Notes: Veach, Chaves sweep wins at Daytona karting event

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Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Zach Veach and Gabby Chaves returned to their racing roots over the holidays and each came away with a win in the Margay Ignite “Dash at Daytona,” part of the World Karting Association’s KartWeek at Daytona International Speedway.

The “Dash at Daytona” featured 33 drivers in the field Dec. 29-30. Chaves, who will drive again for Harding Racing in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series, posted the fast lap of the qualifying session on the first day, but it was Veach who led every lap of the final race later in the day to collect the victory with Chaves finishing fourth.

Taking home the win in the final today! Man, I've missed karting. Thanks @margayracing for all of the fun here at @disupdates. #Relay Photo Cred @ekartingnews pic.twitter.com/9emuW3G90F

On the second day, Chaves won both the prefinal and main final race to secure the INDYCAR sweep in the division.

"I'm very happy to be going back to karting, which is where I started my racing career,” Chaves said. “I had a blast this weekend at the Ignite Dash of Daytona. Overall, I'm so happy to finish on top of the podium today after starting first in the prefinal and final. And it's great that we had an INDYCAR sweep over the weekend at such a competitive event. I am so grateful for the invite and would love to have the opportunity to do this again."

Kimball, Chilton unveil car numbers for 2018

Carlin drivers Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton used social media to announce the car numbers they’ll run in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series for the new team. Kimball will be in the No. 23 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet and Chilton in the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet.

Kimball will be entering his eighth season in 2018, while it will be the third for Chilton. Both drivers have spent all their previous Verizon IndyCar Series time with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Watch how the drivers made the announcement of their car numbers here:

Christmas came early for our @IndyCar drivers this year! We’re proud to announce that @racewithinsulin will drive the No. 23 @novonordiskus @TeamChevy and @maxchilton will drive the No. 59 @AJGCORPORATE @TeamChevy for the 2018 #indycar season! #RaceWithInsulin #GallagherRacing pic.twitter.com/rCv61dxUPl

Alonso earns Autoweek Moment Award for Indy 500 debut

Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso made it a memorable month of May when he skipped the Grand Prix of Monaco to drive in the Indianapolis 500. The notice that his participation sent around the motorsports world earned it Autoweek’s Moment Award in the magazine’s annual listing of top achievements for the year.

Alonso qualified fifth as a 35-year-old rookie for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil and raced up front nearly the entire race. He led 27 laps before a mechanical failure ended his day in 24th place.

In addition to his on-track prowess, Alonso endeared himself to fans and media alike by posing for photos, signing autographs and even taking selfies with fans. He also broke out his motorized skateboard to help him get around Indianapolis Motor Speedway when he wasn’t in his No. 29 McLaren Andretti Honda. He said the Indy experience was the highlight of his year.

“Thanks to INDYCAR for an amazing experience,” Alonso said after the race. “Thanks to Indianapolis. Thanks to the fans. I felt at home.

“I’m not American, but I felt really proud to race here.”

From the fans