Underdogs have their day in ‘Dega

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In what was easily the biggest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series surprise win since a then-rookie, Brad Keselowski, did so at Talladega in 2009 for James Finch, David Ragan and David Gilliland swept through the field to take a shock 1-2 result for Front Row Motorsports on Sunday at Talladega.

But they weren’t the only ones. As in Daytona, a handful of underfunded or part-time entrants also cracked the top 10.

Michael Waltrip made his second start of 2013, first actually with Michael Waltrip Racing (drove a Swan Racing Toyota in the Daytona 500), and finished fourth.

Regan Smith – the winner of Saturday’s chaotic Nationwide race – grabbed a top-10 for Finch’s Phoenix Racing in sixth.

And Scott Speed, the ex-Formula One driver for Scuderia Toro Rosso and the last American driver to race in F1, scored the first top-10 finish for the Leavine Family Racing team in ninth (No. 95, right).

Speed may have erred in the last restart, per the Associated Press’s Jenna Fryer. She tweeted from that from her notes, the restart order originally had Ragan eighth, Speed ninth and Brad Keselowski tenth, although they actually restarted Speed, Keselowski and Ragan. NASCAR made no penalty call at the time and Keselowski spent Sunday night on Twitter fuming about the alleged mistake.

David Stremme (Swan Racing Toyota, 12th) and Josh Wise (the third Front Row Ford, 19th) also posted their best results of the season.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.