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Robert Wickens gets help needed to rejoin IndyCar’s first iRacing event

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After being scratched from the entry list of IndyCar’s first virtual event Thursday, Robert Wickens now seems to be all set to compete in Saturday’s race at Watkins Glen International.

Wickens had tweeted Thursday evening that the company initially set to provide him with the steering wheel with dual-axis analog paddles and a hydraulic handbrake had backed out and asked if anyone in the Indianapolis area would be able to help.

Fortunately, it appears that several kind members of the racing community arrived to save the day.

As first reported by Robin Miller of RACER, Gary Bettenhausen’s twin sons, Cary and Todd; Jim Leo of Pit Fit; Max Papis; and Steve Fusek and SimXperience all pitched in to provide the necessary equipment for Wickens to race.

Cary, who works at Pit Fit, offered the simulator for Wickens to race on, and Todd is providing hardware to ensure Wickens can use hand controls to race.

Papis is overnighting a steering wheel for Wickens to use, and Fusek loaned the motor to power it.

So long as the equipment is set up and Wickens is ready to race by Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET Saturday, Wickens will be allowed to compete, IndyCar vice president of communications Mike Zizzo confirmed to NBCSports.com.

If Wickens is able to compete online, it will be his first de-facto IndyCar start since he suffered spinal injuries in an Aug. 19, 2018 crash at Pocono Raceway.

Wickens, who has been promised a ride by Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt if he is able to recover and return to racing, has become one of the most popular drivers in IndyCar while documenting his rehabilitation.

Last week, he caused an inspirational stir on Twitter with a video doing 10 pushups alongside his dog, James (on National Puppy Day).

The American Red Cross Grand Prix will be live-streamed on a variety of platforms including IndyCar.com, IndyCar’s YouTube and Facebook as well as iRacing’s Twitch.

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Simon Pagenaud’s engineer relives 2019 Indy 500 victory on Twitter

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The Team Penske engineer for last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner is reliving Simon Pagenaud’s day by tweeting about what he was doing each moment a year later.

Starting with an observation that he awoke in his Indianapolis hotel room at 4:30 a.m., Ben Bretzman (@benbretzman) sent nearly two dozen tweets by 11 a.m. ET about how the morning before the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 unfolded.

Bretzman was through the infield tunnel and in Gasoline Alley by 6 a.m. By 7:30 a.m., he was wondering if his driver was awake yet, but he had heard for the first time from Pagenaud 45 minutes later.

‘BACK HOME AGAIN’: Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, NBC

FIERCE FRIENDSHIP: Pagenaud, Rossi recall epic battle of 2019 Indy 500

Among other highlights: The team’s last strategy meeting was at 8:30 a.m.; final check of the weather was at 9:30 a.m. and Bretzman gave the No. 22 Dallara-Chevrolet a once-over at 10:35 a.m. before it was pushed to the grid.

Follow @BenBretzman to watch the day unfold from the pit box and tune into “Back Home Again at 2 p.m. ET on NBC as Pageanud and Alexander Rossi, who are good friends off the track, recap their epic duel with host Mike Tirico.

Simon Pagenaud and engineer Ben Bretzman debrief at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IndyCar photo by Joe Skibinski).