Sprint Cup Media Tour: Day 1
January 18, 2010 | 3:50 P.M. EST
CONCORD, N.C. - The opening day of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour kicked off with a luncheon with Stewart-Haas Racing followed by a trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway and a presentation from Joe Gibbs Racing, where the team announced a contract extension with driver Kyle Busch.
Stewart and Newman took questions from the media along with respective crew chiefs Darian Grubb and Tony Gibson as the second year team gets ready to try and continue its rookie season success. Both drivers made the Chase and Stewart won four times.
I'm expecting a great year," said Stewart. "I feel like both of us being able to get in the Chase last year was something I expect both teams to do. I feel like the changes that we went through and the work we've done over the winter has prepared both of these teams to have a shot at running for a championship."
Charlotte Motor Speedway laid out its schedule for the 2010 season at all of its facilities including the superspeedway as well as adjacent dirt track and drag strip.
About 100 fans joined the media members for the sessions which included the announcement of a seat modernization program that will replace many of the current frontstretch seats with wider and updated versions.
The track also unveiled a new start time for its May 29th TECH-NET Auto Services 300 Nationwide Series race which will move from under the lights to a 2:30 p.m. ET green flag.
The JGR portion of the session featured team owner Joe Gibbs and president J.D. Gibbs, who told the crowd that Busch had agreed to a multi-year extension with the team to stay behind the wheel of the No. 18 Toyota. Details were not announced.
"It's something we've been working on for a while," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We probably could've announced this earlier. We were just getting some of the details ironed out and finalized. Watching him grow off the track as well as on the track has been exciting for us. We look forward to many years together racing up front."
JD Gibbs also announced a special event that the team will hold at zMax Dragway the day after the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race called “Taylor’s Finish Line Festival.”
The day ended with a session featuring Penske Racing which will field a three-car Sprint Cup Series effort again in 2010 with Kurt Busch, Sam Hornish, Jr. and newcomer Brad Keselowski joining the fold.
In addition Keselowski will run a full Nationwide Series schedule in the team's No. 22 entry, which will carry Ruby Tuesday sponsorship for a partial schedule. He'll team up with Justin Allgaier to give Penske a pair of Nationwide entries for the first time.
Roger Penske also announced that Parker Kligerman will run the first five Nationwide races in the No. 42 Dodge.
Day two of the tour is set for Tuesday with Richard Petty Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing sessions among the highlights.