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. 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 Superspeedway, where he finished 9th. Midseason, 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.
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 at the Winston Cup level. He continued to drive the No. 87 part-time in the Xfinity Series for several years. After winning the Hardee's 250 in 1994, Nemechek did not win until 1997, when he won the Carquest Auto Parts 300 and the Jiffy Lube Miami 300 in the BellSouth sponsored car. NEMCO made its Winston Cup debut during the 1993 season at the Slick 50 300, where Nemechek started fifteenth and finished 36th in the No. 87 car. NEMCO ran two more races with Nemechek that year, at Watkins Glen and Michigan, where he finished 21st and 37th, respectively. NEMCO did not race in the series again until the 1995 season, when Nemechek moved the operation up to Cup full-time. With sponsorship from Burger King, Nemechek posted four top-tens and finished 28th in points. The next season, he had just two top-tens and dropped to 34th in points. After he signed with SABCO Racing, Nemechek abandoned the team's Cup program, and sold the equipment to the SABCO team. NEMCO began running the No. 87 truck in 1995 with John Nemechek driving with sponsorship from Burger King and Delco Remy America. John had two top-tens and finished 16th in points despite not competing in four races. Joe took over the No. 87 the following year on a part-time basis. He finished second at Watkins Glen after Steve Park qualified on the pole in the truck, then finished eighth at Phoenix International Raceway. Meanwhile, No. 8 truck was originally owned and driven by Joe Nemechek's brother John. He debuted the truck in 1996 at the Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex, where he finished seventh. He ran full-time that year and finished 13th in points. The team was known as CHEK Racing Inc. Three races into 1997, John was involved in a single-truck accident at Miami-Dade and suffered massive head injuries, which claimed his life five days later. The No. 8 truck was retired in John's memory after this, and it was intended that the number would not be used again by the Nemecheks. Beginning in 1998, Nemechek began sharing the Xfinity car with Ron Fellows. Fellows picked up his first win that year at the Lysol 200, then finished second the next year to Dale Earnhardt Jr., before winning at Watkins Glen the next two years.NEMCO returned to the Winston Cup Series in 1999, fielding the No. 87 Bully Hill Vineyards Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Ron Fellows at Watkins Glen. Fellows started seventh, led three laps, and finished in second place. In 2000, the team got new sponsorship from Cellular One, and Nemechek went on to win three races in 2003. Ron Fellows left the team to drive for Dale Earnhardt Incorporated after 2002. NEMCO did not field a car in CUP Series race but on one occasion again until 2009. So NEMCO concentrated solely on it's Xfinity program from 2003 to 2009. NEMCO debuted its No. 7 Xfinity car in 2001. Co-owned with Ed Evans and run under the Evans Motorsports name, it was driven by Randy LaJoie and sponsored by Kleenex. The car won its first race at Daytona International Speedway. LaJoie won another race that season at Memphis Motorsports Park and finished twelfth in points. The No. 88 car also debuted in 2001 at California Speedway with Jeff Fuller as the driver. He started 40th and finished 42nd after an early vibration problem. The NEMCO organization posted a win with Joe Nemechek at the wheel at Daytona in July as it's lone victory in 2002 but the following yearclaimed three wins in only 13 starts. Nemechek posted another win in 2004; but it was the final win for NEMCO to date in the Xfinity series. 2004-2016 would see NEMCO only post three top five finishes. Meanwhile in thc CUP series things were even worse. NEMCO returned to race full-time in the 2009 season with Joe Nemechek. The car was leased to Scott Speed and the Red Bull Racing Team for two races when Speed did not qualify. The team attempted to compete fulltime through 2013 but the best finish the team could muster over that period was a 14th at Talladega with a total of five top 30 finishes in that five year span. One race was attempted in 2014 and the CUP teams was shut down. However, in 2014, the number returned with Joe Nemechek's son John Hunter Nemechek (named after Joe's brother) ran the No. 8 Toyota Tundra in 10 races, with Joe driving the other 12. SWM sponsored the truck, with SWM owner Sid Maudlin also owning a share of the truck team. The events on the younger Nemechek's NCWTS calendar include Martinsville in March and October, Dover in May, Gateway Motorsports Park in June, Iowa in July, Eldora Speedway in July, Bristol in August, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in August, New Hampshire in September and Phoenix in November. NEMCO experienced a renewed success, with a best finish of 3rd at Texas by the elder Nemechek. The team recorded eleven top-10s and only finished outside the top-15 on two occasions. The No. 8 finished 7th in owner points, the highest finish for a NEMCO team in any series in nearly 20 years. In 2015, the season began with the truck again being split between Joe Nemechek and John Hunter Nemechek. Ryan Newman also ran a race for the team at Kansas. Beginning at the eighth race of the season at Gateway, John Hunter took over the truck full-time. At Chicagoland in September, John Hunter Nemechek won his first Truck Series race, 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. Team co-owner Sid Maudlin died in December 2015 at the age of 61. 2016 saw John Hunter win early at atlanta and also win at the road course of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville Ontario. Nemecheck would go on to finish eighth in the 2016 points. At this moment plans are to have John Hunter Nemechek drive for NEMCO 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 field 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. 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 Richard Childress Racing. Osterlund fielded cars for drivers such as the legendary Dale Earnhardt from which Earnhardt won Osterlund his only Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup Series) Championship in 1980. Other notable drivers include Neil Bonnett in 1977, Dave Marcis in 1978, David Pearson in 1979, Hut Stricklin in 1989, and Jimmy Spencer in 1990.
COTTON OWENS - 5/21/1924 - 6/7/2012 -
was a NASCAR driver. For five straight years (1957–61), Owens captured
at least one Grand National (now Sprint Cup) series win. Owens was known
as the "King of the Modifieds" for his successes in modified stock car
racing in the 1950s. Owens was born at Union, South Carolina. His
career began in the 1950s in what is now known as the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour. He earned over 100 feature wins. He was the 1953 and 1954
champion. Cotton's NASCAR (Grand National) career began in 1950 when
he ran three races. He finished 13th in the point standings. 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 Road Course). Owens once drove a 1957 Pontiac
to victory; beating runner-up Johnny
Beauchamp by 55 seconds with the first-ever 100 mph (101.541 mph)
average race on the sand. The win was also Pontiac's first NASCAR win.
He had his next trip to victory lane in 1958 at Monroe County
Fairgrounds at Rochester, New York. In 1959, Owens finished second to
Lee Petty in the race for the championship. 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, South Carolina. 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 1965, the Chrysler Hemi engine was not
in NASCAR. Owens and Pearson boycotted NASCAR, and 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. Cotton was fortunate to have some of the biggest names
in the sport drive his cars over the years. Drivers for Cotton Owens
included many legends: David Pearson, Buddy Baker, Pete Hamilton, Marty
Robbins, Ralph Earnhardt, Bobby Isaac, Junior Johnson, Benny Parsons,
Fireball Roberts, Mario Andretti, Charlie Glotzbach, and Al Unser. In
all, a total of 25 drivers climbed behind the wheel of Owens' cars in
291 races, 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. 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. Info from WikiPedia
RAYMOND PARKS - 6/5/1914 - 6/20/2010 - was the owner of Red Byron's car which won NASCAR's first Strictly Stock (now Sprint Cup) 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. Parks left home at age 14 and began hauling moonshine. 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. 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: the 1948 events for “modified” cars, models built before World War II and extensively altered for racing. Nascar’s modern championship series, now called the Sprint Cup, 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. 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. Raymond Dawson Parks was born in Dawsonville, Ga., on June 5, 1914. As a youngster, he was caught buying Prohibition-era corn whiskey for his father and spent three months in jail. He left home at 14 to work at 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 a nine-month federal prison term in the mid-1930s. . Prior to the founding of NASCAR, Parks was the car owner for moonshine runner and nephews Lloyd Seay and Roy Hall as far back as 1938. 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 above mentioned championship in 1949. Parks was the last living member of the group who created NASCAR during a meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1947. Raymond Parks died on June 20, 2010. He was one of eight drivers inducted in the first class of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in 2002, along with his cousin Lloyd Seay, 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 finishes first and third in the Championship points. He also owned the cars of successful drivers Fonty Flock, and Curtis Turner. 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 1940s how to make a small fortune: “You take a huge fortune, and then you go racing.” Parks died on June 20th, 2010. He was 96 years old.
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 1950s, Penske was named 1961's Sports Car Club of America Driver of the Year by Sports Illustrated. After retiring from driving a few years later, he created one of the most successful teams in IndyCar Series and NASCAR racing. Starting in 1958, Penske purchased, raced and sold race cars, and was very successful both financially and on the track. Penske made his first professional racing start at the now-abandoned Marlboro Motor Raceway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. By 1960, he was a well-known race car driver (Sports Illustrated SCCA Driver of the Year), winning prestigious races until 1965, when he retired as a driver, to concentrate on his first Chevrolet dealership in Philadelphia, PA. He subsequently began his now famous Penske Racing in 1965, as well. Interestingly enough, although Penske competed in two Formula One Grands Prix, and won a NASCAR Pacific Coast Late Model race at Riverside in 1963, he never ran the Indy 500. In fact, he was offered a rookie test at Indianapolis, but turned it down for business reasons. Rookie Mario Andretti stepped in for Penske to take that test at Indianapolis. A video on how Penske got involved in racing is here. His team first competed in the Indianapolis 500 in 1969, winning that event in 1972 with driver Mark Donohue, and their first NASCAR win was in 1973. and within three years had become the team to beat. His teams have won many races in the subsequent years. As of May 1, 2012, Penske Racing has won the Indianapolis 500 15 times, won the Indianapolis 500 pole position 16 times, as well as 163 open wheel IndyCar wins in USAC, CART and IRL, 26 of which are in 500-Mile Races and 12 open wheel championships. Team Penske currently fields three cars, the #3 Shell Oil Company Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Hélio Castroneves, the #2 IZOD Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Ryan Briscoe, and the #12 Verizon Wireless Dallara/Chevrolet driven by Will Power. Castroneves has won the Indianapolis 500 three times (2001, 2002 and 2009), as well as other CART and IRL races with Team Penske. Sam Hornish, Jr. is the 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner. Here is a Video of Penske's Indy 500 success. He closed his European-based Formula One business in 1977. In 1982, he became the Chairman of the Penske Truck Leasing business. Running under the banner of Penske Racing South, Penske made its NASCAR debut in 1972 at Riverside International Raceway. 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. The team ran part-time for a few years, fielding 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. In 1980, the team fielded two races for Rusty Wallace, finishing 2nd in his first race at Atlanta. Penske sold his machinery to the Elliott family in 1977 and got out of NASCAR. The team didn't run for eleven years, returning in 1991 with Wallace at the wheel again, with Rusty moving his Miller beer dollars to the new team. Early in 2008, Roger Penske and Penske Racing won the 2008 Daytona 500 with Ryan Newman, the first time Penske has won a restrictor plate race, winning with a 1–2 finish. Penske Racing now operates a NASCAR team with drivers Brad Keselowski and A. J. Allmendinger. It also operates an Indy Racing League team composed of Hélio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe, and Will Power. Previously, Penske Racing ran cars in the CART series that included some of the best drivers of the time, including Gary Bettenhausen, Tom Sneva, Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Al Unser, Jr., Emerson Fittipaldi, Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan, Paul Tracy and Gil de Ferran. After many years of trying, his team won the Daytona 500 in 2008 with Ryan Newman driving. In 2005, Porsche set the stage to make a comeback in sports car racing in the United States and chose Penske Racing to run in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The Penske Porsches took center stage in 2006, winning immediately, including victories at Mid-Ohio finishing 1-2 ahead of Audi (competing in a higher classification) and the annual Petit Le Mans, a 10-hour showcase event held at Road Atlanta. His team scored an overall victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2008. Penske also ran a Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype in the 2008 Rolex 24 at Daytona, with Kurt Busch, Ryan Briscoe, and Hélio Castroneves driving. The car was run in conjunction with Wayne Taylor's SunTrust Racing. They finished third overall. 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). To date as a NASCAR owner Penske has accumulated 71 wins in 1364 race. Rusty Wallace finished second in the CUP points for him in 1993. Penske's drivers have won the Southern 500, Coke 600, and Daytona 500. Here is a video of Penske driver Ryan Newman winning the 2008 Daytona 500.In the Nationwide series he has 19 win in 251 starts. A video of the History of Penske Racing is here.
ANDY PETREE – 8/15/1958 - is a former crew chief and driver in NASCAR. By the age of 28, Petree was already a NASCAR Winston Cup crew chief on the Leo Jackson racing team. That car was driven by the Bandit Harry Gant. Afterwards, Petree was hired by Richard Childress Racing, ending up as car chief for the #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt won his sixth and seventh championships (1993 and 1994) with Petree. However, Petree wanted to have his life calm down a little and on October 1, 1996, Petree went back to Leo Jackson and bought his #33 team. Petree took over the #33 Skoal Bandit Chevy as owner for the full 1997 season. That year, driver Ken Schrader drove the car to 2 top-5s and 8 top-10s en route to 10th place in the NASCAR Winston Cup final standings. Schrader also won 2 poles in the season. It marked a strong comeback for the #33 team, which had struggled severely in 1996. In 1998, Schrader received 3 top-5s and 11 top-10s. However, he fell two positions down the points ladder to 12th. Yet Petree was ambitious. 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. 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 1 pole, and secured 3 top-5s and 9 top-10s. Kenny, on the other hand had one top-5: 2nd at Talladega Superspeedway. 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.
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, cumulating 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 Busch 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 Winston 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 is currently (2015) driven by Aric Almirola and sponsored by Smithfield Foods and STP
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-ten finish; a ninth at
the rained-shortened Daytona 500, and Sorenson was released the end of the
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 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. In 2011, 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. To replace Allmendinger,
RPM signed 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 4 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. 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. 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 Sprint 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.
As of 2015 the team currently fields the #9 Ford Fusion for Sam Hornish, Jr.
and the #43 Smithfield Foods Ford Fusion for Aric Almirola in the Sprint Cup
Series, and the #43 WinField Ford
Mustang for Dakoda Armstrong in the Nationwide Series.
CAL WELLS - 10/12/1955 - 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. Over time, PPI eventually began its own off-road team, with help with Toyota Motorsports. PPI fielded off-road trucks for Mickey Thompson's SCORE series and then later fielded trucks which competed in outdoor events such as the Baja 1000. Notable drivers for PPI include Ivan "Ironman" Stewart and a young Robby Gordon (who also drove in CART for the team in 1998). 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 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, 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 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 10 top fivie finishes (all also with Craven) and 26 top ten finishes.
JAY ROBINSON - PREMIUM MOTORSPORTS – 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 2012. 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. For 2015, Robinson began fielding NASCAR entries again, planning to run both the Sprint Cup Series and the Camping World Truck Series. Mike Hillman's 40 team was absorbed by Premium in January 2016. Premiun 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 leadt 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 Indianappolis 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 though all throughout it's existance Prenium Motorsports has had problems attracting sponsors and is 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 Soreson 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. As 2017 approaches; rumors have Premium Motorsports fielding two cars; but no word on who the drivers would be. In the Sprint 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 full-time for Timmy Hill.
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 racecars 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-ten, 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-tens 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 Busch Series team.
HARRY RANIER – 2/25/1937 – 7/21/1999 - was a NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint 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 (b. ca. 1930s - d. July 21, 1999) 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. 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. He did return a run a combined total of eight races in 1996-1997 with a best finish of 25th by Greg sacks at Talladega.
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.
BARNEY VISSER – 1/1/1 - Furniture Row Racing is an American professional stock car racing team that currently competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The team is owned and sponsored by Furniture Row, a U.S. furniture store chain, and is based in Furniture Row's home city of Denver, Colorado; it is the only NASCAR team headquartered west of the Mississippi. The team was also the first single car team ever to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup, which it did in 2013 with Kurt Busch, again in 2015 and 2016 with Martin Truex. The team made its NASCAR debut in the Busch Series at Nashville Superspeedway in 2005 with Jerry Robertson driving, starting 24th and finishing 33rd. Robertson ran ten races with the team in 2005, his best finish being a 22nd at California Speedway. The team made two Sprint Cup appearances as well, with Kenny Wallace debuting the team at Dover International Speedway. Wallace was scheduled to drive the first five races in 2006 and Robertson filling out the rest of the schedule. At the 2006 Daytona 500, Wallace failed to put the No. 78 Furniture Row car in the field. Wallace qualified for the next two races, at California Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, finishing 41st and 38th. However, the performance of the team was not good enough to make the top 35 in points, and the team ran with various drivers for the rest of the year, Jimmy Spencer (both Pocono races) and Travis Kvapil (at road courses) also drove the car. The team also teamed up with PPI Motorsports to share equipment and resources throughout the season. Wallace was hired to continue to be the full-time driver in 2007. Wallace had two sixth-place starts this season but was released in August 2007. After Scott Wimmer and Sterling Marlin failed to qualify in the car in the following weeks, Joe Nemechek was named permanent driver. FRR completed a 3-year contract with Nemechek (2008–2010) towards the end of the season. In early 2008, Wallace returned to Furniture Row to drive in the Daytona 500 in a car that was supposed to serve as a safety net for Nemechek in case his team didn't make the field. Instead, Nemechek locked himself into the field with a third place qualifying run, and Wallace secured a spot in the race in the Gatorade Duels. At the spring Talladega race, Nemechek gave the team their first pole. In the fall race at that track, Nemechek gave FRR its then-best finish ever of 11th. For 2009 the team announced it would cut back to a part-time schedule due to money constraints. Joe Nemechek was to remain as the driver but the team bought out the rest of his contract after he refused to run a partial schedule. Regan Smith ran 18 races in the No. 78 car in 2009. The team resumed full-time duties in 2010. The team aligned with Richard Childress Racing and earned Top 35 status for the first five races of 2010 by purchasing the owner points from RCR's No. 07 car. Childress was listed as the official owner of the No. 78. On November 15, 2010, the Furniture Row Racing transporter and motorcoach were destroyed in an accident on Interstate 25 about forty miles from the team's Denver headquarters. Richard Childress Racing provided the team a fully equipped transporter for Furniture Row's use at Homestead. At the 2011 Daytona 500, Smith gave Furniture Row its first top ten, with a seventh-place finish. On May 7, 2011, Smith gave Furniture Row its first top five finish, and first victory, at Darlington Raceway in the Southern 500, holding off Carl Edwards. In 2012, the team struggled mightily, and Pete Rondeau was replaced as crew chief by former RCR crew chief Todd Berrier before Indy. The addition of Berrier resulted in the first back to back top-10 finishes (both 9th places) for FRR and Smith. Despite Berrier bringing Smith two top ten finishes and one top-five finish, manager Joe Garone announced that Smith would be replaced by Kurt Busch beginning at the 2012 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte. In the 2013 season, Busch improved the status of Furniture Row as a team, with the car becoming more competitive and running in contention more frequently than not. In the first 26 races, Busch recorded 8 top five and 13 top ten finishes, and one pole position (at Darlington in May). These were statistics easily comparable to drivers who were running with the powerhouse teams. The team also had low points, such as a scary wreck in the May race at Talladega that saw Busch flip over and land on top of Ryan Newman in turn 3 with six laps to go. A number of poor finishes, and errors like crashes at New Hampshire and Martinsville, plus a dead battery while leading under a red flag at the Coca-Cola 600, kept the team hovering on the Chase bubble. A streak of top ten finishes by Busch in August, combined with a second-place finish at Richmond, secured the team a Chase berth entry. This marked Busch's eighth season making the Chase. This also made Furniture Row Racing the first ever single car team to race into the Chase. In August 2013, it was announced that Busch would not be returning to FRR for 2014, as he had signed with Gene Haas to drive with Stewart-Haas Racing starting at the 2014 Daytona 500. The team also announced that they had extended their alliance with RCR. For close to two months, speculation over who would replace Busch at Furniture Row had suggested Juan Pablo Montoya to be the most likely candidate, as Montoya is being replaced in the No. 42 at Chip Ganassi Racing by Kyle Larson, with other potential candidates being Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte. However, Montoya eventually announced that he would join Team Penske in the IndyCar Series. In early October, after Michael Waltrip Racing announced that their No. 56 team was being cut to a part-time team due to the loss of NAPA Auto Parts as a sponsor in the fallout from the 'Spin-gate' scandal at Richmond, it was reported that Furniture Row was in talks with Martin Truex Jr. to sign him on as driver. The announcement also added that FRR had hired all of the crewmen from Truex's MWR team as well, making for a smoother transition, as Busch had lost several shots at winning races simply because of slow pit stops that plagued the team throughout the season. Truex had a bad year in 2014, scoring only 5 top tens, leading only 1 lap and finished 24th in the standings. To add insult to injury, Truex's girlfriend Sherry Pollex was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Following that year where Truex failed to gel as much as everybody hoped, the team released crew chief Todd Berrier from duty and hired rookie crew chief Cole Pearn. Truex's performance dramatically improved during the 2015 season, largely due to the new driver-crew chief relationship between Truex and Cole Pearn. During the Daytona 500, Truex led one lap and finished 8th. Truex earned nine top tens throughout the first 10 races, finishing second at Las Vegas. He led the most laps at Kansas and appeared on his way to a win, when a poor pit stop shuffled him to a ninth-place finish. After leading the most laps for four-consecutive races, Truex and Furniture Row finally broke into victory lane, finishing winning the Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 at Pocono Raceway in June getting Furniture Row Racing its 1st Sprint Cup Series victory since the Southern 500 in 2011 and breaking a 69 race winless streak for Truex. The win locked Truex and the team into the Chase for the Sprint Cup for 2015 and put him second in the standings. The next week, Truex would finish 3rd in a rain shortened race at Michigan International Speedway becoming the first driver since Richard Petty in 1969 to score 14 top 10s in the first 15 races of the season. Truex would not visit victory lane for the rest of the year but did score a total of 22 top 10s, including 8 top 5s, and finished 4th in the championship standings after racing his way to the championship 4 at Homestead. On September 27, 2015, it was confirmed that Truex had re-signed with Furniture Row for 2016 and beyond. The team also announced a switch to Toyota in 2016, receiving a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing and engines from Toyota Racing Development. Truex would win his second race with Furniture Row on May 29, 2016 after leading a record breaking 392 of 400 laps of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. Truex was able to score his first multi-win season as he won the Southern 500 at Darlington and then scored off a victory at Chicagoland passing leader Ryan Blaney with 4 laps to go. Truex scored his fourth win of the season two races later at Dover, However for the 78, the car lost the engine at Talladega, cutting the car from the chase. On August 7, 2016, it was announced that Erik Jones had signed a deal with Furniture Row Racing to drive in their new No. 77 car sponsored by 5-hour Energy for the 2017 season. It marked the return of the No. 77 for the first time since Charlotte fall in 2014, then operated by Randy Humphrey Racing. Erik Jones has a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing; and since Furniture Row and Joe Gibbs Racing share a technical alliance; Furniture Row will provide a place for Jones to race so he can move on up to the CUP series. Jones is expected to be one of several candidates to run for Rookie of the Year. This will be the first time that Furniture Row has been more than a single car team. As the 2016 season ends; Furniture Row has raced in the CUP series for 12 season. They have won six races (five in the past two season); had 31 top five and 71 top ten finishes. The best finish in the Championship was fourth by Truex in 2015. On August 7, 2016, it was announced that Erik Jones had signed a deal with Furniture Row Racing to drive in their new No. 77 car sponsored by 5-hour Energy for the 2017 season. It marked the return of the No. 77 for the first time since Charlotte fall in 2014, then operated by Randy Humphrey Racing.
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.