Jeff Gordon

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

On August the 4th, 1971, Jeffery Michael Gordon was born in Vallejo, California, but he was raised in Pittsboro, Indiana, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jeff Gordon is an American race car driver who has claimed the NASCAR Winston Cup four times and is the driver of the #24 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS. Jeff is also co-owner of the #48 Lowe’s sponsored team, driven by the 2006 NEXTEL Cup series champion, Jimmie Johnson.

Jeff Gordon decided from a young age that he wanted to drive and his family fully supported him and his endeavors. They even went to the point of moving to Pittsboro, Indiana, where provisions are made for young drivers who want to race. Here Gordon was successful, winning three short-track races as well as being awarded with the USAC Midget Car Racing Rookie of the Year before the age of 18 years. Then in 1991,at the age of 20, Jeff was moved up to the USAC Silver Crown category becoming the youngest driver to win it.

Gordon had two excellent years with NASCAR Busch Series in 1991 and 1992 where he captured eleven poles in one season. In 1993, he had a full season in Winston Cup for Hendrick Motorsports, winning the Twin 125 Daytona 500 qualifying race, receiving the Rookie of the Year award and being placed 14th in points. Many critics questioned Gordon’s ability to participate in races of this caliber at such a young age, but in 1994, the critics were silenced when won the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in the Coca Cola 600, one of the most gruelling and demanding races. At the age of 24 he won one of his four NASCAR Winston Cup Championships. There are only two other drivers with more than four Cup titles. He was also the only NASCAR driver to have four Brickyard 400 victories at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and one of five drivers to have four wins at the historic track.

NASCAR regards Jeff Gordon as one of its best drivers, especially with all that he has achieved at such a young age. At the age of thirty-five Gordon has collected 75 Nextel Cup victories, which is just one less of Dale Earnhardt Jnr‘s 76 wins and is ranked seventh on the all-time list.

Chip Ganassi Racing

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

The NASCAR element of the Chip Ganassi Racing team merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc to form Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is an organization that supports several racing teams involved in NASCAR and IRL races. The association is co-owned by Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates – both of whom are businessmen. Chip was a successful driver in his younger years and he made the decision to create a one-car IndyCar team in 1990. As a team owner Ganassi enjoyed immense success. In his first four years his team took five championship titles and 46 wins – the start to a long and successful period of racing. He made the decision to partner with Felix Sabates in 2000.

Sebates was never really a racer and he instead made his way into the world of stock car racing as an owner in 1987. This was easy since Sabates was a self-made millionaire from Cuba. He called his original team SABCO Racing and it was this team that Ganassi decided to purchase 80% of as he made his way into the ownership side of NASCAR racing. The Chip Ganassi Racing team is based in Concord, North Carolina. The teams currently race in the IndyCar Series and Rolex Sports Car Series. Dodge has been the car of choice since Ganassi took over the running of the operation – a collaboration which has definitely been advantageous.

Just before the NASCAR team merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc. in November 2008, five drivers worked for the team. David Stemme started racing at the age of 15 and he has raced in the Busch Series and the NEXTEL Cup. Reed Sorenson started racing at the age of six and he went on to become a rookie phenomenon. He too was driving in the Busch Series and the NEXTEL Cup. Born in New Zealand, Scott Dixon was the team’s IndyCar driver. He impressed right from the start – winning his IndyCar debut and going on perform well in successive races. Dan Wheldon hails from England and is also an IndyCar driver. He has enjoyed an immensely successful career both in the states and abroad and is likely to continue to impress both his employers and fans. Scott Pruett is usually the man of choice for the Rolex Series. He has competed in a number of different forms of motorsports and proven to be successful at each one. All five drivers of Chip Ganassi Racing will likely continue to prove their worth in years to come.

Haas CNC Racing

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

Haas CNC Racing is now known as Stewart Haas Racing, with Gene Haas and Tony Stewart as joint owners.

Haas CNC Racing is based in Kannapolis, North Carolina and is currently a NASCAR racing team. Gene Haas owns the team as well as Haas Automation Company. There are two cars driven in the NEXTEL Cup series, that being #66 Best Buy Chevy, driven by Jeff Green and the #70 Yellow Transportion Chevy driven by Johnny Sauter. Hendrick Motorsports provides technical and engine support for the team.

The team was only formed in 2002 as part of the R&D team owned by Hendrick. The #60 Haas Chevy and the team had its debut in Kansas. The three races participated in saw the team stand 35th in Kansas, 35th at Rockingham and 30th at Homestead-Miami. The team continued to struggle and soon Sparague was switched for John Andretti who also did not have the best results. Later 5-time Cup winner, Ward Burton was assigned to drive #60.

Pontiac announced its move away from the sport, which meant the team had to move to Chevrolets. Burton gave the team their first top-ten finish at Rockingham, making them not only 9th there but also 9th as a team. These races were followed by a couple of bad races but they re-emerged in 10th place at the California Speedway. In October, another 10th place was made by Ward at the Talladega Superspeedway. Mike Bliss replaced Burton and finished 10th at Darlington ensuring a place for him in the 2005 season. Jeff Green drove #66 Best Buy Chevy in the 2006 NASCAR Nextel cup series where he finished 28th overall. Green will drive again for the team in 2007.

The Busch Series team debuted at Kansas with the #00 Haas Chevy and Jason Leffler as driver. The year 2004 was a good year with the team driving full-time. Leffler managed to grab a pole in California and won at Nashville. The win was not only Leffler’s first but also Haas’ first win; but despite that Leffler left the team and signed up with Joe Gibbs Racing’s Cup program for 2005. Leffler was replaced by Blake Feese but with no good results Haas had to finally merge with Labonte Motorsports for 2005.

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.

Petty Enterprises

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

Petty Enterprises merged with Gillett Evernham Motorsports in 2009 to form Richard Petty Motorsports.

Petty Enterprises is one of NASCAR’s many racing teams and is owned by Richard Petty as well as his son Kyle Petty. Petty Enterprises is based in Randleman, North Carolina. Richard and Kyle supervise the operations of their two NEXTEL Cup Dodge Chargers: the number 45 Marathon Petroleum Company Dodge, which Kyle Petty drives himself and the number 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, driven by Bobby Labonte. It was 1969 when the team was officially named Petty Enterprises. Throughout NASCAR’s history, Petty Enterprises has always been know and famous for its success, but in recent years they have been struggling.

The team has been operating as far back as 1949 when Richard Petty’s father, Lee Petty, first formed Lee Petty Engineering as a NASCAR Grand National Division team with the number 42. Not only was the company formed that year but also the team won their first win at Heidelberg Raceway, finishing second in points that season. 1950 and 1951 saw Petty’s team win one race each season with a victorious three wins in 1952. With this success the team expanded by incorporating another vehicle, the Plymouth, which Jimmie Lewallen drove. The following years saw a major increase in races won by Petty Enterprises. By 1979 the team had won 10 championships in NASCAR premier series.

From 1980 to 1984 Richard Petty drove hard and won several races, but from there on till his retirement he did not win another race. This bad fortune did not stop there, it continued after Richard’s retirement with Petty Enterprises only winning another three races. In 2006 Petty Enterprises hired Bobby Labonte, after he won the NEXTEL Cup, to drive the #43 car and hired Robbie Loomis, who had served as a crew chief for Jeff Gordon, to be executive vice president.

The Petty Family created the number 43 car, hence its name Petty Blue. The blue color is distinct and was created apparently by mistake because of not having enough paint to cover the whole car. It was rumored that the famous paint scheme came about when Richard Petty would not allow sponsors to sponsor his car unless they agreed to keep part of the car blue and the rest they could paint STP Red.

Next Page »