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#01/36 Team News Archive

2007 News

  • DEI workers blamed for airborne shot at Bobby Ginn: Three DEI employees who allegedly planned and paid for a derogatory banner to fly over Lowe’s Motor Speedway last weekend have been fired. The banner, which read, “How much does Bobby Ginn owe you?” was pulled by a plane and flown over Lowe’s before the start of last Saturday night’s race. The banner was directed at the former NASCAR team owner, who allowed his organization to be acquired by DEI after just one year of ownership, leaving about 100 people out of a job. But Kasey Brooks, Mike Clark and Greg Price were hired by DEI after the merger, and are believed to be responsible for the banner. Clark and Price were fabricators at DEI, and Brooks worked in the parts department. “We addressed the situation internally, dealt with it appropriately and we’re quite frankly embarrassed that this situation ever arose,” DEI general manager John Story said. There have been grumblings throughout the garage that Ginn owes former employees back salaries, and drivers Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek and two crew chiefs have sued him for payment. That lawsuit is in the final stages of being settled, and Ginn sent a Sept. 27 letter to most of his former employees that promised back-owed team bonuses would be paid in full via an Oct. 3 direct deposit.(AP/Thatsracin)(10-20-2007)

  • Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Steve Hmiel Part Ways: UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Inc. and director of competition Steve Hmiel have parted company. Hmiel’s responsibilities have been redistributed throughout the organization and his replacement will be named soon. “I have enjoyed a wonderful association with Dale Earnhardt Inc. over the past nine years,” said Hmiel. “It is time for me to pursue other endeavors and reestablish new goals for myself.”(DEI PR)(10-18-2007)
    UPDATE: Steve Hmiel says it was a difference in opinion that led to his departure from Dale Earnhardt Inc. "Just a difference in philosophy," Hmiel said of the split Friday at Martinsville Speedway. "It was a job I grew into, so there wasn't really ever a definition [of the position]. I started out doing one thing, then added things along the way and pretty soon, you find yourself doing a lot of different stuff. But I really enjoyed it. It's a different world now, a different time. Some of the things I saw chaffed against me, and some of the things I did chaffed against them. So we sat down and talked about it and thought we might ought to just go do this."(SceneDaily.com)(10-19-2007)

  • U.S. Army/DEI Transport Driver Honored: Gale "Bandit" Wilson, the friendly crew member for the #01 U.S. Army/Dale Earnhardt Inc. NASCAR team, was caught off guard Saturday before the Nextel Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. A long-time race team transport driver, Wilson was recognized with a special plaque from the Transport Drivers of Motorsports Association. The plaque, which was presented to Wilson by Kyle Petty read, "In Appreciation of Many Years Outstanding Service & Dedication." "That really took me by surprise," said Wilson. "But it was sure an honor to receive this recognition, especially from my fellow transport drivers." Wilson, 64, is in his 28th season hauling race cars from venue to venue. However, his role has never been exclusive to driving the truck. He assists the crew during race weekends and has been multi-tasking long before the phrase became trendy. For many years he doubled up as an over-the-wall crew person, handling the catch can duties. "That was a while ago, before pit crews wore firesuits and helmets," noted Wilson. Wilson's nickname of "Bandit" was given to him back in the early 1980s when he worked for the Skoal Bandit Cup team. Wilson and his wife Bobbie reside in Statesville, N.C. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.(DEI PR)(10-19-2007)

  • Former 49ers Owner Almost Bought Hendrick in 2004 UPDATE no: Former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo told Sports Business Journal recently that he almost became a NASCAR owner in 2004. "We would have bought a NASCAR team if Reggie White hadn't died," DeBartolo said of the former NFL player. "The week he passed away we were going to sign the agreement with Hendrick Motorsports. After that, I just couldn't do it. I loved Reggie too much."(Roanoke Times)(10-14-2007)
    AND and from a July article - Dale Earnhardt Inc. president Max Siegel told ESPN.com on Wednesday [in July] that three years ago he was prepared to partner with NFL Hall of Famers Reggie White and Ronnie Lott, as well as former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartalo Jr., in purchasing MB2 Motorsports, which at the time fielded the #01 and #10 Chevrolets. The papers were drawn. All that was left was the official closing, which was slated for Jan. 15, 2005. But when White died suddenly on Dec. 26, 2004, and the deal died with him. Siegel said he and White originally had planned to partner with Rick Hendrick on a NASCAR Busch Series operation. Then the Hendrick Motorsports plane crash in October 2004 halted that initiative. A couple of months had passed, and Siegel said Hendrick contacted him about the program. Hendrick explained that in order for him to be involved, White and Siegel had to purchase a team with an existing Hendrick partnership. Enter MB2, whose engines were supplied by Hendrick. At the time, Valvoline was part-owner of MB2, as well. All the pieces were in place, then White passed away.(ESPN.com)(10-14-2007)
    UPDATE 2: At the time in question, Mr. DeBartolo and Mr. White were in discussions with the former MB2 Motorsports team, and our involvement was limited solely to a potential technical support relationship. Hendrick Motorsports is not, and has never been, for sale.(HMS)(10-16-2007)

  • Same Schedule for Martin in 2008:Mark Martin enjoyed his first season of part-time racing so much that he’s repeating it race for race in 2008 – Martin will enter both Sprint Cup all-star events and 24 points races. Aric Almirola will drive the #8 Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevy in the remaining 12 points races next season.(SPEEDtv.com)(10-12-2007)

  • Gilmore falls ill, hospitalized, released UPDATE 2: SPEED qualifying coverage reported that DEI's VP of Competition Richie Gilmore, was taken to a Birmingham, AL hospital for a possible stroke, but was later diagnosed as an aneurysm. Gilmore was released and is headed in NC.(SPEED qualifying coverage)(10-6-2007)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. vice president Richie Gilmore has been treated and released from a Birmingham, Ala. hospital after suffering what has been diagnosed as a minor aneurysm. Gilmore suffered stroke-like symptoms on Friday and was taken to Birmingham for evaluation. He is currently back home in Mooresville, NC. “I spoke with both Richie and his wife Lisa on a couple of different occasions today and Richie is doing well,” said Max Siegel, president of global operations for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. “He was released today from the hospital and he’s back home getting some rest. He will undergo further evaluation and precautionary testing next week.”(DEI PR)(10-7-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Richie Gilmore is expected to be out at least a month after suffering a brain aneurysm last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Gilmore was released from a Birmingham, Ala., hospital on Saturday and returned to Charlotte by plane. He was hospitalized again on Monday for tests, but his blood was too thick to do a proper dye test. He underwent the dye test on Wednesday and was scheduled for two MRI's on Thursday. Hmiel said Robbie Benson has taken over Gilmore's duties heading up DEI's side of the engine program with Richard Childress Racing.(ESPN.com)(10-11-2007)

  • DEI West to house Cup cars; #01 stays: Max Siegel, president of Global Operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc., said the facility DEI inherited in the merger with Ginn Racing has been renamed DEI West. Siegel said Sunday that the #15 Chevrolet team and the #01 Chevy operation already have moved to the DEI West building. The #8 team and the #1 operation will stay at DEI headquarters until the end of the season. "We don't want to do anything to disrupt the 1 [Martin Truex Jr.] or the 8 [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] right now," Siegel said. "Those teams work really well together." Truex is DEI's one driver in the Chase. After all the Cup teams move to the new facility, current DEI headquarters will house all the administrative offices, along with the Busch Series team and Busch East operation. Siegel also said he hopes to make an announcement within two weeks on a new sponsor for the #01 Chevy. Siegel confirmed that DEI has decided to continue to use 01 as the number.(ESPN.com)(10-1-2007)

  • Chevy back with DEI, Smith number decided: on ESPN2's NASCAR Now, Marty Smith said he spoke with DEI's John Story and they have will be a Chevy team in 2008 and have chosen a car number for Regan Smith's team [currently #01] for 2008, but would not say what that number is.(9-27-2007)

  • Eury Jr. to leave DEI after Talladega: Tony Eury Jr. will leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. for Hendrick Motorsports earlier than expected, team officials confirmed on Thursday. Eury, who has been Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car or crew chief for all but one season since the two broke into the Nextel Cup Series in 2000, will step down after the Oct. 7 race at Talladega Superspeedway. He will be allowed to take four members of Earnhardt's #8 team with him under a deal made by DEI when it agreed to free him contractually to join Earnhardt at HMS in 2008. DEI vice president John Story said he met with Eury's crew this week and only one person has mentioned leaving thus far. Eury and Earnhardt could work together for HMS as early as the Car of Tomorrow test at Atlanta Motor Speedway following the Oct. 28 race. Tony Gibson, who replaced Eury during Eury's six-race suspension earlier this year, will complete the season with Earnhardt Jr. Mark Martin will step into Earnhardt's #8 next year, bringing crew chief Ryan Pemberton and his entire crew with him from the #01 team. Gibson is a candidate to move to the #01 car that will be driven by Regan Smith. "Tony Gibson needs an opportunity to get his team together,'' said Max Siegel, the president of global operations at DEI.(ESPN.com)(9-20-2007)

  • Smith to Drive #01 DEI Chevy at NHIS: Regan will drive DEI's #01 Chevy in this weekend's Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. The #01 entry in New Hampshire will have primary sponsorship from Principal Financial Group, the nation's 401(k) leader and premier benefits provider. The U.S. Army, which is the primary sponsor on the #01 Chevy for 34 of the 36 Cup races, will have an associate status at the New England track. The New Hampshire race will be Smith's seventh start in the #01 Chevy this season. He also competed in the #01 car at the July 1 New Hampshire race, where he started 13th and finished 32nd due to a mechanical issue. Sunday's Sylvania 300 will mark the first time that Smith will return to a track where he's already competed in a Cup race. For the remainder of the 2007 season Smith is scheduled to drive in a number of Craftsman Truck races for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports. DEI announced last week that Smith will join the organization's full-time Nextel Cup lineup in 2008.(DEI PR)(9-13-2007)

  • Marlin, Nemechek file lawsuit against Ginn Racing, DEI Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek have sued Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. for alleged breaches of their contracts, which included a base salary of $1.2 million apiece. The separate suits, filed Sept. 7 in Cabarrus County, N.C., do not specify how much they have been paid or what they exactly are owed. Also suing Ginn and DEI are crew chiefs Richard "Slugger" Labbe and Peter Sospenzo. Ginn and DEI merged prior to the Indianapolis race in July, and Marlin and Nemechek found themselves without a place in the organization. The points of the #14 of Marlin ended up moving to the #15 of DEI with Paul Menard as the driver, while the #13 Nemechek team was eliminated. "Demand for payment has been made ..., but [Ginn and DEI] have failed and/or refused to pay all or any part," the complaints state. The contracts of both drivers and both crew chiefs were filed as part of the complaints and give an insight to what the current rate is for drivers. Both drivers joined the organization when it was MB2 Motorsports. Marlin began in 2006 with a base salary of $1.1 million, and that increased to $1.2 million for 2007. Nemechek started with MB2 in 2004 and received $900,000 for 2004, $1 million for 2005, $1.1 million for 2006 and $1.2 million for 2007. Both drivers got to keep 45% of their race winnings (Nemechek, who was 27th in points in 2006, had $4,099,914 million total in race winnings last year, while Marlin, 34th in points, had $3,248,034 million) and 33% of souvenir sales. Their bonus schedules were $50,000 per win, $25,000 for a top-five, $10,000 for a top-10 and $5,000 per pole. Winning a Cup title was worth a $500,000 bonus, while second through fifth in the final standings were worth $250,000; sixth through 10th were $150,000; 11th through 15th were $100,000 and 16th through 20th were $50,000. Each received a $500 per race travel allowance, a seat on the team plane and a hotel room for each race. They also got a personal car. They agreed to 50 hours of personal appearances for a sponsor plus two days for commercials or media events as well as unlimited track hospitality visits not to exceed 30 minutes in length. They were both responsible for their own insurance. There is a morals clause in each contract stating they "shall not associate with gamblers or other notorious characters; shall not use illegal drugs; and shall not consume alcoholic beverages except in moderation but in no event within eight hours prior to driving in a race or practice."
    As far as the crew chiefs, Labbe, hired as the crew chief for Marlin in August 2006, and Sospenzo, hired as crew chief for Nemechek in October 2006, were earning $450,000 annual salaries. Labbe was guaranteed another $50,000 if his bonus money didn't reach that amount, while Sospenzo was guaranteed $25,000. Their bonuses were $20,000 for a win, $10,000 for second-fifth, $5,000 for sixth-10th, $2,500 for 11th-15th and $1,000 for a pole. A season championship was worth $100,000, second-fifth ($75,000) and sixth-10th were $50,000 for Labbe and sixth-12th were $50,000 for Sospenzo. They also got a personal vehicle as well as reimbursement for motorhome expenses. They agreed to make 10 away-from-the-track appearances. They also signed confidentiality agreements related to technical data and car setups. They also agreed that if they left they company, they would not attempt to hire any crew members for a year.(SceneDaily.com)(9-10-2007)

  • Gibson to be #01 crew chief in 2008: Tony Gibson, who substituted as the crew chief for #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. earlier this year and was crew chief for Michael Waltrip at the end of the 2005 season at Dale Earnhardt Inc., will be the crew chief for Regan Smith next year. Gibson replaced Tony Eury Jr., who is heading to Hendrick Motorsports with Earnhardt Jr. DEI Vice President John Story expects the #8 team to become the #01 team next year with Smith while the #01 crew moves to the #8 along with drivers Mark Martin and Aric Almirola. All of the other crew chiefs remain the same for their drivers - Kevin Manion with #1-Martin Truex Jr., Dave Charpentier with #15-Paul Menard and Ryan Pemberton with the #8-Martin/Almirola team.(SceneDaily.com)(9-9-2007)

  • Martin and Almirola will drive the #8 in 2008: Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced on Friday that Mark Martin and Aric Almirola will split next season in the car that has become famous with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt had hoped to carry the number with him to Hendrick Motorsports next season, but was unwilling to agree to the terms of DEI owner Teresa Earnhardt, his stepmother. Martin will drive in 23 to 26 races with Almirola taking the rest. Sponsor U.S. Army and most of the #01 crew that has worked with Martin this season as he's split the year with Regan Smith will move to the #8. Smith will drive the #01 [team, could be a different car number] next season. DEI officials have described next year as a transition year for the car, hoping to land one of the high profile free agents that will become available to run a full schedule in 2009.(ESPN.com)
    AND: The team said the number [#01?, #14?] and sponsor [Coors?] for Smith would be announced at a later date.(SceneDaily.com)(9-7-2007)

  • Coor's not returning to Ganassi in 2008: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) and Coors Brewing Company announced that Coors Light will not return as a primary sponsor on the team's #40 Dodge in 2008. "After much evaluation on both of our parts, we agreed that having Coors Light back as a sponsor on the #40 Dodge was not going to meet the marketing objectives of either organization," said Chip Ganassi Racing Teams' President Steve Lauletta. "Coors has been a tremendous partner over the last 14 years and we wish them nothing but the best. We continue to weigh our sponsorship opportunities for the #40 and an announcement on that will be forthcoming. CGRFS has always prided itself on not only our long-term partnerships but also on our ability to attract new sponsors to the sport - just as we did earlier this year with Wrigley and Memorex."
    "We believe that NASCAR is a valuable property that allows us to reach our target audience," said Bryce McTavish, vice president of sponsorship and channel marketing for Coors Brewing Company. "From a marketing perspective, one of the sport's greatest assets is the variety of ways in which companies can be involved and we are evaluating a number of them. We enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Chip and Felix and would like to thank them for their efforts on our behalf throughout the years. We will always appreciate their contribution to our business and our success."
    The announcement will end a string of 14 years that Coors Light has been the primary sponsor or partial primary of the #40 car (seven with CGRFS). The relationship began in 1994 when Sabates' Team SABCO and the Coors Brewing Company started their first partnership as Coors Light became the primary sponsor of the #40 with Bobby Hamilton behind the wheel.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)
    AND: hearing Coor's Light will end up at DEI, not sure which team.(9-5-2007)

  • Smith to be named #01 driver for 2008: Dale Earnhardt Inc. has reached a verbal agreement with Regan Smith to drive the #01 Chevy in the Nextel Cup series next season, a NASCAR source told ESPN.com on Wednesday. Smith will fill the car driven this season by Mark Martin and Aric Almirola, who will split the 2008 season in the #8 Chevy currently being driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Smith will have a one-year deal with an option for a second year.(ESPN.com)(8-30-2007)

  • Martin/Almirola in the #8 in 2008? UPDATE 2: Serious discussions are underway at Dale Earnhardt Inc. to place Mark Martin and Aric Almirola in a split role in an Army-sponsored No. 8 Chevrolet in 2008, sources close to DEI told ESPN.com on Thursday. DEI president Max Siegel said nothing has been finalized. "If there's anyone that would represent Dale Earnhardt Inc. and what the #8 means to this company it would be Mark Martin," Siegel said. "But there has been no official decision made on this yet." Sources explained that Army ran the #01 at Ginn in conjunction with its "An Army of One" marketing initiative, but given that that program has since been abandoned in favor of the new "Army Strong" slogan, the number change doesn't overtly affect Army's marketing focus. A Martin/Almirola split schedule in 2008 would leave the door open for another driver, possibly Greg Biffle, to join DEI full-time in 2009. Biffle currently has a contract with Roush Fenway Racing through the end of the 2008 season but has been speculated to be a candidate as Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s permanent replacement in the #8. It is uncertain at this point what this would mean for the #01, though sources say DEI "has several options" for that team.(ESPN.com)(8-23-2007)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Inc. Vice President John Story says he's not going to put a timetable on naming the new drivers for the team. Story said that despite reports to the contrary, he would not confirm that Mark Martin will move over to the #8 and share that Chevy with rookie Aric Almirola next season. In addressing that, Story said that "anything's possible and nothing's definite."(SceneDaily.com)(8-25-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Mark Martin and Aric Almirola will be introduced as next season's drivers for the #8 at Dale Earnhardt Inc. in two weeks at Richmond International Speedway barring a last-minute objection from sponsors, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com. Regan Smith is the leading candidate to step into the #01 that he has split with Martin and Almirola this season. Sources said a deal could be reached by Friday. Jeremy Mayfield, who recently announced he would not drive for Bill Davis Racing in '08, also has been under consideration. Max Siegel, the president of global operations at DEI, acknowledged that Martin is a possibility for the #8. But he would only confirm that DEI should have its five-driver lineup in place by the end of the week and would announce it at Richmond. Without identifying the car, Siegel said Martin will drive in 24 to 26 Nextel Cup races next season and that Almirola will take the remaining events. He added that Almirola would be in a Busch and/or Truck Series event every weekend in '08. Siegel added that all the sponsors are set for next year and also will be announced at Richmond, but would not elaborate. U.S. Army, which has been the sponsor of the #01, and the entire #01 crew are expected to move to the #8 with Martin and Almirola. Martin has made it clear that he wants to remain with crew chief Ryan Pemberton. Although DEI has a year left on its deal with Budweiser, the beer company will not be on a DEI car in '08 unless there is a last-minute breakdown in negotiations with other teams. Budweiser has been working on a deal to be on the #9 of Kasey Kahne. Siegel said '08 will be a transition year for the entire organization, acknowledging the driver lineup could be quite different in '09. Greg Biffle, who has had talks with DEI about driving the #8, has a year left on his deal with Roush Fenway Racing. Biffle told ESPN.com he will not make a decision on '09 until probably this time next season, and that it will be based on performance.(ESPN.com)(8-26-2007)

  • Almirola to Make Debut in #01 Army Chevy at Bristol: Aric Almirola will make his debut in the #01 U.S. Army Chevy in Saturday night’s Nextel Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. It will be the second career Cup race for the 23-year-old driver and his first with Dale Earnhardt Inc. Almirola joined DEI after a whirlwind week in mid July. In a matter of a few days after leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to sign with Ginn Racing, he found himself headed to DEI when the company merged with Ginn. The Tampa, Fla. native will share the #01 Army ride with veteran Mark Martin in selected races of the current season and also during the 2008 campaign. Almirola is also scheduled to compete in Friday night's Busch race at Bristol for Joe Gibbs Racing.(DEI PR)(8-22-2007)

  • DEI close to naming 2008 driver lineup: Dale Earnhardt Inc. could announce its full driver lineup within a week or two, the company's president of global operations said Sunday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. Max Siegel said DEI still had plenty of options as to who could drive the #8 car next season. "We're trying to figure out who will fit in our driver lineup that complements the entire team and where we want to go as a company," Siegel said. "Right now, I want to put the most competent driver in the car. Anyone that's going to drive for Dale Earnhardt Inc. has to fit in with the drivers that we have on our staff right now." It remains a possibility that Mark Martin could split the #8 car driving duties with Aric Almirola while Regan Smith takes over the #01, though drivers as David Reutimann, J.J. Yeley and David Stremme have also been rumored to be in the mix for the #8 ride. Regardless of who drives the car and who sponsors it - Siegel reiterated that the team has contingency plans in case Budweiser leaves - DEI will have four fully-funded cars next season, he said. Those cars will likely be Chevrolets, he said. Richard Childress Racing was the first of the Chevy teams to re-sign with the manufacturer, and RCR shares an engine program with DEI. "We have had very positive discussions and are well down the road to being with Chevrolet," Siegel said.(SceneDaily.com)(8-20-2007)

  • 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)

  • Almirola to run four Cup races in the #01: Aric Almirola will run Saturday's Craftsman Truck Series race at Nashville Superspeedway and make his debut in Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s #01 Nextel Cup car Aug. 25 at Bristol. Almirola signed with Ginn Racing last month to share the #01 Chevy with Mark Martin starting with this weekend's event at Watkins Glen. But after Ginn merged with DEI, team management decided Regan Smith would drive the #01 car at Watkins Glen because he has more road racing experience. Smith also will drive the #01 car Sept. 16 at New Hampshire, a track Almirola was going to run. Almirola will get the Nextel Cup races at California, Martinsville and Phoenix. He is also scheduled to run three more Busch races for Joe Gibbs Racing - at Bristol, Charlotte and Homestead - and he'll qualify a Gibbs car for Denny Hamlin at Memphis. The Hillsborough High graduate said nothing has changed concerning his plans for 2008. He'll share the #01 Chevy with Martin, and the schedule will be determined after this season ends.(Tampa Tribune)(8-9-2007)

  • Smith to drive #01 Army Chevy at Watkins Glen: It will be a homecoming of sorts for Regan Smith at this weekend's Nextel Cup event at Watkins Glen International. The 23-year-old driver will not only compete near the area where he grew up, but he will also rejoin his teammates on the #01 U.S. Army team. Smith, who was raised in Cato, N.Y., approximately 75 miles north from the Watkins Glen road course, will drive the #01 Chevrolet in Sunday's race. It will be his first Cup event under the Dale Earnhardt, Inc. racing banner. It will also be a New York, New York tandem for the #01 team. Smith's crew chief, Ryan Pemberton,- is also a New York native. His hometown is Saratoga Springs, located 225 miles east of Watkins Glen. This will be the sixth career Cup start for Smith, who has shared the #01 Army ride with Mark Martin this season. Smith's last Cup start was July 1 at New Hampshire. Smith was also behind the wheel of the Army car at the only other Cup road race of the season, June 24 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. He started 26th and finished 30th.(DEI PR)(8-7-2007)

  • Martin Says He's Helping Regan Smith Look for a Ride: Aric Almirola already had been announced as Regan Smith's replacement as #01-Mark Martin's co-driver, with Smith moving to the 14 car. When that team folded, Smith was left without a ride, much to Martin's concern. "Nobody is working harder on Regan's behalf than me, probably not even himself," Martin said. "I'm a huge fan of Regan's and he is going to come out of this very well, based on the things he's done this past year, he has really emerged and is recognized as being ready to go out here. He's shown the maturity and the speed and everything it takes to be a Nextel Cup driver." Martin was brought into Ginn not only to run a partial schedule with the #01, but also to serve as a mentor for Smith and developmental driver Ricky Carmichael.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-5-2007)

  • Carmichael Apparently Staying with DEI: When Mark Martin, offered to mentor Carmichael in stock-car racing, that became Carmichael's next career move. Martin has been driving for Ginn Racing, owned by zillionaire resort magnate Bobby Ginn, and Carmichael signed with Ginn as a development driver, with an eye toward running local races this year, some regional NASCAR races in 2008, and probably a Busch Series schedule in 2009. But last month, a monkey wrench was tossed into those plans: Ginn merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc., which is also facing an uncertain future with the departure of Dale Earnhardt Jr. As part of the restructuring, Ginn fired Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek, and Martin moved under the DEI umbrella. And apparently, Carmichael is moving with him. "I had some good talks this past week with Mark," Carmichael said. "I haven't heard anything from Ginn, but I'm excited about the DEI connection."(Orlando Sentinel)(8-5-2007)

  • Labbe: Ginn/DEI merger costs 124 jobs: There were 124 employees who lost their jobs following the recent Ginn Racing-Dale Earnhardt Inc. merger, former Ginn employee Slugger Labbe said Friday. Labbe was the crew chief for the #14 car driven by Sterling Marlin, but was laid off on Tuesday night along with most everyone associated with his team and with those on the #13 team which fielded cars for Joe Nemechek. Previously, Ginn had dissolved its Busch Series team. Labbe was at Pocono Raceway meeting with teams and looking for work after spending much of the week calling on behalf of his former crewmen. He estimated that 30 of those former Ginn employees have landed jobs so far, but acknowledged it was a small percentage.(SceneDaily.com)(8-4-2007)

  • No crew chief changes at the new DEI: There will be no immediate crew chief changes as a result of the Dale Earnhardt Inc.-Ginn Racing merger, but not all the crew chiefs will work out of the same shop. Paul Menard's #15 team will move immediately into the Ginn Racing building, where the former Ginn #01 team also will be housed, DEI Vice President John Story said Thursday. The DEI teams of #1-Martin Truex Jr. and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will remain at the current DEI shop until the end of the season. As far as drivers, Mark Martin and Aric Almirola will complete the season co-driving the #01 car. That leaves Regan Smith, who was named last week to drive the now-defunct #14 Ginn car, without a Cup ride. Having started the year as Martin's co-driver, Smith will compete in the Craftsman Truck Series race Friday night in Indianapolis. The rest of the schedule for Smith is still being evaluated. As far as crew chiefs, Dave Charpentier, who became Menard's crew chief in June, will remain as his crew chief, and Ryan Pemberton remains with Mark Martin. Former Ginn crew chiefs Richard "Slugger" Labbe and Peter Sospenzo (who worked with the now-defunct #14 and #13 Ginn teams) are in the pool of employees who are waiting to see what happens.
    Crew chiefs aren't the only ones in limbo: DEI already had two development drivers - Jeffrey Earnhardt and Trevor Bayne - in its fold. With the merger, it also now has Kraig Kinser, Jesus Hernandez and Ricky Carmichael. Story said Carmichael's program is fairly solid because it has sponsorship from Monster energy drink, and DEI currently has Earnhardt's and Bayne's cars sold for the rest of this season. As far as executives, it still is to be determined what role former Ginn Racing Chief Executive Officer Jay Frye will play in the company. "We've only just begun to discuss it," Story said. "Jay has put his heart and soul and blood and guts into this company over the years, and we really want to know what Jay wants to do. We haven't gotten to that point where we've drawn a new [organizational] chart."
    Workers in the fabrication shop know where they're headed. As part of the transition, DEI will move all of its fabrication work all to the Ginn shop, which has a seven-post shaker rig, a million-dollar piece of machinery that evaluates how a car handles. The Ginn shop has 180,000 square feet in one large room, which will allow all four Cup teams to be on the same floor and should improve communications among the teams, Story said. The two shops are at most 10 minutes apart. Story said the existing DEI shop will house two Busch Series teams in the future, as well as possibly a Craftsman Truck Series program and a two-car Busch East program.(SceneDaily.com)(7-26-2007)

  • Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Ginn Racing Merge; Official Announcement: Dale Earnhardt Inc. has become even stronger through a merger with Ginn Racing. Effective immediately, the team will feature the Chevys of #15-Paul Menard, #1-Martin Truex Jr., #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #01-Mark Martin and #01-Aric Almirola. Martin and Almirola will combine to drive the #01 Army Chevy for the remainder of the 2007 season as well as the entire 2008 season. Menard drives the Menards Chevy, Truex drives the Bass Pro Shops Chevy and Earnhardt handles driving duties of the Budweiser Chevy. All four entries are inside the top 35 in Nextel Cup points heading into this weekend's Brickyard 400. Regan Smith, who was originally slated to drive the Ginn Clubs and Resorts Chevy in the Brickyard 400, will instead compete in the Craftsman Truck Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park Friday night in the Ginn Resorts Chevy Silverado. Specific schedules for Martin, Smith and Almirola will be announced later. In addition to Nextel Cup Series competition, the company will continue to field entries in the Busch Series, the Busch East Series and will analyze its future involvement in the Craftsman Truck Series. The numerous teams of Dale Earnhardt Inc. will operate from both the original facility built by Dale and Teresa Earnhardt as well as the nearly 180,000-square-foot facility currently housing Ginn Racing's teams. The buildings are less than five miles apart in Mooresville, N.C. Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s current management team will be responsible for all day-to- day activities and transition plans have already begun to develop. John Story, vice president of motorsports operations for DEI will oversee the expansion of the company's racing efforts. In completing this merger, points on Ginn Racing's #13 car, which was 34th in Nextel Cup owner's points, have been eliminated.(Dale Earnhardt Inc PR), been told the #78 team will NOT be allowed to buy the points for the #13 car, so the #21 Ford supposedly will move up into the top 35 of owners pts and get the guaranteed spot. Bill Elliott will run the #21 car at Indy with Ken Schrader in the #49, no word yet if Schrader will return to the #21 at Pocono next week.(7-25-2007)

  • DEI, Ginn Merger to Be Announced Wednesday: Dale Earnhardt Inc. will announce on Wednesday that it is merging with Ginn Racing, effective immediately, and will acquire all Ginn assets, including its massive headquarters. Sources said the company will be known as Dale Earnhardt Inc., but that Ginn owner Bobby Ginn will remain a partner in the business. DEI president Max Siegel will oversee the operation, and Ginn CEO Jay Frye will assist DEI executives John Story, Steve Hmiel and Richie Gilmore in sorting out personnel details, sources said. DEI will field four fully-funded racecars in the Allstate 400 this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- the #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr., the #8 driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., the #15 driven by Paul Menard and the #01 driven by Mark Martin. One of Ginn's other two former cars, the #13 or 14, essentially becomes Menard's #15 team, and the other team will simply discontinue operation [rumors still say that the #78 team will get the owner points from the team]. Menard will pick up the owner's points held by Ginn's # 13 car that was 34th. DEI plans to move its entire operation to Ginn's Mooresville, N.C., facility. The organization begun by the late Dale Earnhardt has been looking for land for almost a year because there is no room to expand at the current facility. #13-Joe Nemechek and #14-Sterling Marlin were given their release last week, with rookie Regan Smith moving into Marlin's car for the remainder of the year before the merger. Smith likely will finish the season splitting the #01 with Martin. Sources said Martin is committed to running at least 22 races for DEI next season and working long-term with the developmental driver program as he was at Ginn.(ESPN.com)(7-25-2007)

  • DEI buying Ginn? UPDATE 3: hearing a deal could be announced in the next week or so, where Dale Earnhardt Inc. would buy into or outright Ginn Racing. Ginn Racing currently fields the #01-Mark Martin/Regan Smith, #13-Joe Nemechek and #14-Sterling Marlin teams.(7-16-2007)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. [#s 1, 8, 15] and Ginn Racing [#s 01, 13, 14] are working on a merger agreement that, if finalized, would meld the two organizations into a single company, multiple sources close to negotiations told ESPN.com on Monday. The deal is not done, but a decision will be made soon. Both organizations hope, sources said, to firm up outstanding details and announce a partnership immediately. This deal is an elaborate proposition that entails several obstacles, including how best to reduce from six Nextel Cup teams to the maximum four. The obvious answer, sources said, would be to eliminate Ginn's financially-strapped #13 and #14 teams.(ESPN.com)(7-16-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Tim Packman talked with Dave Moody on Sirius Speedway Tuesday afternoon and stated that Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has entered into a meger/acquisition of Ginn Racing. Reportedly, the #14 team's points will go to #15-Paul Menard and he will be locked into the field. #01-Mark Martin will drive at Indianapolis under the DEI banner, and the #13 team points will possibly be sold to Furniture Row Racing and #78-Kenny Wallace to lock him into the field. It is unknown what will happen to Regan Smith, who was scheduled to drive the #14 this weekend.(7-24-2007)
    UPDATE 3: ESPN's David Newton reported on NASCAR Now Tuesday that #01-Mark Martin, #1-Martin Truex, Jr., #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr, and #15-Paul Menard will drive for DEI this weekend at the Brickyard. Menard will be locked into the race using the #14 team's points. Ginn Racing CEO Jay Frye will stay with DEI. DEI will move it's motorsports operations to the Ginn facilities in Mooresville, NC. A determination has not been made on Regan Smith's future with the team. An announcment should come sometime Wednesday.(7-24-2007)

  • #78 to get #13 owners points? UPDATE: hearing the #78 Furniture Row Racing team will 'buy' the owners points of the #13 Ginn Racing team unless a sponsorship deal can be put together for the #13 team to run at Indy. A deal could be announced for the owners pts early this week. Joe Nemechek was driving the #13 Chevy for Ginn Racing and was recently told he was free to look for another ride by Ginn Racing. Kenny Wallace drives the #78 Chevy for Furniture Row Racing. The #78 is 43rd in owners pts and out of a guaranteed starting spot; the #13 is 34th in owners pts and has a guaranteed spot in the starting lineup.(7-24-2007)
    UPDATE: Ginn Racing hopes to have a decision on the future of the #13 car before Friday's Nextel Cup qualifying at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com. The financially strapped organization has been in discussions with Dale Earnhardt Inc. about possibly selling the #13 team for its owner's points or merging with the company formed by the late Dale Earnhardt. There have also been discussions with selling the points to the #78 car of Kenny Wallace in time for Sunday's race at Indianapolis. The Barney Visser-owned team is 42nd in points and has made only nine races this season. Ginn could also race the car with Joe Nemechek if a sponsor can be lined up at the last minute for the high-profile race. But sources said it is clear the car, 34th in owner's points and comfortably inside the top 35 guaranteed a spot in each race with a 244-point lead over 36th, will not be idle this weekend.(ESPN.com)(7-24-2007)

  • Gibbs Didn't Have Sure Deal for Almirola: Joe Gibbs Racing wasn't certain it could find sponsorship to run Aric Almirola full time in the Busch Series next year and didn't see him as an immediate candidate for a Nextel Cup ride if one of its cars became available. That's why the team allowed Almirola to leave for Ginn Racing, JGR president J.D. Gibbs said Wednesday.(Tampa Tribune)(7-19-2007)

  • Bobby Ginn Talks About Team Changes: Wednesday on "The Driver's Seat," on Sirius NASCAR Radio Ginn Racing owner Bobby Ginn talked about the reasons behind the shakeup involving his #13 and #14 race teams. Some quotes:
    Because I was running the car with our name on it I think the world thought that we had third party sponsors. And so I had to make a decision…to let the world know by running two black cars that we still had inventory available, we had space available. So that started and it helped. We've had a lot more activity and a lot more urgency put into that since we did that than we had up to that point. There's a lot of activity out there and a lot going on right now so we're scrambling like we should be to try to fill up that inventory.
    Why the driver change on the #14? "Regan [Smith] was doing great in the Busch car. He had done pretty well in the Cup and so I talked with Mark [Martin] and Jay [Frye] and Mark was convinced that he was ready to run a full-time schedule so if I've got to run a car with no sponsorship on it I may as well be trying to get my young driver seat time."
    Status of the #13 car: "First of all, I'm not going to speculate on what's going to happen. Things are happening so fast right now that we are preserving every option we have. I don't intend for that car to sit still. It's got value to me or to someone but we right now -and this is not dodging [the question] - we have not made a decision as to what we're going to do. As Joe said, both Joe and Sterling are both still under contract. I have sponsors sitting in my office right now and so we are still working on trying to sponsor it. (Sirius Radio) (7-19-2007), more of the interview can be read at Thats Racin.

  • Ginn Announces Changes: MORE: Emphasizing an eye on the future along with solidifying the foundation of its Nextel Cup program, Ginn Racing announced the following transactions.
    * Aric Almirola has signed with Ginn Racing. He will become Mark Martin’s co-driver in the #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet for the remainder of the 2007 season and will also share the ride with Martin in 2008. His first race in the #01 will be Aug. 12 at the road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y. As part of his contractual obligations, Almirola will compete in five remaining Busch races for JGR this season.
    * Regan Smith will assume full-time driving duties in the team’s #14 Chevy, beginning with the Nextel Cup race July 29 in Indianapolis. Smith replaces Sterling Marlin.
    * Due to a lack of sponsorship, the #13 Ginn Racing team is currently being evaluated. Joe Nemechek, who drove the #13, has been released and is free to explore other opportunities.(Ginn Racing PR).(7-17-2007)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing has granted Aric Almirola his release, allowing the development driver to compete for Ginn Racing in select Nextel Cup and Busch Series races this year. Almirola will still compete for JGR in the five remaining Busch Series races that were a part of his original 2007 racing schedule. In 2008, Almirola’s entire racing slate will come via Ginn Racing.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(7-18-2007)

  • More on Changes at Ginn; Regan Smith to Drive in Place of Marlin or Nemechek? UPDATE 2: Ginn Racing laid off an unspecified number of employees as part of its re-evaluation process and has "hibernated" its Busch Series team as the company attempts to shore up its direction, Ginn Racing Chief Executive Officer Jay Frye said Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway. Frye acknowledged there were recent layoffs at the company and said the Busch team would not enter any events in the near future. He also hinted that part of the evaluation process could include getting rookie Regan Smith some more seat time in a Nextel Cup car this season, which would mean bumping either Sterling Marlin or Joe Nemechek from their current full-time rides. Frye said the team wants to start getting ready for next year and look to the future - which may or may not include a cutback from three to two Cup teams. He said selling off the owner points for one of the teams has not been discussed. Smith will drive a Cup car full-time in either the #13 or #14 next season, meaning either Nemechek or Marlin - both of whom have contracts that expire after this year - will not return. If the organization cuts back to two teams, neither would return. Frye indicated the evaluation process could result in a change sooner than later - possibly as soon as the next Cup race at Indianapolis. If Smith were to take over for either Nemechek or the 50-year-old Marlin, he would have to do so on a part-time basis, given that he still has commitments to split the #01 car with Martin this season. (SceneDaily.com), see earlier information on my #14 team page.(7-16-2007)
    UPDATE: Marty Snider reported on Sirius' The Morning Drive that he had talked to #13-Joe Nemechek Tuesday morning and additional information on the situation at Ginn Racing should be announce later today. David Poole reports that his source says #13-Joe Nemechek and #14-Sterling Marlin will not run at Indy. (7-17-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Regan Smith will replace Sterling Marlin in the #14 Chevy at Ginn Racing, starting with the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis, sources confirmed Tuesday. And Joe Nemechek could be out of a ride in the #13 Chevy for Bobby Ginn's team due to a lack of sponsorship. The team doesn't plan to run the car at Indianapolis unless a sponsor is found. Because the Allstate 400 is one of the biggest Nextel Cup events of the season, it's possible to get a one-off sponsor deal just for that race. If that happens, Ginn officials would race Nemechek in the #13. Marlin and Nemechek still are under contract at Ginn, but both drivers have been told they are free to look for opportunities elsewhere.(ESPN.com)(7-17-2007)

  • Almirola to Ginn in 2008? UPDATE 3: Hearing Aric Almirola, who was credited with the Milwaukee Busch Series race win Saturday night, will join Ginn Racing in 2008 as a protege to #01-Mark Martin. Supposedly the plan is for Almirola to run part-time Cup, Busch and Trucks in 2008 and take over the #01 Chevy full-time in 2009.(6-25-2007)
    UPDATE - denied: Though he still is "not happy" about being pulled for Nextel Cup star Denny Hamlin during Saturday's Busch Series race at Milwaukee, Tampa's Aric Almirola said Wednesday he isn't frustrated at Joe Gibbs Racing and has no plans to leave the team. He said there is no truth to a rumor that appeared on ESPN-owned Web site Jayski.com saying he is headed to Ginn Racing next year and will race the #01 Chevrolet full time in Nextel Cup in 2009. "I'm under contract at JGR," Almirola, 23, said on a national conference call. "I have a long history with them. I've been there since I was 18 years old. I started racing late models with them, and they've become like family to me. I see our relationship growing." Almirola is scheduled to run six more Busch races, including the July 6 event at Daytona, and he said one race may be added. He is competing in the Craftsman Truck Series race this weekend at Memphis and will enter a couple of Nextel Cup Car of Tomorrow races this year with JGR's research and development team. He reiterated Wednesday that he hopes to race full time in at least the Busch Series next year.(Tampa Tribune)(6-28-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Sirius Speedway has learned that Aric Almirola will join Ginn Racing next season, sharing the #01 US Army Chevy with veteran Mark Martin. Almirola is currently under contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, but will reportedly replace Regan Smith in the #01 car in 2008, when Smith moves to full-time Nextel Cup status with Ginn.(Motorsports Soapbox)(7-16-2007)
    UPDATE 3: The original post at Motorsports Soapbox has been updated to include the following: Aric Almirola has requested a release from Joe Gibbs Racing, and will move within the next few days to a new position with Ginn Racing, sharing the #01 US Army Chevy with veteran Mark Martin.(Motorsports Soapbox)(7-17-2007)

  • Martin to drive at Iowa Speedway Sports Car race: Mark Martin will join Southard Motorsports drivers Randy Ruhlman and Shane Lewis in the Southard Motorsports #3 Preformed Line Products Lexus Riley, as they take on the new 1.3-mile, Rusty Wallace-designed road course at Iowa Speedway for Round 9 of the Grand-Am Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. While Mark Martin is no newcomer to the world of sports cars or road racing, the Iowa event will be his first time driving in a Grand-Am Daytona Prototype car. Martin holds the distinction of being part of four GT victories at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. A track sponsored test day on Thursday, July 11, will help the teams prepare for Friday's official practice and the 5 p.m. Friday qualifying session. The 400-K race at the newly built Iowa Speedway starts at 8:00pm/ct on Friday July 13th for 192-laps or 2 1/2 hours on the 1.3-mile road course oval in Newton, Iowa, just outside of Des Moines. The race will be broadcast same-day delayed on Friday, July 13th at 10pm/et on SPEED. The No. 3 Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype is campaigned by Southard Motorsports of Powell, Ohio. The Riley chassis is powered by Lexus engines with technical expertise by TRD Engineering and carries sponsorship from Preformed Line Products from Mayfield Village, Ohio. Martin will also run the Nextel Cup race in Chicago this weekend, driving the #01 U.S. Army Chevy for Ginn Racing.(Southard Motorsports PR)(7-12-2007)

  • Ginn Racing seeking sponsors, Army back in 2008 UPDATE layoffs? Busch team?: Though the #13 and #14 Ginn Racing teams seek sponsorship, CEO Jay Frye anticipates Ginn will remain a three-car team in the future. There has been speculation of late that the #13 team would soon be shut down [as there have been reports of layoffs within the teams]; while Frye discounts that, he doesn't hide the need for financial backing. "We have no intention to shut it down, but there comes a point that you have to get it funded," Frye said of the #13 team, driven by Joe Nemechek. "We're very close." Back in January, Ginn Racing chose to add the third team on the promise that it had secured lock-tight business associations. Two of those deals [Panasonic?] ultimately fell apart, but having committed to the team, it seemed more viable to secure sponsorship by running the car than by letting it sit idle. "I keep hearing we're in trouble, but the fact is the business is still better than last year," Frye said. "It has to get fixed this year, though. No doubt. In reality, I'd rather be a strong two-car team than a three-car team without a sponsor. We can't do what we did this year -- in January we thought we were good." They're also close to securing sponsorship for Sterling Marlin's #14, Frye said. The hope there, he said, is to find a sponsor to pick up the rest of 2007 and then extend the deal into the future. The U.S. Army will return as a full-time team sponsor for Ginn in 2008, Frye said.(ESPN.com)(7-6-2007)
    UPDATE: been told that there were up to 30 layoff's Monday at Ginn Racing, also been told the #4 Ginn Racing Busch Series team has suspended operations. Also hearing that Ginn Racing may sell off one of its teams, likely the #13, which is vaulable with it being in the top-35 in owners pts.(7-9-2007)

  • Different colors for Martin at Daytona: As previously announced, The Principal Financial Group, the nation’s 401(k) leader1 and premier benefits provider, will serve as primary sponsor of Mark Martin’s #01 Chevy during the Nextel Cup race at Daytona International Speedway, July 7, 2007. The Principal will also feature Mark Martin and his Nextel Cup rookie co-driver Regan Smith in a two minute vignette airing as part of TNT’s Wide Open format of the live event broadcast. As a season-long associate sponsor of Ginn Racing’s three full-time Nextel Cup entries, Daytona marks the first of two Nextel Cup races where The Principal will serve as primary sponsor of the #01 Chevy. Regan Smith will pilot the Principal Financial Group Chevrolet Sept.16, in the Nextel Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. The U.S. Army, Martin’s and Smith’s primary sponsor for the balance of the 2007 Nextel Cup season, will have associate sponsor status on the #01 car in both Daytona and New Hampshire.(Ginn Racing PR) see an image of the scheme on my #01 Team Schemes page.(7-5-2007)

  • Ginn Planning for 2008: Jay Frye, CEO of Ginn Racing, said Regan Smith, who is currently splitting the #01 with Martin, would drive either the #13 or #14 on a full-time basis next season. #14-Sterling Marlin is interested in a part-time schedule for next season, but his contract expires at the end of this year, as does #13-Joe Nemechek's. Frye said it's possible both drivers could return, though a fourth car would be needed for that to happen. Eventually, those drivers would step aside for someone who took the same path as Smith. "Hopefully - two or three years from now - we have three or four 20-something younger guys in the cars," Frye said. He added that Ginn will seek another young driver to replace Smith as Martin's co-pilot next season to help further that plan. Free agent Kyle Busch does not appear to be a likely candidate to drive for Ginn.(SceneDaily.com)(7-1-2007)

  • Almirola to Ginn in 2008? UPDATE denied: Hearing Aric Almirola, who was credited with the Milwaukee Busch Series race win Saturday night, will join Ginn Racing in 2008 as a protege to #01-Mark Martin. Supposedly the plan is for Almirola to run part-time Cup, Busch and Trucks in 2008 and take over the #01 Chevy full-time in 2009.(6-25-2007)
    UPDATE - denied: Though he still is "not happy" about being pulled for Nextel Cup star Denny Hamlin during Saturday's Busch Series race at Milwaukee, Tampa's Aric Almirola said Wednesday he isn't frustrated at Joe Gibbs Racing and has no plans to leave the team. He said there is no truth to a rumor that appeared on ESPN-owned Web site Jayski.com saying he is headed to Ginn Racing next year and will race the #01 Chevrolet full time in Nextel Cup in 2009. "I'm under contract at JGR," Almirola, 23, said on a national conference call. "I have a long history with them. I've been there since I was 18 years old. I started racing late models with them, and they've become like family to me. I see our relationship growing." Almirola is scheduled to run six more Busch races, including the July 6 event at Daytona, and he said one race may be added. He is competing in the Craftsman Truck Series race this weekend at Memphis and will enter a couple of Nextel Cup Car of Tomorrow races this year with JGR's research and development team. He reiterated Wednesday that he hopes to race full time in at least the Busch Series next year.(Tampa Tribune)(6-28-2007)

  • Martin goes to Washington DC: #01-Mark Martin spent two days last week in the nation’s capital as a guest of the United States Army, his primary sponsor in the Nextel Cup Series. The Washington D.C. trip included stops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to meet with wounded soldiers, a tour of the Pentagon and a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where he, his wife Arlene and son Matt had the honor of placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. “It was just an awesome experience all around,” said Martin. “I’ve been involved in a lot of sponsorships in my career, but this one with the U.S. Army is very special. It’s an honor to drive the car for the Soldiers and it’s an honor to get to do things like this. Visiting the wounded soldiers at Walter Reed was an experience that I’ll never forget, they are truly an inspiration to me. They have given so much and yet are so positive and upbeat. They have the best attitudes that you can imagine and when you see it you have a new found respect for everyone involved in the fight for freedom. I was there to visit them, but it was those guys who inspired me.” Martin and his family were also inspired following a private tour of the Pentagon. “The Pentagon is really cool,” said Martin. “I had never been there before. My son Matt is a huge military history buff and I know that he had a really good time looking at all of the historical artifacts. There is so much history there, and we had a lot of fun enjoying that together.”(Ginn Racing)(6-26-2007)

  • Marlin may cut back to part-time in 2008 UPDATE: #14-Sterling Marlin has had talks with Ginn Racing about cutting back to a part-time schedule next season. Marlin's contract expires after this season.(Roanoke Times)(6-20-2007)
    UPDATE: hearing that Marlin will go to Furniture Row Motorsports and run a 2nd team part-time in 2008, Kenny Wallace is the full time driver in the #78 Chevy. Regan Smith would replace Marlin in the #14 Chevy at Ginn Racing.(6-25-2007)

  • Chevy unveils paint schemes to commemorate 50 Years of the '57 Chevy: One of the most recognizable cars in American motoring history reaches a notable milestone this year, a milestone which NASCAR, Chevy and Motorsports Authentics proudly celebrate. The 1957 Chevrolet, a car which turns 50 years old this year, will be commemorated at August 19’s 3M Performance 400 Nextel Cup race at Michigan International Speedway by at least 11 Team Chevy drivers. Unveiled by Jimmie Johnson at MIS today, a Monte Carlo SS race car featuring decals with cues from the iconic 1957 design is similar to the ones Johnson and other Team Chevy drivers will race during the August event. On August 18, ’57 Chevys along with many other historic vehicles will hit the streets during Metro Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise. That same weekend, Team Chevy Nextel Cup Series drivers #4-Ward Burton, #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #14-Sterling Marlin, #01-Mark Martin, #15-Paul Menard, #96-Tony Raines, #1-Martin Truex, Jr., #78-Kenny Wallace and #18-J.J. Yeley will take to the track at MIS with their cars wearing special ’57 Chevy paint schemes. To commemorate this special event, Motorsports Authentics will replicate their cars with die-cast models and offer apparel and novelty items related to the event.(GM Racing PR), see an image of the #48 Scheme on my #48 Team Schemes page.(6-16-2007)

  • Martin to run Iowa road race: On July 13, Mark Martin tackle the Daytona Beach-based Rolex Sports Car Series at Iowa Speedway. "When we cut back to a limited schedule this season, one of the great things about it was that it would give me time to do a lot of other things that I've wanted to do," Martin said. "I love to race all types of stuff and I think we'll have a blast up there in Iowa in July." After all, Martin has a history with the series, notably at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. With former boss Jack Roush perched on the 24-hour race's pit box, Martin scored three Rolex 24 class victories over Daytona International Speedway's 3.56-mile road course. In its inaugural season, Rusty Wallace's Iowa Speedway, near Des Moines, includes a 7/8-mile oval which serves as part of the facility's 1.3-mile road course and, in addition to the Rolex Series, will host the Indy Racing League and Suntrust MOTO-ST Series among others.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(6-14-2007)

  • Martin says he's still not a full-timer: Thirteen races into the season, #01-Mark Martin remains in position to make the Chase for the Nextel Cup, even though he’s only competed in 10 events. That ranks the veteran driver ahead of 22 drivers who have competed in all 13. Still, Martin said there’s no chance that he will decide to run the remainder of the races, this in spite of the fact that he has never won a championship. "I don’t even want to," he said, "so if I was leading, like I was when I missed my first race, I still wouldn’t. I don’t want to." Martin’s position hasn’t wavered. It’s just that people don’t seem to believe him.(Gaston Gazette)(6-10-2007)

  • Smith's Ginn Racing Schedule Altered; full time planned in 2008: Regan Smith, who ranks sixth in driver points after the first 14 Busch Series races, will compete in either a Cup, Busch, Truck or ARCA race during the remaining 23 Nextel Cup weekends. "Our main objective is to get Regan prepared for a full-time Nextel Cup ride," said Jay Frye, Ginn Racing's CEO and general manager. "Regan has excelled and we are currently reworking a schedule that will continue to benefit him and our racing operation. With the Car of Tomorrow scheduled to compete in all of the 2008 races, we also plan on utilizing the Busch team to assist in our aggressive COT testing program." Smith, 23, has garnered two top-five, four top-10 and six top-15 finishes in the Busch races this season. His standing position of sixth is the highest among non-Nextel Cup regulars. He has also driven in three Cup races as the co-driver with Mark Martin in the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet. "I came to Ginn Racing at the end of last year with an excellent learning opportunity, a flexible racing schedule and having Mark Martin as my mentor," said Smith, who will compete in this weekend's Nashville Busch race. "It's been an incredible experience. I am happy that we're enjoying success and feel with the program laid out for the rest of the season it will continue to prepare me for my ultimate goal of being a full-time Cup driver."(Ginn Racing PR)(6-7-2007)

  • More on Dale Jr to Ginn; Martin back full-time in 2008? Marlin part-time? UPDATE Martin denies: Many drivers seem convinced that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will accept an offer to drive for Bobby Ginn [Racing #01,#13,#14], even though Ginn, a Florida real- estate developer, is new to the sport, with less than a year on the circuit. Ginn has been spending lavishly to turn the Jay Frye-run Chevy team into a top-flight operation. Driver Mark Martin led the Nextel Cup standings early this season and even after missing three of the year’s 12 races he’s still 15th in the points. Martin may return to the Nextel Cup tour full-time in 2008, according to sources. But Martin’s teammate #14-Sterling Marlin is planning to cut back to a partial schedule, and Ginn said that would open the 14 car and its top-35 exemption for Earnhardt.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-1-2007)
    UPDATE: Mark Martin said Friday at Dover International Speedway that he has no intention of increasing his schedule with Ginn Racing next year. If anything, Martin will run fewer races next year, he said. "The schedule laid out here with seven races in a row right through this stretch here has really been a challenge," Martin said. "It's been a challenge for everyone, all the guys who work on the cars and everything else, with all the testing that's been going on. I'm just going to learn from 2007 and look at 2008, and I'll either do the same number of races or maybe a little bit more like what I had planned originally, which was more like 20 points races instead of 24."(SceneDaily.com)(6-2-2007)

  • Ginn wants to build test track in SC: First, Roger Penske announced he was planning to build a NASCAR test track near his shops in Mooresville, NC. Now, fellow car owner Bobby Ginn [Ginn Racing #01, #13, #14, #39] says he plans to build a NASCAR test track, probably a 11/2-miler, somewhere in South Carolina. And the new owners of Virginia International Raceway (VIR), the road course near Danville, are considering adding a flat track specifically for NASCAR’s Nextel Cup testing.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-31-2007)

  • Martin to sub for Jeff Gordon when baby arrives? If #24-Jeff Gordon is forced to miss a race to attend the birth of his daughter, series veteran Mark Martin will man the #24 DuPont Chevy, multiple sources within the Hendrick Motorsports organization told ESPN.com Wednesday. Martin on Wednesday afternoon will be fitted for a racing seat in preparation for the substitute role, sources said, and plans to begin stand-by duty for Gordon at Infineon Raceway next month. Hendrick Motorsports officials chose not to comment, saying rather that Gordon would address the matter Thursday at Lowe's Motor Speedway, site of this weekend's Coca-Cola 600. Sources said Gordon personally sought out Martin to stand in for him, and after clearing the idea with Ginn Racing officials, Martin gladly accepted. Gordon's wife, Ingrid Vandebosch, is due the week of the June 24 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma. Martin will fly to Sonoma, during a weekend when he is slated to be idle from racing. If Gordon doesn't require his services, Martin will remain on hand to coach Regan Smith in the #01 US Army Chevy [Ginn Racing]. According to NASCAR officials, Martin could get in the #24 without practicing in the car, so long as Nextel Cup director John Darby gives his blessing. Given Martin's veteran experience, that would seem to be all but a foregone conclusion. If baby Gordon arrives a week early, sources said Martin will turn the #01 Chevrolet over to Smith at Michigan Speedway and drive the #24 for Gordon. Likewise, in the event the baby is a week late, Martin would sub for Gordon at New Hampshire. Gordon hasn't missed a race in his Cup Series career, a span of 484 consecutive races. The last race run without Gordon in the field was the 28th race of the 1992 season, at Phoenix International Raceway.(ESPN.com)(5-23-2007)

  • Martin to add more Cup races? Yes: #01-Mark Martin is expanding his Cup schedule for Ginn Racing once again. Sources close to the driver said he will add the August 5 race at Pocono, the Sept. 8 race at Richmond and the Sept. 9 race at Dover to his schedule, bringing his part-time schedule total to 24 Cup [points] events.(ESPN.com)(5-15-2007)
    UPDATE: Three races have been added to Mark Martin's limited 2007 schedule with Ginn Racing. The additional races include Pocono (Aug. 5), Richmond (Sept. 8) and Dover (Sept. 23).(Ginn Racing PR)(5-15-2007)

  • Ginn to pursue Dale Jr. New NASCAR owner Bobby Ginn [Bobby Ginn Racing #01,#13,#14,#39] plans to pursue Dale Earnhardt Jr. - with every intent of landing him - as soon as Junior is ready to hear offers. "We would stretch as hard as we could stretch to do it," Ginn said by telephone Friday night. "You want the best, the absolute best, and I love the idea that Dale wants to win championships. He could accomplish that here with us. We're in play." Earnhardt said Friday that he wants to take a few weeks before opening the negotiating process, and NASCAR's most popular driver should have his pick of teams. Three owners - Rick Hendrick, Joe Gibbs and Richard Childress - were quickly identified as the front-runners, and Childress indicated Friday he'll be in the race. Ginn bought a midlevel team [MB2 Motorsports] last July and markedly improved it in just a few short months. Following an aggressive long-range plan, Ginn snagged Mark Martin and expanded the operation to three cars. "We have a five-year plan in mind and the conclusion is winning a championship," Ginn said. "We took a risk on Mark Martin, and that's paid off in spades for us. We aren't afraid to be aggressive." The team leases its motors from Hendrick and is perceived to be a satellite of that powerful operation. It's gotten Ginn mentioned as an outside equation in the Earnhardt race, but the team clearly wants to be a viable option.(Associated Press)(5-12-2007)

  • Congrats: Andrea Pemberton, wife of Ginn Racing #01 crew chief Ryan Pemberton, gave birth Tuesday (May 1) to daughter Britton Ladera at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center in Mooresville, N.C. Britton weighed in at 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. Britton joins 3-year-old sister Payton Lucia in the Pemberton household.(Ginn Racing PR)(5-2-2007)

  • Martin's Pit Crew Takes Top Honors in Texas: Mark Martin's #01 pit crew earned its fourth Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge win of the season Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway -- lifting its team to a third-place finish in the Nextel Cup Series event. With four Double Drive-Thru Challenge victories, the U.S. Army/Ginn Racing pit crew is the only multiple winner in the first seven races of the 2007 season. "What can you say about these guys, they are just awesome," said Martin. "This is the best race team that I've ever worked with. The Army pit crew really stepped up on Sunday and help gain us some really needed track position. I love working with this team. They make coming to work really fun." Martin's over-the-wall crew includes: Scott King (jackman), Colin Pasi (front-tire carrier), Charlie Brock (front-tire changer), Dwayne Moore (rear-tire carrier), Dave Woodhead (rear-tire changer), Danny Harrington (gasman), Scotty Hazlett (catch can) and J.D. Hilton (windshield). The pit crew coach is Lance Munksgard. Checkers/Rally's awards the winning Nextel Cup pit crew each week with a cash prize of $11,000. The #01 crew has collected $44,000 in prize money for its wins this season and currently boasts a three-win lead in the standings. "It was another solid performance by the 01 Army crew," said crew chief Ryan Pemberton. "The guys are doing a fantastic job of having consistent pit stops each week and it is really showing in the team's results." To win the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge, teams are required to finish on the lead lap while spending the least amount of time on pit road. Checkers/Rally's is in its third season as title sponsor for the pit crew challenge. An additional $111,150 will be presented to the pit crew with the most wins at the completion of the 36-race Nextel Cup schedule. To win the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge, teams are required to finish on the lead lap while spending the least amount of time on pit road. Checkers/Rally's is in its third season as title sponsor for the pit crew challenge. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(4-19-2007)

  • Virtual Army Experience Deploys at PIR: The Virtual Army Experience is a high-tech, team-based experience that immerses participants in the operational roles of Soldiers in a virtual mission to capture a terrorist leader. In the 20-minute experience, participants receive video briefings and execute the ground component of a raid on a terrorist stronghold. Participants fall-in on six Humvee simulators modeled on vehicles employed by Army Special Forces, and onto two covering positions where they work as a team as they employ light arms and TOW anti-tank missiles to defeat the enemy. Each virtual mission has space for 40 people who are de-briefed by one of the Army's Real Heroes when the mission ends. The Virtual Army Experience was created by the U.S. Army and Ignited Minds and built by SPEVCO, Inc. NASCAR fans will find the Virtual Army Experience deployed at Phoenix International Raceway outside turns one and two, between gates three and four. Virtual Army Experience - Phoenix Hours: Thursday, April 19, 9 a.m.-8:15 p.m.; Friday, April 20, Noon -6:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 21, Noon - 5:30 p.m. The Virtual Army Experience will deploy at five additional NASCAR weekends this season.(3-GSports PR)(4-18-2007)

  • Harvick and Martin to race at Iowa: #29-Kevin Harvick and #01-Mark Martin will race at Iowa Speedway this year. Harvick, driving for Richard Childress Racing, will race in the track’s first NASCAR race, the NASCAR Grand National East-West Sunday, May 20. Martin, driving for Ginn Racing, will race Friday night, July 13, in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race. The announcement was made by Iowa Speedway Vice President and General Manager, Craig Armstrong.(Iowa Speedway site)(4-12-2007)

  • Carmichael Debuted in Stock Car Race Saturday UODATE 2: Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael makes his stock car debut in a Super Late Model feature driving a car owned by Mark Martin at Columbia Motorsports Park in Lake City, FL, Saturday, March 24, 2007, gates open at 6:00pm/et info at columbiamotorsportspark.com.
    SPONSOR: Ginn Racing announced that Monster Energy will be the primary sponsor of Ricky Carmichael's late model stock car program which begins Saturday night (March 24) at Columbia Motorsports Park in Lake City, FL. Ginn's Nextel Cup pilot Mark Martin will mentor Carmichael as part of his role as the company's driver development director. The 27-year-old Carmichael is expected to run in 15 late model stock car races in 2007. After this weekend's race in Lake City, Carmichael's other two scheduled events at this time are April 21 and April 28 at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Monster Energy, the popular energy drink, has been a major sponsor of Carmichael's Supercross and motocross programs.(Ginn Racing PR)(3-24-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Ginn Racing development driver and motocross champion Ricky Carmichael made his stock car debut Saturday night in a super late model race at Columbia Motorsports Park [Lake City, FL]. Under the watchful eye of Nextel Cup point leader Mark Martin, Carmichael finished third in his heat race. In the main feature, he overcame a second lap incident, but on Lap 7 of 25 his right-front tire went flat, sending his #4 Monster Energy Chevy into the wall and a premature exit from the race. Fellow Ginn development driver Matt Martin finished fourth in his heat and seventh overall in the feature. Carmichael's next two scheduled late model races will be April 21 and April 28 at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. He is expected to compete in a total of 15 late model races this season.(Ginn Racing PR)(3-25-2007)

  • Ricky Carmichael to make stock car debut Saturday MORE: Supercross legend, Ricky Carmichael, is scheduled to make his first start as a stock car professional at Columbia Motorsports Park [not North Florida Speedway] in Lake City, FL. Mark Martin plans to skip the Nextel Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway to act as Carmichael's crew chief. The link between Martin and Carmichael is Bobby Ginn, who calls Palm Coast home. Carmichael was signed by Ginn to a driver development deal. Martin left Roush Fenway Racing to drive a Chevrolet for Ginn in Cup this season.(source: Daytona Beach News Journal)
    AND/MORE How do you say goodbye to an outgoing champion? Ricky Carmichael found out Saturday night when a rowdy crowd cheered his every move on the tight and twisting Supercross course carved into the turf of the Citrus Bowl. There was a video presentation, fire, lights, ear-blistering music and bucket loads of adulation for the Panhandle rider who turned pro at age 16. "It's been an amazing ride," he told the motorcycle mob in pre-race ceremonies. Then he played to the crowd. "I'm glad to finish my career, right here, in Florida." Cheers of thunder. After a runner-up finish to his young nemesis James Stewart last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, the 27-year-old Carmichael ended his 10-year Supercross with the same result, a second place after a spirited battle with the sport's next great star. Carmichael showed his skill behind the wheel Friday evening when he zoomed from Orlando back home to Tallahassee in 3 1/2 hours. Why the rush? His wife Ursula went into labor and gave birth to twins, Kadin and Elise, around 3:30 Saturday morning. Carmichael made it back in time. The scene will be much different next Saturday night when Carmichael makes his professional stock car debut when he races a Late Model at Columbia Motorsports Park [not North Florida Speedway] in Lake City, FL. Ginn Racing is prepping Carmichael for a NASCAR career, and no offense to NFS, but he's beginning the journey on one of racing's lowest rungs. Carmichael's debut in the racing shadows -- far, far away from the media's glare -- was Mark Martin's call. Martin will skip the Nextel Cup race at Bristol to act as Carmichael's crew chief. "Mark told me, 'I don't want to throw you in a hornet's nest right off the bat,' " Carmichael said.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-18-2007)

  • Martin says, again, he will NOT race at Bristol next week: For weeks, Mark Martin has been answering the questions. Would he or wouldn't he run Bristol? Friday in the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center, Martin put those rumors to bed, for once and for all. So fans that want to watch him race will have to do so at this weekend's Kobalt Tools 500, or miss him until the April 15 race at Texas. "There are mixed emotions, but the bottom line is that I'm gonna take a break," Martin said. "Right now I'm doing what I love. I want to keep doing it and I want to keep loving it. There have been a few times in the past few years that I didn't love it. I need a break." He said this in spite of the pressure he's been getting from former teammates Matt Kenseth and Jeff Burton, who have bets riding on whether he'll return for next week's Bristol race. Both have said they expect him to race. "Last week I was trying to taxi the plane and my phone rang and it was Kenseth," Martin said. "He called saying, 'I wouldn't have passed you on the last lap, but you aren't running for points, so I did.' We were hanging out the other night and he just kept at me; he's relentless. I finally just had to get up and leave."(AMS Pit Notes)(3-17-2007)

  • Martin to run special scheme in Coke 600: A special celebration of America's military personnel takes place with the American Heroes Program. Mark Martin and Ginn Racing join the celebration of American Heroes with a special paint scheme representing the U.S. Army on the #01 Chevy. Martin's #01 US Army American Heroes Chevy will run a special scheme in the Coca Cola 600 a Lowe's Motor Speedway, a black base with a featured "American Heroes Memorial Day" emblem on the hood, see an image of the scheme on my #01 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2007)

  • Smith expects Martin to stay in ride UPDATE Martin says NO..again: Regan Smith is more than an interested third party when it comes to whether Nextel Cup points leader Mark Martin will stick to his plan to run a part-time schedule. He's the driver ready to replace Martin in the #01 U.S. Army Chevy when the series moves to Bristol Motor Speedway on March 25. "When I go to Las Vegas [next week] I might put a couple of dollars on it," Smith said before practice for Sunday's Busch Series race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. "I'm sure it's going to be on the board soon. It's a pretty big story. "I don't know what the odds are. All I can say is if I was in his shoes and leading the points after Atlanta it would be tough for me as a driver to get out of the car." Either way, Smith will have a ride at Bristol. Owners Jay Frye and Bobby Ginn have promised to put him in a fourth car, the #39, if Martin has a change of heart. They've even discussed using his Busch Series crew chief to run the show. Martin, off to the best start in his Cup career with a second in the Daytona 500 and fifth last week at California, has been adamant that he won't change his mind. He insists he's happy with the part-time schedule and that he's looking forward to having an off weekend. He also has a history of changing his mind. He extended his 2005 retirement tour at Roush Fenway Racing into 2006 after owner Jack Roush lost Kurt Busch to Penske Racing.
    Smith has run through all the scenarios, including what would happen if the #01 was in the top 12 in points with him and Martin splitting the schedule. "How cool would that be?" Smith said. "Maybe it would put some pressure on NASCAR to make a decision." There would be no decision. The way the Chase for the Nextel Cup is set up the top 12 in driver points make the field. Smith and Martin could run the car for the owner's title, but not the overall championship.(more at ESPN.com), Ginn said on ESPN2's NASCAR Now show Friday that he thinks it is 50-50 if Martin races at Bristol.(3-3-2007)
    UPDATE: Mark Martin said on ESPN's NASCAR Now that he is not interested in running a full-schedule this season, is doing what he wants to do [running a partial schedule] and thrilled to be working with Regan Smith [who will run the #01 Chevy when Martin steps out]. Martin has no plans on changing his Nextel Cup schedule and says the best part of not running a full schedule is not worrying about those 'stinking' points. Martin however, would not say there is a zero percent chance he will not running a full schedule, but has no plans to.(ESPN's NASCAR Now)(3-6-2007)

  • Principal to sponsor Ginn Racing in 2007: The Principal Financial Group, the nation’s 401(k) leader1 and premiere benefits provider, announced today that its expanded relationship with Ginn Racing will include a two-race primary sponsorship of the #01 Chevy, co-driven by Mark Martin and Regan Smith during the 2007 Nextel Cup season. The sponsorship calls for Mark Martin to race the Principal Financial Group Chevy at Daytona International Speedway on July 7, and for Regan Smith to race in the Principal Financial Group colors on Sept. 16 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The Principal will serve as a season-long associate sponsor on Martin and Smith’s #01, and on Joe Nemechek’s #13 and Sterling Marlin’s #14 Ginn Racing Chevys. “Following the excitement of Mark Martin’s close second place finish in the Daytona 500, the Principal Financial Group is thrilled to support his return to Daytona International Speedway,” said Mary O’Keefe, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the Principal Financial Group. “With Mark mentoring Regan Smith, The Principal is also proud to provide an edge to the next generation of NASCAR.” The Principal first joined Ginn Racing in August 2006 as an associate sponsor on Marlin’s Waste Management Chevy. The company increased its sponsorship in November when The Principal served as primary sponsor of Marlin’s #14 and Nemechek’s #01 Chevys during the Nextel Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. The U.S. Army, Martin’s and Smith’s primary sponsor for the balance of the 2007 Nextel Cup season, will have associate sponsor status on the #01 car in both Daytona and New Hampshire.(Businesswire.com)(3-5-2007)

  • Martin's response to Burton's comments: When PRN's Garage Pass host Mark Garrow asked Martin Martin's response to Jeff Burton's quote that he would bet Martin couldn't pass up a chance to run for the championship Martin joked "He's going to be broke if he's betting." In other words Burton had better not bet the house. "He better not, " laughed Martin. "That's a big house he's got." He added, "I don't have any plans to run the full schedule. I'm thrilled with what I'm doing and I certainly wouldn't want to spoil it by tampering with the formula. The formula is real good right now. I'll let y'all have fun with it but you know I haven't changed my mind. I'm ready for a weekend off already." When asked what would happen if car owner Bobby Ginn came to him and asked him to run for the championship? "That's not going to happen. He won't do that. That's why I'm happy here. I'm really in a good place in my life. I feel I've taken stock of my career and my personal life and I'm really blessed with all the things I've got going."(PRN's Garage Pass radio show)(2-28-2007)

  • Burton comments on Martin; Martin testing at Bristol: Mark Martin signed up to run 22 races in the #01 US Army Chevy in 2007. However, with his success in the first two races cause him to re-think that plan? “I’d bet almost anybody right now today that Mark Martin runs all 38 races” said fellow driver and long-time friend #31-Jeff Burton. “Matt (Kenseth) and I told him (Martin) before the Daytona 500 that we both bet that he would run every race. I believed it before the year started and I believe it even more today.” Burton felt all along that if Martin would be up front competing for wins it would be almost impossible for him to give up his ride to Regan Smith for 16 races. “I know him really well” said Burton. “I hate to use this analogy but he’s like a drug addict that can’t get away from it…and that’s a horrible analogy but this is an addicting thing and when you’re having success it’s much, much harder to walk away. The only way that he wouldn’t is if they’d gone to Daytona and got in a wreck or gone to California and had some kind of problem. Mark Martin isn’t going to have a car owner look him in the eye and say, “Hey, we have a chance to win a championship and him say well I’m not riding. I know he’s not going to. He can say all he wants to but he’s not scheduled to run Bristol but who’s doing the Bristol test? Mark Martin.” While the official Bristol scoring rundown indicates Regan Smith was testing both US Army cars, Martin was in fact turning laps in the teams’ “A” machine.(PRN's Garage Pass radio show)(2-28-2007)

  • Martin's Team Captures Pit Crew Challenge Win in Daytona: Mark Martin's #01 pit crew earned the Checkers / Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge win in the Nextel Cup Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway, helping boost the U.S. Army driver to a runner-up finish in Sunday's Daytona 500. This is the second consecutive pit crew challenge win for the Army crew, which claimed top honors in the 2006 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway "I just can't say enough about the work of our pit crew," offered Martin, whose team spent 216.620 seconds on pit road during Sunday's event. "Those guys were Army Strong in the pits and helped give me my best shot ever at winning the Daytona 500." Martin continued, "They put us out in the lead when we needed it and I feel terrible that I wasn't able to hold on. Those guys really stepped up to the plate when the pressure was at its greatest and they delivered like champions do." The #01 over-the-wall crew consists of: Scott King (jackman), Colin Pasi (front-tire carrier), Charlie Brock (front-tire changer), Dwayne Moore (rear-tire carrier), Dave Woodhead (rear-tire changer), Danny Harrington (gasman), Scott Hazlett (catch can) and Troy Welty (windshield). The pit crew coach is Lance Munksgard. To win the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge, teams are required to finish on the lead lap while spending the least amount of time on pit road. The program pays $11,000 to the weekly winner. An additional $111,150 bonus will be awarded to the pit crew with the most wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(2-21-2007)

  • Martin to run Daytona in July: The ink on Mark Martin's 2007 Nextel Cup calendar boasts 22 races in the #01 U.S. Army Chevy. But if you flip to July, to the small box hosting his July 7 to-do list, the pencil markings suggest another story. The Pepsi 400? That wasn't on the original slate. It is now. Martin told ESPN.com Monday that the July 7 race at Daytona International Speedway was on his docket all along, but he chose to wait and see the outcome of Speed Weeks. He had more fun than he's ever had. No pressure. And, oh yeah, he nearly won the Daytona 500. Martin stressed we not get carried away with this. He doesn't desire to run the entire slate, though some of his colleagues think otherwise. "Winning [the Daytona 500] wouldn't have changed at all how I feel about things. I've learned to never say never, so I'm not going to do that. But I'm very happy and comfortable with my schedule, and even if we'd have won the race I'm just thrilled with what I have laid out in front of me. If I want to change [my schedule] I have that luxury," he said. "I haven't gone and asked [to run the whole schedule], but I can tell you they haven't said no to anything else. I don't think that'd be a problem, but I also don't think that'll happen." Martin's current projected schedule is quite front-loaded. He knows he might get bored in the second half of the year. The Food City 500 [in Bristol] will mark the first race since Valentine's Day 1988 that Martin won't be in the Cup Series field. That's 617 straight races [currently hs is at 618, going into Bristol he will be at 621]. Martin is scheduled to be in Lake City, Fla., that weekend to be Ricky Carmichael's crew chief in a late-model race.(in part from ESPN.com)(2-20-2007)

  • Pemberton earns Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race: Ryan Pemberton, crew chief for the #01 Ginn Racing Chevy, made a bold but calculated call in the closing stages of the Daytona 500 to give Mark Martin and the U.S. Army team a great shot at a victory. In the final pit stop of the race, Pemberton's decision to take two right side tires only propelled Martin from seventh to first place after the leaders chose to change all four tires. Martin held onto his lead until the final surge to the checkered flag, only to be inched out by eventually winner Kevin Harvick as the pair crossed the finish line. It was Mark Martin's best finish in the Great American Race. Pemberton's tactical move earned him the Wypall* Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award. The #01 U.S. Army team begun the race 26th on the starting grid and with this finish has set the new look team up for an exciting 2007 season. A panel of votes that included a local media representative, Tony Eury Jr.and a Wypall Wipers representative, all agreed Pemberton's strategic decision was worthy enough for him to win the first award for the 2007 season. As the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race, Pemberton received $1,000. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000 and be crowned Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year.(Wypall Wipers PR)(2-19-2007)

  • Florida Resident Bids $13,600 to Win Mark Martin/Daytona 500 Dream Package: Myron Bowlin, of Ocala, Fla., scored the highest bid on eBay to win the Mark Martin/Daytona 500 Dream package that will benefit Central Florida’s tornado victims. The “Ultimate Mark Martin/Daytona 500 Dream Package” was the creation of Martin, the NASCAR icon and Florida resident, Ginn Racing, Martin’s Nextel Cup team, and Ginn Resorts, a central Florida-based developer. Bowlin’s high bid of $13,600 will be matched by Ginn Resorts. The total gift of $27,200 will go directly to the American Red Cross Central Florida relief programs.(Ginn Racing PR)(2-17-2007)

  • Hendrick and Martin? UPDATE: Hearing there will be a press conferences at Daytona on Wednesday, attended by Rick Hendrick and Mark Martin.(2-14-2007)
    UPDATE: Sirius NASCAR Radio, Ch 128 had PRN's Mark Garrow on the Driver's Seat show this morning and reported that Martin will run three Busch Series races for Hendrick Motorsports, thru Hendrick's Autoguard, the races scheduled are Darlington, Michigan and Homestead.
    MORE: Hendrick Motorsports will field racing legend Mark Martin this season in three Busch Series events, the team announced in a news conference Wednesday morning at Daytona International Speedway. "Years from now, I'll continue to look back on this with a ton of pride," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group. "When Mark and I first started talking about it, I knew we had one of those special opportunities that don't come along often. He's one of the all-time greats, and having him drive one of our cars is something we couldn't pass up." The effort will be backed by Hendrick Autoguard, a line of products available exclusively at Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships nationwide. Hendrick Autoguard offers car buyers peace of mind through a variety of options that include maintenance coverage, asset protection, exterior car care, and vehicle security. Martin's schedule will kick off May 11 at Darlington, S.C., where he has posted eight of his 47 career Busch Series victories. The 48-year-old will make additional starts on Aug. 18 at Brooklyn, Mich., and Nov. 17 at the Homestead, Fla., season finale. "This is going to add another great chapter to my career," said Martin, who is working with Hendrick Automotive Group to offer Autoguard products at Mark Martin Ford in his hometown of Batesville, Ark. "I have a great respect for Rick and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization, so I'm excited about this opportunity to be a part of it. Hopefully we can make some Busch Series history in the Hendrick Autoguard Chevrolet." Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Busch, 21, will join Martin in the Hendrick Autoguard program, piloting a #5 Chevy in the Feb. 24 Busch Series event at Fontana, CA. For additional information on Hendrick Automotive Group, including dealership locations, please visit www.hendrickauto.com.(Hendrick Motorsports PR), see am image of the car on my Busch Series Paint Schemes page.(2-14-2007)

  • Martin back part time on 2008: As it now stands, #01-Mark Martin said he would continue at Ginn Racing in 2008 with a limited schedule of Cup events similar to his schedule for this season. Martin has also agreed to head up Ginn’s driver development program and will run selected races in the Craftsman Truck and Busch Series.(Gaston Gazette)(2-14-2007)

  • Ginn Racing Contracts with Martin to Mentor Development Drivers: Ginn Racing has contracted with Mark Martin Performance to oversee the company's driver development program, which includes Ricky Carmichael, Matt Martin and Matt Bowers. All three are Florida residents -- Carmichael (27, Tallahassee), Martin (15, Daytona Beach) and Bowers (15, Mount Dora). Martin will work with the development drivers while they compete in the late model and super model divisions at Florida race tracks. Once the drivers graduate from Martin's tutelage, they will join Ginn Racing's North Carolina-based development program that will include the ARCA RE/MAX Series and the Craftsman Truck Series. "I don't believe you can ask for anyone better than Mark to oversee the development program and mentor the young drivers," said Jay Frye, Ginn Racing's CEO and general manager. "Having Mark in this capacity will only enhance our development program and the future of Ginn Racing." Martin, who drives the #01 U.S. Army Chevy for Ginn Racing, said, "I love to compete and I love to teach. And I have the best of both worlds with Ginn Racing. I look forward to this role and know that it's going to be a lot of fun instructing a group of young drivers who share a passion for racing."(Ginn Racing PR)(2-10-2007)

  • Martin to run two Busch races for Roush UPDATE DISH Network to sponsor Biffle in Cup...more: on Sirius Satellite Radio's Driver Seat show with John Kernan and Buddy Baker, multi-team owner Jack Roush was interviewed and said he and Mark Martin are still great friends and that Martin will run a couple of Busch Series races for Roush in a Ford. There had been rumors and a PR a month ago that Martin would run some Busch races for Roush for DISH Network. There is an image of the #26 DISH Network Busch Series Ford on my Busch Paint Schemes page, taken during the media tour in Charlotte last week.(1-31-2007)
    UPDATE: DISH Network will sponsor a Roush Racing driver/car in all 35 Busch Series races. Martin will run the #06 DISH Network Ford at Daytona in Feb. and Texas in April. Eight other drivers will run the DISH Network colors the other 33 races. #17-Matt Kenseth (5 races), #26-Jamie McMurray (9), #60-Carl Edwards (10), #17-Michel Jourdain (3), #26-Greg Biffle (2), #26-Todd Kluever (2), #17-Danny O'Quinn (1), #26-Erik Darnell (1)
    PLUS #16-Greg Biffle is scheduled to run DISH Network on the #16 Nextel Cup Ford in five races: Daytona in Feb, Martinsville in April, Richmond in May, Dover in June and Pocono in June.(2-2-2007)

  • Carmichael Ready for Stock Cars: Unlike Juan Pablo Montoya, who has moved to NASCAR from a successful open-wheel career with a wave of publicity, motorcycle superstar Ricky Carmichael is getting little attention, and that's just fine with him. The 27-year-old Carmichael has captured a record 15 AMA National championships but plans to run a limited schedule in Supercross this season while also beginning his stock car career as part of Ginn Racing's driver development program. Carmichael had stock cars tests with Evernham Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing before signing a three-year contract with Bobby Ginn's team - former MB2 Motorsports. He will begin his four-wheel career this season driving 15 late model stock car races in Florida in a car provided by Mark Martin, who left Roush Racing at the end of 2006 to join the Ginn team for a partial Nextel Cup schedule in 2007. "I'm kind of glad I'm running late model stocks to start with and working my way up to the top," Carmichael said. "I think it's good I'm not going to be the center of attention here. I think you need a lot more concentration in stock cars than on motorcycles, especially when you've been doing it as long as I have." Martin, who oversaw one of Carmichael's tests, is sold on the youngster. "I think he'll be as good a driver in NASCAR as anybody who ever came to stock cars from motorcycles," Martin said. "As soon as you get to know him and see his work ethic, drive and determination, you know it isn't possible that it's not going to work. I thought he'd be good and he's further along than we expected. If things move along well, we might run him in an ARCA race or two later in the season." Carmichael plans to run 25 stock car races in 2008, with some in ARCA and some in NASCAR's Busch Series. In 2009, the last year of his current contract, he expects to run a full season in Busch and possible a few Cup events. "I'm just a racer," Carmichael said Friday in an interview during the first day of the NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I like a challenge and I like what NASCAR is about."(Associated Press)(1-23-2007)

  • Smith to debut in Daytona in 4th Ginn Racing car:While Regan Smith's first official ride in the #01 Army Chevy is scheduled for Bristol Motor Speedway (March 25), the upstate New York (Cato) native is looking to make his Nextel Cup debut in the Daytona 500. Last week Smith tested the #39 Chevy at Daytona for Ginn Racing, which plans to enter four Cup cars for NASCAR's season opener. Joe Nemechek (#13) and Sterling Marlin (#14) took part in the previous week's Daytona test session for Ginn Racing. "We're going there (Daytona) with four cars and I have every intention of the Daytona 500 being my first Cup start," said Smith, who filled in for Nemechek for a pair of test sessions in Daytona last week. Since Smith's #39 Chevy is not part of the top 35 in points from 2006, he will have to qualify for the Daytona 500. Smith will also compete in the Busch Series in 2007 for Ginn Racing. He will share the #04 Chevy ride with Kraig Kinser.(Ginn Racing site)(1-22-2007)

  • Martin site opens: Mark Martin now has his own official website, markmartin.com.(1-12-2007)

  • Ginn Racing Names DeHart as Director of Shop Operations: Ginn Racing announced that former championship crew chief Gary DeHart has joined the organization as director of shop operations. DeHart, who spent nearly the past 20 years at Hendrick Motorsports, will oversee shop employees and assist in managing the company's growth during the NASCAR team's expansion, according to Jay Frye, Ginn Racing's CEO and general manager. "With the growth taking place at Ginn Racing, we're excited to have someone as experienced as Gary to help us through this new phase of our racing organization," said Frye. "Hendrick Motorsports has grown over the years in the same way we're working toward and Gary was a part of that growth. His experience will be vital to making the process go smoothly and we're thrilled that he has chosen to join us." Ginn Racing has nearly doubled its employees -- from 85 to 160 -- since Bobby Ginn purchased majority ownership in the team last July. The team, which has operated two full-time Cup programs for the past six seasons, will add a third full-time Cup program [#13 Chevy for Nemechek] in 2007, as well as a full-season Busch program and an aggressive driver development program. As a crew chief at Hendrick motorsports, DeHart teamed with Terry Labonte in 1996 to capture the NASCAR Cup championship. DeHart retired from the crew chief ranks following the 1997 season. He spent the past six years managing shop operations at Hendrick Motorsports and directing the company's safety program.(Ginn Racing PR)(1-11-2007)

  • Martin's early 2007 sched announced: Mark Martin, who will run a limited Nextel Cup schedule for the first time since 1987, will once more run the Bud Shootout and the Daytona 500. Martin's Ginn Racing team announced the first 14 races of the 47-year-old driver's limited 2007 Cup schedule Tuesday. Martin will compete in the #01 Army-sponsored Chevy in 2007, sharing the ride with rookie Regan Smith. Martin returns for both the Bud Shootout and Nextel All-Star Challenge non-points events. In addition to the season-opener at Daytona, he'll also compete at California Speedway (Feb. 25), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 11), Atlanta Motor Speedway (March 18), Texas Motor Speedway (April 15), Phoenix International Raceway (April 21), Richmond International Raceway (May 5), Darlington Raceway (May 12), Lowe's Motor Speedway (May 27), Dover International Speedway (June 3), Pocono Raceway (June 10) and Michigan International Speedway (June 17). Due any unforseen circumstances, when Martin skips the March 25 race at Bristol Motor Speedway, he'll snap a string of 617 consecutive starts dating back to Feb. 14, 1988. Martin's first "car of tomorrow" race will be at Phoenix. Smith will compete at Bristol Motor Speedway (March 25), Martinsville Speedway (April 1) and Talladega Superspeedway (April 29). The remainder of Martin's schedule will be announced later this year.(SceneDaily.com)(1-4-2007)

    2006 News

  • Mark Martin Offers Tips to 4 Young Drivers: Ginn Racing brought three cars, five drivers and various crew members to Lakeland, FL on Monday to test their short-track programs. But more important for the four young drivers in the Ginn Racing stable, it was a time for learning. Regan Smith [who will share the #01 with Martin in 2007], Kraig Kinser, Jesus Hernandez and Ricky Carmichael [who are Ginn Development drivers expected to drive in the truck series] each took their share of laps around the speedway - a 3/4-mile paved oval with 14-degree banking, the same as Richmond. When each one of them came in from their practice runs, veteran driver #01-Mark Martin, who drove the #6 AAA Ford this past Nextel Cup season, knelt by their windows to discuss their laps.(The Ledger)(12-15-2006)

  • Carmichael testing at New Smyrna UPDATE 2: hearing that former motorcycler Ricky Carmichael, who recently signed with Ginn Racing [formerly MB2 Motorsports] is testing today for Ginn Racing at New Smyrna Speedway in FL. Supposedly, some of the team members welded motorcycle handles on the steering wheel so Carmichael could feel more comfortable.(11-28-2006)
    UPDATE and IMAGES: Carmichael tested the #66 Coca Cola Ford of Matt Martin at New Smyrna Speedway, why a Ford when Ginn Racing runs Chevy's? because Matt Martin is signed with Ford, Mark Martin, Matt's father, will drive for Ginn Racing in 2007 in the #01 U.S. Army Chevy.
    UPDATE 2: Carmichael turned about 80 test laps over the half-mile oval at New Smyrna Speedway in a Late Model owned by Nextel Cup Series veteran Mark Martin. Martin supervised the morning practice session before flying to New York City for NASCAR's Champion's Week festivities. He was not available for comment. Members of Martin's local race team combined with some of Ginn Racing's crew from Mooresville, N.C., to support Carmichael's practice session. Jay Frye, Ginn Racing's CEO and managing partner, confirmed the test session and said Carmichael's lap times were comparable to qualifying speeds posted in New Smyrna's recent Governor's Cup event. "Ricky ran quite a few laps, fast laps," Frye said. "My guys down there reported it was a very successful test. This was Ricky's third or fourth time in a race car but his first real test in a car with that kind of horsepower. Frye said Carmichael will be back in several weeks for another test in Martin's Late Model racer.(in part from the Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-29-2006)

  • Martin talked to Dale Jr about Busch ride: Mark Martin told Sirius Speedway (MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio) Monday that he spoke to Dale Earnhardt, Jr., about a possible, part-time Busch Series ride with Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports in 2007. Martin, who has already inked deals to drive the Ginn Racing/US Army Nextel Cup Chevrolet next season, as well as a Craftsman Truck for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing, said sponsor conflicts prevented the deal with Earnhardt from coming to fruition. “I talked to Dale Junior about sharing a Busch car with him and a couple of other guys next season,” said Martin. “We both wanted to do it, but we couldn’t get the details figured out. The Army and the Navy (sponsors of Earnhardt’s #88 Busch car) were kinda like oil and water, and we couldn’t figure out a way to make it work.” Martin said he could run for as many as four different teams next season on the Cup, Busch and Truck Series.(MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio)(11-28-2006)

  • MB2 Motorsports Changes Name to Ginn Racing: MB2 Motorsports has changed its name to Ginn Racing, effective immediately. The name change is a result of the team's new owner Bobby Ginn, who purchased majority interest in the racing organization in July. Regarding the pronunciation of Ginn -- it is GHIN as in the second syllable of begin. The company's web site address is: www.ginnracing.com. MB2 Motorsports began operations in July 1996. Ginn Racing will field three full-time Nextel Cup teams in 2007 with drivers Mark Martin/Regan Smith sharing the #01 U.S. Army Chevy ride, Joe Nemechek in the #13 Chevy and Sterling Marlin in the #14 Chevy. The organization will also field a full-time Busch Series team with Smith and Kraig Kinser co-driving a Ginn Racing Chevy. The team's development program includes drivers Jesus Hernandez and Ricky Carmichael. Ginn Racing is based in Mooresville, N.C.(Ginn Racing PR)(11-21-2006)

  • Nemechek to Pull Triple Duty for First Time in Career: For the first time in his racing career Joe Nemechek will compete in NASCAR's three professional divisions in the same weekend at the same track. The triple-header weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway kicks off Friday evening for Nemechek, who will pilot the #46 Chevy for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series. It will be his third race of the season in the #46 entry. The second part of the weekend schedule for Nemechek will be his return to the Busch Series where he has claimed 16 career victories. His only other Busch race of the season was the February opener at Daytona International Speedway. Nemechek, who must qualify on time for Saturday night’s Busch event, will drive his #87 NEMCO Motorsports Chevy with sponsorship from Ginn Clubs & Resorts. The weekend culminates Sunday for Nemechek, who will drive the #01 U.S. Army Chevy in the final Nextel Cup race of the season – the Ford 400.(MB2Motorsports PR)(11-16-2006)

  • MB2 Motorsports Announces 2007 Lineup: MB2 Motorsports announced that its 2007 lineup will include a roster of seven drivers, entries in all three of NASCAR's national series and a driver development program. MB2's expansion started to take shape following an ownership change in July when real estate developer Bobby Ginn purchased majority interest in the 10-year-old racing organization. “Bobby has given us an opportunity to take this team to the next level and there’s nothing more exciting than that,” said Jay Frye, MB2’s CEO and general manager. “Our foundation is strong with a team mixture of experience and youth. Every piece we put together for 2007 was carefully thought out with the future in mind. We want to be a team to contend with over the next decade.”
    MB2's 2007 lineup of drivers/crew chiefs will be as follows:
    Nextel Cup Series: * MB2 will field three Nextel Cup teams. MB2 newcomers Mark Martin (47-years-old) and rookie Regan Smith (23) will co-drive the #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet. Martin will drive in 20 point races plus the Bud Shootout and Nextel All Star Challenge. Smith will drive in the remaining 16 point races. Ryan Pemberton will continue to serve as crew chief on the #01 car.
    * Sterling Marlin (49) will continue to drive MB2's #14 Chevrolet with Richard "Slugger" Labbe handling the crew chief duties.
    * Joe Nemechek (43) will switch from the 01 Chevy to the new #13 team. Nemechek will be reunited with crew chief Peter Sospenzo, who was recently hired by MB2. Sospenzo was Nemechek's crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports in 2002 and 2003. The twosome combined to score a victory at the 2003 spring race in Richmond. Team sponsors for the #13 and #14 will be announced at a later date.
    Busch Series: * MB2's Busch Series ride will be shared by Smith and Kraig Kinser (22). Doug Randolph will oversee the crew chief duties for the Busch operation.
    CraftsmanTruck Series: * MB2 will continue its partnership with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series. Kinser, along with MB2's development driver Jesus Hernandez (25), will compete in selected truck races. Motocross champion Ricky Carmichael (26), who will join MB2's development program next year, could also compete in a couple of truck races.
    Development Program * MB2's driver development program in the late model series will include Hernandez and Carmichael. Jeremy Thompson, an MB2 employee and former Craftsman Truck Series competitor, will oversee the late model program. Hernandez and Carmichael will also drive in selected ARCA races. The MB2 racing teams will be based out of the team’s 144,000-square-foot shop in Mooresville, NC.(MB2 Motorosports PR)(11-10-2006)

  • Barcardi to be Nemechek's sponsor? hearing that Barcardi will sponsor the new MB2 Motorsports [to be Ginn Racing] #13 Chevy that Joe Nemechek will drive in 2007. Nemechek current drives the #01 US Army Chevy for MB2, but Mark Martin/Regan Smith will run the car in 2007.(11-6-2006)

  • Principal Financial Group to be primary sponsors of #01 & #14 at Phoenix: The Principal Financial Group, the nation’s 401(k) leader and premiere benefits provider, will be the primary sponsor on #14-Sterling Marlin’s and #01-Joe Nemechek’s MB2 Motorsports’ Chevys in this weekend’s Nextel Cup race -- the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. MB2’s Principal Financial Group Chevys – Marlin’s #14 and Nemechek’ s #01 – will make their first appearance on the Phoenix one-mile track during Friday’s practice, which begins at 1:35pm/et. “We’re excited about the Principal Financial Group joining our team,” said Jay Frye, CEO and general manager of MB2. “The company has been involved in the past as a NASCAR sponsor and we’re elated about MB2 being selected for its first venture as a primary sponsor. The U.S. Army, Nemechek’s main sponsor at 34 Cup races, will have an associate status on the #01 car in Phoenix. Marlin's associate sponsors will be Waste Management and Ginn Clubs & Resorts. The Principal, based in Des Moines, Iowa, is the on-air sponsor of Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500. The race will be televised on NBC, beginning at 3pm/et. For more information about The Principal Financial Group, visit www.principal.com.(MB2 Motorsports PR/site), see an image of the car on my #01 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2006)

  • Martin plans to run some Truck races in 2007..for Ford: Mark Martin said Thursday that he probably will drive in five to 10 races in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2007 in a Ford. He said he also probably will run five to 10 races in the Busch Series, driving a Chevrolet. Martin is driving the #01 Chevrolet for MB2 Motorsports [Ginn Racing] in 20 Nextel Cup races next season. Martin has raced in the truck series 11 times this season, winning five of them.(Dallas Morning News)(10-27-2006)

  • Nemechek visits Guantanamo Bay Troops: With the Bank of America 500 race finishing near midnight at the Concord, N.C. track, Nemechek caught a few hours of sleep before embarking early Sunday morning (Oct. 15) on a one-day, 2,100-mile round-trip journey to visit troops at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Joining Nemechek was his mother -- Martha Nemechek (decked in Army fatigues) and Ashton Lewis Jr., driver of the Team Marines entry in the Busch series. The trip was arranged by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. "Not too many people get to land their airplanes in Cuba . this is very cool," said Nemechek as he deplaned from his private jet at the GTMO airport. Though the weather was anything but cool -- a welcoming sign posted the temperature at 99 degrees -- Nemechek found the trip to be both rewarding and educational. Located in the southeastern end of Cuba, Guantanamo Bay is the only U.S. base in operation in a communist led country. "The facts and history of Guantanamo Bay are very interesting," offered Nemechek. "It was pretty neat to stand next to the fence that separates Guantanamo from the communist territory of Cuba." Nemechek added, "We were very well received by the military branches stationed in Guantanamo. There are plenty of NASCAR fans on the base. They wanted to discuss the race in Charlotte the night before. I'm glad that I had a pretty good run to talk about." The six-hour tour included autograph and photo sessions at different points of the base, including one for non-military personnel in the downtown area. "Every time I visit our troops it's a special feeling,. added Nemechek. .These people are making a sacrifice to protect our freedom and the freedom for future generations. It's difficult not to get overwhelmed by what you see and what you hear. It was an honor to make the visit."(MB2Motorsports PR)(10-19-2006)

  • Different colors for Nemechek at LMS; heads to Guantanamo Bay on Sunday: Unlike his racing buddies, Joe Nemechek's weekend duties will not end with Saturday night's Nextel Cup event at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte. While Nemechek will be decked out in different colors for the Bank of America 500, driving the #01 CENTRIX Financial Chevy for MB2 Motorsports, it won't take him long to return to military mode as the driver of the U.S Army NASCAR entry. Early Sunday morning, Nemechek and a small entourage -- including his mother Martha Nemechek -- will jet to Guantanamo Bay to visit troops on behalf of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(10-12-2006)

  • MB2 Signs Motocross Champion Carmichael: Ricky Carmichael, considered the greatest motocross racer of all time, is moving to NASCAR. He will join the Bobby Ginn-owned MB2 Motorsports operation, which fields [#01,#13, #14] Nextel Cup teams for Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin. Carmichael, a 15-time American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) national champion and holder of a record 144 career wins in Supercross and motocross, agreed to a multi-year contract with MB2, starting with the 2007 season. Jay Frye, CEO and general manager of MB2, said that Carmichael will compete in a developmental program next year that will include a combination of approximately 15 events in late model stock cars, ARCA and possibly the Craftsman Truck Series. Frye added that Carmichael's MB2 program will be accelerated in 2008. "There were other teams showing interest in Ricky and we are thrilled that he decided to join MB2," said Ginn, who purchased majority interest in MB2 in July. "He brings to MB2 many intangible qualities which have made him one of the great champions in all of motorsports.” “What’s even more remarkable is that he achieved a legendary record and is still in the prime of his racing career,” Ginn added. “He has both the physical and mental skills to make a successful transition from two wheels to four wheels." Carmichael, 26, is also planning to run an abbreviated Supercross and motocross schedule next year with Team Makita Suzuki Racing. "To race in NASCAR has always been a dream of mine," said Carmichael. "This is a new challenge and I have no illusions that the transition will be easy. I truly understand the difficulties that are ahead. But I am committed to do whatever it takes to eventually make it to the Cup series." Carmichael, who was born in Clearwater, Fla. and currently resides in Tallahassee, Fla., announced earlier in the year that 2006 would be his final full-time season competing in Supercross and motocross. "I am excited about joining MB2," Carmichael added. "After talking to Bobby (Ginn) it was evident to me that this is an organization with a strong commitment to compete at an elite level. It's a good fit and I can't wait to get started." Since joining the AMA Motocross circuit full time in 1997, Carmichael has never lost an outdoor championship. He won three straight 125cc championships followed by seven consecutive 250cc titles. His record also includes five indoor AMA Supercross championships. The 2006 season was the fifth time that Carmichael captured the double -- winning both the AMA Supercross and Motocross championships in the same year. Next closest to Carmichael’s 144 career victories is Jeremy McGrath’s 89 overall wins. Regarding his exit from full-time AMA competition, Carmichael said, "I plan to always ride some events in Supercross and motocross. The sport has been very good to me over the years." Carmichael is competing in this weekend’s Supercross event in Las Vegas – the Rock Star Energy Drink U.S. Open.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(10-12-2006)

  • MB2 to Ford? Martin part owner? UPDATE denied The LTN Radio Network reported today [Oct 8th] that Mark Martin's long-term plans with MB2 Motorsports will include at least part ownership of the team. This ownership, combined with Martin's long-term relationship with Ford, means the 3-car team will change to the "blue-oval" before Daytona 2007. The team will also include 2 Busch cars and 2 late models for a driver development program.(LTN Radio Network)(10-8-2006)
    UPDATE: Bobby Ginn, Principal Owner of MB2 Motorsports talked with the media:
    ON THE JAYSKI RUMOR ABOUT MOVING TO FORD:[um, wasn't a Jayski rumor..but]
    "No, I don't think so. I have this theory that if you haven't heard a good rumor by noon, just start one. And around here, it's pretty easy to do something. Somebody says something and somebody gets it started and it's pretty easy to spread. But we're a Chevrolet team."
    DO YOU HAVE A SPONSOR FOR YOUR THIRD CAR OR IS THAT GOING TO BE YOUR COMPANY?
    "If we don't have a full sponsors, it'll be the company."
    HAVE YOU DECIDED ON A TEAM NAME YET? "It's going to be Ginn Racing next year. When we did it, NASCAR asked us not to change the name in mid-season, and that was fine. We're going to market it under the brand we market our real estate and hospitality operations under."
    WHAT'S THE STATUS OF THE #14 NEXT YEAR?
    "I think Waste Management is back. And we've got a couple of others that are close."
    IS THERE ANY TRUTH TO THE REPORT THAT YOU GUYS ARE LOOKING AT, OR HAVE ALREADY SIGNED A DEAL TO GO TO FORD NEXT YEAR AND THAT MARK MARTIN IS BUYING INTO PART OF THIS TEAM? "No."
    IS MARK MARTIN GOING TO HAVE ANY OWNERSHIP IN THE COMPANY?"No. Mark wants to drive race cars. You go talk to him and he'll tell you. He doesn't want to worry about sponsors or endorsements or merchandise. He wants to drive race cars and help us build a race car team. That was the way we were able to accommodate him. He's going to be a very important part of it - along with Sterling and Joe. We've got veteran drivers that have won a lot of races and have been around the track for a long time. We're going to use those guys to help us build the organization."(GM Racing PR)(10-9-2006)

  • MB2 Announces Martin/Smith to #01; Nemechek to #13: MB2 Motorsports announced Friday that Mark Martin and rookie Regan Smith will co-drive the team's #01 U.S. Army Chevy during the 2007 Nextel Cup season. Joe Nemechek, the current driver of the Army Chevy, will pilot a third MB2 entry in 2007 that will carry the #13; the sponsorship will be announced at a later date. Sterling Marlin will continue to drive the #14 MB2 Chevrolet. Martin, who will be leaving his longtime ride with Roush Racing after the 2006 season, signed a multiyear contract with MB2. The agreement calls for Martin to drive the #01 Army car in 20 Nextel Cup races in 2007 plus the Bud Shootout (Daytona, Feb. 10) and the Nextel All Star Challenge (Charlotte, May 19). Martin’s first points race will be the Daytona 500, Feb. 18. Smith will drive the Army car in the remaining 16 Cup point races and will also drive an MB2 car in the NASCAR Busch Series. Along with driving in 22 races in 2007, Martin's extended role with MB2 will be a mentor to the 23-year-old Smith and to MB2’s development drivers. "Our goal at MB2 is to reach a new level, and with Mark joining our organization it not only elevates our presence, but his knowledge and credibility will also be a viable asset to all of our race teams," said team owner Bobby Ginn (pronounced GHIN). "While Mark brings a wealth of experience to MB2, we are also thrilled with the acquisition of Regan,” Ginn added. “He’s eager, talented and will be groomed by one of NASCAR's greatest drivers of all time." Martin, who is currently third in the Chase for the Nextel Cup championship points battle, feels his new role with MB2 offers him an excellent opportunity for doing what he enjoys most and that is to compete as a driver and serve as a mentor. "Joining MB2 is a win-win situation for me," said Martin, a native of Batesville, Ark. "I not only get to drive, but I also get to teach and I love doing both. I have had a great 19 years with Roush Racing. It was a difficult decision to move on. But right now I welcome the opportunity to drive the U.S. Army car and represent our brave soldiers who are fighting the global war on terrorism." Smith, who grew up in Cato, N.Y.-- 25 miles west of Syracuse -- has been preparing for this opportunity since he started to drive a go-kart at age 4. "This is an exciting time for me," said Smith. "Driving an Army-sponsored car in Nextel Cup competition with Mark Martin as your coach is an incredible opportunity. I'm going to listen well and take advantage of what has been presented to me. I am ready to give it all I have in both Cup and Busch." Smith has been competing in the Busch Series this season, driving the #35 car for Team Rensi Motorsports. In his new MB2 Busch ride for 2007, Smith is expected to compete full time in the series. "Mark Martin is one of NASCAR's greatest competitors and having him come on board will greatly enhance and accelerate our development," said Jay Frye, MB2's CEO and general manager. "This is definitely a red-letter day in MB2's 10-year history. We have the best of both worlds with Mark and Regan -- a Hall of Famer, who will work closely with a talented and aggressive young driver." Frye also said that Ryan Pemberton will continue as crew chief for the Army car in 2007. It was also announced today that Kraig Kinser and Jesus Hernandez will continue with their MB2 developmental programs in 2007. Kinser’s schedule will include NASCAR Craftsman Truck, Busch and Cup races. Hernandez will continue to run the late model series as well as selected ARCA and Truck races.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(10-6-2006)

  • Martin to MB2 Motorsports in 2007..in a Chevy UPDATE 3 Official: hearing that Mark Martin will announced his 2007 plans on Friday morning [Oct 6th] at Talladega....however, hearing part of his 2007 plans include running some 2007 Nextel Cup races in the #01 Chevy [MB2 is NOT changing to Fords] with MB2 Motorsports....the sponsor would NOT be the U.S. Army. Supposedly #01 driver, Joe Nemechek would move to a different car number for MB2 Motorsports.
    From Two Weeks Ago: hearing that Regan Smith, currently driving the #35 McDonald's Ford for Team Rensi in the Busch Series, will go to Ginn Motorsports [#01-Joe Nemechek and #14-Sterling Marlin] in 2007 to run a Cup/Busch schedule.(9-19-2006)
    UPDATE: nascar.com has something posted on this: Mark Martin will drive the #01 Chevrolet part time for the 2007 Nextel Cup season, multiple sources close to MB2 Motorsports told NASCAR.COM on Thursday. It is believed that Martin will run 22 races for the team. Busch Series driver Regan Smith will drive the remaining 14 Cup races, the sources said.(10-5-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Team owner Jack Roush, who has fielded a Ford for Martin in NASCAR's top series since 1988, is expected to make the announcement Friday at 10:30am/et at Talladega Superspeedway. MB2 general manager Jay Frye has scheduled a news conference for later Friday morning at the Talladega track. Martin reportedly will share the ride in the #01 Chevrolet with rookie Regan Smith, a 23-year-old regular in the Busch Series, a source told The Associated Press. Joe Nemechek, currently racing in the #01, will remain with MB2, but will move to a third team entry, while Sterling Marlin will stay in the team's #14 Chevy. Roush team president Geoff Smith said several weeks ago that the team would definitely not field a Cup car for Martin in 2007 and that it was close to completing a deal with Martin to drive a Roush truck. But that deal apparently fell apart after the MB2 ride became available. The source said it was unclear if Martin might also drive in the truck series in 2007, along with the MB2 ride.(ESPN.com)(10-6-2006)
    OFFICIAL: Mark Martin announced today that he will continue in the Nextel Cup Series next season, driving the #01 MB2 Motorsports Chevy on a limited basis in 2007. “I consider Mark Martin a personal friend and over the last 20 years we have had a fantastic relationship professionally and personally,” Roush said. “Mark will always hold a special place in my heart and a special place in Roush Racing, and I truly wish him all the best in his future plans.”
    “Jack Roush and I have enjoyed a very special relationship for the past 20 years,” said Martin. “Jack afforded me the opportunity to chase my dreams, and there is no way to put in words what he has meant to me, my life and my career. The deal to come back with Roush in the #6 with AAA really worked out great and gave me one of the best and most rewarding years of my career, AAA has been great to work with and it’s really been awesome to work on such important issues. I’m really glad I was able to come back a year and help those guys and Jack out, and we are going to do everything we can to keep chasing after that Nextel Cup for the next seven races.”
    "When Mark finally reconciled his somewhat conflicting desires, he settled on staying in Cup and running a 20-race schedule. We had no way of accommodating that desire since all of our Cup programs were previously committed," said Roush Racing president Geoff Smith. And, NASCAR team limits prevented Roush Racing from putting together an additional team for Mark, so in the end Mark had to move on - in order to stay in the Cup series. He's meant a great deal to this organization and we certainly wish him the best in whatever he chooses to do down the road." Martin reiterated that his focus over the next seven races will remain on the “Chase” for the Nextel Cup Championship. “Our focus is on winning this championship,” Martin said. “I’ve been fighting this fight in the #6 car for 19 years now, and we aren’t about to give up anytime soon. It’s the complete focus of our attention, and we’ll fight down to the very end for it.”(Roush Racing Site/PR)(10-6-2006)

  • Nemechek to pilot #46 Truck at Talladega: Joe Nemechek will pilot the #46 Chevy Silverado fielded by Morgan-Dollar Motorsports in Saturday's John Deere 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. It will be the first time Nemechek has competed in the Truck Series since January 1998. The U.S. Army, Nemechek's full-time sponsor on his MB2-fielded Chevy Monte Carlo SS in the Nextel Cup Series, will support his Truck Series effort at the 2.66-mile track. Giving Nemechek an added edge atop the pit box will be Eric Phillips, who is also his brother-in-law. Phillips, a Canton, IL native, has six career wins in the Truck Series, including four wins in 2005 with MDM #85 E85 FlexFuel driver, Dennis Setzer.(Morgan Dollar Motorsports PR)(10-3-2006)

  • Smith to Ginn? hearing that Regan Smith, currently driving the #35 McDonald's Ford for Team Rensi in the Busch Series, will go to Ginn Motorsports [#01-Joe Nemechek and #14-Sterling Marlin] in 2007 to run a Cup/Busch schedule.(9-19-2006)

  • MB2 hires Slugger Labbe: MB2 Motorsports announced that crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe has joined the NASCAR racing organization and will play a key role in the company's expansion for 2007. Labbe's specific position with MB2 will be announced at a later date. His immediate role is to work with the organization's Nextel Cup teams -- the #01 Chevy driven by Joe Nemechek and the #14 Chevy driven by Sterling Marlin. Labbe, who previously worked as a [#38] crew chief for Robert Yates Racing, Evernham Motorsports #19] and DEI [#15], will join the MB2 teams at this weekend's Nextel Cup race in Bristol. "The hiring of Slugger is the first phase of our expansion program for 2007," said MB2's CEO and general manager Jay Frye. "Slugger is a talented crew chief and when the opportunity became available to hire him we jumped on it. We recently shored up our organization when Bobby Ginn purchased majority interest in MB2, Bobby is committed to growing our program and making our teams better."
    Labbe, a 38-year-old native of Saco, Maine, said, "I am excited to join MB2 Motorsports. The company has a good vision on what's going to happen in the coming years. I hope my knowledge in the Nextel Cup field will help the organization. This is a great opportunity and I am looking forward to getting started." One of Labbe's biggest wins as a crew chief was the 2003 Daytona 500 with driver Michael Waltrip.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(8-24-2006)

  • Nemechek's Pit Crew Takes Top Honors in Michigan: Joe Nemechek's pit crew claimed its first win of the season in the weekly Checkers / Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge competition by spending the least amount of time on pit road in Sunday's NEXTEL Cup event at Michigan International Speedway. "I'm very proud of all the guys on the U.S. Army pit crew," said Nemechek. "They've had unbelievable pit stops all year but haven't always gotten the credit they've deserved. Without a doubt, this is one of the strongest over-the-wall teams on pit road and I'm thrilled they're being recognized for their hard work. This is also a special win since Checkers/Rally's is an associate sponsor on the Army Chevrolet." Checkers/Rally's will award the #01 team with the weekly $10,500 prize. In addition, a $105,000 bonus will be presented to the team with the most wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule. "Our guys work hard week in and week out to be the best they can be on pit road," offered Lance Munksgard, pit stop coordinator for MB2 Motorsports. "It's great that their hard work is being highlighted and that they are being recognized for the efforts they contribute to the team each week." Nemechek's over-the-wall team, which spent 230.171 seconds on pit road, includes: Scott King (jackman), Josh Houghton (front-tire carrier), Charlie Brock (front-tire changer), Dwayne Moore (rear-tire carrier), Dave Woodhead (rear-tire changer), Danny Harrington (gasman), Mark Bieberich (catch can) and J.D. Hilton (windshield). The team's crew chief is Ryan Pemberton. The crews of Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson continue to lead the season-long competition with four wins each. Tony Stewart's team is in second place with three wins. The Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge is in its second season of rewarding pit crews, the unsung heroes in the Nextel Cup Series. The competition awards $10,500 per week to the top pit crew. In addition, the pit crew with the most wins will be awarded a $105,000 bonus at the completion of the 36-race schedule. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(8-23-2006)

  • Marlin-Nemechek to stay at MB2 - looking to expand: New MB2 Motorsports owner Bobby Ginn said Wednesday that drivers #14-Sterling Marlin and #01-Joe Nemechek will stay on, and he hopes to give them a pair of teammates next season. "We won't have any major restructuring this year," said Ginn, who purchased the Mooresville, N.C.-based Nextel Cup team from Nelson Bowers, one of the co-founders in 1996 [see full PR and story below]. "Our focus will be on next year, when we will strive to become a four-car team." Ginn said he will add some new equipment this year in preparation for next year's big expansion. He said NASCAR's "Car of Tomorrow," which is scheduled to debut next season, will make all models more alike and level the playing field. Jay Frye, who will remain the team's chief operating officer, said the sale will end speculation about the team's future and make it easier to secure sponsors for next season.(Tennessean)(7-27-2006)

  • Ginn buys into MB2 Motorsports UPDATE 2: on Speed Channel's early NASCAR LIVE before coverage of Chicago Happy Hour practice, it was reported by Bob Dilner, that the owner of Ginn Resorts [that would be Edward R. "Bobby" Ginn] has bought into MB2 Motorsports, owned by Nelson Bowers and Jay Frye. Ginn Resorts has also been the primary sponsor on the #14 MB2 Motorsports Chevy that Sterling Marlin drives. #01-Joe Nemechek is the team's other driver.(7-8-2006)
    UPDATE: been told that that the owner of Ginn Resorts has bought out MB2 Motorsports majority owner, Nelson Bowers 80% stake in the team. Expect a formal announcement at Indy during the week of the Brickyard 400. Also looks like the DEI deal rumored a few weeks ago will not happen.(7-20-2006)
    UPDATE 2: MB2 Motorsports to Make Major Announcement Regarding Ownership of Team on Wednesday, July 26th involving the MB2 New Team Owner, Jay Frye, MB2 CEO/GM, #01-Joe Nemechek, MB2 driver and #14-Sterling Marlin, MB2 driver.(7-26-2006)
    MORE: The sale of MB2 Motorsports to real estate and resort developer Bobby Ginn should shore up the Nextel Cup team's short- and long-term future. The deal, which will be announced Wednesday at a news conference at a Ginn Clubs & Resorts property in Orlando, will include a 10-race primary sponsorship this year for Sterling Marlin's #14 Chevrolet, solidifying a car that had lacked full-season funding. "We needed to have a strong identity, something to differentiate ourselves vs. other teams," MB2 general manager Jay Frye said. "This is a huge opportunity to do that. Financially, it puts us in a different posture than what we've been. We have an opportunity to expand, and we're much better positioned for the future." Before Ginn's purchase of the team, Frye was considering a merger with Dale Earnhardt Inc. Frye said that option is off the table now that it seems MB2 has the potential for eventually keeping pace with title-caliber powerhouses such as Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Racing.(USA Today)
    UPDATE 3: MB2 Motorsports, which fields NASCAR Nextel Cup entries for drivers #01-Joe Nemechek and #14-Sterling Marlin, has announced a change of ownership. Real estate developer Bobby Ginn (pronounced GHIN) has purchased all of the shares owned by MB2 majority owner and founding partner Nelson Bowers. The business transaction takes effect immediately. Jay Frye, MB2's general manager and chief executive officer since the formation of the racing organization in 1996, will continue in the same capacity and retain his ownership in the company. Ginn's majority interest and Frye's interest comprise 100% ownership of MB2 Motorsports. Ginn, 57, is president and founder of the Celebration, Fla.-based Ginn Resorts, a privately held resort development and management firm, specializing in exclusive leisure lifestyle and vacation destination communities in the United States. "We recognize the importance and relevance of NASCAR fans and sponsors to the overall success of our brand," said Ginn, a native of Hampton, S.C. "MB2 has outstanding partners in the U.S. Army, Waste Management, CENTRIX Financial, Wiley X Eyewear, Ginn Resorts and Mighty Auto Parts. Also announced today is that Ginn Resorts, which has been an MB2 primary sponsor at selected Cup events in 2006, has added 10 races to its primary-sponsorship package on Marlin's #14 Chevrolet. The sponsorship will be managed through Ginn Sports Entertainment. Regarding the sale of his shares in MB2, Bowers said, "I have thoroughly enjoyed all facets of being a NASCAR team owner for the past 10 years. It's been a memorable and fascinating ride and I wish Bobby, Jay and the entire MB2 organization nothing but success." Along with its Nextel Cup teams, MB2 has a driver development program in place with Kraig Kinser in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Jesus Hernandez in the Drive for Diversity program. The MB2 team shop is based in Mooresville, N.C..(MB2 Motorsport PR, click here to listen to the teleconference at )(7-26-2006)

  • DEI and MB2? UPDATE 3 merge denied: There's speculation that Teresa Earnhardt [who own's DEI, #1,#8,#15] is planning to buy MB2 Motorsports, with drivers #01-Joe Nemechek and #14-Sterling Marlin, in addition to the ongoing speculation that she may be planning to sell DEI to John Menard, a home-improvements czar who has long been involved in racing. Marlin, who drives for the Jay Frye-run MB2 Chevy operation, said he has heard the sale talk, but that he doesn't know what's going on. Ryan Pemberton, the crew chief for Nemechek, said he has talked with Frye about it, but he's not sure, either, what might be going on behind the scenes. Earnhardt doesn't grant interviews, and Frye isn't due here until today. So yesterday it was up to Richie Gilmore, the general manager at DEI, to try to explain the situation. "We're not selling out," Gilmore said. "Our plans right now are to go to a three-car operation next year with Paul Menard (John's son). John is a great sponsor for us, and we do a lot with Menard's, engines, and he's at our company a lot, and I guess people speculate when they see him around."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-3-2006)
    UPDATE: According to sources in the NASCAR garage MB2 Motorsports could merge with, or be sold to Dale Earnhardt Inc. MB2 still has unsold sponsorship inventory available for Sterling Marlin's #14 car, and the team's other driver, #01-Joe Nemechek, is said to be on Toyota's short list for 2007.(Ford Racing)(6-4-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Jay Frye, the general manager and part-owner of the MB2 team, said that much of the speculation about a DEI-MB2 merger is just that, speculation. "Everyone's got this four-team program idea, but we're like two and they're like two.... so how do we both do things more efficiently together," Frye said. "That's how this all got started. Our buildings are four minutes apart. So we're trying to work together on this car of tomorrow. It's not about engines; it's about car-building. Everything beyond that is purely speculation."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-5-2006)
    UPDATE 3: MB2 Motorsports officials say the team isn't for sale, but minority owner Jay Frye has had discussions with Dale Earnhardt Inc. about working together on the competition side. "Becoming more efficient is what we've talked about going into next year," Frye said Sunday. "... There's lots of different programs that are starting next year with the 'car of tomorrow' and things like that. We've talked to them about how maybe, as a group, we can do things [like build transmissions, gears or even cars] more efficiently together. It's all just ideas at this point. Nothing [concrete]. It's, 'How can we work together to make things more efficient.' Everything else has just blown out from that." Frye said the team, controlled by majority owner Nelson Bowers, is not for sale. But the fact that Frye has been to DEI's shop and Richie Gilmore, DEI's vice president of competition, has been to MB2 has sparked talk that DEI would buy MB2, with John Menard then buying DEI. Gilmore agreed that nothing is for sale. DEI has previously said that it would field a third full-time team for Paul Menard (John Menard's son) starting in 2007. DEI would like to expand, but Gilmore said there are no plans to purchase MB2. Frye said talks are still exploratory, sparked by the car of tomorrow. Teams will not only have to build versions of their current cars for 2007, but the newer car as well. Frye said the two organizations would need to form an alliance within the next two months to get a start on next season.(SceneDaily.com)(6-5-2006)

  • Nemechek's Car Damaged in practice: Joe Nemechek's #01 US Army Chevy was damaged when the blown-out side window from Reed Sorenson's #41 Target Dodge slammed into Nemechek's car during Saturday's practice. The impact shifted the radiator in Nemechek's car and caused the right front tire to blow.(Roanoke Times)(5-28-2006)

  • Nemechek Joins Checkers to Supports the Troops: Checkers Drive-In Restaurants that it has teamed with U.S. Army driver #01-Joe Nemechek in its continuing support of Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that prepares and sends care packages to U.S. Troops deployed overseas. To help kick off the Patriotic Drive, an initiative for which Checkers/Rally’s joined forces with Operation Gratitude and America Supports You to send care packages to the troops, the double drive-thru chain will donate $100,000 to Operation Gratitude if Nemechek wins Saturday night's NEXTEL Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. Nemechek, who will serve as a spokesperson for the Patriotic Drive, won the Richmond Cup race in May, 2003. If Nemechek takes first place at Richmond, he will personally award Operation Gratitude with a $100,000 check from Checkers/Rally’s during the post-race ceremonies. A Patriotic Drive will take place from May 8 to June 14, 2006. Gifts for military care packages can be donated at participating Checkers/Rally’s locations nationwide. All items collected will be used by Operation Gratitude to prepare and send individual care packages to military men and women deployed overseas. The items most requested by the troops include: mini battery-operated fans; bandana cool ties; CDs and DVDs; high-tech gear such as computer flash drives, hand-held video games and disposable cameras; small snack foods; and personal letters of support. For more information about Operation Gratitude see opgratitude.com.(DMF Comminciations/MB2 Motorsports)(5-6-2006)

  • Nemechek to a backup car: On the first lap of today's practice session at Texas Motor Speedway, Joe Nemechek spun and hit the concrete wall, forcing the #01 U.S. Army team to go with a backup Chevrolet for the rest of the weekend, including today's qualifying session. Nemechek did manage to make a few practice laps in the backup car and was 29th fastest out of the 48 cars entered for Sunday's Samsung/RadioShack 500. After the practice session, the #01 team put the engine from the primary car into the backup car. "Once we get the primary engine in the backup (car), we should be fast," said Nemechek, who has qualified in the top 10 at the last four Texas races. "I am not really sure why the (primary) car did what it did. I was down low and the car was sticking, and then all of a sudden it was headed to the wall."(MB2 Motorsports PR)(4-7-2006)

  • Mrs. VA to best guest of #01 Army team: Rose Lopez-Keravuori, the reigning Mrs. Virginia will be a guest of the U.S. Army team at Sunday's DIRECTV 500 Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. It will be the first NASCAR race for Lopez-Keravuori, who was crowned Mrs. Virginia last May. A 1997 West Point graduate with degrees in Spanish, French and Computer Science Engineering, Lopez-Keravuori spent six years of active duty in Germany as a military intelligence officer. She currently serves as a military intelligence captain in the U.S. Army Reserve and holds down a full-time job as an intelligence analyst with BAE Systems. Lopez-Keravuori is an avid outdoor enthusiast and adventurer. She and her husband Eero have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, surfed in Bali and gone ice climbing in New Zealand. Lopez-Keravuori resides in Arlington, Va. and travels the state to promote her platform on education.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(3-31-2006)

  • #400 for Nemechek: #01-Joe Nemechek will reach another career milestone when the green flag drops for Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. It will be his 400th career Cup start. Nemechek's first start was July 11, 1993 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon. He started 15th and finished 36th in a family-owned Chevrolet sponsored by Dentyne. Since then, the U.S. Army Chevy driver has carved an impressive career leading up to his 400th start.(MB2Motorsports PR)(3-29-2006)

  • Congrats: to Danielle Frye, MRN reporter and wife of MB2 Motorsports [#01, #14, #36] CEO and general manager Jay Frye, gave birth March 8th to daughter Emerson Daye at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Emerson weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. Emerson joins 2-year-old sister Addison Rece in the Frye household.(3-9-2006)

  • Congrats II: MB2 motorsports Parts coordinator, K.C. Brooks and his wife Niki who is employed at Wachovia bank in charlotte, welcomed baby girl Kaylee Nicole on Monday, Feb 27th@ 7:26am weighing 6lbs. 3oz. and was 20 inches long.(3-9-2006)

  • #01 Fire at Daytona UPDATE: around 9:20am/et, it was reported on Speed Channel's NASCAR Live the there was a fire in the engine compartment of the #01 US Army Chevy that Joe Nemechek drives, supposedly oil collected in a heat shield and caught fire and was quickly put out. No report on an engine change, but ut was reported that the #01 would start at the rear of the field due to engine problems in the Gatorade Duel on Thursday.
    UPDATE: The MB2 Motorsports #01 Chevy driven by Joe Nemechek suffered a small fire in the engine compartment this morning around 9:00am/et as the crew prepared for the Daytona 500. The fire that a crewmember termed as 'No big deal' started after pieces of rubber under the exhaust header ignited. The crew was forced to change the wiring harness and the aluminum heat shield next to the header. The car will be starting from the back, but they had already been relegated there after being forced to change an engine yesterday. The engine that was changed Saturday was from the same batch that produced the engine that had blown up during Thursday's Twin Qualifying race.(Cup Scene Daily)(2-19-2006)

    2005 News

  • Army no longer NASCAR sponsor BUT will sponsor #01 team: The U.S. Army will no longer sponsor NASCAR [be an official NASCAR sponsor], Street & Smith¹s SportsBusiness Journal reports, but it will continue as sponsor of MB2 Motorsports' #01 Chevrolet driven by Joe Nemechek in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series. The publication reports that the decision was based on price and says the Army will spend the money it would have used in NASCAR for "grassroots programs supporting the Army's primary sponsorship objective of generating recruiting leads." The story says NASCAR will leave representation of the armed forces with individual teams.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(12-22-2005)

  • Centrix on the #01 at Phoenix: Joe Nemechek will be driving the #01 Centrix Financial Chevy this weekend with the U.S. Army as an associate sponsor.(MB2 Motorsports)(11-10-2005)

  • Some road course fun for the #01 team: hearing that Joe Nemechek and the #01 Army team are coming out to Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving Racing on Thursday for a little friendly competition with each other before heading out to Phoenix International for this weekends race. They will be using the Bondurant C5 Corvette on the autocross then moving to the Briggs and Straton Karting complex for a Pro Kart Grand Prix.(11-10-2005)

  • Kinser wins ARCA Race: Driving the #10 U.S. Army/CENTRIX Financial/Rally's Chevrolet as a member of MB2 Motorsports driver development program, Kraig Kinser started from the pole and led 83 of 113 laps and won the ARCA RE/MAX race on Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway. "This is sweet," said the 20-year-old son of many-time World of Outlaws sprint car champion Steve Kinser. "MB2 gave me a great car and the Hendrick engine was awesome." Kinser, who took the checkered flag 0.168 seconds ahead of Kyle Krisiloff, didn't have much time to enjoy the Food World 300 victory. Following the customary Victory Lane photos and media interviews, he boarded a private airplane for Williams Grove, Pa. to compete in Saturday night's World of Outlaws main feature. Kinser was competing in only his second career ARCA race. Along with guidance from crew cheif Doug Randolph and team spotter Roman Pemberton, Kinser also received advice from 75-year-old Hall of Fame driver, Red Farmer, who called Kinser in Victory Lane to congratulate him. Kinser's father, who won an IROC race at Talladega in 1994, was back in Pennsylvania preparing for Saturday night's sprint car race. He was given a play-by-play of the closing laps via cell phone from his boyhood friend and team pilot Chuck Myers.(MB2 Motorsports PR), see more and results at ARCARacing.com.(10-2-2005)

  • MB2 Motorsports New Home almost ready: The NASCAR Nextel Cup teams of MB2 Motorsports are scheduled to move into their new facility in Mooresville, N.C. the week of Oct. 10. The 144,000-square foot complex will give the multi-team organization more than three times the space of its current shop in Concord, N.C. "This will be our third shop since MB2 Motorsports was founded in the summer of 1996," said Jay Frye, MB2's CEO and general manager. "Our first shop was in Mooresville, and when we look back at the size of that facility at 8,000 square feet and compare it to what we're about to move into, it really hits home how far we have come in a relatively short period of time." The state-of-the-art new MB2 headquarters, located in Iredell County east of I 77 at exit 33, will also include a fan-friendly viewing area of the spacious race shop.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(9-28-2005)

  • Nemechek spends Tuesday with the Troops: #01-Joe Nemechek visited and thanked 75 U.S. Army soldiers at Texas Motor Speedway Tuesday for their brave service following their recent return from Iraq. The soldiers represent the 1st Calvary Division, 3rd Brigade based at Fort Hood in central Texas. The soldiers participated in the Team Texas High Performance Driving School and wheeled stock cars at speed around The Great American Speedway. Nemechek then gave six soldiers a ride they will always remember, touring the 1.5-mile superspeedway at race speed. "It is a neat day coming to meet you soldiers," Nemechek told the assembled group during a lunch speech. "Being here in Texas, having you come from Fort Hood, just getting back from overseas, it is a special day for all of us. "The Army is a different kind of sponsor," Nemechek continued. "To me, it is very important. You are not dealing with a company that makes a product, you are dealing with soldiers, men and women." Nemechek was accompanied by his mother, Martha Nemechek, who wore a Desert Storm uniform to honor the troops. Nemechek reflected on the day as he exited the speedway. "It was very, very neat. The soldiers will have a whole new outlook on what it takes to be a race car driver and what we do. It is always a special day when I get to share it with our soliders."(Texas Motor Speedway)(8-24-2005)

  • Kinser to drive for MB2 Motorsports in ARCA at MIS: World of Outlaws racer, Kraig Kinser, who joined MB2 Motorsports' driver development program this season, will compete in Friday's ARCA event, the Hantz Group 200 -- at Michigan International Speedway (MIS). The 20-year-old son of legendary sprint car racer, Steve Kinser, is coming off an emotional weekend. He won Sunday night's Knoxville Nationals main feature at the half-mile oval in central Iowa, the most prestigious race in the World of Outlaws Series. Kinser's ARCA team will be a joint venture between MB2 Motorsports and Andy Hillenburg Racing. Kinser will drive the #10 Chevrolet with sponsorship from CENTRIX Financial, U.S. Army and Checkers/Rally's. Doug Randolph, MB2's driver development manager, will be Kinser's crew chief. The team will also receive support from members of MB2's #01 and #10 Nextel Cup teams. Kinser, the 2004 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year, completed four test sessions in an ARCA car -- at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., Lakeland (Fla.) Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway and MIS.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(8-17-2005)

  • Purple Heart on the #01 at Indy UPDATE: Sunday is Purple Heart Day, and to honor recipients of the Purple Heart, Joe Nemechek's #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet will feature an image of a Purple Heart on the side of the car.(Lakeland Ledger)(8-4-2005)
    UPDATE: Purple Heart Decal on #01 Army Car, Sunday, Aug. 7 is recognized as Purple Heart Day as a tribute to Soldiers who have received the Purple Heart. An image of the medal will be featured on the U.S. Army Chevrolet driven by Joe Nemechek during this weekend's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race, the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. The Purple Heart was first created on Aug. 7, 1792 by Gen. George Washington as a badge of distinction for enlisted Armed Forces personnel for "any singularly meritorious action." More info at www.purpleheart.org.(MB2 Motorsports).(8-7-2005)

  • Nemechek and U.S. Army renew with MB2 Motorsports: In conjunction with the U.S. Army partnership renewal with MB2 Motorsports in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Joe Nemechek has received a multiyear contract extension from MB2 to drive the #01 Army Chevrolet. Nemechek took over the driving duties of the U.S. Army/MB2 entry with four races remaining in the 2003 season. "It's been a privilege to drive the U.S. Army car and represent the men and women in uniform," said Nemechek. "This Army team continues to make progress and as time goes on we're only going to get better and better. The future is bright because we have talented people associated with this team. I am grateful to be part of MB2 Motorsports -- it's a first-class organization that is 100 percent committed to fielding quality teams in the most competitive form of racing." Jay Frye, MB2's general manager and chief executive officer, was equally thrilled in Nemechek's contract extension and the Army partnership renewal. "We are honored with the continued support the U.S. Army has placed with our team," said Frye. "We have a special partner in the Army and are very proud of the association. Our Army of One team has been competitive week in and week out and we are excited about Joe's extension. Everyone at MB2 Motorsports feels that we are on the cusp of something great." Nemechek, a native of Lakeland, Fla., has 375 career NASCAR Cup starts. His first Cup race was in 1993, the year after he won the Busch Series championship.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(7-8-2005)

  • MB2 Motorsports Announces Restructuring of Ownership: MB2 Motorsports announced today that Robert E. Sutton has expanded his ownership involvement with the company by joining current and founding owner, Nelson Bowers, as an equal partner with the multicar race team. Sutton was previously a co-owner of MB2's #36 Nextel Cup team. Jay Frye, MB2's general manager and chief executive officer since the formation of the racing organization in 1996, will continue with a minority ownership in the company. Sutton's expanded position will take effect immediately and MB2 Motorsports will become one entity with ownership of all of the company's race teams starting with the 2006 season. The company fields three cars in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series -- the #01 U.S. Army Chevrolet, driven by Joe Nemechek; the #10 Valvoline Chevrolet, driven by Scott Riggs; and the #36 CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet, driven by Boris Said. The racing organization has a developmental program in progress with 20-year-old driver Joe Henderson of Franklin, Tenn. The company also has plans to have Kraig Kinser, the 19-year-old son of legendary sprint car racer Steve Kinser, join the developmental team. MB2 is currently based in Concord, N.C., but will be moving in August to a new shop in Mooresville, N.C. The new 144,000 square-foot complex will be more than three times larger than its current facility.(MB2 Motorsports PR)(6-30-2005)

  • More changes at MB2/MBV? Riggs to leave? UPDATE team hopes to keep Riggs: Following closely on this week’s promotion and transfer of top technical personnel, expect some major announcements from the MB Motorsports organization in the next couple of weeks. The team, which campaigns Nextel Cup cars with drivers #01-Joe Nemechek, #10-Scott Riggs and (part-time) #36-Boris Said, soon will announce the signing of a well-known sprint-car driver to an ARCA/Busch/Cup program [known as the ABC program] for 2006, sources close to the team said. This will be the first step in a full-blown driver-development program. That driver is said to be Kraig Kinser. The team has been a cooperation among the MB2 (Nemechek) and MBV (Riggs) teams, with sponsor Valvoline to now owning part of the MBV team. Valvoline apparently intends to sell its part of the operation to MB2 founding owner Nelson Bowers and associates, with Valvoline remaining as associate sponsor on Riggs's #10. Centrix, sponsor of Said's effort, will step up to the top position [primary sponsor of the #10].(Speed Channel Notebook), and hearing Scott Riggs, driver of the #10 MBV team could end up at Evernham, Penske [#2] or the #6 Ford of Roush Racing.(6-12-2005)
    UPDATE: Jay Frye, CEO/General Manager of MB2/MBV Motorsports, said on Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning that the team plans to do everything it can to re-sign Scott Riggs and keep him in the #10 Chevy.(6-12-2005)

  • New Crew Chief for Riggs? UPDATE: hearing that car chief Rodney Childers will take over the crew chief job at the #10-Scott Riggs Valvoline team, for Doug Randolph.(6-7-2005)
    UPDATE: The following personnel promotions at MB2 Motorsports were announced today. Ryan Pemberton has been promoted to team manager and will oversee the #01 Army and #10 Valvoline teams. He will continue as crew chief on the # 01 Chevrolet driven by Joe Nemechek. Doug Randolph, who has been the crew chief on Scott Riggs' #10 MBV Motorsports entry since 2004, has been promoted to a management position as race coordinator and driver development manager. Rodney Childers, who has been the car chief for the #10 team since the beginning of the 2005 season, has been promoted to crew chief for Riggs' Valvoline Chevrolet. Frank Stoddard has been promoted to research and development manager and will continue as crew chief on Boris Said's #36 CENTRIX Financial Chevrolet for MB/Sutton Motorsports. "By making these promotions with our team personnel, we believe the entire organization will be stronger than ever," said Jay Frye, CEO and general manager of MB2 Motorsports. "We have quality individuals leading the restructured departments and the changes will only enhance our program going forward as a multicar operation with a one team approach."(MB2 Motorsports PR)(6-8-2005)

  • Special Army theme for Nemechek at Pocono: #01-Joe Nemechek will commemorate the U.S. ARMY's 230th birthday with a camouflage paint scheme at Pocono in June.(RacingOne), see an image of the car on my #01 Team Schemes page.(6-7-2005)

  • No penalties for Harvick/Nemechek: NASCAR will not punish Kevin Harvick or Joe Nemechek, who had a televised shoving incident that included verbal assaults after Stewart, Nemechek and Harvick started a wreck with five laps remaining in the All-Star Challenge.(Rocky Montain News)(5-25-2005)

  • Nemechek/Harvick altercation: in the garage after Joe Nemechek and Kevin Harvick came back from the infield care center at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Nextel All-Star Challenge, Nemechek walked up to Harvick's wrecked car and started to apologize to Harvick's crew when Harvick walked up and they went nose-to-nose. Here's what was said:
    Nemechek: "Hey, I'm sorry about that dude."
    Harvick: "I'm starting to get tired of you wrecking me."
    Nemechek: "I didn't start the deal."
    Harvick: "You called me out at Daytona."
    Nemechek: "Hey, if you wanna go at it..let's have at it big boy."
    Harvick: "But you know what, you need to take your old washed up [butt] out of here...that's what you need to do."(from a source in the garage at LMS)(5-21-2005)

  • MB2/MBV Motorsports to move? UPDATE: hearing that the MB2 Motorsports #01 U.S. Army and MBV Motorsports #10 Valvoline teams [and #36 tean of Boris Said] will move the team from their Concord, NC shop to Mooresville, NC in the Eaton building on Rt 115. Per the Mooresville Tribune, the Mooresville Commission voted to extend an economic grant for $16,512 a year for five years to Team Property Partners LLC, a race team relocating from Concord to the Eaton Corp. building on NC 115 in Mooresville (4 miles from where I live).(12-23-2004)
    UPDATE: Three more Nextel Cup teams will call Race City USA home when MB2 Motorsports moves into the vacant Eaton-Aeroquip complex in late summer. Vacant since 2003, Eaton’s former automotive complex on N.C. 115 at Timber Road, south of downtown, will now house the teams of drivers #01-Joe Nemechek, #10-Scott Riggs, and #36-Boris Said, MB2 officials said Thursday. MB2 left Mooresville in 2001 for a facility near the Concord Regional Airport. Jay Frye, CEO and general manager of MB2 Motorsports, said the move to Concord wasn’t a long-term decision. “We liked being in Mooresville,” he said. “We found an opportunity to come back there. The town and the county were very gracious and excited for us to be coming back.” The teams will now have a little more room to maneuver, moving from 40,000-square-foot facility to the 144,000 square-foot Eaton building, Frye said. The move is expected to be completed by September, after a building upfit by MAX Construction Services of Mooresville. “This strengthens our motor sports cluster that we have in our community,” said Melanie O’Connell Underwood, executive director of economic development at the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce. “(The teams) have more opportunity to be closer to suppliers that we have here.” The 40-mile move to Mooresville will also shorten the commute for many of the teams’ 100 employees who kept their homes in town when the company moved five years ago, she said. Fifteen Nextel Cup, 26 Busch Series, and 14 Craftsmen Truck teams will now be based in Mooresville, according to the MSI Chamber.(Mooresville Tribune)(5-7-2005)

  • Sad News: Joe Nemechek's maternal grandfather -- Frank Glowacki -- passed away Sunday evening in Lakeland, Fla. He was 91 years-old. The funeral is Wednesday, April 13th. Heath Funeral Chapel, 328 S Ingraham Ave. Lakeland, FL is handling the arrangements.(4-12-2005)

  • Centrix as primary sponsor: CENTRIX Financial will have a total of four primary sponsorships on MB2/MBV’s #01 Chevrolet driven by Joe Nemechek and #10 Chevrolet driven by Scott Riggs.(MB2/MBV Motorsports site). Atlanta in March will be one race for the #01.(3-15-2005)

  • New Associate sponsor for the #01: Wiley X Eyewear, a major supplier of eyewear to the U.S. Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies, has joined MB2 Motorsports as an associate sponsor on the #01 U.S. Army Chevy driven by Joe Nemechek. According to the New England Journal of Medicine (Dec. 9, 2004), Wiley X ballistic eyewear is one of the main reasons for the decreasing amount of eye injuries suffered by soldiers. Along with manufacturing high velocity eye armor for the military, Wiley X produces a line of specialty eyewear for the motorcycle, mountain/street bike, boating and fishing markets as well as a line of sophisticated sunglasses for both casual and active wear. Jay Frye, general manager of MB2 Motorsports, said that Wiley X Eyewear has been a welcome addition in more ways than one for the U.S. Army team. "We are proud of our new affiliation with Wiley X Eyewear for two main reasons," said Frye. "First, it is a company that has dedicated itself in researching and producing an eyewear product that protects our troops. And secondly, the durability, the fit and ballistic protection of Wiley X Eyewear make it a perfect product for our pit crew members." For additional information about Wiley X Eyewear and its products, search the company's web site at: www.wiley-x.com.(MB2 Motorsports PR), see an image of the car with Wiley X on the deck lid on my #01 Team Schemes age.(3-2-2005)

  • Nemechek's Comments Friday: As a result of Thursday's multi-car accident [in the 2nd Gatorade Duel], #01-Joe Nemechek woke up Friday morning with a sore neck and sore ribs. How do you feel? "I'm a little sore today -- I took a hard hit yesterday. I have to say my backup car is driving good so that's the main thing. We're ready for the Daytona 500."
    How Close is the backup car to the car you ran yesterday? "It's the same car we ran in the Bud Shootout. On paper it's aerodynamically a better racecar -- it makes more downforce, has less drag and does all of the good things. The other car was my favorite piece but it's totaled so this one has to be my favorite piece from now on. The Army Chevy drove good today -- it's been a little snug but they brought it back to the shop (Concord, N.C.) after the Shootout and worked on it and got it a little more free. It feels better than it did Saturday night. The cool thing about our team is that we have eight speedway cars and they are all within a tenth of each other. We're able to reproduce the good stuff and I have all of the confidence in the world that this car will get me to the finish line."(MB2 Motorsports PR)(2-19-2005)

  • Bowers involved in Diversity: Chattanooga [TN] businessman Nelson Bowers, who fields the Nextel Cup cars driven by #01-Joe Nemechek, #10-Scott Riggs and #36-Boris Said, said he'll join NASCAR's diversity effort by hiring Joe Henderson to drive selected Late Model and ARCA races this year. Bowers said Henderson, a teenage African-American driver from Nashville, will start the season at the Nashville Fairgrounds, where he ran last year with the assistance of Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(1-26-2005)

    2004 News

  • USG to the #17: nothing official, but looks like USG will leave the #01 MB2 Motorsports team and go to #17-Matt Kenseth, running the USG scheme at the races at Californinia in February, The Brickyard 400 and Atlanta in the fall. See an image of the car on my 2005 #17 Paint Schemes page.(11-18-2004)

  • Pemberton Wins WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race: In one of the most thrilling races of the year, Joe Nemechek held off a hard-charging Ricky Rudd on the final lap of the Banquet 400 to claim his first win of the season. The victory was also crew chief Ryan Pemberton's first career Nextel Cup Series win, but the accolades didn't end there, as Pemberton was voted by race fans the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. Over 40% of the fans who logged onto www.WYPALL.com thought Pemberton's superior strategy made him the easy pick for the award. Pemberton made the risky call to leave his driver on the track during a late-race caution, despite the leaders coming into the pits to top off with fuel. Nemechek moved from 14th to 4th by not pitting and took over the lead on lap 231, never looking back. "Pemberton didn't have the best car on the track, but he had the best game plan," noted race fan Ryan Ott. "He had a car that could go the distance and he was willing to bet on it."
    "Ryan (Pemberton) did a heckuva job," commented WYPALL Wipers spokesman Robbie Reiser. "He put together a really fast car. Their track position would have probably kept them from winning, but Ryan took care of that by leaving Joe (Nemechek) out on that last round of stops. He may have been on old tires, but his car was so fast that it didn't matter. His move put his car right up front and ultimately got them the win."
    Tony Eury, Sr. remains in first place in the WYPALL Wipers Crew Chief Challenge with nine wins. Chad Knaus and Robbie Loomis are tied for second place with four wins. Tommy Baldwin is in third place with three wins. Robbie Reiser and Matt Borland stand in fourth place with two wins. Pat Tryson, Larry Carter, Lee McCall, Donnie Wingo, Phillipe Lopez, Ryan Pemberton, and Pete Rondeau are tied for fifth place, each with one win. The crew chief with the most weekly wins at the end of the season will be named WYPALL® Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and receive $10,000.00. For more information, visit www.wypall.com.(PR)(10-12-2004)

  • Nemechek and the US Army win at Kansas: #01-Joe Nemechek won the Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway as Nemechek sweeps the Cup and Busch races at the track, along with winning the pole. It is Nemechek's 4th career win, the first ever win in a car with the #01 in the Cup Series, Nemechek's first win since Richmond in May 2003, 54 races ago. It was the #01's crew chief, Ryan Pemberton's first win as a crew chief. ll four wins have been in four different car numbers [#42, #33, #25 and now #01]. #21-Ricky Rudd [Air Force asoc sponsor] had an exciting duel to the end and finished 2nd, Rudd's first top-five of the season. The rest of the top-five: #16-Biffle [National Guard], #38-Sadler and #19-Mayfield. Rookie #77-Brendan Gaughan had a top-10, that is two in a row now. Two Chase contenders had bad days, #12-Newman wrecked and finished 33rd and #48-Johnson got loose and spun, finishing 32nd, both with DNF's.
    See my Kansas Race Info/Rundown page for leaders, narratives and much more.
    See race results at:
    Jayski's Kansas Race Results/Awards Page
    ThatsRacin.com
    MotorsportsOne
    NASCAR.com.(10-10-2004)

  • #350 for Nemechek: #01-Joe Nemechek will make his 350th career Nextel Cup start at Dover.(9-25-2004)

  • Nemechek extends at MB2; Update on Nadeau: MB2 Motorsports announced that it has extended Joe Nemechek’s contract through the 2005 season to drive the #01 U.S. Army/USG Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Nemechek, who is coming off two consecutive top-10 finishes, including an eighth-place result in the recent Nextel Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway, joined MB2 Motorsports with four races remaining in 2003. “In a short time together, Joe and the team have developed a great working chemistry," said Jay Frye, general manager of MB2 Motorsports. “This team continues to turn out solid performances and has the ingredients to reach a new level of success. As a driver, Joe has done an excellent job piloting the 01 car and has been equally outstanding as a spokesperson and representative for our sponsors. We are excited about what we feel is in store for the future of this team.” Frye also announced that a recovery driving program continues to be in place for Jerry Nadeau, who drove the #01 car before suffering a head injury in an accident on May 2, 2003 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Nadeau, 33, is still recovering from the injury and has no immediate timetable for a return to competition. “I want to thank MB2 and all of our sponsors,” said Nemechek. “This Army/USG team has plenty of talent and we are jelling as a unit. We had a streak of bad luck recently, but we hung in there and never lost our focus and confidence in each other. We’ve had great cars at all different types of tracks and I can’t wait for the second half of the season. I look forward to working with the U.S. Army,” Nemechek continued. “It’s a privilege and honor to be associated with this institution. We support our troops and they support us. I want nothing more than to have success on the track and make our soldiers proud of their 01 Army race team.”(MB2 Motorsports PR)(7-20-004)

  • G.I. Joe Car Unvieled: On Wednesday at the Lake Mirror Amphitheater [FL], #01 U.S. Army driver, Joe Nemechek publicly consummated his relationship with Hasbro Inc., the company that manufactures G.I. Joe. He unveiled a new race car that highlights its 40th Anniversary. Under the scorching midday sun, about 200 patrons, both young and old, saw Nemechek and his mother, Martha, remove the tarp from the #1 U.S. Army/G.I. Joe 40th Anniversary Chevrolet Monte Carlo race car. The car, blanketed in sponsor decals, is several shades of Army green and glossy black. Occupying most of the car's hood is a commemorative emblem of the 40th Anniversary G.I. Joe. A camouflage of greens cover its sides and top. Nemechek plans to race the car for the first time Oct. 16, 2004, at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC.(Lakeland Ledger), see images of the car on my #01 Team Paint Scheme page.(7-1-2004)

  • Said To Race Nextel Cup: #36-Boris Said told Insider Racing News that he will drive a minimum of three more races in NASCAR Nextel Cup this season and possibly more will come out of the meeting this week. Currently it looks like Watkins Glen, Brickyard 400 at Indy and Fontana with the MB2/MBV Motorsports team and teammates Scott Riggs & Joe Nemechek. The sponsor will continue to be CENTRIX Financial, LLC, the Official Auto Finance Company of NASCAR . Said, stated that if not with him, he was sure CENTRIX would be around the sport for some time to come.(Insider Racing News)(6-28-2004)

  • Good News: The newborn daughter of NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek, who has been in the hospital for nearly two weeks with a bacterial infection, was expected to go home Friday night. "She had a very high fever, and they've run all these tests and had her on antibiotics all this time," Nemechek said of his third child, Kennedy. "She's going to be tough when she grows up, because they've stuck her with so many needles and she just keeps pulling them out. Thank goodness everything now is OK, but they had to make sure because her fever was so high."(Charleston Post and Courier)(5-29-2004)

  • #01 to salute the American Solider: Joe Nemechek's #01 U.S. Army Chevy will pay a fitting tribute to the American men and women in uniform for the Memorial Day weekend's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The hood on Nemechek's Army car will carry a replica of the Dec. 29, 2003 TIME magazine cover that honored the American Soldier as the Person of the Year. Traditionally, TIME selects a single notable person for its annual Person of the Year feature. However, for their valor and fearless defense of freedom during a tumultuous time, the American G.I. was selected for the honor. Action Performance will produce die-cast replicas of the #01 Army/American Soldier car in a variety of collector scales. Both TIME and the U.S. Army have agreed to donate their royalty proceeds to the Army Emergency Relief fund. The Army Emergency Relief is a private nonprofit organization with the sole mission of helping soldiers and their dependents in times of valid need. Since 1942, Army Emergency Relief has helped nearly three million Army personnel and their families with more than $837 million in financial assistance.(US Army PR), see an image of the car on my #01 Team Paint Scheme page.(5-24-2004)

  • Nadeau to be at Richmond: Though Jerry Nadeau who was injured a year ago at RIR] continues to recover from head injuries sustained in a practice accident at RIR, he doesn't shelter any bad feelings about the Richmond facility. In fact, he is planning to attend the weekend race, his first visit to a Nextel Cup event in 2004. "I only have good things to say about the Richmond track and the community," said Nadeau. "After all, the track emergency workers and the hospital staff at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center saved my life. I'm really looking forward to being with the team. Hopefully I can bring Joe [Nemechek] and the guys some luck. Joe is doing a great job in the Army car despite all of the bad breaks he's had recently.(MB2 Motorsports PR in part)(5-11-2004)

  • Sad News: Don DeCecco, a race-day member of the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Motorsports pit crew, passed away Tuesday (May 4) from esophageal cancer at his home in Spartanburg, S.C. He is survived by his wife Linda. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be sent to:
    Spartanburg Humane Society
    150 Dexter Road
    Spartanburg, S.C. 29303
    or
    Spartanburg Children's Shelter
    P.O. Box 2663
    Spartanburg, S.C. 29304
    DeCecco, 57, was the Gas Man on the Army/MB2 pit crew. He had been associated with MB2 since the team's first season in 1997. Prior to his MB2 involvement, DeCecco was a crew member for Hendrick Motorsports and David Pearson Racing, including Larry Pearson's 1986 and 1987 Busch Series championship teams. "We lost an outstanding member of our MB2 family," said Jay Frye, general manager of MB2 Motorsports. "Don was a true professional who had a deep passion for motorsports. He will be missed by his many friends and colleagues at MB2. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family." DeCecco was employed at BICO South, a steel manufacturing company in Spartanburg.(5-5-2004)

  • Boris Said gets sponsor for Sonoma race: Centrix Financial, LLC, the Official Auto Finance Company of NASCAR, today announced an agreement to serve as an associate sponsor for the MB2/MBV Motorsports #01 and #10 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup cars, driven by Joe Nemechek and Scott Riggs, respectively. The association will begin at this weekend's Auto Club 500 race at California Speedway in Fontana. Centrix Financial also announced that it will serve as primary sponsor of a third MB2/MBV Chevrolet, to be driven by road-racing specialist Boris Said, June 27 in the Nextel Cup race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., and at an additional Cup race to be determined. The sponsorship arrangement comes three weeks after CENTRIX Financial announced its official NASCAR sponsorship status.(MB2/MBV Motorsports PR), Said will run the #36, which is still owned by MB2/MBV Motorsports.(5-1-2004)

  • Riggs may run some Busch races: #10-Scott Riggs may run some Busch Series races for Cup teammate, Joe Nemechek [#87 Chevy in Busch], possibly as soon as California in May.(NASCAR Scene Magazine - need sub to view online)(4-8-2004)

  • Congrats: Andrea Nemechek, wife of NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek, gave birth to the couple's third child, Kennedy Grace, Monday, April 5 at Carolinas Medical Center University in Charlotte. Kennedy Grace weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces and measured 18 1/2 inches long. Mother and daughter are doing fine and are scheduled to be released from the hospital Wednesday (April 7). With the addition of Kennedy Grace, the Nemechek children include John Hunter (6-years-old) and Blair McKenzie (4).(US Army Racing PR)(4-6-2004)

  • Said in the #10 for more races? UPDATE No: saw this in a few reports about the #33 Mike Skinner/RCR ride and been asked by dozens of readers, so....."Skinner will also be competing in the Feb. 7 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, driving the #10 Chevrolet, team car to the #01 Chevrolet he won the pole in last year for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond. Boris Said also earned a pole in the #01 last year (Sonoma) and will drive the #10 in a number of races this season so Skinner is using the No. 10 for the pole-winners only event." I have email off to sources on this, have not heard anything about the regular driver of the #10 Valvoline Chevy, Scott Riggs, skipping any races [road courses for Said], would assume if Said is to run for the team, it would be for a third team to the #01/#10.(2-3-2004)
    UPDATE: been informed that Scott Riggs will be in the #10 Valvoline Chevy and Joe Nemechek will be in the #01 US Army Chevy for all 36 races, Said will not be driving in either car.(2-3-2004)

  • Boris is a Dad: Road race specialist Boris Said became a first-time father Jan. 23 when his son, Boris Said Jr., was born at Scripps Hospital in Carlsbad, Calif. Boris Jr. weighed in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and measured 20 inches long. When asked the obvious question, Boris explained, "Not quite a 'fro, but he had a good amount of hair," a reference to Said's trademark bushy-hair afro look. Said added, "Mother (Deanne Gray) and son are doing great." Along with competing in this weekend's Rolex 24 At Daytona, Said will also compete in the Feb. 7th Budweiser Shootout, driving the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Chevrolet. Said earned the invitation as a result of qualifying on the pole in the Army car at last year's NASCAR Cup road race in Sonoma. The Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway will be Said's first NASCAR superspeedway race.(US Army PR)(1-28-2004)

  • USG to Continue Partnerships with NASCAR, MB2/MBV Motorsports: USG Corporation, a leading manufacturer of building materials, including the industry leading Sheetrock Brand, announced it will continue its partnership affiliations with NASCAR and MB2/MBV Motorsports. The 2004 sponsorship programs that USG Sheetrock Brand will be actively involved in are as follows:
    * Primary, Associate Sponsorships with MB2/MBV Motorsports
    Along with being a season-long major associate sponsor on the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Chevrolet, driven by Joe Nemechek, USG Sheetrock Brand will also be the team's primary sponsor at four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races in 2004 -- Las Vegas (March 7), Chicago (July 11), New Hampshire (Sept. 19) and Darlington (Nov. 14).
    USG will also carry a season-long associate sponsorship with MB2's teammate, the #10 Valvoline/MBV Chevrolet driven by Scott Riggs in 2004.
    * NASCAR Promotional Partner
    * USG Person of the Year
    The award is designed to honor NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR USG Person of the Year award, the program will be divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track charitable efforts. A group of panelists will select one of the quarterly finalists as the USG Person of the Year. The award will be presented in New York during the week of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Awards Banquet.
    * USG Driver of the Race
    At each NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points race, the driver displaying the USG contingency decal on their car who has the best finishing position will win the cash award. The award will be split between the driver and the driver's selected charities.
    * NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series USG Night at the Races
    USG will sponsor "USG Night at the Races" at 26 local race tracks that are part of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series. The events are intended to provide USG customers an opportunity to enjoy an evening of stock car racing.
    USG Corporation, based in Chicago, is a Fortune 500 company with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their key product groups: gypsum wallboard, joint compound and related gypsum products; cement board; gypsum fiber panels; ceiling panels and grid; and building products distribution. For more information about USG Corporation, visit the USG home page at www.usg.com.(PR)(1-27-2004)

  • MB2/MBV Racing Owners Sell: Atlanta banker Tom Beard and attorney Read Morton have sold their interests in the MB2 and MBV teams to Chattanooga businessman Nelson Bowers. Bowers now owns the #01 U.S. Army team [Joe Nemechek/Jerry Nadeau] outright, and he and Valvoline each own half of the #10 Valvoline team [Scott Riggs]. Beard said the three remain friends and simply decided that the teams would be better off with a single owner. "You can't run a race team by committee, especially when we live in different cities," Beard said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(1-20-2004)

  • Said gets in some testing at DIS: Boris Said had nothing to do but eat barbecue for the first two days of testing, but a rule relaxation allowed him his first experience on the track Thursday. As pole winner last season at Sonoma, CA, the road-racing specialist has a spot in the Feb.7 Bud Shootout in the MB2/MBV Motorsports #01 U.S. Army Chevy, but his only previous superspeedway experience was an ARCA race last year at Talladega. "Now that was cool," said Said, who had to wedge his 6-foot-3 frame into a car prepared for 5-9 regular driver Joe Nemechek. "I can't believe they go three-wide here. It's a lot different than Talladega; you have to do a lot more driving here." NASCAR originally told the team it would be charged a test if Said split time during the session, but allowed Scott Wimmer and Dave Blaney to share a test [#22 CAT Dodge] (Wimmer left to get married) and Mike McLaughlin to replace #20-Tony Stewart. The two #01 cars were consistently among the fastest all week, an "encouraging" development, Nemechek said, after producing a top-10 finish and good qualifying efforts in four races with his new team to end last season.(St. Petersburg Times)(1-9-2004)
    UPDATE: Boris Said, who will drive the #01 Chevy in the Bud Shootout (Feb. 7), joined Joe Nemechek and the U.S. Army team in Thursday's final day of testing at Daytona International Speedway. "The goal was to get out there to feel the bumps, to feel the air and to just get a good handle of the track," commented Said, who earned a spot in the Bud Shootout by qualifying on the pole when he drove the 01 Army Car in last year's road race in Sonoma, CA. "This (superspeedway racing) is all new to me. The seat time I got today was valuable. Now I get to go home and think about it for a few weeks. I can't wait to come back here and jump in the U.S. Army car for the Bud Shootout. That will be a dream come true."(US Army Racing PR)(1-12-2004)

  • Nemechek and Cellular One back together for 2004 Busch races: NEMCO Motorsports announced its 2004 Busch Series schedule for Driver Joe Nemechek and returning sponsor Cellular One from Dobson Cellular Systems. Nemechek will pilot the #87 Cellular One Chevy in 14 events beginning with the Hershey Kisses 300 at Daytona International Speedway in February. Nemechek also competes full time in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series where he drives the #01 US Army Chevrolet for MB2/MBV Motorsports.(NEMCO Motorsports PR) full PR on my Busch Series site.(1-3-2004)

    2003 News

  • Congrats: It's been a joyous holiday for Danielle and Jay Frye, who became first-time parents with the birth of Addison Rece, Dec. 23, 10:13pm/et at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Addison weighed in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 inches long. Mother and daughter were released from the hospital on Christmas morning. Danielle is a reporter for MRN Radio and Jay is general manager of MB2/MBV Motorsports [#01/#10](12-27-2003)

  • Nemechek and Nadeau visit Walter Reed AMC: At 14, Reggie Showers lost both of his legs in an electrical accident. More than two decades later, he’s living his dream of being a professional stock bike rider. Showers, 39, wore his 2003 Pro Stock Bike Champion jacket for a Dec. 12 visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he delivered messages of hope and inspiration to Soldiers recovering from injuries suffered while serving in Iraq. The visit also included NASCAR drivers Jerry Nadeau and Joe Nemechek; NHRA drag racer Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher; and NHRA Pro Stock Bike riders Angelle Savoie and Antron Brown – all of who drive or ride for Army-sponsored teams. Showers rides for Prosthetic Design.
    Staff Sgt. Maurice Craft, an Avenger crew member with B Battery, 3/4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, was riding on Highway 5 in Baghdad Nov. 24 when an improvised explosive device hit the vehicle he was riding in. He remembers telling the driver to pull him out, and the searing pain cursing through his legs. Closing his eyes seemed to make the pain go away, but he worried that he wouldn’t wake up again. Craft’s left leg was amputated at the knee and a titanium rod is keeping his right leg connected to his hip, which was shattered in the attack. He is determined not to allow his injuries to hold him back; Showers’ visit only strengthened his resolve.
    Spc. Lance Gieselmann echoed Craft’s appreciation. Gieselmann, of the 367th Armored Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division, was in an M1-A2 tank when it rolled over a remote-controlled roadside bomb Oct. 28 About 55 miles north of Baghdad. The explosion killed two of his friends and blew the turret and track off the tank, Gieselmann said. His left leg was amputated above the knee and back broken.
    Showers encouraged the Soldiers to do plenty of research on the various types of prosthetics on the market. He uses two sets of prosthetic legs – one for racing, and the other for walking. Gieselmann said he was also inspired by Nadeau, who suffered a head injury from a crash during a May practice run. Nadeau was at the hospital visiting Soldiers just a few days before the accident.
    “I’m working on getting better so I can get back to racing,’’ said Nadeau, whose place on the Army team is being filled by Nemechek. He hopes to be back in a racecar by May or June, starting out in bush races. “I’m just waiting for my head to heal.”
    As appreciative as the Soldiers were for the visit, the drivers and riders were equally grateful for their service and sacrifices. The visit brought back a piece of Savoie’s past. She was a registered nurse before turning professional stock bike rider. “It’s inspiring to meet them,’’ Savoie said. “I think about how the fans put us on a pedestal, like we’re heroes. But these guys are the heroes. It makes me feel a lot more humble.” Nemechek, too, was impressed with the Soldiers, especially Sgt. Gerald Santos, a flight engineer for the 106th Aviation who survived the Nov. 2 Chinook crash that killed 17 Soldiers on their way to 15 days of rest and recuperation. “It’s pretty incredible what they do, what they go through,’’ said Nemechek. “I look at the things that have happened to me, the times I’ve been hurt, and it’s nothing compared to what they go through. They’re tough.”(ARNEWS)(12-19-2003)

  • Army Close to Re-newing with the #01: Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports this week that the U.S. Army is close to renewing its sponsorship with MB2 Motorsports for the team's #01 Nextel Cup entry. Columnist Terry Lefton says the Army spent more than $16 million on its NASCAR sponsorship this year but says it generated 79 billion media impressions and 50,000 leads on possible Army enlistments. "That equates to $20 million in advertising we didn't have to spend, so we're pretty happy," Col Thomas Nickerson, director of Strategic Outreach of the U.S. Army Accessions Command, told the weekly publication. Joe Nemechek is scheduled to continue to drive while Jerry Nadeau continues to recuperate from his May accident at Richmond International Raceway.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(11-17-2003)

  • More on the Hendrick/MBV/MB2 relationship: Rick Hendrick's engineering brain trust is working overtime to help the Johnny Benson-Jay Frye-James Rocco team make it to the top 25 in the final standings, because that's the cutoff mark for NASCAR's special financial plans, including the TV plan. Hendrick officials held detailed planning sessions with Benson's crew this weekend. However, there are growing questions about possible ownership changes at the Frye-Rocco team and the Joe Nemechek-Frye team, with increasing indications that the owners may sell the 2-car operation.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-3-2003)

  • Hendrick buying the #01 and half of the #10? UPDATE Denied: hearing Hendrick Motorsports/Rick Hendrick may be purchasing the #01-US Army MB2 team and half of the #10 MBV Valvoline team. Joe Nemechek drives the #01 Pontiac and Scott Riggs will drive the #10 Valvoline Pontiac in 2004. Johnny Benson is the current driver.(10-24-2003)
    UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports [HMS] officials on Friday denied an Internet report that it was considering buying into MB2/MBV Motorsports which currently fields Pontiacs for Winston Cup drivers Joe Nemechek and Johnny Benson. Hendrick spokesman Jesse Essex said HMS is not interested in buying any or all of the MB2/MBV teams. The interest in Hendrick's relationship with MB2/MBV has been fueled by several arrangements recently between the two organizations, including the move of Hendrick's former driver, Nemechek, to MB2's #01 team. Hendrick also had a tentative arrangement to place its Busch driver, Brian Vickers, in MB2's #01 the final four races of this season. That deal was nullified when Nemechek left for the #01, and Vickers moved to HMS' #25, which he will run full time in 2004. Also, HMS currently provides all the engines for the MB2 and MBV teams.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-24-2003)

  • Nemechek close to 2004 ride? UPDATE 3: not sure who, but hearing Joe Nemechek, currently in the #25 Hendrick Motorpsorts Chevy, is close to signing a deal with an established Cup team, not PPI Motorsports 2nd team. Hearing it could be the #01 US Army team.(10-11-2003)
    Nadeau part time in 2004? UPDATE Nemechek in the #01; Vickers to the #25 after Martinsville: Hearing an announcement will come Monday morning regarding the #01 and the driver for next year, with a rehab program for Nadeau that will encompass 12-15 races in 2004.(10-12-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Nemechek will leave his #25 UAW-Delphi Chevy team following next weekend's race at Martinsville, and run the final four races of the season with MB2 Motorsports and its #01 US Army Pontiacs. In addition, Nemechek will remain with MB2 as the team's driver for the 2004 season, sources said. A formal announcement of the driver change is expected as early as Monday. Hendrick's Busch Series driver, Brian Vickers, has already been named as the driver of the #25 in Cup in 2004 and was planning to run the final four races this season in the #01. He will now run those races with his new team, Hendrick's No. 25, sources confirmed. Officials with Hendrick and MB2 could not be reached for comment Sunday night. Jerry Nadeau started the season in the #01, but suffered serious head, lung and rib injuries in an accident in practice May 2 at Richmond. In recent weeks, officials with MB2 have said they were holding Nadeau's seat for him in the #01. Nadeau has undergone extensive rehabilitation but is not yet ready to run a full Cup schedule. Instead, MB2 is expected to announce a plan to provide Nadeau opportunities to drive in various NASCAR events in 2004, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)
    UPDATE 3: As Jerry Nadeau continues to recover from a head injury he suffered in a May 2 accident at Richmond International Raceway, MB2 Motorsports announced today that Joe Nemechek has agreed to drive the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Pontiac in the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup season and in the final four races of the 2003 season. MB2 Motorsports also announced it has teamed with Hendrick Motorsports and NEMCO Motorsports to establish a recovery driving program for Nadeau that will most likely include a mixture of Nextel Cup, Busch and ARCA races during the 2004 season. "We were faced with circumstances that none of us wished we had to deal with," said Jay Frye, general manager of MB2 Motorsports. "But due to the reality of our current situation, we felt in the best interests of Jerry and of the race team this was the right path to take as we head into the 2004 season. Jerry continues to make progress and once he is ready to return to driving, we'll have a program in place that will allow him to gradually make his comeback to Cup racing. The uncertainty of how long his full recovery will take is difficult for everyone, but Jerry is a young (33-years-old) and determined individual who has many years of racing ahead of him." Nadeau said he is frustrated at times by his recovery progress, but he is ready for the challenge and looks forward to the day when he will be able to get behind the wheel of a racecar and be competitive. "I have repeatedly said that I will not rush back," said Nadeau. "I still have a ways to go, but I will get there. To be honest, the reality of not being able to come back sooner than I would have liked, is hard to take. But I want to do this right and I am grateful to MB2, Hendrick Motorsports and NEMCO Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to work my way back to the Cup series." Nemechek, who has been racing full time on the NASCAR Cup circuit since 1994, most recently in the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports entry, has three career victories, including a win at this year's spring race in Richmond.(US Army PR)(10-13-2003)

  • Vickers in the #01 for last 2003 Cup races UPDATE: MB2 Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports have tentatively reached an agreement to have Hendrick's 19-year-old Busch Series driver, Brian Vickers, run in the final four races of the 2003 Winston Cup season in MB2's #01 US Army Pontiac. Vickers, second in points in Busch this season, has already been announced as the new driver of Hendrick's #25 GMAC Chevrolet in Cup next season, but the team has been looking for ways to get him some Cup experience this season. MB2 has been using temporary drivers in the #01 since regular driver Jerry Nadeau's injury at the May race at Richmond, Va. Mike Skinner has been driving for the team most recently. "We've talked with Hendrick Motorsports and having Brian in the car is definitely a possibility, that's part of the reason we signed Mike only through Talladega," said Jay Frye, manager of MB2 Motorsports. "Brian's deal has not been set yet and if he doesn't end up doing the race, Mike will remain with the team the rest of the season. He has been doing a good job for us." Hendrick officials confirmed Saturday Vickers driving four races for the No. 01 was a possibility this season.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-13-2003)
    UPDATE: MB2 Motorsports announced that arrangements have been completed to have Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Busch Series standout, Brian Vickers, drive the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Pontiac in the final four races of the 2003 Winston Cup season. The 19-year-old native of Thomasville, N.C. will be subbing for Jerry Nadeau, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a May 2 accident at Richmond. The U.S. Army/MB2 ride will be an experience-builder for Vickers, who will join the Cup Series on a full-time basis next season, driving the #25 GMAC Hendrick Motorsports entry. Mike Skinner, who joined MB2 Motorsports in early August, will continue as the team's substitute driver through the Oct. 19 race in Martinsville. The four Winston Cup races Vickers will drive the U.S. Army car in are:. Atlanta (Oct. 26), Phoenix (Nov. 2), Rockingham, N.C. (Nov. 9) and Homestead, Fla. (Nov. 16). The four events will be double-duty weekends for Vickers, who will also be competing in the Busch Series races. Vickers' Busch ride last year was associated with the U.S. Army in 10 events through a relationship with the Army's National Automotive Center (NAC).(US Army Racing PR)(9-17-2003)

  • SunTrust Bank Joins U.S. Army Racing Again at Richmond: SunTrust Bank, Mid-Atlantic has partnered once again with the MB2 Motorsports NASCAR Winston Cup team for the September 6 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. SunTrust will be featured as an associate sponsor on the #01 U.S. Army Pontiac driven by Mike Skinner, who is substituting for the injured Jerry Nadeau. "This is another great opportunity for SunTrust to work with a top-notch group," said Michael Newbrand, Senior Vice President and SunTrust, Mid-Atlantic's Marketing Director. œWe are glad to hear that Jerry Nadeau is doing well and are pleased that he will visit the SunTrust client hospitality suite as our guest." Nadeau was scheduled to meet SunTrust's officials and guests before their inaugural race together May 3 at Richmond, but a practice accident the day before the event sidelined Nadeau. He continues to recover from those injuries, but is looking forward to visiting both his team and SunTrust representatives this weekend.
    SunTrust will also offer fans the opportunity to enter a "Racing With The Works," drawing to be selected as an honorary #01 U.S. Army pit crew member. Anyone over the age of 18 can complete an entry form at the SunTrust booth located on the track midway on Friday, Sept. 5 and Saturday, Sept. 6.. This drawing coincides with SunTrust's "Banking With The Works" promotion which features the Bank's new line-up of checking account products and low rate equity line products. in addition to these activities at Richmond International Raceway, the #01 U.S. Army show car was displayed at SunTrust's Fort Lee branch in Fort Lee on Wednesday for military members and their families. SunTrust's Internet address is www.suntrust.com.(MB2 PR)(9-4-2003)

  • Update on the Boat Accident: Regarding Rob Jones, mechanic for the #01 U.S. Army team -- his condition remains critical; vital signs are good. He is at Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte, NC.(US Army PR) -- Jones was involved in a boat accident where the boat ended up on I-77 near Mooresville, NC. For the full story, see my #01 Team News and Links page, no word on the current condition of the two passengers of the boat.(8-28-2003)

  • Boat Accident in NC UPDATE team members involved: Three people are in the hospital after a Thursday morning boating accident on Lake Norman, NC [near Mooresville]. The boat was driven into a rock barrier on the lake and the impact sent the boat into the air. The boat landed on I-77, clipping the front of a car, according to Davidson Fire and Rescue. The accident happened around 2:30am/et and the boat landed in the southbound lane of I-77 at mile marker 30. One person was ejected from the boat, two others became trapped inside. One boater was transported by helicopter to Carolinas Medical Center. The two remaining victims had to wait for firefighters to arrive to cut them out of the boat. All three are in the hospital. Investigators say drinking was definitely involved. The people in the car that was clipped did not suffer major injuries and one female did hurt her shoulder. I-77 was closed for several hours after the accident.(NBC 6 / Charlotte.com).
    AND Troopers say three people, two males and a female, were in a boat when it hit an embankment, went airborne, hit two cars on Interstate 77 and landed in the median. Troopers say charges are pending. No one in the cars was hurt, but the boaters were transported to Carolinas Medical Center. Police say the boaters' injuries are serious, but not life-threatening. Troopers say they found some alcohol in the boat. Investigators aren't sure why the boat became airborne, and they've called in the state Wildlife Resources Commission to check into it.(WWOC-TV).
    Jayski NOTE: been told one Cup team member was involved and although rumored, I am being told NO Cup drivers were involved. When named are released, I will post more on the story.(8-21-2003)
    UPDATE: Three people were hospitalized, all involved directly or indirectly with NASCAR, after a boat speeding across Lake Norman apparently became airborne, jumped a guardrail and struck a southbound car on Interstate 77 near Davidson, N.C. Injured in the accident were Robert Jones, 30; Dustin Bills; and Jennifer Wade, 28. Jones and Bills were listed in critical condition Thursday at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Wade was there as well, listed in fair condition. Authorities said alcohol was believed to have played a role in the accident. Jones is the lead mechanic for MB2 Motorsports's #01 U.S. Army Pontiacs in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Wade, identified as Jones' girlfriend, works at the Richard Petty Driving Experience, based near Lowe's Motor Speedway at Concord, NC. Bills is an employee of Penske-Jasper Engines. The accident occurred about 2:20 a.m. Thursday where the highway crosses the lake at Mile Marker 30, said Corrine Rust of Mecklenburg County Emergency Services. The three people who were hospitalized were all riding in the boat. Jones was taken by helicopter to CMC. No one in the car was injured.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-21-2003)

  • Skinner in the #01 car, Wallace out? UPDATE done deal: hearing that Mike Wallace has been released from the #01 US Army Pontiac and replacing him will be Mike Skinner (I hear for the next three races, except for Watkins Glen where Boris Said will run)(7-28-2003)
    UPDATE: Mike Skinner has been named to drive the #01 U.S. Army Pontiac for MB2 Motorsports beginning with this weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Skinner will take over driving duties from Mike Wallace who has substituted for the injured Jerry Nadeau since The Winston Open (May 17) at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Road racing specialist Boris Said, who drove the #01 U.S. Army Pontiac to a sixth place finish at Infineon Raceway, will take the wheel again at Watkins Glen International for the Aug. 10 road race. "Mike (Skinner) has agreed to drive for us at least through Darlington," said Jay Frye, CEO/General Manager of MB2 Motorsports. "The team seems to have lost a little momentum since Sonoma, but hopefully Mike will help get us back on the right track. His record of success speaks for itself."
    "I'm very excited that the team chose me to help them out," said Skinner. "My goal, first and foremost, is to help Jerry's recovery. We want him back in the U.S. Army Pontiac. Speaking from experience, though, getting back in the car before you are 100 percent isn't the best thing to do for anyone. Hopefully, I can help take a little pressure off of Jerry so he can recover at his own pace. I want to get his team back on its feet, and maybe even give them a win -- that would be an added bonus for all of us."(MB2 Motorsports PR)(7-29-2003)

  • #01 Camo Scheme The #01 US Army Pontiac will run a special camouflage paint scheme at Kansas in October. See an image of the scheme on my Paint Scheme Gallery - Cup page 1.(7-9-2003)

  • Said to run the #01 at Pocono and Watkins Glen? Jeff Hammond reports on FoxSports.com that it was heard through the grapevine at Sonoma that there's an outside possibility that Boris Said may run Pocono as well as Watkins Glen for the #01 team so he may get a couple more opportunities not only to sit on another pole but, maybe, to win a race or two.(FoxSports)(6-24-2003)

  • Double Duty for Said: Along with driving the #01 U.S. Army Pontiac this weekend at Infineon Raceway, Boris Said will also compete in Saturday's NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour Series race for Kenny Schrader's team and Sunday's SCCA Trans-Am event, which follows the Winston Cup race.(US Army Racing PR)(6-18-2003)

  • Andretti rumors: John Andretti, released Tuesday as driver of the #43 Petty Dodge, could be under consideration for a Pontiac ride with the #01 US Army/MB2 Motorsports team, as a sub for ailing Jerry Nadeau, or for a ride with #4 car owner Larry McClure, sources said.[McClure denies talking to any other drivers - see above story]. Mike Skinner, who has had a tough season with McClure, failed to make the field. Just last week McClure denied speculation of changes [remember Smutski?]. MB2's Jay Frye dismissed the Andretti talk.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-14-2003)

  • Flying High: Mike Wallace and Johnny Benson will make sky dives Thursday [June 12th] in Tecumseh, MI, when they participates in a tandem jump with members of the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute team that is based at Fort Bragg near Fayetteville, NC.(NASCAR.com)(6-9-2003)

  • Double Duty for Wallace: #01-Mike Wallace will pull double duty for the second time this year as the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series part ways. The Winston Cup Series will be competing at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA, while the Busch Series will be competing in Nashville Superspeedway. Wallace will fly back and forth between the two venues throughout weekend. Mark Green is standing by to qualify the Busch car if Wallace is unable to make it to Nashville prior to qualifying.(Biagi Bros. Racing PR)(6-5-2003)

  • Boris Said in the #01 at Sonoma? UPDATE 2: Rumors are that Boris Said will be in the #01 US Army Pontiac at Infineon Raceway, since he's known as a road racing specialist and has worked with Ryan Pemberton in years past [with Jasper Motorsports]. Currently Said is serving a 45 day suspension in the Trans-Am Series.(Insider Racing News)(5-26-2003)
    UPDATE: Boris Said, the road racing specialist, will run for the #01 US Army team in two weeks at Sears Point and will test next week. Mike Wallace is currently in the car.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-2-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Road course specialist Boris Said has been named by MB2 Motorsports to drive the #01 U.S. Army Pontiac in the June 22 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. Said, 40, will be substituting for Jerry Nadeau, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a May 2 accident at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Mike Wallace, who has been the team's substitute driver, will continue in the same role at the oval races. One of the leading national and international sports car drivers, Said has competed in seven career Winston Cup races. Six of his seven starts have come at NASCAR's two road courses -- Infineon Raceway (2000, 2001, 2002) and Watkins Glen (1999, 2001, 2002). His other start was at Homestead Miami Speedway in 1999. Said, of Carlsbad, Calif., has enjoyed success at Infineon Raceway. As a NASCAR driver, he finished 11th in the 2001 Winston Cup race and won the 1998 Craftsman Truck event. As a sports car racer in the American Le Mans Series, he won at Infineon in 2000 and was runner-up in 2001. Said, the 2002 Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Trans Am Series champion (eight wins in 11 races), is scheduled to test the U.S. Army road course car June 9 at Virginia International Raceway.(US Army PR)(6-5-2003)

  • Triple Duty for Mike Wallace: It’s not enough that #01-Mike Wallace is running both Saturday’s Busch Series and Sunday’s Winston Cup event. He’s flying back to Charlotte tonight to attend his daughter Lindsey’s high school graduation.(Gaston Gazette)(5-30-2003)

  • 160 G's? UPDATE so what the heck is a G-FORCE? Sources say Jerry Nadeau's wreck at Richmond registered 160 G-forces, double the hardest hit recorded since NASCAR started using black boxes in 2002. That Nadeau survived is a testament to safety enhancements made since Dale Earnhardt's death in February 2001. Nadeau remains hospitalized; he is semiconscious and in fair condition.(Sporting News)(5-19-2003)
    SO WHAT IS G-FORCE: was asked a few times about this, had no clue, so checked out a Jayski fave site: howstuffworks and.....One G is the force of Earth's gravity -- it is this force that determines how much we weigh. Back in 2001 CART cancelled a race at the Texas Motor Speedway because the drivers experienced dizziness after as few as 10 laps. The combination of high speeds and tight turns at Texas Motor Speedway produces forces of almost 5 Gs in the turns. the space shuttle only develops 3 Gs when it takes off. See the full story at howstuffworks: How do you calculate G-forces?.(5-20-2003)

  • Nadeau's hit the hardest: #01-Jerry Nadeau's driver's-side crash didn't resemble the head-on impacts involving Bobby Hamilton, Derrike Cope and Sterling Marlin last year at Richmond International Raceway. The accident, which put Nadeau in critical condition with head, rib and lung injuries, also was unique for its violence. The wreck ranked as the highest G-force spike reported by one of NASCAR's "black boxes," the data recorders installed at the beginning of the 2002 season to measure the impact of crashes by the force of gravity. "It was easily the hardest hit," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's executive vice president for communications. "It was a whopper." NASCAR doesn't release the numbers recorded in impacts, but Nadeau's crash easily exceeded the previous hardest hit of a reported 80 Gs by Kyle Petty's car at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. The RIR wrecks involving Cope and Marlin reportedly topped 60 Gs, and Hamilton said he was told his truck crash into the Turn 1 wall at the 0.75-mile oval last September registered a hit of 58 Gs. "Jerry's car did not have any chance to scrub off any speed," Hunter said. "Normally you hit with a corner of a car. Kyle Petty hit with one corner and then the other before hitting sideways. In Jerry's case, the car almost hit perfectly flat against the wall." The driver's side is one of the most vulnerable areas during a crash because there is little separating the cockpit from the concrete. Gary Nelson, who runs NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., is working on a method to cushion the blow. Nelson is building a crash pad at the R&D Center to help gather data.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-11-2003)

  • Mike Wallace to sub for Nadeau: Mike Wallace will be the substitute driver for Jerry Nadeau in the #01 U.S. Army/MB2 Motorsports Pontiac, it was announced. Wallace, 44, will be filling in for Nadeau, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a practice crash last Friday at Richmond International Raceway. His first race in the U.S. Army car will be The Winston Open, May 17 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.  "We're appreciative that Mike has agreed to drive the U.S. Army car during Jerry's absence," said Jay Frye, general manager of MB2 Motorsports. "Mike has a vast amount of experience and we're confident that he will do a great job. This is a difficult time and we are fortunate to have a veteran like Mike, who will help all of us get through it." In two Winston Cup starts this season with #09 Phoenix Racing, he recorded a ninth-place finish at the Daytona 500. Additionally, in 2003, he has competed in the Busch Series with the #4 Biaggi Brothers car. After 10 starts, he's 12th in the points with one top-five and two top-10's to his credit. "First, let me say how much we're all hoping for a speedy recovery for Jerry," offered Wallace after accepting the U.S. Army ride. "I'm looking forward to helping this team out. It's a very good, quality race team. I fully understand that I'm helping out on an interim basis. The goal is to keep this car good in the points until Jerry comes back. Perhaps, we can even win a few races along the way."(US Army Racing PR)(5-7-2003)

  • Keller in the #01 for Nadeau: Jason Keller will drive for the injured Jerry Nadeau in Saturday's Pontiac Excitement 400, a spokesperson for Keller said after Friday night's Hardee's 250 NASCAR Busch Series race. Keller practiced Nadeau's #01 U.S. Army Pontiac car in Happy Hour on Friday afternoon. Keller, who has competed in 298 Busch Series races, will be making his Winston Cup debut.(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATE: MB2 Motorsports announced that Busch Series driver Jason Keller will substitute for the injured Jerry Nadeau in tonight's Pontiac Excitement 400. It will be Keller's first Winston Cup start. He spent approximately 20 minutes in the U.S. Army backup car during Saturday's final practice session. "While our thoughts are with Jerry during his recovery, we also want to express our appreciation to Jason for filling in on a short notice," said Jay Frye, CEO/general manager of MB2/MBV Motorsports. "Jason has proved himself in the Busch Series and we know he can get the job done." Keller, 33, is in his 10th season as a Busch Series driver and is currently sixth in the Busch point standings. Last year, he finished second in the Busch season point standings and was third in 2001. Keller, his wife, Deborah, and two children - Joe (6) and Jade (4) reside in Greenville, SC.(US ARMY Racing PR), see Nadeau story and updates below....(5-3-2003)

  • SunTrust Bank to Partner with MB2 Motorsports SunTrust Bank, Mid-Atlantic has partnered with the MB2 Motorsports NASCAR Winston Cup team for the May 3 PontiacExcitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway. One of the nation's largest and strongest financial holding companies, SunTrust Bank will be featured as an associate sponsor on the #01 U.S. Army Pontiac driven by Jerry Nadeau for the action-packed night race at the 0.75-mile track.(MB2/MBV Motorsports PR)(4-24-2003)

  • USG to be the primary sponsor of the #01 at Las Vegas and three other races: USG Corporation, a leading manufacturer of building materials for the construction and remodeling industries, has reached an agreement with MB2 Motorsports to be a primary and associate sponsor for the 2003 season. The agreement calls for USG to be a season-long associate sponsor as well as the primary sponsor at four races on the MB2 #01 Pontiac Grand Prix, driven by Jerry Nadeau. The first of the four-race USG primary sponsorship package with the MB2 Pontiac will be Sunday (March 2) in Las Vegas. The three other events where USG and its flagship brand Sheetrock will adorn the MB2 Pontiac will be at Chicago (July 13), Watkins Glen (Aug. 10) and Talladega (Sept. 28). The U.S. Army, which will be the primary sponsor of the MB2 #01 Pontiac for a minimum of 27 races, will be an associate sponsor during the four USG races. The agreement also calls for a USG season-long associate sponsorship with MB2's teammate, the #10 Valvoline Pontiac, driven by Johnny Benson and owned by MBV Motorsports.(USG PR/Site), see the Paint Scheme Gallery for an image of the car. USG sponsored the #91 Evernham Dodge last year at Rockingham in Nov with Hank Parker Jr driving.(2-26-2003)

  • Congrats to the Nadeau's - now a Family of 3: Jada and Jerry Nadeau welcomed their daughter, Natalie Kate Nadeau into the world on Monday, February 17 at 12:30pm/et. Natalie weighed in at 8 lbs 1oz and has a full head of blonde hair. Everyone is doing well.(Jerry Nadeau Site)(2-19-2003)

  • The Military and NASCAR: While the Army has the broadest, deepest and most expensive program, each of the services will spend at least $1.5 million and all will dispatch show cars to make stops at schools from Bangor to Bakersfield.
    The rundown:
    The Air Force will put about $2.25 million into an associate sponsorship with a Winston Cup team. That will buy placement on the rear corners of a car driven by popular veteran #21-Ricky Rudd throughout the 38-week season, along with a primary position for three races.
    The Marine Corps will spend about $2.25 million as primary sponsor of a team in the Busch Series [#25 Bobby Hamilton], where it has found fertile recruiting ground since 1999.
    The Navy will spend about $1.5 million as a primary sponsor of a Roush Racing team in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck series [#50 Jon Wood]. Its sponsorship differs slightly from the others in that it is funded mostly from a retention budget, rather than a recruiting budget.
    The Army National Guard will sponsor a Winston Cup entry, putting its colors on a [#54] car driven by Todd Bodine. The Guard would not discuss its spending, but industry insiders estimated it was one of the lower team deals in Winston Cup, likely worth $5 million to $6 million for the season.
    Together, the armed forces will spend about $28 million in the sport this year. All have similar goals: raising awareness, generating recruiting leads and retaining those already in uniform. The resources allocated to achieve those goals are substantial. The service branches will spend about $600 million on advertising this year, with much of it paying for time during network sporting events and other programming that draws young male viewers. The four active branches together must sign up about 200,000 recruits this year, more hires than any U.S. industry. Together, the active and reserve branches of the armed forces will spend $1.4 billion on recruiting, advertising and examining this year, according to Defense Department budgets.(see full story at the Business Journal). Also, not mentioned, the Civil Air Patrol sponsors the #46 BGN car of Ashton Lewis, no idea what they spend.(2-18-2003)

  • MBV, MB2 and Morgan-McClure: The MBV (Benson) and MB2 (Jerry Nadeau) teams have formed a cooperative development arrangement with Morgan-McClure, the Abingdon, Va.-based team that is switching from Chevrolet to Pontiac.(Gaston Gazette)(1-24-2003)

  • Nadeau still aching: #01-Jerry Nadeau, who injured his ribs and right shoulder in a go-kart accident late last season, said he feels nearly 100 percent but may one day still require surgery. "The right arm still hurts at times, but I think a lot of it is because I've been working out a lot and it seems like it may not be totally healed," he said. "It's one of those things that I'm going to have to live with. The only way I can get it back normal is if I had an operation." Nadeau, who will drive the #01 US Army Pontiac for MB2 Motorsports this season, said he would re-evaluate the need for surgery at the end of the season.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-10-2003)

  • $16 Million? The U.S. Army has committed $16 million to sponsor Jerry Nadeau in his renumbered #01 Pontiac this year. That includes team sponsorship, radio and TV ads, a mobile Army recruiting station at several tracks and "Army Night" at a number of Dodge Weekly Racing Series tracks.(Daily Press)(1-8-2003)

  • Army to be an official sponsor of NASCAR: The U.S. Army is becoming the first branch of the military to become an official sponsor of NASCAR and will spend at least $16 million as part of its deal with the sanctioning body, according to this week's Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal. The Army, which had already announced plans to sponsor driver Jerry Nadeau in MB2 Motorsports' renumbered #01 Pontiac this season, is also working on media buys for NASCAR events on Fox and NBC. Reporter Terry Lefton says a deal with International Speedway Corp.'s 12 Winston Cup tracks is complete, and additional venue deals are being negotiated. The Army plans mobile marketing recruitment stations at all NASCAR races, along with "Army Nights" at NASCAR Weekly Racing Series events. The story says MB2 is changing the number of Nadeau's car from #36 to #01 to reflect the service's "Army of One" campaign.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-6-2003)

    2002 News

  • Army Scheme change? hearing the #01 US Army scheme I have posted will change a bit, the shading around and behind the number will not be used and the words U.S. ARMY will be slightly larger. The red line around the base of the car will also probably be eliminated in favor of the yellow-gold color used elsewhare. The yellow will be closer to a yellow gold as it is in Army ads. See the drawing of the car (sent in by many diecast dealers) on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(11-28-2002)

  • Elledge to the #41? hearing that #55 crew chief Jimmy Elledge could be moving to the #41 team, especially if Hamiton goes there as the driver.(11-13-2002)
    UPDATE: Jimmy Elledge has said he won't return as crew chief for Andy Petree's #55, and it's possible that if Ken Schrader moves to that car, he'll bring Newt Moore, his chief from the #36.(Sporting News)(11-18-2002)

  • US Army and M&M's share space on the #36: In a gesture of good will as the 2002 Winston Cup season draws to a close, M&M's Chocolate Candies will share space with the US Army on the #36 Pontiac this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. M&M's put the US Army in place of its Snickers brand on the car's deck lid. The US Army assumes primary sponsorship of the #36 Pontiac in 2003 with driver Jerry Nadeau and crew chief Ryan Pemberton. M&M's Chocolate Candies moves to the #38 Robert Yates Racing Ford with driver Elliott Sadler next season. In addition, M&M's will continue as an associate sponsor with the Ken Schrader Racing team. "Our relationship with MB2 Motorsports over the past six years has been a great partnership and we wish them the best of luck next year with the US Army and Jerry Nadeau," said William Clements, NASCAR Sponsorship Manager, Masterfoods USA. "Additionally, Ken Schrader has been a great ambassador for the M&M's Brand and we look forward to continuing our association with him as an associate sponsor on his Schrader Racing team in 2003." MB2 Motorsports and Masterfoods USA embarked on a six-year relationship when the #36 Skittles Pontiac debuted in 1997. The partnership has included current driver Ken Schrader and the M&M's brand for the past three seasons. "Kenny is - and always will be - a close friend of the entire MB2 Motorsports family. We certainly wish him the best," said Jay Frye, General Manager, MB2/MBV Motorsports.(IMG Motorsports)(11-14-2002)

  • Nadeau announcement soon UPDATE it is OFFCIAL: Jerry Nadeau was on Speed Channel's Trackside and was asked about his 2003 plans and said to expect an announcement within the next week or so and that is would be in Winston Cup. Rumor has Nadeau in the #36 (to switch to #01?) Pontiac with the U.S. Army as the sponsor.(10-25-2002)
    UPDATE: MB2 Motorsports announced Friday it has acquired sponsorship from the Army and will run driver Jerry Nadeau in the Winston Cup series next season. The sponsorship, however, covers 27 races and the Army will serve as an associate sponsor nine additional races. "MB2 Motorsports is proud to represent the Army and carry the black-and-gold colors. We have the experience and they have the discipline to make this a winning partnership," said the team's general manager, Jay Frye. Nadeau, who came up through kart racing, posted 10 top-10 finishes in 2001 with Hendrick Motorsports and won the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the 2000 season. The team currently uses the #36 with driver Ken Schrader (an M&M's). However, there was no announcement about a possible change in number.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-8-2002)

  • Brewco switching to Pontiac and be aligned with MBV: Brewco Motorsports owner [#27 and #37] Clarence Brewer doesn't know who'll be behind the wheel of his cars in 2003, but they'll be Pontiac and his organization will be aligned with Johnny Benson's #10-MBV Motorsports Winston Cup team.
    AND Casey Atwood is being considered for BGN ride, but only on a part-time basis with Brewco Motorsports in a new third team, not in a full-time ride.(Winston Cup Scene) The #27 is looking for a sponsor, supposedly the #37 team will have Timber Wolf back. Atwood is expected to be in some kind of Evernham-affliated Winston Cup team in 2003.(11-8-2002)

  • Schrader and the Pooches: This weekend at Phoenix, #36-Ken Schrader will be racing for search and rescue dogs across the country. It's all part of a new promotion by Pedigree Food for Dogs and Petsmart called Pedigree To The Rescue. For every kilometer that Schrader completes during the Winston Cup race on Sunday, November 10th, Pedigree will donate 100 pounds of its new Pedigree Dry Food For Dogs to canine handlers who are members of the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) Dogs. The new dog food features Pedigree Healthy Nuggets, kibbles with a crispy shell and soft, tasty center, and the Advance Antitoxidant Recipe to help dogs live a long, healthy life. That means that if Schrader completes the 312-lap race in its entirety, NASAR's canine handlers would receive 50,000 pounds of dog food. Law enforcement agencies using search and rescue dogs will be able to pick up the donated Pedigree dog food at designated Petsmart locations around the country. Schrader has the most career wins of any driver at Phoenix International Raceway with 12 trips to Victory Lane. As part of the promotion, the #36 Pedigree Brand Racing Pontiac will also have a new look this weekend in Phoenix. The car will feature Healthy Nuggets - a new addition to the famous Pedigree Dry Food For Dogs recipe. The new recipe delivers both great taste and advanced nutrition to help your dog live a long, healthy life. The new car will be unveiled by Schrader at the Petsmart store located at 7290 West Bell Road in Glendale, Arizona, on Wednesday, November 6th at 7:00pm. Lt. Mike Tuttle, President of NASAR, and a team of search and rescue dogs that assisted with the World Trade Center recovery efforts, will also be on hand.(IMG Motorsports-Charlotte PR)(11-5-2002)

  • Schrader and Federated Auto Parts to Petree? Ken Schrader might be headed back to Andy Petree Racing, primarily because he is bringing a sponsor. Federated Auto Parts, which sponsors Ken Schrader Racing's trucks and late model programs, is expected to move to Winston Cup in 2003. Schrader, who last drove for Andy Petree in 1999, is losing the #36 ride he has had since 2000. Bobby Hamilton is leaving Petree's #55 Chevy (of APR)(Sporting News)(10-28-2002)
    UPDATE: Ken Schrader and Bob-by Hamilton have been keeping a low profile recently as they scramble to line up rides for next season. Insiders figure that Schrader will likely wind up back with car owner Andy Petree, although Petree himself is scrambling for more sponsorship money.(Winston Cup Journal)(10-29-2002)

  • More on Nadeau to MB2: As for [Jerry] Nadeau, expected to be announced as the new driver for Thomas Moore's #36 [rumor has it being #01] Pontiac for next season, Petty has told him to plan on taking the rest of the year to recuperate and prepare for that ride. "He doesn't owe it to us. He's done a phenomenal job for us," said Petty, the CEO of Petty Enterprises. "But he's got a deal next year with the 36 car and it would be better for him to heal up and get ready."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-21-2002)

  • More on the #36/01, Nadeau and the Army: The Pontiac Winston Cup team that Kenny Schrader has been racing with the past two years has finally signed a new sponsorship contract, with the U.S. Army, a multi-year deal according to team sources. However, Schrader will apparently not be the driver; that is expected to be Jerry Nadeau. The team is owned by Thomas Beard and managed by Jay Frye. Next year's color scheme and driver won't be the only things new - also the car number, which will be changed from 36 to 01. Where Schrader might wind up is still unclear.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-12-2002)

  • Hendrick Engine Problems: on ESPN2's RPM2Night (gonna miss that show in 2003) Hendrick Engine Builder, Randy Dorton was interview by Mike Massaro, the part that caused the engine failures in all 6 engines (#'s 5,10,24,25,36,48) at Talladega was a valve retainer clip that broke/failed.(10-10-2002)

  • US Army and Nadeau...to the #36? UPDATE 6 Number Change too?: The U.S.Army is expected to be on the quarterpanels of the #36 Pontiacs owned by Nelson Bowers and Thomas Beard [MB2] and driven by Ken Schrader the past two seasons. Jerry Nadeau is expected to get that ride. It is unclear where Schrader might wind up.(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE: been told that the Army was at Richmond over the weekend and has spoken to many teams concerning sponsorship.(9-9-2002)
    UPDATE 2: There is still no official word about the U.S. Army sponsorship that the Jay Frye-Nelson Bowers-Thomas Beard team is expected to sign for next season. The U.S. Army - after watching the Navy, Marines and Air Force get such good publicity through NASCAR sponsorships - has decided to step on to this PR playing field, according to Detroit sources. Ken Schrader has been driving for the team the past two seasons, but Jerry Nadeau is expected to get that ride for 2003. Where Schrader might wind up is unclear.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-16-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Sources indicate that the U.S. Army is talking with MB2 Motorsports and Andy Petree Racing about a potential sponsorship deal for 2003. The Army is apparently looking to sponsor a car for half the schedule, if a sponsor can be fouind for the rest of the schedule. Jerry Nadeau could move to the #36 MB2 Pontiac if the deal is signed.(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read online)(9-20-2002)
    UPDATE 4: The United States Army will sponsor the #36 Pontiac in 2003, industry sources told NASCAR.com Wednesday morning. The source said they are unsure whether Ken Schrader will drive the car. Details regarding length of sponsorship were not known.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(10-9-2002)
    UPDATE 5: hearing they may change the number of the car from #36 to #01 (yes they would keep the Owners Points as does the #38 M&M's when it switches from the #28)
    UPDATE 6: Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR announced that the US Army will be the sponsor on the MB2 Pontiac and to expect Jerry Nadeau to be announced as the driver, no word on car number or Kenny Schrader's 2003 plans.(10-10-2002)

  • Special M&M's Scheme at Lowe's: It’s become an annual tradition for the M&M's Racing Team. Just like Oct. 31st means ghouls, goblins and candy, the fall Charlotte race means a special Halloween paint scheme for the #36 Pontiac. This year’s paint scheme features Yellow on the back of the car trick-or-treating in a ghost costume, Red dressed as a vampire and Crispy camping out in a pumpkin patch. The paint scheme also features the festive orange and black M&M’s that you’ll find in a bag of M&M’s during the Halloween season.(IMG PR), see image of the scheme on my Paint Schemes Gallery(10-10-2002)

  • Schrader and the #36? some news UPDATE: The future of the #36 Kenny Schrader-Jay Frye team, owned by Thomas Beard, remains cloudy as the sponsor search continues. An Army sponsorship is on the table, but negotiations have been stalemated for several weeks for reasons that are unclear. If the team can't clinch the sponsorship soon, it may wind up with car owner Andy Petree. Meanwhile, there are reports that IMG is interested in buying into the Schrader-Frye operation, in what could be a similar deal to the Valvoline buy-in to the sister team of Johnny Benson and James Ince. IMG, Mark McCormack's sports marketing agency, has been involved in Winston Cup marketing for three years.(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE: sources at IMG tell me - "At this time, IMG has no plans to purchase any interest in a NASCAR Winston Cup race team."(10-7-2002)

  • Army looking at other options: In addition to continuing talks with MB2 (#36 Pontiac) and Andy Petree Racing (#33 and #55) about a 2003 sponsorship package, the U.S. Army is also talking to Roush Racing. MB2 and APR would likely be 1/2 season primary sponsorship deals with another company running the other 1/2 while Roush would be a major associate sponsorship deal on the #17 DeWalt Ford.(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read)(10-4-2002)

  • Schrader has a different Pedigree at Kansas: The #36 team and driver Ken Schrader will trade in its familiar “M&M’s” paint scheme this week for the Pedigree Dog Food [Yellow and Blue] colors. It is one of six races [Atlanta (Mar), Lowes (Winston, Coke 600), Indy, Kansas, Phoenix] this season that the Pedigree car will appear on track.(M&M Mars Motorsports), see images of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery(9-26-2002)

  • Schrader back in the #25? Rick Hendrick's plans for his #25 team are still up in the air, but Hendrick is now talking with [former #25 Bud driver] Ken Schrader, according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-23-2002)

  • Schrader named 3rd Quarter True Value Person of the Year: For his unselfish and continuing work in aiding charities, Ken Schrader has been named the third quarter recipient of NASCAR's True Value Person of the Year. True Value, the Official Hardware Store of NASCAR, sponsors the award, which is designed to honor NASCAR drivers for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. For more than nine months, Schrader organized a special charity event at I-55 Raceway, a 3/8ths-mile dirt track in Pevely, Mo. His efforts became reality July 31 when he hosted the M&M's Night of Stars, a celebrity autograph signing and 10-lap charity race to benefit Kyle and Pattie Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp, a special camp for children with health-care needs. Along with Schrader, the all-star cast of drivers who took part in the two-hour autograph session and 10-lap shootout on the dirt track were Petty, Bill Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Johnny Benson, Steve Park and Mike Wallace. More than 10,000 fans from 28 states and Canada attended the event, which raised more than $112,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR True Value Person of the Year Award, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season has been divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track charitable efforts. Ricky Craven was the first-quarter winner and Jeff Gordon was the second-quarter recipient. An elite group of panelists will select one of the quarterly winners as the True Value Person of the Year. The award and a prize of $100,000 will be presented Dec. 6 in New York City at the NMPA Myers Brothers Breakfast, which is part of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series awards weekend. The money will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of their choice. In addition to the NASCAR True Value Person of the Year, True Value sponsors the Driver of the Race Award, which is given to the eligible driver who wins a NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship event during the 36-race season. Each True Value Driver of the Race Award winner receives $2,500 with an additional $2,500 going to the charity of their choice.(NASCAR PR)(9-23-2002)

  • Petree and Schrader to run ARCA race: Ken Schrader was the first to file an entry for the Sept. 2 Federated Auto Parts 100 on the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds dirt-mile ARCA race. Schrader, a nine-time ARCA series winner, hand-delivered his entry to ARCA officials at Pocono Raceway. Joining Schrader in the race is Winston Cup team owner Andy Petree, who also entered last season and finished ninth. Petree has entered the #15 Chevy and has also entered the #55 Chevt, with a driver to be announced.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-26-2002)

  • MB2 Close to a sponsor for 2003? Jay Frye, general manager at MB2, said the team is in negotiations with about four companies for sponsorship and he expected the #36 to be on the track next season. Frye said the team would retain Schrader if it can get a sponsor for the car. Current sponsor M&M's is leaving to go to Robert Yates Racing [#38-Elliott Sadler].(CNNSI/AP)(8-25-2002)

  • "M&M's" Night Of Stars Raises $112,000 For Victory Junction Gang Camp: Ken Schrader's dirt track was a hotbed of activity and charity at the recent "M&M's"® Night Of Stars. I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., was the site of the first-ever "M&M's"® Night Of Stars. The event was organized by Schrader and "M&M's"® to benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp, which was established by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam. When the checkered flag fell on the event and all the money was tabulated, $112,000 was raised for the camp through ticket and T-shirt sales and donations. Schrader along with the help of drivers Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Bill Elliott, Steve Park, Johnny Benson and Mike Wallace attracted more than 9,000 fans to the 3/8-mile dirt track in southern Missouri. Fans lined up for hours in advance in the sweltering Midwest heat to catch a glimpse of the drivers. After a two-hour autograph session, the drivers lined up for a 10-lap match race on the dirt. Benson served as the flag man for the event. Flash bulbs popped and fans cheered as some of the biggest names in the Winston Cup garage battled it out. Elliott, who grew up racing on dirt tracks, nosed out Schrader for the win. Park, Petty, Earnhardt, Jr. and Wallace rounded out the running order.(IMG Motorsports-Charlotte PR)(8-22-2002)

  • #36 at Bristol - It's Purple: NASCAR fans voted and rallied for their favorite new color of "M&M's" Chocolate Candies, then waited for the results. This weekend, the wait is over. Kenny Schrader will finally climb behind the wheel of the purple #36 "M&M's"® Pontiac at Bristol Motor Speedway for the race under the lights. Schrader will also be sporting a purple uniform to complete his new look for the weekend. "The people have spoken, and they said they wanted to see me in a purple car, so I guess that's just what they'll get this weekend in Bristol. The car's going to look quite sporty under the lights," Schrader said. "To be honest with you, I'm pretty darned relieved that they didn't choose pink." {Jayski's vote] The purple paint scheme is in honor of "M&M's"® first-ever Global Color Vote, which ran from March until May of this year. More than 10 million voters in 200 countries selected which color - purple, pink or aqua - would join the famous candy mix as part of the vote. While candy lovers around the globe were choosing which color they wanted to add to the "M&M's"® mix, NASCAR fans were debating which color car they wanted to see Schrader drive around a high-banked, short track. Although pink was a heavy favorite in the Winston Cup garage area, purple took the top spot when all the voting was finalized and tabulated. Purple received 41 percent of the vote, aqua garnered 38 percent and pink rounded it out with 19 percent. The remaining two percent of the vote went to various write-in colors. See an image of the scheme on my Paint Schemes Gallery.(8-21-2002)

  • MB2 to field a BGN team, Schrader free to look: MB2 Motorsports [#36 Pontiac] will run a BGN car for Dutchman Michael Vergers at MIS using Ken Schrader's BGN operation The team has entered a #07 Pontiac for Vergers, a native of Alkmaar, Holland, in Saturday's Cabela's 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Sponsor M&M's recently told MB2 that they would end a six-year relationship with the team's Winston Cup operation at the end of this season. Meanwhile, Schrader has been given the team's blessing to seek other employment. General manager Jay Frye stressed Wednesday that it's not because the team doesn't want to keep him, but because if a replacement sponsor does not materialize, they don't want to hold him back. Frye said the fact that James Ince, the crew chief on Johnny Benson's #10 Valvoline Pontiac in Winston Cup, is going to head Vergers' program indicates how serious the team is about it. Frye said a combination of crewmen from the M&M's and Valvoline teams would pit the car Saturday.(NASCAR.com)(8-14-2002)

  • MB2 and McDonald's in 2003? The MB2 team, which will lose long-time sponsor M&M Mars to [Robert] Yates after this season, is looking for new backing but does not seem to be in a panic. GM Jay Frye says several major companies are inquiring, and that the sponsor environment is full-speed-ahead. He admits, however, that sponsorship to replace M&Ms may not become available until later in the year, making the possibility of keeping the present group together chancy. Frye noted that the M&Ms deal, with his team since 1996, would kick up by about $5m in proceeding to the Yates level, which would suggest a bank account at about $16m for Yates. One of the companies mentioned as interested is McDonalds, which backed Junior Johnson in the early 1990s. Reportedly, former McDonald's racing advisers (that's the imperial plural) have been rehired as consultants, with an eye to a re-up.(Speed Channel)(8-4-2002)

  • More Nadeau to the #36 and Schrader to Petty rumors: Jerry Nadeau, the leading candidate to replace Ken Schrader in the #36 Pontiac next season, gave the #10 Valvoline Pontiac (a sister car to the #36) one of its best rides of the season. Filling in for the injured Johnny Benson, Nadeau led five times for 37 laps before finishing 18th after his two-way radio failed midway through the race. "The car was good enough to win," he said. "But when you don't have any communication between the crew chief and driver, what are you going to do? I had no spotter the last 100 laps. It's just a tough deal." Nadeau, who was released from Hendrick Motorsports [#25] earlier this year, has filled in for Benson and appears set to become his teammate next year because Schrader is likely to move to the Petty Enterprises team.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)
    AND Jerry Nadeau is a candidate for Cal Wells' second team. Nadeau is also considered to be a candidate as Johnny Benson's teammate next season if Kenny Schrader leaves the Jay Frye team.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-22-2002)

  • Schrader to Petty? If M&Ms is indeed moving to Robert Yates' team, then Kenny Schrader could be moving on also. He is tentatively being penciled in for a ride at Petty Enterprises, according to sources close to the situation.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-10-2002)

  • Schrader wins ARCA race at South Boston: Ken Schrader won the pole and the race at South Boston Speedway Wednesday night in the Big Daddy's Liberty 200. It was Schrader's 9th ARCA RE/MAX Series victory in his 25th attempt. 2nd was series regular #46-Frank Kimmel and 3rd was #25-Billy Venturini. See ARCARAcing.com for race results and news.(4th of July 2002)

  • M&M's Color to be announced on the 19th UPDATE Purple is it: The new M&M's color will be announced in New York City at 8:00pm/et on June 19th. Why is this important to NASCAR fans? Because M&M's Pontiac driver Kenny Schrader will have a paint scheme done in the winning color at Bristol in August. The color was chosen by a Global Color Vote promotion held around the world. The choices were purple, pink or aqua (I went with pink). Schrader drove a special "Global Color Vote(tm)" paint scheme earlier this year that featured all the colors on the car. See my Paint Scheme Gallery for the four scheme images.(6-6-2002)
    UPDATE: Purple was introduced today as the new color for the M&M's candy. So Ken Schrader will drive a purple #36 M&M's Pontiac at Bristol in August.(Chicago Tribune/AP)(6-19-2002)
    AND More than 10 million people cast their vote via phone, mail and through the World Wide Web as part of “M&M’s” largest promotion ever. After months of sampling the choices in specially marked bags, the world chose purple - with 41% of the vote. Aqua received 38% of the vote, and pink garnered 19% of the vote. The remaining two percent of the vote went to various write-in colors.(M&M's/IMG PR)(6-20-2002)

  • Rudd Leaving Yates and not retiring? - Third Yates Team and some M&M's news: Ricky Rudd has apparently decided not to return to the #28 RYR team next season, but Texaco will apparently remain as Yates' sponsor. If that's indeed the case, then Rudd could become a candidate for a Chevy ride with Dale Earnhardt Inc. as well as a Ford ride with Jerry Jones' proposed new team [well the team(s) #33/#55 of Andy Petree that Jones is expected to buy into]. Ford officials say they would very much like to keep Rudd in the Ford fold. Rudd has said he might retire at the end of the season, but sources close to the situation say that may have been a bargaining ploy. Rudd said last month he hoped to make a decision by the middle of July [15th]. Rudd says he thinks Yates has already signed Elliott Sadler to replace him, though Yates and Sadler both deny any contract signing. If Texaco stays and Rudd goes, then Yates could continue as just a two-team owner, which he says he would prefer to be, rather than a three-team owner, which appeared looming a few weeks ago.
    M&M Mars [#36 sponsor] has been hoping to sponsor that third Yates team, according to NASCAR sources. What might now happen with that sponsorship is unclear. Cal Wells [#32] is one man who is figured to be in negotiations with the company, which could support a second team.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-17-2002)

  • Schrader expects to be back in the #36 in 2003 and M&M's news: Ken Schrader isn’t concerned with the rumor mill, even if his name has surfaced in recent weeks. Prior to Pocono, reports had the veteran out of the #36 MB2 Motorsports Pontiac, to be replaced by Jerry Nadeau [rumored here incorrectly]. Schrader was on hand at Pocono while Nadeau was nowhere to be seen. A year ago, Schrader signed a one-year extension, a move that occurred near midseason but wasn’t made public until late in the year. With talk of wholesale changes sweeping through the garage, Schrader is hoping a similar accord can be reached this time. Whether anyone outside the MB2 team knows about it or not isn’t his concern. Jay Frye, general manager for MBV/MB2 Motorsports, certainly isn’t talking as if the team was looking to make a move, and it appears the team is actively pursuing a multi-year agreement with M&M’s. “We anticipate everything moving forward with Kenny for next year,” Frye said. “We are awaiting to hear word. When you sign a long-term contract there are multiple options in it and we’re waiting to hear what that’s going to be. It could be one year, it could be two years, it could be no years."(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read) AND Ken Schrader’s name is all over the Silly Season grapevine on a couple of fronts this week, but a team spokesperson told me [writer Jimmy Creed] Wednesday not to believe everything you hear. One rumor has it that Schrader’s sponsor, M&M Mars, will leave the MB2 team after this season to either go with a high-profile owner like Robert Yates, Cal Wells or Rick Hendrick or become an “official” corporate sponsor of NASCAR itself. Another links Schrader’s name with the #43 ride at Petty Enterprises. According to the team spokesperson, M&M Mars is already a corporate partner with NASCAR and even uses the phrase “the chocolate of NASCAR fans” in its marketing campaigns, a deal that runs through 2003. As for Schrader, his contract with MBN2 is up this season, but it appears his name is just getting tossed about like many other drivers at this point.(Anniston Star)(6-13-2002)
    AND II: hearing that one of the teams M&M Mars is talking to is the #17 Roush Racing team.(6-13-2002)

  • M&M's gone from the #36? UPDATE 2: the LTN Radio show reports [June 2nd show] that M&M's is rumored to be leaving the #36 MB2 team and that Ken Schrader may be heading to the #43 Petty Racing team AND that M&M's is rethinking their position with NASCAR and may not sponsor a car/team in 2003 but could be involved in NASCAR in a similar way as Coca Cola is.(6-3-2002)
    UPDATE: M&M Mars is looking to move on at the end of the season, according to team sources. But the company doesn't plan to leave the Winston Cup series, just move to another team. That lucrative sponsorship may be the one behind that proposed third Robert Yates team and that proposed second Cal Wells team and that proposed fifth Rick Hendrick team. All three operations are pushing hard to add another team, and it seems unlikely that there are three companies in these woods willing to write long term contracts for $12 million to $14 million a year. Meanwhile, General Motors executives are starting to wonder if Wells' plans to jump to Pontiac {currently run the #32 Ford] next season might simply be a ploy to get more technical help and wind tunnel time from Ford.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-9-2002)
    UPDATE 2: The fate of the M&M Mars sponsorship may be up in the air, according to NASCAR sources who say that the sanctioning body itself is trying to persuade the company to become "the official candy of NASCAR."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-10-2002)

  • M&M's Color to be announced on the 19th: The new M&M's color will be announced in New York City at 8:00pm/et on June 19th. Why is this important to NASCAR fans? Because M&M's Pontiac driver Kenny Schrader will have a paint scheme done in the winning color at Bristol in August. The color was chosen by a Global Color Vote promotion held around the world. The choices were purple, pink or aqua (I went with pink). Schrader drove a special "Global Color Vote(tm)" paint scheme earkier this year that featured all the colors on the car. See my Paint Scheme Gallery for the four scheme images.(6-6-2002)

  • M&M's gone? Schrader out of the #36? Nadeau in? the LTN Radio show reports that M&M's is rumored to be leaving the #36 MB2 team and that Ken Schrader may be heading to the #43 Petty Racing team AND that M&M's is rethinking their position with NASCAR and may not sponsor a car/team in 2003 but could be involved in NASCAR in a similar way as Coca Cola is. AND another rumor [not LTN] has Jerry Nadeau in the #36 as soon as Johnny Benson returns to the #10 Valvoline Pontiac.(6-3-2002)

  • Schrader misses CTS race: Ken Schrader planned to be racing yesterday. He just didn't know it would be in his Winston Cup car. Schrader originally planned to head to St. Louis for the Truck series event, but a rain delay at Richmond International Raceway forced him to stay in town an extra day. Mike Wallace, who qualified Schrader's truck, stayed in St. Louis for that race.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-6-2002)

  • Pit Awards: The first quarter finalist for the Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year Award is the #40 Coors Light Crew. The #40 Coors Light Crew led the first quarter points standings with a total of 83 points to become the first of four final crews who will compete for the Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year Award and the $75,000 in prize money. Others include the #17 DeWalt crew at 76; #8 Budweiser crew at 64; #20 Home Depot crew at 63l and the #48 Lowes crew at 62. The #40 Coors Light Crew becomes a year-end nominee and is no longer eligible for points. At the completion of the fourth quarter there will be four NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams eligible for the final voting. (National Association of Pit Crew Members PR)
    AND Sawing Through Adversity, #36 Crew Chief Newt Moore Takes Home IRWIN Crew Chief of the Week Honors.(Irwin Tool PR)(4-25-2002)

  • M&M's Vote: Ken Schrader knows that the future of his car is in his fans' hands - at least the future color of the #36 "M&M's"® Pontiac. As candy lovers around the world cast their vote for the new color in the famous "M&M's"® candy mix - pink, purple or aqua - NASCAR fans have to keep a second thing in mind. The winning color - whether it be pink, purple or aqua - will be the color of the #36 car (and Schrader's uniform) for a one-race paint scheme at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. This weekend, NASCAR fans by the thousands will have the opportunity for their voice to be heard. Fans at Talladega Superspeedway will be able to cast their vote for pink, purple or aqua at a special "M&M's"® GLOBAL COLOR VOTE(tm) voting tent. The tent will be located near souvenir alley, which is close to the North Entrance of the track. Fans will be able to cast their all important vote Friday from 8:00am to 3:00pm, Saturday/Sunday from 8:00am to 1:00pm. Fans can vote as many times as they want each day. Each voter will receive an "I VOTED" sticker and a Fun Size package of "M&M's"® for their vote. Schrader isn't worried about fans picking the color of his car - even if one of the choices is pink. In fact, he hopes that the fans line up to vote for the new color. "Hey, I keep telling people that I look good in pink," Schrader said. "I don't care what color my car is - what matters to me is that it gets around the track fast. I'll drive whatever color race car "M&M's"® gives me. People keep giving me a hard time about maybe driving a pink car. I just want the fans to get out there and vote." If history is any indication of how the people will respond to the GLOBAL COLOR VOTE(tm), Schrader will get his wish for long lines and lots of votes. In 1995 when "M&M's"® asked consumers across the United States to vote for a new color, millions of people responded. An astounding 10,234,142 votes were cast and the color Blue won in a landslide - and that was just in the United States. This time around though, the question is being poised to people worldwide in 75 countries.(M&M's Racing-IMG Motorsports PR)(4-17-2002)

  • Combos: #36-Ken Schrader will supposedly run a Combo's scheme at Texas.(3-29-2002)

  • Colorful Dude: Dressed as RED, the famous "M," Phillip Crosson Jr. of Hopatcong, N.J. was named THE MOST COLORFUL FAN(tm) OF NASCAR®. Phillip was chosen out of nine finalists at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday morning. There, a panel of celebrity judges that included "M&M's"® driver Ken Schrader, Totally NASCAR host Steve Byrnes, Charlotte Observer reporter David Poole, MASTERFOODS NASCAR Sponsorship Manager William Clements and vice president of corporate marketing for NASCAR Brett Yormark helped select Phillip. Phillip was one of thousands of NASCAR® fans across the country that participated in the "M&M's"® promotion during the 2001 season. The search for THE MOST COLORFUL FAN(tm) OF NASCAR® spanned thirty race weekends at venues around the nation. Every week, the colorful fan patrol narrowed the thousands of colorful and exciting fans down to just 12, then voters chose their favorite on an internet web site, www.colorfulfan.com. More than a half-million people logged onto the web site and cast votes for who they believed to be the most colorful and flashy fan each week. Nine monthly finalists were brought to Las Vegas by "M&M's"® to compete in the finals Sunday morning - Phillip walked away with "bragging rights."(IMG Motorsports-Charlotte PR)(3-4-2002)

  • M&M's Vote: Candy lovers around the globe will be faced with that decision beginning March 6th when Masterfoods USA launches its Global Color Vote(tm) - the largest promotion in the 61-year history of the "M&M's"® Brand. As consumers debate which color should be added to the famous mix in packs of the world's No. 1 candy brand, NASCAR® fans will keep some other things in mind when making their decision. Every vote cast for the new color of "M&M's" will be a vote cast for the color of Ken Schrader's #36 race car. In a one-race paint scheme at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 24, Schrader will run the winning color car - be it purple, pink or aqua. During the voting period, Schrader will pilot a special "Global Color Vote(tm)" paint scheme. At four races - Martinsville, Talladega, California and Richmond - Schrader will drive the Global Color Vote(tm) car. The car is similar to the familiar bright yellow #36, but it features the color choices of purple, pink and aqua. The characters also get in on the fun as they are depicted painting the car their color of choice. Red is dangling from a rope as he tries to paint the driver's side aqua. Blue has used his artistic skills to color the passenger side pink. And Yellow has painted himself and the back of the #36 purple. Residents around the globe will be eligible to vote by logging on to www.mms.com, which will be accessible in 10 different languages beginning on Wednesday March 6, 2002. Before casting a vote, consumers will have the opportunity to sample each color in specially marked packages available at retailers worldwide. The winning color will be announced in June 2002 at a gala event in New York City with the winning color car being driven by Schrader at the Bristol night race in August.(IMG Motorsports-Charlotte PR)(3-3-2002)

  • Norris on pole, Schrader 4th in Phoenix UPDATE: former CTS driver Eric Norris captured the pole position at the Winston West Series opener at Phoenix, Austin Cameron starts on the outside of the front row with Cup driver [#36 M&M's Pontiac], Ken Schrader, the defending champion in each of the NASCAR Winter Heat races, was fourth fastest in Southwest Series qualifying and starts fifth in the Winston West race. Norris is a Hollywood television and film director, having previously directed, Walker, Texas Ranger, which starred his father, Chuck Norris. The show ended last year, and Norris most recently directed a television movie that appeared last week on CBS.(Arizona Republic)(2-2-2002)
    UPDATE: Ken Schrader won the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series 100-mile race and Austin Cameron took the NASCAR Winston West Series 150-mile race at Phoenix in the second annual NASCAR Winter Heat presented by Bosch. Schrader, who was trying to win both races just as he did last year, was foiled when he was caught up in an early-race accident in the NASCAR Winston West Series event, Schrader finished 9th in the Winston West race. Kurt Busch finished 11th and former Cup driver Stanley Smith finished 8th in the Southwest race(PIR PR), TV for both events are The Winston West scheduled March 4 and Southwest Series March 25, both on Speed Channel.(2-3-2002)

  • M&M's Vote: Masterfoods USA, a Mars Incorporated company, announced today a worldwide vote to determine the newest color "M&M's" Chocolate Candies to be included in the "M&M's" bag. Beginning March 6, 2002, candy lovers around the globe will take part in the Global Color Vote(TM) and choose from three colors -- purple, pink or aqua -- to determine which will join the select mix of colors in packs of the world's favorite candy. The Global Color Vote is the largest promotion in the 61-year history of the "M&M's" Brand. Voters will originate from a colorful mix of countries -- ranging from Australia to the Ukraine -- including nations in which no citizen has previously had the opportunity to cast a governmental vote. Residents from every region of the globe will be eligible to vote by logging on to www.mms.com, which will be accessible in more than 15 different languages beginning March 6, 2002. Voters in participating countries will also be able to vote through mail, telephone or at kiosks placed in select locations. The winning color will be announced in June 2002 at a gala event in New York City.

    Voters participating in the Global Color Vote will have the opportunity to sample each color before casting their vote. Specially marked packages, available at retailers worldwide, will contain purple, pink or aqua "M&M's" Chocolate Candies. The "M&M's" Global Color Vote is also the first global promotion in "M&M's" Brand history. Participating countries will take part in a unified marketing campaign including advertising, public relations, direct marketing, retail promotions, sponsorship and Internet marketing. For more information, log on to "M&M's" Global Color Vote online news bureau at: www.masterfoodsnews.com.(WirePix). Supposedly there will be four color schemes for the #36 M&M's Pontiac in the early part of 2002, see the four schemes on my Paint Scheme Gallery(1-29-2002)

  • California Testing UPDATE:: #2-Rusty Wallace and #36-Ken Schrader are scheduled to test at California Speedway on Thursday, January 24, 2002(California Speedway PR)(1-19-2002)
    UPDATE: #12-Ryan Newman and #36-Ken Schrader will test on Jan 24th, 2002, not #2-Rusty Wallace as announced(California Speedway PR)(1-24-2002)

  • Schrader and Busch to race in Arizona: Ken Schrader [#36 M&M's Pontiac] is entered in the NASCAR Winston West and Southwest Series doubleheader in two weeks at Phoenix International Raceway. Winston Cup second-year driver Kurt Busch [#97 Rubbermaid Ford] will join Schrader in the Southwest race. Schrader has also entered the Jan. 26-27 Early Thaw series at Central Arizona Raceway.(Arizona Republic)(1-18-2002)

  • Schrader to run some ARCA(again): #36 M&M's Pontiac driver, Ken Schrader, will keep up his hectic schedule, one that will see him racing his NASCAR Winston Cup car for 38 weekends next year, announcing Saturday that he was planning to run a pair of ARCA RE/MAX Series events in 2002. Schrader will race ARCA events at the .400-mile South Boston short track on July 3 and the one-mile dirt oval at the DuQuoin, Illinois State Fairgrounds on September 2. Schrader will be driving his own Pontiac for the two events, with sponsorship from Federated Auto Parts. The 46-year-old Missouri native already owns eight ARCA wins as a driver and 16 as an owner, including a pair at Daytona in 1984 and ’85. (SpeedVision)(1-13-2002)

    2001 News

  • #36 Vote Project: haven't heard much on this yet but it seems there will be a contest/vote for the new M&M color and Ken Schrader will run a few schemes during that promotion in early 2002, with a multi-colored car to run in the first four races in 2002 with fans voting on one of three colors, purple, aqua and pink. See the schemes on my Paint Scheme Gallery for an image(12-3-2001)

  • Schrader will be busy in Phoenix: For the first time in track history, Phoenix Raceway is playing host to four major NASCAR events in one weekend, and Schrader has filed an entry for each one. On schedule is the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour (started 2nd and finished 3rd) race on Thursday, the (#52-Federated Auto Parts Chevy, started 5th) NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Friday, the (#07 Four Winds Motorhomes Chevy) NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division race on Saturday and the (#36 M&M's Pontiac) NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on Sunday. Schrader will definitely have his hands full at one of his favorite tracks. Beginning on Wednesday afternoon, he'll be racing on the track and running from garage to garage between practices. Thursday is an especially full day. Schrader will not only run the Southwest Tour race, but also qualify for the Craftsman Truck race and the Busch Series event. Earlier this season, Schrader became the winningest driver in the history of Phoenix International Raceway when he made his 10th and 11th trips to victory lane at the annual NASCAR Winter Heat races which features the Featherlite Southwest Tour. Schrader hopes to continue with his winning form at Phoenix as he made four runs for the checkered flag at PIR.(IMG Motorsports PR)(10-23-2001)

  • M&M's Re-ups with MB2: "M&M's"® Chocolate Candies announced today it has renewed its sponsorship of the #36 MB2 Motorsports Pontiac. Driver Ken Schrader will also be back behind the wheel of the "M&M's"® Pontiac next season. The extension will mark the sixth year together for both MB2 and M&M/MARS. When MB2 Motorsports debuted in 1997, it took to the track bearing the rainbow colors of SKITTLES® Brand candies. The 2002 season will mark Ken Schrader's 18th year of full-time competition in the Winston Cup ranks and his third season with the "M&M's"® Racing Team.(IMG Motorsports PR), on a paint scheme note, I hear the car will be slightly different in 2002 with the Red M&M hanging onto the rear bumper with both hands, like he is being blown off the car. Ms Green is on the driver's sign with her thumb up, holding a sign that says "going my way?" Yellow is doing something but unknown at this time(10-16-2001)

  • Stewart 2nd in ARCA race: Tony Stewart and Ken Schrader spent their Labor Day holidays doing what seems to be the only thing they consider relaxing -- driving a race car. Stewart whiled away his Monday afternoon at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds trying unsuccessfully to run down ARCA teammate and two-time champion Frank Kimmel who went on to win the Federated Auto Parts Southern Illinois 100 on the dirt mile. 1999 series champion Bill Baird, making his first start of the year, finished third with eight-time ARCA winner Ken Schrader in fourth.(That's Racin')(9-4-2001)

  • Colorful Fan: June O'Hara of Brick, N.J., could be crowned THE MOST COLORFUL FAN(tm) OF NASCAR® at Las Vegas in 2002. June was just named the sixth of nine finalists who will compete for the title THE MOST COLORFUL FAN(tm) OF NASCAR®.(IMG Motorsports PR)(8-9-2001)

  • Stewart/Schrader/Petree to run an ARCA race: Larry Clement of Fort Dodge will provide a stock car for Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart to race in an ARCA Re/Max Series event Sept. 3 in DuQuoin, IL. Clement, who's leading the ARCA points standings this season with driver Frank Kimmel, will field a car for Stewart in the Southern Illinois 100 on the one-mile dirt track at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. Clement also has secured a deal to compete in three Winston Cup races later this season with Kimmel. The team, which features several Iowans on the crew and is co-sponsored by the Clive-based National Pork Board, will race Oct. 7 at Charlotte, Oct. 14 at Martinsville, Va., and Nov. 18 at Atlanta. Clement said the plan to put Stewart in one of his cars came from Winston Cup driver Ken Schrader. The car Stewart will drive, a Ford Taurus with a Roush engine, is one Kimmel has driven earlier this year. Ken Schrader and Andy Petree, who owns Winston Cup cars driven by Joe Nemechek and Bobby Hamilton, also have entered the DuQuoin race. Schrader will drive his own car; Petree will drive a car from his own stable(Des Moines Register)(8-7-2001)

  • Sad News: Newt Moore, crew chief for #36-Ken Schrader, wasn't at Sears Point. Moore's father died Saturday and he returned home(Fox Coverage and Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-25-201)

  • Schrader to start his 500th Consecutive Winston Cup Race at Dover: #28-Ricky Rudd leads active drivers with with 621 followed by #2-Rusty Wallace at 530, #36-Ken Schrader with 500 and #6-Mark Martin 414. Terry Labonte holds the record with 655. The race Sunday also marks the 10th anniversary of the most recent of Schrader's four career victories. He won the 1991 Budweiser 500 in Dover(6-2-2001)

  • Michael, Ken and Johnny back: Responding to the clamor of the fans, Speedvision will present a special one-time only (for now) reteaming of those bad boys of stock car racing, Michael Waltrip, Ken Schrader and Johnny Benson in One More Time With Michael, Ken and Johnny. The program will premiere in their old time slot on Monday, June 25th, 7:00pm/et (8:00pm/pt), with additional runs during the week. Mon, Jun 25 - 7pm, Mon, Jun 25 - 11pm, Tue, Jun 26 - 8am, Tue, Jun 26 - 5pm, Sat, Jun 30 - 8:30am(Speedway Illustrated)(5-25-2001)
    UPDATE: see story at SpeedVision - Speedvision Reunites Mikey, Kenny and Johnny, The one-hour special, entitled "One More Time," was shot on location at Schrader's Concord, N.C., race shop and will include a guest appearance by fellow NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Kenny Wallace, a frequent panelist on the popular show, which aired on Speedvision on Mondays through Jan. 2001. (5-30-2001)

  • Trouble at go-cart track: Concord (NC) police are investigating a murder outside a popular gathering place for children and they're hoping someone will come forward with clues that will help with their investigation. Police are trying to find out who killed a Concord man behind Ken Schrader's SeeKonk Grand Prix go-cart track. Right now it's a crime with no motive and no suspects(Charlotte Observer/WBTV News 3)(5-7-2001)

  • #36 and Snickers: To promote its newest candy brand, Snickers Cruncher, M&M/MARS, Inc. has a special paint scheme this weekend at California Speedway. The "M" Characters are taking a one-week break while the #36 Pontiac with driver Ken Schrader, displays the chocolate and caramel colors on the Snickers Cruncher wrapper.(MRN Radio Site)(4-25-2001)

  • Schrader wins ARCA race at Nashville: Winston Cup driver Ken Schrader captured the ARCA RE/MAX Series PFG Lester 150, the inaugural race at Nashville Superspeedway. Schrader, who recently drove in his 500th career Winston Cup race, took the lead for good with less than 15 laps to go and held on to beat Frank Kimmel and Shawna Robinson in the 113-lap race. Officials with Dover Downs Entertainment, which operates the track, did not release an attendance figure for yesterday's race. But media covering the race estimated the crowd at around 20,000.(Tennessean)(4-14-2001)

  • Schrader to run some ARCA: Ken Schrader, driver of the #36 M&M's Pontiac (Pedigree this weekend) plans to use his off-weekend from the series in mid-April to run in the April 13 PFG Lester 150 ARCA race at the new Nashville Superspeedway. Schrader, a seven-time winner in the ARCA series, will run a Pontiac in the inaugural race at the 1.33-mile concrete superspeedway. Schrader said he plans to run two additional ARCA events this season, at the dirt mile track at DuQuoin (Ill.) and Salem Speedway(That's Racin')(3-10-2001)

  • #36 Crew Chief: MB2 Motorsports announced today it has named Newt Moore as crew chief for the #36 "M&M's"® Pontiac driven by Kenny Schrader. Most recently Moore served as crew chief for Galaxy Motorsports(#75). Moore, 38, started in Winston Cup racing as a crew chief in 1997 with driver Kenny Wallace. In his fifth year as a crew chief he has also worked with driver Wally Dallenbach and Melling Racing. He has made 103 starts as a crew chief, with one top-five, eight top 10s and one pole position. Prior to becoming a crew chief Moore was a two-time track champion at Nashville Speedway(IMG Motorsports PR)(3-6-2001)

  • #36 Assoc Sponsor: Combos Snacks, a product of M&M/MARS, announced that it will serve as an Associate Sponsor of the #36 "M&M's Racing Team for the 2001 season. As part of the sponsorship agreement, the Combos Snacks logo will appear on the #36 "M&M's Racing/MB2 Motorsports Pontiac driven by Kenny Schrader. Combos Snacks has served as a minor sponsor on the #36 car the past few seasons but will be increasing its role to that of an Associate Sponsor for the 2001 season.(IMG Motorsports PR)(3-1-2001)

  • New #10/36 Digs: After Daytona, the Johnny Benson’s #10 Valvoline Pontiac team will move all of its employees to the new 40,000-square-foot race shop at the Concord, N.C. airport with teammate Ken Schrader’s. MB2 Motorsports team is now based in Mooresville, NC. Valvoline and MB2 Motorsports own Benson’s team and MB2 solely owns Schrader’s team.(MBV PR)(2-13-2001)

  • Schrader at Phoenix UPDATE: Ken Schrader, driver in the Winston Cup series (#36 M&M's Pontiac), kicked off the Featherlite Southwest Series, NASCAR Touring season by capturing the pole for the NAPA Auto Parts Winter Heat event presented by BOSCH at Phoenix International Raceway. Schrader toured the one-mile oval in 27.324 seconds, averaging 131.752 mph to top Bud Pole Qualifying. Featherlite Southwest Series veteran, M.K. Kanke wound up second to Schrader in qualifying. The 42-car starting field was closed out following two qualifying events won by Kevin Vernon and Jim Petit II. The 100-lap event will take the green flag at noon on Sunday(PRI PR)(2-3-2001)
    UPDATE: At the finish, it was Ken Schrader taking the win ahead of M.K. Kanke and Greg Pursley. Darrell LaMoure notched his best PIR finish with a fourth place and Rick Carelli was fifth. Schrader’s win was his second in Featherlite Southwest Series cars during the month of February. It was also his 10th win at PIR since 1980, making him the hands-down winningest driver in PIR’s storied history(PIR)(2-5-2001)

    2000 News

  • #36 Halloween: The #36 M&M's Pontiac will run a Halloween scheme at the Oct 8th race at Lowes Motor Speedway. See the scheme on the Paint Schemes Gallery(8-29-2000)

  • Aaron Rents in 2001: on SpeedVision's Inside Winston Cup, Aaron Rent's president was on the show and mentioned that they would be an associate sponsor on the #36 and #10 MB2 Motorsports cars in 2001(8-9-2000)

  • Schrader at Gatway: Ken Schrader will make his first BGN start of the 2000 season this Saturday in St. Louis. Schrader, a native of nearby Fenton, Missouri, will pilot the #88 entry for Team Amick Motorsports in the July 29 CarQuest Auto Parts 250 at Gateway International Raceway. Schrader's car will be the second entry from the Team Amick camp in Saturday night's event. Lyndon Amick, who is competing in the entire 32-race NBS schedule, will drive the team's No. 35 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The #88 will carry an identical paint scheme to the one adorning Amick's No. 35, with sponsorship from POWERTEL, Mitsubishi Wireless Phones and SCANA Corporation(Amick PR)(7-27-2000)

  • MB2, TylerJet and Valvoline? UPDATE 5 OFFICIAL: hearing that Valvoline is buying into the MB2 #36 M&M's team, who is then buying into or buying Tyler Jet Motorsports #10 team. Supposedly Valvoline will be an equity partner in both teams, with Johnny Benson driving the Valvoline sponsored car. Hearing the deal will be done by July 1st and announced later in the summer. Also hearing #36 driver, Ken Schrader will remain as the driver of the M&M's #36 Pontiac and Benson will stay on with the #10 with Valvoline as the sponsor(6-26-2000)
    UPDATE: As early as today, MB2 Motorsports will purchase Tyler Jet Motorsports, which owns the race team of Winston Cup driver Johnny Benson. MB2 Motorports, owned by Georgia residents Read Morton, Nelson Bowers and Tom Beard, already owns the #36 M&M's Pontiac driven by Ken Schrader. The team owners have expressed interest repeatedly in recent months about expanding to a multi-car operation. The trio, traveling from Sears Point Raceway to Atlanta on Monday, was unavailable for comment. The proposed deal includes a contract extension of two to three years with Benson. MB2 Motorsports also reportedly was involved in discussions with Valvoline about becoming the future primary sponsor for Benson's car. Valvoline is ending its longtime sponsorship with Mark Martin, who has signed a deal with Pfizer/Viagra worth a reported $60 million for five years. It was not known late Monday whether Benson would run under the ownership of MB2 or Tyler Jet in Saturday night's Pepsi 400 at Daytona(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(6-28-2000)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that this deal will not be completed this weekend and is still at least a few weeks off IF it happens(6-29-2000)
    UPDATE 3: hearing the deal will be completed today, Thursday, July 20th. With MB2 Motorsports buying the #10 Tyler Jet Motorsports team. Supposedly Valvoline and driver Johnny Benson has signed with MB2 for 2001. Crew Chief James Ince may or may not go to MB2 Motorsports with the team
    UPDATE 4 - OFFICIAL: MB2 Motorsports today announced the immediate acquisition of a substantial part of Tyler Jet Motorsports assets. The acquisition enables the #10 Pontiac driven by Johnny Benson to compete in the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup season and beyond for MB2. Benson's team will join Kenny Schrader's #36 M&M's Pontiac team to form the newest multi-car team in the series. Benson said MB2's acquisition brings stability and a wealth of resources to the race team. Both teams will continue to race Pontiacs powered by engines from Hendrick Motorsports. Benson said all of his crew at Tyler Jet Motorsports will continue to work out of the same shop near Lowes Motor Speedway for the balance of 2000. MB2 plans on building a shop near the Concord, N.C. airport to house both teams. Owner Read Morton said MB2 is looking for a sponsor for Benson's car for the rest of the 2000 season. He expects an announcement later this summer regarding 2001 sponsorship. Morton said negotiations with Tyler Jet Motorsports owner Tim Beverley began almost a month ago and concluded this week with a deal that benefits both parties. Beverley will be a minority owner of the #10 Pontiac. Nelson Bowers, Tom Beard, and Morton co-own MB2 Motorsports. Jay Frye assumes the duties of general manager for the #10 and #36 teams. He has served as MB2's general manager since its inception in 1996. Beverley, 43, purchased Darrell Waltrip's team in 1998 and renamed it Tyler Jet Motorsports(Tyler Jet Motorsports PR)(7-20-2000)
    UPDATE 5: While the #10 team has been bought by MB2 Motorsports and will likely be sponsored and part owned(50%) by Valvoline in 2001, the team is still looking for a sponsor for the remainder of the 2000 season. Also, crew chief, James Ince, was released from his Tyler Jet Motorsports contract and will continue on with the #10 team as it's crew chief(7-21-2000)

  • MB2 Motorsports to Move: MB2 Motorsports of Mooresville plans to relocate to the Concord Regional Airport business park where it bought 3.64 acres from the city. Jay Fry, general manager of MB2, said the race team is in its fourth year of operations at the Winston Cup level. He said Concord driver Kenny Schrader is a partner in the project. The building will be 40,000 square feet and will fit two Winston Cup teams. The race shop is in the final design process and construction is expected to begin in a month(Independent Times one day link). Schrader is the driver of the #36 M&M's Pontiac owned my MB2 Motorsports. Also it has been rumored that MB2 Motosports will buy the #10 Tyler Jet Motorsports team(7-15-2000)

  • Get Well: Tom Beard, one of the three Georgia owners of MB2 Motorsports(#36 M&M's Pontiac, Kwn Schrader driving), canceled his plans to be at Sunday's race because of emergency gall-bladder surgery. Beard began feeling stomach pains on July 4, and checked himself into Northside General(GA). After undergoing an operation last Thursday, he still thought he could recover in time for the race. However, he stayed at his Atlanta-area home and watched it on TV(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(7-10-2000)

  • Schrader double duty at NHIS UPDATE: Ken Schrader will be making only his second appearance in the CTS this season at the New Hampshire. Schrader will drive his #52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Silverado in the CTS race on on Saturday. Schrader will, of course, run the #36 M&M's Pontiac in the Cup race(NHIS PR)(7-5-2000)
    UPDATE: Add Bobby Hamilton and Steve Grissom to the list of drivers who will run both the Cup and CTS race at NHIS(7-6-2000)

  • MB2 and TylerJet: Jay Frye, Manager for MB2 Motorsports #26 M&M's Pontiac and driver Kenny Schrader, said any decision on buying or merging with Tim Beverly's (#10) team will have to made quickly and hopes tp resolve it in a few weeks at least by the Brickyeard 400(PitNow) which is as far as #10 driver Johnny Benson said the team could go without a sponsor(7-2-2000)

  • MB2, TylerJet and Valvoline? UPDATE 2: hearing that Valvoline is buying into the MB2 #36 M&M's team, who is then buying into or buying Tyler Jet Motorsports #10 team. Supposedly Valvoline will be an equity partner in both teams, with Johnny Benson driving the Valvoline sponsored car. Hearing the deal will be done by July 1st and annouced later in the summer. Also hearing #36 driver, Ken Schrader will remain as the driver of the M&M's #36 Pontiac and Benson will stay on with the #10 with Valvoline as the sponsor(6-26-2000)
    UPDATE: As early as today, MB2 Motorsports will purchase Tyler Jet Motorsports, which owns the race team of Winston Cup driver Johnny Benson. MB2 Motorports, owned by Georgia residents Read Morton, Nelson Bowers and Tom Beard, already owns the #36 M&M's Pontiac driven by Ken Schrader. The team owners have expressed interest repeatedly in recent months about expanding to a multi-car operation. The trio, traveling from Sears Point Raceway to Atlanta on Monday, was unavailable for comment. The proposed deal includes a contract extension of two to three years with Benson. MB2 Motorsports also reportedly was involved in discussions with Valvoline about becoming the future primary sponsor for Benson's car. Valvoline is ending its longtime sponsorship with Mark Martin, who has signed a deal with Pfizer/Viagra worth a reported $60 million for five years. It was not known late Monday whether Benson would run under the ownership of MB2 or Tyler Jet in Saturday night's Pepsi 400 at Daytona(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(6-28-2000)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that this deal will not be completed this weekend and is still at least a few weeks off IF it happens(6-29-2000)

  • M&M's Scheme UPDATE: the latest RCCA Bulletin has news on the #36 Kenny Schrader/M&M's scheme that will be run at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona. The car is Red, White and Bluw with red, white and blue M&M's(many readers). Haven't seen an image yet(6-1-2000)
    UPDATE image: a reader scanned in the RCCA image for me, check it out in the Paint Schemes Gallery, it is a sharp looking car(6-2-2000)

  • Schrader to Ganassi/Sabco? from today's St Louis Post-Dispatch - One hot rumor flying around the Speedway(Indy) is that Chip Ganassi, who runs the highly successful Target team featuring Juan Montoya and Jimmy Vasser, will form a NASCAR Winston Cup operation and hire former St. Louisan Ken Schrader as his driver. The story reports that Gannassi had lunch with Schrader 'the other day'. Schrader drives the #36 M&M's Pontiac(St Louis Post Dispatch) AND Driver Sterling Marlin is meeting with owner Felix Sabates and CART owner Chip Ganassi on Monday and Tuesday. The deal hasn't been finalized, but Ganassi could buy 80 percent of Sabates' team, which includes the cars driven by Marlin and Kenny Irwin(Times-Dispatch)(5-21-2000)

  • Added #36 Image UPDATE: added a #36 Diecast Green M&M's Image, not sure where it will be run, supposedly at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona on July 1st, see the image at the Paint Schemes Gallery
    UPDATE: the latest Action catalog says the scheme will be run at Lowes for the Winston Open and the Coca-Cola 600, supposedly another scheme will be run at Daytona(5-11-2000)

  • Schrader and ARCA: Ken Schrader will race at the quarter mile Anderson Speedway Indiana oval Sunday, May 14th for the Anderson ARCA 300. Schrader, the defending race winner, has entered a Federated Auto Parts sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the 300 lap short-track war(AutoChannel)(5-4-2000)

  • Other Paint Schemes: Also noticed that there will be two #36 M&M's schemes, a peanut butter M&M's scheme(red?) and a green M&M's scheme(??). The #42 Chevy will have a special scheme not named directly, the #24-Jeff Gordon as we all know will be something at the Winston, not Pokemon, I hear it will be announced three days before the Winston and they are doing their best to keep it quiet, but I hear it will a sort of reverse DuPont scheme with different stripes of some sort(4-22-2000)

  • Schrader in Vegas: This weekend's major-league event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway got a boost by the entry of NASCAR Winston Cup regular Ken Schrader in the Winston West stock car race(Las Vegas Review Journal)(4-18-2000)

  • M&M's: Ken Schrader is relaying a message to his competitors for this weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway via Red, the M&M Character on the back of his No. 36 Pontiac. Red is holding a sign with a simple but clear message for the other 42 cars racing side-by-side at the Winston Cup Circuit's fastest track. Red's words of advice: "Don't Read...Draft!".(IMG Motorsports-Charlotte)(4-15-2000)

  • #36 Associate news: ILD Telecommunications, Inc. announced that it is proud to introduce its newest phone card design, featuring the #36 NASCAR Winston Cup Pontiac and driver Kenny Schrader. The cards, which are sold in $5, $10 and $20 denominations feature 3 different images of Schrader and the M&Ms®/Call-N-Carry™ Pontiac(ILD Telecommunications)(3-31-2000)

  • #36 Jackman: Eric Wilson of Hickory, NC, served as the new jackman with Ken Schrader's #36 M&M's Pontiaic Sunday. Wilson is serving as a race-to-race replacement for Michael Cooper, who sprained his right ankle during a pit stop accident last weekend at Atlanta(That's Racin')(3-20-2000)

  • #36 Jackman UPDATE: #36 jackman, Michael Cooper's foot was run over by an unknown car and was taken to a local hospital, Pete Wright handled the jack duties the rest of the race for the #36
    UPDATE: Michael Cooper, jackman for the No. 36 M&M's Pontiac Grand Prix, was taken to Spalding Regional Hospital for x-rays after being struck in the left leg by another car in an early race pit stop. Pete Wright replaced Cooper for the remainder of the day at that position. Cooper was diagnosed with a sprained left ankle, was released from the hospital and returned to the team's pit area before the end of the race. His status for next week's race at Darlington is unknown at this time(Pontiac Notes)(3-12-2000)

  • #36 Assoc: parts.com, Inc. (formerly Miracom Corporation), announced it has become an associate sponsor of the #36 M&M's Pontiac and the MB2 Motorsports team. As an Associate National Sponsor, the parts.com logo will appear prominently on the "M&M's"® Racing Team's #36 Pontiac and on the uniforms of the driver and pit crew. This will help position the parts.com exchange as the leading provider of online business-to-business and consumer auto parts products to an important segment of the automotive marketplace(IMG Motorsports PR)(2-25-2000)

  • Kenny Schrader Sponsor: Ken Schrader, driver of the #36 M&M's Pontiac, will drive eleven races out of his Concord, N.C., based Ken Schrader Racing shop with backing from Federated Auto Parts. Schrader's 11-race schedule in 2000 consists of two Southwest Tour races, five Truck races, two Winston West races and two ARCA events all across the country. His schedule: Southwest Tour at Phoenix(2/6); CTS at Martinsville(4/8); Winston West at Las Vegas(4/21); Winston West at California(4/29); ARCA at Anderson, IN(5/14); CTS at NHIS(7/8); CTS at Richmond(9/7); ARCA at Salem, IN(9/10); CTS at Dover(9/22); CTS at California(10/28) and Southwest Tour at Phoenix(11/3)(IMG Motorsports PR)(2-2-2000)

  • Yum: M&Ms announced that it is now the official chocolate of NASCAR(SpeedFX) and I thought Chocolate Myers was(so did Steve)(1-14-2000)

  • Nadeau in trouble: NASCAR officials apparently were not pleased with the on-track performance of driver Jerry Nadeau during Sunday's NAPA 500 at Atlanta. Following the race, Nadeau and his crew chief with the #36 Pontiacs, Ryan Pemberton, were called to the NASCAR hauler for a verbal reprimand(That's Racin')(11-22-1999)

  • MB2 #36 News: MB2 Motorsports announced Sammy Johns will become crew chief for the #36 "M&M's"® Pontiac with driver Ken Schrader beginning with the 2000 season. Johns and Schrader currently work together on the #33 Skoal Chevy Andy Petree Team(M&M's racing/Irvan.com)(11-18-1999)

  • M&M's Paint: To commemorate their status as the official candy of the new Millenium, "M&M's"® Chocolate Candies is running a special paint scheme at the NAPA 500 at Atlanta. The #36 Pontiac will be painted a metallic navy with festive renditions of the "M&M's"® Spokescharacters(Ernie Irvan Site)(11-17-1999)

  • A #36 Story/Image: M&M Mars officials unveiled the new paint scheme, which will be run at the season-ending NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with both Ernie Irvan and current driver Jerry Nadeau in attendance. In fact, Nadeau and Irvan lifted the cover off the dark-blue car for the cameras. Mars Director of Sponsorships Tim Quinn was on hand as well(from a TNN story with an Image)(10-12-1999)

  • Pemberton still doesn't know: #36 crew cheif, Ryan Pemberton, who is being replaced by Sammy Johns who is coming over from the #33 APR team, doesn't know what he is doing in 2000 yet, but he has talked to the #75 team as well as a Pontiac and Chevy(#25?) team and a start up team(PitNow)(10-11-1999)

  • #36 Paint: The unveiling of the Countdown to the Millennium M&M's® car kicked off a series of media announcements Saturday morning. The #36 Pontiac will race in this Sunday's Winston Cup race in the "sneak peek" Countdown paint scheme and in the dark blue Millennium Party paint scheme at the finale at Atlanta in November.Jerry Nadeau will continue to drive the car for the remainder of the season, replacing Ernie Irvan who retired after his heavy crash in practice at Michigan in August. However, Irvan's name will be displayed on the door of both cars "as a tribute to the former M&M's Racing driver's 13-year career."(GoRacing)(10-9-1999)

  • Pemberton Popular UPDATE: Ryan Pemberton is rumored to be the possible crew chief for Jeremy Mayfield and the #12 Mobil One team(TNN's Raceday) AND Pemberton is the leading candidate to join driver Wally Dallenbach with Galaxy Motorsports' #75 Fords next season as Dallenbach's crew chief. Pemberton is currently exploring several options. He is also being considered for the crew chief duties with the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy and has also been mentioned in conjunction with the new Winston Cup teams debuting next season with owners Cal Wells and A.J. Foyt(That's Racin')(10-3-1999) -- UPDATE: I hear that #12 crew chief, Peter Sospenzo, recently reupped to be the crew chief for Mayfield and the #12 through 2001 and that no one with Penske-Kranefuss Racing has spoken with Pemberton about the crew chief position(10-4-1999)

  • More Schrader: Kenny Schrader is leaving the #33 Andy Petree Racing Team, supposedly at the end of the season, but possibly as soon as next weekend at New Hampshire. The Missouri native will move to the #36 MB2 Motorsports, M&M's Pontiac, Team for the 2000 season replacing Ernie Irvan(who retired). The move was a big surprise to garage onlookers and to Petree himself, who, to say the least, was not pleased with Schrader's decision. Rumors had been circulating that Petree's 2000 sponsor, Oakwood Homes, has been experiencing financial problems, putting the backing in jeopardy(Inside Motorsports) Petree has said that the backing of Oakwood Homes is not in trouble and Schrader went out and won the ARCA race in Salem, IN on Sunday(9-13-1999)

  • The Countdown Car: In a tribute to Ernie Irvan and the millennium, Jerry Nadeau will drive the M&M’s Countdown car in Charlotte on Oct. 10, 1999. See an image from the RCCA site on my Ernie Irvan Site(9-12-1999)

  • Irvan Visits: Ernie Irvan visited his former team this weekend, hanging out in the team's transporter and chatting with replacement driver Jerry Nadeau. In his first week of retirement it's been business as usual -- lots of interviews and media appearances(Times-Dispatch) He was also interviewed during qualifying on Friday by ESPN2 after helping push the car out to pit road(9-12-1999)

  • Schrader to the #36 UPDATE 2: Ken Schrader will take over the driving duties next season for the #36 Pontiacs owned by MBII Motorsports, The Charlotte Observer has learned. An official announcement of Schrader's move is expected at New Hampshire International Speedway next weekend, sources said. Schrader has driven for car owner Andy Petree since 1997. In two-plus seasons, he has five top-five and 20 top-10 finishes and five poles. Schrader and Petree announced an agreement with a new sponsor, Oakwood Homes, in May for Schrader's #33 Chevrolets. However, according to sources, the company's financial stability has declined recently and its future in the sport is in doubt(That's Racin')(9-10-1999) -- UPDATE: Schrader has two years remaining on his contract with Petree and incoming sponsor Oakwood Homes, but the company has suffered financial setbacks in recent weeks that could affect the deal. Sources say he has already signed to be Irvan's replacement(Times-Dispatch) -- UPDATE 2: Eight weeks after announcing that he had secured a primary sponsor for his #33 Chevrolet, Cup team owner Andy Petree announced that Ken Schrader will not be back in the car next season. Schrader declined comment on the situation earlier in the day. He also would not say whether recent negative financial news for Oakwood Homes affected his decision(NOL)(9-11-1999)

  • Gettin' Sillier: check this out - From Racer Mag Site: .....with the sudden revelation that Ken Schrader, now with Andy Petree’s #33 (Skoal Chevy) team, will take over the seat in the #36 M&Ms car. Petree revealed that Schrader had informed him Thursday morning of his decision to leave, although it is not known whether he will stay the season or move sooner. A #36 team official, who preferred not to be named, refused to confirm the Schrader reports but indicated something was afoot. Skoal spokesman Brian Buchauer said Schrader’s intended move was sudden and very disappointing to Petree, who hired Schrader three years ago. Skoal, Petree’s long-time sponsor, will leave after this season, although Buchauer said Petree had told him the team has "an iron-clad deal" with new sponsor Oakwood Homes(Racer.com) Note: Oakwood is having some finacial problems(see yahoo biz)(9-10-1999)

  • Dallenbach: Despite reports that Wally Dallenbach has spoke with the management at MB2 Motorsports(#36 M&M's Pontiac), he insists that simply isn't the case. He spoke to crew chief Ryan Pemberton to let them know he was interested, but not the owners. He says if he had the choice, he'd be leaning towards the #36 ride, if offered to him. Dallenbach, as reported in the past, has been speculated as the lead candidate for the Cal Wells Cup ride. Although Dallenbach was expecting to hear from Wells on Monday, their signals were crossed and never touched base. Hopes to speak on Tuesday or Wednesday. Wells said personal committments in California and this week's CART race in Monterrey, would keep him from making a final decision until next week, but he has pared down the applicants to Dallenbach, Al Unser Jr., Scott Pruett, and an unnamed Winston Cup driver with contractual considerations. Dallenbach plans to have his mind made up by the time he leaves for Richmond(in part from SpeedVision)(9-8-1999)

  • Nadeau OK: Jerry Nadeau is ready to get back on the track after a hard hit at Darlington last weekend in the #36 M&M's Pontiac. Nadeau was airlifted to Carolinas Hospital System in Florence, S.C., after an accident early in Sunday's Pepsi Southern 500. Nadeau sustained a mild concussion and a laceration to his tongue when he blew a right-front tire and hit the turn-two wall. He was kept overnight for observation. He was released from the hospital Monday afternoon and returned to his home on Lake Norman(Cox PR)(9-7-1999)

  • #36 Rumors UPDATE 2: already...Johnny Benson and Todd Bodine are being rumored around the garage area as possible drivers for the #36 M&M's Pontiac in 2000(9-4-1999) -- UPDATE: Drivers under consideration for the #36 include Todd Bodine and Johnny Benson. Wally Dallenbach met with MBII Motorsports over the weekend to discuss the job, sources said(That's Racin')(9-6-1999)

  • Crispy Returns: I hear that it was announced on QVC that the #36 Crispy M&M's Pontiac will run at Talladega in October(9-2-1999)

  • The Millenium Car? UPDATE Hearing that MB2 will have a new #36 M&M's paint scheme in 2000 called the Millenium car. No idea what it'll look like but it is supposed to be revealed at Charlotte in October(7-6-1999) -- UPDATE: I also hear that MB2 will run a special paint scheme at Atlanta with the car painted like a candy wrapper coming off, with the new scheme partly exposed and the present scheme partly exposed(7-7-1999)

  • MB2 BGN Team: the Winston Cup Scene reports that MB2 Motorsports hopes to start a BGN team in 2000. The plan is to get a sponsor and driver, run the team for 2-3 years and move the team up to Winston Cup as a 2nd team to the #36. They have not talked to any current BGN drivers but IRL and Truck drivers(5-20-1999)

  • Ernie Irvan retired on September 3rd, 1999 due to injuries suffered in an August 1999 practice crash, past info can be found at my Ernie Irvan Site


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