Jade Avedisian wins Xtreme Outlaw Midget finale, only multiple winner as Zach Daum wins championship

Avedisian Xtreme Outlaw Midget
Jacy Norgaard / Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series

In the season finale of the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City, Jade Avedisian led flag-to-flag to become the only repeat winner in 10 races.

The weekend began with seven winners in seven races and a distinct possibility the series could end their inaugural campaign with a perfect record of first timers. Points’ leader Zach Daum won his first race Thursday night at Port City Raceway in Tulsa, Okla. to become the eighth unique winner.

Cannon McIntosh kept the streak alive Friday night at I-44 for the opening night of the Charlene Meents Memorial.

But it was the 15-year-old female racer Avedisian from Clovis, Calif. who gave the series its first repeat winner. She is also the first-ever two-time female feature winner of a national midget tour.

“The first one was awesome, but I think this one’s just a little more special that I could do it twice,” Avedisian said.

Her first win this year came in Round 3 at Jacksonville (Ill.) Speedway in June.

Avedisian was fast all night. Starting from the pole after setting quick time, she jumped to an early lead, stretched it to two seconds on the tiny .2-mile dirt track and was contested only in the final five laps.

“I didn’t know exactly [how far back second-place was], but I knew [someone] was right there because I kind of felt my pace slow down in lapped traffic,” Avedisian said. “I wasn’t sure where to go, and this lapper changed lanes on the straightaway, and I was on the outside. I knew someone was close, but just wasn’t sure who.”

The ‘who’ was Bryant Wiedeman. He still had a shot at the 2022 championship if he was able to win the race and Daum finished 15th or worse.

Wiedeman was motivated. Even more so because Daum was forced to take a provisional starting spot and rolled off the grid in 23rd.

Daum suffered not one, but two engine failures during the weekend. The first was discovered after Friday night’s event, so he swapped power plants with his Bundy Built Motorsports teammate Ethan Mitchell. That engine gave way as he took the white flag while leading his heat race. He was forced to climb into one of Avedisian’s backups and start shotgun on the field, which was graciously donated by Chad Boat and CB Industries. There was not a lot of time to make all the changes necessary to be competitive.

“I just tried not to do anything dumb, put myself in a bad position to get crashed that late in the race,” Daum said. “Just had to play it smart, play it like a veteran should.

“There were other people offering cars, and I appreciate every last one of them. There were more people in the hot pit and in Chad’s pit tonight than I could even begin to think about. And I thank every one of them, because without them, we wouldn’t have made [the feature] in time.”

Daum climbed to ninth place at the checkers to pocket the $10,000 check for being the inaugural Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series champion.

“Hopefully, 30 years from now, this [series] has exploded and we’re [remembered as] the inaugural champion,” Daum said.

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.