Ron Dennis clears up Alonso crash rumors; confirms he was briefly knocked unconscious but was not concussed

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McLaren CEO Ron Dennis has moved to clear up some media reports regarding Fernando Alonso’s accident during pre-season testing in Barcelona last Sunday.

Alonso had to be airlifted to hospital following a heavy crash at turn three, but was deemed to be “uninjured and fine” following clear CT and MRI scans.

However, doctors opted to keep him under observation, and the Spaniard eventually left hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

The team put the incident down to the high winds that affected running at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sunday, but due to conflicting media reports, Dennis called a press briefing on Thursday to clear up the speculation.

“What I will say is a few facts,” Dennis said. “Fernando’s period in hospital was determined by the doctors, not by us. We were completely supportive. He had an accident here, everyone knows that.

“He was, as is always the case with a potential head injury, was sedated here. That was a completely normal process. He had completely clear CT and MRI scans, and at no stage through any part of the inspection process at the hospital was there any indication of any damage to his brain.

“There were rumours of electrocution. There was absolutely categorically no electrocution. In all the previous runs, Fernando was saying it was tricky because the wind is moving the car around. Our conclusions that it was related to the wind was based on his comments and the comments of a third party.

“If you then ask the question why he was in the hospital for three days, it’s because there was a period of unconsciousness. It was relatively short.

“When he came to rest, all we know is that the radio was on and we could hear him breathing. There were no other noises. They say it was seconds.”

Following medical advice, Alonso will not be taking any part in the third and final pre-season test of the season in Barcelona this weekend.

However, Dennis said that he does not see any reason why the Spaniard will not be able to take part in the first race of the season in Australia on March 15th. Should Alonso be unable to race though, Dennis confirmed that reserve driver Kevin Magnussen would get the call.

“I can’t foresee any reason why not but I’m not the doctor,” he said. “There will be some tests and processes laid down in the FIA. I can’t see any reason he won’t just sail through it. It’s not for me to determine.

“We have Kevin here. He will test. If Fernando didn’t drive, Kevin would drive. But it’s the sort of preparation that you would expect us to take to cover all eventualities as opposed to this being something that we put right up there. Why would we want to put Kevin in the car without him having driven it?”

Contrary to the original statement released by the team on the day of the accident, Dennis claims that Alonso was not concussed in the accident. However, he reinforced the fact that the Spaniard was physically fine.

“He is devoid of all injuries,” Dennis explained. “We can categorically say he has no injury. We can categorically say he didn’t suffer an electric shock. We can categorically say that, we believe, the car did not fail. Everything after that becomes subjective.”

“He’s not even concussed. The technical definition of a concussion is that you can see it in a scan. The possibility is that the change of direction happened so fast that actually it was like – it’s inappropriate to use the word – a whiplash of the brain. It didn’t actually touch anything. It didn’t bruise, it didn’t bleed.

“I’m not trying to conceal anything. I’m just telling you the facts: he is physically perfect. There is no concussion.”

Alonso is now resting at his parents’ home in Spain, and his condition will continue to be assessed in the run-up to the Australian Grand Prix.

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