(Photo courtesy Sarah Cornett-Ching Racing)

Sarah Cornett-Ching moves up from ARCA to K&N Pro Series East in 2016

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A year ago, Sarah Cornett-Ching was working as a master welder in the remote hinterlands of northern Canada.

Today, Cornett-Ching is one of the most promising young drivers in stock car racing, with a bright future ahead of her.

That’s why it’s no surprise that after a strong rookie season in the ARCA Series in 2015 – including finishing seventh in the standings (an ARCA record for highest finish ever for a female driver), Cornett-Ching is moving on up to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2016.

She made the announcement recently on her web site.

Cornett-Ching will run for K&N East Rookie of the Year honors in 2016. She’ll also continue driving for team owner Tony Blanchard and RACE 101 as they join her in the climb from ARCA to the K&N series.

Cornett-Ching will also compete in select races in ARCA, as well as the CARS Super Late Model Tour.

“I’m really energized about running in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series,” Cornett-Ching said in a release. “We raced a handful of events with them last year, I really liked how the races were organized, the parity of the rules package and what it offered me as a driver.”

The 24-year-old Summerland, British Columbia resident has shown great promise in her climb up the racing ladder. The K&N Series is the next step in her evolution as a racer.

“As my career continues to advance, I’ll be racing on some of the same tracks and with a lot of the same drivers and teams,” Cornett-Ching said. “Combine that with the added value that the NASCAR brand can bring to me and my partners (and) it was really a no-brainer (to move up to the K&N league).”

Cornett-Ching will kick off her 2016 racing season in the ARCA season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 13. The following day, she’ll compete in the K&N Pro Series East season opener at nearby New Smyrna Speedway.

“The K&N Series has a great mix of tracks and is a really good place to build my skill-set and improve my confidence as a driver, but ARCA still offers valuable opportunities for big-track and radial tire experience,” Cornett-Ching said. “Seat time is seat time, no matter what I’m driving.

“So to have laps around places like Chicago, Talladega or Kansas is extremely valuable, especially when I have an opportunity to move up to Xfinity or the Truck Series in the future.”

Cornett-Ching had five top-10 finishes in 20 ARCA starts in 2015. Now that she moves up to the K&N series, she looks forward to following in the footsteps of others who preceded her.

“So many drivers came through those cars on the way to K&N success, and ultimately the top three tiers of NASCAR – Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones and so many more,” she said. “There’s a pattern there.”

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Red Bull driver Verstappen wins Formula One’s Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won Formula One’s Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday for his eighth career victory in a race which ended disastrously for both Ferrari drivers.

Verstappen controlled nearly all the race at Interlagos, which saw a dramatic late collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc when they fought for the fourth position. Both failed to finish.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly got his first F1 podium after finishing second ahead of six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver was third but faces an investigation after an incident that caused Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to spin.

Hamilton, who won at Interlagos in 2018, said Verstappen was “just quicker than us on the straights” and “there was nothing more we could do.”

Dutch driver Verstappen said “Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing… we had two good moves with him, and from there onward I could control the race.”

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, and could be promoted to third if Hamilton is punished.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday was the penultimate race of the season, with only Abu Dhabi left on Dec.1.

Hamilton had already secured the season title in the previous race in the United States. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who did not finish the race, had also secured the runner-up spot.