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JR Motorsports Prepares for Bristol, Full 2010 Schedule

Ashley McCubbinAnalyst IMarch 16, 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 04:  Scott Wimmer, driver of the #29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to the NASCAR Nationwide Series Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2008 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jason Smith/Getty Images

News broke this afternoon on Twitter by JR Motorsports PR Director Mike Davis that JR Motorsports will be trying to run the No. 7 car all season long in the Nationwide Series—along with the No. 88 car.

Originally, the No. 7 car was supposed to include just 13 races with Danica Patrick; however, plans have changed as of today.

Complete sponsorship details and drivers have yet to be determined; however, for now, we do know the driver's list will consist of Patrick and Scott Wimmer.  

"This is something we've been considering for a while now, and the bottom line is, the No. 7 car is too good not to be at the racetrack," said JRM co-owner and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. "Our goal at JR Motorsports has always been to have two full-time Nationwide Series teams competing every week. 

"Our sponsorship situation with the No. 88 has shown significant progress, and hopefully, we'll have announcements soon. We'll work just as hard to get the No. 7 fully funded."

Patrick's remaining 10 races include New Hampshire Motor Speedway (June 26), Chicagoland Speedway (July 9), Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 14), Dover International Speedway (Sept. 25), Auto Club Speedway (Oct. 9), Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 15), Gateway International Raceway (Oct. 23), Texas Motor Speedway (Nov. 6), Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 13), and Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 20).

Wimmer will begin his driving duties Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway and will also drive the car April 3 at Nashville Superspeedway. 

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Wimmer is no stranger to JR Motorsports, as he drove the car in six races last year and had a best finish of ninth two times.

"Well, I haven't raced in the Nationwide Series yet this season, so it's great to be back with a familiar team," Wimmer said. "I raced with JR Motorsports in a select number of races last year, but this will be my first time working with Tony [Eury] Jr. He's had a lot of success, so I'm really looking forward to working with him.

"The JRM equipment is some of the best you can find," he said.  "As a driver, it's great to know you have that kind of infrastructure and support. I'm looking forward to the next two races with these guys."

Saturday's Bristol race will mark Wimmer's 200th Nationwide Series start. This is his ninth year of competition, and his stats consist of six wins, 29 top-fives, 71 top-10s, and one pole. Wimmer has led 639 laps, earning an average finish of 15.3, along with an average start of 20.7. 

"Back then, I was just thankful to get my first Nationwide Series start," Wimmer said of his 200th start. "It was at Memphis. As a driver, you've got to have the confidence that you can succeed at this level—but to that point, all the stars have to be aligned, too. Everything's really got to fall into place for you to have a career in this sport. 

"I've been very fortunate to be here. It's been a lot of fun, and the six wins along the way were amazing."
 
Running in the No. 88 will be fellow Wisconsin native Kelly Bires, who has earned two top-20 finishes in his four starts at Bristol. 

"It seems like every time I've gone to Bristol, I'd have a good run going, and then run into bad luck," Bires said. "In 2008, when it rained out, I was running eighth and came in to pit about 10 laps before the rain came and got cycled to the back. 

"It's a track that reminds me a lot of Slinger Speedway back home in Wisconsin—high- banked and fast," Bires said. "The most important thing at Bristol is qualifying up-front and staying up-front. If you're anywhere from seventh on back, someone could wreck ahead of you, and you get pushed right into it from behind—especially with the double-file restarts. It's really treacherous."

This will mark Bires' third start for JR Motorsports this season and his fourth overall. His initial 2010 start came in California, where he qualified 32nd and drove to a seventh-place finish. After qualifying 12th at Las Vegas the following week, a cut tire sent Bires into the wall five laps into the race and relegated him to a 42nd-place finish.