Contract Status: Driver: x; Primary Sponsors: none
#66 returns in 2011, renamed HP Racing, goes part time: HP Racing, LLC, a renamed entity [formerly PRISM Motorsports] formed by owners Randy Humphrey and Phil Parsons is pleased to announce the formation of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team HP Racing (HP). Debuting in 2011 HP is set to compete with the #66 Toyota Camry with driver Michael McDowell at the controls. McDowell qualified for 17 Sprint Cup Series races in 2010 driving for PRISM Motorsports, including the Daytona 500 in February. After moving into a spacious shop at the JTG Racing facility in Harrisburg, North Carolina, the team is currently expanding its fleet of Sprint Cup Series cars and upgrading equipment. The crew chief will be Gene Nead and is slated to run the Daytona 500. "It is great to reunite with Randy and Phil at HP. The new shop and equipment will help us develop partnerships to grow this race team and help us push into the next level of competition," McDowell expressed. "I have had great success with Gene Nead in the past and feel confident we can qualify and run competitively in the races we attempt."
Aside from Daytona, HP intends to compete in select races, including events at Bristol Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen International, with others to be named at a later date. HP is actively seeking sponsorship to fund the remaining races on the Sprint Cup Series Schedule and is positioning itself as a viable race team for partnership with organizations looking to break into the racing industry. "HP is a reinvention of our race team that has been operating for a couple years. We're still the same people, but we see this as a tremendous opportunity to compete on a more consistent basis in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," said Co-Owner Phil Parsons.
"We really feel like we've elevated our program and we're thrilled about the team we've put together. It's an exciting time for us and we're thankful to be able to reunite Gene Nead and Michael McDowell. We have all the elements in place to succeed, and with sponsorship we'll be able to race competitively on a consistent basis," Co-Owner Randy Humphrey commented.(HP Racing PR)(1-19-2011)
Prism Motorsports to shut down operations UPDATE maybe not? Prism Motorsports, owned by Phil Parsons and Randy Humphrey, that field the #66 Toyota [all the races] and the #55 Toyota [34 races], will shut down operations after the race in Homestead. The team is only running one car, the #66 at Homestead, with Mike Bliss as the driver. Crew chief Zach McGowan and the crew members are looking for oppurtunities in 2011.(11-18-2010)
UPDATE: Team owner Randy Humphrey says Prism Motorsports is not closing and are working on their 2011 plans.(11-20-2010)
Aaron's celebrating 55th anniversary with Waltrip at Talladega: Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip climbs behind the wheel of the #55 Aaron's 55th Anniversary Toyota this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The 47-year-old driver won on the 2.66-mile restrictor plate track in 2003. Waltrip owns four restrictor plate victories in his 25 years of Sprint Cup competition. Waltrip drove the Aaron's 55th anniversary paint scheme at Talladega in April in a Toyota fielded by Prism Motorsports.(MWR)(10-28-2010)
Terry Labonte in the #55 at Richmond: Terry Labonte will replace Mike Bliss in the #55 Prism Motorsports Toyota for the Air Guard 400 on Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. Stavola Labonte Racing crewmen, including crew chief Doug Randolph, were working on the car to get it race-ready (it was a start-and-park) and putting the decals of sponsor Gander Mountain on the car. Labonte had failed to make the race in what the team had hoped would be its debut.(SceneDaily), Bliss had qualifed the #55 Toyota 37th. With the driver change, the car and Labonte will fall to the rear of the field before the start of the race.(9-11-2010)
Aaron’s To Sponsor Michael Waltrip at Talladega: Aaron’s, Inc. will sponsor driver Michael Waltrip at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 31 as part of its 55th anniversary celebration. The two-time Daytona 500 champion and former Talladega winner returns to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driving the #55 Toyota fielded by his Michael Waltrip Racing organization. Waltrip drove the Aaron’s 55th anniversary paint scheme at Talladega in April in a Toyota fielded by Prism Motorsports. He started last but led laps 31-34 before a multi-car crash ended his race. Waltrip also finished 18th in the 2010 Daytona 500. “If the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced every weekend at Talladega and Daytona I’d still be driving full-time,” laughed Waltrip. “That’s how much I like those tracks and restrictor plate racing. The only place better than sitting in the stands or watching a restrictor plate race on television is behind the wheel of the Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota.” Aaron’s sponsorship of this race program is designed to develop awareness of Aaron’s 55th Anniversary Super Sweepstakes with scratch-off chances to win every month through November 2010 and grand prize drawings in December including multiple chances to win a Toyota Camry Hybrid. People may pick up a game card each month at any of Aaron’s 1,700+ stores. And they should register their game cards each month at Aarons.com/55.(MWR), see images of the scheme on my #55 Team Schemes page.(9-2-2010)
Yeley replaced by McDowell in the #46? Chevy? have not seen anything 'official' but on J.J. Yeley's Twitter, Yeley says he is out of the #46 Whitney Motorsports Dodge Sprint Cup Series ride and Michael McDowell is in, starting at Atlanta Sept 5th. No word who will drive the #55 PRISM Motorsports Toyoya McDowell has driven most of the 2010 season. McDowell said on his Facebook that he will be releasing an update soon on his Sprint Cup plans as he doesn't want the rumor mill to get ahead of him too much.
and later Yeley added on his Twitter ""Went and got my stuff today from the Shop. Never heard from the owner at all. I guess they are getting New cars and Chevy engines. Must B nice", so the team may be switching from Dodge to Chevy?(8-24-2010)
UPDATE: Michael McDowell will replace J.J. Yeley in the #46 Sprint Cup car for Whitney Motorsports, a team spokesman confirmed Tuesday.(SceneDaily)(8-25-2010)
Michael Waltrip at Goodwood Festival of Speed: This weekend Michael Waltrip climbs back behind the wheel of the #15 NAPA Auto Parts car in front of 150,000 global motorsports enthusiasts at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. The annual festival is a hill climb featuring historic motor racing vehicles. Waltrip drove the familiar blue and yellow NAPA AUTO PARTS car to Daytona 500 victories in 2001 and 2003. Waltrip races a part-time schedule now and devotes nearly all of his attention to his Michael Waltrip Racing team that fields cars for drivers David Reutimann and Martin Truex Jr in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. Waltrip left for England on Tuesday. After Goodwood, Waltrip and (Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner) Rob Kauffman plan to race in the 24 Hours of Spa on Aug. 2. The pair teamed up to race the AFCorse Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Dubai in January.(MWR PR)(7-2-2010)
"Praying for Karson" Toyota to run at Infineon: PRISM Motorsports will welcome Michael Waltrip back behind the wheel of the #55 for the fourth time this season at Infineon Raceway on Sunday, June 20. Racing for a special cause, the PRISM Motorsports machine Waltrip will pilot has a unique paint scheme thanks to the Toyota Racing "Sponsafy Your Ride Contest" and the grand prize winner, Fay Knape of Danbury, Texas. The contest focused on fans creating their own special paint schemes, with the winner's design to be featured on the PRISM Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Camry. Over 77,500 fans submitted designs in the contest, and fans cast more than one million votes for their favorite. From the top nine popular votes, the top five finalists were chosen by a panel of Toyota executives and NASCAR personalities. The winning artwork honors Knape's one-year-old grandson, Karson, who was born with Neuroendocrine Cell Hyperplasia in Infancy (NEHI), a rare lung disease. "Praying for Karson", Knape's design, features highlights of the outdoors where she hopes her grandson can one day play without his oxygen tank that he is required to wear for his condition. Waltrip previously raced for PRISM at Bristol Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, where he led two different times for four laps before his day was cut short as a result of crash damage from a lap 84 incident on the front stretch. For the running of the Aaron's 499 at Talladega, Waltrip ran with a special paint scheme in celebration of Aaron's 55th year in business.(PRISM Motorsports)(6-25-2010)
Who loves love?.....Sponsafy Your Ride Contest named; Waltrip to run the colors: Toyota Racing announced the grand prize winner in the “Sponsafy Your Ride Contest,” the quest to take one fan’s NASCAR Cup car masterpiece from online design to real sheet metal. “Praying for Karson,” created by Fay Knape of Danbury, Texas, beat out more than 77,500 submissions. A Toyota Camry wrapped in the “Praying for Karson” artwork was featured in the parade lap before the green flag drops at the NASCAR Sprint All- Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Knape’s design “Praying for Karson” honors her one-year-old grandson, Karson, who suffers from a rare interstitial lung disease known as Neuroendocrine Cell Hyperplasia in Infancy (NEHI). Knape saw the contest as the perfect opportunity to raise NEHI awareness and potentially fund research. Knape’s car design illustrates her vision for Karson’s future. She hopes to see him playing outdoors and enjoying the beauty of nature, without being restricted by the oxygen tank he wears 90% of the time. In addition to the grand prize package, Toyota has donated $5,000 to Karson’s family to help offset the cost of his medical expenses. Knape received a prize package for the weekend’s race festivities in Charlotte, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the official 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Week events, hospitality suite access, a driver meet and greet with #11-Denny Hamlin, exclusive Toyota racing apparel and spending cash. Knape is accompanied to the race by her husband, James; son, Patrick; daughter, Breah; and grandson and inspiration, Karson.
On June 20, two-time Daytona 500 winner, Michael Waltrip will attempt to qualify the #55 “Praying for Karson” Toyota Camry for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway.
More than one million votes were cast in the contest. Nine of 10 crowd favorites chosen by popular vote qualified to compete for the grand prize. A panel of judges comprised of Toyota executives and NASCAR personalities Darrell Waltrip, Michael Waltrip and Joe Gibbs then narrowed the field of nine finalists down to five. Along with “Praying for Karson,” the panel selected four runners-up, including: First Runner-up: “Purple Heart” Second Runner-up: “Kaitlin’s Wish Black” Third Runner-up: “Shayden’s Race Car” Fourth Runner-up: “All-Star”.(Toyoya PR)(5-23-2010)
Go-kart track by McDowell and Marks faces opposition: Neighbors concerned about noise are fighting plans for a go-kart track proposed by NASCAR driver Michael McDowell and ARCA racer Justin Marks. The drivers' DryLake Entertainment LLC has offered to buy 31.68 acres for $821,431 for their Mooresville Motorplex go-kart track in a far end of the town of Mooresville's new Mazeppa Park. The nearest such tracks are in Kershaw, S.C., and Danville, Va., Marks said. The drivers tried to ease concerns about noise when they met with about 30 concerned residents at nearby Triplett United Methodist Church on Wednesday night. The track's developers will maintain the existing 80-foot buffer of pine woods while also planting evergreens, Virginia pines and Southern magnolia trees to further reduce sound carrying from the track, project architect Dick Brolin of Mooresville-based Piedmont Design Associates told the residents. Only two or three go-karts would practice at any given time during the week, with the sound minimal to neighboring properties, the drivers said. The track would host four to six competitions a year, Marks said, and letting people stay overnight at the track won't be allowed. The karts would adhere to international karting standards for noise, the drivers added.(Charlotte Observer)(5-21-2010)
Rear Gear taken from #55 car UPDATE: NASCAR announced that it confiscated the rear gear of the #55 Toyoya of Michael McDowell on Friday at Darlington Raceway and will take it back to the R&D Center for further inspection. Any penalties could come Tuesday.(Virginian Pilot), McDowell started 18th at Darlington and finished 40th.(5-9-2010)
UPDATE - #7 & #55 team fined: NASCAR has issued penalties to the #7 and #55 teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rules violations last week at Darlington Raceway. The #7 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR required specifications); and 20-18A (unapproved additional door braces) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book. The infraction was discovered during opening day inspection on May 7. Crew chief Samuel Stanley has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Robby Gordon, both driver and owner of the #7 car, has been penalized with the loss of 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points.
The #55 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4-J; and 20-10.6B (unapproved final drive gear; incorrect tooth count). The violation was discovered during post-qualifying inspection on May 7. Crew chief Zachary McGowan has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Driver Michael McDowell and owner Randy Humphrey have been penalized with the loss of 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, respectively.(NASCAR), to see more on penalties assessed, see my 2010 Penalties page
the penalties do not affect the Top-35 in owners points going into Dover, but #7-Gordon drops from 34th to 35th and is now 18 points ahead of 36th in owners points, #38-David Gilliland. #55-McDowell drops from 41st to 43rd in owners points, but would still make the race at Dover if qualifying were to be canceled. See the adjusted owners points on my 2010 Owners Points Standings page..(5-12-2010)
Blaney, McDowell swap rides at Phoenix: This weekend at Phoenix Dave Blaney has moved over to the #55 Prism Motorsports Toyota, swapping seats with Michael McDowell, who will be in the #66. SPEED reported that Blaney was moved to the #55 in preparation for Michael Waltrip's race in the car at Talladega. Blaney usually runs more laps that McDowell and that will enable the team to focus more on the performance of the #55. It was not mentioned if they will swap cars again next weekend at Texas.(4-10-2010)
Waltrip to qualify the #55 at Bristol: Michael Waltrip is listed as the driver of the #55 Prism Motorsports Toyota on the entry list for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Waltrip says on his facebook page: "Michael Waltrip Racing Looking forward to Bristol. Our guys are traditionally strong there. I'm qualifying the Prism 55 to get to know the guys and prepare for Dega." Waltrip will run the #55 Aaron's Toyota for Prism Motorsports at Talladega in April.(3-15-2010)
Waltrip to drive #55 at Talladega: In celebration of its 55th year, Aaron's, Inc. will sponsor PRISM Motorsports' #55 with driver Michael Waltrip in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway April 25. Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion and former winner at Talladega, will return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing with a long-time sponsor in Aaron's and a long-time friend in PRISM co-owner Phil Parsons.(Aarons PR), see an image of the car on the #55 team paint schemes page.(3-10-2010)
#66 team scrambles to get Vegas car ready: NASCAR cut Prism Motorsports a break when it adjusted its post-race inspection procedure after last weekend's Fontana race to enable Phil Parsons' impounded "random post-race inspection" car -- the #66 Toyota driven by Dave Blaney -- to be checked Thursday afternoon and Friday morning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway rather than taking the car back to NASCAR's R&D facility in Concord, N.C. "They really went out of their way to help us by sending their guys in [Thursday] to start the inspection process -- they didn't have to do it," Parsons said with a relieved wave of his hand. "I really appreciate them working with us and doing that. I understand being the random [car]. We may have overachieved at [Fontana] by qualifying fifth -- I don't know if we expected it, never mind anyone else. But I've been in this thing my whole life and all we ever ask is a level playing field. And [NASCAR] does all they can to ensure it's a level playing field -- they're the umpires. We know we have to qualify into the field on time, just like the other nine cars that are here, and if they need to make sure the playing field is level for anybody, it's those 10 [go-or-go-home cars]."
"Following last Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway, as we do after each NASCAR Cup Series race weekend, we impounded two cars -- the race winner and a random selection," said Kerry Tharp, NASCAR director of communications, competition. "The #48 car was the race winner and the #66 car was the random selection. Due to West Coast travel and logistics, we [inspected] the 66 car prior to practice at Las Vegas. The 48 car will come back to the R&D Center and be inspected early next week."
In a tough economic climate, Prism is short-staffed and financially challenged. While the team proved its mettle in 2009 by sending a car to every event, with its last-minute decision to field two cars this season, Prism only has two complete cars -- one for each team -- with a mostly-complete backup on each hauler. While trying to accrue enough sponsorship backing to be able to afford to race complete events, Prism does a "start and park" strategy to offset the sizeable expense of traveling to and attempting to qualify for Cup races.
"We really appreciate all the hard work by all our guys this week," Parsons said. "It was a great job [Friday] by all of them." But Parsons wouldn't short sell what NASCAR and its inspectors had done, along with engine builder Terry Elledge from Pro Motor, Mark Smith's partner who Parsons said was the head of the company's Toyota program, turned around a complete backup engine for Blaney's car, plus a carburetor and intake manifold that were intended as the former backup engine's primary pieces, which weren't needed when NASCAR bent over backwards. "NASCAR actually came in here [Thursday] and let us take the engine out of the [Fontana] car so it could be inspected, and let us take some of the pieces that we needed to put in the backup car -- so they did us a favor," Parsons said. "They actually came in early to do that, they unloaded it and we took the motor out so they could inspect it. They finished it [Friday], doing the body, the rear end housing and the rest of it. If we'd have been on the East Coast, all this would have been done at the R&D Center on the Tuesday after the race."
The newly-assembled "Vegas primary" was in the inspection line at Las Vegas on time Friday morning and went out for the first of its 10 laps in pre-qualifying practice about 15 minutes into the 90-minute practice.(in part from NASCAR.com)(2-28-2010)
NASCAR confiscates the #66 car: watching start-and-parkers? UPDATE: When Dave Blaney headed to the garage in his #66 Prism Motorsports Toyota after 43 laps [at Auto Club Speedway], NASCAR officials were waiting. Three laps earlier, #55-Michael McDowell drove the other Prism Motorsports car to the garage. The final race report concluded that both cars had engine failures. So why did the sanctioning body confiscate the #66 car? "Because they can," said Bill Henderson, crew chief of the #66 team and general manager for Prism Motorsports.
Henderson, who has just two cars for the team, was told the car will not be returned until next Saturday — long after qualifying is over. However, the primary car has the basics of racing — swaybar, shocks and springs — that the team simply can't afford to duplicate on the backup car. Without those necessities, Henderson will not be able to race. Sprint Cup Series director John Darby said he hopes to perform the inspection at Las Vegas in order to return the car to the team in a timely fashion, but that's hardly a guarantee.
Which begs the question: Is NASCAR attempting to send the message to "start and park" teams — those that enter a race primarily to collect a check and don't always try to finish — not to stink up their show? Prism Motorsports wasn't the only team that ended their day prematurely Sunday at Fontana.
Joe Nemechek initially parked his car on Lap 27 then mysteriously returned to the track a short time later and ran an additional 27 laps before a "rear gear" failed. Boris Said also went into the garage early, came back out, and then disappeared. Even Aric Almirola, who was driving the #09 Phoenix Racing entry that won at Talladega last year, ended up in the garage after 34 laps with an engine failure.
"It's one thing to try to race each week," said the manager of a team that generally finishes among the 40-somethings who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "But I think doing two (teams) to get a check isn't going to sit very well with NASCAR." Prism Motorsports pocketed $160,070 for Sunday's combined effort of 83 laps. #17-Matt Kenseth, who finished seventh, ran the full 500 miles and earned a $161,696 pay day.
Darby said choosing the #66 Toyota as "the random" car was part of "the normal inspection procedure. That particular car stood out given that Blaney qualified fifth and led three laps. "The 'randomness' of inspection covers everyone in the field," Darby said. "The 66 was a car that was very competitive. Yes, he was outside of the top 35, but he was the fastest of the group. He was fifth overall qualifying and he led the race today. We've got to make sure that as we fulfill our responsibility to our competitors to make sure that everyone is playing with the same rulebook and adhering to the same rules — and that means everybody. That car deserves a look at to make sure it's up to start." Darby said the sanctioning body cannot try to "outguess the teams" to determine who the start-and-park cars are every weekend.(FoxSports)(2-22-2010)
UPDATE: Phil Parsons didn't take it personally or consider it a message to start-and-park teams when NASCAR impounded the #66 driven by Dave Blaney following Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway. He took it as a compliment. Had Blaney not qualified fifth, led three laps and run in the top 10 for a while before parking 43 laps into the 250-lap event, Parsons doesn't believe the car would have been a random selection for a full teardown. "If I am them and they are me and they qualified fifth, I may want a little extra look at that car,'' said Parsons, the owner of Prism Motorsports that fields the #66 and #55 of Michael McDowell. "We're fairly new and haven't been around that much. There aren't many relatively new teams that are able to do stuff like that. We may be a victim of our own success.'' Some might question success. Both Prism cars parked early Sunday, saving the engines and other parts for this week's race at Las Vegas. Like it or not, that's the business model some owners have to follow until the economy lightens its grip around the sport. Parsons understands it could gives owners like him a bad name. He also understands that he's doing everything he can to stay in the sport. "We try to race when we have money to race,'' said Parsons, who formed an alliance just before the season to get cars from Michael Waltrip Racing. "We raced Daytona the week before and [McDowell] broke a drive shaft with five laps to go. We're out there in the market place. It's just been very difficult to raise money.'' Bottom line, when the cars are sponsored Parsons will race them. When they are not he'll likely park them unless he's made enough money from days like Sunday to take a chance. "The economics of the thing, the additional cost for an engine, to use the engine for all 500 miles and the amount of tires that it takes to run the rest of the race ... it could be astronomical,'' Parsons said. "We're all racers. I know how hard it is for Dave. But we also want to race next week. We have to try to be smart and do what we can with what we have. I'm trying to build this thing. Hopefully, deals like Dave Blaney qualifying fifth opens some eyes.'' There are some who believe Parsons is throwing the whole start-and-park philosophy in NASCAR's face by doing it with two cars, and that NASCAR tossed it back by impounding the 66. That means Blaney, who only had two cars to start with, will have to qualify his backup at Las Vegas unless NASCAR is able to complete its inspection in Vegas in time. That likely won't happen. What makes this difficult on the 66 team is the backup won't be nearly as equal to the primary as might be the case on large, well-established teams.(in part from ESPN)(2-22-2010)
McDowell gets sponsor for Daytona 500: Fireflyvodka.com will sponsor Prism Motorsports’ Michael McDowell in the #55 Toyota.(SceneDaily). Firefly Distillery is a distillery located on Wadmalaw Island, thirty miles south of Charleston, South Carolina that manufactures a line of vodka products using muscadine grapes local to South Carolina.(2-14-2010)
Prism Motorsports Announces 2010 plans: The Daytona 500 weekend will mark a historic weekend for PRISM Motorsports. For the first time in the team’s history, they will enter two cars for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. Dave Blaney will return to the track in the #66 Toyota, and the #55 PRISM Motorsports Toyota will make its debut with Michael McDowell behind the wheel. The team is actively pursuing sponsorship opportunities, and will compete full-time with two cars throughout the entire 2010 season. “We have a tremendous relationship and alliance with MWR that allowed us to purchase the cars and equipment we needed to grow our program,” said Phil Parsons, co-owner of PRISM Motorsports. “Randy [Humphrey] and I believe the economies of scale of running two cars are very beneficial for our program and will help us have continued success in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. However, to continue to race competitively throughout the season, we need to find a quality sponsor that can help drive the success of PRISM Motorsports. Randy and I are extremely excited to have a driver of Michael McDowell’s caliber joining Dave Blaney, and we are excited about continuing our technical alliance with MWR. We believe that we have the right programs and staff in place to lead PRISM Motorsports to success in the Sprint Cup Series.”(PRISM Motorsports)(2-10-2010)
McDowell to run full season UPDATE: per Michael McDowell's Facebook page - Michael McDowell has signed with Prism Motorsports to run full time in the Sprint Cup Series in the #55 car. It was posted recently that Dave Blaney would return to Prism Motorsports to run the #66 car full-time in 2010 and McDowell would run some races in a 2nd car. The #66 Prism Motorsports team attempted all 36 Sprint Cup Series races in 2010, with Terry Labonte in the Daytona 500, Blaney in 34 races and McDowell at Talladega in April when Blaney had a family obligation. No word on a sponsor or crew chief.(2-1-2010)
UPDATE: Phil Parsons and Randy Humphrey's Prism Motorsports, which kicked off 2009 with a guaranteed start in the Daytona 500 and ran a single Toyota for the full schedule, will attempt to run two cars all season in 2010. Parsons confirmed Tuesday that Prism had entered a #55 Toyota for Michael McDowell, with debuting Cup crew chief Zach McGowan and a #66 Toyota for veteran Dave Blaney, again with Bill Henderson leading the crew. "We're going to race those things in," Parsons said. "We have our same alliance with MWR [Michael Waltrip Racing] that we did last year. We're going to attempt every race. We've been talking about the second car, and we solidified it in the last few weeks [because] if you're going to go anywhere and take a shot at getting in, that's the one to do it because the rewards are so great. We really don't have any sponsorship. We thought we were really close to having something for Dave for [Speedweeks], and it turned out they went a different direction at the 11th hour. We're still actively pursuing everything we can pursue; we have some good conversations going, but nothing imminent." Engines will be supplied by Pro Motor, built by Mark Smith and Terry Elledge, the father of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing crew chief Jimmy Elledge and a Parsons associate for 30 years.(NASCAR.com)(2-3-2010)
Blaney back with Prism, McDowell too: Dave Blaney will remain driver of the #66 Toyota with the Prism Motorsports team owned by Phil Parsons and Randy Humphrey even though he was a start and park driver in 29 of his 30 races for the team in 2009. The teamt is adding a second car to be driven by Michael McDowell, Parsons said Friday as he and Humphrey try to find an economic model that will allow Blaney to race this year. “Dave is our guy,” Parsons said. “We didn’t want to be a start and park last year. But we’re trying to build something for the future and that’s what we had to do to survive without sponsorship. We want to race this year. We’re talking to people about sponsorship but don’t have anything yet. We hope to have the money from the outside that will let Dave race. But if we don’t, we want to be able to do it ourselves. And having the second car is part of that.” Blaney said he talked to some other teams. “I talked to a couple of other small teams like Phil but this turned to be the best,” Blaney said. “Phil’s trying to get something established and they are heading in the right direction.” He said that he inquired about the [#49] BAM Racing ride and had not taken a look into an opportunity with Vermont businessman Bill Jenkins, who has purchased Roush Fenway Racing’s #26 team. “I talked to the BAM people at Homestead in November but I never heard anything from them, so I don’t know what they are doing,” Blaney said. “I don’t know anything about that new team but I would imagine that will go to one of the drivers associated with Roush." Parsons said that no matter the circumstances, Blaney will race the full distance in the Daytona 500 if he qualifies. “Daytona pays enough purse that you can afford to race,” Parsons said. “We’ve got to concentrate on going down there and racing our way in.”(High Point Enterprise)(1-18-2010)
Blaney's plans up in the air for 2010, Prism not returning? a few weeks old, but lack of money continues to be the bane for Dave Blaney, who sputtered through the 2009 Sprint Cup season with an under-funded #66 Prism Motorsports team. For the past 11 months, the Hartford native started in 30 of the season’s 36 races [Blaney attempted 34 of the races in the #66 Toyota, Terry Labonte ran the Daytona 500 and McDowell attempted Talladega in April] and handled the start-and-park gimmick as best he could to earn $2,343,060. At age 47, Blaney isn’t ready to put the brakes on his career, but he’s looking less like a NASCAR driver and more like a NASCAR dad everyday. “In Sprint Cup, especially, there’s not going to be any really good opportunities down the road,” said Blaney. “I’m old enough where it’s just not going to happen. So, we’ll run what we can and see what happens. But Ryan’s got a future, possibly, in racing, so we’ll see if we can help him and see how it goes,” Blaney said of his son, who most recently ran stock cars in North Carolina this past summer and ran well. Ryan Blaney turns 16 at the end of December and the likelihood of Dave grooming the son instead of pushing himself is real. “At the moment, I’m trying to help Ryan get going more than I’m worried more about my stuff, honestly, so I’ll do what I can do to help him first, then worry about me. From what I’ve seen of Ryan so far in the past few years, I think the sky’s the limit, potential-wise.” Although two months remain before the Sprint Cup’s 2010 season kicks off, Dave Blaney sees little movement in potential rides for himself. “There’s not much there, not much going on,” Blaney said, chuckling after being asked about the new season. “I don’t have anything other than the same stuff I was doing in 2009 — the start and park thing.” He rode for Prism Motorsports in 2009, but, although Prism still exists, it doesn’t have a budget for fulltime racing. He said there are some other opportunities, but nothing better. “I thought I was close to a 6-8 race schedule with one of those [Nationwide] teams, but that’s still up on the air as well,” Blaney said. “I’d run any of the series — trucks, Nationwide — whatever could be put together if it’s a pretty competitive team. It would all be fun to do, but there’s no sponsorship right now anywhere, so all the teams are struggling to stay alive.” Blaney insists that he’ll be racing in some form in 2010, even if it’s a smorgasbord.(in part from The Vindicator)(1-10-2010)
Born on Date: February 3, 2010