NASCAR: JR Motorsports moves into Truck Series with Cole Custer

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After capturing the NASCAR XFINITY Series title last season with 18-year-old Chase Elliott, JR Motorsports will look for more success in the Camping World Truck Series with a driver that’s even younger.

JRM – co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, and his Sprint Cup boss, Rick Hendrick – will run 10 Truck Series events in 2015 with soon-to-be 17-year-old Cole Custer behind the wheel of the No. 00 Chevrolet Silverado.

Haas Automation, the machine tool company that belongs to current Sprint Cup championship co-owner Gene Haas, will remain Custer’s sponsor.

“I’m so excited to get this season started,” said Custer in a team release. “With all that JR Motorsports has accomplished over the past few years, we know we have everything needed to go win races and compete.

“I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity with a better organization.  I really want to thank Haas Automation, along with Kelley and Dale Jr. for putting this deal together.”

Custer’s 2015 schedule features appearances at Martinsville (March 28 and Oct. 31), Dover (May 29), Gateway (June 13), Iowa (June 19), Eldora (July 22), Bristol (Aug. 19), the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Aug. 30), New Hampshire (Sept. 26), and Phoenix (Nov. 13).

Additionally, JRM will also field Custer in select K&N Pro Series and ARCA events. The team says more details on Custer’s schedule in those respective series will be announced later.

Last year, Custer ran in nine Truck Series events. Along the way, he became both the youngest pole winner (Gateway Motorsports Park) and race winner (New Hampshire Motor Speedway) in NASCAR national touring series history. Altogether, he earned one win, two Top-5s, and 6 Top-10s.

In her own thoughts, Earnhardt Miller said the move into the Truck Series was another step in JRM’s evolution.

“Expanding into the truck series on a part-time basis is furthering our growth,” she said. “Bringing in a talent like Cole and a great partner like Haas Automation is a great way to do that. I’m proud of the direction we’re heading.”

Custer’s program will be housed at a JRM satellite shop in Mooresville, North Carolina. Joe Shear, Custer’s crew chief in 2014, will retain that role in 2015.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.