September 2008 Nationwide Series Archive
- Eric Wise to head Baker Curb driver development: Baker Curb Racing announced that Eric Wise will be taking the helm of its driver development program. As an addition to the two Nationwide teams that the race team fields, it will begin fielding a Camping World East Series team starting in 2009. Wise, who grew up in a racing family in Southern California, began racing at an early age. Once he was bitten by the racing bug, Wise was hooked on the adrenaline that came from driving cars in one way - fast. The racing tradition continued in Wise's family as his son Josh followed in his father's footsteps and spent his weekends racing at local tracks allover Southern California. With his father's encouragement and development ideas, young Josh developed into a champion at every level he competed in and now currently drives in the Nationwide Series.(Baker Curb PR)(9-30-2008)
- Racing Resources Says...
...Denny Hamlin won the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway. He posted his ninth career win in his 109th start and his fourth victory in 16 races in 2008. It was Hamlin's first Kansas victory in four races there.
...Hamlin scored his second victory in the No. 18 and posted the eighth win in 17 races for the No. 18 this season.
...Hamlin became the eighth different race winner in eight NNS Kansas races. He started 19th in the race, matching the record for the lowest starting position of a Kansas race winner. Joe Nemechek also started 19th in 2004. Hamlin led 99 of the 200 laps, the most of all drivers. He had led only five laps in his three previous Kansas races.
...This is the first time in eight Kansas races that the driver leading the most laps has gone on to win. Hamlin's 99 laps led all came in the last 107 laps of the race.
...Hamlin is the fifth different 1.5-mile winner this season.
...With Hamlin's win, Toyota locked up the 2008 manufacturer's championship.
...Joe Gibbs Racing posted its 25th NNS victory and 17th of the 2008 season. JGR has scored 26 combined victories in 2008 -- 17 in NNS, nine in NSCS.
...Points leader Clint Bowyer finished second and posted his 25th top-10 finish of the season. His lead is now 196 points over second-place Carl Edwards.
...David Ragan, who finished third, posted his best finish of the season and matched his career-best finish. Ragan posted his 19th top-10 of the season, ranking second to only Clint Bowyer.
...Kevin Harvick finished 13th, the last car on the lead lap, after experiencing a battery problem on Lap 138. Harvick led 88 of the first 93 laps.
...Bryan Clauson, who finished 21st, was the highest-finishing rookie of the year contender.
...The top 10 consisted of three Toyotas, two Chevys, four Fords and one Dodge.
...Only 13 cars finished on the lead lap, the fewest of all Kansas races.
...Bobby Hillin Jr. finished 36th in his first race since August 2000. Hillin went 279 races between starts.
- Mike Wallace to drive #9 at Talladega: NASCAR veteran Mike Wallace will take the wheel for Germain Racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Talladega again this year. Wallace, who competes for Germain Racing in the GEICO Camry, will drive the # 9 GEICO Toyota in Saturday's 94-lap Talladega adventure.(Germain Racing PR)(9-29-2008)
- Sponsor announcement for Keselowski expected soon: Dale Earnhardt Jr. says that an announcement will be forthcoming concerning a new primary sponsor for next season on the #88 JR Motorsports Chevy driven by Brad Keselowski. "We’re very close on being able to announce something on our programs for next year," Earnhardt Jr. said at Kansas Speedway. "We’re really excited about how good that looks right now. But everything that Brad does in a positive way, whether it be in [the Sprint Cup] garage or the Nationwide garage, certainly helps our program. And he’s dedicated to it - he really is - and I appreciate his efforts. We give him a good opportunity and he’s repaying me by his loyalty and his energy toward that program."(Scene Daily)(9-28-2008)
- Carpentier full NNS schedule in '09? With Reed Sorenson moving over to GEM for next season and sponsors in short supply, his [Patrick Carpentier] chances of remaining with his #10 team appear slim. Although he said the door isn't completely closed on a return to GEM, he may wind up running full time in the Nationwide Series next season. Carpentier has competed in eight Nationwide events this year, with a top finish of second Montreal.(nascar.com)(9-27-2008)
- Toyota clinches manufacturer's championship: When Denny Hamlin’s Camry crossed the finish line first at Kansas Speedway in Saturday afternoon’s Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Kansas Speedway, it enabled Toyota to clinch its first NNS manufacturer’s championship in its second year of series competition. This marks the third time that Toyota has earned a NASCAR manufacturer’s title since the start of the 2004 season. In each of the past two years (2006 and 2007), Toyota has earned manufacturer’s titles in the Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). The performance of four teams fielding six Camrys -- Braun Racing, Germain Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing -- all contributed to the first Nationwide Series manufacturer’s title earning Toyota the Bill France Performance Cup. Camry Nationwide Series drivers have combined to produce 18 victories, 48 top-five finishes, 85 top-10 results and 11 pole positions in the first 30 events of the 2008 season.(Toyota PR)(9-27-2008)
- Stanton Barrett to the IRL? UPDATE: [IRL owner] Greg Beck's team is going full-time in the IndyCar Series in 2009 with NASCAR driver Stanton Barrett. Apparently, Barrett, who will be 36 in December, is going to keep his in-house stock car program going by running the Nationwide Series in the early and latter parts of next year.(Indianapolis Star)(9-26-2008)
UPDATE: Stanton Barrett plans to broaden his horizons next season, adding a full run in the IndyCar Series to his driving duties. Barrett, who competes on a part-time basis for Ski Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series and for his own team (in a partnership with Ski) in the Nationwide Series, is not completely leaving stock cars, though. He says that he plans to participate in NASCAR's Cup season-opening Daytona 500 and its qualifying events and to continue to drive in 10 Nationwide races next season, in addition to running the full IndyCar schedule. He will compete for the Curb/Agajanian/Team 3G team in the IndyCar ranks and for Team 3G in the Nationwide. Barrett did not announce full primary sponsorship, but does have Interush.net, Phytter Phone, Curb Records and Grandstay.net as participating sponsors. He will drive Chevys in NASCAR.(Scene Daily)(9-26-2008)
- KHI may need sponsor for #33 in 2009? Kevin Harvick said he'll be understanding if Camping World decides to take its money from his team and sponsor what is now the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series next year. Harvick said KHI will likely need to fill a 14-race sponsorship hole on its Nationwide team if Camping World departs.(SceneDaily.com)(9-26-2008)
- Hillin in the #81 at Kansas? UPDATE: It was reported during Speed's coverage of Nationwide Series qualifying at Dover, that Randy MacDonald was working on a deal to put Bobby Hillin, Jr. in the #81 at Kansas. Hillin's last race in the series was at Indianapolis in 2000.(9-20-2008)
UPDATE: Bobby Hillin Jr. has dreamed about this coming Saturday for the past eight years, only he wasn’t sure whether it was only going to be just that — a dream. After getting together with former team member Tom Potts and current NASCAR team owner Randy MacDonald, Hillin will be back behind the wheel of a race car this weekend when the Nationwide Series takes the green flag in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.(Houston Chronicle)(9-25-2008)
UPDATE 2: Former Sprint Cup race winner, and two-time Nationwide Series winner, Bobby Hillin, Jr. will once again buckle up behind the wheel of a Nationwide Series car in this weekend's Kansas Lottery 300 in Kansas City, Kansas. Hillin will drive the #81 MacDonald Motorsports Dodge sponsored by T4 Spa Concepts & Designs and Safety Vision, in his first NASCAR sanctioned event in over eight years.(Hillin/Everest Marketing Group PR)(9-25-2008)
- LifeLock sponsoring Kyle Busch at Kansas: LifeLock, the industry leader in identity theft protection, will serve as the primary sponsor of Braun Racing's #32 Toyota piloted by Sprint Cup Series veteran, Kyle Busch, in this weekend's Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway.(Braun Racing PR)(9-25-2008)
- Missouri Valley College on the #70 at Kansas: ML Motorsports will team up this weekend with Missouri Valley College. Mark Green's #70 Biomet/Foretravel Motorcoach Chevy will carry the school's logo on the deck lid and TV panel. In addition, a group of students from the private four-year school in Marshall, Mo. will work at the track with the team.(ML Motorsports PR)(9-23-2008)
- Last Race of 2008 for Biffle/#16 Team: The Nationwide Series heads to Kansas Speedway this weekend for race number 30 in the 35 event season. For Greg Biffle and the #16 CitiFinancial team, however, this weekend marks the end of 2008. The part-time team will make one last run at a win before turning their sights on preparation for 2009.(Roush Fenway PR)(9-23-2008)
- 150 Nationwide starts for Kahne: This weekend Kasey Kahne returns to the Nationwide series and the #9 Ragu Dodge. This race wasn't originally on the 7-time winner's schedule, but added after Kahne missed the Las Vegas race due to illness. Saturday afternoon's race marks Kahne's 150th appearance in the series.(Gillett Evernham Motorsports PR)(9-23-2008)
- Kansas Rookie Notes:
* Landon Cassill was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Camping World RV Sales 200 at Dover International Speedway. Cassill was credited with a 25th-place and earned Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the sixth time this season.
* Landon Cassill leads Bryan Clauson by four points (175-171) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.
* Kyle Krisiloff was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2007 Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas, logging a 28th-place finish.
* Two Raybestos Rookies have finished inside the top-10 just once in seven previous Nationwide Series races at Kansas. In 2005, Jon Wood finished fifth while Reed Sorenson placed sixth.
* Paul Menard is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole position in seven Nationwide Series races at Kansas. Menard won the pole for the 2004 race.
* The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie at Kansas is second by Kerry Earnhardt in 2002. Earnhardt finished 3.272 seconds behind Jeff Burton.
* Scott Riggs holds the record for most laps led by a Raybestos Rookie in the Nationwide Series race at Kansas. Riggs led once for 52 laps in the 2002 race.(Raybestos PR)(9-23-2008)
- Racing Resources Says …
* Kyle Busch won the Camping World RV Sales 200 at Dover International Speedway. Busch reached a milestone in his NNS career: He led his 4,000th lap in the Nationwide Series, reaching the landmark on the first lap of the race.
* Busch scored his 19th career victory in his 133rd race. He passed Greg Biffle and moved into sole possession of 12th on NASCAR's all-time win list. Busch scored his eighth win of the 2008 season and sixth in the No. 18. He has scored nine top-10 finishes in his last nine NNS starts. Busch posted his first Dover victory in nine races. He is the 22nd driver to win on the concrete surface at Dover.
* Joe Gibbs Racing scored its third Dover victory, all in the last three races.
* Gibbs posted its 16th NNS win of the 2008 season.
* Toyota posted its 17th win of the 2008 season. Ford and Chevy each have six and Dodge has none.
* Busch led 157 of the 207 laps raced, including the final 60. He led the most laps for the 11th time in 2008, and he won seven of those 11 races.
* Busch has won with five different crew chiefs in 2008.
* Ten of the NNS drivers will compete in the NSCS Camping World RV 400 on Sunday.
* Bowyer posted his series-leading 24th top-10 finish of the season. Bowyer's lead is now 186 points.
* Second-place Carl Edwards (fifth) gained 21 points on points leader Bowyer.
* Mike Bliss (second) posted his best finish of 2008.
* Landon Cassill, who finished 25th, was the highest-finishing Rookie of the Year contender.
* The top 10 consisted of three Toyotas, three Fords and four Chevys.
* Josh Wise, who finished 13th, was the highest-finishing Dodge.
* This was the eighth green-white-checkered finish of 2008.(ESPN.com)(9-23-2008)
- TV Ratings down for Dover race: ESPN2's telecast of the Nationwide Series event at Dover International Speedway this past Saturday earned a 1.1 household coverage rating, down from the 1.4 earned for the same event last year. The race drew an average viewership of 1,501,263, down from 1,638,055 for the 2007 race. For the season, ESPN2 is averaging 1.6 for 18 races, an increase of 10 percent over last year's average of 1.45 for 23 races.(ESPN PR)(9-23-2008)
- Keselowski to attempt 2 Cup races: Hendrick Motorsports will enter 24-year-old Brad Keselowski in two Sprint Cup Series events in 2008, marking the successful young driver's first foray into NASCAR's top division. Keselowski will attempt to qualify a fifth Hendrick Motorsports entry -- the #25 GoDaddy.com Chevy -- for the Oct. 11 Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and the Nov. 2 Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Veteran crew chief Lance McGrew will direct the effort.(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(9-22-2008)
- Nationwide Series Live on ESPN2 from Kansas: ESPN2's season-long coverage of the Nationwide Series continues with a live telecast of the event at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 27, beginning at 3 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The race also airs in high definition on ESPN2 HD and will be simulcast on ESPN Deportes. In addition, ESPN2 airs same-day coverage of Nationwide Series final practice from Kansas Speedway on Friday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. Analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will call the race with lead announcer Dr. Jerry Punch. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will report from the pits, while Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN Tech Center. Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty.(9-22-2008)
- Lagina Plumbing sponsoring Shepherd at Kansas: Lagina Plumbing announced that it will sponsor the Faith Motorsports #89 Dodge and driver Morgan Shepherd in the upcoming Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. The Kansas race is a continuation of the company's support for the team which began earlier this year at Milwaukee. The company's logo will appear on the rear quarter panels of Shepherd's #89 Dodge throughout this weekend's events at Kansas.(Faith Motorsports PR)(9-22-2008)
- Chase Austin and RWI part ways: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing, LLC and representatives of the team's former developmental series driver, Chase Austin, announced that the parties have mutually agreed to end their nearly two-year relationship, effective immediately. Noted RWR team owner, Rusty Wallace, "Chase is a great kid and he has the talent and potential to be a really good race car driver with enough seat time. He's well-spoken and seems to understand the sponsorship end of this sport a lot better than most drivers his age. Atreus Homes had originally agreed to provide sponsorship for Chase to run a partial Nationwide Series and ARCA schedule this year. Unfortunately, with the housing market the way it is, Atreus couldn't provide the funding they had originally promised for Chase's program. It wasn't anything to do with Chase or our team at all; it just came down to the economic issues that are affecting the entire housing industry right now. We wanted to give Chase a chance to pursue other opportunities for the future and with it getting late in the season, we decided to go ahead and allow him to do so. We have continued to honor the financial commitments we made to Chase and wish him the best going forward."(RWI PR)(9-21-2008)
- Marc Davis to make NNS debut at Memphis: Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Marc Davis will drive the #18 Nationwide Series car in the Oct. 25 event at Memphis Motorsports Park. The #18 car typically has a Sprint Cup driver behind the wheel, but the Cup drivers will be in Atlanta that weekend, which opened up the seat instead of having a JGR Cup driver fly to Memphis. The 18-year-old African-American driver made his Craftsman Truck Series debut last month at Gateway International Raceway and will run a few more races this year with Randy Moss Motorsports.(SceneDaily.com)(9-20-2008)
- One full-time team for KHI in 2009: [Harvick] revealed that KHI will field a full-time Nationwide Series Chevy [next year], to be driven by himself and Cale Gale.(Sirius Speedway / Motorsports Soapbox)(9-19-2008)
- Animal Adoption League on the #47 at Dover: This weekend the #47 Ford will carry the logo of the North Carolina based Animal Adoption League. The owners of the #47 Ford, Tad and Jodi Geschickter and Brad Daugherty all have a passion for pets and lend their support to their local humane organizations. The Geschickters support the Animal Adoption League and Brad the Asheville Humane Society. Driver, Kelly Bires, understands this passion for pets and frequently travels with his canine companion, Raven.(JTG Daugherty Racing PR)(9-19-2008)
- Hot Oil Fuel Systems sponsoring Shepherd at Dover: A newly formed company which manufactures vegetable oil fuel systems for diesel engines has joined Faith Motorsports as an associate sponsor of Morgan Shepherd’s #89 Dodge this weekend at Dover. Hot Oil Fuel Systems of Poughquag, NY designs and supplies customized waste vegetable oil systems which use electric power from the vehicle’s alternator to help convert the used oil to a fuel source.(Faith Motorsports PR)(9-18-2008)
- Acredale sponsoring Jay Robinson Racing: Acredale Vending & Coffee Service (Virginia Beach) will return to Jay Robinson Racing this weekend at Dover and will be on the car the remainder of the year. Acredale will most likely be on the #28 Chevy driven by Kenny Wallace. The U.S. Border Patrol is the main sponsor. Acredale might appear on the #4 driven by Derrike Cope or the #49 driven by Kurtus Davis. Acredale's owner (Scott Abshire) will serve as a pit crew member.(Acredale PR)(9-18-2008)
- Smithfield out at Rensi? UPDATE 2: hearing that Smithfield Foods has notified Team Rensi they will not continue sponsorship beyond this season. The team reportedly laid off several employees Tuesday morning, but will continue to search for sponsorship opportunities for 2009.(9-9-2008)
UPDATE: Bobby Hamilton Jr. said Team Rensi Motorsports will close its doors in December if a new sponsor to replace Smithfield Foods isn’t found by then. Hamilton Jr. is in his second stint with Team Rensi and nearly was without a ride this season until a sponsor was found in early December. Smithfield told the team last Monday it would not return next season, Hamilton Jr. said. Crew chief Chris Wright remains with the team, though a source said nearly half of the team’s payroll was cut via layoffs. Hamilton Jr. blamed the current status of the Nationwide Series for the problems independent teams like Team Rensi are facing. “The series has no identity,” Hamilton Jr. said. “It doesn’t have anything going on, there’s nothing to watch. There’s no drama because it’s all the same stuff.” Hamilton Jr. said he has been “fishing around” for other rides. “I’m about 40 percent, talking to a Cup deal,” Hamilton Jr. said. “I’ve been on the phone several times with a top-notch organization on the truck side. The Nationwide cars, there’s just none out there. Everybody I’ve talked to, if you’ve got a sponsor, they’ll take you. There are some when you could run a handful of races whenever a Cup guy doesn’t want to. I wouldn’t turn my back to that because it’s in really good equipment. I’d like to run full time but if you can’t, you’ve got to take what you can take.” Hamilton Jr. said he even could end up owning his own Nationwide team next season. The five-time series winner isn’t ready to quit driving.(SceneDaily.com)(9-14-2008)
UPDATE 2: Team Rensi was informed last week that current sponsor Smithfield Foods had made a business decision to end their NASCAR marketing program. According to Smithfield Vice President, Jim Schloss, the decision was based on rising costs in the meat industry. With today’s economy and the out of control expenses of participating in the Nationwide Series, Team Rensi is now searching for opportunities to continue competing in either the Nationwide, Truck, East or in the ARCA Series.(Team Rensi PR)(9-17-2008)
- Allgaier to run limited Nationwide schedule in 2008 & 2009 for Penske: Penske Racing announced the signing of 22-year old Justin Allgaier to drive in the Nationwide Series. Allgaier, currently ranked fifth in the 2008 ARCA Re/Max driver points standings, will drive a limited Nationwide Series schedule in 2008 and 2009 for Penske Racing, as he continues to develop as a driver.(Penske Racing PR)(9-17-2008)
- Scott Lagasse, Jr. Named Driver at CJM Racing: 2008 is a year of change for CJM Racing. The team recently announced a new technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing and that they will become part of the Toyota family in 2009. Now to build on that foundation, CJM would like to announce Scott Lagasse Jr. as the new driver of the #11 America's Incredible Pizza Company Chevy starting this weekend at Dover. The new partnership includes the remaining seven races in 2008 and a full-time ride in 2009.(CJM Racing PR)(9-17-2008)
- 200th series start for Chip Ganassi: When Bryan Clauson takes the green flag for the NNS event this Saturday, it will mark the 200th NNS start for the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates program. The CGRFS NNS program has amassed six wins, nine poles, 32 top-five and 60 top-10 finishes since their debut in 2004.(Ganassi PR)(9-16-2008)
- Townley attempting Dover race: John Wes Townley, driver of the #09 Zaxby's/SPS Ford, is scheduled to run the Camping World RV Sales 200 in the Nationwide Series at Dover International Speedway on Saturday, September 20, 2008. The 18-year-old Watkinsville, GA native is slated to make his first Nationwide Series start at the "Monster Mile" after narrowly missing the field at Bristol in August due to a wreck during qualifying.(RAB Racing PR)(9-16-2008)
- Mike Wallace....Drag Racer? Mike Wallace has struck up a friendship with Nitro Funny Car team owner/driver Bob Gilbertson and was in his pits over the weekend at the new zMAX Dragway. Anyway, evidently over a few adult beverages and barbeque, the two drivers talked about Mike driving Gilbertson’s fuel coupe and perhaps getting his license. One thing led to another and now Mike Wallace is going to get his Fuel license in Gilbertson’s car. Wallace is an old friend of Drag Racing Online’s editor Jeff Burk so Burk called Wallace about the deal. Wallace wanted to make sure everyone is clear that he isn’t changing careers; he is still a NASCAR shoe but he is anxious to try his hand in a fuel coupe just for the experience.(Drag Racing Online)(9-16-2008)
- Marks Moving to Nationwide Series: Justin Marks will drive the #9 Construct Corps Tundra at Las Vegas in his final Truck Series race of the season before moving over to Nationwide Series competition. After Las Vegas concludes Marks season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, he will set his sights on racing a Toyota Camry. "We've been in discussions about which races to put on the schedule. I'm pretty confident my first Nationwide Series race will be at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and that I'll be racing in the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Talladega. There are about three more Nationwide races we're working out and we'll make an announcement when we get everything finalized," said Marks.(Germain Racing PR), no word on what team he will drive for. He made his Series debut earlier in the year with Braun Racing, but Germain has run a second car this year as well.(9-16-2008)
- Dover Rookie Notes:
Landon Cassill was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Cassill scored a 12th-place finish and claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the fifth time this season.
Landon Cassill leads Bryan Clauson by three points (171-168) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Camping World RV Sales 200 at Dover International Speedway.
Brad Keselowski was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2007 Camping World RV Sales 200 at Dover, scoring a seventh-place finish.
Three Raybestos Rookies finished in the top-10 in the 2005 Camping World RV Sales 200, the most freshman drivers to finish in the top-10 in the fall Nationwide Series race at Dover since the program was created in 1989 (19 previous races): Reed Sorenson (fourth), Denny Hamlin (sixth) and Carl Edwards (ninth).
Johnny Benson is the only Raybestos Rookie to win the fall race at Dover. Benson scored his first career Busch Series win at Dover in September 1994 ahead of Harry Gant.
The most recent Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap in the fall Nationwide Series race at Dover is Adam Petty who led 23 laps in 1999.(Raybestos PR)(9-16-2008)
- Jason Keller to Baker-Curb Immediately...and in 2009: UPDATE: Baker Curb Racing announced that Jason Keller, a 17-year Nationwide Series veteran, will be piloting the #27 Kleenex Ford for the 2009 Nationwide Series season. Keller also will finish out the 2008 season for the team. With his move to Baker Curb Racing, Keller, a 17-year veteran of the Nationwide Series, joins Kimberly-Clark, the longest-standing, continuous primary sponsor in the series. For Keller's first start with the #27 team at Dover International Speedway, he will be representing Kimberly-Clark's Depend brand and supporting prostate health awareness.(Baker Curb PR)(9-15-2008)
UPDATE: See an image of the car Keller wall drive at Dover on the #27 Paint Schemes page.(9-15-2008)
- Nationwide Series Hits the Monster Mile Live on ESPN2: ESPN2's season-long coverage of the Nationwide Series continues with a live telecast of the event at Dover (Del.) International Speedway Saturday, Sept. 20, beginning at 3 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The race also airs in high definition on ESPN2 HD and will be simulcast on ESPN Deportes. Analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will call the race with lead announcer Dr. Jerry Punch. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will report from the pits, while Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN Tech Center. Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty.(ESPN PR)(9-15-2008)
- Hefty Odor Block sponsoring Phoenix Race: Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber has announced that Pactiv Corporation's Hefty brand will be the title sponsor of PIR's November Nationwide Series race - titled the Hefty Odor Block 200. The race entitlement is the first with PIR for the Hefty brand.(Phoenix Raceway PR)(9-12-2008)
- Federated renews sponsorship of Nashville race: Federated Auto Parts will continue to sponsor the Federated Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race at the Nashville SuperSpeedway for three more years, according to an announcement made by J.R. Bishop, director of member services and event marketing for Federated Auto Parts. Federated has sponsored a NASCAR race at Nashville for the last 13 years.(Federated Auto Parts PR)(9-12-2008)
- Mike Wallace says GEICO has decided 2010 plans: UPDATE 2: GEICO to Cup: Mike Wallace said Friday at Kentucky Speedway that sponsor GEICO has indicated what it wants to do after next season, and it appears it won’t be sponsoring Wallace. GEICO, an insurance company, is not allowed in the Nationwide Series in 2010 as part of a non-competing sponsor agreement with the series sponsor. Nationwide began sponsoring NASCAR’s #2 series this year. "We have an indication of what they’re going to do," Wallace said of NASCAR. "Who really knows? I’ll just leave it at that." GEICO has been one of the most visible sponsors in the series, with its popular commercials featuring fictional Wallace relative Lauren Wallace. NASCAR has told GEICO it could remain as a team sponsor in the Sprint Cup or Craftsman Truck series, but Wallace indicated that didn’t seem likely. "In my case, for me to continue to race in years to come, I’ve got to go find another sponsor," Wallace said.(SceneDaily.com)(6-14-2008)
NOTE: GEICO is allowed to stay in the Nationwide Series in 2009 if they remain with Wallace and Germain Racing. GEICO does have the option to move to another series at any point if they choose. The story at SceneDaily.com has been updated accordingly.(6-14-2008)
UPDATE: During an interview on ESPN2 Friday during Nationwide qualifying #7-Mike Wallace stated that his team was looking for a sponsor for next year. No word on what GECIO has decided to do.(9-5-2008)
UPDATE 2: Sirius Speedway has learned that GEICO Insurance will team with Italian road course expert Max Papis to run as many as 18 Sprint Cup Series races next season, in Toyotas fielded by Germain Motorsports. GEICO currently sponsors veteran Mike Wallace on the Nationwide Series, but cannot remain in NASCAR’s number two series beyond 2009, due to language in the sanctioning body’s contract with major sponsor, Nationwide. They can, however, move to either the Sprint Cup or Truck ranks. Wallace said recently that he is already looking for a new backer, adding, “We have an indication of what (GEICO is) going to do, (and) for me to continue to race in years to come, I’ve got to go find another sponsor." A spokesperson for Germain Motorsports declined to comment earlier today.(Motorsports Soapbox)(9-10-2008)
- Clauson expected to run full time in 2009: "That's really good, to kind of get six or seven races in a row here, and [to] kind of get in the seat regularly is going to be a big help, not only in our performance but building our team for next year and what we're going to try and do next year as far as running for points," said #40 Bryan Clauson, who is slated to run for the championship in 2009, according to crew chief Brad Parrott. "We're real excited. It's a really good situation for me.(ESPN.com)(9-9-2008)
- Ragan to return to Nationwide Series in 2009; might not be full time: Roush Fenway Racing driver #6-David Ragan said he will return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series next year, though it is unlikely he will run full time. Ragan is one of four drivers scheduled to compete in all Sprint Cup and Nationwide races this year. “We’re focused on getting everything settled up for next year. Definitely, 25, 30-plus races. Whether we do those two or three long trips, that’s to be determined.” Of the other four drivers, Clint Bowyer likely won’t do all Nationwide races next year, while David Reutimann definitely will not and Carl Edwards’ schedule has yet to be determined.(SceneDaily.com)(9-9-2008)
- Nationwide COT test at Richmond: UPDATE 3 MORE IMAGES: The Nationwide Series begins a new era when its new car goes on track for the first of two scheduled tests Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 8-9, at Richmond International Raceway. Wednesday, Sept. 10, will be a rain date. Each of the four series manufacturers – Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota – will be permitted to bring two cars. The drivers are to be announced but will be representative of their specific manufacturer. “The goal of this test is for the manufacturers and participating teams to start laying a foundation for the transfer phase from the current car to the new car in the Nationwide Series,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition. The cars will be on track in their current stages of development and the test data will be shared among the manufacturers, teams and NASCAR.(NASCAR PR)(9-4-2008)
UPDATE: A tentative lineup of drivers has been announced for the two-day Nationwide Series new car test scheduled to begin Monday at Richmond International Raceway. Chevy tentatively will have Scott Wimmer (Richard Childress Racing) and Morgan Shepherd (Davis Motorsports). Ford will have Matt Kenseth (Roush Fenway Racing). Dodge will have Bryan Clauson (Chip Ganassi Racing), and Toyota will have a couple of Michael Waltrip Racing cars with David Reutimann, Josh Wise and Kyle Busch sharing the driving duties.(SceneDaily.com)(9-5-2008)
UPDATE 2: Currently scheduled to participate:
TOYOTA (Michael Waltrip Racing car)
Kyle Busch (Monday only)
David Reutimann (Monday and Tuesday)
CHEVY (Richard Childress Racing car)
Morgan Shepherd (Monday and Tuesday)
Scott Wimmer (Monday and Tuesday)
Kevin Harvick (Monday partial day only)
DODGE (Chip Ganassi Racing car)
David Stremme (Monday and Tuesday)
FORD (Roush Racing car)
David Ragan (Monday and Tuesday)
Carl Edwards (Monday only)
Eric Darnell (Tuesday only)
Collin Braun (Tuesday only)
UPDATE 3: Monday, the new car made its official debut. “This is a new project for the Nationwide Series so there’s an unknown until you get (the car) to the racetrack,” [Series director Joe] Balash said. “Now we have it at the track and it’s been very well-received.” The four series manufacturers – Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota – were represented by five teams. Bryan Clauson was the first driver to take a lap for Dodge and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Tuesday’s second day of testing has been re-scheduled for a morning-only session since the data gathered Monday by the manufacturers and teams was sufficient. The threat of rain in the afternoon was also a factor. The NASCAR Nationwide Series new car is also set to test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Oct. 13-14.(NASCAR PR), see the complete release and some images on my Richmond COT Testing Page.(9-8-2008)
UPDATE 3: Some additional images have been added to the Richmond COT Testing page.(9-9-2008)
- Overstreet & Reutimann together again at NHMS; Marks looking toward Nationwide: Jason Overstreet, crew chief for the #9 Toyota of Germain Racing, and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racer David Reutimann will reunite for race #18 on the Truck Series schedule. The two have not worked together since the 2006 season and this opportunity is made possible as Justin Marks, who has piloted the #9 Toyota this season for Germain Racing, works with team management to build a Nationwide Series schedule for 2008. "I have tested and raced a Nationwide Series Camry this year and I really feel very comfortable and confident in these cars. I appreciate this opportunity to work with Germain Racing in the Nationwide Series. The #9 Tundra guys have been great to work with and I appreciate everything they've done. We are looking forward to our final race together in the #9 Construct Corps Tundra at Las Vegas," said Marks, who raced a Camry this summer.(Germain Racing PR)(9-9-2008)
- Racing Resources Says...
...Carl Edwards won the Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond International Speedway. Edwards scored his 17th career victory in his 134th race. He passed Joe Nemechek and Jeff Green for 14th on the all-time wins list. Edwards scored his fourth win of the 2008 season. He has won two of the past four races this season and posted his second Richmond victory in his eighth race. He won in his first start at Richmond in May 2005. Edwards posted his third short-track victory in the series. Edwards led twice for 34 laps.
...Edwards gained 15 points on points leader Clint Bowyer.
...Roush Fenway Racing scored its eighth Richmond victory, the most of all teams. It posted its fifth win of the 2008 season.
...Ford posted its 14th victory at Richmond and its sixth of the 2008 season.
...Seven of the nine drivers who competed in the Sprint Cup race earlier in the day finished in the top 10.
...Points leader Bowyer, who finished third, led a race-high 195 laps. Bowyer posted his series-leading 23rd top-10 finish of the season.
...Joey Logano, who finished seventh, posted his ninth top-10 finish in 12 career starts.
...Kevin Harvick rebounded to finish eighth after a pit-road violation dropped him to 18th on the Lap 217 restart.
...Jason Keller, who made his 450th start in the race, finished 16th.
...Austin Dillon, who finished 26th, made his Series debut.
...Landon Cassill, who finished 12th, was the highest-finishing rookie of the year contender.
...The top 10 consisted of three Fords, four Chevrolets and three Toyotas. Elliott Sadler -- who finished 19th -- was the highest-finishing Dodge.
...Bryan Clauson blew an engine while running 23rd on Lap 93. He finished the race 38th.
...David Reutimann brought out the race's fourth caution of the night after he hit the wall on Lap 106 while running eighth. He remained on pit road when the field took the restart on Lap 112. When he returned to the track he was in 35th position.
...Brad Keselowski (third in points) struggled all night. He started the race third and was running one lap down within the first 90 laps of the race. After receiving the free pass twice during the race, he finished 21st.(ESPN.com)(9-8-2008)
- Keller out at the end of the season: Mike Massaro reported during the ESPN's Richmond race coverage that #11-Jason Keller was recently informed that CJM Racing will "go in another direction" at the end of the year and he is out of a job at that time.(9-7-2008)
- Keselowski to run Phoenix truck race: Phil Parsons reported during the Gateway qualifying broadcast on SPEED/TV that Brad Keselowski is scheduled to drive the #19-Brad Keselowski Racing Chevy for the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Int'l Raceway.(9-6-2008)
- CitiFinancial returning in 2009: Greg Biffle, interviewed on ESPN2 during rain delay coverage, stated that he will run 22-26 Nationwide Series races next season. CitiFinancial will sponsor a car for the full season and Biffle will split the car with another driver handling stand alone races and a few races Biffle does not want to drive.(9-5-2008)
- ESPN Networks Will Have Live Coverage of Rescheduled NASCAR Races from Richmond: MRN too: ESPN will have live coverage of the rescheduled NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevy Rock and Roll 400 Sunday from Richmond International Raceway. The telecast starts at 1 p.m. ET. The race was postponed to Sunday due to effects from Tropical Storm Hanna. ESPN2 will have live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Richmond that will be run Sunday night. The telecast begins at 6:30 p.m. with NASCAR Countdown, with the race to start at 7 p.m. The race was originally scheduled to be run Friday night.(ESPN PR)(9-5-2008)
AND: MRN Radio will provide live, flag-to-flag coverage of both of Sunday's postponed NASCAR races at Richmond. Air time for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 Sprint Cup Series race is 12 p.m. (EDT). Later Sunday, the Emerson Radio 250 Nationwide Series race will air live on MRN Radio starting at 6:30 p.m.(MRN PR)(9-5-2008)
- International Comfort Products on the #47 at Richmond: International Comfort Products (ICP) will sponsor the #47 of Kelly Bires at Richmond.(JTG Racing PR)
NOTE: ICP was on the car at California as well. Hearing that the team doesn't have a primary sponsorship for a good part of the remaining races for the rest of 2008. ICP is an associate sponsor for the #47 the whole year, as is the US Air force.(9-4-2008)
- Dale Jr Auction logo on the #88 at RIR: The #88 Navy Chevy of Brad Keselowski will feature the logo of the Dale Jr. Celebrity Sports Auction on the decklid this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. The event is scheduled for Oct. 13, at the Concord Convention Center and will feature a roundtable discussion with celebrities in addition to live and silent auctions. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Dale Jr. Foundation, Make-A-Wish and Victory Junction Gang Camp.(JR Motorsports PR), for more info see my Racing Charities page.(9-4-2008)
- Stock Car Racing Commission Amends Gibbs Penalties: On September 3, 2008, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Joe Gibbs Racing. The appeal concerned two penalties issued by NASCAR to drivers Tony Stewart and Joey Logano. The Appellants specifically requested that the Commission review the probation portion of the driver penalties only. The Appellants also requested and were granted a deferral of the driver probation portions of the penalties until this hearing could be convened. After reviewing the testimony presented during the hearing, the National Stock Car Racing Commission unanimously decided to amend the penalties assessed by NASCAR, removing the probation portions of both driver penalties, while leaving the Championship Driver points portions intact.(NASCAR PR), for all the details on the original penalties, see my August 2008 News Archive page.(9-3-2008)
- Clauson in the #40 for the rest of the year: UPDATE: Been told that with his decision to move back to Indy cars, Dario Franchitti will not run any more races in the Cup or Nationwide Series and that Bryan Clauson will run the rest of the races and go for Rookie of the Year.(6-2-2008)
UPATE: As Dario Franchitti returns to IndyCar competition in 2009 to become a Target Racing teammate of the 2008 Indy 500 winner and current points leader Scott Dixon, Franchitti will step aside the remainder of his 2008 Nationwide races to provide more developmental seat time for Bryan Clauson. Therefore, Clauson will pick up the majority of the remaining races on the 2008 NNS schedule, piloting the #40 Fastenal Dodge.(Chip Ganassi Racing PR), Caluson will run all the remaining races except Texas. Montoya will drive there.(9-3-2008)
- Peanut Shop of Williamsburg on the #25 at Richmond: Bobby Hamilton, Jr. will take the #25 Peanut Shop of Williamsburg Nationwide Series Ford to the Richmond International Raceway this weekend.(Team Rensi PR)(9-3-2008)
- Richmond Rookie Notes: Bryan Clauson was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Camping World RV Service 300 at Auto Club Speedway. Clauson scored an 18th-place finish and took top rookie honors for the fifth time this season.
Landon Cassill leads Dario Franchitti by one point (160-159) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Clauson is third, two points behind Cassill.
Marcos Ambrose was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2007 Emerson Radio 250, posting a 15th-place finish.
The most recent Raybestos Rookie driver to lead a lap in the fall race at Richmond is Kevin Harvick, who led once for one lap in the 2000 event, a span of seven races.
Only two Raybestos Rookies have won the September race at Richmond: Bobby Hamilton edged Tommy Ellis by two car lengths in 1989 while Steve Park crossed the finish line 1.432 seconds ahead of Randy LaJoie in 1997.(Raybestos PR)(9-2-2008)
- Atwood in the #27 at Richmond: Piloting the #27 Scott Bath Tissue Ford for the first time this season, Casey Atwood heads to Virginia to a track where he has seen past success including a second place finish during the Nationwide Series event in the fall of 2004.(Baker-Curb PR)(9-2-2008)
- 450 for Keller: #11-Jason Keller will add another milestone to his Nationwide Series career at Richmond when he makes his 450th start.(NASCAR PR)(9-2-2008)
- Danny O'Quinn in the #56 at Richmond: Barr-Nunn Transportation's next sponsored race with Mac Hill Motorsports for the 2008 NASCAR season will be at Richmond. Danny O'Quinn will be driving the #56 Barr-Nunn Chevy car at the Nationwide Series Emerson Radio 250 on September 5th at the Richmond International Raceway.(Barr-Nunn PR)(9-2-2008)
- Racing Resources Says...
Kyle Busch won the Camping World RV Service 300 at Auto Club Speedway. Busch scored his 18th career victory in his 131st series start. Busch posted his 18th NASCAR victory in 2008 (seven in nationwide, eight in Sprint Cup and three in Craftsman Truck). Busch posted his first Auto Club Speedway victory in his eighth start. Busch led three times for 144 of 150 laps, the most of all drivers. He led the most laps for the 10th time in 2008.
Busch set a track record for the most laps led by a race winner; the previous record was 141 by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 1998. The leader of the most laps has won nine of the 17 races at Auto Club Speedway, including eight of the past nine.
Busch posted his fourth-consecutive top-three finish at Auto Club Speedway. He became the first driver in 17 Nationwide races at Auto Club Speedway to win from the pole. Busch posted his fourth career win from the pole and his second of the 2008 season; he also won the Phoenix race in April from the pole.
Toyota scored its 16th win of the 2008 season, the most of all manufacturers.
Joe Gibbs Racing posted its 15th series win of the 2008 season, the most of all teams. It was the sixth win this season by the No. 18 (14th race of the season). Joe Gibbs Racing has led 280 of the past 300 laps raced at Auto Club Speedway. Gibbs swept both races at Fontana this season; Tony Stewart won in February.
Busch won the race with crew chief Mike Sibley, the fourth different crew chief that he has won with in the series in 2008.
Busch has scored a win at Auto Club Speedway in all three NASCAR national touring series; he won there in Craftsman Truck and the Sprint Cup series in 2005.
Carl Edwards, who finished second, posted his 14th top-10 this season.
Joey Logano, who finished sixth, posted his eighth top-10 finish in 11 career races.
Points leader Clint Bowyer finished seventh, posting his 22nd top-10 finish of the 2008 season, the most of all drivers. He has a 204-point lead over second-place Brad Keselowski.
David Ragan, who finished ninth, posted his 16th top-10 finish of the 2008 season, which ranks second to Clint Bowyer's 22 top-10 finishes.
Keselowski, who finished 33rd, ended a 14-race streak of finishing on the lead lap. It was his worst finish of the season.
Bryan Clauson, who finished 18th, was the highest-finishing rookie of the year contender.
The top 10 was made up of four Toyotas, three Fords and three Chevrolets. Clauson drove the highest-finishing Dodge.(ESPN.com)(9-1-2008)
- Meeks Serving at Harvick's Crew Chief at Richmond: Jason Meeks, who serves as the car chief for the #33 team and has been with KHI since it began in 20001, will crew chief the Camping World Chevrolet this week at RIR for Harvick. Earlier this season Meeks called the race for Cale Gale and the #77 KHI Chevy at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway.(Kevin Harvick Inc. PR)(9-1-2008)
- Tony Raines in the #24 at Richmond? UPDATE 2: hearing that Tony Raines will replace #24-Eric McClure this weekend at Richmond. The team has been struggling and Tony has apparently been asked to evaluate the team's performance and equipment.(8-31-2008)
UPDATE: now told that McClure will not be replaced next weekend in the #24 Hefty Chevy, but that Front Row Motorsports will run a 2nd car with Tony Raines as the driver.(8-31-2008)
UPDATE 2: Front Row Motorsports never considered removing McClure from the #24 car. Eric will be running the remainder of the races in 2008. Tony Raines will be in the #52 car at Richmond.(9-1-2008)
- Nationwide Series Live from Richmond on ESPN2: ESPN2 continues its season-long coverage of the Nationwide Series with a live, prime-time telecast of the event from Richmond International Raceway on Friday, Sept. 5, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The race will be televised in high definition on ESPN2 HD and simulcast on ESPN Deportes. ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD also will have live coverage of Nationwide Series practice on Friday at 10 a.m. and qualifying at 4 p.m. Dr. Jerry Punch, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will be in the booth for ESPN2's coverage, with Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake in the pits. Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN Tech Center. Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown with Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty.(ESPN PR)(9-1-2008)