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March 2008 Nationwide Series Archive

  • Nationwide Series Live from Texas on ESPN2: After a weekend off, the Nationwide Series returns to action this weekend and ESPN2 will have live, flag-to-flag coverage of the 300-mile race from Texas Motor Speedway Saturday, April 5, beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The telecast is presented by Star Motorcycles. ESPN2 is the home of the Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. Dr. Jerry Punch will be the lead announcer for ESPN2’s coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will report from the pits, while Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN DISH Tech Center. Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown with analysis by Jarrett and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN pit studio. The race will be simulcast on ESPN360.com, ESPN’s signature broadband sports network, and on ESPN Deportes, the domestic Spanish-language network. The event also will be simulcast on ESPN MobileTV.(ESPN PR)(3-31-2008)
  • JR Motorsports being sued over accident: A local [Florida] family is sueing JR Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Jr. following a rear end crash by a tractor trailer. In November 2006, Michael Harris and his son, 21 year old Chris, were driving in their pick up truck headed south on Interstate 95 in St. John’s County [FL]. Harris was several cars in front of a Champion tractor trailer. Traffic started to back up and slow down on the interstate. Harris’ lawyer, Charles Sorenson, says he slowed down to, going about 15 miles per hour and then pulling on to the shoulder. The only problem, Sorenson says is the semi didn’t slow down with everyone else. Sorenson says the impact was so severe, the bolts in the pickup’s seat, which hold it down to the floor, were broken. Both father and son were wearing seatbelts, but both went to the hospital. Both are still being treated for neck and back injuries. According to the lawsuit, JR Motorsports is the owner of the tractor trailer. The owner of JR Motorsports belongs to NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Sorenson says Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will most likely be deposed in the case. JR Motorsport’s team told First Coast News it has received the lawsuit, but will not make any other comment at this time. The driver of the semi, Ricky Mace, is also being sued.(First Coast News)(3-31-2008)
  • Hornish Testing at Carolina Motorsports Park: Hearing that Sam Hornish is tested the #12 Nationwide car Monday at Carolina Motorsports Park.(3-31-2008)
  • Harvick Looking for Record Win at Texas: Kevin Harvick will look to become the first driver to win five races at Texas Motor Speedway when he races the #33 RoadLoans.com Chevy in the O’Reilly 300. In eight career Nationwide Series starts at the track, Harvick has compiled an outstanding record. He has four wins, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes. His worst finish is 11th in 2007. He has led a total of 440 laps and completed all 1522 laps attempted.(KHI PR)(3-31-2008)
  • #36 Team Cutting Back Schedule; Wallace to the #28: UPDATE 4: Fitz Motorsports’ Shark Energy Drink #36 Nationwide Series team will temporarily slow operations, effective immediately. Kenny Wallace drove the car in the first five Nationwide Series events this season. A number of different factors led to the decision. “Sponsor money for the #36 Dodge was based on distribution of Shark Energy Drink,” said team owner Armando Fitz. “While the initial response was terrific, it’s taking longer than anticipated to generate enough funding to run the #36 car competitively in the Nationwide Series. “We’re going to scale the #36 team back and put a full effort toward our #22 Supercuts Dodge,” Fitz added. “Kenny Wallace has an opportunity to drive for another Nationwide Series team and we certainly don’t want to hold him back. Kenny has been a great friend and supporter of our program, and he deserves to be racing full time.” Fitz Motorsports will customize a race program for Shark Energy Drink as more distribution outlets are found and product is sold.(Fitz Motorsports PR)(3-17-2008)
    AND: Rusty Wallace said on NASCAR Now tonight that Kenny will drive the #28-Jay Robinson Border Patrol car.(3-17-2008)
    UPDATE: Jay Robinson Racing announces that Kenny Wallace will be behind the wheel of the #28 U.S. Border Patrol Chevy for the remainder of the 2008 Nationwide Series Season. Kenny will make his debut in the #28 U.S. Border Patrol Chevy this Saturday March 22, 2008 in Nashville during the running of the Pepsi 300.(Jay Robinson Racing PR)(3-18-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Tennessee’s own Sterling Marlin will be in the #1 Miccosukee Resort Chevy at Nashville, replacing Johnny Sauter.(NASCAR PR)(3-18-2008)
    UPDATE 3: David Tomasello, The former Chief Executive Officer of Shark Energy Drink, comments on last week´s news that Shark Energy Drink has suspended its marketing program in NASCAR. “My management team worked very hard to build that motorsports program with Fitz Motorsports and Xpress Motorsports, and it´s very unfortunate that the new CEO and management has chosen not to continue with the program. “I heard about it just like everyone else, on the internet” said Tomasello.(3-26-2008)
    UPDATE 4: Shark Energy Drink responsded to the comments of David Tomasello as follows, “As stated before, Shark Energy Drink will continue to work with Fitz Motorsports in an effort to pursue distribution outlets for our product,” said Shark Energy President, Moe Boukadida, “NASCAR racing, and particularly the Nationwide Series with Fitz Motorsports is a terrific marketing platform for us. As a distribution-based program, sales is the key to its success. With more product now available in the U.S. our distribution efforts will be enhanced and allow us the financial latitude to achieve our marketing goals with Fitz Motorsports. The comments recently expressed by a prior company official in no way reflect our position. We will continue to work collectively to bring Shark Energy Drink to the NASCAR fan.”(Shark Energy Drink PR) and Fitz Motorsports responds to Thomasellos claims. Armando Fitz released the following statement: “Mr. Tomasellos’ asumptions are far from correct. We are working diligently on adding yet more select races for Shark Energy. President Moe Boukadida and his staff have attended many races with us and have brought his on-site marketing group with him for sampling and various marketing “ops”. The relationship with Fitz Motorsports and NASCAR has been very successful for Shark Energy as they will attest. They love Kenny Wallace and what he did. They are pleased with their NASCAR results and have Osotspa Corporate (Shark) excited about NASCAR as a marketing platform.(3-28-2008)
  • JTG Promoting Childrens’ Miracle Network: JTG Racing and Kingsford Charcoal, the sponsor of the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford driven by Marcos Ambrose, announced a special promotion and partnership with Rite Aid to benefit Children’s Miracle Network. During the month of April, Kingsford will donate $0.25 to Children’s Miracle Network for every purchase of Kingsford, Match Light or Kingsford Lighter Fluid products at any Rite Aid store nationwide. Additionally, the #59 Ford Fusion driven by Ambrose and his helmet will feature a paint scheme created by a patient at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC and will be seen at the May 24 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The helmet will be auctioned off by the race team following the race with all proceeds benefiting Levine Children’s Hospital.(JTG Racing PR)(3-25-2008)
  • Sauter denies Phoenix’s claim that his removal was sponsor-driven: Phoenix Racing General Manager Marc Reno said over the weekend at Nashville that the removal of Johnny Sauter as driver of the team’s #1 Chevys was sponsor-driven. The team is sponsored by a resort owned by the Miccosukee Indian tribe, and Reno said, “It was a sponsor request to take Johnny out of the car. This is the first time that they’ve ever disapproved one of our drivers,” Reno said. “That’s why we took Johnny out.” Sauter, in a statement, disputed Reno’s account of why he was let go. “I guess they found out that I don’t like to gamble,” Sauter said jokingly. “No seriously, I guess the Miccosukees are under the impression that the driver has the power to turn the organization around, and I respect that opinion. But to be perfectly honest, J.J. Yeley, Mike Wallace and Johnny Benson are all great drivers who struggled in Phoenix Racing equipment and were replaced. How many drivers do you have to fire before you realize that they’re not the problem? “As far as sponsors are concerned, Yellow Transportation is an international brand that put its support behind me for three years, and I take pride in the fact that they thought enough of me as a representative to follow me to Haas when I left Phoenix Racing in 2006.” Former Cup driver Sterling Marlin drove the No. 1 at Nashville, but Reno said that is likely only a temporary arrangement. Marlin doesn’t want to do more than 10 to 12 races, and a search for another driver is under way.(SceneDaily.com)(3-24-2008)
  • New Crew Chief for Ambrose: A JTG Racing spokesman confirmed that crew chief Walter Giles has left the #59 team and driver Marcos Ambrose. Gary Cogswell takes Giles’ place immediately, beginning with Monday’s test at Richmond.(SceneDaily.com)(3-24-2008)
  • Phoenix Racing Using Fellows & Cassill at Mexico: Phoenix Racing officials say the team will run two cars in the race in Mexico City on April 20. General manager Marc Reno said last weekend at Nashville that Ron Fellows will drive the team’s full-time car, the #1 Chevy, at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Reno also said Landon Cassill will drive the #4 Chevy for Phoenix in Mexico. Cassill is a part-time driver for JR Motorsports who wasn’t scheduled to race in Mexico.(SceneDaily.com)(3-24-2008)
  • Key Motorsports returns to NNS at Richmond test: For the first time in nearly 10 years, Key Motorsports is returning to Nationwide Series action. Team owner Curtis W. Key, Sr. and his race team will unveil one of its four Chevy race cars during the Series’ scheduled open test session at Richmond International Raceway Monday and Tuesday, March 24 and 25. The game plan is to enter the scheduled NNS event at RIR on Friday, May 2 – one of a handful of races Key plans to race in the series in 2008. Veteran driver Jeff Green has been hired by Key to drive the car. Managing the Nationwide Series project for Key will be highly experienced Tommy Morgan, the Director of Competition at Key Motorsports.(Key Motorsports PR)(3-22-2008)
  • Gale Returns to #33 Camping World Chevy at Nashville: Nashville will be the first time in 2008 that Cale Gale in 2008 will be behind the wheel of the #33 Camping World Chevy. This will mark Gale’s fourth start at Nashville Superspeedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. In just his first start at one of NASCAR’s fastest tracks, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Cale Gale raced his way to top Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors driving the #77 Rheem Chevy for KHI.(Kevin Harvick Inc. PR)(3-21-2008)
  • Increased Purse for Texas Race: Texas Motor Speedway has upped the ante for the Nationwide Series O’Reilly 300 on April 5. The posted purse of $1,527,668 is an increase of $23,067 from last year, and a record for the series at TMS.(Ft. Worth Star Telegram)(3-20-2008)
  • Said Driving for Rensi at Mexico & Canada: Team Rensi Motorsports announced the signing of Boris Said to pilot the #25 No Fear Energy / Smithfield Foods Ford for the two Nationwide Series international races — in Mexico City and Montreal. Frank Stoddard will work with Said and Team Rensi Motorsports for both Nationwide Series events.(Team Rensi PR)(3-19-2008)
  • Stremme Driving #64 at Nashville…And Beyond: UPDATE: David Stremme will be behind the wheel of the #64 instead of Chase Austin, who’d been scheduled to make his 2008 debut. The plan had been to spread the ride between Stremme, Austin and Max Papis, who would run the road courses. The team’s sponsor, Atreus Homes and Communities, though, is pleased with the way the team is running with Stremme and that led to the change. Austin remains employed by Rusty Wallace Racing, but there are currently no plans to campaign him in the Nationwide Series this season.(ESPN.com)(3-19-2008)
    UPDATE: Chase Austin, originally slated to make his first start of 2008 this weekend, remains a part of the team’s 2008 plans and will compete in the #64 later in the season. “We feel that right now, having David in the #64 allows us to keep up the momentum we’ve built. With that said, this is by no means a reflection on Chase. He’s a great kid and he’s still a big part of our 2008 plans. He’ll still be in the #64 this year, as will Max Papis; we’ve just changed Chase’s schedule a bit to allow the #64 team to capitalize on their momentum.” said Rusty Wallace.(RWI PR)(3-19-2008)
  • Krisiloff Back in the #41 for Ganassi: Kyle Krisiloff will pilot the #41 Polaroid Dodge this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway, and also a few more races later this month. CGRFS reached an agreement that would allow Krisiloff to drive the #41 NNS Dodge in order to get him added track time. Krisiloff’s first start for CGRFS came at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this month.(CGRFS PR)(3-19-2008)
  • Willie Allen Driving for Sadler Hamilton at Nashville: Bobby Hamilton Jr announced that 2007 Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year Willie Allen will pilot the #95 Dodge for Sadler Hamilton Racing during select Nationwide Series events in 2008. Hamilton Jr recently became a co-owner of the Nashville based team that celebrates it’s 25th anniversary this season. Allen, a Nashville native, will compete in this weekends Pepsi 300 at the Nashville Superspeedway. Current plans have Allen driving in the Nationwide Series events at Memphis, Nashville and Talladega. “My goals for this year are to run four or five Nationwide races with Willie as our driver,” said Sadler-Hamilton Racing co-owner Bobby Hamilton Jr. “I sat down with our crew chief Danny Gill and looked at available drivers and Willie was a great fit for our project. Next year, we hope to run 15-25 Nationwide races and a full Camping World East schedule.”(Sadler Hamilton PR)(3-19-2008)
  • Colin Braun Making 2008 Nationwide Debut at Nashville: Colin Braun will be behind the wheel of the #16 CitiFinancial Ford this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway; the second-career Nationwide Series start for the 19-year-old Craftsman Truck Series regular. Braun’s Nationwide Series debut came last season at Memphis Motorsports Park.(Roush Fenway PR)(3-18-2008)
  • Raybestos Rookie Preview for Nashville: Dario Franchitti was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Franchitti scored a 22nd-place finish and claimed top rookie honors for the third time in five Nationwide Series races this season.
    Franchitti holds a 15-point lead (58-43) over Bryan Clauson in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the 22 Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway.
    Franchitti has been running at the finish of all five Nationwide Series races this season, completing 834 of 841 possible laps this season.
    This is the third consecutive week that Franchitti has led the Raybestos Rookie standings in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.
    Franchitti is 15th in the Nationwide Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie.(Raybestos PR)(3-18-2008)
  • Logano’s Schedule Taking Shape: Joey Logano might be a phenom behind the wheel of a racecar, but he’s not a good racing fan. May 24 can’t come quick enough for the Joe Gibbs Racing developmental driver from Middletown. That’s the day he turns 18 and becomes eligible to race in the Nationwide Series. Logano will make his Nationwide Series debut May 31 at Dover. Until then he pretty much, grudgingly, has to play the part of racing fan. Logano will compete in all but three of the final 22 Nationwide Series events this season. He will miss the Nationwide Series events at New Hampshire International Motor Speedway (June 28), Daytona International Speedway (July 4) and Chicagoland Speedway (July 11). Logano said he does not have approval yet to run Daytona and that Tony Stewart has sponsor obligations to run Chicagoland and New Hampshire. Logano said missing out on the event at New Hampshire was a tough one to swallow considering it’s the track closest to home and a place where he swept the two Camping World East Series events in 2007.(Hartford Courant)(3-18-2008)
  • Sauter and Phoenix Racing Part Ways: UPDATE: After a challenging start to the Nationwide Series season and several key personnel changes including the release of both newly hired crew chiefs, Jon Wolfe and Newt Moore, #1 Phoenix Racing and Johnny Sauter have amicably parted ways. Sauter who just last year brought a brand new team into the top-35 in Sprint Cup points, is available to another organization effective immediately.(3-17-2008)
    UPDATE: Johnny Sauter was released today by Phoenix Racing just five races into the 2008 Nationwide Series season. Sauter was 17th in the standings, and the team is already on its third crew chief. “I got a call this morning from [general manager] Steve Barkdoll and he just said that pretty much my driving services weren’t needed anymore,” Sauter said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “I understand that race teams have to do from time to time … what they have to do to try to improve their program. … It’s a tough deal, I’m sure, and it’s a tough call to make. As far as me losing my job, it stinks. What are you going to do?” Phoenix Racing officials opted not to comment on the driver change Monday.(SceneDaily.com)(3-17-2008)
  • Nationwide Series Airing on ESPN Saturday from Nashville: The Nationwide Series makes its first appearance of the 2008 season on ESPN with a live, flag-to-flag airing of the 300-mile race from Nashville Superspeedway Saturday, March 22, beginning at 2 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The Nashville telecast is presented by Tractor Supply Company. ESPN2 is the home of the Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. Carl Edwards won both Nationwide Series races held last year on the 1.333-mile, concrete-surfaced Nashville track on his way to the series championship. ESPN2 airs live coverage of Friday’s Nationwide Series practice at Nashville at 2:30 p.m., and taped coverage of final practice airs Saturday at 11 a.m. Marty Reid will be the lead announcer for ESPN’s coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree. Jamie Little, Mike Massaro, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch will report from the pits, while Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN DISH Tech Center. Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown with analysis by Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN pit studio. The race will be simulcast on ESPN360.com, ESPN’s signature broadband sports network, and on ESPN Deportes, the domestic Spanish-language network. The event also will be simulcast on ESPN MobileTV.(ESPN PR)(3-17-2008)
  • Chase Miller Making 2008 Debut at Nashville: Chase Miller makes his 2008 Nationwide Series debut Saturday driving the #9 Valvoline Dodge at Nashville Superspeedway. The 21-year-old Georgia finished 22nd at the 1.3-mile tri-oval in June – his first race with the Gillett Evernham Motorsports team.(GEM PR)(3-17-2008)
  • James Otto, Muzik Mafia Ride with Harmon in Pepsi 300: NASCAR and country music fans have always enjoyed a special bond. Mike Harmon and the Elite 2 Racing Team will continue that relationship at the Nashville Superspeedway for the Pepsi 300. James Otto will be displayed on the hood and Muzik Mafia on the television panel of Harmon’s #84 Chevy for the 300-mile event.(Elite 2 Racing PR)(3-16-2008)
  • Baker Curb Racing #37 Still Needs Sponsorship: UPDATE: “Even back when Mike [Curb] and I were first talking about this deal last fall, we recognized that the odds were stacked against us as a stand-alone team. We decided to do it anyway and we’re coming face-to-face with some of those odds right now,” [team owner Gary] Baker said. “We’ve put together a team that’s going to be capable of winning races in the near future, but we’re sucking wind on our #37 car if we don’t get a sponsor soon,” Baker said. “That would be yet another stand-alone Nationwide car that will have to be parked, and it’s a shame.Bristol Herald Courier)(3-15-2008)
    UPDATE: Baker Curb Racing is working towards securing sponsorship for its #37 Nationwide Series team for the remainder of the season, which is currently a guaranteed entry based on Owner’s Points. The team has a variety of Cup and full-time Nationwide drivers interested in driving for the team once sponsorship is secured. So far the team has seen Brad Baker and Greg Biffle behind the wheel this year. For more information on sponsorship opportunities contact Baker Curb Racing.(Baker Curb PR)(3-15-2008)
  • Activ8 Marketing Names New President: Jenn Calinoff, who has spent the past two seasons as Director of Marketing and Business Development for Fitz Motorsports, has been named President of Activ8 Marketing effective immediately. Activ8 was founded last year by her husband Mike Calinoff and Tim Winski of Chicago. Specializing in multi-level sponsorship and business-business programs, the company is also a full service marketing, public relations, website and graphic design agengy, along with facilitating car renderings and corporate image projects.(Activ8 PR)(3-14-2008)
  • Border Patrol Sponsoring #28 Again: Jay Robinson Racing announced a sponsorship agreement with the U.S. Border Patrol for the remainder of the 2008 Nationwide Series as a part of their overall recruiting initiative. The sponsorship package kicks off this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway with the unveiling of the #28 U.S. Border Patrol’s entry into the Sharpie Mini 300. U.S. Border Patrol will be the primary sponsor on the #28 Chevy for 29 of the 31 races left on the Nationwide Series schedule, excluding only the Mexico and Canada Races.(Jay Robinson Racing PR)(3-14-2008)
  • Phantom EFX Returns to the #4 at Bristol: Phantom EFX Inc., the #1 publisher of PC card and casino games, and Jay Robinson Racing announce the addition of the Nationwide Series Sharpie 300 race at Bristol Motor Speedway to the overall sponsorship agreement. The partnership started with the unveiling of the #4 Phantom EFX Chevy in Atlanta and will also include some associate exposure on the #4 later in the year.(Jay Robinson Racing PR)(3-14-2008)
  • Heluva Good! to Sponsor May Race at Dover: The May 31 Nationwide Series NASCAR race at Dover International Speedway will be sponsored by Heluva Good!, a producer of sour cream dips, cheese, and condiments, the track announced this afternoon. The Heluva Good! 200 will run between Friday’s AAA Insurance 200 Craftsman Truck Series race and Sunday’s Dover 400 Sprint Cup race.(Delaware News Journal)(3-13-2008)
  • Supercuts & Afdent Denitistry Sponsoring the #36 at Bristol: Afdent provides patient friendly dentistry to help people eliminate dental pain, and to look and feel better, all in the most comfortable setting possible. Afdent has large state-of-the-art locations in northern Indiana. Shark Energy Drink will resume their twenty-five race primary sponsorship at the O’Reilly 300 in Texas.(Fitz Motorsports PR)(3-13-2008)
  • Jimmy Johns on the #66 & #64 at Bristol: This weekend marks the debut of Team Jimmy John’s Rusty Wallace Racing. Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches will serve as primary sponsor of Steve Wallace’s #66 in ten 2008 Nationwide Series events, beginning with the Bristol race. Jimmy John’s will also appear on the deck lid of David Stremme’s #64 for those ten events.(RWI PR)(3-13-2008)
  • Special Decal for Bliss at Bristol: The #22 will carry a special memorial decal in honor of Salisbury, NC firefighters Justing Monroe and Vicktor Isler, who lost their lives March 7, 2008 while on the call of duty.(Fitz Motorsports PR)(3-12-2008)
  • America’s Incredible Pizza Back on the #11: America’s Incredible Pizza Company (AIPC) will serve as the primary sponsor for this weekend’s Sharpie Mini 300. This will be the third week in a row that AIPC will be displayed on the #11 entry. The team is currently in business-to-business negotiations to continue the relationship in 2008.(CJM Racing PR)(3-12-2008)
  • 300th for Mike Wallace: #7-Mike Wallace will make his 300th career start this weekend, becoming only the 12th driver in series’ history to hit that milestone.(NASCAR PR)(3-11-2008)
  • Mark Green Back In Action At Bristol: After a three-race hiatus, Mark Green and ML Motorsports will be in action in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Brian Ross is currently serving as interim crew chief and will be assisted by chassis consultant, Skip Eyler. Green and ML Motorsports have tentatively scheduled 20 NASCAR Nationwide Series races for the 2008 season.(ML Racing PR)(3-11-2008)
  • Nationwide Series Airing on ABC Saturday from Bristol: The Nationwide Series makes its first appearance of the 2008 season on ABC with a live, flag-to-flag airing of the 300-lap race from Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday, March 15, beginning at 2 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The Bristol telecast is presented by GoDaddy.com. ESPN2 is the home of the Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. Dr. Jerry Punch will be the lead announcer for ESPN on ABC’s coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch will report from the pits, while Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN DISH Tech Center. Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN pit studio. The race re-airs on ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s Spanish-language network, on Sunday, March 16, at 11 a.m.(ESPN PR)(3-10-2008)
  • Raybestos Rookie Notes for Bristol: Cale Gale was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Nicorette 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gale finished 20th and took top rookie honors for the first time this season. Dario Franchitti holds a 13-point lead (47-34) over Bryan Clauson in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Franchitti is 14th in the Nationwide Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie.(Raybestos PR)(3-10-2008)
  • Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Returns with Gillette Evernham: Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper returns to the Nationwide Series with Gillett Evernham Motorsports for the 2008 season with drivers Patrick Carpentier and Elliott Sadler at the helm of the newly-designed Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper Dodge. The first race for AV/BTB is April 20 at Mexico City with Carpentier behind the wheel.(Motorsports Management PR), see an image of the cars on the Nationwide Paint Series page.(3-10-2008)
  • Tagliani Looking at NASCAR: Canadian driver and former open-wheel racer Alex Tagliani was seen walking around the Nationwide and Cup garages this weekend. Tagliani is planning a move into NASCAR. He’s working on securing a ride for the Nationwide race in his hometown of Montreal. It could be with Fitz Motorsports.(Yahoo Sports)(3-10-2008)
  • Fans to Serve as Grand Marshals at Atlanta: This weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the “Gentlemen, start your engines” command may be as loud as the 800-horsepower racecars. That’s because 300 NASCAR fans that are part of Nicorette’s race fan QUIT Crew will proclaim the most famous words in motorsports. They’ll serve as Grand Marshals for Saturday’s Nicorette 300 Nationwide Series race.(NASCAR.com)(3-8-2008)
  • Reno Takes Over as Crew Chief for Sauter: Phoenix Racing General Manager Marc Reno said Friday at Atlanta that he has taken over as crew chief for Nationwide Series driver Johnny Sauter, replacing Newt Moore. Moore is no longer with the team, sources close to the team said Friday. “We don’t really talk about internal stuff too much,” Reno said when asked about the personnel moves. “If somebody else wants to, that’s fine. We’re over it, we’re on to our next program.” Reno said he would remain as crew chief for “a little while.”(SceneDaily.com)(3-7-2008)
  • Truex To Drive For JR Motorsports At Bristol: Two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Martin Truex Jr. will compete in the #5 National Guard Chevy for JR Motorsports next weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, joining a list of top-tier drivers who have driven or will drive the car this year. This will mark the fourth time Truex will drive a JR Motorsports entry He scored a pair of top-10 finishes in three starts for JRM in 2006.(JR Motorsports PR)(3-6-2008)
  • Barr Nunn Sponsoring O’Quinn at Bristol: Barr-Nunn Transportation’s next sponsored race with Mac Hill Motorsports for the 2008 season will be Bristol. Danny O’Quinn will be driving the #56 Barr-Nunn Chevy in the Sharpie Mini 300 on March 15th.(Barr Nunn PR)(3-6-2008)
  • RWI Visits Georgis State Capitol: Rusty Wallace, David Stremme, Steve Wallace and Atreus Homes & Communities CEO, Jon Been, took part in a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta Thursday morning, in which Governor Sonny Purdue declared Motorsports Day in the State of Georgia. Both Stremme and Wallace took part in show car parade, wheeling the #64 and #66 Atreus machines around the capitol.(RWI PR)(3-6-2008)
  • America’s Incredible Pizza Company Back on the #11: America’s Incredible Pizza Company will serve as the primary sponsor for Jason Keller and the #11 team at this weekend’s Nicorette 300. This will be the second week in a row that AIPC will be displayed on the #11 entry. The team is currently in business-to-business negotiations to continue the relationship this season.(CJM PR)(3-5-2008)
  • Phantom EFX Sponsoring #4 at Atlanta: Phantom EFX Inc., the No. 1 publisher of PC card and casino games, and Jay Robinson Racing announced a new sponsorship agreement as the Nationwide Series heads into Atlanta. The partnership will be for three races, starting with the primary on the #4 in Atlanta and two associate races to be determined later in the year.(Jay Robinson Racing PR)(3-5-2008)
  • National Stock Car Racing Commission Upholds #0 Team Penalty: On March 5, 2008, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of JD Motorsports regarding the #0 car. The appeal concerned three penalties issued by NASCAR following post-qualifying inspection on February 15, 2008 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona International Speedway. The infractions concerned Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing”; Section 12-4-Q “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the car, car parts, components, and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules” and Section 20A-8.4C: “The oil reservoir tank cover was not fastened securely.” The penalties assessed were:
    • Loss of 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Johnny Davis.
    • Loss of 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Driver Points for driver Kertus Davis.
    • $15,000.00 fine; suspension from NASCAR for the next six (6) NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until April 9, 2008 (not including testing), and probation until December 31, 2008 for crew chief Gene Allnutt.
    The Appellants argued that the missing bolt at the corner of the cover was inadvertent; that it did not constitute a performance advantage; that the penalties were too severe for the infraction; and that the disallowance of their qualifying time at Daytona should factor into the subsequent penalties.
    In deliberating, the Commission considered several factors including Section 20A-2.1L concerning the passage of air into or out of the car. In this case, the movement of the cover resulting from the missing bolt was evident. Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The Commission notes that crew chief, Gene Allnutt, began serving his suspension last week, so the adjusted penalty notice to correct for the deferral will reflect this. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR PR)(3-5-2008)
  • National Stock Car Racing Commission Amends #14 Team Penalty: On March 4, 2008, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Richardson-Haas Motorsports regarding the #14 car. The appeal concerned three penalties issued by NASCAR following post-qualifying inspection on February 15, 2008 for the Nationwide Series event at Daytona. The infractions concerned Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing”; Section 12-4-Q “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the car, car parts, components, and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules” and Section 20A-8.4C: “The oil reservoir tank cover was not fastened securely.” The penalties assessed were:
    • Loss of 25 Nationwide Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Carl Haas.
    • Loss of 25 Nationwide Series Championship Driver Points for driver David Gilliland.
    • $15,000.00 fine; suspension from NASCAR for the next six (6) Nationwide Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until April 9, 2008 (not including testing), and probation until December 31, 2008 for crew chief Robert Edwards.
    The Appellants argued that the infractions were inadvertent and due to inadequate preparation time. In deliberating, the Commission considered several factors including Section 20A-2.1L concerning the passage of air into or out of the car. The installation of the cover appeared to readily allow air from the underside of the reserve oil tank encasement to pass into the cockpit, as evidenced by the significant bowing of the cover following qualifying. By a majority vote, the National Stock Car Racing Commission decided to amend two of the three original penalties assessed by NASCAR as follows:
    • Loss of 25 Nationwide Series Championship Car Owner Points and a $15,000.00 fine for car owner Carl Haas, with the fine payable by the current majority owner of Richardson-Haas Motorsports, Donnie Richardson.
    • Loss of 25 Nationwide Series Championship Driver Points for driver David Gilliland.
    • Suspension from NASCAR for the next six (6) Nationwide Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until April 9, 2008 (not including testing), and probation until December 31, 2008 for crew chief Robert Edwards.
    The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR PR)(3-5-2008)
  • Earnhardt Jr. To Run First Nationwide Race At Atlanta In Nearly A Decade: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will race in the Saturday, March 8 Nicorette 300, the first Nationwide race he has entered at AMS since he drove the AC Delco Chevrolet to a third-place finish in 1999. Earnhardt Jr.’s first Nationwide Series start at AMS in 1998 resulted in a runner-up finish. He will make his 100th career Nationwide Series start this weekend. Earnhardt Jr. will drive the No. 5 National Guard Chevrolet in the event, owned by his company, JR Motorsports. Last weekend, Mark Martin piloted the #5 Chevrolet to victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, scoring JR Motorsports its first-ever Nationwide Series win.(AMS PR)(3-4-2008)
  • Arby’s on the #17 at Atlanta: Arby’s returns as primary sponsor of Matt Kenseth’s #17 Ford in the Nationwide Series this weekend at Atlanta. Arby’s adorned the #17 in the Nationwide Series 13 times in 2007. Arby’s will also serve as primary sponsor of the #17 Ford later this season at Kansas.(Roush Fenway PR)(3-4-2008)
  • National Stock Car Racing Commission Amends #77 Team Penalty: On March 4, 2008, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Charles Wilson. The appeal concerned a penalty issued by NASCAR following post-qualifying inspection on February 15, 2008 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona International Speedway during which Mr. Wilson was the crew chief of record for the Kevin Harvick, Inc. #77 car. The infractions concerned Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing”; Section 12-4-Q “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the car, car parts, components, and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules” and Section 20A-8.4C: “The oil reservoir tank cover was not fastened securely.” The penalty assessed against Mr. Wilson was:
    • $15,000.00 fine; suspension from NASCAR for the next six (6) NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until April 9, 2008 (not including testing), and probation until December 31, 2008.
    Separate penalties were also assessed against the car owner and driver in this matter, but those penalties were not appealed. During the appeal, the rules violations were not contested.
    After considering the testimony presented during the hearing, it is the decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission by a majority vote to amend the original penalty assessed against Mr. Wilson by NASCAR as follows:
    • $5,000.00 fine; suspension from NASCAR for the next four (4) NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Events from this date; suspension from NASCAR until April 9, 2008 (not including testing), and probation until December 31, 2008.
    The Appellant has the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR PR)(3-4-2008)
  • National Stock Car Racing Commission Amends #1 Team Penalty: On March 4, 2008, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Phoenix Racing regarding the #1 car. The appeal concerned three penalties issued by following post-qualifying inspection on February 15, 2008 for the Nationwide Series event at Daytona. The infractions concerned Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing”; Section 12-4-Q “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the car, car parts, components, and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules” and Section 20A-8.4C: “The oil reservoir tank cover was not fastened securely.” The penalties assessed were:
    • Loss of 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner James Finch.
    • Loss of 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Driver Points for driver Johnny Sauter.
    • $15,000 fine; suspension from NASCAR for the next six (6) Nationwide Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until April 9, 2008 (not including testing), and probation until December 31, 2008 for crew chief Newt Moore.
    The Appellants argued that the infractions were minor, did not constitute a performance advantage, and did not warrant the penalties assessed. In deliberating, the Commission considered several factors including Section 20A-2.1L concerning the passage of air into or out of the car. In this case, the stepped, 2-part encasement cover was missing a bolt in the top cover section, as well as being loose along the perimeter of the bottom cover section. The Commission also decided that there were very unusual circumstances regarding the crew chief in this case. Therefore, by a majority vote, it is the decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to amend two of the three original penalties issued by NASCAR as follows:
    • Loss of 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Car Owner Points and a $15,000.00 fine for car owner James Finch.
    • Loss of 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Driver Points for driver Johnny Sauter.
    • Suspension from NASCAR for the next two (2) weeks and probation until December 31, 2008 for crew chief Newt Moore.
    The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR PR)(3-4-2008)
  • Nationwide Series Action Live from Atlanta Saturday: With action at one of NASCAR’s fastest tracks, ESPN2 continues its season-long coverage of the Nationwide Series with a live, flag-to-flag airing of the 300-mile race from Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday, March 8, beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. Dr. Jerry Punch will be the lead announcer for ESPN2’s coverage, joined in the booth for analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will report from the pits, while two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer will be in the ESPN DISH Tech Center. Allen Bestwick will host NASCAR Countdown with analysis by Jarrett and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN pit studio. The race will be simulcast on ESPN360.com, ESPN’s signature broadband sports network, and on ESPN Deportes, the domestic Spanish-language network. The event also will be simulcast on ESPN MobileTV.(ESPN PR)(3-3-2008)
  • National Stock Car Racing Commission Overturns Penalty agains RWI: On March 3, 2008, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Rusty Wallace Racing. The appeal concerned three penalties issued by NASCAR following post-qualifying inspection on February 15, 2008 for the Nationwide Series race at Daytona. The infractions concerned Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing”; Section 12-4-Q “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the car, car parts, components, and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules” and Section 20A-8.4C: “The oil tank reservoir tank cover was not fastened securely.” The penalties assessed were:
    Loss of 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Ed Rensi.
    Loss of 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Driver Points for driver David Stremme.
    $15,000.00 fine; suspension from NASCAR from the next six Nationwide Series events; suspension from NASCAR until April 9, 2008; and probation until December 31, 2008 for crew chief Steve Darne.
    In deliberating, the Commission also considered Section 20A-2.1L of the Rule Book concerning the passage of air into or out of the car. After reviewing the testimony and evidence presented during the hearing, the Commission determined that the cover appeared to be fastened. All bolts appeared to be fully engaged. The slight deflection at one corner of the cover which gave rise to the penalty was arguable, given the overall design of the oil tank reservoir encasement. Therefore, by a majority decision, the National Stock Car Racing Commission decided to rescind the penalties assessed by NASCAR.(NASCAR PR)(3-3-2008)
  • Federated Expands Relationship with Ken Schrader Racing: Federated Auto Parts has expanded its relationship with Nextel Cup driver Ken Schrader and Ken Schrader Racing for the 2008 season. In 2008, Schrader will drive a Federated sponsored vehicle in selected NASCAR Nationwide Series, ARCA, Truck and Grand National West events designed to support Federated members in all regions of the country. In a new initiative designed to support Federated stores and Car Care Centers, Schrader will also be driving a Federated sponsored vehicle in over 100 dirt track events throughout the country. This grass roots racing program, gives Federated members a local promotional vehicle in markets in their respective areas of the country.(Search-AutoParts.com)(3-3-2008)
  • Raybestos Rookie Notes for Atlanta: Dario Franchitti was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas. Franchitti claimed a sixth-place finish, his best effort in seven Nationwide Series races. He has claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors in two of the three Nationwide Series races this season. Franchitti holds a 12-point lead (37-25) over Bryan Clauson in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the March 8 Nicorette 300 at Atlanta. Franchitti is ninth in the Nationwide Series championship standings, best of any Raybestos Rookie. He leads 10th-place Brad Coleman by 15 points and trails eighth-place Mike Wallace by 13. Franchitti is 128 points behind leader Tony Stewart.(Raybestos PR)(3-3-2008)
  • Big George’s ashes take a ride around the track: Mike Harmon was standing at the garage gate Thursday at Las Vegas, waiting for clearance to begin work on his Nationwide Series car, when a random lady approached with a bewildering request. She introduced herself as Mara Brodeur, an ardent race fan from Medford, Ore., who was camping in the infield with a group of friends for the race. But one of those friends was missing — Big George. George Helms was a diehard. He loved NASCAR, dreamed of someday attacking the high-banks at Daytona or Bristol or Darlington. But he never got that chance. They called him Big George for a reason. He stood 6-foot-5 and weighed 400 pounds and thus couldn’t fit in a racecar. So when Big George died last December — of a heart attack at age 54 — Mara set out to make certain his dream didn’t die, too. “They had his ashes in an urn and wanted me to ride him around the racetrack,” Harmon said, with a chuckle, as he stared at the ground as if to deflect the attention. As a whole, racecar drivers are a superstitious lot. Not many guys would do this, but Harmon has his reasons. He’s cheated death. At Bristol Motor Speedway in 2002, Harmon narrowly escaped death in a crash during practice that Kenny Wallace called “the worst wreck in NASCAR history.” And then there was history. Harmon was moved by a tribute performed by Top Fuel drag racer Brandon Bernstein at Bristol Dragway, when he placed the ashes of a fan in the parachute of his car during a race. So he took the urn and taped it to the fire extinguisher of his car, and there it rode for the entire practice session Friday afternoon. Afterwards, overcome with emotion, Big George’s friends hugged Harmon and thanked him.(ESPN.com)(3-2-2008)
  • Carpentier Replaces Kahne in Nationwide Race at Las Vegas: Kasey Kahne has a sinus infection severe enough that Gillett Evernham Motorsports is replacing him in the Sam’s Town 300 Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Patrick Carpentier. The symptoms started two days ago and worsened Friday while Kahne took part in Sprint Cup Series practice and qualifying, and two Nationwide Series practices, as well.(Dodge Motorsports PR)(3-1-2008)
  • JR Motorsports Will Appeal Crew Chief Suspension: UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Friday his Nationwide Series team won’t appeal the points or money penalty handed down by NASCAR for an infraction discovered at Daytona. But JR Motorsports will appeal the six-week suspension of Chad Walter, crew chief of the team’s #5 Chevy. The team was docked 50 points and fined $25,000 for an illegal decklid found before qualifying. “The suspension is the toughest part for us, financially,” Earnhardt Jr. said at Auto Club Speedway. “To have to bring in a guy of crew chief caliber for a short period of time is pretty expensive. We’re going to see if we can get that part of it, at least, worked on a little bit. “I feel like the penalty itself is fair. The points and all that is hard to swallow, but it’s fair. It is what it is. We got caught cheating, and that’s punishment we deserve.” But Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t want to lose his crew chief, so he will appeal.(SceneDaily.com)(2-22-2008)
    UPDATE: JR Motorsports has dropped its appeal of the suspension of Nationwide Series crew chief Chad Walter. The crew chief has begun serving the six-race suspension NASCAR handed down for an infraction discovered at Daytona. Lance McGrew is working as the interim crew chief for the team this weekend.(SceneDaily.com)(3-1-2008)