Sharp Gallaher Racing
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2011)|
|Base||Mooresville, North Carolina|
|Series||Camping World Truck Series|
|Race drivers||6. Justin Lofton/Danny Efland
8. Max Gresham
|Debut||2010 Mountain Dew 250|
|Latest race||2013 Ford EcoBoost 200|
Sharp Gallaher Racing was a team based in Mooresville, North Carolina that competed in the ARCA Racing Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The team fielded the No. 6 Chevrolet Silverado for Justin Lofton and various other drivers and the No. 8 Chevrolet for Max Gresham.
The team was formed by former driver and crew chief Eddie Sharp in 2005. Sharp had formerly owned his own ASA team and was the crew chief for Bill Baird during his championship-winning 1999 ARCA season. The team made its debut in 2006 with former Grand-Am driver Michael McDowell running a limited schedule. McDowell and Sharp ran full-time in 2007, running the No. 2 Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge. McDowell grabbed four wins in his rookie season but finished second in the championship to Frank Kimmel. ESR also fielded the No. 22 Dodge, with Josh Wise and Ken Butler III sharing the ride, with Butler winning at Toledo Speedway. With McDowell moving on to Michael Waltrip Racing, Sharp expanded to three teams and switched to running Toyotas, hiring former Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Scott Speed to drive the No. 2, while retaining Butler for the full season and fielding a third car (No. 93) in a number of races for Canadian Nascar driver Pierre Bourque. The team soon changed numbers to 20 with Justin Lofton for the rest of the year. ESR dominated the season, with Speed winning four races en route to a second place finish in the championship and Lofton won at Michigan.
With Speed heading to the Sprint Cup Series, ESR gained a reputation of fielding championship-caliber drivers. In 2009, Lofton stayed on with ESR for the full season as the team expanded to a fourth car, the No. 81 for Camping World Series East driver Craig Goess. The No. 2 would be driven by another Grand-Am driver, Tim George, Jr., and the 20 would be driven by Canadian Steve Arpin on a part-time basis. Lofton won ESR's first ever championship that season, grabbing an impressive four wins, while Goess and Arpin impressed many. Like his predecessors, Lofton moved to Red Horse Racing to run for the Camping World Truck Series title in 2010, while Goess returned for the full season. ESR ran only Goess' 81 for the full season, while continuing to field the 6 for a bevy of drivers, including another former F1 driver, Nelson Piquet, Jr., Blake Koch, Brandon McReynolds (son of FOX broadcaster Larry McReynolds), and others. Goess had a solid season, winning only once at Pocono but finishing second in points to Patrick Sheltra.
ESR made its first foray into NASCAR in late 2010. ESR had purchased the assets of Team Gill Racing and had intended to run Craig Goess for Rookie of the Year in 2011. After only 9 races, Goess was released from the team and Sharp was reunited with Lofton, who had sponsorship from CollegeComplete.com and a new crew chief in Daniel Bormann.
For 2012, Eddie Sharp purchased the spun-off assets of Kevin Harvick Incorporated that were not acquired in the race team's merger with Richard Childress Racing, specifically the 8 and 33 trucks driven by Piquet and Ron Hornaday. Cale Gale drove the 33 in 2012 with sponsorship from Rheem, and a technical alliance with Childress. The 8 truck was driven by Mike Skinner at Daytona, but he wrecked early alongside Gale. In Martinsville, Eddie Sharp sold the #8 Truck's owners points to Jennifer Jo Cobb, who swapped manufacturers and numbers (Cobb had the #8 as a Dodge, while Chris Lafferty drove the #10 Chevrolet). Sharp then gave the owners points to Cobb for the rest of 2012 in order to allow the truck to eventually be used part-time if a third driver was necessary. On May 18, 2012, Justin Lofton won his first race in the #6 truck. Gale would win the season finale at Homestead in a photo finish.
For 2013, Lofton would reduce his schedule to only a few races, while Gale and Rheem departed for Turner Scott Motorsports. Max Gresham would run the full schedule for the team, with Truck Series veteran crew chief Gary Showalter. In August, Eddie Sharp announced a partnership with California businessman Bill Gallaher, changing the team name to Sharp Gallaher Racing.
In late September 2013 it was announced that the team would relocate from Denver, North Carolina to the stock car racing hotbed of Mooresville. On December 17, 2013, reports arose that the team had shut down with immediate effect until later in the day when it was confirmed that the team had shut down with the remaining staff being laid off.
- Elkins, Ken (September 23, 2013). "Sharp-Gallaher Racing to spend $3.1 million to move shop to Mooresville from Denver". Charlotte Business Journal. Charlotte, NC. Retrieved 2013-09-23.