NASCAR Camping World Truck Series News & Rumors
January 2011 Archives
- Wauters not absorbed by VAR/BBM; looking at options: Longtime NASCAR Crew Chief, Richie Wauters, was not absorbed in the recent merger between Billy Ballew Motorsports and Vision Air Racing. Wauters, who has been with Ballew Motorsports since January 2004, brought the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team to their first victory in 2004 with Shane Hmiel. Wauters went on to lead the team to 17 more wins with drivers Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola during his tenure. “We were hoping to get something going before Daytona,” Richie Wauters said. “But at this time there isn’t anything, so I need to keep my options open for 2011.”(RWM PR)(1-31-2011)
- Images added: Images of the #2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet to be driven by Elliott Sadler in 2011 and the #33 Steak-umm Chevrolet to be driven by Ron Hornaday Jr were posted. Added renderings for the #17-K&N Toyota with driver Timothy Peters; #7-Stemco Duroline Toyota & #7-K&N Toyota with driver Miguel Paludo. Check them out via the 2011 NCWTS Paint Schemes page.(1-31-2011)
- RHR’s Peters & Paludo test at WDW Speedway: Red Horse Racing and drivers Timothy Peters and Miguel Paludo kicked off the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season with a test this week hosted by Toyota at Walt Disney World Speedway. The goal of the two-day test was two-fold: Refine the team’s chassis setup for the 2011 season and continue to build communication between drivers, crew chiefs and team members. Peters, 30, who will drive the No. 17 Tundra in 2011 with Crescent Tools and K&N Filters as sponsors, has a new crew chief in Butch Hylton. Paludo, a 27-year-old from Brazil, joins Red Horse for a full-time effort in the No. 7 Toyota this season. Paludo will compete for the truck series rookie-of-the-year title with Rick Gay as his crew chief. While Peters is an established driver in the truck series, with two career victories and a sixth-place finish in the points last year, Paludo will try to make a name for himself in NASCAR. He competed in four truck races a year ago, finishing ninth in his NASCAR debut at Bristol Motor Speedway and ninth in the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(Red Horse Racing PR)(1-29-2011)
- Steak-umm onboard with Hornaday: Four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Ron Hornaday and the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado he drives will be all decked out in Steak-umm branding when the 2011 series debuts on February 18. Steak-umm Company, LLC, is sponsoring Kevin Harvick Inc.’s No. 33 Chevrolet for the series’ season opener at the Daytona International Speedway as well as the April 22 race in Nashville and the October 29 event in Martinsville, Virginia. The truck, Hornaday’s firesuit, and banners on both the pit wall and in the pit box will prominently feature the Steak-umm name and logo.(Steak-umm.com)(1-31-2011)
- SS Green Light Racing set for 2011 with Starr: Series veteran David Starr will return to the SS Green Light team this February in Daytona, rounding the track in his Zachry No. 81 Toyota Tundra. SS Green Light made a manufacturer switch to Toyota in 2010, as Starr joined the team for the final ten races of the season, finishing with three top-tens and placing ninth in the final driver standings. Starr will race with primary sponsorship from longtime supporter, San Antonio-based Zachry Holdings, Inc. for fifteen races in the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The team is currently negotiating with several potential sponsors to fill the remaining races in Starr’s 25-race NCWTS schedule. Jason Miller will call the shots for Starr from atop the No. 81 pit box with the assistance of new team engineer Matt (Slash) Faukner. The trio of Miller, Faulkner and Starr were together for the first half of the 2009 season and collaborated to put Starr in the top-five point standings. The SS Green Light team has one of the longest tenures in the NCWTS with 245 consecutive starts dating back to 2001. The team is planning to run the No. 07 and No. 81 Toyota Tundra entries this year after running all four manufacturers in various events last season. The team will use Toyota power from Joey Arrington’s REP Engines.(SS Green Light Racing PR)(1-28-2011)
- Full time for KBM’s #18; Busch in for 15: Kyle Busch Motorsports will defend its 2010 owners championship in the Camping World Truck Series, team owner Kyle Busch said Thursday. Busch will run 15 races while Brian Ickler or a sponsored young driver will run the other 10. “We’re full-time in the [No.] 18 truck,” Busch said while at Joe Gibbs Racing for the Sprint Media Tour. “We’re not all sold out yet. All my races are sold out, but we’re still looking for more associates or for the other 10 races that I’m not running, whether it be with Brian Ickler or whether it be with another young driver who seems to have a sponsor that wants to follow him.”In addition to the 15 truck races, Busch said he will drive about 20-22 Nationwide events.(SceneDaily.com)(1-28-2011)
- Skinner out at RMM? Kvapil in? UPDATE 3 Formal announcement, Kvapil to RMM: We’re hearing this afternoon that Mike Skinner has been let go from Randy Moss Motorsports. This ends a two year relationship. We’re also hearing Travis Kvapil is the likely replacement for Skinner at RMM. Kvapil’s last full season in the Truck Series was 2007 with Roush Fenway Racing. He spent 2010 driving for Front Row Motorsports in the Cup Series.(TheNASCARInsiders.com)(12-18-2010)
UPDATE: Former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Mike Skinner is saying little about published reports that he has been released by Randy Moss Motorsports with a year remaining on his contract. Skinner told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody only that, “I still have a contract with Randy Moss Motorsports through 2011.” He declined to comment further, citing ongoing negotiations between himself and the team. The 2010 season was disappointing one for Skinner, with an eighth-place finish in points and only two Top-5 finishes in 25 starts. His best finishes were a pair of fourth-place showings at Texas and Bristol Motor Speedways. While Skinner remains silent, sources within Randy Moss Motorsports say he is unlikely to drive for the team again in 2011. Multiple sources say the team is negotiating with former series champion Travis Kvapil about replacing Skinner, with an official announcement expected once the details of Skinner’s exit are finalized. Kvapil drove for Front Row Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2010, finishing 35th in points.(Sirius-Speedway.com)(12-20-2010)
UPDATE: During the Sirius-Speedway broadcast, it was confirmed that Mike Skinner will not be returning to the #5-Randy Moss Motorsports Toyota in 2011, and is currently looking for another ride with a Toyota team. A formal announcement from Randy Moss Motorsports naming Travis Kvapil as driver, with Rick Viers as crew chief, is expected soon.(1-18-2011)
UPDATE 3: Travis Kvapil will join Randy Moss Motorsports to race for his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship during the 2011 season. The Janesville, Wis., native will pilot the No. 5 International Truck/Monaco RVs Toyota Tundra with veteran crew chief Rick Viers leading the team. Kvapil, the 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, has been a dominant force when racing in the truck series since his 2001 debut. In 132 starts, the 34-year-old has collected nine wins, four poles and led nearly 900 laps; all while maintaining an average start of 9.4 and an average finish of 9.8. In his five full seasons of NCWTS competition, the Wisconsin native has never finished outside of the top-10 in the championship point standings. Rick Viers joins Randy Moss Motorsports from Roush Fenway Racing where he served as a crew chief in the NASCAR Nationwide Series throughout the last 21 races of the 2010 season. Travis Kvapil will make his debut with Randy Moss Motorsports next month at Daytona International Speedway. The No. 5 International Trucks/Monaco RVs Toyota Tundra will also sport a new paint scheme which will be used throughout the 2011 season.(Randy Moss Motorsports PR)(1-28-2011)
- NASCAR announces changes for series in 2011: Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, made the announcements at the NASCAR Hall of Fame during NASCAR’s annual media event as part of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour.
The new points system — which applies to all NASCAR national series — will award points in one-point increments. As an example, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, race winners will earn 43 points, plus three bonus points for the win. Winners also can earn an extra point for leading a lap and leading the most laps, bringing their total to a possible maximum of 48 points. All other drivers in a finishing order will be separated by one-point increments. A second-place finisher will earn 42 points, a third-place driver 41 points, and so on. A last-place finisher — 43rd place — earns one point. In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the last-place finisher receives eight points, to account for that series’ 36-driver race field.
Pick a Series— Drivers in all three national series now must select the series where they’ll compete for a driver championship. Drivers still may compete in multiple series and help their teams win owner titles in series where they’re not competing for a driver title. The move helps spotlight young talent in the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
New Qualifying Procedure –The qualifying order will be set based upon slowest to fastest practice speeds.
Inclement Weather Qualifying — If bad weather cancels qualifying, the final starting lineup will be determined by practice speeds. The same rule book procedures will be used to determine eligibility to start a race. If weather cancels practice sessions, then the starting lineup will be set by points, per the rule book.
Closed Loop Fueling System— Introduced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, this goes into effect for all three national series in 2011. It combines a more efficient fueling system with the elimination of the catch-can man, considered the most “vulnerable” pit-crew member. Teams now will use six, rather than seven, over-the-wall pit-crew members.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(1-26-2011)
- Gaughan kickstarting Daytona experience with 24 Hours of Daytona: As many NASCAR drivers are taking in their last moments of relaxation before the start of the racing season, Brendan Gaughan has joined the list of race car drivers anxious to start their 2011 season early. Gaughan will make his debut in the 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona. The rookie driver will be in veteran company taking turns behind the wheel of the No. 67 TRG/Sargent & Lundy/South Point Hotel & Casino Porsche. He plans to keep his fans in the loop by ‘tweeting’ about his first 24 Hour experience on his Twitter page (@Brendan62). The Las Vegas native has had the opportunity to test with the No. 67 entry for the Rolex 24, and with Germain Racing and the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Tundra team in recent days. Gaughan discusses the differences. Gaughan is a rookie in the 24 hour event, but his team has collected several wins, and his co-drivers have helped his learning curve.(Germain Racing PR)(1-26-2011)
- Owens to make series debut at Daytona: A little over a week ago, Alli Owens announced on her social media channels that she intended to make her NASCAR debut in the Camping World Truck Series at her home track, the Daytona International. Owens announced today she will indeed make her debut in NASCAR during the NextEra Energy Resources 250 driving for Ray Hackett Racing, an experienced team based out of Salisbury, N.C. Owens was able to raise the funds after getting support from Mullinax Ford, a dealership from New Smyrna, Fla.; local Daytona Beach area chapters of the IBEW and NECA to promote www.thequalityconnection.org, a website dedicated to the National Labor-Management Cooperation Committee of the Electrical Construction Industry; and also her fans, who helped her raise enough funds to complete the sponsorship needed. Owens has three top-10 finishes in the ARCA Series and started on the outside pole at Daytona in the series in 2009.(Alli Owens PR)(1-25-2011)
- Nadeau to coach/mentor Jeffrey Earnhardt: UPDATE Lax named as crew chief: Jeffrey Earnhardt’s chances of rookie of the year just went up significantly with the hire of former Sprint Cup driver, Jerry Nadeau not only as a driving coach but as a mentor. Jeffrey Earnhardt, 4th generation NASCAR driver & grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., seems to be making all the right moves as he continues his independent climb towards the top. Nadeau will be mentoring Jeffrey not only on track at the races, but off track as well. Nadeau no longer races but has successfully taken on the role of mentor before. In 2006 Nadeau worked with rookie David Gilliland, who went on to win the Meijer 300. Jeffrey Earnhardt will be competing a full season in the #1 Rick Ware Racing Fuel Doctor Chevy in the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and will be racing at Daytona’s Rolex 24 on January 28th and again at Daytona in the NCWTS on February 18th. Earnhardt will also have a weekly show on Sirius radio Sunday evening with Claire B Lang, however, there will be a special airing of his first interview tonight at 8:00pm/et.(Jeffrey Earnhardt PR)(1-19-2011)
UPDATE: Rick Ware Racing has named Joe Lax as crew chief for Jeffrey Earnhardt and the #1 Fuel Doctor Chevy in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during 2011. Lax has worked for such organizations as Billy Hagan Racing, Don Beverly Racing, A.G. Dillard Motorsports, Clement Racing and Joe Bessey Motorsports before finding a home at Bill Davis Racing in 2000. Career highlights include a Southern 500 win as well as a Daytona 500 victory with Ward Burton in 2002. Lax then moved on to Hendrick Motorsports Nationwide program and eventually to Tommy Baldwin Racing before taking over the crew chief duties for Mike Skinner in 2008.(RWR/Jeffrey Earnhardt PR)(1-24-2011)
- Johanna Long formally announces full-season run: Panhandle Motorsports announces plans to race the entire 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule, beginning with the first four NASCAR-sanctioned events. 18-year-old driver from the Panhandle stable, Johanna Long – fresh off a successful learning season in the NCWTS and a confidence-building historic win at the 43rd Annual Snowball Derby – will pilot the No. 20 Panhandle Motorsports Toyota Tundra. Long, is returning to the NCWTS with two goals in mind – to continue to gain experience at the 25 Series tracks, many of which are a first time for the young driver; and to race for the Rookie of the Year in 2011. She will begin by cutting her teeth at some of the most challenging tracks of the Series – Daytona International Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, Darlington Raceway and Martinsville Speedway. Continuing the national Girl Scouts of the USA partnership this year – with over 4 million young women in empowering programs across the world – Long will also continue to inspire local Girl Scouts in each city she races. The groundbreaking teenage driver will continue to speak about her journey in motorsports, hard work and determination in whatever they choose to do in life. She will also have her “honorary pit crew” members cross the stage with her at driver introductions at various racetracks.(Johanna Long PR)(1-24-2011)
- Viva Motorsports & Corrie Stott Racing partner: UPDATE image added: Viva Motorsports and Corrie Stott Racing announced a partnership agreement to run a limited schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series. Jimmy Dick, owner of Viva Motorsports and Corrie Stott, owner of Corrie Stott Racing have joined forces to support 21 year old driver Jamie Dick in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for a limited number of events in 2011. After starting in go carts in 2000 and progressing through a number of different series over the last 10 years, Jamie has moved to the Camping World Truck Series with several starts over the past couple of years. He will now continue his driving development under the leadership of new crew chief Corrie Stott making his 2011 debut February 18th at Daytona International Speedway for the Nextera Energy Resources 250. .Viva Auto Group, a prominent automotive force in the southwest, will continue their sponsorship of Jamie as they did through the 2010 season. Both Viva and Stott are working diligently to secure additional sponsorship funding to extend their 2011 effort. Viva Motorsports has not set a final 2011 schedule yet, but plans to run 7-10 races [truck #02] in the Truck Series initially.(Viva/Corrie Stott Racing PR)(1-20-2011)
UPDATE: Rendering of the #2 Viva Motorsports Chevrolet has been added. Check it out via the #2 NCWTS Paint Schemes Page.(1-24-2011)
- Bass Pro founder inducted into Ozark Area Racer’s HoF: Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris will be inducted into the Ozark Area Racer’s Reunion “Hall of Fame” Saturday, January 22nd during a special ceremony beginning at 7pm. The 24th annual event will be at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds E-Plex in Springfield, Missouri-a site famous for its great speedways and number of racing legends and pioneers that got their start in the Midwest. Special guests scheduled to attend the ceremony include RCR’s Austin Dillon, driver of the Bass Pro Shops #3 Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and racing legends, original “Alabama Gang” members Red Farmer and Bobby Allison. Beginning with the first Bass Pro Shops sponsorship with Richard Childress of the #3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo driven by Dale Earnhardt in 1998, and continuing to the stellar 2010 season that saw Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray take the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400, for well over a decade Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops have been involved with NASCAR. They have partnered with some of the biggest names in racing–Earnhardt/Ganassi Racing, Richard Childress, Tony Stewart, Jamie McMurray, Juan Montoya , Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon and Steve Kinser-all in an effort to help promote the great outdoors. Morris will be inducted as a “Pioneer.”(Richard Childress Racing PR)(1-22-2011)
- Coulter truck #, crew chief, image: On the Richard Childress Racing website, the truck number for Rookie, Joey Coulter is listed as #22. Also noted; veteran NASCAR crew chief Harold Holly joins Joey Coulter in the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series following two successful seasons together in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. Image of the #22-RCR Chevrolet is posted on the #22 NCWTS Paint Schemes Page. [Past news on Coulter joining RCR is posted on the 2010 December News Archives Page.](Richard Childress Racing.com)(1-17-2011)
- 2011 Image added: First 2011 truck photo added. The #3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boat Chevrolet being driven by Austin Dillon is posted on the #3 NCWTS Paint Schemes Page.(1-14-2011)
- Fontaine to make first Daytona series start: Chris Fontaine and the Glenden Enterprises #84 NCWTS team are preparing their #84 NCWTS Toyota Tundra truck for the race at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2011. This will be the first time Fontaine has raced in a NCWTS race at Daytona and his second race at the track. It will be his 25th career start in NCWTS. In the last NCWTS race he ran, Chris Fontaine led the October 2010 race at Talladega three times for a total of 15 laps. Regarding plans for running the full NCWTS schedule of races this year, Chris Fontaine said, “We are going to take it one race at a time.”(Chris Fontaine PR)(1-14-2011)
- Mattioli to trucks in 2011: Chase Mattioli will be competing in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series in 2011, starting a Daytona on February 18th, as well as selected NASCAR Nationwide Series events. Team and details to be announced in the coming weeks. Mattioli, a 21 year old Fordham University junior and NASCAR driver, will be the featured speaker on Tuesday, January 18th for the monthly luncheon of the Madison Avenue Sports Car Driving & Chowder Society [details are posted on the Jayski Appearances Page].(Chase Mattioli PR)(1-13-2011)
- Menards & Crafton partner for tenth consecutive season: Menards is again partnering with ThorSport Racing’s No. 88 and driver Matt Crafton for the tenth consecutive season, which is now the longest team/primary sponsor relationship in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history. ThorSport Racing will also announce a co-primary sponsor for its No. 13 team and driver Johnny Sauter during the ThorSport Racing Media Day being held at the team’s facilities in Sandusky, Ohio on February 3, 2011. ThorSport Racing reached numerous milestones in 2010, including its 500th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Pocono, and became the first NCWTS-only team in series history to place two drivers among the top five in the final championship standings (Sauter was third with Crafton fourth). ThorSport Racing has competed in the NCWTS since 1996 (fulltime since 1998), and since 2000 has been the only team to do so based in Ohio.(ThorSport Racing PR)(1-12-2011)
- Martin set for two with Turner Motorsports: Turner Motorsports is pleased to announce the addition of racing legend, Mark Martin, to its 2011 driver line-up. Martin will pilot the No. 32 Dollar General Impala in NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway with crew chief, Trent Owens, calling the shots. He will also drive the No. 32 Silverado in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Michigan International Speedway and Pocono Raceway. “The races we picked for both series are personal favorites of mine. I’d love to win another truck race, and I’ve got to get back to Victory Lane in the Dollar General car so I can keep Kyle [Busch] from breaking my Nationwide Series record,” Martin joked.(Turner Motorsports PR)(1-12-2011)
- Lofton to run SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge: Camping World Truck Series racer Justin Lofton will return to his roots this weekend, racing a Class 1 Unlimited buggy in the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge in Laughlin, Nevada. Before making the move to asphalt ovals, Lofton followed in his father Bob’s footsteps, racing in the open, sandy desert. The talent proved hereditary, with the younger Lofton also becoming one to reckon with in off-road racing. In 2004, he earned the Best in the Desert Rookie of the Year honors in addition to three wins in the Desert Buggy Class, as well as the Class 1000 championship. This weekend’s SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge is a three-day event, which kicks off on Friday with practice, followed by the Laughlin Leap. The race itself will take place on Saturday and Sunday. Following this weekend’s SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, 24-year-old Lofton will prepare for his inaugural charity golf tournament on January 22nd [complete details are posted on the Jayski Charities Page].(Justin Lofton PR)(1-12-2011)
- Marks returns to series with Turn One Racing: Turn One Racing announced today that Justin Marks will drive the #66 Chevrolet Silverado full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, starting with the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 18th. The team has also signed a new major primary sponsor for Marks’ Silverado; however details will be announced leading up to the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at the “World Center of Speed”. “We are very happy to have Justin join our driver lineup this season,” said Team Owner, Stacy Compton. “He is coming off a very successful year in the ARCA Racing Series where he proved his talents as a driver. Adding Justin to our driver lineup will help build our program and put us in a position to win races and championships in the future.” Marks made his NASCAR debut in the Camping World Truck Series in 2007 and ran a partial schedule in 2008, where he claimed the pole at Texas Motor Speedway. In total, Marks has made 22 starts in the series. Over the last three years, Marks has also competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, where he has made seven starts. Former race winning crew chief and NASCAR veteran Doug Wolcott will lead the team in 2011. Wolcott was most recently a crew chief at Randy Moss Motorsports where he called the shots for drivers Tayler Malsam and David Starr, among others. Prior to joining RMM, Wolcott was a crew chief at Bill Davis Racing, where he guided driver Scott Speed to a win at Dover in May of 2008 and helped that truck to 11th place in the owners’ standings with four different rookie drivers.(Turn One Racing PR)(1-11-2011)
- Drivers must choose series to run for championship: Drivers in NASCAR’s three national series will have to elect a single championship to chase in 2011, eliminating the ability of drivers such as Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards and Paul Menard — who were full-time double-dippers in 2010 — to chase two championships at once. NASCAR has scheduled a “competition update” on Jan. 21 with NASCAR president Mike Helton and vice president for competition Robin Pemberton as part of the “Preseason Thunder” Sprint Cup test session at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp declined to comment on the change in 2011 license applications Monday except to say, “I’m sure we can answer all your questions at our competition update.” But when Kenny Wallace picked up his 2011 NASCAR competition, membership and license application last Saturday while taking a break from a Grand-Am Rolex Series test at Daytona, he knew at least one rumor was true. Wallace stopped on his way to the U.S. Post Office on Monday to tear open his license application and read the news. “The brand-new license forms that are out, there’s a box and in it, it states that you have to mark — put an X — what championship you’re running for,” Wallace said, quoting his application. “A driver will only be permitted to earn driver championship points in one (1) of the following three series: NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Please select the series in which you would like to accumulate driver championship points. Choose one.”(NASCAR.com)(1-11-2011)
- KHI announces Piquet’s crew chief/number: Kevin Harvick Inc. announced today that NASCAR veteran Chris Carrier will lead the organization’s third Truck Series team as crew chief in 2011. The addition to the KHI stable, which will carry the No. 8, will be driven full time by Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet Jr. Carrier, who has more than 30 years of experience in the sport, has wins as a crew chief in each of NASCAR’s top-three series. The Bristol, Tennessee native began his career in grassroots racing at the local level as a teenager and graduated from East Tennessee State University with a degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology. Carrier has served as crew chief at Morgan McClure Motorsports, Andy Petree Racing and Penske Racing. The 50 year old most recently led Penske’s driver development program with driver Parker Kligerman. For KHI, the choice of the No. 8 also carries significance for both the driver and co-owner Kevin Harvick. “The No. 8 was my very first go-kart number when I started racing, so it was always a number I wanted our team to use,” said Harvick. “Nelson had also mentioned to me that he liked the number since he grew up racing the No. 33, and the curves of the No. 8 are reminiscent of that number. All in all it seemed like a good fit.” Piquet will begin his full-time Truck Series effort in the No. 8 on February 18 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway with sponsorship to be announced at a later date.(Kevin Harvick Inc. PR) [Past news regarding KHI’s signing Piquet is posted on the December 2010 Archives Page.]1-10-2011)
- Lucas Oil Products acquires naming rights to O’Reilly Raceway Park: Lucas Oil Products has acquired the naming rights to the NHRA-owned and operated multi-purpose auto racing facility located just west of Indianapolis. The multi-year track entitlement agreement gives Lucas Oil Products naming rights to the legendary facility, host of the famed Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, the world’s most prestigious drag race, and the Kroger SpeedFest, which showcases NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races as well as USAC and ARCA Series races during a single weekend. Selected as one of the world’s top 12 “Shrines to Speed” by RACER Magazine, Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis thrives as one of the busiest auto racing venues in the United States and features a world-class drag strip, .686-mile asphalt oval and a 2.5-mile road course.(NHRA PR)(1-10-2011)
- Lofton joins Germain Racing for 2011: UPDATE to run full season: After a solid rookie season in 2010, 24-year-old Justin Lofton will join Germain Racing for his sophomore effort in 2011, racing a Germain entered No. 77 Toyota Tundra full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. “I am very excited to be teaming up with Germain Racing. Fresh off of their 2010 championship, it was clear to me that Germain was the best place for me,” Lofton said. Lofton, who hails from Southern California, earned the 2009 ARCA Racing Series championship after winning six of the 21 races. He moved full time to NASCAR last year, notching four top-five and eight top-10 finishes with a best finish of third, giving him a solid 12th place finish in the driver point standings.(Justin Lofton PR)(1-7-2011)
UPDATE: Lofton had previously stated he planned to run 8-10 races in 2011, but a representative for Lofton has stated he will run the entire 2011 season with Germain Racing.(1-10-2011)
- New team to make Cup/Truck debut: UPDATE 2 Cup starts for Starr; plus full-time trucks: Tyler, Texas natives, Bob Leavine and Lance Fenton have partnered up to form Leavine Fenton Racing. The team will compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series throughout the 2011 season. Leavine Fenton Racing will run Fords from their Concord, N.C. based shop with the help of a highly respected crew chief and an experienced driver. The team number will be No. 95 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Leavine is the owner of WRL General Contractors, Ltd. and has been involved in racing for many years. WRL General Contractors, Ltd. has been in operation for over 30 years. The company’s services include construction of commercial, institutional, and industrial projects by using construction management, competitive bid, or design build delivery methods. Fenton is the owner of Fenton Motor Group in Tyler, Texas and Phoenix Design and Manufacturing, LLC in Oklahoma City, Okla. He has raced and owned race teams since the mid 80’s. Last year, he made his debut in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Leavine and Fenton will soon be announcing their driver, crew chief and sponsorships.(Leavine Fenton Racing PR)(1-7-2011)
UPDATE: David Starr will drive six Cup races Fenton in for three truck races; Wally Rogers will be crew chief. The cars will be Roush/Yates engines. As of right now they plan to run the following races in the Cup Series; two Charlotte Motor Speedway races, two Texas Motor Speedway races, Kentucky and Chicagoland Speedway. Truck schedule is as follows; two Texas Motor Speedway races; Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Leavine Fenton Racing PR)(1-7-2011)
UPDATE 2: Was told that David Starr will also be returning full time to the #81 truck with SS Green Light Racing in the Camping World Truck Series. Formal announcement expected soon.(1-7-2011)
- Karthikeyan returning to F1: India’s Narain Karthikeyan, who last year made nine starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, is set to return to F1 with HRT this season. He announced the news on Twitter Thursday, saying: “Back in F1 in 2011. Signed a deal to race for HRT. I’ve always maintained that my time in F1 was not over & now making good on that promise.” Last year, in addition to Truck Series racing, he got some single open wheeler mileage in the Superleague series.(SPEEDtv.com)(1-6-2011)
- Papis set to run Rolex 24: Joao Barbosa and two-time overall Rolex 24 winner Terry Borcheller return in the No. 9 Porsche/Riley to defend their 2010 victory, joined by 2002 race winner and 2004 DP class champion Max Papis, 2004 race winner Christian Fittipaldi and JC France. Papis has competed in the top tier of several forms of racing across the world, including Formula 1, CART, IndyCar, and NASCAR’s three national touring series. He has competed in the Rolex Series in both the GT and DP classes since 2000, claiming the DP championship in 2004 with four wins and top 10s in all 12 races with teammate Scott Pruett. In 2002, Papis finished first overall in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in a Dallara-Judd for Doran Lista Racing. This season he will run the full NASCAR Truck Series schedule for Germain Racing.(Action Express PR/Grand-Am.com)(1-5-2011)
- Cobb adding first five Nationwide races to schedule: UPDATE more info: According to a Facebook post by Rick Russell, owner of 2nd Chance Motorsports: “It’s now official, 2nd Chance Motorsports and Jennifer Jo Cobb racing are joining forces for the first 5 Nationwide series races. Jennifer will be driving the #79 Ford Mustang with Roush Yates engines. She will continue to drive her #10 truck in the Camping World Series.”(1-4-2011)
UPDATE: 2nd Chance Motorsports and Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing announce plans for Cobb to pilot the #79 2nd Chance Motorsports Ford Mustang in the first five NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) races of the 2011 season. Cobb finished the 2010 season 17th in NCWTS points and is slated to return to the truck series in her #10 Ford F-150, pulling double duty at Daytona by competing in both NCWTS and the NNS race for 2nd Chance Motorsports. Cobb’s truck crew chief, Steve Kuykendall, will also crew chief for 2nd Chance Motorsports and both teams will provide additional crew members for the efforts at Daytona, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Bristol and California. The teams hope to continue their efforts beyond the first five races on the Nationwide schedule pending further sponsorship.(Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing PR)(1-5-2011)
- Congratulations Kyle and Samantha: The 25-year-old driver of the No.18 M&M’s Camry & owner of Kyle Busch Motorsports exchanged vows with his beautiful fiancee, 24-year old Samantha Sarcinella, on Friday Dec. 31 in Chicago. The service was attended by 300 of their close family and friends, including many in the NASCAR community. The wedding reception followed at the Chicago Cultural Center, as the newly named Mr. and Mrs. Busch and guests celebrated their marriage while also using the opportunity to ring in the New Year together. The couple will take a two-week honeymoon before returning home to North Carolina.(Kyle Busch.com)(1-2-2011)
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Born On Date: January 1, 2011
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