Image courtesy Gateway Motorsports Park

UPDATE: Here’s revised schedule for today’s IndyCar practices, qualifying at Gateway

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UPDATED (6:33 p.m.): IndyCar officials have decided to forego qualifying tonight due to rain, per a tweet from the series.

As a result, the starting grid for Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Gateway Motorsports Park will be set by entrant points in the Verizon IndyCar Series point standings.

That means series points leader Scott Dixon will start Saturday’s race from the pole, with No. 2 in the points, Alexander Rossi, on the outside pole.

However, IndyCar officials are still hoping to get in one other practice session tonight if the weather breaks. As such, what was originally scheduled to be a one-hour practice session from 9 to 10 p.m. ET is now scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. ET and go to 10 p.m. ET.

UPDATE (2:40 p.m. ET): Track drying continues at Gateway Motorsports Park, east of St. Louis, after rain delayed the first IndyCar practice this afternoon.

According to an update from IndyCar, the first practice will now be held from 4 to 5 p.m. ET, qualifying will take place 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET and the second and final practice will take place from 9 to 10 p.m. ET.

However, rain is in the forecast for the area, particularly early this evening. We’ll keep you up to date on any weather-related changes, if necessary.

ORIGINAL STORY

Friday has started out in a soggy fashion at Gateway Motorsports Park, just east of St. Louis.

The opening practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series, slated to begin at 1:15 p.m. ET, has been delayed due to rain.

However, efforts to dry the track have begun, according to IndyCar officials.

Qualifying for Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 is scheduled later this afternoon at 5:15 p.m. ET, while the second and final practice session of the weekend is slated to go off at 9 p.m. ET.

We’ll keep you up to date on the latest developments. Please check back regularly.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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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.”