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January 2011 Nationwide Series Archive

 

  • Berry leaves TriStar to crew chief for Gaughan: Bryan Berry has left Tri-Star Motorsports to take a new position as crewchief for Brendan Gaughan’s #62 Germain Racing/South Point Hotel and Casino Toyota on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Berry and Gaughan have a long history together, with at least three different stints as driver and crewchief. Berry sat atop Gaughan’s pit box at South Point Racing beginning in 2006, and later replaced Tony “Rambo” Liberati in the crewchief’s role, accompanying Gaughan to Circle Bar Racing and then to the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Rusty Wallace Racing. (Sirius Speedway)(1-31-2011)

  • Bliss Joins TriStar: TriStar Motorsports announced that veteran NASCAR driver Mike Bliss has joined their organization for the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Bliss will pilot the #19 Chevy along side of teammate Eric McClure in the #14 Hefty Chevy. “It feels good to finalize my plans for the 2011 season by joining the TriStar Motorsports team and to be reunited with Mark (Smith) and Dave (Fuge),” stated Bliss. “In 2002 Dave and I won the Truck Championship with Mark’s engines under the hood. All of us have high expectations for the upcoming season with TriStar.” Bliss has over 500 starts in the top three divisions of NASCAR, with over 200 of those in the Nationwide Series. The 2002 NASCAR Camping World Champion also has two wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (Charlotte Motor Speedway 2004 and 2009). (Integrity Sports Marketing)(1-31-2011)
  • Virginia Savings Plan renews Richmond race sponsorship: Richmond International Raceway officials announced the Virginia College Savings Plan has renewed its partnership with America’s Premier Short Track. The Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race kicks off the Fall NASCAR Doubleheader weekend “under the lights” on Friday night September 9. The Virginia College Savings Plan remains the Official College Savings Plan of the track and presenting sponsor of the Family Sections presented by Virginia 529 College Savings Plan.(RIR)(1-31-2011)
  • Musgrave working on Nationwide deal: Ted Musgrave posted the following on Facebook, “Working on a Nationwide deal for 2011. The last piece of the puzzle is finding 25,000 per race to complete sponsorship of the car. Roush fords and Roush motors ready to race team. Guaranteed starting spot first five races from 2010 points. (TedMusgrave.net)(1-31-2011)

  • Baker Curb suspends operations: Baker Curb Racing, a veteran Nationwide Series team, has suspended operations indefinitely due to lack of funding RacinToday.com has learned. Team co-owner Gary Baker said the team has not officially folded. He said it will re-open its doors if and when a sponsor is found. However, with the season less than a month away and no driver or personnel on board, Baker admitted the outlook is dismal. “As it stands right now, we won’t be racing,” he said. Baker co-owns the team with music mogul Mike Curb. It was known as Brewco Motorsports when they bought it and moved it from Kentucky to Nashville.(Racin’ Today)(1-29-2011)

  • JD Motorsports signs Brad Parrott as crew chief for Mike Wallace: In an effort to build on their momentum from last year, JD Motorsports has signed veteran NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chief Brad Parrott for driver Mike Wallace and their #01 Chevy team. Parrott will take over the running of the shop and pit box duties from team owner Davis. This will allow Davis to concentrate on the overall running of the team and alleviate him from overseeing every aspect of the car preparation during the week and at the track. (JD Motorsports)(1-29-2011)

  • 20+ races for Kyle Busch: #18-Kyle Busch will run a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in 20-22 events in NASCAR’s number two series teaming up with Cup teammates Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano, who will split driving duties in the #20 JGR Camry. The team will also field a full-time Nationwide effort for former truck series driver Brian Scott. (CBS Sports)(1-27-2011)

  • Edwards may not run full Nationwide series: Carl Edwards may not compete in the entire NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011. Last week’s announcement that NASCAR would mandate drivers be eligible for only one championship in 2011 took Edwards from title contention this season. However he told reporters at last week’s Preseason Thunder test session in Daytona he still planned on running the whole series despite the policy change. During Thursday’s NASCAR Sprint Media Tour stop at Roush Fenway Racing, Edwards and team owner Jack Roush both stressed that unless the #60 entry can find sponsorship for the whole year only a partial schedule may be run. “All of our Sprint Cup teams are fully funded for the entire year,” Roush said of the Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and David Ragan fleet in NASCAR’s top series. “We’re planning on running Carl in the Nationwide Series along with Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. But that plan may have to be adjusted for Carl depending on our sponsorship situation.” (CBS Sports)(1-27-2011)
  • Blackwell Angus Beef continues sponsorship of Stenhouse: Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Blackwell Angus Beef will return in 2011 and serve as a primary sponsor for Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and the #6 Nationwide team. Blackwell Angus will be featured on Stenhouse’s Ford Mustang in the season opener at the famed Daytona International Speedway and the car will carry the brand’s paint scheme as its primary for at least eight races this season. Blackwell Angus was the primary sponsor on Stenhouse’s #6 Ford four times last season, with the car finishing inside the top 10 on three occasions, including a season-high third-place finish at Daytona in July.(Roush Fenway PR)(1-27-2011)
  • NASCAR announces changes for 2011 season: NASCAR announced Wednesday that it has added a wild card element to setting the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field and it has simplified its points system for 2011, making it easier for fans, competitors and the industry to understand.
    While the 12-driver Chase field remains intact, the final two spots will be determined by the number of wins during the first 26 races.
    The top 10 in points following Race No. 26 — the “cutoff” race — continue to earn Chase berths.
    Positions 11 and 12 are “wild card” qualifiers and will go to non-top-10-ranked drivers with the most wins, as long as they’re ranked in the top 20 in points. The top-10 Chase drivers will continue to be seeded based on wins during the first 26 races, with each win worth three bonus points. The wild card drivers will not receive bonus points for wins and will be seeded 11th and 12th, respectively. It’s a move aimed towards rewarding winning and consistency during the regular season.
    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 fans tell us that winning matters the most with them, so we’re combining the tradition of consistency in our sport with the excitement that comes along with winning,” said France. “This makes every race count leading into the 26th race of the season at Richmond, when we set the field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”
    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.
    “Many of our most loyal fans don’t fully understand the points system we have used to date,” said France, referencing the system that has been in use since 1975. “So, we are simplifying the points system to one that is much easier to understand. Conceptually, it is comparable to our previous system, but it is easier to follow.”
    During his remarks Wednesday night, France reflected on the outstanding competition the sport enjoyed in 2010 and expected to see that high-caliber of racing to continue once the green flag drops for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 Feb. 20.
    “NASCAR enters 2011 with positive momentum and a great sense of excitement and optimism,” said France. “We’re extremely excited for the launch of the season. Leading the season off with Daytona, Phoenix and Las Vegas, we believe our fans are in store for some of the best racing the sport has to offer.”
    Other competitive enhancements announced Wednesday:
    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)(1-26-2011)

  • Nationwide will qualifying multiple cars at a time: Nationwide will follow the Camping World Truck Series in implementing a procedure that will put multiple cars on the track at the same time during qualifying. How many cars will depend on the size and configuration of the facility. The Cup series will continue to qualify cars one at a time. (Sporting News)(1-26-2011)

  • Future of Jay Robinson Racing up in the air: Jay Robinson Racing’s #28 team’s future for competing in the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Season is uncertain. JRR is currently looking for sponsorship, but with Daytona less than 3 weeks away there is a question to what the future holds. JRR has been preparing cars and engines throughout the winter months and is ready to race. However, currently there is no plans in place to do so.(Jay Robinson Racing PR), am told the status of the #49 team is up in the air as well.(1-26-2011)
  • Arpin looking for 2011 deal: A handful of starts in the #7 JRM Chevy, while Danica Patrick raced in the INDYCAR series, further cemented Steve Arpin’s reputation as a driver destined for bigger and better things. In Toronto this past weekend to accept his Inside Track magazine award as the Canadian racer “competing at the highest level in international competition” Arpin talked about the what now of his blossoming future. “We are talking to JRM, of course, and several other NASCAR teams,” he said. “We also are working again with the Venturini Motorsports ARCA team.” Right now his goal is to put together a sponsorship deal that would put him in a Nationwide car, or Camping World truck, more or less full time in 2011. The Vancouver-based Mike’s Hard Lemonade is still very much a part of this plan. “It would be absolutely fantastic to be a Canadian, racing in the top stock car series in the world with a Canadian company on the car,” he said.(Toronto Sun)(1-25-2011)
  • Wimmer working on Nationwide deal: According to a post on Scott Wimer’s Facebook page, “Scott is in the works of finalizing a contract with a Nationwide team for the 2011 season, information coming soon.”(1-22-2011)
  • Casill to drive for Phoenix at Daytona: According to a post on Phoenix Racing Facebook page, Landon Cassill will drive the #1 Phoenix Racing Chevy in the Nationwide race at Daytona.(1-25-2011)
  • Ruby Tuesday continues sponsorship of Keselowski: After helping the #22 Dodge team and driver, Brad Keselowski, capture the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship, Ruby Tuesday, Inc. has agreed to extend and expand its partnership with Penske Racing this season. The high-quality, casual-dining restaurant chain’s brand will once again adorn the sides of the # 22 Dodge Challenger. Ruby Tuesday will serve as primary sponsor for five races in 2011, beginning with the May 6 event at Darlington Raceway, and co-primary sponsor for four races, beginning with the March 19 race at Bristol Motor Speedway. In addition to its presence in the Nationwide Series, Ruby Tuesday will have prominent placement on the rear deck lid of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger, also driven by Keselowski, in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2011.(Penske PR)(1-24-2011)

  • Hornish will not drive Nationwide for Penske: UPDATES: Sam Hornish Jr. will not be in anything Penske-owned in Daytona. He is basically done. Penske Racing downsized not only Hornish’s NASCAR Sprint Cup organization, but also its Nationwide Series crew.[Penske] cannibalized the #77 crew of Hornish and what was left of the #12 Nationwide crew to make up the best for one with Brad Keselowksi’s organization, whatever they were lacking in Nationwide, but also to beef up what is now the #2 car for Keselowski for the Cup season. (Fox Sports)(1-13-2011)
    UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. will compete in at least 10 NASCAR Nationwide races beginning with the DRIVEFORCOPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, team owner Roger Penske confirmed by email on Saturday. Chad Walters will serve as Hornish’s crew chief in 2011. Hornish, 31, competed in the #77 Dodge for Penske Racing for the past three seasons. The former IndyCar Series champion scored just two top-fives during his Sprint Cup experience, earning both in 2009 when he finished a career-high 28th in the point standings. While Penske had hoped to campaign three Cup teams and two full-time Nationwide efforts in 2011 the recent economic climate and a lack of sponsorship forced the company to scale back.(Fox Sports)(1-15-2011)UPDATE 2: A spokesman for Penske Racing said that the team will make a formal announcement concerning Hornish’s racing schedule for 2011 and his sponsorship on Jan. 24.(Toledo Blade)(1-18-20110)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing announced that Alliance Truck Parts, a leading provider of replacement parts for the commercial transportation industry, will be the primary sponsor of the #12 Dodge Challenger driven by Sam Hornish Jr. for the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series. Hornish raced the Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Charger in the 2010 Nationwide Series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and he is ready to compete for the team again this season. Hornish will drive the Alliance Truck Parts Dodge for Penske Racing in at least eight races in the upcoming Nationwide Series season. The former Indianapolis 500 winner and three-time IndyCar Series champion is expected to compete in at least 10 series races overall in 2011. Specific races will be announced in the coming weeks.(Penske)(1-24-2011)

  • Nationwide scoring system determined: There will be a lot of blanks on Nationwide Series race reports, especially at the top of the sheets. According to NASCAR officials, the only drivers who will receive points in Nationwide races will be those eligible for the series championship. Full-time Sprint Cup drivers running for that title are de facto ineligible. The top Nationwide driver, however, won’t receive first-place points unless he or she wins the race. In other words, if Justin Allgaier runs fourth behind Cup drivers Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick — as was the case in last year’s season-opening Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway — Allgaier will receive fourth-place points and money. Using that same Daytona race as an example, seven of the top 10 finishers would have blanks next to their names in the points column. Only Allgaier, James Buescher (eighth) and Steve Wallace (10th) would have scored points under the current system, which requires drivers to select the one championship they’ll seek before the start of the season, under the new system announced Friday. Should a non-full-time Cup driver win a race and score maximum points, it could have dramatic implications for the series championship. But that happened only twice last year — Allgaier at Bristol and road-course specialist Boris Said at Montreal.(Sporting News)(1-23-2011)

  • Boost Mobile to sponsor Pastrana: Boost Mobile, an industry leader in no-contract wireless service, and Samsung Mobile, the #1 mobile phone provider in the U.S.1, will sponsor Travis Pastrana when the action sports icon embarks on his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in 2011. Pastrana will drive the #99 Boost Mobile Toyota for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing in seven Nationwide Series races this season, including a mid-summer debut in Indianapolis designed to bridge NASCAR with the ESPN X Games. Pastrana plans to compete in at least 20 races in 2012. The Boost Mobile announcement came Friday night at L.A. Live – the sports and entertainment district in downtown Los Angeles. Boost Mobile and longtime Pastrana sponsors Red Bull, DC Shoes and Nixon staged the launch party for 500 fans and members of the media. In addition to Indianapolis, Pastrana plans to race in the following Nationwide Series races: Sept. 9 – Richmond, Va., Oct. 1 – Dover, Del., Oct. 8 – Kansas, Nov. 5 – Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 12 – Phoenix, Nov. 19 – Homestead-Miami. (Pastrana Waltrip Racing), see an image of the car on the #99 team paint scheme page.(1-22-2011)

  • Edwards still plans full season: UPDATES: #60-Carl Edwards plans to run every race in NASCAR’s second-tier Nationwide Series despite not being able to contend for the championship. NASCAR is changing its rules this year, forcing drivers to select one series in which they will race for a championship. Edwards, though, plans to continue racing both series. He says Thursday that the Nationwide owners’ championship and race victories make it worthwhile. Edwards adds that his plan could change based on “whatever looks best for our Cup program.”(Associated Press/ESPN)(1-20-2011)
    UPDATE: When NASCAR released the 2011 license form for drivers, it featured a section where competitors would select a single series to make a title run. Although the conclusion was drawn that current Nationwide Series champ Brad Keselowski and 2007 champ Carl Edwards would not be eligible to earn driver points and contend for the title in that series, as of Thursday afternoon there was no concrete decision by the sanctioning body, according to several sources at Daytona. It appears that Nationwide Insurance, sponsor of NASCAR’s feeder series, supports the inclusion of Keselowski and Edwards for the championship hunt. Track promoters seemed to share the sentiment. Whether or not the sanctioning body grandfathers the two drivers in should be public knowledge by noon Eastern time today.(Fox Sports)(1-21-2011)
    UPDATE: NASCAR president Mike Helton confirmed Friday that drivers will be allowed to race for only one championship this season. The rule is designed to prevent Sprint Cup drivers from dominating the second-tier Nationwide Series. Full-time Cup drivers have won the last five Nationwide titles.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(1-21-2011)
  • Clements plans another Nationwide effort: As the 2011 race season rapidly approaches, the Jeremy Clements Racing camp announces its newly formed partnership with racedaysponsor.com. The team hopes to obtain as much sponsorship possible to run close to a full NNS schedule this season. Look for Jeremy in a new car with a different paint scheme and new number. (Clements PR)(1-20-2011)
  • Limited Nationwide schedule likely for R3 Motorsports: UPDATE: Robert Richardson, Jr. plans to run the Daytona 500 for Front Row Motorsports, just as he did last year for the team, when he finished 31st. Richardson also says that R3 Motorsports, which has attempted the Daytona 500 and other Cup races in the past, currently has no plans to run in the Sprint Cup Series this year. R3 does intend on running at least a partial Nationwide Series schedule this year, but, Richardson says, no firm plans on a schedule of races has been planned. Richardson, though, has not ruled out the possibility of running all of the Nationwide Series races. “If the right opportunities arise, we can run the full season. We will have a better idea by the time Daytona comes around.”(WSBRadio.com)(1-18-2011)
    UPDATE: The original post has been updated regarding the team’s Nationwide Series plans: “R3 does intend on running at least a full Nationwide Series schedule this year, but, Richardson says, no firm plans on a driver and sponsor lineup are in place. “Nothing has been finalized. We are still in search of partnerships with companies who are wanting to advertise in NASCAR,” Richardson told WSB via email. “Walter Giles is listed as our crew chief. We have the capability to run two teams out of our stable. We have currently completed an adition to our shop to house a second team if necessary.” (WSBRadio.com)(1-20-2011)

  • Shepherd, Rowe to drive for Faith Motorsports: UPDATE: Faith Motorsports announced that Morgan Shepherd and Brett Rowe will fill the driver’s seats in a two-car Faith Motorsports effort in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series in 2011. The duo will kick off the 2011 season in the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway in early February with the team attempting to field both entries through at least the first five events of the season. “We will run as long as we can and hope to have both cars locked in after the fifth race,” Shepherd said in making the announcement. “We are building cars and gearing up to have a great season.” Shepherd’s ride will feature multiple paint schemes throughout the season and will bear his historic number, 89. The car will be owned by Shepherd Racing Ventures through his 2010 partnership with Richard Childress in the #21 car. Morgan Shepherd will be listed as the car’s primary owner. Childress will retain the #21 number, however the points will be applied to the #89 car pending NASCAR’s approval. This will result in Shepherd being locked in to the first five races of 2011 as the #89 team in 2011 will be the same team which fielded the #21 in 2010. Shepherd’s car will bear the Racing With Jesus logo on the hood, but the paint schemes will change periodically to coincide with another program the team plans to announce at a later date. Rowe will pilot a second car for which the car number is yet to be approved by NASCAR. His car will be owned by Victory in Jesus Racing with Cindy Shepherd listed as the primary owner. The points from last year’s #89 car will be transferred to Rowe’s car pending NASCAR’s approval as the listed owner will not hange, just the car number. Rowe’s car will be field the consistent green paint scheme historically associated with the #89 entry. It will carry the Racing With Jesus logo on the hood as the #89 car has in past seasons. Both cars will fall under the Faith Motorsports banner. Sponsorships and additional information about the teams’ Daytona efforts will be announced in the coming weeks.(Faith Motorsports PR)(1-10-2011)
    UPDATE: NASCAR informed Faith Motorsports that the second team entry to be driven by Brett Rowe during the 2011 campaign will carry the number 55, the team announced January 18.(Faith Motorsports)(1-18-2011)
  • Limited Nationwide schedule likely for R3 Motorsports: Robert Richardson, Jr. plans to run the Daytona 500 for Front Row Motorsports, just as he did last year for the team, when he finished 31st. Richardson also says that R3 Motorsports, which has attempted the Daytona 500 and other Cup races in the past, currently has no plans to run in the Sprint Cup Series this year. R3 does intend on running at least a partial Nationwide Series schedule this year, but, Richardson says, no firm plans on a schedule of races has been planned. Richardson, though, has not ruled out the possibility of running all of the Nationwide Series races. “If the right opportunities arise, we can run the full season. We will have a better idea by the time Daytona comes around.”(WSBRadio.com)(1-18-2011)
  • Transnet Racing eyeing NNS return: One team that certainly will not run a full Nationwide Series schedule is Morrow, Georgia’s Transnet Racing. Team owner and president Alex Garcia drove the team’s #98 entry in five Nationwide races in 2007 and 2008 (all road courses) with a best finish of 23rd. Garcia, though, is hopeful to bring the team back into NNS action on the road courses after a two-plus year absence. “Plans for this year look to include some ARCA races, Late Model and possibly a couple of Nationwide races with [driver] Giancarlo Serenelli,” Garcia told WSB in an email. Garcia says that fellow Georgian Mike Garvey, who has been involved in NASCAR as both a driver and crew chief the last few years, would crew chief the effort in any series Transnet Racing runs. (WSBRadio.com)(1-18-2011)

  • MacDonald Motorsports looking for 2011 driver: UPDATE: MacDonald Motorsports is still looking for drivers for the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR K&N East Series. The team also has cars available to buy, rent for a test day, or even rent for a race.(MacDonald Motorsports) Michael McDowell drove for the team in 2010.(12-16-2010)
    UPDATE: Another team with an uncertain future is MacDonald Motorsports. After running a full schedule with driver Michael McDowell in the #81 Dodge last season, making the field in all but two races and averaging a 26.7 finish, the team has not announced a driver or sponsor lineup for 2011. A team spokesman tells WSB that details about a driver, crew chief, sponsor, or schedule are still up in the air and unannounced. The team is, according to its website, offering cars for rent for both test sessions and races. This likely is due to an obsolete inventory of racecars, because of NASCAR’s implementation of the Nationwide Car of Tomorrow for every 2011 race, which is a limiting factor in many small teams’ efforts. (WSBRadio.com)(1-18-2011)

  • Hornish will not drive Nationwide for Penske: UPDATES: Sam Hornish Jr. will not be in anything Penske-owned in Daytona. He is basically done. Penske Racing downsized not only Hornish’s NASCAR Sprint Cup organization, but also its Nationwide Series crew.[Penske] cannibalized the #77 crew of Hornish and what was left of the #12 Nationwide crew to make up the best for one with Brad Keselowksi’s organization, whatever they were lacking in Nationwide, but also to beef up what is now the #2 car for Keselowski for the Cup season. (Fox Sports)(1-13-2011)
    UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. will compete in at least 10 NASCAR Nationwide races beginning with the DRIVEFORCOPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, team owner Roger Penske confirmed by email on Saturday. Chad Walters will serve as Hornish’s crew chief in 2011. Hornish, 31, competed in the #77 Dodge for Penske Racing for the past three seasons. The former IndyCar Series champion scored just two top-fives during his Sprint Cup experience, earning both in 2009 when he finished a career-high 28th in the point standings. While Penske had hoped to campaign three Cup teams and two full-time Nationwide efforts in 2011 the recent economic climate and a lack of sponsorship forced the company to scale back.(Fox Sports)(1-15-2011)UPDATE 2: A spokesman for Penske Racing said that the team will make a formal announcement concerning Hornish’s racing schedule for 2011 and his sponsorship on Jan. 24.(Toledo Blade)(1-18-20110)

  • McDowell driving 2 races for JGR: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Michael McDowell will join their team of drivers for the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. McDowell is currently slated to drive in both Nationwide Series races in Iowa for Pizza Ranch behind the wheel of the #18 Toyota Camry with the potential to add additional races to his schedule for JGR. (Joe Gibbs Racing)(1-17-2011)
  • JD Motorsports Team up with GoPro Cameras: JD Motorsports has announced their associate sponsorship with GoPro Cameras. The #01 pit crew will be shooting video of their pit stops using the HD Hero cameras from GoPro. Videos and pictures from these cameras will be on display at jdavismotorsports.com, YouTube, and Facebook.(JD Motorsports)(1-15-2010)
  • Craven in the booth for 7 NNS races: Ricky Craven is moving up the ranks as a NASCAR analyst at ESPN. Craven recently learned that in addition to his in-studio duties for the weekly NASCAR Now series and providing post-race Sprint Cup coverage for ESPN NEWS and SportsCenter, he will be in the booth serving as the color analyst for seven Nationwide Series races this season after doing five last year.(Bangor Daily News)(1-14-2011)

  • Kenny Wallace to RAB UPDATES: Kenny Wallace will announce he is driving a full season for the RAB Racing team in the Nationwide Series, a source close to the team told SB Nation. Wallace had pledged to do everything he could to race in 2011, and he appears to have achieved that goal with RAB. Sponsors (including UNOH, Federated Auto Parts and a corn/soy bean farmer coalition) have signed on for 16 races, and RAB owner Robby Benton has committed to run Wallace in the remaining events, the source said. The union between Wallace and RAB stands to be beneficial to both parties. Wallace gets to race for a team seemingly on the rise after last season’s win with Boris Said at Montreal and an offseason switch to Toyota; RAB gets some much-needed familiarity in its seat after piecing together a schedule that included 14 different drivers last season. In addition to Wallace, the team plans to field a second entry for Said in the three road course races (Montreal, Watkins Glen and Road America).(SB Nation)(12-21-2010)
    UPDATE: RAB Racing with Brack Maggard and veteran driver Kenny Wallace are teaming up to compete full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011. Wallace, who has over 20 years of experience in stock car racing, will make his debut for RAB Racing driving the #09 Toyota Camry beginning on Saturday, February 19, 2011, in the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Currently, RAB Racing has 16 races with primary sponsorship, beginning with the University of Northwestern Ohio at Daytona International Speedway in February. Additional sponsors include Federated Auto Parts and Family Farmers, a coalition of corn and soybean farmers. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the remaining 18 events.(RAB Racing)(12-21-2010)
    UPDATE: RAB Racing with Brack Maggard will have engines from Triad Racing Technologies under the hood of their #09 NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyotas this season. Driver Kenny Wallace told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that the decision was made recently by team owner Robby Benton and crewchief Scott Zipadelli. “I talked to my brother Rusty about Triad, and he absolutely raved about them,” said Wallace. “He said, `Herm, you’ve got to go with Triad or you’re missing the boat.'” Triad currently supplies engines to four other Nationwide teams in addition to RAB, including Rusty Wallace Racing, Germain Racing, Pastrana-Waltrip Racing and NEMCO Motorsports.(Sirius Speedway)(1-14-2011)
  • Triple-duty for Bodine at Daytona: For the first time in his 24-year national series racing career, two-time and defending Camping World Truck Series champion Todd Bodine will compete in all three NASCAR divisions in next month’s Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Bodine will race his championship-winning #30 in the Feb. 18 Truck race; the #15 Nationwide car, which is locked into the field for the Feb. 19 season opener thanks to Michael Annett’s 14th-place finish in the 2010 owners’ points; and owner Larry Gunselman’s #64, which has a technical alliance with the Germains, in the qualifying rounds for the 53rd Daytona 500. Bodine said there was sponsorship in place for all three programs, which has yet to be announced.(nascar.com)(1-13-2011)

  • Mark Martin to run limited schedule with Turner? UPDATES: Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Mark Martin will run a limited schedule in both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series’ in 2011 with Turner Motorsports. Reliable sources say that Martin will run an undetermined number of Nationwide and Truck races with Turner next season, with specific dates to be determined once sponsorship and scheduling conflicts are determined. Turner Motorsports is actively seeking sponsorship for the effort, but a spokesperson for the team denied any knowledge of the deal when contacted earlier today. Martin’s representatives also declined to comment on the story. Martin is the all-time NASCAR Nationwide Series win leader with 48 career victories, just five more than a fast-closing Busch. He also has seven career Truck Series wins.(Sirius Speedway)(11-30-2010)
    UPDATE: Turner Motorsports announced the addition of racing legend, Mark Martin, to its 2011 driver line-up. Martin will pilot the #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 #32 Silverado in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Michigan International Speedway and Pocono Raceway.(Turner Motorsports)(1-12-2011)
    UPDATE: Hearing Reed Sorenson will drive the #30 Rexall Chevy when Mark Martin is in the #32 Dollar General Chevy.(1-12-2011)

  • Lepage to drive for Rensi: UPDATE: Team Rensi Motorsports announced that veteran driver Kevin Lepage will pilot the #24 Ford Mustang in full-time, Nationwide Series competition in 2011. Lepage, a native of Shelburne, Vt., has a NASCAR Nationwide Series career that spans three decades with 17 years of competition in the sport’s second-tier series. In total, he has earned two wins, 19 top-fives and 51 top-10 finishes along with four pole awards in Nationwide Series competition. Lepage has also found success in both the Sprint Cup and Craftsman Truck Series. Longtime Team Rensi crew chief Chris Wright will lead Lepage and the #24 team beginning with the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in February. Team Rensi Motorsports is currently working with racedaysponsor.com and the organization anticipates sponsorship and additional team announcements in the coming weeks.(Rensi PR)(1-10-2011)
    UPDATE: Lepage told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody, “I’m real excited about it. I talked to several different teams, and Ed Rensi and (GM) Ronnie Russell were absolutely the best fit. They needed a driver in order to negotiate with sponsors, and I needed a team, so we put the deal together at the first of the week. I have a little bit of sponsorship from RaceDaySponsor.com, and we’re chasing more. We’ve got a lot of things working.” Lepage made 25 Nationwide Series starts last season for Mac Hill Motorsports; all of them of the “start and park” variety. The Shelburne, VT native said he is looking forward to completing races this season. “I’m going to be racing all day for the first time since 2008, and I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “It was frustrating to start and park. It hurts to have to race the way we did. We qualified in the Top 20 — or even the Top 10 — most weeks, but we couldn’t afford to run the race. I’d qualify the car well, then get told, `We just sold your tires, so run a couple of laps and pull it in.’ We had fast cars, but we never got to show it. “It ate me apart,” admitted Lepage. “When season was over, I told my wife I wasn’t going to do it again. If there was nothing left for me but `start and park,’ I was ready to pack it in and call it a career.”(Sirius Speedway)(1-11-2011)

  • Drivers must declare one series to accrue points: 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.” Changes across the board in NASCAR — including format changes in the Chase — have been the subject of racing rumor mills since last fall. 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, who has 843 national series starts between the Cup (344), Nationwide (488) and Truck series (11), 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.” Tharp confirmed that NASCAR would answer any questions about the three national series’ championships next week, including whether the method of awarding drivers’ championship points in each division’s races would be covered in the respective series’ rule books; if it would be covered in the respective series’ race entry blanks; or in both places. And also how “championship drivers” in each division would be differentiated in the respective race rundowns in respect to points awarded per position from “non-championship drivers,” as well as whether or not the dispersal of points in each division’s owners’ championship, particularly in the Nationwide and Truck series, would be unaffected by owners’ use of “non-championship drivers.” (NASCAR.com)(1-10-2011)

  • Shepherd, Rowe to drive for Faith Motorsports: Faith Motorsports announced that Morgan Shepherd and Brett Rowe will fill the driver’s seats in a two-car Faith Motorsports effort in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series in 2011. The duo will kick off the 2011 season in the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway in early February with the team attempting to field both entries through at least the first five events of the season. “We will run as long as we can and hope to have both cars locked in after the fifth race,” Shepherd said in making the announcement. “We are building cars and gearing up to have a great season.” Shepherd’s ride will feature multiple paint schemes throughout the season and will bear his historic number, 89. The car will be owned by Shepherd Racing Ventures through his 2010 partnership with Richard Childress in the #21 car. Morgan Shepherd will be listed as the car’s primary owner. Childress will retain the #21 number, however the points will be applied to the #89 car pending NASCAR’s approval. This will result in Shepherd being locked in to the first five races of 2011 as the #89 team in 2011 will be the same team which fielded the #21 in 2010. Shepherd’s car will bear the Racing With Jesus logo on the hood, but the paint schemes will change periodically to coincide with another program the team plans to announce at a later date. Rowe will pilot a second car for which the car number is yet to be approved by NASCAR. His car will be owned by Victory in Jesus Racing with Cindy Shepherd listed as the primary owner. The points from last year’s #89 car will be transferred to Rowe’s car pending NASCAR’s approval as the listed owner will not hange, just the car number. Rowe’s car will be field the consistent green paint scheme historically associated with the #89 entry. It will carry the Racing With Jesus logo on the hood as the #89 car has in past seasons. Both cars will fall under the Faith Motorsports banner. Sponsorships and additional information about the teams’ Daytona efforts will be announced in the coming weeks.(Faith Motorsports PR)(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.(NHRA)(1-10-2011)
  • Northeastern Supply sponsoring Leffler: One of NASCAR’s longest standing sponsors, the Northeastern Supply Company, will return to Nationwide Series support for the 18th consecutive year in 2011 when it returns to Turner Motorsports, driver Jason Leffler and the #38 Great Clips Chevy. The highly successful regional distributor of plumbing, heating, HVAC, water systems and hardware products will again provide associate sponsorship to a NASCAR team that began way back in 1994 in the Busch Grand National Series. 2011 will mark the company’s fourth straight season with Turner Motorsports, previously Braun Racing, and in support of Leffler and his Great Clips race team. (Northeastern Supply PR)(1-7-2011)

  • Carpenter Joins TriStar: TriStar Motorsports announces the appointment of Rick Carpenter as General Manager for their NASCAR Nationwide Series effort. Carpenter replaces Keith Barnwell in this position after his departure from the team last week. Carpenter is a veteran within NASCAR serving many capacities in the sport. Prior to joining TriStar Motorsports he served as General Manager for Rusty Wallace’s Nationwide Series operation at RWI Racing. Rick has also held management positions at Penske Racing and Jasper Motorsports. TriStar Motorsports will field three entries this coming season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series – with McClure piloting the #14 Hefty Chevy as well as the team fielding the #19 and #44 Chevy. The team will be making future announcements on drivers and sponsors for the other two entries.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(1-6-2011)

  • Baker-Curb Racing still in business: UPDATE: A statement from Gary Baker: “Contrary to rumors circulating, Baker Curb Racing has not ceased operations. We did temporarily layoff some employees while we map our 2011 plans. As with any other offseason, we also continue selling excess and outdated race equipment. As of today we are still operating with the intent of racing at Daytona next month and continue discussions with several prospective sponsors. We remain optimistic that we will have our 2011 sponsorships finalized within the next 10 days.”(Baker-Curb)(1-5-2011)
    UPDATE: Baker Curb Racing co-owner Gary Baker is denying internet reports that his race team is closing its doors, telling Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he is confident the team will compete at Daytona with at least one -– and possibly two –- cars. Baker said he was not contacted by anyone to confirm the erroneous reports, adding, “I got a phone call the other night from someone who read on the internet that we were padlocked. At the time, I was in a meeting, talking about our ability to field two cars next year if both the sponsors we are talking to come through. As of today, we do not have a sponsor signed for even the first car. But we are very, very hot in conversation with two prospective sponsors. One of them says it’s a done deal, but I’ve been there before. When the contract is signed and the money is in the bank, then it’s a done deal. Not before.” Based on conversations with those potential sponsors, Baker said it is “above 80% likely that we’ll be at Daytona with one car, and more than 50% likely that we’ll be there with two. But we’ve got to sign something within the next 10 days to make it happen.”(Sirius Speedway)(1-5-2010)
  • Elledge to crew chief for Allgaier: Turner Motorsports announced that veteran crew chief, Jimmy Elledge, has joined the team to lead the efforts of the #31 BRANDT Chevy to be piloted by series standout, Justin Allgaier. Bringing with him a wealth of experience, Elledge has been a part of several championship-winning organizations and has worked with an impressive mix of veteran and rookie drivers over the years including Turner Motorsports driver, Reed Sorenson, as well as Juan Pablo Montoya, Casey Mears, AJ Allmendinger, Bobby Hamilton and Dale Jarrett. He has one Sprint Cup Series win to his credit, leading Hamilton to his final victory at Talladega in 2001.(Turner Motorsports)(1-5-2011)
  • Cobb to start season with 2nd Chance: UPDATE: According to a Facebook post by Rick Rusell, 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 races of the 2011 season. 2nd Chance Motorsports is owned by Rick and Pam Russell. The couple own and operate 2nd Chance Race Parts, in Mooresville, NC. 2nd Chance Motorsports began racing in 2010 at the fall Dover race, making the field on time and running in the top 20 up to the first caution. In 2011 the team will continue under the Ford banner with the horsepower of Roush Yates engines under the hood. Cobb 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.(Breaking Limits)(1-5-2011)
  • Barnwell leaves Tri-Star: UPDATE: TriStar Motorsports General Manager Keith Barnwell is leaving the team effective immediately and has accepted another opportunity within the sport. A successor will be named soon. Barnwell will also spot for the number #56 NAPA Toyota of Martin Truex in the Sprint Cup Series, moving over from EGR and Jamie McMurray after a breakout season that included wins in the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, and Charlotte 500 in October.(12-30-2010)
    UPDATE: Keith Barnwell has resigned as General Manager of the Tri-Star Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series team to accept a similar position with NASCAR Hall Of Famer Junior Johnson. Barnwell told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody, “I’ve come to work with Junior Johnson Racing in Hamptonville, NC. Junior and Lisa are starting up a new race team for their son, Robert, and (Richard Childress Racing’s) Mike Dillon told them I would be a good guy to talk to about helping them with the operation. We’re going K&N Pro Series East racing with a 28-30 race schedule, with some UARA Late Model and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series events, as well.” Sources tell Sirius Speedway that former Rusty Wallace Racing GM Rick Carpenter will replace Barnwell, with an announcement expected this week.(Sirius Speedway)(1-3-2011)
  • Wallace running All-Star Showdown: Rusty Wallace Racing announced that Steve Wallace–the top-ten ranked driver of RWR’s #66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry in the Nationwide Series–will compete in January’s Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. Wallace will pilot RWR’s #66 South Point Hotel & Casino Toyota in the live-televised, Los Angeles-area event. The most prestigious race on NASCAR’s developmental series calendar, the Toyota All-Star Showdown will likely include the season champions from all seven of NASCAR’s regional ladder series.(RWR)(1-3-2011)