Category:Auto Racing
Posted on: May 26, 2010 10:43 am

Drivers play musical chairs at Front Row

Front Row Motorsports is shifting its drivers and sponsors around. Effective immediatley Kevin Conway will shift from the No. 37 car to the No. 34; David Gilliland goes from 38 to 37; and Travis Kvapil goes from 34 to 38.

The 34 car is currently 32nd in owner points (953 points), the 38 is 35th (899) and the 37 is just outside the top 35 in 36th (897). That's going to put the pressure on Gilliland this weekend to qualify for the Coca-Cola 600 on speed.

Complete press release follows:

Statesville, N.C. (May 26, 2010) - Using a unified approach to give its three-car team the best opportunities to continue to succeed as a whole, Front Row Motorsports announced changes to its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series line-up effective this week for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. 
The team is moving Kevin Conway and the ExtenZe Racing sponsorship to the No. 34 Ford Fusion, David Gilliland and the Taco Bell program to the No. 37 Ford Fusion, and Travis Kvapil and the Long John Silver's program to the No. 38 Ford Fusion.  The changes are aimed to optimize all three teams' ability to score more points and strengthen the organization.
The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season has been one of continued growth for Front Row Motorsports.  The team announced at the beginning of the season the expansion to a three-car team with backing from Ford Racing.  The team hired 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil and Nationwide Series winner David Gilliland to take lead roles.  Raybestos Rookie of the Year leading candidate Kevin Conway was also hired to complete the team based in Statesville.
"I'm proud of how we've performed this year - our first year with three full-time cars," said Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports.  "We are not a powerhouse three-car team, but we work as an organization to grow together as one.  Our teams have to be unified to be stronger instead of operating as three separate groups. 
"Moving our drivers, along with their respective sponsors, to different cars gives us the best chance to succeed as an entire team.  It has been this attitude and strategic growth plan that has allowed us to become the team we are today."
All three Front Row cars have made the starting lineup of all 12 Sprint Cup Series races in the 2010 season.  The team is working with potential sponsors now to become stronger and take the next step to become a top-25 team.

Posted on: May 22, 2010 4:22 pm

Harvick has new deal, now needs new sponsor

Kevin Harvick has signed his contract extension with Richard Childress Racing (READ THE FULL STORY ).

Now he needs a sponsor with Shell/Pennzoil having previously announced a move to Penske Racing where it will sponsor Kurt Busch. Two of the big sponsors that RCR is reportedly in talks with include Budweiser and UPS.

Budweiser's deal with Richard Petty Motorsports is up at the end of the season. It could follow Kahne, but it seems to me he has never really fit the Budweiser brand the way that Dale Earnhardt Jr. did before him. Harvick seems to be a better fit, but reports that if Bud does join RCR, it's possible that it will be as a sponsor for Clint Bowyer with the General Mills sponsorship shifting to Harvick.

I'm not quite sure what's up with UPS. I know they can't be happy with David Ragan, but they may be locked in at Roush Racing for another season unless they have an escape clause. UPS has been searching for a top-tier driver to sponsor ever since Dale Jarrett retired. They were never quite sold on David Reutimann so they moved to Roush, where they thought had an up-and-comer in Ragan. But Ragan has fallen well short of expectations.

-- Brian De Los Santos

Posted on: May 21, 2010 3:03 pm

Harvick reportedly extends contract at RCR

Entering this season, most people believed that there was no chance Kevin Harvick would be with RCR next year (and I must include myself among most people). But it appears that Harvick and Richard Childress have worked out their differences and a new deal could be announced on All-Star Saturday.

Harvick currently leads the standings by 69 points over Kyle Busch.

Posted on: May 21, 2010 2:55 pm

Vickers out rest of season, Mears likely fill in

Brian Vickers made it official that he will miss the rest of the season after being diagnozed with blood clots in his lungs and left leg. READ FULL STORY

Casey Mears , who filled for Vickers in the 83 car at Dover and will do the same for the All-Star Race, is expected to remain the permanent replacement, though he may be lifted at the road-course events.

Mears started the season with Keyed-Up Motorsports, but after making just one of the season's first five races, he hooked up with Tommy Baldwin Racing. He made one race with Baldwin before he was asked to drive in place of Vickers at Dover where he earned his best finish of the season, 22nd.

Vickers had the most successful season of his career in 2009 with a win, four top five and 13 top 10s. He also made the Chase for the first time.
Posted on: May 18, 2010 11:54 am

Stewart Haas says Kahne talks informal

While everybody assumes Kasey Kahne will land at Stewart Haas Racing for a season before heading to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, Stewart Haas Racing competition director Bobby Hutchens told that he has had no formal discussions with anybody from Hendrick Motorsports regarding the matter.

But if you read between the lines it sounds as if it has at least been brought up in casual conversation.

Whether it's Kahne or another driver for a third team, Hutchens said he'd like to have something firm in place by June 1. He also said that any new driver that joins the team will likely have to have sponsorship in tow.


Posted on: May 18, 2010 11:31 am

TRG hurting for sponsorship

Is this how it's going to end for 2000 Cup champion Bobby Labonte? As a start and park driver?

Sad to say, but it could be so.

TRG Motorsports had hoped to run a fully funded season with its 71 car, but is only on board for 12 races. This past weekend at Dover, Labonte pulled off the track after just 65 laps.



With only four sets of tires (all appearing to be scuffs) in its pit box less than two hours prior to the start of the race Sunday, Galida indicated prior to the race that the team would decide during the race whether it would attempt to run the full event. Most teams planning on running the entire race had eight or nine sets of tires in their pits. Labonte stayed out when most teams pitted after an early caution to get a lap back and then pulled down pit road under green. The team listed the reason out as electrical.

“We’re going to take advantage of opportunities [in the race] if they present themselves, but if not, we’ll look at conserving our resources,” Galida said prior to the event. “We’ll make that decision as a game-time decision in how things unfold initially. We have a pit crew here. We’ve got all the tools, but there’s significant cost to the engines, … the tires are a significant cost.

“If we can conserve our resources and live to fight another day, that’s what we’ll do.”



Posted on: May 13, 2010 12:29 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2010 12:29 pm

Reutimann wants multi-year deal from MWR

The Associated Press is reporting that David Reutimann, who has worked off one-year deals since joining Michael Waltrip Racing, wants a multi-year deal out of his next contract negotiations.

"I'd like to get a multiyear deal because it puts your mind at ease," he said Wednesday during an appearance at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "It's always in the back of your mind, that concern about what's going to happen next year, and I really think it can take away from what you are trying to accomplish." READ THE FULL STOR Y

Reutimann, 40, probably had a bit more leverage after last season, when he picked up the organization's first Sprint Cup while compiling five top fives and 10 tops 10s. He challenged for a spot in the Chase before ultimately finishing 16th in points.

Through 11 races this season, he's not having as fruitful a season. He has just one top 10 with three DNFs and is 24th in points.

-- Brian De Los Santos

Posted on: May 9, 2010 10:59 pm

Stewart on the hunt for a new No. 14 co-sponsor

I think it's safe to say the honeymoon phase is over at Stewart Haas Racing.

After a stellar first-year campaign as owner/driver in 2009 that saw Tony Stewart win four points races as well as the all-star race and finish as the regular-season points leader, he has just three top 10s through the first 11 races of 2010 and is 18th in points.

He hasn't finished better than 16th in the past six races.

And now the Charlotte Observer is reporting that Old Spice, which shares sponsorship of Stewart's No. 14 car with Office Depot, will not be returning next season.

You have to wonder if he's having any second thoughts about this ownership deal. It's not all it's cracked up to be. Seems like a whole lot of headaches to me. Who would want that?

Perhaps these issues played a part in Kevin Harvick deciding that Richard Childress Racing isn't such a bad place to be after all -- if the reports of an impending new deal are true.

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