Xfinity Series News (6388)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
MacDonald Motorsports and Blake Koch are happy to announce that Daystar Television Networks will be the primary sponsor on the No. 81 Dodge Challenger for 10 races in 2011, starting this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. They will also be an associate sponsor on the car for another 20 races throughout the season. This will allow Blake to chase the NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year title this season.
Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing, LLC (RWR) announced today that Oakley--the iconic sports and lifestyle brand--will be featured as the primary sponsor of RWR's No. 62 Toyota Camry in the March 26th Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway.
The relationship between Oakley and team owner Rusty Wallace is one of the brand's longest-running in motorsports; it dates back to the start of the 1990 season, when Wallace was the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. From his trademark Razor Blades to the M Frame glass he still sports today, Wallace has proudly represented the Oakley brand for 21 years.
That relationship has now carried onto Rusty Wallace Racing, where Oakley serves as the team's primary outfitter. Oakley supplies sunglasses, team and driver firesuits, footwear, uniforms and more to RWR's No. 66 and No. 62 teams, led by Steve Wallace, Rusty's youngest son and pilot of the team's flagship No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota.
This year's event will mark the second time that an RWR entry has sported Oakley colors at Auto Club, as Steve Wallace previously piloted a No. 66 Oakley-branded car at the Southern California speedway in 2008. Iowa native Michael Annett will pilot the No. 62 Oakley machine in the 2011 edition.
Said Rusty Wallace, "It's really hard to believe that 21 years have gone by since we first got together with the guys from Oakley. We've definitely had a lot of fun together and 21 years later, Oakley is still one of the coolest and most high-performance brands on the planet. From their glasses to their new firesuits and everything in between, they make some really incredible stuff. I'm very grateful to Todd Hayes and everyone at Oakley for their support over the years and excited to have them on our car in their home market race."
Stated Todd Hayes, Oakley's Sports Marketing Manager for Motorsports, "Oakley is stoked about having worked with Rusty for so long and how the relationship has developed over the years, both with Rusty and the RWI team. At the end of the day, RW is the man! All of us at Oakley look forward to many great years to come with him and his team!"
Rusty Wallace Racing PR
Turner Motorsports is pleased to announce the addition of Mikey Kile to their 2011 driver line-up. The 28-year-old driver joins an all-star cast of teammates including Sprint Cup Series stars, Kasey Kahne and Mark Martin, Nationwide Series veterans Jason Leffler, Reed Sorenson and Justin Allgaier, Camping World Truck Series standouts Ricky Carmichael, James Buescher and Brad Sweet. Kile will pilot the No. 30 Chevrolet for the team in a minimum of seven events beginning at Nashville Superspeedway in April.
Kile, a Westlake, La.-native, cut his teeth racing go-karts at local tracks throughout his home state. He progressed to modifieds and late-models, capturing numerous wins and awards along the way. He made his NASCAR debut in 2009, driving a partial schedule in the Camping World Truck Series for Brad Keselowski Racing. In six starts he accumulated three top-15 finishes. Additionally, he competed in eight ARCA Racing Series events with Brad Keselowski Racing, posting an impressive four top-10 finishes. He moved to Venturini Motorsports in 2010, running the full ARCA Racing Series schedule, capturing his first series victory at Michigan International Speedway along with two pole awards, seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. Kile also made his Nationwide Series debut in the April event at Nashville Superspeedway.
The father of two is thrilled to be returning to the Nationwide Series with Turner Motorsports.
"This is such a great opportunity for me. Turner Motorsports has proven it is a top-tier organization with talented employees and drivers. Their equipment is some of the best in the sport and I am excited about getting a chance to race in it," said Kile. "I worked with Stewart [Cooper, crew chief] in my Nationwide Series debut and I am glad I get the chance to work with him again. He and the 30 crew all have experience working with rookies and they have been so helpful already. I also have a great group of teammates, with a wealth of experience, who I can lean on as I make my way into the Nationwide Series."
Turner Motorsports PR
In August 2009, the “fan car” was a huge success with NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Kenny Wallace at the Montreal race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Since that race the “fans” have not stopped asking Wallace when he would be running the fan car again. Today, in an announcement to his fans and the racing community, Wallace, who consistently ranks among NASCAR’s most popular drivers, is finally giving the fans the answer.
“The ‘fan car’ will be back at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 14th on the No. 09 Toyota Camry owned by RAB Racing with Brack Maggard,” Wallace said. “I want to give the fans what they want, but I also want the ‘fan car’ to be special. I really think waiting two years will make it all new again for the fans. Fans can go to www.kennywallace.com and for $20 they will get their name on my car for the Charlotte NASCAR Nationwide Series race and a postcard they can keep forever.”
Fans that are planning to make the trip to the Charlotte area for NASCAR events in October will have a little something extra to do. On Wednesday, October 12, 2011, fans will have a chance to visit Wallace at the RAB Racing shop in Concord, only minutes from Charlotte Motor Speedway, when RAB Racing will host a “meet-and-greet” where Kenny Wallace will sign autographs and talk with fans.
“I’m proud of the relationship we have built with Kenny already this year,” said Robby Benton, RAB Racing Co-owner. “I’m happy to call Kenny our driver at RAB Racing. He has done a fantastic job for us this season, and I’m glad to be a part of the rejuvenation of Kenny’s career. He has a very loyal fan base and I am looking forward to honoring many of his fans with the ‘Kenny Wallace Fan Car’ at Charlotte this fall. I’m also happy to announce that one of our current sponsors, the University of Northwestern Ohio, will adorn the hood of the fan car in support of Kenny.”
Highlighting a unique pairing of entities known for providing exceptional entertainment, officials from HISTORY and Charlotte Motor Speedway announced the May 28 NASCAR Nationwide Series race will be entitled the Top Gear 300.
Considered one of the premiere events on the NASCAR Nationwide Series circuit, the Top Gear 300 will air nationally on ABC at 2:30 p.m. EST on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Terms of the sponsorship entitlement were not disclosed.
"At first glance, pairing a television show with a NASCAR race might seem like a non-traditional sponsorship," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "But this is a perfect fit for our race fans. 'Top Gear' is a television program with risk taking behind the wheel and high-performance equipment, just like a NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"HISTORY has some of the best programming on television," Smith added. "Highlights of their shows will entertain fans throughout the Coca-Cola 600 weekend on the world's largest high-definition video screen."
The U.S. version of the award-winning program, "Top Gear" enters its second season tracking the colorful history of the automobile through an offbeat celebration of the art of driving. Featured segments include profiles of super-cars, extreme stunts and challenges, car reviews and celebrity interviews. The series also features the eccentric adventures of its hosts: comedian and car buff Adam Ferrara, champion rally and drift racer Tanner Foust and racing analyst Rutledge Wood.
"HISTORY is thrilled to become an integral part of Charlotte Motor Speedway's biggest racing weekend and to be the first media brand to use the screen in an entitlement partnership," said Chris Moseley, senior vice president, marketing, HISTORY. "NASCAR and 'Top Gear' are world-renowned. So in terms of a brand synergy and audience reach, the Top Gear 300 could not be a more perfect fit. It allows us to increase awareness of 'Top Gear' with a highly targeted consumer audience whose love and appreciation of cars rival our most passionate viewers. It's a win-win!"
The Top Gear 300 was first run at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1982, the inaugural season for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. That event featured a battle among racing legends Harry Gant and Dale Earnhardt, with Gant taking home the trophy.
Since that first race, the Nationwide Series has been a staple on Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte and has seen some of the biggest stars in NASCAR history visit Victory Lane. In addition to Gant and Earnhardt, legends such as Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip and current superstars including Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Carl Edwards, have secured victories in the event. Kyle Busch and Mark Martin are tied for most Nationwide Series wins all-time at Charlotte Motor Speedway with six each. Busch is the most recent winner of the May 300-miler, with a victory in the 2010 event.
Charlotte Motor Speedway PR
Dale Earnhardt Jr. once again competes in both the Scotts EZ Seed 300 and the Jeff Byrd 500 Presented by Food City at Bristol Motor Speedway March 19-20 as he tries to mirror his 2004 August sweep at the World’s Fastest-Half-Mile.
While Earnhardt goes after what would be his second NASCAR Nationwide win at BMS, his teammate Danica Patrick will taking on the high-banked concrete oval for the first time.
Patrick is coming off a fourth-place finish at Las Vegas, the highest finish ever for a woman in a NASCAR event. Not only will this be Patrick’s first time at Bristol, but also will be her first short track event.
Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are among the Sprint Cup series regulars who, like Earnhardt, will be pulling double duty next weekend.
Among the Nationwide stars battling for the Scotts EZ Seed 300 is Justin Allgaier, who won the race a year ago. Allgaier started 30th in the race and methodically made his way to the front, ultimately beating Keselowski to the checkered flag to claim his first Nationwide Series win.
Reed Sorenson enters the Scotts EZ Seed 300 first in the series point standings with 111 points, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (109), Jason Leffler (106), Patrick (98) and Allgaier (95). Knoxville native Trevor Bayne is sixth in the points with 87.
Tickets for the Scotts EZ Seed 300 March 19 start at $45, while tickets for the Jeff Byrd 500 Presented by Food City March 20 are available for $93. Ford Fan Friday tickets (March 18) are only $5 and are just $4 for fans who have tickets to the Jeff Byrd 500.
Practice for Ford Fan Friday begins at 8:30 a.m. for the Scotts EZ Seed 300 March 18, with practice for the Jeff Byrd 500 Presented by Food City getting under way at noon. Qualifying for Sunday’s Jeff Byrd 500 is at 3:40 p.m. Qualifying for the Scotts EZ Seed 300 is March 19 at 9:40 a.m. with the race slated to go green at 2 p.m. The Jeff Byrd 500 is at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Bristol Motor Speedway
It appears the only ones who can slow
down Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No.6 Blackwell Angus Ford Mustang this
season are those who created the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series
Entering the first idle weekend of the 2011 season, Stenhouse Jr. has
three top-10 finishes in the first three races of the new season and
five consecutive dating back to 2010. He is second in the series
championship standings, two points behind leader Reed Sorenson and three
ahead of third-place Jason Leffler.
“Wish we didn’t have an off-weekend coming up,” Stenhouse Jr.
said with a smile. “It’s a really good start for us. We felt like
we could have had three top-fives in the first three races. We feel
like we’ve got a really good shot at keeping this thing going.
We’ve been at a superspeedway, short track, mile-and-a-half and
we’ve been fast on every one.”
Stenhouse Jr. and the team firmly believe their finishes could be even
better. He placed eighth in the season-opening race at Daytona (Fla.)
International Speedway despite losing drafting partner Trevor Bayne in
the closing laps. Stenhouse Jr. was seventh at Phoenix (Ariz.)
International Raceway despite an uncharacteristically off day for the
No. 6 team in the pits. And he scored an eighth-place finish one week
ago at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway despite getting zapped by fuel
mileage late in the event.
“We feel like we’ve potentially gave up some spots but then again
last year we would have paid for two top-10s to start the season off,”
Stenhouse Jr. said. “We’ve got to look at it in perspective of how
last year went and where we started off this year.”
Next up is the Scotts EZ Seed 300 March 19 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor
Speedway. Stenhouse ran well in both Bristol races last year. He led
once for four laps in the spring race before an accident hampered his
effort and left him 25th in the final rundown. At the night race in
August he ran among the top-10 for until a cut tire with less than 10
laps to go dropped him to 22nd-place in the final rundown.
“Bristol is almost like a superspeedway race,” Stenhouse Jr. said.
“A wreck can happen and take out everybody. We ran really well there
at the night race. We had a really strong top-10 run in the second race
and I felt like we might have had a little bit better than that and got
a flat tire there late in the race and ended up toward the back.
We’re really looking forward to getting to Bristol. I think
we’ve got a really good short track program. And then if we can
get through Bristol and California going into that last off-weekend
before we really start running I think we’ll be setup a little better
than a lot of people.”
Roush Fenway Racing PR
Kenny Wallace and RAB Racing with Brack Maggard earned their second consecutive top-10 finish of the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a 10th place finish in the Sam’s Town 300. Wallace qualified the No. 09 Federated Auto Parts Toyota Camry 15th for the 200-lap race and spent the majority of the day in the top-15 before a fuel-mileage gamble by Crew Chief, Scott Zipadelli, earned him a top-10 finish, advancing Wallace to eighth in the NNS driver point standings.
After two test sessions on Thursday and two scheduled practices on Friday during the three-day Las Vegas stint, where Wallace consistently posted speeds in the top-5, the RAB Racing team came ready to race on Saturday morning at the 1.5-mile track. Going out 13th for Nationwide Series qualifying, Wallace posted speeds quick enough in the No. 09 Federated Auto Parts Camry to take the 15th starting position.
In the opening 50 laps, Wallace fell back to 25th place before regaining nine spots to 13th by lap 70. Wallace brought the No. 09 Federated Auto Parts Toyota Camry to pit road for the first time during the third caution between laps 101-103. Zipadelli and the RAB Racing team worked quickly to make adjustments on the handling conditions before sending Wallace back out to restart 13th.
Over the final 80 laps of the Sam’s Town 300, Wallace remained solidly inside the top-15, running as high as eighth, before Zipadelli made the call to start conserving fuel in order to make it to the end without pitting. Wallace was forced to slow down in the closing laps, but was still able to score his second top-10 finish in only the first three events of the of the NNS season.
“It looked like we had ourselves a 13th place car all day and at the end we were 14th on the end of the lead lap,” Wallace said. “My car was better on the long runs, [but] I couldn’t go real fast on the short runs. I got up to like 11th and then [Zipadelli] said, ‘Okay, you have to save fuel.’ They told me I had to let off a second a lap. So, I was running like half to three-quarter throttle. Two weeks in a row a top-10. That was the hardest thing I had to do, was let two cars pass me. It was a deal where we could have probably finished eighth or ninth, but we might have ran out of gas. The pay off was to get a points base laid down and get the year rolling, so this should help.”
After two successful weekends on the West Coast, Wallace and the RAB Racing team will get a well-deserved week off before heading to Bristol Motor Speedway with primary race sponsor, the University of Northwestern Ohio, on March 26th, for short-track racing action in the Scotts Turf Builder 300.
RAB Racing PR
After two safe and solid races in Daytona and Phoenix, the MacDonald Motorsports team rolled into Las Vegas hoping to improve upon those finishes. Eagle Convenience Stores was once again on the No. 81 Dodge for the race along with new sponsor, IHOP. Donnie Neuenberger was back in the seat and confident for a strong run.
Handling issues plagued the team in practice and qualifying. After a lot of work on the No. 81 Dodge, the team was able to safely qualify the car into the field in 41st position. Now they could concentrate on the race and moving up through the field. They did just that throughout the race, despite two spins. Both times Donnie was able to avoid damage on the Eagle Convenience Stores/IHOP NO. 81 and continue on safely. When the checkered flag flew it was another solid finish for the team, 26th.
Three races into the 2011 NNS season, MacDonald Motorsports now sits 25th in the owner’s standings. If they can stay right there, they will be locked into the races after California in three weeks. This will be a huge weight lifted off of the team’s shoulders, and allow them to concentrate more on race setup during practice sessions.
After a long three race stretch travelling across the country and back, the team gets a much needed weekend off before making their way west to the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile.” The Scott’s Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway will air live on ESPN on Saturday, March 19th at 2 p.m. EST.
MacDonald Motorsports Press Release
After a solid sixth-place qualifying effort Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 TapouT Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) team fought a loose-handling race car until fuel mileage relegated them to a 12th-place finish.
"We were just so loose all day," Sadler said after the race. "After we went a lap down and got the "lucky dog" award we were able to make a huge swing at the handling of the car and were pretty good. All in all we ran well today but things just didn't come together at the end. I'm really looking forward to going to Bristol in two weeks. That is one of my favorite tracks and I'm confident we will run well there."
Sadler started the Sam's Town 300 from the sixth position. When the green-flag dropped Sadler's KHI teammate Kevin Harvick jumped to the lead with Sadler right behind moving up to the second position. As the laps continued, Sadler became stuck in the outside lane and dropped back to the ninth position. He quickly reported to crew chief Ernie Cope that the car was too loose and in need of an adjustment on the first pit stop.
The race remained under green-flag conditions as the field came to pit road for the first round of pit stops. On lap 49, Sadler brought the No. 2 TapouT Impala to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. Sadler returned to the track in the 10th position only seconds in front of leader Kyle Busch who had lapped the field up to the 11th position. On lap 58, Sadler went one lap down to the leaders, but caught a break only six laps later as the caution waved for the second time of the day awarding Sadler the "lucky dog" award placing him back on the lead lap.
The team took a big swing at the handling of the No. 2 car during the pit sequence making a number of adjustments in addition to taking four tires and fuel. Sadler returned to the track in the 10th position. He again reported a loose-handling condition on the restart, but as the run continued the car started to come to him.
By the halfway point Sadler was running solidly in the ninth position when the third caution of the day waved at lap 101. The team came back down pit road during the caution for four tires, fuel and another adjustment. A great stop by the No. 2 team moved Sadler into the seventh position. Another caution at lap 123 saw the No. 2 team back on pit road for fuel and another chassis adjustment. Another solid stop by the No. 2 KHI crew moved Sadler into the fifth position for the lap 129 restart. On lap 138, Sadler moved into the fourth position just as the yellow flag flew for the sixth time in the 200-lap event. The No. 2 team followed the leaders and decided not to come to pit road since they were several laps away from their fuel window.
On the restart on lap 143, Sadler was unable to get the car into gear loosing two positions on the restart, however the team was hopeful the engine would not experience any issues with so few laps remaining in the event.
As the laps wound down many of the leaders began to peel down pit road for a quick splash of fuel. With only 12 laps remaining in the race, Sadler hit pit road for the final time under green-flag conditions for two tires and fuel. Returning to the track in the seventh position the team felt confident of a top-10 finish, but with seven laps left, Sadler radioed to the team that he believed he had lost a cylinder. Sadler was able to nurse the No. 2 TapouT machine home to a 12th-place finish.
Mark Martin went on to win the race followed by Justin Allgaier, Brad Kesolowski, Danica Patrick and Trevor Bayne. Sadler moved up from 15th to 12th in the Driver's Point standings. The NASCAR Nationwide Series returns in two weeks to attack the World's Fastest Half-Mile at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Coverage begins live on ESPN at 2:00 p.m., EST on Saturday, March 19th.
Aiming for a show stopping finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Michael Annett and Rusty Wallace Racing's No. 62 Pilot Flying J team turned their season opening bad luck around in Saturday's Nationwide Series Sam's Town 300. Although Annett's 13th place finish didn't give justice to the team's performance this weekend, his seven spot advance in the Nationwide Series championship point standings to 15th moved the driver closer to where he warrants in the point race.
With a strong start to the weekend's race festivities, the No. 62 Pilot Flying J Camry was seventh in final practice on Friday before Annett secured a 12th place starting position in Saturday morning's qualifying session.
Confident that his race car was dialed in for a solid 200 lap race, Annett pushed his way into the top-10 at the drop of the green flag. Battling a pit road speeding penalty under green flag race conditions, Annett still maintained speeds consistent with the leaders and worked his way back on the lead lap with the Lucky Dog free pass with 100 laps to go. By lap 144 of the 200 lap event, he showed his strength by running in a top-five position.
With less than 30 laps remaining, Annett was running in seventh and hoping for a caution flag. Knowing their fuel window was coming to a close, the No. 62 Rusty Wallace Racing crew was forced to make a green flag pit stop for right side tires and fuel on lap 181. The Pilot Flying J Toyota Camry came off pit road in 15th. Only 18 laps of the race remained, and Annett worked hard to make up for track position lost under the green flag stop. With part of the top-12 cars being on a different pit cycle and able to make it to the finish on fuel, Annett was scored 13th at the conclusion of the race.
"We had a great car this weekend, but with the final 57 laps under green, pit strategy played out in the end and we didn't get the finish we deserved," said Annett, "The Pilot Flying J team was on top of their game, and we ran a lot better than the numbers show. It feels good to battle with Cup drivers you see in the top-five every weekend and race lap after lap with them. I'm excited about the gains we made this weekend and look forward to taking this momentum into Bristol."
Crew chief Jason Overstreet said, "Our Vegas car was really good. We definitely have a solid package now to tune on for our races at intermediate tracks. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the year with this team."
The Nationwide Series schedule runs competition-free next week before Rusty Wallace Racing's No. 62 Pilot Flying J team heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the Scott's EZ Seed 300 on Saturday, March 19. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot Flying J calls Bristol Motor Speedway their home track, so Annett and his team are looking forward to continuing the momentum from this weekend's strong run into another solid weekend at Bristol for Pilot Flying J.
Rusty Wallace Racing PR