New Hampshire Race Report

July 17, 2011


Kahne & Almirola Score Top-5 Finishes For JRM

LOUDON, N.H. (July 16, 2011) – It might’ve required a good bit of survival, but JR Motorsports’ two entrants – Kasey Kahne in the No. 7 Chevrolet and Aric Almirola in the No. 88 GT Vodka Chevrolet – avoided late-race attrition to score top-five finishes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series New England 200 Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  It marks the first time this year both JRM cars finished with top-fives in the same race.  Kahne, who finished third, completes his two-race run in the JR Motorsports No. 7 with top-fives in each, as he finished fourth last week at Kentucky.  He also improves the No. 7 team’s string of consecutive top-10s to four dating back to Road America on June 25.  Almirola, who finished fifth, scores his second top-five of the season and ninth top 10.  Kyle Busch tied Mark Martin’s record of all-time Nationwide Series wins with his 49th victory.  It was also his 100th win among all of NASCAR’s top three touring divisions.


Start – 12th / Finish – 3rd / Laps Led – 0 / Owner Point Standings – 10th

Pitting with his teammate late in the race for right-side tires and fuel, Kahne restarted in 16th with 28 laps to go.  He eclipsed six spots on the ensuing 14 circuits, putting him smack in the middle of what was about to be carnage central.  Three yellow flags peppered the final 15 laps, and Kahne found himself around all of the mayhem.  Fortunately for him, he not only avoided the wreckage but took advantage of it, as three cars in front of him took each other out with 10 to go (moving Kahne from 10th to seventh) and two more found trouble with five to go (allowing Kahne to jump from seventh to fifth).  On a green-white-checkered restart, Kahne made a bold move to the bottom of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. when the rookie drove his No. 6 Ford too deep into turn one.  The move was good for two more spots, and Kahne took home his second top-five finish in as many weeks.

“We were a sixth-, seventh-, maybe eighth-place car, but we took advantage of some stuff and came out of here with a pretty good finish,” Kahne said.  “The cool thing for me was I got to be behind everybody when they were wrecking.  I saw some cool stuff.  I avoided three or four cars weaving and wrecking coming down the straightaway.  It was actually pretty entertaining from my seat.  The Go Daddy team did a great job.  We’ll take a solid third-place finish for what was probably a seventh-place car.”


Start – 4th / Finish – 5th / Laps Led – 0 / Points – 39 / Driver Point Standings – 5th

Like Kahne, Almirola took advantage of the race’s sixth caution by pitting on lap 168 of 200; however the No. 88 took two tires instead of four, putting Almirola in 11th place on a restart with 28 to go.  Until then, the team had been battling a “bouncing” of the car that made it difficult to drive.  But race-long alterations to the balance positioned the No. 88 Chevy for a final charge, which it took from 11th position with 28 to go.  Like Kahne, Almirola made good of the attrition in front of him, but with five to go he almost became part of the attrition himself.  Contact between Steven Wallace and Joey Logano triggered a multi-car wreck in turn 2.  Almirola was wedged in the middle with nowhere to go and nosed his GT Vodka Impala into the sliding car of Brian Scott. He moved Scott out of the way and gassed a hole through the rest to avoid any major collection.  Almirola took the green-white-checkered restart in sixth and followed his teammate through the opening made by Stenhouse’s bonsai move to score the top five.

“It got hectic out there,” Almirola said.  “Our GT Vodka Chevrolet was pretty decent all day.  We weren’t as good as we wanted to be.  We weren’t good enough to win, but we were a solid fifth- to 10th-place car, so to come out of here with a fifth is really good.  I’m proud of Pops and all of the guys.  They worked really hard all weekend, and everyone at JR Motorsports has been working their guts out.  It’s fun to have a good weekend and show off some of the hard work the guys have been putting in back at the shop.”


Event: Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville Superspeedway

Date: Friday, July 23, 2011

TV/Radio:  ESPN (7:30 p.m. EST) / PRN (7:30 p.m. EST)

JRM Entries: No.  88 Degree Chevrolet (Aric Almirola), No. 7 Chevrolet (Josh Wise)




New Hampshire Preview

July 12, 2011


No. 88 GT Vodka Chevrolet / No. 7 Chevrolet

EVENT – New England 200 (200 laps / 211 miles)
TRACK – New Hampshire Motor Speedway (1.058-mile oval)
DATE – Saturday, July 16, 2011
TV / RADIO – ESPN (coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. EST) / PRN (broadcast begins at 3 p.m. EST)

Aric Almirola
No. 88 GT Vodka Chevrolet
“Last week was another tough finish for our GT Vodka team.  Sometimes it’s a tough pill to swallow with these fuel mileage races.  A few weeks ago we were on the opposite side of this at Chicago, and got a great finish out of it.  You just never know.  But I’m looking forward to New Hampshire this weekend.

“Loudon has been a good track for me in the past, especially in the Truck Series.  It’s another one of the mile tracks that we consider a short track because it races like one. Not only do you have long straights, but the corners are huge, and we’ll spend a lot of time getting our GT Vodka Chevrolet set up for that.  It’s certainly a challenging place to get a hold of.”
Kasey Kahne
No. 7 Chevrolet
“I had a lot of fun driving this No. 7 car last week.  Working with Tony (Eury) Jr. and those guys, they’ve got a good group over there.  To come out with a fourth-place finish was a great way to start my two-race stint with JRM.

“Looking ahead to Loudon, it’s a track that has very long corners so it’s going to be important that we get our car to roll really well through the center of the corners. The straightaways are long for just a one-mile track and the turns are extremely flat, so having good brakes that will last you to the end is important if you want to run well.”


SECOND OF TWO FOR KAHNE – Kahne will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in his second of two races with JR Motorsports in 2011.  He earned a fourth-place finish in his first race with the team last weekend in Kentucky.

FIVE FOR FIVE – Following last week’s fourth-place finish, Kahne becomes the fifth of five drivers to score a top-10 finish with the No. 7 Chevrolet this season.  He joins Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ron Fellows, Danica Patrick and Josh Wise as drivers of the No. 7 to accomplish that feat.

CONSECUTIVE TOP-10s – The No. 7 team is now riding a string of three consecutive top-10 finishes after Kentucky.  Earlier this year, they had three consecutive top-10’s at Talladega, Nashville and Richmond.

CHASSIS INFO FOR THE 7 TEAM – The No. 7 team will unload chassis no. 621 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  This chassis previously raced at Phoenix, Bristol, Dover, Charlotte, Michigan and last week at Kentucky.  If all goes well, the No. 7 team will use this chassis in three of the next four races (New Hampshire, Lucas Oil Raceway, and Iowa Speedway).

KAHNE IN THE GRANITE STATE – Kahne has three starts, earning one top-five and two top-10s in Nationwide Series competition at Loudon.  The 31-year-old has an average finish of 8.3.  His most recent race there was in 2005.  In Sprint Cup Series competition, Kahne has one top-five and five top-10 finishes with 159 laps led.

NO. 7 SEASON STATS – The No. 7 team holds three top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 2011.  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ron Fellows, Kasey Kahne, Danica Patrick and Josh Wise have shared driving duties in the No. 7 Chevrolet throughout the year, each scoring a top-10 finish. The team occupies 11th position in owner points.

JRM AT NEW HAMPSHIRE – JRM’s second organizational pole came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2008.  Additionally, the team holds one top-five and two top-10 finishes in seven starts there since 2006.

ALMIROLA AT THE MAGIC MILE – This weekend marks Almirola’s Nationwide Series debut at the 1.058-mile facility.  He does hold three Sprint Cup Series starts with a best finish of 18th.  The bulk of his success there came in the Camping World Truck Series where he notched two top-10 finishes in five starts.  Since joining JRM in the summer of 2010, Almirola has three starts at one-mile facilities.  He scored two top-10 finishes in those events.

CHASSIS INFO FOR 88 TEAM – The No. 88 GT Vodka crew will bring chassis no. 594 to Loudon.  Almirola raced among the top-three for most of the night at Richmond earlier this year with this chassis.  The team’s sure top-five and possible win unraveled by fuel shortage and a NASCAR-issued penalty in the closing laps. It also raced at Phoenix, Iowa and Road America.

NO. 88 SEASON STATS – The No. 88 team owns one top-five and eight top-10 finishes this season.  Almirola is currently ranked sixth in the championship driver points (-88). The No. 88 team is 12th in owner points.

ALMIROLA AUTOGRAPH SIGNING – Almirola will sign autographs at the JR Nation merchandise hauler in the fan concourse area on Saturday, July 16, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EST.

WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE – There is still time to win the keys to Dale Jr.’s Camaro. The Dale Jr. Foundation is giving fans the chance to win one of three prizes with the purchase of a $25 raffle ticket, including a shot at Earnhardt Jr.’s own 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. The contest will run through Sept. 1, 2011, with all proceeds benefitting The Dale Jr. Foundation. For complete details visit

WATCH THE “JRM 360” VIDEO SERIES – In a continued effort to be at the forefront of web-based content through its website, the team has added a video series entitled “JRM 360”.  It’s a light-hearted look at the inner workings and extraordinary personalities at JRM’s shop in Mooresville, N.C.  A daily briefing column that gives fans the scoop on day-to-day activities at the shop is also part of the line-up this season.

Heath White, JR Motorsports/ Public Relations



Kentucky Race Report

July 9, 2011


Kahne Brings No. 7 Chevrolet Home in Fourth Place; Shortage on Fuel Mileage Sours Solid Run for Almirola and No. 88 Team

SPARTA, Ky. (July 8, 2011) –  Fuel mileage became the deciding factor for the bulk of the field in Friday night’s Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway.  The JR Motorsports teams of Kasey Kahne and Aric Almirola emerged on opposite sides of the fuel scenario with finishes of fourth and 20th, respectively.  In his debut in the No. 7 Chevrolet, Kahne methodically worked inside the top-10 late in the race, putting himself in position to push his fuel mileage to the limit.  The team’s fuel tank ran dry off turn two on the final lap, but Kahne coasted the No. 7 machine home to finish fourth.  The No. 88 GT Vodka team made solid gains on its car during the race.  Almirola raced just outside the top-10 in the closing stages, but the team ran out of fuel with five laps to go.  They salvaged a 20th-place finish on the evening.  Brad Keselowski drove to his first Nationwide Series victory this year.  Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kahne and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-five finishers.


Start – 18th / Finish – 4th / Laps Led – 0 / Points – 39 / Owner Point Standings – 11th

Driving in only his third race at Kentucky Speedway, Kahne qualified the No. 7 Chevrolet in 18th. He moved forward immediately, advancing seven positions before the race’s first caution.  Upon diagnosing a loose condition in the chassis, the team made stellar use of caution periods on lap 44 and 66 to improve the car’s handling.  Kahne proceeded to crack the top-10 on lap 83.

The No. 7 Chevrolet raced steadily inside the top-12 over the next 51 laps until the No. 23 of Robert Richardson wrecked off of turn two. The accident brought out the race’s final caution and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. called Kahne to pit road for his final stop on lap 135.

Kahne lined up in 13th for the ensuing restart and settled into a comfortable groove that allowed him to gradually pick off positions.  While running in 10th on lap 182, Eury Jr. radioed Kahne that he was a lap short of making it to the finish on fuel.  The 31-year-old driver did his best to conserve fuel, and once the competitors began hitting pit road on lap 191, Kahne improved to fourth.  After taking the white-flag, he radioed the crew he was out of fuel coming off of turn two.  Kahne managed to coast for half a lap and crossed the finished line in fourth.

“I want to thank JR Motorsports and all the folks at Go Daddy,” Kahne told media members after the race. “We had a good night. We worked on getting our car faster all night and we showed some progress there.  There are a lot of good notes we can pull out of this and hopefully we can apply some of them to help get us better next weekend.”

With the finish, Kahne becomes the fifth driver to score a top-10 finish with the No. 7 Chevrolet in 2011, joining Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ron Fellows, Danica Patrick and Josh Wise.


Start – 20th / Finish – 20th / Laps Led – 0 / Points – 24 / Driver Point Standings – 6th

For Aric Almirola and the GT Vodka team, their weekend got off to a difficult start when a cut right-front tire resulted in a crash during the first practice session.  The team unloaded the backup car for the 300-mile race, forcing them to start from the rear of the field.

From 40th, Almirola quickly made his way toward the front.  He drove to 20th by the first caution on lap 44. Following the lap-47 restart, Almirola advanced another six positions to 14th.

He radioed the crew that his No. 88 Chevrolet took about 10 laps for its handling to properly come in.  When it did, Almirola took full advantage, working his way to 12th following the race’s final caution on lap 134.

Under the caution, the team elected to make a strategic two-tire stop for track position.  Taking that course of action would require another stop for fuel, and the obvious preference to salvage track position would be to make it under caution.  That caution never came.  The field saw green-flag racing for the next 62 laps.  On lap 195 Almirola was forced to bring the No. 88 to pit road for a splash of fuel.  The team gave up several positions, falling to 20th as a result.

“This was another tough finish for our GT Vodka team,” Almirola said after the race.  “Sometimes it’s a tough pill to swallow with these fuel mileage races.  A few weeks ago we were on the opposite side of this at Chicago and got a great finish out of it.  You just never know.  But we won’t let this get us down.  We’ll keep on digging next week at Loudon.”


Event: New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Date: Saturday, July 16, 2011

TV/Radio:  ESPN (coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. EST) / PRN (broadcast begins at 3 p.m. EST)

JRM Entries: No.  88 GT Vodka Chevrolet (Aric Almirola), No. 7 Go Chevrolet (Kasey Kahne)


Kentucky Preview

July 6, 2011


No. 88 GT Vodka Chevrolet / No. 7 Chevrolet

EVENT – Feed the Children 300 (200 laps / 300 miles)

TRACK – Kentucky Speedway (1.5-mile tri-oval)

DATE – Friday, July 8, 2011

TV / RADIO – ESPN (coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. EST) / PRN (broadcast begins at 7 p.m. EST) (more…)

Daytona Race Report

July 4, 2011


JRM Finds a Pair of Top-10s Amidst Dramatic Daytona Finish

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2011) – The JR Motorsports teams of Aric Almirola and Danica Patrick emerged from Friday night’s Subway Jalapeno 250 with a pair of top-10 finishes.  After teaming up together in a two-car drafting tandem, Almirola in the No. 88 Suave Men Chevrolet and Patrick in the No. 7 Chevrolet were clear-cut contenders throughout the evening.  (more…)

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