Wednesday, Sep 28
Press Release

Press Release

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This Saturday night, Richard Petty Motorsports, for the first time, will start their two cars in the Sprint Unlimited exhibition race for 2012 pole winners and past "Unlimited" winners. Marcos Ambrose and the No. 9 Stanley Ford team and Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Smithfield Ford team will both be making their first starts in the event.


Ambrose qualified for the event after winning two poles in 2012 (Sonoma and Michigan in June) while Almirola led the field to the start of the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May last year. The three poles proved the continued progress of Richard Petty Motorsports in 2012 and now allow the team to get a head start in 2013. This race was a priority explained Director of Competition, Sammy Johns.


"We have certain goals each season and having each team win a pole is one of them," explained Johns. "Last year was good because it showed our cars have plenty of speed, but also because it allows us to race this weekend. Getting in real race conditions before the 150 races will be very helpful to us as we prepare for the Daytona 500. It's a huge advantage to have both of our teams in this race. It's why we want to have both teams win a pole or two or three this season as well."


After capturing their first-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles last season, both Ambrose and Almirola will compete in their first ever Sprint Unlimited event. With the fans ability to vote on some of the parameters of the race, this event leaves a lot of unknowns going into the start of the race.


Ambrose's only strategy is to run up front. "Without knowing the format of the race ahead of time, our goal is to run up front," explained Ambrose. "As we saw in the test, the Gen6 cars line up differently making it harder to bump draft. I think you will see more guys taking chances in the Sprint Unlimited and hopefully that will help us figure out how to race these new cars in the draft."


"Having both teams in the event really shows how far RPM has come over the past few years," Ambrose continued. "Being a part of this special event will give us some good momentum to start the 2013 season."


Almirola agrees and says his strategy is to run all out for the 75-lap exhibition event. "You can't really have a plan without knowing the rules going into the race, so our strategy is to race all out for all 75 laps," said Almirola. "No matter the outcome, having some track time in a race setting should really help us for the 500 and help us figure out the new car in the draft. The 'Unlimited' has always been an exciting race and the new format should add to that, so I'm looking forward to being a part of it this year."


The Sprint Unlimited will be broadcast on FOX Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. EST. Fans can vote on the race format, pit stops and eliminations at



No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. is ready for an encore. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver joined teammate Clint Bowyer in giving MWR its first two berths in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2012. It was a season that saw the Mayetta, N.J. native post seven top-five finishes, lead 434 laps and surpass the $1.5 million mark in funds raised for his Martin Truex Jr. Foundation.

The 2013 season promises to be even better. After a successful test in the new Gen-6 Toyota Camry in Daytona last month, Truex is one of the favorites in Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited and Sunday’s run for the Coors Pole Award. It all leads up to the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24.

“It’s time to follow in Michael’s footsteps,” said Truex referring to Waltrip’s two victories in the 500 driving the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. “I am incredibly motivated. Last year was the first full season that Chad (Johnston – crew chief) and I worked together. This team has come a long way in the three years I have been with MWR. I truly believe we are capable of repeating what we did in 2012. We just need to turn our opportunities into wins.”

TRUEX ON RACING THE NEW NAPA TOYOTA:“Everywhere we’ve tested, the new NAPA Toyota has felt great right out of the box. That’s a real testament to the quality of work the guys at MWR have done over the winter as well as the work Toyota put into the new car to get it race ready. The biggest difference between the Gen-6 car and Gen-5 car is the weight and the speed. The Gen-6 has more downforce, more left side weight, less right side weight and it’s much faster. It makes more grip so it is much more fun to drive. I think the cool thing about the new car is it challenges you to drive it hard. The old car you were waiting on the car to do the work. This car allows you to drive it. It allows you to be more aggressive. The only thing left to see is what it does in traffic and in a big pack.”

RACING IN THE SPRINT UNLIMITED:“I think the Sprint Unlimited is going to be a big deal because the fans get to vote and make an impact. It is really going to change things up a bit and make for an even better show. We are ready for what the fans want. We’ve already prepared game plans for the different scenarios. I hope the fans vote for a four-tire stop so that my NAPA KNOW HOW pit crew can be involved. I also hope they vote for a 10-lap shootout. I love shootouts.”

ON QUALIFYING:“If we can earn a spot on the front row, it would be a huge honor for the NAPA team and Toyota. The pressure would be off in racing the Duels, but at the same time, it will be critical to keep that car intact during the Duels and final practice. It’s a unique qualifying format that’s for sure.”


Race fans will have the final voice in selecting the starting lineup for The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona on Saturday night, Feb. 16 under the lights at Daytona International Speedway.

Race fans will have three options to determine the order that the drivers will line up for the fan favorite, star-studded race.

1) Number of career wins (most to least)

2) 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final driver point standings

3) The order of when drivers earned their pole position in 2012 (Daytona 500 first place – Homestead-Miami Speedway Ford 400 last place)

To participate, fans can cast their vote through a digital app at one of four Daytona Rewards Stations on Daytona International Speedway property or through texting.

The Daytona Rewards Stations will be located in the Midway, Sprint FANZONE, DIS Ticket & Tours Building and at the Gate 8 Pedestrian Bridge. Texting information on how to vote will be promoted throughout the day to race fans on property at the “World Center of Racing.” Voting for the starting lineup will take place on Saturday only from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

In addition to voting on the starting lineup, fans in attendance will be eligible to receive special upgraded race experiences including roles as Grand Marshal, Honorary Starter, and trophy presenter. Fans can also help deliver the trophy to Gatorade Victory Lane or participate in driver introductions during pre-race ceremonies.

Prior to The Sprint Unlimited, race fans will be able to shape the race by voting on race elements such as length of each race segment, type of team pit stop after first segment, how many cars will be eliminated after the second segment and the type of fire suit Miss Sprint Cup will wear. Fans can vote at or on the NASCAR Mobile ’13 app; voting on the format of the race will end at 11:59 p.m. Feb. 13 while voting for the other categories close during different stages of the race.

The format for selecting The Sprint Unlimited field of drivers is returning to its roots. The eligible field of drivers will consist of pole winners from the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and past winners of The Sprint Unlimited who have attempted to qualify for at least one race during the 2012 season.


During Budweiser Speedweeks, fans will be able to take a special glimpse into the storied history of Wood Brothers Racing as a replica of the 1963 Daytona 500-winning car – the No. 21 Ford Galaxie driven by Tiny Lund -- will be on display in the Sprint FANZONE. The replica car was constructed by Leonard Wood, who was recently inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The car, which was part of Wood’s induction ceremony and will be on display for the next year at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., will make a special trip down to Daytona International Speedway for Budweiser Speedweeks to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wood Brothers’ first Daytona 500 win.

“The 1963 Daytona 500 win by the Wood Brothers and driver Tiny Lund is one of the many storied moments in the history of the Daytona 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We’re grateful for the Wood Brothers and the NASCAR Hall of Fame for assisting in the display of this car and allowing race fans to look back on what was a special Daytona 500 victory.”

Before the 1963 Daytona 500, Lund didn’t even have a ride for “The Great American Race.” Ten days before the Daytona 500, Marvin Panch suffered severe burns when he crashed a sports car during testing for the 250-mile American Challenge Cup race. Among the first to arrive on the scene was Tiny Lund, who helped Panch escape from the burning car. For his efforts, Lund, along with several others, received the Carnegie Medal of Heroism.

Following the crash, Panch was unable to race in the Daytona 500 so Glen and his brother Leonard selected Lund to be his replacement and Lund went on to capture the Daytona 500, which was the first win for Ford in “The Great American Race.”

The Wood Brothers are the oldest operating team in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history and most recently won the Daytona 500 in 2011 with Trevor Bayne.

The 1963 Daytona 500 winning car replica will be on display in the Sprint FANZONE throughout the Budweiser Speedweeks At Daytona. Sprint FANZONE will be open throughout Budweiser Speedweeks with the exception of UNOH Battle At The Beach on Feb. 18-19.


A talented young winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series has been paired with a two-time Canadian champion, as Bill McAnally Racing brings a two-car effort to the UNOH Battle At The Beach at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 18 and 19.

Nineteen-year-old Sergio Peña – who was recently announced as the driver of BMR’s No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West for 2013 – will team with D.J. Kennington, who last year collected a second title to go with the 2010 championship he won in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1. Kennington ofSt. Thomas, Ontario, will pilot BMR’s No. 28 Castrol Toyota at Daytona.

Peña of Winchester, Va., and Kennington will participate in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series portion of the inaugural event at “The World Center of Racing” that will also include a combination race for the two NASCAR Whelen Modified tours and a late model competition for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. The event will be contested on a .4-mile oval on the backstretch at DIS.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to compete in this exciting new event,” said BMR President Bill McAnally. “We anticipate it will attract the best caliber teams in NASCAR regional touring and we are glad to be a part of it. We want to thank all of our sponsors who made this possible – NAPA Auto Parts, Toyota, NAPA Filters, NGK and Castrol.”

While Kennington earned a guaranteed starting position in one of the three races by virtue of winning the Canadian championship, Peña will need to race his way in through one of the heat races.

The event will provide Kennington a new Daytona International Speedway experience – one that he feels suits his skillset. As a result of being situated on the backstretch at DIS, the short track virtually will be flat, and that suits Kennington just fine.

“I love flat race tracks,” he said. “I really don’t know why. I’ve had some success, maybe that’s why.”

Beyond some inherently flat road-course venues, the Canadian Tire Series competes at Autodrome St. Eustache (Quebec), a .4-mile flat oval north of Montreal, at which Kennington has a win and two runner-up finishes in four Canadian Tire Series starts.

The primary difference between the Daytona short track and St. Eustache is the radius of the turns. The Quebec track is egg-like in shape while the UNOH Battle At The Beach circuit is more of a paperclip in shape.

“The turns, I suppose, will be very different,” stated Kennington. “Getting the car to rotate through the turns will be pretty similar on a flat surface, I think.”

Traveling to Daytona is nothing new to the veteran Kennington, who made three NASCAR Nationwide Series starts on the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval. However, the thrill of competing during Speedweeks to kick off the 2013 season is not lost on him.

“Anytime you race in Daytona it’s a big deal,” he said. “The history there is enough to knock you over. Whoever can say they won a race in Daytona has done something.”

The K&N Pro Series cars are quite different from the Canadian Tire Series machines, but Kennington has quite a bit of experience in them. Including a second-place finish in the 2011 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, he has four career K&N Pro Series starts. He also has 48 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts to his credit which, at the time, used equipment very similar to what is currently employed in the K&N Pro Series.

Peña joined BMR last month following three successful seasons competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He has been a member of NASCAR’s Next9 program since 2011, a season in which he scored three wins. Additional, he has been named by as one of the NASCAR drivers 25 and under to watch in 2013.

Peña’s first race with his new team will be in the UNOH Battle At The Beach.

“I’m super excited,” he said. “I guess I’m kind of impatient to get the season started just because I’m so anxious to get to know all the guys on the team. The more races we run, the better.”

Like other drivers, Peña is somewhat in awe of racing at Daytona for his first time.

“It gives me chills just thinking about it,” he said. “I know we won’t be running on the big track, but just to be able to be racing in a NASCAR race at Daytona – it doesn’t get any cooler than that. It’s so awesome.

“Just to think about it, a couple of years ago I was running formula cars on road courses,” he said. “Who would have thought I would be going to NASCAR? And now I’m going to be racing a NASCAR K&N Pro Series car at Daytona. I can’t believe it. I’m so excited.”

Peña knows, however, how tough the competition will be in Daytona, with drivers from the K&N Pro Series East and K&N Pro Series West.

“The series is tough,” he said. “It’s a developmental series, but there’s nothing easy about it. I think the Battle At The Beach will foreshadow the year and see how people are going to perform.”

The event marks a new chapter for Peña, meanwhile, as he moves to the West Coast.

“I’m going to miss everybody back East,” he said. “I’ve built such a great relationship with so many people the past three years racing out there. But I couldn’t be more excited about going to the West. There’s going to be more people to meet and new tracks to learn. It’s going to be pretty much a fresh start for me.”

The UNOH Battle At The Beach will feature qualifying races for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models and a 150-lap feature on Feb. 18, while the racing on Feb. 19 will include a similar schedule of qualifying races and 150-lap races for both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours and K&N Pro Series.


Elgin Sweeper has introduced a modified Crosswind® Specialty Track Sweeper that is set to make its debut at NASCAR (the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc.) racetracks around the country this racing season, beginning with the Daytona 500 on Feb. 24. The Track Sweeper plays a supporting role in a new racetrack drying initiative that features a combination of air power and vacuum suction to dry rain-soaked racetracks.

The regenerative air Track Sweeper adapts features from Elgin Sweeper's highly successful Crosswind GRS (glycol recovery sweeper), a special-purpose sweeper used to vacuum liquid glycol from airport runways. This specialty sweeper includes unique features developed for racetrack sweeping and maintenance applications, such as a side air-blast nozzle, a reverse sweep system, a 20,000 CFM-rated blower and a hydraulically-driven side broom with plastic bristles.

During track testing conducted in conjunction with NASCAR last November in Daytona, this same vacuum technology proved to efficiently vacuum water from the pores of the racetrack, and worked even better with the new track-drying technology designed by the NASCAR Research and Development Center. Working together to remove moisture from the track surface, both technologies dramatically accelerated the drying time.

Developed as a more effective alternative to the current track-drying method, the system, featuring the Crosswind Track Sweeper, is expected to expedite the process.

ServiceMaster Clean is the official sponsor of the caution periods at the 19 International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports, Inc. tracks, as well as Dover International Speedway. All cleaning and drying vehicles and equipment – including the Crosswind Track Sweeper – used at these races during a ServiceMaster Clean Caution period feature the bright yellow ServiceMaster Clean colors.

"Elgin Sweeper's Crosswind Track Sweeper has the potential to dramatically reduce the number of NASCAR races postponed or shortened due to wet weather conditions," said James Crockett, air sweeper products manager at Elgin Sweeper. "Built to tackle the most demanding racetrack sweeping jobs, this sweeper delivers unmatched operator efficiency and productivity on the racetrack during rain delays and ServiceMaster Clean Caution periods."

The Crosswind Track Sweeper can clean a wide, 117-inch path with its side broom and pickup head, using a 20,000 CFM-rated blower to provide a high-volume air knife to blast air while picking up debris, oil-dry and standing water. With its side air-blast nozzle, debris can be blown off the track for distances up to 50 feet. The sweeper has a generous 8-cubic-yard hopper to contain ample track debris and water. The Freightliner M2 chassis features dual controls for operation from either the right- or left-side of the cab. The sweeper features dual engines, a 115 hp turbocharged diesel for the sweeper and a 200 hp diesel for the chassis. For enhanced visibility, the sweeper and its chassis are equipped with a multiple array of amber safety lights. For remote cleaning of the bigger jobs, such as an impact to a sand barrel attenuator, the unit also features a soft wall cleaning attachment and a large jib boom-mounted 8-inch rear vacuum hose.

The specialty sweeper was modified with input from racetrack officials in the NASCAR circuit. Elgin Sweeper representatives – along with Jeff Miles from Key Equipment & Supply Company, an Elgin Sweeper dealer based in Kansas City, Kans. – worked with NASCAR to address track maintenance issues, as well as fire, safety, medical and security concerns.

A lifelong racing enthusiast, Miles is also a lead driver for the Richard Petty Driving Experience and has logged more than 350,000 miles in NASCAR-style stock cars. Traveling to tracks across the country has given Miles an added appreciation for clean track conditions.

In 2001, Miles had the opportunity to sweep the second layer of race surface at the new Kansas Speedway to help prevent airborne dust during a locally televised test session. "My racing experience gave me the chance to see first-hand the different tracks and their sweeping programs and challenges. It also led to several design ideas for a sweeper that not only excelled on a racetrack surface but also worked efficiently around a racetrack complex," Miles said. "We wanted the Crosswind Track Sweeper to be a multi-purpose sweeper that could vacuum water, blow oil-dry off the track and sweep. The Track Sweeper is definitely not a smaller parking lot sweeper."

For more than a year, Elgin Sweeper conducted testing to develop a new side-air blast nozzle on the Crosswind Track Sweeper, collaborating with the California Motor Speedway. To verify that the sweeper will operate effectively on the steep banks and inclines associated with various racetracks around the country, Elgin Sweeper conducted additional testing for maximum tilt angle at the Caterpillar, Inc., research facility in Peoria, Ill. An in-cab angle measurement system on the Track Sweeper audibly and visually alerts the operator when steep incline conditions approach the maximum tilt angle.

Side air nozzle
The new air blast nozzle on the Crosswind Track Sweeper was designed using computer-aided design (CAD) modeling, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and internal testing which streamlined the process for validation of maximum potential air velocity to move more debris to further distances. The new design incorporates linkage that allows the operator to adjust nozzle tilt and includes in-cab control to further maximize productivity and safety, eliminating the need for the operator to exit the cab during a ServiceMaster Clean Caution period. The side air nozzle delivers more airflow at higher velocities.

The powerful, 20,000 CFM-rated blower is ideally suited for locations where jet dryers can’t be used, such as grass on the inside field, pit areas and weepers (cracks on a racetrack where water seeps through). The blower volume, nozzle height and angle can all be controlled, making the sweeper even more maneuverable and responsive.

To improve visibility from the sweeper cab when operating in reverse, Elgin Sweeper has standardized back-up cameras on all sweepers. For improved productivity and safety on the racetrack, Elgin Sweeper integrated this feature on the Crosswind Track Sweeper with the reverse sweep system, allowing the operator to safely use sweeper functions while moving in reverse. This system includes additional safety lighting, an increased decibel rated back-up alarm and a rear object-detection sensor that can see through dust, rain, daylight and darkness to detect any objects or pedestrians behind the sweeper.

"This system greatly improves the operator's awareness of the surroundings while sweeping on the racetrack and in the heavily populated pit areas," Crockett said.

In addition to sweeping the racetracks, the Elgin Sweeper Crosswind Specialty Track Sweeper can also quickly and efficiently remove standing water, rubber and debris in and around the pit area, which contributes to the overall safety of the racers, their crews and spectators.

According to Crockett, the speed and maneuverability of the Crosswind Track Sweeper ensures prompt response on and off the track. "This sweeper can get from job to job and make quick work of any sweeping challenges that come up before, during and after a race," he said.

Soft wall-cleaning attachment
Using the same 20,000 CFM system, the soft wall-cleaning attachment on the sweeper handles water, debris and rubber cleanup. The attachment features a 20-foot lightweight hose for easy operator control, an aluminum vacuum end tube for increased durability and a quick-disconnect for fast and easy installation and storage. For general cleaning, a larger rear-door heavy-duty 8-inch diameter hose is available.

Side broom
Featuring a polyethylene bristle broom construction developed for airport and runway use, the hydraulically-driven, high-torque side broom can be controlled pneumatically by the operator inside the cab. The side broom extension allows track cleaning right up to the wall, while keeping ample sweeper distance from the wall for track safety light clearance.

Rear-door decant system
Designed for quick and efficient vacuum removal of standing water on racetracks, the Crosswind Track Sweeper features a rear-door decant system which allows the machine to drain the liquids without opening the door. A large decant valve allows the discharge to be controlled using a hose. A debris filter cage installed on the door prevents clogging.

Dust-suppression system
During a ServiceMaster Clean Caution period, high-efficiency oil dry is applied to the racing surface. The Crosswind Track Sweeper features an internal dust-suppression system, which injects water on the suction side of the regenerative system to prevent the airborne dust commonly associated with jet dryers and air-blast systems.

High bank sweeping
Elgin Sweeper also introduced application-specific design changes to fluid tanks and sweep gear on the new Crosswind Track Sweeper to enable the sweeper to operate on the high bank turns common to most NASCAR racetracks.

Professional stock car racing fans can follow along with the Crosswind Track Sweeper throughout the 2013 racing season by visiting Elgin Sweeper's Facebook page.

Elgin Sweeper Company PR

Todd Bodine, who won the 2008 and 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season openers, will try to repeat the feat in 2013 as part of a three-truck Toyota Tundra lineup at ThorSport Racing. 

Team owner Duke Thorson announced Monday that Bodine, a two-time Truck Series champion, would drive the No. 13 Mattei Air Compressor Toyota Tundra in the Feb. 22 NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway as a teammate to full-time ThorSport pilots Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter.


"Obviously, we're really excited to have Todd Bodine join ThorSport Racing for Daytona, because he gives us a third legitimate shot at winning this race," ThorSport Racing general manager David Pepper said. "Teaming Todd with Matt and Johnny gives us three of the best drivers in the field. Running and finishing at the front is a big deal for our two guys that are running the full season for the championship because it's always important to get off to a good start to the season.


"This deal with Todd and Mattei Air Compressors came together late in the game but we believe good things come to those who are patient. By far, this is the best lineup we've ever started the season with at ThorSport and we expect to have a strong showing at Daytona. We can't wait to get 2013 started."


Sauter led four laps last year at Daytona while driving the No. 13, including the race's last scheduled lap before he and Crafton were wiped out of the top 10 in one of the five accidents in the last 10 laps that extended the 2012 race to nine laps of "overtime." Sauter this season switches to ThorSport's No. 98 Carolina Nut Co./Curb Records Toyota while continuing to work with crew chief Joe Shear Jr.


Crafton, who's three races away from establishing a Truck Series' record for consecutive starts, wheels his familiar No. 88 Slim Jim/Menards Toyota Tundra into Daytona, where he'll make his 295thconsecutive series start while beginning his second season with crew chief Carl Joiner Jr.


Bodine, the Chemung, N.Y., native that has 22 victories in 212 career Truck Series starts, the series championship in 2006 and 2010 -- along with gathering a total 778 career starts, 37 wins and 19 poles in NASCAR's three national series -- is enthused to have a one-race opportunity to get back in a potential race-winning truck. In his two previous Daytona wins he beat Kyle Busch each time, by just .077 seconds in 2008.


"It's definitely a good opportunity, with an established team with a season of running Toyotas behind them," Bodine said. "They've been there and done that and they know how to get it done."


Bodine will work with crew chief Jeriod Prince, who'll remain in Daytona after beginning the season at his "day job," running the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Toyota Camry for ThorSport's ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver, nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel.


Bodine, who's in a select group of drivers that's won pole positions in all three NASCAR national series, including five in the Sprint Cup Series, knows he has a chance to get his eighth career Truck Series pole on Feb. 22. But his focus is the race, particularly since he has two other superspeedway wins in a truck, at Talladega Superspeedway in 2007-2008.


"Daytona's one of those tracks that's kind of a crap shoot and you have to put yourself in the right position and if you have a decent truck you can do something with it, and I really believe we've got just as good a shot as anybody, going down there," Bodine said before reflecting on he and his teammates' potential. "Teammates are only good if you're in a position to help each other, and that's not always the case at Daytona, in the draft.


"You can't count on it, but if the situation arises where we can help each other, I know I'll be there to help them if they need it and hopefully they'll be there to help me win this race for ThorSport. I've been in that position before at Daytona and sometimes you've got to be willing to take one for the team, so to speak, so we have a ThorSport truck in Victory Lane at the end of the night."


ThorSport PR

Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) announced today the addition of Charlie Langenstein to the management  team as Competition Director and Joe Lax as Crew Chief for JJ Yeley's No. 36 in 2013.

In his new role at TBR, Langenstein will oversee each car to make sure they are as fast as they can be once they get to the track.

Like team-owner Tommy Baldwin, Jr., Langenstein got his start in racing by working on race cars with his father Charlie, Sr. back in their hometown of Mays Landing, New Jersey. Langenstein went on to become a notable crew chief in the DIRTcar series, where he notched over 500 wins and was inducted into the Northeast Modified Hall of Fame in 2008. Moving to NASCAR in the late 1980's, he most recently served as Mechanical Director for Hendrick Motorsports, where his accolades include four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships.

"We may be a smaller team, but we have a much bigger focus," says Langenstein. "In one way or another, everybody on this team is a racer and wants to do everything they can to win."

An original member of the TBR team when the doors opened back in 2009, Lax got his start in racing at short tracks near his hometown of Goochland, VA. He first worked with team owner Tommy Baldwin, Jr. in 1997, and has since instilled a close-knit professional relationship - along with a great friendship.

"Tommy and I had some of our biggest times in the sport together," Lax said. "For Tommy to make it to where he's at today, I can't tell you just how honored I am to work with him and JJ on the No. 36 Chevy SS. I helped him get going in the first days of TBR, and I'm excited to help bring the team to a whole new level."

"Joe has been around me for a long time," team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. said. "He will adjust quickly to his new position with us. It's important that we all work together towards our goals this season and having Charlie come on board is just another strong building block in that process."

No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Mark Martin begins his 31st season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series when he takes to the track in Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited (formerly Shootout) and Sunday’s single-lap qualifying runs in preparation for the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 24.

Martin expects a busy first week in Daytona. He’ll join in NASCAR’s annual media day on Thursday, practice for the Unlimited Friday then race Saturday night. He’ll also practice his Daytona 500 car Saturday and join in single-lap qualifying for the 500 on Sunday.

Martin will drive the No. 55 in 24 points races and two non-points races in 2013 for Michael Waltrip Racing. Martin said he has yet to determine his 2014 plans, but emphasizes he isn’t going away from MWR or NASCAR.

2014 Plans: “I’m still working on that. All I can say at the moment is I don’t expect to be in the No. 55 as the driver. My goal is to see MWR, (Crew Chief) Rodney (Childers) and the No. 55 car race for a championship. I want to help build MWR. It might still be driving some or it might be working with the pit crew or the drivers, who knows. It’s too early to tell. I’m focused on 2013. I’m having fun doing what I am doing now and plan to do everything that I can to try to win races and perform. The 2014 season is still a long way off, but I’m not going anywhere.”

DAYTONA 500: “I’m not superstitious and I don't believe in lucky charms or anything like that. In fact, I avoid all that stuff. But I have noticed this is the 55th Daytona 500 and the No. 55 is a pretty cool number, don't you think? We want to get Speedweeks started right with a good lap on Sunday. That gets us a good spot to start Thursday’s qualifying race. I think you are going to want to be as close to the front of the pack as you can be this year. Nobody knows what to expect.”

SPRINT UNLIMITED: “Saturday night is going to be fun. Not only will the fans vote on some of the race rules, but this is the very first time we will race the Gen-6 car. We really don't know what to expect. Based on all the wild stuff we saw in just a few laps of drafting at the test, I can guarantee it’s going to be exciting.”

GEN-6 CAMRY: “The best thing about the car is the manufacturers’ identity is so much stronger. It is a really cool looking race car, they look like Toyota Camrys and they look like the Camry you can get at a dealership, with of course a lot of muscle thrown on them. That’s probably the best thing. There are subtle changes about the car that are improvements from a handling, from a speed, from a safety standpoint -- all those are more subtle. It’s a good looking race car.”

WOULD ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL SEASON SOLIDIFY MWR AS TOP-TIER TEAM? “Without question it would solidify them. This year will judge whether you really get your position up there with the very top teams in the sport -- owners and teams. If we’re able to come back and do what we were able to do last year or more than I think we’ll be seriously considered like the Roush and the Hendricks -- the very top teams.”


  • CHASSIS: Unlimited Primary—747  Daytona 500—753
  • MEDIA DAY: Martin will join in NASCAR’s annual media day Thursday morning in Daytona.
  • No. 55 DRIVERS: Martin will drive the No. 55 in 24 races, Brian Vickers in nine races and Michael Waltrip in three races.
  • DAYTONA: In 54 Sprint Cup starts at Daytona Martin owns nine top-five finishes. He’s led 273 laps and won the three poles including the 2010 Daytona 500. Daytona, Homestead, Indianapolis, Pocono and Kentucky are the only active Sprint Cup tracks where Martin has yet to win. Martin owns Cup victories at 20 different tracks. Martin won the 1999 Sprint Unlimited and 2006 truck race at Daytona.
  • WINS: Martin owns 40 Sprint Cup, 49 Nationwide and seven Camping World Truck Series victories. He’s led 12,781 laps in Sprint Cup competition. Martin has started 854 Sprint Cup races, 236 Nationwide races and 25 truck events. He also owns 13 IROC wins in 47 starts.
  • MWR IN 2012: MWR’s five Cup Series drivers scored three wins (Clint Bowyer at Sonoma, Richmond and Charlotte), 24 top-five and 58 top-10 finishes in 2012. MWR drivers led 1,198 laps. Bowyer finished second and Martin Truex Jr. 11 in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup. Truex led 434 laps led, Bowyer 388, Martin 197, Vickers 158, and Waltrip 21.

·         RODNEY CHILDERS: Served as crew chief for David Reutiman’s two victories at MWR (Charlotte, May 2009 and Chicagoland 2010) and Martin’s four poles in 2012.



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