Makar Helped Build JGR from the Ground Up - Literally

For Immediate Release           


Contact Joe Crowley

True Speed Communication

Interstate Batteries, Jarrett and Makar Comprised Start-Up Team in Late 1991


Editor’s Note: In honor of Interstate Batteries’ and Joe Gibbs Racing’s 20th anniversary together in NASCAR, a series of press releases highlighting 20 big moments will be distributed throughout 2011. This is the 18th of the 20 releases.


When Jimmy Makar was hired as the first employee at Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), he didn’t report to the shop on his first day of work in August 1991, and the reason was simple – there wasn’t a shop. In fact, there wasn’t much of anything except a sponsor and a driver.


When Joe Gibbs decided to form a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in 1991, the order of occurrences was quite simple: he signed Interstate Batteries as a sponsor and then hired Dale Jarrett to drive what would be the No. 18 Interstate Batteries car. Next, he hired Makar, who spent the first half of the 1991 season with Penske Racing with driver Rusty Wallace after six seasons with Blue Max Racing, which won the 1989 Sprint Cup Series championship with Wallace behind the wheel.


Makar was hired in August 1991 and was brought in to build the team from the ground up. That included hiring a crew, finding a shop and buying parts and pieces so the Interstate Batteries car would be able to partake in preseason testing in 1992 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.


Easy, it was not.


“Joe had an agreement with Hendrick Motorsports to supply engines for the cars,” said Makar, who is now JGR’s senior vice president of racing operations. “He also bought some old cars and parts, which ended up being the remnants of the 17 team, the Tide team that Darrell Waltrip drove for. So that’s what he had.”


Waltrip had left Hendrick following the 1990 season to form his own team, Darrell Waltrip Motorsports.


“The first order of business was to go over to Hendrick and find out what Joe bought because he literally had no idea what he bought,” Makar said. “We went over to Hendrick and went in one of the back buildings. It was a warehouse and there was all this stuff that went with the sale. There were three cars, one short-track car and a couple of other cars, and a bunch of scrap parts, basically. Just miscellaneous stuff and about half of it was not useful for what we were going to do. It wasn’t that it was bad stuff, it just wasn’t the direction I was going in as far as brakes and other parts.


“So, basically, we had to figure out what was going to be useful for getting the race team up and running and what would be sold or thrown away. That’s exactly what we did the first week.”


Fortunately, Makar had some help as David Wagner was hired by Makar shortly after he began with JGR. Wagner, who plans to retire from JGR following the 2011 season, is the special projects manager for the team.


But while Wagner and Makar had taken inventory of the parts and pieces from Hendrick back then, they still didn’t have a place to put it.


“We didn’t have a building,” Makar said. “Thankfully, we located a building fairly quickly over on Harris Boulevard in Charlotte. But it was a warehouse with just a few offices on the front side of it. So we had to turn it into a race shop and that meant dividing it up into a fabrication department, a car prep department and a paint booth – things like that. We spent a lot of time getting that done. I think we finally moved in about a month after I was hired.”


Before they were able to move into the shop, however, Makar and Wagner essentially worked out of Makar’s house in Mooresville, N.C., ordering all the things needed to get a race team up and running. And perhaps the biggest need couldn’t be ordered from a part supplier – people.


“I was going to races on the weekends for two reasons,” Makar said. “One, Dale was still driving for the Wood Brothers, so I would listen to him on the radio to get an idea of how he communicated. The other reason, though, was to recruit people to come to work at JGR.”


And that was not easy, either.


“The challenge in it was getting people to come to work at a start-up operation that nobody had any idea how long it would last,” Makar said. “It was a football coach and, at the time, Dale, who hadn’t won a race, yet. It was an unproven driver with a football coach owner starting from scratch. People weren’t anxious to jump on board to go do something like that. But we hired some really great people and it’s so different than it is today because, back then, we had 15 people and that was it. That was all we needed.”


By November 1991, while Makar wasn’t comfortable by any means, he at least knew he had a team assembled and could look toward pre-season testing at Daytona. And when the team turned its first laps at Daytona in January 1992, Makar knew he had at least accomplished something.


“It was a good feeling, but we knew we weren’t out of the woods,” Makar said. “Daytona was just one race and then you roll right into another race right after that. We still had a lot of work to do. It wasn’t like we stood there and said, ‘Ah, we’ve done it.’ It was more a matter of, ‘OK, that’s done, what’s next on the list?’”


The “list” has grown extensively in Makar’s 20 years at JGR and he’s been a part of all three Sprint Cup Series championships the team has claimed, as well as 94 Sprint Cup race victories and 55 Sprint Cup pole positions.


And none of it would have happened had Makar and Wagner not gone through a warehouse of used race car parts at Hendrick Motorsports in 1991.





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Better Than Ever: 2011 Season Most Competitive In NASCAR Sprint Cup History

For Immediate Release


Records Set In Lead Changes And Leaders Per Race


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 22, 2011) – Tony Stewart can add this to the growing list of reasons why his championship season ranks among the greatest ever: He won the title in the most statistically-competitive season in the 63-year history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.


Two major NASCAR Sprint Cup competition records were broken this past season: average lead changes and leaders per race.


There was an average of 27.1 lead changes per race in 2011, the most in the history of NASCAR Sprint Cup competition. 


Additionally, there was an average of 12.8 leaders per event, also the highest average since the series’ inaugural year of 1949.


For the second consecutive season, the record books were rewritten. The previous record-highs in both statistics were set in 2010, when there were averages of 25.4 lead changes and 11.4 leaders.


In addition, there were 131,989 total green flag passes (an average of 3,666 per race), which is a series-high since NASCAR began tabulating passing numbers in 2005. 


From green flag to checkered, races during the 2011 unfurled in a tight, unpredictable manner. Averaging a margin of victory of 1.321, a record 23 races featured an MOV under one second. That’s the most since the inception of timing and scoring in 1993.


This season welcomed five new drivers to the list of all-time winners – a roster that grew to 182 in 2011. Trevor Bayne was the first, at age 20, becoming the youngest driver ever to win the Daytona 500. Regan Smith (Darlington), David Ragan (Daytona-2), Paul Menard (Indianapolis) and Marcos Ambrose (Watkins Glen) followed as first-time winners. Five first-time winners is the most since 2002.


In all, 18 different drivers visited Victory Lane, the most since 2002 and one short of the all-time record.


All those numbers set the stage for a storybook Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and a stunning finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In a race that featured a track-record 26 lead changes, Stewart made 118 green flag passes. Stewart won for the fifth time in the Chase (another record), outdueling Carl Edwards, who set a record of his own. Edwards, who finished outside the top 10 only once during the Chase, averaged a finish of 4.9 over the final 10 races. That, too, is an all-time Chase best.  


For more information, contact:

Mike Forde, NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications


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REVSTAR - C'est samedi le 19 novembre que les pilotes ont été honorés lors du banquet de fin d'année

La soirée a été organisé pour souligner les exploits de REVSTAR dans les séries STR et Slingshot!
Sous les applaudissements nourris, Yannick Poiriers'est mérité la bourse de 1 000 $ décerné au champion de l'édition 2011 et la magnifique Coupe REVSTAR.  Il a aussi été proclamé le pilote le plus constant en piste


Yannick revendique 4 victoires dont une réalisé dans un programme National disputé au Mohawk Speedway. Le nouveau champion a connu une progression constante, 3e au championnat en 2009, il est revenu en force en 2010 avec le titre de vice-Champion et s'est emparé des grands honneurs cette année avec le championnat des pilotes.

En soulevant le trophée, Yannick s'est adressé aux invités :  "La Coupe REVSTAR est vraiment magnifique, tellement que je vais tout faire pour la garder chez moi l'année prochaine !" s'est-il exclamé avec un sourire.

De plus, Poirier s'est distingué en remportant le championnat de la serie National SPEED STR mettant aux prises les pilotes américains confrontés aux pilotes de la série REVSTAR lors de 4 programmes présentés aux États-Unis et 4 au Québec.  Pour souligner cet exploit, Yannick Poirier se verra remettre une autre bourse de 1000$ qui lui sera décernée lors du Banquet en Pensylvanie en janvier prochain.
Maxime Plante a rentenu l'attention cette année en s'emparant du titre de Recrue de l'année. Troisième au championnat, Maxime est un pilote polyvalent, il a remporté 2 victoires cette saison soit une sur la terre battue et l'autre sur l'asphalte. Considéré comme le plus bel espoir en 2011, le jeune homme de 14 ans seulement sera un pilotes à surveiller l'an prochain, c'est certain!

Suite à un vote populaire durant la soirée, 8 pilotes ont reçu des disctinctions


  • LE PLUS CONSTANT: Yannick Poirier
  • LE PLUS BEL ESPOIR: Maxime Plante
  • LE PLUS "BAD LUCKY": Jonathan Archambeault
  • LE PLUS AMÉLIORÉ:(vétéran) Daniel Nadeau
  • LE PLUS AMÉLOIRÉ:(Recrue) Josianne Plante

Nous tenons à souligner l'implication de nos commanditaires, sans eux rien ne serait possible.

Merci à :  ABF, REMEQ, LEAF, BERT.


Une saison mémorable
Toutes les courses ont été chaudement disputées comme le démontre la fiche de 10 vainqueurs différents en 18 finales durant la saison. Chacun des gagnants a reçu une plaque commémorative pour souligner leur exploit réalisé dans une série hautement compétitive.
Slingshot la jolie Isabelle Manny a marqué l'histoire de la série en remportant le premier championnat des Slingshot. Elle s'est emparée du titre à la toute dernière course avec une victoire qui lui a permis de devancer son frère Patrick au classement final.

Un cadeau surprise !

"C'est avec beaucoup d'émotion que j'ai reçu de la part de Lettrage Richard, une magnifique photo souvenir de ma victoire lors de la dernière épreuve du Championnat National à New Egypt Speedway. J'ai été touché par cette marque d'attention !"

Le Banquet, aminé par Dominic Beauchesne la voix officielle lors des programmes de course de la série REVSTAR, a été un succès. Merci à tous les participants.

L'année 2012 s'annonce très intéressantes, la majorité des pilotes de l'édition actuelle ont confirmé leur retour et nous avons 5 nouveaux pilotes qui se sont procurés des STR pour la saison 2012.  La saison vient à peine de se terminer et déjà on est tous anxieux de reprendre les activités.


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Doiron Ready For Shot At Mason-Dixon Meltdown 200


For more information, visit www.JoeyDoiron.com or E-Mail TBarrettGWC@hotmail.com


BERWICK, Maine – Joey Doiron of Berwick, Maine, hopes to finally cash in with a fast race car when he competes in the PASS National Series Mason-Dixon Meltdown 200 at Concord Speedway in Concord, N.C., on Saturday, November 26.


Doiron finished 10th in the final 2011 PASS North Series standings and collected the series' Hard Luck Award at the season-ending banquet earlier this month. It was a testament to the misfortune, mechanical and otherwise, that plagued the driver of the No. 73 JBJ Machine Chevrolet this year.


“I think a race like this definitely can set you up for next season,” said Doiron, who has made two career PASS South Series starts in his career. “It can keep your momentum going. After (the season finale at) Oxford, I just want to get back to race track. That was really disappointing. We ran so well there.


“I want to go out and get a finish we deserve. We were a top-five car every week in the second half of the season, but something always seemed to happen to us.”


Doiron will make his Concord Speedway debut this weekend. Practice will be held Friday afternoon, with time trials shortly after noon on Saturday, followed by the Mason-Dixon Meltdown 200 at approximately 2:15 p.m.


Doiron will tow to North Carolina with the team of D.J. Shaw. He knows little about the track beyond what he's learned from a racing simulator this fall.


“I've been playing it on iRacing, which hopefully is realistic enough that I can get something from it,” Doiron said. “It looks like it's a rhythm track. You've really got to keep your momentum up, but it's easy to make mistakes there, too. It's going to be one of the more demanding tracks I've been on.


“The biggest thing is going to be the speed. I've never raced on a track this fast. Other than North Wilkesboro, I haven't been on a track like this. You've got to figure out how to keep your momentum, keep your speed, but be able to pass cars at the same time.”


Doiron finished 20th in the 2009 Mason-Dixon Meltdown at South Boston Speedway following the conclusion of his rookie year on the ACT-sanctioned Late Model tour. It was just his third career Super Late Model start at the time.


Since then, he's posted 12 career Top-10 finishes in just 24 starts.


With no points on the line this weekend and a car that's been completely rebuilt over the last two months, Doiron says he has nothing to lose this weekend.


“We're bringing basically the car we ran a couple of times, but since Chaudiere it's been all redone,” Doiron said. “Other than the color, there's pretty much nothing the same on it. We're going to go out, shake it down for next year, try and keep the fenders on it – and if we come away with a Top-10, it would be a successful day.


“We're going down there with nothing to lose.”




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ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards - Releases Full Schedule for 60th Anniversary Season

For Immediate Release:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011



(TOLEDO, Ohio) - The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) has released the 2012 schedule for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. Twenty events - up from 19 in 2011 - will comprise the diverse combination of speedways, short tracks, dirt tracks, and a road course in the series' 60th Anniversary Season.


"Each of the venues on the 2012 schedule is very important to the identity and industry position of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards," said ARCA president Ron Drager. "The geographic coverage represented by the markets we'll be racing in and the overall number of races are good fits for the series."


In the ARCA Racing Series' 49th consecutive February Speedweeks appearance, Daytona International Speedway will host the season-opening Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 on Saturday, February 18. The race will precede that evening's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Shootout at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.


The 2012 ARCA Racing Series schedule will conclude with the series' championship event at Kansas Speedway on Friday, October 19. In between, the series will appear in 18 other races at a wide variety of venues, setting the most versatile schedule in motorsports.


ARCA's first visit to Mobile International Speedway in Alabama will be the season's second race on Saturday, March 10. Another new track - Minnesota's Elko Speedway - appears on the ARCA schedule for the first time, with a race on Saturday, June 2. The ARCA Racing Series has never raced in Minnesota, adding significance to the June visit to Elko and establishing the North Star State as the 29th visited by ARCA's premier national tour since 1953.


Toledo Speedway - ARCA's home track - will host the series on Sunday, May 20.


ARCA Racing Series teams will compete in July at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis over the Brickyard 400 weekend, following ARCA's 2011 return to the track for the first time in 26 years. The exact date of the race will be determined shortly.


Additional short tracks returning to the ARCA Racing Series schedule include Salem (Ind.) Speedway on two weekends, Winchester (Ind.) Speedway, Iowa Speedway, Berlin (Mich.) Raceway, and Madison (Wis.) International Speedway.


Talladega Superspeedway will host its 50th ARCA Racing Series race on Friday, May 4, and Pocono Raceway will host two race dates for the 25th consecutive year, in June and August. Additional speedway events scheduled to return in 2012 include races at Michigan International Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway.


Contributing to the long-recognized diversity of the ARCA schedule will be the traditional mile dirt races in August at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and in September at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds. Road course racing is in the plan for the fifth consecutive year, as the 2.25-mile Thunderbolt Raceway at New Jersey Motorsports Park will host ARCA on the first day of July.


Companion events in 2012 include race weekends with the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck Series, as well as the USAC Silver Crown Series, the ARCA CRA Super Series, and the ARCA Truck Series.


The full 2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule is as follows:


Saturday, February 18 - Daytona International Speedway

Saturday, March 10 - Mobile International Speedway

Sunday, April 29 - Salem Speedway

Friday, May 4 - Talladega Superspeedway

Sunday, May 20 - Toledo Speedway

Saturday, June 2 - Elko Speedway

Saturday, June 9 - Pocono Raceway

Friday, June 15 - Michigan International Speedway

Sunday, June 24 - Winchester Speedway

Sunday, July 1 - New Jersey Motorsports Park

Friday, July 13 - Iowa Speedway

Saturday, July 21 - Chicagoland Speedway

To be determined - Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis

Saturday, August 4 - Pocono Raceway

Saturday, August 11 - Berlin Raceway

Sunday, August 19 - Illinois State Fairgrounds

Sunday, August 26 - Madison International Speedway

Monday, September 3 - DuQuoin State Fairgrounds

Saturday, September 15 - Salem Speedway

Friday, October 19 - Kansas Speedway


The ARCA Racing Series will wrap up the 2011 season with the Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Ky., near Cincinnati, on Saturday, December 10.


The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards featured 19 events at 16 tracks on its 2011 schedule. The series has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 28 states since its inception. In 2011, the series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.4 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course.


Founded by John Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in two professional touring series and local weekly events.


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