Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas week notes in NASCAR

   Some notes in and around NASCAR this Christmas week:

   -Looks like Todd Gordon, who spent this season as race-day engineer for Diamond-Waltrip Racing's NASCAR Nationwide team, will become the new crew chief for Penske Racing's Brad Keselowski in the Nationwide Series. Gordon joined Diamond-Waltrip in January. Keselowski is fresh off winning the series championship with help from an astounding 26 top-five finishes in 35 races. His crew chief in the series this season, Paul Wolfe, moves to Keselowski's Sprint Cup team in 2011.

   -Roush Fenway Racing recently named Steve Newmark as its new president. Newmark will succeed Geoff Smith in the position; Smith is retiring at the end of this month after serving in the role for 13 years. Newmark, who previously was a shareholder at the law firm of Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson, joined the organization as senior vice president of business operations in April. "We are excited about Steve coming on board as our president," said Roush Fenway owner Jack Roush. "Steve has a solid background working in all areas of sports and brings new ideas and insight into our organization. Importantly, he has been part of the Roush Fenway family for many years, beginning as outside counsel and then as head of our business operations this year."

   -Book and comedy tours, welcoming an action sports star to NASCAR, tons of television work and a return to racing are on tap for the 47-year-old Michael Waltrip as he begins his second full season of what he calls “semi-retirement.” Waltrip's first book, "In the blink of an eye," debuts in February and his "Michael Waltrip Comedy Garage Tour" begins its second season. Motocross and X-Game star Travis Pastrana will run seven Nationwide races this season with a team co-owned by Waltrip. Waltrip will continue his TV work on Camping World Truck Series broadcasts on Speed as well as on Showtime's "Inside NASCAR" program.

   Waltrip will still be racing as well, joining MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman in a Ferrari sports car in Portugal, Dubai and other tracks across the globe. He’ll also compete in the 2010 Daytona 500, the new race at Kentucky Speedway and possibly a few more.