Posted on: February 4, 2011 5:00 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 5:00 pm

Kenseth has back-up drivers ready

Posted By Pete Pistone

Matt Kenseth and Roush Fenway Racing have a line-up of drivers ready to fill-in should he be called away for fatherhood duties in the next few weeks.

From Team Release

CONCORD, NC (February 4, 2010) --- With the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season set to return to action at Daytona International Speedway next week, Roush Fenway Racing’s Matt Kenseth and his wife Katie are expecting great things for the month of February with the addition of a new baby.  The Kenseths expect to welcome the latest addition to the family by the end of the month, and Roush Fenway Racing will look to two drivers to be on-call in case Kenseth needs to travel home to be with his family. 

Kenny Wallace and Brian Ickler will be ready to jump in to the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford for any practice and qualifying needs the team may have.  Wallace will be ready to assume driving duties throughout Daytona International Speedway’s Speedweeks events, while Ickler will be at the track for both Phoenix and Las Vegas race weekends.

Kenseth plans to be behind the wheel of the No. 17 Ford on race days, but depending on when the newest member of the family arrives, he may need assistance from Wallace and/or Ickler to practice the car for the team.

Kenseth and his No. 17 Crown Royal team will have their first practice session of the season on Friday, February 11<sup>th</sup> for the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. 


Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 4, 2011 4:17 pm

Daytona may not use new qualifying plan

Posted by Pete Pistone

NASCAR's new plan to set the order of qualifying by speeds from final practice may not go into effect until after Daytona.

The procedure will send the fastest driver in a weekend's final practice session out last in qualifying, a system that was used last year in the Camping World Truck Series and will be employed in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series this season.

However there is speculation that because of Daytona's unique system of qualifying and filling out the field for the Daytona 500, the new format won't go into effect until race number two of the season the following week at Phoenix International Raceway.

The 43-car Daytona 500 line-up is set through a combination of qualifying speeds, finishing positions in each of the Gatorade Duel twin 150-mile preliminary races, the Top 35 in last season's owner points and provisionals.

The official schedule released by NASCAR and Daytona calls for a final Sprint Cup Series practice session on Saturday afternoon February 12th. Daytona 500 qualifying is set for Sunday, February 13th at 1:15 p.m.
Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 4, 2011 3:34 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 3:37 pm

Winter weather headaches for Texas track

Posted By Pete Pistone

That nasty winter weather playing havoc with Super Bowl activities in and around the Dallas-Ft. Worth area has taken a bite out of Texas Motor Speedway as well.  Snow and ice has forced the track to postpone several Super Bowl-related events and in the process may wind up costing the speedway some money as well.

From News Release

FORT WORTH, Texas (February 4, 2011) – Texas Motor Speedway, like numerous business establishments throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, was expecting to reap the regional economic benefits of Sunday’s Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, but the continued inclement weather has iced those plans.

Texas Motor Speedway had been targeted this weekend as a major destination for companies seeking a unique entertainment option for their Super Bowl guests and clients, but ice and snow throughout the week have led to the cancellation of the busiest, single-day track rental date in the speedway’s 15-year history on Saturday as well as one of its more lucrative on-track rental weekends.

With the track surface covered with roughly two inches of ice in addition to three to four inches of fresh snow today, Texas Motor Speedway was forced to cancel three days of on-track activity -- beginning today -- that involved six visiting companies and more than 300 guests and clients. The companies were planning to treat their guests to a variety of driving schools available at Texas Motor Speedway -- the Team Texas High Performance Driving School and Texas Driving Experience that are based here as well as the World Class Driving School that was arriving from out of town just for the weekend’s special events. Team Texas features NASCAR stock cars, TDE utilizes high-performance Chevrolet Corvettes and the World Class Driving School showcases exotic cars such as Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bentleys.

Texas Motor Speedway was expecting a “six-figure” windfall from its Super Bowl-related events, but the surface conditions and freezing temperatures were too much to overcome to prepare both the high-banked, 1.5-mile oval and the infield road course for the scheduled events.

“It has been an extremely disappointing week for not only Texas Motor Speedway but all the businesses big and small that were looking forward to enjoying the major economic impact that the Super Bowl brings to a region, especially the first time,” Texas Motor Speedway Vice President of Media Relations Mike Zizzo said. “This also was going to be an opportunity for us to showcase our venue to some companies and guests that have never seen one of the premier motorsports facilities. It’s unfortunate, but we are all aware how unpredictable the weather can be in North Texas at this time of year.”

Posted on: February 4, 2011 11:45 am
Edited on: February 4, 2011 11:46 am

Wimmer gets Nationwide ride

Posted By Pete Pistone

From Team Release

Altamonte Springs, FL/February 4, 2011 Curtis Key and his Key Motorsports team will again be fielding the #40 Chevrolet, now with the new Impala, in the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. For this coming season Curtis has gone back to the well with a driver that he is very familiar with, and knows can show the true ability of his team and the equipment they are putting on track in Wausau, Wisconsin native Scott Wimmer. In limited action in 2010 Wimmer led every race in which he competed, finishing with three Top-10’s in just five races.

“I’d really like to thank Curtis for putting his trust in me to run with is team this season” Wimmer continues; “I’ve spent a lot of time at the shop, and really like the team he’s put together, and think we’ll have a strong season with these new cars, Daytona can’t get here soon enough!”

Key Motorsports capped off a very consistent 2010 season by adding 20 Top-20 finishes, almost half of those Top-15’s and multiple Top-10’s to their credit. The team finished 21st in points the past two seasons and is determined to get over that hump into the Top-20 in Owners Points. The team will roll out their fleet of new cars, new engines and with their new goals in place as Daytona and the season quickly approaches on February 19th, 2011.

Scott Wimmer originally hails from Wausau, Wisconsin. He carved his mark on the short tracks in the Midwest throughout the 1990’s and became recognized as the dominant force in racing throughout the Midwest. Wimmer captured the eye of top NASCAR owners after he entered the American Speed Association (ASA) and claimed victories in the first two races he competed in. Wimmer tallied two Top-5 and eight Top-10 finishes in his rookie year of the Busch Series that put him 11th in the championship standings. In the 2007 season, Wimmer (along with teammate Jeff Burton) won the NASCAR Busch Series season owner points championship for Richard Childress Racing. The duo finished 3rd in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings in 2008, while Wimmer posted his 6th career NASCAR win. In 2009, Wimmer ran 29 races for Curtis Key Sr. and Key Motorsports with a season best finish of 7th at Memphis. He resides in North Carolina with his wife, Jody and son, Hayden.

For the last 22 years, Curtis Key has established himself in the business community in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia with the establishment of the hugely successful Curtis Key Plumbing Contractors, Inc. based in Chesapeake. Key Motorsports was formed after Curtis Key purchased the assets from Tommy Ellis in 1993 and debuted at the Miller 500 that same year with the #05 Chevrolet.



Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 4, 2011 11:30 am

Explosion at JGR shop

Posted By Pete Pistone

An explosion rocked the Joe Gibbs Racing shop in Huntersville, N.C. Friday morning but sources report there were no injuries.

A test on one of the team's dyno machines caused the explosion which was termed as "minor" by a JGR employee.

A small fire broke out but was reportedly contained immediately and damage to the shop location is currently being assesses but has been termed "minor."

Local firefighters were called to the scene and an all clear was given for employees to return inside and continue work.
Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 4, 2011 11:22 am
Edited on: February 4, 2011 11:23 am

Woods to get RPM points

Posted By Pete Pistone

The Wood Brothers will reportedly acquire the 2010 owner points from Richard Petty Motorsports' No. 19 entry.

Elliott Sadler drove the RPM car last season and accumulated enough points to stay within the Top 35 in the owner standings. But when the Petty organization went through a restructuring over the winter, the 19 and 98 entries were shut down.

By purchasing the 19 team points, the Woods have assured their No. 21 entry and driver Trevor Bayne a guaranteed starting spot in the first five races of the 2011 Sprint Cup season including the Daytona 500. Teams who finished within the first 35 in the owner standings of the previous year earn locked-in status in the opening five events of the following season.

The points racked up by Paul Menard, who drove the RPM No. 98 Ford last year, were bought by Richard Childress who applied them to the No. 27 entry Menard will drive for RCR this season.

The practice of buying and selling owner points as a commodity has been a practice since NASCAR instituted the Top 35 rule a few years ago. The sanctioning body has not indicated it will step in to stop the procedure.
Posted on: February 3, 2011 12:10 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 12:11 pm

Corn Growers Association partners with NASCAR

Posted By Pete Pistone
From News Release
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2011) — As the 2011 NASCAR season launches with a new, greener fuel, the nation’s corn growers are joining forces with NASCAR to promote the use of corn-based American Ethanol. As an Official Partner of NASCAR, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) will leverage their relationship to authentically spread the message to NASCAR fans around the role American Farmers play in the development of American Ethanol.

In December 2010, NASCAR unveiled its landmark partnership with American Ethanol just weeks after announcing a 2011 switch in its three major national series to Sunoco Green E15, a new 15-percent ethanol blend fuel made with corn grown in the United States. Growth Energy, a leading ethanol advocacy organization, created the American Ethanol partnership to push for broad acceptance of a renewable domestic fuel for all American motorists.

“We’re greatly excited about this opportunity to help educate NASCAR fans at the race tracks and around the country about the great work of our corn growers in feeding and fueling the world,” said NCGA Chairman Darrin Ihnen, a family farmer from Hurley, S.D. “Ethanol is a growing use for corn, and provides us a domestic, renewable fuel that reduces emissions and creates jobs right here at home. We are encouraging corn farmers nationwide to watch the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, and be proud of their role in fueling NASCAR and the nation.”

“NASCAR is very proud to welcome as partners the hard-working family farmers all over the United States who grow the corn that will be used in our new Sunoco Green E15 fuel,” said Brian France, Chairman and CEO of NASCAR. “We are happy our sport can play a part in creating jobs and fostering energy independence by using a renewable fuel grown and produced in America.”

NCGA will work closely with Growth Energy throughout the 2011 NASCAR season to create educational and promotional activities in support of the corn growers who play a vital role in the American Ethanol industry.

“The goal is to bring ethanol’s positive messages from job creation to cleaner air to consumers. When people hear a message like ‘American Ethanol: Trusted By NASCAR’ that carries a lot of weight and adds to ethanol’s credibility and reputation,” Ihnen said.  

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 3, 2011 11:17 am

Keselowski's team hires new crew chief

Posted By Pete Pistone

Brad Keselowski will wear the hats of both driver and team owner in 2011. Including his responsibilities behind the wheel of Penske Racing's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series entires, Keselowski will field his own Camping World Truck Series operation.

Parker Kligerman will pilot Keselowski's No. 29 entry in at least ten NCWTS races with Sirius NASCAR Radio's "Sirius Speedway" learning former Turner Motorsports team member Jeff Stankiewicz coming on board to serve as crew chief.

Keselowski's father Bob was a long-time competitor in the truck series and Brad made a name for himself in NASCAR racing on the circuit as well.

"The truck series has always been special to my family and I love competing in it still today when I can and am certainly excited about the propsects of our team," Keselowski said.

Pending additional sponsorship, Kligerman could run additional races on the 2011 schedule.
Category: Auto Racing
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