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Chase Briscoe wins ARCA championship, race at Kansas

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) A year ago, Chase Briscoe was showing up at racetracks looking for a ride.

Now he’s the ARCA champion.

The 22-year-old newcomer from Mitchell, Indiana, wrapped up the series title Friday night when he took to the track for the series finale, a race he went on to win. Briscoe only needed to start to give owners Briggs Cunningham and Kerry Sherer the championship that has long eluded them.

“Last year I was just going to the stops, going to the races. Really didn’t know what I was doing – probably still don’t,” Briscoe said. “I was just trying to get an opportunity, and this has totally changed my life. I’ve met a lot of people I wouldn’t have met if I didn’t get this opportunity.”

Sherer said he hadn’t even heard of Briscoe, who came up through sprint cars, before hearing his name twice in a one-week stretch last year. So, his Cunningham Motorsports team decided to give him a test ride in Alabama, then were impressed to give him another try at Fairgrounds Speedway in Tennessee.

“I didn’t know him, but I called him and asked if he’d be interested,” Sherer said. “He’s the kind of kid guys like me like to have around because he’s so respectful.

“I saw the likeability first,” Sherer said, “and then saw the race-ability.”

That ability manifest itself in six wins and 14 top-five finishes this season, and a big margin in the point standings. He was so far ahead of Tom Hessert and Matt Kurzejewski that Briscoe merely had to unload his car and climb in at Kansas to lock up the championship.

It was a long time coming for Cunningham Motorsports, which formed in the mid-90s and had won numerous races but never a series title. And while Cunningham himself could not be at the track for the series finale, it was still an opportunity for the team to revel in its success.

“I feel like an overnight sensation,” Sherer said. “It only took us 21 years to win a championship.”

Austin Cindric was second, and Michael Self third.

WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

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