Ward Burton

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

Ward Burton was born on October 25, 1961, later becoming a famous American NASCAR driver. After High School Burton joined and graduated from Hargrave Military Academy and then attended Elon College for just under 3 years. Ward is NASCAR driver Jeff Burton’s older brother. In the early years Ward and Jeff were strong competitors at South Boston Speedway, their hometown track.

During the 1990 season Ward started off his NASCAR Busch Series career and competed for a full four seasons. His first season ended with 23 starts and three finishes in the Top-10, with an overall completion of the season in 21st place. Over the next three years his results improved, with his second season made up of 29 starts, two Top-5 finishes and 10 top-10 finishes, completing the overall season in 18th place.

Ward’s second to last season in 1992 was the year he had his first win at Rockingham, on February 29 in a car owned by Alan Dillard. That year he finished the season with one win, three Top-5 finishes and 10 Top-10 finishes, with an 8th place placement. His final season in 1993 was his most successful year with a total of three wins, nine Top-5, ten Top-10 finishes with an end result of 6th place in the final points standings. From there Ward moved up to Winston Cup, taking part in 26 out of the 31 races in a #31 Hardee’s Chevy.

His accomplishments grew when he moved to #22 Bill Davis Racing MBNA Pontiac where he completed 21 races. The years to follow showed a progressive advancement from 33rd spot to 16 in the final points standings. The year 1999 saw Ward Burton’s career peak, as he finished ninth in the final points standings.

In 2000 he won at Darlington Speedway and was 10th in the points. He won the Mountain Dew Southern 500, finishing 10th in 2001. In 2002 he had a bit of a dip but still managed to win the prestigious Daytona 500 and the New England 300 at Loudon, New Hampshire. In 2003 he had even poorer finishes, putting him in 21st place. The following year Ward Burton was released from the team and since then has not raced in NASCAR.

Bill Davis Racing

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

This team stopped racing at the conclusion of the 2008 season.

Bill Davis Racing (BDR) fields the number 22 Caterpillar Inc. Toyota Camry for driver Dave Blaney, the number 5 Toyota Tundra for Mike Skinner, the #36 Toyota Camry for Jeremy Mayfield, the #22 Toyota for Bill Lester and last of all the #23 Toyota for Johnny Benson. The Bill Davis team is a NASCAR team that is based currently in High Point, North Carolina.

Truck rental owner Bill Davis, a former motorcross racer, founded the Bill Davis Racing team. When the team was moved to Carolina, the Ford Motor Company asked Davis to hire the up-and-coming Jeff Gordon from the Midwest. Gordon took the NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year in 1991 as well as having won 11 pole positions a year later. Another team took Gordon but this did not deter Davis from moving to the Cup series in 1993 full time.

At first Davis took on rookie and Busch Series driver Randy LaJoie to drive their car. LaJoie did not last long and was soon fired halfway through the year. He had to be replaced by a series of rotating drivers to keep the car and the team in the game. Later, Ward Burton was hired to finish the rest of the season, impressing the Bill Davis Racing team when he won at Rockingham Motor Speedway.

The next win only took place again in 2000 when Burton won the spring Darlington race as well as the 2002 Daytona 500. Burton moved to Haas CNC Racing in 2003 after a disappointing season, leaving Davis to use his Busch driver Scott Wimmer. In Wimmer’s first race, during his rookie season, he finished third and continued to race full-time. A year later it was announced that Wimmer would be released from the Bill Davis Team and Dave Blaney would take his place for the following season. Previously Blaney had driven for BDR in #93, this time he would drive #22 at the start of the 2006 season.

Blaney left the BDR team later on when Amoco decided not to renew the team’s contract and instead joined the Jasper Motorsports. The team then hired Hut Stricklin when Hills Brothers took on sponsorship. But Stricklin showed no real potential and was fired in the final quarter of the season. In 2005 Michael Waltrip and his sponsors NAPA took the car over for the 2006 season, going under Michael Waltrip’s own team name to ensure it qualified. Jeremy Mayfield drove the car full-time in 2007.

Hendrick Motorsports

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

The story of Hendrick Motorsports started in 1984. Rick Hendrick was a businessman with a passion for racing, and a dream to be a part of the racing world. Harry Hyde, a veteran racing driver, was not ready to retire from the sport he loved. Together, they created All Star Racing, just a small company that would only compete in a few events. But All Star Racing was not destined to take a back seat. Hendrick Motorsports, or HMS, raced only Chevrolets, and were seen in the Busch Series and the Nextel Cup circuits.

With nine Sprint Cup Series Championships, one Busch (now Nationwide) Series crown and no less than three Craftsman (now Camping World) Truck Series titles, Hendrick Motorsports has become one of the leading and celebrated racing organisations in the world of stock car racing. Starting with only one entry into a series, HMS now boasts four Sprint Cup Series vehicles.

Situated in Concord, which is in North Carolina, is the 250 000 square meter HMS complex, where all their racing cars are built from scratch. The entire manufacturing process takes place here. Each year, more than 550 engines are either built or rebuilt at this facility, with other NASCAR outfits leasing them from the team.

At present, HMS has over 500 employees that each contribute to the success of the company. They are the people who manage, take care of the team store, do the marketing, ensure the licensing, stay on top of the merchandising, run the public relations department, update the company’s website, and look after the HMS museum, which is 1400 square meters in size.

The drivers of the cars and the sponsors such as Corporation, Pepsi, Go Daddy, Lowe’s, DuPont, Delphi, National Guard and Carquest all play an important role in the success and growth of the company. It never occurred to either Rick Hendrick or Harry Hyde that the little “All Star Racing” company would grow up to be the mighty Hendrick Motorsports, but just as with many success stories, it started with a dream, loads of passion and a strong sense of commitment.

Pikes Peak International Raceway

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

Pikes Peak International Raceway was reopened in 2008 and is now under the ownership of a private company, Pikes Peak International Raceway, LLC.

Pikes Peak International Raceway is situated in Fountain, Colorado USA. Just to the north of Pueblo, but south of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Raceway was originally the site of a horse racing track named Pikes Peak Meadows. The auto racing track of Pikes Peak was constructed in 1997 and was popular for many years. The speedway was purchased in 2005 by International Speedway Corporation who decided to close the facility down.

When Pikes Peak International Raceway was founded in 1997 it was the first super-speedway to be constructed in the Rocky Mountain area. The track itself was a 1 mile oval with a D-shape and a 1.315 mile road course. The width of the paved oval was 60-71 feet and the turns were at 10 degrees. Grandstands at Pikes Peak Raceway were able to accommodate some 42 000 spectators. Added to this was 31 luxury suites for VIP guests. A pedestrian tunnel provided access to the infield which had a care center along with a helipad. Also on the infield was a corporate village. Other convenient facilities at Pikes Peak super-speedway were the Pikes Peak Club, handicapped amenities and overnight RV spots.

A number of exciting races were held at the Pikes Peak International Raceway during its hey-day. Amongst these were IRL Series races, superbike events, sprint car races, midget car racing, the NASCAR Busch Series and many more. During its history there have been many great wins at Pike Peak. NASCAR Busch Series winners at Pikes Peak are as follows: 1998 – Matt Kenseth in a Chevrolet; 1999 – Andy Santerre in a Chevrolet; 2000 – Jeff Green in a Chevrolet; 2001 – Jeff Purvis in a Chevrolet; 2002 – Hank Parker Jr. in a Dodge; 2003 – Scott Wimmer in a Chevrolet; 2004 – Greg Biffle in a Ford and 2005 – David Green in a Ford. It would definitely appear that Chevrolet dominated the Pikes Peak speedway. Perhaps if the NASCAR track had continued operating, Ford would have taken the lead. Unfortunately, that theory will never be put to the test and Pikes Peak International Raceway will become a name mentioned in the history books of NASCAR racing.

Richmond International Raceway

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

The now very popular Richmond International Raceway started life as a little track known as ‘Strawberry Hill’. It was first used as a racetrack venue in 1946 when Ted Horn drove his champ car to victory on the 0.5-mile dirt track that came to be known as ‘Strawberry Hill Speedway’. These races were usually held once a year on the third Saturday of April. In the period that followed between 1953 and 2000, the track had three name changes and four configuration changes. The surface was changed from dirt to asphalt and lights were added to the facility in 1991. Ever since then, all races have been held ‘under the lights’ – something which helps make Richmond International Raceway somewhat unique.

Today the Richmond International Raceway is known for hosting some of the best NASCAR and IndyCar Series racing. The raceway features a D-shaped, 0.75 mile (1.2 km) asphalt track and is part of the 800-acre, multi-purpose Richmond Raceway Complex. Although the track is fairly short, it’s layout allows for excellent side-by-side racing and drivers are able to reach speeds similar to that of a superspeedway. This means that only the most skilled drivers can make their way to first place and there is plenty of action during the course of the average race. The Richmond International Raceway currently hosts the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, the Busch Series, the Indy Racing League, the United States Auto Club Silver Crown and National Sprint Car Series. The last 30 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races have been sold out and the track is known for producing some of the best racing in the sport.

In the past, Richmond International Raceway has been known as the ‘Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds’, the ‘Atlantic Rural Fairgrounds’, the ‘Virginia State Fairgrounds’ and the ‘Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway’. From these various names it is easy to tell that the Raceway complex is not only used to host racing events. It is also used to host a number of agricultural shows, expositions, sports and crafts shows and seasonal fairs. This means that the raceway complex is almost always busy with some major event but the most popular of these are the races.

Next Page »