The COVID-19 pandemic has seen practically all motorsports series temporarily suspend their operations for the time being, but that hasn’t stopped some individuals from creating their own entertainment.
To kill some time, Pikes Peak International Raceway chief operating officer Joe Garone filmed and commentated a “virtual race” around the 1-mile Colorado oval, utilizing a diagram of the facility and a vintage Martin Truex Jr. No. 78 diecast.
“Green! Green! Green! Here we go!” Garone said as he pushed the miniature car around the diagram and mimicked race car noises.
“The lap is in! Nice job there, driver,” Garone said as he pushed the car across the finish line.
Garone was hired by PPIR in February after a long career in NASCAR. He was most well known for serving as an executive for more than a decade at Furniture Row Racing. When Truex won the 2017 Cup championship for Furniture Row Racing, Garone served as team president and general manager.
PPIR opened in 1997 and previously has hosted the NTT IndyCar Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
The facility includes a 1-mile oval, a 1.3-mile road course, a one-eighth of a mile drag strip and meeting space. Pikes Peak currently plays host to festivals, concerts and performance driving programs.
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Scott Dixon was fastest on the second day of Indy 500 practice Thursday, turning a lap at 226.102 mph in his No. 9 Dallara-Honda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Takuma Sato was second, followed by Marco Andretti, Conor Daly and rookie Alex Palou.
The rest of the top 10 were: Colton Herta, Charlie Kimball, James Hinchcliffe, Fernando Alonso and James Davison.
THURSDAY PRACTICE: Click here for Day 2 speeds at Indianapolis
COMBINED SPEEDS: Click here for the overall speeds from the first two days
The session had one incident as Alonso crashed with just less than an hour left in the session. The Arrow McLaren SP driver was optimistic that the car could be repaired without a backup.
Among the other notables on the speed chart Thursday: Ryan Hunter-Reay (11th); Tony Kanaan (14th); Helio Castroneves (16th); Josef Newgarden (18th); Graham Rahal (19th); Will Power (23rd); Alexander Rossi (26th) and defending race winner Simon Pagenaud (27th).
Felix Rosenqvist (24th) and rookie Dalton Kellett turned the most laps (141) around the 2.5-mile oval.
Teams mostly focused on race setup Thursday as they will receive 80 extra horsepower in the “Fast Friday” practice that will feature speeds above 230 mph for qualifying Saturday and Sunday.
The Indy 500 will take place Aug. 23; coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on NBC with the green flag at 2:30 p.m.
HOW TO WATCH THE INDY 500 ON NBC: Details for the Aug. 23 race
DAILY INDY 500 SCHEDULE: Click here for all on-track activity in August at Indy