Michai Stephens, Harry Steenbackers, and Max Dignan

In January, Michai Stephens placed fourth in the inaugural Skip Barber INDYCAR Academy Shootout at Sebring International Raceway. On Nov. 8, the 22-year-old from Evanston, Ill., bested 32 other international qualifiers to win the event.

Stephens had the fastest lap time and lowest average time in six of the eight sessions to earn a sponsored ride in the Skip Barber formula race series in 2014.

Harry Steenbackers, 15, of Ottawa, Ontario -- the youngest participant -- was second and received a $15,000 scholarship to participate in the Skip Barber formula race series. Max Dignan, 18, of Hilliard, Ohio, was third and received a $10,000 scholarship to participate in the Skip Barber formula race series.

The Skip Barber INDYCAR Academy provides individuals without racing experience the opportunity to test themselves against other drivers in equally-prepared cars on a demanding circuit.

"The pressure is immense during the competition, and all of the drivers treated this as if it were the Indy 500 and were pushing themselves to their individual limits," Skip Barber CEO Michael Culver said. "But bonds were also made among the competitors. Regardless of the finishing position, all the participates came away with an amazing experience."

If Stephens is successful in a Skip Barber Formula season, he will have the opportunity to participate in the Skip Barber Championship Shootout. Andre Gomes, who won the first Skip Barber INDYCAR Academy Shootout, is among the competitors in the Championship Shootout this week at Road Atlanta. The winner will receive a $200,000 scholarship for the 2014 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda -- the first rung on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder. Gomes claimed third place in the Skip Barber Summer Series.

Also among the qualifiers -- and the youngest -- for the Championship Shootout is 13-year-old Colton Herta of Valencia, Calif., the son of IZOD IndyCar Series team owner and former Indy car driver Bryan Herta. The top five in championship points from the 2012-13 Skip Barber Winter Series and 2013 Summer Series were invited. Herta was second in points in the Summer Series.

Visit with Hinchcliffe, get a complimentary Milwaukee race weekend ticket

Head to David Hobbs Honda (6100 N. Green Bay Ave. in Glendale, Wis.) Nov. 13 to meet IZOD IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe and score a general admission ticket to practice and qualifying for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest.

Hinchcliffe, a three-time race winner this season, will greet fans from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (local) at the dealership, which is a presenting sponsor of the 2014 race weekend. The first 50 in line at 11 a.m. will receive a voucher for an Aug. 16 general admission ticket. In addition, the first 10 fans will receive a Hinchcliffe-autographed GoDaddy hat.

The 250-lap race won by Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport the past two years is Aug. 17. Click HERE for event info.

Join Santa and IMS for season kickoff event

Santa Claus will take a victory lap on Clay Terrace Boulevard in Carmel, Ind., on a two-seat Indy car driven by IZOD IndyCar series team owner/driver Ed Carpenter before pulling into the winner’s circle in Village Green, where he'll receive a winner’s wreath and an iconic Indianapolis 500 quart of milk.

After the grand arrival, everyone is invited to join in lighting the community Christmas tree and other surprises. It all happens from 4:30-6:30 p.m. (ET) Nov. 16. Click HERE for details.

Of note

Hinchcliffe and Graham Rahal will be hosts on a SeaDream cruise Dec. 7-14 that embarks and returns to Costa Rica. ... Reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon will be featured on the New Zealand version of leading news and current affairs show "60 Minutes" on Nov. 18. Dixon and Target Chip Ganassi Racing crew members were among those interviewed for the segment. ... IZOD IndyCar Series multiple race winner Mike Conway co-drove to fifth place (first in LPMP2) in the FIA World Endurance Championship race Nov. 10 in China. ... Justin Wilson, who suffered three pelvic fractures in the season finale Oct. 19, was back in the gym Nov. 11. "It feels good. Obviously, could only work on arms. But I will be ready."