🏎 Imola Underwater

Racing's biggest revival is finally here

Good morning! What a week it's been and its only Thursday! NASCAR's biggest racing revival is finally here with the long awaited return of North Wilkesboro Speedway. Meanwhile, F1 is forced to sit out another week with the cancellation of Imola and IndyCar gets on track to prepare for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500!

What slogan do you get when you combine starwars and F1?

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Motorsports Moneyline

North Wilkesboro Driver Odds (provided by BetMGM)

+600 Kyle Larson

+800 Kevin Harvick

+900 Christopher Bell

+900 William Byron

+900 Joey Logano

F1

Rain and Flooding Interrupts Imola

The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Formula 1 was canceled due to heavy rainfall and flash flooding that devastated the region in Italy. The decision was made with the safety of F1 personnel and the well-being of the local community in mind. The Imola circuit was at risk due to rising river levels, and the surrounding infrastructure was severely impacted. Stefano Domenicali, CEO of Formula 1, expressed his sympathy for the victims and praised the emergency services working tirelessly to help those affected.

The FIA president, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, also extended his thoughts to those affected and emphasized the priority of safety and recovery efforts. Teams were unable to set up at Imola due to the evacuation of the circuit, and authorities will determine when it is safe to begin packing up for the next round in Monaco. The schedule allows for a delay of several days if necessary.

Hungary Has a new Circuit

Hungary has completed the construction of a new FIA Grade 1 circuit called Balaton Park, with an investment of over €200 million ($217 million). The circuit, located near Lake Balaton, is described as the highest FIA standard track built in Central Europe in 15 years. Former F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella tested the 4.115km circuit and praised its exciting features. Balaton Park can accommodate 10,000 permanent spectators and has plans for temporary grandstands to accommodate larger crowds. While it currently holds a Grade 2 license, it meets FIM regulations for both car and motorbike racing. The circuit's president is Chanoch Nissany, a former F1 test driver, and future plans include a hotel and car museum. The Hungarian Grand Prix will continue at the Hungaroring circuit until 2027.

More F1

πŸ”§ Mercedes looks to challenge Red Bull... Imola was supposed to be the first step in upgrading the W14

🀝 Stroll breaks down what it's like being Alonso's temmate... no rivalry, friends, teammates and mentorship from the Spaniard.

NASCAR

Welcome Back, North Wilkesboro

North Wilkesboro Speedway, a historic NASCAR track that had been idle since 1996, is making a remarkable comeback as it prepares to host the NASCAR All-Star Race for the sport's 75th anniversary. With the efforts of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Speedway Motorsports CEO Marcus Smith, the track is being revived and generating excitement among fans. The return to North Wilkesboro Speedway brings back memories of legendary rivalries and adds a touch of nostalgia to the racing experience. This long-awaited event holds significance beyond monetary rewards, as drivers and fans eagerly anticipate the intense and thrilling atmosphere at this iconic venue.

Busch Backs Byron

In a recent interview, Kyle Busch shared his unique perspective on rising star William Byron. Busch, a two-time Cup Series champion, had welcomed Byron to his team when he was just 17 years old. Byron has since made a name for himself, setting rookie records and leading the Cup Series with three wins this season. Busch considers him a serious championship contender and reflects on their past successes together. He also praises crew chief Rudy Fugle's role in Byron's achievements. However, Busch can't help but have mixed emotions, as he'd prefer to have Fugle working with him in the Truck Series and beat Byron on Sundays.

Rise in Ratings

More NASCAR

❌ NASCAR issues two penalties after throwback weekend... Jones and Reddick receive reprimands for incidents at Darlington

IndyCar

Wickens Wants Back in

Robert Wickens, a former IndyCar driver who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a crash in 2018, aims to become the first disabled driver to race in the Indianapolis 500. Wickens, who currently competes in the IMSA Challenge series, wants to return to a premier division of the sport and has set his sights on the Indy 500 in 2024. He hopes that achieving this goal will raise awareness for spinal cord injuries and inspire others facing challenges.

Wickens needs to secure funding and adapt a car with hand controls to make his dream a reality. He is in the fundraising stage and is looking for partners willing to support him in adapting an IndyCar. Wickens currently uses hand controls in his Hyundai race car but acknowledges that a bespoke system would be required for an IndyCar. Despite the technical challenges, Wickens' team boss and Indy 500-winning team owner, Bryan Herta, supports his plan and believes it is possible but will require time and careful consideration. Talks have been held with car builder Dallara regarding the design and construction of a custom system.

Sato Shows Out in First Practice Day

Takuma Sato of Chip Ganassi Racing claimed the top spot in the first practice day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, followed by his teammate Scott Dixon. Honda dominated with four out of the top six positions. Josef Newgarden of Team Penske made significant gains to secure fifth place. Notable performances included Agustin Canapino's impressive debut despite being new to oval racing and RC Enerson defying expectations in his first laps in IndyCar.

GLOBAL MOTORSPORT

Take a trip to far away motorsport lands

πŸ”‹ Are fully electric vehicles making their way into WRC?... The FIA and WRC are mapping out the way to the future and it may be with EVs

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’Ό Formula E finds a new leader in Jeff Dodds... the newly appointed CEO will take over in June of this year

✌️ Wayne Taylor Racing doubles up in 2024... WTR will expand to two ARX-06's next season

πŸ’° FIA and WRC explore implementing a cost cap in the future... more controlled costs could entice more manufacturers to join the series

The Money Lap Podcast

Episode Three is out NOW! This week, Landon and Parker ponder whether elbows and wild finishes are becoming the norm on the last lap. They dive into Rajah Caruth giving the big dogs a run for their money, almost beating Byron and Eckes in a career-best finish. Meanwhile, they analyze Parker's weekend and Larson emerging victorious in a wild Xfinity race, after sending JHN into the inside barrier like a bowling pin. The two investigate what happened in the late race restarts that resulted in controversy across every NASCAR fan base as Ross finally ends up on the wrong end of a scuff up.

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ONBOARD OF THE DAY

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Late Model North Wilkesboro 2022 Onboard

Join Dale Earnhardt Jr. as he takes you for a ride in his late model, returning to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the first time since 1995. In preparation for the Racetrack Revival CARS Tour event in August, Dale tested at this iconic track on June 22, 2022.

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