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Jordan Taylor has interest from NASCAR Cup, ARCA to race Daytona

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After putting out feelers to race during NASCAR’s inaugural weekend on the Daytona International Speedway road course, IMSA’s Jordan Taylor might have found some takers.

The Corvette Racing driver said Monday he has an offer from an ARCA team and has talked to a Cup team about driving in the Aug. 14-16 weekend that will feature ARCA, trucks Xfinity and Cup. Taylor was planning to circle back Monday on the Cup ride, which would be dependent on sponsorship.

“They’re like, ‘We need to figure out if we can raise the money for it,'” Taylor said during a Zoom media availability ahead of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race Saturday at Sebring International Raceway. “That’s kind of always the case with the teams that offer those sort of situations, so it’s tough. You don’t want to be labeled as a guy who’s going to bring money to a ride. If you get labeled as that, you’re going to get stuck in that position.

OPEN WEEKEND: IMSA drivers offer up their services for NASCAR debut at Daytona

“So I definitely don’t want to jump into a car and maybe battling for 35th to 40th, but if it gets my face in the NASCAR scene for a road-course event, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, either.”

Taylor, who won the GTLM class in the July 4 race at Daytona with teammate Antonio Garcia, has “always wanted to do a NASCAR road course race. I’m a big fan of that style of racing, that style of car.” Taylor, whose amusing alter ego is a Jeff Gordon fan named Rodney Sandstrom persona, nearly had a ride for the Xfinity races at Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen International last year.

Jordan Taylor (IMSA).

“It was pretty much a done deal, and then it fell through last minute,” he said. “I was getting ready to go up to see the team and meet everyone. I was really excited about that. I’d love another opportunity like that to come around. Daytona being right here is even better than Mid-Ohio or Road America for that matter.”

Daytona is a home track in many ways for Taylor, who lives near Orlando, Florida. Driving for his father’s Wayne Taylor Racing, Jordan Taylor was a part of DPi Cadillac teams that won the overall Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2017 (with Jeff Gordon) and in ’19 (with Fernando Alonso).

With NASCAR having curtailed practice time since its return during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Jordan Taylor believes that experience will matter on the 17-turn, 3.56-mile layout that annually plays host to the Rolex 24 in January.

“Obviously I’ve got a lot of laps around there,” he said. “Seeing what they’ve done these past few races where they have no practice and just going straight into the race, I think a guy with at least a little bit of track experience could have maybe a small advantage at the beginning, even though I know a lot of those have probably done a lot of simulator work as well.

“But it would obviously be a big learning curve to jump into one of those cars and figure it out at the same time. I definitely would love to try it if there was an opportunity but hopefully in a Chevrolet vehicle.”

Jordan Taylor (left) and Antonio Garcia celebrated July 4 after bringing the No. 3  Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R, GTLM to victory lane at Daytona International Speedway (IMSA).

Indianapolis Motor Speedway can have 10,000 fans for IndyCar races

Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have crowds for its NTT IndyCar Series race weekend next month, the first time fans are allowed at the track this year.

The track announced Friday that up to 10,000 fans will be allowed in the grandstands daily from Oct. 1-4. The IndyCar Harvest GP race doubleheader will be held on the track’s road course Oct. 2-3.

IMS has played host to several events this year without fans, including the 104th Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23 and a NASCAR-IndyCar weekend July 4-5 that included the Brickyard 400. Plans originally were made to have fans at the Indy 500 before reversing course a few weeks ahead of the race. In a letter last month, Roger Penske vowed that fans would return for the 2021 Indy 500.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS president Doug Boles said in a release. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

Fans will undergo temperature screenings upon entry and also be required to wear face coverings at all times on property. The track said each attendee will receive a mask and bottle of hand sanitizer.

The Friday, Oct. 2 race will be shown at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, and NBC will broadcast the Saturday, Oct. 3 race at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Here’s the release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 – For the first time in 2020, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will welcome fans to the Racing Capital of the World for the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR weekend. Up to 10,000 spectators can be in the grandstands each day of racing action Oct. 1-4, per approval from the Marion County Public Health Department.

Tickets are available now via IMS.com and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

The massive facility, which holds more than 300,000 people, will provide two spectator zones with up to 5,000 fans in each. The zones will be located in Turns 1 and 4 of the oval, offering strong sightlines of the road course. Strict health and safety rules will be in place, including the following:

  • Face coverings must be worn throughout the property at all times;
  • All fans will receive temperature screenings before gate entry;
  • Grandstand seats will be marked for distancing;
  • Attendees must use pre-assigned gates and remain in their designated zones.

Global Medical Response, the world leader in compassionate, quality emergency medical and patient relocation services, will be the presenting sponsor of the penultimate weekend of INDYCAR racing this season.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

The plan, which includes each attendee receiving a mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer upon entering the track, was developed in consultation with state and local health officials.

This event weekend is highlighted by an NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader, with races Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3. It will be the penultimate event of the series’ season as the field pursues the champion’s prestigious Astor Challenge Cup to be awarded Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The INDYCAR Harvest GP will pay tribute to a storied IMS event, the Harvest Classic in September 1916. The Harvest Classic was the only racing event held outside of May at IMS from 1911 through 1993. The event featured three races, all won by legendary driver Johnny Aitken.

Fans also will see a host of facility improvements during the event weekend, including more than 30 new LED video boards, refreshed concession stands and restrooms, and 5G wireless connectivity throughout the facility.

The first race will air at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Friday, Oct. 2 on the USA Network. NBC will broadcast the second race at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Oct. 3, with WTHR-13 airing the action live in Central Indiana.

Also racing that weekend will be the first pairing of two major sports car series — the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli and its North American counterpart, GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS. Former Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ryan Briscoe is among the drivers in the Indianapolis 8 Hour event held Sunday, Oct. 4.

The event also will showcase drivers in SRO America’s Pirelli GT4 America, GT Sports Club America and the TC America series.

The full on-track schedule is available at IMS.com.