Nationwide Notes: Former Truck champion Buescher to RAB

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After several seasons in the Camping World Truck Series and a 2012 series championship, James Buescher is moving up full-time to the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2014 with RAB Racing.

The team announced this afternoon that Buescher has signed a multi-year agreement to drive its No. 99 Toyota Camry. Alex Bowman ran that car for much of the 2013 season, but was released before the season finale last month at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“My first couple of years in NASCAR have been a dream come true, and I can’t thank Turner Scott Motorsports enough for the opportunity they have given me to develop my skills,” Buescher said in a team release. “I am very excited to be able to take the next step in my career, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about the opportunity that RAB Racing is giving me to run full time in the Nationwide Series.

“I am really excited to get back behind the wheel of a Toyota and I am looking forward to driving their cars next year. RAB Racing is a solid organization with great people; I can’t wait to get to work with them.”

Buescher, who won twice in the Trucks this past season, will have the services of Chris Rice as his crew chief. Rice guided the No. 99 to two Top-5 and six Top-10 finishes in 2013. Sponsorship details will be announced at a later date.

Landon Cassill is also taking a full-time NNS ride for 2014 with JD Motorsports, with Dave Fuge on hand to serve as his crew chief on the No. 4 Chevrolet. A team release stated that Cassill plans on continuing his full-time work in Sprint Cup next year as well.

Cassill made 23 starts this past season with JDM in Nationwide. His best finish in the No. 4 was 17th, achieved twice at Talladega in the spring and on the road course at Watkins Glen.

He will replace veteran Mike Wallace as JDM’s lead driver, and the team is planning to have a second part-time car in Nationwide for driver Daryl Harr.

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.