Kligerman commends Brandon Davis for sticking out the Swan Racing restructuring
Son of NASCAR executive joins TBR as general manager, chief legal counsel Bray Pemberton has joined Tommy Baldwin Racing as general manager and chief legal counsel for the two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organization, according to the team. Pemberton is the son of Robin Pemberton, NASCAR senior vice president of competition and racing development. He previously served as general manager with the now defunct Swan Racing as well as Randy Humphrey Racing . "While I am grateful for all of the opportunities I have had with race teams in NASCAR, I can honestly say I've never been so excited about the possibilities I now have working alongside Tommy Baldwin," Pemberton said. "I have the utmost respect for what Tommy and Beth have done over the past few years in building this team, basically on their own. I see so many great opportunities to help continue to grow their dream and see TBR compete with the top teams in NASCAR." TBR, based in Mooresville, North Carolina, was formed in 2008 by the former premier series crew chief and has grown from a single-car team to a two-car organization. Michael Annett and Reed Sorenson drove for organization in 2014. "We are excited about bring Bray on board to manage the business and legal elements at Tommy Baldwin Racing ," Baldwin, president of TBR, said. "This will give me the opportunity to focus on the big picture and spend more time building TBR into a championship-caliber organization." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Second-year Sprint Cup driver spent rookie year at BK Racing Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Related: Who the 'F' is Alex Bowman ? Alex Bowman 's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career will continue in 2015 with a new team in Tommy Baldwin Racing . The 21-year-old will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet this upcoming season, the team announced Friday. Bowman had a full-time ride with Swan Racing last year, the team that was eventually incorporated into BK Racing . He ended the year with a best finish of 13th at Daytona International Speedway in July. "I'm looking forward to working with TBR and the entire No. 7 team," Bowman said in a team release. "With Tommy's experience and his drive to run competitively, I feel like we can run well this year." Bowman made his NASCAR national series debut in 2012, with four starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. He drove full time for that series in 2013, netting six top-10s in 33 starts for RAB Racing . "Alex is the future of TBR, and he will be a great representative of our team," owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. said. "He is a young driver who displayed a great talent in both the XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series the past few years. We are pleased to give Alex the opportunity to further showcase his skills behind the wheel of the No. 7 Chevrolet this season." The team did not announce sponsorship or a crew chief. The team on Twitter promoted #TBR7in7, which promises seven team announcements in seven days. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 26 team merges with BK Racing ; No. 30 team sold to XxxTreme Motorsports
Get history of BK Racing and full crews of Alex Bowman, Cole Whitt and Ryan Truex
Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch announced a multi-year contract extension with Mars, Inc. on Tuesday. The company brands include M&M's, Snickers, Double Mint and Pedigree, all of which have adorned the No. 18 JGR Toyota on multiple occasions since the partnership formed in 2008. "Representing Mars, Inc.'s family of brands on the No. 18 since 2008 has been an honor, and knowing they are committed to JGR for the next several seasons is awesome," Busch said. "Their support for me, my family and everyone at JGR has been incredible and this energizes me to work even harder for them and the team." "When working with a partner, collaboration, teamwork and a burning desire to win inspires us as a team, and Mars is the epitome of those qualities," team owner Joe Gibbs said. "Their brands have been a big part of our sport and team for a long time and we’re honored to carry them on the No. 18 for the foreseeable future." With four wins under his belt this season and a Championship 4 slot, Kyle Busch will vie for his first Sprint Cup Series championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway .
RELATED: NASCAR, RISE team up with eye on equality HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France held his annual year-ending question-and-answer session with the NASCAR media on Friday, sharing his thoughts on the Matt Kenseth suspension, the high quality of competition in 2015 and his expectations for what's to come. France began the discussion by reiterating the remarkable season-ending run for the sport, which will conclude in Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 with Kevin Harvick defending his 2014 title against impending retiree, four-time champ Jeff Gordon and new championship challengers Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr . While France was candid and sincere when answering questions from the assembled national and local media, he was prepared for questions about NASCAR's handling of the two-race Matt Kenseth suspension for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano at Martinsville, Virginia. It was the first question from the floor. Asked whether he should have perhaps spoken to Logano and Kenseth to discuss the escalated situation, France said that at the time, he didn't think it necessary. Kenseth was suspended for two races after NASCAR ruled he intentionally crashed Logano out in the Martinsville race. "Obviously, if I thought that would have helped we would have definitely sat down," France said. He said he met with Kenseth and team owner Joe Gibbs to talk earlier in the week and make sure everyone was on the same level with Kenseth returning to competition this week. "We were very disappointed, as you know, with what happened in Martinsville, we reacted to that," France said. "What we were coming down here to a championship weekend, and I wanted to make sure that that matter was behind us with Matt, with Joe Gibbs and so on. I'm assured that it is. We had a good conversation about what had happened and what the thinking was or whatever you want to call Matt's actions, and we talked about that. And it was a good conversation. "Those kind of conversations happen with us more frequently than not, so that's not a surprising thing. I felt good coming out of those meetings." France was also asked where "the line" was in accessing whether a penalty should come down. He smiled broadly and told the room he was "glad" someone asked. "Do you know how many drivers have come to see ( Sprint Cup Series Managing Director) Richard Buck in the last two weeks, three weeks, four weeks? Zero,'' France said. "Zero drivers have asked us for a clarification on the so-called line. And the reason that they don't ask is they know. And they know that circumstances late in a race, blocking, although I'm not a fan of blocking, that's part of racing . Blocking, contact, the short end of some of those exchanges that happen, are all part of it and do not look to NASCAR to deal with that, they are part of racing . "So the line is ... if somebody is just intentionally banzaiing into some situation with the sole purpose of taking somebody out, we'll deal with that. We dealt with that in Martinsville, as a matter of fact. We'll deal with that at all times." RELATED: Riding the fine 'line' to a championship Again, France said he has nothing but good feelings about the new elimination-style Chase format that was introduced last year and will feature three new title-contenders among the accomplished group of four and give Harvick an opportunity to be the first driver since Jimmie Johnson to win Cup titles in consecutive years. "I am excited we've got four drivers, including Jeff Gordon that are storybook endings in their own right," France said. "The level of competition the Chase format has delivered has exceeded everything we have envisioned. "The stakes are higher on any given weekend ... and you're seeing the drivers and teams react to that." France spoke about the possibility, however, that the 2015 Chase could end in a controversial way -- hard- racing and high contact. In acknowledging the possibility existed, he reminded the room that NASCAR has developed a good reputation for the tussle form of competitiveness, too. "Gentlemen drivers exist," France said. "I don't see one in those four guys remaining. And if there's contact and they're going for position ... it's not always that somebody just turns somebody around. "I don't know what will happen. But contact late in the race, that's just part of it and we got to have an understanding of that and not be so surprised when that happens in a NASCAR race." Certainly the new format has created an even higher level of excitement. Asked if NASCAR is considering implementing the Chase format in the Camping World Truck and XFINITY series, France was non-committal, yet not opposed. "It has been successful," France said. "Our partners in XFINITY and Camping World would like for us to explore what's possible to have a, their own version of it. And we're going to look at that. We're going to look at that in the off-season. We have looked at that before, haven't quite found the perfect thing for each one of those divisions. But we'll work at it. It's worth looking at." France did concede there is a chance of rain on all three days of scheduled championship-crowning racing at Homestead, but he assured the room and the readers that there are a "record number" of Air Titan dryers on site in case. "We are going to go through the weekend as we traditionally would, looking at all of our options trying to get all of the laps in a given race on a certain race day,'' France said. "That's been our policy and philosophy. We go further and try harder, I think, than any other motor sport division to accomplish that because we want it to be settled on track."
IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe talks about his interest in racing at a few tracks in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the 2016 season.
IndyCar star James Hinchcliffe was in the NASCAR paddock this weekend in Homestead with three primary goals: telling Jeff Gordon good-bye, wishing sponsor GoDaddy a happy sendoff and, perhaps most importantly to him, talking to teams about a ride in the Watkins Glen, New York, XFINITY Series road course race. A handful of IndyCar Series drivers roamed the paddock from three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves to Marco Andretti. But the Canadian Hinchcliffe was there with a distinct and different mission, to secure his first NASCAR start. "It was really an exploratory trip,'' Hinchcliffe said. "I planted some seeds and got the ball rolling. "I would love to do all the road courses but I need one foot in the door first. Watkins Glen makes sense because it's closest to Canada.'' The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver said the car would have to be a Ford because of his Honda commitments. While that tightens the parameters, it also eases the process and focuses on teams that run Fords such as Penske and Roush-Fenway -- organizations that fielded the winning car and winning driver in this year's XFINITY competition. "It limits my options, but makes it easier too,'' Hinchcliffe said with a smile. A two-time front row starter in the Indy 500 and a four-time IndyCar race winner, Hinchcliffe is recovering from a serious injury he suffered in a crash during practice for this year's Indy 500. He said his visit this weekend to the NASCAR garage was, "More of floating idea in paddock." And in addition, he conceded, it was a great opportunity to see one of his racing heroes in his final start. "I'm here for Jeff Gordon , I used to wear a Jeff Gordon hat every day for grade six," Hinchcliffe said, smiling.
Two-car team says it is 'unable to secure the kind of sponsorship' needed