Morning Lap: Racing News Links

Welcome to another edition of the Morning Lap, a daily feature here at Beyond the Flag. Along with The Hub we want to bring you not only our original content but a collection of all the best racing news.

Kyle Larson is no stranger to danger or high-speed crashes in all types of racing series.

The rising star who has been nicknamed ‘Naptime’ for his penchant to steal catnaps and whom three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart said ‘reminds me of a lot better me,’ may be best known now as the driver who escaped injury after a horrific Nationwide Series crash at Daytona International Speedway in February.

Travis Pastrana has raced nearly every thing you can imagine, speeding and flying and stunting his way to international fame as an action sports star.

But Pastrana, an X-Games gold medalist, says nothing has given him quite the thrill of racing a NASCAR stock car. He achieved one of his biggest thrills Friday when he won the pole for Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Kurt Busch will test an Indy car for Andretti Autosport at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week.

The 2004 NASCAR champion was at Indy this week testing tires for Goodyear with NASCAR team Furniture Row Racing. An agreement was apparently made with Michael Andretti to return next Thursday and turn laps at the famed speedway two days before the track opens for Indianapolis 500 practice.

Suddenly, the prospect of bumping at the Indianapolis 500 is looking better. has learned that 2004 Indy winner Buddy Rice and veteran Townsend Bell have locked up rides for the May 26th classic.

Rice, who’s last Indy start came in 2011 when he qualified seventh for Panther Racing, is lined up to be the third car in Sam Schmidt’s stable, which already includes Simon Pagenaud and rookie Tristan Vautier.

That seat appeared to be Bell’s a couple weeks ago after he secured sponsorship from the DreamWorks’ Indy 500-themed movie, Turbo, which will be out this summer.

But, because Schmidt is a Honda team and Chevrolet has a partnership with DreamWorks, the 38-year-old Californian and NBC Sports Network analyst made a deal to be teammates with J.R. Hildebrand at Panther.

Mercedes say they will make a Formula 1 car available for Robert Kubica to try if he recovers sufficiently to be able to drive one.

The Pole, whose right arm was partially severed in a rally accident in 2011, has driven Mercedes’ F1 simulator.

Motorsports boss Toto Wolff told BBC Sport Kubica was “helping” Mercedes.

Tags: Formula One IndyCar NASCAR

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