December 2007 Busch Series Archive
- Harold Holly New Chew Chief for Steve Wallace; Darne to #64: Rusty Wallace Racing announced that Harold Holly, former Nationwide Series Champion Crew Chief, has been selected to lead Steve Wallace and the #66 team in their bid for the 2008 Nationwide Series Championship. As a result of this move, Steve Darne, interim crew chief on the #66 in 2007, has been named crew chief for the team’s newly-founded #64 entry.(RWI PR)(12-27-2008)
- Ambrose Voted Australian Driver of the Year: Marcos Ambrose has been voted the Australian Driver of the Year by Australian weekly motorsport magazine Auto Action. The Australian earned the accolade in the magazine’s annual Racer of the Year Awards issue. Ambrose won Auto Action’s Australian Driver of the Year Award, open to any Australian-born driver racing domestically or internationally, for his efforts in the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford in the 2007 Busch Series.(BAM PR)(12-19-2007)
- Z-Line Renews with Gibbs: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Z-Line Designs has renewed its Nationwide Series sponsorship with the team for the 2008 season. The nation’s leading import manufacturer of home office, home entertainment and home décor ready-to-assemble furniture will sponsor a total of 11 races with Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch splitting the driving duties behind the wheel of the Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry (six races with the #18 and five races with the #20).(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(12-18-2007)
- GoDaddy.com Sponsorsing #5 Team: Image: GoDaddy.com, the world’s largest domain name registrar, will be a primary sponsor of the #5 Nationwide Series Chevy for six events in 2008. The cars will be fielded by JR Motorsports in partnership with Hendrick Motorsports. The black, green and orange #5 GoDaddy.com Chevy paint scheme will be unveiled online Tuesday, Dec. 18 at 12 p.m. EST. The car’s distinct look, which was designed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., will be showcased exclusively at www.GoDaddy.com. Earnhardt will pilot the #5 Chevy April 5 at Texas and Aug. 9 at Watkins Glen. Mark Martin will pilot the #5 May 9 at Darlington, Aug. 16 at Michigan and Sept. 27 at Kansas. Ron Fellows will take over Aug. 2 at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.(Hendrick PR)(12-17-2007)
Image: See an image of the car on my 2008 Nationwide Paint Schemes Page.(12-18-2007)
- Thorsport to run some Busch races? hearing that Thorsport Racing, #13 and #88 in the Truck Series, will run some Nationwide Series races with Shelby Howard.(12-18-2007)
- New Nationwide Team Announced: Good Neighbor Pharmacy officials have announced that the company has joined with Diversified Racing Solutions to enter the Nationwide Series in 2008 with driver Chris Bristol. The group’s goal is to compete in the Sprint Cup Series in 2010, according to a news release. In the five-year agreement, GNP will lend its community pharmacy brand as the flagship sponsor, and the venture will be primarily funded by associate sponsors. DRS will be responsible for the racing team. In addition, GNP will fund country-wide community outreach activities that compliment the racing schedule.(SceneDaily.com)(12-17-2007)
- Riley – D’Hondt Motorsports Dissolved?: After much fanfare, the partnership between Bill Riley and former Yates Racing general manager Eddie D’Hondt is no more. The two announced goals to form an ambitious Cup and Busch program back in August, 2006, aligning themselves with Toyota. But sponsorship never materialized, and the team only made one Nextel Cup race throughout its existence; Marc Goossens finished 38th last June at Infineon Raceway. The Busch program appeared in better shape, with veteran David Green driving a handful of races; however, he and development driver Bobby Santos never could drudge up the financial support to go with them. In half-a-dozen events, their highest finish was 11th with Green at Nashville. While that team has dissolved, Eddie D’Hondt supposedly still plans to remain in the ownership business – he hopes to run some Busch and ARCA races in 2008 under the D’Hondt Motorsports banner.(Fronstretch.com Newsletter)(12-17-2007)
- Sponsor for Team Rensi: UPDATE 3: Hearing that Team Rensi Motorsports has secured a primary sponsor for a large majority of the 2008 races for the #35 team and Bobby Hamilton, Jr. An announcement is expected next week. Rensi will look for sponsorship to round out the full season. The team has not found sponsorship for the #25 team and will not run it unless that changes.(12-6-2007)
UPDATE: How close did Bobby Hamilton Jr. come to not driving in 2008 in the NASCAR series soon to be known as Nationwide? Not at all sure that Team Rensi Motorsports would have a sponsor and that he even would have a job, Hamilton accepted a ride in the regional Busch East Series because, after all, a guy’s gotta eat. “As close as we came, as far as Tuesday, I was talking to another organization about another job. We didn’t have nothing done (sponsor-wise) until probably 30 minutes before I got on the airplane to come down here,” Hamilton said. “They’ll make their announcement next week, that’s how close it was.”(FloridaToday.com)(12-7-2007)
UPDATE 2: Interviewed in Sirius Radio’s Sirius Speedway Friday afternoon, Hamilton Jr. said he will still drive as many Busch East races as possible next year as well as some ARCA races. In addition, he said Team Rensi is considering running changing his car number to #25 next year [which this year was run by Rensi with David Gilliland and Richard Johns].(12-7-2007)
UPDATE 3: The sponsorship, according to a source, is from Eckrich Meats. Team Rensi, which fielded two cars in the 2007 Busch Series season, has yet to find sponsorship for its No. 25 Ford. The team was forced to lay off 18 employees before the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Team Rensi’s sponsorship, which is slated to be announced any day, is for 30 of the 35 Nationwide races next year.(SceneDaily.com)(12-14-2007)
- Brewco Motorsports becomes Baker Curb Racing: Nashville businessman Gary Baker and record executive Mike Curb have officially joined forces to take over full ownership of the Nationwide Series Team formerly known as Brewco Motorsports. Baker originally announced his purchase of controlling interest of the team in September but has now completed a total acquisition and partnership with Curbs’ CA Racing which is affiliated with Curbs’ longtime motorsports partner Cary Agajanian.(Baker Curb PR)(12-14-2007)
- O’Quinn Released from Roush: Roush Fenway Racing announced that they have released Danny O’Quinn from his contract. O’Quinn, the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year, is free to seek other driving opportunities elsewhere. “I want to thank Jack Roush, and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to show what I could do in 2006,” said O’Quinn. “I wish we could have put a program together this past year, but I am looking forward to the opportunity to continue my career. I hope to find a full-time ride in the Craftsman Truck or Nationwide Series in 2008.”(DannyOQuinn.com)(12-13-2007)
- Acredale Vending and Coffee Returns to Jay Robinson Racing: Acredale Vending and Coffee Service will return as an associate sponsor for Jay Robinson Racing in 2008. The small Virginia Beach Company has been a sponsor at the associate level in NASCAR for years.(12-13-2007)
- Logano in Cabarrus County Marketing Campaign: CVB officials announced plans for a marketing campaign featuring 17-year-old NASCAR driver and Cabarrus resident Joey Logano. Logano has offered to film in the CVB’s visitors center a 30-second video that will be available as a holiday greetings e-card at www.visitcabarrus.com/e-card [link not active yet].(Independent Tribune)(12-13-2007)
- Jimmie Johnson to Run 3 Nationwide Races: Lowe’s and Hendrick Motorsports announced that Jimmie Johnson will drive the #5 Lowe’s Chevy in three Nationwide Series races in 2008. Johnson will once again race in Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s May 24 and Oct.10 races plus California Speedway’s race on Aug. 30. He has driven in these three races in 2006 and 2007.(Hendrick/Lowes PR)(12-11-2007)
- Mike Wallace / GEICO Move to Germain: Germain Racing announced the addition of Mike Wallace and the No. 7 GEICO Toyota to the team’s lineup. Wallace is coming off of his best Busch Series career points finish – eleventh – in 2007. He will compete full-time in NASCAR’s #2 series in 2008 with continued sponsorship from long-time sponsor and active series advertiser, GEICO. In addition, the relationships with partners Sport Clips and Smith Transport will continue to play key roles with the #7 GEICO Camry.(Germain Racing PR)(12-10-2007)
- Krisiloff to run Daytona ARCA event: Bobby Gerhart Racing has announced that Kyle Krisiloff would be the driver of its #7 Chevrolet Monte Carlo team car for Daytona. Krisiloff won in a BGR entry at Chicagoland Speedway in 2004.(arcaracing.com)(12-10-2007)
- Nationwide COT to use different suspension package: NASCAR Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash said Thursday that the car scheduled to be used in the series in 2009 will have a different front suspension package than the Sprint Cup version. The Nationwide car of tomorrow will have a spring package like the one used in current cars, Balash said. Sprint Cup cars, which will all be the model formerly known as the COT beginning in 2008, use “bump-stops” on the front suspension instead of the “coil-binding” setup on current Nationwide cars. Balash also said plans call for the Nationwide COT to be rolled out in all races in 2009. The Nationwide cars also will use a different body style, with a higher hood and shorter deck lid. Manufacturers are still deciding what model to use, though it appears likely Ford will run a Mustang, Chevrolet a Camaro and Dodge a Challenger. Toyota likely will stick to the Camry, sources said. Balash said all four manufacturers have been involved in the design of the new car. The car has one more round of wind tunnel tests before NASCAR can lock down the ¹09 rules, Balash said. Balash said the new rules package will likely be announced in January.(SceneDaily.com)(12-7-2007)
- Carl Edwards Collects $2.4 Million In 2007: Carl Edwards, the 2007 Busch Series driver champion, received a payout of $2,485,582, an amount that ranks fourth all-time among series title winners. Edwards collected over $1.2 million in both race winnings ($1,241,985) and his share of the series point fund ($1,218,597). The series’ $8.4 million point fund this season included a record $4.5 million contribution from outgoing sponsor Anheuser-Busch. In its 26 years as series sponsor A-B contributed over $18.4 million to the Busch Series point fund, growing from $50,000 in its inaugural season in 1982. The 2007 season marked the second consecutive year that every race purse exceeded $1 million. Fifteen drivers earned $1 million or more in total winnings including series regulars Jason Leffler, Bobby Hamilton Jr., Stephen Leicht, Marcos Ambrose and Mike Wallace.(NASCAR PR)(12-7-2007)
- Leffler will have new crew chief in 2008 Jason Leffler finished third in the Busch Series points standings, but his team leadership will change for 2008. Stewart Cooper, who left Brewco Motorsports to join Braun Racing, will be Leffler’s crew chief next season, with former crew chief Todd Lohse becoming the team’s competition director. Lohse had served in both capacities.(SceneDaily.com)(12-7-2007)
- Gale & Harvick to Split #33 Ride: UPDATE: From a NASCAR.com conversation with Delana and Kevin Harvick: “The plan right now is to just have the two full-time trucks and then myself and Cale Gale will split the #33 [Nationwide Series] car, for a full season. We’re going to run [Gale] part time in the #77 [Nationwide Series] car I think six or eight races, and that will be it.”(NASCAR.com)(12-6-2007)
UPDATE: Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) co-owner and driver Kevin Harvick will return to the driver’s seat of the No. 33 KHI Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2008. Harvick, a two-time NASCAR Busch Series Champion, will pilot the #33 Chevy for 22 of the 35 races throughout the season. Joining Harvick behind the wheel will be Cale Gale for 11 races and defending Truck Series Champion Ron Hornaday for two races. Returning in 2008 as sponsors on the #33 KHI Chevy will be Camping World and RoadLoans.com.(KHI PR)(12-7-2007)
- Phoenix Racing announces Nationwide and Sprint Cup plans for 2008: Phoenix Racing has released its 2008 programs and opportunities. PRI announced the continued relationship with Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, which includes Miccosukee Indian Gaming and Miccosukee Golf and Resorts to support their #1 Chevy for the entire 2008 Nationwide season. PRI will also participate in nine Sprint Cup races. Johnny Sauter will compete for the 2008 Nationwide Championship in the #1 Miccosukee Chevy. Sterling Marlin will pilot the Miccosukee #09 Chevy for seven races with Max Papis driving the two road courses in the Sprint Cup. PRI has secured a contract with Hendrick Motorsports to supply engines in 2008; additional projects with Hendricks and the second Nationwide team will be announced at a later date. PRI is pursuing sponsorship opportunities for a second Nationwide car for the 2008 campaign. “Our second team has a guaranteed starting position in the first five races in 2008 based off our strong performance in 2007; we would like to secure sponsorship or a partner to keep that program going” said Steve Barkdoll the team’s General Manager. “We would like to add additional races for Sterling in the Sprint Cup if extra funding can be acquired” continued Barkdoll.(Phoenix PR)(12-5-2007)
- 2008 Testing Dates Set: The Nationwide Series kicks off its testing schedule with NASCAR Preseason Thunder at Daytona. Approximately half of the teams are scheduled for Friday, Jan. 18 through Sunday, Jan. 20 and the remaining teams slated for Sunday, Jan. 20 through Tuesday, Jan. 22. The remaining testing schedule for the Nationwide Series includes:
* Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Jan. 30-31
* Richmond International Raceway – March 24-25 (rain date March 26)
* Lowe’s Motor Speedway – May 12-13 (rain date May 14)(NASCAR PR)(12-4-2007)
- Papis Driving for RWI at Road Courses in 2008: UPDATE: Max Papis will drive the #64 Chevy for Rusty Wallace Inc. in the Nationwide Series road course races.(PRNs Garage Pass)(11-15-2007)
UPDATE: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing announced that former Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series champion, “Mad” Max Papis, will pilot the team’s #64 Chevy in all three 2008 Nationwide Series road course events.(RWI PR)(12-4-2007)
- NASCAR Busch Series Champion’s Week Preview: In its final season as sponsor of the Busch Series, Anheuser-Busch’s Busch brand will celebrate its last title in duplicate.
Friday night at the Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Fla., Carl Edwards officially will be crowned the 2007 Busch Series driver champion. On the same stage in the Tuscan Ballroom, Richard Childress and his No. 29 Chevrolet team will be honored as series owner champion.
It’s only the second time in NASCAR national series history the feat as been accomplished. Richard Childress Racing has been the owner title recipient both times; its first was following the 2003 season.
This week’s festivities begin with a media day at the ESPN Club on Thursday, followed by an event unique to the series’ Champion’s Week activities, hot laps driven by Edwards, Scott Wimmer (representing the owner champion) and the top 10 drivers for media at the 1.5-mile Walt Disney World Speedway.
The key highlights from the NASCAR Busch Series Champion’s Week schedule:
Thursday – Edwards, Wimmer and the top 10 drivers (including NEXTEL Cup double-duty drivers such as Zephyrhills native David Reutimann, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth) will gather for Busch Series Champion’s Week Media Day at the ESPN Club on Disney’s Boardwalk from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Daytona International Speedway president Robin Braig will make announcements surrounding the 2008 season-opening Camping World 300 – the inaugural Nationwide Series race – and the 50th running of the Daytona 500. The drivers will meet with numerous outlets from national, regional, state and local print and broadcast media at the ESPN Club and utilize the various platforms available from ESPN for broadcast on programs such as ESPNews, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and SportsCenter.
Afterwards, drivers head to Walt Disney World Speedway where they will whisk the media around in specially-wrapped cars honoring the champions and commemorating the Busch brand’s tenure with the series. Edwards will be featured on a satellite media tour broadcast from the ESPN Club from 4-5 p.m. Later that evening, he will be honored along with the owner champion team at a private dinner. Anheuser-Busch will host a party for Busch Series teams and officials at Universal City Walk.
Friday – Edwards and his team, along with owner champion Richard Childress and the No. 29 team, will participate in the traditional Champion’s Photo Shoot at the Harbor Piazza at the Portofino Bay Hotel. Following photos, both champion teams will join the top 10 drivers and other guests at various receptions leading up to the main event—the Busch Series Awards Banquet. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Tuscan Ballroom of the Portofino Bay Hotel where Edwards and Childress officially will be honored as the 2007 series driver and owner champions.(NASCAR PR)(12-4-2007)
- Bourque to drive for ESR in Daytona ARCA event: Speed51.com has learned that Canadian Pierre Bourque [former Fitz Motorsports development driver] will drive a car fielded by Eddie Sharp Racing in February’s ARCA RE/MAX Series event at Daytona International Speedway.(Speed51.com)(12-3-2007)
- Kyle Busch and Steve Wallace Disqualified at Snowball Derby; Grill Wins: Steven Wallace and Kyle Busch’s cars were both disqualified in post-qualifier tech after initially making it into the field. Kyle Busch wasn’t too happy. He was tossed from the event due to a height infraction. Both Busch and Steven Wallace were very irate in the pit area and told Speed51.com that they are displeased with Ricky Brooks (head tech inspector) and his philosophies. Steven Wallace was found to be light when crossing the scales after tech. They let the team roll off the scales and roll back on. During that time he was caught trying to put sockets in his pockets.(Speed51.com)(12-2-2007)
UPDATE: A statement from Steve Wallace: “I just want to make it clear that although our car supposedly missed one of the inspection criteria in Pensacola, it was in no way done in an attempt to get around the rules. From day one, I have had a deep respect for the sport and its integrity. As far as I’m concerned, that respect carries over to any team for which I drive, as was the case with Richie Wauters Racing in this weekend’s race. We definitely had the car to beat in Pensacola, but for one reason or another, the officials were really hard on both of our teams all week long. We got disqualified because they claimed that we missed one of the inspection criteria by a razor thin margin; a margin small enough that it could have been due to almost anything.(Rusty Wallace Inc PR)(12-3-2007)
AND: Augie Grill has been around the Snowball Derby since the first time he was carried into Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL as a one-month-old son of Derby car owner Frankie Grill in 1976. He had been to victory lane in the Snowball Derby two times with family-owned cars, but both times as a crew member on Wayne Anderson and Butch Lindley’s efforts. But in the 40th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags on Sunday, December 2nd, it was finally time for the now-31-year-old Dolomite, Alabama native to make it to victory lane as a driver of the 300-lap race. Grill took the lead for the final time on lap 267 from defending Snowball Derby Champion Clay Rogers and checked out from the field late in the race, even despite front bumper cover damage suffered early in the going, to take the laurels as the 30th different winner of the prestigious short track event.(Speed51.com PR)(12-3-2007)