October 2011 Nationwide Series Archive


  • Ragan wants to stay in Cup, but open to Nationwide ride: David Ragan believes he likely will compete in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series in 2012. For whom he will be driving, though, has yet to be determined. UPS, Ragan’s current primary sponsor on the Roush Fenway Racing #6 Ford, announced earlier this week that the company would scale back it’s racing program next season. Minus funding, Ragan said Saturday he isn’t sure in which direction his career is headed. While he’s hopeful that funding can be found that will allow him to remain at Roush Fenway, Ragan knows the odds are less than favorable. But he says he’s “confident” that he will run in Cup. “With a competitive team,” he said. “I’m not going to be in a back-marker car just to say I’m driving a Sprint Cup car,” Ragan, who won his first Cup race at Daytona in July, said. “I’m not too proud to go back to the Nationwide Series and contend for a championship. Ragan, 25, is under contract to Roush Fenway for 2012, meaning Roush could “loan” the driver to another Ford organization next season. But he said it’s not a given that he would end up with a Ford team.(Scene Daily)(10-30-2011)

  • Reed Sorenson to remain in #82 for remainder of year: MacDonald Motorsports announced that Reed Sorenson will remain in the #82 Dodge Challenger for the final 3 races of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season. After leaving Turner Motorsports three weeks ago, Sorenson joined MacDonald Motorsports at Kansas and also the following week at Charlotte. The team however is seeking out more sponsorship to help finish off the season.(MacDonald Motorsports)(10-26-2011)
  • SKF sponsoring Penske teams in 2012: SKF USA Inc. announced it will be a major associate sponsor of the Penske Racing teams beginning with the 2012 racing season. The SKF brand will be featured in the Sprint Cup Series as well as the Nationwide Series and the IZOD IndyCar Series next season. Entering its 15th year as a major associate sponsor of auto racing in North America, the SKF brand will be featured in 2012 on the #2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Brad Keselowski and the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driven by Kurt Busch in the Sprint Cup Series; the #12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr. in the Nationwide Series and the #3 Team Penske IndyCar driven by three-time Indianapolis 500 Champion Helio Castroneves.(Penske Racing)(10-26-2011)
  • Peyton Sellers arrested for assaulting NASCAR official: UPDATE: Former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion and South Boston Speedway NASCAR track champion Peyton Sellers of Danville has been charged with a misdemeanor assault charge in the wake of a fight that followed Saturday’s 300-lap NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race at South Boston Speedway. Halifax County Sheriff’s Office Investigator J.D. Clay said Sellers was served a summons Saturday night charging him with the assault and battery of a track NASCAR official. The charge Sellers is facing is a Class I misdemeanor. Sellers, a Danville resident, was released on his own recognizance. One track NASCAR official was injured during the post-race incident and was treated Saturday night at Halifax Regional Hospital. The Halifax County Sheriff’s Department is continuing its investigation into the fights that erupted in the pit area after the race. “The investigation of the incident is ongoing,” Clay said. “It’s possible additional arrests may be made in the future.” Sheriff’s deputies obtained copies of videotapes and photographs made of the incident and took statements from several individuals. Semora, N.C. driver Lee Pulliam and Morris were involved in an incident after the race in which Pulliam rammed his car head-on into Morris’ car just after the race ended. The incident triggered fights in the pit area and disagreements and shouting between Pulliam and Morris fans in the stands. Four officers from the Halifax County Sheriff’s Department, one Virginia State Police trooper and one officer from the South Boston Police Department came to the speedway to help maintain order.(Gazette Virginian)(10-25-2011)
    UPDATE: Lee Pulliam, Peyton Sellers and crew member Terry Powell were each suspended from NASCAR indefinitely Tuesday following the post-race altercations this past weekend at South Boston Speedway. Sellers, at the track as the crew chief for 15-year-old Austin Self, was cited for violating Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-D (involved in an altercation with a track official); 12-4-F (involved in an altercation with a competitor on pit road); and fined $750. Sellers, a Danville native and the 2005 national champion, admits that he had a verbal altercation with Pulliam while Pulliam was still in his car after the race on pit road because Sellers feared for Morris’ safety, but never touched Pulliam or the track official who was attempting to pull Sellers away from Pulliam’s car. The official, Warren “Lightning” Saunders, had filed assault and battery charges against Sellers on Saturday night, but agreed to drop the charges Tuesday after he and South Boston Speedway general manager Cathy Rice set up a meeting with Sellers to discuss the issue. Saunders stated that Sellers never touched him and that his contact with Sellers was not intentional. Sellers said Saunders is filing the paperwork, which was signed by both parties Tuesday, this morning in Halifax County to drop the charges. (Danville Register)(10-26-2011)
  • Motorcross star Stewart signs with Gibbs; NASCAR races planned: James “Bubba” Stewart has signed a multi-year contract to race with the motocross division of Joe Gibbs Racing, JGRMX. Additionally, JGRMX has extended its relationship with Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. racing exclusively Yamaha motorcycles through 2014. Stewart, who began racing at the age of four, is one of the most decorated riders in motocross history. “I am excited about joining the Gibbs racing family,” said Stewart. “My goal in Supercross is to pass Jeremy McGrath’s record of 72 Supercross wins. I am more than half way there and look forward to realizing that dream during my time with JGR. I have also had an interest in car racing and we are going to explore my potential in that sport through the NASCAR side of the operation.”(JGR)
    AND: In signing a multiyear deal with JGRMX, Stewart, 25, is expected to race full time on a bike for at least the next three seasons, but he will begin dabbling immediately in stock cars. A test in a Late Model car is scheduled in a few weeks, and he hopes to squeeze in races in the K&N and Nationwide Series (feeder circuits to Sprint Cup, NASCAR’s premier series) as early as next season. Stewart’s eventual transition from motorcycle racing to NASCAR might give a jolt of attention to a sport that actively craves a more diverse driver lineup. A charismatic black man in a mostly white sport, Stewart has starred in a reality TV show and has been among the few transcendent riders in Supercross.(USA Today)(10-26-2011)
  • Piquet looking at partial Nationwide schedule: Kevin Harvick Inc.’s impending closure is leaving a very uncertain future for Ron Hornaday and many of the team’s employees. But Nelson Piquet Jr., driver of the KHI #8 Chevy, knows he will be in a NASCAR racecar or truck of some form next season. Piquet Jr. brought sponsors Qualcomm, Bozzano, Jontex, Autotrac, and Tagg to almost every race this year and has funding in place for a ride next season. He says that his future, right now, is up to the highest bidder. “It’s down to Turner [Motorsports], Penske [Racing], Kyle Busch [Motorsports], and Eddie Sharp [Racing],” Piquet told News/Talk WSB after the Truck race at Talladega. “Maybe a little bit less Eddie, because he doesn’t have [a] Nationwide [team] and we are planning on doing part of the Nationwide Series next year.” KBM is expanding to the Nationwide Series next season and will keep its Truck Series team intact. Penske Racing already has announced that Sam Hornish Jr. will almost certainly run full-time for them next season and does have the full-time No. 22 team that Brad Keselowski has run with most of the past two seasons. Turner Motorsports says it will run three full-time Nationwide Series teams in 2012, two of which will have a rotation of different drivers. And Turner Motorsports also plans to field at least two Truck Series teams in 2012. If Ricky Carmichael leaves Turner Motorsports or the TM decides to field an additional NCWTS, both of which are uncertain, then there would be an open spot for Piquet Jr. to run both full-time in the NCWTS and part-time in the NNS for Turner Motorsports.(WSB Radio)(10-23-2011)

  • Kyle Busch Motorsports to run full time in Nationwide: From Kyle Busch’s media availability Friday at Talladega:
    Kyle Busch: “On behalf of myself and Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), it’s just a subtle little announcement that KBM is transitioning into the Nationwide Series next year to go race a full-funded team for the championship and I can’t announce any further details, besides that it will be a Toyota. Excited about it. It’s a great opportunity for myself and for the Kyle Busch Motorsports organization for everybody there that’s there now that we have on the line to hire to bring over in order to foresee that program being successful. We’re excited. It’s a great day for us. Crew chiefs, sponsors, drivers — all that stuff will be announced at a later time. Wanted to get it out there before Jayski, so we did it. That was good.”
    Will Kyle Busch Motorsports continue to compete in the Truck Series? “I did say transitioning in. We did run one race earlier this year, through help with NEMCO Motorsports, running Kimi Raikkonen at Charlotte, so we have the equipment started. We will run trucks also. We will keep the 18 truck going for a full season next year. We are just a few races shy being full sponsorship on that deal. Obviously, last week with Dollar General — announcing those guys coming back to help us with the Truck Series program and, you know, with the driver and all that kinds of stuff, it’s all pretty much done. It’s just a matter of waiting until the time in which the sponsor is ready to announce all that stuff.”
    Will the Kyle Busch Motorsports Nationwide team run for a driver’s or owner’s championship? “I don’t know. It will be easy to go for an owner’s if I’m racing the car, but not very easy to go for a driver’s if I am racing the car. I don’t know if I’m in it or not yet.” (Toyota PR)(10-21-2011)

  • 2012 Nationwide schedule: Highlighted by an inaugural visit to one of the most historic race tracks in motorsports, a return trip to Montreal and plenty of driver star power, NASCAR announced today the 2012 schedule for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Full-time rides for Danica Patrick and Austin Dillon plus the addition of action sports superstar Travis Pastrana who plans to run the majority of the schedule, give the 2012 season a huge dose of anticipation. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season features 33 race dates, including the series’ first visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of a companion weekend with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing. The inaugural Brickyard event will take place on July 28. Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – a fan-favorite that has evolved into a “crown jewel” for the series – returns for a fifth-consecutive season, on Aug. 18. The 14-turn layout is one of three road-course events on the calendar, joining Road America (June 23) and Watkins Glen International (Aug. 11). Additional 2012 schedule highlights:
    · Daytona International Speedway again opens the season, on Feb. 25, a week later than past years.
    · Iowa Speedway hosts the series’ first stand-alone event on May 20, with a second date on Aug. 4.
    · Homestead-Miami Speedway will once again host the season-finale, on Nov. 17.
    · For the first time, Kentucky Speedway will have two NASCAR Nationwide race dates, on June 29 and Sept. 22.
    · Chicagoland Speedway also returns with two dates, one a stand-alone affair on July 22.
    · Daytona’s summer event and Kentucky Speedway’s race will swap weekends in 2012, as the July 4th holiday falls mid-week next year. Daytona will run on July 6.
    · In conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ schedule shift, Kansas Speedway’s date moves to Oct. 20 to accommodate the track’s repave, scheduled for April of 2012.(NASCAR) See the full schedule on my 2012 Nationwide Series schedule page.(10-19-2011)
  • Charlotte TV Ratings: ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Charlotte on Friday night, Oct. 14, earned a 1.1 household coverage rating (1.0 U.S. rating), averaging 1,543,000 viewers. Last year’s race, which aired on ESPN2 on a Friday night, earned a 1.3 household coverage rating.(ESPN)(10-18-2011)

  • Tax Slayer extends agreement with JR Motorsports: TaxSlayer.com, an online tax service that prepares and e-files millions of tax returns each year for its customers, announced a partnership extension with JR Motorsports for 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2012. Two of the 14 races will be with driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a third JR Motorsports entry. He will drive TaxSlayer.com’s familiar red-and-black colors in the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway and the first race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Aric Almirola will complete the 14-race slate by driving a TaxSlayer.com-sponsored #88 Chevy in 12 races.(JR Motorsports)(10-14-2011)

  • Kentucky to host two Nationwide races in 2012: Kentucky Speedway announces its 2012 schedule will feature five NASCAR-sanctioned events highlighted by the return of the Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) “Quaker State 400” in June and the addition of a second 300-mile Nationwide Series (NNS) race in September. The newly-awarded, Saturday, Sept. 22 NNS race will close out the speedway’s fall weekend that opens with a 225-mile NCWTS event on Friday, Sept. 21. “NASCAR’s decision to award us a second Nationwide Series date is very gratifying and an important endorsement as we continue to develop Kentucky Speedway. Already the nation’s second most popular series by a wide margin, the Nationwide Series is poised to grow in popularity next season when drivers Austin Dillon and Danica Patrick begin their full-time quests for the championship. Our fans have always enthusiastically supported the series and I can’t think of a better year to add a return date.(Kentucky Speedway), see the tentative 2012 schedule on my 2012 Nationwide Series Schedule page.(10-14-2011)

  • Gaughan back to Nationwide for partial schedule? NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran Brendan Gaughan is negotiating with Richard Childress Racing to run a part-time schedule in both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series in 2012, filling the gaps in a driver roster that will otherwise be filled by RCR’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. Sources say Childress will field a trio of Nationwide Series Chevys next season; one for veteran #2-Elliott Sadler, another for grandson #3-Austin Dillon and a third to be shared by Gaughan and a rotating lineup of Sprint Cup drivers including Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard. Tony Stewart, who has made sporadic Nationwide starts for Kevin Harvick, Inc., in recent years, is also a possibility. RCR is expected to campaign three Camping World Truck Series Silverados in 2012 for youngsters Ty Dillon and Joey Coulter, with the third truck being shared by Gaughan and the same lineup of RCR-affiliated Sprint Cup drivers.(Sirius Speedway)(10-14-2011)
  • Bliss to drive Spirit Halloween Impala at Charlotte: TriStar Motorsports and Spirit Halloween, the largest Halloween retailer in North America, join forces once again, fulfilling the second of a two-race partnership that began last weekend at Kansas Speedway. Hoping to generate excitement about the Halloween season, Sprit Halloween will serve as primary sponsor of the #19 Chevy with driver Mike Bliss in the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Opening its first retail store in 1983, Sprit Halloween, headquarters located in Egg Harbor Twp, New Jersey, has since grown to operate nearly 1,000 stores seasonally across the United States and Canada.(TMI)(10-14-2011)
  • Darrell Wallace to run some races for Gibbs in 2012: Alabama native Darrell Wallace Jr. will get the chance in 2012 to show what he can do in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series. Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway that the team plans to run Wallace in the NASCAR K&N Pro East Series next year and in some Nationwide starts. “We really want to him get entrenched and do some more K&N East and some Nationwide,” Gibbs said. Wallace, who is from Mobile, won three K&N races this year and finished second in the standings driving for Revolution Racing as part of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.(Alabama Live)(10-14-2011)
  • Motivated Eyewear Joins Rick Ware Racing at Charlotte: Motivated Eyewear announced that Rick Ware Racing’s #71 NASCAR Nationwide car, driven by Matt Carter, will carry the Motivated Eyewear logo during the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, October 14th.(Rick Ware Racing)(10-14-2011)
  • Earnhardt, Jr. expects to run more Nationwide races: From a press conference Thursday at Charlotte:
    “It always helps when I am able compete and able to run a race or two to put the package together and I am willing to do that and I think we will probably run one or two more races than we did this past year, next year, just to put a few more packages together for us. I am always willing to do that, but I don’t want to get in the habit of it, I want the emphasis to be on the drivers that are full time, I want the emphasis to be on Aric (Almirola) and Danica (Patrick) and showcasing their talents and their personalities and try to find a way for the sponsor to connect with them and them to connect with their sponsors demographic.”(Chevy PR)(10-13-2011)

  • Dollar General leaves Turner Motorsports; headed to JGR? UPDATE – Official: Turner Motorsports announced Tuesday that Reed Sorenson, who is currently third in the Nationwide Series standings, is out as driver of the #32 Dollar General Chevy. Brian Vickers will assume driving duties from Sorenson beginning this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Turner offered no reason why Sorenson has been sidelined despite the driver currently sitting third in the Nationwide Series points standings. “I’m pretty confused right now,” Sorenson said. “I really don’t know what’s going on right now. I’m trying to figure some stuff out and get through this weekend. It’s hard on me, it’s hard on the guys that work on this car and where we finish in points. So it’s a bad deal.” The announcement comes on the same day that Turner Motorsports acknowledged that Dollar General was leaving at the end of the year. Dollar General is expected to be a limited sponsor on one of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sprint Cup cars and as a primary sponsor in the Nationwide Series. Calls to J.D. Gibbs were not returned.(FoxSports)(10-5-2011)
    UPDATE: The sponsorship picture at Joe Gibbs Racing is set to undergo a vast change next season. At a news conference Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dollar General is expected to announce will greatly increase its involvement in NASCAR, sponsoring both Sprint Cup and Nationwide series teams at JGR in 2012. Among the changes:
    – Dollar General will become the primary sponsor on driver Joey Logano’s #20 Toyota in the Cup series for 10 to 12 races in 2012.
    – Dollar General will become the primary sponsor on JGR’s #11 Nationwide Series team driven by Brian Scott.
    – The company will also be the primary sponsor for several races for JGR’s #18 and #20 Nationwide teams.
    Dollar General will likely also continue its involvement with the Truck series team owned by JGR driver Kyle Busch, sources said. A JGR spokesman declined to comment on Tuesday when asked about the sponsorship changes. The move means Home Depot, which has been a primary sponsor in the Cup series with JGR since 1999, will relinquish roughly a third of the races on the #20 next season.(Charlotte Observer)(10-11-2011)
    UPDATE: Dollar General announced its new sponsorship agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing that includes contenders in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series in 2012. Dollar General also announced plans to continue its Camping World Truck Series sponsorship with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2012. Dollar General will become the primary sponsor of JGR’s #20 Toyota Camry, driven by Joey Logano, for 12 Sprint Cup races. In addition, Dollar General will be the primary sponsor of JGR’s #11 Toyota, driven by Brian Scott, for a full season in the Nationwide Series. In 10 Nationwide races, Dollar General will also support an additional JGR car, either #18 driven by Kyle Busch or #20 driven by Logano. In the Camping World Truck Series, Dollar General will return for 10 races with KBM. The #18 truck will be driven by Busch.(Dollar General PR)(10-13-2011)
  • Fastenal sponsoring Bayne: Fastenal will not only be on the #60 driven by Carl Edwards this weekend, Trevor Bayne will also be wearing the Team Blue colors in the #16 Fastenal Ford Mustang at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Fastenal PR)(10-13-2011)

  • Penske close to Nationwide deal for Hornish: Roger Penske said his team is nearing a sponsorship deal that will add a second full-time Nationwide Series car next year for three-time IndyCar champion Sam Hornish Jr. “Our goal is to put things to bed with our sponsors for four more years, so we’re not sitting here like everybody else wondering what’s going to happen at the end of the year,” Penske said. “I would say I feel really good about fielding two (Nationwide) cars.”(USA Today)(10-12-2011)
  • Special decal for Shepherd at Charlotte: Born Oct. 12th 1941 in Ferguson, North Carolina, Morgan Shepherd’s NASCAR career dates as far back as 1970. With 19 wins, 107 Top 5’s, 235 Top 10’s and a 1980 Late Model Series championship in NASCAR’s two highest levels of competition, Shepherd continues to compete full time as the owner/driver of his #89 Nationwide Series team. Shepherd Racing Ventures will celebrate Morgan’s 70th birthday at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Friday night with a special logo on his #89 Chevy.(Faith Motorsports)(10-12-2011)
  • PRECISIONWERX returns to the #40: Key Motorsports announced Wednesday the return of PRECISIONWERX as the primary sponsor of the #40 Chevy in Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. PRECISIONWERX backed the efforts of the Key Motorsports team at Michigan in June. Charles Lewandowski will strap into the #40 PRECISIONWERX Chevy for the 300-mile contest on the high-banked 1.5-mile oval near Charlotte, North Carolina.(Key Motorsports)(10-12-2011)
  • Crusader Staffing returns to sponsor Sorenson: Crusader Staffing will present the Think Pink car for breast cancer awareness this Friday night for the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Driver Reed Sorenson will again be behind the wheel of the #82 Dodge for MacDonald Motorsports. Sorenson joined the team last week after his sudden release from Turner Motorsports. In his first stint behind the wheel, Sorenson, currently third in the Nationwide Series points standings, finished the race in 26th place. Randy MacDonald, owner of MacDonald Motorsports, with strong support from Dell Hamilton and Crusader Staffing worked diligently to get more horsepower for Sorenson this week. MacDonald Motorsports, typically one of the lower funded teams in the series, made strides to set Sorenson up for success, in hopes of him keeping and possibly improving his third place standing.(Crusader Staffing PR), see an image of the car on my #82 team paint schemes page.(10-12-2011)
  • Liberty Tire Recycling/Pinnacle Rubber Mulch returns to the #50: MAKE Motorsports will once again be teaming up with Liberty Tire Recycling/Pinnacle Rubber Mulch this weekend in the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at Charlotte Motor Speedway. T.J. Bell will pilot the #50 Chevy in the team’s first Nationwide Series race at its home track. With four starts in the Nationwide series this year, MAKE Motorsports has high hopes to improve on their best finish of 27th in Atlanta. The team has run a limited 2011 schedule while working on a full 2012 NASCAR Nationwide series season run.(MAKE Motorsports)(10-12-2011)

  • Stenhouse unsure of 2012 plans: Ricky Stenhouse, the reigning Nationwide Series rookie of the year and current points leader, says his future after this season is unclear because of sponsorship woes at Roush Fenway Racing. “I have no idea,” Stenhouse said Wednesday when asked what he’ll be driving in 2012. Stenhouse has been driving an unsponsored car in the Nationwide Series for much of this season, and still is unsponsored for the November race at Phoenix. He said his future depends in part on whether RFR can find sponsorship for the #17 Cup car of Matt Kenseth and possibly the #6 Cup car currently driven by David Ragan. “I know I’m going to be racing something,” Stenhouse said during a promotion for Friday’s Nationwide breast cancer awareness race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “I’m just not sure if it’s going to be another full-time Nationwide deal. I know right now they have to get sponsorship for Matt’s car. If they get sponsorship for Matt’s car, it’ll kind of open up the door for whatever else we’re doing. If I had a choice, I’d like to run another full year of Nationwide and part-time in Cup.” RFR president Steve Newmark said the organization will decide in the next month whether to stay with four Cup teams or shrink to three. Depending on that, the formula for the Nationwide series could range from zero to two teams. Newmark didn’t rule out that Stenhouse could split a ride in the Cup series with Ragan in an unsponsored or partially sponsored No. 6. Stenhouse was reminded that team owner Jack Roush fielded an unsponsored car for Jeff Burton several years ago.(ESPN)(10-12-2011)

  • 2012 could be Kenny Wallace’s last year: #09-Kenny Wallace loves racing and plans to keep running dirt cars until he’s 60 years old. But his time in NASCAR may not last much longer. Wallace said Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway he’s “exhausted trying to find money” from sponsors in what seems like a never-ending battle to fund his race cars. As such, the 48-year-old is unsure whether he’ll continue driving in NASCAR past the end of next season. “I literally go to the boardrooms myself (to talk to potential sponsors),” Wallace said. “Hell, I spent $35 grand on my own DVD to present myself to these people. Every sponsor you see on those (RAB Racing) cars right now, I’ve got by myself. And I’m exhausted.” All of Wallace’s current sponsors have told him they’re on board through 2012, he said, but there’s room for more. He publicly asked for a sponsor to help him keep racing. “I love driving that race car,” he said. “Driving that race car is the funnest thing I ever do. … I’m just completely exhausted trying to find $100,000 to $150,000 a race.”(SB Nation)(10-12-2011)
  • Pink numbers for Rusty Wallace cars: In honor of Breast Cancer awareness month, Rusty Wallace Racing’s two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams — #62 & #66 – will race with pink roof numbers for the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday night.(Rusty Wallace Racing)(10-12-2011)

  • Dollar General leaves Turner Motorsports; headed to JGR? Turner Motorsports announced Tuesday that Reed Sorenson, who is currently third in the Nationwide Series standings, is out as driver of the #32 Dollar General Chevy. Brian Vickers will assume driving duties from Sorenson beginning this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Turner offered no reason why Sorenson has been sidelined despite the driver currently sitting third in the Nationwide Series points standings. “I’m pretty confused right now,” Sorenson said. “I really don’t know what’s going on right now. I’m trying to figure some stuff out and get through this weekend. It’s hard on me, it’s hard on the guys that work on this car and where we finish in points. So it’s a bad deal.” The announcement comes on the same day that Turner Motorsports acknowledged that Dollar General was leaving at the end of the year. Dollar General is expected to be a limited sponsor on one of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sprint Cup cars and as a primary sponsor in the Nationwide Series. Calls to J.D. Gibbs were not returned.(FoxSports)(10-5-2011)
    UPDATE: The sponsorship picture at Joe Gibbs Racing is set to undergo a vast change next season, The Observer has learned. At a news conference Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dollar General is expected to announce will greatly increase its involvement in NASCAR, sponsoring both Sprint Cup and Nationwide series teams at JGR in 2012, several sources confirmed. Among the changes:
    – Dollar General will become the primary sponsor on driver Joey Logano’s #20 Toyota in the Cup series for 10 to 12 races in 2012.
    – Dollar General will become the primary sponsor on JGR’s #11 Nationwide Series team driven by Brian Scott.
    – The company will also be the primary sponsor for several races for JGR’s #18 and #20 Nationwide teams.
    Dollar General will likely also continue its involvement with the Truck series team owned by JGR driver Kyle Busch, sources said. A JGR spokesman declined to comment on Tuesday when asked about the sponsorship changes. The move means Home Depot, which has been a primary sponsor in the Cup series with JGR since 1999, will relinquish roughly a third of the races on the #20 next season.(Charlotte Observer)(10-11-2011)
  • Kansas TV Ratings: ESPN2’s live telecast of Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race from Kansas earned a 1.1 household coverage rating, averaging 1,453,000 viewers. Last year’s race earned a 1.2 rating.(ESPN)(10-11-2011)
  • Fan car for Kenny Wallace at Charlotte: This weekend, veteran driver Kenny Wallace will pilot the #09 “Thank You Fans” Toyota Camry in the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Die-hard “Hermanator” fans supported him by pledging $20 to see their name on the RAB Racing machine. Fans will get up close and personal with the fan car Wednesday night as the Kenny Wallace Fan Club hosts an exclusive event at RAB Racing for the people who put their name on the car. Supporters will get to participate in a meet-and-greet with Wallace and see the newly-wrapped car. In addition to fan support, the University of Northwestern Ohio will be featured on the hood for the memorable event.(RAB Racing)(10-11-2011)
  • Pink car for Koch for Breast Cancer Awareness: Blake Koch will once again run a Pink Daystar.com #81 at Charlotte this weekend, just like he did earlier this year in May. With Blake’s mothers continued struggle with the disease over the past few years, Daystar.com is proud to turn their car Pink to help raise more awareness in hopes of finding a cure for the horrible illness.(MacDonald Motorsports)(10-11-2011)
  • “Big Game Hunter” on the #20 at Charlotte: Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2012 will ride with #20-Joey Logano and primary sponsor GameStop on track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With the world as their playground, players will explore a vast expanse of mountains and valleys with unprecedented choices in direction never before seen in a Cabela’s hunting game. Players can climb an area to get a better angle for the shot but risk being spotted, or they can take a low elevation route with poor visibility but plenty of concealment. In order to bag the trophies, players will have to avoid detection through cunning, skill, and deception. They must also utilize master hunting skills such as advanced stalking techniques so they can quickly move through cover and close in on their targets. With new multiplayer modes, gamers can enjoy playing with friends and family. Up to four people can take turns, work together or challenge each other in different arcade shooting galleries. The game was released on Sept. 27 and is available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii video game consoles.(JGR)(10-11-2011)
  • Less Nationwide & Truck races in 2012?: Lots of talk in Kansas about the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series schedules for next year, which won’t released when NASCAR unveiled the 2012 Sprint Cup Series. The sanctioning body expects to have the finishing touches done in a few days. The Nationwide Series will more than likely be down to 33 races in 2012 with a return to Montreal expected. The truck slate may also be down a race to 24 with Road America and Watkins Glen on the speculative addition list marking a return to road course racing for NASCAR’s number three series.(Motor Racing Network)(10-11-2011)
  • Richardson returns to the #23 When the NASCAR Nationwide Series activities begin this weekend at the 1.5-mile oval of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Robert Richardson, Jr. will be back in the seat of the #23 North Texas Pipe Chevy. While it’s a home “game” for most everyone in NASCAR, Richardson will be making the trek from his home in Texas. The family-owned team of R3 Motorsports has entered and made every race this year with the #23 entry.(R3 Motorsports)(10-11-2011)
  • Sadler going pink at Charlotte: The #2 OneMain Financial Chevy will carry a special paint scheme this week at Charlotte. In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, pink will be added to the KHI Chevy. The cause is near to Sadler’s heart as his mother Bell was diagnosed in 2007. “It means a lot to me to run a paint scheme in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month,” said Sadler. “It symbolizes a cause which is important to a lot of us, and I’m thrilled to have the support of OneMain Financial to run this pink #2 in Charlotte. My mom is a survivor and doing well now, and the pink car is her favorite, so I’m excited to run it this weekend.”(KHI)(10-10-2011)
  • TriStar announces two race partnership with Spirit Halloween: TriStar Motorsports is pleased to announce a two race primary partnership with Spirit Halloween starting today in Kansas for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 on ESPN2 and for next weekend’s night race in Charlotte. The #19 Spirit Halloween Chevy will be driven by Mike Bliss, who currently sits 11th overall in the Nationwide Series driver standings and is coming off a Top 10 in Dover. Spirit Halloween is the largest seasonal Halloween store in North America, with nearly 1,000 locations throughout the United States and Canada. With a wide selection of costumes, decor and accessories at very affordable prices, Spirit Halloween has something for everyone in the family.(TriStar Motorsports PR)(10-8-2011)
  • Sorenson driving for MacDonald at Kansas: UPDATE: Reed Sorenson will be behind the wheel of the K-LOVE Radio #82 Dodge at Kansas Speedway this weekend. Only 49 markers behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Sorenson sits 3rd in the standings heading into the final 5 races of the season. K-LOVE is a listener supported national radio station that plays positive and encouraging music on well over 400 stations across the country to over 5 million listeners each week.(MacDonald Motorsports)(10-7-2011)
    UPDATE: Crusader Staffing joins K-Love Radio in sponsoring Reed Sorenson this weekend in Kansas. Sorenson, currently third in points in the Nationwide Series Championship, will pilot the #82 Dodge for MacDonald Motorsports in the Kansas Lottery 300. Dell Hamilton, owner and CEO of Crusader Staffing has worked with MacDonald Motorsports for years. His long standing support has allowed the team to run full-time and to consistently secure a place in the top 35 in points, a spot much coveted in a field inundated with start and park teams.(Crusader PR)(10-7-2011)
  • Annett Joins St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Racing to Save Lives: The #62 Pilot Flying J race team and Nationwide Series driver Michael Annett announced a unique partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. In addition to a race-related initiative for the five remaining Nationwide Series races in the 2011 season, Annett is excited to dedicate St. Jude as his choice charity. Beginning with Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway, the St. Jude logo will be featured onboard Annett’s #62 Pilot Flying J Toyota to honor patients of the pediatric cancer research center. Each week for the next five weeks, a St. Jude patient story will be highlighted through Annett’s special promotion.(Annett PR)(10-7-2011)
  • Truex driving for Pastrana Waltrip at Charlotte: Ryan Truex will run the Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Michael Waltrip Racing, filling out the field for the finale of Dash 4 Cash program. #09-Kenny Wallace, #2-Elliott Sadler, #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Truex are eligible at Charlotte for the promotion, which posts a $100,000 bonus for the top Nationwide driver in four races this season (Charlotte is the finale). Truex qualified for Dash 4 Cash by finishing fourth at Richmond but because he is running a limited schedule, he wasn’t assured of a ride for Charlotte. He will be driving the #99 Toyota for MWR.(USA Today)(10-7-2011)
  • RepairableVehicles.com to be primary sponsor on the #52: RaceDaySponsor.com will team up with Means Motorsports and driver Kevin Lepage by signing and promoting RepairableVehicles.com as primary sponsor for the Kansas Lottery 300. RepairableVehicles.com, a division of Interstate Auto Center, Inc., is a Harrisburg, South Dakota based company and one of the leading resellers of repairable vehicles in North America.(Means Motorsports PR) (10/6/2011)
  • Pastrana will focus on NASCAR; no more X Games: Travis Pastrana wants to put his best foot forward—literally and figuratively—and that means no more participation in the X Games. In other words, Pastrana won’t do anything else to jeopardize his plans to race stock cars. Pastrana broke his right foot and ankle in the X Games Best Trick competition in July. The accident nixed his planned Nationwide Series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. “To be perfectly honest, that was supposed to be my exit from X Games,” Pastrana said Sunday at Dover International Speedway, after hobbling into the media center on crutches. “Not exactly the exit I was looking for, but still an exit.” Pastrana plans to run approximately 20 races for Michael Waltrip Racing next season, with the exact number of events dependent on sponsorship. “Not to say my action sports career is done, but as far as anything taking risks, I’m definitely going to be in this car and trying to do the best that I can to put my best foot forward,” Pastrana said. “It was the most disappointing thing in my life, not only to have myself but to have an entire team waiting for me and banking on me being in the car.(Sporting News)(10-2-2011)
    UPDATE: On Sunday, the Associated Press and other sources reported that Travis Pastrana “is about to say goodbye for good to the X Games” to focus on his new NASCAR racing career. That exit was news to X Games organizers and some of Pastrana’s sponsors, and came as a surprise to many action sports fans when it was reported: Pastrana has been one of the X Games’ biggest names and most decorated athletes since winning his first Moto X Freestyle gold medal in 1999. Turns out, it was news to Pastrana, too. On Tuesday, he told ESPN he meant he’d be taking a break from freestyle motocross competition. He plans to compete in the Rally Car Racing events at 2012’s X Games L.A. and beyond, and he may return to Moto X Freestyle competition when the time is right.(ESPN)(10-5-2011)
  • Jeremy Petty to make Nationwide debut at Kansas: Craig Partee, Owner of Fleur-De-Lis Motorsports announced that Jeremy Petty will drive the #68 Chevy in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, October 8. The 300-mile race will be the first ever NASCAR Nationwide Series start for Kansas native Petty. Born in Salina, Kansas, Jeremy Petty has two Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) starts at Kansas Speedway, July ’06, and October ’09. Prior to competing in the ARCA Series, Petty raced dirt modifieds throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. In 2004, Petty won 17 straight feature races on asphalt and the overall points champion at J.R.P. Speedway in Tulsa. Petty began his racing career at age 10 when he was the Colorado State Soap Box Derby Champion.(PR)(10-5-2011)
  • Angela Cope in the #23 at Kansas: To say that Angela Cope’s No. 23 Chevrolet will sport a variety of sponsorship partners this weekend at Kansas Speedway’s Nationwide Series race is an understatement, but what is even more interesting are the unique kinds of corporate support she is receiving, many new to the sport of NASCAR. The two primary sponsors this weekend (as well as the Charlotte Nationwide Series race the following week) include Millennium Spa/Salon Software, a leader in management software in the beauty industry, and BLK Beverages, a pure natural spring water infused with a proprietary blend of Fulvic Acid.(Horizon Sports Management)(10-5-2011)
  • Batman on the #18 at Kansas: GameStop returns as the primary sponsor of Joey Logano and the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota this weekend. And Batman: Arkham City will be the featured game on the side of the car this week. Batman: Arkham City builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of Batman: Arkham Asylum, sending players soaring into Arkham City, the new maximum security home for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight. The game is set to release from Warner Brothers on October 18th and will be available for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and PC.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(10-5-2011)

  • Dollar General leaving Turner Motorsports? UPDATES – Sorenson released, Vickers in: Turner Motorsports had meetings with the majority of their employees today and handed out letters in accordance with the North Carolina WARN Act regarding layoffs. In case you aren’t familiar, the WARN Act “requires a 60-day notice to the state and employees if at least 50 employees will be laid off because of the closure or shutdown of a business unit or if a company has layoffs of at least 50 people that impact 33 percent of a workforce at a single site.” The reason for possible upcoming layoffs at Turner is the loss of sponsor Dollar General. Dollar General is currently the sponsor on Reed Sorenson’s #32 car, and has been a team sponsor going back to when Turner was Braun Racing. Don’t expect Dollar General to disappear though, as they are rumored to be working with another team for the future. As for Turner, not every employee is in danger as they are expected to have at least two full time trucks, two full time Nationwide cars, and possibly a third part time NNS team in 2012.(NASCAR Insiders)(10-3-2011)
    UPDATE: Due to the current economic climate, coupled with the decision by long-time marketing partner, Dollar General, to seek other sponsorship opportunities, Turner Motorsports has notified its employees of a potential downsizing at the end of the current racing season. It is hopeful the action will become unnecessary as the team continues to work with potential marketing partners for their Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series teams.(Turner Motorsports)(10-4-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Reed Sorenson is out of the Turner Motorsports #32 NASCAR Nationwide Series Chevy, effective immediately. Sorenson is currently third in Nationwide Series championship points with just five races remaining, 49 behind leader Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. He finished seventh last Saturday at Dover International Speedway. Sorenson confirmed his ouster today, saying, “I’m not sure what happened. I got a phone call this morning, but they didn’t really say much. All they would say is that I’m out of the car. I haven’t gotten a reason, I’m just as confused as you are.” Sorenson said he is currently “beating the bushes” for a Nationwide Series ride that will allow him to complete the 2011 season. The team’s sponsor, Dollar General, informed Turner Motorsports recently that it will seek other opportunities in 2012, with reliable sources saying they will end up at Joe Gibbs Racing next season as a major and associate sponsor of the team’s various Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series entries. There is no immediate word on who — if anyone — will replace Sorenson this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Multiple calls to Turner Motorsports in search of comment were not returned.(Sirius Speedway)(10-4-2011)
    UPDATE: Turner Motorsports announced that Brian Vickers will assume driving duties of the #32 Dollar General Chevy, beginning this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Vickers, the 2003 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion, who has a long-standing relationship with the team, will also get behind the wheel for the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The driver for the remaining 2011 races will be announced at a later date. “We are continuing to evaluate our racing program as we look to the 2012 season,” said team owner Steve Turner. “Brian Vickers is a proven winner at NASCAR’s highest level in addition to being a driver at Turner Motorsports over the last four seasons. He has worked with Trent Owens in the past which will allow us to immediately focus on the task at hand. We are confident Brian can help assess where we are, as a company currently, and the direction we are going as we build our programs for 2012 and beyond.”(Turner Motorsports)(10-4-2011)
  • Dover TV Ratings: ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover on Saturday, Oct. 1, earned a 1.1 household coverage rating, averaging 1,443,000 viewers. The 2010 race earned a 1.2 rating.(ESPN)(10-4-2011)
  • Turner and #30 team joins with Sporting Kansas City: Turner Motorsports driver and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship contender, James Buescher, will share a unique opportunity leading up to the Kansas Lottery 300. Turner Motorsports has partnered with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer, to allow the driver and several of the club’s players the chance to experience one another’s sports. Buescher will join the club on the field for a practice session on Thursday, October 6th, while the players will join Buescher’s team in the pits on Saturday afternoon for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway. Sporting Kansas City is currently in their 16th year as a Major League Soccer (MLS) club. (Turner Motorsports)(10-4-2011)

  • Wallace willing to shut down RWI: UPDATE: Rusty Wallace is willing to put his race organization, RWI, “into mothballs” for a couple of seasons until the sponsorship landscape in NASCAR improves. RWI is losing backing from 5-hour Energy at the end of the season and has yet to secure full sponsorship for the teams for next year. 5-hour Energy is expected to sponsor Clint Bowyer at Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012. An announcement is scheduled for Friday in Kansas City. So what happens to RWI’s existing NASCAR Nationwide Series teams? “I just want to find a good ride for Steven,” Wallace said of his 24-year-old son, who is eighth in the point standings. Wallace added he’s spoken with several Sprint Cup organizations that expressed interest in putting Steven in a Nationwide Series car next season.(FoxSports)(10-2-2011)
    UPDATE: Rusty Wallace Racing, which will lose sponsor 5-Hour Energy after this season, is working with potential sponsors on a deal for Steven Wallace, Rusty’s son, to continue racing in the Nationwide Series. RWR also will field a car next year for Michael Annett, who has brought sponsorship to the organization. Team owner Rusty Wallace said Monday that he has no plans to shut down his team and is looking for new sponsors. Wallace said if he can’t run a full Nationwide season with Steven, he would run a partial schedule. He didn’t want to name the sponsors he has commitments from until the formal announcements. “We’ve got about five of our sponsors under contract,” Wallace said in a phone interview Monday. “I don’t plan on shutting my team down at all. … I might have to slow down a little bit. I can’t put any of my personal money into this thing. I’ve already put personal money into this thing, more than I’m feeling comfortable with to keep it going. With that said, I’m not sitting here feeling sorry for myself because 90 percent of the garage area has this problem and my situation is no different.”(Scene Daily)(10-3-2011)
  • Three cars for KHI at Kansas: Kevin Harvick will be behind the wheel of the #4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevy, as a third NASCAR Nationwide Series entry for the KHI stable this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Saturday’s race will mark Harvick’s third and final appearance in the # Chevrolet this season. In eight starts in the series at the 1.5-mile track, the driver has gathered one win (2006), one pole (2008), five top-five and five top-10 finishes.(KHI) Elliott Sadler will drive the KHI #2 and Paul Menard will be in the #33.(10-3-2011)
  • Goodyear and NASCAR Extend Agreement: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and NASCAR today jointly announced they have signed an extended agreement for Goodyear to continue as the exclusive tire used in NASCAR’s top three racing series for the next five years. The agreement, which extends through the 2017 season, renews Goodyear as the “Exclusive Tire Supplier” of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Goodyear has had an uninterrupted commitment to NASCAR since becoming a race tire supplier in the 1950s, making it one of the longest-running supply programs in any sport. In addition, Goodyear has been the exclusive tire supplier for all three of the circuit’s top series since 1997. “This extension is the continuation of a relationship between experts,” said Pierre Jambon, vice president of Goodyear’s off-highway business. “NASCAR is clearly the expert in stock car racing, and it has chosen Goodyear because of our expertise in delivering outstanding performance. Our tire performance on the track validates our brand, inspires confidence for drivers and helps create exciting racing for fans. We are proud to continue to be an integral part of NASCAR.” “Our longtime relationship with Goodyear is a testament to the company’s consistent high-quality tire it supplies the race teams,” said Jim O’Connell, NASCAR’s chief sales officer. “Not only are they experts in tire performance, but they are also a brand that understands how to effectively engage and connect with our fans through creative activation.”(Goodyear)(10-3-2011)
  • Wimmer uncertain of future plans: Scott Wimmer will be racing for MacDonald Motorsports at Kansas next weekend, the driver told Frontstretch Saturday at Dover. Wimmer, driving the #82 this weekend for the team as a start-and-park effort, said that the car the team is fielding this weekend is the same machine he’ll be running the distance at Kansas next week. “Here we’re just trying to get the bugs worked out of it” said the driver. The deal came about based both on Wimmer’s relationship with team owner Randy MacDonald. With the team not tearing up a lot of equipment thus far through 2011, race-ready cars meant a seat for Wimmer, and a resource for the team’s primary driver in Blake Koch. “I think he’s very capable of running up front,” said Wimmer of Koch. “He’s just got to learn to put the whole race together, adjust to how the car changes. These different race tracks are something I can help him with.” From Kansas, the future is uncertain. “I don’t know what the rest of the season holds, whether it’s helping Randy [MacDonald] with some start-and-park stuff…or there’s some other stuff out there. I got a few things [in the works for 2012]. The whole landscape of the sport has changed the last few years. When I first got in it, the team found a sponsor and then they found a driver. Now, the sponsors seem to be following the drivers around. I’ve had some great sponsors over the year, I’ve just never been able to take them with me. There’s some deals out there, some look better than others. I just want to be racing full-time again.”(Frontstretch)(10-1-2011)