JGR, Penske thriving, while RCR, Roush continue record winless streaks

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For three Sprint Cup teams, winning comes easy these days.

When Joey Logano won the Bank of America 500 Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he reset Team Penske’s winless streak counter to zero.

It had only reached five races.

Meanwhile, Stewart-Haas Racing’s is at one after Kevin Harvick‘s win in Dover two weeks ago. The victory ended the team’s 13-race winless streak going back to June at Michigan.

That’s how long it’s been since Hendrick Motorsports won its last race in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.

Joe Gibbs Racing hasn’t won in two races. Since Denny Hamlin won at Martinsville Speedway in the sixth race of the year, JGR hasn’t gone more than three races without a win.

Before Hamlin’s Martinsville triumph, JGR had gone 32 races without a win. Its longest winless stretch is 56 races.

It’s that kind of stretch that’s plaguing the teams at Richard Childress Racing and Roush Fenway Racing.

Austin Dillon was the highest finishing driver for RCR at Charlotte, placing seventh. It was the 67th-straight Sprint Cup race a RCR car had not won. It continued to build on a team record of 60 races that was set on Aug. 18 in the second Michigan race.

That race proved to be one of RCR’s best shots in 2015 to win. Dillon had the most solid performance of his two years in Sprint Cup, leading a career-high 19 laps and finishing a career-best fourth.

RCR’s previous high of 59 races came in the final 27 races in 1996 and all 32 races in 1997. Dale Earnhardt Sr. ended that drought with his win in the 1998 Daytona 500.

For Roush, it is winless in its last 50 races – a team record since it first won a race in 1989 with Mark Martin, which took 55 races.

Carl Edwards, now with JGR, was the last driver to visit victory lane for Roush, winning the 2014 race at Sonoma Raceway.

The team’s previous longest drought was 39 races, set between the end of 1995 and April 1997 when Jeff Burton won his first career race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Both RCR and Roush have the last six races this year and beyond to end their respective streaks. Michael Waltrip Racing, which hasn’t won in 63 races, doesn’t have as long with the team set to close after this season.

The Cup series goes to Kansas Speedway this weekend. The 1.5-mile track has hosted only one RCR win, when Harvick claimed his penultimate victory for the team in the fall 2013 race.

For Roush, Kansas has been friendly in the past as the site of four of its 135 total wins. The last was by Matt Kenseth in 2012.

Here’s a look at the last time RCR and Roush won at each of the remaining six tracks

Richard Childress Racing – Last Win

Kansas Speedway – Kevin Harvick, Oct. 6, 2013

Talladega Superspeedway – Clint Bowyer, Oct. 23, 2011

Martinsville Speedway – Kevin Harvick, April 3, 2011

Texas Motor Speedway – Jeff Burton, April 15, 2007

Phoenix International Raceway – Kevin Harvick, Nov. 10, 2013

Homestead-Miami Speedway – no wins

Roush Fenway Racing – Last win

Kansas Speedway – Matt Kenseth, Oct. 21, 2012

Talladega Superspeedway – Matt Kenseth, Oct. 7, 2012

Martinsville Speedway – Kurt Busch, Oct. 20, 2002

Texas Motor Speedway – Greg Biffle, April 12, 2012

Phoenix International Raceway – Carl Edwards, March 3, 2013

Homestead-Miami Speedway – Carl Edwards, Nov. 21, 2010

Helio Castroneves rules out Daytona 500

Helio Castroneves Daytona 500
Robert Scheer/Indy Star/USA TODAY NETWORK
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Helio Castroneves might be at the 2023 Daytona 500, but the four-time Indy 500 winner won’t be in a race car.

During a news conference Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, Castroneves confirmed in response to a question from NBC Sports that he essentially has ruled out attempting to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the Feb. 19 season opener.

As recently as last Thursday at Rolex 24 Media Day, Castroneves, 47, said he still was working on trying to piece together a deal.

The Brazilian had been negotiating with the Cup team co-owned by boxer Floyd Mayweather and would have been in an “open” entry that lacked guaranteed entry to the Great American Race. That potentially would leave him in the precarious position of needing to make the race on qualifying speed or a qualifying race finish (as action sports star Travis Pastrana likely might need in his Cup debut).

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“Unfortunately for me, lack of experience, no testing,” Castroneves said. “A lot of things. I believe it would be a little bit tough throwing myself in such a short notice, and to go in a place that you’ve got to race yourself into it. So as of right now, yes, it’s not going to happen.

“But we did have an opportunity. We just got to elaborate a little bit more to give me a little more experience on that. So there is more things to come ahead of us, but as of right now, I want to focus on the IndyCar program as well and (the Rolex 24 at Daytona).”

Castroneves, who has a residence in Key Biscayne, said he still might attend the Daytona 500

“I might just come and see and watch it and continue to take a look and see what’s going to be in the future,” he said.

Castroneves enters Saturday’s Rolex 24 at Daytona having won the event the past two years. He made his signature fence-climb after winning last year with Meyer Shank Racing, which he will be driving for full time in the NTT IndyCar Series this year. He became the fourth four-time Indy 500 winner in history in his 2021 debut with Meyer Shank Racing.

The 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar champion also has indicated an interest in Trackhouse Racing’s Project 91 car that aims to place international drivers in a Cup ride (such as Kimi Raikkonen at Watkins Glen International last year). Team co-owner Justin Marks recently tweeted Trackhouse wouldn’t field the Project 91 car at the Daytona 500.

After winning the 2022 Superstar Racing Experience opener, SRX CEO Don Hawk had promised he would help secure a Daytona 500 ride for Castroneves.

Castroneves has been angling for a NASCAR ride for years, dating to when he drove for Team Penske from 2000-20. After winning the Rolex 24 last year, he said he had been lobbying Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart for help with getting in a Cup car.

Fire at Reaume Brothers Racing shop injures three

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A Thursday fire at the Reaume Brothers Racing shop in Mooresville, North Carolina, injured three individuals, according to Mooresville (North Carolina) Fire-Rescue.

Firefighters were dispatched to the shop, which is scheduled to field entries for driver Mason Massey in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this season, at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

The fire department extinguished the blaze quickly. The department stated on its Facebook page that one individual was transported to Lake Norman Regional hospital for smoke inhalation, and another was transported to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C. with burn injuries. A third was treated and released.

The Mooresville Fire Marshall’s office is investigating the cause of the fire. The fire department said the shop sustained “significant fire damage.”

In a tweet, the team said it is determining the extent of damage to the building. “More importantly,” it said, “a few of our team members did sustain injuries during the fire and are being transported for medical treatment.”

Trackhouse, RFK Racing, Front Row Motorsports sign sponsorship deals

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Trackhouse Racing, RFK Racing and Front Row Motorsports announced sponsorship deals Thursday morning.

Trackhouse said WWEX, a Dallas-based global logistics group, will increase its sponsorship presence with the team this year, serving as the primary sponsor in 21 races for drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez.

WWEX will appear on Chastain’s Chevrolets in 19 races and will sponsor Suarez twice. The organization was a Trackhouse sponsor in 11 events in 2022, which was a breakout season for both Chastain and Suarez.

RFK announced that Solomon Plumbing, which joined the team last season, will expand its presence this season and in future years. The Michigan-based company will serve as the primary sponsor for several races on driver Brad Keselowski‘s No. 6 Ford.

MORE: Chase Briscoe signs contract extension with Stewart-Haas

Solomon specializes in plumbing and fire services for new development and construction. It initially sponsored Keselowski last season in the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Front Row Motorsports has signed Quincy Compressor, a Bay Minette, Ala.-based compressor manufacturer, as a sponsor for four races.

Quincy will sponsor Todd Gilliland‘s No. 38 team in three events and Michael McDowell‘s No. 34 team in one race.

 

 

Stewart-Haas Racing signs Chase Briscoe to contract extension

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Chase Briscoe has signed a multiyear contract extension to remain at Stewart-Haas Racing, the team announced Thursday.

The length of the deal was not announced.

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Briscoe is entering his third Cup season with the team. He won his first series race last year, taking the checkered flag at Phoenix last March. That victory put him in the playoffs. He finished the season ninth in the standings. 

“It’s huge to have stability, with my team and my partner,” Briscoe said in a statement from the team. “It just gives you more confidence. Stewart-Haas Racing is where I want to be for a long time. It’s the place I’ve known longer than anywhere else in my NASCAR career.

“I remember getting signed by Ford in 2017 and I told people, ‘You know, if I could pick one place to be, it would be Stewart- Haas Racing. And if I could drive one car, it would be the 14 car. That would be the ultimate dream.’ And now, here I am.

“SHR has such a great group of people, from the Xfinity Series to the Cup Series, and they’ve all just guided me in the right direction. From drivers to crew chiefs to crew members, they’ve always had my back, and that’s been a huge help – just having people believe in you.”

The 28-year-old Briscoe has been with SHR since 2018. He split a limited Xfinity schedule that season between what is now RFK Racing and SHR. He ran full time with SHR in the Xfinity Series in 2019 and ’20 before moving to Cup in 2021.

“Chase has made the most of every opportunity and the proof is in the results. Keeping him at SHR was a priority and we’re proud to have him in our racecars for many more years to come,” said Tony Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas, in a statement from the team. 

Briscoe’s signing comes two weeks after teammate Kevin Harvick announced that this will be his final season in Cup. 

The Cup season begins Feb. 5 with the Busch Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before going to Daytona for the Feb. 19 Daytona 500.