A.J. Foyt Racing

Sebastien Bourdais, Dalton Kellett join Tony Kanaan at A.J. Foyt Racing

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Four-time IndyCar champion Sebastien Bourdais and NTT IndyCar Series rookie Dalton Kellet each will run partial schedules for A.J. Foyt Racing this season.

The duo will split the road and street course races in the team’s No. 14 Chevrolet, which Tony Kanaan will drive in the five oval races of the 2020 season as part of his “farewell tour”.

All three divers will be joined by teammate Charlie Kimball, who was recently announced as the full-time driver of No. 4 car this season.

Bourdais will pilot the No. 14 Chevrolet in four races this season, beginning with the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 15. The Frenchman also will join the team at Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach and Portland.

“I am such a lucky man,” said Bourdais, who will also be running a full-time IMSA schedule this year. “Starting my IndyCar career driving for Paul Newman and Carl Haas, and now I get to drive for A.J. Foyt! I am both honored and thankful for the opportunity Larry and his team have provided me with. Staying in the NTT IndyCar series seemed like a long shot back in November. My teammates and I will be working very hard to deliver the results this organization deserves, and I can’t wait for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to come.”

Kellet will make his IndyCar debut at Circuit of the Americas on April 26. He also will compete in both races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, both races in the doubleheader at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park circuit, Road America, Toronto, Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca.

“I am honored to compete in the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series with AJ Foyt Racing,” Kellett said. “This opportunity is truly a dream come true for me, dating back to my days looking up to the drivers in INDYCAR back as a young go-karter. The pedigree and achievements of AJ Foyt Racing are historic in our sport, and I can’t wait to contribute to their ongoing success.”

A graduate of the Road to Indy Program, Kellet finished seventh in the Indy Lights points standings in 2019 driving for Juncos Racing. He also made his debut in IMSA’s Weathertech Sports Car Championship, where he won three class victories and one pole position in the LMP2 division.

“This season, there will be plenty to learn including the exciting challenge of adapting to an all-new car for me. Luckily, I am fortunate to be partnered with three series veterans in Kanaan, Kimball, and Bourdais. I’m looking forward to working with them and learning from their combined experience to grow as a driver.”

Team President Larry Foyt said the additions of Bourdais and Kellett will bring positive change to the team, which has struggled over the last several years. The team hasn’t won since Long Beach in 2013 with Takuma Sato.

“There will be many familiar faces in the Foyt garages this season, but there will be some new faces as well,” Foyt said. “Coming off a season we were disappointed with, changes were inevitable. I believe adding a multitime champion like Sebastien Bourdais to our team will help us as we regroup and work to regain a competitive position.

“Being able to retain Indy 500 champion Tony Kanaan is another source of excitement and will serve to push our oval program to a place where we can fight for victories. Dalton Kellett is a young driver who is intelligent and motivated, and with the experience around him, we feel he has the potential to show great things. Altogether, the 14 car has an intriguing lineup, and I’m excited to see how it plays out.”

Bourdais, Kellett and Kimball will participate in INDYCAR’s open test session Feb. 11-12 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

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Attention NASCAR teams: IMSA drivers available for Daytona!

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NASCAR will be making its debut on the Daytona International Speedway road course next month, and there’s a big fan who’d like to join the historic weekend.

This fan actually has impressive credentials, too — a few thousand laps around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile layout that annually plays host to the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

In 2014, the winning GTLM team in the sports car endurance classic included IMSA Porsche driver Nick Tandy, who rabidly has followed NASCAR for more than 30 years since growing up in England.

So why not try racing NASCAR? Especially because Tandy has the weekend of Aug. 14-16 free.

He’s not picky, either — offering up his services on Twitter (as well as those of Porsche teammate Earl Bamber) for an ARCA, Xfinity, trucks or Cup ride.

Tandy’s affinity for American stock-car racing runs deep.

His first trip to the World Center of Racing was as a fan attending the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2008. During Rolex testing in January, Tandy, 35, said he hadn’t missed a Cup race on TV in 15 years.

Among his favorite NASCAR drivers: the Earnhardts, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch. When IMSA ran the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2014, Tandy stayed a few extra days at the Brickyard and bought Kyle Busch gear for himself and his children.

He briefly took the stage during a NASCAR weekend last October. After IMSA’s season finale at Road Atlanta, Tandy made a few demonstration laps and a burnout in his No. 911 Porsche before the Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.

He also has some experience in stock cars, having raced Modified-type grass-roots series on England’s quarter-mile short tracks.

Couple that with a Daytona road course record that includes two consecutive podium class finishes (including last Saturday) and a sports car resume with 13 IMSA victories and an overall win in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans … and maybe a NASCAR team should take a look.

And Tandy isn’t the only IMSA driver who likely would be available.

Corvette driver Jordan Taylor, who won the 2017 Rolex 24 overall title with Jeff Gordon as a teammate (and the inspiration for his Rodney Sandstrom persona), also tweeted his availability for the weekend on the high banks.

Sports car veteran Andy Lally, a GTD driver with multiple class wins in the Rolex 24 as well as 38 Cup starts (he was the 2011 rookie of the season in NASCAR’s premier series), also hung out his shingle.

There also is AIM Vasser Sullivan’s Jack Hawksworth (who just won at Daytona last Saturday), the Englishman who teamed with Kyle Busch at the Rolex 24 in January and made an Xfinity start at Mid-Ohio last year with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Many sports car drivers (such as Taylor) already live in Florida, and many are hunkering down in the Sunshine State with IMSA returning to action at Daytona last week and Sebring International Raceway next week. Because of COVID-19-related travel concerns and restrictions, several IMSA stars who live outside the country are riding out the pandemic within a few hours of Daytona with nothing to do.

Why not a weekend at the World Center of Racing?

Over the years, scads of “road-course ringers” (including some Formula One veterans) have tried their hands in stock cars at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International.

How about considering the many sports car drivers who already have reached victory lane at Daytona by making a few right-hand turns, too?