Darnell in the #16? UPDATE 2: As we approach the final stretch run of the 2010 Nationwide Series schedule, expect there to be more driver shuffling within Roush Fenway Racing's NNS program. We're hearing that both Matt Kenseth and Erik Darnell will get starts in the team's #16 Fords in the upcoming races. Kenseth ran two NNS races for this team early in the season, and Darnell hasn't made any starts in 2010. If you'll remember, Erik Darnell has been with the Roush organization since the 2004 season. He was the winner of Roush's famous "Gong Show" in 2005, which was televised that year and put on the Discovery Channel as "Driver X." Darnell then ran full seasons in the Truck Series for Roush from 2006 to 2008. For the 2009 season he moved up to the Nationwide Series and split the #6 ride with driver David Ragan. In 16 starts he earned two top five and five top ten finishes and had one pole. He was also given the opportunity to run seven Cup Series races for Yates/Hall of Fame Racing in the #96 in place of Bobby Labonte, getting a best finish of 29th at Kansas. A lack of sponsorship dollars has forced him to sit out much of the 2010 season. Going forward, many questions still plague the RFR Nationwide program for the 2011 season. We've heard that as of right now, the team may only run two cars next season, with Carl Edwards comitting to another full schedule. The team will suffer with the loss of Paul Menard and his money to RCR/KHI for next season, and the struggles for both Braun and Stenhouse will probably mean the second car may be driven by a round robin of Cup and development drivers. (NASCAR Insiders)(8-24-2010)
UPDATE: Matt Kenseth is set to make his third Nationwide Series start this season for Roush Fenway Racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway driving the #16 World Financial Group (WFG) Ford. The Atlanta-based WFG began their partnership with Roush Fenway Racing in 2004 and they are making their first on-track appearance since winning with Carl Edwards at Phoenix International Raceway in 2008.(Roush Fenway PR)(8-25-2010)
UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing announced that Erik Darnell will pilot the #16 3M Ford in three NASCAR Nationwide Series races during the 2010 season starting at Richmond International Raceway next weekend. Darnell is also scheduled to participate in the Nationwide events at Dover and Texas. A primary sponsor in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series for Roush Fenway Racing, 3M is bringing three of its brands on board the #16 for Darnell's three races: "Scotch-Brite" cleaning products will be featured at Richmond, "Post-It" products at Dover and "Ace" brand bandages at Texas.(Roush Fenway PR)(8-31-2010)
Blackwell Angus Beef back on the #6: Ricky Stenhouse and the #6 Roush Fenway Racing team will sport different colors on Saturday at AMS. Blackwell Angus Beef will adorn the Ford Fusion for the second of four races in 2010.(Roush Fenway)(8-31-2010)
Leffler in the #10 with ABF: Long-time Braun Racing marketing partner, ABF Freight, will serve as primary sponsor on Leffler's #10 Toyota Saturday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This marks the sixth time this season the ABF will adorn the hood of the #10 with Leffler behind the wheel.(Braun Racing PR)(8-31-2010)
RCR, Shepherd Form Shepherd Racing Ventures: Richard Childress Racing and Morgan Shepherd's Racing for Jesus have formed Shepherd Racing Ventures, a partnership to run the #21 for the remainder of the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Clint Bowyer will drive RCR's #21 Zaxby's Chevy at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Sept. 4), Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 10), Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 15) and Texas Motor Speedway (Nov. 6). Shepherd will drive the #21 Shepherd Racing Ventures Chevy in the seven other races remaining. "Morgan and I have been friends for a long time and he is a direct link back to the days when we raced together in the '60s, '70s and 80s," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "He's been a great representative of NASCAR for all that time so I'm honored to be working with Morgan in continuing his racing career." Shepherd earned four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories in a career that began in 1970 and spanned 514 races. He finished four seasons in the top 10 of the point standings, with a career-best fifth in 1990. He has also earned 15 victories in 280 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He has competed in 19 of 24 Nationwide Series races in 2010.(RCR PR)(8-31-2010)
New crew chief for Raines? Dave Fuge is listed as crew chief for #34-Tony Raines this weekend at Atlanta. Scott Eggleston had been the crew chief all season.(8-30-2010)
Nationwide happy with Series sponsorship: There is much that seems in flux with the Nationwide Series. How many full-time Sprint Cup drivers will be allowed to participate in NASCAR's second-tier series next year? Would they be allowed to earn as many points? Would a new championship format put more focus on teams without Cup drivers? But for the insurance company that claims top billing, the picture is clear: Nationwide's bottom line in NASCAR is booming. Heading into one of the biggest races (a Montreal crowd of more than 60,000 is expected for the fourth consecutive year Sunday), the circuit's title sponsor says it's exceeding expectations in the third season of a seven-year deal. "We thought it could be break even by the end of Year 3," says Jim Lyski, Nationwide's chief marketing officer. "We've been very happy because we're already at break even and turning this into a strong return. We have very high hopes." After Anheuser-Busch's 25-year run, Nationwide took over the series' entitlement in 2008. Among its positive results with NASCAR fans:
• The company has seen consumer awareness increase by more than 50%.
• Qualified leads last year were 183% above the goal and are projected to double this year. Policies purchased by NASCAR fans also are ahead of goals.
• The company also has profited from business-to-business relationships, adding 19 teams, two suppliers and two tracks last year and eight more teams and companies this year
Lyski says Nationwide expected fans' loyalty but was surprised "they're a higher-value consumer. They tend to buy more than one product. They tend to be more responsible, meaning less claims. Those things are huge profit drivers for an insurance company." Nationwide is being consulted by NASCAR as it considers competition changes to make it "more our version of college football," as NASCAR Chairman Brian France said last month. Since the trend of running NASCAR's top two series full time became prevalent, Cup drivers have won the past four Nationwide titles. Lyski, though, likes Cup drivers competing in Nationwide, saying it helps ESPN's ratings, particularly through feuds such as the one Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards are engaged in. "We think that's good," he says. "Having Cup drivers competing in Nationwide sparks the fan interest."(USA Today)(8-27-2010)
Robby Gordon driving at Montreal: UPDATE: Robby Gordon will compete in the Nationwide Series race at Montreal next week in his first appearance at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve since his dispute with NASCAR in 2007. Gordon will drive a car under his Robby Gordon Motorsports banner Aug. 29 in the NAPA Auto Parts 200. In the inaugural Montreal race three years ago, after an accident on lap 72 that started behind leader Marcos Ambrose, Gordon got past Ambrose, and then Ambrose turned Gordon. Gordon believed he was at least second when the yellow came out, but NASCAR ruled that he was 13th because he had not kept reasonable speed after the tap from Ambrose. Gordon disobeyed NASCAR's order and black flag and spun Ambrose on the first green flag lap following the restart. Gordon continued to the finish line and did burnouts as if he had won the race. But Kevin Harvick was the winner as Gordon had disobeyed the black flags. Gordon was then suspended by NASCAR for the Sprint Cup race the next day at Pocono for blatant disrespect and disregard for NASCAR directives on multiple occasions at Montreal.(Scene Daily)(8-19-2010)
UPDATE: Robby Gordon will pilot the No. 07 MAPEI / Menards Toyota Camry in this weekend’s Nationwide Series race in Montreal, marking his first appearance since the inaugural race in 2007. Recognized as a key competitor in any road course race that he enters, Gordon has two road course victories at Sonoma and Watkins Glen in 2003 and is looking to add a Nationwide title to this list.(RGM)(8-26-2010)
Key Motorsports celebrating "Mom's Birthday": The Key Motorsports Chevy driven by Mike Bliss carries a birthday message in this week’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada, with team owner Curtis Keys mother, Geneva Key, celebrating her 75th birthday on Sunday, August 29th, car #40 is adorned with “Happy 75th Birthday Mom!” to honor this special occasion. Geneva Key is affectionately known as Mom to all members of the Key Motorsports organization.(Key Motorsports PR), see an image of the hood on the #40 Nationwide team paint schemes page.(8-26-2010)
MacHill reducing remaining schedule: MacHill Motorsports has decided to cut the remaning Nationwide races that the #56 car will be at from 10 to 4 (Richmond, Dover, Charlotte, Gateway) unless sponsorship can be found. Driver Kevin Lepage is looking for opportunities to to fill those weeks that the #56 team is not running.(8-26-2010)
NASCAR reinstates LaJoie: UPDATE: NASCAR has reinstated crew member Randy LaJoie upon his successful completion of a counseling program following his June 22 suspension for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.(NASCAR)(8-25-2010)
UPDATE: Statement from LaJoie: "I am thankful to NASCAR for reinstating me for competition, and grateful to my friends and family who supported me through this time," said Randy LaJoie, who was suspended on June 22, 2010, for violation of NASCAR's drug policy. "This has been a tremendous learning and growing process for me, and I have come through it a stronger, better person. I am looking forward to returning to work, and continuing to prove to NASCAR, my colleagues, my family and my friends that this was an isolated incident that I have put behind me." LaJoie will continue to lead the Joie of Seating, the seat design business he founded, and the Safer Racer Tour, a non-profit organization that was designed to help reach out to the auto racers many feel are most at risk; the numerous short track drivers around the country.(LaJoie PR)(8-25-2010)
Darnell in the #16? UPDATE: As we approach the final stretch run of the 2010 Nationwide Series schedule, expect there to be more driver shuffling within Roush Fenway Racing's NNS program. We're hearing that both Matt Kenseth and Erik Darnell will get starts in the team's #16 Fords in the upcoming races. Kenseth ran two NNS races for this team early in the season, and Darnell hasn't made any starts in 2010. If you'll remember, Erik Darnell has been with the Roush organization since the 2004 season. He was the winner of Roush's famous "Gong Show" in 2005, which was televised that year and put on the Discovery Channel as "Driver X." Darnell then ran full seasons in the Truck Series for Roush from 2006 to 2008. For the 2009 season he moved up to the Nationwide Series and split the #6 ride with driver David Ragan. In 16 starts he earned two top five and five top ten finishes and had one pole. He was also given the opportunity to run seven Cup Series races for Yates/Hall of Fame Racing in the #96 in place of Bobby Labonte, getting a best finish of 29th at Kansas. A lack of sponsorship dollars has forced him to sit out much of the 2010 season. Going forward, many questions still plague the RFR Nationwide program for the 2011 season. We've heard that as of right now, the team may only run two cars next season, with Carl Edwards comitting to another full schedule. The team will suffer with the loss of Paul Menard and his money to RCR/KHI for next season, and the struggles for both Braun and Stenhouse will probably mean the second car may be driven by a round robin of Cup and development drivers. (NASCAR Insiders)(8-24-2010)
UPDATE: Matt Kenseth is set to make his third Nationwide Series start this season for Roush Fenway Racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway driving the #16 World Financial Group (WFG) Ford. The Atlanta-based WFG began their partnership with Roush Fenway Racing in 2004 and they are making their first on-track appearance since winning with Carl Edwards at Phoenix International Raceway in 2008.(Roush Fenway PR)(8-25-2010)
Canadian Tires sponsoring Fellows: For the third time this year,JR Motorsports teams will feature Canadian drivers in its race cars in Ron Fellows and J.R. Fitzpatrick. Fellows hails from Windsor, Ontario, while Fitzpatrick’s hometown is Cambridge, Ontario. Canadian Tire will join JRM as the primary sponsor of its #88 Chevy driven by Ron Fellows for the Nationwide Series event in Montreal. Canadian Tire, also the title sponsor of NASCAR’s Canadian Tire Series, is one of Canada’s most shopped general retailers with 480 Canadian Tire stores across the country.(JR Motorsports), see a graphic of the car on the #88 Nationwide paint schemes page.(8-25-2010)
R3 planning 2011 expansion: R3 Motorsports isn’t waiting for the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series to begin; they’re beginning on next year now. Last week, the Robert Richardson, Sr.-owned team broke ground on a new 14,600 sq. ft. building to go along with their existing shop on Hwy 152. The expansion is being done because they need the room, and are looking to add a second team to their #23 Chevrolet for the 2011 season. Richardson’s son, Robert Richardson, Jr. will remain the lead driver for the #23 team, and like in years past, is looking to share driving duties with someone else. The team is looking to add Coleman Pressley as a teammate with him competing for the full NNS 2011 schedule. “We have great equipment and people on this team,” said Richardson, Sr. “We’re not affiliated with a Cup team like a lot of these other Nationwide teams. By expanding our existing operation with the new building, we’ll be able to house a second team to be even more competitive. If we can get the proper Marketing Partners for the second team, then we’re ready to go forward with the shop space. Our people have had some serious talks with potential partners for Coleman. We’re also looking for Marketing Partners for Robert Jr. and the driver who will share the ride with him. Alex Kennedy has done a great job in the races he’s run for us, and that’s one possibility to split the season with Robert, Jr. in the No. 23 car. We’re building these new-style cars and that takes some solid backing to make it all happen.”(R3 PR)(8-25-2010)
Marks driving for Baker-Curb at Montreal: Justin Marks will make his seventh career NASCAR Nationwide Series start and first of 2010, driving the #43 Future Electronics Ford for Baker Curb Racing in the NAPA 200. Marks has qualified in the top 15 in each of his two previous starts at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, including a Nationwide Series-best starting spot of seventh in the 2009 NAPA 200. Marks will be pulling double-duty this weekend, flying to Montreal after racing the ARCA Racing Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday night.(Baker Curb PR)(8-25-2010)
Montreal Rookie Notes:
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Stenhouse Jr. was credited with a 22nd-place finish and claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the sixth time this season. He was the top rookie honors in both Bristol races in 2010.
• Brian Scott leads Stenhouse Jr. by 18 points (195-179) in the overall Raybestos Rookie standings entering the NAPA Auto Parts 250 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec Canada.
• Scott has completed all 132 possible laps in two road course races in 2010, posting 13th-place finishes at Road America and Watkins Glen International.
• Brendan Gaughan was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2009 NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, scoring a ninth-place finish.
• The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in three previous races at Montreal is sixth-place by Kyle Krisiloff in 2007.
• Three Raybestos Rookies finished inside the top-10 in the 2007 race at Montreal: Kyle Krisiloff (sixth), Marcos Ambrose (seventh) and Brad Coleman (eighth).
• Marcos Ambrose is the only Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap in three previous NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Montreal. Ambrose led the 2007 race twice for 37 of the event’s 75 laps.
• The best qualifying effort by a Raybestos Rookie at Montreal is fifth-place by Ambrose in 2007.(Raybestos/Camp & Assoc PR)(8-25-2010)
Bourque driving for Specialty at Montreal: # 61 Specialty Racing is headed to Montreal this weekend with Canadian driver Pierre Bourque.The team has prepared their Ford Fusion, come rain or shine, to power Pierre around the famed track come Sunday.(Specialty Racing)(8-24-2010)
UPDATE: This will be Bourque's Nationwide debut. He finished 7th at Montreal last year in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race. The sponsor for the race is AVAYA, a global leader in enterprise communications systems. The company provides unified communications, contact centers, data solutions and related services directly and through its channel partners to leading businesses and organizations around the world.(Bouorque PR)(8-24-2010)
Kennington to sub for McClure at Montreal: TMI announced that due to effects following two hard crashes during last weekend’s event at Bristol Motor Speedway, Eric McClure will be sidelined for this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event in Montreal. DJ Kennington, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series driver, and friend of McClure, will pilot the #24 Team Rensi Motorsports entry during the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Kennington, a St. Thomas, Ontario native, has seven starts in three different series (CASCAR Super Series, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, and NASCAR Nationwide Series) at the 2.708-mile road course and has recorded four top-5 and four top-10 finishes. This weekend’s event will mark the 33-year-old driver’s 46th career Nationwide Series start and fourth at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve if he can earn one of the 43-starting positions. TMI also announced that Del Monte Foods will continue its relationship with TMI/Team Rensi Motorsports during the 2010 season by serving as primary sponsor for the event. (TMI/McClure PR)(8-24-2010)
Drissi to make Nationwide debut at Montreal: MacDonald Motorsports will be bringing two cars to the NAPA Auto Parts in Montreal this weekend for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Michael McDowell will be in the traditional #81 and 2009 Trans-Am Champion Tomy Drissi will be making his NASCAR debut in the #82 car. Tomy will be getting his first taste in a stock car this weekend in Montreal and will be piloting the Oliver Stone film, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Dodge Charger in the NAPA Auto Parts 200. Wall Street stars Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf and will be in theaters September 24th.(MacDonald Motorsports PR)(8-24-2010)
Bristol TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.6, averaging 2,053,490 viewers. The rating was up from the 1.5 for last year’s race that aired on ESPN2. Five of the last eight Nationwide Series races have seen ratings growth over the corresponding event last year, while the other three were even. ESPN’s NASCAR Nationwide Series ratings are up six percent compared to this point last year.(ESPN)(8-24-2010)
Bristol News & Facts:
• Kyle Busch won the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. It was his 40th Nationwide victory in his 193rd career start.
• Busch won both the Truck and Nationwide races in the same weekend for the fifth time.
• Busch has 10 wins in 20 series starts in 2010, tying the all-time wins record for the second time in his career (2008).
• Sam Ard won 10 races in 1983.
• It was Busch's 17th top-10 finish in 20 races in 2010.
• Busch led 116 of 250 laps. He has led the most laps for the 56th time in his 193-race career.
• Joe Gibbs Racing posted its 54th Nationwide win, but its first victory at Bristol.
• Toyota recorded its 13th win in 2010. Dodge has five wins, Chevrolet has four and Ford has two. Toyota posted its first victory at Bristol.
• The top 10 included five Toyotas, three Chevrolets, one Dodge and one Ford.
• Jason Leffler (second) tied his best finish at Bristol; it was his fourth straight top-10 Bristol finish.
• Elliott Sadler (third) posted his second top-10 finish in eight Bristol races.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (fourth) posted his seventh top-10 finish in nine Bristol races.
• Carl Edwards (fifth) posted his 19th top-10 finish in 24 Nationwide races in 2010. (ESPN.com)(8-23-2010)
Bristol images: Added 34 images from Bristol to the 2010 Nationwide Series paint schemes pages.(8-23-2010)
NASCAR still debating Nationwide policy: Possible changes to eligibility requirements for the Nationwide Series title may be getting a second look, sources told Sporting News. The sanctioning body had contemplated making full-time Sprint Cup drivers ineligible to win the Nationwide championship and had discussed that possibility with the relevant teams. Recently, however, there are indications the restrictions against Cup drivers may not happen, based on what NASCAR has been telling the teams that would be directly affected by such a policy. NASCAR is still holding meetings on possible changes and hasn't made a firm decision. Currently, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Paul Menard are the only drivers doing full-time double duty. Edwards says he plans to run a full Nationwide schedule next year, even if he's not eligible for the title. Track owners are all for the participation of Cup drivers in Nationwide events, because it helps put fans in the grandstands. And there's an undeniable coattail effect, where Cup drivers can help raise sponsorship money that also provides opportunities to younger, less experienced drivers.(Sporting News)(8-23-2010)
NASCAR cutting Nationwide purses 20%: NASCAR will cut the purses for the Nationwide Series by 20 percent next season, a move designed to make hosting the second-tier series a more profitable proposition for race tracks. It's the second consecutive year the purse will be reduced in Nationwide. NASCAR also cut the purses in the premiere Sprint Cup Series before this season. "The health and maintenance of the tracks is essential to the health of the entire industry," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston told The Associated Press. "Like in all facets of our business, we have made financial adjustments to ensure the long term strength of the sport." The Nationwide Series has run a 35-race schedule since 2005, but NASCAR has announced only 34 dates for next year. Gateway International in St. Louis has declined to host either of its two races next year, and Auto Club Speedway in California lost a race when NASCAR cut that track down to a single racing weekend. It left NASCAR trying to fill the void, which it did by giving Iowa and Chicago two Nationwide races next season. But, going forward, the sanctioning body needs to ensure that track operators don't lose money hosting the Nationwide Series. The decision comes as NASCAR is making an overall effort to give the second-tier Nationwide Series its own identity. The sanctioning body wants the series to have its own stars and be a breeding ground for future Sprint Cup drivers, but the opportunities are limited because of drivers who race at both levels. Justin Allgaier is the only driver to win a Nationwide race this year who doesn't also run in the Sprint Cup Series, and the top three drivers in the standings are full-time Cup stars. Martin Truex Jr. in 2005 was the last non-Cup driver to win the series title. NASCAR is considering not allowing Sprint Cup regulars to race for the drivers championship next season, and wants to do a better job marketing future stars such as Allgaier, Trevor Bayne and Parker Kligerman.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(8-22-2010)
Harraka to make debut at Montreal: Paulie Harraka will make his Nationwide Series debut with Nemco Motorsports next weekend at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Harraka, who finished third in the NASCAR K&N Pro West Series this season, will drive the #87 Exide Batteries Chevy alongside team owner Joe Nemechek. "I'm stoked," Harraka said. "I love road-course racing. It fits me so well. For Joe to give me this opportunity is just awesome. I'm sure it won't sink in until I actually get to the racetrack." Harraka began his career in go-karts at age 7. In 2000, he became the youngest WKA Triple Crown winner after winning his fourth national title. Harraka, who is of Syrian decent, was chosen for the Drive for Diversity program in 2007 and became the first D4D candidate to win a track championship one year later at All-American Speedway (Calif.). In three seasons on the K&N Pro tour, Harraka has amassed three victories in 25 starts — all while attending Duke University, where he will be a junior this fall. Nemco tested Harraka, 20, this past week at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, S.C. Nemechek says he's had his eye on Harraka for a while.(Fox Sports)(8-21-2010)
No punishment for Kyle or Brad: NASCAR officials plan no punishment for Kyle Busch or Brad Keselowski over an issue between the drivers late in Friday night's Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch admittedly "dumped" Keselowski after Keselowski got into the back of Busch's car with 31 laps remaining. Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton called it "good, hard racing" and said no action would be taken against either driver. He added they would keep an eye on the two in case further incidents develop. Keselowski already is on probation for an incident involving him and Carl Edwards in the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta earlier this season.(ESPN)(8-21-2010)
Edwards will run full time in 2011: #60-Carl Edwards said Friday he has committed to racing the full Nationwide Series schedule next season. Edwards said he will drive the full season in NASCAR's second-tier series even if he's not eligible to race for the Nationwide championship. "That's a great team I've got over there," he said. "We've got a great shop and a bunch of people that work very hard. I kind of halfway committed to doing it a year ago, these two years, so [if] NASCAR says that we can't race for driver's points, I still feel like I owe it to my guys and my sponsors and myself to follow through and do what I said I'd do." NASCAR is currently discussing rule changes to the Nationwide Series to develop its brand. One of the proposals is making full-time Sprint Cup drivers ineligible for the title. Edwards doesn't like NASCAR's proposal of eliminating Cup drivers from Nationwide title contention because it only really affects a small handful of drivers. Edwards and Keselowski are the only two running the full schedule this year, although Cup drivers Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard are all ranked inside the top 10 in standings despite running only partial schedules. And, the last driver who was not racing in the Cup Series to win the Nationwide title was Martin Truex Jr. in 2005. "I look at it as NASCAR, by saying that we can't race for drivers points, is really only hurting a couple teams -- myself and Brad's team," Edwards said. "I think we might be the only two guys who are planning on doing it again next year, anyway, so if it's good for the series, if it pacifies some complaints out there or whatever is going on and it only hurts two guys, then that's a pretty good deal for NASCAR. "I don't know the real solution. I don't even know the real problem."(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(8-20-2010)
JR Motorsports still finalizing plans for #7:The roster for JR Motorsports became clearer this week as Aric Almirola was announced as the driver of the NASCAR Nationwide Series team's #88 Chevy for 2011. But things are far from settled within the organization as it continues to iron out other plans, such as the schedule of races for IndyCar driver Danica Patrick. JRM is waiting for the IndyCar schedule before putting together the final plan for Patrick and the #7 Chevy, but team President Kelley Earnhardt said the driver is “on board” for 2011. While full sponsorship has yet to be secured for the #88 Chevy, GT Vodka will fill 15 of the 34-race Nationwide schedule. Earnhardt expects Unilever to step up for 12 or 15 races of the remaining inventory for that car. Earnhardt also expects her brother Dale Earnhardt Jr., to run four to six Nationwide Series races in the #7 Chevy as well in 2011. And Josh Wise, who is driving the car this weekend, has received high marks from both Earnhardt and crew chief Tony Eury Jr.(Fox Sports)(8-20-2010)
MacDonald Motorsports gets Bristol sponsor: MacDonald Motorsports and driver Michael McDowell announce Camrett Logistics will be displayed on the #81 Dodge for Friday nights Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Camrett Logistics is a privately owned business based out of Virginia with four warehouses spread throughout the state. It is designed to offer material solutions to growth oriented manufacturers and product distribution companies. They offer the services of having a private fleet, logistics and warehousing services without the concerns and liabilities of managing your own.(MacDonaldd Motorsports), see an image of the car on my #81 Nationwide team paint scheme page.(8-20-2010)
No more plans for Arpin in the #88: It looks like Steve Arpin's run in a NASCAR Nationwide Series car may be done for the 2010 season. Arpin, a former area dirt-track standout, drove in seven Nationwide Series races for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports team this season, recording a season-best 10th place finish at Daytona International Speedway on July 2 in JRM's #88 car, its top Nationwide Series car. But JRM, which has used multiple drivers in the #88 this season, would like a steady presence in the seat of its top car. That presence appears to be Aric Almirola, who signed a multi-year contract with JRM on Tuesday to take over as the full-time driver in the #88 car beginning next season. Almirola, a veteran of 30 Sprint Cup Series races, is currently second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings, which is where Arpin could eventually land. Earnhardt will drive the #88 this weekend and Almirola could get some seat time in the car before this season wraps up. JRM's second Nationwide car, the #7, will be driven by a combination of Earnhardt, Danica Patrick and Josh Wise for the rest of this year. Tony Eury Sr., the crew chief of the #88 car, said Arpin has talent and is a smart driver, but he is not at the level required to drive the team's top car.(Post-Bulletin)(8-20-2010)
Robby Gordon driving at Montreal: Robby Gordon will compete in the Nationwide Series race at Montreal next week in his first appearance at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve since his dispute with NASCAR in 2007. Gordon will drive a car under his Robby Gordon Motorsports banner Aug. 29 in the NAPA Auto Parts 200. In the inaugural Montreal race three years ago, after an accident on lap 72 that started behind leader Marcos Ambrose, Gordon got past Ambrose, and then Ambrose turned Gordon. Gordon believed he was at least second when the yellow came out, but NASCAR ruled that he was 13th because he had not kept reasonable speed after the tap from Ambrose. Gordon disobeyed NASCAR's order and black flag and spun Ambrose on the first green flag lap following the restart. Gordon continued to the finish line and did burnouts as if he had won the race. But Kevin Harvick was the winner as Gordon had disobeyed the black flags. Gordon was then suspended by NASCAR for the Sprint Cup race the next day at Pocono for blatant disrespect and disregard for NASCAR directives on multiple occasions at Montreal.(Scene Daily)(8-19-2010)
Stenhouse honored: Before heading to Bristol Motor Speedway for Friday's race, #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made a pit stop back home in Olive Branch, Mississippi. The NASCAR Nationwide Series driver was honored this week in his hometown. After several autograph signings, appearances around town and multiple media stops, the highlight came when Stenhouse was recognized by the Mayor of Olive Branch. Sam Rikard proclaimed Wednesday, August 18, 2010 as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. day. "It's an honor to be recognized in my hometown," said a smiling Ricky Stenhouse Jr. "To have the support of all the people in Olive Branch is amazing. I will always remember this day and I hope to be able to come back here as much as I can. Having the Mayor on hand was awesome and to have the DeSoto Central High School football team give me a No. 6 jersey was quite a surprise."(Roush Fenway PR)(8-19-2010)
JD Motorsports names Bristol sponsor: J-D Motorsports introduces Smoky Mountain Cheese, LLC. as the primary sponsor of the Mike Wallace #01 Chevy at Bristol. Their signature product, No Bull Beer Cheese Spread with Attitude will soon be on the shelves of your favorite supermarkets. After more than a year of product and consumer testing, No Bull Beer Cheese Spread will finally be available.(J-D Motorsports)(8-19-2010)
Team42 announces Bristol sponsors: UPDATE: The Pelletier Brothers of Millinocket, Maine return as the primary sponsor of the Team42 Dodge for the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday, August 20th. Bristol Motor Speedway marks Parker Kligerman's return to Nationwide Series action. His last race was at Chicagoland Speedway on July 9th where he piloted the Pelletier Brothers Dodge to a 13th place finish, tying his all time career best NNS finish. Pelletier Brothers, Inc. is best known from their popular TV show "American Loggers" which enters its third season airing on the Discovery Channel.
AND Michigan based Bandit Industries, a leading manufacturer of equipment for the wood waste recycling, tree care and biomass/biofuel production industries, makes their NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway with Team42 and the Pelletier Brothers of Millinocket, Maine.(Team 42 PR)(8-18-2010)
UPDATE: Food Country USA teams up with the #42 Pelletier Brothers Dodge as an Associate Sponsor for the Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. "What and exciting opportunity to not only be a part of the race, but to partner with the Pelletier Brothers from the popular TV show American Loggers." said Debbie Henderson-Creasy, Food Country USA. "This is something that is unique as it is exciting! We are proud to be a part of be a part of this team and have the Pelletier's visit our store in Bristol."(Team 43 PR)(8-19-2010)
NASCAR releases 2011 schedules: NASCAR released the 2011 schedules today with some important changes for all three national series. The season gets off to a great start with Daytona – Phoenix – Las Vegas. This gives fans – and competitors – three distinct surfaces to start the year and will produce great racing every lap of the way. Fans also have a couple realigned dates to anticipate. One of those dates takes the series to Kentucky Speedway, where NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will compete under the lights on Saturday, July 9. The second realigned date is at Kansas Speedway which will follow the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the schedule and will be held on Sunday, June 5. We start the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway. Chicago is NASCAR’s second-biggest market and will be a great location in which to launch the 10-race playoff. Beyond the realigned dates, a number of races were re-jiggered on the schedule to produce optimum dates. For example, with Phoenix getting the second race, Texas’ first race now moves up to April 9 for a Saturday night shootout in the Lone Star state; Auto Club Speedway moves to a much better date for that market on March 27; and later in the season, Talladega and Martinsville swap weekends. The 2011 schedule for the NASCAR Nationwide Series is highlighted by a second race at Iowa and Chicagoland Speedways. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will see nine updated events including moving Phoenix to the spring from fall; Darlington to March from August; and the Kansas event to June along with the realigned NASCAR Sprint Cup date. One truck date is still TBD, to be updated in the near future. The schedule process is very arduous and requires the input and cooperation of the entire industry. A good sign that everyone worked well together this year is the fact that the schedules are being announced almost a month earlier than in the past three years.(NASCAR), see the complete schedule on the 2011 Nationwide Series schedule page. (8-18-2010)
Team42 announces Bristol sponsors: The Pelletier Brothers of Millinocket, Maine return as the primary sponsor of the Team42 Dodge for the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday, August 20th. Bristol Motor Speedway marks Parker Kligerman’s return to Nationwide Series action. His last race was at Chicagoland Speedway on July 9th where he piloted the Pelletier Brothers Dodge to a 13th place finish, tying his all time career best NNS finish. Pelletier Brothers, Inc. is best known from their popular TV show "American Loggers” which enters its third season airing on the Discovery Channel.
AND Michigan based Bandit Industries, a leading manufacturer of equipment for the wood waste recycling, tree care and biomass/biofuel production industries, makes their NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway with Team42 and the Pelletier Brothers of Millinocket, Maine.(Team 42 PR)(8-18-2010)
Nemechek's crew chief fined: NASCAR announced that Mike Boerschinger, crew chief of the #87 team that competes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, 2010 as a result of rule violations during this past weekend’s event at Michigan International Speedway. The #87 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules) and 20A-5.10.1B(3) (carburetor venturies exceeded the specified size) of the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rule Book. The infractions were discovered during opening-day inspection on Aug. 12.(NASCAR)(8-18-2010)
Almirola is top candidate for #88 next year: UPDATE: Aric Almirola is the leading candidate to replace Steve Arpin in the #88 JR Motorsports car next season. "We've definitely talked to him," crew chief Tony Eury Sr. said Friday at Michigan International Speedway. "He did a good job when he ran [at O'Reilly Raceway Park] for us and we want to run for a championship. I think Aric would be a good choice for that." Eury said no official offers have been made and the team is still considering one or two other drivers but Almirola is tops on the list. "Whoever it will be, we hope to have it figured out in the next couple weeks so we can get started on next season," he added. "We want to get him in the car more this year and try to get started so when we come out next season we'll be ready. Eury said Arpin has talent behind the wheel and is a smart driver, however, just not at the level required to drive the #88. The team is not necessarily designed to be a training ground for young drivers. "We want a driver who can run up front with a proven record," Eury said. "[Arpin] doesn't have a whole lot of experience on asphalt. He's only been racing on asphalt for a little over a year. I think he needs to back up a little bit maybe to the Truck Series where he can learn the race tracks. He doesn't know the race tracks yet. He doesn't even know how to get into the race tracks because he's never even been to them." Eury said Arpin will get there. As for the #7 JR Motorsports team, Danica Patrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will split the seat time along with a third driver who will likely continue to be Josh Wise, who has filled in since Nashville.(NASCAR.com)(8-13-2010)
UPDATE: Aric Almirola on Tuesday signed a multiyear agreement to drive JR Motorsports' #88 Nationwide Series Chevy, beginning in 2011, multiple sources close to the team told ESPN.com. Sources said, too, that there's a chance Almirola could run some races toward the end of 2010. JR Motorsports officials had no comment. Attempts to reach Almirola were unsuccessf(ESPN.com)(8-17-2010)
UPDATE: JR Motorsports cemented an integral part of its future Wednesday by signing Aric Almirola to a multi-year driving contract for the company's flagship #88 NASCAR Nationwide Series team starting in 2011, general manager Kelley Earnhardt announced. JR Motorsports cemented an integral part of its future Wednesday by signing Aric Almirola to a multi-year driving contract for the company's flagship No. 88 NASCAR Nationwide Series team starting in 2011, general manager Kelley Earnhardt announced today.(JR Motorsports)(8-18-2010)
Two Nationwide races for Iowa: Iowa Speedway officials have confirmed that the Newton oval track facility will host two NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2011. The highly-anticipated events will ‘bookend’ the track’s racing season next year, with the first 250-lap contest scheduled for Sunday afternoon May 22, and the second 250-lapper slated on Saturday evening, August 6. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have a second NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway,” said Jerry Jauron, President and CFO of the four-year-old speedplant. “NASCAR has expressed a lot of faith in our ability to both draw huge crowds for their NASCAR Nationwide events, as well as to attract significant corporate partnerships to support the NASCAR Nationwide race weekends, and we will work very hard to prove that their trust is well-placed.” U.S. Cellular, the title sponsor for Iowa Speedway’s first two NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2009 and 2010, will continue with entitlement for the August 6 event, while a new corporate partner is sought for the May 22 show.(Iowa Speedway)(8-18-2010)
Chase coming to Nationwide? UPDATE:: NASCAR officials are considering a possible Chase playoff format for the Nationwide Series next season that would exclude Sprint Cup competitors, sources confirmed Tuesday. Officials discussed the possibility of limiting or eliminating points for a Cup driver who ranks in the top 35 in the Cup standings. NASCAR president Mike Helton met with Nationwide Series team owners, drivers and crew chiefs Monday in Concord, N.C., to discuss cost-containment ideas and possible changes that would allow a Nationwide-only driver to win the championship. If implemented, a Nationwide Series Chase probably would have fewer drivers and fewer races than the Chase for the Sprint Cup, which has 12 drivers for the final 10 events. Full-time Sprint Cup drivers have won the past four Nationwide Series titles and a Cup driver probably will win it again this season. Brad Keselowski holds a commanding lead over Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch, all three of whom are Cup regulars. NASCAR wants to bring more attention to Nationwide Series drivers who don't compete regularly in the Cup series. Officials discussed the possibility of limiting or eliminating points for a Cup driver who ranks in the top 35 in the Cup standings. Cup drivers still could compete in all the Nationwide events, but not compete for the championship. The team owner of those cars would continue to receive owners points, which would allow the car to win the owner's championship, but not the driver championship. This would appease sponsors, which still would win a championship as the primary sponsor on the car.(ESPN.com)(8-17-2010)
UPDATE: NASCAR is considering changes to the Nationwide Series that could make full-time Sprint Cup drivers ineligible to win the series championship, but a Chase format for NASCAR’s Triple-A division is not under consideration, said Brian France, chairman and CEO of the sanctioning body. “We have four national divisions, and we’ve got to distinguish them,” France said Tuesday night at a Texas Motor Speedway 2011 schedule announcement. “I think making too many things that would not differentiate them wouldn’t be good. So I don’t think you’re going to see that—I know you’re not going to see that.” France did outline the need to balance the participation of Cup drivers against the desire to highlight the accomplishments of full-time Nationwide competitors. “I think you’re going to see some work in that area on our behalf to change the way we reward the Cup drivers who are involved in the Nationwide events,” France said. “We are not altogether certain of how. … Obviously, we’ve got a number of ideas—just which ones we’ll use, I’m not sure.”(Sporting News)(8-18-2010)
C3I Sports and K&J Auto to Sponsor Efland at Bristol: C3I Sports returns as a sponsor for Danny Efland’s # 07 Chevy for the Bristol Nationwide Series race. C3I Sports creates computerized systems for tracking performance, conditioning, and progress of professional athletes. Company CEO Kevin Yates said, “We look forward to working with Danny again. He did a great job for us at Darlington and Charlotte.” Also on board for Bristol will be K&J Auto Sales of Morristown, Tennessee. K&J is one of the state’s largest 'Buyhere/Payhere' dealers.(Efland PR)(8-18-2010)
Bristol Rookie Notes:
• Colin Braun was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the CARFAX 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Braun scored a ninth-place finish, his fourth top-10 of the season and claimed top rookie honors for the sixth time in 2010. He also led the race once for one lap.
• Brian Scott leads Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by 18 points (194-176) in the overall Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
• Michael Annett was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2009 Food City 250, scoring an eighth-place finish.
• Kevin Harvick (2000) is the only Raybestos Rookie to win the Food City 250 at Bristol (21 previous races).(Raybestos / Camp & Assoc PR)(8-18-2010)
Michigan TV ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the CARFAX 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at MIS on Saturday earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.4, averaging 1,799,711 viewers. The rating was the same as last year’s race that aired on ESPN2 but viewership was up 10 percent.(ESPN)(8-17-2010)
Richardson taken to hospital after race: UPDATES: R3 Motorsports driver #23-Robert Richardson Jr. was transported to a Michigan hospital following an accident in the Carfax 250 on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway. A team spokesman said Richardson was conscious and alert and was taken for observation as a precautionary measure. Richardson, a 28-year-old driver from Texas, has competed in 16 Nationwide Series races this season for his family-owned team.(Scene Daily)(8-14-2010)
UPDATE: R3 Motorsports driver Robert Richardson Jr. was on his way home from a Michigan hospital Saturday after all tests proved negative following an accident where Richardson was tapped by Steve Wallace and slapped the wall during the Carfax 250 on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway. (Scene Daily)(8-13-2010)
UPDATE: The impact [of Richardon's wreck] was so severe it caused slight injuries to Richardson's left leg, his upper abdomen and he hit his head so hard he said he blacked out for an instant while going down the backstretch. Coming to his senses just as he entered Turn 3, Richardson managed not to hit anyone else or get in harm's way before coming to pit road. Once in the garage, the team discovered the severity of the impact as their brand-new Chevy's chassis was bent so bad that, from first assessment, it seems the car is a total loss. Meanwhile, Richardson was taken to the Infield Care Center at MIS to be checked out. After being looked at by medical personnel, it was determined he needed to go to a local hospital for a precautionary CAT scan to make sure there were no cranial or internal body injuries. After the CAT scan and diagnosis, the 28-year old native of McKinney, Texas was released and traveled home on Saturday evening. He will have to do a follow up with a local doctor in Texas.(R3 Motorsports PR)(8-14-2010)
UPDATE: Robert Richardson, Jr. received clearance from his doctors and NASCAR to drive in this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday night.(R3 Motorsports)(8-17-2010)
Sons of the Anarchy returns to the #49: The FX hit original series “Sons of Anarchy” returns as sponsor of the #49 Jay Robinson Racing Chevy for the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway this Friday night.(Jay Robinson Racing)(8-17-2010)
Fraternal Order of Eagles on the #10: The Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE), will take center stage as primary sponsor of the #10 Toyota in the upcoming Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The international non-profit organization will proudly adorn the hood of the team’s #10 entry, to be driven by veteran driver, Jason Leffler, for the first time this season. The FOE first partnered with Braun Racing in 2005, and their logo has adorned all of Braun Racing’s entries since that time. Last season, the FOE served as primary sponsor on the #10 Camry at Iowa Speedway in an effort to draw attention to their partnership with the University of Iowa to raise $25 million for ‘The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center’. The research center at the University of Iowa is currently under construction, and is expected to be completed in 2013.(Braun Racing PR)(8-17-2010)
Nationwide Series town hall meeting: NASCAR President Mike Helton and Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash met with a variety of owners, general managers, crew chiefs and drivers in a town hall style meeting for the sport’s second-tier series on Monday. Sources that attended the meeting at the Technical Center in Concord, N.C., called the exchange of ideas between league officials and competitors productive. Although teams were offered the most recent version of the NNS schedule -- that included 34 of 35 races locked in for 2011 -- the focus appeared on cost cutting measures. Considering the sanctioning body informed competitors the plan to decrease purses by roughly 20 percent next season due to declining attendance, discussions on ways to save money could not have come at a better time. While teams at the front of the garage -- the Penske Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Roush Fenway Racing operations -- find balance with the resources from the Sprint Cup Series, the independents are struggling to get by. And even though Sprint Cup drivers bring sponsors and fans to the sport, independent Nationwide teams point to the advantage the Cup drivers have with the additional track time they enjoy running both practices prior to qualifying and racing. There is also the desire for NNS specific teams to have a full-time Nationwide champion to further draw attention to the sport. Several changes to the truck series, such as limiting the number of competitors on the road, have been discussed as possibilities for the NNS(Fox Sports)(8-17-2010)
Food City on the #24: For a second consecutive year Food City will adorn the quarter- panels on McClure’s #24 Hefty Odor Block Ford, serving as a co-primary sponsor during the Food City 250. Headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia, K-VA-T Food Store operates 105 food outlets throughout the tri-state regions of Southwest Virginia, Southeast Kentucky and Northeast Tennessee.(McClure PR)(8-17-2100)
Milestone starts at Bristol: #49-Mark Green can become 15th driver to start his 300th Nationwide Series race Friday at Bristol. #60-Carl Edwards will start his 200th Nationwide Series event.(8-17-2010)
Roderick planning Nationwide debut at Phoenix: Bill Elliott development driver Casey Roderick is hoping to make his Nationwide Series debut at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, Frontstretch. Roderick, who scored his first career ARCA victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park Sunday, said that while nothing is set in stone, he is hoping to contest the 200-miler later this fall. While team details were not available, Roderick, who turned 18 less than two weeks ago, also noted that he will be contesting the upcoming ARCA race at Chicagoland in a Phoenix Racing entry. Phoenix Racing has already been providing setup support for the Elliott-owned #51 car in the ARCA Racing Series.(Frontstretch)(8-17-2010)
Sadler in the #33 at Bristol: This week at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kevin Harvick Inc. welcomes another new addition to the #33 Nationwide Series team line up. Elliott Sadler will make his first start in the #33 car, but is no stranger in KHI equipment. Earlier this season, Sadler won the inaugural Truck Series race at Pocono Raceway behind the wheel of the #2 KHI Chevy.(KHI)(8-16-2010)
Herring driving for Baker Curb at Bristol: 23-year old Drew Herring, from Benson, N.C., will make his second NASCAR Nationwide Series start for Baker Curb Racing Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. In his Nationwide Series debut at Iowa Speedway Herring, who hadn't been in a race car since last November, ran as high as fourth-place and spent over 40 laps running in the top 10 before settling for a 15th-place finish.(Baker Curb PR)(8-16-2010)
Michigan News & Facts:
• Brad Keselowski won the Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway. It was his 10th Nationwide victory in his 127th start and his fourth win in 2010.
• Keselowski has won the past two Nationwide races at Michigan, becoming the first series driver to post consecutive wins at that track.
• Keselowski led 89 of 125 laps. He led the most laps for the eighth time in his career.
• Penske Racing posted its 14th Nationwide win and fifth victory in 2010. It marked Penske's third win at Michigan.
• Dodge posted its fifth win in 2010. Toyota leads all manufacturers with 12, Chevrolet has four and Ford has two.
• The top 10 included three Toyotas, three Fords, two Chevy and two Dodges.
• Carl Edwards (second) posted his third top-5 finish in six Michigan races, all third or better.
• Kyle Busch (third) posted his third top-5 finish in four Michigan races, all third or better.
• Justin Allgaier (fourth) posted his third top-10 in the past four races.
• Paul Menard (fifth) posted his third straight top-10 finish in four Michigan races.
• Danica Patrick finished 27th in her sixth Nationwide Series start.
• Steve Wallace (18th) ended a 10-race streak of top-15 finishes.(ESPN.com)(8-16-2010)
GetMoreVacations.com sponsoring Kligerman at Bristol: GetMoreVacations.com returns as a sponsor to Team 42 for the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. GetMoreVacations.com is using NASCAR Nationwide Series media coverage to continue spreading the message for vacationers to visit the Gulf Coast. GetMoreVacations.com was an associate sponsor of Team 42's Dodge July 9th in the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Driver Parker Kligerman started the race in the 25th position and finished with his second consecutive career best 13th place finish.(Get More Vacations PR), see a graphic of the car on the #42 Nationwide Series team paint scheme page.(8-16-2010)
O' Quinn in the #27 at Bristol: Danny O'Quinn Jr. will drive the #27 Ford in the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday. The primary sponsor for the race will be Heil Trailer International, the world's leading aluminum tank trailer manufacturer and the only global supplier of tank trailer equipment, headquartered in Athens, Tenn. Associate sponsors on the #27 include; Food City, Homsteader Trailers and Barr-Nunn Transportation.(Baker Curb PR), see a graphic of the car on the #27 Nationwide Series team paint scheme page.(8-16-2010)
Images from Michigan: Added 43 images from Michigan (every team at the track except the #07) to the 2010 Nationwide Series paint schemes pages.(8-16-2010)
Chevy still has no plans for Camaro in Nationwide: Despite buzz around the Nationwide Series' addition of the Challenger and Mustang, Chevy officials said Sunday there are no plans to bring the Camaro into NASCAR's second-tier circuit. The new cars, which feature front ends more similar to their production counterparts, made their debuts at Daytona last month and returned Saturday at Michigan. The next-generation model will be used full time next year. Ford (Mustang) and Dodge (Challenger) elected to introduce their muscle car brands, and both manufacturers are considering elevating them into the Sprint Cup Series in the future. NASCAR encouraged Chevy to bring the Camaro to Nationwide in tandem with the new car, but the company decided the racing version wouldn't be similar enough to the street model. Much like the next-generation Sprint Cup car, the new Nationwide car has many standardized features that are designed to streamline rule enforcement and enhance safety but also can preclude brand identity. "The reason we stuck with the Impala is we have two cars within the Chevy lineup that have iconic lines: the Camaro and Corvette," GM Racing director Mark Kent said. "We didn't want to take away from forcing that car into a (stock) car that didn't meet our requirements. Dodge did a very good job from the front (of the Challenger). But once you get away from the front, it loses all its character. We didn't want to lose the character of the side of the Camaro. That's why we stuck with the Impala, and we continue to work with NASCAR on future models to try to figure out to get more manufacturer identity. They're a very good partner, but based on what we have this year with Nationwide, we're likely to stick with the Impala." Kent said the company would consider using the Camaro if the Nationwide car were allowed more leeway with the proportions of its greenhouse and sides.(USA Today)(8-15-2010)
Roush's 2011 Nationwide teams up in the air: All four of Roush Fenway Racing's NASCAR Sprint Cup teams are fully funded for 2011, team President Geoff Smith said Sunday, but its level of participation in the NASCAR Nationwide Series next year will depend on sponsorships. "We're trying to sell sponsorships and our Nationwide program is going be based upon how many programs we get," Smith said Sunday morning at Michigan International Speedway. "I don't expect to see us investing in white cars next year on the hope that something will happen. It's just too expensive." Roush Fenway began the 2010 season with two fully funded Nationwide Fords and two unfunded ones, the unfunded ones carrying plain white paint schemes in some races. And with the uncertainty of the sponsorships, the team's Nationwide driver lineup is also up in the air. "We circle around to all the Cup drivers and ask who wants to run and how many races do they want to run and then combine them with the rookies we have," Smith said. "We have four rookies ... so we're offering all of them up (to sponsors)."(SPEED)(8-16-2010)
Ranger to drive for Baker-Curb at Montreal: Andrew Ranger, one of the most popular and talented Quebec drivers of his generation, will compete in the 2010 NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge on August 28-29 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. With sponsorship from the Dodge Dealers of Québec, the 23-year old from Roxton Pond, Québec will be looking for his first-ever NASCAR Nationwide Series win, following a remarkable third place finish last year in Montréal. Ranger will be driving a Baker-Curb Racing Dodge Charger in the 74-lap Nationwide race.(Circuit Gilles Villeneuve)(8-15-2010)
Caisse to drive for Go Green at Bristol: Mooresville, N.C.-based Rimz One, announced a first-time sponsorship deal with Nationwide Series driver Sean Caisse for the upcoming Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Caisse will pilot Go Green Racing's #39 Ford. The start will mark Caisse's fifth career Nationwide Series start. "I'm excited for the opportunity Go Green Racing is giving me," said Caisse, a former K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year. I feel fortunate to have Rimz One on board our #39 Ford and look forward to a solid run for Rimz One organization." said Caisse. Rimz One started as an Internet company in 2002 flourished into a Mooresville, North Carolina facility in 2006 with a fantastic selection of wheels and tires, and now has also expanded to after-market car and truck accessories.(Caisse PR)(8-14-2010)
Mike Wallace gets Michigan sponsor: G& K Services will be the primary sponsor for #01-Mike Wallace at Michigan. The Bank of Ann Arbor and Mortgage Loan officer Carl Ent will return as Associate Sponsor on the #01 Chevy NASCAR Nationwide Series New Car. Both of these fine sponsors have provided support for J-D Motorsports in the past and both are excited to be part of the New Nationwide Car's second outing. The team looks forward to providing the ESPN TV audience with great pit coverage by Rick Yeoman and the ESPN "Crew Cam"(JD Motorsports PR)(8-13-2010)
Cope picks up Michigan sponsor: ODYSSEY Battery byEnerSys announced that it will sponsor #73-Derrike Cope in Saturday's CARFAX 250 at Michigan. The ODYSSEY Battery logo will adorn the rear side quarter panels as well as the hood of his #73 Stratus Racing Dodge.(Odyssey PR)(8-12-2010)
Piquet hopes to drive for Baker Curb at Montreal:
Q: What will the rest of your schedule this year look like? A couple more ARCA races, a couple more in the Truck Series?
Piquet: We're going to do three more Truck races, and hopefully one more Nationwide race, in Montreal.
Q: Would you be back here [Montreal] with Baker Curb Racing for the Nationwide race?
Piquet: I hope so.
"Sons of Anarchy" on the #49 at Michigan: Sons of Anarchy," FX's smash hit television series will serve as the primary sponsor for driver Mark Green and the Jay Robinson Racing #49 NASCAR Nationwide Series Chevy at this Saturday's CARFAX 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Season three of "Sons of Anarchy" will premiere on FX on Tuesday, September 7th.(Jay Robinson Racing)(8-11-2010)
Specialty Racing announces changes; Yeley to drive at Bristol: Specialty Racing # 61 owner Doug Taylor, and Rick Russell owner of 2nd Chance Race Parts. have joined forces. Rick will handle the duties of Team Manager while Doug concentrates on car preparation. Last week with limited funds and help, the team qualified 37th with the talented Chase Miller driving. Next week at Bristol the teams driver will be J.J. Yeley," with our knowledge of Bristol, the skills of J.J. and the Roush Yates engine, I'm certain we'll have a great qualifing effort" said Rick.(2nd Chance PR)(8-11-2010)
Michigan Rookie Notes:
• Brian Scott was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. Scott scored a 13th-place finish and grabbed top rookie honors for the 10th time in 22 races this season. He has completed all 132 possible laps in two road course races in 2010.
• Scott leads Stenhouse Jr. by 20 points (193-173) in the overall Raybestos Rookie standings entering the August 14 CARFAX 250 at Michigan International Speedway.
• Justin Allgaier was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2009 CARFAX 250 at Michigan, scoring a seventh-place finish. Allgaier also led the race twice for eight laps.
• Kyle Busch (2004) and Steve Park (1997) are the only Raybestos Rookies to win in 18 previous races at Michigan.(Raybestos / Camp & Assoc PR)(8-11-2010)
2011 Nationwide Schedule: Based on announcements and speculation, check out the TENTATIVE 2011 Nationwide Series schedule.
Chloe Duyck Memorial Fund returns to the #28 at Bristol: The Chloe Duyck Memorial Fund has again partnered with driver Kenny Wallace and the Jay Robinson Racings #28 Chevy. Wallace will drive the Chloe Duyck Memorial Fund car in the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday night, August 20th. Wallace and the team will work hard to bring awareness, and donations, to the leading birth defect affecting our children—Congenital Heart Defects (CHD). The Chloe Duyck Memorial Fund car will have a car design that includes the names of many children and some young adults that have been affected by heart defects. Heart families from around the country came together to share stories and raise funding while placing their child's name on the car. Many of the children represented on the car are still battling their heart defects, while others have sadly passed away. The car will race in their memory and in their honor. Though there are quite a few names on the car, it is said that these names are just a tiny reflection of the lives that have been affected by the most common of all birth defects.(Jay Robinson Racing PR)(8-10-2010)
Second Nationwide new car race: The NASCAR Nationwide Series new car is back for more of its limited four-race engagement, this time at Michigan International Speedway. It's the second race for the new car, featuring a different track distance and layout than its debut at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. It may not have the storybook outcome of the historic July 2 race — an emotional win by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the #3 Wrangler Chevy — but it does have the same air of excitement aimed at the new models for Dodge (Challenger), Ford (Mustang) and the sportier looks of Chevy (Impala) and Toyota (Camry). Also, this will be the first day race for the new car. The inaugural race was at night. "Now that we're at our second race, we're looking to make sure we standardize our processes and procedures," said series director Joe Balash. "We want teams to be familiar with our level of expectation for them. As we move forward after Michigan, we hope to stop talking about the newness of it and get into the fabric of what we are." Teams will have an extended practice at MIS Thursday from 9 a.m.–noon and 1–4 p.m. The new car will race twice more this year, Sept. 10 at Richmond International Raceway and Oct. 15 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, before being introduced fulltime in 2011.(NASCAR)(8-10-2010)
Grand Marshal and Starter Named for Great Clips 300 at Atlanta: Atlanta Motor Speedway and partner Great Clips have selected co-Grand Marshals and an Official Starter for the Great Clips 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 4. Terri Miller, Great Clips vice president of marketing, and Betsy Clinton, a Great Clips franchisee, will serve as co-Grand Marshals for the Great Clips 300. The duo will be assisted by a group of children from the Children's Miracle Network, a national partner of Great Clips. Greg Thomas, an Atlanta-area Great Clips franchisee, will fill the role of Official Starter for the Great Clips 300 and will wave the green flag to start the action. In addition to the roles of Grand Marshal and Official Starter, Great Clips chief financial officer Steve Overholser will present the winner's trophy in Atlanta Motor Speedway's Victory Lane.(AMS PR)(8-10-2010)
Stock Car Commission upholds penalties to #40 team: On August 10, 2010, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of Gary Showalter, Crew Chief for the Key Motorsports #40 NASCAR Nationwide Series car. The penalty concerned Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book: "Actions detrimental to stock car racing."; Section 12-4-J: "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR Rules"; and Section 20A-5.10.1B(3): "The venturi height was not dimensionally correct." This stemmed from the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona International Speedway on June 29, 2010. The penalty assessed was a $5,000.00 fine. The Appellant argued that the carburetor in question had been inspected and raced in a number of NASCAR Nationwide Series races prior to failing inspection, and that the inspection gauges were not always reliable. When the carburetor was checked again during the hearing, the venturies visibly failed inspection using both the NASCAR gauge and the gauge provided by the Appellant's carburetor builder. The gauge is straightforward and indicates a "go" or "no go". Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalty assessed by NASCAR.(NASCAR)(8-10-2010)
Chase Austin in the #43 at Michigan: Chase Austin will be driving the #43 Forgotten Harvest/Walgreens Million Meal Challenge Dodge for Baker Curb Racing at Michigan International Speedway this Saturday in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Race. This will be Chase's 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series debut and his first chance to get behind the wheel of the new body style of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race cars.(Austin PR)(8-10-2010)
Watkins Glen TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.5, averaging 1,886,987 viewers. Last year's race, which aired on ESPN2, earned the same rating.(ESPN)(8-10-2010)
NASCAR takes lugnuts from #47 team? UPDATE: [NASCAR Insiders] heard NASCAR took a box of lugnuts from Marcos Ambrose's Nationwide Series team during the race. Word is that they were illegal in some way. Don't be surprised if the team is penalized this week. Don't expect NASCAR will take the win away however.(NASCAR Insiders)(8-9-2010)
UPDATE: According to a tweet by Scene Daily's Kenny Bruce, NASCAR did look at lugnuts from the #47 team but officials said there were no issues.(8-9-2010)
Watkins Glen News & Facts:
• Marcos Ambrose won the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International, his third series victory in his 73rd start. All his wins have come at Watkins Glen, where he has made four starts and has won three straight. He started first, and it was his first victory from the pole. The past four series road course races were won from the front row. Ambrose became the 10th different series race winner in 2010.
• Ambrose joined Terry Labonte (1994, 1995, 1996) as the only drivers to win three consecutive races at the Glen. Ambrose led 60 of 82 laps, leading the most laps for the fifth time in his career.
• It was the third series win for JTG-Daugherty Racing, all by Ambrose. It was the team's first series win of 2010.
• It was the 12th win in 2010 for Toyota, the most of any manufacturer. Chevrolet and Dodge have four apiece, and Ford has two.
• Joey Logano (who finished second) scored his best finish in three races at Watkins Glen.
• Kevin Harvick (third) has scored top-10 finishes in all six of his series races at the Glen.
• Brad Keselowski (fourth) posted his best finish at Watkins Glen and matched his career-best road course finish set at Road America. Keselowski has scored top-10 finishes in all three of his Watkins Glen races and has a 327-point lead over second-place Carl Edwards, Keselowski's biggest lead of the season.
• Kyle Busch (fifth) posted his third top-10 finish in four races at Watkins Glen. With his lead on Lap 27, Busch posted his 8,600th lap led in the series, and he has led in all 18 of the series races he has competed in this season.
• Ron Fellows, who recovered from a speeding penalty, finished sixth in his 17th series road course start, the most series road course starts all time.
• Nelson Piquet Jr. finished seventh in his series debut and became the second series driver to score a top-10 finish in his 2010 series debut, joining Owen Kelly (fifth) at Road America.
• Steve Wallace (ninth) has scored top-10 finishes in the past four races and 15th or better in his past 10 races.(ESPN.com)(8-9-2010)
Latest 2011 schedule speculation: As far as the Nationwide Series, there are 33 races with two "open" dates that could be filled for a 35-race schedule. It will not go to Gateway (which has two races in 2010) nor will it add a second race at Kansas, but Iowa Speedway will get a second race. Iowa's first race will be during the Sprint All-Star Race weekend in May. Iowa, which has had one Nationwide date the last two years, will have its second race in July. Although Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials have talked to NASCAR about playing host to a Nationwide race, nearby O'Reilly Raceway Park is on the schedule for the Indy weekend. Road America, the Wisconsin road course that had its first Nationwide race in 2010, remains on the schedule as well.(Scene Daily)(8-8-2010)
Zippo renews Watkins Glen race sponsorship: Watkins Glen International and Zippo Manufacturing Company announced that Zippo has renewed the title sponsorship of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race through 2013. The race will remain as the Zippo 200. Although best known for its iconic refillable windproof lighter, the Zippo product line also includes lighter accessories, butane candle lighters, and an outdoor line of products and accessories introduced earlier this year.(WGI)(8-8-2010)
KHI 2011 plans on hold: Kevin Harvick Inc.'s plans in the Nationwide and Truck series are uncertain, largely because NASCAR has not formally announced the 2011 schedules. "Obviously, I'll drive the Nationwide car a fair amount and the truck a fair amount, co-owner Kevin Harvick said. "Then everything from there is up in the air as far as who is going to drive where, what and when." Harvick's wife, DeLana, is also an owner in the organization, which is not alone in dealing with scheduling issues. "So, we are kind of in a holding pattern ... (and) we can't finish selling your sponsorship stuff until you know where you are going to race." Truck series champion Ron Hornaday currently drives the #33 Chevy for KHI. The organization also runs the #2 Chevy in the series, which has been shared by Harvick, Elliott Sadler and Ken Schrader. The Harvick organization also runs the #33 Chevy in the Nationwide Series, with several drivers, including Harvick, Hornaday and Mike Bliss.(Charlotte Observer)(8-7-2010)
Blux Ox sponsoring the #70: Jay Robinson Racing announced that Blue Ox will serve as the primary sponsor on the #70 Chevy driven by Mark Green and associate sponsor of the #28 JRR entry driven by Kenny Wallace for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Event this Saturday's Zippo 200 at the Glen in Watkins Glen, New York.
AND: Jay Robinson Racing announced that Home Necessities will serve as the associate sponsor on the #28 Bully Hill Vineyards Chevy driven by Kenny Wallace and the #70 Blue Ox Chevy driven by Mark Green this Saturday's Zippo 200 at the Glen in Watkins Glen, New York. Wallace will be making his 475th NASCAR Nationwide Series start at the 2.45 mile road course.(Jay Robinson Racing)(8-6-2010)
Bully Hill Vineyards sponsoring Kenny Wallace: Jay Robinson Racing Bully Hill Vineyards jointly announced that Bully Hill Vineyards will serve as the primary sponsor on the #28 Chevy driven by Kenny Wallace this Saturday's Zippo 200 at the Glen in Watkins Glen, New York. Wallace will be making his 475th NASCAR Nationwide Series start at the 2.45 mile road course.(Jay Robinson Racing PR), see an image of the car on my #28 Nationwide team paint schemes page.(8-6-2010)
G2 Gemini Custom Apparel on the #27: Baker Curb Racing announced that G2 Gemini Custom Apparel will be a sponsor of Nelson Piquet Jr.'s #27 Ford for Saturday's Zippo 200 at the Glen. The Minnesota-based company provides custom apparel for worldwide customers in several industries, including; fishing, bowling and shooting and has supplied the Baker Curb Racing team with custom crew shirts that they will be wearing at the track this weekend. Joining G2 Gemini Custom Apparel as sponsors for the Zippo 200 are ArcSight, Qualcomm, AutoTrac, Alpinestars and -273. Piquet Jr. will be making his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut Saturday.(Baker Curb Racing PR), see an image of the car on my #27 Nationwide team paint schemes page.(8-5-2010)
Kenny Wallace picks up associate sponsor for the Glen: The Mohawk Valley Community College Aviation Training Center will serve as an associate sponsor on the #28 Jay Robinson Racing Chevy driven by Kenny Wallace this Saturday's Zippo 200 at the Glen in Watkins Glen, New York. Wallace will be making his 475th NASCAR Nationwide Series start at the 2.45 mile road course. Based in Rome, NY, the MVCC Aviation Training Center offers a Federal Aviation Administration approved Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) aircraft maintenance training program to students who wish to apply.(Jay Robinson Racing PR)(8-5-2010)
Special hood on the #16: The #16 Con-way Freight Ford driven by Colin Braun will feature a special hood this weekend at Watkins Glen International. The traditionally white Con-way Freight logo will have the names of a record 92 truck drivers who have earned a trip to the National Truck Driving Championships; often referred to as the "Super Bowl of Safety" in the industry. The national competition is being held this week in Columbus, Ohio and drivers will face testing in three areas: a timed, written exam, a pre-trip inspection, and a driving skills test.(Roush Fenway PR)(8-4-2010)
IMS could take Nationwide race from ORP: UPDATE: Indianapolis Motor Speedway's answer to dwindling interest in NASCAR's Brickyard 400 apparently includes acquiring the Nationwide Series race held at O'Reilly Raceway Park. IMS chief executive officer Jeff Belskus confirmed interest in hosting stock car racing's No. 2 series, which has been at ORP for 28 years. It draws an annual crowd of 30,000 the night before the 400. "Our partners have mentioned it to us," Belskus said Thursday. "We are looking for ways to invest in the Brickyard 400." Acquiring rights to the Nationwide race would bring a cash infusion to IMS, which saw attendance for last weekend's race plummet. The television revenue from hosting a Nationwide race is worth about $500,000, or about half of what's needed to offset the sanctioning fee. Increasing the IMS ticket price for Saturday -- currently $15 -- likely would cover much of the rest of the cost, but the real advantage is a bolstering of the weekend schedule. This year, IMS had two hourlong practices Friday, followed by qualifying and two practices Saturday. With Nationwide involved, IMS could showcase nearly non-stop track activity both days, which would be good for suite sales and hospitality. A Nationwide race likely would be run Saturday afternoon at a distance of 200 or 300 miles. Former IMS boss Tony George always resisted the temptation to go after the Nationwide race because he wanted to be a good neighbor to ORP and its owner, NHRA. The other conflict was the Brickyard's sponsor. Allstate, a rival insurance giant, paid upward of $2 million a year over a four-year contract. It isn't clear what ORP, which also has a Camping World Truck Series race, would do if it loses Nationwide to IMS. Belskus said a decision by his organization and NASCAR "hasn't been made yet," and it's possible Nationwide could run an additional race at ORP on a different weekend.(Indianapolis Star)(7-30-2010)
UPDATE: The NASCAR Nationwide Series is staying at O'Reilly Raceway Park, its home for 28 years. Late Monday, NASCAR informed the NHRA, which owns ORP, the 2011 race would not be moved to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which in the wake of attendance drops is looking to beef up its schedule on Brickyard 400 weekend. "It's very good news," ORP spokesman Scott Smith said. "A lot of people were very much wanting to see it stay here."(Indianapolis Star)(8-4-2010)
Watkins Glen Rookie Notes:
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway. Stenhouse Jr. claimed a 14th-place finish and grabbed top rookie honors for the fifth time in 2010.
• Brian Scott leads Stenhouse Jr. by 18 points (191-173) in the overall Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International.
• Justin Allgaier was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2009 Zippo 200, scoring a 17th-place finish.
• Greg Biffle owns the best finish by a Raybestos Rookie at Watkins Glen. Biffle finished second in 2001, 2.462 seconds behind race winner Ron Fellows.
• Curtis Markham was the first Raybestos Rookie to score a top-10 finish at Watkins Glen, scoring an eighth-place finish in 1995.
• A Raybestos Rookie has scored top-five finishes in three of the last four NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Watkins Glen.(Raybestos/Camp & Assoc PR)(8-3-2010)
Iowa TV Ratings up: ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night, July 31, earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.4, averaging 1,815,043 viewers. The rating was up from a 1.3 for last year's race that was run during daylight hours and aired on ESPN. Four of the last five NASCAR Nationwide Series races have seen ratings growth over the corresponding event of a year ago.(ESPN)(8-3-2010)
Stankiewicz named Scott's crew chief: Braun Racing announced Jeff Stankiewicz as the crew chief of the #11 entry, driven by Brian Scott, for the remainder of the 2010 season. Stankiewicz has been serving as interim crew chief for the team since last month's race at Chicagoland Speedway. In four races with the Clarksville, Indiana-native at the helm, the team has posted an impressive two top-10's at Chicago and Gateway. Stankiewicz, 27, came to Braun Racing as a car chief in January of 2010. His six ARCA RE/MAX Series championships with Frank Kimmel and one NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship with Kevin Harvick at RCR made Stankiewicz a natural choice of the newly formed #11 team.(Braun Racing)(8-3-2010)
GameStop on the #20: The #20 GameStop Toyota will carry the colors of… GameStop this coming weekend at Watkins Glen International. The #20 will carry the original black, red and white paint scheme of GameStop for the first time since the Dover event in May of 2009. GameStop Corporation is the largest video game and software entertainment retailer in the world. A visit to one of the more than 6,000 GameStop stores in 17 countries is like an immersion into the gaming culture.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(8-3-2010)
Piquet, Jr. making Nationwide debut at Watkins Glen: Nelson Piquet Jr. will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the Zippo 200 at the Glen this Saturday, August 7th, driving Baker Curb Racing’s #27 Ford. Piquet Jr. made his NASCAR debut at Daytona International Speedway in February finishing sixth in the 2010 NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.(Baker Curb PR)(8-3-2010)
Iowa News & Notes:
• Kyle Busch won the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway. It was his 39th series victory in his 190th start and his ninth win in 2010. He is nine victories behind Mark Martin for the most wins in series history.
• Busch has posted at least nine wins for the third straight season. He was won six of his past seven Nationwide starts.
• It was Busch's first series win at Iowa in his second start.
• Busch led 209 of 250 laps, only the third time he has led more than 200 laps in a race. He led the most laps for the seventh time in 2010.
• Joe Gibbs Racing posted its 53rd Nationwide win and its 11th in 2010 -- the most of all teams.
• Toyota posted its 11th win in 2010.
• Kevin Harvick (second) has finished in the top 10 in 15 of his 17 starts this season.
• Jason Leffler (third) scored his best finish of 2010.
• Brad Keselowski (fourth) has a 231-point lead over Carl Edwards (10th).
• Busch moved to third in points, with starts in just 17 of the 21 races in 2010.
• Trevor Bayne (fifth) finished in the top 10 for the third straight race and the fourth time in six races.
• Steve Wallace (sixth) has top-10 finishes in four of the past six races, including the past three.
• Michael Annett (seventh) got his best finish of the 2010 season and his second top-10 finish.
• Matt DiBenedetto (ninth) scored his best finish in his sixth series start.(ESPN.com)(8-2-2010)
Papis in the #33 at Montreal: Having success on many road courses and having won at both Watkins Glen and the inagural race at Circuit Gilles Villenueve in Montreal on the Nationwide Series circuit, Harvick will step aside and welcome a new face to the KHI stable for the upcoming race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve when the Nationwide Series returns to the Canadian track later this month. Max Papis, a familiar face in the garage, will make his KHI debut behind the wheel of the #33 Nationwide Series car.(KHI PR)(8-2-2010)
RCR leaving Nationwide Series: UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing is getting out of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, a series it dominated as recently as four years ago. Team owner Richard Childress said this week at Iowa Speedway that RCR would run two teams in the Camping World Truck Series for Childress' grandsons, Austin and Ty Dillon. "I want to give the grandsons an opportunity to run," Childress said. "We've got Ty and Austin, and they're not going to be ready for Nationwide. We could've kept chasing Nationwide; we had sponsorship we could've kept going with. We didn't have enough sponsorship to run two teams, and running one, it didn't really make sense." Childress started the season with John Wes Townley in the #21 Nationwide car, but sidelined Townley after the young driver had problems on the track. The car ran more races with other drivers, but now Morgan Shepherd is fielding the #21 for RCR. Townley has since been released, Childress confirmed. "I guess he's been released," Childress said. "I know he's been released from his contract to be able to drive for someone else." Childress said the new Nationwide Series cars the team built will be used by Kevin Harvick Inc. in a deal between the two teams.(NNS Racing)(7-31-2010)
UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing is looking at possible expansion to four teams in the Sprint Cup Series in 2011 and is in the process of finalizing a deal to run next year's Nationwide Series program through Kevin Harvick Inc. Team owner Richard Childress said an announcement on the deal with KHI should be made soon. The plan is for RCR to supply engines to KHI for the Nationwide program and for RCR to field two teams in the Truck Series where Childress' grandson, Austin Dillon, drives the No. 3. RCR Cup drivers Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick would run KHI cars when in the Nationwide Series.(ESPN.com)(8-1-2010)