Brad Keselowski wins pole for Sunday’s Chase race at New Hampshire

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Everything continued to go Brad Keselowski’s way this afternoon during Sprint Cup qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The 2012 Cup champion, who advanced to the Chase’s Contender Round with his win last weekend, set a new NHMS track record to claim his fifth pole of the season.

With a little more than five minutes to go in qualifying, Keselowski turned in a lap of 27.090 seconds (140.598 mph) that was too quick for anyone to beat out.

He and non-Chase competitor Jamie McMurray (27.121 seconds, 140.437 mph) will lead the field to the green flag for Sunday’s Sylvania 300.

“I try not to get caught up in statements, I’m just trying to go out there and do our job,” Keselowski told Fox Sports. “The Penske team has done phenomenal this season, and it’s great to keep it rolling.

“Loudon’s always been one of my favorite tracks, and we’ve won a couple poles here before. But this one is a little extra special with everything that’s going on and going through the Chase and what not. I’m ready to get running tomorrow and hopefully, we’ll get another win.”

With his spot in the Contender Round already set, Keselowski can race without worry. His front-row counterpart, McMurray, on the other hand will be out to steal some attention from him and the rest of the Chasers.

It’s something that he’s done before. While he himself has never been a Chaser, he has won several Chase races in his career – the most recent of those coming last year at Talladega Superspeedway.

“I thought our car was really good in race trim,” McMurray said. “We started with a similar set-up to what we ran here in the first race. We ran really well, we didn’t finish well, and the car was pretty good.

“[Crew chief] Keith [Rodden] made it a little bit better, so I’m looking forward to not the first [Saturday] practice at 9 a.m. ET, but the second practice when some rubber gets laid down and it’s hotter. It’s gonna be 20 degrees hotter than it is today on Sunday, but our car’s been good from the time we’ve unloaded it.”

In all, nine Chasers will be in the first six rows on Sunday’s grid:

Brad Keselowski – 1st
Kevin Harvick – 3rd
Denny Hamlin – 4th
Kyle Busch – 5th
Jimmie Johnson – 6th
Joey Logano – 7th
Carl Edwards – 8th
Ryan Newman – 9th
Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 11th

As for the seven Chasers that did not crack the final qualifying round, that group was led by Jeff Gordon, who will go off from 13th for Sunday’s race.

“I’d say it was a little bit loose the first run out, but I felt like I got everything out of it,” Gordon said after missing the final round by eight one-hundredths of a second. “We just don’t have enough speed, that’s the bottom line.

“I think we’ll be a lot better in the race, but in qualifying – we went through the same process earlier in the year here, where we took two tries to get in and just snuck our way in [the next round] and we ended up ninth or 10th. I think that’s about where we are now.”

The other Chasers that did not advance include: Kurt Busch in 15th, Matt Kenseth in 16th, Kasey Kahne in 17th, Aric Almirola in 21st, Greg Biffle in 26th, and A.J. Allmendinger in 27th.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES AT NEW HAMPSHIRE – Sylvania 300
Qualifying results

1. *2-Brad Keselowski
2. 1-Jamie McMurray
3. *4-Kevin Harvick
4. *11-Denny Hamlin
5. *18-Kyle Busch
6. *48-Jimmie Johnson
7. *22-Joey Logano
8. *99-Carl Edwards
9. *31-Ryan Newman
10. 42-Kyle Larson
11. *88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
12. 55-Brian Vickers
13. *24-Jeff Gordon
14. 15-Clint Bowyer
15. *41-Kurt Busch
16. *20-Matt Kenseth
17. *5-Kasey Kahne
18. 10-Danica Patrick
19. 17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
20. 9-Marcos Ambrose
21. *43-Aric Almirola
22. 3-Austin Dillon
23. 27-Paul Menard
24. 51-Justin Allgaier
25. 13-Casey Mears
26. *16-Greg Biffle
27. *47-A.J. Allmendinger
28. 14-Tony Stewart
29. 34-David Ragan
30. 40-Landon Cassill
31. 26-Cole Whitt
32. 78-Martin Truex Jr.
33. 83-Clay Rogers
34. 38-David Gilliland
35. 23-Alex Bowman
36. 33-David Stremme
37. 36-Reed Sorenson
38. 7-Michael Annett
39. 98-Josh Wise
40. 83-Travis Kvapil
41. 77-Corey Lajoie
42. 66-Mike Wallace
43. 32-Timmy Hill
*CHASE FOR THE SPRINT CUP COMPETITORS

Extreme E reveals competition format for its global races next season

Extreme E
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Extreme E, a new series that will raise awareness about climate change by racing electric SUVs around the world, unveiled its competition format Friday.

The five-race environmentally conscious series will begin next season with races held in Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Greenland and Brazil.

Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport are among the eight teams that will race in the series. Each team will have a male and female driver who alternate in each event.

ELECTRIC APPEAL: Why Ganassi is going to the Extreme E

In the details provided Friday, the two-day events will feature two qualifying races Saturday and two semifinals and a final round Sunday. Each race is two laps: One driven by the male driver and the other by the female. Results are based on finishes, not times.

The first semifinal is slotted with Saturday’s top four qualifiers, and the top three finishers advance to the final. The second semifinal (also known as the “Crazy Race”) will feature the last four qualifiers with the winner advancing to the final.

Click here to see the details of Extreme E’s sporting format.

Here’s the release from Extreme E:

29 May, London: Extreme E, the revolutionary electric off-road racing series, has outlined the race format for its five-event adventure to some of the most formidable, remote and spectacular locations across the globe, starting early 2021.

The series has devised an innovative format unlike any other, likened to a Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally, which is designed to break the mould in motorsport with all-action, short, sharp wheel-to-wheel racing, world-class drivers and teams, the cutting-edge ODYSSEY 21 electric SUV and its stunning, formidable environments, all firmly in focus.

Each race, which will be known as an X Prix, will incorporate two laps over a distance of approximately 16 kilometres. Four teams, with two drivers – one male, one female – completing a lap apiece in-car, will race head-to-head in each race over the two-day event.

Qualifying takes place on day one to determine the top four runners who will progress through into Semi-Final 1 and the bottom four competitors who will go on to take part in Semi-Final 2: the unique ‘Crazy Race’.

The Crazy Race will be a tooth-and-nail, all-or-nothing fight, with only the quickest team progressing into the Final, while the top three will make it through from Semi-Final 1. The winner of the Final – the fastest combination of team, drivers, car and engineers over the epic two-day battle – will then be crowned the X Prix Winner.

Another innovative feature is the Hyperdrive. This will award an additional boost of speed to the team who performs the longest jump on the first jump of each race. Hyperdrive power can be used by that team at any point in the race.

This initial format is designed to incorporate eight teams, and can be adapted to accommodate additional entries.

Teams will field one male and one female driver, promoting gender equality and a level playing field amongst competitors. Each driver will complete one lap behind the wheel, with a changeover incorporated into the race format.

The teams will determine which driver goes first to best suit their strategy and driver order selections are made confidentially, with competitors kept in the dark as to other teams’ choices until the cars reach the start-line. Contests between males and females will therefore be ensured.

X Prix circuits will also incorportate natural challenges that will leave viewers at the edge of their seats, and drivers and teams will be pushed right to the limits of their abilities; with hazards to navigate and defeat such as extreme gradients, jumps, banks, berms, pits, dunes and water splashes.

Alejandro Agag, Extreme E Founder and CEO, said: “Extreme E is a championship like nothing else that has come before in sport. Its goal and objective is to accelerate innovation and tackle climate change head on using transportation.

“Creating this innovative sporting format, which we’re likening to Star Wars Pod Racing meets Dakar Rally, is vital in order to engage the next generation of motorsport fans. We hope our fans will enjoy the short, sharp, wheel-to-wheel racing this format has been built around, and with our high performance electric vehicle, driver changeover, the Hyperdrive feature, and the Crazy Race qualification format, there is plenty to watch out for, and many chances for positions to change hands, Our races really will go right to the wire.”

Extreme E’s cutting-edge 550-horsepower, ODYSSEY 21, incorporates a number of innovations to enable it to cope with all the rigours of racing over the toughest terrain, where no car has raced before. The battery-electric, 400kw (550hp), 1650-kilogram, 2.3-metre wide E-SUV is bespoke from the ground up. Capable of firing from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds, at gradients of up to 130 percent.

It is made up of a common package of standardised parts, manufactured by Spark Racing Technology with a battery produced by Williams Advanced Engineering. This encompasses a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, as well as crash structure and roll cage, whilst tyres, for both extreme winter and summer requirements, supplied by founding partner Continental Tyres.

As well as being used as platform for equality and illutstrating the capabilities of electric vehicle technology, Extreme E will highlight the impact that climate change is having on its remote race locations, using a committee of leading scientists to help bring global attention to issues such as deforestation in Brazil, rising sea levels along the West African coastline, melting Arctic icecaps in Greenland, and more.

The championship will announce further drivers, teams and partners over the coming weeks as it builds towards its early 2021 start-date apace.