February 2012 Nationwide Series News

  • MAKE Motorsports gets Phoenix sponsor: The #50 MAKE machine, driven by NASCAR veteran T.J. Bell, survived the Daytona NNS round, finishing a respectable 24th place, and is prepared for 200 laps around one-mile Phoenix International Raceway with an intimidating flat-black car and a new partnership with Turbine Powered Technology LLC (TPT)  the industry leader in turbine-powered equipment.(MAKE Motorsports)(2-29-2012)

  • Hit and Run case solved after featured on Conway's car last year: Nearly four years ago, a pretty 20-year-old college student was walking to her suburban Chicago home after a night out with friends only to be killed by a hit-and-run driver. Since then, the family of Melissa Lecha striking young woman with a stunning smilehas desperately sought to find out who struck her on a dark road and left her to die. They pooled resources with others in the community to offer a $25,000 reward. Last summer, NASCAR driver Kevin Conway put Melissa's picture on his car to enlist the public's help in finding her killer. All seemed in vain. Until Sunday. A stranger rang the doorbell of the home where Melissa's sister, Michelle, lives with her husband. The man, who called himself Dave, sat down at the kitchen table and confessed. He told Michelle Lech his conscience had been troubled after seeing "the NASCAR thing." He then described how he struck her sister on that August night in 2008, stopped to check that she was still alive, then got scared and drove away. "He just came and said, 'I ran over your sister, I ran her over'," the sister told ABC's WLS-TV. According to her, Dave did not apologize or give his last name. But her husband was able to jot down the man's license plate number. And when he left, Michelle called John Ross, the Joliet, Ill., detective who'd been working the case. The NASCAR driver who put Melissa's picture on his car  seen by the alleged suspect  said he is "thrilled" to learn of an arrest in the case. Said Kevin Conway: "I hope this brings an element of closure so they [Melissa's family] can begin the healing process."(ABC News)(2-29-2012)

  • Mass Effect 3 on the #18 at Pheonxi: While it won't be odd to see Denny Hamlin piloting the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in Phoenix, it will be a little different to see Denny driving a GameStop car. GameStop's sponsorship will extend over to Denny and the #8 team at Phoenix in an effort to help promote the upcoming Mass Effect 3 game. Denny's 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule will include a number of races in the #18 Toyota, however this is his only scheduled start in the GameStop Toyota. The new Play Mass Effect 3 plunges you into an all-out galactic war to take Earth back from a nearly unstoppable foe  and how you fight that war is entirely up to you. On March 6, 2012 the war for Earth begins on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-29-2012)

  • Goodinfo.com sponsoring Shepherd at Phoenix: GoodInfo.com will continue it's support of the #89 Morgan Shepherd Racing team at Phoenix International Raceway this Saturday for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Bashas' Supermarkets 200. The #89 team will carry the GoodInfo.com logo on the hood and upper quarterpanels as it's primary sponsor for the race scheduled for 2:30 p.m. local time(4:30pm eastern).(Shepherd PR)(2-29-2012)

  • Tim Schendel in the #52 at Phoenix: Sparta, WI driver, Tim Schendel, will be behind the wheel of the #52 Means Chevy in this weekend's NASCAR Nationwide Series Basha Supermarkets 200 in Avondale, AZ. This will be the second season that Schendel has driven for car owner, Jimmy Means, on a part-time basis. "I'm so thankful to be given this great opportunity again by Jimmy." Schendel said. "The Phoenix International Speedway is one of my favorite tracks to race on and to be able to do it in a Nationwide car is going to be a great experience." The car will be sponsored by Mathews, Inc., a manufacturer of a diverse line of archery equipment, bow components and accessories for authorized retailers all over the world. Located in Sparta, WI, Mathews, Inc. was a long -time sponsor of Schendel's when he raced in various regional and midwest series, and when Schendel claimed his 2006 NASCAR Midwest Elite Series Championship and his 2006 Toyota All-Star Showdown Championship.(Schendel PR)(2-28-2012)

  • ESPN Breaks Cable Viewership Record with NASCAR Telecast from Daytona: With an average of 4.4 million people watching, ESPN's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 25 has broken the previous record as the most-viewed race ever on cable television for the series. The race telecast earned a household coverage rating of 3.3, averaging 4,433,249 viewers in 3,304,012 households, breaking the record of 4,271,365 viewers in 3,170,109 households set for ESPN's telecast of the Daytona race in 2010. Ratings and viewership for the Daytona telecast were up 37 percent from ESPN's telecast of last year's race, which earned a 2.4 household coverage rating and averaged 3,246,875 viewers. "We've seen two consecutive years of ratings increases with the Nationwide Series on our networks and NASCAR carried some strong momentum and storylines into this year," said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, programming & acquisitions. "This certainly represents a great start to the season." All 33 races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series season will air on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. The next telecast is from Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, March 3, at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN2.(ESPN)(2-28-2012)

  • Increased entry fees for Nationwide races: One story that for some odd reason stayed silent for all of Speedweeks in the Nationwide Series garage was an offseason move by NASCAR that increased entry fees for NNS competitors by some 25% over 2011. Over the course of a 33-race schedule, that's going to translate to almost $10,000 in additional costs for NNS teams even before they take to the race track. "Everything NASCAR's doing&there's no sponsors, teams are falling out, and then they raise the .... price on entry fees and for people to get in and everything else. What are they thinking?" exclaimed one driver when asked about the change. "It infuriates me. It infuriates a lot of people. [But] as long as they've [NASCAR] got Hendrick, Roush, Childress, they'll keep doing it."(Frontstretch)(2-27-2012)

  • Bayne's Nationwide plans still not set: Trevor Bayne will compete again for the team he took the checkered flag with, the Wood Brothers' #21, in a limited Cup schedule. But unlike last season, he has no firm plans to run the full Nationwide Series for Roush Fenway Racing. "Right now [we are planning to run] just the first three races. We want to be leading the points and going from there and try to get some funding, because that is what we need the most."(WSB Radio)(2-25-2012)

  • Better Business Bureau and All Sports Tailgating backing the #52: Means Motorsports announced that Better Business Bureau will be the title sponsor for the Daytona Drive4COPD 300. The Better Business Bureau has 400,000 accredited Businesses nationwide and is celebrating 100 years of being a leader in advancing trust and ethics in the marketplace. Along with the BBB.org, All Sports Tailgating LLC will be an associate sponsor for the race. A leader in the industry of Sports tailgating and Hospitality, All Sports Tailgating has 13 years of experience at handling large corporate sport outings as well as small group or family gatherings at VIP sporting events. Reed Sorensen, last year's fifth place finisher in driver points will be driving the Means Motorsports #52 Chevy. (Means Motorsports)(2-25-2012)

  • NEMCO gets Daytona sponsors: NEMCO Motorsports announced D.A.B. Constructors, Inc. as primary sponsor of driver Joe Nemechek's #87 Toyota NASCAR Nationwide Series entry for the Drive4COPD 300 on Saturday February 25, 2012 at Daytona International Speedway. AM FM Energy will also be on the car as the major associate sponsor. D.A.B. Constructors, Inc. located in central Florida, is a service-oriented construction company with high standards for excellency. A returning sponsor, D.A.B. has supported Nemechek three years running, first as an associate sponsor in 2009 and then as a primary sponsor in 2010 and 2011 for Nemechek, a Lakeland, FL native.
    AND: NEMCO Motorsports announced that Johnny Sauter, a regular in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and last year's Championship runner-up, will be driving the #97 Toyota for NEMCO Motorsports in the Drive4COPD 300 on Saturday February 25, 2012 at Daytona International Speedway. AM FM Energy will be the primary sponsor on the car. AM FM Energy is focused on offering everyday solutions in a time when alternatives are needed to offset the high cost of energy.(NEMCO)(2-24-2012)

  • Roush Fenway to run special schemes at Daytona & Phoneix: Roush Fenway will run a "25 Winning Years" paint scheme this weekend on its famed #60 Ford Mustang as RFR kicks off its 25th Anniversary at Daytona International Speedway. Roush Fenway young gun Trevor Bayne will pilot the historic #60 this weekend in Daytona, a car rich in RFR's heritage, boasting multiple championships and the most wins in NASCAR's Nationwide Series history behind celebrated drivers Mark Martin, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle. The paint scheme is a part of Roush Fenway's year-long '25 Winning Years' program, where the company will highlight the performance, people, partners and innovation that have been a bench mark of the organization for over two decades.(Roush Fenway), The #6 of Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. will run the scheme at Phoenix.(2-24-2012)

  • Images added: Added 48 images to the 2012 Nationwide Series paint schemes pages. Includes all cars entered in the DRIVE4COPD 300, except #10-Green and #46-Miller, who did not practice Thursday.(2-24-2012)

  • Pastrana announces seven race schedule: Travis Pastrana will make a long-awaited NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the #99 Boost Mobile Toyota at Richmond International Raceway on April 27. The 11-time X-Games gold medalist and action sports star plans to run seven Nationwide Series races as well as 11 K&N Pro Series races in 2012. He'll make his K&N debut in the season-opening race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 17. Pastrana expected to make his Nationwide Series debut last season at the July 30th race in Indianapolis. But two nights before the race he broke his right ankle and foot in Los Angeles while attempting a trick called a "TP Roll" which is a 720 on a motorcycle during the Best Trick Competition in the X Games. Pastrana will race under the Pastrana199 Racing banner in 2012. The team will have a technical alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing supplying personnel and equipment. Boost Mobile will sponsor each of the seven Nationwide races while iRacing will serve as the primary sponsor in four K&N races.(MWR)(2-24-2012)

  • NOS to sponsor Stenhouse, Jr. for 3 races: NOS Energy Drink, the brand known for providing high performance energy, has further solidified its rich motorsports heritage with a partnership with reigning NASCAR Nationwide Series 2011 Champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and NASCAR's winningest team Roush Fenway Racing. Stenhouse will be the focal point for the brand's strategic motorsports media outreach, and be featured in national and local initiatives. Fans will be able to take part in the fun by acquiring custom co-branded Stenhouse merchandise and memorabilia through the NOS Rewards Series, the under-the-tab loyalty program launched in 2011. NOS' energetic colors will be featured on three races as Stenhouse mans the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford Mustang entry in 2012, as he competes to defend his NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship title. Those races include Daytona on July 6th, Bristol on August 24th and Texas on November 4th.(Roush Fenway Racing)(2-24-2012)

  • Benny Gordon plans partial Nationwide effort: UPDATE: Jeff Gordon and the #24 have become synonymous with NASCAR. Now Benny Gordon will be carrying on the tradition of winning drivers taking the famous #24 for a spin. NASCAR has assigned Benny this number for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Benny will be wheeling a #24 Toyota Camry around the tracks of the Nationwide Series. The Toyota being driven in Daytona has been purchased by Benny Gordon Racing from Michael Waltrip Racing. The team name is Horizon Sports Marketing, the drivers will be Benny Gordon, Amber Cope, and Angela Cope. The crew chief is Jamie Lathrope. The number of races is about 20, but a full season is also possible.(Gordon PR)(2-12-2012)
    UPDATE: SR˛ Motorsports, a newly formed team in 2012, will compete in the top two series in NASCAR. SR˛ Motorsports will kick-start their 2012 season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Over the course of the next few years, SR˛ will work to build a strong development program while pursuing a championship caliber team. SR˛ Motorsports announced that Daytona will mark the start for their newly formed race team. SR˛ Motorsports will take the field with their recently purchased 2012 Toyota Camry from Michael Waltrip Racing along with their Triad Motor, piloted by Benny Gordon. With Howard Bixman as the crew chief, SR˛ Motorsports has a really good chance of being in front of the field.
    AND SR2 Motorsports announced the signing of Amber and Angela Cope to their 2012 line up. The Cope Twins made history in October 2010 at Martinsville in the NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series by becoming the first twins to ever race against each other in one of NASCAR's top three divisions. They made history again in May 2011 when they competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa.(SR˛ Motorsports)(2-24-2012)

  • Pioneer Hi-Bred named sponsor for Nationwide Race at Iowa: Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, and Iowa Speedway announced Pioneer as the title sponsor for the May NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Iowa Speedway. The Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 will be held Sunday, May 20, at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Last year marked the first time Iowa Speedway hosted two NASCAR Nationwide Series events in the same season. The May 2011 Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway was a standing-room-only event, and the race was one of the highest attended events in speedway history with over 37,000 people. Pioneer has helped sponsor NASCAR Nationwide and IndyCar events at Iowa Speedway for several years. This marks its first event as a title sponsor. In addition, Pioneer will be the pole sponsor of the second NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the season at the Iowa Speedway in August. Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success.(Iowa Speedway)(2-22-2012)

  • Tony Stewart going for 5th consecutive DIS win: The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will try to score his fifth consecutive Nationwide Series victory at DIS when he takes the green flag on Saturday. The defending race winner also scored back-to-back wins at DIS in 2005 and 2006.(RCR)(2-22-2012)

  • Clements names Daytona sponsors: Curry's Roofing, Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet/Cadillac and 92.5 WESC fm will be on the #51 Chevy of Jeremy Clements as they race the Drve for COPD 300 Saturday February 25th. Associate sponsorship is Coca Cola Spartanburg, APFED, Racing for a Cause and "A Lap for Lance", and TGI Fridays Ormand Beach Fl. MAHLE, a leading global development partner for the automotive and engine industry has provided parts for the #51. The Jeremy Clements Racing team is planning on running a full Nationwide schedule for the 2012 season.(Clements PR)(2-21-2012)

  • Grime Boss sponsoring Ryan Truex at Daytona: Grime Boss, a new brand from Nice-Pak Products, Inc., will sponsor the Tommy Baldwin Racing #36 Chevy driven by Ryan Truex for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Daytona Saturday, February 25. "Having Grime Boss come on board with me for Daytona is exciting," said Truex. "Grime Boss is the best heavy duty hand wipe product on the market. I'm excited to have the opportunity to represent them on behalf of millions of NASCAR fans." (Tommy Baldwin Racing)(2-21-2012)

  • Kyle Busch Motorsports making Nationwide debut: Kyle Busch is anxious to see his team's hard work pay off in the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway this Saturday. Expectations are set high for the full-time #54 Monster Energy team as a new addition to Kyle Busch Motorsports this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The team's goal will be to capture an Owner's Championship in its inaugural season, similar to the Owner's Championship accomplished by KBM in its first full year in the Camping World Truck Series in 2010. Last month KBM announced the multi-year agreement with Monster Energy Company as primary sponsor of the team's #54 Monster Energy Camry. Team owner Kyle Busch, the all-time race winning driver in the history of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will share driving duties with his brother Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. Kyle will drive Daytona and the next four races through California before splitting the balance of the season with Kurt, who will debut in the #54 Monster Energy Toyota April 13th at Texas Motor Speedway.(KBM)(2-21-2012)

  • Cobb plans full season run in trucks: Jennifer Jo Cobb plans to return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series full-time in 2012 in the #10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing truck. She will be using both Ford and Ram engines dependent upon event. Steve Kuykendall returns as crew chief. Cobb will also run select Nationwide races in the #13 JJCR Dodge; crew chief TBA.(Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing)(2-14-2012)
    UPDATE: Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing announced plans to race the full 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. In addition, the team will enter select NASCAR Nationwide Series events this season. The team will enter a combination of Ford and Dodge-manufactured trucks in the NCWTS and Dodge Challengers in the NNS. Cobb's "Driven2Honor" program will adorn her vehicles until primary sponsorship is secured.(JJC/Breaking Limits)(2-21-2012)

  • Derrike Cope to drive for new team at Daytona: UPDATE: From a Facebook post, "I will however have a ride in the Nationwide Series in a new effort with partners Dave Fuge and Gary Keller, with Dale Clemons assisting us as well. It will be called CFK Motorsports, the car number will be 73 and it will be a Chevy with PME engines. So, I am excited about the horsepower and the new cars that we will have at our disposal. We are still looking for sponsorship for the season, But we do have a new sposnor for the race at Daytona." (2-20-2012)
    UPDATE: Derrike Cope and Tito's Handmade Vodka have teamed up for the NASCAR Nationwide Series rac at Daytona. Derrike, the 1990 Daytona 500 winner, plans to run all year in the #73 Chevy with PME engines. Tito's Handmade Vodka is produced in Austin at Texas' first and oldest legal distillery.(Cope PR), see an image of the car on the #73 team paint schemes page.(2-21-2012)

  • American Heroes Racing sponsoring Harmon: American Heroes Racing Inc. will be sponsoring Mike Harmon in the Nationwide #74 AmericanHeroesRacing.com Chevy. Photo of Nationwide #74 and ARCA #31 car is attached. Harmon ran as high as 3rd in the ARCA #31 AmericanHeroesRacing.com Ford on Saturdays before receiving right front fender damage loosing 2 laps on a green flag pit stop finishing 32nd in the ARCA Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200.(American Heros Racing), see an image of the car on the #74 team paint schemes page. (2-21-2012)

  • Hyland's to sponsor Shepherd at Daytona: UPDATE: Just four weeks into their partnership with Morgan Shepherd, Hyland's, Inc., the Los Angeles based homeopathic all-natural medicine company has seen enough positive results in their marketing and advertising efforts with the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver to sponsor his #89 team at Daytona. Hyland's will be an associate sponsor and the company logo will appear on Shepherd's rear decklid for Daytona. Through the advertising and marketing efforts of Asheville-based Darby Communications, Hyland's, Inc. and the Shepherd team, using state-of-the-art commercial and print ads on YouYube, in USA Today, NYC's Times Square, social networking and web sites, Hyland's has been quite pleased with the results of their Master Athlete program with Shepherd as their ambassador who targets healthy lifestyles after 40.(Shepherd PR)(2-20-2012)
    UPDATE: "The Good Shepherd" is giving Good Info at Daytona. GoodInfo.com will be the primary sponsor on Morgan Shepherd's #89 NASCAR Nationwide Series race car for the upcoming Daytona event on Feb. 25th. Whether it's good people, good business, good deals, good news, good sharing, or just good fun, rest assured, GoodInfo.com is bringing it soon. The GoodInfo.com company logo will be on Shepherd's hood and both sides of his Nationwide Series #89 race car for Daytona.(Morgan Shepherd Racing Ventures), see an image of the car on the #89 team paint schemes page.(2-20-2012)

  • Steve Wallace still looking at opportunities: The following statment was posted to Facebook, "I want to thank everyone for their questions about my plans for 2012. I'll tell you what, it's definitely hard watching everyone get ready for Daytona--this time last year we had just qualified for my first Daytona 500 and were getting ready to run both the Nationwide and Cup races down there. I'm definitely planning on being in a race car this year, but want to make sure that it's the right opportunity with a team that's competitive and can win races. I'm very grateful to have had a lot of teams calleveryone from some of the top Cup-affiliated teams, to Truck Series teams. There are some really great opportunities out there for me if we can put together sponsorship. In the meantime, my friend Blake Bainbridge and I are building a couple of really nice Super Late Model cars that we're planning on running for fun this year. You'll see us at a lot of the big races for those cars, like the Snowball Derby and the Winchester 400. I'll be in Daytona later this week and am just going to keep working hard to put together the right opportunity for me to race in 2012." (2-20-2012)

  • Sad News - Hettie Mae McClure: Hettie Mae McClure, 91, formerly of Chilhowie, Va., went to be with the Lord on Friday, Feb, 17, 2012, at Wellmont Hospice House in Bristol, Tenn. She was born Jan. 6, 1921, to William Henry Lester and Sarah Loma Crigger Lester. She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, James Millard McClure; granddaughter, Whitney McClure Cooper; and daughter-in-law, Nancy Jane Brown McClure. Survivors include her children, daughters, Loretta and James W. Cooper of Bristol, Va., and Betsy and Roy O. Rash of Las Vegas; sons, Edwin G. and Lee McClure of Bristol, Va., James E. McClure of Chevy Chase, Md., Larry A. and Ginny McClure of Abingdon, Teddy D. McClure of Chilhowie, Jerry W. and Sue McClure of Abingdon, Michael W. McClure of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Gerald D. McClure of Windsor, Clo.; nine grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; one great great granddaughter; and three step great grandchildren. Funeral services will be conducted at 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, in the Main Street Chapel of Farris Funeral Service with the Rev. Jerry Eggers and her grandson, Eric W. McClure officiating. Interment will follow in Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery in Chilhowie. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, at the Forest Hills Chapel of Farris Funeral Service, 19415 Lee Highway, Abingdon, VA 24210. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Wellmont Hospice House, 280 Steeles Road, Bristol TN 37620 or Highlands Fellowship Food Pantry, P.O. Box 553, Abingdon VA 24212. Those wishing to express sympathy online may do so by visiting www.farrisfuneralservice.com and signing the online guestbook. The family of Mrs. McClure is being cared for by Forest Hills Chapel of Farris Funeral Service, 19415 Lee Highway, Abingdon VA 24210 276-623-2700.(2-19-2011)

  • Sorenson driving for Jimmy Means at Daytona: The #52 Chevy will be driven in Daytona's DRIVE4COPD 300 by Georgia native, Reed Sorensen. The talented driver wrapped up 2011 by finishing fifth in points for NASCAR's Nationwide Series. Sorensen's career in the series consists of four wins, two poles, and an outstanding 85 top-10 finishes. Sorenson also has seven years of Sprint Cup experience, which includes 15 top-10 finishes. Jimmy Means, owner of the team states, "Means Motorsports is certainly excited about our chances of getting off to a great start this season, especially when you consider Reed's skills, experience, and the strong fifth place finish he had in last year's event. We have had some success with sponsorship for the first race of the season and we can only assume the opportunities will increase with the addition of Sorensen as our driver." (Means Motorsports) (2-17-2012)

  • Yeley in the #28 at Daytona: UPDATES: J.J. Yeley tweeted Friday, "I was hired today to drive the #28 [Jay Robinson Racing] Nationwide car for Daytona. The sponsor will be Green Stuff absorbents."(2-10-2012)
    UPDATE: J.J. Yeley will do double duty for Robinson-Blakeney Racing at Daytona's Speedweeks. Co-owner Jay Robinson hopes it's not his organization's last hurrah in the Nationwide Series. Since making his series debut as an owner in the 2000 season, Robinson's credited with 575 Nationwide starts. But because of motorsports' financial landscape Robinson entered a partnership with Troy Blakeney of Houston, Texas, to primarily run the 2012 Sprint Cup Series. "This was a situation where I needed to come up with a new plan," Robinson said, laughing. "It may backfire on me and end up not being a good plan. But I certainly tried to do as well as I know how to do to put a team together, matching the right people with the right people." Robinson hopes it's not his organization's last Nationwide chapter, but reality might intervene. "I got a sponsor for Daytona [Thursday] evening, so I called J.J. [Friday] morning to see if he wanted to drive it, and he said 'yes,' " Robinson said Friday evening. "We're just doing Daytona and beyond that, I don't even know if we're going to run the Nationwide car much. I'm a little discouraged about the whole Nationwide situation right now. First, from our team's perspective -- I've been in that series so long and I've been to every race they've had since the beginning of 2001 and I just ... I hate to not be in it and I wish we were able to keep going." The bottom line led Robinson to change his primary series focus, after the No. 28 car finished 28th in the 2011 Nationwide owners' standings. "There's just no sponsorship and without sponsorship, you just can't do it any more," Robinson said. "We've got to make some hard choices on that, I guess, early in the season. We still could find some sponsorship. We don't need very much at all, to make us want to go do [Nationwide races] but you've got to have something and as of [Friday] we've only got something for Daytona." Robinson did a deal with veteran owner/driver/crew chief Jeff Spraker to operate this season's Nationwide program, which Spraker will lead at Daytona. Where that goes remains to be seen. Robinson plans a single car at Daytona for the second consecutive season, after entering three cars for the 2010 season opener.(NASCAR.com)(2-11-2012)
    UPDATE 2: JPO Absorbents, formerly known as Green Stuff Sales & Supply, will serve as the primary sponsor for JJ Yeley and the #28 Robinson Blakeney NASCAR Nationwide Series Car in the February 25, 2012 national race in Daytona. JPO will also serve as the primary sponsor for JJ and the #49 Team in nine races during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season.(Jay Robinson Racing)(2-17-2012)

  • BeBevCo to sponsor Harmon at Daytona: Bebida Beverage Company a developer, manufacturer and marketer of relaxation and energy drinks announced their continued support of NASCAR and ARCA Series driver #74-Mike Harmon at Daytona Speedweeks. Koma Unwind will be a major associate sponsor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event joining once again, American Hero Racing, the team's major sponsor in The Drive for COPD 300, Saturday, February 25, 2012 in Daytona.BeBevCo PR)(2-16-2012)

  • Neuenberger in the #76 at Daytona: Donnie Neuenberger will start the 2012 season by competing in both the ARCA and NASCAR Nationwide series events at Daytona International Speedway. Donnie will be competing in the ARCA #40 Carter Racing Dodge on February 18th and in the Nationwide #76 Eagle Convenience Store Ford with Ray Hackett Racing on February 25th. Ray Hackett Racing was founded by Maryland businessman Ray Hackett. 2012 will mark the team's fifth consecutive year racing in NASCAR. Ray Hackett Racing has just completed work on a brand new race shop located in Salisbury, North Carolina. Returning Nationwide Daytona primary sponsor is Eagle Convenience Stores. Eagle Convenience Stores are an Alabama based convenience store chain located from Opelika to Talladega Superspeedway, mainly in the central Alabama area.(DGN Racing)(2-16-2012)

  • AM FM Energy returns to NEMCO: NEMCO Motorsports announced that AM FM Energy LLC will be the primary sponsor of Joe Nemechek's NEMCO Motorsports #87 Toyota, running in the Daytona 500 on Sunday February 26, 2012, with an associate sponsorship on the #87 Toyota in the Drive4COPD 300 on Saturday February 25, 2012, both to be run at Daytona International Speedway. With the sponsorship, NEMCO is welcoming AM FM Energy back for a third year. After Daytona, AM FM Energy will be on both the Sprint Cup Toyota and the Nationwide Toyota on select races throughout the year. AM FM Energy is a notable distributor of the high quality Timber Ridge line of wood and pellet stoves, and has recently added BBQ grills and tailgating accessories to their product line.(NEMCO PR)(2-15-2012)

  • Ford to sponsor Spring Bristol race: Ford Motor Company announced the expansion of the automaker's partnership at Bristol Motor Speedway with the sponsorship of the upcoming Nationwide Series race. The Ford EcoBoost 300 takes place March 17 at the World's Fastest Half-Mile, adding to Ford's involvement at BMS, which also includes sponsorship of Ford Fan Friday qualifying and the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. Ford also is the official vehicle of BMS.(BMS)(2-15-2012)

  • Ware joins forces with MaxQ for Cup effort: Rick Ware Racing and Poynt.com (free mobile app.) have finalized a deal to run Timmy Hill for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year. "I am very excited to have our sponsor and driver make a move up to the Sprint Cup Series" says owner Rick Ware. RWR will run the full Sprint Cup schedule with sponsor Poynt on board. Mike Wallace will drive the 54th annual Daytona 500. Timmy Hill, the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Rookie of the Year, will be at Daytona in his Poynt Nationwide Ford. Hill will start driving the #37 full time at Auto Club in March or Texas in April. RWR has joined forces with Larry Gunselman's Max Q Motorsports #37 for the full season. The Sprint Cup operation will run out of RWR's new 24,000 sq. ft. facility across the street from RWR's Nationwide and Rolex programs. Hill's crew chief will be veteran Bill Henderson. Ken Glen formerly of KHI will serve as Competition Director and Larry Gunselman will be General Manager of the #37 Poynt.com Ford.(Rick Ware Racing PR)(2-15-2012)

  • VFW, Sport Clips Haircuts to sponsor Darlington Race: Longtime partners, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) and Sport Clips Haircuts, announced the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Darlington Raceway on Friday, May 11, 2012. The VFW and Sport Clips will use their NASCAR partnership to raise awareness about the struggles many military families are facing and the VFW's mission to support active-duty military, veterans and their families. Founded in 1899, the VFW is America's largest major combat veterans' organization. The VFW offers several assistance programs to lessen the burden on active-duty military, veterans and their families; offers counsel and assistance to military veterans to navigate VA entitlement and disability claims; and actively lobbies Congress and the administration on issues that impact the lives of our nation's veterans. As the "Official Haircutter" of the VFW, Sport Clips has donated more than $1.3 million since 2007 through its annual "Help a Hero" campaign. Since their first contribution of more than $80,000 was made in 2007, Sport Clips' donations have increased annually  its most recent donation of $450,000 was presented to the VFW on January 31, 2012. To raise funds, Sport Clips locations nationwide collect donations at check-out during October and November and donate $1 from every hair care service on Veterans Day, November 11  what the company calls "The Biggest Haircut Day of the Year." Sport Clips is also a partner of Joe Gibbs Racing and will sponsor a total of eight races during the 2012 NASCAR season, including both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races at Darlington with Denny Hamlin, and six additional Nationwide Series races. The VFW will receive special on-car recognition during those eight Sport Clips races. The VFW and Sport Clips partnership alsoincludes the "Help a Hero" hospitality program that will provide unique at-track experiences to deserving military families at the eight events where Sport Clips and the VFW will be onboard the Joe Gibbs Racing entries. Those races include Texas Motor Speedway (April 13); Darlington Raceway (May 11-12); Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 26); Daytona International Speedway (July 6); Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 28); Richmond International Raceway (September 7); and Dover International Speedway (September 29).(Darlington Raceway)(2-15-2012)

  • JR Motorsports Signs Sponsorship Deal With Ingersoll Rand: JR Motorsports announced the beginning of a strategic sponsorship with Ingersoll Rand, a world leader in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments. The sponsorship features a one-race primary sponsorship of the #88 Chevy driven by Cole Whitt in the NASCAR Nationwide Series later this year and full-season associate sponsor placement. Ingersoll Rand will be the primary sponsor on Whitt's #88 Chevy during the May 26 race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(JR Motorsports)(2-15-2012)

  • G&K Services sponsoring Mike Wallace: JD Motorsports will have a familiar look on their car for the season opener at Daytona with G&K Services returning to the fold for the 2012 season. Mike Wallace will open the NASCAR Nationwide Series driving the #01 G&K Services Chevy at Daytona International Speedway. The following week, G&K Services will return as the primary sponsor and will do so for other races throughout the year. For races they are not a primary partner, they will be an associate throughout the season. Also on board for Daytona will be country gold recording artist Chris Cagle. The singer has earned two #1 hits, seven top-10 and 12 charted songs. His sixth album is titled "Got My Country On" produced and released by Bigger Picture Group.(JD Motorsports)(2-14-2012)

  • Cobb plans full season run in trucks: Jennifer Jo Cobb plans to return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series full-time in 2012 in the #10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing truck. She will be using both Ford and Ram engines dependent upon event. Steve Kuykendall returns as crew chief. Cobb will also run select Nationwide races in the #13 JJCR Dodge; crew chief TBA.(Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing)(2-14-2012)

  • Said expects to run Nationwide road course races: From a Frontstretch.com interview:
    Said: Hopefully, this year, I think I have the road races put together. I'm working on a lot of deals for the road races. I'm sure I'll do that in NASCAR this year.
    FS: By the road races, you mean the two in Sprint Cup and the three in Nationwide?
    Said: I'll probably only do two in Nationwide, or skip the Cup race [in Sonoma]. I haven't decided yet because Road America and Sonoma are on the same weekend. If I do the Cup race, I've got to commit to that. If I don't do it this year, then I'll go to Road America and do all three races since Grand-Am's there too.(Frontstretch)(2-14-2012)

  • Matt Frahm Returns to Go Green Racing: Go Green Racing announces the return of Matt Frahm as one of their NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers for select races in 2012. In his first NNS race last season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Frahm ran a consistent race and finished an impressive 26th. The young rookie backed up his strong début with a 25th place finish in his second outing at Indianapolis.(Go Green Racing)(2-13-2012)

  • HendrickCars.com to sponsor select teams: HendrickCars.com will sponsor three NASCAR teams in select races in early 2012. The sponsorships will promote the new-look retail automotive website, which re-launched Feb. 1, and coincide with the HendrickCars.com "2012 Indy Dream Weekend" sweepstakes. The program will kick off during Speedweeks in Daytona Beach, Fla., with primary sponsorship of #1-Phoenix Racing and Kurt Busch in the Nationwide Series race and Daytona 500. It will continue with primary sponsorship of JR Motorsports and driver #88-Cole Whitt in the March 17 Nationwide event at Bristol, Tenn. In addition, HendrickCars.com will be a major associate sponsor of the Richard Childress Racing #33 Chevy with driver Elliott Sadler in NASCAR's biggest race, the Daytona 500. (RCR/Hendrick Cars)(2-13-2012)

  • Benny Gordon plans partial Nationwide effort: Jeff Gordon and the #24 have become synonymous with NASCAR. Now Benny Gordon will be carrying on the tradition of winning drivers taking the famous #24 for a spin. NASCAR has assigned Benny this number for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Benny will be wheeling a #24 Toyota Camry around the tracks of the Nationwide Series. The Toyota being driven in Daytona has been purchased by Benny Gordon Racing from Michael Waltrip Racing. The team name is Horizon Sports Marketing, the drivers will be Benny Gordon, Amber Cope, and Angela Cope. The crew chief is Jamie Lathrope. The number of races is about 20, but a full season is also possible.(Gordon PR)(2-12-2012)

  • Yeley in the #28 at Daytona: UPDATE: J.J. Yeley tweeted Friday, "I was hired today to drive the #28 [Jay Robinson Racing] Nationwide car for Daytona. The sponsor will be Green Stuff absorbents."(2-10-2012)
    UPDATE: J.J. Yeley will do double duty for Robinson-Blakeney Racing at Daytona's Speedweeks. Co-owner Jay Robinson hopes it's not his organization's last hurrah in the Nationwide Series. Since making his series debut as an owner in the 2000 season, Robinson's credited with 575 Nationwide starts. But because of motorsports' financial landscape Robinson entered a partnership with Troy Blakeney of Houston, Texas, to primarily run the 2012 Sprint Cup Series. "This was a situation where I needed to come up with a new plan," Robinson said, laughing. "It may backfire on me and end up not being a good plan. But I certainly tried to do as well as I know how to do to put a team together, matching the right people with the right people." Robinson hopes it's not his organization's last Nationwide chapter, but reality might intervene. "I got a sponsor for Daytona [Thursday] evening, so I called J.J. [Friday] morning to see if he wanted to drive it, and he said 'yes,' " Robinson said Friday evening. "We're just doing Daytona and beyond that, I don't even know if we're going to run the Nationwide car much. I'm a little discouraged about the whole Nationwide situation right now. First, from our team's perspective -- I've been in that series so long and I've been to every race they've had since the beginning of 2001 and I just ... I hate to not be in it and I wish we were able to keep going." The bottom line led Robinson to change his primary series focus, after the No. 28 car finished 28th in the 2011 Nationwide owners' standings. "There's just no sponsorship and without sponsorship, you just can't do it any more," Robinson said. "We've got to make some hard choices on that, I guess, early in the season. We still could find some sponsorship. We don't need very much at all, to make us want to go do [Nationwide races] but you've got to have something and as of [Friday] we've only got something for Daytona." Robinson did a deal with veteran owner/driver/crew chief Jeff Spraker to operate this season's Nationwide program, which Spraker will lead at Daytona. Where that goes remains to be seen. Robinson plans a single car at Daytona for the second consecutive season, after entering three cars for the 2010 season opener.(NASCAR.com)(2-11-2012)

  • Craven to work first 5 Nationwide races: Ricky Craven has signed a multiyear deal with ESPN to continue as an in-studio analyst for the TV show "NASCAR Now" and also handle prerace and postrace duties for the Sprint Cup series. He will also be a color analyst for five Nationwide Series races.(Bangor Daily News)(2-10-2012)

  • Jason Bowles to drive for MacDonald Motorsports: Former NASCAR K&N West Series Champion and 2011 Toyota All Star Showdown winner Jason Bowles will pilot the American Majority/PledgeToVote.com #81 for the entire Nationwide Series season. In this crucial election year, American Majority Racing will work hard to engage NASCAR fans by getting them to register and "Pledge to Vote" while Jason and the team race for Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year honors. John Monsam will return as the crew chief on the American Majority/PledgeToVote.com #81 after finishing off the season last year with MacDonald Motorsports. For the final seven races last season, John made tremendous improvements to the #81 car's performance, which will hopefully continue into 2012. This will be a joint effort American Majority and MacDonald Motorsports to get everyone excited about the 2012 election. This effort will include the launch of www.pledgetovote.com which will also feature contests and ticket giveaways to NASCAR races throughout the 2012 racing season. Another large part of American Majority's participation in the series will be their state-of-the-art display on vendor row. This will provide race fans h the ability to register to vote, race iRacing simulators, play games, win prizes, and get their picture taken in front of an exact replica of the American Majority #81 car.(MacDonald Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #81 team paint schemes page.(2-9-2012)

  • Johnny Davis to field second team: To better strengthen its overall program, JD Motorsports will field a second car for the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Johnny Davis, owner of JD Motorsports, will race a #4 Chevy to double their efforts on the track this season. Mike Wallace will continue to drive the #01 Chevy for JD Motorsports on a full-time basis with Newt Moore as the crew chief. The second car will have several drivers in the seat including Danny Efland and Darryl Harr; with the possibility of Mike's daughter, Chrissy Wallace, driving if marketing partners can be found. Efland will drive the #4 Chevy for JD Motorsports in the upcoming NNS race at Daytona International Speedway. Both cars are locked into the first five races via their Owner's Points from the 2011 season.(JD Motorsports)(2-8-2012)

  • Parrott named crew chief for Tommy Baldwin Racing: During the off-season, Tommy Baldwin Racing announced an expansion into the NASCAR Nationwide Series. NNS veteran crew chief Brad Parrott will head the team of young drivers, Ryan Blaney, Ryan Truex and Bobby Santos, in an eight-race schedule for the #36 Chevy. Parrott brings more than 20 years of knowledge to the rookie NNS program. The Charlotte, N.C., native has a plethora of experience in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and NNS. He has worked as crew chief and car chief for many successful teams in both series, including Yates Racing, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Roush Fenway Racing. Parrott complied 18 wins as a NNS crew chief. He won the 1999 NSCS Championship as the car chief at Yates Racing, where he compiled 23 victories in his five-year tenure as Car Chief of the team.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(2-7-2012)

  • Wallace Brothers closing in on 1000 starts: 416: The number of career starts for #01-Mike Wallace in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Mike's brother #09-Kenny Wallace got a lot of ink last year when he became the career leader in Nationwide starts, but many overlooked the fact that Mike is fourth on the all-time list; with his next start, Mike will tie Tommy Houston for third. With Kenny's 522, Mike's 416 and now-retired Rusty Wallace's 42 Nationwide starts, the racing Wallace brothers should hit 1,000 combined starts in the series sometime this season.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-7-2012)

  • Go Canada Racing becomes GC Motorsports International; Ragan driving at Daytona: Effective February 15th, 2012 #67-Go Canada Racing will become GC Motorsports International. "The name change is a result of numerous developments in the offseason and more clearly represents our company, our partners, drivers and sponsors going forward." said team owner Steve Meehan. In 2012 the team will continue to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with drivers from both Canada and the United States. "During the offseason we met with several drivers that we felt could help us build our program and while we are not quite ready to field a two car Nationwide effort we felt that expanding our format offers tremendous benefit to our team and marketing partners" said Meehan. 2012 will begin with David Ragan, last season's winner of the Coke Zero 400 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, behind the wheel at Daytona. Andrew Ranger will also return to the Nationwide team this year. Andrew will compete in a number of Nationwide Races Including the series only Canadian race, the Napa Auto Parts 200 in Montreal.(GCMI)(2-3-2012)

  • Randy Hill Racing form alliance with Go Green Racing: Randy Hill Racing announced that they will once again return to the Nationwide Series (NNS) with their #08 Randy Hill Racing Ford beginning with the 2012 season-opener, the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona. After separating from Spraker Racing Enterprises in December, RHR led by owner Randy Hill, has methodically been prepping for its second year of competition and will join forces with Go Green Racing under a technical alliance partnership. Randy Hill Racing will run as a separate Nationwide team but work with GGR in a collaborative partnership on race weekends.(Knight Motorsports Management )(2-1-2012)

  • Morgan Shepherd joins Hyland's as Master Athlete: With 45 years in stock car racing, #89-Morgan Shepherd has inspired millions of fans to pursue their dreams and to stay active. Now at age 70, Morgan Shepherd has joined Hyland's as a brand ambassador and key spokesperson for the company's Masters Athletes Program. The partnership kicks off February 1, 2012 with Shepherd featured on a jumbotron in New York City's Times Square, giving fans an opportunity to win guest passes to the Daytona race February 25th. Once the interactive billboard goes live, fans can text the word 'Morgan' to the number 24587 for entry. The winner, randomly selected on February 10th, will attend the race as Shepherd's exclusive guest. Since 1903, the Los Angeles-based homeopathic medicine company has been a leader in innovations that answer the changing health needs of our modern world.(Faith Motorsports)(2-1-2012)


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Next Race: O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge

Countdown to the race: 11/1/2014 ~ 3:46 PM ET

Texas Motor Speedway
Ft. Worth, TX


3:30 pm/et
Sirius Channel 90
Performance Racing Network

Qualifying:
11:10am/et, Saturday, November 1
TV coverage TBA

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