|Base||Mooresville, North Carolina|
|Series||NEXTEL Cup, Busch Series|
|Notable car numbers||
|Notable drivers||Sterling Marlin, Mark Martin, Ken Schrader, Ernie Irvan|
|Notable sponsors||United States Army, Waste Management, Inc., Mars, Incorporated, Centrix Financial, Ginn Resorts|
|Opened||1997 (as MB2 Motorsports)|
Ginn Racing was a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series team based in Mooresville, North Carolina, which is near Charlotte. Its principal owners in its final season, 2007, were 80% Bobby Ginn and 20% Jay Frye. The Valvoline corporation co-owned the #10 (now the #14) car with the principal owners from 2001 to 2005. The team's original name was MB2 Motorsports, formed by the last names of the team owners Read Morton, Tom Beard, and Nelson Bowers.
On July 25, 2007, Ginn Racing (named by Thomas Ginn in 2006) merged with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated. Bobby Ginn retained car ownership of the #01 and gained ownership status of the #15 Menards Chevrolet. The #13 and #14 teams of Ginn were eliminated with the #15 retaining the #14's owner points. The remainder of the racing team dissolved after the merger.
NEXTEL Cup Series
Car #01 History
The #01 car started out as the #36 Pontiac in 1997 with sponsorship from M&M-Mars through its Skittles candy brand. Derrike Cope was the driver and he 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 #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 #36 to #01 to support the Army's slogan, "An Army of One." Nadeau agreed to return to MB2 as the driver of the #01 car. In May, Nadeau was seriously injured in a practice accident at Richmond International Raceway. Nadeau has not yet returned to motorsports and is not expected to do so.
The team used several temporary substitutes before signing Joe Nemechek to permanently drive the #01 car. Nemechek won the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Kansas Speedway in 2004 and signed a multi-year agreement to remain with MB2 in July 2005.
Mark Martin was signed drive the car for 23 races (21 points races plus the Budweiser Shootout and Nextel All-Star Challenge) in 2007, with Regan Smith pinned to fill the rest of the seat time. However, Smith was moved to the #14 car to finish the season, and Aric Almirola was expected to move from Joe Gibbs Racing's Busch Series team to take Smith's place in the #01. When Ginn merged with DEI, Martin and Almirola were named the permanent drivers of the #01 car. In 2008 Smith drove the 01 car after Martin and Almirola moved to the 8 car to replace the departing Dale Earnhardt Jr.. Principal Financial Group Steak-umm and Coors Light were the 01's sponsors. Smith almost won the 2008 AMP Energy 500, but was found passing below the yellow line. Smith win the 2008 Rookie of the Year but the team disbanded after merging with Ganassi Racing. The 01 lives on by the 33 RCR team using the 01's points driven by Clint Bowyer, and Elliott Sadler.
Car #13 History
During the 2004 and 2005 NEXTEL Cup seasons, veteran road racer Boris Said drove part-time in the #36 Centrix Financial Chevrolet. The #36 team operated under the banner of MB Sutton Motorsports. Said had stated that he would have liked to drive the car on a full-time basis if sponsorship was found. Early in 2006, Bill Elliott announced that he would pilot the #36 Chevrolet in the 2006 Daytona 500, with approval from his regular Dodge Motorsports team. Said left the team to drive for No Fear Racing in the #60 Ford. The team switched to #13 for 2007 with Joe Nemechek moving over from the #01 to drive this car, but Nemechek was released just prior to the merger with DEI in July after the team couldn't find sponsorship.
Car #14 History
The #14 car originally was the #17, team-owned by three-time NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip as Darrell Waltrip Motorsports. Debuting in 1991, Waltrip sold the team in 1998 after a contract dispute with sponsor Speedblock, when they failed to pay their sponsorship money. Businessman Tim Beverly bought Waltrip's team. Because the team was in such financial ruin, Beverly suspended operations temporarily, while Waltrip left to fill in for the #1 car at Dale Earnhardt, Inc.. During this time, Beverly purchased another bankrupt team, the #35 Team Tabasco Pontiac, previously fielded by Bob Hancher's ISM Racing team. Merging the two teams together, Beverly changed the name of the team to Tyler Jet Motorsports. The newly renamed team debuted late in the 1998 season with Waltrip as his driver. Waltrip struggled in the #35 car and eventually left the team.
In 1999, Beverly signed Rich Bickle as his new driver. New sponsor 10-10-345 Lucky Dog Phone Company requested Beverly to change the team's number from #35 to #45. Bickle struggled and was fired late in the season. David Green replaced Bickle for the final few races of the season. He won the pole at Homestead-Miami Speedway and finished 12th at Phoenix International Raceway. Johnny Benson came on board as Beverly's new driver in 2000. The team again changed its number from #45 to #10. Lycos agreed to sponsor the car in the Daytona 500. Benson led late in the race before fading to 12th. Surprisingly, Lycos refused to pay their money for sponsoring the #10 car in the race. This turn of events nearly forced Beverly to shut down his team. However, Aaron's Rental Company signed on as a sponsor for the balance of the year. Later in the year, Beverly sold the team outright to MB2 Motorsports.
In 2001, Valvoline was announced as the team's new sponsor. Additionally, Valvoline purchased an ownership stake in the #10 team, becoming the first corporation to own a NASCAR team. The team's name was changed to MBV Motorsports to reflect Valvoline's presence. Benson showed poise and patience as he piloted the car in a capable manner. He eventually drove to his first career win at the 2002 Pop Secret 400 at Rockingham. In 2003, the team announced it was parting ways with Benson at the conclusion of the season. NASCAR Busch Series driver Scott Riggs was hired to replace Benson for the 2004 season. In 2005, Riggs won the pole at Martinsville and finished 4th in the Daytona 500. 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 #10 to Evernham Motorsports.
The team found a new driver, and a new number, for 2006. Veteran driver Sterling Marlin came over from Ganassi. The #14 was primarily sponsored by Waste Management. In tribute to Marlin's father who had passed the previous year, the team took on the number 14.
After a 2007 season filled with struggles, in July Marlin was to be replaced by Regan Smith, who had previously been co-piloting the #01. However, upon the merger of Ginn Racing and DEI at Indy, and before Smith even got the chance to drive the #14, the #14 team was merged with the #15 team, and its owner points were carried to the Paul Menard-piloted Menards car.
Car #39 History
This car was entered into the field for the 2007 Daytona 500 with the intent of Regan Smith making his NEXTEL Cup debut. Ginn Resorts sponsored the car. 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, which was not enough to get him into the race. The #39 was on the Las Vegas entry list, but was withdrawn.
Winston/Nextel Cup Series Drivers
- 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)
Car #4 History
In 2007, Ginn Racing started this team to give developing drivers Regan Smith and Kraig Kinser some track time. The sponsor of the car was listed as Ginn Resorts. Smith was also slated to run 15 races in the NEXTEL Cup #01 U.S. Army car. This was originally numbered #04, but NASCAR reassigned #4 to Ginn after Biagi-DenBeste Racing shut down in January 2007. The #4 team was shut down after the Kentucky race in June 2007, with Smith 12th in the championship standings at the time. He had started all the races for this team.
Craftsman Truck Series
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. Kinser struggled in his rookie season and was pulled from the ride late in the season. He returned again in 2007, scheduled to share the ride with fellow development driver Jesus Hernandez and Ginn Resorts sponsoring. Following the DEI/Ginn merger, Regan Smith was placed in the 47 for the balance of the season.