It’s been a couple tough days for the dirt racing community, with one serious and one fatal accident occurring at two of the nation’s most iconic dirt tracks.
Thursday night, sprint car star Kevin Swindell (pictured) was injured in a qualifying heat race for this weekend’s Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Speedway.
Per a USA Today report,Swindell’s car flipped and landed hard on its wheels after tangling with other cars. He was airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.
Kevin Swindell wrote on Twitter after the accident, “Thanks everyone for the love. Long road ahead. Enjoy every minute you got.”
Father Sammy Swindell wrote an update on late Friday night: “Our son Kevin has emerged from surgery & we can confirm he has suffered a significant injury. He has another surgery scheduled for MON AM. We pray for his continued recovery. Thank you to the amazing staff at DesMoines Mercy. We will have an update Monday PM. ”
Kevin Swindell, 26, is a past Knoxville Nationals and Chili Bowl nationals race winner. He’s also embarked on a handful of NASCAR races in both the Sprint Cup and Xfinity ranks.
As an update, rising sprint car star Rico Abreu – who won this year’s Chili Bowl – will start-and-park tonight.
Meanwhile Friday night there was a fatality at Williams Grove Speedway, with James Campbell Jr. killed in a crash at the Mechanicsburg, Pa. oval.
Per the AP, Campbell was killed upon wall impact on the warm-up laps, and the remainder of the evening’s program was canceled.
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.