Dale Earnhardt Racing

February 9, 2009 by  
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Dale Earnhardt Inc. merged its NASCAR operations with those of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in November 2008 to form Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.

Dale Earnhardt Racing, or Dale Earnhardt Inc., was established by Dale and Teresa Earnhardt in 1980. The humble little company has certainly grown over the years, but in 1983, Teresa was the first employee and the offices were a three-bay garage. Teresa supported Dale in all his racing ventures and all the general work that needed to be done. As the company grew, the need for more space was apparent, as they needed room for race cars and equipment. Dale and Teresa moved the company into a brick house right next to Coddle Creek Highway. They now had five offices and a few employees. Dale Earnhardt Inc also used to be the part time Busch Series team for Dale Earnhardt.

The team was extremely successful. Together they won 21 races, were placed in the top five 65 times, and were in the top 10, in 76 races. Dale Earnhardt Racing was actually just a part time job at Dale Earnhardt Inc. The company actually concentrated on merchandise and sponsorship sales, which enabled Dale Earnhardt Inc to become leaders in this field, in the fast growing popularity of racing. Some of the big sponsorships that were sold at the little office next to the Coddle Creek Highway, are still a part of Dale Earnhardt Inc. today.

Dale and Teresa Earnhardt started fielding a full time Busch Series team, and later in 1995, the took on a Craftsman Truck Series team as well. With the company going through another growth period, the little brick house became insufficient, and another building was added to accommodate them. During the second season, Dale Earnhardt Inc. was given the NASCAR Championship by NAPA and Ron Hornaday, and received the honor again in 1998. Steve Park was recruited in 1997 to take over as driver of the Busch ride for the 1997 season, with ACDelco sponsoring him. And he did not disappoint. Park went on to win three races, Rookie of the Year and took third place in regard to points accumulated.

In June 1999, Dale and Teresa opened the new Dale Earnhardt Inc headquarters, complete with showroom, administration offices, retail store, a Trophy room, and the new home to the 1 Pennzoil team. When Steve Parks decided to move on, Dale Earnhardt, already had a replacement in mind, namely Dale Earnhardt Jr. For the fourth time, they needed space, yet again. The little old brick house along the Coddle Creek Highway was torn down for the construction of a new building, and the home to Dale Earnhardt Jr and his Budweiser team.

The growth of Dale Earnhardt Inc, has made it one of the premier NASCAR racing teams. And with all its success, it has not forgotten it’s humble beginnings. The company is often involved in charitable work and functions that can improve the lives of many children, help conserve nature, and assisting in education and general wildlife preservation.

Evernham Motorsports

February 9, 2009 by  
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Evernham Motorsports became Gillett Evernham Motorsports in 2007. It then merged with Petty Enterprises to form Richard Petty Motorsports.

The Evernham Motorsports team was founded in 1999 by Ray Evernham. Evernham’s mission was to help bring Dodge back into the limelight of NASCAR racing – a goal which he has certainly achieved through excellent management, good cars and skilled driving. Today Evernham Motorsports is recognized as being one of NASCAR’s premier racing teams and it currently fields full-time Dodge motor vehicles in the NEXTEL Cup, the Craftsman Truck Series and the Busch Series. It also fields a part-time Dodge Charger in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.

Evernham, himself a driver, started to enjoy great racing success shortly after partnering with Jeff Gordon. Under Evernham’s leadership, the two were able to win 47 Winston Cup races and three Winston Cup championships. Not long afterwards, Dodge approached Evernham with a massive challenge – help Dodge return to NASCAR Winston Cup racing in just 500 days. Prior to this, Dodge had not been involved in the Winston Cup for roughly twenty years. It was a challenge that Evernham was ready to accept. Working with the same determination and passion that had characterized much of his racing career, Evernham met the challenge with success. What’s more, he has continued to oversee the operation of his various race teams up to the present.

Evernham Motorsports accredits much of its success to the high level of innovation and technology which it supports. The team currently produces it’s own chassis and its engines are both powerful and reliable – so much so, in fact, that other Dodge teams often make use of Evernham Engines in their own vehicles. Evernham Motorsports’ most recent successes include the 2006 NEXTEL Cup Season wherein the team won six races in their number 9 car with Kasey Kahne behind the wheel. They also enjoyed 13 top-five and 29 top-ten finishes as well as two wins in the Busch Series that same year. Current drivers include Kasey Kahne, Elliot Sadler, Scott Riggs and female driver Erin Crocker. Crocker’s signing with the team is part of their driver development programme which continues to help talented and aspiring drivers achieve greater measures of success. Crocker, who has been driving since she was seven, is the first woman to join the Evernham team. Fans can be sure that as long as Ray Evernham is behind the wheel at Everham Motorsports, they will see many more great Dodge successes in years to come.

Haas CNC Racing

February 9, 2009 by  
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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.

McLaren F1 Team

February 9, 2009 by  
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The McLaren Motor Racing team was first founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren. The team’s Grand Prix debut was made at the Monaco track in 1966 and, despite some early technical difficulties, Team McLaren has never looked back. By 1968 the team had earned their first win with Bruce McLaren himself behind the wheel at the Belgium Grand Prix. Today the McLaren F1 Racing Team is seen as one of the most successful Formula One teams. Their Grand Prix successes are surpassed only by Ferrari and for quite some time they dominated the world of Grand Prix racing.

Not long after McLaren’s first Grand Prix win in 1968, driver James Hunt won the team’s first Driver’s Championship. That was in 1976 and the win was a sign of things to come. By 1984, Niki Lauda won a Grand Prix Championship on behalf of the McLaren team, and the 1980’s proved to be a phenomenal decade for the team. In fact, McLaren emerged to completely dominate the Formula One racing scene. However, the team’s success started to fade about midway through the 1990’s when Honda decided to drop out of Formula One racing. The team then went through a period of experimentation – switching from manufacturer to manufacturer in an attempt to find a winning combination. Eventually McLaren found that the Mercedes-Ilmor engine showed promise and they started a slow climb back to success. At about this time Team McLaren also lost their Marlboro sponsorship and subsequent trade-mark red and white livery. The team took up the silver Mercedes livery in its place and the change could be said to be an appropriate display of the ending of one period for the team and the beginning of another.

Mercedes has continued to supply the team’s engines and today the full name of the team is Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, acknowledging both of its primary sponsors. It is based in Woking, Surrey in the UK and the team principle is Ron Dennis. As at the end of the 2009 season, McLaren had won 8 Constructor Championships, 12 Driver Championships, and notched up 164 victories. The McLaren team has World Championship winners Lewis Hamilton (2008) and Jenson Button (2009) as its principle drivers for the 2010 F1 Grand Prix Championship, with the new MP4-25 as the car of the year.

Hendrick Motorsports

February 9, 2009 by  
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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.

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