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Citing bad weather, three Outlaws races with limited crowds canceled

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The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series has canceled three upcoming races in Missouri that were scheduled to be the first held with limited crowds since the series’ return.

Citing an inclement weather forecast, Outlaws officials announced Wednesday via a release that the May 15-16 races at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 would be scrubbed as well as May 18 at U.S. 36 Raceway.

The World of Outlaws’ first race with a limited crowd since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will be NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series events May 22-23 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Missouri. Both races are sellouts.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returned to action without fans May 8 at Knoxville Raceway. David Gravel won the race as Kyle Larson also returned to the track.

The Outlaws’ Late Models will return without crowds May 22-23 at Jackson Motorplex in Minnesota. Its first race with a limited crowd is June 12 at Cochran Motor Speedway in Georgia.

Here’s the release Wednesday from the World of Outlaws Late Model Series (with ticket refund information):

CONCORD, NC — May 13, 2020 — World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series officials are canceling the three-event Missouri swing that included races Friday and Saturday at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55, as well as Monday at U.S. 36 Raceway.

With current rainy weather across the region and an outlook for more continuing throughout the weekend, officials were forced to cancel these events today.

Fans with tickets to these events will have their MyDirtTickets.com accounts credited automatically for use with a future event. If fans would like a refund, they can request one within 30 days by clicking here.

The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will race at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 next weekend, May 22-23. Tickets for that event are sold out, but both nights will be broadcast live on DIRTVision

IndyCar: Tony Kanaan’s ‘Last Lap’ begins at Texas Motor Speedway

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The streak lives for Tony Kanaan. At least for one more race.

With Kanaan running only ovals during his farewell IndyCar season in 2020 – which has been dubbed the “Last Lap” – his record streak of 317 consecutive Indy-car starts was to end with the season opener March 15 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Fate had other plans. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced the postponement of St. Pete (now the season finale in October) amid the shutdown of American sports.

IndyCar has made multiple changes to its 2020 schedule since then, and as a result, Kanaan is getting an opportunity to extend his “Ironman” streak.

The 2004 NTT IndyCar Series champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner is set for career start No. 318 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway – driving the No. 14 A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet alongside the team’s new full-season driver, Charlie Kimball, in the No. 4 Chevy.

“A lot of people ask me how I coped with the delay of the season,” Kanaan said Monday in an IndyCar Zoom news conference. “To be honest, I was mentally prepared already because my first real race was going to be the [Indy] 500. My mind was already set for May.

“I only really had to delay, what, a couple of weeks from what I was originally scheduled to do. For me, I think it wasn’t as hard as for the other guys that were already in St. Pete, ready to go.”

But while his mindset is locked in, Kanaan notes that he’s been out of a race car for eight months. In fact, as of Monday, he hadn’t sat in a car fitted with the new Aeroscreen cockpit protection system.

However, he is no stranger to the wild and woolly action at Texas. Ditto for his new-slash-old teammate, Kimball: The two competed together at Chip Ganassi Racing from 2014-17.

That experience is something A.J. Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt is grateful to have on his side.

“Going into this race, it’s huge,” Foyt said. “Especially with the one-day show, everything is accelerated, and going to a big track like Texas, having a guy like Charlie sit on the pole there [in 2017], knows his way around there, and obviously TK is very good there, as well.

“It’s a little bit of peace of mind for sure. Anything can happen, but the engineering group has been working really well together. We’re really hopeful we’re going to unload and get these guys some good cars out of the box. That’s the plan.”

Speaking of Kimball, the Californian is set to revive his full-time career in the sport after making just seven starts last season with Carlin.

He’s enjoyed his unexpected free time at home with his wife, Kathleen, and their two children, Hannah and newborn son Gordon, who arrived in March. But he’s grateful to get back in the car – and to accompany Tony on his ‘last lap.’

“We’re friends off the track,” Charlie said. “We train together. He’s gotten me addicted to riding a bicycle on a computer game, but also our wives are friends, and I think our families when we can get together and the kids can play, I think they’re going to interact really well. I’m excited for his daughter Nina to spend some time with our daughter.

“And the experience – I mean, he’s taught me things and I’ve learned a lot from him about how to restart on ovals and what you can and what you should and shouldn’t do and what he still does. That experience is invaluable to me to continue to learn and get better. I just feel really honored to be his teammate during his last lap, especially when we get back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500.”

The NTT IndyCar Series season begins Saturday night from Texas Motor Speedway with the Genesys 300 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The race will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.