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Joe Garone joins Pikes Peak International Raceway as COO

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Former Furniture Row Racing president and general manager Joe Garone has been hired as the chief operating officer at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colorado.

Garone worked for Barney Visser’s NASCAR Cup team for more than a decade until the Denver-based No. 78 shut down after the 2018 season. Last year, Garone was the president of Spire Motorsports’s No. 77 team, which won a rain-shortened race at Daytona International Speedway with Justin Haley.

According to a release from the track, Garone “will continue his relationship with Spire Sports & Entertainment to obtain sponsorship for both Spire and PPIR events and programs.” The Denver native will be focused on expanding PPIR’s business “with music and motorsports-style festivals.”

Garone also will bring the Falci Adaptive Motorsports to a new year-round home at the track. The program, which helps paraplegic, quadriplegic and disabled individuals drive Cup cars without hands and feet, had received race cars from Visser and Furniture Row Racing.

“I’m beyond excited to return to Colorado and play a key role in enhancing the unique events already taking place at Pikes Peak International Raceway,” Garone said in a release. “Our goal is to build a strong foundation that will allow us to entice even larger talent to provide world-class entertainment for our audiences.”

Garone is the second key member of Furniture Row Racing’s 2017 championship team to make a recent move. In December, Cole Pearn, the crew chief for Martin Truex Jr., announced he was leaving NASCAR and his job at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Pikes Peak International Raceway, which includes a 1-mile oval, a 1.3-mile road course, a one-eighth of a mile drag strip and meeting space, once was the site of NASCAR and IndyCar races. The facility currently plays host to festivals, concerts and performance driving programs.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.