Contract Status: Drivers: part-time; Primary Sponsors: TBA
Chili Bowl winner gets NASCAR ride: HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks announced that USAC National Midget champion and open wheel standout, Rico Abreu, will join the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East team in 2015. Abreu, 22, competed in more than 100 open-wheel races in 2014 in the United States and New Zealand. He posted 26 wins across 410 winged and non-winged sprint car, 360 winged sprints, and USAC midget competition in which he also won the national championship. Abreu most recently won the 2015 Chili Bowl Nationals last weekend. Abreu's #98 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East entry will be led by veteran K&N crew chief Mardy Lindley. Lindley has amassed five-career victories in three seasons, along with the 2013 K&N title with driver Dylan Kwasniewski. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season gets underway on February 15 at New Smyrna Speedway. Abreu will kick-start his experience in stock cars and on pavement by competing in the Pete Orr Memorial Super Late Model event also at New Smyrna Speedway this Saturday, February 24.(PR)
AND Sources tell ESPN The Magazine that these races will serve as the first stages of a driver development agreement with Chip Ganassi Racing, whom Larson drives for in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ganassi did little to keep the secret on Saturday night, following the Chili Bowl finish by excitedly posting in his second-ever (and since deleted) tweet: "There's a name you'll be hearing more of. Stay Tuned!" Also among the most notable post-Chili Bowl congratulatory tweets was one from NASCAR VP of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell: "Congrats @Rico_Abreu looking forward to seeing you in #nascar."(ESPN)(1-21-2015)
Annett moving to HScott Motorsports? Multiple sources have confirmed that Michael Annett and his Pilot/Flying J sponsorship will jump from Tommy Baldwin Racing (#7) to the HScott Motorsports stable in 2015, running the entire 36-race championship schedule as a teammate to #51-Justin Algaier. Annett finished 33rd in points at the wheel of TBR's #7 Chevy in 2014; his rookie year of Sprint Cup Series competition. The team managed a top finish of 16th at Talladega Superspeedway in May. Annett declined to comment on the move when contacted earlier today (Tuesday), but sources close to the situation say he will race as a teammate to Algaier and the #51 Brandt Chevy, making HScott Motorsports a two-car operation for the first time in their brief Sprint Cup Series history. Calls placed to team owner Harry Scott, Jr. were not immediately returned.(Godfather Motorsports). HScott Motorsports ran an 2nd car for the Daytona 500 in 2014, with Bobby Labonte driving the #52 Florida Lottery Chevy to a 16th place finish. It was the only attempt of the season for the #52 team.(1-20-2015)
Labonte will run a handful of races in #52: James Finch and HScott Motorsports were thrilled with Bobby Labonte's 15th-place finish Sunday, his best performance in Cup since the Daytona 500 last year. Just don't expect it to translate into a full-time ride driving the team's second car. The 2000 Cup champ, who turns 50 this year, has been signed for a fairly limited schedule, the four plate races (Daytona and Talladega) as well as two more TBD events in the #52. More sponsorship could beef up the program, but there's no major deals on the table for Labonte as of now.(Frontstretch)(2-26-2014)
Florida Lottery to sponsor #52 at Daytona: The #52 Chevy that Bobby Labonte will drive for HScott Motorsports in the Budweiser Duel and Daytona 500 will be sponsored by the Florida Lottery.(The Decal Source Twitter). See images of the scheme on the #52 Team Schemes page(2-20-2014)
Engine Issues for three drivers, will go to the rear of Daytona 500: #10-Danica Patrick, who won the pole for the Daytona 500 last year, was one of three drivers to have their Hendrick Motorsports engines suffer catastrophic failures in practice Saturday. #52-Bobby Labonte, driving a second car for HScott Motorsports, was the first using a leased HMS engine to experience trouble in the first practice session of the day. In the second session, the #14 Chevy of Tony Stewart -- Patrick's teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing -- belched smoke, signaling a failure. Patrick's #10 Chevrolet did much the same 10 minutes later. Both Stewart and Patrick said they had no warning. "It's just a motor. If it was getting ready for the race you would be a little more concerned," Stewart said. "It's just for qualifying. They pay the big check a week from tomorrow, not tomorrow."
Each team will be forced to start from the rear of the field for the Daytona 500. All three cars will also begin their respective Thursday qualifying races from the rear. None of Hendrick Motorsports' drivers suffered such problems. HMS director of track support Scott Maxim surmised problems were in the "bottom" of the engine but would not know for certain until each was dismantled. HMS general manager Doug Duchardt foresaw no problems for the rest of the race weekend, saying the team had "pushed the limit and found the limit."(ESPN)(2-15-2014)
Phoenix Racing renamed HScott Motorsports: Harry Scott Jr. announced that Phoenix Racing has been renamed HScott Motorsports. The rebranding of the team comes five months after Scott purchased the team from James Finch. As part of this announcement, the company unveiled its new branding, including a new logo, website and social media accounts. "I am truly looking forward to the 2014 season," said Scott. "We have two great drivers in place with Justin Allgaier and Bobby Labonte, we've partnered with great sponsors and the team is ready and excited for Daytona. Now that we have launched the HScott Motorsports brand, everything is in place. We can't wait for the season to get started and to get back to racing."
To learn more about the newly rebranded team, its drivers and partners, please visit www.HScottMotorsports.com. You can also keep up with the team via its Facebook page, at Facebook.com/HScottMotorsports, and on Twitter (@TeamHSM51 and @TeamHSM52) and Instagram (TeamHSM51).
Upon purchasing the team last year, Scott pledged to establish a team with a focus on the future and eventually competing for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. During this past offseason, HScott Motorsports signed Justin Allgaier to drive the #51 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet SS fulltime and Bobby Labonte to drive the #52 Chevrolet SS for a number of races, including the Daytona 500. HScott Motorsports also expanded their relationship with Hendrick Motorsports, which historically has been providing engines to the team. The team also hired NSCS veteran Steve Addington to serve as competition director and the crew chief for the #51 driven by Allgaier. Jimmy Elledge, who served as interim crew chief for Allgaier in 2013, remains with the team and will be crew chief for Labonte's #52 team. James Finch, former owner of Phoenix Racing, has remained a trusted advisor to the team and will be listed as the owner of Labonte's #52 Chevy.(Tuckahoe Strategies)(2-5-2014)
Finch plans to enter a car in Daytona 500 UPDATE2: Former #51 Phoenix Racing team owner James Finch told Brad Gillie and Buddy Baker on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's The Late Shift that he plans to enter a car in the 2014 Daytona 500.(listen at Soundcloud/SiriusXM). Finch will use a car from his old team, Phoenix Racing, now owned by Harry Scott Jr.. No word on a driver or what car nuumber Finch will use.(12-10-2013)
UPDATE: James Finch has asked 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champ Bobby Labonte to run a second Phoenix Racing Chevy in the 2014 Daytona 500. Finch, who sold majority interest of his team to Harry Scott last summer, said he hopes to have the car, engine and team solidified next week. "We'll be running out of the Phoenix Racing shop," Finch said. "I hope to have a number before Christmas. I'm waiting for NASCAR to get back to me on that."(FoxSports)(12-12-2013)
UPDATE 2: Phoenix Racing announced that Bobby Labonte will drive a second car for the team in the Daytona 500 on February 23, 2014 at Daytona International Speedway. The move reunites Phoenix Racing chairman emeritus, James Finch, with the 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Bobby Labonte. Labonte drove for Phoenix Racing for 13 races in the #09 in 2010 and for one race at Michigan International Speedway in 2013 in the #51. Harry Scott, Jr., who purchased the team from Finch in 2013, said, "James continues to be a valuable part of our team and when he came up with the idea of running Bobby in a second car, I jumped at the opportunity to bring him back into the fold. Bobby is a veteran driver that can also provide valuable insight and leadership for Phoenix Racing."
"I'm thrilled to be headed back to Daytona with Bobby Labonte," said Finch. "I thank Harry Scott for this opportunity. He knew I would have to be weaned off racing, I can't quit cold turkey."
"I am grateful and excited to return to Daytona with Phoenix Racing," said Labonte. "The Daytona 500 is obviously a special event for everyone involved in the sport. I can't wait to get back in the car for my 22nd Daytona 500."
Labonte, who will run a number of races for Phoenix Racing in 2014 has won 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in his career that started in 1991. During that time Labonte scored 115 Top 5s and 203 Top 10s. In 1990 Labonte was named the NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver. He captured the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship a year later in 1991. The team will provide additional information in the coming weeks about which car number will be entered, the crew chief for the team and sponsors supporting the car.(Phoenix Racing)(12-17-2013)
Barkdoll leaves Phoenix Racing: Phoenix Racing general manager Steve Barkdoll has parted ways with the NASCAR Sprint Cup team. The move comes one week after new owner Harry Scott Jr., co-owner of Turner Scott Motorsports, formally took control of the # 51 team formerly owned by James Finch. The team made its debut under new ownership last Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway with Justin Allgaier behind the wheel of the #51 Brandt Chevy.(Fox Sports)(9-18-2013)
Harry Scott, Jr. Reaches Agreement with Phoenix Racing - MORE: Harry Scott, Jr. has come to a definitive agreement with James Finch to purchase Phoenix Racing. Scott will formally take over control of the team as its owner on September 10, 2013 with Justin Allgaier behind the wheel of the #51 Chevy in time for the GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. "This is a very proud day for me as I will have the opportunity to compete against the best teams in motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as the owner of Phoenix Racing," said Scott. "I am going to build a championship contender with hard work, the right people and the right partners. This team has a great foundation thanks to the efforts of James Finch. There is a lot to build upon and I am looking forward to getting started." Scott's role as a co-owner in Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) is unchanged and he will continue to take an active role in that team on and off the track. "I owe a lot of gratitude to Steve Turner for bringing me into the sport as an owner. My experience at TSM will continue to serve me well in this next step," said Scott. Driver Justin Allgaier is making the move with Scott from TSM to Phoenix Racing and will be the team's driver in the #51 Chevy for its debut at Chicagoland Speedway on September 15 and two additional races this year. Allgaier, who is currently 5th in points in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS), will continue his pursuit of a championship in that series for TSM. Scott has signed a deal with BRANDT to be the primary sponsor of the #51 for three NSCS races this season. BRANDT, which also sponsors Allgaier in the NNS for Turner Scott Motorsports, will be the primary sponsor of the #51 at Chicagoland, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Allgaier will be the driver for each of those races. Scott has committed to keeping the Phoenix Racing team intact for the remainder of the season. Allgaier's crew chief will be Nick Harrison. Harrison is a third year crew chief and has worked with several drivers including Kurt Busch, Landon Cassill and A.J. Allmendinger. Phoenix Racing's general manager, Steve Barkdoll, will continue in his role after Scott takes over. The team will continue its relationships and alliances with Chevy, Hendrick Motorsports and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
Scott is working with NASCAR for final approval.(Tuckahoe Strategies)(8-28-2013)
UPDATE: Justin Allgaier, currently fifth in NASCAR Nationwide Series standings, will ... drive the #51 at [Chicago], Charlotte and Talladega. Scott said he has a driver in mind for the other seven races remaining in the 2013, adding the team would make another announcement on that front in the coming weeks. Phoenix Racing will remain a single entity and not be merged with Turner Scott, which Scott owns along with Steve Turner, and fields cars on three other NASCAR circuits. Scott believes all that's keeping the #51 car from being more consistently competitive is sponsorship -- and he says the team now has enough to finish out the 2013 season, as well as some already in place for the next two years. "In my opinion, they've been on the cusp. They've been competitive at times, so they've shown the ability to be competitive. Really what they've lacked is sponsorship, and we've got some. We've been fortunate to team up with some good partners, and that, I think, is going to give us what those guys have needed as far as a little more resources to kind of get them over the hump, to kind of take them to the next level," Scott said. "That gives us the ability to plan and invest and know that we've got these two years to kind of prove ourselves and attract even more sponsorship. And potentially in '16, maybe we'll have two cars. It's going to give us what we need in order to succeed, in order to be confident you're making a good investment. We will have time to pay our dues." The only sponsor announced thus far for the #51 car is Brandt, the agricultural products company that backs Allgaier's Nationwide car, which will appear on the vehicle for the three Sprint Cup events for which he's behind the wheel. Scott said the rest would be filled out by a variety of backers, although one company will serve as the team's primary sponsorship source, and there is inventory remaining on the vehicle going forward.(NASCAR.com)(8-29-2013)
Sale of Phoenix Racing finalized? Multiple sources say the sale of the #51-Phoenix Racing Sprint Cup Series team to Turner-Scott Motorsports principal Harry Scott, Jr. is now complete, and will be officially announced on September 1 weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Finch will continue to operate the team until then, in an effort to maintain its 27th-place owner points standing.(Godfather Motorsports)(8-13-2013)
Daytona International Speedway
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Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, February 21, 2015, 10:30 am/et
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