Monday, January 25, 2010

Hamlin Hurt, Riggs To Daytona With RAB Nationwide Series Team

Denny Hamlin tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Friday playing pickup basketball, but will not have surgery to repair the injury until after the 2010 season.

Hamlin disclosed the injury after being forced to withdraw from a skills competition for NASCAR drivers hosted by the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats Saturday night. He said it occurred when he planted his foot to make a move toward the basket the previous day. On his Twitter page, he promised not to let the injury affect his drive for the 2010 Sprint Cup championship,saying, “No matter what people may think, this injury will not stop me from being a contender. This is a minor setback that will only serve as motivation for me."

Hamlin underwent surgery on Dec. 16 to repair an unrelated meniscus tear in his right knee.

Riggs To Race At Daytona: Sirius Speedway has learned that Scott Riggs will drive the #09 RAB Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford in the 2009 series opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Sources say that the deal is for one race only, but could expand if additional sponsorship is found. The #09 car was driven a year ago by John Wes Townley, but Townley and his Zaxby’s sponsorship have moved to Richard Childress Racing for 2010. Riggs has been sidelined since leaving Tommy Baldwin Racing early last season after being unwilling to be a start-and-park driver.

Crewchief News: Former Richard Petty Motorsports crewchief Kevin Buskirk will serve as crewchief for Tommy Baldwin Racing’s #36 Chevrolet and driver Mike Bliss this season. The team recently announced a switch from Toyota to Chevrolet for 2010 with Wave Energy Drink serving as primary sponsor in 14 events, beginning with the Daytona 500. Buskirk was crewchief for Elliott Sadler’s #19 Dodge at RPM until being reassigned with the company in August.

Iain Watt has been named crewchief for Robby Gordon Motorsports. We previously worked at what is now now Richard Petty Motorsports, serving as Director of Performance Engineering from 2007 until last season, when he was part of a major layoff following the merger of RPM with Yates Racing. The Gordon team still has not determined how many races it will run, after being unable to secure a new major sponsor to replace the departed Jim Beam.

And Finally... Federated Auto Parts will sponsor Kenny Wallace’s #28 Jay Robinson Racing Nationwide Series Chevrolet in eight races this season, including the Federated 300 on June 5 in Nashville. Federated will be an associate sponsor in the remainder of the races. Federated will also back Wallace in over 50 dirt track events this year, and will serve as the "Official Auto Parts Supplier" for the Kenny Wallace and Jay Robinson Racing teams.

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