WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway

Five IndyCar teams to test at Laguna Seca in February

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Several IndyCar teams will take part in a full day test at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on February 8, track officials announced.

It will mark the first time Indy cars have been on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile permanent road course in 15 years.

It also will be the first of at least two tests planned at the iconic racing venue. The other test will be Sept. 19, just prior to the season-ending Grand Prix of Monterrey race weekend, Sept. 20-22.

The teams taking part in February’s test include Andretti Autosport, Ed Carpenter Racing, Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing and Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan.

“Laguna Seca is such a cool place and I’m really excited that the IndyCar Series is heading there in 2019,” said Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud, a two-time ALMS winner at Laguna Seca. “With the test in February, we have a lot of work to do to get our car in the right place since it is a totally new place for our team, but it’s an exciting challenge we are ready for.

“I feel like I have a bit of an advantage over the competition having competed and won there in the American Le Mans Series. It’s such a fun California track and I know there’s a lot of buzz around that race as it will serve as the finale next season.”

Laguna Seca has replaced Sonoma Raceway as the host track for the final race of the IndyCar season.

The five teams taking part in the Laguna Seca test will have very little rest afterward, as they will then be headed to Austin, Texas, and Circuit of the Americas for the first time for yet another test Feb. 12-13.

The Feb. 8 test will be open to the public, but there will be a $20 admission fee, which also includes paddock access.

If you’ve already purchased tickets for September’s race, it will only cost $10 to get into the test, while Laguna Seca season ticket holders will be admitted for free.

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Will Power, Roger Penske collect Indy 500 trophies

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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DETROIT (AP) Last year, Will Power finally broke through and won the Indianapolis 500, so he can cross that accomplishment off the list.

Now 37, Power is reaching an age when it’s fair to wonder how much longer he’ll keep at it.

“I’m really enjoying my racing. I’ve never been so motivated. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, mentally on the game,” Power said. “I think once you get to this part of your career, you realize that you’re not going to be doing this forever. So you’ve got to enjoy it and you’ve got to go for it when you’ve got it, because, you know, probably only another five years at maximum, and you’re retired.”

Whenever Power’s career does wind down, his 2018 Indy 500 win will remain a moment to remember. He was in Detroit on Wednesday night with team owner Roger Penske for a ceremony in which they received their “Baby Borg” trophies for winning last year’s race. The Baby Borgs are replicas of the Borg-Warner Trophy that honors the Indy 500 winner.

Power finished second at Indy in 2015, and his victory last year made him the race’s first Australian winner. It was Penske’s 17th Indy 500 win as an owner, part of a banner year for him. Penske also won a NASCAR Cup title with driver Joey Logano.

“When you think about 2018, we had 32 race wins, 35 poles. I think we led almost 5,400 laps, with all the series,” Penske said.

On Wednesday, Penske collected another significant trophy, and he’ll be celebrated again in a couple weeks. He’s being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 1.

“It’s amazing that a guy from the north can get into the Hall of Fame in the south,” Penske joked. “No, it’s special. … NASCAR has helped us build our brand over the years, certainly, with the reputation it has, and the notoriety we get, being a NASCAR team owner.”

Penske’s most recent Indy 500 title came courtesy of Power, who long preferred road courses to ovals but certainly looked comfortable at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year.

“The 500 was one record that he didn’t have, and I think you saw the excitement he and his wife, and the whole team, when he was able to win the race,” Penske said. “He’s probably the best qualifier we’ve ever had, as a road racer, and no question his expertise. He didn’t like ovals to start with, but I think today, he loves racing on ovals.”

Power seems content with all aspects of his racing life at the moment. The aftermath of an Indy 500 victory can be a whirlwind, and it would be understandable for a driver to be weary of it eight months later, but for Power, it’s a new experience.

“I’ve been looking forward to this event for a few months now, to actually get the Baby Borg. You have the face on it – I didn’t realize that, you actually get your own face on it,” Power said. “It makes you realize the significance of the event, when you think about all the things that come with winning the 500.”

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Follow Noah Trister at http://www.Twitter.com/noahtrister