Contract Status: Drivers: ?; Sponsor: 200?
TRG form alliance with RCR: TRG Motorsports announced a strategic alliance with Richard Childress Racing for its 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup program. In this new agreement, RCR will provide cars, chassis repairs and testing resources for TRG’s Sprint Cup Series operations. TRG will team with Stewart-Haas Racing for Pit Crew support to coordinate faster pit stops. “All of these new partnerships are really a great thing for us as an organization,” Team Owner Kevin Buckler said. “As a one-car team, our resources have been limited in the past. This is really the best of both worlds for us to work with strong, successful organizations like RCR and Stewart-Haas.” After its first full year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, TRG Motorsports begins 2010 with Championship-winning driver Bobby Labonte in the #71 Chevy, Crew Chief Doug Randolph, a new executive team led by Torrey Galida and Grand-American Championship-winning Driver/Owner Kevin Buckler, the organization will build on its winning history for a successful future and is poised as a serious competitor. Despite being a one-car operation in a sport filled with multi-car teams, TRG Motorsports brings a new business plan and organizational outlook, positioning itself to successfully go toe-to-toe with the powerhouses of NASCAR. With a solid strategic alliance with Richard Childress Racing and engine program through Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies, TRG will begin its second year of Cup competition with a strong stable of Chevrolet Impalas and a vision to succeed. Sponsor TaxSlayer.com makes its return to NASCAR with TRG as the primary sponsor for a portion of the 2010 season [13 races]. TaxSlayer.com made its debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series last year at Watkins Glen International Raceway and served as the primary sponsor of the #71 a total of six times in 2009.(TRG)(2-10-2010)
Three drivers attempting triple duty at Phoenix: Two drivers will be aiming to make history this weekend by becoming the first to win in all three NASCAR national series at Phoenix International Raceway — Kyle Busch [#18 Cup, #18 NNS, #51 CWTS] and Kevin Harvick [#29 Cup, #33 NNS, #4 CWTS]. And Kevin Conway is attempting to make all three races [#70 Cup, #26 NNS and #71 CWTS]. Busch came close to scoring the feat last weekend at Texas when he won both the NASCAR Camping World Truck and NASCAR Nationwide Series races, but fell just short when he ran out of gas a few laps short of the checkered flag in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, relegating him to a 11th-place finish. Both Busch and Harvick have won at Phoenix in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Conway will be attempting to make his Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series debuts. Conway is guaranteed a spot in the NNS race, the Cup and Trucks race, he needs to qualifying by speed to make the races.(11-11-2009)
Conway to attempt Phoenix triple: Kevin Conway and ExtenZe Racing announced that they will attempt to run all three NASCAR national series races – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (#70 TRG Chevy), NASCAR Nationwide Series (#26 ExtenZe Chevy) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (#71 ExtenZe Chevy) – at Phoenix International Raceway next weekend. Conway has never raced at Phoenix International Raceway, much less competed in NASCAR's top three divisions in one weekend, but he is set to attempt to qualify for his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series debut at the one-mile oval. "I've never been accused of doing things normally," said Conway. "To make my Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series debut at a track that I have never even seen is pretty ambitious but I am excited to have this opportunity with ExtenZe. For ExtenZe Racing to pull this together in such a short amount of time is nothing short of a miracle. Everyone on this ExtenZe team is pumped to give it our best shot in Phoenix." ExtenZe will appear as Conway's primary sponsor in all three races. Together they will attempt to compete in 850 miles of racing at Phoenix International Raceway.(ExtenZe Racing PR)(11-6-2009)
UPDATE: Conway is listed on the Phoenix Entry List in the #70 TRG Motorsports Chevy, the 2nd team for TRG, with sponsorship from ExtenZe.(11-9-2009)
TRG talking to to Dodge: Ralph Gilles, just promoted from the designer ranks to head up Dodge and Dodge motorsports, faces a 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup racing season with only three Dodge teams, all owned by Roger Penske [#2-Busch, #12-Keselowski, #77-Hornish Jr.] Dodge spent much of 2009 developing a new engine, and the company needs at least one or two more teams for 2010 to give the brand some additional presence and help amortize that powertrain investment . Kevin Buckler, who happens to own a NASCAR team, is the head of TRG, or The Racers Group. Buckler made his name fielding sports cars, including three Porsches in the Grand-Am Rolex Series' season-ending Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway last weekend.
But while he sat on the pit box in Homestead, he was on the phone constantly to California, where his #71 Chevy was getting ready to race in the Pepsi 500 at California Speedway. A team that didn't really exist until a few weeks before the 2009 Daytona 500, Buckler and TRG have qualified for 29 of 30 NASCAR races this year, using a list of best-available drivers including David Gilliland, Mike Bliss and--for seven races, including the final four of this season--Bobby Labonte. Labonte has run several races for TRG and likes what he sees, especially being teamed with veteran crew chief Slugger Labbe.
Buckler acquired most of his cars and equipment from Richard Childress, and consequently is a Chevrolet team by default. "But Chevrolet just gives us sheetmetal and some technical help and gives Childress some consideration for our engine program, but it isn't what we need. Especially if we are going to take this to the next level." Enter Dodge? "I'm very much interested in talking to them," Buckler said. In fact, he has had a few conversations with Penske--they see each other a lot at both Grand-Am and NASCAR races--about Dodge. "I think it would be a great fit," said Buckler, who would like to expand to a two-car team as soon as he can. "You look at how much we've done this season with so little, and I think it shows we have a lot to offer."
So, Dodge, interested in Buckler? "Absolutely," said a Dodge spokesman, a veteran of the NASCAR wars. "I think we'd be crazy not to consider what he could bring to the party, especially if he could bring Bobby Labonte for the full season." And that, Buckler said, is a strong possibility. Buckler has been running the team on a shoestring, assembling a sponsor here, a sponsor there, and "starting-and-parking" to pocket money when none could be found. Bringing Labonte on full-time for 2010, as a semi-factory Dodge team, could go a long way toward signing some of the sponsors Buckler has been courting. The team sits 37th in owners' points, just two spots behind 35th, which would guarantee it a starting spot at the 2010 Daytona 500 and the four following races. Plus, Labonte's "past champion" provisional starting spots--he was the 2000 champ--would appeal to a sponsor, too.(Autoweek)(10-14-2009)
TRG wants 2 teams in 2010: [TRG Motorsports owner Kevin] Buckler was hoping to run up to three Truck Series entries this season, but that was "before the economy took a dump." The #7 truck has made only six starts this season, four with driver J.R. Fitzpatrick. There will likely be no TRG Motorsports truck next season because of sponsorship issues, but Buckler hopes to expand into a two-car Cup operation in 2010. Buckler's plan is to find success by becoming the exact opposite of stock-car behemoth Hendrick Motorsports. "It's very exciting," Buckler said. "Everybody feels it. We got a little buzz going. We're trying to position ourselves to be sort of the new, small, and efficient, lean, and mean business model. "We want to establish a new way of doing things. I'm not out to compete today with a Hendrick, but what I want to be the toughest dog in the fight."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-27-2009)
TaxSlayer to sponsor Lally in #71: #71-Andy Lally qualified 15th for his first ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Watkins Glen International for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen to be run Sunday, August 9. Teammate #70-David Gilliland did not qualify for the race, so the team will put the TaxSlayer.com livery on the #71 for Sunday's race. Lally put in a lap time of 72.460 that will see him start from the eighth row. The time was a half second faster than his best practice time. During the only practice before qualifying Lally and the team suffered through a misfire in the Chevrolet motor which hampered the amount of laps that he was able to complete. The team was able to fix the car with just eight minutes remaining in the session. Lally is elated to get his first Sprint Cup start at his home track. "I am having trouble putting it into words how I feel about qualifying for my first NASCAR race. I have my whole family here and it is a great day. I grew up in New York and making my Sprint Cup start in my home state is just amazing. It puts a lump in my throat just thinking about it."
"This is a really big weekend for TRG Motorsports and all of our friends and partners that believed in us and helped us to get this far," Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team principal said. "What a job by Andy today. He had virtually no practice, couple that with the pressure of his first Sprint Cup start and that makes for a stressful day. He is a professional and has six pro wins here at The Glen and he gathered it up and did a great job in qualifying. It is too bad that David did not make the race. We have a lot faith in David and he represents the future of our team in NASCAR. He has done a fantastic job for us all season and got us here at The Glen and we will back next weekend at Michigan stronger than ever. We are excited to have TaxSlayer.com onboard with us. This will be one hell-of-a-good first race!"(TRG Motorsports), see images of the #70 Taxslayers and #71 Adobe Road Winery.(8-8-2009)
Gilliland Ready for The Glen, new sponsor, new car#: David Gilliland is ready for The Glen and to debut his new TaxSlayer.com colors on the #70 TaxSlayer.com Chevy in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen to be run Sunday, August 9. Gilliland will be going back to the track where he had one of his worst racing accidents. He will also have a teammate for the first time this year with TRG's sports car ace Andy Lally. New sponsor TaxSlayer.com will ride with David for the first time this weekend. Gilliland: "Watkins Glen will be a good debut for TaxSlayer.com on the car. The car really looks great. It has a medieval feel to it, which is cool. I am looking forward to meeting those folks and working with them over their six race term." TaxSlayer Pro's computerized tax return system, which was introduced to professional tax practitioners in 1992, is the first chapter in the company's story. More info at taxslayer.com and www.taxslayerracing.com.(TRG Motorsports), see an image of the scheme on my #70 Team Schemes page.(8-5-2009)
Lally to make Cup debut with TRG at Watkins Glen: Sports car ace Andy Lally is set to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips race at Watkins Glen International Raceway on August 9. Lally will join TRG Motorsports regular David Gilliland in a second car at The Glen [#Lally will run the #71 and Gilliland the #70]. The 34-year old Lally, originally from Northport, New York, has always called Watkins Glen his home track. The sports car veteran has an impressive road racing background having won Rolex Series championships in three different classes, GT in 2006, SGS in 2004 and SRPII in 2001. In addition, Lally anchored the GT class winning Rolex 24 Hour GT team this past February. He currently drives the #67 TRG Porsche in the Rolex GT Series. "Not only am I extremely honored to have a chance to qualify for my first ever Sprint Cup race, but when you add in the fact that it will be in my home state of New York, and at my favorite track makes this opportunity all that more special," Lally said. "I can't wait to get out there and see what we have. I would like to thank Kevin Buckler and the partners at TRG Motorsports for putting their faith in me for this race." Lally has some miles behind the wheel of the TRG Motorsports Chevy. "I have had a chance to test the car already as the team prepared for Infineon. I learned a lot that day and the guys have improved the car since then. I only did about 20 laps in that session so it was a good first outing in the car. The team had a good primary car at Infineon and I think we can even improve on that for The Glen. We have a couple of more test dates set, so I will be able to get some more miles under my belt prior to the race. I have three weeks before the race and in that time I will be working with Slugger (Richard "Slugger" Labbe, crew chief) to cram in as much knowledge as possible. " Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team principal, once again, is giving Lally an opportunity to expand his racing resume. "Andy has been an integral part of our sports car team for over four years now and has also been a good friend," Buckler said. "He is one of the best road racers there is and he knows Watkins Glen like his own backyard. We brought him into NASCAR in 2007 when we started our programs, so I feel it is really cool to give him this shot in Sprint Cup. The partners and I are all really excited about this race. We are running two cars for the first time all season. We will also be introducing our TRG hospitality program that we intend to us in 2010."(TRG Motorsports)(7-29-2009)
Born on Date: November 9, 2009