News and Views – Volume 7

For the week of January 9, 2012 – Volume 7

Welcome race fans to another big week of news. This has been the most active silly season, we’ve seen in NASCAR, with news of the ever-changing environment since the final race at Homestead in 2011. This week is no exception with more news expected to be coming in throughout the day, we’ll post updates. Any new information after today will be posted in volume 8 of News and Views next week.  

Also, fans are looking forward to Pre-Season Thunder this week with testing at Daytona scheduled for January 12-14.  Fans can watch coverage online at speedtv.com beginning at 9 am ET and the afternoon activities can be seen on the SPEED channel beginning at 1 pm ET.  One of our twitter friends is going to be there this weekend and will be posting a blog next week with photos about this experience at the track. While some of you know who our “Fan at the Track” is, the rest of you will need to check back next week to find out more.  

If you want to be Fan4Racing’s “Fan at the Track” throughout the season, let us know when you’re planning to be at the track.  Interested parties should be willing to share photos and post a blog about your experience to be considered.  Support is available for those fans worried about writing a blog, we’ll help you out as long as you’re willing to share your experience.  Check the SUGGESTION BOX tab for submission details.  


This week the Pre-Season Thunder Fan Fest in Daytona and the Chili Bowl will be exciting with many scheduled driver appearances. This week Fan4Racing will be adding a new DRIVER APPEARANCES tab for fans’ planning purposes. We’ll begin with several appearances this week at Fan Fest in Daytona and the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, OK.

Now on with a busy news week….

Kasey Kahne sharing ride in Nationwide Great Clips Car
Turner Motorsports announced that Kasey Kahne along with Brad Sweet will share the #38 Great Clips car in NASCAR’s Nationwide series.  Kahne will drive in fifteen races with Brad Sweet running the remainder of the schedule in 2012 and making a run for the Rookie of the Year title.

Kasey Kahne says, “I have had such a long-standing relationship with Great Clips and it’s been great teaming back up with them again.  They gave me my first real shot in this sport and that is something I have never forgotten.”

Brad Sweet says, “I can’t begin to say how excited and grateful I am for this opportunity to compete in the Nationwide series and join Kasey Kahne in representing Great Clips both on and off the track.  Turner Motorsports is a first class organization with equipment capable of contending for week in and week out. I don’t think I could be in a better position to take the next step in my racing career.

Read more from…Great Clips  and Turner Motorsports

David Reutimann announced with TBR for 2012
Tommy Baldwin Racing announced David Reutimann in their 2012 lineup.  Owner Tommy Baldwin says, “Reutimann will join Blaney as we continue to seek sponsors for both drivers. David will be a great asset to TBR and help build the organization.”

Reutimann says, “There are not a lot of true racers in the garage, and he(Tommy Baldwin) is one of them.  It’s the way I was raised with my Dad, so we are on the same page.  I’m just really looking forward to the season and see what we can do.”

At this point, Reutimann is scheduled to run 26 races until sponsorship is secured. 


Ray Evernham settles lawsuit w/former business partner
In 2007, Evernham sold majority ownership of his Evernham Motorsports Cup team to George Gillette and in February 2011, filed a $19 million lawsuit against the Gillette Company that ran the day to day operations and Gillett’s Booth Creek Management Corporation over unpaid shares from the merger of the team with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2009 and subsequent sale of RPM in November 2010.  Documents to dismiss the case were filed on December 29th and 30th 2011. Evernham says, “I made a business decision to accept pennies on the dollar, but more so it’s time to close this chapter in my life and move forward. I’ve got a lot of really good things happening for 2012 and I just didn’t want to drag this along.”
Read more from…ESPN
Edwards to Co-Host “LIVE! with Kelly
#99-Carl Edwards will take a turn co-hosting the syndicated morning program “LIVE! with Kelly” on Tuesday, January 10, during a special themed week of sports co-hosts with Kelly Ripa. Edwards was selected along with Reggie Bush, Boomer Esiason, Jesse Palmer and Apolo Anton Oh# Actress Kate Beckinsale will be a guest on the show when Edwards co-hosts with Ripa. Edwards was a guest on the popular show last June after his win in the Sprint All-Star race, and has appeared in the past with the NASCAR Chase contenders. This will be his first stint as co-host. “LIVE! with Kelly” is distributed in national syndication by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. Produced by WABC-TV in New York and executive produced by Michael Gelman, “LIVE! with Kelly” airs in more than 200 markets across the U.S.
Read more from…Roush Fenway Racing
JR Motorsports tabs Cole Whitt for the #88 Nationwide car
Cole Whitt has been tabbed to drive the #88 Nationwide car and compete for the Rookie of the Year title for the 2012 season. Earnhardt Jr. says, “He’s got raw untapped talent, but we are most impressed with his ambition.  I sought advice and input from people I respect in the industry, and the overwhelming consensus was that Cole has the potential to do great things in this sport.”
Cole Whitt says, “ This is a big opportunity for me and I’m happy to be part of the JR Motorsports team.  I’m grateful to Dale, Kelley and everyone at JR Motorsports for giving me this chance. It’s an honor to work with the Eurys, and I will do everything in my power to put this No. 88 team where it belongs in Victory Lane.”
Read more from…JR Motorsports
JR Motorsports brings Bruce Cook to crew chief #5 car
Bruce Cook is the new crew chief for the #5 team with JR Motorsports with Earnhardt, Jr. running select races in the 2012 season.  Cook comes to JR Motorsports from KHI where he was crew chief in the CWTS predominately for the #2, which won the owner’s championship in 2011. Cook also was the crew chief for Tony Stewarts’ 2011 Nationwide Daytona season opener win. 
Read more from…JR Motorsports
R3Motorsports to run full cup schedule in 2012
After completing the full 2011 NASCAR Nationwide season, resulting in a top-30 in points, [#23 Chevy] R3 Motorsports has announced its racing plans for 2012. Robert Richardson, Jr. will return to the seat for a limited NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule. R3 Motorsports has also purchased a fleet of Sprint Cup Chevy’s from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing to enter all of the NASCAR Sprint Cup races for the 2012 season. Robert Richardson, Jr. will attempt to qualify for his third Daytona 500 and a few other Cup races as well. Greg Conner will be the crew chief and the team will run the #23 in both series
This information is not yet confirmed with an announcement on their site and should be considered as a RUMOR until an official announcement.
Michael Waltrip negotiating with Red Bull Racing
Dave Moody is reporting Michael Waltrip negotiations with Red Bull Racing for both assets and points to run a third car at Daytona and throughout the 2012 season.  Sources say MWR is interested in acquiring cars and equipment from RBR, including fabrication equipment and a shaker rig.  If included in the sale, the former RBR building would likely be used by MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman to house his RK Motors muscle car restoration and performance Company and his personal collection of classic and vintage automobiles.  
Read more from…Sirius Speedway
Richard Petty Motorsports announces Aric Almirola for #43
It will be Aric Almirola in the legendary #43 car for the 2012 Sprint Cup series.  Almirola is paired with veteran crew chief Greg Erwin. Sponsorship was not announced for the famed car at this point.  Expect more news about that to be forthcoming.
Almirola says, “One of the things I am most excited about is to have the chance to drive a car as iconic as the No. 43. There is so much history surrounding that number and to have my name above the door will be really special to me.”
Co-owner Richard Petty says, “We are thrilled to welcome Aric Almirola into the RPM family.  We feel extremely fortunate to have had a number of very talented drivers interested in joining our organization, but ultimately we felt Aric would be the best fit for the team and for our current and potential partners.” 
Read more from…Richard Petty Motorsports
Updated – the #71 team not returning in 2012
Dave Moody from Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway is reporting the #71 TRG Motorsports Cup team will not return in 2012.  Apparently, sources indicate TRG is expected to close  operations and compete only on the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car series for 2012.


Read more from…Sirius Speedway


Team owner Kevin Buckler has announced that team operations are suspended for the #71 team. Buckler says, “I want to be in Cup, but I want to be there with a proper program. I don’t think the way the economy is right now and the amount of money required right now, that a single-car team can make it as a good program. I don’t want to go without a good program.”


Read more from…Daytona Beach News Journal
Kyle Petty selling his South Carolina home
Former NASCAR driver, son of racing legend Richard Petty and grandson of racing icon Lee Petty is asking $4.5 million for the fully furnished beachfront property. 
Read more from…Realtor . com
Gene Haas being sued over real estate deal
Apparently, a Miami-Dade lawsuit over a real estate deal could damage SHR championship hopes for 2012.  Haas made a winning bid on two multimillion-dollar Golden Beach mansions at a public auction just days before NASCAR’s season finale in Homestead.  The sellers of the homes, brothers Robert and Steven Fox say Haas through a proxy reneged on the deal, and in turn forfeited the $1 million deposit, auction rules mandate be paid up front.  Attorney Eric Isicoff, representing the Foxes in the suit says, “He simply refused to sign the contracts.” The auctioneer handling the sale and Pompano Beach Mayor, Lamar Fisher addes, “ In my 30 years in this business, this is the first time this has ever happened.”
Read more from…Miami Herald
Robby Gordon racing in Dakar Rally
Follow Robby Gordon’s team journey to compete in the Dakar Rally at any of these sites: speedenergy.com, toyotires.com,robbygordon.com, planetrobby.com and dakar.com
RBR VP/GM Jay Frye joining Hendrick Motorsports
Hendrick Motorsports announced that Jay Frye, former Red Bull Racing vice president and general manager, will work with the team as a consultant for 2012, focusing on business development.  Marshall Carlson, president of Hendrick Motorsports says, “Jay is one of the most well-connected people in the sport, and he’s going to be a great resource to help develop strong partnerships.  We’ve known him for a long time, so there’s an immense level of trust and respect between us.  The opportunity to work with Jay again and have the benefit of his experience is something we’re excited about.”  In NASCAR, apparently, “business development” refers to helping the team find sponsorship and build relationship with sponsors.
Jay Frye and Rick Hendrick have been friends since the 1980s, when Frye was a rep for the first Budweiser and then Valvoline, and Hendrick was an ambitious car dealer trying to gain entrance into NASCAR.
Read more from…SPEED TV
Trevor Bayne returns to the #21 for 2012
Daytona 500 winner, Trevor Bayne, one of the youngest drivers in the Sprint Cup series, driving for the sport’s longest running team, will remain in the seat of the Wood Brothers #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion.  Bayne says, “I’m excited, it’s a big deal for me.  It’s what I had hoped for.  We’re all excited to be back together.”  Team co-owner Eddie Wood says, “It’s taken a long time to get to this announcement, but it’s good to be back together.  We all wanted to do what was best for Ford Motor Company and its young drivers, and to be sure everybody had a place to race.”
Read more from…Wood Brothers Racing
Las Vegas track opens drivers’ meeting to fans
Want to attend a drivers’ meeting before the race? For the first time ever, LVMS race fans will be able to attend the pre-race drivers’ meeting for the Kobalt Tools 400 Cup race in March.  Weather permitting, the meeting will take place adjacent to the main stage in the center of the Neon Garage.
NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing operations says, “The entire NASCAR community has always worked closely to ensure that we are the most fan-friendly sport.  This is another terrific example of a race track providing fans with access that is unprecedented in sports.”
Read more from…Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Martinsville Speedway construction project progressing
With the help of mild and dry winter weather, work on the latest major construction project at Martinsville Speedway is well ahead of schedule and anticipate completing the project well before race time in April. The project includes demolition of all restrooms under the Richard Petty Tower on the fourth turn of the front stretch and construction of larger, modern restrooms.  The new restrooms are built about 30 feet further back, allowing for a much wider concourse area to help improve pedestrian traffic.  The width of the concourse will be almost doubled and the new restrooms will be almost twice as large as the present ones.  Fans will also notice a refurbished ticket office when they return in April.
Read more from…Martinsville Speedway
Todd Zeigler is new car chief for Danica Patrick
After thirteen seasons with Roush Fenway Racing in various positions, Todd Zeigler is joining Stewart Haas Racing as the car chief for the #10 car for Danica Patrick.  Zeigler will oversee the crew and supervise the setup of the car, reporting to Greg Zipadelli, interim crew chief and competition director.
Read more from…Fox Sports
Larry Carter now at Hendrick Motorsports
Resigning as General Manager from Rusty Wallace, Inc., Larry Carter joins Hendrick Motorsports.  Carter’s departure is the third recent loss for RWI with crew chief Doug Randolph joining Brad Keselowski Racing and Ryan McKinny moving to Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Read more from…Fox Sports
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. to run the Daytona 500
Nationwide series 2011 champion, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. will compete in the 2012 Daytona 500 in the Roush Fenway Racing #6 car.  RFR says they do not expect to run the unsponsored car for the full season, but is locked into the first five races based on owners’ points from 2011 when the car was driven by David Ragan. Stenhouse is also expected to participate in the NASCAR testing this week in Daytona in preparation for the Daytona 500.  Apparently Stenhouse’s 2012 Nationwide schedule is not yet solidified and may be a partial schedule. 
Read more from…Scene Daily
Johanna Long will run Nationwide series in 2012
ML Racing announces that Johanna Long will drive the #70 Biomet/Foretravel Motorcoach car for the 2012 Nationwide season. Long is joining a team owned by Mary Louise Miller as one of the few female owners in NASCAR.  Miller is known as a big supporter in racing. Long becomes the youngest female driver to compete in the Nationwide series and will be competing for Rookie of the Year in 2012.
Read more from…ML Racing
Germain Racing switching manufacturers
Germain Racing, owned by Bob Germain Jr., announced they are joining the Ford Racing family for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup series season.  This move means the #13 GEICO car driven by Casey Mears will now be a Ford Fusion.  Germain says the move is well in line with long-term Germain family relationships.  “The Germain’s have a long history with Ford Motor Company.  My grandfather worked with Henry Ford as an accountant and my father worked as a guide in the Henry Ford Museum.  Our family currently owns and operates both Ford and Lincoln dealerships and we have many friends at Ford Motor Company.  I’m excited to join the Ford Racing team.  Germain Racing also announces they will not run any truck teams for the 2012 season.
Read more from…Germain Racing and Scene Daily
Mark Martin running Nationwide Race for Joe Gibbs Racing
Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Mark Martin will drive the Interstate Batteries car in the 2012 Nationwide race in Las Vegas in March.
Read more from…Joe Gibbs Racing  
Rusty Wallace Racing suspends operations
Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing, LLC announces the Nationwide series team’s on-track activities will be put on a temporary hiatus.  Apparently, the day-to-day competition activities will temporarily cease, with key elements of RWR’s business staff remaining in place to continue development of future opportunities.  #66 driver Steve Wallace is exploring several opportunities for 2012.
Read more from…Rusty Wallace Racing
Kyle Busch Motorsports will be announcing NNS plans
Kyle Busch Motorsports will announce its much anticipated sponsor and driver lineup for NASCAR’s Nationwide series team at 2 pm ET, Thursday, January 19th
Read more from…Kyle Busch Motorsports
Phoenix Racing announces, Kurt Busch to run partial Nationwide in 2012
Kurt Busch will be running a limited Nationwide series schedule, Phoenix Racing has announced.  Busch will be driving the #1 car beginning in Daytona in February.  The team plans to run all major events, and is seeking sponsorship for these races.


Read more from…Phoenix Racing 
Ford unveils 2013 Cup Car
Ford Motor Company has taken the wraps off its 2013 Fusion sedan, the automaker will race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series next year and for the near future.


Read more from…SPEED and Ford Social
Please post your views about this weeks news in the comments section below.  See something you want to elaborate your view about? Let us know and you will be considered for a blog feature this week or next.  See the SUGGESTION BOX tab for submission details. 
As always, Thanks for reading and participating…
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