Haas CNC Racing

Haas CNC Racing

Company Name = Haas CNC Racing

| Owner(s) Name = Joe Custer (#66)
Margaret Haas (#70)
Racing Series = Sprint Cup
Championships = 0
Car Number(s) = #66
Driver(s) = Scott Riggs (#66)
Tony Raines (#70)
Primary Sponsor(s) = State Water Heaters (#66)
Haas Automation (#70)
Shop Location = Kannapolis, North Carolina
Homepage = [http://www.haascncracing.com Haas CNC Racing]

Haas CNC Racing is a NASCAR racing team based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, which runs Chevrolets. The team is owned by Gene Haas and runs the Haas Automation #70 Chevy and the State Water Heaters #66 Chevy driven by Scott Riggs. The team receives engine and technical support from Hendrick Motorsports. It was announced on July 10th, 2008 that Tony Stewart, two-time Sprint Cup Series champion, was given 50% of the team and the team will be renamed Stewart Haas Racing, and in addition, Stewart would also become one of the two drivers for the team as well. The team is currently managed by Margaret Haas and also by team general manager Joe Custer while Gene Haas serves prison time for tax evasion.

Car #66 History

After being an associate sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports for a number of years, Gene Haas launched his own Winston Cup team for the 2003 season in partnership with Hendrick. To drive the car, Haas hired longtime Hendrick driver Jack Sprague who brought with him NetZero sponsorship from Hendrick's Busch Series team to Haas' new #0 Pontiacs. Sprague posted a career-best fourteenth place finish at the 2003 Daytona 500. Afterwards, however, the team began to struggle. After finishing 40th at Chicagoland, Haas released Sprague in favor of John Andretti, who finished 41st at Loudon, 33rd at Pocono, before qualifying 15th and finishing 19th at Watkins Glen International. Because Andretti had a prior commitment with DEI, Jason Leffler drove the car at Indy, finishing 33rd, who signed to drive the car after losing his Ultra Motorsports ride. When Leffler was consequently reassigned to the new Busch series team, 5-time Cup race winner Ward Burton was signed to drive the car. In the final four races, he finished 13th at Atlanta and 18th at Rockingham.

In the 2004 off-season, Pontiac announced it was leaving the sport, forcing the team to switch to Chevrolets. Burton began 2004 by finishing 17th at the Daytona 500 and then earned the team's first top-10 finish the next week with a 9th place finish at Rockingham. The team was also 9th place in points. Despite top-20 finishes in 2 of the next three weeks, the team began to slip in points. After a streak of bad races, the team re-emerged at California Speedway with a 10th place finish. The team racked up 5 straight top-20 finishes and Burton earned outside pole at Indianapolis, but made contact early in the race and finally crashed to a 39th place finish. In October, Burton finished again in 10th place, this time at Talladega Superspeedway. After Phoenix, and a 40th place finish, Burton was released by Haas and was replaced by Mike Bliss. The 2002 Craftsman Truck Series champion took over and immediately finished 10th at Darlington, signing him for the 2005 season.

Bliss began the 2005 season by finishing the 18th in each of the first four races. Despite a 9th at Pocono and 7th at Bristol, he was released from the ride at season's end. In the offseason, Jeff Green was signed to drive the #66 Best Buy Chevy for the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup series season. The new car number was in honor of the year the new primary sponsor opened its first store, 1966 [ [http://www.nascar.com/2006/news/headlines/cup/01/12/jgreen_bestbuy/index.html "Best Buy on board with Green's No. 66"] NASCAR.com, accessed 16 March 2008] . Green finished 28th in the final point standings in 2006, and was signed to continue driving the 66 in 2007.

On October 22, 2007 it was announced that Jeremy Mayfield would take over the #66 car for Green for the final four races of 2007. During the offseason, Scott Riggs was named the new driver of the #66 in 2008 with State Water Heaters as the sponsor, coming over from Morgan-McClure Motorsports. Best Buy departed Haas for Gillett Evernham Motorsports to sponsor Elliott Sadler's #19 Dodge.

For the 2009 season, the team will switch to the #14 with Tony Stewart driving. Office Depot and Old Spice will sponsor the car. Stewart chose the number in tribute to his racing hero, open wheel legend A.J. Foyt.

Car #70 history

The 70 car debuted at the 2006 Coca-Cola 600 with Johnny Sauter driving. He ran in the top-ten for most of the day before a blown tire caused him to wreck. The 70 made another attempt later in the season at the Brickyard 400, but did not qualify. It was announced that the 70 would race full-time in 2007, with Yellow Transportation moving up from the Busch Series and Johnny Sauter driving. Sauter and the team worked their way into the Top 35 in Owner's Points after the first five races (which guarantees them a spot in each race), but missed the Food City 500 at Bristol, yet still had top ten runs at Phoenix (9th) in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 and the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 (5th). Jeremy Mayfield was chosen to be the 2008 driver.

After the seventh race of the season, Jeremy Mayfield fell out of the top 35 in owner's points, so he and Haas CNC parted ways. Johnny Sauter has driven the car, along with Jason Leffler, Tony Raines, and others.

For the 2009 season, the car will become the #39 with Ryan Newman driving, but will take the owner points of the #66 car to stay in the top 35 for the first 5 races. Sponsorship will come from the United States Army for 23 races, with a three year option package as the Armed Forces typically sign only one year contracts. [http://www.jayski.com/cupnews.htm#news66] [http://www.nascar.com/2008/news/headlines/cup/10/07/rnewman.sponsor/index.html] . This car was originally to be the #4 to reflect Stewart's first number in karting, but a licensing conflict with the inactive (not defunct) Morgan-McClure Motorsports prompted the change to #39, Newman's number in Sprint Cars.

Nationwide / Busch Series

The Haas Busch Team made its debut at Kansas in October 2003 as the #00 Haas CNC Chevy in the Busch Series. After starting 11th, Jason Leffler finished 16th despite wrecking during the race. After a pair of 11th at Charlotte and Phoenix, Leffler had his first top-five, starting 14th and finishing 4th.

The team would go full-time in 2004. After a slow start, Leffler would finish out of the top-15 twice: a 34th at California and a 17th at Bristol. Leffler also grabbed a pole at California, and a win at Nashville. It was both Leffler's first win and Haas' first win. Despite being third in points, Leffler was released after signing with Joe Gibbs Racing's Cup program for 2005. His immediate replacement was Blake Feese, who had 7th place start at Kansas. However, he struggled in that race and all 4 races he ran for Haas. With Feese struggling, Gene looked for another driver, even as he moved Bootie Barker to the NEXTEL Cup Series operation. After Tony Raines finished tenth at Phoenix, Justin Labonte, took over for the balance of the season. Haas merged with Labonte Motorsports for 2005.

Justin Labonte ran 2005 in the #44 United States Coast Guard Chevy. However, he had limited success. He was 7th at Talladega and 10th at Charlotte in the fall. Despite a 17th place finish in points, Labonte was released and once again Haas was searching for a new driver. Meanwhile, Sauter had a more eventful year, from being disqualified for an illegal carbureator following the O'Reilly 300 to getting a hometown victory in dominant fashion.

In 2006, Johnny Sauter drove the #00 Yellow Transportation chevy were the team finished 8th in the final point standings. A late-season surge for Sauter resulted in the #00 Busch Series team moving up to the Cup series as the #70 team, and the team's Busch Series equipment were sold to Jay Robinson Racing.

Craftsman Truck Series

The team had an agreement for Craftsman Truck Series team MRD Motorsports to be the driver development team for Haas CNC Racing which Blake Bjorklund was named the driver for the 2007 season . Bjorklund was originally scheduled to drive 12 races for MRD, but ran most of the schedule before being replaced by Chad McCumbee


External links

* [http://www.haascncracing.com Haas CNC Racing Homepage]
* [http://www.haascnc.com Haas Automation Homepage]

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