Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Robby Gordon Motorsports is owned by NASCAR racing driver Robby Gordon, fielding his #7 Monster Energy Drink/Polaris/Warner Music Nashville/Menards Toyota Camry. The team enjoys the support of millionaire entrepreneur, John R. Menard Jr., who helped Gordon finance the purchase of Ultra Motorsports from Jim Smith in 2005. In October 2006, RGM signed with Ford Racing to run the Ford Fusion for the 2007 season. Sponsors of the car included Jim Beam, Camping World, Monster Energy Drink and Mapei.
2008 was marked with conflict for RGM, involving penalties for a switch to the Dodge Charger in the preseason testing for the 2008 Daytona 500, a decision which was later reversed, putting the #7 Dodge at 21 in the Sprint Cup Standings. Later that same year GEM and RGM became involved in a lawsuit relating to a potential merger. The lawsuit was dropped, and Gordon switched from GEM to Penske Racing engines.
RGM switched manufacturers once again in 2009, fielding Toyota Camrys for the entire season. Continuing to field Camrys, in 2010 RGM aligned with BAM Racing and garnered extended sponsorship from Monster Energy Drink. BAM Racing’s sponsor, Warner Music Nashville, will sponsor the #7 Camry driven by Robby Gordon, starting with the California event and including events at Atlanta and Bristol. Current sponsors for RGM include Monster Energy Drink, Menards, Polaris and Warner Music Nashville.
Super Aguri F1 withdrew from F1 racing in 2008.
Super Aguri F1 is a new team that recently joined the ranks of other Formula One teams in 2006 and is known as the Super Aguri Hondas, and is seen as an unofficial Honda ‘B’-team. The team was formed by Aguri Suzuki, a former F1 driver and is based in Tokyo, Japan although it operates from the former Arrows factory in Leafield, UK. The team came about due to public pressure on Honda, Japan; to help one of its former drivers, Takuma Sato, continue to compete in F1.
Aguri Suzuki, as mentioned before, started Formula One racing in 1989 participating regularly in F1 races. Before this Suzuki had competed in quite a few championship races held in Japan. A year later he made third place at the Japanese Grand Prix and became one of the first Japanese drivers to take to the F1 podium. When Aguri Suzuki finished up with F1 racing he moved back to Japan where he founded the Autobacs Racing Team Aguri project, managing the driver development and racing team programs.
Later in 2003 he formed the Super Aguri Fernandez Racing with Adrian Fernandez, an IRL IndyCar driver, and then participated in the series. Three years later he took part in the Japanese top formula, All Japan Championship Formula Nippon, in the Japanese top touring category SUPER GT series, well continuing as ARTA Project producer. Up until now there has been no other person who has been able to manage not only a Formula One team but also many other racing teams in a lot of of the world’s top categories all at the same time.
The FIA announced early in 2006 that the teams had accepted the late entry of Super Aguri to the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championships. This also came with the announcement that Yuji Ide and Takuma Sato had been signed up as drivers for the teams first season with Franck Montagny as third driver. After four races it was decided that Montagny would take Ides place as driver in the European Grand Prix and other races. The 2007 plans for the teams second season have not been finalized yet. Super Aguri has announced that Anthony Davidson, a former Honda and test driver, will be driving with Takuma Sato for the team in 2007.
The Penske Racing team is owned and run by Roger Penske, and is an extremely diverse team. In previous years Penske Racing has taken part in CART, road racing and even Formula One, but presently they are concentrating on ARCA, the Indy Racing League, and last but not least, NASCAR.
Penske Racing’s involvement in Indy Car racing started in 1968 with a stock block-powered Eagle and a driver named Mark Donohue. In 1969 they competed for the first time at Indianapolis, and in the following three years they were the team that everyone kept their eye on. Donohue won the Indy 500 in 1972. Other team owners that were involved in USAC events, such as Indy Cars and Champ Cars, got together to form CART, which is the Champion Auto Racing Teams. The participating owners were Pat Patrick, Dan Gurney and of course, Roger Penske. By the time 2006 arrived, Penske Racing had many successes under their belt. Successes that included winning open wheel races in CART and IRL 124 times, winning the Indianapolis 500 an impressive 14 times, and winning 13 pole positions at the Indianapolis 500. Penske Racing also walked away ith 11 open wheel championships.
Due to an open wheel split following the CART season in 1995, the Penske Team was absent in the Indy 500 for five years. They announced their return in 2001. Which later led to Roger Penske leaving CART to race in the Indy Racing League. The open wheel racing division of the Penske Team has been located in Pennsylvania since the year 1973, but it was announced that following the 2006 IRL Season, that IRL and the team’s NASCAR operations will consolidate at the Penske facility in Mooresville, North Carolina. The operations had to be moved sooner than previously anticipated due to a flood in Pennsylvania in 2006.
This very successful team boasts 3 Sprint Cup Series cars, numbered 2, 12 and 77; as well as 2 Nationwide Series vehicles, numbered 12 and 22. Their IndyCar motor vehicles are numbered 3, 6 and 12; while the Grand-Am car is #12. Drivers for Penske Racing include Kurt Busch, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe, Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier, San Hornish Jr., and others.
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.
- Bill Davis Racing
- Chip Ganassi Racing
- Competitive Edge Motorsports
- Dale Earnhardt Racing
- Evernham Motorsports
- Haas CNC Racing
- Hendrick Motorsport
- Joe Gibbs Racing
- Morgan McClure Motorsports
- Penske Racing
- Petty Enterprises
- Phoenix Racing
- Richard Childress Racing
- Robert Yates Racing
- Roush Racing
- Robby Gordon Racing
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.