2014 Races [?] that Clorox is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Phoenix - 3/2
Contract Status: Driver: 2014+; Primary Sponsor, Target: 2014
Larson & Dillon discuss practice incidents: from a Team Chevy transcript after both rookies #3-Austin Dillon & #42-Kyle Larson hit the Darlington Raceway wall and gained a Darlington Stripe. Larson's car was damage so bad that the team pulled out the backup car. Comments from both drivers:
AUSTIN DILLON, #3 DOW CHEVROLET SS - HIT THE WALL DURING THE FIRST PRACTICE SESSION AND EARNED HIS FIRST NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES DARLINGTON STRIPE:
Dillon: "Well, Kyle (Larson) came over and asked, 'where did you hit'? I said off Turn 2. He said, me too. I said did you try you try to come off the wall and make it turn? He said exact same thing. So we are just learning, I guess. You get really tight. I felt good into (Turn) 1, and then through the middle, I get tight late around the corner, it just carries speed. Just hit the wall, but I learned a lot right there. Hopefully it doesn't happen again."
KYLE LARSON, #42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS - HIT THE WALL DURING THE FIRST PRACTICE SESSION, WILL GO TO A BACK-UP CAR; IT LOOKS LIKE YOU GUYS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GO TO A BACK-UP:
Larson: "Yeah I mean we (Austin Dillon) were talking and it sounded like the exact same thing that we were describing. Difference is I have to get a back-up out. Our back-up they said is just as good as our primary so we had a really good run before we I hit the wall. Just learning, I'm mostly ever in the wall in (Turns) 3 and 4 and never hit off (Turn) 2. I killed the wall in (Turn) 2. We will get back out here soon and I'm sure be fine."(Team Chevy)(4-12-2014)
Target CGR Partners With the Oscar Mayer: Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (TCGRFS) has partnered with the Oscar Mayer brand to help introduce P3 Portable Protein Pack to the NASCAR community. The packs of meat, cheese and nuts are designed for active consumers looking for a snack to help keep them going throughout the day. It is a perfect fit with the on-the-go lifestyle of NASCAR drivers and crews. Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevy, and his pit crew will be carrying the P3 Portable Protein Pack branding on their familiar Target uniforms and car throughout the Southern 500 weekend in Darlington, SC, while Oscar Mayer P3 Portable Protein Pack will use the backdrop of a NASCAR race weekend to teach fans the virtues of the P3 Portable Protein Pack product.(CGR)(4-12-2014)
Clorox Wipes on Larson's car at Phoenix: This week the #42 team will be easy to spot both on the track and in the pits with a special paint scheme from Target Racing partner Clorox. The #42 Clorox Disinfecting Wipes Chevy SS will shine bright under the desert sun with a yellow paint scheme that features Clorox's familiar logo on the hood.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #42 team paint schemes page.(2-27-2014)
Ganassi explains why 'Earnhardt' is no longer part of team name: For the first time since 1996, there will not be a team in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series with "Earnhardt" in its corporate name. The string began in 1996 when the late Dale Earnhardt formed Dale Earnhardt Inc. In less than a decade, it had become one of the premier teams in Cup competition, with son and namesake Dale Earnhardt Jr. as its on-track figurehead. But once Junior left DEI for Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, the once-feared company began by the man they called The Intimidator began to slowly disappear. Now, the Earnhardt corporate name is essentially extinct. After an ill-fated and short-lived merger with Ginn Racing in mid-2007, team owner Teresa Earnhardt lent her company's name and some of its assets to fellow team owner Chip Ganassi, forming Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in 2009. In the year before Junior left the family fold, Earnhardt's widow also lent her late husband's surname to Richard Childress Racing to form a new business - known as Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technology - designed to build motors for both RCR and other teams that would lease the engines. But as the Earnhardt name lived on with other teams, Teresa Earnhardt withdrew more and more from being active in racing. She continued to oversee the still-thriving souvenir business that memorialized her late husband and kept his name and legend alive, but that was about it.
Now in 2014, what was Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the last five seasons has reverted back to its original name prior to joining forces with Earnhardt, namely Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. And what was Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technology has quietly become simply ECR, with a team source telling MotorSportsTalk that "the E no longer stands for anything. It doesn't stand for Earnhardt. It's just ECR now."
Ganassi spoke to MotorSportsTalk at Daytona International Speedway on Friday about how the relationship with Teresa Earnhardt essentially disappeared with time, to the point where it no longer made sense to keep her late husband's surname as part of the team. "I wish I could explain it but I can't explain it," Ganassi said. "I don't have a good answer for you. We had a relationship and I don't know what happened. We can't get her on the phone; it's hard to try to communicate with somebody. She obviously has some other things on her plate, I guess, and that's her prerogative. She was never active in the team. I think she wanted to keep the name out there to some extent, and I don't know what Richard's (Petty) relationship is there (to Richard Petty Motorsports), but it's kinda the same thing. There's no ill will, I just don't have an answer, to tell you the truth. She just wasn't there anymore."(NBC Sports)(2-22-2014)
Larson flies with the Thuderbirds: #42-Kyle Larson had the opportunity to fly with the US Air Force Thunderbirds on Tuesday Feb. 18, during a two-day break in the track schedule at DIS. Larson took to the skies with Major Tyler "Wolf" Ellison in a two-seater F-16 Falcon and flew over Central Florida doing aerobatic maneuvers with the Air Force's aerial demonstration team.(CGR)(2-20-2014)
Larson to run two Target schemes in 2014: Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (TCGRFS) unveiled a video for three newly-designed firesuits that Kyle Larson and the #42 Target team will wear throughout the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season. In addition, the team unveiled two new paint schemes for the #42 Target Chevrolet SS. Beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, the speed and excitement of Target will be on display at the track each week in these fresh, new designs that offer edgier, modern updates to iconic firesuits. In his inaugural NSCS season, Larson and crew will hit the ground running with the new designs that will ensure they stand out from the pack both on the track and in the garage. This season the #42 Target Chevrolet SS will feature a two-tone paint scheme of red and white, with the dominant color changing based on the start time of the race. The car will shine bright at night races with a white paint scheme that fades into red along the rear of the car. For day races, a red paint scheme will dominate the front of the car and fade into white along the rear. The iconic Target Bullseye continues to be prominently displayed on the car's hood, and for the first time numerous small Bullseyes drape the lower panels all around the car.(see full PR at Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the Target scheme on the #42 Team Schemes page.(2-19-2014)
Montoya could run the Brickyard 400: Juan Pablo Montoya, former NASCAR driver [#42 Target Chevy], current driver of the #2 Verizon Indy car for Team Penske, met with members of the media on Orlando, FL and discussed his return to IndyCar among other topics, the transcript in part:
Q. Can you reflect a little bit on the NASCAR journey? What are your thoughts with Speedweeks going on? Does it feel odd at all that you're not there? Do you feel like you're where you belong?
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA: It's a feeling that I wasn't missing it probably. It was weird actually. A month ago when they did their first set, I was with my son racing at Homestead. I got a text from Chevy, We're missing you. I'm like, Why are you missing me (laughter)? I had no idea they were even testing. It's nice to do what I'm doing right now. I feel really happy. I'm really excited to be part of Team Penske. It's a tough challenge ahead of me. I know that. It seems weird because it seems like race speed is really good when we're in race trim. Our pace is really good. I was telling my guys, like my race engineer, If you really look at it, even on new tires, I'm not missing corners. There's a lot of room there for improvement and I know that. It's not bad. It's a process, I guess, I hope.
Q. You were talking about it being a difficult challenge. Obviously it was a difficult challenge when you moved over to NASCAR.
MONTOYA: It's completely different. The NASCAR one was one that it was like, Where the hell am I? The cars were very different. There was a lot of movement. This is the opposite because in NASCAR the limit of the car is very easy. You can get to the limit of the car very easy. The big thing is you're driving it too hard. In IndyCar, you can't drive it hard enough, or at least I can't yet. I'm leaving a lot on the table. I think that's the biggest thing.
Q. Having been successful in virtually every motorsports field you have taken part in, how do you look back and judge NASCAR?
MONTOYA: When we had good cars, we did good. When we had bad cars, we did bad. I think as a team we threw a lot of races away. It's part of the thing you always do. The point is when you're winning races, you throw a lot away and you still win a few. When you're not winning races, you notice the things you throw away. I think that's the biggest difference. The focus for me now is IndyCar 100%. I'm pumped about it. I feel like a complete rookie right now, so it's pretty cool.
Q. Roger (Penske) said with the right funding, he'd like to see you run the Brickyard 400. Is that something else you want to do? A fan on Twitter wants to know if you have any interest in running the NASCAR road courses as well?
MONTOYA: I think the Brickyard would be a good thing. I've been so close so many times, it would be a good way of closing that chapter with a good win there. I know Roger hasn't won there. If we could get the opportunity to do it, I think it would be pretty cool.
Q. Is there any consideration this year to try to run the Daytona 500 and Indy 500, to be the guy to win them both?
MONTOYA: No, unless Roger asks me.
Q. Have you asked him?
MONTOYA: No. I got enough things going on. No, no, no, no, no (laughter).(Team Chevy)(2-19-2014)
NASCAR drivers shut out in Rolex 24: After more than 2,400 miles and 23 1/2 hours of racing, the most prestigious North American sports car race came down to eight minutes and a final five-lap sprint. The first race of the unified United SportsCar Championship - the NASCAR-owned and IMSA-sanctioned series born from the merger between American Le Mans and Grand-AM - ended with a NASCAR flair. A late, full-course caution swallowed Joao Barbosa's 13-seccond lead and gave Max Angelelli a last-ditch chance to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Barbosa never gave him a chance, pulling away on the restart with 8:23 to race Sunday to give Action Express Racing its second victory in four years. Co-driver Sebastien Bourdais won the Rolex for the first time, while Christian Fittipaldi won for the second time.
Ford was shut out in its debut of its new EcoBoost engine. The #01 car of Chip Ganassi Racing team [including Jamie McMurray] wasn't able to defend its race win because of a series of problems that plagued the car starting very early in the race. Ganassi's #02 entry [including Kyle Larson] was taken out of contention when it developed a flat rear tire while Scott Dixon was running second with roughly five hours remaining.
Michael Shank Racing's entry [including A.J. Allmendinger], the 2012 race winning team, was halted by a broken gearbox.
CORE autosport finished a lap ahead of 8Star Motorsport to win the Prototype Challenge class.
Porsche North America claimed the GT Le Mans class with its No. 911 RSR entry.
The crowded GT Daytona class had the most thrilling - and controversial - finish of the race. The victory initially went to Flying Lizard Motorsports when IMSA officials penalized Level 5 Motorsports for avoidable contact on the last lap. But hours after the race ended, IMSA reversed its decision and gave the victory to Level 5.(Associated Press)(1-26-2014)
Chip Ganassi changes team name, drops Earnhardt from NASCAR operation: When Sprint Cup testing begins Thursday morning at Daytona International Speedway, there will be one well-known NASCAR name missing among the list of team owners. Earnhardt. The #1 and #42 Sprint Cup teams, which were run the last five years under the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates banner, will now return to their former name: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The sign outside the North Carolina shop already has been changed, and stickers on the cars and patches on the driver and crew uniforms will carry the Chip Ganassi logo instead of the EGR logo. Ganassi officials confirmed the change Wednesday but had no comment on the financial structure of the current organization, which fields Sprint Cup cars for Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson. Teresa Earnhardt, widow of seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt and owner of Dale Earnhardt Inc., has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of the team and with the change apparently no longer has any financial stake in the NASCAR operation. There will be no change in the operation of the Ganassi teams, as Teresa Earnhardt has had little influence on the organization's day-to-day operations. Ganassi began using Hendrick Motorsports engines in 2013 in its two Cup cars.(in part from the Sporting News)(1-9-2014)
McMurray & Larson to run in Rolex 24: Seven-time and reigning GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Champions and five-time and reigning Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced its season-long program for the new IMSA-sanctioned TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (USCC) in 2014, including their driver line-up for the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona. Long-time partners Telcel and TELMEX return as the primary sponsors of the #01 Ford EcoBoost Riley in the Prototype category for the USCC season-long effort piloted by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in their eighth year together, after finishing the GRAND-AM era as most-successful driving duo in Rolex Sports Car Series history.
In addition, CGRFS will again field two Prototypes for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, featuring eight drivers that represent some of the best talent the motor racing world has to offer. Pruett and Rojas will unite with CGRFS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) teammate Jamie McMurray and reigning Indy Lights Champion Sage Karam to form the lineup in the #01 Telcel/Target/Comfort Revolution Ford EcoBoost Riley, while the Team Target trio of drivers Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Kyle Larson join sports car star Marino Franchitti in the #02 Target/Telcel/Big Machine Records Ford EcoBoost Riley. CGRFS previously announced it would utilize Ford's 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost racing engine for the 2014 USCC season.(EGR)(1-4-2014)
Larson partners with Texas DOT to encourage sober rides: As the holiday season rings in festivities and family gatherings, the Texas Department of Transportation teamed with 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson in an effort to remind party goers to share the gift of a sober ride as part of their seasonal goodwill. "I may drive faster speeds than most, but it doesn't take a professional to know that you must stay sober to drive safely," Larson said. "Getting thrown in jail or landing in the hospital will not only wreck your holidays, but also will wreck your life. From one driver to another, I ask everyone to find a sober ride and don't drink and drive." Larson's message is complementing the extra hours law enforcement officers across Texas have been putting in since Dec. 13 through Jan. 1 to crack down on drunk driving. Last year during the New Year's holiday reporting period (from Dec. 28 through Jan. 1), there were 149 DWI alcohol-related traffic crashes in Texas, resulting in 16 fatalities and 33 serious injuries. In an effort to curb this dangerous holiday trend, TxDOT is encouraging people to plan for a sober ride home by visiting soberrides.org.(Texas DOT)(12-26-2013)
New pit coach at EGR: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing [#1 & #42 Chevy's] has hired long time Jack Man and coach Shaun Peet to coach next year. Peet is replacing coach Brett Cummings who had been at EGR the last few years. Peet brings a wealth of experience as an over the wall jack man as well as a coach. Over the last 10 or so years, Peet has spent time jacking at EGR, Red Bull Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, and now back to EGR. When he was at Red Bull with coach Greg Miller, Peet helped coach all the developmental peetathletes and has a strong background in not only coaching but in strength conditioning. The last few years have been spent at MWR as the Jack Man for the #15 of Clint Bowyer.(Pit Talks)(12-18-2013)
Montoya could still run some NASCAR races: Juan Pablo Montoya might not be finished in NASCAR just yet. On Monday, during a break in IndyCar testing at Sebring, Team Penske president Tim Cindric said that it's possible that the team would be receptive to putting it's newest IndyCar driver back in a stock car if the conditions were just right. "How many guys out there could bounce from series to series like he has?," Cindric said. "I think he has some unfinished business in the stock car. At the right time, we may put him in one of our cars that we feel is competitive. I think it's an interesting thing to do. We have to mutually commit to this. This needs to be where the success needs to be to start with." Montoya is returning to American open-wheel racing for the first time since 2001.(Autoweek)(11-26-2013)
Franchitti retires from racing: Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) announced that three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner and four-time IndyCar Series Champion [and former NASCAR driver] Dario Franchitti will be unable to continue his auto racing career. The IndyCar Series legend ends his career with 31 Indy car wins (tied for eighth on the all-time list) and 33 poles (sixth on the all-time list).(CGR)(11-15-2013)
Larson to make Cup debut at Charlotte: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) announced that young driving sensation, Kyle Larson, will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) debut for Team Target in the Phoenix Racing #51 Target Chevy at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 12. In addition, he will run the NSCS race in Martinsville in the #51 Target Chevy on Oct. 27. In August, EGR announced that Larson would take over the reins of the #42 Target Chevy SS beginning in 2014. Larson, who is currently running full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), will also compete in the NNS race at Charlotte in the #32 Target Camaro for Turner Scott Motorsports. Next season, the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) Champion, will continue to run full-time in the NNS and compete for Rookie of the Year honors in the NSCS in the #42 Target Chevy SS.
Before becoming the full-time Target driver in the NSCS in 2014, Larson will drive under the Target banner for his two 2013 NSCS starts in Charlotte and Martinsville and in one NNS race in Charlotte. Larson's 2013 Target paint scheme in the #51 and #32 Chevys will be white and carry the familiar Target bullseye in red. · Chip Ganassi, Owner, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates: "We are happy to have an opportunity to get Kyle in a couple of Cup races this year. Those races along with an aggressive testing schedule will be invaluable in his preparation for the 2014 season."
· Kyle Larson, Driver, #51 Target Chevy SS: "I am very excited to get behind the wheel of a Cup car in Charlotte this month - especially getting to race with the Target bullseye on the car. I have a lot of work to do to prepare for the 2014 season and I cannot wait to get started."(EGR)(10-1-2013)
Montoya excited about move to IndyCar: Juan Pablo Montoya considered staying in NASCAR and making the jump to Furniture Row Racing. But he says the pull to return to IndyCar and team with Roger Penske made it easy to say no and end his underwhelming stint in stock cars. "When you get a chance to run for Roger, I wouldn't turn that down," Montoya said Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Montoya won the 1999 CART title, the 2000 Indianapolis 500 and 11 races driving open-wheel for Chip Ganassi. He then moved to Formula One, where he had seven wins and 30 podiums, before reuniting with Ganassi again in 2006 to compete in NASCAR. With a shortened schedule in IndyCar, Montoya could run in select NASCAR races next season, such as the season-opening Daytona 500. Montoya said that decision was up to Penske. At least one 500 awaits. The Indianapolis 500. "Going back to the 500 is a big deal," Montoya said. "I know Roger hasn't won it since `09. I'm one for one there, so hopefully we can make it two for two."(Associated Press)(9-21-2013)
Montoya moving to IndyCar with Penske: Team Penske announced that Juan Pablo Montoya will join the team in 2014. Montoya will drive the #2 Team Penske IndyCar for the full season as he will join Will Power and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves in the team's IZOD IndyCar Series lineup beginning next season. Montoya, 37, is a native of Colombia and he is one of the most accomplished drivers in the world. His career highlights include race wins in Formula One, NASCAR and the CART Indy Car Series. He is the only driver to produce victories in the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the Monaco Grand Prix. Montoya earned 11 IndyCar wins over two seasons as he captured the CART Series title in his rookie season of 1999 followed by a victory in the Indy 500 in 2000.
"I am really excited to join this legendary team beginning next year," said Montoya. "I have had the opportunity to drive for some of the best racing teams in the world and I have always admired Roger Penske and his organization. I consider it an honor to be offered the opportunity to drive for Team Penske."
"Juan is a proven winner at all levels of motorsport," said Roger Penske. "He has won a lot of races and championships and he has an extremely passionate fan base. We look forward to building on his successes together and we believe he will be a great addition to Team Penske."(Penske Racing)(9-16-2013)
Earnhardt Ganassi to announce #42 driver Friday UPDATES - Kyle Larson: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing has scheduled a press conference to announce the new driver of the #42 Target Chevy on Friday at 2:35pm/et at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(8-27-2013)
UPDATE: With Sprint Cup Series practice set for 3:00pm/et Friday at Atlanta, it would be surprising if a current Sprint Cup driver would be participating in a news conference so close to the start of practice. That could be a sign that EGR will elevate Kyle Larson from the Nationwide Series to Cup. Larson, a 21-year-old Nationwide rookie and a standout in sprint cars, is on loan to Turner Scott Motorsports this year while under contract with EGR. In just his second year of stock-car racing, Larson is eighth in the Nationwide Series standings with six top-five finishes, including two at Bristol, two at Iowa, one at Michigan and one at Charlotte. He also won the truck race at Rockingham earlier this year. While the common belief in NASCAR circles is that Larson will be the new driver, team owner Chip Ganassi is known to be unconventional, as he was when he brought Montoya from Formula One to NASCAR.(Sporting News)(8-28-2013)
UPDATE 2: Kyle Larson isn't staying put very long. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will move the 21-year-old upstart to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fulltime in 2014, multiple sources confirmed Tuesday. Reached by phone on Tuesday evening, a team spokesman declined comment. Larson and team members of the Ganassi organization were notified of the decision this week, sources said. Larson will replace Juan Pablo Montoya in the #42 Chevy.(Charlotte Observer)(8-28-2013)
UPDATE 3: Kyle Larson is about to achieve his goal of becoming a driver in NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup Series. The 21-year-old racing prodigy from Elk Grove, Calif., will join Jamie McMurray next year on the two-car team of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, persons familiar with the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly said Wednesday. Larson is expected to step into the #42 Chevy and replace veteran Juan Pablo Montoya.(Los Angeles Times)(8-29-2013)
UPDATE 4: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) announced that young racing sensation Kyle Larson, a 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series driver and the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion, will take over as the driver of the #42 Target Chevy SS beginning in 2014. The EGR development driver has turned heads in NASCAR competition for the last two seasons where this year he currently sits eighth in the NNS standings. In addition, in just two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) starts this season, the two-time SPEED Performer of the Year Award Nominee (2011 and 2012) has one win and a second-place finish.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing)(8-30-2013)
Is Larson ready for a Cup ride? UPDATE Larson believes he is ready for Cup: With Juan Pablo Montoya exiting the #42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy at the end of the season, speculation has quickly turned to potential replacements. Kyle Larson, 21, is under contract to the organization for eight years, but from an experience standpoint, he has less than one full season of NASCAR Nationwide Series racing under his belt. The way #48-Jimmie Johnson sees it, that may not be a big issue -- and Johnson ought to know. After learning the sport with limited success in NASCAR Nationwide cars, Johnson made the jump to NASCAR Sprint Cup and has dominated that division in terms of race wins and titles since he joined the series full-time in 2002. "When you look at Kyle's background (Sprint Cars), he's driving cars with far more power than grip," Johnson said before Friday's practice. "I think the Cup car will suit his style far better than a Nationwide car. But you do need that foundation of knowing these tracks, because when we show up, our fastest lap we'll run all weekend will probably be our first lap right now. And if Kyle Larson wants to go to Cup next year, that's tough to do. He's going to need the whole session to get where he needs to, and then you're five or six adjustments behind the fast guys."(NASCAR Wire Service)(8-18-2013)
UPDATE: Throughout the weekend at Michigan International Speedway, several Sprint Cup drivers who had made the move to the top NASCAR level at a young age were asked about the adjustment. Those questions pertained to the possibility that Earnhardt Ganassi Racing could move 21-year-old Kyle Larson into the No. 42 car starting next season. Juan Pablo Montoya won't return to the seat, and Larson is considered one of the top young talents in the sport, but many fear moving him to Cup could curb his development and ruin a bright future. Only in his second full season of stock-car racing, Larson sits ninth in the Nationwide standings while driving for Turner Scott Motorsports on loan from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Larson has been lauded by Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and others for his racing ability, which has produced several major sprint-car victories as well as a truck win at Rockingham. The typically mild-mannered Larson just went about his business of racing the Nationwide car last week at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course a little bit oblivious of all the talk about him in Michigan, but obviously knowing his name is circulating heavily in the rumor mill.
"I didn't know that people had been asking the Cup guys if they thought I was ready or not yet," Larson said in a phone interview Monday. "I thought it was really cool that a lot of people thought that I was speculated about going in the 42. I think that says I'm doing OK. I don't know if it will happen or not, but I'm not really worried about whether people think I'm ready or not." With several sprint-car races on his schedule this summer and the full slate of Nationwide races, Larson said he hasn't had much time to think about his future. He believes he could handle Cup as far as racing but would have to get used to a schedule filled with longer events and several more sponsor and media commitments. "The races are longer so I might have to think about working out," Larson said. "I think I would handle it pretty well. I think I would get used to it. I think I would race OK." Larson believes he could handle the mental stress that could come with being a rookie at the major level.(Sporting News)(8-21-2013)
Montoya will not be back with EGR in 2014: The Associated Press has learned #42-Juan Pablo Montoya will not be back for an eighth NASCAR season with Chip Ganassi. The team owner informed Montoya he will not bring the Colombian back for an eighth NASCAR season. Ganassi president Steve Lauletta announced the decision to the team Tuesday, multiple people present for the announcement told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Ganassi does not comment on driver contracts.(Associated Press)
AND Team co-owner Felix Sabates later confirmed the move to SiriusXM's NASCAR channel. "We did not renew the contract for next year," Sabates told the channel. "It was a difficult decision. He understands. You have to move on in life sometimes. It's frustrating for everybody when you know you've got good equipment and you can't seem to put everything together still." Target is set to sponsor the #42 car next year. Several drivers could replace Montoya. Chase contenders Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman don't have contracts for next season. There are also several Nationwide drivers who could be available, including rookie Kyle Larson, who reportedly has several years remaining in a contact with Ganassi. #1-Jamie McMurray is expected to return to the other EGR car in 2014.(Sporting News)(8-13-2013)
Ganassi not rushing Larson: Kyle Larson, who has been praised as a potential superstar by Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne, is back to work crisscrossing the country racing anywhere he can during a long break in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide Series. He spent last weekend at home in California racing at Antioch and Calistoga in Outlaws and 360 sprints, was back in North Carolina to run his kart at MMX on Wednesday, then was off again Thursday to Sacramento to repeat last week's schedule at Antioch and Calistoga again. Next week it's back to MMX for karting and then on to Texas Motor Speedway to resume racing in the Nationwide Series. So far, team owner Chip Ganassi hasn't been disappointed. But Ganassi is being cautious. It is early, after all, and Larson has just five races with Turner Scott Motorsports under his belt. Just how long Ganassi actually allows Larson to be a kid is another question. He holds options for next year on both #1-Jamie McMurray and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, who sit 16th and 30th in the Sprint Cup standings right now. His loyalty to Montoya is unquestioned, but he's admittedly frustrated that the results still aren't there as the duo heads into their seventh season together in NASCAR. If Ganassi has something already in mind for Larson as a potential replacement to one of his Cup drivers he isn't saying. He initially joked there was no firm plan for Larson, "we just, every Monday morning, we just throw a dart at the board," before getting serious about the importance of going slow with his young driver.(Associated Press)(4-5-2013)
Earnhardt Ganassi switching to Hendrick engines: The "Earnhardt" in Earnhardt-Childress Racing won't use the company's engines beginning in 2013. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will use motors leased from Hendrick Motorsports starting next season, a team representative told reporters at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday. The move is surprising considering ECR was formed as a joint engine-building effort between Earnhardt Ganassi and Richard Childress Racing. EGR has struggled over the last two seasons with drivers #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #1-Jamie McMurray, and team owner Chip Ganassi apparently felt a change was necessary in the engine program. RCR team owner Richard Childress said he wasn't surprised by Ganassi's decision to pull out of ECR and said he's been aware of the possibility for quite some time. Childress said his team will have "a couple" new customers next season - though he wouldn't say who - and also has an existing sponsor in Furniture Row Racing. ECR will retain its name because the teams "have a different relationship with the engines," Childress said.(SB Nation)(11-2-2012)
Richmond International Raceway
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, April 25, 2014, 1:00pm/et
Born in APRIL
16 Alicia Lingerfeldt, Bob Flock, Matt Dusenberry
17 Tony Glover, Len Wood, Brandon Thomas, Carl Larson, Brooke McReynolds, Carol Mears, Reid Spencer
18 Geoff Bodine, Tyler Labonte, Kale Kahne, Jim Noble, Melanie Self
19 Robert Yates, Richard Yates, Jack Roush, Greg Erwin, Kevin Grubb, Al Unser Jr., Aaron Keuhn
20 Frank Stoddard, Mike Stefanik, James Barnwell, Ron Barfield, Adrian Fernandez, Dustin Skinner/P>
21 Bruce Silver, Bill Ingle, Greg Zipadelli, Bob Varsha
22 Raygan Swan, Stella Paysor, Wesley Gantt
23 Brian Whitesell, Jason Keller, Phil Gould, Joe Keller, Skip Manning, Terry Glotzbach, P.J. Jones, Tommy Croft, Charles Gafrarar, William Shakespeare, Jacob Meetze
24 Hermie Sadler, Harrill Hamrick, Stephanie Hillin, Amanda Lorenzen
25 Alex Bowman, Jason Lee, Alkie Cunningham
26 Martha Oliver, Jimmy Kitchens, Charles Moles
27 Shelly Bose, Jason Haynes, Austin Dillon, Jason Sheets
28 Tyler Hmiel, Jeff Neuendorf, Zach Case
29 Dale Earnhardt, Larry Frank, Angie Skinner, Chad Little, Jerry Schweitz, Alexandria Fennig
30 Michael Waltrip, Elliott Sadler, Andy Hillenburg, Joe Millikan, Amelia Joy Smith, Chris Browning, Ashton Glover, Frank Kimmel
Born in MAY
1 Randy Dorton, Johnny Sauter, Jimmy Parrott
2 Ed "Uncle Bud" Adamczyk, Kyle Busch
3 Greg Ely
4 Randy Tolsma, Bobby Burrell, Jennifer Eolin, Amanda Ebersole
5 Larry Pollard, Bob Welborn
6 Mike Borkowski, Tammy Jo Kirk, Jeff Hancock, Dean Mozingo, Gina Henson
7 Dave Steele, Danny O'Quinn Jr.
8 Bobby Labonte, Nathan Buttke, Don Hume, Jay Stewart, Judy Childress
9 Tim Fedewa, Scott Page
10 Amelia Andretti, Andy Rueger
11 Glenn Bobo, Tim Flock, NASCAR Hall of Fame
12 Jabe Thomas, Debra Adamczyk
13 Rich Bickle, Scott Eggleston, Bob Kennedy, Jim Spencer, Linda McReynolds, Kirk Almquist, Maggie Feeney Rossi
14 Steve Letarte, Bill Brooks, Dave Munari, Danielle Del Corio, Scott Lynch
15 Shane Hmiel, John Hubner