Dale Jr. wants to try IndyCar iRacing; endorses Michigan, Dega, Daytona

James Black/IndyCar

If the invite comes from IndyCar, Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he happily will accept – and he’d be looking forward to the apparent next race in the iRacing Challenge.

“I think they should go to Michigan,” the NASCAR on NBC analyst said Monday during a Racing Week in America on NBCSN call with reporters. “The history the series has there is pretty awesome. I know that was a track that almost beat out Watkins Glen (in fan polling) for the first race. I know a lot of people want to see them race at Michigan.”

IndyCar has yet to announce the next track in its six-race iRacing Challenge series, but the April 11 event apparently will be held at Michigan International Speedway. The 2-mile oval was on the ballot as among the options for the “Driver’s Choice” race.

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Among the final three races on the IndyCar iRacing Challenge, two have yet to be chosen, and some IndyCar drivers have suggested Talladega Superspeedway would be a “brilliant” choice.

Earnhardt, a six-time winner at the 2.66-mile oval, also endorses a trip to Alabama – or Daytona Beach, Florida.

“Daytona or Talladega would be awesome to see the IndyCar guys try to tackle and have fun with it,” the 15-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver said.

NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman, who has been competing with Earnhardt in the eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series, is an avid iRacing driver (and team owner).

Kligerman has tried IndyCar at Talladega and said it was comparable to IndyCar’s 2015 Fontana race (which was broadcast Monday afternoon on NBCSN as part of Racing Week in America).

“It’s always been a sort of a fun race late at night that you think, ‘Let’s just go as fast as possible at a big oval and mess around,’ ” Kligerman told NBCSports.com. “The wrecks are huge, and the racing can be really funny.

“But I’m a huge proponent of doing things we can’t do in real life, like the Short Track Challenge, and I’ve always wanted to do Cup cars with full horsepower unrestricted at Daytona and Talladega. Just to show people what it would be like. So I say IndyCar should (race at Talladega), and most of all have fun with it.”

The field for Michigan likely will include a NASCAR driver in Jimmie Johnson as the seven-time Cup champion has driven the first two races (and has plans to race IndyCar part time in the future).

It might include Earnhardt, who said he is just waiting to hear from IndyCar.

“I wouldn’t want to step on anybody’s toes, so I’m just waiting for an invite from (IndyCar president) Jay (Frye) or somebody,” Earnhardt said. “I’d love to do it. I think I’d love to get to know those guys.

“I had such a great time at the Indy 500 last year, and the reception that I received from other drivers there really meant a lot to me. So I know they’re all a lot of great dudes in that series that I already know that I’d love to get to know some of them even better.”

Earnhardt initially put the word out on Twitter last Thursday that he was interested in racing the IndyCar iRacing Challenge after the entry list for Barber Motorsports Park was released.

Motocross: Chase Sexton to miss Hangtown after midweek practice crash

Sexton Hangtown practice crash
Align Media

Chase Sexton announced on Instagram he will sit out this weekend’s Pro Motocross race at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, California after a practice crash on Tuesday left him with a concussion.

Sexton’s crash on Tuesday happened during a test session at Fox Raceway.

“Bummed to make this post but I’ll be sitting out this weekend,” Sexton said. “As you guys saw I had a big one during qualifying at Pala, then another one on Tuesday this week that banged me up pretty good. Nothing broken just need a few days to get back to 100%.”

Despite his crash in the first qualification session in Pala, California, Sexton mounted up for both motos and finished second in each race behind his teammate Jett Lawrence, who was making his Motocross debut and won with a pair of first-place finishes. Sexton padded his SuperMotocross points’ lead over the injured Eli Tomac, who is still second in the combined Supercross and Motocross standings despite missing the SX finale at Salt Lake City and the outdoor opener with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Sexton has an advantage of 78 points over Cooper Webb and cannot give up his SMX lead by missing this round.

At stake, however, is the risk of losing ground to Lawrence in the Pro Motocross championship. Sexton currently trails his teammate by six points and is liable to lose significant ground this weekend.

In addition to his concussion, Sexton has also been diagnosed with mononucleosis and the combination of the two conditions caused the team to make the difficult decision to keep him out of the lineup at Hangtown.

“I’m super-bummed to miss this weekend’s race,” Sexton said in a press release. “I feel like I rode well at Pala, and I was really looking forward to Hangtown because it’s a good track for me. Unfortunately, I was already pretty banged up from my qualifying crash on Saturday, and now with mono and Tuesday’s concussion on top of it, I want to do the right thing and hopefully be back on the track soon.”

A return date for Sexton has not yet been announced.

Other 2023 Injury News

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Eli Tomac, Achilles tendon | It was just a freak deal
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