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.

SMP Racing unveils BR1 LMP1 car in Bahrain ahead of WEC entry

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SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.

SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.

Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.

The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.

SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.

Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.