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Elliott Sadler Lands Job At Joe Gibbs Racing

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, November 22 2012

Elliott Sadler will be in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota next season. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Elliott Sadler and his primary sponsor have found a new home at Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.

Sadler, NNS championship runnerup by 23 points in 2012, will drive the No. 11 Toyota Camry next year with primary sponsorship from OneMain Financial, a personal loan solutions company. OneMain Financial also will provide associate sponsorship on two additional Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide entries, a lineup which will include veteran Brian Vickers, the 2003 NNS champion for Richard Childress Racing.

Sadler, who drove the No. 2 Chevrolet Impala for Childress in 2012, is a 17-year NASCAR veteran. Sadler, 42, finished second in the NNS championship standings to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. of Roush Fenway Racing in 2011 and 2012. In 195 career series starts, Sadler has nine wins, 46 top-five and 85 top-10 finishes. In 2010, Sadler became the 21st driver to win a race in each of NASCAR’s three national touring series _ Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck.

“OneMain Financial has been a flagship sponsor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series since 2005,” said Sadler, who has posted four wins, nine poles, 27 top-five and 48 top-10 finishes in 68 starts with the company’s sponsorship over the last two seasons. “I consider myself very fortunate to have shared in much of their success

Elliott Sadler is on the move. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Alan Marler)

on-and-off the track. We’ve won poles and races together and hope to continue our winning tradition in 2013. Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota have been a dominant combination in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and I’m elated to have an opportunity to join forces with them as well.”

Sadler, of Emporia, Va., was voted NNS Most Popular Driver in 2011, when he drove for Kevin Harvick, Inc. Harvick merged his team with RCR at the end of the 2011 season.

JGR’s Sprint Cup lineup for 2013 will feature holdovers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth, the 2003 series champion, who joined the Huntersville, N.C.-based organization from RFR.

Richard Childress Racing’s Jeff Burton underwent successful minor wrist surgery Tuesday afternoon to alleviate symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

“After feeling some re-occurring symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, my physician and I decided routine surgery would be best for this situation,” Burton, 45, said after the outpatient procedure. “There is no such thing as an offseason in this sport so I wanted to get it done as soon as possible. Plus, we have many test sessions planned in December with the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team in preparation for the 2013 season with my new crew chief Luke Lambert. I will be ready to go.”

The 2013 Sprint Cup season will be Burton’s milestone 20th in NASCAR’s premier division. The South Boston,

Jeff Burton has wrist fixed. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Christa L Thomas)

Va., native has compiled 21 wins, 132 top-five and 248 top-10 finishes, six poles and led 6,513 laps in his career. Burton finished 19th in the 2012 driver point standings with two top-five and six top-10 finishes. Burton qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup from 2006-2008 and in 2010 with RCR. Burton finished a career-best third in points in 2000 and won a career-high six races in 1999, both with Roush Fenway Racing.

Jeb Burton, son of former NASCAR regular Ward Burton, has signed a two-year contract with Turner Motorsports to run a fulltime NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule and limited Nationwide Series schedule in 2013 and 2014.

Jeb Burton, who made his first Truck Series start at Martinsville Speedway this past March, finished the 2012 season with one top-10 finish in five starts.

“I’m really proud that I can race for Turner Motorsports over the next two years,” said Burton, a 20-yearold resident of Halifax, Va. “This team has had so much success, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to work with such a quality team.”

Texan James Buescher , driver of the No. 31 Exide Chevrolet Silverado, wrapped-up the 2012 NCWTS championship last Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway for team-owner/father-in-law Steve Turner and his Mooresville, N.C.-based organization.

“I’m really excited that we will have Jeb under the Turner Motorsports umbrella,” Turner said. “Everyone at Turner Motorsports feels he has the skills to be successful in NASCAR and we’re eager to welcome him to our team.”

Ward Burton, the 2002 Daytona 500 champion in a Bill Davis Racing Dodge, will assist with driver development at Turner Motorsports in 2013.

Greg Ives, race engineer for Jimmie Johnson’s historic run of five NASCAR Sprint Cup championships from 2006-10, has been named crew chief for JR Motorsports and driver Regan Smith for the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.

Ives, 33, and Smith will anchor JRM’s bid for a 2013 championship in the No. 5 Chevrolet Impala. Smith, a 29-year-old native of Cato, N.Y., drove the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet to a debut victory in Saturday’s NNS season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The win was Smith’s first in 103 series starts and the company’s 10th.

“Regan’s win on Saturday and the announcement of Greg’s hiring are huge momentum boosts for this company going into the offseason,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr., Cup superstar and team-owner. “Greg comes highly regarded. He has been a huge part of the No. 48 team’s success, and this is a good opportunity for him to get his feet wet as a crew chief. The partnership between JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports gives us the opportunity to help employees advance their careers while still keeping them in the family, so to speak.”

Following a rigorous push to fund two fulltime teams, GM Kelley Earnhardt Miller said JR Motorsports is preparing for the likelihood of one fulltime team in 2013 with Smith and Ives and one part-time team with Earnhardt Jr. and select drivers. Smith’s No. 5 Chevrolet will carry TaxSlayer.com as its primary sponsor for a majority of events.

“Our goal is always to field two fulltime teams, and that could still happen next year with other potential opportunities,” Earnhardt Miller said. “But what we have right now is a strong team with Regan and Greg that will compete for a championship, and a part-time team with Dale Jr. that will compete for wins. Our focus is to streamline our company and equip those teams with everything they need to compete at a high level.”

Ives spent all nine years of his NASCAR career at Hendrick Motorsports. A native of Bark River, Mich., and a graduate of Michigan Technological University, Ives began as a mechanic in the then-No. 24/48 (now No. 48/88) shop in 2004 before moving into an engineering role on Johnson’s team in 2006. In seven years with the No. 48 team, Ives took part in 42 wins, 113 top-fives and 21 poles.

“Whether I realized it or not, each of my nine years at Hendrick Motorsports were preparing me for this role,” Ives said. “I have always aspired to be a crew chief, but it couldn’t have happened without Hendrick Motorsports recognizing my goals early and giving me opportunities to ultimately reach them.”

SPEED’s Formula One coverage of Sunday’s inaugural United States Grand Prix from Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, drew more than 500,000 viewers while scoring a Nielsen Household Rating of 0.42. The ratings mark is up 40 percent with households (0.42 vs. 0.30); 70 percent among males aged 35-54 (0.46 vs. 0.27) and 75 percent among males aged 18-49 (0.28 vs. 0.16) versus last year’s equivalent race (Brazilian Grand Prix). It was the highest-rated Formula One race on SPEED with households and males aged 18-49 in well over a year.

Former World Driving Champion Lewis Hamilton of McLaren/Mercedes passed two-time/reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing/Renault on Lap 42 of the 56-lapper en route to victory in F1’s return to the USA after a five-year absence. Vettel will take a 13-point lead over Scuderia Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, a two-time World Champion, into this weekend’s season-ender at Sao Paulo, Brazil.

SPEED’s coverage will begin with practice Friday at 11 a.m. (EST). Knockout qualifying is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday. Race day coverage on Sunday will begin at 10:30 a.m.

International sports executive Mark D. Miles will become CEO of Hulman & Company on Dec. 17, 2012. Miles’ appointment will position Jeff Belskus, currently serving as CEO of several Hulman & Company lines of business, to focus his attention primarily on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation and INDYCAR. Belskus will continue as president of Hulman & Company, president/CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation and interim CEO of INDYCAR.

“The racing components of our business are very important to our company, and Jeff is uniquely positioned to help lead us into 2013 and beyond as he has complete understanding of our sport and our 2013 plan and an excellent relationship with our key stakeholders,” said Mari Hulman George, IMS chairman of the board. “By allowing Jeff to focus on the racing businesses and significantly less on the other business units, we are aligning our executive management team to move the company forward.”

– John Sturbin can be reached at jsturbin@racintoday.com

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, November 22 2012
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