Bill Davis Racing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bill Davis Racing
BillDavisRacing.png
Owner(s) Bill Davis & Gail Davis
Base High Point, North Carolina
Series Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, Craftsman Truck Series
Car numbers 5 (Craftsman), 22 (Cup & Craftsman), 23 (Cup & Craftsman), 24 (Craftsman), 27 (Cup & Craftsman), 36 (Cup), 93 (Cup)
Race drivers Dave Blaney, Johnny Benson, Ward Burton, Scott Wimmer, Michael Waltrip, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Mike Skinner, Jacques Villeneuve, Bill Lester, Jeremy Mayfield
Sponsors AT&T Inc., Caterpillar, Inc., Siemens, Maxwell House, MBNA, Amoco, Baby Ruth, 360 OTC
Manufacturer Dodge, Ford, Pontiac, Toyota
Opened 1989
Closed 2008
Career
Debut 1993 Daytona 500 (Daytona)
Latest race 2009 Ford 400 (Homestead-Miami Speedway)
Drivers' Championships 1 (Craftsman Truck Series)
Race victories 5 (Sprint Cup), 5 (Nationwide Series), 18 (Craftsman Truck Series)

Bill Davis Racing was a racing team that participated in all three of NASCAR's top divisions until 2009.

The team had run Toyota-branded stock cars and trucks in the Camping World Truck Series (Toyota Tundra) since 2004 and Sprint Cup Series (Toyota Camry) since 2007. Dodge, Pontiac, and Ford previously backed the team. The team was notable for running the #22 since its inception and its long relationship with Caterpillar, Inc.. BDR was competitive throughout the 1990s and early 2000s with Ward Burton before fading due to an increase in competition and a fallout with manufacturer Dodge.[1] The team was sold to Triad Racing Technologies in late 2008, which shut down the team's racing entries and now produces engines and chassis for various Toyota NASCAR teams.

Beginnings[edit]

BDR was formed by then-truck rental owner Bill Davis, who himself was a former motocross racer. Davis helped his friend and business partner Julian Martin develop his son Mark's ASA racing program. When Martin signed with J.D. Stacy, Davis took a break from racing, but returned to hire Martin to drive his Busch Series car for 15 races with sponsorship from Carolina Ford Dealers. In 1990, Davis moved the team to High Point, North Carolina while his wife Gail stayed in Arkansas to oversee the trucking operation.

Sprint Cup[edit]

Car #22 History[edit]

Upon arriving in Carolina, Davis was asked by the Ford Motor Company to hire an up-and-coming Midwest driver Jeff Gordon. Gordon won the NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year in 1991, and won 11 pole positions the next year. Davis was hoping to move Gordon and crew chief Ray Evernham to the Winston Cup Series, but they were lured away by Rick Hendrick. Davis still moved up to the Cup Series full-time in 1993 however, with driver Bobby Labonte, who finished runner up to Gordon for Rookie of the Year driving the #22 Maxwell House Ford. The team switched to Pontiac the following season. After 1994, Labonte left for Joe Gibbs Racing. MBNA replaced Maxwell House as sponsor. Originally, Davis went with another rookie and Busch Series standout Randy LaJoie to drive the car. Midway through the year, LaJoie was fired from the team and replaced by a series of rotating drivers including Wally Dallenbach, who finished 2nd at Watkins Glen. Finally, Ward Burton was hired to finish out the year. He scored the team's first win when he won at North Carolina Motor Speedway late in 1995.

With Burton at the wheel the #22 team slowly began to improve, despite not winning races. By 1998 the #22 team cracked the top ten in the final Winston Cup points standings and matched those results in 1999 (by which time Caterpillar, Inc. was sponsoring the team) and 2000, when the team finally returned to victory lane at the spring Darlington race. Burton's second career win was BDR's last win in a Pontiac as they joined several teams in switching to Dodge Intrepids for the following season.

The #22 Caterpillar car in 2008

Burton returned to victory lane the following season, winning the 2001 Southern 500, Dodge's second win since returning to NASCAR, but the team's streak of consecutive top-ten points finishes was broken at three as the #22 finished 14th. He added two more wins in 2002, scoring a victory in the Daytona 500 (Dodge's first Daytona 500 win in 28 years) and later in the year at the New England 300 at New Hampshire, but a series of inconsistent finishes dropped the team to 25th in the final standings. Burton's win at New Hampshire, in addition to being his last win in Cup racing, was also BDR's last in Cup racing (although they won races in other series before folding).

The team's struggles continued in the 2003 season, and with four races left in the season Burton, who had already signed on to drive the #0 for Haas CNC Racing the following season, departed for that team and was replaced with Davis's Busch driver Scott Wimmer. Wimmer raced full-time in 2004, finished 3rd in the first race of his rookie season. In late 2005, BDR announced it would part ways with Wimmer at the end of the year. Dave Blaney, who previously drove the #93 for BDR, was hired to drive the #22 beginning with the 2006 season. He had two top-tens and finished 26th in the standings. In 2007, the team switched to Toyota. Blaney won the pole for the 2007 Lenox Industrial Tools 300 in New Hampshire, the first pole for Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series.[2] Blaney scored his first top 10 with Toyota at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29, and later that season finished third at Talladega, the best finish of any Toyota in 2007. Additionally, Blaney was the only Toyota driver in the top 35 in owner points after 2007 season.The team had a rough start to the 2008 season. They missed the Aaron's 499 which was a hard hit for the team. They came back the next week at Richmond to finish in the 18th position. The following week at Darlington they finished in the 9th position, their best of the year. In June 2008 Caterpillar announced that it would leave the #22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota to sponsor the #31 Richard Childress Racing starting in 2009. On December 22, 2008, it was announced that Bill Davis sold majority ownership of his NASCAR teams to Mike Held, a California businessman, and Marty Gaunt, an executive with BDR. On that same day, Gaunt and Held announced that they would also be buying into Triad Racing Development. Blaney would leave TRT to drive for Prism Motorsports, and Penske Racing would buy the owners points of the #22 and transfer them to the #77 of Sam Hornish, Jr.. The addition of Davis would change the team name to Penske Championship Racing.

Car #23 History[edit]

The #23 car made its debut at the season finale NAPA 500 in 2000 with Scott Wimmer driving the #23 AT&T sponsored Pontiac. The team didn't race again until the season finale NAPA 500 in 2001 with Hut Stricklin driving the Hills Brothers sponsored Dodge, where he finished eleventh.

For 2002, the car was renumbered to #27 with Scott Wimmer behind the wheel as an R&D team. The team made the spring Talladega race with sponsorship from Hooter's and driver Kirk Shelmerdine, and ran well in the race until being caught in a late race crash. The team returned full-time in 2003 with Kenny Wallace behind the wheel of the #23 Stacker 2 Dodge. Dave Blaney made several starts for the team in 2004, including the Daytona 500. In 2006 the #23 returned to the track as an R&D team for Davis. Mike Skinner failed to qualify for the 2006 Daytona 500, but Bill Lester became the first African-American since Willy T. Ribbs to compete in a Cup race at the Golden Corral 500. He started nineteenth and finished 39th. Lester attempted two more races that season, finishing 32nd at Michigan International Speedway, but failing to qualify at California Speedway. The 23 attempted the Daytona 500 in 2007 with Mike Skinner, but did not qualify. Veteran road racing specialist Butch Leitzinger ran the 23 car with special CAT sponsorship at Infineon Raceway. In the later stages of 2007, the car switched to the 27 and made the UAW-Ford 500 and the Checker Auto Parts 500 with Jacques Villeneuve driving.

Car #27 History[edit]

The #27 Toyota started as the #93 Amoco Pontiac driven by sprint car racer Dave Blaney. The team moved to Winston Cup in 2000. Despite failing to qualify at the spring Rockingham race, Blaney finished 3rd in the Rookie of the year standings. The team flirted with victory lane a few times in 2001, but Amoco decided not to renew its contract, and Blaney left for Jasper Motorsports.

The car was renumbered #23 for the 2002 season and Hut Stricklin, who had just joined the team at the end of the 2001 season from Donlavey Racing, became the driver and was sponsored by Hills Brothers Coffee, which followed him from Donlavey's #90 Ford. However, Stricklin missed the season-opening Daytona 500, and failed to record any top 10 finishes. He was released following the night race at Bristol, and Hills Brothers announced it was leaving with Stricklin once the season ended. Needing a sponsor, Davis agreed to terms with Kenny Wallace to join the team. At the time, Wallace was without a full Cup ride and had been racing for his Busch Series team, Innovative Motorsports, in an abbreviated Cup schedule after Steve Park, for whom Wallace had been a long-term injury substitute, returned to competition. With the arrangement Wallace would immediately join BDR and drive the #23 Hills Brothers Dodge in all but two of the remaining races (his Busch obligations kept him out of the fall Martinsville race and he was already signed to drive the #33 car for Andy Petree Racing as part of an arrangement with AT&T). Beginning in 2003, Wallace's sponsor Stacker 2 would join him at BDR and sponsor the #23. The arrangement only lasted one year as Wallace moved down to the Busch Series with Stacker 2 following the '03 season.

In 2004 and 2005 the car ran mostly unsponsored, with a couple of drivers running selected events. Shane Hmiel, Tony Raines, and Blaney ran the car in 2004. Mike Skinner ran six events in 2005.

In the fall of 2005, it was announced that the team would return to full-time competition as the #55 car in 2006 as a partnership between Bill Davis Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. The partnership allowed Bill Davis to return his second team to full-time status while Michael Waltrip and his sponsor NAPA Auto Parts would have a car to race while building Michael Waltrip Racing. The agreement also allowed for the transfer of owner points from BDR to MWR following the season. Soon afterwards, Jasper Motorsports closed down, and Waltrip purchased that team's owners points to be guaranteed a starting spot in the first five races of the 2006 season, with former Jasper owner Doug Bawel being listed as owner.

Jeremy Mayfield was hired drive the car full-time in 2007, with the car renumbered #36 for new sponsor 360 OTC. After four consecutive failed qualifying attempts, the 36 car made its first start of 2007 at the 2007 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mayfield drove the car at every track except for Infineon Raceway, when Butch Leitzinger drove the re-numbered #23 for one race. In October, Mayfield departed to Haas CNC Racing, and was replaced by Skinner and Benson for the balance of the season.[3] The car was then scheduled to become the #27 Toyota for Jacques Villeneuve in 2008, but the deal fell through after sponsorship could not be found. Benson and Skinner were hired to take over in the interim, before the team folded four races into the season after continued financial difficulties.

Nationwide Series[edit]

BDR began fielding cars in the Nationwide Series in 1996, when Burton drove eight races in the #22 MBNA Pontiac, posting three top-tens. Davis did not field a Busch team again until 1998, when he fielded the #93 Amoco Pontiac piloted by sprint car ace Dave Blaney. Running a limited schedule, Blaney finished in 6th place 3 times. Blaney had an even better 1999 season, winning the pole position several times and finished eighth in points. That same year, Davis fielded a second car for Burton, the #02 sponsored by Siemens. He finished in the top-ten in every race and won a pole at Darlington.

In 2000, Davis opened the #20 ride sponsored by AT&T. Rookie Mike Borkowski started the year in the ride, but after the Busch 200, he was released. Dave Blaney and Tom Hubert shared the ride for the year before Scott Wimmer took over in the final part of the season. Burton's team changed to the #22 sponsored by Polaris, and had two top-five finishes, then closed up.

Wimmer took over the #20, renumbered the #23, for 2001, posting eight top-tens and finishing eleventh in points in a Jani-King sponsored car. Siemens became a part-time sponsor in 2002, but the team threatened to shut down to a lack of finances. However, it remained open, and Wimmer won four races in the second-half of the season, finishing 3rd in points. For 2003, Stacker 2 came on board as sponsor, and he picked up a win at Pikes Peak. At the end of the season, Wimmer moved to Cup, and Kenny Wallace took his place, posting ten top-ten finishes and finishing ninth in points. After Wallace and Stacker 2 left for ppc Racing, Davis sold the equipment to Keith Coleman Racing. The team still remained involved in Busch supplying engines to MacDonald Motorsports.

Camping World Truck Series[edit]

Truck #5 history[edit]

The #5 truck.

The #5 truck started out in 2004 at Bang! Racing as the #42 driven by Mike Skinner. Skinner started the year with two top-fives, but his performance began to decline, and his team was sold to Davis, changing to the #5, starting at the Las Vegas 350. He won two poles and had a sixth-place run at the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2005, he won seven poles and two races, at Bristol and Richmond respectively, finishing fifth in points. In 2006, he had thirteen top-tens including a win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and almost won the 2007 championship before suffering tire failures in the season finale. Skinner was signed to drive for TRT through the 2009 season. However, due to concerns over the economy, the team shut down the entire truck program, with Skinner taking the number 5 with him to Randy Moss Motorsports.

Truck #22 history[edit]

BDR's original foray into the Truck Series, it debuted in 2004 at the Florida Dodge Dealers 250, where Bill Lester drove it to a sixteenth place run. He posted just one top-ten that year and finished 22nd in points. The next season, he won two poles (back-to-back at Kansas and Kentucky), had a best finish of fifth and moved up to seventeenth in points. Lester failed to finish in the top-ten during the 2006 season and dropped to twentieth in points. Tyler Walker began the season driving the renumbered #36 truck full-time in 2007, with sponsorship from 360 OTC. Six races into the season, rookie Ryan Mathews replaced Walker after it was learned that Walker was suspended for violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy, and the team had lost its sponsor, 360 OTC (which wanted #36). Mathews, in his short season, posted two top tens, one top five, and one pole at Kentucky Speedway. Mathews then stepped out of the truck for the debut of 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner and 1997 Formula One Champion Jacques Villeneuve. In preparation for this, the truck was renumbered #27, which Villeneuve used in his 1995 CART and Indy 500 championship season, as a tribute to his father Gilles.

The Truck switched back to the #22 in 2008 and began the year with Phillip McGilton as the driver, before he was replaced by Scott Speed and Michael Annett. The team had the most successful season 2008, with Speed winning his first NASCAR victory at Dover, and Annett scoring two top-tens in seven races. This team was shut down after the 2008 season due to economic concerns.

Truck #23 history[edit]

The 23 truck in 2007.

The #23 truck began in 2004 when Davis purchased its equipment from Phil Bonifield. The truck was piloted by Shelby Howard. Howard ran eight races before he was released, and Johnny Benson took over. Despite running a limited schedule, Benson finished 25th in points. Benson became the full-time driver in 2005, and had six top-fives en route to a tenth place points finish. Benson went on to collect five wins during the 2006 season with additional backing from Exide Batteries and finished runner-up to Todd Bodine for the championship. 360 OTC sponsored the 23 for ten races during the 2007 season. Benson won four races and finished third in points. In 2008 Benson was considered a title favorite. Benson and crew chief Trip Bruce won five races that year and held off defending champion Ron Hornaday to win the 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship, the first ever NASCAR championship for BDR. Before winning the championship, it was announced that Benson would not return in 2009. Both Benson and Trip Bruce have since been named to the #1 truck of Red Horse Racing. ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Tayler Malsam was intended to drive this truck for ROTY, but he later moved to Randy Moss Motorsports with Skinner.

Truck #24 history[edit]

The #24 truck entered as a research and development entry for BDR in 2005. Steve Park drove the #67 South Padre Island entry in a pair of races towards the end of the year following his release from Orleans Racing. His best finish was 16th at Texas. In 2006, A. J. Allmendinger drove the newly renumbered 24 for three races, posting a fifth-place run at Talladega Superspeedway. ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Phillip McGilton was to make his NASCAR debut in this truck at Homestead-Miami Speedway before going full-time with the #22 team in 2008, however plans were changed as Blaney was put in the #22 truck sponsored by Caterpillar. This truck has made only one start, which came at the 2008 Ford 200 with Tayler Malsam driving to a 21st place finish. This team was also shut down after the 2008 season concluded.

Controversy[edit]

Fallout with Dodge[edit]

In 2003, Dodge parent company DaimlerChrysler filed a lawsuit with BDR after they "found the race team to be building (Camping World) trucks for Toyota," in preparation for entering the truck series in 2004.[4] In addition, Davis continued to run Pontiacs in the Busch Series through 2002, and ran Chevys in 2003 & 2004. BDR had built a prototype for Toyota's Truck program to present to NASCAR, which Chrysler viewed as a breach of contract. Dodge proceeded to pull manufacturer support from BDR.[5] The team continued to run Dodges through 2006; they stopped running Dodge logos on the cars in 2005. In February 2006, a District Court judge in Detroit ruled in favor of DaimlerChrysler, requiring Davis to pay $6.5 million to Dodge.[6] Davis switched to Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series in 2007.

Drivers[edit]

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Driver Races Wins Poles
Johnny Benson, Jr. 3 0 0
Dave Blaney 184 0 1
Geoff Bodine 1 0 0
Ward Burton 272 5 6
Wally Dallenbach, Jr. 1 0 0
Jimmy Hensley 5 0 0
Shane Hmiel 5 0 0
Tom Hubert 1 0 0
Bobby Labonte 61 0 1
Randy LaJoie 13 0 0
Butch Leitzinger 1 0 0
Bill Lester 2 0 0
Jeremy Mayfield 13 0 0
Tony Raines 1 0 0
Mike Skinner 7 0 0
Hut Stricklin 23 0 0
Jacques Villeneuve 2 0 0
Kenny Wallace 46 0 0
Michael Waltrip 33 0 0
Scott Wimmer 81 0 0

Nationwide Series[edit]

Driver Races Wins Poles
Dave Blaney 59 0 6
Geoff Bodine 1 0 0
Mike Borkowski 9 0 0
Ward Burton 10 0 1
Jeff Gordon 61 3 12
Tom Hubert 10 0 0
Mark Martin 43 3 1
Dennis Setzer 1 0 0
Kenny Wallace 34 0 0
Scott Wimmer 104 5 0

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

Driver Races Wins Poles
A.J. Allmendinger 3 0 0
Michael Annett 7 0 0
Johnny Benson, Jr. 113 14 4
Dave Blaney 2 0 0
Shelby Howard 8 0 0
Justin Labonte 1 0 0
Bill Lester 74 0 2
Donny Lia 1 0 0
Tayler Malsam 1 0 0
Ryan Mathews 12 0 1
Phillip McGilton 4 0 0
Mike Skinner 181 9 32
Scott Speed 14 1 1
Jacques Villeneuve 7 0 0
Tyler Walker 6 0 0

References[edit]

External links[edit]