March 2011 Nationwide Series Archive
- Truex has wrist surgery: UPDATE: #99-Ryan Truex had minor wrist surgery Tuesday, but the Nationwide Series rookie is not expected to miss any races while recovering. The 19-year-old Stafford Township native broke the bone about two years ago, and it had started bothering him in recent months, his father, Martin Truex Sr., said in a telephone interview shortly after the surgery in Cornelius, N.C. He planned the surgery for this week since the Nationwide Series does not race again until April 8. “I’m good,” Ryan said in a phone interview later Tuesday. “Everything’s all right. It wasn’t really bothering me (while driving). The bone was just broken and needed to be fixed for the future.” (Press of Atlantic City)(3-30-2011)
UPDATE: Pastrana-Waltrip Racing announced that David Reutimann will drive the #99 Toyota Camry in the April 8 Nationwide race at Texas Motor Speedway while Ryan Truex recovers from wrist surgery. Reutimann replaces rookie points leader Truex who underwent corrective surgery this week to repair a fractured right wrist. Truex will return to the #99 driver’s seat at Nashville Speedway on April 23. (Pastrana Waltrip PR)(3-31-2011)
- ABF returns to Turner Motorsports: Turner Motorsports is pleased to announce the addition of longtime marketing partner, ABF, to the sponsorship line-up of its No. 30 Chevrolet. The freight transportation services company will adorn the hood of the #30 Impala in four NASCAR Nationwide Series events, [Talladega, Richmond, Dover & Texas], piloted by NASCAR Camping World Truck Series young gun, James Buescher. Returning to Turner Motorsports in 2011 will mark ABF Freight’s seventh year as a Nationwide Series team sponsor.(Turner Motorsports PR)(3-30-2011)
- Auto Club TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on Saturday, March 26, earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.6, averaging 2,148,001 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The Fontana race was moved to a different time in the series schedule this year. In comparison to the race that was held at Nashville Superspeedway in the same timeframe last year, the rating was up as the Nashville race earned a 1.1 rating on ESPN. In 2010, the Fontana race was held in February, as the second race of the season, and earned a 1.7 rating on ESPN2. Overall, the combined network average U.S. rating for the NASCAR Nationwide Series so far this season is a 1.7, the same as it was at this point in both 2009 and 2010.(ESPN)(3-29-2011)
- Auto Club Speedway News & Notes:
• Kyle Busch won the Nationwide Series Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway, the 46th career series win in his 207th race. He also won last week at Bristol, and it was his third win of 2011. It was the fifth time he’s won at Auto Club Speedway in his 13th race. Busch has won five of the last six series races at ACS.
• Saturday’s victory was Busch’s eighth NASCAR win at ACS (one Cup, five Nationwide, two Camping World Truck).
• Busch led twice for 18 laps on Saturday, including the final 17. He leads all drivers with 587 laps led in 2011. Carl Edwards is second with 116 laps led.
• Saturday was the 13th time there was a 1-2 finish for Busch and Edwards in the series. Busch has won nine of them.
• This was the 61st career win for Joe Gibbs Racing and the seventh for the team at ACS.
• This was the seventh win at ACS for Toyota.
• Edwards earned his 150th career top-10 finish. It was his seventh straight top-5 finish at ACS.
• Kevin Harvick (third) earned his 197th top-10 finish in the series, only one behind Tommy Houston for the most. Harvick led his 7,000th series lap in the race, remaining third all time.
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (fourth) has finished in the top 10 in six of the last seven events and he leads the points for the first time in his career. He is the fourth points leader in five races this season.
• Elliott Sadler (fifth) got his second straight top-5 finish. He started 34th.
• Mark Martin (eighth) scored his 150th career top-10 finish.
• Brad Keselowski (10th) rebounded from a Lap 67 wave around to get his third straight top-10. (ESPN.com)(3-28-2011)
- Dillon expected to run full 2012 Nationwide Season: Austin Dillon will make his Sprint Cup debut later this year at either Kansas in October or Phoenix in November in a car built by his grandfather’s Richard Childress Racing. Childress said this is not in preparation for Dillon to jump to Cup next year. He said the plan is for Dillon to compete in the Nationwide Series in 2012 while Ty Dillon, Austin’s younger brother, competes in trucks next year.(Scene Daily)(3-27-2011)
- Metro Ministries to sponsor the # 52 at California: Metro Ministries is currently the world’s largest Sunday School serving more than 42,000 children with Sunday School services, child sponsorship, special programs and personal home visits on a weekly basis. The organization was established in 1980 and has been serving low-income, inner city children and their families for more than a quarter of a century.(Means Motorsports PR)(3-26-2011)
- Molly Ringwald named Honorary Starter of California Nationwide Race: Actress Molly Ringwald will serve as Honorary Starter for the Royal Purple 300 NNS race at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, March 26. As Honorary Starter, Ringwald will wave the green flag to get the Royal Purple 300 underway. Race fans can also watch Ringwald on the breakout hit “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”, which airs on Mondays at 8/7c on ABC Family. In addition to being an actress and author, Ringwald recently finished recording her first album with her jazz band which they hope to release in 2011.(ACS)(3-25-2011)
- Soul Surfer partners with Koch, MacDonald: “Soul Surfer” the movie will be partnering with Blake Koch and the MacDonald Motorsports #81 team this weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. “Soul Surfer” is the inspiring true story of Bethany Hamilton, a young surfer who lost her arm to a shark attack at age 13. Bethany didn’t quit there and four years later, realized her dream of becoming a professional surfer in 2007. The movie stars Anna Sophia Robb as Bethany, as well as Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, Lorraine Nicholson, and Carrie Underwood.(MacDonald Motorsports PR)(3-24-2011)
- Greeting Express returns to the #41: Rick Ware Racing announced that Greeting Express has returned again as a primary sponsor for the organization for the Royal Purple 300 with driver Jennifer Jo Cobb at Auto Club Speedway this weekend. Greeting Express, Inc., a custom web-to-print company offering everything from business cards to high-end photo books based in Durham, NC. The multi-race deal will kicked off in Bristol, TN last weekend with greetingexpress.com #41 Nationwide Ford Mustang driven by Carl Long. Cobb will now pilot the entry. (RWR)(3-25-2011)
- Howie Mandel named Grand Marshal for Fontana NNS race: Howie Mandel, judge of “America’s Got Talent” and host of game-show “Deal or No Deal” will serve as Grand Marshal for NASCAR’s NNS Series race – the Royal Purple 300 – at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, March 26. As Grand Marshal, Mandel will give the most famous command in racing, “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines.” Mandel is the host and executive producer of the upcoming Fox special MOBBED, an unscripted show that puts a hidden-camera spin on the “flash mob” concept. And, this summer he returns as a judge on NBC’s hit talent competition series “America’s Got Talent” alongside Sharon Osborne and Piers Morgan. Mandel recently received an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Reality/Competition Host” for “Deal or No Deal” and a Daytime Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Game Show Host” for the syndicated version of the show.(ACS)(3-25-2011)
- David Archuleta performing National Anthem at Fontana NNS race: Auto Club Speedway announced that American Idol Season 7 finalist David Archuleta will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the Royal Purple 300 NNS race at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, March 26. Archuleta’s rendition of the National Anthem and the Royal Purple 300 will broadcast live on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. PT. Following American Idol, Archuleta released “Crush,” the first single from his self-titled debut album, which charted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of its 2008 release and has since sold over two million downloads.(ACS)(3-25-2011)
- BeBevCo sponsoring Cobb at Fontana: Bebida Beverage Company announced the Company will partner with NASCAR competitor Jennifer Jo Cobb to bring more brand awareness to Koma Unwind Chillaxation drink. A Special edition 12 pack of Koma Unwind Chillaxation Drink and signed Jennifer Jo Cobb Autographed cards will be available for the next 60 days with 50% of the proceeds benefitting Jennifer and her NASCAR career. In addition, BebevCo’s Koma Unwind will again become an associate sponsor of the #41-Rick Ware Racing entry that Jennifer Jo Cobb will pilot in the Royal Purple 300 this Saturday, March 26 in Fontana, California. (PR)(3-24-2011)
- Sad News – Steve ‘Dirt’ Masch: from the Rick Ware Racing Facebook page, “With heavy hearts we are saddened by the loss of Steve ‘Dirt’ Masch [Wednesday]”. On March 11, Dean Shaut, lost control of his vehicle while driving on Ball Park Road in Thomasville, NC and was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger Stephen Masch was airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C. where he was treated until succumbing to his injuries. Both men were independent contractors for Rick Ware Racing.(3-24-2011)
- Living Waters Ministry partners with Rensi: Team Rensi Motorsports announced that Living Waters, a non-denominational Christian Outreach ministry that inspires, teaches and equips Christians how to share the gospel simply, effectively, biblically, has signed on as the primary partner of Kevin Lepage and the Living Waters #24 Ford Mustang for the Royal Purple 300 at California Speedway. Living Waters was founded by Ray Comfort, a native New Zealander and published author of several popular books, began his walk with Jesus Christ in April of 1975. In 1989 he and his family brought their ministry to the United States. In 2001 Kirk Cameron, known as the lovable teen heart throb Mike Seaver, of the award winning series Growing Pains, joined Living Waters after listening to “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” on CD and then reading Ray’s book God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life. Together, they began production of “The Way of the Master” TV program, which has won seven awards and is seen on 31 networks on 70 countries.(Rensi PR)(3-24-2011)
- MAXelence sponsoring #28 at Fontana: MAXelence announced their partnership with Jay Robinson Racing and the #28 Car. MAXelence will be the primary sponsor for 12 races and an associate for the remaining races in the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Season. MAXelence is a first-of-its-kind product from BestLife International, Inc. (BLI) based in Clarkston, WA and the newest in a line of inovative health related beverages.(PR)(2-23-2011)
- Lewandoski in the #39 in California: Charles Lewandoski will be the driver of the #39 Nationwide car of Go Green Racing Saturday at Auto Club Speedway. Sunrise Ford of Fontana, California will be the sponsor.(Go Green Racing)(3-23-2011)
- G&K Return as primary sponsor for Mike Wallace in California: G&K Services return to the primary sponsorship positions on the JD Motorsports #01 Chevy this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. The car will sport the familiar orange paint scheme that fans will recognize from previous events. G&K Services, a uniform and facility services company, was founded in 1902 in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. G&K Services today has nearly 8,000 employees throughout North America and processes more than five million garments each week from over 160 locations. (JD Motorsports)(3-23-2011)
- Ragu on the #88 in California: The red and yellow paint scheme of Ragu makes its return to the racetrack at Auto Club Speedway on board Aric Almirola’s #88 Chevy. This marks the first of four races for the brand in 2011. It joins Hellmann’s, Degree and Suave Men as Unilever brands to have primary paint schemes with JRM this season. The #88 Chevy will also carry the Ragu brand at Iowa Speedway (Aug. 6), Watkins Glen International (Aug. 13) and Dover International Speedway (Oct. 1).(JR Motorsports), see an image of the car on my #88 team paint schemes page.(3-22-2011)
- Russell files report against Cobb: The owner of 2nd Chance Motorsports has filed a police report alleging larceny charges against Jennifer Jo Cobb, the driver who walked away from his Nationwide Series car five minutes before the start of Saturday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway over a start-and-park issue. Rick Russell alleged that Cobb and crew chief Steve Kuykendall stole $16,000 worth of race car parts from his Mooresville, N.C. facility. Russell said police found about half of the missing parts on Sunday in a storage bin used by Cobb not far from the shop. “Both her and her crew chief said they didn’t know how it got there,” Russell said. “I’m in the race parts-selling business. There were containers of parts that came right off the shelves with the prices still marked on them.” Cobb said the storage units belonged to Russell and that he agreed to let her and Kuykendall move some of the parts there while their partnership existed to clear space in the shop. She said there was no attempt to steal anything and that she told Russell on Sunday to take all the parts that were his. (ESPN.com)(3-22-2011)
- Fitzpatrick returns to the #27: Canada’s J.R. Fitzpatrick will make his second start of the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series this Saturday, 26th March, as the 22-year-old gets set to tackle the ‘Royal Purple 300’ at the Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, California. Fitzpatrick will again campaign the #27 Baker Curb Racing Ford, with support from Schick Hydro and Energizer Canada, the Ontario-resident returning for the fifth round of the year to the seat he occupied for the season-opener at the Daytona International Speedway in February. (Fitzpatrick PR)(3-22-2011)
- Bristol TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol (TN) Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 19, saw an increase in total viewership over the telecast of last year’s race that aired on ABC, according to the Nielsen Company. Saturday’s telecast on ESPN averaged 2,322,153 viewers, up two percent over the 2,286,794 viewership average for last year’s race on ABC. The viewership rise was despite a drop in rating for the telecast – last year’s ABC telecast earned a 1.6 U.S. household rating while Saturday’s ESPN telecast earned a U.S. household rating of 1.5 (1.7 HH coverage rating).(ESPN)(3-22-2011)
- Bud Boy Buggies debuts on the #2 in California: Bad Boy Buggies will make their NASCAR debut this weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. as they join Kevin Harvick Inc. and Elliott Sadler for the NASCAR Nationwide Series fifth race of 2011. Bad Boy Buggies is a leader in utility vehicles for hunting and outdoor lifestyles. The company pioneered the category of electrically powered 4×4 vehicles, ideal for hunting and outdoor recreation due to their silent, odorless operation and environmentally friendly, emissions-free drive trains.(KHI)(3-21-2011)
- Cobb, 2nd Chance Motorsports split: UPDATES: Jennifer Jo Cobb was scheduled to start Saturday’s Nationwide race 41st but when the command to start was made, Cobb was not in the #79 car. She refused to drive it after she said team owner Rick Russell told her he wanted her to start and park just before the race began. Here’s what Jennifer Jo Cobb said about the situation: “There were rumblings all week about our team starting and parking. I have made a commitment to my sponsors, my fans and NASCAR that I’m not a start-and-park driver. I’m really serious about this. I have to work hard to prove to people that I’m serious about this. The conversation was never had with me until 10 minutes before the race started that I was to start and park. I had already bought … tires to run this race, so you can imagine, it was a blow both to my principles and my finances to hear this. As the owner of this team, he has the right to ask NASCAR to black flag me and said he would do so. After thinking about it … I tried to come up with a solution and there’s also rumblings around town that he was going to surprise me and take me out of the car at California (next week). We have a five-race agreement that says that I’m racing for him and that’s why I took the Nationwide points vs. the truck points. Because of the promises he’s made, I’ve made decisions about my career and so 10 minutes before the race he told me not only am I starting and parking to save his car for California but that he would be replacing me as a driver in California and that he was the owner of the car and there was nothing (she) could do about it.
Car owner Rick Russell gives his side of what happened with Jennifer Jo Cobb before Saturday’s race and what resulted. “Five minutes before the race, she took her crew and left. We had a crew meeting here on Friday morning and I explained to everyone what our purpose was here this weekend. In Vegas we destroyed a car through Kyle Busch’s accident. We only had one car, so had to have the body completely replaced on the car except for the roof, decklid and rear bumper, so without a sponsor the total of about $16,000 about broke me to get this car together. We already had our entry in for here and California, so rather than try to roll this and lose this, we decided we’d come up here and I let everybody know we were here in a conservative mode. We would practice smart. We would qualify and we would make a few laps and then we would park the car and save it for California. She waited until five minutes until start time and told her crew chief and her other people that worked for her and they left. I’m sitting on pit road with a car without a driver and made myself look stupid, NASCAR look stupid, the whole bunch of us look stupid.” Also, Rick Russell said that Tim Andrews will drive the team’s car at California next weekend. (Hampton Roads)(3-19-2011)
UPDATE: Jennifer Jo Cobb, who walked away from her car about five minutes before the start of Saturday’s Nationwide Series race in protest of having to start and park, will drive the #41 for Rick Ware Racing next weekend at California. Meanwhile, Rick Russell, who signed Cobb to drive the first five Nationwide races of the season for 2nd Chance Motorsports, plans to sue for breach of contract. Both parties said the partnership they formed before the season is over, but that is about all they agree on. Russell said it was clear after Cobb crashed at Las Vegas that he would park early at Bristol to preserve the car for California, noting he didn’t hire a pit crew or buy tires to run the entire race. He said Cobb and her crew chief, Steve Kuykendall, purchased tires and hired a pit crew. He added that Cobb already had breached her contract because she didn’t provide the engine at Las Vegas and Bristol as the contract states. Cobb insisted she lived up to the contract, noting a second party provided $15,000 toward a $30,000 engine she used at Vegas. Russell said Cobb knew well before the race she was going to have to park and that the move in front of a national television audience was premeditated. (ESPN.com)(3-20-2011)
- Rusty Wallace Racing to test at Pike’s Peak: Up this week for RWR’s #66 and #62 teams is a two-day test at Pikes Peak International Raceway, before the teams head to Los Angeles for next weekend’s 300-miler at Auto Club Speedway. Steve Wallace enters the Auto Club weekend with two-straight top-tens in the Spring event there, including a sixth-place effort in last year’s race. (Rusty Wallace Racing)(3-20-2011)
- Bristol Images: Added images of most cars at Bristol Motor Speedway to the 2011 Nationwide Series paint schemes pages.(3-19-2011)
- Means Motorsports gets Bristol sponsor: Johnson City Press has been named sponsor at Bristol Race for Means Motorsports. The local Newspaper will be on the hood of the #52 Chevy Saturday for the NASCAR Nationwide EZ Seed 300. Johnson City Press has a circulation of over 30,000 and serves the Tri-cities area. Along with the newspaper, Sturgills Tree Farms will be a an associate sponsor on the car. Located in West Jefferson NC Sturgills provides wholesale Fraser Fir Christmas trees to large retail outlets, as well as individual vendors for the entire east coast.(Means Motorsports PR)(3-19-2011)
- Tire changes at Bristol: NASCAR and Goodyear announced a change in tire plans for this weekend’s Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Extreme right side tire wear in both Nationwide and Sprint Cup practice on Friday has forced Goodyear to re-evaluate the rubber compound originally planned for the .533-mile track this weekend. Nationwide cars will now run the tires used last year at Bristol and a competition caution will come out on lap 25 of Saturday’s race for teams to check tire wear. Sprint Cup Series teams will now use tires originally designated for Fontana and Michigan with Goodyear expected to bring in 1200-1300 tires from a Charlotte-area warehouse later this evening.(CBS)(3-18-2011)
MORE: Due to severe wear on right-side tires and their failure to “rubber in” with the track, Goodyear is rushing in a new compound for Saturday’s Nationwide Series and Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway. About 1,200 tires are being shipped from the Charlotte, N.C., area. Usually, as drivers run more practice laps, rubber from the tire grounds into the track’s surface and that alleviates excessive tire wear. “With the lack of improvement it was obvious we needed to react,” Goodyear’s Rick Heinrich said Friday. Goodyear officials said the situation was different from what happened at Indianapolis in 2008, when tires wore out so fast that NASCAR had to mandate pit stops every nine laps of green-flag racing. Goodyear changed the compound for the right-side tire in the Nationwide and Cup Series in an attempt to provide more grip. But it became obvious early on Friday that the approach was not working. #11-Denny Hamlin said he was able to run only 30 laps, about 100 laps short of a fuel run, on the right-side tires Goodyear brought to the track. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president for competition, said tests likely will be scheduled before the August race in Bristol to make sure there is no repeat of what happened to Hamlin. Pemberton said he supported Goodyear’s decision to react quickly. “There’s tires in the barn ready to race anywhere and everywhere we go,” Pemberton said.(ESPN)(3-18-2011)
- Annett DWI hearing postponed: An initial hearing was postponed Friday for Rusty Wallace Racing driver #62-Michael Annett, who faces charges of driving while impaired. Annett’s lawyer requested the case be continued, and Annett now has an April 29 court date in North Carolina District Court in Statesville, according to the clerk of courts office. The hearing is for Annett to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Annett did not deny the charges during interview at Daytona Feb. 12. (Scene Daily)(3-18-2011)
- COLORMATCH sponsoring JD Motorsports at Bristol: JD Motorsports and Mike Wallace announced the addition of COLORMATCH, headquartered in Jackson, Tenn., as the primary sponsor of the #01 Chevy this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. COLORMATCH is a family-owned business founded in 1946. Originally started as a small auto parts store, the company has grown to become a leader in the distribution of collision repair products to the auto body industry.(JD Motorsports)(3-18-2011)
- ML Motorsports honoring Byrd: In recognition of Food City renaming Sunday’s Sprint Cup race The Jeff Byrd 500, the #70 Chevy driven by Shelby Howard will have a Thank You on the deck lid of the race car during the Scott’s EZ Seed 300 this Saturday. Jeff Byrd was the president of Bristol Motor Speedway. More than that, however, he was of and for the fans. That, more than anything, explained Food City CEO Steve Smith, led the sponsoring company, a fixture at BMS for 20 years, to suggest to speedway officials that Sunday’s race be renamed the Jeff Byrd 500. Track GM, Jerry Caldwell mentioned that “the Jeff Byrd 500 was one of the most selfless acts that I have seen from a company in a long time”. The decal on the rear deck lid reads – “Thank You Food City for Honoring Our Friend Jeff Byrd”. Also on the #70 Chevy is Race Fuel Energy Drink which was the primary sponsor at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(ML Motorsports)(3-17-2011)
- Daystar Television sponsoring Koch for 10 races: MacDonald Motorsports and Blake Koch announced that Daystar Television Networks will be the primary sponsor on the #81 Dodge Challenger for 10 races in 2011, starting this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. They will also be an associate sponsor on the car for another 20 races throughout the season. This will allow Blake to chase the NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year title this season. Daystar is the fastest growing faith-based television network in the world, broadcasted into 81 million US homes and 671 million worldwide. Lead by Marcus and Joni Lamb and based out of Dallas, Texas, Daystar provides energetic, inspired, and uplifting programming around the world.(MacDonald Motorsports PR)(3-17-2011)
- Jeremy Clements names Bristol sponsors: Myherocards.com and GoodBelly Probiotic Juice Drink are on board the RaceDaySponsor.com #51 Chevy for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Clements PR)(3-17-2011)
- Race Boost joins 2nd Chance Motorsports: , RacerBoost.com and 2nd Chance Motorsports announced plans to form a strategic sponsorship partnership during the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Pioneering an innovative approach to social media in NASCAR, RacerBoost.com will supply 2nd Chance Motorsports with a stunning web presence that engages their fans and followers and creates fresh mediums for sponsor promotion. (2nd Chance Motorsports)(3-17-2011)
- Preval sponsoring Wimmer at Bristol: UPDATE: Preval has announced that it has reached an agreement with Key Motorsports to sponsor the team’s #40 NASCAR Nationwide Series entry in the Scott’s EZ Seed 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Veteran driver Scott Wimmer will be behind the wheel of the #40 Key Motorsports Chevy. Preval manufactures and distributes the Preval Spray Gun, an aerosol-powered spray gun with multiple industrial and consumer uses in the auto racing industry as well as a multitude of other industries such as aerospace, construction, and arts and crafts. (Key Motorsports)(3-16-2011)
UPDATE: Key Motorsports announced Anderson’s Pure Maple Syrup, manufacturers and distributors of quality maple syrup products, will partner with the #40 team and NASCAR driver Scott Wimmer for Saturday’s 300-lap Nationwide Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway. Key Motorsports enjoyed their best performance of the 2010 season in last spring’s race on the ultra-fast Tennessee track.(Key Motorsports)(3-17-2011)
- Oakley to sponsorAnnett in California: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing, LLC announced that Oakley—the iconic sports and lifestyle brand—will be featured as the primary sponsor of RWR’s #62 Toyota Camry in the March 26th Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway. The relationship between Oakley and team owner Rusty Wallace is one of the brand’s longest-running in motorsports; it dates back to the start of the 1990 season, when Wallace was the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. From his trademark Razor Blades to the M Frame glass he still sports today, Wallace has proudly represented the Oakley brand for 21 years. This year’s event will mark the second time that an RWR entry has sported Oakley colors at Auto Club, as Steve Wallace previously piloted a #66 Oakley-branded car at the Southern California speedway in 2008. Iowa native Michael Annett will pilot the #62 Oakley machine in the 2011 edition. (Rusty Wallace Racing), see an image of the car on my #62 team paint schemes page.(3-16-2011)
- Armour Vienna Sausages on the #2 at Bristol: Armour Vienna Sausages returns as primary sponsor for the first time in the Nationwide Series in 2011. The familiar black, blue and gold colors return to defend their undefeated Nationwide Series winning streak. Pinnacle Foods and the Armour brand are a long-time sponsor partner of Kevin Harvick and the KHI teams. Since becoming a primary sponsor in 2009, the black, blue and gold Armour colors have never lost a Nationwide Series race, going to victory lane for the first time with KHI co-owner Harvick as he earned his first win driving his own equipment at Bristol Motor Speedway, followed by wins at Nashville Superspeedway and Richmond International Raceway. The Armour scheme will try and beat the odds for a fifth win with KHI this weekend at Bristol.(KHI)(3-16-2011)
- Fuge out at TriStar: UPDATE: Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that crewchief Dave Fuge, Sr., is out as crewchief of Mike Bliss’ #19 NASCAR Nationwide Series entry at Tri-Star Motorsports. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, sources close to the team say the veteran crewchief parted company with the team today, despite ranking ninth in Nationwide Series championship points after three events. Bliss was 17th – three laps down – Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, after finishing 13th in the season opener at Daytona and 20th two weeks ago in Phoenix. A spokesperson for Tri-Star Motorsports confirmed that Fuge is no longer with the team, but declined to discuss reasons for the move. No decision has been made on a possible replacement. (Sirius Speedway)(3-8-2011)
UPDATE: TriStar Motorsports owner, Mark Smith, announced that effective immediately Wes Ward will assume crew chief duties for the #19 entry and driver Mike Bliss. A NASCAR veteran of 22 years and former Director of Competition at Rusty Wallace Racing, Ward replaces Dave Fuge at the helm of the No. 19 team.
- Lilly Trucking sponsoring Hill:#15- Timmy Hill will be carrying the logos of Lilly Trucking this weekend for the running of the Scotts EZ Seed 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Lilly Trucking, a long time partner with Rick Ware Racing, will share in memory of fallen teammate Dean Shaut, this weekend with rookie Timmy Hill in what has become one of the toughest weekends for the young team and driver. Dean will be riding “co-pilot” with Hill for the remainder of the season with his name being featured over the passenger door. In addition, a decal on the trunk lid will also have an “In Memory” decal in Dean’s honor. (RWR)(3-16-2011)
- Greeting Express sponsoring Long: Rick Ware Racing announced that Greeting Express, a custom web-to-print company, has returned to the family of primary sponsors for the Scotts EZ Seed 300 with driver #41-Carl Long at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. With a heavy heart, Greeting Express and Rick Ware Racing will be honoring their teammates, Dean Shaut and Steve “Dirt” Masch who were involved in a fatal accident last weekend by having each ride as a “co-pilot” with their names over the passenger door for the remainder of the season. In addition, the team will carry a special note to “Dirt” on the deck lid of the #41 for the race. (RWR)(3-16-2011)
- Mikey Kile to drive for Turner: Turner Motorsports announced the addition of Mikey Kile to their 2011 driver line-up. The 28-year-old driver will pilot the #30 Chevy for the team in a minimum of seven events beginning at Nashville Superspeedway in April. (Turner Motorsports)(3-16-2011)
- NASCAR The Game returns to the #20: The new NASCAR The Game 2011, developed by Eutechnyx and Activision, will once again be the featured game on the #20 GameStop Toyota at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. Players can choose to play as themselves or as one of the sport’s real-world drivers as they battle it out for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. Each pro driver has the AI characteristics of his or her real world counterpart, setting the stage for intense rivalries played out on the track. The game is scheduled to come out March 29th, 2011 and will be available on the Playstation 3, Xbox and Wii systems. (JGR)(3-15-2011)
- McClure breaks bone in hand: UPDATE: Eric McClure posted on Facebook Wednesday evening, “Took a spill last night and broke bone in my right hand. things seem to happen to me lately. I’m tough, though”. He tripped over his daughter Mabreigh’s birthday party supplies in the kitchen floor (her party is Saturday) and tried to catch himself. He broke a small bone below his pinkie knuckle on his right hand. He will be in Charlotte Monday to get a special cast made for his steering wheel and the plan is to race at Bristol.(3-9-2011)
UPDATE: McClure has been cleared to race and plans to compete in Saturday’s Scotts EZ Seed 300. In the event that a relief driver is needed during the weekend, former Nationwide Series Champion Jeff Green will be on standby.(TMI PR)(3-14-2011)
- Kenny Wallace to run another fan car: In August 2009, the “fan car” was a huge success with Nationwide Series driver Kenny Wallace at the Montreal race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Since that race the “fans” have not stopped asking Wallace when he would be running the fan car again. In an announcement to his fans and the racing community, Wallace, who consistently ranks among NASCAR’s most popular drivers, is finally giving the fans the answer. “The ‘fan car’ will be back at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 14th on the #09 Toyota Camry owned by RAB Racing with Brack Maggard,” Wallace said. “I want to give the fans what they want, but I also want the ‘fan car’ to be special. I really think waiting two years will make it all new again for the fans. Fans can go to www.kennywallace.com and for $20 they will get their name on my car for the Charlotte NASCAR Nationwide Series race and a postcard they can keep forever.” Fans that are planning to make the trip to the Charlotte area for NASCAR events in October will have a little something extra to do. On Wednesday, October 12, 2011, fans will have a chance to visit Wallace at the RAB Racing shop in Concord, only minutes from Charlotte Motor Speedway, when RAB Racing will host a “meet-and-greet” where Kenny Wallace will sign autographs and talk with fans. (RAB Racing)(3-14-2011)
- Tragic News – Dean Shaut and Stephen Masch: NASCAR’s Rick Ware Racing (RWR) this morning is mourning devastating news after returning home from their NCWTS event at Darlington this past Saturday March 12th, 2011. Dean Shaut and Stephen Masch began assisting RWR this season on the Nationwide and Truck teams as independent contractors were involved in a fatal crash on Friday night March 11th, 2011. The driver of the Toyota Tundra truck Dean Shaut, lost control of his vehicle while driving on Ball Park Road in Thomasville, NC and was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger Stephen Masch was airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC with spinal cord and head injuries. “All of us at RWR are deeply saddened about the news and are suffering a great loss over this tragic accident” stated team owner Rick Ware. “We can’t express our condolences enough at a time like this to each of the families and words alone right now just don’t express our thoughts enough”.
Dean was a 20- year veteran of the NSACAR community as a fabricator and mechanic working for such teams over the years such as Hendricks, MB2, Evernham and others.
Stephen Masch was an independent contract mechanic for the RWR Nationwide #15 team driven by rookie Timmy Hill. Rookie Jeffrey Earnhardt drives the RWR NCWTS team the two men assisted. His wife Sandy, and his two step- children Chris and Megan survive Dean. His brother Rick Shaut, who is a long time employee of Richard Childress Racing, also survives Dean along with his sister-in-law Sandy and his two nieces Sara and Dana.
Funeral Services for Dean Shaut will be held this Friday March 18th, 2011 at Davidson Funeral Home located at 858 Hickory Tree Road in Winston Salem, NC 27127. Davidson Funeral Home (336) 775-2600. Viewing services will be held from 5-7pm and the memorial services will be held immediately following at 7pm. The family of Dean Shaut respectfully asks that any donations on behalf of Dean Shaut be made to the American Heart Association.(RWR)(3-14-2011)
- HISTORY to Sponsor Nationwide race at Charlotte: Highlighting a unique pairing of entities known for providing exceptional entertainment, officials from HISTORY and Charlotte Motor Speedway announced the May 28 NASCAR Nationwide Series race will be entitled the Top Gear 300. Considered one of the premiere events on the NASCAR Nationwide Series circuit, the Top Gear 300 will air nationally on ABC at 2:30 p.m. EST on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. The U.S. version of the award-winning program, “Top Gear” enters its second season tracking the colorful history of the automobile through an offbeat celebration of the art of driving. Featured segments include profiles of super-cars, extreme stunts and challenges, car reviews and celebrity interviews. The series also features the eccentric adventures of its hosts: comedian and car buff Adam Ferrara, champion rally and drift racer Tanner Foust and racing analyst Rutledge Wood.(CMS)(3-14-2011)
- Exide sponsoring Turner Motorsports: Turner Motorsports announced the addition of longtime NASCAR partner, Exide Technologies, to their sponsorship line-up for the 2011 racing season. The Exide Batteries logo will adorn the hood and sides of the #31 and #32 Silverados in the Camping World Truck Series, and the #34 Impala in select Nationwide Series races. Rising star James Buescher will see action behind the wheel of the Exide Batteries machine in eight Camping World Truck Series races, as well as twoNationwide Series events, beginning with this weekend’s NNS race at the famed Bristol Motor Speedway.(Turner Motorsports)(3-14-2011)
- Fatz Cafe Restaurants supporting Shepherd: Fatz Cafe Restaurants, headquartered in Taylor, SC with 47 locations in TN, NC, SC, GA, and VA has partnered with Nationwide Series driver Morgan Shepherd beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway this coming weekend. The “Fatz” logo will adorn the #89 entry driven by Shepherd as an associate supporter. The partnership will include a personal appearance and team dinner at 8:30pm on Friday, March 18th. at the Fatz Cafe location near Bristol. Fatz and the Shepherd team are also scheduling personal appearance dates for the Darlington and Charlotte events.(Faith Motorsports)(3-13-2011)
- Las Vegas TV Ratings: ABC’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 5, earned a final national rating of 2.2, averaging 3,458,988 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating marked a 22 percent increase from last year’s race that aired on ESPN2 and earned a final U.S. rating of 1.8.(ESPN)(3-10-2011)
- Westerman returning to Key Motorsports: Nationwide Series team owner Curtis Key confirmed Wednesday morning Westerman Companies will return as primary sponsor of the #40 Chevy driven by Scott Wimmer for select events in 2011. Westerman Companies have sponsored Key Motorsports entries since 2007. With details of their 2011 plans yet to be released Key would only say the sponsorship agreement is for “several races.” Westerman Companies appeared on the #40 Chevy in 12 races last season. (Key Motorsports)(3-9-2011)
- Las Vegas News & Notes:
• Mark Martin won the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday. It was his 49th career win in his 232nd Nationwide Series race, the most victories all time in the series, which started in 1982. His last series win came here at Las Vegas in March 2008, and his past three series victories have come at LVMS. He has won four times at Las Vegas.
• This was Martin’s 16th 1.5-mile win, one behind Kyle Busch for the most all time. Martin is the oldest race winner at Las Vegas and only the sixth driver to win a series race after his 50th birthday.
• This was the first win in the history of Turner Motorsports. Turner Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier finished second, the third time teammates finished 1-2 at Las Vegas.
• This was Chevrolet’s ninth series win at Las Vegas and second of the season.
• Justin Allgaier has posted top-10 finishes in all three of his series starts at Las Vegas.
• Brad Keselowski (third) was leading at the white flag before a flat right-front tire struck his car on the last lap. It was his second top-5 finish in his fifth Las Vegas race in the series. He rebounded from a Lap 51 speeding penalty on pit road. (He took the wave around on Lap 69.)
• Danica Patrick (fourth) had her best career finish in the series. It was the best finish by a woman in a NASCAR touring series race. The previous best was by Sara Christian, who finished fifth at Heidelberg in the seventh-ever Strictly Stock/Grand National race in October 1949.
• Trevor Bayne (fifth) has posted top-10 finishes in both of his series Las Vegas starts.
• Kenny Wallace (10th) earned his second top-10 finish in his ninth series Las Vegas start; Wallace took the wave around on Lap 69.
• Points leader Reed Sorenson finished 11th.
• Kyle Busch (30th) led the most laps before a Lap 130 accident.
- MacDonald Motorsports looking for new crew chief: MacDonald Motorsports and Bobby Burrell have parted ways after the Sams Town 300 in Las Vegas. The team is now in search for a new crew chief.(MacDonald Motorsports)(3-7-2011)
- Danica gets best NASCAR finish for a woman: Anyone who says Danica Patrick had her best NASCAR finish Saturday because of fuel mileage is dead wrong. Patrick made history with her fourth-place finish, the best ever for a woman in a national NASCAR event. That record stood for 62 years. Sara Christian finished fifth at Pittsburgh in 1949 during NASCAR’s inaugural season. Patrick is the first woman to lead a lap at Indianapolis and Daytona, the first woman to win a major open-wheel event and the first woman to finish in the top four in a NASCAR touring-series race. (ESPN.com)(3-6-2011)
- “As Seen On Racing” to Sponsor the #6 and #16 in Las Vegas: Roush Fenway Racing announced a multi-car sponsorship with newly-founded As Seen on Racing and IdeaVillage Products Corporation. As Seen On Racing products will be featured on two Roush Fenway NASCAR Nationwide Series entries this weekend at Las Vegas, the #16 of Trevor Bayne, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #6. Talks have already begun about expanding that schedule throughout the season. Bayne’s car will showcase the HD Vision Aviator sunglasses brand, while Stenhouse’s Ford Mustang will feature EasyFeet, which is aptly described as a “carwash for human feet.”(Roush Fenway)(3-4-2011)
- Prevention Plan stays on the #28: Las Vegas will be the site of The Sam’s Town 300 where The Prevention Plan #28, Jay Robinson Racing Team and driver Derrike Cope will build on the momentum of the past two races. Currently The Prevention Plan #28 driver, Derrike Cope, ranks 14th in The NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Standings.(Jay Robinson Racing)(3-4-2011)
- Cajun Industries expands sponsorship of Wise: Cajun Industries announced the company will expand their racing program with Josh Wise and Go Green Racing as the primary sponsor of the #39 Cajun Industries Ford in theNationwide Series. After partnering with the team at Daytona International Speedway, Cajun Industries will return to Go Green Racing and support Wise’s effort this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Wise will also pilot the #39 Cajun Industries Ford at Bristol Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. In addition, Heitz Trucking will also serve as an associate sponsor for Wise and the #39 Go Green Racing team at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. StopRepairBills.com, which sponsored the #39 team’s effort at Phoenix International Raceway, returns as an associate sponsor at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as well. (PLAY DSM/ Spire Sports + Entertainment)(3-4-2011)
- BeBevCo sponsoring Long in Las Vegas: Bebida Beverage Company announced that the company will join forces with Rick Ware Racing and driver Carl Long during the Sams Town 300 Race. BeBevCo’s product KOMA UNWIND Sleep/Relaxation drink will adorn the hood of the #68 Rick Ware Racing’s Ford for this week’s Nationwide series event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (RWR)(3-4-2011)
- Nemechek gets associate sponsor for Las Vegas: NEMCO Motorsports announced a new associate sponsor for its NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series entries this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Sin City Motorsports will be on Joe Nemechek’s #87 Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series Toyota Camry’s for the Sam’s Town 300 on Saturday and the Kobalt Tools 400 on Sunday. (NEMCO PR)(3-3-2011)
- ML Motorsports names Vegas sponsor: Veteran off-road racer Kenny Freeman of Henderson is sponsoring the #70 Nationwide Series car driven by Shelby Howard in Saturday’s Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Freeman recently entered a business decision for his new venture Race Fuel, an all natural energy drink that will be available in stores by the end of the month. “The construction business has been so bad for the past two years that I decided to start another venture,” explained Freeman, whose family has been in the carpet business for 50 years. (ML Motorsports), see the paint scheme of the car on the #70 team paint schemes page.(3-1-2011)
- Shepherd catches shoplifter: Most NASCAR drivers don’t come to mind when you think of Las Vegas crimefighters, but then again, most NASCAR drivers aren’t 69-year-old Morgan Shepherd. The veteran of 44 NASCAR seasons was getting out of his rental car in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store Monday evening just minutes away from Las Vegas Motor Speedway just as three men burst from the store’s entrance with security forces trailing behind. Thats when Shepherd, a daily jogger and fitness perfectionist, sprang into action. “I just got out and took off after them,” Shepherd said. “I caught one of them just as they were getting ready to hop a little wall at the end of the parking lot. I yanked him down and got on top of him.” Shepherd said in a matter of seconds a Las Vegas police officer pitched the ageless NASCAR driver a pair and handcuffs and continued pursuit of the other two suspects, along with the store’s security force. “I cuffed him and sat on top of him,” Shepherd said. “The police department officers showed up and asked if I could hold him a while longer while they ran down the others. I told them he wasn’t going anywhere.” Shepherd said while the young shoplifter pleaded with him to let him go and about the possibility of going to jail, Shepherd used the time to lecture the youth about his poor choices. (Faith Motorsports)(3-1-2011)
- Phoenix TV Ratings Up: Moving from night to day and earlier in the schedule paid off for Phoenix International Raceway with a 50 percent jump in TV ratings for its NASCAR Nationwide Series race. ESPN2’s live telecast of the Saturday, Feb. 26, NASCAR Nationwide Series 200-mile race from Phoenix earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.5, a 50 percent increase from the 1.0 rating the past two years when the race was run on a Friday night in late April. Saturday’s telecast averaged 2,116,672 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. On the same weekend last year, the NASCAR Nationwide Series had a 300-mile race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. That race aired on ESPN2 and earned a 1.7 rating.(ESPN)(3-1-2011)
- Rexall continues sponsorship of Turner Motorsports: Turner Motorsports announced the continuation of their marketing partnership with Rexall, Dollar General’s line of quality health products. Turner Motorsports driver Reed Sorenson will pilot the #30 Rexall Chevy in select Nationwide Series races in 2011 beginning with the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 5. Currently in its second year with the organization, Rexall made its NASCAR debut last fall in the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (Turner Motorsports)(3-1-2011)