IndyCar stars fill field for Wheldon - Wilson memorial kart race
Saturday brings the third annual Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Memorial karting race at New Castle Motorsports Park in New Castle, Ind.
The event, established in memory of the IndyCar driver killed in a wreck at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011, has the added weight of honoring Justin Wilson, who died on Aug. 24 as a result of injuries suffered at Pocono Raceway the day before.
The race, which is filled with IndyCar drivers and owners, will raise money for the Dan Wheldon Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association and Wilson Children’s Fund. The first two races were won by Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan, who were sponsored by Big Machine Records.
The record company has chosen Josef Newgarden to represent it in its effort to win a third-straight race.
“I’m hoping we get a lot of people out to New Castle Motorsports Park,” Newgarden told IndyCar.com. “It’s such a cool event even though I’ve lost the last two years. You’ll see a lot of IndyCar stars racing on Saturday and we do this every year to honor Dan, but this year we’re also honoring Justin and helping his family, so I hope everyone comes out.”
Also in the field is James Hinchcliffe, who will be competing in a race for the first time since being injured in a hard crash during practice for the Indianapolis 500 in May. His first time in a cockpit actually came the week of the season finale at Sonoma, when the Canadian piloted a two-seater over the Golden Gate at Sonoma with the championship trophy on board.
Also included in the field: Scott Dixon (Target); Will Power (Indianapolis Motor Speedway); Marco Andretti (Bell Helmets); James Hinchcliffe (Novitec 1); Ed Carpenter (Machine of Awesome); Gabby Chaves (American Honda), Sage Karam (Comfort Revolution); Sarah Fisher (Firestone 2), Ryan Briscoe (Novitec 2); Jay Howard (Motorsports Graphic Designs); Spencer Pigot (Dan Wheldon Foundation/Bill Simpson 2); Jack Harvey (Performance Tire Service) and Matthew Brabham (AFS/Stellricht).
Not in the field are James Davison and Sebastian Saavedra, who had to pull out due to scheduling conflicts. They will be replaced by Shelby Blackstock and AJ Foyt IV.
Gates open at 7 a.m. and admission is free. All pro drivers will participate in a public autograph session from 11:30 am – 12:15 pm. The 1-hour, 45 minute race begins at 12:45 p.m. ET.