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Friday, October 29, 2010

KHI, RCR join Nationwide forces

When it comes to Nationwide Series competition, Kevin Harvick will join forces with his Sprint Cup Series car owner, Richard Childress, in 2011. On Thursday, Kevin Harvick Inc. announced that the organization will field Nationwide entries with an assist from Richard Childress Racing. The cars will run under the KHI banner, with chassis, engine and technical support coming from RCR. RCR will not field a Natiownide Series entry next season.

"This alliance will help both of our race teams," Harvick said. "Richard and I have discussed this opportunity for awhile, and we thought, at this point, both programs would really benefit from this new structure, since the Nationwide Series new cars will be so similar to our Sprint Cup cars."

To read more, visit NASCAR Nationwide Series Examiner.

Photo of Richard Childress and Kevin Harvick courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Bayne to make Cup debut at Texas

NASCAR Nationwide Series regular Trevor Bayne has been on the move lately, moving from Diamond Waltrip Racing to Roush Fenway Racing. After a couple of races getting used to his new Roush Fenway surroundings, a new challenge for Bayne was revealed -- his Sprint Cup Series debut. Wood Brothers Racing recently announced that Bayne will be behind the wheel of its legendary No. 21 car for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 7.

"It seems a little surreal right now, but it's just an awesome opportunity to get in this No. 21 Ford," Bayne said. "The Wood Brothers have such a history in the sport, and it's great to get to become a small part of that."

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

Photo of Trevor Bayne courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Waltrip back in race car for Talladega

Michael Waltrip may not be behind the wheel of a Sprint Cup car week in and week out, but he's not completely retired. One kind of racing brings the driver out of his semi-retirement a few times a year -- restrictor plate racing. The Sprint Cup Series goes restrictor plate racing for the fourth and final time this season on Sunday with the Amp Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, and Waltrip will once again climb into a No. 55 car.

"If the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced every weekend at Talladega and Daytona, I'd still be driving full-time," Waltrip said. "That's how much I like those tracks and restrictor plate racing."

From the start of his Cup career in 1985 until he stopped competing full-time at the end of the 2009 season, Waltrip posted four-career wins, all coming at the restrictor plate tracks of Talladega and Daytona International Speedway. He has three wins at Daytona and one at Talladega, coming in 2003.

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

McCumbee in TRG's No. 71 at Talladega

Chad McCumbee returns to Sprint Cup Series competition this weekend when the series takes to Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday's Amp Energy Juice 500. He'll be behind the wheel of the No. 71 car of TRG Motorsports.

"I'm both proud and excited to drive for ModSpace (his sponsor for the weekend) and TRG this weekend in Talladega," McCumbee said. "It's a blessing to get back into the Cup garage and compete with the best drivers in the world. I'm looking forward to getting to Talladega and putting together a solid performance for everyone."

This weekend's Talladega event will be McCumbee's second Sprint Cup start of 2010. He finished 42nd at Pocono Raceway in June. For the most part this season, McCumbee has been competing in the ARCA Racing Series. He comes into this weekend's race with nine career Sprint Cup Series starts on his resume, but none at Talladega.

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

Photo of Chad McCumbee courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Top-three Chasers bring similar stats into Talladega

With only four races to go in the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup, counting Sunday’s Amp Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Speedway, three drivers have pulled away somewhat from the rest of the Chase field and set themselves apart as the true championship contenders heading into the final stretch of races to decide this season’s champion—Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick.

As has been commonplace the last few years, Johnson heads into this final stretch as the championship points leader, with Hamlin in second and Harvick holding down third. The three, along with the rest of the Sprint Cup competitors, face what is most certainly the biggest wild card of the Chase—Talladega—on Sunday. Anything can, and more often than not does, happen at Talladega Superspeedway.

If you overlook Talladega’s unpredictability and take a look at statistics, these top-three drivers are pretty evenly matched heading into Sunday’s race at Talladega. Johnson and Harvick each have a win at the Alabama track. They also each have four top-fives there and their Talladega top-10 tallies are just one apart—Harvick with eight and Johnson with seven. Hamlin is lagging behind just slightly with no wins and one fewer top-five with three.

They also each have their own kind of momentum heading into Talladega. Johnson is the points leader and is the reigning champion four times over, Hamlin comes into this weekend as the most recent race winner, and Harvick heads into Sunday’s race as the most recent winner at Talladega.

To read more, visit Auto Racing Daily.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

If Francis comes, McGrew must go

Okay class, it's time for today's math lesson. Today we will be learning about crew chiefs.....
Okay, so we all know that Kenny Francis is expected to be going to Red Bull racing next year with Kasey Kahne. Now, you know what happens when you assume, but I think it's pretty safe to say that Kahne will be joined at Hendrick Motorsports in 2012 with Kenny.
Okay, now time for math.

There is a 4 team limit for each Sprint Cup team.

There will be 4 drivers in 2012 at Hendrick Motorsports.

There then has to be 4 crew chiefs.

There are 3 crew chiefs signed on for a multi year crew chief position.

So, who's the guy left out?

Lance McGrew.

So, as long as Dale Earnhardt Junior stays on board at Hendrick in 2012, and Kenny Francis joins the team, that means that one crew chief has to go. This would have to be Lance McGrew.

So, for all the fans wanting Lance McGrew to be replaced as Dale Jr's Crew Chief, this might be a good sign for you.

Now the question is when? Wouldn't it be better now than later?

Okay class, don't forget your homework. It's on the number of times Jimmie Johnson can win a championship.

Friday, October 22, 2010

RPM looks to be on life support with possibly no relief in sight

Did Kasey Kahne’s departure from Charlotte Motor Speedway during last Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 signal the beginning of the end for Richard Petty Motorsports? The turmoil the organization is going through at the present time has been brewing for months, but Kahne’s actions on Saturday and then his parting ways with the team—unexpectedly to fans and others outside the RPM situation—on Wednesday night did definitely shed light on RPM’s plight.

Things started to look at least a little negative for Richard Petty Motorsports when three of its four drivers seemed to one by one look to jump ship. Kahne announced that he was leaving the team to ultimately drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, via a one-year stop at Red Bull Racing in 2011. Then Elliott Sadler announced he wouldn’t be returning to RPM next season, even though he didn’t have another ride lined up. Paul Menard followed suit soon after, announcing that he was heading to Richard Childress Racing at the end of the season.

Of course, Sadler didn’t seem to be wanted by the organization, anyway. The team tried to let him go awhile back, but Sadler threatened a lawsuit to stay, since he was still under contract. Now that the contract is running out, Sadler seems more than happy to pack his bags and look for employment elsewhere.

Maybe these three drivers saw the writing on the wall and opted to get out before it was too late. Kahne, whether it was his decision or RPM’s, couldn’t even wait until the end of the season to escape. He’s beginning his stint with Red Bull Racing this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

To read more, visit Auto Racing Daily.

Photo of the No. 9 car by Amanda Vincent

McReynolds hopes to make Nationwide Series debut at Gateway

Brandon McReynolds, son of NASCAR on Fox broadcaster and former Cup Series crew chief Larry McReynolds, hopes to make his Nationwide Series debut Saturday in the 5-Hour Energy 250 at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. He'll be driving a No. 42 car for Team 42 Racing Dodge, owned by Eddie Smith.

"For someone like myself, who has made my living and spent my entire life in the sport of NASCAR and other forms of racing, I can't put into words what it means to have my son competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race this weekend at Gateway International Raceway," Larry McReynolds said. "I am so thankful that people like Eddie Smith are able to recognize all of Brandon's talent, and I'm thrilled to see his first start this weekend."

Brandon McReynolds isn't guaranteed a starting spot in Saturday's race. Instead, he'll have to get his car in on time when Nationwide Series qualifying is held on Saturday morning (airing 10:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2).

To read more, visit Nationwide Series News, Notes & Rumors.

Photo of Brandon McReynolds courtesy of ARCA

Childress hopes crew swap will help title run

With Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 looking to be Richard Childress Racing's only shot at the Sprint Cup championship this season -- even though all three teams are in the Chase -- team owner Richard Childress made a crew swap with the hope that it'll improve the No. 29 team's performance in the final five races of the season.

"Those (pit road) issues have been addressed, and I believe everything will be fine this week," Harvick said during a press conference at Martinsville Speedway on Friday. "Richard made some huge changes this week."

The huge changes Harvick was referring to includied swapping the pit crews between the No. 29 team and the No. 33 team of driver Clint Bowyer, who is 12th in the Chase and out of championship contention.

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

Photo of No. 29 car courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Edwards, Keselowski battle to become last winner at Gateway

When the Nationwide Series takes to the track Saturday afternoon for the 5-Hour Energey 250, it'll mark the final NASCAR event at Gateway International Raceway -- at least for the foreseeable future -- as track officials opted not to seek NASCAR sanctioning for 2011, citing financial difficulties.

Saturday's race will be the second Nationwide event of the season for Gateway, with the earlier race playing host to a showdown between points leader Brad Keselowski and second-place Carl Edwards. Edwards wound up winning that duel after controversial contact with Keselowski and heads into this weekend looking to not only sweep Gateway for the season, but also to prevent Keselowski from clinching the series championship with three more races to go after Saturday's race.

To read more, visit NASCAR Nationwide Series Examiner.

Photo of Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski from their visit to Gateway earlier this season courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kahne gone from No. 9 car sooner than expected

On Wednesday evening, Richard Petty Motorsports announced that it was parting ways with driver Kasey Kahne, effective immediately. Kahne announced months ago that he would leave RPM at the end of the season for a ride with Hendrick Motorsports to begin in 2012. Plans for 2011 has the driver piloting a car for Red Bull Racing.

Kahne's contract with RPM expires at the end of the season, but the organization opted to release him immediately, according to Wednesday's announcement. Current Camping World Truck Series competitor and part-time Nationwide Series driver Aric Almirola will drive RPM's No. 5 entry in Sunday's Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Almirola was already scheduled to be at Martinsville this weekend, as the Truck Series competes at the same track on Saturday afternoon. The team is still searching for a driver to run the remaining four races on the Sprint Cup Series schedule.

Almirola was also expected to drive Red Bull's No. 83 car in the Sprint Cup event this weekend. With Almirola moving to the No. 9 and Kahne being slated as a Red Bull driver next season, Kahne is expected to be in the No. 83 car Sunday. Brian Vickers began the season as the regular driver in the No. 83 but was forced out of the car by treatment for blood clots. Vickers is expected to return to the team for 2011 to be a teammate to Kahne, and Scott Speed, current driver of Red Bull Racing's No. 82 entry, is assumed to be the odd man out with the organization.

To read more, visit Cup Series News & Notes.

Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The No. 9 team needs to just hit fast forward and skip to 2011

Often times when drivers announce moves to different teams for the next season before the current season is over, or teams announce that their going to make driver changes during the offseason before the season is even over, drivers and teams alike insist that the plans for the upcoming changes will not hinder focus and efforts for the remainder of the season in progress. But are they really being honest with their fans, employees, etc., or themselves, for that matter?

The facade of “business as usual” for the remainder of the year with the No. 9 team at Richard Petty Motorsports developed a crack, or maybe even a downright hole, during the Bank of America at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday night.

The Charlotte saga started with brake problems on the No. 9 car that resulted in a wreck that sent Kahne to the garage. As the team made repairs to the car, Kahne claimed he felt ill and left the racetrack. With its regular driver gone, the No. 9 team turned to J.J. Yeley to climb into the car to make laps once the car was repaired.

Was it a coincidence that the No. 9’s “gone at the end of the year” driver got sick while his team made repairs, or was this a case of a driver fed up and just not caring anymore, since he’s only with said team a few more weeks, anyway?

Truly, that’s something that I guess only Kahne knows the real answer to.

To read more, visit Auto Racing Daily.

Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Brad Sweet ready for Nationwide Series debut

USAC driver and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series part-timer Brad Sweet is scheduled to make his Nationwide Series debut in the Five Hour Energy 250 on Saturday at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. He'll be behind the wheel of the No. 11 Great Clips entry of Braun Racing/Turner Motorsports.

I'm looking forward to making my Nationwide Series debut in the great Clips Camry," Sweet said. "I've seen what Great Clips has done for Kasey (Kahne) in the Nationwide Series, and I've really enjoyed working with them in the Truck Series."

Sweet's regular gig is driving a Kasey Kahne-owned USAC midget. In that ride, he sits eighth in the 2010 USAC National Midget Championship points standings. He has also made eight starts in the Camping World Truck Series, driving an entry for Stringer Motorsports with backing from Great Clips.

To read more, visit Nationwide Series News, Notes & Rumors.

Photo of Brad Sweet courtesy of Stringer Motorsports

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NASCAR makes switch to E15

Over the weekend, NASCAR announced that it would make the move to a more environmentally friendly E15 fuel in all three national touring series -- Camping World Truck, Nationwide and Sprint Cup -- in 2011. All three series will run the new Sunoco Green E15 fuel, an ethanol blend.

"The fuel that we have chosen and the fuel that was ultimately developed by Sunoco is going to be cleaner burning," NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said. "It's going to be actually, from a performance standpoint, we're actually going to be better. I'm told the drivers will have a little more horsepower and so on."

According to France, though, the move was actually made to be more environmentally responsible. The added performance in horsepower just happens to be an added perk.

The new fuel will be a domestically-produced one, coming mainly from the Midwest.

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

Photo of Brian France courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Friday, October 15, 2010



Shame on the losers But ,who was the loser .?
. It seems to me this class of inductees were taken from the roots of Nascar .The original people that really gave us the racing as we know and so love today
To call someone a loser or complain as Darrell Waltrip did that he wasnt choosen makes no sense at all . There is only room for five inductees a year and to honor the "old timers" of this great sport is just a natural phase that took place and should have .To say there shouldve put all the champions in first then all the drivers with the most wins makes like diddy people, a inductee like Bud Moore would never be elected and he was a very important part of "making" Nascar as it is today.
So to all of you that didnt get in ,youre "new" !Lets honor our history first.
Even the first pick of inductees went overboard when Dale Earnhardt was put in ,even thou he died ,as others have' he is [was] "new"
So get over yourselfs you will get in but in the mean time there are so many people that helped start this sport we cannot overlook them just so you will be satisfied.
Paul Denton
Racing Hellonwheels

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

McMurray right at home at Earnhardt Ganassi

Jamie McMurray may not have made this Chase this year, but does that mean his 2010 season is a bust? After all, most competitors would love to have the type of season McMurray has had so far in 2010. He started the year by winning the Daytona 500—NASCAR’s marquee event. To top that off, around mid-season, he claimed victory for the second time in 2010 by winning the Brickyard 400 at the storied Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

With those two wins, McMurray has come a long way in the last year. Remember, it was just a year ago that the Joplin, Mo., driver seemed to be struggling to keep his head above water and getting lost in the shuffle somewhat at Roush Fenway Racing. With NASCAR’s four-team cap that the five-car team was forced to abide by come 2010, it was no surprise at the end of last season that McMurray was the odd man out at the organization.

After being notified of his termination at Roush Fenway, McMurray didn’t know if he’d have a job in 2010, but a salvation of sorts came in the form of his former boss, Chip Ganassi. McMurray had started his Cup career with Chip Ganassi Racing but left the team for what, at the time, looked to be the greener pastures of the Roush Fenway shop.

Upon his arrival at the Roush organization, McMurray just never seemed to fit in. Maybe that’s because he was overshadowed by the likes of former Cup champion Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, and Carl Edwards. Someway, somehow, Roush Fenway Racing just never seemed to be the right fit for McMurray and vice-versa.

To read more, visit Auto Racing Daily.

Photo of Jamie McMurray courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Who will be the next inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame?

On Wednesday, the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting committee will get together once again to vote on the second class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. One ballot is already determined, as it’ll contain the result of the fan vote that wrapped up last month on NASCAR.com. As for the other ballots cast, at least some of the names on them look to be up in the air.

Of the 25 men nominated for induction this go around, only one of them seems to be a shoe-in—David Pearson. Pearson was expected by many to be among the five inaugural nominees, but instead, the place he was expected to fill went to Junior Johnson.

The first class of nominees that was announced last fall and officially inducted earlier this year was much easier to predict. After all, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt were considered certainties, with Petty being NASCAR’s all-time win leader and he and Earnhardt being the only two drivers with seven Cup titles. Also, Bill France Sr. and Bill France Jr. were expected to be part of the first class. France Sr. was the father of the sport, of sorts, creating NASCAR and getting it off the ground, and France Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps and brought NASCAR into the modern era.

This time around, though, the inductees are harder to predict. With the shoe-ins, except for maybe Pearson, going in with the first induction, it’s hard to tell who’ll make up the second class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

To read more, visit Auto Racing Daily.

Chevrolet claims eighth-straight manufacturers' title

With Tony Stewart's win of the Pepsi Max 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, Chevrolet clinched NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers' Cup.

"I'm glad to get Chevy the Manufacturer's Championship and to lock that up today," Stewart said after his win on Sunday.

The manufacturer has visited Sprint Cup Series victory lanes 16 times this season, with driver Jimmie Johnson leading the way for Chevrolet drivers with six victories. Kevin Harvick has three wins this year, Jamie McMurray and Stewart each have two, and Ryan Newman, Juan Pablo Montoya and Clint Bowyer have each contributed on win to Chevrolet's cause.

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Childress gets penalties reduced in last chance hearing

After losing an appeal to the National Stock Car Racing Commission last week regarding penalties his No. 33 team was handed following the Sept. 19 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, car owner Richard Childress stated his case to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook on Tuesday.

Following the New Hampshire event, Childress' No. 33 car, driven by Clint Bowyer was taken to NASCAR's Research and Development Center near Charlotte for further inspection. Upon that inspection, the car's placement on the chassis was discovered to not be within NASCAR's guidelines, as specified in the 2010 NASCAR rule book.

As a result, Bowyer was originally docked 150 driver points and Childress lost 150 owner points. Crew chief Shane Wilson was fined $150,000 and placed on suspension for six races. Car chief Chad Haney was also suspended for six events. Last week, the National Stock Car Racing Commission upheld NASCAR's penalty.

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

Photo of the No. 33 car courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Should Chasers be treated differently?

Unlike in other sports where playoff participants don’t have the non-title contenders to deal with, competitors in NASCAR’s playoff—the Chase for the Sprint Cup—still have to race with and around other drivers/teams that they’ve been competing against all season long. With that being said, should Chase drivers get or expect special treatment from the non-Chasers they’re sharing the race track with? After all, non-Chasers are looking to log race wins too.

In the 10 races that make up the Chase, on-track incidents that earlier in the season probably wouldn’t garner much attention from those not involved end up being scrutinized in the Chase if they involve a Chase driver. Case in point—the contact between non-Chaser David Reutimann and Chase competitor Kyle Busch during the Price Chopper 400 at Kansas Speedway this past Sunday.

Early in the race, Busch made contact with Reutimann—contact that Busch claimed was unintentional and caused by his inability to check up with Reutimann’s car got loose. Unintentional or not, and Busch being a Chase driver or not, Reutimann believed that a move of retaliation was in order. Several laps later his move of retaliation was carried out as he intentionally hit Busch, causing his car to scrape the wall and eventually finish the race in the 21st position.

After Reutimann’s retalitory move, Busch radioed his crew saying that if NASCAR didn’t penalize Reutimann, there was was going to be a meeting after the race. To my knowledge, the meeting never happened, but the series of events prompted an official statement from Michael Waltrip Racing the following Monday saying:

To read more, visit Auto Racing Daily.

Toyota claims third-straight Nationwide manufacturer's title

With Joey Logano's win Saturday of the Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway, Toyota clinched its third-straight manufacturer's title in the series. This year's Nationwide title marks the seventh manufacturer's championship for Toyota in NASCAR competition since it's entry into the sport via the Camping World Truck Series in 2004.

"Toyota's accomplishments in the NASCAR Nationwide Series are the result of countless hours of hard work and dedication by all our race teams and engine builders working in conjunction with TRD (Toyota Racing Development) USA," TRD President and General Manager Lee White said. "All the race team members and everyone at TRD spent countless hours in producing the new Nationwide Series car for this year, along with maintaining the superior performance of our existing cars."

To read more, visit Nationwide Series Examiner.

Photo of Kyle Busch courtesy of NASCAR Media.