Tuesday, July 27, 2010

NASCAR Notes From Around The Cup Series

Marcos Ambrose and JTG Daugherty racing to split following 2010 (Daugherty Racing)
After five successful years together in NASCAR's top touring divisions, JTG Daugherty Racing and Marcos Ambrose will part ways at the end of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. "JTG Daugherty Racing and our sponsors are obviously huge Marcos Ambrose fans and we are disappointed to see him leave after five great years of building a program together from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to the Nationwide Series, and into the Sprint Cup Series," said Tad Geschickter, co-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing along with Brad Daugherty and Jodi Geschickter.

"Marcos is a friend and he is a great talent. He will be an asset to his next team. While we hate to see him move on at the end of the season, we will remain focused on winning races with Marcos. We are excited about our company's development. We have NASCAR's greatest and most loyal sponsors, a growing fan base, and a steadily improving race team."

"We have enjoyed working with Marcos and getting to know his family and friends from both the United States and Australia," Jodi Geschickter added. "They have brought a lively dimension to our racing family and we have appreciated the opportunity to get to know them. Although we will miss Marcos, we have an amazing team at JTG Daugherty Racing and we look forward to announcing our plans for 2011." Daugherty echoes the Geschickter's sentiments and wishes Ambrose much success in his future endeavors.

"We are thankful for the opportunity to work with Marcos for the last five years and it has been an enjoyable experience," Daugherty said. "We wish him the utmost success and best wishes. JTG Daugherty Racing has a bright future and we already have great plans in place for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season."

The two-time V8 Supercar champion's first appearance with JTG Daugherty Racing was at Martinsville Speedway in 2006 when he made his NASCAR debut in the Camping World Truck Series. Ambrose naturally progressed the next year to the NASCAR Nationwide Series spending two years in the division before competing full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the racing organization.

"It has been a great five year journey for me and JTG Daugherty Racing," Ambrose said. "I am proud of being their driver and of what we have been able to accomplish together. I want to personally thank Tad, Jodi and Brad and the entire race team for everything they have done. Our plan is to complete the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with the same desire and commitment and end our relationship the same way it started with a positive attitude and the willingness to win. I will do everything I can to help JTG Daugherty transition into next year with their new driver. After five years, I personally felt it was time for a change. I have no firm plans of what will come next for me and my career. I would like to continue in NASCAR and finish off what I started, but I have not discounted returning to Australia. I'm grateful to JTG Daugherty Racing for giving me an opportunity to become a NASCAR driver and I wish them the best in the future."

The Launceston, Tasmania Australia native has recorded four top-five and nine top-10 finishes with JTG Daugherty Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and has also delivered two Nationwide Series victories. His career-best Cup finish is a second-place finish at Watkins Glen International last season. Currently Ambrose has two top-10 finishes and is 27th in the driver points standings after 20 starts this season. JTG Daugherty Racing will make an announcement in the near future regarding their driver for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

McMurray Expected to Get Contract Extension (ESPN)
Jamie McMurray and Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing officials are in the process of negotiating a new deal for the Sprint Cup driver, sources for both sides said following Sunday's victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. McMurray signed a one-year deal when he came to EGR from Roush-Fenway Racing this season. Co-owner Chip Ganassi would not comment on negotiations, but when asked if he planned to sign the reigning Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 champion to a long-term deal he quipped, "I'm going to fire him. What do you think?

Chase Format Will Be Different in 2011 (Scene Daily)
NASCAR officials are still debating several changes to the Chase For The Sprint Cup format for next year but are leaning toward a system that would eliminate drivers from the playoffs, NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Sunday. France didn't give much insight into what could be changed. He said he will attend focus groups with fans in two weeks to get their input and is still cultivating reaction from the NASCAR industry to a variety of proposals. "Regarding the options that we have on the table, the only ones we would consider are ones that would make winning at a given moment more important than they are today," France said Sunday prior to the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"How you do that? There's a number of ways to do that. It comes with some version as you go along where certain races in the Chase, you have to win or do very, very well, to in fact move on. When you peel that back and look at it, it's not that different," It is possible no changes will be made, France said. "We haven't made a decision. We may not think the timing is right. & Not changing the Chase is definitely a viable option," he said. "The Chase, although we haven't seen the results of that as often as we'd like, is certainly better than the total consistency model that was in place for so many years."

Scott Speed's Future Still Unknown (Scene Daily)
Red Bull Racing plans to announce in the next month whether driver #82-Scott Speed will return to the team next year, Red Bull general manager Jay Frye confirmed Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In his second full season of Cup racing, Speed is 26th in the standings. He was 35th last year, and while he's nine spots better in the standings and has been running at the finish of every race this year, Speed only has two top-10 finishes and has finished on the lead lap in 10 of the 20 races.

"We should have some sort of announcement with him in the next month," Frye said Sunday. "We need to perform. We need to do better. We started the year off pretty strong. We kind of regressed a little bit here the last little bit. The 27-year-old Speed, who competed in Formula One in 2006 and 2007, was asked Saturday about rumors that he had signed a contract extension with the organization. "I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about it," Speed said. "We'll see."


tezgm99 said...

well, I must say I did not see that one coming at all....hope he stays in NASCAR!

Fireballr7 said...

I heard that Richard Petty may have a 2011 deal worked out already for Ambrose to drive one of his cars with Kahne leaving.