All posts tagged Shane Huffman

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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

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 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 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.