Phil Parsons Racing

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Phil Parsons Racing
Phil Parsons Racing logo.jpg
Owner(s) Phil Parsons & Marcia Parsons
Base Mooresville, North Carolina
Series Sprint Cup Series
Nationwide Series
Car numbers 55, 66, 90, 91, 98
Race drivers Phil Parsons
Johnny Chapman
Terry Cook
Dave Blaney
Danny O'Quinn, Jr.
Michael McDowell
Josh Wise
Manufacturer Ford
Toyota
Chevrolet
Opened 1991
Closed 2015
Career
Debut Sprint Cup Series:
2009 Daytona 500 (Daytona)
Latest race Sprint Cup Series:
2015 SpongeBob SquarePants 400 (Kansas Speedway)
Races competed 178
Drivers' Championships 0
Race victories 0
Pole positions 0

Phil Parsons Racing, formerly named MSRP Motorsports, Prism Motorsports, and later HP Racing, was a NASCAR team competing in the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series. It was owned by former NASCAR driver Phil Parsons, and most recently fielded the No. 98 Ford for Josh Wise.

The team was formerly owned by Phil's wife Marcia as well as Randy and Stacey Humphrey (hence the original name MSRP: Marcia, Stacey, Randy, Phil). For its first few years of its Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup operations, the team was infamous for being a start and park organization, meaning that the team qualified a car for races, but it eventually parked the car after just a few laps to avoid the costs of running a full race, even though the car is perfectly able to continue on.[1] The bad publicity generated by the practice led Phil Parsons to refuse to answer questions about MSRP in 2008,[1] but subsequently Parsons justified the practice by saying that "we furnished a living for some families, so there was some good that came out of it."[2] In 2009, MSRP continued with two Nationwide Series teams and finally finished a race, while it also added a Sprint Cup team under the Prism name that qualified for 30 races but only finished two. After the season, the entire team became known as Prism.

In 2010, the team had two Sprint Cup teams, No. 55 and No. 66, led by drivers Michael McDowell and Dave Blaney, which drive Toyota Camrys provided under a technical alliance with MWR. Three drivers rotated among the two Nationwide Series cars (90 and 91) in 2010: Danny O'Quinn Jr., David Gilliland, and Chase Miller.

Car No. 55 crew chief Zach McGowan tweeted on November 18 that the team would be shutting down after the 2010 season ending race at Homestead,[3] but this was denied by team owner Randy Humphrey.[4] No information is available regarding PRISM's Nationwide teams. The team returned in 2011 as HP Racing with McDowell behind the wheel of the No. 66 Toyota with Gene Nead as crew chief. Unlike 2009, the team intended to run a limited schedule, running only a few full races, but ended up running the full schedule. The team ran with Ford for 2012 and 2013 before switching to Chevrolet for the 2014 season.

The team and driver Josh Wise gained popularity in 2014 after an internet campaign with Dogecoin and Reddit, leading the 98 to be voted into the 2014 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Car No. 55 history[edit]

For 2010, Prism added a second car provided by MWR, the No. 55, driven by former MWR Sprint Cup driver Michael McDowell. The car number is also owned by MWR and had previously been used by Michael Waltrip from 2007 to 2009. As of the start of the season, Prism had no sponsorship for this car.[5] McDowell succeeded in qualifying the No. 55 into the starting field for the 2010 Daytona 500. After qualifying, McDowell said that this was the "biggest race of the season" for Prism, as the guaranteed winnings would enable the team to stay on the track for several weeks.[6] McDowell qualified 29th, picked up sponsorship from South Carolina-based Firefly Vodka, and finished 33rd after a drive shaft issue. Randy Humphrey is listed as the official owner of the No. 55 entry.

Michael Waltrip drove the No. 55 at Talladega with Aaron's sponsorship to a poor finish after getting caught up in a wreck, but was running up front and was at one point leading the race.[7] Mike Bliss drove the car after McDowell left the team. Waltrip will return, with sponsor Aaron's to the No. 55 at the fall Talladega race.

The No. 55 car did not enter the fall Texas race. It is unknown why the car was not entered, but it is speculated to be because of the large number of cars attempting to qualify.

Car No. 98 history[edit]

2009–2010: Prism Motorsports[edit]

The No. 66 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2009

The No. 98 car is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team that debuted in 2009 as the No. 66 under a technical alliance with MWR, which supplied the team's Toyota Camry, engines and technical support.[8] Terry Labonte ran the No. 66 for the 2009 Daytona 500, where he finished 24th. Dave Blaney ran the rest of the season, except for the Aarons 499 at Talladega, where Michael McDowell drove while Blaney was away with his family. According to Blaney, Prism had anticipated attempting to run all of the laps in "six or eight" Sprint Cup races in which the team was able to secure full sponsorships, which included Window World for the Daytona 500 and Aaron's for the Coca-Cola 600. The Denny Hamlin Foundation was on the car at Lowes Motor Speedway and Talladega. But they failed to qualify for the former. Ultimately, the team qualified for 30 of the 34 Sprint Cup races in the 2009 season – 29 by Blaney and 1 by Labonte—but only ran two complete races (the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600). For the remainder of 2009, the No. 66 Prism car was a start and park team, much like their Nationwide Series counterparts.[9]

Blaney returned to the No. 66 in 2010. Again, Prism struggled with sponsorship, as it was unable to find a sponsor for the team for even the 2010 Daytona 500, and Blaney subsequently failed to qualify for it.[5] Blaney made the team's first race of the year in the 2010 Auto Club 500, qualifying fifth,[10] leading four laps before finishing 41st. The 66 was later impounded by NASCAR. The team was able to rebound from the impound, and ran the whole entire race, finishing 29th at the Shelby American. On August 13, Scott Riggs replaced Blaney in the No. 66 at Michigan International Speedway. The team failed to qualify for the event. Riggs made his first start at Bristol Motor Speedway where the team qualified 32nd.

While the team frequently start-and-parked, the team occasionally showed competitive speed. Blaney qualified 8th, 4th, and 3rd at the 2009 Food City 500, the 2009 Sharpie 500, and the 2010 Food City 500, respectively (all at Bristol), as well as a 5th place start spot at the 2009 Auto Club 500, though the team finished 41st or worst in all four races.[11][12]

2011: HP Racing[edit]

For 2011, McDowell returned to the team, now renamed HP Racing, for the full season. The team missed the 2011 Daytona 500, but started and parked the next three races. HP ran its first full race at Martinsville, where the team finished 32nd after a late wreck. KLOVE was the sponsor for Richmond and Darlington.

2012–2015: PPR with Mike Curb[edit]

For 2012, McDowell returned to the team, renamed Phil Parsons Racing. The team also merged with Whitney Motorsports and partnered with entertainment icon Mike Curb. The team ran Fords with Roush Yates Engines and used the number 98 to honor the memory of Benny Parsons. Phil Parsons Racing planned to run the first 5 races in their entirety with the hope of cracking the top 35. The 98 raced their way into the Daytona 500, with sponsorship from Curb Records and Christian radio station KLOVE. McDowell finished 30th after starting 11th in the 2012 Daytona 500.

The team opened the 2013 season with a ninth-place finish at the Daytona 500, the first top ten finish for the team and for McDowell.[13] Phil Parsons Racing withdrew from Phoenix after the team could not prepare the Generation 6 cars in time. They would later skip the road courses as well. Mike Curb is listed as the owner of the 98. McDowell left after the 2013 season and Josh Wise took over as the team switched to Chevrolet for all but the superspeedway events, where they used Fords. In March 2014, Reddit users started a fundraiser to raise Dogecoin to sponsor the No. 98 at the Aaron's 499. On March 25, Reddit user Reddit_Racing announced that the fundraiser was a success, having met their $50,000 goal by accumulating 67 million Dogecoin.[14] The DogeCoin sponsorship caught the attention of Provident Metals, and the company became Wise's primary sponsor in June 2014.[15] The car returned at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 and the GEICO 500.[16] Florida gubernatorial candidate and Democrat Charlie Crist was to sponsor the No. 98 for the July 5 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona,[17] the sponsorship provided by former owner James Finch, but was withdrawn by Parsons to respect his business partner Mike Curb, a Republican.[18]

Wise returned to PPR for the 2015 season.[19] Finch would once again provide sponsorship to the team in the Daytona 500, this time through his company Phoenix Construction. However, the car suffered a terminal mechanical failure before the green flag flew on their Budweiser Duel, and PPR ultimately missed the Daytona 500 for the first time since 2011. However, the team has been able to qualify for every race since then. Wise scored a top 10 in the 2015 GEICO 500 at Talladega.

Before the 2015 Coca-Cola 600, Parsons and Curb sold the team's assets and Wise's contract to Premium Motorsports and the team shut down.

Nationwide Series[edit]

Car No. 90 history[edit]

The No. 90 first raced in the season opening Daytona 300 in 2008 with former Nationwide Series champion Steve Grissom driving. Grissom did not qualify in on time, but fell back on his Champion's Provisional. At Auto Club Speedway, Scott Lynch drove the No. 90. At Las Vegas, 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Todd Bodine drove. Finally, at Atlanta the team found a full-time driver in Johnny Chapman. Chapman has run every race since Atlanta aside from the road courses, where both driving school instructor Chris Cook and NASCAR Canadian Tire Series driver Don Thomson, Jr. have been in the seat. The team's best finish was 36th, with a best qualifying effort of 29th by Chris Cook at Watkins Glen. At Lowe's Motor Speedway the team failed to qualify when Chapman crashed during qualifying. Chapman again started and parked the No. 90 for most of the races in 2009. In 2010, MSRP has teamed up with D'Hondt Motorsports with Danny O'Quinn Jr. as the driver (they are still start and park), however they ran the race at Road America with Patrick Long racing. Long led two laps and finished 14th.

The team has since suspended operations.

Car No. 91 history[edit]

The No. 91 team of MSRP Motorsports had its share of drivers since its debut at Daytona in 2008. Larry Gunselman failed to qualify at Daytona, but made the next nine races with a best finish of 38th at Las Vegas. He was released after destroying the team's only Superspeedway car in a wreck that broke IRL champion Dario Franchitti's ankle. After Gunselman's departure, Kenny Hendrick drove the car at Richmond and Lowe's. Truck Series veteran Terry Cook took over running four races beginning with Darlington and ending with Indianapolis. Cook's best finish was 41st on three occasions, but his best qualifying effort was 16th at the famed Milwaukee Mile. He was replaced by Justin Hobgood, who ran six races with a best finish of 38th and failed to qualify three times, including at Loudon, where he wrecked the car. On the two road courses, veterans Scott Steckly and Michael McDowell drove the car. In 2009, Terry Cook was the main driver for the No. 91, which was occasionally sponsored by Cajun Industries, LLC. Although the team under Cook had been leading practices and qualifying in the top 15 many times, its lack of funding meant that it had to continue to start and park. At Watkins Glen, Dave Blaney qualified for the race in 20th place and finished the race in the 13th position with sponsorship from SFP (the sponsor for Peyton Sellers' No. 77 Chevy who failed to make the race), marking the first time MSRP finished a race in the Nationwide Series. In 2010, MSRP teamed up with D'Hondt Motorsports (who ran a race in 2008 with Kyle Busch as the driver) and Stephen Leicht is the driver. The team has since suspended operations.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rob Zeller, "The Quitting Game", Car and Driver, Feb. 2009, pp. 96–100.
  2. ^ Lee Montgomery (2009-02-04). "MSRP Motorsports to field two Nationwide teams". SceneDaily.com. Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  3. ^ PRISM might be gone? - Rubbin's Racin' Nov. 18th, 2010: "Our team will be shutting down after this week. I hate it for our guys. I have enjoyed working everyone. We all made the best out of bad situation. Good luck to everyone." - Zach McGowan.
  4. ^ Prism Motorsports to shut down operations; maybe not? Jayski, Nov. 20, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Dave Rodman (2010-02-03). "Prism Motorsports will attempt two full schedules". NASCAR. 
  6. ^ Associated Press (February 11, 2010). "Johnson, Kahne divide wins in Daytona qualifiers; Waltrip in". USA Today. 
  7. ^ Associated Press (2010-03-12). "Michael Waltrip to enter Talladega race". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  8. ^ "Waltrip says alliance with Prism Motorsports helpful", NASCAR, 4 February 2009.
  9. ^ John Bassetti (2009-05-11). "Blaney blessed at squeezing a buck". Youngstown Vindicator. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  10. ^ "Jamie McMurray sits on pole in California week after winning Daytona 500". ESPN.com. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Dave Blaney". racing-reference.info. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Dave Blaney". racing-reference.info. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Wackerlin, Jeff (2013-02-25). "McDowell, Yeley Shine at Daytona". Motor Racing Network. Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  14. ^ Estrada, Chris (2014-03-26). "NASCAR fans on Reddit use DogeCoin to sponsor Josh Wise". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  15. ^ Ron Finberg. "After Sponsoring NASCAR's Josh Wise, Provident Metals to Accept Dogecoin, Bitcoin, and Litecoin". Cryptocurrency- Finance Magnates. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  16. ^ Wilmoth, Josiah. "Josh Wise Announces He Will Drive the Dogecar Twice More in 2014". Cryptocoins News. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  17. ^ Smith, Adam. "Charlie NASCAR Crist". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  18. ^ Miller, Jake (2014-07-05). "NASCAR team pulls Charlie Crist sponsorship". CBS News. Retrieved 2014-07-06. 
  19. ^ Aragon, Dominic (December 1, 2014). "Josh Wise to return to Phil Parsons Racing". The Racing Experts. Retrieved December 2, 2014. 

External links[edit]