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Weekly roundup of Nationwide Series news

NNSracing.com

A review of some of the latest news from the NASCAR Nationwide Series:

Baker Curb Racing continues to operate

Baker Curb Racing released a statement on Wednesday that it will continue to operate in the Nationwide Series in 2011, despite unnamed rumors saying the team had closed.

"Contrary to rumors circulating, Baker Curb Racing has not ceased operations" the statement read. "We did temporarily layoff some employees while we map our 2011 plans. As with any other off-season, we also continue selling excess and outdated race equipment.

"As of today we are still operating with the intent of racing at Daytona next month and continue discussions with several prospective sponsors. We remain optimistic that we will have our 2011 sponsorships finalized within the next 10 days."

No driver or sponsor has been announced for the team's No. 27 Ford.

Cobb teams with 2nd Chance Motorsports

Driver Jennifer Jo Cobb will team with 2nd Chance Motorsports for the first five Nationwide Series races of 2011. Cobb will drive the No. 79 Ford for the team owned by Rick and Pam Russell.

2nd Chance Motorsports debuted last fall at Dover and also ran at Kansas, Gateway, Texas and Phoenix. Roush/Yates Engines will supply the team's engines.

Cobbʼs Camping World Truck Series crew chief, Steve Kuykendall, will serve crew chief for 2nd Chance Motorsports and, both teams will provide additional crew members for the races at Daytona, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Bristol and California. The teams said they hope to continue their efforts beyond the first five races on the Nationwide schedule pending further sponsorship.

"This is an incredible opportunity for our team as we can expand into the Nationwide Series without detracting from our efforts in the Camping World Truck Series," Cobb said. "I am grateful for the commitment from 2nd Chance and that we can bring our two small teams together to shoot for better results against the myriad of multi-million dollar teams we are competing against."

TriStar Motorsports gets a new GM

Former Rusty Wallace Racing general manager Rick Carpenter has replaced Keith Barnwell as GM of TriStar Motorsports, according to a press release.

"We are proud to add Rick to our growing organization," TriStar owner Mark Smith said in a statement. "He brings a wealth of experience to the team and we think he will be a great addition as we continue the growth of our program. I believe his personality is a great compliment to our group of employees and everyone has welcomed him with open arms."

Carpenter has known Smith "for many years" and also knows driver Eric McClure from their days at Morgan McClure Motorsports.

"My goal is to provide Eric and the rest of our drivers with the best opportunity they have had in this sport to excel and to help Mark grow TriStar Motorsports into a very formidable organization," Carpenter said. "We do have some lofty ambitions and I am anxious to get started with everything."

No. 14 for McClure

The team also said it will field three Chevrolets this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series - with McClure driving the No. 14 Hefty Chevrolet. The team said it will be making future announcements on drivers and sponsors for the the No. 19 and No. 44 Chevrolets.

Barnwell moves to Junior Johnson Racing

Sirius Speedway.com reported that Barnwell will help NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson build a K&N Pro Series team for Robert Johnson, Junior's son.

Keith Barnwell has resigned as General Manager of the Tri-Star Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series team to accept a similar position with NASCAR Hall Of Famer Junior Johnson.