Excitement across the board on Sunday

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This weekend was the first of 2013 that featured all three of the main series we cover here at MotorSportsTalk – Formula One, IndyCar, and NASCAR. And it was every bit as compelling as we could’ve hoped for.

In Formula One, the Malaysian Grand Prix was packed with drama, from Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s wing gamble going horrifically bad to Sebastian Vettel defying team orders and taking the race for himself – much to the annoyance of his teammate, Mark Webber, whose angry “Multi 21, Seb” comment in post-race instantly became one of the more memorable quotes we’ll see this season. Say what you will about the concept of team orders, but Sepang’s conclusion will only heighten anticipation for the next round at Shanghai (Sun., Apr. 14 at 2:30 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Network).

Then in IndyCar’s season opener at St. Petersburg, we saw the popular James Hinchcliffe (pictured) hold off Helio Castroneves for his first series victory and Simona de Silvestro fight like mad in the final laps to secure her first career podium. While de Silvestro couldn’t quite hold off her rivals and eventually finished sixth, she showed the talent that she’s always possessed but couldn’t completely exploit until now. Give a call to Marco Andretti as well for his podium run, which comes after a year of struggling badly on the road/street circuits, and to Chevrolet for continuing to deliver for its drivers in the engine department.

Last but not least, NASCAR had a wild finish to its day in Southern California when Kyle Busch scooted by a wrecking Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin on the last lap to win at Auto Club Speedway. Then along came Tony Stewart, who proceeded to fight Logano momentarily on pit road for what he saw as a block from “Sliced Bread” on the final restart. Unfortunately, Hamlin’s eventual hit against an inside wall would send him to the hospital, and now he has to deal with a compression fracture on his L1 vertebrae. But while that put a damper on things, it can still be argued that Sunday’s race was the best that NASCAR has put on at the two-mile oval.

All in all, if you’re a race fan, then you were fully served by the excitement across the three series on Sunday.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”