Xfinity Series News

Xfinity Series News (7335)

NASCAR Xfinity Series News

5-hour ENERGY is proud to announce that it will be the title sponsor of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race to be held Saturday, May 14 at the Dover International Speedway, also known as the Monster Mile.

NASCAR fans will not only be treated to exciting race action, but also get a chance to try a free sample of 5-hour ENERGY . Brand representatives will be stationed throughout the speedway passing out samples.

“We want racing fans to feel energized and alert throughout the race,” said Carl Sperber of Living Essentials, the makers of 5-hour ENERGY But where 5-hour ENERGY really shines is in how it helps hard working people get through a hectic day. It’s quick, simple and portable, which is ideal for busy people on the go who can’t afford a letdown.”

Sperber hopes the exposure gained from title sponsorship will encourage fans who haven’t done so already, to try 5-hour ENERGY . “We’re going to be at Dover to educate consumers about 5- hour ENERGY , let them know how well it works, answer any questions they have, and then let them try 5-hour ENERGY for free.”

Dover will not be the first time NASCAR fans see 5-hour ENERGY at the track. The Michigan- based brand was the title sponsor for last year’s Nationwide Series race in St. Louis, and is in its fourth season as primary sponsor for the Rusty Wallace Racing No. 66 Toyota driven by Steven Wallace.

“I’m excited every weekend to have 5-hour ENERGY on our Toyota,” said Wallace, “It will be really cool to have my sponsor also be the title sponsor of the race at the Monster Mile.”

“We’ve had some good runs at Dover over the last couple of years and I would love to give 5- hour ENERGY a strong finish. The pressure is definitely on me and this team to go out there and perform well. We hope to put on a really good show for our loyal fans that come out or tune in and support us and our sponsors each week.”

Performance PR Plus

Robert Richardson, Jr. and the No. 23 Wildlife Conservation Society Dodge of R3 Motorsports takes to Talladega Superspeedway a tad more relaxed than last weekend, and their sights set on bigger goals.

After qualifying on time at his native track of Texas Motor Speedway last weekend, the 29-year old McKinney, Texas native overcame an early race spin to garner a 26th-place finish. Keeping the rest of his run clean allowed the No. 23 Dodge team a return to the top-30 position in the Owner’s Standings, as well.

With that goal achieved, Walter Giles and team can concentrate on race runs during the two practice sessions on Thursday in preparation for Saturday’s race on the 1.66-mile superspeedway. If history is on their side, Richardson hopes to add another top-20, or better, finish to his streak of four consecutive ones at ‘Dega.

“It’s interesting, exciting, exhilarating and can be over in the flick of wrist just like that at this track. I love racing here and all the speed and excitement that goes on during the race. The secret, though, is you want to be on the good side of the excitement - not the replay reels.”

What about the new style of racing you experienced at Daytona with these new cars: “I’m not sure if I’m a fan of it yet, but the good news is I now have two races under my belt with the two-by-two racing. (Rob Jr. competed in the Nationwide and Daytona 500 races in February) We’re all new to this; you just have to figure out if two cars can hook up with other cars and be faster than everyone else. If it’s the two-by-two style, then you want to find someone to work with who can push and you can push back.

“We’re bringing back the same car we had in Daytona and that one raced really, really well. I know Walter (Giles, crew chief) and the rest of the guys have done some work on it to make it better. I’m looking forward to a great weekend at Talladega in regards to a good finish and moving up in the Owner’s Points some more.”

R3 Motorsports PR

Phoenix Racing announced today it will enter this weekend's Aaron's 312 at the 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.  The team will do so with a familiar face behind the wheel.  Jamie McMurray will pilot the No. 1 Phoenix Construction Chevrolet during Saturday's race. McMurray has two wins for the team, both coming at what is now known as Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway in 2003.

McMurray has a total of eight NASCAR Nationwide Series wins and is also one of the best drivers on a restrictor-plate track.  He has three Sprint Cup Series wins combining both Talladega and Daytona.  He will be looking for his first plate win in the Nationwide Series this weekend with Phoenix Racing.

"This is a great opportunity to race for a win," said McMurray.  "James (Finch) and everyone at Phoenix Racing always prepare fast cars for Talladega.  It's fun to race with these guys, and I'm looking forward to try to get another win with them."

Phoenix Racing is a 12-time winner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and is looking for their first win at Talladega in this series. The operation has one win at the track in the Sprint Cup Series.  They feel confident that McMurray is capable of winning this weekend.

"Jamie (McMurray) has proven that he is one of the best at plate races," said Finch.  "We had a lot of success with him behind the wheel of our cars in the past too.  We feel that we have a good chance to run up front on Saturday.  He is a driver that knows how to win these races."

The team will be supported by Phoenix Construction based in Lynn Haven, Fla.  Phoenix Racing will also enter their familiar No. 09 Security Benefit/Thank a Teacher Today Chevrolet in Sunday's Aaron's 499 with driver Landon Cassill.

Phoenix Racing/Breaking Limits PR

Going into race 6 of the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, MacDonald Motorsports was 30th in the owner’s standings.  In desperate need a good weekend, Blake Koch and the team delivered just that.  Right in Daystar Television Network’s backyard, Blake spent a lot of time speaking at local churches, talking on the local news and Daystar programs, all in addition to his driving duties.

The MacDonald Motorsports No. 81 was strong in practice, and finished the fourth session, 14th on the time sheets.  In qualifying, they continued their momentum and slotted into 20th place on the grid.  The entire team was excited to see how strong the car would be for the race.  The Daystar Dodge was good and Blake was able to get a top-25 finish, and the top finishing rookie of the race.  The 25th place finish really didn’t show how strong of a weekend it was for the MacDonald Motorsports No. 81 team.

“It was a good weekend for us.  We really didn't get the results we would have liked but I felt a huge improvement as a team from California.” – Blake Koch

Blake and the team would really like to thank Daystar, I am Second, and Soul Surfer the Movie for their support over the race weekend.  It’s great to have these partners step up and help out the team.

MacDonald Motorsports PR


Eric McClure and his TriStar Motorsports team headed to Texas Motor Speedway hoping to continue his streak of four straight top-25 finishes.  After posting the 41st fastest speed in time trials the team knew a tough road was ahead in order to finish in the top-25, but after advancing early in the event, and receiving a wave around the team was scored in the 25th position.  However, just after the second caution flag waved on lap 88, the Hefty® BlackOut™/Reynolds™ Impala began smoking, not only from what looked to be the rear of the car, but also the cockpit of the car.  McClure brought his car to pit road on lap 89 and then to the garage area where the team discovered a leaking fuel pump cable adapter.  Additionally, the fumes inside the cockpit were so strong upon McClure’s arrival in the garage that he became sick and was forced to give his seat to teammate Jeff Green to finish the event. By returning to the race on lap 141, multiple laps down to the race leader, the TriStar Motorsports team was able to advance two positions to finish the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 in the 31st position.  Despite the finish, McClure was able to advance to 17th in NASCAR driver standings.

“I‘m disappointed. We felt good in practice but, unfortunately, we were way too loose during our qualifying run which resulted in our worst starting position of the season.  The race started off okay but we were still too loose in the center and it progressively worsened.  We made adjustments during our first stop but it didn’t seem to help.  We then took the wave around and it was going to work out great but our car started smoking and we were forced to the garage for repairs.  I inhaled some of the smoke and some fumes and, for some reason, I got quite sick in the garage, so Jeff (Green) was good enough to finish the race once the repairs were complete.  I just hate I wasn’t able to complete the race for the guys since they support me so much, but hate it even more we have had two part failures in six races.  We will work hard to overcome it.”

Starting the race from the 41st position, McClure quickly advanced six positions by lap four despite being loose in the center and on exit of the turns.  As the race progressed, the car’s handling worsened as the Hefty® BlackOut™/Reynolds™ Impala was now loose on entry.  As a result, spotter Bill O’Dea reminded the 32-year-old driver to search for different lines around the track to help with the car’s handling until adjustments could be made.  As a result, McClure searched all lines around the track and found that the middle-to-high line worked best which allowed him to advance to the 30th position by the time green flag pit stops began on lap 39.  Hoping for a caution, the team decided to stay out as long as possible but was forced to give up the 15th position on lap 54 to bring the car to pit road for four tires with an air-pressure adjustment, a wedge adjustment, and fuel.  Following the service, the No. 14 impala returned to the track and was scored in the 30th position, two laps down to the race leader.

On lap 68, the first caution flag waved and team crew chief, Gary Cogswell, played a different strategy.  Taking a chance on a quick caution when the race resumed, the Hefty® Racing™ team decided to stay on track to receive the wave around.  This allowed the Virginia driver to advance three positions to 25th and be scored one lap down to the race leader on the lap 73 restart.

Over the next several laps, the loose handling condition of the Hefty® BlackOut™/Reynolds™ Impala continued which forced the driver to back up his entry which resulted in time lost to the race leader.  Just before McClure lost an additional lap to the leader, the event’s second caution flag waved on lap 87, which was good news for the TriStar Motorsports team.  Unfortunately, smoke began pouring from the cockpit and rear of the car almost immediately when the field slowed behind the pace car.  The car was immediately brought to the garage area on lap 89 for repairs and it was there that the team discovered the leaking fuel pump cable adapter.  The subsequent sickness of McClure forced teammate Jeff Green to finish the event.

By returning to the event, the Hefty® Racing™ team was able to advance two positions to finish the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 in the 31st position.  Despite the finish, McClure was able to advance to 17th in driver standings, while TriStar Motorsports owner Mark Smith remained 23rd in owner standings.

Tristar Motorsports PR

Robert Richardson, Jr. and the No. 23 Wildlife Conservation Society Dodge team of R3 Motorsports had a daunting task ahead of them at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night.

First, they needed to qualify in on time after being ranked 32nd in the Owner’s Standings coming into the race. Once that was achieved, they then needed to race their way back into the top-30 with a good finish.

When the green flag waved over the 1.5-mile oval of TMS as the sun was setting, Richardson vaulted from 43rd to 31st on the first lap. From there, he and the Walter Giles-led team worked to get the car better and better with an eye on a good finish.

After the first green-flag stop on lap 47 for tires, fuel, air pressure and chassis adjustments, Richardson returned to action with better lap times. Just 20 laps later, it looked like disaster struck as the native of nearby McKinney, Texas spun the No. 23 Dodge off of Turn 2.

As the car headed for the inside wall, Richardson applied the proper amount of brakes and steering to avoid making contact and damaging the car. With four flat tires, he limped the car back to pit road for attention.

Great work by the R3 Motorsports crew to replace all the tires, check for any damage and get their driver back into action paid off as they didn’t lose a lap on pit road. When the race resumed, Richardson was now in 33rd place.

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful for Richardson and team as they made a fuel-only pit stop, wave arounds, good changes on other stops and good driving to move up the scoring chart. When all was said and down, they left TMS with a 26th-place finish and moved up two positions in the Owner’s Points to 30th – mission accomplished.

That means they are locked in for this weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway and don’t have to endure the “go or go home” situation they did in Texas. And, the finish also moved Richardson up to 22nd in the Driver’s Standings, only nine markers out of 20th place.

Robert Richardson, Jr. quotes: “Man, I can’t even begin to tell you what it’s like to go through what we did this weekend. Having to qualify in on time just sucks; that’s about as nice as I can say that, folks.

“That spin there was pretty scary at first, but once I realized it was going to happen I knew what I had to do to save it, too. I just got up too high there in the turn and couldn’t save it once I got up in the marbles there. Great job by the crew getting us back out and not losing a lap there on pit road. The rest of the race was just spent getting the car better off of the turns and earning positions.

“I would have liked a much better showing on my home track, but we’ll take what we have here and get ready for Talladega knowing we’re good to go for qualifying. This allows up to concentrate on race set ups and drafting during the practices. I love ‘Dega racing.”

R3 Motorsports PR

Carl Edwards started on the pole and never looked back, leading 169 of 200 laps in a dominating victory in Friday night's Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The win marked the first trip to victory lane for the Ford Mustang in the Nationwide Series. It is Edwards' second consecutive victory in the NNS at Texas and Roush Fenway's sixth series win at the 1.5-mile track. It was Edwards' 30th career Nationwide Series win, making him just the fifth driver ever to accomplish that feat. The win was Roush Fenway's 14th overall NASCAR win at Texas.

"That was big," said Edwards. "Just an unreal race; the car was fast. The first win for the Mustang and the first win for Fastenal this season, they have come on board and been a great partner and I've had a lot of fun with them. It was a great effort by this team. We still have space on this car, so if anyone wants to market with a great company and a great team, we have space available. "

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. , who led five laps in the race, maintained his Nationwide Series points lead after qualifying third and finishing eighth. It marks Stenhouse's fifth top-10 finish in six races this season. Trevor Bayne, who qualified sixth, finished 13th.

Roush Racing PR

Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, finished 16th in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night. Hornish had a car capable of a top-10 finish, but a mid-race wheel issue put him a lap down and ended his chance for strong result.

Hornish started from the 16th position after turning a lap of  30.780 seconds around the 1.5-mile high-banked oval at an average speed of  175.439 miles per hour to qualify 16th on the grid. Early in the race, the Defiance, Ohio native reported that the No. 12 Dodge was running way too free in the corners.

Crew chief Chad Walter and the Alliance Auto Parts team made adjustments throughout the race, but the constantly-changing track conditions proved to be a challenge. Despite a car that was difficult to drive, Hornish ran much of the first half of the race inside the top-15 in the running order.

At the halfway point of the race, Hornish was running in the 13th position when he felt a vibration on the Alliance Truck Parts Challenger and he had to make a green-flag stop for four new Goodyear tires. The unscheduled pit stop put Hornish one lap down to the race leaders. Initially, the problem was believed to have been a cut tire on the No. 12, but the problem proved to be a loose wheel.

Hornish remained on track during the next caution period to get his lap back, but the next green flag run was extended and the Alliance Truck Parts car had to make another green-flag stop and subsequently fell one lap down once again.

As the laps wound down, Hornish was able to make up some ground and went on to finish the race in the 16th position, positioned one lap down to the leaders.

“Being out of the car as long as I was (since Daytona), we had some ups and downs tonight,” said Hornish Jr.  “I feel like we had a car that we definitely could have brought home in the top-10 if not the top-five.  We had a wheel issue and had to pit which had us off sequence.  We could never get it back.  That’s one of the interesting things about the Nationwide Series – we only have five sets of tires.  That dictates some of the strategy.  That’s what happens sometimes.  I’m really proud of all the guys that work on the Alliance Truck Parts Dodge and I look forward to next week, racing two weekends in a row.”

Penske Racing PR

The saying “there’s no place like home” couldn’t ring more true for Robert Richardson, Jr. in this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Richardson has two mini-milestones to mark this week celebrating his 29th birthday on Monday, April 4, and is making his 75th-career NNS start this weekend at TMS. The graduate of nearby McKinney High School, and former high school quarterback-turned-NASCAR-driver, is ready for the comforts of home right now.

In the first five races, the No. 23 Wildlife Conservation Society Dodge of R3 Motorsports has endured their share of bad luck. A late-race crash in the season opener at Daytona, a motor letting go in Bristol and other gremlins popping up during race weekends have all been issues the team – together – has endured and persevered through.

But, the numbers don’t lie in the Owner’s Standings as the sixth NNS race of the year draws near in the Lone Star State.

Currently 32nd in the Owner’s Points, Richardson and the Walter Giles-led team trail 31st by just two points and 30th by four. For the Driver’s Points, Richardson is 23rd in the standings just two markers behind 22nd and trailing 21st by five.

R3 Motorsports PR

RAB Racing with Brack Maggard will feature a new primary sponsor at Texas Motor Speedway as American Ethanol partners with RAB Racing and veteran driver Kenny Wallace for the NASCAR Nationwide Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Friday, April 8th.

“We’re proud that American Ethanol’s partnership with the RAB Racing team will help educate NASCAR fans about ethanol’s benefits for our nation’s environment, economy, and energy security,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “There’s no sport more American than NASCAR and there’s no fuel more American than ethanol.”

Wallace, who is the official voice of Family Farmers and represents Sunoco Green E-15 Ethanol, will drive the No. 09 American Ethanol Toyota Camry, featuring a special black and green paint scheme, in the first night race of the 2011 NASCAR season.

“It is an honor to be chosen as an American Ethanol spokesperson,” Wallace said. “I am very passionate about this subject and excited to spread true knowledge about American Ethanol throughout the United States. I’m proud and excited to go to Texas with American Ethanol as our new sponsor, and most of all I’m looking forward to getting my 10th NASCAR Nationwide Series win.” 

“The RAB Racing team is racing very competitively this season and they are proving to be great proponents for Sunoco Green E15,” said Bart Schott, National Corn Growers Association president. “Kenny understands the important economic and environmental contributions of the nation’s ethanol producers and family corn farmers. As a spokesperson he is helping us reach millions of driving consumers with a positive message about domestic ethanol.”

In addition to a new primary sponsor at the Texas Nationwide Series event, the RAB Racing No. 09 Toyota Camry will also feature a new associate sponsor, The Quality Inn Fort Worth West - Cattle Baron's Hotel.  The hotel is the largest bed and breakfast style hotel in the state of Texas, providing a free ranch house breakfast, free Wi-Fi and newspapers, complimentary beer and wines each evening. For more information, visit

Iowa-based Northland Oil is pleased to join NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Michael Annett in a multi-race sponsorship program aboard Rusty Wallace Racing's No. 62 Toyota Camry. Northland Oil will launch their partnership next week at Texas Motor Speedway as Des Moines, Iowa native Annett pilots the No. 62 Northland Oil Toyota Camry in the Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Friday, April 8.

Northland Oil's 2011 venture into NASCAR isn't the first time the Waterloo, Iowa company has showed a presence in the sport. The Northland Oil brand had success partnering with Annett for Iowa Speedway's inaugural Nationwide Series race in 2009 where they finished 11th. The duo again teamed together in 2010 at Iowa Speedway and brought home a seventh place finish. Northland Oil also has an existing partnership with Iowa Speedway, Annett's home track, where they've served as presenting sponsor for both of Iowa Speedway's Nationwide Series events.

"We're very excited to add Northland Oil to our 2011 sponsorship lineup. There are several elements to this partnership that make it unique. Not only do my roots trace back to Northland Oil's homeland, but my team owner Rusty Wallace has a tie to that area as well with his ownership of Iowa Speedway. This makes for the perfect opportunity to grow our already existing relationship with the Northland Oil brand," said Annett.

Northland Oil's Eric Petersen said, "We're really looking forward to seeing the No. 62 Northland Oil car out on the track in Texas. We've enjoyed working with Michael in the past, and we're excited to branch our support into his new program at Rusty Wallace Racing. Racing with Michael at Iowa Speedway has been great for us and we're pleased to extend that partnership into another one of NASCAR's markets this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway."

The Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 is Northland Oil's first NASCAR event outside of Iowa borders.

"Although competing under the Northland Oil banner back at home in Iowa is special, expanding into one of their other markets is very exciting. We're really looking forward to developing Northland Oil's brand through NASCAR, and what better way to do it than to give them a top-notch performance next week at Texas," said Annett.

In addition to the Nationwide Series event at Texas Motor Speedway, Annett will also be behind the wheel of Rusty Wallace Racing's No. 62 Northland Oil Toyota Camry at Iowa Speedway. For live coverage of the Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, tune to ESPN2 at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, April 8.


Rusty Wallace Racing

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