January 2010 Nationwide Series Archive


  • Acredale returns to Jay Robinson Racing: Acredale Vending & Coffee Service will return to Jay Robinson Racing this year starting at Daytona. Acredale has been a small Associate sponsor for several years. Business owner Scott Abshire is a part time crew member as well. Acredale has provided Vending and office coffee services in the Tidewater Virginia area for over 25yrs.(Acredale PR)(1-31-2010)
  • Keller driving for TriStar this season: UPDATE: Jason Keller has had a steering wheel in his lap for as long as he can remember. For the past several months, however, that steering wheel has been attached to a forklift. “I’ve been working for my dad’s business, driving a forklift all winter,” said Keller, a NASCAR regular for the past 17 seasons. “It has actually been a very pleasant winter.” But as winter gives way to spring, Keller’s thoughts again are turning to racing. The Greenville stock car driver announced Friday an agreement with TriStar Motorsports of Mooresville, N.C., to drive the team’s #19 Chevy on the Nationwide Series this season. TriStar team owner Mark Smith, who said “our intention is to run the whole season (schedule),” has been out of the ownership business since 1997, but before that his team featured drivers such as Bobby Hamilton and Loy Allen Jr., in the 1990s. Smith has focused on building engines in recent years, most notably ones used by Ron Hornaday Jr. en route to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title last season.(The State)(1-30-2010)
    UPDATE: hearing that the TriStar team will run two cars this year, with the other being last year’s Front Row Motorsports #34 team with Tony Raines.(1-30-2010)
  • NASCAR cutting race purses to all three series: NASCAR is cutting by about 10 percent the race winnings it will award teams in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series this season, officials confirmed on Friday. The reduction is part of cost-cutting measures that will alleviate some of the financial burdens on tracks that have suffered during a tough economic environment that has forced them to cut ticket prices with declining attendance. “Last year we launched an industry-wide effort to help the sport manage budgets in this economy,” NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Friday. “NASCAR did the right thing to work with the tracks to reduce their costs in order to manage the economic realities. In return, the tracks have done a great job reducing ticket prices and enhancing the fan experience. Likewise, we worked with the teams to contain costs such as elimination of testing and other steps. This is consistent with how virtually every sport and business has adjusted to the economy over the past year.” Bruton Smith, the chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns nine tracks that host Cup, Nationwide and Truck events, applauded NASCAR for making the cut. He doesn’t believe drivers will particularly like it, “but they understand.”(ESPN.com)(1-29-2010)
  • Herd Racing names crew members: Veteran crew members Chad Beahr and Morris Van Vleet will head Herd Racing’s crew in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2010, the team has announced. Beahr, of Mechanicsville, Va., will serve as crew chief for Herd’s #75 Nationwide Series team, while Van Vleet, of Mooresville, NC, will fill the role of car chief.(Herd Racing PR)(1-28-2010)
  • Clements in the #0 with Boudreaux Butt Past sponsorship: Jeremy Clements Racing has added a new sponsor for the first three races of the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide season. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, who sponsored Clements in the ARCA Remax Series, will team up with the 25 year-old driver once again. Also coming back on board this season is the Saxon Group. Look for Jeremy in the yellow #0 Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Chevy at the season opener in Daytona.(Clements PR)(1-28-2010)

  • Danica’s schedule announced: Danica Patrick will compete in 12 NASCAR Nationwide Series races with the possibility of 13 in her debut season with JR Motorsports, co-owner and general manager Kelley Earnhardt announced. The only event uncertain on Patrick’s schedule is the Feb. 13 season opener at Daytona International Speedway. The #7 GoDaddy.com Chevy is entered in the event, but its driver will not be determined until after Patrick’s race in the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) event on Feb. 6. Patrick will compete in the Daytona ARCA race in a JR Motorsports-prepared #7 GoDaddy.com Chevy. Beyond Daytona, Patrick’s 2010 campaign is confirmed starting with the Feb. 20 race at Auto Club Speedway and the Feb. 27 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Following Vegas, Patrick will take a four-month hiatus to focus on her IndyCar Series responsibilities before returning to drive the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevy in the Nationwide Series June 26 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The remainder of her schedule includes Nationwide races at Chicagoland Speedway (July 9), Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 14), Dover International Speedway (Sept. 25), Auto Club Speedway (Oct. 9), Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 15), Gateway International Raceway (Oct. 23), Texas Motor Speedway (Nov. 6), Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 13), and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 20). While Patrick’s participation in the Daytona race is to be determined, JR Motorsports will still field two cars for the Nationwide Series season opener. Due to sponsorship reallocation for the upcoming season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the #88 Hellmann’s Chevy in place of Kelly Bires in what is the first of two scheduled races for the JRM co-owner. Bires will return to the seat of the #88 Chevy the following week at Auto Club Speedway and could be called upon to drive the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevy at Daytona should Patrick not compete in that event. GoDaddy.com will serve as primary sponsor for 10 of Patrick’s 12 races in the #7 Chevy in 2010.(JR Motorsports PR)(1-28-2010)
  • Kligerman to run first 5 races: UPDATE 2: Roger Penske announced Monday that Parker Kligerman will run the first five Nationwide races in the #42 Dodge.(RacingOne) no word on whether the #42 would be a Penske team or the Smith-Ganassi team from 2009(1-19-2010)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing development driver Parker Kligerman will drive Eddie Smith’s #42 NASCAR Nationwide Series Dodge for the first five races of 2010, with the possibility of doing more, the team said. Kligerman, who won the pole in his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Kansas Speedway last year, said he could run the four races in the series’ new car, too. Kligerman said Chris Carrier will be the crew chief and the team will run Penske engines. But Smith, who purchased Dodges from Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the 2008 season, will provide the cars. Penske’s association with Smith’s team came after Kligerman hit the wall during qualifying for last year’s season finale at Homestead and failed to qualify in a Penske Racing car. Smith came to Penske and offered his Dodge for Kligerman, who then ran the race in the #42.(Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour Notes)(1-19-2010)
    UPDATE 2: Penske Racing driver Parker Kligerman will continue his development in 2010, beginning the NASCAR Nationwide Series season behind the wheel of the #42 Dodge for Team 42 Racing. Kligerman, 19, will compete in at least the first five series races for the Eddie Smith-owned team, with the possibility of entering more events this season. (Penske PR)(1-28-2010)
  • Northeastern Supply returns to Braun as Associate Sponsors: The 2010 NASCAR race season will mark the 17th consecutive year of Nationwide Series team sponsorship for the Northeastern Supply Company and its third straight campaign supporting Braun Racing and the Great Clips Toyota. Jason Leffler will again fly the Northeastern Supply banner in an associate capacity on the #38 Braun Racing race car but will do so for just a portion of the upcoming campaign. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standout Kasey Kahne has signed to also drive one of the Series’ best race cars in selected events this coming season that should make the #38 entry even more competitive than it has been over the last four years.(Northeastern Supply PR)(1-27-2010)
  • Danica sponsorship helps both JR Motorsports teams: NASCAR racing doesn’t even start until next week and already Danica Patrick’s presence has helped the sport. The IndyCar star’s deal at JR Motorsports brought in sponsorship dollars that saved about a dozen jobs and helped the organization remain a two-car Nationwide Series team with the #5 and #88 Chevy running full seasons. Patrick’s deal wasn’t all that financially energized JR Motorsports. While other Nationwide Series teams struggled last season, Earnhardt made more money than expected. They’ll use that profit to keep the No. 88 team running throughout 2010, regardless of sponsorship issues. Earnhardt might race a few of those and have a developmental driver the rest. The team only has about one third of the season’s races sponsored for Kelly Bires [#88] Chevy at the moment, but will be able to keep that going, too. “We have two teams that we wanted to keep,” Earnhardt said. “Didn’t want to downsize the company any more like the year before. The Danica program really justified having two programs and keeping our employee count. That was awesome to have that.”(Orlando Sentinel)(1-27-2010)
  • Bowles working on Nationwide ride: Jason Bowles is set to go out with a bang. After three years, the Ontario resident will be making his final appearance in a Bob Bruncati-owned race car in this weekend’s seventh annual NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. The 27-year-old Bowles now is trying to piece together a package so he can continue racing. Bowles said he is trying to work out a NASCAR Nationwide Series package. Bowles made his debut in the Nationwide Series last November in Phoenix [in the #61 Ford of Specialty Racing[. He moved up to near the top 15 before getting tangled in someone else’s accident. He finished 31st. He does not know when a deal will be accomplished and is hoping it will happen before the series gets to Auto Club Speedway in February. But nothing is set in stone.(Pasadena Star News)(1-27-2010)
  • Wimmer looking for ride: As tough economic times continue to take a toll throughout the NASCAR community, veteran driver Scott Wimmer finds himself at the mercy of uncommitted sponsorship dollars. “We’ve seen a substantial number of deals fall to the wayside over the past few months as sponsors continue to adjust commitment and sponsorship levels” said Wimmer Wimmer brings 8 years of NASCAR Nationwide, Sprint Cup, and truck racing experience to the table, along with a successful history of positive sponsor relationships. Wimmer was an integral part of a successful 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season with JRM and Key Motorsports; making 30 starts throughout the season with 3 top-ten finishes, and finished 16th overall in driver points. Wimmer also helped revitalize the Sprint Cup series #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevy at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Wimmer Racing PR)(1-26-2010)
  • Miccosukee sponsorship leaving the sport?: Sponsorship from Miccosukee Indian Gaming in all three of NASCAR’s national series – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks – could be terminated as a result of an early February vote by the Indian tribe. The tribe, which runs Miccosukee Resort and Gaming located in Miami and along the southeastern edge of the Florida Everglades, elected a new chairman, Colley Billie, on Jan. 5 who campaigned on promoting a new and “proactive” economic development platform. Several sources confirmed the tribe plans a Feb. 4 vote to decide whether it will continue its sponsorship in NASCAR, which includes Cup [#09-Almirola] and Nationwide teams [#1-James Buescher] to be fielded in 2010 by team owner James Finch and a Truck team [#18] owned and driven by Kyle Busch. The chances the NASCAR sponsorships will continue are considered slim, sources said.(Charlotte Observer)(1-26-2010)
  • Riggs driving for RAB at Daytona: RAB Racing announced that Scott Riggs will pilot the #09 Ford in the NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 13th. “We are thrilled to have Scott in our car at Daytona,” stated Robby Benton, Co-owner and General Manager of RAB Racing with Brack Maggard. “Scott’s experience in all three levels of competition in this sport and the solid foundation of this team will produce a great combination for success. We’re on track to deliver great results for the 2010 season opener at Daytona and hope to build the partnership between RAB Racing and Scott Riggs to run a full 2010 schedule.”(RAB Racing PR)(1-25-2010)

  • Federated Auto Parts to sponsor Kenny Wallace for 8 races:. As part of its expanded motorsports program, Federated will be sponsoring NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace and his race team in 2010, according to J.R. Bishop, director of racing and event marketing for Federated Auto Parts. Federated will be the primary sponsor of Wallace and the #28-Jay Robinson Racing Chevy in eight NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2010 including the Federated 300 on June 5 in Nashville. Federated will also be an associate sponsor of the Jay Robinson Racing Chevy for the remainder of the season. In addition, Federated will be the primary sponsor of Kenny Wallace and his race team in over 50 dirt track events in 2010 and will serve as the “Official Auto Parts Supplier” for the Kenny Wallace and Jay Robinson Racing teams. Wallace will also serve as an official spokesperson for Federated Auto Parts.(Federated Auto Parts PR)(1-25-2010)
  • Plans for Jeffrey Earnhardt still not set: Jeffrey Earnhardt’s 2010 schedule is still to be determined as Dale Earnhardt Inc. looks to form a relationship with a satellite team to field a car for the grandson of the company founder. The 20-year-old son of Kerry Earnhardt competed in two Nationwide Series races last year. “Sponsorship has been very difficult and he certainly would like to get in the game, so as we look at 2010, it will be a race-by-race evaluation and continue with some partners that we have, like Key Racing,” DEI Executive Vice President Jeff Steiner said Thursday. “Nationwide is our target. We feel that’s probably the best spot for him to be.”(Scene Daily)(1-23-2010)
  • Key Motorsports looking for sponsorship: Key Motorsports is continuing it’s effort to locate a marketing partner following a successful NASCAR Nationwide Series campaign in 2009. The #40 Chey finished 21st in owner points after beginning the season without any points or provisionals. The Key Motorsports team plans to run the full 35 race Nationwide Series schedule in 2010. The lack of a signed sponsor has not slowed activity at the Key Motorsports shop, with team members busily preparing cars for next season. While Scott Wimmer, Mike Bliss, Aric Almirola and Jeffrey Earnhardt shared driving duties in the #40 during 2009, Key Motorsports has not made any driver announcement for 2010. Long time NASCAR crew chief Gary Showalter remains with the organization and will call the shots from the pit box again in 2010.(Hardcore Racefans)(1-23-2010)
  • Todd Gordon moves to Diamond-Waltrip Racing: UPDATE: Todd Gordon has moved to Diamond-Waltrip Racing and will serve as car chief for driver Trevor Bayne in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season, Bayne said Wednesday at the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. Gordon worked as crew chief for #27-Baker Curb Racing and driver Jason Keller but had wanted to stay closer to home. Baker Curb’s headquarters are in Nashville, Tenn., while DWR is in Michael Waltrip Racing’s shop in Cornelius, N.C. Bayne’s crew chief remains Jerry Baxter. (NNS Racing)(1-20-2010)
    UPDATE: am told that Gordon will be the new race-day engineer rather than the car chief.(1-22-2010)

  • Partial schedule for Baker-Curb? Gary Baker lost long-term sponsor Kimberly Clark at the end of last season along with veteran driver Jason Keller. Last week he signed Greg Biffle to drive a partial schedule in the Nationwide Series starting next month at Daytona. He and other Nationwide team owners are struggling to survive in NASCAR’s second-tier series that is being smothered by Sprint Cup interlopers. Cup drivers win all the championships and most of the races. They drain off the prize money and leave Nationwide regulars scratching for crumbs and leftovers. Biffle’s #27 car will be sponsored by Red Man Moist Snuff, hardly a Fortune 500 company. Baker’s unsure how many races he can run with the limited financing — maybe 10 or 12 of the season’s 34 [actually 35].(Nashville City Paper)(1-22-2010)
  • Images added: Several new schemes added this week to the 2010 paint schemes pages, including #6 CitiFinancial Ford, #11-AccuDoc Solutions Toyota, #21 Zaxby’s Chevy, #22 Discount Tire Dodge, #22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge, #60 Copart Ford, #70 Foretravel Chevy, and #98 Menards Ford.(1-21-2010)
  • Dash 4 Cash returns; Texas added: The Nationwide Series will again feature the popular “Dash 4 Cash” program in 2010, a four race program that will be a $25,000 additional bonus to the race winner. The schedule includes: Nashville Superspeedway (April 3), Kentucky Motor Speedway (June 12), Iowa Speedway (July 31) and Texas Motor Speedway (November 6). Sprint Cup drivers must compete in every Nationwide race in order to qualify for the individual race payouts. Also, a $75,000 year-end bonus will be awarded to the driver who accumulates the most points in the four designated races. Drivers who compete in more than seven Sprint Cup races are not eligible, even if competing in run all Nationwide races on the schedule.(RacingOne)(1-20-2010)
  • Todd Gordon moves to Diamond-Waltrip Racing: Todd Gordon has moved to Diamond-Waltrip Racing and will serve as car chief for driver Trevor Bayne in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season, Bayne said Wednesday at the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. Gordon worked as crew chief for #27-Baker Curb Racing and driver Jason Keller but had wanted to stay closer to home. Baker Curb’s headquarters are in Nashville, Tenn., while DWR is in Michael Waltrip Racing’s shop in Cornelius, N.C. Bayne’s crew chief remains Jerry Baxter. (NNS Racing)(1-20-2010)
  • Danica undecided on Daytona Nationwide race; Bires not running?: JR Motorsports will field two cars in the season-opening Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway, and new driver Danica Patrick could be driving one of them. Full-time driver Kelly Bires, meanwhile, might not be racing at Daytona. Because of sponsorship, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the team’s #88 Hellmann’s car, which Bires is scheduled to drive for much of the season. Patrick may drive the #7 car, team co-owner Kelley Earnhardt said Wednesday during the Charlotte Motor Speedway media tour. Patrick and the team will not decide whether she will run the Feb. 13 Nationwide race until after she competes in the Feb. 7 Automobile Racing Club of America event. Bires or Mark Martin would likely drive the car if Patrick does not. Patrick’s #7 car will be locked in for the first five races as JR Motorsports has formed a partnership with CJM Racing, which ceased operations during the off-season. CJM Racing’s #11 points – that car finished 15th in the owner standings in 2009 – will be used by the #7.(Scene Daily)(1-20-2010)

  • No Nationwide races for Bowyer? Richard Childress Racing’s Clint Bowyer, who won the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship in 2008, may not run any races in the series this season. Bowyer said at the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway that unless RCR finds sponsorship for him, he won’t run any Nationwide races this year. “We don’t have a sponsor right now for the Nationwide Series,” Bowyer said. “I want to run some races. It’s an important series, it’s a lot of fun to race in. We’re still looking for sponsorship and trying to get that put in place because I want to run some Nationwide races.”(NNS Racing)(1-20-2010)
  • Haiti relief on the #01 at Daytona: For Daytona #01-Mike Wallace has announced that he will carry the message for Haiti humanitarian relief by promoting www.DoubleHarvest.org on the racecars at Daytona. Donations to this Haitian facility will go to direct and on-going relief. Since Daytona is still weeks away, donations are needed right now so, for more information on this relief effort contact: www.DoubleHarvest.orgor 440-714-1694. The J-D Motorsports team is actively seeking support for 2010.(J-D Motorsports PR)(1-20-2010)
  • Connectyx Technologies to sponsor Stratus Racing: Connectyx Technologies Holdings Group Inc. is pleased to announce that it is co-sponsoring Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope and Stratus Racing during the Nationwide race during Daytona 500 race week on February 13, 2010. In addition, Connectyx will be co-sponsoring twin nieces Amber and Angela Cope in the Camping World Truck series later in the season.Connectyx Technologies provides unique products for the healthcare market including the electronic Personal Health Manager (PHM), MedFlash.(PRNewswire.com) (1-19-2010)
  • Ruby Tuesday sponsoring Keselowski: Penske Racing has established a new partnership with Ruby Tuesday restaurants for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Ruby Tuesday will serve as primary sponsor for six races on the #22 Dodge driven by series standout Brad Keselowski. The specific races where Ruby Tuesday will serve as primary sponsor of the car have yet to be determined, but the #22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge is expected to make its debut as primary sponsor at the Richmond International Raceway race on April 30. Ruby Tuesday will be an associate sponsor of the team for the remaining 2010 Nationwide Series races.(Penske Racing PR)(1-18-2010)
  • Annett returning to Germain: Michael Annett will be returning to Germain Racing and the #15 for a full NNS schedule this year. Pilot Travel Centers and Hype Energy Drink are returning as sponsors, with Hype scheduled to be on the car at Chicago and Montreal.(Frontstretch.com)(1-18-2010)
  • New name, start time for May Charlotte race: In response to fan requests for an afternoon NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Charlotte Motor Speedway’s TECH-NET Auto Service 300 Powered by CARQUEST Auto Parts will start at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 29. In addition to the start-time change, the race’s name will be different in 2010 as well. Formerly the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, the TECH-NET Auto Service 300 will promote CARQUEST’s TECH NET Professional Auto Service program.(Charlotte Motor Speedway PR)(1-18-2010)
  • Waverly Property Group on the #24 at Daytona: Team Rensi Motorsports announced that it has partnered with Waverly Property Group for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Daytona International Speedway. Waverly Property Group, Daytona’s #1 independent real-estate company, with a focus on waterfront properties, will celebrate its third consecutive year of sponsorship with an increased presence on the #24 entry. Waverly Property Group will be displayed as an associate sponsor on the Hefty Odor Block Ford for the season-opening event on February 13, 2010, before serving as a co-primary sponsor at the traditional summer event at the historic speedway.(McClure PR)(1-18-2010)

  • McDowell to drive for MacDonald in 2010: UPDATE: MacDonald Motorsports has signed Michael McDowell to pilot the #81 MacDonald Motorsports Dodge in the Nationwide Series for the 2010 season. McDowell, who finished 13th in the Nationwide Series standings in 2009, has permanently joined a transformed MacDonald Motorsports effort that features a new race shop, new race cars, a new crew chief. Patrick Donahue, a face familiar to McDowell, will take the reigns as crew chief of the No. 81 Dodge. Donahue was the crew chief for McDowell in the ARCA Series in 2007 when McDowell scored Rookie of the Year honors on the heels of a four-win, nine-pole season.(MMI PR)(1-12-2010)
    UPDATE: As a guy who tries to make it on the Nationwide Series with limited funds, Randy MacDonald is taking a big leap this offseason. Big as in about 50 miles. Trying to create a more upscale image for his team, MacDonald has moved it from his small shop in Thomasville all the way to a shop in Mooresville that originally housed the Rahmoc Cup team years ago and is located in a business park home to several race teams. It’s all part of MacDonald’s latest strategy to try to land sponsorship dollars, an area that he has always found to be a struggle.(American Chronicle)(1-18-2010)

  • Full Nationwide season for Menard: UPDATE: In the Nationwide Series, Paul Menard will run his first complete schedule since 2006, when he finished sixth in the championship for the second consecutive season before stepping into the Cup Series full time. That car is fully sponsored by the Menards home improvement store chain and a variety of partners.(NASCAR.com)(1-13-2010)
    UPDATE: While Menard has a change in his Cup crew chief, he will keep Matt Puccia as his crew chief on the Nationwide side. Menard drove in 16 Nationwide races last year. The team will be a Roush Fenway Racing team. (SceneDaily)(1-16-2010)
  • Milwaukee Mile promoter, NASCAR settle suit: NASCAR and Wisconsin Motorsports, the group that put on two NASCAR races last summer at the Milwaukee Mile, quietly settled a lawsuit Friday in Waukesha County Circuit Court. NASCAR had sued Wisconsin Motorsports and its principal, Claude Napier, accusing Napier of not paying approximately $1.9 million for staging a Camping World Truck Series race and a Nationwide Series race last June. In the suit, a NASCAR attorney accused Napier of committing fraud by inducement. The settlement was confidential. But in a terse statement by NASCAR, it is clear there are still hard feelings. “While we’re glad to settle the litigation, this is a very unfortunate conclusion. NASCAR has loved racing at the Milwaukee Mile for nearly 20 years and our fans deserve better. We depend on strong partnerships in each community where we race to make the events exciting and successful for everyone.”(Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)(1-15-2010)
  • Front Row Motorsports Nationwide team still up in the air: UPDATE: Front Row Motorsports announced it will continue its growth by adding an additional full-time Sprint Cup program in 2010. The teams will be the newest members of Ford Racing and receive engines from Roush/Yates Racing Engines and technical support from Ford Racing. The team also confirmed that Travis Kvapil will pilot the Long John Silver’s Ford and Kevin Conway, who will compete for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors, will drive a second full-time entry in the Sprint Cup Series with sponsorship to be announced in the coming weeks. Both teams will make their debut at the Daytona 500 in February.(Front Row Motorsports PR), am told that Front Row is capable of running the Nationwide team again this season, but is still looking to put pieces together.(1-6-2010)
    UPDATE: hearing that Front Row has decided to continue running the Nationwide team this year and Tony Raines will return to the driver’s seat.(1-15-2010)
  • Wilburn joins Braun Racing: Braun Racing announces that Bill Wilburn has joined their organization to serve as crew chief of the #11 AccuDoc Solutions team with NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year contender, Brian Scott. Bringing with him a wealth of experience, Wilburn has over 25 years in the industry. A native of Kernersville, N.C. he most recently served as crew chief at Kevin Harvick Racing with driver, Ricky Carmichael. (Braun Racing PR)(1-15-2010)

  • CitiFinancial to sponsor Stenhouse: CitiFinancial announced its continued agreement with Roush Fenway Racing to sponsor an entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the 2010 season. The community-based lender will serve as the primary sponsor on the #6 Ford with driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for 18 races, and it will be the associate sponsor for the remaining events on the schedule. CitiFinancial will also support Stenhouse as he makes his bid to become the 2010 NNS Rookie of the Year and compete in the overall series driver standings. (Roush Fenway Racing PR)(1-14-2010)
  • O’Connell Racing to enter road course events: O’Connell Racing, a southern California based road racing team announced plans for the 2010 season. Team principal Kevin O’Connell stated, “With much of the corporate and motorsports landscape changed for the near term we realize that our marketing partners require what we consider to be a “best of breed” racing platform that encompasses only the best series and top race events. In light of that determination, we have chosen to add to our road racing program and equipment, and to include only the premier road racing events in North America with the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the Grand-Am Rolex Series, and new to our team in this year, the American Lemans Series.” In the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the team intends to enter the road course events at the newly added Road America, Montreal in conjunction with the Grand-Am Rolex Series and Watkins Glen with the Sprint Cup Series and Grand-Am series. For the NASCAR races the team will run a Chevy Monte Carlo SS and for select Grand –Am Rolex Series races on companion event weekends the team will run a Porsche GT3 Cup Car.(O’Connell Racing PR)(1-14-2010)
  • Roush still looking for Nationwide sponsorship: [Roush President Geoff] Smith said Roush Feneway Racing’s other three Nationwide programs had varying sponsorship gaps. Former series champion Carl Edwards will again compete full time in both Cup and Nationwide, running a #60 Ford sponsored by Fastenal and Copart in the secondary series. Smith said Edwards’ car has “four open races.” Colin Braun and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will run full schedules as rookie of the year candidates in the #16 and 6 cars. Braun’s car has 18 races with Con-way Freight and two more with 3M, leaving 15 of the series’ 35 races unsponsored. Stenhouse has 18 races with CitiFinancial backing, leaving “the remainder for sale,” Smith said. Biffle is part of a previously announced deal to run a partial Nationwide schedule for Baker Curb Racing, but “at this point in time David Ragan, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle are not doing Nationwide races with us.”(NASCAR.com)(1-13-2010)
  • Full Nationwide season for Menard: In the Nationwide Series, Paul Menard will run his first complete schedule since 2006, when he finished sixth in the championship for the second consecutive season before stepping into the Cup Series full time. That car is fully sponsored by the Menards home improvement store chain and a variety of partners.(NASCAR.com)(1-13-2010)
  • McDowell to drive for MacDonald in 2010: MacDonald Motorsports has signed Michael McDowell to pilot the #81 MacDonald Motorsports Dodge in the Nationwide Series for the 2010 season. McDowell, who finished 13th in the Nationwide Series standings in 2009, has permanently joined a transformed MacDonald Motorsports effort that features a new race shop, new race cars, a new crew chief. Patrick Donahue, a face familiar to McDowell, will take the reigns as crew chief of the No. 81 Dodge. Donahue was the crew chief for McDowell in the ARCA Series in 2007 when McDowell scored Rookie of the Year honors on the heels of a four-win, nine-pole season.(MMI PR)(1-12-2010)
  • R3 restructures leadership; Richardson returns to drivers seat: With a new season comes new roles for R3 Motorsports management as they ready for their 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series campaign. Robert Richardson, Sr., sole owner of R3 Motorsports, has named Steve Plattenberger as the team’s Shop Foreman to oversee the team’s day-to-day operations. John Quinn will crew chief the #23 Chevy driven by Robert Richardson, Jr. Both were with the team at the conclusion of the 2009 season. Richardson, Sr. has two more veterans of motorsports lending their support in the corporate offices. LouAnn Santerre has been named the team’s Office Manager and Tim Packman was recently brought on as the Director of Communications and Marketing for R3 Motorsports. “Right now, we have Robert Jr. in for 18 of the 35 Nationwide Series races. Mahindra Tractors is coming back for Daytona and some other races. We’ve been talking to other drivers about filling out the rest of the season with some deals they have going on, too. We do have the capabilities of going to two teams, as long as the situation is right.” Richardson, Sr. said.(R3 Motorsports PR)(1-12-2010)

  • Baker Curb working on deal with Cup driver: UPDATE 5 and image: The 2010 Nationwide Series season will mark the 10th anniversary of dominance by Sprint Cup teams in NASCAR’s No. 2 series. It’s been since 2000 that a non-Cup affiliated team won the series championship. That year, Jeff Green won the title for ppc Racing, a team that has since been swallowed by up by another organization. Since then, Cup teams and Cup-affiliated have completely dominated the Nationwide Series. In 2009, Joe Gibbs Racing won the drivers title with Kyle Busch, and not a single independent team won a race. And it’s likely only going to get worse for the non-Cup teams, #27-Baker Curb Racing co-owner Gary Baker said. Baker Curb is close to signing a sponsorship package with a Sprint Cup driver, a necessity these days. “The gap, frankly, has widened a little bit,” Baker says. “That’s why we know we’ve got to go get a Cup driver for one of our cars on our team because NASCAR so favors the Cup drivers in Nationwide racing.”(SceneDaily)(12-28-2009)
    UPDATE: [NASCAR Insiders is] hearing that Cup driver is Greg Biffle. It’s expected he’ll run a limited schedule for the team in the Nationwide Series. This will not be the first time Biffle has worked with Baker Curb. Between 2005 and 2008 he ran 43 races for the team and its predecessor organization, Brewco Motorsports. There is no word on how many races Biffle is expected to run, or who the sponsor will be.(NASCAR Insiders)(12-29-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Baker Curb Racing will hold a press conference this Saturday afternoon in which Greg Biffle will be introduced as driver for the #27 Baker Curb Racing Ford for select races in the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide season.(Middle Tennessee Racing Scene) (1/7/2010)
    UPDATE 3: Baker Curb Racing announced that the team has reached an agreement with Greg Biffle to drive in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season. Red Man Moist Snuff will be the primary sponsor on Biffle’s #27 Ford, which will debut in the Camping World 300 at Daytona International Raceway on Saturday, February 12.(Baker Curb PR), no number of races mentioned.(1-9-2009)
    UPDATE 4: Both the exact number of races Biffle will drive in and which races those will be is still being worked out. Brad Parrott will be crew chief for the #27 team.(Middle Tennessee Racing Scene), see a couple images of the car on my #27 paint schemes page.(1-10-2010)
    UPDATE 5: Baker Curb Racing announced that they have reached an agreement with Brad Parrott to be the crew chief on the team’s #27 Red Man Moist Snuff Ford which will be driven by Greg Biffle in the Nationwide Series this season. The announcement reunites Parrott and Biffle, who in 2004 as a driver/crew chief tandem finished third in the Nationwide Series point standings, collecting five wins, two poles and 21 top-10 finishes in 34 races. Parrot brings over twenty years of NASCAR experience to Baker Curb Racing having worked for many of the premiere organizations in the industry including Penske Racing, Robert Yates Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing.(Baker Curb PR)(1-11-2010)
  • Kelley Earnhardt featured in Nationwide Insurance ads: Nationwide Insurance will feature Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s sister, Kelley, in its 2010 ad campaign, nudging her from behind-the-scenes business manager to out-front endorser. Since she began running the business of JR Motorsports in 2001, Kelley has helped build the Nationwide Series organization into a two-car team, one of which will include Danica Patrick driving this year, while also charting the course for Dale Jr.’s own personal business ventures. He began appearing in Nationwide commercials last year as part of a yearlong ad campaign, and this year the insurance company is bringing Kelley into a more visible role. She’ll star with her brother in a 30-second spot set to launch this week across multiple national cable channels, including TBS, TNT, The Weather Channel, USA and others. Once the NASCAR season begins next month, it will run on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC and Fox. Kelley’s appearance is an extension of Nationwide’s personal-services agreement with Dale Jr. Terms of the deal between Earnhardt and Nationwide were not available. A second spot this year will broaden out beyond the family and incorporate Tony Eury Sr., one of Earnhardt Sr.’s best friends and a longtime family associate. Another family member, Martha Earnhardt, who is the grandmother to Kelley and Dale Jr., will be featured in an ad this year for Hellmann’s, a sponsor at JR Motorsports.(Sports Business Journal)(1-11-2010)
  • Stremme still looking for ride: David Stremme said he is still looking for a 2010 ride and is considering beginning to work with a new Nationwide Series team that would run full time in 2011 when that series’ new car is scheduled to be used in every race. “We’ll see what happens here real quick,” Stremme said Saturday. “I might be able to announce something, a full-time deal. Until then, I don’t really say much because if you’re not signing anything, it’s not worth talking about. “[I’ve] got some cool things working with a guy that’s going to be starting up with a full-time deal in ’11 in the Nationwide Series with the new car, I think you’ll see a lot of new owners coming in.”(SceneDaily)(1-10-2010)
  • Gaughan returns to RWR: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing announced that Brendan Gaughan—a top-ten finisher in the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series standings—will again pilot the organization’s #62 Toyota in a full-season bid for the 2010 Nationwide Series championship. Gaughan returns to RWR following a strong 2009 rookie season in the Nationwide Series. That effort included a pole win at Bristol and near victories at Charlotte, Kentucky and Memphis, en route to a ninth-place finish in the final driver standings. Backing a portion of the #62 team’s 2010 efforts will again be the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.(1-9-2010)
  • Trip Bruce resigns from RWR; looking toward Truck Series: UPDATE: Hearing that Trip Bruce has resigned his position as crew chief for Rusty Wallace Inc. and is now looking to pursue other opportunities in either the Camping World Truck Series or elsewhere in NASCAR.(1-9-2010)
    UPDATE: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing announced that New York native, Scott McDougall has been named crew chief for Steve Wallace and RWR’s #66 team, effective immediately. McDougall originally joined RWR in late 2009, after serving as engineer for CJM Racing’s #11 team.(RWR PR)(1-9-2010)
  • Shepherd to run fan car at Daytona: Morgan Shepherd’s Faith Motorsports crew is working hard getting cars readied for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule and will kick off the new year by honoring its fans with its entry at Daytona in February. Shepherd will be fielding a “Fans for Faith” entry during the season opener, whereby fans, businesses, churches and others can share in the excitement of kicking of the 2010 season. “We wanted to do something that would honor all of our fans and let them share in becoming a sponsor,” Shepherd said. “We have created a program that will let individuals, churches, schools, charities and virtually anyone to become a sponsor in the biggest race of the year for just $100.” Shepherd said sponsorship packages are just $100 for Daytona and include the sponsor’s name written 1.25 inches high by 5 inches long on the race car. Sponsors also will receive an autographed post card and a free team t-shirt for participating.(Race With Faith PR)(1-8-2010)
  • Oreo / Ritz join Stewart-Haas Racing; Stewart in Daytona Nationwide race: Longtime NASCAR sponsor Kraft Foods has added another chapter to its illustrious motorsports career by joining Stewart-Haas Racing, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by two-time champion Tony Stewart. Kraft Foods’ iconic Oreo cookie and Ritz cracker brands will herald the new relationship with Stewart-Haas Racing as the team’s official cookie and cracker. Stewart will carry Ritz branding on the upper chest of his uniform and on the B-post of his #14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevy. Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Ryan Newman will carry Oreo branding on the upper chest of his uniform and on the B-post of his #39 U.S. Army/Tornados/Haas Automation Chevy. Stewart will kick off the pairing in February at Daytona International Speedway by competing in the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race behind the wheel of the #4 Oreo/Ritz Chevy. Kraft Foods will augment the partnership by continuing to be an official NASCAR sponsor with Oreo maintaining its role as the official cookie of NASCAR and Ritz remaining as the official cracker of NASCAR.(SHR)(1-7-2010)
  • Sorenson, Vickers to share #32 ride: Braun Racing announced the 2010 driver line-up for the #32 Dollar General Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Brian Vickers and Reed Sorenson will share time at the helm of the #32 Dollar General Toyota. Crew chief Trent Owens will return for his sixth year at Braun Racing to lead the Dollar General team. Vickers, 26, returns to Braun Racing for his fourth consecutive season. Sorenson joined Braun Racing in 2009, driving the #32 Dollar General entry at Gateway. His stellar performance earned his return to the seat at Phoenix International Raceway, in addition to three starts in the #10 Braun Racing Camry.(Braun Racing PR), Vickers will run at least 10 races and Sorenson will run 23, with two races (Montreal and Road America) to be determined.(1-7-2010)
  • Front Row Motorsports Nationwide team still up in the air: Front Row Motorsports announced it will continue its growth by adding an additional full-time Sprint Cup program in 2010. The teams will be the newest members of Ford Racing and receive engines from Roush/Yates Racing Engines and technical support from Ford Racing. The team also confirmed that Travis Kvapil will pilot the Long John Silver’s Ford and Kevin Conway, who will compete for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors, will drive a second full-time entry in the Sprint Cup Series with sponsorship to be announced in the coming weeks. Both teams will make their debut at the Daytona 500 in February.(Front Row Motorsports PR), am told that Front Row is capable of running the Nationwide team again this season, but is still looking to put pieces together.(1-6-2010)

  • NASCAR announces tire test; rules changes: NASCAR announced the addition of a verification tire test for the NASCAR Nationwide Series new car on, May 18-19 at Daytona International Speedway, in addition to some key rule changes for the 2010 season. The test will verify the type of tire Goodyear will provide for the Nationwide Series new car for its first race, set for July 2 at Daytona. That will be the first of four events for the new car this season. Others include Aug. 14 at Michigan International Speedway, Sept. 10 at Richmond International Raceway and Oct. 23 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The new car is targeted for full integration into the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011. “Since this is an open test, there will be plenty of opportunities for the teams to get the information necessary to dial their cars in for the upcoming new car events,” said Joe Balash, director of the NASCAR Nationwide Series. “This also will be a final verification of our shock, spring and engine packages for the new car.” The new car previously has tested at Talladega Superspeedway, Richmond and Charlotte. A rain date, if necessary, will be May 20. The tire lease program will remain the same in 2010 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series with these new options available to teams: Tires will continue to be transferred between events with the same D-codes as recommended by Goodyear; The transfer of tires between the different national series at combination events with the same D-codes will be permitted; At track, Goodyear will provide surplus tires. Goodyear will notify teams weeks in advance of availability.
    AND: Additionally, NASCAR announced that beginning with the 2010 season-opening race at Daytona on Feb. 13, the NASCAR Nationwide Series will institute crew member limits similar to the program the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series utilized last season. Teams will be limited to 15 crew members for each event, including the driver, crew chief, spotter and seven over-the-wall team members each race weekend throughout the season. Teams also will not be required to provide a scorer. “The crew limits are a direct result of the continuing dialogue we have with our series owners to reduce at-track costs,” Balash said. “The program was successful in the truck series and we anticipate that same result.” Another change involves the sealed-engine rule. This year, a team will run no more than two consecutive races without using an engine previously sealed by NASCAR officials. This excludes events at Daytona and Talladega. Last year, teams were to run no more than three consecutive races without using a sealed engine.(NASCAR PR)(1-5-2010)
  • Kevin Kidd named crew chief for JGR #20 team: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that Kevin Kidd has been named crew chief for its #20 NASCAR Nationwide Series entry. Kidd replaces Dave Rogers who was named crew chief for JGR’s #18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in November. Kidd joins JGR after spending the previous four years in engineering with Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM). Most recently he has been in the Vehicle Dynamics Department working with the test team. Previously he worked on the #19 car of Elliott Sadler as race engineer. He has also served as crew chief in the Nationwide series during the 2008 season with driver Chase Miller. Prior to joining RPM, Kidd served as a race engineer for DEI, and before that he was a car chief at Penske Jasper Racing. The #20 Nationwide Series Toyota entry for JGR will carry sponsorship from GameStop, Interstate Batteries, SportClips, and Pizza Ranch in 2010. While the driver schedule is still being finalized, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Matt DiBenedetto are expected to share the duties behind the wheel next season.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(1-5-2010)
  • Deese Racing and Bios Life announce deal: Bios Life and their line of Smart Energy Drinks announce that they are bringing their unique brand of Energy to the Nationwide Series and to NASCAR fans around the world. “This is a huge step for us and we are so pumped up and ready to race,” stated Paul Kero, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing for Bios Life. “Duane and his Team have an outstanding program that we are excited to be part of and to be able to bring our product and the unique opportunities our company presents to the NASCAR fans is a privilege. We look forward to a very successful season this year and beyond. Deese Racing Enterprises is set to compete in the full 2010 Nationwide Series schedule starting at Daytona, February 13th. Announcements regarding Crew Chief, Driver and manufacturer will be coming in the next few days as the team prepares for a championship run in the weeks ahead. For more information visit www.deeseracingent.com or www.smartenergyracing.com.(Deese Racing PR)(1-5-2010)
  • Steve Wallace could run some truck races for Ballew: Waltrip, who is scheduled to run only select Cup events in 2010 with the Michael Waltrip Racing team he co-owns with Rob Kauffman, has been in discussions with team owner Billy Ballew about a full-time ride in the Camping World Truck Series, Ballew said in a phone interview with www.SceneDaily.com on Monday morning. Waltrip, however, sounded less intent on a full Truck season when asked about his plans Monday afternoon. “He’s working on sponsorship, and if it comes through, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll run a couple races for him,” the two-time Daytona 500 champion said of Ballew. Ballew expects an announcement about Waltrip’s future with BMM by Jan. 15 and is still in the process of securing funding for Waltrip and a second driver, Aric Almirola. Ballew said that Steve Wallace, who is slated to return to Rusty Wallace Racing in the Nationwide Series, is also “still in the mix” for a part-time Truck ride for BMM.(SceneDaily.com)(1-4-2010)

  • Full Nationwide season for Harvick? UPDATE: Defending Nationwide Series champion Kyle Busch says he still plans on running 25 races next season but is tempted to try the full schedule again after learning Cup drivers Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick also might try to run both series full time. “We can’t let Carl and Kevin walk over everyone,” Busch said with a laugh. “We’ve got to give them a run for their money.”(USA Today)(12-12-2009)
    UPDATE: There’s also been talk that Kevin Harvick would return and run every race in 2010, but he says that isn’t so.(SceneDaily)(1-2-2010)