November 2012 Nationwide Series News
- Buescher could move to Nationwide full time: James Buescher knows if he wants to go Cup racing, he needs more seasons like 2012. The truck championship silenced many doubters who watched him struggle with other teams in 2009 and 2010. He rebounded to finish third in truck points in 2011, setting up the 2012 championship season. His five wins and 10 top-fives in 22 truck events combined with eight top-10s and a win in 20 Nationwide events shows that he is steadily progressing. As far as next year, he knows he’ll still drive for [Turner Motorsports]. He just hasn’t been told what series he will run in just yet. “I know I’ll be in a series full time and be in competitive equipment and in position to win races so I’m not too concerned to know what I’m doing next year,” Buescher said. “I’m good with either one. It would be cool to try to go for back-to-back championships but if I get the opportunity to go Nationwide racing, it would be cool to compete for more Nationwide wins and see if we can get a Nationwide championship.”(Sporting News)(11-26-2012)
- Jeb Burton to Turner Motorsports: Turner Motorsports has announced the signing of Halifax, Virginia native Jeb Burton. Burton has signed a two-year contract with Turner Motorsports to run a full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule and a limited NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule in 2013 and 2014. Burton, who made his first Truck Series start at Martinsville Speedway this past March, has a total of five starts in the NCWTS. In those five starts, Burton has recorded one top-10 finish. More information for Burton will be released in the near future.(Turner Motorsports)(11-21-2012)
- Brian Scott to RCR? Look for Brian Scott to return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series next season, driving the #2 Chevy for Richard Childress Racing. Scott finished ninth in the final 2012 Nationwide standings, driving the #11 Dollar General Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, with two Top-5 and 11 Top-10 finishes in 33 starts and a best finish was a third at Dover in early June. He became the odd man out when JGR signed Elliott Sadler and former series champion Brian Vickers to full-time Nationwide deals for 2013. Multiple sources close to the team say Scott will now replace Sadler in RCR’s No. 2 Chevy. There is currently no word on sponsorship. RCR Director of Corporate Communication Dave Hart did not comment specifically on Scott via e-mail today, saying only that the team will have “a full lineup announcement for all three series sometime in the next couple of weeks.”(Godfather Motorsports)(11-21-2012)
- Klligerman to Kyle Busch Motorsports? After a tumultuous 2012 season that saw him drive in both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series’ for Penske Racing, Brad Keselowski Racing and Red Horse Racing, expect an announcement next week that Parker Kligerman will compete full-time on the Nationwide Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2013. Kligerman was released from Penske’s #22 Nationwide Dodge in early August in favor of Ryan Blaney, and departed BKR’s Truck Series operation shortly afterward, also in favor of Blaney. He won for Red Horse at Talladega Superspeedway in only his seventh start. While Kligerman declined to confirm the deal today, he did say he is “excited about my prospects for 2013” and feels he will “have every opportunity to be successful” with his new team. “It’s the right place for me, at the right time.” KBM General Manager Rick Ren was unavailable for comment today.(Godfather Motorsports)(11-21-2012)
- Erwin named crew chief for Hornish: Penske Racing has added Greg Erwin as crew chief of the #12 Ford Mustang driven by Sam Hornish, Jr. in the Nationwide Series. Erwin joins the Penske Racing team after most recently serving as the crew chief for Richard Petty Motorsports’ #43 Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The move will give Hornish a veteran’s perspective as he competes in his second full season in the Nationwide Series. The native of Defiance, Ohio finished fourth in the Nationwide Series standings in 2012 after recording 10 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes in 33 starts. Erwin comes to Penske Racing with vast experience with some of NASCAR’s top teams including Roush Fenway Racing where he teamed with Greg Biffle to win five (5) races and qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup in three (3) consecutive years.(Penske Racing)(11-20-2012)
- Sadler to Joe Gibbs Racing: UPDATE: Elliott Sadler will drive a full Nationwide Series schedule for Joe Gibbs Racings in 2013, team president J.D. Gibbs confirmed on Monday. Sadler is leaving Richard Childress Racing after finishing second in points the past two seasons. There was speculation he might drive a part-time Sprint Cup schedule for JGR, but Gibbs said that was not in the plans. Gibbs said Kyle Busch will return to a part-time Nationwide Schedule for JGR after spending this season splitting a ride in his own organization with his brother Kurt. Kyle Busch reduced his time in the Truck and Nationwide Series this past season in an effort to focus on Cup. He finished 13th in points and missed the Chase. “With Kyle, not filling his time in Nationwide, racing, that probably caused him more distractions than doing it,” Gibbs said prior to the Nationwide Series banquet in which JGR won the owner’s title with the #18. “Kyle, he’s kind of motivated being around the sport. He races Late Models and is a great ambassador for NASCAR.” Gibbs said Busch would split a Nationwide car with several young drivers such as Drew Herring and Darrell Wallace Jr. He said plans also are being put in place for Wallace to drive a Truck Series team for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Gibbs said he was unsure which numbers would be assigned to which drivers at this point.(ESPN)(11-19-2012)
UPDATE: OneMain Financial announced a partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing to be the primary sponsor of the #11 OneMain Financial car driven by Elliott Sadler in the Nationwide Series in 2013. OneMain Financial will also have associate sponsorship on two additional Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide Series entries. The 2013 season will mark OneMain Financial’s 10th season as a sponsor in NASCAR and they remain committed to the sport and the connections it enables them to make with their customers and employees. Over the last two seasons, the OneMain Racing program with driver Elliott Sadler has recorded 4 wins, 9 poles, 27 top-fives and 48 top-10 finishes in 68 starts.(OneMain Financial)(11-20-2012)
- Ives named crew chief for Regan Smith; no ride for Whitt?: Greg Ives, the race engineer for Jimmie Johnson’s historic run of five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships from 2006-10, has been named crew chief for JR Motorsports and driver Regan Smith for the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Ives, 33, and Smith, 29, will spearhead JRM’s bid for a 2013 championship in the #5 Chevy. The addition of Ives cements a key piece of the puzzle for 2013 as JR Motorsports continues to streamline its race program. Following a rigorous push to fund two full-time teams, Earnhardt Miller said the company now is preparing for the likelihood of one full-time team in 2013 with Smith and Ives, and one part-time team with Earnhardt Jr. and select drivers. Smith’s #5 Chevy will carry TaxSlayer.com as its primary sponsor for a majority of the events. “With the final race of the season now in the books, the 2013 season has begun,” Earnhardt Miller said. “Our goal is always to field two full-time teams and that could still happen next year with other potential opportunities but what we have right now is a strong team with Regan and Greg that will compete for a championship, and a part-time team with Dale Jr. that will compete for wins. Our focus is to streamline our company and equip those teams with everything they need to compete at a high level.” Until now, Ives has spent all nine years of his NASCAR career at Hendrick Motorsports. A native of Bark River, Mich., and a graduate of Michigan Technological University, Ives began as a mechanic in the then 24/48 (now 48/88) shop in 2004 before moving into an engineering role on the #48 team in 2006. That was the same year Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus won their first of five consecutive Sprint Cup championships.(JR Motorsports)(11-20-2012)
- Series Champions Honored At Awards Banquet In Miami Beach: Four of NASCAR’s brightest young stars occupied the spotlight Monday night as champions in two national series were crowned. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 25, and James Buescher, 22, officially were proclaimed champions of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, respectively, on the Americana Ballroom stage at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.
Stenhouse was honored for becoming just the sixth competitor in series history to win consecutive NASCAR Nationwide titles. Buescher becomes the second-youngest champion in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ 18-year history. Stenhouse won six times during the 2011 season while Buescher’s four victories were most in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s #18 Toyota Camry won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners Championship, with Joey Logano winning seven times in the car. The title is JGR’s fourth in the last five seasons matching Richard Childress Racing for most in the series. Its last came in 2010.
Turner Motorsports won its first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner Championship. Texan Steve Turner’s #31 Chevrolet Silverado, with Buescher behind the wheel, won the title in the organization’s fifth season in the series.
Austin Dillon, 22, won NASCAR Nationwide Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. Dillon is the third competitor to win rookie championships in both NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck series. Ty Dillon, 20, won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. The Dillon brothers are the first siblings to capture NCWTS freshman titles.
Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish Jr. and Michael Annett finished second through fifth in the championship standings and were honored along with Stenhouse in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Timothy Peters, Joey Coulter, Ty Dillon and Parker Kligerman were second through fifth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final points and joined Buescher on stage.
After a fan vote on NASCAR.com in which nearly 120,000 combined votes were cast, each series’ Most Popular Driver was revealed. Danica Patrick and Nelson Piquet Jr. were chosen by fans in the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck series, respectively. Each was honored for the first time.
SPEED’S Rick Allen and Krista Voda hosted the event, which will air 8 to 10 p.m. ET Thursday, Nov. 29 on SPEED. Rock band NEEDTOBREATH provided entertain for during the show.(NASCAR)(11-19-2012)
- Dillon captures Rookie of the Year honors: Richard Childress Racing’s #3-Austin Dillon was officially named the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Dillon joins his younger brother, Ty Dillon, as a 2012 Sunoco Rookie of the Year. The younger Dillon clinched the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series version of the award on Friday evening. Austin Dillon culminated his first full season in NASCAR’s No. 2 tour with two race wins, sweeping both Kentucky Speedway events, along with 16 top-five finishes, 27-top-10s and 3 pole awards. Dillon finished third in the championship point standings and will be formally honored for his 2012 accolades at the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series championship awards banquet on Monday.(Richard Childress Racing)(11-18-2012)
- Hornish Jr. back with Penske in 2013, to run full-time NNS and some Cup: from a SRT Motorsports – Dodge Roger Penske Open Interview – Homestead-Miami Speedway, one question concerned Ryan Blaney and Penske mentioned plans for Sam Hornish Jr. in 2013:
Q. You mentioned young drivers. What are the plans for Ryan Blaney for next year?
Roger Penske: “Well, right now I know there’s some people asking me some questions when I walked in. We’ve signed Sam up to drive the #12 car, Alliance car in Nationwide next year. We have a commitment for a number of Cup races on a third car, which Sam will be there to run those races. And Blaney at this point, we’re considering him to be — to drive the truck. Haven’t announced it yet. It’s not a done deal. But we’d like to see him in the truck, and also we’ll provide him some Nationwide rides. We started with him maybe running two or three this year, and I think he’ll end up with seven or eight. We think that he’s a fine young man, and he’s got a lot to learn like they all do, but I think he’s certainly coming from a family that’s been racing, and he seems to have the talent. There’s a lot of good young talent out there today, so we certainly want to support him.”(SRT/Dodge/RAM Motorsports PR)(11-16-2012)
- Danica could drive for Childress in 2013: Danica Patrick memorabilia will be plentiful at the garishly green and black merchandise trailer at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. There will be shirts and hats and hoodies. But fewer pieces of Danicana for sale will bear her familiar orange #7. It, like her tenure with JR Motorsports, is dwindling. Even though both camps are pleased with what they’ve done together, and even though Patrick hopes to race around 10 Nationwide events next season, the season-ending Nationwide Series race here Saturday could mark the official end of Patrick’s tenure with the team. While JR Motorsports has shepherded her to the precipice of the Sprint Cup career she will begin full-time with Stewart-Haas Racing next season in the #10 Chevy, ultimately, differing business needs could split them. And if they do, Richard Childress Racing might be her next Nationwide destination. Team vice president of competition Mike Dillon said the team has discussed with Patrick’s representatives the possibility of fielding a program for her, either in conjunction with Ty Dillon’s partial schedule in the #33 Chevyor in another car utilizing a research and development team as her crew. “We would love to run Danica,” he said. “We think we could do a lot with her. It looks like it would be eight to 10 races. We’re talking back and forth about it. If we had the opportunity to do it and do it right, put her in a winning situation, we want to do it.” JR Motorsports wants to do it, too, but has to concentrate first on what it hopes is a two-car, full-time effort in Nationwide next season. Regan Smith is set in the #5 Chevy. Cole Whitt is moving to a #7, but JRM still has to help secure major funding. A third part-time #88 will be used for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s partial schedule, but he and Patrick would want some of the same races.(ESPN)(11-16-2012)
- McClure running special decal at Homestead: NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Eric McClure will be honoring Isaac Corter, a special young man who lost his battle with cancer this past Wednesday, by running a Tribute decal on the C-post of his #14 Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Camry during Saturday’s Ford Ecoboost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Corter, a 13-year-old Nebraska native, was one of McClure’s honorary crew members during the Nationwide race at Kansas Speedway in October.(TMI)(11-16-2012)
- Regan Smith making debut with JR Motorsports: Regan Smith will pilot the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevy for JR Motorsports at Homestead-Miami Speedway, giving the Dale Earnhardt Jr.-owned company three cars in this weekend’s season-finale race. The race will mark the eighth event in which JRM has entered three cars this season. Smith’s entry is in preparation for 2013 when he’ll compete for a Nationwide Series Championship under the JRM banner in the #5 Chevy.(JR Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(11-14-2012)
- Dakota Armstrong making series debut: Dakoda Armstrong will make his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series start at the 1.5-mile oval of Homestead-Miami Speedway. Armstrong, who has come up through the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has 22 career starts in NCWTS. Dakoda has one top-five, two top-10’s and an average finish of 17th in his two years of racing in the NASCAR ranks. Turner Motorsports welcomes the Florida Lottery as this week’s sponsor of the #30 Turner Motorsports entry.(Turner Motorsports)(11-14-2012)
- 2013 Nationwide Schedule released: NASCAR announced the 2013 schedule for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, a lineup that includes a trip to Mid-Ohio for the first time in series history. Mid-Ohio, a 2.4-mile, 15-turn road course in Lexington, marks the return of NASCAR national series racing to Ohio, the home state of the series’ Columbus-based entitlement sponsor, Nationwide Insurance. Mid-Ohio’s Aug. 17 addition fortifies the series’ trio of challenging road courses, joining Road America (June 22) and Watkins Glen (Aug. 10). NASCAR national series racing last competed in Ohio in 2008, with the running of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Mansfield Motorsports Park. The balance of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide schedule, the series’ 32nd season,maintains a familiar feel, with a strong mix of short tracks, road courses, intermediate race tracks and superspeedways.
Daytona International Speedway hosts the season opener on Feb. 23. That race also will feature the introduction of Chevrolet’s Camaro into the series. The series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway is set for Nov. 16. On July 27, the series will race at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the second consecutive year as part of “Super Weekend at The Brickyard” with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and GRAND-AM.
Next season’s schedule includes six “standalone” race dates: Iowa Speedway (June 8 and Aug. 3), Chicagoland Speedway (July 21), Kentucky Speedway (Sept. 21), Road America and Mid-Ohio.
Kentucky’s first NASCAR Nationwide Series race on June 28, one of 27 companion weekends with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,also will be the qualifying event for the 2013 “Dash 4 Cash” bonus program. The subsequent four races make up the 2013 “Dash 4 Cash” events: Daytona on July 5; New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13; Chicagoland and the Brickyard.(NASCAR), see the full schedule on the 2013 Nationwide Series Schedule page.(11-13-2012)
- Phoenix TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix on Saturday, Nov. 10, earned a 1.1 household coverage rating (1.0 U.S. rating), averaging 1,532,748 viewers.(ESPN)(11-13-2012)
- Nationwide going to Mid-Ohio: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is expected to play host to a NASCAR Nationwide Series race for the first time next August. The formal announcement will come at a press conference [Tuesday] morning at the Nationwide Insurance headquarters in downtown Columbus. A spokesman for Mid-Ohio had no comment … when asked about the race. It appears the 2.25-mile road course of Mid-Ohio was the choice of NASCAR to replace the Nationwide Series road race previously held in Montreal. Nationwide is considered the No.2 series behind Sprint Cup in the NASCAR hierarchy. But several Sprint Cup stars race in the Nationwide Series from time to time, and there is a good chance that could be the case for the Mid-Ohio race. Based on when the Montreal race was run this year, it is expected to be held the same weekend as the Sprint Cup race at Michigan. Drivers will be able to make what would be a shortish commute by helicopter. As for Mid-Ohio, it also will be hosting its annual IndyCar race the first weekend of August, meaning it could stage two major events within two weeks of each other.(Columbus Dispatch)(11-12-2012)
- Teams raising awareness of Tripp Halstead at Homestead: SR2 Motorsports will take to the track on November 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in support of 2-year-old Tripp Halstead. Trip, a two-year old toddler from Georgia, suffered a brain injury on October 29, 2012 when a large tree limb broke and fell onto Tripp outside of the daycare center he attends. Hurricane Sandy knocked the branch off the tree and onto a chain-link fence before striking Tripp in the head. The branch is believed to weigh hundreds of pounds. Currently Tripp remains in critical condition at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. SR2 Motorsports (#00 & 24) is leading the way to raise awareness for Tripp in a joint venture with MacDonald Motorsports (#81) and TriStar Motorsports (#10, 14, 19 & 91). The #00 driven by Blake Koch will be completely dedicated to Trip while each of the remaining cars will run a special decal for Tripp. Go to www.teamboom4tripp.com to donate money to help aide Tripp’s family with their medical bills and various expenses during his long road to recovery.(SR2 Motorsports)(11-13-2012)
- Honor and Remember on the hood for Jason Bowles at Phoenix: National non-profit organization Honor and Remember will be displayed on the hood of the MacDonald Motorsports #81 for Jason Bowles this weekend in Phoenix. Honor and Remember was founded on Memorial Day 2008 to promote the adoption of a new, nationally-recognized flag to serve as a constant reminder of the brave men and women in uniform who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. To date, more than 20 states have either adopted the flag or endorsed its use.(MacDonald Motorsports)(11-7-2012)
- Nemechek gets Phoneix sponsors: NEMCO Motorsports announced the #87 car will be themed to the Great Northwest with Alaska-based companies, AC General and Sasquatch Alaska Adventure Company, as it heads into Phoenix for the Great Clips 200 NASCAR Nationwide Race. AC General returns to the #87 car as an associate sponsor. The Alaskan-based company specializes in the construction of ring wall foundation systems for above-ground fuel storage tanks. Sasquatch Alaska Adventure Company, an Alaska tour and wildlife encounter group, is utilizing NASCAR as a partner for the first-time, coming aboard for the NEMCO #87 to tap into a new market, the “snowbirds” gone south. The company serves Alaska up in the “up close and personal” way. As one-race associate sponsors, AC General and Sasquatch Alaska Adventure Company will be on driver Joe Nemechek’s #87 Toyota for NASCAR Nationwide Series entry at the Great Clips 200 at Phoenix.(NEMCO)(11-7-2012)
- Takagi sponsoring Whitt: Takagi Tankless Water Heaters will be primary sponsor of the #88 team this weekend in Phoenix, with its Chevy featuring a vivid red, white and blue paint scheme. A producer of tankless water heaters since 1952, Takagi is a worldwide industry leader and the first tankless water heater company specializing in tankless-only products.(JR Motorsports)(11-7-2012)
- Texas TV Ratings: Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas also aired on ESPN and earned a 1.2 household coverage rating (1.0 U.S. rating), averaging 1,663,629 viewers. The race was run at night for the first time; the event earned a 1.1 household coverage rating in both 2010 and 2011 while airing on Saturday afternoons.(ESPN)(11-6-2012)
- DSTP Motorsports joins JD Motorsports at Phoenix: Mike Wallace and the #01 Chevy team of JD Motorsports w/Gary Keller will have a unique and winning marketing partner on board for this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. DeDe Rogers, who owned the DSTP Motorsports team that competed in Formula Atlantic action earlier this decade, has decided to partner with Johnny Davis’ NNS team. Rogers won the 2000 Formula Atlantic championship and was named Formula Atlantic team Owner of the Year in 2005. DSTP, which stands for Don’t Spend the Principal, Motorsports is making their first foray into NASCAR involvement. Drivers such as Sam Hornish, Memo Gidley, Buddy Rice, Joey Hand and Alex Baron, to name a few, have driven for Rogers.(JD Motorsports)(11-6-2012)
- Mickey Mouse on the #18 at Phoenix: This weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, Joey Logano will have a special guest riding with him. And it’s a guest that is easily considered one of the most recognizable faces in all the world. Who? Yep, Mickey Mouse. This weekend, the #18 GameStop Toyota will carry the look of Disney’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two video game. In Disney’s Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, gamers will play as Mickey Mouse and for the first time ever, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney’s first cartoon star, in an all-new adventure of creativity and discovery. Created by industry luminary Warren Spector and Disney Interactive’s Junction Point game development studio, Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two returns the franchise to the Wii system from Nintendo, as well as expanding it to new HD consoles including the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PLAYSTATION3 computer entertainment system.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(11-6-2012)
- Alex Bowman in the #99 at Phoenix: Tucson, Arizona native Alex Bowman will make his fourth NASCAR Nationwide Series start in the Great Clips 200 on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway. Bowman will compete in the #99 RAB Racing Toyota with sponsorship from Port of Tucson, a multi-faceted road and rail facility, and Levin Financial, a financial services firm, both located in Tucson, Ariz. Bowman will make his second start for Concord, N.C.-based RAB Racing this weekend at PIR. In his first outing, at Kentucky Speedway in September, Bowman qualified ninth and was running inside the top-10 before experiencing a part failure in the latter stages of the event, which that left him with a 25th-place finish.(Spire Sports + Entertainment)(-2012)
- Vickers to Joe Gibbs Racing with Dollar General: As many companies are trending away from full-season sponsorships in the Sprint Cup Series, Dollar General is moving toward a 36-race commitment. CEO Rick Dreiling said the discount retailer will increase its spending on NASCAR for the sixth consecutive year, backing Joe Gibbs Racing’s #20 Toyota driven by Matt Kenseth for 17 races starting with next year’s Daytona 500. That’s up from 12 races this season. “Our goal is to grow into a full-time Cup ride,” Dreiling told USA Today Sports. “But it’s a little soon to commit if that’s going to be next year or two to four years from now. That’s all down the road.” Dollar General also will sponsor a full-time car fielded by JGR for Brian Vickers in the Nationwide Series next season. Dreiling, who wouldn’t disclose figures but called the deal part of an “orderly, methodical growth,” said stock-car racing is the company’s only national sports sponsorship because of internal marketing research that indicates its customers are 30 times more likely to be NASCAR fans than average consumers. Team owner Joe Gibbs said Home Depot, which has been sponsoring the #20 since 1999 but scaled back to 24 races this season, will pick up the other 19 races for Kenseth in 2013. JGR still is seeking more primary sponsorship in Sprint Cup to expand to a fourth car, but it will grow on the Nationwide Series in 2013. Vickers will drive one of three full-time cars next season on the second-tier circuit for JGR, which fielded two full-time Camrys this year.(USA Today)(11-6-2012)
UPDATE: Vickers will return to the Nationwide Series on a fulltime basis in 2013, 10 years after he won three Nationwide races and became the youngest driver to win the Series Championship at the age of 20. Most recently, Vickers spent the 2012 season driving a partial NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing, where he finished in the top 10 in five starts including three top-five efforts. He has two career wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Since 2003, Vickers has continued to compete in the Nationwide Series, often driving the Dollar General car. The 2013 season will mark Dollar General’s ninth year of NASCAR sponsorship, which will also continue to include two NASCAR Nationwide Series race sponsorships: The Dollar General 300 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and The Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola at Chicagoland Speedway.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(11-6-2012)
- Pastrana to Roush Fenway? Extreme racer Travis Pastrana’s transition to NASCAR will take a step up in 2013. The driver is finalizing a deal to run full-time for Roush Fenway Racing next season in the Nationwide Series, attempting a run at the championship. Driving a car that will likely be changed to #99, Pastrana has sponsorship sold for approximately half the 32-to-33 race schedule but sources say RFR is committed to run the driver regardless. Trevor Bayne, according to sources is also set for a full-time ride at RFR which would give the organization two entries fighting for the championship. An official announcement on the partnership is expected in the next few weeks. Sponsors were not confirmed but Boost Mobile was the backer for nearly all Pastrana’s starts in 2012; the role of Red Bull, which has backed him in other forms of motorsports but not NASCAR is unclear.(Frontstretch)(11-5-2012)
- 505 Southwestern Chili Sauce on the #81: New partner to the MacDonald Motorsports team, 505 Southwestern Chili Sauces joins Bowles and the #81 car for this weekend’s race at Phoenix. Based out of Boise, Idaho, 505 Southwestern makes excellent roasted Green Chili, Red and Green Chili, and Salsa with chili grown from the rich soils of the Hatch Valley in southern New Mexico. “It’s great to have another new partner on the #81 this weekend with 505 Southwestern Chili Sauces,” said Bowles. “I hope we can put on a good show for them.(MacDonald Motorsports)(11-5-2012)
- Advocare sponsoring Dillon for full 2013 schedule: AdvoCare International, LP (AdvoCare), a leading health and wellness company, and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced AdvoCare’s continued partnership and primary sponsorship of Austin Dillon’s #3 AdvoCare Chevy for the entire 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. This follows AdvoCare’s sponsorship of Dillon and the #3 car for 20 races in the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. “One of our goals at AdvoCare is to build brand awareness, which our partnership with Richard Childress Racing, Austin (Dillon) and the #3 car has helped us accomplish,” said Mike Vaught, AdvoCare Director of Corporate Sponsorships. “The values of both organizations align and this sponsorship is a powerful opportunity for us all to grow stronger.” Since 2011 AdvoCare has served as title sponsor for the Labor Day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In September 2012, the company announced it is serving as title sponsor for Phoenix International Raceway’s Nov. 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race. The tentative 33-race 2013 Nationwide Series season starts at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 23 and concludes on Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(RCR)(11-2-2012)
- Nationwide Series remaining in Canada? UPDATES: The Nationwide Series has perhaps not left Quebec, Canada for good, it could end up in Trois-Riviï¿½res, and, starting next year. Discussions were initiated, according to sources, with representatives from NASCAR to maintain a Canadian race on the schedule. The mayor of Trois-Riviï¿½res has appointed the chairman of the Grand Prix, Dominic Fugere to conduct these talks. Also, there was some discussion of holding a Nationwide Series race at Mosport next year, but the track does not currently meet the crieteria necessary for a NASCAR race. NASCAR has not disclosed the Nationwide schedule in 2013, which suggests that negotiations are ongoing with various promoters.(Montreal Journal, article in French, translated with Google Translate at edited)(10-24-2012)
UPDATE: There is a big announcement scheduled for Thursday in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. City officials, along with GP3R CEO Dominic Fugere will announce the addition of the NASCAR Nationwide Series to the city’s annual GP3R Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres. The race will be held on the Circuit de Trois-Rivieres, a 1.521 mile street course. It will be the first-ever street course race for the Nationwide Series. Last year, IndyCar’s Firestone Indy Lights and NASCAR’s Canadian Tire Series were the co-headliners in Trois-Rivieres.(Frontstretch)(11-1-2012)
UPDATE 2: The Government of Quebec supports the efforts of the leaders of the Grand Prix de Trois-Riviï¿½res in their attempt to attract a NASCAR Nationwide Series race in 2013. The Minister for Tourism, Pascal Bï¿½rubï¿½, confirmed the news at a press briefing Thursday. The Director General of GP3R Dominic Fugere will travel to Texas this weekend with a small delegation, including the mayor of Trois-Riviï¿½res, in an attempt to convince NASCAR the facility is able to accommodate a NASCAR race. “We are early in the process, but it is one minute to midnight, recalls Fugï¿½re. I know all the tracks where the Nationwide happens and I can tell you that we have nothing to envy to those places. In a radius of 160 km, there are 5.3 million people and 22,000 hotel rooms, which is much more than Martinsville, Virginia, a city that receives nevertheless a step in the Nationwide Series.”(LaPress.ca)(11-2-2012)
- Danica still working in 2013 Nationwide, Indy 500 plans: Danica Patrick is still working on her 2013 racing schedule. She knows she will be running a full Sprint Cup schedule for Stewart-Haas Racing, but she’s still working on racing in two other series: the Nationwide Series and the IndyCar Series. Patrick, who competed in IndyCar full time before moving to NASCAR full time this season, has driven all of her 55 career Nationwide races for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s JR Motorsports. Whether she will drive for JR Motorsports next year is to be determined. The team has hired Regan Smith to run a full schedule next year and is looking for sponsorship for a full-time team for Cole Whitt. It will run a third car in select races for Earnhardt and possibly could run races with Patrick. “I would love to do a dozen or so races next year in the Nationwide Series,” Patrick said Thursday at Texas Motor Speedway. “I would like to do some that are really challenging tracks that are good for just getting laps on to help in the Cup car. Patrick also would like to get back in an Indy car next year to run the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. “I love that event,” she said of the Indy 500. “I would love to try to do it again. & We’ve been working hard for months now but we’re no further along to say anything right now.”(Sporting News)(11-2-2012)