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November 2008 Nationwide Series Archive

  • Nationwide COT in holding pattern: The Nationwide Series car of tomorrow is in a bit of a holding pattern as the series heads into the offseason, especially after the sanctioning body banned most testing for 2009. The car, originally slated to begin running at the start of the 2010 season, has been officially tested on the track twice, the last being at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in October. Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash said manufacturers Chevrolet and Toyota have some more work to do on the noses of their version of the car, and NASCAR officials would likely test their vehicles in the wind tunnel in January. Balash isn’t sure when the car will be tested again on the track, though it does need more work on the engineering and mechanical pieces. “Whether the economics tell us to do something different, that’s going to be a lot of conversation with team owners throughout all of 2009,” Balash said. “Six months ago, we were talking about more testing with the teams, not less. So we’ve got to keep our fingers in the pulse of what’s happening business-wise.” That doesn’t necessarily mean NASCAR could delay the cars debut later than the beginning of the 2010 season.(Scene Daily)(11-30-2008)
  • Kurzejewski expected to run some races for Keselowski: Matt Kurzejewski has a lot to be thankful for on this holiday. Since the 17-year-old from Mansfield made his professional stock car racing debut last month, his career aspirations have kicked into high gear thanks to Nationwide Series racer Brian Keselowski. The Notre Dame High senior is finalizing a deal that would have him compete in seven Camping World East and West Series events, along with five Nationwide Series races in 2009. The 27-year-old Brian Keselowski has ambitions of running his own team and has handpicked Kurzejewski to drive for him in 2009.(Elmira Star Gazette)(11-29-2008)
  • Wimmer working on deal for 2009: [Scott Wimmer] was cut loose by Richard Childress Racing after the season. He spoke with some owners this week and would love to drive both Sprint Cup and Nationwide next year. Scott Wimmer: “I talked to a team about running Daytona 500 so hopefully I can make a start down there again and run a Nationwide Car. I might be running both series so it might be a real busy year next year.”(WAOW.com)(11-28-2008)
  • Ambrose expects to run some Nationwide races: Marcos Ambrose, speaking at a media conference in Australia: “In the Nationwide Series, I’m going to do the road course races for sure. There’s plenty of demand for me out there to do those. And we’ll probably fill in 15 to 20 races on the Nationwide side for the sponsors to make it work. My team is trying to bring through the next generation of driver. They brought me through on a three-year plan, they’re bringing the next young guy through and to make the sponsorship work I’m going to do some races for them. I wouldn’t want to do more than 15 to 20, and that’s probably what the number will be.”(Marcos Ambrose PR)(11-25-2008)
  • Nationwide Series Banquet Photos: A few images from the Series banquet Saturday night are posted on the 2008 Nationwide Series Banquet Photos page.(11-24-2008)
  • Supercuts leaving Fitz? Been told that Supercts (a division of Regis) will not be back with Fitz Motorsorts next year and will be leaving the Nationwide Series. No word on whether or not they are staying in NACAR.(11-23-2008)
  • Layoffs at KHI? hearing that there were about 8-10 people laid off from Kevin Harvick, Inc’s Nationwide and Truck Series Program last week.(11-23-2008)
  • Kyle Busch expected to run full 2009 season: UPDATE: Kyle Busch likely will run for the Nationwide Series title next year, Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Missing five races during the 2008 season, Busch finished sixth in the standings, 671 points behind champion Clint Bowyer. Busch won 10 races. Gibbs said the team is close on sponsorship for the full season and if it can get it, then Busch would run the entire schedule – one that includes five weekends where the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series run in different cities. Most of the sponsorship for Busch will come from Z-Line Design, JGR Nationwide Series general manager Steve DeSouza said. Gibbs said the second JGR Nationwide car will feature mostly Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin. Logano’s sponsorship is expected to come from GameStop for about 24 races, with Hamlin running the rest with a sponsor to be announced, DeSouza said.(Scene Daily)(11-15-2008)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch is “99 percent” certain to run the full 35-race Nationwide schedule next year, Joe Gibbs Racing’s vice president of Nationwide Series operations Steve de Souza said on Friday. Dave Rogers, the crew chief for JGR’s owners’ championship-winning #20 Toyota, said that he’d work another combination season, with Gibbs’ Sprint Cup drivers Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano doing most of the races. He said Busch would run a full schedule in the #18 Camry with crew chief Jason Ratcliff.(NASCAR.com)(11-23-2008)
  • Keuttel back to Cup: Carl Edwards website is reporting that Pierre Keuttel has elected to resume his prior duties as car chief on the #99 Cup entry. PK was crew chief on the #60 NNS car at the beginning of the year, switching to the #17 midseason.(TheHotLap.com)(11-20-2008)
  • Shepherd plans full 2009 season: Despite failing to qualify for the last three events of the Nationwide Series season, Morgan Shepherd and his Faith Motorsports team plan to return to NASCAR’s second-tier division in 2009. “It’s probably hard for the average fan to see the positives in the last three weeks, but there is so much happening behind the scenes,” team co-owner Dana Tomes said on Shepherd’s website following the team’s failure to make the field at Homestead. “There are a lot of changes we are working on; unless something unexpected happens, you will see Morgan Shepherd back in the Nationwide Series full-time next year in what we believe will be a very competitive car.” (Frontstretch Newsletter)(11-20-2008)
  • Nationwide Series Season Ends on High Ratings Note; ESPN2’s Ratings Up for 2008: A season of improved ratings and viewership for the Nationwide Series on ESPN2 ended on a high note this past weekend as the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway delivered a 1.6 household coverage rating, an increase of 33 percent from the 1.2 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ESPN2. ESPN2’s coverage of 23 Nationwide Series races during the 2008 season averaged a 1.5 rating, a seven percent gain from last year’s 1.4 average. The coverage also saw a double-digit increase in the Males 25-54 demographic, averaging 1.3 vs. 1.1 last year. The event at Homestead-Miami Speedway, in which Clint Bowyer wrapped up the series championship, averaged 2,096,644 viewers, up 38 percent from last year’s telecast. Live NASCAR racing returned to the ESPN networks in 2007 and the Nationwide Series immediately became ESPN2’s highest-rated series. ESPN2 airs highlights of the NASCAR Nationwide Series awards banquet on Sunday, Nov. 30, at noon ET.(ESPN PR)(11-19-2008)
  • Sponsorship woes could leave Cassill without a ride: UPDATE: Landon Cassill doesn’t have a guaranteed seat next year as sponsorship issues will likely limit the #5 team to a part-time schedule with Sprint Cup drivers.(Scene Daily)(11-16-2008)
    UPDATE: Cassill can’t really talk about what the future holds for himself because no one really knows what the future holds for NASCAR. NASCAR isn’t going away, of course, but the dicey economic times makes planning for next year more difficult. “It’s still kind of up in the air. We’re working on it, as far as getting the sponsorship,” Cassill said. “It’s a tough time right now and it’s going to be a battle, but hopefully we can fight through this and get back on the other side.(Cadar Rapids Gazette)(11-19-2008)
  • Future of Fitz Motorsports in doubt: Nationwide Series team owner Armando Fitz isn’t sure if he wants to bring his Fitz Motorsports team back for 2009. Fitz has had a difficult year, personally and professionally, and doesn’t know if he wants to fight the battle as an independent team owner. Fitz lost both of his parents in 2005 but said this year has been nearly as difficult. “I really never thought I could have a year worse than what I had in ’05, losing my parents within six months of each other,” Fitz said. “This year has been right there. It’s not just the competition side of it. It’s the sponsors and employees, just everything. It’s been a bad year, a hard year.” Fitz is currently separated from his wife, Mimi. And now, Fitz doesn’t know if he’ll be back or not. Fitz has talked to investors about buying into the team, saying he has let investors know about his financial struggles and what debt any potential partner would need to assume. Fitz said a merger with another Nationwide team isn’t likely. “I would love to do that, but let’s not kid ourselves,” Fitz said. “My deal is a struggling deal. There are vendors that are owed money – and there are vendors who have been incredible with me and worked with me. Some of these other teams that are struggling, they’re like, ‘Why do I want to merge with another struggling team?’” Fitz said he has sponsorship for 15 races for next season.(Scene Daily)(11-18-2008)
  • Racing Resources Says…
    * Carl Edwards won the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He posted his 20th series victory in his 141st start. Edwards remains 13th on the series all-time wins list, one win behind Dale Earnhardt, Harry Gant and Kyle Busch.
    * Edwards posted his seventh series win of the 2008 season, all in the final 19 races. He scored his first series victory at Homestead in his fourth start.
    * Roush Fenway Racing posted its eight win of the 2008 season, second to Joe Gibbs Racing with 19. Roush Fenway Racing posted its third Homestead victory, more than any other team.
    * Edwards ended the season with nine consecutive top-5 finishes, his longest top-5 streak and he won three of the final four races of 2008.
    * Edwards finished second to Clint Bowyer in the final points standings.
    * Edwards chopped 175 points off Clint Bowyer’s lead in the last four races but came up 21 points short of the championship.
    * Busch led the most laps in 14 of his 30 starts in 2008.
    * Joey Logano, who finished 10th, secured Joe Gibbs Racing’s first series Owner’s Championship.
    * Landon Cassill, who did not race at Homestead, is the 2008 Raybestos Rookie of the Year.
    * Bryan Clauson, who finished 34th, was the only Rookie of the Year Contender in the race.
    * Michael Annett, who finished 36th, made his series debut.
    * The top 10 consisted of four Toyotas, four Chevys, and two Fords. Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished 17th, was the highest-finishing Dodge.
    * Bowyer is the 20th driver to win a championship in the 27th season of the NASCAR Nationwide Series. This was Bowyer’s fifth season, third full in the series. His prior best championship rank was second in 2005. He was third in 2006.
    * The final points margin of 21 was the fourth closest points margin in series history. The closest was in 1992, Joe Nemechek over Bobby Labonte by 3 points.
    * Bowyer won only one race in 2008, at Bristol, joining Larry Pearson in 1986 and David Green in 1994 for the least number of wins by a champion in his championship season.
    * Bowyer led the standings following the last 30 races, since race No. 6 at Nashville. His worst ranking this season of 24th came following the season opener at Daytona.
    * Bowyer’s smallest points lead was nine, twice, following Mexico City and the spring race at Richmond. His largest points lead was 207, following the summer Richmond race.
    * This is the 16th series title for a Chevy driver, including 15 of the last 18.
    * This is Richard Childress Racing’s third driver’s championship. Richard Childress Racing drivers have won 10 NASCAR championships (six Cup, three Nationwide, one Truck).(ESPN.com)(11-17-2008)
  • Cassill Clinches Rookie of the Year: Landon Cassill clinched Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the Ford 300.
    Cassill finished the 2008 Nationwide Series season with one pole and five top-10 finishes in 19 starts this season. He claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors seven times.
    Cassill is just the third driver to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year while running a limited schedule of races, joining David Stremme (2003) and Danny O’Quinn (2006).(Raybestos PR)(11-15-2008)
  • Germain plans to continue Nationwide team: UPDATE 4: Germain Racing plans to keep its Nationwide Series program and at least one of its two Truck Series entries on track next year while it enters the Sprint Cup Series with Max Papis for at least 18 races. Todd Bodine will return to the #30 truck likely with Lumber Liquidators as the sponsor. The #9 truck (driven by Justin Marks and others this year) and the #7 Nationwide car (currently driven by Mike Wallace) still have their programs being sorted out.(Scene Daily)(10-28-2008)
    UPDATE: During Sunday’s Speed Report on SPEED/tv Ray Dunlap reported that Michael Annett will not be returning to Bill Davis Racing in 2009, but instead will move to Germain Racing and will compete full time in the Nationwide Series. Dunlap also reported that Jason Overstreet has been released from Germain as the #9 will not be returning to the Truck Series in 2009.(11-9-2008)
    UDPATE 2: Annett is on the Homestead entry list in the #03 Germain Toyota.(11-10-2008)
    UPDATE 3: For twenty-two year-old Michael Annett, his first foray in the Nationwide Series this weekend at Homestead Miami Speedway will pack a little extra kick thanks to Hype Energy Drinks. Annett’s #03 Germain Racing Toyota Camry will carry the race-ready carbon fiber look found on the can of the company’s powerful formula – Hype MFP.(Rising Star Management Group PR), see an image of the car on the #03 team paint scheme page.(11-12-2008)
    UPDATE 4: More details were released during SPEEDtv’s Nationwide Series qualifying. Annett will run a full season with Germain Racing in 2009. The team will be sponsored by HYPE Energe Drink and Pilot Travel Centers.(11-15-2008)
  • Pinnacle Foods to Sponsor KHI in 3 races: Kevin Harvick Inc. announced that Pinnacle Foods Group LLC will be the primary sponsor for three Nationwide Series races on the #33 KHI entry in 2009. With 13 individual brands, Pinnacle Foods Group LLC represents brands such as Vlasic, Hungry-Man, Duncan Hines, Armour and Mrs. Paul’s. “Pinnacle Foods Group is thrilled to be joining forces with the KHI Racing Team for 2009,” said Mark Parker, Senior Vice President, Business Development. “We have a great portfolio of household food brands at Pinnacle and we are excited that 3 of those brands, Vlasic, Armour Canned Meats and Hungry-Man Frozen Dinners will be stepping forward as the primary sponsors for Kevin and the KHI Team.”(Kevin Harvick Inc PR), see an image of the Armour car on the 2009 #33 Paint scheme page.(11-15-2008)
  • Latest on JR Motorsports: from a CHEVY NSCS AT HOMESTEAD: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Press Conference Transcript:
    WHAT IS THE STATUS OF JUNIOR MOTORSPORTS RIGHT NOW? “The #88 car is running all year; the #5 is going to run seven races. I think it is perfect. We (Hendrick Motorsports) merged together to try to consolidate our expenses a little bit and it worked. We didn’t get rid of any employees at the merger and we tried to accommodate everybody and keep everybody. But the economy got poor and we were unable to get sponsor for the car next year.
    “Personally, I like this situation better. I like having one car running for it and I like having the other car just doing some kind of an all star style program that is a little spotty, just race here and there. It is much more easier to do. That is really what I wanted. My goal for that whole company, I want to keep it going however I got to keep it going. When I retire from Sprint Cup Series, I would like to drive for that team for however long I want to keep driving in a limited role. Not for a championship or not go hard, just go out there and just enjoy racing probably way past my abilities, you know what I mean. So hopefully I can keep it going until then.”
    WAS IT DIFFICULT TO LAY PEOPLE OFF AT JUNIOR MOTORSPORTS? “It always is difficult to fire anybody, especially when you have to do it in a big chunk. It is tough, it is not easy. It was 20% of our shop force, maybe about 17 people.” See full PR at GM Racing.(11-15-2008)
  • Kenny Back with Jay Robinson: Larry McReynolds reported during SPEEDtv’s coverage of Nationwide Series happy hour, that Kenny Wallace is expected to return to the #28 team next season.(11-14-2008)
  • Layoffs at JTG? UPDATE: hearing that 10-15 employees were let go at JTG Daughtery Racing this past week and the future of the #47 team, and driver kelly Bires, is uncertain right now.(11-14-2008)
    UPDATE: JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway that he had to lay off about a dozen Nationwide Series employees earlier this week as the team struggles to find sponsorship for 2009. JTG Daugherty field two full-time teams in the Nationwide Series, but both of those teams could be part time next year. The first priority is selling sponsorship for the team’s #47 entry for Kelly Bires, but Geschickter said he is still looking for backers for that car. “We’re really working hard on it, but really, we’re not [set],” Geschickter said. “The Cup team is, but not the Nationwide stuff.” Geschickter said he could not commit to running Bires full time without a sponsor.(Scene Daily)(11-14-2008)
  • Butler in the #23? Jeff Hammond mentioned during practice coverage on SPEEDtv that Ken Butler III may be sharing the #23 car with Robert Richardson next season.(11-14-2008)
  • NASCAR Bans 2009 Testing: NASCAR has banned all testing at its sanctioned tracks next season in an effort to help teams save several million dollars in their 2009 budgets. The moratorium, which includes the traditional “preseason” Daytona 500 testing, is for all three of NASCAR’s top divisions. Teams will not be permitted to test at any track where a Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series or Truck Series event is held.(Associated Press)(11-14-2008)
  • David Green in the #0; Sponsor returns to #01 at Homestead: UPDATE: Former Series Champion David Green will drive the JD Motorsports SponsorDavis.com #0 at Homestead
    AND Daniel and Ann Lowery with Lowery Plumbing of Kerrville Texas return as associate sponsor on the #01 at Homestead-Miami.(Johnny Davis Motorsports / hufcopromotion.com PR)(11-11-2008)
    UPDATE: JoeTheRacer.Com Specialty Sports Apparel will sponsor David Green in the #0 and Danny Efland in the #01 JD Motorsports team cars at this weekend’s Homestead Miami Event.(Johnny Davis Motorsports / hufcopromotion.com PR)(11-13-2008)
  • Mahindra to sponsor Richardson in 2009: Erohs Group LLC announced a 17 race primary and 18 race associate sponsorship for the 2009 Nationwide Series. Robert Richardson Jr. will be driving the #23 Mahindra Tractor Chevy.(R3 Motorsports PR)(11-13-2008)
  • Las Vegas 2009 Test Dates Announced: Las Vegas Motor Speedway has set 2009 test dates for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. The Nationwide cars will test on the 1.5-mile superspeedway on Wednesday, Jan. 28 and Thursday, Jan. 29. NASCAR has not announced a testing policy for the Sprint Cup teams for next year, but LVMS will be available to all Sprint Cup teams on Monday, Jan. 26 and Tuesday, Jan. 27 if testing is allowed by NASCAR. Race teams who test at LVMS will be preparing for the March 1 Shelby 427 Sprint Cup Series race and the Feb. 28 Sam’s Town 300 Nationwide Series event. Tickets for the 2009 NASCAR Weekend are on sale now by calling 1-800-644-4444 or logging on to www.lvms.com. Passes for the Neon Garage, driver introductions and Lucky 7 Preferred parking also are available.(LVMS PR)(11-12-2008)
  • Kenny Wallace to make 418th start: With a start at Homestead, #28-Kenny Wallace will surpass Tommy Houston for second on the all-time list with 418 starts. Jason Keller (#27 Kleenex Ford) holds the mark at 456 starts and counting.(NASCAR PR)(11-11-2008)
  • STP Tools on the #81 at Homestead: UPDATE: CHDT Corp., a consumer products company focused on product placement with wholesalers and retailers nationwide, announced that it will be the primary sponsor for the #81, MacDonald Motorsports Dodge, driven by DJ Kennington, at the final Nationwide Series race of the season. CHDT Corp., through its wholly owned subsidiary Capstone Industries, recently launched a complete line of STP branded tools and automotive accessories which logos will be featured on the hood and back side quarter panels on car #81.(CHDT Corp. PR)(11-11-2008)
    UPDATE: MacDonald Motorsports will have TailgatingPlanks.com as an associate sponsor for final race of the season at Homestead. TailgatingPlanks.com makes a line of cedar BBQ and oven cooking planks, gourmet wraps, BBQ smoking chips, and other great products geared for that tailgate party before the race. TailgationPlanks.com will look to expand their role with MacDonald Motorsports in the 2009 season.(11-11-2008)
  • Homestead Rookie Notes:
    …Landon Cassill was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Hefty Odor Block 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Cassill scored a sixth-place finish, his fifth top-10 in 19 races this season and claimed top rookie honors for the seventh time in 2008. He became the first Raybestos Rookie to score a top-10 in the fall race at Phoenix since 2005.
    …Cassill lead Bryan Clauson by six points (185-179) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    …Marcos Ambrose was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2007 Ford 300, grabbing a 10th-place finish.
    …The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in the Ford 300 is third by Kyle Busch (2004) and Greg Biffle (2001).
    …Casey Atwood (1998) and David Ragan (2007) are the only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole at Homestead.
    …A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top-10 in the last four consecutives Nationwide Series races at Homestead.(Raybestos PR)(11-11-2008)
  • Rogers Fined for Phoenix Infraction: NASCAR announced that Wally Rogers, crew chief for the #9 Dodge driven by AJ Allmendinger, has been fined due to rules violations during the Nationwide Series event at Phoenix International Raceway. Rogers was fined $1,000 for violating Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used that do not conform to NASCAR rules) and 20A-12.4C (unequal length – lower A-frames) of the 2008 Nationwide Series rule book. The infractions were discovered during opening-day inspection on Nov. 6.(NASCAR PR)(11-11-2008)
  • VFW to continue with KHI: Kevin Harvick Inc. has renewed their partnership with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States for the 2009 season. The VFW Racing team will continue a presence in both the NASCAR Truck and Nationwide Series. Three-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday’s #33 truck will feature the VFW Racing paint scheme and logo in several races next year. Two-time Nationwide Series champion and KHI co-owner Kevin Harvick will also drive VFW’s #33 car in the Nationwide Series, at Lowe’s in May and Daytona in July.(Kevin Harvick Inc PR)(11-10-2008)
  • Racing Resources Says…
    * Kyle Busch won the O’Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. He posted his 21st series victory in his 136th career start. He now is tied for 10th all-time with Dale Earnhardt and Harry Gant. It also was his 10th win of the 2008 season, tying him with Sam Ard for most series victories in a season.
    * Busch posted his second series victory at Texas in his eighth start. His previous Texas victory came in the April race.
    * Busch became the first driver to sweep both series races at Texas in one season. He posted his 21st NASCAR victory in his 77th race this season: 10 Nationwide, eight Sprint Cup and three Craftsman Truck. Busch now has led 4,135 laps in his NASCAR races this season.
    * Busch led 174 laps at Texas, the most laps ever led by a driver at Texas. He led 300 of the 400 Nationwide Series laps raced at Texas in 2008.
    * It was the seventh time in his career that Busch led more than 150 laps in a race and the fourth time in 2008. Busch has led the most laps in 13 of his 28 series starts this season.
    * Joe Gibbs Racing posted its 19th series victory of the 2008 season. Toyota posted its 20th series victory of the 2008 season.
    * Carl Edwards, who finished second, gained 25 points on points leader Clint Bowyer. With six laps to go, the points lead was 116 points, the same as it was entering Texas. Edwards now is 91 back. Bowyer finished sixth, posting his 27th top-10 finish of the season.
    * Mark Martin, who finished third, posted his third top-5 finish in five races this season.
    * Joey Logano, who finished fourth, posted his fifth top-5 finish of the season and 12th top-10 finish in 17 career races.
    * The top 10 consisted of three Toyotas, four Chevrolets and three Fords. Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished 15th, was the highest-finishing Dodge.(ESPN.com)(11-10-2008)
  • Barrett “going green” at Homestead: In efforts to promote a green planet, SKI/SBM Motorsports announces Planet Green Unlimited and the GATORBOXx 100 as the primary sponsor of the #30 Planet Green Unlimited Chevy during Saturday’s Ford 300 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Barrett will feature two of Planet Green Unlimited energy saving systems; the GATORBOXx 100 and the High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lighting Manager to help race fans learn how they can save money on their power bills.(Breaking Limits PR)(11-10-2008)
  • Ryan Newman in the #33 at Homestead: When Newman climbs behind the wheel of the #33 KHI Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevy Saturday for the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he will be making his first Nationwide Series start for KHI.(Kevin Harvick Inc PR)(11-10-2008)
  • NASCAR takes springs off 2 cars: NASCAR took a spring from the Nationwide Series’ car of Braun Racing’s #32-Kyle Busch and another spring from the car of Kevin Harvick Inc.’s #33-Kevin Harvick following the Hefty Odor Block 200 Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway. NASCAR occasionally takes springs to check them at its research center in Concord, N.C. Any penalties likely would be announced Tuesday. NASCAR also confiscated three parts in opening-day inspection, all of which likely will result in penalties or fines. NASCAR took an intake manifold from the Penske Racing car of #12-Justin Allgaier, a gasket from the Robby Gordon Motorsports car of #55-Brian Ickler and the front A-frame from the Gillett Evernham Motorsports car of #9-AJ Allmendinger.(Scene Daily)(11-9-2008)
  • Davis Motorsports remembers Daniel Powell: Davis Motorsports [#s 0 & 01] is honoring Daniel Powell, a racing fan who lived a couple of miles from Phoenix International Raceway. Powell, 33, was killed while driving a truck in September when a cement truck he was driving was crashed into by a tractor-trailer. The team is carrying a memorial tribute to Powell on its cars in order to raise awareness for the Daniel Powell Children’s Memorial Fund, which was set up to aid his three boys. Contributions can be made to the fund through Bank of America.(Scene Daily)(11-8-2008)
  • Sheltra announces sponsors for Phoenix & Homestead: IMAGE Sheltra Motorsports announced that three marketing partners will join Nationwide Series bound driver Patrick Sheltra for Saturday’s event at Phoenix and next Saturday’s Nationwide season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Case Construction Equipment, Briggs Construction Equipment and Quality Turf of Okeechobee, Inc. will adorn the team’s #4 Charger.(Sheltra Motorsports PR)(11-4-2008)
    UPDATE: See an image of the car on my #4 team paint schemes page.(11-7-2008)
  • Glad Teams with Bires at Phoenix: Phoenix will provide a showcase for the Glad brand to raise awareness for Glad OdorShield Trash Bags. “We are excited to team up with JTG Daugherty Racing as sponsor of Kelly Bires’ #47 Ford. An associate sponsor with the race team for many years now, we’re excited to showcase our Glad OdorShield technology with race fans,” said Doug Korn, director of sales, The Glad Products Company.(JTG Daugherty Racing PR)(11-8-2008)
  • Delphi Continues with Hendrick Motorsports & JR Motorsports: Delphi announced that it will continue its major associate sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports during the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season. In addition, Delphi will be the primary sponsor for seven Nationwide Series races with JR Motorsports next year. The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas. Delphi will be the primary sponsor for one Nationwide Series race with driver Tony Stewart in the #5 Delphi Chevy fielded by JR Motorsports. Additionally, Delphi will be the primary sponsor for Brad Keselowski in the JR Motorsports #88 Chevy for six Nationwide races in 2009. The race details will be announced in the near future. Delphi also will be an associate sponsor of all 2008 Hendrick Motorsports 2009 Spring Cup entries. Delphi will continue to be featured on the uniforms of all Hendrick Motorsports drivers for the 2009 season, including four-time Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon, two-time defending Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin. For more information about Delphi’s involvement in motorsports, visit www.delphi.com/about/motorsports.(Marketwire.com)(11-6-2008)
  • Campe serving as #5 crew chief: Brian Campe, 27, has been named crew chief of the #5 JR Motorsports team for the final two events of the 2008 Nationwide Series season. Formerly the #5 team’s lead engineer, Campe will call his first career race this weekend at Phoenix. Cam Strader, who has served as interim crew chief since July, will return to his role as the team’s car chief.(JR Motorsports PR)(11-5-2008)
  • Sibley is interim crew chief at CJM: Interim crew chief Mike Sibley will once again lend a hand to #11-CJM racing this weekend. Sibley is a Camping World East crew chief from Joe Gibbs Racing that has worked with rookies Joey Logano and Marc Davis. Logano and Sibley won the championship together in 2007.(CJM Racing PR)(11-5-2008)
  • Hamlin in the #18 at Phoenix: The #18 DLP HDTV Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing heads to Phoenix International Raceway for Saturday’s Hefty Odor Block 200 Nationwide Series race. Denny Hamlin takes over the #18 JGR Toyota for Saturday’s 200-mile journey.(JGR / TureSpeed Communications PR)(11-5-2008)
  • Allmendinger in the #9 at Phoenix: AJ Allmendinger makes his first Nationwide start of the 2008 season at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. The 26-year-old will pilot the #9 Valvoline Dodge in the 200-lap race on the mile oval. Allmendinger owns seven starts in the Nationwide Series but hasn’t raced since Homestead in 2007.(GEM PR)(11-4-2008)
  • Phoenix Rookie Notes:
    …Bryan Clauson and Landon Cassill are tied for the lead (177-177) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Hefty Odor Block 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
    …Marcos Ambrose was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2007 fall race at Phoenix, scoring a 15th-place finish.
    …In 13 Nationwide Series races at Phoenix, Greg Biffle (2001) and Carl Edwards (2005) are the only Raybestos Rookies to score a win.(Raybestos PR)(11-4-2008)
  • Racing Resources Says…
    …Kyle Busch won the O’Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. He posted his 21st series victory in his 136th career start. He now is tied for 10th all-time with Dale Earnhardt and Harry Gant. It also was his 10th win of the 2008 season, tying him with Sam Ard for most series victories in a season. …Busch posted his second series victory at Texas in his eighth start. His previous Texas victory came in the April race. …Busch became the first driver to sweep both series races at Texas in one season. He posted his 21st NASCAR victory in his 77th race this season: 10 Nationwide, eight Sprint Cup and three Craftsman Truck. Busch now has led 4,135 laps in his NASCAR races this season. …Busch led 174 laps at Texas, the most laps ever led by a driver at Texas. He led 300 of the 400 Nationwide Series laps raced at Texas in 2008. …It was the seventh time in his career that Busch led more than 150 laps in a race and the fourth time in 2008. Busch has led the most laps in 13 of his 28 series starts this season. …Joe Gibbs Racing posted its 19th series victory of the 2008 season. Toyota posted its 20th series victory of the 2008 season. …Carl Edwards, who finished second, gained 25 points on points leader Clint Bowyer. With six laps to go, the points lead was 116 points, the same as it was entering Texas. Edwards now is 91 back. Bowyer finished sixth, posting his 27th top-10 finish of the season. …Mark Martin, who finished third, posted his third top-5 finish in five races this season. …Joey Logano, who finished fourth, posted his fifth top-5 finish of the season and 12th top-10 finish in 17 career races. …The top 10 consisted of three Toyotas, four Chevrolets and three Fords. Juan Pablo Montoya, who finished 15th, was the highest-finishing Dodge.(ESPN.com)(11-3-2008)
  • Darnell expected to move to Nationwide in 2009; Full time for Edwards, not for Ragan: UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing plans to move current Craftsman Truck Series driver Erik Darnell into the Nationwide Series next year, but the organization’s complete lineup is still being finalized, and some spots are dependent on sponsorship. Team owner Jack Roush said Wednesday that he expects to run four or five full-time Nationwide cars and at least one full-time truck. Carl Edwards, who drives for Roush in the Cup series, will also compete for the drivers’ championship in the Nationwide Series. The rest of the Nationwide lineup likely will be a mix of drivers. Edwards and Roush Cup teammate David Ragan are running the entire season in the Nationwide season this year, but Ragan will not next season.(Scene Daily)(10-22-2008)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing driver Erik Darnell and his Craftsman Truck Series sponsor Northern Tool + Equipment will continue their partnership next season in the Nationwide Series. Darnell and Northern Tool will share the #6 Ford with David Ragan and Discount Tire Company during the 2009 Nationwide season. The team’s full schedule will be announced at a later date.(Roush Fenway PR)(102-4-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Darnell is scheduled to run just 15 races – less than half of the schedule. Unlike the last three years in trucks, Darnell won’t be competing for a drivers championship. He also doesn’t know which 15 races he will drive.(Scene Daily)(11-2-2008)
  • Busch to give 100K to Ard: 23-year-old Kyle Busch dedicated his latest [Nationwide Series] win to South Carolinian Sam Ard, a two-time Nationwide -then called the Busch Series — champion suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and in tough straits financially. “Sam Ard was one of the pioneers of the sport and this really means a lot to me,” Busch said after his now-traditional victory bows to the crowd. “I got to thinking about it and I decided I’m going give him $100,000 to try to help him out.”(Associated Press/ESPN)(11-2-2008) Comment here