Josh Berry driving for JR Motorsports at Homestead: JR Motorsports champion late model driver Josh Berry, who made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut last month, will get his second opportunity behind the wheel of the #5 Chevy at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 15. JR Motorsports general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller made the announcement on her Dirty Mo Radio podcast, Fast Lane Family presented by Charlie's Soap, on Wednesday. Ragu will be featured as the primary sponsor on Berry's car. America's leading pasta sauce brand since 1937, Ragu has been a partner with JR Motorsports since 2011. Regan Smith raced the #7 Ragu Chevy to victory at Daytona International Speedway earlier this year, giving JR Motorsports its first win in the season-opening event.(JR Motorsports)(9-17-2014)
Country Bob's Sauces & Seasonings sponsoring Scott at Texas: Country Bob's, an all-purpose sauces and seasonings company, will serve as the primary sponsor for Brian Scott and Richard Childress Racing's #2 Chevy team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on November 1. In a partnership with Kroger, Country Bob's joins RCR for their first venture as a primary sponsor. In a promotion that started on Labor Day, September 1 and runs through the first week of December, fans who purchase Country Bob's sauces and seasonings at one of the nearly 200 Kroger stores in Texas will enjoy great sale prices. In addition to the sale prices on Country Bob's Sauces and Seasonings at Kroger stores, customers can enter a drawing to win the grand prize, two-minute Kroger shopping spree experience with RCR driver Scott. The grand-prize winner will also enjoy a VIP race experience and a Primo Oval 400 XL grill. The contest runs from now through October 6.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #2 team paint schemes page.(9-17-2014)
Boston to run two races for Gibbs: Justin Boston will make his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series start in Saturday night's VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Boston will make two starts in the #20 Zloop Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing; he is also slated to start the following week at Dover International Speedway. The twenty-five year old native from Baltimore, Maryland is currently in his sophomore season piloting the #25 Toyota Camry for Venturini Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series. Boston was awarded Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 and has collected two wins so far this season at Toledo Speedway and Madison International Speedway respectively. Boston now has his sights set on the NASCAR Nationwide Series behind the wheel of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry. Boston has one ARCA start at Kentucky with Venturini Motorsports, collecting a top-ten finish (8th) in just his first outing at the circuit.(JGR)(9-17-2014)
McDowell in the #22 at Kentucky: Michael McDowell will make his first start in the #22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang this weekend at Kentucky. McDowell will be the fifth different driver this year to pilot the Mustang for the 22 team. Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Alex Tagliani have all made at least one start for the team this season.(Team Penske)(9-16-2014)
Chicago TV Ratings: ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 13, earned a 0.8 U.S. household rating, averaging 1,241,000 viewers. The rating and viewership were down from last year's race, which earned a 0.9 rating and averaged 1,289,185 viewers.(ESPN)(9-16-2014)
The Motorsports Group moving to Cup in 2015: The Motorsports Group [Nationwide teams #40 & #46 owned by Curtis Key] announced that it will participate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting with Daytona in 2015. The #30 Chevy SS is seeking a driver, crew and sponsorship opportunities.(TMG) The team is not afflilated with Brandon Davis or Swan Racing and is not planning to run any races this year. They plan a full season of racing and not a "start and park" effort. They will build their own engines. Plans for Nationwide teams next season have not been determined.(9-16-2014)
Centershot Ministries sponsoring Koch at Kentucky: TriStar Motorsports announced that Centershot Ministries will serve as the primary sponsor of the #44 Camry at Kentucky Speedway with Blake Koch behind the wheel. Centershot Ministries is an interdenominational outreach ministry that uses archery as a tool to assist local church's to reach their community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Centershot ministry meets weekly for eight weeks and each meeting combines both shooting archery and Bible study. Mathews, Inc will serve as an associate sponsor on Koch's Toyota Camry during the NASCAR Nationwide Series race weekend in Kentucky. Mathews, Inc. currently operates three local facilities to a diverse line of archery equipment, bow components and accessories for authorized retailers all over the world.(TriStar Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #44 team paint schemes page.(9-16-2014)
Maine businesses to sponsor Theriault at Kentucky: Alongside logos for nationally known brands like Hertz Rent-a-Car and Toyota, emblems for the state of Maine and several of its local companies will be seen zipping around a Kentucky racetrack this month at 185 mph. NASCAR driver Austin Theriault on Friday morning unveiled a Maine-branded car the Fort Kent native will drive during a nationally televised Nationwide Series race at the Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 20. The vehicle is decorated with iconic images of lighthouses, blueberries, lobster and moose, as well as logos for a range of Maine companies, including Bangor Savings Bank, Kepware Technologies and Linda Bean's Perfect Maine lobster. Peter DelGreco, head of the business attraction firm Maine & Co., helped pull together the collective of private companies who teamed with Gov. Paul LePage to sponsor the car.(Bangor Daily News), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(9-13-2014)
Richmond TV Ratings: ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond on Friday night, Sept. 5, earned a 0.8 U.S. rating, averaging 1,305,000 viewers. Last year's race telecast earned a 1.1 rating with 1,834,000 viewers.(ESPN)(9-9-2014)
Busch's gear taken to R&D Center UPDATE: Kyle Busch's seemingly flawless race Friday night at Richmond International Raceway didn't go completely without a hitch. NASCAR officials announced that the rear gear of Busch's winning Joe Gibbs Racing #54 Toyota would be taken to the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina., for further evaluation. It was the only issue reported from post-race technical inspection after Friday night's Virginia529 College Savings 250. Busch was the Coors Light Pole Award winner and led all 250 laps of his fourth Nationwide Series victory of the year and his 67th win of his career on the tour. The inspection findings do not necessarily indicate that a penalty is forthcoming, but any action on behalf of NASCAR would likely take place early next week before all three NASCAR national series converge on Chicagoland Speedway for its tripleheader weekend. Kyle Busch Motorsports, a Busch-owned subsidiary of the Gibbs organization, has been penalized more than once this year for ride-height violations in the Camping World Truck Series.
UPDATE: NASCAR announced Tuesday afternoon that there were no issues with Busch's car.(9-9-2014)
Almirola to run two Nationwide races: Aric Almirola will pilot the Biagi-DenBeste #98 Ford Mustang in the Nationwide Series races at Chicagoland Speedway September 13 and Dover International Speedway September 27. Smithfield will adorn the #98 Ford Mustang for both events. As Almirola and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Sprint Cup Series team competes for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Almirola hopes the extra track time will prove beneficial for the Sprint Cup Series races at both tracks and propel the team through the first round to advance into the Contender round.(RPM)(9-4-2014)
Colgate sponsoring Larson in two races: Colgate will serve as the primary sponsor on Kyle Larson's #42 Chevy Camaro for the next two NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Richmond International Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway. The Chip Ganassi Racing Teams driver, who races for Turner Scott Motorsports in the NNS, will trade in his usual Cartwheel by Target paint scheme for that of Colgate. Larson's car will highlight the new Colgate Enamel Health toothpaste, uniquely formulated to replenish natural calcium and polish your enamel for stronger, healthy enamel.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #42 team paint scheme page.(9-4-2014)
McDowell driving for Penske at Kentucky: Michael McDowell announced on his Facebook page that he will drive the #22 Discount Tire Ford for Team Penske in the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway.(9-4-2014)
Preece to drive for Baldwin at Homestead: Ryan Preece of Berlin, Connecticut has made a significant change to his racing schedule for the remainder of the 2014 season. Instead of competing in his second NASCAR Nationwide Series event of the 2014 season at Richmond International Raceway Friday, he has decided to forego the start and exchange it for a start in the Tommy Baldwin Racing #36 at Homestead Speedway in November. The decision made by Preece and his supporters will allow him to chase his second career Stafford Motor Speedway SK Modified division championship, as well as gain NASCAR's approval to compete at super-speedways such as Daytona International Speedway. "If everything runs well and we finish all the laps, have a good run, and everything goes good I'd be approved to run Daytona," Preece told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. "You're done with the approval process at that point. I talked to Tommy (Baldwin) and all my sponsors backing us and they were 100-percent behind me."(Speed 51)(9-4-2014)
NASCAR and Comcast reach 10-Year series entitlement agreement: NASCAR and Comcast announced a historic agreement that will make Comcast's XFINITY brand the title sponsor of what is now known as the NASCAR Nationwide Series through 2024. The 10-year term matches the longest single agreement around title sponsorship of any NASCAR national series in history, and is the longest entitlement sponsorship agreement in this series' history.
Beginning January 1, 2015, the property will be known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series. XFINITY will become only the third title sponsor in series history following Anheuser-Busch (26 years) and Nationwide Insurance (seven years). The agreement also makes XFINITY an Official NASCAR Partner in the multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) and broadband ISP categories.
The announcement was made during an event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame - where the sport's history is celebrated every day - and was the first series entitlement sponsorship ever announced at the venue.
XFINITY is Comcast's residential service brand and is the nation's largest video and high-speed Internet provider. The company has increased Internet speeds for existing customers 13 times in 12 years and recently introduced XFINITY on the X1 Entertainment Operating System. The company also offers XFINITY On Demand, the most robust video on demand platform in the world. Comcast serves business and residential customers in 39 states and Washington, D.C.
"We're proud to welcome XFINITY to the NASCAR community as title sponsor of the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the next decade," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman & CEO. "NASCAR and XFINITY are each leader brands with much in common. Both are focused on innovation and have products built for speed. Together, we will work to take this series to new heights and elevate one of the most unique and powerful partnerships in all of sports."
What will soon be known as the NASCAR XFINITY Series is the property where names are made and is like nothing else in major pro sports. It features the most talented young drivers regularly competing side-by-side against NASCAR's biggest and brightest stars.
"Technology lives at the heart of NASCAR, just as it does for XFINITY," said Dave Watson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Comcast Cable. "NASCAR provides an exciting environment in which to showcase our video and Internet products and we look forward to further enhancing the fan experience at home, at the track and on the go for years to come."
The series also has a large, highly engaged and technology-connected television audience. It races in some of the nation's largest markets - from Chicago to Los Angeles to Miami - and at the sport's biggest and most iconic tracks - from Daytona International Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, to Talladega Superspeedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
According to NASCAR Fan Engagement Tracker 2013 (commissioned by NASCAR and conducted by Toluna), NASCAR fans spend an average of four-and-a-half hours each week watching NASCAR on television and an additional two-and-a-half-hours each week following the sport on digital platforms.
XFINITY is among the premier sponsors in sports today and a robust sponsorship activation program is part of the new agreement with NASCAR, with aggressive planning already underway.
Comcast's involvement with NASCAR is expanding rapidly. In addition to the NASCAR XFINITY Series announced today, Comcast's NBC Sports unit will begin broadcasting NASCAR race events in July 2015.
After a successful seven-year run as series entitlement sponsor, Nationwide Insurance pivoted its marketing programs to become a NASCAR team sponsor next season. Nationwide also is the official auto, home, life and business insurance partner of NASCAR.(NASCAR)(9-3-2014)
Snap-On renews with Team Penske: Building on one of the strongest and enduring relationships in motorsports, Team Penske announced that it has extended its long-time partnership with Snap-on Incorporated. The multi-year extension between the two organizations adds to Team Penske's longest active sponsorship as it celebrates a 33-year bond with Snap-on in 2014. Under the terms of the renewed relationship, Snap-on will continue to be featured as an associate sponsor of all Team Penske cars competing in NASCAR and INDYCAR. Snap-on will also serve as a primary sponsor of a Team Penske car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with the specific races to be announced at a later time.(Team Penske)(8-27-2014)
2015 NASCAR Series Schedules released: NASCAR announced its national series schedules for the 2015 season, featuring date enhancements to races at some of its most storied tracks along with a pair of long-term broadcast partners that will provide the exciting action to the sport's fans."The 2015 NASCAR national series schedules promise to provide our fans with the compelling competition and storylines they so richly deserve," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "These enhancements to our race dates, particularly in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be of benefit to our fans and other stakeholders in our industry. From the start of the season at Speedweeks at Daytona culminated by our championship finales at Homestead-Miami, we're looking forward to the great racing that will be delivered through our outstanding television network broadcast partners FOX, FOX Sports 1, NBC and NBCSN."
Key date changes featuring Darlington Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway, some of NASCAR's most tradition-laden tracks, highlight the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. Following the 57th running of the Daytona 500 Feb. 22 on FOX, Atlanta Motor Speedway will host the season's second race weekend (March 1), while Darlington returns to its traditional Labor Day weekend date (Sept. 6). The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Atlanta for the first time since 2012 as part of a unique doubleheader on Feb. 28 with the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Additionally, Daytona's always-anticipated July race weekend takes on a different look as the Sunday, July 5 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race marks the return of broadcast partner NBC.
A big "west-coast swing" during the schedule's early stages spotlights markets where NASCAR's fan base is growing and sponsor opportunities are on the rise. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series run on three consecutive weekends, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7-8, Phoenix International Raceway on March 14-15 and Auto Club Speedway on March 21-22.
Bristol's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spring date moves deeper into the calendar from mid-March to April 19. Dates for the spring races at Phoenix and Texas Motor Speedway (April 11) step back one week from their 2014 schedule slots.
From the season-opening weekend at Daytona through June's events, FOX and FOX Sports 1 will combine to serve as the broadcast home of all races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Starting in July at Daytona through the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, including each series' championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, NBC and NBCSN will carry the second-half action for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. The entire 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule will be broadcast exclusively on FOX and FOX Sports 1. On radio, programming surrounding the 2015 NASCAR season along with the exciting national series race calls can be heard on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Motor Racing Network (MRN) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN). The Indianapolis Motor Speedway's radio network will carry the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series events at IMS.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will feature 36 events including two standout non-points races - the Sprint Unlimited on Feb. 14 at Daytona and the 31st annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16. Soon to have a new entitlement partner, the NASCAR Nationwide Series once again contests 33 races, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series increases to 23 events next season with the addition of the Atlanta date.
When running concurrently during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series companion weekends, the date changes are also reflected on the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedules. There are nine companion weekends on the 2015 schedule that feature all three national series along with 18 combination weekends between the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series and seven dual events where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series run together.
There are six "stand-alones" on next year's NASCAR Nationwide Series calendar, starting May 17 at Iowa Speedway. Included among those are two road-course races, at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 15 and Road America on Aug. 29. The later Road America date takes the place of the former Atlanta date. There are seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stand-alone races and two Wednesday appearances - on the dirt at Eldora Speedway on July 22 and at Bristol on Aug. 19. Iowa hosts the trucks three weeks earlier in 2015, on June 19. And the series again runs internationally on Aug. 30 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.(NASCAR), see the schedule on the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule page.(8-26-2014)
O'Quinn running family business after NASCAR: His dream of NASCAR superstardom may not have worked out, but that doesn't mean Danny O'Quinn Jr. has forgotten how to drive a racecar. Saturday night at his home track in Coeburn, Va., the 2006 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year returned to victory lane after winning the second of two 35-lap Late Model twin features. It was the first time the 29-year-old O'Quinn had been behind the wheel of a racecar this year, and only the second time in the past two years. On both occasions he was a winner at Lonesome Pine Raceway, where his stock car racing career began. After six seasons in the NASCAR Nationwide series and 106 starts, O'Quinn moved back home to Coeburn two years ago to take over the family business - and as it worked out - start a family of his own. After winning races and championships racing in local and regional divisions for a family funded team, in 2005 the 20-year-old O'Quinn literally drove his way into a ride with the premier Roush Racing NASCAR team. Despite his Rookie of the Year effort in 2006, however, there was no sponsorship money in 2007 for O'Quinn. Eventually he left Roush to drive for smaller teams. He also worked in the garage area, setting up cars for Bobby Hamilton Jr. in 2008 with Team Rensi Motorsports, spotting for the Wood Brothers, and helping second-generation racer Brandon McReynolds. But, O'Quinn had moved to North Carolina to drive race cars, and by 2011 there wasn't much available for him in NASCAR as a driver except for the occasional "start-and-park."(Kingsport Times-News)(8-21-2014)
Milka Duno to run some races for RAB UPDATE: RAB Racing has signed multiple race-winning driver Milka Duno to compete in select races in the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series and with the entry Duno will become the first Hispanic female driver in history to compete in a NASCAR national series in the United States. A successful driver who has competed in multiple racing series Duno has eight major race wins in the highest classes (Prototype) in the American Le Mans Series and the Grand American Rolex Series and the highest finish ever by a female driver (2nd place) in the 24 Hours at Daytona - in the now 52-year history of the race. In making her transition to stock car racing and her ultimate entry into NASCAR Duno has been competing in the ARCA Racing Series for the past three seasons. In 2011 and 2012 she competed in partial schedules and in her first full ARCA season in 2013, competing with Venturini Motorsports, she finished the season 7th in the driver point standings and became the 2nd highest finishing female driver in ARCA's now 62-year history. Veteran crew chief Chris Rice will helm Duno's NNS effort.(Duno PR), no word on how many races she will run or where.(8-4-2014)
UPDATE: Milka Duno's first NASCAR Nationwide Series race will be Friday, August 22 in the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. This will mark the first time in NASCAR history that a Hispanic female driver will compete in a NASCAR national series race in the United States. Duno will compete in RAB Racing's #29 Toyota Camry.(Duno PR)(8-19-2014)
Gibbs to hold press conference Tuesday UPDATE: According to Joe Gibbs Racing, they will hold a press conference Tuesday, August 19 at 10:00am/et and "this unprecedented announcement will have impact across four NASCAR racing series."(Joe Gibbs Racing)
AND Joe Gibbs Racing will announce Carl Edwards as its fourth Sprint Cup driver for the 2015 season next Tuesday. However, the bigger news appears to involve Daniel Suarez, the 22-year-old darling of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, who will drive for JGR in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Suarez, of Monterrey, Mexico, currently leads the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series where he has nine victories in 52 career starts including four this season. Suarez has made dramatic improvement since joining the tour and has led 1,084 of the 7,790 laps raced. Suarez made his first career Nationwide Series start for JGR at Richmond in the #20 Toyota. Suarez qualified 12th and finished 19th. He completed all but one lap.(Motorsport)(8-14-2014)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that drivers Carl Edwards and Daniel Suarez will join the organization in 2015 to compete full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series respectively. In addition, ARRIS Group, Inc. will sponsor Edwards in the #19 Toyota Camry for 17 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with JGR expanding its operations to include a fourth team. ARRIS also will support Suarez in a multi-year program, starting with the 2015 NASCAR Nationwide Series, as well as a partial schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. JGR also announces that it has launched a diversity initiative with Escuderia TELMEX with support from ARRIS to provide developmental opportunities to deserving Mexican and Latin American candidates in the NASCAR Toyota Series in Mexico and other racing series under the JGR umbrella.(JGR), see an image of the car on the #18 2015 Xfinity Series paint schemes page.(8-19-2014)
Cope to become Elliott's crew chief next season UPDATE: Hearing that JR Motorsports will name Ernie Cope as crew chief for #9-Chase Elliott next season. Elliott's current crew chief, Greg Ives, has been named Dale Earnhardt, Jr's crew chief for 2015.(8-18-2014)
UPDATE: JR Motorsports announced that it will pull from within to fill its impending crew chief vacancy, as Ernie Cope will transition from the #5 team to Chase Elliott's #9 NAPA Aupt Parts team at the conclusion of this season. Cope will take over for Greg Ives. Last month it was announced that Ives would be Steve Letarte's successor on the #88 Hendrick Motorsports team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ives and Cope will finish out the year in their respective roles. Ives and Elliott currently lead the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings by 10 points over teammate Regan Smith with 11 races to go. A crew chief for the #5 team in 2015 is not yet determined. Earnhardt Miller said the company will conduct a thorough search and take as much time as necessary to find the best candidate.(JR Motorsports)(8-18-2014)
Hornish unsure of 2015 plans: Joe Gibbs Racing is set to hold a press conference at its Huntersville, North Carolina headquarters on Tuesday to offer an "unprecedented announcement" that will "have impact across four NASCAR racing series." Sam Hornish Jr., currently driving Kyle Busch's #54 JGR Monster Energy Toyota part-time as he looks to secure a full-time ride for 2015, was completely unaware when asked Friday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course if the announcement had anything to do with him. "They've got an announcement on Tuesday?" Hornish replied. "Well, I didn't know that. I must not be enough in the loop on that." Of course, the 2013 Nationwide Series championship runner-up could certainly be playing coy, but if not it continues a trend of Hornish consistently and reluctantly embracing the role as NASCAR's forgotten man, despite being one of its most well-rounded drivers.(NASCAR.com)(8-15-2014)
Wood Brothers forms alliance with Penske; names Ryan Blaney as driver: Wood Brothers Racing announced that it has formed a technical alliance with Team Penske and will race a partial-season schedule in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with up-and-coming driver Ryan Blaney. Blaney, who has raced as a Team Penske development driver since 2012, will compete in at least 12 races for Wood Brothers Racing next season in the iconic #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion as he continues his rapid NASCAR development. Blaney will also practice and qualify the #21 this weekend at the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway while current Wood Brothers driver Trevor Bayne competes in the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Bayne will return in time to start the Sprint Cup race at the back of the field. Blaney is scheduled to make his official debut for Wood Brothers Racing in the 2015 Daytona 500. He will race for the team in events at Daytona, Las Vegas, Texas, Talladega, Charlotte, Michigan and Indianapolis, among others. In addition to driving the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion for the Wood Brothers, Blaney will drive a Team Penske Mustang in the 2015 Nationwide Series.(Wood Brothers Racing)(8-14-2014)
Rice takes on new roles at NTS UPDATE: Chris Rice has taken on the role of competition director and crew chief on the #20 Chevy for NTS Motorsports, driver Gray Gaulding announced on his Twitter. Jeff Hensley had served as the crew chief on the 20 truck through the first half of the season. Rice most recently served as competition director and crew chief in the Nationwide Series with RAB Racing.(8-11-2014)
UPDATE: NTS Motorsports Vice President of Operations announced earlier today that Chris Rice will serve as Competition Director and crew chief of the #20 Chevy Silverado. Rice joins NTS Motorsports with 25 years of experience in NASCAR, including 11 years as a crew chief in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Chris Rice will serve as crew chief for Austin Dillon and the #20 Qore-24 Chevy starting this Saturday, August 16th at Michigan International Raceway and Gray Gaulding in the #20 Gemini Southern Chevy at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 20th, 2014.(NTS Motorsports)(8-12-2014)
Chase Elliott could run some Cup races in 2015: Rick Hendrick's plan for NASCAR Nationwide Series phenom Chase Elliott evidently entails a few NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts next season, the champion car owner said Wednesday in an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The 18-year-old Elliott tops the Nationwide Series standings and leads all series regulars with three race victories. Dale Earnhardt Jr., co-owner of his JR Motorsports race team, has said that Elliott is likely to run another full season on NASCAR's No. 2 circuit next year. Hendrick, also a co-owner at JRM, sounded as if a few premier series starts will also be sprinkled into that mix. A test session in which Elliott tested the cars of Hendrick Motorsports champion drivers Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon convinced the team owner the youngster was ready, even before he took the Nationwide circuit by storm.
"We haven't arrived at a decision for sure, but I think you'll probably see him run a few races next year," Hendrick told the satellite radio network. "Before he ever won a Nationwide race, I watched him test Jimmie's car and Jeff's car at Nashville, and Jimmie and Jeff both commented to me, 'This kid is super smooth and super fast. He takes care of his equipment, and he doesn't get in a jam.' Although Hendrick currently fields four full-time cars, the maximum for one organization as allowed by NASCAR, rules do permit teams to run an additional vehicle on a limited slate for prospective rookie drivers.(NASCAR.com)(8-6-2014)
Hermie Sadler driving for TriStar at Bristol & Richmond: 1993 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year and current FOX SPORTS 1 analyst, Hermie Sadler, will return to the driver's seat for his first NASCAR Nationwide Series race since 2010. Sadler will pilot the #19 Toyota Camry for TriStar Motorsports at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22nd for his 260th career NNS start and again on September 5th at Richmond International Raceway. The Virginia Lottery will serve as primary sponsor, with whom Sadler has been an ambassador for over 15 years. The car will promote The Virginia Lottery's "Let's Play VA" events, in which lottery players and NASCAR fans have the chance to join the #19 team as an honorary crew member, attend the NASCAR Awards banquet in Las Vegas as Sadler's guest and have a chance to win other exciting prizes. Associate sponsors of the #19 Camry at Bristol Motor Speedway will include Black Wolf Harley Davidson in Bristol, Va, Quaker Steak and Lube in Bristol, and The Maxxis Mid-Atlantic Dirt Series, a karting series in which Sadler's karting team competes in.(TriStar Motorsports)(7-29-2014)
Jimmy John's sponsoring Harvick at Chicago: JR Motorsports announced that Jimmy John's, the gourmet sandwich shop with more than 1,900 locations across the United States, will be the primary sponsor on Kevin Harvick's #5 Chevy in the Sept. 13 Jimmy John's Freaky Fast 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. Featured on Harvick's #5 Jimmy John's paint scheme at Chicagoland Speedway will be the Folds of Honor Foundation logo as part of Jimmy John's commitment to supporting our nation's heroes. Through scholarships and other assistance, the foundation's mission is to give back to families of soldiers killed or disabled in service to our country.(JR Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(7-22-2014)
Swindell joins JGL Racing: JGL Racing welcomes Kevin Swindell to the JGL Racing family starting at Indianapolis in the Lilly Diabetes 250 on July 26th. Kevin will be teammate to another open wheel standout, #28-JJ Yeley. Swindell will be behind the wheel of the #93 sponsored by Curb Records and John Christner Trucking, Inc out of Sapulpa, OK. Kevin will also be running other races this year with JGL Racing. James Whitener and Gregg Mixon are pleased to have 2 outstanding drivers in their staple.(JGL Racing)(7-21-2014)
Dates set for NASCAR Awards Banquets: NASCAR announced that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards - the annual culmination of Champion's Week - will be held on Friday, Dec. 5, at Wynn Las Vegas. This is the sixth year that NASCAR has celebrated Champion's Week in the city of Las Vegas, a tradition that has featured a bevy of A-list entertainers and fan-friendly activities involving the sport's biggest stars. Last year's show, which honored six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, featured many memorable moments from host Jay Mohr and entertainers John Mellencamp, Dierks Bentley and Sara Bareilles.
NASCAR also announced that the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards will hold a joint celebration on Monday, Nov. 17, at Trump National Doral Miami. The event will honor the series driver and owner champions, as well as the top-five drivers in each series. This is the first year the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards will have been held at Trump National Doral Miami. The property was recently purchased by the Trump Organization with plans for a $250 million resort-wide restoration.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will air on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 9:00pm/et. MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the awards show live.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards will be broadcast via tape delay on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.(NASCAR)(7-1-2014)