MOORESVILLE – Town commissioners recognized Penske Racing and Brad Keselowski on Jan. 7 with a proclamation for their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.
The proclamation noted that the racing industry “plays a vital and dynamic role in the economic health of the Town of Mooresville” and that Penske Racing “represents a long-term commitment to racing and the Mooresville area.”
Mayor Miles Atkins presented the proclamation to Jonathan Gibson, vice president of marketing and communications at Penske.
More changes with Turner team
MOORESVILLE – Turner Motorsports rebranded itself as Turner Scott Motorsports for the 2013 season.
Longtime minority owner Harry Scott Jr. joined owner Steve Turner as a major partner, prompting the Mooresville-based team’s name change.
Scott will co-manage day-to-day operations and will oversee the team’s public relations, marketing and business development aspects.
TSM captured its first championship in 2012, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title, with James Buescher.
Buescher, Justin Allgaier and newcomer Jeb Burton will pilot the team’s Nationwide Series cars.
Nelson Piquet Jr., Buescher, Miguel Paludo and Mooresville High student Brandon Jones will pilot the team’s trucks.
Burton will also drive a full Truck Series season, piloting the No. 4 Arrowhead Chevy.
Sprint Cup preseason tests begin
MOORESVILLE – The offseason didn’t last long for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams.
The 2012 season ended in November and new chassis tests took place in mid-December at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The new year’s first racing action starts Jan. 10-12 at Daytona International Speedway, with 35 teams testing the sport’s new Gen 6 chassis.
The second round of testing at Charlotte takes place Jan. 17-18.
NASCAR’s season begins Feb. 16 with the non-points Sprint Unlimited race at Daytona.
Study: Gibbs, Hendrick dominate NASCAR’s social media landscape
HUNTERSVILLE – A Tuckahoe Strategies study measuring how well race teams use social media found Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports as the sport’s best.
Based on a 20-point scale measuring a team’s website and Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram accounts, JGR’s 15 points led all teams.
Hendrick’s team finished second with 14 points in the study.
HMS driver Jimmie Johnson dominated the drivers’ portion of the study, scoring 13 points thanks to an active Twitter account and his Facebook promotion.
The sport’s most popular driver, Mooresville resident Dale Earnhardt Jr., scored 9 points and ranked firmly in the middle of drivers’ social media success. Earnhardt has more Facebook fans on his official page – 1,475,698 – than any other driver and many YouTube followers, but a dormant Twitter account.
“The goal for each individual and organization should be to build and activate its own ‘media machine’ by using the digital platform. All the tools are easily available and NASCAR is taking steps to help the industry expand its online presence,” Tuckahoe Strategies president Ramsey Poston, who led the study said.
Jeffrey Earnhardt to run full season
MOORESVILLE – Dale Earnhardt Jr. won’t be the only member of NASCAR’s most famous family to attempt a full NASCAR season in 2013.
Jeffrey Earnhardt, the 23-year-old grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., will attempt a full Nationwide Series schedule with Go Green Racing, Earnhardt told the SPEED Channel.
Earnhardt ran six Nationwide Series races in 2012 with his best finish being a 21st-place showing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July.
Uponor will sponsor Earnhardt’s team’s cars for the first six races of the season. The company manufactures and supplies heating and plumbing systems.
- Compiled by Aaron Burns