Photo gallery: IndyCar iRacing at Michigan International Speedway

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

VIRTUAL BROOKLYN, Mich. — The IndyCar NTT Series made its return to Michigan International Speedway virtually Saturday, but there was plenty of real action from the waving of the green flag in the Chevrolet 275.

Several cars went airborne during a multicar pileup on the opening lap of the third round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge. It resulted in some striking images and five laps of caution that greatly affected the remainder of the 85-lap race.

With officials keeping the race caution-free, the strategy played into the hands of Simon Pagenaud and his No. 22 Chevrolet, which led the final four laps to win over teammate Scott McLaughlin. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third in his IndyCar iRacing Challenge debut.

RESULTS: Where everyone finished at Michigan

WHAT DRIVERS SAID: Postrace reactions Saturday

Courtesy of Getty Images’ Chris Graythen, here are a collection of screenshots from the 2-mile oval nestled in the Irish Hills of Michigan:

Scott McLaughlin, who finished second Saturday, crashed on the opening lap along with Oliver Askew (No. 7) and several others (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).


Dale Earnhardt Jr. overcame early contact to finish third in his No. 3 Chevrolet (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).


Marcus Ericsson started on the pole position in his No. 8 Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).


Simon Pagenaud takes the checkered flag in his No. 22 Chevrolet to win the IndyCar iRacing Challenge at virtual Michigan International Speedway (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).


Sage Karam’s No. 24 Chevrolet led a race-high 49 of 85 laps but finished 14th because of a late pit stop for fuel (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).


The No. 27 Honda of 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi finished seventh, Rossi’s first top 10 in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).


Zach Veach’s No. 26 Honda was leading with five laps remaining before a pit stop for fuel at virtual Michigan International Speedway (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).


The field zooms down the backstretch at virtual Michigan International Speedway (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).


The frontstretch during the Chevrolet 275 at virtual Michigan International Speedway (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).


A panoramic of virtual Michigan International Speedway as cars head into Turn 1 (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).


Crossing the finish line, Simon Pagenaud’s No. 22 Chevy is listed as No. 1 on the scoreboard between the suites and press box/scoring tower at virtual Michigan International Speedway (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).

Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider

Beta Motorcycles 2024 Bloss
Beta Motorcycles

Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.

Benny Bloss finished among the top 10 twice in Pro Motocross, in 2016 and 2018. – Beta Motorcycles

“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.

“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”

Bloss debuted in the 450 class in 2015 with a 15th-place finish overall at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”

Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.

Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.

The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.

Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.

Beta will join Triumph Motorcycles as a second historic brand to join the sport in 2024. First established in 1902, Triumph has won in nearly every division they have competed in, dating back to their first victory in the 1908 Isle of Man TT. Triumph will debut in the 250 class in 2024 and plans to expand into 450s in 2025.