January 2012 Nationwide Series News

  • Villeneuve to drive for Go Canada?: The probable association between Jacques Villeneuve and Go Canada Racing, as reported by Le Journal de Montreal in August, has resurfaced. Villeneuve could run a dozen races (and maybe more) this year in the Nationwide Series driving a car owned by Toronto businessman Steve Meehan. Meehan declined to elaborate on the issue, while acknowledging that he had discussed with Villeneuve in recent weeks. Andrew Ranger will not drive for the team at Daytona, contrary to earlier reports. His debut will take place two weeks later at Las Vegas and possibly at Phoenix, the second week of the season. David Ragan, who has six years experience in Sprint Cup, wll take over the wheel of the Go Canada Ford at Daytona. In addition, the team has acquired a new Dodge Challenger that will be used at Phoenix.(Montreal Journal – translated using Google translate and edited for clarity)(1-31-2012)
  • Speedco joins JR Motorsports sponsors: Speedco Truck Lube and Tires, a national company that specializes in quick lubes and tire services for the trucking industry, will join the JR Motorsports team as primary sponsor of the company’s late model program and associate sponsor on its NASCAR Nationwide Series Chevys in 2012. Speedco joins the #88 late model team and 21-year-old driver Josh Berry. In the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Speedco receives b-post placement on the #5, 7 and 88 Chevys. The cars will be piloted by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt, respectively. Patrick and Whitt are competing for the series championship, while Earnhardt Jr. will race sporadically throughout the season starting at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 25.(JR Motorsports)(1-31-2012)

  • MAKE Motorsports to run full Nationwide season with T.J. Bell: MAKE Motorsports’ #50 Chevy will be competing for the Nationwide Series championship with driver T.J. Bell and crew chief Brad Parrott. The team, owned by Mark Beaver and Tracy Lowe, has been participating in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series since 2010 and did a partial NNS season in 2011. Bell has been with the team since 2010 and Parrott since 2011. “We’re not going to be a start-and-park deal, but going for the whole season and race as hard as we can,” said Beaver. Additional announcements, including the team’s 2012 partner lineup, will be released later this week.(MAKE Motorsports)(1-31-2012)
  • Rick Ware’s son wins Legends RaceL While Rick Ware was in Daytona for the Rolex 24 on Saturday, his son Carson won in the Bandolero Beginner Bandits race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (NC) on the road course Saturday.(Legends Nation)(1-30-2012)
  • Newt Moore named crew chief for Wallace: JD Motorsports has been a whir and blur of activity the last few weeks at their South Carolina shop. Johnny Davis, #01 team owner, has hired on some key personnel to build on the achievements from the team’s 2011 season. Mike Wallace, entering his fourth season driving for the team, has been a solid competitor during his tenure. The new addition to the team is veteran crew chief Newt Moore. Davis has 411 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts as an owner. Wallace has 416 NNS starts as a driver. Moore has 408 combined NASCAR starts atop a pit box. That makes for a good combination of experience between the three. They, and their refurbished team, are all hoping their merged know-how leads them to more success in the 2012 season.(JD Motorsports)(1-27-2012)

  • Wurth Group sponsoring Hornish; will run full season: UPDATE: Penske Racing welcomes a new partner to its NASCAR Nationwide Series program in 2012 as The WURTH GROUP will sponsor the Dodge Challenger driven by Sam Hornish, Jr. The #12 WURTH Dodge will be featured as primary sponsor in seven races as it marks the beginning of a multi-year partnership between WURTH and Penske Racing. WURTH will also be an associate sponsor for the remaining 26 Nationwide Series races and also as an associate sponsor of #2 Miller Lite Dodge in the Sprint Cup Series. A leading supplier of high-quality automotive and industrial parts, cabinet supplies and fasteners, WURTH has more than 40,000 customers across the nation. With WURTH on board as a sponsor for 2012, Hornish and the No. 12 team will compete for the full Nationwide Series season, racing with Alliance Truck Parts as a partner as well.(Penske Racing), see an image of the car on the #12 Nationwide team paint schemes page.(1-26-2012)
    UPDATE: After only running a handful of events in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011, Sam Hornish, Jr. will run the entire schedule in 2012 thanks to increased support from Alliance Truck Parts and a new partnership with Wurth Group. Alliance Truck Parts will increase its primary sponsorship role on the #12 Penske Racing Dodge Challenger from six to 26 events in 2012. Wurth Group, a German-based automotive and industrial supply company, will be the primary sponsor of the car in seven events and an associate sponsor in the other 26.(Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour notes)(1-26-2012)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports forms NNS team for Annett: Richard Petty Motorsports announced today the formation of a new NASCAR Nationwide Series team with driver Michael Annett and his long-time partner Pilot Flying J. The team will be run out of RPM’s Concord, N.C. race shop and will vie for the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship. Annett, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, comes to Richard Petty Motorsports after spending last season at Rusty Wallace, Inc. He has posted 13 top-10 finishes in 105 Nationwide Series starts and drove to a ninth-place finish in the championship points standings last season. Pilot Flying J, the driver driven company, is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and has more than 550 retail locations across North America.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR) the car number will be #43.(1-26-2012)
  • Snap-On to sponsor #22 in 4 races: One of Penske Racing’s longest-tenured sponsors is building on its relationship with the organization in 2012. Entering its 30th year as a Penske Racing sponsor, Snap-on Tools will enhance its role with the organization to serve as a primary sponsor of the #22 Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for four races this season. Snap-on’s colors and branding will adorn the #22 car driven this season by both former Nationwide Series champion Brad Keselowski and rising star Parker Kligerman in races at Darlington Raceway (May 11), Dover International Speedway (June 2), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 14) and Richmond International Raceway (September 7). Snap-on will continue to be an associate sponsor on all Penske Racing cars competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series this season as well as its IndyCar Series teams. Building on a strong and productive relationship that enters its third decade, Penske Automotive Group and Penske Truck Rental also continue to use Snap-on products across all levels of their respective businesses.(Penske Racing), see an image of the car on the #22 Nationwide team paint schemes page.(1-26-2012)
  • Efland to drive for Sinica Motorsports at Daytona: Danny Efland Racing and Sinica Motorsports Inc. will team up for the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway for February 25, 2012.(Sinica Motorsports)(1-26-2012)
  • Papis to drive for Childress at Road America: Richard Childress Racing announced road-course specialist Max Papis has been tapped to pilot its #33 Rheem/Menards Chevy when the NASCAR Nationwide Series visits Road America on June 23. In addition to competing at the 14-turn road course, Papis will serve as a driver coach for fellow RCR teammates, assisting in strengthening their road-course racing skills.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #33 Nationwide team paint schemes page.(1-25-2012)
  • Sadler could run Daytona 500: UPDATE: Elliott Sadler confirmed that talks are underway to put him in a Richard Childress Racing Chevy for the 2012 Daytona 500. “I’ve said before if I got chance to be in competitive Cup car again, I would jump at the chance,” said Sadler in an exclusive interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody. “Richard Childress and I have had some conversations, but what we really need is sponsorship, We’re getting close to getting that done, but there’s nothing done yet. I can’t confirm anything right now, but I am damn sure pulling for it to happen.” RCR will field full-time Sprint Cup Series entries in 2012 for drivers Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard, but has an additional guaranteed starting spot in the first five races of this season; earned a year ago by Clint Bowyer’s #33 Chevrolet. Sadler is expected to wheel the #33, if a financial backer can be found.(Sirius Speedway)(1-24-2012)
    UPDATE: General Mills and The Kroger Co. announced it will partner with Richard Childress Racing and veteran driver Elliott Sadler on the #33 Chevy for the 54th annual Daytona 500 on February 26, 2012 at Daytona International Speedway. General Mills, entering its fourth year of partnership with the Welcome, N.C.-based organization, is teaming up with The Kroger Co. for a special paint scheme celebrating the great brands from both organizations. The special red, white and blue paint scheme adorning Sadler’s Chevy for “The Great American Race” will feature the Kroger Co. Family of Stores, Fred Meyer Jewelers and several General Mills brands. The Minneapolis, Minn.-based General Mills also sponsors RCR’s #31 Wheaties Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with driver Jeff Burton.(RCR)(1-25-2012)
  • Ryan Truex & Bobby Santos to drive for Tommy Baldwin: Tommy Baldwin Racing expands its Nationwide Series program with the addition of Ryan Truex and Bobby Santos, who will split driving duties with Ryan Blaney. Truex will compete in the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway February 25. Santos will race in the Subway Jalapeno 250 at DIS July 6. Blaney will run six NNS events with TBR, debuting April 27 at Richmond International Raceway. Truex will make his first superspeedway start in the NNS season-opener. The 19-year-old racer made his NNS debut in 2010 at Gateway International Raceway and made 24 starts in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He compiled five top-10 finishes including a third-place finish at Kansas Speedway. Truex competed in the NASCAR K&N; Pro Series East in 2009 and 2010 and won the championship both years with a top-10 average finish. Santos has competed under the TBR Development banner since 2010. He competed in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) in 2010 and 2011 and won the championship in his first season in the series. The 26-year-old won the inaugural USAC National Pavement Sprint Car Series championship last season in a family-owned car. Santos made five starts in the NNS since 2007. His last start was at DIS February 2011 where he finished 17th in a JR Motorsports-prepared Chevy.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(1-25-2012)
  • Bayne may only run Nationwide part-time: Trevor Bayne has a Daytona 500 championship ring, an electric smile, and a bright future in NASCAR’s national divisions. What he doesn’t have right now, though, is a full-time ride in the Nationwide Series for 2012. The Roush Fenway driver confirmed Tuesday that his #16 team doesn’t currently have the funding to race full-time on the Nationwide tour, a fact that may limit him to only a partial schedule this season. Bayne, who turns 21 next month, won a race at Texas Motor Speedway last year and finished 11th in final points despite missing five events because of what he believes was Lyme disease. He would be viewed as a strong contender to challenge teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the championship this season, but that would require competing in all 33 races. And despite winning the Nationwide title last season, Stenhouse does not have full-season sponsorship, although he said the #6 car will run the entire slate with some help from manufacturer Ford. Bayne said he had not yet decided on whether to compete for championship points in Nationwide or Sprint Cup — under a NASCAR rule enacted last year, drivers must choose one — and would likely wait as long as possible to do so. Bayne’s absence would further shake up a 2012 Nationwide championship race that’s already lost two potential top-10 cars in the shutdown of Rusty Wallace Racing, seen fourth-place finisher Aric Almirola land a Sprint Cup ride at Richard Petty Motorsports, and sixth-place finisher Jason Leffler move to Kyle Busch’s truck. As of now, the top contenders appear to be Stenhouse, 2011 runner-up Elliott Sadler, top-10 drivers Justin Allgaier and Brian Scott, and newcomers Danica Patrick, Austin Dillon and Cole Whitt. (NASCAR.com)(1-24-2012)
  • Stewart will drive Daytona Nationwide race: Tony Stewart will attempt to win his seventh NASCAR Nationwide Series race on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 25. This year Stewart will drive the #33 Oreo 100th Anniversary Chevy fielded by Richard Childress Racing. Stewart has won the last four NASCAR Nationwide season openers at Daytona and hopes to add a fifth-straight victory next month.(Charlotte Motor Speedway)(1-23-2012)
  • RAB Racing to attempt Sprint Cup debut in Daytona 500 Kenny Wallace: RAB Racing with Brack Maggard announced that they will attempt to make their Sprint Cup Series debut in the 54th-annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 26, with driver Kenny Wallace behind the wheel of their #09 American Ethanol Toyota Camry. “Corn farmers are excited to continue our relationship with RAB Racing and Kenny Wallace in 2012,” said Garry Niemeyer, National Corn Growers Association president. “Kenny is a fan favorite and one of the most visible drivers in the sport. He has been an outspoken supporter of ethanol and Sunoco Green E15. He comes from the Midwest, so he truly appreciates the important role corn farmers play in providing consumers with a fuel that is made in America and provides jobs here at home.” Wallace will attempt to make his 11th Daytona 500 start. His last start in the Great American Race came in 2008, when he raced his way into the starting lineup via an eighth-place finish in the first Gatorade Duel. With Wallace behind the wheel of their NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota in 2011, the #09 team finished seventh in the Nationwide Series driver championship standings, a career-best for the Concord, N.C.-based team, after posting 11 top-10 finishes. The crew chief for the #09 American Ethanol Toyota Camry will be announced at a later date.(RAB Racing), Family Farmers will also sponsor the team in 5 Nationwide Series races.(1-22-2012)
  • Pastrana debut pushed back to Richmond: UPDATE: Travis Pastrana has gotten back into a race car to test, and while he gets back into shape after suffering a broken ankle last year, his 2012 NASCAR schedule is still taking shape. The action sports star originally was going to run seven Nationwide Series races in 2011 and then 20 in 2012. But after shattering his right ankle at the X-Games two days before he was scheduled to make his Nationwide debut last July, his 2012 plans have been in flux. The tentative plan is for Pastrana to race in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, run the entire K&N; Pro Series East season and at least seven Nationwide races, Pastrana Waltrip Racing co-owner Michael Waltrip said Wednesday. Pastrana had hoped to make his Nationwide debut at Phoenix in March but it likely will be pushed back to at least April. Richmond International Raceway would be a likely track for it since he has competed in a K&N; race there and is from Maryland.(Scene Daily)(1-11-2012)
    UPDATE: Travis Pastrana has had no desire to get back on a motorcycle in the last couple of months as he tries to rehab his shattered right ankle. The action sports star competed in the Race of Champions in December, tested a car for the Rolex 24 At Daytona a couple of weeks ago and is scheduled to test a Nationwide Series car next week. “We’ll start out with seven Nationwide races and that’s kind of a let’s see how we do, let’s see what we need more work on,” Pastrana, who doesn’t need a brace on his foot to compete, said. “If we’re running OK or if I can get sponsorship to keep running wherever we’re running, we’re going to keep trying to get seat time.” Mike Greci will serve as his crew chief for both cars, which will come out of Michael Waltrip Racing. Because Pastrana is a Red Bull athlete and MWR has sponsor ties to 5-Hour Energy (as primary sponsor for Cup driver Clint Bowyer), it expected that the Nationwide team, known as Pastrana Waltrip racing, will undergo a name change.(Scene Daily)(1-22-2012)

  • American Ethanol to sponsor Austin Dillon in six races: In a nod to its commitment to the sport, American Ethanol announced at the NASCAR Preview fan event in Charlotte, N.C., that it will continue relationships with Richard Childress Racing and RAB Racing for the 2012 season. Austin Dillon, 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, will drive the iconic #3 Chevy during the 2012 Nationwide Series season with American Ethanol serving as the primary sponsor for six races as well as one race in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012. Dillon’s #3 American Ethanol Chevy paint scheme was unveiled at the event. In addition to American Ethanol’s partnership with Dillon, the organization will serve as an associate sponsor with the entire RCR family of drivers. Team owner Richard Childress as well as RCR’s Sprint Cup Series veterans Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard will also serve as spokesmen for the cause. Kenny Wallace, who notched 11 top-ten finishes last year, will drive the #09 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for RAB Racing. American Ethanol will partner with Wallace for the Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500, as well as five races in the Nationwide Series.(Richard Childress Racing), see an image of the car on the #3 team paint scheme page.(1-22-2012)
  • Carmichael; “Rug Pulled Out From Under” in KBM/Monster Energy deal: Multi-time AMA motocross and supercross champion-turned NASCAR driver Ricky Carmichael says he is uncertain of his plans for 2012, after sponsor Monster Energy elected to back brothers Kyle and Kurt Busch in a new NASCAR Nationwide Series effort. In an exclusive interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s SiriusXM Speedway with Dave Moody, Carmichael said he initially was assured the Monster Energy sponsorship would remain with him in 2012, and that the 20 NASCAR Nationwide Series races announced yesterday for Kurt Busch were supposed to be his. “I had a handshake with the CEO of Monster Energy,” revealed Carmichael. “But the weekend of Texas (Motor Speedway), it went away. We were good to go, but when Kyle had his issue (at Texas), it all went sideways.” Carmichael said he believes his shot at retaining the Monster Energy sponsorship disappeared for good when Kurt Busch parted company with Penske Racing after the conclusion of the 2011 campaign. Gradually, Carmichael said he realized KBM was not the right place for him. Carmichael said he feared his image would suffer from signing with Busch, adding, “I had a feeling that if I went there, I would lose fans. I was afraid people would say, `I used to like Ricky Carmichael, but now I don’t because he races for Kyle.’ I felt it wasn’t right for me. I need everything to be positive, and nothing negative. “I have no disrespect for Kyle Busch,” insisted Carmichael. “He’s a heck of a driver and he’s going to win a lot of races. I haven’t really come close to winning in NASCAR, so I’ve got no leg to stand on. I can’t complain about the decision. (Kyle and I) just have a different way of racing.” Carmichael said he maintains a friendly relationship with Monster Energy, and could continue with them in some capacity this season. “I have no issues with Monster whatsoever,” he said. “I’ll be a part of their family forever. I feel like I played a huge (role) in bringing Monster to NASCAR in the first place. They gave me the money and said, `Go find your best NASCAR deal.’ We won two or three Supercross titles together, and two or three outdoor championships. They gave me some awesome opportunities over the years. I have nothing bad to say about them, they’ve been behind me 100% and always will be.” The former supercross champion said that while he is trying to assemble a limited schedule of NASCAR racing for this season, his involvement will be “somewhat limited. It’s tough when you get the rug pulled out from under you in late December,” he said. “There’s not much to fall back on. It’s going to take some time to get things nailed down again, but hopefully, we can come back in 2013 and do it right. “Things happen for a reason,” said Carmichael. “Hopefully, this will open up some other avenues for me.”(Sirius Speedway)(1-20-2012)

  • Go Green Racing Signs Paul and Tim Andrews; Forms Cup Team: Go Green Racing announced the addition of Paul and Tim Andrews to an already impressive list of talented crew members to Go Green Racing for the 2012 NASCAR season. Paul Andrews, a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Crew Chief, will lead the #19 Go Green Racing Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16th. Bristol Motor Speedway will also mark the first Sprint Cup Series attempt for Tim Andrews. Following Bristol, the team expects to compete in an additional ten NSCS races. Tim Andrews is also scheduled to compete in select NASCAR Nationwide Series races as driver of the #37 Go Green Racing Ford Mustang. Calling the shots as crew chief on the #37 will be Dave Ingram. Ingram joins Go Green Racing after serving as crew chief for MacDonald Motorsports last season. Go Green Racing has purchased their NSCS cars from Roush Fenway Racing and will run the Roush/Yates FR9 motor at all 2012 Cup races.(Go Green Racing)(1-20-2012)

  • Koch joins Rick Ware Racing: Rick Ware Racing has signed Blake Koch to run the full NASCAR Nationwide Schedule in 2012. Koch, who finished only 1 point shy of Timmy Hill in the 2011 Rookie of the Year battle, will be RWR’s second full time Nationwide driver. Koch will drive the #41 with Timmy driving the #15 he ran during his 2011 campaign with Poynt on board as sponsor. “I am truly blessed to be a part of Rick Ware Racing I am really looking forward to the upcoming year and ready and excited to be teammates with Timmy Hill”, stated Blake Koch. In additional to driving the #41 Nationwide car, Koch will drive in select Grand Am races in 2012.(GMG Communications)(1-20-2012)

  • Richardson, Dick to split #23: R3 Motorsports announces its schedule and drivers for the upcoming 2012 racing season. Robert Richardson, Jr. will return to the seat to drive the #23 Chevy Impala in 16 of the Nationwide series races and compete in several NASCAR Sprint cup races. Greg Conner will be his crew chief in both series. Jamie Dick will drive in 14 races in the Nationwide #23 Chevy Impala with crew chief, Jason Miller and veteran Corrie Stott as team manager. Viva Auto Group will be the sponsor on the car Dick is piloting. R3 Motorsports is still evaluating options for their road course program.(R3 Motorsports)(1-20-2012)

  • Morgan Shepherd plans another full season: Morgan Shepherd will be celebrating his 45th season in NASCAR in 2012 with plans to compete for the full season in the Nationwide Series. Morgan enjoyed his finest season in points in 2011 by competing in all thirty-four events and finishing a hard fought 21st in driver points. With a recent burst of interest in the 70-year-old Shepherd, exciting new announcements will be forthcoming in the next few days. Sponsorship negotiations are ongoing but opportunities are still available with the inspirational owner and driver of the #89 team.(Faith Motorsports)(1-19-2012)

  • Kyle, Kurt Busch to run the full season with Monster Energy: Kyle Busch Motorsports announced that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Monster Energy Company as primary sponsor of the team’s #54 Monster Energy Camry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Team owner Kyle Busch, the all-time race winning driver in the history of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will share driving duties with his brother Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. Kyle will drive the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway and the subsequent four races through California before splitting the balance of the season with Kurt. The team’s goal will be to capture an Owner’s Championship in its inaugural race season, similar to the Owner’s Championship accomplished by KBM in its first full season in the Camping World Truck Series in 2010. The development of this duo as teammates fits perfectly for primary team sponsor Monster Energy, who foregoes traditional forms of advertising and instead seeks brand exposure through the use of Extreme Athletes. With Monster Energy looking for increased presence across the NASCAR fan base, the company identified the Busch brothers as the drivers that best fit its family of Monster Energy Team Athletes. To complement the driver lineup, and ensure a strong competitive advantage, KBM brings industry veteran and winning crew chief Mike Beam into the fold as the #54 Monster Energy Camry team leader. Beam is a long-time fixture in NASCAR who has accomplished career victories across all three major touring series. At an early age, Mike became a successful contributor towards a variety of competitive racing organizations including Petty Enterprises and Roush Fenway Racing.(KBM), see an image of the car on the #54 team paint scheme page.(1-19-2012)

  • Roush expects full season for Stenhouse: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. said last week that he hoped to run a full Nationwide Series schedule in 2012, but indicated such plans hadn’t been confirmed. That confirmation all but came on Wednesday night  courtesy of team co-owner Jack Roush. Roush, speaking on XM Satellite Radio host Claire B Lang’s “Dialed In” show, hinted strongly that reigning series champion Stenhouse will be back for a full Nationwide season in the #6 car of Roush Fenway Racing. “I think that’s been announced,” Roush said. “If it hasn’t been, I’ll have somebody yelling at me, but Ricky is the reigning Nationwide champion and for him to have a chance to repeat, that would be good for his career and it would be good for Roush Fenway and good for Ford Motor Company.” Roush mentioned no sponsorship for the No. 6 Nationwide car but suggested that Stenhouse’s future at RFR is on solid footing.(SPEED)(1-19-2012)
  • McDowell will drive JGR #18 in 5 races: Michael McDowell says he’ll be back in the #18 car in 2012 for five Nationwide races with plans for him to race at Road America, Watkins Glen, Michigan and Iowa twice. On the Sprint Cup side, McDowell says he’ll be back full-time with Phil Parsons Racing (formerly HP Racing). He isn’t sure what number he’ll have this year, but he does know that they are making a change to Ford this coming season, powered by Roush-Yates engines. And they have found enough sponsorship to race the first five races of the season, rather than resorting to a start and park situation.(Yahoo Sports)(1-19-2012)

  • Ryan Blaney to drive Nationwide for Tommy Baldwin Racing: Tommy Baldwin Racing signed Ryan Blaney to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The 18-year-old will get behind the wheel of the #36 SealWrap Repair Tape Chevy and compete in six events throughout the season with his debut set for April 27 at Richmond International Raceway. Blaney will also run six NASCAR K&N; Pro Series races in his family-owned DB Racing #10 SealWrap Repair Tape/Heavy Duty Industrial Services machine, beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway March 17, and Trent Owen will return as crew chief for the NKNPS car. Blaney, son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and TBR driver Dave Blaney, made a combined three starts last season in the NKNPS East and West, winning in his third start and capturing his first NASCAR victory at Phoenix International Raceway. Blaney also won the 2011 PASS South Championship and found success in the ARCA Racing Series where he finished in the top-10 in his two starts. Blaney will join his dad, Dave Blaney, with TBR this season. The elder Blaney drove the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy last season where he locked the team in to the top-35 in NSCS points and captured a third-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway. SealWrap Repair Tape, a self-fusing rubber tape, partnered with Blaney in 2010 in the NKNPS. SealWrap Repair Tape uses a stretch-and-wrap technology that makes repairing irregular forms and shapes easy. There are no bonding agents, adhesives or glues to make it work. SealWrap fuses to itself and creates an air and watertight seal.(TBR)(1-18-2012)
  • Carpentier would consider running Montreal race: [Patrick Carpentier’s] Nationwide debut at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2007 saw him start on pole but finish second to Sprint Cup regular Kevin Harvick. A year later he was runner up again, this time to Mississauga, Ont.’s, Ron Fellows. He also tried Sprint Cup in 2008 with Gillett Evernham Motorsports but the team struggled to get into the top-20 on most days, although Carpentier did take a pole for the team in Loudon, N.H. And while he is officially retired, Carpentier wouldn’t rule out racing in Montreal this summer in the August’s NAPA Auto Parts 200. Should he return to the cockpit for the Nationwide Series race, it would be to raise cash for research into neonatal disorders, which has been the beneficiary of his on track efforts of late. “Montreal would be the only race I would do and I would give most of the money to children’s charities  St. Justin’s Hospital [in Montreal] helped Ana�s quite a bit when she was young and I want to give back,” said Carpentier, whose daughter was born with a malformed pancreas but now lives a normal life due to the work of her doctors. “If the TV show works out, it will be part of that too. And it looks like it is going to happen, so I will probably race in Montreal, but that would be the only one.” (Globe & Mail)(1-18-2012)

  • Poynt returning to Rick Ware Racing: Poynt.com, one of America’s fastest growing free mobile apps will be returning to RWR for the full 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series. “Poynt came on board the last 8 races of the season and we are proud to be part of their growth. They were part of the history with Timmy Hill winning the Sunoco Rookie of the Year battle. Timmy Hill will also be returning to the series he found breakout success in during the 2011 season. Timmy ran 32 races without a crash, all of the time showing impressive speed and a quick learning curve. He is ready to contend for top 5’s and soon enough wins. 2012 is going to be a great year for everyone at RWR” stated Rick Ware. RWR will be announcing the remainder of its NASCAR Series line up including other drivers and schedules later this week.(Rick Ware Racing)(1-18-2012)
  • Key Motorsports announces some 2012 plans: The Motorsports Group announced the availability of several positions as the team prepares for the rapidly approaching NASCAR Nationwide Series season. The four-car operation will race in all thirty-three scheduled events with drivers Josh Wise, Chase Miller, Erik Darnell and Scott Speed piloting Chevy Impalas. Veteran NASCAR crew chief Gary Showalter is overseeing day to day activities of the organization and is seeking qualified mechanics, fabricators and truck drivers who are ready to start work immediately. Showalter says the company will hire at least 10 additional people during the next few days.(TMG PR)(1-17-2012)
  • Sport Clips to sponsor seven Nationwide races: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Sport Clips Haircuts will sponsor a total of eight races during the 2012 NASCAR season, including the Sprint Cup Series race in Darlington with the #11 Sport Clips Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin and seven additional Nationwide Series races. This is the fourth year Sport Clips has been a sponsor with JGR and the eight total races (seven Nationwide and one Cup) is the most the organization has ever sponsored in a single season. In addition to the Darlington Sprint Cup Series race, Sport Clips will appear on JGR’s #18 and #20 Nationwide Series Toyota a total of seven times in 2012 with drivers Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. The schedule of Nationwide races is as follows: Texas, April 13 – #18-Denny Hamlin; Darlington, May 11 – #18-Denny Hamlin; Charlotte, May 26 – #18-Denny Hamlin; Daytona, July 6 – #20-Joey Logano; Indianapolis, July 28 – #18-Denny Hamlin; Richmond, Sept. 7 – #20-Denny Hamlin; Dover, Sept. 29 – #20-Joey Logano.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(1-17-2012)
  • KBM Scrambling To Finalize 2012 Nationwide, Truck Plans: Kyle Busch Motorsports General Manager Rick Ren has spent the last few weeks scrambling to rebuild his driver and sponsor lineups after team owner Kyle Busch was asked not to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series’ in 2012. Ren and Busch had assembled a sponsor lineup that included Dollar General, Traxxas, Toyota and others for the 2012 campaign, with Busch scheduled to play a leading role in both the Nationwide and Truck efforts. Sources close to the team say virtually all the team’s sponsors signed on believing that Busch would drive their entries in a significant number of events this season, only to learn last month that Joe Gibbs Racing had asked Busch to dramatically trim his involvement in all but the headline NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. KBM is expected to announce its finalized Nationwide sponsor and driver lineups this Thursday. It is possible that Busch could compete in at least part of the Nationwide slate, but sources say he is unlikely to equal the 20 starts he made in NASCAR’s second division a year ago.(Sirius Speedway)(1-16-2012)
  • Jay Robinson forms Cup team: Nationwide Series veteran team owner Jay Robinson will enter into his 12th year in the series and has partnered with Troy Blakeney of Houston, Texas to form Robinson-Blakeney Racing, LLC and will field a Sprint Cup Series car with Toyota as its manufacturer. The new team intends to run full time in both series this year. “I am very excited about our new venture into the Cup series”, said team owner Jay Robinson” We have all of the cars and equipment in place. We will be running engines prepared by Race Engines Plus and are hoping to hire a driver very soon.” The #28 Nationwide car will continue into the 2012 Season with a variety of drivers throughout the season. Jeff Spraker and his Spraker Racing Enterprises group has been hired to head up the Nationwide efforts. Troy Blakeney, with offices in Houston and Fort Worth, Texas is relatively new to the sport and brings a wealth of business knowledge and experience which will certainly prove to be an asset in the venture. Robinson-Blakeney Racing will run Toyotas from their Monroe N. C. based. The team will soon be announcing their drivers, crew chiefs and sponsorships.(Robinson-Blakeney Racing)(1-16-2011)

  • Edwards not planning on running Nationwide in 2012: After competing the past seven years for Roush Fenway Racing in the Nationwide Series, all while running a full Cup Series schedule, Carl Edwards has decided not to run any Nationwide races in 2012. “The way we’re approaching this season is, I’m not committing to any races right now,” Edwards said. “And as the season goes, if I decide I’m just a nervous ball of energy on Saturdays and I can’t function without going and racing — because that might be the case — then we’ll work to try to go [Nationwide] racing. We could get 10 races in [to the season] and I could say ‘Hey, I’m better off racing on Saturdays.’ Then, it would be on me to go look for some way to put something together so that we could go race.”(NASCAR.com)(1-15-2012)
  • Clements plans full season effort: Jeremy Clements Racing has announced it will be running the full 2012 Nationwide Series schedule. Sponsorship is actively being pursued for the family owned and operated Clements Racing Engines #51 Chevy. (Clements PR)(1-14-2012)
  • Pastrana debut pushed back to Richmond: Travis Pastrana has gotten back into a race car to test, and while he gets back into shape after suffering a broken ankle last year, his 2012 NASCAR schedule is still taking shape. The action sports star originally was going to run seven Nationwide Series races in 2011 and then 20 in 2012. But after shattering his right ankle at the X-Games two days before he was scheduled to make his Nationwide debut last July, his 2012 plans have been in flux. The tentative plan is for Pastrana to race in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, run the entire K&N; Pro Series East season and at least seven Nationwide races, Pastrana Waltrip Racing co-owner Michael Waltrip said Wednesday. Pastrana had hoped to make his Nationwide debut at Phoenix in March but it likely will be pushed back to at least April. Richmond International Raceway would be a likely track for it since he has competed in a K&N; race there and is from Maryland.(Scene Daily)(1-11-2012)
  • Sponsor for Bayne? UPDATE: hearing that RainEater Wiper Blades and Advance Auto Parts will be sponsoring Trevor Bayne in the #16 Nationwide car this season. No word on number of races.(1-11-2012)
    UPDATE: been told that RainEater Wiper Blades are in active discussions with NASCAR teams, but there are no contracts in place.(1-11-2012)
  • Lucas named crew chief for Gibbs #18 team: Matt Lucas has been named crew chief for Joe Gibbs Racing’s #18 Nationwide Series Toyota team. Lucas, who has spent the past two seasons as the race engineer for the #18 team, replaces Jason Ratcliff, who was named crew chief for JGR’s #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team last month. Lucas’ background in racing is deep with extensive experience as an engineer and mechanic in NASCAR as well as CART and IndyCar racing. Prior to joining Joe Gibbs Racing at the start of the 2010 season as race engineer for the #18 Nationwide Series team, Lucas spent four seasons with Roush Fenway Racing as a Nationwide Series engineer. As a member of the #60 team from 2006-2008, he would help lead Carl Edwards to the 2007 Nationwide Series Championship. In 2009 he worked with the #98 car driven by Paul Menard.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(1-11-2012)

  • Hamilton, Jr. files for bankruptcy: Former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. has filed for bankruptcy to reorganize his debts, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tennessee. Hamilton Jr. filed the Chapter 11 bankruptcy papers last week. Hamilton Jr. and his wife are listed as debtors, as is his company, Hamilton Entertainment. According to his filing, Hamilton Jr. lists assets of $551,825 and liabilities of $1,293,543. More than $929,000 of the liabilities are property mortgages or loans, while he also lists owing the Internal Revenue Service $198,000 for 2005 taxes. Hamilton Jr., the son of the late Sprint Cup star, competed in 64 Cup races from 2000-2005. He also has 253 career starts in the Nationwide Series. His total NASCAR winnings are more than $12.8 million, but drivers typically take home 40-50 percent of their winnings.(Scene Daily)(1-11-2012)

  • Kahne & Sweet to split #38 in 2012: UPDATE: Turner Motorsports, along with Great Clips, Inc., announced that Kasey Kahne will increase his time behind the wheel of the #38 Great Clips Chevy in 2012 to compete in 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series events. Up and coming driver, Brad Sweet, who has competed on a limited basis in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the last two years and in the USAC Sprint Car Series and World of Outlaws Series for Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR) for the last four seasons, will make a run for the Rookie of the Year title and will round out the balance of the 33-race NNS schedule when Kahne is not behind the wheel.(Turner Motorsports)(1-2-2012)
    UPDATE: Turner Motorsports announced that Mike Shiplett has been added to the team’s roster of veteran crew chiefs to lead the #38 Great Clips team with driver Kasey Kahne and up-and-comer, Brad Sweet. It is a reunion of sorts for Shiplett and Kahne who were paired together in the NASCAR Nationwide Series during the 2007 season and put down impressive results including two victories. Shiplett, a former racer himself, has over 20 years of racing experience and has worked at several championship-caliber teams in all three of NASCAR’s top touring series. The Ohio-native will have a unique opportunity next season to work with a successful veteran (Kahne) and an up and coming rookie driver (Sweet). Kahne will be driving the #38 for 15 races throughout the year with Sweet stepping in to fill out the balance of the 33 races on the NNS schedule.(Turner Motorsports)(1-10-2012)

  • Ranger to drive for Go Canada: Canadian Andrew Ranger will be on the starting grid for the upcoming Nationwide season’s opener at Daytona International Speedway February 25th with the Go Canada Racing team. Alan Labrosse, Ranger’s manager, has confirmed the news, also stating that the two-time NASCAR Canadian Tire Series’ champion will also take part in no less than 15 races in both the Nationwide and ARCA Series this season. Further negotiations with Cunningham Motorsport, one of the best teams in ARCA, are also planned for the coming days but it is believed that Ranger will be more involved in the Nationwide series with Go Canada Racing. As usual, the Roxton Pond native will also take part in some NASCAR Canadian Tire Series’ races with Dave Jacombs Racing. The road circuits of Mirabel (ICAR), Edmonton, Trois-Rivieres and Montreal are on Ranger’s schedule.(Auto 123)(1-10-2012)
  • AdvancePierre partners with RCR’s Nationwide Series Program: AdvancePierre, a leading supplier of packaged foodservice products, has reached a multi-year partnership agreement with Richard Childress Racing for the Cincinnati-based company to be the primary sponsor for three races with two of RCR’s NASCAR Nationwide Series teams in 2012. The Pierre Drive Thru Sandwich brand will be the primary sponsor of Elliott Sadler and the #2 Chevy team at Auto Club Speedway in California (March 24). Fast Fixin’ brand will adorn the #33 Chevy team with Kevin Harvick at Richmond International Raceway (April 27) and the Barber Foods brand will be the primary sponsor at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 14). The Fast Fixin’ brand was a primary sponsor of Kevin Harvick Incorporated’s NASCAR Nationwide Series program in 2011. Sadler is scheduled to compete in the full 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season driving the #2 Chevy for RCR. Harvick will run a limited NNS schedule in the #33 Chevy.(RCR)(1-9-2012)

  • Kurt Busch running limited NNS schedule with Phoenix: Phoenix Racing announced that in addition to running the complete NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule with Kurt Busch, they will field the #1 Chevy in a limited amount of NASCAR Nationwide Series races, starting at Daytona with Kurt Busch. The team plans on running all major events and are looking for sponsorship for these races.”Everyone at Phoenix Racing is excited about competing on the Nationwide circuit this year,” said Steve Barkdoll, General Manager of Phoenix Racing. “Our Nationwide Series team is a proven, winning organization and we’re looking forward to Busch continuing the tradition. This is a great opportunity for a company to partner with a top-notch program.”(Breaking Limits)(1-9-2012)

  • Rusty Wallace Racing closing: UPDATES: Rusty Wallace is in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico this week, hosting his annual Charity Golf and Fishing Tournament. Next week, he’ll return home to make some difficult decisions on the future of his Rusty Wallace, Inc. NASCAR Nationwide Series team.RWI fielded a pair of Nationwide Series Toyotas for son Steve Wallace and Michael Annett last season, with Annett finishing ninth and Wallace 10th in championship points. Major sponsor 5-Hour Energy departed at season’s end to back Clint Bowyer’s new Sprint Cup Series effort at Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012, and the search for a replacement has yielded no results. Now, Wallace faces the prospect of closing the doors on a team he has devoted the last seven years of his life to building. “I’m afraid we’re getting really close to that right now,” admitted the 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. “I don’t want to do it. It breaks my heart even thinking about it. But if we don’t have the money to do this thing right, it’s not worth doing. We’ve got some sponsorship in place for next year, but not nearly enough to run the full season. Honestly, we’ve got just enough money to get ourselves in big trouble. My wife Patty and I are trying to decide what to do,” he said. “We’re looking everywhere for a way out; a way to avoid closing the doors. But I’m afraid that may be where we’re headed.”(Sirius Speedway)(1-6-2012)
    AND: Reliable sources say that Rusty Wallace, Inc., will close its doors at the end of business [Friday], laying off a majority of its employees. Expect an official announcement within the hour.(Sirius Speedway)(1-6-2012)
    UPDATE: Rusty Wallace is a man of his word. In September, the former NASCAR champion and current team owner warned if there wasn’t enough money to run his Nationwide Series program, he’d put the shop in mothballs. Unfortunately, that day has come. Rusty Wallace Inc. is expected to shut its doors next Friday, sources told FOXSports.com.(Fox Sports)(1-6-2012)
    UPDATE: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing, LLC (RWR) announced today that the team’s on-track activities will be put on a temporary hiatus. While the organization’s day-to-day competition activities will temporarily cease, key elements of RWR’s business staff will remain in place to continue development of future opportunities. The team is currently assisting #66 driver, Steve Wallace, in exploring several exciting opportunities for 2012, with backing from his current RWR sponsors. RWR will continue to maintain and manage those sponsor relationships on Wallace’s behalf. #62 driver, Michael Annett has been released from the team and will pursue other 2012 opportunities with his longtime family sponsor, Pilot Flying J.(Rusty Wallace Racing)(1-6-2012)
  • Gase signs with Go Green Racing: Go Green Racing announces Cedar Rapids Iowa native, Joey Gase, as driver of the #39 Ford for the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series and contender for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title. “This is a dream come true for me,” Gase said. “My family and I have worked hard to get to this point so it is very rewarding for it to come true. I feel confident that being in the seat every week will really help build some consistency and strong runs.” Gase is no stranger to GGR. In his Nationwide d�but last year at Iowa Speedway, he battled to a top-twenty finish after running strong the entire race. After an impressive run, the eighteen year old went on to compete in four more races to finish the season off on a high note and prepare him for 2012. In addition to Gase piloting the #39 Ford, Go Green Racing is also expected to announce in the coming weeks a rotation of drivers to compete in a second team entry. To prepare for 2012, the team is also taking part in a three day test at Walt Disney World Speedway in Bay Lake, Florida from January 9-11th to become acclimated with the new cars and personnel changes.(Go Green Racing)(1-6-2012)
  • Martin driving for Gibbs at Las Vegas: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Mark Martin will drive the Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry in the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Las Vegas in March. “We’ve always hoped to have the opportunity for Mark to drive for us and to have him behind the wheel of our Interstate Batteries Toyota for the Nationwide race in Vegas is exciting,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. “He is a great example to all drivers of the dedication it takes to be successful and certainly we’re honored to have him part of our efforts in 2012.” While Martin is only currently scheduled to race in Las Vegas for JGR, the team is still working on opportunities for the veteran driver to secure additional races.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(1-6-2012)

  • Almirola to Richard Petty Motorsport? UPDATES – Whitt to the #88: Aric Almirola, who finished fourth in points in the Nationwide Series this season, has emerged as the leading candidate to take over the #43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012. The deal, which has come together very quickly, will be officially announced after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and will include a sponsor announcement. Almirola, was set to begin his second full season with JR Motorsports’ #88 team in 2012, but his move to the Cup series now leaves his future with that organization unclear. A spokesperson for RPM said Friday night the organization did plan to make a driver announcement for the #43 after the holidays but would have no other comment at this time.(Charlotte Observer)(12-24-2011)
    UPDATE: David Ragan and Cole Whitt are the leading candidates to replace Aric Almirola in JR Motorsports’ #88 Nationwide team in 2012, sources said. A decision is expected early next week, around the time Almirola’s move to the Sprint Cup Series and Richard Petty Motorsports’ #43 car should be officially announced.(Charlotte Observer)(12-28-2011)
    UPDATE 2: supposedly Cole Whitt will drive the #88 JR Motorsports Chevy in the Nationwide Series in 2012.(Florida Times-Union)(1-3-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Aric Almirola will drive the legendary #43 Ford Fusion in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition beginning in 2012. Almirola drove a JR Motorsports entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011 and capped off a successful season with a fourth-place finish in the championship point standings.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(1-4-2012)
    UPDATE 4: JR Motorsports’ flagship team will compete for a NASCAR Nationwide Series championship with one of the sport’s up-and-coming stars, as Cole Whitt has been tabbed to drive the company’s flagship #88 Chevy in 2012. Whitt, a 20-year-old native of Alpine, Calif., will also compete for Sunoco Rookie-of-the-Year honors. He comes to JR Motorsports from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where he finished ninth in last year’s championship standings with one pole, two top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. To date he is the youngest driver ever to win the USAC (United States Auto Club) National Midget championship, as his title-winning effort in 2008 put him alongside esteemed former USAC national champions such as Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne. The signing of Whitt completes the 2012 driver line-up for JR Motorsports, which will compete in Nationwide Series competition with Whitt in the#88 Chevy, Danica Patrick in the #7 Chevy, and Earnhardt Jr. in select races in the #5 Chevy.(JR Motorsports)(1-4-2012)
    UPDATE: JR Motorsports has hired Bruce Cook as crew chief for the #5 team, which will run primarily with Earnhardt Jr. in select races. Cook comes to JR Motorsports from Kevin Harvick, Inc., where he served as crew chief in 2011 in the Camping World Truck Series, predominately for the #2 KHI Chevrolet, which won the owner’s championship. With Cook atop the pit box, his team scored six wins, 19 top-fives and 22 top-10s. Cook was also the winning crew chief of the Nationwide Series season-opener at Daytona in 2011 with driver Tony Stewart.(JR Motorsports PR)(12-5-2012)

  • Johanna Long joins ML Motorsports: ML Racing announced that Johanna Long will drive the #70 Biomet  Foretravel Motorcoach Chevy for the 2012 and 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series. Long, a Pensacola, Fl native is the winner of the 2010 Snowball Derby. She began her NASCAR career in 2011, driving a limited schedule in the Camping World Truck Series for Panhandle Motorsports. Long will join a team that is owned by Mary Louise Miller, one of the few female owners in NASCAR. Miller is known as a big supporter of women in racing. At nineteen, Long becomes the youngest female driver to compete in the Nationwide Series, and she will be competing for Rookie of the Year in 2012. ML Motorsports will run 21 races in the #70 Chey in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.(ML Motorsports)(1-5-2012)
  • Lewandoski looking at options for 2012: Years of hard work and knocking on the door of the NASCAR Nationwide Series paid off in 2011 for 26-year-old Charles Lewandoski. The Stafford Springs, Connecticut native made his mark on the Nationwide Series scene, making 18 starts with Tri-Star Motorsports, R3 Motorsports, Key Motorsports and Go Green Racing. Lewandoski led his first Nationwide Series laps in 2011 at Auto Club Speedway and finished in the top 30 in points with a limited schedule. The experience Lewandoski gained in 2011 now has him poised for even more success in 2012. Lewandoski has been in communication with several team owners for the 2012 season and has hopes of securing a full-time ride for the new season when it kicks off in February at Daytona.(Lewandoski PR)(1-4-2012)
  • 5-Hour Energy renews Dover race sponsorship: Dover International Speedway and 5-hour ENERGY announce that they have renewed their partnership into the future, with 5-hour ENERGY serving as the title sponsor for the June 2, 2012 “5-hour ENERGY 200” NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Monster Mile. Race fans who visit the track on race weekend will have the chance to try 5-hour ENERGY while enjoying the action on the track, as brand representatives will be stationed throughout the Speedway and Dover Downs Hotel & Casino passing out complimentary samples. The extension at Dover International Speedway is just another step in a growing NASCAR presence for 5-hour ENERGY, as the company was the sponsor for the 2011 spring NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Monster Mile. In addition, 5-hour ENERGY will have a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series presence next year as the primary sponsor for the Michael Waltrip Racing #15 Toyota, driven by Clint Bowyer.(Dover PR)(1-4-2012)
  • R3 Motorsports to run Cup Series also: After completing the full 2011 NASCAR Nationwide season, resulting in a top-30 in points, [#23 Chevy] R3 Motorsports has announced its racing plans for 2012. Robert Richardson, Jr. will return to the seat for a limited NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule. R3 Motorsports has also purchased a fleet of Sprint Cup Chevy’s from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing to enter all of the NASCAR Sprint Cup races for the 2012 season. Robert Richardson, Jr. will attempt to qualify for his third Daytona 500 and a few other Cup races as well. Greg Conner will be the crew chief and the team will run the #23 in both series.(R3 Motorsports)(1-3-2012)
  • Randy Hill Racing separates from Spraker Racing Enterprises: UPDATE: Randy Hill Racing announced that it has parted ways with Spraker Racing Enterprises, crew chief and team manager Jeff Spraker effective immediately. The change allows both entities sufficient time to solidify new opportunities and options for the approaching 2012 racing season. “We are extremely appreciative to Jeff (Spraker) and all of his employees for helping ignite our program in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and NASCAR Nationwide Series,” explained Randy Hill, owner of Randy Hill Racing. Hill, a successful entrepreneur from Texas who still plans to field an entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series added, “We’re very close to finalizing everything for 2012. We will be at Daytona for the Nationwide race and we’re looking forward to having Casey (Roderick) at the helm of our #08 Ford.(Knight Motorsports Management)(12-28-2011)
    UPDATE: Randy Hill Racing announced the contract extension of NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Casey Roderick that will parlay into the 2012 season. Roderick, a former winner in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, joined RHR last June and has made three NNS starts. The duo hopes to contend for the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship in 2012. The team has also purchased another Ford Mustang from Roush-Fenway Racing and that automobile will be utilized for the 2012 season.(Knight Motorsports Management)(1-3-2012)

  • Kahne & Sweet to split #38 in 2012: Turner Motorsports, along with Great Clips, Inc., announced that Kasey Kahne will increase his time behind the wheel of the #38 Great Clips Chevy in 2012 to compete in 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series events. Up and coming driver, Brad Sweet, who has competed on a limited basis in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the last two years and in the USAC Sprint Car Series and World of Outlaws Series for Kasey Kahne Racing (KKR) for the last four seasons, will make a run for the Rookie of the Year title and will round out the balance of the 33-race NNS schedule when Kahne is not behind the wheel.(Turner Motorsports)(1-2-2012)