Ginn Racing was a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series team based in Mooresville, North Carolina, near the sport's hub in Charlotte. Its principal owners in its final season, 2007, were resort and real-estate developers Bobby Ginn and Thomas Ginn (the Ginn family owned 80%) and longtime team director Jay Frye (20%). The team's original name was MB2 Motorsports, formed by the last names of the team owners Read Morton, Tom Beard, and Nelson Bowers. Bowers was the longest tenured of the original owners, and the listed owner of the teams' entries when Bobby Ginn bought out the team. The Valvoline corporation co-owned the No. 10 (later the No. 14) car with the principal owners from 2001 to 2005 as MBV Motorsports, while the No. 36 entry (later the No. 13) was co-owned by Centrix Financial, LLC owner Robert Sutton as MB Sutton Motorsports in 2005.
James Rocco (MBV)
Bob Sutton (MB Sutton)
Jay Frye (CEO and Team Director)
|Base||Mooresville, North Carolina|
|Series||Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series|
|Race drivers||Sterling Marlin, Mark Martin, Ken Schrader, Ernie Irvan, Scott Riggs, Boris Said, Regan Smith, Jerry Nadeau, Joe Nemechek, Johnny Benson, Jr., Kraig Kinser|
|Sponsors||United States Army, Waste Management, Inc., Mars Candy, Valvoline, Centrix Financial, Ginn Resorts, Panasonic, CertainTeed, USG Sheetrock|
|Opened||1997 (as MB2 Motorsports)|
|Closed||2007 (merged with DEI)|
Nextel Cup SeriesEdit
Car Nos. 01 and 36 historyEdit
The No. 01 car started out as the No. 36 Pontiac in 1997 with sponsorship from M&M-Mars through its Skittles candy brand, and driver Derrike Cope. Cope finished 27th in the final point standings. Veteran driver Ernie Irvan took over from Cope in 1998. The season was highlighted by Irvan's pole win at the Brickyard 400. M&M's replaced Skittles as the team's sponsor in 1999. Irvan retired from racing in September following a crash at Michigan International Speedway. Dick Trickle temporarily replaced Irvan before the driving chores were permanently turned over to journeyman Jerry Nadeau.
Nadeau left MB2 due to a prior commitment to drive for Hendrick Motorsports, and MB2 signed four-time winner Ken Schrader to fill the seat. Schrader drove the No. 36 for three seasons before leaving for BAM Racing. In 2003, the United States Army replaced M&M's as the team's sponsor. The car number switched from No. 36 to No. 01 to support the Army's slogan, "An Army of One." Nadeau agreed to return to MB2 as the driver of the No. 01 car. In his first 10 races with the team Nadeau had only two top 20 finishes, with a 4th-place finish at Texas.
In May, Nadeau was involved in what was regarded at the time as one of the most serious accidents in NASCAR history. While practicing for the race at Richmond International Raceway, Nadeau lost control of the No. 01 while trying to avoid another car in turn one and slammed into the wall driver side first. This was before the advent of SAFER barriers being installed at racetracks to dissipate the force from racing accidents, resulting in Nadeau impacting the unprotected concrete wall. He suffered fractures to his skull and several of his ribs along with a collapsed lung and temporary paralysis on his left side, and the cumulative effects would lead to his retirement as a driver. Busch Series veteran Jason Keller replaced Nadeau at the Richmond race finishing 32nd, and the team used several temporary substitutes for the rest of the year. Mike Wallace ran the next four races, then four more races afterwards (skipping Sonoma) with a best finish of 19th at Dover. Mike Skinner ran 11 races with the team after being released from Morgan McClure Motorsports, earning a pole at Richmond. Boris Said ran both road course races, also earning a pole as well as a sixth-place finish (both at Sonoma). Finally, the team signed Joe Nemechek, who had been released from Hendrick Motorsports' 25 car (where he had replaced Nadeau), to permanently drive the No. 01 car, running the last four races of the year and earning a top 10 at Atlanta. Said and Skinner earned spots in the 2004 Budweiser Shootout for their respective pole runs, with Boris in the 01 finishing 10th, and Skinner finishing 15th in the 10 Valvoline car.
2004–2006: Joe NemechekEdit
Nemechek struggled in terms of finishes in 2004, though "Front Row Joe" had several strong qualifying runs including two poles. Nemechek played somewhat of a spoiler role during the inaugural Chase for the Nextel Cup at Kansas Speedway. Coming into the race 24th in points, Joe won the pole for the second consecutive week, then led 41 laps including the final 37 to win his fourth career Cup race. It was also a sweep of the weekend for him, as he had won the 300 mile Busch race the day before. Overall, Nemecheck had 3 top 5s including the win, 9 top 10s, and improved to 19th in points by the end of the year. It was announced in July that Nemechek had signed a multi-year agreement to remain with MB2 in through 2005.
Nemechek started off 2005 with a strong run at the second race of the season at Auto Club Speedway. Coming off a solid 13th-place finish at Daytona, Joe started 4th and led leading a race-high 63 laps before his Hendrick Motorsports-built engine expired on lap 178. This was one of six Hendrick engine failures, which included that of teammate Scott Riggs. By race 26 at Richmond, the 01 team found itself as a longshot of making the Chase, sitting 16th in the standings 135 points out of 10th place as the last mathematical contender for a spot in the 10-race playoff. The team's chase hunt was ultimately foiled when Travis Kvapil collided with Nemechek under caution right after he had gotten back on the lead lap, relegating them to a 26th-place finish. Overall, Nemechek improved on the previous years points performance, ranking 16th with 1 pole and 9 top 10s but no wins and only two top 5s.
2006 was a struggle for Nemechek and the 01 team, with the team not scoring a top 10 until finishing 9th at Charlotte in October, the 31st race of the season. Nemechek went winless again, with no pole starts, only two top 10s, and a dismal 27th-place points finish.
Veteran Mark Martin, coming off his final year with Roush Racing, was signed drive the car for 23 races (21 points races plus the Budweiser Shootout and Nextel All-Star Challenge) in 2007, with Joe Nemechek moving over to the team's new 13 team. Regan Smith was pinned to fill the remaining 16 races of the season, while driving in the Busch Series for the team as well. The team also changed its name to Ginn Racing to reflect Bobby Ginn's new majority interest in the team. Martin was leading in the final turn of the season-opening Daytona 500, after lining up on the final restart with former Roush teammates Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth behind him. Coming down the front stretch, and with the field wrecking behind him, Martin looked to have finally come through at Daytona. But the caution was not called, and Kevin Harvick caught Martin on his outside, beating him to the line by two-hundredths of a second. Martin put together more strong finishes, and after the fourth race at Atlanta was leading the points standings in what was supposed to be his first season of semi-retirement. Resisting the chance to capture his first championship, Martin did step out of the car as scheduled, breaking a streak of 621 consecutive starts. In 24 starts for the team, Martin scored 11 top 10s, and finished 27th in points despite missing 12 races.
Rookie Regan Smith meanwhile made his debut at Bristol Motor Speedway in March, finishing 25th. Smith would run 6 more races in the car, with a best finish of 24th at Talladega Superspeedway. On July 17, it was announced that Smith would move to the 14 car on a full-time basis, replacing veteran Sterling Marlin. Meanwhile, 23-year-old Aric Almirola, who was granted his release from Joe Gibbs Racing after being pulled out of a car he qualified on the pole during a Busch Series race in favor of Denny Hamlin, signed on to be the new co-driver of the 01. With the merger of Ginn and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. not long afterwards, Smith was left on the sidelines while Almirola ran 5 races. Aric's results were not much better than Regan's, with a best finish of 26th at Phoenix. Both drivers would continue with DEI in 2008 running for ROTY, and both would become winners later in their Cup careers.
In 2008 Smith was named the full-time driver of the 01 car (now fully operated by DEI), with Martin and Almirola as well as sponsor U.S. Army moving to the 8 car to replace the departing Dale Earnhardt Jr. Principal Financial Group was signed as the primary sponsor for the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. Principal often ran as a secondary sponsor on the sides of the car, with a DEI logo on the hood in lieu of full sponsorship. Steak-umm and Coors Light were also sponsors in one-race deals. Smith gave the 01 over to Ron Fellows at the road courses, Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen International. Smith almost won the 2008 AMP Energy 500, passing Tony Stewart on the final lap and crossing the finish line in first. Smith, however, was found to be passing below the yellow line upon video review, and per NASCAR had his position revoked, leading to an 18th-place finish. Though he finished 34th in points with no top 10 finishes, Smith became the first rookie to finish every race he entered during the 2008 season and was named Rookie of the Year at the season's end. The 01 team disbanded after DEI merged with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and Smith moved on to Furniture Row Racing.
Car No. 13 historyEdit
On April 30, 2004, MB2 Motorsports announced a partnership with CENTRIX Financial, LLC, coming on as an associate sponsor for the 01 and 10 cars. In addition, the team's original number 36 would be resurrected to field a third team part-time for Road course ringer Boris Said, who had driven the 01 for two races in 2003 which included a pole at Sonoma. Centrix was scheduled to sponsor two races, debuting with a 6th-place finish at Sonoma. Centrix sponsored Said again at the oval track Auto Club Speedway, where he finished one lap down in 30th. USG Sheetrock (an associate on the 01) came on to sponsor two more races for Said, DNQing at Watkins Glen and finishing 28th in the season finale at Homestead after a transmission failure late in the race.
The No. 36 team returned for 2005, expanding Said's schedule to a minimum of 10 races beginning with the Daytona 500. Like the 10 team which was co-owned by Valvoline executive James Rocco, sponsor Centrix's owner and racing enthusiast Bob Sutton came on as an equity partner for the 36 car, changing the team name to MB Sutton Motorsports. Said had stated that he would have liked to drive the car on a full-time basis if sponsorship was found. Veteran crew chief Frankie Stoddard would lead the 36 team. Said ultimately attempted 12 races, struggling on oval tracks, with a best finish of 27th at Daytona and Texas and three DNQs. He did run well at Talladega in May, qualifying 12th and running in the top 15 before a 25-car pileup ended his day with 35 laps remaining. Boris was, however, strong as always in his road course element. At Sonoma in June, Said was running well when he entered the pits while they were closed after a caution was thrown with 40 laps to go. Sent back to 32nd place, he made it up to 13th place with 10 laps to go, but was relegated to a 17th-place finish after a caution with 7 laps to go. Said shined later in the year at Watkins Glen, starting 41st after qualifying was rained out, and racing with NASCAR Road Course aces Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon for the win. Said would score a career-best 3rd-place finish. Said left the team to drive for No Fear Racing in the No. 60 Ford in 2006.
Early in 2006, 1988 Cup Champion and 2-time Daytona 500 winner Bill Elliott announced that he would pilot the No. 36 Chevrolet in the 2006 Daytona 500, with Ginn Resorts coming on to sponsor the effort. Elliott qualified 33rd, but avoided several wrecks to finish 19th in the Great American Race. The team would not run again in 2006.
The team went full-time in 2007, switching to No. 13 with Joe Nemechek moving over from the No. 01 and Peter Sospenzo taking on crew chief duties. CertainTeed was announced as the primary sponsor of the car for 18 races, with associate sponsor status for the other half of the season. Bobby Ginn's Ginn Resorts filled out the remaining races. Nemechek opened the year with a 9th-place finish at the Daytona 500, but missed the 5th race of the season at Bristol and did not have another top 10 with the team for the rest of the year. After sitting 33rd in points following the race at Chicagoland, Nemechek was released from the 13 car as well as teammate Sterling Marlin from his No. 14 ride, with the team's status "being evaluated because of lack of sponsorship." Ultimately, the 13 team was shut down after the merger with DEI, and Nemechek would move to Furniture Row Racing for the remainder of the season beginning at Fontana.
Car No. 14 historyEdit
2000: Purchase by MB2 MotorsportsEdit
What became the No. 14 team originally ran several different numbers part of Darrell Waltrip Motorsports and the Tyler Jet Motorsports. At the second Pocono race weekend in 2000, MB2 Motorsports purchased Tyler Jet's unsponsored No. 10 team, driven by Johnny Benson. When MB2 bought the team, Benson remained the driver, with an announcement that Aaron's and RCA would sponsor the No. 10 for the remainder of 2000 and Valvoline would begin sponsoring the car in 2001. Benson finished the season driving full-time for MB2 with Aaron's and RCA on the car.
2001–2005: MBV MotorsportsEdit
In 2001, Valvoline became the team's new sponsor, with Benson remaining the driver. Additionally, Valvoline purchased an ownership stake in the No. 10 team, becoming the first corporation to own a NASCAR team. The No. 10 team's name was changed to MBV Motorsports to reflect Valvoline's presence (though the overall team remained MB2). Benson and Valvoline returned for the full season in 2002. He eventually drove to his first career win at the 2002 Pop Secret 400 at Rockingham.
Both Benson and Valvoline remained with the car in 2003. Midway through the season, the team announced it was parting ways with Benson at the conclusion of the season. Thirty-two-year-old Busch Series driver Scott Riggs was signed to a multi-year contract, and would to replace Benson for the 2004 season. Riggs was set to compete against a strong rookie class that included his former Busch Series competitors Brian Vickers, Kasey Kahne, Scott Wimmer, and Johnny Sauter as well as Truck Series driver Brendan Gaughan. With Pontiac leaving the sport, the team was forced to switch to Chevrolet. Mike Skinner ran the exhibition Budweiser Shootout in the 10 after winning a pole at Richmond driving the 01 in 2003 subbing for Jerry Nadeau. Riggs missed the fall race at Atlanta, and scored only 2 top 10 finishes and had 8 DNFs en route to a 29th place points standing in his rookie season.
In 2005, Riggs won the pole at Martinsville and finished 4th in the Daytona 500. Riggs had a career best performance at Michigan, using a fuel mileage gamble to drive from 29th to 2nd place in the final 51 laps. Riggs statistics improved slightly (4 top 10 finishes), but he had 7 DNFs and finished 34th in the season standings. Valvoline announced that it was to sell its ownership stake back to MB2's principal owners and ended sponsorship of the car, taking Riggs and the No. 10 to Evernham Motorsports.
2006–2007: Sterling MarlinEdit
In November 2005, it was announced that veteran driver Sterling Marlin would come over from Chip Ganassi Racing to drive for MB2 in 2006. The team would be sponsored by Waste Management in 12 races, with Centrix Financial returning and Ginn Resorts coming on to fill the remainder of the schedule. In tribute to Marlin's father Coo Coo who had passed the previous year, the team took on the number 14. Midway through the season, the team replaced crew chief Doug Randolph with Scott Eggleston, who worked with Marlin at Team SABCO. The team had only one top 10 finish and ranked 34th in points at the end of the year.
For 2007, Marlin returned as did Waste Management for 12 races, while new sponsor Panasonic signed on for 12 races as well, and veteran crew chief Slugger Labbe handled the team. After a 2007 season filled with struggles and a best finish of 13th, in July Marlin was to be replaced by Regan Smith, who had previously been co-piloting the No. 01, for the remainder of the year. However, upon the merger of Ginn Racing and DEI at Indy, and before Smith even got the chance to drive the No. 14, the No. 14 team was merged with the No. 15 team, and its owner points were carried to the Paul Menard-piloted Menards car. Smith would pilot the No. 01 full-time in 2008 with DEI.
Car No. 39 historyEdit
In addition to his 16 race schedule in the 01 shared with Mark Martin, Regan Smith was set to make his Nextel Cup debut at the 2007 Daytona 500 in a fourth Ginn Racing car, with Ginn Resorts sponsoring. The car was numbered 39 due to the 36 being taken by Bill Davis Racing and Jeremy Mayfield. In his debut, Smith qualified 26th, which earned him a 12th starting position in the 2nd Gatorade 150 duel race. He finished 19th of 30 cars, and seventh out of the 13 drivers who needed to race their way into the 500, which was not enough to get him into the race. The No. 39 was on the Fontana entry list the next week, but was withdrawn. Smith would make his Cup debut in the 01 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Winston/Nextel Cup Series driversEdit
- Derrike Cope (1997)
- Ernie Irvan (1998-1999; retired after injury)
- Ricky Craven (1998 injury replacement for Irvan)
- Dick Trickle (1999 injury replacement for Irvan)
- Jerry Nadeau (injury replacement for Irvan in 1999; Benson in 2002; regular driver in 2003)
- Ken Schrader (2000–2002)
- Johnny Benson (2001–2003)
- Joe Nemechek (2002 injury replacement for Benson; 2003–2007)
- Mike Wallace (injury replacement for Benson in 2002; Nadeau in 2003)
- Jason Keller (2003 injury replacement for Nadeau)
- Boris Said (2003–2006; road courses & limited ovals)
- Mike Skinner (2003)
- Scott Riggs (2004–2005)
- Sterling Marlin (2006–2007)
- Bill Elliott (2006; limited schedule)
- Mark Martin (2007; limited schedule)
- Regan Smith (2007; limited schedule)
Beginning in 2006, MB2 Motorsports established a partnership with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports in the Craftsman Truck Series, fielding a full-time truck with MB2/Ginn development driver Kraig Kinser (son of Steve Kinser). Kinser struggled in his rookie season and was pulled from the ride late in the season.
For 2007, Ginn expanded its development program, signing motocross racer Ricky Carmichael and Drive for Diversity member Jesus Hernandez to development contracts. Kinser returned to the Truck Series, scheduled to share the ride with Hernandez, with Ginn Resorts sponsoring. The team also started a Busch Series team for Cup rookie Regan Smith and Kinser, also funded by Ginn Resorts. This was originally numbered No. 04, but NASCAR reassigned No. 4 to Ginn after Biagi-DenBeste Racing shut down in January 2007. The No. 4 Busch Series team was shut down after the Kentucky race in June, with Smith 12th in the championship standings at the time. Following the DEI/Ginn merger, Smith was placed in the 47 Morgan-Dollar truck for the balance of the season. Aric Almirola ran a single truck race at Nashville, finishing 23rd.
- The No. 01 (Mark Martin/Aric Almirola) team was added to the DEI teams.
- The No. 15 (Paul Menard) inherited the owner points from the former No. 14 (Sterling Marlin), which guaranteed a starting spot for Menard at Indianapolis.
- The No. 13 (Joe Nemechek) team of Ginn Racing was disbanded.
- Bobby Ginn was listed as the owner of the No. 01 and No. 15 for the remainder of 2007.
- Teresa Earnhardt was listed as the owner of the No. 1 and No. 8 for the remainder of 2007.
- The shops of Ginn Racing housed the No. 15 and No. 01.
- The shops of DEI housed the No. 1 and No. 8.
- Fabrication work was to be done out of the Ginn Racing shops.
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- Sharp, Seth (June 25, 2014). "Remember When: Joe Nemechek's Kansas Sweep". popularspeed.com. Popular Speed. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "MB2 extends Nemechek's contract". motorsport.com. Concord, North Carolina: motorsport.com. July 21, 2004. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
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- "Richmond II: Round 26 preview". motorsport.com. motorsport.com. September 8, 2005. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
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- Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (February 17, 2009). "DEI sponsor expands involvement". motorsport.com. Des Moines, Iowa: motorsport.com. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Associated Press (October 5, 2008). "Regan Smith pushes for win, but Tony Stewart gets victory at Talladega". Daily News (New York). Talladega, Alabama: Daily News (New York). Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- MB2 Motorsports (April 30, 2004). "MB2/MBV announce sponsor partner: Centrix Financial Announces NASCAR Nextel Cup Team Partnership". motorsport.com. Centennial, Colorado: motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- King, Bill (January 27, 2005). "MBSutton: NASCAR's Newest Team". motorsport.com. motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- MB2 Motorsports (November 11, 2004). "MB2, Said 2005 plans announced: Boris Said's 2005 Nextel Cup Ride Announced". motorsport.com. Concord, North Carolina, Denver, Colorado: motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- MB2 Motorsports (December 21, 2004). "Stoddard named crew chief for Said's Chevy". motorsport.com. Concord, North Carolina: motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- MB2 Motorsports (May 2, 2005). "Talladega: Boris Said race report". motorsport.com. Talladega, Alabama: motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- MB2 Motorsports (June 28, 2005). "Sears Point: Boris Said race report". motorsport.com. Sonoma, California: motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- MB2 Motorsports (August 15, 2005). "Watkins Glen: Boris Said race report: SAID LIGHTS IT UP IN WATKINS GLEN WITH CAREER-BEST FINISH". motorsport.com. Watkins Glen, New York: motorsport.com. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- MB2 Motorsports (February 9, 2006). "Elliott No. 36 Daytona ride sponsor named". motorsport.com. Mooresville, North Carolina: motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Daytona 500: Bill Elliott race report: ELLIOTT AVOIDS WRECKS, FINISHES 19TH IN DAYTONA 500". motorsport.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: motorsport.com. February 20, 2006. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Ginn Racing (February 9, 2007). "Ginn Racing names No. 13 primary sponsor: CertainTeed Corporation to be Primary Sponsor on Nemechek's No. 13 Ginn Racing Chevrolet". motorsport.com. Mooresville, North Carolina: motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Ginn Racing Replaces Sterling Marlin, Releases Joe Nemechek". sportsbusinessdaily.com. Sports Business Daily. July 18, 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- MBV Motorsports (October 24, 2003). "Riggs named to No. 10 car for 2004". motorsport.com. Concord, North Carolina: motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- MB2 Motorsports (August 23, 2005). "Michigan II: Scott Riggs race report". motorsport.com. Brooklyn, Michigan: motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Valvoline (June 30, 2005). "MB2 Motorsports sponsorship to end". motorsport.com. Lexington, Kentucky: motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Waste Management to Sponsor Marlin's No. 14 Chevy in 2006". race2win.net. Homestead, Florida: Race 2 Win. November 19, 2005. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- MB2 Motorsports (June 22, 2006). "MB2 Motorsports announce crew chief change". motorsport.com. Mooresville, North Carolina: motorsport.com. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Ginn Racing (January 22, 2007). "Ginn Racing names Marlin's sponsor". motorsport.com. Mooresville, North Carolina: motorsport.com. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
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- Ginn Racing (February 8, 2007). "Daytona 500: Regan Smith preview". motorsport.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: motorsport.com. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Ginn Racing (February 16, 2007). "Daytona Duel: Regan Smith race notes: Smith Finishes 19th in Gatorade Duel; Falls Short of Making Field for Daytona 500". motorsport.com. Daytona Beach, Florida: motorsport.com. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- David Caraviello (2007-07-25). "Dale Earnhardt Inc., Ginn Racing complete merger". NASCAR.com. NASCAR.com. Retrieved 2007-07-25.