Josh Wise signs with Parsons No. 98 NASCAR team

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Only a little more than a week ago, Josh Wise announced he was leaving Front Row Motorsports’ third car. On Wednesday, it was confirmed he’ll stay in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with another fledgling operation, Phil Parsons Racing.

The team announced Wise’s signing and a switch from Ford to Chevrolet for the black No. 98 car. Wise replaces Michael McDowell, who signed for a full 2014 season with the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing team more than a month ago.

“While I enjoyed my time at Front Row Motorsports, and am thankful for that opportunity and feel I’m leaving the team on good terms, I am still really excited for what next season will bring,” Wise said in a release via NASCAR.com. “I think it was time for a change. I appreciate Phil, Mike Curb and everyone at Phil Parsons Racing giving me this opportunity. The team has a lot of exciting things going on for next year, and I’m thankful to be a part of it.”

Neither Wise or McDowell had any real results to show for their 2013 seasons. McDowell and the PPR team excelled at the four restrictor plate races, but only ran full races a handful of other times. The No. 98 team’s best restrictor plate finish was ninth at the Daytona 500, and best finish elsewhere was 26th at the fall Martinsville race.

Wise, meanwhile, at least was able to run the full race distance in his 35 starts for Front Row, but a 19th at the spring Talladega race was his best result. A 26th at Bristol in the spring was his best non-restrictor plate finish.

Front Row’s third car has not been accounted for and after Swan Racing announced Tuesday it would expand to two full-time cars for youngsters Cole Whitt and Parker Kligerman, this provisionally takes the number of confirmed 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup entries up to 36.

Brown: Dennis would have made same decision on McLaren-Honda split

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Zak Brown believes former McLaren team boss Ron Dennis would have made the same decision to cut ties with struggling Formula 1 engine partner Honda had he still been in charge at the team in 2017.

McLaren executive director Brown helped engineer a deal for the team to split with Honda at the end of the 2017 season after three tough seasons that had seen the Japanese manufacturer offer little in the way of performance or reliability.

The decision split opinion, with McLaren spurning a significant annual financial injection from Honda in order to link up with Renault, believing its on-track fortunes had to be prioritized over its commercial interests.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Brown was asked if he believed Dennis – McLaren’s long-running team chief before stepping down at the end of 2016 – would have made the same decision to cut ties with Honda.

“I think he would have,” Brown said.

“He was here when those conversations were ongoing and I think Ron always has and always will have the best interests of McLaren in his heart.

“He is Mr. McLaren. It burns him inside as much as us not to see us winning races.”

Brown also elaborated on the decision to break off the much-lauded relationship with Honda, saying the first signs of trouble with the 2017 power unit were clear in pre-season.

After a number of attempts to try and rectify the situation, Brown and his fellow team bosses felt there was no alternative but to end the Honda deal for 2018.

“We knew we were in trouble in testing in Barcelona and we worked really hard for six months to try and find solutions that would give us confidence that we’d be much more competitive in 2018,” Brown said.

“Ultimately, after trying many different things and many different ways we felt we couldn’t get there.

“Three years is a long time in Formula 1 and so we needed to change the direction to get our team back at the top.”