June 2011 Nationwide Series Archive


  • Edwards skipping Road America: UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Billy Johnson, who led the first practice session on Friday at Road America, will drive the #60 Fastenal Mustang in Saturday’s Bucyrus 200 Nationwide Series road course race. Carl Edwards, who was originally slated to drive the car at Road America, will remain in Sonoma, Calif. and concentrate on his Sprint Cup effort.”I think Billy will do a great job,” said Edwards, who leads the Sprint Cup point standings. “In the end, this puts us in the best position with both teams to perform well, so I’m grateful to be able to make the change and I feel like we are doing the right thing. I think this shows you just how much our sponsors and our team are able to work together and change things on the fly,” added Edwards. “The original plan was for me to miss all of practice in our Sprint Cup car in Sonoma on Saturday, but literally as we finished practice today we found out that Billy Johnson was P1 in the Fastenal Ford Mustang at Road America. We also felt like as a team that we needed more practice on the Cup side, so I called the (President and) CEO of Fastenal – Will Oberton – and without any hesitation, he said do what you need to do to have the best result and we are behind you 100 percent. It just shows that Fastenal is truly behind our whole Roush Fenway team, and we have a great relationship to be able to make this change.”(Roush Fenway)(6-25-2011)
    UPDATE: This will be the first Nationwide race without Edwards since June 12, 2005 at Nashville. Edwards had a conflict with the Sprint Cup race at Pocono running the same day, and he won that race. Edwards’ streak of 210 consecutive Nationwide races is the longest active streak in the series.(Sporting News)(6-24-2011)
  • NASCAR increasing road course pit road speeds: Beginning this weekend at Infineon Raceway, NASCAR officials have increased the caution car speeds by five miles per hour at all four NASCAR-sanctioned road courses – Infineon, Watkins Glen International, Road America and Circuit-Gilles Villeneuve. Pit road speeds also have been increased by 5 miles per hour at Watkins Glen and Infineon. The changes will help alleviate engine strain caused by elevation changes, explained John Darby, NASCAR’s managing director of competition and Sprint Cup Series director. “With cars going uphill and downhill, plus the way teams have developed their cars and gear ratios, the speeds were too slow,” Darby said. “Engines were overheating, especially with extended caution periods.” This weekend’s caution car speed at Infineon and Road America is 45 mph. Pit road speed is 40 mph at Infineon and 35 mph at Road America.(NASCAR)(6-24-2011)

  • Gase to make NNS debut at Iowa: Cedar Rapids teenager Joey Gase expects to have a ride in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in August at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. According to Bob Gase, the father of the 18-year-old race car driver, Joey Gase has become qualified to run and should pilot a car for Go Green Racing in the Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 on Saturday Aug. 6. Bob Gase said he received a call Wednesday to confirm it. Joey Gase ran in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East/West Challenge at Iowa Speedway in May but did not qualify. Joey Gase, who just graduated from Cedar Rapids Xavier in May, is fourth in the late model season points standings at Hawkeye Downs Speedway, even though he leads all late model drivers with three feature wins this season. (Eastern Iowa Sports and Rec)(6-24-2011)
  • Stott returning at Kentucky with Dick: Viva Motorsports will be making their debut in the NASCAR Nationwide series on July 8th at Kentucky Speedway in the Feed the Children 300. Viva Motorsports and Corrie Stott Racing have partnered this season to run a part time schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and after several successful outings, the team has decided to make the jump into the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Viva Motorsports has recently acquired a couple of Chevy Impalas and the crew at Corrie Stott Racing have been busy getting them ready to hit the track. Jamie Dick, 22 year old driver from Albuquerque, New Mexico, will be behind the wheel of the #02 Impala at Kentucky Speedway. Viva Auto Group, a group of new and used car dealerships based out of El Paso, Texas, will continue their support of Jamie Dick and the team as they did in the Camping World Truck Series. While the schedule is still tentative, Viva Motorsports plans on running at least one more Nationwide Series race after Kentucky and they will continue their 7-10 race Truck Series schedule.(Stott PR)(6-23-2011)
  • MAXelence returns to the #28 at Road America: Jay Robinson Racing will have MAXelence back as the primary sponsor for the Bucyrus 200 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Derrike Cope will be driving this road course for the first time in his career, “I have had the opportunity to race at a number of road courses across The United States and looking forward to getting my first opportunity at Road America. There is a great tradition of road course racing here and I am looking forward to my first laps there” said Cope. Derrike is currently 21st in the point standings and with added energy MAXelence will be working hard to get in the top 20.(Jay Robinson Racing)(6-23-2011)
    AND Jay Robinson Racing will have Anderson’s Maple Syrup back on board as a Major Associate Sponsor for the Bucyrus 200 Nationwide Series event this Saturday June 25, 2011. The Anderson’s Maple Syrup sponsorship of Jay Robinson Racing’s two racecars, The #28 MAXelence Chevy and The #70 All American Sports Pouch Beverage Chevy, aligns the company with accomplished drivers Derrike Cope and Dennis Setzer.(Jay Robinson Racing)(6-23-2011)
  • Michigan TV Ratings: ABC’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, June 18, earned a 1.5 national rating, averaging 2,228,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. Last year’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at MIS was run in August and aired on ESPN, earning a 1.2 U.S. rating. NASCAR Nationwide Series ratings are on a two-year high across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, averaging a 1.5 U.S. rating that is up 20 percent from this point last year and up 13 percent from this point in 2009.(ESPN)(6-23-2011)
  • Jason Bowles making debut with Rusty Wallace: Toyota All-Star Showdown winner, Jason Bowles is on-call this weekend for Rusty Wallace Racing (RWR) at Road America. Bowles’ #64 Toyota Camry will roll off the truck Friday in Fuel Doctor colors for the Bucyrus 200, the first of three events he will drive for RWR in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. “I have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Bowles of his opportunity on the 4-mile Wisconsin road course. “I’ve worked really hard to get the chance to run with Rusty’s team, so I’m going to do whatever it takes to make the most of the opportunity. I’ve had some success on road courses in the K&N Pro Series and up in Canada, so I’m ready to go to Wisconsin and drive the Fuel Doctor Toyota like I stole it.”(Bowles PR)(6-22-2011)
  • Drissi joins Rick Ware: 2009 Trans Am Series Champion, and Rolex Grand Am Series and American Le Mans Series driver, Tomy Drissi has joined Rick Ware Racing. Tomy Drissi’s arrival marks the beginning of the newly formed alignment with Sprint Cup Series team, Max Q Motorsports #37 for RWR at the upcoming road course events and possibly some premier oval track dates as well. Drissi will drive the #37 RWR-Rise of the Planet of the Apes Ford at Infineon Raceway this weekend for the organization and then race in the Nationwide Series at Watkins Glen and Montreal later this season as well as the 50th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona road race that strangely he has wanted to race his entire career but never given the opportunity until now.(RWR)(6-22-2011)
  • Florida Gulf Safe on the #31: Turner Motorsports announced Florida Gulf Safe as primary sponsor on Justin Allgaier’s #31 Chevy this weekend at Road America. A campaign launched by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to combat the low consumer confidence in Florida’s Gulf seafood, the ‘Florida Gulf Safe’ sticker can be found on seafood to emphasize the safety and availability of Florida seafood harvested from the Gulf.(Turner Motorsports)(6-22-2011)
  • Fellows returns to JR Motorsports: Ron Fellows, a native of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, reunites with JR Motorsports for this weekend’s Bucyrus 200 at Road America. Known for his road-course talents, Fellows drove to a runner-up finish in this event last year with JRM. He owns six career starts with the organization, earning one win (Montreal ’08), three top-fives and four top-10 finishes. Fellows has piloted the #5 and #88 Chevys in previous races, but this marks his first time driving the #7. (JR Motorsports)(6-22-2011)
  • Carmichael making 2011 NNS debut: 15-time AMA champion and full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver, Ricky Carmichael, is set to make his 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the #30 Monster Energy Chevy at Road America. Carmichael made his NNS debut in 2010, finishing a career-best 18th at Kansas Speedway. He is scheduled to make three more NNS starts in 2011 at Daytona International Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Phoenix International Raceway.(Turner Motorsports)(6-21-2011)
  • Harrington to make NNS debut with Ware Racing Current Trans Am and Rolex Grand Am Series driver, Doug Harrington will pilot the #41 New Orleans Voodoo Ford Mustang at Elkhart Lake Wisconsin’s, Road America this weekend. Harrington joined Rick Ware Racing over the winter as the organization made its debut at Daytona International Speedway for the running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the GT Class finishing an impressive 11th. Harrington recently finished second at VIR last month in his own Trans Am Series car in preparation for the Bucyrus 200 at Road America. (RWR)(6-21-2011)
  • Kennedy returns to the #23: R3 Motorsports will have Alex “Kid” Kennedy in the #23 St. Baldrick’s/Media Master Dodge this weekend at Road America. The 19-year old resident of Aztec, N.M. is scheduled to make at least two other starts with the team in Watkins Glen and Montreal. This will be his third start with the team in 2011 and second at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. In last year’s event, Kennedy made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut recording an eye-opening 15th starting position in the 43-car field. Included in the weekend’s events is a St. Baldrick’s Foundation Headshaving Fundraiser, scheduled to take place Friday evening at 6 p.m. on the Road America grounds. Word is a few of the R3 Motorsports team members might be donating their cranial follicles to the cause.(R3 Motorsports)(6-21-2011)
  • Papis in the #33 at Road America: Max Papis teams up with Kevin Harvick Inc. for the second time in his NASCAR career this weekend behind the wheel of the #33 Menards Chevy for the Bucyrus 200 at Road America. Papis made his first start with the team at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal last season in the #33 Rheem Chevy. He qualified for the event in the ninth position and finished second.(KHI)(6-20-2011)
  • Michigan images: Added photos of all 46 cars at Michigan to the 2011 Nationwide Series paint scheme pages.(6-29-2011)
  • Penske looking for sponsor for Hornish: From a Dodge PR:
    Hornish: “We’re working really hard to be back full-time. I like the Nationwide Series. I like the way the cars run and race. It’s a lot of fun. I wouldn’t have any qualms about being here full-time. We’re working hard to get what we can get and be able to do those things. We have some great sponsors that have stuck with us and are working hard to be able to get where we need to be. We’re just doing the best job we can for them.”(Darnell Communications/ Dodge)(6-18-2011)

  • Dufault working on deal for Montreal race: 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)
  • More on Danica to NASCAR: UPDATE: SPEED.com open wheel reporter Robin Miller joined Steve Byrnes on NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED Thursday evening to discuss Danica Patrick and Andretti Autosport among other things. Following is the transcript in part from the interview;
    On whether rumors are true that Danica Patrick is headed to NASCAR fulltime:
    Miller: “We’ve been saying for six months that she’s gone. I don’t think anyone in IndyCar thinks that she’s going to be around. I think everyone is resigned to the fact that IMG is going to take her to NASCAR. Where she lands in NASCAR, I think that’s what is going to be interesting. Tony Stewart lately has been saying, ‘I’d really like to see her come here. She’s got a lot of potential.’ I think that potential might be assigned to that GoDaddy paycheck, which is pretty big.”(SPEED)(6-17-2011)
    Danica Patrick is sticking with IMG in the wake of agent Mark Steinberg’s split with the sports management giant. And though Patrick hasn’t made a decision on the future of her racing career, she says her agents officially are free to listen to offers. Many racing contracts contain clauses that prohibit drivers from negotiating new deals with rival teams until a specific date, but Patrick said she’s under no such restrictions. “That’s open,” Patrick said Friday at the Milwaukee Mile. “My agents are working.” She is showing steady improvement in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series and is considering a full-time move from IndyCar to NASCAR. But she might be able to pull off a deal that also would allow her to run in the Indianapolis 500 — a race she still desperately wants to win.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(6-18-2011)
  • 500 starts for Rusty Wallace Racing: Should David Reutimann start RWR’s #64 car in Saturday’s race, the event will mark Rusty Wallace’s 500th career start as a NNS car owner. Wallace’s debut as an owner came while piloting his own #66 Alugard Pontiac to the pole position in the 1985 season opener at Daytona. Wallace eventually finished fourth in that event.(RWR)(6-16-2011)
  • Kahne driving 2 races for JR Motorsports: Kasey Kahne will drive the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevy in two Nationwide Series races next month, a source close to Go Daddy says. The two races will be July 8 at Kentucky Speedway and July 16 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The news that Kahne will drive the Nationwide Series Go Daddy Chevy could be a hint of Go Daddy’s plans for next year. The Nationwide Series car is fielded by JR Motorsports, which is co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kelley Earnhardt, Tony Eury Jr. and Rick Hendrick. With as many as 14 races available on Kahne’s Cup ride next season, these two Nationwide races could serve as a primer.(Sporting News)(6-16-2011)

  • Carmichael to run 4 NNS races for Turner: Ricky Carmichael will make his 2011 Nationwide Series debut in the cockpit of Turner Motorsports’ #30 Monster Energy Chevy in the Bucyrus 200 Presented by Menards at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. In addition to his duty at the division’s second-annual stop at the at the famed 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course, the 31-year-old driver will also pilot the #30 Monster Energy-sponsored entry at Daytona International Speedway on July 1, Richmond International Raceway on September 9 and at Phoenix International Raceway on November 12. Veteran Turner Motorsports crew chief Stewart Cooper will call the shots for Carmichael’s debut in the #30 machine. (Turner Motorsports)(6-15-2011)

  • Indianpolis Motor Speedway considering taking Nationwide race: 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)
  • DEFT on the hood of the #31: DEFT Finishes will adorn the hood of the #31 Chevy for Saturday afternoon’s 125-lap event at Michigan International Speedway. DEFT Finishes is a leader in the coating industry in the development of high performance, low volatile organic content (VOC) coating systems. DEFT Finishes has more than 35 years experience in lowering toxicity and air pollution in high performance primers and topcoats.(Turner Motorsports)(6-14-2011)
  • Air Hogs on the #7 at Michigan: NASCAR Team Properties and Spin Master Ltd. have joined forces to connect with, and help build, a new generation of fans for the sport. In a strategic effort to build its merchandising program and to further its reach with the youth demographic, NASCAR has chosen Spin Master to inject excitement, innovation, and fun into its toys and merchandise. As the primary toy licensee, Spin Master’s line of products will begin hitting store shelves in 2012. The multi-year agreement provides Spin Master with exclusive licensing rights for NASCAR branded toy categories including replica vehicles, play sets, action figures, remote control items and much more. Not only will these Spin Master NASCAR items be sold at mass market retailers, but also at online e-commerce sites and specialty retailers nationwide. Spin Master’s Air Hogs, the largest radio-controlled toy brand in the world, is a sponsoring partner with Jr. Motorsports, and will be the primary sponsor of driver Josh Wise and the #7 Chevy car at the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Michigan this Saturday, June 18.(NASCAR)(6-14-2011)
  • Cars 2 on the #20 at Michigan: Cars 2: The Video Game will ride along with #20-Joey Logano at Michigan. Inspired by the upcoming Disney-Pixar animated film, Cars 2, the game lets players jump into the Cars 2 universe with some of their favorite Cars personalities in exotic locations around the globe, including Mater and Lightning McQueen, as well as some brand new characters, as they train in the international training center to become world-class spies. Players can race against friends and family in either single or multiplayer modes with up to four players to unlock challenging new tracks, characters, events and thrilling spy missions. The game releases June 21 and will be available for the Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Macintosh and Nintendo DS.(JGR)(6-14-2011)
  • Riggs and Richardson for R3 at Michigan: R3 Motorsports heads to Michigan International Speedway this weekend with two cars entered into Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Robert Richardson, Jr. will be in his usual #3 North Texas Pipe Chevy for the team with Scott Riggs in the #03 Dodge. Richardson is locked in via the Owner’s Points, while Riggs will have to race his way in around the two-mile oval during qualifying. This will be Riggs’ second time driving for the team this season; the first was a 13th-place finish at Darlington Raceway last month.(R3 Motorsports)(6-14-2011)

  • Chad Finley to attempt Natiowide debut at Michigan: Chad Finley, a veteran of the ARCA Racing Series, the ASA, and the CRA Late Model Series, is scheduled to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut June 18 at his home track, Michigan International Speedway. In an ironic twist when Chad gets behind the wheel of the Team Rensi Motorsports #25 Ford Mustang on Father’s Day weekend, he will follow in his father Jeff’s footsteps. The elder Finley also made his first NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with Ed Rensi and Team Rensi Motorsports at the season opener in Daytona in 1999, finishing 13th. While it will be his first-ever NASCAR race, Finley has raced at MIS before, earning a seventh-place ARCA finish there last year. “It’s home and we felt like it would be a really good place to start,” stated Chad. Sponsoring the Team Rensi Ford Mustang will be longtime Chad Finley Racing partner, Auto Value.(HighSide Media)(5-29-2011)
    UPDATE: Team Rensi Motorsports announced its sponsor lineup behind 19 year old rookie driver Chad Finely. Finely is making his NASCAR debut in the #25 Ford in the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan international Speedway. Auto Value will serve as the primary sponsor of the #25 Mustang, with Autoparts2020.com, the Air Lift Company and Rain Eater Performance Wiper Blades serving as associate sponsors. Auto Value has been a proud partner and loyal supporter of Chad Finley’s race career for the past five years. Auto Value is part of one of the largest auto parts distribution and marketing organizations in the world, with store and service center locations throughout North America and Europe, they are a source for quality parts and service for over 2,700 parts stores and an equal amount of certified service centers.(Team Rensi)(6-14-2011)
  • PRECISIONWERX sponsoring Key Motorsports at Michigan: PRECISIONWERX will appear as primary sponsor of the #40 Key Motorsports Chevy driven by Charles Lewandoski in Saturday’s 250-mileNationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway. The Michigan-based machine shop specializes in rapid manufacturing with worldwide distribution and has a long history in the racing industry. Twenty-six year old Charles Lewandoski recently joined the Key Motorsports team and will pilot the PRECISIONWERX Chevy in Saturday’s race.(Key Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #40 team paint schemes page.(6-12-2011)
  • Changes to Stenhouse, Jrs crew? UPDATE: Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that multiple changes will be made to #6-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.’s over-the-wall pit crew. That crew has struggled in recent weeks, and sources say more than one member has been replaced in advance of the series’ next event at Michigan June 18. Calls placed to Roush Fenway Racing seeking comment were not immediately returned.(Sirius Speedway)(6-7-2011)
    UPDATE: hearing that no changes have been made to the team.(6-10-2011)
  • Reutimann driving 3 more races in the #64: Aspen Dental and Rusty Wallace Racing announced that Sprint Cup veteran and former Coca-Cola 600 winner, David Reutimann, will take the wheel of the #64 Aspen Dental Toyota in upcoming Nationwide Series races at Michigan, Kentucky, and Bristol. The move marks an extension of the relationship between RWR and Aspen Dental that began during the 2010 racing season. (RWR)(6-9-2011)
  • Parrott out at JDM: Brad Parrott, who had been serving as crew chief for Mike Wallace and the #01 Johnny David Motorsports team, tweeted Tuesday, “No longer working at JDM”.(6-7-2011)
  • Chicago TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday night, June 4, earned a 1.4 final national household coverage rating (1.2 U.S. rating), averaging 2,023,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The race was a new event on the series schedule and therefore there are no direct comparisons for previous ratings. Last year, an event was held at Nashville Superspeedway in the comparable prime time slot and earned a 1.3 HH rating. Across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, ratings for the NASCAR Nationwide Series are up 16 percent from this point last year.(ESPN)(6-7-2011)
  • Andrews and crew fired from #79 team: According to several posts to Twitter by Tim Andrews, it appears he and much of the crew has been fired from the #79 2nd Chance team. “After the team and I loaded the hauler after the weekend [owner Rick Russell] fired us all and told us to find our own way home…”(6-5-2011)
  • Just Rite Acoustics sponsoring the #52: Means Motorsports announced that they will team up with www.racedaysponsor.com to promote Just Rite Acoustics as their primary sponsor in the STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Just Rite Acoustics is Chicago’s largest acoustical ceiling contractor has been serving general contractors and developers since 1978. The company operates locations in both Chicago and Phoenix. Jimmy Means Chevy has qualified for every Nationwide race so far this year, as they hope to be locked in to the remaining races of the season upon leaving Chicago.(Means Motorsports) (6-4-2011)
  • Charlotte TV Ratings: ABC’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Top Gear 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 28, earned a final national rating of 1.6, averaging 2,457,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating was up 23 percent from last year’s race, which also aired on ABC and earned a 1.3 rating. Across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2, the NASCAR Nationwide Series is up 16 percent in ratings over this point last season.(ESPN)(6-3-2011)
  • Gerber Collision & Glass joins Joins JD Motorsports: Gerber Collision & Glass will be an associate sponsor this weekend for Mike Wallace’s #01 Cowboys & Aliens Chevy Impala at Chicagoland Speedway. This will be the second time that Gerber Collision & Glass and JD Motorsports have partnered for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. Last year, the team finished 22nd after starting 34th. Now, the team looks to surpass last year’s finish as they bring back their old chassis that has a great track record.(JD Motorsports)(6-3-2011)
  • Chicagoland names STP 300 Grand Marshal: Chicago Bears defensive end, Israel Idonije, will be the Grand Marshal for the STP 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday. Idonije was selected by STP to give the famous command, “drivers start your engines,” for the start of the STP 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series Race. Idonije has been with the Chicago Bears for six consecutive seasons and was named one of three finalists in the NFL this year for the 2011 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. He was also the 2010 Ed Block Courage Award recipient, awarding NFL players based on sportsmanship, courage and role models of inspiration.(Chicagland)(6-3-2011)
  • NEMCO Looking for Information Regarding Hauler Incident: NEMCO Motorsports is seeking witnesses who may have information regarding an incident that recently occurred with NEMCO’s Nationwide transporter. The incident occurred after the Nationwide Series race in Nashville on April 23rd around midnight, while the NEMCO Nationwide transporter was parked at the Pilot Truck Stop in Dandridge, TN at Exit 417 on Interstate 40. Anyone with information is asked to contact Randy Usher at NEMCO Motorsports [contact info on the NNS team addresses page].(NEMCO)(6-2-2011)
  • Bayne driving for Avnet, BMA at Chicago: Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne will return to action this weekend in the Nationwide Series STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Bayne’s Ford Mustang will feature a customized paint scheme that spotlights the single-race alliance between Avnet, the Business Marketing Association (BMA) and Roush Fenway Racing. Roush Fenway Racing, the world’s largest motorsports organization, has partnered with Avnet, one of the world’s largest distributors of electronic components and IT products and services, and the BMA, an organization bringing together the nations top professionals focused on business-to-business marketing and communications, to highlight the power of NASCAR’s motorsports marketing platform during the BMA’s “Unleash” 2011 international conference in Chicago June 1-3.(Roush Fenway Racing)(6-2-2011)
  • Fastenal adds 7 races to #60 team sponsorship: On the heels of its sweeping one-two finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Fastenal announced it will add an additional seven races to its 2011 Nationwide Series schedule; serving as the primary sponsor on the #60 Ford Mustang of Carl Edwards. Fastenal is now on track to be the primary sponsor on 25 Roush Fenway NNS entries this season. The seven additional races include: Chicagoland Speedway – June 4, New Hampshire Motor Speedway – July 16, Nashville Superspeedway – July 23, Chicagoland Speedway – September 17, Dover International Speedway – October 1, Texas Motor Speedway – November 5, and Homestead-Miami Speedway – November 19. (Roush Fenway)(6-1-2011)
  • Gibbs withdraws #20 team: Joe Gibbs Racing on Wednesday morning withdrew its #20 Toyota entry from Saturday’s STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, despite that car’s 15-point lead in the Nationwide Series owners’ points. Gibbs also has the second-place car in the Nationwide owners’ points, the #18 Toyota that has been primarily driven this season by Kyle Busch, who has five Nationwide victories in 11 starts. That car has eight top-five finishes and 10 top-10s in 13 races. The #18 is scheduled to be driven by Kelly Bires at Chicagoland, as Busch is entered in this weekend’s Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck series races at Kansas Speedway. The #20 has been driven by three drivers this season, with Denny Hamlin, who has three starts, scoring a victory at Richmond. The car’s totaled six top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 13 races. Gibbs’ withdrawal of the 20, plus the withdrawal of a second #04 Ford fielded by Go Green Racing, left the Nationwide event with a “short field” of only 42 cars for the mandated 43-car starting lineup. (NASCAR.com)(6-1-2011)
  • Marquis Energy on the #09 at Chicago: Marquis Energy, an Illinois-based ethanol plant that strives to challenge conventional practices that promote the dependence on foreign fuels as America’s energy source, will make its mark in the Nationwide Series this weekend when it partners with RAB Racing as co-primary sponsor of Wallace’s #09 Toyota Camry. Marquis Energy is dedicated to producing a renewable, clean-burning fuel that will not only abate dependency on foreign oil, but also benefits the local and national economy. By producing ethanol and its co-products from renewable feed stocks, Marquis Energy continually fosters new innovation for energy sustainability.(RAB Racing)(6-1-2011)
  • Ambrose returning to Montreal race; Owen Kelly to help: Owen Kelly will complete practice and qualifying duties for Marcos Ambrose at Montreal’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race in August. Kelly, who made his Nationwide Series race debut last year, has been called upon by his fellow Tasmanian due to a date clash that will see Ambrose busy with his Sprint Cup duties at Michigan. Ambrose will fly to Canada in time for his one-off Nationwide Series race appearance, where he will attempt to notch up his first victory in a race he has largely dominated for the last three seasons. Kelly shone in his one-off Nationwide appearance at Watkins Glen last year, and says he hopes to put a deal together to race either at Road America (June 25) or the Glenn (August 13) before the Montreal date (August 20).(Speed Cafe)(6-1-2011)
  • Sadler suing Petty Motorsports: Elliott Sadler is suing Richard Petty Motorsports for an unspecified amount of money, claiming in court documents that his former team is withholding a payment to him because it is wrongly accusing him of influencing Hunt Brothers Pizza to leave RPM and sponsor him at Kevin Harvick Inc. Sadler filed the lawsuit Tuesday in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C. The lawsuit is against the new ownership group of RPM, which was sold by the Gillett family to Richard Petty and two investors last November. Sadler drove for RPM from 2006-2010 and has a separation agreement with the new owners of RPM that require payments to him, according to the lawsuit. That separation agreement had a non-solicitation provision and RPM alleged that Sadler violated it after Hunt Brothers, which sponsored Sadler in 2010, announced it was sponsoring him and driver Kevin Harvick at KHI this year. In the lawsuit, Sadler claims that RPM is accusing him of violating the non-solicitation clause in their separation agreement in order not to pay him. RPM did not make an April 20 payment, Sadler alleges in the lawsuit.(Scene Daily)(6-1-2011)