Posted on: February 4, 2010 12:57 pm

Take note, start times for Texas races moved

In a nutshell, per a request from track officials, Texas Motor Speedway is being shifted from an East/Central region track (1 p.m. ET start times) to a West Region track (3 p.m. ET start times)

Press release follows:

Texas Motor Speedway received approval from NASCAR today to move the start times of its two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races for the upcoming season to be consistent with the Western Region start times.

The Samsung Mobile 500 on April 18 and the Lone Star 500 on Nov. 7 will now have 2 p.m. Central Time starts, moving both races ahead two hours from their originally announced Noon CT times.

The move was a result of Texas Motor Speedway petitioning NASCAR on behalf of its fans requesting a later start time as well as potential logistical issues posed by the earlier start.

“On behalf of our fans, we greatly appreciate NASCAR, along with television broadcast partners FOX (Samsung Mobile 500) and ESPN (Lone Star 500), hearing their collective voice and making the time changes to better suit their wishes and needs,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “NASCAR has made it clear that they are going to a ‘back to basics’ approach, and accommodating their promoters on behalf of their fans as well as avoid some potential logistical issues defines that new approach.”

The time change for both races will complement NASCAR’s move to uniform start times for all its races this season. NASCAR is just shifting Texas Motor Speedway from an “Eastern/Central Region” designation to a “Western Region” one, where it joins Infineon Raceway (California), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Nevada), Auto Club Speedway (California) and Phoenix International Raceway (Arizona) for standardized 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT) starts. The remaining Sprint Cup races in the “Eastern/Central Region” (with the exception of night races) will begin at 1 p.m. ET (Noon CT).

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 3, 2010 12:43 pm

Parrott to work with Gaughan in Nationwide Series

Longtime crew chief Brad Parrott has hooked up with Brendan Gaughan at Rusty Wallace Racing. Parrott will serve as crew chief of the No. 62 Toyota in the Nationwide Series.

Press release follows:

Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing (RWR) announced today that standout veteran crew chief, Brad Parrott, will lead Brendan Gaughan and RWR’s No. 62 team in the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Parrott, a winner of nearly 20 races in the Nationwide Series since 2002, brings a wealth of veteran knowledge to RWR, having served as crew chief for drivers such as Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett, Juan Pablo Montoya and others. 

Parrott’s first experience with Rusty Wallace came when he served as tire specialist for Wallace and the famed No. 2 car at Penske Racing in the early 1990’s.  That experience includes Wallace’s 1993 and 1994 Cup Series seasons, which resulted in series-high win totals of ten and eight, respectively.

Stated Parrott, “I’m very excited about both being a part of Rusty Wallace Racing and working with Brendan Gaughan.  Rusty has put together all of the pieces we need to be one of the premier teams in the Nationwide Series.  At the same time, Brendan’s a guy who has obviously shown talent over the years; he almost won a couple of Nationwide races last season.  With all of the new resources our team has available, there’s no reason that the RWR cars can’t get into Victory Lane this year.”

Further, RWR officials announced that Parrott’s father—and Wallace’s crew chief at Penske Racing during the 1993 and 1994 seasons—Buddy Parrott, will serve as spotter for Gaughan and the No. 62 Toyota Camry in select 2010 Nationwide Series events.

Noted Wallace, “I really feel like our team has paid its dues over the last few years.  We’ve had our ups and our downs, but we’ve really worked hard over time to improve our team.  With the resources that our Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing partnerships provide, combined with yet another year of experience for our drivers, the engineering focus that Scott McDougall brings and now, the veteran experience of Brad and Buddy, I think that 2010 is set to be a breakout year for our team.”

Posted on: February 2, 2010 2:48 pm

Front Row forms alliance with Doug Yates

Front Row has put the finishing touches on deal with Doug Yates that will secure its three teams starting spots in each of the season's first five races. It's quite a tranformation for an organization that operated with only one full-time team a year ago.

The alliance reunites Yates with Front Row drivers Travis Kvapil and David Gilliland, who drove for Yates Racing in 2008.

Press release follows:

Solidifying an ownership alliance with Doug Yates and Yates Racing, Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins announces a name change to the organization.  With the addition of Yates, the team will now officially be titled Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing.  Doug Yates will be the listed owner of the No. 37 and No. 38 Ford Fusions, with Bob Jenkins remaining the listed owner of the No. 34 Ford Fusion.  The team will remain headquartered in Statesville, N.C.
The alliance secures all three entries into the top 35 in owner points heading into the opening weekend of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.  It also reunites Yates with his former drivers David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil.
"There has been a lot of movement this past off-season inside the sport," said Yates.  "The opportunity came up with Bob (Jenkins) and to continue in the ownership role.  I didn't have to think long about making this decision.  Bob is really putting together a strong team this season and has done so over the past few seasons.  He's been smart and making all the right moves as an owner.  He's capitalized on the changes in the sports landscape and has built a solid team with great factory support and drivers.  That's what excited me about making this move."
"I had already learned a lot about Bob and the Front Row team over the past two months with their involvement with Ford Racing and leasing engines from Roush/Yates Engines," continued Yates.  "They are a fast-improving team and this move allows me to carry on the Yates Racing legacy created by my father over 20 years ago."
Yates Racing has more than 50 wins, 200 top-five and 400 top-10 finishes in NASCAR's highest level, including a championship in 1999.  Gilliland and Kvapil raced under the Yates Racing banner in 2008 and 2009.
"There has been so much that has happened for us in the past two months," said Jenkins.  "But, having Doug come on board is a big piece of our puzzle coming together heading into this season. He brings such a family tradition of winning and a lot of confidence to everyone here.  His relationships with Ford Racing, Roush/Yates Engines, David and Travis immediately make us a stronger team."

Posted on: February 1, 2010 11:37 am

Andretti reunites with Front Row for Daytona 500

John Andretti , who drove for Front Row Motorsports in 2009, locking the No. 34 car into the top 35 for the first five races of the season, will be back in the car for the Daytona 500.

NASCAR would not approve rookie Kevin Conway to race in the Daytona 500, forcing Front Row to do a little driver juggling for the season opener.

Andretti will jump into the No. 34, while Travis Kvapil , who will be the primary driver of the 34 car the remainder of the season, is shifting to the 37 car, which is Conway's primary ride.

Front Row also has a third car, the No. 38, which will be driven by Robert Richardson Jr. at the first three restrictor-plate races of the season. David Gilliland is scheduled to drive a majority of the other races in the car.

At the moment, only the No. 34 car is locked into the 500 for Front Row, but the organization is still hoping to work out arrangements with other teams to transfer owner that would lock its other two cars into the race.
Posted on: January 29, 2010 12:54 pm

Furniture Row expected to align with RCR

According to a report on, Furniture Row is set to form a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing:

"While the team may look the same on the outside, eternally we're much stronger," said Joe Garone, general manager of Furniture Row Racing. "One of the assets with the alliance with Richard Childress is our ability to be secure in the top 35.

"During the last quarter, we decided we needed to run the full season. Around May or June, we realized how much it hurt us not to run the full season."

In the offseason, FRR restructured its organization with an eye on expansion in the future. FRR acquired Mark McArdle, the former VP and director of competition at Richard Petty Motorsports, as its competition director and named former Michael Waltrip engineer Ryan Coniam crew chief for the No. 78. Pete Rondeau, who oversaw RPM's research and development program, joined FRR as car chief.

"Our hope is to secure our sponsorship to advance our growth as an organization for the future," Garone added. "We can race on the Furniture Row sponsorship, but it wouldn't allow us to expand to a second car. Our primary goal is to have the No. 78 team run at 100 percent efficiency."


Reading between the lines, it appears the points from RCR's now shuttered 07 will be transferred to the 78 car. It will be up to Regan Smith to keep the car in the top 35.

Furniture Row has been the little team that could since in arrived on the scene in 2006. It ran full seasons from 2006-08 before cutbacks forced them to trim their schedule to 18 events in 2009. Smith, the 2008 Cup rookie of the year when he drove for Dale Earnhardt Inc., has never finished top 10 in 59 career Cup starts.

Furniture Row is based out of Denver, Colo., the only team headquartered west of the Mississippi.

Posted on: January 28, 2010 3:12 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2010 3:21 pm

Patrick set to run at least 12 Nationwide races

From JR Motorsports press release:

Danica Patrick will compete in 12 NASCAR Nationwide Series races with the possibility of 13 in her debut season with JR Motorsports, co-owner and general manager Kelley Earnhardt announced today.
The only event uncertain on Patrick’s schedule is the Feb. 13 season opener at Daytona International Speedway.  The No. 7 Chevrolet is entered in the event, but its driver will not be determined until after Patrick’s race in the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) event on Feb. 6.  Patrick will compete in the Daytona ARCA race in a JR Motorsports-prepared No. 7 Chevrolet.
Beyond Daytona, Patrick’s 2010 campaign is confirmed starting with the Feb. 20 race at Auto Club Speedway and the Feb. 27 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Following Vegas, Patrick will take a four-month hiatus to focus on her IndyCar Series responsibilities before returning to drive the No. 7 Chevy in the Nationwide Series June 26 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The remainder of her schedule includes Nationwide races at Chicagoland Speedway (July 9), Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 14), Dover International Speedway (Sept. 25), Auto Club Speedway (Oct. 9), Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 15), Gateway International Raceway (Oct. 23), Texas Motor Speedway (Nov. 6), Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 13), and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 20).
“I’m thrilled to announce our 2010 Nationwide Series schedule,” said Patrick. “Like I’ve said before, we just want to be smart and calculative about this process.  The tracks we’ve selected not only compliment the IndyCar schedule, but will give me quality seat time at a variety of facilities.”
While Patrick’s participation in the Daytona race is to be determined, JR Motorsports will still field two cars for the Nationwide Series season opener.  Due to sponsorship reallocation for the upcoming season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the No. 88 Hellmann’s Chevrolet in place of Kelly Bires in what is the first of two scheduled races for the JRM co-owner.  Bires will return to the seat of the No. 88 Chevy the following week at Auto Club Speedway and could be called upon to drive the No. 7 Chevrolet at Daytona should Patrick not compete in that event.
“We want to give Danica the best opportunity to compete at Daytona, and that includes making sure she is 100 percent comfortable in that driver’s seat,” Kelley Earnhardt said.  “The Nationwide race there is perhaps the most competitive race of the year.  Once the ARCA race is complete, we will get with Danica and make a decision based on the best interests of her, the team, and our sponsor Go Daddy.  I’m extremely pleased with the working relationship between Danica and (crew chief) Tony Eury Jr.  They are communicating well and working extremely hard in preparing for this season.” will serve as primary sponsor for 10 of Patrick’s 12 races in the No. 7 Chevrolet in 2010.
Danica Patrick’s 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series Schedule
Date    Venue
2/13    Daytona International Speedway (TBD)
2/20    Auto Club Speedway
2/27    Las Vegas Motor Speedway
6/26    New Hampshire Motor Speedway
7/9    Chicagoland Speedway
8/14    Michigan International Speedway
9/25     Dover International Speedway
10/9    Auto Club Speedway
10/15    Charlotte Motor Speedway
10/23    Gateway International Raceway
11/6    Texas Motor Speedway
11/13    Phoenix International Speedway
11/20    Homestead-Miami Speedway

Posted on: January 28, 2010 12:20 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2010 12:26 pm

Robby Gordon likely to run some races in BAM car

During an interview on Sirius radio's Tradin' Paint show, Robby Gordon said he will probably drive in some races for BAM Racing this season, a scenario I had been specualating about since news of Robby Gordon Motorsports' alliance with BAM.

By the sound of it, the two organizations are basically working as one with Gordon saying there will be at least one RGM or BAM car at every race. But he promises they won't be a start-and-park operation.

Gordon also has plans to build a monster truck and possbily make another run in the Indianpolis 500. So he's going to have quite a full plate.

You can find the full interview HERE .

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: January 28, 2010 12:01 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2010 12:22 pm

Kligerman to drive for 42 Racing in Nationwide

From Penske Racing press release:

Penske Racing driver Parker Kligerman will continue his development in 2010, beginning the NASCAR Nationwide Series season behind the wheel of the No. 42 Dodge for Team 42 Racing.

Kligerman, 19, will compete in at least the first five series races for the Eddie Smith-owned team, with the possibility of entering more events this season.

“We believe Parker has a bright future in NASCAR and, like many young drivers, what he needs most right now is experience,” said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. “This is a great opportunity for him to continue his development in the Nationwide Series. We are fortunate to be able to align with Eddie’s organization to further develop Parker’s potential.”

In 2009, Kligerman joined Penske Racing’s driver development program. Working with crew chief Chris Carrier in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, Kligerman posted a series-high nine victories last season while finishing a close second in the championship standings. He earned the chance to compete at the Nationwide Series level with the Penske team and won the pole at Kansas Speedway in his team and series debut before he produced a 16th-place finish in the race.

The relationship with the Eddie Smith team began at the 2009 Nationwide Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where Kligerman drove the No. 42 Dodge in his second series race and finished in 25th place.

“I am really looking forward to competing in the first five races of the season in the No. 42 Nationwide Series Dodge,” said Kligerman. “It is so important for me to continue to learn and develop at this stage of my career and I’m excited that I can continue to work with Penske Racing and hopefully get off to a strong start in 2010 with Team 42 Racing so we can position ourselves for more races this year.”

Carrier, who brings more than 20 years of experience as a NASCAR crew chief, will continue to call the shots for Kligerman as crew chief for Team 42 Racing.

“Everyone at Team 42 is thrilled to be working with an up-and-coming driver like Parker,” said Eddie Smith, owner of Team 42 Racing. “He has a lot of talent and we will work hard to make sure we get solid results for the team.”

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