January 2009 Nationwide Series Archive
- Mike Wallace in the #01 at Daytona: UPDATE 2: Veteran Mike Wallace will drive the #01 Chevy for Johnny Davis Motorsports at Daytona. The team will have sponsorship from Fishburne Military School.(1-30-2009)
UPDATE: The deal is currently for one race, but could be extended if additional sponsorship is found.(1-30-2009)
UPDATE 2: Mike Wallace is known for his prowess on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway. And now, thanks to backing from a Virginia military school, Wallace will get to once again prove his superspeedway talents in the NASCAR Nationwide Camping World 300 at DIS. "First, I want to thank Johnny Davis and everyone at JD Motorsports for working with me to put this Nationwide deal together," Wallace said. "I love racing at Daytona and having two opportunities to compete there is great. When the Fishburne Military School Board of Directors got together and talked about supporting this one-race deal, they realized it would be a good thing. We will carry their slogan of 'Leadership for Life' on the #01 Chevy. It's a unique sponsorship and I'm hoping we can do a good job for them."(Wallace PR)(1-31-2009)
- Raines to run full season for Front Row Motorsports: Tony Raines has been named the driver for a full season Nationwide effort by Front Row Motorsports. The team is expected to run #00 (they ran the #24 with Eric McClure last year but allowed McClure to take the number with him to Rensi-Hamilton). (1-30-2009)
- State Water Heaters Joins Baker Curb: Baker Curb Racing announces the addition of State Water Heaters as an official partner and associate sponsor of the #27 Ford driven by Jason Keller in the Nationwide Series for 2009. State Water Heaters, based in nearby Ashland City, Tennessee, has a history of sponsoring NASCAR racing and most recently was the primary sponsor of the Haas CNC Racing Chevy driven by Scott Riggs on the Sprint Cup Series in 2008.(Baker Curb PR)(1-30-2009)
- Kertus Davis back in the #49: According to the Jay Robinson Racing website, Kertus Davis will be the driver of the #49 again this year. The site only lists 2 teams -- the #49 and the #28 of Kenny Wallace. Last year the team also ran the #4, primarily with Derrike Cope. This season Cope is expected to run the full season for Rick Ware Racing.(1-30-2009)
- MacDonald Motorsports names crew chief: David Ingram has been named crew chief for the #81 MacDonald Motorsports team. From Hooter's Pro Cup working for Bobby Gill and later Steven Wallace, David progressed over the years to crew chief for Johnny Chapman in last year's Nationwide Series.(MacDonald Motorsports)(1-30-2009)
- D'Hondt Motorsports signs 2009 product sponsors: D'Hondt Motorsports, LLC announced the signing of several new product sponsors -- STP Tools, NutriSystem, SCA / TORK, Gunk, Rudy Project, and AIRCAT. "With the 2009 racing season about to get underway, we are very fortunate to have these fine companies supporting our efforts. DMS is growing and it says a lot for what we are building and where we are headed in both the Nationwide Series and the ARCA REMAX Series, to be blessed with this amount of support in these challenged times," said DMS - New Business Director, Dan Leon.(D'Hondt Motorsports PR)(1-30-2009)
- Borneman planning limited schedule: The next place Johnny Borneman plans to show up is Daytona International Speedway. Borneman has filed an entry for the Feb. 14 Nationwide Series race. If he qualifies, Borneman will be making his debut on a high-banked superspeedway – and running in the first of nine Nationwide Series races he plans to enter this season. “And who knows,” he said. “If I do well and get some backing, I'll run as many Nationwide races as I can.” (San Diego Union Tribune)(1-29-2009)
- Stenhouse running 7 NNS races: Ricky Stenhouse will foray into the Nationwide Series in 2009 behind the wheel of the #16 CitiFinancial Ford for six races and the #16 3M Ford for one race.(Roush Fenway PR)(1-29-2009)
- Stott, Ponstein plan limited schedule: Corrie Stott Racing and driver Andy Ponstein plan on a return to the Nationwide series for the upcoming Fontana, CA and Las Vegas, NV races.(Stott PR)(1-29-2009)
- MSRP to continue 2 car effort: MSRP Motorsports continues to search for sponsorship for the upcoming season, but plans to continue their 2 full-time Nationwide teams. At least 4 drivers - Terry Cook, Dave Blaney, Johnny Chapman, and Justin Hobgood - will rotate through the cars. MSRP will remain a separate organization from the newly formed Prism Motorsports Cup team, also owned by Randy Humphrey and Phil Parsons.(1-27-2009)
- Brian Keselowski plans full season: Brian Keselowski will try to join his younger brother, Brad, as a full-time Nationwide Series driver this season. Brian Keselowski said Monday in a phone interview that he hopes to be able to run all the Nationwide races in 2009 for his own K Automotive Motorsports team. The team will again run Dodges in the Nationwide Series, getting engines from Ernie Elliott. Keselowski will use the #26, he said, after NASCAR swapped numbers among other teams. K Automotive would like to run a second car as a start-and-park effort to help pay for Keselowski to compete in all the races. Keselowski said Dennis Setzer, who drove for K Automotive in the Truck series in past years, would likely drive the second car. The #26 entry doesn’t have a primary sponsor, and Keselowski said the team would do a quick re-evaluation after the third race of the season at Las Vegas to make sure it has enough cars to continue running.(Scene Daily)(1-26-2009)
- Walter to be crew chief for Allgaier: Chad Walter, a NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chief for the last few years at Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports, will be atop the pit box this year in the series again – this time with Penske Racing. Walter, who left JR Motorsports last July, will be the crew chief for #12-Justin Allgaier. He started at Penske in October as an engineer on the Cup side.(Scene Daily)(1-25-2009)
- Kevin Harvick Inc. to Cup? Kevin Harvick doesn’t know if or when Kevin Harvick Inc. would become a Sprint Cup team, but Harvick will be ready if the right time – and the right sponsor – comes for his organization to make that step. Harvick admits the time could be soon, especially considering the current economic climate and the merging of several teams leaving the door open for a young program to make races and establish itself. “You’re going to see some people come into the sport because it's an opportunity to try to get your Cup team started and try to make it work,” Harvick says. Do those people include KHI, which has competed in the Truck series since 2002 and in Nationwide since 2004? "You never can say no,” Harvick says. “I don't have any interest in driving my own car, I know that for sure, but I think it's something that you always think about." If Harvick and his wife, DeLana, do opt to go Cup racing, they will keep the same philosophy they've used in building their organization. They won’t field a program unless it has funding. Harvick did run some Truck races during the organization’s first year just to get the company off the ground but has resisted the urge to field a car without financial support. “It’s just going to take the right opportunity to get in [to Cup] from a sponsorship standpoint,” Harvick said. “I think the Trucks and the Nationwide cars have built a foundation for us to do that if the right opportunity ever came about. With the people and our shop – all the things are there to do it. It just has got to be timing and I’m not going to do something that is not right [with sponsorship]. Right now, you might have to beef a couple of things up but the foundation is laid for all that stuff.” For now, Harvick will listen to potential opportunities while also making sure that KHI continues to be run frugally.(SceneDaily)(1-25-2009)
- Dave Rogers could be crew chief on #20 team: UPDATE 2: Brad Coleman expects that Dave Rogers will be his crew chief for the races he runs in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide Series car this year. That would only happen, of course, if Rogers gets reinstated by NASCAR. Rogers, fellow crew chief Jason Ratcliff and five other Joe Gibbs Racing crewmen were indefinitely suspended for manipulating the throttle of their cars prior to a test to determine their engine horsepower following the race in Michigan last August. The team is expected to apply for their reinstatement prior to the beginning of the 2009 season.(Scene Daily)(1-20-2009)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing hopes to have currently suspended Dave Rogers and Jason Ratcliff resume their Nationwide Series crew chief roles in time for the second race of the 2009 season, which comes at Auto Club (Calif.) Speedway. For the organizaiton to do that, NASCAR would have to reinstate the crew chiefs prior to the start of the season, team president J.D. Gibbs said Tuesday night. “When NASCAR officially says – which they haven’t – [that] it’s over, we’ll hold them one more race,” Gibbs said. “They haven’t said what they’re going to do. Hopefully they will say they’re reinstated for next year and we’ll probably hold them from Daytona.”(Scene Daily)(1-21-2009)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR has reinstated Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide Series crew chiefs Dave Rogers and Jason Ratcliff as well as five other team crewmen who were suspended indefinitely last August. The NASCAR suspensions lasted 10 races. They were part of a penalty for attempting to limit the car’s throttle response during a horsepower test following the event at Michigan International Speedway.(Sceme Daily)(1-22-2009)
- Hooters Pro Cup Series Purchsed by Group, Including McNelly: Interstate Investment Group (IIG) has acquired all assets of the U.S.A.R. stock car series from Hooters of America, the organization announced. The new investment group has acquired all tangible assets including trademarks, website, naming rights and contractual privileges. The new racing venture will be known as USA RACING, Inc. and John L. "Jack" McNelly will serve as president. Interstate Investment Group is comprised of Jack McNelly, owner of MacHill Motorsports [#56 in the Nationwide Series], Mooresville, N.C.; Gary Kale and Carl Hubbard, owners of Heritage Truck Centers, Beckley, W.Va.; Chip Lofton, owner of Strutmasters, Roxboro, N.C.; and Larry Camp, President of Camp & Associates, Inc., Concord, N.C. "I am truly honored to have been chosen to be the President of USA Racing," McNelly said. "I do realize we have a long road before us, but with the trust and dedication of IIG, the expertise possessed by the Board of Directors of USA Racing, the cooperation of our competitors and the extreme loyalty of all our fans, we will complete our journey."(Camp & Associates PR)(1-21-2009)
- Nationwide announces 2009 marketing campaign, "Dash 4 Cash", and ESPN "Driver Pick 'Em' game": UPDATE: Nationwide Insurance announced at NASCAR Nationwide Series media day that NASCAR racing superstar, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his company JR Motorsports will be featured in a new marketing campaign that will begin in February. The company also introduced other activities related to the sponsorship, including the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash, which involves an increased winner's purse at four Nationwide Series races, and the Nationwide Series ESPN 'Driver Pick 'Em' game presented by Nationwide Insurance, a weekly interactive competition for cash prizes that will be available on ESPN.com. Nationwide's partnership with Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports, the company he owns that fields Nationwide Series teams, will include TV and radio advertising. In the ads, Earnhardt Jr. talks about his family's 30-year history with Nationwide. Earnhardt Jr, is a current Nationwide customer - as are many other members of his family. The campaign will also involve personal appearances with Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports driver, Brad Keselowski. Nationwide has created an interactive micro site, nationwide.com/dalejr, which will feature behind the scenes videos and photos from the recent ad shoot. The final ads will be available on this site in mid-February. The campaign is a departure from previous Nationwide ads featuring celebrities. Despite the obvious opportunity for a racing pun, the ad does not include the company's famous Life Comes at You Fast line and is not intended to be humorous. It's framed as a customer testimonial, and true story from a family with one of the richest traditions in NASCAR.
Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash: Nationwide also introduced the 'Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash' that will add $25,000 to the winner's purse at the 2009 Nationwide Series races at Nashville Superspeedway, Kentucky Speedway, Iowa Speedway and Memphis Motorsports Park. Drivers eligible for this competition include full-time Nationwide Series drivers and series regulars who are not full-time drivers on the Sprint Cup Series. If a driver who is not eligible wins one of the races, prize money will be rolled over to the next race in the competition. The program also includes a $50,000 season-end bonus to the eligible driver with the highest points total over the four races. "We wanted to provide some additional support for drivers on our series," said Aman. "We also hope that these bonuses encourage competition and contribute to more exciting racing for the fans."
ESPN 'Driver Pick 'Em' presented by Nationwide Insurance: The Nationwide 'Driver Pick' Em' contest is an interactive weekly contest on ESPN.com. Fans can log-in weekly to select the winners of 10 head-to-head match-ups for each Nationwide Series races. The contest will include cash prizes for weekly and season-long winners.(Nationwide PR)(1-20-2009)
UPDATE: Images taken by Nationwide at the media day are avaialble here.(1-21-2009)
- Chase Austin to Trucks with Fitz: UPDATE: Negotiations were ongoing to put 19-year-old African-American driver Chase Austin into a full-time Truck series ride this season with a newly forming team. Austin's mother and business manager, Marianne Austin, said details of a multi-year contract had not been finalized, but that the potential deal would take him into Trucks, then into the Nationwide Series and eventually to Cup. But "I know they [the contract details] will work out," Chase Austin said in a telephone interview. "Everything came together in a really short time. Fine-tuning will take some time." Austin is scheduled to participate in a press conference here Wednesday morning called by Fitz Motorsports, an existing organization which is expected to be revamped and enhanced into Trail Motorsports, with new majority ownership.(ESPN.com)(1-21-2009)
UPDATE: Former owner of the #22 Fitz Motorsports Dodge team, Armando Fitz, co-announced the birth of Trail Motorsport, LLC., with owner Arthur Shelton. The team laid out an all new look, competitive approach, and driver line-up for the 2009 Nationwide Series. Chase Austin will drive the new team's Camping World Truck while Jarit Johnson takes the reigns of the team's Camping World East Series ride. A driver for the #22 Nationwide Series entry will be announced in the next couple of weeks. No sponsors where unveiled, but the team does have verbal agreements on some with announcements to come.(Racing One)(1-21-2009)
- Kyle Busch expected to run full 2009 season: UPDATE 2: Kyle Busch likely will run for the Nationwide Series title next year, Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Missing five races during the 2008 season, Busch finished sixth in the standings, 671 points behind champion Clint Bowyer. Busch won 10 races. Gibbs said the team is close on sponsorship for the full season and if it can get it, then Busch would run the entire schedule – one that includes five weekends where the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series run in different cities. Most of the sponsorship for Busch will come from Z-Line Design, JGR Nationwide Series general manager Steve DeSouza said. Gibbs said the second JGR Nationwide car will feature mostly Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin. Logano’s sponsorship is expected to come from GameStop for about 24 races, with Hamlin running the rest with a sponsor to be announced, DeSouza said.(Scene Daily)(11-15-2008)
UPDATE: Kyle Busch is "99 percent" certain to run the full 35-race Nationwide schedule next year, Joe Gibbs Racing's vice president of Nationwide Series operations Steve de Souza said on Friday. Dave Rogers, the crew chief for JGR's owners' championship-winning #20 Toyota, said that he'd work another combination season, with Gibbs' Sprint Cup drivers Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano doing most of the races. He said Busch would run a full schedule in the #18 Camry with crew chief Jason Ratcliff.(NASCAR.com)(11-23-2008)
UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said Tuesday during the NASCAR Media Tour that Busch will drive a full Nationwide schedule in the #18 in addition to his Sprint Cup duties. Busch won 10 Nationwide races last year, nine of them coming in 19 starts with JGR. Eight of his victories came in the #18 he'll pilot in 2009.(ESPN.com)(1-20-2009)
- Verizon to sponsor Allgaier: UPDATE 2: Verizon, which became the world's largest wireless provider with its $5.9B acquisition of Alltel, will sponsor a Penske Racing car in the Nationwide Series this year, industry sources say. The Verizon marks are expected to adorn Penske Racing's #12 Dodge driven by Justin Allgaier.(Sports Business Journal)(1-16-2009)
UPDATE: Penske Racing announced that it will team with Verizon Wireless to field a full-season entry in the 2009 Nationwide Series. The #12 Verizon Wireless Dodge Charger will be driven by Justin Allgaier, the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series champion. (Penske Racing PR), see an image of the car on the #12 Paint Schemes page.(1-19-2009)
UPDATE 2: The agreement with Penske Racing, which also includes associate sponsorship of two cars in the Indy open-wheel racing league, came about after Verizon Wireless acquired Alltel, which had a nine-year agreement with Penske Racing. As part of its foray into racing, Verizon Wireless is also setting up a new channel on its V Cast video subscription service. Through the channel, racing fans will be able to get behind-the-scenes interviews with drivers, recaps of races, highlights and other racing information. The company plans to have wrapped vehicles emblazoned with the Verizon Championship logo at the Daytona 500 as well as hospitality tents and interactive activities touting Verizon Wireless.(Media Post)(1-19-2009)
- Full season for Annett in the Germain #15: Germain Racing announced that they have signed 22 year-old Michael Annett to a multi-year agreement to take over duties behind the wheel of their Nationwide program. Germain Racing has a long-standing tradition in the Nationwide Series including their most recent 8th place ranking in championship standings [last year with Mike Wallace in the #7] and proudly welcomes the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Candidate into their veteran team. Annett will join the organization for the full Nationwide Series behind the wheel of the #15 Toyota carrying support from Pilot Travel Centers and Hype Energy Drinks and veteran team member Bruce Cook will retain the role of crew chief. Announcements regarding additional team sponsors will be forthcoming.(Michael Annett PR)(1-19-2009)
- Menard to run 16 Nationwide races: UPDATE: From a Saturday Preseason Thunder Daytona Fan Fest news conference:
Q. Are you going to do any Nationwide stuff this year, maybe something with Roush, or what's going on there?
PAUL MENARD: I'm actually going to run, I believe, 16 Nationwide races. It's going to be through Yates racing in affiliation with Roush. But it'll be an under the Yates banner. I think we're going to announce something this week as far as who the sponsor is, but it's pretty exciting.(NASCAR PR)(1-17-2009)
UPDATE: Yates Racing announced it will field the #98 Ford in a limited number of Nationwide races in 2009. Yates Racing driver Paul Menard will run 16 races in the #98 Menards Ford. Rheem Water Heaters have signed on to run 14 of the races as the primary vendor on the car. Menard will make his Nationwide Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 21, 2009 with crew chief Matt Puccia calling the shots atop the pit box. Puccia worked last season with Roush Fenway Racing driver Erik Darnell in the Camping World Truck Series.(Yates Racing PR)(1-19-2009)
- Stewart driving NNS race at Daytona for Hendrick: Tony Stewart will attempt to qualify a #80 HendrickCars.com Chevy prepared by Hendrick Motorsports for the Feb. 14 Nationwide Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Stewart, the defending winner of the Camping World 300, has won the season-opening event three times - twice with owner Kevin Harvick (2005 and 2006) and once with Joe Gibbs (2008). Should he qualify, the race will mark Stewart's first-ever start for car owner Rick Hendrick. The effort will be led by 2003 Nationwide Series champion crew chief Lance McGrew.(Hendrick Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on the #80 Paint Schemes page.(1-19-2009)
- Scotts Miracle Gro on the #60 for 16 races: Scotts and Roush Fenway announce the extension of their relationship beginning in 2009 as Scotts will appear as the primary sponsor for 16 races on the #60 Ford with Carl Edwards behind the wheel. The Scotts logo will first appear on the #60 entry as the primary sponsor at Daytona in February when Edwards will pilot the #60 Scotts Bonus S Ford.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(1-19-2009)
- Fastenal to RCR? UPDATE 5: IMAGE: hearing the Fastenal sponsorship will be going to the #2 Richard Childress Racing Chevy with Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. driving and Scott Pruett on the road courses. No word how many races the sponsorship will be for.(1-6-2009)
UPDATE: RCR sources tell me that Fastenal will not sponsor a RCR car in 2009.(1-9-2009)
UDPATE 2: From a memo to Fastenal employees from the VP of Marketing at Fastenal: "For the 2009 Nationwide Series, Fastenal will be the proud sponsor of the #5 Fastenal Chevy for JR Motorsports, a very successful team that is co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Rick Hendrick from Hendrick Motorsports. Here's the best part: As part of our new partnership, Dale Jr. will drive the #5 Fastenal car for select races during the season. He will share driving duties with two-time Nationwide Series champion, Martin Truex Jr as well as Scott Wimmer who has 6 Nationwide Series wins and 29 top-5 finishes."(1-16-2009)
UPDATE 3: JR Motorsports today announced it has secured additional sponsorship backing for its #5 entry in the Nationwide Series with Fastenal Company. Fastenal will be the primary sponsor of the No. 5 Chevrolets for 14 races, bringing the team's total number of races in 2009 to 21. The partnership will kick off at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4 with veteran driver and team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel. Earnhardt Jr. will make one other start in the #5 Fastenal Chevy at Daytona International Speedway in July. Additional drivers and races for the #5 team will be announced at a later date. (JR Motorsports PR)(1-16-2009)
UPDATE 4: Scott Wimmer finds a Nationwide Series ride for the upcoming season. But mum's the word because nothing is official just yet. Scott Wimmer: "I'm really excited I finally landed a job. Unfortunately I just can't say where it's at just yet. I Landed a partial schedule with a really good team. Gonna be running Nationwide Series. Looking forward to that. Looking forward to get going. Need to fill up some more races but at least got the first part of it done. Gonna have a good team I can contend with, win races with." Wimmer hopes to secure more races for 2009, including Daytona. Wimmer: "Hopefully I'll have something to announce next week and hopefully have something to announce the week after that with some more races. We're getting a lot of interest now, talking to a lot of team owners. (We're) trying to work on Daytona. I want to be down there racing."(WAOW TV)(1-16-2009)
UPDATE 5: See an image of the car on the #5 Paint Schemes Page.(1-17-2009)
- Reutimann to drive 4 races for Braun: Braun Racing announces the return of Beringer Vineyards to their sponsor line-up for the 2009 Nationwide Series season. The California based, Beringer Vineyards, will serve as the primary sponsor of Braun Racing's #10 Toyota to be driven by veteran driver, David Reutimann, in four Nationwide Series races in 2009. Reutimann will pilot the #10 Beringer Camry at California Speedway in February, Texas Motor Speedway in April, Michigan International Speedway in August and Phoenix International Raceway in November.(Braun Racing PR)(1-16-2009)
- Baker Curb to use Ernie Elliott Motors: Baker Curb racing announced that they have reached an agreement with legendary engine builder Ernie Elliott to provide the engines for the #27 Kleenex Racing Ford Fusion in the Nationwide Series in 2009. The new engine program is one of many exciting things in store for the 2009 season at Baker Curb Racing. The team will be celebrating Kimberly-Clark’s 15th season in NASCAR, the longest standing, continuous primary sponsorship in the Nationwide Series. Piloting the car will be Nationwide Series veteran Jason Keller.(Baker Curb PR)(1-15-2009)
- Congrats: Jeff and Teresa Kirkendall announce the birth of their daughter, Alyxandra Olivia. She was welcomed into the world by her parents at 1:53pm on Thursday, January 15th. Alyxandra Olivia weighs 7lbs 15oz and is 19.25 inches long. Jeff is an engineer for Rusty Wallace Incorporated and Teresa is the travel coordinator for CJM Racing. Both mother and baby are doing great.(1-15-2009)
- O'Quinn to drive #0 in 2009: Johnny Davis and JD Motorsports, Inc. announce that 2006 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, Danny O'Quinn has been signed to drive the #0 Chevy for the entire 2009 NNS Series.(Johnny Davis Motorsports PR)(1-15-2009)
- Speed to run some races for MWR: UPDATE: Scott Speed, driver of the #82 Red Bull Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series will also run a partial Nationwide Series schedule in the #99 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota.(RBRT PR)(12-1-2008)
UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing, despite some sponsorship gaps, will field four full-time programs in 2009, including three Sprint Cup teams and one in the Nationwide Series, owner/driver Michael Waltrip said on Wednesday. The Nationwide schedule for MWR's #99 Toyota proves again the cooperative spirit throughout the Toyota camp, as Waltrip said he'll split most of the schedule with Red Bull Racing newcomer Scott Speed. "I'll do the majority of the races along with Scott, and when I drive Aaron's or Best Western will be on the car and when Scott's in it, it'll be a Red Bull car," Waltrip said. "We've got two or three [of the 35] races that are unsponsored at this time." There was no mention of David Reutimann doing any Nationwide races despite his seventh-place finish in the point standings last season, the second consecutive year that he'd raced full-time in both Nationwide and Cup. (NASCAR.com)(1-14-2009)
- Barrett plans 21 races: In addition to the 18 IndyCar races and the number of Indy Lights contests he plans on running, Stanton Barrett also plans on competing in 21 Nationwide races next season.(Sports Illustrated), according to a PR list on the NASCAR media site, Barrett will be in the #51 for Rick Ware Racing.(1-13-2009)
- Cardinal Motorsports to Run 2009 Nationwide Series: UPDATE 2: A group of NASCAR notables has assembled a multi-faceted team with a new take on the old model. Cardinal Motorsports Inc., headquartered in Lexington, NC, will run 10-15 Nationwide Series races and select ARCA races in 2009. Sponsorship announcements for the team are forthcoming. Will Spencer, President of JKS Motorsports Inc., is part-owner of the new team. Over the past 25 years, JKS Motorsports, Inc. has built a reputation for providing high quality executional services and products for marketing companies, teams, sponsors and manufacturers. The company creates and executes showcar programs, at-track simulator and promotional displays, track signage, and other racing related activation programs. The team's shop will be located within a JKS Facility. Ed Berrier, a former Nationwide Series race winner himself, will also own part of the team. Berrier will serve as General Manger of the team. Ed has also had a long-time working relationship in the sport with his cousin Todd Berrier, crew chief to RCR's Kevin Harvick. Todd Berrier will provide some additional oversight to the team. Cardinal Motorsports will run Chevy bodies, and motors from Earnhardt-Childress Racing. Former Whelen All-American National Champion Peyton Sellers will not only be the team's driver, but is also part owner - something relatively unheard of for a 25 year old, which brings a level of sponsor accountability directly to the driver's seat. Seller's brother and noted crew chief, H. C. Sellers, will occupy the crew chief position for Cardinal Motorsports.(Cardinal Motorsports PR)(12-16-2008)
UPDATE: Ed Berrier, a former driver, said that Sellers has sponsorship for 11 Nationwide races and two ARCA races. The team, which will be housed on the JKS campus, recently acquired six Chevy from RCR and will use Earnhardt-Childress engines.(Charlotte Observer)(12-22-2008)
UPDATE 2: SFP will be the primary 10-race sponsor for Peyton Sellers and Cardinal Motorsports in the Nationwide Series in 2009. In 2008, SFP sponsored Sellers in the Camping World Series East.(Cardinal Motorsports PR)(1-13-2009)
- Stout to run limited Nationwide schedule: The Stellar-Quest Racing Team from outside Buffalo, NY has announced it will run a limited schedule in the 2009 Nationwide Series in a Chevy bearing #19. This small family owned, all volunteer team's driver will again be JC Stout, who drove the team's #91 Chevy in the truck series for the last six seasons. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the upcoming season and Stout is also seeking other driving opportunities in both the Nationwide and Truck series for other teams in 2009. The crew chief for the team's first Nationwide season will be Don Roberts, carrying over his title from the truck series last year.(Stellar-Quest Racing)(1-13-2009)
- Nationwide, Truck teams get more practice time at Daytona: NASCAR has significantly increased the Speedweeks practice time for participants in the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series at Daytona. But NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Monday that track schedules sometimes vary year to year and that the change was more of just a general adjustment in the Daytona schedule and not to expect more practice time at other tracks. Nationwide teams will get 110 minutes of practice on the Wednesday prior to the series Saturday race at Daytona. That’s a 30-minute increase over a year ago. The drivers final practice Thursday is 80 minutes – 10 minutes shorter than a year ago.(Scene Daily), for the Nationwide schedule at Daytona, see the Daytona race page.(1-12-2009)
- Key Motorsports plans full time NNS effort: 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)
- Sponsor for Team Rensi for 2009? Two cars? UPDATE 3: McClure Joins Rensi/Hamilton Racing: Interviewed on The Morning Drive on Sirius NASCAR Radio Tuesday morning, Bobby Hamilton Jr. said sponsorship is coming together for Team Rensi and they are hopeful that the team will be able to run 2 cars next season.(11-25-2008)
UPDATE: Hearing that one of the teams could be Eric McClure bringing Hefty sponsorship with him. Bobby Hamilton Jr. could end up not driving either car, but being involved as a partial owner of the team.(11-25-2008)
UPDATE 2:After driving for long time team owner Ed Rensi for many years, Bobby Hamilton, Jr. has now placed his name alongside the famed Rensi name to form Rensi/Hamilton Racing. The newly named team will field entries in the Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Series and ARCA. With the new ownership now in place, the team is searching hard for the right marketing partner that will allow Bobby to continue to climb back behind the wheel. The organization will announce soon a sponsor and driver combination to compete in the #35 Rensi/Hamilton Racing Ford. Announcements are also forthcoming for the Camping World Series car and ARCA car. The focus is now directed on locating the sponsor that would like to market their products on a car driven by Bobby Hamilton, a five time winner in the Nationwide Series.(Rensi/Hamilton Racing PR)(12-11-2008)
UPDATE 3: Ronnie Russell, president of Rensi-Hamilton Racing, announced that Eric McClure will be joining the RHR organization for the 2009 Nationwide Series season. McClure will pilot a RHR Ford for a minimum of 33 scheduled events and will be given the support of the 2008 #25 team, including veteran crew chief Chris Wright. Additionally, the team will carry the #24, under which McClure competed in 2008.(Eric McClure PR)(1-9-2009)
- Marc Davis to drive for family-owned team: Here they come already: the Davises. Driver Marc, 18, and his father, Harry, are doing it the old-fashioned way. They're fielding a family-owned, barely sponsored, one-car team, fighting the odds and the big money. Marc and Harry Davis hope to open some sponsorship wallets with a part-time, family-owned venture in 2009. Marc Davis will try to qualify for six Nationwide races in a row, beginning just after Daytona, this winter. He'll run two Toyotas his father has acquired. Then later this year they plan to enter a handful of Cup races. They're still friends with Joe Gibbs Racing, where Marc has been a developmental driver and maintains a relationship, and with Randy Moss Motorsports and Roush Racing -- all of whom tried to find major sponsorships to run Marc regularly in Nationwide or Trucks this season, but failed. But no more waiting. The Davises will do it themselves.(ESPN.com)(1-8-2009)
- GoDaddy.com extends sponsorship with JR Motorsports and Hendrick: GoDaddy.com extended its partnerships with JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports, which will give the world's leading registrar of Internet domain names a significant presence in NASCAR's top two series in 2009. This season, GoDaddy.com will be the primary sponsor for 20 Nationwide Series events with JR Motorsports and seven Sprint Cup Series races with Hendrick Motorsports. The company also will be an associate sponsor of Hendrick's #5 Sprint Cup Chevys with driver Mark Martin. The pact includes two Nationwide Series races with driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the #5 Chevys of JR Motorsports. In addition, GoDaddy.com will back the #88 Chevys of JR Motorsports and driver Brad Keselowski in 18 Nationwide Series races.(JR Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on the #88 2009 Paint Schemes page.(1-7-2009)
- ML Motorsports announces 2009 schedule: UPDATE: #70-ML Motorsports plans a 21 race schedule for the 2009 Nationwide Series race season.(ML Motosports), no word on a driver. Mark Green was in the car last season.(1-5-2009)
UPDATE: been told that Mark Green will return to the team to drive this year.(1-6-2009)
- Butler in the #23? UPDATE: Jeff Hammond mentioned during practice coverage on SPEEDtv that Ken Butler III may be sharing the #23 car with Robert Richardson next season.(11-14-2008)
UPDATE: Aaron Rents, Inc. of Atlanta, GA and Scott Shore, President of Erohs Group, LLC announced a new partnership with R3 Motorsports (R3) of China Grove, NC. The one-year agreement gives Aaron's the primary sponsor of R3's #23 Nationwide Series race team for 18 select races in the 2009 season. Snellville, GA native, Ken Butler III will drive the Aaron's car for R3 and is scheduled to make his NNS debut at California Speedway February 21, 2009. The R3 sponsorship is in addition to Aaron's current team sponsorship with Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) and will extend Aaron's marketing reach throughout the NNS season. The Aaron's Lucky Dog Dream Machine will be on the track for 28 of the 35 NNS races. The 2009 schedule calls for 18 races with the R3 #23 car driven by Butler and ten races with the #99 MWR entry driven by Michael Waltrip. The two teams' schedules are divided throughout the season and do not conflict with one another.(R3 Motorsports PR)(1-6-2008)
- Bowyer to drive #29 in select races: Richard Childress Racing's #29 Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Racing team has added championship-winner Clint Bowyer to its driver lineup for the 2009 Nationwide Series season. The 2008 Nationwide Series drivers' champion will share the behind-the-wheel duties with Jeff Burton and Stephen Leicht, who were announced in August as co-drivers for 2009. Burton and Scott Wimmer steered the #29 Holiday Inn Racing team to the 2007 Nationwide Series owners' championship and finished fifth in the owners' standings last season. Crew chief Dan Deeringhoff, who guided Bowyer to the Nationwide Series driver's title, will move from RCR's #2 team to assume the position of crew chief for the Holiday Inn Racing team. "We decided to put Clint in for a few races, with Jeff and Stephen, to try to maximize the exposure for Holiday Inn," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "He's a champion who will help both the overall performance of the team and, with Jeff, will provide another direct point of reference for Stephen as he progresses through his learning curve.(RCR PR)(1-6-2008)
- Expanded Roles for Massaro, Reid, Welch in ESPN's NASCAR Coverage: Three veterans of ESPN's motorsports team, Mike Massaro, Marty Reid and Vince Welch, will have new NASCAR responsibilities on ESPN in 2009.
Massaro, who has been a NASCAR pit reporter the past two years, will join Nicole Manske and Allen Bestwick as host of NASCAR Now, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program. Massaro and Manske will share the primary host role on a rotating basis, while Bestwick will continue as host of the Monday roundtable discussion edition. Massaro will still work the pits for selected Nationwide Series telecasts.
Reid, who has been the lead announcer for ESPN's coverage of the IndyCar Series the past three years, as well as a play-by-play announcer for selected Nationwide Series telecasts the past two years, will see his NASCAR appearances increase. Reid will be the play-by-play announcer for ESPN's coverage of the Nationwide Series for much of the second half of the season, after ESPN begins its 17-race coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Dr. Jerry Punch will continue as play-by-play announcer for the Sprint Cup coverage and for the Nationwide Series in the first half of the season.
Welch will become one of ESPN's four primary NASCAR pit reporters for 2009 after having worked selected NASCAR races the past two years while serving as a fulltime pit reporter for ESPN's IndyCar Series coverage. He will work all of ESPN's Sprint Cup telecasts in the second half of the year along with multiple Nationwide Series races throughout the season.
The rest of ESPN's team of announcers, analysts and reporters for NASCAR will return in 2009. Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will be lead analysts for the race telecasts, joining Punch and Reid in the booth, while Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Shannon Spake will again be pit reporters. Tim Brewer will continue as analyst in the ESPN Tech Center.
Bestwick will continue to host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program from the ESPN Pit Studio, with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. Analyst Ray Evernham will join NASCAR Countdown for selected races and will continue his role as an analyst on NASCAR Now and other ESPN studio programs. Wallace and Evernham will work selected Nationwide Series telecasts as analysts in the booth, filling in for Jarrett and Petree.(ESPN PR)(1-6-2009)
- Gaughan to Nationwide, possibly Cup? UPDATE: Hearing that Brendan Gaughan most likely will be driving for Rusty Wallace Inc. in the Nationwide Series for 2009. Also hearing that the deal is not completely finalized as yet, and Gaughan is also looking at possible opportunities available in the Cup Series.(12-19-2008)
UPDATE: Brendan Gaughan is in serious negotiation to drive a NASCAR Nationwide Series Chevy for Rusty Wallace Inc. next season. The deal has not yet been finalized, however, because Gaughan is waiting for a final decision to be made on Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing’s #41 Sprint Cup Dodge. A source close to the situation called Gaughan’s deal with RWR “99 percent done,” with an announcement expected after the holidays.(Sirius Speedway)(12-19-2008)
UPDATE 2: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing announced that former NASCAR Truck Series Rookie of the Year, Brendan Gaughan, will pilot the team's #62 Chevry in a full-season bid for 2009 Nationwide Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. Gaughan assumes the ride-formerly the #64-driven by David Stremme and Max Papis to a top-ten finish in the 2008 standings.
The car number change-from #64 to #62-further establishes Rusty Wallace Racing's family-owned heritage. The #62 was chosen in honor of Gaughan's family racing background, which includes eight Truck Series wins while driving vehicles fielded by his family-owned #62 Orleans Racing team. Further, the team announced that Las Vegas-based South Point Hotel and Spa will serve as primary sponsor of Gaughan's #62 team for a number for races in 2009. RWR plans to announce the complete sponsor lineup for the #62 in the coming weeks. In addition to its driver and sponsor announcements, RWR also announced several other key personnel moves:
* Bryan Berry, Gaughan's long-time truck series crew chief, will accompany Gaughan in his move and head the #62 team in 2009.
* Former #64 crew chief, Dale Ferguson, will move to the team's #66 entry and third-generation driver Steve Wallace, for 2009.
* Former #66 car chief, Shane Huffman, has returned to the team after a brief hiatus and will serve as car chief for Gaughan and the No. 62 team in 2009.(RWI PR)(1-5-2009)