Verizon IndyCar Series team co-owner Sarah Fisher will compete in the 29th Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire on Jan. 12-17 in Tulsa, Okla.
A test in October with RW Motorsports in Linton, Ind., prompted Fisher's entry into the event. Her racing background includes success in a variety of sprint cars and midgets, but this will be her first time participating in the Chili Bowl. Qualifications are Jan. 15. She last drove a race car in competition in the 2010 Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
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"Competing in the Chili Bowl has always been a bucket list item for me and with the support of (CFH Racing co-owner) Wink (Hartman) I am able to fulfill another dream," Fisher said. "By attending the event last year to cheer on my brother-in-law Kyle O'Gara, I was able to experience the atmosphere and see how much fun it was. I wanted to be racing in it the next time I came back.
"I have raced on dirt in the World of Outlaws and the All Star Circuit of Champions, but being in a midget on dirt is a new experience for me and I am very excited for the challenge."
Fisher, 34, who holds the record for most Indianapolis 500 starts by a woman, will drive the No. 67RW for RW Motorsports, owned by Steve Weirich and Mario Rotondo. Hartman Oil will be the presenting sponsor, with Russell Oil, Inc., the National Cooperative Refinery Association and the Indy Trading Post as additional partners.
"We both have the same goals of putting open-wheel racing back at the forefront and certainly the Chili Bowl is an event that encompasses that goal. As we continue to work together in INDYCAR, this is a fantastic element to add to the mix," Weirich said.
Bryan Clauson, who is scheduled to drive the KVSH Racing/Jonathan Byrd's Racing car in the Indianapolis 500 in May, is the defending Chili Bowl champion. Clauson made his Indy 500 debut in a Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car in 2012. He kicked off the new year with a victory in the POWRi World Midget Series event in Auckland, New Zealand.
Edwards moves to Andretti Autosport
Andretti Autosport has hired Rob Edwards, who spent the past four-plus years as team general manager with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, as its director of race operations and engineering.
"We're really pleased with the contributions Rob has made to the team," team co-owner Sam Schmidt said. "Under his leadership, we grew to a two-car team in the Verizon IndyCar Series and scored our first four victories in the ultra-competitive series. We wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Andretti Autosport has three confirmed entries for the Verizon IndyCar Series season along with entries for Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.
"His experience in racing will be valuable in moving our organization forward across multiple racing platforms," team owner Michael Andretti said, while noting that George Klotz will remain the Verizon IndyCar Series team manager.
James Hinchcliffe, who drove for Andretti Autosport the past three seasons, will compete in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car this season. The team has not announced a replacement for Edwards.
Hamilton to lead Kingdom Racing venture
Davey Hamilton, who for the past two seasons was co-owner of the Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports team that fielded the No. 77 car driven by Simon Pagenaud, has been named managing director of Kingdom Racing.
He'll oversee racing operations and sponsorship for the team, which has been involved in the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2008.
"We've accomplished so much over the past seven years and will continue to expand our footprint throughout motorsports in 2015," said Hamilton, who has partnered with Kingdom Racing since its inception. "First off, we will continue our affiliation with a (Verizon) IndyCar (Series) team for the Indy 500 and will continue our Miles of Smiles events at various locations around the United States.”
Hitachi part of Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix exhibit
A Verizon IndyCar Series car, featuring Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas signage, will be on display at the Hitachi/Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix exhibit on the main concourse during the Jan. 12-25 run of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, who drove the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske car to victory in the second race of the Dual in Detroit last June, will greet show goers at 4 p.m. Jan. 15. It is the first time that Hitachi Automotive Systems will have a major presence at the show.