Silly Season Site

#77 Team News Archive

2009 News

  • 2009 Races [3] that AAA/Auto Club is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Auto Club Speedway 2/22
    Kansas 10/4
    Texas 11/8

  • 2009 Races [2] that AAA/Penske Truck Rental is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Talladega 4/26
    New Hampshire 6/28

  • 2009 Race [1] that PPG is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Pocono 8/2

  • Hornish Jr. OK after nasty wreck at Watkins Glen: Dodge Motorsports Teleconference Transcript with Travis Geisler, Crew-Chief for Sam Hornish Jr. and the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge:
    A: He’s doing really well. I actually had a chance to talk to him this morning. He gave me a call pretty early to make sure that I went around thanking all the guys that work on the interiors (of the car) and all the welding on the chassis. He’s in good shape. He was going to take it easy today and get a little rest. It’s something that we’re real proud of here at Penske Racing as far as the safety of our cars. Certainly with the carbon fiber seats and everything that we’ve done over the last couple of years, it’s pretty obvious that we have a really safe car. This COT has done a really good job protecting the drivers. Sitting there watching a friend and co-worker take a hit like that isn’t the most comforting thing. Knowing that you’ve done everything that you can do and when you see him sitting there playing with his baby girl, it makes you feel like you’re doing a pretty good job.”
    A: None at all. He’s ready to go. He just wants to get back to Michigan because it’s sort of a home race for him. It’s about the closest (track) to home that we race for him. Our car owner (Roger Penske), Dodge, myself being from Pennsylvania, it’s kind of a home race for us. So we’re excited to get up there. He’s ready to get back up there and we’re gearing up for another good weekend."(Dodge Motorsports)(8-12-2009)

  • Penske honors sponsor on #77: Sam Hornish Jr. and the #77 team will run a special paint scheme this weekend at Pocono Raceway to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the relationship between PPG and Penske Racing. Over the years, PPG has become Penske Corporation’s largest supplier of refinish coatings for its racing, truck leasing and automotive collision repair divisions. This weekend’s race car will be painted with PPG’s Envirobase High Performance waterborne paint and will feature decals for PPG’s Automotive Refinish, Transitions Optical and the Architectural Coatings, Olympic Paint and Stain.(Penske Racing)(7-29-2009)

  • Testing at Road Atlanta: Hearing that drivers testing at Road Atlanta today include #99-Carl Edwards, #6-David Ragan, #16-Colin Braun (subbing for Greg Biffle), #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #47-Marcos Ambrose, #2-Kurt Busch, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #12-David Stremme, #13-Max Papis and Boris Said (in John Wes Townley's #09 Nationwide Series Ford which he will run at Watkins Glen).(7-21-2009)
    AND: told #7-Robby Gordon was also at the track.(7-21-2009)

  • Penske drivers in fuel economy challenge event: #2-Kurt Busch, along with Penske Racing drivers #77-Sam Hornish Jr. and #12-David Stremme, will be participating in Friday's Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Challenge in the South Parking Lot of Soldier Field. They will be joined by ESPN's Dan Patrick and NFL Hall-of-Famer Dan Hampton in driving fuel-efficient "smart fortwo" cars through a number of "challenges" on a miniature road course. The "contest" is being held in an effort to raise awareness for ways consumers can save fuel during the busy summer driving season.(Tom Roberts PR)(7-8-2009)

  • Advanced Fuel Economy scheme for Hornish: Penske Racing driver Sam Hornish Jr. will drive a special #77 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 11 to help make consumers aware of the best ways to conserve fuel during the busy summer driving season. The #77 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Dodge is designed in part to show ExxonMobil's continued support for the Alliance to Save Energy and its Drive $marter Challenge, which has the goal of increasing fuel efficiency nationwide.(Exxon Mobil PR), see an image of the car on the #77 Paint Schemes page.(7-7-2009)

  • 4th team for Penske? UPDATE denied: hearing Penske Racing could run a 4th team car this season, running the #22 Dodge with Justin Allgaier as the possible driver. Allgaier is currently 10th in the Nationwide Series Points for Penske Racing and won the ARCA championship in 2008.(5-25-2009)
    UPDATE: [Roger Penske] added that there are no plans to expand Penske Racing's three-car organization of #2-Kurt Busch, #77-Sam Hornish Jr. and #12-David Stremme. There have been reports he would move to a fourth team with Justin Allgaier, a rookie in the Nationwide Series. "We've made some good progress this year and we've got to maintain that," Penske said. "We're not in the silly season at all. ... We've got plenty of time."(ESPN)(6-7-2009)

  • Penske may make bid for Saturn UPDATE 2 no move to NASCAR: Roger Penske says he is contemplating a bid for the Saturn automotive brand that General Motors Corp. plans to sell or shut down. While Penske has not yet made an offer, he said Friday a decision would have to come soon and that a number of unidentified details need to be worked out. Penske has a vested interest in the automotive industry. He owns the second-largest U.S. automobile retail chain in terms of sales, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Penske Automotive Group Inc. He also owns heavy-duty engine manufacturer Detroit Diesel and has race teams in the IndyCar, NASCAR and Grand-Am series. But Penske denied that he has made a deal and said published reports are ahead of the process.(ESPN.com/AP)(5-8-2009)
    UPDATE: General Motors Corp. has struck a tentative deal to sell its Saturn brand to former race car driver and auto dealer Roger Penske. Penske, who owns the Penske Automotive Group dealership chain, told reporters on Friday that he plans to offer all 350 Saturn dealerships new franchise agreements. He says Saturn's 13,000 employees will stay on with the company for at least the immediate future. He declined to name the price for the deal. Penske says GM will continue to produce Saturn vehicles, though he is in discussions with manufacturers worldwide about building the vehicles going forward.(AP/ESPN)(6-5-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Team owner Roger Penske has no plans to move Saturn into the Sprint Cup series, saying Sunday he plans to stick with Dodge for at least the remaining three years of his contract with the manufacturer. General Motors Corp. announced on Friday an agreement for Penske to purchase the Saturn brand. Penske said he would like to get Saturn involved in motorsports, perhaps at the Grand-Am level, but not NASCAR's top series. "We have three more years with Dodge, they have not let us down," the owner of Penske Motorsports said before the Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. "We see that continuing. They are current with all the obligations they have. I don't expect anything different." Richard Petty, the co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, said last weekend at Dover that RMP's cash flow from Dodge has ceased since Chrysler filed for bankruptcy. "I don't know what he means by cash [flow]," Penske said. "They paid the bills we submitted to them and they're on time. I don't know what he's talking about." As for Saturn, Penske said the key was saving 13,000 jobs and keeping 350 retailers in business. He said the plan is to provide them with products that will make them stronger going forward. "We'll be sourcing products from General Motors for at least two years," he said. "We will not be a manufacturer. We'll be a distributor." Penske did say the Saturn Aura is "tailor-made for NASCAR," but that any such plans would be 200 miles down the road.(ESPN)(6-7-2009)

  • Dodge support "on hold" Team owner Richard Petty says the Chrysler bankruptcy has put cash flow from the manufacturer to the Richard Petty Motorsports organization he co-owns with George Gillett "in a holding pattern." From the point of view of the Dodge Motorsports program, however, the commitment to racing is undiminished. "They've stopped everything," Petty said in the garage at Dover International Speedway this past weekend. "They went into bankruptcy, and they're sort of in a floating stage right now. They're trying to see where they come out of this at. If they've got new people running the show, are they still going to continue to back everything exactly like they are, or whatever? They're in a holding pattern right now. I think GM's that way -- I don't know about Ford -- and I know Chrysler's that way. The rest of them I don't know. I don't deal with them." Walter Czarnecki, vice chairman of Penske Racing, which has three Dodge teams, said the legal proceedings also have held up payments to his organization. "In the legal procedure, you have to file what's called a 'Cure Letter' that lists all the things that you are owed. And when it's submitted and approved, they'll pay. We have money that was due April 30 that has not been received yet and probably won't be received for several weeks." Mike Accavitti, director of brand marketing and strategy for Chrysler, acknowledged the reorganization has affected the flow of cash from Chrysler but affirmed the company remains committed to Cup racing and that at-track services provided to the teams continue to be available.(NASCAR.com/Sporting News)(6-2-2009)

  • Hornish Jr. wins Sprint Showdown, McMurray 2nd: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. won the Sprint Showdown at Lowe's Motor Speedway to transfer in to the Sprint All-Star Race. #26-Jamie McMurray finished 2nd and will also transfer into the race. #12-David Stremme finished 3rd, followed by #00-Reutimann and #20-Logano. Heard the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote is #20-Joey Logano.
    See the results on my Sprint All-Star Race Results page.(5-16-2009)

  • Kenwood partners up with Penske: Kenwood USA Corporation has once again partnered with Penske Racing to sponsor two NASCAR drivers for the 2009 Sprint Cup season. The Kenwood logo appears on the #12 Dodge driven by David Stremme and the #77 Dodge driven by Sam Hornish, Jr. Kenwood is an associate sponsor of the #12 and #77 cars for all 38 Sprint Cup Series races in 2009.(Penske Racing PR)(5-14-2009)

  • Hornish Jr. has flu, Kvapil to stand by: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. has the flu and Travis Kvapil was flown to Talladega to stand by and has been fitted in the #77 Dodge. Hornish Jr. scheduled to start 4th, will start the car and is in the infield care center getting fluids. Hornish Jr. and the team will decide when Kvapil will take over, if he takes over.(SPEED NASCAR Raceday)(4-26-2009)

  • Different look for #77 at 'Dega: Sam Hornish Jr. will run a Penske Truck Rental/AAA scheme on his #77 Penske Racing Dodge Charger in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Hornish earned his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top-10 finish last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.(PCR PR)(4-23-2009)

  • Greener Paint for Penske: PPG Automotive Refinish announced they are assisting Penske Racing in converting their state-of-the-art, racecar painting facility in Mooresville, NC to the environmentally-friendly PPG Envirobase High Performance waterborne coatings system. The conversion began with the painting of the #2 Miller Lite and #77 Mobil 1 Penske Racing Dodge, which made their debut this weekend at the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The #2 Miller Lite Dodge features the PPG Automotive Refinish logo on the deck lid for today's race. To address the environment, NASCAR, the sport's sanctioning body, is developing an industry-wide green initiative led by Dr. Mike Lynch. The initiative will address environmental issues including reducing air emissions, lubricants recycling, building efficiencies and land preservation. It will include the sport's various stakeholders and will seek to mobilize the NASCAR fan base in this important issue.(Penske Racing PR)(3-8-2009)

  • Hornish to have AAA scheme at Calif: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the Penske Racing #77 Auto Club Dodge Charger, will debut the Auto Club of Southern California paint scheme this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. The Automobile Club of Southern California and its affiliated clubs (AAA) have joined the Penske Racing partner family as primary sponsor of the #77 car for three events in 2009 and as co-primary for an additional two races. On Thursday, February 19, Hornish will visit the Auto Club headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., to meet with employees and kick off the race weekend at Auto Club Speedway.(Penske Racing PR), see images of the scheme on my #77 Team Schemes page.(2-19-2009)

  • New name for Penske's team: Bill Davis has become a minority owner of the team now known as Penske Championship Racing, a move giving Sam Hornish Jr. points that will guarantee him a spot in the season's first five races. With the addition of Davis, the team changed its name to Penske Championship Racing from Penske Racing. Bud Denker, the senior vice president of Penske Corporation, confirmed the move on Wednesday.(ESPN)(2-4-2009)

  • Penske buys the #22, Davis a minority owner UPDATE more: Bill Davis is now a minority owner in Penske Racing. Penske has acquired Davis' #22 and will keep the number for further consideration to align with the #2 and #12. But for now, the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr. will take the 22's owner points and start the 2009 season 31st, which guarantees it a position in the Daytona 500. "As a business person, you have to look at what your options are," Penske said by phone. "I think the key thing right now is it's too bad that anyone who has run a full season whether they're in the top 35 or not — and I don't mean the ones that run a half season — but if you run the full season last year, every car in every race, you hope you would be given some kind of priority."(FoxSports)(2-3-2009)
    UPDATE: #09-Phoenix Racing’s Brad Keselowski will get the points from the #41 or #01 left over from the Chip Ganassi Racing-Dale Earnhardt Inc. merger, according to sources. That leaves one set of points remaining, and those possibly could go to Richard Childress Racing’s Clint Bowyer, who moved to the new RCR #33 car this year while Casey Mears, the new driver of the #07 car, has Bowyer’s points from last season. RCR officials would not confirm whether the team is working a deal for top-35 points. While having the points is good news for Hornish (who will still drive the #77), it is not good news for Richard Petty Motorsports’ #44-AJ Allmendinger, who now will have to qualify on speed or race his way in the Daytona 500. His car was 37th in owners points last year. Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #47 JTG Daugherty Racing car, is on the bubble at 36th from last season. If RCR gets points for Bowyer as expected, then Ambrose also will have to qualify on speed or race his way in the Daytona 500. Michael Waltrip, whose Michael Waltrip Racing builds cars for Ambrose, said Tuesday that he was unsure whether Ambrose would end up being locked in for the Daytona 500.(SceneDaily), see my 2009 Owners Points - 1st five races page(2-4-2009)

  • Dodge: smaller budget, less team, high hopes: Although it will have fewer cars on the track and fewer promotional displays in cutting 30 percent of its NASCAR budget, Dodge has not cut back its Sprint Cup research and development for the 2009 season. The automaker hopes that even with fewer cars, it will have better results after a season where it failed to put a car in the Chase For The Sprint Cup. With Chip Ganassi Racing’s merger with Dale Earnhardt Inc. eliminating three Cup teams from where Dodge started in 2008, Dodge has at least one fewer organization to support in 2009. Dodge could end up with only six cars next season if the pending Gillett Evernham Motorsports-Petty Enterprises merger eliminates two more from the manufacturer’s stable, which also included Robby Gordon in 2008. That leaves three cars at Penske Racing [#2,#12,#77] and three or four at the GEM-Petty consolidation [#9,#10?,#19,#43]. “You want to have a portfolio of drivers that can at any given time deliver a top-five or a victory,” said Mike Accavitti, director of the Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep brands. “We feel with the lineup that we have remaining that we can do that. … The seven cars that we have – or eight cars or six cars or whatever it ends up to be – will be sufficient. We can give Dodge customers a good show. We can give NASCAR fans a good show and we can represent the brand well.” Accavitti said that his budget was set and would not get increased by the authorization of the bridge loan for Chrysler. He said it will remain at 30% below 2008, just as it was planned prior to President George W. Bush’s approval of the loan last month. “The entire operation was contingent upon the bridge loans being passed,” he said. “It was a critical element for the viability of our company and we’re very appreciative to have that behind us and be able to move forward."(SceneDaily)(1-8-2009)

    2008 News

  • Sadler replaced by Allmendinger? UPDATE 2: AJ Allmendinger is set to replace Elliott Sadler in the #19 Dodge in 2009, multiple Gillett Evernham Motorsports team sources told ESPN.com on Saturday. GEM CEO Tom Reddin told team employees and sponsors the news just before Christmas, causing some sponsors to consider leaving, according to team sources. Reached for comment Saturday, GEM spokesman Drew Brown chose not to comment. Sources also said Ray Evernham, who founded the team and sold majority ownership to George Gillett, cleared out all personal possessions from the team's shop, including the 2002 Brickyard 400 trophy he won as owner of Bill Elliott's #9 Dodge. Calls placed to Evernham and Sadler's representation were not immediately returned.(ESPN.com)(12-27-2008)
    UPDATE: Allmendinger will join Kasey Kahne in the flagship #9 GEM Dodge and newcomer Reed Sorenson, who will pilot the #43 Dodge following the imminent announcement of the merger between owner George Gillett and Richard Petty.
    AND Sadler? Sadler's possibilities are rumored to include the #41 Chevy at Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing or the #77 Dodge at Penske Racing should Sam Hornish Jr. replace Helio Castroneves in the IRL IndyCar Series [who faces a trial and possible jail over IRS charges].(FoxSports), no word on who would drive the #10 Dodge of GEM in 2009.(12-28-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Sadler signed a two-year contract extension with GEM in May, and sources say team owner George Gillett will now be forced to buy out those additional two years. Sadler has already begun making calls to try and find a ride for next season. Sources tell Sirius Speedway that Gillett is heavily leveraged from the original Evernham buyout, as well as from a number of automobile dealerships he purchased earlier this year. He reportedly faces a major payment on his Liverpool Football Club, which plays in the English Premier League, as well. A deal that would have merged GEM with Bill Davis Racing fell by the wayside a few weeks ago, reportedly after Gillett was unable to obtain financing to complete the transaction. Gillett has recently been involved in negotiations to merge GEM with Petty Enterprises. Sirius Speedway reported two weeks ago that the merger had stalled, and while that report was immediately denied by a GEM spokesman, Sadler’s release appears to indicate that the deal is indeed in jeopardy. A combined GEM/Petty operation was expected to field four cars in 2009; enough to retain Kasey Kahne, Reed Sorenson, Sadler and Allmendinger. (Sirius Speedway)(12-29-2008)

  • Penske-Jasper split? hearing that Penske Racing and Jasper Engines/Transmissions are going to dissolve their partnership in the engine building program. Supposedly Jasper will continue to build and supply transmissions to race teams.(12-27-2008)

  • Hornish given 'vote of confidence': Former Penske Racing open-wheel driver Sam Hornish Jr. has the team's full support in his second full season of Sprint Cup racing next year. Hornish, a three-time IndyCar Series champion and winner of the 2006 Indy 500, struggled this season in the #77 Dodge Charger in his rookie Cup year, finishing 35th in points and failing to qualify for the final race at Homestead. It was rumored he might even return to IndyCar. But Penske Racing spokesman Bud Denker said Hornish, who will have Mobil 1 and AAA sponsorship on his Dodge in 2009, would play a pivotal part in the Cup campaign with fellow Penske drivers #2-Kurt Busch and #12-David Stremme, who replaces Ryan Newman. "We're absolutely committed to Sam," Denker said. "We're behind him and are blessed to have sponsorship from Mobil and AAA. We are very committed to Sam and expect him to do well."(Detorit Free Press)(11-28-2008)

  • Robby gets help from #77 crew: The pit crew for the #77 Penske Dodge of Sam Hornish Jr. [who failed to make the race] will work for the #7 Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge of Robby Gordon in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Gordon is battling to stay in the top 35 in owner points, which would lock him into the fields of the first five races of 2009. He started the race in 34th, 30 points ahead of #47-Marcos Ambrose and 47 ahead of Brian Vickers, who is driving the #84 Red Bull Toyota in place of Scott Speed.(FoxSports)(11-16-2008)

  • AAA sponsoring Hornish in select 2009 races: Penske Racing announced the establishment of a multi-year agreement for its Sprint Cup Series program with the Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) and its affiliated clubs. Starting in 2009, the Auto Club will be displayed as primary sponsor for select events on the Penske Racing South #77 Dodge, driven by three-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr. in the Sprint Cup Series. Hornish will debut the #77 Auto Club Dodge in February at the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif. In addition, the motor club will serve as primary sponsor of the #77 Car in Sprint Cup Series events at Kansas Speedway in October and Texas Motor Speedway in November, and as co-primary sponsor for Hornish and the Car #77 team, alongside Penske Truck Rental, at the April Talladega Superspeedway and June New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sprint Cup Series races.(Penske Racing PR)(11-11-2008)

  • Hornish back to Indy Cars? UPDATE denied: Though #77-Sam Hornish Jr. again finished ahead of fellow rookie of the year contender #01-Regan Smith, padding his lead in the ROTY standings, rumors continue to swirl that Hornish Jr. could be headed back to Indy Cars next season.(Yahoo Sports)(11-3-2008)
    UPDATE: at Phoenix International Raceway Friday morning, #77-Sam Hoprnish Jr. denied he was leaving NASCAR and heading back to the IRL for the 2009 season and plans to be back in Sprint Cup in 2009 try to win races in the #77 car.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(11-7-2008)

  • #77 Corn Maze: The Leaders farm, the home of Ohio's original corn maze since 1997, are sporting a #77 Sam Hornish Jr. corn maze. See the maze at funtimefarm.com.(10-15-2008)

  • Penske testing at Kentucky: Penske Racing is testing with three teams at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, October 7. Scheduled to test are #2-Kurt Busch, #77-Sam Hornish, and the R&D team with David Stremme. Fans can view testing from the designated area outside the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center in Turn 3 for free. Tests usually begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. Times will vary based on team goals.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(10-7-2008)

  • Hornish unsure of points, team swap: Sam Hornish Jr. says he hasn't had any conversations with Penske Racing officials regarding a possible move from the team's #77 Dodge to the #12 for 2009, or a possible points swap between the two. "All I know about it is that no decision has been made," Hornish said Friday while at Auto Club Speedway. "I just know they need a driver for the 12 car." Teammate Ryan Newman's impending departure means the Penske organization has one driver opening to fill. Putting Hornish in the 12 would likely placate primary sponsor Alltel and would guarantee the driver a spot in the field through a minimum of next season's first five races (when final owner points from 2008 are used).(SceneDaily.com)(8-30-2008) Comment here

  • New crew chief for Hornish? UPDATE: hearing that Travis Geisler is the new crew chief for #77-Sam Hornish Jr. Geisler was the chief engineer for #12-Ryan Newman. No word on plans for crew chief Chris Carrier.(8-19-2008)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing announced that Travis Geisler will immediately replace Chris Carrier as the crew chief of the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge, driven by Sam Hornish Jr. A mechanical engineering graduate from Vanderbilt, Geisler, 27, had been the race engineer for the Alltel Dodge, and was an integral part of Penske Racing's historic 2008 Daytona 500 victory. A Pittsburgh native, in 2006, Geisler was a race engineer for Robert Yates Racing in its Nationwide and Cup Series operations. He joined Penske Racing in November 2006. "We appreciate the effort Chris has put into this role. However, this is a performance oriented business and when the results are not meeting the expectations, we have to make changes," said Tim Cindric, president, Penske Racing. "Travis is another example of our willingness to promote from within. His depth of knowledge as a racer and engineer, as well as his proven ability to work with both drivers and crews, will be a great addition to the entire Mobil 1 team." Ben Atkins will replace Geisler as the race engineer on the Alltel Dodge. Atkins, a native of Virginia and Duke University graduate in mechanical engineering, was previously assigned to the Penske Racing test team. Prior to joining Penske Racing, Atkins was with Dale Earnhart Inc. as a race engineer.(Penske Racing PR)(8-20-2008) Comment here

  • First Stock Car Start at the Brickyard for Hornish: This will be Hornish's first Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, however he is no stranger to the 2.5-mile oval - he has a total of seven IndyCar Series starts at Indy. In that series, he has one win and one pole at the famed speedway.(Penske Racing PR)(7-24-2008) Comment here

  • Penske Racing Pays Tribute to Employee: This weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, all three Penske Racing NASCAR Cup Series entries will carry a special decal in memory of employee Bill Passwater. The decal will also be on Penske IndyCar Series entries at Nashville Superspeedway and the American Le Mans Series entries at Lime Rock. Passwater, 33, passed away on Wednesday morning. He is survived by his wife, Heather, and their baby daughter, Lyla Grace. Passwater had been employed at Penske Racing since 2005. He was the transportation coordinator for the NASCAR Cup Series teams.(Penske Racing PR)(7-10-2008)

  • Penske back at the track: Legendary team owner Roger Penske,71, missed his second consecutive NASCAR race weekend after having a scheduled medical procedure (related to his kidney) two weeks ago. Team president Tim Cindric handled the day-to-day operations for both the NASCAR and IndyCar teams in his absence. "The Captain," as Penske is known, is expected back at the track today for the IndyCar Series race in Watkins Glen, N.Y.(Tampa Tribune)(7-6-2008) Comment here

  • Another open wheeler out of the mix, Castroneves to stay in IRL: Helio Castroneves has agreed to a long-term contract with Penske Racing IndyCar Series team, squelching rumors he was considering a jump to NASCAR. Castroneves declined to confirm details except to say it is a multiyear contract. Castroneves was to become a free agent at the end of the season. "We don't have it signed, but we have everything agreed to," Castroneves said Friday at Watkins Glen International, site of Sunday's Indy Racing League event. "It's good." Team president Tim Cindric confirmed the oral agreement. Series officials were ecstatic with the news. "That's excellent, cool, very good, it's huge," said Terry Angstadt, the president of the league's commercial division. "You look at the breakthrough names (in the series) and it's Helio and Danica at this stage. Those two are very important names. It's critical to have Helio here not just with his personality but his talent and all the things he brings to the table." Castroneves is the first piece of the IndyCar Series' driver puzzle to fall into place for the 2009 season. Dan Wheldon, Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti also have contracts that expire at the end of the season. Wheldon has said he is working through the details to remain with Ganassi Racing, and Andretti figures to return to his family-owned Andretti Green Racing.(Indianapolis Star)(7-5-2008) Comment here

  • Penske Racing Teams Up with Cunningham Motorsports: Helping to pave the way for its continued success in stock car racing, Penske Racing announced an official developmental partnership with Cunningham Motorsports. With the consistent growth of Penske Racing, which currently competes with three Dodge Chargers in the Sprint Cup Series and one Dodge Charger in Nationwide Series competition, the 2008 Daytona 500 championship team is eager to add to its history of motorsports success. As it looks for talented personnel to join the team in the future, Penske Racing will partner with Cunningham Motorsports, an established and proven team across the developmental racing ranks. Through this partnership, Penske Racing will work with the Cunningham Motorsports teams racing in USAC Midget, ARCA RE/MAX Series and Craftsman Truck Series competition. Penske Racing will also help develop the talented young drivers in the Cunningham Motorsports program as well as identify potential crew and team members to add to its staff in the future. In addition, the partnership will provide Penske Racing another source for testing as well as engine and chassis development as it continues to enhance its program.(Penske Racing PR)(6-14-2008)

  • Ganassi and Penske? Preposterous: Rumors that have surfaced recently about a possible alliance between Chip Ganassi [#40,#41,#42] and Roger Penske [#2,#12,#77] in NASCAR racing, or of a possible Penske buyout of Ganassi's stock car team? Both men field Dodges in Sprint Cup racing, and at the recent Indianapolis 500, won by Ganassi driver Scott Dixon, the two pillars of the sport reportedly appeared a lot more chummy than usual. Sunday at Dover, Mike Accavitti, director of Dodge Brand and SRT Marketing Communications, said he had read the rumors but scoffed at them. "Absolutely preposterous," Accavitti said. "That would be like putting the Hatfields and McCoys together."(Sporting News)(6-2-2008) Comment here

  • Hornish, Franchitti will not run Indy 500: Sprint Cup rookies Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish Jr., the men who won the last two Indianapolis 500s, will not compete in the race next month. Their NASCAR team owners -- Chip Ganassi for the #40 Dodge Franchitti drives and Roger Penske for the # 77 Dodge Hornish drives -- both said the Indy 500 is not part of the plan this season. The two Cup rookies will concentrate on the Coca-Cola 600 Cup race that day (May 25) at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Penske, who is traveling in Europe this week, called Rusty Wallace on Tuesday from England to tell him Hornish would not race at Indy this year. Penske wanted to end the speculation that David Stremme would replace Hornish in the Coca-Cola 600 so Hornish could race at Indy. The speculation about Hornish also brought rumors about Franchitti possibly returning to the Indy 500 next month to defend his victory from last season. But Ganassi made his feelings clear: "No way we're doing that," Ganassi said. Ganassi also said that Franchitti is totally committed to his move to NASCAR.(ESPN.com)(4-18-2008) Comment here

  • Penske hires Stremme as test driver; Hornish rumors? UPDATE: In an effort to enhance its NASCAR Sprint Cup testing program, Penske Racing announced that David Stremme has joined the team as a test driver, effective immediately. In this role, Stremme will participate in Penske Racing's comprehensive testing program in an effort to accelerate the understanding of the new Sprint Cup Series Dodge Charger that made its full-season debut in 2008. "It's a rare opportunity to have someone of David's caliber to work with Kurt, Ryan and Sam to help us improve our NASCAR Sprint Cup program," said Tim Cindric, president, Penske Performance, Inc. "David raced the new car and understands what it takes to compete at the highest levels." Stremme, 30, grew up in a racing family in South Bend, Indiana. After competing successfully in local and regional events throughout the Midwest, he moved to national NASCAR competition in 2003. Stremme has made 74 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since 2005. In 2008, Stremme has made seven starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, posting two top-five and three top-ten finishes. "It's an honor to be working with an organization with as much history and heritage as Penske Racing," said Stremme. "I look forward to a lot of productive testing so I can assist their NASCAR teams to run up front, make the Chase and hopefully win many Championships in the future." Stremme will continue his role as a driver for Rusty Wallace, Inc. where he will be running the majority of the NASCAR Nationwide Series races during the 2008 season.(Penske Racing)
    AND: And there have been hints that Penske’s newest driver, Indy star #77-Sam Hornish Jr. may not be having all that much fun on the NASCAR tour. Hornish is 33rd in the standings and has yet to have a really decent run. Speculation is that if Hornish decides to return to Indy-car racing, then Penske would have Stremme standing by to fill the ride.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND MORE: Sam Hornish Jr. back to the IRL? That was the wild story floating amongst the media at Phoenix last weekend. And the announcement that Penske Racing had hired David Stremme as a test driver only added fuel to the fire. Listen up, conspiracy theorists. Here's the real deal: Hornish is doing just fine in NASCAR. As a rookie, he's been able to keep his car in the top 35, keep his nose clean and gain the respect of his fellow drivers. NASCAR is where both he and boss Roger Penske want him to be. Back in February, Hornish told me [Yahoo's Bob Margolis] that if he could get back behind the wheel of an Indy car it would only be for the Indy 500 - the race - as far as both himself and team owner Penske are concerned.(more at Yahoo Sports)(4-16-2008)
    UPDATE: David Stremme told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway Tuesday that he has not discussed anything but testing with Penske Racing. Asked about rumors of Sam Hornish, Jr., returning to the Indy 500, Stremme said, "I don't know anything about that. I think Sam is doing a heck of a job (in the Sprint Cup Car), and nobody has talked to me about filling in for him; at Lowe's Motor Speedway or anywhere else."(4-16-2008) Comment here

  • Stremme expected to be named Penske test driver: Expect an announcement this coming week that David Stremme has agreed to join Penske Racing as a test driver for the organization's Sprint Cup program. Team owner Roger Penske has a seat open in one of his Indianapolis 500 entries, and if Penske and current Cup rookie Sam Hornish Jr. agree that Hornish should compete at Indy, where he won the 500 in 2006, that opens up the seat of Penske's #77 Sprint Cup Dodge, which is currently 33rd in owner points through eight races with Hornish behind the wheel. Penske's entry blank for the Indy 500 reportedly lists Helio Castroneves in the #3 car and Ryan Briscoe in the #6, but there's a "TBA" beside the #77. It's all speculation at this point, but if Hornish should decide he'd rather run up front in the reunified IndyCar Series (he's a three-time IndyCar champion) than fight to stay on the lead lap in a stock car, Penske would have a test driver -- Stremme -- ready to fill the void. Stremme, who finished 10th in Friday night's Nationwide Series race at Phoenix, already has turned down at least two offers to drive for current Cup teams.(NASCAR.com)(4-13-2008) Comment here

  • Hornish to be honored: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. will be honored with the Texas Motor Speedway Sportsmanship Award at the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala on Wednesday, April 2, 2008, in recognition of his annual celebrity bowling tournament benefiting Speedway Children's Charities. Over the past three years, the tournament has raised $308,500. Penske Racing Director of Marketing Wally McCarty will accept on Hornish Jr.'s behalf.(Penske Racing PR)(4-1-2008)

  • Dodge re-ups with Penske and Ganassi: Dodge executives have taken team owners Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi out of the Toyota equation by signing new contracts with the two. That keeps Dodge with a four-team lineup, including Petty Enterprises and Gillett-Evernham. When Toyota first announced its NASCAR plans, there was considerable speculation that both Penske and Ganassi would eventually switch.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-18-2008)

  • Congrats: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. and wife Crystal welcomed their first child this morning. Addison Faith Hornish was born at 6:24 a.m. on Monday, February 4th. Baby Addison weighs 7lbs 2oz. and measures 18 inches. Both mom and baby are doing well.(Penske Racing)(2-4-2008)

  • Hornish doubtful to run Indy 500 in 2008: #77-Sam Hornish Jr. said Monday it's doubtful he'll be able to race in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca Cola 600 on May 25. In making the switch from open-wheel to stock car racing, his focus, he said, must remain on NASCAR and the Coca Cola 600. "If it was up to me, I would," said Hornish, the 2006 Indy 500 champion. "It really depends how things are going over here. I think Roger (Penske) and I have talked about it a couple of times. There's obviously nothing set. I think if we're to a point where we feel confident with how we're doing over here, (if) it's not going to hurt us, that we would try it," he continued. "But I would say it's still way more not going to happen than could happen. So we'll just see how the first couple months of this season play out. Hopefully, if I don't get to race there this year, maybe next year."(Yahoo! Sports)(1-29-2008)

  • Hornish baby due on..Feb 10th..pole day at Daytona: Sprint Cup newbie #77-Sam Hornish spent most of December getting ready for a new arrival. Sam's wife, Crystal, is due to deliver their first child next month. "I've been decorating the nursery and getting everything ready," Hornish said. "The due date is a bit of a concern for me. It's February 10th [pole day for the Daytona 500]. I really want to be there for the birth. We'll see what happens."(ESPN.com)(1-16-2008) Comment here

    2007 News

  • New crew chief named for Penske Racing #77: Penske Racing is turning to an experienced crew chief to help lead the new #77 Mobil 1 Dodge team in the 2008 Sprint Cup Series. Chris Carrier, a veteran of more than 30 years in racing who has been a winning crew chief in NASCAR's top three levels of competition, will join Penske Racing in 2008. The 47-year-old native of Bristol, TN will serve as crew chief for the #77 car, working closely with driver Sam Hornish Jr. as the former Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series Champion makes a full-time transition to stock car racing in 2008. Carrier will join the Mooresville, NC-based Penske Racing team in the new year and will work with David Elenz, who's been named race engineer for the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge.(Penske Racing PR)(12-22-2007)

  • Hornish testing at Memphis: Three-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. is scheduled to test the #77 Sprint Cup Series car for Penske Racing on Monday, Dec. 17 and Tuesday, Dec 18, at Memphis Motorsports Park. NASCAR returns to Memphis Motorsports Park in June 2008 with the Craftsman Truck Series, and October 2008 with the Nationwide Series. Season tickets are on sale now at MemphisMotorsportsPark.com and by phone toll-free at 1-866-40-SPEED. Fans can watch testing sessions at the NASCAR oval from Grandstand G at no charge. The garage and infield are not open to the public. Schedule subject to change daily. Test times vary.(MMP PR)(12-17-2007)

  • NASCAR permits Penske to swap owners points between Busch, Hornish: NASCAR has approved Penske Racing's request to transfer the owner points from #2-Kurt Busch to #77-Sam Hornish Jr., a move that locks the three-time IndyCar Series champion into the first five races of next season. Hornish publicly thanked Busch for giving him the points at the Penske holiday party on Friday night. Bud Denker, senior vice president of Penske Corp., confirmed Saturday that the team would swap the points with NASCAR's approval. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said the sanctioning body had signed off on the transfer. "This would obviously help Sam as he prepares to run the first five races instead of prepares to qualify for the first five races," Denker said. "With a champion like Kurt Busch and the opportunity to utilize (the points), anyone would be foolish to not take care of the situation." Hornish, a former Indianapolis 500 winner, is leaving that series for NASCAR next season. But his #77 Dodge won't be one of the 35 cars locked into the first five races of the year. As the 2004 series champion, Busch has a provisional position that he could fall back on should he fail to qualify on speed.(ESPN.com/AP)(12-15-2007)

  • Pemberton leaves DEI? UPDATE 3 to MWR?: hearing that Dale Earnhardt Inc #8 crew chief, Ryan Pemberton [#01 in 2007 with DEI/Ginn Racing], could be heading to Penske Racing as the crew chief for #77 Sam Hornish Jr.(12-5-2007)
    UPDATE: Crew chief Ryan Pemberton has left Dale Earnhardt Inc., and the team said Doug Richert will replace him beginning Wednesday. Pemberton was scheduled to lead the #8 Chevy that will be co-driven next season by Mark Martin and Aric Almirola.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(12-12-2007)
    UPDATE 2: hearing Pemberton has not spoken to Penske Racing about a job, but he is speaking with other teams and will make a quick decision.(12-13-2007)
    UPDATE 3: A reliable inside source tells Rowdy.com that Ryan Pemberton is headed to Michael Waltrip Racing to become the crew chief for driver David Reutimann. Reutimann will start the year in the #00 before moving to the #44 car vacated by Dale Jarrett [when he retires] after the first five races of 2008.(Rowdy.com)(12-13-2007)

  • Hornish plans to go back to Indy Cars someday: Sam Hornish Jr is adamant that he will return to IndyCar racing in the future, despite having turned his back on the IRL for next season. The 28-year-old American, who is the most successful driver in the history of the championship with three titles and 19 wins - including last year's Indy 500 -, is leaving single-seaters to race full-time in NASCAR next season. When asked if he would ever return to IndyCar's Hornish said: "I sure hope so. I hope they move the schedule so that somebody could do it. That's my goal. If I never ran in the Indy 500 again or an IndyCar Series race I would probably say I would be disappointed about that." Hornish's departure to NASCAR, where he will remain with the Penske team with whom he has raced in his last two IndyCar campaigns, will affect the popularity of the series, as the Ohio driver was one of the biggest draws for fans.(Yahoo UK)(12-1-2007)

  • Penske Racing to form test team: #2-Kurt Busch said Penske Racing has plans to form a designated test team to prepare for the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season when all 36 races will feature the car of tomorrow. "We need more laps, more time with the new car to be more competitive," said Busch, who finished seventh in points this year, following the NMPA Myers Bothers Awards Luncheon at Cipriani's. With the addition of new teammate Sam Hornish Jr. in the #77 Dodge, the fourth team is expected to focus solely on testing. Busch said teammate Ryan Newman, Hornish, himself or an "outside driver" could all be involved in the tests. Busch, who has already tested at Atlanta, said the remainder of his offseason schedule includes scheduled stops at Daytona International Speedway, Lakeland, California and Las Vegas. Nashville is also a possibility if the weather cooperates, he said. With the Cup series already running twice in the COT at Bristol this year, Busch is comfortable heading into the first handful of races in '08. "We feel like we're prepared really well for the first five or six, then we hit tracks like Texas [and Charlotte], and that's where the teams that are ready to go will prevail," he said, adding, "I hope not to be in a Cup car until January. I might end up doing a shakedown test for the Rolex 24. Penske's putting together a team. It might be double top secret until now. But we're having some fun with that."(SceneDaily.com)(11-30-2007)

  • Crew Chief change at the #12? Miller retires? UPDATE 2 Confirmed: hearing Roy McCauley take over as the crew chief for the #12 alltel Penske Racing team for driver Ryan Newman. McCauley started the 2007 season as Kurt Busch's crew chief in the #2 Dodge. Supposedly #12 crew chief, Mike Nelson, will move over to a management position at Penske Racing. The crew chief job for the #77 team and driver Sam Hornish Jr. is supposedly open.(11-17-2007)
    UPDATE: been told that Mike Nelson will be in the front office overseeing the Cup side of the business and Roy McCaulley will be Ryan Newman's crew chief, and Matt Gimbel will be the interim crew chief for #77 Sam Horish Jr. until a permanent crew chief is chosen, then he will be the race engineer for #77 team. Also, been told that Penske Racing's Don Miller will retire.(11-27-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Don Miller, who has served as President of Penske Racing South, Inc. since its inception in 1990, is retiring from his position after nearly two successful decades at the highest levels of stock car racing. Penske Racing also announced that Mike Nelson, who just completed his first season as crew chief of the #12 Alltel Dodge driven by Ryan Newman, has been promoted to Vice President of Operations. In his new role, Nelson will oversee Penske’s entries in the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series programs, reporting to Tim Cindric, President of Penske Performance, Inc. In addition, Roy McCauley has been named crew chief for the #12 Alltel team.(Penske Racing PR)(11-28-2007)

  • Castroneves wins "Dancing With the Stars": Race car [Penske Racing's IRL] driver Helio Castroneves is the winner of "Dancing With the Stars." Spice Girl Melanie Brown and her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, were the highest-scoring couple throughout the hit show's fifth season. But on Tuesday night, viewers snubbed Brown and gave the mirrorball trophy to Castroneves. The fourth consecutive man to win the contest, Castroneves' personality, enthusiasm and flashing smile - combined with an effortless quickstep on his final performance - clearly resonated more with voters. "It's not only about dancing, you know? It's about popularity," Castroneves said after the show. "That's what I'm actually very happy about."(Associated Press)(11-28-2007)

  • Penske undecided on points switch UPDATE: Team owner Roger Penske said Saturday he hasn't decided if he'll move #2-Kurt Busch's points to Sam Hornish Jr. to guarantee the driver a spot in the first five races of next season. Hornish is leaving the IndyCar Series for a full NASCAR schedule next season, but his #77 Mobil 1 Dodge won't be one of the 35 cars locked into the first five races of the year. As a former series champion, Busch has a provisional that he could fall back on should he fail to qualify on speed. "We have a number of options and we're looking at all of them ... we'll see," Penske said at Phoenix International Raceway. "This isn't all about the first five races. This is about a long career for a great race car driver and someone who has delivered for us for a long time at Penske Racing."(ESPN.com/AP)(11-11-2007)
    UPDATE: While deeming it unlikely next year, when Sam Hornish Jr. will be learning the ropes in NASCAR, neither the driver nor team owner Roger Penske is ruling out an eventual return to the Indianapolis 500 for the 2006 winner. Penske also said it's almost certain he will shift #2-Kurt Busch's points to Hornish to ensure the rookie starts the first five races next season but needs to clear it with Busch's team and sponsors first.(Indianapolis Star)(11-12-2007)

  • Official - Hornish to Cup Series in 2008: ExxonMobil announced that it is expanding its longstanding relationship with Penske Racing by sponsoring three-time IndyCar Series Champion Sam Hornish Jr. when he moves to the Sprint Cup Series in 2008. After an incredibly successful eight-year stint in the IndyCar Series that saw Hornish Jr. become the driver with the most wins in the Series' history (19 wins), garner three series championships (2001, 2002 and 2006) and win the 2006 running of the Indianapolis 500, he will make the move to stock car racing full time and pilot the #77 Mobil 1 Dodge in 2008. Hornish Jr. is the latest open-wheel driver to transition to NASCAR. "I truly view this move to NASCAR and the Sprint Cup Series as the next great challenge for me in racing," said Hornish Jr. "My learning curve has been sharp, but Roger, everyone at Penske Racing and the team at Mobil 1 have been incredibly supportive throughout the process. The track time this season is all part of the transition to Cup racing and I am committed to making 2008 a successful season for the Mobil 1 Racing team." Hornish Jr. participated in NASCAR Busch Series races both in the 2006 and 2007 season, posting a best finish of 15th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 2007. He also attempted to qualify for NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races on seven occasions in 2007. "Sam Hornish Jr. is one of the most versatile and skilled drivers in all of motor sports," said Jerry Kohlenberger, president, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties Company. "Everyone at ExxonMobil is looking forward to Sam building his impressive racing resume as he successfully crosses over to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. We also are delighted to expand our 17-year relationship with Penske Racing and present Mobil 1 as the title sponsor of the #77 Dodge. Our association with Penske Racing and NASCAR reinforces the engine protection and performance that Mobil 1 delivers for both NASCAR drivers on the track and race fans traveling to the track." Hornish Jr. will be the third full-time member of Penske Racing's Sprint Cup Series team, which also includes veteran drivers Ryan Newman in the #12 Alltel Dodge and Kurt Busch in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge. "Sam had a great run with us in the IndyCar Series, and as he continues to adjust to the type of racing he'll encounter in the Sprint Cup Series, we expect him to excel there as well," said Roger Penske, owner and chairman of Penske Racing. "In Sam, we have a driver with the desire to be the best and win wherever and whenever he races. We can teach him about stock car racing, but we don't need to teach him how to be a racer."(Penske Racing PR)(11-10-2007)

  • Hornish could be announced at Phoenix UPDATE: If Sam Hornish stays true to form, trusting team owner Roger Penske to all but make career decisions for him, the three-time Indy Racing League champion will be announced on Saturday night in Phoenix as the new third driver for Penske's Nextel Cup team. Though Penske said Sunday a final decision would be made in next few days, he smiled, adding, "My inclination would be to go with him." Penske said if Hornish goes to NASCAR, former IRL driver Ryan Briscoe, who has tested Indy cars for Penske, would move from the organization's American Le Mans Series unit to team with Helio Castroneves. "Our goal from the beginning was to see if Sam wanted to run in this type of series," Penske said. "Number two was to be able to conclude a project with a major sponsor." With both conditions apparently answered to his satisfaction, Penske said it was not of concern that Hornish had failed to qualify in six attempts at his first Cup race and has an average finish of 31.6 in nine Busch series starts. Hornish will attempt both series, Penske said, in the final two weekends at Phoenix and Homestead. Penske could guarantee Hornish entry into the first six races of the 2008 season by applying teammate Kurt Busch's 2007 owner points to his car. Busch would be assured entry into races with a past champion's provisional if he failed to qualify on speed.(St Petersburg Times)(11-5-2007)
    UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. is leaving the IndyCar Series for a full-time ride in NASCAR, joining the mass exodus of open-wheel stars fleeing to America's most popular racing series. The three-time IndyCar champion told The Associated Press he will drive the #77 Dodge next season for Penske Racing with Mobil 1 as the sponsor. "I feel like this is something that is a new and unique challenge for me," Hornish said Thursday. "It may or may not be the right way to look at it, but I feel like I accomplished just about everything in Indy cars. I got to do more than I ever thought I would." Penske will officially introduce Hornish as the third driver for his NASCAR team on Saturday night at the Penske Racing Museum in Phoenix. He'll join a team that already fields cars for #2-Kurt Busch and #12-Ryan Newman. NASCAR rules currently guarantee a starting spot to the top 35 teams in owner points. It leaves just eight spots in the field each week for everyone else, and this season has been a horrendous struggle for many top-name drivers. Penske could ensure Hornish a spot in the field for the first five races of next season by moving the points currently owned by Busch. The 2004 series champion has a provisional that would lock him into the field should he fail to qualify on speed. Hornish said he wasn't sure what Penske will do with the points, and a spokesman for the car owner said he was not available for comment Thursday. Hornish will again try to make his Cup debut this weekend. He's entered in both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, where he has two wins and three top-five finishes in Indy cars.(Associated Press)(11-8-2007)

  • Penske may consider points swap for Hornish UPDATE: With Sam Hornish having trouble qualifying for Cup races - he has missed all six he has attempted this year - Penske Racing may consider making a points swap to get Hornish into races in 2008. With Kurt Busch having won the 2004 Nextel Cup championship, Penske could transfer the points earned by Busch's #2 team to Hornish, which would lock him into the top 35 for the first five races of next season. Busch would get into those races as the most recent past champion if he failed to qualify on speed. NASCAR officials confirmed that a move would be allowed. Penske said he is committed to fielding three Sprint Cup cars next year for Busch, Hornish and Ryan Newman. Penske said he has not talked to other drivers for the third team.(SceneDaily.com)(10-30-2007)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials said Penske Racing can transfer the points earned by Kurt Busch this year to guarantee a starting spot for Sam Hornish Jr. in the first five races of next season. If Busch failed to qualify for one of those races, he likely would get to race by virtue of being a former series champion. . . . Signs point to Hornish's car being No. 77 if, as expected, he makes the jump to NASCAR next season.(Indianapolis Star)(11-3-2007)

  • Penske Staying with Dodge; Decision on Hornish Soon:Penske Racing owner Roger Penske said Sunday that his team will be driving Dodges for years to come. Penske said he has agreed to a multi-year deal with Dodge. The team contract was set to expire at the end of the 2008 season. As for Sam Hornish Jr., one of Penske's two IndyCar Series drivers who is considering the switch to the Cup Series but has yet to qualify for a race, the plan is to continue trying to get him in a race. "We're going to keep digging," Penske said. He said the team likely will know its plans for Hornish by the Phoenix Cup race in two weeks.(ESPN.com)(10-29-2007)

  • Kenwood to sponsor Hornish at LMS: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #06 Kenwood Dodge Charger, will attempt to make his Nextel Cup Series debut at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday. This is Hornish's first attempt to qualify for a Cup event in a race not using the Dodge Avenger. Hornish has attempted to qualify for three Cup Series events so far this season - New Hampshire, Dover and Talladega. Although Hornish's 2008 plans have not been determined, the 28-year-old will attempt to qualify for no more than seven events, including each of the two remaining COT races with Roy McCauley leading the charge.(Penske Racing PR)(10-11-2007)

  • Penske sticking with Hornish: #06-Sam Hornish Jr. has failed in his first three attempts to qualify for a Nextel Cup event, but Penske Racing will continue to place Hornish on the entry list for upcoming Cup races. "We're going to stay on our plan to try to qualify Sam in as many races as we can for the rest of the season," said Walt Czarnecki, vice chairman of Penske Racing. "Nothing has changed. We'll go again at Charlotte next week." Czarnecki, who also is the listed owner of the #06 Dodge that Hornish is driving, said they already have a primary sponsor [rumored to be Mobil 1] lined up for the third team car next season. Would they still consider Hornish moving full time to Cup in 2008 if he doesn't qualify for any races this year? "I think that's a possibility," Czarnecki said. "The disappointment he has, and we all have, is he was 20th quick at New Hampshire. We told him not to drive it too hard and he missed the show by a fraction. At Dover, he had one hour of track time, then misses the show by four one-hundredths of a second. Circumstances haven't worked in his favor." NASCAR's qualifying system works against a driver trying to break into Cup with a new car. Czarnecki realizes Hornish is in a difficult position when only eight spots are available each week in the 43-car field. Hornish was 13th in qualifying Saturday at Talladega, but five positions too low to make the race. The top 35 cars in owner's points have a guaranteed spot in the field. "It is frustrating, but I also understand NASCAR's rationale for going to the top-35 rule," Czarnecki said. "It's an economic reality of the sport that precipitated that decision." With six races left this season, Czarnecki is confident Hornish will qualify for some of those events.(ESPN.com)(10-8-2007)

  • But..Hornish undecided: Sam Hornish Jr. said he is going to wait until after the season before sitting down with his team, sponsors and owner Roger Penske to decide where he'll be racing next year. Hornish failed to qualify at Talladega, his third miss in as many tries to make his Nextel Cup debut. He is committed to Car of Tomorrow races Oct. 21 at Martinsville, Va., and Nov. 11 at Phoenix, in addition to some Busch Series events. Unlike fellow Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, who as a rookie next year will inherit a car that is in the top 35 of the standings and thus assured of being in the first five races, Hornish would have to qualify week to week. "We have to get to the point where we feel comfortable we can get into these races," he said. "What if I go to Daytona (for the 2008 opener in February) and don't make the race? Then we're behind all the way." Hornish is not averse to spending another year in the IndyCar Series. "Whatever the team decides, I'm OK with that," he said.(Indianapolis Star)(10-8-2007)

  • Penske adds a race for Hornish UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. has added at least one race to his Nextel Cup schedule in the #06 Penske Racing Dodge. Hornish has attempted two races [New Hampshire and Dover] but has yet to make the field for a Cup race. He was already scheduled to try to make the field in the remaining races featuring the car of tomorrow: Talladega, Martinsville and Phoenix. Now, according to a team spokesman, Hornish will enter the Oct. 13 race at Lowe's Motor Speedway and might add the season-ending race at Miami-Homestead Speedway.(SceneDaily.com)(9-26-2007)
    UPDATE: Sam Hornish, Jr., delved deeper into the NASCAR experience during a Penske Racing test at Kentucky Speedway Wednesday. “We came out today to just get a little test time in on a mile-and-a-half. I hadn’t run a ‘COY’ (Car of Yesterday), as they call it, and we plan to try to run Charlotte and Miami, so we’re trying to get a little test time in,” he said. He has yet to announce his 2008 racing plans. “We haven’t decided what we’re going to do yet. The big thing for me is to continue to wait a little bit and get to the point where I feel like I have a good head on my shoulders as far as making the decision,” Hornish, Jr., said. “We’ll make it when that time comes. The best thing about it is that I’ve not had to make that decision yet.”(Kentucky Speedway PR)(9-27-2007)

  • Hornish to attempt Dover: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #06 Penske Truck Rental Dodge Avenger, will attempt to make his Nextel Cup Series debut at Dover International Speedway on Sunday in the Car of Tomorrow. This is Hornish's inaugural appearance at the 1-mile concrete oval. Although Hornish's 2008 plans have not been finalized, the 28-year-old is determined to qualify for each of the four remaining COT races, including two additional Car of Yesterday events, with Roy McCauley leading the charge.(Penske Racing PR)(9-19-2007)

  • Latest on Hornish to NASCAR: UPDATE: If all goes better than it did on this crisp September day, [Sam Hornish & Crew Chief Roy McCauley] will be together permanently at Penske Racing when the 2008 season begins at Daytona. "It's a good match right now," McCauley said. "Obviously, I had a situation that took me away from it. I can help him a lot and give him an opportunity to have good experience around him and have a great crew around him. We'll go from there. I can't predict anything. And I don't like predicting anything." Predictions aside, it's a safe bet to say Hornish is planning to drive a full schedule. Otherwise, he wouldn't be trying to make all five Car of Tomorrow races and possibly two others over the final 10 Cup events of this season. "I can't say that there's no possibility that we'd do it, because we wouldn't be over here doing this if there wasn't," Hornish said with a smile. "I look at it as a new challenge." But Hornish remained firm that he's split down the middle on whether to run Cup or return to the IRL next season.(ESPN.com)(9-15-2007)
    UPDATE: Team owner Roger Penske says his gut tells him he wants to move Indy Racing League driver Sam Hornish from the Indy Racing League to NASCAR Sprint Cup racing next season. Penske said there is a chance that Hornish could be entered in another race after he missing NHIS. "Every bit of track time he can get will only make him better if he runs," Penske said. Penske could move some resources from his part-time Busch Series team for his third Nextel Cup team. He said with the difference in the Busch car compared to the car of tomorrow, there is little information that can be transferred from one to the other.(SceneDaily.com)(9-17-2007)

  • Hornish to run at NHIS in #06: Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #06 Penske Truck Rental Dodge Avenger, will attempt to make his Nextel Cup Series debut at New Hampshire on Sunday in the Car of Tomorrow. This is Hornish's first run at the 1.058-mile oval. Although Hornish's 2008 plans have not been determined, the 28-year-old will attempt to qualify for no more than seven events, including each of the five remaining COT races with Roy McCauley leading the charge taking chassis PRS-512 to this weekend's Sylvania 300. This car was last driven by Kurt Busch at Phoenix in April where it started sixth and finished 18th. Hornish on New Hampshire International Speedway: "I'm excited about my first Cup race but there is definitely a lot of pressure. At this point, qualifying on Friday is our main concern. Hopefully we'll get it in. The COT cars are pretty good but they'll be even better if I make it in."(Penske Racing PR)(9-11-2007)

  • Hornish to run 5-6 races in the final 10 UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. plans to run five to six of the final 10 races in the Nextel Cup season for Penske Racing, team owner Roger Penske said on Saturday. Penske said the 2006 Indianapolis 500 champion, who is considering a full-time ride in Cup next season, will turn his focus to stock cars as soon as the Indy season ends on Sept. 9. Hornish's first Cup race could come in the championship Chase opener at New Hampshire International Speedway. "That's the game plan right now," Penske said before the start of the Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. "Obviously, he's got to qualify. But he did a good job at Michigan and if there is a chance to run cars every week, we'll see." Penske would like to keep Hornish's focus on Car of Tomorrow races -- New Hampshire, Dover, Talladega, Martinsville and Phoenix -- because that is the car NASCAR will use full time in 2008. "I told him the more experience you get the better you're going to be," Penske said. "We'll see."(ESPN.com)(8-25-2007)
    UPDATE: on SPEED's SPEED Report, Bob Dillner reported that Penske Racing driver Sam Horish Jr. will drive the five COT races that are in the final ten races in the Chase with plans to run Hornish full-time Cup in 2008. No word what the car number will be [#77? #72?] or if it will be a third team in 2008, but both #12-Ryan Newman and #2-Kurt Busch are signed thru at least 2008. Hornish will attempt to make his Nextel Cup debut this coming weekend at New Hampshire. Hornish has made eight career Busch Series starts in 2006-2007 with a best finish of 15th at Atlanta.(9-10-2007)

  • Penske Racing to create test track in Mooresville, NC: Penske Racing plans to build a test track in Mooresville similar in size and layout to the track at Richmond International Raceway. The 54-acre site on Mazeppa Road would include 1/4- and 1/2-mile ovals within the 3/4-mile oval track, and a 1.8-mile road course, documents filed with the Iredell County Planning Department show. At its neighboring race shop, Mooresville-based Penske already designs, makes and tests high-performance vehicles for competition in the Nextel Cup and Busch series, Indy Racing League, and Automobile Racing Club of America and American LeMans series. The test track also would accommodate law-enforcement training and recreational motorsports, but is not for spectators paying admission, Penske says in its filing with the county. Testing would be between 8am and 6pm/et, according to the filing. The acreage now includes two ball fields and a vacant lot. The land is zoned for heavy industrial uses, including race tracks, Iredell County Planner Rebecca Harper said. Penske proposes putting in landscaping along the track property's railroad boundary to obscure the track's view from Mazeppa Road, and adding landscaping along Penske Way, which leads off Mazeppa. The company would leave the woods on the west side of the property as a noise buffer. Industry border the other three sides. Penske Racing South president Don Miller could not be reached Thursday. The Iredell County Planning Board will consider the plan at 7pm Wednesday. The planning staff is recommending approval. County commissioners are expected to consider the board's recommendation in October.(Charlotte Observer)(8-31-2007)

  • The Latest on Hornish to NASCAR: Sam Hornish Jr. [is] taking a long, hard look at what he wants to do next and whether it includes a risky jump to NASCAR. "It's safe to say that the challenge of it intrigues me," Hornish said in the midst of preparations for this week's Honda 200. After eight years in IRL, he's itching for something new. Despite his IRL success, Hornish makes no secret of the fact that he's restless. His agreement with Penske Racing allows him to try some different things. He's driving in several Busch Series events and is testing himself in other ways. "That's one of the great things about this deal I have with Roger right now is that we have an opportunity to go either way," Hornish said. "The best part is that I don't have to make a decision today or tomorrow. We started off this year knowing that we were going to do 11 to 14 stock-car events, run the whole IndyCar schedule, run the 24 Hours of Daytona, have a whole bunch of different kind of racing thrown in there. We're going to continue to work on that plan. We'll sit down at the end of the year when that's all over with and make a decision on what we're going to do."(Associated Press)
    AND: Hornish refuted the prevailing rumor that he already has made up his mind and that owner Roger Penske will add a third car to his NASCAR team next year for Hornish. "I'd say where I'm at right now, the scales are 50-50," said Hornish. "I haven't made any decision; the team hasn't made a decision."(Columbus Dispatch)(7-21-2007)

  • More on Hornish to NASCAR: Sam Hornish Jr. is pondering a move from his Penske Racing's open wheel to its Nextel Cup outfit, where he could join #2-Kurt Busch and #12-Ryan Newman next season. Testing his stock car skills in the ARCA and Busch Series, he is expected to wait until his team's September deadline to announce a decision, in part to appease his IRL sponsor, Marlboro. Penske officials feel Hornish's [IRL] points finish this season could have an impact. He's currently fifth, a hefty 97 out, with just seven races remaining.(St Petersburg Times)(7-11-2007)

  • Menards sponsorship to Penske in 2008? John Menard is reported to be considering moving his sponsorship from Dale Earnhardt Inc. [#15 Paul Menard] to Roger Penske’s Dodge team, with Penske expanding to a three-car operation. Menard, according to sources, has chopped his list to two owners, and it appears that #7-Robby Gordon is no longer in the running. Menard, who is supporting son Paul on the Cup tour at DEI, has been reported interested in purchasing DEI from Teresa Earnhardt [which has been rumored many times but always denied](Winston Salem Journal)(6-23-2007)

  • Third Penske team in 2008? Mobil 1 as sponsor? UPDATE 2: hearing that Mobil 1 will be a full sponsor of a third Penske Racing Nextel Cup car in 2008, no word on a driver.(6-8-2007)
    UPDATE: Roger Penske said Sunday he plans to field two Dodge-backed Nextel Cup Series teams in 2008. Recent reports said Penske Racing may leave Dodge next season in favor of a move to Toyota, a rumor Penske dismissed. "Our Dodge commitment is a long-term contract," said Penske, one of the world's largest Toyota dealers. "I read in the paper where we were switching to Toyota. We haven't even talked to them about it." As for the speculated third team? "We've looked at whether we'd run an additional car," Penske said. "We haven't made any commitment on it at this point. There's lots of speculation. We've got a lot of moving parts right now. I'm not committing to a third team at this point, at all."(ESPN.com)(6-11-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Penske Racing appears to be expanding to three teams in 2008, and former Indianapolis 500 champion Sam Hornish Jr. likely will fill that seat. Hornish is expected to compete in an unspecified number of Nextel Cup races toward the end of this season, team owner Roger Penske said Sunday morning at New Hampshire International Speedway. "We're looking at it," Penske said of the third team. "We definitely are very interested in doing that, but we have to look and see where we are with Hornish. That'll be a deciding factor on exactly what we do." More than likely Mobil 1, the sponsor on Hornish's Busch car and an associate sponsor on both Penske Cup cars, would be the primary sponsor on the Cup car. Mobil 1 and Penske have had a long association. With this apparent plan to expand to three teams with Hornish, Penske said he is not in the running for free agent Kyle Busch. Busch's older brother, Kurt, early last week lobbied on behalf of his brother during a national teleconference saying Penske Racing would be "stupid" not to talk to his brother.(ESPN.com)(7-2-2007)

  • Hornish wins ARCA pole at MIS: UPDATE: Sam Hornish, Jr. earned the AAA Pole Award Thursday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. Hornish sits on the pole for Friday's ARCA RE/MAX Series Michigan 200, marking his career first stock car pole. Besides an ARCA test at the end of May, this was Hornish's first real test in a stock car at the two-mile oval. Hornish circled MIS at 186.205mph in his #27 Mobil 1 Dodge. Friday's ARCA 200 will mark the Penske Racing driver's career first ARCA RE/MAX Series start. Erin Crocker starts on the outside front row in the #98 Mac Tools-Mac Card Dodge. Erik Darnell, Tim Andrews and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top-five qualifiers. Darnell, in the fuel conservation mode, stretched his advantage to 20 lengths at the final stripe over Hornish, Jr., who finished second in his career-first series start. It was Darnell's second RE/MAX Series victory of the season.(MIS PR)(6-15-2007)
    UPDATE: Despite a healthy line-up of top-quality teams in his rear view mirror, Roush Racing's Erik Darnell drove away from Penske Racing's Sam Hornish, Jr. to win the ARCA RE/MAX 200 Friday afternoon at Michigan Int'l Speedway. Darnell, in the fuel conservation mode, stretched his advantage to 20 lengths at the final stripe over Hornish, Jr., who finished second in his career-first series start. It was Darnell's second RE/MAX Series victory of the season.(ARCA Racing)(6-16-2007)

  • Third Penske team in 2008? Mobil 1 as sponsor? hearing that Mobil 1 will be a full sponsor of a third Penske Racing Nextel Cup car in 2008, no word on a driver.(6-8-2007)

  • Hornish to run Brickyard 400? Defending the Indianapolis 500 title will be tough enough for Sam Hornish Jr., but he says he'd like to win twice on the historic 2 1/2-mile oval this year. Hornish, who already has driven in two Busch Series races this season, said Wednesday he likes the idea of trying to drive in both major American races at the track - Indy and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. "The biggest thing would be our resources," Hornish said. "But if they asked me to do it, I'd do it." It's not unprecedented. A few NASCAR drivers, most notably Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon, have competed in Indianapolis on Memorial Day weekend and later returned to compete in the Brickyard 400. Hornish won the second-closest finish in Indy 500 history by 0.0635 seconds in 2006. Hornish might be setting himself up for even greater expectations. When asked if he had any inkling about running in the July 29 Nextel Cup race in Indianapolis, he didn't hesitate. "I'm trying to work on Roger (Penske) as far as that goes," Hornish said. "I think it would require a little bit of testing, and the biggest thing would be our resources. Obviously, we don't want to take away from what Kurt (Busch) and Ryan (Newman) do there." #2-Busch and #12-Newman are the two regular drivers for Penske's NASCAR team. Hornish also is trying to become only the sixth driver in Indy history to repeat as champion, something his teammate Helio Castroneves accomplished in 2001-02.(Associated Press)(3-15-2007)

    2006 News

  • Hornish to race in Nov. Phoenix Busch race? UPDATE 2 yep: Reports that IRL champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr. will make his stock car debut next month at Phoenix in a NASCAR Busch Series car are premature, a Team Penske spokesman said Friday night. A recent story cited unidentified sources as saying the Penske team will enter Hornish in the Busch races at Phoenix and Homestead in November, as well as running him in selected Busch and ARCA events next season before launching a full-time Nextel Cup career in 2008. "Roger Penske has said publicly that we are considering a plan that would allow Sam to race in some Busch and ARCA races next year, for sure, along with his IRL schedule," Chris Schwartz, director of marketing and communications for the Penske team, told The Associated Press. "That's all in motion and it's a goal of ours to get him into a Busch race this year," Schwartz added. "But he hasn't even tested a (stock) car, yet. We hope to get that accomplished soon and we hope to get him in the Phoenix (Busch) race and maybe the Homestead (Busch) race, too. But nothing is done yet."(Associated Press)(10-14-2006)
    UPDATE: Hornish could run the Busch Series race at Phoenix next month if he feels he is ready, Penske Racing officials confirmed. Hornish has tested a stock car at North Carolina (Rockingham) Speedway and plans to test at Iowa Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway before deciding whether to run at Phoenix, Penske Raacing South President Don Miller said Saturday. "We're going to let him get the feel of the car," Miller said. "If he decides that he's ready, we could theoretically do that [Phoenix race]." Matt Gimbel, the crew chief for the #39 Penske Racing South Busch Series team, will direct the effort. Hornish is committed to run in the IRL for 2007. "That is his primary deal," Miller said. "We don't want to interfere with the primary program because that wouldn't be good for the team overall."(SceneDaily.com)(10-14-2006)
    UPDATE 2: been told that Hornish will run the Phoenix and Homestead Busch races with in the #39 Mobil 1 Dodge, offiicial announcement to come later this morning.
    UPDATE 3: Penske Racing officials announced Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway that three-time IndyCar Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. will attempt to qualify for two NASCAR Busch Series races this season. Hornish will pilot the #39 Mobil 1 Dodge at the Nov. 11 Phoenix and Nov. 18 Homestead events. Penske Racing will expand its Busch Series effort in 2007, splitting duties between Hornish and fellow Penske drivers #12-Ryan Newman and #2-Kurt Busch. Hornish has tested the Busch car twice already, at Kentucky and Iowa.(AMS Pit Notes)(10-28-2006)

  • Hornish may run some NASCAR races in 2007: IRL champion Sam Hornish says there is a possibility he will compete in some NASCAR races in 2007. While testing his IRL car at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, Hornish said that running in NASCAR is something that's going to happen eventually. Hornish, who drives for Roger Penske in the IRL, would drive for Penske if he did compete in the NASCAR ranks. "The first thing you have to do is go through all the preliminaries, doing the tests, getting that first little bit of seat time," he said. "I'm not going to hop right in there and go to a race. People will know it's happening before I just show up one day and here I am [at a race]. It's something we're looking to." Hornish said that because the IRL season is more condensed the opportunity exists for him to also race in select Cup events. "Roger needs to find a good use for me to get the most out of his money," he said. "I want to try it out and see if I'm capable of doing that. We have to wait and see when the right time is. I'm not sure yet."(SceneDaily.com)(9-28-2006)

  • Hornish to test Busch/ARCA cars for Penske? maybe not..yet: [Sam] Hornish said he has yet to discuss with Team Penske plans for testing ARCA or Busch Series cars this fall. But he sounded very much committed to open-wheel racing. "I still want to win some more (Indianapolis) 500s," he said. "That's the big thing. I've still got three more to go to get anywhere near (four-time winner) Rick Mears." Hornish leads the IRL in all-time wins (18) and is the only multiple champion. He implied that testing or racing stock cars would be done to complement his open-wheel career. "Right now we're focused on IndyCar stuff. We want to continue doing that throughout the year," he said. "We ... have not had much of an opportunity to sit down and figure out what our plan is. With the IndyCar series being consolidated down into a short amount of months and having the opportunity where I could probably run 10-12 races whether they be ARCA or Busch or whatever in my free time, it gives me the opportunity to have a little bit more practice time."(St Petersburg Times)(9-13-2006)

  • Hornish to run Busch and ARCA Races UPDATE 2 testing..#77?: Roger Penske said Saturday that he was working on a plan that would allow his IRL driver Sam Hornish Jr. to race in some NASCAR Busch Series and ARCA Series races next season. That would be in addition to a full IRL schedule for Hornish, who won the Indianapolis 500 this year. “Sam has talked about running some Busch or ARCA races, and we’re looking at a potential program,’’ Penske said before the Sharpie 500. “We haven’t put all the pieces together.” Although Penske used an ARCA, Busch and Nextel Cup program to develop the driver Ryan Newman before promoting him to the Cup series full-time, Penske said it was too early to say if Hornish would move up to compete in the Cup series by 2008.(New York Times)(8-28-2006)
    UPDATE: Reports that Indianapolis 500 champion Sam Hornish Jr. would be running races in the NASCAR Busch and ARCA Series next year in addition to his Indy Racing League schedule are premature. "There's no confirmation," Team Penske director of marketing and communications Chris Schwartz said. "They're considering a plan that would allow Sam to run some Busch and ARCA events next year. The details of that plan are tentative. Some people are thinking that this is something more than it really is."(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(8-31-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Sam Hornish Jr. could begin testing a Penske Racing South Dodge sometime this fall in preparation for what could be a limited Busch Series and ARCA schedule in 2007, team president Don Miller said Saturday. "They're just looking at that possibility [for next season]," Miller said. "He'll probably do some testing a little bit later on." Whether Hornish begins testing this year or not until next season will depend, in part, on how Penske Racing South's preparations are going for next season. The team has struggled with its intermediate-track program this year and is also busy working to gear up for the introduction of the "car of tomorrow" next season. Hornish, who will run the full IRL schedule next year, would ease into stock cars. If Hornish were to make the move to NASCAR full time in 2008 or beyond, it would likely mean Penske Racing South would resurrect the #77 team it shut down after last season.(SceneDaily.com)(9-3-2006)

  • Owners trying to buy #77 team for owners points UPDATE 2 Waltrip-Bawel partner up: At least six car owners have inquired about the possibility of buying the #77 [Penske-Jasper] team that won't race this year. That's because that team finished in the top 35 in last year's car owner points. If a new team can transfer the #77's points from last year, that would mean it would be guaranteed a spot in the starting field for the 2006 Daytona 500 and the new season's next four races beyond that. Any such arrangement would have to be submitted to NASCAR for its approval.(ThatsRacin), it was reported on NASCAR.com a few weeks ago, that since the #77 was not being run in 2006, the #4 Morgan-McClure team with driver Scott Wimmer would move up and be guaranteed a spot in each of the first five races, if someone bought the #77, would 'assume' that the #4 team would get knocked out.(1-17-2006)
    UPDATE: #55-Michael Waltrip, who enters the season without a spot in the top 35 in owners points after his move to Bill Davis Racing, may be the beneficiary if a deal can be worked out between BDR and Penske Racing South, which won't field its #77 team this year. The deal, which would be subject to NASCAR's approval, would require an agreement to be reached between official #77 owner, Doug Bawel and BDR. Other team supposedly have made inquries about acquiring the rights to #77's 2005 owners points. One techicality could be whether or not the owners points would revert to Penske's #77 team should it return in 2007.(NASCAR Scene Print Version)(1-20-2006)
    UPDATE 2: President and CEO of Michael Waltrip Racing, Inc., Michael Waltrip and President of Jasper, Doug Bawel, announced they have formed Waltrip-Jasper Racing Company, LLC. Waltrip-Jasper Racing will field the #55 NAPA Auto Parts Nextel Cup Dodge in 2006,driven by Waltrip. Bawel has been in racing for over 15 years, previously as an owner of Penske-Jasper Racing Company's #77 Kodak Dodge. Bawel will serve on the Board of Directors and will be active in business management and sanctioning body relationships for the new company. "I have been in the sport as a driver for 22 years and the logical progression for me was ownership at the highest level, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series," Waltrip said. "This is such a big step, that I wanted to partner with someone who has intimate knowledge about ownership at this level. Doug Bawel and I have been friends for a number of years and I have always respected the way he handled himself in the garage and with NASCAR."
    "I learned quickly that Michael is a goal oriented person," Bawel stated. "When we began talking about the possibilities of teaming up, he started dialing the phone and making things happen immediately. He is a talented driver and a proven NASCAR Busch Series car owner, but most importantly as he moves into NASCAR's premier series, he is a man with a vision that likes to take ideas from paper to reality. I am delighted to lend my experience and management support to Waltrip-Jasper Racing."
    Waltrip-Jasper Racing has contracted Bill Davis Racing to be the source of cars, engines and personnel. Additionally, Waltrip-Jasper Racing has created their own team of people. The foundation of Waltrip-Jasper Racing is sculpted with experienced people vested in NASCAR. Ty Norris, former EVP of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. will serve as the general manager overseeing the operation. Waltrip's long-time confidant, Bobby Kennedy will serve as the Competition Director and Larry Carter, a veteran crew chief, has also been contracted by Waltrip-Jasper Racing to be a part of the team.(Waltrip-Jasper Racing PR), so this allows Waltrip and the #55 team to use the #77 owners points and guaranteed to make the first five Cup races. Thus knocking the #4 Morgan-McClure team back to 36th in owners points and out of the guaranteed spot.(1-20-2006)

    2005 News

  • #4 team gets a guaranteed spot first five races: have been asked and have been telling folks the wrong thing, since the #77 team will not field a car/team in 2006, what happens to the 34th spot the team occupies in 2005 Owners Points? A team in the top 35 in the previous season's Owners Points are guaranteed to make the first five races, after the 5th race, 2006 Owners Points take over. I had assumed [not a good thing] that the spot would go unfilled and one of the teams outside the top-35 would get an extra shot of making the race per speed [except for the Daytona 500 with it's unique qualifying forrmat, however, saw this on NASCAR.com from Marty Smith and it has been verified by NASCAR:
    By dissolving its #77 team, it seems Penske Racing indirectly sent owner #4-Larry McClure a priceless early Christmas present - a guaranteed starting position in the 2006 Daytona 500. During the first five races of a new season, NASCAR reverts to the previous season's final championship owner points to determine which teams will benefit from the top-35 rule. To receive a guaranteed starting assignment at Daytona, California, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Bristol, a team must be among the 35 highest-ranked teams present from the previous season's owner points standings, must have entered the event prior to the entrance deadline and must make an attempt to qualify for the event. Therefore, by virtue of the #77's absence, McClure's 36th-ranked team inherits the final guaranteed starting position for the first five races of the 2006 season. Remember, though, if Penske does opt to enter the #77 in the race, McClure is out. And, considering that making the Daytona 500 field guarantees a quarter-million dollar payday (roughly), that very well may happen. Had Penske not shut down the #77 operation, which held the 34th position in '05 owner points, McClure would have entered '06 faced with having to qualify for each of the first five events on speed.(NASCAR.com), the only way this would change is if Penske did field a car for one of the first 5 races or teams up with another team like Robby Gordon did with Jim Smith for the #7 in 2005. Next question would be: who will be the driver?(12-14-2005)

  • Carter out at Penske? UPDATE changes: hearing #2 Miller Lite crew chief, Larry Carter has been released from his duties as crew chief at Penske Racing and is looking for work, supposedly Roy McCauley, Chief Engineer for the #12 team of Ryan Newman will supposedly be Kurt Busch's crew chief.(12-7-2005)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing South announced today that Roy McCauley will become the crew chief of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge effective immediately. McCauley replaces Larry Carter who will move to a management role within Penske Racing South's operations division. "I am pleased to announce these changes to our racing organization," Roger Penske said. "Roy brings a wealth of technical and engineering experience to the #2 team. Roy and Kurt will be a great team and when you combine them with Ryan Newman and Matt Borland, we are looking forward to building on our recent successes. I want to thank Larry Carter for his contributions as crew chief with the #2 team. His leadership was instrumental in guiding Rusty into 'The Chase' this season. Whereas Matt and Roy will focus on the competition side of our business, Larry will bring a wealth of experience to an important management role within the operations of Penske Racing." The moves of Carter and McCauley were made along with other personnel changes at Penske Racing South as the company prepares its two NEXTEL Cup teams for the 2006 season.(Penske Racing PR)(12-9-2005)

  • #77 Team will not run in 2006, Kodak to #2 UPDATE 7 Penske Release: hearing [have learned...like 3 weeks ago] Penske Racing South with dissolve the #77 Kodak team at the end of the 2005 season as Kodak is leaving as sponsor. No word on where Kodak will go or where Travis Kvapil will drive. Supposedly Penske will not be a two car [#2-Kurt Busch and #12-Ryan Newman] team for long they are going to develop another young driver in the same ABC [ARCA, Busch, Cup] format that was successful with Newman.(11-16-2005)
    UPDATE: been told this is NOT true..and that Penske Racing worked things out to keep Kodak and that Travis Kvapil will drive the #77 Kodak Dodge in 2006.(11-17-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Kodak has reached an agreement to extend its sponsorship of the Penske-Jasper Racing Nextel Cup team, and Travis Kvapil, a Janesville native, will return as the driver, a team representative said Thursday. A rumor had surfaced one day earlier speculating that the team could be disbanded.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(11-18-2005)
    UPDATE 3: have learned that the #77 team has been shut down...today, after Kodak decided not to re-up with the team. No word on Kvapil's plans or if Kodak will remain in the sport.(sources and PRN's Garage Pass Radio show)(11-29-2005)
    AND from a story at Janesville [Wisc] Gazette on 11/18: Deb Williams, director of public/media relations for Penske Racing South, has confirmed that Wednesday's rumor is completely untrue. Meanwhile, Tom Page, the manager of NASCAR marketing for Eastman Kodak, also denied the report. "I have no idea where that came from or how it got started," Page said. "Travis has done a very good job representing Kodak. He is an honest, hard-working driver. We signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Penske Racing in 2004. That's common knowledge."(Janesville [Wisc] Gazette)
    STATEMENT: from Penske Racing: "Penske-Jasper Racing and Kodak are currently working on their 2006 Nextel Cup plans which will be announced in the near future."
    of note: last year is was denied that Brendan Gaughan was being let go, denied that Rusty was retiring after 2005 and a few years ago denied for months that Penske Racing would switch to Dodge,....sooooo.
    UPDATE 4: hearing Kodak will stay with Penske Racing as a major associate for the #2 Dodge driven by Kurt Busch in 2006.(12-1-2005)
    UPDATE 5: Despite repeated denials from Penske Racing, Kodak is pulling its sponsorship, and the #77 team is being dismantled. This is a sticky situation because Doug Bawel entered into a partnership with Penske Racing two seasons ago, and now he's on the outside looking in. The move comes on the heels of a major restructuring at Penske's Mooresville, N.C.-based campus.(Sporting News)(12-5-2005)
    UPDATE 6: Travis Kvapil and the #77 Kodak/Jasper Engines & Transmissions race team will not be part of the NASCAR Nextel Cup scene for the 2006 season. "Penske (Racing South) and Kodak have agreed not to field the 77 Dodge in Nextel Cup racing in 2006," said David Kassnoff, Kodak's manager of communications and publications. "We expect a return in 2007 with a more competitive race team. We are looking to Penske to develop a team that can perform at a high level consistently in 2007." Kvapil could not be reached for comment. Kodak, the longest continuous primary team sponsor in NASCAR, will be reduced to associate sponsorship status for 2006. Kodak's associate sponsorship will appear on the #2 Miller Lite Dodge. Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion, will replace [retiring] Rusty Wallace in the #2 car next season. Internet rumors last month said that Kvapil's team would be dissolved. One Kodak spokesman and another for Penske strongly denied those rumors. Despite the denials, the whispers continued. Penske Racing South has not made a public statement regarding the status of Kvapil's team. Kassnoff said an announcement should come later today or tomorrow.(Janesville [WI] Gazette)(12-8-2005)
    UPDATE 7 - Penske Release: With the recent decision by Penske-Jasper Racing and Eastman Kodak Company to not field the #77 Kodak Dodge in the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season, 2005 rookie Travis Kvapil is permitted to seek other driving opportunities. "I want to thank Travis for what he has provided to Penske-Jasper Racing during this year," said Roger Penske. "Travis is a talented driver and an excellent ambassador for our team and our sponsors. While it is unfortunate that we will not field the Kodak Dodge in 2006, I am confident that Travis will find the opportunity to drive another car next year." Kodak, which will continue as an associate sponsor with the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, intends to re-enter the #77 Kodak Dodge in the 2007 NEXTEL Cup season.(Penske Racing)(12-8-2005)

  • Jasper's 2006 Plans...no #77: been told that an announcement was made at Jasper Engines today detailing their 2006 plans in which Jasper will supply the transmissions and differentials to Ryan Newman's #12 car and Kurt Busch's #2 car in the NEXTEL Cup Series; the Rusty Wallace owned Busch Series #64 car and the Penske Busch Series ]#39] team, as well as the #77 truck owned and driven by Brendan Gaughan in the Craftsman Truck Series. Penske Jasper Engines will build the power plants for all these teams with the exception of Gaughan's truck team which owns its engine program. Jasper also plans to add an expanded R&D area that will house the NASCAR transmissions and differentials operations. Jasper will not return as a sponsor of the #77 Penske Racing Dodge in Nextel Cup racing.(12-8-2005)

  • Penske to consolidate team headquarters UPDATE: Penske Racing is moving its headquarters next year, leaving Reading, Pa., after the 2006 Indy Racing League season concludes, relocating to the company's new NASCAR facility in Mooresville, N.C. The move will allow the organization to consolidate its stock-car, Indy-car and sports-car teams in the 424,000-square-foot facility Roger Penske opened last year in the Charlotte suburb. "There is certainly a lot of crossover capabilities," said Tim Cindric, the president of the team's Indy-car program. "Definitely one of the motives is to put everything under one roof." Penske set his team's roots in Reading in 1973 after it spent its first seven seasons in Newtown Square, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. Penske's Indy-car team has about 90 employees, most of whom are Pennsylvania natives. Cindric doesn't know how many people will follow the team.(Indianapolis Star)(11-1-2005)
    UPDATE: Penske Performance is moving its NASCAR, Indy Racing League and American LeMans Series programs under one roof in North Carolina, and Roger Penske has announced that Tim Cindric will oversee the entire operation. Since 1999, Cindric, 37, has been responsible for Penske Racing's IRL effort, Penske Cars Ltd., Racing Experience Inc., Penske Technology Group and Penske Motorsports Inc. Cindric led Team Penske to two IRL titles and 25 victories, including three consecutive Indy 500 wins. Penske Racing South president Don Miller will retain his role; Penske Racing South general manager John Erickson will become G.M. of Penske Motorsports' ALMS Porsche program.(Sporting News)(11-28-2005)

  • Newman to run 04 Dodge, Rusty/Kvapil the Charger: Don Miller, President of Penske Racing South told Claire B. Lang XM Satellite NASCAR Radio that: "We wanted to run ( an 04 Dodge) one earlier in the season and Dodge asked us to hold off until we did some further testing but now we fully intend to run it here and if it works out like we think it will, we will probably run it again next season on certain race tracks. We had trouble with the 2005 being so pitch sensitive on smooth high speed one and a half mile race tracks. Everyplace else the other car is just fine. Definately the #12 is going to run an 04 this weekend." Miller says the 2 and the 77 will run the 2005 Dodge Charger this weekend at Homestead.(Claire B. Lang XM Satellite NASCAR Radio)(11-18-2005)

  • Congrats: Congratulations to Mike and Edrina Schaefer who welcomed Katie Ann on Friday, Oct, 21. Katie Ann was 19 inches long and weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces. Edrina is the daughter of Doug and Kathy Bawel, car co-owner of the #77 Kodak/Jasper Engines Dodge that Travis Kvapil drives.(10-27-2005)

  • #77 Team Donates to American Cancer Society: The Kodak Racing team along with its associate sponsor, Jasper Engines and Transmissions, are stepping up to the plate to practice what they preach with a donation totaling $20,400 to the American Cancer Society. The contribution from Travis Kvapil, JET and the Penske-Jasper Racing pit crew will benefit a program that helps women with little or no insurance obtain screening for breast cancer. Prior to last Sunday's Banquet 400 at Kansas Speedway when Kvapil raced a Kodak Mammography Products-themed Dodge Charger, the 29-year old Janesville, Wis., native decided to make a donation to show his support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which runs through October. Doug Bawel, co-owner of the #77 Penske-Jasper Racing team and president of Jasper Engines and Transmissions, informed Kodak that JET would also make a donation. This week, pit crew members announced they would join their driver and associate sponsor in making a donation. Each over-the-wall crew member is giving $1,100 from his bonus program for a total of $7,700.(Penske Racing)(10-14-2005)

  • #77 to sport special scheme at Kansas: This weekend at Kansas Speedway, Eastman Kodak Company's Health Imaging Division will once again leverage the firm's Penske-Jasper Racing NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series sponsorship to join in the race to promote better breast health for women. The Kodak Racing team is trading its well-known Kodak gold this weekend for a white #77 Kodak Mammography Products Dodge Charger for Travis Kvapil to race in the Banquet 400 in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which runs through October. Through its sponsorship of Kvapil's car, Kodak hopes to raise awareness of the importance of early detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. In addition to the #77 Kodak Mammography Products Dodge, Kodak is supporting the race for better breast health in other ways. Kodak EasyShare Gallery (www.kodakgallery.com), formerly known as "Ofoto", has teamed with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation as the official photo sponsor of the Breast Cancer 3-Day, an organized fundraiser, which from June through the end of October will have visited 10 different cities to aid in the fight against breast cancer. ot only is Kodak EasyShare Gallery the official photo partner, it also is offering special pink ribbon products including T-shirts, greeting cards, photo books, and more for purchase online in honor of breast cancer awareness. Kodak is donating 10 percent of the retail purchase price to the Breast Cancer 3-Day. Also, for the month of October, when you purchase an Absolute Pink KODAK EASYSHARE V530 Zoom Digital Camera at the KODAK Online Store, Kodak will donate 10% of the retail price to the Breast Cancer 3-Day.(Penske Racing), see image of the car on my #77 Team Schemes page.(10-5-2005)

  • Penske to Toyota? UPDATE: Penske Racing's deal with Dodge ends after 2006, with widespread speculation that Penske will side with Toyota in 2007. Penske's recent hiring of 2004 champion Kurt Busch (for 2007) is being cast as Toyota's way of strengthening its roster with a proven champion.(Speed Channel)(8-23-2005)
    UPDATE: Walter Czarnecki, vice chairman of Penske Racing and Penske Racing South, said Dodge's contract with the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup team extends past 2007.(Penske Racing South)(8-23-2005)

  • Congrats: Matt Lucas, #77 Penske-Jasper Racing's team engineer, and his wife Jessie welcomed their daughter to the family on Friday, July 15 at 8:52pm/et. Piper Joy Lucas weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces; she is 19 ½ inches long. The newest daddy on the #77 team said both of his girls are doing well. He also said, "It's a 77 thing. Maybe the 7 pounds 7 ounces is an omen."(Penske Racing PR)(7-16-2005)

  • Congrats: Late News But Welcome to the Crew: The Kodak Racing team would like to extend warm wishes to the newest "little" member of the team. Clay Robinson, front tire changer for the #77 Penske-Jasper Racing crew, and wife Jenna welcomed Joseph "Joey" Andrew Robinson on June 23 at 3:08 am, EDT. Joey was 21.5 inches long at birth and weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces. Joey has two older sisters, Paige, 5, and Antonia, 2.(Penske Racing)(7-14-2005)

  • Kvapil wins ARCA Race at Pocono: In the end, no one had anything for Penske Racing powerhouse #27-Travis Kvapil, who in his first ARCA RE/MAX Series attempt, handily won the Pocono 200 Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway, Kvapil also won the pole for the event. Kvapil crossed the final stripe just over two seconds ahead of #46-Frank Kimmel in second. Rounding out the top five were #9-Joey Miller, #11-Chad McCumbee [played Dale Jr. in ESPN's movie '3'] and #4-Michael Guerity. See results at ARCARAcing.com.(6-11-2005)

  • Kvapil to run ARCA race: Penske Racing South has entered rookie #77-Travis Kvapil in the ARCA RE/MAX Series event on Saturday at Pocono Raceway in an effect to get Kvapil some seat time on the track.(Penske Racing)(6-8-2005)

  • Kvapil sues Meshkin [BANG]: Penske Racing South driver #77-Travis Kvapil, a rookie in the Nextel Cup Series, has filed suit in North Carolina against his former employer, Alex Meshkin, who owned the now-defunct Bam! [Actually it is BANG not BAM] Racing Craftsman Truck team. Kvapil, who drove for Bam! Last season, alleges that Meshkin was contracted to provide a Busch Series ride for him this year but failed to do so. Meshkin, who is also involved in litigation with former employee Larry McReynolds, closed his race team late last year.(Speed Channel)(5-29-2005)

  • So what is up at Penske Racing? Now that Roger Penske owns all of Penske Racing South, crew chief Matt Borland has been signed to a contract extension and driver #12-Ryan Newman is in negotiations for a similar extension, the focus shifts to finding a replacement for Rusty Wallace. Penske bought the 48% share of the team owned by Wallace, Don Miller and John Erickson this week, giving the racing magnate complete control of the three-car [#2, #12, #77] team. Wallace has announced he'll retire at the end of this season, and many believe Jamie McMurray, whose contract with Chip Ganassi Racing ends this season, will climb into the #2 Miller Dodge. McMurray, who is dating Wallace's daughter, is trying to avoid all the speculation. "Last year I got to talking about my contract," McMurray said. "I'm not going to talk about that at all." Newman has talked with Roush Racing and Evernham Motorsports about a future, but he's leaning toward staying with Borland and Penske.(Augusta Chronicle)(5-19-2005)

  • Penske Happy with Dodge: #2-Rusty Wallace shot down talk of Penske Racing South aligning itself with Toyota. He said the team is happy with its current contract with Dodge. "People would think that [switch] would be a natural because he's running Toyota in the IRL Series, and he's the largest Toyota dealer," he said. "But he's also one of the world's largest Daimler Chrysler dealers." Wallace said he hasn't "personally talked" with Toyota about his #64 Busch Series team but said he would never say never.(Richmond Times Dispatch), remember the denials in 2000 that Penske would switch to Dodge?(5-15-2005)

  • Kvapil like Switzerland in in Wallace-Newman feud: #77-Travis Kvapil said he gets along fine with both his Penske Racing South comrades – #2-Rusty Wallace and #12-Ryan Newman. But he also said the ongoing feud between those two is awkward at times. "I don't want anybody to think I'm choosing sides," Kvapil said. "I do feel like I'm caught in the middle a little bit. I'm just trying to stay quiet. Whatever their differences are is between them. I wish we could work through it and it would all go away." Kvapil, who drives the #77 Kodak Dodge, said his team shares information with the #2 Miller Lite Dodge of Wallace and the #12 Alltel Dodge of Newman. But Wallace's and Newman's teams don't share info with each other.(Dallas Morning News)(4-29-2005)

  • Rusty-Ryan Update: It's no secret that teammates #2-Rusty Wallace and #12-Ryan Newman have not been best of friends since their cars collided last fall during a race at Martinsville Speedway. Because Wallace is a co-owner of the team, along with Roger Penske and Don Miller, there was considerable speculation Wallace would make an effort to patch up their differences during the offseason. Instead, the relationship has grown, if anything, colder. At least part of the problem is their differing racing philosophies. The 48-year-old Wallace is an old-style, seat-of-the-pants racer, while 27-year-old Newman is a graduate engineer who likes to depend on technology and information from his engineers to set up his cars. "It's really two separate teams, totally,'' Travis Kvapil, the third member of the Penske team, races the #77 Dodge. "The 77 and 2 share, every tire pressure, every shock, every piece,'' Wallace said. "The 12 car is totally off limits. It's totally a separate team. They're at one end of the shop, and it's unfortunate. I'm resigned to the fact. I'm tired of wearing myself out trying to fix it. I'm just going to do my deal and drive my guts out and give it everything I've got. ... I've beat this 12 thing to death forever, and they've got a whole different train of thought and that's fine.''(ESPN.com/AP)(4-23-2005)

  • Penske buying out Rusty and Miller? UPDATE: Roger Penske is buying out the 48% share of Penske South that is owned by Rusty Wallace and his long-time business manager Don Miller.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-16-2005)
    UPDATE: Wallace, driving his final full season in Nextel Cup, said Penske has offered to buy out his share of the team, as well as his longtime friend Miller's share. But Wallace said the ongoing fuss with Newman will not play a part in that decision, when he makes it. "Again, I want to stress I haven't made that decision,'' Wallace said. "I've got an offer to do that. I lay awake at nights wondering if that's what I should do.''(ESPN.com/AP)(4-23-2005)

  • #77 Testing: The #77 Kodak Racing team and driver Travis Kvapil spent Tuesday, March 29, at Caraway Speedway in preparation for the upcoming Food City 500. The team will also test at North Carolina Speedway on April 5th and Darlington Raceway on April 6th.(Penske Racing)(3-30-2005)

  • Miller named Business Person of the Year: Don Miller, president and co-owner of Penske Racing South [#2, #12, #77], was named Business Person of the Year Tuesday by the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce during its annual banquet at the Mooresville Citizens Center. Miller, a resident of Mooresville since 1990, was honored for his contributions to the town, which have included establishing the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame and Museum, Stocks for Tots to raise funds and toys for abused and neglected children, and assisting other race teams in locating in Iredell County. “This award means a lot to me because I believe in this town,” Miller said. “I know all of the people who work here feel the same way because Mooresville is a town with a heart.” Miller and wife Pat moved to the southern Iredell County town from St. Louis 15 years ago when the Chicago native joined Rusty Wallace and Roger Penske in forming Penske Racing South. “When Rusty and I came to Mooresville we met with the mayor and the Chamber of Commerce,” Miller, 65, recalled. “They had some reservations about the effect motorsports might have on the city. However, they gave their word they would support us if we came here and we would support them. This award is a by-product of those efforts.” Since moving to the North Carolina city that was named “America’s Best Small Town” in 2004, Miller has been honored with the Chamber’s Free Spirit Award and Citizen of the Year. In addition to his business ventures in Mooresville, Miller also was instrumental in the development of the roof flaps in 1993 after Wallace’s horrendous flip at Talladega in the spring of that year. He received the NASCAR Achievement Award for his design and testing efforts in that project. Miller also led the design team for the then new Ford Taurus used in NASCAR competition in 1997. Miller and his wife, Pat, have three daughters and two grandchildren. Their youngest daughter, Patricia, is currently involved in the restoration of the Saturn V rocket.(Penske Racing PR)(2-25-2005)

  • Penske's New Shop: The new Penske Racing South shop [#2, #12, #77] debuted Wednesday night and entering the cavernous facility you felt as though you were there for a rock concert or looking for the anchor store of a major shopping mall. Penske himself acknowledged this: "If (this) doesn't work as a race shop, we can always have concerts in here." He quipped. Much of the space is done, but the team has yet to fully move from their present multi-building location five miles away, although the move should be completed by March. Penske purchased the former Matsushita manufacturing facility last summer and has been hard at work ever since getting it ready for occupation by his three Nextel Cup teams. Two shifts worked seven days a week to gut the interior and rebuild it to Penske’s specifications. The building itself (there are actually two if you include a smaller shop in the rear) encompasses a total of 424,697 feet. 240,781 square feet, that’s 8 acres under roof by the way, of which are occupied by the race teams. There are 3 paint booths, one for each team, 3-body prep stations and 17 surface plates. By far the most fan friendly shop on the tour, there is a 300-foot long second floor catwalk that will allow fans to view the ongoing work. Penske made sure to note to Lowes Motor Speedway president, “Humpy” Wheeler, that the 300 foot long stainless steel rail is the longest in North Carolina. See more and some images of the shop at Cupscene.com and some pics of the media tour also at Cupscene.com [looks like the site is down].(1-27-2005)

  • #2, #12, #77 to run Mobil schemes at Las Vegas: NASCAR sponsor ExxonMobil is partnering with Penske Racing South to help every-day drivers improve their cars' performance. As part of the initiative, all three of Penske Racing South's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers will race cars promoting the new line of Mobil high-endurance motor oils -- which guarantee engine protection for longer intervals -- during the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 on March 13 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. #12-Ryan Newman will run the Mobil 1 Extended Performance car in Vegas, with teammate #2-Rusty Wallace behind the wheel of the Mobil Clean 7500 car and NASCAR Rookie-of-the-Year candidate #77-Travis Kvapil driving the Mobil Clean 5000 car. Specially formulated for today's longer oil change intervals, Mobil Clean 5000, Mobil Clean 7500 and Mobil 1 Extended Performance were created to help alleviate consumer confusion about when to change their oil. The complete line of Mobil high-endurance oils guarantees performance and long-lasting protection of critical engine parts for 5,000, 7,500, or 15,000 miles, respectively. Special advertising for the new line of products will make its debut on Sunday, Feb. 20, during the Daytona 500. For more information about this new line of Mobil products, go to www.mobiloil.com. Additional information about Mobil racing programs can be found at www.mobil1.com.(Business Wire)(1-26-2005)

  • Jasper Engines on the #77 for four races: Jasper Engines & Transmissions will return as the primary sponsor of the #77 Dodge driven by Travis Kvapil for four races in 2005. The scheduled races for the Jasper car are: Texas (April), Dover (June), Chicago (July) and Atlanta (October).(RacingOne)(1-20-2005)

  • Penske Racing moving into their new digs: Penske Racing South is currently busy moving into its new home at 200 Penske Way in Mooresville, N.C. While many divisions of the race team have already moved, the #12 ALLTEL team looks to be completely and permanently housed in the new facility following the 2005 Daytona 500.(Penske Racing PR)(1-11-2005)

    2004 News

  • Kvapil tests at Lakeland: New Penske Racing rookie Travis Kvapil tested with the #77 Kodak team at Lakeland, FL.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(12-20-2004)

  • So What Happens to Gaughan? UPDATE 3: a few rumors have been floating:
    Gaughan supposedly talked to the #0 Haas-CNC team, but hearing Mike Bliss will end up in the car.
    Gaughan could go back to the Truck Series as a teammate to Steve Park for the team owned by hi father, Park is signed thru 2005 in the #62 truck.
    And one that is a tad 'out there' is Gaughan teaming up with Robby Gordon and Jim Smith [kiss my what?], but not sure if it would a full time deal, Truck team, run in Gordon's Busch car or a 2nd Cup team.(12-9-2004)
    UPDATE: hearing that Gaughan will drive the #77 Jasper Penske Dodge Truck with Jasper Engines as the sponsor in the Truck Series?(12-10-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Brendan Gaughan tells Sirius Speedway (Sirius Satellite Radio) that he will run a heavy schedule of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events next season, after being released by Penske-Jasper Racing earlier in the week. “Steve Park will run the full season in the #62 Orleans Dodge, and I will be in a second truck – the #61 – in a bunch of truck races, maybe even the full schedule. Rusty Wallace has also asked me to run his Busch car in a handful of races that Jeremy (Mayfield) and Jamie (McMurray) don’t run. That’s not official yet, but the offer is there.” Gaughan said he is relieved to have his future decided, adding, “The decision was more theirs than mine. It’s their team, and if they didn’t want me there, I didn’t want to be there. I’m happy to be where I am now. I beat Brian Vickers in the Rookie of the Year chase this season, but you never heard anything about him being replaced. There were no rumblings coming out of Hendrick Motorsports. You need to know you have the support of your team.” Gaughan said he expects to make major sponsor announcements for both himself and Park within the next 2-3 weeks.(12-11-2004)
    UPDATE 3: Steve Park will return to the No. 62 Orleans Dodge full time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2005, Orleans Racing officials confirmed Dec. 13. The team also announced that Brendan Gaughan will drive a second Dodge fielded by Orleans Racing in at least the 16 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events that are companion races to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events. More details will be released at a later date.(Orleans Racing site/PR)(12-13-2004)

  • OFFICIAL Kvapil In - Gaughan Out: Penske-Jasper Racing, which fields the #77 Kodak EasyShare Dodge Charger in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, today announced that 2003 NASCAR Truck Series Champion Travis Kvapil will be the team's driver and will compete for Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2005. Travis succeeds Brendan Gaughan, who drove the Kodak car during the 2004 season. Kvapil participated in a development program during 2004 with Penske Racing and competed in three Nextel Cup Series races-Martinsville, Atlanta and Homestead. "Travis showed solid potential and demonstrated the skill and determination it takes to be a winner and we look forward to building on this foundation with our sponsor partners Kodak and Jasper." Roger Penske said.
    "Kodak is committed to fielding a winning and successful team in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Racing, and looks forward to leveraging our continued sponsorship and partnership with NASCAR and Penske-Jasper Racing during 2005," said Bud Denker, Vice President, Brand and Market Development. "We are excited to welcome Travis as the driver of the Kodak EasyShare Dodge Charger and feel that his experience in racing and his driving talents will provide our team with the success that we are seeking."
    "The opportunity to drive for Penske-Jasper Racing is more than a dream come true. I have been a fan of Roger Penske since I was a little kid watching Rick Mears. It's a once in a lifetime chance for a young driver and I'm excited to get that opportunity," Kvapil said. "I'm honored to represent Kodak. Their history in NASCAR racing is impressive and they are one of the longest running sponsors in the sport." A Wisconsin native, Kvapil resides in North Carolina with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children.(Penske Racing South PR)(12-9-2004)

  • Gaughan at Chrysler Museum: 2005 Dodge truck test drives and an appearance by NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Brendan Gaughan highlight the What to Give Your Truck for the Holidays expo Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum at One Chrysler Drive in Auburn Hills, MI. The event runs 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. and admission is free. More info and link at my Driver Appearances page.(11-28-2004)

  • Penske Turns down Jack Daniel's: per Speedway Scene's S-Notes, Penske Racing [#2,#12,#77,#06] had plans for a 4th full-time Cup team for Travis Kvapil as the driver and Jack Daniel's as the sponsor. However someone within the 'Penske Family' found an issue with alcohol sponsorships [um.....Miller Lite ain't a soft drink], so the full-time 4th team was scrapped. That is leading to the rumors that Kvapil could replace Brendan Gaughan in the #77 Kodak Dodge, since it looks like Kvapil doesn't have a full-time gig in 2005 in any series. And while it is widely speculated that Jack Daniel's will go to Richard Childress Racing for the #30 [to #07?] car and driver Dave Blaney [supposedly already signed], rumor has it that NASCAR may have Jack Daniel's as a NASCAR Sponsor [like Gatorade...etc].(Speedway Scene Print Edition - Nov.19th)(11-24-2004)

  • Gaughan disputes reports: Brendan Gaughan told Sirius Speedway (MRN Radio/Sirius Satellite Radio) Tuesday that, contrary to published reports, he has not been told whether he will return to the #77 Kodak Dodge next season. "They haven't told me anything," said Gaughan. "But then again, I haven't asked. I'm working on some things for myself next year, including a minimum 18-race Truck Series program at Orleans Racing. I have also had quite a few team owners approach me about possibilities for next year; people who obviously don't think the driver was the problem (with the #77) this season. I'm not too worried about it. If they decide to ask me back, we'll deal with it then." Gaughan said he enjoyed his relationship with co-owner Doug Bawel and sponsor Kodak this season, calling them, "super people to work with." However, he added that he was disappointed with the team's poor performance, saying, "I'm in racing because I love it. It's not about the money for me. I'm a competitor, and I want to run up front and contend for wins. If I'm not doing that, I'm not happy." The Las Vegas native said he would not necessarily return to the #77 next season, even if asked. "I would have to give it some thought," he said. "I think the world of Doug (Bawel) and Kodak, and Roger Penske is a very difficult man to say no to. But another year like we just went through? I don't know. I guess I'll just wait and see if an offer is made, then see what's in my heart at that time."(MRN Radio/Sirius Satellite Radio)(11-24-2004)

  • Gaughan hinting....not back in the #77? Rookie Brendan Gaughan hinted yesterday he likely would not return to the #77 Kodak Dodge at Penske Racing South next season. Gaughan said he'd like to run a full Nextel Cup season again but would like to remain in a Dodge. He's been linked the #0 Chevrolet of Haas CNC Racing.(Richmond Times Dispatch)
    AND Brendan Gaughan still doesn't know if he is returning to his Penske-Jasper Racing team next season. Team officials have not yet picked up the option on Gaughan's contract. "I have some plans, and no matter what I do, I'm going to be back running some Truck races for my team," Gaughan said. "I could say yes to a lot of things, and I could say no to a lot of things. I think most other drivers are not in that position."(ThatsRacin.com)(11-21-2004)

  • Gaughan will NOT return to the #77 in 2005; Kvapil? UPDATE: Brendan Gaughan was told his contract would not be renewed with Penske-Jasper Racing [#77 Kodak Dodge], and apparently Gene Haas has offered Gaughan, 29, the #0 Chevy seat for 2005. Haas-CNC G.M. Joe Custer added that Richard "Bootie" Barker would remain as crew chief on the #0 and has a three-year contract. Putting Travis Kvapil in the #77 next season is coming with a price. Alex Meshkin wanted compensation for letting Kvapil out of his Bang Racing contract, so Kvapil is expected to run 20 Busch events next season in a Dodge.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-15-2004)
    UPDATE: A decision has not yet been made on whether Brendan Gaughan will return to the #77 Penske-Jasper Racing Dodge for the 2005 season, Penske Racing South President Don Miller said Monday. Miller said Gaughan would drive the Kodak Easy Share Dodge in the NEXTEL Cup season finale at Homestead this weekend. Miller, who noted that Gaughan currently possesses second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings, said a decision on Gaughan's status for next year wouldn't be made until after the season ended. "And that is after the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Awards Banquet in New York City," Miller added. The banquet is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3.(Penske Racing South PR)(11-16-2004)

  • Gaughan Speaks UPDATE 2005 plans up-in-the air: Brendan Gaughan says he “doesn’t really care anymore” about behind-the-scenes maneuvering at Penske-Jasper Motorsports, and is concentrating on the next three races. Asked about Penske Racing’s decision to field a fourth car at Martinsville and Atlanta for former Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil, Gaughan told MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway's Dave Moody that the situation is frustrating. “Stuff we’ve been asking for all season and not getting, all of a sudden they’ve got it,” he said. “I can’t do anything about it, and I really don’t care anymore. All I can do is take what they give me and do my best with it, and the last couple of weeks, it’s been pretty good.” Gaughan declined to comment on rumors that he has spoken with Haas CNC Racing about replacing Ward Burton next season, saying, “If other people are looking at me and liking what they see, I’m flattered. But right now, I’m focused on the last three races of the season. After that, we’ll worry about what comes next.”(MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway)(11-3-2004)
    UPDATE: Nextel Cup rookie Brendan Gaughan said Friday he has no idea where he stands with his Penske-Jasper Racing team in regards to the 2005 season. Gaughan said that if he doesn't return to the #77 Kodak Dodges next season, he has other opportunities available, including returning to the Truck series with a team his family owns and partnering with its current driver, Steve Park; and other Cup rides. Haas CNC Racing has spoken to Gaughan about driving its #0 Chevrolets next season, Gaughan said, but no decision has been made. Gaughan, who has driven for Dodge virtually his entire racing career, said there would be no conflicts driving Haas' Chevrolets if that were the only Cup opportunity he was offered.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-5-2004)

  • Bliss or Gaughan to the #0 if Ward leaves [to BANG Racing?] Bliss and rookie Brendan Gaughan [would he go to a team not running a Dodge?] are being considered for the Haas CNC Racing #0 Chevrolet in 2005. Team owner Gene Haas says he wants to see how current driver Ward Burton performs with crew chief Bootie Barker before he makes a final decision. "We've given Ward three different crew chiefs; now it's up to him," Haas says. And put Mike Bliss' name back on the list for the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Busch team. Although it had been reported earlier in the year that Bliss, 39, and JGR would part ways at the end of the 2004 season, he says he could return. "I think they have an 'A' plan, and if that falls apart, I'm the 'B' plan," says Bliss.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-1-2004)

  • Gaughan plays some basketball and talks to high schoolers: #77-Brendan Gaughan continued his Martinsville tradition Thursday night and it left him winded. Gaughan spoke with the Martinsville High School boys basketball team about staying in school and then played with them for the third year in a row. The tradition started when Martinsville coach Troy Wells asked Gaughan to speak to his team, knowing that Gaughan was a member of the Georgetown basketball team when John Thompson coached and Allen Iverson played. Gaughan said he'd speak if he could play with the team. Gaughan, 29, said he played about five games with the team Thursday. "I'm absolutely not in shape to do that,'' he said. "My game involves beating up a lot of guys and trash talking. That's what I was accustomed to for four years at Georgetown."(Roanoke Times)(10-23-2004)

  • Kvapil to race 4th Penske car at Martinsville UPDATE BANG Closing? ot To Cup?: 2003 Truck Series champ Travis Kvapil will drive a fourth Dodge from the Penske Racing stable this weekend in the Nextel Cup Series Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Kvapil, who is also in Martinsville to compete in Saturday's Truck Series Kroger 200, will drive a #06 Dodge as a teammate to Penske Racing's Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman and Penske Jasper Racing's Brendan Gaughan. "This is a continuation of our driver development program," Penske Racing co-owner Don Miller, the listed owner of the 06 car, said. "We're taking Travis to Martinsville in the same way we took Chad Blount to Talladega." Roy McCauley will lead the crew with Kvapil at Martinsville. Kvapil has been fodder in the Silly Season rumor mill since he tested a Penske Racing Dodge at Kansas Speedway in September. He's eighth in the standings, 381 points behind leader Bobby Hamilton with four races remaining. Kvapil has two victories this season, which were Toyota's first in the series.(NASCAR.com)(10-20-3004)
    UPDATE: Roger Penske has turned some heads with the surprise entry of rookie Travis Kvapil in a fourth Penske team [#06 Mobil 1 Dodge] car here [Martinsville]. Penske's Don Miller had little to say about the entry, except that the decision was made Monday. Kvapil, who qualified an impressive fifth, is one of the drivers Penske has been testing for a possible Cup ride next season. "We're doing that development program and this an extension of that," Miller said. "Better to come here than Atlanta." Miller said this might Kvapil's only run for Penske this fall. Next year? "Maybe next year," Miller said with a grin. "But I don't know what may happen next year. Next year is another year."(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND BANG Racing closing shop at end of season OR have a sponsor for a Cup team?? More on my Truck Series site.(10-23-2004)

  • So..what happened with Spencer and Gaughan? ......with only 30 miles to go, #4-Jimmy Spencer [running 14th on the lead lap] and #77-Brendan Gaughan crashed. "We had a tire going down," Gaughan explained. "And I wasn't going to make it in the pits, and I was trying to get down out of the way, and I thought I was on the bottom. Then, Blam. It was probably my fault. Maybe I didn't get far enough out of the way. Sorry for Jimmy. He had a good run going. If it was my fault, I apologize."(Winston Salem Journal)(10-18-2004)

  • The Rumor that won't die UPDATE 2 more on Gaughan: Roger Penske has been testing three Cup drivers for a possible driver change for next season, and that clearly puts rookie #77-Brendan Gaughan on the hot seat.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2004)
    AND been told by many readers who were at Dover over the past weekend, that all Brendan Gaughan merchandise at the souvienir trailers at the track were selling at a 40% discount, usually a sign of a paint scheme. sponsor or driver change.(9-28-2004)
    UPDATE: In regards to the 40 percent price reduction on Brendan Gaughan's souvenir trailer at Dover, it is standard procedure for most souvenir companies to reduce prices towards the end of a season in order to facilitate the movement of inventory in preparation for the upcoming season.(Penske Racing)(9-30-2004)
    UPDATE 2: Penske Racing South has the option for a two-year extension to Nextel Cup rookie Brendan Gaughan's contract but has not yet decided whether to exercise it, team co-founder Don Miller said Friday. "Brendan is in the #77 now, he'll be in it next week and through the end of the season," Miller said. Beyond that, Miller said the team had made no decisions. In the past week, reigning Craftsman Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil tested the #77 at Kansas last week which fueled speculation Gaughan's tenure at Penske is shaky. Gaughan has struggled this season. He is 32nd in points with one top-10 finish. He has failed to finish in eight races in 28 starts. Penske has four teams at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, entering the #06 Mobil 1 Dodge for Chad Blount, who has done extensive testing for the organization.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-1-2004)

  • More on Kvapil to Cup: 2003 Truck Series Champ, Travis Kvapil recently tested a Nextel Cup #77 Dodge for Penske-Jasper Racing at Kansas Speedway, and several weeks ago was rumored to be the replacement for Nextel Cup rookie Brendan Gaughan for the 2005 season. Kvapil has been rumored for some time in Silly Season to be negotiating a Nextel ride. He confirmed as much Wednesday in a telephone conversation but declined to identify the team or elaborate further. "Hopefully in about a week we can talk a lot more about it," Kvapil said. "Participation at the Nextel Cup level, I would say that's accurate. I can't really say a team or car just yet." But Kvapil said he is fully committed to his job with Bang Racing. Kvapil, who has five career Craftsman wins, said he and owner Alex Meshkin are focused on making the move to the Busch Series. "Sounds like he's got a majority of the sponsorship pretty well wrapped up and moving forward," Kvapil said. "I've been in the Truck Series for four years and feel like I'm ready for the next challenge. Bang Racing has the same goals as I do, they want to move up the ladder in the series, just like me." Kvapil is under contract with Bang Racing through the 2005 season, and said he would request Meshkin's approval before taking part in any Nextel Cup project. "Right now, I would say for sure that I'm going to be Busch Series racing next season. Anything beyond that is definitely up in the air."(paraphrased from the Capital Times)(10-1-2004)

  • Penske Stuff: Speculation about Brendan Gaughan's future in the #77 Dodge is rampant this week after Craftsman Truck Series driver Travis Kvapil tested the car at Kansas Speedway and Chad Blount was hired to drive a fourth Penske Racing South car at Talladega. Penske South president Don Miller said Blount got the ride as a reward for all the testing he's done for the team. "We are not grooming anyone for Rusty Wallace's or Brendan Gaughan's seat," Miller said. "This is simply a reward for a job well done." There has been no word on who will take Wallace's #2 Miller Lite Dodge when he steps out of it for good at the end of the 2005 season.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-1-2004)

  • Blount to drive a 4th Penske car at Talladega: Chad Blount, an Indiana native who has been testing for Penske Racing South for the last 1 ½ years, will drive a fourth Penske-prepared car [#06 Dodge] at Talladega Superspeedway for the Oct. 3 EA Sports 500. "Chad has done an outstanding job testing cars for DaimlerChrysler and for us and, therefore, deserves this chance we are giving him at Talladega," Penske Racing South President Don Miller said. "We are not grooming anyone for Rusty Wallace's or Brendan Gaughan's seat. This is simply a reward for a job well done." For the Talladega effort, Penske Racing South head engineer Roy McCauley will be Blount's crew chief and Matt McSwain his car chief. Also serving on the crew are mechanics Corey Tucker and David Dembicki. The pit crew consists of: Dustin Coonfield, front tire changer; Michael Warren, front tire carrier; Mark Padgett, jackman; Chris Hladik, rear tire changer; Corey Sain, rear tire carrier; Sam Ownsby, catch can; Jason Rogers, gasman; and David Doyle, 2nd gas can and sign board. A sponsor for the effort hasn't been acquired, but discussions are ongoing. During the last year and a half, while competing in selected ARCA and Busch Series events, Blount has tested for Penske, primarily at Kentucky Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, and Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Earlier this year, Blount finished seventh in the ARCA season opener at Daytona International Speedway in a car fielded by Braun Racing. In May at Charlotte, he qualified 20th for the Busch Series race in a car fielded by Hirschfeld Motorsports and ran in the top 10 for most of the race before having to settle for a 34th-place finish after cutting a tire and hitting the wall. Blount made his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup debut in the July 11 Tropicana 400 in a #37 Dodge owned by John Carter and Roger Craven. He qualified 37th and practiced in the top 15, but he finished 43rd due to electrical problems in the car. The Walkerton, Ind., native made his Busch Series debut at Daytona in 2003. That season he competed in 13 races for Braun Racing, with whom he raced in ARCA, and six for Jesel Racing. His six races with Jesel included driving the 100th anniversary Miller High Life -sponsored car in the June 29 race at the Milwaukee Mile. After the race, then Miller Brewing Co. Motorsports Manager Sigmund Wysocki said Blount was a "very talented and personable young man."(Penske Racing PR)(9-28-2004)

  • Gaughan Expects to be back in the #77 in 2005: Brendan Gaughan told MRN/Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody Tuesday that he expects to remain in the Penske/Jasper Racing Kodak Dodge. "I'm sitting here in the shop, signing a pile of pictures and posters and diecast cars," said Gaughan. "Everyone is talking to me, we're working on cars for the rest of the year...everything's just like it ever was. If I'm getting fired, they've got a funny way of letting me know." Responding to published reports of unhappiness with the team's performance, Gaughan laughed, "No kidding. There's nobody that wants to run well more than I do. I'm not happy with the way things have gone, either, but we're working hard to improve our performances, and I honestly think you'll see some results before the end of the season. We're getting some new cars to work with, and I think it's going to make a big difference."(MRN/Sirius Speedway Sirius Radio Show)(9-23-2004)

  • #77 Evaluating...Kvapil in 2005? UPDATE Kvapil denies: Penske-Jasper Racing officials are exploring "all options" with regard to its #77 Kodak Dodges in 2005, including a driver change if necessary, teams sources confirmed Sunday. Rookie Brendan Gaughan has struggled this season in the car, which is owned jointly by Penske Racing South and Jasper Motorsports. Prior to Sunday’s race he was 31st in points with one top-10 finish and has failed to finish eight races. Team officials have made no secret of late of their desire to see performance pick up with the team. Gaughan, who led the Craftsman Truck Series with six wins last season, declined comment Sunday.(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND Changes are expected with the #77 Penske-Jasper Dodge. Travis Kvapil, the 2003 truck series champion, has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Brendan Gaughan. On Saturday, Kvapil showed total focus, winning despite the turmoil at Bang Racing involving a possible split from Toyota and the loss of teammate Mike Skinner. Certainly Penske-Jasper would be a more stable situation, but Penske South G.M. John Erickson says nothing will happen before the end of the season.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(9-20-2004)
    UPDATE: Kvapil also denied rumors published last weekend that he was in line to replace Las Vegan Brendan Gaughan in the #77 Dodge for Penske/Jasper Racing in the Nextel Cup Series. "It's that time of year for rumors," Kvapil said. "No one from Penske has talked to me." Meshkin, a native of Washington, D.C., said he expects to make an official announcement about his NASCAR plans in 45 to 60 days and it could include a second part-time team in the Busch series. He also said Kvapil will compete in some truck races next year to support one of the team's sponsors that makes products geared to pick-up trucks.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(9-22-2004)

  • Gaughan Being Pressed? Rookie #77 Brendan Gaughan is being pressed quietly to pick up his performance in the final 10 Nextel Cup races by his Penske Racing South team. The first-year Cup driver and veteran of the Truck series apparently is being held to the same standard as Ryan Newman, who has 10 wins, 41 top fives, 23 poles and a rookie of the year award in his third full Cup season for Penske. Gaughan has denied there is a performance clause in his contract.(St Petersburg Times)(9-14-2004)

  • Nice Gesture: The #77 Kodak-sponsored Dodge driven by Brendan Gaughan had a different look for this week at Watkins Glen, featuring two pink ribbons with the words “Kodak Mammography Film” on the hood. The company's Health Imaging Group decided that its effort to promote better breast health for women could reach a large audience through NASCAR. NASCAR claims that more than 30 million women in the United States are fans of the sport. Kodak teamed with The Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports to send out its message. For more information, log on to www.waminc.org or www.komen.org.or call WAM at (704) 455-9299. Gaughan's grandmother Margot Crow is a survivor of breast cancer. His Penske-Jasper team pledged 10 percent of its winnings to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The team's pit crew promised to donate the bonuses paid to them for their performances. Car owner Doug Bawel and Gaughan pledged to match the amount earned by the crew.(Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)(8-16-2004)

  • Here is a new one, Gaughan's ride in trouble? Gaughan doesn't saeem to think so... the Winston Salem Journal is reporting.....elsewhere in the garage, officials at Roger Penske say that they need to see improvement in the Brendan Gaughan-Shane Wilson team, but they set no time frame. Jamie McMurray's name has been mentioned as a possible candidate. But Gaughan says he's confident. Yesterday he had a good car until getting caught up in Jeff Burton's crash. "I've been saying it the last few weeks that we're getting new race cars, and now we can compared apples to apples," Gaughan said. "Last week we got back on track at Loudon (finishing 22nd), we were on the lead lap and had a very solid Dodge. This week we came back from a pit road penalty, got our lap back twice. We made an error on the 'lucky dog' deal and put ourselves back down a lap but got our lap back twice. We were good enough to run in the top-10. The team is coming, man. I'm starting to get excited."(Winston Salem Journal) - NOTE: been told that McMurray's 2005 option is Ganassi's option.(8-2-2004)

  • New car chief for the #77: Rodney Childers will take over Car Chief responsibilities of the #77 Kodak/Jasper Engines Dodge beginning at Pocono Raceway, next week. Childers replaces Kevin Kidd who has accepted a Race Engineer position with another NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team. Childers is a former Jasper Motorsports employee; he joined the #77 team in January 2003.(Penske Racing PR)(7-20-2004)

  • Rusty and Kodak UPDATE also special scheme for Gaughan: Rusty Wallace is scheduled to run a Kodak paint scheme on his #2 Dodge at Watkins Glen in August, marking the first time Wallace will drive with another sponsor since he has been with the Miller Brewing Company. Kodak's main headquarters are located in Rochester, N.Y., and this opportunity now gives them more exposure on the track along with Wallace's teammate Brendan Gaughan, who is also sponsored by Kodak.(RacingOne)(4-8-2004)
    UPDATE: Rusty Wallace's Penske Racing South Dodge will feature Kodak as its primary sponsor in the Aug. 15 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International due to a unique cooperative effort between Penske Racing South, Miller Brewing Company and Eastman Kodak Company. Miller, which has been Wallace's primary sponsor since 1990, will be an associate sponsor on the car for the Sirius at The Glen. It marks the first time Wallace has not carried a Miller brand on his car as his primary sponsor in nearly 15 years. The unique marketing arrangement emerged earlier this year when executives with the three companies were discussing business and marketing objectives for the 2004 season. Miller Brewing Company has been involved with Penske's on-track efforts since 1985, initially with open-wheel star Danny Sullivan when he won the Indianapolis 500. Kodak is in its inaugural season with Penske Racing South, having signed a multi-year agreement to sponsor rookie Brendan Gaughan's Dodge. Gaughan's car will feature a paint scheme focusing on Kodak's Health and Imaging Division at The Glen. The two-car promotion provides Kodak with a major presence on the historical road course that the Rochester, N.Y.-based company considers its home facility.(Penske Racing PR) see an image of the car on my #2 Team Paint Schemes page or Paint Scheme Gallery page.(7-9-2004)

  • #77 Crew Chief Fined: Shane Wilson, crew chief for the #77 Dodge driven by Brendan Gaughan, has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. He was found in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (unapproved fuel cell container modification).(NASCAR PR)(6-30-2004)

  • Gaughan and PR Rep escape injury: Nextel Cup rookie Brendan Gaughan and his public relations representative, Terry Jarrell, escaped injury Thursday night in a head-on collision in San Francisco. After the wreck, the other driver attempted to drive away, striking other cars, Gaughan said. "He got blocked in, the police got him, no one got hurt and the good guys prevailed," he said. Gaughan was on his way to a media appearance. "We figure we got the crash out of the way," he said. "We can let that be the crash of the weekend and let Avis take care of that."(ThatsRacin.com)(6-26-2004)

  • New Penske Shop? UPDATE: hearing that Penske Racing South [#2, #12, #77] has purchased the Matsushita building in Mooresville, NC. Hoping to move in the 415,000 sq ft /105 acre property in Dec 2004. The building is located at Mazeppa Road and NC, 801.(5-11-2004)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing South said Tuesday it will remain in Mooresville, moving its three NASCAR teams to the vacant Matsushita Compressor Corp. of America building in the Mooresville Business Park. "I absolutely did not want to leave Mooresville," said Don Miller, president of Penske Racing. The team is currently located in Lakeside Park at Exit 36, and is one of the original racing tenants there. The decision to stay in Mooresville came in the face of pressure from nearby cities to relocate Penske's operations. Concord, which recently lured Chip Ganassi Racing from Mooresville, lobbied especially hard, Miller said. Penske has already placed a down payment on the Matsushita facility, and is awaiting final approval from banks and the Environmental Protection Agency to renovate and move in. In buying the 400,000-square-foot building, nearly as large as eight football fields, Penske is taking over a facility that has been vacant since 2001. "We're excited that it's not a vacant building (any longer)," said Melanie O'Connell Underwood, director of economic development for the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce, and manager of the Mooresville Business Park. "(Penske racing) is one of the first race shops in town, so they have career employees," Underwood said, commenting on the difficulty of relocation for employees. "That (Penske is) staying shows their belief in their employees, and Don Miller's belief that he wanted to be near the sport that he grew." Penske Racing South, which fields teams for drivers #2-Rusty Wallace, #12-Ryan Newman and rookie #77-Brendan Gaughan, has been in Mooresville since 1991. About 200 employees will work at the new facility. Penske Racing South plans to continue operations at the Auto Research Center wind tunnel facility at Lakeside Park, and at Penske-Jasper Engines in Concord. As for making changes to the Matsushita building, Miller said it would be the "finest facility in racing." He added that a 300-foot walk would be built above the shop area so fans can see the operations in action. Those operations will comprise about 227,000 square feet, he said. The rest will be leased, perhaps to another race-related business.(Mooresville Tribune - need to register)(6-24-2004)

  • Penske Racing Fair & balanced method: that's the way team shop foreman Gary Brooks explained the allocation of new race cars after Rusty's Miller Lite Team received the new PRS-75 they are racing in the Dodge/Save Mart 350 this weekend. "With Brendan (Gaughan) and his team switching over to our in-house chassis, we are handling the situation quite well," Gary explained. "Brendan's team joins the rotation with Rusty and Ryan - getting every third new chassis. Then, to speed up the process of making sure all three teams are running the same cars, each time the No. 2 or No. 12 team gets a new chassis, they'll also send over one they already have in their stable to the No. 77 team. That's a pretty fair and balanced method of getting the job done."(TRPR)(6-23-2004)

  • Think Sponsors Don't Care about drivers actions? Brendan Gaughan barely had been in the Jasper Engines and Transmissions office in Atlanta for a minute, hardly had pulled back his hand from the firm shake with a sponsor that could give him his first full-time ride in Nextel Cup. The inevitable question came quickly. "Tell me about Homestead," asked Bud Denker, Kodak's vice president of brand and market development. Gaughan gulped, then did what he does second best. He started talking. Talking too much had gotten him into this mess about 72 hours earlier at Homestead. Gaughan had entered the final race of the NASCAR truck series schedule leading in points for his father's Orleans Racing team. He was running in the top 10 with 31 laps left when Marty Houston, making his first truck start in three years, caused an accident that wrecked Gaughan. His title hopes dashed, Gaughan blasted fellow Dodge team owner Jimmy Smith for entering an unusually high five trucks, at least one of which Gaughan felt was being handled by an unqualified driver. "Jimmy Smith can kiss my a--," Gaughan said. See full article at the St Petersburg Times.
    Because sponsor support underpins their careers, drivers are obliged to heed concerns over behavior, either perceived or documented. Both 2002 champion Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch were ordered into anger counseling the past two years. Though Caterpillar stood behind rookie Scott Wimmer through his conviction in June for driving while impaired, there are likely to be in-house consequences beyond the 60-day suspended sentence and 24 hours of community service he received in court.(6-20-2004)

  • "and your little dog too......" #24-Jeff Gordon, #77-Brendan Gaughan and #38-Elliott Sadler are three of four cars that are scheduled to run "The Wizard of Oz" 65th Anniversary paint schemes at Kansas in October. Dorothy's dog Toto will replace the Pedigree dog on the No. 38, while Jeff Gordon will sport a rainbow colored car featuring the Cowardly Lion.(RacingOne)(5-29-2004)

  • Newman and Gaughan to run a carbon monoxide removing device: #77-Brendan Gaughan tested a Carbon monoxide removal device unit May 5 at Richmond International Raceway during his team's test there. Gaughan and teammate #12-Ryan Newman plan to use the unit in Saturday night's Chevy 400 at the .75-mile Richmond track. Paul Rochotte and a group from Penske Racing and NASA - yes, the rocket science people - have been working on the device for more than a year now. The device weighs less than 3 pounds and looks like a large Thermos bottle. The black carbon-fiber housing contains two filters. The first that uses carbon to take out nasty things like sulfur dioxide from race car emissions. Carbon monoxide goes right through that, however, so the second filter contains a catalyst with a platinum base that was developed by NASA. That catalyst converts carbon monoxide, which is poisonous, into carbon dioxide, which is the natural by-product of breathing. Carbon monoxide poisoning became a major issue last year when driver Rick Mast announced that its effects had forced him to end his driving career. Other competitors have complained about having severe headaches and other symptoms after races. Some drivers still take oxygen immediately after races to help clean the dangerous gas out of their system. NASCAR has worked to develop a filtering system that would improve the quality of air being breathed by competitors. What the folks at Penske Racing have been doing is working on their own system in hopes of making something even better.(paraphrased from a full story at ThatsRacin.com)(5-13-2004)

  • New Penske Shop? hearing that Penske Racing South [#2, #12, #77] has purchased the Matsushita building in Mooresville, NC. Hoping to move in the 415,000 sq ft /105 acre property in Dec 2004. The building is located at Mazeppa Road and NC, 801.(5-11-2004)

  • Did ya know? Brendan Gaughan was on fire during Sunday's Golden Corral 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Literally. Gaughan lost several laps when he was forced to pit after an electrical fire erupted in the cockpit of his #77 Kodak Penske-Jasper Racing Dodge. "I had a fire for a good five, six laps and kept going 'maybe it will go out, guys,' " Gaughan said, "and finally it wasn't going to go out so we had to come in and put it out. I believe in Bill Simpson. What can I say; I feel safe in my Impact stuff." Impact Racing is the new company safety pioneer Bill Simpson formed after he parted ways with Simpson Safety Equipment in 2001.(Las Vegas Sun)(3-18-2004)

  • Series Champ gets to test Cup car: Championship Auto Racing Series says its 2004 Stock Car and Super Truck points champions plus a "wildcard driver" in each division will get to test Penske-Jasper Racing's No. 77 Nextel Cup Dodge at season's end. The sanctioning body says it is running the program in conjunction with Jasper Engines & Transmissions and Indianapolis Raceway Park.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-10-2004)

  • Gaughan the Punisher: Marvel’s underground super hero, The Punisher, comes to the big screen in April 2004. To celebrate the nationwide theatrical release, Kodak & #77 Penske/Jasper Racing will run a special paint scheme during the NEXTEL Cup event in Bristol on March 28. This paint scheme will feature The Punisher and character and have an edgy design highlighted by black and red paint splatters.(3-5-2004)

  • No Radio Shack: been told the rumored associate sponsor deal between the #77 Team and Radio Shack has fallen through.(2-8-2004)

  • Penske and Sirius Satellite Radio: Penske Corporation and SIRIUS Satellite Radio announced Friday an agreement designed to utilize motorsports as a platform to bring satellite radio to race fans across the country. SIRIUS Satellite Radio logos will appear on Penske Racing Team entries competing in NASCAR Nextel Cup and the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series commencing with events at Daytona International Speedway today. The sponsorship is an extension of a business to business agreement previously announced by SIRIUS aimed at expanding the availability of SIRIUS Satellite Radio services to new car and truck purchasers and lessees. "Racing is the common thread throughout our organization and a natural environment for us to highlight the SIRIUS brand to our fans in NASCAR and IndyCar." said Roger S. Penske, Chairman of Penske Corporation. "We are delighted that drivers Rusty Wallace, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Newman, Sam Hornish, Jr., and Brendan Gaughan will be competing under a SIRIUS Satellite Radio banner."(Penske Racing PR)(2-6-2004)

  • RadioShack to sponsor a team? #77? #1? UPDATE 4 ?? RadioShack will shortly announce a NASCAR team deal that will see it serve as primary sponsor on a car for a handful of races, today's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The story does not say which NASCAR series the sponsorship is scheduled for.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter), RadioShack has been linked in the past the the Hall of Fame Racing team [Aikman and Staubach as owners](1-22-2004)
    UPDATE: two sources hear it'll be the #77 Dodge, another says it will be the #1 DEI Chevy in a few selects races.(1-24-2004)
    UPDATE 2: and yet another source tells me it is the #4 Morgan McClure Chevy team who RadioShack will sponsor.(1-27-2004)
    UPDATE 3: now hearing that RadioShack will NOT sponsor any Cup teams in 2004?(1-29-2004)
    UPDATE 4: not sure what is happening with this rumor, seems a bit 'out of control', but have been told, RadioShack [Shaq?] will NOT be the sponsor for the #4 Morgan McClure team, HOWEVER, they could sponsor the #77 Dodge in the Budweiser Shootout and put either Steve Park or Jeff Green in the car. Both won poles in 2003, but are not otherwise entered in the race.(1-30-2004)
    AND being told by sources that this deal will go to the #77 with Radio Shack as an associate sponsor.(2-2-2004)

  • Gaughan looks to go faster UPDATE Breaks Record: Driving a 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 powered by a Dodge Viper engine, Brendan Gaughan [driver of the #77 Kodak Dodge] will attempt to break the record of 147 mph set last August by a Ford SVT F-150 Lightning at the Chelsea Proving Grounds in Michigan. "The speed they told me that we have to do -- even I was nervous," Gaughan, a NASCAR Nextel Cup rookie, said Thursday. "It's a stock pickup truck, right off the factory line. The record is 149 or something like that and we're going to beat that ... and I've been told we'll beat it very easily." To qualify for the record and certification by Guinness World Records, the truck must be identical to what a customer can find at a local Dodge dealer. Gaughan's speed will be measured over a kilometer, and the record speed is derived from an average of his speeds in both directions on the 4.71-mile, high-speed oval.(Las Vegas Sun)(1-31-2004)
    UPDATE: The Dodge Ram SRT-10 unleashed its Viper power today, taking its place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "World's Fastest Production Pickup Truck." Only recently off the Saltillo, Mexico, assembly line and not modified in any way for additional power or enhanced aerodynamics, the Dodge Ram SRT-10 posted a two-lap, both-directions average speed of 154.587 mph over a "flying kilometer" on the 4.71-mile oval at the DaimlerChrysler Proving Grounds here in Chelsea. The record run by the Dodge Ram SRT-10 was certified by Guinness World Records and the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). The previous record was 147.54 mph, set last July by the Ford SVT F-150 Lightning, before the Dodge Ram SRT-10 went into production.
    "When we set out to develop the Dodge Ram SRT-10, our mission was to create the ultimate performance truck," said Dan Knott, Director, Street and Racing Technology. "With 500 horsepower, sports car-like handling, world-class braking and race-inspired design appointments, we know we reached our goal. Setting the Guinness record today simply confirms that, and solidifies the Ram SRT-10 as the ultimate -- and fastest -- performance pickup."
    According to Guinness World Records rules, the record speed had to be the average of two one-kilometer runs in opposite directions along the same track, made within an hour of one another. The timing equipment had to be certified as accurate to within 1/1000th of a second, and supplied and operated by a qualified third party. The speed of each run was timed by means of sensors at the start and finish of the measured kilometer, thus giving an average speed over the full distance.
    The Dodge Ram SRT-10 is the third Dodge vehicle branded with the Street and Racing Technology label, following the Dodge Viper SRT-10 -- the ultimate American sports car -- and the award-winning 230 horsepower Dodge SRT-4, that has taken the sport compact "tuner" crowd by storm.
    Behind the wheel of the Ram SRT-10 in the record-setting run was Brendan Gaughan, a six-time winner in a Dodge Ram in the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). Gaughan makes his NASCAR Nextel Cup debut later this month at the Daytona 500 in the No. 77 Kodak Dodge.
    "I've certainly driven some fast trucks," Gaughan said, "but I've certainly never experienced anything like setting a Guinness world record. I've known for a long time that the Dodge Ram is the ultimate truck for the race track, and this certainly proves the Ram SRT-10 is the ultimate performance truck for the street."
    Hein Le Roux, research team member at Guinness World Records traveled from the company's London headquarters to monitor the record run.
    "I'm pleased to be here in Chelsea for this record-breaking attempt," Le Roux said. "Guinness World Records is the ultimate compilation of superlatives, and I am proud to officially recognize that Dodge has set a new Guinness World Record." Le Roux said watching the record-setting speed run was a great way to begin the new year, in which Guinness World Records celebrates 50 years of world records.
    "People aren't too surprised when they hear about expensive super cars or race cars setting speed records," he added. "But few people expect a standard production pickup truck, which they can drive straight off the dealer lot, to be capable of this sort of speed. That's what makes this such a great Guinness World Record."
    With a Guinness World Record now under its belt, the stock Dodge Ram SRT-10 now heads to Florida, where it will pace the field at the Feb. 13 Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NCTS race at Daytona International Speedway.(Clear!Blue, LLC PR)(2-2-2004)

  • Cool Helmet: Brendan Gaughan will wear a special helmet in the Daytona 500. It was signed by an Army unit stationed at the Baghdad (Iraq) Airport. "We got the second guy who interrogated Sadaam Hussein on here," Gaughan said. "I've been given permission to wear it in the Daytona 500, so this is it. I've got to support the troops."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-7-2004)

  • #77 Announcement Tuesday UPDATE, OFFICIAL: hearing the announcement of the long rumored Kodak and Brendan Gaughan to the #77 {Ford to Dodge] ride with Penske buying into the Jasper Motorsports team will be announced on Tuesday, Jan 6th.(1-5-2004)
    UPDATE: Eastman Kodak Company and Penske Performance, Inc. announced that Kodak would sponsor Penske-Jasper Racing Company's #77 Dodge for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. The companies forged a multi-year agreement for Kodak to be the primary sponsor of the #77 Dodge, which will be driven by Brendan Gaughan. Gaughan, the 2002 "Rookie of the Year" in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, won eight races over two full seasons and finished fourth in the Truck Series point standings in 2003.
    "Kodak has had a long and rewarding relationship with NASCAR and we are pleased to be continuing with our race team program with this great sport and its fans," said Carl Gustin, Chief Marketing Officer, and Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. "We are excited to be aligned with Penske, one of the premier organizations in all of motor sports."
    The #77 Kodak-sponsored Dodge will be co-owned by Jasper Engine Exchange, Inc., a long-time Penske business partner, and will have the benefits of its relationship with Penske's other NEXTEL Cup teams, the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, driven by Rusty Wallace, and the #12 Alltel Dodge, driven by Ryan Newman. "Having the opportunity to partner with Kodak brings a tremendous amount of credibility to our race team and I look forward to the business-to-business opportunities that will develop from this new relationship," said Roger Penske.
    Kodak plans to utilize its race team sponsorship and its NASCAR Official Imaging Sponsor status as a marketing platform for many of its 2004 strategic initiatives. Kodak will adorn the #77 Dodge with a wide representation of Kodak's digitally-oriented products and services, including KODAK EASYSHARE digital cameras and its OFOTO online photo fulfillment service (www.ofoto.com). Kodak will leverage its digital leadership through a variety of racing-related programs, such as using in-car KODAK EASYSHARE cameras, utilizing its OFOTO service for print fulfillment and incorporating race team content on KODAK PictureMaker kiosks. Additionally, Kodak plans to enable a system for fans to purchase NASCAR photos at the track, at retail and online through various KODAK digital services.
    Kodak will continue its Retail Partner Program, where select retailers will partner with Kodak's racing program, beginning with Eckerd Corporation at the Daytona 500 in February 2004. Kodak expects to have 15 to 20 partners participate in this program throughout the season. Through its Entertainment Imaging operations, Kodak plans to engage movie studio customers to market new releases. In 2003, Kodak teamed up with Walt Disney Pictures to promote "The Pirates of the Caribbean" release at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
    "I am thrilled to get this opportunity and thankful to so many people," said Brendan Gaughan. "I appreciate the confidence that Kodak and the Penske organization have shown in my abilities, and I'm very excited about the opportunity to represent Kodak, one of the most respected brands and companies in the world. To drive the Kodak Dodge for an organization the caliber of Penske-Jasper Racing is a dream come true. I can't wait for the 2004 season to begin."
    Jasper Engine Exchange and Transmissions, Inc., which has been the primary sponsor of the #77 Jasper car for the past 13 seasons, will become an associate sponsor with the new race team. Jasper will be identified as the primary sponsor in several races each year. In addition to its sponsorship, Jasper will provide engineering support and power train development to the Kodak-sponsored #77 Dodge.
    For the past 18 years, Kodak has been identified with the #4 car, teamed with Morgan-McClure Motorsports. Kodak will remain with the Morgan-McClure team as an associate sponsor. The Kodak and Morgan McClure relationship has resulted in 14 Winston Cup wins, including 3 Daytona 500 victories in 1991, 1994 and 1995. "We thank Larry McClure and Morgan-McClure Motorsports for our long-standing relationship with them," said Gustin. "We wish them the best of luck as a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competitor in the coming seasons. Kodak, EasyShare and Ofoto are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company [www.kodak.com].(Yahoo Biz)
    see two images of the car on my #77 Team Paint Schemes page [both will load] or on my 2004 Paint Schemes page.(1-6-2004)

  • Gaughan to test #77 at Daytona: Firming up reports that Craftsman Truck contender Brendan Gaughan will drive for a third Penske Racing team in 2004, Gaughan has been listed as driver for the #77 team in season-opening tests next week at Daytona International Speedway. Although no official announcements have been made, for whatever reasons, it has been rumored for a month that Penske would acquire, or become partner, in the #77 team heretofore owned by Jasper Engines principal Doug Bawel. Penske and Jasper had developed an increasingly close relationship, beginning in engine development, over the past year or so. Kodak, 15-year sponsor of the Morgan-McClure team, was known to be on the move in October and had examined possibilities with several top racing organizations. Apparently, the company has reached agreement with Penske, although details are not final. Kodak, reports indicate, would become sponsor of the #77, which would become a team car with the #2 of Rusty Wallace and the #12 of Ryan Newman, currently in the Penske stable. How Gaughan entered the picture is not clear. Gaughan, 28, has run two full seasons in Trucks, contending for the championship last season with his Las Vegas-based team, owned by his father, casino/hotel magnate Michael Gaughan. Gaughan led the circuit with six race victories but was knocked out of the title hunt in an early wreck in the season finale at Miami/Homestead.
    Penske has developed his two current stock-car teams via acquisition, taking over the debt-ridden Raymond Beadle organization in 1991 (with Wallace) and connecting with the former Newman-Haas team in 2000, transforming it into a vehicle for young Newman, who led the Cup circuit in wins and poles last season. The Gaughan/77 entry offers an interesting opening to the 2004 news season, with testing beginning Jan. 6. Teams which finished last season in the odd-numbered positions (1-3-5 etc.) in the owner points will test Jan. 6-8. The even-numbered finishers (2-4-6 etc.) will have the track Jan. 13-15. The NASCAR part of Speedweeks opens with Daytona 500 pole qualifying Feb. 7. The Daytona 500, which honestly opens the 2004 season, is Feb. 15..(Speed Channel)(1-3-2004)

    2003 News

  • Wilburn to the #77: After more than a decade, Billy Wilburn has left the #2 car to join Penske Racing's newly acquired #77 team as shop foreman. Not only will Wilburn be an asset to first-time Cup crew chief Shane Wilson at the shop, he will work closely with him at the racetrack as well. Rick Carpenter will be team manager.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(12-31-2003)

  • What will the #77 look like? UPDATE more; Blaney in 4 races? hearing the new paint scheme for the #77 [not #72] will be Kodak gold with a red stripe on the sides and black trim on the hood and front fenders. The Jasper Engines logo is on the lower rear quarter panels and a small one on the front of the hood. As we 'know' rumor has had it for over a month now that Brendan Gaughan will drive the car, which is supposedly being bought into, full or part time by Penske, Shane Wilson as the crew chief. Also rumored is a number switch to #72, however sightenings of the car indicate it'll be #77. Rumors had the announcement last week but it never came.(12-24-2003)
    UPDATE: didn't hear it myself and got no response to email to the station, but a few readers reported that a few days ago on a local Jasper, IN radio station [WITZ] interview with #77 owner Doug Bawel about the changes with the team: Brendan Gaughan will drive the #77 Kodak Dodge, joining with Penske, however Bawel didn't mention anything about a number change to 72. ALSO, supposedly he said that Dave Blaney would drive four races for them in a 4th Penske Jasper car this year [didn't say which races].(12-28-2003)
    AND..... heard it was anounced last week at the Jasper factory that Brendan Gaughan is the new driver, with Kodak sponsorship. The car number supposedly will be #77 and in four races in 2004 with the old Jasper paint scheme to be used to transition into the new scheme.(12-29-2003)

  • Blaney to the #4? from FoxSports/Larry McReynolds: rumor has it that Dave Blaney may be moving to Morgan McClure since Penske reportedly has bought the Jasper car. It sounds like Kodak may go to the new Penske car, and Truck Series driver Brendan Gaughan will go to that ride as well. Penske also is thinking of changing the number on that car. I think they were talking about #72 to go with the #2 and #12 cars. When you think about it, it's going to be a completely revamped team with a new owner, a new driver, a new sponsor, a new number and a new manufacturer because now it's going to be a Dodge. And obviously there will be a new crew chief too [Shane Wilson] ]because Bootie Barker left there last season, and they never really replaced him for the final few races. I don't know if you can say anything will be the same.(FoxSports)(12-23-2003)

  • More on Gaughan to the #77 NO announcement: Brendan Gaughan is expected to become the second Las Vegas native to drive full time in the top NASCAR stock-car racing series next year when he joins Penske Racing South. Gaughan, 28, could sign Thursday with the team owned by motorsports legend Roger Penske, according to anonymous sources. Rumors have been prevalent on racing Internet sites about Gaughan's ascension to the country's top series, possibly with sponsorship from Kodak. Adding to that speculation was the recent resignation of Shane Wilson from the Orleans Racing team. Wilson had been Gaughan's crew chief and team manager in the truck series the past three years and is to begin working today at Penske's shop near Charlotte, NC. The Orleans team is looking for a replacement for Wilson, who played an important role in the success of Gaughan's truck team. Another source said Steve Park [see story below], a veteran of the Cup series, will replace Gaughan in the Orleans truck.(see full story at the Las Vegas Review Journal) and past news and rumors on this on my #77 Team News and Links page. Look for an announcement on Friday [Dec 19th - didn't happen on the 18th as I had heard](12-17-2003)
    UPDATE: Las Vegas' Brendan Gaughan, rumored to be heading to Penske's new team as the driver, is on vacation and not responding to questions about his future with Penske. Wally McCarty, director of marketing for Penske Racing South, said the team would announce its 2004 team plans "by the end of the year" and would neither confirm nor deny published reports that have Gaughan running the 2004 Nextel Cup season in a third Penske car.(Las Vegas Sun)(12-19-2003)
    NOTE: well.....the announcement never came Thurs or Fri.....so I guess we wait.(12-20-2003)
    BUT been told a #77 Kodak Dodge has been spotted at Penske Racing in Mooresville.(12-21-2003)

  • New #77 Crew Chief? UPDATE: hear Steven Lane is close to being named new crew chief at the #77 Ford [to be Dodge], once the Kodak sponsorship goes into place. He was with Petty Enterprises until a few weeks ago, but worked for Penske prior to that as a car chief.(12-1-2003)
    BUT: also hearing that Shane Wilson, Gaughan Truck Series crew chief will follow gim over and be the crew chief of the #77 team when announced.(12-11-2003)
    UPDATE: Shane Wilson, who has served as Brendan Gaughan's crew chief in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series the past two seasons, will assume the same role with Gaughan when he moves into the Nextel Cup Series in 2004, ThatsRacin.com has learned. Sources confirmed Friday that Wilson had accepted the crew chief role for the still-to-be-announced Penske Racing/Jasper Motorsports team that will be formed from Jasper's #77 team. A formal announcement outlining the details about the new team, including the car number, the sponsor, driver and the move to Dodge should come within the next week [Dec 18th?], sources said. Sources have confirmed the team's driver will be Gaughan, who led the Truck series with six wins this season. He will become the sixth member of the 2004 Cup rookie class, joining Brian Vickers, Kasey Kahne, Scott Wimmer, Scott Riggs and Johnny Sauter. Wilson, a native of Vermont, has worked in the NASCAR All-Pro series and was a former employee at Hendrick Motorsports, where he worked with driver Jack Sprague in the Truck series. Wilson has served as general manager and crew chief for Gaughan's Truck team, which is owned by Gaughan's father, Michael Gaughan. Wilson and Brendan Gaughan's departure leaves a clouded future for the #62 Dodge team.(ThatsRacin.com), supposedly the announcement will be Dec 18th.(12-13-2003)
    AND still hearing the car number will change to #72, to follow along with Penske's other car #'s, #2 and #12.
    UPDATE 2: Orleans Racing, which has fielded the #62 Dodge for Truck series driver Brendan Gaughan the past two seasons, will return in 2004 and in a much-expanded fashion. Sources have confirmed Gaughan and his Truck series crew chief, Shane Wilson, are moving to the Nextel Cup Series next season with the yet-to-be-announced Penske Racing/Jasper Motorsports team. However, Gaughan said Saturday whatever his future may entail, it would not affect his current team, which is owned by his father, Michael Gaughan, and based in Las Vegas. Regarding his own future, Gaughan would only say he had not signed any contract to drive in Cup, but he said the Truck team was well-prepared for the possibility of him not driving the #62. In addition to at least one full-time Truck team next season, Orleans Racing plans to field an entry for driver Scott Lynch in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West series, formerly known as the Winston West series. Lynch won the series title this season as a rookie, handing Dodge its first championship in the division since 1976. Lynch may also run some Truck races in 2004. Gaughan said announcements regarding the Truck team, including the #62's sponsor for next season, were expected soon.(ThatsRacin.com)(12-14-2003)

  • More on the #77 - Dec 18th UPDATE 2: There's going to be more clarification in the next couple of weeks about where Kodak is going. A lot of rumors have speculated the company was going to wind up with Jack Roush, but the sources [Jeff Hammond has] heard are now saying pretty emphatically that it will wind up going over to a third Penske car. Been told that an announcement will come on December 18.(FoxSports)(12-2-2003)
    UPDATE: The Penske-Jasper Motorsports deal to share ownership of the #77 team and bring it under the Penske and Dodge umbrella is all but completed, ThatsRacin.com has learned. A formal announcement of the merger should be made within two weeks. NASCAR Truck series driver Brendan Gaughan is to join the team, sources said. “We should know a lot more very soon. Until then, there isn’t much for me to say,” said Penske vice president, Don Miller, in New York for this weekend’s Winston Cup awards ceremony. Miller and team owner Roger Penske have said they were considering a third Nextel Cup team next season after being approached by Kodak, which could be the team’s sponsor. Sources said the remaining issues in the Penske-Jasper deal included contracts with the sponsor and a new driver as well as those related to the #77 team and its current driver, Dave Blaney. Blaney would not remain with the team under the new deal. However, he may well join another Cup operation, sources said. Who would serve as crew chief as the new team remains unclear, but sources said Gaughan’s Truck series crew chief, Shane Wilson, and Bill Wilburn, who recently stepped down as crew chief for Penske Cup driver Rusty Wallace, were both under consideration.(ThatsRacin.com), have also heard Steven Lane could be the new crew chief.(12-4-2003)
    UPDATE 2: hearing the # could be changed to #72, some rumors have John Andretti running some races in the car, but have heard nothing to back that up, most rumors and reports still have Brendan Gaughan in the car and Gaughan's Truck Series team looking for a new driver to run the full CTS season in 2004, could be Gaughan's Grand National Division, Winston West Series driver, Scott Lynch.(12-6-2003)

  • Waiting on Kodak; Burton to the #30? #99 to close? UPDATE 3 Burton staying: Kodak holds the key domino in the Cup garage. If its sponsorship goes to Penske, it's possible Penske would field a third team, in conjunction with Jasper Engines and with driver Brendan Gaughan. Though Dave Blaney signed a contract with Jasper last September, his future is uncertain. If Kodak's sponsorship goes to Roush, it would lock in Jeff Burton. Burton, though, appears to be the driver Richard Childress has been waiting for to drive the #30 AOL Chevy [although rumors have Johnny Sauter in the car also], if Burton's #99 team can't land Kodak or another sponsor [rumored sponsor for #99: Astra Zeneca.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)
    UPDATE: being told the #99 does not not get a sponsor within the next few days Burton will go to the #30 AOL Chevy and AOL will extend their contract from thru 2004, to thru 2006, otherwise Sauter would probably end up in the #30 and hearing the #77/Kodak/Gaughan deal is pretty much done and Kodak has made their decision. No word on what Blaney will do or his plans.(12-1-2003)
    UPDATE 2: being told the #99 could be the next team to shut down if no sponsor is found.(12-2-2003)
    UPDATE 3: The #99 team at Roush Racing has no sponsor for 2004, but it still has a driver. Jeff Burton said Tuesday he'll stay with the team he's been with since 1996, taking his name out of the speculation about the #30 AOL Chevrolets owned by Richard Childress. Childress has a news conference scheduled for Thursday in New York City to announce a driver for that car for next season. Sources have told The Charlotte Observer that Johnny Sauter is now the leading candidate for that position [see my #30 Team News and Links page for past rumors]. "I am committed to Roush Racing and Roush Racing is committed to me," Burton said. "We are in a position that we need to put a sponsor on our car. ...But we will field a well-funded, championship-contending race team next year. We are full-speed ahead." Burton did not specifically address the open seat in the #30 Chevrolets, but did say that other car owners have expressed interest in having him drive for their teams. "That has been flattering," Burton said. "But my allegiance is with Roush Racing. When things have been good, we've done them together, and when things have been bad we've gone through them together." Burton said that he is confident his team will sign a sponsor, but said Roush has assured him the #99 will run a full schedule in 2004 even if no sponsor can be signed.(ThatsRacin.com)(12-3-2003)

  • More on the #77 - Dec 18th: There's going to be more clarification in the next couple of weeks about where Kodak is going. A lot of rumors have speculated the company was going to wind up with Jack Roush, but the sources [Jeff Hammond has] heard are now saying pretty emphatically that it will wind up going over to a third Penske car. Been told that an announcement will come on December 18.(FoxSports)(12-2-2003)

  • Third Penske Team in 2004? UPDATE 3 Gaughan and Penske and Kodak? to the #77? Blaney OUT? The Kodak fact finding mission stopped at Roush Racing, BAM Racing, Bill Davis Racing, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and reportedly to Penske Racing South – where there is interest in starting a third team.(Ford Racing)(11-10-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Brendan Gaughan is "supposed" to go to a third Penske team next year, with Kodak sponsorship. Somehow, the whole (Kodak) deal is contingent on his winning the Truck Series championship.(11-14-2003)
    UPDATE 2 and more: Kodak's departure from the #4 Morgan-McClure car appears imminent [may stay as an assoc - Jayski]. Several organizations have bid on the Kodak account, including Dale Earnhardt Inc., BAM Racing and PPI Motorsports. Although DEI has been rumored to be the front-runner, Kodak officials were spotted at Penske Racing last weekend. Garage chatter has Craftsman Trucks driver Brendan Gaughan running a limited 2004 Nextel Cup schedule for Penske with eight-figure sponsor support from Kodak.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-17-2003)
    AND on Wednesday's Wind Tunnel show, Brendan Gaughan called in and said Dodge was working on a few race Cup deal for him in 2004, but he didn't know which team and that the 'rumor' was blown out of proportion.(11-20-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Don Miller Penske Racing South on XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio when asked if Penske is starting a third team: "This is where we are. We have been approached by another sponsor to run a third car. As You know it's Kodak. Kodak has come down in the Charlotte area and talked to half a dozen of the really good race teams and we just happen to be one of them. At this point, you know, nothing has been settled one way or the other but they have let us know that we are (one of the teams) in the final selection process."(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required)
    AND Penske Racing and Jasper Motorsports are considering an arrangement where they would split ownership of Jasper's #77 Fords and bring the team under the Penske umbrella next season. Truck series driver Brendan Gaughan is the preferred candidate for the ride if the new deal is completed, sources said. Dave Blaney, who currently drives the #77, would not return to the team next season. The completion of the deal rests largely on the team's ability to secure a sponsor and a decision in that regard could come as early as Monday. The Penske-Jasper deal is one of three teams from which Kodak, which bought out its remaining contract with Morgan-McClure Motorsports, will select as its new home in what will become the Nextel Cup Series in 2004, sources said. Kodak is expected to make a final decision by Monday, choosing offers from Penske, Roush Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. "There could be the possibility of a third team next season, but how that team is structured and who the driver would be remains up in the air," said Don Miller, Penske vice president, who was reached Friday by phone. Team owner Roger Penske, in an appearance on the Speed Channel show "Wind Tunnel" Thursday night, was asked by show host Dave Despain about a possible third Penske team. "There has been interest by our team to possibly look at a third car. Kodak has come back through and talked to four or five teams in Charlotte - they came to our shop and we made a proposal," Penske said. "At this particular time, we have interest, we have engine capability with our Penske Jasper program ... to bring another young driver in might be a real opportunity for us for next year." Asked specifically about Gaughan as a driver, Penske said, "Brendan is one of the young Dodge drivers and obviously with our relationship with Dodge with Rusty and Ryan, he could be a possibility." Gaughan, 28, won six races this season and led the series points entering the season finale at Homestead, Fla. He was involved in a wreck in the race and ended up fourth in points. If he gets the ride, Gaughan would become the third member of the 2004 Nextel Cup rookie class, joining Brian Vickers and Scott Riggs [and maybe Johnny Sauter and Kasey Kahne??]. Gaughan in is Mexico racing this week and was unavailable for comment. Several issues remain to be worked out before the Penske-Jasper deal is completed, including: the car's number; where the team would be based; the listed car owner; and whether it would keep car owner's points from the 2003 season. The team would join the Dodge camp and utilize Penske engines, sources said.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-21-2003)

  • Bootie gets a gig: former #77 crew chief, Robert 'Bootie' Barker, is the new crew chief for Jason Leffler and the #00 Haas CNC Racing Busch Series team, starting this weekend at Rockingham and for the 2004 season.(Speed Channel's coverage of Busch Series Qualifying)(11-7-2003)

  • Barker to be honored and UPDATE: This year Robert 'Bootie' Barker (crew chief for the #77 - currently on leave) will be one of only eleven receiving a 2003 ARETE. The ARETE Honors is a tribute to athletes who, by overcoming adversity, or by displaying pure excellence, exemplify the spirit of ARETE. Whether over an extended period or one heroic instant, their performance was such that humankind could not fail to recognize it. Known as the most inspirational award in sports, the ARETE Honors for Courage in Sports will pay tribute to select individuals who, by their refusal to accept limitations, demonstrate the best of mankind. The ARETE Honors will be hosted by Jim Nantz and aired on November 2, 2003 on CBS.(Intersport PR)(10-24-2003)
    UPDATE: Robert (Bootie) Barker, no longer Dave Blaney’s crew chief in Cup, is working for the rest of the season with the Busch Series team of Ashton Lewis Jr. Barker will likely work at Bill Davis Racing in some capacity next year.(Gaston Gazette)(10-26-2003)

  • Lipton Sides Joins the #77 as an Assoc for Atlanta: Lipton Sides, a Unilever Bestfoods brand, is joining forces with Jasper Motorsports this weekend in Atlanta to take advantage of the sponsor benefits NASCAR has to offer by promoting Lipton Sides. Lipton Sides will be displayed prominently on the hood and quarter panels of the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford Taurus in an effort to increase brand awareness among the 100,000 plus fans that will converge at Atlanta Motor Speedway, not to mention the millions of race fans who will attend by proxy through national television coverage on NBC. Understanding the hectic everyday life most Americans lead, Lipton Sides is positioned as an option to complete a meal in a hurry. They have harnessed the consumers’ need for an easier side dish and with more than 40 varieties of rice, pasta and noodle flavors the options are virtually endless. Cindy Lewis who looks after the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Racing Team as ‘Team Mom’ and prepares their meals is excited to about partnering with Lipton Sides. “The schedule does not always allow a lot of time for the guys to eat but I make sure they always have a good meal,” said Lewis. “With Lipton Sides all I have to do is worry about the main course. Lipton® Sides take 10 minutes [to prepare]. That leaves a lot of time for me to make sure the whole team eats.”(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-24-2003)

  • #77 to display flag and decals: On Thursday, October 23, 2003, the # 77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Racing Team along with driver, Dave Blaney, and team co-owner, Mark Harrah, will land at Robins Air force Base to attend a ceremony where they will receive a flag that was flown during Operation Iraqi Freedom in April and express their gratitude to Air Force and the Air National Guard for their services in support of the ground force troops. Prior to the flag presentation from Colonel James Jones, Commander, 116th Operations Group, Harrah and Blaney will unveil the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford Taurus the team plans to run at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The deck lid of the car will boast special decals honoring the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center and 116th Air Control Wing logos on the trunk. The ceremony will take place in front of the E-8C aircraft, also known as the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (J-STARS). JSTARS is the airborne battlefield management and peacekeeping system. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, JSTARS flew more than 50 missions in the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-21-2003)

  • Barker to Wells? or Roush? Andrews to Martin's team? Robert "Bootie" Barker, on leave of absence from Jasper Motorsprts #77, might be a crew chief candidate for one of Roush Racing's cars or Cal Wells' second car next season. Paul Andrews, crew chief for Jeff Burton, could be headed to teammate Mark Martin's #6 Ford, though owner Jack Roush says there has been no discussion about a change.(FoxSports/Sporting News)
    AND Robert (Bootie) Barker’s is expected to go back to Bill Davis Racing, his former employer.(Gaston Gazette)(10-20-2003)

  • Bootie Leaving? UPDATE 2 on leave of absence: hearing crew chief Robert 'Bootie' Barker and the #77 Jasper Motor Team will part ways at the end of the season?(10-11-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing Barker will not be with the team at Martinsville and team owner Mark Harrah will handle crew chief duties.(10-15-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Doug Bawel, Mark Harrah and Mark Wallace, co-owners of Jasper Motorsports, announced yesterday that they have come to a mutual agreement with Robert ‘Bootie’ Barker, crew chief for the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions NASCAR Winston Cup Series entry. Effective immediately, Barker is on leave of absence but still under contract with Jasper Motorsports. The decision came following the event in Charlotte.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-15-2003)

  • #77 to Dodge in 2004: many sources indicate that the #77 Jasper Motorsports team, just losing Ford suppoer for runnign a Dodge at Talladega, will make the switch ti Dodge in 2004.
    AND When Penske jumped from Ford to Dodge this season, he had 90 Ford engines race ready for Ryan Newman, Rusty Wallace and Blaney. But Penske didn't want his secret-engine technology falling into anyone else's hands, so Blaney was to continue running the Ford stuff until it was all used. And Blaney would then be switching to Dodge for 2004.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-3-2003)

  • Ford Cuts Loose the #77: Ford Racing Technology has dissolved its formal association with Jasper Motorsports in NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series. Jasper Motorsports, which was under contract to field the #77 Jasper Engines Ford Taurus for the entire 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, violated a fundamental provision in its agreement with Ford Motor Company by competing in last Sunday’s EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in a Dodge car. Over the weekend, Ford informed the team that it was in breach of contract. On Tuesday, the automaker declared the contract null and void and informed the team that it would repossess all existing Ford assets and discontinue further operational support. "What happened at Talladega was unacceptable," said Greg Specht, manager of Ford Racing Operations. "To be a Ford team, you have to run a Ford."(Ford Racing)
    And the response from the team: Jasper Motorsports has acknowledged Ford Racing’s option to terminate their contingency contract for running a competitors car in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway last week. Prior to running a Ford competitor’s product at Talladega, Mark Harrah, co-owner of Jasper Motorsports, called Greg Specht, manager of Ford Racing Operations. Specht informed Harrah that doing so would be cause for termination of the agreement between Ford and Jasper Motorsports. “I spoke with Greg, before we even made the decision,” said Harrah. “We meant no disrespect to Ford, but our contract was a minor contingency contract. The tangibles stated within the Ford contract were not enough to influence our decision,” he continued. “We were forced to look out for our sponsor. We took a chance in hopes to run more competitively and it paid off. It was our best finish at a superspeedway since February 2001.” Currently, Jasper Motorsports plans to run the Ford Taurus through the end of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Season. Despite Ford’s decision to negate the contract, Jasper Motorsports accepts and respects the resolution as a business decision. Currently the team is working with Ford to gratify the Termination Clause established in the contract of record that provides 30 days to acknowledge and close out the relationship.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-2-2003)

  • Special Decal on the #77 in Oct: Throughout the month of October, Dave Blaney will run a special purple ribbon decal on the hood of his #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month. In addition to the hood decal, the team will run a specially decorated deck lid on their NASCAR Winston Cup Series entry at Phoenix International Raceway on November 2 adorned with the names of individuals and companies who support an area volunteer-based victims assistance program, The Crisis Connection. The team is counting on the loyalty of NASCAR fan’s everywhere to take a stand in this fight. The names displayed on the deck lid will be agencies, companies or individuals who have donated $25 to The Crisis Connection, a not-for-profit organization. The funds will go towards the operational budgets of comprehensive, community-based outreach programs in the counties of Dubois, Spencer, Perry, Crawford, and Orange in southern Indiana. There are several sources to aide in the education on Domestic Violence. One of those sources is the National Domestic Violence Hotline - 800-799-SAFE (7233), or for TDD users -800-787-3224 (TDD).(10-1-2003)

  • #77 'Dodge' at Talladega? UPDATE Yep: hearing the #77 Jasper Motorsports team may run a Dodge instead of a Ford at Talladega at the end of the month. Penske-Jasper builde both Dodge engines [for the #2 and #12] and Ford engines [the #77].(9-6-2003)
    UPDATE: Jasper Motorsports has elected to field a Dodge for its driver Dave Blaney in this weekend's Winston Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. The team, which has used Fords since its inception, built a Dodge and sent it along with one of its Fords for a wind-tunnel test, and the results favored the Dodge, said Robert "Bootie" Barker, the team's crew chief. "We have had one of each built because we've struggled so bad at the restrictor-plate tracks. We took them to the wind tunnel and put both on the chassis dyno and the Dodge seemed to be a little better," he said. "Our deal is to bring the best piece you can to the track because we're here to win races. We were dead last before." Asked if Jasper was considering a permanent move to the Dodge camp, Barker said: "We're going right back to Ford, of course, for the next few races and try to do the best job we can, but you never know." In three restrictor-plate races at Daytona (two) and Talladega this season, Blaney has finished 24th, 23rd and 35th. He is 28th in series points.(ThatsRacin.com), am hearing that the team will switch to Dodge for 2004.(9-26-2003)

  • Lowe's Speeds? while it was reported that #42-Jamie McMurray was the fastest at Lowe's Motor Speedway testing last week, being told that the #55 Ford of Jeff Fultz, in a car prepared by Jasper Motorsports was clocked electronically with a speed of 178.867mph which betters McMurray's speed of 177.282 for day two. McMurray was the fastest overall, running a lap last Monday at 181.002 mph [Fultz was thrid day one at 180.391.(9-9-2003)

  • Blaney Back with the #77 in 2004? UPDATE: Dave Blaney, driver of the #77 Jasper Motorports Ford, should know Monday if his owners will renew his contract.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-30-2003)
    UPDATE: Jasper Engines' co-owner Doug Bawel says Dave Blaney will return to drive the No. 77 in 2004. Another year with crew chief Bootie Barker should benefit Blaney and the team.(Sporting News)(9-1-2003)

  • Said and the Bud Shootout: Twenty drivers already have qualified for the Budweiser Shootout next February at Daytona International Speedway. Of those 20, only 18 have current rides -- Boris Said and Geoffrey Bodine aren't full-time Winston Cup drivers. Said hopes to get a Jasper Motorsports car for the race, and he plans on running the ARCA race at Talladega in October to gain experience.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-24-2003)

  • Davis offers to terminate Ward's contract/Tracy and Childress? Blaney back to Davis?: Ward Burton said Bill Davis Racing has offered to terminate his contract with the #22 team for next season, but Burton isn't prepared to sign it yet, "It's an option to terminate our agreement for '04, Nov. 30. Obviously, I'm not going to sign it until I have an agreement with someone else." Burton has talked to other car owners but declined to name any. One of the car owners reportedly interested was Richard Childress. Childress and Burton said Friday at Watkins Glen International they have talked, but it was about hunting.(NASCAR.com) AND Ward Burton's future may be the second-hottest driver story on the Winston Cup tour - along with Richard Childress' surprising negotiations with Paul Tracy, a temperamental Indy-car star. Burton and car owner Bill Davis appear destined to split at the end of the season, perhaps sooner. Mike Brown, Davis' general manager, said Davis has no plans to replace Burton in the coming weeks, despite reports that Dave Blaney, who once drove for Davis, might return. Burton said he expects to be in Davis' car the rest of the season.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-9-2003

  • Names on the Decklid of the #77: As part of a special promotion, over 100 people donated $50 or more to the American Diabetes Association to have their name appear on the decklid of the #77 Jasper Ford during the Winston Cup Race on July 20 at the New Hampshire International Speedway. Joe Kane, whose stepdaughter Katherine has diabetes, was the spark plug for this fundraising event. Joe e-mailed Doug Bawel, team co-owner and President of Jasper Engines & Transmissions in Indiana, hoping to reach Dave Blaney, an old high school friend, who now drives the #77 Jasper Ford in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition. Bawel also has a young son with diabetes and was eager to help. The result of their collaboration has been dubbed, "Katherine's Cure." For every $5 raised for "Katherine's Cure," Jasper Engines & Transmissions contributed $1, up to a maximum of $20,000. Thanks to the generosity of Jasper Engines & Transmissions, racecar enthusiasts and friends of the diabetes communities throughout New England will have the opportunity this weekend for their names to join Blaney in competition at NHIS. Sponsors also will receive a glossy photo of the car displaying all the names, signed by Blaney. Attendees at this weekend’s New England 300 at NHIS will also have the opportunity to register for the New Hampshire and Maine walks, visit with ADA staff and receive current information on ADA research, information and advocacy programs. Katherine Dearden, Mr. Kane's stepdaughter, is an adorable and articulate young lady, who also happens to have diabetes. During her interview for the Youth Chair position for America's Walk for Diabetes in Augusta, Katherine was asked what is the one thing that diabetes interferes with. She said, "Nothing." Simply because she and her family won't let it. Katherine enjoyed, among other activities, the abundance of snow in Maine this past winter, as she is a cross-country ski enthusiast. She will join all the participants at the NHIS event this weekend.(Jasper Motorsports Notes)(7-17-2003)

  • Bootie Call on Speed: NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Robert "Bootie" Barker has been added to Speed Channel’s on-air team and is scheduled to host a regular segment each Saturday as part of SpeedNews – NASCAR Edition. The new segment—"Bootie Call"—debuts this weekend from Daytona and will be an insider’s look at what’s going on in the NASCAR garage area from week to week. "Most of what is said about what’s going on at the track is from an outsider’s perspective," said Barker, crew chief for the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford piloted by Dave Blaney. "This will be an effort to get the SPEED Channel viewers even closer to the action."(Speed Channel)(7-3-2003)

  • A Blaney Wins at Pocono: Ryan Blaney, Dave Blaney's 9-year-old son, won a 15-lap quarter-midget race Thursday at Pocono Quarter-Midget Raceway on the grounds of Pocono Raceway. Other noteworthy racers in the Lehigh Valley Quarter Racing Club-sanctioned events Thursday included Tyler Labonte, 8, son of Bobby Labonte, and Chase Mattioli, 12, grandson of Pocono Raceway's owners, Drs. Joe and Rose Mattioli. Labonte and Mattioli finished third in their respective events. Young Blaney, of Hartford, Ohio, drove a red and white #50 car -- the same color scheme and numeral his grandfather Lou Blaney and father have featured on their race cars for years. Young Labonte's midget is detailed in green with No. 18, emulating his father's Interstate Batteries Chevy. Dave Blaney starts 22nd in the Pocono 500 today. Bobby Labonte starts third.(Express Times)(6-8-2003)

  • #77 Sponsor for Bristol: First Tennessee has partnered with Jasper Engines and Transmissions and the #77 Jasper Engines Ford driven by Dave Blaney. A special paint scheme prominently featuring the well-known First Tennessee logo will appear on the #77 car at the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 23. First Tennessee recently announced that the company has renewed its partnership with Bristol Motor Speedway as the Official Financial Services Provider of BMS and Bristol Dragway. To celebrate these partnerships, First Tennessee is offering NASCAR fans the Ultimate Bristol Experience through a sweepstakes that will run during July. Grand-prize winners will receive trips for four to the Sharpie 500, where they will stay in an exclusive motor coach at the track, meet the owner of the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford and have seats in the First Tennessee suite. First-prize winners will receive four suite tickets to the Sharpie 500. And second- and third-prize winners will receive First Tennessee racing merchandise. During the Sharpie 500, the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford will be referred to as the #77 First Tennessee car. Throughout the summer, a replica of the #77 First Tennessee car will make appearances at First Tennessee financial centers across the state.(Jasper Motorsports PR), see an image of the car at the BMS site, Jasper Motorsports site or my Paint Scheme Gallery.(6-5-2003)

  • Blaney to be Fast and Furious? UPDATE hearing that #77-Dave Blaney may be running a 2 Fast 2 Furious paint scheme this weekend at Dover?
    UPDATE: Following career-best start/finish performances at Dover last fall for both driver and team, Dave Blaney will return to the one-mile high-banked oval this weekend with a special bright orange paint scheme on the the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford, heralding the opening of Universal Studios’ 2 Fast 2 Furious movie in theaters June 6. The special design is part of a broad program in support of the sequel to the studios’ The Fast and The Furious, which enjoyed huge global success and helped fuel the current explosion of popularity for sport-compacts.(Jasper Motorpsorts PR), see image on my Paint Schemes Gallery(5-28-2003)

  • Panther Power Returns: After finishing a strong second-place finish in The Winston Open last weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway with the team’s new car and black paint scheme, Dave Blaney and the #77 Jasper Motorsports crew decided to bring the "Panther Power" car—first intended to run only during The Winston weekend—back for this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Blaney will also compete in Saturday’s Busch Series event in the #31 Whelen Motorsports entry, which will make it’s first start as a Ford with Penske-Jasper Engines from the potent production line that generated power for Ryan Newman during his outstanding split Busch Series/ARCA Series season in 2001 prior to his WC debut last year.(Jasper Racing PR)(5-21-2003)

  • Panther Power: The Jasper Motorsports Panther Power paint scheme that will compete at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the Winston weekend was designed by Timothy G. Freed for Freed Motorsport Designs. Freed Motorsport Designs have been designing unique and distinctive paint schemes and promotional items for race teams since 1996. You can see his work in every major racing series this year with the Jasper Panther Power car in NASCAR, the Roush Racing Odoban car in the Busch Series, the Kenny Brack Pioneer/Miller Lite car in the Indy Racing League, the Michel Jourdain Jr. Gigante car in the CART series, and the Danica Patrick Argent car in the Toyota Atlantic Series.(see the image on my Paint Scheme Gallery Chart/Page)(5-17-2003)

  • Not NASCAR but: Trans-Am and sometime NASCAR driver Boris Said, the runner-up in this year's Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, has been suspended for 45 days by Trans-Am after comparing series operator Paul Gentilozzi and his sons to Saddam Hussein and his sons.(Tampa Tribune)(5-10-2003)

  • Panther Power at The Winston: Dave Blaney and the #77 Jasper Motorsports team will run the special "Panther Power" scheme on the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford during competition at The Winston at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte. The design is one of three special paint schemes to be used during the next three months by Blaney and the #77 team [not sure what the other two are...yet]. The Panther Power die-casts—both 1/24 and 1/64 scale—will be available June 9 at all NASCAR at-track and retail outlets as part of the Team Caliber Pit-Stop Series.(Jasper Motorsports PR). See a drawing of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-9-2003)

  • Two businesses report scam: Two local businesses have been taken in by a fraudulent offer of an advertising opportunity at the Brickyard 400. The perpetrators appear to be working in Lawrence and Monroe counties [Indiana], according to Lawrence County Sgt. Lonnie Johnson. Johnson said a marketing and promotions company from Bloomington is offering business names placed on a Jasper Engines and Transmissions race car for the NASCAR Brickyard 400. The two businesses signed contracts and paid money to the company. However, Jasper Engines and Transmissions denied any such promotion. Anyone with information about the scam should call the Lawrence County Police Department at 812-275-3316.(Hooiser Times)(4-27-2003)

  • #77 Team wins McDonald’s Drive-Thru Pit Crew Challenge at Rockingham: The crew of Dave Blaney, the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford, won Round 2 of the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade at Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway. Blaney's crew spent 223 seconds in the pits to edge the crew of Kurt Busch by four seconds to earn the weekly $20,000 prize.(NASCAR PR)(2-26-2003)

  • Blaney wins his first pole: #77-Dave Blaney won the pole for the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway, with a speed of 154.683. It is Blaney's first ever Bud Pole (and first ever front row start). Blaney joins Davey Allison (1987), Kyle Petty (1990) and Hut Stricklin (1995) winning their first career poles at the Rockingham, NC track. Outside pole went to #10-Johnny Benson (who won at the Rock in Nov 2002). #99-Jeff Burton spun on his attempt and has to use a provisional as does the Daytona 500 pole sitter, #30-Jeff Green. All 43 drivers make the race and those who used provisionals, will not be charged one. See the speeds, who used provisionals, pole progression, rookies, lineup links on my Rockingham Qualifying Page.(2-21-2003)

    2002 News

  • Jasper Motorsports adds team members: The #77 Jasper Motorsports team has added six new team members for the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, including four crew members who will augment the team’s existing pit-stop unit for it’s over-the-wall efforts in support of driver Dave Blaney. The new members of the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford team include Pat Marshall, the new Foreman of the team’s Fabrication operations and a recent employee of Hendrick Motorsports in its aerodynamic engineering department; Josh Watkins, an recent engineering graduate of UNC-Charlotte and the team’s fifth engineer; Aaron Piernatt, an addition to the team’s finish-fabrication area in-shop and a former tire-carrier for the #97 Roush Racing Team; the tire changer/carrier combination of Clay Robinson (body shop) and Mike Houston (suspension) and jackman Greg Pasi, all from the #40 Ganassi Racing Team’s pit-stop lineup during the 2002 WC season. The four new additions to the #77 Jasper Ford pit-stop crew join returning tire changer Rich Macco—who will work with Piernatt—and veteran gasman Dennis Cabe in a revised lineup that deepens the team’s roster of over-the-wall athletes. Bootie Barker was named crew chief last month and Kevin Kidd is the car chief(Jasper Motorsports PR)(12-24-2002)

  • New #77 Crew Chief? UPDATE: hearing the new crew chief for the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford and driver Dave Blaney will be Robert 'Bootie' Barker, who has been the crew chief of the #23 Bill Davis Racing BGN team.(11-18-2002)
    UPDATE: Robert "Bootie" Barker has been named as crew chief for the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford Team and driver Dave Blaney. Barker will assume his role immediately after serving two full seasons as crew chief for the #23 Bill Davis Racing team and driver Scott Wimmer in the BGN. Barker, 31, is a former chassis/shock specialist for the #24 Hendrick Motorsports team for four-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon (1999-2000) and for the #22 Bill Davis Racing team and driver Ward Burton (1998-99). He rejoined BDR in fall, 2000 as crew chief for Wimmer, then a recent graduate of the American Speed Association (ASA), and flourished in his first managerial role, guiding Wimmer to four NASCAR Busch Series victories and finishes of 11th and third, respectively, in the NBS standings (2001-2002) with limited sponsorship support. A native of Halifax, VA, Barker began his motorsports career working on Late Model Stock Cars for current Busch Series regular Ashton Lewis while still in college. He graduated from Old Dominion University in 1996 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Prior to joining the #22 BDR team in 1998, Barker worked as a chassis specialist for owner Kurt Roehrig in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In guiding Wimmer in his Busch Series championship run during the 2002 season, Barker’s BDR Pontiac entries earned BGN victories at Dover, Memphis, Phoenix and Miami in the final quarter of the season and posted 25 top-ten finishes in 70 total races with Wimmer (2000-02). Barker’s entries also completed all but 345 of 6,546 total laps (including 274 laps in two of four DNFs) in 2002 and continued a two-season trend in which he helped Wimmer improve his start/finish ratio in 55 of the 60 races he finished, including all but three races this season. Barker also directed a limited NASCAR Winston Cup Series program at BDR for Wimmer this season, including starts at Bristol and Phoenix.(Jaspers Motorsports PR)(11-19-2002)<
  • Randolph back with Blaney? UPDATE: hearing Doug Randolph, who worked with Dave Blaney at Bill Davis Racing, could move from Ganassi Racing's #41 to the #77 Jasper Motorsports team.(11-13-2002)
    UPDATE: Doug Randolph, crew chief for the #41, in which Jimmy Spencer will be replaced, has two weeks left on his contract and has not been told whether he will be back.(Sporting News)(11-18-2002)

  • More Blaney: Chip Ganassi wanted Dave Blaney to replace Jimmy Spencer in the #41 Dodge next year, but Blaney said Sunday he's committed to returning to Jasper Motorsports and the #77 Ford. With Blaney off the market, Busch Series driver Hank Parker Jr. now is the leading candidate at Ganassi.(Augusta Chroncile)(11-18-2002)

  • Blaney Staying at the #77: Dave Blaney says he's committed to stay with the #77 Fords owned by Jasper Motorsports next year. "We're locked into the 77," Blaney said. "There has been a lot of stuff floating around and I've talked to a lot of people. Having car owners that have some interest is nice, but I've got a contract with these guys. We've put together a solid year this year and we definitely have to build on it." Blaney's crew chief, Ryan Pemberton, will leave the team at season's end to go to the #36 Pontiacs that will be driven by Jerry Nadeau next season. "We're just going to look for the best all-around guy," Blaney said of the search for a new crew chief. "I think the owners want to go more toward an engineering type of guy and that kind of crew, so that's what they're looking for a little bit." Blaney is second overall in the number of laps completed and miles completed on the circuit this year.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-17-2002)

  • Not Said's first Cup Oval Start: If Boris Said [in the #67 Jasper Engines Ford] makes the Ford 400 Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it will NOT be his first Cup Oval race as reported aorunds, Said started 27th and finished 34th at Homestead in 1999, driving the #14 Federated Auto Parts Ford for Ernie Irvan. See NASCAR.com for 1999 Homestead Results.(11-15-2002)

  • Blaney helping #77 team look for new crew chief and staying in 2003: With the obvious progress of the #77 Jasper Motorsports Team this season being inexorably linked between his arrival and an increased technical presence within the organization, Dave Blaney is already looking ahead to the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season with a justifiable share of optimism about affecting another substantial increase in on-track performance for the improving program. With the high probability of producing the team’s best-ever finish in the WC point standings hinging on a steady effort in this weekend’s Ford 400 at Homestead/Miami Speedway, Blaney has already begun working with Team Manager and Co-Owner Mark Harrah and the growing roster of engineers at Jasper Motorsports on post-season plans for testing and in-shop production as well as the search for a new crew chief following the departure of Ryan Pemberton following this weekend’s race. Heading the effort to keep up with the sprawling multi-car teams, Harrah and co-owners Doug Bawel and Mark Wallace have completed a majority of their pre-planning for the 2003 season, including a reconfigured relationship with the Penske-Jasper Engine program that will now produce both Dodge and Ford power plants in the immediate future. Harrah admits that his expanded engineering staff is at the heart of the effort. The other major questions for Blaney, Harrah and his co-owners originated from the mid-summer decision-making process by business partner Roger Penske and whether a proposed switch from Ford to Dodge would be beneficial for his drivers Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman and his A-list organization. The subsequent decision for Penske South to switch to Daimler-Chrysler products in 2003 complicated the relationship between the Penske and Jasper programs, who co-owns Penske-Jasper Engines.(see quotes and more at Jasper Engines PR)(11-14-2002)

  • Randolph back with Blaney? hearing Doug Randolph, who worked with Dave Blaney at Bill Davis Racing, could move from Ganassi Racing's #41 to the #77 Jasper Motorsports team.(11-13-2002)

  • Pemberton leaving the #77 for the #36? UPDATE 2 Official: Crew chief Ryan Pemberton will leave his post with Blaney at the end of the season and replace Newt Moore on the #36 US Army Pontiac to driven by Jerry Nadeau.(Sporting News)
    AND The #77 Jasper Motorsports team had its best finish of the season Sunday, with Dave Blaney coming home seventh, but the names of its key players may start getting more attention in the final days of the season. Blaney is among the drivers who could become candidates for the #41 Dodge ride that opened up when that Chip Ganassi Racing team decided Jimmy Spencer would not be brought back for 2003. Blaney talked to Ganassi earlier this year about his third team, a ride that eventually went to Jamie McMurray, but at that point elected to stay with the #77 Fords. The current crew chief on the #41 Dodge team is Doug Randolph, who was Blaney's crew chief at Bill Davis Racing in 2000 and 2001. Regardless of whether Blaney stays or goes, it appears likely that crew chief Ryan Pemberton will be leaving, most likely for the crew chief position with the #36 team that will field Pontiacs for Jerry Nadeau next season.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-11-2002)
    AND II: there is also speculation that Pemberton might move to Robert Yates' [#38] team to work with Elliott Sadler.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-11-2002)
    UPDATE: Jasper Motorsports and Ryan Pemberton, crew chief of the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford since 1999, have mutually decided to part ways at the conclusion of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. "I want to thank (owners) Doug Bawel, Mark Harrah, Mark Wallace, Robert Pressley, Dave Blaney and all of the team members of Jasper Motorsports for the opportunity and the support they’ve given me since 1999," said Pemberton, 33. "I’m proud of the progress that the race team has made in the last three years, and I wish continued success to all of the people that have been part of the program." After serving as one of the youngest crew chiefs in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for three seasons (1997-99) with the #36 MB2 Pontiac team, Pemberton joined the Mooresville, N.C.-based team prior to the 2000 season. "We are proud of what Ryan has brought to our team and thank him," said Doug Bawel, President of Jasper Engines & Transmissions and co-owner of the #77 Jasper Motorsports team.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(11-12-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Ryan Pemberton is leaving his role as Dave Blaney's crew chief to take the same job with driver Jerry Nadeau. He'll work next year with Nadeau, hired last week to drive for MB2/MBV Motorsports. That entire team is getting a makeover -- driver Ken Schrader and crew chief Newt Moore won't be back, and the car is switching from the #36 to the #01.(ESPN/AP), plus a new sponsor, the US Army for 27 races.(11-13-2002)

  • Boris Said to run Homestead: Boris Said who ran both road-course races (at Sears Point and Watkins Glen) in the #67 Jasper Ford this summer, will be attempting to qualify for his first oval race in a Winston Cup car; he has two starts at HMS in the Craftsman Truck Series in 1997 (starting second, finishing 32nd-engine failure) and 1998 (starting fifth, finishing 24th). Said, the record-setting 2002 Trans-Am Series champion, will be attempting to make his eighth career NASCAR Winston Cup start at Homestead this weekend. The 39-year old Said, Director of Motorsports for No Fear, started his racing career in motorcross in 1975 and was the SCCA Corvette Challenge 1 Rookie-of-the-Year in 1988; he progressed through the SCCA and Trans-Am ranks in the 1990’s to become one of America’s premier road racers; SAID finished first in GT1 and third in GTS in the 1997 Rolex 24-Hour race at Daytona and entered the 2002 seasons as the twice-defending champion of the GT class in the American Le Mans Series with the BMW Motorsports Team; SAID also raced in two 24-hour events at Le Mans, winning the GT2 pole in 1994 and finishing second in 1995. Mark Harrah, one of the Jasper Motorsports owners, will serve as crew chief for the #67 Jasper Motorsports Ford for Said this weekend at Homestead; Harrah served as crew chief for both of SAID’s 2002 starts with Jasper Motorsports and won the ARCA Series race with Fultz at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC in May; HARRAH also served as crew chief for the #77 Jasper team for the final 14 races of the 1999 season for then-driver Robert Pressley, prior to the arrival of Ryan Pemberton for the start of the 2000 Winston Cup season(Jasper Motorsports PR), actually Said ran the Homestead race in 1999, so it is not his first Cup oval race.(11-12-2002)

  • Blaney to run the Homestead BGN race: Dave Blaney, driver of the #77 Jasper Engine's Ford in Cup, will drive the #31 Whelen's Chevy in the Homestead BGN race.(11-7-2002)

  • Pemberton says he is staying at the #77: Ryan Pemberton's name keeps popping up in the crew chief rumor mill, but he says he plans to fulfill the final two years on his contract with the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford driven by Dave Blaney. Though Pemberton was uncertain how the team's engine alliance with Penske would change because of Penske's switch to Dodge, he says "everyone will be stronger" by taking technology from both sides and applying it to the entire alliance.(Sporting News)(11-4-2002)

  • #77 Hauler Driver wins championship: Bill Lewis won the International Truck Challenge competition at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, is the only driver among 28 who competed in the four 2002 events who regularly drives an International tractor in his regular job, as driver of the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford Team. With over 65,000 miles logged annually safely delivering Dave Blaney’s Winston Cup cars to 38 events and numerous tests coast-to-coast, Lewis felt like driving familiar machinery in the season-finale had to be an advantage as he entered the final morning’s competition on the course along the front-stretch at AMS. "We all drive thousands of miles every year in our trucks, and you just get to know the feel of what’s under you," said Lewis, who shared the title with wife Cindy, his partner in life and his co-driver for every Winston Cup mile he drives annually. "On my run today, I knew just how deep I could drive the International truck into the two tight corners we had on the course, and what it would probably feel like when the trailer leaned way into the corner. It probably looked a lot more exciting than it felt to me. I had a really smooth lap, and no real problems anywhere. It’s hard coming in as the leader, and knowing that several guys have a chance to knock you off. It’s all a big dream for me, to win this championship." Lewis entered the AMS finale with a slim 10-point lead over several title contenders, including Rodney Pickler (#2), Kelly Stewart (#28), Tim Beaver (#45) and Tracy Lumpkin (#9). Lewis not only clinched the season championship but also won the Atlanta event, with a score of 175 points (of a maximum 200) and a two-lap-time of 116.909 secs., third quickest of the day’s 22 drivers. By matching his Round-Three event win at Chicagoland Speedway with an impressive win at Atlanta, Lewis stretched his final seasonal margins to 30 points over runner-up Beaver, 45 points over third-place Lumpkin and 50 points over fourth-place Stewart, who had the quickest elapsed time at AMS (105.848 secs.). Pickler, the runner-up entering the final round, fell to sixth overall in the 2002 standings after hitting a barrier during his run.(Jasper Racing PR)(10-26-2002)

  • #77 Crew Member wins All-Pro Championship: Jeff Fultz, a full-time member of the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford Team with driver Dave Blaney, won the NASCAR All-Pro Series championship in the rain-delayed season-finale in Memphis Sunday, starting second and leading all 125 laps of the race. Fultz, who entered the race five points behind David Reutimann, was assured the title when the leader suffered engine failure on Lap 44. In his quest for the 2002 NASCAR All-Pro title, Fultz enjoyed a 101-point lead two weeks ago before finishing 13th and 11th, respectively, in races at Greenville-Pickens, S.C. and Kenley, N.C., while new leader Reutimann won both events and moved ahead of Fultz—who had finished in the top-five in the All-Pro points in each of the past three seasons including second in 2000—with his slight advatnage entering the season-finale at Memphis Motorsports Park. A Cincinnati, OH. native, Fultz, a fabricator and wind-tunnel specialist, brought 179 overall career wins and seven series championships into 2002 and added All-Pro wins at Nashville and Myrtle Beach (as well as an ARCA Series win in May at Charlotte) this season, but the All-Pro championship had eluded him until Sunday, despite several close calls. Fultz will receive the All-Pro Series championship trophy and champion’s checks next Saturday night in ceremonies at the Atlanta Airport Hilton, part of a busy NASCAR weekend in the city that includes the Winston Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Jasper Racing PR)(10-21-2002)

  • #77 Update: With the 2003 switch from Ford to Dodge announced last weekend at Charlotte by the Penske South Team, the future of the two-year alliance between that team and the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford team of driver Dave Blaney has moved into a more complicated set of elements as the power-plant relationship between Roger Penske and Jasper co-owners Doug Bawel, Mark Harrah and Mark Wallace projects toward next season. Recently, Harrah—also Team Manager for the #77 Jasper team—commented on the plans for the Penske-Jasper Engine program as well as the current state of his race team, now 19th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series owner and driver point standings entering this weekend’s Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Harrah's comments: "In the discussions we’ve had as a group about the Penske South switch to Dodge, the technology we share will be common between the engines. We'll still be with Ford in 2003. I'm dedicated to the Ford people, and we're staying Ford at least through next year. It will certainly be interesting to see, with Penske’s move to Dodge, how the different trials and tribulations will play out. But a lot of the technical things we do will still be the same, just under different shell bodies. Even aero-wise we'll be able to take some things off the Dodge and use it on our Ford. From an engine standpoint, Larry is prepared internally to do both programs. Our engines are pretty unique, and a lot that is in the drive train. With our involvement with Ilmor Engineering, they're very involved with Mercedes, and a lot of that technology is carried over into our engines. I think our engines set the standard in the garage for fuel mileage and power. Last year we'd go three, four or five laps ahead of everyone else, for fuel mileage. The Penske-Jasper engines get great fuel mileage, and we would play it real conservative, play with the jetting to trade some power for fuel mileage. And it paid off quite a few times last year."(Jasper Racing)(10-17-2002)

  • So if Penske goes to Dodge, what happens to the #77? According to crew chief Ryan Pemberton, the #77 will continue to field Fords regardless of Penske South's decision and the partnership will remain status quo until Jasper is told otherwise. Sources inside Dodge insist that the Penske deal is complete, so that probably leaves Penske-Jasper Engines with additional Ford power plants that won't be used in 2003. Despite Jasper's consistent performance this season -- Dave Blaney has completed 98.3 percent of all laps, more than any driver on the circuit -- it would be difficult with 28 mechanics to make a transition to another manufacturer this late in the year even if it was considered part of the Penske package.(Sporting News)(9-19-2002)

  • #100th start for Little E and Blaney: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make his 100th career Winston Cup start this weekend at Darlington.(Roanoke Times), also #77-Dave Blaney will start his 100th career Cup race at Darlington.(8-28-2002)

  • NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week: #77 Jasper Engines Crew. Consistently fast stops all day (15.33, 15.47, 15.53) got the #77 up front and puts them in the spotlight this week. Congratulations #77 Crew on being selected this weeks NAPCM Pit Crew of the Week sponsored by Toxabsorb, 20th Century Spill Magnet and Official Spill Response Agent of the National Association of Pit Crew Members. Visit www.toxabsorb.com for all Toxabsorb pit road uses. Check out the latest Mechanix Wear Pit Crew of the Year Standings available at www.napcm.com.(NAPCM PR)(8-6-2002)

  • Said in 2nd Jasper car at Sears Point and Watkins Glen: Jasper Motorsports announced today that road racing veteran Boris Said will drive the #67 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford at both road course races on the Cup schedule, beginning with next weekend's event at Sears Point Raceway. Said joins #77 Jasper Ford driver Dave Blaney under the Jasper Motorsports banner. "These Winston Cup races are like Christmas to me, they only come once or twice a year," commented Said. "I'm like a little kid. I've been waiting all year to get back into one of these cars and I'm ready. Last year, I had my best two Winston Cup finishes with Jasper Motorsports. We're looking to build on that." Mark Harrah, one of three co-owners of Jasper Motorsports, will be Said's crew chief. The over-the-wall crew is a collection of various BGN crewmembers. The car was prepared by Jasper Motorsports and will be serviced at the track by crewmembers who work in the #77 shop on a daily basis. "Boris is regarded as one of the best drivers in road course racing," said Harrah. "He drove the Jasper Ford to two very solid finishes last year, and we believe that he is capable of winning a Winston Cup race. We tested with both Dave and Boris at Virginia International Raceway in May, and the two of them worked well together. As teammates they can share their individual strengths at the track, Boris as a road course expert and Dave as a Winston Cup Series regular." The #67 Ford will be sponsored primarily by Jasper Engines & Transmissions of Jasper, Ind. The Jasper Motorsports team is also searching for associate sponsors for Said's entry. The car will be silver with blue and yellow stripes along the bottom, resembling the #77 Jasper Ford. Said drove the #77 Jasper Ford at last year's road course events, finishing 11th at Sears Point and 8th at Watkins Glen International. In five career NASCAR Winston Cup Series starts, he has produced one front-row starting position and one top-10 finish. With two wins in three starts, Said currently leads the SCCA Pro Trans Am championship standings, the longest-running road racing series in the United States. He also plans to compete in the NASCAR Southwest Tour race at Sears Point Raceway, driving the #99 Federated Auto Parts Racing Chevrolet owned by Winston Cup regular Ken Schrader. A resident of Carlsbad, Calif., Said is 39 years old.(Jasper Motorsports PR)(6-13-2002)

  • Blaney wins for a fan: Dave Blaney, driver of the #77 Jasper Engines Ford, took a couple of minutes to call Jimmy Hoppa and Polly Wogg on the FROGGY 103 Morning Show, to win a Froggy fan a pair of Terrace Club Seats to this Sunday's Pocono 500. Greg Byers of Wintersville, OH, made a lot of phone calls to win the challenge: be the first listener to get a NASCAR Winston Cup Driver to call Jimmy and Polly, and win these tickets worth $400. Blaney was a great sport - he doesn't even know Greg - but thought it was a great prize for a NASCAR fan, and says Greg "owes me a beer". Find out how he finally got Dave Blaney to call when Greg talks to Jimmy and Polly tomorrow (Wednesday) morning on Froggy 103.(Froggy 103)(6-5-2002)

  • #77 Team tests at VIR: The #77 Jasper Motorsports team tested at Virginia International Raceway Wednesday to prepare for their upcoming road races at Sears Point Raceway and Watkins Glen International. The team had its regular driver, Dave Blaney, and road-racing specialist Boris Said on hand for the test, as the team will field cars for both drivers in this year's two road races. According to crew chief Ryan Pemberton, the team worked on a number of facets of their road-racing set-up for the #77 Jasper Engines Ford Taurus. Pemberton said that the team enjoys testing on the 3.27-mile natural-terrain road course just outside Danville, and not only for its road racing needs. Said, who has competed in various professional road racing series around the globe, is currently leading the championship in the SCCA's Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup on the strength of back-to-back wins at Canada's Mosport circuit and Connecticut's Lime Rock Park. He likes testing at VIR, and is happy to be back behind the wheel of a Winston Cup car. He describes VIR as a cross between Sears Point, where the team will race on June 23, and Watkins Glen, which falls on Aug. 11 on the Winston Cup schedule. VIRginia International Raceway is a multi-purpose road racing facility, located on the Dan River 12 miles east of Danville, Va., and just north of historic Milton, N.C. In addition to its 3.27-mile natural-terrain road racing circuit (which is also designed to be operated as two autonomous, full-service courses), VIR is the cornerstone of VIR Club, America's first motorsports country club, and the VIR Raceplex Industrial Park.(VIR PR)(5-30-2002)

  • Blaney's Track Opens: Winston Cup driver [#77 Ford] Dave Blaney made his debut in a new role last night. His track in Hartford, Ohio, opened [Sharon Speedway]. Blaney spent the winter months renovating the facility in preparation for a season of sprint cars and dirt Modifieds. "They pulled the racetrack up that was there, and we made a smaller track and doubled the seating," he said. Taking over a small track is a risky proposition, at best. Blaney joked that he was keeping his day job but said he thinks his place should be a success. "It seems like there's some that do well and others that just struggle," he said. "We knew that going in, so we tried to make something that was very nice."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-5-2002)

  • #77 Crew Member sick UPDATE: Scott Stallings, gas runner and fabricator for the #77 Fords of Jasper Motorsports, felt light-headed and dizzy before the start of Sunday's race and was transported to Carolinas Hospital System in Florence, SC. He underwent enzyme tests to determine whether he was suffering from a heart problem. The initial tests were negative but he was kept overnight for observation.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-17-2002)
    UPDATE: Scott Stallings, gas man for the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions team, was transported to Carolinas Hospital System in Florence during last Sunday's Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway after experiencing light-headedness, dizziness and chest pain during pre-race activities. Initial enzyme tests were negative. However, subsequent tests including a heart catheterization, have shown some cardiac damage. Stallings will remain at CHS until later this week. he is in stable condition. (ThatsRacin.com)(3-20-2002)

  • #77 Crew Member sick: Scott Stallings, gas runner and fabricator for the #77 Fords of Jasper Motorsports, felt light-headed and dizzy before the start of Sunday's race and was transported to Carolinas Hospital System in Florence, SC. He underwent enzyme tests to determine whether he was suffering from a heart problem. The initial tests were negative but he was kept overnight for observation.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-17-2002)

  • Said to drive three Cup races? UPDATE: hearing from some readers who watched the Rolex 24 at Daytona, that Boris Said mentioned he was planning on driving three Cup races in 2002, Sears Point, Watkins Glen and Indianpolis for the Jasper Motorsports team. Didn't say if he would be in a 2nd car or the #77 Ford, but can't imagine regular driver Dave Blaney giving up the seat for a few races(2-3-2002)
    UPDATE: Boris Said will attempt to make the Cup races at Sears Point, Watkins Glen and Indianapolis in a second Jasper Motorsports Ford(NASCAR Scene Plus - need sub to read)(2-7-2002)

  • New #77 Assoc Sponsor: Liberty Life Insurance, based in Greenville, SC, will serve as an associate sponsor for the Mooresville, N.C.-based #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford team of Winston Cup driver Dave Blaney this season. Jasper Engines is the team's major sponsor. Liberty Life is supporting the team's racing program through its RBC term insurance. Company vice president Nancy Olson said the program is designed to introduce the term life program to new customers. "The racing enthusiasts are a very loyal customer base," Olson said. "It's very much the same target market that is attracted to our product." The company also will be the title sponsor of the Feb. 23 BGN race at North Carolina Speedway. The race has been named the 1-866RBCTerm.com 200.(Greenville News)(1-16-2002)

  • Blaney buys track in Ohio: #77 Jasper Engines Ford driver, Dave Blaney, has become the owner of historic Sharon (OH) Speedway, the hometown track for the racing family and one of the oldest continuously running weekly racetracks in the United States. Blaney purchased the track, which began competition in 1929, with father, Lou and a group of local investors last month. Built as a home for the Central State Racing Association's (CSRA) open-cockpit dirt cars, original owners Homer McCracken and and Bill Pourbaugh began promoting midget, roadsters and the Ohio Speedway Association stock cars after World War II. Most recently, Sharon Speedway has hosted four divisions (sprint cars, dirt modifieds, e-modifieds, street stocks) on it's half-mile dirt surface every Friday night between late April and Labor Day. The Blaneys, who head the group that bought the track, have begun work on a wide-range of improvements to the track, including a change in track length (to 3/8-mile) and width (90') as well as an upgraded racing surface, plus a new 5,000-seat grandstand/concourse on the facility's backstretch.(PR)(1-14-2002)

    2001 News

  • Jasper-Penske Engine deal over? UPDATE not so? hearing the Jasper-Penske engines deal is about to break up. Rumor is Penske is preparing to offer to buy out partner Doug Bawel and begin selling engines in competition with Yates. Part of the deal might include the #77 team, which Bawel owns(12-13-2001)
    UPDATE: sources within Jasper Motorsports say there is no truth in the above statement(12-13-2001)

  • Ryan Pemberton out? UPDATE: The print version of the Speedway Scene magazine reports that #77 Crew Chief, Ryan Pemberton and the team #77 Jasper Motorsports, has parted ways after his brother Roman was released by the team(12-9-2001)
    UPDATE: Roman has left the team but Ryan is still the team's crew chief and is NOT leaving(12-10-2001)

  • Pressley to the BGN/CTS? UPDATE to the #18 CTS: It appears Robert Pressley will wind up either in the CTS or the BGN, one option may be as the full-time driver for Michael Waltrip's #99 BGN cars.(Savannah Morning News), but am hearing Pressley will end up in the #18 Dodge truck(12-8-2001)
    UPDATE: Robert Pressley will replace Joe Ruttman in Bobby Hamilton Racing's #18 Dodge truck, it was announced Monday. Pressley, released from his Winston Cup ride at the end of the season, will be taking over the truck Ruttman drove to two victories, 20 top-10 finishes and third in Craftsman Truck points in 2001. Pressley joins new teammates Brian Rose and Bill Lester and crew chief Danny Gill as BHR revamps with a three-truck effort in 2002. Pressley’s team is currently without a sponsor -- after DANA Corporation declined to renew its agreement for 2002 -- but the team is in negotiations and hopes to announce one in the next few weeks.(NASCAR.com)(12-10-2001)

  • #77 and the Fans: Race fans will have the opportunity to support America's Armed Forces and see their own names emblazoned on the deck lid of the #77 Jasper Engines Ford during the Cup race at Homestead Miami Speedway on November 11, 2001. Doug Bawel, President of Jasper Motorsports, announced the team will take an innovative approach to honoring United States veterans on Veterans Day, which falls on the same day as the event. Names of individual persons or businesses that make a $50 donation to the Department of Defense Pentagon Relief Fund will be placed on the deck lid of the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford driven by Robert Pressley. In addition to the financial contributions gathered by the $50 donations, Jasper Engines & Transmissions, based in Jasper, Indiana, will match dollar for dollar the first $20,000. In an effort to assist families of casualties in the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon, the funds will be split between the four charities that make up the Department of Defense Pentagon Relief Fund. Those charities consist of the Air Force Aid Society September 11 Attack on America Fund, The Army Emergency Relief Society Pentagon Victims Fund, the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society Pentagon Assistance Fund and the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund. The #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford will have a brand new paint scheme for the event and will honor our veterans and active duty personnel in our Armed Forces. The deadline to make contributions is [was] October 29, 2001. For more info and to donate, see the Offical Robert Pressley site(10-8/11-6-2001)

    #77 USA
    The scheme that Pressley will run at Homestead
    Image from the Robert Pressley Site

  • Pressley back to Petree? FSN's NASCAR this Morning reports that Robert Pressley is the leading canadiate for the Andy Petree Racing #33 ride for the 2002 season. Pressley drove for Petree in the #33 from 1995-1996(10-28-2001)

  • #200 for Pressley: #77-Robert Pressley will start in his 200th Winston Cup race at Phoenix, from the 5th starting position(10-27-2001)

  • Boris Said Injured UPDATE: Driver Boris Said of Carlsbad, Calif., was hospitalized Thursday following a testing accident in an American Le Mans Series car at Road Atlanta. Said, 39, suffered a minor skull fracture when the Panoz LMP-1 Prototype he was driving crashed in turn 11 of the circuit. He climbed from the car on his own and was awake and alert when transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Ga. Said was to be held overnight for observation.(Trans Am Series Site)(10-19-2001)
    UPDATE: Boris Said was released from a Georgia hospital this morning after suffering a minor skull fracture in a testing accident yesterday at Road Atlanta. Said was held overnight for observation at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Ga. Said, 39, from Carlsbad, Calif., was driving a Panoz LMP-1 Prototype when the car crashed in turn 11 of the Road Atlanta track. He exited the car on his own and was awake and alert when transported to the hospital.(Professional Sports Car Racing Site).
    Why do I post this? Said has driven this year and others in the Winston Cup series and was a full time CTS driver for a few years(10-19-2001)

  • Subway to the #77 in 2002? UPDATE3 or is it #33? or is it Hills Bros?: hearing Subway (sandwich shops) will be the primary sponsor of the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford and driver Robert Pressley in 2002(8-21-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing Subway could be announced as the primary sponsor of the #77 for 2002 within the next few weeks, of course, the driver will be Dave Blaney in 2002(10-18-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hmm...now hearing Subway could be the 2002 sponsor of the #33 APR Chevy. Anyhow, looks like Subway will sponsor a car in 2002 but most sources say it'll be with the #77 NOT the #33(10-18-2001)
    UPDATE 3: and also hearing that Hills Bros Coffee (currently on the #90), could end up on the #77, without Hut Stricklin as the drivwer. But still continue to hear the best bet is Subway as the sponsor of the #77 with Jasper Engines(10-19-2001)

  • Blaney in the #77? Pressley Out UPDATE 3 YEP: Latest silly season rumors have Dave Blaney moving to the #77, but insiders say he could be trying his hand at Indy cars next season if Bill Davis doesn't find a sponsor for the #93 team.(Sporting News)(10-8-2001)
    UPDATE: The word around the Winston Cup garage Friday was that Robert Pressley would be out of the #77 Jasper Engines Ford following the 2001 season. Rumor has it Dave Blaney is set to take over the ride(NASCAR.com Buzz) AND Robert Pressley said he most likely would not be back with the Jasper Motorsports team after this season(Roanoke Times)(10-13-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Pressley has informed the Jasper Motorsports team that he will not return next season. Crew chief Ryan Pemberton is staying, though, and has signed a multiyear contract. The team also appears to have additional sponsorship for 2002(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-14-2001)
    UPDATE 3: ESPN2's RPM 2Night reports that Dave Blaney has been named the driver of the #77 Jasper Engines Ford in 2002. No word on where Pressley will go or who will drive the #93 Bill Davis Racing Dodge if they find a sponsor for 2002. Pressley will drive the #77 for the remainder of the 2001 season(ESPN2's RPM2Night)(10-16-2001)

  • #77 and the Fans: Race fans will have the opportunity to support America's Armed Forces and see their own names emblazoned on the deck lid of the #77 Jasper Engines Ford during the Cup race at Homestead Miami Speedway on November 11, 2001. Doug Bawel, President of Jasper Motorsports, announced the team will take an innovative approach to honoring United States veterans on Veterans Day, which falls on the same day as the event. Names of individual persons or businesses that make a $50 donation to the Department of Defense Pentagon Relief Fund will be placed on the deck lid of the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford driven by Robert Pressley. In addition to the financial contributions gathered by the $50 donations, Jasper Engines & Transmissions, based in Jasper, Indiana, will match dollar for dollar the first $20,000. In an effort to assist families of casualties in the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon, the funds will be split between the four charities that make up the Department of Defense Pentagon Relief Fund. Those charities consist of the Air Force Aid Society September 11 Attack on America Fund, The Army Emergency Relief Society Pentagon Victims Fund, the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society Pentagon Assistance Fund and the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund. The #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford will have a brand new paint scheme for the event and will honor our veterans and active duty personnel in our Armed Forces. The deadline to make contributions is October 29, 2001. For more info and to donate, see the Offical Robert Pressley site(10-8-2001)

  • Some more driver rumors UPDATE 3 Skinner signed - Tuesday announcement?: Mike Skinner to the #77 Jasper Engines Ford with current driver, Robert Pressley possibly headed to the #4 Morgan McClure Kodak Chevy. Skinner is also rumored to the #4 team and the #33 Andy Petree Racing team if a sponsor is found(9-18-2001)
    UPDATE: and also hearing Robert Pressley as a stong candidate to the #4 Kodak Chevy for 2002 as well as Skinner(9-23-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Larry McClure hopes to be able to strike a deal with [Mike] Skinner that will put the veteran behind the wheel of his Chevrolets in 2002. "That's fair," McClure said Sept. 21 when asked if Skinner was his leading candidate. "We'd like to get something done here directly. (But) if you've got a deal done, it would take you two weeks to get it all done."(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read)(9-27-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Mike Skinner signed last week with car owner Larry McClure, according to team sources. Skinner is scheduled for reconstructive surgery on his left knee Wednesday, and his recovery could take three months.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Larry McClure is putting Mike Skinner in the #4 Chevrolet next season. The announcement will come Tuesday because Skinner is having surgery on his left ankle [actaully knee not ankle] Wednesday(Sporting News)(10-1-2001)

  • Some more driver rumors UPDATE Pressley to the #4? or is it Skinner?: Mike Skinner to the #77 Jasper Engines Ford with current driver, Robert Pressley possibly headed to the #4 Morgan McClure Kodak Chevy. Skinner is also rumored to the #4 team and the #33 Andy Petree Racing team if a sponsor is found(9-18-2001)
    UPDATE: and also hearing Robert Pressley as a stong candidate to the #4 Kodak Chevy for 2002 as well as Skinner(9-23-2001)

  • Pressley Condition UPDATE 2: #77-Robert Pressley, who was in a hard wreck against the front stretch at Darlington, was listed as ok, but transported to a local hospital for observation(TNT Race Coverage)(9-2-2001)
    UPDATE: Robert Pressley was expected to be released from Carolinas Hospital in Florence late Sunday after X-rays and a CT scan following a vicious crash into the inside wall on the frontstretch on Lap 349. Pressley spun after getting hit from behind as he came off Turn 4. His car slammed into the wall on the right side and then lifted with two wheels off the ground as it kept sliding. Pressley got out of the car but slumped down against the wall until his team and emergency workers came to his aid. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital complaining of tenderness in his back and abdomen, but the test came back normal(That's Racin')(9-3-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Robert Pressley spoke about the accident and updated his condition Tuesday afternoon - Q) How Are You Feeling?  "I'm doing pretty good.  They checked everything from my toes to the top of my head.  They told me I was a little smarter than they ever thought I was, but there are no broken bones or anything like that.  I don't have any problems with my head, neck, shoulders or ribs -- no problems like that so everything is good.  They released me Sunday night.  We got out of there about nine o'clock and spent the night in Darlington before coming home yesterday (Monday).  They did all the tests pretty much as a precaution and everything is good.  I'm just sitting around taking it easy this week and getting ready for Richmond.  We're gonna go up there and get back on track." You Seemed to Get Out of the Car Quckily with the HANS Device.  "Yeah, that was quicker than I guess we had ever gotten out of the car before with the HANS on.  When I hit the wall it just knocked the breath out of me really bad, so I wanted to get some air and probably got out of the car quicker than I needed to.  I guess it knocked all of the panels out of the back and when the car was up on its side it got smoke inside the car.  I thought we had a little fire going, so I wanted to get out of there to keep that from playing any role in it."(Jasper Motorsports)(9-5-2001)

  • Subway to the #77 in 2002? hearing Subway (sandwich shops) will be the primary sponsor of the #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford and driver Robert Pressley in 2002(8-21-2001)
    UPDATE - Assoc? also hearing Lipton Tea could be an assoc sponsor on the #77 starting at Bristol(8-23-2001)

  • Said Part time with Jasper in 2002? road racer Boris Said is hoping to put together a part-time deal with the Jasper Motorsports team for next year, running the two Winston Cup road races as well as up to eight more races on ovals(That's Racin'), which would be a 2nd car for the team in addition to the #77 team and driver Robert Pressley(8-9-2001)

  • Degree to be an Assoc again on the #77: For the second time this season Degree Deodorant will be an associate sponsor of the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford Taurus. Their decal will be on the lower section of the hood as it was at Chicagoland(8-10-2001)

  • #77 Assoc? hearing the Jasper Motorsports #77 Ford Taurus will have associate sponsorship from Degree Deodorant for the Tropicana 400 this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway(7-12-2001)

  • Congrats: #77 Crew Chief Ryan Pemberton, will spend the final off-weekend of the season getting married. Pemberton will wed Andrea Spruell on Saturday evening in Mooresville, NC(Jasper PR)(6-27-2001)

  • #77 in the WInd: hearing that Jasper Motorsports has two #77 Daytona Fords at the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today(6-19-2001)

  • Subway on the #77: Jasper Motorsports has signed Subway Restaurants to a two-race associate sponsorship on the No. 77 Jasper Engines Ford driven by Robert Pressley. The two The Subway logo will be on the hood of the 77 for the Winston Cup races this month at Pocono and Sears Point(SpeedVision)(6-6-2001)

  • Penske Jasper Engines Moving: Employees of Penske Jasper Engines will move into their new 28,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Concord, N.C. within the next several weeks. Approximately 40 people are employed at Penske Jasper Engines, which builds the engines for Penske drivers Rusty Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman, as well as Jasper Motorsports driver Robert Pressley. Penske Engines and Jasper Engines merged operations last November. Doug Bawel, President of Jasper Engines & Transmissions also serves as Vice Chairman of Penske Jasper Engines(Jasper PR)(5-25-2001)

  • Said to run the #77 at the Road Courses: Jasper Motorsports President Doug Bawel and Driver Robert Pressley announced today that long time road racer Boris Said will take over the driving duties of the #77 Ford for the two NASCAR Winston Cup road course events run this season. Said's first appearance for the Jasper team will be in June at Sears Point Raceway. He will also pilot the car during the event at Watkins Glen International in August ( NOT September as the PR had). "Boris is a road course specialist," said Pressley. "We need to do what's best for this Jasper team. That has always been our goal. When we needed a strong leader a couple of years ago, we went out and got (Crew Chief) Ryan Pemberton, because that's what we needed to do to make this team strong. It's my turn now to do what's best. I have every confidence that Boris's experience will make this worthwhile. And, I promise I'll be cheering on the team, because they are there every week rooting for me." Said, who competes full time in the SCCA Trans Am Series as well as the Speedvision World Challenge Series and the American LeMans Series, has seen the twists and turns of both Sears Point and Watkins Glen before. In 1998, he qualified fifth in Winston Cup regular Jimmy Spencer's car before relieving him during the race and finishing 20th. At Sears Point in 1999, Said posted the fastest time in practice but experienced engine failure in both qualifying sessions and was thus unable to make the field. He also encountered bad luck during last year's event when suspension problems put him out of the race on lap 26 of the 112-lap event.(Jasper Racing PR)(4-23-2001)

  • #77 and Hotjobs.com: Jasper Motorsports will team up with HotJobs.com, a leading Internet recruiting solutions company, to run a co-primary sponsorship package on the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford driven in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series by Robert Pressley.  The marketing partnership will encompass all on-track activities during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona Beach, FL. HotJobs.com will share the hood, decklid, lower quarter panel and C pillar with Jasper Engines & Transmissions during all of Speedweeks 2001, including the running of the Gatorade Twin 125 race as well as the 43rd annual Daytona 500 on February 18(Jasper Motorsports PR)(2-7-2001)

  • #77 at the Wind Tunnel, no Dodge UPDATE: hearing that Jasper Motorsports is testing a #77 Daytona car and a Intermediate car in the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center/ODU Wind Tunnel located in Hampton, VA today. Also, Dodge was scheduled to test some Cup cars this weekend, but canceled(1-26-2001)
    UPDATE: The ODU Wind Tunnel test was scrubbed but Ganassi Racing is instead taking a Dodge to the Martin Marietta Wind Tunnel in GA, today for a full day of testing(1-27-2001)

  • Wind Tunnel: hearing the #77 Jasper Engines Ford and the #11 Brett Bodine Ford tested in the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today. AND hearing Robert Yates Racing was at the Lockheed wind tunnel in Marietta, GA the past few days(1-18-2001)

    2000 News

  • #77 News: On Friday, December 22, several members of the team, including crew chief Ryan Pemberton, traveled to NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia to test two cars at the wind tunnel. Preparations for the Ford testing session planned for January 8 and 9, as well as the session planned for Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the end of January, are also right on schedule. The Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford Taurus driven by Robert Pressley will have a new look for the 2001 season. Fans and competitors who may have become accustomed to the blue Jasper Ford will have to be on the lookout for Pressley in his new yellow Taurus. The car is solid yellow with blue letters and numbers(see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery). On the crew member front, tire carrier Larry Robinett was named Jasper Motorsports MVP for the 2000 season at the Ford Motorsports Team Taurus party on December 15. Robinett, who hails from Dallas, Texas, has been with Jasper for one year and serves as a machinist and front tire carrier.(Jasper Motorsports Site)(12-23-2000)

  • #77 Scheme at Daytona? UPDATE images: hearing the #77 Jasper Engines Ford will have a new look at least for the Daytona 500, with a US Postal Service scheme(12-9-2000)
    UPDATE: no USPS but the car is bright yellow, see a few images in my Paint Scheme Gallery(12-10-2000)

  • #77 Wind Tunnel: Though the 2000 season just concluded, the Jasper Motorsports team is already thinking about next year. The team will travel to Langley, Virginia on Tuesday for a day of wind tunnel testing(Jasper PR)(11-21-2000)

  • Pressley Re-ups with the #77: As part of its continued successful effort to reach the upper echelon of the sport, Jasper Motorsports has signed Robert Pressley to continue the driving duties of the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford into the 2001 season. Pressley, who has raced full-time in the series since 1995, will return for his fourth consecutive year with the team. In addition to maintaining the continuity of the team, which has had its most successful season to date in 2000, by maintaining the changes made prior to the season, the team hopes to welcome the addition of a new primary or major associate before the onset of the 2001 Winston Cup campaign. Jasper Engines & Transmissions, a Jasper, Ind. - based engine and transmission re-manufacturer has been the primary sponsor of the Jasper Motorsports team since 1994. Jasper originally joined the team, owned by co-owners Doug Bawel, Mark Harrah and Mark Wallace, as an associate sponsor in 1989. Jasper Engines & Transmissions will raise their financial commitment, but will consider a move to an associate position if a suitable partner company joins us for 2001 and beyond(in part from a Jasper Motorsports PR)(10-25-2000)

  • #77 and Penske? UPDATE 2: Roger Penske is reported considering buying the Doug Bawal (#77) operation, possibly as a base for the new Ryan Newman team. Bawal's shop sites adjacent to Penske's in Mooresville. Ryan Pemberton, who runs the team for Bawal, says he's unaware of any possible sale pending(PitNow)(10-9-2000)
    UPDATE - Engines? hearing that the #77 Jasper Engines team has shut down their engine shop effective this week and will begin using Penske Motors(10-10-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Jasper Motorsports has closed its engine shop and will use Penske engines for the remainder of the 2000 season. Next season, the team will form a partnership with Penske and Pressley's team will run a newly designed engine produced by the collaborative effort. Pressley is in the third and final year of his contract and he and the team were working extending the contract(That's Racin')(10-14-2000)

  • Pressley and the #4? TNN's Raceday reported that Robert Pressley, driver of the #77 Jasper Engines Ford, has talked with Larry McClure, owner of the #4 Kodak Chevy concerning the 2001 driver opening there(10-1-2000)

  • #77 News: the #77 Jasper Motorsports team has hired a new General Manager, George Stephens, to handle the day-to-day activities at the race shop. Stephens comes to the #77 the #75 Galaxy Motorsports team, where he functioned as the Team Manager. Previously, Stephens worked for the Hendricks Motorsports organization from 1993-1999. Stephens will work closely with Ryan Pemberton on issues such as personnel, travel schedules and front office management(Jasper Motorsports Site)(9-28-2000)

  • #77 Changes? ESPN2's NASCAR 2Day is reporting that there may be changes at the #77 team, Penske Engines and a new driver were reported, no names mentioned(9-17-2000)

  • Jasper to Scale Down UPDATE 2 NO: Doug Bawel, CEO of Jasper Engines and Transmissions and an owner of the #77 Ford driven by Robert Pressley, says that Jasper Engines will not be the team's major sponsor next season. Bawel said the company's board of directors made the decision Friday. Jasper plans to stay as a major associate sponsor(Roanoke Times)
    UPDATE: This is NOT true. The remarks by team owner Doug Bawel have been taken out of context in the quotes written in the Roanoke Times. Jasper Motorsports will be issuing a statement later today regarding their committment to remain in this sport for the future(Jasper Motorsports PR)(8-21-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Valvoline is the second company to have part-ownership in a Cup team. The other is Jasper Engines and Transmissions, which sponsors and owns part of Robert Pressley's #77 Ford team. Doug Bawel, CEO of Jasper and a majority owner in the team, says such a situation can work in certain circumstances. "I think there's more benefits for people that are automotive-related," said Bawel, whose team is looking for additional sponsorship for next season. "If you're not automotive related, i.e. a bubble gum company, I don't know if owning a Winston Cup team would help them. But if you're automotive related and you want to use that platform to take you in other areas, I think it makes a lot of sense."(Roanoke Times). Actually Valvoline is the first "major consumer products company" to own a Winston Cup team.(8-23-2000)

  • #77 in the Wind: hearing the #77 Jasper Engines Ford is back at the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today. The team is testing their Brickyard 400 cars. Confirmed at the Jasper Motorsports Site(7-25-2000)

  • Wind Tunnel Testing: hearing the #77 Jasper Engines Ford is at the wind tunnel at N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today(7-11-2000)

  • #77 at Daytona: Fit America, the all-natural weight loss program and sponsor of the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford driven by Robert Pressley, will have a greater logo presence at this week's Pepsi 400 at Daytona. The Fit America logo will be prominently displayed on the hood of the racecar(Business Wire)(6-28-2000)

  • Pressley will race: Mark Simo, Brian's brother(in the #90 this weekend), ran the #77 Jasper Engines Ford in AM practice and 2nd round qualifying at Sears Point. Simo didn't qualify the car and the team will use a provisional. The idea was to try to get a better pit position and out of 'Gilligan's Island' (see story below). Robert Pressley will start and run the car in the race. See full story on this at TachZone AND another story about 2nd round at NOL: Dallenbach leads 'escape from Gilligan's Island'(6-24-2000)

  • Green beats Pressley: #63 BGN driver Mark Green edged #77 Cup veteran Robert Pressley in a best two-out-of-three match race in Winston Cup-style convertibles Tuesday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway during round two of the 10-week Wendy’s Summer Shootout. See full story at the LMS Site(6-22-2000)

  • Pressley Top five: #77-Robert Pressley, who ran upfront all day at Michigan, got his first top five since Texas in April 1998, 64 races ago, when he finished 3rd(6-11-2000)

  • Punter to Pits: Carolina Panthers(NFL) punter Ken Walter will have a new job during tonight's race. He will be catching tires rolled to the pit wall during pit stops for the Jasper Motorsports Ford driven by Robert Pressley. Team owner Doug Bawel came up with the idea after the team put a special teal-and-black paint job on Pressley's car. Prominently displayed is a black panther, which is also both teams' mascot(The State)(5-28-2000)

  • Wear Your Helmet: At Dalrington on Sunday, Dennis "Moose" Cabe, gasman for the #77 Ford Taurus and driver Robert Pressley, had just finished putting gas in the car and was working on a wedge adjustment when Pressley began leaving the pit box. Cabe was dragged into the neighboring pit box of Dave Blaney. Cabe escaped without any injuries. One reason? He had all of his protective gear on, including a helmet. "My helmet hit the ground on the right side," Cabe said. "I always wear all of my protective gear and that's why."(Speed Magazine/Andrew Booth)(3-21-2000)

    1999 News

  • 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)

  • Pemberton to the #77? UPDATE 2: Ryan Pemberton, crew chief for the #36 M&M's MBII team, has made his decision about where to work next season, but he’s not commenting until next weekend. Pemberton is expected to join the Doug Bawel-owned #77 team with driver Robert Pressley(Times-Dispatch) BUT on Sunday's Raceday(TNN) Bob Dillner reported that Pemberton will be announcing soon that he will be crew chief for Robby Gordon's Cup team in 2000. Supposedly a sponsor announcement as well. It was reported that Pemberton was at the CART finale last week with Gordon(TNN's Raceday)(11-8-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Jasper Motorsports announced today that Ryan Pemberton will take over the Crew Chief duties next year for the #77 Jasper Engines Fords driven by Robert Pressley. The team made the announcement from Homestead Motorsports Complex. Ryan Pemberton, a member of the prestigious Crew Chief Club, comes to the Jasper Motorsports team after three years at the helm of the MB2 Motorsports M&M’s Pontiac with driver Ernie Irvan, and more recently, Jerry Nadeau(Jasper Engines Team PR)(11-14-1999)

  • Pemberton to the #77? UPDATE: Ryan Pemberton, crew chief for the #36 M&M's MBII team, has made his decision about where to work next season, but he’s not commenting until next weekend. Pemberton is expected to join the Doug Bawel-owned #77 team with driver Robert Pressley(Times-Dispatch) BUT on Sunday's Raceday(TNN) Bob Dillner reported that Pemberton will be announcing soon that he will be crew chief for Robby Gordon's Cup team in 2000. Supposedly a sponsor announcement as well. It was reported that Pemberton was at the CART finale last week with Gordon(TNN's Raceday)(11-8-1999)

  • #77 News: Jasper Motorsports is expected to announce soon that Robert Pressley will return to the #77 team for the 2000 season(The Depot)(10-7-1999)

  • #77 Testing News: Robert Pressley and the #77 Jasper Engines Ford tested at the Caraway Speedway Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for the Richmond race(9-7-1999)

  • #77 Sponsor News: Jasper Motorsports #77 Cup team announced today that they have signed a new associate sponsor for the Jasper Engines Fords driven by Robert Pressley. Fit America is an all-natural weight loss program headquartered in Deerfield Beach, FL. The new sponsorship agreement includes a four race deal(Charlotte, Pheonix, Homestead and an unknown race at this point)for the remainder of 1999 and a full season in the year 2000. Debi Davis, Founder of FIT AMERICA made the announcement from the company¹s headquarters. Fit America¹s all-natural weight loss and wellness products are sold at retails locations in 17 states nationwide. There are currently 74 franchise stores in operation with additional stores in Arizona, North Carolina, New York, Texas, Connecticut, Florida and New Jersey scheduled to open before year¹s end(Jasper Team PR)(9-7-1999)

  • Noticed: The #75 Butch Mock owned Ford with driver Ted Musgrave had the Camo color scheme at Michigan and the #77 Jasper Engines Ford had the yellow/panther design(6-13-1999)

  • Team Jasper(Panther Pit) News: The #77 Jasper Motorsports team has named Charley Pressley as interim crew chief for the Jasper Engines Ford Taurus. Pete Rondeau has been named car chief. Both will work together while the team is in the transition of naming a permanent crew chief. Bob Gulbranson, shop foreman, will continue his duties in order to focus on the preparation of the race cars and interviewing new crew chief candidates. Charley Pressley is Jasper Motorsport¹s driver Robert Pressley¹s brother and this is not the first time they have worked together. Charley was Robert's crew chief during his 1995 rookie season in the #33 Leo Jackson Skoal Bandit cars. During that tenure, they had four top-fives and sat on the front row twice. For the Coca-Cola 600, the Jasper Motorsports car will sport a much different look. Making use of the black panther mascot of Jasper Performance Products (and the Carolina Panthers), the car includes reflective decals, a mostly yellow paint job, see an image at Paint Scheme Gallery(Jasper PR)(5-25-1999)

  • #77 Paint for Indy: The #77 Jasper Motorsports Ford will sport a platinum stripes scheme for Federal-Mogul their biggest associate sponsor at Indy for the Brickyard 400. The scheme will involve one of Federal Mogul's brand named products. They own several well-known automotive product brands and the car will also revolve around Federal Mogul's new themed ad campaign. Have no image on that or any idea what it'll look like(5-25-1999)

  • Michigan Testing UPDATE 1: Robert Pressley and the #77 Jasper Engines Ford team will test at Michigan next Monday and Tuesday(May 17-18th)(That's Racin')(5-11-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Dave Blaney is also testing the #93 Amoco Pontiac, at Michigan on Monday and Tuesday, heard Blaney ran a lap of 181.360mph, just short of Ward Burtons 181.405 pole speed last year. Blaney plans to make his first Cup start at Michigan in June. Pressley was not at the test as reported but Bobby Hamilton was there(5-18-1999)

  • Newt leaves: Jasper Motorsports crew chief Newt Moore has resigned his post effective Monday, May 17th. Citing personal reasons, Moore has decided to move on. Jasper Motorsports team owners announced that Bob Gulbranson has been named as the interim crew chief. Bob Gulbranson had previously held the position of shop foreman at Jasper Motorsports and is a member of the JASPER Motorsports Leadership Team for the past 10 months. Before Gulbranson teamed up with Jasper, he served as Hermie Sadler¹s 1998 crew chief in the Busch Grand National Series at the Diamond Ridge Motorsports shop. He has also previously worked a short stint as Robert Pressley¹s crew chief when Pressley drove for the Diamond Ridge in the Winston Cup series in 1997. The team also announced that Charley Pressley, Robert¹s brother, will remain on with Jasper Motorsports as a team advisor. Charley was initially with Morgan-McClure Motorsports and the Kodak Chevrolet team of Bobby Hamilton. "This came as a surprise, but I intend to do the best job I can. With Charley and myself, our goal is to get Robert Pressley up in the top-ten and top-fives so we can move up in the points standings," said Gulbranson(Jasper PR)(5-17-1999)

  • #77 Testing: Robert Pressley and the #77 Jasper Motorsports team are testing at Greenville-Pickens Speedway today(4-13-1999)

  • #91 Test at ATLANTA(not Darlington doh!), Tuesday and Wednesday Steve Grissom had a top speed of ~190.700mph(LJ Racing) -- other drivers and speed: Rick Mast had the fastest lap at Atlanta at 190.909 mph, followed by Steve Grissom (190.843), Ricky Craven (189.344), Kenny Wallace (189.150) and Robert Pressley (188.700).(icFlorida)(2-26-1999)

  • #77 Changes: I hear the engine builder of the #77 Jasper Engines Ford, Mark Vieau, is leaving the team.(2-25-1999)

  • Fines: The following crew chiefs were fined for rules violations at Daytona: Newt Moore from the #77 Jasper Engines Ford team fined $5,000 for unapproved brake rotors; Greg Conner from the #90 Acu-Turn Industries Ford fined $3,000 for a non-magnetic driveshaft; Joe Garone, crew chief for the #94 McDonald's Ford and Wayne Orme, crew chief for #13 NationsRent Ford were fined $2,000 each for use of unapproved exhaust pipes(NASCAR Online)(2-17-1999)

  • Special Paint for the #77 Update: The #77 Jasper Engines Team plans to unveil several new paint schemes in 1999, including one at The Winston in May and The Brickyard in August. Admark Graphics, of Charlotte, NC, has been working on several paint schemes that will make even more use of the traditional mascot of Jasper Engines and Transmissions, a black panther(Jasper Engines Website - thanks Ryan)(1-9-1999) -- I hear the car for Indy will be Black and have the Jasper Panther on the hood(1-10-1999)

  • Pressley to the CTS UPDATE: Robert Pressley, who drives the #77 Jasper Engines Ford in Cup, will also race 4-6 Truck races in 1999, no team or sponsor mentioned(WC Today Radio)(1-4-1999) -- Robert Pressley said he has nothing solid going in terms of a part-time ride in the Truck Series or the Busch Series for 1999(1-14-1999)

    #77 News and Links Page
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