Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Georgia Stock Car Racing - January 2011 Edition

Georgia Stock Car Racing - January 2011 Edition

Off season in the racing world? Not anymore…
Thinking back to the days of November to March, and sometimes April is the longest drought for a race fan. Many tracks in the south east have started racing in the late/early part of the year, and it’s exciting to see.
January 1st – Dillon Motor Speedway (Dillon, SC) - will make the 2011 season right by racing Street Stock, UCAR, Legends, Bandoleros, and Mini-Cup. (www.dillonmotorspeedway.com)
January 7-9 – 4th Annual Ice Cold Shriners Bowl, hosted by NASCAR driver David Ragan - Lanier National Speedway, Braselton, GA. Racing action will be both Saturday and Sunday, as Saturday the Legends and Bandolero take to the track as they battle to see who will be the next racer invited to race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, at part of the Georgia Invitational that will be held on Labor Day weekend. Sunday January 9th, grandstands will open around 11am, as the Bandoleros, Junkyard Dogs, Legends, Pro Challenge, Renegades, Mini-Stocks, Outlaw Late Model, Super Trucks, and Pro Late Model (100 Laps) battle it out around the 3/8th’s mile asphalt oval. (www.lanierspeedway.com)
January 15th – Georgia Winter Flurry Series for Legends and Bandoleros – Atlanta Motor Speedway ¼ mile track. (www.atlantamotorspeedway.com)
ALSO – Lanier Speedway will be holding their 2010 banquet at Blackshear Baptist Church in Oakwood.January 22nd - Georgia Winter Flurry Series for Legends and Bandoleros – Atlanta Motor Speedway ¼ mile track. (www.atlantamotorspeedway.com)
ALSO – Lanier Speedway is letting the tire smoke fly – Drifting, Dragging, and Driving. (www.lanierspeedway.com)
January 28th – 30th – Lanier Speedway host their biggest race of the year with the SPEEDFEST 2011. CRA SuperLate Models for 200 laps with the Pro Late Models running 150 laps on Sunday, January 29th. Saturday , January 28th, not only will the excitement kick up to see who sets the fastest time for Late Models, but the Super Trucks will be the stars of the evening racing for 100 laps, also featured are the Legends and Bandoleros. (www.lanierspeedway.com)
Promotional Idea – Lanier Speedway owner Donnie Clack announced December 20th, that for the Ice Cold Shriner’s Bowl 100% of the money earned at the concession stands will go directly to the Shriner’s.
Alcohol and Flames - Screven Ga Motor Speedway is proud to announce the Inagural 'Winter Freeze' to be held at the dirt track on Thursday, February 3, 2011.
For the first time in the history of the track, the fastest and baddest 410-winged. alcohol burning 900 horsepower outlaw sprints will hit the 3/8ths mile red clay banks of Screven Motor Speedway as the O'Reilly Auto Parts All Star Circuit of Champions kicks off their 71st season with a $10,000 to win Championship event. In continuing his efforts of keeping the fans in mind at all events , the Screven grandstands will feature heaters under the bleachers compliments of owner, “Redd” James Griffin. Gates will open for the First Annual Winter Freeze at 4:00 pm on Thursday, Februrary 3rd 2011.
Screven Motor Speedway is located on Highway 21 just south of Sylvania, GA between mile-marker 6 and 7 in Screven County, GA. The track is located at 6118 Savannah Highway, Sylvania, GA 30467.For directions or other information visit www.screvenmotorspeedway.com or call (912) 754-5882 or (912) 857-4884 on race-day.
Needmore Dirt Racing in the Winter Months? - Officials from the World of Outlaws Late Model Series is pleased to announce their 2011 season, which stretches from coast to coast, will make an early appearance in the Peach State, when the series has a southeast swing. An early-season tripleheader weekend in the Southeast, with events on March 25th at Ocala (Fla.) Speedway, March 26th at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, GA, and March 27th at Needmore Speedway in Norman Park, GA. Ocala and Screven have previously hosted the tour, while Needmore is new to the WoO schedule.
Keeping the History alive – Tim Thornton is spearheading a group that is making plans for a Racer Reunion at the former Middle Georgia Raceway in Bryon, GA, to be held in the early Spring.
The Ultimate Super Late Models are coming – Stan Lester, the creator and founder of the Fastrak Champions Crate dirt late model series, has created a Super Late Model series, known as the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series. Once a schedule is released, it will be published.
GA. Racing HOF Hosts GSMCA Awards Banquet
Dawsonville, Ga. – The Georgia Super Minicup Association wrapped up it’s 2010 season with a visit to the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, Georgia, for their awards banquet on Dec. 5.
Among those honored was Will Fagan, of Cumming, Georgia, as the 2010 GSMCA Future Stars Champion, along with Casey Willingham, of Ball Ground, Georgia, the 2010 GSMCA Open Division champion.
"The Georgia Racing Hall of Fame proved to be a wonderful location for our 2010 awards banquet,” said GSMCA President Bart Bullard. “Each of our drivers and the other attendees toured the museum and really enjoyed the unique displays that help make up Georgia racing history. I feel that we could not have asked for a better venue to host this event. It was also a pleasure to work with Mr. Gordon Pirkle in organizing this event."
“We were very proud to have the GMSCA hold their banquet here at the Hall of Fame,” said Pirkle, the CEO of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame board of directors. “What we try to do here at the hall is preserve and promote the history of the sport in the state, and the GSMCA and their drivers are working to make sure we have more history and stories to tell in the future.”
Established in 2009, the GMSCA has worked for the last two years to bring Minicup racing to the south. Governed by the Miniature Motorsports Association, the cars are half scale stock cars with tube chassis and four-wheel disc brakes. The racers also use two-way radio communications with sponsors and a full chassis car.
Series officials honored the top finishers from each division as well at the banquet. In the final standings for the Future Stars Division, following champion Fagan was second place Mason Elzey of Cumming, Georgia, with Emilee Riley of Jasper, Georgia, Eric Brookshire of Cumming, Georgia, Brody Bullard of Canton, Georgia and Austin Raines of Cumming, Georgia rounding out the top six.
In the Open Division, following champion Willingham was Riley, Fagan, Donald McIntosh of Dawsonville, Georgia and Mary Wilson of Duluth, Georgia.
With the GSMCA serving as the first major touring series to hold their awards banquet at the facility, Pirkle said he hopes the series is the first of many to celebrate the end of their season at the Hall of Fame.
“We were so proud to have the GSMCA here,” Pirkle said. “We think this is the perfect setting for any track or series to honor their champions. With the history that is here mixed with the history they are writing, it’s the perfect place to see new champions crowned.”
For more information on the GSMCA, visit their website at www.georgiasuperminicups.com.
For more information on the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, including facility rental for events, go to www.georgiaracinghof.com, or call 706-216-RACE (7223).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rusty Wallace Racing announced Doug Randolph crew chief for Steve Wallace

Team Release
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing announced Tuesday that Sprint Cup and Nationwide series veteran, Doug Randolph, has been named crew chief for Steve Wallace and RWR's No. 66 Toyota in the Nationwide Series.

Randolph joins RWR following stints as crew chief at such organizations as Richard Childress Racing, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Petty Enterprises. In his most recent Nationwide Series crew chief role, Randolph led Childress's No. 29 team and Clint Bowyer to wins at Daytona and Dover in 2009.
"I'm really looking forward to working with Steve Wallace and the 5-Hour Energy team," Randolph said. "Steve's definitely been one of the most improved drivers the last couple of years and has really developed into one of the best Nationwide Series guys out there.
"This team has a lot of potential too; I'm looking forward to continuing to build this program and hopefully being one of the contenders for the Nationwide Series championship in 2011."
Randolph replaces Scott McDougall as crew chief for the No. 66. In 2010, Wallace and McDougall finished 10th in points with a top-five and 13 top-10s.
"We're very excited to add Doug Randolph to our organization," RWR general manager Larry Carter said. "I've known Doug for a while and he's a really talented guy. He brings a lot of valuable experience to our team, including a lot of experience with the [new car]. We're all looking forward to working with him."

Kenny Wallace to Drive for RAB Racing in 2011

Kenny Wallace to Drive for RAB Racing in 2011

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December 22, 2010

CONCORD, NC – RAB Racing with Brack Maggard and veteran driver Kenny Wallace are teaming up to compete full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011. Wallace, who has over 20 years of experience in stock car racing, will make his debut for RAB Racing driving the No.09 Toyota Camry beginning on Saturday, February 19, 2011, in the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway.
Wallace, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, has competed in over 800 events in NASCAR’s top-three divisions, including 488 Nationwide Series starts with nine wins, 10 poles, 63 top-five and 159 top-10 finishes. In 2011, he can become only the second driver in series history to reach 500 career starts. In addition to his on-track accomplishments, Wallace is recognized as one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers and has been awarded the Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver award three times in 1991, 1994 and 2006.
“I’ve been nervous since the final 2010 Nationwide Series race at Homestead trying to find the right fit for next year and now I can finally sleep at night,” Wallace said.“My goal was to find a team with whom I could be competitive and I believe I have found that with RAB Racing, I’m ready to go for 2011. I have known Robby [Benton] and watched him grow his team for the past few years. The relationship with Toyota Racing Development (TRD) is huge and will allow me to be able to work with at least three other Toyota teams, including my brother Rusty [Wallace] and gain valuable information that will help us with the Nationwide program at RAB Racing next year.”
RAB Racing Co-owner Robby Benton shares Wallace’s enthusiasm for 2011. “Having our plans in place before the Christmas holiday is great for team morale and will provide us with ample time to prepare for what we need to do for the upcoming season,” Benton stated. “We’ve made significant changes at RAB Racing over the last few months in an effort to elevate our program. Our alliance with Toyota, the relationship we have with TRD and now adding Kenny to the mix, will bring some depth to our program. It also helps tremendously having a driver with Kenny’s notoriety. People love him and hopefully we’ll be able to reinvigorate his fan base.”
Currently, RAB Racing has 16 races with primary sponsorship, beginning with the University of Northwestern Ohio at Daytona International Speedway in February. Additional sponsors include Federated Auto Parts and Family Farmers, a coalition of corn and soybean farmers. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the remaining 18 events.
“We have a lot going on within our marketing department right now,” Benton said, “and I feel pretty confident about having all 34 races sold before the Daytona event in February.”

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Year-End Ceremony Spotlights Touring Series Titlists

Champions Honored In Awards Gala


Year-End Ceremony Spotlights Touring Series Titlists

By Shon Sbarra, NASCAR

December 2010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In a place where NASCAR history is on display, its future was celebrated as six champions in NASCAR’s developmental series were honored during the Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala in the Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
The festivities featured the champions and top drivers from all of NASCAR’s North American regional touring series, who gathered for the special year-end celebration in the heartland of stock-car racing.
"It's really rewarding, from our perspective to come to an event like tonight, at a facility like the NASCAR Hall of Fame, in a great city like Charlotte, to recognize so many NASCAR champions," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president for racing operations. "This year's championship lineup is impressive to say the least."
The 2010 champions included Ryan Truex (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East), Eric Holmes (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West), DJ Kennington (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1), Germán Quiroga (NASCAR Mexico Series), Bobby Santos (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) and Burt Myers (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour).

"We are proud we can call you six drivers NASCAR champions," O'Donnell said. "You've earned it."

• Truex, of Mayetta, N.J., collected his second straight NASCAR K&N Pro Series East crown giving him two championships in his only two full seasons of competition in the division.
• Holmes of Escalon, Calif., captured his third NASCAR K&N Pro Series West title having also won championships in 2006 and 2008 and becoming the seventh driver in West

Series history to win three or more titles.
• Kennington of St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, earned his first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship after finishing second in 2007 and 2009 and third in 2008.
• Quiroga of Mexico City, Mexico, picked up his second consecutive NASCAR Mexico Series championship and became the first driver in series history with multiple titles.
• Santos of Franklin, Mass., won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title and is the youngest champion in the 26-year history of the Tour at 25 years of age.
• Myers of Walnut Cove, N.C., won his first NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour with a thrilling win in the season’s final race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

In addition to the championship awards, the Most Popular Driver Awards for each series were also presented during the ceremony. The five drivers honored with the prestigious award were Ted Christopher in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Burt Myers of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, Andrew Ranger in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Moses Smith of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and Ryan Truex from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. It was the third consecutive year in which Christopher and Smith earned Most Popular Driver honors.
The top 10 drivers and car owners from each of NASCAR’s developmental series also were recognized during the gala event – which featured Mike Joy and Dr. Dick Berggren of NASCAR on FOX as master of ceremonies. The awards banquet was streamed live online at www.nascarhometracks.com – the official online home of NASCAR’s developmental series.
Special award winners and year-end contingency award winners were honored Saturday morning at the Grand Champions Breakfast:
The awards celebration capped a week of festivities in the Charlotte area aimed at providing the top drivers and track operators in NASCAR’s weekly and touring series an up close and personal look at the hub of stock-car racing. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet on Friday honored champions from across North America in the series that is NASCAR’s grassroots foundation.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Camping World Truck Top Performances of 2010

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Top Performances of 2010

December 7, 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 7, 2010) – There certainly were some outstanding performances – including the closest margin of victory in series history – that took place during the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. The following is a look back at some of those standout performers and memorable races, as selected from discussions with the national series director, competition department and NASCAR PR managers.

Top Drivers (in alphabetical order)

· Aric Almirola – In only his second full season of competition, Almirola finished second in the championship standings – becoming only the third driver in series history under the age of 30 to finish in the runner-up position in the series standings. His season received a boost of momentum when he earned his first career series victory at Dover International Speedway in May and won again three weeks later at Michigan International Speedway. He finished the season with a career-best 11 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes.

· Todd Bodine – For the second time in series history, Bodine was crowned the series champion. He joined Ron Hornaday Jr. and Jack Sprague as multiple title winners. He finished in the top five an impressive 17 times and captured four victories during his quest for the championship, including an impressive sixth victory at Texas Motor Speedway.

· Kyle Busch – Despite adding team owner to his duties, Busch collected an impressive six poles, eight wins, 13 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 16 starts. Busch had an average finish of 4.0 and won six of the final 10 races of the season. His dominance on the track led to the Kyle Busch Motorsports team securing the NASCAR owner title following the season-ending race at Homestead–Miami Speedway.

Top Breakthrough Performer of the Year
Austin Dillon – In his first full season of NASCAR national series competition, Dillon rewrote the history books en route to securing the Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. The Lewisville, N.C., native earned seven poles in 2010, breaking a 12-year-old rookie pole record previously held by Greg Biffle (four). He captured his first career victory at Iowa Speedway in July and returned to Victory Lane two months later at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After finishing outside the top 10 in five of the first seven races, he rebounded to end the season with 16 top-10 finishes. Dillon, grandson of NASCAR car owner Richard Childress, finished fifth in the series-ending points standings, becoming only the second rookie to do so in nine seasons.

Top Team Owner of the Year
Kyle Busch – In its first year of competition, Kyle Busch Motorsports captured the owner title, marking the first time in series history the driver championship team did not also claim the owner title. In addition, Kyle Busch Motorsports became the first team since the inaugural season in 1995 to win the owner title during its first year of competition. Even though Busch dominated the charge with eight series victories and six poles, it took a team of three additional drivers – Brian Ickler, Johnny Benson Jr. and Kasey Kahne – to capture the owner title. In 25 races last season, Kyle Busch Motorsports finished inside the top 10 in all but four races.

Comeback Driver of the Year

Jason White – After winning the pole and finishing fourth at the season opener at Daytona, White proved moving to Green Light Racing during the off season was the right decision. With a new team, he garnered three top-five and seven top-10 finishes, earning a career-best 10th-place finish in the final series standings. Also, the stellar season marked the first time Green Light Racing has finished inside the top 10 in the series standings.

James Buescher – Earned an impressive 11th-place finish – just 16 points outside the top 10 – in the final series standings despite not competing in the first three races of the season. In 22 races, he earned six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes with a startup team.

Top Five Races of the Year (in chronological order)

NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway (February 12) – Twelve different drivers swapped the lead 23 times before Timothy Peters made an impressive last-lap pass around defending race winner Todd Bodine to score his first superspeedway victory. It marked Toyota’s fourth straight victory at the famed 2.5-mile track.

O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway (May 2) – Known to ruffle each other’s feathers from time to time, competitors Johnny Sauter and Ron Hornaday Jr. pulled off the most impressive saves of the season, as both race trucks turned sideways at a 60-degree angle at the same time without wrecking one another. Sauter went on to win his second career series victory the day after his 32nd birthday.

Lucas Oil 200 presented by SPEED on Mediacom at Iowa Speedway (July 11) – In only his 12th series start, rookie standout Austin Dillon grabbed his first career win, becoming the second-youngest winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Dillon, a third generation racer, became the first member of the Childress family to earn a NASCAR victory.

Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway (July 31) – The stage was set for the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the triangle-shaped 2.5-mile facility using a new qualifying format. Aside from road-course events, it marked the first time in series history in which more than one truck was qualifying at the same time. The much anticipated 50-lap shootout lived up to its hype with an emotional Elliott Sadler, holding off a late race charge by Kasey Kahne, returning to Victory Lane for the first time in NASCAR competition since 2004. He became the third different driver this season to win in a Kevin Harvick Inc. entry.

Mountain Dew 250 fueled by Fred’s at Talladega Superspeedway (October 30) – In a three-wide race to the finish on the last lap, Kyle Busch narrowly beat Aric Almirola, followed by Johnny Sauter, by .002 seconds. It was the closest margin of victory in series history. It was the second year in a row that Busch and Almirola recorded a one-two finish. There were 15 lead changes among eight different drivers.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NASCAR Nationwide Series Top Performances of 2010

NASCAR Nationwide Series Top Performances of 2010


December 8, 2010

There certainly were some outstanding performances – both from a driving and racing standpoint – that took place during the recently completed 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. The following is a look back at some of those standout performers and memorable races, as selected from discussions with the national series directors, competition department and NASCAR PR managers.

Top Drivers of the Year (in alphabetical order)
Kyle Busch – Although he didn’t run a full season, Kyle Busch didn’t let that deter him from having another record-breaking year. The 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion didn’t defend his driver title, but was the main cog in leading Joe Gibbs Racing to its third consecutive owner championship. In the process, Busch finally broke – shattered, actually – the mark he’d been aiming at for two seasons. His 13 wins in 29 races surpassed the previous single-season record of 10 he had shared with Sam Ard. Busch also added to his perfect Driver Rating record, crafting a series-best four 150.0 marks over the course of the year. He has compiled 11 perfect Driver Ratings in 202 career races. He’ll enter 2011 five wins shy of tying Mark Martin’s all-time series record of 48 victories.

Brad Keselowski – Perhaps it’s fitting that Brad Keselowski was chosen by the media to finish second to Carl Edwards in the 2010 driver championship. That chip on his shoulder produced not only a title for Keselowski – and the first NASCAR championship for Roger Penske – but one of the most heated rivalries between competitors in recent memory. His battles with Edwards notwithstanding, Keselowski rang up numbers that, if not for Kyle Busch’s phenomenal season, would cry out “dominance.” While competing in his first full-time double-duty season, Keselowski set or tied career highs in wins (six), poles (five) – both of which equaled or surpassed his career totals in both categories – top fives (25, a new series record) and top 10s (28). He built on his series record 101 races where he’s been running at the finish and also posted the first two perfect 150.0 Driver Ratings of his career. He also was voted by the fans as the series’ Most Popular Driver for the third consecutive year.

Joey Logano – Looking at Joey Logano’s 2010 statistics, one might think they were a carbon copy of his 2009 numbers. He was one of the series’ top drivers last year and his results this season certainly should again give him a spot on that lofty perch. In 24 races, he amassed two wins, a series-leading seven poles, 15 top fives and 23 top 10s. His win total may have been higher had he not competed in all but one of the same events as his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch, who won seven of their head-to-head battles. Logano won one versus Busch and finished second to him twice. He didn’t have to worry about Busch at Kentucky Speedway, but it may not have mattered. Logano won for the third consecutive time at Kentucky – all from the pole. Despite missing 11 races, he still finished a career-best seventh in the standings.

Comeback Driver of the Year
 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – The fifth Raybestos Rookie of the Year recipient for Roush Fenway Racing was probably the least expected. It wasn’t that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. didn’t have the chops to be recognized as a contender for the award; he was predicted by the media to finish second in to his teammate, Colin Braun. Instead, his early-season struggles nearly took him out of his ride, let alone out of contention for the honor. After five DNFs (did not finish) in the season’s first 12 races followed by a DNQ (did not qualify) at Nashville Superspeedway, team owner Jack Roush benched Stenhouse for the subsequent race at Kentucky. He faced his largest deficit in the rookie rankings after his 26th-place finish at Road America, trailing leader Brian Scott by 35 points. But after that race, Stenhouse resurrected his season. His average finish in the last 19 races was 12.4 (he didn’t run at Watkins Glen, ceding to Roush Fenway Grand Am driver Billy Johnson). He registered six of his seven top 10s during that span, which included three top-five finishes. Among them: his career-best third at Daytona International Speedway in July. And for emphasis, he sealed the rookie deal with a fourth-place finish at the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Top Team Owner of the Year
 Joe Gibbs – Thanks to another stellar season by Kyle Busch, the ability of crew chief Jason Ratcliff, and Brad Coleman’s steady runs when his opportunities came, the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team earned the fourth “split” championship in NASCAR Nationwide Series history. The owner title also is the third consecutive for JGR, tying the mark set by Bill Baumgardner from 1995-97. Busch was the catalyst, however, and won when it counted most for the No. 18 team. Six times during the season, he finished ahead of driver champion Brad Keselowski when the No. 18 team was trailing Roger Penske’s No. 22 team in the owner standings. Included in that stat was the final race at Homestead-Miami, where Busch clinched the owner title by winning the race, the second consecutive season he’d won while also clinching a series championship. Last year, he won at Homestead-Miami while officially claiming the driver and owner championships.

Top Breakthrough Performers of the Year (in alphabetical order)

· Trevor Bayne – He’s on this list for the second consecutive year, but Trevor Bayne’s performances simply outshined those of his first season. In 2009, he made his mark in 15 races. Now, at the end of 2010, Bayne is carrying the mantle of “who’s next” in the NASCAR Nationwide Series after his first full-time season. Still only 19 (he’ll turn 20 on Feb. 19 at Daytona), Bayne showed veteran savvy, especially over the season’s second half, collecting eight top 10s in his final 18 races. Half of those were top fives, and three came in succession at Gateway International Raceway, O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis and Iowa Speedway. Bayne also captured the pole in those three races, making him the fifth – and youngest – driver in series history to do so, and the first since Jeff Gordon in 1992. After switching from Diamond-Waltrip Racing to Roush Fenway Racing in September, Bayne made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Texas Motor Speedway. Needing to make the race on time in the famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford, he qualified 28th and finished 17th.

· Danica Patrick – In a different kind of “double duty,” Danica Patrick made her NASCAR debut while also competing full time in open-wheel racing. “Danicamania” became a new part of the NASCAR lexicon when the petite but fiery star made 13 starts for JR Motorsports. Patrick’s trending was never higher than during the season-opening race at Daytona. She had plenty of rookie moments, but the steady hand of crew chief Tony Eury Jr. finally tempered her expectations. She saved her best for last, in the season finale at Homestead-Miami. She started fifth, finished 19th and on the lead lap for the first time, and also led four laps.

Top Five Races of the Year (in chronological order)

DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway (Feb. 13) – That it was the 2010 season-opener almost was overshadowed by the entry of open-wheel star Danica Patrick, who made her NASCAR national series debut. Driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr. – who also was entered – Patrick had to manage stifling media attention in addition to her first stock car event on NASCAR’s most hallowed ground. She started 15th, but finished 35th after being caught in a multi-car accident on Lap 68. Dale Jr. didn’t fare much better, finishing 29th after an accident on Lap 92. He’d been the leader just laps before that incident. After the race’s final restart on Lap 100, Tony Stewart was able to hold off the pack to win this race for the fifth time in six years. His victory also was for the third different owner over the last three seasons (Joe Gibbs in 2008, Rick Hendrick in 2009 and DeLana Harvick in 2010).

Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway (April 24) – On a grueling day for double-duty drivers, the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series races were run consecutively as severe weather in the Talladega area postponed the NASCAR Nationwide race the day before. This event also was a major factor in Brad Keselowski’s march to the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship, because it was one that he nearly didn’t run. Due to high carbon monoxide levels from an accident in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, Keselowski wasn’t cleared by doctors to compete until just before the start of the NASCAR Nationwide event, literally running down pit road to make it to his car for the command. He took the lead on the final lap, denying Kevin Harvick the chance to become the first driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series race on the same day. After winning the Aaron’s 499 earlier in the day, Harvick led a race-high 51 laps and was leading on the final circuit following a green-white-checkered restart until Keselowski caught him in Turn 3. Keselowski overtook Harvick thanks to a big push by Joey Logano, which also helped the drivers avoid a spectacular accident in Turn 4 that collected 10 cars.

Subway Jalepeno 250 powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway (July 2) – A true mix of the old and the new featured the debut of the NASCAR Nationwide Series new car combined with the return of an icon: the No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet, driven by an Earnhardt. The new car created its own buzz, especially the two pony car models in the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang. The standard Chevrolet Impala and Toyota Camry didn’t disappoint, carrying sportier looks, too. But it was Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the blue-and-yellow No. 3 that his father made famous that put an exclamation point on a historic night. Earnhardt took his first lead on Lap 70 after a solid stop by his pit crew. He stayed out on old tires during a caution on Lap 96 and his track-position strategy paid dividends. He held off Joey Logano after the green-white-checkered restart to capture his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win since 2006. After the emotional victory, Earnhardt said the race would be his last in the No. 3 car.

Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway International Raceway (July 17) – The outcome of this race had been over a year in the making. Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards began their rivalry on the NASCAR Sprint Cup side in 2009 at Talladega and it continued at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March. That tempest brewed throughout the summer and came to a head at Gateway in July. In a race where seven series-only regulars finished in the top 10, it was the duel between Keselowski and Edwards that grabbed the headlines. On the final lap, Keselowski bumped into Edwards and took the lead. But Edwards took offense to the move and drifted into Keselowksi coming out of the final turn. That sent Keselowski – and others – crashing along the frontstretch as Edwards unapologetically took the checkered flag. As a result, NASCAR-imposed penalties on the two drivers diminished their on-track incidents to a war of words and subsequently led to clean, hard racing for the rest of the season. But the anticipation each time they raced after that was still palpable.

NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Aug. 29) – In January, Marcos Ambrose said of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, “I’ll keep coming back ‘til I win this thing.” He’ll be back. In the annually unpredictable road-course race in Montreal, Ambrose was a hard-luck finisher for the third straight year. He won the pole and had the strongest car, but a broken suspension halfway through the race ended his chance to win. Carl Edwards looked the part after Ambrose’s demise, but a broken track bar with eight laps left doomed Edwards. Instead, it was road-course aces Boris Said and Max Papis racing side-by-side around the final turn and down the frontstretch, with Said – driving for independently-owned RAB Racing – edging Papis in a photo finish for his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win. The .012–second margin of victory was the closest ever on a road course in series competition, the fifth-closest in series history and the closest since 1998 at Homestead-Miami.

Eric McClure To Join TriStar Motorsports

Eric McClure To Join TriStar Motorsports With Hefty For NASCAR Nationwide Series 2011



December 7, 2010

TMI/Hefty® Racing™ PR
TriStar Motorsports owner Mark Smith announced today the addition of Eric McClure to the organization’s driver line up for 2011, further extending the team’s presence in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Beginning with the Drive 4 COPD 300 in Daytona, McClure returns to the Chevrolet family and will pilot TriStar Impalas for a full Nationwide Series season.
The Hefty® brand, one of the longest-running partners in the Nationwide Series, will continue its relationship with McClure for a sixth consecutive season by serving as primary sponsor in all 34 scheduled events.
McClure, a 31-year-old native of Chilhowie, VA will be competing in his fifth full season of NNS competition. The Virginia driver, who finished a career best finish of 17th in NNS Driver points in 2009, has 137 NNS starts and three Sprint Cup Series Starts to his credit, with a best finish of 15th and 26th, respectively.
TriStar Motorsports began as a Sprint Cup Series team in the late 1980’s before evolving into Pro Motor Engines, a thriving independent engine building company providing horsepower to teams in each of NASCAR’s top three series. The team returned to Nationwide Series competition in 2010 with drivers Tony Raines, Jason Keller and Jeff Green, scoring a Top 5, and 3 Top 10 finishes.
The team’s car number, as well as other program details will be announced at a later date.

Eric McClure Quotes:
(What are your expectations for the 2011 season and being with a new team?)
“I’m looking forward to joining TriStar Motorsports in 2011. They have a great nucleus in place and as a multi-car team this past year was able to accomplish quite a bit of success and grow their race team. I think that’s a testament to the quality drivers and personnel they had, and certainly Mark Smith, who is a racer in every sense of the word. He reminds me a lot of my father and his brothers when they built their team up over the years. Our responsibilities at TMI are first to find the best home for our sponsorship partners, and secondly, the best place for me to grow as a driver, and I think this presents a great opportunity for our program to be maximized on all fronts. I feel like the final two New Car races this season were my best events in the last half of the year as far as overall performance, so I think we all hope to have a solid, competitive season as the series utilizes the New Car full-time. We have some other things we are working on that, hopefully, we can announce soon that I think are pretty cool and will be beneficial to me and to TriStar’s organization.(On Hefty® brand returning for its sixth consecutive season)
“I, as well as everyone at TMI, am just so appreciative of our relationship with the Hefty® brand. This will be our fifth full-time season together, our sixth year overall, and I’m just so privileged that they continue to support our efforts in the NNS. When we started our partnership I never dreamed it would grow to be one of the longest partnerships in our series.”
“We owe a special thanks to the race fans that, regardless of whether or not I’m their favorite driver, continue to support the Hefty® brand and their quality products at their nearest retailer. We strive so hard to create a positive image for the brand and their customers, and it’s evident they’ve been pleased with the result. We’ve developed a great off-track promotion we will announce soon that will reward some of those fans and we look forward to having the opportunity to give something back to the racing community.”
Mark Smith, owner of TriStar Motorsports quotes:
“I am excited to have Eric McClure and the Hefty® brand join our TriStar organization. I believe we have been able to assemble a dynamic group of individuals that will result in a competitive upcoming year of racing. Eric has proven to be a solid competitor and is focused on the same goals that we have here at TriStar. So, with a company like Hefty® behind Eric and TriStar, I am anxious to see what we can accomplish in the 2011 Nationwide Series season now that we have joined forces.”

Up Next: NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown

Up Next: NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown


The 2011 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, the sport’s premier short-track racing showcase, will return to the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.) on Jan. 28-29.
The eighth running of the event, which brings together the top racers from across North America and has grown into the ”Daytona 500 of short-track racing,”will be highlighted by t h e 2 2 5 - l a p NASCAR K&N Pro Series all-star race.
The NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown main event is broken up into three sections – two 100-lap segments preceding a 25-lap dash to the finish. Last year, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Joey Logano became just the second driver to win two Showdowns when he held off a furious challenge over the closing laps from 17-year-old Sergio Pena, who was made his series debut for Revolution Racing/Drive for Diversity in the event.
The race features secured starting spots for the 2010 champions of NASCAR’s touring series and race winners of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series from the 2010 season.
Three time NASCAR K&N Pro Series West winner Eric Holmes and back-to-back K&N Pro
Series East titlist Ryan Truex headline the list of 2010 champions. DJ Kennington (NASCARCanadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1),Bobby Santos (NASCAR Whelen ModifiedTour), Burt Myers (NASCAR Whelen SouthernModified Tour), German Quiroga (NASCARMexico Series) and Keith Rocco (NASCARWhelen All-American Series) also have guaranteed spots in the show.
The K&N Pro Series race winners who earned secured starting positions include: Ty Dillon,Max Gresham, Paulie Harraka, Erik Holmes,Patrick Long, David Mayhew, Brett Moffitt,Andrew Ranger, Greg Pursley, Auggie Vidovich, and Darrell Wallace Jr.
The schedule also includes a 75-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model race and a 50-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model contest. The top five NASCACR state champions in attendance will have secured starting spots in the Late Model race. New to this year, the 25-car fields for each of those races will be set by a pair of heat races – 25 laps for the the Super Late Models and 20 laps for the Late Models.
Both nights of racing will air live on SPEED as part of full weekend of racing on SPEED that includes the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series’ Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown main  event – contested in NASCAR K&N Pro Series cars – is open to any driver approved to drive on half-mile or longer tracks in the K&N Pro Series.
Current national series drivers such as Logano, Ricky Carmichael, Brian Ickler,Trevor Bayne, Matt Crafton, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Justin Lofton have competed in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.

Touring & Weekly Series Champions’ Week Set To Kick Off

Touring & Weekly Series Champions’ Week Set To Kick Off
Official Release
December 6, 2010 - 5:24pm

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With the culmination of the NASCAR season looming at the end of the week, track promoters, drivers and officials are preparing to descend on Charlotte, N.C., for the celebration of the outstanding achievements in 2010.
Keith Rocco of Wallingford, Conn., will be in the spotlight Friday, Dec. 10 at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet, where he will be officially presented with the championship trophy for his first national title.
On Saturday, Dec. 11, the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala will bring together the series champions and top drivers from all seven of the NASCAR regional touring series.
The banquets will be held for the first time at the Charlotte Convention Center's Crown Ballroom adjacent to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Fans throughout the U.S. and Canada, and around the globe, will again be able to watch the festivities from both nights via a live webcast on nascarhometracks.com. The Red Carpet Pre-Show begins at 6 p.m. and the banquets get underway at 7 p.m. each night.
Before the banquets, though, the drivers and track representatives will take part in a schedule of special activities in the Charlotte area, including a tour of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
The week also includes:
• The annual Champions Dinner Tuesday night, which includes the presentation of the championship helmets to each of the touring series champions and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion.
• The 3rd Annual Champions/Media Karting Showdown at Victory Lane Indoor Karting on Wednesday. NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Ryan Truex will attempt to defend his karting crown against the other NASCAR touring and weekly series champions as well as members of the media.
• In addition to their annual business meeting Thursday, track operators will be treated to a tour of Joe Gibbs Racing and a Dinner Cruise on Lake Norman. Also on Thursday, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series U.S. state and Canadian provincial champions will be recognized at a dinner at Hendrick Motorsports.
• Friday the spotlight is on the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, both with the Grand Champions Awards in the morning, and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet that night.
• NASCAR’s touring series will take center stage on Saturday with its Grand Champions Awards in the morning and the NASCAR Touring Series Awards Gala in the evening.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet will feature the top drivers from NASCAR-sanctioned short tracks across the United States and Canada. Invited attendees will include the 2010 NASCAR national champion, U.S. state and Canadian provincial champions, track champions, the national/state/provincial rookies of the year, top NASCAR Finalist Recognition Program honorees, the 2010 Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award winner and many others.
The NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala will include invitees from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, the NASCAR Mexico Series, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1.
In addition to the new NASCAR Hall of Fame complex, the region is the home of the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C., as well as a majority of today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams.
The Westin Charlotte will be the host hotel for both awards banquets.

Monday, December 6, 2010

2010 NASCAR Champions Carry On Legacy Of Pioneers

Portraits Highlight Link Between Past And Present

PIONEERS OF THE PAST RICHARD PETTY,JUNIORJOHNSON,DAVID PEARSON,LLOYD DANE,BOBBY ALLISON
WITH2010 HOME TRACK CHAMPIONS

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