#12 Team News Archive

(NOTE: some older links may not work)


  • Car Number changes: in 2007 Team Penske expanded to three cars, adding the #77 to the #2 and #12 teams. After the 2010 season, the #77 team was disbanded, the #2 team became the #22 and the #12 team and driver Brad Keselowski, moved to the #2 team in 2011. From 2012 thru 2014, the #12 team ran part time, running a total of 6 races with different drivers

  • The #77 Jasper Motorsports team was acquired by Penske Motorsports after the 2003 season

2014 News

  • Races [4] that the #12 is scheduled to run in 2014:
    Kansas - 5/10, Ryan Blaney, SKF
    Michigan - 6/15, Juan Pablo Montoya, SKF
    Indianapolis - 7/27, Juan Pablo Montoya, Penske Truck Rental
    Talladega - 10/19, Ryan Blaney, SKF

  • Jeremy Bullins named crew chief for Wood Brothers, Blaney: Wood Brothers Racing announced that Jeremy Bullins will rejoin the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team next season to serve as the crew chief for Ryan Blaney in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, beginning with the 2015 Daytona 500. Bullins returns to the Wood Brothers organization following a successful three-year tenure with Team Penske's #22 NASCAR Nationwide Series team that produced 21 wins and two consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners' Championships. Bullins first worked with the Wood Brothers in 1999 on the Pro Cup and Late Model cars driven by Jon Wood. In 2000, Bullins became race engineer for the iconic No. 21 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, a position he held until June of 2002. Bullins moved on to work with ST Motorsports, Robert Yates Racing and Richard Childress Racing, where he helped drivers Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer claim a total of nine Sprint Cup Series victories as a race engineer. A native of Walnut Cove, NC, Bullins joined Team Penske in 2012 to serve as the crew chief for the #22 car in the Nationwide Series, earning three wins in his first full season at the helm. In 2013, Bullins led the team to 12 wins with four different drivers and the team's first Nationwide Series Owners' Championship. The #22 Ford team won the Owners' Title again this season behind six series victories. In total, Bullins earned 21 wins, 14 poles, 57 top-five and 79 top-10 finishes in 99 starts with the #22 Team Penske Nationwide Series program.(Wood Brothers Racing)(12-22-2014)

  • Teaming Up with NASCAR to Act on Climate: When NASCAR drivers take a corner at top speed, they - and their tires - experience G-forces that are just about equivalent to what astronauts feel as they're being launched into space. So NASCAR knows a thing or two about tire performance and safety. And that's why NASCAR driver Ryan Blaney joined Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and John Podesta, Counselor to the President at the White House on Tuesday to talk about proper tire maintenance - and he brought along his #22 Mustang and the #18 "M&Ms" car to really drive the point home. Making our cars and trucks go farther on less fuel has been a key component of President Obama's plans to combat climate change. In the President's first term, the Administration issued historic fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks that will save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the pump and reduce oil consumption by 12 billion barrels over the lifetime of the program. We also issued the first-ever efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles, like school buses and tractor-trailer trucks, which will cut carbon pollution by some 270 million metric tons and $50 billion through model year 2018. This February, the President announced that the Department of Transportation will be updating and refining those heavy-duty vehicle standards for future model years. All of these efforts will be further supported by Secretary Foxx's announcement of a schedule for new DOT standards establishing a tire fuel efficiency consumer information program. With support from the tire industry, this "labeling rule" will help consumers identify the most energy-efficient tires.(White House)(12-10-2014)

  • Ambrose totally focused on V8 Supercars, not thinking of NASCAR: The man who will make his shock V8 comeback today and attempt to spoil Jamie Whincup's championship party declared; "I haven't thought about NASCAR once''. Ahead of the mouth-watering battle between two Australian racing giants, beginning on Friday at the Sydney 500, Marcos Ambrose brushed aside talk that he had come home to retire in a V8 following a 10-year stint that saw him conquer America by vowing to make DJR/Team Penske a championship force. Less than two weeks after landing in Australia following his final NASCAR race, Ambrose said he had been living and breathing V8 Supercars and did not miss his former category - which happens to be the second biggest in the world - a bit. "I have to be honest,'' Ambrose said. "It was great to do, a great to be part of, but I have been back in Australia now for two-and-a-half weeks and I haven't thought about NASCAR once. I am really in the moment now and I have come back and experienced the new generation V8 Supercar for the first time and I am thrilled with it so far. It is a nice handling car and does everything really well. It has incredible stopping power and the tyres are pretty good. The car itself is pretty faultless. My experience (in America) was great but I am looking to the future and to this weekend. That is where we are going to kick start this DJR/Team Penske alliance and hopefully start the process of building it up into a championship team.''(The Daily Telegraph)(12-5-2014)

  • Ryan Blaney focusing on Cup in 2015: Ryan Blaney, who won races in both Nationwide and truck in 2014, doesn't have full sponsorship for any series. He will run at least 12 Sprint Cup races for Wood Brothers Racing and will split time in Xfinity with Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano and maybe run a few truck races for Keselowski's team. Blaney isn't even worrying about running full time anywhere next season. He sees Cup as his future and is working on finding more money to add Cup races, whether that be with the Wood Brothers or a third Penske car for select events, for next season. "I hope we can get it upwards to 17 to 20 (Cup races)," Blaney said. "We're working really hard to get that done. I'm going to be racing a lot next year and fortunate to be in great cars, so I can't worry about it too much. My mindset is try to do more Cup races, just with that is the ultimate goal, obviously, and try to get more experience in that. I want to try to find more Cup races instead of Nationwide just because it progresses you a lot faster learning the cars."(Sporting News)(11-27-2014)

  • Ambrose ready to race in Australia: Marcos Ambrose is wasting little time in his return to racing V8 Supercars. Two days after the season-ending NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway last Sunday, the former two-time Supercar champ flew back to his native Australia. He's already had two tests and preparing for his first race in nearly a decade in the Supercars series, the Sydney 500, on Dec. 5-7, as a wildcard entry for his new team, DJR Team Penske. "I am happy with my choices. I am very comfortable with what I have done," Ambrose told New Zealand's Stuff.co.nz. At 38, Ambrose could very easily have had another 5-10 years in NASCAR, but he chose to return home for family reasons, plus the challenge of racing in the Supercars series for Penske. "I left some unticked boxes but nothing is ever perfect, is it," Ambrose said. "It was nothing but success for me," Ambrose said. "I went across there on a whim and tried to make it work. I survived for a long time, won races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup level and left on my own terms, knowing I could compete against the best." Now he'll be competing against the best in the Supercars series, including Jamie Whincup, who has dominated the series by winning the last four V8 championships and six of the last seven. Ambrose's return to Supercars has motorsport fans in his homeland buzzing in a positive way, particularly wanting to see what he can do against Whincup. In another interview with The Telegraph of Sydney, Australia, Ambrose said returning to his homeland and Supercars is actually a significant step down financially for a man the newspaper said is worth at least $20 million and is reportedly taking at least a $4 million per year pay cut. "I am really motivated to come back here and take Team Penske to the top," Ambrose said. "I am bringing Team Penske and DJR together and I want to give them the best chance of success. I am really motivated to do this and I am not doing it for money. That is not my motivation." Ambrose still has a couple more tests planned in his new ride in preparation for the first race back in two weeks. But he already feels very much into the swing of things and old times when he was winning past championships.(NBC Sports)(11-24-2014)

  • Ryan Blaney returns to the #12: Ryan Blaney will continue his busy end-of-the-season driving schedule this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway as he makes his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. Blaney has raced in the last two NASCAR Nationwide Series events for Team Penske and is scheduled to compete in the next NNS race at Texas Motor Speedway. Blaney also has four more NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts scheduled for the remainder of the season. While the #12 NSCS team does not compete on a full-time basis for Team Penske, the crew leading Blaney at Talladega is certainly experienced. Blaney will have the #22 Discount Tire/Hertz Ford NNS team working with him this weekend, much like he did earlier this year when he made his NSCS debut at Kansas Speedway. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins will lead the team with the regular #22 NNS team over-the-wall pit crew servicing the car on Sunday.(Team Penske)(10-15-2014)

  • Ryan Blaney to drive for Wood Brothers in 2015 UPDATES: Ryan Blaney will drive the #21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford in 2015, sources have told Motorsport.com. Blaney, 20, will run a limited Sprint Cup schedule in the venerable #21 Ford along with Nationwide Series races for Team Penske as part of a technical alliance between Penske and the Wood Brothers. An announcement is expected around the race at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 17. Blaney currently leads the Camping World Truck Series points driving the #29 Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing. In just his second full season on the tour, Blaney has two wins - the first coming in just his third career start. Blaney has a stellar average finish of 7.6. The third-generation racer has also shown tremendous progress on the Nationwide Series tour with Penske Racing. At 19, he won his first NNS race in his 13th career start last September at Kentucky Speedway. Blaney led 96 of 200 laps. In just seven starts in 2015, Blaney has posted six top 10s and three top-five finishes. His average qualifying position is 5.9. Blaney made his Cup debut at Kansas Speedway on May 10. He qualified 21st and finished 27th.(Motorsport)(8-1-2014)
    UPDATE: Blaney does have one career Sprint Cup start, making his debut with Team Penske earlier this season at Kansas. "We're focused on winning the truck championship this year and focused on this weekend at Pocono," Blaney said. "Keep growing this (program). Those days will sort themselves out down the road." Team Penske Vice President Jonathan Gibson said via email Friday that the organization has plans for Blaney's future. "Ryan Blaney continues to do a great job with our organization and we have a plan for his progression within Team Penske," he said. "While we have had some discussions with our partners at Ford, nothing has been finalized."(NASCAR.com)(8-2-2014)
    UPDATE 2: Wood Brothers Racing and Ford Racing will host a media teleconference featuring Eddie & Len Wood, co-owners, Wood Brothers Racing, and others to talk about their plans for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season as well as this weekend's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Thursday at 2:00pm.et.(Ford Racing)(8-13-2014)

  • Montoya interested in "The Double": Juan Pablo Montoya says he is open to running both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600. Montoya, competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series after having spent the past seven seasons in NASCAR Sprint Cup, made the comments Friday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. "If (car owner Roger Penske) wanted me to do it, then I probably would do it," Montoya said of running both races in the same day. "It would be cool. But I don't want to force him into anything." The 2000 Indy 500 winner finished fifth in that event in May. He's not worried about the physical toll of racing 1,100 miles. "Physically I don't think it would be that hard, to be honest with you,'' Montoya said. "If you want to do it properly, it would be a lot of fun. Their cars on a mile-and-a-half track run really, really good. If you could have a test day there or somewhere on a mile-and-a-half to get the car close to what I want and get an idea of what I want, it would be a fun experience. There are a lot of possibilities if you think about it."(Motor Racing Network)(8-2-2014)

  • Bad day for former (and one current) open-wheelers: Five drivers in Sunday's race also have raced in the Indianapolis 500. But that certainly didn't give them an edge in a stock car. #14-Tony Stewart, who has two previous victories in the 400-mile race, was the highest-finishing driver in 17th with an IndyCar background at the Brickyard. #47-A.J. Allmendinger finished 18th, followed by #12-Juan Pablo Montoya in 23rd , #41-Kurt Busch in 28th and #10-Danica Patrick in 42nd . Patrick broke a rear gear while driving away from her pit stall. "We looked at everything and it looks like the launch was fine," she said. "It's just one of those things."(Florida Times Union)(7-28-2014)

  • Montoya returns to Cup action at Indy UPDATE: No driver in the field on Sunday can match the diverse history of Juan Pablo Montoya at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In his illustrious career, the Bogota, Colombia-born driver has made seven career NASCAR Cup Series starts, five Formula 1 starts, three IndyCar Series starts and one start in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at the famed circuit. He is also the 2000 Indianapolis 500 champion. Over the course of his NASCAR career, Montoya has led 203 laps and earned a pair of top-10 finishes at Indianapolis. This weekend's Brickyard 400 will mark the first race for Montoya in the #12 Penske Truck Rental (PTR) colors and his second Cup Series start for Team Penske this season. PTR is an operating unit of Penske Truck Leasing and has approximately 2,000 consumer truck rental locations across the United States and Canada. Penske rents commercial semi-trucks, straight trucks and trailers to businesses that haul freight. Its truck rental fleet has more than 50,000 units.(Team Penske)(7-24-2014)
    UPDATE: Juan Pablo Montoya will drive the #12 Penske Truck Rental Ford this weekend. The rear bumper has the hashtag #OneWay4PVA to show support of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the fundraising effort Penske Truck Rental has in place with them. Learn more at pensketruckrental.com.(Penske Truck Rental Facebook), see images of the car on the #12 Team Schemes page.(7-25-2014)

  • Montoya selling Miami penthouse: NASCAR, CART, Indy Racing League and Formula One racing sensation Juan Pablo Montoya is selling his posh Brickell six-bedroom, 6.5-bath Miami penthouse-which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay-for $14 million. The extraordinary home, which comes with more cache than an American Express Centurion card, is 6,500-square feet and is perched atop one of Miami's most exclusive addresses. There are resplendent marble floors-the perfect complement to the searing Florida heat-and floor-to-ceiling windows that encompass the whole of the first floor. Every corner of this luxurious home captures views of the crystalline water below-and includes every possible artisan touch. Though it's a penthouse of the utmost in style and museum-like elegance, it's still a comfortable home for even the smallest children: Montoya's two young daughters have their own pink-and-lace retreat tucked neatly away in the home's private recesses.(Realtor)(7-23-2014)

  • SKF extends with Team Penske: Team Penske announced that SKF has agreed to a multi-year extension with the team that will expand SKF's technical alliance and continue its associate sponsorship of the team's entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) and Verizon IndyCar Series. A Team Penske sponsor since the beginning of the 2012 season, SKF will continue to be a featured partner on the #2 Miller Lite Ford and the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford in the Sprint Cup Series, the #22 Discount Tire Ford in the Nationwide Series and the #3 Hitachi Chevrolet in the Verizon IndyCar Series. SKF will also serve as a primary sponsor [on the #12 Fored] for both drivers Juan Pablo Montoya at Michigan in June and Ryan Blaney at Talladega in October in the Sprint Cup Series in 2014 [was the sponsor for Blaney's Cup debut at Kansas in May]. In addition, SKF will expand its technical support to the team as it provides both product and advanced engineering consulting and services. As speeds and downforce levels have continued to rise in racing so have the demands on critical components. Through the relationship with SKF, Team Penske has been able to push the limits of vital driveline components to reduce friction without sacrificing durability.
    "SKF has proven to be an important partner of our organization since they first came on board in 2012," said Roger Penske. "That was evident during our Sprint Cup Series championship run in 2012 and again during our transition to Ford Racing in 2013. We were able to maintain the high level of performance that we expect and a big part of that is because of companies like SKF and what they bring to the table. With the improvement in our qualifying performances this season, it only increases the value of our partnership with SKF and expanding our development projects means even more opportunities down the road for Team Penske."
    SKF has also been able to establish meaningful relationships with other Team Penske partners that have opened the lines of communication towards generating significant business-to-business opportunities. "The focus on technology, teamwork and business excellence principles is fully aligned between our groups. We share a culture of winning which is why our partnership works so well together, both on the track and in our business-to-business relationships," said SKF Group CEO, Tom Johnstone. "Our expanded Penske technical partnership is part of a greater commitment to providing more in-depth, localized technical support and development to our North American partners."
    SKF and Team Penske have over 25 different application and development projects, drawing from all five of SKF's technology competence areas: bearings, seals, lubrication, mechatronics and services.(Team Penske)(6-11-2014)

  • Penske denies interest in Edwards: Team Penske owner Roger Penske was adamant that he has "no interest" in Carl Edwards. Penske, who is at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for the NASCAR / IndyCar double-header told Catchfence.com that Team Penske is currently not in a position to field a third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in 2015, despite the chatter. "There's no interest," he said. "We don't have the sponsorship to do a third full-time team and he's under contract with Roush Fenway Racing. It doesn't make sense."(Catchfence), see past news/rumors about Edwards on the #99 Team News and Links page.(6-8-2014)

  • Ryan Blaney to attempt Cup debut at Kansas: This weekend, Ryan Blaney will make his Sprint Cup Series debut behind the wheel of the #12 SKF Ford for Team Penske. Blaney will run two NSCS races for Team Penske in 2014, with the second scheduled for Talladega in October. Jeremy Bullins and the #22 Team Penske NASCAR Nationwide Series team will crew the #12 SKF Ford this weekend in Kansas, along with a few additional team members. It will be the first time Bullins will get a chance to serve as crew chief of a NSCS team. He's earned 15 wins since taking over as crew chief of the #22 NNS car at Team Penske in 2012. Blaney will get a chance to race alongside his father, veteran NASCAR and Sprint Car driver Dave Blaney, in Kansas.(Team Penske), see an image of the car on the #12 team paint schemes page.
    AND Should both Blaneys qualify for the race, it would be the first time a father and son have competed in the same Cup race since #04-Bobby Hamilton and #32-Bobby Hamilton Jr. started at Atlanta in October 30, 2005.(5-8-2014)

  • Montoya expected to drive third Penske car in some races UPDATE: Team Penske is expected to announce on Wednesday that Juan Pablo Montoya will return to Sprint Cup competition in the Brickyard 400 on July 27. However, Montoya's NASCAR homecoming could come sooner than that. Don't be surprised if Montoya runs a third Penske Racing car (likely the #12 Ford) at Sonoma Raceway on June 22. Montoya's first career Cup win was earned at the track in 2007. He could also compete at Watkins Glen on August 10, the site of his second Cup win in 2010. Both dates are open on the IndyCar calendar. Sources say Montoya tested a Team Penske NASCAR Ford last week at Nashville Speedway. Veteran Greg Erwin, who was retained after serving as Sam Hornish's crew chief last year, would likely fill that role with the third Cup car.(Motorsport)(4-29-2014)
    UPDATE: Team Penske announced that Juan Pablo Montoya will make two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts for the team in 2014. Montoya will pilot the #12 SKF Ford Fusion at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on June 15 and he will also compete for Team Penske in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) on July 27. The #12 car sponsor for the Brickyard 400 will be announced at a later date. NASCAR veteran Greg Erwin will work with Montoya as crew chief of the #12 Ford entry.
    "Juan is a proven winner in multiple racing disciplines and he is one of the most versatile racecar drivers competing today," said Roger Penske. "Michigan and Indianapolis are two important races for Team Penske. We know Juan has the ability to race for wins in both of those events while still focusing on his full-time program in the Verizon IndyCar Series."
    A former full-time NASCAR competitor from 2007-2013, Montoya has recorded two wins, 24 top-five finishes and nine pole awards in his Cup Series career. He owns career-best finishes of sixth at MIS and a top result of second at IMS. Montoya will join the winning Team Penske duo of #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano, both of whom have already visited Victory Lane in 2014.
    "It has been a good start to the season with Team Penske in the Verizon IndyCar Series and it will be fun to get back behind the wheel of the Cup car," said Montoya. "It's hard to believe, but Roger Penske has never won the Brickyard 400. I think that Brad, Joey and I will give Roger and Team Penske a great opportunity to check that off the list and we should be strong at Michigan as well."
    Since joining Team Penske in 2012, an SKF-sponsored entry has made three NASCAR Cup Series starts. SKF earned its first NASCAR victory with Team Penske and Keselowski in the Nationwide Series last season. In addition to the race at MIS with Montoya, the #12 SKF Ford will also compete at Kansas on May 10 and at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19 with Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney.
    "Our partnership with Team Penske continues to grow year after year, and adding another dynamic driver like Juan Pablo Montoya to the SKF Racing team is exciting for both our employees and customers worldwide," said Poul Jeppesen, President and CEO, SKF USA Inc. "Like Team Penske, SKF is committed to the sport of auto racing and the Detroit area, and we look forward to cheering Montoya to Victory Lane at Michigan in June."(Team Penske)(4-30-2014)

  • Penske joins Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame: Roger Penske couldn't be in Fort Worth to accept credit for his induction to the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. Instead, he sent word that his place belongs to the employees of Team Penske, the racing operation that has won 23 national championships. "I know what Roger would say," said right-hand man Walt Czarneck, executive vice president of Penske Corporation. "He'd say, 'I'm the face of our company, but it's really the people of our organization who deserve this. They're the ones who have the desire, who have the commitment, who are proud of the organization. That's why we've been able to achieve what we have.' " Penske became the 16th member of the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame and the third car owner inducted in the past five years, joining fellow NASCAR owners Jack Roush (2012) and Joe Gibbs (2009). Also honored Thursday night was Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was presented the Major Gen. Thomas Sadler Award for humanitarianism. His appearance in Roanoke last fall helped raise more than $30,000 for Speedway Children's Charities, the charity arm of Texas Motor Speedway. Others receiving awards were Kyle Busch, who was named the TMS racer of the year; three-time Indianapolis 500 champ Dario Franchitti, who received the O. Bruton Smith Legend Award to recognize a career cut short by injury; and James Buescher, who earned the Sportsmanship Award for his work in recovery efforts in Moore, Okla.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(4-4-2014)

  • Penske says team still interested in expansion into V8 Supercars, Ambrose?: Roger Penske has reiterated his interest in a future V8 Supercars involvement, and says that sports cars could also be on his team's horizon. Penske has been linked to a possible V8 team since late last year, when both he and Team Penske president Tim Cindric made a number of trips to Australia to meet with V8 Supercars officials and representatives of teams including Dick Johnson Racing and Ford Performance Racing. The team is already heavily invested in stock cars (NASCAR) and IndyCar, and Penske said that he has very clear ideas about what forms any future expansion would take. "I think that if we did anything [new] at some point, we'd like to get into the sports car side," he said. "Once we understand the rules that would be something we'd like to do. But with supporting Brad [Keselowski] on the Truck side, with Nationwide, and with IndyCar, I think we're full. We're potentially looking at Australia. As soon as you talk to them that's the first thing they want to know: 'Are you interested in V8 Supercars?' So that might be something we do at some point." While it has been reported that a Penske V8 entry could be up and running as early as next year, Penske stopped short of nominating a timeframe. "We're just looking at it," he said. "Tim went to a couple of races, and I've talked to people. It's early." Penske said that one of his current concerns were the changes taking place in the Australian automotive landscape, where all three of the major manufacturers that currently build cars there have announced plans to close or reduce their operations. Those closures, coupled with the Australian market's growing preference for smaller-engined vehicles, could have future ramifications for the V8 Supercars series. Penske is hoping that it could also create an opportunity that he can capitalize upon. "The issue that you have is that the manufacturers are pulling out of manufacturing in Australia - Holden is coming out, Ford is coming out, Toyota is coming out," Penske said. "And now, V8s aren't what people are buying - people are buying turbocharged, direct-injected 1.8 liters or 2.0 liters. And you've got Mercedes in [V8 Supercars] now, Volvo is in, Nissan is in, so it's starting to open up. So it will be interesting to see whether there is an opportunity for us with some manufacturer." Marcos Ambrose, who won two V8 titles with Stone Brothers Racing before switching to NASCAR, has been linked to Penske's V8 plans.(Racer)(4-4-2014)

  • Penske to join Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame: No owner in the history of open-wheel racing has displayed such dominance over the sport than Roger Penske. Penske, the owner of Team Penske, has established himself as one of the premier owners in all of motorsports and his proficiency for finding Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway has earned him another accolade as he will become the 16th member inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. Penske will be honored Thursday, April 3, at the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala benefiting Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter held in The Speedway Club's Grand Ballroom at Texas Motor Speedway during the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR weekend. His induction is all part of an evening that recognizes some of the most outstanding individuals in motorsports. Along with Penske, other honorees include four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti; 2014 Daytona 500 champion and NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.; defending Duck Commander 500 and O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 winner Kyle Busch; and 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher from Plano, Texas. A winner of a combined 12 races at Texas Motor Speedway as a team owner - including a record seven in the Verizon IndyCar Series - Penske remains the only owner with victories in both NASCAR and INDYCAR at "The Great American Speedway!" His success at Texas Motor Speedway is all part of his illustrious 48-year career as team owner of Team Penske that has produced 23 motorsports national championships, including 12 in Indy-car racing.(TMS)(2-25-2014)

  • Montoya could run the Brickyard 400: Juan Pablo Montoya, former NASCAR driver [#42 Target Chevy], current driver of the #2 Verizon Indy car for Team Penske, met with members of the media on Orlando, FL and discussed his return to IndyCar among other topics, the transcript in part:
    Q. Can you reflect a little bit on the NASCAR journey? What are your thoughts with Speedweeks going on? Does it feel odd at all that you're not there? Do you feel like you're where you belong?
    JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It's a feeling that I wasn't missing it probably. It was weird actually. A month ago when they did their first set, I was with my son racing at Homestead. I got a text from Chevy, We're missing you. I'm like, Why are you missing me (laughter)? I had no idea they were even testing. It's nice to do what I'm doing right now. I feel really happy. I'm really excited to be part of Team Penske. It's a tough challenge ahead of me. I know that. It seems weird because it seems like race speed is really good when we're in race trim. Our pace is really good. I was telling my guys, like my race engineer, If you really look at it, even on new tires, I'm not missing corners. There's a lot of room there for improvement and I know that. It's not bad. It's a process, I guess, I hope.
    Q. You were talking about it being a difficult challenge. Obviously it was a difficult challenge when you moved over to NASCAR.
    MONTOYA: It's completely different. The NASCAR one was one that it was like, Where the hell am I? The cars were very different. There was a lot of movement. This is the opposite because in NASCAR the limit of the car is very easy. You can get to the limit of the car very easy. The big thing is you're driving it too hard. In IndyCar, you can't drive it hard enough, or at least I can't yet. I'm leaving a lot on the table. I think that's the biggest thing.
    Q. Having been successful in virtually every motorsports field you have taken part in, how do you look back and judge NASCAR?
    MONTOYA: When we had good cars, we did good. When we had bad cars, we did bad. I think as a team we threw a lot of races away. It's part of the thing you always do. The point is when you're winning races, you throw a lot away and you still win a few. When you're not winning races, you notice the things you throw away. I think that's the biggest difference. The focus for me now is IndyCar 100%. I'm pumped about it. I feel like a complete rookie right now, so it's pretty cool.
    Q. Roger (Penske) said with the right funding, he'd like to see you run the Brickyard 400. Is that something else you want to do? A fan on Twitter wants to know if you have any interest in running the NASCAR road courses as well?
    MONTOYA: I think the Brickyard would be a good thing. I've been so close so many times, it would be a good way of closing that chapter with a good win there. I know Roger hasn't won there. If we could get the opportunity to do it, I think it would be pretty cool.
    Q. Is there any consideration this year to try to run the Daytona 500 and Indy 500, to be the guy to win them both?
    MONTOYA: No, unless Roger asks me.
    Q. Have you asked him?
    MONTOYA: No. I got enough things going on. No, no, no, no, no (laughter).(Team Chevy)(2-19-2014)

  • Ryan Blaney to make Cup debut, run more NNS races: Team Penske announced that 20-year-old Ryan Blaney will expand his driving duties beginning in 2014. The third-generation driver will compete in 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) races with Team Penske in 2014 and will also make his debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), running at least two events behind the wheel of the #12 SKF Ford Fusion with the first coming at Kansas Speedway in May. Blaney's first Nationwide Series start of 2014 is scheduled to come at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 22. The remainder of his NNS schedule will be announced at a later date. In addition to Kansas, Blaney's other scheduled Sprint Cup Series start will come at Talladega Superspeedway in October. "I am excited to continue my racing career with Team Penske," said Blaney, who's earned one win, two top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 10 starts behind the wheel of the #22 over the last two years. "I'm really looking forward to racing more in the Nationwide Series and it will be a dream come true for me to race in the Sprint Cup Series. I want to thank Roger Penske, our team sponsors and everyone at Team Penske for this opportunity and for believing in me." In addition to his expanded schedule for Team Penske this season, Blaney will also continue to race full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR), the team owned by Blaney's Team Penske teammate. Blaney, the son of Sprint Cup Series driver Dave Blaney, has produced two wins, one pole and 16 top-10 finishes in 28 Truck Series races for the BKR team over the last two seasons. He finished sixth in the series point standings last season. "We believe Ryan is one of the most promising young drivers in NASCAR and we want to continue his growth and development with Team Penske," said team owner Roger Penske. "Ryan's win at Kentucky in the #22 car last year showed what he is capable of and we hope to experience many more moments in Victory Lane with him in the coming seasons."(Team Penske)(1-29-2014)

  • Hornish gets part time ride for 2014 UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. will share seat time with Kyle Busch in the #54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the Nationwide Series this season. Hornish could not be reached for comment.(Fox Sports)(1-6-2014)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that it has signed driver Sam Hornish, Jr. to drive the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in seven NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2014. "I'm excited about driving the #54 Monster Energy car this year. It's a great opportunity for me," said Hornish. "It's the best possible situation for me to jump into great equipment and have the opportunity to go right out and win. After working with Penske for 10 years and now to have the opportunity to partner with Joe Gibbs Racing, I couldn't have asked for anything better. These are great people, top notch. To partner with Kyle, and all this team provides, with the support of Joe and J.D., it provides me with everything I need to succeed. It's also a phenomenal opportunity for me to partner with a market leader such as Monster Energy. The brand identity and fan following that goes along with this sponsor is super. I can't wait to get into that car!"
    The #54 Monster Energy Toyota will run a full season schedule for JGR with crew chief Adam Stevens returning to call the shots from atop the pit box. Kyle Busch will return to pilot the Camry in 26 races, while Hornish will fill the driver's seat in the remaining seven races. "We're excited to have someone of Sam's caliber joining Kyle behind the wheel of the Monster Energy Camry this year," said J.D. Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We think we have a great team there with Monster Energy and Sam will be an outstanding addition. We lost out on the owner's championship by just one point last year so our focus will be on trying to get that title back in 2014."
    Hornish has spent the past two seasons driving the #12 car for Penske Racing in the Nationwide Series. Last season he recorded one win, 16 top-five and 25 top-ten finishes and captured four pole awards. In 99 career starts, Hornish has two wins, 28 top-five and 53 top-ten finishes. He also has made 130 career starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Hornish's first race behind the wheel of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota will be May 3 at Talladega. In addition he will race both Iowa Speedway races, Road America, Chicagoland Speedway on July 19, Mid-Ohio, and Kentucky Speedway on September 20.(JGR)(1-6-2014)

2013 News

  • Penske, Hornish part ways: Sam Hornish Jr. drove his final race for Roger Penske when he finished 12th in the Nationwide Series season finale Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hornish came up three points shy of going out with a championship. He ended up second to Austin Dillon in the final standings. Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch won the race. Hornish was near the front for much of the 200 laps, but faltered down the stretch on worn tires. Now, he faces an uncertain future.
    "To see Sam race at the level he did with Kyle, right there all night, shows what a great racer he is," Penske said. "My issue with myself is I started him in the Cup level with no practice. One of the greatest open-wheel racers we had in IndyCar. I think maybe I started his career backwards." So far, Hornish has no ride set up for 2014. He declined to even talk to Chip Ganassi Racing about replacing Dario Franchitti, the four-time IndyCar champion who abruptly retired earlier this week because of injuries and health concerns. With Hornish committed to stock-car racing, some wonder where he will land next season. Penske, though, doesn't believe Hornish's NASCAR career is over.
    "I think people want him," said Penske, who still managed to win the Nationwide owners' championship. "I think he's going to have a chance to drive something next year. A couple things out there look quite promising. I would support him always. He needs to have a good ride because he's a quality guy, a family man. Remember, he won an Indy 500 for us. That's pretty special." But Penske told the 34-year-old Hornish he needs to be racing in the Cup series, where he doesn't have a spot for his longtime driver.
    Hornish hasn't even hinted about his future, only saying he'd rather be a NASCAR test driver than an IndyCar regular. "There's a lot of uncertainty at this point in time, but I feel as if we'll be able to make something happen," Hornish said. "But, like I've said in the past, it's all about trying to position me to move forward in some way. I don't want to take any more steps backward or be in something that's not going to give me the opportunity to go out there and be competitive and have an opportunity to at least run in the top 10. It wouldn't be optimal to run a part-time schedule, but it might help me out. I might be able to go and do testing. I might be able to learn a lot of other things and to be able to forge forward and to be even better in the next go-round."(Associated Press)(11-18-2013)

  • Hornish not interested in replacing Franchitti: Sam Hornish Jr. said Friday he has no interest in returning to IndyCar to replace Dario Franchitti at Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Hornish said the team reached out to his representatives this week when Franchitti was told by doctors he can no longer race because of the risk of injury is too great. "I expressed I was very grateful even for the call," Hornish said. "A door opens and the reason still stands to not do it. It's just any time I've had a thought or thought about that at all, it's been like very minimal." Even though he heads into Saturday's final Nationwide Series race of the season with no job lined up for 2014. Hornish believes he should have a Cup ride next year. "I definitely feel I belong in the Cup Series," Hornish said. "Taking the step back was to prove what I've known for a long time: given the equipment, the right people around me, what I would be capable of. Because I'd been so successful on the IndyCar side, I was going to pick up the car and carry it on my back if it wasn't good enough."(Associated Press)(11-16-2013)

  • Penske Racing partners with Jergens Workholding Solutions: Jergens Inc. is proud to announce it has been named the Preferred Workholding Solutions Supplier of Penske Racing. Working together with Penske Manufacturing, Jergens Workholding Solutions is bringing advanced quick-change fixturing to Penske machine shop operations. In the fast-paced world of NASCAR Racing, speed behind the scenes is critical to success on the track. Jergens Quick-Change Fixturing provides Penske Racing the ability to accelerate production and prototyping to improve their "Speed to Track." Penske Racing also named Jergens Tooling Components Division the Preferred Supplier of Kwik-Lok quick release pins, hoist rings and lifting hardware.(Penske / Jergens PR)(11-3-2013)

  • Hornish Jr. in the offer-taking stage for a 2014 ride: Sam Hornish Jr. could end the season as 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion - and unemployed. "I'm in the offer-taking stage right now. At this point they don't have anything for me at Penske (Racing) next year," Hornish said during an interview with RacinToday on Thursday. "It's not anything performance-wise. It's strictly money and not on our side of the deal. They're having to shuffle things around to accommodate other people." Hornish, driver of Roger Penske's #12 Ford Mustang, will take a 15-point lead over Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing into Saturday afternoon's 5-Hour Energy 200 at the 1-mile Dover International Speedway.
    Hornish's "other people" reference was to 19-year-old Ryan Blaney, a developmental driver under contract to Penske Racing but without a fulltime ride heading into 2014. Blaney scored his breakthrough Nationwide Series win in his second start during Saturday night's Kentucky 300 at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway. Blaney's win was Penske's 10th of the season in the #22 Discount Tire Ford among four different drivers. Hornish finished fourth at Kentucky to retain his point lead with six races remaining. Hornish, who is in his second fulltime Nationwide season for Penske, indicated he was blindsided by the decision that likely will end his six-year stock car association with the organization. "There's not a whole lot of anything out there when I was told this," Hornish said during a telephone interview. "If that was the case I should have known at the end of July. I found out a couple of weeks ago and I gave them some time to get ahead of it so it wouldn't look like I'm trying to blow them out of the water."
    Hornish said he has begun shopping his services to rival team-owners in the garage area. "And what I get is they have no idea I'm available," said Hornish. "The comments I get from people I do talk to are like, 'We just put something together you would have been a great candidate for.' I'm hoping to have something (in NASCAR for 2014). Don't know what it'll be or what it'll look like, so it's not the best feeling." Neither Penske nor Tim Cindric, Penske Racing president, was available this week for comment on Hornish's future. But Hornish, who will drive the No. 12 Snap-on Ford at Dover, said Penske indicated he would be willing to field him in Nationwide again if proper funding could be secured. Asked if he might change his mind if no NASCAR ride materializes and return to the IndyCar Series, Hornish reiterated: "I don't see myself doing that."(in part from RacinToday)(9-28-2013)

  • Penske says no deals made at Richmond: Roger Penske was set to surrender his usual spot on the spotter stand for a seat in a suite. It's one concession from the fallout of the Richmond scandal. But Penske, back at a NASCAR track for the first time since the sport's big embarrassment, insisted his team was in the clear and knew nothing about a deal with Front Row Motorsports to get #22-Joey Logano into the Chase. "We didn't do anything, quite obviously," Penske said Sunday at New Hampshire. "When I heard the crew chief on whatever car it was made all this big noise, we didn't have any deal at all. That's how people role play stuff in NASCAR. I think at the end of the day, it worked out for everybody and we're moving on." Penske said he had only watched one race at a NASCAR track from a spot other than the spotter stand. "I'm going to find a nice spot in the suite," he said, "or maybe I'll stay home and watch on TV."
    Penske has plenty on his plate besides dealing with NASCAR's penalties and hoping Logano can rebound from his 12th-place spot in the Chase to work his way into contention. His IndyCar Series team signed former Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya to mark an open-wheel return and he's trying to find a Cup ride in 2014 for Sam Hornish Jr. Hornish is closing in on a championship in the Nationwide Series but his status for next season is up in the air. With Logano and defending champion Brad Keselowski locked into the two Penske Cup seats, there's no room at Penske in the top series for Hornish, who has made 93 career Nationwide starts for Penske and has run 130 Cup races for him since 2007. Penske said he's yet to make a decision on Hornish's future. "There have been other teams that have contacted him," he said. "I just told him, `Hey, take a good look and see what's out there.' That's what we're doing right now." Penske ruled out any interest in Martin Truex Jr. or expanding his Cup team or Nationwide teams beyond two cars each.(Associated Press)(9-22-2013)

  • Congrats to the Hornish's: Sam Hornish Jr. got emotional when discussing the Nationwide Series' debut at Mid-Ohio in the first Nationwide Children's Hospital 200. Hornish, who comes from roughly 2 hours away to the northwest in Defiance, Ohio, didn't previously know about the hospital's work with seriously sick, burned, ill and injured kids until he became involved in the race. Active in his own charity, Hornish said the good work of the people at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus really touched home with him because, as he put it, "I'm a father of two daughters, with another (child) on the way." Asked later if he was officially revealing his wife's pregnancy, he laughed and said, "We've told a few people. We didn't exactly issue a news release." Officially or unofficially, the Hornishes are expecting in February.(AP)(8-18-2013)

  • Hornish Jr. to make 2013 Cup debut at Kansas: #12-Sam Hornish Jr. has 129 NSCS starts with five of those coming at Kansas, but this will mark his first start in the Gen 6 Ford Fusion. Crew chief Greg Erwin likes Kansas Speedway and he has two NSCS victories at the venue (2007 & 2010). This weekend is the first of two NSCS events that Hornish and the #12 SKF Ford are scheduled to compete in this year (fall Talladega race) Due to members of the #12 NNS Penske pit crew having other NSCS roles this weekend, the pit crew of the #22 NNS Penske Ford will pit the #12 SKF Ford with the lone exception being Fueler Kellen Mills, who is a team regular.(Penske Racing)(4-18-2013)

2012 News

  • Hornish Jr. back with Penske in 2013, to run full-time NNS and some Cup: from a SRT Motorsports - Dodge Roger Penske Open Interview - Homestead-Miami Speedway, one question concerned Ryan Blaney and Penske mentioned plans for Sam Hornish Jr. in 2013:
    Q. You mentioned young drivers. What are the plans for Ryan Blaney for next year?
    Roger Penske: "Well, right now I know there's some people asking me some questions when I walked in. We've signed Sam up to drive the #12 car, Alliance car in Nationwide next year. We have a commitment for a number of Cup races on a third car, which Sam will be there to run those races. And Blaney at this point, we're considering him to be -- to drive the truck. Haven't announced it yet. It's not a done deal. But we'd like to see him in the truck, and also we'll provide him some Nationwide rides. We started with him maybe running two or three this year, and I think he'll end up with seven or eight. We think that he's a fine young man, and he's got a lot to learn like they all do, but I think he's certainly coming from a family that's been racing, and he seems to have the talent. There's a lot of good young talent out there today, so we certainly want to support him."(SRT/Dodge/RAM Motorsports PR)(11-17-2012)

  • Penske engineer and wife looking to adopt child from Ethiopia UPDATE: When Aron Oakley met his future wife, Robyn, he quickly discovered her huge heart. The Penske Racing aerodynamics engineer also realized she had plenty of love to go around. Not long after the couple met in 2004, Robyn shared her desire to adopt a child from Africa. Two years later, the couple married. While their family has grown with three little girls, ages 1 to 4, the dream of adopting a child in need never waned. In May, the Oakleys ramped up the process. The couple narrowed their search to an Ethiopian boy "to balance our house full of girls," Robyn said, and enlisted the services of West Sands Adoptions. For the initial expense to expedite the adoption, the NASCAR community has stepped up to help the Oakley's.
    The "Our Journey to Bring You Home Silent Auction Fundraiser", held July 14th helped the Oakley's get within $10,000 of their goal, They have a sale this weekend [Sept 22-23] with Suki from Stella and Dot set up and selling, Julie Fay from Thirty-One Gifts and Jenn Harrington from Scentsy. They are donating all of the proceeds and are also taking orders online. There will be an auction on Saturday, September 22nd at the Wynfield Club House, Huntersville, NC. Those who can't make it or are not in the area can bid online. Some of the items include: Danica Patrick signed crew shirt, Denny Hamlin signed firesuit, Ryan Newman signed tire, catering package, bowling birthday package, bike tune ups and other items. For all the info and link, go to ourjourneytobringyouhome.org.(some of this post is from a Fox Sports story)(9-18-2012)

  • Penske plans to keep Hornish in 2013: in part from a Penske Racing Media Teleconference featuring Joey Logano and Tim Cindric:
    It was announced yesterday that Joey Logano will join the Penske Racing organization in 2013 as he will begin a multi-year agreement to drive the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Joey will join Brad Keselowski and the #2 Miller Lite Ford team to form a potent Cup Series combination for Penske Racing next season. One of the media questions for Penske Racing president Tim Cindric was about the future of Sam Hornish Jr., currently the full-time driver for Penske Racing in the Nationwide Series and in the #22 Sprint Cup Series ride.
    Q.) Tim, where does this leave Sam (Hornish Jr.) with Penske Racing and plans for the future?
    TIM CINDRIC: Obviously Sam has done a great job for us, picking up where we needed to go from Daytona onwards. I think we continue to see him grow in his abilities as a Cup driver, working with (crew chief) Todd Gordon and the guys. I think you saw that this weekend at Atlanta. I think we'll continue to move that forward. He's going to continue to drive the 22 car for the remainder of the year. We've continued to work on putting a Cup program together for Sam; we just haven't been able to close that process yet. I foresee Sam driving for us a full season Nationwide next year and hopefully some Cup races, as well.
    Q.) Sam's future, is it possible you could put together a third Sprint Cup car for him next year?
    TIM CINDRIC: That would certainly be our first preference, a third full-time Cup car. It's pretty late in the season. The potential we had for that in terms of sponsorship, they haven't come to fruition yet. I think you'll see him in a couple (Cup) races for sure. We haven't been able to build on that. We haven't been able to get more than a couple races at this time. As far as a full season Nationwide, that's what I envision happening for sure.(Penske Racing Media Conference)(9-6-2012)

  • Roush says Penske will use Roush-Yates engines: UPDATES: Jack Roush says Penske has decided to run Roush-Yates Ford engines next season. Penske has said he will not be shutting down the 80-man operation he currently has, but it would seem unlikely that Ford would care for one of its star new players to also continue building Dodge engines on the side. A possible sale of that engine shop to Dodge itself has been speculated as the only logical solution.
    Roush: "Roger and I will cooperate on things that are in our common interests, and we will compete on things that reflect our need to be independent and justify our space on the race track. We've done the bulk of the work on the 2013 car; we did invite them to have a look at what we've done in concert with Ford, and made sure we had their blessing, along with the other Ford teams involved. The indication are -- though I don't know if the papers have been signed yet -- that he will use our engines. He does have a few things he does different with his cars and the way the engines are mounted; so we'll respect his experience and his package preference. Whether we wind up with the same package for all Ford cars or not is yet to be determined."
    Roush, asked about the possibility of Penske becoming a business partner with Roush and Doug Yates in the engine operations, said "There is no plan on the table for Roger for any ownership in the engine program. But I stop short of saying that would never be a consideration going forward."(MikeMulhern.net)(8-4-2012)
    UPDATE: Roush Yates Engines announced that it will provide Ford FR9 engines to Penske Racing beginning with the 2013 NASCAR season. Penske Racing announced earlier this year that it would be returning to Ford Racing in 2013 in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. "It's truly an honor to provide Penske Racing with Roush Yates Ford engines," said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates. "I have always admired Roger Penske as a team owner and a respected businessman in our sport and beyond. I am looking forward to many wins, championships, and other successes in supporting the Penske organization." Penske Racing fielded Ford entries from 1991 through 2002. "Ford has been consistent in its belief that we will be stronger with one engine specification rather than continuing with an independent approach," said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. "Roush Yates has a proven record and we are looking forward to many successes together."(Roush Yates)(8-6-2012)
    UPDATE 2: Penske Racing will switch to Roush Yates horsepower in its 2013 move to Ford in the Sprint Cup Series, but the team still is exploring ways to keep its 63 engine employees. Penske President Tim Cindric told USA Today Sports that still building motors for Dodge teams in NASCAR's premier series wouldn't be an option, though. "Relative to us, they said they're going in a different direction," Cindric said. "We don't see there being any more potential on the NASCAR side with Dodge." Cindric said Penske has explored sending some of its engine staff to Roush Yates, reassigning others within Penske Racing and perhaps pursuing engine projects in other series with the rest of the employees in a scaled-down engine room. "We feel our biggest asset wasn't the (horsepower) but the people," Cindric said. "That's a strong group of people we didn't want to break up."(USA Today)(8-7-2012)

  • Penske still undecided about future engine program: Roger Penske, who announced in March that his Penske Racing team would move from fielding Dodges to Fords, still has not made a final decision on whether to build his own engines, lease them from Roush Yates Engines or possibly become a partner in Roush Yates Engines. The Penske engine shop is not located at its main car manufacturing facility in North Carolina and could be spun off into a Dodge engine building facility. "We're still trying to finish up the final discussion with Dodge, what they're going to do," Penske said. "We obviously have the option with Roush Yates, which we're looking at also."(Sporting News)(7-30-2012)

  • Hornish would like to drive the #22 if......: Sam Hornish Jr. has let Penske Racing officials know he is interested in driving the #22 Sprint Cup car full time if AJ Allmendinger's suspension becomes lengthy. Allmendinger was "temporarily suspended" by NASCAR prior to Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway because he failed a drug test. He has requested a test of the "B" sample of the test he took the previous week at Kentucky. If that test comes back negative, Allmendinger will be re-instated. If that test supports the "A" test, which typically is the case, then Allmendinger would have to go through NASCAR's Road to Recovery program that likely would keep him out at least through the rest of this season. Hornish was a last-minute replacement for Allmendinger at Daytona, finishing 33rd after a blown tire midway through the race all but ended his night. He was tabbed on Monday to drive this weekend at New Hampshire. "This is definitely not the way that I would like to do it," Hornish said of getting back in a Cup car. "But at the end of the day, I feel like with the way things have been in racing lately, I feel like you take what you can get at this point and time." Hornish said he texted team owner Roger Penske on Sunday morning to let him know he was available if Allmendinger's suspension lingered the rest of this season and into 2013. He was adamant it was not out of disrespect to Allmendinger, whose contract ends after this season. There has been speculation that Nationwide sponsors, led by Alliance Truck Parts, might follow Hornish into Cup next year. But there are no guarantees like there would be with #22 sponsored by Shell Pennzoil, which sponsored Hornish during his IndyCar championship runs in 2001 and 2002. He said Penske won't make a decision on the rest of the 22 schedule until the "B" sample results are in -- likely by the end of this week -- noting there will be plenty of time because Cup has as week off after this weekend (ESPN).
    AND other drivers supposedly under consideration for the #22 ride in 2013 if Allmendinger doesn't return to the ride include Trevor Bayne, currently driving part time in the NNS for Roush Fenway Racing and in Sprint Cup Series part time for #21 Wood Brothers Racing and Joey Logano, who is likely out of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing ride after this season with Matt Kenseth taking over the #20 Toyota with Home Depot and Dollar General remaining as the sponsors for the #20 JGR team.(7-10-2012)

  • Hornish will remain in the #22 at New Hampshire: Penske Racing Statement: "Penske Racing is continuing to work with NASCAR to follow its process and procedures related to the positive drug test that AJ Allmendinger was notified of this past weekend. While this process continues, Sam Hornish Jr. will drive the #22 car in this week's Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway."(Penske Racing)(7-9-2012)

  • Dodge buying Penske's engine program? For those worried about Dodge perhaps folding its tent at the end of 2012, without any teams yet on its 2013 NASCAR roster, the good news is that Chrysler officials, according to company sources, have just ordered a full inventory of Penske's NASCAR engine operation (80-men strong), with firm indications the company will buy Penske's Dodge operation and go into the NASCAR 'customer engine' business itself, just as Toyota does with its Los Angeles-based TRD NASCAR engine building program. Such a move by Chrysler would open the door for someone like Michael Andretti to venture into NASCAR with a new Sprint Cup team (even though Penske himself has warned Andretti that running a NASCAR team requires five times as many people and three times as much money to operate as an Indy-car team). One Dodge question is whether the Richard Petty two-car team, currently fielding Fords, with factory support, would stick with Ford or move to Dodge.(MikeMulhern.net)(7-7-2012)

  • Penske engineer and wife looking to adopt child from Ethiopia: When Aron Oakley met his future wife, Robyn, he quickly discovered her huge heart. The Penske Racing aerodynamics engineer also realized she had plenty of love to go around. Not long after the couple met in 2004, Robyn shared her desire to adopt a child from Africa. Two years later, the couple married. While their family has grown with three little girls, ages 1 to 4, the dream of adopting a child in need never waned. In May, the Oakleys ramped up the process. The couple narrowed their search to an Ethiopian boy "to balance our house full of girls," Robyn said, and enlisted the services of West Sands Adoptions. For the initial expense to expedite the adoption, the NASCAR community has stepped up to help the Oakleys with "Our Journey to Bring You Home Silent Auction Fundraiser" to be held July 14. For those near Lake Norman, NC, the auction will be conducted at Eez Fusion from 2-5 p.m. ET, but race fans also can participate by phone. Details are at ourjourneytobringyouhome.org. Some of the items include a signed firesuit worn by Tony Stewart during his quest for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title last year, signed sheet metal and tires from Ryan Newman, Richard Petty Experience ride-alongs, wind-tunnel time at AeroDyn A2 Wind Tunnel and race tickets to Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Oakleys are hoping to raise the $35,000 it will take to complete the adoption, which includes a home study, the dossier and travel.(Fox Sports)(7-6-2012)

  • Hornish Jr. scheduled to make two Cup starts: Sam Hornish Jr. is scheduled to make two Sprint Cup Series starts for Penske Racing at Kansas in April and Talladega in October. SKF will be the sponsor. See an image of the scheme on the #12 Team Schemes page.(3-30-2012)

  • Hornish Jr. to attempt Kansas Sprint Cup race: Sam Hornish Jr., will debut the #12 SKF Dodge Charger and make his first start of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season Sunday afternoon in the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway (KS). Hornish's return to Kansas marks his first time back to the track since 2010, when he competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. This will mark Hornish's fourth NSCS start at KS. From 2006 to present, Hornish has made a total of 109 NSCS starts. He has scored two top-five and eight top-10 finishes during that time. Hornish is also scheduled to drive the #12 SKF Dodge Charger at Talladega in the Good Sam Club 500 NSCS race in October. SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. This race marks the first time that SKF will be a primary sponsor of the Penske Racing Dodge Charger in the Sprint Cup Series and this is its 15th year as a NSCS sponsor. The #12 SKF Dodge crew is comprised of the members of the Penske Racing #12 Alliance Truck Parts/Wurth Dodge Nationwide Series team, with a couple of personnel changes to the pit crew.(Penske Racing), see an image of the SKF scheme on my #12 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2012)

  • New engines for Penske: There will be new power in the Penske Dodges when they hit the track for the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Both the #2 Miller Lite Charger (Brad Keselowski) and the #22 Shell Pennzoil Charger (A.J. Allmendinger) will be running with SRT Motorsports newly updated R6P8 racing engine. "We are excited to launch our new "closed deck" engine block with Penske Racing Engines for the Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville this weekend," said Dave Bailey, SRT Motorsports Engineering. "We are very pleased with the performance and durability of our previous 'open deck' block, but are introducing design changes to help improve head gasket life and future capability for power increases. The post machining and processing time at Penske's engine shop will be significantly reduced. We will also take advantage of weight improvements that come along with the base block material changing to "compacted graphite iron" similar to the other manufacturers. We worked closely with NASCAR to ensure the changes are compliant and have competitive parity."(Allpar.com)(3-30-2012)

  • Penske may continue to build Dodge engines after 2012: Penske Racing will run Fords in NASCAR's premier series next season, but the team owner said Saturday his Sprint Cup team still could be building Dodge engines. Penske hasn't decided whether to use motors from Roush Yates, which currently supplies all of Ford's teams in Cup. But Penske said his 70-person engine staff would be unaffected if he elects to align with the motors used by Roush Fenway Racing. "We have a lot of people calling us wanting to run Dodges," Penske said as his Izod IndyCar Series teams prepared to qualify for the season opener on the streets of St. Pete. "We're going to keep our engine shop open obviously. We have a big investment there. We're certainly not going to shut the door. There's a lot of speculation, but I can assure you that engine shop will continue to operate in some mode one way or the other. Because we've got chassis dynos and things that we wouldn't have the success today without what those guys have done. If Dodge is interested, if we would go to a separate source (for engines), then our shop could be available to do Dodge work for sure." Penske said he hasn't met with Roush yet, but his team has scheduled several meetings with Ford officials.(see full article and more quotes at the USA Today)(3-25-2012)

  • Where does Dodge go in 2013? A new manufacturer in Cup? Dodge will unveil its 2013 Sprint Cup car on March 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, the bigger question now is who will be driving Dodges next year? #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports would be the lone team at this point after Penske Racing announced Thursday that it was moving to manufacturer Ford in 2013. But Dodge has also reached out to other teams, including Richard Petty Motorsports [#43 & #9], according to owner Andy Murstein. "We received calls from several manufacturers today asking if they could meet with us," Murstein said. "It seems that while sponsorship is down, car manufacturer support is strong. That is probably due to the fact that the car companies are all doing significantly better these days than a few years ago. Thus Petty has been approached by several manufacturers recently. What's interesting is that while there are the usual suspects there is one new manufacturer that is trying to break into the sport. RPM's contract with Ford is up at the end of the season. Petty ran Dodges from 1972 to 1978. Petty Enterprises aligned with Dodge again when the manufacturer returned to NASCAR competition in 2001 through most of the 2009 season, then under the RPM banner. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing president Steve Lauletta said the company had not yet been approached by Dodge.(Fox Sports)
    AND: Richard Petty Motorsports said: "We welcome Penske Racing to the Ford Racing Family in 2013. Additional teams mean more information for everyone and that's a very good thing from a competition standpoint. We have a partnership with Roush Fenway Racing and we are happy to be a part of the Ford Racing program. As we always do, we will evaluate all of our options and make decisions based on what is ultimately best for our race team."(RPM)(3-2-2012)

  • Penske switching to Ford in 2013: UPDATES: Penske Racing will in 2013 switch from Dodge to Ford in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, automotive-industry sources have informed Autoweek. An official announcement is expected midday Thursday. Penske fields Dodge Chargers for #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-A. J. Allmendinger. When Penske returned [too NASCAR] in 1991 he fielded Pontiacs through the 1994 season. He switched to Fords for the next eight seasons, 1995 through 2002, before forming his alliance with Dodge which reached nine years last season. All told, he's fielded 1,503 Cup entries, won 96 poles and 71 races. His cars have finished in the top-five 333 times and in the top-10 573 times. Penske Racing has never won a Cup championship but has been top-10 in final points 19 times. But Penske Racing has been in a mini slump of late. It has won at least one race every year since 1991 but has only 18 wins in 768 starts dating to 2004. The year before, Newman won eight races, more than half his NASCAR career total of 15. The Dodge years, beginning in 2003, are somewhat deceiving. Newman, in his second full year with Penske Racing, won eight races for Dodge in 2003, by far the brand's best NASCAR showing since its glory days with Richard Petty in the 1970s. Wallace won once in his next-to-last season of 2004, and Newman gave Dodge only three wins in his last four years with Penske. Kurt Busch won 10 times for Dodge in his six seasons with Penske Racing, and Keselowski has won three times.(AutoWeek)(3-1-2012)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing is coming back to Ford. After a 10-year hiatus, Penske Racing returns its two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup operation to Ford Racing beginning with the 2013 Daytona 500, and if its latest term is anything like the most recent one, Ford fans will have plenty to cheer about. Penske Racing, recognized as one of racing's all-time great teams, most recently spent nine seasons with Ford from 1994-2002, posting 27 wins and 33 poles among three drivers. In addition, its teams finished in the Top 10 48.6 percent of the time (228-of-469 starts). The organization first raced with Ford in 1976 and 1977, before coming back in 1994. In total, through 524 NASCAR starts (509 Cup Series and 15 Nationwide Series) with Ford, Penske Racing teams earned 28 victories (27 Cup Series and one Nationwide Series) and 42 pole positions (36 Cup Series and six Nationwide Series). "This is an historic day for our racing program, and we are thrilled to see another member of the extended Ford family coming back," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "Working together with Penske Racing gives Ford another championship-level program, and we are excited to take our racing program to all-new levels." Added Roger Penske: "We look forward to joining the Ford Racing NASCAR program beginning in 2013. We appreciate the long-term commitment that Ford has made to Penske Racing and for their continued support of the sport."(Ford Racing)(3-1-2012)
    Dodge Statement: In response to today's announcement by Penske Racing, Ralph Gilles, President and CEO - SRT Brand and Motorsports, offered the following statement: "Dodge has enjoyed a successful partnership with Penske Racing for 10 years. It's a partnership that has produced results for both parties on and off the track. Roger (Penske) has made a business decision to accept an offer with another manufacturer. We wish Roger and Penske Racing much success in the future. "We are committed to work with Penske Racing to compete at the highest level, win races and contend for championships this season. Our motorsports involvement isn't limited to NASCAR. We do value our NASCAR program and will be evaluating the opportunities available moving forward. As those opportunities materialize, we'll reveal our 2013 plans, not only in NASCAR but in other forms of motorsports."(Dodge PR)(3-1-2012)

2011 News

  • Penske Racing teams up with ADP: ADP, a leading provider of human resource outsourcing, payroll services, benefits administration and integrated computing solutions for vehicle dealers, announced it has teamed up with Penske Racing to become an official sponsor of that winning organization. One of the world's largest providers of business outsourcing solutions, ADP will become the official payroll service of Penske Racing under the terms of the new agreement. With over half a million clients across the globe, ADP plans to take full advantage of its new partnership with Penske Racing to entertain its customers at both NASCAR Cup Series and Nationwide Series, as well as IZOD IndyCar Series, events beginning next season.(Penske Racing)(12-2-2011)

  • Penske Racing signs new associate sponsor for 2012: Penske Racing announced it has partnered with Shoes For Crews, an industry leader in slip-resistant footwear. Under the terms of the new agreement, Shoes for Crews will become the official safety shoe provider for Penske Racing teams competing in the NASCAR Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series. As an associate sponsor with Penske Racing, Shoes For Crews also looks forward to providing world-class experiences for their customers at NASCAR and INDYCAR events beginning in 2012.(Penske Racing)(11-18-2011)

  • Penske eyes Hornish return to Cup: Sam Hornish Jr. could be back in a Sprint Cup car by 2013, team owner Roger Penske said Sunday. "That would be the goal,'' Penske said of the three-time IndyCar Series champion, who won his first NASCAR event on Saturday when he took the checkered flag in the Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. "That kid is a heck of a driver." Penske admitted he made a mistake by rushing Hornish from the IndyCar into the Cup series fulltime in 2008 with little experience in NASCAR's lower series. Hornish drove only 11 Nationwide races before his first Cup season and drove only nine during his three seasons of Cup. During that stretch, Hornish had only two top 5s and eight top 10s in Cup. He lost his ride after the 2010 season, but Hornish and Penske remained committed to NASCAR by competing in a limited Nationwide program this season. Penske said on Saturday and reiterated on Sunday that he hopes to have Hornish compete for a title in the Nationwide Series in 2012 with his ultimate goal to get him back in Cup the following year.(ESPN)(11-14-2011)

  • SKF sponsoring Penske teams in 2012: SKF USA Inc. announced it will be a major associate sponsor of the Penske Racing teams beginning with the 2012 racing season. The SKF brand will be featured in the Sprint Cup Series as well as the Nationwide Series and the IZOD IndyCar Series next season. Entering its 15th year as a major associate sponsor of auto racing in North America, the SKF brand will be featured in 2012 on the #2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Brad Keselowski and the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driven by Kurt Busch in the Sprint Cup Series; the #12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr. in the Nationwide Series and the #3 Team Penske IndyCar driven by three-time Indianapolis 500 Champion Helio Castroneves.(Penske Racing)(10-26-2011)

  • Hendrick & Penske...in Indycar?: Spotted on the grid of the Centennial Indy 500 were Hendrick Motorsport decals on the wings of two Team Penske Racers. The decals were on the inside rear wingplate on Will Power's #6 Dallara Honda and #12 Ryan Honda. This leads to speculation of an alliance of Penske and Hendrick in IndyCar especially due to the entry of Chevrolet engines into the open wheel series in 2012. Penske officials are keen to add Simona de Silvestro to their team but are having financial issues with three cars and would not comment on the why HMS decals were on the two cars. An alliance with Hendrick, a big Chevrolet dealer, could help.(see image at Auto123)(5-30-2011)

  • Technical director leaving Penske Racing: The technical director of Penske Racing's NASCAR program is leaving the team at the end of the month. The team says Tom German has been accepted into the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and will begin classes in June. German was the focus of driver Kurt Busch's anger during his mid-race rant at Richmond two weeks ago. Busch alluded to behind the scenes changes at Penske last week, but declined to be more specific. Penske officials say German expressed interest in the program last fall, and the team supported him during the application process. The team says only 15 percent of applicants are accepted into the program.(Associated Press)(5-10-2011)

  • #77 Rusty Wallace Racing Team News Archive

  • No Daytona 500 or Nationwide races for Hornish UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. will not be in anything Penske-owned in Daytona. He is basically done. Penske Racing downsized not only Hornish's NASCAR Sprint Cup organization, but also its Nationwide Series crew. [Penske] cannibalized the #77 crew of Hornish and what was left of the #12 Nationwide crew to make up the best for one with Brad Keselowksi's organization, whatever they were lacking in Nationwide, but also to beef up what is now the #2 car for Keselowski for the Cup season. (Fox Sports)
    BUT Brad Keselowski said on his twitter that Hornish would be his Nationwide Series teammate in 2011, driving the #12.(1-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. will compete in at least 10 NASCAR Nationwide races this season, beginning with the DRIVEFORCOPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, team owner Roger Penske confirmed by email on Saturday. Chad Walters will serve as Hornish's crew chief. Penske's acknowledgment confirms a report earlier this week by FOXSports.com's Jeff Hammond, who said Hornish would not return to Sprint Cup competition in a Penske car this season. Penske also verified that the #77 car's [owners points, was 30th in 2010] points will be used by Stephen Wallace, who is attempting to make his Cup debut at Daytona. Wallace, 23, currently drives the #66 Toyota for his father at Rusty Wallace Racing [in the Nationwide Series].(FoxSports), so Wallace is guaranteed making the Daytona 500.(1-15-2011)

2010 News

  • Congrats - Sam Hornish Jr.: Penske Racing driver Sam Hornish Jr. and his wife Crystal welcomed their second daughter on December 28, 2010. Eliza Jo Hornish weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces and measured 20.5 inches long. Both mom and baby, along with big sister Addison, are doing well.(Penske)(12-30-2010)

  • Geisler Named Penske Racing Competition Director: Penske Racing announced that Travis Geisler has been appointed to the position of Competition Director for the organization. Geisler, the former crew chief of the #77 Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr. in the NASCAR Cup Series, will be responsible for coordinating all facets of Penske Racing's NASCAR racing programs between the organization's crew chiefs and its engineering department. In his new position, Geisler will report directly to Penske Racing Vice President of Operations, Michael Nelson. A former go kart racer who earned his degree in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University, Geisler drove in both the ARCA Series and the Nationwide Series. He joined Robert Yates Racing as a race engineer in 2006 before coming on board at Penske Racing. Geisler quickly advanced from team engineer on the #12 Cup Series team to crew chief for Hornish and the #77 Dodge, beginning in 2008.(Penske Racing)(12-14-2010)

  • Penske seeks sponsor for Hornish: Penske Racing is planning to run three NASCAR Sprint Cup and one Nationwide series team full time in 2011, though the entry for Sam Hornish Jr. is dependent on sponsorship. In 2010, Penske fielded three Sprint Cup teams (with drivers Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Hornish) and two Nationwide teams (with drivers Justin Allgaier and Keselowski). Keselowski won the Nationwide Series title, the first NASCAR championship for team owner Roger Penske. Approximately 50 people were laid off from the organization this week, with more cuts expected to come Friday. Hornish will definitely run the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup season opener, and the organization is working to land sponsorship to continue running his #77 team. "We need to take advantage of the resources we have going forward," said Walt Czarnecki, executive vice president of Penske Corp. "We haven't ceased our efforts. This just hasn't been a strong sponsorship climate. We had tough decisions to make. We have a couple of things going, but we had to base those decisions on today, not tomorrow." Penske says that if he can't find sponsorship for Hornish in NASCAR, he will run him in the Indianapolis 500.(FoxSports)(12-3-2010)

  • Hornish plans up-in-the-air, could run 1st five races: Roger Penske is still seeking sponsorship for #77-Sam Hornish Jr. for 2011, likely more for a Nationwide Series program than a Sprint Cup program. Penske said he plans to have two Cup teams for #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Kurt Busch and two Nationwide teams for Keselowski and another driver next season. He doesn't have sponsorship for Hornish in Cup but said because the team has owner's points and would be locked in for the first five races of 2011, Hornish might drive at least those events. "Sam has done a great job for me on the IndyCar side," Penske said. "We brought him in here and maybe should have brought him up a different way. But we gave him a chance tonight to run. We've got a couple of opportunities for him - nothing at this point for a full season. But there is opportunity out there. We've got the ability to run in the first five races on the Cup side. So what we're trying to do is can we mix and match to get somebody in for us for next year. We've got to work on it. We'd like to run two cars next year, both on the Cup side and ... the Nationwide side. We certainly have the equipment and have the people. I think all of us are looking for the right kind of sponsor. These are people that are interested in the sport and what we need to do is try to close some of these deals we are working on. I'm positive we can."(SceneDaily)(11-21-2010)

  • Volkswagen to NASCAR? Penske? denied: The latest entry into America's most popular motorsports series could very well be the first ever from Germany. According to Matthias Muller, the newly appointed CEO of Porsche, Volkswagen Group -- his employer's parent company -- is considering entering NASCAR. Should it follow through, Volkswagen would be just the second foreign automaker to participate [full-time] in NASCAR. Toyota was first, entering the competition in 2007 [actually Jaguar and others have run a few races, with Jaguar winning a race. Volkswagen actually ran one race in 1953]. The German automaker will reportedly begin discussions with NASCAR officials once the current season ends in late November. One of the owners that Volkswagen is considering team up with is Roger Penske.(Motortrend)
    BUT Penske Racing will not be switching from Dodges to Volkswagens in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next year, nor will the German automaker be fielding cars in America's premier stock-car series in 2011. Beyond that, though, VW could make a play to race stock cars. The operant word there being "could," as the automaker has not petitioned NASCAR to go racing next year. Sources at Penske Racing told SPEED.com that it is the team's "full intent" to continue fielding Dodges next year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series. Furthermore, sources at NASCAR said that while Volkswagen officials intermittently have expressed a casual "interest in NASCAR," the German automaker has not taken any of the steps necessary to be granted approval to race in NASCAR. In order to be approved to compete, VW or any other automaker would have to formally submit its race car and engine package to NASCAR. That has not happened, NASCAR officials told SPEED.com Thursday. And even if VW wanted to race in NASCAR, the earliest a car could be approved would be for the 2012 season.(SPEED)(10-1-2010)

  • 100th start for Hornish: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing #77 Mobil 1 Dodge, will make his 100th career NASCAR Cup Series start this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Since making the transition to stock cars from the IndyCar Series, Hornish has earned two top-five and eight top-10 finishes and has led a total of 50 laps. Hornish also has one victory in the non-points awarding NASCAR Showdown qualifying event for the All-Star Race (May, 2009).(Penske PR)(9-22-2010)

  • Latest on Hornish-Penske UPDATE 2: As president of Penske Racing, Tim Cindric presides over an empire that operates out of a complex that is over 400,000 square feet in Mooresville, N.C., and requires an annual influx of roughly $100 million to remain competitive in a total of four racing series. This season, they've done so to a high level across the board. Cindric talked about that and a variety of topics with NASCAR.COM. A couple Q & A's about #77-Sam Hornish Jr.
    Q: What do you foresee happening with the 77?
    Cindric: Right now we're still in search of a primary sponsor for that car. That search will continue for the rest of the year. The good news is that it's September and not December.
    Q: What does that mean for Hornish? Will he be back for sure?
    Cindric: I wouldn't say anything is for sure. You can't race without the funding. So as we sit right now, we're collectively trying to do that -- but we also understand that if there are opportunities for him, it's an open book as far as communication. We're certainly not going to stand in his way as far as furthering his career, but we'd certainly like for him to be able to continue with us.(NASCAR.com)(9-15-2010)
    UPDATE: While Penske Racing is keeping mum on Verizon leaving the NASCAR side of the program and Justin Allgaier's status for next season, sources say don't be surprised if Sam Hornish Jr. ends up in a Nationwide Series ride as Brad Keselowski's teammate in 2011 (FoxSports)(9-17-2010)
    UPDATE 2: Sam Hornish Jr. has been given permission by Penske Racing to seek employment elsewhere, and the 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner no longer is ruling out a return to IndyCar. The three-time champion of the Izod IndyCar Series is nearing the end of his third full season in the Sprint Cup Series, and sponsor Mobil 1 is leaving the team. Hornish says team owner Roger Penske wants to keep him in the fold but might not be able to if sponsorship doesn't materialize. "Roger has told me a million times and the media a million times that if they have the money to put me in the Cup series that they'd do it," Hornish said after qualifying 15th Friday for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "We just don't have that yet. They asked what my preference was, and my preference was to stay in the Cup Series. They're not going to stand in my way if I get the opportunity to be able to do that." Hornish says there are several scenarios that could keep him with Penske in either a Nationwide or Cup ride, but nothing was certain. During an interview in April, he seemed steadfast about staying in NASCAR. But Friday, he had softened his stance on IndyCar. "I need to see how everything plays out," Hornish said. "I've said a lot of times I don't have a lot of interest to go back. But I'm not going to say never. My goal is to try to stay in the Cup series, and if I have to take a step back and run Nationwide, that's a possibility. I'll have to wait and see how it plays out, I guess." Speculation about a possible return was heightened in the past week when it became apparent that Panther Racing might have an opening. After this season, 2005 Indy 500 and IndyCar champion Dan Wheldon apparently will leave the team that gave Hornish his break.(USA Today)(9-18-2010)

  • Penske Racing hosts employee appreciation activities: Penske Racing took some time on Tuesday to show appreciation for all its employees as the organization's teams prepare for the stretch run of a remarkable racing season. With the support of its partners, Penske Racing hosted a special lunch for all of its 400-plus employees at Penske Racing headquarters. All of the team's drivers that compete in the NASCAR Cup Series and Nationwide Series, as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series, were in attendance for the lunch that was held on the main floor of the 425,000 square-foot facility located in Mooresville, NC. Ruby Tuesday provided lunch for all the employees while many of the organization's partners - including Ruby Tuesday - contributed prizes that were given away to Penske workers. Team sponsors Verizon, MillerCoors, ExxonMobil, Avis, AAA, Lincoln Welders, Discount Tire and others dedicated products and services that were distributed to Penske Racing employees by random draw. Dodge Motorsports even contributed a one-year lease on a 2011 Dodge Challenger to one lucky employee. Penske Racing drivers Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Sam Hornish Jr., Justin Allgaier, Parker Kligerman, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power each addressed the crowd and helped give away the premium prizes.(Penske Racing)(9-10-2010)

  • Mobil 1 to the #14? Stewart Haas Racing has emerged as the leading candidate to get the Mobil 1 sponsorship that Penske Racing will vacate in 2011, when it switches to Pennzoil as sponsor for Kurt Busch (in the #22 Dodge). If SHR lands Mobil 1, it will replace Old Spice as the co-primary sponsor of Tony Stewart's #14 Chevy. The team's other car, Ryan Newman's #39, will have the U.S. Army and Tornado's back for part-time schedules next year and is trying to woo Wix Filters for a partial schedule as well.(Ford Racing), Wix Filters will be the sponsor for Newman this week at Bristol, see an image of the scheme on my #39 Team Schemes page.(8-17-2010)

  • Penske says Hornish will stay in NASCAR: Team owner Roger Penske said driver #77-Sam Hornish Jr. will be competing in NASCAR in 2011 and there are no plans for the three-time IndyCar champion to return to open-wheel competition. "We've said publicly that we want to run Sam next year (in NASCAR); he's not going back to open-wheel racing," Penske said. "He's going to be in NASCAR racing." Mobil 1 currently sponsors Hornish's #77 team, but the company will not return next season. "It's a matter of us getting the sponsorship stuff together," Penske said. "As you know, budgets are tight. We've got a number of opportunities out there that we're working on. That's a decision that we'll make as we get toward the end of the season and we'll make it transparent to everyone."(Sporting News)(8-12-2010)

  • Special paint for Hornish at Pocono: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing #77 PPG Dodge Charger, will sport a special paint scheme on his car this weekend at Pocono Raceway featuring PPG Automotive Refinish and PPG Olympic Paint. The #77 Dodge is also utilizing PPG's environmentally friendly Envirobase High Performance waterborne paint. This is the same paint scheme that Hornish ran last August at Pocono where he secured a NASCAR career-best finish of fourth place.(Penske Racing), see the scheme form 2009 on ther #77 Team Schemes page.(8-1-2010)

  • NASCAR "Baby Boom" continues: The baby boom continues in NASCAR this year with the wives of both Ryan Newman and Sam Hornish Jr. both pregnant, both drivers confirmed Satuday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Already this season the wives of Elliott Sadler, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Juan Pablo Montoya have given birth. The wives of Jeff Gordon, Jamie McMurray and now Ryan Newman and Sam Hornish Jr. are pregnant. Gordon's wife is due in the coming weeks. Hornish's child is due Dec. 30. It will be the couple's second child. Daughter Addison is 2 1/2 years old. McMurray's child is due in Decmeber. Newman was coy about his child and preferred not to say much but did confirm that his wife, Krissie, is pregnant. It will be the first child for both the McMurrays and Newmans.(Virginian-Pilot)(7-24-2010)

  • Hornish 2011 plans not set: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. doesn't know where he'll be racing next season. Speaking in front of one of team owner Roger Penske's many Indianapolis 500 cars in the museum at the Brickyard on Friday, Hornish said his future in NASCAR is uncertain. Because sponsor ExxonMobil is leaving his car at the end of this season, there's nothing in place for Hornish to drive next year. "No updates as far as I'm concerned yet," he said. "I'd definitely like to be back in the Sprint Cup series and I'm going to work to be able to try to do that. Definitely, things are still tough with the economy and trying to find full-time sponsors and things like that. We're going to do everything we can do to make that happen and be back in Sprint Cup. If that doesn't work, we're going to look around and see what else [is available]. But I think we've got some great opportunities to make that happen." Because Hornish had such a successful open-wheel career -- he won the 2006 Indianapolis 500 for Penske and won three titles in what's now the IndyCar Series -- there's always speculation that he could return to that form of racing. He didn't seem inclined to go back, though. "I'd like to be here in a stock car, for sure," he said.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-24-2010)

  • Penske says Hornish will be back in 2011: Penske Racing owner Roger Penske said he plans to have Sam Hornish Jr. return to the organization's Sprint Cup stable in 2011. A three-time Indy Racing League champion, Hornish is in his third full season in the series and the last year of his contract. To re-sign Hornish, Penske would need to find a sponsor. Mobil, which sponsors Hornish, is looking for another team to sponsor after Penske signed a deal with Shell/Pennzoil to sponsor driver Kurt Busch. "Our plan is to run three cars next year and Sam is in that program," Penske said. "We're planning on it. ... Sam has been with us, he won the Indy 500 with us, he came over here, he's endured and he's run better than his points position."(SceneDaily)(4-26-2010)

  • Shell/Pennzoil sponsorship moves to Penske Racing in 2011: Shell Oil Company and Penske Corporation announce a multi-year cross business alliance starting in the 2011 racing season. The new alliance allows Shell and Pennzoil to expand their motorsports presence as it includes a primary sponsorship with Kurt Busch and the #22 car, as well as associate sponsorships promoting Shell V-Power with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe. The global business alliance provides an opportunity for Shell and Pennzoil to expand their presence not only within motorsports, but also as a preferred supplier of fuels, lubricants and related products to the Penske organization. Beginning in 2011, Shell and Pennzoil will be the "Official Fuel and Motor Oil Supplier" to the Penske organization in the U.S and the organizations will look to extend their alliance with business development opportunities in several other countries. The Penske organization is one of the world's most successful and recognized automotive-based business enterprises and provides unique activation opportunities. Additionally, this alliance continues to enable further product development for Shell and Pennzoil both on and off the track through the invaluable knowledge gained surrounding fuels, lubricants and engine technologies. Like Shell and Pennzoil, Penske Corporation has a close relationship with Chrysler and Ferrari, both part of the Fiat Group. Winning is a tradition for Penske, an organization that has earned more than 315 major race victories including 15 Indianapolis 500 wins and the 2008 Daytona 500, more than 370 pole positions and 22 national championships.
    As part of the alliance, Pennzoil will become the "Official Motor Oil" of Penske Racing in 2011 which includes all of its entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series. For Pennzoil, returning to Penske is a homecoming of sorts as Pennzoil first aligned with Penske as part of its IndyCar teams in 1983 and won the 1984 and 1988 Indianapolis 500 Mile Races with driver Rick Mears. In addition, Kurt Busch won his 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship driving a Pennzoil-supported car for another team.(Pennzoil Racing/Penske Racing PR)(4-21-2010)

  • RCR Statement about Shell/Pennzoil leaving: The following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and chief executive officer of Richard Childress Racing, regarding the announcement by Shell Oil Company that it will end its sponsorship of the #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy at the conclusion of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season: "Shell and Pennzoil have been great partners with Richard Childress Racing since our first race together, when Kevin Harvick and the #29 team won the Daytona 500 in 2007. I'm disappointed that our partnership will conclude at the end of the year but understand some of the reasons that went into their business decision. RCR will continue to provide Shell-Pennzoil the highest caliber program possible, keeping in sharp focus the ultimate goal of winning the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. What this creates for RCR is the opportunity for a new partner to forge its own relationship and identity with Kevin Harvick and the championship-level team led by crew chief Gil Martin, our other race teams and drivers, and our other 35 partners. The #29 team has had only two primary sponsors since it began in 2001 but the number 3 has played a significant role at RCR for decades. We feel strongly that the third chapter of the #29 team's partnership history will be a successful one."(RCR)(4-21-2010)

  • Keselowski to the #2; Budweiser to RCR?: Kurt Busch has signed a multiyear extension with Penske Racing that includes moving from the #2 car with Miller Lite as his primary sponsor into the #22 with Shell/Pennzoil as the sponsor, team officials said on Wednesday. Brad Keselowski will move from Penske's #12 car into the #2, with Miller Lite, which has been with the organization for 20 years, remaining the sponsor for the #2. Keselowski currently is sponsored by Verizon, but because of NASCAR's exclusivity deal with Cup series sponsor Sprint, Verizon's brand logo is not allowed on the car. "Brad is one of the hottest young drivers in NASCAR and we're thrilled to welcome him to the Miller Lite Racing family," said Andy England, chief marketing officer at MillerCoors. "Rarely in this sport are you presented with the opportunity to build a relationship with a top-tier driver at the start of his career."
    The addition of Shell/Pennzoil means that Mobil 1, a competing motor oil that sponsors Penske's #77-Sam Hornish Jr., will not return in 2011. But Jonathon Gibson, the vice president of Penske Racing, said Penske is committed to remaining a three-car operation with Hornish in the third car. "We'll be prepared to announce a new sponsorship deal for that car in the next few weeks or months," Gibson said. "We're very excited. For us to have the opportunity to bring in a great brand like Shell and extend our relationship with Miller puts us in a place where we can build for the future."
    Kevin Harvick, in the last year of his contract with Richard Childress Racing, is without a sponsor. Harvick is negotiating with RCR to find a new sponsor and stay with the company, according to a source. Harvick has been with RCR since he succeeded the late Dale Earnhardt in 2001. A source said discussions between RCR and Budweiser, in its last season with Richard Petty Motorsports' #9-Kasey Kahne, have taken place. Kahne signed last week a deal with Hendrick Motorsports to replace Mark Martin in 2012 and drive a car to be determined by team owner Rick Hendrick in 2011.(ESPN.com)(4-21-2010)

  • Reports: Pennzoil/Shell to leave RCR...to Penske?: Shell/Pennzoil is expected to leave Richard Childress Racing and driver #29-Kevin Harvick at the end of the season and will sponsor a car at Penske Racing - likely for 2004 Sprint Cup champion #2-Kurt Busch - beginning in 2011, according to sources familiar with the situation. An announcement concerning the Shell/Pennzoil sponsorship is expected to come Wednesday. According to sources, the leading candidate for the Pennzoil sponsorship is Busch, whose contract with Penske runs out at the end of this year but team owner Roger Penske has said he planned to pick up the option and just needed to negotiate terms with Busch. Busch's current sponsor, Miller Lite, could move to #12-Brad Keselowski, whose car does not have sponsor logos but gets support from Verizon, which cannot be on the hood of a Sprint Cup car because of Sprint's sponsorship of the series. With Shell/Pennzoil as a sponsor, that means that Mobil likely is going away since Mobil and Shell are competitors. Mobil sponsors Penske Cup driver #77-Sam Hornish Jr., a three-time Indy Racing League champion who has competed in Sprint Cup since 2008. Shell/Pennzoil has been with Harvick since 2007, while Busch has been the Miller Lite driver since 2006 [and Miller has been with Penske since 1991]. The departure of Shell/Pennzoil from RCR leaves that organization looking for a sponsor. Harvick's contract expires at the end of this year. Team and sponsor representatives did not immediately return messages seeking comment (SceneDaily)
    AND Richard Childress Racing has been informed that Shell-Pennzoil will not return to the organization in 2011 according to team sources. Sources say the Shell-Pennzoil brand will move to Penske Racing next season for a multi-year deal where it will enjoy a business-to-business relationship with both Penske Automotive Group and Dodge. PAG is the second largest publicly traded retailer in the U.S. and operates 316 retail automotive franchises. Shell-Pennzoil will also have a presence on Penske's IndyCar Series cars. Kurt Busch is will drive the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge in 2011. Busch was set to become a free agent at the end of the season, but this deal ensures he will stay at Penske beyond 2010. As a result, Busch will vacate the #2 Miller Lite Dodge. One scenario mentioned has Brad Keselowski moving into the ride.(FoxSports)(4-20-2010)

  • Allgaier says no immediate plans for Cup debut: One of the more curious NASCAR stories this spring surrounds newcomer Justin Allgaier, Roger Penske's latest find. Allgaier just notched his first big NASCAR win three weeks ago at Bristol, in Penske's Nationwide car. Now there is increasing speculation that Allgaier, soon to turn 24, may be ready to step up to Cup....perhaps as Penske's fourth Sprint Cup driver, with Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish. What is the Penske-Allgaier game plan? And how much depends on Nationwide sponsor Verizon - which is barred from putting its company logos on a Sprint Cup car? "The only plan is there is no plan," Allgaier says. "Obviously Roger is very passionate about the sport and wants to make things happen in a time frame that makes the most sense. I basically told Roger and everybody that makes the decision at Penske Racing that I want the opportunity eventually. There's a lot that would have to go into it (creating a fourth Cup team). Penske Racing is very good at being planned. I don't think we would jump into anything. With Verizon being on our Nationwide car and not being able to go to the Cup side, I want to make sure it's the right opportunity and we don't ruin any relationships."(MikeMulhern.net)(4-10-2010)

  • Penske history at Atlanta: Penske Racing made its first start at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 26, 1972, with the late Mark Donohue finishing 15th. In 81 starts at Atlanta, the organization has two wins (Rusty Wallace in 1993 and Kurt Busch in 2009), eight poles and nine top-five finishes.(Penske Racing)(3-3-2010)

  • AAA colors for Hornish at Auto Club: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing #77 Auto Club Dodge Charger in the NASCAR Cup Series, will once again run the Auto Club of Southern California paint scheme this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. The Automobile Club of Southern California and its affiliated clubs (AAA) will serve as primary sponsor of the #77 car for three events in 2010 and as co-primary for an additional two races. Sam Hornish Jr. thoughts on this weekend's race at Auto Club Speedway: "I'm really looking forward to the Auto Club 500 for many reasons. First, to run the Auto Club paint scheme and to represent such an important organization is a great experience. I really couldn't ask for a better spot to be in this weekend. As for the race, I'm excited to get back on track in Fontana. I feel that we can make significant advances there this year and that the pieces have fallen into place for a strong run on Sunday."(Penske Racing)(2-16-2010)

  • Penske Donates Trucks to Clinton Bush Haiti Fund: Penske Corporation and its family of companies announced that today it has donated over $1 million worth of diesel-powered flatbed trucks to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. "I'm pleased the Penske Corporation has stepped up to donate more than $1 million worth of trucks, which will be instrumental in mobilizing food and lifesaving supplies in Haiti," President Clinton said. "Their generous contribution is an example of what the private sector can do to help Haiti rebuild and recover from the massive earthquake, and I'm grateful for their leadership."
    "The catastrophe that has struck Haiti is almost unimaginable," said Roger Penske, Chairman of Penske Corporation. "These trucks will assist in the humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti by facilitating the distribution of critical supplies that will help ease the suffering of the Haitian people." For more info about the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, visit www.clintonbushhaitifund.org.(Penske Racing)(2-6-2010)

  • Magellan to Sponsor Penske Racing Cup Series Cars: Continuing to steer in a positive direction, Penske Racing welcomes Magellan portable car navigation systems as a NASCAR Cup Series sponsor for 2010 and beyond. Beginning a multi-year partnership this season, Magellan will make its debut as an associate sponsor on all three Penske Racing Cup Series entries. The #2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Kurt Busch, the #12 Penske Dodge with Brad Keselowski behind the wheel and the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr. will all be sponsored by Magellan. "We hosted Magellan last year at our annual Penske Racing Sponsor Summit in Indianapolis," said Roger Penske. "We have continued to work with them and we are excited to announce this partnership because our organizations share common core values and we believe there are some great opportunities to build for the future together."
    "Magellan is looking forward to becoming a part of the Penske Racing team," said Kevin Chuang, Magellan Chief Executive Officer. "Roger has built a top-echelon organization on and off the track and being a sponsor of Penske Racing will help Magellan as we continue to grow our brand."(Penske Racing)(1-19-2010)

2009 News

  • Penske donates $25,000 to Brienne Davis scholarship: Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Foundation announced Roger Penske has donated $25,000 toward the Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarship for one qualified female to attend UTI's NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C. The Penske award is part of the Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund for women pursuing careers in the automotive industry. Davis, a UTI graduate and Sprint Cup official, died tragically in 2008. "The automotive industry needs outstanding people, like Brienne Davis, who are dedicated to top-notch service," Roger Penske, chairman of Penske Corporation, said. "This scholarship was created to provide more opportunities for women committed to pursuing technical excellence through a career in the motorsports and racing industries." In addition to the $25,000 scholarship, the Foundation, through the support of The NASCAR Foundation and the NASCAR family, will also be awarding three $10,000 Brienne Davis Memorial Scholarships to women who wish to attend one of UTI's nine automotive campuses across the United States. The deadline for scholarship applications is Dec. 31, 2009. More information about the scholarships is available on the UTI Foundation Web site at www.utifoundation.net.(Penske Racing)(12-6-2009)

  • New crew chief for Keselowski UPDATE: Jay Guy will be crew chief for Brad Keselowski and the #12 Penske Racing Dodge in 2010. Guy heads to Penske Racing following a three-year stint at Denver-based Furniture Row Racing. The 36-year-old Lancaster, Penn., native says he's looking forward to building a program around a driver with Keselowski's potential. "(Keselowski) has definitely won a lot of races in the Nationwide Series," Guy said. "There's a great upside to him. This is what I've worked for the last 20 years, to have an opportunity such as this with a company like Penske Racing."(FoxSports)(11-30-2009)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing has announced that both Jay Guy and Paul Wolfe have joined the organization as crew chiefs working with driver #12-Brad Keselowski for the 2010 NASCAR season. Roy McCauley, who has served as a Cup Series crew chief for the past four years with the team, will remain with Penske Racing and assume a leadership role within the organization. Guy will lead the #12 Penske Dodge Cup Series team, while Wolfe will serve as crew chief for the #22 Discount Tire Dodge squad that will compete full-time in the Nationwide Series with Keselowski behind the wheel. Guy, 36, most recently worked as the crew chief on the #78 Furniture Row Racing car driven by Regan Smith in Cup Series competition. A native of Lancaster, Penn., Guy is an experienced crew chief that has worked in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and at the Cup Series level.
    Wolfe, a former competitor on the track, will team with Keselowski to pursue the 2010 Nationwide Series championship with the #22 Discount Tire Dodge team. The 32-year-old native of Milford, N.Y., raced in the Nationwide Series and completed his fourth season as a crew chief in 2009 as he led the charge for the #11 CJM Racing team with drivers Scott Lagasse, Jr., Denny Hamlin and others.(Penske Racing)(12-1-2009)

  • Addington moving on UPDATE: during the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Monestead-Miami Speedway, Andy Petree of ESPN2 reported that Steve Addington, former crew chief for #128-Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing, informed JGR he woul leave and is moving on. No word what team or job he is going to.(11-20-2009)
    UPDATE: Bob Dillner reported on the SPEED Report that Addington is talking to Penske Racing about being #2-Kurt Busch's crew chief in 2010, supposedly the hold up is that Addington wants a 3-year contract. Have also heard Addington is under consideration to be Brad Keselowski's crew chief in Penske's #12 Dodge. No word what plans are for current #12 crew chief Roy McCauley.(11-24-2009)

  • NASCAR meets with Keselowski: NASCAR chairman Brian France and other top officials talked to rookie #12-Brad Keselowski before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway about his over-aggressive driving that has angered several drivers. "It's hard to bust a guy for being aggressive, but there's a fine line between being aggressive and destructive," Series director John Darby said. "From listening and talking to people, he's already got a few drivers upset. Typically if you leave it alone you get a worse situation, so we'll talk to him." Keselowski said the meeting was good and that he was impressed that France was part of it. "It's the first time I've ever had a conversation with him," Keselowski said. "It's good to know he cared enough to be there and is paying attention to what is happening in the sport." The meeting was called in response to Saturday's Nationwide Series race at PIR in which Keselowski reignited his feud with Denny Hamlin. Asked if he thought the meeting was necessary, Keselowski smiled and said, "I don't have all the answers." Darby said there are no plans to talk to Hamlin and he's not worried that the retaliation will take place in the Cup race.(in part from ESPN)(11-15-2009)

  • Keselowski in the #12 at Texas? UPDATE: Brad Keselowski will begin driving a Penske Racing Dodge in the Sprint Cup series starting this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Keselowski will take over for David Stremme in the #12 Dodge, multiple sources have told FOXSports.com.Keselowski, who finished eighth in Sunday's Amp Energy 500 and is currently third in Nationwide Series points, was announced as Roger Penske's latest addition on Sept. 1.(FoxSports)(11-2-2009)
    UPDATE: Brad Keselowski will compete for Penske Racing in the final three NASCAR Cup Series races of the 2009 season. Keselowski will drive the #12 Penske Dodge in the upcoming races at Texas (Nov. 8), Phoenix (Nov. 15) and Homestead (Nov. 22). Over the final three Cup Series events of 2009, Keselowski will step in for David Stremme and work with the Penske Dodge team in the car that will become his full-time ride next season. "Penske Racing wants to give Brad an opportunity to work with the team and get to know the race car as we prepare for the 2010 season," said Roger Penske. "These three races will provide a good base for both Brad and the team as we head into next year. Penske Racing also thanks David Stremme for his contributions to the team this year. We wish David the very best moving forward."(Penske Racing PR)(11-2-2009)

  • Keselowski to test for Penske: Brad Keselowski will continue to gain Sprint Cup Series seat time with the #12 Penske Dodge during the Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway on Nov. 2-3. This will be the second time Keselowski gets to work with his future employers since he was signed by the team on Sept. 1. Keselowski joined the #12 team and crew chief Roy McCauley last month at Daytona along with David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Marcos Ambrose. Goodyear officials used that test to help establish a baseline for the November test. Goodyear has opened testing to the entire Cup garage and hopes to attract at least 30 teams in an effort to set up drafting to closer simulate race conditions to prepare for the 2010 Daytona 500. In Keselowski's absence, Kelly Bires will test the #88 Chevy for the Nationwide Series test at Talladega Superspeedway.(FoxSports)(10-25-2009)

  • Where may some of the drivers looking end up in 2010? Those drivers looking for rides in 2010 - #07-Casey Mears, #96/71-Bobby Labonte, #43-Reed Sorenson and #12-David Stremme - qualified sixth, eighth, ninth and 11th, respectively at Martinsville. How their futures pan out could depend on the status of Jamie McMurray, who remains the top candidate for the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi ride. Mears could stay put in the #07 if sponsorship can be found. Labonte is a strong candidate for one of the two TRG [#71 team] Racing rides. Sorenson is the favorite for the vacancy at Braun Racing [Nationwide Series ride] and Stremme's name has been mentioned for the #34 Front Row Motorsports car[currently a Chevy] (where he would be reunited with crew chief Steven 'Bones' Lane) or in a Nationwide car with Rusty Wallace Inc.(FoxSports)(10-24-2009)

  • Keselowski still looking for 2010 crew chief & more employees: Brad Keselowski is waiting for Penske Racing to hire a crew chief for him in 2010, but he's been very pleased with the level of interest for the job. Keselowski said employees from Richard Petty Motorsports have inquired about possibilities with the #12 team. "I think that whole team is scared to death," he said. "That whole company is scared to death. Everybody that works there is scared and we've got a lot of interest from some of their people and that's interesting. That's encouraging." Keselowski drives for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series and part time for Hendrick Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series, and said he doesn't believe crew members from either of those organizations will be following him to Penske. But he still wants to help Penske get that team more in line with Hendrick Motorsports, and that his future organization is about "100 people short of where they need to be to compete with Hendrick."
    "I communicated that with them and just wanted to know what their thoughts were on that," Keselowski said. "Resources-wise Penske is phenomenal. They have the same resources if not more than what Hendrick has to work with. It's just a matter of installing a depth in the personnel."(Associated Press)(10-17-2009)

  • No solid plans for Stremme: David Stremme [who is out of the Penske #12 at the end of the year to make way for Brad Keselowski] on his future: "I think there are a couple of things. When you look at the teams that are going away and don't have sponsors, I think there is going to be so much change for our sport with the teams. We are talking to some people. I don't have nothing solid. I can't even say, "Hey, I feel good about stuff.' Our sport is going through a lot of changes and the thing is if I've got to run Nationwide, Truck, whatever it is, I'm willing to do it. Last year, I had a lot of fun driving for Rusty (Wallace) in the Nationwide. It was a blast and I'd do it again."(Virginian Pilot)(10-10-2009)

  • Penske deal for Saturn from GM is off: General Motors Co. said Wednesday it would shut down its Saturn brand after an agreement with Penske Automotive Group Inc. to acquire it fell apart. Penske, citing concerns of whether it could continue to supply vehicles after a manufacturing contract with GM ran out, ended talks with GM Wednesday to acquire the brand. GM CEO Fritz Henderson said in statement that Saturn and its dealership network will be phased out. In a statement, the Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based auto retailer says an agreement with another manufacturer to continue producing Saturn vehicles after GM stopped making them fell through, leading Penske to terminate talks with GM. Penske said it negotiated terms and conditions to make Saturn cars with another manufacturer, but that company's board of directors rejected the agreement. Penske spokesman Anthony Pordon would not identify the other manufacturer. In June, GM and Penske agreed to take over the Saturn brand and related dealerships, although GM would produce the vehicles for a limited period of time. GM said Saturn vehicle owners can still go to their Saturn dealer for service and would be able to go to a certified GM dealer for service once Saturn dealerships are closed. It was expected that GM would announce the completion of Saturn's sale to Penske in the coming days.(ABC/AP)(9-30-2009)

  • Discount Tires moves to Penske: Just days after announcing his move from JR Motorsports in 2010, Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing have signed Discount Tire as their sponsor for 26 Nationwide Series races next year. Keselowski will drive the #22 Dodge full time in the Nationwide Series next year along with a full-time Sprint Cup schedule. Discount Tire will also be an associate sponsor on #12-Keselowski and teammate #2-Kurt Busch's Sprint Cup Series cars. Additionally, the company will have a presence on all three Penske Racing cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A full announcement is expected later this week. Discount Tire currently sponsors David Ragan's #6 Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series ride. The partnership has been in place since the start of the 2007 season.(FoxSports)(9-16-2009)

  • Menard & Stremme to reach milestones: #98-Paul Menard and #12-David Stremme are scheduled to make their 100th career Sprint Cup starts this weekend when they race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, becoming the 177th and 178th drivers to reach the century mark in Sprint Cup Series history.(Team PR's.NASCAR)(9-2-2009)

  • Keselowski officially signs with Penske for 2010: Penske Racing announced that Brad Keselowski will compete for the team full-time, beginning with the 2010 NASCAR season. Keselowski, a 25-year-old native of Rochester Hills, Mich., will drive the #12 Penske Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season. He will also run a full-season schedule in the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series, where he will compete for a championship with the team. "We are very excited to welcome Brad to the Penske Racing family," said Roger Penske. "Brad has shown terrific success on track the past several years and has quickly established himself as one of the top young stars in racing. He comes from an impressive family background in motorsports. He is a proven winner and a welcome addition to our team."
    A third-generation driver, Keselowski has won at every level in which he has competed. He is currently ranked third in the Nationwide Series standings with three wins to his credit in 2009, including a dramatic victory in August at his home track at Michigan International Speedway. Keselowski also scored his first Cup Series win earlier this year at Talladega Superspeedway and he has produced three top-10 finishes in just eight Cup Series starts this season.
    "Penske Racing is one of the top teams in all of motorsports and I am honored to join Roger Penske's organization and compete for wins with his Cup and Nationwide Series teams," said Keselowski. "This is a great opportunity for me to continue competing in the Nationwide Series and to run my first full season in the Cup Series with a strong and experienced team."(Penske Racing), no word on Stremme's plans for 2010.(9-1-2009)

  • Keselowski says announcement will come soon: Brad Keselowski remained noncommittal this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on his future in NASCAR, though he did say an announcement on his plans will come "shortly." Keselowski, a full-time Nationwide Series driver for JR Motorsports and a part-time Sprint Cup driver for Hendrick Motorsports and Phoenix Racing, is rumored to be joining Penske Racing in 2010 - perhaps running both series full time for the team. Keselowski has said he wanted to drive full time in both series, and those plans remain in place. "I'm confident that I will run full time in both series next season," he said. If he joins Penske, he could be a teammate to Justin Allgaier in the Nationwide Series. Allgaier said Saturday he told Penske officials he didn't want to know about the team's plans until they were official.(SceneDaily)(8-31-2009)

  • Keselowski says he won't return to JR Motorsports: Brad Keselowski declined to comment on reports he'll drive in the Sprint Cup Series for Penske Racing next year, but he did indicate Thursday to Sporting News he won't be back in JR Motorsports' Nationwide car next season. Asked whether he expected to return to JRM, Keselowski said, "At this time, no," during a boat tour of the Old Port in Montreal. Kelly Bires reportedly is the leading candidate to replace Keselowski in the #88 JRM Chevy. "I heard that, too," Keselowski said when asked about the possibility of Bires driving for JRM. "It's hard to tell. I know they've talked to a number of drivers, and I wish them the best on whoever gets in there, and I expect big things from them, as I'm sure the team does. "I look forward to seeing somebody get the opportunity that I got." Keselowski's departure from JRM lends credence to reports, which surfaced last week at Bristol, that he'll join Penske Racing [with the #12 team]. Team co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. has said if Keselowski were to drive a car make other than Chevy in the Cup Series, that would preclude him for driving for JRM's Nationwide program.(Sporting News/NASCAR.com)(8-27-2009)

  • Penske still courting Keselowski? Reports surfaced last week in Bristol that Brad Keselowski was set to replace #12-David Stremme in the three-car Penske Racing Sprint Cup stable next year. ESPN reported on its race telecast Stremme was informing people in the garage area he was out of the ride and looking for employment next season. However Stremme insists he never made those statements and that no one from the network bothered to ask him directly about his future. Stremme told Sirius NASCAR Radio's The Morning Drive he "feels good about his future and will discuss his plans when the time allows." Keselowski and his current Sprint Cup and Nationwide team owners Rick Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have also declined to comment on what lies ahead for the Michigan driver.(CBS Sports)(8-27-2009)

  • Sources: Keselowski to Penske in 2010 UPDATE 2: Brad Keselowski will drive for Penske Racing in 2010, sources told ESPN.com on Friday. Keselowski would not discuss his future plans. "I'm really not prepared to address any of the rumors about next year," he said. "I'm here to race the Nationwide car and win with it tonight and I am not going to let anything get in the way." Keselowski turned down an offer from Roger Penske last year to drive the #12 Dodge, and the ride instead went to David Stremme. Keselowski's current team, JR Motorsports, does not drive in the Sprint Cup Series and co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. has no plans to move that team up to NASCAR's top level. Keselowski had hoped to replace Mark Martin next year in the #5 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports, but Martin decided to keep the seat in 2010. Rick Hendrick on Friday declined to comment on Keselowski's future, and Earnhardt canceled an afternoon media availability.(ESPN.com)(8-21-2009)
    UPDATE: According to two published reports and additional sources, Brad Keselowski is to replace David Stremme as driver of the #12 car. A grinning Keselowski was coy when asked about the reports. "Ah, well, you know, I'm really not in a position to talk about any of that stuff right now. That's probably my biggest response. And I'm really not prepared to address any of the rumors about next year right now. I'm here to race the Nationwide car and I'm not going to let anything get in the way of that or distract me from that," Keselowski said. Asked if he was still a free agent, Keselowski smiled widely and added: "Everybody's free. We live in a free country, so, yeah, I'm still free." Jonathan Gibson, vice president of marketing for Penske Racing, said he could neither confirm nor deny the reports. But what he said appeared to speak volumes. "It's no secret we've been talking with Brad. Roger Penske has a history of having great drivers [in the employment of Penske Racing]. Brad Keselowski is a great driver," Gibson said. As part of the agreement, Keselowski presumably will cease to drive a Nationwide car for Jr. Motorsports at the end of this season as well.(8-21-2009)(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick does not plan to let Brad Keselowski stray far from his organization. Keselowski is believed to be headed to Penske Racing next season, in part because Hendrick Motorsports has no room in the lineup to promote him to the Sprint Cup Series. But the team owner says wherever Keselowski ends up, "he'll always be close enough for me to bring him back." Keselowski is the hottest prospect right now in NASCAR, but wants to move up from the Nationwide Series to the premier Cup level. He wanted to stay with a team affiliated with Hendrick, but there is no scenario for 2010 that would work. Keselowski turned down the #12 for Penske last season. David Stremme got the ride.(Associated Press)(8-23-2009)

  • Hornish Jr. OK after nasty wreck at Watkins Glen: Dodge Motorsports Teleconference Transcript with Travis Geisler, Crew-Chief for Sam Hornish Jr. and the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge:
    Q: SAM (HORNISH JR.) TOOK A PRETTY BIG HIT YESTERDAY DURING THE RACE AT WATKINS GLEN. CAN YOU GIVE US AN UPDATE ON HOW HE IS FEELING?
    A: He's doing really well. I actually had a chance to talk to him this morning. He gave me a call pretty early to make sure that I went around thanking all the guys that work on the interiors (of the car) and all the welding on the chassis. He's in good shape. He was going to take it easy today and get a little rest. It's something that we're real proud of here at Penske Racing as far as the safety of our cars. Certainly with the carbon fiber seats and everything that we've done over the last couple of years, it's pretty obvious that we have a really safe car. This COT has done a really good job protecting the drivers. Sitting there watching a friend and co-worker take a hit like that isn't the most comforting thing. Knowing that you've done everything that you can do and when you see him sitting there playing with his baby girl, it makes you feel like you're doing a pretty good job."
    Q: ANY CONCERNS ABOUT SAM NOT BEING IN THE CAR THIS WEEKEND? [at Michigan]
    A: None at all. He's ready to go. He just wants to get back to Michigan because it's sort of a home race for him. It's about the closest (track) to home that we race for him. Our car owner (Roger Penske), Dodge, myself being from Pennsylvania, it's kind of a home race for us. So we're excited to get up there. He's ready to get back up there and we're gearing up for another good weekend."(Dodge Motorsports)(8-12-2009)

  • Penske honors sponsor on #77: Sam Hornish Jr. and the #77 team will run a special paint scheme this weekend at Pocono Raceway to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the relationship between PPG and Penske Racing. Over the years, PPG has become Penske Corporation's largest supplier of refinish coatings for its racing, truck leasing and automotive collision repair divisions. This weekend's race car will be painted with PPG's Envirobase High Performance waterborne paint and will feature decals for PPG's Automotive Refinish, Transitions Optical and the Architectural Coatings, Olympic Paint and Stain.(Penske Racing)(7-29-2009)

  • Testing at Road Atlanta: Hearing that drivers testing at Road Atlanta today include #99-Carl Edwards, #6-David Ragan, #16-Colin Braun (subbing for Greg Biffle), #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #47-Marcos Ambrose, #2-Kurt Busch, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #12-David Stremme, #13-Max Papis and Boris Said (in John Wes Townley's #09 Nationwide Series Ford which he will run at Watkins Glen).(7-21-2009)
    AND: told #7-Robby Gordon was also at the track.(7-21-2009)

  • Stremme wins at Plymouth Speedway: David Stremme, driver of the #12 Penske Racing Dodge in the Cup series, started on the pole and led the first 100 laps of the CRA Super Series Summer Championship 200 Presented by Crown RV & Boat Cleaner at Plymouth Speedway [Indiana] Sunday night. Restarting back in the pack after choosing to change tires at the halfway break, Stremme worked his way back to the front and took the lead after 50 laps and held on to win at his home track. The event raised $1,000 for St. Jude's Children's Hospital.(CRA)(7-15-2009)

  • Keselowski to Penske next year? UPDATE 4 Red Bull denied: For the second straight season, Brad Keselowski is the top candidate for the #12 Penske Racing Dodge. David Stremme has experienced a couple of miserable weeks at the racetrack and is currently 32nd in the point standings. Keselowski said on Friday he does not have a deal signed for next year. Certainly for a self-proclaimed "Eastsider," partnering with fellow Detroit-based Roger Penske would be an honor. Keselowski was offered the #12 ride last year after Ryan Newman announced he was leaving the ride to join Stewart-Haas Racing.(Fox Sports)(7-11-2009)
    UPDATE: Brad Keselowski's racing team for 2010 is still undecided. The 25-year-old Keselowski hoped a recent meeting with team owner Rick Hendrick would answer some questions about where he'd be racing next season. Keselowski wants a full-time ride next year, and he's optimistic he can stay affiliated with Hendrick Motorsports. He discussed several possibilities with Hendrick, though no final decision was reached. "I have some preferences, but I haven't gotten very far with them," Keselowski said. "I'm not really close on anything." No matter where he ends up, Keselowski felt he would have a full-time ride next season. "I feel pretty confident that's the way it's heading," he said. "It would have to be a big problem to come up for that not to happen."(Associated Press)(7-12-2009)
    UPDATE 2: #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. said there's "only a 10 percent chance" he'll move his JR Motorsports team from the Nationwide to the Cup series next year. "I basically just wanted to put feelers out there and see what kind of interest there was from sponsors," he said. "I would have to drive the car myself (to get a sponsor) and I'm going to be working for Rick for the next couple of years, at least."(Indianapolis Star)
    UPDATE 3: Brad Keselowski wasn't kidding when he said he had "options" for next season. In addition to being close to re-signing a deal with JR Motorsports to run in the Nationwide Series, the latest buzz has Keselowski paired with Red Bull Racing. If Keselowski indeed stays with JRM, the only scenario that would work on the Cup side would be with a Chevy team. Maybe Red Bull is closer to inking a Chevy deal. Rick Hendrick said on Saturday that HMS has the resources to include Red Bull in its engine program.(FoxSports)(7-13-2009)
    UPDATE 4: been told by sources that no one at Red Bull Racing has talked to Keselowski about driving for the team in 2010.(7-15-2009)

  • Penske drivers in fuel economy challenge event: #2-Kurt Busch, along with Penske Racing drivers #77-Sam Hornish Jr. and #12-David Stremme, will be participating in Friday's Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Challenge in the South Parking Lot of Soldier Field. They will be joined by ESPN's Dan Patrick and NFL Hall-of-Famer Dan Hampton in driving fuel-efficient "smart fortwo" cars through a number of "challenges" on a miniature road course. The "contest" is being held in an effort to raise awareness for ways consumers can save fuel during the busy summer driving season.(Tom Roberts PR)(7-8-2009)

  • Advanced Fuel Economy scheme for Hornish: Penske Racing driver Sam Hornish Jr. will drive a special #77 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 11 to help make consumers aware of the best ways to conserve fuel during the busy summer driving season. The #77 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge is designed in part to show ExxonMobil's continued support for the Alliance to Save Energy and its Drive $marter Challenge, which has the goal of increasing fuel efficiency nationwide.(Exxon Mobil PR), see an image of the car on the #77 Paint Schemes page.(7-7-2009)

  • Stremme buys house, helps those out of work: #12-David Stremme added another title to his name this week. The 32-year-old driver just finalized the purchase of a new home in North Carolina. Stremme hired members of the racing community, who lost their jobs in the economic downturn, to help him move into his new abode. Stremme has completed all but one lap of NASCAR Cup Series competition at Daytona International Speedway. The 32-year-old has completed 99.8% of all the laps he has attempted at the historic speedway.(Penske Racing)(7-1-2009)

  • 4th team for Penske? UPDATE denied: hearing Penske Racing could run a 4th team car this season, running the #22 Dodge with Justin Allgaier as the possible driver. Allgaier is currently 10th in the Nationwide Series Points for Penske Racing and won the ARCA championship in 2008.(5-25-2009)
    UPDATE: [Roger Penske] added that there are no plans to expand Penske Racing's three-car organization of #2-Kurt Busch, #77-Sam Hornish Jr. and #12-David Stremme. There have been reports he would move to a fourth team with Justin Allgaier, a rookie in the Nationwide Series. "We've made some good progress this year and we've got to maintain that," Penske said. "We're not in the silly season at all. ... We've got plenty of time."(ESPN)(6-7-2009)

  • Penske may make bid for Saturn UPDATE 2 no move to NASCAR: Roger Penske says he is contemplating a bid for the Saturn automotive brand that General Motors Corp. plans to sell or shut down. While Penske has not yet made an offer, he said Friday a decision would have to come soon and that a number of unidentified details need to be worked out. Penske has a vested interest in the automotive industry. He owns the second-largest U.S. automobile retail chain in terms of sales, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Penske Automotive Group Inc. He also owns heavy-duty engine manufacturer Detroit Diesel and has race teams in the IndyCar, NASCAR and Grand-Am series. But Penske denied that he has made a deal and said published reports are ahead of the process.(ESPN.com/AP)(5-8-2009)
    UPDATE: General Motors Corp. has struck a tentative deal to sell its Saturn brand to former race car driver and auto dealer Roger Penske. Penske, who owns the Penske Automotive Group dealership chain, told reporters on Friday that he plans to offer all 350 Saturn dealerships new franchise agreements. He says Saturn's 13,000 employees will stay on with the company for at least the immediate future. He declined to name the price for the deal. Penske says GM will continue to produce Saturn vehicles, though he is in discussions with manufacturers worldwide about building the vehicles going forward.(AP/ESPN)(6-5-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Team owner Roger Penske has no plans to move Saturn into the Sprint Cup series, saying Sunday he plans to stick with Dodge for at least the remaining three years of his contract with the manufacturer. General Motors Corp. announced on Friday an agreement for Penske to purchase the Saturn brand. Penske said he would like to get Saturn involved in motorsports, perhaps at the Grand-Am level, but not NASCAR's top series. "We have three more years with Dodge, they have not let us down," the owner of Penske Motorsports said before the Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. "We see that continuing. They are current with all the obligations they have. I don't expect anything different." Richard Petty, the co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, said last weekend at Dover that RMP's cash flow from Dodge has ceased since Chrysler filed for bankruptcy. "I don't know what he means by cash [flow]," Penske said. "They paid the bills we submitted to them and they're on time. I don't know what he's talking about." As for Saturn, Penske said the key was saving 13,000 jobs and keeping 350 retailers in business. He said the plan is to provide them with products that will make them stronger going forward. "We'll be sourcing products from General Motors for at least two years," he said. "We will not be a manufacturer. We'll be a distributor." Penske did say the Saturn Aura is "tailor-made for NASCAR," but that any such plans would be 200 miles down the road.(ESPN)(6-7-2009)

  • Dodge support "on hold" Team owner Richard Petty says the Chrysler bankruptcy has put cash flow from the manufacturer to the Richard Petty Motorsports organization he co-owns with George Gillett "in a holding pattern." From the point of view of the Dodge Motorsports program, however, the commitment to racing is undiminished. "They've stopped everything," Petty said in the garage at Dover International Speedway this past weekend. "They went into bankruptcy, and they're sort of in a floating stage right now. They're trying to see where they come out of this at. If they've got new people running the show, are they still going to continue to back everything exactly like they are, or whatever? They're in a holding pattern right now. I think GM's that way -- I don't know about Ford -- and I know Chrysler's that way. The rest of them I don't know. I don't deal with them." Walter Czarnecki, vice chairman of Penske Racing, which has three Dodge teams, said the legal proceedings also have held up payments to his organization. "In the legal procedure, you have to file what's called a 'Cure Letter' that lists all the things that you are owed. And when it's submitted and approved, they'll pay. We have money that was due April 30 that has not been received yet and probably won't be received for several weeks." Mike Accavitti, director of brand marketing and strategy for Chrysler, acknowledged the reorganization has affected the flow of cash from Chrysler but affirmed the company remains committed to Cup racing and that at-track services provided to the teams continue to be available.(NASCAR.com/Sporting News)(6-2-2009)

  • Hornish Jr. wins Sprint Showdown, McMurray 2nd: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. won the Sprint Showdown at Lowe's Motor Speedway to transfer in to the Sprint All-Star Race. #26-Jamie McMurray finished 2nd and will also transfer into the race. #12-David Stremme finished 3rd, followed by #00-Reutimann and #20-Logano. Heard the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote is #20-Joey Logano.
    See the results on my Sprint All-Star Race Results page.(5-16-2009)

  • Kenwood partners up with Penske: Kenwood USA Corporation has once again partnered with Penske Racing to sponsor two NASCAR drivers for the 2009 Sprint Cup season. The Kenwood logo appears on the #12 Dodge driven by David Stremme and the #77 Dodge driven by Sam Hornish, Jr. Kenwood is an associate sponsor of the #12 and #77 cars for all 38 Sprint Cup Series races in 2009.(Penske Racing PR)(5-14-2009)

  • Hornish Jr. has flu, Kvapil to stand by: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. has the flu and Travis Kvapil was flown to Talladega to stand by and has been fitted in the #77 Dodge. Hornish Jr. scheduled to start 4th, will start the car and is in the infield care center getting fluids. Hornish Jr. and the team will decide when Kvapil will take over, if he takes over.(SPEED NASCAR Raceday)(4-26-2009)

  • Different look for #77 at 'Dega: Sam Hornish Jr. will run a Penske Truck Rental/AAA scheme on his #77 Penske Racing Dodge Charger in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Hornish earned his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top-10 finish last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.(PCR PR)(4-23-2009)

  • Greener Paint for Penske: PPG Automotive Refinish announced they are assisting Penske Racing in converting their state-of-the-art, racecar painting facility in Mooresville, NC to the environmentally-friendly PPG Envirobase High Performance waterborne coatings system. The conversion began with the painting of the #2 Miller Lite and #77 Mobil 1 Penske Racing Dodge, which made their debut this weekend at the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The #2 Miller Lite Dodge features the PPG Automotive Refinish logo on the deck lid for today's race. To address the environment, NASCAR, the sport's sanctioning body, is developing an industry-wide green initiative led by Dr. Mike Lynch. The initiative will address environmental issues including reducing air emissions, lubricants recycling, building efficiencies and land preservation. It will include the sport's various stakeholders and will seek to mobilize the NASCAR fan base in this important issue.(Penske Racing PR)(3-8-2009)

  • Hornish to have AAA scheme at Calif: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing #77 Auto Club Dodge Charger, will debut the Auto Club of Southern California paint scheme this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. The Automobile Club of Southern California and its affiliated clubs (AAA) have joined the Penske Racing partner family as primary sponsor of the #77 car for three events in 2009 and as co-primary for an additional two races. On Thursday, February 19, Hornish will visit the Auto Club headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., to meet with employees and kick off the race weekend at Auto Club Speedway.(Penske Racing PR), see images of the scheme on my #77 Team Schemes page.(2-19-2009)

  • New name for Penske's team: Bill Davis has become a minority owner of the team now known as Penske Championship Racing, a move giving Sam Hornish Jr. points that will guarantee him a spot in the season's first five races. With the addition of Davis, the team changed its name to Penske Championship Racing from Penske Racing. Bud Denker, the senior vice president of Penske Corporation, confirmed the move on Wednesday.(ESPN)(2-4-2009)

  • Penske buys the #22, Davis a minority owner UPDATE more: Bill Davis is now a minority owner in Penske Racing. Penske has acquired Davis' #22 and will keep the number for further consideration to align with the #2 and #12. But for now, the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr. will take the 22's owner points and start the 2009 season 31st, which guarantees it a position in the Daytona 500. "As a business person, you have to look at what your options are," Penske said by phone. "I think the key thing right now is it's too bad that anyone who has run a full season whether they're in the top 35 or not - and I don't mean the ones that run a half season - but if you run the full season last year, every car in every race, you hope you would be given some kind of priority."(FoxSports)(2-3-2009)
    UPDATE: #09-Phoenix Racing's Brad Keselowski will get the points from the #41 or #01 left over from the Chip Ganassi Racing-Dale Earnhardt Inc. merger, according to sources. That leaves one set of points remaining, and those possibly could go to Richard Childress Racing's Clint Bowyer, who moved to the new RCR #33 car this year while Casey Mears, the new driver of the #07 car, has Bowyer's points from last season. RCR officials would not confirm whether the team is working a deal for top-35 points. While having the points is good news for Hornish (who will still drive the #77), it is not good news for Richard Petty Motorsports' #44-AJ Allmendinger, who now will have to qualify on speed or race his way in the Daytona 500. His car was 37th in owners points last year. Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #47 JTG Daugherty Racing car, is on the bubble at 36th from last season. If RCR gets points for Bowyer as expected, then Ambrose also will have to qualify on speed or race his way in the Daytona 500. Michael Waltrip, whose Michael Waltrip Racing builds cars for Ambrose, said Tuesday that he was unsure whether Ambrose would end up being locked in for the Daytona 500.(SceneDaily), see my 2009 Owners Points - 1st five races page(2-4-2009)

  • Dodge: smaller budget, less team, high hopes: Although it will have fewer cars on the track and fewer promotional displays in cutting 30 percent of its NASCAR budget, Dodge has not cut back its Sprint Cup research and development for the 2009 season. The automaker hopes that even with fewer cars, it will have better results after a season where it failed to put a car in the Chase For The Sprint Cup. With Chip Ganassi Racing's merger with Dale Earnhardt Inc. eliminating three Cup teams from where Dodge started in 2008, Dodge has at least one fewer organization to support in 2009. Dodge could end up with only six cars next season if the pending Gillett Evernham Motorsports-Petty Enterprises merger eliminates two more from the manufacturer's stable, which also included Robby Gordon in 2008. That leaves three cars at Penske Racing [#2,#12,#77] and three or four at the GEM-Petty consolidation [#9,#10?,#19,#43]. "You want to have a portfolio of drivers that can at any given time deliver a top-five or a victory," said Mike Accavitti, director of the Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep brands. "We feel with the lineup that we have remaining that we can do that. ... The seven cars that we have - or eight cars or six cars or whatever it ends up to be - will be sufficient. We can give Dodge customers a good show. We can give NASCAR fans a good show and we can represent the brand well." Accavitti said that his budget was set and would not get increased by the authorization of the bridge loan for Chrysler. He said it will remain at 30% below 2008, just as it was planned prior to President George W. Bush's approval of the loan last month. "The entire operation was contingent upon the bridge loans being passed," he said. "It was a critical element for the viability of our company and we're very appreciative to have that behind us and be able to move forward."(SceneDaily)(1-8-2009)

2008 News

  • Sadler replaced by Allmendinger? UPDATE 2: AJ Allmendinger is set to replace Elliott Sadler in the #19 Dodge in 2009, multiple Gillett Evernham Motorsports team sources told ESPN.com on Saturday. GEM CEO Tom Reddin told team employees and sponsors the news just before Christmas, causing some sponsors to consider leaving, according to team sources. Reached for comment Saturday, GEM spokesman Drew Brown chose not to comment. Sources also said Ray Evernham, who founded the team and sold majority ownership to George Gillett, cleared out all personal possessions from the team's shop, including the 2002 Brickyard 400 trophy he won as owner of Bill Elliott's #9 Dodge. Calls placed to Evernham and Sadler's representation were not immediately returned.(ESPN.com)(12-27-2008)
    UPDATE: Allmendinger will join Kasey Kahne in the flagship #9 GEM Dodge and newcomer Reed Sorenson, who will pilot the #43 Dodge following the imminent announcement of the merger between owner George Gillett and Richard Petty.
    AND Sadler? Sadler's possibilities are rumored to include the #41 Chevy at Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing or the #77 Dodge at Penske Racing should Sam Hornish Jr. replace Helio Castroneves in the IRL IndyCar Series [who faces a trial and possible jail over IRS charges].(FoxSports), no word on who would drive the #10 Dodge of GEM in 2009.(12-28-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Sadler signed a two-year contract extension with GEM in May, and sources say team owner George Gillett will now be forced to buy out those additional two years. Sadler has already begun making calls to try and find a ride for next season. Sources tell Sirius Speedway that Gillett is heavily leveraged from the original Evernham buyout, as well as from a number of automobile dealerships he purchased earlier this year. He reportedly faces a major payment on his Liverpool Football Club, which plays in the English Premier League, as well. A deal that would have merged GEM with Bill Davis Racing fell by the wayside a few weeks ago, reportedly after Gillett was unable to obtain financing to complete the transaction. Gillett has recently been involved in negotiations to merge GEM with Petty Enterprises. Sirius Speedway reported two weeks ago that the merger had stalled, and while that report was immediately denied by a GEM spokesman, Sadler's release appears to indicate that the deal is indeed in jeopardy. A combined GEM/Petty operation was expected to field four cars in 2009; enough to retain Kasey Kahne, Reed Sorenson, Sadler and Allmendinger. (Sirius Speedway)(12-29-2008)

  • Penske-Jasper split? hearing that Penske Racing and Jasper Engines/Transmissions are going to dissolve their partnership in the engine building program. Supposedly Jasper will continue to build and supply transmissions to race teams.(12-27-2008)

  • Hornish given 'vote of confidence': Former Penske Racing open-wheel driver Sam Hornish Jr. has the team's full support in his second full season of Sprint Cup racing next year. Hornish, a three-time IndyCar Series champion and winner of the 2006 Indy 500, struggled this season in the #77 Dodge Charger in his rookie Cup year, finishing 35th in points and failing to qualify for the final race at Homestead. It was rumored he might even return to IndyCar. But Penske Racing spokesman Bud Denker said Hornish, who will have Mobil 1 and AAA sponsorship on his Dodge in 2009, would play a pivotal part in the Cup campaign with fellow Penske drivers #2-Kurt Busch and #12-David Stremme, who replaces Ryan Newman. "We're absolutely committed to Sam," Denker said. "We're behind him and are blessed to have sponsorship from Mobil and AAA. We are very committed to Sam and expect him to do well."(Detorit Free Press)(11-28-2008)

  • Robby gets help from #77 crew: The pit crew for the #77 Penske Dodge of Sam Hornish Jr. [who failed to make the race] will work for the #7 Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge of Robby Gordon in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Gordon is battling to stay in the top 35 in owner points, which would lock him into the fields of the first five races of 2009. He started the race in 34th, 30 points ahead of #47-Marcos Ambrose and 47 ahead of Brian Vickers, who is driving the #84 Red Bull Toyota in place of Scott Speed.(FoxSports)(11-16-2008)

  • AAA sponsoring Hornish in select 2009 races: Penske Racing announced the establishment of a multi-year agreement for its Sprint Cup Series program with the Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) and its affiliated clubs. Starting in 2009, the Auto Club will be displayed as primary sponsor for select events on the Penske Racing South #77 Dodge, driven by three-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr. in the Sprint Cup Series. Hornish will debut the #77 Auto Club Dodge in February at the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif. In addition, the motor club will serve as primary sponsor of the #77 Car in Sprint Cup Series events at Kansas Speedway in October and Texas Motor Speedway in November, and as co-primary sponsor for Hornish and the Car #77 team, alongside Penske Truck Rental, at the April Talladega Superspeedway and June New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sprint Cup Series races.(Penske Racing PR)(11-11-2008)

  • Hornish back to Indy Cars? UPDATE denied: Though #77-Sam Hornish Jr. again finished ahead of fellow rookie of the year contender #01-Regan Smith, padding his lead in the ROTY standings, rumors continue to swirl that Hornish Jr. could be headed back to Indy Cars next season.(Yahoo Sports)(11-3-2008)
    UPDATE: at Phoenix International Raceway Friday morning, #77-Sam Hoprnish Jr. denied he was leaving NASCAR and heading back to the IRL for the 2009 season and plans to be back in Sprint Cup in 2009 try to win races in the #77 car.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(11-7-2008)

  • #77 Corn Maze: The Leaders farm, the home of Ohio's original corn maze since 1997, are sporting a #77 Sam Hornish Jr. corn maze. See the maze at funtimefarm.com.(10-15-2008)

  • Penske testing at Kentucky: Penske Racing is testing with three teams at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, October 7. Scheduled to test are #2-Kurt Busch, #77-Sam Hornish, and the R&D team with David Stremme. Fans can view testing from the designated area outside the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center in Turn 3 for free. Tests usually begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. Times will vary based on team goals.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(10-7-2008)

  • Hornish unsure of points, team swap: Sam Hornish Jr. says he hasn't had any conversations with Penske Racing officials regarding a possible move from the team's #77 Dodge to the #12 for 2009, or a possible points swap between the two. "All I know about it is that no decision has been made," Hornish said Friday while at Auto Club Speedway. "I just know they need a driver for the 12 car." Teammate Ryan Newman's impending departure means the Penske organization has one driver opening to fill. Putting Hornish in the 12 would likely placate primary sponsor Alltel and would guarantee the driver a spot in the field through a minimum of next season's first five races (when final owner points from 2008 are used).(SceneDaily.com)(8-30-2008)

  • New crew chief for Hornish? UPDATE: hearing that Travis Geisler is the new crew chief for #77-Sam Hornish Jr. Geisler was the chief engineer for #12-Ryan Newman. No word on plans for crew chief Chris Carrier.(8-19-2008)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing announced that Travis Geisler will immediately replace Chris Carrier as the crew chief of the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge, driven by Sam Hornish Jr. A mechanical engineering graduate from Vanderbilt, Geisler, 27, had been the race engineer for the Alltel Dodge, and was an integral part of Penske Racing's historic 2008 Daytona 500 victory. A Pittsburgh native, in 2006, Geisler was a race engineer for Robert Yates Racing in its Nationwide and Cup Series operations. He joined Penske Racing in November 2006. "We appreciate the effort Chris has put into this role. However, this is a performance oriented business and when the results are not meeting the expectations, we have to make changes," said Tim Cindric, president, Penske Racing. "Travis is another example of our willingness to promote from within. His depth of knowledge as a racer and engineer, as well as his proven ability to work with both drivers and crews, will be a great addition to the entire Mobil 1 team." Ben Atkins will replace Geisler as the race engineer on the Alltel Dodge. Atkins, a native of Virginia and Duke University graduate in mechanical engineering, was previously assigned to the Penske Racing test team. Prior to joining Penske Racing, Atkins was with Dale Earnhart Inc. as a race engineer.(Penske Racing PR)(8-20-2008)

  • First Stock Car Start at the Brickyard for Hornish: This will be Hornish's first Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, however he is no stranger to the 2.5-mile oval - he has a total of seven IndyCar Series starts at Indy. In that series, he has one win and one pole at the famed speedway.(Penske Racing PR)(7-24-2008)

  • Penske Racing Pays Tribute to Employee: This weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, all three Penske Racing NASCAR Cup Series entries will carry a special decal in memory of employee Bill Passwater. The decal will also be on Penske IndyCar Series entries at Nashville Superspeedway and the American Le Mans Series entries at Lime Rock. Passwater, 33, passed away on Wednesday morning. He is survived by his wife, Heather, and their baby daughter, Lyla Grace. Passwater had been employed at Penske Racing since 2005. He was the transportation coordinator for the NASCAR Cup Series teams.(Penske Racing PR)(7-10-2008)

  • Penske back at the track: Legendary team owner Roger Penske,71, missed his second consecutive NASCAR race weekend after having a scheduled medical procedure (related to his kidney) two weeks ago. Team president Tim Cindric handled the day-to-day operations for both the NASCAR and IndyCar teams in his absence. "The Captain," as Penske is known, is expected back at the track today for the IndyCar Series race in Watkins Glen, N.Y.(Tampa Tribune)(7-6-2008)

  • Another open wheeler out of the mix, Castroneves to stay in IRL: Helio Castroneves has agreed to a long-term contract with Penske Racing IndyCar Series team, squelching rumors he was considering a jump to NASCAR. Castroneves declined to confirm details except to say it is a multiyear contract. Castroneves was to become a free agent at the end of the season. "We don't have it signed, but we have everything agreed to," Castroneves said Friday at Watkins Glen International, site of Sunday's Indy Racing League event. "It's good." Team president Tim Cindric confirmed the oral agreement. Series officials were ecstatic with the news. "That's excellent, cool, very good, it's huge," said Terry Angstadt, the president of the league's commercial division. "You look at the breakthrough names (in the series) and it's Helio and Danica at this stage. Those two are very important names. It's critical to have Helio here not just with his personality but his talent and all the things he brings to the table." Castroneves is the first piece of the IndyCar Series' driver puzzle to fall into place for the 2009 season. Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti also have contracts that expire at the end of the season. Wheldon has said he is working through the details to remain with Ganassi Racing, and Andretti figures to return to his family-owned Andretti Green Racing.(Indianapolis Star)(7-5-2008)

  • Penske Racing Teams Up with Cunningham Motorsports: Helping to pave the way for its continued success in stock car racing, Penske Racing announced an official developmental partnership with Cunningham Motorsports. With the consistent growth of Penske Racing, which currently competes with three Dodge Chargers in the Sprint Cup Series and one Dodge Charger in Nationwide Series competition, the 2008 Daytona 500 championship team is eager to add to its history of motorsports success. As it looks for talented personnel to join the team in the future, Penske Racing will partner with Cunningham Motorsports, an established and proven team across the developmental racing ranks. Through this partnership, Penske Racing will work with the Cunningham Motorsports teams racing in USAC Midget, ARCA RE/MAX Series and Craftsman Truck Series competition. Penske Racing will also help develop the talented young drivers in the Cunningham Motorsports program as well as identify potential crew and team members to add to its staff in the future. In addition, the partnership will provide Penske Racing another source for testing as well as engine and chassis development as it continues to enhance its program.(Penske Racing PR)(6-14-2008)

  • Ganassi and Penske? Preposterous: Rumors that have surfaced recently about a possible alliance between Chip Ganassi [#40,#41,#42] and Roger Penske [#2,#12,#77] in NASCAR racing, or of a possible Penske buyout of Ganassi's stock car team? Both men field Dodges in Sprint Cup racing, and at the recent Indianapolis 500, won by Ganassi driver Scott Dixon, the two pillars of the sport reportedly appeared a lot more chummy than usual. Sunday at Dover, Mike Accavitti, director of Dodge Brand and SRT Marketing Communications, said he had read the rumors but scoffed at them. "Absolutely preposterous," Accavitti said. "That would be like putting the Hatfields and McCoys together."(Sporting News)(6-2-2008)

  • Hornish, Franchitti will not run Indy 500: Sprint Cup rookies Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish Jr., the men who won the last two Indianapolis 500s, will not compete in the race next month. Their NASCAR team owners -- Chip Ganassi for the #40 Dodge Franchitti drives and Roger Penske for the # 77 Dodge Hornish drives -- both said the Indy 500 is not part of the plan this season. The two Cup rookies will concentrate on the Coca-Cola 600 Cup race that day (May 25) at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Penske, who is traveling in Europe this week, called Rusty Wallace on Tuesday from England to tell him Hornish would not race at Indy this year. Penske wanted to end the speculation that David Stremme would replace Hornish in the Coca-Cola 600 so Hornish could race at Indy. The speculation about Hornish also brought rumors about Franchitti possibly returning to the Indy 500 next month to defend his victory from last season. But Ganassi made his feelings clear: "No way we're doing that," Ganassi said. Ganassi also said that Franchitti is totally committed to his move to NASCAR.(ESPN.com)(4-18-2008)

  • Penske hires Stremme as test driver; Hornish rumors? UPDATE: In an effort to enhance its NASCAR Sprint Cup testing program, Penske Racing announced that David Stremme has joined the team as a test driver, effective immediately. In this role, Stremme will participate in Penske Racing's comprehensive testing program in an effort to accelerate the understanding of the new Sprint Cup Series Dodge Charger that made its full-season debut in 2008. "It's a rare opportunity to have someone of David's caliber to work with Kurt, Ryan and Sam to help us improve our NASCAR Sprint Cup program," said Tim Cindric, president, Penske Performance, Inc. "David raced the new car and understands what it takes to compete at the highest levels." Stremme, 30, grew up in a racing family in South Bend, Indiana. After competing successfully in local and regional events throughout the Midwest, he moved to national NASCAR competition in 2003. Stremme has made 74 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since 2005. In 2008, Stremme has made seven starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, posting two top-five and three top-ten finishes. "It's an honor to be working with an organization with as much history and heritage as Penske Racing," said Stremme. "I look forward to a lot of productive testing so I can assist their NASCAR teams to run up front, make the Chase and hopefully win many Championships in the future." Stremme will continue his role as a driver for Rusty Wallace, Inc. where he will be running the majority of the NASCAR Nationwide Series races during the 2008 season.(Penske Racing)
    AND: And there have been hints that Penske's newest driver, Indy star #77-Sam Hornish Jr. may not be having all that much fun on the NASCAR tour. Hornish is 33rd in the standings and has yet to have a really decent run. Speculation is that if Hornish decides to return to Indy-car racing, then Penske would have Stremme standing by to fill the ride.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND MORE: Sam Hornish Jr. back to the IRL? That was the wild story floating amongst the media at Phoenix last weekend. And the announcement that Penske Racing had hired David Stremme as a test driver only added fuel to the fire. Listen up, conspiracy theorists. Here's the real deal: Hornish is doing just fine in NASCAR. As a rookie, he's been able to keep his car in the top 35, keep his nose clean and gain the respect of his fellow drivers. NASCAR is where both he and boss Roger Penske want him to be. Back in February, Hornish told me [Yahoo's Bob Margolis] that if he could get back behind the wheel of an Indy car it would only be for the Indy 500 - the race - as far as both himself and team owner Penske are concerned.(more at Yahoo Sports)(4-16-2008)
    UPDATE: David Stremme told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway Tuesday that he has not discussed anything but testing with Penske Racing. Asked about rumors of Sam Hornish, Jr., returning to the Indy 500, Stremme said, "I don't know anything about that. I think Sam is doing a heck of a job (in the Sprint Cup Car), and nobody has talked to me about filling in for him; at Lowe's Motor Speedway or anywhere else."(4-16-2008)

  • Stremme expected to be named Penske test driver: Expect an announcement this coming week that David Stremme has agreed to join Penske Racing as a test driver for the organization's Sprint Cup program. Team owner Roger Penske has a seat open in one of his Indianapolis 500 entries, and if Penske and current Cup rookie Sam Hornish Jr. agree that Hornish should compete at Indy, where he won the 500 in 2006, that opens up the seat of Penske's #77 Sprint Cup Dodge, which is currently 33rd in owner points through eight races with Hornish behind the wheel. Penske's entry blank for the Indy 500 reportedly lists Helio Castroneves in the #3 car and Ryan Briscoe in the #6, but there's a "TBA" beside the #77. It's all speculation at this point, but if Hornish should decide he'd rather run up front in the reunified IndyCar Series (he's a three-time IndyCar champion) than fight to stay on the lead lap in a stock car, Penske would have a test driver -- Stremme -- ready to fill the void. Stremme, who finished 10th in Friday night's Nationwide Series race at Phoenix, already has turned down at least two offers to drive for current Cup teams.(NASCAR.com)(4-13-2008)

  • Hornish to be honored: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. will be honored with the Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award at the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala on Wednesday, April 2, 2008, in recognition of his annual celebrity bowling tournament benefiting Speedway Children's Charities. Over the past three years, the tournament has raised $308,500. Penske Racing Director of Marketing Wally McCarty will accept on Hornish Jr.'s behalf.(Penske Racing PR)(4-1-2008)

  • Dodge re-ups with Penske and Ganassi: Dodge executives have taken team owners Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi out of the Toyota equation by signing new contracts with the two. That keeps Dodge with a four-team lineup, including Petty Enterprises and Gillett-Evernham. When Toyota first announced its NASCAR plans, there was considerable speculation that both Penske and Ganassi would eventually switch.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-18-2008)

  • Congrats: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. and wife Crystal welcomed their first child this morning. Addison Faith Hornish was born at 6:24 a.m. on Monday, February 4th. Baby Addison weighs 7lbs 2oz. and measures 18 inches. Both mom and baby are doing well.(Penske Racing)(2-4-2008)

  • Hornish doubtful to run Indy 500 in 2008: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. said Monday it's doubtful he'll be able to race in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca Cola 600 on May 25. In making the switch from open-wheel to stock car racing, his focus, he said, must remain on NASCAR and the Coca Cola 600. "If it was up to me, I would," said Hornish, the 2006 Indy 500 champion. "It really depends how things are going over here. I think Roger (Penske) and I have talked about it a couple of times. There's obviously nothing set. I think if we're to a point where we feel confident with how we're doing over here, (if) it's not going to hurt us, that we would try it," he continued. "But I would say it's still way more not going to happen than could happen. So we'll just see how the first couple months of this season play out. Hopefully, if I don't get to race there this year, maybe next year."(Yahoo! Sports)(1-29-2008)

  • Hornish baby due on..Feb 10th..pole day at Daytona: Sprint Cup newbie #77-Sam Hornish spent most of December getting ready for a new arrival. Sam's wife, Crystal, is due to deliver their first child next month. "I've been decorating the nursery and getting everything ready," Hornish said. "The due date is a bit of a concern for me. It's February 10th [pole day for the Daytona 500]. I really want to be there for the birth. We'll see what happens."(ESPN.com)(1-16-2008)

2007 News

  • New crew chief named for Penske Racing #77: Penske Racing is turning to an experienced crew chief to help lead the new #77 Mobil 1 Dodge team in the 2008 Sprint Cup Series. Chris Carrier, a veteran of more than 30 years in racing who has been a winning crew chief in NASCAR's top three levels of competition, will join Penske Racing in 2008. The 47-year-old native of Bristol, TN will serve as crew chief for the #77 car, working closely with driver Sam Hornish Jr. as the former Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series Champion makes a full-time transition to stock car racing in 2008. Carrier will join the Mooresville, NC-based Penske Racing team in the new year and will work with David Elenz, who's been named race engineer for the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge.(Penske Racing PR)(12-22-2007)

  • Hornish testing at Memphis: Three-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. is scheduled to test the #77 Sprint Cup Series car for Penske Racing on Monday, Dec. 17 and Tuesday, Dec 18, at Memphis Motorsports Park. NASCAR returns to Memphis Motorsports Park in June 2008 with the Craftsman Truck Series, and October 2008 with the Nationwide Series. Season tickets are on sale now at MemphisMotorsportsPark.com and by phone toll-free at 1-866-40-SPEED. Fans can watch testing sessions at the NASCAR oval from Grandstand G at no charge. The garage and infield are not open to the public. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(MMP PR)(12-17-2007)

  • NASCAR permits Penske to swap owners points between Busch, Hornish: NASCAR has approved Penske Racing's request to transfer the owner points from #2-Kurt Busch to #77-Sam Hornish Jr., a move that locks the three-time IndyCar Series champion into the first five races of next season. Hornish publicly thanked Busch for giving him the points at the Penske holiday party on Friday night. Bud Denker, senior vice president of Penske Corp., confirmed Saturday that the team would swap the points with NASCAR's approval. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said the sanctioning body had signed off on the transfer. "This would obviously help Sam as he prepares to run the first five races instead of prepares to qualify for the first five races," Denker said. "With a champion like Kurt Busch and the opportunity to utilize (the points), anyone would be foolish to not take care of the situation." Hornish, a former Indianapolis 500 winner, is leaving that series for NASCAR next season. But his #77 Dodge won't be one of the 35 cars locked into the first five races of the year. As the 2004 series champion, Busch has a provisional position that he could fall back on should he fail to qualify on speed.(ESPN.com/AP)(12-15-2007)

  • Pemberton leaves DEI? UPDATE 3 to MWR?: hearing that Dale Earnhardt Inc #8 crew chief, Ryan Pemberton [#01 in 2007 with DEI/Ginn Racing], could be heading to Penske Racing as the crew chief for #77 Sam Hornish Jr.(12-5-2007)
    UPDATE: Crew chief Ryan Pemberton has left Dale Earnhardt Inc., and the team said Doug Richert will replace him beginning Wednesday. Pemberton was scheduled to lead the #8 Chevy that will be co-driven next season by Mark Martin and Aric Almirola.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(12-12-2007)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Pemberton has not spoken to Penske Racing about a job, but he is speaking with other teams and will make a quick decision.(12-13-2007)
    UPDATE 3: A reliable inside source tells Rowdy.com that Ryan Pemberton is headed to Michael Waltrip Racing to become the crew chief for driver David Reutimann. Reutimann will start the year in the #00 before moving to the #44 car vacated by Dale Jarrett [when he retires] after the first five races of 2008.(Rowdy.com)(12-13-2007)

  • Hornish plans to go back to Indy Cars someday: Sam Hornish Jr is adamant that he will return to IndyCar racing in the future, despite having turned his back on the IRL for next season. The 28-year-old American, who is the most successful driver in the history of the championship with three titles and 19 wins - including last year's Indy 500 -, is leaving single-seaters to race full-time in NASCAR next season. When asked if he would ever return to IndyCar's Hornish said: "I sure hope so. I hope they move the schedule so that somebody could do it. That's my goal. If I never ran in the Indy 500 again or an IndyCar Series race I would probably say I would be disappointed about that." Hornish's departure to NASCAR, where he will remain with the Penske team with whom he has raced in his last two IndyCar campaigns, will affect the popularity of the series, as the Ohio driver was one of the biggest draws for fans.(Yahoo UK)(12-1-2007)

  • Penske Racing to form test team: #2-Kurt Busch said Penske Racing has plans to form a designated test team to prepare for the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season when all 36 races will feature the car of tomorrow. "We need more laps, more time with the new car to be more competitive," said Busch, who finished seventh in points this year, following the NMPA Myers Bothers Awards Luncheon at Cipriani's. With the addition of new teammate Sam Hornish Jr. in the #77 Dodge, the fourth team is expected to focus solely on testing. Busch said teammate Ryan Newman, Hornish, himself or an "outside driver" could all be involved in the tests. Busch, who has already tested at Atlanta, said the remainder of his offseason schedule includes scheduled stops at Daytona International Speedway, Lakeland, California and Las Vegas. Nashville is also a possibility if the weather cooperates, he said. With the Cup series already running twice in the COT at Bristol this year, Busch is comfortable heading into the first handful of races in '08. "We feel like we're prepared really well for the first five or six, then we hit tracks like Texas [and Charlotte], and that's where the teams that are ready to go will prevail," he said, adding, "I hope not to be in a Cup car until January. I might end up doing a shakedown test for the Rolex 24. Penske's putting together a team. It might be double top secret until now. But we're having some fun with that."(SceneDaily.com)(11-30-2007)

  • Crew Chief change at the #12? Miller retires? UPDATE 2 Confirmed: hearing Roy McCauley take over as the crew chief for the #12 alltel Penske Racing team for driver Ryan Newman. McCauley started the 2007 season as Kurt Busch's crew chief in the #2 Dodge. Supposedly #12 crew chief, Mike Nelson, will move over to a management position at Penske Racing. The crew chief job for the #77 team and driver Sam Hornish Jr. is supposedly open.(11-17-2007)
    UPDATE: been told that Mike Nelson will be in the front office overseeing the Cup side of the business and Roy McCaulley will be Ryan Newman's crew chief, and Matt Gimbel will be the interim crew chief for #77 Sam Horish Jr. until a permanent crew chief is chosen, then he will be the race engineer for #77 team. Also, been told that Penske Racing's Don Miller will retire.(11-27-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Don Miller, who has served as President of Penske Racing South, Inc. since its inception in 1990, is retiring from his position after nearly two successful decades at the highest levels of stock car racing. Penske Racing also announced that Mike Nelson, who just completed his first season as crew chief of the #12 Alltel Dodge driven by Ryan Newman, has been promoted to Vice President of Operations. In his new role, Nelson will oversee Penske's entries in the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series programs, reporting to Tim Cindric, President of Penske Performance, Inc. In addition, Roy McCauley has been named crew chief for the #12 Alltel team.(Penske Racing PR)(11-28-2007)

  • Castroneves wins "Dancing With the Stars": Race car [Penske Racing's IRL] driver Helio Castroneves is the winner of "Dancing With the Stars." Spice Girl Melanie Brown and her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, were the highest-scoring couple throughout the hit show's fifth season. But on Tuesday night, viewers snubbed Brown and gave the mirrorball trophy to Castroneves. The fourth consecutive man to win the contest, Castroneves' personality, enthusiasm and flashing smile - combined with an effortless quickstep on his final performance - clearly resonated more with voters. "It's not only about dancing, you know? It's about popularity," Castroneves said after the show. "That's what I'm actually very happy about."(Associated Press)(11-28-2007)

  • Penske undecided on points switch UPDATE: Team owner Roger Penske said Saturday he hasn't decided if he'll move #2-Kurt Busch's points to Sam Hornish Jr. to guarantee the driver a spot in the first five races of next season. Hornish is leaving the IndyCar Series for a full NASCAR schedule next season, but his #77 Mobil 1 Dodge won't be one of the 35 cars locked into the first five races of the year. As a former series champion, Busch has a provisional that he could fall back on should he fail to qualify on speed. "We have a number of options and we're looking at all of them ... we'll see," Penske said at Phoenix International Raceway. "This isn't all about the first five races. This is about a long career for a great race car driver and someone who has delivered for us for a long time at Penske Racing."(ESPN.com/AP)(11-11-2007)
    UPDATE: While deeming it unlikely next year, when Sam Hornish Jr. will be learning the ropes in NASCAR, neither the driver nor team owner Roger Penske is ruling out an eventual return to the Indianapolis 500 for the 2006 winner. Penske also said it's almost certain he will shift #2-Kurt Busch's points to Hornish to ensure the rookie starts the first five races next season but needs to clear it with Busch's team and sponsors first.(Indianapolis Star)(11-12-2007)

  • Official - Hornish to Cup Series in 2008: ExxonMobil announced that it is expanding its longstanding relationship with Penske Racing by sponsoring three-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr. when he moves to the Sprint Cup Series in 2008. After an incredibly successful eight-year stint in the IndyCar Series that saw Hornish Jr. become the driver with the most wins in the Series' history (19 wins), garner three series championships (2001, 2002 and 2006) and win the 2006 running of the Indianapolis 500, he will make the move to stock car racing full time and pilot the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge in 2008. Hornish Jr. is the latest open-wheel driver to transition to NASCAR. "I truly view this move to NASCAR and the Sprint Cup Series as the next great challenge for me in racing," said Hornish Jr. "My learning curve has been sharp, but Roger, everyone at Penske Racing and the team at Mobil 1 have been incredibly supportive throughout the process. The track time this season is all part of the transition to Cup racing and I am committed to making 2008 a successful season for the Mobil 1 Racing team." Hornish Jr. participated in NASCAR Busch Series races both in the 2006 and 2007 season, posting a best finish of 15th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 2007. He also attempted to qualify for NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races on seven occasions in 2007. "Sam Hornish Jr. is one of the most versatile and skilled drivers in all of motor sports," said Jerry Kohlenberger, president, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties Company. "Everyone at ExxonMobil is looking forward to Sam building his impressive racing resume as he successfully crosses over to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. We also are delighted to expand our 17-year relationship with Penske Racing and present Mobil 1 as the title sponsor of the #77 Dodge. Our association with Penske Racing and NASCAR reinforces the engine protection and performance that Mobil 1 delivers for both NASCAR drivers on the track and race fans traveling to the track." Hornish Jr. will be the third full-time member of Penske Racing's Sprint Cup Series team, which also includes veteran drivers Ryan Newman in the #12 Alltel Dodge and Kurt Busch in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge. "Sam had a great run with us in the IndyCar Series, and as he continues to adjust to the type of racing he'll encounter in the Sprint Cup Series, we expect him to excel there as well," said Roger Penske, owner and chairman of Penske Racing. "In Sam, we have a driver with the desire to be the best and win wherever and whenever he races. We can teach him about stock car racing, but we don't need to teach him how to be a racer."(Penske Racing PR)(11-10-2007)

  • Hornish could be announced at Phoenix UPDATE: If Sam Hornish stays true to form, trusting team owner Roger Penske to all but make career decisions for him, the three-time Indy Racing League champion will be announced on Saturday night in Phoenix as the new third driver for Penske's Nextel Cup team. Though Penske said Sunday a final decision would be made in next few days, he smiled, adding, "My inclination would be to go with him." Penske said if Hornish goes to NASCAR, former IRL driver Ryan Briscoe, who has tested Indy cars for Penske, would move from the organization's American Le Mans Series unit to team with Helio Castroneves. "Our goal from the beginning was to see if Sam wanted to run in this type of series," Penske said. "Number two was to be able to conclude a project with a major sponsor." With both conditions apparently answered to his satisfaction, Penske said it was not of concern that Hornish had failed to qualify in six attempts at his first Cup race and has an average finish of 31.6 in nine Busch series starts. Hornish will attempt both series, Penske said, in the final two weekends at Phoenix and Homestead. Penske could guarantee Hornish entry into the first six races of the 2008 season by applying teammate Kurt Busch's 2007 owner points to his car. Busch would be assured entry into races with a past champion's provisional if he failed to qualify on speed.(St Petersburg Times)(11-5-2007)
    UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. is leaving the IndyCar Series for a full-time ride in NASCAR, joining the mass exodus of open-wheel stars fleeing to America's most popular racing series. The three-time IndyCar champion told The Associated Press he will drive the #77 Dodge next season for Penske Racing with Mobil 1 as the sponsor. "I feel like this is something that is a new and unique challenge for me," Hornish said Thursday. "It may or may not be the right way to look at it, but I feel like I accomplished just about everything in Indy cars. I got to do more than I ever thought I would." Penske will officially introduce Hornish as the third driver for his NASCAR team on Saturday night at the Penske Racing Museum in Phoenix. He'll join a team that already fields cars for #2-Kurt Busch and #12-Ryan Newman. NASCAR rules currently guarantee a starting spot to the top 35 teams in owner points. It leaves just eight spots in the field each week for everyone else, and this season has been a horrendous struggle for many top-name drivers. Penske could ensure Hornish a spot in the field for the first five races of next season by moving the points currently owned by Busch. The 2004 series champion has a provisional that would lock him into the field should he fail to qualify on speed. Hornish said he wasn't sure what Penske will do with the points, and a spokesman for the car owner said he was not available for comment Thursday. Hornish will again try to make his Cup debut this weekend. He's entered in both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, where he has two wins and three top-five finishes in Indy cars.(Associated Press)(11-8-2007)

  • Penske may consider points swap for Hornish UPDATE: With Sam Hornish having trouble qualifying for Cup races - he has missed all six he has attempted this year - Penske Racing may consider making a points swap to get Hornish into races in 2008. With Kurt Busch having won the 2004 Nextel Cup championship, Penske could transfer the points earned by Busch's #2 team to Hornish, which would lock him into the top 35 for the first five races of next season. Busch would get into those races as the most recent past champion if he failed to qualify on speed. NASCAR officials confirmed that a move would be allowed. Penske said he is committed to fielding three Sprint Cup cars next year for Busch, Hornish and Ryan Newman. Penske said he has not talked to other drivers for the third team.(SceneDaily.com)(10-30-2007)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials said Penske Racing can transfer the points earned by Kurt Busch this year to guarantee a starting spot for Sam Hornish Jr. in the first five races of next season. If Busch failed to qualify for one of those races, he likely would get to race by virtue of being a former series champion. . . . Signs point to Hornish's car being No. 77 if, as expected, he makes the jump to NASCAR next season.(Indianapolis Star)(11-3-2007)

  • Penske Staying with Dodge; Decision on Hornish Soon:Penske Racing owner Roger Penske said Sunday that his team will be driving Dodges for years to come. Penske said he has agreed to a multi-year deal with Dodge. The team contract was set to expire at the end of the 2008 season. As for Sam Hornish Jr., one of Penske's two IndyCar Series drivers who is considering the switch to the Cup Series but has yet to qualify for a race, the plan is to continue trying to get him in a race. "We're going to keep digging," Penske said. He said the team likely will know its plans for Hornish by the Phoenix Cup race in two weeks.(ESPN.com)(10-29-2007)

  • Kenwood to sponsor Hornish at LMS: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #06 Kenwood Dodge Charger, will attempt to make his Nextel Cup Series debut at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday. This is Hornish's first attempt to qualify for a Cup event in a race not using the Dodge Avenger. Hornish has attempted to qualify for three Cup Series events so far this season - New Hampshire, Dover and Talladega. Although Hornish's 2008 plans have not been determined, the 28-year-old will attempt to qualify for no more than seven events, including each of the two remaining COT races with Roy McCauley leading the charge.(Penske Racing PR)(10-11-2007)

  • Penske sticking with Hornish: #06-Sam Hornish Jr. has failed in his first three attempts to qualify for a Nextel Cup event, but Penske Racing will continue to place Hornish on the entry list for upcoming Cup races. "We're going to stay on our plan to try to qualify Sam in as many races as we can for the rest of the season," said Walt Czarnecki, vice chairman of Penske Racing. "Nothing has changed. We'll go again at Charlotte next week." Czarnecki, who also is the listed owner of the #06 Dodge that Hornish is driving, said they already have a primary sponsor [rumored to be Mobil 1] lined up for the third team car next season. Would they still consider Hornish moving full time to Cup in 2008 if he doesn't qualify for any races this year? "I think that's a possibility," Czarnecki said. "The disappointment he has, and we all have, is he was 20th quick at New Hampshire. We told him not to drive it too hard and he missed the show by a fraction. At Dover, he had one hour of track time, then misses the show by four one-hundredths of a second. Circumstances haven't worked in his favor." NASCAR's qualifying system works against a driver trying to break into Cup with a new car. Czarnecki realizes Hornish is in a difficult position when only eight spots are available each week in the 43-car field. Hornish was 13th in qualifying Saturday at Talladega, but five positions too low to make the race. The top 35 cars in owner's points have a guaranteed spot in the field. "It is frustrating, but I also understand NASCAR's rationale for going to the top-35 rule," Czarnecki said. "It's an economic reality of the sport that precipitated that decision." With six races left this season, Czarnecki is confident Hornish will qualify for some of those events.(ESPN.com)(10-8-2007)

  • But..Hornish undecided: Sam Hornish Jr. said he is going to wait until after the season before sitting down with his team, sponsors and owner Roger Penske to decide where he'll be racing next year. Hornish failed to qualify at Talladega, his third miss in as many tries to make his Nextel Cup debut. He is committed to Car of Tomorrow races Oct. 21 at Martinsville, Va., and Nov. 11 at Phoenix, in addition to some Busch Series events. Unlike fellow Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, who as a rookie next year will inherit a car that is in the top 35 of the standings and thus assured of being in the first five races, Hornish would have to qualify week to week. "We have to get to the point where we feel comfortable we can get into these races," he said. "What if I go to Daytona (for the 2008 opener in February) and don't make the race? Then we're behind all the way." Hornish is not averse to spending another year in the IndyCar Series. "Whatever the team decides, I'm OK with that," he said.(Indianapolis Star)(10-8-2007)

  • Penske adds a race for Hornish UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. has added at least one race to his Nextel Cup schedule in the #06 Penske Racing Dodge. Hornish has attempted two races [New Hampshire and Dover] but has yet to make the field for a Cup race. He was already scheduled to try to make the field in the remaining races featuring the car of tomorrow: Talladega, Martinsville and Phoenix. Now, according to a team spokesman, Hornish will enter the Oct. 13 race at Lowe's Motor Speedway and might add the season-ending race at Miami-Homestead Speedway.(SceneDaily.com)(9-26-2007)
    UPDATE: Sam Hornish, Jr., delved deeper into the NASCAR experience during a Penske Racing test at Kentucky Speedway Wednesday. "We came out today to just get a little test time in on a mile-and-a-half. I hadn't run a 'COY' (Car of Yesterday), as they call it, and we plan to try to run Charlotte and Miami, so we're trying to get a little test time in," he said. He has yet to announce his 2008 racing plans. "We haven't decided what we're going to do yet. The big thing for me is to continue to wait a little bit and get to the point where I feel like I have a good head on my shoulders as far as making the decision," Hornish, Jr., said. "We'll make it when that time comes. The best thing about it is that I've not had to make that decision yet."(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-27-2007)

  • Hornish to attempt Dover: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #06 Penske Truck Rental Dodge Avenger, will attempt to make his Nextel Cup Series debut at Dover International Speedway on Sunday in the Car of Tomorrow. This is Hornish's inaugural appearance at the 1-mile concrete oval. Although Hornish's 2008 plans have not been finalized, the 28-year-old is determined to qualify for each of the four remaining COT races, including two additional Car of Yesterday events, with Roy McCauley leading the charge.(Penske Racing PR)(9-19-2007)

  • Latest on Hornish to NASCAR: UPDATE: If all goes better than it did on this crisp September day, [Sam Hornish & Crew Chief Roy McCauley] will be together permanently at Penske Racing when the 2008 season begins at Daytona. "It's a good match right now," McCauley said. "Obviously, I had a situation that took me away from it. I can help him a lot and give him an opportunity to have good experience around him and have a great crew around him. We'll go from there. I can't predict anything. And I don't like predicting anything." Predictions aside, it's a safe bet to say Hornish is planning to drive a full schedule. Otherwise, he wouldn't be trying to make all five Car of Tomorrow races and possibly two others over the final 10 Cup events of this season. "I can't say that there's no possibility that we'd do it, because we wouldn't be over here doing this if there wasn't," Hornish said with a smile. "I look at it as a new challenge." But Hornish remained firm that he's split down the middle on whether to run Cup or return to the IRL next season.(ESPN.com)(9-15-2007)
    UPDATE: Team owner Roger Penske says his gut tells him he wants to move Indy Racing League driver Sam Hornish from the Indy Racing League to NASCAR Sprint Cup racing next season. Penske said there is a chance that Hornish could be entered in another race after he missing NHIS. "Every bit of track time he can get will only make him better if he runs," Penske said. Penske could move some resources from his part-time Busch Series team for his third Nextel Cup team. He said with the difference in the Busch car compared to the car of tomorrow, there is little information that can be transferred from one to the other.(SceneDaily.com)(9-17-2007)

  • Hornish to run at NHIS in #06: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #06 Penske Truck Rental Dodge Avenger, will attempt to make his Nextel Cup Series debut at New Hampshire on Sunday in the Car of Tomorrow. This is Hornish's first run at the 1.058-mile oval. Although Hornish's 2008 plans have not been determined, the 28-year-old will attempt to qualify for no more than seven events, including each of the five remaining COT races with Roy McCauley leading the charge taking chassis PRS-512 to this weekend's Sylvania 300. This car was last driven by Kurt Busch at Phoenix in April where it started sixth and finished 18th. Hornish on New Hampshire International Speedway: "I'm excited about my first Cup race but there is definitely a lot of pressure. At this point, qualifying on Friday is our main concern. Hopefully we'll get it in. The COT cars are pretty good but they'll be even better if I make it in."(Penske Racing PR)(9-11-2007)

  • Hornish to run 5-6 races in the final 10 UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. plans to run five to six of the final 10 races in the Nextel Cup season for Penske Racing, team owner Roger Penske said on Saturday. Penske said the 2006 Indianapolis 500 champion, who is considering a full-time ride in Cup next season, will turn his focus to stock cars as soon as the Indy season ends on Sept. 9. Hornish's first Cup race could come in the championship Chase opener at New Hampshire International Speedway. "That's the game plan right now," Penske said before the start of the Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. "Obviously, he's got to qualify. But he did a good job at Michigan and if there is a chance to run cars every week, we'll see." Penske would like to keep Hornish's focus on Car of Tomorrow races -- New Hampshire, Dover, Talladega, Martinsville and Phoenix -- because that is the car NASCAR will use full time in 2008. "I told him the more experience you get the better you're going to be," Penske said. "We'll see."(ESPN.com)(8-25-2007)
    UPDATE: on SPEED's SPEED Report, Bob Dillner reported that Penske Racing driver Sam Horish Jr. will drive the five COT races that are in the final ten races in the Chase with plans to run Hornish full-time Cup in 2008. No word what the car number will be [#77? #72?] or if it will be a third team in 2008, but both #12-Ryan Newman and #2-Kurt Busch are signed thru at least 2008. Hornish will attempt to make his Nextel Cup debut this coming weekend at New Hampshire. Hornish has made eight career Busch Series starts in 2006-2007 with a best finish of 15th at Atlanta.(9-10-2007)

  • Penske Racing to create test track in Mooresville, NC: Penske Racing plans to build a test track in Mooresville similar in size and layout to the track at Richmond International Raceway. The 54-acre site on Mazeppa Road would include 1/4- and 1/2-mile ovals within the 3/4-mile oval track, and a 1.8-mile road course, documents filed with the Iredell County Planning Department show. At its neighboring race shop, Mooresville-based Penske already designs, makes and tests high-performance vehicles for competition in the Nextel Cup and Busch series, Indy Racing League, and Automobile Racing Club of America and American LeMans series. The test track also would accommodate law-enforcement training and recreational motorsports, but is not for spectators paying admission, Penske says in its filing with the county. Testing would be between 8am and 6pm/et, according to the filing. The acreage now includes two ball fields and a vacant lot. The land is zoned for heavy industrial uses, including race tracks, Iredell County Planner Rebecca Harper said. Penske proposes putting in landscaping along the track property's railroad boundary to obscure the track's view from Mazeppa Road, and adding landscaping along Penske Way, which leads off Mazeppa. The company would leave the woods on the west side of the property as a noise buffer. Industry border the other three sides. Penske Racing South president Don Miller could not be reached Thursday. The Iredell County Planning Board will consider the plan at 7pm Wednesday. The planning staff is recommending approval. County commissioners are expected to consider the board's recommendation in October.(Charlotte Observer)(8-31-2007)

  • The Latest on Hornish to NASCAR: Sam Hornish Jr. [is] taking a long, hard look at what he wants to do next and whether it includes a risky jump to NASCAR. "It's safe to say that the challenge of it intrigues me," Hornish said in the midst of preparations for this week's Honda 200. After eight years in IRL, he's itching for something new. Despite his IRL success, Hornish makes no secret of the fact that he's restless. His agreement with Penske Racing allows him to try some different things. He's driving in several Busch Series events and is testing himself in other ways. "That's one of the great things about this deal I have with Roger right now is that we have an opportunity to go either way," Hornish said. "The best part is that I don't have to make a decision today or tomorrow. We started off this year knowing that we were going to do 11 to 14 stock-car events, run the whole IndyCar schedule, run the 24 Hours of Daytona, have a whole bunch of different kind of racing thrown in there. We're going to continue to work on that plan. We'll sit down at the end of the year when that's all over with and make a decision on what we're going to do."(Associated Press)
    AND: Hornish refuted the prevailing rumor that he already has made up his mind and that owner Roger Penske will add a third car to his NASCAR team next year for Hornish. "I'd say where I'm at right now, the scales are 50-50," said Hornish. "I haven't made any decision; the team hasn't made a decision."(Columbus Dispatch)(7-21-2007)

  • More on Hornish to NASCAR: Sam Hornish Jr. is pondering a move from his Penske Racing's open wheel to its Nextel Cup outfit, where he could join #2-Kurt Busch and #12-Ryan Newman next season. Testing his stock car skills in the ARCA and Busch Series, he is expected to wait until his team's September deadline to announce a decision, in part to appease his IRL sponsor, Marlboro. Penske officials feel Hornish's [IRL] points finish this season could have an impact. He's currently fifth, a hefty 97 out, with just seven races remaining.(St Petersburg Times)(7-11-2007)

  • Menards sponsorship to Penske in 2008? John Menard is reported to be considering moving his sponsorship from Dale Earnhardt Inc. [#15 Paul Menard] to Roger Penske's Dodge team, with Penske expanding to a three-car operation. Menard, according to sources, has chopped his list to two owners, and it appears that #7-Robby Gordon is no longer in the running. Menard, who is supporting son Paul on the Cup tour at DEI, has been reported interested in purchasing DEI from Teresa Earnhardt [which has been rumored many times but always denied](Winston Salem Journal)(6-23-2007)

  • Third Penske team in 2008? Mobil 1 as sponsor? UPDATE 2: hearing that Mobil 1 will be a full sponsor of a third Penske Racing Nextel Cup car in 2008, no word on a driver.(6-8-2007)
    UPDATE: Roger Penske said Sunday he plans to field two Dodge-backed Nextel Cup Series teams in 2008. Recent reports said Penske Racing may leave Dodge next season in favor of a move to Toyota, a rumor Penske dismissed. "Our Dodge commitment is a long-term contract," said Penske, one of the world's largest Toyota dealers. "I read in the paper where we were switching to Toyota. We haven't even talked to them about it." As for the speculated third team? "We've looked at whether we'd run an additional car," Penske said. "We haven't made any commitment on it at this point. There's lots of speculation. We've got a lot of moving parts right now. I'm not committing to a third team at this point, at all."(ESPN.com)(6-11-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Penske Racing appears to be expanding to three teams in 2008, and former Indianapolis 500 champion Sam Hornish Jr. likely will fill that seat. Hornish is expected to compete in an unspecified number of Nextel Cup races toward the end of this season, team owner Roger Penske said Sunday morning at New Hampshire International Speedway. "We're looking at it," Penske said of the third team. "We definitely are very interested in doing that, but we have to look and see where we are with Hornish. That'll be a deciding factor on exactly what we do." More than likely Mobil 1, the sponsor on Hornish's Busch car and an associate sponsor on both Penske Cup cars, would be the primary sponsor on the Cup car. Mobil 1 and Penske have had a long association. With this apparent plan to expand to three teams with Hornish, Penske said he is not in the running for free agent Kyle Busch. Busch's older brother, Kurt, early last week lobbied on behalf of his brother during a national teleconference saying Penske Racing would be "stupid" not to talk to his brother.(ESPN.com)(7-2-2007)

  • Hornish wins ARCA pole at MIS: UPDATE: Sam Hornish, Jr. earned the AAA Pole Award Thursday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. Hornish sits on the pole for Friday's ARCA RE/MAX Series Michigan 200, marking his career first stock car pole. Besides an ARCA test at the end of May, this was Hornish's first real test in a stock car at the two-mile oval. Hornish circled MIS at 186.205mph in his #27 Mobil 1 Dodge. Friday's ARCA 200 will mark the Penske Racing driver's career first ARCA RE/MAX Series start. Erin Crocker starts on the outside front row in the #98 Mac Tools-Mac Card Dodge. Erik Darnell, Tim Andrews and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top-five qualifiers. Darnell, in the fuel conservation mode, stretched his advantage to 20 lengths at the final stripe over Hornish, Jr., who finished second in his career-first series start. It was Darnell's second RE/MAX Series victory of the season.(MIS PR)(6-15-2007)
    UPDATE: Despite a healthy line-up of top-quality teams in his rear view mirror, Roush Racing's Erik Darnell drove away from Penske Racing's Sam Hornish, Jr. to win the ARCA RE/MAX 200 Friday afternoon at Michigan Int'l Speedway. Darnell, in the fuel conservation mode, stretched his advantage to 20 lengths at the final stripe over Hornish, Jr., who finished second in his career-first series start. It was Darnell's second RE/MAX Series victory of the season.(ARCA Racing)(6-16-2007)

  • Third Penske team in 2008? Mobil 1 as sponsor? hearing that Mobil 1 will be a full sponsor of a third Penske Racing Nextel Cup car in 2008, no word on a driver.(6-8-2007)

  • Hornish to run Brickyard 400? Defending the Indianapolis 500 title will be tough enough for Sam Hornish Jr., but he says he'd like to win twice on the historic 2 1/2-mile oval this year. Hornish, who already has driven in two Busch Series races this season, said Wednesday he likes the idea of trying to drive in both major American races at the track - Indy and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. "The biggest thing would be our resources," Hornish said. "But if they asked me to do it, I'd do it." It's not unprecedented. A few NASCAR drivers, most notably Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon, have competed in Indianapolis on Memorial Day weekend and later returned to compete in the Brickyard 400. Hornish won the second-closest finish in Indy 500 history by 0.0635 seconds in 2006. Hornish might be setting himself up for even greater expectations. When asked if he had any inkling about running in the July 29 Nextel Cup race in Indianapolis, he didn't hesitate. "I'm trying to work on Roger (Penske) as far as that goes," Hornish said. "I think it would require a little bit of testing, and the biggest thing would be our resources. Obviously, we don't want to take away from what Kurt (Busch) and Ryan (Newman) do there." #2-Busch and #12-Newman are the two regular drivers for Penske's NASCAR team. Hornish also is trying to become only the sixth driver in Indy history to repeat as champion, something his teammate Helio Castroneves accomplished in 2001-02.(Associated Press)(3-15-2007)

2006 News

  • Hornish to race in Nov. Phoenix Busch race? UPDATE 2 yep: Reports that IRL champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr. will make his stock car debut next month at Phoenix in a NASCAR Busch Series car are premature, a Team Penske spokesman said Friday night. A recent story cited unidentified sources as saying the Penske team will enter Hornish in the Busch races at Phoenix and Homestead in November, as well as running him in selected Busch and ARCA events next season before launching a full-time Nextel Cup career in 2008. "Roger Penske has said publicly that we are considering a plan that would allow Sam to race in some Busch and ARCA races next year, for sure, along with his IRL schedule," Chris Schwartz, director of marketing and communications for the Penske team, told The Associated Press. "That's all in motion and it's a goal of ours to get him into a Busch race this year," Schwartz added. "But he hasn't even tested a (stock) car, yet. We hope to get that accomplished soon and we hope to get him in the Phoenix (Busch) race and maybe the Homestead (Busch) race, too. But nothing is done yet."(Associated Press)(10-14-2006)
    UPDATE: Hornish could run the Busch Series race at Phoenix next month if he feels he is ready, Penske Racing officials confirmed. Hornish has tested a stock car at North Carolina (Rockingham) Speedway and plans to test at Iowa Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway before deciding whether to run at Phoenix, Penske Raacing South President Don Miller said Saturday. "We're going to let him get the feel of the car," Miller said. "If he decides that he's ready, we could theoretically do that [Phoenix race]." Matt Gimbel, the crew chief for the #39 Penske Racing South Busch Series team, will direct the effort. Hornish is committed to run in the IRL for 2007. "That is his primary deal," Miller said. "We don't want to interfere with the primary program because that wouldn't be good for the team overall."(SceneDaily.com)(10-14-2006)
    UPDATE 2: been told that Hornish will run the Phoenix and Homestead Busch races with in the #39 Mobil 1 Dodge, offiicial announcement to come later this morning.
    UPDATE 3: Penske Racing officials announced Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway that three-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. will attempt to qualify for two NASCAR Busch Series races this season. Hornish will pilot the #39 Mobil 1 Dodge at the Nov. 11 Phoenix and Nov. 18 Homestead events. Penske Racing will expand its Busch Series effort in 2007, splitting duties between Hornish and fellow Penske drivers #12-Ryan Newman and #2-Kurt Busch. Hornish has tested the Busch car twice already, at Kentucky and Iowa.(AMS Pit Notes)(10-28-2006)

  • Hornish may run some NASCAR races in 2007: IRL champion Sam Hornish says there is a possibility he will compete in some NASCAR races in 2007. While testing his IRL car at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, Hornish said that running in NASCAR is something that's going to happen eventually. Hornish, who drives for Roger Penske in the IRL, would drive for Penske if he did compete in the NASCAR ranks. "The first thing you have to do is go through all the preliminaries, doing the tests, getting that first little bit of seat time," he said. "I'm not going to hop right in there and go to a race. People will know it's happening before I just show up one day and here I am [at a race]. It's something we're looking to." Hornish said that because the IRL season is more condensed the opportunity exists for him to also race in select Cup events. "Roger needs to find a good use for me to get the most out of his money," he said. "I want to try it out and see if I'm capable of doing that. We have to wait and see when the right time is. I'm not sure yet."(SceneDaily.com)(9-28-2006)

  • Hornish to test Busch/ARCA cars for Penske? maybe not..yet: [Sam] Hornish said he has yet to discuss with Team Penske plans for testing ARCA or Busch Series cars this fall. But he sounded very much committed to open-wheel racing. "I still want to win some more (Indianapolis) 500s," he said. "That's the big thing. I've still got three more to go to get anywhere near (four-time winner) Rick Mears." Hornish leads the IRL in all-time wins (18) and is the only multiple champion. He implied that testing or racing stock cars would be done to complement his open-wheel career. "Right now we're focused on IndyCar stuff. We want to continue doing that throughout the year," he said. "We ... have not had much of an opportunity to sit down and figure out what our plan is. With the IndyCar series being consolidated down into a short amount of months and having the opportunity where I could probably run 10-12 races whether they be ARCA or Busch or whatever in my free time, it gives me the opportunity to have a little bit more practice time."(St Petersburg Times)(9-13-2006)

  • Hornish to run Busch and ARCA Races UPDATE 2 testing..#77?: Roger Penske said Saturday that he was working on a plan that would allow his IRL driver Sam Hornish Jr. to race in some NASCAR Busch Series and ARCA Series races next season. That would be in addition to a full IRL schedule for Hornish, who won the Indianapolis 500 this year. "Sam has talked about running some Busch or ARCA races, and we're looking at a potential program,'' Penske said before the Sharpie 500. "We haven't put all the pieces together." Although Penske used an ARCA, Busch and Nextel Cup program to develop the driver Ryan Newman before promoting him to the Cup series full-time, Penske said it was too early to say if Hornish would move up to compete in the Cup series by 2008.(New York Times)(8-28-2006)
    UPDATE: Reports that Indianapolis 500 champion Sam Hornish Jr. would be running races in the NASCAR Busch and ARCA Series next year in addition to his Indy Racing League schedule are premature. "There's no confirmation," Team Penske director of marketing and communications Chris Schwartz said. "They're considering a plan that would allow Sam to run some Busch and ARCA events next year. The details of that plan are tentative. Some people are thinking that this is something more than it really is."(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(8-31-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Sam Hornish Jr. could begin testing a Penske Racing South Dodge sometime this fall in preparation for what could be a limited Busch Series and ARCA schedule in 2007, team president Don Miller said Saturday. "They're just looking at that possibility [for next season]," Miller said. "He'll probably do some testing a little bit later on." Whether Hornish begins testing this year or not until next season will depend, in part, on how Penske Racing South's preparations are going for next season. The team has struggled with its intermediate-track program this year and is also busy working to gear up for the introduction of the "car of tomorrow" next season. Hornish, who will run the full IRL schedule next year, would ease into stock cars. If Hornish were to make the move to NASCAR full time in 2008 or beyond, it would likely mean Penske Racing South would resurrect the #77 team it shut down after last season.(SceneDaily.com)(9-3-2006)

  • Owners trying to buy #77 team for owners points UPDATE 2 Waltrip-Bawel partner up: At least six car owners have inquired about the possibility of buying the #77 [Penske-Jasper] team that won't race this year. That's because that team finished in the top 35 in last year's car owner points. If a new team can transfer the #77's points from last year, that would mean it would be guaranteed a spot in the starting field for the 2006 Daytona 500 and the new season's next four races beyond that. Any such arrangement would have to be submitted to NASCAR for its approval.(ThatsRacin), it was reported on NASCAR.com a few weeks ago, that since the #77 was not being run in 2006, the #4 Morgan-McClure team with driver Scott Wimmer would move up and be guaranteed a spot in each of the first five races, if someone bought the #77, would 'assume' that the #4 team would get knocked out.(1-17-2006)
    UPDATE: #55-Michael Waltrip, who enters the season without a spot in the top 35 in owners points after his move to Bill Davis Racing, may be the beneficiary if a deal can be worked out between BDR and Penske Racing South, which won't field its #77 team this year. The deal, which would be subject to NASCAR's approval, would require an agreement to be reached between official #77 owner, Doug Bawel and BDR. Other team supposedly have made inquries about acquiring the rights to #77's 2005 owners points. One techicality could be whether or not the owners points would revert to Penske's #77 team should it return in 2007.(NASCAR Scene Print Version)(1-20-2006)
    UPDATE 2: President and CEO of Michael Waltrip Racing, Inc., Michael Waltrip and President of Jasper, Doug Bawel, announced they have formed Waltrip-Jasper Racing Company, LLC. Waltrip-Jasper Racing will field the #55 NAPA Auto Parts Nextel Cup Dodge in 2006,driven by Waltrip. Bawel has been in racing for over 15 years, previously as an owner of Penske-Jasper Racing Company's #77 Kodak Dodge. Bawel will serve on the Board of Directors and will be active in business management and sanctioning body relationships for the new company. "I have been in the sport as a driver for 22 years and the logical progression for me was ownership at the highest level, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series," Waltrip said. "This is such a big step, that I wanted to partner with someone who has intimate knowledge about ownership at this level. Doug Bawel and I have been friends for a number of years and I have always respected the way he handled himself in the garage and with NASCAR."
    "I learned quickly that Michael is a goal oriented person," Bawel stated. "When we began talking about the possibilities of teaming up, he started dialing the phone and making things happen immediately. He is a talented driver and a proven NASCAR Busch Series car owner, but most importantly as he moves into NASCAR's premier series, he is a man with a vision that likes to take ideas from paper to reality. I am delighted to lend my experience and management support to Waltrip-Jasper Racing."
    Waltrip-Jasper Racing has contracted Bill Davis Racing to be the source of cars, engines and personnel. Additionally, Waltrip-Jasper Racing has created their own team of people. The foundation of Waltrip-Jasper Racing is sculpted with experienced people vested in NASCAR. Ty Norris, former EVP of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. will serve as the general manager overseeing the operation. Waltrip's long-time confidant, Bobby Kennedy will serve as the Competition Director and Larry Carter, a veteran crew chief, has also been contracted by Waltrip-Jasper Racing to be a part of the team.(Waltrip-Jasper Racing PR), so this allows Waltrip and the #55 team to use the #77 owners points and guaranteed to make the first five Cup races. Thus knocking the #4 Morgan-McClure team back to 36th in owners points and out of the guaranteed spot.(1-20-2006)

2005 News

  • #4 team gets a guaranteed spot first five races: have been asked and have been telling folks the wrong thing, since the #77 team will not field a car/team in 2006, what happens to the 34th spot the team occupies in 2005 Owners Points? A team in the top 35 in the previous season's Owners Points are guaranteed to make the first five races, after the 5th race, 2006 Owners Points take over. I had assumed [not a good thing] that the spot would go unfilled and one of the teams outside the top-35 would get an extra shot of making the race per speed [except for the Daytona 500 with it's unique qualifying forrmat, however, saw this on NASCAR.com from Marty Smith and it has been verified by NASCAR:
    By dissolving its #77 team, it seems Penske Racing indirectly sent owner #4-Larry McClure a priceless early Christmas present - a guaranteed starting position in the 2006 Daytona 500. During the first five races of a new season, NASCAR reverts to the previous season's final championship owner points to determine which teams will benefit from the top-35 rule. To receive a guaranteed starting assignment at Daytona, California, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Bristol, a team must be among the 35 highest-ranked teams present from the previous season's owner points standings, must have entered the event prior to the entrance deadline and must make an attempt to qualify for the event. Therefore, by virtue of the #77's absence, McClure's 36th-ranked team inherits the final guaranteed starting position for the first five races of the 2006 season. Remember, though, if Penske does opt to enter the #77 in the race, McClure is out. And, considering that making the Daytona 500 field guarantees a quarter-million dollar payday (roughly), that very well may happen. Had Penske not shut down the #77 operation, which held the 34th position in '05 owner points, McClure would have entered '06 faced with having to qualify for each of the first five events on speed.(NASCAR.com), the only way this would change is if Penske did field a car for one of the first 5 races or teams up with another team like Robby Gordon did with Jim Smith for the #7 in 2005. Next question would be: who will be the driver?(12-14-2005)

  • Carter out at Penske? UPDATE changes: hearing #2 Miller Lite crew chief, Larry Carter has been released from his duties as crew chief at Penske Racing and is looking for work, supposedly Roy McCauley, Chief Engineer for the #12 team of Ryan Newman will supposedly be Kurt Busch's crew chief.(12-7-2005)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing South announced today that Roy McCauley will become the crew chief of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge effective immediately. McCauley replaces Larry Carter who will move to a management role within Penske Racing South's operations division. "I am pleased to announce these changes to our racing organization," Roger Penske said. "Roy brings a wealth of technical and engineering experience to the #2 team. Roy and Kurt will be a great team and when you combine them with Ryan Newman and Matt Borland, we are looking forward to building on our recent successes. I want to thank Larry Carter for his contributions as crew chief with the #2 team. His leadership was instrumental in guiding Rusty into 'The Chase' this season. Whereas Matt and Roy will focus on the competition side of our business, Larry will bring a wealth of experience to an important management role within the operations of Penske Racing." The moves of Carter and McCauley were made along with other personnel changes at Penske Racing South as the company prepares its two NEXTEL Cup teams for the 2006 season.(Penske Racing PR)(12-9-2005)

  • #77 Team will not run in 2006, Kodak to #2 UPDATE 7 Penske Release: hearing [have learned...like 3 weeks ago] Penske Racing South with dissolve the #77 Kodak team at the end of the 2005 season as Kodak is leaving as sponsor. No word on where Kodak will go or where Travis Kvapil will drive. Supposedly Penske will not be a two car [#2-Kurt Busch and #12-Ryan Newman] team for long they are going to develop another young driver in the same ABC [ARCA, Busch, Cup] format that was successful with Newman.(11-16-2005)
    UPDATE: been told this is NOT true..and that Penske Racing worked things out to keep Kodak and that Travis Kvapil will drive the #77 Kodak Dodge in 2006.(11-17-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Kodak has reached an agreement to extend its sponsorship of the Penske-Jasper Racing Nextel Cup team, and Travis Kvapil, a Janesville native, will return as the driver, a team representative said Thursday. A rumor had surfaced one day earlier speculating that the team could be disbanded.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(11-18-2005)
    UPDATE 3: have learned that the #77 team has been shut down...today, after Kodak decided not to re-up with the team. No word on Kvapil's plans or if Kodak will remain in the sport.(sources and PRN's Garage Pass Radio show)(11-29-2005)
    AND from a story at Janesville [Wisc] Gazette on 11/18: Deb Williams, director of public/media relations for Penske Racing South, has confirmed that Wednesday's rumor is completely untrue. Meanwhile, Tom Page, the manager of NASCAR marketing for Eastman Kodak, also denied the report. "I have no idea where that came from or how it got started," Page said. "Travis has done a very good job representing Kodak. He is an honest, hard-working driver. We signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Penske Racing in 2004. That's common knowledge."(Janesville [Wisc] Gazette)
    STATEMENT: from Penske Racing: "Penske-Jasper Racing and Kodak are currently working on their 2006 Nextel Cup plans which will be announced in the near future."
    of note: last year is was denied that Brendan Gaughan was being let go, denied that Rusty was retiring after 2005 and a few years ago denied for months that Penske Racing would switch to Dodge,....sooooo.
    UPDATE 4: hearing Kodak will stay with Penske Racing as a major associate for the #2 Dodge driven by Kurt Busch in 2006.(12-1-2005)
    UPDATE 5: Despite repeated denials from Penske Racing, Kodak is pulling its sponsorship, and the #77 team is being dismantled. This is a sticky situation because Doug Bawel entered into a partnership with Penske Racing two seasons ago, and now he's on the outside looking in. The move comes on the heels of a major restructuring at Penske's Mooresville, N.C.-based campus.(Sporting News)(12-5-2005)
    UPDATE 6: Travis Kvapil and the #77 Kodak/Jasper Engines & Transmissions race team will not be part of the NASCAR Nextel Cup scene for the 2006 season. "Penske (Racing South) and Kodak have agreed not to field the 77 Dodge in Nextel Cup racing in 2006," said David Kassnoff, Kodak's manager of communications and publications. "We expect a return in 2007 with a more competitive race team. We are looking to Penske to develop a team that can perform at a high level consistently in 2007." Kvapil could not be reached for comment. Kodak, the longest continuous primary team sponsor in NASCAR, will be reduced to associate sponsorship status for 2006. Kodak's associate sponsorship will appear on the #2 Miller Lite Dodge. Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion, will replace [retiring] Rusty Wallace in the #2 car next season. Internet rumors last month said that Kvapil's team would be dissolved. One Kodak spokesman and another for Penske strongly denied those rumors. Despite the denials, the whispers continued. Penske Racing South has not made a public statement regarding the status of Kvapil's team. Kassnoff said an announcement should come later today or tomorrow.(Janesville [WI] Gazette)(12-8-2005)
    UPDATE 7 - Penske Release: With the recent decision by Penske-Jasper Racing and Eastman Kodak Company to not field the #77 Kodak Dodge in the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season, 2005 rookie Travis Kvapil is permitted to seek other driving opportunities. "I want to thank Travis for what he has provided to Penske-Jasper Racing during this year," said Roger Penske. "Travis is a talented driver and an excellent ambassador for our team and our sponsors. While it is unfortunate that we will not field the Kodak Dodge in 2006, I am confident that Travis will find the opportunity to drive another car next year." Kodak, which will continue as an associate sponsor with the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, intends to re-enter the #77 Kodak Dodge in the 2007 NEXTEL Cup season.(Penske Racing)(12-8-2005)

  • Jasper's 2006 Plans...no #77: been told that an announcement was made at Jasper Engines today detailing their 2006 plans in which Jasper will supply the transmissions and differentials to Ryan Newman's #12 car and Kurt Busch's #2 car in the NEXTEL Cup Series; the Rusty Wallace owned Busch Series #64 car and the Penske Busch Series ]#39] team, as well as the #77 truck owned and driven by Brendan Gaughan in the Craftsman Truck Series. Penske Jasper Engines will build the power plants for all these teams with the exception of Gaughan's truck team which owns its engine program. Jasper also plans to add an expanded R&D area that will house the NASCAR transmissions and differentials operations. Jasper will not return as a sponsor of the #77 Penske Racing Dodge in Nextel Cup racing.(12-8-2005)

  • Penske to consolidate team headquarters UPDATE: Penske Racing is moving its headquarters next year, leaving Reading, Pa., after the 2006 Indy Racing League season concludes, relocating to the company's new NASCAR facility in Mooresville, N.C. The move will allow the organization to consolidate its stock-car, Indy-car and sports-car teams in the 424,000-square-foot facility Roger Penske opened last year in the Charlotte suburb. "There is certainly a lot of crossover capabilities," said Tim Cindric, the president of the team's Indy-car program. "Definitely one of the motives is to put everything under one roof." Penske set his team's roots in Reading in 1973 after it spent its first seven seasons in Newtown Square, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. Penske's Indy-car team has about 90 employees, most of whom are Pennsylvania natives. Cindric doesn't know how many people will follow the team.(Indianapolis Star)(11-1-2005)
    UPDATE: Penske Performance is moving its NASCAR, Indy Racing League and American LeMans Series programs under one roof in North Carolina, and Roger Penske has announced that Tim Cindric will oversee the entire operation. Since 1999, Cindric, 37, has been responsible for Penske Racing's IRL effort, Penske Cars Ltd., Racing Experience Inc., Penske Technology Group and Penske Motorsports Inc. Cindric led Team Penske to two IRL titles and 25 victories, including three consecutive Indy 500 wins. Penske Racing South president Don Miller will retain his role; Penske Racing South general manager John Erickson will become G.M. of Penske Motorsports' ALMS Porsche program.(Sporting News)(11-28-2005)

  • Newman to run 04 Dodge, Rusty/Kvapil the Charger: Don Miller, President of Penske Racing South told Claire B. Lang XM Satellite NASCAR Radio that: "We wanted to run ( an 04 Dodge) one earlier in the season and Dodge asked us to hold off until we did some further testing but now we fully intend to run it here and if it works out like we think it will, we will probably run it again next season on certain race tracks. We had trouble with the 2005 being so pitch sensitive on smooth high speed one and a half mile race tracks. Everyplace else the other car is just fine. Definately the #12 is going to run an 04 this weekend." Miller says the 2 and the 77 will run the 2005 Dodge Charger this weekend at Homestead.(Claire B. Lang XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)(11-18-2005)

  • Congrats: Congratulations to Mike and Edrina Schaefer who welcomed Katie Ann on Friday, Oct, 21. Katie Ann was 19 inches long and weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces. Edrina is the daughter of Doug and Kathy Bawel, car co-owner of the #77 Kodak/Jasper Engines Dodge that Travis Kvapil drives.(10-27-2005)

  • #77 Team Donates to American Cancer Society: The Kodak Racing team along with its associate sponsor, Jasper Engines and Transmissions, are stepping up to the plate to practice what they preach with a donation totaling $20,400 to the American Cancer Society. The contribution from Travis Kvapil, JET and the Penske-Jasper Racing pit crew will benefit a program that helps women with little or no insurance obtain screening for breast cancer. Prior to last Sunday's Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway when Kvapil raced a Kodak Mammography Products-themed Dodge Charger, the 29-year old Janesville, Wis., native decided to make a donation to show his support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which runs through October. Doug Bawel, co-owner of the #77 Penske-Jasper Racing team and president of Jasper Engines and Transmissions, informed Kodak that JET would also make a donation. This week, pit crew members announced they would join their driver and associate sponsor in making a donation. Each over-the-wall crew member is giving $1,100 from his bonus program for a total of $7,700.(Penske Racing)(10-14-2005)

  • #77 to sport special scheme at Kansas: This weekend at Kansas Speedway, Eastman Kodak Company's Health Imaging Division will once again leverage the firm's Penske-Jasper Racing NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series sponsorship to join in the race to promote better breast health for women. The Kodak Racing team is trading its well-known Kodak gold this weekend for a white #77 Kodak Mammography Products Dodge Charger for Travis Kvapil to race in the Banquet 400 in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which runs through October. Through its sponsorship of Kvapil's car, Kodak hopes to raise awareness of the importance of early detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. In addition to the #77 Kodak Mammography Products Dodge, Kodak is supporting the race for better breast health in other ways. Kodak EasyShare Gallery (www.kodakgallery.com), formerly known as "Ofoto", has teamed with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation as the official photo sponsor of the Breast Cancer 3-Day, an organized fundraiser, which from June through the end of October will have visited 10 different cities to aid in the fight against breast cancer. ot only is Kodak EasyShare Gallery the official photo partner, it also is offering special pink ribbon products including T-shirts, greeting cards, photo books, and more for purchase online in honor of breast cancer awareness. Kodak is donating 10 percent of the retail purchase price to the Breast Cancer 3-Day. Also, for the month of October, when you purchase an Absolute Pink KODAK EASYSHARE V530 Zoom Digital Camera at the KODAK Online Store, Kodak will donate 10% of the retail price to the Breast Cancer 3-Day.(Penske Racing), see image of the car on my #77 Team Schemes page.(10-5-2005)

  • Penske to Toyota? UPDATE: Penske Racing's deal with Dodge ends after 2006, with widespread speculation that Penske will side with Toyota in 2007. Penske's recent hiring of 2004 champion Kurt Busch (for 2007) is being cast as Toyota's way of strengthening its roster with a proven champion.(Speed Channel)(8-23-2005)
    UPDATE: Walter Czarnecki, vice chairman of Penske Racing and Penske Racing South, said Dodge's contract with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup team extends past 2007.(Penske Racing South)(8-23-2005)

  • Congrats: Matt Lucas, #77 Penske-Jasper Racing's team engineer, and his wife Jessie welcomed their daughter to the family on Friday, July 15 at 8:52pm/et. Piper Joy Lucas weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces; she is 19 ½ inches long. The newest daddy on the #77 team said both of his girls are doing well. He also said, "It's a 77 thing. Maybe the 7 pounds 7 ounces is an omen."(Penske Racing PR)(7-16-2005)

  • Congrats: Late News But Welcome to the Crew: The Kodak Racing team would like to extend warm wishes to the newest "little" member of the team. Clay Robinson, front tire changer for the #77 Penske-Jasper Racing crew, and wife Jenna welcomed Joseph "Joey" Andrew Robinson on June 23 at 3:08 am, EDT. Joey was 21.5 inches long at birth and weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces. Joey has two older sisters, Paige, 5, and Antonia, 2.(Penske Racing)(7-14-2005)

  • Kvapil wins ARCA Race at Pocono: In the end, no one had anything for Penske Racing powerhouse #27-Travis Kvapil, who in his first ARCA RE/MAX Series attempt, handily won the Pocono 200 Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway, Kvapil also won the pole for the event. Kvapil crossed the final stripe just over two seconds ahead of #46-Frank Kimmel in second. Rounding out the top five were #9-Joey Miller, #11-Chad McCumbee [played Dale Jr. in ESPN's movie '3'] and #4-Michael Guerity. See results at ARCARAcing.com.(6-11-2005)

  • Kvapil to run ARCA race: Penske Racing South has entered rookie #77-Travis Kvapil in the ARCA RE/MAX Series event on Saturday at Pocono Raceway in an effect to get Kvapil some seat time on the track.(Penske Racing)(6-8-2005)

  • Kvapil sues Meshkin [BANG]: Penske Racing South driver #77-Travis Kvapil, a rookie in the Nextel Cup Series, has filed suit in North Carolina against his former employer, Alex Meshkin, who owned the now-defunct Bam! [Actually it is BANG not BAM] Racing Craftsman Truck team. Kvapil, who drove for Bam! Last season, alleges that Meshkin was contracted to provide a Busch Series ride for him this year but failed to do so. Meshkin, who is also involved in litigation with former employee Larry McReynolds, closed his race team late last year.(Speed Channel)(5-29-2005)

  • So what is up at Penske Racing? Now that Roger Penske owns all of Penske Racing South, crew chief Matt Borland has been signed to a contract extension and driver #12-Ryan Newman is in negotiations for a similar extension, the focus shifts to finding a replacement for Rusty Wallace. Penske bought the 48% share of the team owned by Wallace, Don Miller and John Erickson this week, giving the racing magnate complete control of the three-car [#2, #12, #77] team. Wallace has announced he'll retire at the end of this season, and many believe Jamie McMurray, whose contract with Chip Ganassi Racing ends this season, will climb into the #2 Miller Dodge. McMurray, who is dating Wallace's daughter, is trying to avoid all the speculation. "Last year I got to talking about my contract," McMurray said. "I'm not going to talk about that at all." Newman has talked with Roush Racing and Evernham Motorsports about a future, but he's leaning toward staying with Borland and Penske.(Augusta Chronicle)(5-19-2005)

  • Penske Happy with Dodge: #2-Rusty Wallace shot down talk of Penske Racing South aligning itself with Toyota. He said the team is happy with its current contract with Dodge. "People would think that [switch] would be a natural because he's running Toyota in the IRL Series, and he's the largest Toyota dealer," he said. "But he's also one of the world's largest Daimler Chrysler dealers." Wallace said he hasn't "personally talked" with Toyota about his #64 Busch Series team but said he would never say never.(Richmond Times Dispatch), remember the denials in 2000 that Penske would switch to Dodge?(5-15-2005)

  • Kvapil like Switzerland in in Wallace-Newman feud: #77-Travis Kvapil said he gets along fine with both his Penske Racing South comrades - #2-Rusty Wallace and #12-Ryan Newman. But he also said the ongoing feud between those two is awkward at times. "I don't want anybody to think I'm choosing sides," Kvapil said. "I do feel like I'm caught in the middle a little bit. I'm just trying to stay quiet. Whatever their differences are is between them. I wish we could work through it and it would all go away." Kvapil, who drives the #77 Kodak Dodge, said his team shares information with the #2 Miller Lite Dodge of Wallace and the #12 Alltel Dodge of Newman. But Wallace's and Newman's teams don't share info with each other.(Dallas Morning News)(4-29-2005)

  • Rusty-Ryan Update: It's no secret that teammates #2-Rusty Wallace and #12-Ryan Newman have not been best of friends since their cars collided last fall during a race at Martinsville Speedway. Because Wallace is a co-owner of the team, along with Roger Penske and Don Miller, there was considerable speculation Wallace would make an effort to patch up their differences during the offseason. Instead, the relationship has grown, if anything, colder. At least part of the problem is their differing racing philosophies. The 48-year-old Wallace is an old-style, seat-of-the-pants racer, while 27-year-old Newman is a graduate engineer who likes to depend on technology and information from his engineers to set up his cars. "It's really two separate teams, totally,'' Travis Kvapil, the third member of the Penske team, races the #77 Dodge. "The 77 and 2 share, every tire pressure, every shock, every piece,'' Wallace said. "The 12 car is totally off limits. It's totally a separate team. They're at one end of the shop, and it's unfortunate. I'm resigned to the fact. I'm tired of wearing myself out trying to fix it. I'm just going to do my deal and drive my guts out and give it everything I've got. ... I've beat this 12 thing to death forever, and they've got a whole different train of thought and that's fine.''(ESPN.com/AP)(4-23-2005)

  • Penske buying out Rusty and Miller? UPDATE: Roger Penske is buying out the 48% share of Penske South that is owned by Rusty Wallace and his long-time business manager Don Miller.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-16-2005)
    UPDATE: Wallace, driving his final full season in Nextel Cup, said Penske has offered to buy out his share of the team, as well as his longtime friend Miller's share. But Wallace said the ongoing fuss with Newman will not play a part in that decision, when he makes it. "Again, I want to stress I haven't made that decision,'' Wallace said. "I've got an offer to do that. I lay awake at nights wondering if that's what I should do.''(ESPN.com/AP)(4-23-2005)

  • #77 Testing: The #77 Kodak Racing team and driver Travis Kvapil spent Tuesday, March 29, at Caraway Speedway in preparation for the upcoming Food City 500. The team will also test at North Carolina Speedway on April 5th and Darlington Raceway on April 6th.(Penske Racing)(3-30-2005)

  • Miller named Business Person of the Year: Don Miller, president and co-owner of Penske Racing South [#2, #12, #77], was named Business Person of the Year Tuesday by the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce during its annual banquet at the Mooresville Citizens Center. Miller, a resident of Mooresville since 1990, was honored for his contributions to the town, which have included establishing the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame and Museum, Stocks for Tots to raise funds and toys for abused and neglected children, and assisting other race teams in locating in Iredell County. "This award means a lot to me because I believe in this town," Miller said. "I know all of the people who work here feel the same way because Mooresville is a town with a heart." Miller and wife Pat moved to the southern Iredell County town from St. Louis 15 years ago when the Chicago native joined Rusty Wallace and Roger Penske in forming Penske Racing South. "When Rusty and I came to Mooresville we met with the mayor and the Chamber of Commerce," Miller, 65, recalled. "They had some reservations about the effect motorsports might have on the city. However, they gave their word they would support us if we came here and we would support them. This award is a by-product of those efforts." Since moving to the North Carolina city that was named "America's Best Small Town" in 2004, Miller has been honored with the Chamber's Free Spirit Award and Citizen of the Year. In addition to his business ventures in Mooresville, Miller also was instrumental in the development of the roof flaps in 1993 after Wallace's horrendous flip at Talladega in the spring of that year. He received the NASCAR Achievement Award for his design and testing efforts in that project. Miller also led the design team for the then new Ford Taurus used in NASCAR competition in 1997. Miller and his wife, Pat, have three daughters and two grandchildren. Their youngest daughter, Patricia, is currently involved in the restoration of the Saturn V rocket.(Penske Racing PR)(2-25-2005)

  • Penske's New Shop: The new Penske Racing South shop [#2, #12, #77] debuted Wednesday night and entering the cavernous facility you felt as though you were there for a rock concert or looking for the anchor store of a major shopping mall. Penske himself acknowledged this: "If (this) doesn't work as a race shop, we can always have concerts in here." He quipped. Much of the space is done, but the team has yet to fully move from their present multi-building location five miles away, although the move should be completed by March. Penske purchased the former Matsushita manufacturing facility last summer and has been hard at work ever since getting it ready for occupation by his three Nextel Cup teams. Two shifts worked seven days a week to gut the interior and rebuild it to Penske's specifications. The building itself (there are actually two if you include a smaller shop in the rear) encompasses a total of 424,697 feet. 240,781 square feet, that's 8 acres under roof by the way, of which are occupied by the race teams. There are 3 paint booths, one for each team, 3-body prep stations and 17 surface plates. By far the most fan friendly shop on the tour, there is a 300-foot long second floor catwalk that will allow fans to view the ongoing work. Penske made sure to note to Lowes Motor Speedway president, "Humpy" Wheeler, that the 300 foot long stainless steel rail is the longest in North Carolina. See more and some images of the shop at Cupscene.com and some pics of the media tour also at Cupscene.com [looks like the site is down].(1-27-2005)

  • #2, #12, #77 to run Mobil schemes at Las Vegas: NASCAR sponsor ExxonMobil is partnering with Penske Racing South to help every-day drivers improve their cars' performance. As part of the initiative, all three of Penske Racing South's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers will race cars promoting the new line of Mobil high-endurance motor oils -- which guarantee engine protection for longer intervals -- during the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 on March 13 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. #12-Ryan Newman will run the Mobil 1 Extended Performance car in Vegas, with teammate #2-Rusty Wallace behind the wheel of the Mobil Clean 7500 car and NASCAR Rookie-of-the-Year candidate #77-Travis Kvapil driving the Mobil Clean 5000 car. Specially formulated for today's longer oil change intervals, Mobil Clean 5000, Mobil Clean 7500 and Mobil 1 Extended Performance were created to help alleviate consumer confusion about when to change their oil. The complete line of Mobil high-endurance oils guarantees performance and long-lasting protection of critical engine parts for 5,000, 7,500, or 15,000 miles, respectively. Special advertising for the new line of products will make its debut on Sunday, Feb. 20, during the Daytona 500. For more information about this new line of Mobil products, go to www.mobiloil.com. Additional information about Mobil racing programs can be found at www.mobil1.com.(Business Wire)(1-26-2005)

  • Jasper Engines on the #77 for four races: Jasper Engines & Transmissions will return as the primary sponsor of the #77 Dodge driven by Travis Kvapil for four races in 2005. The scheduled races for the Jasper car are: Texas (April), Dover (June), Chicago (July) and Atlanta (October).(RacingOne)(1-20-2005)

  • Penske Racing moving into their new digs: Penske Racing South is currently busy moving into its new home at 200 Penske Way in Mooresville, N.C. While many divisions of the race team have already moved, the #12 ALLTEL team looks to be completely and permanently housed in the new facility following the 2005 Daytona 500.(Penske Racing PR)(1-11-2005)

2004 News

  • Kvapil tests at Lakeland: New Penske Racing rookie Travis Kvapil tested with the #77 Kodak team at Lakeland, FL.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(12-20-2004)

  • So What Happens to Gaughan? UPDATE 3: a few rumors have been floating:
    Gaughan supposedly talked to the #0 Haas-CNC team, but hearing Mike Bliss will end up in the car.
    Gaughan could go back to the Truck Series as a teammate to Steve Park for the team owned by hi father, Park is signed thru 2005 in the #62 truck.
    And one that is a tad 'out there' is Gaughan teaming up with Robby Gordon and Jim Smith [kiss my what?], but not sure if it would a full time deal, Truck team, run in Gordon's Busch car or a 2nd Cup team.(12-9-2004)
    UPDATE: hearing that Gaughan will drive the #77 Jasper Penske Dodge Truck with Jasper Engines as the sponsor in the Truck Series?(12-10-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Brendan Gaughan tells Sirius Speedway (Sirius Satellite Radio) that he will run a heavy schedule of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events next season, after being released by Penske-Jasper Racing earlier in the week. "Steve Park will run the full season in the #62 Orleans Dodge, and I will be in a second truck - the #61 - in a bunch of truck races, maybe even the full schedule. Rusty Wallace has also asked me to run his Busch car in a handful of races that Jeremy (Mayfield) and Jamie (McMurray) don't run. That's not official yet, but the offer is there." Gaughan said he is relieved to have his future decided, adding, "The decision was more theirs than mine. It's their team, and if they didn't want me there, I didn't want to be there. I'm happy to be where I am now. I beat Brian Vickers in the Rookie of the Year chase this season, but you never heard anything about him being replaced. There were no rumblings coming out of Hendrick Motorsports. You need to know you have the support of your team." Gaughan said he expects to make major sponsor announcements for both himself and Park within the next 2-3 weeks.(12-11-2004)
    UPDATE 3: Steve Park will return to the No. 62 Orleans Dodge full time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2005, Orleans Racing officials confirmed Dec. 13. The team also announced that Brendan Gaughan will drive a second Dodge fielded by Orleans Racing in at least the 16 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events that are companion races to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events. More details will be released at a later date.(Orleans Racing site/PR)(12-13-2004)

  • OFFICIAL Kvapil In - Gaughan Out: Penske-Jasper Racing, which fields the #77 Kodak EasyShare Dodge Charger in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, today announced that 2003 NASCAR Truck Series Champion Travis Kvapil will be the team's driver and will compete for Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2005. Travis succeeds Brendan Gaughan, who drove the Kodak car during the 2004 season. Kvapil participated in a development program during 2004 with Penske Racing and competed in three Nextel Cup Series races-Martinsville, Atlanta and Homestead. "Travis showed solid potential and demonstrated the skill and determination it takes to be a winner and we look forward to building on this foundation with our sponsor partners Kodak and Jasper." Roger Penske said.
    "Kodak is committed to fielding a winning and successful team in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Racing, and looks forward to leveraging our continued sponsorship and partnership with NASCAR and Penske-Jasper Racing during 2005," said Bud Denker, Vice President, Brand and Market Development. "We are excited to welcome Travis as the driver of the Kodak EasyShare Dodge Charger and feel that his experience in racing and his driving talents will provide our team with the success that we are seeking."
    "The opportunity to drive for Penske-Jasper Racing is more than a dream come true. I have been a fan of Roger Penske since I was a little kid watching Rick Mears. It's a once in a lifetime chance for a young driver and I'm excited to get that opportunity," Kvapil said. "I'm honored to represent Kodak. Their history in NASCAR racing is impressive and they are one of the longest running sponsors in the sport." A Wisconsin native, Kvapil resides in North Carolina with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children.(Penske Racing South PR)(12-9-2004)

  • Gaughan at Chrysler Museum: 2005 Dodge truck test drives and an appearance by NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Brendan Gaughan highlight the What to Give Your Truck for the Holidays expo Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum at One Chrysler Drive in Auburn Hills, MI. The event runs 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. and admission is free. More info and link at my Driver Appearances page.(11-28-2004)

  • Penske Turns down Jack Daniel's: per Speedway Scene's S-Notes, Penske Racing [#2,#12,#77,#06] had plans for a 4th full-time Cup team for Travis Kvapil as the driver and Jack Daniel's as the sponsor. However someone within the 'Penske Family' found an issue with alcohol sponsorships [um.....Miller Lite ain't a soft drink], so the full-time 4th team was scrapped. That is leading to the rumors that Kvapil could replace Brendan Gaughan in the #77 Kodak Dodge, since it looks like Kvapil doesn't have a full-time gig in 2005 in any series. And while it is widely speculated that Jack Daniel's will go to Richard Childress Racing for the #30 [to #07?] car and driver Dave Blaney [supposedly already signed], rumor has it that NASCAR may have Jack Daniel's as a NASCAR Sponsor [like Gatorade...etc].(Speedway Scene Print Edition - Nov.19th)(11-24-2004)

  • Gaughan disputes reports: Brendan Gaughan told Sirius Speedway (MRN Radio/Sirius Satellite Radio) Tuesday that, contrary to published reports, he has not been told whether he will return to the #77 Kodak Dodge next season. "They haven't told me anything," said Gaughan. "But then again, I haven't asked. I'm working on some things for myself next year, including a minimum 18-race Truck Series program at Orleans Racing. I have also had quite a few team owners approach me about possibilities for next year; people who obviously don't think the driver was the problem (with the #77) this season. I'm not too worried about it. If they decide to ask me back, we'll deal with it then." Gaughan said he enjoyed his relationship with co-owner Doug Bawel and sponsor Kodak this season, calling them, "super people to work with." However, he added that he was disappointed with the team's poor performance, saying, "I'm in racing because I love it. It's not about the money for me. I'm a competitor, and I want to run up front and contend for wins. If I'm not doing that, I'm not happy." The Las Vegas native said he would not necessarily return to the #77 next season, even if asked. "I would have to give it some thought," he said. "I think the world of Doug (Bawel) and Kodak, and Roger Penske is a very difficult man to say no to. But another year like we just went through? I don't know. I guess I'll just wait and see if an offer is made, then see what's in my heart at that time."(MRN Radio/Sirius Satellite Radio)(11-24-2004)

  • Gaughan hinting....not back in the #77? Rookie Brendan Gaughan hinted yesterday he likely would not return to the #77 Kodak Dodge at Penske Racing South next season. Gaughan said he'd like to run a full Nextel Cup season again but would like to remain in a Dodge. He's been linked the #0 Chevrolet of Haas CNC Racing.(Richmond Times Dispatch)
    AND Brendan Gaughan still doesn't know if he is returning to his Penske-Jasper Racing team next season. Team officials have not yet picked up the option on Gaughan's contract. "I have some plans, and no matter what I do, I'm going to be back running some Truck races for my team," Gaughan said. "I could say yes to a lot of things, and I could say no to a lot of things. I think most other drivers are not in that position."(ThatsRacin.com)(11-21-2004)

  • Gaughan will NOT return to the #77 in 2005; Kvapil? UPDATE: Brendan Gaughan was told his contract would not be renewed with Penske-Jasper Racing [#77 Kodak Dodge], and apparently Gene Haas has offered Gaughan, 29, the #0 Chevy seat for 2005. Haas-CNC G.M. Joe Custer added that Richard "Bootie" Barker would remain as crew chief on the #0 and has a three-year contract. Putting Travis Kvapil in the #77 next season is coming with a price. Alex Meshkin wanted compensation for letting Kvapil out of his Bang Racing contract, so Kvapil is expected to run 20 Busch events next season in a Dodge.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-15-2004)
    UPDATE: A decision has not yet been made on whether Brendan Gaughan will return to the #77 Penske-Jasper Racing Dodge for the 2005 season, Penske Racing South President Don Miller said Monday. Miller said Gaughan would drive the Kodak Easy Share Dodge in the NEXTEL Cup season finale at Homestead this weekend. Miller, who noted that Gaughan currently possesses second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings, said a decision on Gaughan's status for next year wouldn't be made until after the season ended. "And that is after the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Awards Banquet in New York City," Miller added. The banquet is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3.(Penske Racing South PR)(11-16-2004)

  • Gaughan Speaks UPDATE 2005 plans up-in-the air: Brendan Gaughan says he "doesn't really care anymore" about behind-the-scenes maneuvering at Penske-Jasper Motorsports, and is concentrating on the next three races. Asked about Penske Racing's decision to field a fourth car at Martinsville and Atlanta for former Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil, Gaughan told MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway's Dave Moody that the situation is frustrating. "Stuff we've been asking for all season and not getting, all of a sudden they've got it," he said. "I can't do anything about it, and I really don't care anymore. All I can do is take what they give me and do my best with it, and the last couple of weeks, it's been pretty good." Gaughan declined to comment on rumors that he has spoken with Haas CNC Racing about replacing Ward Burton next season, saying, "If other people are looking at me and liking what they see, I'm flattered. But right now, I'm focused on the last three races of the season. After that, we'll worry about what comes next."(MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway)(11-3-2004)
    UPDATE: Nextel Cup rookie Brendan Gaughan said Friday he has no idea where he stands with his Penske-Jasper Racing team in regards to the 2005 season. Gaughan said that if he doesn't return to the #77 Kodak Dodges next season, he has other opportunities available, including returning to the Truck series with a team his family owns and partnering with its current driver, Steve Park; and other Cup rides. Haas CNC Racing has spoken to Gaughan about driving its #0 Chevrolets next season, Gaughan said, but no decision has been made. Gaughan, who has driven for Dodge virtually his entire racing career, said there would be no conflicts driving Haas' Chevrolets if that were the only Cup opportunity he was offered.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-5-2004)

  • Bliss or Gaughan to the #0 if Ward leaves [to BANG Racing?] Bliss and rookie Brendan Gaughan [would he go to a team not running a Dodge?] are being considered for the Haas CNC Racing #0 Chevrolet in 2005. Team owner Gene Haas says he wants to see how current driver Ward Burton performs with crew chief Bootie Barker before he makes a final decision. "We've given Ward three different crew chiefs; now it's up to him," Haas says. And put Mike Bliss' name back on the list for the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Busch team. Although it had been reported earlier in the year that Bliss, 39, and JGR would part ways at the end of the 2004 season, he says he could return. "I think they have an 'A' plan, and if that falls apart, I'm the 'B' plan," says Bliss.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-1-2004)

  • Gaughan plays some basketball and talks to high schoolers: #77-Brendan Gaughan continued his Martinsville tradition Thursday night and it left him winded. Gaughan spoke with the Martinsville High School boys basketball team about staying in school and then played with them for the third year in a row. The tradition started when Martinsville coach Troy Wells asked Gaughan to speak to his team, knowing that Gaughan was a member of the Georgetown basketball team when John Thompson coached and Allen Iverson played. Gaughan said he'd speak if he could play with the team. Gaughan, 29, said he played about five games with the team Thursday. "I'm absolutely not in shape to do that,'' he said. "My game involves beating up a lot of guys and trash talking. That's what I was accustomed to for four years at Georgetown."(Roanoke Times)(10-23-2004)

  • Kvapil to race 4th Penske car at Martinsville UPDATE BANG Closing? ot To Cup?: 2003 Truck Series champ Travis Kvapil will drive a fourth Dodge from the Penske Racing stable this weekend in the Nextel Cup Series Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Kvapil, who is also in Martinsville to compete in Saturday's Truck Series Kroger 200, will drive a #06 Dodge as a teammate to Penske Racing's Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman and Penske Jasper Racing's Brendan Gaughan. "This is a continuation of our driver development program," Penske Racing co-owner Don Miller, the listed owner of the 06 car, said. "We're taking Travis to Martinsville in the same way we took Chad Blount to Talladega." Roy McCauley will lead the crew with Kvapil at Martinsville. Kvapil has been fodder in the Silly Season rumor mill since he tested a Penske Racing Dodge at Kansas Speedway in September. He's eighth in the standings, 381 points behind leader Bobby Hamilton with four races remaining. Kvapil has two victories this season, which were Toyota's first in the series.(NASCAR.com)(10-20-3004)
    UPDATE: Roger Penske has turned some heads with the surprise entry of rookie Travis Kvapil in a fourth Penske team [#06 Mobil 1 Dodge] car here [Martinsville]. Penske's Don Miller had little to say about the entry, except that the decision was made Monday. Kvapil, who qualified an impressive fifth, is one of the drivers Penske has been testing for a possible Cup ride next season. "We're doing that development program and this an extension of that," Miller said. "Better to come here than Atlanta." Miller said this might Kvapil's only run for Penske this fall. Next year? "Maybe next year," Miller said with a grin. "But I don't know what may happen next year. Next year is another year."(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND BANG Racing closing shop at end of season OR have a sponsor for a Cup team?.(10-23-2004)

  • So..what happened with Spencer and Gaughan? ......with only 30 miles to go, #4-Jimmy Spencer [running 14th on the lead lap] and #77-Brendan Gaughan crashed. "We had a tire going down," Gaughan explained. "And I wasn't going to make it in the pits, and I was trying to get down out of the way, and I thought I was on the bottom. Then, Blam. It was probably my fault. Maybe I didn't get far enough out of the way. Sorry for Jimmy. He had a good run going. If it was my fault, I apologize."(Winston Salem Journal)(10-18-2004)

  • The Rumor that won't die UPDATE 2 more on Gaughan: Roger Penske has been testing three Cup drivers for a possible driver change for next season, and that clearly puts rookie #77-Brendan Gaughan on the hot seat.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2004)
    AND been told by many readers who were at Dover over the past weekend, that all Brendan Gaughan merchandise at the souvienir trailers at the track were selling at a 40% discount, usually a sign of a paint scheme. sponsor or driver change.(9-28-2004)
    UPDATE: In regards to the 40 percent price reduction on Brendan Gaughan's souvenir trailer at Dover, it is standard procedure for most souvenir companies to reduce prices towards the end of a season in order to facilitate the movement of inventory in preparation for the upcoming season.(Penske Racing)(9-30-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Penske Racing South has the option for a two-year extension to Nextel Cup rookie Brendan Gaughan's contract but has not yet decided whether to exercise it, team co-founder Don Miller said Friday. "Brendan is in the #77 now, he'll be in it next week and through the end of the season," Miller said. Beyond that, Miller said the team had made no decisions. In the past week, reigning Craftsman Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil tested the #77 at Kansas last week which fueled speculation Gaughan's tenure at Penske is shaky. Gaughan has struggled this season. He is 32nd in points with one top-10 finish. He has failed to finish in eight races in 28 starts. Penske has four teams at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, entering the #06 Mobil 1 Dodge for Chad Blount, who has done extensive testing for the organization.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-1-2004)

  • More on Kvapil to Cup: 2003 Truck Series Champ, Travis Kvapil recently tested a Nextel Cup #77 Dodge for Penske-Jasper Racing at Kansas Speedway, and several weeks ago was rumored to be the replacement for Nextel Cup rookie Brendan Gaughan for the 2005 season. Kvapil has been rumored for some time in Silly Season to be negotiating a Nextel ride. He confirmed as much Wednesday in a telephone conversation but declined to identify the team or elaborate further. "Hopefully in about a week we can talk a lot more about it," Kvapil said. "Participation at the Nextel Cup level, I would say that's accurate. I can't really say a team or car just yet." But Kvapil said he is fully committed to his job with Bang Racing. Kvapil, who has five career Craftsman wins, said he and owner Alex Meshkin are focused on making the move to the Busch Series. "Sounds like he's got a majority of the sponsorship pretty well wrapped up and moving forward," Kvapil said. "I've been in the Truck Series for four years and feel like I'm ready for the next challenge. Bang Racing has the same goals as I do, they want to move up the ladder in the series, just like me." Kvapil is under contract with Bang Racing through the 2005 season, and said he would request Meshkin's approval before taking part in any Nextel Cup project. "Right now, I would say for sure that I'm going to be Busch Series racing next season. Anything beyond that is definitely up in the air."(paraphrased from the Capital Times)(10-1-2004)

  • Penske Stuff: Speculation about Brendan Gaughan's future in the #77 Dodge is rampant this week after Craftsman Truck Series driver Travis Kvapil tested the car at Kansas Speedway and Chad Blount was hired to drive a fourth Penske Racing South car at Talladega. Penske South president Don Miller said Blount got the ride as a reward for all the testing he's done for the team. "We are not grooming anyone for Rusty Wallace's or Brendan Gaughan's seat," Miller said. "This is simply a reward for a job well done." There has been no word on who will take Wallace's #2 Miller Lite Dodge when he steps out of it for good at the end of the 2005 season.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-1-2004)

  • Blount to drive a 4th Penske car at Talladega: Chad Blount, an Indiana native who has been testing for Penske Racing South for the last 1 ½ years, will drive a fourth Penske-prepared car [#06 Dodge] at Talladega Superspeedway for the Oct. 3 EA Sports 500. "Chad has done an outstanding job testing cars for DaimlerChrysler and for us and, therefore, deserves this chance we are giving him at Talladega," Penske Racing South President Don Miller said. "We are not grooming anyone for Rusty Wallace's or Brendan Gaughan's seat. This is simply a reward for a job well done." For the Talladega effort, Penske Racing South head engineer Roy McCauley will be Blount's crew chief and Matt McSwain his car chief. Also serving on the crew are mechanics Corey Tucker and David Dembicki. The pit crew consists of: Dustin Coonfield, front tire changer; Michael Warren, front tire carrier; Mark Padgett, jackman; Chris Hladik, rear tire changer; Corey Sain, rear tire carrier; Sam Ownsby, catch can; Jason Rogers, gasman; and David Doyle, 2nd gas can and sign board. A sponsor for the effort hasn't been acquired, but discussions are ongoing. During the last year and a half, while competing in selected ARCA and Busch Series events, Blount has tested for Penske, primarily at Kentucky Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, and Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Earlier this year, Blount finished seventh in the ARCA season opener at Daytona International Speedway in a car fielded by Braun Racing. In May at Charlotte, he qualified 20th for the Busch Series race in a car fielded by Hirschfeld Motorsports and ran in the top 10 for most of the race before having to settle for a 34th-place finish after cutting a tire and hitting the wall. Blount made his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup debut in the July 11 Tropicana 400 in a #37 Dodge owned by John Carter and Roger Craven. He qualified 37th and practiced in the top 15, but he finished 43rd due to electrical problems in the car. The Walkerton, Ind., native made his Busch Series debut at Daytona in 2003. That season he competed in 13 races for Braun Racing, with whom he raced in ARCA, and six for Jesel Racing. His six races with Jesel included driving the 100th anniversary Miller High Life -sponsored car in the June 29 race at the Milwaukee Mile. After the race, then Miller Brewing Co. Motorsports Manager Sigmund Wysocki said Blount was a "very talented and personable young man."(Penske Racing PR)(9-28-2004)

  • Gaughan Expects to be back in the #77 in 2005: Brendan Gaughan told MRN/Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody Tuesday that he expects to remain in the Penske/Jasper Racing Kodak Dodge. "I'm sitting here in the shop, signing a pile of pictures and posters and diecast cars," said Gaughan. "Everyone is talking to me, we're working on cars for the rest of the year...everything's just like it ever was. If I'm getting fired, they've got a funny way of letting me know." Responding to published reports of unhappiness with the team's performance, Gaughan laughed, "No kidding. There's nobody that wants to run well more than I do. I'm not happy with the way things have gone, either, but we're working hard to improve our performances, and I honestly think you'll see some results before the end of the season. We're getting some new cars to work with, and I think it's going to make a big difference."(MRN/Sirius Speedway Sirius Radio Show)(9-23-2004)

  • #77 Evaluating...Kvapil in 2005? UPDATE Kvapil denies: Penske-Jasper Racing officials are exploring "all options" with regard to its #77 Kodak Dodges in 2005, including a driver change if necessary, teams sources confirmed Sunday. Rookie Brendan Gaughan has struggled this season in the car, which is owned jointly by Penske Racing South and Jasper Motorsports. Prior to Sunday's race he was 31st in points with one top-10 finish and has failed to finish eight races. Team officials have made no secret of late of their desire to see performance pick up with the team. Gaughan, who led the Craftsman Truck Series with six wins last season, declined comment Sunday.(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND Changes are expected with the #77 Penske-Jasper Dodge. Travis Kvapil, the 2003 truck series champion, has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Brendan Gaughan. On Saturday, Kvapil showed total focus, winning despite the turmoil at Bang Racing involving a possible split from Toyota and the loss of teammate Mike Skinner. Certainly Penske-Jasper would be a more stable situation, but Penske South G.M. John Erickson says nothing will happen before the end of the season.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(9-20-2004)
    UPDATE: Kvapil also denied rumors published last weekend that he was in line to replace Las Vegan Brendan Gaughan in the #77 Dodge for Penske/Jasper Racing in the Nextel Cup Series. "It's that time of year for rumors," Kvapil said. "No one from Penske has talked to me." Meshkin, a native of Washington, D.C., said he expects to make an official announcement about his NASCAR plans in 45 to 60 days and it could include a second part-time team in the Busch series. He also said Kvapil will compete in some truck races next year to support one of the team's sponsors that makes products geared to pick-up trucks.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(9-22-2004)

  • Gaughan Being Pressed? Rookie #77 Brendan Gaughan is being pressed quietly to pick up his performance in the final 10 Nextel Cup races by his Penske Racing South team. The first-year Cup driver and veteran of the Truck series apparently is being held to the same standard as Ryan Newman, who has 10 wins, 41 top fives, 23 poles and a rookie of the year award in his third full Cup season for Penske. Gaughan has denied there is a performance clause in his contract.(St Petersburg Times)(9-14-2004)

  • Nice Gesture: The #77 Kodak-sponsored Dodge driven by Brendan Gaughan had a different look for this week at Watkins Glen, featuring two pink ribbons with the words "Kodak Mammography Film" on the hood. The company's Health Imaging Group decided that its effort to promote better breast health for women could reach a large audience through NASCAR. NASCAR claims that more than 30 million women in the United States are fans of the sport. Kodak teamed with The Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports to send out its message. For more information, log on to www.waminc.org or www.komen.org.or call WAM at (704) 455-9299. Gaughan's grandmother Margot Crow is a survivor of breast cancer. His Penske-Jasper team pledged 10 percent of its winnings to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The team's pit crew promised to donate the bonuses paid to them for their performances. Car owner Doug Bawel and Gaughan pledged to match the amount earned by the crew.(Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)(8-16-2004)

  • Here is a new one, Gaughan's ride in trouble? Gaughan doesn't saeem to think so... the Winston Salem Journal is reporting.....elsewhere in the garage, officials at Roger Penske say that they need to see improvement in the Brendan Gaughan-Shane Wilson team, but they set no time frame. Jamie McMurray's name has been mentioned as a possible candidate. But Gaughan says he's confident. Yesterday he had a good car until getting caught up in Jeff Burton's crash. "I've been saying it the last few weeks that we're getting new race cars, and now we can compared apples to apples," Gaughan said. "Last week we got back on track at Loudon (finishing 22nd), we were on the lead lap and had a very solid Dodge. This week we came back from a pit road penalty, got our lap back twice. We made an error on the 'lucky dog' deal and put ourselves back down a lap but got our lap back twice. We were good enough to run in the top-10. The team is coming, man. I'm starting to get excited."(Winston Salem Journal) - NOTE: been told that McMurray's 2005 option is Ganassi's option.(8-2-2004)

  • New car chief for the #77: Rodney Childers will take over Car Chief responsibilities of the #77 Kodak/Jasper Engines Dodge beginning at Pocono Raceway, next week. Childers replaces Kevin Kidd who has accepted a Race Engineer position with another NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team. Childers is a former Jasper Motorsports employee; he joined the #77 team in January 2003.(Penske Racing PR)(7-20-2004)

  • Rusty and Kodak UPDATE also special scheme for Gaughan: Rusty Wallace is scheduled to run a Kodak paint scheme on his #2 Dodge at Watkins Glen in August, marking the first time Wallace will drive with another sponsor since he has been with the Miller Brewing Company. Kodak's main headquarters are located in Rochester, N.Y., and this opportunity now gives them more exposure on the track along with Wallace's teammate Brendan Gaughan, who is also sponsored by Kodak.(RacingOne)(4-8-2004)
    UPDATE: Rusty Wallace's Penske Racing South Dodge will feature Kodak as its primary sponsor in the Aug. 15 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International due to a unique cooperative effort between Penske Racing South, Miller Brewing Company and Eastman Kodak Company. Miller, which has been Wallace's primary sponsor since 1990, will be an associate sponsor on the car for the Sirius at The Glen. It marks the first time Wallace has not carried a Miller brand on his car as his primary sponsor in nearly 15 years. The unique marketing arrangement emerged earlier this year when executives with the three companies were discussing business and marketing objectives for the 2004 season. Miller Brewing Company has been involved with Penske's on-track efforts since 1985, initially with open-wheel star Danny Sullivan when he won the Indianapolis 500. Kodak is in its inaugural season with Penske Racing South, having signed a multi-year agreement to sponsor rookie Brendan Gaughan's Dodge. Gaughan's car will feature a paint scheme focusing on Kodak's Health and Imaging Division at The Glen. The two-car promotion provides Kodak with a major presence on the historical road course that the Rochester, N.Y.-based company considers its home facility.(Penske Racing PR) see an image of the car on my #2 Team Paint Schemes page or Paint Scheme Gallery page.(7-9-2004)

  • #77 Crew Chief Fined: Shane Wilson, crew chief for the #77 Dodge driven by Brendan Gaughan, has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. He was found in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (unapproved fuel cell container modification).(NASCAR PR)(6-30-2004)

  • Gaughan and PR Rep escape injury: Nextel Cup rookie Brendan Gaughan and his public relations representative, Terry Jarrell, escaped injury Thursday night in a head-on collision in San Francisco. After the wreck, the other driver attempted to drive away, striking other cars, Gaughan said. "He got blocked in, the police got him, no one got hurt and the good guys prevailed," he said. Gaughan was on his way to a media appearance. "We figure we got the crash out of the way," he said. "We can let that be the crash of the weekend and let Avis take care of that."(ThatsRacin.com)(6-26-2004)

  • New Penske Shop? UPDATE: hearing that Penske Racing South [#2, #12, #77] has purchased the Matsushita building in Mooresville, NC. Hoping to move in the 415,000 sq ft /105 acre property in Dec 2004. The building is located at Mazeppa Road and NC, 801.(5-11-2004)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing South said Tuesday it will remain in Mooresville, moving its three NASCAR teams to the vacant Matsushita Compressor Corp. of America building in the Mooresville Business Park. "I absolutely did not want to leave Mooresville," said Don Miller, president of Penske Racing. The team is currently located in Lakeside Park at Exit 36, and is one of the original racing tenants there. The decision to stay in Mooresville came in the face of pressure from nearby cities to relocate Penske's operations. Concord, which recently lured Chip Ganassi Racing from Mooresville, lobbied especially hard, Miller said. Penske has already placed a down payment on the Matsushita facility, and is awaiting final approval from banks and the Environmental Protection Agency to renovate and move in. In buying the 400,000-square-foot building, nearly as large as eight football fields, Penske is taking over a facility that has been vacant since 2001. "We're excited that it's not a vacant building (any longer)," said Melanie O'Connell Underwood, director of economic development for the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce, and manager of the Mooresville Business Park. "(Penske racing) is one of the first race shops in town, so they have career employees," Underwood said, commenting on the difficulty of relocation for employees. "That (Penske is) staying shows their belief in their employees, and Don Miller's belief that he wanted to be near the sport that he grew." Penske Racing South, which fields teams for drivers #2-Rusty Wallace, #12-Ryan Newman and rookie #77-Brendan Gaughan, has been in Mooresville since 1991. About 200 employees will work at the new facility. Penske Racing South plans to continue operations at the Auto Research Center wind tunnel facility at Lakeside Park, and at Penske-Jasper Engines in Concord. As for making changes to the Matsushita building, Miller said it would be the "finest facility in racing." He added that a 300-foot walk would be built above the shop area so fans can see the operations in action. Those operations will comprise about 227,000 square feet, he said. The rest will be leased, perhaps to another race-related business.(Mooresville Tribune - need to register)(6-24-2004)

  • Penske Racing Fair & balanced method: that's the way team shop foreman Gary Brooks explained the allocation of new race cars after Rusty's Miller Lite Team received the new PRS-75 they are racing in the Dodge/Save Mart 350 this weekend. "With Brendan (Gaughan) and his team switching over to our in-house chassis, we are handling the situation quite well," Gary explained. "Brendan's team joins the rotation with Rusty and Ryan - getting every third new chassis. Then, to speed up the process of making sure all three teams are running the same cars, each time the No. 2 or No. 12 team gets a new chassis, they'll also send over one they already have in their stable to the No. 77 team. That's a pretty fair and balanced method of getting the job done."(TRPR)(6-23-2004)

  • Think Sponsors Don't Care about drivers actions? Brendan Gaughan barely had been in the Jasper Engines and Transmissions office in Atlanta for a minute, hardly had pulled back his hand from the firm shake with a sponsor that could give him his first full-time ride in Nextel Cup. The inevitable question came quickly. "Tell me about Homestead," asked Bud Denker, Kodak's vice president of brand and market development. Gaughan gulped, then did what he does second best. He started talking. Talking too much had gotten him into this mess about 72 hours earlier at Homestead. Gaughan had entered the final race of the NASCAR truck series schedule leading in points for his father's Orleans Racing team. He was running in the top 10 with 31 laps left when Marty Houston, making his first truck start in three years, caused an accident that wrecked Gaughan. His title hopes dashed, Gaughan blasted fellow Dodge team owner Jimmy Smith for entering an unusually high five trucks, at least one of which Gaughan felt was being handled by an unqualified driver. "Jimmy Smith can kiss my a--," Gaughan said. See full article at the St Petersburg Times.
    Because sponsor support underpins their careers, drivers are obliged to heed concerns over behavior, either perceived or documented. Both 2002 champion Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch were ordered into anger counseling the past two years. Though Caterpillar stood behind rookie Scott Wimmer through his conviction in June for driving while impaired, there are likely to be in-house consequences beyond the 60-day suspended sentence and 24 hours of community service he received in court.(6-20-2004)

  • "and your little dog too......" #24-Jeff Gordon, #77-Brendan Gaughan and #38-Elliott Sadler are three of four cars that are scheduled to run "The Wizard of Oz" 65th Anniversary paint schemes at Kansas in October. Dorothy's dog Toto will replace the Pedigree dog on the No. 38, while Jeff Gordon will sport a rainbow colored car featuring the Cowardly Lion.(RacingOne)(5-29-2004)

  • Newman and Gaughan to run a carbon monoxide removing device: #77-Brendan Gaughan tested a Carbon monoxide removal device unit May 5 at Richmond International Raceway during his team's test there. Gaughan and teammate #12-Ryan Newman plan to use the unit in Saturday night's Chevy 400 at the .75-mile Richmond track. Paul Rochotte and a group from Penske Racing and NASA - yes, the rocket science people - have been working on the device for more than a year now. The device weighs less than 3 pounds and looks like a large Thermos bottle. The black carbon-fiber housing contains two filters. The first that uses carbon to take out nasty things like sulfur dioxide from race car emissions. Carbon monoxide goes right through that, however, so the second filter contains a catalyst with a platinum base that was developed by NASA. That catalyst converts carbon monoxide, which is poisonous, into carbon dioxide, which is the natural by-product of breathing. Carbon monoxide poisoning became a major issue last year when driver Rick Mast announced that its effects had forced him to end his driving career. Other competitors have complained about having severe headaches and other symptoms after races. Some drivers still take oxygen immediately after races to help clean the dangerous gas out of their system. NASCAR has worked to develop a filtering system that would improve the quality of air being breathed by competitors. What the folks at Penske Racing have been doing is working on their own system in hopes of making something even better.(paraphrased from a full story at ThatsRacin.com)(5-13-2004)

  • New Penske Shop? hearing that Penske Racing South [#2, #12, #77] has purchased the Matsushita building in Mooresville, NC. Hoping to move in the 415,000 sq ft /105 acre property in Dec 2004. The building is located at Mazeppa Road and NC, 801.(5-11-2004)

  • Did ya know? Brendan Gaughan was on fire during Sunday's Golden Corral 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Literally. Gaughan lost several laps when he was forced to pit after an electrical fire erupted in the cockpit of his #77 Kodak Penske-Jasper Racing Dodge. "I had a fire for a good five, six laps and kept going 'maybe it will go out, guys,' " Gaughan said, "and finally it wasn't going to go out so we had to come in and put it out. I believe in Bill Simpson. What can I say; I feel safe in my Impact stuff." Impact Racing is the new company safety pioneer Bill Simpson formed after he parted ways with Simpson Safety Equipment in 2001.(Las Vegas Sun)(3-18-2004)

  • Series Champ gets to test Cup car: Championship Auto Racing Series says its 2004 Stock Car and Super Truck points champions plus a "wildcard driver" in each division will get to test Penske-Jasper Racing's No. 77 Nextel Cup Dodge at season's end. The sanctioning body says it is running the program in conjunction with Jasper Engines & Transmissions and Indianapolis Raceway Park.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-10-2004)

  • Gaughan the Punisher: Marvel's underground super hero, The Punisher, comes to the big screen in April 2004. To celebrate the nationwide theatrical release, Kodak & #77 Penske/Jasper Racing will run a special paint scheme during the NEXTEL Cup event in Bristol on March 28. This paint scheme will feature The Punisher and character and have an edgy design highlighted by black and red paint splatters.(3-5-2004)

  • No Radio Shack: been told the rumored associate sponsor deal between the #77 Team and Radio Shack has fallen through.(2-8-2004)

  • Penske and Sirius Satellite Radio: Penske Corporation and SIRIUS Satellite Radio announced Friday an agreement designed to utilize motorsports as a platform to bring satellite radio to race fans across the country. SIRIUS Satellite Radio logos will appear on Penske Racing Team entries competing in NASCAR Nextel Cup and the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series commencing with events at Daytona International Speedway today. The sponsorship is an extension of a business to business agreement previously announced by SIRIUS aimed at expanding the availability of SIRIUS Satellite Radio services to new car and truck purchasers and lessees. "Racing is the common thread throughout our organization and a natural environment for us to highlight the SIRIUS brand to our fans in NASCAR and IndyCar." said Roger S. Penske, Chairman of Penske Corporation. "We are delighted that drivers Rusty Wallace, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Newman, Sam Hornish, Jr., and Brendan Gaughan will be competing under a SIRIUS Satellite Radio banner."(Penske Racing PR)(2-6-2004)

  • RadioShack to sponsor a team? #77? #1? UPDATE 4 ?? RadioShack will shortly announce a NASCAR team deal that will see it serve as primary sponsor on a car for a handful of races, today's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The story does not say which NASCAR series the sponsorship is scheduled for.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter), RadioShack has been linked in the past the the Hall of Fame Racing team [Aikman and Staubach as owners](1-22-2004)
    UPDATE: two sources hear it'll be the #77 Dodge, another says it will be the #1 DEI Chevy in a few selects races.(1-24-2004)
    UPDATE 2: and yet another source tells me it is the #4 Morgan McClure Chevy team who RadioShack will sponsor.(1-27-2004)
    UPDATE 3: now hearing that RadioShack will NOT sponsor any Cup teams in 2004?(1-29-2004)
    UPDATE 4: not sure what is happening with this rumor, seems a bit 'out of control', but have been told, RadioShack [Shaq?] will NOT be the sponsor for the #4 Morgan McClure team, HOWEVER, they could sponsor the #77 Dodge in the Budweiser Shootout and put either Steve Park or Jeff Green in the car. Both won poles in 2003, but are not otherwise entered in the race.(1-30-2004)
    AND being told by sources that this deal will go to the #77 with Radio Shack as an associate sponsor.(2-2-2004)

  • Gaughan looks to go faster UPDATE Breaks Record: Driving a 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 powered by a Dodge Viper engine, Brendan Gaughan [driver of the #77 Kodak Dodge] will attempt to break the record of 147 mph set last August by a Ford SVT F-150 Lightning at the Chelsea Proving Grounds in Michigan. "The speed they told me that we have to do -- even I was nervous," Gaughan, a NASCAR Nextel Cup rookie, said Thursday. "It's a stock pickup truck, right off the factory line. The record is 149 or something like that and we're going to beat that ... and I've been told we'll beat it very easily." To qualify for the record and certification by Guinness World Records, the truck must be identical to what a customer can find at a local Dodge dealer. Gaughan's speed will be measured over a kilometer, and the record speed is derived from an average of his speeds in both directions on the 4.71-mile, high-speed oval.(Las Vegas Sun)(1-31-2004)
    UPDATE: The Dodge Ram SRT-10 unleashed its Viper power today, taking its place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "World's Fastest Production Pickup Truck." Only recently off the Saltillo, Mexico, assembly line and not modified in any way for additional power or enhanced aerodynamics, the Dodge Ram SRT-10 posted a two-lap, both-directions average speed of 154.587 mph over a "flying kilometer" on the 4.71-mile oval at the DaimlerChrysler Proving Grounds here in Chelsea. The record run by the Dodge Ram SRT-10 was certified by Guinness World Records and the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). The previous record was 147.54 mph, set last July by the Ford SVT F-150 Lightning, before the Dodge Ram SRT-10 went into production.
    "When we set out to develop the Dodge Ram SRT-10, our mission was to create the ultimate performance truck," said Dan Knott, Director, Street and Racing Technology. "With 500 horsepower, sports car-like handling, world-class braking and race-inspired design appointments, we know we reached our goal. Setting the Guinness record today simply confirms that, and solidifies the Ram SRT-10 as the ultimate -- and fastest -- performance pickup."
    According to Guinness World Records rules, the record speed had to be the average of two one-kilometer runs in opposite directions along the same track, made within an hour of one another. The timing equipment had to be certified as accurate to within 1/1000th of a second, and supplied and operated by a qualified third party. The speed of each run was timed by means of sensors at the start and finish of the measured kilometer, thus giving an average speed over the full distance.
    The Dodge Ram SRT-10 is the third Dodge vehicle branded with the Street and Racing Technology label, following the Dodge Viper SRT-10 -- the ultimate American sports car -- and the award-winning 230 horsepower Dodge SRT-4, that has taken the sport compact "tuner" crowd by storm.
    Behind the wheel of the Ram SRT-10 in the record-setting run was Brendan Gaughan, a six-time winner in a Dodge Ram in the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). Gaughan makes his NASCAR Nextel Cup debut later this month at the Daytona 500 in the No. 77 Kodak Dodge.
    "I've certainly driven some fast trucks," Gaughan said, "but I've certainly never experienced anything like setting a Guinness world record. I've known for a long time that the Dodge Ram is the ultimate truck for the race track, and this certainly proves the Ram SRT-10 is the ultimate performance truck for the street."
    Hein Le Roux, research team member at Guinness World Records traveled from the company's London headquarters to monitor the record run.
    "I'm pleased to be here in Chelsea for this record-breaking attempt," Le Roux said. "Guinness World Records is the ultimate compilation of superlatives, and I am proud to officially recognize that Dodge has set a new Guinness World Record." Le Roux said watching the record-setting speed run was a great way to begin the new year, in which Guinness World Records celebrates 50 years of world records.
    "People aren't too surprised when they hear about expensive super cars or race cars setting speed records," he added. "But few people expect a standard production pickup truck, which they can drive straight off the dealer lot, to be capable of this sort of speed. That's what makes this such a great Guinness World Record."
    With a Guinness World Record now under its belt, the stock Dodge Ram SRT-10 now heads to Florida, where it will pace the field at the Feb. 13 Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NCTS race at Daytona International Speedway.(Clear!Blue, LLC PR)(2-2-2004)

  • Cool Helmet: Brendan Gaughan will wear a special helmet in the Daytona 500. It was signed by an Army unit stationed at the Baghdad (Iraq) Airport. "We got the second guy who interrogated Sadaam Hussein on here," Gaughan said. "I've been given permission to wear it in the Daytona 500, so this is it. I've got to support the troops."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-7-2004)

  • #77 Announcement Tuesday UPDATE, OFFICIAL: hearing the announcement of the long rumored Kodak and Brendan Gaughan to the #77 {Ford to Dodge] ride with Penske buying into the Jasper Motorsports team will be announced on Tuesday, Jan 6th.(1-5-2004)
    UPDATE: Eastman Kodak Company and Penske Performance, Inc. announced that Kodak would sponsor Penske-Jasper Racing Company's #77 Dodge for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. The companies forged a multi-year agreement for Kodak to be the primary sponsor of the #77 Dodge, which will be driven by Brendan Gaughan. Gaughan, the 2002 "Rookie of the Year" in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, won eight races over two full seasons and finished fourth in the Truck Series point standings in 2003.
    "Kodak has had a long and rewarding relationship with NASCAR and we are pleased to be continuing with our race team program with this great sport and its fans," said Carl Gustin, Chief Marketing Officer, and Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. "We are excited to be aligned with Penske, one of the premier organizations in all of motor sports."
    The #77 Kodak-sponsored Dodge will be co-owned by Jasper Engine Exchange, Inc., a long-time Penske business partner, and will have the benefits of its relationship with Penske's other NEXTEL Cup teams, the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, driven by Rusty Wallace, and the #12 Alltel Dodge, driven by Ryan Newman. "Having the opportunity to partner with Kodak brings a tremendous amount of credibility to our race team and I look forward to the business-to-business opportunities that will develop from this new relationship," said Roger Penske.
    Kodak plans to utilize its race team sponsorship and its NASCAR Official Imaging Sponsor status as a marketing platform for many of its 2004 strategic initiatives. Kodak will adorn the #77 Dodge with a wide representation of Kodak's digitally-oriented products and services, including KODAK EASYSHARE digital cameras and its OFOTO online photo fulfillment service (www.ofoto.com). Kodak will leverage its digital leadership through a variety of racing-related programs, such as using in-car KODAK EASYSHARE cameras, utilizing its OFOTO service for print fulfillment and incorporating race team content on KODAK PictureMaker kiosks. Additionally, Kodak plans to enable a system for fans to purchase NASCAR photos at the track, at retail and online through various KODAK digital services.
    Kodak will continue its Retail Partner Program, where select retailers will partner with Kodak's racing program, beginning with Eckerd Corporation at the Daytona 500 in February 2004. Kodak expects to have 15 to 20 partners participate in this program throughout the season. Through its Entertainment Imaging operations, Kodak plans to engage movie studio customers to market new releases. In 2003, Kodak teamed up with Walt Disney Pictures to promote "The Pirates of the Caribbean" release at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
    "I am thrilled to get this opportunity and thankful to so many people," said Brendan Gaughan. "I appreciate the confidence that Kodak and the Penske organization have shown in my abilities, and I'm very excited about the opportunity to represent Kodak, one of the most respected brands and companies in the world. To drive the Kodak Dodge for an organization the caliber of Penske-Jasper Racing is a dream come true. I can't wait for the 2004 season to begin."
    Jasper Engine Exchange and Transmissions, Inc., which has been the primary sponsor of the #77 Jasper car for the past 13 seasons, will become an associate sponsor with the new race team. Jasper will be identified as the primary sponsor in several races each year. In addition to its sponsorship, Jasper will provide engineering support and power train development to the Kodak-sponsored #77 Dodge.
    For the past 18 years, Kodak has been identified with the #4 car, teamed with Morgan-McClure Motorsports. Kodak will remain with the Morgan-McClure team as an associate sponsor. The Kodak and Morgan McClure relationship has resulted in 14 Winston Cup wins, including 3 Daytona 500 victories in 1991, 1994 and 1995. "We thank Larry McClure and Morgan-McClure Motorsports for our long-standing relationship with them," said Gustin. "We wish them the best of luck as a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competitor in the coming seasons. Kodak, EasyShare and Ofoto are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company [www.kodak.com].(Yahoo Biz)
    see two images of the car on my #77 Team Paint Schemes page [both will load] or on my 2004 Paint Schemes page.(1-6-2004)

  • Gaughan to test #77 at Daytona: Firming up reports that Craftsman Truck contender Brendan Gaughan will drive for a third Penske Racing team in 2004, Gaughan has been listed as driver for the #77 team in season-opening tests next week at Daytona International Speedway. Although no official announcements have been made, for whatever reasons, it has been rumored for a month that Penske would acquire, or become partner, in the #77 team heretofore owned by Jasper Engines principal Doug Bawel. Penske and Jasper had developed an increasingly close relationship, beginning in engine development, over the past year or so. Kodak, 15-year sponsor of the Morgan-McClure team, was known to be on the move in October and had examined possibilities with several top racing organizations. Apparently, the company has reached agreement with Penske, although details are not final. Kodak, reports indicate, would become sponsor of the #77, which would become a team car with the #2 of Rusty Wallace and the #12 of Ryan Newman, currently in the Penske stable. How Gaughan entered the picture is not clear. Gaughan, 28, has run two full seasons in Trucks, contending for the championship last season with his Las Vegas-based team, owned by his father, casino/hotel magnate Michael Gaughan. Gaughan led the circuit with six race victories but was knocked out of the title hunt in an early wreck in the season finale at Miami/Homestead.
    Penske has developed his two current stock-car teams via acquisition, taking over the debt-ridden Raymond Beadle organization in 1991 (with Wallace) and connecting with the former Newman-Haas team in 2000, transforming it into a vehicle for young Newman, who led the Cup circuit in wins and poles last season. The Gaughan/77 entry offers an interesting opening to the 2004 news season, with testing beginning Jan. 6. Teams which finished last season in the odd-numbered positions (1-3-5 etc.) in the owner points will test Jan. 6-8. The even-numbered finishers (2-4-6 etc.) will have the track Jan. 13-15. The NASCAR part of Speedweeks opens with Daytona 500 pole qualifying Feb. 7. The Daytona 500, which honestly opens the 2004 season, is Feb. 15..(Speed Channel)(1-3-2004)

#77 Jasper Motorsports 2003 News

  • The #77 Jasper Motorsports team was acquired by Penske Motorsports after the 2003 season

  • Wilburn to the #77: After more than a decade, Billy Wilburn has left the #2 car to join Penske Racing's newly acquired #77 team as shop foreman. Not only will Wilburn be an asset to first-time Cup crew chief Shane Wilson at the shop, he will work closely with him at the racetrack as well. Rick Carpenter will be team manager.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(12-31-2003)

  • What will the #77 look like? UPDATE more; Blaney in 4 races? hearing the new paint scheme for the #77 [not #72] will be Kodak gold with a red stripe on the sides and black trim on the hood and front fenders. The Jasper Engines logo is on the lower rear quarter panels and a small one on the front of the hood. As we 'know' rumor has had it for over a month now that Brendan Gaughan will drive the car, which is supposedly being bought into, full or part time by Penske, Shane Wilson as the crew chief. Also rumored is a number switch to #72, however sightings of the car indicate it'll be #77. Rumors had the announcement last week but it never came.(12-24-2003)
    UPDATE: didn't hear it myself and got no response to email to the station, but a few readers reported that a few days ago on a local Jasper, IN radio station [WITZ] interview with #77 owner Doug Bawel about the changes with the team: Brendan Gaughan will drive the #77 Kodak Dodge, joining with Penske, however Bawel didn't mention anything about a number change to 72. ALSO, supposedly he said that Dave Blaney would drive four races for them in a 4th Penske Jasper car this year [didn't say which races].(12-28-2003)
    AND..... heard it was announced last week at the Jasper factory that Brendan Gaughan is the new driver, with Kodak sponsorship. The car number supposedly will be #77 and in four races in 2004 with the old Jasper paint scheme to be used to transition into the new scheme.(12-29-2003)

  • Blaney to the #4? from FoxSports/Larry McReynolds: rumor has it that Dave Blaney may be moving to Morgan McClure since Penske reportedly has bought the Jasper car. It sounds like Kodak may go to the new Penske car, and Truck Series driver Brendan Gaughan will go to that ride as well. Penske also is thinking of changing the number on that car. I think they were talking about #72 to go with the #2 and #12 cars. When you think about it, it's going to be a completely revamped team with a new owner, a new driver, a new sponsor, a new number and a new manufacturer because now it's going to be a Dodge. And obviously there will be a new crew chief too [Shane Wilson] ]because Bootie Barker left there last season, and they never really replaced him for the final few races. I don't know if you can say anything will be the same.(FoxSports)(12-23-2003)

  • More on Gaughan to the #77 NO announcement: Brendan Gaughan is expected to become the second Las Vegas native to drive full time in the top NASCAR stock-car racing series next year when he joins Penske Racing South. Gaughan, 28, could sign Thursday with the team owned by motorsports legend Roger Penske, according to anonymous sources. Rumors have been prevalent on racing Internet sites about Gaughan's ascension to the country's top series, possibly with sponsorship from Kodak. Adding to that speculation was the recent resignation of Shane Wilson from the Orleans Racing team. Wilson had been Gaughan's crew chief and team manager in the truck series the past three years and is to begin working today at Penske's shop near Charlotte, NC. The Orleans team is looking for a replacement for Wilson, who played an important role in the success of Gaughan's truck team. Another source said Steve Park [see story below], a veteran of the Cup series, will replace Gaughan in the Orleans truck.(see full story at the Las Vegas Review Journal) and past news and rumors on this on my #77 Team News and Links page. Look for an announcement on Friday [Dec 19th - didn't happen on the 18th as I had heard](12-17-2003)
    UPDATE: Las Vegas' Brendan Gaughan, rumored to be heading to Penske's new team as the driver, is on vacation and not responding to questions about his future with Penske. Wally McCarty, director of marketing for Penske Racing South, said the team would announce its 2004 team plans "by the end of the year" and would neither confirm nor deny published reports that have Gaughan running the 2004 Nextel Cup season in a third Penske car.(Las Vegas Sun)(12-19-2003)
    NOTE: well.....the announcement never came Thurs or Fri.....so I guess we wait.(12-20-2003)
    BUT been told a #77 Kodak Dodge has been spotted at Penske Racing in Mooresville.(12-21-2003)

  • New #77 Crew Chief? UPDATE: hear Steven Lane is close to being named new crew chief at the #77 Ford [to be Dodge], once the Kodak sponsorship goes into place. He was with Petty Enterprises until a few weeks ago, but worked for Penske prior to that as a car chief.(12-1-2003)
    BUT: also hearing that Shane Wilson, Gaughan Truck Series crew chief will follow gim over and be the crew chief of the #77 team when announced.(12-11-2003)
    UPDATE: Shane Wilson, who has served as Brendan Gaughan's crew chief in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series the past two seasons, will assume the same role with Gaughan when he moves into the Nextel Cup Series in 2004, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Sources confirmed Friday that Wilson had accepted the crew chief role for the still-to-be-announced Penske Racing/Jasper Motorsports team that will be formed from Jasper's #77 team. A formal announcement outlining the details about the new team, including the car number, the sponsor, driver and the move to Dodge should come within the next week [Dec 18th?], sources said. Sources have confirmed the team's driver will be Gaughan, who led the Truck series with six wins this season. He will become the sixth member of the 2004 Cup rookie class, joining Brian Vickers, Kasey Kahne, Scott Wimmer, Scott Riggs and Johnny Sauter. Wilson, a native of Vermont, has worked in the NASCAR All-Pro series and was a former employee at Hendrick Motorsports, where he worked with driver Jack Sprague in the Truck series. Wilson has served as general manager and crew chief for Gaughan's Truck team, which is owned by Gaughan's father, Michael Gaughan. Wilson and Brendan Gaughan's departure leaves a clouded future for the #62 Dodge team.(ThatsRacin.com), supposedly the announcement will be Dec 18th.(12-13-2003)
    AND still hearing the car number will change to #72, to follow along with Penske's other car #'s, #2 and #12.
    UPDATE 2: Orleans Racing, which has fielded the #62 Dodge for Truck series driver Brendan Gaughan the past two seasons, will return in 2004 and in a much-expanded fashion. Sources have confirmed Gaughan and his Truck series crew chief, Shane Wilson, are moving to the Nextel Cup Series next season with the yet-to-be-announced Penske Racing/Jasper Motorsports team. However, Gaughan said Saturday whatever his future may entail, it would not affect his current team, which is owned by his father, Michael Gaughan, and based in Las Vegas. Regarding his own future, Gaughan would only say he had not signed any contract to drive in Cup, but he said the Truck team was well-prepared for the possibility of him not driving the #62. In addition to at least one full-time Truck team next season, Orleans Racing plans to field an entry for driver Scott Lynch in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West series, formerly known as the Winston West series. Lynch won the series title this season as a rookie, handing Dodge its first championship in the division since 1976. Lynch may also run some Truck races in 2004. Gaughan said announcements regarding the Truck team, including the #62's sponsor for next season, were expected soon.(ThatsRacin.com)(12-14-2003)

  • More on the #77 - Dec 18th UPDATE 2: There's going to be more clarification in the next couple of weeks about where Kodak is going. A lot of rumors have speculated the company was going to wind up with Jack Roush, but the sources [Jeff Hammond has] heard are now saying pretty emphatically that it will wind up going over to a third Penske car. Been told that an announcement will come on December 18.(FoxSports)(12-2-2003)
    UPDATE: The Penske-Jasper Motorsports deal to share ownership of the #77 team and bring it under the Penske and Dodge umbrella is all but completed, ThatsRacin.com has learned. A formal announcement of the merger should be made within two weeks. NASCAR Truck series driver Brendan Gaughan is to join the team, sources said. "We should know a lot more very soon. Until then, there isn't much for me to say," said Penske vice president, Don Miller, in New York for this weekend's Winston Cup awards ceremony. Miller and team owner Roger Penske have said they were considering a third Nextel Cup team next season after being approached by Kodak, which could be the team's sponsor. Sources said the remaining issues in the Penske-Jasper deal included contracts with the sponsor and a new driver as well as those related to the #77 team and its current driver, Dave Blaney. Blaney would not remain with the team under the new deal. However, he may well join another Cup operation, sources said. Who would serve as crew chief as the new team remains unclear, but sources said Gaughan's Truck series crew chief, Shane Wilson, and Bill Wilburn, who recently stepped down as crew chief for Penske Cup driver Rusty Wallace, were both under consideration.(ThatsRacin.com), have also heard Steven Lane could be the new crew chief.(12-4-2003)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the # could be changed to #72, some rumors have John Andretti running some races in the car, but have heard nothing to back that up, most rumors and reports still have Brendan Gaughan in the car and Gaughan's Truck Series team looking for a new driver to run the full CTS season in 2004, could be Gaughan's Grand National Division, Winston West Series driver, Scott Lynch.(12-6-2003)

  • Waiting on Kodak; Burton to the #30? #99 to close? UPDATE 3 Burton staying: Kodak holds the key domino in the Cup garage. If its sponsorship goes to Penske, it's possible Penske would field a third team, in conjunction with Jasper Engines and with driver Brendan Gaughan. Though Dave Blaney signed a contract with Jasper last September, his future is uncertain. If Kodak's sponsorship goes to Roush, it would lock in Jeff Burton. Burton, though, appears to be the driver Richard Childress has been waiting for to drive the #30 AOL Chevy [although rumors have Johnny Sauter in the car also], if Burton's #99 team can't land Kodak or another sponsor [rumored sponsor for #99: Astra Zeneca.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)
    UPDATE: being told the #99 does not not get a sponsor within the next few days Burton will go to the #30 AOL Chevy and AOL will extend their contract from thru 2004, to thru 2006, otherwise Sauter would probably end up in the #30 and hearing the #77/Kodak/Gaughan deal is pretty much done and Kodak has made their decision. No word on what Blaney will do or his plans.(12-1-2003)
    UPDATE 2: being told the #99 could be the next team to shut down if no sponsor is found.(12-2-2003)
    UPDATE 3: The #99 team at Roush Racing has no sponsor for 2004, but it still has a driver. Jeff Burton said Tuesday he'll stay with the team he's been with since 1996, taking his name out of the speculation about the #30 AOL Chevrolets owned by Richard Childress. Childress has a news conference scheduled for Thursday in New York City to announce a driver for that car for next season. Sources have told The Charlotte Observer that Johnny Sauter is now the leading candidate for that position [see my #30 Team News and Links page for past rumors]. "I am committed to Roush Racing and Roush Racing is committed to me," Burton said. "We are in a position that we need to put a sponsor on our car. ...But we will field a well-funded, championship-contending race team next year. We are full-speed ahead." Burton did not specifically address the open seat in the #30 Chevrolets, but did say that other car owners have expressed interest in having him drive for their teams. "That has been flattering," Burton said. "But my allegiance is with Roush Racing. When things have been good, we've done them together, and when things have been bad we've gone through them together." Burton said that he is confident his team will sign a sponsor, but said Roush has assured him the #99 will run a full schedule in 2004 even if no sponsor can be signed.(ThatsRacin.com)(12-3-2003)

  • More on the #77 - Dec 18th: There's going to be more clarification in the next couple of weeks about where Kodak is going. A lot of rumors have speculated the company was going to wind up with Jack Roush, but the sources [Jeff Hammond has] heard are now saying pretty emphatically that it will wind up going over to a third Penske car. Been told that an announcement will come on December 18.(FoxSports)(12-2-2003)

  • Third Penske Team in 2004? UPDATE 3 Gaughan and Penske and Kodak? to the #77? Blaney OUT? The Kodak fact finding mission stopped at Roush Racing, BAM Racing, Bill Davis Racing, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and reportedly to Penske Racing South - where there is interest in starting a third team.(Ford Racing)(11-10-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Brendan Gaughan is "supposed" to go to a third Penske team next year, with Kodak sponsorship. Somehow, the whole (Kodak) deal is contingent on his winning the Truck Series championship.(11-14-2003)
    UPDATE 2 and more: Kodak's departure from the #4 Morgan-McClure car appears imminent [may stay as an assoc - Jayski]. Several organizations have bid on the Kodak account, including Dale Earnhardt Inc., BAM Racing and PPI Motorsports. Although DEI has been rumored to be the front-runner, Kodak officials were spotted at Penske Racing last weekend. Garage chatter has Craftsman Trucks driver Brendan Gaughan running a limited 2004 Nextel Cup schedule for Penske with eight-figure sponsor support from Kodak.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-17-2003)
    AND on Wednesday's Wind Tunnel show, Brendan Gaughan called in and said Dodge was working on a few race Cup deal for him in 2004, but he didn't know which team and that the 'rumor' was blown out of proportion.(11-20-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Don Miller Penske Racing South on XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio when asked if Penske is starting a third team: "This is where we are. We have been approached by another sponsor to run a third car. As You know it's Kodak. Kodak has come down in the Charlotte area and talked to half a dozen of the really good race teams and we just happen to be one of them. At this point, you know, nothing has been settled one way or the other but they have let us know that we are (one of the teams) in the final selection process."(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)
    AND Penske Racing and Jasper Motorsports are considering an arrangement where they would split ownership of Jasper's #77 Fords and bring the team under the Penske umbrella next season. Truck series driver Brendan Gaughan is the preferred candidate for the ride if the new deal is completed, sources said. Dave Blaney, who currently drives the #77, would not return to the team next season. The completion of the deal rests largely on the team's ability to secure a sponsor and a decision in that regard could come as early as Monday. The Penske-Jasper deal is one of three teams from which Kodak, which bought out its remaining contract with Morgan-McClure Motorsports, will select as its new home in what will become the Nextel Cup Series in 2004, sources said. Kodak is expected to make a final decision by Monday, choosing offers from Penske, Roush Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. "There could be the possibility of a third team next season, but how that team is structured and who the driver would be remains up in the air," said Don Miller, Penske vice president, who was reached Friday by phone. Team owner Roger Penske, in an appearance on the Speed Channel show "Wind Tunnel" Thursday night, was asked by show host Dave Despain about a possible third Penske team. "There has been interest by our team to possibly look at a third car. Kodak has come back through and talked to four or five teams in Charlotte - they came to our shop and we made a proposal," Penske said. "At this particular time, we have interest, we have engine capability with our Penske Jasper program ... to bring another young driver in might be a real opportunity for us for next year." Asked specifically about Gaughan as a driver, Penske said, "Brendan is one of the young Dodge drivers and obviously with our relationship with Dodge with Rusty and Ryan, he could be a possibility." Gaughan, 28, won six races this season and led the series points entering the season finale at Homestead, Fla. He was involved in a wreck in the race and ended up fourth in points. If he gets the ride, Gaughan would become the third member of the 2004 Nextel Cup rookie class, joining Brian Vickers and Scott Riggs [and maybe Johnny Sauter and Kasey Kahne??]. Gaughan in is Mexico racing this week and was unavailable for comment. Several issues remain to be worked out before the Penske-Jasper deal is completed, including: the car's number; where the team would be based; the listed car owner; and whether it would keep car owner's points from the 2003 season. The team would join the Dodge camp and utilize Penske engines, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-21-2003)

  • Bootie gets a gig: former #77 crew chief, Robert 'Bootie' Barker, is the new crew chief for Jason Leffler and the #00 Haas CNC Racing Busch Series team, starting this weekend at Rockingham and for the 2004 season.(Speed Channel's coverage of Busch Series Qualifying)(11-7-2003)

  • Barker to be honored and UPDATE: This year Robert 'Bootie' Barker (crew chief for the #77 - currently on leave) will be one of only eleven receiving a 2003 ARETE. The ARETE Honors is a tribute to athletes who, by overcoming adversity, or by displaying pure excellence, exemplify the spirit of ARETE. Whether over an extended period or one heroic instant, their performance was such that humankind could not fail to recognize it. Known as the most inspirational award in sports, the ARETE Honors for Courage in Sports will pay tribute to select individuals who, by their refusal to accept limitations, demonstrate the best of mankind. The ARETE Honors will be hosted by Jim Nantz and aired on November 2, 2003 on CBS.(Intersport PR)(10-24-2003)
    UPDATE: Robert (Bootie) Barker, no longer Dave Blaney's crew chief in Cup, is working for the rest of the season with the Busch Series team of Ashton Lewis Jr. Barker will likely work at Bill Davis Racing in some capacity next year.(Gaston Gazette)(10-26-2003)

  • Lipton Sides Joins the #77 as an Assoc for Atlanta: Lipton Sides, a Unilever Bestfoods brand, is joining forces with Jasper Motorsports this weekend in Atlanta to take advantage of the sponsor benefits NASCAR has to offer by promoting Lipton Sides. Lipton Sides will be displayed prominently on the hood and quarter panels of the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford Taurus in an effort to increase brand awareness among the 100,000 plus fans that will converge at Atlanta Motor Speedway, not to mention the millions of race fans who will attend by proxy through national television coverage on NBC. Understanding the hectic everyday life most Americans lead, Lipton Sides is positioned as an option to complete a meal in a hurry. They have harnessed the consumers' need for an easier side dish and with more than 40 varieties of rice, pasta and noodle flavors the options are virtually endless. Cindy Lewis who looks after the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Racing Team as 'Team Mom' and prepares their meals is excited to about partnering with Lipton Sides. "The schedule does not always allow a lot of time for the guys to eat but I make sure they always have a good meal," said Lewis. "With Lipton Sides all I have to do is worry about the main course. Lipton® Sides take 10 minutes [to prepare]. That leaves a lot of time for me to make sure the whole team eats."(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-24-2003)

  • #77 to display flag and decals: On Thursday, October 23, 2003, the # 77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Racing Team along with driver, Dave Blaney, and team co-owner, Mark Harrah, will land at Robins Air force Base to attend a ceremony where they will receive a flag that was flown during Operation Iraqi Freedom in April and express their gratitude to Air Force and the Air National Guard for their services in support of the ground force troops. Prior to the flag presentation from Colonel James Jones, Commander, 116th Operations Group, Harrah and Blaney will unveil the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford Taurus the team plans to run at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The deck lid of the car will boast special decals honoring the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center and 116th Air Control Wing logos on the trunk. The ceremony will take place in front of the E-8C aircraft, also known as the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (J-STARS). JSTARS is the airborne battlefield management and peacekeeping system. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, JSTARS flew more than 50 missions in the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-21-2003)

  • Barker to Wells? or Roush? Andrews to Martin's team? Robert "Bootie" Barker, on leave of absence from Jasper Motorsports #77, might be a crew chief candidate for one of Roush Racing's cars or Cal Wells' second car next season. Paul Andrews, crew chief for Jeff Burton, could be headed to teammate Mark Martin's #6 Ford, though owner Jack Roush says there has been no discussion about a change.(FoxSports/Sporting News)
    AND Robert (Bootie) Barker's is expected to go back to Bill Davis Racing, his former employer.(Gaston Gazette)(10-20-2003)

  • Bootie Leaving? UPDATE 2 on leave of absence: hearing crew chief Robert 'Bootie' Barker and the #77 Jasper Motor Team will part ways at the end of the season?(10-11-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Barker will not be with the team at Martinsville and team owner Mark Harrah will handle crew chief duties.(10-15-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Doug Bawel, Mark Harrah and Mark Wallace, co-owners of Jasper Motorsports, announced yesterday that they have come to a mutual agreement with Robert 'Bootie' Barker, crew chief for the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions NASCAR Winston Cup Series entry. Effective immediately, Barker is on leave of absence but still under contract with Jasper Motorsports. The decision came following the event in Charlotte.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-15-2003)

  • #77 to Dodge in 2004: many sources indicate that the #77 Jasper Motorsports team, just losing Ford suppoer for runnign a Dodge at Talladega, will make the switch ti Dodge in 2004.
    AND When Penske jumped from Ford to Dodge this season, he had 90 Ford engines race ready for Ryan Newman, Rusty Wallace and Blaney. But Penske didn't want his secret-engine technology falling into anyone else's hands, so Blaney was to continue running the Ford stuff until it was all used. And Blaney would then be switching to Dodge for 2004.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-3-2003)

  • Ford Cuts Loose the #77: Ford Racing Technology has dissolved its formal association with Jasper Motorsports in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series. Jasper Motorsports, which was under contract to field the #77 Jasper Engines Ford Taurus for the entire 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, violated a fundamental provision in its agreement with Ford Motor Company by competing in last Sunday's EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in a Dodge car. Over the weekend, Ford informed the team that it was in breach of contract. On Tuesday, the automaker declared the contract null and void and informed the team that it would repossess all existing Ford assets and discontinue further operational support. "What happened at Talladega was unacceptable," said Greg Specht, manager of Ford Racing Operations. "To be a Ford team, you have to run a Ford."(Ford Racing)
    And the response from the team: Jasper Motorsports has acknowledged Ford Racing's option to terminate their contingency contract for running a competitors car in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway last week. Prior to running a Ford competitor's product at Talladega, Mark Harrah, co-owner of Jasper Motorsports, called Greg Specht, manager of Ford Racing Operations. Specht informed Harrah that doing so would be cause for termination of the agreement between Ford and Jasper Motorsports. "I spoke with Greg, before we even made the decision," said Harrah. "We meant no disrespect to Ford, but our contract was a minor contingency contract. The tangibles stated within the Ford contract were not enough to influence our decision," he continued. "We were forced to look out for our sponsor. We took a chance in hopes to run more competitively and it paid off. It was our best finish at a superspeedway since February 2001." Currently, Jasper Motorsports plans to run the Ford Taurus through the end of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Season. Despite Ford's decision to negate the contract, Jasper Motorsports accepts and respects the resolution as a business decision. Currently the team is working with Ford to gratify the Termination Clause established in the contract of record that provides 30 days to acknowledge and close out the relationship.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-2-2003)

  • Special Decal on the #77 in Oct: Throughout the month of October, Dave Blaney will run a special purple ribbon decal on the hood of his #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month. In addition to the hood decal, the team will run a specially decorated deck lid on their NASCAR Winston Cup Series entry at Phoenix International Raceway on November 2 adorned with the names of individuals and companies who support an area volunteer-based victims assistance program, The Crisis Connection. The team is counting on the loyalty of NASCAR fan's everywhere to take a stand in this fight. The names displayed on the deck lid will be agencies, companies or individuals who have donated $25 to The Crisis Connection, a not-for-profit organization. The funds will go towards the operational budgets of comprehensive, community-based outreach programs in the counties of Dubois, Spencer, Perry, Crawford, and Orange in southern Indiana. There are several sources to aide in the education on Domestic Violence. One of those sources is the National Domestic Violence Hotline - 800-799-SAFE (7233), or for TDD users -800-787-3224 (TDD).(10-1-2003)

  • #77 'Dodge' at Talladega? UPDATE Yep: hearing the #77 Jasper Motorsports team may run a Dodge instead of a Ford at Talladega at the end of the month. Penske-Jasper builde both Dodge engines [for the #2 and #12] and Ford engines [the #77].(9-6-2003)
    UPDATE: Jasper Motorsports has elected to field a Dodge for its driver Dave Blaney in this weekend's Winston Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. The team, which has used Fords since its inception, built a Dodge and sent it along with one of its Fords for a wind-tunnel test, and the results favored the Dodge, said Robert "Bootie" Barker, the team's crew chief. "We have had one of each built because we've struggled so bad at the restrictor-plate tracks. We took them to the wind tunnel and put both on the chassis dyno and the Dodge seemed to be a little better," he said. "Our deal is to bring the best piece you can to the track because we're here to win races. We were dead last before." Asked if Jasper was considering a permanent move to the Dodge camp, Barker said: "We're going right back to Ford, of course, for the next few races and try to do the best job we can, but you never know." In three restrictor-plate races at Daytona (two) and Talladega this season, Blaney has finished 24th, 23rd and 35th. He is 28th in series points.(ThatsRacin.com), am hearing that the team will switch to Dodge for 2004.(9-26-2003)

  • Lowe's Speeds? while it was reported that #42-Jamie McMurray was the fastest at Lowe's Motor Speedway testing last week, being told that the #55 Ford of Jeff Fultz, in a car prepared by Jasper Motorsports was clocked electronically with a speed of 178.867mph which betters McMurray's speed of 177.282 for day two. McMurray was the fastest overall, running a lap last Monday at 181.002 mph [Fultz was thrid day one at 180.391.(9-9-2003)

  • Blaney Back with the #77 in 2004? UPDATE: Dave Blaney, driver of the #77 Jasper Motorports Ford, should know Monday if his owners will renew his contract.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-30-2003)
    UPDATE: Jasper Engines' co-owner Doug Bawel says Dave Blaney will return to drive the No. 77 in 2004. Another year with crew chief Bootie Barker should benefit Blaney and the team.(Sporting News)(9-1-2003)

  • Said and the Bud Shootout: Twenty drivers already have qualified for the Budweiser Shootout next February at Daytona International Speedway. Of those 20, only 18 have current rides -- Boris Said and Geoffrey Bodine aren't full-time Winston Cup drivers. Said hopes to get a Jasper Motorsports car for the race, and he plans on running the ARCA race at Talladega in October to gain experience.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-24-2003)

  • Davis offers to terminate Ward's contract/Tracy and Childress? Blaney back to Davis?: Ward Burton said Bill Davis Racing has offered to terminate his contract with the #22 team for next season, but Burton isn't prepared to sign it yet, "It's an option to terminate our agreement for '04, Nov. 30. Obviously, I'm not going to sign it until I have an agreement with someone else." Burton has talked to other car owners but declined to name any. One of the car owners reportedly interested was Richard Childress. Childress and Burton said Friday at Watkins Glen International they have talked, but it was about hunting.(NASCAR.com) AND Ward Burton's future may be the second-hottest driver story on the Winston Cup tour - along with Richard Childress' surprising negotiations with Paul Tracy, a temperamental Indy-car star. Burton and car owner Bill Davis appear destined to split at the end of the season, perhaps sooner. Mike Brown, Davis' general manager, said Davis has no plans to replace Burton in the coming weeks, despite reports that Dave Blaney, who once drove for Davis, might return. Burton said he expects to be in Davis' car the rest of the season.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-9-2003

  • Names on the Decklid of the #77: As part of a special promotion, over 100 people donated $50 or more to the American Diabetes Association to have their name appear on the decklid of the #77 Jasper Ford during the Winston Cup Race on July 20 at the New Hampshire International Speedway. Joe Kane, whose stepdaughter Katherine has diabetes, was the spark plug for this fundraising event. Joe e-mailed Doug Bawel, team co-owner and President of Jasper Engines & Transmissions in Indiana, hoping to reach Dave Blaney, an old high school friend, who now drives the #77 Jasper Ford in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition. Bawel also has a young son with diabetes and was eager to help. The result of their collaboration has been dubbed, "Katherine's Cure." For every $5 raised for "Katherine's Cure," Jasper Engines & Transmissions contributed $1, up to a maximum of $20,000. Thanks to the generosity of Jasper Engines & Transmissions, racecar enthusiasts and friends of the diabetes communities throughout New England will have the opportunity this weekend for their names to join Blaney in competition at NHIS. Sponsors also will receive a glossy photo of the car displaying all the names, signed by Blaney. Attendees at this weekend's New England 300 at NHIS will also have the opportunity to register for the New Hampshire and Maine walks, visit with ADA staff and receive current information on ADA research, information and advocacy programs. Katherine Dearden, Mr. Kane's stepdaughter, is an adorable and articulate young lady, who also happens to have diabetes. During her interview for the Youth Chair position for America's Walk for Diabetes in Augusta, Katherine was asked what is the one thing that diabetes interferes with. She said, "Nothing." Simply because she and her family won't let it. Katherine enjoyed, among other activities, the abundance of snow in Maine this past winter, as she is a cross-country ski enthusiast. She will join all the participants at the NHIS event this weekend.(Jasper Motorsports Notes)(7-17-2003)

  • Bootie Call on Speed: NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Robert "Bootie" Barker has been added to Speed Channel's on-air team and is scheduled to host a regular segment each Saturday as part of SpeedNews - NASCAR Edition. The new segment-"Bootie Call"-debuts this weekend from Daytona and will be an insider's look at what's going on in the NASCAR garage area from week to week. "Most of what is said about what's going on at the track is from an outsider's perspective," said Barker, crew chief for the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford piloted by Dave Blaney. "This will be an effort to get the SPEED Channel viewers even closer to the action."(Speed Channel)(7-3-2003)

  • A Blaney Wins at Pocono: Ryan Blaney, Dave Blaney's 9-year-old son, won a 15-lap quarter-midget race Thursday at Pocono Quarter-Midget Raceway on the grounds of Pocono Raceway. Other noteworthy racers in the Lehigh Valley Quarter Racing Club-sanctioned events Thursday included Tyler Labonte, 8, son of Bobby Labonte, and Chase Mattioli, 12, grandson of Pocono Raceway's owners, Drs. Joe and Rose Mattioli. Labonte and Mattioli finished third in their respective events. Young Blaney, of Hartford, Ohio, drove a red and white #50 car -- the same color scheme and numeral his grandfather Lou Blaney and father have featured on their race cars for years. Young Labonte's midget is detailed in green with No. 18, emulating his father's Interstate Batteries Chevy. Dave Blaney starts 22nd in the Pocono 500 today. Bobby Labonte starts third.(Express Times)(6-8-2003)

  • #77 Sponsor for Bristol: First Tennessee has partnered with Jasper Engines and Transmissions and the #77 Jasper Engines Ford driven by Dave Blaney. A special paint scheme prominently featuring the well-known First Tennessee logo will appear on the #77 car at the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 23. First Tennessee recently announced that the company has renewed its partnership with Bristol Motor Speedway as the Official Financial Services Provider of BMS and Bristol Dragway. To celebrate these partnerships, First Tennessee is offering NASCAR fans the Ultimate Bristol Experience through a sweepstakes that will run during July. Grand-prize winners will receive trips for four to the Sharpie 500, where they will stay in an exclusive motor coach at the track, meet the owner of the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford and have seats in the First Tennessee suite. First-prize winners will receive four suite tickets to the Sharpie 500. And second- and third-prize winners will receive First Tennessee racing merchandise. During the Sharpie 500, the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford will be referred to as the #77 First Tennessee car. Throughout the summer, a replica of the #77 First Tennessee car will make appearances at First Tennessee financial centers across the state.(Jasper Motorsports PR), see an image of the car at the BMS site, Jasper Motorsports site or my Paint Scheme Gallery.(6-5-2003)

  • Blaney to be Fast and Furious? UPDATE hearing that #77-Dave Blaney may be running a 2 Fast 2 Furious paint scheme this weekend at Dover?
    UPDATE: Following career-best start/finish performances at Dover last fall for both driver and team, Dave Blaney will return to the one-mile high-banked oval this weekend with a special bright orange paint scheme on the the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford, heralding the opening of Universal Studios' 2 Fast 2 Furious movie in theaters June 6. The special design is part of a broad program in support of the sequel to the studios' The Fast and The Furious, which enjoyed huge global success and helped fuel the current explosion of popularity for sport-compacts.(Jasper Motorpsorts PR), see image on my Paint Schemes Gallery(5-28-2003)

  • Panther Power Returns: After finishing a strong second-place finish in The Winston Open last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway with the team's new car and black paint scheme, Dave Blaney and the #77 Jasper Motorsports crew decided to bring the "Panther Power" car-first intended to run only during The Winston weekend-back for this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Blaney will also compete in Saturday's Busch Series event in the #31 Whelen Motorsports entry, which will make it's first start as a Ford with Penske-Jasper Engines from the potent production line that generated power for Ryan Newman during his outstanding split Busch Series/ARCA Series season in 2001 prior to his WC debut last year.(Jasper Racing PR)(5-21-2003)

  • Panther Power: The Jasper Motorsports Panther Power paint scheme that will compete at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Winston weekend was designed by Timothy G. Freed for Freed Motorsport Designs. Freed Motorsport Designs have been designing unique and distinctive paint schemes and promotional items for race teams since 1996. You can see his work in every major racing series this year with the Jasper Panther Power car in NASCAR, the Roush Racing Odoban car in the Busch Series, the Kenny Brack Pioneer/Miller Lite car in the Indy Racing League, the Michel Jourdain Jr. Gigante car in the CART series, and the Danica Patrick Argent car in the Toyota Atlantic Series.(see the image on my Paint Scheme Gallery Chart/Page)(5-17-2003)

  • Not NASCAR but: Trans-Am and sometime NASCAR driver Boris Said, the runner-up in this year's Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, has been suspended for 45 days by Trans-Am after comparing series operator Paul Gentilozzi and his sons to Saddam Hussein and his sons.(Tampa Tribune)(5-10-2003)

  • Panther Power at The Winston: Dave Blaney and the #77 Jasper Motorsports team will run the special "Panther Power" scheme on the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford during competition at The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. The design is one of three special paint schemes to be used during the next three months by Blaney and the #77 team [not sure what the other two are...yet]. The Panther Power die-casts-both 1/24 and 1/64 scale-will be available June 9 at all NASCAR at-track and retail outlets as part of the Team Caliber Pit-Stop Series.(Jasper Motorsports PR). See a drawing of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-9-2003)

  • Two businesses report scam: Two local businesses have been taken in by a fraudulent offer of an advertising opportunity at the Brickyard 400. The perpetrators appear to be working in Lawrence and Monroe counties [Indiana], according to Lawrence County Sgt. Lonnie Johnson. Johnson said a marketing and promotions company from Bloomington is offering business names placed on a Jasper Engines and Transmissions race car for the NASCAR Brickyard 400. The two businesses signed contracts and paid money to the company. However, Jasper Engines and Transmissions denied any such promotion. Anyone with information about the scam should call the Lawrence County Police Department at 812-275-3316.(Hooiser Times)(4-27-2003)

  • #77 Team wins McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Crew Challenge at Rockingham: The crew of Dave Blaney, the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford, won Round 2 of the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade at Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway. Blaney's crew spent 223 seconds in the pits to edge the crew of Kurt Busch by four seconds to earn the weekly $20,000 prize.(NASCAR PR)(2-26-2003)

  • Blaney wins his first pole: #77-Dave Blaney won the pole for the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway, with a speed of 154.683. It is Blaney's first ever Bud Pole (and first ever front row start). Blaney joins Davey Allison (1987), Kyle Petty (1990) and Hut Stricklin (1995) winning their first career poles at the Rockingham, NC track. Outside pole went to #10-Johnny Benson (who won at the Rock in Nov 2002). #99-Jeff Burton spun on his attempt and has to use a provisional as does the Daytona 500 pole sitter, #30-Jeff Green. All 43 drivers make the race and those who used provisionals, will not be charged one. See the speeds, who used provisionals, pole progression, rookies, lineup links on my Rockingham Qualifying Page.(2-21-2003)

#12 Penske 2003 News

  • Ryan Newman wins Driver of the Year Award 2003: Ryan Newman dominated the voting for Speed Channel presents the Driver of the Year 2003. Yet, some might view it as an upset win. It was only the second time in the 37-year history of the award the honor didn't go to a series champion. The last time this happened was in 1985 when Bill Elliott beat NASCAR Winston Cup Champion, Darrell Waltrip - a three-time Driver of the Year - based on wins and poles. Newman finished sixth behind series champion, Matt Kenseth. In only his second full year in Winston Cup racing Newman, winner of the voting in the third and fourth quarter for Driver of the Year was a little stunned when he learned of the final vote, "it's awesome. Not only the award, but, the honor of all the drivers that have gotten it, to be on that list and to be able to compete against all the drivers this year and beat them."
    Newman, a 25-year old from Indiana who drives the Alltel Dodge, easily beat all of his rivals with nine first-place votes. Other drivers garnering votes were Paul Tracy (CART), and Steve Kinser (World of Outlaws) who had two. Drivers getting one vote each were Kenseth, Greg Anderson (NHRA), Kenny Bernstein (NHRA), Scott Dixon (IRL), Sam Hornish, Jr. (IRL), and J.J. Yeley (USAC).
    The Penske Racing South driver also carried the fan vote, on www.speedtv.com, with 44%.
    Responding to that vote, Newman said, "that's cool too. This sport is driven by the fans not just the media panel. To win the fan vote is an honor also. It shows a couple of things (1) the impact of NASCAR racing on the world of motor sports (2) how driven and dedicated the fans are."
    In it's 37th year the Driver of the Year title is unique because it is the only award that emcompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. and a cumulative fan vote on Speedtv.com determine the winner. The final vote is made up of a secret ballot of the experts each selecting one driver and the winner of the fan vote. In recognition of this honor Newman will receive a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix Swiss Watch at a special presentation in Talledega, AL next April. President of the Driver of the Year Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida. Further information on the award may be obtained from the Driver of the Year Foundation, PO Box 49827, Sarasota, FL 34230 or from (941) 953-6209.(See Full PR at Speed Channel)(12-21-2003)

  • Get Well: Gary Brooks, shop foreman at Penske Racing South, was released from Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte last night and is resting and recuperating at home. Brooks, who has been with PRS since it was founded in 1991, was hospitalized for last Thursday's surgery for the removal of the upper portion of the lower lobe of his left lung, which proved to be benign. "Brooksy" as he is fondly referred to by his teammates and many friends, was a perennial "all star" jackman in the early 90s, before back problems ended his "over-the-wall" duties. He has long been known for his unique sense of humor. Brooks will be sidelined for several weeks. Cards and well wishes can be sent to him at home: Gary Brooks, 112 Beach Lane, Mooresville, NC 28117.(Tom Roberts PR)(11-24-2003)

  • Speed Channel DOTY 4th Qtr = Ryan Newman: Ryan Newman backed up his convincing third quarter Speed Channel presents Driver of the Year 2003 title by easily topping the vote for the fourth quarter. The winningest driver in the Winston Cup series this year scored three more wins, six poles, and had eight top-five finishes in the final quarter of the season. The 25-year-old, from Indiana who drives the Alltel Dodge, had to rebound from a slow start to his season. With nine first-place Driver of the Year 2003 votes Newman far outdistanced (107-71) second place vote getter, Kenny Bernstein, of the NHRA who had two. Steve Kinser, racing in the World of Outlaws, was third in the balloting (57 points) followed by Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) who also had two first-place votes. In the fan vote - between eight nominated drivers - available at www.speedtv.com, NASCAR's Winston Cup drivers dominated again garnering the top three positions, with Gordon taking the top honors, followed by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Newman, Anderson, Bernstein and Kinser. The Driver of the Year Award will be announced on Speed News, Speed Channel.(see full PR on my Voting and Awards page)(11-22-2003)

  • Third Penske Team in 2004? UPDATE 3 Gaughan and Penske and Kodak? to the #77? Blaney OUT? The Kodak fact finding mission stopped at Roush Racing, BAM Racing, Bill Davis Racing, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and reportedly to Penske Racing South - where there is interest in starting a third team.(Ford Racing)(11-10-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Brendan Gaughan is "supposed" to go to a third Penske team next year, with Kodak sponsorship. Somehow, the whole (Kodak) deal is contingent on his winning the Truck Series championship.(11-14-2003)
    UPDATE 2 and more: Kodak's departure from the #4 Morgan-McClure car appears imminent [may stay as an assoc - Jayski]. Several organizations have bid on the Kodak account, including Dale Earnhardt Inc., BAM Racing and PPI Motorsports. Although DEI has been rumored to be the front-runner, Kodak officials were spotted at Penske Racing last weekend. Garage chatter has Craftsman Trucks driver Brendan Gaughan running a limited 2004 Nextel Cup schedule for Penske with eight-figure sponsor support from Kodak.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-17-2003)
    AND on Wednesday's Wind Tunnel show, Brendan Gaughan called in and said Dodge was working on a few race Cup deal for him in 2004, but he didn't know which team and that the 'rumor' was blown out of proportion.(11-20-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Don Miller Penske Racing South on XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio when asked if Penske is starting a third team: "This is where we are. We have been approached by another sponsor to run a third car. As You know it's Kodak. Kodak has come down in the Charlotte area and talked to half a dozen of the really good race teams and we just happen to be one of them. At this point, you know, nothing has been settled one way or the other but they have let us know that we are (one of the teams) in the final selection process."(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)
    AND Penske Racing and Jasper Motorsports are considering an arrangement where they would split ownership of Jasper's #77 Fords and bring the team under the Penske umbrella next season. Truck series driver Brendan Gaughan is the preferred candidate for the ride if the new deal is completed, sources said. Dave Blaney, who currently drives the #77, would not return to the team next season. The completion of the deal rests largely on the team's ability to secure a sponsor and a decision in that regard could come as early as Monday. The Penske-Jasper deal is one of three teams from which Kodak, which bought out its remaining contract with Morgan-McClure Motorsports, will select as its new home in what will become the Nextel Cup Series in 2004, sources said. Kodak is expected to make a final decision by Monday, choosing offers from Penske, Roush Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. "There could be the possibility of a third team next season, but how that team is structured and who the driver would be remains up in the air," said Don Miller, Penske vice president, who was reached Friday by phone. Team owner Roger Penske, in an appearance on the Speed Channel show "Wind Tunnel" Thursday night, was asked by show host Dave Despain about a possible third Penske team. "There has been interest by our team to possibly look at a third car. Kodak has come back through and talked to four or five teams in Charlotte - they came to our shop and we made a proposal," Penske said. "At this particular time, we have interest, we have engine capability with our Penske Jasper program ... to bring another young driver in might be a real opportunity for us for next year." Asked specifically about Gaughan as a driver, Penske said, "Brendan is one of the young Dodge drivers and obviously with our relationship with Dodge with Rusty and Ryan, he could be a possibility." Gaughan, 28, won six races this season and led the series points entering the season finale at Homestead, Fla. He was involved in a wreck in the race and ended up fourth in points. If he gets the ride, Gaughan would become the third member of the 2004 Nextel Cup rookie class, joining Brian Vickers and Scott Riggs [and maybe Johnny Sauter and Kasey Kahne??]. Gaughan in is Mexico racing this week and was unavailable for comment. Several issues remain to be worked out before the Penske-Jasper deal is completed, including: the car's number; where the team would be based; the listed car owner; and whether it would keep car owner's points from the 2003 season. The team would join the Dodge camp and utilize Penske engines, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-21-2003)

  • NASCAR Press Conference UPDATE Gillette Young Guns: NASCAR will be announcing a sponsorship deal involving six of NASCAR's top ten drivers this Friday, Nov. 14 at 12:45pm/et from Victory Lane at Homestead-Miami Speedway. On hand will be 2003 champ Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France.(11-12-2003)
    UPDATE: hear it is something with Gillette.(11-13-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Gillette Co. is expected to unveil a $10 million-plus sponsorship deal today with NASCAR and six of its most prominent young and aggressive drivers. The Hub razor maker is gunning for a huge and growing group of auto racing fans with a sweeping deal to be unveiled in Miami. As an official NASCAR partner, Gillette and its Duracell and Oral-B brands will gain exclusivity in the shaving, battery and oral care categories, industry sources say. Gillette also will sponsor six young drivers including #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #29-Kevin Harvick and this year's Winston Cup Champion, #17-Matt Kenseth. The six - to be dubbed Gillette Young Guns - will anchor promotional programs designed to drive sales. Gillette is expected to spend more than $10 million on the effort overall. The deal is comparable only to Coca-Cola Co. (KO: chart, news)'s sponsorship of 13 drivers under its Coca-Cola Family of Racers campaign.(Boston Herald)(11-14-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman have been called "young guns" for some time. Next year, they'll get paid for it. In a deal worth a reported $20 million a year, Gillette has signed a multiyear agreement for those Cup drivers to endorse Gillette razors, Duracell batteries and Oral-B toothbrushes. The deal also includes "official" sponsor status for Gillette. The agreement also includes a weekly contest for fans, who can register online at www.gilletteyoungguns.com, to predict the highest finisher among those six in each 2004 race. All correct entrants will be entered in a drawing for a $5,000 prize. If those six drivers finish in the top six in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May or the Ford 400 at Homestead, and a consumer correctly picks the order of their finish, the prize would be $5 million. Gillette will also donate at least $1,000 per week to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition as part of the program. None of the money in the deal goes any of the race teams involved. The agreements are with NASCAR and the individual drivers.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-16-2003)

  • Special Schemes for Penske Cars IMAGE: As part of Penske Racing's 50th win commemoration this weekend at Rockingham, Wallace's Miller Lite Dodge will carry the familiar and popular black and gold colors that Wallace used in recording 30 of his 54 career wins (total of 36 [not 38] at Penske Racing) and in three of his five Rockingham victories.(TRPR - no image of the car...yet)
    AND also #12-Ryan Newman is supposed to run a special 50th win commemoration scheme at the Rock, nothing mentioned, but see an image of the scheme on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 0-23 page.. Penske's 50 wins [actually 53] are Wallace, 36; Newman 9; B Allison, 4; Mayfield, 3; Donohue, 1.(11-6-2003)
    IMAGE See an image of the #12 on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 0-23 page..(11-7-2003)

  • #12's secret? smaller carb? With all the talk about Ryan Newman's race strangling fuel runs of late it's no wonder that many of his peers are frustrated to the point where they're hurling accusations. But the story behind Newman & Company's fuel secret crawled out of the bag and into the lap of TFR [Team Ford Racing]. The secret to the formula - bigger is not always better in Winston Cup. The NASCAR specifications for a carburetor allow a carburetor will flow up to 830 cubic feet per minute maximum. Newman's men have found if they run a carb that flows 750 cfm that they give up only two horsepower to what the bigger carb delivers. That smaller carb, without 2 hp, brings the team about 0.5 miles per gallon extra in fuel consumption. Taking that 0.5 mpg and working it with the 22-gallon NASCAR-specified fuel cell, you see that Newman has an 11-mile cushion compared to his competitors. Meaning that Newman could run an extra seven laps at a 1.5-mile track, such as is found at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Unfortunately for the Alltel team the secret is starting to filter out to some of the other teams, however, the power lost to the smaller carb is not quite at the level that the Penske motor men are capable of recapturing, but darn close. Give those who have started to experiment with the smaller carb a few weeks and any deficit should soon disappear.(Ford Racing)(10-13-2003)

  • Congrats to Matt Borland and his wife Stacy on the birth of thier 2nd daugther Alexandra who arrived Tuesday, October 7th.

  • Newman wins at Kansas: #12-Ryan Newman won the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway, for his 8th win of the year and 9th of his 74 race career [12%]. #9-Bill Elliott, who let the most laps [115] ended up 2nd, with #19-Mayfield 3rd and #20-Stewart and #24-Gordon rounding out the top five. #17-Matt Kenseth wrecked early in the race, got the car fixed and was able to finish 36th, cutting his points lead to 259 points over Kevin Harvick with 7 races to go.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: on Speed Channel:
    one-hour recap/Fast Forward on Wednesday, October 8th at 7:00pm/et and again on October 9th at 1:00am/et;
    and a full three-hour race show will air on FRIDAY, Oct 10th this week [not Thurs as usual] at 2:00pm/et.
    Kansas Race Rundown on my Banquet 400 Race Info page for info, along with the top ten, cautions, lucky dogs, lineup links, notes and narritives, drivers off track or out of the race and lap leaders.
    Race Results at JAYSKI's Kansas Race Results page, official results from NASCAR, also links to other results pages and points.
    For Drivers Points Standings, see JAYSKI's Drivers/Owners Points (after Kansas) or
    ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(10-5-2003)

  • Newman's Gas Mileage: ....[#12-Ryan] Newman's amazing gas mileage has become the topic of much debate among rivals, wondering if he's got some tricks in his car. The typical engine gets 4.5 mpg, good enough for 100 miles on the average 22-gallon tank. However NASCAR specifies the size of the fuel cell box, not the number of gallons. So teams try numerous ways to expand that box, some even to the point of pressurizing it, or using sliding walls. NASCAR, though, has been quite strict about policing all those tricks for several years. Still, according to sources, Newman's car took 23.2 gallons of gas during one fill up this weekend, when the tank wasn't empty.(Winston Salem Journal)
    Newman's Dodge, by the way, was not the only car to go 78 laps on a tank of fuel. Six others on the lead lap pitted for the final time with Newman, including third-place finisher Jeremy Mayfield, eighth-place Jamie McMurray and 10th-place Ricky Rudd, the highest-finishing Ford driver.(Gaston Gazette)(10-6-2003)

  • Newman sweeps Dover: #12-Ryan Newman won the MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway, sweeping both Cup races at the Monster Mile and winning his 7th race of the 2003 season and 8th of his career. Newman got a lap down early when he cut down a tire early in the race while leading, but was the first car a lap down when the 5th caution happened [lap 287], allowing him to get back on the lead lap. Newman last pitted on lap 294 and went the rest of the way to win. Finishing 2nd was #19-Jeremy Mayfield [who wasn't happy with 2nd and was quite colorful on his TV interview, guess NBC has no 'bleep' button?], it was Mayfields 2nd runner up finish in a row. The rest of the top five were #20-Stewart, #29-Kevin Harvick [who led the most laps] and #24-Jeff Gordon. Points leader #17-Matt Kenseth finished 9th and now leads the points by 436 points over #29-Harvick who moved up a spot. #8-Earnhardt Jr. only took two tires on the pit stop during the 6th caution and the car was not right and he faded badly, trying to keep on the lead lap when Newman was in the process of passing, Earnhardt Jr. went up the track, lost it and spun around, slapping the drivers side hard against the wall. He was unconscious for a few moments and then groggy.
    To see my rundown of the race at Dover, see my MBNA America 400/Dover Race Info page for the top 10, lap leaders, cautions, narritives/notes and other things.
    Race Re-air: NOTE: Speed Channel changed their lineup in August - there will be a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race on Wednesday, September 24th at 7:00pm/et and again on September 25th at 1:00am/et; a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, September 25th
    Race Results at JAYSKI - MBNA America 400/Dover Results other links at 2003 Winston Cup Race Results.
    See full drivers points standings at JAYSKI - Driver/Owners Points after Dover.(9-21-2003)

  • Special Scheme for the #12 at Dover: #12-Ryan Newman's paint scheme will be a bit different for this weekend's race. Along with the ALLTEL decals, the #12 Dodge will feature a special design with the Sony Handy Cam logo on the hood and quarter panels.(Tom Roberts PR), see an image of the car on my 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 0-23.(9-18-2003)

  • Newman wins 3rd Quarter Vote: Ryan Newman the Winningest driver in the NASCAR Winston Cup series this year, turned up the heat this summer and melted the opposition winning the vote for the third quarter Speed Channel presents DRIVER OF THE YEAR 2003. The 25-year old from Indiana burned up the tracks in his ALLTELL Dodge with three wins and one pole for Penske South Racing. He had an enviable record of seven top-ten finishes in his last ten starts during the quarter that just ended. In only his second year in the top series of NASCAR Newman, was clearly affected by the history of the award and the fact he beat the competition in every major series in the United States in the eyes of the voters. His ten first place DRIVER OF THE YEAR votes was underscored the professionals vote of excellence as his points total of 123 was nearly double that of the second place finisher. Although Canada's Paul Tracy failed to get a single first place ballot, the CART series points leader was a consistent vote getter on all professional ballots finishing second with 66 points. Driving the Players Forsythe Lola Ford-Cosworth Tracy had three wins, Toronto, Vancouver, and Mid-Ohio, four poles and a total of six podiums. Tracy was voted DRIVER OF THE YEAR for the first quarter of 2003. Larry Dixon, driver of the Miller Lite Top Fuel dragster, finished third with 46 points and took three first place votes as he won the Pontiac Excitement, Mopar Mile-High, CARQUEST and FRAM-Autolite Nationals. His winning average was 75 percent for the third quarter and he leads the POWERade series points standings.(Speed Channel PR)(9-15-2003)

  • Did ya Know? Ryan Newman won his first NASCAR Winston Cup race last year in the September event at New Hampshire International Speedway in only his 35th start in NASCARs premiere series. Since then, Newman and his #12 ALLTEL team have made 35 more starts and won six times in the Dodge Intrepid out of the Penske Racing South shop. Newman's seven career victories in 70 starts give him a 10 percent winning percentage, and only one driver in NASCAR's Modern Era has achieved seven victories faster than Newman. Defending series champion Tony Stewart won seven races in his first 61 starts, an 11.47 percent winning percentage. Fourteen other drivers in NASCAR history reached their seventh win quicker than Newman. According to figures supplied by NASCAR Statistical Services, A.J. Foyt, Junior Johnson, Fireball Roberts, Curtis Turner and Tim and Fonty Flock are some members of that elite group. Newman has a very impressive winning percentage of 23 percent (six wins in 26 starts) this season, and he leads the circuit with victories and poles (six.).(Dodge Motorsports.Golin Harriss PR)(9-11-2003)

  • Newman wins at Richmond: #12-Ryan Newman won the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond, Newman's 6th win of 2003. #19-Jeremy Mayfield came in 2nd, his first top five of 2003 and first since the May 2002 race in Richmond when he was 5th, 50 races ago. The rest of the top five were #21-Ricky Rudd, #99-Jeff Burton and #2-Rusty Wallace. #29-Kevin Harvick drove onto pit road and bumped into #21-Ricky Rudd, then climbed out of his car and tired to get over to Rudd, but his crew held him back, Harvick did get a walk accross Rudd's hood, but his wife and crew got him away from the situation. NASCAR has called the whole teams of both the #21 and #29 teams to the NASCAR Trailer. Meanwhile most of Newman's victory celebration is missed and not covered, we got an interview with Newman, but missed any donuts, burnouts, entering victory lane and him exiting the car.
    Race Re-air: NOTE: Speed Channel has changed their lineup since August - so there will be a one-hour recap [called Fast Forward] of the race on Wednesday, September 10th at 7:00pm/et and again on September 11th at 1:00am/et; a full three-hour race show will re-air at 3:00pm/et on Thursday, September 11th
    See my Chevy Rock and Roll 400 Race Info page for the race rundown, top 10, alp leaders, cautions and narritives, notes on the race...and much more.
    Race Results at
    JAYSKI's Richmond Race Results
    ThatsRacin.com
    MotorsportsOne
    NASCAR.com.
    See full driver/owners standings at JAYSKI's Drivers/ Owners Points page.(9-6-2003)

  • Newman Treated and more on the Kill switch: #12-Ryan Newman was unavailable after the Southen 500 at Darlington for an interview as he received treatment for excessive heat and some carbon monoxide poisoning.(from ThatsRacin.com) AND Newman apologized over the radio for accidentally hitting the engine-kill switch on his steering wheel. A team official said after the race that a water bottle handed to Newman during the pit stop inadvertently turned off the ignition, causing the engine to stop.(Roanoke Times)(9-1-2003)

  • Thanks Ryan: at the Winston Breakfast Club on Saturday, Ryan Newman was the guest, one of his comments were pretty cool [so? one of the few times I am self serving here, lol]: Question: WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON?
    Answer: "Thanks to Jayski, I was looking on there and at this time last year we had 10 more points than we do now [see the Stats and Stats Links page for the stat]. It's just that Matt Kenseth's had a runaway year. We've had our problems no doubt, but we've overcome those. We've had bigger problems in the form of crashes, but we've had bigger victories as far as the quantities of wins. We're just going to go out and do the best job we can and let the points lie where they lie. We can't make points. We can just do out best to get what we can."(Golin Harris PR)(8-10-2003)

  • Newman not happy with rescue workers response UPDATE: #12-Ryan Newman qualified 13th for Sunday's Sirius at The Glen in a backup Dodge after crashing his primary car in practice Friday morning. Newman, who wound up with his car turned sideways sitting on the driver's side after it slammed thick foam barriers guarding a tire barrier off Turn 9 of the Watkins Glen course, was uninjured in the crash. Still, he was critical of the way the track's emergency team handled the crash. "I hit a rock with my helmet getting out of my car because the safety crew was about 10 minutes late getting there," he said. "It was pretty ridiculous. When they got there they didn't know what they were doing"(ThatsRacin.com)(8-9-2003)
    UPDATE: Ryan Newman rolled his car onto its driver side at Turn 9. While rolling a car is never pleasant, waiting for the safety crew to arrive at the car to help the driver out of the car borders on the intolerable, at least according to Newman. "I got loose in Turn 9 and had a couple of wiggles and never recovered," explained Newman. "I hit a rock with my helmet getting out of my car because the safety crew was about 10 minutes late getting there. They were definitely late," Newman continued. "It was pretty ridiculous. When they got there they didn't know what they were doing. It seemed like they were pretty uneducated about what to do." Watkins Glen International safety matters are handled by the volunteer organization Race Services Incorporated. According to the RSI website the crew is "an organization of volunteers committed to promoting the cause of road racing enthusiasts, and promoting Watkins Glen International as a leader in road racing." The only requirement for a first responder job is that the volunteer must be a certified member of a New York or Pennsylvania fire department. One case showing the volunteer group's lack of familiarity with NASCAR specific issues, which occurred in 2001, had rescue volunteers pouring water onto a TV box [#31-Robby Gordon] which contained a significant amount of lithium in the battery pack that powered the unit. This combination of water and lithium cells caused the cells to explode.(Ford Racing), maybe time to rethink a full-time traveling rescue crew?(8-10-2003)
    AND Winston Cup director John Darby responded to Newman's concerns. "Our safety concerns we never sleep on," Darby said. "Any incident on the racetrack, including the one yesterday, if it took 30 seconds to respond, then immediately after that incident the team that's responsible is trying to figure out how to do it in 20 seconds. It's something we never sit still on," Darby said. "If we didn't do it 100 percent right, we'll find out why and the next time we'll make sure we do." Darby said he personally was not aware how much time it took from the impact of Newman's car into the barrier and the arrival of the safety vehicles. The vehicles responded from a station that was at the exit of the Inner Loop, the track section right in front of where Newman crashed that's little more than 200 yards away. Darby said the track's safety vehicles never move until they are dispatched by the NASCAR control tower. "We know that if we pull an emergency vehicle out in front of a race car that's traveling 180 miles an hour, we're going to have a bigger problem than we started with," Darby said. "There's a lot of things that play into moving equipment, and when and how it's moved." Newman said that, particularly in practice mode, NASCAR needs to do a better job.(more at NASCAR.com)(8-10-2003)

  • Marlboro, Penske and Cup? NASCAR's proposed ban on tobacco sponsorships comes as reports are surfacing that Philip Morris' Marlboro brand may be interested in sponsoring a Roger Penske Winston Cup team. There have been persistent reports that Penske is considering a third Cup team, but the team continues to deny those reports.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-5-2003)

  • Penske Incentive: Indy Extra Incentive -- 50th Stock Car Win For Penske:
    The count is at 49 with Ryan's win Sunday at Pocono and a win this Sunday at Indy by Rusty or Ryan would reach that monumental 50th stock car victory for Penske Racing. Here is the breakdown entering the Brickyard 400 (driver & wins):
    Rusty Wallace - 36
    Ryan Newman - 5
    Bobby Allison - 4
    Jeremy Mayfield - 3
    Mark Donohue - 1 (the first win, which came in the 1/21/73 Winston Western 500 at Riverside, Calif. Donohue started 4th and led 138 of the 191 laps in a Penske Racing AMC Matador)(Tom Roberts PR)(7-30-2003)

  • Smirnoff and the #99? or to Penske? hearing that Smirnoff Ice/Triple Black could end up being the sponsor for the #99 Roush Racing team and driver Jeff Burton, either in a full time capacity or similar to what they are doing with #17-Matt Kenseth this year [seven races as a primary sponsor on the car], OR could re-up with Kenseth for another year OR could do a similar deal with #12-Ryan Newman [not sure how Miller Lite would like that] also being a sponsor on one of Penske's IRL cars [who is losing Marlboro] with one of their hard liquior labels, which is allowed in the IRL but not in NASCAR. While mulling over this one, kmowing it looks like a sponsor will stick with NASCAR, check out their contest: Smirnoffice.com - Hang With Matt & The Crew [that Chris Brock seems fun to hang out with](7-28-2003)

  • Penske signs Blount UPDATE 5: Penske Racing part-owner Don Miller said the team, which fields Dodges for drivers Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman, has signed NASCAR Busch Series driver Chad Blount to an agreement to test the organization's Winston Cup cars. Miller said, contrary to recent reports, that Blount has not been hired to drive for a Busch program. "We don't have a Busch team and we don't have any Busch cars," Miller said. Miller said Penske's agreement with Blount lasts through the end of the year.(ThatsRacin.com)
    ....so Blount is not with Rusty in a Busch deal, but did run the #66 Miller High Life car for Wayne Jesel at Milwaukee with Penske-Jasper engines...AND The field at Milwaukee last week was set per owners points/the rules book [past winners, race attempts and qualifying draw]. No matter how #66 team owner Wayne Jessel figured it out, he was not able to get driver Chad Blount in the race as it was their first race of the season [no owners points of race attempts] and they hadn't drawn a high enough position in qualifying [34th]. Jessel convinced the teams of #52-Brad Teague [10 attempts, 43rd owners points, 2nd in qualiying order], #70-Morgan Shepherd [4, 53rd, 21st], #97-Kenny Hendrick [3, 73rd, 11th] and #67-Brad Mueller [actually #66 was in better position then this team also attempting it's first race and was 45 in qual order].....to withdraw from the event and ensure his team a spot in the race [starting 43rd and finishing 40th]. No one would comment, but it reportedly took a low five-figure range to seal the deals. PLUS have heard that word around the garage area at Daytona this weekend is that Roger Penske funded the payoff of the four Busch teams to withdraw. It reportedly cost Penske $50,000 total to convince those four drivers to withdraw.(7-5-2003)

  • NASCAR visiting NASA: #88-Dale Jarrett, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #12-Ryan Newman on Wednesday have been invited to take a special NASA tour at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL. The group, which also will include Newman's crew chief Matt Borland and Penske Racing South Vice President Don Miller, is scheduled to visit various facilities and sites at the Space Center including the Space Station Processing Facility, Shuttle Pad A, NASA Crawler vehicle, Orbiter Processing Facility and Astronaut Memorial. One of the highlights of the visit will be at the Orbiter Processing Facility. The drivers are scheduled to get the rare opportunity to actually sit in a shuttle cockpit behind the controls.(NASCAR PR)(7-2-2003)

  • Fireproof Hoods: Ryan Newman pulled aside veteran driver Bill Elliott at Infineon Raceway last weekend to ask him about the fireproof hoods, which are common in other series but are used by only a handful of NASCAR drivers, Elliott and Kyle Petty included. Newman, who sustained slight burns in an accident June 8 at Michigan International Speedway, says his unwillingness to try wearing a hood was "just more laziness than anything." Winston Cup series director John Darby says NASCAR is not requiring drivers to wear the hoods and notes that many helmets have fireproof lining that serves the same function. "I think every driver is aware of the fact that they have the option to pick their own protective clothing," he says.(USA Today)(6-24-2003)

  • What of the Cingular and Alltel sponsorships? One change that fans won't have to worry about is the status of #31-Robby Gordon and #12-Ryan Newman's teams, which are both sponsored by Nextel rivals. Alltel is signed to sponsor Newman's team through 2006, and Cingular Wireless is signed to sponsor Gordon's team through 2005. Richard Childress, car owner for Gordon's team, said Tuesday he expected both Cingular and Alltel to be grandfathered in, allowing them to remain in the series despite Nextel's presence.(Roanoke Times) AND However, expect Cingular and Alltel to get the cold shoulder, much like RJR grudgingly tolerated the Skoal and Copenhagen sponsorships.. Those cars didn't appear in NASCAR ads, video, promotions or on program covers. Other companies presently in the sport might not fare as well. Cellular One (Busch) and Verizon (ARCA) might have moved up to the Cup series. Now what? If Nextel insists on tracks and teams using only their radio/phone technology, what happens to longtime NASCAR and team sponsors Racing Radios and Racing Electronics? They supply the Motorola two-way radios used by the teams as well as the scanners fans use to eavesdrop on driver to team communications.(6-18-2003)

  • Newman and Blount? Not Rusty? UPDATE: hearing Chad Blount is going to drive a Busch Series car at Milwaukee. Miller Brewing is going to paint the car up to look just like the #22 Miller High Life car that Bobby drove in 1983, the year he won his and Miller's only championship, as a tribute and celebration of the 20th anniversary of that winning season. Allison will be present for the Press Announcement and for the race. Miller called him and asked him to take part. Rusty Wallace will not be the owner, but his teammate Ryan Newman will be. Rusty Wallace is building a new shop for a part-time Busch Series team, but doesn't have a driver for the deal, yet. See past news/rumors on this at my Busch Series site.(6-16-2003)
    UPDATE: other sources say Newman is not part of this deal and FoxSports reports: Chad Blount will drive the 66 Busch car at Milwaukee for Wayne Jesel.(FoxSports)(6-17-2003)

  • No 3rd Penske Team: Don Miller, president of Penske Racing South, said the team is not looking to field a third car to join #2-Rusty Wallace and #12-Ryan Newman.(Roanoke Times)(6-4-2003)

  • Lots of Goodies: The folks at Penske Racing raised over $3,000 during a bake sale held last Friday. The proceeds will benefit the "Friends in Needs" animal shelter in Lexington, N.C. Rain changed Ryan's plans on attending, but five of the nine dogs from the shelter still got new homes. Penske Racing South General Manager John Erickson showed even adopted one.(Tom Roberts PR)(5-28-2003)

  • Penske has both poles for Sunday's races: #12-Ryan Newman won the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, giving Penske Racing both poles in Sunday's races, the other being the Indy 500. Newman won the pole with a speed of 185.312mph, Helio Castroneves is on the pole for the Indy 500 with a speed slightly faster then Newman's: 231.725mph.(5-24-2003)

  • Newman Accepts Blame for Winston: After watching replays of his wreck in The Winston last week, #12-Ryan Newman admitted yesterday he lost control of his Dodge. He initially blamed Tony Stewart for the crash. "I went up to Tony and said, 'I had to blame it on somebody,' " Newman said. "He said 'I was 4 feet behind me.' I said, 'I know, it's still your fault.' . . . It was obviously my fault."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-24-2003)

  • Special #12 Paint Scheme: This weekend's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway marks the first of five (5) 2003 races that Ryan Newman's #12 Penske Racing South-ALLTEL Dodge Intrepid will feature the familiar Mobil 1 color scheme. Newman first ran these colors in last year's California race where he won the pole in record fashion. In last year's five races carrying Mobil 1 colors, Newman won three poles (two track qualifying records) and the points-paying race last September at New Hampshire. He also had two other top-five finishes. Newman will carry the Mobil 1 colors this season at California, Chicago, Pocono (July), New Hampshire (September) and Atlanta (October).(Tom Roberts PR)(4-23-2003)

  • Newman Hurting: #12-Ryan Newman said the only lasting effect he had from the harrowing 27-car crash on Lap 4 of last week's Aaron's 499 at Talladega was a sore on his foot. "When I hit the wall, my left foot got caught under the pedal," Newman said. "I told everybody in the shop that I looked like I 'Barney Fifed' myself. It looked like I shot myself right in the top center of my foot. There's a little dot right there that looks like a bullet went right through. It's all swollen up, but it only hurts when I take my shoe off or put it on."(ThatsRacin.com)(4-13-2003)

  • The Flying Tire: Winston Cup officials recovered the tire from Ryan Newman's car and planned to study why a tether failed to keep it from bouncing out of Talladega Superspeedway in Sunday's race. Newman's left front wheel cleared the catch fence off turn 2 where there weren't any grandstands. The tire hit a parked car. No one was injured, a track spokesperson said. Goodyear lists a left front tire as weighing 24.3 pounds. Newman's tire was heavier because part of the steel front spindle remained attached. NASCAR requires teams to tether the front spindles to the car to prevent a wheel from coming off. The rule book states that teams must use steel fiber cables or Vectran fiber cables to tether the wheel.(Roanoke Times)(4-7-2003)

  • #12 40lbs to light....out of water: Ryan Newman's winning car at Texas was 40 pounds light during post-race inspection, and NASCAR officials couldn't figure out why. Turns out that two radiator hose clamps broke during the race, and the radiator had run dry. Crew chief Matt Borland estimated that Newman could have run five more laps at best. So, after the team put the fluids back into the #12 and filled it with gas, the car was within the accepted weight range.(Sporting News)(3-31-2003)

  • Penske Leaving ISC: Roger Penske will give up his spot on the board of directors of International Speedway Corp. prior to ISC's annual meeting on April 9, according to a report published in the current issue of National Speed Sport News. The weekly publication cites an ISC-issue proxy statement saying that Penske will exit as vice chairman and will give up his seat on the board, which will reduce its membership from 17 to 13. Walt Czarnecki, executive vice president of the Penske Corporation, will also leave the ISC board. Greg Penske, Roger's son, will retain a seat on the board, the published report said.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-29-2003)

  • New Tire Changer for the #12 and the #16: been told that Dennis Terry has left the #16 Roush Racing team as the front tire changer and moved to the #12 Penske Racing Dodge team. Mike Hillman [not the #11 Crew Chief] will change rear tires on the #16 with car chief, Adam Emmertt moving from the rear to be the new front tire changer. See my Pit Crew Chart for most the full time Cup Pit Crew members.(3-12-2003)

  • Newman Unhappy: #12-Ryan Newman.was not satifyed at the response time of the fire crews to Jamie McMurray's buring Busch Series car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway following a practice crash with Michael Waltrip. Newman said..."He (McMurray) was out of the car and Michael Waltrip had pulled his car away way before they ever got there, and that was pretty poor there." McMurray's car burst into flames when it hit the wall after being collected by Waltrip during the Busch Series happy hour.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(3-5-2003)

  • Newman testing at Atlanta UPDATE 3: Ryan Newman will test his No. 12 Alltel Dodge Tuesday and Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the March 9 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Newman comes to Atlanta as a real threat to win the pole. In his first trip to Atlanta, a test session with Penske Racing, Newman set the fastest laps of the season's tests. During his next visit, with the BGN, Newman shattered the BGN qualifying record en route to the pole. In his two Cup starts last year, he started second and sixth - and both were huge disappointments. Tickets start at just $59 for a three-day weekend package and just $25 for Sunday's Winston Cup race. Call the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office now to reserve your seats at (770) 946-4211.(AMS PR)
    UPDATE: #25-Bobby Hamilton Jr also was at AMS testing his BGN car, #21-Ricky Rudd was to test but the team couldn't make it due to heavy snow in Virginia, the home of the Wood Brothers team.(XM Radio Satellite - NASCAR Radio)
    UPDATE 2: Newman ran in the 190.500mph range on Tuesday.(FSN's Totally NASCAR)(2-19-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Ryan Newman continued testing Wednesday at Atlanta. Newman unofficially turned in a top lap 191.503mph when clocked by Atlanta Motor Speedway's amateur timers. His lap just a fraction shy of Bill Elliott's March 2002 winning pole speed of 191.542mph.(AMS PR)(2-20-2003)

  • Newman's Car Impounded UPDATE: Ryan Newman's dramatic flip down the frontstretch was eye-catching, particularly for NASCAR officials, who were not pleased to see all those parts and pieces flying off the car. So NASCAR inspectors impounded Newman's car for further inspection, to try to figure out why the car appeared to simply shatter when it hit the ground.(Winston Salem Journal)
    HOWEVER After safety workers reached Newman's car Sunday, he climbed from his window and waved to the cheering crowd. Finding faster ways to get drivers out of their cars -- especially taller, or bigger, drivers -- is high on NASCAR's agenda. "NASCAR has been working for over a year on what we call bigger 'greenhouses,' which translates to more room in the cockpit for the drivers, especially bigger drivers such as Michael Waltrip," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's corporate vice president of communications. "One of the possibilities is to have an exit section in the roof of the car where they can extract a driver through a bigger opening in the top rather than through the window." Hunter said NASCAR officials kept Newman's car for "well over an hour" Sunday to analyze it for future research and development. "The fact he walked away from this crash is a testament to the way our guys build their cars," Hunter said. "Even though Ryan's Dodge was demolished, the protective roll cage surrounding him in the cockpit did what it was supposed to do."(Flordia Today)(2-18-2003)

  • ALLTEL extends with the #12 thru 2006: ALLTEL has extended its primary sponsorship agreement with Penske Racing South and the #12 Dodges driven by Ryan Newman through 2006. The communications and information services company's current agreement with the 2002 roolkie of the year would have expired at the end of the 2004 season.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-24-2003)

  • Sony Expands Sponsorship Of Penske Racing And Ryan Newman In 2003: Sony Electronics announced it has expanded its associate sponsorship and has become a technology partner of Ryan Newman's Penske Racing #12 Dodge. Sony's industry-leading FD Trinitron WEGA television brand will be joined by the Digital Handycam line of video cameras as Newman follows up his "rookie-of-the-year" campaign with an assault on the NASCAR Winston Cup championship. In addition to the sponsorship, Sony will provide technical assistance with their digital technology know-how to help develop tools for Newman's engineering-based team. New to the racing program will be Sony Handycam, Sony's digital video camera division. Handycam has been an industry leader and a household name since video cameras were introduced in the early 1980s. Handycam's current digital technologies have led to a recent revolution in the quality of consumer video camera recording and there is even more yet to come. Sony will also continue the Sony Mobile TechPit, a 60-by-80-foot mobile road show designed to give fans a front-row seat for an interactive look at the latest products in home entertainment, digital imaging, and car audio and personal computing. The show features a fast-moving sensory experience, giving fans the opportunity to interact with Sony products and to enjoy the thrills of WEGA televisions and home theater demonstrations in Dolby Digital surround sound. The exhibit will also include a display of the full line of Sony Handycams, computer-simulated races, and a Sony showcar as well as personal appearances by Ryan Newman at selected events.(Co-Pilott PR / Sony Racing)(1-24-2003)

  • Newman tests at Nashville: #12-Ryan Newman was at Nashville Superspeedway working with his crew Wednesday in preparation for the upcoming Winston Cup season. Newman, last season's rookie of the year, traveled to Nashville from his home near Charlotte, N.C., to continue making the adjustment from racing in a Ford to a Dodge. ''We lose time making the switch, but we're trying to make time to try all the things that we want to try out through the year,'' Newman said. ''We're trying to figure out some things mechanically as well as aerodynamically and this seems to be a pretty good track for that. 'At the same time we struggled a little bit on the concrete tracks last year like Bristol and Dover, so we're trying to get a little grip on the tire and the surface.'' Newman's goal for this season is to win the points championship, so that was another reason for spending a cold day at the superspeedway. He said Nashville's track is similar to the tracks in Las Vegas and Kansas City.(Tennessean)(1-23-2003)

#12 Penske 2002 News

  • Dodge engine stuff UPDATE 2: the word is that Dodge's Ray Evernham may be supplementing his own in-house engine operation by signing up for a Penske engine leasing program with Penske's engine man Larry Wallace..(Winston Salem Journal)(8-24-2002)
    UPDATE: Larry Wallace may be taking over command of the engine program for Ray Evernham's three teams, according to Detroit sources. Wallace has been the Ford engine builder for years for Rusty Wallace (no relation), but his contract with the Roger Penske team is reported to be up at the end of this season.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-25-2002)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Larry Wallace has left Penske Racing, no word....yet...on where he many go...Evernham?(12-19-2002)

  • Ryan Newman named ROTY: per NASCAR.com, ThatsRacin.com and the AP, no word on how the panel voted, looks like the final point total was 370-347, see my UNOFFICIAL Rookie of the Year page for charts and some calucaltions. What does he win? $50,000.(11-18-2002)

  • Beer wars? The "beer wars" may be heating up, along demographic lines. Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s success in reviving Bud's business has Miller and Coors both itching to promo a similarly young driver, Miller with Ryan Newman and Coors with Jamie McMurray.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-18-2002)

  • Newman to test at Kentucky: #12-Ryan Newman, who enters the final event of 2002 with a 20-point lead over #48-Jimmie Johnson in rookie points, will test on Kentucky's Speedway's 1.5-mile tri-oval on Tues Nov 12th and Wed Nov 13th. Newman enters the week seventh in the series points standings.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(11-11-2002)

  • Newman ties pole record: On Friday, #12-Ryan Newman put himself in the record book with his fifth pole of 2002. That tied the rookie record of the late Davey Allison in 1987.(Daily Press)(11-2-2002)

  • Newman and Hot Wheels: Mattel, Inc. has renewed an exclusive licensing deal with #12-Ryan Newman to continue creating Hot Wheels die-cast merchandise. Mattel has extended Newman's multi-year contract for exclusive mass retail channel distribution of all die-cast vehicles associated with Newman and the #12 Alltel/Penske team. Marketing rights include usage of the #12, Ryan Newman, and his likeness, photograph and signature.(Business Wire)(10-22-2002)

  • Penske to Dodge announcement soon? TODAY It is OFFICIAL: Penske Racing South is expected to announce its long-rumored switch to Dodge during Oct 10-13 race week at Lowe's Motor Speedway.(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read), am hearing it'll be Sunday morning, Oct 13th.
    AND Penske Racing's long-rumored move to the Dodge camp appears complete. Dodge officials have scheduled a news conference for 9 a.m. Oct. 13 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., when they are expected to announce Penske's addition to the Dodge organization beginning with the 2003 season. Penske and Dodge officials declined to comment on Friday. The partnership between Penske Racing and Jasper Motorsports, which includes Jasper's #77 Ford team utilizing Penske-built engines, will continue at least for the 2003 season, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-4-2002)
    UPDATE: Dodge Motorsports announced today that Penske Racing South will join the Dodge family of NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams for the 2003 season. Legendary team owner Roger Penske will field the #2 Miller Lite Dodge and #12 ALLTEL Dodge with Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman driving the respective cars, beginning at the 45th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 16, 2003. "This is yet another great moment in Dodge's quest for the NASCAR Winston Cup championship," said Jim Julow, Vice President, Dodge Motorsports Marketing. "The addition of Penske Racing South brings even more championship-caliber talent to what is already a first-class group of teams that make up the Dodge Motorsports family." No stranger to the Chrysler Group's racing heritage, Penske visited victory lane five times in the early 1970s with AMC Matadors, courtesy of drivers Mark Donohue and Bobby Allison. Since returning to NASCAR's Winston Cup Series in 1991, Penske Racing South has compiled an impressive 37 wins and 32 pole positions in more than 400 team starts. "Joining forces with Dodge Motorsports for 2003 is a natural extension of our existing business relationship with DaimlerChrysler," Penske said. "In less than 24 months, Dodge has become a major player in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. They've won key races. They've led the drivers' points standings most of the year. And just as importantly, they have incredible resources and an enviable, unique approach." The 2002 season marks Dodge's second year in its return to NASCAR's Winston Cup Series racing after a 25-year hiatus, and the Dodge One Team approach has paid big dividends quickly. Dodge Intrepid R/Ts have reached victory lane six times -- including wins at this year's Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 -- courtesy of Sterling Marlin, Ward Burton and Bill Elliott. Penske Racing South joins Evernham Motorsports, Petty Enterprises, Bill Davis Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and Ultra-Evernham Motorsports in the Dodge lineup.(Dodge Motorsports Site)(10-13-2002)

  • Dodge....Penske......: Ford men say they are resigned to losing Roger Penske to Daimler-Chrysler's Dodge brand next season. The Penske-to-Dodge rumors began more than two years ago, but they really heated up this spring. An announcement had been anticipated last month; Dodge sources say that an announcement could come within the next two weeks. Penske men will only say that there's an offer on the table.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-23-2002)

  • NAPCM "Pit Crew of the Week" #12 Ford Crew: A do-or-die, lightening fast, lead gaining pit stop right before the rain shortened checkered flag earns the #12 crew this weeks NAPCM "Pit Crew Of The Week" award sponsored by "Toxabsorb", "21st Century Spill Magnet", and the "Official Spill Response Agent of the NAPCM". Toxabsorb info available at www.toxabsorb.com.
    Third Quarter Finalist of Mechanix Wear "Pit Crew of the Year" Award - #88 UPS Crew
    First Quarter Finalist - #40 Coors Light Crew
    Second Quarter Finalist - #6 Viagra Crew
    Third Quarter Finalist - #88 UPS Crew
    Final Third Quarter Top Five Standings
    1st Place - Crew #88 UPS - 66 Points
    2nd Place - Crew #20 Home Depot - 63 Points
    3rd Place - Crew #17 DeWalt Total Points - 58 Points
    4th Place (tie) - Crew #29 GM Goodwrench - 55 Points
    4th Place (tie)- Crew #97 Rubbermaid - 55 Points
    5th Place - Crew #24 Dupont - 46 Points
    Complete list of third quarter Mechanix Wear "Pit Crew of the Year" standings, available at the National Association of Pit Crew Members web site.(NAPCM PR)(9-19-2002)

  • Tired of this yet...? More Penske to Dodge stuff: Roger Penske's switch from Ford to Dodge for 2003 and beyond in NASCAR is more than a 50-50 proposition: A bit more than half the people around NASCAR say it's done and the rest say it's preposterous. Don Miller, an executive within Penske South, says the notion isn't preposterous at all, but a deal isn't done. "They've made us a pretty good offer, so we're reviewing it," he said at Loudon. "It would be difficult to switch brands, but we've done it before [switching from Pontiac to Ford]. We'll decide something once NASCAR settles on its rules for next year. We want to see about the templates and what engine combinations would work best."(Autoweek)(9-18-2002)

  • Ryan Newman wins rained shortened race at New Hampshire #12-Ryan Newman wins his first career Winston Cup race (points), the 2nd rookie this year to win (#48-Johnson won earlier this year). Newman became the third driver to record his first career victory at NHIS, joining Joe Nemechek(1999) and Robbie Gordon(2001). #97-Kurt Busch ended up 2nd in a race shortened to 207 laps (of 300). #6-Mark Martin takes over the Winston Cup points lead, 6 points over #40-Sterling Marlin who had led the points since Rockingham in Feb. The race ended after 207 of scheduled 300 laps after heavy rain started falling.
    Results at ThatsRacin.com or NASCAR.com.(9-15-2002)

  • Penske Dodge UPDATE (like 200): Despite reports that owner Roger Penske will convert his Ford teams to Dodge in 2003, Penske insists no deal has been done. Penske cites NASCAR's new templates and what would be a complete overhaul of engine development as his greatest concerns about getting Dodges ready and testing them in time for next season. Penske South has 38 cars and 94 Ford engines housed at its facility in Mooresville, N.C.(Sporting News)(9-9-2002)

  • Penske to Dodge likely: this weeks Winston Cup Scene (print edition) reports that while Rusty Wallace said he expects Roger Pensek to make a decision within three weeks, several sources believe Penske has already chosen to field Dodges in 2003.(9-4-2002)

  • and even More Penske to Dodge talk: There are more indications of a Penske move from Ford to Dodge next season. According to team sources, more than three dozen Dodge engine blocks have been delivered to Penske South. A Penske move to Dodge would, according to team sources, be part of much larger business venture between Penske and Mercedes, which is DaimlerChrysler's top-of-the-line car. Penske already has extensive business ties with Mercedes, and he is expanding his Mercedes dealerships which are run under the United Auto Group (UAG).(Winston Salem Journal).(9-2-2002)

  • Penske, Jesel and Dodge? Members of Roger Penske's Winston Cup team have been spending time in the garage area of Ray Evernham's team, fueling the continuing speculation that Penske will switch from Ford to Dodge next season. Evernham is one of the top Dodge operations. Dodge officials reportedly have offered Penske $20 million to make the move.(Dallas Morning News)
    AND in this weeks Winston Cup Scene (need sub and adobe to read) it reports that #36/66 BGN team owner Wayne Jesel is hoping to get factory support from Dodge and an alliance with a Winston Cup program. Penske Racing is considering switching from Fords to Dodges and speculation is that Jesel would form an alliance with the organization throught Penske official Dan Luginbuhl. Jesel admits he has had discussions with Penske about an alliance, but has also contacted Evernham Motorsports and Ganassi Racing.(8-30-2002)

  • More Penske to Dodge stuff UPDATE: Adding fuel to the intense speculation that Roger Penske may be moving from Ford to Dodge next season is the word now, unofficially, that Dodge's Ray Evernham may be supplementing his own in-house engine operation by signing up for a Penske engine leasing program with Penske's engine man Larry Wallace. According to one unconfirmed report Dodge has offered Penske a $20 million-a-year deal to switch.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-24-2002)
    UPDATE: The latest on the Dodge engine front: Larry Wallace, one of NASCAR's top engine builders, may be taking over command of the engine program for Ray Evernham's three teams, according to Detroit sources. Wallace has been the Ford engine builder for years for Rusty Wallace (no relation), but his contract with the Roger Penske team is reported to be up at the end of this season.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-25-2002)

  • #12 was NOT a showcar: Contrary to television reports, Ryan Newman said the #12 Ford he raced yesterday wasn't a former show car. "Today we showed what we had, but there's no show car about it," he said. "It was built to be a race car."(Richmond Times Disptach)(8-12-2002)

  • Penske to Dodge? may be true after all UPDATE: A Penske Racing South official said the organization is still talking with Dodge about a potential switch from Fords to Intrepids for Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman next year. At this point, there is no clear favorite, though speculation remains that it will take a blockbuster offer for the teams to switch.(Winston Cup Scene - need subscription to read online)(8-1-2002)
    UPDATE: from a DW column on Foxsports: "I firmly believe that Indiana native Ryan Newman, two-time Brickyard 400 runner up Rusty Wallace and Penske Racing will switch to Dodge next year based on what I know and what I've been told. There's some pretty extensive testing going on, and I don't believe they'd be doing the kind of testing that they're doing if they weren't pretty serious about making the switch so it wouldn't come as a big surprise to me. I'd give it a 98.9 percent chance that it could happen. That's going out on a limb a little bit. I know the Penske shop has got a good relationship with Ford, but just keep an eye on that situation because I've got a gut feeling that that could happen."(FoxSports)(8-2-2002)

  • The return of the rumor - Penske to Dodge - pretty much denied...again: Dodge sources are describing the Roger Penske-to-Dodge move as "a done deal," with the superstar car owner making a long-speculated switch from Ford and putting Rusty Wallace and Newman in Intrepids next season. The Penske camp isn't saying much, there has been no confirmation out of any of the parties, and some Penske South officials have, in fact, said they expect to field Fords again next year. But they concede they still haven't signed a new contract. "If we were switching to Dodge," crew chief Bill Wilburn said with a laugh, "why would we be building a third Daytona-Talladega car? For the sun not to be out, you seem to be running quite a fever." According to Detroit sources, Pontiac wooed Penske, but balked at the $20 million check he wanted them to write, saying that $11 million was the best they could do. So Pontiac is faced with having maybe only two or three teams lined up to run their cars next season, four or five depending on what Cal Wells does. Ironically, the newly remodeled Pontiac may well be the best model on the track in 2003. But that may not be enough to entice teams to change over, and some drivers in the mix are saying that the bosses in that GM division need to get up off their billfolds.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-30-2002)

  • NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week: Consistently fast stops all season (14.8) puts them in the spotlight this week. Very talented pit crew keeps the rookie in the spotlight (and sometimes top 5). Great job #12 ALLTEL crew on being this weeks NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week sponsored by Toxabsorb, Official Spill Response Agent of the National Association of Pit Crew Members. Latest Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year Standings available at www.napcm.com.(7-25-2002)

  • IRWIN Rough to Finish Award: Last Sunday was a roller-coaster ride for ALLTEL Racing. #12-Ryan Newman sat on the pole for the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, led the first 56 laps, fell back, regained the lead, cut a tire and rallied back late in the race to finish fifth.. Quite a day for the ALLTEL Racing team - a day that earned crew chief Matt Borland this week's "Irwin Rough to the Finish" Award. After running strong all day and leading the race with 28 laps to go, disaster struck the ALLTEL team in the form of a flat tire. In some cases, this would have ended a race team's chances for a strong finish. But thanks to a great pit stop, Newman was able to stay on the lead lap and fight back to a top-five finish, passing several cars in the closing laps. Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, IRWIN, makers of professional power tool accessories like Marathon Plus saw blades and Speedbor flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team's name.. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund.. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338.(Golin Harris PR)(7-18-2002)

  • Mobil back: Ryan Newman is driving The Winston winning car this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway and it is the second appearance of the ALLTEL/Mobil 1 paint scheme.(TRPR)(7-11-2002)

  • More news on Penske, Ford and Dodge. Denied? or is it Toyota in 2005 UPDATEs now a Pontiac rumor? been told that the equipment that Andy Petree bought from Penske was sold at an open auction. The vast majority of the equipment were surplus items and most of it came from now defunct Jeremy Mayfield team [was #12 last year]. Also been told that the Penske team will be sticking with Ford and are still developing new cars and engines.(6-19-2002)
    UPDATE: Once again, Robin Miller, of RPM 2 Night on ESPN2 said on Wednesdays show that Penske Racing will switch to Dodge.(6-21-2002)
    UPDATE 2 - NO DODGE: Rusty Wallace has dismissed talk that Penske Racing will switch to Dodge for the 2003 Winston Cup season. "There is nothing to that at all," Wallace said. "We have so much time invested in what we are doing. We are not changing." Penske Racing has been one of Ford's flagship teams since 1994, when they switched to Ford from Pontiac.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-22-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Might Ford teammates Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman be driving Dodges next season? Penske Engines, a division of Penske Racing South, has been working on a Dodge prototype for the last three months, and owner Roger Penske says the organization must make some decisions soon. The team's contract with Ford is up at the end of the season. Many in the garage expect Penske ultimately to team with Toyota if the automaker decides to race in Winston Cup beginning in 2005.(Sporting News)(6-24-2002)
    UPDATE 4: Which manufacturer will Roger Penske sign with for next season? He has been penciled in by outsiders for a Dodge deal, but that would make him just one of five NASCAR Dodge operations. And that makes more credible the speculation out of Detroit last week that Penske might instead be moving toward a return to Pontiac.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-24-2002)

  • Petree buying Ford equipment? UPDATE 4 Penske Dodge? Denied by Wallace: But insiders say that this week [Andy] Petree [#'s 33/55] has been on a six-figure shopping spree buying cars and parts from Penske.(Sporting News) AND Chevy car owner Andy Petree and Jerry Jones, of the Dallas Cowboys, still haven't announced anything officially, but sources say that Petree and Jones have bought a number of Fords from Penske South.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-15-2002)
    UPDATE: Andy Petree Racing has purchased several Fords from the Penske South team in preparation for switching to the Ford Taurus next season when Petree becomes a partner with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a Penske official confirmed Sunday. Petree now uses Chevrolets with the No. 55 Schneider Electric car that Bobby Hamilton drives, but the team, which will be back to two cars next year, will switch to the Taurus in 2003 because of a sponsor relationship the Cowboys have with Ford. The fact that Roger Penske is willing to sell some of his cars to Petree could be an indication that the two-car Penske team may switch to Dodge next year as Penske has been talking to Dodge officials for more than a month.(Dallas Morning News - may need to register to read)(6-17-2002)
    UPDATE 2: been told that the equipment that Andy Petree bought from Penskee was sold at an open auction. The vast majority of the equipment were surplus items and most of it came from now defunct Jeremy Mayfield team [was #12 last year]. Also been told that the Penske team will be sticking with Ford and are still developing new cars and engines.(6-19-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Once again, Robin Miller, of RPM 2 Night on ESPN2 said on Wednesdays show that Penske Racing will switch to Dodge.(6-21-2002)
    UPDATE 4 - NO DODGE: Rusty Wallace has dismissed talk that Penske Racing will switch to Dodge for the 2003 Winston Cup season. "There is nothing to that at all," Wallace said. "We have so much time invested in what we are doing. We are not changing." Penske Racing has been one of Ford's flagship teams since 1994, when they switched to Ford from Pontiac.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-22-2002)

  • More Penske to Dodge rumors: Roger Penske may be getting close to a decision on his car sponsorship [Ford vs Dodge] for next season, and NASCAR sources say he is leaning toward a switch to Dodge. That would fill the Dodge camp with a lot of teams and car owners: Bill Davis has two teams, Kyle Petty has three teams, Chip Ganassi has two teams, and Ray Evernham has two teams. Ford officials insist they expect Penske to stay with Ford. A Penske move to Dodge might not set well with the three original Dodge operations, with Bill Davis, Kyle Petty and Ray Evernham. But Chip Ganassi has been the most productive car owner for Dodge, with Sterling Marlin leading the Winston Cup standings. And now there are serious questions about the pecking order within the Dodge camp and just where Dodge executives might want to budget their racing money.(Winston Salem Journal), and if Petree is buying Penske Fords........(6-15-2002)

  • Newman tests IROC car at Indy: Ryan Newman tested an IROC car, today, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The True Value IROC series is racing's "all-star game." Twelve of the best drivers from various series compete in equally prepared stock cars in a four-race series that concludes at the Speedway. Newman, a native of South Bend, Ind., joined IROC test drivers Andy Hillenburg, Dave Marcis and Jim Sauter on the famous 2.5-mile oval. Newman isn't competing in the True Value IROC series this year, but he couldn't resist an invitation to drive one of the cars at Indy. True Value IROC testing concluded Wednesday. The fifth True Value IROC at Indy race takes place Aug. 3.(Ford Racing)(6-13-2002)

  • Newman tests at Hew Hampshire: Ryan Newman and #12 ALLTEL Team Penske wrap up two days of testing at New Hampshire International Speedway this week.(TRPR)(6-6-2002)

  • Penske to Stick with Ford? UPDATE: Although Penske Racing's contract with Ford runs out at the end of the season, don't expect the #2 (Rusty Wallace) and #12 (Ryan Newman) teams to jump ship to another manufacturer anytime soon. Roger Penske has been mentioned as a possible candidate to field Toyotas when the auto manufacturer comes to NASCAR because he owns the greatest number of dealerships. But Toyota isn't targeted to introduce its first North American V-8 until 2003. Insiders at Penske South expect the teams to renew with Ford.(Sporting News)(4-29-2002)
    UPDATE: Roger Penske, a Ford man for nine years, is looking at negotiating a new Detroit contract some time this season. Penske team officials have said they expect Penske to sign again with Ford. However, Detroit sources suspect Penske will move to Dodge.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-18-2002)

  • Mobil 1 Schemes for the #12: ExxonMobil Corporation's Mobil 1 brand serves as a major associate sponsor this season for both Penske Racing South Teams; the #2 Miller Lite Ford Taurus of veteran driver Rusty Wallace and the #12 ALLTEL Ford Taurus of rookie Ryan Newman. In addition, a marketing agreement has been reached whereby Newman's ALLTEL Ford will feature a special Mobil 1 and Speedpass paint design in five races this season, beginning with the April 20 NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway (and also at Chicago 7/14; Pocono 7/28; Michigan 8/18; and New Hampshire 9/15).. ExxonMobil Corporation will develop local and regional promotional programs to support the special design used in those markets.(Tom Roberts PR)(4-20-2002)

  • #12 Schemes as reported on the Paint Scheme Gallery, the #12 Ford driven by Ryan Newman, will drive a Sony WEGA scheme at Pocono in June (and aa few other races, possibly Calif) and and a Mobil One scheme at Pocono in July (and possibly some other races in 2002. See the schemes on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(4-18-2002)

  • Display Debut's: ALLTEL debuted a new traveling display at Bristol that will visit many of the upcoming NASCAR Winston Cup races. Fans have many treats in store when they drop by, including racing simulators, interactive displays, the ALLTEL long-distance basketball toss and numerous items of interest concerning driver Ryan Newman and his ALLTEL-sponsored racing team. You can even charge your cell phone or make a free one-minute call, courtesy of ALLTEL.(Tom Roberts PR)(3-24-2002)

  • Newman wrecks in Happy Hour: #12-Ryan Newman, who topped Saturday morning's speed chart at Darlington, wrecked the car during the "Happy Hour" session and will ahve to go to a backup car for the race.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-16-2002)

  • California Testing UPDATE:: #2-Rusty Wallace and #36-Ken Schrader are scheduled to test at California Speedway on Thursday, January 24, 2002(California Speedway PR)(1-19-2002)
    UPDATE: #12-Ryan Newman and #36-Ken Schrader will test on Jan 24th, 2002, not #2-Rusty Wallace as announced(California Speedway PR)(1-24-2002)

  • Sony and the #12 continue: Sony Electronics television marketing group and Penske Racing announced the continuation of their NASCAR Winston Cup sponsorship with the #12 Alltel Ford and rookie-of-the-year candidate Ryan Newman. Newman¹s new ride will carry the FD Trinitron® WEGA® (pronounced, "VAY-GA") television branding on its lower rear quarter panel, while another unit of Sony consumer digital photo printers, will join the fold and adorn the rear decklid with a Print By Sony logo. Entering the second year of this sponsorship, Sony¹s relationship with Penske Racing will once again include a special race during the 2002 season where the car will feature a paint scheme highlighting the Sony FD Trinitron WEGA and Print By Sony logos. For the third year in a row, Sony will continue the Sony TechPit, a 60-by-80-foot mobile road show designed to give fans a front-row seat for an interactive look at the latest products in home entertainment, digital imaging, car audio and personal computers. ..It features a fast-moving sensory experience, giving fans the opportunity to interact with Sony products and enjoy the thrills of WEGA televisions and home theater demonstrations in Dolby Digital surround sound. The exhibit will also include computer-simulated races, numerous digital photo printers that race fans can use to print their photos while at the race track, a Sony showcar and feature personal appearances by Ryan Newman at selected events.(Co-Pilot PR), see my Paint Schemes Gallery for an image of the car(1-18-2002)

  • #12 adds Turtlewax: Turtle Wax, the most recognized name in the car care products industry announced a three-year agreement to become an associate sponsor of Penske Racing's #12 Alltel Ford NASCAR Winston Cup entry driven by Ryan Newman. In aligning itself with one of NASCAR's top teams in Penske Racing, Turtle Wax, Inc. has reinforced their position as the world's industry-leader in the production of automotive waxes, polishes and car wash products.(Co-Pilot PR)(1-18-2002)

  • Penske 3D: 3D Systems Corp. announced it has joined forces in a technology and marketing alliance with Penske Racing for its NASCAR Winston Cup programs. Penske Racing uses 3D Systems solid imaging technology to build prototype parts for Winston Cup Series cars driven by #2-Rusty Wallace and #12-Ryan Newman. The process enables Penske engineers to produce new parts easily and quickly from computer-aided design (CAD) data -- a necessity for making quick adjustments to improve the performance of their cars between racing events. As part of the marketing alliance, Penske uses an SLA(R) 5000 system and a ThermoJet(R) solid object printer from 3D Systems. The machines, in use and on display at Penske Racing headquarters in Mooresville, N.C., create concept models, visual aids and wind tunnel models, as well as aid in the production of final assemblies fitted on the racecars.(Business Wire)(1-18-2002)

#12 Penske 2001 News

  • Mobil Not Happy? BUT UPDATE 3 IMAGE: hearing Mobil might not be coming back to Penske at all as an associate sponsor as they were not happy with the team going away the way it did and might do just a very small associate sponsorship now if at all and do not have a contract signed(12-11-2001)
    UPDATE: from the Mobil 1 Racing site: ExxonMobil will continue its relationship with Penske Racing as associate sponsor on both the #2 Miller Lite Ford Taurus and the #12 Alltel Ford Taurus. We will also continue as an associate sponsor on Penske's two open wheel racing entries and look forward to our ongoing association with Penske Racing. We have a long history in motorsports and use these programs as a product development proving ground and as part of our brand communication efforts.(Mobil 1 Racing)(12-14-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that the #12-Ryan Newman Ford, will carry Mobil One colors for up to four races in 2002(12-18-2001)
    UPDATE 3: not sure what races Mobil One will run on the #12, but see an image of the scheme on my Paint Schemes Gallery(1-9-2002)

  • Congrats: Wendy Venturini and Chad Norris were wed at on New Year's Eve at St. James Catholic Church in Concord, NC. Wendy works at NASCAR Images as a Segment Producer for NASCAR This Morning on FOX Sports Net (and is the daughter of two-time ARCA champ Bill Venturini). Chad works at Penske Racing as the Jackman and Shop Foreman for driver Ryan Newman.(1-3-2002)

  • Speaking of the #12 Team: Ryan Newman and #12 ALLTEL Team Penske will head to Lakeland, FL to test on December 19th and 20th. The team will resume testing in January beginning with the NASCAR sanctioned test at Daytona International Speedway from the 7th through 9th. Gasman George Whitley and his wife, Mandy, welcomed their second child in November and crew chief Matt Borland and his wife, Stacy, are expecting their first child any day now. Jackman Chad Norris will be married on New Year's Eve and public relations representative Michele Greth got married on December 15th.(Tom Roberts PR)(12-18-2001)

  • Newman will be #12: Ryan Newman's fleet of Alltel Team Penske Ford Taurus race cars will carry the number 12 for the 2002 Cup season. Penske Racing South officials confirmed the move today, citing the equity position and history the team has with the number. The Penske association with the car number 12 dates back to the early 1970's when racing legend Bobby Allison drove Penske-owned race cars bearing that number. Newman and his Matt Borland-led team will compete in all NASCAR Winston Cup events during the 2002 season as teammates to veteran driver Rusty Wallace and his Bill Wilburn-led Miller Lite Team Penske.(Tom Roberts PR)(12-10-2001)

  • Penske to Dodge? UPDATE 2: on Wednesday's(8-15-2001) ESPN2's RPM2 Night. Robin Miller mentioned to look for Penske Racing(#'s 02,2,12) to go to Dodge in NASCAR for 2002. But back in Jan 2000, it was announced that Penske had signed with Ford to run the manufacturer thru 2002(8-16-2001)
    UPDATE? from an ESPN's (Robin) Miller Mailbag - "Is there any truth to what you said a few weeks ago,that that Penske NASCAR is going to run a Dodge in 2002?" - answer: "A.J. Foyt told me Penske would be in a Dodge next year"(ESPN - Robin Miller Mailbag), back in late 1999 it was reported that Penske signed a three year deal with Ford that would last thru 2002.(11-13-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Roger Penske, according to A. J. Foyt, is considering a switch from Ford to Dodge. But crew chief Robin Pemberton said, "If we're switching, somebody better tell me. Take that as a no."(Winston Salem Journal)(11-17-2001)

  • Alltel Official for 2002: Alltel announced their official sponsorship of his 2002 Winston Cup effort and Rookie of the Year bid for Ryan Newman in the #02 Penske Ford. Alltel recently held an employee day at their Little Rock, Ark. headquarters, where they unveiled next year's paint scheme, saw several pit stop demonstrations, and interacted with the team.(Tom Roberts PR)(10-27-2001)

  • Newman crashes at Phoenix: #02-Ryan Newman crashed in testing Tuesday at Phoenix, destroying a Cup car. He was uninjured. The team was testing in preparation of the Cup race there in two weeks(Roanoke Times)(10-13-2001)

  • DW, Newman and Wendy's UPDATE: Darrell Waltrip and Dave Thomas are back together. DW and Wendy's founder Dave Thomas are in Charlotte today and tomorrow filming another round of national Wendy's commercials. Joining them in at least one commercial is NASCAR rising star, Ryan Newman. Look for these new series of commercials to air nationally in a few months. Waltrip and Thomas filmed a set of wildly popular commercials last year too that aired in the Super Bowl and the World Series(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE: Starting this month Wendy's is running a commercial that features Ryan Newman, Darrell Waltrip and Wendy's founder Dave Thomas. The commercial is scheduled to run on national television and cable networks specifically during televised NASCAR events. Newman appears in his ALLTEL racing uniform with an actual #02 ALLTEL Ford out of the Penske Racing stables.(Tom Roberts PR)(10-8-2001)

  • Penske to Dodge? on Wednesday's ESPN2's RPM2 Night. Robin Miller mentioned to look for Penske Racing(#'s 02,2,12) to go to Dodge in NASCAR for 2002. But back in Jan 2000, it was announced that Penske had signed with Ford to run the manufacturer thru 2002(8-16-2001)

  • Newman to Test: Ryan Newman will test his #02 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Ford Taurus during a Penske South test at Kansas Speedway on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2001(8-14-2001)

  • DW and Wendy's UPDATE and Newman: Darrell Waltrip and Dave Thomas are back together. DW and Wendy's founder Dave Thomas are in Charlotte today and tomorrow filming another round of national Wendy's commercials. Joining them in at least one commercial is NASCAR rising star, Ryan Newman. Look for these new series of commercials to air nationally in a few months. Waltrip and Thomas filmed a set of wildly popular commercials last year too that aired in the Super Bowl and the World Series(6-26-2001)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup rookie Ryan Newman(#02) has filmed his first national television commercial, a spot for Wendy's with three-time NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip and Wendy's founder Dave Thomas .It airs the first week of October(Indianapolis Star)(8-5-2001)

  • Newmans Plans Change UPDATE finishes Schoolwork: ALLTEL Team Penske has decided to forgo the remaining ARCA races on their schedule and instead focus on their Busch Series and Winston Cup events. The decision was made after Newman's fifth-place finish at Michigan on June 10. "We knew at the beginning of the year that the objective for Ryan was seat time," said John Erickson, Penske Racing South team manager. "We've just decided the best thing for Ryan and the team is to concentrate on our Busch and Winston Cup races, in addition to some more testing. The beauty of this program is we can change the schedule to fit our needs, all with the goal of preparing for the full 2002 Winston Cup schedule in mind."(Tom Roberts PR)(6-14-2001)
    UPDATE: Ryan Newman has completed the two courses he needed to get a degree in vehicle structure engineering from Purdue and expects to graduate in August. Newman took two courses via the Internet through Catawba Valley Technical college in Hickory, completing them last month. The grades will be transferred to Purdue. Newman was a full-time college student before moving to North Carolina to pursue his driving career. He finished fifth in Sunday's Winston Cup race at Michigan Speedway.(That's Racin')(6-15-2001)

  • Newman at MIS in Cup? UPDATE yes: heard that #02-Ryan Newman(#27 in ARCA) would run the Cup and ARCA races at Michigan this weekend, but his PR folks say he'll only run in the ARCA race
    UPDATE: The team had planned to run the ARCA Flagstar 200 at Michigan Speedway, but after a successful outing at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May, they opted to try their hand in NASCAR Winston Cup at another track where they have experience. "After running so well at Charlotte, we really thought about bringing that car to run [Winston] Cup in Michigan," said crew chief Matt Borland. "Our original plan was to run Winston Cup at Michigan, and even though we made some changes in April, our schedule can change based on what we feel we need to do to get Ryan more experience. Our test there was good and Ryan is really comfortable on the track. We just went back to our original plan."(TRPR)(6-5-2001)

  • Wind Tunnel: hearing that Penske South Racing has an intermediate #02 Ford at the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today(4-27-2001)

  • Newman Wins ARCA Race: Ryan Newman, the protege of Winston Cup veteran Buddy Baker and soon-to-be teammate to Rusty Wallace and Jeremy Mayfield at Penske Racing, won his first race at Daytona International Speedway, capturing a victory in Sunday's Discount Auto Parts 200. Newman's win was his fourth in just six starts in the ARCA series, but his first on a superspeedway. Newman held off ARCA veteran Bob Strait by .210 seconds for the win. Frank Kimmel was third, pole winner Kirk Shelmerdine fourth and Stuart Kirby fifth(That's Racin')(2-11-2001)

#12 Penske 2000 News

  • Wind Tunnel Testing: hearing a #02 Ford was at the N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today doing wind tunnel testing(11-30-2000)

  • Wind Tunnel: Roger Penske's new wind tunnel in Mooresville, NC is close to completion. It will handle 50-percent, scale-model race cars, so Rusty Wallace's Ford team won't have to make the haul to the Lockheed tunnel in Marietta. The new wind tunnel will be the first in North Carolina, and it marks a major escalation in the cost of the sport(PitNow)(11-21-2000)

  • Penske Does a Favor: ARCA driver, Bob Strait, who wrecked his primary and only car in final practice Friday at Talladega, is back in business complements of the Roger Penske Alltel Ford team who have loaned Ryan Newman's back-up Taurus. However, the Mokena, IL veteran will now have to forgo his outside-pole starting position, and drop to the tail-end for the start of Saturday's Winn-Dixie 300. Catch all the action on ESPN2 Sunday, Oct 15 at 5:00pm/et(ARCA Racing Site)(10-14-2000)

  • Penske/Newman/ALLTEL News: Officials of ALLTEL and Penske Racing South announced today a 23-race "blended" 2001 schedule for driver Ryan Newman in preparation for a full NASCAR Winston Cup effort in the 2002 season. ALLTEL will sponsor the former USAC champion in a schedule next season that will see the 22-year-old Purdue University senior compete in four ARCA, twelve BGN and seven CUP events. The Ford Taurus cars and teams for all races will be fielded out of Penske Racing South's Mooresville, N.C., shop. Penske Engines Company will supply all of the racing engines. ALLTEL also announced that Nokia will participate as an associate marketing sponsor for the 2001 racing season, continuing its racing affiliation with ALLTEL. Plans call for Newman to make his Cup debut driving an ALLTEL-sponsored Ford Taurus in this year's Nov. 5 race at Phoenix. At Penske Racing South, Newman will become a teammate to former Cup champion and 53-time series race winner Rusty Wallace. Wallace likes what he sees in this young driver(Tom Roberts/ALLTEL PR) Newman will drive the #02 Ford(10-4-2000)

  • Penske to BGN with Newman? to CUP? UPDATE 3: Stan Herzog of Herzog Motorsports announced Sunday that primary sponsor ALLTEL has decided to leave his #92 BGN team and driver Jimmie Johnson after the 2000 season. The company was expected to renew its sponsorship this past weekend with a plan to expand into Winston Cup in 2001. The deal fell through on Friday when ALLTEL called Herzog and informed the team of its intentions to switch sponsorship to Team Penske in 2001(St Joseph News-Press). I hear Ryan Newman will drive the Penske BGN car. He has tested Cup and ARCA cars recently and run in a few ARCA races for Penske
    UPDATE: hmm...hearing now that this will be another Penske Cup team, with Newman driving(7-5-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Penske Motorsports is planning on expanding its operation and will field a BGN entry next season with Ryan Newman, an open-wheel racing star, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Newman's team will run a full schedule next season in the BGN with Alltel as sponsor and plans are to move to the Winston Cup series in 2002. John Erickson, general manager of Penske Racing South, said Friday he would not comment on the BGN plans, but did say Newman will drive in four more Automobile Racing Club of America series events this season for the team - Pocono, Talladega, Charlotte and Atlanta. Newman ran in the ARCA race at Michigan for Penske(That's Racin')(7-8-2000)
    UPDATE 3 Newmans Plans: Ryan Newman is planning on adding some BGN races to his schedule this season. Newman is on track to be Rusty Wallace's and Jeremy Mayfield's Winston Cup teammate in 2002. Next season, Newman is planning to run five ARCA, five Cup and 14 BGN races. He moves to Cup with Penske in 2002 with Alltel as a sponsor(Times-Dispatch)(9-3-2000)

  • Newman to Cup, this year? Roger Penske may run Ryan Newman in a few Cup races later this year(PitNow). It has also been rumored that Newman may run some BGN along with the ARCA races he has run in 2000, and that Newman is supposedly getting ALLTEL as a sponsor to run a full BGN or CUP season for Penske in 2001

  • Penske to BGN? NO? How about Newman to CUP? UPDATE 2: Stan Herzog of Herzog Motorsports announced Sunday that primary sponsor ALLTEL has decided to leave his #92 BGN team and driver Jimmie Johnson after the 2000 season. The company was expected to renew its sponsorship this past weekend with a plan to expand into Winston Cup in 2001. The deal fell through on Friday when ALLTEL called Herzog and informed the team of its intentions to switch sponsorship to Team Penske in 2001(St Joseph News-Press(MO)). I hear Ryan Newman will drive the Penske BGN car. He has tested Cup and ARCA cars recently and run in a few ARCA races for Penske
    UPDATE: hmm...hearing now that this will be another Penske Cup team, with Newman driving(7-5-2000)
    UPDATE 2: not sure if this means anything but....Gregory W. Penske has been elected to the ALLTEL board of directors effective immediately. Penske is president of Penske Automotive Group Inc. of El Monte, Calif., which sells more than 39,000 vehicles annually. Penske Automotive is a subsidiary of Penske Corp., which includes Longo Toyota, the world's largest retail dealer. Penske also is a director and senior vice president of International Speedway Corp. of Daytona Beach, Fla., and serves as a board member for a number of civic and industry associations(Yahoo Biz) AND Penske Motorsports is planning on expanding its operation and will field a BGN entry next season with Ryan Newman, an open-wheel racing star, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Newman's team will run a full schedule next season in the BGN with Alltel as sponsor and plans are to move to the Winston Cup series in 2002. John Erickson, general manager of Penske Racing South, said Friday he would not comment on the BGN plans, but did say Newman will drive in four more Automobile Racing Club of America series events this season for the team - Pocono, Talladega, Charlotte and Atlanta. Newman ran in the ARCA race at Michigan for Penske(That's Racin')(7-8-2000)

  • Baker and Newman to test: TNN/TBS announcer Buddy Baker will test a Penske ARCA car at Pocono on Tuesday with sprint car driver Ryan Newman. Newman will run for Penske in the 2nd ARCA race at Pocono. Newman ran his first ARCA race at Michigan and finished 7th(TNN race broadcast)(6-19-2000)

  • Rusty Gets Lucky: Rain at Michigan Speedway on Sunday saved Rusty Wallace. His engine blew just before the second red flag for rain waved. Had the race restarted and the final six laps been run, Wallace would not have been able to continue. He might have finished as low as 37th, but since the race didn't resume, he finished seventh(Roanoke Times/RPM 2Night)(6-14-2000)

  • #2 Questions UPDATE: been getting many questions concerning the comments made by Buddy Baker during the BGN race at NHIS. Baker said that he had tested the #2 Ford for Penske and Rusty Wallace along with a young driver, but didn't say who. I hear it was Ryan Newman and it may had been an ARCA car. That is all I hear at present(5-16-2000)
    UPDATE: hearing that Penske will start an ARCA team for Newman to run some races in 2000-2001(5-18-2000)


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