Riding three-race winning streak, Ford closing in on Chevy for most Sprint Cup wins in 2014; Toyota lags way behind

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Things we learned Wednesday while looking up something else:

Fans of the blue oval – otherwise known as Ford Motor Company – have at long last reason to celebrate.

How many of you realize that Ford drivers have now won the last three Sprint Cup races?

That’s right, Carl Edwards won at Sonoma, Brad Keselowski won at Kentucky and Aric Almirola won Sunday’s rain-shortened race at Daytona.

This marks Ford’s longest winning streak since the 2005 season, when Greg Biffle won the spring races at Dover and Michigan, sandwiched around Carl Edwards’ win at Pocono.

Even better news for Ford fans: The mighty blue oval has won seven of the first 18 races this season (Chevrolet has nine wins and Toyota just two), the most in one season since 2011.

And there’s still a half season of 18 more races left to go.

Can Ford make it four in a row this Sunday at New Hampshire?

One other thing: Ford drivers have won the pole for the last two races. Keselowski sat on the pole at Kentucky while David Gilliland earned the top spot due to rain at Daytona.

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Fernando Alonso completes first test with United Autosports

Photo: United Autosports
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Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.

The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.

“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.

Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”

Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.

“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.

Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.