The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season ended Sept. 11, but a handful of drivers are staying busy on the next two weekends by racing on road courses in a variety of disciplines and series.
2022 season regulars Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Kirkwood, Marcus Ericsson, Felix Rosenqvist and Conor Daly all will strap into sports cars or stock cars either in Georgia, Sweden or North Carolina over the next two weekends.
Indianapolis 500 winners Castroneves and Dixon and Johnson and Kirkwood all will race this Saturday, Oct. 1 in the Petit Le Mans race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The 10-hour endurance race is the season finale for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the “IMSA Battle on the Bricks” race weekend Sept. 15-17, 2023.
Castroneves, Dixon and Johnson each will race as part of seven three-driver teams competing in the premier Daytona Prototype International (DPi) class.
Four-time Indy winner Castroneves will join Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist behind the wheel of the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura. Castroneves’ team trails championship leaders Ricky Taylor and Felipe Albuquerque by 19 points entering the finale as Castroneves tries to add another DPi title to his 2020 championship.
Six-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Dixon will race with Renger van der Zande and former INDYCAR SERIES driver Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 01 Cadillac Racing Cadillac. Seven-time Cup Series champion Johnson, who just announced he will not race full time in 2023 in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, will drive the No. 48 Ally Cadillac with Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Rockenfeller.
It will be an end of an era for the DPi class, which will be replaced next season with the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class. Another interesting angle for all drivers at Road Atlanta – not just those in the DPi class – will be possible heavy rain brought to the northeast Georgia circuit by the remnants of Hurricane Ian.
2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie Kirkwood will race in the GTD PRO class at Road Atlanta, sharing the No. 14 VasserSullivan Lexus RC F GT3 with former INDYCAR SERIES driver Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat. Kirkwood’s team is in a tight fight for second in the class, just 16 points behind the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette. The No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche only needs to start the race to clinch the championship.
Peacock Premium is streaming the Petit Le Mans in full, from noon-10:30 p.m. ET Saturday. Broadcast coverage will be provided by NBC from noon-3 p.m. and the USA Network from 7-10:30 p.m.
Also this weekend, 2022 Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Marcus Ericsson will join fellow Swede and NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Felix Rosenqvist in the season finale of the Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia on Saturday at Mantorp Park in Sweden.
Ericsson and Rosenqvist both will be guest drivers in the sports car series that features all drives competing in identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
This also will be a special weekend for Ericsson, as he will compete in his homeland for the first time since he raced karts as a youngster. Ericsson also will race for the first time against his younger brother, Hampus, a series regular and title contender.
“I hope to have plenty of pace, especially as I get the chance to race against my little brother Hampus,” Ericsson said. “I follow the championship, so I know how competitive the racing is – it’s going to be tough. This is my first race in a GT car, so there’s a lot to learn. The car has less downforce than an Indy car, it’s heavier and has the engine in the back, so it’s quite different. It’s sure to be exciting.”
Next weekend, NTT INDYCAR SERIES veteran Conor Daly will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut Sunday, Oct. 9 in the road race on the “roval” at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Daly will drive the No. 50 Chevrolet fielded by The Money Team – co-owned by legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather – and with sponsorship from BitNile, his primary sponsor with Ed Carpenter Racing.
The “roval” incorporates part of the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval with an infield road course section, much like the road course at IMS. NBC will televise the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at 2 p.m. ET Oct. 9.
While this will be Daly’s first Cup start, it’s not his first foray into NASCAR. He has made one start in the Xfinity Series and two in the Truck Series, with his most recent NASCAR start coming in 2021.
Sampling new series is nothing new for Daly. In recent years, he also has competed in a USAC Midget at the prestigious Chili Bowl Nationals in January and the Driven2SaveLives BC39 at The Dirt Track at IMS.