SERIES

SERIES
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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DYLAN PRESNELL TO RUN FULL NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST

DYLAN PRESNELL TO RUN FULL NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST
 
SCHEDULE FOR COULTER MOTORSPORTS IN 2012
 
16-Year-Old Sevierville, Tenn. Native to Pilot No. 26 AmericanMountainRentals.com, Amtrol, Clearwater Geothermal Toyota
 
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 29, 2012) – Coulter Motorsports has joined forces with up-and-coming driver Dylan Presnell to compete full time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for the 2012 racing season.
 
Presnell hails from Sevierville, Tenn., and brings 10 years of racing experience to Coulter Motorsports. After a brief introduction to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series last season, he’s ready to take on all 14 races on the East schedule plus the West finale at Phoenix Raceway in 2012 piloting the No. 26 AmericanMountainRentals.com, Amtrol, Clearwater Geothermal Toyota Camry.
 
“I feel extremely privileged to be joining Coulter Motorsports and competing full time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East this season,” Presnell, who maintains a 4.0 GPA and Honor Roll status in school, said. “Taking my racing career to an organization where I have the ability to grow and advance in the sport is important to me and I feel confident I will have that opportunity with Coulter Motorsports.”
 
Presnell, known as the “Smokey Mountain Thunder,” began racing Quarter Midgets in Nashville just two months shy of his eighth birthday. Within a few months he had already earned his first win and set a track record in the Jr. Novice class. The following year – 2004 – he picked up a track championship and was crowned Region 3 Quarter Midget Senior Stock Champion. And he never looked back.
 
After several more wins and track records across the southeast, Presnell’s career advanced to Legends racing – yet another series he dominated – and began being coached by former NASCAR driver and International Motorsports Hall of Famer Donnie Allison. Presnell was named Rookie of the Year in the Allison Legacy National Touring Series and earned the Legends Young Lions championship at Orlando Speedworld’s Winter Nationals.
 
In 2009 Presnell began racing late model stock cars and became the youngest driver to enter a UARA-STARS event. He earned three wins in his rookie season, including a super late model victory in his first ever super late model event. Presnell continued late model racing in 2010 and earned three more wins before making the move to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series in 2011.
 
Presnell made seven starts between the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West last season and earned four top-10 finishes, all of which came in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
 
“Coulter Motorsports is pleased to welcome Dylan Presnell to our racing stable and family,” commented Coulter Motorsports owner Joe Coulter. “He has proven himself as a driving force on the race track and a well respected young man off of it. We look forward to building on his already accomplished resume and contending for the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year title.”
 
Presnell participated in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East test Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway, where the 2012 season will officially kick off on March 17. Presnell ran strong throughout the entire test and the No. 26 team continuously improved all day.

King’s Daytona Victory Latest Version Of NCWTS ‘Shock And Awe’


King’s Daytona Victory Latest Version Of NCWTS ‘Shock And Awe’
Don’t call John King’s Feb. 24 NextEra Energy Resources 250 win a surprise.
It was more like a seismic shock – on a Richter scale’s magnitude similar to Trevor Bayne’s 2011 Daytona 500 victory.
King, like Bayne, was making his first start at Daytona International Speedway. In seven previous NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, the 23-year-old Kingsport, Tenn., driver had a best finish of 15th – that coming in his 2009 debut at Bristol Motor Speedway. "I’m a rookie. This is unreal," said King.
Historically speaking, King’s longshot achievement has happened before and likely will again. A look back at some unexpected winners:
Terry Cook, now King’s spotter at Red Horse Racing, entered the 1998 race at the old Flemington (N.J.) Speedway with no finish higher than 12th and beat the best Dale Earnhardt Inc., Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Racing could throw at him.
Later that year, rookie Andy Houston claimed his first victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in a fender-on-fender dust-up with now NASCAR Sprint Cup star Greg Biffle.
For 100 races, Billy Ballew Motorsports was considered a mid-pack operation. In 2004, Shane Hmiel won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. BBM ultimately won 20 times.
Brandon Whitt, scored Red Horse Racing’s first victory at Memphis Motorsports Park in 2005 with a final-lap pass of Ron Hornaday Jr. by driving through a cloud of tire smoke that caused the four-time champion to slow.
The 2008 season saw a pair of unlikely rookie winners: ex-Formula 1 driver Scott Speed in his fifth start at Dover International Speedway and modified ace Donnie Lia at Mansfield (Ohio Motorsports Park). Rookie Lia shoved his way past two-time champion Todd Bodine and veteran David Starr on the final lap to claim the victory.
Peters, Red Horse Solidly Among Championship Favorites
With the preseason spotlight focused squarely on a potential championship struggle between Johnny Sauter and Ty Dillon, it might have been easy to overlook veteran Timothy Peters.
No longer.
Peters, who ran the final 14 races of the 2011 season ranked fifth or better, becomes an early title favorite with his second-place finish to Red Horse teammate King – who wheeled Peters’ 2010 Daytona-winning Tundra. Not to downplay King’s chances, however, a Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender has yet to win the overall championship – or has the Daytona winner for that matter. Kurt Busch’s runner-up finish to Biffle in 2000 remains the freshman gold standard.
Peters, 31, by far is the most decorated among the current top 10 expected to compete in all 22 races. He also is that group’s only winner at Martinsville Speedway where the 2012 season continues on March 31.
Red Horse had three finishers among the Daytona top six: King, Peters and Todd Bodine. The organization, jointly owned by Tom DeLoach and Jeff Hammond, has ranked among the top 10 in owners points in four of its eight seasons. The Toyota outfit was fifth a year ago. 
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookies Have Lengthy Winning Heritage
Rookies aren’t rare in NASCAR Camping World Truck Victory Lanes; just never before on the series’ largest stage. Freshmen, in fact, have won multiple races in the same season led by Kurt Busch, a record four in 2000.
The late Kenny Irwin Jr. won twice in his 1997 rookie season – and became the first NCWTS winner at Texas Motor Speedway. Brendan Gaughan also won twice as a freshman, sweeping both 2002 races in Fort Worth. NASCAR Sprint Cup’s Carl Edwards won three races in 2003.
Last year’s series champion Austin Dillon is the most recent Sunoco rookie to win multiple races. He won at Iowa Speedway and in Las Vegas in 2010.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.
King’s Daytona victory was the second for Red Horse crew chief Chad Kendrick. He teamed with Peters for the Providence, N.C., driver’s first NCWTS win at Martinsville in 2009. … Sauter and ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton were collected in the same lap late-race accident that cost Sauter the lead and possible victory. They finished 24th and 23rd, respectively. … Third-place Justin Lofton matched his career-best finish (Dover, 2010). Chris Fontaine (seventh) and Clay Greenfield (10th) recorded their first top 10s, as did Ward Burton, who made his series debut in eighth. … Dillon finished as the second Sunoco rookie contender among the top 10 (ninth). 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES


NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES
 
Encore, Encore!
If you were enamored with the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, there’s no reason not to carry that same sentiment into Daytona, the opening race of the 2012 campaign.
 
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the reigning series champion, returns to defend his title. NASCAR’s media corps thinks he’ll do just that, predicting him to repeat, according to a preseason poll on NASCARMedia.com.
 
But in scanning the list of driver championship contenders in 2012, it may be a good thing that his favorite status is on paper. This season already has the feel of an explosive title chase, where each race, every point, will be scrutinized.
 
Danica Patrick, Elliott Sadler, Sam Hornish Jr., Austin Dillon, Trevor Bayne, Justin Allgaier, Cole Whitt, Brian Scott, Michael Annett, Kenny Wallace … all have the same goal in mind as the reigning champ.
A Daytona victory on Saturday is huge. But some of the aforementioned names are shooting for a bigger prize – the same one that Bayne stunned the sports world in winning last year – Sunday’s Daytona 500.
 
Bayne, Stenhouse, Patrick, Sadler and Kenny Wallace are among eight 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship contenders who have entered the “Great American Race.” In addition, Joe Nemechek, Mike Wallace and Robert Richardson Jr. are also entered.
 
What’s in a Number?
NASCAR fans are number-oriented, especially when it comes to two particular numbers with historic backgrounds.
 
Ask the most avid member of the NASCAR fan base, and they’ll likely point out that the No. 3 and the No. 43 are dripping with history.
 
This year, both will be in the NASCAR Nationwide Series on a full-time basis.
 
The No. 3, owned by Richard Childress and made famous by Dale Earnhardt, hasn’t been on the track n a full-time capacity in the NASCAR Nationwide Series since 2000 when Ron Hornaday Jr. drove the No. 3 Chevrolet for Childress. The No. 43 Petty Enterprises Ford has never been a full-time participant in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
 
Starting at Daytona, Austin Dillon – the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion – will bring the No. 3 Chevrolet back. The grandson of Childress – and the one who talked RC into bringing the iconic number with him to his rookie NASCAR Nationwide Series season – is a serious contender for the series championship in addition to aiming for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award.
 
Michael Annett has the distinction of bringing the No. 43 Mustang into the series for the first time on a full-time basis. Annett finished a career-best ninth in the driver standings last year.
 
NNS ETC: In addition to Stenhouse, 10 other former NASCAR Nationwide Series champions are entered in this year’s Daytona 500 field. …
 Nine double-duty drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series along with one from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series are entered in Saturday’s DRIVE4COPD 300. 
Heading that list is three-time and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, who has won the last four NASCAR Nationwide Series season openers. 
Also entered is two-time series champion and current team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., who dominated this event for three successive years from 2004-04. Stewart will sport the same sponsor – Oreo/Ritz – that Earnhardt took to Victory Lane in his last Daytona win in 2004. …
 Dillon and Whitt will be joined by three other Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates at Daytona – Jason Bowles, Joey Gase and Johanna Long. Timmy Hill, the 2011 Sunoco Rookie of the Year, will run at Daytona but soon after will make the jump to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series where he’ll attempt to lock up consecutive rookie of the year awards.
 Blake Koch, runner-up to Hill in the 2011 rookie race and now his teammate at Rick Ware Racing, will be the lone full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series car for the organization in 2012.
 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES Hornaday, Chevrolet Still Winless At Daytona Four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr. has a series-leading 51 wins. Not one of them has come at the season-opener at Daytona. Here’s a stat that should provide a silver lining for Hornaday: a Daytona winner has never gone on to win the series championship. Still, it’s a race the veteran very much wants to win. If Hornaday were to win Friday night he would end a second winless drought. Like Hornaday, Chevrolet has also gone winless at Daytona. Sauter Tabbed As Championship Favorite Johnny Sauter – who won the season ending race at Homestead - came within six points of being the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion in 2011. NASCAR’s media corps thinks he will do just that in 2012, naming him the preseason favorite followed by Ty Dillon, Ron Hornaday Jr., Matt Crafton and James Buescher. Sauter’s ThorSport Racing is the longest continuously competing NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team, but is still searching for the elusive championship title. Veterans Bank On Experience Paying Off At Daytona The truck series entry list for Daytona is full of many young and eager names. However, it’s the group of veterans who hope to use their experience overshadow the newcomers: • Brad Keselowski, who needs a NCWTS victory to complete a sweep of all three national series • Ward Burton, the 2002 Daytona 500 winner, will compete with his son Jeb, a rookie contender • David Reutimann, a former series rookie of the year • Travis Kvapil, who won the series championship in 2003 • Todd Bodine, a two-time series champion and Daytona winner • Mike Skinner, 1997 Daytona 500 pole winner and former series champion

Monday, February 13, 2012

NEWS 2/13/12

Hillman Racing announced Monday that two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will drive the No. 40 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota in the 2012 Daytona 500 on Feb. 26.


Rick Hendrick’s long relationship with Phoenix Racing owner James Finch has helped produce a sponsor for Phoenix driver Kurt Busch. Phoenix Racing, which purchases cars from Hendrick and runs primarily Hendrick engines, will be sponsored by HendrickCars.com for the Nationwide and Sprint Cup season-opening races next week at Daytona International Speedway.

Matt Kenseth enters his 13th full-time Sprint Cup season in search of a second series title and the sponsorship needed to help accomplish such a feat. In perhaps the most telling detail in post-downturn NASCAR, the 2003 Cup champ entered offseason still seeking sponsorship. In January, Roush Fenway Racing landed Best Buy as a primary sponsor for Kenseth’s team, but still has about 10 races that are unsponsored.

The evolution of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series car took a giant leap forward in 2007 with the introduction of the car of tomorrow. Yet now, after five years, the four manufacturers find themselves taking a step back in an effort to move ahead. It’s known as brand identity, and it’s something that will be touted long and loud as Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford and Toyota continue preparations for the rollout of their 2013 models that will hit the race track next season