Front Row looking for a crew chief UPDATE: hearing Front Row Motorsports #34 crew chief Brian Burns has left the team, no word on who will replace Burns as Travis Kvapil's crew chief in 2011 but the team is supposedly looking for a crew chief. Hearing plans are to run Kvapil full time in the #34 Ford and David Gilliland full time in the #38 [using #37 owners points] with the #37 Ford being run part time [using #38 owners ppoints, which are not in the top 35 for the first 5 races].(12-20-2010)UPDATE: statement by Brian Burns, former Front Row Motorsports crew chief: "I have decided to pursue other opportunities in racing. I would like to thank Bob Jenkins (team owner) and the rest of the organization for the last two years, and wish them the best of luck in the future."(12-22-2010)
Kvapil back to the Truck Series? NASCAR Insiders are hearing that Mike Skinner has been let go from Randy Moss Motorsports. This ends a two year relationship. Supposedly Travis Kvapil is the likely replacement for Skinner at RMM. Kvapil’s last full season in the Truck Series was 2007 with Roush Fenway Racing. He spent 2010 driving for Front Row Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series (NASCAR Insiders)(12-18-2010)
Edwards wins with FR9 Engine, will run all races in 2011: Carl Edwards’ Ford Fusion has been on an impressive winning streak, earning front row starting positions and capturing the win in the last two Nationwide Series races. Edward’s also qualified on the pole during this week’s Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway and swept the weekend by winning the Kobalt Tools 500. Edwards drives the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion powered by Roush Yates’ new FR9 engine. The FR9 is the first Ford purpose-built race engine ever engineered and produced at Roush Yates Engines in Mooresville, NC. The new Ford engine has been integrated slowly into the Sprint Cup Series throughout the second half of the 2010 season with help from Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports’ cars racing the engine intermittently. It has been a remarkable learning period for the FR9, with a total of 5 poles and 3 wins, including Edwards’ win this weekend that required both horsepower and efficient fuel mileage to beat Championship contenders Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin. “The new FR9 engine that Ford helped us with certainly was a factor today,” said Jack Roush, owner of Roush Fenway Racing. “The fact that we were able to save gas and still have enough speed to maintain position on the race track was all very good. I’m thrilled to be in Victory Lane this weekend.” Even though a Championship is out of reach for Ford this year, the FR9 engine has shown an impressive increase in performance and reliability throughout the second half of the 2010 Sprint Cup season. These improvements bring enthusiasm to the Ford Racing and Roush Yates Engines camps, as they plan to run the FR9 in all Ford cars for the full 2011 Sprint Cup Season.
“I’m excited to be running the FR9 in all Fords for the entire 2011 Sprint Cup Season and soon to come for the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series,” said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Carl’s win at Phoenix is just another testament to the power Roush Yates’ FR9 engine is capable of. Everyone at the engine shop has been working hard to get this engine just right, and we are extremely proud of Roush Fenway Racing and their accomplishments with it this year. I look forward to watching the FR9 race at Ford Championship weekend next week at Homestead, as well as the 2011 Sprint Cup Season.”(Roush Yates Engines)(11-15-2010)
Front Row to 2 cars? Kvapil returns in 2011: from an interview with driver Travis Kvapil:
Kvapil: For next year, we're going to up our goals. It looks like we'll have some better equipment and a better gameplan for next year. We probably won't have three teams. I'm not 100% sure on that, but it looks like we'll be able to focus our attention on two cars, two teams, and that should make us better.
Q) How much of a difference will a two-car shift make?
Kvapil: That's part of what I'm talking about [that] I don't think people understand. Going from Texas to Phoenix after the race, we have to pull ballast, lead, out of these cars for our Phoenix cars. We just don't have enough stuff. We have to pull sway bar arms, springs — we just don't have the components to really be prepared. Hopefully downsizing would be able to help that. We've got three cars on the track right now. We downsize to two, that frees up a lot of equipment and components to where it'd be easier to be better prepared.(Frontstretch)(11-11-2010)
Front Row #38 to keep running despite points position: After Talladega, #7-Robby Gordon is in 34th place, 14 points ahead of #71-TRG, which is 116 points ahead of Front Row's #38 third car and 217 points clear of #26-Latitude43. Since August, Front Row had put a lot of its focus on getting the 38 back in the top 35, where it comfortably sat until it was penalized 150 points in June for illegally modified tire-valve caps. Since Michigan in August, in three different three-race periods, Front Row had made up significant gaps on 35th: 87, 85 and 79 points, respectively. After the most recent three-race period, which ended at Charlotte, Front Row's car was only five points out of 35th going into Martinsville two weekends ago. But after breaking a rear-end gear there as Kvapil was running well ahead of the 7 and 71, and finishing 35th -- and now the Talladega debacle -- Freeze said the team would reshuffle its plan for the rest of this season. "We knew this weekend was going to be a challenge, so [breaking the gear] was a huge setback. Bob [Jenkins, team owner] and I talked about it [Sunday] morning and we're still going to run the 38 the last three races and make the best effort with it.(NASCAR.com)(11-2-2010)
Front Row testing: Tony Raines will be one of hte FRM drivers who will test on Thursday when the three teams of Front Row Motorsports test at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA.(Breaking Limits/FRM)(10-20-2010)
Andy Griffith Show scheme to be run by Blaney; image: CBS Consumer Products in conjunction with HLG Licensing and Front Row Motorsports will pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of The Andy Griffith Show with an original NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car in this weekend's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The car, which features the main characters of the iconic television series and a patrol-car paint scheme, will be fielded by Front Row's #37 Ford Fusion team and driver Dave Blaney. Starting this week, fans of The Andy Griffith Show and Front Row Motorsports will be able to purchase their own souvenirs to commemorate the running of the anniversary racecar. #37 50th Anniversary Andy Griffith Show team hats and hooded sweatshirts will be available online at www.Yerzies.com.
"We couldn't think of a better place to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Andy Griffith Show than its home state of North Carolina," said Liz Kalodner, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Consumer Products. "The NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the perfect event for that celebration."
"Like so many other people, I've always loved The Andy Griffith Show," said the #37 Ford Fusion Team owner Bob Jenkins. "We first started talking about doing this paint scheme a while ago, and now it's really cool to see it come together and see it on the car in person. I think fans of the show are really going to like it."
"It's pretty cool to have the 50th anniversary of The Andy Griffith Show on our car for Charlotte," said Blaney. "I remember watching it with my family back in the day, and we still catch the reruns every once in a while now. We're happy to welcome the show back to its home state of North Carolina and give it a good run on the #37 car."(Front Row Motorsports), orginally the scheme was to run on the #34 FRM Ford with Travis Kvapil driving. See image of the scheme on my #37 Team Scheme page.(10-12-2010)
Crew chief changes again at Front Row: The teams of Front Row Motorsports will have new leadership atop the pit boxes beginning with this weekend's race events in Fontana, Calif. Front Row has named Brian Burns crew chief of Travis Kvapil's Long John Silver's #34 team, and moved crew chief Greg Conner to lead the #37 A&W All American Food team, which will have Dave Blaney at the wheel at Auto Club Speedway. Burns has been an integral member of the Long John Silver's team, serving as its lead engineer since the beginning of the 2009 season. He gained experience calling the shots for Kvapil's car earlier this year when he served as interim crew chief for the June race at Michigan International Speedway. Before coming to Front Row, Burns spent six years with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, providing engineering support to its three race teams.
Conner moves over to the A&W team after serving as crew chief of the Long John Silver's team for the past three months. The racing veteran has experience in all three of NASCAR's top series and has called races for drivers including Marcos Ambrose, Ricky Craven and Kevin Lepage. "We still have seven races to run and we want to make the most of them," said Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports. "I think the world of both of these guys, and having them in these positions now is going to make us stronger at the end of this season and also help prepare us for next year." Peter Sospenzo remains the crew chief for the #38 Taco Bell team - Front Row Motorsports' third car - which is driven by David Gilliland.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(10-6-2010)
#34 picks up associate sponsors: The #34 team welcomes LP Building Products and Advantage Homes as associate sponsors on the #34 Ford. LP Building Products is a Nashville, Tenn.-based manufacturer of high-quality building materials. Its products are sold through distributors, dealers, professional lumberyards and retail home centers. Advantage Homes builds award-winning, high-quality, innovative homes in some of the most desirable locations in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, using top products to ensure excellence, durability and reliability. This weekend's race will be LP Building Products' second time partnering with Front Row and Advantage Homes' first.(Breaking Limits/Front Row PR)(9-23-2010)
Front Row sues Conway and Extenze: Front Row Motorsports is suing its former driver Kevin Conway and his sponsor Biotab Nutraceuticals, which sells Extenze, over alleged non-payment of part of a $5.4 million sponsorship deal for Conway to drive a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car in 2010. The lawsuit was filed Monday [Sept 13] in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte. A Front Row Motorsports spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit, which asks for damages to cover the $2.754 million that will eventually be due under the terms of the contract, payment of $734,201 in sponsorship fees, hard card fees, race licenses and other expenses for services rendered and $135,000 advanced to Conway as part of his base compensation. "It's really unfortunate that they've made some pretty outrageous allegations against us and the good thing is we'll have our day in court, and the truth will all come to light in the months ahead," Conway said in a phone interview Tuesday. "Unfortunately, I can't really comment on the specifics."
According to the complaint and contracts attached as exhibits, Extenze was to pay Conway's marketing company Exclaim $5.4 million in 50 weekly installments of $108,000, and that money was then to be sent to the race team. The $5.4 million was designed to cover the first 15 races, and then Extenze would have the option of funding the remaining 21 events through revenues generated by a product placement contract. The team would get 15% for product placement at dollar stores, retail stores or wholesale auto parts stores.
Conway's base compensation, according to a contract that is an exhibit in the lawsuit, was $540,000 plus 10% of any other sponsorships brought in for the car. He also would get paid 15% of all purse money and season point fund money, with the percentage increasing to 30% for any top-20, 35% for a top-10 and 45% for a top-five. Front Row was obligated to put Conway in a car that was in the top 35 in owner points, and if he failed to make the field in two consecutive races or any three during the season, the contract could be terminated. The deal between Conway and Front Row went sour during the summer, according to the complaint, when Exclaim allegedly began paying only half of its $108,000 payments beginning June 21. Exclaim is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit. Front Row notified Conway on Aug. 8 that he would not be back in the car beginning with the Aug. 15 race at Michigan if his sponsor could not pay its $108,000 weekly fee. Conway did not compete at Michigan but then ran the next three events for Robby Gordon Motorsports. He is scheduled to run seven of the final 10 events for RGM but will not be in the car this weekend because team owner Robby Gordon has sponsorship for the New Hampshire race. The lawsuit was filed by Charlotte attorney Ron Skufca, who represents the North Carolina-based Front Row Motorsports. Biotab is based in California.(SceneDaily)(9-15-2010)
Front Row could drop down to 2 teams in 2011: When asked about the future of the team's third car, the #38 squad that currently sits outside the top 35 in owner points, Front Row Motorsports Jerry Freeze didn't mince words. “It's a big question mark right now. Unless we have some phenomenal success in finding sponsorship, I don't see any way we can carry three cars next year. I think the likely scenario is that FRM will run two cars next year. We really like David [Gilliland] and Travis [Kvapil], we're planning on those guys coming back and we're talking with them about it, so that's the direction I think we'll be going in. Then again, maybe we start next year running that third car if it's in the top 35. If it's not, it may just go away.” That said, the team is also very much aware of just how valuable team number three is. They know just how close they are to locking a third entry into the Sprint Cup field, and what that means from both a competitive and fiscal standpoint. “Now we get that car back in the top 35, we have a lot of options for next year," Freeze explains. "That's why we're working so hard ... I would bet the house that if we had a third car in the top 35 at the end of this year that we could find a driver with a sponsor to run the Daytona 500. That's a great-paying race, and could be a great value to FRM.”(Frontstretch)(9-10-2010)
Conway's job in danger? UPDATES: Kevin Conway’s days might be numbered at Front Row Motorsports. It sounds like the team has grown tired of Conway’s poor performance, and this group will struggle mightily to make races if the #34 falls out of the top 35 in owners points. They are currently 35th in the standings, only 182 points ahead of 36th. A few more bad finishes, and Conway will be on the outside looking in. To this point in the season, Conway has had a guaranteed starting position in every race, due to some fancy number wrangling by owner Bob Jenkins. With one team already outside the top 35 however, thanks to the tire debacle at Pocono earlier in the year, Jenkins can’t afford to have another team fall out. Word is that Extenze would continue sponsoring the team, but another yet-to-be-named driver would be brought in.(NASCAR Insiders)(8-9-2010)
UPDATE: Comments from ExtenZe Racing regarding recent Internet rumors about Kevin Conway:"Contrary to some Internet reports out there that recently surfaced after the NASCAR race weekend concluded at Watkins Glen, ExtenZe and Alteril are 100% committed to Kevin Conway and the sport of NASCAR," said Robert Wilhovsky, Director of Motorsports Marketing. "While we are currently evaluating our options for 2011, Kevin Conway has been and will continue to be the foundation of our NASCAR program in the years ahead.(ExtenZe PR)(8-9-2010)
UPDATE 2: Tony Raines has replaced Kevin Conway on the Michigan entry list.(8-13-2010)
UPDATE 3:Tony Raines will drive the Front Row Motorsports #34 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, starting immediately. Raines, 46, replaces Raybestos rookie candidate Kevin Conway. “We decided to make a driver change,” said Front Row general manager Jerry Freeze. “ExtenZe (Conway’s sponsor) has asked to take a hiatus. They’re taking a break and could be back later this fall. “Tony is also on the entry blank for Bristol and then we‘ll reevaluate.”(Fox Sports)(8-13-2010)
UPDATE 4: Kevin Conway and ExtenZe Racing announce that they are suspending their program with Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing effective immediately. “As was released earlier this week, ExtenZe and Alteril are 100% committed to Kevin Conway and the sport of NASCAR,” said Robert Wilhovsky, Director of Motorsports Marketing. “While we are currently evaluating our options for the rest of 2010 and next year, Conway has been and will continue to be the foundation of our NASCAR program in the years ahead.(ExtenZe PR)(8-13-2010)
Captain Cliff Johnson named the ExtenZe Local Hero for Indianapolis: Captain Cliff Johnson has the honor of commanding a team unlike any other, within the Indianapolis Department of Public Safety. Comprised of personnel from both the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), the IFD/IMPD Fire Investigations Section is considered to be one of the premier Fire Investigation Sections in the United States. 5 members from each department are assigned to the team, work in teams of 2 and are cross trained in each others' disciplines. The ability to work within the parameters of fire investigator and police detective, has given this team one of the highest arson clearance rates in the country. With 32 arrests already for 2010, the team is underway for meeting or exceeding the number of arson arrests in 2009 at 67. The team has consistently closed cases at 1.5 times the national average. The experienced investigators, represented today by Captain Cliff Johnson are honored to have been chosen as the ExtenZe Local Hero's for the 2010 Brickyard race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
These 10 officers put themselves on the line each and every day: Captain Clifton Johnson, Sergeant John Mann, Lieutenant Derrick Sayles, Detective Jim Albin, Lieutenant Tony Head, Lieutenant James Burris, Detective Ed Brickley, Lieutenant Ron Marks, Detective Dave Kinsey, Detective Pat McCloskey.
As part of the ExtenZe Local Hero program and for leading the charge in the fight against arson, Captain Johnson will serve as Honorary Crew Chief for NASCAR's leading Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway and his ExtenZe racing team. The 'ExtenZe Local Hero' program pays tribute to people who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Award recipients become ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chiefs, receive a tour of the paddock, attend the pre-race NASCAR Driver/Crew Chief meeting, and sit atop the pit box with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo to root on rookie driver Kevin Conway piloting the royal blue and red #34 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Each recipient also receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of their selflessness. Fans can visit www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes. Also check in on blog/twitter feeds for the latest information on ExtenZe Racing and Kevin Conway.(ExtenZe Racing)(7-22-2010)
Chicago Police Officer named the ExtenZe Local Hero for Chicago: When Kenny Fullman was 12 years old, his father was shot and killed while trying to break up a gang fight on Chicago's Southside. That tragic incident spawned Kenny into becoming what he is today, a full-time Police Officer in Chicago to help rid the streets of gang violence. In his spare time, Fullman is also the head baseball coach at the Harlan Academy and head coach of one of Chicago's amateur baseball teams called Amateur City Elite, an inner city high school baseball program designed to mentor young people to help keep them off the streets and help them prepare for college.
For putting himself on the line as a Police Officer to help protect and serve the people of Chicago and for his community service efforts through the Amateur City Elite, Fullman has been named the 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and will serve as Honorary Crew Chief for NASCAR's leading Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway and his ExtenZe racing team for this weekend's NASCAR events at Chicagoland Speedway.
Fullman was also recently named an "All-Star Among Us" in PEOPLE Magazine and MLB's All-Star game campaign. He will be honored at the 2010 MLB All-Star Game on FOX and featured in special pre-game ceremony July 13th at Angels stadium. The 'ExtenZe Local Hero' program pays tribute to people who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Award recipients become ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chiefs, receive a tour of the paddock, attend the pre-race NASCAR Driver/Crew Chief meeting, and sit atop the pit box with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo to root on rookie driver Kevin Conway piloting the royal blue and red #34 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Each recipient also receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of their selflessness. Fans can visit www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes. Also check in on blog/twitter feeds for the latest information on ExtenZe Racing and #34-Kevin Conway.(ExtenZe Racing)(7-7-2010)
Daytona Beach Deputy Chief of Police named the ExtenZe Local Hero for Daytona: On April 28, 2009, while driving through the city of Daytona Beach, Deputy Chief of Police, Steve Beres of the Daytona Beach Police Department smelled what appeared to be a fire. Upon further investigation he determined that it was a residential fire fully engulfed at 835 S. Ridgewood Avenue. Deputy Chief Beres observed a person inside the residence laying on the floor yelling for help. Without hesitation or fear of injury he attempted to gain entry into the home in order to rescue this individual by forcing his way through the front door and side door, but was driven back by the flames. Even after crawling into the structure reaching the subject he was unsuccessful due to the flames and smoke. Once the smoke cleared at the side entrance, which was now open, Beres' help had arrived and Officer Lindsay Jones and Sergeant Randy Doyle were successful in gaining entry through that door and pulled the victim out of the fully engulfed structure. At that point all three (Beres, Jones, Doyle) pulled the resident further into the yard to a place of safety. All three officers involved without thought of their own personal safety attempted to save the life of another. During their heroic attempts to save the life of the occupant the officers sustained minor injuries. Even though all involved acted without hesitation to the save another human life, the victim in this incident succumbed to his injuries and unfortunately died days later at the hospital. For their heroic efforts Beres, Jones, and Doyle have been named the 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and will serve as Honorary Crew Chief's for NASCAR's leading Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway and his ExtenZe racing team for this 4th of July weekend's NASCAR events at Daytona International Speedway.
"All three of them (Beres, Jones, and Doyle) say they were just doing their job and doing what they had to do to try and save a human life that day but it takes a true hero to run into a burning house fully engulfed in flames and put their life aside and on the line to try and save someone else especially when they aren't wearing the right protective clothing or equipment," said the leading NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway. "And for that we are truly honored to have Beres, Jones, and Doyle with us this weekend at Daytona serving as our Honorary Crew Chiefs as part of our ExtenZe Local Hero program."
The 'ExtenZe Local Hero' program pays tribute to people who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Award recipients become ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chiefs, receive a tour of the paddock, attend the pre-race NASCAR Driver/Crew Chief meeting, and sit atop the pit box with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo to root on rookie driver Kevin Conway piloting the royal blue and red #34 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Each recipient also receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of their selflessness. Fans can visit www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes. Also check in on blog/twitter feeds for the latest information on ExtenZe Racing and #34-Kevin Conway.(ExtenZe Racing)(6-30-2010)
Loudon Police Officer named ExtenZe Local Hero: Loudon Police Officer Brian Martel has much to be thankful for as he and his loving wife have their first child on the way. However, things could be much different for the Martel family. He just returned from a second tour of duty with the Army Reserves but during his first tour he nearly lost his life courtesy of a roadside bomb that obliterated the truck he was driving. Those who know him best would probably say that the city of Loudon has much to be thankful for as well. For Martel's heroic efforts while serving with the Army Reserves and keeping the residents of Loudon safe he as been named the 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and will serve as Honorary Crew Chief for NASCAR's leading Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver #34-Kevin Conway and his ExtenZe racing team for this weekend's NASCAR events at New Hampshire International Speedway.
While fighting overseas as a member of the 325th Transportation Company out of Brockton Massachusetts, Martel's days were spent ensuring that much needed fuel and supplies reached those on the front lines. Every day they counted on him to supply what was needed and he did not disappoint. So much so that within hours of having his truck blown up by a roadside bomb and a brief visit to the Army's equivalent of the "In Field Care Center", he climbed back in another truck and drove over the same terrain going back to get more supplies. When asked what that was like, Martel simply says "I guess it makes you a little more alert. I mean, climbing back in that truck was just what I had to do, I knew there were guys in danger that needed what I was carrying so you just go out and try again". In addition to a Purple Heart, Martel received a Combat Action Badge and numerous Army accolades.
Martel is currently back home in Loudon where he continues to put his life on the line every day in order to Protect and Serve. "I have wanted to be a Police Officer my whole life," he says. "Ever since I was a kid, honestly I can't remember ever wanting to be anything else," continues Martel. After a brief break from action and enjoying himself this weekend at NHIS, Martel will continue to live out his life long dream of helping others when they need him most.
The 'ExtenZe Local Hero' program pays tribute to people who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Award recipients become ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chiefs, receive a tour of the paddock, attend the pre-race NASCAR Driver/Crew Chief meeting, and sit atop the pit box with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo to root on rookie driver Kevin Conway piloting the royal blue and red #34 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Each recipient also receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of their selflessness. Fans can visit www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes or review who has been previously chosen. Also check in on blog/twitter feeds for the latest information on ExtenZe Racing and Kevin Conway.(ExtenZe Racing/Breaking Limits)(6-24-2010)
'Popcorn Man' Joins ExtenZe Racing as Local Hero: Discovery Bay, CA native Ed McClelland builds docks by day, that is his trade. But when he is not building docks he is making sure that the basic needs civilians take for granted are not overlooked or forgotten for our troops who are far from home and constantly in harms way. Twelve hour workdays leave precious little time, but he makes the most of it knowing the troops he supports by shipping large quantities of the basic needs have it far worse. And for that McClelland has been named the 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and will be honored this Father's Day at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Infineon Raceway on Sunday, June 20.
"I have always been patriotic" says McClelland, "and wanted to show my support for the troops, I started off coordinating Pro-Troop Rallies back home with Semi's and Harley's through town." Drawing further inspiration from Vet's of the Vietnam War and seeing how supportive they were to the current troops he realized that there was much more that could be done. At first he assumed what the troops might need and started sending care packages. What he got in return was amazing. Emails came pouring in, thanking him for his kindness, telling him stories of how his single act of compassion raised the morale of the troops and how even this relatively simple gesture impacted the troops lives in a way few could understand. Requests now come and he does his best to fill them. He started calling companies and asking for help, the response he says has been overwhelming.
Affectionately known now as 'The Popcorn Man' because he has sent over five pallets of Pop Secret popcorn in the last 8 months, McClelland was at first taken aback by all the praise he received from local media for his acts of generosity. "They wrote an article about what we were doing and at first I didn't like it, I wanted it to be about the troops" he says, "but the outpouring of support from companies and individuals has helped me increase my efforts and send more packages."
Some of the donations he received came from a Vietnam Vet's widow and a WWII female Vet who donated her frequent flyer miles. After one email and 2 phone calls the company Pet Brands also donated enough supplies to care for a 10 dog bomb sniffing unit who were in desperate need of dog beds. "The generosity has been great" adds McClelland, "we have been able to send out over 800 packages due to the support of regular everyday people."
McClelland knows that he will probably never meet those that he is caring for but in a way he feels that it is "kind of cool, I just want them to know that we care." Those who want to donate items to be sent to the troops can email Ed McClelland at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to the $1,000 prize for being selected the ExtenZe Racing Local Hero, ExtenZe Racing will be donating 200 ExtenZe Racing hats to McClelland's cause.
"Our troops are out there fighting for us everyday and it is great to see someone like Ed stand up and take the charge in recognizing their sacrifices and make sure they are getting the everyday necessities that we take for granted," said the leading NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway. "I'm sure he has a lot of fans overseas and that our troops are very gracious for his selfless acts. And for that, we look forward to having him as part of our race team and honoring his heroic deeds at Infineon."
The 'ExtenZe Local Hero' program pays tribute to people who have gone to great lengths to make a difference in their communities. Those selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Award recipients become ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chiefs, receive a tour of the garage, attend the pre-race NASCAR Driver/Crew Chief meeting, and sit atop the pit box with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo to root on rookie driver Kevin Conway piloting the royal blue and red #34 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Each recipient also receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of their selflessness.
Fans can visit www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes or review who has been previously chosen. Also check in on blog/twitter feeds for the latest information on ExtenZe Racing and Kevin Conway.(ExtenZe Racing/Breaking Limits)(6-17-2010)
Ragan & Conway to test at Infineon: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers #6-David Ragan and #34-Kevin Conway will take part in a half-day test session next week at Infineon Raceway in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 18-20. Ragan and Conway will test the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course on Tuesday, June 8, in late-model stock cars provided by a Northern California-based race team. Conway will be coached by road-course veteran Chris Cook, who has also worked with NASCAR drivers Joey Logano and Los Gatos' AJ Allmendinger, among others. Ragan has posted a best finish of 24th (2008) in three starts at Infineon Raceway; this will mark Conway's first race in Sonoma. For special ticket packages to the Toyota/Save Mart 350, including Kasey's Korner, the 24 Special and the Jimmie Johnson 4-Pack, call 800-870-RACE or visit infineonraceway.com.(6-5-2010)
NASCAR named Local Hero at Pocono Raceway: In April 2008, NASCAR lost a talented and incredible person. Brienne Davis, a NASCAR Official, was and still is an inspiration for many young women who want to be an integral part of the most challenging and exciting form of racing in the world. After her untimely passing the Brienne Davis Scholarship fund was founded by NASCAR and for this, NASCAR has been named an ExtenZe Local Hero. In honor of Brienne Davis and her friends at NASCAR, ExtenZe Racing will be donating $1,000 to the fund on pit road just prior to the start of the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 at Pocono Raceway this upcoming weekend. Accepting the check will be NASCAR's John Darby, Director of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Growing up, Davis wanted to be a veterinarian. However once she became the proud owner of a couple of classic American muscle cars that began to change. She learned to do body work, interior work and even some engine building. This was enough for her to radically change directions and work on horsepower and not actual horses. She enrolled in UTI in Houston where she excelled as a student and graduated near the top of her class. As fate would have it a chance meeting with a Pennzoil executive who passed her name on to Tony Eury Sr landed her a job tearing down engines at Dale Earnhardt Inc. for three years.
Brienne then decided to go work for NASCAR as a member of the engine inspection crew where she would tear down engines and oversee repairs made during the race to ensure they passed inspection before returning to the race. True heroes reveal themselves under the most unexpected circumstances. And Brienne's untimely death revealed in her coworkers a desire to not let her achievements and legacy be forgotten. They decided to set up a scholarship fund where three young women a year will receive a $10,000 scholarship to any Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Campus to carry on the work of someone not unlike themselves. For more information on how you can contribute to the Brienne Davis Scholarship Fund and help provide an opportunity to a deserving female student, visit www.NASCAR.com/foundation.
"It's just awesome and amazing to see how everyone involved in NASCAR comes together when we lose one of our own to help continue to carry on the legacy of the likes of Brienne (Davis)," said Conway, the leading NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver. "Brienne was excellent at her job and her unexpected passing devastated us all. We hope that being able to do our part to keep her legacy alive will allow three more young and talented females to follow in the footsteps of Brienne."
The 'ExtenZe Local Hero' program pays tribute to people who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Award recipients become ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chiefs, receive a tour of the paddock, attend the pre-race NASCAR Driver/Crew Chief meeting, and sit atop the pit box with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo to root on rookie driver Kevin Conway piloting the royal blue and red #34 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Each recipient also receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of their selflessness. Fans can visit www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes to be selected at upcoming races. Also check in on blog/twitter feeds for the latest information on ExtenZe Racing and Kevin Conway.(ExtenZe Racing)(6-4-2010)
Front Row Working as One Team for Optimal Results: Using a unified approach to give its three-car team the best opportunities to continue to succeed as a whole, Front Row Motorsports announced changes to its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series line-up effective this week for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team is moving Kevin Conway and the ExtenZe Racing sponsorship to the #34 Ford Fusion, David Gilliland and the Taco Bell program to the #37 Ford Fusion, and Travis Kvapil and the Long John Silver's program to the #38 Ford Fusion. The changes are aimed to optimize all three teams' ability to score more points and strengthen the organization. "I'm proud of how we've performed this year - our first year with three full-time cars," said Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports. "We are not a powerhouse three-car team, but we work as an organization to grow together as one. Our teams have to be unified to be stronger instead of operating as three separate groups. Moving our drivers, along with their respective sponsors, to different cars gives us the best chance to succeed as an entire team. It has been this attitude and strategic growth plan that has allowed us to become the team we are today." All three Front Row cars have made the starting lineup of all 12 Sprint Cup Series races in the 2010 season. The team is working with potential sponsors now to become stronger and take the next step to become a top-25 team.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(5-26-2010)
Additional sponsor for Conway: This week in the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Wings (America's best beach store) along with ExtenZe Racing, announced a three-race deal with Conway that begins this weekend at CMS. As part of this deal, Wings will start carrying ExtenZe Racing slogan T-shirts and board shorts in some of its stores across the best beaches in America. Also, Wings will adorn Conway's Ford Fusion as an associate sponsor at the Daytona Cup race in July and at the season finale in Homestead in November.
AND: Chief Warrant Officer 4 and Silver Star recipient Jim Herring says he was just doing what he had to do. At first that sounds pretty simple and you may be lulled into thinking that he is just another guy, but when you hear what it was that he felt "he had to do" you quickly learn why Herring was named an 'ExtenZe Local Hero.' For his selfless acts and heroism, Herring will serve as Honorary Crew Chief for the leading NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year driver Kevin Conway and his ExtenZe Racing team at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the running of the Coca-Cola 600. Herring, who is stationed in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., is only the second soldier since World War II to receive the Silver Star while serving with the North Carolina National Guard.
It was on December 23, 2006 that Herring and his five vehicle convoy where dispatched to search an Iraqi village for an enemy cell that had recently attacked coalition forces. Suddenly Herring and 22 other soldiers were boxed in a narrow street with two story buildings on both sides taking fire from guns, rifles and rocket propelled grenades. Herring instructed his driver to keep moving forward even as three insurgents where unleashing a sea of machine gun fire on their vehicle. The gunner on the Humvee killed the three insurgents but as they moved forward 20 more behind a wall less than 30 feet away opened fire. Bullets started to penetrate his vehicle and soon his driver was shot through the leg. Fearing the driver had been hit in the femoral artery and in need of immediate life saving treatment, Herring jumped out and shot and killed two more enemy machine gunners.
A disabled truck behind them prevented his fellow soldiers from assisting so with only the humvee gunner to provide suppressive fire Herring left the safety of the vehicle alone for a second time in order to run around and get behind the wheel and drive his critically wounded fellow soldier to safety. He was immediately knocked to the ground by the concussion of an impacting rocket-propelled grenade, but got up and continued to move and fire until he had managed to get to the driver side. He then moved the injured driver to the back seat where the medic started to tend to his serious injury. All this happened under constant fire from well aimed small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenade fire as well as machine gun fire.
"I don't know that I really deserve it," Herring said. "So many guys do so many amazing things on the battlefield. I just felt it was my job that day so I pretty much did what I had to do." Herring will be donating his $1,000 ExtenZe Local Hero check to a fund that helps the families in his unit. "This will sure go a long ways," he added.
"Hearing Jim's story really makes you stop and think about the individuals we must thank every day for allowing us the opportunity to do what we love to do in this free country," said Conway, the leading Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year driver. "It's people like Jim, fighting for our continued freedom, who are the true American heroes. It's hard to imagine what Jim endured that day, but we are very grateful for the courage and bravery he displayed and glad he is going to be cheering us on in Charlotte as a member of our ExtenZe Racing team."
The 'ExtenZe Local Hero' program pays tribute to people who have gone to great lengths to make a difference. Those selected have faced danger, sacrificed their own safety for others or in some way displayed leadership that changed their community for the better. Award recipients become ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chiefs, receive a tour of the paddock, attend the pre-race NASCAR Driver/Crew Chief meeting, and sit atop the pit box with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo to root on rookie driver Kevin Conway piloting the royal blue and red #34 ExtenZe Ford Fusion. Each recipient also receives a $1,000 award from ExtenZe, the world's best selling male enhancement product, in recognition of their selflessness.
Fans can visit www.ExtenZeRacing.com to nominate their own local heroes or review who has been previously chosen. Also be sure to check in on Facebook/Twitter feeds for the latest information on ExtenZe Racing and Kevin Conway.(Breaking Limits/Extenze Racing), Conway will run the #34 Ford this week at Charlotte. The #37 Conway usually is not in the top-35 of owners points, so Conway will run the #34 which is guaranteed a spot in the field.(5-26-2010)
Special Long John Silver's scheme for Kvapil: Front Row Motorsports and Long John Silver's will once again partner this season to help bring the popular Long John Silver's $1 Baja Fish Taco to NASCAR fans across the nation. Long John Silver's announced that its $1 Baja Fish Taco colors will be the primary sponsor of the #34 Ford driven by Travis Kvapil; Kvapil will carry these colors at the Autism Speaks 400 at the Dover International Speedway on May 16 and the All-Star Showdown at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 22.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(4-1-2010), see an image of the car on my #34 team paint schemes page.(5-12-2010)
Andy Griffith Show on #34 at CMS in Oct: The Andy Griffith Show is returning to North Carolina with the debut of an original commemorative racecar that pays tribute to the iconic series. CBS Consumer Products in conjunction with HLG Licensing announced a partnership with Front Row Motorsports and the #34 Ford Fusion team to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beloved series. The car, to be driven Travis Kvapil, is slated to make its first appearance in the NASCAR Banking 500 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 16, 2010, and broadcast by ABC. The partnership marks the second time that CBS Consumer Products has come together with the NASCAR organization to feature a car scheme based on The Andy Griffith Show. Based on the announcement, CBS Consumer Products will be developing a very special merchandising and promotional program around the NASCAR partnership and will soon be announcing an entire line of products in the apparel, accessories, gift and toy categories. HLG has previously tied NASCAR teams with Hollywood's top entertainment brands including Jim Henson's "Muppets," Marvel's "Spiderman," Universal's "Monsters of the Speedway" and more.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(5-12-2010)
A&W on the #34 at Darlington: There's no taking it easy at Darlington Raceway, and Travis Kvapil wouldn't have it any other way. The driver of the #34 Ford looks forward to the unique, challenging nature of the 1.366-mile, egg-shaped oval for Saturday night's Showtime Southern 500. And he's ready to attack it in the A&W All American Food Ford, the second time this season the colors of the iconic restaurant will adorn the #34 Fusion for Front Row Motorsports.(Breaking Limits PR), see an image of the car on my #34 team paint schemes page.(5-6-2010)
Front Row Motorsports Partners with Rainier Ice: Beginning this weekend, Front Row Motorsports and race fans across the country will learn a little more about the Pacific Northwest's best-kept secret. The Stratford Bottling Company, with its bottled water brand Rainier Ice, is the newest partner of the team and drivers Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland. The Yakima, Washington-based company will provide its premium all-natural artesian water to the team for the rest of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The Rainier Ice logo will be featured on both the #34 A&W All American Food/Long John Silver's Ford driven by Kvapil and the #37/38 Taco Bell Ford driven by David Gilliland. Both drivers will also feature the logo on their uniforms.(Breaking Limits PR)(5-5-2010)
A&W on the #34 at Darlington: #34-Travis Kvapil will run an A&W All American Food scheme on the #34 Front Row Motorsports Ford this weekend at Darlington, the second time this season those, the first being at Martinsville in March (FRM/Breaking Limits PR), see an image of the car on my #34 team paint schemes page.(5-6-2010)
Kvapil to Race A&W All American Food Ford: Coming off his second top-25 finish of the season, Travis Kvapil and the #34 team head to another short track this weekend. Kvapil will be carrying the colors and logos of A&W All American Food for the first time this season.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(3-25-2010)
Planet Hollywood to be #34 & #38 assoc sponsor at Vegas: The glitz of the Las Vegas strip is coming to the cars of Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing. The NASCAR Sprint Cup team will showcase Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Las Vegas with associate sponsorships on Travis Kvapil's #34 and David Gilliland's #38 Ford Fusions during this weekend's Shelby American 500 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Fans will see the resort and casino's logo on the lower-rear quarter panels of the teams' Fords at the 1.5-mile tri-oval in the Nevada desert.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(2-22-2010)
Kvapil Ready for 'Rough Racing' at Fontana: Travis Kvapil will have a new home and a new family for the Auto Club 500 this week: the #34 car and the Long John Silver's Racing team. Kvapil will hit the two-mile Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA, in the #34 Long John Silver's Ford Fusion - the car he is primarily slated to drive for the 2010 Sprint Cup Series season. Kvapil drove the #37 ExtenZe Racing Ford in the season-opening Daytona 500 in place of teammate Kevin Conway, bringing home a 29th-place finish for Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing. The #34 car will also carry an associate sponsorship from Metal Jeans for the Auto Club 500.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(2-16-2010)
Window World and Andretti racing with Heavy Hearts: Window World Inc., John Andretti and the Window World Racing community will be racing in the memory of Window World CEO Todd Whitworth during the 2010 race season. Whitworth passed away unexpectedly on February 5. Window World's foundation, Window World Cares, is the primary sponsor of John Andretti and the #34 Ford team for Front Row Motorsports and Boris Said and the #26 Ford team for Latitude 43. Window World has been heavily involved in motorsports since the beginning of 2009. America's largest window replacement company first partnered with Andretti during the 2009 Daytona 500. The relationship expanded to seven NASCAR Sprint Cup events and the famed Indianapolis 500 when Andretti raced with Richard Petty Motorsports. Window World and Andretti were the only driver/sponsor combination to race in both the Daytona and Indianapolis 500 - two of the largest sporting events in the world.
"This loss is monumental on all levels," said Blair Ingle, President, Window World. "His passion for auto racing, Window World Cares, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Veteran's Airlift Command were immeasurable. We know in our heart that Todd would want to have John (Andretti) and Boris (Said) continue to race this weekend and raise support for Window World Cares and St. Jude. We will all feel pride knowing that the legacy of Todd will be carried through their efforts." Andretti and the #34 Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing team plan to memorialize Whitworth by running a decal on the car during the duration of Speedweeks and wearing black armbands around their uniform sleeves. "My heart is heavy," said Andretti. "Todd was more than a sponsor partner of mine. He was a true friend and I'm deeply saddened by his sudden loss. Todd and I met a few years ago and he almost immediately became a part of the Andretti family. His family and extended Window World family are all in my prayers, especially his wife Tammy and children Anna Grace, Wyatt and Tucker. In 2009, Window World Cares was named a corporate partner of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. More info at www.windowworld.com.(Breaking Limits/FRM)(2-6-2010)
Andretti gets sponsor for Bud Shootout, Said too...images: Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing announced this week that John Andretti will drive the team's #34 Ford Fusion in the Feb. 14 Daytona 500. His 1997 win at the Coke Zero 400 makes him eligible to also run the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Andretti will drive the #34 Window World Cares Ford Fusion in Saturday's winner-take-all exhibition and the Daytona 500. "It's just fun to be in it," Andretti said of the exhibition race. "You hate for any race to go on and not be in it. So if you're going to be there, you should be in it, having fun and not watching other people have fun. And the Budweiser Shootout is definitely a fun race. It's the first race of the NASCAR season and leads up to the 'Great American Race.' It's a good warm-up for the drivers, for the team and for the pit crew. And, you know, there's always bragging rights on the line. Like they say, finishing second in the Bud Shootout is not a good point's day - because there are no points. There's only one spot to finish in, and everybody drives it that way. It obviously creates a lot of excitement. I don't have a lot of hair, but it's a time to let your hair down and have fun. There's very little to lose and a lot to gain." After driving a full schedule last year between Front Row Motorsports and an Indianapolis 500 entry for Richard Petty Motorsports, Andretti is looking forward to a part-time schedule in 2010. "I'm more relaxed because I can go to Daytona and not be looking at California and everything that's coming up next," Andretti said. "I'm not thinking about anything but Daytona."(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits). Window World Cares will also be the sponsor on the #26 Ford that Boris Said will drive in the Daytona 500. The Window World Cares Charity helps to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, see images of the cars on my #34 Team Schemes page and #26 Team Schemes page.(2-3-2010)
Front Row cars in Top-35 UPDATE2 Alliance w/Yates Racing: Front Row Motorsports General Manager Jerry Freeze told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Tuesday that negotiations are underway to give all three of the team's Fords guaranteed start status for the first five races of 2010. "We've been working on this for several weeks," he said. "There are still some details to be ironed out, but we have a really close relationship with (Yates Racing owner) Doug Yates and Ford. This is something we've been working on with them, and I hope to have things buttoned up and ready to announce in a couple of days." Freeze said driver Robert Richardson, III, will attempt to qualify FRR's new #38 Ford for the Daytona 500 as part of a three-race sponsorship with Mahindra Tractors that includes both Daytona races and the spring race at Talladaga. David Gilliland will run a majority of the schedule for the team with sponsorship from Taco Bell, and Freeze said "a couple of races" have been left open for a possible limited return by the team's 2009 #34 driver, John Andretti.(Sirius Speedway)(1-19-2010)
UPDATE: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that talks are underway between Yates Racing and Front Row Motorsports to enable a transfer of owner's points that would lock all three Front Row Motorsports Fords into the first five races of the 2010 season. Reliable sources say Front Row Motorsports will assume the owner's points accrued last season by Yates' #96 and #98 Fords, which finished 31st and 33rd respectively in the final 2009 owner's standings. Talks are reportedly in their preliminary stages, but are progressing rapidly with an eye toward completing the deal by midweek. It is expected that in order for the dagreement to pass muster with NASCAR, Yates Racing owner Doug Yates will have to assume a minority ownership stake in Front Row Motorsports. Front Row's #34 car is already a guaranteed starter in the first five races after finishing 35th in owner's points a year ago.(Sirius Speedway)
Front Row Motorsports Announces Partnership with Doug Yates UPDATE: Solidifying an ownership alliance with Doug Yates and Yates Racing, Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins announces a name change to the organization. With the addition of Yates, the team will now officially be titled Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing. Doug Yates will be the listed owner of the #37 and #38 Ford Fusions, with Bob Jenkins remaining the listed owner of the #34 Ford Fusion. The team will remain headquartered in Statesville, N.C. The alliance secures all three entries into the top 35 in owner points heading into the opening weekend of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. It also reunites Yates with his former drivers David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil. "There has been a lot of movement this past off-season inside the sport," said Yates. "The opportunity came up with Bob (Jenkins) and to continue in the ownership role. I didn't have to think long about making this decision. Bob is really putting together a strong team this season and has done so over the past few seasons. He's been smart and making all the right moves as an owner. He's capitalized on the changes in the sports landscape and has built a solid team with great factory support and drivers. That's what excited me about making this move. I had already learned a lot about Bob and the Front Row team over the past two months with their involvement with Ford Racing and leasing engines from Roush/Yates Engines. They are a fast-improving team and this move allows me to carry on the Yates Racing legacy created by my father over 20 years ago."
"There has been so much that has happened for us in the past two months," said Jenkins. "But, having Doug come on board is a big piece of our puzzle coming together heading into this season. He brings such a family tradition of winning and a lot of confidence to everyone here. His relationships with Ford Racing, Roush/Yates Engines, David and Travis immediately make us a stronger team."(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits), the #98 RPM Ford team of Paul Menard would use the #44 Owners Points from 2009, which ranked 24th. See the way it looks right now on my 2010 Owners Points Stadings for 1st Five races page to see how things are shaking out.(2-1-2010)
Andretti in #34 at Daytona: UPDATE: John Andretti will drive the #34 Front Row Motorsports Ford as one of three entries from the newly expanded team in the 2010 Daytona 500. Andretti will also race in the Budweiser Shootout. Andretti's eligible for the season-opening special event due to winning Daytona's 1997 mid-summer Cup race, the Pepsi 400. Travis Kvapil, who's signed to wheel the #34 the rest of the season, will drive FRM's #37 at Daytona in place of rookie Kevin Conway, who NASCAR wouldn't approve to race on the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Robert Richardson Jr. will drive the team's third full-time car, the #38. A Nationwide Series regular, Richardson will drive the season's first three restrictor-plate races for FRM. Kvapil will switch to the #34 at Fontana the second week of the season; Conway will drive the #37; and David Gilliland will step into the #38, which he'll drive in the majority of this season's races. Team owner Bob Jenkins said Andretti, who secured the #34's locked-in spot in the top 35 to start this season in the 34 races he ran for FRM in 2009, will also do a handful of other races this season in the #38.(NASCAR.com), hearing that Window World will sponsor Andretti and the #34 Ford in Daytona, at the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500. Window World sponsored Andretti in five races in 2009 on the #34 and in the Indy 500.(2-1-2010)
UPDATE: Coming off a successful debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning in last season's Daytona 500, Window World Inc. announced it will return as the primary sponsor of the #34 Window World Cares Ford driven by John Andretti in this year's "Great American Race." Window World and Andretti will again team with Front Row Motorsports. The #34 Ford will feature Window World's foundation, Window World Cares, and its charitable beneficiary, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.(Breaking Limits PR)(2-1-2001)
Both Front Row Motorsports teams locked in top-35: Kevin Conway has only 25 career Nationwide Series starts and a career-best finish of 15th, but he’s going to find himself on the starting grid of the Daytona 500. The 31-year-old North Carolina native will drive for Front Row Motorsports [ran #34-Andretti and #37-Raines/Kvapil] in 2010, and he said Saturday that his team is locked into the first five races of the season thanks to the points earned by John Andretti last year. Conway’s teammate, Travis Kvapil, is also expected to be locked in to the first five races after obtaining owner points from another top-35 team [#96-Hall of Fame Ford team?]. Conway will bring sponsor Extenze to the team and also will have other sponsors to announce Tuesday. Peter Sospenzo will be his crew chief. Conway hopes manufacturers support from Ford and having Kvapil as a teammate will help him drive well enough to crack the top 35 in owners points and not have to qualify for races on speed. Conway, how has been racing since he was 6 years old, comes from a racing background as his uncle was an engineer at Robert Yates Racing and Penske Racing.(SceneDaily), a few owners points sceneios for the #37 team could be either the #44 Richard Petty Motorsports team that had to close when RPM merged with Yates Racing and will be Fords. The #96 Hall of Fame Racing Ford team which has not announced any 2010 plans OR maybe it could be the #26 team which a 'new' owner bought from Roush, who had to get rid of the 5th team. Unlikely that the #07 RCR Chevy team, which shut down with no sponsor, would make a deal with a Ford team.(1-18-2010)
Front Row Motorsports Announces 2010 Plans: Front Row Motorsports announced it will continue its growth by adding an additional full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup program in 2010. The teams will be the newest members of Ford Racing and receive engines from Roush/Yates Racing Engines and technical support from Ford Racing. "We're pleased to have Front Row Motorsports switching to Ford for the 2010 season," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports. "We have said all along that we wanted to add additional teams to our program, and are pleased Front Row will transition to Ford cars, engines and technology support in 2010. We welcome Front Row to the Ford family and will do all we can to assist them, and look forward to a long and mutually-beneficial relationship."
The team also confirmed that Travis Kvapil will pilot the Long John Silver's Ford [supposedly #34] and Kevin Conway, who will compete for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors, will drive a second full-time entry in the Sprint Cup Series with sponsorship [supposedly #37 Extenze] to be announced in the coming weeks. Both teams will make their debut at the Daytona 500 in February. "Obviously this is the next step for our guys and the organization," said Bob Jenkins, team owner. "To have support from Ford, along with the quality engines from Roush/Yates, this is a big leap forward for us. Travis is a champion and a veteran of this series. We expect him to take us to the next level and at the same time be a great mentor to Kevin who is competing for rookie of the year. I have confidence that they can help us get to the next level."
Kvapil, 33, returns to the Sprint Cup Series after a successful 2008 season at Yates Racing where he finished 23 in driver in points with four top-10 finishes. He has a total of six top-10 finishes and one pole on his Sprint Cup resume. Kvapil is also the 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion. "It's great to be back racing on the Sprint Cup tour again with Front Row Motorsports and Ford Racing," said Kvapil. "This is a team that created a real solid base last year. They have a lot of talented guys at the shop and the addition of Ford and their support will only allow the guys to get better. I have experience with Ford and Roush/Yates Racing Engines and I feel good about what we can do on the track this season."
Conway, 30, will make his Sprint Cup Series debut with Front Row Motorsports this season. He has experience at various levels of NASCAR racing including numerous starts in the Nationwide Series in 2009. His goal is to compete for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in 2010. "This is a great opportunity to compete at the highest levels of NASCAR," said Conway. "The goal is to gain experience as quickly as possible with the cars and compete for solid finishes as the season goes along. Having Travis as a teammate and being backed by Ford and Roush/Yates Racing Engines gives me a lot of confidence that we can perform up to the highest standards."(FRM/Breaking Limits)
Kvapil recently joined the roster of Activ8 Communications for his 2010 public relations, social media, and marketing efforts. Activ8 Communications will perform a complete redesign of Kvapil's website, which will re-launch in January. (1-6-2010)
Andretti hopes to run Daytona 500 and Indy 500 in 2010: Veteran racer John Andretti says he'd like to compete in both the Daytona and Indianapolis 500s in 2010 -- as he has the past two years -- but he won't return to Front Row Motorsports this season for a similar schedule as last year. "I'm going to be in Daytona, in the Daytona 500, but with what team how all that will play out is still to be determined, though this week should get something finalized," Andretti said Monday. "The focus is to do some other races, but the second major focus after the Daytona 500 is the Indy 500, similar to the same program I did in 2008, kinda free bird." John Andretti, who in 1994 became the first driver to complete a same-day "double" in the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 Cup race at Charlotte, said he hoped to possibly do some additional Cup races in a third Front Row car.
Travis Kvapil, the 2003 Truck Series champion, last week said on Sirius Speedway that he had a full-time Cup Series ride in 2010 with Front Row. The show's Web site also reported, according to unnamed sources, that Kevin Conway would drive owner Jenkins' second car. Conway has never started a Cup race but has 25 starts in the Nationwide Series and one in the Truck Series. Last month NASCAR announced a new qualifying format for the season-opening Budweiser Shootout event that kicks off Speedweeks at Daytona. Andretti is eligible, as the winner of Daytona's 1997 mid-summer Cup race, and hopes to use it as a bargaining chip.
Andretti said he hoped to possibly do some additional Cup races for Jenkins in a third Front Row car. "It would have to be, because the other two guys are going to do all the races -- though I don't know all the details because I don't need to know and I don't like to talk out of school," Andretti said. "I'd like to do a variety of races, because that keeps me happy, too. We'll probably do some racing together at Front Row this year because Bob and I have talked about that, and he knows there are certain events I really want to run in. It's not going to be a whole bunch of them because it's not fair to do them cherry-picking through the whole year while someone else has to do all the legwork. It's in the discussion stages and it's got to work for them as well as me, but obviously the door is wide open."(NASCAR.com)(1-6-2010)
Full time gig for Kvapil UPDATE 2 to Ford: per a Twitter post, supposedly by driver Travis Kvapil: I'm happy to announce my return to a full timeCup ride for 2010!! More details to follow. I can't wait to get back on track!".
Rumor had Kvapil in one of the Front Row Motorsports [#34, #37] cars in 2010. Kvapil drove a few races in the #37 Dodge/Chevy late in the 2009 season and John Andretti was in the #34 Chevy for 34 of the 36 races.(12-30-2009)
UPDATE: Travis Kvapil told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Wednesday that he will run the full 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule for Front Row Motorsports. Steven Lane will serve as crewchief on the car – expected to be the #34 – with a new manufacturer to be announced in the near future. The team ran primarily Chevy's [#34 Chevy in every race, #37 a mixed bag] livery a year ago, with Dodges entered in selected events. “It will be a full-time, two- car operation next season,” said Kvapil, “but I can’t really say anything more until all the details are finalized. That’s all for the team to announce.” Sources tell Sirius Speedway that former NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Kevin Conway will fill the seat of the second Front Row Motorsports entry [which was the #37 in 2009, could run the #37, #23 or #70 in 2010], with sponsorship from Extenze Men's Health Supplement.(Sirius Speedway)(12-31-2009)
UPDATE 2: Front Row Motorsports will run under the Ford Motorsports banner in 2010 with Travis Kvapil driving the #34 with Steven Lane as his crew chief. Kevin Conway will pilot the #37 Ford with a crew chief to be named. Conway, 31, ran 12 races with the Extenze sponsorship in the Nationwide Series last season for three different owners -- Joe Nemechek, Robert Richardson and Dusty Whitney. His best finish was 15th at Kentucky in the #87 Chevy. The short list for Conway's crew chief candidates include Peter Sospenzo, who worked with Tony Raines on the #37 last season, as well as Larry Carter and Derrick Findley.(FoxSports)(1-1-2010)
Andretti uncertain of 2010 plans: Veteran barnstormer John Andretti said he is virtually certain to make another attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in May but said the demands of a NASCAR schedule have brought him to a crossroads in his 22-year career. Andretti, the 46-year-old nephew of legend Mario Andretti, competed in 34 Sprint Cup events, finishing 36th in points, in 2009. He placed 19th for Richard Petty Motorsports in his 10th Indy 500. "I'm kind of at a stage in my life where I want to enjoy everything, my family," said Andretti, who has won national series races in stock, sports, open wheel and drag racing cars. "This last year has been pretty taxing on me because I am gone all the time. So I need to really dig deep to see if I want to do it again. I enjoy the team I am with, I like the owner, and that's really what got me to do this [in 2009]. The Indianapolis 500, I would say just go ahead and write that in, but I don't know if I can go on the road and do 34 races. I am not young, but I am compared to Mark Martin, and I enjoy doing it, so it's tough."(CBS Sports)(12-3-2009)
Kvapil talking to Front Row, but still looking: Travis Kvapil could drive for Front Row next year when that organization plans to expand to two full-time teams. “Nothing yet,” Kvapil said. “I talked to the guys here at Front Row, and it sounds like they’re definitely interested in putting something together, but really we haven’t had any negotiation. We haven’t done anything to put any sort of agreement together. I’ve been talking to a lot of teams. There’s not a lot of opportunities out there. These guys, I really like the direction they’re going. They’ve got some things in the works to make them a better team manufacturer-wise, technical-wise.”(SceneDaily)(11-25-2009)
Stremme to run #09 at Homestead..and 2010?: David Stremme, who has been replaced by Brad Keselowski in the #12 Penske Dodge, will drive the #09 Chevy for Phoenix Racing at Homestead — a race Keselowski had signed on to do. For 2010, Stremme has two options to consider. One, return to the Nationwide Series and drive for Rusty Wallace (who Stremme accompanied to Las Vegas earlier this week) and/or drive for the Bob Jenkins' owned [#34 or #37] Front Row Motorsports.(FoxSports)(11-6-2009)
Kvapil to Front Row ride in 2010 UPDATE: Travis Kvapil, who failed to qualify the #37 Front Row Motorsports Dodge at Charlotte and started and parked at Martinsville the following week, is expected to run the #37 car [Chevy? Dodge?] full-time in 2010.(FoxSports)(11-7-2009)
UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports plans to field two NASCAR Sprint Cup cars full time in 2010, but who will drive them is still to be determined, team owner Bob Jenkins said Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. Jenkins also said the team likely will change manufacturer from its current Chevy [Dodge is also used with #37 team sometimes]. He wouldn’t name which manufacturer the team was going to use. “We’ve identified a lot of areas of our program where we can improve without spending a ton of money,” Jenkins said. “I think  is going to be a good year for us. … The economy has helped our team. Our business model is not built [around] a $20 million sponsor. People have become available, equipment has become available.” As far as drivers, Jenkins said he has been happy with John Andretti keeping the #34 team in the top 35 in owners points. It is 35th with a 135-point cushion [now 117 points] on the Red Bull Racing #82 team of Scott Speed. The #37 car has attempted 25 Cup races this year. Whether Andretti and Raines return remains to be seen. Travis Kvapil and David Stremme are the drivers most often mentioned as potential candidates for that ride. “We’ve talked to six guys, plus we’re pretty happy with John and Tony,” Jenkins said. “It’s not like we’re looking to change across the board or anything. We’ve talked to all the usual suspects. We’re going to try to narrow it down over the next couple of weeks. We haven’t had any serious discussions with anybody. I’m pretty loyal to the guys that we have. I want to get through this season, see where things stand, take a breath and then figure out what we want to do. It’s been hard to be critical because John has done exactly what we’ve asked him to do. Same thing with Tony. I don’t know if you will see any dramatic changes, but we will add the second [full-time] car next year.”(SceneDaily)(11-9-2009)
Andretti's defends NASCAR's late call: #34-John Andretti defended NASCAR's decision not to throw a caution when he couldn't move his disabled car from the finish line at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Andretti crashed on the frontstretch during the next to last lap of the race, and NASCAR apparently believed he could move his car out of the way in time for the field to race its way across the finish line. Because he couldn't, the caution wasn't called until the cars were coming out of the final turn and quickly closing in on Andretti. "It wasn't a bad call," Andretti said in a statement on Monday. "To me, I wasn't in a great position, but I wasn't in an overly dangerous position. NASCAR focuses on the race itself, and they want to see the winner come across the finish line. It's probably the call I would've made. I would've gotten out of the way if I could've. But I had a couple of issues. The car was too damaged." It's second time since the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship that NASCAR waited until the last moment to call a caution for an accident near the start/finish line. A similar incident occurred last month in the Chase opener at New Hampshire. Race-winner Denny Hamlin said he thought Andretti's car did not pose a threat to the other competitors and NASCAR made the right call.(Associated Press)(10-27-2009)
Window World Returns to #34 Chevy: The blue-and-white paint scheme of Window World will be back on the Front Row Motorsports #34 car when it hits the high-banked, 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. After making its motorsports sponsorship debut earlier this season in NASCAR’s Daytona 500 – and its Indy Racing League debut in the Indianapolis 500 – America’s largest window replacement company is ready to go racing again with John Andretti in Sunday’s AMP Energy 500. In addition to the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500, Window World sponsored Andretti’s ride in five other Sprint Cup races in the 2009 season. “I really can’t think of a smarter company in the sport right now,” said Andretti, driver of the #34 Window World Chevrolet. “I’ve gotten to know a lot of people in the Window World family and I’m really impressed with their commitment. They saw an opportunity to get their name in front of a whole new audience and they’ve really taken advantage of it.”
“Getting involved with this sport has been a real thrill and a business success story for us,” said Todd Whitworth, CEO of Window World. “We got our feet wet with the Daytona 500 and felt it was pretty successful, so we added a few more races in the season. Then the opportunity to partner with John and Richard Petty for the Indianapolis 500 was something you can only dream about. It just makes sense to come back now and show our support to John and the Front Row Motorsports team. Talladega is always a huge race on the schedule and it makes sense to support John in this race.”(Breaking Limits), see images of the car from earlier in the season on my #34 Team Schemes page.(10-26-2009)
Where may some of the drivers looking end up in 2010? Those drivers looking for rides in 2010 — #07-Casey Mears, #96/71-Bobby Labonte, #43-Reed Sorenson and #12-David Stremme — qualified sixth, eighth, ninth and 11th, respectively at Martinsville. How their futures pan out could depend on the status of Jamie McMurray, who remains the top candidate for the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi ride. Mears could stay put in the #07 if sponsorship can be found. Labonte is a strong candidate for one of the two TRG [#71 team] Racing rides. Sorenson is the favorite for the vacancy at Braun Racing [Nationwide Series ride] and Stremme's name has been mentioned for the #34 Front Row Motorsports car[currently a Chevy] (where he would be reunited with crew chief Steven 'Bones' Lane) or in a Nationwide car with Rusty Wallace Inc.(FoxSports)(10-24-2009)
Continental Fire & Safety on the #34: Continental Fire & Safety will be an associate sponsor on Front Row Motorsports’ #34 Sprint Cup entry and the primary sponsor on FRM’s #34 Nationwide entry at Dover International Speedway for the upcoming race weekend. The Continental Fire & Safety #34 Chevy in the Nationwide series will be piloted by Tony Raines who is currently 15 in driver points. FRM’s entry in the Sprint Cup series will be driven by John Andretti.(Continental Fire & Safety PR)(9-24-2009)
CARFAX to sponsor Andretti: UPDATE: haven't seen anything official, but an updated Michigan Entry List shows #34-John Andretti being sponsored by CARFAX, which is also the title sponsor of the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races at Michigan International Speedway this weekend.(8-13-2009)
UPDATE: Carfax announced it will sponsor the #34 Front Row Motorsports Chevy and driver John Andretti for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The #34 Carfax Chevy will make its debut at MIS during the first-ever 'Show Me the CARFAX Race Weekend'.(Carfax PR)(8-14-2009)
Andretti to Make 500th Motorsports Start: This Sunday, John Andretti, driver of the #34 Taco Bell Chevy, will make his 500th professional motorsports oval start at Pocono Raceway. Andretti also has professional starts in the NHRA and IMSA Series not included in this fact. In his 22 year career, Andretti has raced in various forms of oval racing. His start list is as follows:
-376 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
-37 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series
-Six in the NASCAR Camping World Series
-73 in the defunct CART/Champ Car World Series
-Seven in the IRL IndyCar Series
Andretti has four wins, 27 top fives, and 80 top-10s, with over 750 laps led in all his previous starts. He has won two Sprint Cup events, one at Martinsville Speedway and one at Daytona International Speedway. He has one CART win at Surfers Paradise, Australia.(FRM)(8-2-2009)