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April 2010 Nationwide Series Archive

 

  • Baker Curb losing RedMan sponsorship: Allen Bestwick reported during ESPN2’s coverage of the Nationwide Series race that RedMan, the sponsor of the #27-Baker Curb Racing team, would have to be off the car by the end of June due to new federal regulations on smokeless tobacco products.(4-30-2010)
  • Fellows in the #88 at road courses: Kelly Earnhardt said on the April 28th ampupthe88.com chat that Ron Fellows will be the driver of the #88 in all three Nationwide Series road course races this season.(4-30-2010)

  • Earnhardt says no plans to move team to Cup: JR Motorsports, Earnhardt Jr.’s Nationwide Series team, has been rumored to be a candidate for expansion into a Sprint Cup operation as early as next year, especially with Rick Hendrick, who co-owns JR Motorsports, looking to find a ride for Kasey Kahne for 2011. But Earnhardt Jr. said his team would not expand and would stay in the Nationwide Series next year. “That’s probably not even worth talking about,” Earnhardt Jr. said following practice for the Crown Royal 400. “That’s not going to happen. That’s a good story, a good rumor, whatever. But in reality, I don’t think we would do that.”(Scene Daily)(4-30-2010)
  • Sad News – Al Allen: #05-Willie Allen is driving with a heavy heart Friday at Richmond International Raceway. His father, Al, passed away Thursday after battling complications from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Al Allen, 55, was a big supporter of Willie’s career, and that’s why Willie decided to drive all night to race in Richmond. “Tough week. After Talladega, as soon as I got home and laid in the bed, my mom called and said he was having trouble breathing, so we rushed him to the hospital,” Willie said. “He actually walked in the hospital. Just thought he was having a rough time, pneumonia or something.” But Al didn’t get any better, and doctors put him on a bi-pap breathing machine. Willie said the decision was made Thursday to take him off the machine. “Man, I wouldn’t be racing if it wasn’t for him, 100 percent,” Willie said. “Countless hours at the shop. There wouldn’t even be a chance of me being here (without him).” Willie wondered whether he should race Friday at Richmond, but he said he knew what his dad would want “I kind of questioned myself: What should I do?’ Willie said. “I know 100 percent what he’d want me to do. That’s all he worked for, for me to do this. It’s been tough today. It’s been super tough, just focusing. I ain’t going to lie. Trying to work through it.” Willie and his wife Kristen drove all night Thursday and got to Richmond about five minutes before practice began at 9 a.m. Eastern.(NNS Racing)(4-30-2010)
  • Coupons.com sponsoring Kenseth at Richmond: – Roush Fenway Racing and Coupons.com announced that Coupons.com will serve as the primary sponsor for the #16 NASCAR Nationwide Series team at Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway with NASCAR champion driver Matt Kenseth at the helm of the #16 Coupons.com Ford. Coupons.com also introduces a #16 racing-themed version of the site at http://racing.coupons.com during the sponsorship.(Roush Fenway PR)(4-29-2010)

  • Dale Jr. to run #3 car at Daytona NNS race? UPDATE 2: If arrangements go as planned, Earnhardt will run the #3 Wrangler Chevrolet for JR Motorsports at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on July 2. Sources have told FOXSports.com that Earnhardt will revive his father’s famous #3 in a collaborative effort initiated by JR Motorsports with Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. A formal announcement is expected on April 29. According to team sources, a Hendrick Motorsports engine will power the car. Earnhardt Jr. currently has a personal services contract with Wrangler, continuing a family legacy between the brands. Wrangler first sponsored his father for the final race of his 1980 Cup championship season and the following year with Rod Osterlund for the first 16 races. (4-22-2010)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive a #3 Nationwide Series car at Daytona International Speedway in July, Earnhardt Jr. reluctantly confirmed Friday at Talladega Superspeedway. JR Motorsports is unveiling the car and making the announcement Thursday, but television commentator Darrell Waltrip tweeted about Earnhardt Jr. driving a #3 yesterday. The paint scheme is expected feature Wrangler, which sponsored Dale Earnhardt in the early 1980s. “We ain’t really got anything confirmed – DW blew the lid off of it on Twitter no less,” Earnhardt Jr. said Friday. “That kind of ruined our announcement that we had planned. “We’re going to have our announcement here soon and explain to everybody what the whole program is about and how it came about and what’s going to happen. It’s unfortunate DW uncovered that. We didn’t plan to announce it like this. We’ll do it when we had it originally planned.” The car will be a third JR Motorsports car to go along with its #88 and #7 cars running on a full-time basis.(Scene Daily)(4-23-2010)
    UPDATE 2: Through a joint effort between Richard Childress Racing, JR Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Wrangler, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will pay tribute to his father’s upcoming induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame by driving the #3 Wrangler Chevy in the Nationwide Series race on July 2 at Daytona International Speedway. The announcement and car unveiling was made Thursday in Mooresville, N.C., at JR Motorsports and to the fans at Dale Earnhardt Inc. In attendance were Earnhardt Jr., Richard Childress, Kelley Earnhardt Teresa Earnhardt and Craig Errington, vice president of Wrangler marketing. The car is an RCR entry built and prepared by JR Motorsports. The combination of Earnhardt Jr., DEI and RCR has a very brief yet shining history on the track together. In their only race together, Earnhardt drove the #3 Chevrolet to victory in the February 2002 Nationwide Series race at Daytona. That car is on display at the RCR Museum in Welcome, N.C. In support of the program, an array of licensed product will be available to fans from die-cast cars to apparel and select novelty items. Merchandise will highlight both Dale Earnhardt original Wrangler car and Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s current paint scheme. Fans can find the products at www.nascar.com, trackside or through each of the represented team stores.(RCR PR), see a graphic of the car on my #3 Nationwide team paint scheme page.(4-29-2010)
  • Warranty Direct sponsoring Lagasse at Richmond: Baker Curb Racing announced that Scott Lagasse Jr.’s #43 Fords will promote WarrantyDirect.com, one of the largest and most established extended vehicle warranty companies in North America in Friday night’s Bubba Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Lagasse Jr. currently ranks 10th in the NASCAR Nationwide driver point standings after eight races, having gained 22 spots over the last seven races. (Warranty Direct PR), see a graphic of the car on my #43 Nationwide team paint scheme page.(4-29-2010)
  • Westerman returns to the #40 at Richmond: Driver Mike Bliss is happily welcomed back to the seat of the #40 Westerman Companies Chevy for Key Motorsports at Richmond International Raceway this weekend. Predictions of clear weather and the driver’s history at the track foretell another great finish to enrich Westerman’s participation. This season marks the fourth consecutive year Westerman Companies has backed the efforts of Key Motorsports in NASCAR racing. “Key Motorsports has represented our company well and we look forward to being at the track with them for eight Nationwide Series races this year,” said a company spokesperson.(Key Motorsports PR)(4-29-2010)

  • Keselowski’s shocks taken: UPDATE 2: #22-Brad Keselowski took over the points lead by 60 over #33-Harvick. #18-Kyle Busch, who had entered the race as the points leader, was involved in two accidents and dropped to third, 104 points behind Keselowski. But Keselowski might have a smaller points lead after Tuesday. NASCAR has confiscated the left front spring and right front shock from the race-winning car of Keselowski. They were under the minimum spring rate, and NASCAR will evaluate the pieces at its research and development center before determining any penalties.(Scene Daily)(4-26-2010)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced that three NASCAR Nationwide Series teams have been fined and penalized due to rule violations during this past weekend’s event at Talladega Superspeedway. Paul Wolfe, crew chief for the #22 team, was fined $10,000 for violating Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules) and 20A-12.1A(8) (unapproved left front spring). Wolfe was fined an additional $10,000 for violating Sections 12-1, 12-4-J and 20A-12.3T (unapproved right front shock absorber) of the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series rule book. Jodi Geschickter, owner of the #22 team, was penalized with the loss of 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship owner points for violating 12-1, 12-4-J and 20A-12.1A(8), and lost an additional 25 owner points for violating 12-1, 12-4-J and 20A-12.3T. Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 car, also was docked 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship driver points for violating 12-1, 12-4-J and 20A-12.1A(8). He also surrendered an additional 25 driver points for violating 12-1, 12-4-J and 20A-12.3T. The rule violations for the #22 team were discovered during post-race inspection on April 25.
    Bob Schacht, crew chief of the #75 team, has been fined $5,000 for violation of Sections 12-1, 12-4-J and 20A-12-E (reinforcement extended forward of the coil spring mounting pad). Schacht was fined an additional $2,500 for being in violation of 12-1, 12-4-J and 20A-12 (use of hollow bolts in truck trailing arms and panhard bar). The infractions were discovered during opening-day inspection on April 22.
    Also Newt Moore, crew chief of the #05 team, was fined $2,500 after being found in violation of 12-1, 12-4-J and 20A-12.1B(8) (non-magnetic steel rear jacking bolts). These infractions also were found during opening-day inspection.(NASCAR PR)(4-28-2010)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing president Tim Cindric said the team will not appeal the penalties, but believes part failures contributed to the failed inspection. “We are confident that there was no intent on behalf of Paul Wolfe, or any other member of the No. 22 team, to circumvent NASCAR’s rules,” Cindric said in a statement.(Associated Press)(4-29-2010)

  • Bires to run some races for Braun: Braun Racing announced that Kelly Bires will pilot the #10 Shore Lodge Toyota in Friday night’s BUBBA Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Pending additional sponsorship, the team hopes to have the opportunity to run Bires in additional races throughout the 2010 season. “We are very happy to have Kelly join our lineup of talented drivers this season,” said Braun. “He is a talented young driver whose ability has been greatly underrated. We look forward to seeing his performance this weekend in Richmond and hope to be able to field him in the #10 car for more races in the future.”(Braun Racing PR)(4-28-2010)
  • Talladega TV Ratings: ESPN2 earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.3 for its live telecast of the rain-delayed NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, April 25. The telecast averaged 1,745,012 viewers. The race was originally scheduled to be run on Saturday and televised on ABC, as it had been for the past three years. It was moved to ESPN2 after the one-day rain delay.(ESPN PR)(4-28-2010)
  • Cobb plans limited Nationwide schedule: From an interview at Frontstrech.com:
    You drive the No. 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing Ford in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. How did that deal come about, and do you have funding for the entire season?
    Jennifer Jo Cobb: We bought the assets from Circle Bar Racing. James Buescher drove the No. 10 last year and then, when he switched teams they sold everything and I just happened to be the one who bought it. It is under the JJC Racing name, so I’m actually the owner and the driver. We are fully funded through 2010 to run all 25 NCWTS races. I ran one ARCA race at Daytona, and that’s the only ARCA race that I have scheduled. I plan on running about six Nationwide races if all goes well.
    Where do you hope that this gets you in the future? Are you looking towards the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, or are you looking towards moving into the Nationwide Series when you can?
    Cobb: What our goals would be is to win Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for 2010, and then a full schedule for Rookie of the Year in the Nationwide Series in 2011. Then, eventually, we’d like to have an entry in the Cup Series.(Frontstretch)(4-28-2010)

  • Bowyer to run more races in the #21: UPDATE: As far as his Nationwide program, [Richard] Childress said discussions continue with development driver John Wes Townley, who is sitting out his third consecutive race. Clint Bowyer has driven the last two races and will drive the #21 RCR car again this weekend. “We’re still talking,” Childress said. “Clint is going to keep in it for a few more races before we decide [what to do].”(Scene Daily)(4-23-2010)
    UPDATE: Clint Bowyer said he hopes to be in Richard Childress Racing’s #21 NASCAR Nationwide Series Chevy for seven more races, substituting for John Wes Townley. Bowyer spoke to reporters on a national teleconference Tuesday. He said he and the team are working on a schedule for him for the remainder of 2010. The Talladega race was Bowyer’s second since taking over for Townley, whose status is still up in the air. Team owner Richard Childress said at Texas that Townley is still employed by the team, but his schedule is unknown. Bowyer is in the car for this weekend’s race at Richmond.(NNS Racing)(4-28-2010)

  • Phoenix Racing team for sale: UPDATE 2: James Finch, the defending winner owner [#09 Chevy in Cup, #1 Chevy in NNS] of this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, is putting his Phoenix Racing operation up for sale. For a price, the new owner would acquire a 70,000 sq. ft. building complete with 35 race cars, all the machinery and two houses on nine acres in Spartanburg, S.C. “I’ve had a real good time,” Finch said. “But it’s time to do something else. Offer me a fair price then give me half and we’ll have a deal.” Finch fielded cars for a variety of drivers in NASCAR’s Cup and Nationwide Series as well as ARCA. He won 12 NNS races with six different drivers on nine different tracks. But his most coveted win came at Talladega last year as Finch provided rookie Brad Keselowski with an opportunity to earn his first Sprint Cup victory. Finch took his entire share of the $312, 075 purse and offered it to Keselowski for his parents, lifelong racers who campaigned in ARCA and NASCAR with their family-owned operation. Keselowski made his NASCAR debut behind the wheel of the K Automotive Ford truck in 2004 at Martinsville. “I did some cool things for my parents with that,” Keselowski added. “That was something I was proud to be able to do to help them out financially because they’re going through some hard times. It’s cool to be able to be there for them.” #1-James Buescher is Finch’s latest protégé. The 20-year-old from Plano, Texas, finished the last two races of the season for Finch in the NNS and is currently 19th in the point standings. His best finish this season was eighth at Daytona.(FoxSports)(4-24-2010)
    UPDATE: James Buescher is not worried about his future with the #1 Phoenix Racing Nationwide Series team. FoxSports broke news last week that James Finch’s Phoenix Racing team, a longtime NASCAR fixture, is up for sale. The 20 year-old Buescher tells Frontstretch.com that this news has no effect on the team’s operations this season. “I don’t have any doubt,” said Buescher at Talladega Sunday morning, in regard to whether or not the #1 Chevy will complete the rest of the season. “We’re here through Homestead. James Finch, at the beginning of the year, told me we’re running through Homestead, then we lost Miccosukee [an Indian-run casino and resort and longtime Phoenix Racing sponsor in both the Cup and Nationwide Series]. He still says we are running through Homestead. If he says he is going to do something, then he is going to do it. I really don’t have any doubt of that.” (Frontstretch)(4-27-2010)
    UPDATE 2: James Finch is putting the brakes on Phoenix Racing. Nine weeks into his 22nd season as a NASCAR owner, the Panama City native has put his Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams up for sale. The Bay County businessman, who owns Phoenix Construction, said he has spent close to $2 million of his own money since February, when Phoenix Racing lost its primary sponsor, Miccosukee Resort and Gaming. Finch said The Miccosukee Tribe elected a new chairman who discontinued a contract to sponsor 35 Nationwide and 18 Sprint Cup races, leaving Phoenix without the majority of its financial backing. Finch, 59, said Phoenix will finish this season, and that he hopes to sell an “up-and-running team.” After considering his options since the end of last season, Finch came to the decision to sell his racing operation a couple of weeks ago. Finch said he is asking $12 million for nine acres in Spartanburg, S.C., where his racing team is located. Included are 35-40 cars, two houses, a 70,000-square-foot shop and equipment including the trailers. Since publicly announcing Saturday that Phoenix was for sale, Finch said he has received about 100 inquiries, of which “one or two might be legitimate.” Finch said he is meeting with prospective buyers this week in Texas. Finch said he plans to sell his #09 Sprint Cup and #1 Nationwide teams as a package, or his Nationwide team individually. He won’t sell his Sprint Cup team without the Nationwide team included. Phoenix will honor its season-long contract with Nationwide driver James Buescher, and has used two drivers, Aric Almirola and Mike Bliss, in its Cup car.(News Herald)(4-28-2010)
  • Congrats to #27 Red Man Racing Car Chief, John Reese, and his wife Sara on the birth of Stella Reese. Stella was born April 27th at 2:04 p.m. CT in Nashville, TN. Stella is 19 and a half inches long and weighs just over six pounds.(4-27-2010)
  • Split/Second on the #20 at Richmond: Disney Interactive Studios will have their upcoming game, Split/Second, on the #20 car at Richmond. Split/Second is an action racing game putting the player as a contestant on a reality TV show with a massive city set rigged for destruction. Players trigger explosive events that alter the track and take out opponents. Split/Second is set to release in May 18, 2010 on both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 gaming systems.(JGR PR)(4-27-2010)
  • Pressley returns to the #23: For the second time this year, Coleman Pressley will take over the wheel of the #23 Chevy for R3 Motorsports in Friday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway in the Bubba Burger 250. Pressley, a third-generation NASCAR driver, made his debut with R3 Motorsports at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. This will be his second start at the .75-mile oval of RIR. Last year, he qualified a career-best 13th with another team, but dropped out with overheating problems just 16 laps into the race.(R3 Motorsports PR)(4-27-2010)
  • Racing Resources Says…
    • Brad Keselowski won the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. It was his seventh series win in his 112th start and his first win in 2010.
    • Keselowski has finished in the top five in the past seven series races, the longest current streak. He set a series record for most consecutive races running at the finish with 75.
    • It was the first Nationwide victory for crew chief Paul Wolfe. • Penske Racing posted its 11th series victory and first at Talladega.
    • Dodge posted its first series Talladega win and second win of 2010.
    • Joey Logano (second) has finished in the top 10 in six of his seven starts this season.
    • Kevin Harvick (third) has finished in the top six in 16 of his past 17 starts.
    • Jason Keller (fourth) finished in the top 10 for the 175th time, second all time. His previous top-5 finish was at Gateway in July 2008.
    • John Borneman III (fifth) earned his career-best finish in his 17th start — his first NNS top-15 finish.
    • Carl Edwards (35th) was bumped by teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on Lap 20, starting a 12-car accident.
    (ESPN.com)(4-27-2010)

  • Ab Circle Pro sponsoring Gaughan at Charlotte: When NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brendan Gaughan takes to the track next month in Charlotte, both his car and his body will have a new look. Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing, LLC and Fitness Brands, Inc.—the makers of Ab Circle Pro—announced an agreement under which Ab Circle Pro will serve as primary sponsor of Gaughan and RWR’s #62 Toyota in the May 29th Nationwide Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Additionally, Gaughan is embarking on a “total body makeover” utilizing the Ab Circle Pro System, the worldwide phenomenon consisting of three components: unique side-to-side movements with the Ab Circle Pro for carving the abs, complete workouts using the accompanying DVD and a nutritional guide to help promote weight loss.(RWR PR)(4-26-2010)

  • Royal Purple to sponsor Darlington Race: Royal Purple Synthetic Oil has signed a multiyear deal to be the title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series event held at the historic Darlington Raceway. This year’s race will be known as the Royal Purple 200 Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts. The green-flag will fly on the event at approximately 7:30 pm on May 7, 2010. Royal Purple, founded in 1986, has emerged as a leader in manufacturing high performance lubricants to a wide range of consumers. Royal Purple’s state-of-the-art products, including marine, racing, snowmobile, and motorcycle oils, are focused primarily on outperforming other synthetic oils in the market.(Darlington PR)(4-26-2010)
  • Keselowski almost wasn’t cleared to race: Brad Keselowski was minutes away from being benched for the Nationwide Series race. He was involved in a late wreck in the earlier Cup race, sending his carbon monoxide level soaring past NASCAR’s limit to drive. He was a “real jerk” to the medical personnel in the care center because he demanded immediate clearance to race. “If the race started 5 minutes earlier, I wouldn’t have been in it,” Keselowski said. Keselowski needed an oxygen mask for the majority of his break between races, then went out and won the Nationwide event at Talladega Superspeedway in a wild finish to end more than 850 miles of racing Sunday. He got the breaks on the track and off to win his first race with Penske Racing. Keselowski said his carbon monoxide level after the Sprint Cup race was at 13 – nearly triple NASCAR’s required numeric level to drive a stock car. Team owner Roger Penske asked Sam Hornish Jr. to standby in case of emergency. After 45 minutes of breathing through an oxygen mask, Keselowski was given the green light to drive the #22 Dodge.)Associated Press)(4-26-2010)
  • Deal Taker to continue sponsorship of Shepherd: DealTaker.com is planning to sponsor the Faith Motorsports Morgan Shepherd #89 Chevy Impala again in the New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, according to Kevin Strawbridge, president of DealTaker. Talladega was the third race this season that the Plano, Texas company has had its DealTaker.com logo displayed on the quarter panels of Shepherd’s Victory in Jesus Chevy. Previously they had sponsored him at Bristol Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.(Examiner)(4-26-2010)
  • Turkey Bubba Burgers for Wallace at Richmond: Kenny Wallace and the Turkey Bubba Burger will combine forces to “kick off the grilling season” in the Bubba Burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Richmond International Raceway next Friday night. Wallace will be driving the #28 Turkey Bubba Burger Chevy for Jay Robinson Racing in the event.(Jay Robinson PR)(4-24-2010)
  • Phoenix Racing team for sale: James Finch, the defending winner owner [#09 Chevy in Cup, #1 Chevy in NNS] of this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, is putting his Phoenix Racing operation up for sale. For a price, the new owner would acquire a 70,000 sq. ft. building complete with 35 race cars, all the machinery and two houses on nine acres in Spartanburg, S.C. “I’ve had a real good time,” Finch said. “But it’s time to do something else. Offer me a fair price  then give me half and we’ll have a deal.” Finch fielded cars for a variety of drivers in NASCAR’s Cup and Nationwide Series as well as ARCA. He won 12 NNS races with six different drivers on nine different tracks. But his most coveted win came at Talladega last year as Finch provided rookie Brad Keselowski with an opportunity to earn his first Sprint Cup victory. Finch took his entire share of the $312, 075 purse and offered it to Keselowski for his parents, lifelong racers who campaigned in ARCA and NASCAR with their family-owned operation. Keselowski made his NASCAR debut behind the wheel of the K Automotive Ford truck in 2004 at Martinsville. “I did some cool things for my parents with that,” Keselowski added. “That was something I was proud to be able to do  to help them out financially because they’re going through some hard times. It’s cool to be able to be there for them.” #1-James Buescher is Finch’s latest protégé. The 20-year-old from Plano, Texas, finished the last two races of the season for Finch in the NNS and is currently 19th in the point standings. His best finish this season was eighth at Daytona.(FoxSports)(4-24-2010)

  • Bowyer to run more races in the #21: As far as his Nationwide program, [Richard] Childress said discussions continue with development driver John Wes Townley, who is sitting out his third consecutive race. Clint Bowyer has driven the last two races and will drive the #21 RCR car again this weekend. “We’re still talking,” Childress said. “Clint is going to keep in it for a few more races before we decide [what to do].”(Scene Daily)(4-23-2010)

  • Dale Jr. to run #3 car at Daytona NNS race? UPDATE: If arrangements go as planned, Earnhardt will run the #3 Wrangler Chevrolet for JR Motorsports at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on July 2. Sources have told FOXSports.com that Earnhardt will revive his father’s famous #3 in a collaborative effort initiated by JR Motorsports with Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. A formal announcement is expected on April 29. According to team sources, a Hendrick Motorsports engine will power the car. Earnhardt Jr. currently has a personal services contract with Wrangler, continuing a family legacy between the brands. Wrangler first sponsored his father for the final race of his 1980 Cup championship season and the following year with Rod Osterlund for the first 16 races. (4-22-2010)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive a #3 Nationwide Series car at Daytona International Speedway in July, Earnhardt Jr. reluctantly confirmed Friday at Talladega Superspeedway. JR Motorsports is unveiling the car and making the announcement Thursday, but television commentator Darrell Waltrip tweeted about Earnhardt Jr. driving a #3 yesterday. The paint scheme is expected feature Wrangler, which sponsored Dale Earnhardt in the early 1980s. “We ain’t really got anything confirmed – DW blew the lid off of it on Twitter no less,” Earnhardt Jr. said Friday. “That kind of ruined our announcement that we had planned. “We’re going to have our announcement here soon and explain to everybody what the whole program is about and how it came about and what’s going to happen. It’s unfortunate DW uncovered that. We didn’t plan to announce it like this. We’ll do it when we had it originally planned.” The car will be a third JR Motorsports car to go along with its #88 and #7 cars running on a full-time basis.(Scene Daily)(4-23-2010)

  • Braun parked for 2 races? UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing will bench rookie #16-Colin Braun for two races in the aftermath of a crash with teammate #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., in Monday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a high-level source within the team told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that RFR initially considered removing Braun from the ride permanently, but relented after sponsor ConWay Freight advocated a more lenient sanction. Braun will be in the ConWay-backed car this weekend at Talledega Superspeedway, before being replaced by former Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth in an unsponsored #16 Ford at both Richmond and Darlington. Braun has struggled in his rookie season of Nationwide Series competition, with a quartet of crash-related DNFs at Daytona, Las Vegas, Bristol and Phoenix. He has posted an average finish of 29.3 in his seven starts this season, with a best finish of 13th at Texas last week. He currently ranks 25th in Nationwide Series championship points.(Sirius Speedway)(4-22-2010)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing announced that Matt Kenseth has been selected to drive the unsponsored #16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford at both the Richmond and Darlington races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Roush Fenway Racing further confirms that Colin Braun will continue to drive the #16 in the races to which he has been previously assigned, namely those Nationwide Series races where Con-way Freight and 3M are primary sponsors (16 more races). “Matt Kenseth is our first selection to drive the #16 in the unsponsored races to promote Matt and this team’s availability for Nationwide Series sponsorship,” said team owner Jack Roush. “We also believe Matt’s participation will strengthen the capabilities of our Nationwide Series programs. We are committed to campaign the #16 in all the Nationwide Series races, and we may select drivers other than Matt, and including Colin, to drive in the other unsponsored races. In making those driver decisions we will be balancing our competitive, sponsorship and development needs.” Crew chief Eddie Pardue and the rest of the #16 team members will remain with the car no matter the driver.(Roush Fenway PR)(4-23-2010)
  • Deal Taker returns to the #89: DealTaker.com, a free internet coupon site for members to share and get deals, will serve as associate sponsor of Morgan Shepherd’s #89 Chevy this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. It is the third race this year the company has had its logos displayed on the upper rear quarter panels of Shepherd’s Victory in Jesus Impala.(Faith Motorsports PR)(4-23-2010)

  • Dale Jr. to run #3 car at Daytona NNS race? If arrangements go as planned, Earnhardt will run the #3 Wrangler Chevrolet for JR Motorsports at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on July 2. Sources have told FOXSports.com that Earnhardt will revive his father’s famous #3 in a collaborative effort initiated by JR Motorsports with Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. A formal announcement is expected on April 29. According to team sources, a Hendrick Motorsports engine will power the car. Earnhardt Jr. currently has a personal services contract with Wrangler, continuing a family legacy between the brands. Wrangler first sponsored his father for the final race of his 1980 Cup championship season and the following year with Rod Osterlund for the first 16 races. (4-22-2010)

  • Wimmer driving 3 races for Baker Curb: Baker Curb Racing announced that Scott Wimmer will drive the team’s #27 Red Man Moist Snuff Ford in Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Wimmer will also pilot the No. 27 for Baker Curb Racing in the upcoming stand alone events at Nashville Superspeedway and Kentucky Speedway.(Baker Curb PR)(4-22-2010)
  • Chrissy Wallace making debut with J-D Motorsports: Chrissy Wallace will drive the #0 entry out of the J-D Motorsports family stable at the Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. This will mark the second time Chrissy and her dad, Mike Wallace, will compete together in Nationwide Series cars. “This one is about families,” said Chrissy. “Dad and I are so thrilled to team up with the Johnny Davis family. Kertus Davis, Johnny’s son, has really stepped-up and worked tirelessly on my car, and he will be with me this weekend to help everything go well for us.” The 2010 Chevys will be painted in the familiar Davis colors, but with reversed red and white themes.(J-D Motorsports PR)(4-22-2010)
  • Bad Boy Buggies sponsoring Key Motorsports at Talladega: Jeff Green will be hunting big game this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, which carries the moniker of NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track. In his sights will be 48 other entries for the Saturday Aaron’s 312 competition. At Daytona in February Green finished 27th in his only previous start this year. The Owensboro, KY native earned the NASCAR Nationwide series Championship in 2000, placed 2nd in the preceding and following years, but has not competed full-time in the series since moving up to the Cup-level in 2002. Bad Boy Buggies returns as the primary sponsor this weekend for the #40 Chevy. An avid hunter, Green is an owner and user of Bad Boy Buggies products during his personal time.(Key Motorsports PR), see a graphic of the car on the #40 Nationwide team paint scheme page.(4-22-2010)
  • March of Dimes logo on the #6: This weekend is the March of Dimes national March for Babies weekend. The CitiFinancial #6 Ford will carry the March of Dimes logo on the deck lid to bring awareness to this important cause. Over the coming weeks, hundreds of CitiFinancial employees and CitiFinancial customers from across the country will be walking and raising money to ensure that all babies will one day be born healthy. CitiFinancial customers will be recognized for their March of Dimes support by a $50,000 donation from CitiFinancial to the March of Dimes.(CitiFinancial PR)(4-22-2010)
  • Texas TV Ratings: ESPN2’s live telecast of the rain-delayed NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday, April 19, earned a final national household coverage rating of 0.7, averaging 737,237 viewers. The race, originally scheduled to be run on Saturday, April 17, was rained out for two days before finally running on Monday. Rain-delay coverage on ESPN2 from 3:30 – 6 p.m. on Saturday earned a 0.6 rating. Last year’s Texas race was run and telecast as scheduled on ESPN2 and earned a 1.4 rating with an average of 1,862,866 viewers.(ESPN PR)(4-22-2010)

  • Hermie Sadler to drive for RAB at Richmond: Former NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year and current television analyst for SPEED, Hermie Sadler, will race in the “Bubba Burger 250” on Friday, April 30 at Richmond International Raceway. Sadler will pilot RAB Racing’s #09 TNA Wrestling Ford. The event will be Sadler’s first Nationwide Series start since 2004. Sadler, an Emporia, VA native will head back home to a track that he is very familiar with. The 40-year-old veteran has 26 career starts at the .750-mile D-shaped oval in NASCAR’s top-3 touring series including 19 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Sadler enters next weekend’s event with two top-5, three top-10 and seven top-15 finishes at this historic track. Total Non Stop Action Wrestling (TNA), is the second largest wrestling company in the world that utilizes some of the world¹s best known and up-and-coming wrestlers in the ring today. TNA and Sadler have had a long term relationship and will be the primary sponsor on the #09 Ford at Richmond.(RAB Racing PR)(4-20-2010)
  • EA Skate 3 on the #20 at Dega: This week, EA Skate 3 will adorn the #20 Toyota as the featured game. Skate 3 delivers all the camaraderie and competition of skateboarding. New tricks, improved off board actions, and gnarly Hall of Meat carnage mixed with exciting new team-based gameplay takes Skate 3 to a new level of skateboarding fun. Skate 3 will be available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on May 11.(JGR PR)(4-21-2010)
  • Talladega Rookie Notes:
    • Colin Braun was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Braun scored a 13th-place finish and collected top rookie honors for the second time this season.
    • Brian Scott leads James Buescher by two points (71-69) in the overall Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway.
    • Three Raybestos Rookies have scored a top-10 finish this season: Scott, Buescher and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    • Scott Lagasse Jr. was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2009 Aaron’s 312, scoring an eighth-place finish.
    • A Raybestos Rookie has scored a top-10 finish in each of the past 10 consecutive Aaron’s 312 races at Talladega
    • The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in 18 races at Talladega is second by Steve Park (1997) and Jon Wood (2005). (Raybestos / Camp & Assoc PR)(4-21-2010)
  • Talladega race officials named: Nashville recording artist Brittini Black will sing the National Anthem for Saturday’s Aaron’s 312. Dr. Bart Owen of Alabama Raceway Ministries and the Talladega Superspeedway Security Services Chaplain, will deliver the invocation prior to the race. Thomas Green, Todd Schroeder and Andrew Coughlan of the Wounded Warrior Project, will deliver the driver’s command as Grand Marshall and Gerard Claseman, winner of the Aaron’s Weekend of Your Dreams sweepstakes will wave the green flag.(Talladega PR)(4-20-2010)
  • Special logo on the #52: Donnie Neunberger’s #52 IHOP Chevy will honor the West Virginia miners who lost their lives during the recent mining tragedy. West Virginia International House of Pancake store owner Bob Sharp have been supporting rescue teams by providing them with food during these difficult times.(NASCAR PR)(4-20-2010)
  • Choctaw Casino Resort returns to the #01: The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has partnered with JD Motorsports for a primary sponsorship of the #01 Choctaw Casino Resort Chevy in the April 24 Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Talladega Super Speedway. The #01 car, driven by veteran racer Mike Wallace, represented Choctaw this past Monday at Texas Motor Speedway.(J-D Motorsports PR)(4-20-2010)
  • Racing Resources Says:
    • Kyle Busch won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. It was his 33rd series victory in his 180th start and his fifth consecutive win at Texas, joining Dale Earnhart (Daytona) and Jack Ingram (South Boston) as the only drivers to win five in a row at a track. Busch’s five wins at Texas breaks a tie with Kevin Harvick for the most victories there.
    • Busch posted his third series win of 2010 (California, Phoenix), the most of all drivers. It was his 66th NASCAR win, which ranks ninth all time.
    • Busch led four times for 153 laps. He has led 810 of the past 1,000 laps run at Texas (81 percent). He has led twice as many laps as any other driver at Texas.
    • Busch finished third in the Sprint Cup race earlier Monday.
    • Joe Gibbs Racing posted its 45th series win. JGR has five wins at Texas, all by Busch. It was JGR’s third win of 2010, all by Busch.
    • JGR posted its eighth 1-2 finish, the first time at Texas. Monday’s race marked the sixth time Busch and Joey Logano have finished 1-2.
    • Toyota has won the past five races at Texas. It swept the top three spots for the fourth time. It was Toyota’s third victory this season.
    • The top 10 consisted of two Chevrolets, five Toyotas, two Fords and one Dodge.
    • Logano (second) had his fifth top-10 finish in six races in 2010.
    • Reed Sorenson (third) scored his second top-3 finish in his fourth race of 2010.
    • Brad Keselowski (fourth) posted his sixth consecutive top-5 finish but lost the points lead and now trails Busch by 20.
    • Kevin Harvick (fifth) notched his sixth top-5 finish this season.
    • Jamie McMurray finished sixth in his first Nationwide start for JR Motorsports.
    • Steve Wallace (ninth) was the only driver to finish in the top 10 who did not compete in the Cup race earlier in the day.
    • Carl Edwards finished 30th after having transmission trouble and fell to fifth in the standings, 106 points back. It is the first time he is not in the top two in driver points since California in August 2008, 50 races ago.
    • Fifteen drivers competed in the Cup race that was run prior to this race.
    (ESPN.com)(4-20-2010)
  • Texas paint schemes: Added several images from Texas to the 2010 Nationwide Series paint schemes pages.(4-20-2010)
  • Sheltra driving for RAB at Talladega: Patrick Sheltra will pilot RAB Racing’s #09 Ford in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway. Sheltra, currently third in the ARCA Racing Series championship point standings will make his fifth career NNS start and first at Talladega on Saturday afternoon. His previous best finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series occurred in 2008 when he piloted a joint entry between Jay Robinson Racing and Sheltra Motorsports to a 24th place effort at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(Sheltra PR)(4-20-2010)

  • Busch considering full schedule: Within minutes of Kyle Busch’s highly significant fifth consecutive Texas Motor Speedway Nationwide Series victory Monday evening, team owner Joe Gibbs was entertaining pleas for Busch to attempt the defense of his 2009 series championship. Before this season, Busch and the Joe Gibbs Racing hierarchy — Joe and son and team president J.D. Gibbs — had arranged a schedule of between 25 and 28 Nationwide races for Busch, who would concentrate on his Sprint Cup program with another #18 Toyota. But with the victory in the O’Reilly 300 that was rain-delayed twice, from Saturday to Sunday to Monday, Busch took a 20-point lead over Brad Keselowski in the championship. And the questions for Busch and Joe Gibbs, about reconsidering their title defense, started. Busch, who earlier Monday had made a six-position advance in the Sprint Cup standings when he finished third in the Samsung Mobile 500, broke into a smile, gestured to Gibbs sitting to his left on the dais at the TMS media center and said, “That’s his question.” Gibbs smiled right back and cracked, “I had no more gotten to winner’s circle than about three of the crew guys are going, ‘Hey, can we run for a championship?’ and they were jerking on me. “I think we’ve laid out a plan there and we’ll talk it over with Kyle, but …” “I want to, but it’s up to these guys [gesturing either way, to Gibbs and crew chief Jason Ratcliff, sitting to his right at the post-race media briefing],” Busch said. “I’d like to, but we know how difficult it is to run both and what it takes away from the premium spot, which is the Sprint Cup Series title — and I don’t want to take anything from those guys.(NASCAR.com)(4-20-2010)
  • Anderson’s Maple Syrup on the #28 at Talladega: Kenny Wallace will have one sweet ride for Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Wallace will be driving the #28 Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevy at the famous 2.66 mile track. For over 80 years, Anderson’s Maple Syrup has provided Midwestern grocery stores, bakeries, butcher shops, and specialty shops with quality maple syrup.(Jay Robinson Racing PR)(4-19-2010)
  • O’Quinn to drive for Go Green at Dover: The 2006 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year and former Roush Racing driver Danny O’Quinn will drive the #39 Nationwide Ford for Go Green Racing at Dover International Speedway on May 15 in the Heluva Good! 200. This will be O’Quinn’s first race for Go Green Racing.(Go Green Racing PR)(4-19-2010)

  • Bires out at JR Motorsports; McMurray driving 9 races: UPDATE 4: Arpin in? JR Motorsports will undergo a driver change to its #88 NASCAR Nationwide Series team effective this weekend when the series races at Texas Motor Speedway, general manager and co-owner Kelley Earnhardt announced. The organization has released 25-year-old Kelly Bires from his contractual driving duties of the #88 Chevy. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops/McDonalds Chevry for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, has agreed to a deal that puts him in the #88 JR Motorsports Chevy for nine races. Those races include the six upcoming Nationwide Series events – Texas (April 17), Talladega (April 24), Richmond (April 30), Darlington (May 7), Dover (May 15) and Charlotte (May 30) – plus Chicagoland (July 9), Atlanta (Sept. 4) and the return trip to Charlotte (Oct. 15). Hellmann’s will be the primary sponsor in all but two of those races, and the Suave Men brand will be featured on the #88 at Chicagoland Speedway.(JR Motorsports PR)(4-13-2010)>
    UPDATE: Today on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, hosts Rick Benjamin and Danny ‘Chocolate’ Myers spoke with JR Motorsports owner Kelley Earnhardt about the team’s decision to release driver Kelly Bires from the #88 NASCAR Nationwide Series car.
    Kelley Earnhardt: “We made a driver change this morning with the decision to terminate Kelly and put Jamie McMurray in our car for the next, I believe he’ll be in the next six races and about nine races overall for us. In this business, with the way the sponsorships are going and the way the business is going, sometimes you have to make these tough decisions and it’s no different for us. It’s never something that’s easy to do. Kelly [Bires] is a fantastic guy but the chemistry on the team with our #88 crew, it just wasn’t working out for us and that’s extremely important to have all of the pieces of the puzzle together.”
    Host/Rick Benjamin: “We had speculated and we’re thrilled that you could make a few moments to come on with us here and explain more about how these things are working. It’s very business driven in this sport today. Is it fair to say that the sponsor of the car had a chunk to do with this? I mean, obviously you didn’t win any races with Kelly, you didn’t have any but one top 10 in that six-race run.”
    Kelley Earnhardt: “No, I don’t want to pin this on our sponsors at all. They did not specifically ask for a change. This was a call more from internally here at JR Motorsports with our ownership group and myself and Tony Jr. and Mr. Hendrick and Dale. We are a competitive, good team. Our team, Tony Sr., he’s led our team to a Championship contending team for the last two years. We’ve finished third in the points. We’re a top five running team and that’s what we sell our sponsorship on. So we want to keep ourselves in that position so that we don’t have sponsorships that are in jeopardy. In this case, Hellman’s, they are a great partner with us. They do a lot of their marketing around Dale Jr. with our #88 car. And it’s not necessarily driven by the driver in that car, per say, but it’s important to them to have the performance on the racetrack and have our car up front so, it’s part of it.”
    Host/Chocolate Myers: “The business part of it I understand. You’re in business and you’ve got to protect your business. The other thing you talk about is chemistry. Why are teams successful? Because they’ve got everything going in the right direction. They have that chemistry. When you get to a point where that chemistry is just not working you can’t be successful. You can’t be successful when you don’t have every person on the team pulling in the same direction. Don’t know if that’s what the case was there [but] the results weren’t where you wanted them to be. They weren’t bad but you also said you guys expect to run in the top 5 week in and week out. You were running in the top 20. The results weren’t there. I guess all that played into the decision to go in a different direction?”
    Kelley Earnhardt: “Well, it did. For us it was obvious that we needed a change because of what you just said. The chemistry, the dynamics, our results, they haven’t been where we’ve wanted them. I drive cars – although on a much smaller level in the late model series – when you don’t get along with your crew chief and your team and you don’t feel like your team is behind it, it could be one person – doesn’t even have to be the crew chief in that scenario – that you feel like is pulling against you, you’re constantly questioning yourself, the team’s questioning your abilities and what you’re doing, the team’s questioning themselves, they know that they’re better than that. And you usually have so much stuff going on in your mind that is working against you that you can’t overcome that and I feel like, in this situation, that the chemistry just wasn’t there with everyone on the #88 team and like you said, Chocolate, you can’t work in that direction because it doesn’t come back around.”(Sirius PR)(4-13-2010)
    UPDATE 2: Sources tell Frontstretch that [Steve] Arpin is now the leading candidate to take the seat with the team that was formerly held by Kelly Bires.When asked about the chances of seeing him in a JRM car in the near future, Arpin revealed, “I’ve been working hard with JR Motorsports, actually since before Rockingham last year. We’ve developed a great relationship, and we definitely keep in touch. We’re definitely doing as much as we can to get an opportunity to get me in the seat. Our original plan over the offseason was, working hand in hand with the folks at JRM, to run the #7 car in all the races that Danica wasn’t running. [But] we’re definitely still talking a bunch. There’s nothing set in stone yet, but we’re definitely working on it.”(Frontstretch)(4-14-2010)
    UPDATE 3: Earnhardt Jr. said he hopes Landon Cassill earns more races in his cars and said that ARCA Series driver Steve Arpin could see time in a JRM car as well. He said his goal is to have a young driver establish himself and be in the #88 car at the end of the year going into 2011.(Scene Daily)(4-16-2010)
    UPDATE: ARCA driver Steve Arpin will make his NASCAR debut next weekend at Talladega when he drives the #7 car for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, JRM co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. told SBNation.com on Friday. Arpin, a 26-year-old Canadian, will also run the Richmond race in JRM’s 7 car the following week. Landon Cassill was originally scheduled to drive the Talladega and Richmond races but will return at Dover.(SB Nation)(4-16-2010)

  • Bowyer replacing Townley: UPDATE 5: Clint Blower will replace #21-John West Townley for the rest of the day at Phoenix. Townley wrecked midway through the day’s only practice session.(4-9-2010)
    UPDATE: Jamie Little reported during ESPN2’s qualifying coverage that Townley has been fired from the team and the future of the #21 car is up in the air.(4-9-2010)
    UPDATE 2: Richard Childress Racing is denying that Townley has been released.(4-9-2010)
    UPDATE 3: Despite reports that John Wes Townley was removed from the seat of the #21 Chevy in the Nationwide Series, Richard Childress Racing Vice President of Competition Mike Dillon confirmed on Saturday that the driver is still under the company’s employ. Team officials are scheduled to meet with Townley on Tuesday to discuss his schedule going forward according to Dillon. On Friday, Richard Childress parked Townley after the 20-year-old driver wrecked during practice and placed Clint Bowyer in as a substitute. But damaging equipment has been a reoccurring theme for Townley, who in five starts has only completed one full race – Las Vegas, where he finished 15th. (Fox Sports)(4-11-2010)
    UPDATE 4: Sources tell Frontstretch.com John Wes Townley has NOT been released as driver of Richard Childress Racing’s #21 Chevy in the Nationwide Series. After a hard wreck at Phoenix, Townley was replaced for Friday’s race by Cup driver Clint Bowyer, leading to rampant speculation about his future. ESPN reported that Townley had been fired, a claim adamantly denied by Richard Childress Racing. Instead, the plan is to “put him in timeout,” according to a source, making the 20-year-old sit and stew over an ugly early season start. So far this season, he’s without a top 10 finish while spinning out in four of five races, picking up an underage drinking citation in Las Vegas along the way. So RCR has informed him someone else will drive the car at Texas, evaluating the program before Townley will return to the seat at Talladega the end of the month. There’s no word yet on who that replacement will be, but it’s widely expected to be RCR’s Clint Bowyer or Jeff Burton. Zaxby’s is also expected to continue funding the car for Texas and beyond. Townley’s father is one of the founders of Zaxby’s restaurants, which came over in a package deal with his son to keep Childress’ Nationwide Series team afloat in 2010.(Frontstretch)(4-11-2010)
    UPDATE 5: Interviewed on ESPNs Nationwide Series qualifying, Richard Childress said that Townley is still employed by the team. Clint Bowyer will drive the #21 again next weekend. Beyond that, nothing has been set.(4-16-2010)
  • Frank Cicci / Get Green Racing partners with Rentech: UPDATE: At a time when NASCAR is seeking ways to reduce pollutants and unnecessary waste, Frank Cicci a Nationwide Series veteran, has partnered with sponsor, Rentech, for NASCAR’s first environmentally friendly race team.”Rentech is excited to be a part of the first green mission NASCAR team to encourage consumers and businesses to be more environmentally aware in their choices,” stated Rick Penning, Executive Vice President of Technology and Commercial Affairs. “It is an opportunity to reach a broad audience to support the need for developing renewable synthetic fuels that decrease our dependence on foreign supply and are more environmentally friendly.” Rentech is developing the United States’ first renewable synthetic fuels and renewable power facility from green waste in Rialto, California. Cicci has named Todd Bodine to drive the Get Green Car. Cicci’s Nationwide teams have had 752 starts and visited Victory Circle 19-times.(Auto123), no details available on when they might race.(4-14-2010)
    UPDATE: A team official denied that Bodine will be the driver, although the team website still lists Bodine as the driver as of Friday afternoon. Officials with Todd Bodine also said that he intended to run the full Camping World Truck Series season and that no Nationwide races are currently planned.(4-16-2010)
  • K’NEX sponsoring the #88 at Dover: K’NEX, America’s building toy company, is partnering with Dover International Speedway and JR Motorsports to celebrate the release of the first NASCAR licensed building sets from K’NEX and to launch the 2010 events at the Monster Mile with the “Guess the Number of Parts” contest. The contest is part of a big weekend for K’NEX, as the brand will appear as primary sponsor on the #88 JR Motorsports Chevy during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Heluva Good! 200 race on May 15.(K’Nex PR)(4-16-2010)
  • Choctaw Casino Resort on the #01: Choctaw Casino Resort will be the Primary sponsor of the Mike Wallace #01 J-D Motorsports Chevy for the Texas Nationwide Series event. Choctaw Casino Resort, headquartered in Durant, Oklahoma, jumped at the opportunity promote their resorts with the top ten-ranked Mike Wallace team.(JD Motorsports PR)(4-16-2010)

  • Kligerman, #42 team to return at Talladega: Parker Kligerman and Team 42 Racing will be attempting to qualify for the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24. This race will be the fifth of the year that the team will attempt. Talladega was not originally on the team’s schedule for this season, but with the rainout at Daytona in February, the team, unlike many others who lost their primary restrictor plate cars to wrecks, has a pristine car ready to go. There is also the fact that the Aaron’s 312 will be the last restrictor plate race for the current Nationwide Series cars. The Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona on July 2nd will be the first race for the new Nationwide cars that will be used full-time in 2011. As a result, there is the impetus to make use of the available car now, since after Talladega, it will be nearly useless.(Frontstretch)(4-16-2010)
  • Red Dead Redemption on the #20 at Texas: Red Dead Redemption will fittingly adorn the #20 GameStop Toyota in Texas just North of Fort Worth “where the West” is said to begin. Red Dead Redemption is an epic battle for survival in a beautiful western world as one man struggles to bury his past. Developed by Rockstar San Diego, Red Dead Redemption is coming for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system on May 18 in North America and on May 21 in Europe.(Gamestop/JGR PR)(4-14-2010)
  • I am Second on the #81: The I am Second ministry will adorn the hood and quarter panels of Michael McDowell’s #81 Dodge as the primary sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 17. In addition to sponsoring the #81 Dodge in Saturday’s race, I am Second is utilizing additional outreaches this weekend at TMS. I am Second logos are featured on the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing car driven by Kyle Busch and is also promoted on the #18 and Daystar (driven at other NASCAR affiliated races by Blake Koch) show cars at the venue. A special video truck that features I am Second videos will be seen at various parts of the speedway, and outreach ministries groups are passing out I am Second-themed materials to fans.(MacDonald Motorsports / MMI PR), see a drawing of the car on the #81 Nationwide team paint scheme page.(4-14-2010)
  • Baker Curb promoting Autism Awareness: Baker Curb Racing announced that they are proud to be teaming up with the Autism Society to help promote Autism Awareness Month. The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon will adorn the hood of Scott Lagasse Jr.’s #43 Ford this Saturday, April 17 for the O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway and again next Saturday, April 24, in the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway.(Baker Curb PR), see a layout of the car on the #43 Nationwide team paint scheme page(4-14-2010)
  • Deal Taker on #89 at Texas: DealTaker.com once again will be highlighted on the rear quarter panels of the money saving green #89/Chevy for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Saturday, April 17th.(Faith Motorsports PR)(4-14-2010)
  • Texas Rookie Notes:
    • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Stenhouse Jr. posted a ninth-place finish, his first top-10 of the season and third in 13 career starts. He collected top rookie honors for the second time in the last three races.
    • Brian Scott leads James Buescher by one point (61-60) in the overall Raybestos Rookie standings entering the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
    • Three Raybestos Rookies have scored a top-10 finish this season: Scott, Buescher and Stenhouse Jr.
    • Justin Allgaier was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2009 O’Reilly Auto Parts 300, scoring a 10th-place finish.
    • Only once in 18 previous Nationwide Series races at Texas have three Raybestos Rookies finished inside the top-10. Reed Sorenson (third), Carl Edwards (fourth) and Jon Wood (eighth) accomplished the feat in the 2005 O’Reilly Auto Parts 300.
    • The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in 18 previous Nationwide Series races at Texas is second by Kyle Busch in 2004. Busch finished second behind Matt Kenseth in a race that ended under caution.
    • Only two Raybestos Rookies have led the most laps in a Nationwide Series race at Texas: Kyle Busch (2004) and Kevin Harvick (2000). Busch led four times for 147 laps, the most laps led by a rookie in 18 races at Texas. Harvick led twice for 67 laps in 2000.
    (Raybestos / Camp & Assoc. PR)(4-14-2010)
  • 21st Century Vitamins and PetSmart were on the #87 at Phoenix: 21st Century Vitamins and PetSmart partnered up with NEMCO Motorsports and driver “Front Row” Joe Nemechek this past weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. The #87 car displayed dual PetSmart and 21st Century logos for both the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup races.(NEMCO PR)(4-14-2010)

  • McCumbee to drive for RAB Racing at Texas: Chad McCumbee, a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran, will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with RAB Racing behind the wheel of the #09 Ford in this weekend’s O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. McCumbee will be making his eighth start at the 1.5-mile quad-oval. However, this will be his first career start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in the “Lone Star State”.(RAB Racing PR)(4-13-2010)

  • Lofton making first attempt of 2010: In the midst of a full-time ARCA Racing Series schedule, Justin Lofton made his NASCAR debut last August in the Nationwide Series. He started 19th and impressively finessed his way through the field, at times running within the top 10, before a cut tire forced him to the pits late in the race. He finished the event a solid 16th. After claiming the 2009 ARCA championship, Lofton and crew chief Mark Rette joined Camping World Truck Series powerhouse Red Horse Racing. This weekend Lofton and Rette will return to the Nationwide ranks with the RHR team, fielding the #71 WeekendWarriorsTV.com Toyota. The event will be the first of several runs for Lofton and the RHR team within Nationwide competition this season, with goals of hitting the track again as soon as next month at Charlotte Motor Speedway. WeekendWarriorsTV.com will grace the hood of Lofton’s black, red, and grey #71 Toyota this weekend at Texas. WWTV is an online, bi-weekly web show hosted by Lofton’s sister, Brittany Lofton, and directed by Brett Bortle. The show delves behind the scenes with crews and drivers alike spanning racetracks across the country, telling the story of true grassroots racers.(Lofton PR)(4-13-2010)
  • Kenny Wallace gets Texas sponsor, UPDATE and IMAGE: #28-Kenny Wallace posted on his Facebook page, “I am honored to announce a great sponsor for the race this week in Texas…”The Chloe Duyck Memorial Fund”. This was established to support research for babies with heart disease. One out of 85 babies are born with heart defects. The fund is part of Cardiopulmonary Research Science and Technology Institute (CRSTI). 100% proceeds go to the fund. See an image of the car on my #28 tem paint schemes page.(4-12-2010)
    UPDATE: The Chloe Duyck Memorial Fund has partnered with driver Kenny Wallace and the Jay Robinson Racing #28 Chevy for this Saturday’s O’Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Wallace and the team will work hard to bring awareness, and donations, to the leading birth defect affecting our children—congenital heart defects. You can receive information on the Chloe Duyck Memorial Fund by logging onto the Web site www.hope4tinyhearts.com. The Chloe Duyck Memorial Fund was established for Chloe by her parents Michelle and Joel Duyck in 2005. Chloe was born on August 30, 2004, and lost her short battle with a congenital heart defect known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), on September 3, 2004. Chloe endured two open-heart surgeries as well as several other procedures to try and save her life, but to no avail. The Chloe Duyck Memorial Fund was established to support research in the field of congenital heart disease. The fund is part of the Cardiopulmonary Research Science and Technology Institute (CRSTI), 501(c)3 not for profit organization.(Jay Robinson PR)(4-13-2010)
  • Ride for Dime on the #73: Dean TV will be in Texas for the race on April 17th. Dean Guitars purchased the hood of the #73 Car in support of Ride for Dime. More info to come soon but there will be a raffle of the Ride for Dime NASCAR hood at this years Ride For Dime in August. Ride for dime is a charity ride in memory Of Dimebag Darrell Abbott Dallas’s own guitarist for Pantera. Rebel meets Rebael and Damageplan! On December 8, 2004, Abbott was murdered on stage during a Damageplan performance at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio.(Stratus Racing PR)(4-13-2010)

  • Stenhouse has new crew chief: Roush Fenway Racing veteran Mike Kelley has been named crew chief of the #6 Nationwide team with driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. effective immediately. Kelley joined Roush Fenway in 2002 as car chief of the #97 team under Jimmy Fennig and has since gone on to contribute to Roush Fenway’s 2004 Sprint Cup Championship along with numerous wins in the Sprint Cup Series as a car chief and in the Nationwide Series as a crew chief with Carl Edwards and David Ragan. Ben Leslie, who had served at crew chief on the #6, moves to the role of director of competition over Roush Fenway’s four Nationwide teams.(Roush Fenway PR)(4-13-2010)
  • Phoenix TV Ratings flat: ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.0, the same rating the event has earned each year since ESPN returned to NASCAR coverage in 2007. The telecast averaged 1,262,505 viewers.(ESPN PR)(4-13-2010)
  • R3 donates decklid space: The owner of R3 Motorsports, Robert Richardson, Sr., and driver, Robert Richardson, Jr., donated the decklid area of their #23 Chevy to a local charity for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race this Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. The natives of McKinney, Texas, which is about 45 minutes north of the speedway, wanted to help out a charity in their area. Through an association with the award-winning firm of Levenson & Brinker Public Relations, the charity of Limbs for Life Foundation (www.LimbsforLife.org) received the donation of the decklid space on the car to auction off during a recent fundraiser. Limbs for Life Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides prosthetic care and raises awareness of the challenges amputees face. The auction was held early this year in the Dallas area. Still without primary marketing partners, this isn’t the first time R3 Motorsports has donated marketing space on their car. For the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, Richardson, Jr. carried a Texas Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital logo on his Chevy.(R3 Motorsports PR)(4-13-2010)
  • ESPN Monday Rundown…
    • Kyle Busch won the Bashas’ Supermarket 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. It was his 32nd series win in his 179th start, passing Jack Ingram for third in all-time wins.
    • Busch won his third Nationwide race at Phoenix, joining Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards for the most wins at the 1-mile track. It was Busch’s fifth overall win at PIR (three in Nationwide, one in Cup, one in Trucks).
    • Busch led three times for a race-high 126 laps, including the final five.
    • Busch was penalized for jumping the restart on Lap 137 while leading and was required to do a pass-through on Lap 149.
    • Joe Gibbs Racing notched its 44th series victory and second win in 2010.
    • It was Toyota’s second series win in 2010.
    • Kevin Harvick (second) finished in the top six for the 14th time in his last 15th starts.
    • Brad Keselowski (third) finished in the top five for the fifth straight race, the longest current streak. Keselowski took over the points lead by four over Carl Edwards — the first time that Keselowski has led the Nationwide standings.
    • Brendan Gaughan (fourth) finished in the top 10 for the second time this season.
    • Greg Biffle (fifth) has finished in the top 10 in his past four series starts.
    • Scott Lagasse Jr. (eighth) finished in the top 10 for the first time this season.
    • Ricky Stenhouse (ninth) finished in the top 20 for the first time this season. He was the best-finishing rookie of the year contender.
    (ESPN.com)(4-12-2010)
  • Images: Added a few images from Phoenix and nearly 40 images from Nashville to the 2010 Nationwide Series paint schemes pages.(4-10-2010)
  • Sad News – Hubert Hensley: Hubert Shelton Hensley, 78, of 1600 J. S. Holland Road, Ridgeway, VA died Thursday, April 8, 2010 at Memorial Hospital of Martinsville/Henry County. He was born on September 27, 1931 in Henry County, VA. Hensley owned a Nationwide Series [usually #63] team from 1982-2002, with his drivers winning 11 races and the 1990 Series Championship with Chuck Bown driving. Hensely’s son Jeff is currently the crew chief for Timothy Peters in the Camping World Truck Series. Surviving are his wife, Pauline Shelton Hensley of the home; son and daughter-in-law, Jeffrey Shelton Hensley and Debra Hensley of Ridgeway, VA; sister Ruth Shields of the Preston Community, Martinsville, VA; brother, Billy Hensley of Ridgeway, VA and grandchildren, Emily Hebert, John Thomas Hensley and Meg Elizabeth Hensley. The funeral service will be held at 11:00am/et on Monday, April 12, 2010 at Norris Funeral Services Chapel with Reverend Kenneth McFarland and R. Darryl Holland officiating. Burial will be in the Horsepasture Christian Church Cemetery, Ridgeway, VA. The family will receive friends on Sunday evening, from 4:00 to 5:30pm/et at Norris Funeral Services and other times at the home. Memorials may be made to the Victory Junction, 4500 Adams Way, Randleman, NC 27317. See obit here.(4-10-2010)
  • Allgaier says no immediate plans for Cup debut: One of the more curious NASCAR stories this spring surrounds newcomer Justin Allgaier, Roger Penske’s latest find. Allgaier just notched his first big NASCAR win three weeks ago at Bristol, in Penske’s Nationwide car. Now there is increasing speculation that Allgaier, soon to turn 24, may be ready to step up to Cup….perhaps as Penske’s fourth Sprint Cup driver, with Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish. What is the Penske-Allgaier game plan? And how much depends on Nationwide sponsor Verizon – which is barred from putting its company logos on a Sprint Cup car? “The only plan is there is no plan,” Allgaier says. “Obviously Roger is very passionate about the sport and wants to make things happen in a time frame that makes the most sense. I basically told Roger and everybody that makes the decision at Penske Racing that I want the opportunity eventually. There’s a lot that would have to go into it (creating a fourth Cup team). Penske Racing is very good at being planned. I don’t think we would jump into anything. With Verizon being on our Nationwide car and not being able to go to the Cup side, I want to make sure it’s the right opportunity and we don’t ruin any relationships.”(MikeMulhern.net)(4-10-2010)
  • Danica gives GoDaddy most tv coverage value: In Danica Patrick’s first three NASCAR Nationwide Series starts, where she finished 35th, 31st and 36th, her sponsor GoDaddy.com stood #1 among all primary team sponsors with 1 hour, 57 minutes, 51 seconds of tv time, 15 mentions and a Recognition Grade value of $1,340,880. Justin Allgaier (with finishes of 4th, 9th and 7th) and his Verizon entry ranked second with $561,600.(Joyce Julius)(4-9-2010)
  • Sports Clips makes first appearance of 2010: Joey Logano heads to Phoenix International Raceway after finishing eighth last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. Sport Clips will adorn the #20 Nationwide Toyota this weekend for the first of four primary races this season.(JGR PR)(4-8-2010)

  • Sol Azul Tequila sponsoring Kenny Wallace at Phoenix: Sol Azul Tequila, the award-winning blue agave tequila from the fields of Jalisco, Mexico, will sponsor driver Kenny Wallace in the Bashas’ 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series event this Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway. “I want to thank Sol Azul Tequila for participating with us, and keeping our race program on the race track,” said Kenny Wallace, driver of the #28 Jay Robinson Racing Chevy.(PR)(4-8-2010)

  • Roto-Rooter sponsoring McDowell at Phoenix: Roto-Rooter will be the primary sponsor of Phoenix, Ariz. native Michael McDowell’s #81 Dodge Charger for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday, April 9.(McDowell PR)(4-8-2010)
  • Phoenix Rookie Notes:
    • Brian Scott was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Nashville 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. Scott scored a 15th-place finish and took top rookie honors for the second time this season.
    • Scott and James Buescher are tied for the lead (51-51) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
    • Brendan Gaughan was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2009 Bashas’ Supermarkets 200, scoring a seventh-place finish. Gaughan owns the best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in five spring races at Phoenix.
    • The 2009 Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 was the first spring race at Phoenix where two Raybestos Rookies finished in the top-10: Gaughan and Justin Allgaier (eighth).
    • Carl Edwards owns the best starting position by a Raybestos Rookie in five spring races at Phoenix. Edwards started fifth in the 2005 event.
    (Camp & Assoc/Raybestos)(4-8-2010)
  • Edwards plans to bike to Gateway again: Tuesday night on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, hosts Buddy Baker and Alex Hayden spoke with driver Carl Edwards, who said he once again plans to ride his bike from his home in Columbia, Missouri to the July 17 Nationwide Series Race at Gateway International Raceway outside St. Louis – a roughly 200 mile trek.
    Host/Alex Hayden: “So traditionally you’ve taken and ridden your bicycle from your home in Columbia, Missouri to race the Nationwide Race over at Gateway, just outside of St. Louis. What’s on tap this year? Any kind of exotic trips to and from the racetrack?”
    Carl Edwards: “We’re going to try to do that again. The group has gotten bigger and bigger each year and I got a new Trek bicycle, it’s really nice, that they’re going to let me use for the ride. We’ve got a couple of people who say they’re going to go. [Driver] Max Papis says he’s going to go. Jim Schertzer from Scotts [Miracle-Gro Company] says he’s going to go. I’m trying to get some of the Aflac folks to commit to it but it’s a fun trip, man. We always try to do something fun like that during the summer, take a little trip, and that’s a good one.”(SIRIUS NASCAR Radio)(4-8-2010)
  • Corrie Stott #02 team withdraws from Phoenix: The #02-Corrie Stott Racing team and driver Andy Ponstein have withdrawn from Phoenix and may not attempt Texas. A message was posted on the team’s Facebook page that stated, ” Not sure at this point when The CSR #02 will return to the track. Not going to Phoenix and Texas will be tough, but we can not expect to run on pennies against millions.”.(4-7-2010)
  • Nashville TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Nashville Superspeedway earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.1, averaging 1,378,643 viewers. The rating was down from the 1.3 rating earned for the race in both 2008 and 2009.(ESPN PR)(4-7-2010)
  • Whisky River on the #88 at Phoenix: This weekend, Kelly Bires’ #88 Chevy will sport a special paint scheme featuring Whisky River Jacksonville. Owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently opened the second Whisky River location, and it’s rapidly becoming one of the Jacksonville’s most popular entertainment venues. With an ideal location at The Markets by St John’s Town Center, the newest Whisky River is serving lunch and dinner.(JR Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on my #88 team paint schemes page.(4-7-2010)

  • NASCAR parks Leffler for retaliation on Buescher: UPDATE: Showing that a payback that ends another car’s day is unacceptable, NASCAR parked Braun Racing’s #38-Jason Leffler for retaliating against Phoenix Racing’s #1-James Buescher during the Nashville 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. The situation began shortly after the start of the race Saturday when Buescher had gotten loose underneath Leffler, and Leffler hit the wall hard on lap 43. It took more than 60 laps for Leffler’s team to repair his car, and at lap 143, Leffler ran into the side of Buescher, whose car slammed into the outside wall and briefly caught fire. After the seven laps under caution, Leffler was sent to the garage by NASCAR for the day. He finished 39th, and possibly could have finished 32nd – a difference of 21 points. Leffler didn’t totally admit that he did it on purpose. Buescher obviously thought it was intentional. And NASCAR Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash said it appeared intentional. Balash said NASCAR will take another look at the incident this week to see if there will be any further penalties.(Scene Daily)(4-4-2010)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has placed Jason Leffler, driver of the #38 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, on probation for the next three NASCAR Nationwide Series events for a rule violation he committed during the race at Nashville Superspeedway on April 3. Leffler’s probation will run until April 28 of this year. Leffler was found to have violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing – aggressive driving) of the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)(4-6-2010)
  • Jim Boeheim named Grand Marshal for Zippo 200: Fans that attend the Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at The Glen on Saturday, August 7 will see a well-known face in a very new place during the pre-race ceremonies. Syracuse University Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim will serve as the Grand Marshal for the race and say the most famous words in racing “Gentlemen, start your engines” just minutes before the green flag drops at approximately 2:00 PM EST. In addition to his honorary duties, Coach Boeheim will watch the race with a limited number of S.U. hoops fanatics from the confines of one of WGI’s VIP hospitality areas. Tickets for this special package start at $150 and include; weekend reserved seat, upscale food & beverage stations, guided garage tour, race day collectible as well as a chance to rub elbows with one of college basketball’s all-time greats. Fans interested in this once-in-a-lifetime experience should call 888-356-7223 to place their order. All of the proceeds of tickets purchased to this rare opportunity going towards The Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation.(Watkins Glen PR)(4-6-2010)

  • Bowles replaces Riggs in #09 at Phoenix: Jason Bowles, the reigning 2009 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion, will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with RAB Racing behind the wheel of the #09 Sunrise Ford on Friday, April 9, in the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. The 27-year-old Ontario, California native, who will be running with sponsorship partner, Sunrise Ford, has one win in the K&N Pro Series West division at the 1-mile tri-oval and will be making his second start in “The Valley of the Sun” this weekend in NASCAR’s second tier division.(RAB Racing PR)(4-6-2010)

  • Steve Wallace breaks foot: UPDATE: Steve Wallace twittered Sunday, “Well I broke my right foot In 2 different spots it hurts like hell but I’m tuff and I will race at pheonix.” Wallace was involved in an accident on Lap 115 of the Nashville race.(4-4-2010)
    UPDATE: Rusty Wallace Racing driver Steve Wallace suffered two small breaks in his right foot in a Nationwide Series crash Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway but plans to race in the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, team vice president Greg Wallace said. “He will use a specially-modified driving shoe on his right foot and his overall recovery time will likely last just over a month,” Greg Wallace, who is Steve’s brother, said in an e-mail.(Scene Daily)(4-5-2010)

  • Sauter in the #23 at Phoenix? UPDATE – YES: R3 Motorsports hopes to enter Johnny Sauter in the team’s #23 Chevy in next weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Speedway. R3 moved into a tie for 29th-place tie in the Nationwide owners standings, locking the team into the race at Phoenix. The team hopes the veteran Sauter can keep the #23 in the top 30. Sauter drove for Baker Curb Racing in Nashville, finishing 13th.(NNS Racing)(4-4-2010)
    UPDATE: For this Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, Johnny Sauter will make a one-race appearance driving the #23 Chevy for R3 Motorsports. Sauter, a three-time winner in the series, was called upon to help keep the team’s upward momentum in the all-important Owner’s Points standings. Coming into last week’s race at Nashville Superspeedway, the #23 team was 31st in points trailing 30th by 15 markers. After a solid performance by the team’s regular driver, Robert Richardson, Jr., en route to a 23rd-place finish in Nashville, the team heads to PIR tied for 29th in points with the #61 team. The team is hoping that utilizing a veteran like Sauter will aid them even more in the tight ownership standings.(R3 Motorsports PR)(4-5-2010)

  • WYPALL sponsoring Phoenix November race: Phoenix International Raceway announced that Kimberly-Clark Professional and its WYPALL Brand of heavy duty and general purpose cleaning wipers will be the title sponsor of the track’s November NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The WYPALL 200 Powered by Kimberly-Clark Professional is the first such race entitlement partnership for WYPALL in NASCAR.(PIR pR)(4-5-2010)
  • Harvick wins Dash 4 Cash: #33-Kevin Harvick took home more than the Gibson Les Paul Trophy guitar after winning Saturday’s race at Nashville Superspeedway — thanks to Nationwide Insurance’s Dash 4 Cash bonus. Harvick won $25,000 in the first Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash race of the 2010 season. Nationwide Insurance introduced Dash 4 Cash, a first-of-its-kind bonus program for the Nationwide Series, in 2009. This year, the four races in the Dash 4 Cash bonus program are at Nashville (April 3), Kentucky Speedway (June 12), Iowa Speedway (July 31) and Texas Motor Speedway (Nov. 6). Just like last year, eligible winners at each of the Dash 4 Cash races will receive an additional $25,000 bonus. If the race winner is not eligible, the prize money rolls to the next Dash 4 Cash race. This year’s season-ending bonus for the driver accumulating the most points in the four-race program is up to $75,000, a nice raise from the $50,000 bonus in 2009. In addition, to be eligible for the year-end bonus, drivers cannot participate in more than seven Sprint Cup Series races during the season. The 2010 Dash 4 Cash bonus program is open to all Nationwide Series regulars and up-and-comers, including those who may not have a full-time Nationwide Series ride. Nationwide Series drivers with a full-time ride in Sprint Cup must enter every Nationwide Series event in order to qualify for the cash payouts in the four races.(Nationwide PR)(4-4-2010)

  • Plane taking crew members to Nashville struck by lightning: A jet carrying several NASCAR Nationwide Series team members was struck by lightning before landing at the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport on Saturday, according to a JR Motorsports spokesman. All passengers and crew were unhurt in the incident. The ExpressJet charter plane was carrying crew members from JRM, Rusty Wallace Racing and Braun Racing. About 15 minutes before the scheduled landing, it was hit by lightning as storms engulfed the area. The plane landed without incident.(NNS Racing)(4-3-2010)

  • Lofton to attempt Texas race: UPDATE: Justin Lofton, the 2009 ARCA Racing Series champion, will attempt to make his second NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Texas Motor Speedway on April 17. Lofton will be running the #71 in a former CJM Racing Toyota that his team, Lofton Racing, has acquired. Last year, Lofton made his series debut at Michigan International Speedway where he started 19th and finished 16th. (Motor Racing Network)(3-20-2010)
    UPDATE: Camping World Truck Series driver Justin Lofton has bought two NASCAR Nationwide Series cars and will compete in three or four Nationwide races with his truck team, Red Horse Racing. Lofton’s first race he’ll attempt to make is at Texas on April 17. Lofton bought the Toyotas from CJM Racing, one he drove at Michigan last year and another CJM didn’t quite finish. Lofton said he’ll also race at Charlotte in May and at Kansas in October. If the two cars survive, he said he’ll likely race them at California in October. Red Horse will be listed as the official owner and will supply crew members and its hauler, Lofton said.(NNS Racing)(4-3-2010)

  • Cassill to drive #7 for 4 races: JR Motorsports has named Landon Cassill the driver of its #7 Chevys for four consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series races starting next week at Phoenix International Raceway. Cassill will drive a GoDaddy.com-sponsored Chevy in the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at PIR, which is the home track to GoDaddy.com headquarters in nearby Scottsdale, Ariz. Sponsorship for Cassill’s ensuing three races at Texas Motor Speedway (April 17), Talladega Superspeedway (April 24), and Richmond International Raceway (April 30) is still to be determined. Cassill drove for JR Motorsports in 2008, winning the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year Award in the Nationwide Series despite competing in a limited number of races. In 19 starts in 2008 – 16 for JR Motorsports – Cassill scored five top-five finishes and a pole award at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(JR Motorsports PR) (4-2-2010)

  • Shane Hmiel would like to return to NASCAR, but doesn’t expect to: When Shane Hmiel first failed a NASCAR drug test in 2003 for using marijuana, NASCAR had a simple response. Hmiel was required to go to a series of one-hour classes about the dangers of drug use while suspended for the final eight Busch Series races of 2003. After completing the classes, he was allowed back onto the track in 2004. Hmiel stopped using drugs for a brief period and was back to racing. But he soon found a way to beat NASCAR’s drug tests. Hmiel couldn’t hide it for long. In May 2005, NASCAR busted him again – this time for marijuana and cocaine. He failed another test during his indefinite suspension and was suspended for life. Hmiel says he has been clean for more than three years but isn’t asking NASCAR to lift his suspension and allow him to race in NASCAR again. He would like another opportunity, he says, but he’s not asking for it. Hmiel would be happy enough if he could just go to a Saturday night short-track race sanctioned by NASCAR so he could see his friends. As of right now, he can’t go into the garage at any NASCAR event.(Scene Daily) (4-2-2010)

  • Gonzalez to drive #05 at Phoenix, Road America: Victor Gonzalez Jr. will return to the Nationwide Series to compete in the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 on April 9th at Phoenix International Raceway and the Bucyrus 200 on June 19th at Road America. Gonzalez will drive the #05 Day Racing Ford in both events. Gonzalez made history on Aug. 30, 2009 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal when he became the first Puerto Rican driver to compete in the Nationwide Series. He finished 14th at Montreal, a race that featured heavy rain and slick track conditions.(Gonzales PR)(4-2-2010)
  • Jason Aldean Album Cover on the #43: IMAGE The cover of country music sensation Jason Aldean’s platinum album WIDE OPEN will adorn the hood of Scott Lagasse Jr’s #43 Ford in the Nationwide Series this weekend in Nashville and again next weekend in Phoenix. In addition, Aldean’s record label, Broken Bow Records, will be an associate sponsor. WIDE OPEN has already produced three multi-week No. one singles and his current single “Crazy Town” is currently climbing the charts.(Baker Curb PR), see an image of the car on the #43 Nationwide Series paint scheme page.(4-2-2010)
  • Catch Can Gig Going away? At the start of the 2010 season, NASCAR introduced a new style fuel can for the Truck Series that eliminated the need for a catch can guy. Because of this new can, NASCAR limited the number of over-the-wall crew members in the Truck Series to six: two tire changers, two tire carriers, a jackman, and a fueler. Teams could still technically use a catch can guy, they would just have to eliminate one of the other positions. NASCAR Insiders are hearing now that NASCAR is seriously considering bringing this new style fuel can to both the Nationwide and Cup Series for the 2011 season. If this happens, it would mean the elimination of the catch can man for both of these two series as well.(NASCAR Insiders)(4-2-2010)
  • Allen / Day Enterprises headed to home track: UPDATE: sponsor Coming off his best career Nationwide finish at Bristol, Willie Allen looks to ride the momentum wave into his hometown of Nashville. Allen will once again pilot the #05 31-W Insulation/Fox Ridge Homes Chevy for Day Enterprise Racing, his 4th start this year for the Nashville area based team. (Allen PR)(3-31-2010)
    UPDATE: Fox Ridge Homes will be teaming up with 31-W Insulation to sponsor the #05 Day Enterprise Racing Chevy for the Nashville 300 Nationwide Series race at the Nashville Superspeedway. Fox Ridge Homes is one of the oldest and most successful builders in the Nashville area.(Day Enterprises PR)(4-1-2010)
  • Clements returns to the #04: Excitement is mounting at Jeremy Clements Racing as they prepare to head back out on the road for this weekend’s Nashville 300. After a rough start to the 2010 season, Jeremy and the #04 team are hoping some of Nashville’s magic will rub off on them once again. Jeremy won his first ARCA Remax Series race at Nashville in August of 2007. Jeremy is also excited to debut his new car this weekend, which was recently purchased from Richard Childress Racing. Jeremy will be behind the wheel of the Jeremy Clements Racing owned car, but run a Johnny Davis Motorsports number. So look for Jeremy in the yellow #04 Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, Saxon Group Chevy this weekend at Nashville.(Clements PR)(4-1-2010)
  • Tim Schendel in the #52 at Nashville: Sparta, WI native and ASA Midwest Tour Touring Star Tim Schendel will be behind the wheel of the #52 Dodge in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in the Nashville 300 this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, TN. Schendel will be driving for Means Racing, owned by former NASCAR driver, Jimmy Means. Oneof 48 cars on the entry list, Schendel will have to qualify by time to make the 43 car field.(ASA PR)(4-1-2010
  • Mike Wallace gets Nashville associate sponsors: J-D Motorsports driver, Mike Wallace, has two Associate sponsors that have stepped forward for the Nashville Nationwide race. GK Services, a newcomer in the racing apparel business, and Radiator Specialty Co. makers of GUNK Products, both have renewed interest in the #01 Chevy of Mike Wallace. The team is searching diligently for primary support and additional associate sponsors for the Phoenix and subsequent events.(J-D Motorsports PR)(4-1-2010)