Xfinity Series News (7295)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
Rookie of the Year contender and West Palm Beach, Florida native Blake Koch continues to improve on the race track, week-in and week-out. This week at Nashville was more of the same as Blake recovered from running out of gas and a pit road speeding violation to post his 3rd straight top-25 finish.
In his first trip to the 1.333 mile concrete oval near Nashville, TN, Blake learned the track quickly during practice and was 28th on the time sheets. The Daystar Television Network No. 81 Dodge was quick in qualifying but lost grip coming out of turn 4 which left him 30th for the start of the race.
Blake patiently moved up from this 30th place starting position and was running in 26th on lap 75. On lap 114 Blake ran out of gas and was caught speeding on pit road, leaving him with a pass-thru penalty. This dropped the Daystar No. 81 Dodge back outside the top-30 and Blake would have to drive hard to make up for the set back. The last 100 laps Blake did just that and was able to “Finish Strong,” as it says on the hood of his No. 81 Dodge with a 25th place result.
Blake continues to sit 25th in the driver’s standings but now is only 26 points out of the top-20. He was also able to close the gap on Timmy Hill in the Rookie of the Year standings. The No. 81 Dodge remains 26th in the owner’s standings and is now 17 points ahead of 30th.
MacDonald Motorsports PR
Carl Edwards returned to victory lane at Nashville Superspeedway for the first time since 2007, winning Saturday’s Nashville 300 Nationwide Series race.
The victory was Edwards’ second of the season and 31st of his career, tying him for fourth all time with NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Jack Ingram.
Edwards had won three Nationwide races in a row in 2006-07 but went six races at Nashville without winning again. His four Nashville victories are tops among all drivers at the 1.33-mile track.
Edwards surged past Kyle Busch as the two dueled for the lead with 35 laps to go. Busch was gunning for a weekend sweep after his victory in Friday night’s Camping World Truck Series race.
Edwards led Lap 189 of 225, and he and Busch raced side by side for more than three laps, exchanging the top spot three times.
Once clear of Busch, Edwards inched away and beat Busch by about 10 car lengths.
Busch finished second, with Brad Keselowski third and Joey Logano fourth as Sprint Cup regulars swept the top four spots in the Nationwide Series’ first stand-alone race of the season. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was fifth for the best finish among Nationwide regulars.
Rising country music star Chuck Wicks and his new single, “Old School,” will be featured on the No. 09 Toyota Camry driven by Kenny Wallace this weekend in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Nashville 300 at Nashville Superspeedway.
Wicks, known for his 2007 debut single “Stealing Cinderella,” spent his college years discovering his musical talents and moved to Nashville in 2002 to pursue a career in music. A talented singer and song writer, Wicks signed with RCA Recording Nashville in early 2007 and released his first album, “Starting Now,” in January 2008.
In addition to being featured on the RAB Racing with Brack Maggard Toyota Camry, Wicks will also play a live post-race concert immediately following the Nationwide Series race on Saturday, April 23, 2011. The race is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. The concert is free to all April 23rd race ticket holders.
RAB Racing PR
JD Motorsports is excited to announce that COLORMATCH, a leader in the distribution of collision repair products to the auto body industry, will sponsor the #01 Chevy for this weekend’s race in Nashville, TN. COLORMATCH also sponsored Mike Wallace and JD Motorsports at the race in Bristol, TN earlier this season.
“We are really happy to have COLORMATCH on board as our sponsor for another race,” says Mike Wallace, driver of the #01 Chevrolet. “We hope to bring awareness to their brand and service. Our goal this weekend is to make their management and employees proud.”
Fans will be excited to see the new custom paint scheme for the COLORMATCH Chevrolet, which was performed by the students at the Nashville Auto Diesel College. The Tennessee Collision Repairers Association has been acknowledged by the placement of the TCRA logo on the back deck.
JD Motorsports PR
Jennifer Jo Cobb is proud to announce that she will return to driving the No. 13 Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing (JJCR) Ford Mustang entry beginning at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, April 29. In addition to her NNS efforts, Cobb will also pilot her No. 10 JJCR Ford F-150 in at least two more NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) events this season, including this week's Bully Hill Vineyards 200 at Nashville Superspeedway and the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway on June 4.
Cobb has raced in five NNS races in 2011 and one NCWTS event, in which she piloted the No. 10 JJCR F-150 at Daytona International Speedway and posted a sixth place finish. Following Daytona, Cobb partnered with Chase Mattioli Racing and since, Mattioli has been driving the No. 10 for his rookie campaign. Mattioli and Cobb will work together in Nashville with Mattioli piloting his #99 Ford F-150.
"It's been such a crazy season and it's great to have some solidity going forward," Cobb said. "The most difficult part of 2011 has been not knowing what's ahead for me. Moving back to my own team will provide some much needed stability and consistency to the remainder of the season."
Cobb made her debut as a team owner last season in the NCWTS. She competed as an owner/driver and finished 17th in the final championship point standings. Her feat made her the highest-finishing female in one of NASCAR's top three series since 1949. She also ran a limited NNS schedule in 2010.
Cobb has most recently competed in the NNS with Rick Ware Racing on a week-by-week basis following her much publicized departure from her former team at Bristol. "I can't thank Rick Ware Racing enough for the opportunity they have given me," Cobb said. "Rick Ware is my hero. He allowed me to keep competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series during a tumultuous time. I wish we could continue racing together, but without a full-time sponsor it makes more long-term sense for us branch back out on our own. I wish RWR much success and it is nice to know that we have such gracious competitors in our sport."
"Jennifer [Jo Cobb] has been a great addition to our team," said Rick Ware. "Unfortunately we couldn't come up with the funding to run additional races with her. We wish her the best as we move forward. We'll continue seeking a sponsor for our No. 41 car to get it back on track as soon as possible. In the meantime, we're focused on getting the No. 15 team to the front of the pack."
The JJCR #13 Ford Fusion continues to be led by Crew Chief, Steve Kuykendall. Fans have shown an outpouring of support for the team this year and the team's Facebook and Twitter accounts have more than doubled in followers. Sales are up for Cobb's clothing lines, DrivenMale.com and DriverBoutique.com. Cobb continued "Although I don't welcome the controversy that we have overcome this season, it has really made us stronger in every way. We are starting over for the third time this season and we are better for the experiences we have had. Wow... what a year!"
JJCR/Breaking Limits PR
Nashville is Music to Michael Annett's Ears: The 24-year old racer has six previous starts on Nashville Superspeedway's 1.333 mile D-shaped oval including four NASCAR Nationwide Series races, one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event and one ARCA Racing Series event. In his two most recent attempts at the Lebanon, Tennessee track, Annett has tallied 14th and ninth place finishes respectively. Previously securing starting spots of third (August 2007), fifth (August 2008), 13th (April 2009) and 12th (April 2010), Annett proves to be a quick qualifier at Nashville.
Trip to Pilot Flying J Territory: Annett and his Volunteer State sponsor, Pilot Flying J, entered the sport together in the ARCA Racing Series in 2007 and have continued their relationship through the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and currently into the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Pilot Flying J is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and has more than 550 locations in North America. The company employs more than 20,000 people and is the largest retail operator of travel centers in North America.
Crew Chief Jason Overstreet Former Nashville Victor: Calling the shots for driver David Reutimann in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, crew chief of Rusty Wallace Racing's No. 62 entry, Jason Overstreet, visited victory lane at Nashville Superspeedway in 2005 with Darrell Waltrip Racing. As driver and crew chief from 2004-2006, the Reutimann-Overstreet duo earned six pole awards and finished third in Truck Series championship point standings in 2006.
Rusty Wallace Racing at Nashville Superspeedway: Rusty Wallace Racing totals 18 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Nashville since 2005. The organization has one top-five, six top-10s and one pole at Nashville Superspeedway. The two-car team most recently captured finishes of 13th and eighth in the June 2010 Federated Auto Parts 200 at Nashville.
Country Music Canine: Looking forward to visiting Music City, Annett credits his love of country music for choosing a name for his Miniature Golden Doodle (dog) Paisley, named after singer Brad Paisley. Annett and Paisley are featured in Pit Road Pets: The Second Lap, a collection of photos and stories of NASCAR stars and their pets put together by the Ryan Newman Foundation.
From the Cockpit:
Michael Annett on Nashville Superspeedway:
"Historically, Nashville is a really good track for me. We're proud to represent our sponsor, Pilot Flying J, in their founding state of Tennessee this weekend, and we're going to work really hard to give them a great finish at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday."
Jason Overstreet on Nashville Superspeedway:
"I always look forward to racing at Nashville. It's a track that I enjoy especially because I've had success there. I'd really like to get another taste of victory lane at Nashville this weekend with Rusty Wallace Racing, and what better of a place to do it than in Pilot Flying J's home state."
Rusty Wallace Racing PR
Today, Go Canada Racing, the newest all-Canadian NASCAR contender, officially starts its quest for NASCAR glory. Go Canada Racing is the only current NASCAR national series team with a Canadian owner, businessman Steve Meehan, and a Canadian driver, rising Canadian NASCAR star J.R. Fitzpatrick.
“Go Canada Racing brings together my two great passions: business and racing,” said Meehan. “My success in business has been built on seeing where the right opportunities are and creating a great team of people to do the job. When I saw the opportunity to start a team, I brought in the right people, like J.R., and with their help I believe I can have the same kind of success in the racing world as I had in the business world.”
Meehan’s goal for Go Canada Racing is for it to become the first fully-Canadian team to compete full-time on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tour – the preeminent series in North American motorsports. The team raced two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, and will make its official debut this Saturday, April 24th, at Nashville Superspeedway.
“NASCAR has 7 million fans in Canada, many of whom watch the races every week on TV,” continued Meehan. “This team will give the millions of Canadian fans a ‘home team’ to rally around, and I believe it’s a great opportunity for Canadian companies to showcase their brand to this huge audience of Canadian race fans.”
The team name, Go Canada Racing, and car number, 67, were both chosen to give the team an all-Canadian feel. The name was inspired by the cheers of “Go Canada” that Canadians are accustomed to hearing at sporting events throughout the country. The car number, 67, corresponds to 1867, the year of Confederation in Canada. This number is very significant for Canadians, and Meehan believes it will help Canadian NASCAR fans identify with his team even more.
In the driver’s seat will be Canada’s rising NASCAR star, J.R. Fitzpatrick. At age 18, Fitzpatrick became the youngest driver to win the CASCAR Super Series championship, and last year he finished second in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship. Over the last three years he has raced in nine NASCAR Nationwide events, and drove to a career-high finish of seventh at Road America and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, both in 2010. The opportunity with Go Canada Racing is Fitzpatrick’s first chance at a full-time ride on one of the premier stock car racing circuits in North America, an opportunity he has worked towards for many years.
“I’ve been racing since I was 15 years old and it has always been my dream to step into one of these cars full-time,” said Fitzpatrick. “Steve has put together an outstanding team and given us the tools to succeed in this sport. We have a great crew, a great car, and a great team, and I’m looking forward to competing with some of NASCAR’s best, starting this weekend in Nashville.”
“We’re looking forward to the addition of Go Canada Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Racing Operations. “Canada is an important market for NASCAR, as demonstrated by our commitment to developing Canadian drivers in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Now, the millions of NASCAR fans in Canada have a ‘home’ team to root for on NASCAR’s national level.”
Go Canada Racing PR
P1 Groupe driver Scott Wimmer, driver of the #40 Key Motorsports Chevrolet Malibu, left the Talladega Superspeedway with a solid Top-15 finish yesterday. The race included drama, hard wrecks, and two green-white-checkered attempts, and while some cars couldn’t make it to the finish, Wimmer and his team continued to work on the car to ensure a successful day on one of the biggest tracks on the NASCAR circuit.
When the green flag dropped on Saturday afternoon Wimmer knew that he would have to be patient and wait for the right time to begin to make his push to the front. This strategy paid off because even though he went a lap down early in the race, constant adjustments, focus, and a well-placed cautions allowed Scott to get back on the lead lap. He was able to make his way through the field and avoid a wreck that took out half of the field with 28 laps left in the race. The goal was no longer to only survive the race, but it was now time to contend for a Top-10 finish. When the checkered flag finally dropped after two attempts at a green-white-checkered finish, Scott Wimmer and his team could enjoy a solid 12th place finish.
“Any restrictor plate race that we run is intense because we have to worry about bump drafting and “The Big One”. With the new cars, we essentially have to learn how to bump draft all over again. This showed today with late wrecks that took out a lot of really good racecars. The new style of racing with the two car packs is something that we have never seen before here or at Daytona. It’s exciting for us and the fans. I love racing here, and I’m happy that we were able to adjust on the car all day and be able to come home with a solid Top-15 finish. I’m proud of all my guys here and back at the shop because we had a really good car and one that could contend for a Top-10 today.”
Talladega ended up being a big points’ race for both the Driver and Team on the day as both moved up five spots in their respective Championships. Wimmer now 18th in Driver Championship points is only 36 points outside of the Top-10, and Curtis Key jumped up to 27th in the Owners Championship points, well within the coveted Top-30 which guarantees making the field next time out.
Key Motorsports/Scott Wimmer PR
Due to a lack of sponsorship, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and driver Joey Logano were not originally scheduled to run this weekend at Nashville Superspeedway. However, a number of factors following this past Saturday’s event at Talladega Superspeedway changed that. First, with Logano’s second-place finish at Talladega, the No. 20 JGR team extended its points lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s standings to 13 points over its JGR teammates, the No. 18 team. Second, a new sponsor jumped on board Sunday evening to make the trip possible.
Harvest Investments, LLC & Harvest-Properties.com have signed on with Joe Gibbs Racing for a one-race sponsorship to allow the No. 20 team and Logano to head to Nashville to continue the strong start to the season and continue the chance to run for the Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship, which Joe Gibbs Racing has won three years in a row (No. 20 team in 2008, No. 18 team in 2009 & 2010). The team was originally scheduled to run the first seven races, with Nashville being the first without sponsorship and not on the schedule. Now, with Nashville back on the schedule, the team will run through Dover. As of now, the team doesn’t have sponsorship for Iowa, but is still looking for interested companies.
Joe Gibbs Racing PR