2nd Chance Motorsports Driver and Team Fired After Altercation at Chicagoland Speedway

Tyler Barrick / Autostock
2nd Chance Motorsports joined the NASCAR Nationwide Series in the fall of 2010. A small team with little funding, 2nd Chance did what they could to earn enough money to return to the track week after week. Unfortunately for 2nd Chance Motorsports, the team is more well-known for the public altercations between owner Rick Russell and those he contracts to drive his cars and turn the wrenches, than for their on track efforts.

Earlier in the 2011 season Russell and driver Jennifer Jo Cobb were involved in a public altercation that played out in the media when Cobb, who was slated to drive a select number of races for the team, refused to start-and-park in Bristol. According to reports Cobb was told minutes before the race was set to start that the team was going to start-and-park. Russell was adamant that Cobb was aware of the plans days before and accused the vocal driver of using the media against him. Russell later made allegations against Cobb and her Crew Chief Steve Kykendall saying they had taken parts from his shop and buildings on his property.

After putting the incident behind them 2nd Chance Motorsports, with driver Tim Andrews piloting the No. 79, went on to compete in nine of the next 10 events (with the exception of Iowa where Andrews drove the 46 for Key Motorsports) including Saturday’s STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Known primarily as a start-and park-team just trying to earn money to make it to the next race, Andrews ran 29 of 200 laps at Chicagoland and recorded his second highest finish of the season – 34th.

It wasn’t until after the team had called it a night that the real action at Chicagoland began.

After loading up the car into the team hauler Crew Chief Kevin Eagle informed Russell that he would be parting ways with 2nd Chance once they got back to the Charlotte area. Upon hearing the news Russell accused the whole team of leaving and instead of allowing Eagle explain that he would be the only one leaving the team Russell fired everyone associated with the No. 79, including it’s driver Tim Andrews. A source close to the team said that Russell had been aware that Eagle would eventually be leaving the team and had already started looking for his replacement.

During the altercation at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday night, Russell locked up the van the team uses to drive from their home base to the track and would not allow the team to retrieve their belongings. Although no weapons were drawn the source said that Russell did make mention of a weapon and threaten the team. It was only after NASCAR officials were notified of the incident and police were called that they were allowed to get their stuff. Russell refused to allow them to drive the van back to Charlotte and left the team at the track to find their own way home.

Thankfully other NASCAR teams were there to help the former No. 79 team by taking them to airport where they were able to rent a van for the long trip home.

On his twitter account (formerly TimAndrews79, now Tim_Andrews_) Andrews said Sunday morning, “Yes he has struck again. After the team and I loaded the hauler after the weekend he fired us all and told us to find our own way home...”

Andrews went onto say, “It is amazing how you work for someone make them look like a hero help them to get where they are and they completely shit on u"

UPDATE: The source close to Andrews said that he has been driving the No. 79 and being paid as a driver and mechanic in an attempt to get his name out there and that while no driver likes to be known as a start-and-park driver it’s sometimes what one has to do to get their foot in the door.
2nd Chance Motorsports Driver and Team Fired After Altercation at Chicagoland Speedway 2nd Chance Motorsports Driver and Team Fired After Altercation at Chicagoland Speedway Reviewed by Katy Lindamood on Sunday, June 05, 2011 Rating: 5