Monster Energy Cup Series News (14601)
Officials from Rick Ware Racing (RWR) announced today that they have acquired a charter from a current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) team to utilize during the 2018 season.
The acquisition of the charter signifies that RWR will compete full-time in the Cup Series next season with the No. 51 entry beginning with the 60th annual Daytona 500 on Sun, Feb. 18, 2018.
The Thomasville, N.C.-based team also plans to field an “open” car throughout the season with the No. 52 entry.
In addition to gaining a charter, RWR will have the continued support of major associate marketing partners Lilly Trucking, Keen Building Systems, Bubba Burger and Spoonful of Music.
Additionally, RWR is upgrading their current 20,000 square foot shop to include updated equipment and personnel, including engineering support on and off the road.
“Rick Ware Racing is going into our 27th year and we are more excited than ever,” said team principal Rick Ware. “The Lord has blessed us with some great opportunities and alliances.
“We’re dedicated to improving our program from top to bottom during the offseason and with a charter, it brings a lot to the table not only for our drivers but our partners too.
“We’re looking forward to making 2018 one of our best seasons yet.”
To help the team in on-track performance, the team will also be building and acquiring cars throughout the off-season and will have Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Fusions and Toyota Camrys at their disposal throughout the season.
RWR plans to solidify new additional associate marketing partners as well over the next few weeks while finalizing their driver lineup for the No. 51 charter and No. 52 open cars in the immediate future.
Rick Ware Racing is on Twitter. Follow them @RickWareRacing.
Stewart-Haas Racing Announces 2018 Driver/Crew Chief Pairings; Kurt Busch Returns to Drive No. 41 Ford Fusion15 Dec 2017 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has announced its 2018 driver and crew chief pairings for its four teams competing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Headlining the announcement is Kurt Busch’s return to the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion. The 2018 season will mark Busch’s 19th year in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and his fifth with SHR. Five of Busch’s 29 career victories have come with SHR, highlighted by his victory in the 2017 Daytona 500.
Taking over as crew chief for Busch and the No. 41 team is Billy Scott, who joined SHR in 2016 as crew chief for Danica Patrick and the No. 10 team. Tony Gibson, who has been the crew chief for the No. 41 team since November 2014 and a crew chief at SHR since the organization’s inception in 2009, will remain with SHR in an unnamed capacity.
John Klausmeier, a race engineer with SHR since 2009, has been promoted to crew chief for Aric Almirola and the No. 10 Smithfield team. Klausmeier comes to the job with a victory already as a crew chief. He served as the interim crew chief for the No. 41 team during the June 2016 race weekend at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, which Busch won after leading the final 32 laps.
Rodney Childers returns as Kevin Harvick’s crew chief with the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Busch Beer team for the fifth straight year. Since partnering in 2014, the duo has won 14 races, 15 poles and led 6,665 laps. They’ve been a member of the Championship 4 three times, winning the title in 2014.
Mike Bugarewicz begins his third year as the crew chief for the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 team in 2018. He was Tony Stewart’s crew chief in 2016, helping the three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion secure his 49th and final career win at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway before retiring as a driver at the end of the season. Clint Bowyer took over the No. 14 Ford Fusion in 2017, delivering three second-place finishes in his first year with SHR.
“We have some of the finest talent in the industry and we’re confident in the leadership of each of our teams as we pursue wins and a championship in 2018,” said Stewart, co-owner of SHR with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. “Obviously, we’re very happy to have Kurt Busch back with SHR and I’m proud to have Aric Almirola as a part of our race team. He’s someone I’ve always been impressed with since we were teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing, and John Klausmeier is more than ready to be his crew chief. The partnership between Kevin Harvick and Rodney Childers is the best in the garage, and after a bunch of strong runs and second-place finishes, I think Clint Bowyer and Mike Bugarewicz are ready for a breakout year. We’re in a really good place with each of our race teams.”
“Bigger, Better, Faster, Lighter is what we strive for in the machining industry and it’s what we strive for in motorsports. These new appointments seamlessly marry our engineering expertise with our collective racing experience,” Haas said.
“We wanted to maximize our strengths and address the areas where we needed to improve, and we feel this lineup gives us our best chance to succeed every time we bring our Ford Fusions to the racetrack,” added Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, SHR. “This is a very technical sport, but it’s the people who make it go, and we’ve got some of the best people in the business.”
Front Row Motorsports Bolsters 2018 Program with Enhanced Ford Partnership to Field Cars for Ragan, McDowell14 Dec 2017 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Front Row Motorsports will step up its two-car Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series program in 2018 with an elevated partnership with Ford Performance. The Bob Jenkins-owned team will put experience behind the wheel of its Fords, re-signing veteran David Ragan and adding free agent Michael McDowell to the driver roster.
The 2018 season will mark Front Row Motorsports’ ninth with Ford Performance, the team’s manufacturing partner since expanding to a multi-car organization in 2010. The agreement will include an expanded technical alliance with Roush Fenway Racing.
Ragan returns for his fifth season with the Statesville, N.C.-based team. The 31-year-old Unadilla, Ga., native earned Front Row Motorsports’ first NASCAR victory in 2013 with a last-lap surge to the front at Talladega Superspeedway. His 12-year Cup series career includes two wins, 15 top-five and 39 top-10 finishes, and two poles.
“Bob Jenkins and I have developed a good relationship over the years, both professionally and personally,” Ragan said. “I believe in this team and am proud to have been part of its growth and its successes. I’m excited that Bob and Ford have agreed to take the program to the next level, and I’m happy I’ll be here to help the team continue to grow.”
McDowell, a 10-year veteran of the series, joins the team after four years with Leavine Family Racing. The 32-year-old Phoenix, Ariz., native raced a Front Row Motorsports entry once previously in his Cup series career, at Watkins Glen International in 2013. The former open-wheel racer was the 2004 Star Mazda Series champion and 2007 ARCA Re/MAX Series Rookie of the Year. He earned a Cup career-best fourth-place finish at Daytona International Speedway in July of this year.
“Since I first drove for Bob at Watkins Glen, we’ve kept in touch and have felt like there might be an opportunity to work together again, and the timing worked out perfectly,” McDowell said. “It’s been a while since I’ve had a teammate, so I’m really looking forward to working with David, whom I’ve become pretty good friends with over the years. As a team now, we go into the season knowing we have five or six races that put us in position to get a win and earn a spot in the playoffs."
“Ford has been a great partner for us for the past eight seasons, and we’ve agreed to work together to step up our program quite a bit,” Jenkins said. “We’ve got a lot vested in our partnership – relationships, knowledge, data – that we’re going to build on to make improvements both in the shop and at the track.
“David has been a great team member for us in his years with Front Row, both on and off the track,” Jenkins continued. “And Michael is a great addition to our team. I’ve been impressed with his talent watching him over the years and excited that he’ll be representing us and our partners next season.”
The team has not yet finalized its crew chief line-up and is evaluating possible additions to the competition staff. Additional information about the 2018 program, including team partners and driver car numbers, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Martin Truex Jr., the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion, and his Furniture Row Racing crew chief Cole Pearn are visiting Toronto on Jan. 5, 2018 for a special event the public is invited to attend.
In addition to the opportunity to meet both Truex and Pearn, there will be a celebration of the life of Pearn’s best friend Jacob Damen, who passed away last August.
The public and the “Jacobs” in their lives are invited to join a gala event to be held at the Hockey Hall of Fame from 7-10 p.m. ET.
“We miss our buddy Jacob dearly,” said Pearn. “We all have family and friends that fill a space in our hearts that is irreplaceable. Jacob filled the hearts of his wife Carolyn, his sons Lucas and Nolan, his parents Jerry and Kim Damen, twin brother Tyler, sister Julia and countless friends. We are going to celebrate his life at the perfect spot, the Hockey Hall of Fame, to support his beautiful wife Carolyn and the two boys, Lucas and Nolan. I can’t wait to get home to celebrate with everyone.”
Truex will be there to honor Damen as well as support Pearn.
“Cole is not only an incredible crew chief, he’s an incredible human being,” Truex said. “I’ll do anything to support Cole, his family and friends. I can’t wait to meet our Canadian race fans and celebrate the life of Cole’ best friend.”
For more details and to purchase tickets to the ‘Jacob Damen Friend and Fan Remembered’ event, Friday evening, Jan. 5 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, go to:
When the 33rd annual Pioneer Pole Buildings fueled by Sunoco & distributed by Insinger Performance show takes place January 19-21 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa the Pocono Raceway will be an even bigger part of the show.
Pocono, which has participated in all past 32 Motorsports Racecar & Trade Shows will be offering fans a first time opportunity to see the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 that will be driven by fan favorite Chase Elliott on the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series circuit in 2018. Also new on the new Hendrick Motorsports Chevy will be the number. Elliott drove a No. 24 since he replaced retiring driver Jeff Gordon. In 2018 he’ll be switching to the No. 9 used by his Hall of Fame father Bill Elliott during his career.
Pocono has expanded their booth, located right in the main entrance area, to also include an IndyCar entry. This season the two mile triangle shaped track will be offering NASCAR Monster Energy Cup, Xfinity, Camping World Trucks, ARCA and IndyCar races. Show attendees will be able to gain all the needed ticket and schedule information on Pocono’s new season at their booth.
Tony Stewart has announced that he will be part of the three day show making an appearance to sign autographs and talk with fans about his NASCAR Cup and Xfinity teams, as well as his dirt Sprint car efforts during Saturday show activities.
Popular TV personality and former standout NASCAR crew chief Larry McReynolds will also be part of Saturday’s line-up.
An expanded hardcore racing section will include speed equipment suppliers, parts manufacturers, engine builders, chassis builders, apparel companies and much, much more. Not only with the latest products be on display but great at the show prices for cash and carry will be available to those looking to build their inventory while saving money.
Many of the 150 race tracks located within 200 miles of the show will have displays and will offer the latest information on plans for 2018. The show will also include the display over of over 200 race cars of all kinds. The former Pine Brook Speedway in northern New Jersey will be remembered in a special display of race cars. A Pine Brook reunion which will include driver autographs will be held on both Friday, the night the track held competition, and on Saturday afternoon.
A variety of seminars will be offered free to attendees on subjects of interest to racers.
One of the most popular events of the three day show is the annual Oliver Construction sponsored Ms. Motorsports Pageant which will take place Saturday evening.
For the fourth year, Oliver Construction Enterprises of Bordentown, New Jersey returns as the title sponsor of the Ms. Motorsports Pageant. Oliver Construction Enterprises is owned by dirt Modified competitor, PJ Oliver.
Entries for the Pageant are currently being accepted. Ladies between the ages of 18-35 who are outgoing, with a high-level of energy and some knowledge of motorsports are encouraged to enter the competition. No talent or pageant experience is necessary.
Sunday is Kid’s Day at the show highlighted by the Tiny (4 to 7 years old) and Little (8 to 11) Miss Motorsports Competitions and the annual RAACE Big Wheel Races. All children 12 and under are admitted free of charge on Sunday.
Applications and rules for the Ms., Tiny and Little Miss Motorsports competitions can be found along with all other show information at www.motorsportstradeshow.com. Children who wish to enter the Big Wheel races need to only enter before noon at the event stage area.
Time is running out to arrange display or to have your race car on display at the show.
The Motorsports Group (TMG) announced today that Circle Sport will be not be returning in the managing partnership for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season.
The decision to cease came Monday (December 11, 2017) from Circle Sport owner, Joe Falk.
“We wish them the best”, stated TMG owner Curtis Key, Sr. after being informed of the decision on Monday morning, “I will continue on this journey and look to rebound for 2018”.
Eddie Pardue will continue with The Motorsports Group. Pardue who took over the crew chief role of the #33 Chevrolet midseason from Pat Tryson will serve as crew chief of TMG’s 2018 entries. “Eddie and I have known each other for a long time, since the Busch Series days, I am happy that he will continue on with us”, said Key.
TMG is currently seeking a driver and sponsors for next seasons entry, “This is sudden for us but we put a plan together rather quickly, we’ve had discussions with potential drivers but it’s only been a day since the news and we have more calls to make, we look to have a driver announce in early January”, added Key.
The TMG Chevrolet Camaro will debut at Daytona for Speedweeks in February 2018. There is currently sponsorship opportunity available for both primary and associate partners.
Tony Gibson, Crew Chief for Kurt Busch and the #41 Monster Energy Ford, is MOOG® 'Go the Extra Mile' Crew Chief of the Year11 Dec 2017 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Tony Gibson, crew chief for Kurt Busch and Stewart-Haas Racing's MOOG®-equipped #41 Monster Energy Ford Fusion, is the 2017 MOOG "Go the Extra Mile" Crew Chief of the Year. Gibson received the award, which recognizes the crew chief with the best overall performance in advancing a team's competitive position during the Monster Energy NASCAR® Cup Series season, during last week's NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas, Nev. MOOG is a brand from Federal-Mogul Motorparts and the Official Steering and Suspension of NASCAR.
One of the most experienced crew chiefs in Cup Series racing, Gibson won a season-high five weekly MOOG "Go the Extra Mile" Crew Chief awards, which are presented to the crew chief whose car delivers the greatest improvement in average lap time from the first to the second half of a race while finishing on the lead lap. Jason Ratcliff, crew chief for Matt Kenseth and the MOOG-equipped #20 Toyota, finished second in the battle for year-end MOOG honors with four weekly "Go the Extra Mile" wins. A total of 18 different crew chiefs earned the weekly award over the 36-race season.
As the MOOG brand's Crew Chief of the Year, Gibson received a handcrafted MOOG ball joint trophy and $100,000 check from Federal-Mogul Motorparts. In winning the award, he closed the 2017 season in much the same way as he started it – with a career highlight. A native of Daytona Beach, Fla., Gibson achieved his lifelong dream of winning the season-opening Daytona 500 this past February.
"Tony's success can be traced to exceptional preparation, a mastery of chassis adjustments and race strategy, and his unique ability to inspire his team members," said Tim Nelson, director of motorsports, Federal-Mogul Motorparts. "We saw these advantages at play throughout the 2017 season as he went the extra mile in helping improve the 41 car's performance."
The MOOG brand is the preferred choice of professional technicians and NASCAR crew chiefs. MOOG product engineers go the extra mile in developing innovative steering and suspension parts that provide superior performance, greater durability and easier installation. These benefits have helped drive the brand's unsurpassed success in NASCAR competition, with every Cup Series champion for the past 52 years driving to victory with MOOG parts.
To learn more about MOOG parts, visit your MOOG supplier or visit www.moogparts.com. Like MOOG on Facebook at www.facebook.com/moogparts and follow the brand on Twitter (@moogparts) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/moogparts).
Federal-Mogul Motorparts PR
RCR Continues Longtime Partnership with Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops in 2018 to Celebrate Cabela's11 Dec 2017 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Richard Childress Racing (RCR) today announced plans to continue its partnership with Bass Pro Shops during the 2018 racing season. Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's will serve as a primary sponsor for the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The partnership marks the first time both iconic outdoor brands will be featured together since Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's joined forces in September 2017 to establish North America's premier outdoor and conservation company.
Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's will be featured as the primary sponsors of Ryan Newman's No. 31 Chevrolet during the 60th running of the Daytona 500 on February 18, 2018, along with several other select races throughout the 2018 season. The partnership also includes several races as primary sponsor in the XFINITY Series with drivers Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon, and a season-long associate sponsorship in both the Cup and XFINITY Series.
"Our relationship with Bass Pro Shops dates back to the mid-1990s and we're thrilled to be able to continue it during the 2018 season," said RCR's Chairman and CEO, Richard Childress. "Austin, Ty and Ryan are terrific ambassadors for the great outdoors. They are all passionate about our hunting, fishing and conservation heritage which has made this partnership thrive. Next season will be exciting as we welcome Cabela's, the iconic outdoor brand acquired by Bass Pro Shops, to the RCR family."
Newman, Dillon and Dillon will serve as outdoor, hunting, fishing, conservation and sport shooting spokesmen for Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's. The partnership will include in-market activation, at-track activation, show car and digital/social media assets. The at-track activation includes a footprint at the popular Bass Pro Shops/NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in August 2018, where Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's will also serve as primary sponsor for the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro.
Bass Pro Shops, founded in 1972 by avid young angler Johnny Morris, provides unmatched offerings spanning destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class destinations and more. Earlier this year, Morris opened the doors to Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, the largest, most immersive fish and wildlife attraction in the world, located adjacent to the original Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Springfield, Missouri.
"I am very excited to continue our partnership with Richard Childress Racing and support three tremendous drivers - Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, and Ty Dillon," said noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris. "Like so many of our loyal customers, we cannot wait to see Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's side-by-side on the race cars and in Victory Lane. We know many of our customers, conservation partners and associates have an affinity for NASCAR which has made our partnership with RCR so successful. We're excited to get things started with the Daytona 500 in February."
Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's will continue its on-car branding efforts with its affiliated brands such as TRACKER Boats, Ranger Boats, Big Cedar Lodge and to promote conservation partners including Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation.
NASCAR fans get a double-dose of racing action to open the 2018 season on Sunday, February 11, with The Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway capping a day that starts with Coors Light Pole Award qualifying for the 60th Annual Daytona 500.
A star-studded lineup of elite drivers will battle in the 75-lap event which airs live on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 3 p.m. ET. The annual preseason race will be run in two segments, with a competition caution at lap 25 separating the segments.
“A double-header, featuring The Clash and Daytona 500 qualifying, is a great way to start the 2018 season,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “The urgency created by the non-points race sets a tone for the season, providing a strong preview of the competition we expect will be a mainstay all year long.”
“For four decades, the Advance Auto Parts Clash has been a staple of the Speedweeks lineup,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. “The event has a rich history and serves as a preview to the Can-Am Duel qualifying races and the DAYTONA 500. Combining the Advance Auto Parts Clash and DAYTONA 500 Qualifying on the same day will deliver race fans a full day of NASCAR action.”
Consistent with the eligibility criteria used to determine last year’s Clash field, there is no pre-determined number of cars. The exclusive field is limited to drivers who were 2017 Coors Light Pole Award winners, former Clash race winners, former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full-time in 2017 and drivers who qualified for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
Eligible drivers are:
2017 Coors Light Pole Award Winners (14)
- Ryan Blaney, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Martin Truex Jr.
Former Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Award Winners (3)
- Austin Dillon, Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick
2017 Playoff Drivers (3)
- Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman
Tickets for The Clash and Daytona 500 qualifying are available online at DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Adam Stern, writer for The Sports Business Journal tweeted late Sunday afternoon that Kurt Busch has signed a contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing to continue driving the #41 Ford and plans that an announcement regarding his contract extension should come later this week.
In 4 years with Stewart-Haas Racing, Busch has claimed 5 victories most recently coming last February in the 2017 Daytona 500.