February 2009 Nationwide Series Archive
- Congrats to Michael McDowell: Michael and wife Jami welcomed their first child, Trace McDowell, on Wednesday Feb 25th at 7 AM. Understandably, the always upbeat McDowell is even more excited than usual, "I'm headed to Las Vegas to do what I love to do, I have a new fan, and I'm rolling all 7's. Trace was 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and was born at 7 o'clock on the dot. Jami is doing great and we couldn't be happier. I wouldn't bet against me this week."(2-26-2009)
- Saug Construction on the #01 at Vegas: Johnny Davis Motorsports announce the Saug Construction Company of Denair, California will join The Palace Station Hotel and Casino to pponsor the #0 Chevy in Sams Town 300 this weekend.(Hufco Promotion / Davis Motorsports PR)(2-26-2009)
- Two crew chiefs fined: NASCAR announced that two Nationwide Series crew chiefs have been fined due to rule violations discovered during this past weekend’s event at Auto Club Speedway. Brad Hicks, crew chief of the #01 Chevy driven by Danny O’Quinn Jr., and Corrie Stott, crew chief for the #02 Chevy of driver Andy Ponstein, have each been fined $2,000 for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-1 (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules) and 20A-12.1A(10) (jacking bolt must be made of solid magnetic steel: hollow bolt) of the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series rule book. The infractions were discovered on Feb. 21 during pre-qualifying inspection. (NASCAR PR)(2-25-2009)
- Congrats: Matt Weaver, who drives the #38 Great Clips transporter, and his wife Kerri, welcomed their first child into the world this week. Logan Matthew Weaver was born at 8:58pm on February 24th. Logan weighed in at eight pounds, eight ounces. Congratulations to "Trucker Matt" and Kerri.(Braun Racing PR)(2-25-2009)
- North Texas Pipe on the #0 at Vegas: Robert Richardson and the #0 North Texas Pipe car are ready to hit Sin City with hopes that lady luck will bring them good fortune when the green flag waves on race day.(R3 Motorsports PR)(2-25-2009)
- Natiowide lauches series web site: Nationwide announces the launch of Nationwide Series Insider - a new NASCAR-focused website from Nationwide Insurance. Get race recap video, exclusive NASCAR articles and more. Updated weekly. (Nationwide PR)(2-25-2009)
- SK Motorsports wants to add second team: David Green said the team has a budget in place to run the full season with or without sponsorship. For now, though, Green’s #07 Toyota doesn’t have a backer. Eventually, the team wants to run two cars, and [co-owner Pete] Szekeres said a second car for his son, Kris, will be entered in the two Nationwide road-course events, Montreal and Watkins Glen. Kris Szekeres has competed in the Grand-Am Rolex GT Series and would eventually like to compete full time in NASCAR.(Scene Daily)(2-25-2009)
- Congrats: to #0 & #01 team co-owners Johnny Davis & Lori Morgan who plan to get married this week in Las Vegas "if they get the cars ready".(Hufco Pro-Motion JDM PR)(2-24-2009)
- California TV Ratings: ESPN2's live coverage of the Nationwide Series race from Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., earned a 1.9 household coverage rating with more than 2,512,000 viewers. The telecast aired Saturday night. Last year's race was delayed by rain until Monday and earned a 1.2 rating.(ESPN PR)(2-24-2009)
- Klondike on the #88: Unilever brands will make its debut on the hood of Brad Keselowski's #88 Chevy with Klondike as the primary sponsor this weekend. This is the first of 11 times Unilever brands will adorn the hood of the #88 and the first of three times for Klondike.(JR Motorsports PR)(2-24-2009)
- Earnhardt driving NNS race with GoDaddy.com sponsorship: #5-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the first of two races with the familiar green and black paint scheme of GoDaddy.com at Las Vegas this weekend. In his last oval start with GoDaddy on board, the 34-year-old secured a seventh-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway.(JR Motorsports PR)(2-24-2009)
- Raybestos Rookie Notes:
* Brendan Gaughan was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Stater Bros. 300 at Auto Club Speedway. Gaughan scored a ninth-place finish, his best in three Nationwide Series and the first top-10 by a Raybestos Rookie this season.
* Gaughan is eighth in the Nationwide Series championship standings, 104 behind leader Kyle Busch and 12 behind seventh-place Joey Logano. He leads ninth-place Jason Keller by one point and 10th-place Greg Biffle by 35.
* Scott Lagasse Jr. scored a 12th-place finish at Auto Club Speedway, his best in 16 Nationwide Series starts.
* Dario Franchitti was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2008 Sam's Town 300, scoring a sixth-place finish.
* Carl Edwards is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole position in 12 previous Nationwide Series races at Las Vegas. Edwards grabbed the top starting spot for the 2005 Sam's Town 300.
* Edwards is also the only Raybestos Rookie to lead the most laps in a Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas, holding the top spot six times for 124 laps.
* The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie at Las Vegas is second by Greg Biffle in 2001. Biffle finished 1.085 seconds behind race winner Todd Bodine.
* The only other Raybestos Rookie to score a top-five at Las Vegas is Scott Riggs, who finished fourth in the 2002 race.(Raybestos / Camp & Assoc. PR)(2-24-2009)
- Racing Resources Says...
* Kyle Busch won the Stater Bros. 300 at Auto Club Speedway. He scored his 22nd series victory in his 140th start. Busch's 22 career wins tie him with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tommy Ellis, and Sam Ard for seventh all-time in the series.
* Busch scored his second series victory at the speedway in his ninth start there; his previous win there was in August 2008.
* Busch became the first driver in NASCAR history to win two NASCAR National Touring Series races in the same day; he won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race as well.
* Busch led a combined 238 of the 250 laps run between the two races. Busch was not passed on the race track in either race.
* Busch scored his fifth series victory with crew chief Jason Ratcliff. It was Ratcliff's first race back after being suspended.
* Busch has finished in the top 10 in 15 of his past 16 series races; he has scored seven victories during the 16-race span.
* Joe Gibbs Racing has led 423 of the 450 series laps raced at Auto Club Speedway during the past three races there.
* Toyota posted its 23rd series victory and its third, all consecutive, at Auto Club Speedway. Joe Gibbs Racing scored its 29th series victory and its third, all consecutive, at the speedway.
* This was the ninth consecutive race won from a top-five starting position at California.
* Kevin Harvick finished second. It was his third second-place finish in his 40th race driving for KHI.
* Carl Edwards, fourth, scored his 11th consecutive top-five finish, tying him with Sam Ard and Jack Ingram for second all-time. The most consecutive top-5s is 15 by Sam Ard.
* Ken Butler scored a 20th-place finish in his series debut.
* #62 Brendan Gaughan (ninth) was the highest-finishing rookie contender among the seven rookies in the race. It was Gaughan's best career series finish.
* The top 10 consisted of four Toyotas, four Chevys and two Fords. The best Dodge finish was 14th, by Justin Allgaier.(ESPN.com)(2-24-2009)
- Nationwide Series from Las Vegas on ESPN2: The NASCAR Nationwide Series, the highest-rated TV series on ESPN2, makes its only appearance of the 2009 season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend, and ESPN2 will have live, high definition coverage of the 300-mile race on Saturday, Feb. 28, beginning at 4 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. ESPN2 will be the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. The race re-airs Monday, March 2, at 9 a.m. on ESPN Classic.
Dr. Jerry Punch will be the lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN2's coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will report from the pits, while Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown with analysis by Brad Daugherty and Jarrett in the ESPN pit studio.(ESPN PR)(2-23-2009)
- Rheem adds 4 races to #33 sponsorship: In addition to the five races Rheem will sponsor with their red and black paint scheme, Rheem has recently made the decision to add four more primary races to the schedule with the focus on the Rheem tankless water heaters. The new paint scheme is known as "Hot Water Heaven," and features a blue water spray across the front with water drop accents on the sides and rear of the car to portray the endless hot water available with a Rheem tankless water heater.(Kevin Harvick Inc PR)(2-23-2009)
- MC2 on the #05 in Vegas: MC2 (pronounced MC Squared) Energy Drink and Beverage Plus Inc. announced today that it is teaming up with Nationwide driver Casey Atwood and veteran team owner Wayne Day for the Sam's Town 300 at the Las Vegas.(MC2 PR)(2-21-2009)
- Pacific Packaging Group sponsoring McDowell: Pacific Packaging Group, through their parent company Pacific Group Inc., announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement with JTG Daugherty Racing. Pacific Packaging Group will be sponsoring the #47 Nationwide Toyota driven by Michael McDowell along with the teams other sponsor partners.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(2-20-2009)
- Smith filling in as Burton's crew chief at California: UPDATE: Pat Smith, the original crew chief for the #29-Holiday Inn Racing team, will be back atop the pit-box calling the shots for the race this weekend. Smith comes back to work as Dan Deeringhoff and his wife Sandy await the birth of their first child in North Carolina.(RCR PR)(2-17-2009)
UPDATE: Shane Wilson will fill in for Dan Deeringhoff as crew chief for the #29 Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Chevy this weekend at Auto Club Speedway for the Nationwide Series Stater Bros. 300. Deeringhoff is at home in North Carolina, alongside his wife Sandy, celebrating the birth of their daughter Addison Lynne. Addison was born yesterday at Carolinas Medical Center at 6:01 p.m. Easter Standard Time and weighed 7 lbs15 oz, measuring 20 ¼ inches long. Mother and daughter are both in good health.(RCR PR)(2-20-2009)
- Goodyear's bigger tire won't impact introduction of NNS COT: Goodyear’s plan for a bigger tire won’t necessarily alter NASCAR’s phase-in plan for a new model car for the Nationwide Series, series Director Joe Balash says. NASCAR already has delayed the introduction of the car from sometime this year to at least 2010 or beyond. Now that Goodyear has said it hopes to have a bigger tire ready to race sometime in 2010, that could throw another curve into the introduction of NASCAR’s new Nationwide car since a change in the size of the tire would require teams to change the chassis. Goodyear says the new tire might be an inch or two taller and wider in order to handle the high right-side loads of the new car, but Balash says the series may move ahead with the new model anyway.(Scene Daily)(2-20-2009)
- Auto Value to sponsor 2 NNS Race for RPM: Moving into their fifth season of NASCAR sponsorship, Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper has contracted with Richard Petty Motorsports (formerly Gillett Evernham Motorsports) as the primary sponsor for four 2009 Cup races. Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper will be making their first Nationwide Series race start of 2009 with the #9 Auto Value Dodge on the track at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, June 27, 2009 with longtime fan favorite Elliott Sadler taking the wheel. Kasey Kahne returns to the Bumper to Bumper cockpit in the #9 Dodge on October 16, 2009 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC.(Auto Value PR), see an image of the car on the #9 Nationwide Paint Schemes page.(2-19-2009)
- Jessie James performing National Anthem in California: Mercury Records recording artist Jessie James, who's song "Blue Jeans" is featured in the current hit film Confessions of a Shopaholic, will perform the National Anthem prior to the Stater Bros. 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Feb. 21.(Auto Club Speedway PR)(2-19-2009)
- Team Too Termite and Pest Control sponsoring #0: UPDATE: Team Too Termite & Pest Control and JD Motorsports announced an agreement to sponsor the #0 Nationwide Series car driven by Danny O'Quinn at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday. Team Too Termite & Pest Control is recognized as the foremost leader in pest related services in California and Team Too Termite & Pest Control recently was named as the first pest management company in the nation that holds both a QualityPro and QualityPro Green certification from the National Pest Management Association and the ECOWISE designation as a certified ECOWISE provider.(JD Motorsports PR)(2-18-2009)
UPDATE: Danny O'Quinn will drive the #01 Team Too Chevy and JC Stout will be in the #0 www.sponsordavis.com entry in this weekend's Stater Bros. 300 at the Auto Club Speedway.(JD Motorsports PR)(2-19-2009)
- Butler making NNS debut: Ken Butler III, better known as KBIII, is finally getting his own dream come true by piloting the famous Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine in NASCAR competition. Through R3 Motorsports, Butler will be making his first Nationwide Series attempt in the #23 at the Stater Bros 300 this weekend.(Aarons PR)(2-19-2009)
- Penalties expected for #0 & #84 teams: UPDATES: Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash said penalties can be expected for JD Motorsports and Mike Harmon Racing after the sanctioning body found violations with their cars in inspection after Saturday’s Camping World 300 at Daytona. Balash said NASCAR confiscated both front springs from JD Motorsports’ #0 Chevy driven by Danny O’Quinn to a 23rd-place finish. “We have a spring-rate rule that measures the individual spring’s rates and the total on the front of the car,” Balash said. “The numbers did not match what the rule is.” Balash said the rates of the front springs weren’t close to the minimum required. Mike Harmon Racing’s #84 Chevy, which finished 29th with driver Mike Harmon, was discovered to have ballast – weight that can be shifted around for chassis balance – outside the frame rail, a violation of a rule instituted this year. “We made those changes as a safety precaution, moved the weight underneath the car and inside the frame rail,” Balash said. Any penalties would likely be announced Tuesday at the earliest.(Scene Daily)(2-14-2009)
UPDATE: A statement from Johnny Davis: "Nationwide Series #0 owner Johnny Davis expresses his apology to the fans, the sponsors, the crew and driver Danny O'Quinn for his oversight in re-checking the spring rates from last time they ran them."(JD Motorsports PR)(2-15-2009)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR announced today that three Nationwide Series teams have been fined and penalized due to rule violations discovered during last week’s event at Daytona.
Blake Bainbridge, crew chief of the #09 Ford driven by John Wes Townley, has been fined $15,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until June 30, 2009 for violating Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules) and 20A-18A (Once constructed and installed, the roll cage must be acceptable to NASCAR officials. Main roll bar (#1) was not round; was altered for clearance) of the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series rule book. Jay Robinson was penalized with the loss of 100 Nationwide Series championship owner points while Townley was docked 100 Nationwide Series championship driver points. Those infractions were discovered on Feb. 10 during opening-day inspection.
George Bartlett, crew chief of the #84 Chevy driven by Mike Harmon, has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until June 30, 2009 due to rule violations discovered during opening-day inspection and post-race inspection on Feb. 14, respectively. Bartlett was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1, 12-4-I and 20A-2.3A (Weight containers welded to the outside of the main frame rails must not contain added weight in any form; added weight to the outside frame rail) and 20A-13E (Invalid SFI label). Team owner/driver Harmon was penalized with the loss of 25 Nationwide Series championship owner points and 25 Nationwide Series championship driver points for each infraction, totaling 50 points in each category.
Additionally Michael Hobson, crew chief for the #0 Chevy driven by Danny O’Quinn Jr., was fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until June 30, 2009 for violation of 12-1, 12-4-I and 20A-12.1A(8) (Combined spring rate was less than specified. The left front spring rate was less than specified). Johnny Davis was penalized with the loss of 25 Nationwide Series championship owner points and O’Quinn forfeited 25 Nationwide Series championship driver points due to the violations, which also were found during post-race inspection.(NASCAR PR)(2-19-2009)
UPDATE 3: A statement from Mike Harmon: "The penalties and fine that were issued to us at Daytona were due to an incorrect SFI sticker on the quick disconnect coupler of the steering wheel that was discovered by the officials upon inspection and corrected immediately, the issue with the weight was due to the lead weight being 3 inches out of place, which was a safety issue and not a performance enhancing issue. We have volunteers working at the shop night and day and it is hard to keep up with all of the NASCAR rules and regulations that are new for the season. We are aware that NASCAR has no leniency in regards to the safety of the drivers and crew, and have taken all steps required to correct the issue with the car. We appreciate all of the support we received during speedweeks at Daytona, and thank all of the fans who have stood by us throughout the years."(Mike Harmon PR)(2-19-2009)
- Gatorz on the #11 at California: California based Gatorz Precision Built Eyewear will introduce their name brand eyewear to millions of NASCAR fans this weekend as they will premier as the primary sponsor of the #11 CJM entry this weekend in California.(CJM Racing PR)(2-19-2009)
- Nationwide Race most viewed ever on ESPN2: The Nationwide Series Camping World 300 at Daytona was the most-viewed Nationwide Series race ever on ESPN2 with an average of 3,238,062 viewers. ESPN2 had live, flag-to-flag coverage of the event on Saturday, Feb. 14. The viewership number represented a slight increase over the telecast of last year's race, which also set a viewership record. The race earned a 2.4 household coverage rating, down from the 2.5 earned for last year's race that also aired on ESPN2, and even with the rating earned for the event on ESPN2 in 2007.ESPN2 will again be the home of the Nationwide Series in 2009, with select races televised on ESPN and ABC. Season ratings for the series on ESPN2 were up seven percent in 2008 from 2007.(ESPN PR)(2-18-2009)
- Raybestos Rookie Notes for California:
* Michael McDowell was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Camping World 300 at Daytona. McDowell scored a 14th-place finish, matching his best effort in six Nationwide Series starts.
* McDowell leads Brendan Gaughan by one point (11-10) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Stater Bros. 300 at Auto Club Speedway.
* Dario Franchitti was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2008 Stater Bros. 300, scoring a 24th-place finish.
* Scott Riggs is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway. Riggs won the 2002 event by .991 second over Jeff Green.
* Greg Biffle is the only Raybestos Rookie to lead the most laps in the 17 Nationwide Series races at Auto Club Speedway. Biffle led six times for 90 laps in the 2001 race.(Camp & Associates / Raybestos PR)(2-18-2009)
- Killzone on the #20 at California: Killzone 2, available exclusively for the Playstation 3, will adorn the #20 Toyota this weekend alongside GameStop.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(2-17-2009)
- Brad Parrott is new crew chief for Townley: RAB Racing announces Brad Parrott as crew chief of the #09 Zaxby's Ford in the Nationwide Series, effective immediately. Brad Parrott, son of legendary Sprint Cup crew chief, Buddy Parrott brings with him 20-plus years of experience in the NASCAR industry, working his way up through the ranks with some of the top teams in the motorsports industry including: Penske Racing, Robert Yates Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and most recently Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.(RAB Racing PR)(2-17-2009)
- Racing Resources Says...
* Tony Stewart won the Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway. It was his eighth Nationwide victory in his 87th career start.
* Stewart has won his past three Nationwide restrictor-plate starts, and six of his past 10 NNS starts.
* Stewart posted his fourth Nationwide Daytona win, all in February. Only Dale Earnhardt Jr. has more February Nationwide wins. Stewart's four wins at Daytona rank him third all-time in Nationwide Daytona wins. Dale Earnhardt Sr. has seven and Dale Earnhardt Jr. has five.
* Stewart led four times for 23 laps, including the final seven laps.
* Clint Bowyer led the most laps in the race, leading four times for 33 laps
* Hendrick Motorsports posted its second Nationwide win at Daytona.
* Stewart has won with four different owners in NASCAR: Joe Gibbs Racing, Kevin Harvick Inc., Andy Petree Racing and Hendrick Motorsports.
* Carl Edwards finished second.
* Chevy posted its 25th Nationwide victory in 35 races at Daytona.
* Michael McDowell (14th) was the highest-finishing rookie contender among the six rookies in the race. McDowell started 41st.
* Jason Keller (ninth) made his series-leading 459th Nationwide start.
* NASCAR penalized Jason Leffler for five laps for "aggressive driving" when it appeared that he caused Stephen Wallace, Justin Allgaier and Scott Lagasse Jr. to wreck on Lap 71. All three drivers were out of the race due to accident damage.
* D.J. Kennington (17th) was the highest-finishing Dodge.
* The top 10 consisted of five Fords, three Chevys, and two Toyotas.(ESPN.com)(2-16-2009)
- Emerson Drive giving concert at Nashville: Tickets are on sale for the Nationwide Series 300 race scheduled for Saturday, April 11 at Nashville Superspeedway. Country stars Emerson Drive will perform a special post-race concert for fans. The band is slated to release their fourth studio album BELIEVE (produced by Teddy Gentry of Alabama and Josh Leo, the same powerhouse team from their #1 hit "Moments") on The Valory Music Co. on April 7th and their new single "Belongs to You" is racing up the country charts. Their music video debuted at #2 on Great American Country (GAC) just recently.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(2-16-2009)
- Nationwide Series Season from California on ESPN2: After starting the 2009 season at Daytona, the Nationwide Series continues on the other side of the country this weekend with a 300-mile event at the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Live, flag-to-flag coverage presented by GoDaddy.com airs Saturday, Feb. 21, beginning at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD with NASCAR Countdown. ESPN2 will be the home of the Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. Dr. Jerry Punch will be the lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN2's coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch will report from the pits, while Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage. Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN pit studio.(ESPN PR)(2-16-2009)
- Associate sponsor for Rick Ware Racing: UPDATE: Rick Ware Racing announces that EPH Tools & Machining LTD. has joined the organization as an associate sponsor for the 2009 season. EPH Tools & Machining is a family owned Automotive Production Equipment Supplier mainly involved in the tube bending industry. EPH Tools was originally established in 1987 by present owners Ted & Phyllis Hayes and is located in Lion's Head, Ontario, Canada.(RWR PR)(1-15-2009)
UPDATE: Rick Ware to announced that long-time sponsor of Stanton Barrett; Interush will once again be the primary for the Stater Brothers 300 at the Auto Club Speedway on February 21st for the #31 of Barrett.(RWR PR)(2-16-2009)
- Rheem on the #33 at California: After sponsoring four primary events in 2008, Rheem will return to KHI for the 2009 season as the primary sponsor for five races. This season KHI co-owner and two-time Nationwide Series champion Kevin Harvick will pilot the car for four races and 2008 Daytona 500 champion Ryan Newman will settle in to the driver seat for one race.(KHI PR)(2-16-2009)
- RWI considering Cup: The union of two families with passionate racing backgrounds has led Rusty Wallace to seriously consider a 2009 Cup Series debut with his own team, and a possible full-time venture in the near future. In the offseason Wallace did a deal with Las Vegas businessman Michael Gaughan, whose family excelled in off-road and Truck Series racing. The deal put his son Brendan Gaughan, 33 -- an eight-time Truck Series winner and Wallace's former Cup teammate at Penske Racing -- in RWR's #62 car. "I do want to run some Cup races with Stephen this year, I do. And probably my best avenue to do something with that would be with Richard Childress. I'm a Chevy team; Richard builds all our motors [Earnhardt Childress Racing Technologies] -- it just kind of makes sense." Rusty Wallace said. "I never had a whole lot of desire to drive in the Nationwide Series," Gaughan said. "I liked the Camping World Trucks, and I wanted to get back to Sprint Cup, but on my own terms, and Rusty really has me excited about this. Doing this with Rusty is probably the only way I'd be this excited. He brings that out of me and out of all his guys. "I'm looking at this and saying, 'Yeah, I want to get back to Sprint Cup one day, on my terms, but I know that Rusty wants to maybe go Sprint Cup racing one day on his terms, with his team so if I can do well and me and [Steve] can work together and get it to where we both can run, then maybe I've found my home on my terms with a family organization that likes me, wants me and we can make a long future with.(NASCAR.com)(2-14-2009)
- Allgaier to the back: #12-Justin Allgaier will have to start at the rear of the field after missing the drivers' meeting this morning.(2-14-2009)
- #0 Team announces associate sponsors: UPDATE: Johnny Davis Motorsports #0 team with driver Danny O'Quinn announces the current associate sponsor lineup for 200 Barr-Nunn Transportation Trucking Company Services and Careers and SOLAR BAT.(JD Motorsports PR)(2-13-2009)
UPDATE: Seventh place qualifier Danny O'Quinn Jr will add Lowery Plumbin of Kerrville, Texas as associate sponsor in the Camping World 300 Saturday Feb. 14th.(JD Motorsports PR)(2-13-2009)
- Green brothers in same race: When the green flag drops for Saturday's Nationwide Series Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway, brothers Mark, David and Jeff Green all hope to be in the field together. The brothers from Owensboro, Kentucky, the same hometown of brothers Darrell and Michael Waltrip, have nearly 900 Nationwide (or Busch Series) starts between them. The Green brothers haven't, however, been in a race together since August of 2005 when Jeff was 10th, David was 27th and Mark finished 28 in the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway.(ML Motorsports PR)(2-13-2009)
- Tom's Snacks sponsoring JTG Daugherty: Last week it was announced that Michael McDowell would be joining a new team, JTG Daugherty Racing, and this week the team announced his new primary sponsor. Charlotte-based Tom's Snacks (part of Lance, Inc.) will be featured as primary sponsor on McDowell's #47 Toyota Camry for 10 events this season beginning this weekend in Daytona.(JTG Daugherty Racing PR)(2-13-2009)
- Richardson debuts with Mahindra sponsorship: Robert Richardson, Jr. enters into his third Nationwide Series season when the R3 Motorsports team heads to Daytona Beach, Florida. "With a new sponsor on board this season, I'm ready to climb behind the wheel of my #23 Mahindra Tractors car and put some heat on its tires."(Richardson PR)(2-13-2009)
- Loftin to run some NNS races: ARCA driver Justin Loftin said on the ARCA Radio program that he plans to run the last 5 races of the NNS season in Eddie Sharp Racing equipment. He wants to run Nationwide full time next year.(2-12-2009)
- Single file restarts now begin with 20 to go: NASCAR will implement single-file restarts over the final 20 laps instead of the final 10 in all three series during the 2009 season, officials said on Thursday. The rule was changed to give lead-lap drivers a better chance to go for the victory instead of having to battle lapped traffic on the inside as they do on double-file restarts.(ESPN.com)(2-12-2009)
- Kennington picks up another sponsor for Daytona: Red Bank Ale & Quail Outfitters of Red Bluff, CA will be running two cars at Daytona. The #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Toyota that Scott Riggs will drive in the the Sprint Cup Gatorade Duels and the Daytona 500 [if Riggs qualifies for the race] and #81-D.J. Kinnington in the Nationwide Series (Red Bank site).(2-12-2009)
- Kittleson signs with Rick Ware: Rick Ware Racing (RWR) announced that Travis Kittleson has signed to drive for the organization for select events for the 2009 Nationwide season. Kittleson will compete in a RWR car in a minimum of five races. Bob Steele Chevy will be joining the RWR family along side Kittleson.(Rick Ware Racing PR)(2-12-2009)
- CARFAX sponsoring Wimmer at Daytona: CARFAX announced it will sponsor the #40 Key Motorsports Chevy and driver Scott Wimmer for the Nationwide Series Camping World 300 at Daytona. The race marks the first time that CARFAX is a primary sponsor during the opening weekend of the NASCAR season at Daytona.(Key Motorsports PR)(2-11-2009)
- D.H. Griffin Companies and Commemorative Firearms sponsorsing #81: D.H. Griffin Companies is coming on-board as the primary sponsor and Commemorative Firearms as an associate of the #81 MacDonald Dodge driven by DJ Kennington in this weekend’s Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. D.H. Griffin Companies has been providing services to the construction and construction related industries for over 50 years. Commemorative Firearms, a division of S&S Promotional Group, manufactures, license and sells limited edition, commemorative rifles.(MacDonald Motorsports PR)(2-11-2009)
- Evander Holyfield invests in #42 team: businessman Eddie Smith, who was a co-owner of some of the vehicles driven by Rich Bickle in the 1990s in what are now known as the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, is back in the NASCAR garage. Smith said Wednesday that he had formed a partnership with former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield to buy the assets of the Chip Ganassi Racing Nationwide Series team. Holyfield joined Smith at the Ganassi shop two weeks ago before the purchase. The team, called Smith-Ganassi Racing [#42] for now, has the Ganassi points from last year and is locked in for the season’s first five races. Smith said he hopes to run the full season with driver Kenny Hendrick. The team will have Ernie Elliott engines, and Tim Weiss will be the crew chief. The Ganassi fleet had 11 cars prepped to race, so Smith believes the team can run the entire 35-race schedule.(Scene Daily)(2-11-2009)
- Darnell expected to move to Nationwide in 2009: UPDATE 3: Roush Fenway Racing plans to move current Craftsman Truck Series driver Erik Darnell into the Nationwide Series next year, but the organization’s complete lineup is still being finalized, and some spots are dependent on sponsorship. Team owner Jack Roush said Wednesday that he expects to run four or five full-time Nationwide cars and at least one full-time truck. Carl Edwards, who drives for Roush in the Cup series, will also compete for the drivers’ championship in the Nationwide Series. The rest of the Nationwide lineup likely will be a mix of drivers. Edwards and Roush Cup teammate David Ragan are running the entire season in the Nationwide season this year, but Ragan will not next season.(Scene Daily)(10-22-2008)
UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing driver Erik Darnell and his Craftsman Truck Series sponsor Northern Tool + Equipment will continue their partnership next season in the Nationwide Series. Darnell and Northern Tool will share the #6 Ford with David Ragan and Discount Tire Company during the 2009 Nationwide season. The team's full schedule will be announced at a later date.(Roush Fenway PR)(102-4-2008)
UPDATE 2: Darnell is scheduled to run just 15 races – less than half of the schedule. Unlike the last three years in trucks, Darnell won’t be competing for a drivers championship. He also doesn’t know which 15 races he will drive.(Scene Daily)(11-2-2008)
UPDATE 3: Roush Fenway Racing driver Erik Darnell will get behind the wheel of the #6 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford for 15 races in the Nationwide Series beginning with the Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond on May 1. Darnell and Northern Tool + Equipment will split time in the #6 Ford with David Ragan and Discount Tire. (Roush Fenway PR)(2-10-2009)
- USfidelis sponsoring Steve Wallace: UPDATES: Looks likes US Fidelis will be a sponsor of the #66 in some amount this season. Their website states: "We are proud sponsors of Steve Wallace and Rusty Wallace Racing. You can learn more about this season by visiting the official Rusty Wallace website." [the RWI site has no mention of the sponsorship at this point]. See an image of the car on the #66 Paint schemes page.(2-9-2009)
UPDATE: USfidelis, Inc. and Rusty Wallace Racing, LLC announced that USfidelis, through its USfidelis brand of extended vehicle service coverage, will serve as primary sponsor of RWR's #66 Chevy, with driver Steve Wallace, in 25 2009 Nationwide Series events. USfidelis's 25-race program begins with the February season opener at Daytona International Speedway. The company's 25 races complement a previously-announced ten-race commitment for the #66 from 5-Hour Energy and completes the 2009 primary sponsorship for the younger Wallace and the #66 team. RWR's #62 Chevy, driven by Brendan Gaughan, will be sponsored for a number of races in 2009 by South Point Hotel and Casino. The team plans to announce the full sponsor lineup for the #62 shortly.(RWI PR)(2-10-2009)
UPDATE 2: Further strengthening its presence in the motorsports sponsorship arena, Dannmar Equipment has again inked a NASCAR sponsorship agreement, this time with Rusty Wallace Racing. Dannmar will serve an associate sponsor of the team's #66 Chevy driven by Steve Wallace in the 2009 Nationwide Series.(RWI PR)(2-10-2009)
- Specialty Racing plans full season: Specialty Racing left their Statesville, NC shop Monday to head to Daytona International Speedway for the 2009 Nationwide Series season opener. The #61 Ford and driver Brandon Whitt are entered in this weekend's Camping World 300 at the storied track. The team, which finished in the top-30 in the 2008 Nationwide Series Owner Standings, has a secured starting spot for the first five events of the season. Specialty Racing currently plans to run the full 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule.(Specialty Racing PR)(2-10-2009)
- Mess with a sealed engine? Be ready for 100-point penalty and more: NASCAR considers tampering with the engine seals a major offense and worthy of a penalty of “a minimum of 100 championship driver and truck owner points,” according to a bulletin available in the Camping World Truck Series garage today. NASCAR added wording to its harshest penalty provision to include any alteration, modification or repair of any part that has been “sealed” by NASCAR in addition to the existing wording about altering or changing anything previously certified. NASCAR also added that it could confiscate race equipment as a penalty for messing with a sealed engine. Other potential penalties would be fines, disqualification, probation and suspension.(Scene Daily)(2-10-2009)
- Nationwide announces ESPN.com Up To Speed Challenge Winner: Nationwide Insurance today announced the winner of the ESPN.com Up To Speed Challenge, a NASCAR Nationwide Series on-line fantasy contest. Tucker McCaw of Rockwall, Texas won the $100,000 grand prize by proving his knowledge of the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The year-long interactive contest, a first for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, invited participants to log on to ESPN.com and pick the winning driver in a series of speed categories. Weekly winners received seats at NASCAR Nationwide Series races and autographed merchandise. The $100,000 grand prize went to the fan with the most points at the end of the season.(Nationwide PR)(2-10-2009)
- Trail Motorsport names Managing Director: On the heels of the January 21 announcement of the formation of Trail Motorsport comes the appointment of Patrick Shelton as Managing Director. Building on an already successful resume of results-driven marketing and brand development, Shelton will oversee all aspects of the company including marketing, business development, promotions and operations for Trail Motorsport's Nationwide, Camping World Truck and Camping World East Series teams. Shelton brings to the organization over ten years of experience in field/multicultural/strategic advertising, events and promotions and digital platform advertising.(Trail Motorsports PR)(2-10-2009)
- MacDonald Motorsports picks up associate sponsor: Tailgatingplanks.com will once again be an associate sponsor at Daytona with MacDonald Motorsports. MacDonald Motorsports will enter DJ Kennington in the #81 car for Saturday's Nationwide race. Tailgatingplanks.com manufactures a complete line of cedar BBQ planks and gourmet wraps that will make any meal extraordinary.(TailGatingPlanks.com PR)(2-10-2009)
- Acquitted NASCAR scammer gets probation for perjury: A California man accused and acquitted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the father of a NASCAR driver from McKinney took a deferred adjudication deal on his remaining perjury charges. Mark Ibrahim entered into a probation agreement with prosecutors on one lesser perjury charge in exchange for dismissing the remaining six aggravated perjury charges, according to Collin County court records. Ibrahim's agreement places him on 18 months of probation and orders him to pay a $2,500 fine in connection with his charge. Deferred adjudication is a special form of probation that allows a defendant to serve time for their charge without admitting guilt. The Collin County District Attorney’s Special Crimes Unit accused Ibrahim of stealing approximately $750,000 from Robert Richardson Sr. of McKinney. Witnesses said Ibrahim claimed he would put Richardson Sr.’s money in a Bank of America account and use it to match corporate sponsorships to fund races for his son, NASCAR Busch Series driver Robert Richardson Jr. A grand jury indicted Ibrahim on a first-degree felony count of theft over $200,000 and a second-degree felony count of securing execution of a document by deception and filed the case in 380th District Court. A jury later acquitted him of all charges in January of 2008.(Courier-Gazette), for ealier information on the scam, see the Jan. 2008 archives.(2-10-2009)
- Lepage, Front Row Motorsports file suit against Specialty Racing: UPDATE: Frontstretch.com has learned that Kevin Lepage and Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins have filed a lawsuit against Specialty Racing, LLC, freezing the assets of the company while attempting to acquire its owner points, equipment, and money they claim they're owed.
The basis of the suit began in late May, when Specialty Racing informed Lepage that they did not have sufficient funds to run the Nationwide event in Dover, Delaware. In response, Lepage informed Specialty Racing about a proposal that would allow Bob Jenkins from Front Row Motorsports to supply a car, transporter, and engine to run under the #61 banner that weekend. The lawsuit states that after speaking to a NASCAR official, Specialty Racing co-owner Charles Shoffner learned that in order for his team to earn owner's points in a Nationwide event, they would have to supply the employees, equipment, transporter, and cars for the entire weekend. Therefore, his team could not earn points under Lepage's proposal.
But even with that limitation, Shoffner states that starting at the June Nashville event and concluding at Daytona, Jenkins did provide equipment to use while Specialty Racing incurred the team expenses. However, when approached in July about signing an agreement that would allow owner's points to be transferred to Front Row Motorsports, Shoffner declined until the paperwork was reviewed by counsel and NASCAR. Jenkins and Lepage then responded by filing the lawsuit at the end of this month. (Frontstretch Newsletter)(7-31-2008)
UPDATE: As the 2009 season starts, Bob Jenkins and Kevin Lepage remain in a lawsuit with Specialty Racing owners Charlie Schoffer and Doug Taylor. Lepage claims Specialty owes him over $155,000 for driving and travel from Daytona in February to Daytona in July last year. Bob Jenkins [owner of Front Row Motorsports] claims Specialty owes him for the use of his cars in 5 races.(2-9-2009)
- Kvapil in the #09 at Daytona: UPDATE: Travis Kvapil, the 2003 Camping World Truck Series Champion, will fill in for John Wes Townley in the #09 Zaxby's Ford at Daytona for the Camping World 300. Townley, a 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender in the Nationwide Series, has not been approved by NASCAR to race at tracks over two miles in length.(RAB Racing PR)(1-30-2009)
UPDATE: Based on John Wes Townley's 4th place performance in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 on Saturday, the Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender has been approved to run in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona. Townley will be steering the #09 Zaxby's Ford fielded by RAB Racing.(2-9-2009)
- Lagina Plumbing renews with Shepherd: Lagina Plumbing, a Milwaukee-based commercial plumbing company, will join Faith Motorsports as an associate sponsor of Morgan Shepherd's #89 Chevy in all 35 races in NASCAR's 2009 Nationwide Series campaign.(Faith Motorsports PR)(2-5-2009)
UPDATE: Faith Motorsports announced that Five-R Trucks and Trailers will serve as the primary sponsor of Morgan Shepherd's #89 Chevy in the Camping World 300 at Daytona this weekend. Sharing the sponsorship duties as associate sponsors will be Renegade Motor Coaches and Eldora Speedway. (Shepherd/Victory Marketing Team PR)(2-9-2009)
- ESPN2 Airing Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series Preview Shows: ESPN2 airs season preview shows for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series on Tuesday, Feb. 10, starting at 3 p.m. with the 30-minute Sprint Cup preview. The Nationwide Series program airs at 3:30 p.m.(ESPN PR)(2-9-2009)
- Nationwide races for J.J. Yeley? UPDATE: In 2009, you will find Yeley competing at various Camping World Truck and Nationwide series events, with plans to hit as many sprint and midget events as possible. Next weekend you can catch him in action at the USAC sanctioned Copper on Dirt event at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Arizona.[no other details provided](Who Won)(2-9-2009)
UPDATE: Been told that a ride for Yeley in either the truck or NNS series is dependent on sponsorship which is currently not finalized.[More info on Yeley's USAC race can be found on the Jayski Appearances Page](2-9-2009)
- Jimmy John's sponsoring KHI: Kevin Harvick and Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches have announced a 10-race agreement for the 2009 Nationwide Series season. Harvick will race the #33 Chevy, owned by Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), with Jimmy John's as the primary sponsor in several high-profile races including the Camping World 300 at Daytona on February 14th and the O'Reilly Challenge at Texas on November 7th.(Kevin Harvick, Inc PR)(2-9-2009)
- Andrews named crew chief for #31: Rick Ware announced that former Sprint Cup Champion Crew Chief, Paul Andrews will be calling the shots for the #31 RWR entry in the Nationwide Series.(Rick Ware Racing PR)(2-8-2009)
- Nationwide Series Season Opens at Daytona on ESPN2: The 2009 season for the Nationwide Series kicks off this weekend, and ESPN2 will have live, flag-to-flag coverage of the Camping World 300 from Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 14, beginning at noon ET with NASCAR Countdown. ESPN2 will be the home of the Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. Dr. Jerry Punch will be the lead announcer for ESPN2's coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch will report from the pits, while Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage. Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown with analysis by Rusty Wallace, Ray Evernham, and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN pit studio. ESPN2 also will have live coverage of Nationwide Series qualifying Friday, Feb. 13, at 3 p.m. and final practice Thursday, Feb. 12, at 9:30 a.m.(ESPN PR)(2-8-2009)
- NASCAR changes Nationwide engine rule too: Nationwide Series teams will have the same engine rule recently enacted for the Camping World Truck Series. The rule, effective after March 25, states that teams will not be permitted to compete in more than three consecutive events without using an engine that has been used in competition in any preceding event. This does not include the events at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.Although the rule was originally interpreted to mean that a team would have to use an old engine every three races, a NASCAR official clarified Saturday that the rule will mean that teams will have to use an old engine once every four races. The rule is designed to cut costs for teams.(Scene Daily)(2-8-2009)
- SportClips sponsoring Logano: SportClips Haircuts will reportedly sponsor #20-Joey Logano in 10 Nationwide races this season. See an image of the car on the #20 Paint Schemes page.(2-6-2009)
- Nemecheck planning on full NNS schedule: UPDATE: Plans on hold: Joe Nemechek is gearing up for the 2009 NASCAR season. The driver and owner of NEMCO Motorsports said that he is planning to run the full Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series schedule, beginning with next month's season openers at Daytona. Nemechek will drive the #87 Toyota in the Cup Series and the #87 Chevy in the Nationwide races. Veteran crew chief Philippe Lopez has joined NEMCO Motorsports and will oversee the competition side in both series.(DMF Communications/NEMCO PR)(1-23-2009)
UPDATE: Nemechek bought a few Toyota chassis from Red Bull Racing. He contracted Triad Racing Technologies, formerly Bill Davis Racing, to supply engines, and he hired veteran crew chief Phillipe Lopez to make sure things get done. Plans to also run the full Nationwide Series schedule are on hold because some expected funding hasn't come through.(Tampa Tribune)(2-6-2009)
- Rick Ware Racing announced 2009 plans: UPDATE 3: Rick Ware Racing announces their fulltime campaign in the Nationwide Series for 2009. Dubbed the "Biggest Little Team in Motorsports", Rick Ware Racing will field the #13 and #31 in the Nationwide Series. Stanton Barrett will compete in approximately 20 Nationwide Series races this season and former Daytona 500 winner Derrick Cope will be helping with driving duties as well. Tim Brown, the 7-time Track Champion at Bowman Gray Stadium will be competing once again in the Whelen Southern Modified Division, and will be making his Nationwide Series debut as part of the RWR developmental program this season.(Rick Ware Racing PR)(2-2-2009)
UPDATE: Metal Jeans, the leader in "American Made American Worn" and the only company that manufactures denim apparel, shirts, outwear, casual foot wear and race gear has joined forces with Rick Ware Racing for the 2009 Nationwide Series. Metal Jeans will be the primary sponsor for the #41 car in the Camping World 300 at Daytona. Also, a number changed occurred per NASCAR and the #13 will now be the #41.(Rick Ware Racing PR)(2-5-2009)
UPDATE 2: Rick Ware Racing announces that the rock band Sevendust will be an associate sponsor and special guest of RWR's #41 Nationwide Series car driven by Derrick Cope for the Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14th.(Rick Ware Racing PR)(2-5-2009)
UPDATE 3: Rick Ware Racing announces its newest sponsor, Zona Health, to its "Circle of Sponsors" for the 2009 season. Zona Health, of Boise, Idaho is the manufacturer of the Zona Plus, a device that lowers blood pressure naturally, and will be represented on the #31 driven by Stanton Barrett. Zona Health will be the primary sponsor for the Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 14th and the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 28th.(Rick Ware Racing PR), see an image of the car on the #31 Paint Schemes page.(2-6-2009)
- Cajun Industries joins MSRP at Daytona: Cajun Industries, LLC a nationally recognized construction leader will sponsor the #25 HT Motorsports Toyota in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona. As well, the Cajun Industries banner will be placed on the hood of the #91 MSRP Motorsports driven by Terry Cook and the #90 driven by Johnny Chapman in the Nationwide Series. Cajun Industries also will be placed as an associate of the #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota driven by David Reutimann in the Nextel Cup Daytona 500 event.(HT Motorsports PR)(2-5-2009)
- David Green to drive for SK Motorsports: When the green flag drops on the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season at Daytona, newly-formed SK Motorsports intends to be right in the middle of the action. Former series champion David Green will be the driver of the team’s #07 Toyota for the full season. SK Motorsports founders, Pete Szekeres and Jared Keeney, are no strangers to the world of auto racing. Keeney is a successful dirt modified racer from Pennsylvania. Szekeres, owner of Dynamic Technology, Inc., has always wanted to accept the challenge of developing a premier race team, a passion fueled by following his own son’s career as a GT and DP driver in the Grand Am Rolex Series. Additional sponsorship and personnel announcements will be made next week.(SK Motorsports PR)(2-5-2009)
- Efland without ride as 2009 starts: Danny Efland, who was behind the wheel of the #01 Johhny Davis Motorsports Chevy through much of 2008, currently has no commitments for 2009 but is exploring all opportunities for the Nationwide series and the Camping World Truck series for the rest of the season. In the mean time he will be building a Port City Super Late Model to race in Southeast.(2-5-2009)
- Bobby Hamilton, Jr. still without ride: Veteran driver Bobby Hamilton, Jr. for the first time in nearly ten years is without a ride as the 2009 NASCAR season opens up in Daytona Beach, FL. Efforts to locate sponsorship for Hamilton have fallen short this offseason. Even though he will not need his driver's suit, the Tennessee native still plans to spend next week at Daytona International Speedway. For now his only role will be as a co-owner of Rensi-Hamilton Racing with Eric McClure behind the wheel and as the owner of the ARCA car driven by Chase Mattioli.(2-4-2009)
- GameStop sponsoring Logano for 20 races: GameStop Corporation, the world's largest video game and entertainment software retailer, announced that it has agreed to extend its partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing through the 2009 NASCAR season. Joey Logano will pilot the #20 GameStop Toyota in 20 Nationwide Series events, beginning with the season-opening race at the Daytona.(Joe Gibbs Racing / MCG Sports PR), see an image of the car on the #20 Paint Schemes pae.(2-4-2009)
- Key Motorsports plans full time NNS effort: UPDATE Team owner Curtis Key announced that Key Motorsports will run its first full-time entry in the Nationwide Series in 2009. Leading the effort in the Key Motorsports shop is crew chief Tommy Morgan, who formerly served as the team's competition director since 2007. Key Motorsports plans to continue their longstanding manufacturer relationship with Chevy. Driver, sponsor information, and car number are forthcoming. 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series plans will also be announced at a later date.(Key Motorsports PR)(1-12-2009)
UPDATE: Shortly after announcing that his team will compete full-time in the Nationwide Series for the first time, team owner Curtis Key has named Scott Wimmer to pilot the Key Motorsports Chevy for the first three races of 2009. Additionally, Key announced that the team's NNS entry will begin 2009 with a new number, changing from #31 to #40. The switch was made to re-brand the car to match the team's full-time Camping World Truck Series entry. Wimmer, 33, has agreed to race the #40 Chevy for three races: Daytona, Auto Club, and Las Vegas. Races beyond Las Vegas Motor Speedway are still in negotiation and will be announced at a later date.(Key Motorsports PR)(2-4-2009)
- Waltrip looking for more NNS sponsorship: Michael Waltrip says his goal is to run the #99 Michael Waltrip Racing Nationwide Series team in all 35 races, but there’s a chance the team could run only 27 events this season. Waltrip said the team has sponsorship for 26 races – 14 for himself and 12 for Red Bull Racing’s Scott Speed. Waltrip will also run the April standalone race at Nashville Superspeedway, with or without a sponsor. If sponsorship isn’t found for the remaining eight events, the #99 won’t run.(Scene Daily)(2-4-2009)
- JTG scales back Nationwide teams: UPDATE 4: JTG Daughterty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said Wednesday that the team’s #47 Nationwide Series team for driver Kelly Bires will run at least 12 races in 2009 as sponsorship issues will likely force the team to cut back to part-time status. Geschickter has run full-time teams in the series since the mid-1990s, running two cars since 2004. But JTG Daugherty likely will have two part-time teams in 2009. Geschickter said Frank Kerr, crew chief for the team’s Sprint Cup car driven by Marcos Ambrose, will likely call the shots for Bires on race days. Otherwise, a full-time replacement for the departed Scott Zipadelli will not be named. The team’s #59 Nationwide entry, driven last year by Ambrose, will sit most of the year. Ambrose will run two Nationwide road-course races, and development driver Coleman Pressley could drive in some short-track events later in the year.(Scene Daily)(1-7-2009)
UPDATE: Hearing that JTG will have Michael McDowell driving the #47 at Daytona and there is sponsorship with him for a partial schedule. Gene Nead will be the crew chief for the team. JTG Daugherty continues to work with Kelly Bires to run a limited number of races.(1-20-2009)
UPDATE 2: Bires could race in the second half of the year if the team finds money, but he also is free to pursue other opportunities. As consolation prizes go, though, Bires' is not bad. He will drive for Blackjack Racing, a new, part-time team out of the ARCA series, [in the Daytona 500]. "If we make the race, we'll probably get more publicity out of that than I did out of a whole year and a half in the Nationwide Series." Blackjack plans a limited schedule for its regular driver, Westby native Dexter Bean, but with only one NASCAR short-track race to his credit, Bean has not been approved by NASCAR to race on a superspeedway.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(1-20-2009)
UPDATE 3: McDowell will run for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors and plans to enter at least the first 16 races. By mid-summer, McDowell hopes team owner Tad Geschickter will have found funding to allow the team to continue further. McDowell hopes that with some solid performances, he’ll be able to work toward 2010 in securing funding to go Cup racing with JTG.(Scene Daily)(1-22-2009)
UPDATE 4: JTG Daugherty Racing announces Michael McDowell has been signed to compete in the Nationwide Series for the 2009 season. Joining McDowell at JTG Daugherty is new Crew Chief Gene Nead. The 2008 driver of the #47, Kelly Bires, remains under contract with the team. The team is actively pursuing sponsorship for Bires.(JTG Daugherty Racing PR)(2-4-2009)
- Television broadcast times annouced: UPDATE: roadcast times for the 2009 NASCAR season have been announced. The 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. ABC will broadcast four events, ESPN will broadcast five and ESPN2 will broadcast 26. ESPN2 opens the season with the Camping World 300 at 1:15 p.m. (ET) on Feb. 14 at Daytona. New to the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule is a race at Iowa Speedway, held on Aug. 1 at 4:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN. ESPN2 also will broadcast the season-finale Ford 300 on Nov. 21 at Homestead-Miami (4:30 p.m. ET).(NASCAR PR)
UPDATE:, Continuing a multimedia commitment to the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, the ESPN networks launch coverage of the 2009 season with a live, flag-to-flag telecast of the Nationwide Series Camping World 300 at Daytona on Saturday, Feb. 14, at noon ET on ESPN2. ESPN2 will again be the television home for the series in 2009, with select races on ESPN and ABC. In addition to race coverage for both series, the networks also will televise practice and qualifying from select races, the season-ending banquets and season preview and review specials. Each race includes a dedicated pre-race program called NASCAR Countdown, and comprehensive coverage of NASCAR appears on ESPN2's NASCAR news and information program, NASCAR Now. All NASCAR programming on the ESPN networks is produced fully in high definition. NASCAR fans have become accustomed to ESPN's on-air team, including play-by-play announcers Dr. Jerry Punch and Marty Reid, analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree, and pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch. NASCAR Countdown is hosted by Allen Bestwick, with analysts Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty and Ray Evernham. Analyst Tim Brewer reports from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage. ESPN's multimedia approach to coverage of NASCAR touches multiple ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN2, ESPN2 HD, ABC, ABC HD, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio, ESPN International, ESPN Mobile and Jayski.com.(ESPN PR), an exact breakdown for each NNS race is posted on the 2009 Nationwide Series schedule page.(2-3-2009)
- Foyt in the #56 at Daytona: UPDATE 2: Larry Foyt will drive the #56 Chevy for MacHill Motorsports in the Nationwide series race at Daytona in February.(Larry Foyt/PR)(1-20-2009)
UPDATE: Blu Frog Energy Drink will sponsor Larry Foyt in the CWNTS & NNS races at Daytona. Foyt will drive the #74 Blu Frog Energy Dodge Truck for Derrike Cope and the #56 Blu Frog Energy Chevy for MacHill in the Nationwide race.(Blu Frog PR)(1-29-2009)
UPDATE 2: See an image of the car on the #56 team paint scheme page.(2-3-2009)
- Kroger "Faces on the Car" returns to #27: When the 2009 racing season kicks-off at Daytona next weekend, Nationwide Series driver Jason Keller will make his 458 career start and the #27 Baker Curb Racing entry will sport a uniquely-designed paint scheme. Kimberly-Clark, Keller's primary sponsor, will help retail partner Kroger recognize the achievements of its employees with the return of "Faces on the Car," an initiative that showcases photos of the employees' faces on the race car. The "Faces on the Car" program was established as part of the long-standing partnership between Kimberly-Clark and retail partner Kroger and celebrates employees that have gone to great lengths in providing exceptional service. The hood of the race car also will garner the tag line that embodies the mission of all parties involved in the program "Together, we're powered to win."(Baker Curb/Taylor PR), see an image of the car on the #27 Paint Schemes page.(2-3-2009)
- Shepherd switching to Chevy: UPDATE: Morgan Shepherd and his Faith Motorsports Nationwide Series program will be sporting a “bow tie” when the 2009 NASCAR campaign kicks off at Daytona International Speedway in a couple of weeks. Shepherd, who had fielded Dodges in his final two seasons in the Sprint Cup Series in 2005 and 2006, and in the Nationwide Series in 2007 and 2008, will make the switch to Chevy for the 2009 race season. “We have historically worked with Johnny Davis and his program, and last year we were so thankful for the help that Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart provided to our team,” Shepherd said. “Our switching over to Chevrolet will make our relationships with these and other teams more beneficial to all of us.”(Faith Motorsports PR)(1-30-2009)
UPDATE: Nationwide Series veteran Morgan Shepherd will field Chevy engines from three legendary engine builders during the 2009 campaign, Faith Motorsports has announced. Beginning with the February 13th season-opener at Daytona, Shepherd's Nationwide Series Chevy's will be powered by Pro Motors built by respected longtime engine builder Mark Smith. Shepherd will run Pro Motors at the three 2009 restrictor plate races at Daytona and Talladega. Beginning in the second week of the season, Shepherd's Chevys will be powered by Chevy engines built by Keith Dorton of Automotive Specialists in Concord, NC. Automotive Specialists will provide engines for the 30 short and intermediate tracks on the Nationwide Series schedule this year. For the two road course races at Montreal and Watkins Glen, Shepherd's power plant will be provided by Richard Childress Racing, the same builder of Shepherd's 2008 road course motor.(2-2-2009)
- Billy Ray Cyrus named Grand Marshal for California race: Multi-platinum singer/songwriter and country superstar Billy Ray Cyrus, whose new studio album “Back to Tennessee” hits stores on March 31, will serve as Grand Marshal for the Stater Bros. 300 Nationwide series race as well as perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the San Bernardino County 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event, both scheduled for February 21 at Auto Club Speedway.(Auto Club Speedway PR)(2-2-2009)
- Waverly Group Joins McClure at Daytona: For the second consecutive season Eric McClure, driver of the Hefty Odor Block Ford, and Waverly Property Group have partnered for the Nationwide Series events at Daytona International Speedway. Waverly Property Group, Daytona's #1 independent real-estate company, with a focus on waterfront properties, will serve as an associate sponsor on the RHR #24 Nationwide Series entry during both season events at DIS. The 2009 season will mark Waverly Property Group's second year as a team sponsor in NASCAR and for McClure.(McClure PR)(2-2-2009)
- Memphis track sold by Dover Motorsports to owners of Alabama Motorsports Park: UPDATE: Dover Motorsports, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Memphis Motorsports Park to Gulf Coast Entertainment, L.L.C. Under the terms of the agreement, Dover Motorsports will sell all of the stock of its subsidiary Memphis International Motorsports Corporation, the owner of Memphis Motorsports Park, to Gulf Coast Entertainment for $10 million in cash. Gulf Coast Entertainment is the owner of a newly proposed multi-use entertainment complex in Mobile, AL which is projected to be operational in 2011. As additional consideration for the purchase, Dover Motorsports will receive a two percent non-dilutable interest in Gulf Coast Entertainment and will have an agreement to provide motorsports management services to Alabama Motorsports Park when the facilities become operational. Closing is expected to take place on or about April 30, 2009 and is subject to financing and customary closing conditions. Memphis Motorsports Park does not contemplate any schedule changes in 2009 and will continue to host events in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. It will continue operations under the ownership of Gulf Coast Entertainment, but will operate under a management agreement with Dover Motorsports.(Dover Motorsports PR)(1-30-2009)
UPDATE: The recent announcement of the sale of Memphis Motorsports Park to Gulf Coast Entertainment has prompted speculation that the Memphis facility could eventually lose its Nationwide and Camping World Truck series races to Alabama Motorsports Park, which is being built by Gulf Coast. But MMP Vice President and General Manager Jason Rittenberry said he isn’t worried about that possibility, at least right now. Construction on the Alabama facility, which includes a .7-mile oval being built near Mobile, has yet to begin and isn’t scheduled to be finished until 2011.(SceneDaily.com)(2-2-2009)