August 2011 Nationwide Series Archive


  • Matt Carter driving for Go Green at Atlanta: Matt Carter will pilot Go Green Racing’s #39 / Bennett Steel Structures Ford Mustang in Saturday night’s Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS). Carter will make his 29th career NASCAR Nationwide Series start of his career and 10th of the 2011 season.(Carter PR)(8-31-2011)
  • TriStar crew member burned at shop: UPDATE: Mike Cluka, crew member for Tristar Motorsports and the #19 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series was severly burned in an accident at the teams race shop last Tuesday, August 23 as the team prepared for the Bristol race weekend. Cluka is a NASCAR series veteran crew member, shock specialist and former front-tire changer and was the last shock specialist and front-tire changer for the late Dale Earnhardt. Cluka wanted to pass along a message of warning to all crew members at all levels of racing: “I’m very lucky to be alive today. I want all crew members to be very aware of cordless drills and impacts. I got severly burned, receiving 2nd degree burns on my face, arms and neck. I was simply tightening a hose clamp on our fuel cell vent when the drill motor sparked and ignited vapors, causing a huge blue flash and fire.” Cluka is resting at home in Kannapolis, NC as he continues to recover from his injuries.(Weber Sports Marketing)(8-30-2011)
    UPDATE: Although Mike Cluka is still healing, he has been cleared by the doctors and is back to work at TriStar Motorsports and will be with the team this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(TMR)(8-31-2011)
  • McMurray to drive 3 races for JR Motorsports: Jamie McMurray, the 2010 Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 champion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will rejoin JR Motorsports to pilot the team’s #7 Chevy beginning this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. McMurray is the defending race winner of the Great Clips 300. His victory accompanied four top-fives, six top-10s, and 72 laps led with the #88 team last season. The Joplin, Mo. native holds an average finish of 6.2 with JRM. This year he’ll be paired with crew chief Tony Eury Jr. in races at Chicagoland Speedway (Sept. 17) and Dover International Speedway (Oct. 1). (JR Motorsports)(8-31-2011)

  • Gibbs interested in Nationwide, Truck teams UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that as part of the team’s new engine partnership with Toyota Racing Development, new NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series entries could be fielded out of the JGR shops in 2012. “If we can add a couple of Nationwide programs and a Truck program… I don’t think there’s a person here who will have to worry about their job,” he said. “That is one of the things that made this worth looking at. For a lot of our key guys who have been here for years, there will be roles in the shop or motor department that they can fill. A lot of them will still have their (previous) jobs, a few of them will probably go on the road with the teams, and some of them will have different roles that will allow us to do things better across the playing field.” Gibbs said the proposed new Nationwide and Truck Series teams will run under the JGR banner. “We will continue to do all our (current) Nationwide teams, and if we add new teams, it will give us spots to put guys in so no one has to worry about their job.” He revealed that the new teams could be implemented quickly, saying, “Additional motor programs are one of the easiest things to do. The harder stuff is to build chassis, cars, parts and pieces and put them all together. The motors come (from TRD), you put them in, run them, take them out and send them back. (The new teams) are something we think we can add and do a good job with.”(Sirius Speedway)(8-11-2011)
    UPDATE: During an interview today on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway radio program, JD Gibbs clarified what he said during the radio interview a couple of weeks ago. Gibbs said that with the new partnership with TRD they will most likely be involved in the engine programs for the Nationwide and Truck Series, but Joe Gibbs Racing has no plans to start either a new Nationwide or Truck team.(8-31-2011)
  • Keselowski returns to the #22: Brad Keselowski will return to the seat of the Discount Tire Dodge this weekend at AMS for the first time since suffering back and ankle injuries in a testing accident at Road Atlanta on Wednesday, August 3. During Keselowski’s recovery, Penske Racing has shown incredible depth with drivers Kurt Busch, Sam Hornish Jr., Jacques Villeneuve and Parker Kligerman combining for one win, two pole positions and two top-10 finishes in the No. 22 machine.(Penske Racing)(8-30-2011)
  • Bristol TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol earned a 1.1 household coverage rating, averaging 1,439,000 viewers. Last year’s Bristol race, which also aired on ESPN, earned a 1.6 rating(ESPN)(8-30-2011)

  • Hyder out at KHI: Kevin Harvick Inc. announced changes to the organization’s NASCAR Nationwide Series program. Effective immediately Chris Carrier has been named crew chief of the #33 team, replacing David Hyder who has been released from his position. For this weekend’s events at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Carrier will continue his role as crew chief of the #8 team which competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in addition to assuming the duties with the #33 team. Crew chief for the #8 team will be named at a later date.(KHI)(8-30-2011)
  • Cope twins to attempt Chicago: Amber & Angela Cope made history earlier this year when they were first twins to ever race in NASCAR’s top three series. They will be racing in to the Windy City to compete in the Dollar General 300 race at the *Chicagoland Speedway alongside uncle and Daytona 500 winner, Derrike Cope. (Anderson Group PR)(8-30-2011)
  • Schick Xtreme3 to sponsor Truex: Schick Xtreme3 will sponsor the Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Toyota Camry driven by Ryan Truex for Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Atlanta. Truex is currently slated to drive in a total of six Nationwide Series races for JGR this season, with the first coming on the 1.5-mile oval track in Atlanta during Labor Day Weekend. In addition to Atlanta, Truex is set to drive the #20 Nationwide Series Toyota in Richmond, Chicago, Dover, Kansas, and Phoenix.(JGR)(8-30-2011)
  • Bristol images: Add 46 images from Bristol to the 2011 Nationwide paint schemes pages.(8-29-2011)

  • Roush Fenway cars added to “Honoring Our Heros” at Richmond: Lionel NASCAR Collectables and Roush Fenway Racing announced that #60-Carl Edwards, #16-Trevor Bayne and #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. will all race special “Honoring Our Heroes” cars at Richmond International Raceway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on September 9. Each Roush Fenway car will pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11, 2001 and thank three military heroes who were severely wounded in the line of duty. The cars will also feature the logo of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation – a charitable organization which is raising funds to build “smart homes” for these three servicemen. Stephen Siller was an FDNY firefighter who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center 10 years ago. Edward’s #60 Fastenal/Honoring Our Heroes Ford will honor those who lost their lives in the attack on the Washington D.C. area with a gold wireframe image of the Pentagon that wraps around the car’s sides and TV panel. In addition to the American flag which waves on the sides, the name of United States Marine Corps Corporal John Peck rides on the car’s deck lid. In May of 2010 while on patrol in Afghanistan, Peck was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and lost both legs and both arms in the blast. He is currently recovering at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda. The #16 Fastenal/Honoring Our Heroes Ford Mustang of Trevor Bayne will carry a tribute to those who died in New York when the Twin Towers were hit by two hijacked planes. On Bayne’s car, a silhouette of the Manhattan skyline with the Twin Towers still standing wraps around the rear. His Ford also carries the name of U.S. Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco on the rear deck lid. Marrocco is the first American to survive losing four limbs in combat. He was injured in Iraq on Easter Sunday 2009 when the vehicle he was riding in was hit by an Explosive Fired Projectile (EFP). The EFP entered Marrocco’s door, causing the soldier permanent and life-changing injuries. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation finished the construction of Marrocco’s “smart home” in June. Stenhouse and the #6 Fastenal/Honoring Our Heroes Ford Mustang will pay tribute to the passengers of Flight 93 who lost their lives over Shanksville, Pa. while saving the U.S. from suffering more casualties on that tragic day. A ghosted number “93” is featured on the C-post and TV panel of Stenhouse’s Ford, while the name of United States Marine Corps Corporal Todd Nicely rides on the rear deck lid. In March 2010, Nicely was injured while leading a unit of 12 men over a bridge in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. He stepped on an IED which exploded and tore off his arms and legs. Since then, he has endured numerous surgeries and has cycled through three kinds of artificial legs and arms.(Lionel PR), see images of the cars on my 2011 Nationwide paint schemes pages.(8-29-2011)
  • ThermaCote sponsoring Wise at Atlanta: Josh Wise will pilot the #40 Key Motorsports prepared Chevy in Saturday’s 300-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway with primary sponsorship from ThermaCote, Inc., an Atlanta area manufacturer of high performance sealants used in homes, classrooms, hotels and all types of buildings.(Key Motorsports PR)(8-29-2011)
  • #50 crewmember hurt at Bristol: UPDATE: Cory Howe, a crew member of the #50 MAKE Motorsports Chevy team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series was injured performing adjustments underneath the car this morning during practice at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Howe was transported to Wellmont Health System in Kingsport, Tenn. where he underwent treatment and tests for his minor injuries. All tests for severe injury came back negative and he is listed in Good condition. The team will have further updates on his release once available.(8-26-2011)
    UPDATE: Cory Howe, a crew member of the #50 MAKE Motorsports Chevy team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series was treated and released from Wellmont Bristol Regional Medical Center in Bristol, Tenn.on Friday, August 26. He is now at home resting. Howe was injured last Friday performing adjustments underneath the car during NASCAR Nationwide Series practice at the Bristol Motor Speedway. He was treated with stitches for lacerations to his face and hands. All tests for severe injury came back negative.(Breaking Limits/MAKE Motorsports)(8-29-2011)

  • Penske plans 2 car effort for 2012: Roger Penske said Saturday he hopes to field two full-time Nationwide programs in 2012, including one for former IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 champion Sam Hornish Jr. The founder and head man at Penske Racing has previously expressed interest in running a full 2012 schedule with Hornish. Now Penske would like to run a second Nationwide team and split the driving duties between Brad Keselowski and Parker Kligerman, who currently drives a truck for Brad Keselowski Racing.(Charlotte Observer)(8-27-2011)
  • Hot Rod Grills to sponsor Bliss: TriStar Motorsports announced a one-race partnership with HotRodGrills. HotRodGrills will serve as primary sponsor of the #19 Chevrolet Impala with driver Mike Bliss in tonight’s Food City 250. Life size and professionally built by one of the largest gas grill manufactures in the industry, this dicast aluminum grill has all of the conveniences of a traditional grill and is one of a kind, featuring an authentic 1:1 scale for a realistic engine look. (TMR)(8-26-2011)
  • Kurt Busch chose not to run #22 Nationwide car at Bristol: Kurt Busch says he declined an offer from Penske Racing to replace teammate Brad Keselowski in the Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch says he preferred to focus on preparing for the Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night. Running in Friday’s event could have detracted from preparing his #22 team for the upcoming Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Busch has failed to finish the last two Cup races and has dropped from fourth to eighth in the standings. He replaced Keselowski in the Nationwide race at Watkins Glen two weeks ago and earned his first series victory since 2006. Keselowski has skipped the last four Nationwide races as he recovers from a broken ankle. Parker Kligerman is driving for him at Bristol.(Associated Press/ESPN)(8-26-2011)
  • #50 crewmember hurt at Bristol: Cory Howe, a crew member of the #50 MAKE Motorsports Chevy team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series was injured performing adjustments underneath the car this morning during practice at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Howe was transported to Wellmont Health System in Kingsport, Tenn. where he underwent treatment and tests for his minor injuries. All tests for severe injury came back negative and he is listed in Good condition. The team will have further updates on his release once available. (8-26-2011)
  • Mitchell Swaback Charities to support Lepage’s 300th Nationwide start: Means Motorsports announced that along with RaceDaySponsor, are sponsors of the #52 Chevy this week at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Mitchell Swaback Charities organization strives to “Advance the Kingdom of Christ by Reaching Out to Others.” They work to engage a persons heart through the act of helping others with the financial support of ministry partners through mission, scholarship and construction projects. The team would also like to thank and Evan Meade & Associates, a local Johnson City Law firm, for their support of Kevin’s 300th NASCAR Nationwide start at the track where he won the night race in 1998.(Means Motorsports PR)(8-26-2011)

  • Danica to NASCAR in 2012 – Official Announcement: Putting the pedal to the media metal, and with Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons at her side … Danica revealed her racing future today. “We can finally put the rumors to rest – I am going full-time NASCAR with Go Daddy next year,” Danica told a crowded Phoenix news conference a few minutes ago. “I am going to race a full Nationwide schedule and limited Sprint Cup schedule in my Chevrolet next season.” For the NASCAR Nationwide Series races, she’ll drive with her current stock car team, JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Danica will be with Stewart-Haas Racing, co-owned by two-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. Both series will be financially fueled by Go Daddy, her long-time sponsor who first signed the Go Daddy Girl in 2006.(JR Motorsports)(8-25-2011)
    Statement from NASCAR CEO Brian France: “We are pleased Danica Patrick has chosen to race full time in NASCAR in 2012. She has demonstrated a strong desire to compete and NASCAR provides the best opportunity to race against the top drivers in the world with the largest and most loyal fan base in motorsports on a week-to-week basis. Danica has shown solid improvement in NASCAR and we believe her decision to run full time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, with additional races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be exciting for our fans and a great challenge for her.”(NASCAR)(8-25-2011)
    Statement from Tony Stewart: “We’re very excited to have Danica Patrick and Go Daddy join Stewart-Haas Racing in 2012 for a limited NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule with the intention of us running her full-time in Sprint Cup in 2013. We’re proud of the fact she wants to come and be a part of Stewart-Haas Racing and what we’ve built with Ryan Newman and myself and all of our partners. Having Danica and Go Daddy as a combination at SHR is something we’re really looking forward to. The thing you see in Danica right away is how determined she is to be good at what she does. She’s very dedicated to taking the time and effort to make the transition from Indy cars to stock cars. She has talent, she has the right mindset and she has the proper drive and determination. It doesn’t matter who it is you’re looking for, those are the key attributes that you look for in a driver, and Danica’s got them.”(Stewart Hass Racing)(8-25-2011)
    UPDATE 4: Kelley Earnhardt, co-owner and general manager of JR Motorsports, said in a conference call Thursday afternoon, a couple of hours after Patrick had made her announcement that she’ll not only drive full-time for JR Motorsports in Nationwide but also that she’ll drive in eight to 10 Sprint Cup races for Stewart-Haas Racing. Earnhardt said there never really was a chance of JR Motorsports fielding a Cup car for Patrick. “We discussed whether or not that would make sense for everyone involved. And quite frankly, JR Motorsports isn’t ready to bite that bullet,” she said. “We have partners under the JR Motorsports umbrella — like Stewart-Haas Racing — that were interested in adding cars to their fold on the Sprint Cup side. So I think it worked out best for everybody.” Earnhardt also said she understands Patrick’s desire to perhaps race in the Indianapolis 500 next year, but made it clear that she expects Patrick’s top priority — even during the month of May — to be her Nationwide team.(, see earlier reports on my Danica Patrick News page.(8-25-2011)
  • Morgan Shepherd to have special guest at Bristol: Morgan Shepherd’s #89 Nationwide Series race team’s number one priority is to make lives who are less fortunate just a little better. The Shepherd team will host a special guest at Friday’s Food City 250 Nationwide Series race event and pre-race festivities. Kyle Keaton, 23, of Portsmouth, Ohio was born with Cystic Fibrosis and is in dire need of a double lung transplant. In the past two weeks Kyle was put on the list for the operation once compatiple lungs are available. Kyle is a huge NASCAR fan and his favorite driver is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kyle is an avid collector of Dale Earnhardt Jr. memorabilia and never misses a televised race, rooting for his favorite driver on television. A close friend of Shepherd who is from Kyle’s hometown of Portsmouth, informed Shepherd of the possibility of bringing Kyle to his first race as guest and possibly helping him to meet his favorite driver. Shepherd agreed. Kyle will be accompanied by his mother Jo Ellen, and lifelong friend Jarred Kotcamp. Kyle will be transported with medical assistance by ABLE EMS Medical Transport Company of nearby Wheelersburg, Ohio, whose logos will also appear on Shepherd’s #89 Chevy.(Faith Motorsports)(8-25-2011)
  • Sadler settles suit with Richard Petty Motorsports: Elliott Sadler and Richard Petty Motorsports have settled a lawsuit filed by Sadler against his former team. The settlement terms are confidential, said Sadler attorney John Buric. Sadler had filed the suit in May in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C., and claimed in court documents that his former team was withholding a payment to him because it accused him of influencing Hunt Brothers Pizza to leave RPM and sponsor him at Kevin Harvick Inc. The amount Sadler was seeking was never listed in the complaint.(Scene Daily)(8-25-2011)
  • Nemechek gets Bristol sponsor: NEMCO Motorsports announced that AM FM Energy LLC will be the primary sponsor of Joe Nemechek’s NEMCO Motorsports #97 Toyota in the Food City 250 on Friday, August 26th at Bristol Motor Speedway. AM FM Energy is a notable distributor of high quality Timber Ridge line of wood and pellet stoves, and has recently added BBQ grills and accessories to their product line. The company specializes in complete energy savings solutions and can ship orders direct.(NEMCO)(8-24-2011)
  • sponsoring Wimmer:, where you can live like a millionaire, will back the efforts of Scott Wimmer in Friday night’s 250-lap NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Key Motorsports announced. The veteran driver is proud to be partnering with, which is based in his home state of Wisconsin. “ is a great company based near my hometown in central Wisconsin,” shared Wimmer. “They have a great program that has helped many average working people own the things they need and want at a price they can afford. This is their first venture into NASCAR and we want to do our part to expose to as many race fans as possible.”(Key Motorsports)(8-24-2011)
  • 300th start for Lepage: Kevin Lepage will be making his 300th start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this week at Bristol. This will be very special night for him since he won the night race back in August 1998. In his 300 races he has 2 wins, 19 top 5’s, 51 top 10’s and 4 poles, running 43,869 laps. Lepage also has 201 Cup starts dating back to 1994 when he and his wife moved to North Carolina from Vermont. “I have met many great people along this journey from Team Owners, Sponsors, NASCAR Officials,Team Members and most of all Great NASCAR FANS who have supported me through the up’s and down’s of this wonderful ride,” said Lepage.(PR)(8-24-2011)
  • Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup on the #23: Anderson’s Maple Syrup, Inc. and Nationwide Series team Jay Robinson Racing are once again teaming up in the Nationwide Series on August 26th at the world renowned Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. NASCAR and short track veteran Dennis Setzer will be driving the #23 Chevy, looking to keep the team locked in the owners points. Anderson’s will also be an associate sponsor on the #28 Jay Robinson Racing Chevrolet driven by teammate Derrike Cope. (Jay Robinson Racing), see an image of the car on my #23 team paint schemes page.(8-24-2011)
  • New look for the #88: JRM’s flagship #88 Chevy will take on a new look with the Degree Men Adrenaline Series paint scheme this weekend. The Degree Men Adrenaline Series responds to increases in physical exertion, making it perfect for a hot night under the lights at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. The special paint features gold, black and silver colors with reflective Degree Men logos on the quarter panels. Degree V12, part of the Adrenaline Series, will be featured on the hood of the No. 88.(JR Motorsports)(8-24-2011)
  • NASCAR takes spring from Ambrose’s car UPDATE:: NASCAR announced after the race that the right rear spring on #9-Marcos Ambrose’s car would be examined at its research and development center in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday. A spokesman didn’t say what officials were looking for but said the victory would not be taken away regardless of what is found. Associated Press/
    UPDATE: According to Bob Pockrass, “After NASCAR took more extended look at spring taken from winning Nationwide car of Marcos Ambrose, it has ruled there will be no penalty.”(8-23-2011)

  • Chad Norris named crew chief for Bayne: Chad Norris has been named crew chief of Roush Fenway’s #16 Nationwide Series team with driver Trevor Bayne. Norris will assume the role immediately, serving as crew chief for the team this weekend at Bristol. Norris, who has been with Roush Fenway since 2005, led Marcos Ambrose’s winning effort from atop the pit box last weekend in Montreal. Norris takes over for Chris Andrews. Andrews’ role in the organization will be announced at a later date.(Roush Fenway Racing)(8-23-2011)

  • Scott to drive Boise State car at Atlanta: Boise native Brian Scott will drive a Boise State-themed car in the Sept. 3 Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway — the same night as the Broncos’ season opener against Georgia. Scott, a 23-year-old Boise High graduate, said the tie-in is an outgrowth of his sponsorship with the Albertson Foundation and its “Go On” campaign to promote college attendance by Idaho high school graduates. “One thing led to another,” said Scott, who is the great-grandson of J.A. and Kathryn Albertson. Right now, Scott only plans to run the car with the Boise State design in Atlanta.(Idaho Statesman) – link updated(8-23-2011)
  • Three Fastenal cars at Bristol: For the second time this season, Fastenal will sponsor all three Roush Fenway entries in a single NASCAR Nationwide Series race, this time at the famed half-mile concrete oval of Bristol Motor Speedway. Fastenal’s blue and white colors will be featured on three of the fastest cars in the series. The all-star lineup includes the #60 Fastenal Ford Mustang driven by series champion Carl Edwards, who has already racked up five NNS victories this season (including four with Fastenal as the primary sponsor); the #6 Fastenal Ford Mustang of NNS points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr.; and the #16 Fastenal Ford Mustang driven by 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne. (Fastenal)(8-23-2011)
  • Baxter comments on confontation with Steve Wallace: UPDATE: Pastrana Waltrip Racing today issued the following statements from #99 crew chief Jerry Baxter and owner Michael Waltrip following a pit lane encounter between Baxter and Steve Wallace after Saturday’s Montreal Nationwide race.
    JERRY BAXTER – “I’m sorry for what happened after the race on Saturday and I take responsibility for my own actions. I called Steve (Wallace) today and apologized. I was just very frustrated and let my emotions get to me. That was Patrick’s (Carpentier) last race and we wanted to make it special. We really thought he had a shot for the win and everything boiled over when that chance went away in the wreck. Everyone was just racing hard and there was no intent to wreck anyone. There’s no excuse for what I did after the race and I apologize to everyone.”
    MICHAEL WALTRIP – “Pastrana Waltrip Racing prides itself on racing hard, but we always want to be good sports. Jerry Baxter is very passionate about our race team, but what Jerry did after Saturday’s race was wrong and he knows it. I talked to him about it that night and again today. Believe me, I understand how emotional you can get behind the wheel or up on the pit box, I’ve been there. But, you have to draw a line and Jerry crossed that line. It’s not what we are all about. I apologize to Steve Wallace and all his fans as well as all NASCAR fans.” (Pastrana-Waltrip Racing), any penalties issued by NASCAR would most likely be announced Tuesday afternoon.(8-22–2011)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has penalized Jerry Baxter, crew chief for the #99 car that competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event Aug. 20 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, for his actions following the completion of the race. Baxter has been fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing – involved in an altercation on pit road after the completion of the race).(NASCAR)(8-23-2011)
  • Montreal TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal on Saturday, Aug. 20, earned a 1.5 national household coverage rating, averaging 1,872,000 viewers. Last year’s race aired on ESPN2 and earned a 1.7 rating.(ESPN)(8-23-2011)
  • Leffler back to the #30 with AccuDocs sponsorship: As in 2010, Jason Leffler will share seat time in the #38 Great Clips Impala with Sprint Cup Series star, Kasey Kahne. In eight events throughout 2011, Leffler and his team, including crew chief Eddie Pardue, will make the jump to the #30 Chevrolet. The number swap proved valuable for Leffler and his team in 2010, in eight starts behind the wheel of the #10 machine he scored seven top-10 and three top-five finishes! In four starts in the #30 Chevy this season Leffler has three top-10 finishes. The #30 AccuDoc Solutions will hit the track with chassis TMS-116 this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. This is the same chassis Leffler piloted at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis and the Nationwide Series first stop at Iowa Speedway.(Turner Motorsports)(8-23-2011)
  • Blue Devil sponsoring #70 team at Bristol: Blue Devil, a head gasket sealant manufactured by USA Sealants, will sponsor David Stremme in the #70 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Blue Devil Head Gasket Sealant is sold in over 40,000 locations including NAPA Auto Parts, O’Reilly Auto Parts, AutoZone, Advanced Auto Parts, CARQUEST, Pep Boys and Bumper to Bumper. Through rigorous testing in both the field and laboratory, Blue Devil is the #1 choice for professional mechanics when hard part replacement is not an option. Blue Devil is 100% chemical and will not clog your cooling system.(ML Motorsports)(8-23-2011)
  • Kligerman driving for Keselowski at Bristol: Parker Kligerman will drive the #22 Discount Tire Dodge this weekend in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski is still healing from an ankle fracture and strained back suffered in his testing accident at Road Atlanta earlier this month. Brad’s condition will continue to be monitored on a race-by-race basis.”(Penske Racing)(8-23-2011)

  • Germain teams up with Native American Businessman: Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Germain Racing majority owner Bob German will form a new NASCAR National Series team in conjunction with Naples, Fla., resident O.B. Osceola, Jr. The team, to be called Germain-Osceola Racing, hopes to field an entry in 2012 on the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide or Camping World Truck Series in 2012 for a still unnamed driver, with backing projected to come from from a number of Native American tribes. Osceola is President of Pro Investment Group International and CEO of Pro Games, LLC, and has been instrumental in constructing and managing a number of large-scale projects for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, including fundraising and construction for Florida’s Immokalee Casino, and overseeing the tribe’s ownership of the worldwide Hard Rock and Hollywood Hotel/Casino franchises. Germain said the new team operate as a subsidiary of Germain Racing, with sponsorship flowing – at least for now — into the existing race team, which fields Sprint Cup Toyota Camrys for #13-Casey Mears, #60-Mike Skinner and #50-TJ Bell, and Camping World Truck Series Tundras for former series champion Todd Bodine, Brendan Gaughan and Max Papis. He said Germain-Osceola Racing will make its NASCAR debut later this season, fielding a Hard Rock Vodka-sponsored Nationwide Series entry in the 2011 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “That will be done as part of a launch for a new, Hard Rock-branded Vodka that’s coming out,” said Germain. “There are a lot of good things going on there, and I really think we’re onto something. It’s something new for NASCAR, and I think we’re going to see a lot of good things come out of this program.”(Sirius Speedway)(8-23-2011)

  • New NNS team with Villeneuve & Ranger? A new Canadian team, who wants to drive full time in NASCAR Nationwide Series next year, is trying to hire Jacques Villeneuve and Andrew Ranger for the 2012 season. According to the Journal de Montreal, an Ontario businessman had begun discussions with two Quebecers to compose a duo of drivers. This man would count on the support of entrepreneurs known in order to build a budget. Villeneuve was involved in two Nationwide races this season against four Ranger. “It’s definitely a little bit faster because you start to talk about it. The owner has great projects for next year. But there are things to watch with sponsors. Financially, too, because like it or not, it’s still a series that costs a lot money. With two cars on the track, it can cost even more.I think we have good contacts and discussions with them now” Ranger told RDS.( translated using Google translate.(8-22-2011)

  • MAKE Motorsports to attempt 2011 debut at Bristol: MAKE Motorsports is entering the #50 Liberty Tire Recycling / Pinnacle Rubber Mulch Chevy in this week’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event. This is the first Nationwide event for the team, who has competed in the Camping World Truck Series for the last few seasons on a part-time basis. The driver will be TJ Bell, who has driven for MAKE in the NCTWS. MAKE is planning on running many of the remaining 2011 Nationwide Series events, with an eye to running a full 2012 season(MAKE PR)(8-22-2011)
  • Mad Catz on the #20 at Bristol: Mad Catz, a worldwide leader in manufacturing, distributing and marketing innovative controllers and other peripherals for console and PC game systems, will adorn the side of the #20 GameStop Toyota this weekend in Bristol. Mad Catz develops and markets accessories for videogame systems and PCs under its Mad Catz, Saitek, Cyborg, Eclipse and TRITTON brands. Mad Catz distributes its products through most of the leading retailers offering interactive entertainment products and has offices in North America, Europe and Asia. Mad Catz has been a primary partner on the #20 GameStop Toyota several times, including last season at Auto Club Speedway.(JGR)(8-22-2011)
  • Hip Chix Fundraisers Partners with Cobb for several races: Hip Chix Fundraisers announced a partnership with Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing (JJCR) that will utilize the power of NASCAR to introduce a solution for women’s charities looking to raise money for their cause. Hip Chix Fundraisers is an online, trendy, jewelry fundraising company that will sponsor Cobb in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 24), Atlanta Motor Speedway (Sep. 2) and Chicagoland Speedway (Sep. 16) and in the Nationwide Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 26), Atlanta Speedway (Sep. 3), Richmond International Raceway (Sep. 9) and Chicagoland Speedway (Sep. 17).(JJC Racing)(8-22-2011)
  • Bowyer returns to the #33: Clint Bowyer and the #33 Rheem team will head to Bristol Motor Speedway this week for the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ second visit of the season to the Tennessee short track. Bowyer has 11 starts at Bristol in the series with one win (2008), five top-five and eight top-10 finishes and has led 254 laps. This Friday’s race will mark the Emporia, Kan., native’s sixth of nine races with the team for the 2011 season. Behind the wheel of the #33 Rheem Chevy, Bowyer collected the pole and drove to a runner-up finish in the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway, his best start and finish thus far this season. (KHI)(8-22-2011)
  • NASCAR Reinstates Crew Member: NASCAR has reinstated Denise Harmon-Mixon, a crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, following her successful completion of NASCAR’s Road to Recovery Program. Harmon-Mixon had been suspended July 5 for violating the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Policy. (NASCAR)(8-22-2011)
  • Conway in the #87 – focusing on unsolved murder: As part of the ‘ExtenZe Local Hero’ program, Kevin Conway is stepping up to assist the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD) in the unsolved Kingsport, Tenn. murder case of James Hutson. Conway’s #87 ExtenZe Toyota will carry the images of Hutson along with SCSD contact information on the car’s deck lid for the Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 26, 2011. In the early morning hours of September 6, 1997 officers with the SCSD responded to a home on Rock Springs Road in Kingsport. The caller, Mary Lou Hutson, James’ mother, advised dispatchers that a man had raped her and stabbed her son. When officers arrived at the home they found 17 year old James Hutson dead with stab wounds all over his body. Mary Lou Hutson survived the incident but passed away about a year after her son’s death. Since her rape and the murder of her son detectives have spent countless hours following numerous leads, but those leads have not panned out. James also left behind a brother and two sisters whom all hope and pray for closure one day soon. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office at 423-279-7506 or email at [email protected]. (Bristol Herald Courier)(8-22-2011)
  • Louis-Philippe Dumoulin in the #52 at Montreal: Canadian driver Louis-Philippe (nickname LP) Dumoulin will be making his debut in the prestigious NASCAR Nationwide Series at the NAPA AUTO PARTS 200 event, to be held in Montreal on the circuit Gilles Villeneuve this Saturday, August 20th at 2:30 PM. The youngest of the Dumoulin brothers will also be participating in the Canadian Tire NASCAR Series of the same event behind the wheel of car #47 Maskimo/Protection Incendie MCI. “We are thankful to Jimmy Means and Means Motorsports for this opportunity to participate in a Nationwide race with car #52. It’s a new experience in a very competitive series and to finish with good results, you have to do a smart race,” shares Louis-Philippe Dumoulin. This participation is made possible thanks to the support of partners such as DaVinci foods and Hairfax International. This season, in four NASCAR Canadian Tire races, LP Dumoulin made two Top-5’s and one Top-10.(PARAPHE Sports-Management)(8-18-2011)
  • Future of Montreal race remains unknown: There will be no word on the future of Montreal’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race for a few more weeks, according to the promoters of the event. The fifth annual NAPA Auto Parts 200 runs on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Friday and Saturday, the final race in the five-year contract between promoter International Speedway Corp. and its subsidiary, Stock-Car Montréal, and Park Jean Drapeau, in which the racetrack lies. Organizers of the race last fall began discussions with the Quebec government for a tourism-department grant of $500,000 to promote the race beyond Quebec’s borders to bring more fans in for the 74-lap race. That sum presumably would have been matched by the federal government. But in early July, the provincial government turned down the request, saying that promoters hadn’t provided sufficient data to show that the race has a positive economic impact on the city and province. It is now up to ISC and Stock-Car Montréal to determine whether it wants to return to Montreal, which for four years has embraced the event with good crowds for a race considered by NASCAR and its teams as among the finest of the Nationwide Series and a favourite destination. Organizers must negotiate, among other things, a new lease with Jean Drapeau Park to run here.(Montreal Gazette)(8-18-2011)
  • Latest on Danica…to NASCAR in 2012: Danica Patrick next week will formally announce her intent to move to NASCAR full-time in 2012, multiple sources with knowledge of her contract negotiations told ESPN. Although her contracts are still being finalized, Patrick — who has raced in both the IndyCar Series and the Nationwide series this season and last season — will drive the #7 Chevy for the entire 2012 Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports, sources said. She also plans to enter select Sprint Cup races next season in cars prepared by Stewart-Haas Racing, with the intent to move to Sprint Cup full-time in a multiyear deal with Stewart-Haas in 2013, sources said. Patrick is expected to make the announcement in Phoenix, where is headquartered, in a news conference currently being arranged, according to sources. JR Motorsports representatives said Wednesday they have “nothing new to report.” It is unknown at this time how this may affect Patrick’s ability to compete in the 2012 Indianapolis 500, sources said.(ESPN)(8-17-2011)
  • Del Monte on the #19 at Montreal: Team McClure, Inc. announced that Del Monte Foods has joined the TriStar Motorsports family of partners for the 2011 season. The iconic green colors of the Del Monte brand will adorn the #19 Chevy in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and will be driven by veteran Mike Bliss. Additionally, the brand will serve as an associate sponsor on the #14 Hefty BlackOut/Reynolds Impala.(TMI), see an image of the car on my #19 team paint schemes page.(8-17-2011)
  • Rockingham installing SAFER barriers: The Rockingham Speedway, which hosted NASCAR Sprint Cup races from 1965 to 2004, is taking a huge step toward once again hosting big-league racing as SAFER “soft wall” barriers will be installed next month. The energy-absorbing system will be installed in two phases, in mid-September and late December, covering all four turns of the one-mile oval and the inside of the backstretch wall. NASCAR requires racetracks to have the SAFER barrier in place before they can host one of the sanctioning body’s top three national series — Sprint Cup, Nationwide, or Camping World Trucks. Rockingham officials have had discussions with NASCAR, albeit informal, about the possibility of a Nationwide or Truck Series event returning to the track more commonly known as The Rock. A source within NASCAR, speaking on condition of anonymity, admits as much. However, the lack of a SAFER barrier had always been an insurmountable issue. Without the promise of a NASCAR race, Hillenburg wasn’t confident enough to try and secure funds for SAFER installation. That now appears to have changed. NASCAR president Mike Helton told’s David Newton that while he “wouldn’t want to give anybody false hope,” the installation of SAFER barriers “gives us more options.”(
  • Watkins Glen TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, Aug. 13, earned a 1.5 national household coverage rating, averaging 1,913,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The race also earned 1.5 ratings in 2009 and 2010. Across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, the NASCAR Nationwide Series is averaging a 1.4 U.S. rating after 22 races, up 10 percent from last year at this point.(ESPN)(8-16-2011)
  • Carpentier to run final race this weekend: #99 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Patrick Carpentier returns to the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the final time this weekend at his home track of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. The 39-year-old driver plans to retire after this weekend’s race. The Joliette (Quebec) native enjoyed a 27-year racing career where he won five IndyCar races and grabbed a Sprint Cup Series pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2008. Carpentier has had great success at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In 2007 he won the pole then led 14 laps in his series debut. In just four races on the road course, he has back-to-back runner up finishes and ran at the front of the field the last two years before mechanical issues ended his day.(Pastrant Waltrip Racing)(8-16-2011)
  • Fastenal sponsoring Stenhouse at Montreal: Earlier this year at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans witnessed three Fastenal-branded cars running in a single Nationwide race. This weekend, they’ll see two. Fastenal, a regular primary on Carl Edwards’ #60, will also sponsor current Nationwide points leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in this week’s Nationwide race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada.(Roush Fenway Racing)(8-16-2011)
  • Fix Auto and Sherwin Williams on the #18: Sherwin-Williams and Fix Auto will both adorn the side of the #18 Toyota this weekend in Montreal. Sherwin-Williams is the nation’s largest specialty retailer of paint, stains, coatings, wall coverings and sundry items. Fix Auto is revolutionizing the collision repair industry. First, Fix Auto has an extensive network of carefully selected collision body and auto paint shops that are at hand, and at your service, after an accident involving automobile body damage.(JGR)(8-16-2011)
  • Kennedy returns to the #23: It is often said the best way to learn anything is by repetition – the more you do, the better you get. Such will be the case for Alex Kennedy when he takes the wheel of the #23 Media Master Chevy this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal for R3 Motorsports. Coming off a commendable run this past weekend at Watkins Glen International, the 19-year old resident of Aztec, N.M. is ready to improve on that finish north of the border.(R3 Motorsports)(8-16-2011)
  • Truex has no 2012 plans yet: Ryan Truex has been out of a racecar since [Pastrana Waltrip Racingcut back], but finally has a break. Joe Gibbs Racing recently announced Truex would pilot its #20 Toyota for a six-race stretch this fall, starting at the September 4th race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Though he is with a winning team, Truex says that this deal is no guarantee on what 2012 can bring. “I don’t know what’s going to happen next year. I’m just looking at these six races and focusing on them. I feel like this is my second chance this year to prove that I can go out and do this. I feel like this is my best shot to be out there and be in the best equipment out there to showcase my talent. Hopefully we can have some really strong runs and impress some people and get some funding for next year. Obviously, I would like to go full-time next year. That is my goal and these six races are my shot to do it.”(WSB Radio)(8-16-2011)
  • Speed in the #33 at Montreal: Scott Speed will join the #33 Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) team this weekend as the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads north to Canada. Speed will pilot the Rheem Chevy Impala at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, the third and final road-course event of the season. The California native has 13 starts in the series with one pole (Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 2009) and eight top-10 finishes. This will be his first Nationwide Series start since the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2009.(KHI)(8-15-2011)

  • Said in the #30 at Montreal: Turner Motorsports announced the addition of road course specialist, Boris Said, to the driver’s seat of the #30 Impala for the upcoming Nationwide Series event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Said, the event’s defending winner, will join Turner Motorsports teammate Jason Leffler in sporting the colors of the longest-running primary sponsor in the Nationwide Series, Great Clips Inc. In four starts at the Montreal-based track, the Carlsbad, Calf.-native boasts two top-five finishes. After an exciting battle for the lead in the closing laps of the 2010 event, Said captured the victory to mark his first series win. In 22 Nationwide Series starts over nine years, he has brought home one win, six top-five and seven top-10 finishes. (Turner Motorsports)(8-13-2011)
  • NASCAR changes rule for gasman: The following rule change is effective August 11, 2011 for all three NASCAR national series:
    9-15 Pit Procedures During Race –
    M. The fuel handler must be in control of the fuel can at all times when fuel is being added to the car. The fuel handler will not be permitted to perform any adjustments or other pit stop procedures while the fuel can coupler is engaged with the car-mounted adapter.
    “In an ongoing effort to keep pit road safer, we have made this adjustment to the duties of the fuel handler. If the fueler’s only responsibility is to fuel the car, he will do a better job and make fewer mistakes on pit road.” – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby.(NASCAR)(8-13-2011)

  • Nationwide race at Watkins Glen will run rain or shine: NASCAR officials confirmed that the Nationwide Series race will start as planned even if it rains tomorrow at Watkins Glen International. There is only a 40 percent chance of rain for the Zippo 200 on Saturday afternoon and the Canadian Tire 200 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race that night so fans will be treated to plenty of racing, the only question is whether it will be in the wet or the dry. Many races at WGI have been held in the rain over the years, but it would be the first time ever a NASCAR race had been run in such conditions at The Glen. The green flag will fall on the Zippo 200 at 2:00 p.m. and will be followed by the Canadian Tire 200 at 6:00 p.m. NASCAR will make a decision tomorrow morning as to whether qualifying for the Zippo 200 and Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Sprint Cup Series race will be held per the official NASCAR rule book. (Watkins Glen PR)(8-12-2011)
  • named sponsor for the #52 Means Motorsports announced that Dan Clarke, making his first NASCAR start, will be piloting the Chevy at Watkins Glen this week. The Internet based company allows consumers to log on and print off free online coupons and obtain hundreds of codes and discounts from well known National retailers. Members can make it easy to save by signing up for the email newsletter that includes the week’s best coupons and deals! Sunshine International Foods and, retailers of Tahini paste via the Internet, will also be back on the #52 for this weeks race. (Means Motorsports PR)(08-12-11)
  • Ambrose skipping the Glen; still running Montreal: UPDATE: Marcos Ambrose’s bid for a fourth straight Nationwide Series victory at Watkins Glen is over just days before the race. Ambrose’s Richard Petty Motorsports team has withdrawn its entry for the event, which Ambrose has won in 2008 (STP Ford), 2009 (Armor All Toyota) and 2010 (Zippo Toyota) for previous car owners Tad and Jodi Geschickter. understands that lack of sponsorship was the major factor in the decision to withdraw the entry, which was to be Ambrose’s first Nationwide Series start for 2011. The Australian will however race in the second tier Nationwide Series the week after at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada aboard a Ford Mustang backed by his Sprint Cup Series sponsor Stanley and fielded by his RPM team.(Speed Cafe)(8-9-2011)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports driver Marcos Ambrose is set to compete in the Nationwide Series 200-mile event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada on Aug. 20. Known to many for his expertise in road course racing, Ambrose has come close to winning in Montreal but has yet to visit Victory Lane at the 2.709-mile track. Next weekend, Ambrose hopes to change that stat as he will make his fifth attempt at taking home the trophy in a Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Mustang sponsored by Stanley. Since Ambrose and Cup Series Crew Chief, Todd Parrott, will be busy racing in Michigan, fellow Tasmanian Owen Kelly will jump in the driver’s seat of the #9 Stanley Ford in Montreal on Friday for practice and qualifying and Chad Norris will act as crew chief for the weekend.In addition to sponsoring Ambrose’s car in Montreal, Stanley will donate $100,000 on Ambrose’s behalf to the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program next weekend.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(8-12-2011)

  • Gibbs interested in Nationwide, Truck teams: Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that as part of the team’s new engine partnership with Toyota Racing Development, new NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series entries could be fielded out of the JGR shops in 2012. “If we can add a couple of Nationwide programs and a Truck program… I don’t think there’s a person here who will have to worry about their job,” he said. “That is one of the things that made this worth looking at. For a lot of our key guys who have been here for years, there will be roles in the shop or motor department that they can fill. A lot of them will still have their (previous) jobs, a few of them will probably go on the road with the teams, and some of them will have different roles that will allow us to do things better across the playing field.” Gibbs said the proposed new Nationwide and Truck Series teams will run under the JGR banner. “We will continue to do all our (current) Nationwide teams, and if we add new teams, it will give us spots to put guys in so no one has to worry about their job.” He revealed that the new teams could be implemented quickly, saying, “Additional motor programs are one of the easiest things to do. The harder stuff is to build chassis, cars, parts and pieces and put them all together. The motors come (from TRD), you put them in, run them, take them out and send them back. (The new teams) are something we think we can add and do a good job with.”(Sirius Speedway)(8-11-2011)
  • Casey Roderick, Randy Hill Racing form alliance with Go Green Racing at the Glen: Randy Hill Racing (RHR) and Go Green Racing (GGR) jointly announced that the two entities will pair up for Saturday afternoon’s Zippo 200 at the Glen with 19-year old rising star Casey Roderick at the helm. Randy Hill Racing, a newly formed team with plans to compete in select NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) events this season before stepping up their involvement in 2012, has paired with the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team for the event on the 2011 calendar after RHR elected to forgo utilizing its own equipment to concentrate on their upcoming efforts. RHR heads to Watkins Glen International (WGI) on the heels of three consecutive outings in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards in the #08 Randy Hill Racing entry led by Jeff Spraker and his Spraker Racing Enterprises (SRE) trio.(Randy Hill Racing)(8-10-2011)
  • New look for the #38: For the remainder of the 2011 season, the #38 Great Clips Chevrolet will feature a new look with a special “Online Check-in” paint scheme. Recently, Great Clips launched the salon industry’s first-ever Online Check-In system which allows customers to remotely log in from a computer or smart phone and view the estimated wait time at surrounding salons.(Turner Motorsports)(8-10-2011)

  • Kurt Busch filling in for Keselowski at Watkins Glen: A statement from Penske Racing: “As Brad Keselowski continues to recover from the injuries suffered last week at Road Atlanta, Penske Racing teammate Kurt Busch will pilot the #22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge Challenger in this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Watkins Glen International. Penske Racing is fortunate that Kurt, who is a former NNS winner at Watkins Glen, is in its stable of drivers. We appreciate him lending a hand during this time. We will continue to monitor Brad’s recovery. His NNS schedule will be determined on a race-by-race basis.”(Penske Racing)(8-10-2011)
  • Clarke to make Nationwide debut at the Glen: British driver Dan Clarke will make his debut in a NASCAR series when he races in the Nationwide event at Watkins Glen this weekend. The 27-year-old was hoping to compete in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series this year, but that plan was canned after a sponsor setback. He had competed in the SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge last weekend at Mid-Ohio. Clarke will finally make his stock car debut this weekend, however, after securing a deal to race with the #52 Chevrolet from Means Racing. “This is a great moment for me,” said Clarke. “I’ve enjoyed a lot of success in Open-wheel formula racing but I’ve wanted to try the NASCAR route for a while now. I thought I would be racing full-time this year in Canadian Stock cars but that didn’t work out and I had to move on. Now I have a shot at the NASCAR Nationwide series which is an even bigger opportunity and I have butterflies in my stomach thinking about the weekend.”(Autosport)(8-10-2011)

  • Leavine expected to run some Nationwide in 2012: Michael Leavine, grandson of Cup team owner Bob Leavine, made his second career ARCA start at Pocono this past weekend carrying the exact same paint scheme David Starr sported in the Coca-Cola 600 back in May. Driving a limited schedule this year for PGM Racing in the ARCA Racing Series, Leavine is scheduled to make one more start in 2011 at Kansas. When asked what the long-term plan was, Leavine mentioned that his grandfather’s Cup team would likely be looking to purchase some Nationwide Series cars, intending to field Michael in a limited schedule in 2012. Leavine Family Racing is also fielding driver David Starr in a limited Cup Series schedule; they plan to run Bristol, Atlanta, Chicagoland, Kansas, Charlotte, and Texas to finish off their season.(Frontstretch)(8-10-2011)
  • #6 & #14 teams penalized: Both the #6 and No. 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4-J; and 20A-10.7G (lug nuts were less than the minimum specified thickness) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book. As a result, Michael Kelly, crew chief for the #6, and Gary Cogswell, crew chief for the #14, have each been fined $2,500 and placed on NASCAR probation until Sept. 21. These violations were discovered during pre-qualifying inspection on Aug. 6 at Iowa Speedway.(NASCAR)(8-9-2011)
  • Kennedy returns to the #23: Alex “Kid” Kennedy already knows his way around the 11-turn road course of Watkins Glen International having competed in last year’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race. This time, however, he wants a much better finish than his 16th-place effort from 2010. With more races under his belt since then, the 19-year old driver from Aztec, N.M. has learned even more as he heads to the Central New York track. With some great backing from Primalyn Enterprises out of Rochester, N.Y., who moved from an associate role last year to a primary partnership this year, Kennedy will also be representing the charity of Dream Factory on the car; along with Cornell Racing.(R3 Motorsports)(8-9-2011)
  • Florida Gulf Safe returns to the #31: Florida Gulf Safe will return to the hood of Justin Allgaier’s #31 Chevy this weekend at Watkins Glen International. A campaign launched by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to combat the low consumer confidence in Florida’s Gulf seafood, the ‘Florida Gulf Safe’ sticker can be found on seafood to emphasize the safety and availability of Florida seafood harvested from the Gulf.(Turner Motorsports)(8-9-2011)
  • Iowa TV Ratings: ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night, Aug. 6, earned a 1.2 household coverage rating, averaging 1,682,000 viewers. The 2010 race earned a 1.4 rating.(ESPN)(8-9-2011)
  • Tuesday testing: hearing that several drivers are testing Tuesday at Carolina Motorsports Park, including David Ragan and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in a Grand AM GT car, Alex Tagliani & Jacques Villeneuve in Penske Dodge Nationwide cars and Marcos Amborse in a Nationwide car.(8-9-2011)

  • Ryan Truex to drive for Gibbs: UPDATE: Ryan Truex will have an opportunity to return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season, as he will drive six races in Joe Gibbs Racing’s #20 Toyota beginning with the Sept. 3 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Observer has learned. Truex, the 19-year-old younger brother of Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr., competed in 10 races this season with Michael Waltrip Racing until a lack of sponsorship sidelined him. In addition to Atlanta, Ryan Truex will also drive the #20 for JGR in Nationwide races at Richmond, Va.; Chicagoland; Dover, Del.; Kansas and Phoenix.(Charlotte Observer)(8-8-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that it has signed Ryan Truex to drive in six races this season in the organization’s NASCAR Nationwide Series program. Truex will drive the #20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing beginning in Atlanta on September 3. In addition Truex will be behind the wheel of the #20 in Richmond, Chicago, Dover, Kansas, and Phoenix. While sponsorship for a portion of the six-race schedule is expected to be announced soon, opportunities for partnership still exist.(Joe Gibbs Racing) (8-9-2011)
  • Drissi driving for Ware at Watkins Glen & Montreal:2009 Trans Am Series Champion, and Rolex Grand Am Series and American Le Mans Series driver, Tomy Drissi is ready to take to the track at Watkins Glen. Tomy Drissi will make his organizational debut at Watkins Glen, followed by the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, in Montreal. Drissi will drive the #41 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked/Muscle Milk, Ford Mustang at both remaining road courses for the organization and then the 50th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona road race that strangely he has wanted to race his entire career but never given the opportunity until now. Drissi finished 18th last year in his series debut at Montreal and has recently captured podiums in the American Le Mans Series at Lime Rock and Long Beach and tested a RWR Ford just last week.(Rick Ware Racing)(8-8-2011)
  • Menard returns to the #33: Paul Menard, the 2011 Brickyard 400 champion, reunites with the #33 Rheem/Menards team this weekend for the Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen International. Menard has five starts in the series at the Glen with one top-five and two top-10 finishes. The second of three road- course events on the Nationwide Series schedule this season will mark the driver’s fourth of seven races with the Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) team.(KHI)(8-8-2011)
  • Edwards to broadcast some NNS races in 2012?: Iowa Speedway put together a feed so that the post-race from the Saturday night Nationwide Series race would be available to fans via the Internet. It was an exciting finish, so many fans wanted to hear more from Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Carl Edwards than ESPN had provided in a brief post-race show. Alongside of race winner Stenhouse was owner Jack Roush. The few media members there wanted to know more about the building tension between young hot shoe Stenhouse and the veteran Edwards. Roush said this year he would handle it, but then came to the topic of 2012. “I think he’s (Carl) made his decision,” said Roush. “I think he is going to become a sportscaster for ESPN for the Nationwide Series races. I’m not sure if he is going to just do the companion races or all the races.”(more at the Daly Planet)(8-7-2011)
  • Texas interested in Nationwide doubleheader: Texas Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series tried a twist to their night of racing in June when the IndyCar Series ran two points races in one night. Now the track might want to try it in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. TMS President Eddie Gossage and NASCAR Senior Vice President Steve O’Donnell had an informal discussion during the IndyCar weekend on whether the concept could work for a Nationwide event. Whether it actually happens is far from a certainty, but it is an idea that could shine a spotlight on the series. A typical Texas race has been 300 miles, so it’s likely splitting the event would result in two races of 150 miles. “I haven’t even talked to [NASCAR President] Mike Helton about it,” Gossage said in a phone interview. “Steve O’Donnell and I have had conversations. He was here during our twin IndyCar race. It was really well received by the fans. They seemed to like the uniqueness of it all. And so Steve and I sat there and said, ‘What if we did a Nationwide race like this?’ But that’s the extent of it, just casual conversation. We haven’t talked about it seriously for 2012.”(Scene Daily)(8-6-2011)

  • Edwards won’t run full Nationwide season in 2012: UPDATE Asked about his Nationwide plans next year during an ESPN chat, #60-Carl Edwards, said “No, I do not plan on running Nationwide full time. I will focus on the Sprint Cup and my family. But I truly love the Nationwide Series. It will be a big change for me.”(7-18-2011)
    UPDATE: Edwards will still run a partial Nationwide schedule, but he said Friday afternoon at Pocono that he wants more time to focus on his Cup car and work with crew chief Bob Osborne. Exactly how many Nationwide races Edwards will run next season remains to be determined. He had competed in 210 consecutive races until skipping the Road America event in June. The 2007 series champion, Edwards has 34 Nationwide victories. He does not have a contract yet to run Nationwide events for Roush Fenway Racing as his Cup contract was just signed this past week. “We haven’t even talked about the Nationwide plans other than I am going to run less races,” Edwards said. “I don’t know how many I’m going to run. There are some I really love running. I will run Watkins Glen almost certainly. There’s a huge benefit to the Cup Series. (Scene Daily)(8-6-2011)
  • JD Motorsports gets Iowa sponsor: When the #01 Chevy of JD Motorsports rolled into Iowa Speedway for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race this weekend, they had a blank hood on the car. With some time to kill on Friday morning, driver Mike Wallace and veteran crew chief Paul Andrews stopped in to visit Iowa 80 Truck Stop in Walcott. After spending some time walking around the World’s Largest Truck Stop, they got in touch with their people to see if they’d be interested in becoming part of the team for the weekend.”We were literally walking through there looking at everything they had to offer to people,” said Wallace. “We called while we standing right there and they said they’d like to talk, we met with them and laid out what we could do for them. I can’t even begin to thank them enough for coming on board with us this weekend. We’re not only going to represent them, but everyone who works there or who has ever stopped in during their highway travels.” A few hours later, a deal was struck and the #01 Iowa 80 Truck Stop Chevy will take to the track located down the highway from their massive complex to compete in the Nationwide Series race. (JD Motorsports)(8-6-2011)

  • Pastrana Nationwide debut delayed until 2012: Pastrana Waltrip Racing announced that Travis Pastrana will not make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut until the 2012 season due to injuries suffered during the 17th annual X Games last week. The 11-time X Games gold medalist broke his right ankle and foot while attempting a Rodeo 720 with a back flip during the Best Trick competition in Los Angeles, forcing him to miss his scheduled NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis last Saturday. The injuries required surgery, which was completed by Dr. Tom Dennis at Riva Road Surgical Center in Annapolis, Md., Wednesday evening. Dr. Dennis said the operation was a success and that Pastrana should make a full recovery following a strict healing process which will require Pastrana to be immobilized in traction for at least one month and unable to apply weight on his right leg for another month. “To give my ankle and foot time to heal properly we have decided to wait until 2012 to make my NASCAR debut,” Pastrana said. “I probably could have been ready for the final couple of races in 2011, but it just makes more sense to start fresh in 2012. We are already starting to talk about testing and what I need to do to prepare for next season. My sincere apologies go out to my NASCAR team, fans and sponsors for this delay. Thanks for all of the support. This will be a fun ride … eventually.” Pastrana made his NASCAR debut on January 29 when he finished sixth in the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway. Pastrana was scheduled to run a total of seven Nationwide Series races this season with his debut at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Ind. on July 30.(Pastrana Waltrip Racing PR)(8-6-2011)

  • Fellows driving for JR Motorsports at Watkins Glen & Montreal: JR Motorsports announced the return of two critical components to its road-course program – driver Ron Fellows and sponsor Canadian Tire. Fellows, a previous winner for JR Motorsports, will drive the #5 Chevy in NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Watkins Glen International (Aug. 13) and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Aug. 20) with Canadian Tire as the team’s primary sponsor for both events. Fellows finished second at Road America on June 25th for JR Motorsports. The #5 Canadian Tire team will give JRM three entries in both of the remaining road-course events. Aric Almirola will drive the #88 Chevy in both races. Jimmie Johnson will drive the #7 at Watkins Glen in a one-race deal announced Tuesday, and Danica Patrick will take over the #7 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.(JR Motorsports)(8-5-2011)

  • Keselowski wrecks in testing at Road Atlanta UPDATE 3: Statement by Penske Racing: “Brad Keselowski was involved in an accident today at Road Atlanta while testing. He was transported to an Atlanta area hospital for further evaluation. Brad was able to exit the car under his own power, but as a precautionary measure was taken to the hospital. Penske Racing will provide further communication as details become known.”(Penske Racing)
    UPDATE: #2-Brad Keselowski was involved in an accident on Wednesday while testing at Road Atlanta, but the Penske Racing driver expects to be ready for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Keselowski got out of the car under his own power, but was airlifted to an Atlanta-area hospital for further evaluation as a precautionary measure. Keselowski said on Twitter that he was about to be released and X-rays on his swollen right foot were negative. He also received several abrasions, sending pictures of those and the foot on Twitter. Keselowski tweeted that engineers said he hit a wall not equipped with the SAFER barrier head-on at approximately 100 mph after the brakes failed. “Guess I needed a reminder, COT or not, this racing (stuff) is still dangerous,” Keselowski said on Twitter. “X-rays on feet r good.”(ESPN and see an image of the car at Daly Planet)(8-3-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Statement from Penske Racing “Due to Brad Keselowski’s accident while testing at Road Atlanta yesterday, he will not participate in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race this weekend at Iowa Speedway. Parker Kligerman will practice the #22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger on Friday, while Sam Hornish Jr. will qualify and race the car on Saturday. Penske Racing will continue to evaluate Brad’s condition. Further information will be provided as it becomes known.”(Penske Racing)(8-4-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Keselowski has been cleared to drive the Cup race at Pocono so Hornish will now practice, qualify, and race the #22 Dodge at Iowa.(8-4-2011)
  • Appeals panel reduces #02 team fine: On August 3, 2011, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of the #02 Corrie Stott Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series team. The penalties concerns Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing.”; Section 12-4-J: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR Rules”; and Section 20A-2.3A: “Improperly attached weight.” This stemmed from a practice session for a NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Kentucky Speedway on July 7, 2011. The penalties assessed were: $10,000 fine; Placed on NASCAR probation until August 17, 2011 for crew chief Corrie E. Stott. The Appellant acknowledged the weight was not properly attached to the car. The Appellant contested the severity of the fine for the penalties. Based on the facts and circumstances in this appeal, the Panel deemed the fine amount should be reduced from $10,000 to $5,000. Therefore, the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel was to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR while amending the fine of the original penalty. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer. (NASCAR)(8-4-2011)
  • Commission rejects #23 team appeal: On August 3, 2011, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of the #23 R3 Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series team. The penalties concerns Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing.”; Section 12-4-J: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR Rules”; and Section 20A-5.9F: “Unapproved intake manifold.” This stemmed from opening day inspection for a NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Kentucky Speedway on July 7, 2011. The penalties assessed were: $5,000 fine; Placed on NASCAR probation until August 17, 2011 for crew chief Walter T. Giles. The Appellant acknowledged while the intake manifold was legal in the 2010 rulebook it was not per the 2011 rulebook. The Appellant contested the severity of the fine for the penalties for the error. Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel was to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.(NASCAR)(8-4-2011)
  • JD Motorsports looking for sponsorship after Cowboys & Aliens deal: After a very successful campaign with Universal Studios for their summer blockbuster movie “Cowboys and Aliens” recently, the #01 Chevy team of JD Motorsports heads to Iowa Speedway with a blank hood and quarter panels. And, for the immediate future, it looks like the car will remain that way until they can find a sponsor and marketing partner for their race car. The movie campaign was deemed such a success by both Universal and JD Motorsports that it prompted a recent article on by Ryan McGee touting how the one-car, non-Sprint Cup Series team of JD Motorsports aided in the movies promotional efforts. And, their combined efforts must have worked because the movie was ranked No. 1 or No. 2 by those who track the film industry’s success during its debut last weekend.(JD Motorsports PR)(8-4-2011)
  • Wimmer returns to the #70: Scott Wimmer was tagged to drive the #70 Foretravel Motorcoach Chevrolet Impala for ML Motorsports this weekend at Iowa Speedway for the US Cellular 250. This weekend’s race marks the twenty-second race on the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Schedule. This will mark the third race this season with Wimmer behind the wheel of the ML Motorsports machine, and the second time this season at Iowa, the first of which resulted in a 15th place finish after starting in the 24th position on the grid.(ML Motorsports)(8-4-2011)

  • Nashville will not host NASCAR races in 2012: Dover Motorsports, Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Nashville Superspeedway, has notified NASCAR that it will not seek any 2012 race sanctions. Vice President and General Manager of Nashville Superspeedway, Cliff Hawks, stated, “Nashville is a tremendous market filled with passionate race fans. We have some extremely dedicated and talented employees who have made this track a great destination, but the reality is, after ten years of effort, we have to face the fact that without a Sprint Cup race and/or a significant change in the operating model for other events, we simply cannot continue.” Nashville has a few events left on the schedule for the remainder of 2011 that will not be impacted by today’s announcement. Dennis McGlynn, President & CEO of Dover Motorsports, stated, “We deeply appreciate all the hard work that our employees have put into making Nashville Superspeedway such a remarkable facility, and Cliff Hawks will remain to assist us with transition issues. We have also had years of unrelenting support from state, county and local officials and from the racing community – from racing fans and drivers to sponsors, team owners and various sanctioning bodies. We are, however, at a juncture where we must evaluate all of our options for this track, including its possible sale.”(Dover Motorsports PR)(8-3-2011)

  • Earnhardt, Jr. interested in Danica running full-time: UPDATE full-time NASCAR plan? From Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s media availability on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
    “I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything. I feel confident that she’s content where she is and happy with what we’re doing and I think things are looking positive for us to put something together. I would like for her to run full time and I’m sure she is considering that and I think she would enjoy it. She seems to really enjoy driving stock cars and racing in the Nationwide Series. We just have to see but I haven’t heard anything about it.”(Chevy PR)(7-29-2011)
    UPDATE: Danica Patrick is in the final stages of putting together her full-time NASCAR plan. Patrick is apparently going to run a full Nationwide schedule with JR Motorsports [in 2012], and run a limited Sprint Cup schedule with Tony Stewart in preparation for an eventual full Cup schedule.(ESPN/Associated Press)(8-2-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Danica Patrick could still run the Indianapolis 500 even if she makes a full-time move to NASCAR, The Associated Press has learned. Two people familiar with Patrick’s 2012 plans said she is in the final stages of a deal to run a full-time Nationwide Series schedule with JR Motorsports and limited Sprint Cup Series races with the team owned by two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. The people spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because the deal won’t be finished until she has secured a release from Andretti Autosport. The talks also include her continuing to run the Indianapolis 500, one person told AP.(ESPN)(8-2-2011)
  • Ragu returns to the #88: The red and yellow paint scheme of Ragu makes its return to the racetrack at Iowa Speedway on board Aric Almirola’s #88 Chevy. This marks the second of four races for the brand in 2011. It joins Hellmann’s, Degree and Suave Men as Unilever brands to have primary paint schemes with JRM this season. The #88 Chevy will also carry the Ragu brand at Watkins Glen International (Aug. 13) and Dover International Speedway (Oct. 1). (JRM), see an image of the car on my #88 team paint schemes page.(8-2-2011)
  • Indy TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis on Saturday night, July 30, earned a 1.5 household coverage rating, averaging 2,059,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year’s race earned a 1.7 rating, the highest the race has earned since ESPN returned to live NASCAR race telecasts in 2007. Across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, ratings for NASCAR Nationwide Series telecasts in 2011 are up 11 percent from this point last year.(ESPN)(8-2-2011)
  • Pizza Ranch returns to the #18: Pizza Ranch, the largest regional pizza restaurant chain in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, will return as sponsor of the #18 Toyota this weekend at Iowa Speedway. Pizza Ranch and Joe Gibbs Racing formed their relationship in 2009 with Kyle Busch in the #18 Pizza Ranch Toyota at Iowa, where the Pizza Ranch team finished a strong second. Since then, Pizza Ranch has been a sponsor with JGR for a number of races and will continue that relationship into 2011, where they will sponsor the #18 in four events; three with Michael McDowell (both Iowa Speedway events and Road American) and one with Kyle Busch (Michigan). Michael McDowell knows how important it is to make the most of his opportunities in Joe Gibbs Racing’s Nationwide Series equipment. That makes the second event of the season at Iowa Speedway the most important so far for “McDriver.” Why? Because for the first time this year, McDowell will get a chance to race the #18 Pizza Ranch Toyota for the second-straight week.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(8-2-2011)

  • Jimmie Johnson in the #7 at Watkins Glen: UPDATE: Dr. Jerry Punch reported during the Nationwide race at Nashville Superspeedway that Jimmie Johnson will drive the #7 for JR Motorsports at the upcoming race in Watkins Glen. Jamie McMurray is also expect to drive the car in August.(7-23-2011)
    UPDATE: If Jimmie Johnson will race anything with an engine, driving one that could carry him to victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen International is a no-brainer. JR Motorsports announced that Johnson will pilot the #7 Chevy in the Aug. 13 road-course event at Watkins Glen in promotion of his soon-to-be-launched video game Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine. Published by Autumn Games and developed by Isopod Labs, Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine is scheduled for an October 2011 release on all three major home consoles.(JRM PR), seen an image of the car on my #7 team paint schemes page. (8-2-2011)
  • Richardson returning to the #23: Robert Richardson, Jr. has been ready for this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway for quite a few weeks. With the task of switching the #23 North Texas Pipe race cars back to Chevys recently almost completed, Richardson and team are ready to get back to doing what they like most – racing. The native of McKinney, Texas and team head to the Midwestern track loaded with optimism and readiness for the weekend’s events. For this race, the team has Best Western Plus Marquis Des Moines Airport Hotel on board as an associate sponsor. (R3 Motorsports)(8-2-2011)
  • Mayhew in the #33 at Iowa: David Mayhew is set to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the #33 Rheem/Menards Chevy this weekend at Iowa Speedway. Mayhew has competed in two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events for Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) this season behind the wheel of the #2 MMI Services Chevy. The Bakersfield, Calif., native finished a career-best third at Texas Motor Speedway in June and collected his first-career pole in only his sixth start in the series last month at Iowa. Mayhew led 21 laps en route to a third-place finish at the Newton, Iowa track.(KHI PR), Scott Speed was originally scheduled to drive the car but will now drive the #37 Cup car at Pocono.(8-1-2011)