Indy

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For the second straight day of practice for the Indianapolis 500, a car made contact with the outside wall at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This time, James Davison, who has struggled to gain and keep consistent speed, lost control of his car coming out of Turn 2, spun and hit the wall hard on the left side.

Davison extricated himself out of the car and walked under his own power to the waiting rescue squad to take him to the infield medical center.

“I felt absolutely nothing and then I was backwards,” Davison said after being medically cleared and released. “That was definitely a new experience for me here at Indy or driving on ovals, in general.

“I guess I became one of the drivers to slam the wall at Indianapolis, so I joined the club today. It’s not ideal, but we had to try some things. We were 32nd quickest, right on the bubble, and we’re not going to go faster just looking at it.

“We’ll regroup, see what we can pull out of the bag tomorrow and give it everything again.”

Davison had just ran a lap of 224.405 mph in his No. 33 Foyt with Byrd/Hollinger/Belardi Chevrolet prior to the incident. His car suffered extensive left side damage and it’s unclear if he’ll have to go to a backup car for Saturday’s and Sunday’s qualifying sessions.

“It’s just too early for me to tell,” Davison said. “From the damage I saw, I didn’t see the tub was hurt. I think the biggest thing you hope for is the gear box isn’t (damaged), because generally the back-up stuff isn’t going to be as good or fast. We’ll just have to have a look and go from there.”

The 31-year-old Australian has competed in the last three Indy 500s, finishing 16th in 2014, 27th in 2015 and 20th last year, filling in for Sebastien Bourdais, who broke his hip and pelvis during qualifying for last year’s race.

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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.”