Category:Auto Racing
Posted on: July 21, 2010 11:08 am

Labonte, TRG to team up again

While he may have severed his contract with TRG Motorsports earlier this season, Bobby Labonte isn't totally through driving the No. 71 car.

Labonte has agreed to drive TRG's No. 71 car in at least four more races -- Pocono (Aug. 1), Michigan (Aug. 15), Atlanta (Sept. 5), and Texas (Nov. 7).
Posted on: July 10, 2010 3:28 pm

Sadler doesn't expect to return to RPM in 2011

Add Elliott Sadler to the growing list of drivers who expect to have a new address in 2011. The veteran driver didn't make anything official but has told reporters he'd be surprised if he returned to the wheel of the No. 19 Richard Petty Motorsports entry next season.

With Kasey Kahne already set to depart RPM for Hendrick Motorsports and A.J. Allmendinger also not sure of his plans, the RPM stable will have a completely different look next season if the team remains intact.

Sadler believes his services will fill a void for some team on the Cup level but don't rule out a full-time Nationwide or truck series ride for the Virginia driver if nothing materializes in NASCAR's top division.

-- Pete Pistone
Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:22 pm

Labonte to drive for Phoenix Racing at Indy

Bobby Labonte will be driving for Phoenix Racing at Indianapolis. Labonte had previously mentioned a second car for Robby Gordon Motorsports as a possibility for the Brickyard, but that won't be the case.

Press release follows:

Spartanburg, S.C. (July 9, 2010) - Phoenix Racing and team owner James Finch announced today that 2000 Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte will be back behind the wheel of the No. 09 Phoenix Construction Chevrolet for the Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 25.  Labonte is the 2000 winner of the event and one of only nine drivers to have won this prestigious race.

Labonte will also be making his 600th consecutive start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  That mark currently lists him seventh in overall consecutive starts.  Ricky Rudd is the all-time consecutive starts leader at 788.

"I've got to thank James Finch and Phoenix Racing for allowing me to get my 600th consecutive race with them at Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Labonte.  "We had some discussion about future races at Daytona, and we were able to put a deal together for the Brickyard 400.  I like working with the guys and appreciate this opportunity.

"The Brickyard is such a memorable race.  To be able to have this race as my 600th consecutive start is really cool. I didn't sit down at the beginning of my career and plan any milestones, so this is pretty cool."

It will be Labonte's third start for Phoenix Racing after racing for the team at both Daytona and Chicagoland.

Posted on: July 8, 2010 11:37 am

Martin denies, but Red Bull rumors heating up

Kasey Kahne and Rick Hendrick still haven't announced concrete plans for the two to join forces but the Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 ride now appears to be a solid potential destination with Mark Martin moving out of the car for 2011.

Despite Martin's stern reaffirmation that he would return to the 5 car next year, several sources have pointed to the veteran joining Team Red Bull next season either as a replacement for Brian Vickers or Scott Speed or perhaps in a third entry.

Martin has roots within the team including relationships with TRB General manager Jay Frye and crew chief Ryan Pemberton, who worked with the veteran in 2007 and 2008 when the trio was with Ginn Racing/DEI.

While TRB has been in the Toyota camp since its inception, there was some talk last year about a switch of manufacturers to Chevrolet. Speculation is TRB could possibly create an alliance with Hendrick - similar to the Stewart-Haas Racing arrangement - and become a Chevy team keeping Martin in the manufacturer's fold and remaining in top notch equipment.

Currently all parties have vehemently denied this scenario -- which is a sure sign something is brewing.

-- Pete Pistone
Posted on: July 7, 2010 11:03 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 11:04 am

RPM hires Parrott as crew chief for Sadler

Todd Parrott didn't start the season as a crew chief for any team, but now he's with his second team as Richard Petty Motorsports has plucked him away from Roush Fenway Racing and paired him with Elliott Sadler .

Parrott took over as Matt Kenseth's crew chief following the Daytona 500. The pair started strong but then performance began to lag and after just 15 races together, Roush decided to make a change, replacing Parrott with Jimmy Fennig and moving Parrott to research and development.

Parrott replaces Wally Rogers, who will remain with the organization.

Press release follows:

Richard Petty Motorsports has named Todd Parrot as crew chief for driver Elliott Sadler and the No. 19 Stanley Ford team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Parrott joins RPM from his position as R&D Manager at Roush Fenway Racing. The change reunites Parrott with Sadler who worked with each other at Yates Racing in 2004.

"We are happy to welcome Todd to our team and reunite him with Elliott," said Robbie Loomis, Vice President of Competition for RPM. "We appreciate all of Wally Rogers' hard work with this team for the first half of the season. He will continue to be a valuable member of RPM."

A native of Charlotte, N.C., Parrott brings with him over 15 years of experience as crew chief in NASCAR. He has 29 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR's highest level of racing. Two of those wins came with Sadler during the 2004 season. The 46-year-old was crew chief for driver Dale Jarrett when the No. 88 Yates Racing team claimed the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. 

Posted on: July 5, 2010 9:58 am

Significant schedule changes likely in 2011

It appears more likely than ever the 2011 Sprint Cup slate will have a much different look than it has in recent seasons.

NASCAR acknowledged both SMI and ISC have requested realignment date changes for next year, and there are reports Kentucky and a second date for Las Vegas will be part of the SMI plan, at the expense of races in New Hampshire and Atlanta, and Kansas will gain a second NASCAR weekend when Auto Club Speedway gets stripped of its February date.

-- Pete Pistone

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: July 2, 2010 6:37 pm

New race team courting fans as "partners"

So what do you think? Would you like to be "partner" in a NASCAR team for $300?

With America's Racing Team -- a new organization set to make its debut in next year's Daytona 500 -- you'll get that chance.

And note that I didn't say "own" part of a NASCAR team.

According to the Partner Disclaimer on the web site:

Team Partners are not participants in the business enterprise that owns and/or sponsors America’s Racing Team. Team Partners acquire no ownership interest or similar rights of any kind in connection with America’s Racing Team or ART Motorsport Inc. or any other business entity. Team Partners therefore will not be provided, and are not entitled to, shares of capital stock, partnership interests or membership interests in those entities, or any of the rights or privileges typically associated with such ownership interests. In no event will Team Partner status entitle a Team Partner to (i) any distributions of profits or income, or (ii) management or voting rights of any kind from ART Motorsport Inc. or the Team. Team Partners are recognized supporters of the Team, and ART Motorsport Inc. values the support and advice provided by Team Partners. ART Motorsport Inc. offers several exciting benefits to Team Partners, which are described on 

Among the benefits of those who buy in will be the opportunity to help "influence" decisions on drivers and paint schemes.

While I think it's an interesting idea, I'm skeptical as to whether it can be a winning idea. I'm curious as to what their expectations are for the number of people who will buy in. From the looks of it, they're at least hoping for 10s of thousands. A note on their Partnership Benefits page reads: Be one of the first 10,000 people to join America's Raing Team  and become a Founding Team Partner! We will be choosing our driver soon and this will be a decision that you can influence as one of the first 10,000 or by signing up before August 31st, 2010, whichever comes first.

If they actually get that many, how can any "partner" truly have a say in running the team. Will key decisions just be based on popular vote?

If they don't get the number of investors they expect are they prepared to carry on out of the own pockets?

When it comes right down to it, sponsorship is the name of the game. Without a significant sponsor, the venture is doomed to fail.

-- Brian De Los Santos

Press release follows:

Daytona Beach, Florida (July 2, 2010) - NASCAR fans all across the country will now have one team to pull for: their team, America's Racing Team.  After multiple large-scale quantitative and qualitative studies, the creation of America's Racing Team (ART), a NASCAR Sprint Cup team formed primarily from "Team Partners," was announced today live on from "The World Center of Racing," the Daytona International Speedway.  America's Racing Team will be the first team in the history of NASCAR to be largely bankrolled by the fans. 
The announcement was made by Michael Wright, serving as America's Racing Team's Chief Marketing Officer, and by Daniel Webber, part of the ownership group that has helped form ART.  Also present were special guests including service men and women from the Daytona Beach area.
Wright, a 20-year veteran of global sports marketing agency IMG and former agent for four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, announced that America's Racing Team will enter the No. 76 during the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season beginning next February at the "Great American Race," the Daytona 500. The team will rely on "Team Partners" to help fuel the team in 2011.
In true NASCAR fashion, this concept was the brainchild of a family of experienced business veterans from the world of sports and live entertainment, the Webbers. A resident of New York City, son Daniel Webber's business ventures include SuperVision Media, which provides groundbreaking 3-D coverage of events and has worked with The 2010 FIFA World Cup, Formula One Racing and ESPN.  His father, John Webber, spent over two decades at IMG, working with international sports and entertainment figures including racing legends Sir Jackie Stewart and Ayrton Senna.  Daniel's mother, Diane, is a noted sports lawyer whose clients have included many leading drivers and teams on Formula One and IndyCar circuits. 
"Sometimes the best concepts in business are the most obvious ones, the ones that are so obvious that no one takes the first step to bring them to reality," said Daniel Webber. "America's Racing Team is not only a concept for the fans, but one by the fans, one they asked for and helped craft via our extensive research and concept testing. Creating a team that they can literally help build and manage, from the ground up to the winner's circle, will be the ultimate experience not only for the fans but also my family, which has been involved in racing around the world for many years."
The announcement of the team today allows time for fans of all ages to begin their immediate Team Partnership into the America's Racing Team No. 76 entry.  Annual memberships begin at $44.95 for children, $49.95 for teens and $299.95 for adults.  Small businesses may also join the team's "76 Pit Club" for a membership fee of $1,999.95.  Family memberships, two adults and two kids, are available for $499.95.  Fans can begin their membership at the website and sign-up for annual, three-year or five-year memberships.
"This is not an individual's team, not a team wholly focused on a star driver or branded by one large corporate brand; this is a team financed and fueled by and for the fans," said Wright.  "This isn't a current team, but rather one that the fans will help build from its infancy and watch win races in what hopefully will be a very short time.  Today is the beginning of their partnership into something very special."
The team also announced Elton Sawyer is assisting as a competition advisor to America's Racing Team.  Sawyer works with the team after coming from Evernham Motorsports and most recently Red Bull Racing where he helped build that organization into a winning team.  Ownership is currently working to establish a team headquarters in the greater Charlotte area.   The team is currently securing a technical partnership with an existing Sprint Cup organization to bring together the best operational personnel, including a crew chief, crew members and a driver. 
"This is the opportunity for fans to be with a team from its first chassis purchased to the last lug nut tightened before rolling onto the track," said Sawyer.  "They can be a part of a true launch, the most exciting experience in NASCAR."
Team Partners will be allowed unique benefits of the sport, including input of driver selection to paint schemes.  They will also receive unique team gear and merchandise as well as enjoying discounts on NASCAR tickets and accommodations.  The team is proud to announce its first commercial partnership for team partners, the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure. 
"All of us at Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure look forward to welcoming partners of the new America's Racing Team to our thrilling racing experience," stated Tim Shannon, President of Dale Jarrett Racing.  "We're proud to be a promotional partner of the No. 76 team as it prepares to race in the 2011 Daytona 500." 
Fans will be seeing a lot more from America's Racing Team in the coming weeks and months ahead.  The team will debut TV commercial spots on ESPN and SPEED as well as national radio ads.  The team already has a significant online presence including a website and Facebook and Twitter accounts for fans to learn more information about the team and how to get involved.  All fans are encouraged to visit to become a partner of the team today. 

Posted on: June 30, 2010 5:47 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2010 11:20 am

Reutimann agrees to contract extension

While Fox Sports reported that David Reutimann had signed a three-year contract extension to remain in the the 00 car for Michael Waltrip Racing, he says a deal is not yet signed, though he does have a handshake agreement with the team reports Scene Daily .

Last season, Reutimann picked up the organization's first Sprint Cup victory while compiling five top fives and 10 tops 10s. He challenged for a spot in the Chase before ultimately finishing 16th in points.

This season he hasn't been quite as strong, though he's not out of the Chase hunt just yet. Through 17 races he has just three top 10s -- all fifth-place finishes -- but he has been knocking on the door with 10 finishes in the top 15. He's currently 19th in the standings, 150 points out of 12th.

-- Brian De Los Santos

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or