Reigning champ Nani Roma, top rookie Yazeed Alrajhi done at the Dakar (PHOTOS)

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Nani Roma’s wild crash during Wednesday’s Stage 10 of the 2015 Dakar Rally has sent the reigning champion out of the event.

Roma’s fate had been up in the air for some time after he and co-driver Michel Perin reportedly hit a hole in the terrain that hadn’t been accounted for in their road book and then rolled their Mini at kilometer 193 of the 358km route from Calama, Chile to Salta, Argentina.

Roma and Perin eventually made it to the bivouac at 11:15 p.m. local time last night according to their team. But the duo and their machine were not allowed to start this morning for Stage 11 (Salta to Termas de Rio Hondo) – even though the team has indicated on Twitter that their car was ready to go after a long night of repairs:

For Roma, it’s the end of an altogether difficult Dakar.

The Spaniard’s chances of retaining his title were obliterated on Day 1 thanks to mechanical problems, and he was forced into a support role for the other Mini pilots.

Nonetheless, Roma and Perin bounced back and eventually bagged their first stage win of the Dakar in Tuesday’s Stage 9. But just one day later, their positive momentum came to a halt and now, their event is finished.

Another big name in the car category has also been knocked out of the fight as well. Yazeed Alrajhi had put on a tremendous showing in his inaugural Dakar to run third in the overall standings behind leaders Nasser Al-Attiyah and Giniel de Villiers.

But after major problems emerged with the exhaust system on his Toyota Hilux near the start of Thursday’s special, the confident Saudi had to give up his pursuit despite valiant efforts from crewmen to solve his car’s issues:

Before the setback, Alrajhi had collected a Stage 8 win and five podiums in the 2015 Dakar.

Finally, we now have word that Stage 9 quads winner Victor Gallegos has also had to abandon the event this morning. A broken engine is the reported cause.

Other notable withdrawals in recent days include those of stage winner Matthias Walkner and factory Honda rider Jeremias Israel in the bikes; the previously mentioned Ignacio Casale and Sergio Lafuente in the quads; and sports car veteran Romain Dumas in the cars.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series triples to 34 races in 2023

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023
Xtreme Outlaw Series
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After hosting 10 rounds in 2022, the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series 2023 schedule will more than triple to 34 races. The 2022 season featured seven different winners in the first seven races, a female racer in Jade Avedisian as the only repeat winner and Zach Daum as the champion.

“Dirt Midget racing is a growing entity in American motorsports, and the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota is proud to drive further into the growth of the division with both a diverse and lucrative schedule for 2023,” newly appointed Series Director Tyler Bachman said in a press release. “From the kickoff at our first indoor event, to each of the new tracks we’re set to visit next year, it’s a lineup we know both our teams and fans will enjoy.”

The championship purse fund has also more than double with an increase of $42,000 to $80,000 in 2023. The champion will win $25,000. Last year, Daum pocketed $10,000.

In addition, the series will offer tow money to the top 12 in points. Six drivers attempted to qualify for all 10 races in 2022 with 89 drivers attending.

The series will begin on March 10 at Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Ill. and end the same place it did in 2022 at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City on October 15.

During the season, they will visit 21 tracks in 10 states.

Some highlights of the season include the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series pairing up with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars in 2023 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. in April for the Outlaw Showdown and again in August for the Ironman 55 weekend, as well as the creation of a five-day Midget Speedweek.

The Midget Speedweek will immediately follow the Ironman 55 with a swing through Pennsylvania and New York.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023 Schedule

Friday, March 10 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Saturday, March 11 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Friday, March 31 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.

Saturday, April 1 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.
Friday, April 14 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Saturday, April 15 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.

Friday, May 5 | Humboldt Speedway | Humboldt, Kan.
Saturday, May 6 | 81 Speedway | Park City, Kan.
Tuesday, May 23 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.
Wednesday, May 24 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.

Thursday, June 1 | Tri-City Speedway | Pontoon Beach, Ill.
Friday, June 2 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.
Saturday, June 3 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.

Friday, July 21 | TBA
Saturday, July 22 | Southern Illinois Raceway | Marion, Ill.
Friday, July 28 | TBA
Saturday, July 29 | Atomic Speedway | Chillicothe, Ohio
Sunday, July 30 | Brushcreek Motorsports Complex | Peebles, Ohio

Friday, August 4 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Sat, August 5 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Tuesday, August 8 | Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway | Newmanstown, Pa.
Wednesday, August 9 | Action Track USA | Kutztown, Pa.
Thursday, August 10 | Linda’s Speedway | Jonestown, Pa.
Friday, August 11 | TBA
Saturday, August 12 | Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, N.J.
Friday, August 25 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa
Saturday, August 26 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa

Friday, September 1 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Saturday, September 2 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Friday, September 15 | Jacksonville Speedway | Jacksonville, Ill.
Saturday, September 16 | Red Hill Raceway | Sumner, Ill.

Friday, October 13 | Port City Raceway | Tulsa, Okla.
Saturday, October 14 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Sunday, October 15 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.

* Co-sanctioned with POWRi