Dillon brothers to run seven truck series races: Austin and Ty Dillon will compete collectively in seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races for GMS Racing. GMS Racing will field a full-time entry for #23-Spencer Gallagher and a 16-race program with RCR driver #33-Brandon Jones. The Dillon brothers will run the #33 Chevy for the other seven races of the 23 Truck Series schedule. Ty Dillon will make his debut with GMS Racing at Daytona in February, also running at Atlanta in March, Charlotte in May and in the Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway. At Daytona, Ty, will run three races at Daytona: Truck Series, XFINITY Series and Sprint Cup Series. Austin Dillon will run GMS Racing trick in the August races at Pocono and Michigan and at New Hampshire in September. Austin wants to join his brother on the starting grid at Eldora Speedway but hasn't finalized those plans yet. Ty Dillon also said that Rheem will sponsor the seven truck races.(Catchfence)(1-31-2015)
Earnhardt, Jr. in a truck race? Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Thursday admitted an interest in making at least one start for JR Motorsports' new Camping World Truck Series program, which will field a part-time entry for 17-year-old Cole Custer this season. "I've never driven a truck before and I've always had that interest to race in the truck," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I'd tell you I would run Martinsville, today, but Cole's going to get all the shorter tracks due to his age, and we need to get him that experience when we can, and it's a great opportunity at Martinsville for him to run. So if I run a race, it'll be at a bigger track where Cole's not quite cleared to run through NASCAR's process. It ain't going to be Daytona."(Fox Sports)(1-29-2015)
Johanna Long to run partial XFINITY, CWTS schedule: Mike Affarano Motorsports announced Wednesday that Johanna Long will compete with the team in select NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series events in 2015. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to race this season with Mike Affarano Motorsports," said Long. "In a time when drivers are pressured to bring sponsorship money to teams in order to race, it was great to have my phone ring and be approached because of my talent." Long competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series part time in 2012 and 2013, and looks to continue to gain experience in the series. In 2012, she became the youngest female driver to compete in the Xfinity Series. Long will make her team debut in the currently unsponsored #03 Xfinity Series Chevy on Feb. 21 at Daytona International Speedway. Mike Affarano Motorsports, located in Salisbury, N.C., is new to the Xfinity Series. The team made major investments over the off-season to upgrade their inventory with former Turner Scott Motorsports cars.(Affarano Motorsports)(1-28-2015)
Lack of sponsorship puts Burton on hold UPDATE: Jeb Burton tweeted Wednesday morning, "Due to a lack of sponsorship,I do not have a truck program for this year. I will continue to do everything in my power to fulfill my dream!".(1-28-2015)
UPDATE: For the second consecutive January, a sponsorship implosion suddenly has Jeb Burton scrambling for a NASCAR ride with only two weeks before the season. A deal to keep him in a ThorSport Racing Toyota recently fell through for the Camping World Truck Series driver, who finished eighth in the 2014 points standings. "We worked hard trying to return at ThorSport, and we just couldn't get the details worked out," Burton told MotorsportsTalk in a phone interview Wednesday morning. "So the result of that is I don't have a ride right now for this race season. I have no clue what I'm going to do to get back on the racetrack."(NBC Sports)(1-28-2015)
Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff extends sponsorship of Sauter: ThorSport Racing announced that Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff and Pouches has extended their partnership with Johnny Sauter for the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. The eight-race partnership kicks-off with the season opener, NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Feb. 20. In 2014, Sauter finished fourth in the final NCWTS driver point standings and collected two top-five and four top-10 finishes while carrying the Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff colors on the #98 Toyota Tundra. In addition to the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff and Pouches will also adorn Sauter's #98 Toyota Tundra at both Martinsville Speedway races (March/October), Charlotte Motor Speedway (May), Dover International Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug.), Talladega Superspeedway (Oct.), and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (Nov.).(Thorsport Racing)(1-27-2015)
Fox to announce broadcast lineup for 2015: Jeff Gordon's TV career will start this year, as the soon-to-be-former Sprint Cup Series driver will serve as a rotating analyst for FOX Sports' Xfinity Series broadcasts. Gordon, who announced last week he will step out of his #24 car following the season, will switch off his Xfinity Series analyst role with defending Cup champion Kevin Harvick and former Cup champ Brad Keselowski. Those are just part of many changes for FOX, which goes into this season splitting TV broadcasting duties with NBC. The news will officially be announced Monday.
-- The familiar booth of Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip will remain intact for Cup Series broadcasts. Chris Myers will continue to host the Cup Series pre-race show alongside Waltrip and his brother, Michael. Fox and Fox Sports 1 have the first 16 races of the season.
-- Matt Yocum, Jamie Little and Chris Neville will serve as pit reporters for both Cup and Xfinity broadcasts, joined by Vince Welch for the latter.
-- Adam Alexander will serve as the play-by-play announcer for Xfinity races with analysts Michael Waltrip and the rotating trio of Gordon, Harvick and Keselowski. FOX and Fox Sports 1 have the first 14 races of the season.
-- With Steve Byrnes battling cancer, Mike Joy, Adam Alexander and newcomer Brian Till will rotate play-by-play duties for the Camping World Truck Series (Joy will call the season opener). They'll be joined in the booth by Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip. Fox Sports 1 has the entire Truck schedule save for the October race at Talladega Superspeedway, which Fox will telecast.
-- Pit reporters for the Truck Series include Hermie Sadler, Kaitlyn Vincie, Welch and Yocum.
-- Danielle Trotta will host NASCAR RaceDay during the first half of the season and John Roberts will host the second half. They'll be joined by analysts McReynolds and Kenny Wallace.
-- Vincie, former NASCAR.com reporter Alan Cavanna and newcomer Andrew Doud will serve as reporters, alongside the team of pit reporters for RaceDay. They replace reporters Bob Dillner and Wendy Venturini.
-- Trotta will host the Xfinity Series pre-race show with McReynolds and Wallace; Roberts will host the Truck Series pre-race show with former Truck champ Todd Bodine (former host Krista Voda left for NBC).
-- FOX Sports 1's daily news show, NASCAR Race Hub, will be hosted by Trotta, Alexander and Roberts and has added a large pool of analysts. Among them: Wally Dallenbach, Jeff Hammond, McReynolds, plus a rotation of AJ Allmendinger, Greg Biffle, Drew Blickensderfer, Bodine, Chad Knaus and Joey Logano.(USA Today)(1-25-2015)
Rick Ren sues Kyle Busch Motorsports UPDATE: Rick Ren, a former competition director and general manager at Kyle Busch Motorsports, is suing the team for $390,000. Ren was released from the organization following the 2013 season as KBM scaled back its operations to eliminate its Nationwide Series team. In a lawsuit filed last month in North Carolina Superior Court in Statesville (N.C.), Ren alleges he and his consulting company are owed a $35,000 bonus from 2012 and $355,000 in commissions from two sponsorships he landed for the organization. According to the lawsuit, Ren claims that his contract stipulated that he receive a 10 percent commission on any sponsorship he procured for KBM. He claims he was responsible for $3 million in sponsorship for Parker Kligerman from Central Kentucky Angus Sales (where Briggs Cunningham of Cunningham Motorsports, for whom Kligerman has driven for in the past, is an officer) to drive in the Nationwide Series in 2013, and $550,000 in sponsorship for Brian Scott from Sabala Whitetail (owned by Scott's father, Joe) for select truck races in 2012. KBM attorney Adam Ross stated that the original contract Ren refers to in his lawsuit was amended with a new compensation structure and that KBM "does not owe Mr. Ren or his company a penny."(Sporting News)(1-12-2015)
UPDATE: Kyle Busch Motorsports has strongly refuted the breach of contract claim by former competition director and general manager Rick Ren, who sued the team for $390,000 in December. In a filing with the North Carolina Superior Court this week, KBM says Ren submitted "fictitious and fraudulent" invoices requesting a bonus payment and commissions for procuring two sponsorships following his release from the team after the 2013 season. "I don't see where Mr. Ren has any kind of claim," KBM attorney Adam Ross told USA TODAY Sports. "... Who knows? Maybe Mr. Ren's lawyer is sitting on something I don't know about, but from what I've seen so far, I don't see any possibility of a case for him. I don't know why he filed it."
Ren's suit was based off a contract he signed in 2009 and included terms such as a $35,000 end-of-year bonus and a 10% commission for any sponsorship he brought in. But KBM's filing includes an amended contract from 2012 which laid out terms for a revised bonus structure. That agreement removed the commission language and capped bonuses at $25,000. Both documents were obtained and examined by USA TODAY Sports.
KBM says the bonus payment claim is not valid under the amendment and that the commissions would have never been considered because Ren wasn't the one who brought in the sponsors. Ross said he plans to file a motion for dismissal. Ren's lawsuit says he is owed $355,000 in commissions for bringing in sponsorships for Parker Kligerman (Central Kentucky Angus Sales) and Brian Scott (Sabala Whitetail, which is owned by Scott's father). But KBM claims Ren "did absolutely nothing to procure (them)."
"(Ren) received phone calls from two different managers who had reached out to KBM in order to sign their respective drivers to the KBM team," the team's response said. "Central Kentucky and Sabala were preexisting sponsors of the two new drivers at the time they joined KBM." Furthermore, since Ren never brought up the commissions while he was employed, KBM accused him of "bad faith conduct."
"(Ren) submitted invoices to KBM with a hope and expectation that KBM would rely upon those invoices and pay them," the filing said. Phone messages and an e-mail requesting comment from Ren attorney Eddie Gaines were not returned.(USA Today)(1-23-2015)
Tyler Young to run full time again in 2015 UPDATE: Young's Motorsports announced that Midland, Texas native Tyler Young will return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series full-time in 2015 behind the wheel of his family-owned #02 Chevy Silverado. The 24-year-old driver, who competed for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2014, enters the 2015 season looking to build on the foundation he made in his rookie season. Young completed his first full season in the NCWTS in 2014. Making 12 track debuts throughout the 22-race schedule, the Sunoco rookie steadily improved throughout the season, amassing five top-15 finishes including a career-best 11th-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. The Young's Motorsports driver capped off his rookie campaign 13th in the NCWTS driver point standings, a mere 10 points out of 10th place. Young's 2015 season will once again be led by veteran crew chief, Bryan Berry. Berry, a Homestead, Fla. native, is a 12-year veteran of the NCWTS and has 200 starts to his resume, including eight top-five and 27 top-10 finishes.(Young's Motorsports)(1-16-2015)
UPDATE: Young's Motorsports announces that Arthur Krenzel Lett (AKL) Insurance Group will return as an associate sponsor for seven races this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Tyler Young and the #02 Chevy Silverado. AKL Insurance Group is a risk management solutions firm specializing in auto, home, life, and commercial insurance products. AKL Insurance Group, with two branches located in Winfield, WV and Dublin, OH, will be displayed as an associate sponsor on the #02 Chevy Silverado driven by Young in the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway in February, Charlotte in May, Kentucky in July, Bristol in August, Chicagoland in September, Talladega in October, and Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.(Young's Motorsports)(1-22-2015)
Spencer Gallagher full-time with GSM in 2015: Spencer Gallagher will compete in all 23 NCWTS events in 2015 with GMS Racing. Gallagher will pilot the #23 Allegiant Travel Chevy alongside teammate Brandon Jones in the #33 Chevrolet. In 2013, Gallagher made his debut start in the series at Kansas and ran a total of 12 starts during the previous two seasons. Gallagher will team up with veteran crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz who recorded three top-five and 10 top-10 NCWTS finishes with GMS Racing last year. "A full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for GMS Racing is something I have been looking forward to for a long time. We all made a lot of progress and noise throughout 2014. I cannot wait to be behind the wheel for all 23 events," said Gallagher. "I know Brandon (Jones) and I have the equipment and personnel behind us to go race for wins."(GMS Racing)(1-20-2015)
Nelson Piquet, Jr. would be interested in NASCAR return: While Nelson Piquet Jr. looks happy being back in open-wheels and driving in one of FIA's main series with major exposure around the world, there's something that sit right on top of Nelson's mind and has him dreaming about a return. No sir, this is not about Formula One, those days are fully behind. NASCAR is what hit him hard since day one he jumped-in for a test. "I would love to return and would love to win a Truck championship and be the first Latin American to win a NASCAR championship, but all depends. I mean, still have 30 years at least in my career and a lot can happen", he told Motorsport.com. "At the moment things are going very well over here so I'm going to focus my time in my dedication over here, but I'm never going say no to NASCAR. It's a great sport, a great category, I love them very much and I love the racing, love the fighting and I wish I'd be doing both basically", he states.(Motorsport)(1-17-2015)
New crew chief for Sauter? UPDATE: hearing that Doug George will be the new crew chief for Johnny Sauter on the #98 ThorSport Racing team. George was the crew chief for Turner-Scott Motorsports team in 2014.(1-16-2015)
UPDATE: ThorSport has indicated that the #98 team's flotilla of sponsors -- Nextant Aerospace, Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff, Curb Records and Carolina Nut Co. -- will return for 2015. Sauter will work with veteran crew chief Doug George, whose most recent tenure was spent at Turner Scott Motorsports helping four-time Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. and Ben Kennedy, the 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the series.(NASCAR.com)
Brandon Jones Joins GMS Racing for 16 races: Brandon Jones will drive GMS Racing's #33 Chevy Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for 16 races. Jones joins Spencer Gallagher as part of the driver lineup for the 2015 season. Jones' season with the Statesville, N.C., team kicks off at Martinsville Speedway in March with veteran crew chief Shane Huffman calling the shots for #33 Chevy team. The duo previously worked together last season. The Atlanta, Ga., native made his debut with GMS Racing in October 2014, driving the #33 Chevy in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Martinsville Speedway. In his second start with GMS Racing, Jones led the three-truck contingent with a 12th-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway. Jones made five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts in 2014 and posted his career-best finish of fourth at Dover International Speedway. Aside from his truck racing duties last season, Jones competed full-time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, capturing his first series victory at Iowa Speedway and finished the season fourth in the championship point standings on the strength of 11 top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.(GMS Racing)(1-16-2015)
Jake Griffin to drive for MB Motorsports at Martinsville: 16-year-old Jake Griffin announced that he has inked a deal with MB Motorsports to pilot their #63 Chevy Silverado entry in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, March 28th. The Kroger 250 will mark Griffin's first start in NCWTS competition, and it will be coming with a historic team. MB Motorsports is the oldest team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Their history with the tour dates back to the inaugural season in 1995. The team, which is owned by Missouri-based, Mittler Brothers, will be teaming with Jake Griffin, who became the youngest driver to ever win a NASCAR sanctioned event after a claiming win at the age of 14-years-old in 2013. The team is currently seeking sponsorship to enter more events during the 2015 campaign. At 16-years-old, Jake can enter up to nine races this season.(Jake Griffin PR)(1-14-2015)
BKR announces 2015 lineup; Austin Theriault to run partial schedule UPDATE: Austin Theriault has received an early birthday present. The race car driver, who will turn 21 on Jan. 23, will be making his debut in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Feb. 20 at Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Last season, Theriault landed a three-race deal in the Nationwide Series (now XFINITY Series) for JR Motorsports, Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s team. The specifics of the deal have not been released, so Theriault couldn't divulge the details other than to say it is with an established team and it will be for several races. And he has been able to secure sponsorship. There will be 23 races in the Truck Series, and he said he has a "better than 50-50 chance" that his deal will allow him to run at least 10 races for his new team.(Bangor Daily News)(1-9-2015)
UPDATE: Brad Keselowski Racing announced its team lineup in the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The organization will field two full-time entries in the 23 race series. Cooper Standard returns as primary sponsor of the #29 Ford F-150 while Broken Bow Records and Cequent Performance (through its Draw-Tite, Reese and Bulldog brands) will share primary sponsorship of the #19 truck. Tyler Reddick, 18, will compete full-time behind the wheel of the #19 Ford F-150. Reddick made 16 starts in 2014, winning two pole positons and scoring nine top 10 finishes. His season was highlighted by three fourth-place finishes - Chicagoland (Joliet, Ill.) Speedway, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and the fall event at Texas Motor Speedway. Doug Randolph will return as the team's crew chief. The #29 Ford F-150 will compete full-time for an owner's championship with primary sponsorship from Cooper Standard and the company's Careers For Veterans program. The entry will feature a rotation among four different drivers, highlighted by team owner, 2012 Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski, 2014 NCWTS runner-up Ryan Blaney, NASCAR Sprint Cup star Joey Logano and up and coming young talent Austin Theriault. Chad Kendrick returns as crew chief for the all-star lineup.(Brad Keselowski Racing)(1-13-2015)
Mingus returns to #15 Truck for 2015: Twenty-year-old Mason Mingus will follow up his rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with a return to the #15 Chevy Silverado of Billy Boat Motorsports for the 2015 season. He'll enter the 23-race campaign with the continuing support of 811, a new crew chief and momentum generated in the final races of the 2014 season. The Brentwood, Tenn., native finished 11th in the NCWTS championship last year, earning one top-10 and six top-15 finishes in a campaign that included 16 races with Win-Tron Racing and the final six races with BBM, owned by former open-wheel racer Billy Boat. Mingus will return to the #15 BBM team with a new crew chief in Dennis Connor. The 34-year NASCAR veteran has three NCWTS championships to his credit and has worked with drivers including Tim Richmond, Jack Sprague and, most recently, Johnny Sauter. The underground damage prevention phone line 811 will return as a year-long associate sponsor with Mingus' racing program. The 811 line encourages homeowners and professional excavators to "Call Before You Dig" to prevent damaging underground utility lines while working on digging projects.(Breaking Limits)(1-12-2015)
JR Motorsports forming Truck team; Custer to drive: JR Motorsports will expand into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for 10 races in 2015 with driver Cole Custer, general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller announced. Custer, who turns 17 this month, became the youngest winner in NASCAR national touring series history last year with a truck series victory in only his seventh start. He and the #00 Chevy Silverado team will receive primary sponsorship from Haas Automation Inc., the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. Haas Automation has sponsored Custer for four years. The company was founded in 1983 by industrialist Gene Haas, and it manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers in the company's one million square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California. Distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets, Haas Automation provides the industry's best sales, service and support while offering unparalleled cost-to-performance value. Custer's trucks will be based out of a JR Motorsports satellite shop in Mooresville, North Carolina. Joe Shear, Jr., will serve as the team's crew chief. Shear Jr. was Custer's crew chief in 2014 when they competed in nine truck races with one win, two top-five and six top-10 finishes with two poles. Shear Jr. is a nine-time winner in the Camping World Truck Series. Custer's 10-race NCWTS schedule includes races at Martinsville Speedway (March 28), Dover International Speedway (May 29), Gateway Motorsports Park (June 13), Iowa Speedway (June 19), Eldora Speedway (July 22), Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 19), Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Aug. 30), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Sept. 26), Martinsville Speedway (Oct. 31) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 13). In addition to NCWTS competition, JR Motorsports will field cars in select NASCAR K&N Pro Series and ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) events in 2015 as part of Custer's development. Specifics to Custer's schedule in those two series will be announced at a later date.(JR Motorsports)(1-12-2015)
Scott Zipadelli joins Red Horse Racing: Red Horse Racing announced that veteran crew chief Scott Zipadelli has joined the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series organization and will lead the #11 Toyota Tundra team in 2015. It was announced in December that Ben Kennedy, the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year, would pilot the No. 11 machine for Red Horse Racing. Zipadelli first assumed the role of crew chief in 2007 and since then has led 17 drivers to three wins, 32 top-five and 86 top-10 finishes, and two pole awards in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The Berlin, Connecticut native is coming off of the most successful season of his career. Under Zipadelli's leadership Kyle Larson made two visits to Victory Lane, earned one pole position and recorded an average finishing position of 8.4 in 2014.(Red Horse Racing)(1-9-2015)
NEMCO Motorsports running Chevys in 2015: NEMCO Motorsports will reunite with Chevy as Joe Nemechek and John Hunter Nemechek join Team Chevy beginning with the 2015 NASCAR season. NEMCO Motorsports' teams will compete with Chevy Silverados in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In addition, the NEMCO Motorsports Late Model program will also feature the iconic manufacturer. The move to Chevy represents a return for NEMCO Motorsports, as team owner Joe Nemechek raced with Chevy from 1991 to 2011. Through three of NASCAR's top national touring series (Sprint Cup Series, Xfinity Series, and Camping World Truck Series) with Chevy, Nemechek and NEMCO Motorsports have earned 19 victories (18 in the Xfinity Series and one in the Camping World Truck Series) and 15 pole positions (14 in the Xfinity Series and one in the Camping World Truck Series). In 2015, John Hunter Nemechek returns to the #8 SWM-NEMCO Motorsports Chevy, sharing driving duties with his father until he turns 18-years old, when he plans to compete in the remainder of the truck series schedule beginning at Kentucky Speedway on July 9. The NEMCO Motorsports' switch to Chevy includes the conversion to ECR Engines to supply the team with horsepower for the 2015 season.(NEMCO)(1-9-2015)
Coulter will not drive in 2015: Florida native Joey Coulter will not return to the cockpit of the #21 GMS Motorsports Chevy Silverado this season, instead assuming the post of Team Relationships Coordinator for the team. "I am excited to continue my relationship with GMS Racing," said Coulter this week. "Unfortunately, due to a lack of sponsorship, I will not be in a truck this season. Taking on a new position with GMS allows me to continue my involvement in the racing community and also stay involved as a driver with my family's dirt racing program. So I get the best of both worlds." After relocating to the former Evernham/Richard Petty Motorsports building in Statesville, NC, GMS Racing continues to plan for the 2015 season, with additional announcements surrounding driver, sponsor and team lineups still to come.(Godfather Motorsports)(1-8-2015)
New ARCA team could run some Truck races: A new ARCA Racing Series team headquartered in Mooresville, NC plans to debut next month at Daytona. On Tuesday, veteran ARCA Racing Series driver Terry Jones announced the creation of Rette Jones Racing (RJR), a new team started by the Amherstburg, Ontario native and 2009 ARCA Racing Series championship crew chief Mark Rette. Together, the two racers will field a part-time ARCA Racing Series team beginning with February's Lucas Oil 200. The team also hopes to expand into other racing divisions, such as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) and NASCAR K&N Pro Series as they build their platform.(Motorsport)(1-6-2015)
Crew member suspended: Marshal Faust, a crew member in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's Substance Abuse Policy. On Dec. 12, 2014, Faust was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2014 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(12-18-2014)
Kennedy joins Red Horse UPDATE: 2014 Sonoco Rookie of the Year Ben Kennedy will join Timothy Peters at Red Horse Racing in 2015, the team announced on Wednesday. Peters will return to the #17 Toyota and Kennedy will join the team behind the wheel of the #11. German Quiroga, who has driven the #77 for RHR the last two seasons, will not return.(Twitter)(12-17-2014)
UPDATE: Red Horse Racing announced today that 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Ben Kennedy will join the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team to drive the #11 Toyota Tundra. Kennedy began his racing career in quarter-midgets, later graduating to full-sized stock trucks on the short tracks of central Florida. The Daytona Beach native won Pro-Truck championship titles in 2009, and followed with a Super Late Model championship and Rookie of the Year honors in 2010. Kennedy entered the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2011. In 2012, he made history winning the first NASCAR-sanctioned Euro Racecar Series oval track event at Tours Speedway in France. In 2013, Kennedy finished fourth in the K&N Pro Series East championship point standings with two wins, one pole award, three top-five and nine top-10 finishes, and was crowned the series' Most Popular Driver. He entered full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition in 2014, starting on the pole for the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, one top-five and seven top-10 finishes, and claiming Rookie of the Year honors.(Red Horse Racing)(12-17-2014)
Turner Scott equipment sold: The closure of Turner Scott Motorsports concluded with the selling of equipment over the last few weeks. Employees were laid off following the season-finale in November, and the building, located at 112 Byers Creek Road in Mooresville, NC now sits empty awaiting new tenants, Richard Petty Motorsports. Ben Kennedy, who ended the season as the only remaining full-time Camping World Truck Series driver for the team, earned the 2014 Rookie of the Year award, has not yet announced his 2015 racing plans. Steve Turner had fielded truck entries since 2009. The team won the 2012 truck championship with driver James Buescher. In August, the team announced initial layoffs and the closure of the #30 team with driver Ron Hornaday, Jr. as co-owners Steve Turner and Harry Scott, Jr. each filed lawsuits against each other over various financial issues. Scott, who also runs the HScott Motorsports #51 Sprint Cup Series team, recently announced he was merging with Chip Ganassi Racing to field a team in the Xfinity (formerly Nationwide) Series for 2015.(12-16-2014)
Black to run full schedule with SS in 2015: After running seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races in 2014, SS Green Light Racing is pleased to announce that Ray Black Jr. will run the full NCWTS schedule for the Mooresville based team in 2015 driving the #07 ScubaLife Chevy Silverado. ScubaLife will be the primary sponsor for Black's #07 Dive Truck with support from NASE Worldwide and CDA Technical Institute. The Florida native will run for the NCWTS Rookie of the Year award. Black started in motorsports at age 14 racing in the Florida Mini Cup Racing Association (FMCRA). After a couple seasons, he progressed through the asphalt ranks running in the Advance Auto Parts Pro Truck series and various late model series throughout the Southeastern United States. In 2014 Ray ran several late model races in addition to his limited NCWTS schedule where he proved his consistency behind the wheel finishing 6 of 7 races and completing over 92% of total possible laps. One of the most tenured teams in all of NASCAR racing, the SS Green Light Racing team has run 335 consecutive NCWTS races, a streak that dates back to 2001.(SS Green Light Racing)(12-16-2014)
Minor to run more races in 2015: McCallister Precision Marketing and Findit.net announce a key sponsorship for two drivers in the 2015 season. Findit.net will be sponsoring NASCAR driver, Ted Minor and Southeast Super Truck Series driver, Cole Glasson. For Ted Minor, having Findit.net on board for another season will mean more races for him. "I am elated to have Findit.net return as a sponsor for 2015. This will allow us to compete in even more Camping World Truck Series races next season. It is nice to be affiliated with a product such as Findit.net. Our hope is to help brand them in motorsports with some of the sports most loyal fans."(MPM Marketing)(12-15-2014)
GMS moving race shop: GMS Racing, currently fielding multiple teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as well as in the Automobile Racing Club of America Racing Series, will have a new place to call home. GMS Racing announced today that the team's race operations will move from their current location in Charlotte to Statesville, N.C. at the end of the year. GMS Racing's new address will be 310 Aviation Drive in Statesville. This location formerly housed Richard Petty Motorsports. The new facility is a sizeable expansion of space from the current location in Charlotte that will allow for growth in race operations as well as further opportunities to increase performance development potential. The new shop will allow for GMS Racing to be an all-in-one facility for the growing team, and allowing the team to have additional space for engineering and simulation. The team acquired three industrial buildings located adjacent to the Statesville Regional Airport in October. The three buildings that once housed Richard Petty Motorsports and Evernham Motorsports totals 157,743 square feet. The new site will be the home of GMS Racing's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams as well as their ARCA Racing Series team. By January 2015, all of GMS Racing's race teams will be able to call the campus home.(GMS Racing)(12-15-2014)
Xfinity, Truck teams will get more on track time: While NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will have numerous opportunities to take part in open team tests in 2015, organizations competing in the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series will also get additional track time. But unlike the Sprint Cup sessions, which will coincide with Goodyear tire and NASCAR tests, the two series will be provided extended practice sessions during race weekends. The only off-site test currently scheduled for XFINITY and the NCWTS is a Goodyear tire test set for May 5 at Iowa Speedway. The use of extended practice sessions "is a cost-effective way for giving XFINITY and Trucks testing without sending them off on a separate trip," NASCAR Senior Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development Gene Stefanyshyn said. "So we're giving those two series where cost is a bigger concern extends practice sessions, which we will fit into the race-schedule weekends. We're not going to add days (at the track) and all that; we're going to figure out how to stuff it in there." The extended sessions will be only for XFINITY and NCWTS teams, although sessions for Sprint Cup have been altered in the past when necessary (such as due to weather issues). The length of the extended sessions will vary, depending on at-track activities for each event, with a maximum of three hours.(NASCAR.com)(12-12-2014)
With driving options limited, Hornaday returns to his roots: Ron Hornaday Jr. has partnered with Indiana-based Diamond Chassis. After 25 seasons in NASCAR, four truck titles and 61 victories on the top four tours, the champ is transitioning to the fabrication side of the sport. Hornaday, along with wife Lindy, manufactured chassis under Victory Circle for the Southwest Tour prior to moving to North Carolina to race trucks for Dale Earnhardt Inc. when the series debuted. His recent experience with Diamond Chassis' Ryan Thomas while building cars for Hornaday's grandson Slater Blickensderfer led to the opportunity. While Hornaday, 56, would love to continue racing in the truck series - and would contemplate a farewell tour - nothing has materialized for 2015. Hornaday was as high as second in the truck point standings this season before Turner Scott Motorsports fell apart. In 17 seasons in the truck series, Hornaday posted 51 wins, 158 top-fives and 234 top 10 finishes in 360 starts. He earned 27 poles for an average qualifying effort of 8.8 and an average finish of 10.1.(Motorsport.com)(12-12-2014)
KBM names crew chiefs: Kyle Busch Motorsports announced that veteran crew chief Jerry Baxter will move over to call the shots for the back-to-back reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner's Champion #51 team and the addition of Shannon Rursch as crew chief for Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Justin Boston's full-time effort for 2015 in the #54 Tundra. The two join Ryan "Rudy" Fugle, who was previously announced as the crew chief for Erik Jones' full-time campaign next season behind the wheel of the #4 Tundra, as the signal callers for the team's three-truck effort next season. Baxter joined KBM at the beginning of 2013 and served as crew chief for the #54 Tundra team with Darrell Wallace Jr. the last two seasons. Under the veteran's guidance, Wallace Jr. finished third in the Truck Series championship standings in 2014 and led all series regulars in wins (4), laps led (623), driver rating (109.5) and fastest laps run (280). Combined in two seasons, the duo posted five wins, three poles, 963 laps led, 14 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes across 44 starts. The California native, who will be one of six members that will be inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame in 2015, will have team owner-driver Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez and Matt Tifft sharing the seat of his #51 Tundra next season. Rursch comes to KBM from Turner Scott Motorsports, where he most recently served as crew chief for the #31 team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In addition to his time atop the pit box for the Nationwide Series team in 2014, he collected three top-10 finishes in four starts calling the shots for TSM in select Truck Series events last season. The Iowa native is a 2004 graduate of the NASCAR Technical Institute and upon his promotion in July became the first alumnus of the school to be named a crew chief in one of NASCAR's top three divisions. The 10-year veteran of the sport got his start as a mechanic at Sadler Racing in 2004 and then served as a car chief at Evernham Motorsports, Phoenix Racing and Robby Gordon Motorsports before moving to the same position at TSM in 2010.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(12-11-2014)
Affarano expanding team: In an effort to provide a solid foundation for his business and provide greater appeal to sponsors, race car driver and team owner, Mike Affarano, announced today that he is working to increase his current stable of vehicles from NASCAR's Camping World Trucks to now include race cars that are to run in NASCAR's Xfinity Series starting in February's inaugural Daytona race. Affarano has been in closed door talks and discussions with race driver and winner of the 2010 Snowball Derby: Johanna Long and her manager, Brett Griffin. Johanna Long the 22 year old from Pensacola, Florida has already made a name for herself with her 2010 Snowball Derby win and with over 66 starts in both the NASCAR Truck and Nationwide Series.
"My desire is to secure sponsorship for Johanna and I to run the full season of NASCAR's Camping World Truck and Xfinity Series that would be ideal for us," Mike stated. "But, I'd be willing to running a limited season or take a backseat and just be an owner if that means that Johanna can run a full season and be competitive against the other contenders on the field."(Affarano Motorsports)
AND: Affarano Motorsports attempted to make four Camping World Truck Series races in 2014, making three of the races with driver Mike Affarano in the #03 Won-N-Done Automotive Care Products Chevy with David McClure as the crew chief.(12-9-2014)
Wallace asks for release from JGR for potential move to Roush Fenway UPDATE 2: Darrell Wallace Jr., who won four races this season in the NASCAR Truck Series and finished third in the series standings, has asked out of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, multiple sources confirmed to ThatsRacin.com and the Charlotte Observer. Although Wallace, 21, has experienced substantial success in the Truck series with Kyle Busch Motorsports the past two seasons, JGR - with whom he is under contract - had been unable to secure sponsorship for Wallace to run fulltime in any NASCAR national series in 2015. The move will allow Wallace, whose victory at Martinsville, Va., last season made him just the second African-American to win a national series race in NASCAR history, to join another organization that can provide him a fulltime ride. A spokesman for JGR declined to comment when asked by the Observer if Wallace had received a release from his contract with the organization. The most likely destination for Wallace appears to be Roush Fenway Racing, sources said. RFR already plans to field Nationwide teams for drivers Elliott Sadler, Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed in 2015. A request for comment was not immediately returned by RFR. Wallace was expected to run up to a 10 races next season with JGR in what will become the Xfinity Series on Jan. 1. JGR owner Joe Gibbs had said he expected to have a "big program" for the driver who was born in Mobile, Ala., but grew up in the Charlotte area. In interviews before the end of the season, Wallace said he was not worried about the lack of a fulltime ride. "I'll take what I can get," he said. "I can only go out there and continue to run up front, lead laps, and win races."(Charlotte Observer)(12-7-2014)
UPDATE: Darrell Wallace Jr., the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR national series race in nearly 50 years, has been granted his release from Joe Gibbs Racing so he can sign with another team for 2015. According to sources, Roush Fenway Racing is the leading candidate for the 21-year-old Wallace with a full-time ride in the Xfinity Series. Neither Roush Fenway officials nor Wallace's agent immediately returned messages seeking comment. A JGR spokesman confirmed Wallace's release Monday morning. In 2013 and 2014, Wallace drove on loan to Kyle Busch Motorsports, where he finished eighth in the Camping World Truck Series standings as a rookie and then third in 2014. He earned his first truck win in October 2013 at Martinsville, the first African-American to win a NASCAR national series race since Wendell Scott won a Cup event in December 1963 in Jacksonville. Wallace won three more races in the series in 2014. He also competed in two Nationwide Series (now Xfinity Series) events in 2014 for JGR, finishing seventh in the July race in Daytona. Despite his success, JGR had trouble finding sponsorship for him. It was angling to have at least 15 races in the Xfinity Series for him in 2015, but Wallace obviously wanted a full season.(Sporting News)(12-8-2014)
UPDATE 2:A formal announcement is expected soon, but Motorsport.com has learned that 21-year-old NASCAR Camping World truck series driver Darrell Wallace, Jr., will move to the Xfinity (formerly Nationwide) series in 2015 driving not for Joe Gibbs Racing, but for Roush Fenway as a fourth entry. Chad Norris is expected to be named Wallace's crew chief. Wallace was granted a release from his Gibbs contract to take the Ford ride after Gibbs was unable to guarantee the former Drive for Diversity racer a full-time job for 2015. Wallace became the first African-American driver since 1963 to win a race in a NASCAR touring series when he took a victory in the Camping World series in 2013, and he backed that up with four more wins in 2014. Wallace had been driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports with Gibbs backing. Norris had been crew chief for Cup driver Carl Edwards and most recently Trevor Bayne.(Motorsport.com)(12-9-2014)
Nemechek wins Snowball Derby: John Hunter Nemechek raced to the win taking the 47th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. today in his third start in the event. Nemechek, who took the lead at lap 286, was not to be dismissed in his second of two races at Five Flags this weekend. He finished second in the Snowflake 100 which had finished mere hours earlier but with a gutsy pit call and undeniable talent, the rising star brought home his crowning achievement in the Pensacola win. Nemechek, who started racing in quarter midgets at age five, has made a steady progression and has had much success along the way including winning 15 of 18 races en route to the Allison Legacy Touring Series Championship in 2013. Competing in his NEMCO Motorsports late model is a by-design initiative that has been fundamental in his development. Competing in his second Snowflake and third Snowball event, he relied on his previous experience there as well as the momentum from his most recent win in the All-American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (Tenn.) on November 1. Nemechek also competed on a limited-schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where in just 10 starts, he earned an impressive six top-10 finishes including a top-five run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Plans for 2015 include a similar late model program as well as returning to his #8 SWM-NEMCO Motorsports entry in truck series action. At age 17, Nemechek is restricted to running on tracks 1.25-miles or less and the road course. Turning 18 on June 11, he will finish out the remainder of the truck series schedule beginning with Kentucky Speedway on July 9, 2015.(NEMCO Motorsports)(12-8-2014)
NASCAR considering changes to Xfinity, Trucks championship format: NASCAR is discussing how to determine the XFINITY and Camping World Truck champions this coming season. Steve O'Donnell, executive vice president and chief racing development officer for NASCAR, declined to say Wednesday to Motor Racing Network what the format will be for those two series this coming season. "We look at every championship every year," O'Donnell said after speaking at Sports Business Journal's Motorsports Marketing Forum at Aria Resort. "I can't tell you if it's going to change. We're still looking at it." Although NASCAR is examining the issue, it does not mean that a change is coming. Still, NASCAR is pleased with the results of the new Chase format, which created a buzz with its eliminations and one-race championship battle at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "We think we hit a home run," O'Donnell said about the Chase during his presentation. "We are really excited with how it came out. I think one of the biggest assets of the Chase is the dialogue around the number of teams, which means more sponsors are being talked about, more drivers. If you take that same mentality, why wouldn't we want 10 or 12 drivers being talked about in the XFINITY Series, 10 or 12 drivers being talked about Camping World? I'm not saying we're there yet, but there is some dialogue going on about what we could do in the future."(Motor Racing Network)(12-3-2014)
Keselowski limits involvement despite financial loss: Brad Keselowski says his NASCAR Camping Work Truck team lost $1 million this past season and admits he's at his financial breaking point. Keselowski revealed his team's financial loss Tuesday while speaking at the Motorsports Marketing Forum sponsored by Street and Smith's SportsBusiness Daily/Global/Journal. Keselowski said that his organization brings in between $7-$8 million in revenue a year and loses about $1 million a season. "The role that I have as an owner in the Truck Series is not about the financials,'' he said. "There's a lot better investments.'' Keselowski, who grew up in a racing family, continues to operate the team despite the losses to reinvest in the sport.
Brad Keselowski Racing will field two teams this coming season. Tyler Reddick will drive the #19 Truck. The driver for the #29 Truck has yet to be announced. Keselowski said he'll run only three races in that Truck.
The organization suffered financial hardships despite its most successful season this past year. Ryan Blaney finished second in the points, scoring one win. Reddick, running a majority of the races, finished 12th in points. Keselowski ran three races, winning once. So, how does Keselowski hope to help his team survive? "It's really simple, you've got to cut costs and raise more revenue,'' he told Motor Racing Network. "It's easier said than done. It's all hands on deck to make that happen. I worry all the time about it. "I'm not interested in being involved in the Truck Series if I don't feel like we can be competitive. My breaking point is two areas - it's going broke and not being competitive. We have to walk that line every day with every decision we make.'' One solution would be for Keselowski to run more races. It's easier to find sponsorship for established drivers - especially a Sprint Cup champion such as Keselowski - than drivers who are not as well known to sponsors. It's among the reasons why some Cup drivers race in Truck and Nationwide events. Keselowski, though, is steadfast in his three-race limit. "I refuse to run more than that,'' Keselowski told MRN. "That's my breaking point. It's about feeling right about my level of involvement. I don't want to run 10 races and the question becomes what am I doing here? Am I doing this because I want to win races as a driver or I want to win races as an owner? "If I'm doing it to just to win races as a driver, quite honestly, it doesn't make any sense because essentially I'm paying to win a Truck race or to run a Truck race. Why would I want to do that? That's not reinvesting in the sport. "If I ran the whole season I could bring in all the revenue to prop the program up. I feel like once you get over three races as a Cup driver in the Truck series you've kind of worn out your welcome.''(Motor Racing Network)(12-3-2014)