Newman, Stewart, and Wimmer to join strong driver line-up in 2009
March 16, 2009
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (March 16, 2009) – JR Motorsports today announced additional plans for its No. 5 NASCAR Nationwide Series team for 2009, with veteran drivers Ryan Newman, Scott Wimmer and Tony Stewart joining team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and all-time series wins leader Mark Martin for the 21-race schedule. Together the five drivers account for 91 Nationwide Series victories in 636 starts.
Wimmer will compete in six events in the No. 5 Chevrolet and Newman in four, with America’s largest fastener distributor, Fastenal, as the primary sponsor. Stewart’s one race for JR Motorsports will be in a Delphi-sponsored Chevrolet at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Oct. 16. He is already a race-winner in 2009, driving a Hendrick Motorsports entry to victory in the season-opening Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway. He has eight overall victories in 87 starts.
“This No. 5 team carries a strong tradition and a lot of expectations, and we are fortunate to attract such quality talent to help carry on that tradition,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “We had a similar set-up with this team last year, and we were able to go to Victory Lane twice. Obviously with this driver line-up, there’s no reason we can’t exceed last year’s win total.”
The driver additions leave only two races on the No. 5 team’s 21-race schedule unfulfilled – the road-course events at Watkins Glen on Aug. 8 and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Aug. 30. Driver plans for those races will be announced at a later date.
Newman is a seven-time winner in the Nationwide Series. Six of his victories came during a stellar 2005 season, in which he scored eight top-fives in nine starts and led nearly half of his completed laps (800 of 1,658 laps). He will join the JR Motorsports campaign for the following races in the No. 5 Fastenal Chevrolet: Dover International Speedway on May 30, Chicagoland Speedway on July 10, Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 15, and Kansas Speedway on Oct. 3.
Wimmer is slated for six races in the Fastenal Chevy: Darlington Raceway on May 8, The Milwaukee Mile on June 20, O’Reilly Raceway Park on July 25, Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1, Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 21, and Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 11. He is a six-time winner with 29 top-fives and 68 top-10s in 171 starts. He captured four wins in 2002 en route to a career-best third-place finish in the championship point standings. His most recent victory came last season at Nashville Superspeedway for Richard Childress Racing.
"I am really excited to be associated with JR Motorsports and a great sponsor like Fastenal,” Wimmer said. “I will be running at tracks that have been good for me in the past and look forward to my first event with JR Motorsports at Darlington in May. Hopefully, we can get the Fastenal car in the Winners Circle.”
Earnhardt Jr., has already driven the No. 5 Chevy in two events this year, finishing seventh at Daytona and fifth at Las Vegas. He is scheduled for five more, starting with the April 4 race at Texas Motor Speedway. His is a 22-time race winner and a two-time series champion.
Martin, whose 48 victories make up the all-time career benchmark in the Nationwide Series, will drive the No. 5 Lipton Chevy on May 1 at Richmond International Raceway. He earned JR Motorsports its first-ever Nationwide Series victory at Las Vegas last March.
Fastenal is the latest of new sponsorship partners to join the JR Motorsports fold in 2009. Its 14-race deal with the No. 5 team was announced in January. Earlier in the year GoDaddy.com extended its partnership with Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports and included a 20-race sponsorship package with JRM’s Nationwide Series teams. Unilever was introduced as a new partner last October, with its brands Hellmann’s, Lipton, Klondike, and Degree splitting races throughout the 2009 season. Delphi returns for seven races, six of which will be for the No. 88 Chevrolet driven by Brad Keselowski.