Gabby Chaves has aged a bit since he strapped into Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda for the start of the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway.
In fact, he’ll have turned a year older when the race resumes Saturday night on the 1.455-mile oval.
“I went into the race at 22 years old and I'll finish it at 23, so hopefully that will be some good luck,” said Chaves, whose birthday was July 7 and is one of two drivers who have celebrated a birthday since the race was red-flagged due to rain on June 12 (Scott Dixon turned 36 on July 22).
A lot has happened since James Hinchcliffe led to field onto pit lane when heavy rain stopped the scheduled 248-lap race after 71 laps to end a soggy weekend in Texas.
There have been five complete Verizon IndyCar Series races in the 11 weeks since, which translates to 735 laps or 1,364 miles of racing on two ovals (Iowa Speedway and Pocono Raceway), two permanent road courses (Road America and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course) and one street course (Toronto’s Exhibition Place).
Team Penske’s Will Power, who has won three of those races, has erased 97 points of a 117-point deficit to Simon Pagenaud by finishing first or second in each of those races. He’s the only driver to complete every lap since Texas’ stoppage and will restart fourth on Saturday.
Outside of the INDYCAR universe, a lot has happened as well. For example:
June 18 – The International Space Station had a pit stop where the final three members of the crew for ISS Expedition 47 (Commander Tim Kopra of NASA, Tim Peake of ESA and Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos) returned to Earth and their replacements (NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) of ISS Expedition 48 entered the station on July 9.
June 23 – The Brexit: Great Britain voted to leave the European Union.
July 4 – NASA’s Juno Spacecraft entered orbit around Jupiter, while someone else who knows a thing or two about launching, Kevin Durant, announces he’ll sign with the Golden State Warriors of the NBA.
July 6 – Pokemon GO was released.
July 20 – Jeff Gordon ends his racing retirement and serves as a replacement driver for Dale Earnhardt Jr. He competed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 24.
Texas Motor Speedway also put together this handy recap of what has transpired in the sporting world since the race was suspended: