Ross Kenseth back behind the wheel in Toledo while dad Matt will be racing at Darlington

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One of Matt Kenseth’s biggest fans will miss watching and cheering him on at Saturday night’s Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway.

But son Ross Kenseth has a good reason why he’ll be MIA: he’s taking a weekend break from his mechanical engineering studies at Clemson University, and while his dad is racing at Darlington, Ross will be racing himself in the 7-UP 150 ARCA race at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway.

Kenseth isn’t the only son of a famous racing father that will be competing in Saturday’s race in Toledo. Stephen Wallace, son of NASCAR Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Rusty Wallace, will also be in the field.

The race will be the season opener at the half-mile, high-banked paved oval, and is aptly named “Border Wars,” with a field of 40-plus drivers from 11 states and Canada.

“It means a lot to have racers like Stephen Wallace and Ross Kenseth compete in the 7-Up 150,” said ARCA/CRA series president Glenn Luckett. “Not only are they good racers, their names will be ones that fans will recognize and hopefully want to come out and see compete against the best of the ARCA/CRA Super Series and ARCA Midwest Tour.”

The younger Kenseth is now 20. He recently became half-brother to the latest addition to the Kenseth family two weeks ago, Clara May Kenseth.

Wallace, 26, has previously raced in all three NASCAR pro series and is coming off a win two months ago in the World Series of Asphalt Racing championship in Florida.

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Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”