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.”

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”