Danica Patrick explains the complicated steering wheel used by IndyCar drivers

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During Carb Day practice for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, NBC Sports analyst and former IndyCar driver Danica Patrick had the chance to show viewers on NBCSN an up and close view of one of the complex steering wheels that IndyCar drivers use to pilot their cars.

THE 103RD INDIANAPOLIS 500: Click here for how to watch, full daily schedule

Holding a steering wheel used by Max Chilton, Patrick explained to viewers what many of the buttons and levers on the wheel were used for, and compared the steering wheel to the controls of a fighter jet. The overall setup of each steering wheel can vary from team to team to fit driver preferences.

Patrick mentioned that when she returned to the Indy 500 last year after spending several years in NASCAR, she was surprised to see new changes made to the steering wheel since she left the series in 2011.

“The first thing that was shocking to me was that there is no clutch pedal anymore. It’s just a clutch paddle,” Patrick told viewers as she held the steering wheel.

“It really helps to be very familiar with this, if you can memorize it.”

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Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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