Slugger Labbe to serve last race as Paul Menard’s crew chief this Sunday at Kansas

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Richard “Slugger” Labbe will step aside as Paul Menard’s crew chief, effective following this weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway.

Labbe will remain with Richard Childress Racing and take a leadership role in research and development, according to SportingNews.com.

Justin Alexander, who has served as race engineer for the No. 27 team, will assume his new role as Menard’s crew chief at Talladega.

“I’m looking forward to slowing down in my NASCAR career a little bit and spending more time with my family,” Labbe said in a team media release. “This is a good move for RCR, Paul and the No. 27 team and I’m going to be there to help Justin with the upcoming transition.

“With NASCAR’s new rules for 2015, this is a unique opportunity for me to help RCR grow and be successful by helping out with their R&D efforts.”

Labbe has been Menard’s crew chief since 2010. The pair combined to earn Menard’s first and only Sprint Cup victory in the 2011 Brickyard 400, as well as 13 top-10 and 43 top-10 finishes.

Menard is currently 20th in the Sprint Cup standings.

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Alex Marquez wins first MotoGP #StayAtHomeGP Virtual Race

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Alex Marquez of Spain won the inaugural MotoGP #StayAtHomeGP Virtual Race as the world’s premier bike racing series followed other motorsports into online racing.

The #StayAtHomeGP, which was streamed Sunday on several platforms including the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel, featured a field of 10 riders competing on their console gaming systems at home.

Francesco Bagnaia was the runner-up, and Maverick Vinales rounded out the podium.

INDYCAR iRACING: Sage Karam wins Watkins Glen opener

Defending MotoGP premier series champion Marc Marquez, the older brother of the rookie race winner and his teammate at Repsol Honda Team, finished fifth.

Here’s a recap of the race from the MotoGP site.

The premier class of MotoGP has yet to hit the track this season as its opener was canceled and the next three races were postponed, including the Grand Prix of the Americas being moved from April 5 to Nov. 15.

Several other racing series have tried online racing in recent weeks.

IMSA held a “SuperSaturday at Sebring” March 21 in place of the postponed Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of SebringNASCAR started its Pro Invitational Series last Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will continue Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. IndyCar kicked off its six-race IndyCar iRacing Challenge with a Saturday race at Watkins Glen International that was won by Sage Karam.