Photo: Colin J. Mayr/ASP, Inc.

Canapino Out, Siegel In for Juncos Hollinger at Road America

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – The No. 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet will have a new driver for this weekend’s Xpel Grand Prix at Road America.

An announcement was made on Friday that Agustin Canapino, who is in his second full-time season with the organization, will be taking a leave of absence for this race after a week of turmoil for the team following last week’s race in Detroit.

Nolan Siegel, who has raced part-time for Dale Coyne Racing in the NTT IndyCar Series and full-time in Indy NXT this season, will be taking up driving duties for the Argentinian on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn road course.

Canapino has been at the center of a media firestorm after hateful comments and death threats were made against Arrow McLaren rookie Theo Pourchaire following an incident between the two in the caution-filled race. It is a situation eerily similar to what occurred between Canapino and former teammate Callum Ilott last season.

This led to statements condemning the threats being put out by both teams, along with Arrow McLaren cutting ties with JHR in their alliance that has been in place since late last year.

But with the backlash continuing against Canapino and JHR leading into the weekend, the team made the decision to pull Canapino for this event.

“The growth of online abuse and harassment resulting from the events of this week have led to a very difficult experience for Agustin, the team and the entire INDYCAR fan base, and the safety of Agustin and the rest of the competitors has to be considered first and foremost,” the team said in its statement.

“Abuse, hatred, and harassment in any form is a detriment to this sport, and we must prioritize the mental and physical wellbeing of both our drivers and our competition.”

Brad Hollinger, co-owner of Juncos Hollinger Racing echoed the sentiments in the team statement, saying:

“Online abuse is unacceptable, and we need to ensure that our drivers are prepared both mentally and physically when they get in the car. We are saddened by the events that led to this scenario.”

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.