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Juan Pablo Montoya joins World of Outlaws iRacing craze

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IndyCar, Formula 1 and NASCAR star Juan Pablo Montoya will make his World of Outlaws Sprint Car series debut Wednesday. Sort of.

The winner of 15 IndyCar/CART races, seven Formula 1 races, two NASCAR Cup races and six Grand Am/IMSA races will be vying for his first Outlaws sprint car victory in Wednesday night’s Pro Invitational Series iRacing event on a virtual Knoxville Raceway.

“Ready to play in the dirt tomorrow night when I make my @WorldofOutlaws debut at the virtual Knoxville Raceway in this awesome @Snapon_Tools
sprint car,’ย  Montoya tweeted Tuesday.

This will mark Montoya’s first time behind the wheel of a sprint car but not his first dirt track attempt. Montoya finished 15th in the 2007 Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway in a field of 26 Dirt Late Model cars.

Montoya currently competes in the IMSA Weather Tech IMSA Series, where he finished fourth in this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. He and teammate Dane Cameron are the defending season champions in the premier DPI class.

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Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).