Times might be tough for motor sports organisations at the moment, as the demise of the Red Bull Racing Sprint Cup team brought home to NASCAR at the end of the 2011 season, but there are finally some bright spots showing on the horizon.

Veteran Nationwide Series team owner Jay Robinson is to partner with businessman Troy Blakeney of Houston to launch Robinson-Blakeney Racing, with the intention of running a full-time Toyota-based Sprint Cup entry in 2012.

"I am very excited about our new venture into the Cup Series", said Robinson. "We have all of the cars and equipment in place. We are hoping to hire a driver very soon."

Robinson will also continue to field the #28 Nationwide Series car for a full season with a variety of drivers.

His Monroe, NC-based team has entered every Nationwide race since 2001, and fielded drivers including former Daytona 500 champion Derrike Cope, Kenny Wallace, Dennis Setzer and Mark Green.

"I have enjoyed watching the sport from afar and look forward to enjoying the excitement and thrills of being on the inside," said new partner Blakeney.

Meanwhile, Camping World Truck Series team Turn One Racing has also announced its move into Sprint Cup competition this season, aiming to d?but in the second race of the year at Phoenix International Raceway on March 4 and run in up to ten races during their first year running cars purchased from Richard Childress Racing.

"This is a great opportunity for Turn One Racing," said the team's owner Stacy Compton. "It has always been our objective to grow the team and this is just the next step in that plan.

"We have a great group of partners behind us and feel like we are taking all the right steps to build a very competitive Sprint Cup team," he added.

Turn One Racing was originally founded in 2006 by Compton, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran, to develop and promote talented young drivers in late model divisions in the US south-east.

In 2009, the company bought the assets of the NASCAR Camping World Car Series team Wyler Racing, and since rebranding the outfit as Turn One that have notched up two pole positions, two top-fives and 14 top-tens in 47 starts.

Based in China Grove, NC, the team finished in ninth place in the 2011 Truck standings with Cole Whitt at the wheel. It is currently putting together a new full season program for the #60 Truck with river, crew and sponsor still to be announced.

Ryan Blaney gets six-race Nationwide deal

Ryan Blaney will drive in six Nationwide Series events for Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2012, driving the #36 SealWrap Repair Tape Chevrolet with his debut set for April 27 at Richmond International Raceway. He will also race at Darlington in May, Kentucky in June, Indianapolis in July, Bristol in August and Charlotte in October.

The 18-year-old son of TBR's regular Cup series driver Dave Blaney will additionally run six NASCAR K&N Pro Series (NKNPS) races in his family-owned DB Racing #10 SealWrap Repair Tape/Heavy Duty Industrial Services machine, beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway March 17.

"I'm really excited about the opportunity to run a mix of K&N and Nationwide races this season," said Blaney. "We will have good equipment racing with TBR. It will be great to race with and learn from the Nationwide guys."

Blaney made a combined three starts last season in the NKNPS East and West, winning in his third start and capturing his first NASCAR victory at Phoenix International Raceway. Blaney also won the 2011 PASS South Championship and found success in the ARCA Racing Series where he finished in the top-10
in his two starts.

"We were really competitive in the K&N Series last year, and I think we will be even more competitive this year," he said. "Hopefully, we will have an opportunity to win all six races."

"As we look to the future, this Nationwide program is a stepping-stone for the Cup program, and we are excited to start with Ryan," said team owner Tommy Baldwin. "Watching Ryan the last few years, we are excited to get to the track and see him perform."


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