Kyle Busch will seek his second win in the 2014 Trucks season, starting from the pole in Friday night's SPF 250 at Kansas Speedway. Busch is shown here following his win earlier this season at Daytona. (Photo: AP/David Graham)

Kyle Busch wins pole for Friday night’s Truck race at Kansas, Ryan Blaney starts second

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Kyle Busch will start Friday night’s SFP 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway from the pole.

Busch was the No. 1 qualifier with a field-best run around the 1.5-mile track at 178.921 mph (at 30.181 seconds).

Ryan Blaney, who hopped out of his truck after qualifying and climbed into his Sprint Cup car to attempt to qualify for his first career Cup race, will start the Trucks race on the outside pole (178.873 mph).

Two incidents of note occurred during the overall qualifying period.

In the first session, Ben Kennedy lost control of his truck and hit the outside retaining wall, first with the rear and then the front of his truck.

“I don’t really know,” Kennedy said. “I knew we had a free setup the first couple laps, but I didn’t think it would be that free. I just drove it into (Turn 1) and I don’t really know what happened, the truck just broke loose. I saved it for a second and then by that time, I tried to keep it out of the wall, but unfortunately I hit it.”

Kennedy’s team went to its backup truck for Friday night’s race. As a result, he’ll start from the back of the pack when the green flag falls.

During the second session, smoke poured from under the truck of Darryl “Bubba” Wallace Jr.

According to a report on Fox Sports 1, the fan inside the motor compartment came loose and damaged the oil cooling line.

The team was attempting to determine whether the damage can be repaired or whether Wallace will also have to go to a backup truck, but a subsequent Fox Sports 1 report indicated Wallace will start from the rear of the field due to an engine change.

Here’s the starting lineup for Friday night’s SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway:

Row 1 Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney

Row 2 Johnny Sauter, Brian Ickler

Row 3 Joey Logano, Jeb Burton

Row 4 Austin Dillon, Timothy Peters

Row 5 Matt Crafton, Joey Coulter

Row 6 John Wes Townley, Brennan Newberry

Row 7 Tayler Malsam, Ron Hornaday Jr.

Row 8 Tyler Young, Joe Nemechek

Row 9 German Quiroga Jr., Mason Mingus

Row 10 Spencer Gallagher, Jimmy Weller III

Row 11 Darrell Wallace Jr. (will start from the back due to an engine change), Bryan Silas

Row 12 Todd Shafer, T.J. Bell

Row 13 Charles Lewandoski, Justin Jennings

Row 14 Jennifer Jo Cobb, Ryan Ellis

Row 15 Norm Benning, Ben Kennedy (will start from rear of field due to going to backup truck)

Row 16 Scott Stenzel

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Esteban Ocon secures Mercedes DTM seat for 2016

2015 GP3 Series Round 9
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Sunday 29 November 2015.
Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) 
Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.
ref: Digital Image _G7C8733
© GP3 Series
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2015 GP3 Series champion Esteban Ocon will race in the DTM championship this year with Mercedes in tandem with a reserve role in Formula 1 at Renault.

Ocon joined Mercedes’ junior program in the spring of 2015 before becoming a fully-fledged member at the end of the year just days before his GP3 title success.

The Frenchman was known to be considering a move into either DTM or GP2 for 2016, but will now replace F1-bound Pascal Wehrlein at Mercedes’ factory team for the new DTM campaign.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be part of such a professional and strong racing series,” Ocon said.

“I’m very pleased to be driving for Mercedes-Benz. It’s the best team in the DTM and I’m very grateful for this fantastic opportunity.

“Mercedes is the most successful manufacturer in DTM history. You can only achieve that with real passion and hard work, and those are characteristics that we share. After driving in free practice during the final race weekend of the 2015 season at Hockenheim, I can’t wait to start a DTM race.

“I obviously have a lot to learn, but my goal – and that of everyone in the team – is to fight for wins as soon as possible.”

Trident completes 2016 GP2 line-up with Armand

2015 GP2 Series Test 3.
Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Friday 4 December 2015.
Philo Armand (INA, Status Grand Prix).
Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
ref: Digital Image _L0U4261
© GP2 Series
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Trident has completed its line-up for the 2016 GP2 Series season by signing Indonesian driver Philo Paz Armand.

Armand has previously raced in a number of European Formula Renault 2.0 championships, and most recently took part in half of last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 rounds, scoring one point.

Armand will now step up to GP2 for the 2016 season, racing alongside 2015 GP3 runner-up Luca Ghiotto at Trident.

“We are very excited to start this collaboration with Philo and we are confident he will express all his talent thanks to the team’s help,” Trident team manager Giacomo Ricci said.

The grid for GP2’s support series, GP3, is also beginning to come together for the new season following the announcements of Tatiana Calderon and Honda junior Nirei Fukuzumi.

Calderon moves into GP3 from FIA F3 and will race for Carlin, while Fukuzumi joins ART Grand Prix, continuing the French squad’s association with Honda.

Marchionne calls for Alfa Romeo to consider F1 entry

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  The Alfa Romeo 4C on display at the Vanity Fair Campaign Hollywood Alfa Romeo Ride and Drive luncheon at The Polsky Residence on February 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
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Fiat-Chrysler CEO and Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne believes that Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo must consider entering Formula 1 with a team in the near future.

Alfa Romeo last raced as a constructor in F1 between 1979 and 1985, but has enjoyed no involvement within the series since 1988 when it supplied engines to the Osella team.

Marchionne believes that a return to F1 would be an effective way for Alfa Romeo to grow as a brand and gain more public awareness.

“In order to restore their name, they must consider returning to Formula 1,” Marchionne told Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Alfa Romeo are capable of making their own chassis, just like they are capable of making their own engine,” he added, before conceding that it could enjoy an engine supply from Ferrari should it wish to enter F1.

Marchionne believes that adding more manufacturers to the F1 grid is key to safeguarding the long-term future of the series.

“In the end this sport must be saved,” Marchionne said.

“The important thing is to make other car manufacturers enter grand prix racing.”

Grosjean unveils new helmet design for first F1 season with Haas

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© Romain Grosjean
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Romain Grosjean has revealed his new-look helmet design ahead of his first Formula 1 season with Haas in 2016.

NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas won the race to get an F1 team on the grid back in 2014, and has spent the past 18 months meticulously planning its arrival in the sport.

Haas F1 Team’s full debut is now just five weeks away, with the first on-track test of its new car coming on February 22 in Barcelona.

Grosjean walked away from Lotus at the end of last year to join Haas for the new season, where he will race alongside former Ferrari reserve Esteban Gutierrez.

In a post on his Twitter account on Saturday, Grosjean unveiled his new helmet design for the 2016 season, featuring plenty of Haas signage.

Grosjean also revealed earlier this week that he would be racing with a tribute to Jules Bianchi on his helmet, who died at the age of 25 last July.