Richard Petty: Gene Haas’ foray into Formula One will boost NASCAR interest globally

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NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty believes Gene Haas’ foray into Formula One beginning next year will also give a significant boost globally for NASCAR.

“That to me will be good for stock cars because every time his car is mentioned it’s going to mention that he’s got a NASCAR car also,” NASCAR Petty told The Austin (Texas) Statesman. “That’ll be worldwide, so that’ll help the whole circuit far as I’m concerned.”

Haas recently received approval from Formula One to form a team that will be based in Kannapolis, N.C., alongside Haas’ current four-team Stewart Haas Racing NASCAR operation, which has drivers Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick.

Richard Petty said he hasn’t spoken to Haas directly about the F1 venture, but is excited nonetheless to see NASCAR’s name and message spread overseas.

Richard’s son, Kyle, agrees with his father about the impact Haas’ will have.

“This is a man who when he puts his mind to doing something and he’s ready to do something, he can do anything,” Kyle Petty said. “So I’ve got all the faith in the world in Gene Haas.”

The Pettys stopped in Austin as part of Kyle’s 20th annual Ride Across America, which began last week in Carlsbad, Calif., and concludes this Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

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BMW confirms IMSA, WEC GTE line-ups for 2018

BMW Motorsport
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BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.

In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.

Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.

BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.

The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.

BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.