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Veteran pit boss to serve as crew chief for David Gilliland and the No. 38 team MORE: Find out who else is on the move in 2015 Donnie Wingo has joined Front Row Motorsports for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season as crew chief for the No. 38 Ford and driver David Gilliland . Several news organizations reported the news Monday afternoon, and a spokesperson for the Statesville, North Carolina-based team confirmed the reports independently to NASCAR.com. Wingo, 54, has worked with the venerable Wood Brothers Racing team for the past four seasons, a span that produced his biggest win -- the 2011 Daytona 500 with Trevor Bayne at the wheel. Wingo has seven victories during his 25-year tenure as a crew chief in NASCAR's premier series. Gilliland tweeted his excitement over the news on Monday afternoon. Super excited to have @donniewingo for my crew chief. Going to be a great addition to @FrontRowNASCAR #cantwait — David Gilliland (@DavidGilliland) January 5, 2015 Gilliland, 38, worked with crew chief Frank Kerr for the first 30 races last year, then closed out 2014 with Jay Guy atop the pit box. Gilliland, a teammate to David Ragan on the Bob Jenkins-owned Front Row team, wound up 30th in the final Sprint Cup standings with a best finish of 17th place at Pocono Raceway in August. Gilliland, who joined the Sprint Cup circuit in 2006, spent the holidays driving cross-country to his home state of California. On social media, he has documented visits to at least 20 Love's Travel Stops -- one of his primary sponsors -- along the way. As previously announced, Wingo will be replaced by Jeremy Bullins as crew chief for the Wood Brothers' famed No. 21 Ford and the team's new driver, Ryan Blaney . Last season, Bullins helped guide the Team Penske No. 22 to six victories and the team owner championship in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, now the XFINITY Series.
Driver takes to Twitter to announce news of his departure from No. 98 team Josh Wise will no longer be driving the No. 98 car for Premium Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he announced on Twitter Monday morning. I have parted ways with Premium Motorsports . The team and I did not share the same goals moving forward. — Josh Wise (@Josh_Wise) July 13, 2015 I wish them the best and look forward to what the future holds. — Josh Wise (@Josh_Wise) July 13, 2015 Wise has 121 starts in the Sprint Cup Series and he scored his first career top 10 this season at Talladega Superspeedway in May. Currently 36th in the point standings, Wise has run every Cup race this except for the season-opening Daytona 500 . Wise made his way into the 2014 Sprint All-Star Race via the Sprint Fan Vote thanks in large part to the Reddit.com community backing him. The 32-year-old California native spent 2012 and 2013 driving for Front Row Motorsports before moving over to Phil Parsons Racing for the 2014 season. He remained with the team as the No. 98 car was sold to Premium Motorsports during the 2015 season. There was no immediate word on Wise's future plans. Timmy Hill will drive the No. 98 Ford this weekend at New Hampshire in the 5-hour ENERGY 301 (Sunday, 1:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, PRN, SiriusXM). Looking forward to piloting the #98 for @PremiumMSNASCAR ! Glad to be back behind the wheel of a Sprint Cup car! — Timmy Hill (@TimmyHillRacer) July 14, 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender and driver of the No. 26 BK Racing Toyota, Jeb Burton , took to Twitter to offer his support for Wise. @Josh_Wise Your a good driver you will find something bro. — Jeb Burton (@JebBurtonRacing) July 13, 2015 FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Wise had spent two seasons at Front Row Motorsports
BK Racing co-owner believes move still likely to happen A representative for Front Row Motorsports denied rumors that Cole Whitt would join the team in 2015, saying that social media and reports about a potential move were untrue. But a team co-owner with close ties to Whitt said the transition is all but certain. A Tuesday night tweet from Anthony Marlowe, co-owner of BK Racing, seemed to indicate that Whitt had left his team to join Front Row . Via Twitter, Marlowe congratulated Whitt on securing a ride in the No. 34 Ford, which has been driven the past three seasons by David Ragan . @colewhitt congrats on landing the #34 ride @frontrownascar !! Happy Thanksgiving! See you at the track :) — Anthony Marlowe (@AnthonyMarlowe) November 26, 2014 Wednesday morning, Front Row Motorsports reps said that reports that Whitt was shifting to the Statesville, North Carolina,-based team were "not true." Reached Wednesday afternoon, Marlowe said such a move might still become reality. "I think Cole is a very talented driver. I don't think Front Row Motorsports has much of a choice but to say what they've said or respond the way they've responded pursuant to certain agreements. Cole is still under contract with BK Racing," Marlowe said from his Iowa home. "Am I 100 percent certain he's going there? No. If you would've asked me a few months ago if I would be surprised, I would say absolutely yes. If you'd have asked me a few weeks ago if I was surprised, I'd say no, probably not." Marlowe confirmed that Whitt had informed the BK team that he didn't intend to exercise a contract renewal for next season. "Maybe I've made a mistake in (that) he's going to the 34," Marlowe said of Whitt, "but I'm like 98 percent certain he's going to Front Row Motorsports , and if not, the bellwether on garage rumors and Gmail is [that] my pulse is off on that. I think 99 out of 100 times, those rumors tend to be true and an overwhelming amount of people, including your colleague team owners, are kind of unofficially confirming it." Whitt, 23, recently completed his first full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finishing 31st in the overall standings as a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate. He began the year with Swan Racing, which was sold and merged with the BK Racing team in the spring. BK fielded entries for Whitt's No. 26, plus full-time entries for the No. 23 and 83 cars. Ragan, 28, brought Front Row and car owner Bob Jenkins their only victory in NASCAR's premier series at Talladega Superspeedway in May 2013. Ragan struggled last season, though, winding up tied for 32nd in the final standings, a single point behind Whitt. He recorded his lone top-10 finish of the season at Martinsville Speedway in the fall with a paint scheme honoring 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Wendell Scott. Jenkins also fields the full-time No. 38 entry driven by David Gilliland . MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Love's Travel Stops to serve as primary sponsor for 18 races Front Row Motorsports announced Tuesday that David Gilliland will return to the team's No. 38 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2015. The re-signing means the 38-year-old driver will mark his ninth full season in NASCAR's top division and his sixth with team owner Bob Jenkins. The team also announced that Love's Travel Stops will be the team's primary sponsor in 18 races, up from its 15-race sponsorship in 2014. Gilliland struggled last year with just two top-20 finishes in 36 races, but he did post a milestone at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July with the team's first Coors Light Pole Award. He also helped the Statesville, North Carolina-based team achieve its first win in NASCAR's premier series at Talladega Superspeedway in the spring of 2013, providing an aerodynamic push to teammate David Ragan in the final lap. This season will mark the third consecutive year of Front Row's relationship with Love's. The team indicated through its news release that the travel center corporation, based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, will be the primary sponsor at the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 22 (1 p.m. ET, FOX). Among the other races for the Love's team colors: both annual events at Texas Motor Speedway and the series' two road courses, Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International . "I am beyond excited about Love's commitment to our program and to growing it each year," Gilliland said. "What I'm most proud of is the simple fact that it's working. Our program does exactly what a NASCAR partnership is supposed to do. It's been hugely successful, for us and for them. I can't wait to see what we can do as a team this year." Gilliland has one career victory in NASCAR national series competition. His 2006 triumph in an underfunded entry at Kentucky Speedway in what is now the XFINITY Series was not only one of the sport's biggest upsets, but also paved the way for his big break into stock-car racing's major leagues. See the paint scheme for the No. 38 Ford below. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
RELATED: Complete race lineup Ben Rhodes won the Twenty One Means Twenty One pole for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Road America 180 Fired up by Johnsonville on Saturday as rain washed out the qualifying session. Rhodes, who was the 2014 K&N Pro Series East champion, landed on the front row for Saturday's race (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM) based on his top speed in the first practice. Defending XFINITY series champion Chase Elliott will start alongside Rhodes on the front row for the 45-lap race on the 4.048-mile Wisconsin road course. For Rhodes, a NASCAR Next product and the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports , this was his first pole in a major NASCAR series. This will be Rhodes' seventh race this season in the XFINITY Series. He finished 35th and 10th in this year's previous road-course races at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio, respectively. Ryan Blaney , Justin Marks and Brian Scott rounded out the top five in the starting lineup. Current series points leader Chris Buescher was sixth. And Boris Said , the highest-ranking Toyota driver, was seventh in what may be his last NASCAR race. RELATED: Is this Said's final run?
RELATED: Complete race results " Updated series standings ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- All the positives -- the determined late-race comeback, leading the most laps, moving up a rung in the standings -- meant little to Chase Elliott in the immediate aftermath of Saturday's matinee at Road America . His own harshest critic, Elliott didn't hold back in giving his performance a scathing review. "Absolutely terrible job on my part," Elliott said after a fourth-place finish in the Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville. "That was the worst race, just beyond way too many mistakes. Just absolutely screwed that up, so terrible day for me. I hate it for my guys. I had such a good car and I let 'em down." The clouds that hung over the 4.048-mile road course were missing the silver linings, according to the defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champion, who guided the JR Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet from 11th place over the final four-lap stretch to the checkered flag in the 45-lap event. That span was part of an even bigger rally, from 23rd place after his final pit stop on Lap 30, just two laps after an off-course excursion at Turn 11 that cost him plenty of momentum. Both comebacks left him with little consolation. "Top five's not a win," Elliott said. "Have to be honest with yourself. I screwed it up." The negative side of Elliott's day didn't resonate as strongly with crew chief Ernie Cope, who discussed the race at length with the 19-year-old driver in the XFINITY garage. "He is hard on himself. He expects to win and he doesn't want to let us down, which he didn't," Cope said. "He came back in three laps and went from (11th) to fourth, so I look at that. I mean, we were pinned back there and then passing about seven cars in three laps. I mean, you're going to have altercations during it." The ending was a sharp contrast to how Elliott's day started. The youngster started on the front row after Coors Light Pole Qualifying was scratched by rain, then jumped out to lead the opening 12 laps. After briefly giving up the top spot on an early exchange of pit stops for fuel strategy, Elliott reassumed the lead, stretching it to more than 12 seconds during the dominant first half. "It was as good as it looked and by far I feel like the best road race car I've ever had," said Elliott, who led 23 of the 45 laps. "I was beyond pleased with the race car. It wasn't the race car's fault, I can tell you that." Elliott pitted after putting all four tires into the grass off the 14-turn circuit's kink, apologizing to his JRM crew over the radio after leaving pit road back in the pack. From there, though, his comeback trail began, only to be stemmed by a six-lap caution period -- a seeming eternity on the lengthy course -- after multiple breakages and fluid leaks in the pack delayed the final restart. "They're going caution after caution after caution, but I still feel like we would've had time to get back up there and have a shot at winning as good as the car was," Cope said. "You just don't know how they're going to fall. It was just a bad storm." Once the clouds lifted, Cope took solace in the big-picture plusses. With 10 races left in the season, Elliott now sits in second place in the standings, supplanting Ty Dillon , who took 10th Saturday. Elliott's top-five result, combined with series leader Chris Buescher 's ninth-place run, chopped his deficit to just 16 points heading to next weekend's event at Darlington Raceway . "Looking at the positives, we gained seven, but it was a day we could've gotten 15," Cope said of the points tally. "But it's all good. We're right where we need to be. That puts us back (to) second, we're only 16 out of it and we're going to go stomp their asses at Darlington."
RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " Chase standings Below is a breakdown of how the full 43-car field fared at Michigan International Speedway. 1. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth followed up his first Michigan pole with his third win in the Irish Hills. " WATCH: Two out of three for Kenseth 2. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick led 15 laps before running out of fuel on Lap 114 and rallied to earn his 16th top-five finish, a series best. 3. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . A loose wheel initially cost Truex track position, and he spent the day fighting for his seventh top-five finish of the season. 4. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon took the lead after not pitting during the competition caution and continually battled for the lead before earning his career best finish. " WATCH: Dillon: 'It was a fun day for us' 5. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin lined up from outside pole -- his best Michigan start -- and employed the high line en route to his sixth top-five at the two-mile oval. 6. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards had a strong day overall but did have a little trouble. He had to drop from second to 11th for not maintaining car speed under caution, but he rallied from that. 7. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . After running as high as second, Logano quietly steered his ride to his 17th top-10 finish of the season. 8. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman honored mentor Buddy Baker by putting the late NASCAR legend’s name above his passenger side door for the race weekend. " MORE: See Newman's tribute to the late Buddy Baker 9. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . The Rochester Hills, Michigan, native improved eight spots on pit road after just taking fuel during the competition caution and held steady in the top 15 for the remainder of the race. 10. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt restarted 15th on Lap 188 and picked up five spots in the closing laps to earn his 14th top-10 of the year. " MORE: Dale Jr. moved by gift from fan 11. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kyle Busch qualified sixth but started from the rear of the field after wrecking his fast primary in the final practice. The team struggled to put the same setup in his backup. " WATCH: Busch: 'It wasn't what we wanted' 12. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard and his team chased a tight-handling condition that was predominant exiting the turns around Michigan's two-mile oval. 13. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felx Sabates. Larson made the most of his day despite getting into the wall to achieve his fourth straight top-15 result. 14. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Almirola led Laps 173-175 before hitting pit road for fuel with 25 laps to go. " MORE: Almirola misses some practice due to illness 15. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne salvaged his day, which at first seemed dampened thanks to a pit road speeding penalty during the competition caution. 16. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates . Around Lap 160, McMurray reported that his engine sounded funny, but he managed to finish the race. 17. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . " When I come in, I need ice water, ice bags, everything," Gordon radioed his team, hinting at the extreme in-car temperatures; which escalated to over 150 degrees. " For more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 18. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan lined up 13th, but experienced an aero issue getting into Turn 2 and spun to bring out the first caution flag. 19. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish picked up five spots on pit road when he stopped for right-side scuffed tires and lined up 13th for the Lap 188 restart. 20. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . The spring Michigan winner cut a tire with less than 60 laps to go and had to make an unscheduled pit stop. 21. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart told his team early that he was having trouble keeping the car under him, and that became a reality on Lap 136 when he spun in Turn 4 to bring out the seventh caution flag. 22. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne used the wave around to improve upon his 25th starting spot. 23. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle's day could be summed up in seven words: No side bite and no rear grip. 24. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . When Tony Stewart spun on Lap 136, Blaney got into the wall trying to avoid him and sustained a flat tire and fender damage. 25. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . While running 23rd, Patrick radioed to her team with 54 laps to go that her loose-handling car was a handful in traffic. " MORE: Danica press conference set for Tuesday 26. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . At the outset of the race, Stenhouse reported that his car was plowing tight and that made forward progress difficult. 27. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt made his best Michigan start on Sunday and encountered rising temps thanks to debris on his grille late in the race. 28. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger was running 29th with 25 laps to go and was thankful the caution flag waved on Lap 183 so he could get fuel and make it to the end. 29. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Allgaier was running 21st when he hit pit road under the competition caution. A hung lugnut cost him time and he resumed running 30th. 30. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . After making his best Michigan start, DiBenedetto snagged his best Michigan result. 31. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Bowman worked to find a comfortable line during his fourth Michigan outing. 32. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . "I've never been this loose in all my life," Gilliland radioed his team, who continually made adjustments throughout Sunday's 200-lap event. " For more in-car audio, sign up for Scanner today 33. Jeb Burton , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . Burton didn’t have high hopes after opening the race with a loose-handling condition, but he still managed to score his best Michigan finish. 34. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Midway through the race, Moffitt decided to make an unscheduled pit stop due to a loose wheel. 35. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Annett's forward progress was halted when he had to serve a penalty after his crew went over the wall too soon during Lap 60 green-flag stops. 36. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports . Cassill pitted on Lap 73 so his team could get a fan blowing on the power steering pump to cool down the boiling fluids. During the stop, his team learned the pulley came off the front of the pump. 37. Josh Wise , No. 32 Ford, Go FAS Racing. Wise's team tinkered on the handling of the No. 32 and added a round of wedge in the final pit stop; he went on to pick up six spots. 38. J.J. Yeley, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley was quiet on the radio during his 15th outing at Michigan. 39. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . It was a day to forget for Johnson, who experienced a litany of issues on Sunday -- everything from cutting a tire to overshooting his pit box to spinning on track. " WATCH: Johnson's troubles 40. Travis Kvapil , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport . Kvapil mostly stayed off the radar Sunday until he overshot his stall during Lap 60 green-flag stops and made it difficult for neighbor Dale Earnhardt Jr . to pit. 41. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Bowyer's promising day was cut short when he was spun on the Lap 126 restart and made contact with the infield wall. " WATCH: Bowyer's bad day 42. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Overheating issues sidelined Mears just past Lap 50 when his water pressure gauge read zero. 43. Timmy Hill , No. 98 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports . A cracked oil cooler made for a frustrating start for Hill, but an errant oil pan and subsequent smoke prompted NASCAR to park the No. 98.
LEXINGTON, Ohio -- Team owner Jack Roush sparked rumors that XFINITY Series points leader Chris Buescher could soon be competing for a Sprint Cup Series title in a Wednesday night interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, noting that the 22-year-old is "ready" for Cup racing and there's consideration for putting him in a car "sooner, rather than later." This was all news to Buescher. "(We've talked about) absolutely nothing. That has caught me so off-guard," Buescher said Friday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, site of Saturday's Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). "My dad called me and asked me about it and I said 'I don't know what you're talking about right now.' And then the radio interview … came up, and it's nice to hear. It's awesome being recognized or being considered to move up." It's easy to see why Buescher would garner consideration from the longtime Roush Fenway Racing owner, given that his career has taken off at a tremendous rate since picking up his first career national series victory in this very race a year ago. A 2014 season that started with him failing to qualify for the season opener at Daytona hit its stride midway at Mid-Ohio with a win, sparking a streak of dominance that has seen him lead the series' regulars with an average finish of 8.4 in 2015. RELATED: Buescher seeks separation in standings at Mid-Ohio While it's hard to resist the temptation to think about where he could be racing next year, Buescher is keeping his expectations tempered. "Sooner rather than later is a very broad statement," said Buescher, the only XFINITY regular with multiple wins this year. "I don't know when that would be, by any means. My progression has typically been a little slower than a lot of the guys that I've grown up racing around, when you look at a lot of the guys that are in this series, they typically don't spend as much time in each series as I have. I'm OK with that, though. I like the fact that I've been able to get a lot of seat time in each division that I've run and been able to move up when I feel like I'm ready." Set in motion from Kyle Busch 's injury to start the season, Buescher has six Sprint Cup starts under his belt this year, which have mostly come when he hopped in the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports ride previously inhabited by David Ragan , who filled in for Busch in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18. His average finish in six races is 26.7, but he's managed to finish better than where he started in every race except last weekend at Watkins Glen. Buescher also mentioned there are no current plans for him to get any more Cup seat time this year, but didn't rule out spot starts as necessary. Either way, he knows the extra laps behind the wheel amidst the stronger competition are just as important as finishing position right now, and he's willing to put in the time to learning the ropes. "I've had a lot of fun doing the Cup races with Front Row Motorsports . I think it has been a very big learning experience. I've learned a lot going through it. I realized it's not a 'drop in, good to go, go win a race,' it's going to be a learning curve for me," Buescher said. "I'm ready for the challenge, but it will be a challenge and lot of learning that will go along with it, whenever it may be ... I think I'll be ready for it. We'll find out sooner than later." For now, Buescher is focused on pursuing a championship in the XFINITY Series. In that regard, the series points leader says that the on-track incidents with teammate and championship hopeful Darrell Wallace Jr . are a thing of the past. "We've got everything rolling along pretty smooth right now," he said. "We've taken care of all of our issues. We feel like, or we know that the best way to make all of our teams competitive is to work together and we've had meetings to to basically very firmly say that and get that out there. It's all good and we've all been over-working on sim before this race; watching video, trying to review; going around on some pace car rides this morning with all of our teammates. We feel good about where we're at right now. "Obviously it wasn't so much fun earlier, but it's on the right path. We feel like we're focused on going out there are getting more wins for our organization. This year's been really good for us on the XFINITY side. We're the only organization that has any XFINITY regulars with any wins, which is pretty special to me, I would say."