Friday, January 20, 2012

Kurt Busch Signs to Drive Kyle Busch's Nationwide Car

Associated Press

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- The Busch Brothers will be teamed together for the first time in more than a decade this season as co-drivers for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Kyle Busch tabbed his older brother, Kurt, to share the No. 54 Toyota this year in the Nationwide Series. The brothers on Thursday introduced Monster Energy as their sponsor for the new team.

KBM has fielded a Truck Series team since 2010, but this will be its first year in stock-cars and in NASCAR's second-tier series. The brothers wasted no time boasting what they can accomplish this year: Kurt Busch said it's possible for them to sweep the entire 33-race schedule, while Kyle said his team will run for the Nationwide owner's championship.

"We've had a lot of talks about how this whole deal is going to work out, what we're both looking to get out of this and what a great opportunity this is to race in the Nationwide Series," Kyle Busch said. "Kurt's never done a full Nationwide deal, he's always had the itch but never really cared about it.

"Now this is something for him to get out there and win some races, help bring some banners over here."

Read More Here....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Teammates, Gordon and Kahne, Fastest in Saturday's Pre-Season Testing


Gordon and new teammate Kasey Kahne pushed each to top times Saturday
Saturday afternoon test session:
#24-Gordon 200.562
#2-Keselowski 200.548
#22-Allmendinger 200.548
#5-Kahne 200.481
#11-Hamlin 199.973
Some Notes:
Most drivers tested in a large pack to begin the session.
#10-Patrick, #14-Stewart, #51-Busch, & #6-Stenhouse, Jr. have left and are not particiapting in this session. Stewart and Stenhouse are on their way to the Chili Bowl in Tulsa. Trevor Bayne ran a few laps in the Roush Fenway #6.
NASCAR has moved the pressure relief valve back to 25 psi (up from 20psi in the morning session).
#31-Burton & #88-Earnhardt, Jr. spun while running in the pack. Montoya appears to get into the rear of Earnhardt, sending him into Burton. Earnhardt drove to the garage. Burton's car was towed to the garage to see if it could be repaired, but the team decided to not get back on track.
#88-Earnhardt, Jr. ran a few laps in the #48 Chevy after sustaining damage to his car in the accident with Burton.

Saturday morning test session:
#5-Kahne 201.545
#24-Gordon 201.545
#51-KuBusch 199.464
#55-Martin 199.459
#88-Earnhardt, Jr 199.406
Some Notes:
Drivers are working on single and double car runs.
The teams of #13-Mears and #39-Newman left after yesterday's tests ended.
Drivers are expected to test in a large pack at the beginning of the afternoon session.

Saturday's Test Times

Friday, January 13, 2012

Kurt Busch Sets Fastest Times of Daytona Test Sessions Friday


Kurt Busch in the No. 51 fastest in Friday's Daytona test session (Getty)
Friday afternoon test session:
#51-KuBusch 206.058
#78-Smith 206.053
#18-KyBusch 205.813
#24-Gordon 205.747
#5-Kahne 205.747
Some Notes:
After the morning session, NASCAR met with the drivers to encourage them to draft in a large pack of cars at the start of the session to see how the cars react. All teams except the #48 participated.
#31-Burton made contact with the wall during the pack drafting when he cut down a tire. The team will repair the car.
28 drivers exceed 200mph.
Driver again tested in a large pack with an hour remaining in the session before returning to two car drafts.

Friday morning test session:
#56-Truex, Jr. 204.722
#15-Bowyer 204.722
#43-Almirola 203.142
#9-Ambrose 203.142
#55-Martin 201.748
Some Notes:
As a result of rules changes made by NASCAR, cars were allowed to draft during this session, but most are expected to wait until the afternoon.
#18-Busch's team changed valve springs in the engine this morning after computer data showed the engine was over-revved yesterday.

Day 2 Test Times

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kyle Busch & Logano Team for Fastest Speeds in First Day of Testing


Kyle Busch fastest in Thursday's test session at Daytona
Thursday afternoon test session (Drafting):
#18-Busch 202.402
#20-Logano 202.388
#2-Keselowski 202.224
#22-Allmendinger 202.220
#88-Earnhardt, Jr. 200.920
Some Notes:
NASCAR permitted cars to draft together during the session, but only a handful of drivers did so.
#55-Martin got into the back of #15-Bowyer while drafting and spun Bowyer out. Bowyer was able to save the car and did not hit anything, but did suffer some sheet metal damage when the car went down on the track apron.

Thursday morning test session (Single car):
#24-Gordon 192.773
#27-Menard 192.369
#51-Kurt Busch 192.361
#6-Stenhouse, Jr. 191.959
#42-Montoya 191.853
Some Notes:
#14-Stewart arrived at the track around 10:30am/et. He was returning from the Chili Bowl in Tulsa.
#39-Newman also arrived late. He has been battling the flu.
Chad Knaus is on vacation and not at the track. Steve Letarte is helping oversee the #48 team's test session.

Thursday's Testing Speeds

Testing Schedule

Friday, January 13th
7:30 AM Garage Opens
9:00 AM 12:00 PM NSCS Practice - Drafting
1:00 PM 5:00 PM NSCS Practice - Drafting
6:00 PM Garage Closes

Saturday, January 14th
7:30 AM Garage Opens
9:00 AM 12:00 PM Practice - Drafting
1:00 PM 5:00 PM Practice - Drafting
6:00 PM Garage Closes

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Rules Focus at Daytona Pre-Season Testing

By Dave Rodman

Practices: Thursday & Friday 9-12a 1-5pm (ET)
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Earnhardt Ganassi Racing suffered through a subpar 2011 Sprint Cup season as a group and after some major changes to EGR's structure, no one's readier for the 2012 season to begin than Jamie McMurray and his teammate, Juan Montoya.

McMurray, who won the 2010 Daytona 500 and two other plum victories later that season, struggled to finish 27th in points last season.

So with virtually a full field of Cup teams expected to test Thursday through Saturday during Preseason Thunder at Daytona International Speedway, McMurray's anxious to gauge the impact of EGR's new team manager, Max Jones, and his own team's new car chief, Randy Cox, from the former Red Bull Racing, and a new engineer, Dave Winston, who came from Penske Racing.

Montoya, who also won a race in 2010 after qualifying for the 2009 Chase, but struggled to 21st in the points last season, is working with a new crew chief, former Hendrick Motorsports engineer Chris Heroy.

But this test is going to be everyone's first chance to work with a complete new rules package that's a result of information gathered during recent tests at Talladega this past October and at Daytona in November.

"While we have had other tests with these setups, this is the first opportunity for the entire field to test together and get more comfortable with this package as it relates to their cars," NASCAR vice president for competition Robin Pemberton said. "This three-day test will allow the engine tuners for these teams to be able to work with their engine packages and see how they relate and react to the new cooling regulations."

While some of the elements were tested, others are new and being seen on-track by the teams for the first time, including smaller radiators with a two-gallon capacity; a smaller cooling system overflow tank with a capacity of a half-gallon; and the radiator inlet being moved up, closer into the front-center bumper area.

Along with electronic fuel injection, which underwent multiple tests in 2011 preparing for its full implementation in ' 12, teams last year also tested a rate reduction for rear springs, making them softer to get the rear spoiler out of the air; a smaller rear spoiler; and a baseline restrictor plate of 29/32nds of an inch (1/64th-inch larger than the plate size for the 2011 Daytona 500).

NASCAR's made it no secret that their changes are designed to break up the two-car drafting formations that teams have gradually discovered is the quickest way around the biggest speedways. The teams' necessary goal is to continue that style of racing.

"You're going to work on trying to stay locked together and making that [tandem drafting] still work," McMurray said. "I personally hope that no one can do it, and that it doesn't work but I don't know that. They've changed the rules a lot so it will be really interesting to see, when we get down [to Daytona] to see if you're able to stay locked together.

"Because if you are, and those other guys can't -- it's 10 miles per hour difference in speed if you can stay locked together or not -- so yeah, I'm anxious to get down [to Daytona] and see what the cars are going to be like."

Montoya's pretty much on the same page as his teammate.

"Our goal is to figure out what we need to do to make our Target Chevrolet better before we come back down to Daytona [for Speedweeks]," Montoya said. "We've completely redone our cars so it'll be interesting to see what we have when we unload on Thursday. We want to gain as much knowledge as possible. I guess we'll have to see if the changes NASCAR made were enough to break up the tandem drafting or not."

Clint Bowyer tested with his new Michael Waltrip Racing team and crew chief Brian Pattie last month strictly for the purpose of building relationships. His new teammate, Mark Martin, is testing with new crew chief Rodney Childers on Wednesday at New Smyrna Speedway, about a half-hour south of Daytona, and said both sessions were much more important on a personnel level than a mechanical one.

"These tests aren't incredibly important from the car hardware side, it's more important for us as a new group working together to work through the areas like communication, flow, learning everyone's names, routines and things like that," Martin said. "That's really the critical part of the test. From the hardware side, we do have a number of things we want to run through at these tests, but all teams are doing those kinds of things.

"These tests are valuable because we want everything to be working like a smooth-oiled machine by the time we get to the Daytona 500. Then, by the time we get to Phoenix, we want to be acting like we've been racing together for years."

"New Smyrna will be fun because it's a handling track," Childers said of the half-mile, high-banked oval. "With Mark's short-track experience, I'm looking forward to his feedback and him pointing us in the right direction."

Martin did say the new regulations have done more than pique his curiosity. Last season, he almost uniquely worked with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon in the tandem draft but this year he's going to pay a little more attention.

"The one other thing that I am going to focus on this time at Daytona, more than I did a year ago, is working on tandem drafting," said Martin, who finished 10th and 33rd at Daytona last season. "We didn't do that last year and it's going to be even more of a challenge this year. Rodney and I want to look toward being ahead of the curve on the two-car tandem or explore areas that will give us an advantage."

"The Daytona test will be about us working on our qualifying setup for the first day and a half and drafting the rest of the time," Childers said. "The most important thing is the draft, making sure our cars can do what they need to do. We'll probably work on some cooling to see if our cars can push longer than some of the others."

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Johnson Still Favored To Win 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship

Johnson favored to win title in Las Vegas
By Micah Roberts

Looks like Jimmie Johnson is still considered king in NASCAR despite not winning his sixth consecutive title. The LVH Super Book, formerly known as the Las Vegas Hilton, made Johnson the 9-to-2 favorite to win the title followed by Carl Edwards at 5-to-1.

Defending champion Tony Stewart is among six drivers listed at 8-to-1 that includes Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and new Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne. Kahne takes over the No. 5 car for Mark Martin.

Despite Las Vegan Kurt Busch being ran from the Penske stable, he's still listed at 60-to-1 while driving the heavily NASCAR impaired No. 51, a sign that Las Vegas thinks Busch's driving ability can overcome bad equipment. His replacement in the No. 22 car, A.J. Allmendinger, is listed at 75-to-1.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is given 40-to-1 odds showing that Vegas believes Junior's issues will persist in 2012 despite running a decent points season in 2011. Clint Bowyer's odds were listed lower at 30-to-1 even though he'll be driving his first season for a lesser team with Michael Waltrip Racing.