Tony Stewart/Ray Evernham SRX series announces crew chiefs for inaugural season

SRX crew chiefs Stewart Evernham

The Camping World SRX Series has named three NASCAR Cup Series winning crew chiefs to join the short-track circuit started by Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart.

Superstar Racing Experience (SRX), which will race on six consecutive Saturday nights starting on June 12, will begin its inaugural season at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway, and Mike Beam, Jeff Hammond and Todd Parrott will be helping tune the cars in the pits.

Beam, Hammond and Parrott have a combined 77 NASCAR Cup Series victories, including the 1994 Southern 500 (Beam with Bill Elliott), the 1989 Daytona 500 (Hammond with Darrell Waltrip) and the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600 and Brickyard 400 (Parrott with Dale Jarrett).

A local all-star crew chief will be working every event with the trio, which will have three drivers assigned to each by a blind draw.

“Even though we’re shining a spotlight on 12 of the most accomplished drivers in racing every Saturday night in the Camping World SRX Series, racing is not an individual sport,” Ray Evernham, co-founder of the Camping World SRX Series with Stewart and among the NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chiefs, said in a release.

“The driver is the quarterback, but the crew chief is like the head coach. He sees things the driver doesn’t, and he finds ways to get the best out of the driver by rallying a team around him. That’s always been a part of motorsports and it always will be. We wanted to highlight that in SRX by bringing in three of the most accomplished crew chiefs in NASCAR and by showcasing some equally talented crew chiefs who have excelled at the grassroots level.

Dale Jarrett celebrates the 1999 NASCAR Cup championship with crew chief Todd Parrott (David Taylor /Allsport).

“Mike Beam, Jeff Hammond and Todd Parrott – they’re all still very competitive people. They’ll have the unique challenge of making sure their team performs the best in a single race, but then again every week with a different group of drivers as they’ll also have their eye on the championship. And the local all-star crew chiefs will keep them on their toes. Each of them knows their respective racetrack better than anyone.

“All of these crew chiefs will be able to coach their drivers and make some subtle changes to the cars based on their drivers’ feedback. They’re all in this thing to win. Times may have changed, but their will to win hasn’t.”

For the season opener at Stafford, the local crew chief will be Mike Christopher, the twin brother of the late Ted Christopher (who ranks first in track history with 109 SK Modified victories and 131 overall).

Darrell Waltrip celebrates his 1989 Daytona 500 victory with crew chief Jeff Hammond and car owner Rick Hendrick (Dozier Mobley/Getty Images).

Mike Christopher has 28 victories at Stafford in the SK Modified division and is a three-time track champion.

Other all-star local crew chiefs: Guy Forbrook at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway; Keith Kunz at Eldora Speedway, Tim Clauson at Lucas Oil Raceway, Scott Hansen at Slinger Speedway. The local crew chief for the series finale July 17 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway is TBD.

The series announced its race format last month. Hailie Deegan also has been added to the driver lineup for two races, joining a cast that also includes  Tony Kanaan, StewartHelio CastronevesBobby LabontePaul TracyWilly T. RibbsBill ElliottErnie Francis Jr.Marco Andretti and Michael Waltrip.

Crew chief Mike Beam talks with Kurt Busch during Nationwide Series practice April 12, 2012 at Texas Motor Speedway (Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR).

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing

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.