Stewart beats Montoya for first Cup win of 2013

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Tony Stewart reeled in and passed Juan Pablo Montoya with three laps remaining to win the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Raceway for his first Sprint Cup victory of 2013.

Montoya won the race off pit road after a caution period caused by a Denny Hamlin wreck with 24 laps to go, and was on the outside of Jimmie Johnson as the two prepared for a restart with 19 laps left. Johnson then appeared to have badly burned the former Indianapolis 500 winner on the restart as he pulled away, but NASCAR said Johnson jumped ahead of the Turn 4 acceleration zone and penalized the five-time Sprint Cup champion with a drive-through penalty.

“I was half-throttle the whole frontstretch and at some point, I gotta go,” Johnson told Fox Sports afterwards. “In this situation, NASCAR has the judgement to decide whether you jumped the start or not, but [Montoya was] not even going so I’m not if his car broke or was off-power…I’m running half-throttle down the frontstretch waiting for him and he never [came.]

“[Crew chief] Chad [Knaus] even told me on the radio that something had happened and I should just take off and not worry about it, and then we were called on it.”

At that point, it appeared Montoya would finally break through for his first Cup victory on an oval. But Stewart continued to eat into Montoya’s lead and with three laps left, he pulled off the race-winning pass on the outside lane.

“It’s been such a tough year,” Stewart said to Fox Sports in Victory Lane. “…We’ve let [our fans] down for a long time. Hopefully today, we’ll start building momentum back now.”

Montoya managed to hold on to second place over Jeff Gordon, who stretched his fuel and tires over the final 99 laps to get a third-place finish. Kyle Busch led 150 laps on the day but had to settle for fourth at the finish, and Brad Keselowski rounded out the Top-5 in a nice bounce-back effort for him.

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.