NASCAR News for Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jeff Gordon Undergoes Back Procedure

Jeff Gordon received injections to his ailing back on Monday in an attempt to help soothe near constant pains he has been suffering from.

Gordon appears hopeful that this will help him alleviate his back issues.

“I had a facet block procedure done on my back on Monday and it went well,” Gordon said in a press release. “I was a little sore after the procedure, but I’ll definitely take that brief bit of soreness if it stops the recurring back pain I’ve had.”

Previously this season, the 37-year-old Gordon was diagnosed with a mild form of arthritis in his back.

Word Network to Sponsor No. 36 in the Nationwide Series

On Tuesday, Marc Davis Motorsports announced the signing of the Word Network, a cable/satellite gospel television channel, to a deal that will see them provide primary sponsorship on Marc Davis’ own No. 36 Toyota in this weekend’s CARQUEST Auto Parts 300.

The Word Network describes itself as “a mainstream media broadcaster of African American ministries and gospel music.” The channel is available in approximately 78 million homes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Caribbean countries and in Africa.

The Word Network previously served as an associate sponsor on the No. 36 back at Bristol in March, as shown by a picture on the channel’s website.

DiBenedetto to Make Nationwide Series Debut at Memphis

SceneDaily is reporting that Matt DiBenedetto, a 17-year-old development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, will make his Nationwide Series debut in the Sam’s Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park in October.

DiBenedetto, who will turn 18 (and thus, be officially eligible to race in NASCAR’s top three touring series) in July, already has a victory in the Camping World East Series this season. In his only two career starts in the series (both this season), DiBenedetto has the victory at Tri-County Speedway in Hudson, NC, and a 10th at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.

Team owner Joe Gibbs is all smiles so far.

“With testing out of the way, it’s a lot harder to bring guys along, but everything [DiBenedetto] has done has been real encouraging,” Joe Gibbs said on Monday. “He’s got a real gift. He went and tested with our guys last year and did a great job.”

As of right now, it is unclear what DiBenedetto’s future plans with Joe Gibbs Racing are. It can be assumed that the start at Memphis will serve as an introduction to the series in preparation for at least a partial Nationwide season in 2010. Beyond that is a mystery at the present.

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About Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor. Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as Tony Stewart's Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

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