All posts tagged JR Motorsports

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my mini race shop tour

JR MotorsportsOn Wednesday my only goal for the day was to visit race shops. My first stop was JR Motorsports in Mooresville, NC. On my half-hour drive up to Mooresville I got to see the famous Lake Norman that numerous NASCAR drivers call home. It is absolutely gorgeous and now I totally understand why you’d want to find a house that sits next to it. I can extend the whole ‘gorgeous’ statement to the whole Charlotte area. It’s really flat, especially to someone like me who has grown up around mount this and mount that, but it’s also really, really green. I thought we had a lot of trees in Northern California but North Carolina has got a lock on ‘em too.

When I arrived at JR Motorsports, passing by Braun Racing in the process, I had another one of those “this is so coooooool” moments. I’m such a geek, but it was really fun to get to be there even though I knew I was only going into the JR Nation store to buy stuff and take a peek inside the actual race shop. I think, as a fan, it’s just as much fun to express your affinity for your favorite driver by buying a mug. I really did buy a JR Motorsports mug, and this cute Dale Jr. magnet notepad. There were a billion more things I could have purchased but I held back because I figured I might need some money to get back home and, ya know, to live. :)

shortcuts: testing at infineon, lifetime tv sponsors jr motorsports

One of the benefits of being unemployed is the ability to do anything anytime you want, and in my case it means that I can attend media events that occur during the day at a time when I’d normally be working. This Friday I’ll be at Infineon Raceway for Two-Wheel Thunder, a test session for motorcycle riders in the AMA Pro Road Racing Series.

It all begins at 9am and is completely free to the public. So if your schedule is open that day you should come out to Sonoma and check it out. There will also be riders from Supermoto USA and TTXGP electric motorcycle demonstrations.

This is all in advance of the West Coast Moto Jam taking place at Infineon on May 14-16. If you purchase a ticket for the West Coast Moto Jam during Two-Wheel Thunder you’ll get to take a lap around the the raceway’s road course on your motorcycle. For more info go to infineonraceway.com

In other news…

– ESPN’s Jamie Little became engaged to Cody Selman, Kyle Busch’s former go-to guy. Congrats to Jamie & Cody! Check out her ring, it’s spectacular! I saw her interviewing Danica Patrick with it on over the weekend and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Good job, Cody!

Brian Vickers participated in a special NASCAR Tweetup at Martinsville where he competed against fans in an simulated racing challenge at the Sprint Experience.


Brian Vickers races Miss Sprint Cup and six fans from Twitter during a pre-race tweet-up at the Sprint Experience. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brian Vickers races Miss Sprint Cup and six fans from Twitter during a pre-race tweet-up at the Sprint Experience. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brian Vickers congratulates Matt Dettelbach (@mdbach on Twitter) for beating him in the simulator race at the Sprint Experience. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brian Vickers congratulates Matt Dettelbach (@mdbach on Twitter) for beating him in the simulator race at the Sprint Experience. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

JR Motorsports has joined forces with Lifetime Television for this weekend’s Nationwide Series race at Nashville. Be on the lookout for Scott Wimmer in the No. 7 car wrapped in a special Army Wives paint scheme.

I have to applaud this effort by Lifetime to recognize NASCAR’s huge female audience and the benefit of sponsorship. I WISH more brands and companies would realize the untapped power of female racing fans. Just email NASCAR, they’ve got all the stats (or ask for a ‘Fabulous’ media kit).

Oh and one request I have for Lifetime… Why not a Project Runway car? OMG! I would LOVE that… I would buy every piece of merchandise that existed, and Michael Kors could design the car and the firesuit! Heidi Klum could be the Grand Marshal for the race. Dude, it’d be so amazingly awesome on about a million different levels. Seriously, think about it.

More details, including info on a special sweepstakes where you can win an all-expenses paid trip for four people to a NASCAR race, from the press release:

dei is not for sale. oh really?

My favorite saying is “shut up!” It’s the thing I say when someone says or does something that amazes, stupefies or shocks me. It’s interesting, I’m saying, “shut up” when what I really want is for that person to continue and tell me more. Anyway, I was muttering “shut up!!!” to myself all day long as I came across various bits of news.

Let’s review:

– There’s a report out that Teresa Earnhardt has been courting potential investors for Dale Earnhardt Inc. I knew this would throw Dale Earnhardt fans into a tizzy. From a financial standpoint I can understand why the would do this, but at the same time it’s kind of irritating because she wouldn’t give Dale Earnhardt Jr. half of his father’s company. DEI president Max Siegel is saying that they don’t have plans to sell the company at this time. Mmmhmmm.

– The Navy is set to announce (tomorrow) his plans to leave Joe Gibbs Racing and start his own team, taking over at Haas-CNC Racing. I guess this isn’t surprising, since people have been talking about it for a while now. It would be nice if one of these so-called rumors would actually not come true for once.

Actor Brendan Fraser will serve as the Grand Marshal for the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, July 12, 2008– Okay, so here’s the best piece of news today. Actor Brendan Fraser will be on hand for the Lifelock.com 400 at Chicagoland this weekend. He’ll be there to promote his upcoming movie The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (they’re really wringing the life out of that franchise, aren’t they?). Ryan Newman’s No. 12 Kodak Dodge Charger will carry a special paint scheme for the movie and Fraser will also serve as Grand Marshal for the race. He’ll be signing autographs, along with Ryan, at the No. 12 souvenir trailer at 1:30 p.m. CT. on Saturday.

Uhm, okay, I have sort of a small, tiny, wee crush on Mr. Fraser and I’m so disgustingly excited at the prospect of seeing him in person. Dare I ask a question at the press conference on Saturday? I’m not sure of what I should ask, it needs to be clever and smart and fabulous. If you can think of something let me know!

my 80s flashback at pocono

The No. 9 crew escorts Kasey Kahne to victory lane after winning the Pocono 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway (Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images for NASCAR)And so begins the television coverage of NASCAR from the fine folks at TNT. I really wish NASCAR could just be on one channel. One. Uno. But what can ya do right?

So TNT excitedly announced their new RaceBuddy feature on NASCAR.com, I didn’t bother to check it out — at least not yet — but the image that kept jumping to mind every time they mentioned it during Sunday’s race was the doll My Buddy from the 80s. I keep singing the theme song to myself “My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy and Meeeeeee!” and then I followed it up with “Kid Sister, Kid Sister, Kid Sister, Kid Sister and Meeeeeeee!” Bonus points to you if you remember My Buddy and Kid Sister and triple quadruple points if you actually had one!

Brad Keselowski, how can you not be happy for this guy? He raced his butt off and Brad Keselowski shares his first career trip to Victory Lane with his father, Bob, and mother, Kay, Saturday night at Nashville. (Photo Credit: Padraic Major for NASCAR) got his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win ever and I couldn’t be more excited for him and the Navy team. You could see the genuine relief and happiness in his eyes after the race. It was just so cool that his mom and dad were there. Those are my absolutely favorite moments in sports in general. Getting to see the family that has been with these guys from the beginning and getting to see them sharing that moment when they have their first taste of success, that’s pretty awesome. It’s another one of the million reasons why I’m so anxious for the Olympics to start.

Furthermore, didn’t it suck that Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn’t there to be with his team for their first win? He didn’t even get to see it live on TV. DirecTV had a blackout and so for the last ten laps he had a friend relay the information to him online. Crazy.

Ok, so the Cup race at Pocono. Speaking of Dale Jr. what was up with him during his post race interview? I know that he’s not a super talkative guy after the races in general but that was less that usual. I’m sure it had to do with the heat, and it seems like all of the guys were feeling the affects of it after the race, except for Jimmie Johson who said he was totally fine. Right.

Kasey Kahne won another race and that’s great for him. I’m still miffed about the lack of attention that the Yates Racing guys have received. I want them to get a friggin’ top 5 finish so bad just so the media will have to talk about them for longer than 10 seconds.

In other news…

– Speaking of Yates Racing, both of their drivers will be here in the Bay Area tomorrow for testing at Infineon. I will be there too, taking pictures of whatever I can see. Hopefully something will be going on while I’m there, I won’t be able to stay the whole day.

David Ragan will be on an episode of “Lawrence of America” on the Travel Channel tomorrow (June 10th) at 11pm EST. Check your local listings. “It was fun filming the show with Lawrence last fall,” said Ragan. “I think he learned a lot and it will be a great way to hopefully introduce the sport to some new fans to the sport. We had a good time at the go-kart track, but next time we’ll go the big track and see how he does.”

– There’s still plenty of time to enter the contest for a free copy of the NASCAR Full Throttle Adrenaline DVD set.

– I don’t know what it is about Brian Vickers but every time I hear him speak I’m surprised by his southern accent. It’s like I forget that he has one every time I see him. It’s cute though, I like accents. There’s no big point to this, I’m just over sharing. :)


Brian Vickers finished second in the Pocono 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, moving up two spots to 17th in driver standings (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Brian Vickers finished second in the Pocono 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, moving up two spots to 17th in driver standings (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Mark Martin qualified third-fastest for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, where he's finished second six times. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Mark Martin qualified third-fastest for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, where he’s finished second six times. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Fellow Ford drivers, Jamie McMurray and David Gilliland, talk about their cars during a break in Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Fellow Ford drivers, Jamie McMurray and David Gilliland, talk about their cars during a break in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Elliott Sadler share a laugh in the garage during Friday's practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Elliott Sadler share a laugh in the garage during Friday’s practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

getting testy at pocono

Today has been hectic for moi. I officially moved into my new apartment and I’m so tired I could… well… go to sleep.

As far as NASCAR goes, here’s what I know:

1.) Elliott Sadler is sticking with GEM
2.) Jeff Gordon is sticking with DuPont
3.) Every time I think of Elliott Sadler I can’t help but think of E.T. saying “Elllliiiiioooottt”

I’m off to put a bedskirt on. Oh! But one more thing, I was thinking about this the other night. So crew chief Jimmy Elledge was fired from Chip Ganassi Racing, but he’s married to Kelley Earnhardt Elledge who basically runs anything that her brother, Dale Earnhardt Jr., is doing, so do you think he’ll get a job over at JR Motorsports?

Here are some photos from the testing sessions at Pocono this week:


Clint Bowyer waits to get in his car during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

They’re installing my dish tomorrow! Yay!

Clint Bowyer waits to get in his car during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Gilliland turned the fastest lap of the day on Tuesday (54.742 seconds) during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Gilliland turned the fastest lap of the day on Tuesday (54.742 seconds) during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Marcos Ambrose helps his No. 47 crew by working on his tires on Wednesday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Marcos Ambrose helps his No. 47 crew by working on his tires on Wednesday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Terry Labonte tests the No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

They’ve got great genes in that Labonte family.

Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Terry Labonte tests the No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dario Franchitti reviews data during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dario Franchitti reviews data during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Martin Truex Jr. meets the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Martin Truex Jr. meets the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway on Wednesday (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jimmie Johnson talks with the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

I don’t know what is up with Jimmie’s hair but let’s just hope he’s “in between styles” right now.

Jimmie Johnson talks with the media during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing at Pocono Raceway. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

dale jr. fans: their dedication is serious

adidas JR Nation apparel launch in DaytonaNo, really, serious.

Dale Earnhardt. Jr.’s new adidas JR Nation gear went on sale Friday at the Sports Authority in Daytona, Florida. Before I share these photos with you let me just say that Dale was not actually at the store. It was just the clothes, clothes that will be on sale and available for the foreseeable future. No joke, people camped out. Now, I am a Dale Jr. fan too — I’m already having anxiety attacks about the race tomorrow — but I’m not camping out to buy clothes. However, that being said, I do think it’s cool that there are people out there that are that dedicated and wanted to get the new stuff the second it was available.


The big line outside of the Sports Authority in Daytona

Excited NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fans began lining up at 10:30 p.m. outside Sports Authority in Daytona, Fla. on Thursday night, February 14 to be among the first to purchase the new adidas JR Nation fan gear. The adidas JR Nation Gear, which features the same adidas ClimaCool technology that keeps Dale Jr. cool on the track, made its debut in Daytona and is available nationwide. (credit: adidas)

The first customer!

Ron Heintz Jr., from Vancuver, Wash. shows off his new adidas JR Nation fan gear. Heintz Jr. lined up outside Sports Authority in Daytona beginning at 5:00 a.m. Friday, February 15 and was the very first fan to purchase the official adidas JR Nation gear. (credit: adidas)

The big line outside of the Sports Authority in Daytona

Oh and one more thing of note:

Throughout the season, new products, including footwear, accessories and other exclusive gear will rollout in conjunction with special events like All-Star in Charlotte this May. To learn more, they can text 88 to adidas (234327) or visit www.sportsauthority.com/88.

UPDATE: And now with video!

jr motorsports puts on their dress whites

Photo Credit: Harold Hinson Photography/JR MotorsportsAbout two weeks ago (yes, i’m late on this one) JR Motorsports announced that they re-signed with the Navy as the sponsor of their No. 88 Nationwide series car. Brad Keselowski, who drove the car for the last half of the final Busch series season this year after they ousted Shane Huffman for specific reasons still unknown to me, will drive the all white ride next year.

I’m posting this info mostly because I think the car looks suhweet in all white. It’ll definitely stand out in the crowd and under the lights.


Photo Credit: Harold Hinson Photography/JR Motorsports

Photo Credit: Harold Hinson Photography/JR Motorsports

JR MOTORSPORTS RE-ENLISTS WITH NAVY
Keselowski signed to drive JRM No. 88 Navy Chevrolet

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2007) – JR Motorsports announced today that the U.S. Navy has re-signed with the team to field the No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with driver Brad Keselowski through 2008. The team also unveiled a new “Dress White” paint scheme for the Navy Chevrolet.

“The Navy has been a great partner of ours since we formed the team two years ago,” said team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Everyone at JR Motorsports takes a lot of pride in the fact that we represent some of the best servicemen and women in the world each weekend on the track. We’re all excited that they’re back on board with us.”

JR Motorsports first joined forces with the U.S. Navy in 2005, fielding the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet in the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in preparation for the 2006 season. In 70 races together the JRM Navy team has scored three top fives, 16 top 10s and 35 top-20 finishes.

“On behalf of the Navy’s 467,000 active and reserve Sailors, I am pleased about the continuing partnership between the Navy and JR Motorsports through the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series season”, said Capt. Thomas Buterbaugh, Director of Marketing and Advertising for Commander, Navy Recruiting Command. “We are excited about increasing the Navy’s awareness through our relationship with JRM and its owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“The Navy has used our association with NASCAR over the past four years to increase America’s awareness of the opportunities to serve our great country, and our Sailors are strengthened by public support represented by NASCAR’s large fan base. The 2008 season promises to be fantastic and Brad will continue to be a major contender.”

Keselowski, 23, was recruited to join the Navy team midway through the 2007 season. In 13 starts in the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet he has accumulated five top 10s and eight top-15 finishes.

“Brad jumped in our car back in July and has shown a lot of promise in a short period of time,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “We’ve signed him to a two-year deal to continue to develop his talent.

“It’s kind of like the way the Navy develops new recruits into sailors. We’re starting out with a younger guy who has the skills and we’re going to give him the equipment, training and other resources necessary to get the job done.”

Keselowski has already embarked upon the Navy’s “sailorization” program in preparation for his tour of duty with the team. Last week he spent a day at Naval Medical Center San Diego touring the facility and meeting with some of the Navy’s Wounded Warriors. In addition to testing during the “off season,” Keselowski will continue to expand his knowledge of the Navy through additional trips planned to various naval installations.

“I’ve worked really hard for many years to get an opportunity like this with JR Motorsports and the Navy,” Keselowski said. “JR Motorsports is a solid organization with incredible resources, and as a driver you can’t ask for much more than that.

“It’s also a great honor to represent the U.S. Navy and to know that I have more than 400,000 sailors around the world cheering for me. I’ve gotten to meet a number of sailors at the track and on some of the trips I’ve made with the Navy and I have the utmost respect for the courage and commitment that all of those men and women show every day as they protect and serve our country. I’m looking forward to continuing to represent them on the track and I plan to keep the Navy Chevrolet up front.”

For the 2008 season the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet will sport a special “Dress White” paint scheme. Modeled after the Navy’s summer uniforms, the car will be white with flat black Navy logos on the hood and quarter panels.

“My friend Kevin King does all of our car designs and he and I went back and forth with a few ideas before we came up with this one,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “It’s a very clean look that I think will really stand out on the track.”

The new scheme will make its debut at Daytona International Speedway in February.

“The Navy car really looks sharp and it will stand out even better on the track,” said Buterbaugh. “Next season will be awesome with Brad at the wheel, Dale Jr. as the owner and the new paint scheme.how can we lose?”

(All Photos Courtesy of Harold Hinson Photography/JR Motorsports)

huffman’s out, but why?

As the Jetson’s pet dog Astro said, rutro!

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is replacing Busch Series driver Shane Huffman in the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet this Friday at Daytona for the Winn-Dixie 250. This is very surprising news to me because I hadn’t heard of any troubles at JR Motorsports. Huffman is currently ranked 13th in the Busch Series standings, and in the past three races he’s managed two top ten finishes.

So what happened? There’s no word yet on who the new driver for the No. 88 will be, and Junior’s press release quotes don’t offer much in the way of a specific reason.

“Upon a midseason evaluation of the performance of this race team, we decided we needed to make a change, and right now we have a window to do that,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “Because of the short notice, I am going to drive the Navy car Friday night at Daytona. It’s a big race for us. We are carrying a special Navy SEALs paint scheme on the car, so we want to make sure we give it a good run for the Navy and all our sponsors and employees.”

Earnhardt Jr. said he does not intend to drive the car beyond this weekend, although a new full-time driver has yet to be determined. This weekend’s interim role will give Earnhardt Jr. the opportunity to compete in equipment solely his own for the first time. He is the defending race winner of the Winn-Dixie 250, as he led 88 of 103 laps en route to a dominating victory in a Dale Earnhardt Inc.-prepared Chevrolet last year.

“I have always wanted to drive my own car, but I’m doing this to give us time to evaluate our options and see who we want to put in the car for the rest of the season,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I will get with my people at JR Motorsports, and hopefully we will have a new driver named in the very near future.”

Wouldn’t it be great if they just said “look, this guy is a tool and we don’t want to deal with him anymore.” Obviously I have no idea what the reasons are but I wonder if Shane’s status as a “baby daddy” has something to do with all of this.



(credit: JR Motorsports)

big picture racing

I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time, I love the new look & feel of NASCAR.COM. I guess it was at the start of this racing season that they launched the revamped site(?). My favorite part is when you click into an article and the huge photo at the top zooms out slowly revealing itself. I love that feature, it’s so simple but so dramatic at the same time.

If you haven’t seen it yet you should. Use this press release regarding Tony Eury Sr.‘s move to JR Motorsports as Director of Competition, as an example.

I think it’s awesome that Eury Sr. will be taking on this role for Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s company. He obviously cherishes his family bonds and trusts the Eury’s in general. I think this can only help JR Motorsports to grow and become successful. Shane Huffman, driver of the #88 Navy Chevrolet in the Busch Series, has been doing a good job for JR Motorsports so far this year. He’s moved up to 12th place in the Busch Series standings, moving up 3 spots after last weekend’s race in Milwaukee.

Shane writes a blog on his InfieldParking.com profile page. He updates it, it seems like at least once a week.

In other news…

– I’m curious about what Carl Edwards has up his sleeve for this weekend’s race at Loudon in New Hampshire. Says Edwards, “This weekend we are also running a special New England-themed paint scheme. I can’ t say just yet what it is, but I know the fans will get a real kick out the No. 99 new look for the weekend.” A big Boston Red Sox logo? (He does race for Roush Fenway after all) A photo of a giant bowl of clam chowder? What??

– Buy King of Leon’s latest CD “Because of the Times.” It’s incredibly good rock music, like their two previous CDs. I recommend listening to the songs “Knocked Up” and “On Call” first, if you like those you’ll love all the rest.

– Do me a favor and fill out my ‘Fast and Fabulous’ survey.