Team planes for Stewart-Haas, JGR collide at North Carolina airport

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It’s one thing to see bumping and banging on the track in a NASCAR race. It’s another to see bumping and banging between NASCAR team planes.

The latter instance occurred last night at Concord (N.C.) Regional Airport, where according to the Charlotte Observer, a Joe Gibbs Racing plane made contact with a parked plane from Stewart Haas Racing while teams were coming home from yesterday’s Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis.

Per the Observer, the wing of JGR’s plane collided with the tail of the SHR plane. An SHR spokesman said that no one was injured in the incident.

Jesse Sanders, a crewman for the No. 20 JGR team for driver Matt Kenseth, tweeted a shot of the damage:

https://twitter.com/Jesse_Sanders_/status/493560629534269441

This is not the first time this year that SHR has had issues involving a team plane.

Last month, an SHR plane had its windshield crack in mid-flight as it was flying from the completed race weekend at Sonoma Raceway in California. The team members aboard were moved to planes from JGR and Hendrick Motorsports at a refueling stop.

Brown: Dennis would have made same decision on McLaren-Honda split

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Zak Brown believes former McLaren team boss Ron Dennis would have made the same decision to cut ties with struggling Formula 1 engine partner Honda had he still been in charge at the team in 2017.

McLaren executive director Brown helped engineer a deal for the team to split with Honda at the end of the 2017 season after three tough seasons that had seen the Japanese manufacturer offer little in the way of performance or reliability.

The decision split opinion, with McLaren spurning a significant annual financial injection from Honda in order to link up with Renault, believing its on-track fortunes had to be prioritized over its commercial interests.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Brown was asked if he believed Dennis – McLaren’s long-running team chief before stepping down at the end of 2016 – would have made the same decision to cut ties with Honda.

“I think he would have,” Brown said.

“He was here when those conversations were ongoing and I think Ron always has and always will have the best interests of McLaren in his heart.

“He is Mr. McLaren. It burns him inside as much as us not to see us winning races.”

Brown also elaborated on the decision to break off the much-lauded relationship with Honda, saying the first signs of trouble with the 2017 power unit were clear in pre-season.

After a number of attempts to try and rectify the situation, Brown and his fellow team bosses felt there was no alternative but to end the Honda deal for 2018.

“We knew we were in trouble in testing in Barcelona and we worked really hard for six months to try and find solutions that would give us confidence that we’d be much more competitive in 2018,” Brown said.

“Ultimately, after trying many different things and many different ways we felt we couldn’t get there.

“Three years is a long time in Formula 1 and so we needed to change the direction to get our team back at the top.”