Racing news tidbits

A few motorsports news and notes on this slow news time of year:

Congrats to Kyle Larson, who is a new dad. Larson's longtime girlfriend, Katelyn Sweet, delivered Owen Miyata Larson on Monday.

Congratulations are also in order for Ty Dillon, who married girlfriend Haley Carey last Saturday. Appropriately enough, the ceremony took place at Childress Vineyards in Lexington, N.C. Dillon will make his Daytona 500 debut in February.

The Korean Grand Prix has been removed from the 2015 Formula 1 calendar, but the schedule still calls for 21 races, a record number for F1. So either the sanctioning body has a mystery race in its back pocket, or the schedule is being shortened to 20 events.

Dr. Jerry Punch, a staple on ESPN racing coverage for 30 years, won't be seen on NASCAR broadcasts in 2015, but will cover the pits for the Indy 500 and other IndyCar series events. Punch will also be seen on ESPN's college football and basketball broadcasts.

Speaking of traditions and the Indy 500, Jim Nabors has sung his last rendition of "Back Home Again in Indiana" in the pre-race ceremonies. Nabors did that song so well it will take an entire group to replace him. The vocal group Straight No Chaser will perform the song in May for the 2015 edition of the 500.

Alexander Rossi, who until recently was thought to be the next American driver in Formula 1, saw his hopes dashed last season because his checkbook was not large enough to buy a coveted F1 ride. So Rossi is now in talks with Dale Coyne Racing about a possible IndyCar ride for 2015.

The other shoe has dropped in the Bubba Wallace story, as Roush-Fenway racing has announced Wallace is going to wheel the No. 60 Ford in the Xfinity series for 2015. Wallace was released by Joe Gibbs Racing recently to pursue the opportunity.

Brian Vickers will miss the Daytona 500 and the early part of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup series due to recent heart surgery. A replacement driver for the No. 55 Aarons Dream Machine still has not been named.

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