IndyCar

Robert Wickens officially out of IndyCar iRacing at Watkins Glen

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After briefly seeming he would be able to make the opener of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge, Robert Wickens announced Saturday he is officially out.

Despite a last-scramble to provide him equipment, Wickens tweeted that his Max Papis Innovations steering wheel wouldn’t arrive in time because of a courier problem.

“I can’t thank Max Papis and Cary Bettenhausen enough for all their hard work to try (to) make this happen,” Wickens said in a statement. “I see sim racing as more than a six-race challenge with friends and competitors. I have been working with Arrow McLaren SP to continue to develop what I need to return to racing. Sim racing will be the perfect platform for that.”

RACE INFORMATION: Full details for today’s IndyCar iRacing Challenge

Wickens had put a last-minute call out Thursday night after problems acquiring simulation rig equipment, and it had seemed hopeful Friday.

The IndyCar iRacing Challenge, which will include several NTT Series stars and seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson racing at Watkins Glen International, will begin at 4 p.m. ET on IndyCar.com and several streaming platforms.

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 FRIENDSHIPPagenaud, 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).