Elliott Sadler Moves To Joe Gibbs Racing

Brian Scott

(WOMR file photo)

It was announced, and made official, after the Ford Championship Weekend that Elliott Sadler is now employed by Joe Gibbs Racing.  The rumor was that Sadler was going to fun a full-time Nationwide schedule and possibly a partial Sprint Cup schedule.  However, JGR president, J. D. Gibbs, laid the partial Sprint Cup schedule to rest, stating that the partial Sprint Cup ride was not in the plans, presently.

OneMain Financial announced a partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing to be the primary sponsor of the JGR #11 OneMain Financial Toyota driven by Elliott Sadler in the Nationwide Series in 2013. OneMain Financial will also have associate sponsorship on two additional Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide Series entries.

The 2013 season will mark OneMain Financial’s 10th season as a sponsor in NASCAR and they remain committed to the sport and the connections it enables them to make with their customers and employees. Over the last two seasons, the OneMain Racing program with driver Elliott Sadler has recorded 4 wins, 9 poles, 27 top-fives and 48 top-10 finishes in 68 starts.

Additionally, Gibbs said Kyle Busch will return to a part-time Nationwide Schedule for JGR after spending this season splitting a ride in his own organization with his brother Kurt. Kyle Busch reduced his time in the Truck and Nationwide Series this past season in an effort to focus on Cup. He finished 13th in points and missed the Chase.

“With Kyle, not filling his time in Nationwide, racing, that probably caused him more distractions than doing it,” Gibbs said prior to the Nationwide Series banquet, in which JGR won the owner’s title with the #18. “Kyle, he’s kind of motivated being around the sport. He races Late Models and is a great ambassador for NASCAR.”

Gibbs said Busch would split a Nationwide car with several young drivers such as Drew Herring and Darrell Wallace Jr. He said plans also are being put in place for Wallace to drive a Truck Series team for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Gibbs said he was unsure which numbers would be assigned to which drivers at this point.

Still another piece of the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide puzzle falls into place!


JRM Solidifies Team For Regan Smith

Dale Earnhardt,Jr

(WOMR file photo)

Greg Ives, the race engineer for Jimmie Johnson’s historic run of five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships from 2006-10, has been named crew chief for JR Motorsports and driver Regan Smith for the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.

Ives, 33, and Smith, 29, will spearhead JRM’s bid for a 2013 championship in the #5 Chevy. The addition of Ives cements a key piece of the puzzle for 2013 as JR Motorsports continues to streamline its race program.

Following a rigorous push to fund two full-time teams, Kelley Earnhardt-Miller said the company now is preparing for the likelihood of one full-time team in 2013 with Smith and Ives, and one part-time team with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and select drivers. Smith’s #5 Chevy will carry TaxSlayer.com as its primary sponsor for a majority of the events.

“With the final race of the season now in the books, the 2013 season has begun,” Earnhardt-Miller said. “Our goal is always to field two full-time teams  and that could still happen next year with other potential opportunities  but what we have right now is a strong team with Regan and Greg that will compete for a championship, and a part-time team with Dale Jr. that will compete for wins. Our focus is to streamline our company and equip those teams with everything they need to compete at a high level.”

Until now, Ives has spent all nine years of his NASCAR career at Hendrick Motorsports. A native of Bark River, Mich., and a graduate of Michigan Technological University, Ives began as a mechanic in the then 24/48 (now 48/88) shop in 2004 before moving into an engineering role on the #48 team in 2006. That was the same year Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus won their first of five consecutive Sprint Cup championships.(JR Motorsports)

From the tone of this press release, it sounds as if Cole Whitt may be without a ride at JRM for 2013, and that the only sure thing is the sponsorship of Taxslayer.com for Regan Smith!  Maybe Earnhardt-Miller will be able to gather up a group of sponsors that will allow JRM to field a car in 2013 for Cole Whitt as well!


Looking Back On My 2012 Predictions


(WOMR file photo)

With the crowning of the “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski as the 2012 Sprint Cup champion last night at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the official end of the 2012 season was pronounced.  I would like to take some time to reflect back upon the 2012 season as seen through this redneck’s eyes.

Back in January I made some pre-season observations that I would like to revisit to see how my predictions fared out.

I first mentioned the new addition of Kasey Kahne to the Hendrick Motorsports stable.  My thoughts were that Kahne had upgraded his previous status from the now defunct Red Bull Racing.  That was a mild understatement, Kahne ended the season finishing in fifth (5) place after the Homestead race.

My next observation was about A. J. Allmendinger.  “The Dinger” moved from Richard Petty Motorsports over to drive the Penske Racing #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge.  That move was seen as a great move for his semi-stagnant career.  However, Allmendinger’s performance was lackluster at best thorough the first half of the season.  Then at the July Daytona race, the unthinkable happened to “The Dinger”.  NASCAR busted A.J.  for violating the substance abuse policy of NASCAR!  For that offense, Allmendinger was suspended from NASCAR indefinitely, that was pending his successful graduation from NASCAR’s “road to recovery”.

Fortunately A.J. navigated through the prescribed program, and was re-instated back into the NASCAR fold in late October.

I mentioned that Danica Patrick would be running a full Nationwide schedule and a partial Sprint Cup schedule with Stewart-Haas Racing.  Well, folks Ms. Patrick did, in fact, run a full Nationwide and a partial Sprint Cup schedule.  It is WOMR’s opinion that Danica Patrick was extremely mediocre in both series, notwithstanding having mega dollars from GoDaddy.com as her financial backer, she will continue to perform in that same mediocre fashion.!

After Kurt Busch’s sudden termination from Penske Racing, and grasping onto a driving job with James Finch’s Phoenix Racing, I mentioned that KuBu’s career had taken a huge downturn.  That came to fruition with Kurt having to carry the extremely underfunded team on his back.  In doing so, Busch demolished his fair share of race cars, in trying to make that team competitive.  Before the fall Talladega race, it was announced that he would be moving over to Barney Visser’s Furniture Row Racing in 2013.  That move was accelerated, and Kurt took over the ride after Talladega.  The idea was that the team needed to get a head start on the 2013 season.  Unless KuBu has a change of personality his career may have only one more chance to succeed.  There are rumblings that Richard Childress may be interested in Kurt for 2014!

(PS: RCR will need to fill the vacancy left by Kevin Harvick in 2014.)

I also mentioned that Clint Bowyer’s move from Richard Childress Racing to Michael Waltrip Racing was a step backwards for Bowyer.  Man was I wrong about that move!  Up until Bowyer’s arrival at MWR, that team was at best s second tier organization.  However, with the addition of Scott Miller (MWR Director of Competition) and Clint Bowyer from RCR, MWR really began to gel into a winning company.

As the sun set on Homestead Sunday, Bowyer finished the 2012 season in second place in the Sprint Cup standings!  Bowyer’s move to MWR was a giant leap forward!

Stay tuned for more of, what surely will be, the continuation of the 2012 silly season’s moves and grooves.

It is now only 97 days 1 hour and 29 minutes til the green flag drops on the 2013 Daytona 500!




Keselowski Is The 2012 Sprint Cup Champion

Brad Keselowski

(WOMR file photo)

After last week’s race at Phoenix, where Jimmie Johnson’s bad luck and blown right front tire, put Brad Keselowski in the Sprint Cup points lead by 20 points.  There were some NASCAR fans that thought “Blazingly Bad” Brad and his race team might crumble under the pressure that comes with the last race in the season, and the pressure of the Sprint Cup championship.  However, those naysayers were greatly disappointed after the culmination of the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Instead, it was five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, and his Hendrick Motorsports team, that succumbed to the pressures.  It was late-race problems in the pits, and under the hood, that sent the #48 car off the pace, and then behind the wall.  That allowed Keselowski to win the 2012 Sprint Cup championship.

Asked about beating Johnson, Keselowski said, “He’s the best.”

Perhaps, and not just not in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

Keselowski finished 15th, but that was still good enough to get the job done over Johnson, who DNF’d and slipped back one spot to third in the final point standings.

The championship did not come easily on the final day of the season. In fact, with less than 100 laps to go in the race, it appeared Johnson had set himself up for a race victory and a sixth-championship.  He and his team put themselves in that position by using a late-race pit strategy that would have enabled Johnson to stop just one more time for fuel to Keselowski’s two scheduled stops.

Johnson’s bad luck worsened

But on lap 214 of the 267-lap event, the strategy blew up. Johnson brought the HMS Chevrolet to pit road and things did not go well during the stop. Johnson pulled away from his stall with a loose lug nut,  NASCAR ordered Johnson to make another pit stop to correct the error.

The ultimate knife in the heart came just ten laps later.  All hope faded when Johnson returned to pit road with a catastrophic engine problem. The #48 crew pushed the car to the garage, where it sat for the rest of the race.

Interesting facts

Keselowski is only the third driver to win the Sprint Cup championship in just his third complete year in the series.  The other two drivers to accomplish this fete is Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and Jeff Gordon!  Great company, I would say!

At age 28, Keselowski is the eighth-youngest competitor to win a first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. Keselowski previously won the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series title, owner Penske’s first in NASCAR. He joins Bobby Labonte as the only drivers to win both a NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

For owner Roger Penske, the wait that began before Keselowski was born (1984) finally is over. Penske Racing, which entered the NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 1972, ended the longest non-championship streak among current ownership. Penske’s best previous finish was second in 1993 with NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Rusty Wallace.

So the long 38 week 2012 Sprint Cup season has come to a conclusion at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the coronation of a new Sprint Cup champion.  The off-season has officially begun, and there will be more announcements of driver/crew chief changes that will most assuredly occur in the next few weeks.

However, it is only 98 days until the 2013 Daytona 500!

See you at the track!



It Is Ford Championship Sunday

Brad Keselowski

(WOMR file photo)

After 38 weeks of a grinding, grueling race season, the culmination is at hand!  Who will be the last man standing?  The championship has dwindled down from the twelve drivers that made The Chase, to just “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski and “Mr Five-Time”, Jimmie Johnson.

Which one of these two race teams, the Penske Racing #2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski, or the five-time champion Hendrick Motorsports #48 Lowe’s Chevy, driven by Jimmie Johnson will survive and emerge as the the 2012 Sprint Cup champion?

In about five hours one of the two above mentioned race car drivers will emerge as the 2012 Sprint Cup champion.  The question of who has conquered the race track, the media hype, and the grueling stress of the longest season in professional sports to crowned the 2012 champion will be celebrated by all of NASCAR.

As the pre-race festivities begin, with all the media hoopla, and the Kid Rock concert, even before cars are grided on pit road prior to the start of the race, it is a time for two race teams, Johnson and Keselowski, to gather their thoughts, insure that all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.  They must be ready to perform with perfection.

The mind games are over.  

“It is time to let the big dog eat”!

For me, it is time to jump into my favorite comfy seat, pull my belts down, pull my gloves up, get a Sprite Zero, and hang on loosely!!



New Look For 2013 Sprint Cup Cars


NASCAR unveiled a new look for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, an integral and exciting step in the roll-out process of the sixth generation race car.

“These changes are an extension of the unprecedented collaboration with the auto manufacturers on the 2013 car, great industry feedback and our focus on increasing fan affinity as part of NASCAR’s Industry Action Plan,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, who introduced the new design at Homestead-Miami Speedway today.

The sixth-generation car look will debut with the opening of the 2013 Speedweeks, highlighted by the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on February 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

Among the changes/updates:

-The driver’s last name featured on the windshield;
-Sponsor decals will not be permitted on the headlights and tail lights, two key distinguishing characteristics          of the auto manufacturers’ brand;
-Car numbers will be moved from the lights to the front and rear bumpers;
-A single sponsor logo will be permitted on the roof under the number;
-Team sponsor decals will be permitted to extend past the front edge of the b-post;
-“Step and repeat” / background patterns will be permitted on the sides of the car;
-Due to the slightly smaller car, the car number will be reduced by 10%, and the contingency decals will be reduced to 26 square inches.

The 2013 Sprint Cup cars are going to be a refreshing new look.  These cars will have more of a manufacturers look.  This will reflect back to the days when a Ford or a Chevy, on the NASCAR race track, looked like a Ford and a Chevy!



Cale Gale Grinds Kyle Busch Into The Fence For The Win At Homestead


(WOMR file photo)

Another first time winner in the Camping World Truck Series occurred Friday night in The Ford EcoBoost 200 at Miami-Homestead Speedway.  In fact, it was the sixteenth (16) different winner on the 22 race season!

The finish of the race was fairly wild as Kyle Busch and Cale Gale crossed the finish line banging and beating up on each other.   The margin of victory was .014 seconds.  It reminded me of the Kurt Busch and Ricky Craven finish at the Southern 500 several years ago at Darlington!

After the race, the two drivers offered their views on the final laps.

Gale claimed the first victory of his career in a green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the race six laps beyond its scheduled distance of 134 laps. As he and Busch exited the final turn, Gale pinched Busch’s No. 18 Toyota against the outside wall, taking the checkered flag by a nose in a shower of sparks.

“I got drove into the fence,” Busch said. “That’s it. You saw it.”

Gale didn’t disagree.

“It’s not my style, but I knew that, if I could pinch him a little bit, I could get the advantage, and pretty much, that’s what I was thinking at that point,” Gale said. “A guy like me, it’s my first opportunity to come down for the checkered flag in a NASCAR race.

“Kyle’s a racer. He’s been in the same position I’ve been in. We’ve all seen hungry racers get an opportunity and take it. That’s what you have to do in this sport. He owes me, but I saw the checkers in the final race. That’s all I can say…

“When it comes down to the final straightaway to win at Homestead in the last race, and your first NASCAR win, I believe anybody would do it.”

I would think that Cale Gale will be racing next season looking out of his rear view mirror, in truck races that Kyle Busch is entered.  Knowing the psyche of ol KyBu, he will be laying low for Mr. Gale, when the opportunity prevails for ol Kylie, he will wad up Mr. Gale’s race truck!  It is called payback!

However the big prize, the Camping World Truck Series championship, was James Buescher’s!

James Buescher won the 2012 Camping World Truck Series championship Friday night with a 13th-place  finish in the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The championship was his first in the series and gave team owner Steve Turner of Turner Motorsports his first title.

Rookie Ty Dillon of Richard Childress was involved in a wreck with Kyle Larson with just two laps to go and running second – and just a point behind Buescher – in the race.

He finished 25th in the race and third in points.

This year’s runner-up for the championship is Timothy Peters of Red Horse Racing.

One champion crowned, two more to go.

Who will be the last man standing?



Danica/RCR Nationwide Deal in 2013?

Danica Patrick

(WOMR file photo)

Even though the green and black GoDaddy Danica Patrick memorabilia will be plentiful at Miami-Homestead, fewer of the #7 numbered merchandise will be in stock.  It seems like her orange #7 merchandise is dwindling, much like her tenure with JR Motorsports.

Even though both camps are pleased with what they’ve done together, and even though Patrick hopes to race around 10 Nationwide events next season, the season-ending Nationwide Series race here Saturday could mark the official end of Patrick’s tenure with her present employer, JR Motorsports. While JR Motorsports has shepherded her to the precipice of the Sprint Cup career, she will begin full-time with Stewart-Haas Racing next season in the #10 Chevy, ultimately, differing business needs could split them. And if they do, Richard Childress Racing might be her next Nationwide destination.

Team vice president of competition at RCR, Mike Dillon, said the team has discussed with Patrick’s representatives the possibility of fielding a program for her, either in conjunction with Dillon’s youngest racing son, Ty Dillon, a partial schedule in the RCR #33 Chevy, or in another car utilizing a research and development team as her crew. “We would love to run Danica,” he said. “We think we could do a lot with her. It looks like it would be eight to 10 races. We’re talking back and forth about it. If we had the opportunity to do it and do it right, put her in a winning situation, we want to do it.”

JR Motorsports wants to do it, too, but has to concentrate first on what it hopes is a two-car, full-time effort in Nationwide next season. Regan Smith is set in the #5 Chevy. Cole Whitt is moving to a #7, however, JRM still has to help secure major funding. A third part-time race team, the JRM #88 will be used for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s partial schedule.  There may be a scheduling conflict between Dale Jr. and Patrick.  It appears that they would want to drive in some of the same races, and that just won’t work.(ESPN)

It appears that there are at least two organizations that might be vying for a little of that GoDaddy.com money that seems to accompany this, average at best, race car driver!  It appears that like politics, money talks and BS walks in NASCAR!


Harvick Taking Bud And Jimmy Johns With Him To SHR?

Kevin Harvick

(WOMR file photo)

According to an article written by Dave Moody on November 15th on his Godfather Motorsports.com web site, Kevin Harvick is taking the Budweiser and Jimmy Johns sponsorships with him when he migrates to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014.

According to Moody:

Reports surfaced last week that Harvick will bolt from Richard Childress Racing at the conclusion of his current contract to race full-time for Stewart Haas Racing in 2014. And while neither Harvick, Childress, nor SHR co-owner Tony Stewart have confirmed the move, a spokesman for Stewart admitted the team would love to sign a driver of Harvick’s caliber, if he were to become available. Now, multiple sources speaking on the condition of anonymity say that when the move comes, it will also include the sponsors that backed the No. 29 team in a combined 26 races this season; 20 for Budweiser and six for Jimmy John’s.
Budweiser’s parent company, Anheuser Busch, has traditionally chosen to align itself with individual drivers, rather than race teams. In the past, Budweiser has backed an all-star roster of drivers that includes former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Terry Labonte, Darrell Waltrip and Bill Elliott, along with Geoff Bodine, Ken Schrader, Ricky Craven, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Kasey Kahne. In Harvick, sources say the company believes they have a “man’s man” type of driver who appeals to the brand’s core demographic group.
As a result, A-B has reportedly agreed to accompany Harvick when he changes teams at the end of the 2013 campaign. Jimmy John’s has been a NASCAR sponsor since 2009, when it debuted on the quarter panels of Kevin Harvick, Inc.’s No. 33 Nationwide Series entries. They moved to Harvick’s RCR-owned Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet when KHI closed its doors at the end of last season. (godfathermotorsports.com)


This revelation is very interesting!  Now the next possibility would be that, now that the cat’s out of the bag, will Harvick, RCR, and SHR try to come up with a deal that may let Harvick “run” to the SHR stable earlier, rather than be a lame duck with RCR for 2013?

Stay tuned race fans, this could get very interesting in the off-season!



Did NASCAR Apply The Rules Evenly?

Jeff Gordon

(WOMR file photo)

NASCAR has spoken regarding the incident between  “Mr. Four-Time”, Jeff Gordon, and Clint Bowyer last Sunday at Phoenix.  Actually, NASCAR issued more of a whisper than an edict!

NASCAR announced penalties to three teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions at Phoenix International Raceway.

Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 car, was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing),  altercation with another competitor on the race track during the race.  Gordon has been fined $100,000, docked 25 championship driver points, and put on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Rick Hendrick, owner of the #24 car, has also been penalized with the loss of 25 championship owner points.

Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the #24 car, also was found to be in violation of Section 9-4A (at all events, crew chief assumes responsibility of his driver, car owner and team members).   Gustafson has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

Brian Pattie, crew chief of the #15 car, violated Sections 12-1 and 9-4A, has been fined $25,000, and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 car, has been fined $25,000, placed on probation until Dec. 31 for violating Sections 12-1 and 20-6.7A (cars and drivers will not be permitted to carry onboard computers, automated electronic recording devices, electronically actuated devices, power distribution modules, power conditioners, micro-processors, recording devices, electronic digital memory chips, traction control devices, digital readout gauges and the like, even if inoperable or incomplete).  Keselowski had a cell phone in his possession onboard the race car. All of these violations occurred during the Nov. 11 event at PIR.

Statement From Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition: “Following a thorough analysis of the actions that took place during Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway, we have issued penalties based upon our review. The decisions announced today cover NASCAR’s full assessment of penalties for the incidents that occurred. There’s no doubt that a unique set of circumstances combined with a championship battle on the line resulted in raw emotions coming into play. We consider the penalties appropriate and those involved understand our decision and we expect them to abide by them.”(NASCAR)

How many of you remember an incident between ol Kylie Busch and Ron Hornaday last November at the Texas Motor Speedway?  It was  an incident that looked a lot like the what happened last Sunday at PIR with Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer.

If I  remember correctly, NASCAR parked KyBu for the weekend last November in Texas, Busch missed both the Nationwide and the Sprint Cup races, in addition NASCAR issued some pretty hefty fines and probation, for both driver and race team.  Can someone explain the differences between that on track road rage at Texas, and “Mr. Four-Time’s” retaliation against Clint Bowyer at Phoenix.  I am really having a very difficult time trying to distinguish the differences.

Both Kyle and Jeff each retaliated by maliciously helping another car try to knock down the crash wall!  I do not see any differences in the circumstances, whatsoever.

Maybe the biggest difference is Jeff Gordon is a four-time champion of the series.  Whereas, ol Kylie is one of the noted bad boys of the series.

Does being a past champion of the series, or possibly the most popular driver, or for that matter the most disliked driver in the series, make a difference in how NASCAR dispenses justice?  Quite honestly, neither of these qualities should be enough to differ how justice is dispensed.

Is there any doctrine that NASCAR uses in applying equal justice and penalties to all parties, like our Constitution’s “equal justice under the law” doctrine?  Apparently not!  It is quite evident that the powers to be in NASCAR have failed miserably over the years in applying equal penalties to all parties for rules infractions!

It should not matter if you are Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, or Morgan Shepard, the penalties imposed by NASCAR, for rules infractions by the competitors, should be the same, period!  By not being uniform across the board in their assigning penalties and fines, NASCAR looses much credibility within the racing community.

What are your views?