Kevin Magnussen

Trackhouse Racing launches PROJECT91, invites drivers to NASCAR

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Trackhouse Racing is launching a program to bridge the gap between NASCAR and other forms of motorsports.

The two-car team will bring a third entry to at least one Cup race this season — the No. 91 Chevrolet — as part of “PROJECT 91, a program designed to expand its international reach by fielding a NASCAR Cup Series entry for renowned international racing drivers,” the team announced Tuesday.

In a press release, the second-year team notes its goal is to become a “destination for global superstars from other racing disciplines eager to compete in America’s most popular form of motorsports.”

“PROJECT91’s mission is to activate the intersection point of NASCAR racing and global motorsport culture,” said Justin Marks, team owner of Trackhouse. “I truly believe the NexGen car represents an opportunity for NASCAR to enter the global professional motorsport conversation. We now have a race vehicle with international technological relevance where world-class drivers from other disciplines can compete at NASCAR’s highest level without the steep learning curve that the previous generation cars required.

“Vehicle advancements used in other forms of motorsports, such as diffusers, independent rear suspension, the sequential gearbox, and other more common components, have resulted in a platform much less reliant on intimate proprietary stock car knowledge, which has historically made any transition to NASCAR difficult.”

The team will announce the program’s first driver and race in the coming days, according to the press release. Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez are Trackhouse Racing’s full-time drivers. Chastain has won two Cup races this season.

Formula One drivers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, who compete for Haas F1, recently joined Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe and Cole Custer to drive the previous generation Cup car around the Charlotte Roval.

Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time F1 world champion, previously expressed interest in competing in the Daytona 500. McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo also voiced interest in testing a NASCAR vehicle in recent weeks. The Australian driver pilots the No. 3 car because of his Dale Earnhardt fandom.

Tony Stewart coming back to run Indy Xfinity race

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Hall of Famer Tony Stewart will make his first NASCAR start since 2016 when he competes in the July 4 Xfinity race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Stewart-Haas Racing announced Wednesday morning.

“Everyone knows what Indy means to me, so I can’t think of a better place to race on Fourth of July weekend,” said Stewart, who grew up 45 minutes from Indianapolis, in a statement. “It’s going to be cool making history by turning left and right in a stock car at the Brickyard, and the racing will be full of action and contact. Any time you can drive any racecar at the speedway is special, and you know I’m going for the win. The date is already circled on my calendar.”

The Xfinity race at Indy will be broadcast on NBC.

This will be the first time the Xfinity Series races on Indianapolis’ 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course.

The 62-lap race will mark the first Xfinity start for Stewart since 2013 and 95th series race in his career.

Stewart made 18 Brickyard 400 starts in Cup, winning twice (2005 and ’07). He also has competed in five Indianapolis 500s and four IROC races at the historic track.

Stewart has eight career Cup road course wins: five at Watkins Glen International and three at Sonoma Raceway.

Stewart’s most recent road course outing came in a demonstration run last October at Circuit of the Americas when he took a Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang outfitted with a passenger seat and drove Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen around the track.

“It was a lot of fun for me to get in one of our Ford Mustangs and do that exhibition run at COTA,” Stewart said in a statement. “It kind of got my juices flowing to get back in a car again, and what better place to come back than Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

Details about Stewart’s car number and sponsor will be announced later.

“People sometimes say, ‘We miss seeing you behind the wheel,” and I’m like, ‘Well, you’ve just got to go to different places now,’ ” Stewart said in a statement. “I’m racing 100 times a year in a sprint car, but seeing some of these road-course races – especially the Roval at Charlotte – piqued my interest a bit, and running the stock car at COTA, it kind of fed my hunger. All of it has led me back to the place I’ve always called home – Indy.”

Social Roundup: Tony Stewart pilots stock car at Circuit of the Americas

Stewart-Haas Racing
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Don’t adjust your screens.

What you are about to see is in fact Tony Stewart once again driving a stock car around a road course.

The three-time Cup champion and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing was back behind the wheel of a No. 14 Ford Thursday. But Stewart didn’t pilot the car around a NASCAR track.

Instead, it was part of a demonstration run at the Circuit of the Americas, the 3.426-mile, 20-turn road course in Austin, Texas, where Formula 1 will compete this weekend.

Stewart gave rides to Haas F1 drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen before they got a chance to get behind the wheel.

“It was a lot of fun for me to drive on a new track I hadn’t been around,” Stewart said Thursday afternoon on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “SiriusXM Speedway.” “It was fun for me to watch those guys that know the track drive a car they’re unfamiliar with. Most of all, I think the most fun part for me was to help show the media a little more of why these guys got to this level. To take guys and put them in a car they’re unfamiliar with, for them to do as good a job as they did really shows why these guys made it to the Haas F1 program.”

Stewart, who hasn’t made a NASCAR start since he retired from Cup competition after the 2016 season, says the demonstration “fueled that fire” to possibly make a Xfinity Series start on a road course someday.

“I’d say even though I’m officially retired, I might do a Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. and pull a one-off here or there,” Stewart said. “It doesn’t mean we’re doing it, it doesn’t mean we’re trying to put something together, it just means it could possibly be on the radar.”

 

Tony Stewart to make demonstration run in a Cup car at COTA

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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Tony Stewart will make a demonstration run Thursday in a NASCAR Cup car at the 3.426-mile, 20-turn Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, ahead of this weekend’s Formula One U.S. Grand Prix there.

“It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s been three years since I last drove a stock car, but seeing some of these road-course races – especially the Roval at Charlotte – have piqued my interest a bit, so this is a good way to sort of satisfy that hunger,” stated Stewart, who will have a passenger seat in his stock car to drive Haas F1 drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen around the course. “I’ve never been to COTA. All I know about it is what I’ve seen on TV and on my iRacing simulator. I kind of like that. Even after two decades in NASCAR, there’s still new stuff to experience. I haven’t driven that racetrack and Kevin and Romain haven’t ever driven a stock car. We’ll figure it out together.”

Stewart, who retired from Cup racing after the 2016 and will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2020 in January, continues to race sprint cars.

“People sometimes say, ‘We miss seeing you behind the wheel,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, you’re going to the wrong places now,’ ” said Stewart in a statement from the team. “I’m racing 100 times a year. You’ve just got to come watch me in a different car.”

After driving at COTA, Stewart will compete in his sprint car at the Texas Sprint Car Nationals at the Dirt Track at Texas Motor Speedway on Thursday and Friday night.

“It’s the best of both worlds for me,” Stewart said in a statement from the team. “I get to be with our NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series teams during the day, but each night I get to go over to the Dirt Track. It’s fun for our crew guys too. They’re racers who have dirt-track blood in their veins. They come over and watch the race. It just makes for a perfect weekend.”

Stewart-Haas Racing adds sponsor for Clint Bowyer for 2019

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Stewart-Haas Racing announced Monday that it has signed a sponsorship deal that will see PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid be on Clint Bowyer‘s Cup car and the cars of the Haas F1 Team.

PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid will be the primary sponsor on Clint Bowyer’s car for three Cup races next year. The companies will be an associate sponsor on the other races.

In F1, the companies will expand their partnership in 2019 with their logos moving from the nose of the cars Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen drive to the rear-wing endplates, a more visible location.

“We get the best of both worlds with Haas F1 Team and Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Bryan Emrich, Chief Marketing Officer, Old World Industries, in a statement. “The PEAK Coolant & Antifreeze and BlueDEF brands get global exposure and continued recognition domestically. The technology of Formula One and NASCAR help sell our products, as do the personalities we’ve aligned ourselves with. Clint Bowyer, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen are genuine people who engage well with our customers. Racing is a relationship business, and we’re extremely proud of the relationships we’ve fostered with Haas F1 Team and Stewart-Haas Racing.”