NASCAR Nuggets from the Net: January 2, 2013

January 2, 2013

January 2, 2013

Danica Patrick to drive for Turner

Danica Patrick will drive for Turner Motorsports in her 10-race commitment to this year’s Nationwide Series schedule, sources told espnW.com

Driving for JR Motorsports in her first full-time Nationwide season last year, Patrick produced the highest final points finish – 10th – among women in NASCAR history. She will begin her partial campaign in NASCAR’s second-tier series on Feb 23 at Daytona International Speedway in conjunction with her first full Sprint Cup season with Stewart-Haas Racing the same weekend.

Turner Motorsports is an appealing option for Patrick not just because it fields Hendrick Motorsports-produced Chevrolets like Stewart-Haas. It’s also coming off a successful 2012 season, during which Justin Allgaier finished sixth in points for the team and James Buescher – then a 21-year-old Camping World Truck Series driver with just 34 races of Nationwide experience – won the season-opening race at Daytona for Turner. Buescher went on to win the NASCAR trucks title last season. ESPN.go.com

More NASCAR Nuggets from the Net….

Brandon Jones to Drive for Turner Motorsports in 2013 – Cale Gale to Crew Chief

Fifteen year old Brandon Jones, a Sophomore at Moorseville (NC) High School will drive in four different series for Turner Motorsports (TMS) in 2013. While driving for Eddie Sharp Racing in 2012, Jones competed in the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) and in the United Auto Racing Association (UARA) Series. He finished fifth in the UARA final standings in his first season, which included a win at Concord Speedway, while racking up an impressive five top-five and eleven top-ten finishes in 22 races. Jones was scored fifth in his first K&N Pro Series East race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway before a last-la, final turn wreck. 2012’s solid performance followed the Atlanta, GA native’s 2011 track championships in the pro truck division (NKNPSE) races, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) events and selected NASCAR Late Model Stock races under the Turner Motorsports banner.

“I am extremely excited to be joining Turner Motorsports and look forward to driving in UARA and select K&N and Camping World Truck races in 2013 for the Turner organization,” said Jones. “I’m confident that with the outstanding team at TMS and with the help of Mike Greci and Cale Gale, we will be very competitive. This opportunity for me would not be possible without the development and coaching I received in 2012 from all the guys at Eddie Sharp Racing and Lee McCall.”

At Turner Motorsports, Jones will work under the tutelage of Mike Greci, a stock car racing veteran, famed NASCAR crew chief and NASCAR driver development expert. Following back-to-back K&N Pro Series titles in 1997 and 1998 as owner/crew chief for Mike Stefanik, Greci went on to again score consecutive K&N East titles with Martin Truex Jr, in 2009 and 2010. Greci has served as crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series for Paul Menard and Martin Truex Jr. Most recently, Greci has mentored and been crew chief for Brett Moffit, Ryan Truex, Travis Pastrana and Sergio Pena in NKNPSE and NNS. Greci will now serve as Turner Motorsports’ Competition Director for the NKNPSE teams.

“I echo Mr. Turner’s sentiments of working with the younger talent in the sport; I truly enjoy seeing the younger generation work so hard at their dreams, and to be a part of that is special to me. We have a great core of people working for Turner Motorsports and I feel like we will see the success that has become synonymous with Turner Motorsports,” mentioned Greci.

In addition to Greci, NCWTS winner Cale Gale will continue his longtime mentoring relationship with Jones. Gale recently rejoined Turner Motorsports as crew chief and will continue to groom Jones for his climb up the racing ranks.

“Coming to Turner Motorsports was a great opportunity for me and I look forward to working more closely with Brandon (Jones) in the NKNPSE series. I’ve worked with him the last couple of years on honing his skills and I’ve seen him come a long way in a short time period. I think he has the talent necessary to be successful in his racing career,” said Gale.

Jones joins Turner Motorsports, which captured its first NASCAR championship in 2012 when James Buescher took the NCWTS title on the strength of four wins. In only his third season of full-time NCWTS competition, Turner Motorsports totaled seven Truck Series wins, in addition to three victories in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The organization announced that Jeb Burton and Miguel Paludo would be competing full-time in the NCWTS in 2013, with additional driver lineup and program details forthcoming.

Steve Turner adds, “I’m really excited that we are extending the Turner Motorsports banner into the other racing ranks, including the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the Untied Auto Racing Association series, I’ve always prided myself on working with the up-and-coming stars and this group of Jones and Gale is no different. We have put together a great staff under Greci’s attention that has tons of experience. I’m just really proud that we can attract these types of people that have the same dedication to racing and success as I do.”

The rapidly-expanding Turner organization boasts some of racing’s best up-and-coming drivers. In 2013, Turner Motorsports plans to field three Nationwide teams, four Camping World Truck Series teams, four K&N Pro Series East teams, as well as entries in the UARA Series and the NASCAR Late Model Stock program. TurnerMotorsportsLLC.com

$70 Million For NASCAR Tracks …in The Fiscal Cliff Bill

Unless you’ve been nursing a hangover so intense that it has kept you away from the news in recent days, you probably know that the US House voted late yesterday to approve legislation that would avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.” The bill was sent to President Obama today for his signature.

But did you know that the bill also has provisions on tax credits for…a gift to race tracks and other “motorsports entertainment complexes?”

Here’s how ABC News puts it: “Under the plan, the federal government would eat nearly $100 billion in forgone tax revenue over the next two years by extending special tax credits for select businesses that had been set to expire.”

Included is the following…

Jalopnik.com

NASCAR digital moving to Charlotte hub

Charlotte’s burgeoning sports media industry adds another major player this week as NASCAR.com moves from Atlanta to a sleek new operations center in uptown.

Based on the eighth floor of the 20-story NASCAR Plaza office building at South Caldwell and East Stonewall streets, the hub will operate the motorsport group’s web operations and other digital products – including mobile apps expected to be rolled out in coming weeks – beginning Thursday. CharlotteObserver.com

Parkway closes on NASCAR Plaza purchase

Parkway Properties Inc closed on its $100 million purchase of the NASCAR Plaza building earlier this week, its third uptown office acquisition in 2012.

Last month, the Orlando, FL-based real estate investment trust completed its $47.4 million purchase of the 525 North Tryon building in uptown Charlotte. Earlier in the year, the firm purchased the Hearst Tower from Bank of America Corp. for $250 million. BizJournals.com

Turner Motorsports and Great Clips Part Ways in 2013

Turner Motorsports announced today that their successful two-year-long primary marketing partnership with Great Clips, Inc will not continue into the 2013 NASCAR season. The parting of ways is an amicable one, with both companies mutually coming to the decision in order to enhance their growing marketing platforms. Though Great Clips, the longest-running sponsor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will no longer serve as a primary sponsor of the organization’s No. 38 entry, there remain opportunities for joint partnerships in the future.

This past season marked Great Clips’ 12th year in the series as primary sponsor. The company spent five years as a partner of Braun Racing, before it was acquired by Turner Motorsports two years ago. An announcement with Great Clips’ future plans will be made within the hour. Turner Motorsports will also soon be announcing their plans for the 2013 season.

“We want to thank Great Clips for two great years as an outstanding marketing partner,” said Steve Turner, owner of Turner Motorsports. “They have been a big supporter of this race team since the beginning and we just can’t thank them enough for that. Though we have been a big supporter of this race team since the beginning and we just can’t thank them enough for that. Though we have mutually decided to end our business partnership, the friendships we have made over the years will endure well into the future.” TurnerMotorsportsLLC.com

JR Motorsports Signs Great Clips Inc to 28-Race Sponsorship for 2013

JR Motorsports announced today significant developments in its 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series plans, as Great Clips Inc, the world’s largest hair salon brand, has signed a primary sponsorship agreement for 28 races next season. The partnership brings Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet to JR Motorsports, adding to a lineup that already includes Regan Smith, the series’ most recent winner, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

This will mark the 13th year Great Clips has used the Nationwide Series to market its brand, making it the series’ longest-running sponsor. Kahne has a long-standing relationship with Great Clips dating back to 2003 when the company served as primary sponsor for the up-and-coming driver for three seasons. The company also recently announced a sponsorship of Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet at Hendrick Motorsports for three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2013.

The addition of Great Clips further establishes the JR Motorsports line-up for 2013, albeit with substantial changes from two months ago. First, it guarantees the company will field at least two entries in 28 of 33 Nationwide Series events. Smith is already committed to driving a full schedule, and Earnhardt Jr will compete in select races in a third car.

Additionally, car numbers have been reassigned to align with Kahne’s branding in the Sprint Cup Series. Kahne and Sweet will split time in the No. 5 Chevrolet for 27 races. Smith will compete for a championship in the No. 7, and Earnhardt Jr will carry his familiar No. 88 in a limited schedule that presently stands at four races. One of Earnhardt’s races will be with Great Clips branding to fill out the 28-race sponsorship package.

JR Motorsports General Manager, Kelley Earnhardt Miller said the organization still isn’t committing the No. 5 team to a full-season slate but continues to work at securing sponsorship to fill out the remaining six races.

“The last three months have been critical for the direction of JR Motorsports and the commitment we’ve made, and this partnership with Great Clips is a major step in the right direction,” Earnhardt Miller said. “To sign a 28-race sponsor while adding Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet to our line-up is quite extraordinary. Our goal is still to run two full-time teams, and this helps us greatly to achieve that.”

A teammate of Earnhardt’s at Hendrick Motorsports, Kahne is a 14-time Sprint Cup Series winner and seven-time Nationwide Series winner. He drove two races for JR Motorsports in 2011, finishing fourth at Kentucky Speedway and third at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Kahne rejoined the Great Clips family in 2009 and over the last three years, has competed in select Nationwide Series races with the company as his primary sponsor. Great Clips has since expanded its relationship with the Enumclas, Washington native over the years by being heavily involved in the driver’s charity events and serving as a primary sponsor for Kasey Kahne Racing. Part of that expansion has also included the addition of Sweet to the Great Clips driver lineup with the Grass Valley, California native carrying the Great Clips branding in 18 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and 19 Nationwide Series races over the last three years.

“Great Clips has been a long-time sponsor of mine for ten years,” Kahne said. “They support everything that I do from the Kasey Kahne Foundation to my sprint car team and they continue to grow their program in NASCAR. We all look forward to joining JR Motorsports and continuing to build on the success that they have had.”

Like Kahne, Sweet is a product of United States Auto Club – USAC. He was hired by Kasey Kahne Racing in 2007 and has given KKR seven victories, including wins at the Belleville Midget Nationals, Knoxville Midget Nationals and Four Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway.

“I’m looking forward to this new opportunity with JR Motorsports and to continue representing Great Clips, both on and off the track,” said Sweet. “They have been extremely supportive of me over the last couple of years so taking this step with them is very special for me. As a young driver in this sport, having the chance to drive under the JR Motorsports banner is an amazing opportunity that I plan to make the most of. The 2013 season is ‘gonna be great’ and I can’t wait to get it started.”

A race schedule for Kahne and Sweet in the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet is still to be determined. So, too, is Earnhardt Jr’s complete Nationwide Series slate. To date his only announced races are Feb 23 at Daytona International Speedway and Mar 9 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, both in the No. 88 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet. JRMRacing.com

Dale Earnhardt Jr attends TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl

For the second year in a row, NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr is in attendance at the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl.

Earnhardt Jr is a spokesperson for Tax Slayer. Before this year’s and last year’s game, Dale drives his #88 TaxSlayer.com Chevy to the middle of the field. After exiting the car, he is present for the pre-game coin toss. FirstCoastNews.com

Statement from Dave Novak on Parting Ways with Jennifer Jo Cobb

I, Dave Novak, an owner of JJC Racing, am announcing that I have severed ties, both personally and professionally, with Jennifer Jo Cobb as of December 2, 2012.

Additionally, let it be known that I am not responsible for any financial contracts, commitments, debts or negotiations or any other aspects pertinent to JJC Racing that were initiated, negotiated or finalized by anyone other than myself.

Unfortunately, differences of opinion and business practices, by others than myself, have resulted in these decisions but I am committed to continuing the excellent professional contacts, reputation and integrity that I have developed and maintained for many years. JJC Racing Release

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