Posted on: February 17, 2010 5:24 pm

Todd Parrott takes over as Kenseth's crew chief

Just one race into the season, Roush Fenway Racing has decided to replace Drew Blickensderfer as Matt Kenseth's crew chief. Effective immediately, veteran crew chief Todd Parrott will take over the calls for the No. 17 car.

Parrott helped Dale Jarrett caputure the Cup championship in 1999 for Robert Yates Racing, with whom he has spent a majority of his career.

Blickensderfer actually won his first two races as Kenseth's crew chief -- the Daytona 500 and the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway -- to start the 2009 season, but Kenseth would earn just 12 tops, his fewest since 2001, and missed the Chase for the first time in his career.

Kenseth finish eighth in Sunday's Daytona 500, but wasn't exactly pleased with his performance.

“I’m happy with the result, but wasn’t very happy with our weekend overall," Kenseth said. "We started the day way, way off and it was just a battle the whole time.  We got lucky.” 

“We ran about 25th or 30th all day, so all of those green-white-checkers helped us and gave us an opportunity to make some moves there at the end and kind of go crazy.  I just got a run down the back and was able to get three or four-wide up against the wall, and I got some help.  I got my momentum up there and got lucky to get a few spots.  We didn’t race our way to eighth and didn’t really deserve eighth.  I just got lucky.”

“I’m happy with the result, but wasn’t very happy with our weekend overall," Kenseth said. "We started the day way, way off and it was just a battle the whole time.  We got lucky.” 

“We ran about 25th or 30th all day, so all of those green-white-checkers helped us and gave us an opportunity to make some moves there at the end and kind of go crazy.  I just got a run down the back and was able to get three or four-wide up against the wall, and I got some help.  I got my momentum up there and got lucky to get a few spots.  We didn’t race our way to eighth and didn’t really deserve eighth.  I just got lucky.”

Robbie Reiser had served as Kenseth's crew chief for his entire career through 2007, when he was promoted to a general manager's role at Roush Fenway Racing.

Chip Bolin worked as Kenseth's crew chief in 2008, but Kenseth's performance tapered off greatly from the Reiser era as he went winless for the first time since 2001.

Category: Auto Racing
Tags: Matt Kenseth
Posted on: February 8, 2010 8:09 am

Patrick will make Nationwide debut at Daytona

Following a sixth-place finish in her ARCA stock-car debut Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, Danica Patrick has moved up her Nationwide Series debut and will race Feb. 13 in the Nationwide Series opener at Daytona.

Press release follows:
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 8, 2010) – Danica Patrick will make her NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the No. 7 Chevrolet this Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, JR Motorsports general manager Kelley Earnhardt announced today.

Patrick, Earnhardt, and team officials convened Sunday following the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) event at
Daytona, in which Patrick raced to a sixth-place finish in her stock-car debut.  The decision for Patrick to compete in the Daytona Nationwide Series event is supported by sponsor and JRM co-owners Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Eury Jr., and Rick Hendrick.

“To be the one driving that Go Daddy car at Daytona means a lot to me,” Patrick said.  “Racing in the Nationwide Series race was my goal during this entire two-month preparation process, but we wanted to make sure it was the right thing to do.  The ARCA race was a blast, and I’m not ready for my first Daytona Speedweeks to end just yet.  I want more racing.”

Patrick’s entry in the Drive4COPD 300 puts her in a JR Motorsports tandem with Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will drive the No. 88 Hellmann’s Chevrolet.  Patrick will continue her Nationwide Series schedule on Feb. 20 at Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, Calif.) and Feb. 27 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway.  Patrick is guaranteed starting positions in all three races based off JRM’s acquisition of points from CJM Racing’s No. 11 team, which finished 15th in the 2009 Nationwide Series owners point standings.

“I think Danica proved to everyone that she can compete in stock cars at a high level, and right now seat time is extremely important,” Kelley Earnhardt said.  “She has worked extremely hard during the past two months for this opportunity.  Her dedication and work ethic is infectious.” will be the primary sponsor for 11 of Patrick’s 13 Nationwide Series races in 2010.  The world’s largest domain name registrar also served as primary sponsor for Patrick’s ARCA debut last week.  She started 12th in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 and finished sixth, including a late rally from 23rd position all the way to the front pack in just under 20 laps.

“Danica’s got what it takes, and it’s obvious from the ARCA race NASCAR is right up her alley,” said Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons.  “She’s ready to drive the No. 7 Chevy in Daytona and is sure to give the fans an exciting show just like she did in the ARCA race.”

Posted on: February 5, 2010 1:17 pm

Phoenix Racing loses Miccosukee sponsorship

Phoenix Racing, owned by James Finch, has lost its sponsorship from Miccosukee Resort and Gaming, according to . had previously reported the decision was likely forthcoming from the tribe, so Finch had some sense was coming, but it hurts nonetheless.

He was all set to field the No. 09 car for Aric Almirola in the Cup Series as well as a full-time Nationwide ride for James Buescher, but doesn't have much recourse to take on the tribe, who've left him in a lurch.

Miccosukee was also set to sponsor the No. 18 truck for Kyle Busch Motorsports, which was hoping to run two trucks in its inaugural season.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 5, 2010 1:01 pm

Chrissy Wallace makes Daytona Nationwide plans

Chrissy Wallace , daughter of Mike Wallace, will attempt to make her Nationwide Series debut in the Feb. 13 race at Daytona for Rick Ware Racing. If successful, she would becme the first female -- pending what Danica Patrick decides to do -- to make her Nationwide debut at Daytona. In addition, she could be joined in the field by her father, uncle Kenny Wallace and cousin Steven Wallace.

She must qualify on speed. Plans for the remainder of the season were not yet announced.

Press release follows:
Chrissy Wallace will be making her NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Daytona International Speedway on February 13th in the Camping World 300 in the #41 Fuel Doctor Chevy with Rick Ware Racing (RWR).

Wallace debuted with RWR in the NASCAR Camping World Series at Talladega last October.  She  finished 13th and looks forward to the new challenge.  “This is a lifelong dream to race in the Nationwide Series and will soon be a reality, and I want to thank Rick Ware Racing for making it come true,” stated Wallace.

Once again marking the first time in history that a Father-Daughter will compete against each other in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Chrissy will join her father on the track to top last season’s performance at Talladega in the Camping World Truck race in 2009.

More history could be made as Wallace will become the first female to make her Nationwide Series debut at the famous Daytona International Speedway.

With so many storylines during the opening week of the NASCAR season, nothing could be more intriguing than four family members competing against each other in the same event.  Father Mike Wallace will be in the #01, uncle Kenny Wallace in the #28, cousin Stephen Wallace in the #66 and Chrissy in the #41.

As all eyes focus on the newest female in NASCAR  Danica Patrick, the Nationwide Series could benefit the most;  Patrick and Wallace could face off in their series debut.  It is the classic battle that most fans have been waiting to see; the open wheel star versus the old school stock car racer.

Regardless, Wallace’s debut is more than publicity. “We have a great car and an extremely stout motor.  Our first goal is to make the show because we have to qualify on time.  This team did qualify 8th at Daytona in 2009.  If all goes well in qualifying, we expect a Top 15-20 for this car, and if I can be the highest finishing Wallace, it will make all the rest of the family gatherings a lot more fun…well at least for me.”

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.
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