#00 Team News Archive
NOTE: many of the links in the past news will be old and may not work
decided it was not worth the time to go thru each one on all the Team Past News pages
Aaron's is scheduled to be the sponsor in 24 races in 2010
Daytona - 2/14
Auto Club - 2/21
Atlanta - 3/7 -
Tum's is scheduled to be the sponsor in 5 races in 2010
Las Vegas - 2/28
Martinsville - 3/28
Chicago - 7/10
New Hampshire - 9/19
Phoenix - 11/14
Best Western is scheduled to be the sponsor in 1 race in 2010
Phoenix - 4/10
Armed Forces car for Reutimann at Charlotte UPDATE: #00-David Reutimann is scheduled to run a Aaron's / Armed Forces Foundation Toyota in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(5-18-2010)
UPDATE: Aaron’s and the Armed Forces Foundation have united in a collaborative effort to drive donations for military families this approaching Memorial Weekend. Aaron’s and the AFF first initiated a text-to-give campaign that allows participants to text AFF to 50555 to donate $10 to the Armed Forces Foundation which serves the military and their families. Ninety-four percent of all donations goes directly to military members and their families and helps with items such as every day living expenses, housing improvements and travel expenses. Additionally, Aaron’s will honor the AFF at the upcoming Memorial Weekend Coca-Cola 600 with a custom paint scheme for the Michael Waltrip Racing #00 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota, driven by David Reutimann. The paint scheme will feature the AFF logo and a patriotic red, white and blue design. Aaron’s will also donate a minimum of $10,000 to the AFF. However, if Reutimann finishes in the top five, Aaron’s will double the donation to $20,000. If Reutimann wins the race, Aaron’s will donate $200,000 to the AFF.(Aaron's PR) See an image of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page.(5-28-2010)
Reutimann negotiating to stay at MWR: David Reutimann is negotiating a multiyear extension that will keep him in the #00 Sprint Cup car at Michael Waltrip Racing past this season. "I'm looking for us all to get on the same page so we can get it done," Reutimann said Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he was promoting the upcoming Coca-Cola 600 he won a year ago. "I'm not running around the garage talking to anybody. They put something in front of me and we're working around some things. Hopefully, we'll be able to come up with a good compromise where everybody is going to be happy." Reutimann said there are no major sticking points for either side that should keep him from re-signing from the team. "Contract stuff, you have to go back and forth a little bit," he said, noting he's never had a real negotiation in the past. "I'm trying to get used to that. Usually I just walk in, 'Yeah, you want me to drive? Where do I sign?' They've been very good to me. I don't not like where I am. I like the people around me. I like our team and what we've got going on there. It's something I think we need to keep going."(ESPN.com)(5-12-2010)
Reutimann’s Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award in Talladega: David Reutimann’s over-the-wall crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. The fast pit stops by the #00 crew at the 2.66-mile tri-oval helped Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) attain its third Tissot win of the season. The #56 MWR crew for Martin Truex Jr. leads the Tissot standings with two wins. Reutimann’s Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota spent the least amount of time on pit road – 208.560 seconds – during the 200-lap overtime race, which saw a maximum of three green-white-checkered restarts. David Ragan’s UPS Ford was second (214.115) and Kyle Busch’s M&M’s Toyota was third (238.719). Reutimann’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Ryan Langley (front-tire changer), Chris Hall (front-tire carrier), Eric Maycroft (rear-tire changer), Donnie Marvel (rear-tire carrier), Tony Cardamone (jackman), Aaron Pieratt (gasman), Jeff Seaberg (catch can) and Nate Kennedy (Eighth Man). The team’s crew chief is Rodney Childers. The winning pit crew in each Sprint Cup race will earn $5,000 and a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver.(Tissot)(4-29-2010)
Parts confiscated from #13 and #47 teams UPDATE 2 Penalties announced: NASCAR confiscated the lower radiator pans from Max Papis' #13 Toyota and Marcos Ambrose's #47 Toyota during post-qualifying Sprint Cup Series inspection. The pans are considered "unapproved ballast weight mounting" according to Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby and is in violation of NASCAR Rule 20-2.3 (added car weight). Darby said the violation could carry a penalty. The piece confiscated on the #13 Toyota was 45.2-pounds, while the #47 Toyota's pan weighed 25.7 pounds. One crew chief who was observing the steel pieces in the NASCAR hauler after they were confiscated said the pans "should weigh a couple of pounds at best" and be composed of one-eighth inch aluminum. Frank Kerr, crew chief of the #47 Toyota said it was the same radiator pan the team has used all season. "We asked the inspectors when we first put it on the car at California if it was 'OK' and they said it was 'on the edge, but OK.' There hasn't been any question about the piece until now."(FoxSports)(4-17-2010)
UPDATE: The long steel pieces also were installed in an unapproved mounting location, according to the tags on the parts which were on display in the NASCAR hauler. "We'll know a lot more how NASCAR views these pans [next week]," said Michael Waltrip Racing Executive Vice President Cal Wells, whose organization builds the cars for Ambrose and Papis. "We'll have to wait and see. NASCAR likes to have parts submitted if you have got something new or different. I believe there was some confusion on what should or shouldn't be submitted. … In this particular case what we designed was a modular piece that holds a radiator, the pan up front and the duct work and a host of different things. There's no intent to do anything [around the rules]. We'll see what they decide to do."(SceneDaily)(4-19-2010)
UPDATE: NASCAR has issued penalties to the #13, #47, #00 and #56 teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rule violations committed at Texas Motor Speedway last week. Robert “Bootie” Barker, crew chief of the #13 team, and Frank Kerr, crew chief of the #47 team, have each been fined $75,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 20-2.3A (unapproved added weight); 20-7 (all engine cooling system components must be approved by NASCAR prior to being used in competition); and 20-7.3A (radiator mount; failure to submit components) of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rule book.
Car owners Robert Germain (#13) and Tad Geschickter (#47) have each been penalized with the loss of 50 championship owner points for violating Sections 12-1 and 20-2.3A. Drivers Max Papis (#13) and Marcos Ambrose (#47) have each been penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver points for violating Sections 12-1 and 20-2.3A.
Rodney Childers, crew chief of the #00 team, and Pat Tryson, crew chief of the #56 team, have each been fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for violating Sections 12-1; 20-7; and 20-7.3A. All of these violations occurred during post-qualifying inspection on April 16.(NASCAR)(4-21-2010)
MWR Statement: Executive Vice President of Michael Waltrip Racing Cal Wells: “NASCAR indicated we were running a part, a radiator pan, which had not been officially submitted for approval. We accept NASCAR’s ruling and will not appeal because we cannot debate whether the part was submitted, only whether or not the part needed submission. This gives us a clear line of sight on how parts need to be submitted for approval. We will work diligently with NASCAR in the future on all new parts to ensure this does not happen to MWR again.”(MWR)(4-21-2010)
Budweiser to MWR? Michael Waltrip Racing's Ty Norris was entertaining representatives from Budweiser this weekend at Texas. Norris has a history with Budweiser dating back to his Dale Earnhardt Inc. days when Budweiser was sponsoring the #8 Chevy. With Kasey Kahne parting ways wih Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of the season, it's likely that Budweiser will be entertaining offers.(FoxSports)(4-20-2010)
Reutimann offered extension: David Reutimann has been offered a contract extension from Michael Waltrip Racing to continue driving the #00 Toyota. Reutimann, who has struggled this season with three engine failures – including Monday at Texas – says he’s been more interested in turning this season around rather than concentrating on the future. “This is my last year,” said Reutimann of his contract. “I haven’t talked to anyone else. The only people I’ve talked to is our own team. I really haven’t put the focus on what’s happening next year like I should because we’ve had a terrible start to the season.”(FoxSports)(4-20-2010)
Best Western on the #00 at Phoenix: The #00 Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing also will sport a new look as longtime partner Best Western becomes a first-time primary sponsor for a Sprint Cup Series entry. Best Western's relationship with Michael Waltrip dates back to 2004 when the World's Largest Hotel Chain became a primary sponsor for a Nationwide Series entry and served as an associate sponsor of Waltrip's Cup Series entry.(MWR PR), see a graphic of the car on the #00 Team Schemes page.(4-7-2010)
TUMS Racing Returns at Martinsville Speedway: TUMS Racing and the #00 TUMS Toyota return to Martinsville Speedway for the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500. David Reutimann's #00 TUMS Toyota will showcase the second of TUMS’ five primary paint schemes at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. TUMS also will appear on the #00 TUMS Toyota at Chicago and the fall races at New Hampshire and Phoenix.(Tums Racing), see images of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page.(3-26-2010)
Special Aaron's scheme for the #00 at AMS: Sponsor Aaron’s operates 1,695 stores in America but is headquartered in Atlanta. This weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, David Reutimann will drive the #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine team with a new paint scheme on the Mitsubishi/Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry to honor Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc their 2009 Vendor Partner of the Year. Ken Butler, Aaron's COO about the paint scheme: “Mitsubishi has been a terrific vendor for many years, duly earning our Partner of the Year distinction. Designing a custom Mitsubishi paint scheme for the Aaron’s Dream Machine is not only an exciting, but valuable means of showing our appreciation for the partnership. Both companies will undoubtedly be pulling for Reutimann to bring the Mitsubishi car across the finish line first at Aaron’s home track.” Reutimann currently has the longest streak of consecutive races finished without a Did Not Finish (DNF) at 44 races of drivers to start every race during that period. Reutimann’s last DNF was Oct. 5, 2008 at Talladega Superspeedway. Aaron’s, sponsor of the No. 00, will give away an autographed hat to a lucky race fan through Facebook and Twitter following any top-10 finish.(MWR), see images of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page.(3-3-2010)
Tums scheme for Reutimann at Vegas: Michael Waltrip Racing’s #00 Toyota Camry of David Reutimann is featuring new partner TUMS as the primary sponsor at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the first of five primary paint schemes this season. The #00 TUMS Toyota also will appear at Martinsville-1, Chicago, New Hampshire-2 and Phoenix-2. Reutimann currently has the longest streak of consecutive races finished without a Did Not Finish (DNF) at 43 races of drivers to start every race during that period. He was also one of only three drivers to finish every point race in 2009 - Juan Pablo Montoya and Casey Mears were the other two [Montoya DNF'd at Auto Club and Mears has failed to qualify the first two races of 2010]. Reutimann’s last DNF was Oct. 5, 2008 at Talladega Superspeedway.(MWR), see images of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya will runs a Tum's scheme at Talladega in April.(2-23-2010)
#100 for Reutimann: #00-David Reutimann is making his 100th start in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race in the 2010 Daytona 500.(MWR)(2-12-2010)
Drivers Test at New Smyrna: Tuesday Marcos Ambrose tested his #47 Kroger NASCAR at the half-mile high-banked New Smyrna Speedway. Preparing for his second full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the Australian driver shared the track today with #13-Max Papis, #00-David Reutimann and #5-Martin Truex Jr. It's the first time Ambrose has been in a car in over two months. "I just want to dust off the cobwebs," said Ambrose.(MarcosAmbrose.com)(1-27-2010)
Aaron's adds six Sprint Cup races as sponsor: Aaron’s, Inc. announced it will add six more Sprint Cup races, plus the Sprint All-Star Race to its 2010 schedule. The additional races increase Aaron’s total to 24 races as the primary sponsor of the Michael Waltrip Racing #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine driven by David Reutimann. The six additional point races coming in the first half of the season include: Auto Club, Dover, Pocono, Michigan, Infineon and New Hampshire. “We are pleased that Aaron’s expanded our involvement with David and the #00 team this season,” said Robin Loudermilk, Chief Executive Officer for Aaron’s, Inc. “We have developed an excellent relationship with David, Michael Waltrip and this organization over the years and they have continued to deliver solid results for Aaron’s. Adding these six races reinforces our commitment to this team and confidence in this sport. We look forward to another exciting year on the track.” Aaron’s is in the second year of a three-year Sprint Cup sponsorship agreement with Reutimann and MWR after serving as the team’s Nationwide sponsor since 2000. In addition to Reutimann’s 24 Sprint Cup races, Aaron’s plans to sponsor nine races on the #99 Toyota for newly-formed Diamond-Waltrip Racing and 18-year-old Trevor Bayne in the Nationwide Series. Aaron’s will also sponsor Waltrip’s return to the Nationwide Series at the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24.(MWR)(1-20-2010)
NASCAR To Represent Michael Waltrip Racing Licensing Business: NASCAR and Michael Waltrip Racing announced today a new partnership in which NASCAR will become the sole licensing representative for the race team. The agreement includes all driver marks within the Michael Waltrip Racing team, including David Reutimann, Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip, as well as young future stars Trevor Bayne and Ryan Truex. With this agreement, NASCAR’s licensing business, headquartered out of Charlotte, N.C. at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, will utilize its assets to grow the licensed product business and provide retailers with new and more comprehensive product options for the MWR team, including track merchandise opportunities, e-commerce channels and national retail outlets. NASCAR will also provide retail development, new business, marketing, public relations and media assets in expanding the licensed product portfolio that includes apparel, collectibles, novelty, gifts, headwear and other non-traditional licensing concepts.(NASCAR)(1-14-2010)
Alabama scheme for #00 at 'Dega: Aaron's proudly announced it will honor the new BCS National Champion University of Alabama with a commemorative Crimson Tide-themed NASCAR paint scheme. The Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) #00 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota, to be driven by David Reutimann, will make its on-track debut April 25 in the Aaron's 499 race at Talladega Superspeedway. As a corporate sponsor of Alabama and the University of Texas, Aaron's supports both teams and wanted to celebrate the winner no matter who it turned out to be. With Alabama's win, the racecar is sure to be a fan favorite as it will feature the school's trademark Crimson and the official national championship logo when competing at the school's home racetrack. "Aaron's couldn't be more proud that two of its partner universities were represented in this year's national championship game," said Robin Loudermilk, Chief Executive Officer of Aaron's, Inc. "While Alabama clinched the title, Texas put up a tough fight making the game one of the most outstanding in BCS history. We are honored and excited to take Alabama's triumph a step further with the opportunity to put this commemorative racecar in victory lane at our race in Talladega." The program will kick off at the University of Alabama A-Day game scheduled for April 17 where the racecar will be unveiled and displayed prior to the football game. The car will then move on to Talladega Superspeedway for the Aaron's Dream Weekend, before starting a tour throughout the state making stops at select Aaron's stores. Fans and collectors can pre-order limited edition 1/24-scale collectable die cast replicas of the racecar at Aaron's stores nationwide starting January 22. Quantities are limited and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. The replicas are expected to arrive in stores by the middle of May. For more information, details about how to pre-order and Aaron's store locations, visit www.shopaarons.com. Register to WIN a trip to the Aaron's Dream Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.(Aaron's), see an image of the car on my #00 Team Schemes page.(1-12-2010)
Aaron’s to Celebrate BCS National Championship Winning Team with Paint Scheme - it'll be Alabama: Aaron’s is already a winner when it comes to this year’s BCS National Championship football game between the University of Alabama and the University of Texas. As a corporate sponsor of both universities’ athletic programs, Aaron’s is guaranteed a victory no matter which team wins tonight’s game and will create a celebratory race program for the winning school that incorporates Aaron’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team.
Aaron’s plans to produce a special National Championship paint scheme that will be featured on their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racecar driven by David Reutimann. If the University of Texas wins, the Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) #00 Sprint Cup Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota will sport the UT burnt orange and official national championship logo at Texas Motor Speedway April 18. If the University of Alabama collects the victory, the car will feature ‘Bama’s famed crimson along with the championship logo in the Aaron’s 499 race at Talladega Superspeedway April 25 [Note: Alabama won the game].
“Aaron’s is in a unique position to be able to commemorate the achievements of this year’s national football champion with our racecar program,” stated Robin Loudermilk, Chief Executive Officer of Aaron’s, Inc. “We look forward to unveiling this racecar during a celebration on campus just before it goes to the racetrack to compete. We can’t think of a better way to honor the winning team’s achievements.”
“This paint scheme is going to be a huge hit with fans, and it’s a privilege for me to be able to drive this car,” said driver David Reutimann. “But the pressure is going to be on me to win. Aaron’s is in a ‘no-lose’ situation with these two great football teams, so I am going to have to get this car to victory lane to keep the winning going.”
The racecar program will be supported with a traveling showcar that will make appearances at Aaron’s stores throughout the winning state weeks before and after the race. Aaron’s is also making available a limited edition line of collectable merchandise that will include a 1/24-scale die cast replica of the racecar and a racing t-shirt. The merchandise will be available exclusively at Aaron’s stores in the winning state, the winning university’s bookstores, the MWR trackside merchandise trailer and at www.shopaarons.com.(Aaron’s PR)(1-8-2010)
Best Western to sponsor Reutimann: Phoenix-based Best Western will be primary sponsor of David Reutimann's #00 Toyota at Phoenix International Raceway next April.(Arizon Republic)(11-15-2009)
Michael Waltrip Racing extends with Toyota: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced the extension of its partnership with Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The new agreement will keep the emerging organization with the manufacturer through the end of 2012. In 2010, MWR will field the #00 Aaron’s/Tums/Best Western Toyota full-time with driver David Reutimann, the #55 Toyota with Michael Waltrip on a limited basis and the #56 NAPA Auto Part Toyota full-time with Martin Truex Jr. Additionally, MWR signed a two-year technical alliance extension with JTG-Daugherty Racing to field the #47 Toyota with driver Marcos Ambrose. MWR receives engines from Toyota Racing Development (TRD) out of Costa Mesa, California, along with Red Bull Racing. TRD’s Salisbury, N.C., facility supports MWR’s vehicle dynamics and development, aerodynamics, tire data analysis and race strategy programs. This announcement comes on the heels of MWR announcing 100% renewal with its existing sponsors, a new relationship with TUMS as a primary and associate sponsor on the #00, a two-year extension with JTG-Daugherty Racing and a new partnership with its NASCAR Nationwide Series team with Gary and Blake Bechtel forming Diamond-Waltrip Racing to field Camrys for 18-year-old phenom Trevor Bayne.(MWR)(11-14-2009)
Mobil 1 and Toyota UPDATE: not quite sure what this is all about, have heard nor seen anything but......Mobil 1 Racing and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) U.S.A to make announcement about 2010 NASCAR season Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, scheduled to be attending the announcement are Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota; Michael Waltrip, owner of Michael Waltrip Racing and driver of the #55 NAPA Toyota; Lee White, President and General Manager, TRD; Harold Shablom, Global Motorsport Manager, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties.(PR)(11-13-2009)
UPDATE: ExxonMobil and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) unveiled a new technological partnership in which ExxonMobil will provide its Mobil 1 racing oil technology and products to TRD- supported NASCAR teams. Kicking off at the start of the 2010 NASCAR season, TRD-supplied NASCAR engines will be filled with specially modified motor oil based on the same technology available to consumers in Mobil 1 Racing oils, which were unveiled in April. The TRD-specific motor oils will deliver outstanding power via unique low-friction synthetic lubricant technology combined with boosted levels of anti-wear additives to protect and extend the life of engine hardware. Formally announced before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the collaboration will pair Mobil 1, the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” with one of NASCAR’s top engine manufacturers. With this new partnership, ExxonMobil’s racing oil technology will now provide performance and protection for the TRD-supported Red Bull Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing NASCAR teams.(Toyota PR)(11-14-2009)
Tums to sponsor Reutimann: TUMS announced a multi-year partnership with Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) to sponsor David Reutimann’s #00 Toyota Camry starting with the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. TUMS will be prominently displayed as the primary sponsor on the #00 Toyota Camry for five races during the 2010 and 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons with Coca-Cola 600 winner Reutimann as the driver. The brand also will have visibility as a full-time associate sponsor beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach. TUMS will continue to be featured as a primary sponsor for one race and a full-time associate sponsor on the #42 Chevy driven by Juan Pablo Montoya through a partnership with Target.(Michael Waltrip Racing), see an image of the scheme on the MWR site or on my 2010 #00 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2009)
Aaron's increases their sports marketing budget: Aaron’s has boosted its sports marketing budget by 10% — about $1 million a year — inking deals with the University of Alabama, NASCAR [Michael Waltrip Racing's #00 Toyota] and Philips Arena, home to the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers. Aaron’s, which has seen its sales grow during the Great Recession, leases and sells residential and office furniture, consumer electronics, and home appliances and accessories. With an 18% increase in customers compared with a year ago, Aaron’s has the cash flow to spend on sports sponsorships, which the company has found to be a very effective way to reach its target market: households with annual incomes of $50,000 or less. Aaron’s has existing sports partnerships with Georgia Tech, the University of Texas and NASCAR’s Michael Waltrip Racing. “Companies continue to tighten their marketing dollars,” said William Chipps, senior editor at IEG Sponsorship Report. “It doesn’t surprise me that Aaron’s has ramped up [its sports marketing]. They’ve been involved in sponsorships for years. They’ve played a lot in motor sports.” Aaron’s sponsorship with NASCAR, in particular, “gives them a chance to directly communicate with people who tend to be their customers,” Chipps said. IEG has seen other “value retailers” increasing their sports sponsorships, as the economy has sagged, to more effectively reach their customers, he said. “Dollar General has also been increasing its involvement with motor sports, too,” Chipps said. And Aaron’s is looking for even more sponsorship opportunities, Aaron’s CEO Robin Loudermilk said. “A lot of opportunities are coming our way and we’re taking advantage of it to increase our exposure,” he said. “Sports marketing will be a major part of marketing in our foreseeable future.”(in part from the Atlanta Business Journal)(10-19-2009)
Reutimann needs additional sponsorship: Michael Waltrip wants to race next year but the priority at Michael Waltrip Racing is to fill the sponsorship for Sprint Cup driver #00-David Reutimann next year, MWR vice president and general manager Ty Norris said Sunday. Depending on how deals fall in the next few weeks, Reutimann could have as many as 12 races open. Aaron's is going to be the sponsor for half the season for Reutimann. "We may be as few as six or as many as [needing] 12," Norris said prior to the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway. "It depends on how contracts fall the next couple of weeks. … We are going to make some announcements in the next two or three weeks on a number of other [sponsors]."(SceneDaily)(10-12-2009)
Reutimann's Auto Club qualifying time disallowed: UPDATE: #00-David Reutimann, who was second fastest in qualifying, had his time disallowed after the rear shock was determined to have a gas level too high. He will now start the race in 42nd. No other penalties are expected.(10-9-2009)
UPDATE: Michael Waltrip twittered Friday night that there were 25psi more than the maximum allowed in the shock. Michael Waltrip Racing checked their gauge against NASCAR's and found that MWRs was off.(10-10-2009)
Drivers racing at East Lincoln Speedway: Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and A.J. Allmendinger will join Ray Evernham at East Lincoln Speedway on Wednesday night September 30th as Stanley presents a special night to help raise money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Charlotte Affiliate to help fund life-saving breast cancer community outreach programs. Kahne, Sadler and Evernham will be aboard specially designed open wheel race cars in a match race and Sadler will also be the guest commentator for the event.(East Lincoln Speedway PR)
AND: David Reutimann and Erik Darnell are set to join a host of NASCAR stars at East Lincoln Speedway on Wednesday night September 30th as Stanley presents ‘Real Drivers Wear Pink.’(Gaston Gazette)(9-29-2009)
Reutimann to run camo scheme at Atlanta: #00-David Reuitmann is scheduled to run the Aaron’s Outdoors/Mossy Oak Brand 'Tree Stand' Camo paint scheme in the Pep Boy's Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. See many images of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page.(Aaron's Sports)(8-18-2009)
Hamlin surprised about Reutimann's comments: #00-David Reutimann said Wednesday he was not ready to forgive #11-Denny Hamlin for the accident at Pocono Raceway that essentially ended his championship hopes. That, apparently was news to Hamlin. "I was surprised," Hamlin said Friday at Watkins Glen International. "We actually talked that night and he seemed fine. He didn't say that he was angry or anything. I've been in that situation before where you're battling for a Chase spot. It's not always about one race. There's a lot of races that lead up to it. I'm apologetic about it for sure. It's something that I didn't mean to do, but you can't put the blame all on me if he doesn't make the Chase."(ESPN/AP)(8-8-2009)
Reutimann still miffed at Hamlin over Pocono wreck: #00-David Reutimann doesn't buy the explanation #11-Denny Hamlin gave for the wreck in Monday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono that may also have wrecked his chances of making the Chase. Reutimann said he never brake-checked Hamlin, as the eventual race winner claimed occurred prior to the accident on Lap 174 that not only took out Reutimann but also Michael Waltrip Racing teammate #47-Marcos Ambrose. He said Hamlin basically ran over him in an effort to get position. "I was just trying to get away from him," Reutimann said on Wednesday. "In the end, if you push a guy sideways enough he's not going to be able to bring it back. I didn't hear [his] explanation, but I can tell you it's pretty inaccurate. I was in the throttle all the time to the point I was hung out so far I kind of had to do something." Reutimann went on to say he was as "mad as heck" at Hamlin, even though the two have exchanged text messages in which Hamlin apologized. "If a guy says he's sorry I tend to believe it," Reutimann said. "Look back at Daytona at what I did to Ryan Newman. Everybody's capable of making mistakes. I'm a forgiving guy if he sincerely apologizes or says he was in the wrong. In the end I'm still confused at why it happened. It wasn't just one shot. It was multiple shots." Reutimann entered the race in 13th place in points, 68 out of the top 12 who would qualify for the Chase. He was in position to possibly move into the top 12 with a solid finish after having run up front most of the day. The wreck left him 16th in points, 121 off the cutoff point, after finishing 29th.(ESPN)(8-6-2009)
Reutimann testing road course: #00-David Reutimann is testing today at the Carolina Motorsports Park road course in Kershaw, SC in preparation for the race at Watkins Glen on August 9th.(7-27-2009)
Childers and Reutimann to Each Receive a Muscle Car: On Wednesday, July 1st, at 11am/et, David Reutimann and his #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota crew chief Rodney Childers will become proud owners of a pair of 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustangs. The keys to each car will be presented to them by Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing and owner of RK Collection LLC in Concord.
How did these guys get so lucky? On the night of qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 in May, Reutimann and Childers made a bet with Kauffman. If the two were able to bring home the Coca-Cola 600 trophy from Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Kauffman would allow both of them to take home one trophy muscle car from his RK Collection auto restoration shop. On Monday, May 25th, Reutimann was declared a first-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner and presented with the coveted Coca-Cola 600 trophy. As Kauffman was boarding a plane to Europe simultaneously, he received a call from Victory Lane. Kauffman will hand over the two sets of keys on Wednesday - one set to Childers and one to Reutimann. RK Collection LLC [rk-collection.com] is located at 7975 Westwinds Blvd NW in Concord.(more info at MichaelWaltrip.com)(6-29-2009)
MWR Owner to broadcast from England: Even though Rob Kauffman [co-owner of MWR] will be in London, England, he will be watching closely as he makes his color commentator debut in the UK during the Sprint Cup Series Lenox Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway live on Sky Sports alongside presenter Keith Huewen and British Racing driver John Mickel, who has previously raced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. “Michael Waltrip gave me some pointers being that it is my first time as a color analyst,” Kauffman said. “He said, ‘First, don’t make anything up and second try not to be boring.” Sky Sports broadcasts NASCAR Sprint Cup races across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Sky Sports takes the feed via a satellite from the U.S. and supplements the coverage with their studio presentation. One night while watching the show, Kauffman emailed in to compliment Sky Sports’ coverage. The show's producer, Dawn White, then contacted Kauffman and invited him to be a part of Sunday’s show since he is co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing.(MWR)(6-27-2009)
Congrats: Ken Butler III, driver of the #23 Aaron's Dream Machine Chevy, and wife, Jaime, welcomed their daughter into the world on Saturday, May 23 at 2:32 p.m. weighing in at 6 lbs, 7 oz. This was the beginning of a big weekend for the Butler's as Ken Butler, COO of Aaron's, became a grandparent for the first time and his company went to Victory Lane for the first time in a Sprint Cup Series race with David Reutimann winning the Coca Cola 600 in the #00 Aaron's Toyota.(5-26-209)
Reutimann wins Coca-Cola 600: #00-David Reutimann won the Coca Cola 600 [actually 340.5] at Lowe's Motor Speedway, his first career win in 75 races. Reutimann stayed out and didn't pit when the final caution for another rain shower which happened on lap 227. Reutimann becomes the 20th driver to win a race in all three national series [Cup, Nationwide, Trucks]. #39-Newman [the pole sitter[ finished 2nd, followed by #7-Robby Gordon [his first top five since Watkins Glen in Aug 2007 and first oval top five since a 5th at Talladega in April 2004], #99-Edwards, #83-Vickers, #18-Busch, #9-Kahne, #42-Montoya, #20-Logano and #17-Kenseth. Points leader #24-Gordon finished 14th and maintains the points lead. There were 14 lead changes among 10 drivers and 6 cautions for 40 laps.
For race results, awards and more on the Coca Cola 600 Race Results Page.
For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers/Owners Points Standings.(5-25-2009)
MWR welcomes new Vice President Sales and Service: Michael Waltrip Racing announced Chris Marciani will serve as Vice President Sales and Service for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series operation. “The future is very bright for MWR and the company is enjoying a tremendous amount of momentum right now," Marciani said. “The race teams are competitive on the track and the company is anchored by great partners like NAPA, Aaron's, Best Western and Toyota. MWR has a great piece of inventory left to sell for 2010 and beyond, the second half of the #00 with David Reutimann. Since he has become the ‘Franchise’ I look forward to talking to corporate partners about his remarkable run for ‘The Chase’ and the value he brings to partners. MWR has a championship-caliber Nationwide Series team with a lot of inventory left, so it’s going to be exciting to sell national programs with real value.” Marciani joins the company following his two-year tenure as Vice President of Partnership Marketing at Bobcats Sports and Entertainment. While with the NBA Charlotte Bobcats, he managed the team’s existing corporate partnership base and new business development. Ty Norris, Vice President and General Manager, was instrumental in Marciani making his next career move.(MWR)(5-12-2009)
Michael Waltrip Racing and JTG-Daugherty invite fans to visit Raceworld USA for a meet and greet during the second annual Fan Appreciation Day and driver autograph session at the state-of-the-art facility on Wednesday, May 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Raceworld USA, 20310 Chartwell Center Drive, Cornelius, N.C. 28031.
Michael Waltrip, David Reutimann, Marcos Ambrose, Scott Speed, Michael McDowell and Ryan Truex will all be on site to sign autographs. Also, JTG-Daugherty Racing’s team owners will also sign autographs - - Tad and Jodi Geschickter and Brad Daugherty.
To ensure fans receive time with all drivers, 300 wristbands will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis beginning Tuesday, May 19th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on May 20th starting at 10 a.m. at the Raceworld USA retail store.
Entrance to the Raceworld USA lobby area to obtain driver autographs is free. To tour the entire facility there is a nominal fee described below. For each person that brings a pet food donation for a dog or cat will receive $2 off the price of admission. Also, some of the proceeds from the day will go to the Animal Adoption League. For more information about the Animal Adoption league visit www.mynextpet.com.
The Animal Adoption League is a non-profit organization. The Animal Adoption League’s mission is to provide veterinary care and temporary housing for homeless animals, to provide an adoption outlet for the permanent placement of these animals, to educate the general public in the proper care of animals and the importance of reducing pet overpopulation and to work for the welfare of all animals.
For more information on Raceworld USA, visit www.michaelwaltrip.com.(5-8-2009)
Lowe's Foods partners with MWR: Lowes Foods and Michael Waltrip Racing have teamed up to race for the checkered flag in three races this season at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Lowes Foods is proud to be an associate sponsor of the #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota and #55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota as David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip compete in the NASCAR Sprint Showdown for a spot in the All-Star Race on Saturday, May 16th. Lowes Foods associate sponsorship will continue with the two Michael Waltrip Racing entries for the 600-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on Sunday, May 24th. Lowes Foods also announces their primary sponsorship of the #99 Toyota Camry driven by David Reutimann in the Nationwide Series race on Friday, October 16th. As part of this partnership, Lowes Foods customers will receive one free entry to Michael Waltrip Racing’s Raceworld USA when a valid Lowes Foods receipt over $25 is presented at the entrance during the month of October. Additionally, Lowes Foods will hold a sweepstakes where two customers will have the opportunity to win a grand prize fantasy trip to the Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on October 17, 2009, a second place prize, a shopping cart race with David Reutimann worth $500 of free groceries or a third place prize, a $250 Lowes Foods gift card and a Michael Waltrip Racing prize pack. More info at www.lowesfoods.com.(MWR PR)(5-5-2009)
MWR plane develops trouble, but is OK: UPATE: A private aircraft landed safely at McCarran International Airport this [Thurs., Feb 19th] afternoon after the left engine had to be shut down during the flight. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the Canada Air Challenger CL60 was en route to Ontario, Calif. [near Auto Club Speedway], when it diverted to Las Vegas because of the engine trouble. McCarran spokesman Chris Jones said the plane landed without incident on the west side of the airport. The Clark County Fire Department was alerted to the problem. Fire Department spokesman Scott Allison said no injuries were reported and the 48 people on board the regional jet all exited the aircraft safely after the incident, which happened about 4:20pm. It was unclear what caused the engine trouble. Gregor said the aircraft is owned by Michael Waltrip Racing [no word if driver/owner Micheal Waltrip was on the plane].(Las Vegas Sun)(2-2-2009)
UDPATE: "There was an issue with one motor that lost oil pressure, so they shut it down," [Marcos] Ambrose said. "On the landing, apparently the other motor got jammed in reverse thrust. But everybody is safe and sound." All three crews for MWR -- Ambrose's #47 Toyota, Waltrip's #55 Camry and David Reutimann #00 car -- were on the plane, but none of the drivers were on board. Tad Geschickter, co-owner of Ambrose's car, also was on the flight.(ESPN.com)(9-21-2009)
Aaron's to sponsor #00 for full season: Michael Waltrip confirmed Thursday that Aaron’s has agreed to sponsor the #00 MWR Toyota of David Reutimann for the entire season. Aaron’s originally had planned to be the primary sponsor of the car for just half the 2009 Sprint Cup season, but Waltrip said he’s signed the company for the whole year. “There’s two reasons why it’s huge,” Waltrip said during NASCAR’s annual Media Day prior to the opening of Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. “Aaron’s has been a great partner. The Aaron’s Dream Machine has been the roots for what MWR is today. We raced that car (in the Nationwide Series) from behind my house. Toyota noticed what we did. They said, ‘Hey, we want you to be an owner at the Cup level.’ So it’s the reason I’m here today. Secondly, they (Aaron’s) stepped up to half season of Cup and I was talking to (Ken) Butler, the CEO, and I said, ‘Reutimann’s going to win. You watch.’ And I said, ‘If he wins in somebody else’s car, that’s going to really get on my nerves, because you guys have put us here. e want him to win in your car.’ And we were going to leave Daytona and go to California either with out a sponsor or a different sponsor. I just couldn’t handle that, so we talked and we worked (it out).”(SPEEDtv)(2-5-2009)
Reutimann to run full season for Waltrip: Michael Waltrip Racing owner Michael Waltrip says the #00 Toyota team for driver David Reutimann will run the full Sprint Cup season this year despite not having full sponsorship. Waltrip said on a national conference call with reporters on Wednesday that Reutimann will be sponsored by Aaron’s for “half a season” as the company steps up to the Cup series for the first time after many years as a Waltrip sponsor in what is now known as the Nationwide Series. Waltrip said the first race Reutimann would be without sponsorship would be the Feb. 22 event at Auto Club Speedway in California. The search for sponsorship for Reutimann continues, Waltrip said, and a potential backer would be getting a bargain. Waltrip’s car, the #55, will again be sponsored by NAPA. MWR is also in an alliance with JTG Daugherty Racing to field the #47 Toyota for Marcos Ambrose that is fully sponsored.(SceneDaily)(1-16-2009), see am image of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page and the Aaron's 18 race sponsor schedule on my #00 Team News and Links page.(1-16-2009)
Hallam ready for new life in USA with role at MWR: Steve Hallam, an engineer and manager the past 27 years in Formula One, is settling into his new office at Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) and a new life in America after leaving his post as head of operations for team McLaren based in Woking, Surrey, United Kingdom. In September, it was announced that Hallam would be making the move to MWR to work in NASCAR leaving behind a rich history in Formula One. He has now assumed his new role as Director of Competition after moving around the globe to North Carolina to set up shop in the 140,000 sq. ft. factory. "It would have been easy to stay at McLaren until I retired," Hallam said. "But what attracted me to Michael Waltrip Racing was the opportunity to work with a young team and, in particular, to be part of the continued development and growth of the multi-car Cup operation as they strive to provide the best equipment and support for their teams. This is a great opportunity to join a closely knit team who are looking to build success by harnessing Toyota engines and technical support to build cars at a level where we can improve upon the tremendous foundation that has already been built."(MWR PR)(1-7-2009)
Races  that Champion Mortgage is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Pocono - 6/8
Michigan - 6/15
New Hampshire - 6/29
Daytona - 7/5
Chicago - 7/12
Indianpolis - 7/27
Bristol - 8/23
Richmond - 9/6
Races [~10] that Aaron's Rent is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Daytona - 2/17
California - 2/22
Las Vegas - 3/2
Atlanta - 3/9
Bristol - 3/16
Martinsville - 3/30
Talladega - 4/27
Richmond - 5/3
Darlington - 5/10
Charlotte - 5/25
Races  that Microsoft Small Business Specialist is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
Dover - 6/1
Races  that NAPA was the primary sponsor:
Reutimann Presents Donations to Charities and Local Schools: David Reutimann, driver of the #00 Aarons Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series and the #99 Aarons Dream Machine in the Nationwide Series for Michael Waltrip Racing, hosted his Fourth Annual Charity Golf Tournament, Cook Out and Auction at Silverado Golf and Country Club the weekend after Thanksgiving in Zephyrhills, FL.
The festivities consisted of a cook out and sports memorabilia auction, followed by a golf tournament. In total the festivities raised around $78,000 for local Florida based charities. This past Friday David Reutimann received the opportunity to present to his affiliated charities, including All Children’s Hospital of Florida, Camp Boggy Creek, Zephyrhills Pregnancy Center and Kid’s Go to Camp. In addition, David donated $3,000 to six local Pasco county schools. “I’m blessed to be able to give back to so many. It’s rewarding to give back to my community and schools that I myself attended,” said David Reutimann.(PR)(12-18-2008)
Sonoma - 6/22
Childers new crew chief for Reutimann? UPDATE 2 Official: hearing former #19 GEM crew chief, Rodney Childers, will be Reutimann's crew chief in 2009.(11-26-2008)
UPDATE: Rodney Childers will leave Gillett Evernham Motorsports, where he was crew chief for #19-Elliott Sadler, to become #00-David Reutimann's crew chief at Michael Waltrip Racing, according to sources familiar with the situation. An announcement should come later this week. Childers will replace Ryan Pemberton, who left MWR to become Brian Vickers' crew chief at Red Bull Racing.(SceneDaily)(12-2-2008)
UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Rodney Childers will become the crew chief for David Reutimann and his #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota team for the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season. "This is a great opportunity," said Childers, entering his fifth season as a crew chief on the Sprint Cup level. " When I heard the position was available, I looked into it because I really liked the idea of working with David. We have the same type of personality and as I see the progress MWR has made, I see it as a place where I could have a long future. Their relationship with Toyota also attracted me because it is easy to see their commitment to NASCAR. David really burst onto the scene this past year and has proven that he can do this. He is comfortable and feels like he's as good as anyone on the track and that's really important." The Mooresville, NC native has been involved in some form of racing since he was 12 years old whether it has been behind the wheel or atop a pit box. From 1999 to 2002, he raced in several series including the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series, Hooters Pro Cup Series and in 2000, he made his first and only Nationwide Series start at Myrtle Beach Speedway [SC]. More recently, Childers served as a crew chief for the past three seasons with Gillett Evernham with #19-Elliott Sadler (2008) and [then] #10-Scott Riggs (2006-2007). Childers was Riggs' crew chief in 2005 with MB2 Motorsports. "I am looking forward to picking up with Rodney where Ryan (Pemberton) and I left off," Reutimann said. "The team built a lot of momentum during the latter part of the season. We've just got to build upon that. I feel like we have improved a great deal. If we can continue to position ourselves in the top-10, the top-fives will come and ultimately our first win."(MWR PR)(12-3-2008)
Pemberton leaves MWR for Red Bull UPDATE 3 new crew chief?: After asking for his release, #44 crew chief Ryan Pemberton is expected to reunite with his friend and former boss Jay Frye at Team Red Bull. Pemberton, 39, spent this year working with David Reutimann and the #44 Toyota after weathering the MB2 Motorsports buyout and the Ginn Racing/Dale Earnhardt Inc. merger last fall. The Pemberton-led crew won the pole at Homestead, but finished 20th on Sunday. Pemberton's official position has yet to be determined.(FoxSports)(11-18-2008)
UPDATE: #44-David Reutimann [will be back in #00 in 2009], who finished 22nd in points in his second full Sprint Cup season and won the pole in the finale at Homestead, is short a crew chief and a half-season's worth of sponsorship on his Toyota for next season. He also is unlikely to run a third straight full Nationwide season because of sponsorship issues. Reutimann said a replacement for (crew chief) Ryan Pemberton, who said late in the season he was leaving for Red Bull, could be announced next week. "You would like to get somebody in there because Ryan decided to do his deal so late in the season it doesn't give you much opportunity to talk with people," Reutimann said. "You know your crew chief is leaving halfway through the year, you can start talking to people who are interested in doing something different. He just didn't give us that option."(St Petersburg Times)(11-23-2008)
UPDATE 2: hearing former #19 GEM crew chief, Rodney Childers, will be Reutimann's crew chief in 2009.(11-26-2008)
UPDATE 3: Rodney Childers will leave Gillett Evernham Motorsports, where he was crew chief for #19-Elliott Sadler, to become #00-David Reutimann's crew chief at Michael Waltrip Racing, according to sources familiar with the situation. An announcement should come later this week. Childers will replace Ryan Pemberton, who left MWR to become Brian Vickers' crew chief at Red Bull Racing.(SceneDaily)(12-2-2008)
Bush's Baked Beans to sponsor Ambrose: JTG Daugherty Racing announced a 2009 Sprint Cup sponsorship agreement with Bush Brother’s and Company. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, the company will enter its 7th season as a partner. For the first time, Bush’s Baked Beans will serve as a primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series for Marcos Ambrose’s #47 Toyota in Richmond (5/2) and Darlington (5/9). The brand will also serve as a major associate sponsor for 10 events next season. Jay Bush, Brand Ambassador and star of the brand’s advertising campaign added, “Duke and I are really excited about our partnership with Marcos Ambrose and JTG Daugherty Racing. They are a great team, and have represented our brand very well in the past. We are excited about continuing our relationship in the Sprint Cup Series. If I can just keep Duke from selling Marcos the Secret Family Recipe, we're in for a great season.(JTG Racing PR)(11-16-2008)
First Diversity Apprentice named for MWR:: Toyota and Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced that Josh Ray is the diversity apprentice selected from Toyota’s Technician Training and Education Network (T-TEN) alumni program. American Indian descendant and Oklahoma-native Ray will relocate to North Carolina to begin a one- year, technical position within the MWR organization, directly involved with the teams’ NASCAR participation beginning on Monday, November 10, 2008. The three-part position will include rotations with Michael Waltrip Racing’s tear down area, electronics department and also in the suspension department. After reviewing many applications from previous T-TEN graduates, Ray was chosen by the selection committee as one of three finalists to advance to the next round, which consisted of interviews with the Michael Waltrip Racing organization. Once the interviews were concluded and the final candidates were evaluated, Ray was awarded the opportunity of a lifetime – a one year apprenticeship with one of the most popular teams in NASCAR.(Toyota PR)(11-7-2008)
MWR names new Technical Director: Nick Hughes has been named technical director at Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR).
"I am looking forward to the challenge of combining the skills of our engineering group with the experience and knowledge of our teams and other departments in order to continue increasing the performance and competitiveness of our cars,” Hughes said. Hughes replaces Dr. Eric Warren who recently departed MWR to pursue new opportunities in the Sprint Cup Series. "Michael Waltrip personally asked me to help get the team on its feet and Andy Graves from TRD was instrumental in me coming to MWR," said Dr. Warren, who won 13 Cup races while at Gillette-Evernham Motorsports before joining MWR in September 2007. "I feel like we were successful over the course of the year. I’m looking forward to a new opportunity at the pinnacle of our sport and wish the team continued success."
"I want to thank Eric for all he’s done for Michael Waltrip Racing," Calvin Wells III stated. "He helped build a strong foundation for MWR’s teams during his tenure. We wish him success in his endeavors. We also are pleased to announce Nick Hughes as technical director and congratulate him on his new position."(MWR PR)(10-28-2008)
Ambrose to drive final four Cup races: In preparation for Sprint Cup Series competition in a Toyota in 2009 with JTG-Daugherty Racing, Marcos Ambrose has agreed to drive the final four races of the season for Michael Waltrip Racing. The Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) Toyota team, which has carried the #00 this season, will switch to car #47 for remainder of 2008, starting this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway [as previously announced]. JTG-Daugherty, co-owned by Tad and Jodi Geschickter and former NBA All-Star Brad Daugherty, will field Toyotas through a technical alliance with MWR in 2009 for Ambrose, carrying sponsors Kingsford Charcoal, Clorox, Bush’s Baked Beans and Little Debbie [see image of the schemes on my 2009 #47 Team Schemes page]. Frank Kerr, who has been named Ambrose’s crew chief for the JTG-Daugherty entry in 2009, will serve as crew chief for the remaining MWR races this season. In 2009, JTG-Daugherty Racing will operate out of MWR’s 140,000-square foot facility in Cornelius, North Carolina, and receive cars, engineering, mechanical and other technical support from MWR’s existing infrastructure.(MWR PR)(10-24-2008)
Driver for the #00 at Martinsville? Atlanta? UPDATE 4: hearing that J.J. Yeley could be running the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota next week at Martinsville Speedway.(10-10-2008)
UPDATE: MWR Executive Vice President Cal Wells said there is a plan for the rest of the year [for the #00 team] that includes [rookie Michael] McDowell and wouldn't say who would drive next week at Martinsville. He said the situation is "fluid," but did say that J.J. Yeley, rumored to have been driving the car, will not be driving it.(SceneDaily)(10-12-2008)
UPDATE 2: Bob Dillner reported on SPEED Report that Mike Bliss will drive the #00 at Martinsville next weekend and Marcos Ambrose will be in the car at Atlanta.(10-13-2008)
UPDATE 3: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announces Mike Bliss will attempt to qualify and race the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series Tums QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Bliss follows Kenny Wallace and AJ Allmendinger with the same agenda of repositioning the MWR team inside the top 35 owner points standings.(MWR PR)(10-13-2008)
UPDATE 4: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced Friday that Marcos Ambrose is scheduled to drive for the racing organization in the Sprint Cup Series Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with Little Debbie as primary sponsor. The #00 MWR Toyota team will switch to the #47 number for the final four events. At this time, the Michael Waltrip Racing #47 driver is to be determined for Texas, Phoenix and Homestead [Ambrose was scheduled to run all three races in the #21 Ford and #47 Ford, the the MWR changed that, but he could end up in the #47 Toyota for the 3 races]. “It’s really nice to have a head start on the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and integrate Marcos with our team,” Waltrip said. “We are pleased that NASCAR worked with us to switch our number so that Marcos and his sponsors have continuity. I, of all people, know the importance of car numbers to sponsors. We are very appreciative that everything worked out. This is a great opportunity for Marcos and it gives him a glimpse of what next season may look like for him. We are really happy about that.”
“It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to come to Michael Waltrip Racing,” Ambrose said. “There is a lot of synergy here and I am looking forward to qualifying the #47 Little Debbie Toyota. Racing with the organization gives me the chance to have an early start on getting to know my team, Michael Waltrip and how the company operates."(MWR PR)(10-17-2008)
#00 team could go away in 2009, McDowell not picked up: Michael Waltrip Racing will field cars for #55-Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann [#44 in 2008 supposedly will use the #00 in 2009 with #44 owners points] and then partner with JTG Daugherty Racing to field the car for Marcos Ambrose [#47] in the Sprint Cup Series in 2009. The fate of the #00 MWR team is still to be determined. Running that car would depend on sponsorship, MWR Executive Vice President Cal Wells said Saturday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. “Our plan right now is two plus one [of JTG Daugherty], and we’re working on some other opportunities for next year,” Wells said. “We’re all in to make those three cars race-winning contenders every week. We’re not going to spread our resources unless we can really find the right kind of deal. We did this year, but next year we’re going to make sure that we’re [sponsored].” The team currently fields three cars, including one that has primarily been driven by Michael McDowell. But McDowell hasn’t driven the last two weeks. AJ Allmendinger drove the car Saturday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Wells said he considers him a candidate for a full-time ride if sponsorship is found for the fourth car. McDowell didn’t seem very optimistic about returning to MWR when talking Saturday. “They didn’t exercise the option on me,” McDowell said. “I know it’s due to not having funding, but being out these few races here, I’m not really sure where that’s driven from. I don’t know if I’m racing next week. Hopefully I’ll be in at Martinsville or in at some races before the end of the year. But in the meantime, they’re working hard on sponsorship and I’m working hard on trying to stay in the garage.” Wells said there is a plan for the rest of the year that includes McDowell and wouldn’t say who would drive next week at Martinsville. He said the situation is “fluid,” but did say that J.J. Yeley, rumored to have been driving the car, will not be driving it.
“I just want to race – I don’t care if it’s a truck, Nationwide or a Cup car,” McDowell said. “I’m ready for any of the above. You’re not going to be extremely picky, choosy at this point. I need a job.” Wells said he was unsure exactly will happen with the points and which cars’ points the JTG Daugherty team will get.(SceneDaily)(10-15-2008)
Red Rocks Café on the #00 at Charlotte: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Red Rocks Cafe is partnering with the racing organization to be an associate sponsor on the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota driven by AJ Allmendinger in the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday night. Red Rocks Café is a North Carolina based restaurant with two locations at Southpark in the Charlotte area at Strawberry Hill Shopping Center and Birkdale Village in Huntersville.(MWR PR)(10-10-2008)
A.J. back at Charlotte? UPDATE to MWR: A.J. Allmendinger was interviewed on ESPN2's NASCAR Now and he said he has been in meetings with teams at Talladega Superspeedway and hopes to have his 2009 plans set soon and hopes to be in a ride as soon as the Bank of American at Lowe's Motor Speedway next weekend.(10-5-2008)
UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that AJ Allmendinger will attempt to qualify the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 Saturday night. “I look forward to it and I think this is a great opportunity,” Allmendinger said. “Over the past couple of months the organization has really picked up with how everyone has been running. Hopefully, I can go out there and do a good job and get the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota team back inside the top 35.” This past weekend Kenny Wallace recorded the team’s best finish of the season by crossing the finish line in 12th-place at Talladega Superspeedway. Now, it is Allmendinger's turn to strap into the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota for the first time on Thursday for Sprint Cup Series practice and then qualifying. Allmendinger knows the team is only 39 points shy of 35th-place in the owner points. The coveted position is currently occupied by #7-Robby Gordon, who finished eighth on Sunday. Allmendinger's crew chief, Peter Sospenzo, feels good about their chances of reclaiming a top 35 spot. “Finishing 12th with Kenny was the strongest finish we have had and that was nice, but at the same time Robby Gordon had a little better finish than we did so we didn’t gain any points on him,” said Sospenzo. “Obviously we are looking forward to going to Lowe’s Motor Speedway because we had a productive test there. We were good in qualifying and race trim. We feel confident about going back. AJ’s a good driver and we know he can get everything out of the car.” This season, Allmendinger has qualified inside the top five two times and six times in the top 10 in 21 starts. His career-best finish is ninth-place recently at Kansas Speedway driving the #84 Red Bull Toyota. During the May race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Allmendinger started 27th and finished 20th.
“We didn’t do as well as we liked, but we were pretty fast,” Allmendinger said. “I feel comfortable around Lowe’s Motor Speedway because it is a track that I have been able to race around a lot in my career. I feel like missing the test doesn’t make a big difference.”
Michael Waltrip Racing’s decided to make a driver change with the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota after the team failed to qualify with Michael McDowell for the Sprint Cup Series event at Kansas Speedway. The objective remains the same and that is to qualify on time and return the Michael Waltrip Racing team to the top 35 before the checkered flag waves at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "Our singular focus with the #00 team is to reposition the team in the top 35 in owner’s points and be there in end,” Waltrip said. "The decision for us to continue to make changes is about our organization. Kenny Wallace did a tremendous job for us at Talladega and recorded the team’s best finish of the season. I know AJ will do a great job for us too in our Toyota Camrys. We’re still closely evaluating the remaining Cup races,” Waltrip continued. "We’re moving in the direction of having multiple drivers based on their experiences at particular tracks.”(MWR PR)(10-6-2008)
Kenny Wallace in the #00 at Talladega: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Kenny Wallace will attempt to qualify the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota at Talladega Superspeedway for the Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy 500 on Sunday. Michael Waltrip Racing made the decision to make a driver change starting this weekend. The team is regrouping after failing to qualify last weekend at Kansas Speedway. The status for the remaining six races this year is being determined. Michael McDowell, who has five top-25 finishes in 20 starts during his rookie season, is still an option. Each event will be determined by who may be able to best help the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota team reach their goal of finishing the season in the top 35 owner points standings. "We have a singular focus with the #00 team now and that is to get it in the top 35 in owner’s points when the checkered flag falls at Homestead-Miami," Waltrip said. "This is not about an individual, it is about an organization. Kenny has a lot of experience restrictor plate racing and a lot of friends who trust him, which is critical at that race. He has a great record at Talladega and we felt like he was our best shot at scoring maximum points. We’re going to make the same evaluation for the remaining 2008 Sprint Cup races," Waltrip continued. "That could include multiple drivers based on their experiences at particular tracks. Teams have done this at road course events and we have the flexibility to do this with the remaining oval races." Wallace drove the #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine for Waltrip at Talladega Superspeedway in 2004. Now, Wallace returns to the organization looking to top his runner-up finish he scored at the 2.66-mile tri-oval in 2000 where he pushed the late Dale Earnhardt to his final Cup victory. Wallace was driving for Andy Petree in the #55 numbered car. Wallace’s best qualifying effort at Talladega to date is third (October 1999) and in his most recent attempt (April 2007) he started sixth.
"Michael and I have been friends for a long time," said Wallace, who has two top-five and six top-10s in 23 starts at Talladega. "I watched him bring his vision to life and become a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner. I’m proud of everything he has accomplished and I’m proud that I was able to be one of the first Cup drivers to help him. I vividly remember the small garage he worked out of before taking his organization to the top level. I'm looking forward to returning to Michael Waltrip Racing and helping the team get back inside the top 35."(Michael Waltrip Racing PR)(10-1-2008)
MWR could add a 4th team, Ambrose? Dow?: UPDATE: While many teams continue to search for sponsorship for the 2009 Sprint Cup season and beyond, one team that seems confident about sponsorship is Michael Waltrip Racing. MWR Executive Vice President Cal Wells said Saturday that he believes the team has enough sponsorship for two cars and three-quarters of another. He said he could envision the team running a fourth car part time in 2009. “I believe we’re in really good shape,” Wells said. “I’m hoping we’re actually going to run a fourth car. I don’t know that we can get it off, but we have so much in the pipeline.” As far as who would be teammates with already signed #55-Michael Waltrip and #44[will be #00 in 2009]-David Reutimann, Wells said the team hopes to re-sign Michael McDowell, who has run most of the season in a third car for MWR. “We’re selling hard around McDowell,” Wells said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff we’re working on. I honestly don’t know. There’s some [more] talent out there.” Wells also dismissed the idea that MWR would merge with another team [Like the Ganassi rumor]. “We’re looking at doing some service providing stuff with some folks that are trying to come in, kind of like the Hall of Fame [Racing] deals [with Joe Gibbs Racing],” Wells said. “We’re not to the point of announcing anything yet, but we’re looking for business. We’re not looking at [merging].”(SceneDaily.com)
AND: hearing that Marcos Ambrose and Little Debbie's could be moving to Michael Waltrip Racing in 2009 and Ambrose would not run in the Cup Series for JTG Racing.
AND II: also hearing that the other primary sponsor for Reutimann in the #00 Toyota in 2009 will be Dow Chemical Company.(9-22-2008)
UPDATE: JTG Daugherty Racing hasn't named a manufacturer for next season when it moves full time to the Sprint Cup Series from the Nationwide Series but the team was working out of a Michael Waltrip Racing hauler on Saturday at Kansas Speedway. JTG Daugherty, which qualified on speed for Sunday's Cup race with driver #47-Marcos Ambrose, had a hauler fire in June that destroyed one of its transporters. The team got some help from Richard Childress Racing when it qualified for the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in late July. But could the team working out of a MWR hauler at Kansas be a sign of a potential affiliation and a move to Toyota? JTG Daugherty currently fields Fords. "Obviously we have a really good relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing," Geschickter said. "At this point, we're not ready to announce anything. But we know them better than most in the fact that we were able to go straight over there and borrow some equipment."(SceneDaily.com)(9-28-2008)
F1 McLaren boss heads to NASCAR UPDATE 2: Steve Hallam, McLaren's head of race operations, is to leave the team at the end of this year to move to NASCAR. Hallam joined McLaren in 1990 after almost a decade at Lotus, where he race engineered for Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna. Having helped engineer Mika Hakkinen to world title success with McLaren in 1998 and 1999, Hallam moved to a more senior role within the team's race engineering department. McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh has paid tribute to Hallam's contribution to the team. "Since joining us in 1990, Steve has become a senior member of our track operations team, doing a fantastic job," explained Whitmarsh. "He informed us of his decision to leave some time ago but, since he is totally professional, it goes without saying that we are entirely comfortable with his continuing his work with us until the end of the season. Next year we will all miss him greatly, but we nonetheless wish him all the very best in his new adventure." Hallam is to take up a senior position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Autosport)(9-13-2008)
UPDATE: Another big name in Formula One is jumping ship and will be coming to the Sprint Cup series in 2009. While Steve Hallam is a name virtually unknown, in the United States, he’s considered the one of the leading engineers in that world-wide circuit and he’ll be joining Michael Waltrip Racing according to a highly-placed source at MWR who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Hallam, currently head of McLaren Mercedes Race Operations, engineered World Champions such as Brazil’s Ayrton Senna, Britain’s’ Nigel Mansell, and Mika Hakkinen of Finland. He leaves a huge operation with an annual racing budget, reportedly, in excess of $400 million the largest budget in the series for the two-car team. Hallam’s exact position is not defined as yet, according to the same source. Eric Warren will continue as vice president and technical director. An official announcement is expected by the end of the week.(Franckly Spreaking)(9-19-2008)
UPDATE 2: One of the most decorated engineers in Formula One over the past three decades will join Michael Waltrip Racing this winter as Director of Race Engineering for the second-year Toyota team. Steve Hallam, a 56-year-old Englishman, will leave his post as Head of Race Operations for McLaren Racing and join MWR's NASCAR Sprint Cup operation following the conclusion of the Formula One season. Hallam has established himself as a respected engineer and manager of the past 27 years in Formula One, participating in 430 Grand Prix, winning five World Championships while working for only two teams: Team Lotus and McLaren Racing. "Steve is a remarkable asset for any organization and I'm proud that he is joining ours," said MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip. "He will be in a key position that will both allow him to learn about the NASCAR world while implementing the knowledge he has gained over the past 30 years in Formula One. This is another step that shows our employees, sponsors and all of NASCAR that MWR is serious about our desire to elevate our organization to an elite status in the Sprint Cup garage. Steve will galvanize the relationship between MWR and Toyota and ensure all of the tools available will be utilized properly. I'm ecstatic as an owner but maybe more so as a driver because I know I will feel the benefits of his work."(MWR PR)(9-21-2008)
MWR has some prospective sponsors for 2009: Ty Norris, vice president and general manager of Michael Waltrip Racing, said three prospective sponsors for next season -- two new to the sport, one old, according to Norris -- are taking notice that MWR's three teams have been running better lately. Heading into Sunday's Sylvania 300 at NHMS, the #44 piloted by David Reutimann [has Aaron's for 18 races in 2009, will move back to the #00] ranks 27th in owner points, MIchael Waltrip's #55 Toyota [set with NAPA as his sponsor in 2009] ranks 32nd, and the #00 [no sponsor for 2009, no word on driver] currently being driven by rookie Michael McDowell is 35th. With UPS and its considerable dollars headed elsewhere [#6-David Ragan], MWR needs to find new money to fill the gap if it's going to field three teams again next season. Waltrip is set with NAPA signed on as the primary sponsor of his car next year, but Reutimann has only half of next season currently covered by Aaron's, which hopes to serve as a co-primary with another sponsor. Norris said he has no timetable for the aforementioned three prospective MWR sponsors, and admitted that fielding a third team for next season, which is the current plan, may hinge on what happens. "A lot of our current sponsors are re-signing. And we have at least three very, very solid opportunities that would, one, shore up the second half of the Reutimann car and, two, create a primary opportunity for McDowell," Norris said. "Time will tell, but at least those things are in the funnel, so to speak.(in part from NASCAR.com)(9-14-2008)
McDowell Returns to the #00 at RIR: Michael McDowell returns to his #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota Camry at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) after stepping out for three consecutive races for Mike Skinner to evaluate the Michael Waltrip Racing organization. “I learned a lot of positives from Mike Skinner,” McDowell said. “Mike gave me confidence that my feel for the car is correct, so now I need to utilize my practice better. It is important for me to chase a feel and not the board. Mike does that really well it doesn’t matter if he is running 40th, 25th or 20th. He’s still chasing what ultimately he thinks is going to race well. As a young guy and a rookie, you are always trying to prove yourself and how you do that is being up on the board. Sometimes I found myself just trying to put up a solid lap rather than what I needed to run 400 to 500 miles. It’s a balance. You compare yourself to your teammates and you compare yourself to the rookies and the other guys at your level and you are trying to be the best of that group.” McDowell has a new outlook reentering the .75-mile D-shaped oval thanks in part to Skinner and will apply the knowledge he gained from observing practices and races from the spotter’s stand and listening to his team’s communication while absent from the #00 Toyota.(MWR PR)(9-4-2008)
"Day of Reckoning" scheme for Skinner at Calif: Affliction Entertainment and Michael Waltrip Racing have teamed up to race for the checkered flag in the Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Southern California. This year's Sprint Cup Series race at the two-mile D-shaped oval will find Waltrip's #00 Toyota, driven by veteran driver Mike Skinner, fully wrapped in Affliction Entertainment's "Day of Reckoning" graphics promoting the upcoming Oct. 11 MMA Pay-Per-View event from Las Vegas. In addition to Affliction's sponsorship of the Michael Waltrip Racing #00 entry, the company will work with Auto Club Speedway to promote "Day of Reckoning" to the multitude of fans who attend the events planned at the world-famous speedway this Labor Day weekend. Utilizing the venue's multiple promotional opportunities, Affliction and Auto Club Speedway have packaged an entertaining mixture of promotional opportunities to make the fans aware of Affliction's upcoming event. Roy Englebrecht Events, Donald J. Trump and Affliction Entertainment in association with Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino present Affliction "Day of Reckoning" featuring the WAMMA heavyweight elimination match between Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett on Saturday, Oct. 11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Tickets are available online at www.unlvtickets.com or by calling 702.739.FANS.
Ticket prices range from $75 to $500. Arlovski vs. Barnett is available live on cable and satellite Pay-Per-View and closed circuit television.(MWR PR)(8-26-2008)
Aaron's to #44 team in 2009? UPDATE4 the #00: hearing that Aaron's will move from the #00 and sponsor the #44 car for a partial Sprint Cup schedule and a partial Nationwide schedule in 2009. No word on if the driver will David Reutimann, current driver of the #44 UPS/MWR Toyota or Michael McDowell, current driver of the #00 Toyota for MWR.(8-8-2008)
UPDATE: David Reutimann has had his option picked up by Michael Waltrip Racing for next season, and now he’s looking for the team to continue its progress. Sponsorship is expected to be announced next week at Bristol Motor Speedway, where MWR has a news conference scheduled.(SceneDaily)(8-16-2008)
UPDATE 2 MWR announcement: on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Michael Waltrip Racing is scheduled to make an announcement. Hearing it will concern news about David Reutimann's 2009 plans, sponsors etc.(8-19-2008)
UPDATE 3: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) and Aaron Rents, Inc. announced the continuation of one of the longest sponsor and owner relationships in NASCAR. In 2009, Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership, the largest division of Aaron Rents, Inc., will sponsor the #00 [not the #44] Sprint Cup Series Aaron's Dream Machine with driver David Reutimann for 18 select races. Aaron's will also sponsor the #99 Nationwide Series Aaron's Dream Machine for 10 select races with both Reutimann and Michael Waltrip splitting time behind the wheel with a championship caliber team. "Aarons is more than a sponsor of Michael Waltrip Racing, they are a partner," Waltrip said. "We have been together nearly a decade. When our relationship began we were racing out of a shop behind my house. Their business has grown tremendously, as has our team. I am proud of our record together and look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come." The 2009 season will mark the 10th year that Waltrip has been an ambassador for the Aaron's brand. The 28 combined Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide races will be announced shortly after the 2009 NASCAR schedules are released [already released Tuesday].(MWR PR)(8-22-2008)
UPDATE 4: MWR is still looking to finalize deals for the remaining 18 races with Reutimann and the team’s third car. Waltrip said the team was close to wrapping up the rest of Reutimann’s car, with plans for the third car to be announced at a later date.(SPEEDtv)(8-23-2008)
McDowell could be looking for a ride UPDATE 3: #00-Michael McDowell, the Michael Waltrip Racing rookie, said Friday that he may be on the market for a new team, depending on MWR’s sponsorship search. He’s already spoken to several teams about his driving future, including Petty Enterprises. Petty official Robbie Loomis said Friday that McDowell is among a small group of three or four drivers being considered for the team’s #45 car next season. McDowell said MWR has an option on him, but if it does not secure a sponsor for him in the next few weeks, he may have to look elsewhere for a ride. Casey Mears and Chad McCumbee have also been mentioned as candidates for Petty’s #45 car. Other options that potentially could be available to McDowell include Chip Ganassi Racing’s #41 car and Gillett Evernham Motorsports’ #10 car. There are also openings at Penske Racing and Richard Childress Racing.(SceneDaily)(8-9-2008)
UPDATE: Mike Skinner is listed in the Michigan entry list as the driver of the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota field by Michael Waltrip Racing, no word on what is up with regular driver Michael McDowell. The MIchigan entry list will be posted in a bit(8-11-2008)
UPDATE 2: Michael McDowell said he supports Michael Waltrip Racing's decision to replace him with Mike Skinner in the 3M Performance 400 this weekend at Michigan. McDowell, whose #00 team is currently outside the top 35 in owner points, said in a statement that he's in favor of doing "whatever it takes to improve the performance of our team. No driver wants to get out of the car, but I understand that every part of our program needs to be evaluated, and that certainly includes me. I plan to support Mike Skinner and our team any way I can, and hopefully learn some things that will help when I get back in the car."(SceneDaily)(8-12-2008)
UPDATE 3: Mike Skinner will assist Michael Waltrip Racing in efforts to evaluate its 18-month-old full-time Sprint Cup Series program by racing the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota at Michigan, Bristol and California. "Michael Waltrip Racing is fully committed to our sponsors, the success of our race teams and ensuring Michael McDowell, Josh Wise, David Reutimann and I have the necessary tools to succeed as drivers," Waltrip said. "We've asked Mike Skinner to evaluate areas where we can improve our on-track performance. I thought he did a really nice job of working with Red Bull and A.J. Allmendinger earlier this year and our #00 Champion Mortgage team could use the same experienced insight. We feel the same way about Michael McDowell as we did when we signed him," Waltrip said, "But this is the toughest, most competitive form of racing in the world and I know Michael and MWR can benefit from Skinner's input." Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Michael McDowell is scheduled to return to his seat at Richmond.(MWR PR)(8-13-2008)
Aaron's to #44 team in 2009? hearing that Aaron's will move from the #00 and sponsor the #44 car for a partial Sprint Cup
schedule and a partial Nationwide schedule in 2009. No word on if the driver will David Reutimann, curretn driver of the #44 UPS/MWR Toyota or Michael McDowell, current driver of the #00 Toyota for MWR.(8-8-2008) Comment here
MWR Softball Champs: Michael Waltrip Racing has won their 3rd consecutive Championship in Bob Hubner's Totally Racin' Softball League. It wasn't easy for MWR, they had to win 2 tournament games in a row against Roush-Fenway Racing. Other teams competed were - Chip Ganassi Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Team Red Bull, Michael Waltrip 2, Stock Car Steel, Haas CNC Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing.(PR)(8-2-2008)
Ganassi-Waltrip merger? Car owner Chip Ganassi pulled the plug on Franchitti's team a month ago, in a shocker that left 71 people without jobs. That move by Ganassi has led to intense speculation about Ganassi's NASCAR future. Some of that speculation includes the possibility of some merger between Ganassi and the Michael Waltrip operation, which is also struggling and may be down to one sponsor next season for that three-car operation.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2008) Comment here
McDowell trains with local law enforcement at high speeds: #00-Michael McDowell trained with law enforcement on a high-speed course and spoke about NASCAR safety at Metro Community College's Blue River [Indepndence, MO] campus Thursday [July 24th]. McDowell drove a police car in a simulated high-speed chase behind another law enforcement official. He also drove the car on a skid course covered with water. "The pursuit was the highlight for me. It felt like I was in a race - maybe a little too much. They said I wasn't allowed to beat and bang on them like I was," McDowell said. "It's just like a race in a sense. Your adrenaline gets going and you get kinda pumped so you're in the zone, and the officers have to deal with that all the time" McDowell spoke about the safety innovations in NASCAR, including the new car and SAFER barrier at Kansas Speedway. He demonstrated the helmet and HANS device that drivers wear for head and neck support by placing them on a fan in the crowd. "Our sport is not only for entertainment, it's to help manufacturers develop street cars and make them safer everyday. It's fun to be a part of that development," McDowell said. "Unfortunately, I was the crash test dummy at Texas this year - I pretty much put everything to the limit."(Kansas Speedway PR)(7-25-2008) Comment here
Testing at Milwaukee: Michael McDowell and Josh Wise are testing Monday at the Milwaukke Mile for Michael Waltrip Racing. Grandstands are open, free to public to watch from the grandstands, enter at Gate 8.(Milwaukee Mile PR)(7-14-2008)
Breakfast between team owners...mean anything? It was probably just an innocent breakfast. Then again ...On the morning of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, there was an eye-catching breakfast gathering at Doc Bales' restaurant in the Hilton Ocean Walk hotel. The group at a large table, front and center, included Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates, owners of the NASCAR organization that bears both their names, along with Michael Waltrip Racing executive vice president Cal Wells and Michael Waltrip's partner and money man, Rob Kauffman. "Rob Kauffman said he wanted to meet Chip and me," Sabates said matter-of-factly at the Speedway later that afternoon.
Perhaps we should consider the backdrop. Ganassi recently shuttered his #40 Dodge Cup team, leaving open-wheel star Dario Franchitti to ponder his future in the sport. That left Ganassi with two active Cup teams and roughly 70 fewer employees, with more layoffs reportedly in the offing. There have been layoffs and a realignment of personnel at MWR. To Kauffman, that's a natural process for a team that raced for the first time in 2007. The issue of sponsorship is fundamental. UPS will leave Waltrip at the end of this season, likely finding a new home with Clint Bowyer at Richard Childress Racing, now that Bowyer has extended his contract with RCR. That leaves Waltrip with NAPA on his #55 car and Aaron's as part-time sponsor of Michael McDowell's #00. If additional sponsorship isn't forthcoming, Waltrip will have funding for two cars, the same number Ganassi now has.
Would it be too far-fetched to speculate that Waltrip and Ganassi might benefit by joining forces in some way, each bringing two teams to the table? Asked whether he might find a deal with Ganassi intriguing under the right circumstances, Kauffman deflected the question. "That's a highly speculative, theoretical thing," he said. "We just wanted to have breakfast with Felix and Chip, more than anything. We have a lot of common friends down in the North Carolina area. ... I think getting MWR on the right track and solidifying our position on the grid and improving our performance -- that's job one, two and three." Kauffman asked rhetorically whether the group would have met openly if they were talking about a deal. Probably not.(in part from the Sporting News)
NOTES: heard from one source the 'meeting' was nothing more then discussion over selling personal items and another source saying there is somethign to this and Ganassi and Waltrip could merge and become a four car team in 2009, no word if they would become a Dodge team [Ganassi] or a Toyota team [Waltrip]. Currently with five teams in the top-35 of ownes points, one could be sold off for points. Other rumored mergers include: Red Bull Racing and Ganassi Racing; Bill Davis Racing and Red Bull Racing.(7-10-2008)
New crew chief for McDowell Michael Waltrip Racing announced Peter Sospenzo will take over as crew chief of the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota beginning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the remainder of the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season. Bill Pappas, who previously served as Michael McDowell's crew chief, will advance to head of engineering. "Walking into Michael Waltrip Racing for the first time last night, I was surprised by how beautiful the facility is and how efficient the operation has become and I am really looking forward to working here," Sospenzo said. "When I heard there may be a change, I started talking to Dr. Eric Warren and Cal Wells. I worked with Ryan Pemberton at Ginn Racing and stayed in touch with him. It's going to be nice to work with him again and also work with Bobby Kennedy." McDowell welcomes the new opportunity.
"Peter has been in the business for years and worked with teams like Penske and Hendrick Motorsports," McDowell said. "He has a lot of experience and has been successful at his job. This is a new opportunity that the #00 Champion Mortgage Toyota Camry team will take advantage of to improve our performance." The deal was finalized overnight and Sospenzo is eager to work with McDowell during his rookie year. "He's young, ambitious and seems like a really good guy," Sospenzo said. "I can't wait to get started and move forward with him. Hopefully, we will have some good things ahead of us and we can build a long-lasting relationship." Sospenzo looks forward to his newfound position at Michael Waltrip Racing and hopes to return to Victory Lane in the near future. "I won with Jeremy Mayfield at California and Pocono (2000) and with Joe Nemechek at Richmond (2003)," Sospenzo said. "I have been able to work with some great teams and drivers and I'm proud to now be a part of Michael Waltrip Racing."(MWR PR)(7-10-2008) Comment here
McDowell to Penske? There's still the issue of a replacement for Ryan Newman at Penske [in the #12 if Newman goes to Stewart Haas Racing], also rumored to be Casey Mears, but I [Yahoo's Bob Margolis] hear #00-Michael McDowell could be in play there as he's somehow lost favor with the Michael Waltrip folks.(Yahoo Sports)(7-10-2008) Comment here
NAPA doubles up at Infineon: NAPA (National Automotive Parts Association) takes pride in team effort, expectations and results and so does Michael Waltrip and his #55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry team. On Sunday at Infineon Raceway, Waltrip will have fans seeing double with Michael McDowell carrying the NAPA shield on his #00 Toyota Camry as a sign of gratitude for NAPA's continued support. "We are taking Michael McDowell to Infineon Raceway in a NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry because it is a chance to say thanks to NAPA and all the fine people who represent them," Waltrip said.(Michael Waltrip Racing), see an image of the car on my #00 Team Schemes page.(6-18-2008) Comment here
MWR in trouble? UPDATE2 denied again: been hearing that there might be trouble over at Michael Waltrip Racing. It seems that they are laying people off, telling them that it is because of financial issues. The team currently fields three Sprint Cup cars, the #00, the #44 and the #55, and one Nationwide Series car, the #99. This year Waltrip brought on a partner, Robert Kauffman, after suffering huge losses on renovations for his Cornelius, NC race shop and a bad 2007 season. Primary sponsor UPS is also pulling out of the team at the end of this season.(NASCAR Insiders, a site that claims to be two NASCAR insiders, including a crew member and journalist, see a follow up on this there also: The MWR Discussion Continues…)(6-9-2008)
UPDATE: from a Michael Waltrip Racing PR - There is a rumor that reports MWR has fallen on tough times and may go away. Is that true? Waltrip says, "I fancy myself as being a friend to one of the Web sites that is reporting that. But I have to say that the rumor is probably one of the most ridiculous things I have read on the internet. We are probably on as good of footing financially as anyone in the garage area. We are focused on the future. When you are a new team, a lot of times there is turnover. There is reorganization. That is what is going on at MWR and will continue to happen until we hit our stride. We are not in any peril as being reported. We are very into what we are doing and what we need to do to be successful."(MWR PR)(6-10-2008)
UPDATE2: "In response to the baseless comments posted on an anonymous web site this week, I want to be clear that categorizing Michael Waltrip Racing as anything other than growing would be incorrect," said Calvin Wells III, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Michael Waltrip Racing. "The partnership formed between Michael Waltrip and Rob Kauffman last October has allowed MWR to meet our short-term objectives while setting the course for our long-term success. MWR is financially sound but fiscally responsible, as all race team owners should be. We have made some recent moves to re-allocate our funds towards areas which will maintain long-term success for MWR, including significant capital investments in equipment, continued expansion of our engineering staff, a more concentrated effort with our test team and the expansion of our Sales/Marketing division with the recent hiring of a Chief Marketing Officer, while broadening our alliances with Toyota Racing Development and other technology partners. In only our second year, MWR maintains a growth pattern towards success and continues to be a destination point for fans, employees, drivers and sponsors,
just as Michael Waltrip believed it would be when he embarked on this life-long dream two years ago."(Michael Waltrip Racing)(6-11-2008) Comment here
Champion Mortgage to sponsor #00 Toyota: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced that Champion Mortgage will sponsor the #00 Toyota Camry and driver Michael McDowell for a minimum of 10 races beginning at Pocono Raceway this weekend. Champion Mortgage, a leading mortgage lender, is a well known name in the Northeast and has been expanding its mortgage lending across the US since the Champion brand became a division of Nationstar Mortgage LLC in 2007.(MWR PR)(6-3-2008) Comment here
#00 gets primary sponsor for Dover IMAGES added: Microsoft is continuing on its commitment to connect its Small Business Specialist Community with the more than 21 million small and home-based businesses in the U.S. by announcing an additional NASCAR sponsorship opportunity with Michael Waltrip Racing. In conjunction with California-based advertising agency RainMakers International, this sponsorship will provide an affordable marketing platform for Microsoft's Small Business Specialist Partners, service providers and Small Business+ customers on both a local and national level by helping to dramatically increase their exposure. Microsoft announced in April an associate sponsorship on Michael Waltrip Racing's #00 Toyota Camry entry, driven by rookie Michael McDowell. To kick off this exciting new opportunity, the Michael Waltrip Racing #00 car will feature a full car Microsoft Small Business and SBSC primary sponsorship design for the June 1st race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, DE. In addition, the Microsoft Across America Mobile Event Experience Truck will be in the newly designed "Fan Zone" at Dover International Speedway throughout the race weekend where fans can come to view and learn more about Small Business offerings from Microsoft and this sponsorship. All three of Michael Waltrip Racing's (MWR) cars (#00, #44, #55) are in the top 35 in owner's points, which means they are guaranteed to be on the track for the upcoming races of the 2008 NASCAR season. In the event the #00 car is not in a race for whatever reason, MWR will put the SBSC Blue Badge onto one of its other two cars for that race, so it continues to have on track presence throughout the entire 2008 NASCAR season. This opportunity follows on Microsoft's earlier NASCAR sponsorship with BAM Racing.(MWR PR), See images of the scheme on my #00 Team Schemes page.(5-24-2008)
Toyota & MWR team up for diversity apprenticeship: Toyota Motor Sales and Michael Waltrip Racing have joined forces to offer a one year apprenticeship to a deserving diversity graduate of Toyota’s Technician Training and Education Network (T-TEN) program. The selected diversity candidate will be relocated to North Carolina and placed in a technical position within the MWR organization, directly involved with the teams’ NASCAR participation. The candidate will have a strong technical background and will be assigned to a specific department within the MWR race shop, depending on the winner’s skill set. The application process, including pre-screening and final candidate selections will be administered by Educational Testing Service’s Scholarship & Recognition Programs (SRP) beginning immediately.(MWR PR) More info on my Driver Development News page.(5-23-2008) Comment here
Aaron's back on the #00 at LMS: Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership has signed on for primary sponsorship of the #00 Toyota Camry for this weekend's Coca-Cola
600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway with Michael McDowell. Since testing Lowe's Motor Speedway, McDowell hasn't slowed down. On Friday, he tested at Rockingham (North Carolina Speedway) and Monday he turned laps at Nashville Superspeedway. On Wednesday, he travels to Road Atlanta with David Reutimann and then tests at VIR (Virginia International Raceway) the first week of June. The following week he is at the Milwaukee Mile for a two-day test.(MWR PR)(5-21-2008)
Office Depot to MWR? UPDATE 2 Aflac to be primary for #99?: hearing Office Depot, currently the sponsor for #99-Carl Edwards, is considering a move to Michael Waltrip Racing with driver #00-Michael McDowell. UPS has been rumored as a possible sponsor for Edwards and Roush Racing in 2009.(5-8-2008)
UPDATE Exclusive negotiation period ends between Roush & Office Depot: The exclusive negotiating period between Office Depot and Roush Fenway Racing in regards to sponsorship of Carl Edwards beyond his season has expired, Office Depot Public Relations Director Mindy Kramer confirmed Friday afternoon. "We're looking at options for 2009, including Carl and other things at Roush nothing to report yet," Kramer said at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "When you're talking about a significant investment, it's difficult to get those things done in a short period of time," said Kramer, who declined to say whether Office Depot had started talking to other teams
besides Roush Fenway. "Carl was not signed until almost the very end of our period of exclusive talks, so that was a hindrance to us being able to have some meaningful discussions. How do you have meaningful discussions with a team when he may have ended up somewhere else?" The company, which has official NASCAR status as well, wants to stay in the driver sponsorship side of the sport. "We like this sport; we don't want to drag this out," Kramer said. "It's an important decision, and there's a lot to go into it. We don't pay attention to the rumors and speculation out there. ... We just try to focus on what's going to be right for our business in 2009 and beyond. Obviously we've had a great four-year relationship with Carl and have had tremendous success." Office Depot sponsors the car for 23 races, and other companies, including some Office Depot business partners such as Aflac, fill out the rest of the schedule.(SceneDaily)(5-17-2008)
UPDATE 2 - AFLAC signs to be Edwards full sponsor in 2009? hearing that AFLAC, already a sponsor of Carl Edwards, also had an exclusive window of negotiation once Office Depot passed on sponsorship with Roush Fenway and AFLCA has signed to become the new full-time sponsor of the #99 Ford in 2009.(5-19-2008) Comment here
Waltrip Honors Friend, McDowell Pays Special Tribute to Mother: For Brain Cancer Awareness week May 4-10, Michael Waltrip designed a special paint scheme for the #00 Toyota Camry to honor his dearly departed friend Max Helton who was instrumental in establishing Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) in 1988. "Max was a really special person in my life," Waltrip said. "I cherished the time I spent with him and the positive influence he had on me. We will miss him, but we will never forget him." Helton's vision came to life with the help of Darrell and Stevie Waltrip and so many others. Michael befriended Helton in the late 80's as he began work in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing community providing ministries for drivers, team members, family and friends. "I don't believe our racing family would have the continuity and the family atmosphere it has if it wasn't for Max and MRO," Darrell Waltrip said. "Max came to my wife Stevie and me in Riverside, California in 1987 and said he wanted to start a ministry in NASCAR. He said he was willing to move to North Carolina. We were excited because he was an ordained minister. When he came to NASCAR, people immediately fell in love with him. I am so proud of Michael Waltrip and Michael McDowell for recognizing his accomplishments. Max meant a lot to everyone in this sport." This weekend is also Mother's Day and Michael Waltrip wanted to also pay tribute to mothers with a "Love You Mom" decal on the back of the #00 Toyota Camry. "We put a special note on McDowell's car to all the mothers watching the race on Saturday," Waltrip said. "Our mom is an important part of our lives. I love the fact that we are racing on Saturday, so that we can spend Mother's Day with her at home on Sunday." McDowell was a huge supporter of the idea because he wanted to show admiration for his mom that he lost to pancreatic cancer at age 45 when he was only 21. "I wanted to pay tribute to my mom," McDowell said. "In addition to MW's 'Love You Mom' decal, I'm also running one I designed to honor my mom. She had such a positive impact on my life. Everybody that knew her loved her. She was just a happy person. I miss seeing her smiling face, but I know she's with me every day. My wife Jami and I want to wish all the mother's a Happy Mother's Day."(MWR)(5-7-2008) Comment here
MWR Adds Chief Marketing Officer to Executive Staff: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) expanded the depth of its executive staff today, announcing the hiring of Terry Bassett as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer as part of the young company's organizational growth. Bassett, with over 20 years of sports marketing experience, will oversee the sales, marketing, media relations, licensing and sponsor service divisions for MWR, entering its 15th month competing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup level. Bassett
comes to MWR after a two-year stint with the Miami Dolphins and previously worked for International Speedway Corp and Penske Motorsports, Inc. Several executive additions have solidified MWR since company founder Michael Waltrip formed an equal ownership partnership with Rob Kauffman in October of 2007. Calvin Wells III serves as the company's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, with Larry Johns serving as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Dr. Eric Warren as Vice President and Technical Director and Ty Norris as Vice President and General Manager.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(5-1-2008)
Microsoft Small Business joines up with MWR: Microsoft expanded its motorsports reach today in an effort to increase visibility of its growing Small Business Specialist Community of Partners and solutions for small businesses by announcing it has formed a unique sponsorship with Michael Waltrip Racing. Microsoft will serve as an associate sponsor on MWR’s #00 Toyota Camry entry driven by rookie Michael McDowell for the remainder of the 2008 season, beginning this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The sponsorship, in conjunction with California-based advertising agency RainMakers International [this was the company and the sponsorship deal with #49 BAM Racing at 49team.com], offers a motorsports marketing platform to Microsoft’s Partners, a growing group which supports businesses everywhere in the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community. Each participating partner will receive a structured marketing package which utilizes Michael Waltrip Racing marks, images of the #00 race car with their logo on it, tickets, likeness of Michael McDowell in his driver’s suit, and the usage of Waltrip’s race facility for contest winners. Additionally, each partner will have the ability to utilize the discounted media buying services offered by RainMakers, and more.(MWR)(4-25-2008) Comment here
NASCAR still evaluating McDowell's car and data: G-force readings [no number given] from #00-Michael McDowell’s grinding crash at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend were lower than other major wrecks in NASCAR, but Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said the nature of severe crashes in the new car has changed so much that G-force readings don’t mean as much as they once did. NASCAR has begun the process of thoroughly examining McDowell’s battered Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota in its Research & Development Center, Darby said, adding that the G-force numbers were “pretty low.” But that wasn’t totally unexpected, because the design of the new car and the SAFER barrier has changed crash dynamics. “G-forces overall have been reduced,” Darby said. “But when you look at the big picture, the G-force is the least significant number anyway.” The significant number is the change in velocity, which Darby said was “substantial” with McDowell’s car. “They weren’t the worst we’ve ever seen by any means,” Darby said. “But part of the process of building a safer race car is to reduce all those numbers as best we can. Even when we understand completely the final numbers – which ultimately will be lower than what we’ve seen in the past – that’s what we’re looking for.” McDowell’s crash, dramatic as it was, wasn’t as severe as the wreck suffered by Jeff Gordon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when his #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet slammed the inside wall along the track’s backstretch. “It wasn’t as big a hit as the 24 took,” said Cal Wells, executive vice president for business operations for MWR. “The 24 hit a concrete wall and it jerked the motor and the transmission. ... Everything [on McDowell’s car] performed extraordinarily close to design.”(SceneDaily)(4-13-2008) Comment here
Triad Racing Development did its job on McDowells Texas car: The chassis that Michael Waltrip Racing driver #00-Michael McDowell wrecked during Friday's qualifying session at Texas Motor Speedway was built by Triad Racing Development, in High Point NC. Even with McDowell's wreck resulting in the car being completely destroyed, the safety innovations Triad Racing Development implemented in the chassis enabled McDowell to walk away from the incident under his own power. Triad Racing Development specializes in putting together a product that is not only efficient on the track but also uses the latest technology to protect the driver within the car. Triad Racing Development has been in business since 2003, and is led by Todd Holbert, son of legendary sports car racer Al Holbert. Todd and his staff specialize in chassis development, as well as component construction innovation.(BDR)(4-11-2008) Comment here
McDowell Takes Off in F-16 Falcon before Phoenix Race: This week is a special homecoming for #00-Michael McDowell as he received a once in a lifetime opportunity to take flight in an F-16 Falcon on Wednesday thanks to the 56th Fighter Wing and Phoenix International Raceway at Luke Air Force Base. McDowell went through Egress training and participated in a media event at Luke Air Force Base before taking off with Capt. Thomas "Wild Bill" Juntunen, 310th FS instructor pilot.(MWR)(4-10-2008)
McDowell Feeling Fine Following Race at Texas: Michael McDowell was in New York all day fulfilling national media obligations to talk about Friday's terrifying accident during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway. Before departing for the city Sunday night, McDowell handled 500 miles like a pro at the 1.5-mile
track. He posted a 33rd place finish in his #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry. "I started out the race sore and in a little pain, but it wasn't too bad," McDowell said. "It didn't take very long until I felt it. I really want to thank my crew for absolutely everything. They did a great job with what they were faced with on Friday. This is only our second race and we are only in the beginning stages. We are just going to keep plugging away to make our cars better at the 1.5-mile tracks." Following the Samsung 500 Sunday, McDowell departed to Statesville (N.C.) with all of Michael Waltrip Racing's Cup teams to board Michael Waltrip's King Air for New York. Because McDowell's accident garnered national attention, he and his wife were invited to the set of The Today Show for an interview with Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira this morning. Afterwards, McDowell went in studio at MSNBC and Inside Edition. Tomorrow [Tues], he will travel to Burbank, Calif. to be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.(MWR)(4-8-2008) Comment here
NASCAR to Examine McDowell's Car: Before Michael McDowell's totaled #00 Toyota winds up in the salvage yard, NASCAR's research and development team wants a chance to inspect the damage. McDowell was able to walk away from an accident in Friday's qualifying session that later took Texas Motor Speedway crews three hours to replace a 28-foot section of the SAFER barrier that was severely bowed by the impact. The battered hulk of what remained of McDowell's machine was placed under a tarp and will be on its way to the R&D facility in Concord, N.C., next week. NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton said it's standard procedure for NASCAR to evaluate how its safety initiatives hold up in severe crashes, particularly the advancements that have been made in the new car. Pemberton said NASCAR engineers may be particularly interested in this crash, because it should provide some valuable telemetry to show forces and loads on the car when it impacted the SAFER barrier and then tumbled at least eight times. An initial inspection of the car by NASCAR officials following the accident seemed to indicate that all of the safety features on the car performed as expected, according to Pemberton. (NASCAR.com)(4-6-2008) Comment here
Reutimann doesn't anticipate driver switch if he fails to qualify: #44-David Reutimann faces another weekend where he has to qualify on speed, and he is not looking forward to it. Reutimann said Thursday he wouldn’t anticipate that Michael Waltrip Racing would put him in the car driven by #00-Michael McDowell if he doesn’t make the field. If Reutimann misses the race, the team could replace McDowell with Retuimann, but Reutimann said that hasn’t been discussed. “The #00 is the car that Michael McDowell drives, and as far as I know, if I don’t get in, I’ll be watching,” Reutimann said. “I wouldn’t want to do that. My job is to get the 44 car in. If I can’t get that car in, then I don’t need to be in the race.”(SceneDaily.com)(4-4-2008) Comment here
MWR had [Roush] part, says it was a mistake UPDATE: Michael Waltrip confirmed Friday afternoon that it was his team that Jack Roush was alluding to when saying a Toyota team had stolen a sway bar from Roush Fenway Racing at Dover last September. “It was a mistake,” Waltrip said. “Look at the back of these toolboxes. There are sway bars, there’s jack handles, and it wound up in our possession. We called them and said, ‘We want to give this back.’ ”(full story atSceneDaily)
MORE: Michael Waltrip acknowledged on Saturday that his team had the sway bar that team owner Jack Roush accused a Toyota team of stealing last season. But Waltrip insisted that it wasn't a theft, that the bar accidentally wound up at his shop after the September race at Dover and that nobody realized it belonged to Roush Fenway Racing until that organization called to inquire about it in January. "Accidents happen, mistakes happen," Waltrip said. "If you look inside this garage area today there's over 70 racing vehicles in here and stuff gets slung everywhere ... I could see why he would be upset. He feels like he was wronged and he's mad about it." Roush said the sway bar was specially designed by Roush Fenway for his cars. He said they were larger than the old bars, unable to fit in the toolbox slot and were put underneath the box instead. Roush said a member of a Toyota team -- which turned out to be David Reutimann's #00 car -- parked next to him at Dover, then walked over and took the piece. "I don't know what makes him tick," Waltrip said of Roush. "But I do know that no one went to his toolbox and swiped his bar." Waltrip said he had no knowledge that the piece was sandblasted to hide its identity and that somebody from his team called a vendor to have it duplicated as Roush alleged. "I don't have knowledge of any of that," he said. "I heard it was painted blue and when we figured out that it wasn't ours then it was set off to the side and eventually returned."(ESPN.com)(3-29-2008) Comment here
NASCAR said NO to a #44 - #00 pts swap: David Reutimann wanted to keep the points he earned in the #00 car during the first five races of the Sprint Cup season as he makes the switch to the #44 driven by Dale Jarrett for Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway. NASCAR said # "They wouldn't let us switch," Reutimann said Friday. "It puts you back almost in the same boat you were before. It's aggravating." Reutimann was 27th in owner's points in the #00. Jarrett, who is retiring, was 34th in the #44 and only 16 points from falling out of the top 35 -- the cutoff for a guaranteed spot in the field for each Sprint Cup race. Michael Waltrip Racing announced last season that Reutimann would replace Jarrett after the first five races. John Darby, the Sprint Cup series director, said point swaps typically are granted only when there is a change in a business function or when an owner is trying to reorganize during the offseason. Sam Hornish Jr., for example, was given Kurt Busch's points at the start of this season as the newest member of Penske Racing so that he would be guaranteed a spot in the first five races. "This was never meant to be used to give a driver the best position he can get," Darby said. "Most people in the garage understand that." Rookie Michael McDowell will inherit Reutimann's points as the new driver of the #00.(ESPN.com)(3-28-2008)
McDowell to make Cup debut at Martinsville; Aaron's to sponsor next 5 races: March 30th is significant to Michael McDowell because he will make his long-awaited Sprint Cup Series debut with Michael Waltrip Racing in the Goody's Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Speedway. As the 23-year-old steps into the #00 Toyota Camry, Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership announces today that their partnership will continue with the Michael Waltrip Racing team through Richmond International Raceway. "We are thrilled to continue to be on the #00 for the next five races and help introduce Michael McDowell to the Cup side." stated Ken Butler, President of Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership. "We are proud to be able to extend our involvement in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Michael Waltrip Racing and look forward to having McDowell in the Aaron's Dream Machine especially at Talladega Superspeedway for our race, the Aaron's 499. I have seen Michael race in the ARCA Series last year and was impressed with his driving. I think he will do
well at this level and everyone at Aaron's will be behind him 100 percent." This may be McDowell's first race in the #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, but this is his second visit to the .526-oval. "In October, I raced for Darrell Waltrip Motorsports in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the biggest thing I learned is you have to be patient," McDowell said. After Bristol Motor Speedway, all three Michael Waltrip Racing entries were locked into the top 35. McDowell is glad the pressure to make the race is no longer there.(MWR PR)(3-24-2008) Comment here
MWR Installs Jet Edge Waterjet Cutting System: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) has installed a Jet Edge precision waterjet cutting system at its fabrication shop in Cornelius, N.C. MWR plans to use its Jet Edge system to cut parts for its three Sprint Cup Series teams and Nationwide Series team. MWR and Jet Edge also announced their new technical partnership, which will give MWR access to Jet Edge’s latest waterjet-cutting technology and position Jet Edge as a leading waterjet technology supplier to the $19.5 billion performance racing industry. With construction of its new fabrication shop completed, MWR has begun increasing its in-house manufacturing capabilities, explained Dr. Eric Warren, MWR’s vice president and technical director. One of its first steps was to acquire waterjet-cutting capabilities that have become essential to NASCAR teams as they race to fabricate parts under extremely tight deadlines.(MWR PR)(3-18-2008) Comment here
Reutimann Tests at Infineon Raceway: #00-David Reutimann visited Infineon Raceway for the first time on Wednesday and he was surprised by the challenges of the twisting 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course. Reutimann came to the track for a one-day test session before his first race start in the Sonoma Valley at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series event, June 20-22. Currently in his second year of full-time Cup Series competition, he was replaced by road-course specialist P.J. Jones for the Infineon Raceway event in 2007. The visit also marked Reutimann's first trip to the Sonoma Valley and Northern California, and he was quite taken with the rolling hills and beautiful landscape. "This track is pretty tricky. It's a really neat layout with all of the elevation changes. It's a lot to take on, but it's a great track," said Reutimann. "It's a beautiful area. I've never been here before, and it'll be great to come back in June." Reutimann piloted a GT America stock car supplied by Pioneer Motorsports out of Lake Oroville. He was coached by road-course veteran
Chris Cook and completed approximately 90 laps in the full-day test. "David, even with his limited road-course experience, is that good. He can be a contender on the road courses. He progressed all day long and finished at a very high level," said Cook, who has also worked with NASCAR drivers Johnny Sauter, Paul Menard and Los Gatos native AJ
Allmendinger. For ticket information on the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 20-22, call 800-870-RACE or visit www.infineonraceway.com.(Infineon Raceway PR)(3-6-2008)
Reutimann to Test at Infineon Raceway Next Week: Sprint Cup Series driver David Reutimann will visit Infineon Raceway for a one-day test session on Wednesday, March 5. Reutimann, who drives the #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing, has never competed in a Cup Series event on Infineon Raceway's 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course. He was replaced by road-course specialist P.J. Jones for the Sonoma Valley event in 2007. Reutimann will return to Infineon Raceway for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 20-22. For tickets, call 800-870-RACE or visit www.infineonraceway.com.(Infineon Raceway PR), no word on what kind of car he will be driving since he can't test a Cup car.(2-29-2008)
MWR doesn't plan points swap when drivers shift: David Reutimann will replace his Michael Waltrip Racing teammate in the #44 car after the race at Martinsville Speedway and his crew chief go with him. Michael McDowell will take over driving the #00. As of right now, though, the plan is not to swap the team’s points. If Reutimann’s team cracks the top 35 in owners points and the Jarrett team doesn’t, MWR could opt to swap the points to make sure that Reutimann is locked into the field. Neither team finished in the top 35 last year and each must qualify on speed for the first five events this year. “David’s earning points for Michael McDowell and Dale Jarrett is earning points for David Reutimann – that’s the way we’re approaching it,” said MWR general manager Ty Norris. “If one of them happens not to be in the top 35, obviously we’ll have to consider what’s going on then.” Reutimann said the points situation won’t affect the way he races. “It would be nice when that situation comes around to have everybody locked in,” Reutimann said. “We’ll see. We’ve got to try to make that happen, make that deal work out. I’m trying to get in the top 35 for me.”(SceneDaily.com)(2-17-2008) Comment here
Gold wheels for Mikey, Dale and David: #55-Michael Waltrip and his three Sprint Cup Series, #44-Dale Jarrett and #00-David Reutimann teams will pay tribute to the golden anniversary of the Daytona 500 on Sunday by starting the 50th running of The Great American Race sporting specially-designed gold wheels. Following the 200-lap event, the wheels will be autographed and sold to raise money for charities supported by the France family. The Waltrip teams will run the gold wheels only for the start of the race, moving back to their traditional chrome wheels after the first round of pit stops. (MWR PR)(2-16-2008) Comment here
Jarrett will not take Reutimann's ride if he fails to make the 500: #44-Dale Jarrett said he would not consider getting into teammate #00-David Reutimann's car if the worst-case scenario happens Thursday and Jarrett fails to qualify for the Daytona 500. Some people have speculated that team owner Michael Waltrip might ask Reutimann to skip the race to allow Jarrett to compete in his final Daytona 500 start, if Jarrett doesn't make it in. "We won't do that just because it's my last one," Jarrett said. "It won't be the end of the world for me. We haven't talked about it. "David is going to be there for the whole season. And I'm the one that recommended David to UPS [Jarrett's longtime sponsor], so I want him to go out and have a great Daytona 500." Reutimann will take over in the #44 UPS Toyota after the first five races when Jarrett retires. Reutimann is driving the #00 Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing in the first five events. Waltrip and Reutimann are starting on the front row in the second qualifying race Thursday. Jarrett is starting on the outside of Row 7. Waltrip and Reutimann have guaranteed spots in the 500, so they will allow Jarrett to move ahead of them in the qualifying race if necessary to get Jarrett into the 500.(ESPN.com)(2-14-2008) Comment here.
Reutimann holds off on his own race team: David Reutimann doesn't aspire to team ownership. Not even if it's for cousin, Wayne Jr. Not even in the ARCA series, where expenses can still quickly overrun the budget of a second-year Sprint Cup driver. Reutimann had planned to field a car for his cousin, a successful Silver Crown driver, for Daytona's ARCA race before withdrawing to focus on later dates. "We knew we only had a certain amount of races to make an impact on the ARCA side," Reutimann said, "and knew I wasn't going to be able to come down here and do that the way were going to do it."(St Petersburg Times)(2-10-2008)
McDowell to take over #00 after 5 races UPDATE: Michael McDowell, the 2007 runner-up on the ARCA circuit, will succeed David Reutimann in the #00 Sprint Cup car at Michael Waltrip Racing. McDowell, a 22-year-old native of Phoenix, likely will take over the #00 Toyota in late March at Martinsville, Va., when Reutimann will slide into the #44 car being vacated by the retirement of teammate and 1999 series champion Dale Jarrett [Jarrett will also run the All-Star race in the #44]. A formal announcement is expected later this month. Michael Waltrip Racing officials tested McDowell and Wise repeatedly during the offseason in the hopes that one would be ready to take over the #00 car in 2008. Wise, a two-time U.S. Auto Club champion, likely is bound for a Nationwide Series ride, pending sponsorship.(NASCAR.com)(1-5-2008)
UPDATE: Michael McDowell was tabbed Wednesday to drive a Sprint Cup car for Michael Waltrip Racing after Dale Jarrett's retirement. The 23-year-old McDowell will get his Cup car when Jarrett steps out of his ride following the fifth race of this season. David Reutimann will actually replace Jarrett in the #44 Camry, while McDowell will get Reutimann's #00 Camry. McDowell won four races, nine poles and rookie of the year honors in ARCA last season, but had to undergo significant testing for Waltrip to earn his ride. Waltrip, in his second season as a car owner, also relied on the recommendation of driver Boris Said, who vouched for McDowell and praised his skill on tricky road courses. "Boris said, `That kid gets it. He can go. No matter what he gets in, he's fast," Waltrip said. "Once I talked to Boris, and went to a couple of tests with Michael, to me it was a no-brainer. And there's never been that many of them." Waltrip has been looking for a third driver since last October, when Jarrett said he was ready to get out of the car. The 1999 Cup champion will move into the broadcasting booth for ESPN following his retirement. But the candidates were slim, and Waltrip focused mostly on McDowell and Josh Wise, the two drivers in his development system. Both tested, and Waltrip said McDowell got the nod because he's more experienced right now than Wise. McDowell will make his Cup debut in March at Martinsville Speedway. He'll team with Guy Cosmo and Marc Camirand to run the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway this weekend, and he's scheduled to race the #00 Camry in the Nationwide Series opener at Daytona next month.(AP/ESPN.com)(1-24-2008) Comment here
Aaron's to sponsor #00, MWR testing: As early as Sunday, Michael Waltrip Racing’s #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota team departs to participate in the first official 2008 Sprint Cup Series test session at Daytona International Speedway. David Reutimann, who switches to the #44 UPS Toyota Camry after the first five events, will test the #00 entry from January 7th-9th. Session two will commence on January 14th and include both the #55 Napa Toyota team and the #44 UPS Toyota team with drivers Michael Waltrip and Dale Jarrett respectively. The second session will wrap on the 16th. After the Sprint Cup Series test sessions conclude, there is no downtime for Michael Waltrip Racing. Not only is MWR testing Daytona this month, they are scheduling various test sessions simultaneously at different locations on a weekly basis. This weekend Josh Wise heads to the Harley Davidson Florida Evaluation Center in Naples (Fla.) for a straight-line test. Next week, Michael Waltrip and Michael McDowell are scheduled to test Cup cars at Nashville Superspeedway. Then McDowell heads back to Nashville on the 17th with David Reutimann to test at the venue again. Michael Waltrip Racing returns a third time as Josh Wise takes his turn at the 1.33-mile D-shaped oval on the 22nd in a Cup car.(MWR site)(1-4-2008)
Pemberton leaves DEI? UPDATE 4 MWR names 3 new crew chiefs: hearing that Dale Earnhardt Inc #8 crew chief, Ryan Pemberton [#01 in 2007 with DEI/Ginn Racing], could be heading to Penske Racing as the crew chief for #77 Sam Hornish Jr.(12-5-2007)
UPDATE: Crew chief Ryan Pemberton has left Dale Earnhardt Inc., and the team said Doug Richert will replace him beginning Wednesday. Pemberton was scheduled to lead the #8 Chevy that will be co-driven next season by Mark Martin and Aric Almirola.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(12-12-2007)
UPDATE 2: hearing Pemberton has not spoken to Penske Racing about a job, but he is speaking with other teams and will make a quick decision.(12-13-2007)
UPDATE 3: A reliable inside source tells Rowdy.com that Ryan Pemberton is headed to Michael Waltrip Racing to become the crew chief for driver David Reutimann. Reutimann will start the year in the #00 before moving to the #44 car vacated by Dale Jarrett [when he retires] after the first five races of 2008.(Rowdy.com)(12-13-2007)
UPDATE 4: Michael Waltrip Racing announced its 2008 Sprint Cup Series crew chief lineup with the recent hiring of Paul Andrews, Bill Pappas and Ryan Pemberton. Andrews will serve as crew chief for Michael Waltrip and the #55 Napa Auto Parts Toyota Camry team. Pappas is assigned to the team, which will field the #44 UPS Camry for Dale Jarrett then become the #00 team at Martinsville when David Reutimann takes over the #44 UPS ride. Pemberton is the crew chief for David Reutimann, who will race the #00 Aaron’s Toyota Camry for five races before switching to the driver of the #44 UPS team. Pemberton and Reutimann will remain together through the transition. Jerry Baxter remains as crew chief of the #99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry driven by David Reutimann in the Nationwide [was Busch] Series. Michael Waltrip comments on 2008 crew chief lineup: “My vision of Michael Waltrip Racing becoming one of the elite organizations in NASCAR has not changed since the day I started this team. Over the past four months we have made significant moves to position ourselves for success with the addition of my new business partner Rob Kauffman, our Technical Director, Dr. Eric Warren, and EVP of Business Operations Cal Wells. Our logical next phase was to bring in race and championship winning crew chiefs to lead our teams. And we have done that with the addition of Paul Andrews, Bill Pappas and Ryan Pemberton. The degree of difficulty in our monumental start up in 2007 was evident and standing flat-footed heading into 2008 was not an option for us. I could not be more proud of the recent developments. MWR is here to stay and I think these moves show our commitment to long-term success.”(MWR PR)(12-14-2007)
Reutimann now a team owner: Entering his second full season at NASCAR’s top two levels, #00/#44-David Reutimann will become a team owner in 2008 as his cousin, Wayne Jr., an accomplished USAC and sprint car driver, attempts to switch to stock cars in the ARCA series. Reutimann had hoped to use his contacts to secure his cousin a ride with an existing team in the third-tier series, but said that owners wanted the driver to bring his own sponsor and infrastructure, in essence a $2-million investment. So Reutimann, who finished second in the Busch Series standings this season, took on the chore himself, having purchased three Toyotas from his Michael Waltrip Racing Cup team and plans to attempt eight races with a $35,000 budget. Fifteen thousand of that per-race total will lease engines from Toyota Racing Development. Reutimann’s Nationswide series crew had pledged to help.(St Petersburg Times)(12-13-2007)
Real Estate Developer An Investor in Michael Waltrip Racing: Prominent real estate developer Johnny Harris already swings a big stick in the golf world. Now he wants a piece of the action in the NASCAR garage. Harris recently acquired a stake in Michael Waltrip Racing, his first foray into motorsports. The 60-year-old executive will be part of MWR's six-member board and will advise longtime friend Rob Kauffman, a London-based investor who recently bought half of the race team. Harris paired Kauffman with Waltrip and made an undisclosed investment himself. Kauffman revealed his investment in Waltrip's team [in October] while visiting Charlotte to attend the NASCAR race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. At the time, Harris' involvement was not mentioned. Harris, president of Lincoln Harris, is best known of a substantial portfolio of real estate developments in SouthPark and Ballantyne. He has played a major role in other sports for many years. He's a member of the Carolina Panthers ownership group, serves as president at Quail Hollow Club and has a stake in a Premier League soccer franchise in Glasgow, Scotland. Harris played a major role in the creation of the local PGA Tour event [in Charlotte] and is an influential member at Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters.(Charlotte Business Journal)(12-5-2007)
Reutimann Raises over $70K at Golf Tournament: David Reutimann’s third annual golf tournament at Silverado Golf and Country Club in his home town of Zephyrhills, Fla. raised $71,300 for All Children’s Hospital on Saturday, November 24th. “I really want to thank Toyota, Aaron’s, Michael Waltrip Racing, my family and everyone who contributed to making the event a huge success,” Reutimann said.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(12-2-2007)
MWR uncertain of future status of Domino's, Burger King: Michael Waltrip Racing is still talking with sponsors Domino's and Burger King, but right now it appears the two companies will not return as primary sponsors in 2008. The pair shared the primary sponsorship of David Reutimann's #00 Toyota this season. MWR Vice President and General Manager Ty Norris said that the organization is still in talks with the companies. "At this point, they won't be back as a primary sponsor," Norris said. "However we still continue to have conversations with them but we don't have anything contracted for next year from them." Still, the team, which is now a 50-50 partnership between Waltrip and investor Robert Kauffman, is committed to running three cars full time in the series. Do they have the sponsorship issue covered? "We do have a few races contracted, but we have a good many races that are currently under proposal and on a company's desk, but [team owners] Rob [Kauffman] and Michael [Waltrip] have looked at all the financials and looked at everything and said, "We are going to run that third Cup car." And here is the financial gap we have to fill and that's what we're in pursuit of right now," Norris said.(SceneDaily.com)(10-13-2007)
Wise or McDowell Could Drive #00: MWR general manager Ty Norris said the #00 doesn't have full sponsorship for 2008 yet, but the team is committed to fielding it for the entire 36-race schedule. The plan for now is to use MWR development driver Josh Wise and Michael McDowell, who has been racing in the ARCA Series, in that car. "We've got a lot of time to figure out if those guys are ready," Norris said. "We'll test them and try to get them up to speed and see if we can't use them in that car next year. If they aren't ready, we've got plenty of time to find a driver from the (free agents) who are still available. Since David is going to run the first five races, we could conceivably wait until the sixth race of the year to figure out what we're going to do with that car."(Associated Press)(10-13-2007)
New owner/investor for Waltrip? Official: hearing that in addition to Dale Jarrett's Friday announcement of his retirement and limited schedule for 2008, Michael Waltrip Racing will also introduce David Reutimann as 2008 driver of the UPS Toyota plus MWR will also introduce their new owner/investor.(10-11-2007)
UPDATE: Mayfield? Stremme? Jeremy Mayfield's career may have imploded, but he's expected to get a chance to rebuild with Michael Waltrip Racing next season. Sources say Mayfield has agreed to a deal to share the #44 with Dale Jarrett, who will drive a limited schedule in '08. Jarrett will announce his plans for next year at Lowe's on Friday. It's been speculated that Jarrett, who has those six champion's provisionals to guarantee positions on the grid, would start the season and try to get the #44 into the top-35 in the points and then retire. According to sources, if Jarrett can save some of the provisionals by qualifying on time, he would agree to return to use them to get into races if the #44 fell out of the top 35.(Sports Illustrated)
BUT: Upon retirement, sources say that Jarrett will continue to expand on his new career in television broadcasting and that David Reutimann, his teammate at Michael Waltrip Racing, will move from the #00 Toyota to Jarrett's # 44. When Reutimann switches cars, sources say that David Stremme will step in to drive the # 00 next season.
However: David Stremme is pretty blunt when he talks about his Sprint Cup prospects for 2008. "I got nothing," Stremme said Thursday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I'm beating on doors trying to find something. We've talked to a few people, but it's tough right now." With most of the Cup rides already filled for next season, Stremme's name has been floated as a candidate for several cars but nothing has materialized. (SceneDaily.com)(10-12-2007)
UPDATE 2: Reutimann confirmed Thursday that he'll move from the #00 Toyota into the UPS-sponsored #44 Toyota after the first five races, replacing Dale Jarrett, who is cutting back to a limited schedule. Reutimann said he didn't know what will happen to the #00 team after he moves over but that his understanding was that Waltrip plans to continue running three cars. He said he expects his crew chief, Frank Kerr, and crew will move intact to the #44, but doesn't know for certain that it will work that way.(Tampa Tribune)(10-12-2007)
UPDATE 3: David Stremme knows well about the ups and downs of the racing business at NASCAR's top level. "It's funny, one minute you think that you might not have any options. Then the phone rings and someone wants see you" said Stremme. "The good news is that I have a great management team working on my behalf. That allows me to stay focused on running well. We have a pretty good car for Saturday night and I am excited about that. Everything else will fall into place when it's time."(DSR)(10-12-2007)
Announcement: Michael Waltrip Racing unveiled the next phase of its accelerated growth, announcing several moves to enhance its future as an elite NASCAR racing organization. Michael Waltrip introduced Robert Kauffman as an equal ownership partner in a newly formed company, Michael Waltrip Racing Holdings, LLC. Kauffman, a founder and managing partner of Fortress Investment Group, will lend financial and business strategy support to MWRH to ensure its growth is both strategic and successful. Kauffman, a long-time racing enthusiast who was born in New York and currently lives in Europe, is pursuing this business opportunity personally, not through Fortress Investment Group. Waltrip also confirmed that MWRH will field three full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup teams and one full-time Nationwide Series effort in 2008, and that rookie David Reutimann has renewed his driving contract to remain in the MWRH stable for the next three years. Waltrip will continue to drive the #55 Toyota Camry sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts. Reutimann will drive the first five races of the 2008 Sprint Cup season in the #00 Toyota Camry before taking over the #44 UPS Toyota Camry starting at Martinsville, Va. Dale Jarrett will drive the #44 UPS Toyota Camry for the first five Sprint Cup races (Daytona International Speedway, California Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway) and will run his final race in May in the Sprint All-Star event at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Reutimann, currently second in Busch Series drivers points, will also drive the #99 Toyota Camry sponsored by Aaron's Sales Lease and Ownership, Best Western and XM Satellite Radio, full-time in the Nationwide Series, running for the championship. As part of the business strategy, MWRH is adding depth to its executive management team. In addition to retaining Ty Norris as its Vice President and General Manager, MWRH announces the hiring of Calvin Wells III as its Executive Vice President of Operations and Larry Johns as its Chief Financial Officer.(Michael Waltrip Racing PR), no word on another driver for the #00 team. Stremme and Mayfield had been rumored.
AND:Jarrett to Retire from Full-Time Competition: Dale Jarrett announced he would retire from full-time competition in the Nextel Cup Series at the conclusion of the 2007 season. While Jarrett is retiring from full-time competition, he will compete in six races during the 2008 season [the Bud Shootout, the first 5 races, and the All-Star race in May]. "This is obviously a decision that required a lot of thought and consideration and it is one of the hardest things I've had to do," said Jarrett. "I've been fortunate to have one of the best NASCAR sponsors in UPS, and I'm first and foremost a competitor. The desire to compete is the reason why I have continued as a driver in the Nextel Cup Series. But I've come to the decision to get out of the racecar and while I'll miss being a driver, I am looking forward to the next phase of my life and career."(Michael Waltrip Racing PR).(10-12-2007)
Waltrip to announce 2008 plans UPDATE 2 Jarrett 6 races in 2008? Michael Waltrip said Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway, that he plans to make an announcement about Michael Waltrip Racing's 2008 plans on Friday, Oct 12th. Waltrip said he know what he wants to announce, but still has a few things to work out this week. When asked about #44-Dale Jarrett and a possible part-time 2008 schedule, Waltrip said Jarrett is can do whatever he wants and the decision is up to Jarrett.(PRN's Garage Pass)(10-6-2007)
UPDATE: #44-Dale Jarrett appears to be taking his first steps toward retirement. Jarrett, who has been mulling his racing future and a potential television career with ESPN, said Saturday after qualifying he intends to "race some" next year. Jarrett, who said he will remain with Michael Waltrip Racing, said he will reveal his plans on Thursday and a formal announcement is expected Friday. "I made my decision, [and] I'll tell you the rest Thursday before qualifying [at Lowe's Motor Speedway]," Jarrett said. "Can you hang on for five days? I don't think it's anything that will change the world or anything." Waltrip, pole-sitter for Sunday's UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, is the owner of the three-car team but said he could not offer more regarding Jarrett's decision. "We'll just have to see," Waltrip said. "I want him to do whatever he wants. He's a legend, he's a champion. I want him to be happy, so whatever it takes to do that. I know we've got something scheduled Friday, [but] we don't know all we're going to say yet. I know I own [the team], but I don't know anything to tell you right now." Meanwhile, in related Michael Waltrip Racing news, driver David Reutimann said he anticipates having his contract worked out within the next few days. "I think we're all in a pretty good place right now," Reutimann said. "We still have some things to work out, some I's to dot and t's to cross, but hopefully we'll have something in the next couple days."(ESPN.com)(10-7-2007)
UPDATE 2: #44-Dale Jarrett is leaning toward running just six races next year before stepping out of his car after 23 seasons. Jarrett has been mulling his future for several months and does not plan to drive the car past the March 30 event at Martinsville, according to a person familiar with the 2008 plans at Michael Waltrip Racing told The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because portions of the deal are still being finalized. Jarrett, the 1999 Cup champion, has a past champion's provisional that can be used six times to ensure him a spot in the field. That will take him up to Martinsville, where he made his first career start in 1984. MWR officials are hopeful Jarrett can use those six events to get the #44 Toyota inside the top 35 in points. The top 35 cars are locked into the field, and MWR's three cars have all been outside the cutoff this season and have struggled to make races. The team currently hopes to replace Jarrett with David Reutimann, who drives the #00 and would pilot it while Jarrett closes out his career. MWR wants to continue racing the #00 after the switch, but the driver [David Stremme is rumored] and sponsor are still being ironed out. Jarrett is expected to ease into the broadcast booth upon retirement. He's done some work for ESPN this season and has thrived in the booth, but stressed that future opportunities did not play into his decision.(Associated Press)(10-7-2007)
Latest on Reutimann and MWR: For the second consecutive event, all three Michael Waltrip Racing teams qualified for a Nextel Cup Series event Friday at Kansas Speedway. And in that upbeat atmosphere, both MWR general manager Ty Norris and rookie driver #00-David Reutimann expressed optimism that Reutimann's multi-year contract extension, which was given to the driver on his way to Dover last weekend, would be acceptable. "We feel real good about where it is, we just have a few details to work out," Norris said. "There was one detail that was clarified this week as it relates to the Busch car -- everything else seems to be easily worked out. David and I talked Wednesday and I feel like we're in a great place with him." Norris said Reutimann also wanted to run for a championship next season in what is now the Busch Series, where he currently sits second in the standings. "I like the people there and they've done a good job of giving me an opportunity, so we'll get past this weekend and work some stuff out and I think we're in a good spot," Reutimann said. "We're just trying to get everything situated so we can concentrate on racing. I wish it was done a month ago [because] you just want to have everything done as quickly as you can. One of the sticking points has been sponsorship for Reutimann's #00 Cup Toyota, which this season is split between Domino's and Burger King. Norris said he had no updates for either sponsor's decision whether or not to continue with MWR.(NASCAR.com)(9-29-2007)
Reutimann still mulling MWR offer: David Reutimann has been stressing over his future, wondering whether he has done well enough as a rookie in NASCAR's major-league level to earn a shot back next year. Now that Michael Waltrip Racing has presented him with a contract offer for next year, he's trying to puts himself in the best situation he can for a long-term future in NASCAR. One of the sticking points in closing the deal, Reutimann said Tuesday, is that MWR wants to develop a young driver in its full-time Busch Series car. Reutimann, who is second in the Busch standings, wants to continue racing full-time in Busch. "I know they have to plan for the future," Reutimann said. "Michael [Waltrip] is not going to drive forever, and neither is D.J. [Dale Jarrett]. They need to bring somebody into the company they can develop. But at this point, I'm not ready to step out of the Busch car." Ty Norris, general manager for MWR, did not return phone calls Tuesday. Reutimann said MWR made him an oral contract offer last week and presented him with a contract on the plane ride from team headquarters in North Carolina to Dover International Speedway. It's a multiyear deal "with conditions that hinge on sponsorships and other things like that. It could be a multiyear deal, or it could not, depending on how things fall. It's a different kind of contract than what I've had in the past." It's unclear whether Reutimann would return with the #00 Toyota team, which had one-year sponsorship deals with Domino's Pizza and Burger King, or move to one of the organization's other two other cars, which have sponsorship with UPS [#44] and NAPA Auto Parts [#55]. There has been speculation that Jarrett, who turns 51 in November, will retire and move to the TV booth and talk that Michael Waltrip could step back from driving to concentrate on running his company. Reutimann said he has received no indication either Jarrett or Waltrip will retire or cut back. He said he was told the team will continue to run three cars in Nextel Cup.(Tampa Tribune)(9-27-2007)
Waltrip waiting on Reutimann and sponsors for the #00: Michael Waltrip says that while he is still waiting to hear back from Burger King and Domino's about sponsoring the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing Nextel Cup Toyota next year, he has offered current driver David Reutimann a multi-year contract. Reutimann is taking a week to 10 days to mull it over.
Waltrip hopes that Reutimann and the sponsors see his hiring of Dr. Eric Warren as technical director as a sign that he is committed and has the financial stability to get his fledgling program to perform more consistently. Warren has a doctorate in aerospace engineering and used to be with Evernham Motorsports. Waltrip said he will field three Sprint Cup cars and at least one car in what is now known as the Busch Series next year. Warren will serve as technical director and oversee the building of the cars to keep them the same across the three.(SceneDaily.com)(9-23-2007)
Latest on Reutimann, contract from MWR: David Reutimann received a contract offer to drive for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2008, so his future, in doubt for some time, is a bit clearer. Sort of. "When you're dealing with something that's 20 pages long with a lot of big words that I don't really understand, you kind of have to have somebody help me through it," Reutimann said Friday. "I don't know what I'm looking it. It might as well be written in Dutch or something." Reutimann said it's a multi-year offer to drive a Nextel Cup car for Michael Waltrip Racing, though one that "hinges on a lot of different things."
"Michael and those guys gave me some stuff to look over on the flight here," Reutimann said. "I have to look over it when I get past the race weekend here and see where we stand. It's a contract to drive for him next year. I think it could be a multi-year deal -- it hinges on a lot of things. I have a little better idea about my future, just have to get through this weekend and concentrate on that stuff on the trip home Sunday night and Monday morning. I want to get this stuff behind me and find out what's going to happen." MWR general manager Ty Norris confirmed it is indeed an offer to drive in Nextel Cup. Reutimann has spoken with Richard Childress Racing about driving for its fourth Nextel Cup team, but no offer has been extended. His performance this season has been the steadiest of all three Waltrip drivers. The question about his future at MWR was never about lack of performance, rather lack of sponsorship. "It's a little bit frustrating, but it comes down to the sponsorship and the 44 and the 55 were solid and my deals were all one-year deals," Reutimann said. "Obviously they can't come in there and give you and extension without sponsorship. I understand that. They told me all along that it wasn't a question of whether they felt I was doing the job or not. It was a question of having the funds to do it like they needed to do it. I understand that part of the equation. It's interesting. I'm learning. I've never been in this situation. It's not pleasant by any means, but you learn a lot."(ESPN.com)(9-22-2007)
#00 team to lose sponsors? hearing that Burger King and Domino's Pizza will not return to the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota in 2008, no word if one of the other or both will sponsor another team in 2008. David Reutimann is the current driver of the #00, but could be headed to another team in 2008 or could return to MWR with another sponsor.(9-18-2007)
MWR hires Techincal Director, open to partner: Michael Waltrip hired Dr. Eric Warren as technical director, the first of many moves he hopes will strengthen his three-car team. Warren, who has a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from North Carolina State University, spent the last five years as technical director at Evernham Motorsports. He was replaced midway through this season as team owner Ray Evernham refocused his energy on building cars to help his slumping team. Warren's hiring fills a role that has been vacant at Michael Waltrip Racing since he began hiring late last season. ``It was a job we wanted to fill when we first started, but we didn't feel like the right person was available to choose from,'' Waltrip told The Associated Press on Monday. ``Eric is a special dude. He'll help us out immensely.'' As more and more team owners take on partners and look at mergers as a prudent way to maintain the company, Waltrip said he's not ruled out taking on investors. But he doesn't want to sell majority ownership of his team, and is only interested in an equal partnership that would allow him to continue the vision he has for MWR. ``I've certainly had a lot of people come to me saying, `We want to invest in you.' But it ends up sounding like they want to take over,'' he said. ``That doesn't interest me. A true partner would interest me -- half you, half me. You have your responsibility and I have mine. There's a lot of people that are interested in our sport, and I'll just hopefully keep improving our product and if someone is interested in being part of it, I'll listen. But for me, today, right now, the right deal hasn't come along.'' Waltrip said he plans to field three Cup cars and a Busch team next season, and has verbal commitments for Jarrett and Reutimann to be behind the wheel. But he acknowledged there are no contracts finalized, but he's moving forward as if all three will be back.(in part from AP/Yahoo Sports)(9-18-207)
RCR still looking for 4th car sponsor, no driver signed: Richard Childress Racing has extended its own internal deadline to land a sponsor for its proposed fourth car until the end of this month. A team source at Richard Childress Racing said Saturday that contrary to Internet rumors making the rounds, the team has not signed David Reutimann and has nothing definite on a possible fourth car.(SPEEDtv.com)
AND: David Reutimann expects to get a contract proposal from Michael Waltrip Racing by early next week, but he didn't rule out going to another team. "It's an option," he said of re-signing with MWR. "It's a solid option. But I haven't seen the proposal yet."Reutimann would not expand on his options, but said recent improvements at MWR don't hurt the organization's chances. Sponsorship issues with Burger King and Domino's are the biggest question.(ESPN.com).(9-16-2007)
Reutimann next Free Agent to sign soon? UPDATE 4 RCR?: hearing that #00-David Reutimann is the next free agent that is expected to sign with a team soon. Sources say Reutimann is being heavily courted by two teams. Reutimann's one-year contract with Michael Waltrip Racing expires at the end of the season.(9-5-2007)
UPDATE: Reutimann: There’s nothing new yet on my contract situation for next year. The guys at Michael Waltrip Racing are working on some things. Time’s running short, and I’ve got some decisions to make before long.(Tampa Tribune)(9-7-2007)
UPDATE 2: #00-David Reutimann says he is not roaming around the garage asking about a job for next season, but he doesn't know yet if his sponsors will return to Michael Waltrip Racing next year. Reutimann admitted, though, that he has talked to other teams. "I've gone to Michael and asked him in different situations to be able to talk to people, and Michael being the guy that he is and the driver, he has allowed me to do that," Reutimann said Friday at Richmond International Raceway. "It's not a situation where I'm running around trying to talk to everybody. Sometimes something comes our way." Reutimann's name has come up in the rumor mill with several teams, but seats are rapidly being filled. "I'm flattered it keeps coming up with some pretty good organizations," Reutimann said. "I know they're working really hard [at MWR]. Everybody is trying to put things together."(SceneDaily.com)(9-8-2007)
UPDATE 3: Toyota's David Reutimann is the latest driver being mentioned for Richard Childress' planned fourth Cup team next season. Childress is reported to be buying back shares of his own company from investment partner Chartwell.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-9-2007)
UPDATE 4: It was reported on Thursday's NASCAR Now on ESPN2 that David Reutimann will probably get a proposal from Michael Waltrip Racing next week, who he currently drive for and that there is one other team being considered, supposedly it being Richard Childress Racing's 4th team.(9-14-2007)
Domino's Pizza back on the #00: IMAGE Domino's Pizza returns to the hood of David Reutimann's #00 Toyoya for a homecoming this weekend, as Domino's headquarters is based out of nearby Ann Arbor, Mich. In addition to gracing the hood of the #00 Dominos.com Camry, Domino's will also carry a special paint scheme on Reutimann’s #99 Busch Series entry. Both Reutimann and team owner Waltrip will visit Domino's World Resource Center (corporate headquarters) on Thursday to speak with employees.(Toyota PR)(8-15-2007)
UPDATE: See an image on my #00 Team Paint schemes page(8-15-2007)
Drivers to the #8 team? on ESPN's NASCAR Now on Sunday, it was reported that David Reutimann's name [#00 Waltrip racing Toyota] has popped up as a driver who could end up at DEI and in the #8 Chevy, but that he cannot talk to other teams until Oct when his contract with MWR is up. Other drivers DEI are interested in include J.J. Yeley who will leave the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing ride at the end of the season, #01-Regan Smith, currently part time at DEI and without a ride, could stay. Plus, the team could switch Mark Martin and Aric Almirola from the #01 Army Chevy to the #8 next season.(8-12-2007)
MWR to two teams? to lose UPS? UPDATE both DENIED: Toyota is expected to pair down Michael Waltrip racing from a three-car effort to a two-car squad, shifting some of that support to JGR's three-car team of Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin. Dale Jarrett is said to be seriously considering retirement, trading in his helmet for a microphone as a television analyst, which would leave MWR with Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann. There has been talk that UPS, unhappy with the lack of exposure the company has received this year from Jarrett's struggles to make races, is looking at other teams for 2008 sponsorship with Roush Fenway Racing a target, possibly for Greg Biffle's #16 entry.(RacingOne)(8-8-2007)
UPDATE: on Wednesday's NASCAR Now [ESPN2] Angelique Chengelis reported that Michael Waltrip Racing's Ty Norris said there was absolutely no morsel of truth to the rumor about MWR scaling back to two teams or Dale Jarrett leaving, plus Norris was at a UPS Sponsor summit and that UPS says things are going well.(8-9-2007)
Simpsons Scheme for Reutimann at Indy: David Reutimann will be carrying an up and coming movie star on his #00 Burger King Toyota at the Brickyard this week. On July 27, The Simpsons Movie will be released and Reutimann's Nextel Cup Series entry for the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will feature a customized Simpsons-themed paint scheme.(Michael Waltrip Racing PR)(7-24-2007)
PJ Jones Back in the #00 at Watkins Glen? Hearing that PJ Jones has been again picked to replace David Reutimann behind the wheel of the #00 Toyota in Watkins Glen.(7-19-2007)
Reutimann looking? UPDATE 5: hearing the #00-David Reutimann is looking at his options for the 2008 season. Reutimann currently drives the #00 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing.
UPDATE: MWR denies Reutimann had talked to any team about 2008.(6-26-2007)
UPDATE 2: David Reutimann would prefer to return to Michael Waltrip Racing's Nextel Cup program next season. But he's still awaiting an offer. Reutimann signed a two-year contract to race Busch cars for Waltrip but is under a one-year deal for Cup. At the time, that seemed like a safety valve for Waltrip Racing, but with the team's mighty struggles in Toyota's first-year Cup effort and unwanted publicity surrounding Waltrip's cheating scandal at Daytona, it could give the rookie an escape. Team officials, he said, have yet to broach an extension. "Me personally, I am not really out looking around, " he said. But others could be looking at him, especially considering his performance for a Waltrip Busch program that has been markedly more competitive because of the quality of the engine Toyota has developed in the series.(St. Petersburg Times)(7-1-2007)
UPDATE 3: Been told that Reutimann's Busch deal is not thru 2008, but thru 2007, same as his Nextel Cup deal. Plus on ESPN2's NASCAR Now [July 2nd], Marty Smith reported that MWR General Mgr Ty Norris said MWR is committed to Reutiman and that it will be a month or two before the #00 sponsorship status is known for 2008 and until they know the status of those sponsors, they can't know the status for Reutimann.(7-3-2007)
UPDATE 4: Michael Waltrip said he is 99% sure David Reutimann will remain his third driver next season. Waltrip said he and Dale Jarrett are committed to the same cars next season with NAPA and UPS likely to return as the primary sponsors. He said the decision on whether to keep Reutimann in the #00 car will be made by mid-July. "We'll just have to see how sponsorship looks, whether it will be Burger King and Dominoes again or Burger King and somebody else," he said.(ESPN.com)(7-6-2007)
UPDATE 5: From Reutimann's diary with the Tampa Tribune, " My contracts with Michael Waltrip Racing for the Nextel Cup and Busch rides were for one year. Nobody from the organization has talked to me about next year yet. They're trying to make sure all the sponsorship stuff is line before they talk to me. Michael Waltrip, was quoted last week saying he's 99 percent sure he'll be able to bring me back in the #00 Cup car. I'd feel better if he was 100 percent sure, but I'll take 99%. Everybody knows the kind of money it takes to run one of these teams, and you aren't going to do it without a sponsor. At this point, I don't have a plan B if this situation doesn't work out. Hopefully, things will work out. I feel like I have a ton of unfinished business in the Cup series and in Busch as well. I want to win some races, run better, and do all the things I came here to do."(Tampa Tribune)(7-13-2007)
P.J. Jones in for Reutimann at Sonoma: PJ Jones will qualify and race the #00 Toyota for David Reutimann during the Nextel Cup Series event weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. While Jones is in Sonoma, Reutimann will be at the Milwaukee Mile preparing to race the #99 Toyota in the Busch Series event to maintain his top-five (fourth-place) points position.(Michael Waltrip Racing PR)(6-16-2007)
Waltrip's Raceworld opens: Michael Waltrip Racing’s ‘Raceworld USA’ opened to the public on Wed., May 16, in time for race weeks at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The 140,000 square-foot facility encompasses more than 11 acres and houses the world’s first interactive fan destination race shop accessible to the public. The facility is located off I-77 at exit 28 in Cornelius.(Toyota PR)(5-17-2007)
Reutimann's car to have both sponsors at Nextel Open: David Reutimann competes in his first-ever Nextel Open behind the wheel of the #00 Toyota co-sponsored by Burger King Restaurants and Domino's Pizza in an attempt to transfer to the Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend. "We've got an entirely different look to the car this weekend," Reutimann said. "Both Domino's and Burger King Corporation are on the car." Reutimann's car has transitioned from blue to black as the Burger King logo is displayed on the Michael Waltrip Racing entry for the first time in a split design with Domino's Pizza before the beginning of their primary sponsorship during the Coca-Cola 600 for 19 Nextel Cup Series events. "Burger King Corporation and Domino's Pizza are incredible sponsors," Reutimann said. "Domino's is passing the torch to Burger King Corporation at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The car will be a split design for the Nextel Open and then Burger King Corporation will be the primary sponsor for the remainder of the season."(MWR PR)(5-17-2007)
Brooklyn beats Philly for #00 Pizza scheme: David Reutimann's #00-Toyota Camry will be sporting a paint scheme hyping Domino's Brooklyn Style pizza, the winner of the company's "Great Debate" in which fans chose Brooklyn over the Philly Cheese Steak pie in a matchup intended to mirror the sporting competition between New York and Philadelphia. The two-week promotion drew more than 50,000 voters online and at Phoenix and Texas Motor Speedway, where 25,000 slices were served.(USA Today), see images of the schemes on my #00 Team Schemes page.(4-27-2007)
Domino's pits Philly [go!] against Brooklyn....pizza: Domino's Brooklyn-style pizza and its Philly Cheesesteak pizza will go head to head in consumer voting, with the winner getting a free ride on David Reutimann's #00 Toyota. Domino's, which co-sponsors the Michael Waltrip Racing car with Burger King, will run a special paint scheme featuring the style of pizza with the most votes, likely for the Nextel Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway on April 29. The promotion, expected to launch this week, will encourage consumers to vote for which style of pizza they prefer. A voting page will be established at dominos.com and teamdominos.com; web advertising on NASCAR.com will direct potential voters to the voting site. Print advertising also will be used to support the promotion. In addition to its team sponsorship, Domino's owns status as NASCAR's official pizza delivery through 2008.(Sporting News/SportsBusiness Journal), see images of the schemes on my #00 Team Schemes page. VOTE at: dominos.com.(4-4-2007)
Reutimann doing well, ready for COT test and Mexico UPDATE not testing at Bristol: Following a hard crash at California Speedway during the Nextel Cup Series event, David Reutimann is doing well and is focused on racing his #99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Busch Series Telcel-Motorola Mexico 200 on Sunday, March 4th at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. “I feel really good and I’m ready to race the Aaron’s Dream Machine this weekend,” Reutimann said. “My left foot hurts a little bit and I’m walking with just a slight limp. The swelling has gone way down. If I can have something like that happen and come through it with just that little bit, I’ll take it any day. It’s a combination of several things that helped me walk away,” Reutimann continued. “It’s the faith in the man above looking over me, to the safety crew working quickly, to the SAFER barrier wall system in place (which I’m a huge advocate of), down to my helmet and HANS device. Also, it is the seat that I used that was made by Randy LaJoie's company (The Joie of Seating). It’s all the things that NASCAR mandates to help us. NASCAR does a phenomenal job in keeping their drivers safe. Because of all those things combined, I’m going to test the #00 Domino’s Pizza Cup car at Bristol Motor Speedway tomorrow.” Following his Car of Tomorrow Nextel Cup Series test at Bristol Motor Speedway, Reutimann boards a plane on Thursday for Mexico. This will be Reutimann’s first visit to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and his first time racing on a road course. To help prepare for the 2.518-mile road course, Reutimann attended Bondurant Racing School in Phoenix, Ariz., in December.(MWR PR)(2-28-2007)
UPDATE: David Reutimann is not taking part in the test of the "car of tomorrow" at Bristol Motor Speedway this morning as he continues to recover from his hard crash in the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. Mark Green is testing the car in the first session of the official NASCAR test at the track. Reutimann does plan to get in his Michael Waltrip Racing #00 Toyota by the end of the day.
"I'm getting better," he said Wednesday morning at Bristol. "It's a slower process, as far as feeling better, than you'd like, but it's coming along pretty good, so I'll hopefully be OK here at some point during the day," He said he would let Green "do all the hard work," but then he plans to go make some laps. He says that his body is still recovering from the incident and admitted that he spent most of Monday in bed. He did not see a doctor other than those at California Speedway but says that NASCAR officials checked in with him Monday to monitor his condition. He will not test at Bristol tomorrow, instead heading to Mexico City for the Busch Series race there. And he's hoping that this is the last time he endures a crash of this nature.(SceneDaily.com)(2-28-2007)
Reutimann's crash among hardest ever recorded by NASCAR: The g-force impact during David Reutimann's crash Sunday at California Speedway is among the hardest ever recorded, NASCAR officials told ESPN.com on Monday. NASCAR doesn't disclose exact figures. "We can't say it's the hardest [impact], period, because there are so many variables involved," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said. "But it is among the hardest impacts we've recorded." Reutimann was riding along one lap down with 11 laps remaining in the Auto Club 500 when #16-Greg Biffle approached from behind. Biffle tapped Reutimann, sending the #00 Domino's Pizza Toyota head-on into the outside wall. The car lifted off the ground and was completely destroyed. The in-car video feed showed Reutimann slumped over the steering wheel, appearing to be knocked unconscious. But MWR vice president Ty Norris told ESPN.com Monday that Reutimann stressed to the team he was not unconscious, but rather was unable to breathe upon impact. Norris said Reutimann's left foot is badly bruised, having gotten hung up in the pedals during the crash. Reutimann flew home with the team Sunday night and slept for some 80% of the flight, Norris said. Norris said Reutimann's speech is clear, but he's walking with a noticeable limp. Reutimann is resting at home, and still plans to run the Busch Series race this weekend in Mexico City, Norris said.(ESPN.com)(2-26-2007)
Waltrip partners up with Wells for the #00 team: Michael Waltrip Racing has partnered with PPI Motorsports owner Cal Wells for the ownership of the #00 Domino's/Burger King Toyota. The team will be known as Waltrip-PPI Racing with Michael Waltrip Racing as the managing partner, MWR general manager Ty Norris said Friday. That means the car, driven by David Reutimann, will have the points of the #32 car from last season, which was 37th in points and not in the top 35 to be locked in for the first five races.
Nextel Cup Series Director John Darby confirmed Friday those points only help in case of a rainout of all qualifying for the Daytona 500 (and possibly at the expense of the Waltrip's #55). Having qualifying wiped out for the Daytona 500 is a highly unlikely scenario with four days to get qualifying speeds posted and three days to get the 150-mile qualifying races completed. If qualifying gets rained out at other tracks, the 2006 owner points are used to set the top 35, but are not used as criteria if qualifying attempts are needed to fill the field. Norris said as Michael Waltrip Racing was building up its team, it had a need for equipment and personnel that Wells had.
"It really doesn't change anything for marketing purposes - but Cal Wells is involved as the car owner," Norris said. "There may be some benefit to us [in qualifying], but whether there is or not, we were starting a new team that needed some people. "Cal's whole 32 pit crew is the pit crew for Michael Waltrip now. There are a lot of things that we did with Cal, and if there is a benefit that comes along with it in the rainout provision, that would be good for us." Michael Waltrip Racing would retain the points if PPI Motorsports returns to competition in 2008, Norris said.(SceneDaily.com)(2-10-2007)
Kerr named Reuitmann's crew chief: Frank Kerr will replace Larry Carter as crew chief for #00-David Reutimann at Michael Waltrip Racing. Carter recently left MWR to become the crew chief for #26-Jamie McMurray at Roush Racing. "Frankie has been running our testing and Reutimann has been our test driver because everybody else has been busy," Waltrip said. "They've had some wonderful tests and have worked real well together." An official announcement is expected over the next few days. Kerr, a former car chief for #7-Robby Gordon and crew chief for Travis Kvapil in the Busch Series, will join Matt Borland (#44-Dale Jarrett) and David Hyder (#55-Waltrip) as crew chiefs for MWR's three Nextel Cup teams.(ESPN.com)(1-3-2007)
Carter leaves MWR? heads to Roush? UPDATE: hearing that Crew Chief Larry Carter, recently announced as #00-David Reutimann's crew chief at Michael Waltrip Racing, supposedly has left MWR and will be #26-Jamie McMurray' crew chief at Roush Racing.(12-18-2006)
UPDATE: Larry Carter has left Michael Waltrip Racing to join Roush Racing, MWR general manager Ty Norris said Wednesday. Carter had been a part of building of MWR from the beginning and was slated to serve as crew chief for rookie #00-David Reutimann in 2007. He told Norris of his decision to leave shortly after Matt Borland was named crew chief for #44-Dale Jarrett earlier this month. Norris refused to call Carter's departure a setback. "We only need people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for a period of time for the betterment of our company," he said Wednesday. "You're either in the mode to do it or you do not want to. There were a couple of people who were not willing to do it." Norris said Carter was given an out in his contract. Carter will be McMurray's fourth crew chief at Roush Racing in less than a year. McMurray began last season with crew chief Jimmy Fennig, then inherited Bob Osborne from Carl Edwards' team in April. Osborne returned to Edwards for the final two races and Wally Brown, who has since left Roush Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing, finished out the year with McMurray.(ESPN.com)(12-21-2006)
Testing at Nashville: been told #55-Michael Waltrip, #00-David Reutimann and #31-Jeff Burton were testing on Wednesday, Dec 13th at Nashville Superspeedway AND also....Darrell Waltrip was helping brother Michael by testing a Toyota Camry.(12-14-2006)
Borland, Carter, Hyder named crew chiefs at Michael Waltrip Racing: Michael Waltrip Racing announced today that Matt Borland, Larry Carter and David Hyder have been named crew chiefs of the organization for the 2007 Nextel Cup Series season. Borland has been designated as crew chief of the #44 UPS Toyota with former champion Dale Jarrett. Carter will reside as crew chief of the #00 Toyota co-sponsored by Burger King and Domino's Pizza driver David Reutimann. Michael Waltrip has assigned Hyder as crew chief of his #55 NAPA Toyota. “We are pleased to announce our crew chiefs today,” Waltrip said. “We concentrated on pairing personalities to find the perfect qualified individuals for each position. Matt is a proven winner and we’re proud to have him steering the #44 UPS Toyota team. I’ve known David for a while and look forward to him leading the NAPA team. I love his enthusiasm and the
way he thinks. Obviously, Larry was vitally important in building our teams and I know he will be instrumental in building David Reutimann’s future while driving his Toyota co-sponsored by Burger King and Domino's Pizza. We are fortunate to have all three of them under one roof.”
Borland led #12-Ryan Newman to 12 wins, 37 poles, 54 top-fives, 83 top-10s in 186 Nextel Cup Series starts. The 35-year-old joined Penske Racing South in November 1999 originally as an engineer. In 2001, Borland was then instrumental in his driver’s success as he participated in a combination schedule in the ARCA, Busch Series and Nextel Cup Series. Borland looked on as Newman amassed eight poles, two wins, five top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes. In Borland’s first full-time season in the Nextel Cup Series as a crew chief, he claimed one win, six pole awards, 14 top-five and 22 top-10s. Borland, also received trophies from winning The Winston and his driver clinched the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title and finished sixth in the championship standings. After years of success with Penske Racing South, Borland makes the move to Michael Waltrip Racing. “I’m looking forward to making a new home at Michael Waltrip Racing and working with Dale Jarrett,” Borland said. “Dale is a champion and he has a ton of respect in the garage. He’s obviously proven himself as a driver. Also, Toyota will be great to work with. I think Toyota is one of the most technologically advanced manufacturers.”
There are a lot of smart, innovative individuals in the Nextel Cup Series and I am thrilled that Michael Waltrip Racing was able to secure one of the best in Matt Borland,” Jarrett said. “He's obviously had a lot of success in the few years he's been in this position. I think Christmas came a little early for Michael Waltrip Racing and myself. This announcement just adds to my excitement about 2007. I think he'll truly be a valuable asset to this #44 UPS Toyota team and will complement Michael Waltrip Racing as a whole.”
“Dale expressed his ideal crew chief was someone like Matt Borland,” Waltrip added. “We were actually able to deliver Matt Borland.
Matt’s spirit and determination will permeate throughout our shop.”
Carter aligned with Michael Waltrip Racing after a successful stint as Rusty Wallace’s crew chief at Penske Racing South. Joining Penske in 2004, Carter led Wallace to his 55th career victory in April of that year at Martinsville Speedway, snapping a 105-race winless streak for Wallace. It was only his 10th race with Wallace, whose last Nextel Cup Series win was in 2001 at California Speedway. Carter has been an integral part of Michael Waltrip Racing’s growth. “We’ve set some realistic goals and assembled a solid
team,” Carter said. “ David Reutimann is very talented and we’re going to have a lot of fun working with him. He’s been fast at all the tests and I think he’ll do well next year. Fortunately, we were able to run five races last season with Bill Elliott to help prepare us for 2007.”
“I’ve known of Larry for years, but I’ve just recently got to know him,” Reutimann said. “I’m real happy to have him in my corner. I needed a veteran crew chief to help me through everything I will experience as a rookie. We get along great and I know we will have success together.”
“David’s plate will be full this year and Larry’s extensive experience and knowledge of the sport will help David in his first year as a Nextel Cup Series competitor,” Waltrip added. He will be able to help David’s rookie season run smoothly.”
Hyder brings a different aspect to MichaelWaltrip Racing with having nearly 20 years of experience as a Late Model driver with close to 100 victories. In 1999, he stopped driving and building his own cars and joined Petty Enterprises as a mechanic. Almost three years later, he became a car chief for the Petty’s in the Nextel Cup Series. At the end of the 2004 season, he transitioned from being a car chief at Petty Enterprises to becoming a crew chief at BAM Racing with driver Ken Schrader. In 2006, Hyder was named crew chief of the #21 Nextel Cup Series entry at Wood Brothers. Midseason, the High Point-N.C. native returned to BAM Racing. Waltrip approached Hyder not long after. “Michael has the same mentality as other drivers I’ve worked with,” Hyder said. “Michael approached me at the end of the 2006 season and asked me what I was going to do the next season. He gauged my interest in being his crew chief. I got really excited about everything he has planned for his race team and I accepted.” “David was someone that I was interested in from the beginning because he speaks my language,” Waltrip said. “He’s someone that has built and raced cars his whole life. He has a respect and knowledge for engineering, which coupled with Borland’s engineering background, we hope to continue our creation of a strong team atmosphere.”(MWR PR)(12-8-2006)
Elliott to run Xbox/Burger King scheme at Homestead UPDATE: On Sunday, Nov. 19 at Homestead the #00-Burger King Dodge [entry list has the car listed as a Chevy] will hit the track with an all-new car design featuring the BK Xbox Games.(Bill Elliott site), see a small image at the #00 Team Schemes page(11-15-2006)
UPDATE: The #00 Burger King car will have a royal look at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. For the first time in the company’s history, the King will be part of a special paint scheme to kick-off the holiday season at Burger King restaurants. The promotion starts on race day, November 19 and features three exclusive Xbox/Xbox 360 video games; “Pocketbike Racer”, “Big Bumpin” and “Sneak King.”
“The special paint scheme for the Burger King Xbox promotion is fit for royalty,” commented team owner Michael Waltrip. “It is the first time that Burger King has put a graphic of the King on the race car and the team is proud to be running it at Homestead. Race
day is the first day that the Xbox games will be available at restaurants so we hope to have a good run in the #00 Burger King car.” The games will be available for a limited time only while supplies last at Burger King restaurants for a recommended price of $3.99 per game with the purchase of a Value Meal. Price and participation may vary.(MWR PR)(11-16-2006)
Busy Weekend for Hermie Sadler: Although not racing this weekend in Phoenix, Hermie Sadler will still be busy. Sadler will once again join the SPEED Crew as a pit reporter for Friday night's Truck Series in Phoenix. After the race, Sadler will catch a
flight to Boston, MA to appear at the New England Auto Show at the Bayside Expo Center in Boston along with TNA Wrestling Stars AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels prior to a TNA Wrestling event Saturday night in East Hartford, CT. For more information on the appearance, visit www.uwfusa.com.(11-10-2006)
MWR announcement Tuesday? UPDATE Reutimann named #00 Driver: hearing that David Reutimann will be announced on Tuesday as the driver of the #00 Burger King/Dominos Pizza Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota for the 2007 season.(10-9-2006)
UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced today that current Truck Series driver [#17] David Reutimann completes the 2007 Nextel Cup Series lineup for the organization. Reutimann will become the full-time driver of the #00 Toyota Camry co-sponsored by Burger King Corporation and Domino’s Pizza in 2007. “David’s competitive spirit, proven on track performance and verve for racing made David our top choice for the #00 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Toyota,” said car owner Michael Waltrip. “Dale Jarrett and I both feel strongly that David is the ideal candidate to cap off our driver line up. Like my and Dale’s backgrounds, David appreciates coming from a deep-rooted and well respected racing heritage. It is my privilege to welcome him into the top NASCAR series. I know everyone at Domino’s and Burger King Corporation will be pleased with what David can do on and off the race track.”
To become a Nextel Cup Series competitor always has been a dream of the Zephyrhills-Fla., native, whose family has a deep-rooted racing history and ironically has a last name synonymous with the “00” number. “In my wildest dreams I couldn’t come up with a scenario that would have put me driving a ‘00’ car especially with great sponsors like Burger King Corporation and Domino’s in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series,” Reutimann said. “I always thought how cool it would be to drive a car with my family number in the top series in the world, but what are the chances that would happen. It’s right here in front of me. My grandfather, my father, my uncle and my cousins have all raced a car with the ‘00’ number. It’s our family number and if you’re a Reutimann that’s the number you race. I can’t describe it. It’s just such a great feeling. It’s surreal and a thrill not only for me, but for my entire family.”
Reutimann and Domino’s Pizza will kick off the 2007 season at Daytona International Speedway. Following the Daytona 500, Domino’s will continue as the primary sponsor of the #00 Toyota Camry through the May race at Darlington Raceway. A Domino’s paint scheme will also be carried on the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing entry in the August Nextel Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Domino’s will deliver its final five races during the Chase for the Nextel Cup Series championship. Domino’s welcomes Reutimann as he competes for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. "We're thrilled to welcome David into the Domino's family and to be a part of the team that is bringing him into the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series," said David Brandon, CEO of Domino's Pizza. "His unbridled passion, strong work ethic, and dedication to delivering his best performance each and every week reflects the core values of Domino's franchisees and our team members. We're looking forward to our mutual success in 2007."
Reutimann and the #00 Burger King Toyota Camry will take to the track Memorial Day weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, and cap off the regular season under the lights at Richmond International Raceway. Five Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races, including the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, will feature the Burger King paint scheme. Burger King Corporation is looking forward to having the rookie don their colors in Victory Lane. In addition to running full-time in the Nextel Cup Series, Reutimann will also pilot the #99 Aaron’s Dream Machine in the Busch Series and race the entire schedule.(Michael Waltrip Racing PR)(10-10-2006)
Reutimann hopes he gets #00 ride UPDATE: David Reutimann doesn't have a Nextel Cup contract just yet, but he's thinking that he might be a little closer to getting the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing ride for next season. Reutimann is the leading candidate and has met with officials from sponsors Domino's Pizza and Burger King. "Michael talked to me [Thursday] some about it - he said they have a couple of final things to hammer out, but he's really encouraged by it," Reutimann said Friday night after Busch Series practice at Kansas Speedway. "He hasn't said it's a done deal, but it is the first time that he has said we're in a pretty good position."
"It looks like it will probably be a week to 10 days," said Michael Waltrip Racing General Manager Ty Norris. "There's some internal things going on with both corporations. It's a pretty lengthy process when you're dealing with so many franchisees. A lot of communication has to happen before we're ready to decide."(SceneDaily.com)(10-1-2006)
UPDATE: David Reutimann feels better about his chances to be named the driver of Michael Waltrip Racing's #00 Toyota Nextel Cup entry for 2007, but admits waiting is difficult. Reutimann, 36, a full-time truck series driver, said Waltrip and team general manager Ty Norris have been increasingly encouraging as they continue to pitch him to co-sponsors Burger King and Domino's Pizza.
"I think there are still some hurdles we have to overcome there, but I'm feeling like in the next couple weeks we'll be to the point where we at least make some kind of decision so everybody knows, including me, because it's tough not knowing," Reutimann said. "You want it to happen, but sometimes you want to know no matter (what) the outcome is so you can just move on." Reutimann is already signed to drive a Busch Series car for Waltrip in 2007.(St Petersburg Times)(10-2-2006)
Bill Elliott to attempt Kansas in #37: #37 R&J Racing announced that 1988 Cup Champ Bill Elliott will be in the #37 car (Dodge?) at Kansas Speedway next weekend. "We are extremely excited to announce that after a few weeks off to restructure our program, we have signed Bill to drive the #37 car. We feel that after joining forces with Ernie Elliott, we finally have achieved the success with our program that our team deserves." R&J Racing also has signed a deal with Vision Motorsports Marketing out of Atlanta to handle sponsorship and PR for them. "We feel that the #37 team has made huge strides towards developing their program and we believe with the right marketing partner they would be a force to challenge for the win each weekend." said Vision Motorsports
Marketing Vice President Adam Loser. R&J Racing and Vision Motorsports Marketing are working on their sponsorship program with opportunities still available for the Kansas race.(Vision Motorsports Marketing PR)(9-19-2006)
Still no word on MWR's #00 driver: David Reutimann met with Burger King executives Tuesday but says he has no idea if he will drive the #00 Burger King/Domino's Pizza Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing in the Nextel Cup Series in 2007. "The meeting seemed to go well," Reutimann said Friday morning at New Hampshire International Speedway. "It's really hard to tell. I kind of find myself leaving these meetings probably knowing less than I did when I went. There are some decisions to be made by the higher powers, and I am not in on that decision-making process." Reutimann, third in the Truck Series standings driving for Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, already knows he will run full time in the Busch Series next year for Michael Waltrip. All he is waiting for is word whether he will run any Nextel Cup races as part of the first year of the Toyota Camry program.(SceneDaily.com)(9-16-2006)
Elliott back to roots; no word on 2007 plans yet: Bill Elliott is going back to his roots this weekend, racing his own car at the track where he learned to drive race cars. Elliott will run his Late Model car in the feature event at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, where he once was a regular competitor. "That place has a lot of history for me," Elliott said. "I've been going there since the early '70s." Elliott last raced at Dixie in 1991. As in his early years, Elliott will be racing on Saturday with an engine prepared by his brother, Ernie Elliott. His new car was taken for a shake-down run on Thursday by dirt racing veteran Ray Cook. "I think it'll be competitive," Elliott said. Elliott's 2007 NASCAR plans are uncertain. He's weighing several offers and expects to decide soon.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-15-2006)
Hermie Sadler Making Move to Broadcast Booth: Hermie [Sadler] is slowly making the transition from driver to broadcaster. He's done a handful of Busch and Truck series races this season on FX and the Speed Channel. Next year, he'll be full-time with the Speed Channel. He won't drive any more Busch races this season and plans to try to qualify for four more Nextel Cup races. Sadler doesn't want to rule out driving beyond this year. He's also realistic. Since winning the Busch rookie award, his driving career hasn't panned out. "My heart and my love is in driving and racing," Sadler said. "I've done it for a long time, trying to stay involved and keep my name out there and make something good happen. We've had our moments. I haven't decided if I'm going to do a limited Cup schedule next year. I have to think long and hard about how feasible it is going to be to do it as an independent. I've had a good time, we've had a good run . . . I just don't have the patience and the drive to keep doing it under these conditions. I love to race, but I don't love riding around finishing 35th each week," Sadler said. "I have enough going on to keep me busy".(Richmond Times-Dispatch)(9-9-2006)
Reutimann to Meet with Burger King; Announcement Next Week?David Reutimann will meet in Miami with officials from Burger King on Tuesday in what he hopes is the final step for moving into the Nextel Cup Series for Michael Waltrip Racing next season. Reutimann already has met with officials from Domino's Pizza, which will split sponsorship on Waltrip's new Toyota team in 2007. An announcement could come by the end of next week. Reutimann said the tentative plan is for him to drive a full Busch and Cup Series schedule.(NASCAR.com)(9-9-2006)
Hermie Sadler teams with Hometown sponsors at RIR: Virginia native Hermie Sadler will be carrying colors of a Virginia based company as #00 MBA Motorsports teams up with Richmond Electric Supply, Co., based in Richmond, for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 this weekend at RIR. Sadler and Richmond Electric President Darryl Harman, Sr. met a couple weeks ago at a Charity golf outing in Richmond, and by the end of the day, had made a deal for the race at Richmond. "We hit it off right away", said Sadler of his relationship with Harman. "He is a big race fan, and represents what I like in a person and company. RESCO is a family owned local business much like our race team. It will be fun for us to team up at RIR and try and beat the odds." MBA Motorsports will also carry associate sponsorship from The Haven Inn, a NASCAR themed restaurant located in Norfolk, Virginia. Dave Willis, who owns The Haven Inn with his wife Lynne, was a crew member for a Dodge Weekly Racing Series team for over 10 years. Also this weekend at RIR, Sadler, the 1993 Busch Series Rookie of the Year, will attempt to make his first Busch Series start of the season in the #28 Chevy owned by Jay Robinson. For more information go to www.sadlerfanclub.com.(PR)(9-5-2006)
Reutimann/Kvapil finalists for #00 MWR team: David Reutimann and Travis Kvapil are the finalists to drive Michael Waltrip Racing's #00 Toyota in 2007, but a decision may be several weeks away. Waltrip wouldn't name the second finalist, but a source familiar with the process said that Kvapil, who currently drives for PPI Motorsports, is the other driver under consideration by sponsors Burger King and Domino's Pizza. Waltrip hoped the choice would be made by now, but things haven't gone as quickly as planned when it comes to coordinating meetings with the team's co-sponsors. "It's more of a deal now where we just need to all reconvene," Waltrip said Friday. "We presented all the options to 'em and I told Ty [Norris, the team's vice president and general manager] we would be proud to have either one of [our choices] and we'll see what happens." Kvapil wouldn't name the two teams he's talking with besides PPI Motorsports, which is still working to nail down its sponsorship for next season [supposedly Tide will not return]. "I told Cal [Wells, PPI's owner] six weeks ago that we were going to try to figure out which way we were going at the end of August," Kvapil said. "I think a couple of other teams I've been talking to are going to make decisions here shortly, too. It's kind of a wait and see as to how it all shakes out. I like some of the things Cal's trying to do for the future of his team. I think he realizes the days of a single-car team are probably limited, so he's trying to either expand himself or form an alliance or do something to help his team in the future produce on the track." Reutimann met with executives from Domino's Pizza on Aug. 29, but a meeting with Burger King executives in Florida didn't materialize as a tropical storm was bearing down on the state. Reutimann returned to North Carolina unsure of where things stand, though he felt the meeting went well.(SceneDaily.com)(9-2-2006)
Elliott's plans for 2007? still unknown: Bill Elliott will attempt to make his fourth start for #00 Michael Waltrip Racing this weekend in the Sony HD 500 Nextel Cup race at California Speedway but says he still isn't sure what he will do next season. The semi-retired Elliott still has one more race for MWR and then three for Team Red Bull this year. He said he was undecided on his 2007 plans. "I honestly don't know. I'm trying to sort through some stuff right now and try to figure out where I'm going to land," Elliott said.(SceneDaily.com)(8-31-2006)
Waltrip hopes to name 3rd driver soon; UPDATE 2 Reutimann: Michael Waltrip said Friday he is close to signing a driver to fill his third car [#00 Toyota], which will be sponsored by Domino's Pizza and Burger King. Waltrip and Dale Jarrett [#33? #44?] already are signed to drive Toyotas for Michael Waltrip Racing next year, and Waltrip needs to fill that remaining seat. "I'd really like to get a kid or somebody that is young and try to work with them and see if they're the deal or not," Waltrip said. "You can't ever tell who is. We have a plan to get the guy that we want still, and hopefully in the next week we can do it." Waltrip already has a "youngster" in the not-so-young 36-year-old David Reutimann who will run the rest of the Busch Series events this year and will drive the entire Busch season next year. "Certainly he's somebody that we've considered running both," Waltrip said. "He's always hauled the mail in everything he's gotten in, so he is a possibility. If you will, we have to appreciate and think about every option that is available because it is getting late and the sponsors are getting nervous and they want us to show them who their guy is going to be." Waltrip said he checked with Mark Martin to see if he had any interest in the ride and Martin left the door open. But Waltrip said he would like someone to run a full schedule and only would run a combination of drivers if no other drivers he wants are available. "I saw Terry Labonte said that he would race if it paid enough," Waltrip said.(SceneDaily.com)(8-19-2006)
UPDATE: XM Radio NASCAR Channel's Claire B. Lang reports that David Reutimann is the front runner for Michael Waltrip Racing #00 Toyota for 2007 pending approval of the sponsors Burger King/Domino's Pizza in a meeting next Tuesday [Aug 29th].(8-25-2006)
UPDATE 2: While David Reutimann is Michael Waltrip's top choice to drive his #00 Toyota in the Nextel Cup Series in 2007, Reutimann knows that doesn't necessarily equate to a done deal. Waltrip said the decision will be made in conjunction with sponsors Burger King and Domino's Pizza. And that's why Reutimann thinks he's "kind of a longshot." Waltrip said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway that while he's talking to several other drivers, one of whom is Travis Kvapil, Reutimann is whom he prefers at this point. Waltrip hopes to finalize things on Aug. 29, when meetings are set with both sponsors. Reutimann knows those meetings will likely determine whether he runs both the full Cup and Busch Series schedules next year, or just the full Busch schedule. "I think companies want somebody that maybe they've heard a lot about. And I can't fault them at all for that," Reutimann said. "At the same time, a year or so ago, nobody really knew about Carl Edwards or Denny Hamlin, either." Reutimann, already slated to drive a Busch Series car for Michael Waltrip Racing next year, has the backing of both Waltrip and would-be teammate Dale Jarrett according to Waltrip. Waltrip said he loves Reutimann's heart and desire and would like for him to be in the car. "But also, I'm in a position where there's a couple of other guys that I think have the desire and the potential and the heart, too," Waltrip said. "We're to a point where we're liking the drivers choosing from and we would like to run 'em past our sponsors on one last, personal meeting and then we'll [make an announcement]."
Reutimann certainly hopes he's the man standing by Waltrip's side when the driver of the #00 is announced. He's looking forward to meeting with the sponsors.(SceneDaily.com)(8-26-2006)
Wimmer/Kvapil not signed for 2007 UPDATE 2 Wimmer to MWR? NO?: #32-Travis Kvapil and #4-Scott Wimmer - two experienced drivers who have had to qualify on speed all season and have done just that most of time - have talked to other Nextel Cup teams then the ones they currently drive for, but whether they will end up eelsewhere in 2007 remains to be seen. Kvapil said he has agreed with PPI Motorsports owner Cal Wells that he would try to have a decision by the end of August. There are three main rides open - Michael Waltrip Racing [#00], Team Red Bull [unknown #] and Robert Yates Racing [#88]. "It's not really that hard to figure out [who I'm talking to]," Kvapil said. "There are only a couple of seats left to shake out. I've had conversations but that really doesn't mean anything [is certain]. I just want to make sure whatever I do is best for me and my future. Last year and this year, I haven't really had the performance, I'm afraid. Another year or two of that, my days might be limited in this garage. Basically where it's at, I told him I wanted a month to see how everything shakes out," Kvapil said. "I had been contacted by a few other teams and there were conversations. I didn't feel I was comfortable to make a commitment and then a couple of weeks down the road regret that decision."
Wimmer, who made his Nextel Cup debut in 2000, has qualified for 18 of the 21 races this year. He said the Morgan-McClure Motorsports team does not have a sponsor for next season. Wimmer said he could end up in the Busch Series next year. Sponsorship could determine the drivers.(SceneDaily.com)
UPDATE: on Speed Channel's SPEED Report, Bob Dillner reported that Scott Wimmer could be announced this week as the driver of Michael Waltrip Racing's #00 Burger King/Domino's Pizza Toyota in 2007.(8-20-2003)
UPDATE 2: been told that Wimmer will NOT be the driver for the #00 MWR team, no word yet who that could be.(8-21-2006)
Speed Report colors on Hermie Sadler's #00 at Bristol: When Hermie Sadler's #00 MBA Motorsports Chevy rolls into
Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend for the Sharpie 500, it will be carrying the colors for a new show on Speed Channel, The SPEED Report. The new show, which airs Sunday nights on Speed Channel at 8:00pm/et, is hosted by Drew Johnson and Nicole Manske. Sadler is looking forward to taking The SPEED Report entry to the track. "I have had the opportunity to be a part of some neat promotions and paint schemes, and this car is at the top of the list. The design of this car says a lot about the new attitude of SPEED and how they cover racing of all types. I look forward to a fun weekend."(Speed Channel PR)(8-17-2006)
Waltrip says Mayfield is out of MWR picture: While it's not yet official that Jeremy Mayfield will drive for Bill Davis Racing next year, Michael Waltrip said the driver won't be part of his three-car program in 2007. Released by Evernham Motorsports last week, neither Mayfield nor his business agent have returned calls from NASCAR Scene. But sources at Indianapolis indicated that Mayfield had struck a deal to team with Dave Blaney at BDR. Last month at New Hampshire, Waltrip had said that Mayfield would be his top candidate to join a program [for the #00 Toyota] that will also include Dale Jarrett. But Sunday morning at Watkins Glen, Waltrip said Mayfield's out of the equation. "He and I have pretty much figured out that it wasn't going to work out," Waltrip said. "I don't know where he's going to wind up. But he's looking at other deals, I think." The search, meanwhile, continues for Waltrip. "We've talked to a few guys and are working with the sponsors to try to get the guy that they want and couple that with the guy we want," Waltrip said. "That process has taken a little bit longer than we hoped it would. But nothing has happened to this point to where we don't think we can get a cat that we can be successful with."(SceneDaily.com)(8-13-2006)
Elliott still has not decided: Bill Elliott says he is within a couple of weeks of deciding what he'll do next season. The semi-retired former series champion, who won this race in 2002 and is at the Brickyard this year driving Michael Waltrip's #00 Chevrolet, has been courted by several teams, including some that plan to field Toyotas next year. "I'm still waiting on a few things to come together," said Elliott. "The folks that I've talked to still haven't decided what we're going to end up doing. I'm going to try to put things together a little bit more in the next couple of weeks."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(8-5-2006)
Waltrip still looking for a driver: Michael Waltrip speculated that while some driver changes for 2007 are done but not announced, he has not solidified who would drive his #00 Burger King/Domino's Toyota next season. Waltrip said Friday that #19-Jeremy Mayfield is still among those high on his list to join himself and Dale Jarrett in the Michael Waltrip Racing stable next season. "I had hoped that we could have something done already, but hopefully when we go to Indy [in two weeks], we'll have something that we can announce one way or another on the driver of the 00 car," Waltrip said. Speculation has Mayfield leaving Evernham Motorsports for MWR, while Elliot Sadler - who has announced he is leaving Robert Yates Racing but not announced his 2007 destination - could replace Mayfield at Evernham. Waltrip had to catch himself to make sure he was saying the right things about Mayfield. "He's somebody that we're definitely interested in and now that he's available," Waltrip said before smiling and saying, "Let me say that again: If he becomes available, then we definitely want to be the ones to have a chance to talk to him." Waltrip said he believes Sadler already knows where he's going although Sadler said he has nothing inked for next year. "I think a lot of the deals probably are already done and people say stuff like that [they're looking] to lead y'all down [another] path," Waltrip said. "For sure, mine is not done. Hopefully soon."(SceneDaily.com)(7-23-2006)
Elliott fulltime with Red Bull in 2007? According to sources in the garage, Bill Elliott, also known as 'Awesome Bill from Dawesonville', will return full-time to NASCAR Cup competition as Brian Vickers' teammate at Team Red Bull in 2007.(source Ford Racing)(7-15-2006)
Hermie hopes to get TNA to sponsor him in some 2007 races: Hermie Sadler he hopes Total Nonstop Action (TNA) can serve as his primary sponsor for between 6-8 Cup races in 2007. “I definitely think that’s an area they’re interested in,” Sadler said, “and I’m certainly interested in partnering up with them any chance I can get since I’m already in business with them anyway, so it’s just a natural fit.” Sadler currently runs the United Wrestling Federation (UWF), and through that he is licensed to run TNA “house” (non-televised) shows. TNA enjoyed the benefit of forging a relationship with Sadler this past April, as the promotion received extensive media attention after Sadler teamed with FOX announcer Jeff Hammond and Team 3D to face TNA Champion Jeff Jarrett, “Showtime” Eric Young and America’s Most Wanted in an eight-man lumberjack match. TNA confirmed Sadler’s assertion that no official agreements have been forged between the two for ’07, although it was clearly noted that the relationship is strong. So far in 2006, Sadler has run six Cup races with the MBA Motorsports team he co-owns in the #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Ford/Chervy. That sponsorship came via Michael Waltrip Racing, which will field Toyotas in 2007. Although a Japanese automaker is coming into NASCAR and Japan is arguably the world’s biggest hotbed for professional wrestling, Sadler said there have been no conversations with Toyota about him or TNA. Sadler said preferably the 6-8 races would come around the time of pay-per-view events to give TNA the most bang for its buck.(Long Island Press)
Also: Hermie sadler has agreed to join the Speed Channel broadcast team for Truck Series races at Memphis this weekend, as well as Nashville and Las Vegas. Sadler joined the speed team at Kentucky last weekend after working two Busch series races earlier this year on FX.(7-11-2006)
Elliott still pondering return to full-time: Bill Elliott, who last ran a full NASCAR Cup schedule in 2003, is still considering a return to full-time action in 2007. Elliott, who is running a limited schedule this year, said he'd prefer to run a 12-to-15 race schedule, depending on sponsorship, but he's keeping all his options open. "Whether I will do a full-time deal next year or not, I don't know at this time," Elliott said earlier this week. "I'm still playing my options as far as what is available. I won't say, 'Yes' and I won't say, 'No.'" Almost three years later, he says he still has a passion for racing. "I still enjoy the race and racing has been a part of my whole life," Elliott said. "It's hard to get it out of your system. If the opportunity doesn't come along then I'll be satisfied with running a limited schedule or whatever. We'll have to see what cards are laid out in the next couple of months and make a decision from that."(SceneDaily.com)(7-10-2006)
Elliott could be back full-time in 2007..if the money is right: Bill Elliott, long one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers, said Friday that he is “weighing his options” for 2006, which include a possible full-time return to the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Elliott, who has spent the last three seasons running only part time, has been courted by at least one of the new Toyota teams for 2007. Asked if he would consider a full-time return to the Cup series, Elliott said, “If the money’s right I would.”(Speed Channel)(6-24-2006)
Elliott tests for MWR at Milwaukee and Kentucky: This week, Bill Elliott is testing the #00 Burger King NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series entry at the Milwaukee Mile and Kentucky Speedway in preparation for the five races he will compete in this season for Michael Waltrip Racing. "Today, we were just shaking down the Burger King car at the Milwaukee Mile so that we can be well prepared for the race at Loudon (New Hampshire International Speedway) in a few weeks," Elliott stated. "We'll be at Kentucky Speedway tomorrow to work on the car for our first race of the season at Chicagoland Speedway. We"ll test at the track for two days. I think Chicagoland will be one of the most challenging tracks for us." Crew Chief Larry Carter added. "We're close to being ready for our first race at Chicagoland Speedway. Our test today went well. We are plugging away at making the car rotate better because it was tight today. Overall, the car is really sound and we are pleased with our progress." The first race for Bill Elliott and the #00 Burger King Michael Waltrip Racing team will take place on July 9th at Chicagoland Speedway.(MWR PR)(6-19-2006)
Waltrip to make 2007 sponsor announcement this weekend..Domino's? BK? UPDATE 2: On Speed Channel's Inside Nextel Cup, Michael Waltrip said he would be making a sponsor announcement for the 2007 season for his Toyota team this weekend [at MIS]. Ken Schrader asked why not now [on the show], Waltrip said the paperwork isn't signed yet in which Schrader asked if there was a chance it wouldn't get signed; Waltrip responded: "Domino's Delivers" and then "Have it Your Way" the motto for Burger King,(6-13-2006)
UPDATE: Michael Waltrip will make an announcement about the future of Michael Waltrip Racing on Sunday morning, June 18th at MIS.(6-17-2006)
UPDATE 2 - The Announcement: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced Sunday it has formed a unique partnership with two marquee brands – Domino's Pizza and Burger King Corporation to be co-primary sponsors of its second 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series team. "When we first approached Burger King and Domino's Pizza, we knew we were thinking outside of the box and didn't know if two food brands would be willing to work together to sponsor the same team," said Michael Waltrip. "We took the risk and are very excited to have two of the world's most recognized brands sponsoring the #00 NASCAR Nextel Cup team."
"It's not unusual for two or more sponsors to split a sponsorship season," said Ty Norris, General Manager for Michael Waltrip Racing. "However, this is the first time that two companies within the same industry agreed to be sponsors of the same car during the same season. This is another example of the unprecedented approach Michael Waltrip Racing is taking to becoming a multi-car NASCAR Nextel Cup team organization."
Domino's will kick off the  season at the Daytona 500 and continue as the primary sponsor through the May race in Darlington, SC. A Domino's paint scheme will also adorn the #00 Toyota Camry at the August Nextel Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Domino's will deliver its final five races during the Chase for the Nextel Cup Series championship. The #00-Burger King Toyota Camry will hit the track Memorial Day weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC, and cap off the regular season under the lights at Richmond International Raceway. Five Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup races, including the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, will feature the Burger King paint scheme. The split-season sponsorship allows Domino's and Burger King to continue their respective relationships with Michael Waltrip Racing, while positioning both companies at the forefront of the changing motorsports industry. The team along with input from both sponsors is in negotiations to secure a driver and will make a separate announcement once a driver has been determined. "I hope we find a driver who likes to eat," said Waltrip. "I've had an opportunity to work with both Domino's Pizza and Burger King in the past and believe we're delivering a race team the fans will love."
Domino's, the Official Pizza of NASCAR, partnered with MWR three times in 2005 as the primary sponsor on Waltrip's #99 Busch Series car and will be the primary sponsor of Waltrip's #55 Nextel Cup Series car at the Michigan International Speedway race in August . Burger King recently announced plans to join MWR for a partial season in 2006, sponsoring the #00 Nextel Cup car for five races beginning in July at Chicagoland Speedway [with Bill Elliott driving](Michael Waltrip Racing PR)
AND But the driver? It could be Dale Jarrett. Or it could be someone else. The announcement of Burger King and Domino's could open the door for UPS to back a third Michael Waltrip Racing team with Jarrett as driver. "We want three teams," Waltrip said. "That's our goal. Until we define the third sponsor, we're not able to say who's going to drive the third car." Last month, Waltrip announced Jarrett would join his team. UPS is said to be shopping its sponsorship and could follow Jarrett, stay with Robert Yates Racing or go to another team [#9? #16?]. Ty Norris, vice president and general manager of Michael Waltrip Racing, said the team has set a deadline of mid-July on whether it will have three teams.(SceneDaily.com)(6-18-2006)
Elliott to drive for Red Bull UPDATE: Red Bull Racing is planning to announce that former Nextel Cup champion  Bill Elliott will drive for the team for three races this season as the team prepares a full-time entry into Cup racing with Toyota in 2007, a source close to the situation has confirmed. The car Elliott will drive will not be a Toyota, but the make of car has not been determined. He will attempt to qualify for the races at Charlotte and Atlanta in October and Texas in November. He also is running select races this year for MB2 Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing. The Red Bull team will use the races to help get its crew ready for the Daytona 500 in 2007. Drivers and crew chiefs for 2007 have not been announced.(SceneDaily.com), Elliott is also scheduled to run five races for Michael Waltrip Racing in the #00 Burger King Chevy at Chicago, New Hampshire [July], Indy, California Homestead.(6-5-2006)
UPDATE: Originally scheduled to debut in 2007, Team Red Bull today announces a short schedule of three NASCAR Nextel Cup races it plans to enter in the fall of 2006 with veteran driver Bill Elliott, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, behind the wheel. “The organization and its competitive spirit are what attracted me to Team Red Bull,” says Elliott, who won the NASCAR Winston Cup driver’s title in 1988. “My job is simple . put the car in the show, drive it toward the front, and provide valuable input so that Team Red Bull is fully prepared by the Daytona 500. It’s really a great role at this stage of my racing career.” Leading the preparation of the non-Toyota equipped car are two recent race staff additions, Competition Director Elton Sawyer, a stock car racing veteran, and Technical Director John Probst, one of the racing industry’s top vehicle dynamics engineers. Sawyer and Probst join Gaunt and another appointee, Guenther Steiner, who came over to Team Red Bull from the Red Bull Racing F1 operation in a technical advisor role, as the team’s racing leadership operating out of the race shop in Mooresville, NC. The 60,000 sq. ft. facility recently underwent a Red Bull make-over since the energy drink company acquired the property from Penske Racing South prior to the team’s January 24 announcement by Toyota. Gaunt says the driver agreement with Elliott spans over three Nextel Cup races this fall – Charlotte, NC (Oct. 14), Atlanta, GA (Oct. 29), and Ft. Worth, TX (Nov. 5). Starting with the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup season, Team Red Bull will field two, full-time Toyota Camry entries. Rumors notwithstanding, more “official” information on the new team—including 2007 drivers and crew chiefs—will be made available later this year.(Red Bull Racing PR/Newsletter)(6-5-2006)
What is up with Bill Elliott? Bill Elliott, now running a partial Cup schedule [#00 Burger King Chevy], said Thursday that he's weighing several offers for next season. He has been mentioned as a possible part-time replacement for Dale Jarrett in Robert Yates' #88 Ford, with younger drivers running the balance of the schedule. Elliott also is among the candidates to drive a Toyota Camry in Cup next year. "There are several good options out there," Elliott said. "Within a month I should have an idea what I'm going to do." He said he'd like to work out a deal that would serve as a steppingstone for his son Chase, 10, should he desire to pursue a career in NASCAR. "That's one of the things I'll look at," he said, adding that the reason he chooses to run a maximum of 12-15 races a year is so he can spend more time with his family. For so many years it's been about what I was doing," he said. "I want life to be more about what we are doing."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(5-19-2006)
Burger King images added to the #00 Team Schemes page.
UPS Undecided on future, either RYR or MWR; Bill Elliott to Yates?: With sponsor UPS suddenly NASCAR's top free agent, at least two teams' immediate futures appear to hang in the balance. Robert Yates Racing, which loses Jarrett's services at season's end, can't pick a replacement until it learns if UPS will remain. And if UPS opts to follow Jarrett to Michael Waltrip Racing, that operation would field three Toyotas instead of two next season. The one certainty is that Jarrett's move, formally announced May 13, leaves owner Robert Yates facing a scenario he thought was two years off. Expecting Jarrett to finish his career with the team in 2008, RYR began grooming Stephen Leicht and Matt McCall as possible replacements this season.
While the sponsor, be it UPS, Busch Series sponsor CitiFinancial or another entity, will play a role in selecting Jarrett's replacement, Yates says a veteran could figure in the mix. The question is whether the veteran would drive the full year or split time with one or two younger drivers as Yates works toward a permanent replacement. Team Manager Eddie D'Hondt said Bill Elliott could be the veteran if that plan is followed. Waltrip said he has sponsorship secured for two cars and has talked with UPS. If the company comes aboard, he'd gladly field three teams next year. In a statement, Laura Kouns, motorsports marketing manager for UPS, said the company "is excited about its continuing role in NASCAR," but that its policy is not to comment about "our future plans or sponsorships."(SceneDaily,com)(5-17-2006)
Herme Sadler to have Ace & TJ Show Scheme at LMS: MBA Motorsports and #00-Hermie Sadler Team with The Ace & TJ Show and Kiss 95.1 for The Nextel All Star Challenge and Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway. The Ace & TJ Show, the #1 rated morning show in Charlotte has teamed with MBA Motorsports and Hermie Sadler for the NASCAR Nextel Open and Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway. Sadler's Ford Fusion will carry the colors of the Ace & TJ Show as well as Kiss 95.1 for this promotion and the show will be giving away tickets and unprecedented access for lucky listeners over the next two weeks. Ace and TJ will also be involved in the promoting of the TNA Wrestling event that will be held Friday May 26 at Lake Norman High School in Mooresville, NC.
The Ace & TJ Show is now heard in Charlotte NC, Birmingham AL, Chattanooga TN, Myrtle Beach SC, State College PA, Union City TN and Paris TN. They have been with their flagship station, WNKS in Charlotte, for just over 8 years. WNKS is a CBS Radio station.
For more information on how to listen and win tickets to the Coca Cola 600 and TNA Wrestling, visit www.AceTJ.com or www.Kiss951.com. For information on TNA Wrestling events in Mooresville and Greensboro, visit www.uwfusa.com.(PR)(5-12-2006)
Elliott tests Toyota engine at Lowe's: Bill Elliott tested one of Waltrip's #00 Chevy Cup cars with a Toyota engine earlier this week at Lowe's Motor Speedway, and there are plans for more tests as the foreign manufacturer seeks approval from NASCAR.(NASCAR.com)(5-6-2006)
TNA Wrestling to sponsor Hermie Sadler at Martinsville: TNA Wrestling, the new face in professional wrestling, will partner with Aarons Sales and Lease Ownership for Less in sponsoring #00 MBA Motorsports and driver Hermie Sadler in the Virginia 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race on April 2nd at Martinsville Speedway. The car will feature a special paint scheme that will promote the kick off of Autism Awareness month. Sadler has a daughter with Autism. TNA joins Aarons on the "Dream Machine" for Martinsville as they move their weekly show , "IMPACT" to Thursday nights on Spike TV beginning April 13. Spike is calling its new Thursday night lineup "Full Contact Thursday." In addition to IMPACT, TNA also does monthly live Pay-Per-View events. The TNA roster includes stars such as Sting, Jeff Jarrett, Christian Cage, Team 3-D and many others. For more information on TNA Wrestling, visit www.tnawrestling.com. Sadler has been driving the Aarons Dream Maching this season in partnership with Michael Waltrip Racing, and looks forward to this partnership at Martinsville. "I appreciate Aarons and TNA Wrestling coming together to make Martinsville a special weekend for everyone. Autism Awareness is very important to us, and we look forward to sending that message at Martinsville." Aarons is also partnering with TNA Wrestling off the track at Martinsville, as they are sponsoring a live TNA event Saturday night, April 1, at the Old Lowes building just across from the speedway. The event will feature the stars of TNA Wrestling, as well as NASCAR personalities Elliott Sadler, Hermie Sadler, Kyle Petty, Scott Riggs, Michael Waltrip, and others. TNA is offering a $5.00 discount at the door for anyone that has a Martinsville Speedway ticket stub from Pole day or the truck series race, or a NASCAR license. For more information on the event and tickets, visit www.uwfusa.com.(3-21-2006)
Michael Waltrip Racing News UPDATE 4 Burger King and Bill Elliott: Toyota is using the same entry philosophy [they used in the Truck Series] as they enter NASCAR’s top series - new teams. Michael Waltrip Racing is working hand in hand with Toyota developing the 2007 Camry. With the quality people we have on board, we will be a key technical partner in all areas of the building process. We are even developing our own 2006 Dodge cars. The reason for this is three fold. First, to run a five-race 2006 schedule, which will be announced Friday afternoon [March 10th] of the Las Vegas race weekend next month. At that time, we will also announce a driver and sponsor combination. Secondly, to assist Toyota in understanding where the cars that are on track today are aerodynamically. And lastly, to help MWR’s employees to stay current with the competition. This group will be much better prepared to race in 2007 because of this plan. Waltrip Racing World is gaining more and more momentum. On February 6, 2006, we finalized zoning approval for the entire 11-acre campus. We plan to begin demolition and renovations by March 1, 2006. Everyone we talk to about our fan friendly, interactive entertainment based concept believes it will be a hit. Race tracks, baseball stadiums –heck, all sports venues have become interactive. Now, the first race shop will be. Our real estate partner, Noah Lazes, has been busy visiting other race shops, Daytona USA, Basketball arenas, etc., making sure our project is the latest and greatest in the world of sports-themed destinations. Bobby Kennedy, MWR’s V.P. of Competition [but still working with DW's Truck Series team], along with Larry Carter, MWR and former Penske Racing [#2] crew chief, have been equally as busy making sure every detail is in order for the team to produce the fastest race cars possible out of our facility. We are blessed that Larry recently helped in the design of Roger Penske’s new Penske Racing shop. His experience and knowledge of the project ensures me our team will need nothing when we move in.(NAPA Site)(2-28-2006)
UPDATE: been asked what happened to this announcement? no idea....have not seen nor heard a thing, the link has been removed from the articles list, but the old article is still there.(3-14-2006)
UPDATE 2: been told the announcement could be within the next week or two.(3-15-2006)
UPDATE 3: look for the announcement to come Friday, March 17th at Atlanta Motor Speedway, hearing Burger King could be a sponsor in some part.(3-16-2006)
UPDATE 4 - Burger King and Bill Elliott: Beginning this year, Burger King said it will become a primary sponsor of Michael Waltrip Racing's (MWR) #00 Chevy [not Dodge or Ford] driven by Bill Elliott. Elements of the promotion are to include a specially designed #00 paint scheme, in-store activities and driver appearances. The five Nextel Cup races the company is to sponsor this year are at Chicagoland, July 9; New Hampshire, July 16; Indianapolis, Aug. 6; California, Sept. 3; and Homestead, Nov. 16. Waltrip was among the first owners to announce plans to work with Toyota starting in 2007, during its first foray into NASCAR Nextel Cup Series racing.(South Flordia Business Journal)
MORE: Michael Waltrip Racing announced Friday that it will team with Burger King and NASCAR champion Bill Elliott for a
five-race schedule this season. Elliott will pilot the #00 Burger King Chevrolet at Chicago, New Hampshire, Indianapolis, California and
Homestead. Waltrip said the team plans to expand to a full-time Nextel Cup venture next season, running Toyotas. Waltrip said sponsorship and driver plans for next year were still up in the air. But for now, he's thrilled to have a veteran like Elliott behind the wheel.
Burger King also announced donations to both the Speedway Children's Charities and the National Motorsports Press Association.
Waltrip quotes of the day: (On fielding Chevrolets for his team despite driving Dodges himself) "I'm like Switzerland, I can drive anything. Chevrolet is the car to beat. They've won two of the first three races. When we were planning this project, in order to lure Mr. Elliott, we wanted to get the best car he could drive. Right now that appears to be Chevrolet. I'll stay in a Dodge, I suppose, but I am going to be in a Toyota truck later this year, and I've got a call in to Ford."(AMS Pit Notes)(3-17-2006)
Hermie Sadler to run 20-22 races: Hermie Sadler says he is partnering with Mike and Bonnie Anderson, friends of his from Virginia, to form MBA Racing, with plans to run 20-22 NASCAR Nextel Cup races this season in a #00 Ford. Sadler will have sponsorship from Aaron's rentals for eight races in a partnership with Michael Waltrip Racing. As a new team, the group does not have one of the 35 guaranteed starting positions for the opening five races. Sadler, who is testing at Daytona International Speedway this week, also plans to test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway later this month. Sadler has 52 Nextel Cup starts in his career, mostly in cars he owned. "The bug is hard to get rid of," Sadler said. "The situation with Michael came along and the situation with Aaron's, and things kind of fell into place. Hopefully there won't be as much pressure this time, because we do have a little help. We're going to put all of the effort we can into these first five races and see where it takes us." Kevin Caldwell is crew chief for the team, which will run Roush-Yates engines and has purchased cars from Robert Yates Racing and ppc Racing.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-18-2006)
Hermie Sadler's UWF Launches 2006 Tour; Cup ride in 2006 UPDATE #00: The United Wrestling Federation, owned by NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler in partnership with TNA Wrestling, will launch its 2006 "Buckle Up" Tour next weekend in Sadler's hometown of Emporia, Virginia. Of the tours 32 events scheduled by the UWF, several of them coincide with NASCAR weekends, giving fans the opportunity to see big-time professional wrestling while in town for race weekends, including an April 1 show in Martinsville, Virginia and a May 25 show at Lake Norman High School in Mooresville, NC. The UWF will give discounts to NASCAR members and fans who have purchased tickets to races. Talent contracted by TNA include NWA Champion Jeff Jarrett, Team 3-D, AJ Styles, D-Lo Brown, and many others. For more information on events and tickets, visit www.uwfusa.com.
AND hearing Hermie Sadler will drive a limited Nextel Cup schedule in the #00 Aaron's Rent car in 2006.(1-6-2006)
UPDATE: Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership and Michael Waltrip Racing, Inc. (MWR) are pleased to announce the extension of their motorsports partnership through 2008. Aaron’s will be identified as the primary sponsor on the #99 NASCAR Busch Series Aaron’s Dream Machine racecar for twenty-two Busch races each year of the agreement with Michael Waltrip as the driver. The 2006 schedule expands to include eight NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races with the #00 Aaron’s Dream Machine and Hermie Sadler as the driver. Waltrip also continues a driver development program that will compete in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series with Ken Butler III competing in the Southern Division and Brett Butler driving in the Northern Division.(Shopaarons.com)(1-11-2006)
Waltrip to Fitzbradshaw? hearing that Michael Waltrip's Busch team will be associated with Fitz-Bradshaw Racing with the #40 team in 2006, not sure if he and his drivers would still run #99 and if Aaron's / State Fair Corn Dogs would still be sponsors. Supposedly Ted Kennedy would be the crew chief. Micheal Waltrip Racing crew chief Butch Hylton will be the crew chief for the #12 FitzBradshaw team, no word on the fate of the #00 Nextel Cup team.(12-1-2005)
NTN Makes Cup Debut with Reutimann: NTN Bearing Corporation of America announced today that their company logo will be present on the #00 State Fair Corn Dogs Michael Waltrip Racing entry as David Reutimann makes his first NASCAR Nextel Cup Series career start at Lowe's Motor Speedway Saturday night. Reutimann qualified 26th for the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. NTN is Reutimann's Truck Series primary sponsor on the #17 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Toyota.(DW Motorsports PR)(10-15-2005)
Reutimann may run Cup race at Charlotte: Darrell Waltrip's Truck Series driver, #17-David Reutimann will test a Michael Waltrip-owned Nextel Cup car at Atlanta today, and if all goes well, Reutimann will try to qualify it for the UAW-GM 500 Oct. 15 at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte. Reutimann, ninth in the truck standings, hasn't raced in Nextel Cup. He failed to qualify for the 2003 Brickyard 400 in a Morgan-McClure Motorsports car. Waltrip's #00 car came from Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s short-track stable. It didn't test well at Charlotte recently [with Reutimann testing], but Waltrip's team has made some major changes to it. "I tested Michael's Busch car for him a couple of times this year," Reutimann said. "I told him a while back, if he ever had an opportunity, I would love to drive for him. He asked me to test some of his stuff, and this is just another opportunity."(Tampa Tribune)(10-5-2005)
Driver changes at Talladega: #00 - Bobby Hamilton Jr. replaced Mike Skinner; #34 - Mike Skinner replaced Hermie Sadler..Tide is going on the #00 and Aaron's going to the #34 for the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.(NASCAR Stats Services)(10-1-2005)
AND the deal was with the #34 Front Row Racing team and #32 owner, Cal Wells, which failed to make the race with driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. So Wells made a deal with Chris Edwards, owner of the #34 Ford that Hermie Sadler qualified for the race. But since the #34 is a Ford this week [usually a Chevy], the Wells made a deal with Jenkins and Mike Skinner, moving Skinner to the #34 Ford and using the #00 car, which is really the #92 [owners points #192 Bob Jenkins the owner] and will run the #32 in the race with Tide as the sponsor. Running the race will NOT get the #32 team owner, Cal Wells, any owners points for the race, driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. will of course get drivers points since he will start the race in the car, but has to start in the rear of the field due to the drivers change. Sadler was supposedly compensated for letting the switch happen as well as the owners of the #34 and #192 [#00]. The #00/92 was an odd deal already, as a deal between Jenkins and #00 [#100] team owner Michael Waltrip to run Skinner and Aaron's along with the #00, similar to the deal between Waltrip and Bill Davis Racing to run the #00 Dodge with Aaron's and Kenny Wallace a few weeks ago.(10-2-2005)
Norris to help Waltrip: Ty Norris, formerly of DEI and Speedway Motorsports has been hired by Michael Waltrip to run Waltrip Racing World in Cornelius, NC off Exit 28 in I-77.(9-30-2005)
#00 Team Note; been told the #00 is the #192, being allowed to use the #00 number with Mike Skinner driving and the #192 Front Row racing team getting the owners points and the credit for the race attempt at Talladega Superspeedway, allowing them to keep the full season race attempts streak alive. #192 [#92] has run many drivers in 2005, Stanton Barrett, Tony Raines, Hermie Sadler, Eric McClure among others.(9-30-2005)
Kenny Wallace to a new team? MORE: during Speed Channel's Inside Nextel Cup show, Kenny Wallace mentioned he would be driving some races for Joe Garone and Furniture Row Racing in some Cup races this year, that is why Johnny Benson will drive Michael Waltrip's #00 State Fair Corn Dogs Chevy at Michigan this weekend. Furniture Row Racing is running a limited Busch Series schedule in 2005 with Jerry Robertson and is based in Colorado. Supposedly Wallace's first race with the team will be at Dover International Speedway in September. Also hearing championship crew chief and former winning team owner Andy Petree will be the crew chief for Wallace.(8-16-2005)
UPDATE: Kenny Wallace will not be driving the #00 MWR car in the Michigan Nextel Cup race. The Reason is the #00 for Michigan has been outsourced to BDR [Bill Davis Racing]. BDR will use it's complete #23 car team and driver (truck series driver Johnny Benson) to run the race. This does not effect the rest of the year or the relationship with MWR.(Kenny Wallace site)(8-17-2005)
Benson back in Cup at MIS: Johnny Benson will be racing at Michigan International Speedway next weekend, August 20th - 21st. He will be competing in the #67 Dodge for the Smith Brothers Motorsports team in the Busch Series and the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing team in the Nextel Cup Series.(Johnny Benson site)(8-11-2005)
Marlin to the #0? MORE now hearing Sterling Marlin's new gig in 2006 could be the the #0 Haas CNC Racing team. No Mikey?
AND hearing Haas CNC Racing, who is moving soon to a much larger building in Kannapolis, NC, may expand to a two-car team, with Waltrip driving the #00 Chevy and NAPA as the sponsor.(7-20-2005)
Kenny in the #00 with Davis: Aaron's Sales & Lease and Kenny Wallace Racing have put together a deal with Bill Davis Racing to field the #00 Dream Machine [Dodge?] in Saturday Nights Pepsi 400 at Daytona. If more information is available it will be posted.(Kenny Wallace site)(6-28-2005)
UPDATE: Wallace was originally listed in the #23 HIstory Channel Dodge and is now list in the #00 Aaron's Sale and Lease Dodge for Bill Davis. This was an announced race for Wallace in the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing Chevy, not sure what happened. Either way, if qualifying gets rained out, neither team [#23/00 Davis, #00 MWR] would not have enough race attempts to make the race. Mike Skinner qualified the #23 for the Daytona 500 and other races as the team runs about once a month, Skinner was unavailable as the Truck Series runs at Kansas on Saturday at 3:00pm/et.(7-1-2005)
Kenny Wallace wins at Eldora: The $10,000 winner's paycheck was far from the standard amount that Nextel Cup or the Busch Series award. What's more, there were no points to be won, either. Yet Kenny Wallace had one of the best times he's ever had behind the wheel of a race car Wednesday night, winning the inaugural Nextel Prelude to a Dream late model modified stock car race at the Tony Stewart-owned Eldora Speedway. Although the main event was just a 25-lap sprint, the nearly 20,000 fans in attendance saw plenty of action, including a surprise pole-winning performance by 70-something-year-old – he admits to being "somewhere between 75 and 70" – stock car legend Red Farmer, and a surprise appearance and strong fifth-place performance by semi-retired NASCAR great Bill Elliott. Given the success – and the nearly $75,000 raised for Kyle Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp (Petty finished 13th out of 14 cars) – Stewart said what started out as an experiment will return for an encore performance next year. The finishing order was Wallace, followed by Stewart and sprint car ace Danny Lasoski. Ken Schrader was fourth, followed by Elliott, Dave Blaney, Bobby Labonte, Farmer, drag racer Ron Capps, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Green, Kevin Harvick, Petty and Mike Wallace, who was the only driver who failed to finish, suffering a blown motor midway through the race.(Yahoo Sports)(6-9-2005)
Kenny Wallace to run #00 for Waltrip, different sponsor: Kenny Wallace will be behind the wheel of the #00 Bryan’s Chevrolet prepared by Michael Waltrip Racing this weekend for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series event at Darlington Raceway. Wallace seeks his second Nextel Cup start of the 2005 season, his 18th career start at the track “Too Tough to Tame.” Wallace ran four races for Waltrip in 2004 and ran the Daytona 500 earlier this year finishing 40th due to an engine failure. He is scheduled to drive six more Nextel Cup events this season for Michael Waltrip Racing.(Michael Waltrip site)(5-6-2005)
Aaron's re-ups with Waltrip and the #00 team: Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership, which is sponsoring Sunday’s Nextel Cup race, extended its primary sponsorship of Michael Waltrip’s Busch team through 2008. Waltrip’s team will carry Aaron’s colors in at least 22 Busch races each season through 2008, as well as four Nextel Cup races in a Waltrip-#00 owned car driven by Kenny Wallace.
Wallace failed to qualify for tomorrow’s race, so Aaron’s will sponsor Hermie Sadler, who will start the Aaron’s 499 in 30th place.(Speed Channel)(5-1-2005)
#00 Team in trouble? Kenny Wallace's #00 team could be in big trouble with NASCAR after inspectors at Talladega Superspeedway confiscated a trick rear-end housing from the team, owned by Michael Waltrip. A fine is expected, and some speculate it'll be $50,000, because the design might be considered a safety issue.(Winston Salem Journal), the team failed to qualify for the race.(4-30-2005)
#66 to run Aaron's decals: Michael Waltrip, who owns the #00 Aaron's Rent Chevy that Kenny Wallace attempted to get into the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway but failed to qualify for, said that #66 Hermie Sadler would run the Aaron's decals on Sunday in the race.(Speed Channel's Trackside)(4-29-2005)
Herman wins $50,000 for Charity: Kenny 'Herman' Wallace, the driver of ppc Racing's #22 Stacker 2 Ford in the Busch
Series, has won the Mobil High-Endurance Poker Challenge at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, which will mean a $50,000 donation to the Autism Society of America. Wallace and Shane Wilson, crew chief for Penske-Jasper Racing's #77 Dodge of Travis Kvapil, were the final competitors in the charity tournament Thursday night.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-12-2005)
New Season of 'NASCAR DRIVERS: 360' return: The FX network has placed a second season order of seven episodes for "NASCAR Drivers: 360." The show, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at the everyday lives of NASCAR drivers, premieres May 13 at 10:30 ET. Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Robby Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Kenny Wallace, Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace will be featured during the seven-week run.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-18-2005)
Kennon joins MWR: Longtime NASCAR crew chief Gere Kennon, who recently was general manager at Innovative Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series, has joined Michael Waltrip Racing. Kennon's primary focus is MWR's Busch Series effort, but he was at Daytona last week overseeing Waltrip's Nextel Cup program with driver Kenny Wallace.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(1-17-2005)
Kenny to run a gold #00: Aaron Rents announced it will officially open its 1,000th store location. The Company's milestone store is located in Swainsboro, Georgia and the grand opening is expected to kick off another record-breaking year for store-count growth. Aaron's marked the 1,000th store opening with an event in Swainsboro, Georgia on Thursday, January 13th. In order to honor 2005 as the Company's 50th year in business, Aaron's has announced the Company will conduct a Golden Anniversary Sweepstakes worth more than $78,000 in prizes. "Capitalizing on our long-standing and very successful partnerships in motorsports, five first prize winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Texas Motor Speedway on November 5 and 6, 2005. Fifty runners-up will each receive an autographed racing helmet signed by NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip, one of our spokespersons. And, Aaron's will put one lucky grand prize winner in the driver's seat of a car manufactured the same year the very first Aaron's opened for business - a mint condition 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air," said Mark Rudnick, Aaron's Vice President of Marketing. Consumers can enter the Golden Anniversary Sweepstakes by visiting any Aaron's location or by visiting the Company's website at www.aaronrents.com. Aaron's will have two distinct paint schemes for 2005. This year will
mark Aaron's 50th anniversary and their race cars will reflect the celebration of Aaron's golden anniversary. The #99 Busch car and the #00 Cup car will sport a golden paint scheme at the two Daytona and Talladega races. The #99 Busch blue paint scheme will run at all other scheduled events. Kenny Waalace will drive the #00 Chevy for Michael Waltrip Racing. See an image of the #00 Cup car on my #00 Team Schemes page.(1-17-2005)
Kenny all over the tube in 2005: Kenny Wallace has signed a 2 year contract with SpeedTV to be in the following
NASCAR Drivers 360: Wallace will be filmed and shown in six out of the eight episodes starting in Speed weeks in Daytona.
Inside Nextel Cup: Wallace will play a more active role in the show in 2005 and 2006 and be seen in many more shows.
NASCAR This Morning - NASCAR Victory Lane: Wallace will be seen on both shows every NC race day as long as he is able to be at the show in person.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Wallace will be the Craftsman Truck color commentator for Speed on weekends in which the Truck Series and Wallace are in the same location.(Kenny Wallace Racing site)(1-8-2005)
Kenny back with Mikey: Kenny Wallace has signed a contract with Michael Waltrip Racing to compete in
at least four Nextel Cup races in 2005. Driving the #00 Chevy Aarons Rent Car at both Daytona and Talladega Races. The car being used is the ex-Dale Jr Bud Shootout car from 2004, in which Dale came in 2nd. Wallace will have no provisionals available in any of the races so will have to race into each, but he can't wait to show everyone his speed in that car.(Kenny Wallace Racing site)(1-7-2005)
Kenny in the #1 at Talladega: Kenny Wallace will no longer be driving the #00 Aaron's Chevy for Michael Waltrip at Talladega in the EA Sports 500. Wallace will instead drive the #1 Aaron's Rent DEI Chevy(Kenny Wallace site), Waltrip didn't have a car ready for the race.(9-23-2004)
Four Mo Races in the #00 for Kenny: Kenny Wallace will drive the #00 Michael Waltrip Aarons Dream Machine Chevy in four more Cup races: Talladega, Lowes Motor Speedway, Atlanta and Homestead,(Kenny Wallace Site)(9-7-2004)
Operation Marathon scheme at Homestead: Kenny Wallace will have a "Operation Marathon" special paint scheme on the Nextel Cup #00 Aaron's Chevrolet at Homestead-Miami Speedway to promote Michael Waltrip's effort to run the 39th Annual Las Vegas Marathon. Waltrip, who is running the race to benefit The Victory Junction Gang, will also run the special scheme in the Busch race on his #99 Aaron's Chevy.(RacingOne)(8-28-2004)
Andy Petree joins Michael Waltrip Racing: Andy Petree, former car owner and championship crew chief, joins Michael Waltrip Racing, Inc. (MWR) effective in Bristol, Tenn., this weekend. "In an effort to continuously improve our race cars," car owner Michael Waltrip explained, "we've turned to a man whose knowledge of NASCAR has carried him to the pinnacle of stock car racing. Andy's experience will help us assess and grow our existing Busch and Cup programs. Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership is a great sponsor and we have to win for them."
"In general, Andy has become a part of Michael Waltrip Racing to help move us forward. Performance has been respectable overall, but we are not up to par with the teams consistently winning races. While spending time at the race shop, evaluating our equipment and getting to know the team members, Andy will also serve as the acting crew chief on the weekends."
"Michael needs help and I am available," Petree said. "I am going to hang out with these guys for a while and see what we can accomplish. Michael has a great organization in place, so I am here to simply give my opinion and see where I can be beneficial to his teams."(Michael Waltrip Racing PR)(8-27-2004)
Kenny at Bristol in the #00: on Speed Channel's Trackside show from Michigan, Michael Waltrip, owner of the #00 Aaron's Rent's/Dream Machine Chevy that runs a limited Cup schedule with Kenny Wallace driving, mentioned that Wallace would attempt the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway next week. Wallace never got a shot to qualify the #00 at Michigan as qualifying was rained out.(8-21-2004)
More Races for Kenny in the #00: Michael Waltrip will expand his ownership role with five Nextel Cup races later this year. Waltrip will run Kenny Wallace in the #00, with Aaron's as the sponsor, starting with the Pepsi 400 on July 3. Joe Garone will be the crew chief for the team, which has acquired cars and engines from Dale Earnhardt Inc. Waltrip finished a season-best second Sunday in the Coca-Cola 600.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-31-2004)
Mikey..Cup team owner? #15-Michael Waltrip, whose wit and charisma have made him one of NASCAR's most popular drivers, is heavily involved in television work. He is featured in TV commercials and serves as a commentator on various racing programs. He said he might consider a career in broadcasting after his racing days are done, but also wants to remain in the sport. ''At some point I'd like to own a (Nextel) Cup team,'' said Waltrip, who currently fields his own Busch Series team [#99 Aaron's Chevy that won at Nashville on Saturday]. ''That would give me an opportunity to remain involved in something I love after I'm done driving.''(Tennessean), also Waltrip doers have a part-time Cup team, the #00 Team, one in which Kenny Wallace will run five races.(4-11-2004)
Kenny Wallace to run for Waltrip, five races UPDATE: Michael Waltrip announced today that his longtime Busch Series sponsor, Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership, has agreed to sponsor the #00 Chevrolet in five Nextel Cup races this season with veteran driver Kenny Wallace behind the wheel. The five-race schedule includes the October 31 MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.[doesn't say what the other four races are](AMS Pit Notes)(3-13-2004)
UPDATE: Kenny Wallace will make a five-race return to the Nextel Cup Series later this season in a car collaboratively run by Michael Waltrip Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. Wallace will drive a #00 Aaron's Chevy in the five events beginning with the Aaron's 499 on April 25 at Talladega. In addition, Wallace will run the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Sharpie 500 at Bristol and the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta, the home of Aaron's corporate office. Tony Gibson, the DEI crew chief whose #1 Chevrolet [so I guess the news below about Andretti and the #1 finding a sponsor may be for a limited schedule] is not running a full-time schedule becauseof lack of sponsorship, will supervise Wallace's effort. Wallace said the first question he asked when Waltrip approached him to do the deal was about testing, and that the team would test at Daytona International Speedway on April 12-13.(NASCAR.com)(3-14-2004)
Buckshot at Homestead in the #00? No it will be Mike Skinner: on Michael Waltrip's webiste, they have a webcam, on it is the #00 Bacardi Chevy, not sure if Buckshot Jones will drive this car at Homestead or if it will run, if I hear anything, it will be posted. Jone's has driven for Waltrip in the past at Talladega and Atlanta in the #00 Chevy.
UPDATE: Mike Skinner will drive Michael Waltrip's #00 Bacardi Chevy at Homestead.(11-10-2003)
Buckshot to test at Talladega and Atlanta: hearing that Buckshot Jones will be testing at Talladega today and Wednesday in Michael Waltrip's #00 Chevy AND that Jones will also test a Michael Waltrip Chevy at Atlanta on Monday, Sept 29th and Wed Sept 30th, Aaron's will sponsor Jones in the car at Atlanta.(9-16-2003)
Buckshot back - to run Atlanta: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) and Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership are pleased to announce Georgia native Buckshot Jones will drive the #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Chevy in the Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 26, 2003. The car will be prepared and crewed by MWR's NASCAR Busch Series team coordinated by crew chief, Bobby Kennedy. The Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 will mark Jones' return to Winston Cup racing since his 17th-place finish in the #09 Dodge at the Daytona International Speedway in July. Buckshot has 55 Winston Cup starts in his career with a best finish of eighth at Dover in 1998.
"Bobby Kennedy always likes to stay in touch with the Winston Cup Series and this is an opportunity to test the waters and do so in Buckshot and Aaron's backyard," explained Waltrip.. "Buckshot has the talent and the determination it takes to run well in any NASCAR series and his testing efforts have shown us he'll proudly don the Aaron's Dream Machine colors in the Cup race. Buckshot and I have been trying to put something together for a while now, and it just makes sense to have a Georgia driver and a Georgia sponsor in the race just outside of Atlanta (Ga.).. Everyone involved is looking forward to making this happen.. Aaron's is the sponsor for the Busch race on Saturday and will have many of their employees and customers in town.. It just makes since to expand Aaron's involvement over the course of the entire weekend."
"I'm excited," Jones said. "I know Michael and Bobby put together fast racecars everywhere they go.. We tested earlier this year and our times were fast enough to be in last year's top-10.. I love Atlanta Motor Speedway and can't wait to get down there, turn some laps and challenge myself to a top-10 finish in the Aaron's Dream Machine."
"Aaron's is in the business of making dreams come true, and we are going to help Buckshot realize his dream of returning to the Winston Cup Series," said Ken Butler, President of Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership. "By letting Buckshot race the Dream Machine in Atlanta, someone may come along and give him that full-time job he's been looking for and we'll enjoy watching an Aaron's car race toward the front on Saturday and Sunday." The Georgia 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for October 26, 2003 at 1:00 PM and will be broadcast live on NBC and PRN radio.(Aaron's PR)(8-26-2003)
UPDATE and a 2nd race? Buckshot Jones is set to return to the Winston Cup circuit at Talladega on Sept. 28 and at Atlanta on Oct. 26. Jones said the two races he's running later this season in a Michael Waltrip-owned Chevrolet are his only scheduled appearances for the time being.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(8-29-2003)
Buckshot back? UPDATE 2: hearing Buckshot Jones will test at Atlanta towards the end of February, could be a possible ride Michael Waltrip in the #00.(2-3-2003)
UPDATE: hearing that Jones will not test at Atlanta but will run the race in the #00 Chevy.(2-20-2003)
UPDATE 2: hearing the sponsor will not be Charter Communications and that the new sponsor will be announced soon. AND Jones is entered in the MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500 in a car owned by Winston Cup driver Michael Waltrip. It's the same car Jones brought to AMS last fall, only to see rain wash out qualifying and rob him of a chance to earn a starting spot. Jones, who hasn't raced since he drove the #44 Dodge last April in Martinsville, hoped to run some practice laps at AMS next week, but that's not going to happen. Since NASCAR changed the body rules after the 2002 season, it has been difficult for a part-time team to find someone to re-skin the car. "We had hoped to get the people at Dale Earnhardt Inc. to hang the body, but they're pretty busy with their own cars," Jones said. With little hope for a full-time ride, Jones has turned to developing residential subdivisions in and around Gwinnett County. Jones said he'd like to resume his racing career, but the odds of getting a front-running car are slim.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-22-2003)
UPDATE 2: been told that since the car was not ready to test, it has been decided that Bickshot Jones will NOT run at the March Cup race in Atlanta, but plans are to run at Atlanta in Oct.(2-27-2003)
Buckshot not racing in 2003: per the Buckshot00.com site and Buckshot Jones - "It is with great sadness that I must tell you that as of right now I have no plans to race full-time next season. Unfortunately, without a sponsor, there isn’t anything that we can do. We will be closing the website on November 30th. We will not continue the fan club in 2003. However, if an opportunity to race full-time arises, we will start the fan club and website back up. I can’t begin to tell you how much your support has meant to me throughout the years. Thank you for everything that you have done for me.(11-23-2002)
Larry Mac to spot for Buckshot: former Crew Chief and current Fox broadcaster, Larry McReynolds will be the spotter for Buckshot Jones at Atlanta, Jones is driving Michael Waltrip's #00 Charter Chevy.(10-25-2002)
Buckshot to race at Atlanta UPDATE: Buckshot Jones will test a Chevrolet owned by Michael Waltrip on Tuesday and Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway in preparation for the Oct. 27 NAPA 500. Jones said the sponsorship deal he has is for one race, but there could be others added to the schedule if adequate funds can be secured. "Until you get the sponsorship, you can't do anything," Jones said. He said he feels comfortable returning to the circuit in Waltrip's car. "I know Michael and I know he's got good equipment," Jones said. "And He's capable of doing what I want to do." Since leaving the Petty Enterprises #44 Dodge after the Martinsville race, Jones has spent his time trying to work out a deal to continue racing. He's also trying to build a career as a land developer, but his desire to race is foremost at this point. In addition to driving the #15 NAPA Chevy, Waltrip has fielded Winston Cup cars this season for Kenny Wallace [#98 Aaron's at Talladega] and Jerry Nadeau [#00 Aaron's at Chicago].(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-28-2002)
UPDATE: Charter Pipeline will be the primary sponsor for the Michael Waltrip owned #00 Chevy that Buckshot Jone's will driver at Atlanta.(Buckshot Jones site)(10-8-2002)
Nadeau and Earnhardt Jr test Chicago: #00-Jerry Nadeau and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. tested at Chicagoland Speedway on Tuesday in preparation for the July 14 Cup stop. Nadeau is driving a car owned by Michael Waltrip in a one-race deal. A miscommunication between Nadeau and Waltrip led Waltrip to believe this past weekend that Nadeau would not be in the car for Chicago because of another opportunity.(Roanoke Times)(6-26-2002)
Nadeau in a Waltrip car at Chicago? an Image: ESPN2 RPM 2 Night's Ray Dunlap reports that Jerry Nadeau will drive a Michael Waltrip owned car at Chicagoland and possibly some additional races.(6-12-2002)
UPDATE: hearing Nadeau will be driving the Michael Waltrip Racing Inc. #00 Chevy, sponsored by Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership, at Chicagoland Speedway.(6-18-2002)
UPDATE 2: hearing Waltrip has purchased a Cup car from DEI (a former #15 NAPA car) and will lease DEI engines. Suppoesdly a one-race deal right now, but may end up at the Brickyard 400 also.(6-19-2002)
UPDATE 3 Nadeau/Waltrip official: Jerry Nadeau will pilot the #00 Aaron's Dream Machine at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, July 14th. The car will be Michael Waltrip Racing's second venture as a Winston Cup team owner. Waltrip fielded the #98 Aaron's Dream Machine driven by Kenny Wallace in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway this past April. Aaron's Sales and Lease Ownership will sponsor the #00 Winston Cup entry. Nadeau, a native of Danbury, CT, logged his first Winston Cup start June 15, 1997 and his first win in the 2000 NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Recently, he was behind the wheel of the #10 Valvoline Pontiac while Johnny Benson recovered from injuries sustained at Richmond International Speedway earlier this year. Last weekend at Sears Point, rear-end gear failure with three laps to go cost him the victory in the #44 Petty Enterprises car. Waltrip, whom owns and drives the #99 Aaron's Dream Machine in the BGN, bought the Winston Cup car from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. "Aaron's comes to me about everything they do in NASCAR", said Waltrip. "I wanted to field another Winston Cup car and they were willing to back me."
"I don't know about other companies," said Ken Butler, President of Aaron's, "but NASCAR works for us. You have to advertise where demographics show your customers are and NASCAR fans are our customers. We're using it to drive our customer base. So we're more than happy to join this endeavor with Michael, Waltrip Racing and Jerry Nadeau."
"I'm excited that Michael and Aaron's are giving me this chance," said Nadeau. "Especially at a track like Chicago. I almost won there last year. Mile and a half tracks have in general been good to me. And the guys at the shop have been working their butts off to give me a great car to test with. It's going to be a fun weekend and hopefully if things go well I'll have more opportunities like this in the future." For more information on Aaron's, please visit www.shopaarons.com or call 1-800-950-7368.(Aaron's PR)(6-25-2002)
AND See my Paint Scheme Gallery for a image of the scheme.(6-26-2002)
Nadeau at DEI? UPDATE in the #44 at Sears Point and in a Waltrip car: hearing Jerr Nadeau, recently released from the #25 Hendrick Motorsports ride, is talking to Dale Earnhardt Inc about a ride there for 2003.
UPDATE: ESPN2 RPM 2 Night's Ray Dunlap reports that Jerry Nadeau will be in the #44 Petty Racing Dodge at Sears Point in place of regular driver Steve Grissom. Also reported that Nadeau will drive a Michael Waltrip owned car at Chicagoland and possibly some additional race.(6-12-2002)
Nadeau and Hendrick Part Ways: Hendrick Motorsports and driver Jerry Nadeau on Wednesday agreed to part ways, effective immediately, ending Nadeau’s tenure with the #25 team. Sources said Joe Nemechek, who lost his ride earlier this season with Travis Carter Enterprises when sponsor Kmart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, is the top candidate to replace Nadeau for the remainder of the season. Hendrick said no one has been chosen to fill the vacancy, although a search is under way. Nadeau, 31, scored the only win of his Winston Cup career in November 2000 at Atlanta at the conclusion of his first full season with Hendrick. In 150 starts, he has one win, eight top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. Just last week, the 25 team replaced crew chief Tony Furr with Ken Howes. “Both Hendrick Motorsports and myself as a driver are dedicated to the same goal – winning races,” Nadeau said. “But after we sat down and evaluated the situation, it was obvious that we were not making the kind of progress we owe our fans and sponsors and decided it would be best to go our separate ways. Driving for Hendrick Motorsports was a great experience for me. At the end of my first season with the team, I really felt that we were on our way, but the results we were capable of just weren’t there.”(ThatsRacin.com)(5-8-2002)
UPDATE: Jerry Nadeau, who parted ways with Hendrick Motorsports Wednesday says he's in no rush to jump into a situation right away. With the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte coming up, Nadeau if he has to sit in the stands with his wife at Charlotte he'll do that and watch a good race. As for the UAW-Delphi Monte Carlo team, Nadeau said Hendrick gave him a heck of an opportunity, but unfortunately things just didn't work out. "We just seemed like we've always had tons and tons of bad luck. I was really discouraged and I think they were discouraged at their side because we didn't have a crew chief in line for the team, but things were starting to fall apart. I was not happy because I really felt that team should be a lot better than it is and I felt there were areas in which we could improve but we never had a lot of good luck. I hate to say that as a team, but we just seemed like we always had situations happen to us and it never really seemed like it happened to a lot of other teams. I'm not here to gripe about it, but it was a matter of everything working together and obviously there was some situations that just wasn't working right. Nadeau also says it's disappointing because he got his first win his first year there and
"then it just seemed like it started downhill from there". They were really good to me...they were like family to me, but things just didn't happen. I'm sad to go for sure because they're great people.(PRN's Garage Pass)(5-8-2002)
Waltrip to field a car for Kenny Wallace at Talladega? Mike Waltrip mentioned during the Fox BGN rain delay coverage that Michael Waltrip racing will field a Cup car at Talladega for Kenny Wallace that will carry Aaron's Rent sponsorship and that Aaron's will also be the title sponsor of the Cup at Talladega that will be know as the 499 not the 500. Supposedly DEI will supply the car (a backup #15) and engine, not sure what number it'll use (#81 as used in Daytona testing?). Waltrip seemed serious and Kenny Wallace was interviewed a bit later and says it is a serious effort and it is being posted on the Kenny Wallace site.(4-6-2002)