Interim crew chief helps Kenseth conquer Darlington

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After being chosen to serve as an interim crew chief for Matt Kenseth in last night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Wally Brown helped guide the former Sprint Cup champion to victory.

Brown previously served as a crew chief for Carl Edwards at Roush Fenway Racing, and was given the nod to take over for Kenseth’s regular crew chief, Jason Ratcliff, who was sitting out due to a one-race suspension (previously a six-race ban) for a rules violation.

But while Brown will only be atop the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing pit box for one week, he’ll still have a great memory as Kenseth claimed his first career win at Darlington — and also gave Brown his own inaugural win as a Cup crew chief.

“Overall, the weekend went pretty good just due to the preparation of the [No.] 20 guys, Jason Ratcliff — they put a lot of effort [in], several test plans,” said Brown. “We had our plan all weekend. It actually went pretty smooth. Once the race started, I noticed we were able to hang in there for a while. I knew at that point we’d be OK.

“If we just kept up with the track position, we would have a good night.”

Brown had called 39 Cup races in his career prior to Saturday. Now with a win in his pocket, he returns back to his normal job as an engineer at Joe Gibbs Racing.

“This was a one-race deal,” he said according to NASCAR.com’s David Caraviello. “Just to help out.”

Racing world reacts to Danica Patrick’s Daytona, Indy double news

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Here’s a sampling of quotes and social media reaction to Danica Patrick’s news announced earlier Friday that this would be her last full-time season as a driver, and that she’ll race in the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 only in 2018.

This ends a full-time stretch in the top flights of NASCAR and IndyCar. She was in NASCAR from 2012 through 2017, and IndyCar from 2005 through 2011.

Her’s her own post on Twitter and Instagram.

Well…. 2018 Daytona 500 and Indy 500 here I come. 🙌🏼

A post shared by Danica Patrick (@danicapatrick) on

IMS President J. Douglas Boles

“We’re glad Danica plans to return to the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil next May,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Her final career start will make what’s already shaping up to be a terrific Month of May even more interesting for our fans.

“It’s also fitting that Danica is wrapping up her career at the place and in the race where she became a household name and captured the world’s attention in 2005 – the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500. We’re looking forward to seeing her back in an Indy car next May alongside all of the tremendous drivers of the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

NASCAR

INDYCAR