Ty Dillon

NASCAR: Jay Robinson buys Tommy Baldwin Racing’s No. 36 team, re-numbers to No. 62

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Under the new banner of Premium Motorsports, Jay Robinson has purchased the assets of the No. 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team from Tommy Baldwin Racing.

Reed Sorenson drove the No. 36 TBR Chevrolet full-time last year and finished 34th in Sprint Cup points. His best result was a 14th in the Chase race at Talladega Superspeedway.

In a short release from this morning, Premium announced that the car would be re-numbered to No. 62 for the upcoming season. Sponsor and driver announcements for the car were noted to be “forth coming.”

However, it has been reported by several outlets that, for the season-opening Daytona 500, the No. 62 will be prepared by Richard Childress Racing and driven by RCR Xfinity Series veteran Brian Scott.

That would create, essentially, a five-car RCR squad for the Great American Race – RCR’s main trio of Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, and Paul Menard, then Scott and his Xfinity teammate, Ty Dillon, in affiliated cars. Ty Dillon is driving the No. 33 for Circle Sport Racing in partnership with RCR.

Catchfence.com and Motorsport.com are also additionally reporting that Slugger Labbe, RCR’s head of research and development, will serve as crew chief for Scott and the No. 62 team during Daytona Speedweeks. Labbe stepped down from his role as crew chief for Menard last October to take his current position.

Scott drove a Circle Sport/RCR machine to 25th in his Daytona 500 debut last year.

RCR seeks wins, momentum carryover into 2015

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Richard Childress Racing went winless as a whole in 2014, but still assembled one of the more solid, steady seasons in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series field.

The team came up 50 yards short of the title when Ryan Newman came second to Kevin Harvick at Homestead-Miami Speedway, in both the Ford 400 season finale and the Championship Four showdown for the 2014 Sprint Cup title.

Although as Childress put it Thursday at the NASCAR Media Tour in Charlotte, “I’d like to say we were one caution flag short instead of 50 yards. But that was history.”

History now for Childress is adding to its legacy of race wins and championships, and mainly, getting all three of its full-time drivers on the board in 2015.

Newman and Paul Menard are each seeking their first win since a Brickyard 400 triumph (2013 for Newman, 2011 for Menard) while Austin Dillon seeks his first win at the Cup level.

“We came close,” Childress said. “You look at what Luke (Lambert, crew chief) and Ryan what they did in their first year, what Austin did as a rookie… he and Paul were both there with a couple races left to make the Chase. But this year, we all know we gotta win races to get in the Chase.”

On the subject of wins, Childress joked he already has one this year, having beat Dillon in a ride up the new “Daytona Rising” project at Daytona International Speedway.

“I won the first race at Daytona this year, right Austin?” Childress quipped.

Dillon, for his part, enters his second full-time season in Sprint Cup with perhaps higher expectations, but lower media scrutiny.

With Dillon’s arrival, the famed No. 3 returned to a Cup grid for the first time since 2001. Dillon of course won the pole at the Daytona 500 and finished ninth. He added one top-five and three more top-10 finishes the rest of the way en route to a 20th place finish in points.

If there was one very good takeaway from Dillon’s first season, it was his ability to bring the car home. He didn’t register a single DNF in 36 races and that aids his confidence coming into 2015.

“At the Speedway (Daytona), you need a bit of luck, but you have to put yourself in position to the end,” Dillon said. “I’m excited about the speedway races. Adjust (the plan) when you get there and be ready for anything.

“The rest of year, really excited. I’m back with Gil (Martin, crew chief). We made some changes within the team. Looking forward to the opportunity. Finishing a lot of races was big for our team. You’ll see us up front more.”

Menard, ever the quiet one, was low-key during the press conference itself but looks to build off of what was his best statistical season. The Wisconsin native posted career-highs in top-five (five) and top-10 (13) finishes, although he fell from 17th to 21st in points.

Childress also announced a couple housekeeping items.

Grainger, which Childress noted his team has raced against for many years, has joined in a multiyear partnership. Grainger will be a primary sponsor for selected races on Newman’s No. 31 Chevrolet starting with Pocono in June, and as an associate for all others of which it isn’t the primary.

Additionally, Childress confirmed two of his three full-time NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers, Ty Dillon and Brian Scott, will race selected Sprint Cup races this year. A formal announcement is expected next week; both are also expected to be part of a five-car lineup at the Daytona 500.

The team has made some other staff changes over the winter and is working diligently on its ECR engine program. Richie Gilmore has been confirmed as ECR’s new president, Childress announced.

But Childress, as ever, kept the focus on the racing as the team looks for a breakout 2015 where wins, and not just consistent top-fives, top-10s, and near-winless title runs grabbed the headlines.

“This year going in, you’ll see some of the hardest best racing we’ve ever seen in NASCAR.” Childress said. “Now you know how important it is to be in the 16. To make the Final Four was unbelievable. Ryan and Luke gave us a great chance to win the championship.”

NASCAR: RCR adds to shop, and per report, expects Scott in 4th car at Daytona

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Two quick tidbits for Richard Childress Racing to come out this Martin Luther King Jr. Monday.

The first is that the team plans to add to its shop in Welcome, N.C., to continue development and expand the growth of ECR engines. The team posted a picture of the planned upgrade and expansion this morning on Twitter.

The second bit of news is that the team expects to run a fourth car in the Daytona 500 for Brian Scott, as they did one year ago, beyond its three full-time drivers in Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and 2014 Daytona 500 polesitter Austin Dillon.

CATCHFENCE.com’s Chris Knight reports Scott will not only be back for his second Daytona 500 attempt, but will try to do so in the No. 29 Chevrolet –  a number taken out of service when Dillon and RCR brought back the 3 last year after Kevin Harvick left. Richard “Slugger” Labbe would likely be crew chief, Knight reports.

Scott is part of RCR’s NASCAR XFINITY Series lineup once more for 2015 in the No. 2, along with Ty Dillon (No. 3), Brendan Gaughan (No. 62) and the No. 33 car, which will feature several different drivers.

Another week, another driver wedding; this time, it’s Ty Dillon’s turn (PHOTOS)

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Last weekend, one of Sprint Cup’s best in Joey Logano got hitched. This weekend, one of the XFINITY Series’ best followed suit.

Richard Childress Racing’s Ty Dillon, who recently announced that he’ll be making his Daytona 500 debut in February, married girlfriend Haley Carey last night in North Carolina at the winery owned by Dillon’s boss/grandfather, Richard Childress.

Ty and Haley had been engaged for almost one year.

Along with the spacious surroundings of the winery, a “Just Married” version of Dillon’s No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet added to the setting as well. The Camaro came complete with the bride’s name over the right-side window.

Here’s some social media from the ceremony. From all of us at MotorSportsTalk, we wish Ty and Haley the best in their new life together.

Menards stays on as NASCAR XFINITY sponsor for RCR

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Paul Menard and Brandon Jones will run selected NASCAR XFINITY Series races next season, and Menards will serve as primary sponsor for some of those.

It continues a relationship Menards and Richard Childress Racing have had since 2012.

“Sponsoring the No. 33 RCR team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with drivers Paul Menard and Brandon Jones behind the wheel in 2015 is something we look forward to,” Jeff Abbott, Menards Promotions Manager, said in a  release. “This partnership is special to us and we are ready for another successful XFINITY Series campaign.”

RCR’s XFINITY program will feature Brian Scott with a new crew chief, Brendan Gaughan, and Ty Dillon for full seasons, with the Menard/Jones entry a fourth part-time.