Bryan Clauson claims USAC Sprint Car title in California

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A runner-up finish in last night’s season-ending Oval Nationals at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway earned former Indianapolis 500 starter Bryan Clauson (pictured, from the “500” in 2012) his second consecutive USAC National Sprint Car championship, making him the eighth driver in USAC history to win back-to-back series titles.

He claims the 2013 Sprint Car title by a 63-point margin over Dave Darland, who led the 40-lap feature at Perris wire-to-wire but had to deal with Clauson over the final laps before beating him by .106 of a second.

Clauson now has six USAC titles altogether, which includes three National Driver Championships from 2010-2012, the two Sprint Car championships from 2012 and 2013, and the 2011 National Midget title.

This season, he collected seven race wins, 21 Top-5, and 30 Top-10 finishes in the Sprint Car series.

“Winning back-to-back Sprint Car titles is special considering they were won in different scenarios,” Clauson said in a statement. “The first one last year was with my family team – a team we had built from the ground up. And then I came over to Tony Stewart Racing, which has such a rich history of not only winning races, but championships too.

“Being able to continue that championship tradition is pretty special.”

It also marks the 14th USAC crown for Stewart as an owner; he now has seven Sprint Car titles to go along with his seven Silver Crown titles, the most recent having been won by Bobby East back in September.

“So much work goes into a season like this,” Stewart said in his own statement. “The dedication that’s required, along with the time and effort of so many people, make moments like this incredibly special.

“Bryan Clauson and the entire team were really focused on what they wanted to achieve before the season event started and they all saw it through.”

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup