Childress announces 3-driver Nationwide lineup
Richard Childress Racing’s No. 29 Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express Racing team has added championship-winner Clint Bowyer to its driver lineup for the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.
The 2008 Nationwide Series drivers’ champion will share the behind-the-wheel duties with Jeff Burton and Stephen Leicht, who were announced in August as co-drivers for 2009. Burton and Scott Wimmer steered the No. 29 Holiday Inn Racing team to the 2007 NASCAR Nationwide Series owners’ championship and finished fifth in the owners’ standings last season.
Crew chief Dan Deeringhoff, who guided Bowyer to the Nationwide Series driver’s title, will move from RCR’s No. 2 team to assume the position of crew chief for the Holiday Inn Racing team.
“Having the defending Nationwide Series champion adds a tremendous amount of value to our racing program,” said John Merkin, Senior Vice President of Brand Management for the Holiday Inn Brands in the Americas. “Clint has proven that he’s a great champion and we look forward to having him behind the wheel with Jeff and Stephen in 2009. This should put the No. 29 Holiday Inn Racing Chevrolet in a great position to compete for another Nationwide Series owners’ point championship in 2009.”
“We are thrilled about the prospects of our fourth year of partnership with Richard Childress Racing, and continuing to grow our connection with NASCAR fans. Jeff is a tremendous talent and a fantastic brand ambassador for the Holiday Inn Family of Brands and we’re excited to welcome an up and coming talent like Stephen as RCR looks to take this program to the next level.”
The Holiday Inn Racing team has earned seven victories, 31 top-five and 53 top-10 finishes in 80 starts over two full seasons (2007, ’08) and a 10-race season in 2006.
“We decided to put Clint in for a few races, with Jeff and Stephen, to try to maximize the exposure for Holiday Inn,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “He’s a champion who will help both the overall performance of the team and, with Jeff, will provide another direct point of reference for Stephen as he progresses through his learning curve.
“Dan is a proven crew chief after leading Clint to the drivers’ championship this past season. He knows what it takes to win both races and a championship. He’s got a good group of people behind him so I’m looking forward to him continuing that success with the Holiday Inn program.”