Brad Keselowski says he’s focusing on Phoenix win – and nothing else

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Insisting that he’s not worried about his involvement in a second post-race melee during this Chase for the Sprint Cup – or comments from his fellow drivers on what they see as his lack of respect towards them – Brad Keselowski says that he’s stayed focused on nothing else except winning Sunday’s Eliminator Round finale at Phoenix International Raceway.

Well…Maybe one other thing.

“I haven’t honestly paid that much attention this week,” he said after qualifying on the front row tonight at PIR. “I knew early on in the week, it was gonna be one of those weeks and I kinda put my head down and focused on Phoenix – and my Madden team.”

“At the end of the day, we all have our own biases. It’s not fair for me to really – I shouldn’t say it’s not fair, but I don’t think it’s really productive for me to get into the ‘He said, she said.’ Because at the end of the day, we disagree.”

Following Keselowski and Jeff Gordon’s scrap following last weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway – triggered primarily by late-race contact between them that left Gordon with a flat tire and caused him to finish 29th – multiple drivers such as Gordon, Kevin Harvick, and Sunday’s polesitter, Denny Hamlin, have said that Keselowski didn’t show enough remorse for what his aggressive actions versus Gordon at Texas brought about.

But Keselowski says that he has not spent a lot of time digesting their comments and furthermore has a clear conscience about what he did.

“I feel pretty good about the actions I’ve taken,” he said. “Some of them are not perfect. I’ve made some bad ones, but I didn’t make any last week and I still feel that way.”

Neither Gordon, Keselowski or Harvick (who pushed Keselowski from behind leading up to the start of the fight between Keselowski and Gordon) were punished for their roles in the Texas tussle.

However, four Hendrick Motorsports crew members (including three from Gordon’s team) as well as Hendrick crew chiefs Alan Gustafson and Kenny Francis have been fined and/or suspended.

When asked if NASCAR made the right decision in their punishments, Keselowski again said that he hadn’t thought much about that.

“I have to worry about winning this weekend, this race, and this championship,” he said. “And that’s where my focus is, and where it will continue to be. And I think, really, a lot of these conversations, a lot of these talking points, are meant to serve as a distraction. So to sit here and comment on a lot of them would really be to justify them.

“…I know the things that I’m doing are the right things.”

And regarding the prospect of possible retaliation against him this Sunday that could ruin his hopes to compete for a second Cup championship, Keselowski said…Well, you can probably figure it out by now.

“I probably need to win the race – that’s my concern,” he said. “And I want to have the most speed I can have, the best execution whether it’s on restarts and on pit road. Those are my concerns. Beyond that, I haven’t put any thought into it.

“My answer to all that other junk is I plan to be in this sport for a long time and whatever happens, I’ll get through it like I have this past week.”

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.