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Carmichael Trades His Motorcycle for a Car

The 15-time supercross, motocross champion to announce today he will join a NASCAR team.

October 12, 2006|Jim Peltz | Times Staff Writer

Another motor sports star plans to try his hand in NASCAR: Ricky Carmichael.

The 15-time champion of supercross and motocross motorcycle racing is expected to announce today that he will join the NASCAR team MB2 Motorsports, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

MB2 currently fields Nextel Cup drivers Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek, and last week it signed veteran Mark Martin to drive a 22-race Cup schedule next year.

Carmichael, 26, plans to start his four-wheel career in the minor leagues, such as late-models or the ARCA series, and work up to NASCAR's Busch or Cup series, the sources said.

MB2 Motorsports declined to comment. Carmichael could not be reached for comment, but he scheduled a news conference for today in Las Vegas, site of a supercross race this weekend.

He would follow the path taken by Juan Pablo Montoya, a former Indianapolis 500 winner and Formula One driver who recently migrated to NASCAR. Montoya finished third in an ARCA race last weekend -- his first in a stock car -- and plans to join the Cup series next year.

Carmichael had said this was his last full year in motorcycle racing and that he was mulling such a change. The speculation was that he might join Joe Gibbs Racing, because Carmichael this summer met the team and test-drove one of its cars.

Instead, Carmichael is scheduled to join Florida developer Bobby Ginn, who bought majority ownership of MB2 in July.

Separately, Roush Racing announced Wednesday that David Ragan, who normally drives in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series, would replace Martin and drive the No. 6 Ford in the Cup series next season.

james.peltz@latimes.com

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