JOE NEMECHEK - 11/19/1934 - NEMCO MOTORSPORTS is owned by driver Joe Nemechek and his family. The team has had success, winning the 1992 Busch Series Championship. The team competed in both Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series competition, running for the Xfinity Series points title. The original car in the NEMCO stable, the No. 87 car debuted in 1989 at North Carolina Speedway as the No. 88 Buick with Nemechek finishing 33rd after an engine failure. The car switched to the No. 87 and ran full-time in 1990 with sponsorship from Master Machine & Tool. Nemechek had five top-tens and was named NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year. After jumping to sixth in points the following year, Nemechek and the team won two races and the Busch Series championship in 1992. After Nemechek failed to win the championship again in 1993, he left for Larry Hedrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup
Series. He continued to drive the No. 87 part-time in the Xfinity Series for several years. Nemecheck ran his first Cup race in 1993 driving the Dyntine sponsored #87. He started 15th; but broke a motor part and finished 36th. In 1994 driving for Hedrick he posted a best finish of third at Pocono. In 1995 Joe started his own Cup team and he was an owner/driver for all of 1995-1996 with Burger King as a full time sponsor. He posted a best finish of third at New
Hampshire. From 1997-2000 Nemechek drove for various owners and during that time posted four Cup wins. His Xfinity and Truck Series teams raced sporadically during this same time span; and NEMCO did post eight wins in the Xfinity series during this time. In 2009 Nemechek revived NEMCO Motorsports back into a full time Cup team and once again was an owner / driver through 2013. Most of the races during this span he ran with very little sponsorship, or no sponsorship at all. As would be expected; he didn't run well, and failed to post even a top ten finish during this time. During this same time frame; he also fielded a full time Xfinity team for which he drove. His best finish was a third in 2001 at Talladega. In 2013 Joe's son John Hunter Nemechek broke into NASCAR running two races for his Dad in the NASCAR Truck Series. His first start would come in
the #22 truck with Wood Pellet Grills as a sponsor. It would come at Martinsville with the 16 year old finishing 16th on the lead lap. Due to his young age he only ran 10 races in 2014; as he was restricted to smaller tracks on the NASCAR Circuit. Joe would wheel the truck for the other 12 races that season. Still, in his ten starts that season he posted one top 5 finish and six finishes in the top 10. In 2015 he missed some races while waiting to turn 18 when he would be able to run all the races in the Truck Series. He posted his first win for NEMCO's Truck Series team. The win would come at Chicagoland in
September, passing Kyle Larson with two laps to go after Larson ran out of fuel. It was the first win for NEMCO in any series since a Busch Series race at Kansas in October 2004 He finished the year on a high note finishing second in three of his last four starts. In 2016 John Hunter was able to run all 23 of the Truck Series races and posted two wins. He would win early in the season at Atlanta and also win at the road course of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville Ontario. He qualified for NASCAR's Chase; but had issues in the first round and ended up finishing eighth in points. Also we would see Joe Nemechek back behind the wheel; entered in Truck Series races. On most
occasions Joe drove a start-n-park entry. Still not having a full time high dollar sponsor the teams took every opportunity to earn whatever winnings it could to try and get tokeep John Hunters truck competitive. In 2017
ROD OSTERLUND - 11/19/1934 - - - -Rod Osterlund was a NASCAR Winston Cup Series car owner spanning from 1977–1981, and then again from 1989 - 1991. He earned his money off rental property in California. Osterlund's first race as a car owner was at the 1977 Cam 2 Motor Oil 400 while his final race as a car owner as at the 1991 Daytona 500. Rod Osterlund started his first team in 1977 with a bevy of drivers behind the wheel. His first race saw little known Roland Wlodyka at the controls. After transmissions issues Roland finished 29th. Wlodyka might better be remembered for being a crew chief and helping launch the career of Dale Earnhardt. Sam Sommers posted the best finish for Osterlund’s team that season finishing 14th at North Wilkesboro. In 1978 saw Osterlund branch out and fielded three cars. Wlodyka drove the #98, while Dave Marcis would wheel the #2, and Neil Bonnett would pilot the #5. Marcis had a strong year for the fledgling team as he posted 14 top five finishes along with 24 top 10’s in his 30 starts. He finished fifth in points. Bonnett also had a respectable season posting seven top fives, and 12 top 10’s. In 1979 Osterlund hired some up-start green rookie named Dale Earnhardt, to wheel the Chevy. Osterlund would visit victory lane after only seven starts when Earnhardt won at Bristol. Osterlund also went to victory lane in 1979 with David Pearson who was subbing for Dale Earnhardt, who had a hard crash at Pocono in July. Dale would not miss another race until his death. Pearson ran four
races as a relief driver for Earnhardt and posted a seventh at Bristol, a fourth at Michigan, and second at Talladega and he pulled off a win at Darlington in the Southern 500. Pearson is shown here in the black and white picture. Earnhardt went on to win Rookie of the Year, and then the championship in 1980. Osterlund sold this team to J.D. Stacy in the middle of the 1981 season. Earnhardt drove four races for Stacy before he left for greener pastures at Richard Childress Racing. In 1989 Osterlund would make another attempt in the NASCAR Cup Series. He hired Hut Stricklin wheeling the #57 car. Stricklin would have a season best finish of fourth; while posting four top 10 finishes. Jimmy Spencer drove the #57 in 1990 but posted even worse results. He only posted two top
David Pearson - Southern 500
10 finishes (an 8th and a 9th). Osterland's last start as an owner came in the 1991 Daytona 500. Buddy Baker was hired to Osterlund owner #88 U.S. Marines sponsored Pontiac. Baker would start 16th but would finish 37th after his engine expired.
Cotton Owens - 5/21/1924 - 6/7/2012 - his career started in 1950 as an owner /driver in the NASCAR Cup Series. Owens would enter a few races over the next several seasons without a win. Cotton's first win came on February 17, 1957 at the series' premiere event: The Daytona Beach and Road Course. Owens once drove a 1957 Pontiac to victory; the win was also Pontiac's first NASCAR win. In 1959, Owens finished second to Lee Petty in the race for the NASCAR championship, although he did not enter many Cup races, as he preferred the Modified circuit which at this time had bigger crowds, faster cars and higher purses to be won. Though Cotton only won one race that season (at Richmond International Raceway), Cotton was making a name for himself as a racer. He attempted 37 races that season, with 22 Top 10s and 13 Top 5s. In 1961 he had his most productive season with 11 Top 5s and four wins in only 17 starts. He had a win at his hometown of Spartanburg, SC. (Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds). As Cotton transitioned to NASCAR's Grand
National "Stock Car" division, he would cement his place among the sport's elite drivers building and driving Pontiacs wearing his now signature red and white color scheme and infamous #6. What made Owens great was not only his driving ability, but his mechanical aptitude and car preparation that made him a force to be reckoned with wherever he raced, on dirt or on pavement. Cotton would capture 5 Grand National victories through 1960-62 as a driver, and would also put several notable drivers behind the wheel, including Bobby Johns, Ralph Earnhardt, Marvin Panch, Fireball Roberts, Junior Johnson, and fellow Spartanburger David Pearson, who was making a name for himself as an up-and-coming driver.
Cotton Owens Garage would earn six victories during these years, as well as 31 Top Fives and 38 Top Ten finishes, and 5 Pole Positions. Owens would put his Pontiac on Pole for the 1960 Daytona 500 and also shatter the qualifying record at Darlington with a 126.146 mph average speed. In 1962 he hired legendary driver and car owner Junior Johnson. He also started his relationship with fellow Spartanburg resident David Pearson. He came out of retirement in 1964 to prove that he could beat Pearson. He beat Pearson in his final career win (at Richmond). Two races later he finished second in his final career race (to Ned Jarrett). In 1963, Cotton would sign with Dodge as a factory team, fielding a stable of race cars. Owens built a new 20,000 sf garage behind his home, which would be the epicenter of racing in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Although the team would not win a race in their first season with Dodge, they did earn 17 Top 5 and 34
Top 10 finishes, as well as 2 pole positions. Chrysler released the hemispherical combustion chamber engine in 1964 and took stock car racing to a new level. 1964 would be the breakout season for the Cotton Owens team, with Owens tapping the Hemi's potential and hotshoe David Pearson capturing 8 wins on the Grand National circuit, 29 Top Fives, and 42 Top Ten finishes. That success would soon be interrupted, however, as the Hemi powerplant proved to be so dominant that NASCAR banned the Hemi from competition in mid-1965, and Chrysler in turn boycotted NASCAR racing. They ran a Hemi in the back of a Dodge Dart drag racing car. They ran nitro and alcohol in the Experimental class. They returned to NASCAR in 1966, and they won the Grand National Championship. They
parted ways early in the 1967 season. During their six seasons together Owens and Pearson combined for 27 wins in 170 races With dwindling factory and fan support following NASCAR's ban of the Hemi from competition in 1965, NASCAR relented in 1966 and again changed the rules to allow the Hemi back on the track, with concessions made for Ford and General Motors to help even the competition. Chrysler was intent on picking up where they left off, and indeed they did, putting full factory support and engineering resources at the disposal of the factory racing teams, with Cotton Owens Garage and the Pettys leading the charge. 1966 would be the breakout year for the Cotton Owens Dodge team, now in
their fourth year and hitting full stride on the NASCAR circuit. WithDavid Pearson as his primary driver and Cotton now out of the driver's seat and working full-time under the hood, they would go on to claim 15 victories on the Grand National tour and capture the NASCAR Championship. With Owens' mechanical wizardry and the Hemi engine powering the COG Dodges they were nearly unbeatable that year, and their successful partnership made hometown Spartanburg very proud indeed. Other notable drivers would climb behind the wheel for Owens in 1966-67, including Buddy Baker, Bobby Isaac, Bobby Allison, Darel Dieringer, Ray Hendrick, Sam McQuagg, and open-wheel hotshoe Mario Andretti who would come South for the big race at Daytona and looked to Cotton to put him in a ride capable of winning. And winning was becoming commonplace at Cotton Owens Garage during its
'Chargin' Charlie Glotzbach
Buddy Baker's 200 mph record run Charger
heyday of the mid 1960s. The end of the 1960s saw the Cotton Owens Garage campaigning Dodges in a variety of form factors designed specifically for maximum performance at different tracks, including the Charger 500 and Charger Daytona that turned NASCAR racing on its head and forever changed the way aerodynamics would affect motor sports competition. Drivers of this era include "leadfoot" Buddy Baker, Chargin' Charlie Glotzbach, Sam Posey, and open-wheel star Al Unser. On March 24 1970, at Talladega International Speedway; Buddy Baker would wheel a Cotton Owen owned Dodge Charger Daytona to an official closed course record of average lap of 200.447
mph; becoming the first man to ever break the 200 mph barrier. Baker's lone win in a Cotton Owens Dodge would come at the Darlington Southern 500 in 1970, a race Cotton wanted to win so badly but which had eluded him as a driver and owner for more than 20 years. Buddy's all-out style would serve him well as he would pilot the Chrysler Engineering blue Daytona #88 to a new closed-course record of better than 200 mph at Talladega on March 24th., 1970. The dawn of the 70s would see the Cotton Owens Garage switch from Dodge to Plymouth, as Chrysler wanted to resurrect the marque by giving it more of a performance edge. The dominance of the Dodge Daytona and Hemi combination had given no choice to NASCAR but to outlaw both the car and the engine, requiring new restrictor plates on the super speedways. For the 1971 season, Cotton Owens teamed up
Buddy Baker's Southern 500 win
with Pete Hamilton, who would pilot his '71 Plymouth Roadrunner to victory lane at the 1971 Daytona 500 qualifier. Hamilton would start a total of 20 races, with 1 Win, 11 Top Fives, and 12 Top Tens. Other drivers included Charlie Glotzbach, Peter Gregg, and yet another Spartanburg native named Dick Brooks. During this era, the same car would often be re-bodied as either a Plymouth Roadrunner or a Dodge Charger, utilizing the same chassis and drive train but updated to keep up with NASCAR rule changes or factory dictates. Another notable fellow to climb behind the wheel of a COG race car during this time was none other than legendary country-western musician Marty Robbins. Marty loved NASCAR racing and as he had the funds to do so, he raced occasionally. His cars were built and maintained by Cotton Owens up until his death in 1982. Marty always tried to race at the big race tracks (Talladega and Daytona) every year, and then a smattering of
the smaller races when time permitted. Pearson's Southern 500 win would be Owens last full length race win. His final win came when Pete Hamilton won a qualifying race for the Daytona 500 in 1971. Owens final race as a car owner would come at the 1971 World 600. Peter Gregg would wheel the familiar #6 one final time. He would start seventh; but he would crash out on lap 34 and finish 37th. For his career as a driver he would run in 160 races; winning nine times. But as a car owner, Owens shined. He fielded cars from 1950-1973. Just a partial list of the all star drivers that sat behind the wheel of his cars include: David Pearson, Fireball Roberts, Junior Johnson, Bobby Isaac, Buddy Baker, Ralph Earnhardt, Jim Paschal,
Pete Hamilton Daytona Qualifying Race Win
Charlie Glotzbach and many others. In all, a total of 25 drivers climbed behind the wheel of Owens' cars in 291races, earning 32 victories and 29 pole positions. In total, as a car owner and as a driver, Owens' career statistics include 41 wins and 38 poles in 487 races; many with David Pearson at the controls. Seven years after being diagnosed with lung cancer, Owens died on June 7, 2012 at the age of 88, just a few weeks after it was announced he would be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame's 2013 class.
RAYMOND PARKS - 6/5/1914 - 6/20/2010 - was the owner of Red Byron's car which won NASCAR's first Strictly Stock (now NASCAR Cup Series) championship in 1949. Parks was the first child of Alfred and Leila Parks and great-great-nephew of settler Benny Parks, who found gold in the state of Georgia in the early nineteenth century. Born in Dawsonville, Georgia, Raymond was the oldest of his father's sixteen children. As a youngster, he was caught buying Prohibition-era corn whiskey for his father and spent three months in jail. Parks left home at age 14 and began hauling moonshine, worked a still near Atlanta and later went into business for himself, bringing liquor from Dawsonville to Atlanta restaurants, hoping his cars could elude the police. Although Prohibition ended in 1933, parts of the South were still dry and business remained good for Parks, who eventually oversaw a fleet of cars running liquor without having paid federal taxes. But he could not outrun the authorities forever, and he served nine months of a one-year and one-day sentence in the federal penitentiary in Chillicothe, Ohio, from 1936 to 1937. Parks served in World
War II during the famous Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. Prior to the founding of NASCAR, Parks was the car owner for moonshine runners and nephews Lloyd Seay and Roy Hall as far back as 1938. Park decided to take his nephews and go racing. In the 'early' days before NASCAR created the Cup Series; the division was know as "Modified". Lloyd Seay began racing in 1938, winning in his first stock car race at Lakewood Speedway; driving a 1934 Ford owned by his cousin Raymond Parks, and tuned by Red Vogt when he was 18 years old. He flipped his car twice during the July 27, 1941 race at the Daytona Beach Road Course and finished fourth. He returned to the track later that year on August 24, 1941 against his cousin Roy Hall in Parks' cars. After starting fifteenth, he led all 50 laps in the race. He won his next race on August 31 at High Point, and left immediately for the Labor Day race at Lakewood Speedway on the following day. He arrived late at the
Lloyd Seay's race car
Red Byron - first NASCAR Cup Champion
event, missing qualifying. He had to start last, and he passed into the lead on lap 35. He battled Bob Flock all afternoon before winning the $450 first prize. It was his last race. He had won three races in 15 days. The next day Seay would be shot and killed over a disagreement over some sugar bought to make moonshine. Roy Hall along with Tim, Bob and Fonty Flock were just a few of the drivers Parks employed to wheel his race cars in the pre-NASCAR era. In December 1947, Parks was among some three dozen racing figures who gathered at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., to create the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing under the direction of the driver and race promoter Bill France Sr. That groundwork turned a loosely organized Southern sport run
on dirt tracks into a national sports spectacle and a marketing powerhouse. Parks’s driver Red Byron, backed by the crew chief Red Vogt, captured the championship of Nascar’s first series: Previously the events for “modified” cars, models built before World War II and were extensively altered for racing. Nascar’s modern championship series got under way in 1949 when it turned to “strictly stock” autos, models built after the war that more closely resembled those that people could buy from a showroom, having been altered only modestly for speed. In 1948-49, with Red Byron as the driver Parks's cars won the first two NASCAR Championships ever awarded; the 'Modified' class in 1948, and the newly formed NASCAR Cup Series. Byron, who overcame severe leg wounds sustained while a tail gunner in World War II, won the ’49 series, driving an Oldsmobile for Parks. Whatever his rough-hewn past in illegal liquor, Parks presented a classy
aura. He attended races in a woolen suit and a fedora, and he insisted that dents in his cars be repaired before they raced again. Just like his dapper appearance he had at the race track; he insisted all his race cars appear at the track as nicely as possible. The wizardry of chief mechanic Red Vogt made sure the mechanical parts were fast and dependable. Parks was one of eight drivers inducted in the first class of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in 2002, along with his nephew Lloyd Seay, Red Byron, Tim Flock, and Bill Elliott. He was inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009. Parks was the "Rick Hendrick" of his time. He was the first multi-car car owner. In 1949 he owned the cars
driven by Red Byron, Bob Flock, and Roy Hall. Byron and Flock finished first and third in the first NASCAR Championship points chase. He also owned the cars of successful drivers Fonty Flock, and Curtis Turner. Parks retired from racing in 1955. As recounted by Neal Thompson in “Driving With the Devil” (2006), a history of Nascar’s roots, Parks told a friend back in the late 1940's how to make a small fortune: “You take a huge fortune, and then you go racing.” Parks was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2017; along with Rick Hendrick, Mark Martin, Benny Parsons and Richard Childress. Parks died on June 20th, 2010. He was 96 years old.
Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Induction
ROGER PENSKE - 2/20/1937 - is the owner of the automobile racing team Penske Racing, the Penske Corporation, and other automotive-related businesses. A winning racer in the late 1950's, Penske was named 1961's Sports Car Club of America Driver of the Year by Sports Illustrated. But few people appreciate how accomplished Penske was as a driver in the seven years he raced from 1958-64, before starting his team and establishing himself as one of the world’s leading independent businessmen. Roger started 155 races during that time and won no fewer than 53, more than a third of them. He also finished in the top five in another 60 races, surely as good a record as any of the greatest drivers. Roger Penske was one of America's most successful young road racers before electing to retire from driving in 1965 to focus on his first
business - a Philadelphia Chevrolet dealership. However, racing remained a key element in Penske's overall business plan. He fielded Corvettes in the 1966 endurance races at Daytona and Sebring prior to joining forces with driver Mark Donohue to campaign a Lola T70 in the USRRC and Can-Am sports car series. After three years of campaigning sedans and sports cars, Penske Racing and Donohue made their debut in Indy car racing, running a pair of USAC-sanctioned road races in 1968. The following year, the team made its debut in the Indianapolis 500 and Donohue finished seventh, earning "Rookie-of-the-Year" honors. With Donohue, Penske Racing quickly made its mark in the USAC Championship Series utilizing high standards of car preparation, presentation and development. Donohue finished second at Indianapolis in
Mark Donahue - Can Am Series
1970 and he recorded the team's first Championship Car victory in the Pocono 500 on July 3, 1971. Donohue earned Penske's first Indianapolis 500 triumph less than a year later. Since then, Team Penske has become synonymous with Indy car racing, with more than 170 race victories, over 200 poles and 13 National Championships. Penske Racing, however, is probably best known for its 16 Indianapolis 500 victories, four with driver Rick Mears and three with Helio Castroneves. Penske made its
NASCAR debut in 1972, the same season the team earned its first Indy 500 victory with Donohue at the wheel. Mark Donohue was driving a factory-sponsored red-white-blue American Motors Matador. It was dubbed the "flying brick" by many noting its squarish aerodynamics. The car finished 39th after rear end problems. Continuing to compete in NASCAR, the Can-Am Series and in Indy cars, Penske Racing also debuted its Formula 1 car in 1970s. His team remains the last American team to win an F1 Grand Prix, the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix. Penske only fielded F1 cars for two Grands Prix in 1971 and from 1974 to 1976, never replicating the success of his Indy and sports cars. Penske's first foray into F1 began at the tail end of the 1971 season. For the two final races, the Canadian
Mark Donahue - NASCAR
Mark Donahue Indy 500 Win - 1972
Grand Prix and the U.S. Grand Prix, Penske sponsored, a McLaren, painting it in the iconic blue and yellow Penske/Sunoco livery. Mark Donohue–who in many ways was Penske's right-hand man–made his F1 debut at Canada, snagging a third place finish. The team managed a 10th place finish at the U.S. Grand Prix and Roger Penske announced his intention to join F1 competition in earnest. In 1973, Penske purchased, a small race car manufacturer in the UK that built Formula 5000. Penske made Heinz Hofer the teams F1 director and directed his new shop to build a new car for the 1974 Canadian Grand Prix. After just a few months of development, the Penske PC1 was complete and
sent overseas to race in the Candian and U.S. Grands Prix, just as Penske had in 1971. Donohue had retired from racing and was working Penske's team manager and engineer. Feeling restless, he helped test the PC1 and convinced Penske to let him race in the 1974 Canadian and U.S. Grand Prix. Donohue finished in a respectable 12th place in Canda, but was forced to drop out of Watkins Glen due to a failed rear suspension. Still, Donohue felt good about Penske's F1 debut, so he decided to run the complete 1975 season with the PC1. The Geoff Ferris designed PC1 was powered by the venerable
Mark Donahue - Formula 1
Donahue Formula 1 crash
Cosworth DFV V8, but it couldn't hope to be competitive in 1975. Despite Penske's big budget, the team remained small too. Donohue's impressive driving skill was outweighed by the PC1's lackluster performance, forcing him to retire from five races. His best result in the PC1 was at the Swedish Grand Prix, where he finished in 5th. For the British Grand Prix, Penske and the boss of sponsor First National City Bank decided to replace the PC1 with a March-Ford 751. Donohue placed 5th at Silverstone, but tragedy struck two races later. At the Austrian Grand Prix, Donohue crashed badly in qualifying and suffered a concussion. He regained consciousness after crashing, but fell unconscious once again at the hospital. An emergency
operation to relive pressure on his brain was unsuccessful and he died from his injuries at age 38. Team Penske sat out the rest of the 1975 season, returning for the final race at Watkins Glen with Irish driver John Watson and a new car, the PC3 Penske signed Watson for the full 1976 season who drove the PC3 for the first six races, before switching to a new car, the PC4, for the rest of the season. The PC4's first race in Sweden wasn't very successful, but Penske showed up at the French Grand Prix with a modified PC4 and finally had a truly competitive car. Watson finished third at both the French and British Grands Prix and got Penske's only F1 win in Austria, the same place where Donohue passed away just a year earlier. After the triumph in Austria, Watson drove his way to a seventh place finish in the Driver's Championship, giving Penske fifth in the constructors championship. Things were looking up for Penske's F1 efforts, but they couldn't manage to secure sponsorship for 1977 and Roger Penske decided to focus more on NASCAR and Indy car. A part time Penske entry was fielded in
John Watson Formula 1 Win
Bobby Allison - 1973
NASCAR's premier series through 1977 with Donohue collecting one victory and Bobby Allison recording four wins. Penske fielded cars for several drivers including Donohue, Dave Marcis, Donnie Allison, and Bobby Allison. The team went full time with Bobby Allison in 1976 with a new, more aerodynamic fastback coupe, finishing 4th in the points. Penske fielded a ride in the Indy 500 for Bobby Allison in 1973 and in 1975. The project didn't do so well and Allison finished 32nd both years with mechanical issues. In 1975 and 1976 Penske would again pair up with Allison again, this time to race in the NASCAR Cup Series. Allison would post three wins in 1975, but would not find victory lane in 1976. But even on the strength of 15 Top 5 finishes he could only muster a fourth place finish in the points. In 1977 Penske driver Tom Sneva would record
the first ever 200 mph lap (200.535 mph) for the Indy 500. He started from the pole; but would finish second in the race behind AJ Foyt who claimed his fourth 500 win. Mario Andretti was also one of the famous drivers to sit in the cockpit of a Penske machine. Although he never won the Indy 500 while in a Penske car; (that dreaded Andretti curse...), he was able to win twice for Penske at other tracks. IN all Andretti would drive 20 races for Penske from the years 1976-1980. In 1979, Penske hot shoe Rick Mears would win the first of his four Indy 500's. Mears would also claim the Indy Car Crown that season and add two additional Championships in 1981 and 1982. Meanwhile; on the NASCAR front; Penske sold his machinery to the Elliott family in 1977 and got out of NASCAR. In 1980, the team fielded two races for Rusty Wallace, finishing 2nd in his first race at
Bobby Allison - 1976
Tom Sneva - first 200 mph lap at Indy
Atlanta. The team didn't run NASCAR for eleven years, returning in 1991 with Wallace at the wheel again, with Rusty moving his Miller beer dollars to the new team; thus Penske Racing South was established in 1991 with Wallace and long-time Penske business associate Don Miller as the team's co-owners. In 1993 Wallace won a career-high 10 races, collects 19 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes, three pole positions and leads the most laps during the season – 2,860 of 10,004 laps. Penske South also won the annual Unocal Pit Crew Championship at Rockingham. Wallace finished second in the series championship battle to Dale Earnhardt Sr. In 1994 In a switch from Pontiac to Ford, Wallace posts a series-leading eight victories, lead the most laps during the season – 2,142 of 10,106 – and was the winning force behind Ford
clinching the NASCAR Manufacturer’s Championship. In open-wheel racing, Penske fielded a three-car team with Al Unser Jr. joining Emerson Fittipaldi and Paul Tracy. Unser Jr. would win eight races en route to the CART Championship. In 1996 Rusty Wallace would visit victory lane five times, which tied him with Buddy Baker for 11th on NASCAR’s all-time wins list. It is his fourth consecutive multiple-victory season and 10th in the last 11 seasons. Due to the split between CART and the Indy Racing League, this is the first year that Penske Racing does not enter a car in the Indianapolis 500 since its first entry in 1969. In 2000 Rusty Wallace would crack the 50-race victory barrier at Bristol in the March 26 Food City 500 and stretches his consecutive-win season to 15. In open-wheel, the team switches to the dominant Honda/Reynard/Firestone package and adds new drivers Gil DeFerran and Helio Castronevez. For 16 straight years,
Rick Mears - 1979
Mario Andretti - 1976 to 1980
Wallace won at least one NASCAR race each season, tying him for third on the all-time list for the most consecutive seasons with at least one victory. He also finished in the top 10 in the series standings in 12 of his 15 seasons driving for Penske Racing. By the end of the 2005 season, 37 of Wallace's 55 career victories had come under the Penske Racing banner. By 2001, Penske Racing flourished as a multi-car NASCAR operation with Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman leading the way on the track. While finding success in NASCAR; Penske continued to show his dominance in the Indy Car world. Bobby Unser won the Indy 500 for Penske in 1981; while Al Unser would win the Indy 500 in 1983 and also claim the Championship that season. He would add a second Championship in 1985. Danny Sullivan was yet another driver to wheel a Penske car owned car first across the yard of bricks, as he won the 1985 Indy 500. Sullivan also claimed the 1988 Indy Car Championship
for Penske. Al Unser Jr followed in his Dad's footsteps as he won the Indy 500 in 1994 while driving for Penske and went on to claim the Championship also that season. In 1993 Emerson Fittipaldi would add another victory for Penske in the Indy 500. Fittipaldi created controversy in victory lane when he drank orange juice instead of the traditional milk. Team Penske first competed in the newly formed Indy Racing League in 2001 and it joined the series full time the following season. Meanwhile Helio Castronevez would wheel the Marlboro sponsored Oldsmobile Dallara to claim yet another Indy 500 victory for Penske; and repeated the feat in 2002.
Rusty Wallace 1991-2005
Bobby Unser 1981 Indy 500 Winner
He would add a third win in 2009. Penske had also hired a young Gil DeFerran to drive the Marlboro livery and he was impressive from the start. DeFerran would claim the 2000 Indy Car Championship and follow that up with another Championship in 2001. The Indy 500 win alluded him; finishing second in 2001 and 10th in 2002. He was able to break threw for "The Captain" in 2003 to finally get the win. In 2000 DeFerran was also able to set a closed course qualifying record when he won the pole at Fontana CA running a blistering lap of 241.428 mph. Sam Hornish Jr. came aboard in 2004 and he led the Penske squad to its first IRL Series title in 2006. Hornish also was the winner at the Brickyard giving Penske his 12th Indy 500 victory. Wallace retired from Cup competition after the 2005
season, closing the door on one of the most storied careers in racing. Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Cup titleholder, joined Penske Racing in 2006 as Wallace transitioned to the broadcast booth. More than 30 years after winning at the highest levels of sports car racing, Penske returned to its roots late in the 2005 season, announcing an LMP2-class effort with Porsche in the American Le Mans Series. The squad had a remarkable homecoming, capturing the class championship with Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr in '06 before again earning titles in '07 and '08 with teammates Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas. Proven winners Busch and Ryan Newman led the charge for the Penske Racing NASCAR program in 2008 with Hornish Jr. joining the mix for his first full season of stock car racing. Highlighted by a dramatic 1-2 finish in the Daytona 500 with Newman securing
Al Unser Indy 500 Winner 1983
Danny Sullivan '85 Indy Champ & '88 Series Champ
Penske's first win in the "Great American Race" and Busch finishing a close second. In '09, David Stremme joined the team's NASCAR Cup Series lineup alongside Hornish and Busch. Kurt earned two wins and finished fourth in the Chase for the Cup Series title. Rising NASCAR star Justin Allgaier ran the team's first full Nationwide Series season with new partner Verizon Wireless, and Allgaier captured series Rookie-of-the-Year honors. Castroneves cemented his position as one of the all-time greats in the history of the Indianapolis 500 as he earned his third victory at the Brickyard and the 15th victory in the legendary race for Team Penske. The 2010 season stood out as one of the best in the history of the storied organization. In his first year with the team, Brad Keselowski captured Penske Racing's first NASCAR championship as he earned the
Nationwide Series crown behind five wins, six poles a record 26 top-five finishes. Busch posted two victories and a win in the NASCAR All-Star race while qualifying for the Chase before finishing 11th in the series standings. Operating with a full-season three-car team for the first time in nearly 15 years, driver Will Power led the way for Team Penske in the IZOD Indy Car Series. He paced the series with five wins and a record eight poles and captured the inaugural Mario Andretti Road Course championship before finishing as series runner-up. Castroneves posted three wins and Briscoe added another victory for Team Penske. The winning tradition continued in 2011 as Power paced the Verizon Indy Car Series with six wins and eight poles. After winning his second straight Mario Andretti Road Course title, Power once again finished second in a close battle for the overall series crown.
Al Unser Jr 1987 & 1994 Indy 500 Champ
Emerson Fittipaldi 1993 Indy 500 Winner
Penske Racing qualified each of its cars for the Chase as both Keselowski and Busch pursued the NASCAR Cup Series championship. Keselowski finished fifth in the title chase with three wins and one pole while Busch earned a pair of victories and three pole positions. Keselowski also continued his torrid Xfinity Series production as he scored five wins and four poles. Hornish scored his first-ever NASCAR victory with a win in Phoenix in the Xfinity Series and earned a full-time ride in 2012. A milestone was achieved in 2012 as Penske Racing earned it's first-ever NASCAR Cup Series Championship. Keselowski and the No. 2 Miller Lite team scored three victories during the regular season. They then followed that with two more wins during the Chase to bring Penske Racing the coveted Cup Title. Hornish scored his
first-ever NASCAR pole in the XFINITY Series event at Watkins Glen and went on to finish a NASCAR career best fourth-place in the Xfinity Series Championship. Ryan Blaney made his debut as a Penske Racing driver earning a runner-up finish at Texas and five top-10 finishes in just seven starts in the Xfinity Series. The 2013 racing season was a winning campaign that saw the organization claim another championship while battling for series titles at all three levels of competition. Every driver that competed for Penske Racing visited Victory Lane in 2013. As the team joined Ford Racing in NASCAR and welcomed Joey Logano to its ranks, both he and Keselowski won Cup Series races for their respective teams. Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team qualified for the Chase as they fought for the series title. Keselowski, Logano, Ryan Blaney and AJ Allmendinger all won in the No. 22 Discount Tire/Hertz Ford Mustang as the team claimed the Nationwide Series
Gil DeFerran - Qualifying Record 241 mph
Gil DeFerran 2000 & 2001 Series Champ
owner's title for the 25th national championship in the organization's storied history. Both Castroneves and Power continued their winning ways for the Team Penske Indy Car program in 2013. Behind a win at Texas and a remarkable 16 top-10 finishes in 19 races, Castroneves led the championship most of the season before he finished as series runner up. Shortly after the season ended, it was announced that winning racer Juan Pablo Montoya would join Castroneves and Power on the team for 2014. The 2014 racing season may go down as the best yet in the rich history of Team Penske. Across all levels of competition the organization enjoyed its winningest season to date with 22 victories overall. The totals included a record 11 NASCAR Cup Series wins as Keselowski led the series with six victories and Logano wasn't far behind with
five trips to Victory Lane. It was also a championship season for Team Penske in the Verizon Indy Car Series as Power claimed the elusive crown behind three victories in the No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet. The team finished 1-2 in the title chase as Castroneves, who earned one win on the year, finished second in the standings. Montoya also had a strong return season to Indy Car competition as he finished fourth in the championship with a victory at Pocono. The Penske team earned titles in two of the three series where it competed. Penske also reunited with past NASCAR driver Kurt Busch as Kusch pulled the "Indy / NASCAR Double". Busch ran the Indy 500 and finished as
Helio Castronevez Indy Wins 2001, 2002 & 2009
Kurt Busch - 2006
impressive sixth in his first ever ride in an Indy car; then went to Charlotte to race in the Coke 600 later that same day. Kurt also went on to finish sixth in the 600. He completed all 1,100 miles in the races; becoming the first driver to do so. Will Power claimed Team Penske’s first Verizon Indy Car Series Championship since 2006 and the organization’s 13th Indy Car title overall. After the season concluded, Team Penske also announced that it would expand to a four-car operation for the first time in history with productive and talented French racer Simon Pagenaud joining the team beginning with the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series. For the first time in its history, Team Penske produced victories in the biggest races of the year in the same season and the organization once again fought for the championship in both NASCAR and INDYCAR competition; as the team won at every level of competition.
Joey Logano got the year started right with his first Daytona 500 victory and the second win for Team Penske in the "Great American Race". Montoya made a clean sweep at Indy for the month of May as he won his second Indianapolis 500 and the record 16th Indy 500 victory for the team; team mate Will Power won the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course two weeks before. In his second season with Team Penske, Montoya had a banner year in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2015. The popular Colombian won the season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg and then produced his second win in the Indianapolis 500, and Team Penske's record 16th victory at Indy, in May. Montoya led
Ryan Newman Daytona 500 Win
Penske with Daytona and Indy Trophies
the championship standings all the way until the very end as he finished second on a tiebreaker to Scott Dixon. Logano added five more victories, including a remarkable three straight in the Chase. Keselowski continued his winning ways by posting a win at Auto Club Speedway and earning another trip to the Chase before he wound up seventh in the championship. Team Penske claimed its third consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series Owners'Championship with Logano, Keselowski and Ryan Blaney teaming up to win for the No. 22 Ford team. Celebrating its 50th season of competition in 2016, the organization fulfilled its promise to make it a year to remember. In NASCAR, both Keselowski and Logano once again earned spots in the Chase with Keselowski producing four wins and Logano claiming three victories on the year and a $1 million payday by capturing the annual NASCAR All-Star race at Charlotte. Logano also claimed both of the team's Xfinity Series wins and he raced his way to the Championship Round of the Chase and
battled for the Cup Series title down to the very last lap before finishing as series runner-up behind Jimmie Johnson. Team Penske produced once of its most complete seasons in years in the Verizon Indy Car Series claiming the top three positions in the 2016 championship. In just his second year with the team, Pagenaud took control of the point standings after the second race of the season and he never looked back. He won three consecutive races to take control and sealed it with a pair of wins in the final five races, including a dominant win from the pole at Sonoma Raceway in the season finale with the championship on the line. It marked his first Indy Car title and Team Penske's 14th open-wheel championship. After missing the first race of the season with an illness, Power came back strong and produced four victories en route to a runner-up result in
Will Power 2014 Indy Series Champ
Kurt Busch 2014 Indy - 6th place finish
the title chase while Castroneves had another strong season to finish third overall. 2017 was another great year for Team Penske Racing. In NASCAR, Joey Logano won a race at Richmond to automatically qualify him for the Chase; but he failed post-race tech and the win was considered "encumbered"; thus meaning the win would NOT automatically move him into the Chase. He would have to win again to get in. Over the next 14 races he would only have four finishes better than 21st. His team seemed to lose it's momentum after the set back and Logano wasn't able to post another win the rest of the season. However, Brad Keselowski ran well posting a win at Atlanta and Martinsville early in the season and making the Chase. He was in a must-win situation when the Chase moved to Talladega and he pulled off a win to move to the semi-final round of
the Chase. On the Indy Car side of things; Penske fielded cars for Simon Pagenaud, Helio Castronevez, Will Power and Josef Newgarden. Pagenaud has a great season winning twice, and posting 13 Top 5 finishes in 17 starts, but could only get manage as second place in points as team mate Newgarden was able to edge Pagenaud for the Championship by 13 was able to edge Pagenaud for the Championship by 13points. Newgarden posted four wins and ten Top 5 finishes. Power posted three wins, but was only able to post nine Top 5 finishes and ended up fifth in points. Castronevez was fourth in points as he posted consistent finishes all season with all but one finish outside the top ten. Castronevez did have a strong car in the Indy did have a strong car in the Indy 500 and just missed getting his fourth win, finishing second to Takuma
Simon Pagenaud 2016 Indy Series Champ
Josef Newgarden 2017 Indy Series Champ
Sato. Penske recently purchased the old Matsushita air conditioning plant in Mooresville, NC and reconditioned it to consolidate his racing empire. Now, all of Penske's racing operations are under one massive roof, with his IndyCar, NASCAR, and American Le Mans Series (through 2009) teams sharing over 424,000 square feet of space encompassing 105 acres. The shop includes all the necessary pieces to compete on the highest level in all of his racing endeavors, including a state-of-the-art, in-house wind tunnel. To complete the facilities, Penske imported over one million tons (250,000 pieces) of Italian marble. A video tour of the Penske Facility is posted here. (it starts off in a foreign language, but switches to English shortly).
A video on how Penske got involved in racing is here; and a Video of Penske's Indy 500 success is here. To date as a NASCAR owner Penske has accumulated 104 wins in 1759 races. Rusty Wallace finished second in the CUP points for him in 1993. Penske's drivers have won the Southern 500 (Bobby Allison 1975); Coke 600 (Kurt Busch 2010); and two Daytona 500's (Ryan Newman 2008 and Joey Logano 2015). Penske has fielded car in the Xfinity Series for 513 races getting 62 wins. He has gotten one Cup Champions ship and one Xfinity Championship both with Keselowski at the controls. In the Indy Car Series he has he has 15 Indy Car Series Championships and has 16 Indy 500 wins. Penske also fielded cars in the Can AM series which saw George Follmer win the championship in 1972 and Donahue win in 1973. A video of the History of Penske Racing is here. In 2017, it was announced that Penske Racing would make a comeback to sports car racing in
IMSA's WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the 2018 season. They will run DPi chassis made by Acura in the prototype (P) class. The "Captain" has been racing and winning in the United States since 1958 and has scored victories in every series where he has competed. With 28 national championships, including 13 in Indy car racing, Penske Racing has often been referred to as the "New York Yankees of motor sports."
ANDY PETREE – 8/15/1958 - Petree had spent 13 seasons as a crew chief in NASCAR’s premier series. Over three seasons with Earnhardt, the pair won 15 races together working for Richard Childress. Petree led Harry Gant to nine Cup victories and two in the Xfinity Series. He also won one race with Phil Parsons in 1988. In 1996, he started his own operation—Andy Petree Racing. The team was orginally formed in 1985 by brothers Leo and Richard Jackson. At the Daytona 500 that year, the team entered the No. 55 and No. 66 cars, sponsored by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco through its Copenhagen and Skoal brands and driven by another pair of brothers, Benny Parsons and his brother Phil. In 1990, Richard Jackson splintered from the team to form his own operation, taking the equipment for the No. 55 with him. The newly renamed Leo Jackson Motorsports still held onto the No. 33 and driver Harry Gant In 1994 Leo Jackson was contemplating retirement and began looking to sell the team. His buyer was his crew chief at the time, Andy Petree. After one race as an owner, he released Pressley and had Todd Bodine finish out the year for him. For 1997, Petree selected Ken Schrader to be his driver. That year, Schrader drove the car to two Top 5s and eight Top 10s en route to 10th place in the NASCAR Winston Cup final standings. It marked a strong comeback for the #33 team, which had struggled severely in 1996. 1998 saw about the same result, with eight finishes of ninth or better but fell two
spots in the points standings. At Daytona in July, Petree fielded a second car, the #55 Oakwood Homes Chevy, driven by Hut Stricklin. At the end of 1998, it was announced that Kenny Wallace would join APR (Andy Petree Racing) in the #55 Square D Chevy for 1999 expanding to a two car team. 1999 was a learning year for APR. The struggles of adding a second car may have shown. Schrader struggled with only 6 top-10s, en route to a 15th place in points. Wallace was more flashy but also inconsistent. He earned his career best finish of 2nd at New Hampshire. Schrader's 1999 season compelled him to leave APR. However, Petree was quick in signing Joe Nemechek and sponsor Oakwood Homes, after Skoal announced it would not be on the #33 for the first time in 21 years. The 2000 season was complete opposite for Petree's drivers. Nemechek was solid as he won one pole and
secured three Top 5s and nine Top 10s. Kenny, on the other hand had one Top 5: second at Talladega Superspeedway as he pushed Dale Earnhardt to the win. It was Earnhardt's last victory before his death. Still searching for victory in 2001, Petree kept Nemechek in the #33 and hired Bobby Hamilton to drive the #55. The 9th race of the year, at Talladega Superspeedway, featured an amazing battle. After multiple lead changes, Hamilton took the lead as he took the white flag and held off Tony Stewart to win Petree's first career race. For 2002, Petree still wished to run the #33 along with Hamilton. Mike Wallace would drive the car for 4 races. However, with a best finish of 21st (Daytona 500) and its most memorable moment being at Talladega, (starting the
big wreck) the #33 team's glory days were over. It would be up to Hamilton and the #55 team. However, just as the #33 quit for good, Hamilton was injured. Greg Biffle and Ron Hornaday took over. Hamilton came back and promptly announced he was leaving to his truck team. Petree was backed in a corner. By February 2003, his Cup team was done. With no sponsor to be found, Christian Fittipaldi's run in the #33 Monaco Chevy in the Daytona 500 appeared to be the final race. However, Petree wasn't quite done. His longtime friend, John Menard convinced him to look at John's son, Paul Menard, who impressed Petree He signed him to a contract quickly. Paul made his debut in the #55
Menards Chevy at Nashville Superspeedway, Petree's first career Busch race as an owner. It was a productive race, as Paul finished 12th. After finishing 14th at the next race at Kentucky Speedway, Petree allowed Menard to make his Cup debut at Watkins Glen International. That race at the Glen would be Petree's last Cup race. Petree signed Menard to a full Busch Series schedule for 2004, hoping to get Menard ready for a return to NEXTEL Cup in 2006. However, Menard had other plans. Halfway through the year, Menard signed with Dale Earnhardt, Inc., leaving Petree without at driver and a sponsor. His last Busch race would be at Chicago, which driver Clint Bowyer drove. Petree's race team was dead in the water. After Michael
Waltrip finished last at a Craftsman Truck race at IRP, Petree sold his equipment and his shop to Kevin Harvick (which started Kevin Harvick, Inc.). He went to work for Michael Waltrip, as a consultant for Waltrip's Busch team. Petree was a color commentator for ESPN and ABC's NASCAR coverage through 2014 when ESPN and ABC got out of covering NASCAR races and FOX took over. It was accounced in October of 2017 that Petree would return to Richard Childress Racing as an advisor for competition. Fot his career as an owner Petree fielded car for 322 starts and had two wins and 16 Top 5's. His drivers also made 64 Xfinity series starts without posting a win. He had 15 starts in the NASCAR Truck Series claiming two wins; both by Tony Stewart.
PETTY ENTERPRISES - (formerly Lee Petty Engineering) was a NASCAR racing team based in Randleman, North Carolina, USA. It was founded by Lee Petty with his two sons Richard Petty, and Maurice Petty. The team was later owned by Richard Petty, his son Kyle Petty and Boston Ventures. At the time of its folding the team operated the #43 and #45 Dodge Chargers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Petty Enterprises ran from 1949 until 2008. The team closed shop in January 2009 and merged with Gillett Evernham Motorsports after sponsorship could not be found for any of the cars in the Petty stable; the merged team took the name Richard Petty Motorsports, adopting a logo similar to that of Petty Enterprises' logo. Originally founded as Lee Petty Engineering, from 1954 to 1979, Petty Enterprises won ten championships in NASCAR's premier series. Three of those championships came with Lee Petty driving the #42, while accumulating 54 wins, and a record seven championships came with Richard Petty driving the #43, while accumulating 200 wins. The car pictured is a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Show Car prepared by Petty Enterprises to commemorate Richard's 1979 Championship. The car that Richard drove to his sixth Daytona 500 win was similar but with no stripes or sponsor logos on the
top half of the car. Richard Petty had the most successful season in history in 1967 with 27 wins, including 10 in a row, culminating with the championship. 1979 saw Richard's son, Kyle Petty, start his career winning the very first race he entered - the Arca 200 at Daytona International Speedway. From 1980 to 1983, Richard Petty won eight races, which brought his career total to 198 NASCAR wins. At the 1983 Miller High Life 500, Petty's 198th win, the car failed post-race inspection. The car was found to have illegal tires, and an over-sized engine. Petty was fined $35,000 but the victory was upheld. The incident increased friction in the team left and Richard left Petty Enterprises at year's end. He took the STP sponsorship and the #43 to Mike Curb for 1984–1985, where he scored wins
#199 and #200. For 1984-1985, Petty Enterprises concentrated on Kyle Petty's #7 7-Eleven-sponsored entry. Kyle earned eight top 5's, but no wins during that stretch. For 1986, Richard Petty returned to the family operation, and Kyle Petty left to drive for the Wood Brothers. The Petty Enterprise team continued to sag in performance, and hit rock bottom in 1989 when Richard failed to qualify for four races. Richard failed to win another race, and retired following the 1992 season. After Richard Petty's retirement, Rick Wilson took over the renumbered #44 car, but found little success. The car number was changed back to #43, and Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year Bobby Hamilton was hired in 1995. In 1996, Hamilton earned the team's first victory since 1983 at Phoenix International Raceway. Hamilton won again at Rockingham in 1997. He
left the team at season's end to tend to his own race team in the newly formed Craftsman Truck Series, and to drive the #4 for Morgan-McClure Motorsports. In 1998, journeyman John Andretti was hired, and he gave the team another win at Martinsville (which would ultimately be the final win for Petty Enterprises). Andretti would drive for the team until 2003, with only a second place finish at Bristol. In addition, Kyle returned to the family organization, merging his own team, pe2, with Petty Enterprises. The team appeared to be on the rise again with fourth-generation driver Adam Petty joining the team. He made his first Cup start in April 2000, and many experts believed he would be the future of the team. Kyle Petty was planning to move out of the cockpit soon after, and into the full-time ownership role of the
team. About a month and a half after his first career Winston Cup start, Adam Petty was killed in a crash at the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. The tragedy deeply affected the team. Kyle Petty took over what was supposed to be Adam's #45 car, and drove it for several seasons in his honor. The team lost longtime sponsor STP in mid-2000, and changed to General Mills. The team began a noticeable downward slide, and would never win another race in Cup competition. In January 2009, Petty Enterprises merged with Gillette Evernham Motorsports and the #43 car was absorbed into the team. Labonte left the team before the 2009 season, leaving the car with no driver and no sponsor for 2009.
The #45 team was folded, leaving Kyle Petty with no ride for 2009. The team's merger with Gillett Evernham Motorsports moved the #43 over to that team, where it was driven by Aric Almirola and sponsored by Smithfield Foods and STP
Adam Petty -->>
RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS - a two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team owned by seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty and New York businessman Andrew M. Murstein. The team was founded as Evernham Motorsports in 2000 by former crew chief Ray Evernham, entering full-time competition as a two-car operation in 2001 and fielding additional full-time entries in alliances with Ultra Motorsports and the Valvoline corporation. The organization was renamed Gillett Evernham Motorsports in 2007 after former Montreal Canadiens and Liverpool F.C. owner George Gillett bought a controlling interest from founder Evernham, and took on its current name after merging with Petty's team Petty Enterprises in 2009. On August 26, 2008 Gillett Evernham Motorsports announced the signing of Reed Sorenson to a multi-year
contract to drive the #10 car. On Thursday January 9, it was announced that Richard Petty would sell his team to GEM, moving Sorenson to the #43 for the 2009 season in the process. The 43 ran multiple sponsorships but only had one Top 10 finish; a ninth at the rained-shortened Daytona 500, and Sorenson was released the end of the season. Known for its factory backing from Dodge since its inception, the team switched to Ford in late 2009 and merged with Yates Racing for 2010. The team has the
Kasey Kahne Atlanta win
odd distinction of being the result of three successful teams (Evernham, Petty, & Yates) merging after falling on hard times. After funding issues due to the Gillett family's financial woes, in November 2010, an investment group including Andrew M. Murstein and his Medallion Financial Corporation, Douglas G. Bergeron, and Richard Petty himself, signed and closed sale on racing assets of Richard Petty Motorsports. Petty, Murstein, and Medallion Financial are the current owners of the team, while Evernham and Gillett are no longer involved with the team. For 2010, the team announced they had moved AJ Allmendinger over to the #43 car for the 2010 season, he finished 19th in the points. Petty fielded a four car team in 2010; and along with Allmendinger the team fielded cars for Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard, and Elliott Sadler. Kahne had the best season
finishing second twice; and posting seven Top 5 finishes. In 2011 Petty cleaned house and parted ways with every driver in the stable except for Allmendinger. He was joined by Marcus Ambrose driving the #9 Stanley Ford A.J. showed continued improvement, especially when he was paired with former Roush Fenway Racing crew chief Greg Erwin. The team would finish 15th in points, but it was not enough to retain Best Buy as a primary sponsor. As a result, Allmendinger was granted a release from RPM and he soon joined Penske Racing. Ambrose would have a good season. he posted a win for the Petty team at Watkins Glen; had five Top 5 and 12 Top 10 finishes. To replace Allmendinger, RPM resigned Aric Almirola, who had replaced Kasey Kahne in the 9 car at the end of the 2010 season. Almirola earned a Pole start at Charlotte in May,
and collected one Top 5 and four Top 10's. Aric's best run of the year may have been at Kansas in October, where he qualified fifth and lead 69 laps after taking the top spot on lap 6. But on lap 121, Almirola blew a tire, sending his Farmland Ford into the wall. He spun on lap 172 racing for the lead and lost a lap on pit road. Ambrose had a similar year in 2012 as he did in 2011. He again won at Watkins Glen; and posted three Top 5 and eight Top 10 finishes. In 2013 Almirola returned to the No. 43; at Martinsville Speedway in October, the team ran the No. 41 to honor Maurice Petty's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. During the 2013 season from Martinsville to Darlington, Almirola had the most consecutive Top 10s in the 43 car since Bobby Hamilton in 1996. But overall it would be a disappointing season a and the pair of
drivers combined for only one Top 5 finish. In January 2014, RPM announced a three year contract extension with Almirola after working on one year deals the previous two seasons. This coincided with sponsor Smithfield Foods stepping up to fund 29 races in each the next three seasons. At the 2014 Coke Zero 400, Almirola would earn his first career win in the Cup Series after avoiding two major wrecks, and leading the field when the race was called off after 112 laps due to rain. His win also marked the first victory by the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 since 1999, and 30 years to the day Richard Petty won his 200th race. Ambrose best finish came at Watkins Glen were he finished second; almost pulling off a three-peat winning three years in a row. In 2015 Ambrose retired
from NASCAR and returned home to his native Tazmania. Sam Hornish was brought on to fill his seat, but results were poor. His best finish for the season was sixth; and he only had three Top 10 finishes; and landed in 26th place in the season points. Almirola didn't fair much better only posting three Top 5 finishes with a best of fourth at Richmond; and finished 17th in points. 2016 saw Hornish released, and Brian Scott brought on to drive the #44 Ford. Scott almost pulled off an upset win at Talladega finishing a close second to Joey Logano. But that was by far his best run and only Top 10, as he next best finish would be a 12th at Fontana. At the end of the 2016 season Scott would retire from racing to spend time with
his family; and Petty contracted into a single car team. Almirola also had a horrible season finishing in the Top 10 only once and fell to 26th in the points. The following year would be even worse for Aric. He started out on a strong note finishing fourth in the Daytona 500. He had mediocre results up until Talladega where he once again finished fourth. The next race at Kansas he was involved in an accident and fractured a disk in his back. He would miss the next seven races while recovering. His results when he returned to racing was not good. He finally posted another Top 5 finish when the series returned to Talladega and he placed fifth. For the final six races of the season it seemed
he made a turn and the performance improved as all of his finishes were inside the Top 20 with three of those being in the Top 10. While he was injured a few different drivers were hired to fill Almirola's seat. Rookie Bubba Wallace made his first Cup start; driving in four of those races finishing inside the Top 20 on three occasions. For 2018 Almirola has moved to Stewart-Haas Racing to drive the #10 car vacated by Danica Patrick. With impressive showings for the four races filling in for Aric; As 2018 starts Wallace has been hired to drive the #43 full time this season.
<<-- Brian Scott
JAMES FINCH - ?/?/? - Phoenix Racing is a former motor sports team that competed in the NASCAR Cup Series and the Nationwide Series. Owned by Florida businessman James Finch, the team fielded entries from 1989 through 2013 in both the Xfinity series and the CUP series. Beginning in 1989 Finch fielded a car in various races he thought his team could be competitive in. Jeff Purvis drove the car from 1989 - 2001. They ran a total of 35 races and was only able to finish 11 of them; mostly due to mechanical failures. Purvis wheeled the car to a 12th place finish at Daytona in 1996 - the only top 20 finish prior to 2002. In 2002 Phoenix racing only ran five races and Geoff Bodine drove the car. He was able to finish third in the Daytona 500 almost pulling off a major upset. It seems the team had a knack for fielding great race cars on restrictor plate tracks. Bodine also finished in the top ten at the July race at Daytona in the 2002 season. Mike Wallace drove the car in 2003 and once again posted one top ten finish at Daytona and one at Talladega. Phoenix racing began to run more races in 2004 and used a variety of drivers. Joe Ruttman drove in the most races (7), but Mike Wallace had a best finish of seventh for the team that season. The organization continued year after year to run select races when
they had a shot to win. In 2009 the team achieved it's high water mark. Brad Keselowski drove the famous Miccosukee Resorts and Gaming Chevy to the win at Talladega. Keselowski had run up front with the leaders all day; but had failed to lead a lap, Late in the late Ryan Newman was leading; but as the took the white flag; Carl Edwards took the lead pushed there by Keselowski. As they came out of turn four headed to the checkers Keselowski got a run on Edwards and got up next to his inside quarter panel coming through the tri-oval. Edwards was determined to keep Keselowski behind him and cut down across the nose of Brad's #09 Chevy. Keselowski didn't lift and the two made contact; Edwards spun and flew into the outside catch fence as Keselowski went on to claim the win; the only Cup win Phoenix Racing would ever record. After getting their first win, the team decided to race full time and reach for higher results. In 2010 Bobby Labonte drove the majority of the races; while in 2011 Landon Cassill drove full time and 2012 saw Kurt Busch race the full season in the car. Cassill only posted a couple top 20 finished; with a best of 12th. Kurt Busch's talent elevated the team to a higher level as Busch was able to make the team competitive at more and different type tracks. Busch posted a third place finish at Sonoma in 2012 while adding a ninth at Fontana, CA. He also added a 13th at Atlanta and Texas while getting a 15th at Phoenix. But Busch was involved in many accidents trying to get the most out of
his equipment. He was also suspended for the June race at Pocono after expletives aimed at a reporter after a Nationwide Series race at Dover. David Reutimann replaced Busch in that race, and Busch was welcomed back following a vote by team members. Busch would leave the team following the fall Talladega race for Furniture Row
Brad Keselowski - Talladega Win
Racing, and was replaced by AJ Allmendinger. It was clear that Busch had been having to use talent to make up for a lack of performance in the car when after he went to Furniture Row Racing he posted three top ten finishes in the final six races of 2012. Phoenix Racing tried to re-group in 2013 and went back to using a variety of drivers to run the CUP races. Nine different drivers drove the car that season with Allmendinger running nine times. Only Regan Smith was able to post a top ten finish as he finished seventh (Daytona) and sixth (Talladega) once again showing they could still be competitive on restrictor plate tracks. In spite of early success (the team was ranked 9th in owners points after the fifth race of the season) and a more affordable car model in the Gen 6 Chevy SS, lack of long-term funding continued to plague the team. Citing this recurring lack of stable sponsorship,
Finch announced in May 2013 that he would close operations after the 2013 Brickyard 400. In late June, Finch announced that he was selling his team. The team found a buyer July 17 and Finch stopped sponsoring the team after Indianapolis. He would continue to own the team through Labor Day weekend, providing assistance in the transition
to new ownership. It was announced on August 28 that Harry Scott, Jr. of Turner Scott Motorsports had bought the team. Finch's last race as a Cup owner was the Labor Day race at Atlanta, where Mike Bliss drove the No. 51 Phoenix Construction Chevrolet to a 33rd-place finish, running six laps down at the checkered flag. While running part-time in the Cup Series; Finch also fielded cars in the Xfinity Series. Like in the Cup Series Jeff Purvis was his driver from 1989-1994 (but ran a total of only 10 races over that span). In 1996 Finch took Purvis full time Xfinity Series racing. He pulled of a win at Richmond in March beating Joe Nemecheck for the win. He also visited victory lane at Michigan in August giving Finch his first NASCAR wins. Purvis would
go on to finish seventh in that seasons points. 1997 saw Phoenix Racing use various drivers; and in 1998 Purvis ran all the races but could only muster a 15th position finish in the end of the season points. Randy Lajoie was brought on board to run in 1999 & 2000 and he had moderate success posting a win in each season. In 2001
Kurt Busch Xfinity win
Finch went back to races he thought they could be competitive in; and while only running 18 races for Finch; driver Jimmy Spencer put the #1 Yellow Freight sponsored car in victory lane on three occasions. Spencer would post another win in 2002. Other wins would come for Phoenix Racing with Jamie McMurray behind the wheel (twice in 2003); with the final three wins coming via Johnny Sauter (2005); Mike Bliss (2009) and Kurt Busch winning the July race at Daytona in 2012 (photo at left). As mentioned above Finch would get out of racing after 2013. He fielded cars for the two races at Daytona and one at Talladega. Kurt Busch drove the car these final three races and posted fourth place finishes in the Spring Talladega race and July Daytona race. In the Xfinity Series results he had cars than ran 543 starts. Posting 13 wins; 64 top fives and 155 top ten finishes.
CAL WELLS - 10/12/1955 - Precision Preparation, Inc (PPI) – PPI Motorsports was a race team which competed in CART, NASCAR, and various off-road racing circuits. The team had one of the few remaining single car operations in NASCAR. PPI stood for Precision Preparation, Inc., a company founded by team owner Cal Wells in 1979. The company originally provided parts for off-road racing teams. At the time, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. needed to promote their tough, reliable technology driven line of trucks through participation in Off-Road Championships, the Score Desert Series, including the Baja 500 and Baja 1000, and the Mickey Thompson Off-Road Championship Grand Prix (MTEG Stadium Series). Wells had already been successful in winning Off-Road races in the U.S. and Mexico and Toyota selected him to personally lead their foray into truck racing in the American market. With Off-Road legend Ivan "Ironman" Stewart, internationally successful brothers Steve and Rod Millen and Off Road, IndyCar and NASCAR winner Robby Gordon, PPI and Toyota won 88 races, 11 manufacturer championships including three Baja 1000's, 11 Baja 500's and five mint 400's. PPI's relationship with Toyota expanded into the open-wheel
ranks in 1995, when Wells formed a CART team with good friend Frank Arciero. Their initial driver was Hiro Matsushita. Known as Arciero-Wells, the CART team lasted for 5 years but only a managed a best finish of 4th in 1999 with rookie Cristiano da Matta. In 1996, they began the CART season with Jeff Krosnoff driving, but he died in a tragic accident during the Toronto street race. All PPI cars carried a decal commemorating Krosnoff's memory. After Arciero left in 2000, the team was rebranded as PPI Motorsports, and da Matta gave the team its first (and only) career victory in CART. During this time, the team also ran a program in the Toyota Atlantic series, and had success in 2000 with rookie of the year Dan Wheldon. Following the 2000 season, however, PPI shut down its
Ivan "Ironman" Stewart
Cristiano da Matta
open-wheel and off-road programs, ended its relationship with Toyota, and shifted its focus exclusively on NASCAR. PPI started its first Cup team during the 2000 season with open-wheel and Trans Am standout Scott Pruett behind the wheel of the No. 32 Tide-sponsored Ford. The team was hardly a success in its first year, finishing in 37th place and failing to qualify for a number of races. Pruett was released at the end of the season and returned to Trans-Am. With the team focusing exclusively on NASCAR in 2001, PPI fielded a two-car Winston Cup effort, with Ricky Craven taking over in the "Tide ride" and former Craftsman
Truck Series star Andy Houston taking over in a second car — the No. 96 McDonald's-sponsored Ford. Houston's team was shut down before the season ended due to a lack of good results and the loss of its sponsor. Craven, however, had a number of strong races, which he capped giving the team its first career victory at Martinsville in October. He finished 21st in the points championship that year. Craven ran strong in 2002 and, although he failed to win a race for the team, he managed to improve his point championship standing and finishing 15th overall. This was the team's last season in a Ford, as they switched to Pontiac the next season. Craven started 2003 the same way, with a strong Top 5 at Rockingham and a famous victory at Darlington,
Ricky Craven #32 & Kurt Busch #97
in which he beat Kurt Busch to the finish by just 0.002 seconds, which still stands today as the smallest margin of victory in NASCAR Cup Series history. It also turned out to be Pontiac's last win in Winston Cup. However, a series of DNF's dropped Craven to 27th in the final standings. PPI was to field two teams in 2004, one for Craven in the 32 and the 96 was to revive with Johnny Benson but sponsorship never showed up and, the 96 team once again folded after only a couple tests. PPI showed clear signs of struggling in 2004 as Craven was unable to give the team a single Top 10 finish through the first 24 races. Wells and Craven parted ways due to lack of results and Busch Series
driver Bobby Hamilton, Jr. took Craven's place. Hamilton, Jr. drove the car for the entire 2005 season. However, he failed to score a Top 10 during the year, and eventually finished 36th. Wells did have some success after replacing Hamilton with road course ringer Ron Fellows at Infineon, with Fellows giving the team an eighth-place finish. Hamilton was replaced by Travis Kvapil, who drove the car for the 2006 season, only to have five DNQ's. At the end of 2006, Wells announced he would field Toyota's in the 2007 season if he were to find a sponsor, but was unable to find one as Tide had already announced that it was leaving the sport and that much of the team had already either been laid off or have been hired by Michael Waltrip Racing. This led to closure of their shop and forming a partnership with MWR's No. 00 Toyota Camry. PPI
Bobby Hamilton Jr.
Motorsports has been liquidated to various buyers. In it's existence PPI ran 260 CUP races and had two wins (both with Craven). They also had ten Top 5 finishes (all also with Craven) and 26 Top 10 finishes.
<<-- Travis Kvapil at left
JAY ROBINSON - – formerly called Jay Robinson Racing (JRR), is an American professional stock car racing team that currently competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. The team competed for most of its history in the Xfinity Series, before moving to the Cup Series in 2014. The team folded in late 2012 and Robinson moved into a partner role at NEMCO Motorsports (renamed NEMCO-JRR Motorsports), and later was a partner in the successor team Identity Ventures Racing. Mike Hillman's 40 team was absorbed by Premium in January 2016. Premium Motorsports started racing in the Xfinity series in 2000. But didn't field a team with a single full time driver until Derrike Cope drove for them in 2004. Before that time a long list of drivers wheeled their cars with only andy Kirby able to get a top ten finish (a sixth at Talladega in 2002). In 2005 Premium Motorsports added a second car to the team with Steve Grissom driving while retaining Cope in the other car. well; at least part of the year. After a year and a half of driving for the team with only two finishes inside the top 20; Premium fired Cope and spent the remainder of the year using various drivers. It wasn't until 2008 that Premium was able to garner their first top ten finish and it came
when Kenny Wallace drove to a third place finish at Memphis. Wallace drove the car in 2008 - 2010, He posted two other top ten finishes; both in 2009. Seventh at Iowa and tenth at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The Xfinity team ceased operations at the end of the 2013 season and started racing in the Cup series in 2014. They followed the model they had used when they started their Xfinity team with a variety of drivers taking control of the car their first year. Six different drivers drove that season with Joe Nemechek driving the most races (14). The best finish was posted by Michael Waltrip when he finished 19th at Daytona. The team only qualified for 17 of the 36 races in 2015. Brendan Gaughan finished 28th on two occasions to provide the teams best results of the season. 2016 saw the team expand to two teams even all through it's
existance Premium Motorsports has had problems attracting sponsors and was greatly underfunded. The creation of the Charter system in NASCAR in 2016 guarantees teams a certain amount of money guaranteed and helps teams determine and budget their fiances in a more predictable way. Reed Sorenson and Cole Whitt were tabbed to drive in 2015 with a fill-in driver here and there. Whitt finished 18th at Talladega while Michael Waltrip finished 12th. In the July race at Daytona finished 11th giving the owners the best finish to date. In 2017 Premium Motorsports fielding two cars most of the season; Reed Sorenson made the most starts (28) and had a best finish of 25th (twice - they came at each of the two Kansas races). Derrick Cope drove the teams second car the most times (13). Cope would have a best finish of 31st; coming at Bristol. Ross Chastain would give the organization their best finish of the year placing 20th at
Dover. Meanwhile in the Truck Series Wendell Chavous would run 21 of the 23 races with a best finish of 14th at Las Vegas. The teams are set for 2018, but no word on who the drivers would be. In the Cup Series, the team currently fields the No. 55 Chevrolet SS part-time, and the No. 98 RTIC Coolers/Speed Stick Toyota Camry, and Chevrolet SS full-time. In the Camping World Truck Series, the team currently fields the No. 49 Hormone Therapeutics/Dirt and Rock Chevrolet Silverado.
Wendell Chavous -->>
RAHMOC ENTERPRISES – was a former NASCAR Winston Cup team that operated from 1978 to 1993. The team was owned by long-time engine builder Bob Rahilly and Butch Mock. Mock left Rahmoc in 1993 to form his own team. Rahmoc Enterprises is still operating today, with Dick and Bob Rahilly still turning the wrenches, as an engine builder and supplier for many NASCAR teams. They also build race cars and manage several smaller race teams. Rahmoc's debut in NASCAR came in 1978, at the NAPA National 500. Mock drove the #75 Chevrolet to a 26th place finish. He also ran the Dixie 500, finishing 24th. Mock ran the Daytona 500 the next year, but finished 35th when he was involved in a wreck not of his making early in the race. After the Daytona wreck, Rahmoc had several different drivers. Harry Gant drove in 1980 for the team at Riverside International Raceway, finishing twelfth and Texas world Speedway, finishing tenth. Elswick returned over
the next eleven races, and the team also picked up sponsorship from Performer Boats, before he was released. Gant returned for the next two races, before the team switched to part-time. In 1983, Rahmoc signed Neil Bonnett to drive their Hodgdon Chevy. Bonnett picked up wins at the World 600 and the Atlanta Journal 500. He finished fourth in points that year. After that year, long-time independent Dave Marcis was named driver, and had nine top-tens and a thirteenth place in points. Subsequently, Lake Speed took over in 1985, finished second in The Daytona 500, and had a tenth-place finish in points. Speed had two tenth-place finishes in 1986, but was released after just four races in favor of Jody Ridley. Ridley had one top-ten before moving on after 10 races. Jim Sauter had four starts, before Morgan Shepherd took over for the balance of the season,
posting two top-tens. In 1987, Bonnett returned with Valvoline as sponsor of Rahmoc's Pontiacs. Bonnett had fifteen top-tens and was on his way to a top-ten points run, when he broke his hip in a crash at the Oakwood Homes 500. Ruttman returned to the team to finish the season for the team. Bonnett returned in 1988, and won two of the first three races. But eventually, he began to have health issues fall off the pace and left Rahmoc at the end of the season. Shepherd, who had filled in for Bonnett twice in 1988, took over the team full-time in 1989. He
garnered one pole and thirteen top-tens. After leaving for Bud Moore Engineering for 1990, Rick Wilson joined the team, which switched to Oldsmobile and with sponsorship from Food Lion/Dinner Bell Dog Food. Wilson struggled heavily in his tenure, and left after just one year with the team. In 1991, Ruttman replaced Wilson. Team co-owner Bob Rahilly elected to retire from Winston Cup Racing, and return to his roots as an engine builder/supplier. Mock went on to form his own new team, Butch Mock Motorsports. After 1992 Rahilly and Mock split. Rahilly continues building engines under the name "RAHMOC Racing Engines". Rahilly had no more involvement in Winston Cup Racing after 1992. Mock was the sole owner of a new team he formed, Butch Mock Motorsports. Trickle came to BMM in 1993 with sponsorship from Carolina Pottery/Factory Stores, as the team switched to Ford. Trickle failed to finish in the Top 10,
and was released following the DieHard 500. Todd Bodine ran the next eleven races and had a best finish of 23rd, before Phil Parsons ran the season finale at Atlanta. Bodine became the team's full-time driver in 1994, and had seven top-tens and a 20th place in points. He was not able to duplicate that success in 1995, as he struggled in qualifying and had only three top-tens. He was released at the end of the season. Shepherd returned in 1996 with new sponsor Remington Arms, and had five Top 10s on his way to a nineteenth in points. Despite this, he left at the end of the season, and was replaced by Rick Mast. Mast struggled in his first year with the team, failing to qualify for three races and finishing 32nd in points. Mast seemed
to improve in 1998, winning the pole at North Carolina Speedway, but after missing three of the last four races, he left to drive for Cale Yarborough. Ted Musgrave took over in 1999. Due to the team's lack of performance however, Musgrave grew increasingly vocal about the way things were run. During the summer of 1999, Mock sold BMM to newspaper entrepreneur Darwin Oordt, who also owned a Xfinity Series team.
HARRY RANIER – 2/25/1937 – 7/21/1999 - was a NASCAR Cup racing team until 1987, fielding Cale Yarborough during the 1980s late in its operations. The team was based in Charlotte and co-operated by Harry Ranier and J.T. Lundy who left in 1987. Ranier was a Kentuckian coal mining magnate. Ranier's entry into the sport predates magnates such as J.D. Stacy and Billy Hagan. The team later became Robert Yates Racing after Yates, an engine builder and crew chief with the operation, bought the team in 1988. The team largely fielded General Motors vehicles for its various drivers until switching to Fords in 1985. Harry Ranier started entering race cars into NASCAR's top division sporadically starting in 1967 and consistently starting in 1978 with driver Lennie Pond and later Buddy Baker. The Kentucky native and cola mining magnet, Harry Ranier dreamed of NASCAR success. Over hamburgers in the car, Ranier looked at his future wife and shared a big aspiration. "I'm going to win that Daytona race some day," he said. Says Juda Ranier now: "He was a dreamer. He always was. And I was such a cheerleader type, I just looked at him and said 'Why not?'" So before it was over; for a fleeting period, the Eastern Kentucky mountains would have their own stake in NASCAR glory. Yet in an era before NASCAR went fully mainstream, the state of Kentucky paid little heed to Ranier's success. There are few businesses more prone to booms and busts than coal. In the mid-1970s, the coal business was in an all-time boom. In 1977, Harry Ranier sold one of the largest independent coal-mining operations in Kentucky. "The coal boom hit in 1974," says Joe Gearheart, a longtime employee of Ranier's. "By the time it was over, Harry sold five companies, made a lot of money, about $33 million." After he cashed out of the coal business, Harry Ranier decided to try to break into stock-car racing's big leagues. He soon wound up on the phone with Waddell Wilson. "We hit it off," Wilson says of going to work for Ranier. "I thought I'd been hired to build engines. It turned out, I was also hired to be crew chief and (team) general manager." In 1978, Ranier's team won its first race at the Talladega 500. Pond beat a stout field; while at the same time the race was both the most competitive race ever run to that point, and also the fastest race ever run, as Lennie Pond broke Buddy Baker's 500-mile record from the 1976 Winston 500. Ironically, Baker would win the record back in the 1980 Daytona 500 driving for the exact same team. There were 67 "official" lead changes; but many other lead changes during the lap. I was lucky enough to be there and many laps the lead would change three or four times. The race record speed was a whopping 174.7 mph. Pond would end the season with the Talladega win, 11 Top 5 and 19 Top 10 finishes. Buddy Baker drove for the team starting in 1979; and in his first year he visited victory lane three times; had 12 Top 5's but only finished 15th in points. In 1980, with Waddell Wilson was crew chief and engine builder; Baker won the 1980 Daytona 500 for the team. Letting Ranier achieve the dream he had spoken of many years before. Baker's drove the legendary "Gray Ghost" (pictured) and the car was so fast that NASCAR asked the team to add bright orange pin strips so the other drivers could see him coming as he was coming up to lap them. Baker would get a second win in 1980 winning at Talladega. Bobby Allison was brought in for the 1981 season to wheel the Tuf-Lon machine. Allison would grab the season opening and season ending races at Riverside's road course. He would also have three more wins; but finish second in the points chase to Darrell Waltrip.
In 1983, Yarborough moved to the #28 Hardee's Chevrolet owned by Harry Ranier, competing in 16 events. He won four races, including his third Daytona 500, his sixth Atlanta Coca-Cola 500, and swept both events at Michigan, along with three poles. In 1984 he repeated by winning his fourth Daytona 500, becoming the second driver to score back-to-back wins, the Winston 500 at Talladega, a race that featured 75 lead changes, and the Van Scoy Diamond Mine 500, along with four poles. In 1985 after his team switched to a Ford, he won his first Talladega 500 and scored his final win in the Miller High Life 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Prior to the 1987 season, car owner Harry Ranier tapped Davey Allison to replace veteran driver Cale Yarborough in the Ranier-Lundy #28 Ford Thunderbird. Yarborough was leaving the Ranier-Lundy team to start his own operation along with the team's sponsor, Hardee's. Ranier negotiated a sponsorship deal with Texacos Havoline motor oil brand, a deal that was signed during the NASCAR edition of Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. He also hired Robert Yates as his engine builder and Joey Knuckles as the #28's crew chief, who paired with Allison for years. On qualifying day, Davey signaled that he was in the Cup Series to stay when he qualified an unmarked, but Texaco-Havoline painted #28 Thunderbird second for the 1987 Daytona 500, becoming the first rookie ever to start on the front row for NASCAR's most prestigious event. A pit miscue which allowed a rear tire to fall off on the track ended his hopes of a good finish in the race, but success for Davey Allison would be just around the corner.
After that Ranier would essentially be out of NASCAR racing. As his businesses diversified, Ranier left his native Prestonsburg and moved his family to Central Kentucky. In an area identified with horse racing, Ranier's NASCAR involvement was a curiosity. Living in the Bluegrass Region, Harry Ranier's passion started to shift from horsepower to horse racing. He bought Shadowland Farm in Woodford County and built a 20,000-square-foot home on the property A Ranier horse, Midway Lady, won the English Oaks and One Thousand Guineas, two prestigious races in Great Britain. Eventually, Ranier's horse operation began to have financial problems. Lorin Ranier says the thing that pushed his Dad's financial standing over the edge was an ill-timed re-entry into the coal industry just as a bust cycle began. "He was fighting so hard to save his horse operation that he sold the NASCAR team," Juda Ranier says. "It was only after (selling the race team) that Harry had second thoughts. He was like 'What have I done?'" By the late 1990s, Ranier and Juda had moved to North Carolina so he could work on a return to NASCAR. "He was not through," Juda Ranier, who now lives in Lexington, says of Harry. "He had a comeback in him." Lorin Ranier helped his Dad scout for a young driver around which they could build a team to return the top. The driver they found, Tony Stewart, ran nine races for Ranier in what is now the Nationwide Series in 1996. On July 21, 1999, Harry told Juda he had finally cut a deal that would provide the financing to make his new team full time. "This is it," he said. She turned away for just a moment to watch TV. When she turned back, Harry Ranier's racing days were over. A heart attack had ended his comeback and his life. He was 62.
TOM DELOACH - 8/11/1947 - RED HORSE RACING - an American professional stock car racing team that competed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The team is based in Mooresville, North Carolina. It was co-owned by former Mobil 1 marketing executive Tom DeLoach and Fox NASCAR broadcaster Jeff Hammond. Red Horse Racing debuted in 2004 as Clean Line Motorsports. It was owned by Daniel Whitt and fielded the No. 38 Ford for his son Brandon. The team debuted at Mesa Marin Speedway finishing 19th. Clean Line was purchased by retired Mobil Oil executive Tom DeLoach, and championship crew chief/sports commentator Jeff Hammond before the 2005 season and was renamed Red Horse Racing. Whitt grabbed the team's first win at Memphis from the pole. For the 2006 season, David Starr, former driver of the No. 75 Spears Chevy Silverado, drove the team's Toyotas, which switched from No. 38 to No. 11. Starr then won the fourth race of the season at Martinsville and finished fourth in the standings. Despite their success, the team was forced to release Starr at the end of the year due to a lack of sponsorship. He was replaced by Aaron Fike in 2007, and the team switched numbers again, to No. 1. After Fike was arrested in Ohio for
use, Busch Series drivers David Green and Jason Leffler rounded out the season for the team, and Whitt returned at Atlanta. For 2008, David Starr returned to RHR after departing for Circle Bar Racing, with the team running the No. 11. The team's reunion would garner them four top fives and eight top tens but only a 12th-place points finish. Starr
Starr would again depart the team, taking new sponsor Zachry Holdings with him to HT Motorsports. The No. 11 truck debuted in 2009 as the No. 1 truck with defending champion Johnny Benson at the wheel (picture at right). It should be noted that the number style was used as a tie-in to DeLoach's connection to Mobil 1. Mobil 1 has always had a black box with the #1 inside it; so Red House Racing used that same style for all their truck numbers.. On June 8, 2009, the team announced that the No. 1 truck would be shut down due to a lack of sponsorship, leaving Benson without a ride to defend the title he won in 2008.
It would run one race later in the season at O'Reilly Raceway Park with Caitlin Shaw driving it to a 24th-place finish. Midway through 2009, Timothy Peters joined RHR from Premier Racing with Strutmasters sponsorship, and earned his first win at Martinsville Speedway. Peters returned to the team in 2010 and scored his second win at Daytona en route to finishing 6th in points for the year. The # 11 team also returned in 2010 as the No. 7 Tundra, fielding 2009 ARCA
RE/MAX Series champion Justin Lofton who competed for Rookie of the Year honors. Lofton would finish second to Austin Dillon in ROTY points, but was released at season's end. He was replaced by Brazil native Miguel Paludo, who brought sponsorship from Stemco Duroline for the #7 race machine. Paludo managed a few top tens but was outpaced mostly by Peters. Paludo left after 2011 to join Turner Motorsports. Peters returned to the #17 team for 2011 but had Butch Hylton as crew chief. The team won at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis and finished fifth in points. For 2012, Peters stayed in the top 5 in points for the whole season scoring wins at Iowa and leading flag-to-flag at
Bristol. Peters would finish 2nd in points, while in the #7 teams camp Paludo was replaced by rookie John King for the 2012 season. During the first race of the season, the NextEra Energy Resources 250, King won his first Camping World Truck Series race. After the first five races, Red Horse was forced to shut down the No. 7 team due to a lack of sponsorship. The team was revived to field Parker Klingerman after his release from Brad Keselowski Racing.
Racing. Klingerman would score his first career win at Talladega and finished 5th in points. Klingerman moved up to the Nationwide Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports, and would be replaced by John Wes Townley for 2013. Also in 2012 the #77 would be revived with Todd Bodine as the driver. Though the deal was originally intended for Daytona, the team ran the full season with limited sponsorship, with Bodine returning to victory lane at Dover. At the end of the season, Bodine was unable to come up with the sponsorship to return, and left the team. In 2013, Peters had a rough season in the #17, finishing 10th in points only winning at Iowa. For 2013, 3-time NASCAR Toyota Series champion Germán Quiroga would replace Bodine in the renumbered 77 truck, with
John King - Daytona Win
Net10 Wireless sponsoring 12 races. OtterBox would sign on as a nine race sponsor in June. In July, Quiroga became the first Mexican-born driver to win a pole in a NASCAR national series race, breaking the Truck Series qualifying record at Iowa Speedway. Quiroga earned two third-placefinishes and six total top tens to finish 13th
in points. Quiroga returned to the 77 truck in 2014 with veteran crew chief Butch Hylton, and came close to winning on several occasions As Townley moved to the Wauters Motorsports No. 5 Zaxby's Toyota Tundra for 2014, Brian Ickler took over the seat of the No. 7 truck with Bullet Liner as the primary sponsor. However, on May 20, the team announced the No. 7 will be suspended due to lack of funding, and to increase focus on Quiroga and Peters' teams. Quiroga scored three top fives and 10 top tens en route to a 6th-place points finish. Quiroga didn't return with Red Horse Racing in 2015, and moving the No. 77 points to the No. 11 points. Peters claimed one win in 2014 and was able to finish fifth in the points. In 2015 Ben Kennedy was brought on
board to drive the #11 posting three third place finishes as Quiroga departed the team. Peters found victory lane twice and once again finish seventh in the points standings. The #17 was the only truck in 2016 that ran for the championship Peters ran all the races in the #17 and even though he didn't post a win; he did finish fourth in the points hunt. The #1 saw several different drivers pilot the truck with Matt Tift driving it on ten occasions. Tift would
have driven the truck more; but it was discovered he had a brain tumor and have to have surgery mid-way through the season. He was able to return before the season ended and with a best finish of eighth after his return. Plans were set for 2017 for Peters to again drive the #17 while Brett Moffit would wheel the #11 as Tift moved up to race in the Xfinity series. The team was noticeably known for often having no sponsors on their trucks despite fielding multiple full-time entries for many seasons. This situation could only last so long as on May 22, 2017, DeLoach announced that the team would shut down effectively immediately due to a lack of funding. DeLoach fielded trucks for a variety of drivers over a span of 13 years (532 races). During that time they posted 16 wins and saw Timothy Peters finish second in the points in 2012. 10 of the wins also can with Peters at the keyboard. Brett Moffitt, Todd Bodine, Parker Klingerman
Brandon Whitt, David Starr and JohnKing all posted one win each. Peters and King both won the season opening race at Daytona.
HAL NEEDHAM - 3/6/1931 - 10/25/2013 - was an American stuntman and film director. He is best known for his frequent collaborations with actor Burt Reynolds, usually in films involving fast cars, such as Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper, The Cannonball Run, and Stroker Ace. Hal Needham broke 56 bones, his back twice, punctured a lung and knocked out a few teeth. His career has included work on 4500 television episodes and 310 feature films as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, 2nd unit director and ultimately, director. He was also a NASCAR car owner breaking into the NASCAR scene with TV Star Burt Reynolds as a co-owner with the team name of Mach 1 Racing (also called SKoal Bandit Racing). The team made its debut
in 1981, fielding the #22 Skoal Pontiac driven by Stan Barrett. Barrett ran ten races for the team that season, his best finish coming at Talladega Super Speedway, where he finished 9th. Mid-season, Mach 1 created a second car, the #33, driven by Harry Gant. Gant did not win that season, but he won three poles and had thirteen top-tens, finishing third in points. Gant drove 22 races that year and had 10 top five finishes with a best of second – SEVEN TIMES; including Atlanta, Darlington, Daytona, Charlotte, Michigan, Richmond and Martinsville. These along with three more second place finishes in 1980; needless to say landed him with the nickname of the ‘bridesmaid’. Also close but never
the win. In 1982, Gant drove the #33 Buick full-time with sponsorship from 7-Eleven/Skoal. He won at Martinsville and Charlotte and finished fourth in points. After just one win the following season, the team switched to Chevrolet, and Gant won three races, finishing a career best second in points. He followed that season up with another three wins in 1985. 1983 saw him post another win (Darlington) followed by three more wins in 1984 including the Southern 500; and another three in 1985. For the next three years, Gant and Mach 1 failed to visit victory lane. Midway into the 1988 season, Gant suffered injuries at the Coca-Cola 600. Morgan Shepherd filled in for him, and
had one top-five and two top-tens. After Gant finished 27th in the final standings, he left the team for Jackson Bros. Motorsports, taking Skoal and #33 with him. In 1989, Mach 1 switched to the #66 and signed rookie driver Rick Mast. In their first race together, the Daytona 500, Mast drove the un-sponsored car to a sixth-place finish, an accomplishment he later said was the one he was the most proud of. Mast and Mach 1 ran twelve more races together that season, they were unable to duplicate that effort. Needham closed the team and sold it to their crew chief, Travis Carter. Travis Carter Motorsports entered NASCAR competition in the 1990 Daytona 500.
HARRY RANIER – 2/25/1937 – 7/21/1999 - was a NASCAR Cup racing team until 1987, fielding Cale Yarborough during the 1980s late in its operations. The team was based in Charlotte and co-operated by Harry Ranier and J.T. Lundy. who left in 1987 Ranier was a Kentuckian coal mining magnate. Ranier's entry into the sport predates magnates such as J.D. Stacy and Billy Hagan. The team later became Robert Yates Racing after Yates, an engine builder and crew chief with the operation, bought the team in 1988. The team largely fielded General Motors vehicles for its various drivers until switching to Fords in 1985. Harry Ranier started entering race cars into NASCAR's top division sporadically starting in 1967 and consistently starting in 1978 with driver Lennie Pond and later Buddy Baker. The Kentucky native and cola mining magnet, Harry Ranier dreamed of NASCAR success. Over hamburgers in the car, Ranier looked at his future wife and shared a big aspiration. "I'm going to win that Daytona race some day," he said. Says Juda Ranier now: "He was a dreamer. He always was. And I was such a cheerleader type, I just looked at him and said 'Why not?'" So for a fleeting period, the Eastern Kentucky mountains had their own stake in NASCAR glory. Yet in an era before NASCAR went fully mainstream, the state of Kentucky paid little heed to Ranier's success. There are few businesses more prone to booms and busts than coal. In the mid-1970s, the coal business was in an all-time boom. In 1977, Harry Ranier sold one of the largest independent coal-mining operations in Kentucky. "The coal boom hit in 1974," says Joe Gearheart, a longtime employee of Ranier's. "By the time it was over, Harry sold five companies, made a lot of money, about $33 million." After he cashed out of the coal business, Harry Ranier decided to try to break into stock-car racing's big leagues. He soon wound up on the phone with Waddell Wilson. "We hit it off," Wilson says of going to work for Ranier. "I thought I'd been hired to build engines. Turned out, I was also hired to be crew chief and (team) general manager." In 1978, Ranier's team won its first race at the Talladega 500 with Pond after other key leading cars were slowed when Bill Elliott's car blew a tire and spreading debris. Buddy Baker drove for the team starting in 1979. In 1980, Waddell Wilson was crew chief and engine builder. Baker won the 1980 Daytona 500 for the team. In 1983, Yarborough moved to the #28 Hardee's Chevrolet owned by Harry Ranier, competing in 16 events. He won four races, including his third Daytona 500, his sixth Atlanta Coca-Cola 500, and swept both events at Michigan, along with three poles. In 1984 he repeated by winning his fourth Daytona 500, becoming the second driver to score back-to-back wins, the Winston 500 at Talladega, a race that featured 75 lead changes, and the Van Scoy Diamond Mine 500, along with four poles. In 1985 after his team switched to a Ford, he won his first Talladega 500 and scored his final win in the Miller High Life 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Prior to the 1987 season, car owner Harry Ranier tapped Davey Allison to replace veteran driver Cale Yarborough in the Ranier-Lundy #28 Ford Thunderbird. Yarborough was leaving the Ranier-Lundy team to start his own operation along with the team's sponsor, Hardee's. Ranier negotiated a sponsorship deal with Texacos Havoline motor oil brand, a deal that was signed during the NASCAR edition of Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. He also hired Robert Yates as his engine builder and Joey Knuckles as the #28's crew chief, who paired with Allison for years. On qualifying day, Davey signalled that he was in Winston Cup to stay when he qualified an unmarked, but Texaco-Havoline painted #28 Thunderbird second for the 1987 Daytona 500, becoming the first rookie ever to start on the front row for NASCAR's most prestigious event. A pit miscue which allowed a rear tire to fall off on the track ended his hopes of a good finish in the race, but success for Davey Allison would be just around the corner. After that Ranier would essentially be out of NASCAR racing. As his businesses diversified, Ranier left his native Prestonsburg and moved his family to Central Kentucky. In an area identified with horse racing, Ranier's NASCAR involvement was a curiosity. Living in the Bluegrass Region, Harry Ranier's passion started to shift from horsepower to horse racing. He bought Shadowland Farm in Woodford County and built a 20,000-square-foot home on the property A Ranier horse, Midway Lady, won the English Oaks and One Thousand Guineas, two prestigious races in Great Britain. Eventually, Ranier's horse operation began to have financial problems. Lorin Ranier says the thing that pushed his Dad's financial standing over the edge was an ill-timed re-entry into the coal industry just as a bust cycle began. "He was fighting so hard to save his horse operation that he sold the NASCAR team," Juda Ranier says. "It was only after (selling the race team) that Harry had second thoughts. He was like 'What have I done?'" By the late 1990s, Ranier and Juda had moved to North Carolina so he could work on a return to NASCAR. "He was not through," Juda Ranier, who now lives in Lexington, says of Harry. "He had a comeback in him." Lorin Ranier helped his Dad scout for a young driver around which they could build a team to return the top. The driver they found, Tony Stewart, ran nine races for Ranier in what is now the Nationwide Series in 1996. On July 21, 1999, Harry told Juda he had finally cut a deal that would provide the financing to make his new team full time. "This is it," he said. She turned away for just a moment to watch TV. When she turned back, Harry Ranier's racing days were over. A heart attack had ended his comeback and his life. He was 62.
JACK ROUSH - 4/19/1942 - is the founder, CEO, and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, a NASCAR team headquartered in Concord, North Carolina, and is Chairman of the Board of Roush Enterprises. Roush Enterprises is the parent company for Roush Racing as well as Roush Industries, a freelance engineering firm, and Roush Performance, an automotive aftermarket development company. Rarely seen without his trademark Panama hat, Roush is known on the NASCAR circuit as "The Cat in the Hat". Roush was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on April 27, 2006. Roush worked at Ford after graduating in 1966, and left in 1970 to pursue his own company. He worked for a year at Chrysler before leaving to open his own engineering business. Jack then went on to partner with Wayne Gapp to race in NHRA, IHRA, and AHRA drag racing events. Throughout much of his career Roush offered for sale the parts that he developed for his own team. In 1982, he partnered with German firm Zakspeed to develop road racing vehicles for Ford. This led to a very successful run in the Trans-Am series and IMSA Camel GT in the 80s and early 90s. In 1988, Roush moved south and founded a NASCAR Sprint Cup team now called Roush Fenway Racing with driver Mark Martin. Roush Fenway Racing currently fields three cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (driven by Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards), and two cars in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (driven by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne). Jack Roush has won 6 championships as a car owner in NASCAR's top 3 series. 2 Sprint Cup titles (2003 with Matt Kenseth and 2004 with Kurt Busch), 3 Nationwide Series titles (2002 with Greg Biffle, 2007 with Carl Edwards and 2011 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ) and a Camping World Truck Series title in 2000 with driver Greg Biffle. Jack has 2 Daytona 500 victories as a car owner, both with driver Matt Kenseth in 2009 and 2012. His career as a car owner shows he has owned cars that have competed in 2958 CUP events. He has 127 wins, and 696 top fives. He has had his drivers win two CUP championships, (Matt Kenseth, 2003, and Kurt Busch, 2004) and had drivers finish in the top three in points 18 times. In the Nationwide series, he has had cars that won three Championships (Greg Biffle, 2002; Carl Edwards, 2007; and Ricky Stenhouse, 2011) His cars finished in the top three in points 10 times. He also has also been a championship Truck owner. He has won the Championship with Greg Biffle in 2000; and has finished in the top three on four occasions. ROUSH Performance sells a variety of vehicles, parts, and high-performance crate engines. Perhaps best known for the line of upfitted Ford Mustangs, they have more than 16,000 vehicles on the roads today. Typical improvements on the base chassis include appearance packages (body kit, wheels, etc.), suspension and handling upgrades, and horsepower boosts through the use of a ROUSH charger supercharger system. ROUSH Performance sells versions of their Mustang with as much as 540 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the company has expanded into offering propane-fueled vehicles designed for fleet usage. They have packages available to convert the Ford F-150/250/350 and E-150/250/350 vans. Propane is an excellent alternative fuel for fleets; it typically costs less than gasoline (especially when tax credits are implemented), is 90% produced in America which lessens American dependency on foreign oil, and burns substantially cleaner than gasoline or diesel. On April 20, 2002, Roush almost lost his life when his private plane, an Aircam, went down in a lake in Troy, Alabama. Roush was underwater and unconscious, suffering from a head concussion, when Larry Hicks, a retired Marine in a nearby boat, rescued Roush from under water, pulled him to safety, and administered CPR. Shortly afterwards, Roush was flown to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama where he was treated for a head injury, broken ribs, and a shattered left leg. Hicks was injured as a result of the rescue, suffering cramps in both his arms and first degree chemical burns on his body from the fuel. On July 27, 2010, Roush crash-landed in his Hawker Beechcraft Premier 390 jet during an approach to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Fly-In in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in the late afternoon. He walked out of the plane and was taken to a nearby hospital. His condition was listed at serious but stable that evening. On August 3, Roush was upgraded to fair condition. On August 13, Roush made his first at track appearance since the incident at the Michigan International Speedway. During that time he confirmed that he fractured his back, broke his jaw, and lost his left eye as a result. Info from WikiPedia
FELIX SABATES – 9/9/1945 - is a Cuban-born entrepreneur and philanthropist living in the United States. As of 2015 he is currently a partner in Chip Ganassi Racing teams, which fields teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (as Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the IZOD IndyCar Series. Sabates previously owned his own NASCAR team, SABCO Racing, until the end of the 2000 season when Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates became partners. Sabates, was the oldest of seven, three boys and four girls. As a youth and growing up in Cuba before Fidel Castro’s regime conquered the Island. After being stripped of their wealth, their assets confiscated and faced with the struggles of Communism, the Sabates family slowly migrated to the United States. The effects of Castro's new imposed laws of forbidding Cubans from leaving communism; forced the family to strategically and intelligently escape the Castro regime at different times. At age 15, Felix was the first member of the family to enter The United States. An American-based Catholic charity, active throughout Cuba before and after the Castro takeover, established Lexington, North Carolina as a resettlement site for Cuban refugees who fled the new regime. The Sabates' were among the new arrivals to that city. In Lexington, Sabates began working 12-hour shifts in a furniture factory, sanding furniture to help support the family. One year later he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and began working at National Car Rental as a parking lot attendant and washing cars at the Charlotte Airport. While washing cars and starting a family, Felix kept his eyes open for opportunities to better himself and provide for his growing family. Seeing such an opportunity, Felix creatively persuaded the local City Chevrolet car dealership to give him a shot at selling cars. Although the dealership was not hiring, Sabates offered to work for free on the condition that if he out sells the other salesman within a month, that he would be compensated and offered a permanent sales position. Sabates was successful with record car sales. When a local newspaper article had recounted this story about the top salesman, it caught the eye of a local businessman who proceeded to offer him a different sales position with potential growth as a manufacturer's representative. After he accepted a position as a salesman for Top Sales Company (TSC), in 1969 at the age of 25 he was able to parlay his sales success into the purchase of the company in 1971. At its peak, TSC became the largest, most successful manufacturer’s representative company in the United States with over $12 billion in sales. In the 1980s, Sabates established himself in another area of the business world - professional sports. In 1987, he joined the NASCAR motor sports elite with his purchase of a Hendrick Motorsports research and development team from a popular Charlotte businessman, Rick Hendrick (who also owns Chevrolet dealerships). SABCO Racing was founded and a new NASCAR Winston Cup competitor entered the scene. For Sabates, it was just the beginning of a long, successful career in the NASCAR circuit that includes building one of the most visible and respected of all Winston Cup teams. He started with the hiring of driver Kyle Petty in 1989 (he was a huge fan of his father, Richard Petty). In 1992, Sabates' team branched out into the Busch Series. Petty found his groove in the Winston Cup circuit, finishing in the top-five in the final point standings for the season. The team fielded both cars in the Winston Cup circuit the following year and Petty again finished top-five in total points. As many more successful years followed, SABCO Racing changed to Team SABCO at the beginning of the 1996 season. Sabates expanded his operation and became a multi-team power-house. During those years, many famous drivers and sponsors would change hands for Team Sabco. Drivers included Sterling Marlin, Kenny Irwin Jr, Kenny Wallace, Bobby Hamilton, Joe Nemechek and Martin Truex to name just a few. In 2001, Ganassi bought 80% of the ownership interest in the then-two-car team; the same year the team switched from Chevy to Dodge, with
the latter reentering NASCAR competition that season after a 15 year hiatus. Longtime Ganassi sponsor Target joined the NASCAR team as a primary sponsor in 2002. 2001 saw success immediately. Sterling Marlin would win twice that season and post 12 top five finishes finishing third in the points. In 2002 Marlin again won twice while new addition Jamie McMurray also posted a win. Starting in 2003 – the duo saw many lean years. There teams went win-less until 2007 when super-star and road race expert Juan Pablo Montoya would claim a win on the road course at Sonoma. From 2009 – 2013 the Ganassi race team partnered with Teresa Earnhardt to form Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. During that period the owners only posted five total wins. Three by McMurray and two by Montoya. In 2014 Ganassi and Sabates split with Earnhardt and went back out on their own. Jamie McMurray has been a mainstay for many years, and in 2014 they added the new racing phenom Kyle Larson to their stable. Although neither driver posted a win, the rookie Larson finished second on three occasions; posted eight top five finishes, and 17 top tens, while McMurray finished in the top five seven times. McMurray showed signs of momentum at the end of the season and the duo look to be top campaigners when the 2015 season opens.
HARRY SCOTT – ?/?/? - Hscott Motorsports was an off shoot from a split between Harry Scott and partner Steve Turner (Turner-Scott Motorsports). Scott split off to go full time CUP racing after being partnered with Steve Turner running a multi-car operation in the Xfinity series. Scott started off in the CUP series on a part-time basis in 2013. He ran eleven races with the four drivers of Justin Allgaier, Kyle Larson, Michael McDowell and Ryan Truex. In 2014 he hired Justin Allgaier to run the full season schedule wheeling the #51 machine. It was a struggle for the new upstart team and the best finish Allgaier could muster was a 15th at Homestead and Charlotte. The team showed promise the further the season went; and there were high hopes for 2015. Scott decided he'd increase his team from a one car team to a two car team. Common thought was a two car team would be able to gather more information and that would help the team progress and improve faster than a single car operation. SO when 2015 kicked off Scott again had Allgaier as one full time driver; and he brought up Michael Annett to drive a team car (#46). But things didn't pan out as planned. Allgaier posted a top ten finish at Bristol in April; and he ended up with 12 top twenty finishes that season. Annett didn't fare as well as he was only able to post one top 20 finish (and it came the opening race of the season as he placed 13th in the Daytona 500). 2016 Scott had high hopes that a veteran drive could put his cars up front and Clint Bowyer needed a ride for just one season. Bowyer was going to take over the car Tony Stewart when he retired at the end of 2016 and need a car to drive for the 2016 season. This worked out perfect since it would show if Scott's operation was one that had promise or not. If the cars were good; but the drivers lacked talent; Bowyer would be able to get the car up near the front. Annett stayed on as a driver with Scott since he brought along the Pilot/Flying J sponsorship with him. Allgaier had been offered a good ride in JR Motorsports Xfinity series so he spent 2016 there. Bowyer was also able to bring along a sponsor as he had ties with 5 Hour Energy. Annett regressed and had a worse season than in 2015. In 2016 his best finish was 20th. Bowyer had posted two top five finishes and 12 top ten finishes in 2015 driving for a struggling Michael Waltrip Racing team. Bowyer wasn't competitive as he only led three laps all season. He wasn't even able to finish inside the top five with his best finish being a seventh at Talladega. He had just three top ten finishes for the season. Bowyer was only able to finish on the lead lap in 15 of the 36 races. At the end of the 2016 season it seemed Scott had saw the hand writing on the wall and decided to get out of CUP racing. He sold his charter to Premium Motorsports which gave them an automatic starting spot into future CUP races.
ARCHIE ST. HILAIRE - ?/?/? - Go FAS Racing is an American professional stock car racing team that currently competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Founded by long-time crew chief Frank Stoddard as FAS Lane Racing, it came into its current form after merging with Archie St. Hilaire's Go Green Racing in 2014. The team currently fields the No. 32 Ford Fusion full-time for a variety of drivers. FAS Lane Racing was established in 2011 when Stoddard's old team, Latitude 43 Motorsports, closed its doors. Stoddard then formed his own team with the remaining crew members, purchasing cars and equipment from Mark Simo and Boris Said's No Fear Racing as well as from Richard Petty Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing. FAS represents Stoddard's initials (Francis Allen Stoddard), and Stoddard chose the number 32 in tribute to his racing mentor Stub Fadden, who was a Busch North Series racer from New England and used the number 16, hence 16 x 2 = 32. With Stoddard serving as both owner and crew chief, the team began with Cup Champion Terry Labonte at Daytona 500, finishing a solid 15th. Veteran Mike Skinner would run the next two races. After Ken Schrader finished 33rd at Auto Club, the team became locked into the Top 35 in owner points despite failing to make Bristol with Schrader. Schrader also drove the car to a 22nd-place finish at Martinsville. The team also ran the full race at Texas with Big Red and finished 33rd. Talladega saw a change where they brought back Terry Labonte and Texas based company C&J Energy as the sponsor. They were up front a couple of laps with J. J. Yeley drafting with them, but the engine let go to a 34th-place finish. The team has had multiple sponsors including VA Mortgage Centers, U.S. Chrome and Big Red. FAS Lane Racing also gave 2 drivers their Sprint Cup debuts this year. Jason White was one. White ran the No. 32 Gunbroker.com Ford at Pocono Raceway. He started 41st and finished 33rd. Andrew Ranger was the other. Ranger, the young Canadian from Quebec is a former NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion. His debut came at Watkins Glen International in the Bully Hill Vineyards Ford where he started and finished 35th. His debut was cut short about 15 laps early with transmission failures. The team finished 34th in owners' points, guaranteeing the team a start in the first five races of 2012; the team later sold the owner's points to Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012 to allow Mark Martin to compete in the Daytona 500, with Labonte taking advantage of the past champion's provisional. For 2012, FAS Lane Racing ran full-time in 2012 with Terry Labonte running 4 races with C&J Energy as the sponsor, Mike Bliss running 7 races with U.S. Chrome and Air National Guard as the sponsors, Ken Schrader running in 9 races with Federated Auto Parts as the sponsor, Boris Said running in 2 races, Reed Sorenson ran in select races, and other select drivers and sponsors for the remaining 13 races. After the Daytona 500, FAS Lane acquired the points from the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing team. Ken Schrader drove in at least nine 2012 races with sponsorship from Federated Auto Parts. Also, Boris Said ran the No. 32 7-11 Slurpee/SoBe No Fear Energy Drink car at Sonoma and Watkins Glen. Jason White, Timmy Hill, T. J. Bell, and two-time K&N Pro Series East champion Mike Olsen also raced in the No. 32. FAS Lane Racing used a variety of drivers for 2013, with Schrader, Hill, and Labonte racing. On January 30, 2013, Hill declared his intention to run against Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. for Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year honors. The team had announced in March; with OXY Water as a 24-race sponsor for 2013 , beginning at Bristol with Terry Labonte; this also included the full 2014 and 2015 seasons. However, OXY Water was being investigated by the IRS for intending to deceive their investors by misappropriating over $2 million in invested funds. The company was forced to file bankruptcy, costing investors over $9 million., and did not appear as a primary sponsor after Indianapolis. Go Green Racing and FAS Lane Racing merged in 2014, thus creating Go FAS Racing. The team continued to operate out of the FAS Lane Racing shop. Terry Labonte ran the 2014 Daytona 500, and the other super speedway events in his final season, with Said running the road courses, and Kvapil running the balance of the schedule. Blake Koch was later placed in the 32 for the Sprint Showdown, the Coca-Cola 600 and Dover. K&N Pro Series East driver Eddie MacDonald was hired to run the No. 32 at Loudon. J.J. Yeley also ran a number of races in the 32. Joey Gase made his debut with the team at Chicagoland. Kyle Fowler made also made his Cup debut with the team, this time at Martinsville. With Terry Labonte, Go FAS Racing had its best team finish, 11th at the rain shortened 2014 Coke Zero 400. The same year, Terry announced his retirement from NASCAR. His last race was the 2014 GEICO 500 at Talladega, where the sides of the 32 were painted similar to the Kellogg's Corn Flakes car he drove to the 1996 championship season, while the roof was painted to replicate the car Labonte debuted in the series in 1978. The 32 originally had the right side painted in the Piedmont Airlines colors he used in his 1984 championship season, but NASCAR would not allow it on the grounds that the left and right sides must be identical. For the 2015 season, Terry's brother and 2000 Champion Bobby Labonte ran the four super speedway events, also with C&J Energy Services, and Boris Said returned for the two road courses, with the remainder of the lineup to be determined. Go FAS planed to use Mike Bliss as primary driver for the rest of the schedule, although a variety of drivers ran the car like in prior seasons. At Las Vegas, Bliss would suffer the first DNQ for the team since 2011. He went on to DNQ a few weeks later at Charlotte. His last race for the team was at Michigan in June. His best finish with Go FAS Racing was 31st, twice. Joey Gase was in the car for four races, failing to make Texas in November, Will Kimmel ran at Kentucky and Kansas, Travis Kvapil returning for the two Pocono races and Eddie MacDonald in Loudon. Josh Wise attempted the race at Indianapolis, but did not qualify. Despite this, and due to a prior association with Go Green Racing in the Xfinity Series, he was brought back for a three race stretch beginning at Michigan. A few weeks later at Darlington, Wise failed to qualify again. Wise attempted four more races after this, including a DNQ at Charlotte. Jeffrey Earnhardt made his Sprint Cup debut at Richmond, running the full race and finishing 40th, 13 laps behind the leaders. He returned at New Hampshire two weeks later. Fowler would return at Martinsville. The team would finish 42nd in the owner points, down noticeably from their 38th place showing the year before; they were the highest-ranked full-time team to trail the part-time No. 21 by season's end. In 2016, Earnhardt and Labonte planned to split the ride. Earnhardt will run the majority of the season for Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year honors, while Labonte will run the restrictor plate races. During the southern 500 :throwback Paint Scheme" promotion Earnhardt would honor Dale Earnhardt Sr running his yellow and Wranger Jeans paint scheme (shown here) The team is also one of the 36 "charter" teams, thus unlike in 2015, the team will make every race. After Labonte and Earnhardt split driving the No. 32 in the first 4 races; Gase returned to the No. 32 for the Good Sam 500. On April 22, the team announced that former CART series competitor and road course ringer, Patrick Carpentier would drive for the team at Sonoma and Indianapolis. In June, the team hired Jeb Burton to drive at Pocono. Eddie MacDonald drove one single race at New Hampshire and Boris Said made his first Cup series start for the season at the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen in New York. Dylan Lupton joined the team late to drive the No. 32 at Homestead. After the season ended, it was announced that Earnhardt, Labonte, Gase, Burton, MacDonald, Carpentier, and Said will not return to GFR in 2016, with the team planning to have one driver in the 32 in 2017. It was announced on December 15 that Matt DiBenedetto would drive the car full time in 2017. To date Terry Labonte has the organizations best ever finish of 11th at Daytona (2014) and Bobby Labonte has the teams only other top twenty finish (19th / Talladega, 2016).
JD STACY – ?/?/1930 - In 1977 Stacy first arrived on the NASCAR scene. He had made his fortune in coal mining along with many shady deals along the way. Before it was through he would be known for darkening the pages of NASCAR’s history, while spoiling many drivers career’s along the way. Stacy bought the team from Nord Krauskopf’s after the 1976 season. JD Stacy announced he had bought the operation, lock stock and barrel, shortly afterwards, and added he had intentions to acquire or start a second team soon as well, as the first steps to starting a NASCAR dynasty. The Stacy team’s first run was at the Firecracker 400 in Daytona that year, and Neil Bonnett surprised a good many observers by taking the pole for the event. Mechanical difficulties kept him from backing up that promising run, but Neil did wind up bringing the car home eighth. The team scored their first victory, and Bonnett his first win as well, at Richmond that September, with Harry Hyde patiently coaching his driver to the checkers. Bonnett backed up that win with another at the series finale in Ontario, California, edging out Richard Petty by two tenths of a second at the stripe. As a historical footnote, that was the last victory ever for a Chrysler product in Winston
Cup racing. Success proved harder to come by in 1978 as Bonnett went
win-less. But all was not sweetness and light. Throughout the season there had
been rumors Stacy was in financial trouble. A second team he had promised to
start for Ferrel Harris in exchange for a loan, made only two starts. Ferris
and Harry Hyde were forced to launch lawsuits to recover the money they were
owed from Stacy. In the closing weeks of the season Stacy went out to his car in
the parking lot and saw some suspicious wires hanging beneath it. When Stacy
discovered it was a bomb rigged to blow him to pieces he somewhat wisely
decided to drop out of sight, and when he went he took his checkbook with him.
In 1981 JD Stacy came out of hiding and made yet another big splash into the
world of NASCAR. Dale Earnhardt had won Rookie of the Year honors in 1979 and
the Winston Cup Championship in 1980, driving for a team owned by Rod
Osterlund. Though he denied the team was for sale, on June 26th, Osterlund sold
his team and all its assets for $1.7 million, to none other than JD Stacy.
Earnhardt drove four races for Stacy before announcing he was resigning, while
still defending Winston Cup Champ, because he was dissatisfied with the way things
were being run. Stacy
replaced Earnhardt with Joe Ruttman. While Ruttman did not win a race, he did post seven top tens in his seventeen starts with Stacy’s team, including a second at the season finale in Riverside. In 1982 Stacy had bigger plans. He entered the 1982 season trying to build his dynasty, which he constantly told folks would one day dominate the sport. In addition to Joe Ruttman, Stacy started another team for driver Jim Sauter. In addition to the two cars he owned, Stacy also provided what was rumored to be seven figures worth of support to each of five other teams, in entries driven by Terry Labonte, Dave Marcis, Ron Bouchard, Benny Parsons, and Jody Ridley. It was an unparalleled amount of teams running under one banner, especially in light of the fact the cars ran Stacy’s blighted name on their quarter panels, not a company that he owned or had an interest in. He was apparently just delighted by seeing his name get around in the fast circles. While a Stacy backed car did not win the Daytona 500, four drivers carrying his name, Terry Labonte, Ron Bouchard, Joe Ruttman and Jody Ridley, did place in the top ten. At the next race at Richmond, Dave Marcis gambled on the rain ending, rather than delaying, the closing laps of the race and did not pit when the caution flag flew for a light rain. The gamble paid off and JD Stacy went to victory lane with Marcis. But from there, things seemed to be falling apart. Ruttman lost confidence in the team and resigned at the end of March. Stacy hired Tim Richmond to take over as the driver. After finishing thirty-third at Darlington in April, Jim Sauter was fired, and replaced by a young (as in 18 years of age) woman, Robin McCall, who had never even competed in a Winston Cup race. Later that month Stacy started laying off shop employees, and others quit citing concerns about Stacy’s financial health. The sponsorship checks that Stacy owed the five independent teams that carried his name began arriving late when they arrived at all. On paper at least, everything looked fine. Tim Richmond, driving the primary car out of the Stacy stables had been a pleasant surprise. Terry Labonte was leading the Winston Cup points hunt, having assumed the lead after the fourth race of the season, carrying Stacy’s sponsorship. But that is when things started falling apart. The checks Stacy was writing weren’t worth the paper they were printed on. At the June 6th race at Pocono, Tim Richmond and Bobby Allison were battling each other and the weather for the win. When rain set in and the caution flag waved, Allison decided to gamble and stay out on the track, thinking the event might end prematurely. He lost that gamble and ran out of gas on Pocono’s long back straight. Dave Marcis, gentleman racer and a long time friend of the Allison family, graciously used his car to push Bobby back to the pits where Allison took on fuel without losing a lap. Once racing resumed, Allison held off Richmond to take the victory. JD Stacy was furious. Had Marcis left Allison sitting stranded on the back straight, very likely Richmond would have won. Marcis professed surprise at Stacy’s irritation, pointing out he and Richmond were not actually teammates, they just shared a sponsor, and no one had told him it was part of his duties to help other Stacy backed cars win. Shortly thereafter, Marcis received notification that despite being the only driver who had won that year carrying Stacy’s colors, JD was withdrawing from sponsoring Dave’s car. The next race on the circuit was at Riverside, and Tim Richmond scored his first win, and the first win for one of Stacy’s team cars that season. Ironically the win came on the same day Marcis had received notification Stacy was no longer backing him. That race was also the last ride for Benny Parsons in a car flying Stacy’s logos. Despite having post eight top tens, and four fourth place finishes, Stacy claimed not to be satisfied with how Benny was running and pressured team owner Harry Ranier to release him. Buddy Baker assumed driving chores in the Ranier car in Parson’s place. The real shock came that Wednesday when Stacy announced he was no longer going to sponsor Winston Cup points leader Terry Labonte in Billy Hagan’s car. Financial problems continued to build and that fall Ranier removed Stacy’s logos from his cars and announced he was suing JD for being months behind in his payments. Shortly thereafter, Ron Bouchard’s team did the same. Stacy was down to his team car driven by Tim Richmond and sponsoring Junie Donlavey’s, driven by Jody Ridley. Also about that point, Stacy began moving his shop equipment under the cover of darkness fearing it would be repossessed. With the team’s very future uncertain, Tim Richmond announced he would not be returning to the team in 1983. Tim did leave the struggling operation in style, winning the season finale at Riverside for JD and his cronies. Almost unbelievably, despite the mounting lawsuits, ill will, and financial problems, Stacy was back in 1983. As a driver, Stacy selected a 24 year old Arkansas native by the name of Mark Martin. Young and naïve, Mark Martin was delighted by the opportunity to finally drive a top drawer Winston Cup entry; he sold his shop and all his equipment, and laid off his few employees. After just a hand full or races, including a seventh at Atlanta and a third at Darlington, the Stacy team announced they were firing Martin and putting Morgan Shepherd in the car, leaving Mark out in the cold, with an uncertain future. It would be five years before he found another full time Winston Cup ride with Jack Roush. In 23 starts with JD Stacy’s team Morgan Shepherd posted no wins, but 13 top ten finishes, including a second place at that year’s Firecracker 400. At the end of the season, JD Stacy folded his team and disappeared back into obscurity. Some of his drivers, notably Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin and Terry Labonte, were able to recover from the damage his broken promises did to their careers. Others were not. JD Stacy entered the sport of NASCAR racing with lots of money and little in the way of enemies. He left seven years later with very little money and lots of enemies. In the history of NASCAR there have been a great many heroes, noble men, and foresighted prophets but as in any large venture there have also been a few bad apples. Many have said that among the rottenest fruits ever to disgrace the annals of NASCAR’s history is one Jim “JD” Stacy.
STAVOLA BROTHERS - was a NASCAR racing team, owned by Bill and Mickey Stavola, and operating NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch Series teams from 1984 through 1998. The team won the 1988 Daytona 500 with Bobby Allison behind the wheel of the #12 Miller High Life Buick. Other victories include the 1987 Pepsi 400 with Allison, and the 1986 Talladega 500 with Bobby Hillin, Jr. In 1989 Dick Trickle was named NASCAR Rookie of the Year while driving for the team. Rick Wilson drove for the team in 1991 with sponsorship from Snickers, and the team switched to a Ford Thunderbird after Buick pulled out of NASCAR. Wilson was released after the 1992 Daytona 500 and Dick Trickle returned to drive for the remainder of the season. Sterling Marlin drove for the team in 1993 with new sponsorship from Raybestos, finishing second at the Pepsi 400 in July. Jeff Burton replaced Marlin the following year, and won Rookie Of The Year honors with one top-five finish; he drove the car again in 1995 before departing for Roush Racing. In 1996 Hut Stricklin was hired to drive with Circuit City replacing Raybestos, which had become an associate sponsor for Robert Yates Racing. Stricklin finished second at the Mountain Dew Southern 500 in September. In 1998 the team switched to a Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Stricklin was released in May, after failing to qualify for 5 of the season's first 11 races, and Circuit City left to become an associate sponsor for Joe Gibbs Racing and driver Bobby Labonte. During a five-race partnership with Buckshot Racing, Buckshot Jones finished eighth during the MBNA Platinum 400. Morgan Shepherd drove the team's final race on November 8, 1998 at Atlanta Motor Speedway during the NAPA 500 in a Nokia/Kendall Motor Oil-sponsored car. In all the team posted four wins and 36 top five finishes in 524 starts. Bobby Allison had a team best finish of seventh in the CUP points in 1986.
STEWART HASS RACING - a NASCAR racing team based in
Kannapolis, North Carolina. The team is co-owned by Haas Automation founder
Gene Haas and three-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, and was
founded as Haas CNC Racing in 2003 after Haas, whose company was a sponsor of
Hendrick Motorsports, elected to form his own team. In 2009, Stewart, who had
been driving for Joe Gibbs Racing but was not happy with the team's switch to
Toyota, wanted to get back to racing for Chevrolet. Haas, who has fielded
General Motors cars since the team was founded, made a deal for Stewart to
drive for his team and in return receive a 50% stake in the team. As of 2015
the teams fields four teams: the No. 4 Budweiser/Outback Steakhouse/Jimmy
John's Chevrolet SS for Kevin Harvick, the No. 10 GoDaddy.com/Aspen Dental
Chevrolet SS for Danica Patrick, the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS
for Stewart, and the No. 41 Haas Automation/State Water Heaters Chevrolet SS
for Kurt Busch. Since it’s beginnings in 2009 the team has shown success. As 2009 kicked off just two teams were
fielded; One for Stewart and one for Ryan Newman.Stewart visited victory lane
four times that season; while Newman had five top five finishes with a best of
second in the rain-shortened Coke 600. 2010 – 2012 saw Newman post one win each
season; while Stewart would win twice in 2010; third in 2012; and win five of
the last ten races in 2011 to win the CUP Championship. 2013 saw the group
expand to three teams. Danica Patrick
who had raced a full season in the Nationwide series seemed to be rushed up to
the CUP level too quickly because she had a solid full time sponsor in
“Go-Daddy”. She kicked off the season on a high note winning the pole for the
Daytona 500. She would finish eighth in
the race; her only top ten finish of the year. Once again Newman won one race,
while Stewart ran into problems. He had posted one win before being injured in
an sprint type car race. Stewart was
racing when a driver in front of him spun, and he had little reaction time. It was either plow into the other car right
in the drivers compartment; or make an evasive move to help protect the other
driver. Stewart cranked it hard right
and ended up taking a major hit to his leg.
It was severely broken and he would miss the remainder of the 2013
season. 2014 saw the team make changes again.
Even though Newman had won races every year he’d been with Stewart-Hass;
he decided to go elsewhere. IN the long
run Newman went to driver for Richard Childress racing; while Childress driver
Kevin Harvick moved from RCR to drive for Stewart-Haas. Harvick was the only
driver to win any races; but he had several races he dominated and had some
sort of bad luck keeping him from claiming the wins. When it was all said and
done Harvick claimed the 2014 CUP Championship winning the last two races at
Phoenix and Homestead. As 2015 is set to kick off; in the short six year span
Stewart-Haas Racing has been in CUP series racing. The have posted 25 wins and two Championships. 2015 looks
DICK THORSON – 1/1/1 - THORSPORT RACING - an American professional stock car racing team that currently competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The team is based on Sandusky, Ohio. Owned by Duke Thorson and his wife Rhonda. The No. 88 truck was the first out of the ThorSport stable. Debuting in the 1996 season at the Milwaukee Mile, Terry Cook finished 12th in the race for the team, which was then known as Sealmaster Racing. He ran two additional races in the truck that season, but did not finish better than 21st. Cook drove a limited schedule with the team in 1997 in the PBA Tour Chevy. The team received enough funding to compete full-time in 1998, and Cook won his first career race at Flemington. ThorSport began the 1999 without primary sponsorship before Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce joined the operation late in the season, allowing Cook to finish 15th in points. In 2000, PickupTruck.com became the team's new sponsor, and Cook had a total of eight top-ten finishes, but was replaced in the final event of the season by Matt Crafton, who finished ninth. Fast Master Driveway Sealer and XE Sighting System shared sponsorship duties for Crafton, who picked up eleven top-tens and finished 12th in points in his rookie season. Despite Menards becoming a full-time sponsor in 2002, Crafton only had six top-tens and dropped to fifteenth in the standings, but improved to eleventh the following year. In 2004, rookie Tracy Hines became the team's new driver, and he posted three top-ten finishes and finished eighteenth in points. The No. 13 truck began racing in 2004, with Tina Gordon driving with sponsorship from Vassarette and Microtel. After five races, she left the team due to injuries she suffered at Atlanta, and Lance Hooper and Paul White shared the ride for the next several races Crafton returned to the 88 for 2005, winning his first career pole at New Hampshire International Speedway and finishing ninth in points, a team-best. For 2005, Tracy Hines drove the truck and had a fifth-place finish at Richmond International Raceway with sponsorship from David Zoriki Motorsports. Crafton slipped to fourteenth in points in 2006 despite ten top-tens, and repeated his top-ten total in 2007, moving up to eighth in points. Kerry Earnhardt drove for ThorSport Racing during the 2006 season, his best finish being 11th which he recorded twice, at Nashville and Las Vegas. He was not retained for 2007 and rookie Willie Allen was signed to replace him. 2008 was the team's best year to that point, with Crafton scoring his first win at Charlotte and finishing fifth in points. Despite not winning the next year, the No. 88 team finished runner-up in points to Ron Hornaday. Johnny Sauter raced for the team for the 2009 season full-time with sponsorship from Fun Sand. The team ran through a partnership with Mike Curb. Sauter took ThorSport's third win as a team at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and giving ThorSport its first ever 1–2 finish, with Crafton in second. Sauter would finish 6th in points at the end of the year. In 2010, Sauter took home his second win at Kansas after late contact with Ron Hornaday. Crafton had another strong season in 2010, earning one pole at Texas Motor Speedway, 10 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes, resulting in a season-ending rank of fourth. 2011 saw the second win of Crafton's career at Iowa Speedway, in addition to poles at Michigan International Speedway and Martinsville Speedway, where he broke the track qualifying record. However, four DNFs (Did Not Finish) due to engine failures, mechanical issues and accidents caused by other competitors led to only five top fives and 13 top 10s, ultimately relegating Crafton to eighth in the final standings. For 2011 Sauter's team gained sponsorship from Safe Auto Insurance Company. Sauter would score wins at Martinsville and Homestead, finishing second in points to Austin Dillon. 2012 saw sauter have bad luck all season and the best he could muster was a ninth place finish in the points. In 2012, Crafton had a decent season, finishing 6th in points. Todd Bodine took over as driver for the 2013 season replacing Sauter, placing 11th at Daytona International Speedway, with Mattei Air Compressors as the truck's new primary sponsor. However, the team was unable to find additional sponsorship and was forced to release Bodine after the seventh race before the team shut down. On the other hand Crafton had his best season in his career to date. He won his third career race at Kansas in April. After this win, Crafton picked up the points lead and held it for the rest of the season. He finished in the top ten in the first sixteen races of the season, and 19 overall, with a worst finish of 21st in the season finale at Homestead. He clinched his first Truck Series championship with his start in that race, and was able to stay on the lead lap despite late crash damage to become the first driver to complete every lap of the season in the Truck Series. On March 30, 2014, Crafton scored his fourth career Truck win at Martinsville. On June 6, he won on fuel strategy at Texas Motor Speedway to win two races in a season for the first time in his career. It was also the first time he led more than 100 laps in a race. Despite crashing out at Dover and Gateway, his first DNFs in over two years, and dropping to 17 top tens, Crafton would ultimately go on to become the first back-to-back champion in the Truck Series. In 2014, Jeb Burton was hired to drive the No. 13. Initially running on a race-by-race basis pending sponsorship, Burton's ride was upgraded to the full season when Estes Express Lines signed a deal with the team. However, the deal would not be extended to 2015, causing the team to release Burton, who subsequently signed with BK Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Crafton would score his sixth career victory on February 28, 2015, in the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200, the revived Atlanta race. In May, he played fuel strategy to the win at Kansas, winning a second race at one track for the first time in his career. He scored two additional wins at Martinsville and the season finale at Homestead, but finished third in the points due to a few crashes. With Burton departure from the 313 truck, Cameron Haley was brought in to wheel the truck as he brought sponsorship Cabinets By Haley. Haley returned to the truck in 2016. Crafton won twice more in 2016 and got edged out in the points chase as he finished second. 2016 also saw ThorSport add a third truck team as Ben Rhodes was brought in to drive the #41 truck. IT has been announced that Haley will not return for 2017. Crafton and Rhodes are expected to return.
YATES RACING - was an American stock car racing racing team that competed in NASCAR until the 2009 season when it merged with Richard Petty Motorsports. Previously known as Robert Yates Racing, the team was owned by Doug Yates, who has officially owned the team since his father Robert's retirement on December 1, 2007. The Yates family owned the team since purchasing it from Harry Ranier and J. T. Lundy in October 1988. The team was noted for its strong engine program and its success on superspeedways. Throughout most of its history, the team fielded Ford cars numbered 28, 38 and 88, although in its final season it fielded the number 98. After purchasing the assets of Ranier-Lundy Racing in October 1988, Robert Yates' first driver was Davey Allison, who had driven for the Ranier-Lundy banner since 1987 (his rookie season), and drove the #28 Havoline Ford from Yates' takeover of the team until mid-1993, racking up 15 wins and twice finishing 3rd in points. He was killed in a helicopter crash in 1993; Robby Gordon, Lake Speed, and Ernie Irvan split the rest of the driving duties in 1993, with Irvan finding Victory Lane twice. In 1994, Ernie Irvan drove the #28, winning 3 times before being injured in a crash at Michigan in August. Kenny Wallace took over the driving duties for the remainder of the season. While Irvan was still recovering from his injuries, Dale Jarrett replaced him in 1995, starting at Robert Yates Racing after being with Joe Gibbs Racing since 1992. Jarrett won one race at Pocono Raceway and eventually finished the season 16th in the points standings. Ernie Irvan, who had returned for 3 races in 1995 in the #88, switched places with Jarrett in 1996. Irvan won at New Hampshire in July, his first win since returning from his injuries, and at Richmond in September. Irvan won at Michigan in June 1997, the same track he almost died on three years earlier. Irvan left at the end of the 1997 season to drive for MB2 Motorsports. Kenny Irwin, Jr. drove the #28 car for Robert Yates in 1998 and 1999. Despite winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1998, Irwin failed to find victory lane in his two seasons. The next season, Ricky Rudd joined the team after his own Rudd Performance Motorsports team was sold. He would go on to drive 3 seasons in the Havoline Ford, from 2000-2002, and won his first race for the team in 2001 at Pocono after going winless since 1998. Rudd drove the #28 to Victory Lane two additional times, Richmond in 2001 and his final victory at Infineon in 2002, and finished in the top ten in the standings all 3 seasons, including 4th in 2001, his 2nd highest career points finish. Elliott Sadler was hired in 2003, and Yates brought M&M's in as the sponsor, replacing longtime sponsor Havoline. Yates also changed the car's number from 28 to 38. Sadler collected two victories for the team, and finished a career-best 9th in points in 2004. On August 14, 2006 Sadler left for Evernham Motorsports to drive the #19. David Gilliland replaced Sadler in the #38, beginning with the GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan. He finished out the 2006 season, and continued to drive the #38 in 2007, after which M&M's left the team for Joe Gibbs Racing’s #18. Later in the year Gilliland would record his best career finish of second at Infineon Raceway. What is now the #28 began as the Havoline #88 for RYR in 1995, as Ernie Irvan drove the car in 3 races following his comeback from injuries. Irvan returned to the #28 (now #38) the following year, and Dale Jarrett began driving the #88 in 1996 with sponsorship from Ford Quality Care and Ford Credit. Jarrett won the 1996 Daytona 500 in his first race in the #88, defeating Dale Earnhardt for the second time in four years. Jarrett went on to win the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May, the Brickyard 400 (now the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard) and Michigan in August. Jarrett finished third in the Winston Cup point standings behind Hendrick Motorsports teammates Terry Labonte (the Champion) and Jeff Gordon. In 1997 Jarrett won at Atlanta and Darlington in March, Pocono in July, Bristol in August, Charlotte in October, and Phoenix in July. Over the years, Jarrett collected 29 victories (the most wins for any driver for RYR) and he won the Winston Cup championship in 1999. He also finished in the top 10 in points 7 consecutive seasons from 1996 through 2002. The sponsorship on the #88 car changed from Ford Quality Care to UPS in 2001. Jarrett and sponsor UPS left RYR at the end of the 2006 season for Michael Waltrip Racing. Despite off-season rumors of the #88 being shut down and becoming a one-car team, RYR secured Ricky Rudd to drive for the team in 2007, with sponsorship from Snickers. Rudd officially announced his retirement from racing on August 20. On September 14, 2007, it was revealed that Yates transferred the #88 to Hendrick Motorsports for Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s new car. Travis Kvapil would be in the car full-time, with the car switching to #28 in the 2008 season, 20 years since the Yates family took over Ranier-Lundy Racing. For 2010 this team became part of Richard Petty Motorsports as the team transitioned to running with Ford.
WOOD BROTHERS – is an American auto racing team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The team was formed in 1950 by Glen and Leonard Wood, hence the "Wood Brothers". The Wood Brothers merged with Tad and Jodi Geschickter's JTG Racing in 2006 to increase their competitiveness and bring about sponsorship but separated for the 2008 season. The Wood Brothers Racing Team holds the unique distinction of being the oldest active team in NASCAR, having fielded cars since 1950. They are known for their long relationship with Ford Motor Company, and the long standing use of number 21 on their main car. They currently field the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion part-time for Trevor Bayne. The Wood Brothers Racing Team was formed in 1950 by brothers from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia. he boys had a talent for auto mechanics and spent much time at their father's garage. With each brother serving as a mechanic, they formed a stock car racing team. Curtis Turner, a local sawmill operator from nearby Floyd, Virginia, inspired them. Coincidentally, Turner would later drive for the Wood Brothers. In the early 1950s, none of the Wood boys wanted to drive. Then they got fellow lumberman, Chris Williams, as their driver. In the early days of stock car racing, teams drove their cars to the track, raced them, and drove them home. Williams and the Wood Brothers bought their first car for $50. Chris Williams and Glen Wood each drove a few races. They became successful, winning races at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC, and Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Shortly after their early success, Chris Williams sold his share of the team to Glen Wood to focus on his lumber business. Over the early years, the Wood Brothers Racing Team evolved from a weekend hobby into a full-time business. Glen and Leonard worked full-time building and preparing cars, while the other brothers and crew worked nights and weekends apart from their regular jobs. Their first permanent racing shop was at the town limits of Stuart, Va. The team adopted the No. 21 permanently, and would become as notorious as any number in NASCAR history. The Wood Brothers also found themselves lured to the big-ticket cash prizes offered by the growing Superspeedway races in cities such as Daytona, Fla.; Charlotte, NC ; and Darlington, SC. Glen Wood soon stepped out from behind the wheel of the No. 21 Ford, and they began hiring drivers with reputations as winners at the different tracks. The team soon began competing on the highest levels of the sport. Victories were won with the mechanical genius of the team of brothers, relatives, and friends. Leonard Wood's talent in the engine department soon brought the team acclaim and was second in the early years only to the fabled Holman-Moody engine juggernaut and the Petty racing dynasty of Lee Petty and son Richard Petty. The Wood Brothers invented the modern pit stop. In the early days of all types of motorracing, when service was needed during the race it was common for drivers to pull into the pits, turn off the car, get out and even smoke a cigarette as the crew took their time changing tires and servicing the cars. The Wood Brothers recognized that by limiting the time off the track, it could increase their position on the track. Thus, they created and perfected what is now known as the pit stop. It is as common to all types of racing as the checkered flag itself. Other racing organizations noticed the pit stop innovations of the Wood Brothers. In 1965, the Wood Brothers team was hired to act as the Lotus-Ford pit crew at the Indianapolis 500, a race won by the Lotus-Ford of Jim Clark. With the Indy 500 win, the Wood Brothers Racing Team began to enjoy international acclaim as pioneers and leaders in motorsports. The Wood Brothers signed a long-term sponsorship agreement with Purolator to be their primary sponsor on the No. 21 car. Their drivers prior to and during this era had included a "Who's Who" of the best in stock car racing. Among those driving for the Wood team through the mid-1960s were Curtis Turner, Marvin Panch, Fireball Roberts, Parnelli Jones, Tiny Lund, Junior Johnson, Speedy Thompson, Fred Lorenzen, and Cale Yarborough. In those years, the Wood Brothers also entered a second car, No. 121, in select events. Open-wheel star Dan Gurney, who enjoyed popular victories in Indy and Formula One racing, was hired by the Wood Brothers to drive in the No. 121 at road course events. The Gurney-Wood combination proved unbeatable, and they dominated the early road courses on the NASCAR circuit by winning every race in which Gurney drove for the Woods. This streak included the Motor Trend 500 at Riverside, California, in which Gurney won with the Wood No. 121 in 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1968. In the early 1970s, the Wood Brothers continued their success. The lightning-quick pit stops and high-powered engines of the No. 21 car proved a formidable challenge to all on the NASCAR circuit. Legendary drivers such as Donnie Allison and open-wheel Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt also took turns piloting the Wood car. Glen Wood emerged as the leader and patriarch of the team. Glen's young sons Eddie Wood and Len Wood also began working at the shop in menial labor jobs. Brother Delano Wood had evolved into one of the greatest pit crew members, and his skill as a jack man is incomparable even today. In 1972, David Pearson was hired to be the full-time driver of the #21. This choice would pave the way for one of the most successful strings of victory in motorsports history. Pearson would continue to drive the car from 1972 through 1979. In only seven years, the team entered 143 races and amassed a staggering 46 victories and 51 pole positions. In 1976, with Pearson behind the wheel, the Wood Brothers won the coveted "Triple-Crown" of NASCAR racing. This feat was accomplished by winning the legendary Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway; plus the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway; and the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. All of this was accomplished during the 1976 season. The decade of the 1980s saw changes in NASCAR and within the No. 21 team. David Pearson parted ways with the team, and was replaced by an emerging talent named Neil Bonnett. Bonnett and the Wood team had a successful relationship, lasting only three and a half seasons and 83 races. During the "Bonnett Years," the Wood Brothers long term sponsorship by Purolator would come to an end, marking one of the most enduring and synonymous sponsorships in the history of NASCAR. The No. 21 was then sponsored by a company called National Engineer that was owned by the flamboyant Warner Hodgdon, who proudly had his name placed on the No. 21 as the primary sponsor. The Hodgdon sponsorship was believed to have been one of the richest deals of its time in NASCAR racing. In the mid-1980s NASCAR entered what is now called the modern era of the sport. This period also marked the first-ever quest for points championships by most teams. Since the 1950s many teams had run only select races. Now, however, in order to compete for the series title and its large cash prize, teams would be required to compete in all events in a scheduled season. The Wood Brothers decided to make the leap to running a full-time schedule. This new commitment also saw the departure of Warner Hodgdon and National Engineering as a sponsor, and the Wood Brothers brought Valvoline on board as their chief patron. In 1983, legendary driver Buddy Baker was hired to replace a departing Neil Bonnett in the No. 21 car. Baker and the Woods struggled for the first time in many years, only lasting two seasons together. In 1985 history was made in NASCAR as a young Kyle Petty, the grandson of legendary Lee Petty and son of series-dominator Richard Petty, was hired to drive the Wood car full-time. This formed a unique union between the two most successful racing families in NASCAR history. This also marked the first addition of a new sponsor to the Wood Brothers team. A trio of corporate sponsors consisting of 7-Eleven, Citgo, and Chief Auto Parts were brought on board with the Wood Brothers and Petty for the 1985 season. As part of their marketing strategy, the Wood Brothers were required to relinquish their world-famous No. 21 car number and adopt the No. 7 in favor of 7-Eleven's brand sponsorship. This period also marked the emergence of the second generation of Wood Brothers, Eddie and Len, who had increased their responsibilities with the team over the years. They were now effectively calling the shots on race day for the team, and an "anything goes" attitude was welcomed within the team. With Kyle Petty in the seat, the Wood Brothers Ford would find victory in their second season together, 1986, at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. The next year, 1987, the team won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Just as the Petty-Wood relationship was beginning to bear fruit, Kyle Petty found himself lured to a new team, SABCO Racing, owned by the wealthy Felix Sabates. Unable to refuse the lucrative offer, Petty left the Wood Brothers after three seasons and 87 races together. The Wood Brothers switched back to the legendary No. 21 which had been synonymous with the Woods since their early days. This was effected partially due to the loss of 7-Eleven as their primary sponsor, and the elevation of Citgo Petroleum from secondary to primary sponsorship placement with the team. By 1990, the Wood Brothers were back in the No. 21 Ford with Citgo as a sponsor. The early season loss of Neil Bonnett required a replacement driver. Eddie and Len Wood turned to old-time friend Dale Jarrett to take his rightful shot at the Winston Cup Series. Dale Jarrett was the son of former NASCAR champion and broadcaster Ned Jarrett, and had grown up in the sport with the Wood boys. The choice of Jarrett would prove brilliant. In their first full season together in 1991, Dale Jarrett would bring the Wood Brothers No. 21 to victory at Michigan, narrowly edging out Davey Allison by inches in one of the closest wins in NASCAR history. The Michigan victory supported a unique record for the Wood team. Every single rookie driver who had ever driven for them for at least a full season had scored at least one victory in the Wood car. More impressive was the fact that every driver to have driven for the Wood Brothers for a full season from 1953-2002 had won at least one race behind their wheel. The Wood-Jarrett combination was widely considered to be as bright a future as any team in NASCAR's future; however, Jarrett was soon lured away by Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs who formed a new team with the finances to entice Jarrett to leave the #21. This new ride would earn Jarrett his first Daytona 500 win with Gibbs. With Jarrett's departure, the Woods sought out the veteran Morgan Shepherd to fill the seat in the 1992 season. Shepherd had been a solid, dependable finisher in the top series for most of his career and was a serious championship contender. With his consistent top finishes, Shepherd would provide strength as the team continued to adapt to the growing sport. Morgan Shepherd would do very well with the No. 21 Citgo team, and would provide consistent finishes in all four seasons he ran for the Wood Brothers. Their one and only victory came at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 1993, a race that was delayed six days because of a snow storm in the Atlanta area the previous weekend, and provided a much-needed boost for the team who had suffered a drought since Jarrett's victory at Michigan. With the 1996 season upon them, the Woods sought a younger driver to fill the seat of the No. 21 Ford. As Shepherd was approaching retirement age (HAHAHA Reaching retirement age..?? Shepherd didn't retire until the end of the 2013 season at the age of 72), and a youth trend had risen with hot drivers like Jeff Gordon, the team was looking to ride a similar wave. They parted ways with Shepherd and welcomed Michael Waltrip, the younger brother of three-time series champion and legend Darrell Waltrip. With the dawn of the 1999 season, the Wood Brothers brought in Elliott Sadler to replace a departing Michael Waltrip. Like the Woods, Sadler was a Virginia native whose family had been involved in racing for many years. Sadler represented a young, talented Rookie looking to make a name for himself in the Sprint Cup Series. Young Elliott Sadler cut his teeth in the No. 21 car, and was soon performing on par with the best in the top NASCAR circuit. Eddie and Len had brought in Crew Chief Mike Beam, marking a historic first time that someone outside the Wood family had served as Crew Chief for the No. 21 team. Beam had seen success with Junior Johnson, Bud Moore, and others prior to arriving at the Woods. On the track, the Sadler-Wood combination began to bear fruit in the 2001 season, with Sadler capturing his first victory in the No. 21 Ford at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. This win, oddly, was the first win for the Wood Brothers in their career at Bristol. Elliott Sadler continued to improve with the No. 21 and his evolution was quickly making him a target for other teams. Therefore, it was not a surprise when Sadler was lured away to Robert Yates Racing with another lucrative career move. The Sadler period for the Wood team had lasted 139 races, which was the longest single stretch for a pilot of the No. 21 since David Pearson drove in the Wood's heyday. Sadler's departure would signal the end of the "win streak" which saw every full-season driver of the Wood car win at least one victory since 1953. Elliott Sadler was replaced by veteran winner Ricky Rudd, another Virginia native. Eddie and Len Wood continued to seek the right mix of crew members and chemistry, shuffling through personnel and crew chiefs to finally hire Michael "Fatback" McSwain as Crew Chief of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford. McSwain and Rudd had worked together while at Robert Yates Racing several years prior. Ricky Rudd and the Wood Brothers enjoyed a successful run in 2004, again nearly winning and taking home a second place slot. They also won a pole position, the team's first since 1984 with Buddy Baker in the #21. The 2005 season saw another second place finish for Rudd in the No. 21 at California. At the end of the 2005 season, Ricky Rudd announced his retirement. He stepped down after only three seasons with the Wood Brothers during a period of tremendous change for the team. The Woods announced that veteran driver Ken Schrader would drive the No. 21 in 2006. Among the changes to the No. 21 team was the elevation of Michael “Fatback” McSwain from crew chief to manager of racing operations for the team. The crew chief hired for the 2006 campaign was David Hyder, who worked with Schrader at BAM Racing. In 2007 Ken Schrader & Bill Elliott split driving the No. 21 car. In 2008, Bill Elliott, Marcos Ambrose, and Jon Wood shared driving responsibilities of the #21. Ambrose had a best finish of 3rd at Watkins Glen, but left the team halfway through the season. In 2009, the Wood Brothers ran a partial schedule, competing in only 13 races. The season included four Top-10 qualifying efforts, including a season best fourth at Indianapolis. The Motorcraft Ford Fusion driven by Bill Elliott also four Top-16 finishes. 2010 returned the Wood Brothers to the racetrack as they celebrated 60 years in NASCAR. They returned to Daytona in February looking for their fifth Daytona 500 victory with Bill Elliott behind the wheel of the Motorcraft Ford Fusion; Elliott ran a competitive race, but got caught up in an accident with a lap to go. NASCAR had instituted their policy of races not finishing under yellow, so it went 208 laps total. Elliott's damage to his car left him on the lead lap, but finished 27th. In 2011, Trevor Bayne became the youngest driver in Wood Brothers history, taking over duties of piloting the No. 21 in at least 17 races including the first 5 races of the season. On February 20, one day after his 20th birthday, Trevor Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500. It was the first win for Wood Brothers Racing since Elliott Sadler at Bristol during the 2001 season. The Wood Brothers hold many records and historic achievements. Among these are the fact that they have fielded only Ford Motor Company products since 1950, which makes the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer, ever. The Wood Brothers also have won at least one race in every decade for the last six decades, an unmatched feat. They have 98 total victories, and remain among the winningest racing teams in the history of NASCAR racing for 60 years.
SMOKEY YUNICK - 5/25/1923 - 5/9/2001 - was an American mechanic and car designer deeply involved in the early years of NASCAR. He participated as a racer, designer, and held other jobs related to the sport, but was best known as a mechanic, builder, and crew chief. Yunick was twice NASCAR mechanic of the year; and his teams would include 50 of the most famous drivers in the sport, winning 57 NASCAR Cup Series races, including two championships in 1951 and 1953. He was one of auto racing's most brilliant mechanics and innovators. In 1947, he opened an automobile repair shop in Daytona Beach on Beach Street he dubbed "The Best Damn Garage In Town." Yunick quickly became a major player in the racing community here, boasting several big victories on the old beach-road course before winning both the Daytona 500 as a car owner and the Indianapolis 500 as a mechanic. His black Pontiacs with gold trim twice claimed the Daytona 500, with Marvin Panch in 1961 and Daytona native Fireball Roberts in '62. Yunick's cars won four of the first eight Winston Cup races at Daytona International Speedway. Turning the clock back even further, Yunick was the chief mechanic for Herb Thomas, who won Sprint Cup (then known as Strictly Stock) championships in 1951 and '53. As a car owner Yunick fielded cars for 77 races, and won nine times. He had such big name drivers as Bobby Isaac, Banjo Matthews, Curtis Turner, Curtis Turner, Tim Flock, Herb Thomas, AJ Foyt and a host of others wheel his machines. He won more than 50 times as a crew chief, chief mechanic or engine builder. Yunick was especially fond of bending the NASCAR rule book. In 1968 during Speed Weeks, NASCAR officials pulled the gas tank out of his Pontiac after they thought his car was getting excessive fuel mileage. After passing a rigid inspection, Yunick got in the car-- with the gas tank lying on the ground -- fired it up and drove back to his space in the garage area, leaving NASCAR inspectors dumbfounded. "Smokey looked and saw where the NASCAR rule book wouldn't define something and he'd make his own improvisations," said Bobby Allison, who made a couple of starts in Yunick-prepared cars. "There's that gas tank story. The gas tank was the right size but he made the fuel line so it held extra gas. So he was able to drive away without the gas tank. I don't want to say he didn't step outside the lines, but he was really smart about those things." NASCAR specified how big a fuel tank could be, but he noticed no one said how big the fuel line could be. Instead of a half-inch fuel line, Yunick created a two-inch fuel line that was 11 feet long, and held five gallons of gas. Cheating? Not really, since nowhere did it say you couldn't do that. Smokey was a perpetual thorn in the side of NASCAR in general, and Bill France in particular. The self-taught engineer was a genius at aerodynamics, and his tricks to make a car's body slip through the air were far ahead of his time. But Yunick was perhaps best known for interpreting what the rule book said—or, perhaps, didn't say. He was renowned as an opinionated character who "was about as good as there ever was on engines", according to Marvin Panch, who drove stock cars for Yunick and won the 1961 Daytona 500. His trademark white uniform and battered cowboy hat, together with a cigar or corncob pipe, were a familiar sight in the pits of almost every NASCAR or Indianapolis 500 race for over twenty years. Racing was fun for Yunick. Building a car from the ground up to assault Indianapolis Motor Speedway was his absolute first love. His open-wheel creations made 10 appearances at the famed Brickyard between 1958 and 1975. He won the Indy 500 in 1960 when the car he prepared carried Jim Rathmann to Victory Lane. In 1959 he brought a car with the engine turned upside down. He called it the Reverse Torque Special. The car finished seventh. In 1962, Yunick changed open wheel racing forever when he mounted a wing on Jim Rathmann's Simoniz Vista Special Watson Roadster. The wing, designed to increase downforce, allowed Rathmann to reach cornering speeds never before seen at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but created so much drag that it actually caused the car to record slower lap times. The United States Automobile Club (USAC) immediately banned the use of wings but they soon began to appear on cars competing in Can-Am and Formula One and by the early 1970s USAC once again allowed their use. In 1964 he showed up at Indy with the strangest machine ever to turn laps at the 2.5-mile track. It was his "sidesaddle" car wheeled by Bobby Johns. "The whole car was built out of backyard kind of stuff," said Yunick. The car was very fast, and he the driver not spun the car in practice it would or raced in the 500. Following Fireball Roberts' 1964 crash at Charlotte — where after 40 days in pain from burns, he died — Yunick began a campaign for safety modifications to prevent a repeat of such disasters. After being overruled repeatedly by NASCAR's owner, Bill France, Sr., Yunick left NASCAR in 1970. Tired of what he perceived as politics in stock-car racing, Yunick stopped fielding a Sprint Cup entries (in 1970) after a heated argument with NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. Even though the two racing giants lived in the same town, they hardly spoke to each other for the next 20 years. France died in 1992. As with most successful racers, Yunick was a master of the grey area straddling the rules. Perhaps his most famous exploit was his #13 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle, driven by Curtis Turner. The car was so much faster than the competition during testing that they were certain that cheating was involved; some sort of aerodynamic enhancement was strongly suspected, but the car's profile seemed to be entirely stock, as the rules required. It was eventually discovered that Yunick had lowered and modified the roof and windows and raised the floor (to lower the body) of the production car. Since then, NASCAR required each race car's roof, hood, and trunk to fit templates representing the production car's exact profile. Yunick had no formal education but was considered one of the top minds in automobile engine design. He helped develop Chevrolets original small-block engine in 1955. The basic blueprints of that design are still used in racing to this day. He also did research and development on hydraulics, fuel intakes and engine mileage. He also was interested in creating other gadgets. During the energy crisis in the mid 1970s, he built a windmill and solar panel over his shop hoping to generate enough electricity to power his business. Despite failing health, Yunick continued to frequent racetracks across the country, with his wife Margie by his side as a spokesman for an oil additive. Most recently Yunick was working on two projects. The first was writing a book dealing with his life and racing exploits. "The people who knew how things really were in racing's early days were all gone," said Yunick, explaining why he wrote the tell-all trilogy. He penned numerous magazine articles during his long career. He had the ear of Detroit's automakers and even found time to do some consulting work for NASA. Aside from racing, Yunick's innovations include variable ratio power steering, the extended tip spark plug, reverse flow cooling systems, a high efficiency vapor carburetor, various engine testing devices, and a safety wall for racetracks, made of discarded tires, which NASCAR's France had refused to consider. (just consider if NASCAR had been as concerned about safety as they claimed, and used some of Smokey's ideas, how many lives could of been saved)
He was granted twelve patents. He also experimented with synthetic oil and alternative energy sources. After Yunick's death, his shop's contents were auctioned off, according to his wishes. He had witnessed his friend Don Garlits' difficulties developing and maintaining a museum and did not want either his family to be saddled with such a burden, or a "high roller" to gain control of his reputation. Instead, he preferred that his tools, equipment, cars, engines, and parts go to people who would use them, and before his death he undertook to restore as much of it as possible to working condition. The proceeds of the auction went to a foundation to fund innovations in motorsports.
EMANUEL ZERVAKIS - 1/30/1930 - 6/25/2003 - was a NASCAR driver and team owner. He won two NASCAR Sprint Cup races in his career, both in 1961. He later went on to own a part-time Cup team and a successful Nationwide Series team, receiving five Nationwide wins as an owner, four with Butch Lindley and one with Ricky Rudd. (pic of Zervakis and Lindy in bottom photo). He started in 83 NASCAR Cup races between 1956 and 1963 and finished in the top ten in points twice. He started his first race at Daytona Beach in 1956, finishing last in a field of 76 cars. He did not score a single top ten finish until 1960, but after that, he was in the top ten more than he was out. In 1961, he finished third in the point standings, only behind Ned Jarrett and Rex White. He ran his last race in 1963. He also made 6 starts in the now-defunct Convertible Series. Zervakis was also a team owner. He might be remembered most for fielding a car for Dale Jarrett's first Winston Cup race; his Cup team competed in 39 events total, with a best finish was a second place finish by Butch Lindley at Martinsville. Zervakis wasn't a stock car racing superstar, but everybody inside the sport knew "The Golden Greek." He flirted with greatness as a driver, then carved out a long career as an innovative, eccentric car owner and racing businessman. His advice was sought at all levels of the sport. Car owners, drivers and mechanics alike consulted him. Teams hired him to gain an edge over their competition. He parlayed his knowledge of cars and his desire to succeed into a racing career. He started racing locally in 1950, was immediately a track champion. He finished first in a race in 1960 at Wilson, N.C., but was stripped of the victory after Joe Weatherly filed a protest regarding Zervakis fuel tank, even though mileage hadn't influenced the victory. The tank's capacity was found to be slightly over the legal limit. Weatherly was awarded the victory in the 200-lap race. His fuel tank was not inspected. Contemporaries say that when he was asked how he knew Zervakis' tank was illegal, Weatherly grinned and said, "because I was running the same tank he was." Zervakis won two races in 1961 - a 200-lapper at the half-mile track in Greenville, S.C., and a 500-lap event at the quarter-mile track in Norwood, Mass. - and finished third in the series standings that year. Surrounding Zervakis in the top eight finishers that year is a hall-of-fame roster of the era: champ Ned Jarrett, Rex White, Zervakis, Joe Weatherly, Fireball Roberts, Junior Johnson, Jack Smith, Richard Petty. Emanuel Zervakis broke his kneecap in a fiery crash at Southside Speedway in 1964. The injury, his business concerns and reluctance of his insurers to underwrite a race driver led to an early retirement from driving. Zervakis became a builder/engineer/owner of race cars. Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Ricky Rudd and Ray Hendrick were among his drivers. His longest-running success was with Richmond restaurateur Sonny Hutchins behind the wheel. Hutchins said he enjoyed tweaking the ever-serious Zervakis. "We'd be running great, out in front, and I'd start singing to him over the radio. He'd get on there and tell me, 'Pay attention to what you're doing before you wreck my car.' "Or I'd brace the steering wheel on my knees and go by the pits with both hands in the air, waving at him. You should've seen him." Zervakis forays into Cup racing against NASCAR's elite showed promise - qualifying up front, leading races. Hutchins qualified on the outside front row in a race at Martinsville and out-gunned pole-sitter Richard Petty to take the early lead. In another race at Martinsville, Lindley finished second, narrowly defeated after making an extra stop for fuel. But the impressive on-track showings never resulted in the major sponsorship necessary to run a first-class Cup team. Zervakis remained a background figure in the sport - constructing cars, offering advice, building a legacy that touched countless teams. "Dad was standoffish. He wasn't an outgoing personality," said Butch Zervakis. "He understood the politics and the corporate side of things, but he didn't want to play that game." Geoff Bodine credits Emanuel Zervakis with opening the door that led to his long career as a Cup driver - 18 victories and almost $17 million in winnings. "He took a chance on me," said Bodine. "He didn't know if I could drive those big, heavy Cup cars. We both found out I could. "I had two really fun years with Emanuel and his three boys. And the things I learned from them made a big difference in my career." Zervakis' reputation made him an enduring source of information and race car theory. His "official" stats as a CUP car owner show he fielded a car in 39 events over nine seasons. He also fielded cars for 18 Nationwide events claiming five wins over a year year period. He died on June 25, 2003. He was 75 and he had been out of racing's competitive loop since a 1994 stroke severely limited his ability to communicate.