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IndyCar Series: News and Notes before This Week's St Pete's Race

Ryan WordenFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2010

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - MARCH 14:  The #32 KV Racing Technology Dallara Honda of Mario Moraes crashes on top of the #26 Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda of Marco Adretti after the two cars crashed in the first turn chicane at the start of the IZOD IndyCar Series Sao Paulo Indy 300 on March 14, 2010 in the streets of Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Lots of little bits of news and notes and rumors have come in the last week. Most of them would be tough to write a decent article on, but they seem perfect for a news and notes article.

Marco and Mario  

Moraes that is, not papa Mario. Their wreck two weeks ago marks the second time these two have gotten together less than a mile into a race. Last year's Indy 500 could be blamed on either driver, depending on your point of view, but the wreck in Sao Paulo was entirely on Mario. 

I wouldn't expect an IndyCar version of Edwards/Keselowski, because IndyCars can't exactly "rub," but it will be interesting to see how Marco and his teammates race when they are close to Moraes the rest of the season. Both drivers came away from the wreck unhurt, despite Andretti having a 1,300-pound IndyCar parked on his head for several minutes.

Graham back to Newman/Haas 

Robin Miller is reporting that following his two races with Sarah Fisher Racing, Graham Rahal will be returning to his old Newman/Hass/Lanigan team. No word yet on sponsorship, but it is believed that Graham is bringing much of the money himself. 

Rahal had also been working to be a third car at Ganassi; however, they require a good deal more money than NHL. Rahal is probably not announcing at the moment so that all the headlines can go to Sarah Fisher Racing, who helped him get back in the car and to whom he owes a debt.

Paul Tracy Confirmed for 500, Others

Paul Tracy tweeted last week that he is confirmed for the 2010 Indianapolis 500, as well as both races in Canada this year. He will run with KV Racing Technology in all three of these races, and is still actively looking for more sponsorship so he can race as close to a full season as possible.

Sebastian Saavedra Gains a Sponsor

William Rast announced that they will sponsor the IndyLights season of Sebastian Saavedra for the 2010 season with Bryan Herta Autosport. Saavedra is also confirmed for the Indianapolis 500 with BHA, but it is not known if William Rast will also sponsor that entry. 

With all the confirmed drivers at the moment, the Indy 500 field is nearly full already. Almost 40 entries are expected for what should be a very exciting qualifying weekend.

Robin Roberts to Pilot Indy 500 Pace car

Helio Castroneves announced on Good Morning America this morning that Robin Roberts will pilot the pace car for the 2010 Indianapolis 500. While this was on too early for my viewing pleasure, I am told she was excited. 

She will be just the second woman to ever pilot the pace car at the 500.

Indycar Starts Committee to Pick New Chassis

Indycar has announced there will be a new committee that will help evaluate the new choices for the 2012 chassis pick. It will be headed by four-star Air Force General William Looney. There will be several other members, all of whom are intimately involved in the series. 

The program will be named ICONIC: Innovative, Competitive, Open-Wheel, New, Industry-Relevant, Cost-Effective...some marketing guy had too much fun with that.

KV Racing and Lotus form Partnership

KV, Lotus, and Cosworth will join up in 2010 to form a partnership for the No. 5 car piloted by Takuma Sato. It will have the traditional Lotus green and yellow livery, which will debut at St. Pete. Sato is reportedly excited to take at least two turns in the race.

Well, that wraps up the current edition of news and notes for the IndyCar series. Drivers and transporters are beginning to arrive in St. Petersburg for the race this weekend. 

You can catch all the action on ABC starting at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday.  Qualifying will be held on Indycar.com, which will have live streaming video throughout the weekend. 

Enjoy the race everyone!

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