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Fittipaldi Set for NTT IndyCar Series Return in Texas

Fort Worth, Texas (May 1, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Pietro Fittipaldi will be making his return to the NTT IndyCar Series this weekend aboard the #51 Nurtec ODT Honda for Saturday’s Genesys 300 and Sunday’s XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Fittipaldi’s last official outing in the series came during the 2018 season, also with the Dale Coyne-led team.  The Brazilian has six career NTT IndyCar Starts, including three on an oval, but this will be his first time racing on the 1.5-mile oval at Texas Motor Speedway. 

The Haas F1 Team reserve driver did get the opportunity to test at the track earlier this year in what was his first test since returning to the team. 

Fittipaldi has a Series career best finish of ninth (Portland 2018) and a best starting position of 10th at Phoenix International Raceway. He registered his best oval result at Gateway (WorldWide Technology Raceway) with an 11th place finish.

“This weekend I’m doing my first NTT IndyCar Series Race of the season, with a doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway,” shared Fittipaldi. “I’m super excited. I love oval racing so it’s great to have one race on Saturday and another one on Sunday. I’ve had one day of testing at Texas and then two days at IMS a few weeks ago to get me back up to speed. I got back in the groove quickly and the team did a great job to get me back comfortable with the car and driving on an oval. Texas is a place where you have to be patient, it’s a long race and you have to make sure you’re there at the end. I’m excited for it and I can’t wait to get on track!”

Fittipaldi will get a 75-minute practice session on Saturday morning from 11:45am local time ahead of the 3pm (local) qualifying session. Drivers will get two timed laps during qualifying with the first lap setting their place on the grid for the first race and their second lap counting towards Sunday’s starting grid. Practice and qualifying will be streamed live on Peacock with qualifying also broadcast on NBCSN.

Race 1 of the weekend, the Genesys 300 will go green on Saturday, May 1 at 6:45pm local time and will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 7pm ET.  The XPEL 375 takes place Sunday, May 2 and will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 5pm ET.

Grosjean in St. Petersburg

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

St. Petersburg, Florida (April 25, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean had another strong outing in his #51 Nurtec ODT machine in Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg gaining five positions on his way to finishing 13th.

Starting 18th, Grosjean moved up to 17th at the start and remained in that position until his team called him into the pits on Lap 16. The Frenchman continued to run in 17th for most of his next stint before making it up to sixth ahead of his next stop on Lap 37.

Despite showing great pace throughout the race, the Frenchman continued to run in 16th for his penultimate stint and had made it up to 13th before entering pit lane on Lap 67 for his final stop. 

Grosjean exited pit lane in 16th and had moved up to 14th by the time a full course caution came out seven laps later. 

The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver was running 14th when the race resumed on Lap 77 and would gain one more position, moving into 13th before taking the checkered flag.

“The first race for me in St. Petersburg is done. We tried to play with the strategy today since we were starting further back in our Nurtec ODT Honda but we never really got lucky with the yellows,” said Grosjean. “I feel we did a good job this weekend. We’ve learned a lot in the race. It was very physical today, very hard but ultimately the team did a good job. We’re going to keep working, keep improving and the next one will be better.”

The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team will be back in action next weekend with Pietro Fittipaldi making his first official appearance of the season behind the wheel of the #51 Nurtec ODT Honda for the doubleheader weekend at Texas Motor Speedway May 1 – 2, 2021.

Grosjean in St. Petersburg – Qualifying

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

St. Petersburg, Florida (April 24, 2021) – It was another day of learning for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean in his first NTT IndyCar Series street course qualifying on Saturday, with the driver of the #51 Nurtec ODT Honda placing 18th on the starting grid for Sunday’s race.

After placing ninth in the morning practice session, Grosjean took to the track in Group 2 of Round 1 of qualifying for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Despite registering a fastest lap of 1:00.8127, only 0.16 seconds from making it to the Fast 12, Grosjean found himself ninth in his group and 18th in a very competitive NTT IndyCar Series field.

“It’s my first time in an Indy car on a street course and it’s been a really good experience,” shared Grosjean. “We’ve been quickly up to speed but qualifying didn’t quite go our way. We tried different set ups and it didn’t work. I guess that’s part of the learning curve. We are ready for tomorrow for the race, and I think we can do well. I think starting from further back that it opens it up a bit more for strategy, so we’ll look at our options there. It’s been a really cool experience, obviously a bit disappointed with qualifying but Sunday is when it counts.”

Grosjean and his team will get a final 30-minute warm-up tomorrow at 9:05am ET to fine tune his car. The 100-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg going green at 12:42pm ET. The race will be broadcast live on NBC from Noon ET on Sunday.

Grosjean to Make NTT IndyCar Series Street Circuit Debut in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, Florida (April 23, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean will be discovering a new circuit this weekend on board his #51 Nurtec ODT machine as the NTT IndyCar Series heads to the streets of St. Petersburg for Round 2 of the 2021 season.

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda

Grosjean is no stranger to street circuits, having raced at places like the famed Monaco track, amongst others, however this will be the first time he takes to a street course in his NTT IndyCar Series Honda powered car.

The Frenchman had a strong debut at Barber Motorsports Park last weekend, qualifying seventh and finishing in tenth in his first IndyCar race.

“After a very positive first race in Barber with my Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team, I’m very much looking forward to discovering a new track and different type of tires,” said Grosjean. “We’re going to keep the same attitude as last week and keep learning. There’s still a lot to learn, the championship as well as the circuit and the conditions and so on. I can’t wait to get on track and hopefully we can do well again this weekend in our Nurtec ODT car.”

Grosjean, who leads the rookie standings after Race 1, will get his first taste of the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street circuit on Friday, April 23 at 4:15pm ET. Drivers will then get another 45-minute practice session on Saturday, April 24 at 9:45am ET ahead of that afternoon’s qualifying session at 1:45pm ET.

Teams will get a final 30-minute warm-up at 9:05am ET on Sunday, April 25 with the 100-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg going green at 12:42pm ET. 

The race will be broadcast live on NBC from Noon ET on Sunday and all practice sessions and qualifying will be streamed live on Peacock. Qualifying will also be broadcast on tape delay on NBCSN on Saturday, April 24 at 10:00pm ET.

Top 10 Finish for Grosjean in NTT IndyCar Series Debut

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda

Leeds, Alabama (April 18, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean capped off his birthday weekend and return to racing, 140 days after his Formula 1 accident in Bahrain, with a solid 10th place finish in his first NTT IndyCar Series race on Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park.

The Frenchman who qualified seventh for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama maintained his position in what was his first rolling start all while avoiding a multicar incident on the opening lap aboard his #51 Nurtec ODT machine.

Grosjean and his team opted to make two stops in what became a fuel strategy race early on. With cars pitting ahead of him, Grosjean moved up to fifth on Lap 18 and was running third when he entered pit lane for his first stop on Lap 33.

Following his stop, Grosjean found himself in 16th but he would quickly make his way back into the top 10 where he continued to run until his final stop on Lap 62. 

The driver of the #51 Nurtec ODT Honda would go on to place 10th in his debut NTT IndyCar Series race, as the top finishing rookie.

“It was my first race in the NTT IndyCar Series and my first top 10 finish, so we can be very happy with that,” shared Grosjean “We fought at the front for some time, and we did our best. We learned a lot today, and overall, we can be very proud of our weekend. (About his first rolling start) The rolling start wasn’t pretty! I got caught a little bit, but I just need to get used to it. It’s not easy. You have to get the right timing, but it was fun. Now we move on to St. Pete where we’ll try to do better.”

Grosjean and his Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team will be back in action next weekend (April 23 – 25) on the streets of St. Petersburg for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Grosjean Celebrates Birthday by Qualifying Seventh at Season Opener

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda
Leeds, Alabama (April 17, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean celebrated his birthday on Saturday by taking part in his first official on track activities in the NTT IndyCar Series and by qualifying an impressive seventh for his debut race in his #51 Nurtec ODT Honda.

The rookie entered his first qualifying session with the hopes of making it into the Fast 12. Grosjean easily accomplished that goal by placing second in Group 2 of Round 1 of qualifying and then exceeded his expectations by registering a fastest lap of 1:05.76 to place himself seventh on the starting grid. The Frenchman missed out on the Fast 6 by a mere six hundredths of a second.

“What a day, seventh in qualifying, that’s clearly above expectations!” expressed Grosjean. “But being so close to the Fast 6, obviously, I was really hoping we would get in but it’s still really great. The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team really helped me to understand the qualifying tires. We’ve done really good work with the set up and I think we know where to look to go faster which is very positive. We’re going to enjoy this today but let’s focus on tomorrow. We have 90 laps of racing to do, I need to learn tire degradation, fuel saving, refueling, pit stops, how an IndyCar race goes. So, still a lot to learn tomorrow but I’m really happy with today.”

Drivers will also get a 30-minute warm up on Sunday, April 18 at 10:30am local time (11:30am ET) that will be streamed live on Peacock.

The 90-lap season opening round will go green at 2:42pm Local time (3:42pm ET) on Sunday, April 18 and will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 2:00pm local time (3:00pm ET).

Pietro Fittipaldi Returns to Dale Coyne Racing with RWR

Plainfield, IL (Thursday, March 4, 2021) – Pietro Fittipaldi is returning to the team with which he made his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut three years ago to pilot its No. 51 Dale Coyne Racing with RWR entry at all 2021 oval events on the schedule.

Fittipaldi will share driving duties of the team’s #51 full season entry with his former Haas F1, and now current Dale Coyne Racing with RWR teammate, Romain Grosjean who is taking part in all the road and street course races on the schedule.

“I’m very happy to be racing the ovals this season in the No. 51 car for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR,” said Fittipaldi. “I’m especially excited for the Indianapolis 500. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid to race in the Indy 500. All of Dale’s cars were competitive there last year and the last few years, and we’re looking to do the same this year.

“I’m also very happy to be sharing the car with Romain (Grosjean). He’s a good friend of mine. Over the years at Haas F1 we’ve become friends and it’s great to be teammates with him again,” continued the grandson of two-time Formula 1 Champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, Emerson Fittipaldi. “Coincidentally the No. 51 is the same number I used in my Formula 1 debut last year so it’s a nice coincidence to have. I’ve worked with some of the guys at Dale Coyne Racing in the past so I’m happy to be working with them once again. I’m sure we’ll able to do great things. I’m really looking forward to it!”

The 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 Champion first joined Dale Coyne Racing in 2018 for a partial season where he ended up taking part in six races. The American-born Brazilian driver made his debut at Phoenix Raceway where he qualified an impressive 10th in his Series debut.

The 24-year-old was initially scheduled to attempt to qualify for his first Indianapolis 500 but an accident during qualifying at a World Endurance Championship round overseas in early May 2018 sidelined him for a couple of months and ended his chance of turning his first laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that year.

Fittipaldi returned to the cockpit at the Mid-Ohio round later that season and picked up his best finish at the penultimate round of that season at Portland International Raceway with a ninth-place finish.

“We enjoyed working with Pietro in 2018, it’s unfortunate that his season was shorter than planned, so it’s great to be able to give him another chance to do some races in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and that he has another chance to participate in the Indy 500 and fulfill one of his childhood dreams. We look forward to seeing him share our #51 entry alongside his former Haas F1 teammate Romain Grosjean, it gives us a strong line up for our full-time entry,” said Team Owner Dale Coyne.

Following his first stint with Dale Coyne Racing in 2018, Fittipaldi became the official test and reserve driver for Haas F1, competed in the DTM series and the F3 Asian Championship. More recently, he made his Formula 1 debut last December with the Haas F1 team as a replacement for current teammate Romain Grosjean, taking part in the two final rounds of the season.

In addition to his four races with Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, Fittipaldi will continue as the Haas F1 reserve driver for the 2021 season.

Fittipaldi’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will kick off at the Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader May 1 and 2, 2021 before heading to Indianapolis to turn his first official practice laps on oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Romain Grosjean Completes First NTT INDYCAR SERIES Test

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda

Birmingham, AL (Tuesday, February 23, 2021) – Less than three months following his fiery crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix last November, Romain Grosjean was back in a race car on Tuesday completing a successful first NTT INDYCAR SERIES test at Barber Motorsports Park.

Grosjean completed 83 laps aboard his #51 Dale Coyne Racing with RWR entry. The team used the test to allow the NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie to get comfortable and up to speed in his new surroundings.

“It felt good to be back in a race car. It really felt like home. It’s obviously a new car and I had to adjust a little bit to my new driving position, but things quickly felt quite smooth. I then discovered the joys of not having a power steering wheel. I don’t regret all the hours in the gym, but maybe I’ll do some more, just in case!” shared Grosjean.

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda

“We worked on different things throughout the day. You always try and find the limit, which I did this morning in Turn 1, I wasn’t quite happy with that, but I understood something that you could do in Formula 1 and not in IndyCar, so it was a good learning experience,” continued Grosjean. 

“Then there was a lot of learning about when you change the dampers and tools on the car, what it actually does to the car, what part of the corner. So, we worked on getting a feel for that. And also getting to learn to work with my engineer Olivier (Boisson) and getting to understand each other when it comes to communicating what the car is doing. That’s been our day, it’s been pretty good overall.”

Having suffered burns to his hands last November, Tuesday’s test was also an occasion for the Frenchman to see how his hands would feel gripped around the steering wheel of a race car.

“It went OK. It’s not perfect. There’s a nice big blister on my left thumb, which is not pretty, but driving wise it was OK. It wasn’t painful. I was being a bit careful on some of the curbs but generally it hasn’t been a limitation.”

Grosjean and the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team will be back on track for another full day of testing on Monday, March 1 at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season kicks off at Barber Motorsports Park on April 18, 2021.

Formula 1 Veteran Romain Grosjean Joins Dale Coyne Racing with RWR for 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Season

Plainfield, IL (Wednesday, February 3, 2021) – A veteran of 180 Formula 1 starts, Romain Grosjean, is turning to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for 2021, as he embarks on the next chapter of his racing career with Dale Coyne Racing with RWR.

The team is elated to announce that the former Haas F1 driver will be behind the wheel of the #51 Dale Coyne Racing with RWR full-time entry for all the road and street courses in 2021, with the oval races yet to be determined. 

Following a nine-year Formula 1 career, which ended with the world watching as he escaped a fiery crash in the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix in late November, Grosjean was presented with different opportunities as he mulled over his next career move. Ultimately, the Frenchman decided that the highly competitive NTT INDYCAR SERIES was the place to be.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to race in the United States in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES,” expressed the 34-year-old Grosjean. “I had different options in front of me for this coming season and choosing to go IndyCar Racing was definitively my favorite one. Although, I’m not ready yet to take on the ovals! IndyCar has a much more level playing field than what I have been used to in my career so far. It will be exciting to challenge for podiums and wins again.  My left hand is still healing, but we are just about ready to get back into the race car and to start this next chapter of my career.”

Early on in his career, Grosjean picked up seven junior championships which included winning the GP2 series in 2011 by 35 points. He spent the first four years of his Formula 1 career with Lotus where he finished a career best seventh in the 2013 Championship. He then moved to the Haas F1 team in 2016 where he spent the last five seasons. Grosjean scored 10 podium finishes over the course of his F1 career which included two second place podium finishes, both captured on North American soil.

“We’ve been talking to Romain for some time now, even before his accident at Bahrain,” commented Team Owner Dale Coyne. “He has shown interest in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for the past several months and we’re very happy that he has chosen to pursue his career with us and excited to welcome a driver with his pedigree to America, the Series and our team. We feel that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the Series.”

Dale Coyne Racing with RWR co-entrant Rick Ware said: “We’re thrilled to be entering our first full season of NTT INDYCAR SERIES racing with Dale Coyne Racing, and to have a driver of the caliber of Romain Grosjean to run the street and road courses makes it that much more exciting for us. We’re looking forward to this season.”

The Frenchman will have 2017 IndyCar Rookie of the Year, Ed Jones, as his teammate in the team’s #18 Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan entry which was announced last week. Both drivers will begin testing later this month at Barber Motorsports Park on February 22nd.

The 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season gets underway on April 18, 2021 at Barber Motorsports Park.

Dale Coyne Racing Welcomes Rick Ware Racing with 2021 Effort

Plainfield, Illinois & Mooresville, North Carolina (Friday, January 29, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing announced today that it is entering into a collaboration with Rick Ware Racing for its No. 51 and No. 52 entries for the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

The team, which will run under the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR banner, will field the No. 51 car (previously the No.19 and No. 55 cars) as a full season entry alongside its sister No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan entry.

The team further plans to run the No. 52 car at the Indianapolis 500 as a third entry under the DCR stable. Additionally, the No. 52 car is set to do a selection of other races that are yet to be determined.  

“We were introduced to Rick Ware at last year’s Indy 500 where he ran James Davison in our third entry,” reported Dale Coyne. “It was interesting to see how similar his efforts in NASCAR Cup and IMSA were to ours.  We have talked ever since that event and we are excited to welcome Rick Ware Racing into our family at DCR.”

The primary sponsor of the No. 51 car will be announced in the coming month with the driver of that season-long entry expected to be announced next week.

“I met Dale last year through our Indy efforts with David Byrd and struck up a friendship with him and his team,” commented Rick Ware.  “I have thought a long time about expanding into IndyCar from our efforts in NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and IMSA, so this collaboration, was an easy and logical step.  We look forward to a competitive 2021 and beyond together.”

Dale Coyne Racing enters its 38th year of competing in American open-wheel racing. Team Owner Dale Coyne, a Midwestern entrepreneur who designed and built Route 66 Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL, is known for taking on young drivers and mentoring them in the early stages of their careers. The team has claimed multiple victories, most notably, winning back-back races at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the past few years.

Rick Ware, a former driver himself and owner of Rick Ware Racing, made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 1990 and spent the next decade racing in series such as ARCA and the Busch Series (now known as Xfinity Series) before turning to full time team owner duties. Rick Ware Racing (RWR) currently fields four charters in the NASCAR Cup Series; No. 15, 51, 52 and 53. Located in Mooresville, North Carolina, RWR has competed within NASCAR’s top touring series since 2000. Over the past 20 years, RWR has competed in the Super Trofeo Series, IMSA, Asian Le Mans Series, ARCA and several other smaller series.

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