2014 Races  that State Water Heaters is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Charlotte - 10/11
Contract Status: Driver: 2014+; Primary Sponsors: Team Owner company
Kurt Busch has court date Tuesday UPDATES: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is scheduled to appear at Kent County Family Court on Tuesday for a hearing related to a protective order filed by his ex-girlfriend, who last month alleged that Busch had "smashed" her head three times against a bedroom wall in their motor coach following a September race in Dover. Busch will be present at the courthouse, said Dover attorney James Liguori, who is part of Busch's legal team. Busch has to report to the court at 9:00am/et and will be among eleven other hearings at the court on Tuesday, he said. A previously scheduled hearing was postponed earlier this month because Busch was out of the country. "At this point, the evidence, witness statements, etc. are being reviewed on the criminal investigation," [Dover police spokesman Cpl. Mark] Hoffman said in a Monday email. The investigation has been particularly difficult because of the delayed reporting of the incident and the frequent travel related to some of the witnesses, Hoffman said.(Delaware News Journal)(12-16-2014)
UPDATE: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch's breakup with his ex-girlfriend turned into an ugly court battle Tuesday when she described Busch in testimony as unstable and struggling with alcoholism and depression. His attorneys countered, describing her as untrustworthy and "extremely mercenary." Patricia Driscoll, who is seeking a court order for Busch to stay away from her, told a family court commissioner that he had choked her and smashed her head into a wall inside his motorhome at Dover International Speedway after she drove from her Maryland home to check on him. Busch attorney Rusty Hardin suggested that whatever happened the night of Sept. 26 could have been prevented had Driscoll left when Busch told her to. "I am not to blame for him putting his hands on me," said Driscoll, at times defiant and other times sobbing, prompting Family Court commissioner David Jones to order a recess at one point so she could regain her composure." Defense attorneys have denied the assault allegations, which are the subject of a separate criminal investigation by Dover police. Hardin said Driscoll has not presented any evidence to suggest that Busch has ever physically threatened her. Driscoll said Busch's representatives have repeatedly tried to contact people close to her, and that she fears for her safety. "I don't know what he's capable of doing," she said. Driscoll, 36, was the only witness to testify during Tuesday's six-hour hearing. Lawyers for Driscoll and Busch declined to comment after Tuesday's session as a stern-faced Busch left the courthouse. The hearing is set to continue Wednesday. See more details from the Associated Press.(12-17-2014)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch took the stand during the second day of a protection order hearing in Kent County (Del.) Family Court on Wednesday, calling his ex-girlfriend's allegations that he smashed her head into a wall a "fabrication." The testimony came as a family court commissioner prepared to decide on a protection order filed by Patricia Driscoll last month. There was no decision Wednesday and the hearing will resume Jan. 12, when Busch's lawyer Rusty Hardin will cross-examine him. Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion who has shown flashes of his temper on and off the track earning him the nickname ''The Outlaw," kept a cool head as he staunchly denied Driscoll's version of the story during an hour of direct questioning by her lawyer, Carolyn McNeice. Busch also testified he ended their four-year relationship following a race in New Hampshire, a week before the race at Dover International Speedway, where the alleged altercation occurred Sept. 26. He said the two of them had a discussion en route to Logan International Airport in Boston and in the process he had damaged a rental car. She left him stranded at the airport, he added. The two had no contact in the week leading up to the Dover race, but Driscoll said she did reach out to Busch's mother and was concerned about his alcoholism and depression. Busch said he did not drink the night of the alleged assault and has avoided alcohol during race weekends for 15 years. That night in Dover, Busch said he had been sleeping when Driscoll arrived unannounced at his motorhome with her nine-year-old son. He says he told her repeatedly to leave, but she kept bringing her son in from another room, saying that Busch needed to tell the boy that the relationship was over. Busch said he was naked during the entire encounter, and finally put his hands on either side of Driscoll's face. "I took my hands and cupped her cheeks. I looked her eye-to-eye. I said, 'You have to leave'. I was diffusing the situation," he told the courtroom. "It needs to be described because of the fabrication we listened to yesterday," he later said of the details he shared in court after holding up his hands, showing how he held Driscoll's face. Michael Doncheff, Busch's motorhome driver and personal assistant to the couple, testified Wednesday that Driscoll had instructed him at the beginning of the year to not bring any alcohol on the bus because Busch had a problem. He was the first witness called by Busch's attorneys. Doncheff said he believed Driscoll when she said Busch had assaulted her, but added she had also told him several stories that he thought were exaggerated. He said Busch treated him well but had a temper at times. Busch often deferred decisions to Driscoll, who Doncheff said could be "high maintenance." Doncheff said on the night of the motorhome encounter, Driscoll sent him a screenshot from her earlier text conversation with Busch. He said he thought it might be a good idea for Driscoll to drive to Dover.(Wilmington News Journal)(12-18-2014)
Stewart ok with Busch running the Double again: If Kurt Busch decides to do "The Double" again in 2015, he has the blessing of teammate and Stewart-Haas Racing team co-owner Tony Stewart. Busch, who became the first driver to attempt The Double in a decade this past May, is reportedly mulling over an encore performance for next Memorial Day weekend where he'd again race in the Indianapolis 500 in the early afternoon, hop a plane to Charlotte and then race in that evening's Coca-Cola 600 for an encore. If Busch wants to do it, he's got Stewart's vote. Of course, Stewart is a bit biased - he tried The Double twice in his career, the last time being in 2001, when he finished sixth in the Indianapolis 500 and third in the Coca-Cola 600 later that evening. "I'm 100 percent supportive if he wants to do that again," Stewart said.(NBC Sports)(12-15-2014)
Busch fails to advance at Race of Champions: Nine-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen and new FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg captured the Race of Champions Nations Cup on the first day of ROC action from Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados. Kristensen and Solberg, paired together as Team Nordic, defeated the Team Scotland group of former F1 pilot David Coulthard and current F1 reserve driver Susie Wolff, 2-1, in the final. The home team, Team Barbados, also had a strong Saturday as drivers Dane Skeete and Rhett Watson advanced out of the group stage and then pushed Team Scotland to a third race in the semifinals. Additionally, the local boys won the ROC Caribbean tournament over driving teams from Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad & Tobago. The U.S. was represented by Indy 500 champ Ryan Hunter-Reay and former NASCAR Sprint Cup champ Kurt Busch (Team USA) as well as jack of all trades Robby Gordon, who was paired with FIA World Touring Car champ Jose Maria Lopez of Argentina as Team Americas. Unfortunately for the star-spangled trio, neither of their teams managed to escape the aforementioned group stage. Hunter-Reay and Busch combined for three wins in Group B (two from RHR, one from Busch) to put them level with Team Barbados behind Team Scotland's five wins. But the Barbadians grabbed the last advance spot over Team USA on fastest lap time.(NBC Sports)(12-14-2014)
Kurt Busch prepares for this weekend's Race of Champions: Champions and driving greats from the world's major racing series are sizing up their opposition for this weekend's Race Of Champions, to be held at Bushy Park Barbados on Dec. 13-14, following Tuesday's draw for the event. The annual end-of-season race, which has been running for more than 25 years, brings together some of the world's best drivers from motorsport's major disciplines and sets them free to battle head to head in identical machinery on a unique track with two parallel lanes linked by a crossover bridge. This year's track at Bushy Park will be twice as long as recent years, leading to even more speed. There are two prestigious titles up for grabs over the weekend, which will feature over 60 individual duels. First, on Saturday, Dec. 13, the drivers pair up in teams based on country/region for the ROC Nations Cup. Then on Sunday, Dec. 14, all friendly cooperation goes out of the window in the Race Of Champions as they slug it out to be crowned individual "Champion of Champions." The ROC 2014 field includes this year's Indianapolis 500 winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay, who will partner with past NASCAR champion Kurt Busch for Team USA. The pair will have to compete against drivers including Hunter-Reay's own brother-in-law, Robby Gordon.(AutoWeek)(12-10-2014)
Latest on Danica's 2015 crew chief: The late-season crew chief swap among #41-Kurt Busch and #10-Danica Patrick seems to have worked well for Busch but not Patrick. Busch got Patrick's crew chief, Tony Gibson, for the final three races and finished no worse than 11th in those events. "It was great to get back to an old-school crew chief,'' Busch said. "Real refreshing. (Gibson) understands the car and is able to finesse it in a way to where you're not relying so much on simulation as well as the engineering side of things.'' Patrick got Busch's crew chief, Daniel Knost, who has an engineering background. Patrick finished no better than 18th in her three races with Knost.
So who will be Patrick's crew chief in 2015? "We honestly thought that Daniel is a good choice for Danica, he's very technical, he's very smart, he's been an engineer for a number of years,'' car owner Gene Haas said. "Now that he has one year as a crew chief, we believe that he has the potential to help her improve. Now what Danica feels is really what Danica wants. We're here to give Danica what she feels comfortable with. We'll see how that all plays out. We have a few months to work on that.''(Motor Racing Network)(12-8-2014)
Kurt Busch gets delay on protection hearing: A Delaware family court commissioner has granted NASCAR driver Kurt Busch's request to delay a hearing on a protection from abuse petition filed by his ex-girlfriend. Busch's attorney asked for the delay in court papers filed last Friday, saying Busch is participating in a race car rally in Italy and that his return flight is Dec. 2, the same day as the scheduled hearing. The postponement was granted over the objections of an attorney for Patricia Driscoll, who said Driscoll wants a no-contact order entered as soon as possible. The new hearing date is Dec. 16. The family court matter is separate from an ongoing criminal investigation by Dover police into Driscoll's allegations that Busch assaulted her inside his motorhome at Dover International Speedway in September. (Associated Press)(11-26-2014)
Stump named technical director at Stewart Haas: Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, has hired Rex Stump as its technical director, effective immediately. Stump comes to Stewart-Haas Racing after an 18-year career at Hendrick Motorsports. There, he founded the organization's research and development program and has been instrumental in chassis design and technology. Stump graduated from Kettering University (formerly the General Motors Institute) in 1989 with bachelor's degrees in mechanical and automotive engineering. Upon graduation, Stump worked at General Motors and participated in the Sloan Fellowship program, pursuing a master's degree in structural analysis from Wayne State University in Detroit. While at General Motors, he began working with the Corvette team in developing the active-suspension of the C5, which was slated to debut in the early 1990s. When the active-suspension program was canceled and the C5 was delayed, Stump delved into motorsports, becoming a race engineer for Team Penske in 1991. Working with a group of engineers dedicated to improving the performance of the #2 team of driver Rusty Wallace, Stump helped advance Wallace from a two-win season in 1991 to a massive, 10-win season in 1993. By the end of 1993, Corvette had reactivated the C5. Stump returned to General Motors to assist with the project and stayed until the end of 1995, joining Hendrick Motorsports in 1996.(Stewart Haas Racing)(11-20-2014)
Kurt Busch meets with Delaware police: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch has met with Delaware police investigating an allegation by his ex-girlfriend that he assaulted her. Police say Busch and his attorneys met with investigators Tuesday afternoon. An attorney for Busch says he was cooperative and continues to deny the allegations by 36-year-old Patricia Driscoll. Police spokesman Mark Hoffman says the investigation is continuing and that no decision on whether to file charges has been made. Driscoll claims she was assaulted inside Busch's motorhome at Dover International Speedway in September, just days after the couple broke up.(Associated Press)(11-19-2014)
Borland to move over to Haas' F1 team UPDATE: One of Gene Haas' first hires for his Formula One, Matt Borland, was recruited from right next door, Stewart-Haas Racing. Although Borland, 43, has straddled his duties between SHR and Haas F1, the engineer turned crew chief and now vice president of competition on the NASCAR side will take of the role as vice president of special projects for the F1 team at seasons end. "Formula One is certainly a lot more technical and I think Borland is looking for the challenge," Haas told Motorsport.com. "He's been doing this a long time and even I have been doing NASCAR a long time and I look at Formula One, like next year we'll have a whole year to see how these cars are built. I've already had a couple of opportunities to see how the cars are built and they're just very fascinating. It's going to give us an opportunity to take some of our NASCAR crew people and say, 'hey, here's an opportunity to learn something new, can you apply that to Formula One and vice versa. The Formula One people from Ferrari are also interested in how we do things." Haas and Borland attended the F1 race at Circuit of the Americas last month. Haas also visited the Maranello-based Ferrari during the Italian Grand Prix. In Austin, Borland preferred to remain under the radar while on his fact-finding mission.(Motorsport)(11-13-2014)
UPDATE: Veteran motorsports engineer Matt Borland has been named vice president of technology for Haas F1 Team and Stewart-Haas Racing. In this role, Borland will serve as a liaison between the two organizations - Haas F1 Team in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Borland will oversee the transfer of Formula One technology to Stewart-Haas Racing while providing Haas F1 Team with deep engineering resources. Concurrently, the highly-respected Borland will serve as a gatekeeper, ensuring the privacy of proprietary information respective to each team. Borland joined Haas CNC Racing, the precursor to Stewart-Haas Racing, in May 2007. He has served in numerous capacities, including crew chief, competition director, technical director and, most recently, vice president of engineering, where he oversaw all of the team's technical initiatives and research and development projects. Borland came to Haas CNC Racing with significant NASCAR experience, first with Team Penske from the end of the 1999 season through 2006 and then with Michael Waltrip Racing in 2007. Prior to coming to NASCAR, Borland was the race engineer for driver Mark Blundell at PacWest Racing in Champ Car and before that, Borland was at Pi Research, a well-known engineering organization specializing in motorsports.(SHR)(11-18-2014)
Congresswoman calls for NASCAR to suspend Kurt Busch UPDATE2: A congressional lawmaker is calling on NASCAR to suspend driver Kurt Busch from Sunday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway until the recent domestic accusation against him is fully resolved, SI.com has learned. In a letter addressed to NASCAR president Mike Helton and Stewart-Haas owners Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), called the charges made by Patricia Driscoll, Busch's former domestic partner, "horrifying."
"But despite the severity of the criminal allegations against Mr. Busch," Speier writes, "I am disappointed to see that NASCAR and Stewart-Haas Racing have not taken any action. Your response to these serious allegations has been totally inadequate." Speier has also asked to be looped into the internal investigations of NASCAR and SHR, and for "a history of sanctions levied by NASCAR and racing teams for domestic violence incidents brought to your attention over the last five years."(in part from Sports Illustrated)
UPDATE: NASCAR chairman Brian France said Friday that no action will be taken against the Sprint Cup driver. France confirmed Friday that Rep. Jackie Speier sent a letter to NASCAR president Mike Helton and to Stewart-Haas Racing saying she was "disappointed" that Busch hadn't been suspended until the matter is resolved. Busch has not yet been arrested or charged with any crime. "We are watching that case carefully," France said Friday. "It's under review by law enforcement and others. They haven't made a decision on that regarding Kurt. Until they make judgments on that investigation, it wouldn't be right to intervene before it's completed." NASCAR has rules covering inappropriate or criminal behavior away from arenas, but it does not have a policy addressing domestic violence on its own. The rule book has a section covering violations and disciplinary action, including penalties that can be determined "by the gravity of the violation and its effect on ... the interests of stock car racing and NASCAR." France said Friday that NASCAR is sensitive to the issue of domestic violence. "You can expect our policies to reflect the understandable awareness that that's not going to be tolerated," France said. "How any league handled some of this is one thing. It's pretty clear when you see what's happening around the country that our policy will reflect the significance and importance that it should."(ESPN)(11-14-2014)
UPDATE2: "If every time somebody made an allegation against a congresswoman or a congressman, and they were then to be suspended from their office until the investigation was concluded, we'd have an empty Capitol building," Busch lawyer Rusty Hardin said in a phone interview with Sporting News. "While that might please the public to have that building be empty, it certainly wouldn't be fair to the person the charge or allegation was made against." Hardin said that while domestic violence is a serious issue, with no charges filed Busch should be allowed to do his job and Speier's letter was "inappropriate."
"He not only has adamantly denied it, but when the investigation is concluded, I think people are going to realize it is a fabricated charge," Hardin said. "I don't know where in the world this congresswoman thinks we've moved to where you start punishing people just because somebody makes an allegation. ... For a congresswoman to make these kind of statements is just ludicrous. I hope she's in the minority and everybody will wait to find out what the true story is. When they do, they'll find out that this didn't happen. We're not going to participate in it, we're not going to try every charge (in public). But when a congresswoman sends a letter like this, I feel compelled to remind everybody we still have due process and presumption of innocence in this country even if she doesn't recognize it." Obviously pleased with the decisions by NASCAR and the team to let Busch race, Hardin said he has been in arbitration all week and Busch will talk to Dover police investigators in the "near future. I hope we can do it outside the glare of public media. But, I can assure you, he's cooperating fully and in the near future will be visiting with them."(Sporting News)(11-15-2014)
Haas has not considered pulling Kurt Busch from car: Kurt Busch will continue to drive the #41 Chevy at Stewart-Haas Racing as long as co-owner Gene Haas has anything to do with it. Busch, who is being investigated by Dover (Del.) police for an alleged assault on ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll, will drive Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, will be in the car next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway and continue to drive for the team for the foreseeable future, Haas said Sunday. "He'll be in the car until someone else pulls him out," Haas told a small group of reporters before the Phoenix race. "I'm not pulling him out." Haas' company, Haas Automation, is the sponsor of Busch's car and will continue to be on the hood during the investigation, he said. "I think we're just going to let the police department do their job and try not to say anything that would compromise that," he said. "We want an unbiased investigation and we'll see how it all plays out." Is Haas worried about what the investigation might find? "The facts I know, I'm not concerned about it," he said.(USA Today)(11-10-2014)
Kurt Busch being investigated for domestic assault STATEMENTS & UPDATE3: Dover Police Issue Statement In Regards to Ongoing Kurt Busch investigation: Due to numerous media inquiries regarding a criminal investigation involving professional race car driver #41-Kurt Busch, the Dover Police Department has issued the following statement: The Dover Police Department can confirm that an investigation is being conducted based on an allegation of domestic assault that is alleged to have occurred in the City of Dover involving Mr. Busch. These allegations were brought to the Dover Police Department on Wednesday, November 5th at 2:00PM. At this time, the department is still investigating the victim's claims and will not have any further comment on this matter in order to preserve the integrity of the case. The Dover Police Department will release further information as it becomes available. We appreciate the public's and media's patience in this matter and are confident that the department is taking the proper investigative steps to ensure the case is resolved appropriately.(Dover Police Department)
NASCAR Statement from Brett Jewkes, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Regarding Dover Police Department Release: "NASCAR is aware of the investigation involving driver Kurt Busch. We recognize the seriousness of this matter and are actively gathering information from all parties, including law enforcement authorities and Stewart-Haas Racing. It would be inappropriate for NASCAR to comment further on this matter until we have more information."(NASCAR)
Stewart-Haas Racing Statement: "This is an allegation Stewart-Haas Racing takes very seriously, but we're still gathering all of the facts and are not in a position to comment in greater detail," said SHR spokesman Mike Arning.
Armed Forces Foundation Statement: "I want to, first and foremost, express the direct support from the Board of Directors of the Armed Forces Foundation to Ms. Driscoll. For more than a decade, Ms. Driscoll has been a tireless worker and advocate for our nation's service members, veterans, and military families. The Foundation will continue working to support service members, veterans, and military families and we ask that Ms. Driscoll's privacy be respected. Given the serious nature of the allegations, the Foundation has suspended its association with Mr. Busch." - Mr. Pat LaFrieda, Board of Directors Co-Chairman.(AFF Facebook)
UPDATE: Busch has been accused of domestic assault by his ex-girlfriend, and police in Delaware said Friday they are investigating. The Dover Police Department said the allegations were brought to the department Wednesday. Busch's ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, 36, said the allegations involved an incident inside his motorhome at a race at Dover International Speedway in September. The couple broke up about a week before. Driscoll has filed court documents asking that a judge order Busch to stay away from her and not contact her. She also is asking that Busch undergo a psychiatric evaluation and be evaluated by a certified domestic violence treatment agency. The documents, filed Wednesday, say Busch was despondent the night of Sept. 26 after his poor performance at the qualifying session. "He was verbally abusive to her and said he wished he had a gun so that he could kill himself," the documents say. Driscoll said Busch, 36, called her names and accused her of "having spies everywhere and having a camera on the bus to watch him." He then jumped up, grabbed her face and smashed her head three times against the wall next to the bed, Driscoll says in the documents. Driscoll says she pushed Busch away and ran from the bedroom, going to a nearby bus to put an ice pack on her head and neck. She said the incident caused her severe pain, difficulty breathing and bruising on her neck. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 2.(in part from the Associated Press)
UPDATE 2: Busch's attorney, Rusty Hardin, released a statement calling the allegations "a complete fabrication."
"The Dover Police Department has been informed that Mr. Busch will fully cooperate with their investigation and he expects to be vindicated when the entire truth of the situation comes to light," the statement said. "This allegation is a complete fabrication by a woman who has refused to accept the end of a relationship and Mr. Busch vehemently denies her allegations in every respect. At this time we intend to have no further comment in the media out of respect for the Dover Police Department's desire to conduct a thorough investigation without a media circus."(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-7-2014)
UPDATE3: Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend waited nearly six weeks to file a domestic assault claim with police because she was locked in a custody battle over her son, the attorney for Patricia Driscoll said Saturday. Mark Dycio told USA TODAY Sports that Driscoll did not immediately go to Dover police after the alleged assault occurred on the advice of counsel. She's currently involved in a fight for custody over son Houston with her ex-husband. After the custody situation was stabilized, Driscoll then went to the Dover police and provided them with text messages, photographs and people with knowledge of the situation to support her claims, Dycio said.(full story at USA Today)(11-9-2014)
NASCAR owner plans to launch Formula One team in 2016: Gene Haas made the rounds Saturday in the paddock at Circuit of the Americas, enthusiastically shaking hands and attempting to convince people in the business of Formula One that an American race team will succeed. The past, the present and the future perhaps aren't looking kindly upon his plan, but Haas is getting the pieces and finances in place for a 2016 launch of Haas F1 Team. "We're just getting around the garage," Haas told USA TODAY Sports after a day of meeting with F1 officials, manufacturers and team principals Saturday. "We had several people from different teams come up and shake hands and introduce themselves. We're just becoming more noticed around here. It's going to be a quick year next year, and I want to make sure people know who we are." Haas already has a technical partnership in place with Ferrari, and he says things are moving forward with the plan for a team headquarters in Kannapolis, N.C. It's a tough sell in light of the circumstances surrounding Sunday's United States Grand Prix, but Haas remains optimistic. Two F1 teams, citing financial difficulty, dropped out in the week leading up to the USGP. Three others are said to be considering a boycott of Sunday's race, although all three took part in Saturday's qualifying. Perhaps best known to American race fans as Tony Stewart's partner in Stewart-Haas Racing in NASCAR Sprint Cup, Haas, 61, is the founder of Haas Automation, a computer numerical control machine tool manufacturer. The last effort by Americans to launch an F1 team failed. In 2010, former Haas CNC Racing technical director Ken Anderson and former Williams and Ferrari manager Peter Windsor attempted to form USF1 Team, but it fell apart before getting to the racetrack. Haas said he isn't concerned that his project won't work. Originally scheduled to launch next season, he postponed the launch earlier this year to 2016. An American driver hasn't raced in F1 since Scott Speed in 2007, but Haas says he isn't looking specifically for American drivers, instead leaning toward drivers with F1 experience. At first, anyway. Given the current issues of F1 and the struggles of some of its teams, Haas thinks he could be in good position to find talent, especially experienced F1 engineers.(USA Today)(11-2-2014)
New crew chief starts with Kurt Busch: Beginning this weekend, the mechanics, engineers and entire road crew for the #41 team of Kurt Busch will be led by crew chief Tony Gibson, who will take the seat atop the Haas Automation pit box. For Gibson, leading a race team isn't just about making the right calls during any given race. Instead, the Daytona Beach, Florida native takes a hands-on approach with his racecar at the SHR shop, and it extends all the way to the racetrack - something many consider to be old school. He oversees every aspect of the development of the team's fleet of racecars. He takes great pride in working with his cars, from bare chassis, to hanging the car's body, to painting and decaling the car, to setting up the car for each track. Gibson wants to be there with his racecars each and every step of the way. Gibson came to SHR in 2009 from Dale Earnhardt, Inc., to serve as Ryan Newman's crew chief of the #39 Chevy. Many of the crewmembers who worked with him came to SHR, as well. As such, Busch gets a close-knit crew that believes in the old-school mentality that has been a key to the group's success. A look at Busch's career shows that he's seemed to thrive when he's paired with a crew chief who shares that same, old-school mentality that Gibson has. Busch has been quick to compare Gibson to Jimmy Fennig, with whom he's won 14 Sprint Cup races and the 2004 championship.(SHR)(10-30-2014)
Zippadelli takes about crew swap, possible changes to #14 team: Greg Zipadelli met with the media Friday at Martinsville to discuss the crew swap between the #10 & #41 teams that was announced this week:
TAKE US THROUGH THE CHANGES THIS WEEK:
"This week obviously we have made some changes for Texas between the #10 and the #41. We are just basically looking to try to get both teams to be a little more consistent. They have had speed throughout the year, but haven't necessarily put the whole season together all the races at the level that we expect from them. Tony Gibson has got a lot of experience. That group has been with a lot of veteran drivers. We just felt like it was worth moving him over to Kurt (Busch). We feel like his experience and things will help put that group together and get the finishes that we need out of that team. As far as Daniel (Knost) he is a young aggressive, very smart engineer. Danica (Patrick) is used to more of that dealing with the engineers from her background. She actually, a while ago, talked about having the opportunity to work with a younger engineer and build the relationship over time. I just kind of feel like it was the time to do it. We have three races with us not sure what the testing policy is for next year. This is a good opportunity for us to switch things up for Texas. The last three races and just see how things go."
DANIEL (KNOST) IS THE INTERIM DOES HE HAVE THREE RACES TO EARN THAT JOB?
"No, we just have a lot of things going at Stewart-Haas. We have a lot of people moving here this fall. I would like to believe that Daniel will have that position. I think it is just kind of wait and see, Danica how she works with him and how they get along. Then with Haas F1 Matt (Borland) moving over there we have got a lot of things moving in our company. Daniel is going to be with SHR for a long period of time. It's not a matter of whether he doesn't do a good job there. He has done a great job. We really fed him to the wolves. He was a guy without a lot of experience. He won a race, made the Chase, it's just been and up and down year. I think he has a lot of potential, we put him with Danica. I think they have got the opportunity to learn and grow together as Danica continues to grow every week. Like I said Kurt and (Tony) Gibson have a lot of experience in the past and hopefully the experience the two of them have we can put that together and make a pretty solid team."
ANYTHING COMING FOR THE #14?
"The #14 car is a different subject. These guys have gone through a lot. Chad (Johnston) has come in, new engineer, they are trying to learn each other plus deal with the situations they have gone through. We are looking at that situation completely different right now and we haven't quite got to the end of what we are doing there. If changes need to be done we are just really trying to get that group to bond to work together to figure out what Tony (Stewart) needs. They went to this rules package and a lot of these things. They missed a lot of the testing last year with his (Tony Stewart's) broken leg, this year with the incident that he had. That is a completely different element that I really don't want to get into today."(Chevy PR)(10-25-2014)
Stewart Haas swaps crew chiefs, road crews on #10 & #41 teams: Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, will swap crew chiefs and road crews between its #10 and 41 teams beginning with the AAA Texas 500 race weekend Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Crew chief Tony Gibson will move from the #10 GoDaddy team of Danica Patrick to the #41 Haas Automation team of Kurt Busch. Crew chief Daniel Knost will move from the #41 team to serve as the interim crew chief for Patrick and the #10 team. The road crews assembled by each crew chief will also make the swap. However, the pit crews for each respective team will not be moved. "We made this change to evaluate our program and to get a head start on 2015," said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, Stewart-Haas Racing. "With the ban on testing next year, the last three races of this season take on even greater importance. For Tony Gibson and Kurt, they'll get three races together that will provide direction for next year. And for Daniel Knost and Danica, this is an opportunity for them develop a rapport that could potentially continue into 2015."(Stewart Haas Racing)(10-22-2014)
Gibson will return to Stewart-Haas UPDATES: Danica Patrick's crew chief is not going anywhere. Tony Gibson tweeted on Saturday afternoon that he has a contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing. Gibson came on board as crew chief for Patrick for the last two races during her 10-race partial Sprint Cup schedule in 2012. Since then, he's been the only crew chief she's had in her two full-time seasons in NASCAR's top series. With Gibson, Patrick won the Coors Light Pole Award for the season-opening Daytona 500 in 2013. Together, they have four top-10 finishes together and he has overseen Danica's gradual growth this season. Gibson has three Sprint Cup victories, all atop the pit box for Ryan Newman from 2010-12 during that driver's tenure with Stewart-Haas. He made his crew chief debut in NASCAR's top series at the 1994 season finale for veteran Jimmy Hensley. Gibson has also worked with Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin among others.(NASCAR Illustrated)(10-19-2014)
UPDATE: Tony Gibson is keeping the band together - but that might not include Danica Patrick. For more than a dozen seasons, the veteran crew chief has been supported by the same cast of racers that were assembled at Dale Earnhardt Inc. - and have survived through driver and ownership changes. Gibson has been at Stewart-Haas Racing since the beginning. Although he was originally assigned to Ryan Newman and the #39 team, Gibson was named crew chief for Patrick in her penultimate race of 2012 and has been with her ever since. While there has been distinct improvement in her second full season in the Sprint Cup Series, rumors circulated last month that Patrick might be shopping for a new crew chief. "That's for Stewart-Haas and them to figure out," Gibson said. "I told them when I signed up, I'll do whatever they need me to do - wherever I need to be placed that they think I can do the best job, that's what I'll do. I don't think any of that has been decided as far as I know. I know they'll work on all that stuff and decide who needs to be placed where, for the best, and what makes the most sense for our company. My deal isn't for one particular driver. It's where I can be the most beneficial for the company and that's kind of where we left it."
Still, team owner Gene Haas believes that his teams could benefit from restructuring. Despite both #41-Kurt Busch and #4-Kevin Harvick qualifying for Chase and posting four wins between them, he's not pleased with the results. "Kurt is a unique driver," Haas said. "He has a lot of passion for what he does. That kind of driver requires some special members to make it work and I don't feel we have the right combination. So we're looking at that and make some changes on that team to make it work better. We're really not happy. That team should have done better. Kevin Harvick's team should have done better, too. He's been fast all year long, seven or eight poles, leading a huge amount of laps, but we haven't won as many races as we should. So, I think there's a little bit of evaluation with all the teams, but that's pretty common."(Motorsport)(10-21-2014)
UPDATE 2: Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch will swap teams and crew chiefs beginning with the Nov. 2 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. An official announcement of the change could come as early as Wednesday, sources said. SHR officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. On Saturday, Tony Gibson, who has served as the only crew chief Patrick has had as a fulltime Cup series driver, signed a contract extension with SHR but the organization would not specify what his role was to be in the future. Beginning at Texas, crew chief Daniel Knost and the members of Busch's current #41 team will move over to Patrick's #10. Gibson, along with the members of Patrick's current #10 team, will move to Busch's #41 team.(Charlotte Observer)(10-22-2014)
Kurt Busch to participate in Race of Champions: American NASCAR superstar Kurt Busch has accepted the invitation to participate in the 2014 Race Of Champions, to be held at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados on December 13-14. Busch has been a major force in America's most popular racing series ever since he became the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion in 2004, the first year the 10-race Chase for the title was introduced. He has now amassed 25 top flight wins, including victory at this year's STP 500 at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. In 2014 Busch also became only the fourth driver in motor sport history to attempt a very special double-header. On the same day in May, he raced both in NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at North Carolina's Charlotte Motor Speedway and the world-famous Indianapolis 500. His run to 6th place on his debut at the IndyCar classic earned him the prestigious Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award. That mix of ability will now certainly serve Busch well as he bids for even more glory at his Race Of Champions debut in December. Busch will also have the honour of racing for his home country as he partners this year's Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay for Team USA in the ROC Nations Cup. Busch and Hunter-Reay were team-mates in this year's Indianapolis 500, both piloting cars for Andretti Autosport. Team USA last won the ROC Nations Cup title in 2002 with a NASCAR-heavy team of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Colin Edwards. This year Busch and Hunter-Reay will be part of a ROC line-up featuring stars from all over the world: nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Tom Kristensen, Formula 1's Romain Grosjean (the reigning ROC Champion of Champions) and Susie Wolff (Williams development driver), Australian V8 Supercar legend Jamie Whincup and 2014 FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg are already confirmed. The rest of the ROC 2014 field will be announced in the run-up to December's event.(Race of Champions)(10-22-2014)
State Water Heaters debuts on #41 Kurt Busch will park his typical black-and-red Chevy SS for Saturday night's Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in favor of an orange-and-black model. The #41 Chevy will sport new colors when State Water Heaters, a leading manufacturer of commercial and residential water heaters, adorns Busch's ride for the first time. Based in Ashland City, Tennessee, State Water Heaters has seven water heater manufacturing plants and hundreds of distribution centers across the United States to ensure efficient service to State's national customer base of residential homeowners, wholesalers, contractors, and members of the engineering community. Founded in 1946 by Herbert Lindahl, State Water Heaters began in a Nashville garage as a small entrepreneurial company producing coal- and wood-burning stoves. In the years that followed, State Water Heaters expanded and became a leader in the water-heating industry through steadfast commitments to seeking new materials, new technology and innovative engineering techniques.(SHR), see an image of the car on the #41 team paint schemes page.(10-8-2014)
Career start #500 for Kurt Busch: This weekend, Kurt Busch, the driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevy for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will become a member of another elite club of drivers as he makes his 500th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Dover. Busch began his Sprint Cup Series career in 2000, when he ran a limited, seven-race schedule for Roush-Fenway Racing in the #97 car. His first race came at the same concrete mile oval where the Sprint Cup Series will race this weekend. In that first race, Busch started 10th and finished 18th. Now, 499 races, 25 Sprint Cup Series victories and one Sprint Cup Series championship later, Busch is poised to make his 500th start at the same track where his Sprint Cup career began. To commemorate his accomplishment, Busch's Haas Automation Chevy will have a special brushed-metal appearance this weekend at Dover and also will carry a 500th start logo on the nose of the car. For the third consecutive season, Busch has teamed with the Armed Forces Foundation to race in memory or in honor of a service member for each race during the 2014 Sprint Cup campaign. U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. 1st Class Gerald Radovanic has been selected as the race dedication for the AAA 400 (SHR), see an image of the scheme on the #41 Team Schemes page.(9-25-2014)
Haas says Kurt Busch can test F1 car if.... Gene Haas did reveal that he has told NASCAR driver #41-Kurt Busch, who races for Stewart-Haas Racing in the Sprint Cup Series, that he can test the F1 car if he wins the championship this year. "Everybody I talk to is interested," Haas said. "I was talking to Kurt Busch last week. He was interested. He said if he wins the NASCAR championship, if could he have a ride in one. I said "for sure!" if he wins the championship." Busch has expressed his excitement for Haas' project in the past, and although his chances of winning the championship do look slim, he could enjoy a brief test in the car at some point. "I said he can get in the car!" Haas said, laughing. "I tell you, an American driver in a Formula 1 car in Europe, that would just knock it out of the ball park. I'll give it to you: Kurt Busch could drive one of these cars."(NBC Sports)(9-10-2014)
Haas F1 Team...new name: What was initially known as Haas Formula is now Haas F1 Team. Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation and chairman of the newly renamed Haas F1 Team, opted for the name change to better correlate his team with motor racing's most prestigious series - the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Haas F1 Team takes the place of the previous name, Haas Formula, which will remain the legal entity. Haas F1 Team will be the public and commercial name of the first American-led Formula One team since 1986. Its Website, www.HaasF1Team.com, launched on Tuesday.
"Haas F1 Team automatically conveys our place among the pinnacle of motorsports," said Haas, who founded Haas Automation in 1983 and has shaped it into the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. "When you hear 'F1' you know exactly what it is - a global racing series that showcases the latest technology and attracts the best talent in engineering and design. Haas Automation has an excellent reputation in the United States and I want that reputation to grow worldwide. Connecting Haas Automation with F1 in name and in practice when the Haas F1 Team debuts in 2016 is the best way to grow our business and elevate Haas Automation to a premium, global brand."
The FIA granted Haas a Formula One license in April. Well before then, ground was broken on an 11.600 square-meter (125,000 square-foot) facility adjacent to Haas' NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in Kannapolis, North Carolina, that will house the Haas F1 Team. Construction is scheduled to be completed in November.
Haas' motorsports holdings include the Haas F1 Team, NASCAR's Stewart-Haas Racing and Windshear.
Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by Haas and three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. It fields four entries - the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for Stewart, the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet for Danica Patrick, the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick and the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for Kurt Busch - and operates out of a 13.000 square-meter (140,000 square-foot) facility with approximately 270 employees. Stewart-Haas Racing won the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with Stewart.
Windshear is a 290 kph (180 mph) rolling-road wind tunnel in Concord, North Carolina, that is the first of its kind in North America. Founded by Haas, it is only the third rolling-road wind tunnel of its scale in existence and the world's first commercially available, full-scale, rolling-road wind tunnel. Windshear is available for hire to all motorsports teams and auto manufacturers. NASCAR, INDYCAR, sports car and NHRA teams utilize Windshear, as does the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), which has conducted tests on production cars at Windshear.(TSC)(9-3-2014)
Kurt Busch interested in Indy 500 again next year: Kurt Busch created a memory that he has said will last forever when he competed in the Indianapolis 500 this past May, finishing sixth in The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. On Sunday at Watkins Glen, Busch reaffirmed his desire to give it a second shot. The Outlaw finished third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen, establishing momentum for his second-consecutive Chase berth. While focused on the remainder of the season and his attempt to win a second Sprint Cup championship, Busch made no secret of his desire to return to Indianapolis next May. "It's a bit too early," Busch said of how close he is to announcing his Indianapolis return. "Right now, our focus is the Chase and trying to keep others from punching their ticket to get in. We don't have much news." Team owner Michael Andretti has repeatedly said that he wants Busch back next season if the logistics can pan out. He believes that a second consecutive year of running in the 500-mile Race would establish Busch as one of the favorites. For his part, Busch is definitely interested. "I'd like to do it," he said. "We'll see how it pans out."(Popular Speed)(8-12-2014)
Stewart-Haas lining up test sessions for rest of year: With five races left to make the Chase, Stewart-Haas Racing is doing what it can get to get Tony Stewart a win. One thing the team won't be doing, though, is testing at a NASCAR Sprint Cup track before the Chase field set. It's not that the team didn't want to, it just couldn't make it work, said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition at Stewart-Haas Racing. "We tried to go to Atlanta," Zipadelli said of a track before the Chase. "We couldn't get it worked out. We tried a couple of other places. It's become very difficult getting four drivers on the same schedule to come and test because they've got so many appearance, so much stuff that they do for track promotions and NASCAR. It's insane." With all four tests at Cup tracks available, Stewart-Haas Racing will test test Aug. 25-26 at Chicagoland Speedway and Sept. 2-3 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The team also plans to save a test for the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and is deciding where to have the fourth test, possibly Martinsville Speedway or Texas Motor Speedway.(Motor Racing Network)(8-10-2014)
Stewart-Haas; McDowell to test at New Hampshire: With the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship moving to an elimination-style format for the first time, the stakes have never been higher for the annual Sylvania 300 on Sept. 21 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. One race team could have the inside track for a strong run on Sept. 21, as Stewart-Haas Racing will be in town for a test and tune session on Sept. 2 and 3. With seven combined wins at the Magic Mile - #4-Kevin Harvick, #41-Kurt Busch, #14-Tony Stewart and #10-Danica Patrick will log laps and exercise their cars in an effort to get the best possible results in the Sylvania 300. Michael McDowell, a part-time driver of the #95 for Leavine Family Racing, will also take part in the test session.The grandstands will be open and free of charge to the public from 9:00am-5:00pm both days.(NHMS)(8-7-2014)
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)
JGR plane hits parked SHR plane at Concord airport: A Joe Gibbs Racing plane collided with a parked plane from Stewart-Haas Racing at Concord Regional Airport on Sunday night as the NASCAR teams were returning to the Charlotte area after Sunday's Crown Royal 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, according to the Haas team. A spokesman for Stewart-Haas Racing said the team's empty, parked plane was hit by a Joe Gibbs Racing plane as it was parking. The plane's wing clipped the tail of the parked SHR plane. No one was hurt, the spokesman said.(Charlotte Observer)(7-28-2014)
How would a few drivers change the Sprint Cup schedule: #31-Ryan Newman, #41-Kyle Busch, #48-Jimmie Johnson met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed what changes they would make to the 2015 schedule. The transcripts in part:
NEWMAN: "If I was NASCAR, how would I change the schedule? My answer to that would be not giving any -- not being partial to any ISC or SMI tracks. I'd turn some of those tracks into Wednesday night races, and the other ones would be Saturday night or sometime Sunday afternoon when it made sense. I'd give us a little bit more off weekends. We can still run 36 or 38 races but we don't need to be at the racetrack, especially for the Daytona and Talladega for three, sometimes four days with the inspection process. So I think just realigning it and giving us the opportunity to be on TV and be our own special event on Wednesday night, especially in football season, would be good for our sport."
"Wednesday night shows and how would I foresee doing that? I think it all depends what that day is like. I mean, obviously, if you go to a place like Pocono and it rains three-quarters of that day, it changes everything and you have obviously Thursday to work with. But I think situations like that, you'd have the crew guys come in on a Tuesday evening, Tuesday afternoon, let the -- tech the cars and whatever window it is, let the guys go back and have a decent dinner with their team, and then come and start practice the next morning, practice, qualifying and race. You've got people in the grandstands for an entire day of activities and they can sell hotdogs and all the other things that way. I'm no businessman, but I know from our scheduling standpoint that there's a lot of credibility to having some weekday races, especially when you consider who we're up against in the football season."(Team Chevy)
BUSCH: "Oh, my. Could I be president for the day and then decide what we're going to do? Wow, there's so many opportunities. I think the first one should be the final race should be bid on like a committee such as the Super Bowl. There's a committee that goes around and it gets filled in with who does the best job with their community to present themselves as the frontrunner to have the Super Bowl. Why not do that with our final stock car race? You know, The Chase, I think Chicago is a great place to start it off. Those Chase races are valuable. And could we mix it up and change some of the races that are in The Chase and not in The Chase? One unique thing is maybe we should take Talladega out of The Chase, put Richmond in The Chase and use Talladega as the cutoff to get into The Chase? Why not? Because we're all driving around, they're very tentative and trying not to get in a wreck at Talladega. But why not make it the final race to get in and throw a huge wild card in to try to make it into The Chase. Because by then you have 15 guys that are pretty much locked in. That means those top 15 guys are going to throw it on the line to try to win. They're not going to be riding in the back to protect their points. To change the schedule, I would change Richmond and Talladega, and it works because NASCAR owns both those tracks."(Team Chevy)
JOHNSON: "I've always felt like we could use an off weekend before The Chase starts just to leave us an opportunity to have a make-up race. I know it's a pretty severe event if it would take place. And the last unfortunate situation that was created was 9/11, but I think that was good to give the teams a break and give everybody a break that deep in the season before The Chase starts. Ultimately, you know, I buy into the philosophy that we have a bit of oversaturation with race distances and how often we compete. I think we could trim that stuff down. I don't know where I would go to first, but I think adopting a little bit of less is more would be beneficial.(Team Chevy)(7-26-2014)
How much does it cost to operate a race team each week? Less than 24 hours after [Stewart-Haas Racing's haulers] returned from Sonoma, they are on their way to the Saturday race in Sparta, Ky. It's all part of the weekly routine at Stewart-Haas Racing, or any other NASCAR team, for that matter. Most people know that NASCAR is a traveling circus, a weekly carnival built on rubber and exhaust. But outside of motorsports, few can appreciate everything that goes into creating that big top each week. During a season, the sport travels 38 weekends across 23 markets, and that doesn't include test sessions. Teams truck race cars and parts, fly dozens of people and set up temporary homes at all of them. The NASCAR schedule makes the logistics and costs of operating a race team unique in professional sports. While stick-and-ball teams have front-office staff, players and administrators, NASCAR teams have pilots, flight attendants, long-haul truckers, engineers, mechanics, even chefs. Outside of racing, few - if any - face such a challenge of coordinating freight trucking and airline travel across so many weeks. Doing so is an enormous undertaking that takes months of planning. The Kentucky race weekend highlighted just how demanding it can be. Over the course of three days in June, Stewart-Haas Racing trucked eight race cars and flew more than 100 people to Kentucky for the Quaker State 400. It rented 27 vehicles and reserved 44 hotel rooms. It spent more than $1.5 million, and its four entries finished seventh, 11th, 12th and 21st to collect a combined purse of $428,401. (That doesn't include driver salaries or additional personnel costs.) As teams prepare to head to Indianapolis for NASCAR's annual Brickyard race, last month's Kentucky race provided a glimpse at what goes into a typical race weekend, how it comes together and how much it costs. See much more on race team logistics and expenses at Sports Business Journal.(7-22-2014)
#41 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team Penalized: The #41 Stewart Haas Racing team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been penalized for a rules infraction discovered in post-race inspection July 6 at Daytona International Speedway. The infraction is a P2 level penalty and violates Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 20-12 (l) (for events at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, at all times, the Delta (or difference) of the Z-height measurement between the center of the panhard bar mounting bolt located at the left truck trailing arm and the center of the panhard bar mounting bolt, located at the right rear sub-frame mounting bracket, must not exceed three inches) of the 2014 NASCAR rule book. As a result of this infraction, crew chief Daniel Knost has been fined $10,000. In addition, driver Kurt Busch has lost 10 championship driver points and owner Gene Haas has lost 10 championship owner points.(NASCAR)(7-8-2014)
Sprint Cup teams form Race Team Alliance UPDATE: A group of nine multi-car teams participating in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) announced today they have formed a collaborative business association called the Race Team Alliance (RTA). The purpose of the organization is to create an open forum for the teams to explore areas of common interest and to work collaboratively on initiatives to help preserve, promote, and grow the sport of stock car racing. The organization intends to open up its membership to all full time NSCS teams in the very near future. In providing a vehicle for the teams to work together, the organization creates for the first time a single entity to engage with stakeholders on creative ways to market and experience the power of the sport's teams and drivers. As part of its focus, the RTA also plans to explore innovative ways to harness the combined purchasing power and scale of the teams' operations to drive efficiencies in costs. Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has been elected the first chair of the RTA.
"With the encouragement of NASCAR and the manufacturers, the teams have met in various forms and forums over the years to explore areas of common interest. This simply formalizes what was an informal group." said Kauffman. "The key word is 'Collaboration'. We all have vested interests in the success and popularity of stock car racing. By working together and speaking with a single voice, it should be a simpler and smoother process to work with current and potential groups involved with the sport. Whether it be looking for industry-wide travel partners or collaborating on technical issues - the idea is to work together to increase revenue, spend more efficiently, and deliver more value to our partners."
The following teams are the executive members of the RTA: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motor Sports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motor Sports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.(RTA)(7-7-2014)
UPDATE: Statement from NASCAR: "We are aware of the alliance concept the team owners have announced, but have very few specifics on its structure or purpose. It is apparently still in development and we're still learning about the details so it would be inappropriate to comment right now. NASCAR's mission, as it has always been, is to create a fair playing field where anyone can come and compete. Our job is to support and strengthen all of the teams, large and small, across all of our series and we'll continue to do that. NASCAR is a unique community with hundreds of stakeholders. They all have a voice and always will."(NASCAR)(7-7-2014)
Kurt Busch: 36 debuts on June 8th: NBC Sports will present an all-access look into the intense preparation, 200+ MPH competition and extreme logistics surrounding Kurt Busch's running the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. The 30-minute special, featuring in-depth interviews, on-track footage, team communications and a seat right next to Busch throughout his races against drivers from two elite series, pulsating travel conditions and the limits of his own endurance, will debut on Sunday, June 8, at 4:30 pm/et on NBC. A 60-minute "director's cut" of Kurt Busch: 36 will air the following day, Monday, June 9, at 11:00pm/et on NBCSN. NBC Sports' Emmy Award-winning NASCAR production team, led by Executive Producer Sam Flood, teams with the Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Productions to create Kurt Busch: 36.(NBC)(6-7-2014)
Kurt Busch Road-Course Testing: on Tuesday, June 3, #41-Kurt Busch and team tested at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia as part of its road-course testing program in preparation for the upcoming races at Sonoma, California and Watkins Glen, New York.(SHR/TSC)(6-4-2014)
Haas to delay F1 entry: Haas Formula will defer its Formula One debut until 2016, Motorsports.com has learned. The decision to wait an extra year will offer the organization more time to put its program together and align itself with the proper partners moving forward. Although team owner Gene Haas said on Sunday morning that he was "leaning towards Ferrari" because "they're more open to what we need to do" the additional time could open other doors for the rookie team with other technical partners. It was clear that Haas was feeling the time crunch when he acknowledged, "It just seems that it's taking longer to accomplish what we wanted to do than we thought." While Haas Formula has its team principal in place, there's still the question of technical partner, designers and drivers.(Motorsport.com)(5-28-2014)
Kurt Busch named Indy 500 Rookie of the Year: Andretti Autosport driver Kurt Busch has been named the winner of the prestigious 2014 Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award for his performance during the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In the first Verizon IndyCar Series race of his career, Busch, in his #26 Andretti Autosport Suretone Honda, was the fastest qualifier (12th) and highest finisher (6th) among the seven rookies in this year's Indianapolis 500. In addition to the prestige of being named Sunoco Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, Busch also earned a $25,000 bonus from Sunoco as part of his total race winnings of $423,889. Busch was presented with his award Monday night at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Indianapolis 500 Victory Awards Celebration.(Indianapolis Motor Speedway)(5-28-2014)
Haas getting closer to deciding on technical partners for F1 team: Gene Haas [co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing in Sprint Cup] is edging closer to announcing a technical partner for Haas Formula and it's apparent that Ferrari is his top choice. "We haven't exactly signed a formal contract but we're pretty close," Haas told Motorsport.com prior to Sunday's Indianapolis 500. "We're leaning towards Ferrari. They're more open to what we need to do. It's not that Mercedes isn't right for us, it's just that we need more help than Mercedes would want to do at this time." Haas, who was granted a Formula One license last month, was in Indy to support his NASCAR driver Kurt Busch on his Double quest. Haas also visited with chassis builder Dallara during his trip to Indy and acknowledged that the meeting "went good".
"They all can do it, they all want to do it, they're all very interested in helping us," Haas said. "I think they're looking at it as a good long-time partnership but it just comes down to you have to order things and it takes time to order things and get things scheduled. It just seems that it's taking longer to accomplish what we wanted to do than we thought. So, it's taken a couple of weeks but in another week then we'll definitely know." After Haas establishes his technical partners, his focus will shift to driver and designer candidates in hopes of testing come January. However, at this point of the season Haas is accepting the reality that his current schedule of making it to the grid in 2015 is ambitious.(Motorsport)(5-27-2014)
Kurt Busch's double starts well, ends bad: #41-Kurt Busch was in position to do what only his team co-owner Tony Stewart had accomplished before: complete all 1,100 miles of the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. Unfortunately, it just wasn't meant to be. Busch became just the fourth driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, joining Stewart, John Andretti and Robby Gordon. Busch's sixth-place finish at the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day had him on track for the historic feat. The open-wheel result was the best by any rookie in Sunday's race and tied him with teammate Stewart for the best finish by a driver attempting The Double. Stewart finished sixth in the 2001 Indianapolis 500. Per the NASCAR rulebook, Busch was forced to start the Coca-Cola 600, the second race of his Double attempt, from the rear of the field due to the fact he could not make the trip back from Indianapolis to Charlotte in time for the Sprint Cup Series driver meeting. Busch arrived by helicopter on the Charlotte Motor Speedway frontstretch approximately 20 minutes before the start of driver introductions. The #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet methodically worked its way forward in the beginning laps of NASCAR's longest event.
By the halfway point of the race, Busch and the #41 team remained on the lead lap in 13th position. During the pit cycle on lap 216, Busch raced as high as fifth before coming to pit road for adjustments. When Busch came to pit road for routine service on lap 217, the #41 was hit by the #17 car as it exited its pit stall. The incident caused damage to the left rear of the Haas Automation machine. Shortly after the pit-road incident, on lap 225 Busch told the team that he dropped a cylinder. One lap later he told the crew over the radio that he lost a second cylinder. Busch did his best to nurse the engine for the remainder of the race, but the #41 suffered a complete engine malfunction on lap 271, ending his night in 40th position, 129 laps short of the full-race distance.
"The motor blew," Busch said. "It acted like it swallowed three cylinders all at once, and so it was really slow. It's kind of a shame, you know. It almost symbolizes how tough it has been this year on the Haas Automation team. We gave it our all, and the way we were clawing it up there and got a lucky break with the caution one time. I thought we were making good gains on the car, and it was great to race in traffic. To feel the stock car right after driving the Indy car was a day I'll never forget. I can't let the mood here with the car dampen what happened up at Indy today. That was very special. It takes a big team - it takes a team everywhere. Andretti Autosport gave me a top-five car to try and win the 500 with, and these Stewart-Haas guys gave me a good car tonight. The motor just went, sometimes that happens. All in all I gave it my all. I tried hard. I had a lot of people helping me out. I want to say thanks to Gene Haas, Tony Stewart, Michael Andretti and this whole group. Everyone worked hard on this on both sides."(SHR)(5-26-2014)
Kurt Busch going for the double - Indy 500 & Coca Cola 600: On Sunday, for the ninth time, a driver will attempt to race both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Kurt Busch is the latest to sign up for this most daring of double-duty, driving at Indy for Andretti Autosport. Green flag is at noon (ET) for open-wheel's biggest race. Later Sunday afternoon he'll jet down to Charlotte to jump into his #41 Haas Automation Made in America Chevy for the 6:00pm/et start.
The eight previous double-dips have been divided up by only three drivers - John Andretti (1994), Robby Gordon (1997, 2000, 2002-2004) and Tony Stewart (1999 and 2001). Stewart has the best result - by far - in the books, having finished sixth at Indy and third at Charlotte in 2001, in the process becoming the only driver to complete all 1,100 miles between the two races.
The results in the 'doubles':
(year - driverL Indy Finish, CMS finish, total laps / total miles)
1994 - John Andretti: 10, 36, 416 / 820
1997 - Robby Gordon: 29, 41, 205 / 326.5
1999 - Tony Stewart: 9, 4, 596 / 1090
2000* - Robby Gordon: 6, 35, 335 / 702.5
2001 - Tony Stewart: 6, 3, 600 / 1100 (all laps both races)
2002 - Robby Gordon: 8, 16, 599 / 1098.5
2003 - Robby Gordon: 22, 17, 444 / 835
2004 - Robby Gordon: 29, 20, 485 / 815.5
UPDATE: 2014 - Kurt Busch: 6, 40, 471 / 906.5
*Note: in 2000 Gordon arrived late to CMS and P.J. Jones started the car, Gordon ran 135 laps and finished 35th, credited to Jones.
Busch will start 12th for the Indianapolis 500, but crashed in a Monday practice session and will be forced to a back-up car, but maintains his starting position. Busch will start 28th in the Coca Cola 600.(in part from NASCAR and in part from research)(5-25-2014)
Kurt Busch says crash at Indy was a valuable lesson: Kurt Busch often has a unique perspective, but being glad he wrecked his car during practice for the Indianapolis 500-isn't that taking things a bit too far? Not when you hear Busch explain it. "When I made the mistake on Monday, it was because I just started to tell myself, 'Settle in, get into this 500-mile rhythm, and know that you have 600 miles later on,'" said Busch, who will attempt the Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 double on Sunday. "It was the setup I had from the previous Thursday, where I was the most comfortable during drafting practice. I made some adjustments inside the car, didn't stay on top of Turns 1 and 2. The south end of the track (Turns 1 and 2) is different than the north end of the track there. The wind angle was the most different, awkward angle that I've had during the whole month of May. Turn 2 bit me."
Before flying to Charlotte for the Coke 600, Busch will start the Indy 500 in a backup car. Under IndyCar rules, however, he won't lose the 12th-place starting position he earned in last Sunday's qualifying session. And in Monday's crash, Busch learned a valuable lesson. "I'm glad I experienced it," he said. "I might sound stupid by saying that I'm glad I wrecked at 220 mph, but if I didn't put myself in that position, I would have done that on Sunday, possibly 50 laps into the race. That's how you have to advance through life is to learn from your mistakes. It was a mistake that I wholeheartedly put myself in. It's because I just started to feel comfortable. I just let my guard down a little bit, and that IndyCar jumped up and bit me."(NASCAR Wire Service)(5-23-2014)
Special look for Kurt Busch's #41 at CMS: In preparation for the most grueling feat in oval racing, #41-Kurt Busch has spent the month of May traveling back and forth to Indianapolis from NASCAR events in Kansas City, Kansas, Talladega, Alabama and Charlotte. While Busch has been splitting his time between IndyCar and stock cars, rookie crew chief Daniel Knost has led the #41 team and has kept it focused on the task at hand - the Coca-Cola 600. Knost and team have diligently prepared and carefully gone over the #41 Haas Automation "America's Machine Tool" Chevrolet in hopes of giving Busch a chance to not just complete the final 600 miles of his odyssey, but also to win the NASCAR side of "The Double." A victory at Charlotte on Memorial Day weekend would be a fitting end for Busch, who focuses his charitable efforts on paying tribute to the military. As part of the Memorial Day weekend festivities, the #41 Haas Automation "America's Machine Tool" Chevrolet will feature a special red, white and blue paint scheme. The paint scheme pays tribute to the American success story that is Haas Automation, whose products are manufactured at the company's expansive facility in Oxnard, California - the largest, most modern machine tool manufacturing operation in the United States. Parker Kligerman, most recently of Swan Racing, will serve as a practice and standby driver for Kurt Busch this week. Busch will be traveling back and forth to Indianapolis as he attempts to run the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday at Charlotte. Kligerman practiced the Haas Automation Chevrolet SS Friday in preparation for Saturday night¡¦s Sprint All-Star Race.(Stewart Haas Racing), see an image on the #41 Team Schemes page.(5-22-2014)
Haas Formula gameplan taking shape: Gene Haas could decide on a technical partnership for his Formula One team as early as this week. As for a Formula Haas debut, all indications are that the newest F1 licensee is leaning toward a 2015 start which could inevitably determine the entrant's supplier based on availability. Haas met with his team principals over the weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway to hash out their plans. "We're still finalizing the numbers, so I don't want to say anything wrong," Haas told Motorsport.com. "We should know something in the next week or so what year we're going to go with and everything else. We really only got a license a month ago, so there's been a lot of going back and forth. There's just a lot of things to cover. Obviously, we want to partner with a partner that can help us the most because we don't have much time - and that's a little bit of it, too. One partner might be saying 2016. One partner might be saying 2015. My thing is, no matter what year it is, it's going to be a tough year that first year, so I'd like to get it over with myself." With the current race season nearly reaching the halfway point, Haas is concerned that "schedules have to be met" for both Ferrari and Mercedes that could affect which manufacturer would best be able to accommodate an additional team. While the choice of a technical partner is still in the works, the applications are pouring from potential drivers-roughly 25 of them at this point. Haas said they've already had 200 to 300 aspiring employees looking to join Formula Haas, but prior to obtaining a F1 license, perusing the submissions was impractical.(Motorsport)(5-20-2014)
Special website follows Kurt Busch's attempt at 'the double' allows donations to AFF and more: Join Kurt Busch as he becomes the 4th NASCAR driver ever to attempt the "Double" - racing in both the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend. By pledging a small amount for every lap Kurt completes, you can ride alongside the Outlaw as he helps to provide assistance to our brave men and women of the Armed Forces when they need it most.
Kurt Busch isn't the only one doing the double this Memorial Day weekend. Country music star Brantley Gilbert will be attending the Indianapolis 500 on May 25 as part of the sponsorship of Indy rookie, Sage Karam, and then fly to Charlotte to perform a pre-race concert for the Coca-Cola 600.
Basis will be with Kurt Busch every step of the way - literally - as he prepares for 1,100 miles of grueling, intense racing. Fans will be able to see his progress as he focuses on getting in tip-top shape, ensuring the right amount of rest for recovery and keeping things under control with his frequent heart rate checks. Basis is a revolutionary wrist-based device that tracks physiological data like heart rate, sweat level, skin temperature and movement 24/7. Basis is the world's most advanced health tracker and will be tracking Busch's progress, including his races and workouts, leading up to this epic racing challenging. You can check out Basis, info on donating by laps to Armed Forces Foundation and follow Busch at kurtbuschdouble.com.(5-20-2014)
Kurt Busch crashes in Indy 500 practice: Kurt Busch slammed the Turn 2 wall at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the right side of the Andretti Autosport car at 1:35 pm. today. Busch got out of the car under his own power. Busch was following a group of cars in race-preparation practice when the car wiggled and then shot to the wall as he tried to save it from crashing. It was a big hit. "Settling into the race trim and the draft and the tows that you get and I was starting to feel comfortable," he said. "Maybe that's where I made the mistake of letting my guard down or settling into that long-run-type of mentality whereas with an Indy car you have to be on edge. You have to keep track of where you are at all times and the adjustments in the car. Maybe I didn't keep up with keeping the car underneath me. Trying to get into that rhythm and feel other things around you and I got behind on my adjustments in the car." Busch, a rookie in this Indianapolis 500 field, is scheduled to start 12th in Sunday's 500, but this car would seem to be destroyed. Team manager Kyle Moyer put the possible rebuilding of the car at "50-50." Using another car in this circumstance will not cost Busch his position. Moyer said the team has spare cars back at the shop on Zionsville Road.(Indianapolis Star)(5-19-2014)
Kurt Busch qualifies 12th for Indianapolis 500: #41-Kurt Busch will start on the outside of row 4 in the May 25 Indianapolis 500, as he will attempt to become the first driver in a decade to do the Indy 500/Coca-Cola 600 double on the same day. Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion, qualified 12th for the 500-mile race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a four-lap average speed of 230.782 mph. The driver of the #26 car for Andretti Autosport will share the fourth starting row with Juan Pablo Montoya from Team Penske and Scott Dixon from Chip Ganassi Racing. "I'm very happy with a fourth-row starting position," Busch said. "It's amazing when you're going up against guys like Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Dixon for that fourth row. Good company. I've got a great team at Andretti. They're helping me out. Now we need to get back into race mode." Busch will try to become the fourth driver to compete in the Indy 500, which is held in the afternoon, and then head to Charlotte Motor Speedway to run in the 600-mile Sprint Cup race there, scheduled to start in the evening. John Andretti, Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon are those drivers who have raced at Indianapolis and Charlotte on the same day. Gordon was the last one to accomplish the feat in 2004.(Sports Network)(5-19-2014)
Kligerman headed to Indy to search for IndyCar ride: Parker Kligerman, who filled-in Kurt Busch in the #41 Chevy on Friday for Sprint All-Star race practice, is headed to Indianapolis on Sunday. "I'm going to be meeting with some people," Kligerman said Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "That will be fun. ... We'll see (about my future)." The 23-year-old Kligerman, who started the year driving for Swan Racing before it discontinued operations last month, will be on standby for Stewart-Haas Racing's Kurt Busch at Charlotte for the Coca Cola 600, although Busch should be at all practices and qualifying sessions. Kligerman will have to drive the car in practice to have a few laps in case Busch doesn't get from the Indianapolis 500 to Charlotte in time as he attempts both big races on the same day. "I'm just very grateful and honored to have the opportunity and for someone like Kurt, a champion in our sport, to give me that call and have the belief in me and do this for him," Kligerman said. After these two weeks, Kligerman said he wants the best opportunity. He had planned to be in Indianapolis all this weekend until the call two weeks ago to be on standby for Busch. "It's all in the working stage, building stage and some of that is going out to Indy meeting some of those people and those sorts of things going on," Kligerman said about his future. "My sole focus right now is when an opportunity comes it's the right opportunity. ... I've got time on my side. I feel like making sure the opportunity is the right one, it's the one I want to do, it's one I am enthused about and hopefully that can forward my career and I can do good job in."(Sporting News)(5-18-2014)
Kurt Busch heads back to Charlotte for All-Star race: Kurt Busch took his first tangible step toward his May 25 Indianapolis 500/Coca-Cola 600 double, posting a lap at 229.960 mph in the first round of qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That speed was third fastest when Busch left Indy for his regular job-driving the #41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race. As drivers continued to run laps at the Brickyard, Busch slipped down the speed chart, but no matter. The starting order, including the pole for the Indy 500, won't be determined until the second qualifying session on Sunday. Tony Stewart, new to Twitter but well-versed in all aspects of motorsports, posted a message of encouragement to his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate. "Congrats to my teammate @Kurt Busch for qual for his first #Indy500," wrote Stewart, who obviously is getting the hang of Twitter handles and hashtags. "Thnx, Boss-let's go get 'er done tonight!" Busch replied before boarding a plane back to North Carolina.(NASCAR Wire Service)(5-17-2014)
Indy 500 practice update: Kurt Busch is back in Charlotte: Indianapolis 500 practice resumed Wednesday afternoon after rain fell just prior to 2:00pm/et on Tuesday, halting the session. Kurt Busch, who spent Sunday through Tuesday at the track, headed back to Charlotte for Wednesday to check in with his Stewart-Haas Racing #41 team on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series side. With rain falling in Indianapolis, it made no sense for Busch to stick around. Still, he's pleased with where he's at right now. "It definitely wasn't on my radar. But what I've been able to do as a student is each day progress at a strong rate, and progressing is being able to digest the information and then being able to apply it the next day," he said, in a statement released by the team. Busch compared Indianapolis a bit to another abnormal oval design, Darlington. "As far as guys getting tows and posting those good laps, some of my drafting experience helps from what I've seen at Daytona and Talladega; Indianapolis has a little bit of Darlington characteristics into it," Busch said. "What I mean by that is you have to be single file and you have to know which corner you are approaching at all times, and it's a matter of give and take with the other drivers out on the track." Busch is expected to be back in Indianapolis for Thursday's practice, stay through qualifying on Saturday and then fly to Charlotte for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.(NBC Sports)(5-15-2014)
Parker Kligerman To Serve as Backup Driver for Kurt Busch: Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has tabbed Parker Kligerman to serve as the backup driver for Kurt Busch in the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS during the May 16-17 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the May 22-25 Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kligerman has made 10 Sprint Cup starts, 51 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts, 50 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts and 23 ARCA Racing Series starts. The 23-year-old from Westport, Connecticut, earned a Camping World Truck Series victory in 2012 at Talladega and has nine ARCA wins, all of which came in 2009 when he finished second in the championship standings. SHR selected Kligerman in the event that Busch, who is attempting to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, is unable to practice, qualify or potentially start his #41 Haas Automation Chevy due to a schedule conflict or logistical issue. "I'm grateful for the opportunity and want to thank everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for entrusting me with the Haas Automation Chevy," said Kligerman, who has competed in eight Sprint Cup races in 2014. "For these next two weeks, my sole focus is to help the #41 team compete at a high level, no matter how big or small my role might be."
On May 25, Busch will compete in the Indianapolis 500 before getting on a plane and traveling to North Carolina to compete in the Coca-Cola 600. Practice for the Indianapolis 500 began May 11 and continues through May 16, with qualifying May 17 and Pole Day May 18. The May 16 practice at Indianapolis conflicts with practice for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. And Indianapolis 500 qualifying on May 17 lasts until 6pm/et, which makes for a short turnaround time for Busch to be back at Charlotte in time for the 7:10 pm qualifying session for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to begin at 12:15 pm on May 25, with the Coca-Cola 600 set to get underway at 6:00pm. The Indianapolis 500 should be completed at approximately 3:30pm, allowing Busch two-and-a-half hours to get from Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Charlotte before the green flag waves for the Coca-Cola 600, the longest race on the Sprint Cup schedule. In the event Busch does not make it back to Charlotte on time, Kligerman will start the Coca-Cola 600. Upon Busch's arrival, Kligerman will yield the seat of the #41 Haas Automation Chevy to Busch, whereupon Busch will finish the race [if Parker starts the Coke 600, he would get the drivers points and Busch would not].
"Parker and I were teammates a few years ago when we were together at Penske and his feedback was always really good," Busch said. "Plus, we're built about the same, and that's really important as we don't want to have to adjust seats or pedal positions inside the racecar. I'm confident in Parker's abilities and know that my Haas Automation Chevrolet is in good hands."(SHR)(5-14-2014)
Kurt Busch 2nd in Tuesday's Indy 500 practice: Andretti Autosport teammates EJ Viso and Kurt Busch were the speed demons at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Tuesday when heavy rain arrived at 1:30pm. Viso field-leading lap was 224.488 mph. Busch was second at 224.159 mph. This is his first IndyCar event. Two other of Michael Andretti's cars were fourth and fifth: Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti, respectively. Hunter-Reay ran 223.612 mph with Andretti at 223.605 mph. Third was Team Penske driver Juan Pablo Montoya at 224.115 mph. There still have been no accidents on the oval portion of this month.(Indianapolis Star)(5-14-2014)
Indy 500 practices underway for Kurt Busch: The runs Kurt Busch had made up to Sunday in the #26 Suretone Honda for Andretti Autosport were solely single-car runs, where he had a chance to acclimate simply to the nature and handling of the lighter, less powerful IndyCar compared to the heavier, more brutal and higher horsepower NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. Sunday marked Busch's first chance to run in traffic, in dirty air, in a moment he appreciated. He banked 31 laps on the day, with his fastest on lap 29 of 220.352 mph good for P12 on the time sheets. "It was a nice rookie day to go play in traffic," said the 2004 Sprint Cup champion. "The Andretti Autosport guys ramped up where we are with the levels, to get in dirty air. Today was a nice shakedown, and the second run was a baseline run. It was nice to have a champion, Ryan Hunter-Reay, take me around, and then with Munoz and E.J. Viso. It's just neat to move to the next step, which is to go out there in dirty air and draft with teammates." Busch described the difference of running in traffic in NASCAR versus traffic in IndyCar as "times 10," in IndyCar, so he could easily catch the car in front of them. With less horsepower, it's a lot to digest. Busch and the rest of the five-car Andretti Autosport effort resume practice on Monday.(NBC Sports)(5-12-2014)
Kurt Busch to undergo Indy 500 rookie orientation UPDATE: It's been 14 years since Kurt Busch was last called a rookie. And even though Busch has a Sprint Cup championship trophy at home, he's still a rookie open-wheel driver as far as the Indianapolis 500 is concerned. That's why Busch and four other drivers will take part in the rookie orientation or veteran driver refresher course to be eligible to compete in the May 25th Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the track announced Tuesday. Busch will join four other drivers - Mikhail Aleshin, Martin Plowman, Jack Hawksworth and 1995 Indy 500 winner and former CART and F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve - for the three-pronged orientation and driving program on Tuesday, April 29th and Monday, May 5th. Villeneuve will only have to complete the final two phases of the three-phase program to be recertified to race in the 500 because of his prior experience there. The orientation/refresher is designed that all five drivers can potentially complete all three phases in one day. If they are able to do so, the second day would be for practice - or if they need more instruction.(NBC Sports)(4-23-2014)
UPDATE: Andretti Autosport unveiled Monday the black-and-white #26 car that Kurt Busch seeks to race in the Indianapolis 500, and Busch will drive that car Tuesday in the first day of rookie orientation at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Busch is attempting to become the fourth driver to race in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. John Andretti, Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart have done it. Stewart finished in the top 10 in both races in 1999 and 2001. The double was last run by Robby Gordon in 2004.
Rookie orientation at Indianapolis Motor Speedway consists of three phases where drivers must maintain a consistent speed within a preset range. Typically the range is 200-210 mph, 210-215 mph and then 215 and above. Once they have met those standards while being judged by observers, they are cleared to practice for the Indianapolis 500.
A second day of testing will be May 5. Busch will be allowed to run that day regardless of if he completes the rookie requirements Tuesday, an IndyCar official confirmed. Busch is scheduled to return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 11 - the day after the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway - for practice. Suretone Entertainment will be Busch's sponsor.(Motor Racing Network) (4-29-2014)
Don't expect to see Stewart-Haas drivers in F1 car: Now that her car owner has a Formula One team, could Danica Patrick ever race in the worldwide racing series? Gene Haas doesn't think so. Nothing against Patrick, he just doesn't think any of his NASCAR drivers could jump in a car for Haas Formula, a new F1 team that will begin fielding two cars in 2015 or 2016, and succeed. Haas actually has three drivers with IndyCar experience in his NASCAR stable. Tony Stewart was the 1997 IndyCar championship, Patrick spent seven years on the circuit and Kurt Busch is competing in the Indianapolis 500 this year after completing rookie orientation last year. But Haas isn't looking from within for a future F1 driver. "I'd certainly never expect any of our current lineup of drivers to want to be able to do that," Haas said during a news conference Monday. "It would be really impossible to accomplish that and survive. ... Just the thought of jumping into a Formula One car from a Cup car would be very, very difficult."(Sporting News)(4-16-2014)
Kurt Busch says Gene Haas serious about F1 UPDATE2: #41-Kurt Busch said team owner Gene Haas is serious about making a strong entry into Formula One, a move that could expand the series' footprint in the U.S. "It will be an incredible challenge. He knows that," Busch said Sunday at the MotoGP motorcycle race in Texas. "It's a matter of the fans getting behind it, supporting Gene and trying to give F1 another chance," he said. "We've had Michael Andretti, before him was his dad. We had Scott Speed as a driver. Now we have an (American) owner. It will be interesting to see how the driver lineup shapes up." At 35, Busch said it won't be him racing a Haas Formula One car. "My time has passed to be a competitive driver in F1," Busch said. "But a test session? I'd jump on that every time. They're going to have hard time keeping me out of the shop, from hanging out."(in part from the Associated Press)(4-14-2014)
UPDATE: NASCAR team owner Gene Haas says he plans to field an American-based Formula One racing series team within the next two years. The team will be called Haas Formula, he said Monday at a news conference. Haas says he should know within the next four weeks if the team will begin racing in 2015 or wait until 2016. He says part of that depends on how long it takes for Haas Formula to find an engine supplier. Haas Formula would become the first American-based Formula One team in more than three decades to join the racing series. Although there's plenty of skepticism over his decision, Haas says, "I wouldn't be doing it if I thought I was going to fail. But that's the challenge -- proving other people wrong."(Associated Press/ESPN)(4-14-2014)
UPDATE2: The motivation for Gene Haas is two-fold. Primarily, Haas, who owns one the largest CNC tool manufacturing operations, wants to market his products globally and F1 will allow him to "enhance his branding" on a greater scale than NASCAR, which is limited to North America. "The ultimate goal is to take the image of Haas Automation and turn it into a brand that is desired and high-quality and known throughout the world," Haas said. "The ultimate goal would be to double our sales for Haas Automation. I think it's going to be positive. As an indicator, I'm using the relationship with NASCAR that we have here including the brands we have in the United States. We have a very good market share, good market penetration and it's as simple as to replicate that overseas."
Secondly, despite short-lived effort of the USF1 team, Haas is convinced that an American-based team can compete against the established F1 juggernauts of Europe. Haas feels that with the current F1 rules packages, the timing is right for an aspiring team to enter the series and dispel the notion that "Americans can't do it".
"I'm here to prove that we can do it, and we can do it with a budget and we can be efficient at it and we can win at it," Haas said. "That's what I'm going to try. I'm not saying that I'm better than anybody else. I just have a different way of doing it, and people that I work with think differently. That, I guess, is going to be the secret to our success in this business. We're going to spend our money wisely. We're going to do it with an American flair for design and efficiencies, and that's how we're going to control our costs. I don't -- we're not going to be a European-led team. We're going to be an American-led team and we'll do it the way we think is the most efficient. Yes, this is an ambitious undertaking for Haas. He wasn't joking when asked about his budget that "it's going to be billions and billions" to be operational. And he has just over a month to inform the FIA as to whether Haas Formula intends to race in 2015 or 2016. Certainly, Haas' timetable will depend on the support of his technical partners. Similar to his introduction to NASCAR where he relied on Hendrick Motorsports to get up to speed, Haas will rely on the relationship of his potential F1 partners as well.
Formula Haas' home base will be in Kannapolis, N.C. adjacent to the existing Stewart-Haas Racing shop. The company is currently adding 150,000 sq. ft. With Haas Automation satellites in Brussels and Shanghai, there is already a global base, but Haas expects to have a secondary shop in either Germany or Italy likely dependent on whether he partners with Mercedes or Ferrari. Haas will likely use Dallara for his chassis, but his eventual goal is to develop the components to compete for the Constructors championship.
As for prospective drivers, in the beginning Haas would like to use racers that are already familiar with the current engine rules package then eventually phase in American talent. Formula Haas team principal Guenther Steiner would prefer not entertainment drivers searching for buy rides but rely on racers with raw talent. For now, Haas intends on maintaining a clean car free of sponsorship outside of the Haas brand. He believes that any additional support would "dilute" his marketing strategy. However, a five-year plan is in place to "make this a profitable enterprise" and that will involve additional sponsors in order "to make money and compete".(Motorsport)(4-15-2014)
Statement from Gene Haas Regarding FIA's Grant of Formula One License: Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been granted a Formula One license by the FIA. The following is his statement. "Obviously, we're extremely pleased to have been granted a Formula One license by the FIA. It's an exciting time for me, Haas Automation and anyone who wanted to see an American team return to Formula One. Now, the really hard work begins. It's a challenge we embrace as we work to put cars on the grid. I want to thank the FIA for this opportunity and the diligence everyone put forth to see our license application come to fruition." Founded in 1983 and based in Oxnard, Calif., Haas Automation is the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. Stewart-Haas Racing won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2011. Haas also founded Windshear, a 180-mph rolling-road wind tunnel in Concord, N.C., that is the first of its kind in North America. It is only the third rolling-road wind tunnel of its scale in existence and the world's first commercially available, full-scale, rolling-road wind tunnel.(True Speed Communication)(4-11-2014)
Haas's US team to be given green light into F1 by next year UPDATE: Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that a new team run by an American businessman is on track to join Formula One next year. It will become the sport's 12th team and the first from America since the 1980s. Formula One has not had an American driver since 2007. The team is run by Gene Haas, the joint owner of the championship-winning Stewart-Haas Racing team [#4, #10, #14, #41], which competes in America's NASCAR stock car series. "I think Haas will be accepted," said Ecclestone, the sport's chief executive. "They have got the money but it's a question of whether they are going to spend it." In addition to his stake in the NASCAR team, Haas is also the founder of leading American engineering firm Haas Automation, which has annual revenues of around $1bn (£600m). It gives him the resources to fuel his bid and he is already using it to attract top names, as Günther Steiner, a former technical director of the four-time Formula One champions Red Bull Racing, is understood to be involved.(The Independent)(4-3-2014)
UPDATE: Formula One commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone says a U.S. backed team headed by Gene Haas is among two new teams the sport is likely to admit next season. Speaking on Sunday ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Ecclestone said he had held discussions with the sport's governing body, the FIA, and there was agreement about expanding the grid next season. "They will be accepted, and we've also accepted another team as well, although whether they'll make it or not is another story," Ecclestone said when asked about a possible Haas entry. I've spoken to (FIA President) Jean Todt and we agreed yesterday." The initial deadline for a decision on new 2015 entries expired at the end of February, but an agreement between Ecclestone and the FIA would likely be able to override that deadline.(ESPN/AP)(4-6-2014)
Kurt Busch wins at Martinsville Speedway: #41-Kurt Busch won the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway for his 1st win of 2014, his 2nd at Martinsville Speedway and his 25th career win. It is his first win since Dover in October 2011.
It is the first win for car #41 since Curtis Turner won at Rockingham on October 31, 1965.
#48-Johnson finished 2nd followed by: #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #22-Logano, #9-Ambrose, #20-Kenseth, #4-Harvick, #43-Almirola, #15-Bowyer, and #27-Menard..
Polesitter #18-Busch finished 14th
#3-Austin Dillon was the rookie of the race, finishing 15th.
#99-Edwards, who came into the race as the points leader finished 13th, so #88-Earnhardt, Jr. retakes the points lead, 9 points over #20-Kenseth.
There were 33 lead changes (a record for this race) among 12 drivers and there were 14 cautions for 92 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 72.176mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Martinsville Speedway Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Martinsville Penalty Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the OfficialMartinsville Speedway Race & Points Report (pdf).(3-30-2014)
Changes to Indy 500 qualifying will impact Busch: The new qualifying format for the Indianapolis 500 will include three rounds over two days, with the pole-winner emerging from a "Fast Nine Shootout" on what used to be Bump Day. Qualifying for the Indy 500 this year will begin on May 17 when the fastest 33 cars are locked into the field. All entries will be guaranteed at least one four-lap attempt to qualify, and the fastest nine drivers will move into the shootout. On Sunday, the previous days' times will be erased and entries 10 through 33 will complete another four-lap qualifying attempt to determine their starting position. The fastest nine drivers from Saturday will then make one four-lap attempt to determine the prestigious pole winner and starting front row.
It makes life a little more difficult for NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, who will attempt to become the first driver in 10 years to run both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Busch will now have to qualify in Indianapolis on Saturday, fly to Charlotte, N.C., for NASCAR's All-Star race that evening, then return to Indianapolis to determine his starting spot in Sunday's qualifying session. Under the old format, had Busch locked himself into the field on Saturday, he would not have necessarily have needed to return to Indianapolis following the All-Star race unless he was in danger of being bumped out.(Associated Press)(3-7-2014)
Kurt Busch moving personal foundation to Armed Forces Foundation: Last week, Busch announced that he was merging his personal foundation into the Armed Forces Foundation, where his girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, is the executive director. Busch's project within the foundation will focus on PTSD and he will use his Memorial Day double to help raise funds. "That is the battle that is unseen. There are the ones with the invisible wounds from the traumatic brain injury and the PTSD side and those are the ones that you have to open up a little bit, spend more time with and put your arm around them," Busch said Friday. "Patricia does a great job with her foundation to show them the way, to give them the support." Busch heavily participates in the "troops to the track" program to help give military members a raceday experience. "I can help with just putting a smile on their face or diverting their focus for the day to have some fun," Busch said.(Sporting News)(3-6-2014)
Kurt Busch to run Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport: It has been over a decade since it was last completed, but this May NASCAR Champion Kurt Busch will endeavor to become only the fourth driver in history to contest the "Double" - competing in IndyCar's historic Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's 600-mile race in the same day. Busch will make his first career Indianapolis 500 qualifying attempt behind the wheel of an Andretti Autosport Indy car. His entry will complete a stable of five for Michael Andretti's championship winning IndyCar team. It is not the first pairing of Busch and Andretti Autosport, however, as in 2013 Busch completed a test day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the team and in the process passed the mandated Rookie Orientation program effectively setting the possibility of the "Double" into motion.
What lies in front of Busch is a grueling challenge, not only on the race day itself - scheduled for Sunday, May 25th when Busch will race 1,100 miles in two races, in two cities, in two totally different cars, but in practicing and qualifying his Andretti Autosport Indy car in addition to competing in three NASCAR race weekends around Indianapolis 500 activities. The 35-year old American will start the two week Indy 500 stretch in Indianapolis May 11th, fresh from the NASCAR race in Kansas. After spending the week testing the Honda-powered Indy car, Busch will log some serious air miles traveling between Indianapolis and Charlotte so he can qualify for the 500-mile race and practice and qualify for the NASCAR All-Star race and that Series' 600-mile race. In total Busch will likely make more than ten trips between the cities - the most important and time sensitive being race day. Race day will place Busch in Indianapolis in the morning for the 12:00pm/et start time of the Indianapolis 500 before he makes the trip to Charlotte for the 6:00pm/et green flag.
While the "Double" will be a new experience for Busch, it will actually be Andretti Autosport's second time participating in the feat. Robby Gordon (who along with John Andretti and Tony Stewart are the three previous drivers to contest the "Double") competed in both races in 2003, filling in at Indianapolis for an injured Dario Franchitti who at the time drove for Andretti Autosport. Busch, an advocate for and representative of The Armed Forces Foundation, will be dedicating his Memorial Day mission to those who continue to inspire him each day - the men and women serving around the world in the United States Military. Fans can show their support by texting AFF to 50555 to pledge $10 to the cause. Fans will have the opportunity to follow Busch through his action-packed month of May on AndrettiTV.com, with details coming soon. For more information visit AndrettiAutosport.com or KurtBuschDouble.com.(Andretti Autosport)(3-4-2014)
Formula One expected to make decision on Haas UPDATE: The FIA is due to make a decision on Friday regarding whether it will grant a 2015 Formula One entry to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Gene Haas -- or to the Romanian project fronted by Colin Kolles. The FIA on Dec. 12 announced a "call for expression of interest," and noted that it would make its decision on Feb. 28. However, when the decision will be announced to the public remains to be seen. Haas, who co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing with Tony Stewart, is tied to Ferrari, and if granted an entry would be able to take advantage of the fact that the FIA is relaxing the rules on technology sharing between teams next season. Haas would be able to buy almost everything he needs for an F1 program from Maranello. However, he has to own the intellectual property of his chassis and bodywork. The Romanian project is believed to involve state-funded backing and is in theory closer to being realized than its American rival. Lotus LMP1/LMP2 sports-car constructor Kolles, who ran the now-defunct HRT F1 team from his base near Munich, could provide existing race team and manufacturing facilities. The two candidates paid the FIA a $130,000 fee and went through a vetting process which culminated in a meeting with key FIA figures on Tuesday of this week.(Autoweek)(2-28-2014)
UPDATE: The FIA has delayed its decision on a future Formula One team entry, which was due [Friday]. The governing body has written to the candidates, but apparently did not give a reason for the delay, nor an alternative deadline. However, it's worth speculating that FIA president Jean Todt and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone might have different ideas about which team should get the nod. It's believed that only one slot is up for grabs, although there is no reason why the field could not be extended to 26 cars, and that may be one of the factors behind the delay. There's also the question of whether all the existing teams will survive over the next couple of years. It seems that Gene Haas is aiming for a 2016 start. The Romanian project is ready to kick off in 2015, and should it be given the go ahead.(Autoweek)(3-1-2014)
Atlas Copco To Serve as Associate Sponsor of #41 Team in 2014: Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has expanded its partnership with Atlas Copco, which will serve as an associate sponsor of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS and driver Kurt Busch during the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. "We enjoy a longstanding and successful partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing," said John Brookshire, president, Atlas Copco Compressors LLC. "We are proud to be part of their team at the track and in the race shop, and we're looking forward to supporting the expanded SHR lineup in the 2014 Sprint Cup Series. It is especially exciting to kick-off this close partnership with the #41 team in our 141st year in business," added Brookshire. As part of the relationship, Atlas Copco is providing new compressed air equipment and installing its SmartLink monitoring technology into SHR's new 125,000 sq.-ft. state-of-the-art race shop expansion located next to the team's existing headquarters in Kannapolis, NC. This year is the first time Atlas Copco will appear as an associate sponsor of an SHR car for the full season. Atlas Copco will appear on the B-post of Busch's #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet and on the sleeve of Busch's firesuit.(SHR)(2-23-2014)
More possible suitors for a Kurt Busch Indy 500 run?: It's already becoming the "will he, won't he" saga of the run up to this year's Indianapolis 500. "It" is Kurt Busch's participation. The "will he" part is, as it was a couple weeks ago, still hovering at the 70 percent mark. He expanded on this at NASCAR Media Day in Daytona on Thursday, and said there were more potential teams in the frame than Andretti Autosport, with whom he completed Rookie Orientation in 2013. "My forecast hasn't changed from the other week when I said I was 70 percent sure that I would run the Indy 500 this year," Busch said, via the Indianapolis Motor Speedway website. "I'm still confident in that forecast. If I were a weatherman, I'd say bring an umbrella." The new teams identified are Chip Ganassi Racing, KV Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing, which all carry one thing in common: the Chevrolet bow-tie. Ganassi already has a four-car lineup but with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship off between May 4 and May 31, it could have its sports car crew available to run a fifth car at the Speedway. KV team co-owner Jimmy Vasser said earlier this week it would prefer to run a veteran driver in its third car for the '500, a car which is very likely to materialize. Andretti's squad, which had run Chevrolets the last two years, has shifted to Honda power in 2014. Busch stays with Chevrolet in his new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, after he moves over from Furniture Row Racing. The manufacturer divide may be the stumbling block that prevents Busch's participation. Or, alternatively, it could be something both sides work through, which would be for the benefit of all parties.(NBC Sports)(2-15-2014)
State Water Heaters to sponsor Kurt Busch: State Water Heaters, a leading manufacturer of commercial and residential water heaters, has renewed its partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. State Water Heaters will serve as the primary sponsor of 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and the #41 team during the Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup race weekend Oct. 10-11 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and as an associate sponsor throughout the 2014 season with the State Water Heaters logo appearing on the C-post of the #41 Chevy and on the chest of Busch's firesuit.
"State Water Heaters has a rich history of building quality products for the plumbing industry, and we've developed strong relationships with our wholesalers and contractors. We're proud to continue our relationship with SHR where we're able to engage our customers with a unique and exciting experience," said Jeff Storie, senior marketing manager, State Water Heaters. "Since working with SHR last year we've launched some great new water heaters and seen growth in traffic for our Find a Local Installer tool on www.StateWaterHeaters.com. We look forward to building a lasting relationship with Kurt Busch and the rest of the SHR team to raise awareness among NASCAR fans about State products and our loyal contractors."
For more than 60 years, State Water Heaters has stood for durability. Tested under the toughest conditions in the most hostile environments, State Water Heaters builds long-lasting products that provide years of service. Motorsports also provides tough conditions and hostile environments, making State Water Heaters' presence in NASCAR a natural fit. The Ashland City, Tenn.-based company has sponsored NASCAR teams since 2006.
"State Water Heaters has been a great partner for Stewart-Haas Racing and we welcome them back for another year as we continue to build a winning partnership," Stewart said. "State Water Heaters is a deep-rooted company that delivers quality products and service to its customers. Our goal is to deliver on and off the track for State Water Heaters and its partners."(Stewart Haas Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #41 Team Schemes page.(2-13-2014)
Haas Speeds Forward With Formula One Plans: NASCAR team co-owner [#4,#10,#14,#41] Gene Haas knows there are those who doubt his ability to field a Formula One team due to the failure of USF1 about five years ago, but that's not keeping him from taking the next step in his pursuit of one. Haas was scheduled to file the next part of his F1 application Feb. 10. He already has paid a $5,000 application fee. "I think they said their final selection would be in March, something like that," Haas said during Charlotte Motor Speedway's annual media tour. "I think we have a shot. I don't think it's a great shot. I think it could go either way." Haas said F1 could decide to grant one team a license or it could elect not to add another organization. Haas said he had met with Bernie Ecclestone, the president and CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Administration, and admitted Ecclestone was skeptical about his ability to field a team. If Haas' F1 aspirations become reality, the team would be based in the United Stated. Haas said he would need to begin his operation with a veteran F1 driver so he could help "sort out" the car and "then someone else that could bring some money in."(in part from RacinToday)(2-11-2014)
SHR pit crews face off in preseason competition: As the offseason comes to a close and the Daytona 500 rapidly approaches, teams are doing all they can to show up to the first race of the season at their best. Drivers have been testing behind the wheel, mechanics turning wrenches in the shops, engineers working through data and computer programs to determine the ideal set-up. Each team is looking to bring their 'A-game' to Daytona to show off in a big way. For the pit crews, however, preparation is typically limited to workout routines and practice stops out behind the shop. While this is great for repetition and practice, the sense of competition is not always there. At Stewart-Haas Racing, however, the organization found a fun way to get their over-the-wall guys ready for Daytona by competing against one another. On Friday [Feb 7th], SHR held an internal "Pit Crew Throwdown" to see which team was the fastest crew in the bunch. The competition was stiff between the four teams. In the end, it was Danica Patrick's #10 team that took the title and the bragging rights heading into Daytona with a pit stop time average of 11.32 seconds.(images and more at FoxSports)(2-10-2014)
Haas is pushing ahead with his plans to enter F1 in 2015: Despite Bernie Ecclestone's recent warning, Gene Haas is pushing ahead with his plans to enter F1 in 2015. After Haas, a NASCAR team co-owner, responded to the FIA's invitation to fill the vacant team slot, Ecclestone said publicly he doubts the Californian is prepared to spend what it takes to compete in F1. "He doesn't think we will get the license," Haas responded, "so my chances probably aren't that great of a shot." Nevertheless, Italy's specialist Autosprint reports that Haas is pushing ahead. Correspondent Alberto Antonini said Haas is preparing to meet the FIA's next application deadline of Feb. 10, including demonstrating its ability and willingness to compete with an adequate budget. Autosprint also said Haas, whose project involves the former F1 personality Gunther Steiner, is pushing ahead with plans to field a Dallara chassis in 2015, mated to Ferrari's V6 and energy-recovery 'power unit.' "We look forward to future developments," Antonini said.(FoxSports)(2-7-2014)
Kurt Busch still considering Indy 500 run UPDATE: Sprint Cup driver #41-Kurt Busch said he expects to have "a pretty good indication" by the end of January if he will make what he expects is his last attempt to enter the Indianapolis 500. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion completed IndyCar's rookie orientation program for the race last season in a car prepared by Andretti Autosport and said he has a standing offer from that team -- plus another -- to enter the May 25 spectacle. Doing so would make the Stewart-Haas Racing driver the first since Robby Gordon in 2004 to contest both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's Memorial Day weekend offering, on the same day. Busch said he has a "couple of strong leads for advertising partners" but is concerned over a lack of testing time and that the Indianapolis 500 is the first oval event on the 2014 IndyCar schedule. His age, he said, might make this his last shot. "Testing, we still would probably need to go to Fontana [Calif.], or we're just going to have to bite the bullet and show up at Indy and let 'er rip," he said. "But I turn 36 this summer and to me that's like an artificial drawing-a-line in the sand of 'I'm getting too old.' I can't teach myself new tricks. You can show up at Indy as a 20-year-old and go and do that. So I'm thinking this is probably the cutoff year."(ESPN)(1-19-2014)
UPDATE: Kurt Busch says there is a "70 percent'' chance he'll compete in the Indianapolis 500 this year. Busch said Monday during the opening day of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour that progress has been made to make him the first NASCAR driver to to run in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day since Robby Gordon last did a decade ago. Busch said that Stewart-Haas Racing co-owners Gene Haas and Tony Stewart have given their approval to his attempt. "It's actually grabbed better traction the last couple of weeks, it's gotten me more excited,'' Busch said. "The teams that are showing interest, the sponsors and the opportunity is there. I think we've even rounded up some partners that will make transportation better. I don't know when we'll have a decision but we now have to understand how NASCAR's qualifying procedures will work and the time I cannot be out of the Cup car to go to do Indianapolis stuff. We have to make sure we balance that.'' Busch said he's had interest from Andretti Autosport, the team owned by Michael Andretti, and another team he declined to name.(Motor Racing Network)(1-28-2014)
Haas interested in Formula 1 team UPDATES: NASCAR Sprint Cup car owner Gene Haas has applied to own a Formula 1 team, Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed Thursday. A report on the German website auto motor und sport reported that Haas is one of three new applicants to field a Formula 1 team as soon as 2015. "We have responded to the FIA's 'call for expression of interest' regarding a Formula One entry on behalf of Haas Racing Development,'' co-owner Gene Haas said in a statement. "We respect the FIA's evaluation process and will share more details in the coming weeks." Haas is founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. The FIA issued its "call for expression of interest'' in November. It's a new selection process to identify a new team to compete in Formula 1 at the start of the 2015 or '16 season. Applicants had to file paperwork and submit an administrative fee of $5,000. Responses were due Jan. 3. The German website reported that Haas' plans are to design a car in-house but to have it initially designed by Dallara. Ferrari would be the engine partner. Former Red Bull team manager Guenther Steiner would oversee the team.(Motor Racing Network)(1-16-2014)
UPDATE: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone does not think multi-millionaire NASCAR team owner Gene Haas can afford to enter Formula One in 2015. A published report by the Sporting News on Jan. 16 estimated that Haas's net worth was $740 million in 2011. The business partner in NASCAR's Stewart-Haas racing operation announced recently that he has responded to the FIA's 'call for expressions of interest' in filling the vacant slot in pit lane. In addition to his NASCAR operation, Haas heads one of the best wind tunnels in the world, and according to the German media outlet Auto Motor und Sport, he would start in F1 with a healthy three-digit million budget. But F1 chief executive Ecclestone told Racer he thinks it "most unlikely" Haas will enter F1, because of the sport's huge costs. "They (Haas) have been talking about it for three years," F1 business journalist Caroline Reid quoted Ecclestone as saying. "Somebody can have $10 billion in the bank, but it doesn't mean they are going to spend it."(Autoweek)(1-25-2014)
UPDATE: He was speaking at NASCAR's annual Sprint Cup media tour, but most of the questions directed toward Gene Haas involved Formula One. On Monday, Haas repeated his desire to form America's first F1 entrant since Penske Racing competed in the world's premier form of motorsports from a base in England from 1974 to 1978. He is determined to field a start-up team out of the Charlotte area, most likely from a new facility that would be built on land he owns near Kannapolis, N.C. "We've looked at buying a team, but there are problems associated with that," Haas told ESPN.com. "First of all, it's tremendously expensive, with a lot of existing personnel you're responsible for. Some of them have a lot of debt you would have to pay off. So they all have their issues. "Starting our own team has its problems too, but the good thing is that it would be an American team," he added. "That really was the No. 1 fundamental priority -- to have an American team competing in a European series." Haas acknowledged that one problem he needs to overcome is the stigma left by USF1, an attempt at starting an American F1 team in 2009 that was granted entry to the 2010 F1 season but never came close to getting off the ground. NASCAR star Tony Stewart, the co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, voiced his support for his partner's efforts to break into F1 -- though he quickly clarified that he is not part of the proposed team. Haas said the next deadline for the application process is Feb. 10, and he expects to learn by the end of March whether he will be able to move ahead with his plans for an American Formula One team. "We have a shot," he said. "I don't think it's a great shot; it could go either way. Bernie is always encouraging, but I think he's a little skeptical about whether we could really do it. He's seen teams make these applications that fail, and I don't think he wants to go through that again."(ESPN)(1-28-2014)
Kurt Busch still considering Indy 500 run: Sprint Cup driver #41-Kurt Busch said he expects to have "a pretty good indication" by the end of January if he will make what he expects is his last attempt to enter the Indianapolis 500. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion completed IndyCar's rookie orientation program for the race last season in a car prepared by Andretti Autosport and said he has a standing offer from that team -- plus another -- to enter the May 25 spectacle. Doing so would make the Stewart-Haas Racing driver the first since Robby Gordon in 2004 to contest both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR's Memorial Day weekend offering, on the same day. Busch said he has a "couple of strong leads for advertising partners" but is concerned over a lack of testing time and that the Indianapolis 500 is the first oval event on the 2014 IndyCar schedule. His age, he said, might make this his last shot. "Testing, we still would probably need to go to Fontana [Calif.], or we're just going to have to bite the bullet and show up at Indy and let 'er rip," he said. "But I turn 36 this summer and to me that's like an artificial drawing-a-line in the sand of 'I'm getting too old.' I can't teach myself new tricks. You can show up at Indy as a 20-year-old and go and do that. So I'm thinking this is probably the cutoff year."(ESPN)(1-19-2014)
Mobil 1 renews with Stewart-Haas UPDATE: #14-Tony Stewart says ExxonMobil has renewed its multiyear sponsorship of both the three-time NASCAR champion and Stewart-Haas Racing. Stewart made the announcement that Mobil 1 will continue its relationship with him and his team while hosting the year-end edition of "Tony Stewart Live" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Mobil 1 will be the primary sponsor on Stewart's Chevrolet for 11 races.(Associated Press/ESPN)(12-4-2013)
UPDATE: ExxonMobil has strengthened its ongoing commitment to NASCAR by renewing its multi-year sponsorship with three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing. Mobil 1 will adorn the hood of Stewart's #14 Chevy for 11 races in 2014, while taking a high-profile associate role in the remaining races. Additional details of the Mobil 1 and Stewart-Haas Racing deal:
" Mobil 1 will serve as the co-primary sponsor of the #14 Chevrolet SS with Bass Pro Shops.
" Mobil 1 will also be an associate sponsor of Kurt Busch's #41 Haas Automation Chevy and Kevin Harvick's #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's Chevy.
" ExxonMobil will provide Mobil 1 lubricant technology and engineering support to Stewart-Haas Racing, including the #10 GoDaddy Chevy.
Mobil 1 has been the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR since 2003 and is used by more than 50 percent of the teams in NASCAR's top-three series.(ExxonMobil)(12-4-2013)
Allgaier and Addington to team up in 2014? UPDATE hearing the Justin Allgaier will move up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to run full time in the #51 Chevy owned by Harry Scott and run for 2014 Rookie of the Year. Been told that Steve Addington will move from the #14 Stewart Haas Racing team and be Allgaier's crew chief. Current #1 crew chief, Kevin Manion will likely move from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing to be the Competition Director at Turner Scott Motorsports.(11-11-2013)
UPDATE: Chad Johnston has signed on as the new crew chief for Tony Stewart and the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing team. He'll begin his new position in December. "It's a great opportunity for me to be put with someone like Tony Stewart who is a proven winner, a proven champion," Johnston said. "Obviously, the expectations are high so I'm looking forward to prove what I can do and prove that I deserve this position." The second-generation racer most recently worked for Michael Waltrip Racing as Martin Truex Jr.'s crew chief. Johnston replaces Steve Addington on the #14 Chevy; Addington had been the crew chief for the past two seasons. Addington is expected to go to Phoenix Racing as crew chief in 2014. Johnston joins fellow SHR newcomer Rodney Childers, who worked with Johnston at MWR and Evernham prior to accepting the crew chief position on the #4 Chevy with Kevin Harvick.(FoxSports)(11-19-2013)
UPDATE 2: Stewart-Haas Racing has reorganized its competition department as the championship-winning race team expands to field four cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2014. The changes are as follows:
" Greg Zipadelli has been named vice president of competition where he will manage all four Sprint Cup teams, with each crew chief reporting to him.
" Matt Borland has been named vice president of engineering. In this role, Borland will oversee all of the team's technical initiatives and various research and development projects. He will also transition from being an active crew chief to that of a mentor, specifically in regard to the crew chief position on the #41 Haas Automation team of driver Kurt Busch.
" Daniel Knost has been promoted from race engineer on the #39 team to crew chief for the #41 Haas Automation team with Busch. Knost joined SHR in 2008 when it was Haas-CNC Racing after earning master of science and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Knost graduated from North Carolina State University in Raleigh with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 2001.
" Chad Johnston has been named crew chief for the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 team of three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. Johnston comes to SHR from Michael Waltrip Racing where since June 2011 he was the crew chief for the #56 team and driver Martin Truex Jr. Johnston joined MWR in 2010 as a race engineer. Johnston replaces Steve Addington, who has left SHR to pursue other opportunities.
" Rodney Childers will be the crew chief for the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John's team of driver Kevin Harvick. Childers joined SHR in late October from MWR, where since 2009 he was a crew chief, first with the #00 team of driver David Reutimann (2009-2011) and later with the #55 team of drivers Brian Vickers, Mark Martin and Waltrip (2012-2013).
" Tony Gibson remains as crew chief for the No. 10 GoDaddy team of Patrick.(SHR)(11-19-2013)
Special Veteran's Day scheme for Newman at Phoenix: In honor of Veteran's Day, Ryan Newman's #39 Quicken Loans Chevy for Phoenix will feature photographs of over 120 U.S. military veterans. The photos were compiled by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (Quicken Loans Racing Facebook). See an image of the car on the #39 Team Schemes page.(11-4-2013)
Stewart ready for physical therapy soon: #14-Tony Stewart's infection has responded to treatment, and he should be cleared within two weeks for physical therapy, said Greg Zipadelli, competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing. Stewart had a third surgery on his right leg Oct. 7 for an infection. He noted in an online video chat this week on NASCAR.com he was looking forward to a doctor's visit to see how the leg was responding. Zipadelli said Friday at Talladega Superspeedway that "everything looked as good as it possibly could" with Stewart's leg.
Stewart's health was only part of the good news this week at Stewart-Haas Racing. Crew chief Rodney Childers tweeted Friday that he can begin work at the shop next week. Childers will be Kevin Harvick's crew chief next season. Zipadelli said that Michael Waltrip Racing released Childers from his contract, allowing Childers to begin working at Stewart-Haas Racing before the end of the season. Zipadelli said having Childers in the shop will be beneficial.(Motor Racing Network)(10-20-2013)
Hunt Brothers Pizza Joins Stewart-Haas Racing as associate sponsor: Hunt Brothers Pizza, the nation's largest brand of made-to-order pizza in the convenience store industry, will serve as an associate sponsor of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick and the #4 team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) beginning in 2014. Hunt Brothers Pizza became involved in NASCAR as a team partner in 2008, where the Nashville, Tenn.-based company sponsored Haas CNC Racing, the predecessor of SHR. Hunt Brothers Pizza aligned with Harvick in 2009, and it's a partnership that will continue in 2014 with Harvick's move to SHR. "We're very proud to enter our seventh year in NASCAR with Kevin Harvick and Stewart-Haas Racing," said Keith Solsvig, vice president of marketing, Hunt Brothers Pizza. "Kevin and his wife DeLana have been excellent brand ambassadors, so much so that they have their very own Hunt Brothers Pizza oven in their kitchen. It's that kind of authenticity that made continuing our partnership with Kevin Harvick a very easy decision." Hunt Brothers Pizza is family owned and operated with 50 years of experience in offering all of the food products, marketing programs, equipment and training for convenience stores to operate their own turnkey pizza program.(SHR)
AND Kevin Harvick has signed with JR Motorsports and will compete in a minimum of 12 Nationwide Series races in 2014. Hunt Brothers Pizza will be the primary sponsor on Harvick's Chevy for four races.(JRM)(10-14-2013)
Gene Haas Foundation Gifts $1 Million to SME-Education Foundation: When Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) drivers #10-Danica Patrick and #39-Ryan Newman wheel their Chevrolets onto the track for the Sept. 29 AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover, their racecars will spotlight the Gene Haas Foundation and its most recent grant recipient: the Society of Manufacturing Engineers - Education Foundation (SME-Education Foundation). The Gene Haas Foundation, formed in 1999 by SHR co-owner Gene Haas, recently gifted $1 million to the SME-Education Foundation with the money designated for scholarships in manufacturing training and education. The scholarships will benefit as many as 1,000 students entering machinist training programs in the United States and abroad. Providing scholarship funds to community colleges and vocational schools for students entering technical training programs, especially machinist-based certificate and degree programs, is of particular interest to the Gene Haas Foundation. Haas is the founder of Oxnard, Calif.-based Haas Automation, the largest and most modern machine tool builder in the western world. Patrick's #10 GoDaddy Chevy will carry the Gene Haas Foundation and SME-Education Foundation logos on its lower rear quarter panels, while Newman's #39 State Water Heaters Chevy will feature SME-Education Foundation logos on its C-post. Students interested in applying for a scholarship can do so by visiting www.smeef.org.(SHR)(9-26-2013)
Quicken Loans heads to RCR in 2014: Detroit-based Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online home lender and country's third largest mortgage originator, announced it will join Richard Childress Racing (RCR) for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and serve as the primary sponsor of Ryan Newman's #31 Chevrolet SS for 12 races and associate sponsor for all remaining races. The move continues a strong partnership between Quicken Loans and Newman, whom they first sponsored in 2012. "Ryan has shown that he is not only an incredible race car driver, but also someone with great integrity and class," said Jay Farner, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Quicken Loans. "The way Ryan has handled some very tough situations this year, while also continuing to ignore the noise and perform at a high-level, made our decision to stick with him a no-brainer. He embodies what we stand for each and every day."
"Quicken Loans has been an integral member of my team and I am very excited to have them join me at Richard Childress Racing, as we continue to build on what has been a fantastic partnership," Newman said. "My relationship with Quicken Loans goes beyond driving their car. I've gotten to know them and their business, becoming friends with them in the process. As they know, I will do my very best to perform on and off the track next year and well beyond."
Since joining the sport, Quicken Loans has become active in both NASCAR and IndyCar racing. In addition to its sponsorship of Newman, the company is also title sponsor of the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway and an associate sponsor of Team Penske IndyCar drivers Helio Castroneves and Will Power. "It's great to have a partner like Quicken Loans join the family of RCR partners beginning in 2014 as we've watched them establish a strong program in our sport over the past two years," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "They run an exceptional mortgage business with a constant eye on technology and service, much like our race organization. In addition to the relationship they've built with Ryan, it's important for them to also build strong business relationships with RCR and our partners."
Quicken Loans will remain as the primary sponsor of Newman's #39 Chevrolet fielded by Stewart-Haas Racing for the remainder of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season. Newman currently sits ninth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
"We are looking forward to an exciting end of the 2013 season, and Ryan's run for the Sprint Cup championship. We'd also like to thank our partners at Stewart-Haas Racing. They've been instrumental in our success in the sport, and we thank them for sharing their expertise with us," Farner added.(RCR)(9-25-2013)
New sponsor debuts for Newman at Dover: State Water Heaters, in June announced it would sponsor the #39 Chevy of Ryan Newman at Martinsville in October will also sponsor the #39 Chevy in the AAA 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway in Sept. Newman heads to Dover looking not only for his second win of the season, but also to improve on his ninth-place position in the Chase standings. See images of the car/scheme on the #39 Team Scheme page.(9-25-2013)
Kurt Busch gets a car number for 2014: A coincidence? A subliminal message? Or perhaps just a number that was available? Whatever the case, sources confirmed to The Charlotte Observer on Monday night that Kurt Busch will drive the #41 Chevy next season, which will be his first with Stewart-Haas Racing. Busch's number turns out to be the opposite of that of team co-owner Tony Stewart, who drives the #14. Also driving for SHR next season: Kevin Harvick in the #4 and Danica Patrick in the #10.(Charlotte Observer)(9-24-2013)
Jimmy John's joins Stewart-Haas in 2014: Jimmy John's, maker of gourmet sandwiches with freaky fast delivery since 1983, will joinStewart-Haas Racing (SHR) beginning in 2014 [a three year deal] as a primary sponsor of driver Kevin Harvick and the #4 Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Jimmy John's will be the primary sponsor of Harvick and the #4 team for 12 races, highlighted by the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For the remaining 26 races on the Sprint Cup schedule, Jimmy John's will serve as a major associate sponsor of the #4 Chevy. Jimmy John's will also be an associate sponsor of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet of SHR driver/owner Tony Stewart, who will join Harvick in representing Jimmy John's. "We are fortunate to partner with Kevin for many more years in a very meaningful way," said Jimmy John Liautaud, CEO and founder, Jimmy John's. "On and off the track, Kevin and (wife) DeLana Harvick are winners in all they do. And Tony's reputation as a fierce competitor speaks for itself. Game on."
From humble beginnings in Champaign, Ill., in 1983, Jimmy John's has grown to become a dominant entity in the quick-service restaurant industry. With more than 1,700 stores throughout the United States, Jimmy John's success is attributed to an innate desire to simply be the best. Their award-winning bread is baked fresh each day, and its meat and vegetables are sliced fresh daily. Its food contains no additives and no vegetable-based fillers. Augmenting the company's unmatched product is equally unmatched service, with every sandwich made fresh to order in less than 30 seconds.
"I've known Jimmy since 2009 and I've personally seen how driven he is and how his work ethic is embraced by Jimmy John's franchisees," said Harvick, winner of 21 Sprint Cup races, including the 2007 Daytona 500 and 2003 Brickyard 400. "He wants to be the best, period. And he'll out-work everyone to be the best. That's the same mindset we have in racing. I'm proud to continue this partnership with Jimmy John's at Stewart-Haas Racing."
"Jimmy's passion for quality products and service has made Jimmy John's what it is today," said Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup champion. "He's a savvy marketer who has seen the benefit of a NASCAR team sponsorship. We're pleased to partner with Jimmy John's because combining quality with quickness is what Stewart-Haas Racing is all about."(SHR)(9-24-2013)
Outback Steakhouse renews with Stewart-Haas Racing: Award-winning Outback Steakhouse, with more than 750 locations nationwide, will continue its partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time series champion Tony Stewart and Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. Outback Steakhouse will be the primary sponsor of SHR's #4 team and driver Kevin Harvick for two races each in 2014 and 2015, and when not serving as a primary sponsor, will be an associate sponsor with placement on the B-post of the #4 Chevy SS. Outback Steakhouse joins Budweiser as a primary sponsor of the #4 team. Whenever Harvick finishes among the top-10 in a Sprint Cup race, a free Bloomin' Onion will be offered to customers on the Monday following the race.(Stewart Haas Racing)(9-18-2013)
Gene Haas orderd to forfeit $1 million on home sale: Let this be a lesson to those in the market for a pair of South Florida oceanfront mansions. Instead of sending someone to bid $12.4 million of your fortune at a live auction, consider showing up to wave the paddle yourself. That mistake may have cost California businessman and NASCAR team owner Gene Haas more than $1 million. A Miami-Dade judge ruled this week that Haas reneged on his high-stakes winning bid for two Golden Beach homes in 2011 and must fork over his deposit plus interest. Haas sent a proxy to the auction, which took place in the living room of one of the two palaces up for bid. Brothers Robert and Steven Fox owned their estates at 229 and 401 Ocean Blvd. since 1990. When the retired cardiologists and their wives decided to downsize into neighboring Hollywood Beach condos a few miles north on A1A, they put their Golden Beach homes up for sale for about $24 million total. But after two years with no buyers, the brothers took a radical approach: They held an absolute auction on Nov. 10, 2011. About 15 bidders applied and were vetted, including Lake Worth developer Albert Wadsworth, who represented Haas. Haas, bidding through Wadsworth, didn't want just one of the houses - he wanted both. The auction ended with Haas' successful $12.4 million offer for the two luxury properties. But when it came time to sign the paperwork, Wadsworth backed out. Haas never bought the homes. The brothers sued Haas' company, Haas Automation, for breach of contract, demanding the $1 million deposit that Haas placed in escrow in advance of the auction. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Beth Bloom ruled in favor of the Foxes, and on Tuesday ordered Haas to turn over the deposit and about $87,000 in interest. Haas plans to appeal the decision, his attorney said.(Miami Herald)(9-13-2013)
NASCAR Penalizes MWR following Richmond, Truex out of Chase, Newman in: NASCAR has issued penalties to Michael Waltrip Racing following the sanctioning body's review of Saturday's race at Richmond International Raceway. MWR was found to have violated Section 12-4 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing). As a result, MWR's three teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (#15, #55, #56) have been penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver and 50 championship owner points, respectively.
These point penalties are assessed following the season's 26th regular season race and not after the seeding for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Therefore, the point total for the #56 car driven by Martin Truex Jr. is reduced to 691, putting him in 17th position and eliminating him from the second Wild Card berth for the Chase field. Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 car, now moves up into the Chase as the second Wild Card participant.
NASCAR has also fined the MWR organization $300,000 and indefinitely suspended Ty Norris, MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager and spotter for the #55 car, for violating Section 12-4. The three crew chiefs - Brian Pattie (#15), Scott Miller (#55) and Chad Johnston (#56) - have all been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
"Based upon our review of Saturday night's race at Richmond, it is our determination that the MWR organization attempted to manipulate the outcome of the race," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "As the sport's sanctioning body, it is our responsibility to ensure there is a fair and level playing field for all of our competitors and this action today reflects our commitment to that."(NASCAR)
AND Monday evening there was a NASCAR Press Conference with NASCAR President Mike Helton and NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton, see the full transcript of the press conference at NASCAR Richmond Penalty Transcript page.(9-9-2013)
Statements from SHR Regarding NASCAR Ruling: The following are statements from Stewart-Haas Racing regarding NASCAR's ruling to include Ryan Newman and the #39 team in the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. "Obviously, we're very pleased with NASCAR's decision to provide Ryan Newman's rightful place in this year's Chase. NASCAR was put in a very difficult position Saturday night at Richmond and we commend the sanctioning body for taking the time to do the necessary due diligence to ensure that the right call was made." - Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing
"I am proud that NASCAR took a stand with respect to what went on Saturday night at Richmond. I know it was a tough decision to make. With that being said, myself, Matt Borland (crew chief) and this entire #39 team are looking forward to competing for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship." - Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing.(SHR)(9-9-2013)
Newman still not over spinout: For #39-Ryan Newman, not even joining Richard Childress Racing after five years of intermittent discussions could ease the sting of "the toughest thing I've ever gone through in any kind of racing in my 30 years of driving." He meant being robbed, as a lot of evidence indicates, of a potential race win and a Chase berth by Clint Bowyer's highly suspicious spinout at Richmond Saturday night. Newman made that telling statement during Monday's announcement that he'll be joining RCR next season. Intentional or not, Bowyer's spin while Newman was leading with seven laps to go put Bowyer's Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. into the 12th and final Chase berth, leaving Newman to ride out his lame-duck season with Stewart-Haas Racing. "Right now it's tough to comment on it because I know it's being reviewed," Newman said, referring to NASCAR's ongoing investigation of the Bowyer incident. "But I do know that based on my opinion inside a race car, and watching [video of the incident] and listening [to recorded radio conversation between Bowyer and his crew] and understanding the communication that there was then, it was not entirely an accident."(full post at ESPN) and see the full press conference transcript here.(9-9-2013)
Newman named to drive the #31 CAT Chevy for RCR: Richard Childress Racing has signed Ryan Newman to drive the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starting in 2014. Newman, 35, is a 17-time NSCS race winner with 50 pole awards to his credit; and is the 2008 Daytona 500 and 2013 Brickyard 400 champion. "This is a great opportunity for our team," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "I am very proud to have Ryan in our #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet starting next year. We have high expectations for this #31 team. Ryan has proven himself to be a great driver and I'm looking forward to winning races with him. Luke Lambert will be his crew chief and the team is staying together next year. That team is building momentum to not only finish out this year strong, but to get even better in 2014. Ryan will be a great fit with CAT and RCR in many ways. He's an outdoorsman, a conservationist and is very familiar with CAT equipment as an owner of some of their products."
A native of South Bend, Ind., Newman earned an engineering degree from Purdue University in 2001. "I'm very pleased Richard and I were able to put this deal together for me to drive RCR's #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet," Newman said. "About five years ago, Richard and I talked about me joining RCR before I signed with my current team, but things just didn't work out. However, we were able to make it happen this time and I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my career. RCR has a long history of winning races and championships, and I want to add to that tradition. I am very excited to work with Caterpillar. They are a world-class company and I look forward to learning more about them. Since I'm already a customer of theirs, I can honestly say they make incredible equipment. One important thing I sincerely want everyone to know is how much I respect and admire Jeff Burton as a person and driver. He handled his recent announcement and situation with respect, class and dignity. We're going to finish this season strong with the #39 team and give it our all to win races. Then, I'll concentrate on working with Luke Lambert and the other members of RCR as we get ready for 2014." Announcements on sponsors in addition to Caterpillar will be made at a later date.
"We are excited to have Ryan Newman driving the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS in 2014," said Greg Towles, NASCAR Program Director for Caterpillar. "Ryan's racing accomplishments are well known and, when coupled with his knowledge of machinery and passion for the outdoors, he aligns well with Caterpillar customers, dealers and employees."(RCR)(9-9-2013)
Newman doesn't think he was lied to; knows his 2014 plans: from a Wild Card Contenders Press Conference at Richmond on Thursday nights, one of the interviews was with #39-Ryan Newman, discussing Tony Stewart and 2014 plans:
Q.) Did you watch Tuesday with Tony? (press conference Tony Stewart held)
RYAN NEWMAN: No.
Q.) Fans have been hard on him. He's been bothered by it, people feeling like he lied to you or deceived you. Do you feel that?
NEWMAN: I don't think Tony lied to me. I don't think anybody lied to me. I don't have any of that feeling or emotion. I don't think any of that matters because the plans they made are for 2014 and I'm not part of that. I knew that going in. I don't think there were any hidden agendas on Tony's behalf. I had a good relationship with him and been up front with him. My communication has been mostly with him in my whole relationship at Stewart-Haas Racing. No surprise.
Q.) No hard feelings?
NEWMAN: No hard feelings. I know a lot of things became tough for Tony once he was injured. That all kind of happened at the same time. Kind of like what we do in our business, you have to get through the tough times.
Q.) This week did you do a lot of things not making your car go fast?
NEWMAN: I spent some time this week working on next year, which I can't really talk anything about. I also spent a lot of time around my farm. It was the first week we've had no rain. I was actually able to do some of the things I wanted to get done. To me that helps balance out some of the mental sanity of dealing with next year, dealing with this year. I think everybody has to have that in some shape or form.
Q.) You said you're not ready to say anything about next year.
NEWMAN: I'm ready to say it (laughter).
Q.) Just not allowed?
NEWMAN: It's not that I'm not allowed. It's just not the right time.
Q.) When do you think you can say something about next year?
NEWMAN: Shortly (laughter).
Stewart expects to return fully healed, OK with Busch as teammate; full transcript: Tony Stewart asserted Tuesday at the Stewart-Haas race shop that his broken bones would mend in time for the 2014 Daytona 500 and that the organization he co-owns with Gene Haas was never fractured in the first place. "They're looking at the beginning of February, which isn't a bad deal," said Stewart, who broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg during a Sprint Car accident Aug. 5 in Iowa. "I guess if you had to have this injury happen -- it could have happened a month later, and it would have gotten us in a really big bind for next year." Next year's Daytona 500 is scheduled for Feb. 23, and Stewart expects to be in the field, barring unexpected complications with his recovery. Stewart arrived at the dais for Tuesday's press conference in a wheelchair and maneuvered into a seat behind a podium that featured the Twitter hashtag "#SmokeWillRise," a nod to his widely known nickname. As expected, the subject of Haas' unilateral hiring of Kurt Busch was a hot-button topic, but Stewart was quick to dispel talk of a rift or a power struggle within his organization. For the first time reporters heard Stewart's graphic description of the wreck that has caused the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion to miss the final 14 races of the season as he recuperates. Stewart described a dust cloud at Southern Iowa Speedway, somewhat like the cloud of smoke in the movie "Days of Thunder," that obscured his view of the car in his path. Stewart wore shorts to the press conference, with his knee exposed, revealing a long scar held intact by a series of butterfly bandages. On his foot was a large insulated boot, protecting the lower leg in which a titanium rod was inserted during surgery to reinforce the tibia. The accident also reinforced Stewart's resolve to help make Sprint Car racing safer, but it won't stop him from participating in the sport.(NASCAR Wire Service), see full transcript on my Tony Stewart press conference transcript page.(9-3-2013)
Burton to Swan Racing? UPDATE Baldwin? Wendy Venturini reported at the end of Fox Sports' Race Day that the latest rumor in the garage has Ryan Newman on his way to Richard Childress Racing, but only as the third team, with #31-Jeff Burton moving to a "satellite team" for Childress. The #30 Swan Racing team was mention as the team for Burton, possibly with Caterpillar sponsorship. She also stated that David Stremme, current driver of the Swan Racing #30, is a part owner of that team, possibly complicating the deal.(9-1-2013)
UPDATE: hearing that besides Swan Racing rumor, Jeff Burton could wind up driving a car owned by Tommy Baldwin (#7, #36) with chassis and engines from RCR.(9-3-2013)
Newman talks about 2014; Kurt Busch joining SHR: #39-Ryan Newman said he found out about Stewart-Haas Racing's expansion to four teams like most people -- first rumors and non-sourced reports on the Internet that were ultimately confirmed by Tuesday's formal announcement. But Newman, who was informed last month his contract won't be renewed by SHR for 2014, said Thursday he was mostly amused at this week's turn of events, particularly at the way it was handled with the team internally. "It was humorous,'' Newman told NASCAR.com about the announcement. "To me it was more funny, than any kind of frustration from my end. In the end, it won't affect me. Obviously, it frees up a situation for 2014 but in the end it doesn't affect me.'' Newman said he wasn't privy to any discussion about the expansion beforehand. "If they didn't tell (Tony) Stewart why would they tell me,'' he joked. With Busch's impending move from the Furniture Row Racing's #78 Chevy to SHR and media reports pointing to Kyle Larson being named to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's #42 Chevy on Friday, the 2014 driver lineups are taking shape. Newman said things are also coming together for his ride in 2014 and expects to announce his plans soon. "I don't know the when, how or what or where or anything else, but I feel confident (the announcement will take in next few weeks),'' he said.(NASCAR.com)(8-30-2013)
Aspen Dental returns to Newman's #39: This weekend's race will mark the second of the 2013 season that Aspen Dental will serve as primary sponsor for #39-Ryan Newman. The network of full-service dental practices providing quality, affordable dental care in 25 states adorned Newman's #39 Chevy at the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. This weekend, the car will feature the names of the dentists who own and operate Aspen Dental practices across the country in celebration of their commitment to their patients and the communities they serve. Also along for the ride this weekend is Judy Berryhill, a patient of the Aspen Dental office in Clarksville, Tenn. Continuing a program that started in 2012, Aspen Dental selects a patient to have his or her photo featured on the #39 Chevy based on comments provided regarding his or her dental treatment on the Aspen Dental Facebook page.(Stewart Haas Racing), see an image of the car on the #39 team paint schemes page.(8-29-2013)
Kurt Busch still interested in Indy 500: Greg Zipadelli, crew chief both times Tony Stewart ran the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, is no fan of the grueling doubleheader. It's a position he made clear last October to Danica Patrick as she was trying to put together an Indy 500 deal that would interfere with her first full season of Sprint Cup racing. Now Zipadelli has a new problem on his hands: Kurt Busch, the newest addition at Stewart-Haas Racing, said he's still trying to put together a deal to run next year's Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Autosport. "It's something that's still on the table," Busch said Tuesday when he was introduced at SHR. "There's certain timelines that I've agreed to with Michael Andretti if we're still going to do the deal. We're working on things." Busch is also trying to put something together to run the IndyCar season finale at Fontana, and said Stewart, his new boss at SHR, wants to go to the race with him if he does. It was enough to make Zipadelli, the competition director at SHR, wince several times.(Associated Press)(8-29-2013)
Gene Haas responsible for deal with Kurt Busch: Gene Haas wanted to build a dream team, with an opportunity to see his name in Victory Lane. He wasn't going to let Tony Stewart stand in his way of making that happen. Haas admitted Tuesday he went rogue in courting Kurt Busch for a non-existent fourth team at Stewart-Haas Racing while Stewart was incapacitated with a broken leg earlier this month. When he finally brought his business partner up to speed on his expansion plans, Stewart balked. But Haas forged ahead anyway with a multi-year offer to Busch, who was introduced Tuesday as the newest driver at SHR, where officials are now scrambling to make room at an organization that will double from two cars in 2012 to four next season. "I don't think Tony was exactly enthralled with what I did," Haas said. "But I think he saw it my way, you know? Either that or get out of the building." Haas was laughing during two different recollections Tuesday of how he sidestepped Stewart during the lightning-fast courtship of Busch, which apparently began at a General Motors dinner in Indianapolis before the Brickyard in late July and ended last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway with Busch accepting Haas' offer. "Tony was very much in favor of the fourth team," [SHR competition director Greg] Zipadelli said. "What Tony was against was us trying to get it done for next year, just so you don't read anything more into it. Tony was in the hospital. Tony didn't know the discussions that were going on. When we all met and talked about it and assured him we would do our best to make sure things didn't slip through the cracks, it took him a couple days to process it.(Associated Press / ESPN)(8-28-2013)
Haas would sponsor Kurt Busch UPDATE Done Deal: Kurt Busch will be sponsored by Haas Automation if he signs with Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2014 season. Gene Haas, who co-owns SHR with Tony Stewart, told ESPN.com on Saturday he wants the 2004 Sprint Cup champion in one of his cars because he wants to take his non-racing company's name to Victory Lane. "I'd be happy to have a driver like that on our team," Haas said before the Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. "You'd win a lot of races. I'd really be happy for my company Haas to be in the winner's circle. I've never been there. I want to be there with that name. I know Kurt has had a lot of sponsorship issues, but to me, I just want to win. I'm not too much worried about that stuff." Haas and the Furniture Row Racing driver began talking about the possibility of him coming to SHR last month during a General Motors dinner in Indianapolis. Not long after that, SHR offered Busch a contract to expand the organization to four teams with Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick. Busch has offers from several other teams, including one from Furniture Row that was given to his attorneys on Friday. Busch has yet to look over the FRR deal and likely won't until Monday. Haas said nothing has been signed as far as he knows, but he is optimistic Busch will come to SHR.(ESPN)(8-25-2013)
UPDATE: Kurt Busch has signed a multiyear contract to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing beginning with the 2014 season, Busch told ESPN on Monday morning. "I'm going to Stewart-Haas," Busch said. "I've signed my deal." The SHR organization has said it will hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon "to announce the future expansion of Stewart-Haas Racing." Busch received the offer to drive for Stewart-Haas a week ago and received a subsequent offer from his current team, Furniture Row Racing, last week. He will be the fourth driver in the SHR stable, joining team owner #14-Tony Stewart, #4-Kevin Harvick and #10-Danica Patrick. Busch said Monday that he appreciates greatly the opportunity afforded him at FRR. Asked whether he can maintain focus and help get the #78 team into the Chase, he said, "Come Wednesday, that's all I'm going to think about."(ESPN)
AND An official announcement with team co-owner Gene Haas - the man behind the decision - is set for 2:00 pm/et Tuesday at SHR headquarters in Kannapolis, NC. Sources say SHR is attempting to obtain the #00 for Busch to use beginning next season in the Sprint Cup Series.(Charlotte Observer)(8-26-2013)
UPDATE 2: Stewart-Haas Racing will expand to four cars in 2014. Kurt Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion and owner of 24 Sprint Cup victories, will drive the Haas Automation Chevy fulltime alongside Stewart in the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy, Danica Patrick in the #10 GoDaddy Chevy and Kevin Harvick in the #4 Budweiser Chevy beginning in 2014. It's a lineup that features four Sprint Cup championships, 36 poles and 93 wins.
"Stewart-Haas Racing has proven itself to be a very competitive race team. Every team wants to win, but the preparation and resources Gene Haas and Tony Stewart and everyone at SHR put into their racecars each and every week is incredible," Busch said. "This is the kind of situation every driver wants to be in, and I'm grateful to Gene Haas and Haas Automation for providing me this opportunity. I didn't think anyone wanted to win as much as me until I met Gene Haas."
"Kurt Busch is a premier talent, one who gives you the opportunity to win races every week and contend for a championship every year," Haas said. "When he became available, we seized the opportunity to make him a part of Stewart-Haas Racing. This is an organization built on winning, and Haas Automation is a company built on performance. Kurt embodies each of those qualities, and it's why we're investing in his abilities."
"I've had a tremendous amount of respect for Kurt's talent and determination for as long as he's been racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Kurt is extremely knowledgeable, and his input will make all of Stewart-Haas Racing better," said Stewart, still recovering from a broken right tibia and fibula suffered in a sprint car crash Aug. 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa. "When Gene Haas laid out his plans for what he wanted to do in regard to this race team's future, which included bringing Kurt on board in a fourth car, it was impressive. You can't stand still in this business. You have to constantly improve. Gene's investment in this race team ensures the success of Stewart-Haas Racing for many years to come."
Work has already begun on the physical expansion of SHR. Land adjacent to the team's existing 140,000-square foot facility is being cleared for construction of a building that will house research and development, a state-of-the-art pit fitness and training center, and multipurpose space for SHR partners.(Stewart Haas Racing)(8-27-2013)
SHR's Zipadelli talks about expansion, Busch and Childers: Greg Zipadelli, Competition Director for Stewart-Haas Racing, met with the media at Bristol along with Mark Martin, who is subbing for Tony Stewart the rest of the season, part of the questions dealt with 2014 plans for SHR:
Q) IT SEEMS LIKE THERE IS A LOT GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES AT STEWART-HAAS AND YOU GUYS ARE SEEMINGLY TAKING A PRETTY AGGRESSIVE STANCE AND POSITION ON BUILDING THINGS FOR THE FUTURE. WHAT IS GOING ON, AT STEWART-HAAS? IT SEEMS LIKE YOU GUYS ARE BUILDING AND BEING VERY AGGRESSIVE AND WANT TO BECOME A VERY LARGER PLAYER AMONGST THE HEAVY WEIGHTS?
GREG ZIPADELLI: "I think that is said very well is we are looking to expand. We are looking to do whatever we can to make Stewart-Haas a better place to race, give our drivers better resources. Our crew chiefs and things our goal is to give our teams better product to race every week going into Daytona. With four good drivers next year I think that it gives us that opportunity. Our owners are aggressive. It's kind of exciting it's fun in a time where everybody is kind of going the other way we've got owner that are committed to stepping up and hopefully making Stewart-Haas a bigger and better place in the future."
Q) CAN YOU BE A LITTLE MORE SPECIFIC WHERE DO THINGS STAND WITH KURT (BUSCH) AND IS RODNEY (CHILDERS) GOING TO BE THE CREW CHIEF FOR KEVIN HARVICK NEXT YEAR?
GREG ZIPADELLI: "We love Rodney (Childers) we think a lot of him he has been a friend of mine for a while. We have talked to many people. He is on our radar, but we have no commitments, nothing signed. I talked to people yesterday about the opportunity so we would love to make him part of Stewart-Haas, but we are not there yet. As far as Kurt's deal that is moving forward. We spent some time this week talking about buildings and expanding. As far as that part of it goes we are pretty much committed."
GREG ZIPADELLI: "We are working on that and if we can get it all worked out we are going to head that way."
Q) WHAT ESSENTIALLY TRANSPIRED IN THE MONTHS SINCE THE ANNOUNCEMENT IN NEW HAMPSHIRE THAT RYAN (NEWMAN) WOULDN'T BE COMING BACK AND TONY'S STATEMENT AT THE TIME THAT HE DIDN'T THINK YOU WERE READY FOR FOUR CARS? HAS THERE BEEN A QUANTUM CHANGE IN PHILOSOPHY SINCE THEN THAT'S MAYBE ALLOWED YOU TO GO FORWARD WITH THAT FOURTH CAR AS MUCH AS YOU CAN GET INTO THAT WHAT HAS CHANGED?
GREG ZIPADELLI: "I mean obviously something has changed. Gene Haas is obviously a partner and started this many years ago. He just came the other day, he is always liked Kurt (Busch). We had talked about Kurt last year of putting him in the #39 things just didn't work out. It's really nothing that Ryan (Newman) did wrong I mean he's done a great job, he's a good guy, heck of a driver. This just kind of got sprung on us 14 days ago or less. It's kind of all come down. Gene just showed some interest and having the ability to put something together. Without getting into a ton more details that is really all it is. It's something we are working on. I don't know that it will all come together. It's going to take an awful lot. It is kind of late. We didn't think that we would have all the pieces to get put together at Loudon and felt like it was the best thing for Ryan to give him a fair shot at securing something for himself. I mean which is the most important thing."(Team Chevy)(8-23-2013)
Who will be Harvick's crew chief at Stewart-Haas? UPDATE: Sources say that Budweiser signed off with [Stewart-Haas Racing] in the last month - after opting not to introduce a fourth different driver in seven seasons. Although [Stewart-Haas Racing] and Kevin Harvick declined to name a crew chief for the #4 team, [Michael Waltrip Racing's #55] Rodney Childers has been mentioned as the lead candidate.(Fox Sports)(7-14-2013) UPDATE: (#55 crew chief) Rodney Childers is leaving Michael Waltrip Racing and is expected to be named the crew chief for Kevin Harvick at Stewart-Haas Racing (in the #4 Chevy) next season. MWR confirmed Friday morning that Childers is leaving after the season. Childers is expected to be named the crew chief for Harvick, who has 21 career victories in a 13-year career at Richard Childress Racing but will leave that organization at the end of the year for SHR. "Stewart-Haas Racing has not signed any new crew chiefs for 2014, but the team thinks very highly of Rodney Childers and he is on a short list of candidates," SHR spokesman Mike Arning said in an email.(Sporting News)(8-23-2013)
Kurt Busch headed to Stewart-Haas? UPDATE 2 Zipadelli comments Stewart Haas Racing has submitted a formal offer to #78-Kurt Busch to drive a fourth Sprint Cup entry beginning in 2014, multiple NASCAR sources have confirmed to ESPN.com. The proposed deal would team Busch with team owner Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick in the SHR stable. Asked for confirmation Sunday, SHR spokesman Mike Arning submitted the following statement via email: "Stewart-Haas Racing constantly strives to improve itself, and expansion is something that is often discussed. If the right opportunity presents itself, it's something the team will certainly consider." Busch was unavailable for comment Sunday night. Sources said Haas/CNC would sponsor Busch's car, should he choose to sign with SHR. Busch has performed quite well this season in the #78 Chevy from Furniture Row Racing, but team sources say FRR has yet to offer him a contract extension.(ESPN)
AND Sources tell FOXSports.com that Kurt Busch has been made a formal, multiyear offer to join Stewart-Haas Racing next season. The offer was made before Stewart's sprint-car accident on Aug. 5. Neither Stewart, who is recovering from a broken leg sustained in that sprint-car accident, nor Gene Haas was at the track this weekend. SHR competition director Greg Zipadelli, meanwhile, laughed at the notion. "We still have to fill the 14," Zipadelli said. However, he did not dispute that SHR has room to expand at its Concord, N.C., campus.(FoxSports)
UPDATE: Responding to reports that he has a formal contract offer from Stewart Haas Racing to drive a fourth Sprint Cup entry for the organization in 2014, Busch told ESPN.com that he has multiple opportunities for next season. He did not address Stewart Haas Racing specifically though he did say nothing was signed as of Monday morning. "I've received offers from multiple teams," Busch said. "This isn't a decision I'm taking lightly. I'm looking at what teams have planned long term and want to be in a place where my opinion and input is valued. I like to be involved in the process like I have been here at Furniture Row. At the same time, I was hoping to not have this distraction while working with my guys to get us in the Chase."(ESPN)(8-19-2013)
UPDATE 2: Greg Zipadelli, Competition Director of Stewart-Haas Racing and Mark Martin, interim driver for the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, were guests on this week's NASCAR teleconference. The transcript in part:
Q.) Zippy, I just wanted to see if you had any comment on Lee Spencer's report that SHR had offered Kurt Busch a deal for next year beyond a possible expansion?
GREG ZIPADELLI: I mean, right now we're really focusing on Mark. Obviously there's options out there. We're looking at everything that's there. There is nothing done. Right now like I said we're focused on the 39, trying to win another race to make it into the Chase and getting Mark fitted up in this car and heading to Bristol to do the best job we can.
Q.) For Greg, obviously there will be a lot of reports and whatnot moving ahead, not knowing what 2014 will hold, and are you talking to drivers still now, other drivers beyond the story and the talk in the garage about Kurt Busch?
GREG ZIPADELLI: No, not at all. Like I said, we've got two big things going on here right now with the 39 having an opportunity to make the Chase and getting Mark Martin over here, get him acclimated with the guys and how we do things and heading to Bristol. We'll take it week by week.
Q.) You talked about you're focused on the 14 and getting the 39 in the Chase, but obviously with the report of the possible expansion, certainly in your role as competition director you're looking short-term and long-term. You talked earlier this season about the challenges of going from a two-car to three-car operation and how that maybe slowed you guys up in performance. What are the lessons you learned and how do you avoid that if you go from a three-car to a four-car organization and not have those same problems?
GREG ZIPADELLI: Well, there's lessons to be learned. We're not to that point yet. Right now we are a three-car. We have made lots of gains throughout the year, but I still think we have room to improve. We're still working on that. Obviously if something were to come, we would look at where we feel like we fell short and try to do a better job at it.(Team Chevy)(8-20-2013)
Special PTA-inspired paint scheme at Michigan for Newman: When #39-Ryan Newman hits the track at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, his #39-Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS will sport a different look as the nation's largest online retail mortgage lender will feature a National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)-inspired paint scheme. In addition to carrying the PTA colors this weekend, Newman will make a midweek visit to Detroit Public Schools' Burton International Academy, where he will speak with students about the importance of staying in school and how education played an important role on his path to becoming a successful racecar driver. As part of the visit, Newman and representatives from Quicken Loans will deliver more than $10,000 in school supplies purchased by the Detroit-based company to the academy, which serves kindergarten through eighth-grade students (SHR), see an image of the scheme on the #39 Team Schemes page.(8-14-2013)
McaArdle joins Childress; Newman to the #29? Richard Childress Racing has named Mark McArdle as their Director of Racing Operations on a full-time basis, effective this weekend at Watkins Glen International. For the past four years, McArdle was with Furniture Row Racing, first as Director of Competition and this year holding the title of Executive Director of Competition. This season, his duties have included operating on a shared basis between RCR and Furniture Row Racing, which has had a technical alliance with RCR since 2010. McArdle will report to Dr. Eric Warren, Director of Competition for RCR, and still work closely with Furniture Row Racing, but from the RCR facility and not traveling to FRR's facilities in Colorado.(RCR)(8-11-2013)
AND: The move comes at a time when RCR is looking to fill the ride vacated by #29-Kevin Harvick and hoping to retain its technical alliance with Furniture Row and is in exploratory discussions with JTG-Daugherty Racing to add the organization's # 47 team to the fold as well. Currently FRR is weighing its options with other manufacturers since its contract with Chevy runs out at the end of the year. Toyota has visited FRR in Denver but nothing has been formalized either way. FRR principals have put their driver selection on hold until after the manufacturer decision has been made, which should be over the next couple of weeks. As for RCR, sources say Ryan Newman has taken the lead in the search to find a driver to replace Harvick, who is leaving at the end of the season. A new twist to the story could be the addition of crew chief Matt Borland with Newman as a package deal for RCR.(Fox Sports)(8-11-2013)
Newman says nothing new on job search after Indy win: Friday, #39-Ryan Newman was asked about his search for a new ride for 2014:
HOW HAS THE INDY WIN HAD AN EFFECT ON YOUR FUTURE AND DO YOU HAVE ANY SPONSORS TO TAKE TO A TEAM NEXT YEAR?
"I don't know. You can sit there and talk to somebody but until the writing is on the paper and the ink is dried, you really don't know. But I am in a situation where the phone has not rung off the hook with sponsors, or car owners, or manufacturers or any of that. I didn't expect it to and I think some people kind of expect it to. I am working on what I need to work on I feel to be in a good, competitive position next year. The win helps, but it's not a light switch. It doesn't turn everything on bright. It helps and gives you a vision, but there is more to it than that. The $20 million sponsor just doesn't jump right after you. I wish it did, but it doesn't."(Chevy PR)(8-3-2013)
Will crew chief Borland leave and go with Newman? Brickyard winner #39-Ryan Newman and crew chief Matt Borland are an effective pair, as they proved once again in Sunday's race. Given that Newman has been given his walking papers from Stewart-Haas Racing, effective at the end of the year, will Newman and Borland market themselves as a package deal to a prospective car owner?. When asked about his status at Stewart-Haas, Borland was noncommittal. "At this point, I'm not sure what next year is going to bring," Borland said. "Right now, 100% of my focus and our whole team's focus is on doing as best we can in these next six races (before the Chase field is set) and the next 16."
"Going to open up a fruit stand in Statesville if anybody is interested," Newman joked. "Do I get to drive the tractor?" Borland asked. "You get to drive the tractor," Newman said with a smile. "You also get to change the oil in the tractor."(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-29-2013)
Newman wins Indianapolis: #39-Ryan Newman won the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2013 and 17th career win. The win from the pole was Newman's 5th in 50 pole starts. #48-Johnson led the most laps with 73 of 160 laps.
#48-Johnson finished 2nd followed by #5-Kahne, #14-Stewart, #20-Kenseth, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #24-Gordon, #22-Logano, #42-Montoya & #18-Busch.
There were 20 lead changes among 12 drivers and 3 cautions for 14 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 153.485. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Indianapolis Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Indianapolis Penalty Report (pdf).
For Official Results & Points, see the Official Indiaianpolis Race and Points Report.(7-28/7-29-2013)
Ryan Newman Wins 50th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole: In winning the Coors Light Pole Award at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, #39-Ryan Newman, a native of South Bend, Ind., became the ninth driver with at least 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles. With a speed of 187.531 mph (47.992 seconds), Newman won his first Indianapolis pole, and joined an exclusive list that features some of the sport's all-time greats.
Here is the exclusive "50 Poles Club": All-Time NSCS Poles Driver Wins: Richard Petty 123; David Pearson 113; Jeff Gordon 72; Cale Yarborough 69; Darrell Waltrip 59; Bobby Allison 58; Mark Martin 56; Bill Elliott 55; Ryan Newman 50.
Newman won 11 poles in 2003, the largest single-season number of a NASCAR Sprint Cup career that began in 2000 thus earning him the nickname "Rocket Man." This is the 12th season in which Newman has won at least one pole. Newman has won five or more poles in five different seasons. Of his previous 49 poles, Newman has won the corresponding race four times with 18 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes. His last win from the pole came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September 2011. Newman's first pole came in the third start of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career, at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May of 2001, at the age of 23. Pole number 50 comes in his 424th start, at the age of 35. He won 43 poles driving for Penske Racing and seven since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009. Newman has won at least one pole at 17 different tracks, the most coming at Charlotte (nine).(NASCAR)(7-27-2013)
Smurf's featured on the #39 at Indy: Quicken Loans', who will be the sponsor Ryan Newman and the #39 team at Indy, is anything but corporate - the dress code is casual and team member off-site outings, breakfast gatherings and luncheons, and interoffice ping pong tournaments are commonplace. It's this unique culture that sees the company willing to think outside the box and try new things, which includes partnering with Sony Pictures Entertainment this weekend to promote The Smurfs 2, the sequel to the 2011 film The Smurfs, which premieres July 31 in theaters across the country.(SHR), see image of the scheme on the #39 Team Schemes page.(7-25-2013)
Newman to run Truck race at Eldora: Sprint Cup Series star and former Camping World Truck Series winner Ryan Newman will return to the NCWTS for the first time in over two years for the Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on July 24. Newman will pilot the #34 Oral-B/Aggressive Hydraulics/WIX Filter Silverado for Turner Scott Motorsports. Newman has four previous starts in the NCWTS, collecting one victory, one pole and four top-five finishes. Newman's most recent NCWTS start was at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the fall of 2011, where he started and finished fifth while competing for Turner Scott Motorsports. Newman participated in a recent test session for Turner Scott Motorsports on July 8 at 311 Motor Speedway in Pine Hall, N.C. Turner Scott Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chief Chris Carrier will be calling the shots atop the pit box for Newman in the Inaugural Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway.(Turner Scott Motorsports PR)(7-18-2013)
Kyle Busch calls Newman 'idiot' UPDATE Newman responds, Busch backs away: #78-Kurt Busch kept his cool after being involved in a wreck with Ryan Newman that ended his chances of winning Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire, but his younger brother didn't. #18-Kyle Busch took several shots at Newman, who earlier in the week learned this would be his last season with Stewart-Haas Racing. "I really hate it that Kurt got tore up and I felt like he had the best car here today," Kyle said to ESPN of his brother, who led a race-high 102 laps. "He was definitely good. He could definitely roll the long runs for sure and I was proud of those guys, but man just stupidity. I mean Ryan Newman is the biggest stupid idiot out here. And he's a big ogre and he can do whatever he wants because he can probably kick anybody's butt, so no sense in getting into a fight with him. But glad he is out of a job." The incident occurred on lap 226 of 302. It turned a potential win into a 31st-place finish that dropped Kurt from ninth to 14th in the standings. Kurt didn't mention Newman after the incident, but said he got hit from behind. The driver behind him was #20-Matt Kenseth. Newman, who finished 39, said Kurt took himself out. "I guess [Kenseth] had a little influence on it," Newman said. "We were kind of in a bad spot having a little bit older tires. ... Just a lot of disrespect from a bunch of guys on restarts. What comes around goes around."(ESPN)(7-15-2013)
UPDATE: Ryan Newman wasted little time responding to Kyle Busch calling him an "ogre" and "the biggest stupid idiot out here" following Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Newman fired back Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR radio saying, "We know he's not very bright."
"I'm sure if I rearrange his face I might fix it," [Newman] said. "He's frustrated finishing third [actually second] or wherever he was after hitting me first and then giving me a little rub down the straightaway. Just imagine how I feel. It is what it is. We know he's not very bright. He's a heck of a talent, but not very bright."
Does that mean Newman, who is 19th in the standings and 36 points outside the top 10 needed to guarantee a spot in the Chase, might take revenge against Kyle who is seventh in points? I never said that," Newman told SiriusXM. "If he's going to run his mouth, he better be able to back up running his mouth. It seems like after his comment about me not having a ride it seems like he has way more to lose than I do." (ESPN)(7-16-2013)
UPDATE 2: Kyle Busch responded Tuesday on Twitter:
"I want to clarify that I was answering what I felt was two separate questions asked to me at the same time in an interview following the race in Loudon. The first was about how fast Kurt was and the second was how I felt about Ryan Newman blaming me for him getting wrecked.
First I answered the Kurt part. He was fast... Great to see them running well... Was a shame to see him crashed... Nowhere there did I place blame on who wrecked who. I didn't see it and I still haven't seen it.
My second answer came from being upset over an incident I had with RN on the track during the race. I answered it in the same response, but it was intended as a completely separate answer.
I was upset because I felt RN raced me poorly, making contact and causing damage to my RF fender that affected the handling on my racecar. This isn't the first time that I've been raced poorly by RN either, which added to my frustration. All this built up and allowed my emotions to spill over for how I felt. I'm not sorry for how I feel in those moments, but could have expressed it better and certainly my comments about someone's livelihood went too far.(7-17-2013)
Newman will not return to Stewart-Haas UPDATE - Options for 2014: Tony Stewart was asked about the status of #39-Ryan Newman Friday morning after the announcement that Kevin Harvick was joining Stewart-Haas next season:
WITH THIS ANNOUNCEMENT WITH NOW HAVING THREE DRIVERS FOR NEXT YEAR HOW DOES THIS IMPACT RYAN NEWMAN, HIS PROGRAM, ARE YOU GUYS READY TO EXPAND TO A FOURTH TEAM?
"No, we are not ready to expand to a fourth team. Unfortunately, this will be the last year that we have Ryan (Newman) with us. That's probably what has made this a bittersweet day. I'm bringing in another one of my friends to the organization, but also knowing that I'm losing a friend at the end of the year to the organization. The number one thing when Ryan and I spoke is that our friendship will not change. This was a business decision that was Gene's (Haas) as well as mine and it was a hard decision. There is a personal side and there is a business side. For Ryan and I we had to put the personal bit of it aside to work through the business part. I'll do everything I can to help Ryan in any way I can moving forward to try to help him in his effort to find another team next year. I'm behind him 100 percent. I believe in him 100 percent. I truly wish we were able to facilitate four teams at this time. We are just not able to do that. Down the road I'm sure if that becomes a possibility that he will most definitely will be on the list to fill the fourth seat again."(Chevy PR)(7-12-2013)
UPDATE: From Ryan Newman's media availability Friday:
IN YOUR MIND WHAT WOULD BE AN IDEAL SITUATION FOR YOU IN 2014?
"I don't know. There are organizations out there that are capable of winning championships and capable of racing I guess into the Chase to give themselves and opportunity at a championship. It's obvious that there are some seats that are moving around and becoming available and potentially coming available. To me I first and foremost want to be wanted for my ability. Ability behind the wheel as well as what I can do for the sponsors. That is the most important part. There are a lot of things to be considered, but I was sincere when I said it I want to be someplace where I'm wanted. I want to be wanted for my abilities and the desires that we have as common goals to win a championship.
DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMITMENTS FROM ANY OF YOUR CURRENT SPONSORS TO GO WITH YOU TO WHATEVER RACE TEAM YOU MAY END UP AT? DO YOU HAVE CONFIDENCE YOU WILL BE IN CUP NEXT YEAR?
"I have no idea on any part of it. There are no answers that I have. Obviously, I have my own homework to do. I have no answers with respect to any of that at this point."(Chevy PR)
AND: Nemwan has been looking for 2014 opportunities since signing a one-year extension with SHR last fall but said it was stressful to have "no idea" where he'd land. Though he wouldn't confirm whether he would bring sponsorship, SHR apparently isn't retaining Quicken Loans, the primary sponsor of Newman's #39 for 18 races this season, and there's been speculation they might follow the driver to another team. In January, Roger Penske said he had talked to the Detroit-based company about adding a third car with Newman to his team. Newman, though, said he wouldn't be interested in just any team that had an opportunity. An option for Newman could be RCR, which will need a new driver for its #29 Chevy after 13 consecutive seasons with Harvick. Team owner Richard Childress said the team had funding for three cars next season and possibly could add a fourth depending on sponsorship. "We've got most everything lined up," he said before practice Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "Something can always fall through, but we feel very good about that."(USA Today)
AND Ford's Jack Roush, who has a three-car operation that could easily expand back to four, said he was interested in talking with Newman about the situation. Roush said he would be interested in hiring Newman if there were sufficient sponsorship. Newman has some sponsorship himself. A plus for Roush is that Newman is an engineer like Roush. And depending on what Matt Borland, Newman's current crew chief, decides to do, that could also be a plus for Roush. Borland was also Newman's crew chief during his years with Roger Penske.(MikeMulhern.net)(7-13-2013)
#4 for Harvick in 2014? UPDATE Budweiser moves to SHR with Harvick in 2014: Stewart-Haas Racing has applied for the trademark for the (4) Standard Character Mark or the #4. Supposedly to be used by Kevin Harvick when he moves over to Stewart-Hass Racing in 2014. You can see the trademark application / info at uspto.gov (serial #85911811)(4-30-2013)
UPDATE: For more than 30 years Budweiser has sponsored some of NASCAR's top race car drivers. The King of Beers will continue its rich tradition in the sport by joining Kevin Harvick as he moves to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014 to drive the #4 Chevy SS in the Sprint Cup Series.
"Over the last three years, Kevin has been an amazing ambassador for Budweiser, both on and off the track," said Blaise D'Sylva, vice president of media, sports and entertainment marketing, Anheuser-Busch. "We value that level of commitment, and we're proud to join him at Stewart-Haas Racing next season."
Under the terms of the deal, Budweiser will serve as primary sponsor of the #4 Chevy for 20 races as well as the Budweiser Duel during Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Budweiser will serve as a major associate sponsor for the remaining races on the Sprint Cup Series schedule.
With the move to Stewart-Haas Racing next year, Harvick will utilize the #4. The transition to the team comes as Harvick enters his 14th year in NASCAR's top series. Thus far, he has earned 21 Sprint Cup Series wins, 96 top-five and 198 top-10 finishes.(Budwesier PR)(7-12-2013)
Childress planning on at least 3 teams in 2014: Richard Childress Racing will have at least three Sprint Cup teams and possibly four in 2014. There has been speculation that RCR might shrink from three to two teams after losing Kevin Harvick and primary sponsor Budweiser to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. Team owner Richard Childress told ESPN.com on Friday that he will have a lineup of Jeff Burton, Paul Menard and "question mark." "We're going to have three race teams for sure," Childress said between practices at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "Not 100 percent on a fourth." Asked if the third team would be fielded by grandson Austin Dillon, who has run six Cup races this season in anticipation of moving up from the Nationwide Series next year, Childress reiterated, "question mark." Childress recently said Ryan Newman, in his last year with SHR with Harvick filling out that three-driver lineup, is a candidate for the #29. He also has left open the possibility that Dillon, who drives the 3 made famous by Dale Earnhardt at RCR, could drive the #3 in Cup. Kurt Busch also has been mentioned as a potential candidate at RCR. Busch is ninth in points for Furniture Row Racing that has an alliance with RCR. Sources said RCR has a gentleman's agreement not to pursue Busch. Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said negotiations to re-sign Busch are on hold as the single-car team attempts to make the Chase for the first time.(ESPN)(7-12-2013)
Newman wants to race for a team where he is wanted: #39-Ryan Newman's needs are simple."I just want to race some place where I'm wanted," Newman said. "Where people are happy I'm there." Newman received a one-year reprieve on his contract with Stewart-Haas Racing, where he is currently 18th in the standings. For most of the season, Newman has been outrunning his bossman Tony Stewart. While Newman's resume isn't as extensive as Stewart's, it's respectable with 16 Sprint Cup victories and six finishes of 10th or better in the standings. The 35-year-old South Bend, Ind., native ranks third among active drivers in pole positions with 49. Not surprisingly, team owner Richard Childress said last week that Newman tops his list of potential candidates for the #29 Chevy which is being vacated by Kevin Harvick at season's end. "There are only so many guys that don't have contracts for next year," Newman said. "At this point, I would entertain any possible opportunity. I don't think anyone in my position wouldn't do anything otherwise. "Of all the opportunities that there are out there, he's got one of the best opportunities - as far as the 29 being vacated. But I don't know what the family tree is going to look like over there."(FoxSports)(6-30-2013)
Drivers, owners start looking to 2014: It was curious when [#78-Kurt] Busch slipped last Thursday after he was asked a silly question about who he would prefer to have dinner with when given a list of drivers. His focus turned to #39-Ryan Newman, his former Penske Racing teammate with whom he experienced a not-so-friendly feud on and off the track as the two free agents searched for rides last year. "Maybe Newman and I need to have a sit-down, because we're both out there charging hard and trying to get into the Chase, and we're looking for rides," said Busch, who almost immediately regretted the last few words. Busch, 34, signed a one-year deal with Furniture Row Racing last year. Although team owner Barney Visser attempted to extend the contract with Busch after he posted three consecutive top-10 finishes to close out the 2012 season, the driver believed it was best to hold off.
And as Busch learned on Sunday - before he made the error of speeding down pit road twice, dropped to 38th and battled back to a fourth-place finish - FRR can produce cars capable of winning. That's a prospect not lost on his rival Newman, who has inquired about the possibility of a second team at FRR for 2014.
Yes, Busch is accustomed to competing with high-profile teams but those coveted seats are few and far between. There have been talks with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Richard Childress Racing but the driver landscape remains in flux.
On Sunday, Childress admitted that Newman, who will likely have the support of sponsor Quicken Loans, is topping his list of candidates for the #29 ride being vacated by Kevin Harvick. In the winner's post-race interview, Michael Waltrip acknowledged that Brian Vickers "is our guy." "We're trying to get all the pieces together so he can drive the #55 and race for the championship next year," Waltrip said.
Furniture Row Racing has no issues with Busch testing the market - as long as it doesn't become a distraction for the team.(Fox Sports)(6-25-2013)
Quicken Loans returns to the #39 at MIS: Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online retail mortgage lender, adorns the #39 Chevy that Ryan Newman this weekend at Michigan in addition to its status as the entitlement sponsor of the 400-mile race. A victory in the Quicken Loans 400 would be the perfect scenario as the 2-mile, D-shaped Michigan oval is located approximately 70 miles from the sponsor's headquarters in the heart of Detroit's business district. It also would serve to rekindle Newman's winning ways and keep his Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship hopes alive via the wild-card opportunity - two of which are awarded to a race winner outside the top-10 in points but among the top-20 (SHR), see images of the car/scheme on the #39 Team Schemes page.(6-11-2013)
Zipadelli says Cars to Blame: Greg Zipadelli, the competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing and longtime confidante of Tony Stewart, said the team has fallen behind on technology relative to the top NASCAR Sprint Cup teams. Zipadelli said the combination of adding a third car for Danica Patrick, converting to the new Generation-6 cars and shuffling personnel internally has left SHR well behind top teams like Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports so far this season. Coming into Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, #39-Ryan Newman is 17th in points, #14-Stewart 21st and #10-Patrick 28th. Thursday night, Newman qualified 10th for the Coca-Cola 600, with Patrick 24th and Stewart 25th.(full story at SPEED)(5-25-2013)
No crew chief changes for Stewart Haas Racing: Despite a dismal season to date, there are no crew chief changes planned at Stewart-Haas Racing [#10-Patrick, #14-Stewart & #39-Newman], a high-ranking team official told SPEED.com Monday morning. "We've all won races together and championships together, we're going to pull ourselves out of this together," the team official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. After Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, team co-owner Tony Stewart spent nearly two hours in the team hauler, meeting with crew chief Steve Addington and team engineers to work on solving the team's handling issues. "Every team goes through this at one point or another. We'll get through it," the SHR team person said.(SPEED)(5-21-2013)
SHR extends partnership with Atlas Copco Compressors: Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has extended its partnership with Atlas Copco Compressors, and the Rock Hill, S.C.-based company will also serve as an associate sponsor of the #39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS of driver Ryan Newman during the Oct. 10-12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Atlas Copco Compressors has served as SHR's official compressed air supplier since the team's inception in 2009. As part of this continued relationship, Atlas Copco Compressors is installing its new SmartLink technology into SHR's headquarters in Kannapolis, providing 24/7 remote monitoring of the team's compressed air system to ensure continuous uptime and peak performance. This year marks Atlas Copco's 140th anniversary, and when Atlas Copco Compressors serves as an associate sponsor of Newman's #39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet at Charlotte in October, one lucky Atlas Copco employee will have their name printed on the side of Newman's car.(SHR)(5-17-2013)
State Water Heaters Partners with Stewart-Haas Racing: State Water Heaters, a leading manufacturer of commercial and residential water heaters, has joined Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the title-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. Effective immediately, State Water Heaters will be an associate sponsor of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy driven by Stewart and the #39 Quicken Loans Chevy driven by teammate Ryan Newman. Additionally, State Water Heaters will serve as the primary sponsor of Newman and the #39 team during the Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup race weekend Oct. 25-27 at Martinsville Speedway.
"The State Water Heaters brand has a rich history in the plumbing industry, and over that time we've developed strong partnerships with our wholesalers and contractors. We're thrilled to join SHR where we're able to share the excitement of this program with our customers," said Jeff Storie, senior marketing manager, State Water Heaters. "We've recently launched some great new water heaters, as well as a new Find a Local Installer tool on our Website. We look forward to working with Ryan, Tony and the rest of the SHR team to raise awareness among the legions of NASCAR fans about State brand products and our loyal contractors."
For more than 60 years, State Water Heaters has stood for durability. Tested under the toughest conditions in the most hostile environments, State Water Heaters builds long-lasting products that provide years of service. Motorsports also provides tough conditions and hostile environments, making State Water Heaters' presence in NASCAR a natural fit. The Ashland City, Tenn.-based company has sponsored NASCAR teams since 2006, and it enters a new era by partnering with SHR.
"We're very proud to welcome State Water Heaters into the Stewart-Haas Racing family," said Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. "State Water Heaters is an innovative company that prides itself on quality and customer service. Just as they deliver for their customers, we plan to deliver for them - on the track and off. It's a strong brand that through its partnership with our race team will become even stronger."(SHR)(5-16-2013)
Aspen Dental makes it 2013 debut on the #39: Ryan Newman and the #39 Stewart Haas Racing team will have Aspen Dental as the primary sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Tina Johnson is the latest Aspen Dental patient to be included on the rear quarter-panel of Newman's #39 Chevy. Continuing on a program that started in 2012, Johnson, a patient of the Aspen Dental office in Waukesha, Wis., was selected to have her photo featured on the #39 Chevrolet based on comments she provided regarding her dental treatment on the Aspen Dental Facebook page. Not only will she be along for the ride this weekend, she'll spend the next three Sprint Cup races riding along with Newman, as well (SHR), see an image of the car on the #39 Team Schemes page.(5-15-2013)
Newman's comments after Talladega under review by NASCAR UPDATES: NASCAR will likely review comments made by Stewart-Haas Racing driver #39-Ryan Newman following a Lap 183 crash in Sunday's rain-marred Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. Any potential fine that could come from the comments likely would be made on Tuesday or Wednesday, per NASCAR's history. Earlier, it was reported that NASCAR would definitely review his comments, but a spokesperson clarified that there are a variety of things that will be reviewed over the course of a race weekend. Newman finished 32nd after the crash in which Kurt Busch's #78 car barrel-rolled and landed upside down on the hood of the #39 car Newman had in position for a top-10 finish or win with five laps left in regulation as darkness approached. NASCAR fined #11-Denny Hamlin $25,000 earlier this year for perceived negative comments about the new "Gen 6" car and the quality of racing at Phoenix International Raceway.(ESPN)(5-7-2013)
UPDATE: NASCAR said Tuesday that Ryan Newman will not be fined for his rebuke of NASCAR on live television following a late accident at Talladega. Newman's race ended Sunday in a 12-car accident when Kurt Busch's car barrel-rolled on top of his car. Newman said his TV interview was solely to complain that NASCAR had made plenty of safety advances but still couldn't figure out how to keep cars on the track. He used a vulgarity in his interview. Not fining Newman is consistent with NASCAR chairman Brian France's decision to give drivers' permission to criticize anything but the cars and the on-track product. Denny Hamlin was fined $25,000 in March for saying he didn't think NASCAR's new car races as well as the old car.(Associated Press/ESPN)(5-8-2013)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR stated Tuesday that Newman would not face any penalties but spokesperson Kerry Tharp explained NASCAR's position Wednesday and defended its actions. "We did tell them they could challenge NASCAR, they could challenge the racing calls, certain calls that we made and that type of thing," Tharp said of guidelines to drivers. "We did tell them a couple of years back, hey, don't take on the racing product, don't disparage the racing. We believe (Newman) kind of pushed the edge on that in his comments. We disagree with his opinion. We disagree with the comments he made but he wasn't critical of the racing, he wasn't critical of the racing product, so therein lies the decision not to fine him. We don't agree with what he said, I'll tell you that right now." (Motor Racing Network)(5-8-2013)
#4 for Harvick in 2014? Stewart-Haas Racing has applied for the trademark for the (4) Standard Character Mark or the #4. Supposedly to be used by Kevin Harvick when he moves over to Stewart-Hass Racing in 2014. You can see the trademark application / info at uspto.gov (do a search under Stewart-Haas). Other rumored numbers for Harvick at Stewart-Hass Racing: take the #29 with him from Richard Childress Racing with RCR using the #3 for Austin Dillon. Have heard some rumors the #8 could be in play.(4-30-2013)
Outback making first appearance on the #39: For Ryan Newman, Richmond couldn't come soon enough. Needing a breakout performance to quiet skeptics who have written off the SHR teams as contenders in 2013, there's no better place to prove them wrong. With Outback Steakhouse making the first of three 2013 appearances as primary sponsor of Newman's #39 Chevy this weekend at Richmond, memories of last year's spring race at Martinsville Speedway evoke memories of that fateful day. Newman scored his only win of the 2012 season at the other Virginia venue, and did so with the Tampa, Fla.-based steakhouse across the hood of his racecar. Outback Steakhouse has been celebrating Newman's top-10 finishes since last season with a free Bloomin' Onion for its customers on Mondays. Come Saturday night, Newman would like nothing more than to relive last year's April success at Martinsville - by scoring his first "Bloomin'" win of the 2013 season at Richmond.(SHR), see an image of the car on the #39 team paint schemes page.(Stewart Haas)(4-25-2013)
Code 3 Associates Joins SHR at Kansas: #39-Ryan Newman will run the Code 3 Associates scheme at Kansas Speedway. Code 3 Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in animal rescue and recovery in disaster areas. The sponsorship was made possible by a benefactor with interests in animal-related causes. Formed in 1985, Colorado-based Code 3 Associates is a national response team that, at the request of local government officials, provides animal rescue and recovery in times of disaster. The organization has evolved from one unpaid volunteer to at roughly 75 professional responders around the country, which include animal welfare, law enforcement, fire, EMS and veterinary specialists from the United States and Canada.(SHR), see an image of the car on the #39 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2013)
Free food & movie Monday: Two drivers finished in the top ten in the Daytona 500, meaning free food:
Get a FREE Bloomin' Onion with any purchase all Bloomin' Monday long at Outback Steakhouse! Why? Because #39-Ryan Newman says so. (by placing in the top 10 today). Just say "Bloomin' Monday" on 2/25.
With #36-J.J. Yeley's 10th place in the Daytona 500, Yeley's sponsor Golden Corral: "JJ's Mondays" - Kids Eat Free on Feb 25, 2013: -Free kids buffet with an adult buffet purchase at regular price; -Limit of two (2) free kids meals per adult buffet purchased.
and Blockbuster is offering fans a Free 99¢ Movie Rental.(2-25-2013)
Newman discusses drafting accident in Wednesday's practice: #39-Ryan Newman crashed during first practice run; will repair the car - not going to back-up.
Q) WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE?
Newman: "I don't know. I want to watch first (after watching the replay). My car came around. I don't know if it was the air off of Carl's (Edwards) car or what. My car just came around. (Referring to the replay) You can see the backend getting light there. I think it's just an aero situation, but that was news to me. Carl (Edwards) came over and said 'hey man'... I said 'I don't even know what to tell you yet'. It was unfortunate for our Quicken Loans Chevrolet, but that is why we had practice. That was my first experience, but I guess my car just got light in the back going into the corner."
Q) HOW BADLY WOUNDED IS YOUR CAR?
Newman: "I think it's totally fixable, it's just a matter of time and getting practice and everything else. Matt (Borland, crew chief) and the guys are assessing the situation."
Q) CARL (EDWARDS) CAME OVER IMMEDIATELY TO TALK TO YOU. WHAT DID YOU GUYS TALK ABOUT?
Newman: "Just what happened. I didn't know what happened and he honestly admitted that he didn't know what happened. Just all of a sudden my car was going across his nose. He did say that he tried to come up and put the air brakes on me. I think in doing so it just made my car that loose. I hadn't been loose the entire time. It was just something new and a different characteristic of this car I guess."
Q) YOU HAVE NOT FELT THAT SIMILAR SITUATION WHY IS THAT DIFFERENT? A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT A WEIRD AERO DEAL THERE?
Newman: "I think some of it has to do with the huge shark fin that we have on that side. When you pack air up on that side it's not going to the spoiler it's getting blocked off from the spoiler. There are a lot of things to think about and talk about."
Q) YOU GUYS ARE PLANNING TO FIX THE DAMAGE RIGHT?
Newman: "We are going to fix it. It's a Catch-22 we brought this car for a reason. The engine is fine; it never spun backwards all that stuff is good. We don't think we will make it back out for the second practice, but we will be fine."
Q) EVEN IF YOU DID WOULD YOU PRACTICE DRAFTING OR DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DONE?
Newman: "No, we will still practice drafting. That is what it is going to take to win the (Daytona) 500."(Team Chevy)(2-20-2013)
Borland and Newman back together': The dynamic duo of driver #39-Ryan Newman and crew chief Matt Borland were reunited last fall for the final four races of the 2012 Sprint Cup season. The pairing of the engineering majors - Newman a graduate of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and Borland a graduate of the General Motors Institute of Technology in Flint, Mich. - for a second time seemingly picked up right it left off in 2006, earning four top-12 finishes in four races, including two top-fives. Newman and Borland's success in multiple series from 2000 to 2006 includes:
Ø ARCA: four wins, three poles, four top-fives and five top-10s
Ø NASCAR Nationwide Series: one win, six poles, two top-fives and eight top-10s
Ø NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: 12 victories, 37 poles, 52 top-fives and 83 top-10s.
Newman and Borland's Stats at Daytona - In 10 point-paying Sprint Cup races at Daytona from 2002 to 2006, Newman and Borland combined for two top-10 finishes - seventh in February 2002 and third in February 2006. The pairing also clinched a victory at Daytona's famous high banks in the ARCA Series in February 2001.(SHR)(2-19-2013)
Bloomin' Monday is Back when Newman earns top-10 finish: After its inaugural season with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2012 that saw Outback Steakhouse deliver over 100,000 free Bloomin' Onions® to race fans, Bloomin' MondayTM is back for 2013. Every time Ryan "Bloomin' "Newman finishes in the top-10 of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, fans can get a free Bloomin' Onion at Outback Steakhouse on the Monday immediately following the race. Fans simply need to reference the promotion to their server to receive their Bloomin' Onion. Newman scored 15 top-10 finishes in 2012 (including the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race). The race is on for a free Bloomin' Onion beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. "I'm happy that Outback Steakhouse is continuing the Bloomin' Monday promotion for the 2013 season," said Newman, driver of the #39 Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing. "It was cool that the fans could get something from our team having a good finish. It gave them another reason to cheer us on.cBelieve me, I heard from fans who were disappointed when we didn't get top-10s. We had 15 top-10 finishes last year, a number we're planning to beat in 2013, which will make for a lot of happy Bloomin' Onion fans."ccOutback Steakhouse will be the primary sponsor of Newman and the #39 team for three races in 2013 - at Richmond in April, Daytona in July and Texas in November. When not serving as a primary sponsor, Outback Steakhouse will be an associate sponsor with placement on the B-post of the #39 Chevy. "The launch of our Bloomin' Monday promotion in 2012 fueled results beyond what we had hoped," said Mike Kappitt, chief marketing officer, Outback Steakhouse. "Outback is looking forward to this 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and cheering Ryan on to many more top-10 finishes." Offer valid with any purchase. One per table. Offer subject to change. Prices and participation may vary.(SHR/True Speed Communication)(2-15-2013)
Newman focusing on 2013; looking toward 2014: #39-Ryan Newman knows he doesn't have a contract for 2014. He wishes that wasn't the case, but he knows how to handle it. After all, it was at this time last year when he also was a free agent. He eventually signed a one-year deal to stay at Stewart-Haas Racing. "I have no extra pressure on myself to perform than at any other time in my career," Newman said. "I just don't have the things done on paperwork to say what I'm doing in 2014, which doesn't the change the way I drive this year." Like many veterans in other sports, Newman faces the prospect of getting squeezed out as teams look for younger, and possibly cheaper, options. Newman said he took a cut in salary, like many drivers have as sponsorship dollars have been tougher to find. SHR already has three drivers signed for 2014 with team owner Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and, reportedly, Kevin Harvick. Stewart hasn't ruled out going to a four-car operation in 2014, and that would leave the door open for Newman to return. "Where I end up, that's where I end up," Newman said. "If I stay, I stay. If I don't, I don't. I have to do what's best for me." He will spend this season trying to win races and hope those sponsors stick behind him so he has a place to drive in 2014.(Sporting News)(2-4-2013)
Stewart-Haas adding test team: Stewart-Haas Racing is developing a new test team. Veteran crew chief David Hyder will oversee the project. "I'm planning on taking the wheels off of my pit box for a while," Hyder said Friday. "With the new car coming this season, they'd been talking about putting a test team together. I'm not sure what all it will entail yet, but Zippy (Stewart-Haas Racing Director of Competition Greg Zipadelli) told me to plan on going to Daytona." In the advent of the Generation 6 car, NASCAR's top organizations are doing whatever it takes to get up to speed quickly. Although SHR has a research and development group, the test team is the latest response to up the ante. Considering that SHR is expanding its two-car operation of Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman to add rookie Danica Patrick, the timing is perfect. Hyder started working at SHR on Tuesday. He most recently guided Cale Conley in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East but missed the competition at the Cup level. Hyder had previously worked as a crew chief for Wood Brothers Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Kevin Harvick Inc.(Fox Sports)(2-2-2013)
2013 silly season notes for #39-Ryan Newman / Stewart Haas Racing: Newman loses the U.S. Army sponsorship in 2013, which was good for about 18 races. Quicken Loans picks up the slack, upping their sponsorship total to 18. The team also has sponsorship from: Wix Filters (3 races), Outback Steakhouse (3 races), Aspen Dental (2 races) and Code 3 Associates (both Kansas races). That leaves nine races the #39 is unsponsored, Haas Automation could take over those races. Crew Chief Tony Gibson moved over to the #10 SHR Chevy to be Danica Patrick's crew chief late in the 2012 season. Matt Borland, SHR's vice president of competition for SHR, took over as the crew chief last October. Borland served as Newman's crew chief for five years when the two were together at Penske Racing (2002-2006), earning 12 wins. Newman is currently working on a one-year contract for 2013 with uncertainly on his return in 2014. With Danica Patrick running full-time in 20-13 and the foreseeable future and with Kevin Harvick coming aboard SHR in 2014, Newman could be left out of a ride. But Stewart has said, that from day one of starting Stewart Haas Racing, the plans were to grow to a four car team. So if sponsor ship is there and Newman willing, he could return in 2014. Penske was interested in bringing Newman back to Penske in 2013 but didn't have sponsorship and would be interested in Newman for the 2014 season. See images of the Wix Filters scheme on my #39 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-26-2013)
Stewart Haas Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: #10-Danica Patrick will not be using #14-Tony Stewart's owners points to start the year. Stewart said, "I worked hard for my points" and believes Patrick will be fine. The #10 team finished the 2012 season 33rd in owners points but been told those owners points will be used for Tommy Baldwin's #7 team with driver Dave Blaney. Baldwin will use the #36 owners points for his 2nd team, car #36 [unknwon driver/plans]. So the #10 car goes into the season with no owners points and Partick will have to make the races via speed. There is no top-35 or guaranteed spots in 2013, but owners points will used for 6 cars each race for provisional starting spots 37th thru 42nd and poosibly the 43rd spot.
Patrick has not finalized a deal to run any Nationwide Series races in 2013 but is hoping to do a 10 race deal with Turner Scott Motorsports.
As for Stewart running the 2013 Indy 500 for Penske Racing, he has open invitation for Indy 500 from Roger Penske, but has no plans to do so in 2013.
On the sponsor front for SHR the #14 has nine races open without a primary, the #39 of Ryan Newman has 8-9 races open for a primary sponsor and #10-Patrick has three racesopen for a primary sponsor.
Stewart said the Eldora Speedway Truck Race that will run on the dirt, is close to a sellout, with 16,000 reserved seats sold and about 600 left with 1000 general admission going on sale this week.(1-21-2013)
Newman wins NMPA Spirit Award: Members of the National Motorsports Press Association have selected NASCAR Sprint Cup driver #39-Ryan Newman as the fourth quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award. The award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are selected, and an overall winner is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership. Newman was recognized for hosting the 8th Annual Charity Dinner and Auction and annual fishing tournament in December, raising funds for animal welfare, education and conservation efforts. The evening featured entertainment from Nashville singer/songwriters and NASCAR drivers and raised more than $340,000. Newman helped raise awareness of a memorial fund after crewman Andy Rueger lost his son in an ATV accident on Nov. 22. Clint Bowyer, Andy Hillenburg and Brad Keselowski are also quarterly winners this year. The 2012 winner will be announced on Jan. 20.(NMPA)(12-20-2012)
Newman Foundation Raises Over $340,000 at Annual Charity Events: The 8th Annual Ryan Newman Foundation Charity Dinner and Auction and 7th Annual Charity Fishing Tournament raised over $340,000 for its animal welfare, education and conservation efforts. The dinner, presented by the Gene Haas Foundation, was held at the Statesville Civic Center in Statesville, North Carolina on Friday, December 7th. Local ABC affiliate WSOC News Anchor Blair Miller emceed the evening's festivities. Two of country music's talented singer/song writers provided the evening's entertainment. Tim Dugger and Grammy Nominee Eric Paslay took to the stage in front of the sold out crowd of 520 sponsors, NASCAR drivers, professional anglers and fans.
Guests had the opportunity to bid on silent auction items and participate in the "Fishing for Fun" Raffle. The big items included a John Deere Gator and a Polaris Sportsman 500 ATV along with many once in a lifetime race weekend and country music industry experiences. Returning this year were hand-painted dog/cat bowls and treat jars painted by the employees of the Ryan Newman Foundation and Ryan Newman Motorsports. Money raised from the pottery auction will be used to help vaccinate and sterilize dogs and cats in the surrounding area.
The event had a country winter theme and was managed by JHE Productions of Harrisburg, NC. New additions included an outside Presenting Sponsor VIP tent fit for a Kim Kardashian herself. The area provided plush white couches and glass tables with all the right touches for guests to relax and mingle with Ryan and Krissie before the doors opened to the public.
A mammoth ice sculpture was the feature attraction hosting a dog, cat, fish and deer circling the Foundation logo and was surrounded by a large candy bar that was transformed into a dessert bar after dinner. Guests also walked the red carpet and took photos with Ryan and Krissie and the photo booths were a crowd favorite for the second year in a row.
Bass Pro Shops and Bassmaster presented the charity fishing tournament hosting 148 teams, all competing for a Nitro Z9 Bass Boat equipped with a motor, trolling motor, electronics and matching trailer. Lake levels were extremely low, but the anglers unloaded and took to the water from Blythe Landing on Lake Norman in Huntersville, NC. Four-time Bassmaster Champion and seven-time Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam and Bassmaster Elite Series emcee and Outdoor Channel host Mark Zona were the tournament emcees for the second year in a row. The two kept the participants and the crowd on their feet while the anglers weighed-in. Kevin even signed autographs for fans prior to weigh-in at the Bass Pro Shops display.
This year's tournament winners were Travis Rulle from Huntersville, NC and his father Don Rulle from Longmont, CO. They weighed in five fish for a total weight of 16 pounds and 4 ounces. "Krissie and I appreciate everyone who participates in the fishing tournament," said Ryan Newman. "The weather was perfect or as Kevin said, we had Chamber of Commerce Weather. The 70 degree day didn't make the fishing any better though. December is tough and normally our tournament takes anywhere from 11 - 16 pounds to win and that's what we got with Travis and his dad. It declined rapidly after that. I am glad Kevin and Mark were able to make it back this year because I think the angers and fans watching enjoy their banter back and forth on stage with the fishermen."
Second place trophies were taken home by Cliff Kirby from Catawba, NC and Rick Dunstan from Pinehurst, NC weighing in five fish at 12 pounds, 12 ounces. Third place went to Shane LeHew from Charlotte, NC and Adam Yates from Denver, NC. They had five weighing in at 12 pounds, 7 ounces.
Outback Steakhouse, who is a primary sponsor on Ryan's #39 Stewart-Haas Chevy, hosted a rib and chicken dinner to over 400 anglers and fans. Sponsors of the event and local businesses were given the opportunity to meet with the public, sample products and give out information and items from their companies.
John Deere had their newest products on display, Oral B gave away bags of toothpaste and Kraft Foods sampled Oreo and Ritz products. Other venders included: Visit Lake Norman, Humane Society of Iredell County, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Silpada Jewelry, Parks Chevrolet, PhDs Woodworking and the Ryan Newman Foundation. Kids had their own area to play in with lots of free giveaways, games and inflatable's to enjoy while listening to live music provided by WAME Radio in Statesville. Over 1,000 people visited the boat ramp to show their support of the annual tournament.
While the anglers were on the water, Ryan hosted a luncheon cruise on a luxury yacht. This was a nice way for sponsors to see the beautiful scenery Lake Norman has to offer and view some of the teams attempting to reel that big one in. "I didn't know what to think of the yacht event, but it turned out to be a good thing for our sponsors," said Newman. "Fishing isn't like a golf tournament. It can be frustrating and you have to have patience, and most of all, be up at the crack of dawn which most people don't want to do after our event. It was a good way for them to have some one on one time with me and check out Lake Norman. It's something I think we'll do again next year."(Ryan Newman Foundation), see more and photos at ryannewmanfoundation.org.(12-15-2012)
WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental & Code 3 Associates to sponsor Newman: Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has signed extensions with four of its partners through 2013 that will account for a total of 10 races on the #39 Chevy driven by Ryan Newman in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental and Code 3 Associates will all return as primary sponsors of Newman and the #39 team in 2013, joining Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online mortgage lender. Quicken Loans announced in October that it will be the primary sponsor of Newman and the #39 team for 18 races in 2013, up from nine races in 2012.
· WIX Filters, a member of the Affinia Group family of brands, has been a partner of SHR since the team's inception in 2009, growing from a product supplier to a primary sponsor. In 2013, WIX Filters will be on the #39 Chevrolet for three races - March 24 at Auto Club Speedway, July 14 at New Hampshire and Oct. 20 at Talladega. "WIX is looking forward to another action-packed season of NASCAR with Stewart-Haas Racing," said Mike Harvey, brand manager for WIX Filters. "Our brand has a rich heritage as an advocate of racing and is a regular in victory lane at the highest levels in motorsports, and what we learn on the racetrack is applied directly to the technology we provide to our customers."
· Award-winning Outback Steakhouse, with more than 750 locations nationwide, will adorn the #39 Chevrolet for three races in 2013 - April 27 at Richmond, July 6 at Daytona and Nov. 3 at Texas. And the company's well-received "Bloomin' Monday" promotion will continue in 2013, where after a top-10 finish by Newman, a free Bloomin' Onion at Outback Steakhouse is available to customers on the Monday immediately following the race. "We are excited to continue our partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing and Ryan Newman for 2013," said Mike Kappitt, chief marketing officer, Outback Steakhouse. "Bloomin' Monday is the perfect program to give fans two things they are passionate about - Bloomin' Onions® and NASCAR. We hope to give away thousands of Bloomin' Onions again this year when the No. 39 finishes in the top-10."
· Aspen Dental, one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of dental care providers in the United States, will serve as a two-race primary sponsor for Newman and the #39 team during the May 18 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte and the Aug. 11 road-course race at Watkins Glen. Watkins Glen will serve as a home race for Aspen Dental, as the company is based in nearby Syracuse, N.Y., and has more than 330 locations in 22 states. "We're very proud to continue our partnership with one of the most successful organizations in NASCAR," said Mary Boysman, vice president of brand marketing and advertising at Aspen Dental Management, Inc. "Like our partners at Stewart-Haas Racing, our team at Aspen Dental is driven by a strong commitment to quality, training and teamwork."
· Code 3 Associates, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization specializing in animal rescue and recovery in disaster areas, will be represented by Newman and the #39 team as a primary sponsor during the Sprint Cup Series' two stops at Kansas Speedway, April 21 and Oct. 6, respectively. The group's logo and slogan, "Riders On The Storm Animal Rescue Team" appear familiar to many in the Kansas market, as Code 3 Associates has been dispatched to numerous Midwestern areas in the aftermath of recent natural disasters. "We're thrilled to be back with Stewart-Haas Racing and Ryan Newman, who are recognized for their leadership and performance on and off the track," said Eric Bagdikian, president, Code 3 Associates. "Both drivers are generous supporters of animal rescue and welfare, with each of their foundations specializing in this cause. This initiative with Stewart-Haas Racing has greatly raised the profile of our collective mission, which is to provide animal rescue and recovery in the immediate aftermath of a disaster."
Stewart, who enters his fifth year as a NASCAR team owner in 2013 and 15th as a driver in the elite Sprint Cup Series, places a high value on each of these partnerships. "Obviously, we're very proud to have WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental and Code 3 Associates back with our race team," said Stewart, the three-time Sprint Cup champion who will drive the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet throughout the 2013 Sprint Cup season. "We work really hard to deliver on the racetrack, but we work just as hard to understand each one of our sponsor's businesses so we can help them accomplish the goals they have, be it in racing or with their customers. It's great seeing these partnerships grow, and we look forward to another year of success with each of them."(SHR)(11-29-2012)
Son of Newman's crewman killed in ATV accident: info added: A Salisbury family is grieving after their 7-year-old son was killed in an ATV accident outside their home on Thursday. On Friday, family friends said the boy's father, Andy Rueger, is a crew member for NASCAR driver #39-Ryan Newman. They said 7-year-old Bryce Rueger used to ride around the yard all the time on the family's ATV, often with his father. They said he was familiar with the machine and that Rueger stressed safety with his children. Andy Rueger works as the gas man for Newman, and the NASCAR driver said Friday that they're working on setting up a memorial fund.(WWOC)(11-24-2012)
For services info and to sign a guest book, go to cavin-cook.com and to help the family, go to the Bryce Rueger Memorial Fund page.(11-25-2012)
A Final Thank You and Farewell to the U.S. Army: This weekend will mark the final race for the U.S. Army as sponsor of the #39 Chevy of Ryan Newman. The U.S. Army announced in July that it would not return to Stewart Haas Racing or the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the 2013 season. The U.S. Army was the first partner announced for Newman's #39 entry when SHR was formed in 2009.(SHR)(11-16-2012)
Stewart comments on Harvick rumor: #14-Tony Stewart, met with members of the media at Phoenix International Raceway and discussed future plans for SHR, the transcript in part:
Q) DO YOU HAVE A RESPONSE TO THE STORY THAT KEVIN HARVICK WILL JOIN STEWART-HAAS RACING IN 2014?
Tony Stewart: "Well, it's actually Dale, Jr. (SMILES BROADLY). And Marty Smith (ESPN Television personality and website reporter) is actually going to be in the fourth car. Yes, that's where we are at. (SMILES BROADLY) I will tell you this, when we have something to tell you guys, we'll tell you. I've always said that. You guys can throw darts, but when we have something to tell you that's different than what we've got going on, we'll obviously tell you."(Team Chevy)(11-9-2012)
Harvick to leave RCR after 2013 and head to SHR: For each of his 12 seasons in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Kevin Harvick has driven for Richard Childress Racing. That will change in 2014. Multiple NASCAR industry sources confirmed to ESPN.com Friday that Harvick has signed a multiyear agreement to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing beginning with the 2014 season. Harvick will remain at RCR in the #29 Chevy for the 2013 campaign, sources said. "I'm looking forward to finishing out this season on a strong note with RCR and continuing to build our program going into the 2013 season with the ultimate goal of winning a championship," Harvick told ESPN.com Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, when he was asked about his future. "Anything beyond that, once I know what my future plans are set, I'll let you know." Under Stewart-Haas' current plan, sources said, Harvick will drive a fourth SHR Chevrolet, teaming with #14-Tony Stewart, #39-Ryan Newman and #10-Danica Patrick to form a four-car stable. "Stewart-Haas Racing's driver lineup is all set for 2013, but if you're talking about 2014 and if Kevin Harvick is available, that's something the team would have to look at," SHR team spokesman Mike Arning said. "Any team in this garage would do the same. From the moment Stewart-Haas Racing was formed, becoming a four-car team is something it's been striving for. They have the infrastructure to accommodate a fourth team, and if everything aligns properly, it's something they'll do. So, if a driver the caliber of Kevin Harvick is available, it's something they would pursue."(ESPN)(11-9-2012)
Stewart-Haas announces 2013 crew chief lineup: With an eye on 2013, Stewart-Haas Racing is restructuring its team lineup beginning with the Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Martinsville. Tony Gibson, currently the crew chief of the #39 U.S. Army/Quicken Loans team of driver Ryan Newman, will move to the #10 GoDaddy.com team of driver Danica Patrick. Gibson will get a jump start on the 2013 season by serving as Patrick's crew chief during her last two Sprint Cup races of the 2012 season - Nov. 4 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Nov. 11 at Phoenix International Raceway. Matt Borland, currently the vice president of competition for SHR, will add to his duties by returning to the role of crew chief when he takes over the #39 team beginning at Martinsville. Borland served as Newman's crew chief for five years when the two were together at Penske Racing (2002-2006), earning 12 wins and 37 poles. The 2013 structure of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 team of driver/owner Tony Stewart and crew chief Steve Addington will remain unchanged from 2012.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(10-20-2012)
Sponsorship announcement for Stewart Haas: UPDATES: Stewart Haas Racing is expected to announce sponsorship for Ryan Newman Tuesday and likely will include existing nine-race sponsor Quicken Loans, according to those with knowledge of the announcement. Newman is losing the U.S. Army's 12-race sponsorship after this season. He re-signed with the team in early September even though it had not announced any sponsors for 2013. Stewart himself needs a sponsor to replace Office Depot and its 22 races for next season. Several sources indicated that SHR is talking with Bass Pro Shops and an announcement could come as early as late next week. Bass Pro Shops already is an associate sponsor of the organization and has been on the hood of Newman's car for a couple of races. A Bass Pro spokesman said last week the company had no comment on the speculation of the company sponsoring SHR.(Sporting News)(9-29-2012)
UPDATE: Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online mortgage lender, announced that it will double down on its partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing and Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 Chevy in the Sprint Cup Series. Through the new agreement, Quicken Loans will serve as Newman's primary sponsor for 18 Sprint Cup races in 2013, marking the majority of the season. When not the primary sponsor, the company will be an associate sponsor on Newman's Chevrolet. Additionally, Quicken Loans will remain as an associate sponsor on the #14 Mobil 1 Chevy driven by three-time and reigning Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart throughout the 2013 season. The company also announced details of its newly launched Skip-a-Year Sweepstakes, which will pay up to five entrants' mortgages for a full year. "We were not sure what to expect with the 2012 season being our first in the sport," said Jay Farner, President and Chief Marketing Officer for Quicken Loans. "What we quickly found was that NASCAR fans are tremendously passionate and loyal to the brands that help drive their sport. It was their commitment to our company that ultimately allowed us to significantly increase our involvement with the sport, Stewart-Haas Racing and Ryan Newman." In 2012, Quicken Loans is a primary sponsor for nine races with Newman and the #39 team, while also maintaining an associate sponsorship with Stewart.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(10-2-2012)
UPDATE 2: SHR also is working on a potential deal with Bass Pro Shops to replace some of the 22 races left open on Tony Stewart's car after Office Depot announced plans to leave the sport after this season. "It's a huge first step in filling in a couple of large voids,'' Stewart said of expanding the sponsorship of Quicken Loans. "Hopefully, that will have a domino effect. "We're really close to getting Ryan's races sold. We're still working on getting mine taken care of. We feel we have a couple of good leads that hopefully will get done before the end of the year.'' The good news for Newman is his car is almost fully sponsored, with Wix Filters, Outback Steakhouse and Aspen Dental expected to return. He said getting Quicken Loans on the car for 18 races gives him more confidence that his one-year deal for next season could become more long-term.(ESPN)(10-3-2012)
Newman's crew and crew chief to Danica? UPDATE: Danica Patrick will be in good hands when she runs her first full season in the Sprint Cup Series in 2013. Stewart Haas Racing is looking to support Patrick with the veteran crew (chief Tony Gibson and the squad) that currently services the #39 team and Ryan Newman. "That's what we're looking at," says Patrick's current Cup crew chief and SHR Competition Director Greg Zipadelli. "We sat down and talked with all the guys about it, and we just feel that they're a real solid group of people. They have great attitudes, pretty upbeat. We feel like that's the best thing to do is surround Danica with a really great group of people that don't normally make mistakes. They don't have issues. I look at them as generally, their glasses are always half-full. I think that's the best thing for her." Zipadelli has a short list of crew chiefs for Newman but considering that most are still under contract with other teams he elected not to comment.(Fox Sports)(9-29-2012)
UPDATE: They are a veteran group and Gibson's easygoing demeanor would work well with Patrick and the media spotlight. And Newman seems OK with the potential change. "I wouldn't say I would be upset," Newman said. "I think a lot of (Gibson) as a person. We've had success on the racetrack and we've struggled on the racetrack." Newman said if he could get his crew chief in before the end of the season, that would be beneficial but it would need to be most of the crew he'd be working with in 2013. That could be difficult as SHR needs to hire extra people for the addition of a car. "Nothing has been decided yet-we're just talking about different options and trying to evaluate how we can make our program better next year," team co-owner Tony Stewart said.(Sporting News)(10-2-2012)
Newman re-signs with Stewart Haas UPDATES Ryan Newman has agreed to a one-year contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing. The extension will ensure Newman is the driver of SHR's #39 Chevy through the end of the 2013 season. Newman and SHR have been involved in negotiations for several weeks. An official announcement from the team could come as soon as this weekend.(Charlotte Observer)
UPDATE: Newman has agreed to a one-year deal to remain with the team, a Stewart-Haas Racing spokesman confirmed Thursday.(Sporting News)(9-6-2012)
UPDATE 2: Ryan Newman confirmed Thursday he has signed a contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing for next season. Newman is in the final year of the deal he signed in 2009. The extension is a one-year agreement, and he said he took a cut in pay just as nearly every driver has of late. "I think in general everybody out there right now has taken a pay cut," Newman said. "No different than the cost of a seat in the grandstands is down. It all correlates." Newman said he isn't aware of any signed sponsors for next season on his #39 Chevy. "I feel fairly confident that we'll have good branding on the car," he said. "I can't sit here and say exactly who it is going to be and how it's going to lay out and what race they're going to be at. I can tell you this for sure - it's going to be multiple sponsorships."(Associated Press)(9-7-2012)
Stewart says he will have three teams in 2013: #14-Tony Stewart, driver of the #14-Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy and owners of Steweart-Haas Racing (#14, #10-Patrick & #39-Newman) was the guest on the NASCAR Weekly Teleconference. Below is the transcript in part, dealing with the loss of the U.S. Army on the #39 Chevy of Ryan Newman and plans for 2013:
: Q. With U.S. Army now leaving a few weeks ago, where does that leave you as far as commitments with new sponsorship for your team next year?
Stewart: We're working on it, it's definitely still a setback but --
Q. Is it your hope to have three cars next year? Stewart: Yes, and it has been since we signed Danica.
Q. On the sponsorship deal, last year at this time it seemed like the environment was changing a little bit and maybe getting a little bit better and if you're still seeing that kind of thing and what it's like out there now in terms of what kinds of things you're having to do to get sponsors now that maybe you were or were not last year at this time.
Stewart: Well, I still think it's gaining momentum. We have been able to bring in Aspen Dental and Quicken Loans on board and those are two companies that had not been a part of NASCAR racing in the past. I'm pretty proud of that side of it. You know, it was definitely a huge disappointment that we were going to lose the U.S. Army. But it's not something that we have had a lot of at Stewart Haas Racing, we have not lost a lot of partners. And especially a group like U.S. Army, they have been a lot of fun to work with and they been a very dedicated group and have been very involved with what the race team is doing and very such pore at this point. We are going to miss out having them on board next year. But I still think it's coming around. There's a lot of new companies that we are seeing in the sport, and we are seeing that in our organization. So we are not giving up hope and throwing in the towel thinking that we are losing one sponsor; we are going to hopefully be able to try to find somebody else.(Team Chevy)(7-25-2012)
Army to leave NASCAR as sponsor after 2012 season: The U.S. Army has decided not to renew its sponsorship with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in 2013 as a primary sponsor of the #39 Chevy driven by Ryan Newman due to a reallocation of its marketing budget that will not include a presence in NASCAR. SHR is actively pursuing a strong brand to partner with the team and its roster of sponsors that also includes Office Depot, Mobil 1, Quicken Loans, GoDaddy.com, Haas Automation, Chevrolet, WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental, Tornados, Coca-Cola, Oreo, Ritz, Bass Pro Shops and Code 3 Associates.
Brett Frood, Executive Vice President, Stewart-Haas Racing: "The U.S. Army has been a great partner of Stewart-Haas Racing since the team's inception. It has been a mutually beneficial relationship, with the U.S. Army introducing training regimens that improved our pit crews while instilling the mental, physical and emotional strength of the U.S. Army Soldier in all of us. We remain very proud of our representation of the U.S. Army and its brave Soldiers who are 100 percent committed to our country. We will continue to activate on behalf of the U.S. Army for the rest of 2012, while also growing our other dynamic partnerships at Stewart-Haas Racing for the future."
John Myers, Director, Marketing Support Element, Army Marketing and Research Group: "The U.S. Army has worked with Stewart-Haas Racing in a mutually beneficial and highly successful relationship for the past four seasons, and they've performed superbly as our partner on and off the track. The same can be said of other members of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series family we have sponsored during the past 10 seasons. The sport, our drivers and the passionate NASCAR fans embraced the Army's participation and created a tremendous opportunity for Americans to learn more about the profession of the Army Strong Soldier."(SHR)(7-10-2012)
U.S. Rep. McCollum Comments: U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum has won her two-year fight to get the Army to "stop wasting taxpayer dollars" on sponsoring a NASCAR racing team. The Army announced Tuesday that it would stop sponsoring the Stewart-Haas Racing team. The sponsorships were supposed to be a recruiting tool, but McCollum had argued it's an ineffective one. See McCollum's press release on the issue at the Pioneer Press and another at USA Today.
Army to return to NHRA Army officials are in the process of signing a contract extension with Don Schumacher Racing through 2013 to continue the long-running sponsorship of the Top Fuel dragster for seven-time NHRA champion Tony Schumacher. "That's our intent," said John Myers, director of marketing support for the Army Marketing and Research Group. "The NHRA is a valuable part of our motorsports outreach portfolio. We are working on an agreement through 2013. The NHRA gives us a great return on our investment."(ESPN)
AND U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) plans to meet today with National Guard officials "to discuss their backing" of the Hendrick Motorsports #88 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevy driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr.(in part from Sports Business Daily)(7-11-2012)
Newmans break ground on animal facility: #39-Ryan Newman and wife Krissie began discussing plans for an animal rescue facility in Iredell County a few years ago, and the first step in the process took place a couple of miles from their home in Statesville, NC. The facility is called "Rescue Ranch" and will lay on 87 acres off NC Highway 21 and has been a dream of Krissie's. The Ranch will have similarities to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. where a good friend Mike Arms is the President. The facility will have a number of phases; the first consisting of offices and classrooms. Future phases will consist of a boarding facility, veterinary clinic, horse stalls and pastures, riding trails, educational camps and a small animal and creepy/crawly building. The first phase of the project has been awarded to Mooresville based R.L. Smith, Inc. owned by Ronnie Smith. The projected completion date is early fall 2012. "My wife Lee and I [parents of Regan Smith] have been supporters of the Ryan Newman Foundation from the beginning," Smith noted. "We are huge animal lovers and honored to be part of Rescue Ranch and the building of phase one. The facility is something that I believe our county will be proud of and I commend Ryan and Krissie for their efforts."(Ryan Newman Foundation)(1-31-2012)
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, February 21, 2015, TBA pm/et
Born in DECEMBER:
22 David Pearson
23 Greg Biffle, Peter Sospenzo, Ray Dunlap, Chris Cook, Addison Frye
24 Fr. Steven Janoski, David Ragan, Krista Marie Allison, Mike Gooch
25 Jesus Christ, Charles Comstock, Randy Earnhardt, Jimmy Buffett, Starr Elliott, Butch Lamoreux, Curtis W. Key, Noel Schafer
26 Blair Makenzie Nemechek, Josh Mick
27 Mike Laughlin, Don Radebaugh
28 Nelson Stacy, Brittany Wallace, Joyce Kearns
29 Waddell Wilson, Boston Reid, Mike Bagley, Owen Kearns Jr., Jessica Stroupe
30 Fred Lorenzen, Donnie Mergard, Ryan Hemphill, Kole Kahne, Cooper Berrier
31 Beth Simons-Dykes, Dorthy Schrader, Riley Craven, Ryan Blaney, Joe Hicks, Benny Ertel
Born in JANUARY
1 The New Year, Godwin Kelly, Scott Riggs, Dan Elliott
2 Robby Gordon, John Linville, Jimmy Lacroix, Karen Hensley, Robert Holt, Danny Baptista
3 Tony Eury Jr., Clifton "Coo Coo" Marlin, Joe Littlejohn, Michael Schumacher
4 Trent Owens
5 Dexter Bean, Dennis Connor
6 B.A. Wilson, Malcolm Young
7 Marty Houston, Cindy Page
8 Bobby Hamilton Jr
9 Mark Martin, Stephen Leicht, Briggs Pemberton, Bob Rahilly, Stephen Hawkins, Jim Rosenblum
10 Harry Gant, Larry McReynolds, Dennis Lacroix, John Mulloy, Rodger Ward
11 Brett Bodine, Jeff Hood, Shane Wallace
12 Lloyd Ruby, Brian Scott, Walter Ballard, Jacob Dallenbach, George Bignotti, Catlin Marie Waltrip, Randy Goss, Brian Taylor
13 Ernie Irvan, Kirk Hanson, Ron Denton, Earl Balmer
14 Mack Shirley
15 Scotty Hazlett, Chris Ostrander, Tim Andrews
16 A.J. Foyt, Dick Rathman, Bill Pappas, Harold Elliott, John Ambrose, Jeremy Clements
17 Lake Speed, Harry Hyde, Michael McSwain, Gabe Martin
18 Bill Davis, Christian Fittipaldi
20 Fireball Roberts, Ryan Pepe
21 Ernie Saxton, Roman Pemberton, John Willenborg, Robert Hughes
22 Ashton Lewis Jr., Sean Pragano, Rebecca Shepperd, Emma Blaney, Josh Pate
23 Bill Patterson, Emanuel Zervakis, Daryl Rasnake, Boris Said Jr., Matt Eversole
24 Greg Wallace, Scott Speed, Bob Schacht, Mike Harmon, Austin Cameron
25 Buddy Baker, Mike Broadwater, Harry Ranier, Chuck Hill
26 Scott Wimmer, Paul Newman, Troy Welty
27 Lake Speed, Jr., Jerry Robertson, Mike "Bubba" Hart, Gary Bradberry
28 Phillipe Lopez, Jimmy Cox, David Green, Randy Renfrow, Mark DeMarco, Kenneth Lankford, Timothy Morgan, Chase Miller
29 John Witske, Tommy Houston, Frank Mathalia
30 Wendy Venturini, Sean Caisse, Andy Eversole
31 Kevin Patrick Dowd, Shana Mayfield, Rick Wilson, Scott Lagasse Jr., Rex Hathcock, Tony Mullett, Jerick Johnson