No changes to Nationwide points system next year: NASCAR gave me [Terry Blount] a little news this week that the Nationwide points system will not change in 2009. One year ago, NASCAR officials floated one of its infamous trial balloons about the possibility of changing the system to keep Cup regulars from earning points in the feeder league. The proposed plan was this: Any Cup driver ranked in the top 35 in the Cup standings would not earn points for a Nationwide event. The idea was to ensure that a Nationwide-only driver win the series championship without excluding or limiting Cup drivers from participated in Nationwide events. But NASCAR officials said Tuesday they have no plans to change the points format for 2009.(ESPN.com)(10-31-2008)
Rensi Shutting Down after Memphis? UPDATE 3 Bobby Hamilton, Jr., told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway Monday that this weekend’s race at Memphis will be the final race of the season for Team Rensi Racing, due to lack of sponsorship. Hamilton currently stands 15th in Nationwide Series points, despite missing two races due to lack of sponsorship. “The deal is done after Memphis, and unless they can find (sponsorship), we’re through,” said Hamilton. “The Rensis are racers, but if the money’s not there, it’s just not there.” Hamilton said he has prospects to field as many as three teams of his own on the NASCAR Camping World Series East next season, and could also field a car on the ARCA Remax Series.(Sirius Speedway)(10-20-2008) UPDATE: Saturday’s Kroger On Track For The Cure 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series is likely the final event for Team Rensi Motorsports, Team President Ronnie Russell said at Memphis Motorsports Park. Sponsorship from Smithfield Foods runs out after this race, and there is no sponsorship for driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. and the #25 Ford for the remaining three races. “If something doesn’t happen good for us by Monday, then, no, we will not be continuing the last three races,” Russell said. “We will not be going to Texas, Phoenix or Homestead.” Smithfield was a 30-race deal for 2008, and Memphis was the 30th race. Russell said it was important to the team not to have any outstanding debt before closing its doors, and the team did not want to start-and-park its car over the final three races. And if sponsorship doesn’t work out – and Russell held out slim hope for that – Team Rensi will close for good. “We’re not going dormant when we’re not coming here,” Russell said. “We’re closing up. It’s not a dormant situation.”(Scene Daily)(10-25-2008) UPDATE 2: Team Rensi co-owner Gary Weisbaum said Monday evening that Team Rensi continues to work diligently on sponsorship for the team and would be at Texas this weekend and plans to go ahead and finish out the season running all the races.(10-27-2008) UPDATE 3: Team Rensi Motorsports will run the rest of the Nationwide Series season after driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. put up the money for the team to compete in the final three races, team president Ronnie Russell said Thursday afternoon. The team’s sponsorship had run out for this year, and Smithfield Foods has already indicated it would not return next year. “He’s actually funding this out of his own pocket,” Russell said in the Texas Motor Speedway garage. “We’ve got several things going on and he’s taking the chance to where we keep racing long enough to where we can seal something up here [for next year].”(Scene Daily)(10-31-2008)
Baker Curb signs development driver: Baker Curb Racing announced that Mississippi native Tommy Joe Martins has been selected as the first driver to compete full-time in the Camping World East Series in 2009.(Baker Curb Racing PR)(10-30-2008)
Congrats to Burney Lamar and Niki Taylor: Springtime will bring a whole new blossom into the home of supermodel Niki Taylor and her NASCAR husband Burney Lamar: They’re expecting their first child together, Taylor’s rep announced Thursday. “Burney and I are very excited with this stage of our lives,” says Taylor, who is due in March. “We’re thrilled.” (People Magazine)(10-30-2008)
Unilever Sponsoring JR Motorsports in 2009 UPDATE 2: layoffs? Unilever will be a primary sponsor for JR Motorsports’ #5 Chevy in 10 Nationwide Series races in 2009. The 10-race sponsorship package will be divided amongst four popular Unilever brands – Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Ragu pasta sauce, Klondike ice cream, and Lipton tea. Three different drivers will compete in select races in the Unilever-branded #5 car – Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, and Landon Cassill.(JR Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on the #5 Nationwide Series 2009 schemes page.(10-10-2008) UPDATE: hearing there were 15-18 people laid off at JR Motorsports, who field the #88 US Navy Chevy and #5 Chevy in the Nationwide Series. JR Motorsports is a joint venture between Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. [#88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevy] and Hendrick Motorsports. Also been told that the #5 team may not run in 2009 and that the 10-race Unilever sponsorship announced at Lowe’s Motor Speedway may end up going to the #88 team and driver Brad Keselowski, a team without a sponsor for 2009 as the Navy is leaving. Mark Martin, Earnhardt and Hendrick development driver Landon Cassill are scheduled to drive the #5 NNS ride in those 10 races. No word how this effects Cassill’s 2009 plans with the team.(10-29-2008) UPDATE2: Statement by Kelley Earnhardt, general manager of JR Motorsports: “We’ve been working aggressively to secure funding to continue with two teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The economic climate is difficult, as everyone is aware, and that is affecting every company’s ability to spend. The 2008 season will be ending in less than three weeks, and preparations for next season are already underway. We do not anticipate getting the funding required to field two teams after the end of this season, and we need to make adjustments now to prepare JR Motorsports accordingly. We are reducing our workforce and budgets to comply with a new plan for 2009, which at the present time is to field the #88 team full-time with driver Brad Keselowski, and the #5 team on a limited basis with a select group of drivers.”(JR Motorsports PR)(10-29-2008)
Gordon leaving #11 team: UPDATE 2 Wolfe named as new crew chief for 2009: ESPN reported during TV coverage of Nationwide qualifying that #11-CJM Racing crew chief Todd Gordon is leaving the team following the race Friday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.(10-10-2008) UPDATE: Baker Curb Racing announced that Todd Gordon will be assuming the duties of crew chief for the #27 Kleenex Ford effective immediately. Coming from the #11 CJM Chevy, Gordon reunites with former driver Jason Keller who recently took over the wheel of the #27 Ford.(Baker Curb PR), Gordon replaces Jeff White, who will remain with the team as an engineer.(10-15-2008) UPDATE 2: CJM Racing has signed Paul Wolfe as the new crew chief of the #11 America’s Incredible Pizza Company race team with up-and-coming driver Scott Lagasse Jr. Wolfe, a former driver turned crew chief, will begin his new role at the close of the 2008 season.(CJM Racing PR)(10-29-2008)
#28 & #52 Teams Penalized: NASCAR announced that Chris Rice, crew chief for the #28 Chevy driven by Kenny Wallace and Jimmy Means, crew chief for the #52 Chevy of driver Brad Teague, have been fined and placed on NASCAR probation due to rule violations during the Nationwide Series event at Memphis Motorsports Park.
Rice was fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2008 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); 12-4-Q(2) (if, in the judgment of NASCAR officials, a car, car component, engine, engine component or any other part or related equipment that has been previously certified by NASCAR for use in an event pursuant to Section 8-12 has been altered, modified, repaired or changed in any manner prior to or during the event without prior notification to and approval by NASCAR) and 20A-16.1B (fuel cell – safety foam did not meet the minimum specified height) of the 2008 Nationwide Series rule book. Rice was fined an additional $1,000 for violation of Section 12-4-A; 12-4-Q and 20A-12.1B(3) (rear coil spring exceeded the maximum specified height). Additionally, Wallace was docked 100 Nationwide Series championship driver points and car owner Mimi Fitz was penalized with the loss of 100 Nationwide Series owner championship points.The infractions were discovered during post-race inspection on Oct. 25.
As a result of pre-race inspection on Oct. 24, Means was fined $5,000 and placed on probation also until Dec. 31, 2008 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 20-A-5.10.1B(3) (carburetor venturis exceeded the specified size). He received a second fine of $1,000 for violating 12-4-A, 12-4-Q and 20-A-14.1B (non-approved rear brake caliper).(NASCAR PR)(10-29-2008)
Leicht back in the #21 at Texas: UPDATE: Stephen Leicht will drive the #21 Prilosec Chevy for Richard Childress Racing in the O’Reilly Challenge held at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday November 1.(StevenLeicht.com)(10-23-2008) UPDATE: Prilosec OTC’s major associate sponsorship kicks into high gear this weekend in Texas as Leicht and the #21 team will sport a purple-and-lightning-themed Prilosec OTC Wal-Mart racing machine for the O’Reilly 300. (RCR PR)(10-29-2008)
250 for Mark Green: NASCAR veteran Mark Green will be attempting to make his 250th career Nationwide Series start this weekend in the O’Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.(10-29-2008)
Aldean on the #11: Country music artist Jason Aldean will once again be displayed on the hood of the #11 America’s Incredible Pizza Company Chevy. Aldean is currently on tour promoting his album Relentless.(CJM Racing PR)(10-29-2008)
Wimmer still looking for ’09 ride: In addition to preparing for this week’s race, Scott Wimmer is also in the process of tracking down a ride for next season. Richard Childress Racing announced Aug. 28 that Wimmer would not be back next season, making him a free agent. “I’ve had some good talks with several car owners,” he said. “I feel real confident something will turn up. With the economy the way it is, it’s a crazy time in the sport, definitely for the drivers.” He is concentrating his efforts on landing a Sprint Cup ride, but he knows the Nationwide Series will be an option if he can’t make the jump. “Fortunately, there are some teams that will have openings. There are some teams that will be making changes,” he said. “I’ve got my name on their lists.”(Wausau Daily Herald)(10-28-2008)
RWI to one team in 2009? UPDATE: Rusty Wallace Racing driver Steve Wallace said at Memphis Motorsports Park that his team could be forced to cut back to one full-time team in 2009 because of a lack of sponsorship. Teammate David Stremme is moving to the Sprint Cup Series for Penske Racing next season, but Wallace said his father would like to keep Stremme in a Nationwide car as much as possible in ‘09. But sponsorship for Wallace’s #66 team hasn’t been finalized yet.(Scene Daily)(10-26-2008) UPDATE: From Rob Williams, Rusty Wallace Racing Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer: “We’re comfortable with the sponsorship situation for our teams in 2009. To say that we have sponsorship woes, well, almost every Cup, Nationwide and Truck team out there has sponsorship woes, meaning that any of us would love to have more sponsorship. Trust me, we’re in much better shape than a lot of teams right now and our operation isn’t going anywhere. It takes an awful lot to be competitive with the major Cup teams we race against and we’re always looking for more funding so we can better do that. With that said, we expect to announce our 2009 sponsor lineup within the next several weeks. We have a world class asset in our owner, Rusty Wallace, as well as a pair of extremely strong driving talents. We’ve proven ourselves to be one of the premier Nationwide Series teams and we’re looking forward to even better performances in 2009.”(RWI)(10-28-2008)
Sheltra to compete in final two events with JRR: Officials from Sheltra Motorsports confirmed that the team has formed an alliance with longtime Nationwide Series team Jay Robinson Racing and will utilize the #4 for the final two events on the NNS calendar. Jay Robinson Racing (JRR) will assist Sheltra Motorsports in their transition to NASCAR. The alliance also guarantees Sheltra a starting berth for the Hefty Odor Block 200 and the Ford 300.(Sheltra Motorsports PR)(10-28-2008)
Border Patrol Agents will pit Wallace at Texas: In this Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway, there won’t appear to be anything different about Kenny Wallace or his U.S. Border Patrol car fielded by Jay Robinson Racing. Wallace will still be racing his customary green-and-white #28 Chevy, with his car owner, crew chief, and other team members present in his pit area. You will only be able to catch what’s different about Team Border Patrol this weekend if you’ve got your eye on Wallace’s pit stops. The U.S. Border Patrol will be hands on this weekend helping their driver, Kenny Wallace. Seven U.S. Border Patrol Agents have volunteered to be members of his pit crew. Without formal training, agents who have expressed an interest in racing have been awarded the opportunity to participate in the race. These agents will be working in the seven key pit crew positions on the #28 Border Patrol Chevy for all of Kenny’s pit stops this weekend.(Jay Robinson Racing PR)(10-28-2008)
Johnny Davis Motorsports announces 2 associate sponsors for Texas: JD Motorsports and driver #01-Danny Efland announce two associate sponsors for the O’Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway: Virgie & Daniel Lowery with Lowery Plumbing in Kerrville, Texas and Sharan & Wally Belcher with S&W; Tile also of Kerrville, Texas.(Johnny Davis PR)(10-28-2008)
Texas Rookie Notes: Cale Gale was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Kroger 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park. Gale scored an 11th-place finish and claimed top rookie honors for the seventh time this season.
…Tied for the Lead: Bryan Clauson and Landon Cassill are tied for the lead (177-177) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the O’Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.
…Brad Keselowski was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2007 O’Reilly Challenge, scoring a sixth-place finish.
…The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in three fall races at Texas is third by Carl Edwards in the 2005 O’Reilly Challenge at Texas.
…Reed Sorenson is the only Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap in three fall races at Texas. Sorenson led the 2005 O’Reilly Challenge once for three laps.
…The best qualifying effort by a Raybestos Rookie in three fall races at Texas is third by Stephen Leicht in 2006.(Raybestos PR)(10-28-2008)
Racing Resources Says…
…Carl Edwards won the Kroger on Track for The Cure 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park. He posted his 18th career victory in his 138th start. It was his fifth victory of the season, tied for second most this season with Tony Stewart behind Kyle Busch with nine.
…Edwards posted his first Nationwide Series victory at Memphis in his forth start there. He became the ninth different Memphis race winner in 10 races.
…Edwards led one time for 185 laps, the most of all drivers. He led more laps Saturday than he had in any of his 137 previous races. Edwards became the ninth driver to lead more than 100 laps in 10 races at Memphis.
…Points leader Clint Bowyer finished 16th, three laps down.
…Edwards gained 80 points on Bowyer — he trails the leader now by 116 points.
…Edwards won after starting the race from the rear of the field after Bobby East qualified his car in time trials.
…Ford posted its seventh win of the season and second at Memphis.
…Roush Fenway Racing posted its sixth win on the season and first at Memphis.
…David Reutimann, who finished second, posted his eighth top-5 finish of 2008. Like Edwards, Reutimann started the race at the rear of the field due to a driver change.
…Kenny Wallace, who finished third, posted his first top-5 finish since he finished third at Pike’s Peak in July 2005.
…Austin Dillon (fourth) posted his career-best finish in only his second start.
…Joey Logano (fifth) posted his 11th top-10 finish in his 16th start.
…Chase Miller (sixth) posted his career-best finish in his 18th start.
…The race featured only six cars on the lead lap, the fewest this season. The previous fewest was eight at Nashville in March.
…The race was slowed eight times for 39 laps one year after a race that saw 25 cautions for 117 laps.
…Marc Davis finished 23rd in his Nationwide debut.
…Jarit Johnson finished 32nd in his series debut.
…Cale Gale, who finished 11th, was the best-finishing rookie of the year candidate.
…The top 10 featured two Fords, two Toyotas, five Chevys and one Dodge.(ESPN.com)(10-27-2008)
Blickensderfer will stay with the #60 team next year: Roush Fenway Racing crew chief Drew Blickensderfer said after winning the Kroger On Track For The Cure 250 Nationwide Series race that he will remain with the #60 team and Carl Edwards in 2009. Blickensderfer moved from Roush Fenway’s No. 17 team to Edwards’ team for the race at The Milwaukee Mile on June and proceeded to win at Milwaukee and five of the 15 races he has served as Edwards’ crew chief. “I’m going to be back with Carl next year,” Blickensderfer said at Memphis Motorsports Park. “We talked about it this week, actually, Carl and I did. The 60 car is a premier job. You would be crazy to want to go somewhere to change this. And I don’t. I love working with Carl. I love working with the 60 guys. Running every single week is fun as a racer. And getting to do it with him is pretty special.”(Scene Daily)(10-26-2008)
Marc Davis to run some Nationwide races in 2009: During a post-race interview with ESPN’s Mike Massaro, Marc Davis was asked if he was planning on running any more races this year. Davis responded by saying that they are trying to put some races together for the remainder of this year, but that they were really trying to set down their 2009 schedule first. Davis said they plan to run some Truck Series Races as well as some Nationwide races in 2009.(10-26-2008)
Harvick donates van to Sam Ard: Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway Kevin Harvick presented Robert Ard, son of two-time Nationwide Series Champion Sam Ard with a 2007 Chevy Van. This Chevy van was used in the Shell fuels commercial featuring the #29 Shell-Pennzoil driver Kevin Harvick and the “Passionate Experts” from Shell. Ard, who won the Nationwide Series title in 1983 and 1984, has been going through the fight of his life battling Alzheimer’s disease and facing financial woes. The 69-year-old former champion was diagnosed at the age of 66. The doctor’s believe that that the onset of the disease was likely quickened by severe head injuries that Ard sustained in a career-ending 1984 accident. Despite missing the final event of that season, he still won the championship by more than 400 points. In addition, Ard’s wife Jo has been diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease that is slowly taking her vision.(Kevin Harvick, Inc. PR)(10-25-2008)
D’Hondt Motorsports signs Owens for ARCA: D’Hondt Motorsports, LLC (DMS), who field the #92 Toyota part time in the Nationwide Series team, announced the signing of twenty year old Alli Owens to drive the DMS #19 ElectrifyingCareers.com entry in the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series. The team will be sponsored by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). “We are proud to have Alli join D’Hondt Motorsports” said team owner Eddie D’Hondt. “This is a great opportunity for all of us. We are all looking forward to representing and promoting ElectrifyingCareers.com and helping Alli reach the next steps of her own career goals.” Owens, a native of Daytona Beach, Fla., has been in competitive racing since she was eight years old. At age thirteen, she raced quarter midgets, then advanced to the Mini Stock division and Late Model division(s) where she finished two consecutive seasons third in points standings, earning Rookie-of-the-Year honors. Owens then moved to the NASCAR Whelan All-American Series and in 2008, she successfully competed as a rookie in 12 ARCA RE/MAX Series events. Look for Alli Owens and the DMS team to make its debut in testing sessions at Daytona International Speedway December 19th thru 21st, 2008.(D’Hondt Motorsports PR)(10-24-2008)
Joe Michael on the #81 at Memphis: Keep a close eye on the MacDonald Motorsports #81 Joe Michael/St. Jude Children’s Hospital Dodge Charger during the Kroger on Track for the Cure 250 Oct. 25th in Memphis, TN. Driver DJ Kennington will be sporting a special paint scheme and decals designed by children from St. Jude Children’s Hospital along with Nashville Recording Artist Joe Michael on the hood.(MacDonald Motorsports PR), see an image of the car on the #81 paint schemes page.(10-24-2008)
Logano wants to run both series next year: Joey Logano said this weekend will be a good test for him because he said he’d like to run both the Cup and Nationwide series next season if he’s able. “Most likely I will (run both series); we don’t have anything etched in stone for next year in the Nationwide Series yet,” Logano said. “We’ll just have to see on that one.”(Memphis Commerical Appeal)(10-24-2008)
RAB, Townley to run full season with Zaxby’s sponsorship: RAB Racing and Zaxby’s announced that they will extend their relationship through 2009 with Zaxby’s serving as primary sponsor of the #09 Ford in the Nationwide Series. The 2009 season will once again feature driver, John Wes Townley as pilot of the Zaxby’s Ford as he makes the step-up to a full-time Nationwide schedule.(RAB Racing PR)(10-24-2008)
Baker Curb looking at second team for 2009: [Team owner Gary] Baker hopes to have a second driver to pair with #27-Jason Keller next year, depending on sponsorship. “If you think today you can run competitively running one car, you’re definitely in the joy juice,” Baker said. “It just can’t happen. We’ve got to have two cars, and it’s all right with us if we end up with three cars on the track.” Baker said he has a “handshake” agreement for sponsorship for half of next year’s races for the #37 team and is in talks with two or three other potential backers for the remaining races. “Here’s where you’re going to wonder whether I’ve been in the joy juice, but … we’re thinking maybe there’s a possibility of even a third car,” Baker said. “If we get the other half [for the 37], and you have three [others] hot and lathered up, you say, ‘OK, guys, we’ll just start a third car, and we’ll still go.’”(Scene Daily)(10-23-2008)
Ford also cutting back on Nationwide Series support: BRIAN WOLFE, DIRECTOR, FORD RACING TECHNOLOGY – WHAT CHANGES, IF ANY, DO YOU ANTICIPATE NEXT YEAR IN NATIONWIDE AND TRUCK SERIES PROGRAMS? IS FORD GOING TO BE GIVING THE SAME LEVEL OF SUPPORT TO THOSE SERIES AS IT HAS IN THE PAST? “First, our prime goal was really to protect our performance in Cup racing, and with that we have cut back our support for the supporting series. We have not pulled out of those series, for example, with truck we are basically going to continue with the contingency program and continue our technical support to the teams racing Ford products. But as far as financial, we will not continue next year. And, also our Nationwide program has been scaled back as well, but we are continuing with technical support and the contingency programs as well.”(Ford Racing)(10-23-2008)
Montoya in Texas & Homestead NNS Races: Juan Montoya will be the sixth driver this season to pilot the #40 Fastenal Dodge in the NNS when he takes the wheel at Texas. It will be his first time behind the wheel of a Nationwide car since August of 2007 at Watkins Glen International. Montoya will debut the #42 POWERade Dodge at his home track in Homestead, Fla. It will be the first paint scheme for the sports drink with Montoya at the venue where the Colombian made his Sprint Cup debut in November 2006. Montoya will work with CGRFS Crew Chief Steven Lane for the two Nationwide Series races.(CGRFS PR)(10-23-2008)
STP on the #47 at Memphis: This weekend Kelly Bires’ #47 Ford will feature a new primary sponsor, STP’s “Barely Street Legal” Octane Booster.(JTG Daugherty Racing PR)(10-23-2008)
Miller to pilot #9 at Memphis: Chase Miller makes his 12th Nationwide Series start of the 2008 season and 18th of his career on Saturday at Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, Tenn. Miller will finish out his remaining two races of the 2008 campaign at Texas Motor Speedway next week and at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 15.(Gillette Evernham Motorsports PR)(10-22-2008)
100th start for Davis: UPDATE: Kertus Davis will attempts to make his 100th series start Friday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. His first start came at Nazareth in 2001. His career best finish was a 10th place at Talladega in 2005.(10-7-2008) UPDATE: Davis’ DNQ at Lowe’s means he will attempt his 100th start this weekend at Memphis.(10-22-2008)
Get Well: Eric McClure and the #24-Hefty Racing team send “Get Well Wishes” to the team’s front tire changer, Matt Bird, as he recovers from a serious motorcycle accident that occurred on Monday, October 13.(Eric McClure PR)(10-22-2008)
St. Jude’s Deisgn-a-Dream Returns at Memphis: UPDATE: As part of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Design-a-Dream contest, eight Nationwide Series cars will sport special paint schemes designed by children at St Jude’s in next weekend’s race at Memphis Motorsports Park. Children at St. Jude created paint schemes, and eight were selected to be used during the race. Defending series champion #60-Carl Edwards is part of the program, as is defending race winner #99-David Reutimann, #38-Jason Leffler, #29-Scott Wimmer, #11-Scott Lagasse Jr., #40-Kevin Hamlin, #30-Stanton Barrett and #81-D.J. Kennington.(Scene Daily)(10-17-2008) UPDATE: The #7 GEICO Racing team will also participate in the program. See an image of the car on the #7 Team Paint schemes page.(10-21-2008)
Keselowski visits Washington D.C. during off week: During the off weekend, #88-Brad Keselowski had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. for two days as a part of his affiliation with the U.S. Navy. On day one of his trip, Keselowski toured the Naval Academy where he observed noon meal formations and dined with midshipmen. While in the Nation’s capitol, Keselowski visited the Pentagon, White House, and Capitol building. He also made stops at the Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial and Supreme Court Building. This was Keselowski’s first trip to the Washington, D.C. area.(JR Motorsports PR)(10-21-2008)
Lagina Plumbing on the #89 & #75 at Memphis: Wisconsin-based Lagina Plumbing will be an associate sponsor on two Nationwide Series race cars this weekend at Memphis Motorsports Park. Lagina, a frequent supporter of Morgan Shepherd’s #89 Faith Motorsports team, will also broaden its sponsorship for Saturday’s race by adding the #75 Herd Racing entry driven by Tim Weaver. Both cars will field a similar green and yellow paint scheme and will carry the Lagina Plumbing logos.(Faith Motorsports PR)(10-21-2008)
Rookie Notes for Memphis:
…Bryan Clauson was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Dollar General 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Clauson scored a 30th-place finish and earned Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the seventh time this season.
…Clauson leads Landon Cassill by two points (177-175) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Kroger 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park.
…Four members of the 2008 Raybestos Rookie class competed in the 2007 Sam’s Town 250 at Memphis: Brian Keselowski (10th), Bryan Clauson (18th), Landon Cassill (20th), and Cale Gale (29th).
…David Ragan was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2007 Kroger 250, scoring a third-place finish.
…A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top-10 in all nine races at Memphis.
…Kevin Harvick is the only Raybestos Rookie to win the Kroger 250. Harvick captured the 2000 race by .475 seconds over second-place Elton Sawyer.
…Marcos Ambrose became the first Raybestos Rookie to win a pole position in nine races at Memphis when he captured the top starting position for the 2007 Kroger 250.(Raybestos PR)(10-21-2008)
Boys in the #01 at Memphis; Efland plans for the remainder: After a 10 race run in the Johnny Davis Motorsports #01 Chevy, Danny Efland will take a break at Memphis. JDM has a prior commitment to Wheeler Boys who drove the car in the 2 earlier road races. Danny hopes to be back in the #01 at the Texas race and for the remainder of the season.(Efland PR)(10-20-2008)
Jarit Johnson to make Nationwide debut at Memphis: Fitz Motorsports and Jarit Johnson announced that Jarit Johnson will pilot the #22 Supercuts Dodge for the Kroger on Track for the Cure 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park. The car will also carry sponsorship from GermaneRED a precision machining and tooling company. (Johnson/Fitz PR)(10-20-2008)
Elks Foundation on the #33 at Memphis: This weekend the #33 KHI car will support the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation with driver Cale Gale. Team co-owner Kevin Harvick recently joined the foundation as a life member. The mission of the Elk Foundation is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. In support of this mission, the Elk Foundation is committed to: conserving, restoring and enhancing natural habitats; promoting the sound management of wild, free-ranging elk, which may be hunted or otherwise enjoyed; fostering cooperation among federal, state, tribal and private organizations and individuals in wildlife management and habitat conservation; and educating members and the public about habitat conservation, the value of hunting ethics and wildlife management.(KHI PR)(10-20-2008)
Nationwide Series Live from Memphis: Only four races remain in the 2008 Nationwide Series season, and the series runs this weekend at the tough Memphis Motorsports Park. Live coverage of the race presented by Carfax airs Saturday, Oct. 25, on ESPN Classic beginning at 3 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. The race telecast will be simulcast on SPEED, and streamed online at ESPN360.com and NASCAR.com. Marty Reid will be lead announcer, with analysis by Randy LaJoie and Rusty Wallace. Pit reporters will be Mike Massaro, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch. ESPN Classic airs live coverage of Nationwide Series qualifying from Memphis on Saturday at 10:30 a.m., as well as coverage of practice on Friday at 4:30 p.m. The race telecast re-airs on ESPN2 at 11 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 a.m. Sunday.(ESPN PR)(10-20-2008)
Congrats: Cru Matthew Drake was born Sunday, October 19 to Rain Lucas of Impact Racing and Matt Drake of Chase Pistone Racing. Granparents are Lori Lucas of Randall Race Parts and Ron (Team Rensi Motorsports) & Sue Drake.(10-20-2008)
Congrats: Congratulations to Alex “Alkie” Cunningham on his marriage Heather Maloney in Charlotte, NC this Sunday the 19th. Alex is the tire specialist for the #9 Nationwide Series car at Gilett Evernham.(10-20-2008)
Nationwide COT officially on hold until 2010: NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said Monday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway that the Nationwide Series car of tomorrow would not be rolled out until 2010, setting a firm introduction of the new car for the first time. NASCAR had originally discussed introducing the car as early as August 2009, but teams in the Nationwide Series complained about the cost of switching over to the new car and running the current version at the same time. “We will not roll this thing out in 2009,” Pemberton said. “In talking with the teams, we think it’s better for development to have a series of tests during 2009. We’ll continue to talk with them and to get it out there as early as possible. But as we run through the middle course of the summer, it appears that 2010 for the full season, starting in Daytona, will be the best option for us.”(Scene Daily)(10-13-2008)
Smaller fields in NASCAR’s future? UPDATE denied: Another sign of the times is the rumor [Bob Margolis] heard in the Cup garage that NASCAR has floated the possibility of a change in the field size for the Craftsman Truck and Nationwide Series to 28 vehicles and the Cup field down to 36 sometime in the future.(Yahoo Sports)(10-13-2008) UPDATE: Q: There was a report last week about NASCAR looking at trimming the fields of truck races to 28 and Cup fields to 36. Is this accurate?
A: “First of all it wasn’t a report, it was somebody’s opinion from the garage area and it was not a NASCAR opinion. We’re not looking at reducing the fields. If circumstances warranted it, then a field less than 43 cars … a reasonable size field under 43 cars does not, I think, impair the quality of a NASCAR race. But there is no thought process today to shorten the field of a Cup or Nationwide series or Truck series.”(Roanoke Times)(10-19-2008) Comment here
Harmon picks up sponsor for Texas: La Caja China, whose roasting boxes have been used by countless celebrity chefs and featured on The Food Network, announces the sponsorship of Mike Harmon’s #84 car in the O’Reilly Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway on November 1. This is the first NASCAR sponsorship for La Caja China in its 20 years in business(PR Web)(10-18-2008)
Hamlin in the #40 at Memphis: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced Kevin Hamlin will drive the #40 Fastenal Dodge at the Memphis Motorsports Park next weekend in the Nationwide Series Kroger On Track for The Cure 250 presented by the Southern Dodge Dealers race.(CFRFS PR), Bryan Clauson will be in Atlanta attempting to make his Sprint Cup debut.(10-17-2008)
Kenny tests at Dillon Motor Speedway: Dillon Motor Speedway received a surprise when Kenny Wallace’s Nationwide Series race car hauler made its way into the infield on Monday morning. Wallace currently drives the #28 Chevy, sponsored by the U.S. Border Patrol within the Nationwide Series.(Star & Enterprise)(10-16-2008)
Bliss sues Fitz Motorsports: UPDATE: Mike Bliss claims he is owed $74,205 dollars in salary and purse money from Fitz Motorsports, according to documents filed July 29 in North Carolina Superior Court. Bliss left Fitz Motorsports for Phoenix Racing while fifth in points just six races into the 2008 Nationwide Series season. In his court suit, Bliss says he had an oral contract to be paid $8,500 plus 40 percent of purse money won. He says he was paid the base fee for three of the first six races and partial purse money for three of the six for a total of $55,499. After the sixth race of the season at Nashville Superspeedway, Bliss left the team to drive for Phoenix Racing. Fitz Motorsports did not respond to an email seeking comment.(SceneDaily.com)(8-8-2008) UPDATE: A default judgement entered on September 30 by the Iredell County Superior Court has awarded Mike Bliss $74,205.15 plus interest in his claim against Fitz Motorsports.(10-15-2008)
Goodyear may have to build different tires for Cup and Nationwide COTs: Goodyear could be forced to build different tires for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup and Nationwide series in 2010 when the Nationwide car of tomorrow is rolled out, a top official from the sanctioning body says. Currently, Goodyear uses the same tire when both series run on the same weekend, even thought the Cup series is using a new-model car. But NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said differences in the 2010 models for both series will be substantial, and that could mean a different tire for each. When the Nationwide car is introduced in 2010, it will have less horsepower and more downforce than the Cup version. NASCAR wants to make the cars “significantly different” for drivers, Pemberton said. Some in the Nationwide Series have asked for different tires than the Cup series to help differentiate the series and make sure Cup drivers don’t simply use the Nationwide Series as a test bed.(Scene Daily)(10-14-2008) Comment here
Gibbs, five other teams to test COT at Charlotte UPDATE 3: Images added Joe Gibbs Racing plans to test a Nationwide Series car of tomorrow next week at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, NASCAR and track officials confirmed Thursday. In addition to the JGR Toyota, five other teams plan to test in what is the second official test of the Nationwide COT. Michael Waltrip Racing will test a Toyota, Roush Fenway Racing will test a Ford, Chip Ganassi Racing will test a Dodge and Richard Childress Racing and Davis Motorsports will test a Chevy. All but JGR participated in the first official test of the Nationwide COT at Richmond International Raceway last weekend.(Scene Daily)(10-9-2008) UPDATE: Next week marks the final open week of the season for the Nationwide Series. But for seven teams, an extended stay at Lowe’s Motor Speedway following the Dollar General 300 comes before any leisure time. The second and final test of 2008 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series new car is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 13-14, at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Wednesday, Oct. 15 will be a rain date. Drivers scheduled to participate are Bryan Clauson for CGRFS; Joey Logano and Kyle Busch for JGR; Morgan Shepherd for JDM, series standings leader Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, two-time series champion Kevin Harvick and Scott Wimmer for RCR; Colin Braun, reigning series champion Carl Edwards and David Ragan for RFR, while David Reutimann and Josh Wise will drive for MWR.(NASCAR PR)(10-10-2008) UPDATE 2: Jeremy Clements will also be on hand testing a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday.(Clements PR)(10-13-2008) UPDATE 3: The progression has begun for the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ new car. Last month, the car made its test debut on the .75-mile track at Richmond International Raceway. Monday, it made its move to Lowe’s Motor Speedway, one of eight 1.5-mile tracks that plays host to the series.(NASCAR PR), see images on the Lowes Motor Speedway COT testing page.(10-14-2008)
Wolfe Fined, Placed on Probation: NASCAR announced that Paul Wolfe, crew chief for the #00 Toyota driven by Josh Wise, has been fined and placed on NASCAR probation due to rule violations during the Nationwide Series event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Wolfe was fined $5,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 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-5.10.1B(3) (carburetor venturis exceeded the specified size) of the 2008 Nationwide Series rule book. The infraction was discovered during opening-day inspection on Oct. 9.(NASCAR PR)(10-14-2008)
Racing Resources Says…
…Kyle Busch won the Dollar General 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Friday. It was his 20th career win in his 135th career start and his ninth victory in 27 races in 2008. Busch tied Kevin Harvick for the second-most wins in a single season (nine) behind Sam Ard, who scored 10 wins in 1983.
…Busch became the fifth driver to sweep both Nationwide races at Lowe’s. He joins Harry Gant (1987), Rob Moroso (1989), Jeff Gordon (1992) and Mark Martin (1996). Busch posted his fourth Lowe’s victory in his 11th race there. He started the race 16th.
…Busch led 137 of the 200 laps, the most of all drivers. It was the 12th Nationwide Series race in 2008 in which Busch led the most laps.
…This marked the 19th victory for Toyota in 2008. Ford and Chevy each have six wins, and Dodge has none.
…Toyota clinched the 2008 manufacturers’ championship at Kansas.
…Joe Gibbs Racing posted its 26th Nationwide Series victory and 18th of the 2008 season. JGR has scored 28 combined victories in 2008 — 18 in Nationwide and 10 in Sprint Cup.
…Points leader Clint Bowyer finished fourth, posting his 26th top-10 finish of the season. He now leads second-place Carl Edwards by 196 points.
…David Ragan, who finished 12th, posted his 20th top-10 finish of the season, ranking second to only Bowyer.
…Mike Bliss finished 19th in the Phoenix Chevy of James Finch. This was James Finch’s 500th NASCAR race.
…Justin Allgaier finished 34th in his series debut with Penske Racing. Allgair started 14th in the race.
…Richard Childress Racing took the owners’ points lead by one over the No. 20 of JGR. After Watkins Glen, the No. 20 of JGR led the owners’ standings by 282 points. The team was penalized 150 points at Michigan.
…Bryan Clauson, who finished 30th, was the highest-finishing rookie of the year contender.
…The top 10 consisted of three Toyotas, four Chevys and three Fords.
Dollar General Renews with Braun Racing: UPDATE: Braun Racing and Dollar General Corporation announced an agreement in which the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based discount retailer will continue to serve as primary sponsor of Braun Racing’s Nationwide Series #32 Toyota . Dollar General will serve as the primary sponsor of the car for all 35 Nationwide Series races in 2009. The 2009 driver line-up of the #32 Dollar General stores Camry will be announced at a later date.(Braun Racing PR)(9-25-2008) UPDATE: Braun Racing and Dollar General Corporation are pleased to announce the driver line-up of the #32 Dollar General Toyota in 2009. The car will be shared by two drivers who are both familiar faces in the yellow and black Dollar General firesuit. Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers will return to the seat of the #32 for 17 races in 2009. He will be sharing the ride with Burney Lamar who drove a Dollar General-sponsored car in the 2006 season.(Braun Racing PR)(10-9-2008)
Memphis Nationwide race to be simulcast on ESPN Classic and SPEED: REPOST: NASCAR, ESPN and SPEED have announced broadcast plans for the Oct. 25 Nationwide Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park. The Kroger on Track for the Cure 250 presented by the Southern Dodge Dealers will be simulcast live on ESPN Classic and SPEED. Online broadcasts of the race will also be streamed live on ESPN360.com and NASCAR.com. The NASCAR Countdown prerace show will air Oct. 25 on ESPN Classic from 3-3:30 p.m. ET followed by the race simulcast at 3:30 p.m. ET. Immediately upon completion of the Craftsman Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, SPEED will move directly into coverage of the Nationwide Series race at Memphis. SPEED will not carry NASCAR Countdown. ESPN Classic also will carry live Nationwide Series final practice from Memphis from 4:30-6 p.m. ET on Oct. 24 and Nationwide qualifying on Oct. 25 from 10:30 a.m.-noon ET.(NASCAR PR)(10-9-2008)
Donatos’ Pizza sponsoring Barrett: Donatos’ Pizza Carolinas announced the company would sponsor the #30 Nationwide Series car and driver Stanton Barrett in Friday night’s Dollar General 300.(Lowe’s Motors Speedway PR)(10-9-2008)
NOS Energy Drink on the #18: Kyle Busch will drive a #18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Friday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. See an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(10-9-2008)
Fitz Motorsports hauler for sale by Iredell County Sheriff: The Iredell (NC) County Sheriff has seized a 2003 Featherlite trailer from Highline Performance Group (Fitz Motorsports) as the result of an action brought by Sterling Marlin. The notice is as follows:
Under and by virtue of an execution issued to the …Sheriff on the 10th day of September, 2008 [the sheriff has] seized and taken into … control and will on the 24th day of October 2008 at 10a.m. at Troutman Tire and Auto Storage…offer for sale at a public auction to the highest bidder for cash all right, title, and interest that Highline Performance Group, Inc [Fitz Motorsports] has in the following property: 2003 Featherlite Trailer 53ft.
The notice can be viewed on the Iredell County Sheriff’s web site.(10-8-2008)
Dollar General on 2 Braun cars at Charlotte: UPDATE: This weekend Dollar General will serve as primary sponsor of the #32, piloted by Brian Vickers, and the #10 driven by Denny Hamlin.(Braun Racing PR)(10-7-2008) UPDATE: Dave Blaney will now drive the #10, in place of Denny Hamlin.(10-8-2008)
Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure to sponsor Shepherd at Lowe’s Jarrett Racing Adventure, Inc. will sponsor #89-Morgan Shepherd’s Nationwide Series entry Friday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Faith Motorsports announced. Lagina Plumbing, a Wisconsin-based plumbing contractor, will also join Faith Motorsports as an associate sponsor for Friday night’s race.(Faith Motorsports PR)(10-7-2008)
Allgaier to make series debut at Charlotte: Justin Allgaier will be making his debut in the #12 Penske Truck Rental Dodge for Penske Racing, his first start ever in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and his first race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Allgaier will drive a limited Nationwide Series schedule in 2008 and 2009.(Penske Racing PR)(10-7-2008)
Last race of the year for Burton: This weekend’s race is the last of 12 that Jeff Burton is scheduled to drive the #29 Holiday Inn Chevy this season. In 11 starts, he has posted three top-five and six top-10 finishes.(RCR PR)(10-7-2008)
#01 team gets associate sponsor for Lowes: Danny Efland and the #01 JD Motorsports Nationwide Team announces associate sponsorship for the Dollar General 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. SHRED 360 is committed to excellence in every degree of the shredding market. They provide the quickest and most secure means of destroying confidential materials in their state-of-the-art mobile shredding truck, providing destruction at home or office.(Johnny Davis PR)(10-7-2008)
Special Scheme for McClure at Charlotte: Eric McClure’s #24 Chevy will be sporting an all-pink paint scheme for the Dollar General 300 as Hefty One Zip supports the National Breast Cancer Foundation.(Eric McClure PR), see an image of the car on my #24 team paint schemes page.(10-7-2008)
Rookie Notes for Charlotte:
…Bryan Clauson was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway. Clauson was credited with a 21st-place finish and earned Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the sixth time this season.
…Landon Cassill leads Bryan Clauson by one point (175-174) in the Raybestos Rookie standings entering the Dollar General 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
…David Ragan was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2007 Dollar General 300, claiming a sixth -place finish.
…Greg Biffle is the only Raybestos Rookie to win the fall race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway since the program was created in 1989 (19 races). Biffle won the 2001 race over Jason Keller in a race that finished under caution. Biffle led the race twice for 11 laps.(Raybestos PR)(10-7-2008)
500th NASCAR Start for Finch: – Twenty years ago in Charlotte, James Finch watched while Jeff Purvis strapped himself into the #49 Buick after qualifying 14th for what would be Phoenix Racing’s first venture into the NASCAR arena. On October 10, 2008, Finch will watch Mike Bliss strap into the #1 Miccosukee Chevy for what will be Finch’s 500th start as a car owner.(Finch/Player Management International PR)(10-6-2008)
Nationwide Series Live in Friday Prime Time: ESPN2 continues its season-long coverage of the Nationwide Series with a live, prime-time telecast of the 300-mile event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, Oct. 10, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown. After the Charlotte event, only four races will remain in the 2008 season for the Nationwide Series. Analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree will join lead announcer Dr. Jerry Punch for the race telecast, with pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake. Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Tech Center. Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race show with analysts Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. ESPN2 also will have live coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series final practice from Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 6 p.m., and coverage of qualifying on Friday at 3 p.m.(ESPN PR)(10-6-2008)
Former Nationwide driver Tina Gordon opens horse ranch for kids: For 10 years, Tina Walsh Gordon drove trucks and cars really fast – usually more than 175 miles per hour. She did it legally, though, in NASCAR races. Now that she is retired from racing, she is promoting a slower method of travel – horseback riding for children with mental and physical challenges. She has opened Tina’s Dream Ranch in Cedar Bluff. “I got the idea when I was racing,” Gordon said. “I did several charity events while I was with NASCAR. They often sent me out to speak with kids’ groups and visit children’s hospitals. I always enjoyed doing that. Sometimes, though, it was really sad to see what the children were having to go through.”(Gadsden Gazette)(10-5-2008)
World Walk on the #47 at Lowes: On Saturday, October 11th, Manny Ohonme will begin walking barefoot on a two week course from Charlotte to Atlanta to bring awareness to the more than 300 million children around the world who have never owned a pair of shoes. As the founder of international humanitarian organization, Samaritan’s Feet, Ohonme walked barefoot as a poor child in Nigeria-growing up with a dream of providing shoes for children. With close to a million shoes already distributed through his organization in more than 32 nations, his goal of 10 million ‘soles’ worldwide on this month’s “World Walk” is steps closer-thanks to the sports world. On Friday, October 10th Kelly Bires, of the JTG Daugherty Racing Team will be making tracks for Samaritan’s Feet around the course of Lowe’s Motor Speedway-driving the newly unveiled Samaritan’s Feet and Speedway Children’s Charities logo car in the Dollar General 300 Race, part of the Nationwide Series.(Speedway Children’s Charities PR), see an image of the car on my #47 Paint Schemes page.(10-4-2008)
JTG forms alliance with MWR in 2009; no decision on Nationwide Series: JTG Daugherty Racing has signed what team co-owner Brad Daugherty called a “technical alliance” with Michael Waltrip Racing, and thus will field Toyota Camrys full-time in the Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2009. The deal will be announced formally Wednesday afternoon. Under the agreement, JTG/Daugherty receives the same chassis, engines and technological information-sharing that Waltrip gets through Toyota Racing Development. “This way we don’t come out of the box already behind,” said Daugherty, reached by phone Wednesday. “Actually, this puts us about two years ahead of where we would have been otherwise.” Daugherty, an ESPN NASCAR analyst, said the alliance includes the #47 team being housed under the MWR roof. Daugherty stressed there was still independence from MWR, however, saying it is not a merger and that the #47 is not a fourth Waltrip team. “We’ll work with Toyota Racing Development out of Costa Mesa [Calif.], and all their parts and pieces already flow through MWR,” Daugherty said. “It just makes sense for us to be in-house over [at MWR].” Marcos Ambrose will drive the #47 Toyota, with sponsorship from Little Debbie Snack Cakes and Clorox.(ESPN.com), JTG Daugherty Racing says no decision has been made about what manufacturer the team will use in the Nationwide Series in 2009. The team is expected to continue running the #47-Kelly Bires team full time and a partial schedule for the #59, possibly with Coleman Pressley.(10-2-2008)
Tim Weaver to attempt Memphis Race: Tim Weaver, of Statesville, N.C., will attempt to qualify for the Oct. 25 Nationwide Series Kroger On Track For The Cure 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park. Weaver is a native of Ellicottville, N.Y., and gained fame in the Late Model Stock ranks at Holland (N.Y.) Speedway in the early 1990s. He moved to Charlotte, N.C., in 1994 to work for Geoff Bodine’s Winston Cup Series team before opening his own business, Heavenly Bodies, in Statesville, N.C. His 3,200-sq. ft. facility in Statesville houses his racing sheetmetal hanging and fabrication business. Weaver will be driving a black #75.(Weaver PR)(10-2-2008)
Rusty back to Cup? with DEI? DENIED: from an article at SPEEDtv.com by Kenny Wallace: The hot NASCAR rumor right now is not something you’d hear anywhere other than around the race shops in Mooresville, N.C. Everyone wants to know if my brother Rusty Wallace is coming out of retirement to drive for Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season. I’m running the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega and was at Michael’s shop Tuesday being fitted for my seat. Six different crew members came up to me and said they’d heard a rumor Rusty was coming back to drive for DEI. These rumors get started in the Mooresville area because the shops are so close to each other and nothing can be kept secret for long. All I can say is that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And he is definitely considering stepping back into a race car. He’s considering this huge move because he watched Brett Favre come out of retirement in the NFL and his good friend Mark Martin is giving it another shot next year at Hendrick. If Mark had quit, Rusty would have been comfortable with his retirement. But watching Mark, who is a couple of years younger than my brother, stage this comeback has really tugged on Rusty’s heartstrings. Rusty has told me numerous times he can outrun half the drivers in the Cup Series and he truly is giving a lot of thought to returning to the track. If he wants to make that commitment, I’ll support him 110-percent. The decision is Rusty’s and his wife Patti’s, but I think the whole possibility is very inspirational and I’m looking forward to his answer. If he comes back, I think he’ll be a bit surprised by the new car. I predict Rusty will be successful but he’ll be shocked that he won’t have control of the chassis the way he used to. He’ll have an adjustment period because the cars are controlled by engineers, bump-stops and seven-post machines, technology that wasn’t in such great use when he left the sport. There is no doubt Rusty has the talent to run well but he’ll probably be upset he won’t be able to set up the car on his own or tell the team how to do it. Maybe we’ll know sometime soon if I’m right or not.(SPEEDtv)(10-1-2008) UPDATE: Rusty Wallace on Wednesday denied a report that he is considering ending his three-year retirement to drive again — possibly for former rival Dale Earnhardt’s team. “I love Kenny to death; he’s been trying to get me back in a car ever since I retired after 2005,” Rusty Wallace said in a statement. “While any rumors like this are certainly flattering, they’re untrue. I have a long-term commitment to ABC and ESPN and I really love what I’m doing right now.” DEI president Max Siegel did not immediately return a call for comment.(ESPN)(10-1-2008) Comment here
Record Purse for Lowe’s Race: Featuring nearly 15 Sprint Cup Series drivers battling the Nationwide Series regulars, competitors in the Dollar General 300 on Friday night, Oct. 10, will be chasing $1,302,794 in posted prize money and awards, an increase of $34,603 from last year.(Lowes Motor Speedway PR)(10-1-2008)