Suspended crew chief Parrott released from Petty team

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Richard Petty Motorsports has confirmed today that Todd Parrott, crew chief for the No. 43 RPM Ford Fusion of driver Aric Almirola, has been let go after he was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR last week for violating the sport’s substance abuse policy.

Greg Ebert, car chief for the No. 43 team, will now serve as the team’s interim crew chief through the remainder of the 2013 Sprint Cup season. Ebert has been in his car chief role at RPM for the last two seasons.

“We are confident in Greg’s leadership abilities and we will give him the resources he needs to be successful,” RPM vice president of operations/competition Sammy Johns said in a statement. “He is very familiar with our race program and gives us a more seamless transition. More importantly, he gives Aric the best opportunity to finish the season strong.”

Johns took on crew chief duty for the No. 43 this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, where Almirola finished 22nd in Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 after starting from the pole via posting the fastest speed in first practice (qualifying was rained out on Saturday).

As for Parrott and his future, FoxSports.com’s Lee Spencer is reporting via Twitter that NASCAR has confirmed that the championship-winning crew chief has been accepted in the sport’s Road to Recovery program.

Parrott won the 1999 Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) title with Dale Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing, and has collected 31 Cup victories as a crew chief over his career.

Verstappen picks illegal Raikkonen pass as favorite F1 2017 overtake

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Max Verstappen has picked his illegal pass on Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix as his favorite overtake of the Formula 1 season.

Verstappen was one of F1’s most prolific passers through 2017, making 22 overtaking moves as per Pirelli’s end of year data.

When asked to pick out his favorite in a post-season interview on his official website, Verstappen picked his bold move on Raikkonen at the Circuit of The Americas that sparked controversy when he was penalized for completing the overtake off-track.

The Red Bull driver had charged from 16th on the grid to cross the line third, only for a five-second time penalty to deny him a podium and drop him to fourth in a snap call made before the post-race ceremony.

“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: ‘Why? It was a great move.’ But when you look at the rules, it was not correct,” Verstappen said.

“Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalized for it. But you always need to focus on the positives: it was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap.

“It’s always nice to be on the podium, but to finish fourth after having started sixteenth, is still a great result.

“It wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it.”

Asked if it was his best move of the year, Verstappen said: “Yes, because this year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes.

“With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights, which is really not that satisfying compared to last year.”