Eggleston with FBR: Former Cup crew cheif, Scott Eggleston, the new Director of Competition for FitzBradshaw Racing [#12,#14,#40,#82].(FitzBradshaw Racing Site)(12-31-2004)
Mexican Drivers Secure rides for Mexico race: Two Mexican Drivers have secured rides for the Mexico City Busch Race: Vazquez Marketing Group (VMG) today announced that it has secured deals for two top Mexican stock car drivers, Ruben Garcia Novoa and Jorge Goeters, to compete in the 2005 NASCAR Busch series race in Mexico City. Separate announcements will follow regarding their respective teams and sponsors for the event. Negotiations, however, are still ongoing for Carlos Contreras, NASCAR’s most accomplished Hispanic driver, and his effort to run the complete 2005 Busch season.(Vazquez Marketing Group PR)(12-29-2004)
Cline’s team gets a name: The new NASCAR Busch Series team with driver Troy Cline, owned by Les Lyons and Rick Russell, now has a name: LR2 Motorsports. Lyons and Russell held a contest to name the new team, and the winning entry was submitted by Randy Shreiner of McDonough, GA. “The name is perfect, and is very similar to what we were thinking before we decided to have a contest,” said LR2 Motorsports co-owner Rick Russell. For winning the contest, Shreiner’s name will appear on the TV panel of Cline’s car during its first race weekend. Randy will also receive a framed, autographed photo of Troy Cline featuring the car with his name on the TV panel. Cline said, “It’s great that we already have this level of fan involvement at such an early stage. We look for that to continue.” LR2 co-owner Les Lyons added, “I ’m amazed at the response we had to our Name The Team contest, and would like to thank all the fans for their support. We’re anxious to get to the track!” Russell says that early talks regarding sponsorship have been encouraging. “Nothing has been signed yet, but the interest is out there. I’m confident that Troy’s ability, combined with the resources we have available, make an attractive package for a sponsor,” he says. LR2 Motorsports and driver Troy Cline plan to run a limited schedule in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2005. Cline’s schedule, car number, and other details will be announced during January. The team continues to seek primary sponsorship. Inquiries may be directed to Rick Russell, 329-A Rolling Hill Road, Mooresville, NC 28117. Russell may be reached by telephone at 704-662-9570 or 704-662-5458. On the Web: Troy Cline or LR2 Motorsports.(12-28-2004)
New driver and part-time Busch team: Jose Luis Ramirez is going to drive Performance Motorsport/Joe Nava’s # 77 Grand National West car in 2005 with full sponsorship from Del Valle (A Mexican Fruit Juice Company). Ramirez finished in the 10th in series points in 2004 driving the #17 car. The team plans to run four Busch Series races in 2005 including Mexico [which is Ramirez’s home track]. Other raced planned are California, Phoenix and possibly Las Vegas. The team will field Ford’s with Bob John’s as the crew chief. Performance Motorsports also plans to field an entry in the NASCAR Busch Series with Ramirez as the driver. Events planned for this venture include California Speedway, Mexico City (Jose Luis’ home track), Phoenix and Las Vegas. Associate sponsors include Mission Foods, Guerrero Food Products, Rudolph Foods, Superior Gear, Joor Bros. and Auto Marine Engineering.(Performance Motorsport PR)(12-28-2004)
Guy leaves FitzBradshaw: Crew Chief for the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series #14 Navy car, Jay Guy, has parted ways with FitzBradshaw Racing. The amicable departure was finalized Wednesday. “Crew chiefing the #14 Navy car for its first year of full-season Busch Series sponsorship was a challenging opportunity that was enjoyable,” noted Guy. “The entire 14 crew proved to be determined and resourceful, and posted some consistently strong runs. I wish FitzBradshaw Racing success in 2005.”Guy is exploring various opportunities. He came to FitzBradshaw Racing from MBV Motorsports where he performed duties as both crew chief and car chief for Johnny Benson and the #10 Pontiac. Guy has also served as crew chief for drivers Jamie McMurray, David Green, Hermie Sadler, and Ted Musgrave.(FBR PR via BGNRacing), been hearing Guy will be the new crew chief for the 2nd Xpress Motorsports Truck Series team [#16-Sprague 2nd team](12-25-2005)
Cope back in the #49: Derrike Cope will be teaming up again next year with Jay Robinson Racing as driver for the #49 Advil Ford. “I’m pleased to be affiliated with Jay Robinson again for the upcoming Busch season. We will be running a full schedule with Advil back as our primary sponsor. We appreciate their support and anticipate representing them well both on and off of the track. We are actively pursuing associate sponsorship which will enable us to broaden the scope of our operation,” Cope said.(DerrikeCope.com via BGNRacing.com)(12-24-2004)
Mac Hill Motorsports and Sauter plans: Mac Hill Motorsports has secured a sponsor for the 2005 Busch Series season with Tim Sauter handling driving duties. The sponsorship currently includes a minimum of 16 races with an option to grow to 19 races. The schedule is yet to be finalized, but the team will run the Hershey Kisses 300 at Daytona International Speedway and will attend the Daytona test sessions next month. Former Busch North Series and Craftsman Truck Series Crew Chief George Church will handle crew chief duties and the team will operate out of its new race shop in Mooresville. Fisher will continue to supply engines. Sponsor announcement to follow soon.(12-23-2004)
Rusty to run Busch race at Gateway: Gateway International Raceway announced that St. Louis native Rusty Wallace [#64 Dodge] would be driving in their annual NASCAR Busch Series event on Saturday night, July 30, 2005. Rusty will join brothers Kenny and Mike as the track will salute the First Family of racing in St. Louis and will dedicate the name of the event to the “Wallace Family Tribute 250”. It marks the first time ever that Rusty will drive in a major NASCAR event in his hometown and is part of the “Rusty’s Last Call” farewell tour. For his farewell tour Rusty decided to return home and run his first race ever at Gateway International Raceway. “This is going to be a monumental event and I couldn’t think of a better place to do it,” stated Rusty Wallace. “I haven’t driven in the St. Louis area since the late 1970’s. It’s going to be an exciting homecoming for me and I know many of my friends will be there.” When Rusty returns to Gateway he will be running against some familiar faces in his younger brothers Mike and Kenny. It will be the first time ever that all three Wallace Brothers will be running against each other in a major NASCAR event in their hometown. Their parents, Russ and Judy Wallace, will also be present and a part of the pre-race ceremonies which will include tributes and dedications. “This is going to be pretty incredible,” stated Kenny Wallace [#22 Stacker 2 Ford]. “Rusty’s career is coming full circle and at the same time we have a chance to celebrate it in our home town of St. Louis. It is always extra special when you can run against your brothers, but this gives us a chance to say thank you to St. Louis for coming out to Gateway to support us. It would be a dream for me if Rusty, Mike and I were fighting it out on the last few laps for the win.” Mike Wallace [no current ride in any series] is the middle brother of the Wallace Family racers and has won on almost every kind of track you can drive on. He has over 300 short track wins and has Busch Series wins at IRP, Dover, Martinsville and Milwaukee. He added to that list in 2004 when he took the checkered flag in the Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 2. Mike Wallace commented on running at Gateway for the special occasion. “I would just like to thank Gateway for doing this and honoring our family,” stated Wallace. “I know this is a big tribute year for my brother Rusty and I think it is very unique in the sense that this is probably the last time all three of us will get a chance to race together.” The “Wallace Family Tribute 250” will highlight Gateway’s “Year of The Tributes” in 2005. Oval season tickets are on sale now and start at just $125. There will be plenty of activities added including concerts, post-race fireworks and more to be announced. To order your tickets call 1-866-35-SPEED, or log onto www.gatewayraceway.com.(Gateway Intl Speedway site)(12-22-2004)
Crosby and Buttpaste team up for full season with #93 GIC: GIC/PSE-93 announced today the signing of Kim Crosby to drive the #93 race car for a full-schedule of 35 races in the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series. The team also announced that Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, a Louisiana-based product originally created to relieve diaper rash, will continue its association with Crosby as a primary sponsor. GIC/PSE-93 is a joint venture of Mooresville, NC – based GIC Motorsports and Raleigh, NC, sports and entertainment communication, marketing and sales firm PSE-3. “We are very excited about our full-season sponsorship of Kim Crosby. She is not only a terrific driver, but is a model spokesperson for our product,” noted Dr. George Boudreaux. “She is intelligent, attractive and has high moral standards–all qualities that align well with the Boudreaux’s Butt Paste brand.” Crosby, who has previously divided time between the cockpit of race cars and her office as assistant principal of Slidell (LA) Junior High, will become only the third woman in NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Nextel Cup history to compete in a full-race schedule. She shares the full-time designation with Shawna Robinson and Patty Moise, both of whom ran full schedules in the NBS in the 90’s. Crosby ran five NASCAR Busch Series races in 2004, with her best finish a 20th-place lead-lap run in Talladega. In four career ARCA RE/MAX series races, her finishes included a 21st in Kentucky and a 23rd in Nashville in 2003, as well as starts in Talladega and Daytona. She is a 15-year veteran of NHRA and IHRA competition, posting a number of drag-racing victories. Crosby has been a driving instructor for the Buck Baker Racing School in Atlanta, Bristol and Darlington. “I’m thrilled about the opportunity I’ve been given with GIC/PSE-93,” said Crosby. “I look forward to competing every weekend, learning as much as I can as fast as I can about each track.”
“I’m also happy that my friends at Boudreaux’s Butt Paste will join us for the ride,” continued Crosby. “Their continued support is a key reason this is happening.” GIC’s James Whitener, who enters his fourth year as a NASCAR Busch Series owner, sees the combination of Crosby and Boudreaux’s Butt Paste as a significant addition to his racing program. “We finished 31st in points with our #24 car last year in a single-car program,” said the Bakersfield, CA, resident. “This year, with two full-time race teams and some unique marketing benefits we can provide to sponsors, we plan to be more competitive and an even better value for our sponsors.” The team addresses NASCAR’s diversity initiative not just from the driver’s perspective, but from the ownership as well. Whitener’s wife, Patty, is of Mexican and Bohemian descent. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste is primary sponsor for ten races, and an associate sponsor for the team’s remaining 25 races. Other participating sponsors will be announced prior to the start of the 2005 season. The #93 team will test with Crosby at Daytona in January. More about Crosby at crosbymotorsports.com. And for more information, go to www.buttpaste.com.(GIC/PSE-93 PR)(12-21-2004)
Cottman Transmission Teams with FitzBradshaw Racing 3rd team: Cottman Transmission Systems, LLC, announced today that it has just signed a deal with NASCAR Busch Series race team FitzBradshaw Racing for 2005. Cottman Transmission repairs, remanufactures, and services automotive transmissions and has 400 franchised locations in 46 states. The sponsorship agreement includes eight races as a primary sponsor and 27 races as an associate sponsor of a new #40 car in the Busch Series. Cottman will feature FitzBradshaw Racing and Terry Bradshaw, four-time Super Bowl winner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, in its 2005 advertising campaign.
“Our franchisees are very excited to have FitzBradshaw Racing and Terry Bradshaw as key elements of our marketing strategy,” said Todd P. Leff, President and CEO of Cottman. “Mr. Bradshaw brings instant recognition, universal appeal, and free-spirited humor to our brand. And we are proud to have Sterling Marlin behind the wheel of the #40 car for most of our primary sponsorship races. Sterling is a winning driver who stands to bring FitzBradshaw and Cottman great visibility and success.”
At this time, the race schedule includes primary sponsorship at the following races:
March 12, 2005, Las Vegas Motor Speedway
April 22, 2005, Phoenix International Raceway
May 13, 2005, Richmond International Raceway
July 1, 2005, Daytona International Speedway
July 23, 2005, Pikes Peak International Raceway
July 30, 2005, Gateway International Raceway
Sept. 24, 2005, Dover International Speedway
Nov. 5, 2005, Texas Motor Speedway
For more information, visit Cottman’s website at www.cottman.com.(FitzBradshaw Racing PR)(12-21-2004)
Brewco signs Aaron Fike to Developmental Contract: With an eye towards the future, Brewco Motorsports announced the addition of Aaron Fike into the Brewco Motorsports stable. Two-time National Midget Driver of the Year, Fike will team with Greg Biffle in the #66 Team Brewco Ford in fifteen Busch Series races in 2005. Duraflame, The United States Postal Service, and Royal Office Products will provide sponsorship for Fike’s program. The 2005 season will be Fike’s second year in the NASCAR Busch Series after making twelve starts with [#43] Curb-Agajanian in 2004. Brewco has had a very busy off-season at its Central City, Kentucky headquarters. An already announced switch to Fords for 2005 has its team converting its entire fleet over to the Ford bodies and welcoming the addition of Duraflame, Royal Office, Biffle, and Fike to its existing team of Kleenex, USPS, and David Green. Fike will join both drivers in an intensive testing program that will help acclimate Brewco to the Ford and the different wrinkles in the NASCAR Busch Series rule book in 2005.(Brewco Motorsports PR)(12-20-2004)
New crew chief for Green: Stewart Cooper will be crew chief for David Green in #27 Kleenex Ford for Brewo Motorsports.(12-19-2004)
Marlin looking: Steadman Marlin is looking for driving opportunities in Cup, Busch or the Truck series.(12-19-2004)
Leffler sueing Haas UPDATE dropped: Jason Leffler sued Haas CNC Racing in U.S. federal court in North Carolina on Nov. 15 for breach of contract. He seeks an unspecified amount of damages. Leffler argues that he was financially damaged by not getting a chance to vie for the series title when he was taken out of the #00 car with seven races remaining while in third place in the point standings. (NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(12-2-2004)
UPDATE: Jason Leffler has dropped his lawsuit against Haas CNC Racing for breach of contract. Court documents do not list terms of any settlement, just that the case has been closed.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(12-19-2004)
Cars to be impounded at all races in 2005: The NASCAR Busch Series won’t just toy with impounding cars after qualifying at some events in 2005. It will impound them after every qualifying session in 2005. The move is designed to save money and keep teams focused on race setups during their practice prior to qualifying. Although it hasn’t been made official, there will be a change in qualifying rules that should allow teams to focus on racing setups. Busch Series teams that are in the top 30 in points – and started every event of the season – likely will be locked into the field unless they have an active top-35 Cup driver behind the wheel. Teams likely will use one set of tires in that practice prior to qualifying. Instead of having a limit on the sets of tires teams can replace under caution, teams will have a limit on the number of sets they can use during the weekend.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(12-19-2004)
Pressley to a limted sched; Wood to the #47: Robert Pressley will run a limited schedule in 2005 doing a research and development program for ST Motorsports, team owner Tad Geschickter confirmed Dec. 10. Pressley will run 10 to 15 races, depending upon sponsorship. Pressley, who drove the #47 last season, will be replaced by Jon Wood, who is on loan from Roush Racing.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(12-19-2004)
New crew chief for Bang: Bang! Racing today announced that Frank Kerr has been named crew chief of the organization’s 2005 NASCAR Busch Series team with driver Travis Kvapil. Prior to joining Bang! Racing, Kerr helped lead Robby Gordon in the #55 Fruit of the Loom Chevrolet to one win and 10 top-10 finishes in 25 starts initially as car chief. He was later tapped crew chief of the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series effort, a role he also held at ST Motorsports with driver Stacy Compton and Curb Agajanian Motorsports with driver Jay Sauter. Overall, Kerr brings more than 23 years of racing experience to the second-year team as well as a unique, hands-on perspective as a former four-time championship sprint car driver who has amassed more than 200 wins in the World of Outlaws, USAC and All Star series, including a prestigious USAC Non-Wing World Championship series event in 1999. “We are very pleased to have Frankie [Kerr] heading up our new NASCAR Busch Series team,” said Bang! Racing’s owner Alex Meshkin. “We looked for someone with the right mixture of racing knowledge and people skills to lead our enthusiastic team. We believe Frankie has the qualities and capabilities as a former championship driver and successful crew chief to lead our team to victory lane.” Bang! Racing will enter the NASCAR Busch Series in 2005 as part of the Dodge Motorsports family and is dedicated to providing superior marketing performance, quality merchandise and exciting online programs for their sponsors and fans. “I am very excited and honored to become a part of Bang! Racing,” said Kerr. “My goals are to provide excellent leadership for a team of proven winners driven to succeed. It will be an honor to lead Travis Kvapil and his crew to victory lane again next year. The crew already has an uncommon chemistry and with hard work and dedication, I know we will succeed in 2005.”
“Frankie [Kerr] will be a great asset to our team, and we are very pleased to have him as the newest addition of our racing family,” said Meshkin.(Bang Racing PR)(12-17-2004)
Hemphill to the #4 which switches to Dodge: Biagi Bros. Racing announced today that Ryan Hemphill will drive the #4 GEICO Dodge during the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series season. Hemphill comes to Biagi Bros. in collaboration with Chip Ganassi Racing and their driver development program. In addition to naming Hemphill as the driver, Biagi Bros. Racing will also be changing manufacturers to Dodge.(PR)(12-17-2004)
Congrats: Stacy Compton and wife Vickie welcomed a new addition to the family, Olivia Grace was born Dec 7th at 9:00am/et, weighing at 9 lbs and was 21 inches long. Mom, dad and daughter are doing great.(12-16-2004)
Rambo goes to the #1 team: Tony Liberati, known to many in the NASCAR garage area as “Rambo” , has been chosen to lead Johnny Sauter and #1 Team Yellow Racing into 2005 NASCAR Busch Series competition. Liberati is a NASCAR veteran, visiting Victory Lane with some of the most talented drivers in the NASCAR community. During the 2004 season, Liberati worked with Roush Racing as crew chief for the #9 Pennzoil Ford with drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, and 2003 Winston Cup Champion Matt Kenseth.(PR)(12-16-2004)
Conway joins Keller: Gary Keller Motorsports, NASCAR driver Kevin Conway and championship engine builder Mark Smith have formed a new team and will be competing in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2005. The partnership was consummated in Charlotte, North Carolina and will be unveiled with a new look and attitude in Daytona for the Hershey TAKE 5 300 on February 19th, 2005. The new partnership brings a more focused direction and energy to an already successful team. The relationship that has been formed is with “young gun”, 25 year-old Kevin Conway. Kevin, a resident of Cornelius, NC has been racing since he was six years old. Kevin has an impressive resume, which includes competition in the AMA Motocross, WKA (World Karting Association) USAC (United States Auto Club), ASA (American Speed Association) and the ARCA RE/MAX Series. His resume includes over 48 triumphs and multiple championships. The team will also showcase the engine building abilities of co-owner Mark Smith and the guidance of Crew Chief Ted Kennedy. Co-Owner Mark Smith has been building engines for over 30 years and has been named a two-time engine builder of the year in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Smith also powered the motors for drivers Mike Bliss and Travis Kvapil to claim back-to-back NCTS (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) championships in 2002 and 2003 for IWX Racing. Gary Keller Motorsports hopes to announce a new car number in the near future. In 2004, the team had success in the NASCAR Busch Series using car number 35. After starting 24th in the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway in June, driver Kenny Hendrick raced hard to a solid 18th place finish, a career best for the rookie team.(BGHemagine.com PR)(12-16-2004)
BANG Racing owner comments on 2004 and 2005: Bang Racing owner Alex Meshkin spoke on Sirius Speedway (Sirius Satellite Radio)/NRN Radio Tuesday, saying the final weeks of the 2004 season were difficult for him and his team. “We were the red-haired stepchild of the Truck Series at the end of last season. Most of the year, I was at the track the minute the garage opened, and stayed until they threw me out. By the end of the year, after everything we went through with the Toyota situation, I was flying in at noon on race day, and leaving the minute the checkered flag fell. I even left in the middle of a couple of races, it was so frustrating.” Meshkin said he accepts some of the blame for the break-up of his relationships with Toyota and former team principal Larry McReynolds, saying, “I definitely made some mistakes. We all did. But more than anything, it was just a clash of personalities. Certain people just weren’t able to get along, and it made things very difficult.” Meshkin admitted that sharing driver Travis Kvapil with Penske-Jasper Racing next season is “not the ideal situation,” but said he is looking forward to working with both Dodge and Penske in an effort to improve his team. Meshkin said he will expects to add a new driver in the coming weeks, a driver who “will be able to progress with us as we climb the ladder to Nextel Cup.” He addded that the team hopes to run at least two Nextel Cup races in 2005, and said that while sponsorship is largely in place for the coming Busch Series season, announcements will probably not be made until just prior to Speedweek in Daytona.(Sirius Speedway – Sirius Satellite Radio)(12-15-2004)
Mexico Track to be shortened for Busch race: The track for NASCAR’s first race in Mexico next year will be shortened to allow the Busch series cars to manage the tough braking on the road course. A new curve on the main straightaway and a new curve on the second straightaway will cut the track length from 2.786 miles to 2.518 miles for the March 6 race. The Hermanos Rodriguez course has been used by Formula One, Champ, Trans Am and prototype cars, and requires sharp braking after long, fast straightaways. The stock cars used by NASCAR “are not prepared for such hard braking,” said Ramon Osorio, spokesman for the promoters. The work is to be finished before NASCAR tire testing starts Jan. 15 and would not affect the layout used for the other series, Osorio said.(ESPN.com/AP)(12-15-2004)
Davis shuts down Busch team; Dodge lawsuit update: Bill Davis Racing has shut down the #23 Busch Series [the article incorrectly refers to the series as Grand National, which it hasn’t been since 2002] team in the wake of driver Kenny Wallace leaving and taking sponsor Stacker2 with him. Wallace is expected to become the new driver at ppc Racing. The team includes one full-time effort in the Cup series with the #22 Dodges driven by Scott Wimmer, a possible part-time effort with the #Dodges in the Cup series, and three full-time Toyota entries driven by #22-Bill Lester, #5-Mike Skinner and #23-Johnny Benson in the NASCAR truck series. Wile said fielding the #23 team in the Cup series is dependent on sponsorship and it is unlikely Davis would do it out of his pocket as he did this year. Davis’ plate also includes fighting an on-going legal action brought by Dodge parent Daimler-Chrysler in May of 2003. The case, once set for trial next Monday, is now scheduled to be heard in federal district court in Detroit beginning May 3. A pre-trial conference is scheduled April 26. The delay, according to court documents, was granted because both sides had trouble getting depositions during the racing season. Daimler-Chrysler alleges Davis violated his contract for Dodge factory support for his Cup teams by aiding a competitor when he helped Toyota with development work as it prepared for entry into the truck series this year. Daimler-Chrysler is asking that Davis return over $1 million dollars in factory support for the balance of 2003 after the lawsuit was filed. Daimler-Chrysler terminated its contract with Davis when it filed the suit. Davis filed a counter-suit in late June 2003 claiming Daimler-Chrysler had no grounds to terminate the contract because Toyota is not a competitor of Dodge in the Cup series. Wallace replaces Jason Keller at ppc Racing, which won the 2000 Busch Series title with Jeff Green. Wallace joined Davis when he brought Stacker2 as sponsor of the #23 Cup team in 2003. He dropped down to replace Wimmer in the Busch Series car this year when Stacker2 decreased its sponsorship. Wallace finished this season ninth in points with no top-five finishes. Davis leaves the Busch Series tour after fielding a team for the past seven years and a total of 12 seasons since beginning his operation with Mark Martin in 1988. Davis’ drivers won a total of 11 Busch Series races. Wimmer won five times, and Martin and Gordon won three times each. Wimmer produced Davis best Busch Series season with four wins and a third-place in points in 2002. He added another victory in 2003. Martin had single victories in selected races in 1988, 1989 and 1990. He was replaced in 1991 by Gordon, who won three times in 1992. Davis moved to the Cup level the next season and disbanded the Busch Series team until reviving it in 1998.(High Point Enterprise)(12-14-2004)
Stacker2 and Kenny to ppc Racing? UPDATE 6: BGNRacing reports that they hear Kenny Wallace is taking Stacker 2 to Michael Waltrip Racing next year to run a Busch car for the full season.(BGNRacing.com)(10-9-2004)
UPDATE: been told that Stacker2 is talking to MWR but are also talking to other owners as well and have not signed anything with anyone yet. Supposedly Stacker2 has spoken with four owners, including MWR and in addition to BDR.(10-11-2004)
UPDATE 2: been told Stacker2 has signed with Michael Waltrip Racing to field a 2nd team for Kenny Wallace, with hopes to use the #23. Waltrip would still run the #99 in a limited schedule and has Bryan Foods, Domino’s as sponsors for that car in 2005.(11-1-2004)
UPDATE 3: Kenny Wallace will take the Stacker 2 sponsorship with him from Bill Davis Racing to Michael Waltrip Racing for 2005 thru 2007. Wallace, who is ninth in the Busch Series standings, has nine career series wins and will also drive select Nextel Cup races for MWR with sponsorship from Aaron’s Rents.(NASCAR Scene via BGNRacing.com)(11-18-2004)(11-18-2004)
UPDATE 4: the deal with Stacker2 and MWR has not been signed and could end up going back to Bill Davis Racing. Supposedly Waltrip balked over the number of appearances he would be expected to make.(11-23-2004)
UPDATE 5: hearing that Kenny Wallace and Stacker 2 will be with ppc Racing in 2005 in a Ford.(12-2-2004)
UPDATE 6 #22: Kenny Wallace is expected to sign with ppc Racing and drive the #22 Ford in the Busch Series next year, with Wes Ward as crew chief. Wallace finished second in the series in 1991, and ppc Racing won the title with Jeff Green in 2000. Wallace finished ninth in 2004. Defending champion Martin Truex will be hard to beat in 2005, but the #22 certainly can contend for the title.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(12-13-2004)
BGNRacing.com’s Photos from the banquet;
Truex Enjoying Week, Time To Recognize Accomplishments by Amanda Brahler.(12-11-2004)
Series champion sets new single-season award record; five drivers exceed $1 million
Martin Truex Jr., the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series driver champion, will receive a series single-season record payout of $2,537,171 for his efforts this year. Truex collected over $1 million in race winnings ($1,180,600) as well as with his share of the series point fund ($1,247,071).
The $6,235,356 point fund includes a record $3.3 million contribution from series sponsor Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch’s commitment to the NASCAR Busch Series will increase again for the 2005 season.
Truex is the second driver in the 23-year history of the series to total over $2 million, and bettered the previous single-season earnings mark set by Greg Biffle in 2002 ($2,337,254).
The balance of Truex’s total – $109,500 – comes via various contingency awards which include: the Busch Pole Award ($30,000), the Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award ($20,000), the Goodyear Tire Award ($15,000), the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award ($12,000), the Sunoco Diamond Performance Award ($12,500) and the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award ($20,000).
In addition to Truex’s record mark in 2004:
- Truex and series runner-up Kyle Busch both exceeded $2 million in total awards and race winnings, the first time in series history two drivers earned $2 million.
- Busch’s total is a record for a NASCAR Busch Series rookie (previous mark held by Greg Biffle – $1,623,546 – in 2001).
- Four other NASCAR Busch Series drivers joined Truex and Busch in exceeding $1 million in race winnings – third-place Biffle ($1,007,530), fourth-place Ron Hornaday Jr. ($1,103,045), sixth-place Jason Keller ($1,048,830) and seventh-place David Green ($1,068,610).
- Keller, whose total payout is $1,345,009, builds on his title as the NASCAR Busch Series’ all-time leading money winner with a career total of $9,395,624.
Biffle, Brewco, #66 and Duraflame: Brewco Motorsports today announced plans for Roush Racing Nextel Cup driver Greg Biffle to drive the team’s #66 Ford in 17 Busch Series races in 2005 with sponsorship from Duraflame. The team said it has worked out an agreement with Rusty Wallace Racing to use the car number as part of the Duraflame sponsorship. Biffle, the 2002 Busch Series champion, had five Busch Series wins this year while driving for Roush Racing. Brewco said Royal Office Products and the United States Postal Service also will serve as primary sponsors for the car in some races when Duraflame is not on the car. Duraflame also said it would continue its promotional sponsorship with Rusty Wallace. The team plans to run for the 2005 owner’s point championship, so another driver(s) will be named in the future to drive the car. Duraflame will be on the car at the following  races: Daytona [Feb], California [both], Las Vegas, Texas [both], Talladega [April], Lowe’s [both], Dover [June], Kentucky, Loudo [July], Gateway, IRP, Michigan [Aug], Bristol [Aug] and Phoenix [Nov.](NASCAR Scene Print/Brewco)(12-10-2004)
BANG teams up with Dodge: Bang! Racing today announced they have joined the Dodge Motorsports family driving Dodges in the NASCAR Busch Series for the 2005 season. “This has been a year to remember,” said CEO and owner of Bang! Racing Alex Meshkin. “And today is another milestone as Bang! Racing becomes a Dodge team. We are honored to enter the NASCAR Busch Series in 2005 with the intended goal of Nextel Cup racing with Dodge as our partner. This relationship will enable us to achieve our goals of entering NASCAR’s highest echelon of racing.”
“We are really pleased that Alex Meshkin, Travis Kvapil and Bang! Racing have chosen to run Dodges for the 2005 season,” said John Fernandez, Director of Dodge Motorsports Operations. “We are looking forward to seeing Travis Kvapil show his talent in a Dodge next year.” In 2005, Bang! Racing driver and former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil will drive the #77 Penske Jasper Kodak Dodge Charger full-time for Penske Jasper Racing. “I am looking forward to the opportunity of running part-time in the NASCAR Busch Series with Bang! Racing,” said Travis Kvapil. “I know the additional seat time will help me in my chase for the Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. In 2004, my Bang! Racing team captured a pole and won two races in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and I am looking forward to surpassing those milestones during the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series season.”(BANG Racing PR)(12-10-2004)
The ‘Chase’ in Busch 2006? The Chase for the Championship format was such a hit in the Nextel Cup series that NASCAR might apply it to the Busch series in 2006. Busch series director Joe Balish, visiting Wednesday with champion driver Martin Truex Jr., said that while the old format will be used again next year, some form of the Chase is possible for the next season. “We don’t know if we would do the exact same thing or we would reinvent it for the Busch series,” Balish said before a luncheon at the Tampa Marriott Westshore. One obstacle to the Chase being adopted for Busch (and possibly the Craftsman Truck series) is NASCAR doesn’t want a Nextel Cup regular getting in by racking up enough points in a limited schedule. The feeling is that would unfairly divert attention (and earnings) from the Busch regulars. Balish hinted that a Chase format used in Busch might have a provision eliminating that possibility.(Tampa Tribue)(12-9-2004)
Campbell joins Keith Coleman Racing as Mark Green’s crew chief: Kenneth Campbell, a long-time crew chief and veteran of Nascar, has been named as crew chief for the #26 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the 2005 season. Campbell has 15 years of experience as a crew chief and has been involved in the world of racing for 23 years. His first crew chief position came at Laughlin Racing Products, where he served as crew chief from 1989 – 1994. Since that time Campbell has led five different race teams as crew chief, including Jay Robinson Racing and Brewco Motorsports. He also spent two years as a NASCAR Busch Series Official “I think there is a real opportunity here,” said Campbell. “I’ve been watching KCR for the past six months or so and I’ve been very impressed with what they have accomplished.” The team will run the full NASCAR Busch Series schedule in addition to a partial Nextel Cup schedule beginning in the summer of 2005. A sponsorship announcement for both series is expected in the near future. Campbell, who has worked with driver Mark Green before, said the bond that the two share was an important consideration in his decision to join KCR and would be instrumental in the future success of the team.(KCR PR)(12-8-2004)
Ball Park Franks, Snuggle join ST Motorsports #47 and #59 as associates: Ball Park Franks and Snuggle Fabric Softener will partner with ST Motorsports for the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series season, team owners Tad & Jodi Geschickter announced today. Both brands will be associate sponsors. Ball Park Franks will join primary sponsor Kingsford Charcoal on the #59 Ford, while Snuggle Fabric Softener will join Clorox and Wisk Detergent on the #47 Ford. “We are very happy to bring Ball Park Franks and Snuggle Fabric Softener into our race team and marketing program,” Geschickter said. “This is an incredible opportunity to integrate some complimentary, market leading brands. The brands are a natural fit for our BBQ and Cleaning themed programs. Without a doubt, Ball Park Franks will enhance Kingsford Charcoal’s NASCAR program. Snuggle Fabric Softener and Clorox also represent a closely matched integrated brand package. Matching up associate and primary sponsors is a lot like having two race teams under one roof – they have to compliment each other, Ball Park Franks and Snuggle Fabric Softener certainly compliment our current Sponsor partners.” In addition to enhancing the race team’s brand strategy, Jon Wood, grandson of NASCAR pioneer Glen Wood, will join the team as a driver. Current drivers, Stacy Compton and Robert Pressley, will remain on the team roster [3rd team? sharing riders?, not clear]. “We’ve put together a very strong program,” Geschickter said. “We have the best group of sponsors in the Busch Series, and we have three talented drivers. We’ve been dedicated since our first race to improving, and that hasn’t stopped. Our commitment to success on the track and in the marketplace won’t ever stop.” For more information, visit www.ballparkfranks.com.(ST Motorsports PR)(12-7-2004)
Wolfe named #38 Crew Chief: Akins Motorsports team owners Doug Stringer and Brad Akins announced Monday that Jon Wolfe has been named crew chief of the #38 Great Clips team, effective immediately. Wolfe, who has been involved in racing for over 20 years, got started by overseeing Malcuit Engines’ Late Model near his home town in Strasburg, OH. “I’m really excited to be joining the Akins Motorsports organization,” said Wolfe. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with someone of Kasey’s caliber who is just boiling with talent. With Tyler’s talent and Kasey’s guidance, I don’t think it will take Tyler long to get to that level as well.” Prior to joining Akins Motorsports, Wolfe was employed by Team Yellow Racing as crew chief for 10 different drivers in 2004, recording two poles, three top-fives and 11 top-10’s. “I’m looking forward to starting a relationship with Jon,” said Kahne. “Hopefully the new chemistry will get this Great Clips team moving in the right direction.” Kahne will share driving duties for the #38 Great Clips Dodge with Walker in the NASCAR Busch Series and compete in his second full season in the NEXTEL Cup Series in the #9 Dodge Dealers Dodge.(ThatsRacin)(12-7-2004)
Melvin named Director of Operations at BANG: Bang! Racing today announced the appointment of Jim Melvin as Director of Operations. Melvin will oversee the business operations of the race team and sponsor support services which includes the Show Vehicle Program and Sponsor Account Management. “Jim has made great contributions to the success of Bang! Racing in 2004,” said Bang! Racing’s CEO and owner Alex Meshkin. “Loyalty is an important factor in any business, but in this business loyalty is everything. Bang! Racing went through a lot this first year. There were many changes in our internal management structure, and Jim was a supportive key person within the company.” Prior to Melvin joining Bang! Racing in 2003 as Director of Sponsor Relations for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams, Melvin was Director of Marketing and Media Relations for Spencer Motor Ventures. Previously, he served as Vice President of Sponsor Sales for Keystone Marketing. “I’m excited about this new challenge that Alex [Meshkin] has asked me to take on,” said Melvin. “Over the past 10 years, I had the opportunity to learn the business side of our sport from some very talented team owners and crew chiefs. I learned that team chemistry is one element that is always consistent to the success or failure in our sport, and my primary focus will be to build and maintain that team chemistry at Bang! Racing.”
“Jim’s new role will enable Bang! Racing to become even more successful in 2005,” said Meshkin. “Jim brings a great demeanor to this role. He is knowledgeable, experienced and commands respect.”
“We’re going into the Busch Series next season with a veteran and winning team focused on bringing home trophies,” said Melvin. “I’m really proud of the team we have on the ground. Last year, we were a new team with a brand new manufacturer to our sport, and that combination presented some untested challenges to the young leadership at Bang! Racing. We made some mistakes last season that cost us the championship. Our goal is to learn from those mistakes and continue to build Bang! Racing into a winning organization.” (BANG Racing PR)(12-7-2004)
Score Motorsports Selling Busch team: SCORE Motorsports, owned by Hermie Sadler and retired NBA player Bryant Stith, announced that they have decided to sell their NASCAR Busch Series team. Sadler and Stith will continue to field a NEXTEL Cup Series team and a Late Model Stock Car team as part of the Drive For Diversity program in 2005. “We have been unable to find the type of funding we need to grow the Busch team,” Sadler said. “We have looked at many options, including joining forces with another team and also participating in a driver development program. At the end of the day, our best option is to sell the Busch Series team to someone who can continue to grow it and for us to focus our attention on the NEXTEL Cup team. We will have an announcement on our NEXTEL Cup Series team in the next three weeks.” The Busch Series team consists of several complete race cars, engines and many parts and pieces. Serious parties can contact SCORE Motorsports at 804-586-8215 and receive additional information. The SCORE Motorsports Busch Series team is 25th in owners points headed into the 2005 season.(Score Motorsports PR)(12-6-2004)
Smith to announce 2005 plans: Regan Smith’s stock has risen considerably since Homestead. After his top ten finish in the season-ending CTS race, several opportunities have come his way. An announcement regarding his 2005 plans is expected in the near future.(BGNRacing.com)(12-6-2004)
Labonte testing: Justin Labonte will test his U.S. Coast Guard / Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet at Kentucky Speedway on Wednesday, Dec. 8.BGNRacing.com)(12-6-2004)
#20 gets an associate: Rockwell Automation announced that Movex will become an associate sponsor of the Rockwell Automation #20 NASCAR Busch Series entry for the 2005 season. In addition to an associate sponsorship of the car, Movex will be involved in a mobile marketing unit as well as having a banner on www.bgnracing.com.(Rockwell Automation PR via BGNRacing.com)(12-6-2004)
New team may debut in 2005: Chevy White Motorsports will be running a ten-race ARCA RE/MAX series schedule, but is in negotiations with another team owner about joining forces that could lead to an increased number of ARCA RE/MAX series races and a potential debut in Nascar’s Busch or Truck series during the 2005 season. (www.ChevyWhite.com via BGNRacing.com)(12-6-2004)
Yates Busch team official: CitiFinancial today announced that it will expand its partnership with Robert Yates Racing (RYR) by sponsoring 19 NASCAR Busch Series races in 2005 – the first time the company has taken the primary sponsorship on a NASCAR racing car. CitiFinancial will continue the associate sponsorship deals that it initiated this year with RYR on its #88 UPS Ford and #38 M&M Ford, which compete in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. “We’re excited about taking this great partnership with Robert Yates Racing and NASCAR to the next level,” said Kevin Kessinger, Executive Vice President of Citigroup’s Global Consumer Group and President of Consumer Finance North America. “This is a big step for CitiFinancial, and we couldn’t be happier that we’re taking it with these exceptional organizations.” Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler will share seat time in the CitiFinancial car, which will make its debut on Feb. 26 at the California Speedway. The 19-race deal also includes NASCAR’s debut in Mexico, where the Banamex logo will be added to the CitiFinancial car for the March 6 event at the historic Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course. “We could not be more pleased to enhance this relationship,” said Harry Goff, President and CEO of CitiFinancial. “Many of us at CitiFinancial – our employees and our customers – are huge NASCAR fans. The first year of our partnership was a tremendous success, and we look forward to a long relationship with Robert Yates Racing and this great sport.”
“We are excited to be a part of CitiFinancial’s first ever primary sponsorship and proud to be associated with a company that values teams on and off the track,” said Robert Yates, owner of Robert Yates Racing. “Together we make a very successful team.” CitiFinancial’s car will be unveiled today in New York City at an annual Street & Smith NASCAR Motorsports forum, part of NASCAR’s Champion’s Week in the Big Apple. The company held a press conference today at 7:45am/et at the Westin Times Square.(Business Wire), note: the car will be the #90 Ford.(12-2-2004)
Wallace leaves Biagi Bros. Racing: After spending the last three years helping Biagi Bros. Racing build their NASCAR Busch Series race team, Mike Wallace is moving on to pursue other opportunities. In the near future, Biagi Bros. Racing will be announcing plans to run a driver development program with a NASCAR Nextel Cup team. This relationship creates an opportunity for Wallace to move on and pursue a full-time Nextel Cup ride and/or opportunities in the NASCAR Busch Series.
Mike Wallace has been driving the #4 car since 2001, when Fred Biagi and himself decided to move forward with forming a NASCAR Busch Series race team.(Player Management International PR)(12-1-2004)
New Busch Team: Veteran SCRA and USAC Sprint Car Series driver Troy Cline has been named as the driver for a new NASCAR Busch Series team being formed by Les Lyons and Rick Russell. The new race team is purchasing Chevrolets from Haas Racing. The cars utilize the technical and engineering support of Hendrick Motorsports, and the team will use Hendrick engines. Regarding the team’s plans, Russell says the team will run a limited schedule at first, depending on sponsorship. A contest will be held during December to name the new team. Entries must be received by December 27, and the winner will be announced on December 28.(2ndchanceraceparts.com/PR)(12-1-2004)
Lewis named #25 Crew Chief: Team Rensi Motorsports is pleased to announce that Charlie Lewis will be the Crew Chief of the #25 NASCAR Busch Series Team Marines Ford Taurus for 2005. He joins his brother Ashton Lewis Jr. who agreed to drive the car last month.(Team Rensi PR via BGNRacing.com)(12-1-2004)
KRC names Team Manager: Keith Coleman Racing (KCR) has named Tommy House as Team Manager / Director of Race Operations [#26 and #50]. House has been with KCR as a consultant for the past several months. He retired from NASCAR earlier this year after spending 26 years as a Busch Series official during two separate stints with the organization.(KCR PR)(12-1-2004)