WILLIAMSON, W. Va. (July 10, 2012)– John Blankenship and Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) are pleased to announce a partnership that will move the 2009 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Rookie of the Year into the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Blankenship is slated to make his debut in a TBR Chevrolet sponsored by Coal America’s Energy at Iowa Speedway on August 4, 2012. In addition to Iowa, Blankenship will run with TBR in the final three races of the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, which will take place at Texas Motor Speedway on November 3, Phoenix International Raceway on November 10 and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 17. Coal America’s Energy will be Blankenship’s sponsor in all four races.

The opportunity to race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series is a dream come true for me....

John Blankenship

During the past month, Blankenship has been on a roll with a win at the Wythe Raceway in Wytheville, Va., and three second-place finishes at The Dream 100 held at Eldora Speedway, Show-Me 100 at Lucas Oil Speedway and Budweiser 50 at Muskingum County Speedway.

Blankenship is currently sixth in the very tight points battle in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and will continue to run the entire schedule of Lucas Oil Series races in 2012.

Blankenship’s dirt track success has also translated into success on asphalt, where he recently scored a top-10 finish in the ARCA Racing Series at the lightning fast Michigan International Speedway.

“The opportunity to race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series is a dream come true for me, and to be able to drive for an owner who has been in the sport as long as Tommy is just a plus,” Blankenship commented.

Veteran crew chief Brad Parrot will act as Blankenship’s crew chief for all four races. By using the best equipment in the industry, the duo of Blankenship and Tommy Baldwin seem poised for success.

“I want to give John the best opportunity possible to succeed in the Nationwide Series,” said Baldwin. “A technical alliance with Richard Childress will allow us to use Richard Childress Racing chassis along with Earnhardt-Childress Racing engines. These resources will allow a talented driver such as John to be able to come into the series and be competitive immediately.”

For more information on John Blankenship, log on to www.johnblankenship23.com.