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IndyCar speeds into Circuit of The Americas for first-ever Austin race

IndyCar speeds into Circuit of The Americas for first-ever Austin race
IndyCar is speeding into Austin in 2019. Courtesy of Texas Motor Speedway

Originally appeared on CultureMap/Austin.

Racing fans, start your engines — IndyCar is rolling into Austin next spring. On September 4, Circuit of The Americas announced that North America’s open-wheel racing series will hit the track March 22-24, 2019, for a weekend of races, events, and more. 

Among the drivers expected to compete are Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais, Alexander Rossi, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, Marco Andretti, Will Power, and Takuma Sato. Native Texans Ryan Hunter-Reay and A.J. Foyt are also expected to make an appearance in their home state during the three-day extravaganza.

When it came to picking Austin as a stop on the 2019 schedule, owner of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Mark Miles said the city was a "natural fit."

“COTA is one of the finest motorsports facilities in the world and Austin is a happening city,” said Miles in a release announcing the news. “Indy car racing has a large and passionate fan base in Texas with a hunger to attend more races. This added date will allow us to deliver both oval and road course events to the state in a single season.”

COTA is no stranger to high-speed motorsports. World Rallycross, Pirelli World Challenge, and, of course, Formula 1 are just a few of the world-famous racing events that zoom into town each year.

For those of us (read: the author of this article) who need a refresher on the difference between F1 and IndyCar, the main differences are the car and the track used. 

While F1 cars use high-octane gas, IndyCars pump ethanol and are much more difficult to stop than their F1 counterparts. IndyCars race on oval tracks, with the occasional street track thrown in for good measure, whereas F1 never uses an oval track; instead it uses a designed raceway.

The Austin race — IndyCar's first time in the Capital City — will be the second in the 2019 series. The schedule begins in St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 10 and culminates in the 103rd Indianapolis 500 on May 26. 

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Astros lose to Braves, 6-2. Composite Getty Image.

Reynaldo López struck out seven over six scoreless innings, Orlando Arcia homered and the Atlanta Braves won their third straight, 6-2 over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

López (2-0) allowed four hits and walked one in his third straight sterling outing to start the season.

“It’s like I’ve always said, for me, the important thing is to focus,” López said through an interpreter. “To have the focus during the outings and then, to be able to locate those pitches.”

He has given up one run in 18 innings for an ERA of 0.50.

“He threw the ball really well against a really good hitting club,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Another solid one.”

Arcia hit a solo home run to left in the second and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Luis Guillorme and backup catcher Chadwick Tromp each hit a two-run double in the ninth to put the Braves ahead 6-0.

“Tromp has done a good job ever since we’ve been bringing him in these situations and filling in,” Snitker said. “I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him back there. ... He’s an aggressive hitter. He’s knocked in some big runs for us in the limited time that he’s played.”

Kyle Tucker homered for the Astros leading off the ninth against Aaron Bummer, and Mauricio Dubón had a two-out RBI single to cut the lead to four. After Bummer walked Chas McCormick to put two on, Raisel Iglesias induced a groundout by Victor Caratini to end it and secure his fourth save.

“They pitched well, and our guys are grinding out at-bats,” Houston manager Joe Espada said. “Even in the ninth inning there, we’re grinding, fighting until the end.”

Hunter Brown (0-3) yielded two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in six innings. Brown allowed nine runs in two-thirds of an inning in his previous start, last Thursday against Kansas City.

Brown said he executed better Tuesday than he had in his previous two starts.

“He mixed all his pitches well,” Espada said. “The breaking ball was effective. He threw some cutters in on the hands to some of those lefties. He mixed his pitches really well. That was a really strong performance.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies was placed on the 10-day injured list with a broken right big toe. IF David Fletcher had his contract selected from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Albies’ place on the roster.

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (right shoulder inflammation) threw a side session Tuesday, but Houston will wait until Wednesday to see how Verlander feels before deciding whether he will make his first start this weekend against the Nationals, Espada said. ... RHP Luis Garcia (right elbow surgery) threw around 20-25 pitches off the bullpen mound, and RHP José Urquidy (right forearm strain) also threw off the mound, Espada said. ... LHP Framber Valdez (left elbow soreness) played catch off flat ground.

UP NEXT

Atlanta LHP Max Fried (1-0, 8.74 ERA) starts Wednesday in the series finale opposite RHP J.P. France (0-2, 8.22).

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