Images from Iowa: added some images from Iowa Speedway, including #10 Fraternal Order of Eagles, #15 Northland Oil, #27 Cottonelle, #40 Westerman, #75 Mekwaki, and #90 MSRP. See those and more on the 2009 Nationwide paint schemes pages.(7-31-2009)
Marks to drive 4 races for Braun: Braun Racing announced that road racing ace, Justin Marks, will pilot the #10 Toyota in several races throughout the remainder of the 2009 season including, Watkins Glen International and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in August, Memphis Motorsports Park in October and Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.(Braun Racing PR)(7-31-2009)
McDowell in the #26 at Iowa and road courses: UPDATE: Michael McDowell will be driving the #26 Dodge at Iowa, Watkins Glen, and Montreal with Brian Keselowski as crew chief. The team will evaluate future races after that time. Brian will drive at Michigan International Speedway, but no decision has been made about Bristol yet.
Driving the #96 car this weekend will be Andy Ponstein with Bob Keselowski serving as crew chief.(K-Automotive PR)(7-29-2009)
UPDATE: Michael McDowell announced that he is joining the #26 entry for the next two NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Iowa Speedway and Watkins Glen International. McDowell, who may return to the #47 or #81 car if additional sponsorship funding is secured, has recorded 12 top 15 finishes this season.(MMI PR)(7-31-2009)
CitiFinancial on #60 at Iowa: Carl Edwards will be making his first of two appearances driving the #60 CitiFinancial Ford this weekend at Iowa. He will also represent CitiFinancial at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on Aug. 30. The last time CitiFinancial adorned the #60, Edwards went to Victory Lane at Memphis in Oct. '08.(Roush Fenway PR)(7-31-2009)
Mike Wallace sues Germain over GEICO sponsorship: UPDATE: Mike Wallace is suing Germain Racing and business associate Doug Barnette over the loss of his final year of the GEICO sponsorship. Wallace had signed a three-year sponsor agreement with GEICO beginning in 2007, when he drove for Phoenix Racing, according to documents that accompanied the lawsuit filed Monday in North Carolina Superior court in Concord, N.C. The three-year deal with Wallace was worth $6 million annually from GEICO directly to Wallace. Wallace then moved the sponsorship to Germain Racing, where he had a two-year deal for the 2008-2009 seasons. For 2008 and 2009 with Germain, Wallace agreed to pay Germain Racing $4.7 million a year to field cars for him and $600,000 (10 percent of the GEICO contract) to Barnette, who runs the Player Management International sports agency and served as the business liaison between GEICO and Wallace. That left Wallace with an annual base salary of $700,000. Wallace alleges that Germain Racing breached its contract by not providing him with a car in 2009, for violating an agreement that all communications with GEICO would be through Wallace and for soliciting GEICO for its Sprint Cup sponsorship of driver Max Papis. Wallace is suing Barnette for failing to work with him in retaining GEICO and moving the GEICO sponsorship to another driver.(SceneDaily)(7-29-2009)
UPDATE: Germain Racing officials were surprised that former Nationwide Series driver Mike Wallace filed a lawsuit over losing the GEICO sponsorship and over GEICO sponsoring driver Max Papis in the Sprint Cup Series this year. "Germain Racing is surprised and disappointed that Mike Wallace's attorney has made these allegations," Germain Racing said in a statement. "We enjoyed our relationship with Mike and as recently as last week understood that the feelings were mutual. Germain Racing will aggressively and vigorously defend against these allegations." According to the Germain statement, the second year of the agreement was terminated "only weeks" after the signing of the original agreement with Mike Wallace Racing. (SceneDaily)(7-30-2009)
Barr-Nunn sponsoring O'Quinn at Iowa: Danny O'Quinn #01 and JD Motorsports will have Barr-Nunn Transportation and Meskwaki Resort and Motel as associate sponsors for the Iowa Nationwide Series event. Danny O'Quinn has long been associated with Barr-Nunn Transportation. Mike Wallace #0 and Kertus Davis # 04, will again try to make the Iowa show with, as yet, un-sponsored cars.(JD Motorsports PR)(7-29-2009)
UPDATE: J-D Motorsports has chosen to withdraw the #04 Chevy from the Iowa event. Kertus Davis will drive the #0 Chevy originally assigned to Mike Wallace. Mike secured a Cup ride for Pocono and the team was not able to arrange for Mike to commute to and from Iowa. The team will have only the two entries for Iowa, but should return to entering all three J-D Motorsports drivers in future events.(JD Motorsports PR)(7-30-2009)
Pizza Ranch sponsoring Busch at Iowa: For the first time ever Pizza Ranch will adorn the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Nationwide Series Toyota driven by Kyle Busch this Saturday night from Iowa Speedway.Pizza Ranch ranks as the largest regional pizza restaurant chain in the upper Midwest with over 144 locations across nine states in the Midwest.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(7-30-2009)
NASCAR to run Nationwide COT at Daytona in July; Ford to run Mustang; Image posted UPDATES:
It appears the Nationwide Series version of the Car of Tomorrow will not make its debut until next July at Daytona. NASCAR had hoped to roll out the new car for the series next February, however after meeting Tuesday with Nationwide Series owners at NASCAR's Technical Center in Concord, North Carolina, team owner Rusty Wallace said it was a timing issue. The former Sprint Cup Series champion said, "Most of the teams were concerned about how soon the car would come out and how much would it cost. As the meeting went on it became apparent it won't come out in Daytona (February) as thought...it's just too soon." Wallace felt the majority of the owners thought the car should roll out next July at Daytona and probably no road courses will be involved in 2010. The delay
is all about money. "The economy is really killing us right now," said Wallace. "A lot of it is about cash flow too....it's all about bringing this thing out at the right time where the teams can afford it and we've got time to be prepared." Wallace suspects the new car could be raced on speedways like Phoenix or Charlotte, however NASCAR has yet to decide where testing will take place. Meanwhile, team owner Kevin Harvick came away from the meeting with a positive feeling. Harvick said, "I think they were open and listened to everyone's opinion. Obviously NASCAR is in a spot where they have to make a decision for a multitude of scenarios and situations and try to make the best decision for the sport. Obviously from a safety standpoint I think the new cars are good and listening to some of the cup owners talk about what the car has done for them, once they zeroed in on where they needed to be with chassis and things like that, it sounds like the production process is a little bit bette, a little more streamlined than it was before. It's going to take some time to put that process in place but it looks like they've thought it through and we'll see where it goes.(PRN Garage Pass)
AND: Mustang is already the most successful single nameplate brand in professional racing history, but it hasn't competed in NASCAR – until now. Brian Wolfe, director of Ford North America Motorsports, made the announcement today that Mustang will debut as part of NASCAR's "new car" limited rollout in the 2010 Nationwide Series. Ford Racing has gone through the official NASCAR submission and approval process for the new car, and, once templates are finalized, production of Mustang parts will start so teams can build the first cars for testing later this fall.(Ford PR), see an image of the car on the 2010 Ford COT page.
AND: Ford Racing Communications Manager Kevin Kennedy told Sirius Speedway Tuesday that the new NASCAR Mustang will be more stock-appearing than the Sprint Cup Ford Fusion, adding that the appearance of the car was at the top of FoMoCo's wish list. While declining to comment on the direction Chevrolet, Dodge and Toyota might make with their versions of the new Nationwide car, Kennedy confirmed that NASCAR would like to make the series a pony-car/musclecar-based platform.(Sirius-Speedway(7-28-2009)
UPDATE: Statement from Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President, Competition: "We had a very productive meeting this morning (Tuesday, July 28) with the team owners from the NASCAR Nationwide Series about the rollout schedule for that series' new race car. "In the days ahead, we will digest what was discussed today and make a final decision on the rollout for next season with full anticipation of integrating the new car for the entire 2011 schedule."(NASCAR PR)(7-28-2009)
UPDATE 2: The new Nationwide Series model could be a limited edition. Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton says NASCAR is exploring a car limit for its next-generation car, which will be phased in next season before a full-time rollout in 2011. During a meeting with Nationwide teams Tuesday in Concord, N.C., Pemberton said some teams asked NASCAR to consider capping the number of cars that each team can have certified. "It's gaining momentum to limit a team to maybe eight cars," said Pemberton, who added that NASCAR easily can monitor teams' chassis with microchip tracking devices. The move could be a cost-saving measure for Nationwide teams, which must absorb the expense of overhauling their cars during a time when sponsorship is scarce. Pemberton said NASCAR also is considering incorporating tests into race weekends to minimize travel costs.(USA Today)(7-29-2009)
McDowell in the #26 at Iowa and road courses: Michael McDowell will be driving the #26 Dodge at Iowa, Watkins Glen, and Montreal with Brian Keselowski as crew chief. The team will evaluate future races after that time. Brian will drive at Michigan International Speedway, but no decision has been made about Bristol yet. Driving the #96 car this weekend will be Andy Ponstein with Bob Keselowski serving as crew chief.(K-Automotive PR)(7-29-2009)
3M on the #16 at Iowa: When the #16 Ford takes the track for the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Iowa Speedway, it will have a new look for the first time this season. 3M will serve as the primary sponsor with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. behind the wheel. 3M will return as primary sponsor of the No. 16 Ford Fusion next month at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal with Colin Braun driving.(7-29-2009)
Icker starting first race in #32: Although he practiced the #32 Dollar General Toyota at O’Reilly Raceway Park, this weekend marks Brian Ickler’s first of two starts for Braun Racing. Ickler joins Brian Vickers, David Reutimann, Reed Sorenson and Jacques Villeneuve to round out the drivers in the #32 Camry.(Braun Racing PR)(7-29-2009)
Iowa Raybestos Rookie Notes:
• Brendan Gaughan was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Kroger 200 at O’Reilly Raceway Park. Gaughan scored a 12th-place finish and claimed top rookie honors for the fifth time this season.
• DID YOU KNOW? At least one Raybestos Rookie has scored a top-10 finish in 17 of the 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season.
• Allgaier leads Brendan Gaughan by nine points (191-182) in the overall Raybestos Rookie standings entering the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway.
• Allgaier is sixth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie. He trails fifth-place Joey Logano by 25 points and lead seventh-place Mike Bliss by 17.
• Brendan Gaughan (ninth) is the only other Raybestos Rookie currently ranked inside the top-10 in the series championship standings.
• Two Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions during the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season: Gaughan and Erik Darnell.(Camp & Assoc / Raybestos PR)(7-29-2009)
Subs at Iowa: Three drivers will pull double duty this weekend between Iowa Speedway and Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Series standings leader Kyle Busch, second-place Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick will be at Iowa for Thursday's test session before traveling to and from Iowa and Pocono for the races at each track. Standing by to practice and/or qualify if necessary are Jeremy Clements for Busch, Auggie Vidovich for Edwards and Cale Gale for Harvick.(NASCAR PR)(7-28-2009)
$75,000 "Dash 4 Cash" Bonus Ready For Taking At Iowa: It's still sitting there, waiting. It hasn't been dormant, though. It's been growing at a rate of $25,000 at a time while it waits. "It" is the "Dash 4 Cash" bonus that series sponsor Nationwide Insurance offers to the winner in one of the four designated "Dash 4 Cash" races this season. Eligible drivers are those who run full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (including full-time double-duty drivers) and series-only drivers who compete in partial and limited schedules in the series. Joey Logano spoiled the opportunities for eligible drivers in the first two events — at Nashville Superspeedway in April and at Kentucky Speedway in June. Each time Logano won, the bonus added $25,000 from its original $25,000 starting point. Kevin Harvick is the fly in the ointment at Iowa. Like Logano, he's not running a full-time schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this year. He wins, the bonus rolls to $100,000 in the final "Dash 4 Cash" event at Memphis Motorsports Park in October.(NASCAR PR)(7-28-2009)
Shepherd voted into Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame: The fans have spoken... and Morgan Shepherd and Jack Smith will be the next drivers enshrined to the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 31. Shepherd won the active driver nomination over Michael Waltrip and Kasey Kahne, while Smith won in the inactive driver category.(Talladega PR)(7-28-2009)
ORP TV Ratings: ESPN's live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race from O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis earned a final household coverage rating of 1.5, even with last year's race that also aired on ESPN. The telecast averaged 1,903,383 viewers and 1,498,805 households. The 1.5 rating matched ESPN's rating for the race earlier this month at Daytona as the highest-rated NASCAR Nationwide Series race on cable since February.(ESPN PR)(7-28-2009)
Green in the #09 for Iowa test: Due to the [Iowa] track being so new to members of the NNS garage, NASCAR is holding a test session on Thursday, July 30th prior to race weekend activities for all teams from 12:30-6:30 p.m. Central. Although, John Wes Townley will be participating in the test, David Green will jump in the seat as well to further help Townley on and off the track.(RAB Racing PR)(7-28-2009)
Racing Resources Says...
Carl Edwards won the Kroger 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis. It was his 22nd series win in his 161st start. It was his first win at ORP in his fifth start; Edwards won the Truck race at ORP in 2003.
Edwards scored his second win of 2009; his last win came at Milwaukee in June. He started in the rear due to a driver change in both wins.
It was the 16th different track Edwards has won on in the Nationwide Series.
Roush Fenway Racing scored its second win at ORP and sixth overall of 2009.
Edwards led two times for a race-high 72 laps, including the final 22. He had led only one lap at ORP in his previous four starts there.
Kyle Busch (second) has finished first or second in the past eight races (12th time this season). He has a 192-point lead over Edwards in the standings.
Matt Kenseth (third) posted his sixth top-10 in eight races this season.
Brad Keselowski (fourth) posted his 10th top-5 of 2009 and 14th top-10.
Steve Wallace (fifth) matched his career-best finish.
Pole winner Trevor Bayne finished seventh, his best finish in seven starts.
Kenny Wallace (10th) scored his first top-10 since Memphis in 2008.
Brendan Gaughan (12th) was the best of the nine rookie of the year contenders.
The top three finishers started at the rear because of driver changes.
The top 10 consisted of two Fords, five Chevrolets and three Toyotas.
Blake Bechtel joins Bechtel Racing: Gary Bechtel announced the addition of his son to the Bechtel Racing team. Blake Bechtel will come on board as the Vice President of Operations. He will assist in day-to-day activities of Bechtel Racing and help in the search of a sponsor for the 2010 season. Bechtel Racing is currently working with Michael Waltrip Racing in a partnership to put Trevor Bayne behind the wheel for a total of 12 NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season. Bechtel Racing is seeking a full-time sponsor for Trevor Bayne in the 2010 season. The team would like to compete in all 35 NASCAR Nationwide Series races next season and hopefully run for the championship. Bayne has driven MWR's #99 Toyota in six NNS race this season with a 6.6 starting average and a 16.3 finishing average, including last weekend's pole position and career best-finish of seventh at O'Reilly Raceway Park.(Everest Marketing Group PR)(7-27-2009)
Bires to pilot Fraternal Order of Eagles Toyota for Braun Racing at Iowa: Braun Racing announced that the #10 Toyota Camry will carry The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center as primary sponsor for the premier NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway. Kelly Bires will pilot the #10 for that event. The Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) has been a marketing partner of Braun Racing's since 2005. This year, the FOE hopes to draw attention to their partnership with The University of Iowa to raise $25 million for The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center.(Braun Racing PR)(7-27-2009)
Lofton wins ARCA race, prepares for NNS debut: Justin Lofton claimed his second race win of the ARCA RE/MAX Series season on Saturday at Berlin Raceway. 23-year-old Lofton, wheeling the #6 Valvoline Instant Oil Change Toyota for Eddie Sharp Racing, paced practice, earned his fourth pole award of the season by setting a new track record, and led all but 36 laps, dominating 171 of the extended 207-lap Wolverine Power Systems 200. After the race on Saturday, Lofton erased 50 points from Parker Kligerman's lead. He now trails Kligerman by just 100 markers entering next weekend's event in Pocono.(Activ8 Communications PR), Lofton will make his Nationwide debut at Michigan in a second CJM Racing Toyota.(7-26-2009)
Nationwide Series Makes Iowa Speedway Debut: ESPN continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend as the series races for the first time ever at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. The live, flag-to-flag telecast is presented by GoDaddy.com and airs on ESPN on Saturday, Aug. 1, at 4 p.m. ET. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. Also on Saturday, live coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying airs at 1 p.m. on ESPN2, while coverage of final practice airs Friday, July 31, at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. Marty Reid will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN's coverage, with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Randy LaJoie. Reporting from the pits will be Jack Arute, Mike Massaro and Rick DeBruhl.(ESPN PR)(7-26-2009)
Roush plans at least three full time teams in 2010: Roush Fenway Racing co-owner Jack Roush said Saturday night at O'Reilly Raceway Park he intends to field at least three full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series teams in 2010, including one each for young drivers Colin Braun and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Also, in addition to a full-time team for Sprint Cup driver Carl Edwards, Roush said he is in negotiations with Paul Menard to run a fourth full-time team. "We're not ready to announce who is going to be our sponsors, but we're definitely in the middle of the discussions with them," Roush said. "I made the decision, rather than wait for the sponsor, that mine and [team co-owner] John Henry's investment in the sport next year - hopefully, we'll have adequate for our Cup programs - that I'm going to invest in Colin and Ricky and do what we can to give them a nice start."(SceneDaily)(7-26-2009)
Pit Stalls at ORP: Pit Stall Selections at ORP were made last week at Gateway following qualifying there. That's why #88-Brad Keselowski had the first stall (he was on the pole at Gateway). Why is it done that way? Because ORP doesn't have garage stalls. Teams work on the cars right on pit road. To save them time, stalls are selected the previous week, then teams come into the track on Saturday morning, set up their pits, and stay there all day. In another twist for the teams this weekend, because of the rain at the track over the past few days, the haulers were kept outside of the track during the day, except to pull in first thing in the morning and unload. If teams needed anything from the haulers they had to leave the infield.(7-26-2009)
Lagasse out at CJM after Iowa: UPDATE 3: CJM Racing has announced that Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, will pilot the #11 CJM Racing Toyota at the upcoming races at Watkins Glen and Michigan. Scott Lagasse, Jr., will continue to drive the #11 entry at O'Reilly Raceway Park and Iowa. An announcement regarding the future driver lineup will be made at a later time.(CJM Racing PR)(7-24-2009)
UPDATE: Scott Lagasse Jr. will no longer compete in the CJM Racing #11 Toyota and will be looking for a way to complete his Rookie season. Lagasse, Jr., currently 12th in series driver points and a Raybestos Rookie-of-the- Year contender, will compete in this weekend's event at O'Reilly Raceway Park near Indianapolis and in the following weekend's race in Iowa.(PR Plus)(7-24-2009)
UPDATE 2: hearing that Kelly Bires could run some races in the #11 later this year.(7-25-2009)
UPDATE 3: The team's sponsor, America's Incredible Pizza Company, will remain on the #11 through the Iowa race, a news release said. Company president Rick Barsness said it will continue "our branding with Scott through new store openings and other promotions." That could mean Lagasse could end up with another Nationwide team, with sponsorship from the Pizza Company. "The Pizza Company, from what I know, is [going] continue their branding and they're very happy with me," Lagasse said. "What that means, I don't know. I have not had those discussions."(SceneDaily)(7-25-2009)
Time running out for 2010 race at Milwaukee: NASCAR would like to return with its Nationwide and Truck series to the Milwaukee Mile but time is running out for the Wisconsin State Fair Park Board to find a promoter and negotiate a sanctioning agreement as NASCAR hopes to have the 2010 schedule announced in six weeks. Earlier this week, the board cut ties with Wisconsin Motorsports, which had just taken over the promotional rights in February. The state agency is looking for another group to operate and promote the track (SceneDaily.com) (7-25-2009)
ESPN's Champions Take Over Booth at Michigan Nationwide Series Race: ESPN's live coverage of the Aug. 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway will have a new and different approach as the telecast will prominently feature five former NASCAR champions and will be done without a traditional "play by play" announcer. ESPN's "Backseat Drivers" telecast will engage NASCAR fans with the authenticity and experience of analysts Tim Brewer, Ray Evernham, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree and Rusty Wallace. With Brewer contributing reports and analysis from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, Evernham, Jarrett, Petree and Wallace will call the race from the booth.(ESPN PR)(7-24-2009)
BigSpot.com sponsorsing Coleman: Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR Nationwide Series driver #20-Brad Coleman hit the sponsorship spot for online research recruitment giant BigSpot.com, a division of Offerwise, an Internet marketing company serving the market research industry. The BigSpot.com brand will launch their first entry into the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Iowa Speedway and will continue as Coleman's primary sponsor through the Michigan race and potentially beyond.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(7-24-2009)
Watermelons on the #01 at ORP: #01-Danny O'Quinn will sport the "National Watermelon Promotion Board" as an associate sponsor at ORP.(JD Motorsports PR)(7-23-2009)
Special scheme for Keller: This weekend, the hood of Jason Keller's #27 Ford will be adorned with multi-colored handprints and the names of 34 patients and their families from Riley Hospital for Children.(NASCAR PR)(7-21-2009)
Image: see an image of the car on the #27 paint schemes page.(7-23-2009)
High Point University on the #2 at Iowa: Richard Childress Racing development driver Austin Dillon, an incoming freshman at High Point University who will be studying at the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication, is already on track to showing his school spirit. Dillon will drive the #2 High Point University Chevy for Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race held at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, August 1.(RCR PR), see an image of the car on the #2 paint schemes page.(7-23-2009)
Davis plans no more Nationwide races; hopes to run Cup race: The next time you see Marc Davis on a NASCAR track, it will be in the Sprint Cup Series. Davis' dad, Harry, told Full Throttle Autos Online that Marc Davis Motorsports has no further plans to compete in the Nationwide Series at this time. "We got out of Nationwide because essentially except for the price of the engine it costs the same to go Nationwide [racing] as it does to go Cup [racing]," Harry Davis said. When that Cup debut will be is yet to be determined. Marc Davis is still under contract with his two primary sponsors, The Word television network and Howard University's WHUR Radio. But the team is seeking additional funding because it isn't interested in joining the start-and-park brigade. Marc Davis was originally scheduled to make his Cup debut last month at Sonoma.(Full Throttle Autos)(7-23-2009) Comment here
Six promoters express interest in Milwaukee Mile: Six investor groups have expressed interest in taking over promotional rights for the historic Milwaukee Mile racetrack. NASCAR and the Indy Racing League are poised to post their 2010 schedules soon, creating a tight timeline to pull off a deal. Wisconsin State Fair Park interim executive director Craig Barkelar said Tuesday that the board has had "general discussions" with six groups and hopes to receive formal bids by Friday. The State Fair Park board voted Monday to end its partnership with promoter Wisconsin Motorsports, which is believed to owe NASCAR and the IRL several million dollars.(Associated Press)(7-22-2009)
Lawson in the #52 at ORP: Chris Lawson will be the driver of Jimmy Means' #52 car this weekend at O'Reilly Raceway Park. Chris has been running the UARA series part time and serves as a fabricator for Red Bull Racing. He is originally from Ohio.(7-22-2009)
Bobby Jr in the #25 at ORP: UPDATE 2: Bobby Hamilton, Jr, speaking on Sirius' Morning Drive, said that he will drive the Rensi Hamilton #25 later this month at O'Reilly Raceway Park.(7-9-2009)
UPDATE: Hamilton Jr. will drive his Rensi-Hamilton Racing #25 Ford as a teammate to Eric McClure. Hamilton's car will be sponsored by Eckrich. [Team President Ronnie] Russell said the deal is for one race only and "probably won't" turn into anything more. "If it turned into anything, it would be no more than six races," Russell said.(SceneDaily)(7-19-2009)
UPDATE 2: This weekend's race will be Bobby Jr's 250th series start.(7-22-2009)
Gibbs' Book on the #20 at ORP: The Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series #20 entry will take on a new look at the Kroger 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park this weekend. The car will be themed for the launch of Coach Joe Gibbs' new book titled Game Plan for Life: Your Personal Playbook for Success, which includes a foreword by former Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy. Twenty-one year-old Brad Coleman will have the honor of piloting the #20 Game Plan for Life Toyota Camry, and coming fresh off a top-five in St. Louis, is humbled by the opportunity.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(7-21-2009)
Reutimann's first race in the #32: Although he is no stranger to the Braun Racing organization, this weekend marks David Reutimann's first of five starts in the #32 Dollar General Toyota. Reutimann joins Brian Vickers, Reed Sorenson, Jacques Villeneuve and Brian Ickler to round out the talented cast of drivers in the #32 Camry.(Braun Racing PR)(7-21-2009)
Testing at Carolina Motorsports Park: hearing that Patrick Carpentier is testing with Michael Waltrip Racing today at Carolina Motorsports Park. In addition, CJM Raing is here testing the #11 Incerdible Pizza Toyota with Brad Coleman driving.(7-21-2009)
Testing at Road Atlanta: Hearing that drivers testing at Road Atlanta today include #99-Carl Edwards, #6-David Ragan, #16-Colin Braun (subbing for Greg Biffle), #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #47-Marcos Ambrose, #2-Kurt Busch, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #12-David Stremme, #13-Max Papis and Boris Said (in John Wes Townley's #09 Nationwide Series Ford which he will run at Watkins Glen).(7-21-2009)
ORP Raybestos Rookie Notes:
Michael Annett was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway International Raceway. Annett scored a seventh-place finish, his second top-10 of the season and equaled his best finish in 20 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. He claimed top rookie honors for the first time this season.
Erik Darnell scored a 10th-place finish at Gateway, his fifth top-10 in seven starts this season.
At least one Raybestos Rookie has scored top-10 finishes in the last 17 consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
Allgaier leads Brendan Gaughan by 11 points (187-176) in the overall Raybestos Rookie standings entering the July 25 Kroger 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park.
Allgaier is seventh in the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie. He trails sixth-place Mike Bliss by 19 points and leads eight-place Steve Wallace by 114.
Brendan Gaughan (tenth) is the only other Raybestos Rookie currently ranked inside the top-10 in the series championship standings.
TWO Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions during the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season: Gaughan and Erik Darnell.
Cale Gale was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2008 Kroger 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park, scoring a sixth-place finish. Gale also led the race once for one lap.
At least one Raybestos Rookie has scored a top-10 finish in the last six consecutive Kroger 200 races.
Reed Sorenson (2005) and Jason Leffler (2000) are the only Raybestos Rookies to win a pole positions for the Kroger 200.
(Raybestos / Camp & Assoc. PR)(7-20-2009)
Hornaday returns to the #33: This weekend at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, three-time Truck Series champion and current points leader Ron Hornday will step behind the wheel of the #33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Vlasic Pickles Chevy. In eight previous Nationwide Series starts at ORP, Hornaday has earned one win (2000), two top-five and four top-10 finishes. Of his eight starts in the series, his last two have been in KHI-owned cars.(KHI PR)(7-20-2009)
Nationwide Series in Prime Time from Indianapolis: ESPN continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend with live, prime-time racing on Saturday night, July 25, from O'Reilly Raceway Park near Indianapolis. The 200-lap race airs on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. Also on Saturday, live coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying airs at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2, while coverage of final practice airs earlier that day at 12:30 p.m. Marty Reid will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN's coverage, with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Randy LaJoie. Reporting from the pits will be Jack Arute, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake.(ESPN PR)(7-20-2009)
Said in for Townley at Watkins Glen: RAB Racing announced that road course specialist, Boris Said will pilot the #09 Zaxby's Ford in the upcoming Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 8th. Said, who has six NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at The Glen including one top-5, two top-10's and one pole to his credit will be making his debut for RAB Racing at the 2.45-mile road course filling in for rookie John Wes Townley. In preparation for the Zippo 200 RAB Racing will attend a test at Road Atlanta on Tuesday, July 21st with both Said and Townley. While at the 2.54-mile road course Said will help Townley with road course racing technique in a two-seater car.(RAB Racing PR)(7-20-2009)
NASCAR to meet with NNS teams about COT: NASCAR will host Nationwide Series owners and drivers at a meeting at its research and development center in Concord, N.C., on July 28 to inform them of plans to roll out the car of tomorrow for the 2010 season, series director Joe Balash confirmed Saturday. NASCAR already has informally told teams the new car will be used on restrictor-plate tracks and road courses next year. The July 28 meeting will officially detail the use of the car. Track testing is likely to take place after the October Sprint Cup race at Talladega, despite NASCAR's testing ban this season. The car has been track tested twice, at Richmond and Charlotte last year, but only by a few teams. Most Nationwide teams don't have a COT, and some teams will likely buy old Cup chassis and convert the bodies to Nationwide specs.(SceneDaily)(7-18-2009)
Harvick set on 2010 sponsorship; Bires in the #33 for some races? Kevin Harvick Inc. owner Kevin Harvick said sponsorship for his #33 team is set for next year, and he hopes to have only two drivers in the car in 2010. KHI has fielded the #33 full time this season with six drivers, including Harvick. "We're all set for next year," Harvick said after qualifying for Saturday night's Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway International Raceway. "It'll be pretty much the same thing with myself for the majority of the races and probably a few less drivers. We're working on getting that part situated, but sponsorships all done." Harvick said he hopes "it'll be a younger guy," perhaps Kelly Bires, who has driven KHI's car in two races this year, finishing fourth and 10th. "I really like Kelly Bires," Harvick said. "Cale Gale's done an OK job, but I really like the Bires route, if he'd be interested in that."(SceneDaily)(7-18-2009)
Leicht unsure of 2010 plans: Part-time NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Stephen Leicht says he is feeling extra pressure this season to make the most of every opportunity behind the wheel because of the uncertain nature of many Nationwide team sponsorships going forward. Leicht, who is sharing the #29 Richard Childress Racing Chevy with RCR Cup drivers Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer, says he also doesn't know if he'll be back with the organization next season. Even if he does return, Leicht doesn't know how many races he'll get to run.(SceneDaily)(7-18-2009)
Congrats: Congrats to Tony and Erica Priscaro on the birth of their forth son, Victor Joseph Priscaro. Tony is the V.P of Marketing for J-D Motorsports.(7-18-2009)
McDowell looking for a ride after Gateway: When Michael McDowell takes the checkered flag tonight in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway International Raceway, the race may mark the premature end of his season. McDowell, 24 of Phoenix, Ariz., will be without a ride after running the first 17 races of the season in the #47 Toyota with JTG-Daugherty Racing and the last two events with MacDonald Motorsports. "I don't know what's going to happen. I'd be lying to you if I did," McDowell said. "We do have some prospects. My hopes are to keep doing a good job and create opportunities. If there are teams that need me to do racing for them, I'll just try to do the best I can with whatever opportunity I get."(St. Louis Post Dispatch)(7-18-2009)
Herd Racing to field Rowe in road course events: Herd Racing has announced that veteran driver Brett Rowe will pilot a #75 Chevrolet Impala SS for the team at the upcoming NASCAR Nationwide Series road course events at Watkins Glen on August 8 and Montreal on August 29. Herd will field a Chevrolet at both road course races with engines provided by Richard Childress Racing. The team is still seeking sponsorship for both events.(Herd Racing PR)(7-17-2009)
Coleman to run six of next seven races for JGR: 21 year-old NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brad Coleman will finally have the opportunity to get some momentum going in the #20 Rudys.com Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. For the first time this season, he will run back-to-back races and be in the driver's seat for six of the next seven events. Coleman will run Gateway, ORP in Indianapolis, then Iowa Speedway prior to an off week. He will not be in the car at Watkins Glen where he has posted a Top 5 with JGR and Top 10 with BCR. He will be back in the #20 to race at Michigan, Bristol, and wraps up his planned schedule at Montreal on August 30.(BPT/Brad Coleman PR)(7-16-2009)
RWI considering manufacturer change: Rusty Wallace Racing announced that it is exploring all of its options for the 2010 season when it comes to which manufacturer it will run with in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The organization, which switched from Dodge to Chevy after the 2007 season, has seen its contract with General Motors be among those rejected by the new General Motors that emerged from U.S. Bankruptcy Court earlier this week.(SceneDaily)(7-15-2009)
Sellers adds race to schedule: #77-Cardinal Motorsports announced today that primary sponsor SFP is adding the famed Watkins Glen road course to the team's schedule in the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series. The addition of Watkins Glen brings the total to 11 races for the new team and its driver, Peyton Sellers.(Cardinal Motorsports PR)(7-15-2009)
Villeneuve driving for Braun at Montreal: UPDATE: Those who bought t-shirts identifying Jacques Villeneuve in the #32 car for Braun Racing in the Nationwide Series race last year, will bring them again this year to encourage Villeneuve because RueFrontenac.com learned from multiple independent and anonymous sources, that he will again drive the #32 for the 2009 edition of the race in Montreal.(Ruefrontenac)[translated](7-13-2009)
UPDATE: Braun Racing announced that former Formula One World Champion Jacques Villeneuve will drive the #32 Dollar General Toyota in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 Presented by Dodge at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada. This event marks the second career NASCAR Nationwide Series start for Villeneuve at the world renowned road course named after his father, Gilles Villeneuve, also a legendary F1 racer.(Braun Racing PR)(7-14-2009)
Virginia 529 to sponsor Richmond race: Track officials at Richmond International Raceway announced that the Virginia College Savings Plan will hold the race entitlement for the September 11, 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at America's Premier Short Track. The race will officially be titled the Virginia 529 College Savings 250, joining the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race for the doubleheader weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Additionally, the Virginia College Savings Plan has been named the Official College Savings Plan of the track.(Richmond PR)(7-13-2009)
Goodyear conducts tire test at Bristol: Drivers from NASCAR's top three series were at Bristol Motor Speedway Tuesday for a closed-session tire test to help Goodyear determine the best compounds for the upcoming August races. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Casey Mears tested tires for the Aug. 22 Sharpie 500, while Jason Keller and Steve Wallace ran laps on behalf of the Nationwide Series competitors who will race in the Aug. 21 Food City 250. Past Camping World Truck Series champions Todd Bodine and Ron Hornaday were on hand representing that series. After spending the morning hours working rubber into the track, the drivers began to get a feel for what to expect in August.(Bristol Motor Speedway PR)(7-7-2009)
CJM signs Lofton for 4 races: ARCA RE/MAX regular Justin Lofton will join the CJM Racing family as the team will field a second car for four races later this season. Lofton is slated to run NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Michigan, Lowe's, Texas and Homestead. More details regarding sponsorship and specific details about the second team will be announced at a later time.(CJM Racing PR)(7-7-2009)
Braun announces #32 driver lineup for remainder of year: Braun Racing is pleased to announce that David Reutimann, Reed Sorenson and Brian Ickler will join Brian Vickers behind the wheel of the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry for the remainder of the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Reutimann will pilot the #32 O'Reilly Raceway Park in July, Bristol Motor Speedway in August, Richmond International Raceway and Dover International Raceway in September and Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. At Gateway International Raceway in July, Sorenson will take the wheel of the #32 with hopes of duplicating his victories in 2005 and 2007. Up-and-coming driver, Brian Ickler, is no stranger to Iowa Speedway. He will make his second NASCAR Nationwide Series start from the seat of the # 32. Ickler will also drive the car at Memphis Motorsports Park in October. The driver for the August race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and the November event at Phoenix International Raceway will be announced at a later date.(Braun Racing PR)(7-7-2009)
Fan Voting Open For Most Popular Driver Among Nationwide Series: Beginning today, fans can visit www.nascar.com and cast votes for the 2009 Most Popular Driver of the Year Award for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. This year, fans also may "write in" their favorite driver if he/she is not among the nominees for a specific series. Fans should go to firstname.lastname@example.org and submit their write-in vote. Balloting ends Oct. 31.(7-6-2009)
Move to Cup unlikely for JR Motorsports: You can't cross JR Motorsports totally off of Brad Keselowski's list for a fulltime Sprint Cup ride in 2010, but it doesn't seem likely. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who co-owns JR Motorsports with Rick Hendrick, said on Friday it would be "quite a challenge for anybody to find the kind of financial support you need" to make the move from the Nationwide Series to Cup. He also talked more of Keselowski, who drives the JR Motorsports Nationwide car, as though he would be somewhere else after this season and how he looked forward to preparing another driver for the Cup series. "The way I see it Brad has a ton of opportunities and the doors are wide open for him,'' Earnhardt said. "We have to look at what our chances are for moving into the Cup series before we can put that before Brad."(ESPN Insider)(7-4-2009) Comment here
Great Clips back for 3 years; Kahne, Leffler to split ride: Braun Racing announced that marketing partner of three years, Great Clips, Inc., will return for another three seasons to sponsor the #38 Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Jason Leffler will pilot the #38 Great Clips Camry for 27 of the 35 scheduled races while Kasey Kahne, a familiar face in the Great Clips firesuit, will drive the #38 in the remaining eight races. Leffler will complete the balance of a full series schedule by running Braun Racing's #10 entry, thereby having the opportunity to run for the 2010 championship.(Braun Racing PR)(7-3-2009)
GM resisting 'muscle car' marketing for Nationwide COT: NASCAR executives are trying to turn the Nationwide series into something of a 'pony-car,' 'muscle-car' tour, which is a brilliant idea, with potentially new demographics and more marketing punch. And those who have seen the new NASCAR-designed Nationwide car-of-tomorrow say it's a good-looker…though conceding it will be a major expense, for teams that are already deep in a hole. Ford and Dodge have signed on to that 'muscle car' marketing concept, but General Motors' officials are continuing to resist putting their new Camaro into the on-track mix. Okay, why? The new Camaro is already a well-marketed NASCAR pace car this season, and it's a spiffy muscle car, which would match up well with the Mustang. So why would GM resist NASCAR push to include it in next season's Nationwide tour? Simple – GM is resisting putting the Camaro under NASCAR's 'common template' body rules. GM's Chevyt division wants to hold to the Camaro's distinctive new styling, rather than have to slap decals on a race car that would be all but identical to a common template Mustang and Charger. (mikemulhern.net)(7-3-2009)
Four more races for Bayne: NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Trevor Bayne has had four races added to his schedule with Michael Waltrip Racing, a spokesperson said Wednesday. Bayne was originally scheduled to compete in eight Nationwide races with the #99 Toyota team, and the 18-year-old has already completed three of those. The races added are Chicago on July 10, Michigan on Aug. 15, Atlanta on Sept. 5 and Texas on Nov. 7. Bayne's remaining schedule also includes Gateway on July 18, Iowa on Aug. 1, Bristol on Aug. 21 and Phoenix on Nov. 14.(Scene Daily)(7-1-2009)
Newman and Wimmer Swap races in #5: JR Motorsports announced a race swap for two upcoming NASCAR Nationwide events pertaining to its #5 Fastenal team and drivers Scott Wimmer and Ryan Newman. Newman, previously scheduled to compete in the Kansas event on Oct. 3, will give up driving duties that weekend to participate in the Aug. 21 race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wimmer will now drive the Kansas event.(JR Motorsports PR)(7-1-2009)