NASCAR Teams

February 9, 2009 by  
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The sport of NASCAR racing is one of the most popular in the United States. Fans flock to the racetracks in their thousands to cheer on their favourite driver, team or car number. Though one of the appeals of NASCAR racing is its relatively easy accessibility, often the best way for aspiring drivers to drive truly remarkable vehicles is to join an existing team. Teams that are well established usually have access to the best cars and parts with which to enhance their vehicles and ensure top-performance rides. These teams also enjoy good sponsorship which then again helps to draw in enough money to keep vehicles in tip-top shape.

There are currently a fair number of different NASCAR racing teams which are recognised for having successful cars and drivers. Fans may recognise names such as Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Racing, Evernham Racing and Phoenix Racing. Often NASCAR teams are started by drivers who eventually use a portion of their winnings to purchase their own vehicles and start their own teams. On other occasions these teams may be started by wealthy supporters of the sport who wish to get more involved even though they may not be much good behind the wheel.

Teams such as Joe Gibbs Racing and Robert Yates Racing have helped a number of drivers to reach the pinnacle of success. Other teams have become largely family affairs, such as Dale Earnheart Racing and Petty Enterprises. Ownership of these teams may be passed down from one generation to the next – or it may be a prime position in the driver’s seat which the next generation may inherit. Whichever way you look at it, racing teams are needed for the sport of NASCAR racing to function properly. It makes organisation of NASCAR events that much more regulated and standardised and it makes it easier for new and aspiring drivers to climb their way up in the ranks and show their true worth. Team cars usually sport, not only the car’s number, but also the sponsorship which has enabled the team to continue racing at the top of it’s game. Fans soon learn which team they like the most – and which drivers they’d like to see in the winner’s circle. Have a look at our brief description of NASCAR racing teams to learn a little more about each one.

NASCAR Teams

Toro Rosso F1 Team

February 9, 2009 by  
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Austrian beverage company Red Bull is the owner of both Scuderia Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing. Having made its racing debut in the 2006 F1 season under the joint ownership of Red Bull’s owner Dietrich Mateschitz and former F1 driver Gerhard Berger, Red Bull became the sole owner of the team in November 2008. Scuderio Toro Rosso is considered to be Red Bull’s ‘B’ team, as it focuses on developing the skills and realizing the full potential of new young drivers, with a view to promoting them to the senior team, Red Bull Racing.

The new team’s very first point was scored by Vitantonio Luizzi at the 2006 US Grand Prix, with the first pole position and victory being scored by Sebastian Vettel at the Italian Grand Prix in 2008. Vettel had moved across from BMW Sauber, where he was third driver, in the middle of the 2007 F1 racing season. The other driver for Toro Rosso in 2008 was Sebastien Bourdais, winner of four Champ Car Championships. In the 2009 season Sebastien Buemi replaced Vettel, who had moved up to the Red Bull Racing Team. Bourdais was replaced by Jaime Alguersauri after the German Grand Prix, with poor performance being given as the reason for the parting of the ways with Bourdais.

Both Buemi and Alguersauri will continue driving for Toro Rosso in the 2010 season. Some have expressed surprise that such an inexperienced driver as Alguersauri was signed up for 2010, especially in light of the fact that he failed to score any points during the 2009 season. No doubt team officials, under the direction of team principal, Franz Tost, and technical director, Giorgio Ascanelli, have seen the potential in this young Spanish driver and are willing to give him the opportunity to prove himself. Certainly 2010 is set to write another interesting chapter in the history of F1’s youngest team – Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Petty Enterprises

February 9, 2009 by  
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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.

Bill Davis Racing

February 9, 2009 by  
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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.

Phoenix Racing

February 9, 2009 by  
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With the symbolic bird of immortality rising from the flames as their logo, Phoenix Racing is a NASCAR racing team fueled by an intense passion for the sport. Though the team is currently quite small, its owner James Finch has big plans in store for it. In the year 2000, Phoenix Racing and Yellow joined forces and this partnership has proven to be most advantageous to the team.

Phoenix Racing is owned by James Finch who is an American born in Panama City, Florida. Finch never found the desire to leave his Florida home and so he set up shop in Lynn Haven. The team is now located in Spartanburg, North Carolina. Phoenix Racing currently fields the #1 Chevrolet Impala, driven by James Buescher in the Nationwide Series, and the #09 Chevrolet Impala, driven by Aric Almirola in the Sprint Cup Series. In the past the team has seen the likes of Neil Bonnet, Geoffrey Bodine, Jeremy Mayfield and Jeff Purvis – all excellent drivers in their own right.

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