UPDATE: ARCA driver transported to hospital after crash at Talladega, suffers broken ankle

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Brad Smith was transported by helicopter to the UAB Medical Center for further evaluation after a crash during Friday’s ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway. ARCA later announced that Smith suffered a fractured left ankle in the Lap 53 incident.

Smith, 46, couldn’t avoid the spinning car of Austin Wayne Self in the tri-oval and slammed into the vehicle. Smith’s car continued down the track and through the apron, slamming an inside wall, protected by a SAFER barrier, before careering back up the track before coming to rest near the inside wall. Smith was helped out of his car and limped to a gurney.

Smith, who is from Shelby Township, Mich., drives for James Hylton. Smith finished a career-high 11th in points last season despite not competing in five races.

A crash with 10 laps left eliminated points leader Grant Enfinger, Will Kimmel and Clay Campbell, president of Martinsville Speedway. Enfinger got tapped from behind by Frank Kimmel and hit the wall on the backstretch, triggering the incident.

Blake Jones scored his first career victory when leader Tom Hessert ran out of fuel on the final lap. The 18-year-old Jones, who drives for Cunningham Motorsports, finished ahead of pole-sitter Cody Coughlin, Cole Powell and Brandon Jones. Russ Dugger finished fifth. Hessert finished 15th.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”