Seven races, seven winners: Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series could have perfect record of first-timers

Jacy Norgaard / Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series
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Seven races are in the books and three are on tap this weekend for World Racing Group’s Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series as the series concludes their inaugural season with a chance for three more first-time winners.

Winless, Zach Daum holds a 48-point advantage over Bryan Wiedeman, who earned his first Xtreme Midget win in the most recent race for the series on August 27th at Davenport Speedway. Both Daum and Wiedeman achieved their spots with consistency. In seven races, Daum swept the top 10; Wiedeman has six such finishes.

Each can pad their total on Thursday as the tiny .125-mile Port City Raceway kicks off the finale weekend in Tulsa, Okla. On Friday and Saturday, the season closes out on the .2-mile I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City.

A little less than $15k is on the line for winning the three races and $10k will be paid to the champion, but the money is secondary to the potential prestige of being named the first Outlaw Midget title holder for the same sanctioning body that hosts the World of Outlaws Sprint and Late Model Series.

Daum already boasts three POWRi National Midget titles, in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

“Hopefully, we can go and win all three,” Daum said in a release. “That would be ideal. We haven’t won in a Midget all year. We’ve given a few away. Not just with the Xtreme deal. I feel like in USAC, too, we’ve given a few away that maybe if the stars aligned should have won. Those hurt a little bit. I’d like to get a couple more wins before the end of the year. Just get something. I hate being the guy that wins the championship but doesn’t win the race.”

“It can be done and there is a model for consistency in that but at the end of the day the only thing that matters in racing is winning. I would really like to get Bundy (Mitchell, his team owner) a win. That would mean a lot to me.

Wiedeman needs to pressure Daum on all three nights. He has not yet won at Port City, but ran second to Buddy Kofoid in a Micro Sprint race in March. He won in that same series at I-44 in October, 2020.

Brenham Crouch also has a shot at the championship, but will need the others to have trouble.

As one of the lowest rungs on the Outlaw Sprints ladder system, most of the winners this season have been in their teens or early 20s. Michael Pickens, 39, is the oldest winner after taking the checkered flag at I-55 Speedway in Pevely, Mo. Winning the season opener at Millbridge Speedway in Salisbury, N.C., 14-year-old Gavan Boschele is the youngest.

Two female drivers won in the first three round. Taylor Reimer won at Millbridge with Jade Avedisian taking the checkers at Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway. Altogether, the average age of Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series winners is 22.

As Daum and Wiedeman take center stage battling for the championship, the series has a chance to end with 10 unique winners in 10 rounds. Daum is still seeking his first win and in the next three nights, some great local drivers will challenge.

Cannon McIntosh is perhaps the strongest Midget driver without an Xtreme Outlaw win. He’s won half of the races he started in POWRi National Midgets.

Kyle Jones earned a career-best, third-place finish in the most recent Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series race at Davenport behind Wiedeman and Daum. He also won the recent Midget event held at Port City one month ago. He is also one of five drivers to advance to all seven features in the Xtreme Outlaws.

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

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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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.