Haas CNC Racing is a NASCAR racing team based owned by Gene Haas, who owns the Haas Automation company in the Sprint Cup serie.s fielding the #66 and #70 Chevy's with drivers Scott Riggs (#66) and Tony Raines (#70). On June 19 2006 Haas was arrested for tax fraud and witness intimidation.
Cup Team Edit
Haas CNC was formed in 2002 as part of an R&D team for Hendrick. The team debuted the #60 Haas Chevy at Kansas. Driver Jack Sprague had a 23rd place start, but wrecked on lap 99 and finished 35th. In the other two races the team made, they finished 35th at Rockingham and 30th at Homestead-Miami.
Switching to the #0 with sponsorship from Netzero, Sparague posted a career-best fourteenth place finish at the 2003 Daytona 500. Afterwards, however, the team began to struggle. After finishing 40th at Chicagoland, Haas released Sprague in favor of John Andretti, who finished 41st at Loudon, 33rd at Pocono, before qualifying 15th and finishing 19th at Watkins Glen International. Because John had a prior commitment with DEI, Jason Leffler drove the car at Indy, finishing 33rd, who signed to drive the car after losing his Ultra Motorsports ride. When Leffler was consequently reassigned to the new Busch series team, 5-time Cup winner Ward Burton was signed to drive the car. In the final 4 races, Ward finished 13th at Atlanta and 18th at Rockingham.
In the off-season, Pontiac announced it was leaving the sport, forcing the team to switch Chevrolets. Burton began 2004 by finishing 17th at the Daytona 500 and then earned the teams first top-10 finish the next week with a 9th at Rockingham. The team was also 9th place in points.Despite top-20 finishes in 2 of the next three weeks, the team began to slip in points. After a streak of bad races, the team re-emerged at California Speedway with a 10th place finish. The team racketed off 5 straight top-20 finishes. Burton earned outside pole at Indianapolis, but made contact early in the race and finally crashed to a 39th place finish. In October, Ward finished again in 10th place, this time at Talladega Superspeedway. After Phoenix, and a 40th place finish, Burton was released by Haas and was replaced by Mike Bliss. The 2002 Craftsman Truck Champion took over and immediately finished 10th at Darlington, signing him for the 2005 season.
Bliss began the season by finishing the 18th for the first 4 races. Despite a 9th at Pocono and 7th at Bristol, Bliss was released from the ride at season's end.
Jeff Green piloted the #66 Best Buy Chevy for the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Jeff Green finished 28th in the final point standings. The car number 66 reflects the year sponsor Best Buy was founded. Also, Johnny Sauter drove a second car, the #70 Haas Chevy at Charlotte were he finished 24th after running in the top 10 most of the race, but blew a tire late in the race.
Green will return with the team in 2007, while the second team of Sauter's will become a full-time operation.
Busch Team Edit
The #00 Haas Chevy made its debut at Kansas. After starting 11th, Jason Leffler finished 16th despite wrecking during the race. After a pair of 11th at Charlotte and Phoenix, Leffler had his first top-five, starting 14th and finishing 4th.
The team would go full-time in 2004. After a slow start, Leffler would finish out of the top-15 twice: a 34th at California and a 17th at Bristol. Leffler also grabbed a pole at California, and a win at Nashville. It was both Leffler's first win and Haas' first win. Despite being third in points, Leffler was released after signing with Joe Gibbs Racing's Cup program for 2005. His immediate replacement was Blake Feese, who had 7th place start at Kansas. However, he struggled in that race and all 4 races he ran for Haas. With Feese struggling, Gene looked for another driver, even as he moved Bootie Barker to the NEXTEL Cup Series operation. After Tony Raines finished tenth at Phoenix, Justin Labonte, took over for the balance of the season. Haas merged with Labonte Motorsports for 2005.
Justin Labonte ran 2005 in the #44 United States Coast Guard Chevy. However, he had limited success. He was 7th at Talladega and 10th at Charlotte in the fall. Despite a 17th place finish in points, Labonte was released and once again Haas was searching for a new driver.
In 2006,Johnny Sauter drove the #00 Yellow Transportation chevy were the team finished 8th in the final point standings. A late-season surge for Sauter earned him a Cup ride with the team and team management has said that the status of the Busch Series team is up in the air.
Craftsman Truck SeriesEdit
The team has an agreement for Craftsman Truck Series team MRD Motorsports to be the driver development team for Haas CNC Racing which Blake Bjorklund was named the driver Blake will run 12 races with the team.