Test, Rule Changes Set For Nationwide Series

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR will hold a final verification tire test for the new NASCAR Nationwide Series car at Daytona Int’l Speedway May 18-19.

The test will verify the type of tire Goodyear will provide for the new NASCAR Nationwide Series car during its first race, July 2 at Daytona. That will be the first of four events for the new car this season. The new car is targeted for full integration into the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011.

Elsewhere, the series announced that the tire-lease program will remain the same in 2010 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series with these new options available to teams:

– Tires will continue to be transferred between events with the same D-codes as recommended by Goodyear.

– The transfer of tires between the different national series at combination events with the same D-codes will be permitted.

-n At track, Goodyear will provide surplus tires. Goodyear will notify teams weeks in advance of availability.

Additionally, the series announced a number of rule changes. Teams will be limited to 15 crew members for each event, including the driver, crew chief, spotter and seven over-the-wall team members each race weekend throughout the season. Teams also will not be required to provide a scorer.

Another change involves the sealed-engine rule. This year, a team will run no more than two consecutive races without using an engine previously sealed by NASCAR officials. This excludes events at Daytona and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Last year, teams were to run no more than three consecutive races without using a sealed engine.

– NASCAR spokesman Randy Poston confirmed to several media outlets last week that NASCAR is considering replacing the rear wing on the current Sprint Cup cars with a traditional spoiler.

“We are currently meeting with drivers and owners to discuss a number of options. Going back to the spoiler is one of them under serious consideration. We’ll make an announcement in the coming weeks,” Poston said.

– Front Row Motorsports will expand its NASCAR Sprint Cup operation this season, expanding to two full-time teams and switching to Ford. The team will receive engines from Roush/Yates Racing Engines and technical support from Ford Racing.

The team also confirmed that Travis Kvapil will pilot the No. 34 Long John Silver’s Ford and Kevin Conway, who will compete for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors, will drive a second full-time entry with sponsorship — likely from Extenze Men’s Health Supplement — to be announced in the coming weeks. Both teams will make their debut at the Daytona 500 in February.

– Kevin Harvick and Elliott Sadler will share the seat of the No. 2 Kevin Harvick, Inc. Chevrolet in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 15 of the 25 series events. Sadler, who has three starts in the series, but none since 2003, will race in eight events this year while Harvick enters seven events.

– Ken Schrader will enter the Budweiser Shootout in the No. 82 Red Bull Racing Toyota normally driven by Scott Speed.

Schrader became eligible for the Shootout after NASCAR changed the eligibility rules, making any former Shootout winner eligible for the event as long as they’ve attempted a NASCAR Sprint Cup event in the last two years.

– Brian Vickers and Reed Sorenson will share the seat of the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota fielded by Braun Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this year.

– Kraft Foods has joined Stewart-Haas Racing as an associate sponsor. Kraft’s Oreo and Ritz brands will appear on the B-post of the Nos. 14 and 39 Chevrolets of Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman throughout the season. Additionally, Tony Stewart will drive the No. 4 Oreo/Ritz Chevrolet in the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona Int’l Speedway Feb. 13.

– Kellogg Company will serve as the primary sponsor of Carl Edwards in two NASCAR Sprint Cup events and act as an associate sponsor for Roush Fenway Racing throughout 2010.

– Joe Gibbs Racing has named Kevin Kidd crew chief of the team’s No. 20 NASCAR Nationwide Series team. He replaces Dave Rogers, who was promoted to crew chief of the No. 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry driven by Kyle Busch.

– Keyed-Up Motorsports, a new NASCAR Sprint Cup team formed by Virginia businessman Raymond Key, has hired Doug Richert to lead the team’s No. 90 Chevrolet as crew chief. The team will attempt to make their series debut during the 2010 Daytona 500.

– NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran Terry Cook will move to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season behind the wheel of the No. 46 Whitney Motorsports Dodge.

The team, which purchased several cars from Richard Petty Motorsports following its merger with Yates Racing, plans to run the entire Sprint Cup schedule with Cook vying for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award.

– Greg Biffle will run a limited schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Baker Curb Racing this year. He will drive the team’s No. 27 Ford with backing from Red Man Moist Snuff in an undetermined amount of races.