July 2011 Nationwide Series Archive


  • Earnhardt, Jr. interested in Danica running full-time: From Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s media availability on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
    “I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything. I feel confident that she’s content where she is and happy with what we’re doing and I think things are looking positive for us to put something together. I would like for her to run full time and I’m sure she is considering that and I think she would enjoy it. She seems to really enjoy driving stock cars and racing in the Nationwide Series. We just have to see but I haven’t heard anything about it.”(Chevy PR)(7-29-2011)

  • Travis Pastrana to make NASCAR National Series Debut UPDATE injured in Xgames: After back-flipping his way through the ESPN X Games, Travis Pastrana will catch a red-eye flight to Indianapolis to make his first ever start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway. The long awaited arrival of the action sports star is finally here. Pastrana has 16 X Games gold medals in addition to multiple titles in supercross, motocross and rally cars. He’ll make his series debut for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing #99 Boost Mobile Toyota. Pastrana got a taste of NASCAR racing, having run a combination of five NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West races this year including his best finish of sixth in his NASCAR debut in January at the Toyota All-Star Showdown. His other NASCAR K&N Pro Series races were Phoenix (25th), Richmond (33rd), Iowa (22nd) and Loudon (22nd).(NASCAR)(7-27-2011)
    UPDATE: Action sports star Travis Pastrana crashed on back-to-back “TP Roll” attempts Thursday night in X Games 17 Moto X Best Trick, ending the Pastranathon during its first event. Pastrana, who was taken off on a stretcher and transported to a hospital for X-rays, broke his right foot and ankle, according to medical officials working with ESPN. He was discharged from the hospital Thursday night. The injury will require surgery at a later date, Pastrana’s planned NASCAR debut on Saturday will be put on hold. He is also out of the X Games. “I am sorry this happened and will be back in action as soon as I can. I look forward to Pastranathon 2012 at X Games 18,” Pastrana told ESPN following his release from the hospital. Going into the X Games, Pastrana had planned to compete in Best Trick and Freestyle on Thursday and Friday, fly to Indianapolis to make his NASCAR Nationwide debut Saturday, then return to Los Angeles to compete in RallyCross on Sunday. X Games 17 will be the first X event since 2002 that Pastrana has been out of medal contention. Pastrana crashed while attempting the corked 720 that had made him a gold medal favorite in Best Trick. Riders usually get one shot each round at throwing tricks, but Pastrana tried the 720 twice after under-rotating the first time. His second attempt ended in identical fashion and he immediately grabbed his lower leg as medical staff rushed to his side on the landing ramp.(ESPN)(7-29-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Pastrana Waltrip Racing announced it will withdraw the #99 Boost Mobile Toyota from Saturday’s race at Lucas Oil Raceway where action sports star Travis Pastrana planned to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut. Pastrana broke his right foot and ankle after back-to-back crashes during the Moto X Best Trick competition at the X Games in Los Angeles Thursday.(Pastrana Waltrip Racing)(7-29-2011)
  • Sesame King to sponsor 3 races for Means Motorsports: Team #52 announced that they have agreed to multiple race sponsorships with Sunshine International Foods, a USA based company that is one of the largest wholesale manufacturers and distributors of all natural Tahini paste. This all natural, heart healthy product is a staple of Middle Eastern cooking – the tasty foundation of hummus, baba ghanoush, halvah, and delicious sauces and dressings. www.sesameking.com will now offer Tahini paste via the Internet. Metro Ministries will also be an associate sponsor for the Kroger 200 and will kicking off their fall campaign to support Operation Holiday Hope, the project, in it’s 14th year, provides a new gift wrapped toy to needy inner city children at Christmas, often the first new toy a child has ever received. (Means Motorsports) (7-28-2011)

  • Shepherd to put team up for sale? When the garage opens at Lucas Oil Raceway this week for what is slated to be the final Nationwide Series race to be held there,#89-Morgan Shepherd will hold a distinction shared by no other driver. Shepherd competed in the first Kroger 200 held at what was Indianapolis Raceway Park back in 1982. In fact . . . he won that race. He has been a part of the series virtually every year since then, but that’s something the 69-year old Conover, N.C., driver may not be able to say soon. “It’s come to a point that financially we can’t buy the tires to be there,” Shepherd said on MRN Radio’s NASCAR Live broadcast. “We can’t pay for the engines. The biggest thing is if we could get somebody to help with engines the rest of the year. We could handle the rest, but if something doesn’t happen by the time we go to Canada, we’re going to have to put our team up for sale.” Shepherd still plans to make the trip to Montreal on August 20. Unless he finds sponsorship help before then, a career that pre-dates the creation of the NASCAR Nationwide Series may come to a close.(Motor Racing Network)(7-27-2011)
  • Mug Jug sponsoring the #28: Mud Jug Portable Spittoons announced they will be sponsoring the Jay Robinson Racing #28 car for the Kroger 200 at Lucas Oil Speedway in Indianapolis, Saturday July 30. The NASCAR Nationwide Series car will be driven by longtime NASCAR veteran and past Daytona 500 winner, Derrick Cope. Made of high impact injection molded plastic, the Mud Jug boasts a weighted base and easily removable, snap-fit funnel lid. Its ergonomic design fits securely in a hand and its innovative shape conceals odors and virtually eliminates spills. Say goodbye to nasty spit cups and spit bottles. Now spit and not worry about spilling or drinking from the wrong cup. Mud Jugs are available exclusively through Mud Jug’s website and Facebook fan page.(Jay Robinson Racing)(7-27-2011)
  • iRacing.com on the #7: Josh Wise’s #7 Chevy will race under iRacing.com colors beginning this weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway and continuing next week at Iowa Speedway. Iracing.com, an online racing simulator, is celebrating a new software release titled iRacing 2.0. This long awaited release will add many user enhancements and features to the popular multi-player racing title.(JR Motorsports) see an image of the car on my #7 team paint schemes page(7-27-2011)
  • K-Love sponsoring Koch at Indy: K-Love radio is partnering with #81-Blake Koch and MacDonald Motorsports this weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, IN. K-Love is a Contemporary Christian radio station playing positive, encouraging music carried in over 440 stations across the country. Popular Christian pop band the Newsboys will be the guests of the team at the track as Blake Koch continues his chase for Rookie of the Year.(MacDonald Motorsports PR)(7-26-2011)
  • ML Motorsports honoring killed police officer: ML Motorsports will be carrying a special decal at Lucas Oil Raceway to honor Brent Long, a Terre Haute, Indiana police officer who was killed in the line of duty. “They were serving the arrest warrant when suddenly shots rang out against the officers from who we believe was the suspect they were looking for,” said state police Sgt. Joe Watts. Long and his dog, Shadow were shot in the exchange. Long was taken to Union Hospital in Terre Haute, where he later died. Long, a six-year police veteran, also was a member of the department’s SWAT team and leaves behind a family.
    AND Keen Parts, a supplier of Corvette restoration parts and accessories, will once again serve as primary sponsor at Lucas Oil Raceway. David Stremme will pilot the #70 Keen Parts Chevy in the Kroger 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway on July 30, 2011. This partnership will mark Keen Part’s second foray in NASCAR sponsorship with ML Motorsports.(ML Motorsports)(7-26-2011)
  • Fain Skinner to drive #41 at Indy: Florida native, Fain Skinner will pilot Rick Ware Racing’s #41 Carport Empire Ford Mustang on Saturday night for the running of the Kroger 200 at the Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Skinner, who has competed in the late model divisions in his home state of Florida looks to show the NASCAR fans why he was a threat each and every week for the past seven years, when it came to short track racing. Carport Empire, the sponsor on Skinner’s #41, is one of the largest distributors of quality carports, carport garages, steel buildings and RV carports in the United States and currently offers installation in all 48 continental states. With a wide variety of metal and steel buildings, their products can handle any situation much like racing at the Lucas Oil Raceway.(Rick Ware Racing)(7-25-2011)
  • Dillon back in the #33: For the second week in a row, Austin Dillon will join the #33 Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) team as the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to the Hoosier State for a Saturday night showdown at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Behind the wheel of the Rheem/Menards Chevrolet, the 21-year-old driver will make his fourth and final start of the season with the KHI team. It will also be Dillon’s second start at the 0.686-mile track. In 2009, he started from the 26th position and drove to an 18th-place finish.(KHI)(7-25-2011)

  • Dufault working on deal for Montreal race: UPDATE: Right now there is a big blank space on Maryeve Dufault’s 2011 race calendar where the NASCAR Nationwide Series NAPA 200 should be. From the start of her first stock car season that began with a very credible 24th finish among the 43 cars in the ARCA Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 at Daytona International Speedway in February, it has been Dufault’s goal to run in Canada’s lone Nationwide stop at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. “We are pretty close to signing a Nationwide contract for Montreal,” Dufault said. “We are in talks right now and we should be able to announce it in the next couple of weeks.” One of the problems, of course, is that most of the top echelon race teams who normally would be looking for a Canadian driver for the Canadian race have already signed someone. Dufault would also have to find time in the next month to test an NNS car on a road course, something that doesn’t come cheap. Dufault admits she won’t take the first offer that comes along. She said she wants a car that will be competitive because she has no desire to run at the back of the pack.(Toronto Sun)(6-17-2011)
    UPDATE: Maryeve Dufault will become the first Canadian female to compete in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race, when she makes her Nationwide Series debut driving the Quebec Dodge Dealers Dodge Challenger for MacDonald Motorsports at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal for the Napa Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge on August 20, 2011. With support from the Quebec Dodge Dealers, Dufault will drive a Dodge Challenger for fellow Canadian, Randy MacDonald.(Dufault PR)(7-25-2011)

  • Jimmie Johnson in the #7 at Watkins Glen: Dr. Jerry Punch reported during the Nationwide race at Nashville Superspeedway that Jimmie Johnson will drive the #7 for JR Motorsports at the upcoming race in Watkins Glen. Jamie McMurray is also expect to drive the car in August.(7-23-2011)
  • Bayne was treated for Lyme Disease: Trevor Bayne had to miss five Nationwide races earlier this year after suffering from what his doctors think was Lyme Disease. But he feels fine now. “I’m great. I’m going back in a couple months to find out if that’s officially what it was,” he said. “I had treatment for that and my symptoms are gone. Hopefully, that’s what it was and they knocked it out.”(Associated Press)(7-23-2011)

  • Annett pleads guilty: #62-Michael Annett has pleaded guilty to driving while impaired. Annett entered his plea Friday in North Carolina District Court. He was given a suspended jail sentence of 120 days and sentenced to two years unsupervised probation. Annett also was sentenced to 48 hours of community service and fined $200. Annett also must forfeit his driver’s license for one year. He was arrested Feb. 6 after he ran into another car stopped at a light in Mooresville. Charges of resisting arrest, failure to reduce speed and unlawful use of a mobile phone were dismissed.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-22-2011)
  • Congrats: to Matthew & Dana Donley on the birth of their baby boy this morning. He is healthy and 8.1 bs and 19 1/2 inches long. Matthew is a mechanic and front tire carrier on the #66 of Steven Wallace.(7-21-2011)
  • NASCAR reinstates crew member: NASCAR has reinstated crew member Benjamin Williams following his successful completion of NASCAR’s Road to Recovery Program. Williams was indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on May 11, 2009 for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.(NASCAR) Williams was a crew member for the #16 Nationwide team when he was suspended in 2009(7-19-2011)
  • New Hampshire TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 16, earned a 1.6 national household coverage rating, averaging 2,146,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating jumped 33 percent from last year’s race, which was run the final weekend in June and rated a 1.2 on ESPN. In addition to the higher rating, all key male demographics experienced double-digit increases from last year’s telecast. Across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, the NASCAR Nationwide Series is up 13 percent in ratings average from this point last year and 10 percent above this point in 2009. In addition, the Male 18-34 demographic is up 18 percent from this point last year.(ESPN)(7-19-2011)
  • Herring in the #18 at Nashviile: Drew Herring will return to the seat of a Joe Gibbs Racing machine this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. But this time, it won’t be in the #20, where he made his debut back in May. Instead, it will be in the #18 Sport Clips Toyota. However, one thing that will remain the same for Herring, as it was in May, is the team he will have around him. This weekend, the #18 Sport Clips Toyota will be lead by Crew Chief Adam Stevens and a majority of the regular crew from the #20 JGR Nationwide Series team. Jason Ratcliff, the regular Crew Chief of the #18, will also be in at Nashville to help guide the team toward a strong finish and a chance to extend their lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship.(JGR)(7-19-2011)
  • Two Dollar General cars at Nashville: Turner Motorsports announced that the NASCAR Nationwide Series powerhouse will field two Dollar General Chevys this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway in the Federated Auto Parts 300. Reed Sorenson, currently second in the NNS point standings, will pilot the flagship #32 Dollar General Chevy while teammate Justin Allgaier will be in a second, #31 Dollar General Chevy.(Turner Motorsports)(7-18-2011)

  • Edwards won’t run full Nationwide season in 2012: Asked about his Nationwide plans next year during an ESPN chat, #60-Carl Edwards, said “No, I do not plan on running Nationwide full time. I will focus on the Sprint Cup and my family. But I truly love the Nationwide Series. It will be a big change for me.”(7-18-2011)
  • 150 starts for Sadler: #2-Elliott Sadler will make his 150th NASCAR Nationwide Series start Saturday night at Nashville. The Emporia, Va., native has five wins, eight poles, 28 top-five and 51 top-10 finishes. Over the course of 14 seasons, Sadler has led 830 laps and competed at 33 different Nationwide Series tracks.(KHI)(7-18-2011)
  • Dillon returns to the #33: Austin Dillon returns to the driver’s seat of #33 Rheem Chevy this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway for his third start with the Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) team. Dillon made his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start at the track and first start with the team in April. The young driver qualified the #33 Chevy in the third position and finished the day in seventh. In May, Dillon piloted the Rheem KHI entry at Iowa Speedway where he finished 10th after starting from the third position.(KHI)(7-18-2011)
  • Efland in the #39 at Nashville: C3i Sports and Americans Honoring Americans will sponsor the Go Green #39 Ford Mustang for Danny Efland at Nashville Super Speedway on Saurday July 23rd. Danny has had his best two Nationwide finishes in the Go Green car – both top twenties.(Efland PR)(7-18-2011)
  • Harvick says he’s been warned to not touch Busch: Kevin Harvick says he is racing with handcuffs when competing against rival Kyle Busch, whom he and his owner have feuded with since May. Harvick, who finished second behind Busch in the New England 200 on Saturday, told his Nationwide Series team over his radio that he had to be careful around Busch and then confirmed afterward that NASCAR President Mike Helton had warned him at Michigan in June not to touch Busch on the track. “I was told a few weeks ago that if we touched the 18 car [of Busch], we’d be parked,” Harvick said. “I’ve just got to be really careful. I would have liked to have gotten the track position and slid up and do what I needed to do. But I’ve just got to be really careful. That’s the way NASCAR put it to me.” NASCAR spokesman Kristi King said if there was a conversation between Harvick and Helton, it would remain private. Busch said he has received no warning. “It would have been a lot easier to win if you didn’t have handcuffs put on you, but that’s the way NASCAR said we had to do it,” Harvick said.(Scene Daily(7-17-2011)
  • Villeneuve looking for Cup or Nationwide ride: Jacques Villeneuve came to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday to shop — for a race team. While the 1997 Formula champ’s first choice would be acquiring a full-time ride in either the Sprint Cup or Nationwide Series, Villeneuve realizes providing his own seat my be the best option to join the sport. “There’s two things, if I can get a good ride, I probably would not be looking at (buying a team) but the way the budgets are right now you might as well bring it yourself,” Villeneuve said. “If I could get a full-time ride, I probably wouldn’t bother.” Villeneuve said his first preference is Sprint Cup. But he would prefer a solid Nationwide Series team to a struggling Cup operation. Villeneuve said he’s “very sad” that nothing has been lined up yet for Watkins Glen, but he would love the opportunity to race there as well.(Fox Sports)(7-17-2011)

  • Jay Robinson Racing to run #23 team: Jay Robinson Racing has combined efforts with Robert Richardson Racing to field the #23 NNS Car for the remainder of the 2011 Season and beyond. Jay Robinson and the Richardson’s have a long standing relationship in the Series so this will be a natural fit for both. David Green will be driving the #23 in New Hampshire this weekend. This will be David’s 400th start in the Series.(Jay Robinson Racing PR)(7-15-2011)
  • Ingram’s grandson charged: The grandson of NASCAR driver Jack Ingram is accused of stealing his championship rings and other mementos, then asking Ingram to pay for their return. Buncombe County investigators charged 25-year-old Jackson Layne Ingram on Thursday with breaking and entering and larceny, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported. Authorities said $5,000 worth of items were taken from Jack Ingram’s home June 29, including the diamond ring he won for his 1982 Busch Series championship, a 1985 championship ring, a watch and his wife’s high school ring. A few days later, a caller asked for $1,000 to return the items, but Ingram said no.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-15-2011)
  • TriStar hauler liftgate collapses: UPDATE: According to a Facebook note by Sirius Speedway’s Dave Moody, “No injuries were reported earlier today when the rear lift gate on theTri-Star Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series transporter failed today in the garage area at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The failure reportedly occurred while the team was attempting to unload the #19 car driven by Mike Bliss, with the rear door frame breaking away from the trailer, causing the lift gate and race car to fall to the ground. There is no word on damage to the car.”(7-14-2011)
    UPDATE: According to the team, “In response to the incident with the #19 hauler; James Roland, crew member of the team, suffered a broken bone in his foot & has possible torn ligaments in his knee.”(7-14-2011)
  • Carmichael expects to run Nationwide in 2012: From an interview with Frontstretch.com:
    Q: Next year, do you plan on continuing in the Camping World Truck Series, or do you plan on moving up to the Nationwide Series?
    A: My plan for 2012 is to go full-time Nationwide racing. That is my plan and my goal. That’s what we want to do.
    Q: Are you planning on staying with Turner Motorsports in order to do that?
    A: As of right now, that is the plan. I’ve got a good relationship with them. Obviously, so much of it depends on sponsorship, but I’ve got a great sponsor behind me in Monster Energy, so we’ll see what happens.(Frontstretch)(7-14-2011)
  • Two teams penalized: NASCAR announced penalties and fines to the #02 and #23 teams that compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as a result of rule infractions at Kentucky Speedway. The #02 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20A-2.3A (improperly attached weight) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book. The infraction occurred during practice on July 7. As a result of the violation, crew chief Corrie Stott has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 17. The #23 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4-J and 20A-5.9F (unapproved intake manifold). This violation was discovered during opening day inspection on July 7. Crew chief Walter Giles has been fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 17 as a result of the infraction.(NASCAR)(7-12-2011)
  • 150 starts for Sorenson: This weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Reed Sorenson will make his 150th NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) start. Since his first series start back in 2004, Sorenson owns four wins, 38 top-five and 79 top-10 finishes along with two pole awards.(Turner Motorsports)(7-12-2011)
  • Captain America on the #20 at NHMS: While he doesn’t call himself a superhero, Joey Logano and the #20 GameStop Toyota will have one riding with them this weekend at New Hampshire. Captain America: Super Soldier by Sega will be the featured game this weekend on the GameStop Toyota. Become Captain America, the ultimate Super Soldier, in the darkest days of World War II as you face the Red Skull and his army in this epic third-person action adventure. Wield Captain America’s legendary shield to take out multiple enemies at once, deflect incoming fire back at your enemies, solve puzzles, and scale walls. Captain America: Super Soldier combines an acrobatic combat system with fluid platforming and a highly-tuned suite of shield attacks including melee combos. The completely original story for Captain America: Super Soldier is penned by noted comic, film, and TV writer Christos Gage. Set to be released on July 19, Captain America: Super Soldier is available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS and 3DS.(JGR)(7-12-2011)
  • Kentucky TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway on Friday night, July 8, earned a 1.2 household coverage rating, averaging 1,586,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating was down from last year’s Kentucky race, which aired on a Saturday night in June and earned a 1.4 rating. The 2009 Kentucky race, which was also run on a Saturday night, earned a comparable 1.2 rating on ESPN2.(ESPN)(7-11-2011)
  • Metro Ministries to be featured on the #52 at Kentucky and New Hampshire: Means Motorsports announced the Christian, non-profit organization dedicated to serving inner-city children throughout New York City and other urban centers around the world, will be the primary sponsor on their Chevy entry for the Feed the Children 300. For almost 30 years, Founder and Senior Pastor Bill Wilson, has worked to rescue hurting children and offer a message of salvation and love. The program encourages them to stay in school and away from gangs and other destructive or criminal behaviors so common in inner-city environments. Metro Ministries is currently the world’s largest Sunday school serving more than 42,000 children with faith based services each week. At next week’s race in New Hampshire, friends and fans of the #52 will be challenged for pledge donations based on laps completed to raise money for Operation Holiday Hope.(Means Motorsports)(7-8-2011)

  • Voting underway for Most Popular Driver: For the fourth consecutive year, fans can vote online for the 2011 Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Voting begins today and runs through Nov. 17, prior to the season-ending race for both national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend. This year, fans have dedicated sites on NASCAR.com to vote. For the NASCAR Nationwide Series, fans can go to www.NASCAR.com/nnsmpd and to www.NASCAR.com/ncwtsmpd for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Fans may vote once per day leading up to the Nov. 17 deadline. To be eligible to receive votes, drivers must have selected either the NASCAR Nationwide Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to receive 2011 driver championship points. Additionally, drivers must have attempted at least half of each series’ races this season. The winners will be announced at the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards Banquet. The combined post-season gala will again take place in South Florida at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel on Monday, Nov. 21. With eligibility tied to their selected series for points, a new Most Popular Driver will be crowned in both series this year.(NASCAR)(7-7-2011)

  • Herring running 2 additional races for JGR: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that it has signed Drew Herring to drive at least two additional races this season in its NASCAR Nationwide Series program. Herring will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series races in Nashville and ORP on July 23 and 30 respectively. Sport Clips Haircuts will sponsor both races with Herring driving the #18 Toyota in Nashville as that team continues its quest to capture a third-straight Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship. He will move over to the #20 Toyota for the race at ORP.(JGR)(7-7-2011)
  • Stock-Car Montréal looking to for grant to retain Montreal Nationwide race: UPDATE: Racers on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve dive into the physical, twin-turn Senna Corner praying that they’ll emerge at the exit with the same number of parts on their cars as when they entered. It’s with a similar cautious optimism that NASCAR promoters hope to hear an encouraging word from the provincial government this week about a request that will keep the sport in Montreal for another five years. Stock-Car Montréal, a subsidiary of giant U.S. track owner and race promoter International Speedway Corp., wants a $500,000 Quebec grant to keep the NASCAR Nationwide Series running on the island circuit of Jean Drapeau Park. The federal government is said to be willing to pony up an equal sum for 2012, the two bodies then presumably writing an annual cheque of that sum for the balance of a long-term, probably five-year contract. This Thursday marks the closing of Stock-Car Montréal’s exclusive negotiation window with Jean Drapeau Park. As of Friday, any race body or promoter could speak with the park about securing the site’s second race weekend – Formula One’s Canadian Grand Prix is the other.(Montreal Gazette)(6-28-2011)
    UPDATE: Canada’s only NASCAR race might be in jeopardy. The Quebec government on Wednesday rejected developer Francois Dumontier’s request for $1 million in government assistance, half each from Quebec and Ottawa, to help offset an anticipated $1.6 million deficit. “The developer has not satisfactorily proven to the Department of Tourism that it would be profitable for them to invest in the event,” Isabelle Lord, spokeswoman for Tourism Minister Nicole Menard, said. This funding shortfall likely means August’s Nationwide Series race will be the end of NASCAR racing at the Gilles Villeneuve track on Montreal’s Ile Notre-Dame. The city of Montreal’s contract with International Speedway Corporation and its promoter expired June 30. It is the only such event in the country. (Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-6-2011)
  • Angela Cope to attempt New Hampshire race: For the first time in their racing careers, one of the Cope Twins is going to attempt to race “solo” in one of NASCAR’s top three series. Without her sister Amber, Angela Cope plans to compete in the Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 16. Amber will be in attendance, however, on the headset helping guide Angela instead of behind the wheel herself. “We thought it was best that as we continue to grow in the sport of NASCAR that we take one car to the track and focus all our efforts on that car and team,” said Angela, 27. “This let’s our team put all its energy into the one car and gives us the best chance to show we can be competitive. It also allows Amber to see another aspect of the sport. Angela will pilot the #44 Chevy of Tri-Star Motorsports, the same team she finished 28th for in the Iowa event. Co-Primary sponsors on the Angela’s car at the Loudon, NH, facility are Horizon Entertainment and Xinergy while Odyssey Batteries by EnerSys will return for its third racein support of the Cope Twins as an associate sponsor.(HB&M Sports PR)(7-6-2011)

  • Indianpolis Motor Speedway considering taking Nationwide race: UPDATE 3 official: An Indianapolis Motor Speedway spokesman Tuesday confirmed talks to bring a sports car race to the facility’s road course in 2012 during NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 weekend, but he said no agreement is in place. The biggest obstacle: converting the facility from a road course configuration, which would be used for a Friday endurance race of Grand-Am’s Rolex Series, to an oval for NASCAR on Saturday and Sunday. NASCAR owns Grand-Am, which would bring a title sponsor to cover the sanctioning fee estimated at $200,000. Also being discussed is a move of the weekend’s Nationwide Series race, which comes with a guaranteed check of about $700,000 due to the television contract, from Lucas Oil Raceway to IMS. IMS officials have been looking for ways to bolster the Brickyard weekend amid declining attendance.(Indianapolis Star)(6-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Officials at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NASCAR are in serious discussions about adding a Grand-Am Rolex Series race and possibly a Nationwide Series race to the 2012 Sprint Cup weekend at the Brickyard, multiple sources confirmed Wednesday. The Nationwide race currently at O’Reilly Raceway Park would move to IMS on Saturday afternoon. A three-hour Grand-Am endurance race likely would run on Friday afternoon so as not to conflict with the Truck Series race held that night at ORP. Doug Boles, the director of public relations at IMS, could not comment on a potential Nationwide move but acknowledged discussions to bring the Grand-Am event to the weekend for a road course race are taking place. He said the track needs more than one event to give fans more value for their ticket. Officials at ORP said they have not been told that the Nationwide race will move to IMS next year, but added if that happened it would be a big blow. “If that were to happen it would definitely make us re-strategize and refocus,” ORP general manager Wes Collier said. “This track has been here for 50 years now. It would definitely be an impact, but we’d continue on. Right now we’re planning on having two events here next year.”(ESPN.com)(6-16-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Indianapolis Motor Speedway will add Nationwide and Grand-Am Rolex Series races to its Sprint Cup weekend in 2012, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com on Tuesday. A press conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday at the start-finish line at IMS. IMS officials told ESPN.com last month that they were looking to add the two events — the Nationwide race will be held on Saturday afternoon with the three-hour Grand-Am race on Friday afternoon — to add value to its weekend for fans. The Nationwide race will move from its longtime home at Lucas Oil Raceway. The Truck Series is expected to remain at LOR, likely on Friday night.(ESPN.com)(7-5-2011)
    UPDATE 3: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the epicenter of American stock car racing and North American sports car racing July 26-29, 2012, as the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing will join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for four exciting races during the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard. It will be the first time in IMS history that races will take place on the 2.5-mile oval and 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course during the same weekend, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing will make their IMS debuts. The 19th annual Brickyard 400 for the Sprint Cup Series will race on the oval Sunday, July 29, with the Nationwide Series also racing on the oval Saturday, July 28.(IMS)(7-6-2011)
  • NASCAR tweaks rainout procedure: Starting this weekend at Kentucky, if 1st practice is run, but qualifying is canceled, the starting lineup will be based on speeds from the car’s fastest lap from the first practice, with top-35 cars in owner points no longer segregated from the non-top 35 cars. Previously, the top 35 cars lined up in front of all other eligible car owners.(NASCAR)(7-6-2011)
  • Ownership change at Iowa Speedway: Principal ownership of Iowa Speedway has transitioned from one Iowa family to another. Featherlite, Inc., founder Conrad Clement, originally from Newton, Iowa; along with his sons, Tracy and Eric; and his brother, Stan Clement, also from Newton, purchased U.S. Motorsports Corporation (USM Corp.) — the holding company that owns Iowa Speedway — effective June 30. he entire staff will remain in tact so fans continue to have a world-class race day experience at Iowa Speedway. Stan’s sons, Luke and Tyler, have also been appointed as corporate officers. The Manatt family — owners of Manatt’s, Inc., a heavy construction company based in Brooklyn, Iowa — have been the primary investors since the track was built. They intended to help launch the Speedway and improve Newton’s economic vitality, and then transfer controlling interest so they could focus on their core family business.(Iowa Speedway PR)(7-5-2011)
  • Daytona TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the Subway Jalapeno 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night, July 1, earned a 1.6 household coverage rating, averaging 2,085,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year’s July Daytona race, which was won by Dale Earnhardt Jr., driving a Wrangler-sponsored No. 3 in a tribute to his father, earned a 1.9 household coverage rating, averaging 2,575,000 viewers. The telecast was the most-viewed NASCAR Nationwide Series race ever on ESPN. The 2011 race was up from the 1.5 rating for the 2009 race. The most-viewed NASCAR Nationwide Series race ever on cable was the 2010 February race at Daytona, which featured the NASCAR debut of Danica Patrick. That race aired on ESPN2 and earned a 3.2 household coverage rating with more than 4.2 million viewers.(ESPN)(7-5-2011)

  • McClure released from hospital: UPDATE: #14-Eric McClure, who was taken to Halifax hospital after an accident in the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway, was released Friday night. He posted on Facebook, “I have a concussion and am quite sore but otherwise ok. Guys build safe cars and nascar medical team is great.” He will need to be cleared by NASCAR to drive Friday night at Kentucky.(7-2-2011)
    UPDATE: Following a hard crash in Daytona that left him with a mild concussion, Eric McClure has received medical clearance to compete at Kentucky Speedway; the race will mark 155th -career Nationwide Series start and his sixth at the 1.5-mile facility.(TMR)(7-5-2011)

  • Mike Wallace making 400th Nationwide start: Mike Wallace will be walking a little taller this Friday at Kentucky Speedway just before the NASCAR Nationwide Series race starts. When he climbs in the car and the command to start engines is heard, Wallace will make his 400th-career NASCAR Nationwide Series start. A trek that began in 1990 when he made his first series start at Martinsville Speedway driving the #40 Chevrolet for Marc Reno. This weekend, it will be the #01 Cowboys & Aliens movie Chevy, with GK Services on the car as an associate partner, with current owner Johnny Davis. This comes on the heels of the St. Louis native making his 700th overall NASCAR start just four races ago, as well. (Johnny Davis Motorsports)(7-5-2011)
  • Will Kimmel to make Nationwide debut at Kentucky: UPDATE: Ever since he was a kid, Will Kimmel has dreamed about having the opportunity to race against some of NASCAR’s finest drivers. Next week at Kentucky Speedway, the third-generation racer will get his shot. Kimmel, a Sellersburg resident, announced Tuesday that he will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the Feed the Children 300 on Friday, July 8 at the 1 1/2-mile oval. The 23-year-old nephew of nine-time ARCA Racing Series champion Frank Kimmel and the son of former Louisville Speedway late model champion Bill Kimmel Jr. will drive the #39 Ford Mustang for Mooresville, N.C.-based Go Green Racing.(Evening News and Tribune)(6-29-2011)
    UPDATE: Sponsors for Kimmel’s effort will include Crosley Radio and Clarksville Schwinn.(Kimmel PR)(7-5-2011)
  • NASCAR suspends two crew members: Troy Hartman and Denise Harmon-Mixon, both crew members in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, have been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy.(NASCAR)(7-5-2011)
  • Keen Parts sponsoring ML Motorsports at Kentucky: ML Motorsports will have a tri-state connection for the upcoming Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway. The Warsaw, Indiana based team has partnered with Keen Parts of Cleves, Ohio – located just an hour north of Kentucky Speedway. David Stremme of South Bend, Indiana will drive the #70 Keen Parts Chevy once again. In his three races with ML Motorsports, Stremme has an average finish of 13th with his best finish at Richmond International Raceway of 9th.(ML Motorsports), see an image of the car on my #70 team paint schemes page.(7-5-2011)
  • Wipeout on the #20 at Kentucky: It’s a favorite game show of many people these days, including Joey Logano himself. It features spills, thrills and plenty of laughs. It’s ABC’s Wipeout. And the video game version will hopefully bring some thrills without the spills at Kentucky Speedway. Wipeout: In the Zone for the Xbox 360’s Kinect system will be the featured game on the #20 GameStop Toyota for the Feed the Children 300. Released on June 14th, Wipeout In the Zone features over 30 outrageous obstacles that will test players’ limits in more ridiculous ways than ever. Players can try to run the entire course in one shot, conquering one challenge after another, such as leaping over a pool of water using the infamous “Big Balls” and maneuvering their players to avoid being pummeled by the “Smack Wall Sweeper.” Once again featuring the talents and hilarious commentary of the show’s hosts, Wipeout In the Zone will bring hours upon hours of fun and laughter for the entire family.(JGR)(7-5-2011)
  • Daytona paint schemes: Added 44 images from Daytona to the 2011 Nationwide Series paint schemes pages.(7-2-2011)
  • Cobb announces 3 Daytona sponsors: Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing announces three new sponsors, Obregon Construction, LLC, Keen’s Portable Buildings and Rimrock Flooring, will support her at the high-banked 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway in this week’s Subway Jalapeno 250. (Breaking Limits)(7-1-2011)

  • Koch secures partnership with Daystar: UPDATE: Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year contender Blake Koch announced that the Daystar Television Network and Blake Koch Incorporated have signed a new long-term, multi-year agreement to continue their relationship well beyond the 2011 season. This newly formed partnership will secure support for Koch’s racing career for multiple seasons in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. A native of West Palm Beach, Florida who now is relocating to North Carolina, Blake Koch began his racing career in motocross as a teenager. After continued injuries led him to seek a safer form of competition, he began racing late model stock cars and speedway trucks at various venues on the East Coast. In 2008 he made his debut in the NASCAR West series. Shortly thereafter he developed a relationship with the Daystar Television Network, who became a title sponsor of the up and coming driver that showed great promise, despite very little experience in the sport. The Daystar Television Network is an Emmy award winning faith based network that is dedicated to spreading the Gospel 24 hours a day, seven days a week all around the globe through all media formats possible. Daystar is the fastest growing, and one of the two largest, faith based networks in the world today and can be viewed on all major and secondary satellite and cable systems. Daystar programming reaches over 200 countries into more than 91 million homes in the United States and 680 million homes globally.(Koch PR)(6-30-2011)
    UPDATE: Blake Koch will contest the remainder of the 2011 season with MacDonald Motorsports, as backer DayStar re-upped for the remainder of the season after initially being slated for 10 races, the driver informed Frontstretch on Thursday. The growing sponsorship will also see Koch contest a full 2012 Nationwide Series schedule with Daystar backing, though no details are currently available on whether Koch will remain with MacDonald for next year. “We…signed a multi-year, long-term agreement [with Daystar] to do whatever it takes to keep me in the race car and keep things going strong” said Koch of the new arrangement. “The big thing is to keep putting in the effort to spread the message of Jesus Christ. That is a big goal for us, [in fact] the main goal.” No word on how this affects Donnie Neuenberger and his previously announced deal to drive the #81 car with Eagle Convenience Stores sponsorship; Neuenberger was scheduled at the start of the year to race both at Michigan and this weekend at Daytona in the #81.(Frontstretch)(7-1-2011)
  • TRX Software Inc to Sponsor Means Motorsports at Daytona: TRX announced that it will be the title sponsor for the #52 Chevy driven by Kevin Lepage for tonight’s Subway Jalapeno 250 race at Daytona. The company is introducing proprietary tax software that provides a unique opportunity to incorporate features that are essential in running a fluid tax preparation business. The Nashville based company provides professionals the tools and solutions to fulfill their business needs and places great importance on staying connected with its members to make them a better and stronger group. TAX Exact and YonderWorks, two of the industry’s leading software programs offered by www.trxsoftware.com, will also be featured on the car. After a top 25 finish at Road America race last week, the #52 is prepared to make a run at moving up in the Nationwide Series standings to remained locked in for the remaining races.(Means Motorsports) (7-1-2011)