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September 2009 Nationwide Series Archive

 

  • Kansas Rookie Notes:
    • Michael Annett was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway. Annett scored a 13th-place finish and took top rookie honors for the fourth time this season and for the second time in the last three races.
    • John Wes Townley earned the eighth-place starting position at Dover, his best qualifying effort in 21 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. Townley was the only Raybestos Rookie to start inside the top-10 at Dover.
    • At least one Raybestos Rookie has scored a top-10 finish in 23 of 28 NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season. • Justin Allgaier leads Brendan Gaughan by 16 points (216-200) entering the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.
    • Three Raybestos Rookies are in the top-10 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship standings. Allgaier is sixth followed by Gaughan (ninth) and Michael McDowell (tenth).
    • Two Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions during the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season: Gaughan and Erik Darnell.
    • Bryan Clauson was the top Raybestos Rookie in the 2008 Kansas Lottery 300, logging a 21st-place finish.
    • The best finish by a Raybestos Rookie in eight previous races at Kansas is second by Kerry Earnhardt in 2002. Earnhardt finished 3.272 seconds behind race winner Jeff Burton.
    • Paul Menard (2004) is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole position in eight Nationwide Series races at Kansas.
    • Two Raybestos Rookies have finished inside the top-five just once in eight previous Nationwide Series races at Kansas. In 2005, Jon Wood finished fifth while Reed Sorenson placed sixth.
    • Scott Riggs holds the record for most laps led by a Raybestos Rookie in the Nationwide Series race at Kansas. Riggs led once for 52 laps in the 2002 race.
    • The most Raybestos Rookies to lead a race at Kansas are three in 2002: Riggs, Shane Hmiel (once for 16 laps) and Kerry Earnhardt (once for nine laps).
    (Raybestos/Camp & Assoc. PR)(9-30-2009)
  • Jennifer Jo Cobb attempting Kansas: Jennifer Jo Cobb will be attempting her 4th NASCAR Nationwide Series start as well as her 8th ARCA Re/Max Series start at her hometown track, the Kansas Speedway, this week. Cobb’s ultimate goal is to be the first woman competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in over 8 years. For now, she will focus on the next step to that lofty goal in this week’s Kansas Lottery 150 scheduled for Thursday, October 1 and the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday, October 3. Capitol Federal Savings will serve as the primary sponsor on Cobb’s #79 CapFed.com Dodge,for team owner Derrike Cope, Inc. with Rick Markle Racing. Cobb will have two teammates, owner/driver, Derrike Cope and the inaugural Kansas Speedway race pole sitter, Kevin Lepage.(Jennifer Jo Cobb PR)(9-29-2009)
  • Bliss back in the #40: With Scott Wimmer making his final 2009 start in the #5 this weekend, Mike Bliss will make one last NASCAR Nationwide Series start for Key Motorsports this season. The #40 will once again be sporting the black and red StopRepairBills.com colors at Kansas Speedway.(Key Motorsports PR)(9-29-2009)
  • Notes and Facts from Dover:
    * Clint Bowyer won the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway. It was his eighth career Nationwide victory in 153 races. It marked Bowyer’s second victory in 2009. He also won at Daytona in July.
    * Bowyer led once for 83 laps.
    * Kyle Busch led twice for 109 laps; it was the 12th race in 2009 in which he had the most laps led. Busch has led 2,053 laps in 2009, becoming just the second driver to eclipse the 2,000-lap mark in a single season. Sam Ard holds the record, leading 2,127 laps in 29 races in 1984. Busch has led in 26 of the 28 races in 2009.
    * This was Richard Childress Racing’s 55th victory in the Nationwide Series.
    * Busch has a 211-point lead over second-place Carl Edwards and is 297 ahead of third-place Keselowski.
    * Keselowski scored his 10th straight top-10 finish, extending a streak that began at Gateway. He has scored top-5 finishes in the past six races. Keselowski has been running at the finish in his past 60 series races, the longest current streak. His last DNF came for an accident at Las Vegas in March 2008, when he finished 23rd.
    * Jason Leffler (sixth) posted his 23rd top-15 finish in 28 races in 2009.
    * Michael Annett (13th) was the highest-finishing rookie of the year contender. Annett started at the rear in a backup car.
    * The top 10 consisted of two Chevrolets, six Toyotas and two Fords.(ESPN)(9-28-2009)
  • Nationwide races for Kligerman? UPDATE 2: [The NASCAR Insiders] are hearing that Penske Racing developmental driver Parker Kligerman, who currently co-leads the ARCA RE/MAX Series points, may run a few Nationwide Series races towards the end of the season. Penske will supposedly field a second car for Kligerman alongside current NNS driver Justin Allgaier. No word yet on which specific races Kligerman may run.(NASCAR Insiders)(9-16-2009)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing development driver Parker Kligerman will make his Nationwide Series debut at Kansas Speedway next month. Kligerman will drive the #22 Penske Racing entry, a team that will lay the groundwork for Brad Keselowski’s full-time squad in 2010. “There are a lot of talented people out there and we are looking at all of our options,” said Jonathan Gibson, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Penske Racing. “For a while now, we have been working to assemble a championship caliber Nationwide organization for both of our cars in 2010. Justin has had a terrific season this year and our intention is to hit the ground running with both of our teams in 2010.” Kligerman, who turned 19 last month, is currently tied for the lead with Justin Lofton in the ARCA Re/Max Series championship. He tops the leaderboard with seven wins to his credit earned on both asphalt and dirt.(Fox Sports)(9-18-2009)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing development driver Parker Kligerman will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut this weekend, competing in the #22 Penske Truck Rental Dodge in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway. Kligerman will also race for the team in the Nationwide Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, November 21.(Penske PR)(9-28-2009)
  • Sheltra back in the #81 at Kansas: Patrick Sheltra will reunite with MacDonald Motorsports and return to the cockpit of the #81 Buffalo Wings & Rings-MC2 Energy Drink Dodge for Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event at Kansas Speedway.(Sheltra PR)(9-28-2009)
  • Nationwide Series Live from Kansas on ESPN2: ESPN2 continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend as the series races at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. The live, flag-to-flag telecast airs Saturday, Oct. 3, at 3 p.m. ET, with the green flag at 3:46 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. Coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series final practice airs Friday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. Marty Reid will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage. Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN pit studio.(ESPN PR)(9-28-2009)
  • JTG/Daugherty join the start and park teams: Activity in the Nationwide Series garage this weekend saw JTG Racing’s #47 car being attended to by not their own team, but the crew of MSRP Motorsports’ #90 and #91 entries. After Coleman Pressley damaged the right side of his Camry during NNS qualifying on Saturday morning, no less than three MSRP crew members were seen doing the repair work to his quarterpanels. Frontstretch was able to speak to Jodi Geschickter regarding this new arrangement, and the longtime Nationwide owner confirmed that MSRP was helping them with their Nationwide car. According to Geschickter, the lack of funding that forced the team to stop racing its #47 car also forced them to lay off their Nationwide crew. With several former members of the JTG crew now working with MSRP, and MSRP having their start-and-park efforts down to a near science, JTG has now got the best in that business working on their entry. “We told our [NNS] guys at the start of the year that we only had funding to run half the races,” said Geschickter, who gave his team the choice between spreading their races throughout the 2009 season or running the first half of the year, hoping to secure additional dollars. “We kept them up to date month-to-month regarding the funding that we had.” Said Geschickter of the team’s current effort, the plan is to keep the #47 in the top 30 in owner points, as they are confident that the team will be able to secure “enough funding to run at least half the season” come Daytona in 2010, just as the team managed to do the first half of 2009 with Michael McDowell behind the wheel. Geschickter confirmed that JTG remains committed to Coleman Pressley, who has driven a number of start-and-park races for the team in the second half of 2009, as their next development driver to put in the seat.(Frontstretch)(9-28-2009)
  • Denny vs Brad…what they said: At the conclusion of Saturday’s Dover 200, #20-Denny Hamlin approached #88-Brad Keselowski to talk about their on track incident late in the race:
    DENNY: You say I cut you off?
    BRAD: you always do.
    DENNY: Let me tell you something…let me tell you one thing…you’ll never [freaking] make it the way you [freaking] drive, alright?
    BRAD: Go ahead; tell me one thing…’cause I’ll tell you three in your face!”
    (Tony Eury Jr steps in as Keselowski walks off)
    DENNY: He forgets…he forgets…
    TONY: That’s fine.
    DENNY: he’s got a short [freaking] memory.
    TONY: You gotta a bigger [freaking] deal tomorrow so go [freaking] concentrate on that, alright?
    DENNY: I agree, I agree.
    TONY: Call him next week.
    DENNY: But don’t [freaking] make his bad day my bad day.
    TONY: He was comin’ through he was fine he was comin’ through, okay? Talk about it next week. That’s all I’m sayin’.
    DENNY: I’m doin’ you a favor.
    TONY: I appreciate it. Thanks
    (PRN Garage Pass)(9-27-2009)
  • Back to Nationwide for Sorenson? ESPN reported during Nationwide Series qualifying that Reed Sorenson is talking to Braun Racing about running the #32 Toyota a majority of the races next season in the Nationwide Series.(9-26-2009)
  • NASCAR confirms COT schedule: NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton confirmed Friday what the other races with the new Nationwide Series car will be in 2010. In addition to the previously announced July 2 race at Daytona International Speedway, the Nationwide car of tomorrow will be used at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 14, Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 10 and Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Oct. 15. Nationwide teams had told NASCAR they wanted a rollout of one race a month, and NASCAR consented. The car is scheduled to be used full time in 2011. NASCAR plans on holding a test of the new car after the Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in early November. Pemberton said the test next year will likely be limited to bringing teams in a day early for the Daytona, Michigan, Richmond and Charlotte venues.(SceneDaily)(9-25-2009)
  • Limited schedule for Ryan Truex in 2010: [Ryan] Truex’s brother, Martin Truex Jr., hopes that Ryan can split time with him in one of Michael Waltrip Racing’s Nationwide cars next year. MWR is helping operate the East team for Ryan Truex, which is owned by Martin Truex Jr. “I hope to run five or eight [Nationwide] races [next year], trying to put a deal together where I could run some and maybe, hopefully, get my brother moved up and run a few races to get his feet wet,” Truex Jr. said earlier this month. “We’re working on all that right now. I really enjoy the Nationwide Series. … We’re going through sponsors right now, and they’re working hard on it, so hopefully we can put something together to run some races.” Ryan Truex said the season he has had in the East series has prepared him, but he’s sure going to Nationwide will be tough.(SceneDaily)(9-25-2009)
  • Continental Fire & Safety on the #34: Continental Fire & Safety will be an associate sponsor on FRM’s #34 Sprint Cup entry and the primary sponsor on FRM’s #34 Nationwide entry at Dover International Speedway for the upcoming race weekend. The Continental Fire & Safety #34 Chevy in the Nationwide series will be piloted by Tony Raines who is currently 15 in driver points. FRM’s entry in the Sprint Cup series will be driven by John Andretti.(Continental Fire & Safety PR)(9-24-2009)
  • 100 Nationwide starts for Sorenson: This weekend marks the 100th Nationwide Series start for#10-Reed Sorenson, who made his NASCAR debut on August 7, 2004 at O’Reilly Raceway Park. Then 18-year old Sorenson drove the #41 Discount Tire car for Chip Ganassi Racing. He qualified an impressive third and finished the race in the 13th position. His NASCAR career has spanned from 2004 to present (2009), with a collective total of 235 starts in two series.(Braun Racing PR)(9-24-2009)
  • Kahne still driving for Braun in 2010: Richard Petty Motorsports’ Kasey Kahne will still be able to compete in eight NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2010 for Braun Racing, despite a manufacturer conflict between RPM and Braun, team owner Todd Braun says. Braun, who fields Toyotas in the Nationwide Series, confirmed that Kahne can still run for him next year, despite RPM’s recent announcement of a switch to Ford for next season. “That’s what they’re telling us,” Braun said. Braun Racing announced in July that Kahne would drive in eight races in the team’s #38 Toyota in 2010, helping fuel speculation that RPM would switch to Toyota, but the Petty team will instead field Fords next year.(SceneDaily)(9-24-2009)
  • Braun Racing to compete in five Cup races in 2010: Team owner Todd Braun said his Braun Racing team will attempt five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races next year, including the season-opening Daytona 500. Braun, which fields three teams in the Nationwide Series [#10-, #32, & #38], entered a Cup car for two races in 2005. The team plans to run a Toyota in 2010 while determining plans for 2011. “We’re going to run some Cup races next year,” Braun said. “What it holds on our future, we don’t know. If I want to long-term survive in this sport, I’m going to have to go Cup racing at some point. I don’t think I can maintain forever being a Nationwide-only guy unless something happens in the series that I don’t see right now. I wish I could.” Braun said he was happy with his team in the Nationwide Series but could need to move to Cup to survive financially. The driver will be determined, though Braun said his current Nationwide driver, Jason Leffler, is a candidate. Other candidates, he said, could be Reed Sorenson, Bobby Labonte or Jamie McMurray, depending on available Cup rides next year. Braun said he has a sponsor for the five Cup races, though he didn’t name the company. He also prefers to hire a crew chief with experience working with the new model Cup car.(SceneDaily)(9-24-2009)
  • Harrington Raceway and Casino sponsoring Teague: Means Motorsports, LLC has announced that Harrington Raceway and Casino will be the sponsor of veteran driver #52-Brad Teague in the September 26th, Dover 200 at Daytona International Raceway.(Means PR)(9-24-2009)
  • Leicht looking for 2010 ride: UPDATE: hearing that Stephen Leicht is looking for a ride for the 2010 season. His schedule this year in the #29-Holiday Inn Chevy for Richard Childress Racing was cut from 13 planned races to 9 (with only Memphis remaining).(9-24-2009).
    UPDATE: Leicht is under contract with RCR for the 2010 season, but it looking for sponsorship that will let him run more races next season. (9-24-2009)
  • DEI to run Jeffrey Earnhardt in 2010: The folks at Dale Earnhardt Inc. are working at bringing the #8 car to both the Nationwide and Cup series next year. The plan would be for Jeffrey Earnhardt, grandson of Dale, to drive the #8 car in the Nationwide series and have that team based out of the DEI shops in Mooresville, N.C. If sponsorship can be found, the #8 car would return to Cup and be based out of the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing shop in Cocord, N.C. “We do have plans to bring the #8 car back for next season,” Jeff Steiner executive VP and general manager at DEI, told me [Dustin Long] Wednesday afternoon. “We are working with a number of sponsors. It’s not a for sure deal. We haven’t announced that we are officially bringing it back. As for Jeffrey Earnhardt: “That would be something we would be looking at running him in an #8 fulltime in the Nationwide level,” Steiner said. “We’re still working on sponsorships. Our intention … having him in a family number. I think we’re hopeful (of a fulltime schedule for Jeffrey). It’s not in the can for us yet from a sponsor’s standpoint but we have a lot of positive activity with six or seven different sponsors that are all very, very interested in working with the program. We’re pretty bullish on that potential for 2010.”(Roanoke Times)(9-23-2009)
  • Shepherd pulls together Dover crew: Thanks to his versatile office staff, his two “Cindys” and help from sister-team Herd Racing, Morgan Shepherd will field his #89 Faith Motorsports Chevy with nearly a full crew this weekend. Shannon Feldman, a former ARCA Re/Max Series team owner, and Shepherd’s current secretary in the office, will serve as the team’s temporary crew chief. Her previous track duties this year have included everything from spotter to tire catcher so another title isn’t anything new for the racing veteran. Shepherd’s daughter and ministry director, Cindy Caldwell, as well as his wife, Cindy Shepherd, will also help keep the wheels turning during the team’s trip to the Monster Mile. Herd Racing, Faith’s sister race organization, will also send drivers Brett Rowe and Chad Beahr to help prepare the car, as well as spotter Joe Gilley. In addition to Craig Partee, a longtime Shepherd supporter, and a few other volunteer crew members, Shepherd said he should be in pretty good hands.(Faith Motorsports PR)(9-23-2009)
  • Combos sponsoring Kyle Busch in 3 2010 races: COMBOS has seized an opportunity to gain additional exposure to compliment its at-track and retail activation by expanding its JGR relationship with Kyle Busch in the Nationwide Series. Kyle Busch’s #18 Toyota in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series is slated to feature a COMBOS paint scheme at Phoenix (April 9, 2010), Dover (May 15, 2010) and Watkins Glen (August 8, 2010).(Mars PR), see an image of the car on the #18 2010 paint schemes page.(9-24-2009)
  • WSFS Bank sponsoring Mike Wallace: Mike Wallace announced that the WSFS Bank is the primary sponsor for the #01 J-D Motorsports Chevy in the Dover 200. (J-D Motorsports PR)(9-23-2009)
  • Our House Party on the #20 at Kansas: The Home Depot and Majesco Entertainment Company announced a marketing partnership to support the upcoming release of Our House: Party! for Wii. The joint venture features a retail partnership with GameStop Corp. to promote the launch of the game. As part of the game’s launch, The Home Depot and GameStop Corp. will utilize their mutual relationships with Joe Gibbs Racing to market the program during the upcoming Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway on October 3. The Our House: Party! video game features The Home Depot-branded content integrated into the game’s party-style home improvement gameplay, including a cash register race set in a virtual The Home Depot store, branded weekly ads, delivery trucks and more. The Home Depot’s retail partnership with GameStop will feature a number of activation programs including the distribution of The Home Depot Mystery Gift Cards. GameStop customers will receive a Home Depot Mystery Gift Card valued from $1 to $1,000 in every Our House: Party! video game as a gift with purchase. The Home Depot and GameStop will promote the game’s release through a joint paint scheme on Joey Logano’s car during the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway on October 3. Logano will race the #20 GameStop Toyota featuring Our House: Party! in the Kansas Lottery 300.(Elevation Group PR), see an image of the car on the #20 paint schemes page.(9-23-2009)
  • Testing ban will continue in 2010: NASCAR announced its 2010 testing policy for its three national and two regional touring series. The policy will again prohibit testing at tracks which host NASCAR national series events, by teams in the following series: NASCAR Sprint Cup; NASCAR Nationwide; NASCAR Camping World Truck; NASCAR Camping World East; and NASCAR Camping World West. In 2010, however, testing will be allowed at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks that host a regional touring event but do not host a national series event. Based on this season’s regional tour schedules, the following tracks would be eligible to host tests next year: Greenville-Pickens Speedway; Tri-County Motor Speedway; South Boston Speedway; Thompson International Speedway; Music City Motorplex; Adirondack International Speedway; Lime Rock Park; Thunder Hill Raceway; All American Speedway; Madera Speedway; Douglas County Speedway; Toyota Speedway at Irwindale; Portland International Raceway; Miller Motorsports Park; Colorado National Speedway.(NASCAR PR)(9-23-2009)
  • Dover Rookie Notes:
    Justin Allgaier was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Allgaier posted an eighth-place finish, his 11th top-10 of the season. He grabbed top rookie honors for the eighth time in 2009.
    At least one Raybestos Rookie has scored a top-10 finish in 23 of 27 NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season.
    Justin Allgaier leads Brendan Gaughan by 16 points (215-199) entering the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway.
    Threee Raybestos Rookies are in the top-10 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship standings. Allgaier is fifth followed by Gaughan (eighth) and Michael McDowell (tenth).
    Two Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions during the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season: Gaughan and Erik Darnell.
    Landon Cassill was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2008 Dover 200, scoring a 25th-place finish.
    Bryan Clauson was the only Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap in the 2008 fall race at Dover, leading once for one lap.
    The most freshman drivers to finish in the top-10 in the fall race at Dover are three in 2005: Reed Soreneson (fourth), Denny Hamlin (sixth) and Carl Edwards (ninth).
    Johnny Benson (1994) is the only Raybestos Rookie to win the fall race at Dover (20 previous races). Benson edged Harry Gant for his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series win.
    (Raybestos / Camp & Assoc. PR)(9-23-2009)
  • Congrats: The weekend off for the Nationwide Series was a special one last weekend for Chris “Yoshi” Jones, tire specialist for the #12 team, and his wife Kayla. The two welcomed Carter Fulton Jones into the world on Friday, September 18. Carter weighed eight pounds and 10 ounces at birth. Both mom and son are doing great.(Penske Racing PR)(9-22-209)
  • Sorenson in the #10 at Dover at Kansas: Braun Racing has announced that AccuDoc Solutions will adorn the hood of its #10 Toyota Camry for the next two NASCAR Nationwide Series races, including those at Dover International Speedway and Kansas Speedway. Reed Sorenson, who has one previous start for Braun Racing, will drive the AccuDoc Solutions Camry in both events.(Braun Racing PR)(9-22-2009)
  • CitiFinancial and Boys and Girls Club Team Up in Dover: The #16-CitiFinancial Nationwide team will be running a special Boys and Girls Club decal this weekend to highlight a CitiFinancial Racing Kids event that will take place at a Boys and Girls Club location in Dover, Del., on Thursday, Sept. 24. Financial education materials will be distributed to upwards of 100 club members and Greg Biffle will be on hand to discuss the importance of team work and mentors, and how those elements translate to success on and off the track.(CitiFinancial PR)(9-22-2009)
  • Bliss in the #11 at Dover: NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Mike Bliss will take the wheel of the #11 RIDEMAKERZ Toyota for the first time at Dover International Speedway this weekend.(CJM Racing PR)(9-22-2009)
  • Nationwide Series Live from Dover on ESPN2: ESPN2 continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend as the series races at Dover International Speedway. The live, flag-to-flag telecast airs Saturday, Sept. 25, at 3 p.m. ET, with the green flag at 3:45 p.m. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. Also on Saturday, coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying airs at 10:30 a.m., while coverage of final practice airs Friday, Sept. 25, at 1:30 p.m., both on ESPN2. Marty Reid will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage. Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN pit studio.(ESPN PR)(9-21-2009)
  • Gale looking for 2010 ride: Cale Gale will no longer be under contract at Kevin Harvick Inc. next year. He is talking to several teams and is hopeful that he will be able to put something together for 2010. He has talked to some Nationwide teams as well as Truck teams to find a new home. He is also in talks with driver agents looking for a new organization to represent him.(9-19-2009)
  • Dale Jr. would like Tony Jr. at JR Motorsports: Dale Earnhardt Jr. wants to be reunited with former crew chief Tony Eury Jr. … at JR Motorsports. JR Motorsports is an affiliate of Hendrick Motorsports, where Eury Jr. currently works in the research and development department. But Earnhardt Jr. has another plan for Eury Jr., who was his crew chief for two seasons at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and then moved with him to Hendrick to guide the #88 Cup car until he was replaced by Lance McGrew as crew chief in late May during a season where Earnhardt Jr. struggled in his Sprint Cup car. Earnhardt Jr. wasn’t exactly specific on the job title for Eury Jr., but he explained he has a plan for his cousin to join the JR Motorsports operation, where Eury Jr.’s father (Tony “Pops” Eury Sr.) serves as a crew chief/competition director and several other Earnhardt family members work for the Nationwide Series organization.(SceneDaily)(9-19-2009)
  • Eury Sr. recovering from car accident: UPDATE: JR Motorsports crew chief Tony Eury Sr. is resting comfortably after being involved in a two-car accident Sunday afternoon near China Grove, N.C. Eury Sr. was treated overnight at Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast for minor injuries and is scheduled for release today. Eury Sr. is the crew chief of the #88 JR Motorsports Chevys driven by Brad Keselowski in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.(JR Motorsports PR)(9-14-2009)
    UPDATE: JR Motorsports crew chief Tony Eury Sr. has a “torn up sternum ” and a sore rib after an auto accident earlier this week, but team co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. believes Eury will be with the Nationwide Series team and driver Brad Keselowski at Dover next week. (SceneDaily)(9-18-2009)
  • Nationwide races for Kligerman? UDPATE: [The NASCAR Insiders] are hearing that Penske Racing developmental driver Parker Kligerman, who currently co-leads the ARCA RE/MAX Series points, may run a few Nationwide Series races towards the end of the season. Penske will supposedly field a second car for Kligerman alongside current NNS driver Justin Allgaier. No word yet on which specific races Kligerman may run.(NASCAR Insiders)(9-16-2009)
    UPDATE: Penske Racing development driver Parker Kligerman will make his Nationwide Series debut at Kansas Speedway next month. Kligerman will drive the #22 Penske Racing entry, a team that will lay the groundwork for Brad Keselowski’s full-time squad in 2010. “There are a lot of talented people out there and we are looking at all of our options,” said Jonathan Gibson, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Penske Racing. “For a while now, we have been working to assemble a championship caliber Nationwide organization for both of our cars in 2010. Justin has had a terrific season this year and our intention is to hit the ground running with both of our teams in 2010.” Kligerman, who turned 19 last month, is currently tied for the lead with Justin Lofton in the ARCA Re/Max Series championship. He tops the leaderboard with seven wins to his credit earned on both asphalt and dirt.(Fox Sports)(9-18-2009)
  • Danica to run some Nationwide and CWTS races in 2010? UPDATE: Danica Patrick will “all but certainly” be in NASCAR in 2010, but won’t give up Indy car racing and will limit next year’s activity to the Nationwide Series and Trucks, according to a source very close to the situation. Tony Stewart is the “star candidate” to be her partner and mentor in NASCAR, the source said, adding that Patrick’s recent visits to Stewart-Haas Racing were much more than social — that she and Stewart were discussing a deal, and are close to one. The plan is for Patrick to run a significant number of Nationwide races, with additional seat time in Trucks and ARCA cars. Stewart took a similar transitional path to NASCAR in 1998, running a full Indy car schedule and also 22 Nationwide (then Busch) races. Patrick’s likeliest first stock car race would be the ARCA event at Daytona during SpeedWeeks next February. There’s no way Patrick would a) plunge immediately into the Cup level next year, or b) give up Indy car racing until she’s sure she can do well in NASCAR, the source said. Because Stewart’s team has neither Nationwide cars nor trucks in its stable, a third partner will be brought into the mix, the source said — possibly Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s JR Motorsports, or, more likely, Kevin Harvick Inc., which fields both Trucks and Nationwide cars. Sponsorship is not considered an issue for America’s top female driver, and the first car manufacturer to sign Patrick to a NASCAR deal would get a big boost in brand exposure.(ESPN.com)(9-5-2009)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart on Thursday said that Stewart-Haas Racing has not made a contract offer to Danica Patrick. “I have not offered her a job,” Stewart said on the Dan Patrick Show. “The one thing I have done is spend some time talking to her about what we think would be a good game plan for her if she decides to come to NASCAR. “She’s talked to us a lot, obviously, because we came from the IRL, like she’s doing. She wants a game plan of what it would take to make the switch — what kind of investment, time-wise, and where should she start? Danica Patrick has been talking with several team owners within NASCAR, gauging what it would take to move to stock-car racing. Reportedly she will drive full time in the Indy Racing League next year. Stewart admitted he would like to have Patrick as part of his racing stable — if the timing was right. “Would I want her on my team? Absolutely. I appreciate who she is as a person and I think she’s the first female that really has a legit shot at doing it right. “It would be cool to be a part of that, giving her the tools to accomplish those goals and do it right. [But] we don’t have a Truck Series or Nationwide Series team, so that’s one of the main reasons why we don’t have anything to offer her right now. We’re not interested in trying to build a Nationwide or Truck series team.”(NASCAR.com)(9-18-2009)
  • RWI to Toyota? UPDATE 2: hearing that that RWI (#62 & #66) will be switching to Toyota’s next season and many of their current cars are/will be for sale. Rusty Wallace, Inc has run Chevy’s since 2008, after originally running Dodge’s. Earlier in the year RWI was impacted by General Motors reduction of Nationwide Series manufacturer support.(9-16-2009)
    UPDATE: Rusty Wallace Racing has made no commitment to a specific manufacturer for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Any rumors otherwise are false. Further, the team plans no unusual turnover or reduction in its vehicle fleet within the next year. RWR greatly appreciates the support of General Motors. The team remains completely committed to its immediate goals of putting Steve Wallace among the top-five in the 2010 year-end driver standings and Brendan Gaughan among the top-ten, in their respective Chevrolet Impala SS racing vehicles.(RWI PR)
    UPDATE 2: Rusty Wallace, Inc., driver Brendan Gaughan told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway Thursday that to his knowledge, no decision has been made about the team’s manufacturer affiliation for 2010. “We have talked and listened to just about all the manufacturers; not just Chevy and Toyota,” he said. “Honestly, there are pros and cons to each of them. No announcement has been made, and I don’t think one is imminent. I don’t know if a decision has even been made yet, and if there has, I haven’t heard about it. But either way, I’m confident that it’s going to be okay.” (Sirius NASCAR Radio)(9-17-2009)
  • Smith Performance plans limited 2010 schedule: Smith Performance Racing announced plans to run a limited Nationwide Series Schedule for the 2010 season. Smith Performance Racing has fielded a car in the USAR Pro Cup Series for the past two seasons and will move current driver Michael Ritch into the Nationwide Series for the 2010 season with plans on running 15-20 races and possibly more depending on sponsorship.(Smith Performance PR)(9-17-2009)
  • Fuller to Pull Double Duty at Loudon: Rob Fuller, co-owner owner of #23-R3 Motorsports Nationwide team will be a busy man this week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Boylston, Massachusetts native will pilot the #71 Ford in Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event, the New Hampshire 100. When the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series hits the track later in the day for the Heluva Good! 200, Fuller will be back behind the wheel, this time as the driver of his #71 Chevy.(Fuller PR)(9-16-2009)
  • Milwaukee Mile gets race date: The Milwaukee Mile doesn’t actually have a racing promoter, or anyone selling tickets or soliciting sponsors for the 2010 season. Not yet, anyway. But here’s what the troubled 106-year-old racetrack does have, as of Tuesday: a place on the NASCAR calendar. “We’re very happy to see ourselves on there,” said Tony Machi, a partner in a group trying to save the track.”We’re not going to get into our financials, but we’re confident we’ll have an acceptable plan and lease agreement for State Fair Park to consider at the end of this month.” Historic Mile was given a Sept. 29 deadline to demonstrate to State Fair Park management it had the financial wherewithal to promote races and to secure race dates. That second condition was met Tuesday. The Mile holds June 18 on the Camping World Truck Series schedule and June 19 on the Nationwide Series schedule. Craig Barkelar, State Fair’s interim executive director, said negotiations continue with Historic Mile and he is confident the group will meet the fiscal conditions. It remains unclear how the debts left by previous promoter Claude Napier would be paid. “All I can say is that our discussions with the promoter have gone very well and Milwaukee is currently on the 2010 schedule; like all other events on the schedule, there is a sanction in place,” NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said in an e-mail.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(9-16-2009)
  • Discount Tire sponsoring Keselowski in 2010: UPDATE: Just days after announcing his move from JR Motorsports in 2010, Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing have signed Discount Tire as their sponsor for 26 Nationwide Series races next year. Keselowski will drive the #22 Dodge full time in the Nationwide Series next year along with a full-time Sprint Cup schedule. Discount Tire will also be an associate sponsor on Keselowski and teammate Kurt Busch’s Sprint Cup Series cars. Additionally, the company will have a presence on all three Penske Racing cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A full announcement is expected later this week. Discount Tire currently sponsors David Ragan’s #6 Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series ride.(Fox Sports)
    UPDATE: Discount Tire has reached a multi-year agreement with Penske Racing and driver Brad Keselowski beginning with the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series. Discount Tire will serve as the primary sponsor for at least 26 races in next season’s Nationwide Series on the Penske Racing #22 Discount Tire Dodge Charger driven by Brad Keselowski. (Penske Racing PR)(9-15-2009)
  • Bires to the #88? UPDATE3: 2009 races in #5?: JR Motorsports President Kelley Earnhardt confirmed that Kelly Bires is on the list of possible replacements for Brad Keselowski should the company and the driver part ways. Many in the garage have called Bires, who turns 25 Tuesday, the front-runner for the #88 Nationwide Series ride.(FoxSports)(8-24-2009)
    UPDATE: Driver Kelly Bires and JR Motorsports co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. share a mutual interest in joining forces next season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The only question is when – and if – they will. The recent announcement of Brad Keselowski’s departure from the #88 JR Motorsports entry at season’s end leaves a full-time vacancy in one of the Chevrolets that Earnhardt Jr. co-owns with Rick Hendrick. Plans for the organization’s No. 5 team also remain in the works, possibly giving Bires another way in. “Kelly is a good kid,” Earnhardt Jr. said after finishing third in Saturday night’s Nationwide race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “I’ve watched him for a couple of years. He’s got some opportunities to do a couple of different things next year. We’ve talked to him about working with us and he seems excited about that opportunity. We’re working with him and pitching him to several partners we have, and hopefully, the new partners that sign up with us. Bires indicated on Saturday at AMS that he would be open to the idea of driving the #5 or #88 JR Motorsports entry and expressed a clear interest in the organization, which has won races with both its cars in the last two Nationwide seasons. Bires expects an announcement about his future to be just around the corner. “I would think the sooner the better, so I think the next couple weeks are going to be real critical and I think you’ll see something come in the next couple weeks,” he said.(SceneDaily)(9-6-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Kelly Bires has signed to drive a full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series entry for JR Motorsports in 2010-11, general manager Kelley Earnhardt announced. JR Motorsports fields the #88 and #5 teams in the Nationwide Series. It has not been determined which of the two Bires will drive in 2010, as JR Motorsports is still in the process of securing sponsorship for next season.(JR Motorsports PR)(9-15-2009)
    UPDATE 3: Bires was interviewed on Sirius’ NASCAR Radio Tuesday afternoon:
    Host, Rick Benjamin: “We’re at that time of the season where, historically in this sport, drivers that announce a move may start a little early. Guys may run a few races before the current season is over. Any talk about you maybe being in that #5 car a few times or something like that?”
    Bires: “Well, we’re currently working on a lot of those different details to do that and to get me in a car over there before the season’s over. I mean, that would obviously be a huge jumpstart going into 2010 and the ability to work with the team and the organization and just to figure out how it all works and to get together and what people do. It would be a huge advantage for us to do that. We’re currently working on an opportunity to do that with some sponsorship. You know that’s obviously going to be a big plus if we can get that accomplished and that’s what we’re working hard on doing. It may be the #5, it may be a different car, who knows what it will be in, but that’s obviously a step that we’re working towards.”(Sirius NASCAR Radio)(9-15-2009)
  • Richmond TV Ratings: ESPN2’s live telecast of Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.3, up from the 1.0 rating earned last year when the race was run on Sunday after having been rained out on Friday night. The race earned a 1.4 rating in 2007 when it was run and telecast as scheduled. Friday night’s telecast averaged 1,669,692 viewers.(ESPN PR)(9-15-2009)
  • 2010 Nationwide Series Schedule Announced: NASCAR announced today the 2010 schedules for its three national series, which will open their seasons at Daytona International Speedway on the weekend of Feb. 12-14, and conclude at Homestead-Miami Speedway on the weekend of Nov. 19-21. The NASCAR Nationwide Series will again race 35 times. A Nashville-Phoenix-Texas run on April 3, April 9 and April 17 will replace a Texas-Nashville-Phoenix spring lineup. The first Dover race will be run earlier than usual, on May 15, in companion to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(NASCAR PR), see the complete schedule on the 2010 Nationwide Series schedule page.(9-15-2009)
  • Liberty Port returns to Rick Ware Racing: After a successful collaboration with Rick Ware Racing at Daytona, Liberty Port returns to the heartland of stockcar racing as the primary sponsor of the #31 car at Lowe’s Motor Speedway for the Dollar General 300.(RWR PR)(9-15-2009)
  • Shepherd lays off crew: UPDATE: Saturday’s failure to make the field [at Montreal] did more damage as a result of the financial toll that missing the field brings. “I had to let just about everybody go on Monday when we got back,” Shepherd said. “We will go to Atlanta and I will just have to do it pretty much by myself. We just can’t pay people when we don’t have anything coming in.” Monday’s layoffs included many shop and track crew personnel, including crew chief Morris Van Vleet. The cutbacks leave the team with just one shop mechanic and one track crew member. Shepherd said if the team doesn’t get some sponsorship soon or if it fails to make the starting field at Atlanta that he will have to make some tough decisions. “There is no quit in us, but we can only go so far without money. We’ll see after Atlanta what we are able to do.”(Race with Faith PR)(9-2-2009)
    UPDATE: After missing his sixth straight race, Morgan Shepherd was forced to lay off his final track crew member and will rely on family to help field the car at Dover in two weeks. “I’ve got one guy in the shop helping me get the car ready and when we get to Dover it will be myself, my wife, my daughter and my secretary,” Shepherd said. “That’s all we’ve got left.” While Shepherd’s low-budget operation had never rivaled the staff numbers of his competitors, the team’s lack of performance since early summer has resulted in cut after cut. “There isn’t anything else left to cut,” Shepherd said. “We were fortunate that we had a handful of guys who have helped us in year’s past volunteer to help us at Richmond. Hopefully, some of them will be able to help us again at Dover.”(Race with Faith PR)(9-14-2009)
  • Crew Chief changes for Gaughan: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing announced that effective immediately, the team’s Director of Competition, Wes Ward and Lead Engineer, Dale Ferguson, will assume interim co-crew chief duties for RWR’s #62 entry and driver, Brendan Gaughan. They replace Brian Berry at the helm of the #62 team. Stated team owner, Rusty Wallace, “This was a hard decision for us to make. Brian (Berry)’s a good person and a good crew chief. There are just times when the communication between a driver and crew chief doesn’t work out quite right and this was one of them. We’re in a performance-based business and we owe it to our sponsors and our team to do everything we can to improve our level of performance. I’m confident that Wes (Ward) and Dale (Ferguson) will do a great job while we evaluate our options going forward.” (RWI PR)(9-14-2009)
  • Racing Resources/ESPN says:
    Carl Edwards won the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Edwards won from the rear of the field for the third time in 2009 and fifth time in his career. He scored his third Nationwide Series victory in 10 races at Richmond. It was his 24th series victory in 168 races, tying Tommy Houston for seventh on NASCAR’s all-time wins list. It was Edwards’ fourth victory in 2009.
    Edwards led once, leading the final 24 laps. Denny Hamlin (17th) led 101 laps, the most laps in the race. Hamlin had led just 32 laps in his previous eight Nationwide races at Richmond.
    This was the ninth victory for Roush Fenway Racing in 2009 and its ninth at Richmond, the most of all time.
    Kevin Harvick (second) has scored five top-5 finishes in his last five series races.
    Kyle Busch (third) has led in 25 of the 27 races in 2009. Busch has a 201-point lead over the second-place Edwards.
    Brad Keselowski (fourth) scored his ninth straight top-10 finish, extending a streak that began at Gateway. He has scored top-5 finishes in the last five races.
    Keselowski has been running at the finish in his last 59 races, the longest current streak. His last DNF came for an accident at Las Vegas in March 2008, when he finished 23rd.
    Jason Leffler (32nd) has finished outside the top 15 in just five of the 27 races this season, including the last three.
    Trevor Bayne (seventh) tied his career-best finish.
    Justin Allgaier (eighth) was the highest-finishing rookie contender.
    The top 10 consisted of four Chevys, four Toyotas, one Dodge and one Ford.
    (ESPN.com)(9-14-2009)
  • Eddie MacDonald to attempt Memphis race: Go Green Racing, Inc and Eddie MacDonald of Rowley,MA announced that MacDonald will be driving the Go Green Racing #39 at Memphis Motorsports Park on October 24, 2009 in the “Kroger on the Track for a Cure 250”. Go Green President and owner of the # 38 Camping World East Series team, Archie St. Hilaire, says “We are very happy to have Eddie driving the #39 car for us at Memphis. There will be many challenges for both the team and driver as we both step up to the second highest form of motorsports in the country. We purchased a Ford Fusion Nationwide car a couple of months ago and have been preparing the car down at our Mooresville, N.C . shop to enter a few Nationwide races before the end of the season to see if it is where we want to be for next season. Buddy Desrocher will be the crew chief of the #39 car headed to Memphis and will be assisted by Eddie’s crew chief Rollie Lachance. The #39 car will be sponsored by BBI Waste Industries in Old Orchard Beach, ME.(Go Green Racing PR)(9-13-2009)
  • Scott to Nationwide in 2010? During the race broadcast on SPEEDtv, Ray Dunlap reported that Brian Scott has received an offer to run the full Nationwide season in 2010, however, Scott has not yet decided on what he’ll be doing in 2010. Scott may decide to return for another season in the Camping World Truck Series.(9-12-2009)
  • Five or more teams for Roush Fenway in 2010: Roush Fenway Racing co-owner Jack Roush said Friday night that he could field as many as four full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series teams in 2010, with the possibility for two or three more part-time efforts. Roush reiterated his commitment to field full-time teams for Colin Braun or Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – sponsorship or not – and Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards will also run the full Nationwide schedule. Also, Roush said he expects to run Paul Menard with Menards sponsorship for all Nationwide events next year. Plus, he hopes to have cars for Cup drivers David Ragan, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle. (SceneDaily)(9-12-2009)
  • Doubleheader at Gateway in 2010? Although the sanctioning body has not yet released its schedule for the Sprint Cup, Nationwide or Camping World Truck series for 2010, it’s a certainty Gateway will host a doubleheader weekend involving the Nationwide cars and the Camping World Trucks, the Post-Dispatch has learned. The trucks will race on the 1.25-mile oval on Friday, July 16 and the Nationwide cars will compete on Saturday, July 17. Both races will take place at night, with the time to be determined. Gateway general manager Lenny Batycki declined to comment but said NASCAR plans to release the dates for all three series later this month. At that point, Batycki said he would release his dates “in conjunction” with NASCAR. It will be the sixth time in 13 years the date for the race has been changed, although the last three races have been in September.(St. Louis Post-Dispatch)(9-12-2009)
  • Calinoff spotting for Wallace: Mike Calinoff will fill in for spotter Tim Fedewa at Richmond and NHMS and work with #66 Steve Wallace. Fedewa will spot for his Cup driver, #99 Scott Speed, who is slated to run a few Nationwide races.(9-11-2009)
  • Busch & Hamlin “Race Off” in Richmond: Jim Sexton, CEO of Z-Line Designs furniture manufacturing and a proud sponsor of NASCAR racing is always up for a challenge but, recently, he was surprised when his wife, Monica, laid down the gauntlet for a “family feud” at the NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia 529 College Savings 250 to be held at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2009. Normally, Z-Line Designs presents a united front behind their regular NASCAR driver, Kyle Busch and #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. (JGR) However, for this special occasion, Monica has enlisted the help of Denny Hamlin, Busch’s teammate at JGR, who will drive #20 Toyota under Z-Line Designs’ sponsorship for her favorite charity, Operation Helmet, while Busch, driving the No. 18, will be representing Jim’s charity of choice, Racing For Kids. More info and to vote at the JGR site.(9-11-2009)
  • Union Bank and Trust on the #01: Mike Wallace will drive the Union Bank and Trust #01 Chevy at Richmond this weekend. The J-D Motorsports entry carries associate sponsorship from MC2 Energy Drink.(J-D Motorsports PR)(9-10-2009)
  • Richmond Rookie Notes:
    Michael Annett was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the Degree V12 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Annett posted a 14th-place finish and grabbed top rookie honors for the second time in the last three races.
    At least one Raybestos Rookie has scored a top-10 finish in 22 of 26 NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season.
    Justin Allgaier leads Brendan Gaughan by 11 points (209-198) entering the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway.
    Three Raybestos Rookies are in the top-10 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship standings. Allgaier is fifth followed by Gaughan (eighth) and Michael McDowell (tenth).
    Two Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions during the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season: Gaughan and Erik Darnell.
    Landon Cassill was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2008 Virginia 529 College Savings 250, posting a 12th-place finish.
    The most recent Raybestos Rookie driver to lead a lap in the fall race at Richmond is Kevin Harvick, who led once for one lap in the 2000 event, a span of eight races.
    Only two Raybestos Rookies have won the September race at Richmond. Bobby Hamilton edged Tommy Ellis by two car lengths in 1989 while Steve Park crossed the finish line 1.432 seconds ahead of Randy LaJoie in 1997.
    Andy Santerre is the only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole for the fall race at Richmond. Santerre won the pole in 1998, a span of 11 races.
    Only once in the past 20 fall races have two Raybestos Rookies finished in the top-five at Richmond. In 1989, Bobby Hamilton won while Kenny Wallace finished third.
    (Raybestos / Camp & Assoc. PR)(9-10-2009)
  • Oval debut for Marks: Justin Marks has made three career NASCAR Nationwide Series starts – each at a road course and with Braun Racing. This weekend marks his first NNS start on an oval track as he climbs behind the wheel of the #10 BraunAbility Toyota at Richmond International Raceway.(Braun Racing PR)(9-9-2009)
  • Acredale on the #28 & #49 at Richmond: Acredale Vending & Coffee Service will be with #28-Kenny Wallace in his 800th Nascar start. Company owner Scott Abshire will have Acredale on the B post of the Jay Robinson Racing #28 & #49 every week. Abshire will return to the track this week as a part-time crew member. Acredale Vending & Coffee Service has provided vending machines in the Tidewater area for 25 years. Team Acredale also provides office Coffee Service for several NASCAR teams via UPS as well.(Acredale PR)(9-9-2009)
  • Atlanta TV ratings: For the fourth consecutive week, ESPN’s coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series earned a ratings increase. The telecast of the event from Atlanta on Saturday night aired on ESPN2 and earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.4, up from the 1.1 rating for the Nationwide Series race in Fontana, Calif., last year on Labor Day weekend. Atlanta Motor Speedway did not have a Nationwide Series race in October of 2008.(ESPN PR)(9-9-2009)
  • Kevin Conway joins R3 Motorsports: Rob Fuller, team principal for R3 Motorsports, and driver Kevin Conway announced a multi-year deal that will put Conway behind the wheel of the #23 ExtenZe Chevy in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Conway’s first race for R3 Motorsports will be the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Motor Speedway on October 3rd .(R3 Motorsports PR)(9-9-2009)
  • Kvapil in for Townley at Richmond: RAB Racing announced that Travis Kvapil, the 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, will fill in for John Wes Townley in the #09 Zaxby’s Ford in the upcoming Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, September 11th.(RAB Racing PR)(9-8-2009)
  • Lipton on the #88 at Richmond: This weekend will mark the only race in 2009 that Keselowski will carry the Lipton seal on the hood of the #88 Chevy, but it’s the second time this season that Lipton has sponsored a JR Motorsports car. Lipton was the primary sponsor of the #5 Chevy driven by Mark Martin at the Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond in May. (JR Motorsports PR)(9-8-2009)
  • Special Scheme for Keller at Richmond: To help commemorate September as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Kimberly-Clark’s Depend brand, Family Dollar, and ZERO – The Project to End Prostate Cancer, have teamed up with NASCAR driver Jason Keller to encourage race fans across the country to be proactive about their prostate health. Keller’s #27 Ford will adorn a special Depend and Family Dollar-themed paint scheme complete with a blue ribbon, signifying prostate cancer awareness, as well as the words “Help End Prostate Cancer” across the hood for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Speedway on Sept. 11, 2009.(Taylor PR), see an image of the car on the #27 Paint Schemes page.(9-8-2009)
  • 800 starts for Kenny: #28-Kenny Wallace will add another highlight to his resume by making his 800th career NASCAR start in Friday night’s event under the lights at Richmond. Entering the NASCAR ranks for the first time in 1988 driving for Dale Earnhardt Sr. in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (then Busch) Advance Auto 150 at Martinsville Speedway, Wallace went on to win the 1989 Rookie of the Year Award following his first full season driving a car for his brother, Rusty Wallace. Amassing 190 top 10’s and 13 poles in NASCAR’s top three national-touring series, including the only driver to be voted Nationwide Series’ Most Popular Driver three times (’91,’94,’06), Wallace’s career has been a storied one, including 444 starts in the Nationwide Series, 344 in the Cup Series as well as 11 starts in what is now known as the Camping World Truck Series.(WSM Group PR)(9-8-2009)
  • 100 starts for McClure: #24-Eric McClure returns to his home state for the second time this season to compete in his 100th career Nationwide Series event at Richmond International Raceway.(McClure PR)(9-8-2009)
  • Lawson returns to the #52: According to his web site, Chris Lawson will drive Friday night at Richmond. He made his series debut earlier in the year at ORP, driving for #52-Jimmy Means.(9-8-2009)
  • Roush Fenway Racing looking for sponsors: Roush Fenway Racing is still looking for many sponsors for next season. What it is not looking for is sponsorship for Danica Patrick. Roush Fenway President Geoff Smith said time is running out to get sponsorship for the organization’s #26 team in order to be able to move that group to Yates Racing. Roush Fenway must cut from five to four Cup teams after the 2009 season. It still needs to find half a season of sponsorship for #17-Matt Kenseth on the Cup side as well as sponsors to help field the organization’s three or four Nationwide teams. Smith said the problem in trying to do a multiple-sponsor deal with one team is that the organization can’t guarantee it would run the entire season. Even if a company isn’t interested in a full primary sponsor role, it wants to be with a team that is running the full schedule, Smith said.(SceneDaily)(9-8-2009)
  • Nationwide Series Live from Richmond on ESPN2: ESPN2 continues its season-long coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend as the series races under the lights at Richmond International Raceway. The live, flag-to-flag telecast airs Friday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. ET. ESPN2 is the home of the NASCAR Nationwide Series all season, with selected races on ESPN and ABC. Also on Friday, coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying airs at 4 p.m. on ESPN2, while coverage of final practice airs at 10 a.m. on ESPN2. Marty Reid will be lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN’s coverage, with analysis by Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. Reporting from the pits will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch, with two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief Tim Brewer in the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage. Allen Bestwick will host the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program with analysis by Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN pit studio.(ESPN PR)(9-7-2009)
  • Racing Resources/ESPN says… Kevin Harvick won the Nationwide Series Degree V12 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He scored his first series victory in eight races at AMS. Harvick became the 14th different race winner in 18 series races at Atlanta. He scored his 34th career series victory in 231 career races, ranking second all time behind Mark Martin, who has scored 48 series wins in 231 races. It was Harvick’s second victory in 2009. He also won at first Bristol.
    Harvick led six times for 131 laps, including the final two. He led the most laps in the race. He had led just five laps in his previous seven races at Atlanta. Harvick became the seventh series race winner with multiple wins in 2009.
    Kyle Busch leads all series drivers with six victories in 2009. Six other drivers have scored multiple wins in 2009: Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards each have three, and David Ragan, Greg Biffle and Harvick have two. Five other drivers have scored one each.
    This was the fifth Kevin Harvick Inc. victory and second in 2009.
    Only five cars finished on the lead lap. This was the fewest cars on the lead lap since there were five at Lowe’s in October 2006.
    This marked the 11th victory for Chevrolet at Atlanta. Ford has seven. They remain the only manufacturers to win series races at Atlanta.
    Kyle Busch (finished second) scored his ninth second-place finish in 2009. Busch has scored 15 finishes of first or second in 2009. He has led in 24 of the 26 races in 2009. Busch has a 221-point lead over second-place Edwards.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) posted his best series finish in seven races this season.
    Brad Keselowski (fourth) scored his eighth straight top-10 finish, extending a streak that began at Gateway. Keselowski has been running at the finish in his past 58 series races, the longest current streak. His last DNF came because of an an accident at Las Vegas in March 2008, when he finished 23rd.
    Jeff Burton (fifth) scored his fourth straight top-5 finish at Atlanta.
    Jason Leffler (20th) has finished outside the top-15 in just four of the 26 races this season.
    Michael Annett (14th) was the highest finishing rookie of the year contender.
    The top 10 consisted of five Chevrolets, three Fords and two Toyotas.
    (ESPN.com)(9-7-2009)
  • Bires to the #88? UPDATE: JR Motorsports President Kelley Earnhardt confirmed that Kelly Bires is on the list of possible replacements for Brad Keselowski should the company and the driver part ways. Many in the garage have called Bires, who turns 25 Tuesday, the front-runner for the #88 Nationwide Series ride.(FoxSports)(8-24-2009)
    UPDATE: Driver Kelly Bires and JR Motorsports co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. share a mutual interest in joining forces next season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The only question is when – and if – they will. The recent announcement of Brad Keselowski’s departure from the #88 JR Motorsports entry at season’s end leaves a full-time vacancy in one of the Chevrolets that Earnhardt Jr. co-owns with Rick Hendrick. Plans for the organization’s No. 5 team also remain in the works, possibly giving Bires another way in. “Kelly is a good kid,” Earnhardt Jr. said after finishing third in Saturday night’s Nationwide race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “I’ve watched him for a couple of years. He’s got some opportunities to do a couple of different things next year. We’ve talked to him about working with us and he seems excited about that opportunity. We’re working with him and pitching him to several partners we have, and hopefully, the new partners that sign up with us. Bires indicated on Saturday at AMS that he would be open to the idea of driving the #5 or #88 JR Motorsports entry and expressed a clear interest in the organization, which has won races with both its cars in the last two Nationwide seasons. Bires expects an announcement about his future to be just around the corner. “I would think the sooner the better, so I think the next couple weeks are going to be real critical and I think you’ll see something come in the next couple weeks,” he said.(SceneDaily)(9-6-2009)
  • Danica to run some Nationwide and CWTS races in 2010? Danica Patrick will “all but certainly” be in NASCAR in 2010, but won’t give up Indy car racing and will limit next year’s activity to the Nationwide Series and Trucks, according to a source very close to the situation. Tony Stewart is the “star candidate” to be her partner and mentor in NASCAR, the source said, adding that Patrick’s recent visits to Stewart-Haas Racing were much more than social — that she and Stewart were discussing a deal, and are close to one. The plan is for Patrick to run a significant number of Nationwide races, with additional seat time in Trucks and ARCA cars. Stewart took a similar transitional path to NASCAR in 1998, running a full Indy car schedule and also 22 Nationwide (then Busch) races. Patrick’s likeliest first stock car race would be the ARCA event at Daytona during SpeedWeeks next February. There’s no way Patrick would a) plunge immediately into the Cup level next year, or b) give up Indy car racing until she’s sure she can do well in NASCAR, the source said. Because Stewart’s team has neither Nationwide cars nor trucks in its stable, a third partner will be brought into the mix, the source said — possibly Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s JR Motorsports, or, more likely, Kevin Harvick Inc., which fields both Trucks and Nationwide cars. Sponsorship is not considered an issue for America’s top female driver, and the first car manufacturer to sign Patrick to a NASCAR deal would get a big boost in brand exposure.(ESPN.com)(9-5-2009)
  • Bliss still looking for 2010 ride: The recent fortunes of Mike Bliss have proven quite the opposite to his surname. Since being fired as the driver for Phoenix Racing’s # 1 NASCAR Nationwide Series team in June, times have indeed been anything but blissful. Bliss continues to make select Cup starts in Phoenix Racing’ #09 Sprint Cup entry but doesn’t expect that to continue in 2010. The veteran driver has started each of the four Nationwide races since losing his ride but has a best finish of 15th over that stretch. As for the team and series where Bliss will race in 2010, he says he doesn’t know. Bliss will compete in the Nationwide Series for a fourth straight race this weekend in the #87 Nemco Motorsports entry owned by Joe and Andrea Nemechek. “All I’m doing over here is start-and-park stuff for Joe Nemechek, which really sucks because I think I’m ninth in points now,” said the 44-year-old Bliss. “Joe’s just trying to help me out on that deal. Bliss says he’ll be in the #40 Key Motorsports Nationwide entry and the #71 TRG Motorsports Cup car next weekend at Richmond. The rest of his 2009 schedule is “kind of week-to-week.”(SceneDaily)(9-5-2009)
  • Townley showing support for school principal: When NASCAR Nationwide Series driver John Wes Townley steers his #09 Zaxby’s Ford onto the track for Saturday night’s Degree V12 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he’ll be displaying support for his former high school principal, John Osborne. The 19-year-old Townley was disappointed to learn last week that Osborne had been relieved of his duties as principal at North Oconee High School in Bogart, Ga. over comments to the local media regarding athletic facilities at the six-year-old school. Townley hopes the Oconee County school board will reverse the decision at a public hearing on Sept. 11 and reinstate the popular Osborne to his post. Townley’s Ford will carry “Save John Osborne” decals in Saturday night’s event.(Zaxby’s PR)(9-4-2009)
  • Stout in the #0 at Atlanta: J-D Motorsports will have J.C Stout behind the whell of the #0 Chevy at Atlanta. www.GetNutone.com is the primary sponsor of the #0 car this weekend. Nutone Heating & Air Products are offered by the Nolan Company, a division of WinWholesale, operates regional and major market locations throughout the USA.(J-D Motorsports PR)(9-4-2009)
  • New Spotter for Chase Austin: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spotter Mike Calinoff [#17-Matt Kenseth] will spot with #07-Chase Austin for this Saturday nights NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Atlanta (Chase Austin PR)(9-3-2009)
  • Sundrop back on the #01: Mike Wallace will drive the #01 Sun Drop Chevy for J-D Motorsports at Atlanta this weekend. This is the first time Wallace has been behind the wheel of the Sun Drop car. (JD Motorsports PR)(9-3-2009)
  • Beatles on the #20: image: The Beatles: Rock Band, a music video game developed by Harmonix Music Systems and published by MTV Games, will adorn the #20 Toyota this weekend along with GameStop. The game will feature 45 songs spanning the group’s career.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR), see an image of the car on the #20 Paint Schemes page.(9-1-2009)
  • Brian Keselowski raising awareness of injured motorcycle rider: #26-Brian Keselowski is usually on the other end of looking for help with his racing, however this time Brian is doing his part to help out a young promising star. Justin Weeks was well on his way to becoming the next rising star of American Motocross. A young Suzuki contingency amateur rider, Justin won the 450 class at Loretta Lynn’s this year with a 1-1-1 sweep over the nation’s best amateur talent. Justin turned pro a month ago since he is now 18 and placed 19th overall at his first showing. Unfortunately that rise may have been cut short. On August 30th Justin was racing a contingency race in Freeland Michigan and was thrown wrong off of a double jump and his body took most of the impact. Currently Justin has no feeling from the chest down and his jaw is broken. As of latest he was alert before heading to surgery and could move his arms but the rest of the situation is still unknown at this time. Supporters of Justin have set up a fund to help with the medical costs that will be associated with the surgery and recovery and are looking for help. Brian, a fan of snowmobiles and motocross will be running Justin’s website – www.justinweeks381.com on his car this weekend to try and bring awareness to his injury and try to help raise support for the injured star. Fans can go to the website and lend their support. Justin Weeks is a Cincinnati OH local.(Driven Agency PR)(9-2-2009)
  • Shepherd lays off crew: Saturday’s failure to make the field [at Montreal] did more damage as a result of the financial toll that missing the field brings. “I had to let just about everybody go on Monday when we got back,” Shepherd said. “We will go to Atlanta and I will just have to do it pretty much by myself. We just can’t pay people when we don’t have anything coming in.” Monday’s layoffs included many shop and track crew personnel, including crew chief Morris Van Vleet. The cutbacks leave the team with just one shop mechanic and one track crew member. Shepherd said if the team doesn’t get some sponsorship soon or if it fails to make the starting field at Atlanta that he will have to make some tough decisions. “There is no quit in us, but we can only go so far without money. We’ll see after Atlanta what we are able to do.”(Race with Faith PR)(9-2-2009)
  • 250 starts for KHI: When #33-Kevin Harvick starts Saturday night’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he will be making KHI’s 250th Nationwide Series start. Tony Stewart made the first Nationwide Series start for KHI in 2004 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway where he started from the sixth position and finished fifth.(KHI PR)(9-2-2009)
  • Montreal TV ratings up: Following two consecutive weeks of rising TV ratings for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series on the ESPN networks, ratings rose again for this past weekend’s Nationwide Series race at Montreal. The Sprint Cup Series had the weekend off. ESPN2’s live telecast of the event from Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal earned a 1.6 final national household coverage rating, up from the 1.5 rating for last year’s race that also aired on ESPN2, and the 1.4 rating for the inaugural race in 2007 that aired on ESPN2. The telecast averaged 2,094,211 viewers. During the previous two weeks, ESPN’s live coverage of Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races from Michigan International Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway all earned ratings increases from the previous year’s telecasts.(ESPN PR)(9-1-2009)
  • Bires making his debut in the #11: Kelly Bires will make his first appearance behind the wheel of the #11 RIDEMAKERZ Toyota this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(CJM Racing PR)(9-1-2009
  • Delphi on the #88: Delphi seal will once again be on the hood of the #88 JR Motorsports Chevy this weekend in Atlanta. This is the fourth of six events where Delphi will serve as the primary sponsor for Keselowski.(JR Motorsports PR)(9-1-2009)
  • JR Motorsports looking at 2010 options: JR Motorsports is considering several drivers for its two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams next year, team spokesman Mike Davis said Tuesday, although he declined to identify them. JR Motorsports also has entered the No. 5 car in several races with a variety of drivers, including team co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, Ryan Newman, Scott Wimmer and Ron Fellows, and Tony Stewart is also slated to drive before the end of the year. Davis said whether both teams will run full time depends on sponsorship as the organization is currently working on renewals with its sponsors. The organization has not announced any sponsor-driver lineup for 2010. “We have several things in the works for sponsorship, including ongoing discussions with current partners as well as new ones,” Davis said in an email Tuesday. “Obviously, we are considering several drivers for the #88 car, as well as the #5. We anticipate the setup would be similar to this year’s. Dale Jr. intends to run several Nationwide races in 2010, just as he has this year.”(SceneDaily)(9-1-2009)
  • Atlanta Rookie Notes:
    Brendan Gaughan was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec. Gaughan scored a ninth-place finish, his sixth top-10 and claimed top rookie honors for the sixth time in 2009.
    At least one Raybestos Rookie has scored a top-10 finish in 22 of 25 NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season.
    Justin Allgaier leads Brendan Gaughan by 10 points (207-197) entering the Degree V12 300 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway.
    Three Raybestos Rookies are in the top-10 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship standings. Allgaier is sixth followed by Gaughan (eighth) and Michael McDowell (tenth).
    Two Raybestos Rookies have won pole positions during the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season: Gaughan and Erik Darnell.
    Cale Gale was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race in the 2008 Degree V12 300 at Atlanta, scoring a 20th-place finish.
    Carl Edwards won the 2005 Degree V12 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, scoring his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory. Edwards owns the only victory by a Raybestos Rookie in 17 Nationwide Series races at Atlanta and is one of just four freshman drivers to score a top-five at the 1.54-mile speedway.
    Edwards is also the only Raybestos Rookie to win a pole position at Atlanta.
    A Raybestos Rookie has finished in the top-10 in four of the last five Nationwide Series races at Atlanta.
    The most recent Raybestos Rookie to lead a lap in a Nationwide Series race at Atlanta is John Andretti in 2006 (once for one lap).
    (Raybestos / Camp & Assoc. PR)(9-1-2009)
  • Keselowski to Penske; Will run full Nationwide season: Penske Racing announced that Brad Keselowski, one of NASCAR’s rising stars, will compete for the team full-time, beginning with the 2010 NASCAR season. Keselowski, a 25-year-old native of Rochester Hills, Mich., will drive the #12 Penske Dodge in the NASCAR Cup Series next season. He will also run a full-season schedule in the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series, where he will compete for a championship with the team.(Penske Racing PR)(9-1-2009)