#1 Team News Archive

(NOTE: some older links may not work)

2017 News

    Races that McDonald's [16+3 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017 (on hood): Daytona, Clash - 2/18, Big Mac special Daytona, Duel - 2/23, w/Cessna Daytona 500 - 2/26, w/Cessna Atlanta - 3/5 Auto Club - 3/26 Talladega - 5/7 Charlotte, All Star Race - 5/20 Dover - 6/4 Michigan - 6/18 Daytona - 7/1, McDonald's $1 Any Size Soft Drink Pocono - 7/30 Watkins Glen - 8/6 Bristol - 8/19, w/Cessna Darlington - 9/3, throwback Richmond - 9/9 Chicago - 9/17, w/Cessna New Hampshire - 9/24, w/Cessna Martinsville - 10/29 Homestead - 11/19 Races that Cessna [11 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017 (on hood): Phoenix - 3/19 Martinsville - 4/2 Pocono - 6/11 Sonoma - 6/25 Kentucky - 7/8 Indianapolis - 7/23, w/McDonald's Michigan - 8/11 Talladega - 10/15 Kansas - 10/22 Texas - 11/5 Phoenix - 11/12 Races that GearWrench [4 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017: Richmond - 4/30 Charlotte - 5/28 New Hampshire - 7/16 Dover - 10/1
  • Races that Sherwin Williams [3 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017: Texas - 4/9 Kansas - 5/13 Charlotte - 10/7 Races that CreditOne [1 race] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017: Las Vegas - 3/12
  • Races that Bass Pro Shops [1 race] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017: Bristol - 4/23 McMurray thinking about the rest of his career: The young guns are here and more are coming, a youth movement that has some of NASCAR's veterans thinking through the final years of their respective careers. Chip Ganassi Racing's Jamie McMurray (41), who has one of those young superstars in Kyle Larson as a teammate, has a planned finite timeline for the remainder of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.[More](12-12-2017) Ganassi, Team Danica discuss possibilities for 2018 partnership Team owner Chip Ganassi spoke personally with Danica Patrick and her representatives Thursday and Friday about the possibility of fielding cars for her in either the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500, or both, but said he doesn't yet have enough information to determine if participating in her farewell jaunt is feasible. Patrick has expressed confidence in being able to bring sponsorship to field both ventures. Ganassi said "I would think it would be better to do it with one team." The team owner said he has not had time to consider when he'd need a commitment and firm details from Patrick's camp.(NASCAR Wire Service)[Read More Here](11-18-2017) McMurray explains Talladega accident: He was knocked out of the Alabama 500 in a accident on lap 24 while attempting to enter pit road.[More](10-15-2017) Sunday Chicagoland Notebook Pit road snafus derail strong run by polesitter Kyle Busch Kyle Busch can expect some second-guessing after mistakes in Sunday's Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway relegated the polesitter to a 15th-place finish. Before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff opener, Busch's #18 Joe Gibbs Racing team swapped his regular-season pit crew for the over-the-wall unit of teammate Daniel Suarez. After winning the first stage of the race and leading all but two laps, Busch pitted under caution on Lap 83. But eight circuits after the subsequent restart on Lap 88, he brought the No. 18 Toyota to pit road for an unscheduled green-flag stop because of a loose wheel. During the stop, one of Busch's crewman was hit with a penalty for stepping over pit wall too soon, and after the resultant pass-through penalty, Busch dropped to 30th in the running order, two laps down. BRAD KESELOWSKI STARTS PLAYOFFS WITH SOLID SIXTH-PLACE RUN For a driver who stirred up controversy before the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, Brad Keselowski had a relatively uneventful afternoon in Sunday's Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Before qualifying on Friday, Keselowski raised the issue of parity in the sport, ascribing to the Toyota camp a significant performance advantage. True enough, Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. ran away with the playoff opener. Keselowski didn't have the speed to match Truex's Camry. Then again, no one else did either. But for Keselowski, the 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, it was the sort of solid start to the playoff he needed, leaving him fourth in the standings heading to next Sunday's race at New Hampshire. NICE RECOVERY KEEPS JAMIE MCMURRAY ABOVE PLAYOFF CUT LINE On Lap 168 of Sunday's Tales of the Turtles 400, Jamie McMurray had the sort of nerve-wracking experience that could have ruined his chances to advance in the NASCAR Playoffs. Coming off Turn 2 at 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway, McMurray spun, flattened his right rear tire and damaged the right rear quarter of his car. But McMurray persevered, stayed on the lead lap and finished 10th. That and a litany of troubles for other playoff drivers kept him in 11th place in the standings, five points clear of 13th place.(NASCAR Wire Service)[Read More Here](9-18-2017) Chip Ganassi on 2018 lineup: 'It's going to look the same': Chip Ganassi says his organization is "going to look the same" next year as Silly Season rumors swirl around the NASCAR garage. The statement came Thursday morning when Ganassi was asked on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's Tradin' Paint about how confident he was for 2018 when it came to his current stable of drivers, crew chiefs and sponsors. Coming off his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at Michigan, series points leader #42-Kyle Larson, 24, is an elite driver drawing plenty of commentary on his future. Larson has three career wins and is locked into the playoffs for the second straight year. #1-Jamie McMurray has quietly been putting together one of his best seasons.(NASCAR.com)[Read More Here](6-23-2017) Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray quotes on Pocono accidents: Both drivers fell out of the race after brake issues on lap 95 at Pocono Raceway. [More](6-112017) Chip Ganassi Racing Announces Partnership with 5.11 Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) announced a partnership with California-based 5.11-the global innovator in tactical apparel and gear-to become the new apparel, gear and accessories outfitter of the racing organization. 5.11 will also serve as the official partner of the CGR pit crews and associated training facilities at the Concord, N.C. and Indianapolis-based race shops. Under the new partnership, 5.11 and CGR will create unique social and digital content featuring the pit crews throughout the remainder of the 2017 racing season. 5.11 will also be an associate partner on the #1 Chevrolet SS driven by Jamie McMurray for two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) races.(Chip Ganassi Racing)[Read More Here](6-6-2017) Bold move propels McMurray to runner-up finish Race winner #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wasn't the only driver who made a strong move on the final lap of Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. After Stenhouse took the lead from #18-Kyle Busch, thanks in part to a push from #48-Jimmie Johnson, #1-Jamie McMurray threaded the needle between Johnson's Chevrolet and Busch's Toyota to vault into second place. McMurray held the spot, trailing Stenhouse to the finish line by .095 seconds and beating Busch to the stripe by .004 seconds.(NASCAR Wire Service)[click to continue](5-8-2017) GearWrench debuts on the #1 at Richmond: After making an announcement at the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas to partner with Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR), GearWrench will make its debut as a primary partner on the #1 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) Chevrolet SS this weekend at Richmond International Raceway (RIR).[More](4-28-2017) Bass Pro Shops / National Wild Turkey Federation featured on McMurray's car Bass Pro Shops announced a special paint scheme that will adorn the Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) #1 Chevy of Jamie McMurray at the Bristol spring race. Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris is donating space on the race car to the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage. The #1 Bass Pro Shops/NWTF Chevy will compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) on Sunday, April 23.(Chip Ganassi Racing)[More](4-21-2017) McMurray wrecks at Martinsville: He discussed why the team did not pit before a blown tire put him out for the day. "if the smoke hadn't gotten lighter I would have pitted, but it was smoking really bad and I'm like we have to pit. They said run a few more laps and they are getting a better idea of what it looks like and maybe where it is rubbing the tire."[More](4-3-2017) Felix Sabates planning return to the track: Last October, Chip Ganassi bought a blue suit to wear to the funeral of Felix Sabates. Fortunately, he hasn't had to use it. Sabates, the co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing, recounted the story and other details of a serious ailment that felled him last August during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "Late Shift" on Monday.[More](3-29-2017) McDonald's Big Mac featured on McMurray's car in Clash: The iconic McDonald's Big Mac will be joined by two new burgers that will be featured on the Chip Ganassi Racing Chevy, driven by 2010 Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray, at the season-opening, "The Clash at Daytona". The Mac Jr. and Grand Mac will join Big Mac on the #1 Chevy when the green flag drops on the 2017 NASCAR racing season at Daytona International Speedway. The Clash at Daytona is a limited-eligibility, elite field of drivers, that starts the new racing season with a non-points paying event. McMurray has made 10 appearances in The Clash during his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career. Notes of Interest - Top Billing: The Grand Mac and Mac Jr. recently joined the legendary Big Mac roster for a limited time on McDonald's national menu. This marks the first time, in the eight year partnership between McDonald's and CGR, that Big Mac or any other menu item will be featured as a full paint scheme on the #1 Chevy. - Making of a Legend: The Big Mac was first introduced in 1967 by Jim Delligatti, a McDonald's franchisee from Pennsylvania, before being available nationwide the following year. In honor of the Big Mac creator, who recently passed away (Nov. 28, 2016), the #1 Chevy will feature his name over the right side door to pay tribute to the memory of the long-time McDonald's franchisee. - Daytona Success: McMurray is a two-time winner in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition at DIS. He won the 2007 Coke Zero 400 and the 2010 Daytona 500. Additionally he was on the winning team for the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona. McMurray is one of only four drivers to ever win the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24 at Daytona (AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti and Jeff Gordon) Quote Board: - Dan Delligatti, McDonald's Owner/Operator and Grandson of Big Mac Creator, Jim Delligatti: "As Jim Delligatti's grandson, I am proud that the CGR team and McDonald's will pay tribute to my grandfather's memory by having his name displayed on the Big Mac race car. I am a big CGR and McMurray fan and have been to several races with the team, so I am looking forward to seeing the #1 in The Clash at Daytona" - Steve Lauletta, President, Chip Ganassi Racing: "it is exciting to have McDonald's use the partnership with our team to promote this menu offering. With the excitement of the new NASCAR season and the national launch of the Mac sandwiches, The Clash at Daytona will be a great place to showcase the Big Mac promotion". - Jamie McMurray, Driver #1 McDonald's Big Mac Chevy: "I might be the most excited person on the team about this car because the Big Mac has always been my favorite menu item at McDonald's. It will be fun to have the Big Mac on the car for the first race of the season in Daytona". McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with over 36,000 locations in over 100 countries. More than 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.(CGR), see images of the scheme/car on the #1 Team Schemes page.(2-15-2017) Chip Ganassi wins Phil Hill Award: Chip Ganassi, a former race-car driver who is now one of the most successful and innovative race team owners in the world, was honored by the Road Racing Drivers Club with the 2017 Phil Hill Award. RRDC president Bobby Rahal made the presentation at the annual RRDC members' dinner on Jan. 25 prior to the running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the season opener of the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The Phil Hill Award has been presented annually since 1993 to the person who the RRDC feels has rendered outstanding service to road racing. The recipient may be a driver, entrant or outstanding member of a sanctioning body. It is named in honor of America's first Formula 1 World Champion (in 1961), and is not only a tribute to his masterful accomplishments on the race track, it also recognizes his contributions as a great ambassador for the sport. Hill passed away in 2008. Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for more than 30 years. Today his teams include two cars in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, two cars in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, four cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two cars in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and two cars in the FIA World Endurance Championship. In 2012, he was was named by Complex Magazine as one of the "50 most influential people in the Auto Industry." Overall, his teams have won 18 championships and over 180 races, highlighted most recently by an historic win in their first trip to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016. As a result, Ganassi is the only owner in history to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans.(RRDC)(1-30-2017) Credit One Bank sponsoring Larson in 2017 UPDATE: Credit One Bank, one of the largest and fastest growing credit card issuers in the United States, is expanding its relationship with Chip Ganassi Racing by partnering with Kyle Larson and the #42 team during the inaugural Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, beginning with The Clash at Daytona. Credit One Bank, who first partnered with CGR last season for several races with the #1 team, will also continue its partnership as an associate sponsor with Jamie McMurray and the #1 team in 2017. Credit One Bank will serve as the primary sponsor for multiple races on Larson's #42 Chevy, as well as an associate sponsor with the #42 team throughout the 2017 season.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #42 team paint schemes page.(1-18-2017) UPDATE: Credit One will serve as the primary sponsor on CGR entries in eight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events, one NASCAR XFINITY Series event and the non-points Advance Auto Parts Clash exhibition at Daytona International Speedway. The Credit One colors will kick off the new year of racing with Larson in the Feb. 18 Clash at Daytona. The financial institution returns for a doubleheader weekend at its home track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with sponsorship of Larson in the XFINITY Series event and #1-Jamie McMurray in the Monster Energy Cup event. The remaining races for Credit One are all with Larson's #42 Chevy in the premier series: March 19 at Phoenix, April 9 at Texas, April 23 at Bristol, April 30 at Richmond, July 1 at Daytona, Sept. 3 at Darlington, and Nov. 5 at Texas.(CGR)(1-20-2017) Ganassi hires new competition director: Chip Ganassi Racing [#1-McMurray & #42-Larson] has hired widely respected Mark McArdle as its new competition director. McArdle joins Ganassi following a two-year stint with Roush Fenway Racing. He will report to general manager Max Jones.(Motorsport)(1-17-2017) Target reducing sponsorship of Larson UPDATE: Target will reduce the amount of NASCAR races it serves as the primary sponsor of Chip Ganassi Racing's #42 Chevy driven by Kyle Larson in 2017 to allow other companies to work with him. Target, which along with its handful of vendor partners has been Larson's sole major sponsor since he joined NASCAR's premier series, will still have the majority of races on the # 42. Target previously had all the races, though it passes through a number of them annually to brands it works with like Energizer and Axe. The deal is part of a mutual agreement between CGR and Target. Sources said the move frees up about 5-10 primaries worth of inventory on the #42. Target's deal expires on the NASCAR side after 2017, and the retailer ended a 27-year partnership on Ganassi's IndyCar side after the '16 season.(Sports Business Daily)(12-19-2016) UPDATE: hearing that Credit One, which sponsored CGR's #1-Chevy of Jamie McMurray for five races in 2016, will be the primary sponsor for Kyle Larson on he #42 Chevy for a few races in 2017.(1-4-2017)
2016 News

  • Races that McDonald's [16 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016 (on hood):
    Daytona - 2/13, Sprint Unlimited
    Atlanta - 2/28, w/Cessna
    Phoenix - 3/13
    Auto Club - 3/20
    Bristol - 4/17
    Talladega - 5/1
    Kansas - 5/7
    Dover - 5/15, w/Cessna
    Charlotte - 5/29, w/Cessna
    Michigan - 6/12
    Indianapolis - 7/24, w/Cessna
    Watkins Glen - 8/7
    Bristol - 8/20, w/Cessna
    Darlington - 9/4, Mac Tonight throwback
    Chicago - 9/18
    New Hampshire - 9/25, with Coca-Cola
    Charlotte - 10/8
    Homestead - 11/20

  • Races that Cessna [14 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016 (on hood):
    Las Vegas - 3/6, Beechcraft
    Martinsville - 4/3, Bad Boy Off Road/Beechcraft
    Texas - 4/9
    Charlotte - 5/29, w/McDonald's
    Pocono - 6/5
    Sonoma - 6/26
    Kentucky - 7/9
    Indianapolis - 7/24, w/McDonald's
    Pocono - 7/31, w/McDonald's
    Bristol - 8/20, w/McDonald's
    Michigan - 8/28
    Kansas - 10/16
    Talladega - 10/23
    Phoenix - 11/13

  • Races that CreditOne [5 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
    Richmond - 4/24
    Daytona - 7/2
    New Hampshire - 7/17
    Dover - 10/2
    Martinsville - 10/30, with First Data

  • Races that Bass Pro Shops [1 race] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
    Charlotte, All Star Race - 5/21

  • Races that Sherwin Williams [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
    Richmond - 9/10, Emerald
    Texas - 11/6

  • Ganassi re-signs with Hendrick: Team Owner, Chip Ganassi, met with members of the media, the transcript in part:
    Ganassi: "I think we've always had a good relationship with Hendrick Motorsports (engine supplier) and that relationship continues to get better every single day. We just resigned for a few years there so we are pretty happy. I see our relationship doing nothing but getting better over there."(Team Chevy)(11-19-2016)

  • GearWrench to sponsor McMurray in 2017: GearWrench, an innovative hand tool brand known for tools that deliver speed, strength, and access to industrial and automotive technicians, and Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) announced, at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, they have agreed to a multi-year partnership. GearWrench will be a partner on the #1 Chevrolet SS piloted by former Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray and serve as the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy for multiple races during the 2017 NASCAR season. GearWrench is a premier hand tool brand from Apex Tool Group, one of the largest hand tool manufacturers in the world. Since the launch of the original patented five-degree ratcheting wrench, the GearWrench brand has continuously led the industry with breakthroughs in pass-thru ratchets, sockets, screw/nut drivers, pliers and specialty tools. Millions of GearWrench products have been "Professionally Tested" throughout the world.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team 2017 paint schemes page.(11-1-2016)

  • First Data featured on #1 at Martinsville: First Data Corporation, a global leader in commerce-enabling technology, announced that it will partner with Credit One Bank and be featured on the #1 Credit One Bank Chevrolet SS driven by Jamie McMurray at this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway. McMurray will be behind the wheel of the car from Chip Ganassi Racing, which, for the first time, will feature First Data's logo alongside Credit One Bank, one of the largest and fastest growing issuers of credit cards in the United States. Leading up to Veteran's Day on November 11, First Data will host a veteran business owner at Martinsville Speedway to take part in one of America's most popular spectator sports. First Data is deeply committed to veterans and their families through First Data Salutes, the company-wide military engagement strategy aimed at providing the military community with career opportunities, educational resources, and business solutions for veteran-owned businesses. On race day, First Data will recognize Phil Lennon, a former member of the Marine Corps and a graduate of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, of which First Data is a major sponsor. In May 2015, First Data and the IVMF launched the Coalition of Veteran Owned Business (CVOB) to support the success of businesses owned by veterans, service members, and military spouses.(First Data)(10-27-2016)

  • Kansas State University logo on the #1: Textron Aviation is further strengthening its relationship with Kansas State University through a $150,000 donation to help the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus modernize its aviation program in the sky and on the ground. Textron Aviation's generosity will dramatically increase the square footage of the Certified Flight Instructor, or CFI, Lab, creating more workspace for flight instructors and a better learning environment for students enrolled in the program. The Powercat logo also will be featured on the hood of the Textron Aviation NASCAR of #1-Jamie McMurray for the race Sunday, Oct. 16, at the Kansas Speedway, another example of Textron Aviation's continued support for the university.(Kansas State News), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(10-15-2016)

  • Ganassi switches to Honda in IndyCar; staying Chevy in NASCAR?: Chip Ganassi Racing announced Friday it is changing brands for its IndyCar teams. Which at least prompts speculation about the NASCAR Sprint Cup team's future with its current nameplate. Ganassi will drop its affiliation with Chevy in favor of Honda engines in its Verizon IndyCar Series program. Ganassi has ties with Ford in other racing ventures. There's no immediate indication that Ganassi will leave Chevy in Sprint Cup. But for years there has been speculation that a second Japanese carmaker might jump into NASCAR to challenge Toyota. Meanwhile, Ford is trying to broaden its reach in NASCAR and make its cars more competitive. Whether Honda has interests in cracking into stock car racing is an open question. Neither is there a sign of Ganassi switching to Ford in its Cup program. Ford already picked up a headline team for next season when Stewart-Haas Racing announced it will switch from Chevy after this season. Earlier this year, Ganassi and Target parted company in open-wheel racing when the retailer ended its 27-year sponsorship. Ganassi has one more year with Target on its stock cars.(Sporting News)(10-8-2016)

  • McMurray talks about engine failure: #1-McMurray fell out of the Dover race with engine failure on Lap 193. He failed to move to the Chase Round of 12.
    Q: You reported several times that you felt a vibration. Is there any explanation as to why the engine let go?
    McMurray: "No, I felt earlier in the race that I had a vibration; and I said something about it. And we had some issues with drive shafts and stuff vibrating. That's what it felt like. And then it went away, oddly enough. And then it started vibrating again; and a few laps later it finally broke."
    Q: What did you see/hear/smell from the driver's seat?
    McMurray: "Not a lot. It vibrated earlier in the race and it went away. And it's weird because engine issues usually don't go away. It felt like it had power and then I don't know about 40 laps before it finally blew up, it just started vibrating real bad. They (the team) said what broke, but I couldn't hear them over all the cars on the track. I'm not sure. Very unfortunate. It is just the way it goes."
    (Team Chevy)(10-3-2016)

  • Ganassi's two teams in the Chase "the biggest thing ever": Chip Ganassi has accomplished many great feats in his career as owner of a myriad of teams in NASCAR, IndyCars and other top-tier racing series. But until last Saturday night, Ganassi had never before been able to claim that he put his entire two-car Sprint Cup Series stable in position to claim his first championship in NASCAR. Perhaps Ganassi himself was overstating it just a bit when he told a television reporter prior to Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 400 that getting both Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray qualified into the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup would be "the biggest thing ever" for him. But perhaps not. After McMurray had finished seventh in Saturday's race to secure the 16th and final seed in the Chase field, the winner of Ganassi's only Daytona 500 back in 2010 explained why it means so much.
    "Well, when you look at Chip's organization, he's been so successful in IndyCars, the sports cars," McMurray said. "We've won some big races in NASCAR, but the NASCAR side is really hard to keep on top, and it's that way for everybody. When you get down, it's really hard to climb your way back up. We made some changes earlier in the year as far as personnel. He moved some people around. The crew chiefs, everybody is working really well together, and they've been able to build some great cars, and he's proud of that because when you make those changes, there's no guarantee that it's going to show up on the racetrack. But it has."
    Ganassi said the formula for the improvement that has come about for his two Sprint Cup teams is simple. "We have been really lucky to have some great people and that is what it's all about these days," Ganassi said. "You know everybody has all the stuff. It's on to your people. It's pit stops, it's the guys that work Monday through Friday (at the shop). It's the guys that bust their ass on the weekends here (at the track). "It's the wives of all the guys and the girlfriends and the significant others that put up with everything and get us in this spot. It's people on a team making the team bigger than themselves. That is when you have success like this. It's individuals making the team more important than themselves."(Fox Sports)(9-12-2016)

  • Biffle & McMurray to make 500th Career Sprint Cup Starts: #16-Greg Biffle will make his 500th career Sprint Cup start this Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. Biffle made his Sprint Cup debut in 2002 at California driving for Jack Roush. Over his 15 years in the series he has earned 19 wins, 92 top-five and 175 top 10 finishes. Biffle will celebrate this milestone with his friend, and former teammate, Jamie McMurray. The last time two drivers hit their 500th start at the same time was in 1995 with Dale Earnhardt and Terry Labonte at Watkins Glen. Only 37 drivers have hit the 500 start mark in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and on Saturday night that number will move up to 39 with the addition of Biffle and McMurray. In all three NASCAR Series Biffle has a total of 824 starts. Saturday evening at Richmond will be his 825th start and will tie him with Sterling Marlin for 21st on the all-tire NASCAR National Series combined start list. Biffle will become only the second driver to make his 500th Sprint Cup start at Roush Fenway Racing, joining Mark Martin who made his 500th start in March of 2002. All but six of Biffle's 499 starts have been in a Roush Fenway Ford.(Roush Fenway Racing)(9-8-2016)

  • McMurray's Darlington scheme a throwback to Bill Elliott: Chip Ganassi Racing announced that the #1 McDonald's Chevy will sport an iconic look for the Labor Day Weekend race at the famed Darlington Raceway. Jamie McMurray will drive the #1 Chevrolet SS featuring a popular look from the past. Originally run by NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott in 1997, McMurray's throwback ride will feature a Mac Tonight paint scheme for the 2016 Southern 500. Mac Tonight was a sunglasses-wearing, piano-playing crooner with a crescent moon for a head, who sang the popular jingle "Mac Tonight". The midnight blue car, covered with stars and the Mac Tonight crescent moon will brighten the night at the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. The Mac Tonight campaign was originally created for California McDonald's franchisees, intended to increase the after 4pm dinner business for the restaurant chain.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(8-15-2016)

  • Ganassi says lug nut issue is 'silly': Car owner Chip Ganassi called crew chief suspensions in NASCAR "complete silliness" and said the "whole lug nut thing is a silly thing" during an interview Wednesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Ganassi's comments on "Dialed In" came on the same day NASCAR suspended one of his crew chiefs, Chad Johnston, for not having all the lug nuts properly secured on Kyle Larson's car Monday at Pocono Raceway. Johnston will miss this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway. Ganassi told host Claire B. Lang on Wednesday that the new policy has steered the conversation of the sport in a direction he doesn't think it needs to go. "I just think the whole lug nut thing is a silly thing," Ganassi said. "We're in a major sport that on any given weekend we have over 100,000 people that show up and watch and it's the most-watched sport on television sometimes on the weekend and we're sitting here talking about lug nuts. Are you kidding me? Please. They need to move the conversation. I'm saying NASCAR needs to move the conversation to something a little more relevant than lug nuts." So if not lug nuts, what should be the topic of conversation be in NASCAR, Lang asked Ganassi. "I think all sports are challenged with how to grow their sport," he said. "We're on the backend of the baby-boom generation. All these sports were built on the baby-boom generation and there just aren't the fans following any sport as much as they used to. There just aren't the people behind the baby-boom generation that are watching television or watching sports. There seems to be this trend toward participation sports, not viewing sports.(NBC Sports)(6-10-2016)

  • McMurray's #1 Chevy special Bass Pro Shops Design in All-Star race: Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) announced that 2014 Sprint All-Star Race winner Jamie McMurray's #1 Chevy will feature a special Bass Pro Shops paint scheme to honor the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) in this weekend's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS). Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder, Johnny Morris, announced to an enthusiastic crowd of fellow conservationists earlier this year, at the annual NWTF Convention and Sports Show, that he would pay special recognition to the NWTF by way of offering the paint scheme for this year's Sprint All-Star race as a way to acknowledge the members and volunteers that make up the NWTF. McMurray who captured his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) victory at CMS, will make his 10th start in the Sprint All-Star Race. This will also be the sixth time that McMurray as piloted the #1 Chevy SS with the Bass Pro Shops and NWTF branding during the Sprint All-Star Race weekend festivities (CGR), see an image of the car on the #1 Team Schemes page (5-21-2016)

  • McMurray still sore from practice crash: #1-Jamie McMurray was still tender on Saturday - one day after he plowed into the wall at Dover International Speedway. McMurray found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time after Danica Patrick's rear end gear failed and saturated the exit of Turn 4 with grease. The driver of the #1 McDonald's Chevy hit the grease and shot into the wall - sans SAFER barrier - before sliding down the front stretch and coming to a stop on the inside wall just short of the exit of pit road. "My elbow is still real sore, but that doesn't bother me as much as my ribs," McMurray told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "My ribs hurt really bad today. Obviously, when you get in the seat, the part of the seat that pushes on your ribs is the part you still feel right now. To Dover's credit, the track added 479 feet of SAFER barrier in Turn 3 prior to this weekend. But that was of little consolation to McMurray - or Tony Stewart, who hit the grease and the wall just prior to the #1 car. "That's unacceptable in this day and time that we have a straight-away - especially at a track like Dover on the outside where we've seen just crazy big hits," McMurray said. "I have no idea why they don't have that. I assume that we'll have that by the fall. But yeah, it's unacceptable that they don't have that they don't have that right now."(Motorsport)(5-15-2016)

  • Parts failure leads accident with Patrick, Stewart, McMurray: A gear failure sent #10-Danica Patrick into a fiery spin, triggering a three-car accident that resulted in Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray spinning in the oil left by Patrick's car and hitting the wall hard in the opening minutes of practice Friday at Dover International Speedway. Stewart, who missed the first eight races this year because of a broken back, walked gingerly after getting out of the car. Patrick said she was fine and that McMurray was nursing a sore elbow. Zipadelli said the Patrick car blew a rear-end gear and that SHR driver Kurt Busch experienced a vibration at the start of practice. The team plans to change gears in its other cars.
    Stewart and McMurray hit outside walls on the frontstretch that are not covered by energy-absorbing barrier. Dover added 479 feet of SAFER barrier on the inside backstretch wall and on the inside of Turn 3 prior to the race weekend as that area was identified as needing immediate attention. There are SAFER barriers on the inside wall down the frontstretch but only in the turns. NASCAR conducted a safety review of all tracks to help develop a plan to add SAFER barriers where deemed necessary. "It shouldn't even be a question whether or not tracks have SAFER barrier all the way around," Patrick said. "It should be mandatory. It shouldn't be a financial decision." Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said he assumed that every wall had a SAFER barrier at Dover but understood the philosophy that the drivers run up against the wall on the frontstretch at the track. He said drivers would adjust to a new groove if Dover added a SAFER barrier to that portion of the track. "The outside wall doesn't bother me too much that it doesn't have the SAFER barrier on it," Johnson said. "It's not like a mile and a half where we have the D-shaped front straightaway and you actually get away from the wall and, if something went wrong, have a terrible angle at the wall. "With all that said, I'd take a soft wall over a hard wall any day in any situation. ... I'm not overly concerned here. I guess I understand why there isn't on the frontstretch here."(ESPN.com)(5-12-2016)

  • NASCAR watching bodywork modifications: Two instances of bodywork modification -- one mid-race, one post-race -- caught the eye of NASCAR officials during last Saturday's Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, detailed those circumstances in a Monday morning appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "Morning Drive" program. Kyle Busch scored his third Sprint Cup victory of the season in Saturday night's GoBowling 400, breaking an 0-for-16 drought at the 1.5-mile Kansas City track, historically a stumbling block for the reigning series champ. Busch's exuberant post-race burnout shredded the right-rear tire, causing significant damage to the fender of the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Toyota.
    "We really don't like to see that happen," Miller told SiriusXM. "There was a little bit of a rash of it last year and we kind of got that in check, and this is the first time we've seen it in a while. We certainly don't like to see it, but I believe Kyle was very happy because he's really, really struggled at that race track and he just got a little overzealous there with the celebration. We've had a lot of JGR cars through NASCAR, so we have a pretty good idea of what they're doing with their stuff so I don't ... it's not that suspicious to me, really."
    The other bodywork issue that drew officials' attention, Miller said, involved the Chip Ganassi Racing #1 Chevrolet for driver Jamie McMurray . The team was flagged on Lap 30 in the 267-lap race for unapproved adjustments to the car's body during a pit stop. Miller used a football analogy to describe the alteration.
    "We've gone to great lengths to get bracing in the side of the cars and define how all the parts and pieces have gotta be, and that's for one reason -- so that the sides don't cave in and the quarterpanels don't cave in," Miller said. "Their jackman looked like an offensive lineman throwing a block at the side of their car, so it caved the side in. We saw it, didn't like it, and back down pit road they came to fix it. That's just how it works. You can't pull on the skirts or cave the sides in or alter the body of the car on pit road, and that's what they did."(NASCAR.com)(5-10-2016)

  • Credit One Bank debuts as primary sponsor on McMurray's #1: Credit One Bank will make its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams as the primary partner on the #1 Credit One Bank Chevrolet SS. The car, driven by 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contender Jamie McMurray, will hit the track for the first time this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. The Credit One Bank signature blue paint scheme can also be seen on the #1 Chevrolet later this season at Daytona International Speedway and Dover Speedway (Oct. 2). Credit One Bank, introduced earlier this year as the "Official Credit Card of NASCAR", offers full spectrum credit card products, and is among the top 10 largest Visa credit card issuers in the United States. The Credit One Bank NASCAR credit card provides 1 percent cash back on eligible purchases and 2 percent cash back on purchases made at NASCAR.com. Card members also benefit from exclusive discounts from retail partners such as Fanatics and NASCAR Racing Experience.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(4-21-2016)

  • Ganassi crew member to have heart surgery: Front tire changer Nick Krizmanich of Chip Ganassi Racing will undergo open-heart surgery on March 29. Krizmanich has been a mainstay on pit road for the last few years working with multiple teams, including the #11, 2 and 42. This year Krizmanich was slated as the backup for the #1 and 42. "My condition was found during a physical," Krizmanich said. "The condition the doctors are fixing is called an aortic insufficiency. They will be replacing the main aortic valve in my heart through open-heart surgery. Apparently, the valve I was born with has a defect and doesn't close all the way, not allowing blood to fully pump through my heart and body. Thankfully, they found it, and it's getting fixed before it got even worse."(Pit Talks)(3-29-2016)

  • McMurray visits Martinsville high school: #1-Jamie McMurray spent Wednesday (3/16/2016) morning with the MADawgs robotic team and other engineering students at Martinsville High School, learning about their competitive robotics program and 3-D printing operation and taking some questions on racing. The driver said he went to school to be a machinist and appreciated the time the students put in to the projects. "I thought it was really cool to see all the time the kids put in after-hours," McMurray said. "It's really neat and is something I would have wanted to be a part of when I was in school. It's really cool to see the kids use their heads to build something like that then do it in competition. It was really cool." McMurray admitted that he has a competitive streak and was happy to hear about the competitive aspect of MADawgs. "They give them parameters to work it. The challenge of it wasn't just building a robot, it was going and competing," McMurray said. "I've always been super competitive. I like the fact you get to build something as a team and see how you stack up against everybody else." Todd Cassell, the engineering and robotics teacher at Martinsville High School, said he was thrilled to have McMurray in town for the morning. McMurray met the Bulldogs' basketball team before heading out and posed for photographs with a number of students.(full post at the Martinsville Bulletin)(3-17-2016)

  • Ganassi, Kauffman Discuss Partnership: Chip Ganassi and Rob Kauffman met with media and discussed their new partnership, a partial transcript:
    CHIP GANASSI: "It's a good opportunity for Chip Ganassi and Chip Ganassi Racing to have partners like Rob (Kauffman) and Felix (Sabates). From my point of view, Rob wanted to stay in the sport and this was a good opportunity for him to do that. We both have shared interest in lots of different kinds of cars and I think that's probably what brought us together. And I think it's obvious that Rob has skillsets I don't have and maybe vice-versa. So, it seemed to work well."
    GANASSI: "Right now, it's NASCAR and Sports Car. We're trying to get him interested in IndyCar racing."
    ROB KAUFFMAN: "It's just really worked out well. I think at the end of the day, I'm a car guy who has been okay in business. The interesting thing about partnering with Chip is he's a racer that's created an actual racing business. He's one of the few people who's been successful in running racing as a business. If you look up the word racer in the dictionary, his picture is often there. And so for me, I think it's a good combination. I'm not the guy to figure out arrangements for aerodynamics to make the cars faster, but hopefully together we can have even more success, especially on the Cup side."
    ROB KAUFFMAN: "We've thought about it. It didn't really work out for potentially bringing over the #15 or something like that, with Clint (Bowyer), but that didn't really work out. The way that system works is you have to run the cars. We're a two-car team. And we have two charters that we need. So that's really all that made sense to that.
    ROB KAUFFMAN: "Remember that only brings about 25% of the budget you need to really run a competitive car, so it's that pesky 75 percent that costs you all the money if you don't have a sponsor. And there's of course the driver, the staff, and everything that goes along with it. So, the Charter stuff is really just a means to an end; not an end in itself. So, really the important thing is to have a solid racing business, which Chip has had for many years, and I'm proud to be a partner in that. And, hopefully I can bring some added resources and skills to the equation. But Chip has done a great job winning championships and races. His organization doesn't need my help to do that, which is great; and I can hopefully be an investor and a participant and hopefully help with more success."
    ROB KAUFFMAN: "Well, there's no shortage of things to do, I think, with the team itself. Chip and I, now that the little franchise project is done, and now working, Chip and I cannot focus a little bit more and try to work on developing the team and just get to know everybody and how I can contribute, really. With the RTA we have a number of projects underway just to kind of follow on. It fairly resembles a job now."
    ROB KAUFFMAN: "No, not at all. It's totally on good terms that make sense. The RTA is really about full-time teams and really it'll probably be Charter Teams only going forward. But they're great guys. When we talked to them the other day they gave me one of their metals when I was here and I would bet they will have a Charter sooner rather than later and rejoin and be part of it because then you have a say in what's going on and a more formal role as opposed to not being on the outside looking in."(Team Chevy)(2-20-2016)

  • Credit One Bank Becomes NASCAR, CGR Partner: One of the largest and fastest growing credit card issuers in the United States, Credit One Bank has entered into a multi-year official sanctioning body partnership which designates Credit One Bank as the "Official Credit Card of NASCAR." Additionally, Credit One will become a partner on the No. 1 Chevrolet of Chip Ganassi Racing. As part of the agreement with NASCAR, Credit One Bank will offer fans officially licensed NASCAR-themed credit cards. Credit One Bank will also be the primary partner of the #1 Chevy, piloted by "2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" contender Jamie McMurray for three races, as well as a partner throughout the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) campaign. The #1 Credit One Bank Chevy will debut on the track at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) on April 24.
    "Our partnerships with both NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing will introduce the benefits of Credit One Bank card membership to a new audience of consumers," said Laura Faulkner, vice president of marketing communications, Credit One Bank. "With the Official Credit Card of NASCAR, fans can further their love of racing with a rewards program that complements that same passion. We also look forward to supporting Jamie McMurray in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."
    Credit One Bank offers full spectrum credit card products, and is among the top 10 largest Visa credit card issuers in the United States. Credit One Bank will offer cash back rewards, exclusive experiences, discounts, and special offers to their NASCAR Visa card members. The inaugural card design will feature NASCAR official marks and exciting race imagery, with additional designs to be released throughout the season. Fans can apply for the official NASCAR credit card by visiting www.CreditOneBank.com/NASCAR.
    "We could not be happier with Credit One Bank's fully integrated campaign to introduce its brand to our industry, stakeholders, and most importantly, our fans," said Steve Phelps, NASCAR executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "As our entire industry gears up for Daytona 500 weekend, this new agreement signals that NASCAR is still one of the most effective marketing spends in all of sports."
    Credit One Bank will utilize 2010 Daytona 500 champion McMurray as a spokesperson to promote its brand and the Official Credit Card of NASCAR. The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season will be McMurray's 14th full-time year in NASCAR's premier division. McMurray has seven career NSCS wins and 11 pole awards. McMurray is one of only three drivers to have won the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in a single season (2010).
    "This announcement is really exciting news for our team, but it is also a testament to our sport when a company like Credit One Bank recognizes the power of brands like NASCAR and Chip Ganassi Racing. It is always nice to see new brands come to the sport and make a commitment like Credit One Bank has with this news," said Steve Lauletta, president, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. "We are excited to have Credit One Bank onboard the No. 1 Chevrolet with Jamie McMurray and look forward to working with them to introduce their products and services to NASCAR fans everywhere."
    The Credit One Bank NASCAR marketing campaign will also include national television advertising, network and satellite radio advertising, sweepstakes and promotions, at-track marketing, unique retail partnerships and card member experiences for NASCAR fans.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 Team Schemes page.(2-13-2016)

  • Chip Ganassi won't rule out Ford NASCAR move: NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi has refused to rule out a future switch from Chevrolet to Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup having strengthened its ties with the manufacturer ahead of the 2016 season. CGR has been synonymous with Chevrolet in NASCAR, but the team is strengthening its ties with Ford after joining forces to spearhead its new Le Mans and World Endurance Championship programme having worked together during the Daytona Prototype sportscar era. It also enjoys success in IndyCar using Honda engines (CORRECTION: the team runs Chevy in IndyCar NOT Honda). Though owner Ganassi maintains he is happy running three programmes with three different partners [CGR actually runs in six different series not three - NASCAR, NASCAR XFINITY (Chevy), IndyCar (Chevy), IMSA & WEC (Ford) and Global Rally Cross (Ford)], he suggests there is potential for more homogeny with Ford in the future, saying 'I would never say never. I would not rule it out all. I'm happy to run Honda (Chevy) in Indycar, Chevy in NASCAR and Ford in Sportscar racing, all the manufacturers we work with are fully aware of my deals with the other manufacturers, I go in with an open book. I think that is what it takes to be in this business today. I would compare it to a car dealer that has multiple name plates or a manufacturing company which work for different manufacturers. I think it's important that they understand that we do not kiss and tell. We try to the best we can for everyone."(Crash.net, article is a little inaccurate)(2-11-2016)

  • Kauffman says RTA close to NASCAR agreement: Rob Kauffman has partnered with team owner Chip Ganassi Racing after pulling his resources from Michael Waltrip Racing, which closed its competition department after the 2015 NASCAR season. Kauffman arrived in NASCAR from the world of high finance and was picked by an elite group of Cup car owners to chair the Race Team Alliance. The RTA has been tasked with improving series-wide efficiency among race teams - such as saving money on travel and pooling together for things such as health insurance. Last year Kauffman and RTA members started a conversation with NASCAR to create some sort of charter system to give race teams more tangible value, similar to a league franchise. NASCAR and RTA are expected to announce the charter plan before the start of this season, which begins with the Feb. 21 Daytona 500. Daytona Beach News Journal Motorsports Editor Godwin Kelly conducted an exclusive one on one interview with Kauffman during the Rolex 24 At Daytona for NASCAR This Week.
    A few of the Q&A's:
    Q) Define your function with Ganassi Racing?
    Kauffman: Business partner. This is the early days of us figuring it out. Both of us are pragmatic people and we'll see what makes the most sense for me and what areas I can help benefit the team the most. I'm pretty flexible.
    Q) Based on your history at Waltrip Racing, you seem to be able to spark performance with a race team.
    Kauffman: We achieved some level of success at MWR but not the level that we wanted to reach. Chip is pretty successful and hopefully I can add to the mix. We did combine some parts of (Waltrip Racing) with Ganassi Racing, so some of the people, technology came over and we hope that makes us stronger on the NASCAR side.
    Q) Talk about what you have been talking about with NASCAR.
    Kauffman: I think it is pretty well known by now, this is a charter system with NASCAR to put more structure around teams so there is more value potentially to teams over time, so that NASCAR racing looks like other sports, which are organized and structured. We'd like team ownership to (look like) that of baseball or football. We are quite optimistic we will have something in place for 2016.
    Q) Where does that now stand?
    Kauffman: We have worked on this for a while. The teams have been working on it with NASCAR for a number of months. I think we are quite close to getting something done for the 2016 season, and the season starts in three weeks. I think all the major issues have been ironed out at this stage and now it's a matter of dotting the I's and crossing the T's and getting the paperwork sorted out. I'm quite optimistic we'll have something for this season. Read the full interview at the Daytona Beach News Journal (2-2-2016)

  • Ganassi receives the Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence: Chip Ganassi Racing owner Chip Ganassi, of Pittsburgh, Pa., has been named the recipient of the 2015 Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence. The announcement was made during the traditional prelude to the Rolex 24 At Daytona - the Grand Marshal Dinner - which was held at the Daytona 500 Club on Friday, January 29, 2016. The Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence recognizes a team owner or manager who has demonstrated the qualities of honesty, integrity, passion for the sport of automobile racing and an infinite love of cars altogether. The other candidates for the 2015 award were Bobby Rahal, Kevin Buckler and Bill Riley. A fixture in the auto racing industry for over 30 years as a race-car driver and team owner, Ganassi is considered one of the most successful and innovative owners in the sport. He currently counts two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, four in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, two in the World Endurance Championship and two cars in Global Rally Cross (RRDC/The Road Racing Drivers Club)(2-1-2016)

  • Motorsports Hall of Fame of America 28th class of inductees: The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) announced its 28th class of inductees at Daytona International Speedway, continuing a long-standing tradition of honoring legendary figures from a wide variety of racing disciplines.
    The seven-person class of 2016 inductees: Everett Brashear, Richard Childress, Gary Gabelich, Chip Ganassi, Dave McClelland, Sam Posey and Bob Sweikert. Collectively, the illustrious group represents motorcycles, stock cars, sports cars, land speed records, drag boat records, drag racing and open-wheel racing. They will be enshrined at the 28th Annual Induction Ceremony presented by Bridgestone on the evening of June 29 at Daytona International Speedway, the new home of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Friday's announcement was made in the Daytona International Speedway media center as part of the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend, with domestic and international media in attendance. The MSHFA has previously inducted 223 motorsports luminaries; inductees are selected by a 200-person voting panel that includes past racing greats Mario Andretti, Craig Breedlove, Don Emde, Don Garlits and Richard Petty. Tickets for the 2016 Induction Ceremony can be purchased by calling 248.349.7223 or through the MSHFA website at www.mshf.com.(MSHFA)(1-30-2016)

  • Sherwin Williams back on the #1: images of the #1 Sherwin Williams Chevy showcar were taken at the recent Sherwin Williams National Sales Meetings. No word what race the scheme will run at in 2016. See images of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page (1-28-2016)

  • McMurray and Larson Look to Build on Late Season Momentum: A new season means new opportunities. As Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) anticipates the 2016 season, the team is looking forward to building on what was in many ways a very successful season in 2015. The #42 Target Chevy, #1 Cessna Chevy and #1 McDonald's Chevy will feature new paint schemes for the 2016 NSCS season. Following their 26th season with CGRT, primary partner Target will continue to feature a different paint scheme for day and night races. Primary partner Cessna will see their scheme switch from black to blue and white, which reflects Cessna's branding for their line-up of luxury aircraft. This will be the fourth year that Cessna will adorn the #1 Chevy. Longtime team partner McDonald's will also feature a new design with a metallic feel as they enter their seventh year with CGRFS.
    Just as the 2015 season began, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson, along with INDYCAR teammates Tony Kanaan and 2015 series champion Scott Dixon will start the year racing at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, where they look to defend their title. Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced Chad Johnston as the new crew chief for Kyle Larson and the #42 Target team. Johnston joins the team from Stewart-Haas Racing, where he has been the crew chief for three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart and the #14 Chevy since the 2014 season. Johnston also served as crew chief for Martin Truex, Jr. and the #56 at Michael Waltrip Racing from 2011 - 2013. In early December, Kyle Larson embarked on a 13 hour trip to Tokyo, Japan to visit JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. headquarters, makers of the premium synthetic oil brand, ENEOS. Highlights of the trip included visiting the company's R&D center, stopping at the busiest intersection in the world, taking in a local fish market, dining at McDonald's and riding a bullet train. ENEOS has backed Larson in the XFINITY Series since 2014 and continues to be a full-time associate partner on the two CGRT XFINITY Series teams and the Chip Ganassi Racing Red Bull Global Rallycross cars.(CGRFS), see some images of some of the schemes on the #1 Team Schemes page and #42 Team Schemes page (1-21-2016)

2015 News

  • McDonald's [17 + 1 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor for the following 2015 races (on hood):
    Daytona - 2/14, Sprint Unlimited
    Atlanta - 3/1
    Auto Club - 3/22
    Bristol - 4/19
    Talladega - 5/3
    Kansas - 5/10
    Dover - 5/31, Cessna on side
    Michigan - 6/14
    Daytona - 7/5
    New Hampshire - 7/19, Cessna on side
    Indianapolis - 7/26, Cessna on side
    Watkins Glen - 8/9
    Bristol - 8/22, Cessna on side
    Darlington - 9/6, Cessna on side
    Chicago - 9/20, Cessna on side
    Charlotte - 10/10, Breakfast All Day
    Martinsville - 11/1
    Homestead - 11/22

  • Cessna [13 races] scheduled to be the sponsor for the following 2015 races (on hood):
    Daytona - 2/22, McDonald's on side
    Las Vegas - 3/8, Beechcraft
    Phoenix - 3/15, E-Z-GO
    Martinsville - 3/29, Dixie Chopper
    Texas - 4/11, McDonald's on side
    Charlotte - 5/24, McDonald's on side
    Pocono - 6/7, Cushman
    Sonoma - 6/28, Beechcraft
    Kentucky - 7/11, Bad Boy Buggies
    Michigan - 8/16, McDonald's on side
    Richmond - 9/12, Bell Helicopter
    Talladega - 10/25, pink branding and numbers
    Texas - 11/8

  • 2015 Races [1] that Energizer is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Richmond - 4/25

  • Bass Pro Shops is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2015:
    Charlotte, All Star Race - 5/16

  • Sherwin Williams is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2015:
    Phoenix - 11/15

  • Lexar is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2015:
    Pocono - 8/2

  • FLIR is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2015:
    New Hampshire - 9/27

  • Nature Made is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2015:
    Dover - 10/4

  • Halo 5 / Xbox is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2015:
    Kansas - 10/18

  • McMurray and Larson to run in the Rolex 24 at Daytona: Seven-time IMSA Champions and six-time and defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Ford Chip Ganassi Racing (FCGR) announced that they will field two Prototype (P) class entries at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2016. The addition of the #01 and #02 Ford EcoBoost Prototypes brings the FCGR car count to a team-record four entries for the race after previously announcing a pair of Ford GTs last month. Chip Ganassi Racing Teams' (CGRT) four-time and reigning Verizon IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon joins teammates Tony Kanaan (2004 Champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 Winner), Kyle Larson (#42 Chevy in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 2014 Rookie of the Year) and Jamie McMurray (#1 Chevy in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 2010 Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 Winner) in the #02 car to defend their 2015 win, while FCGR newcomer and FIA European Formula 3 Championship race winner Lance Stroll will join former Formula One driver Alex Wurz, reigning WEC (World Endurance Championship) LMP1 Champion Brendon Hartley and three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx in the #01 machine.
    Kyle Larson will be racing for the third time in the Rolex 24 At Daytona after winning the event in 2015 alongside teammates Dixon, Kanaan, and McMurray.
    Jamie McMurray has competed in the Rolex 24 At Daytona seven times with FCGR (2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) and had his best finish in 2015 with an overall win alongside teammates Dixon, Kanaan, and Larson. With his victory in the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona, McMurray joined the exclusive company of two other racing legends, Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt, as the only drivers to win both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Daytona 500.(CGR)(12-30-2015)

  • Different look for McMurray's Cessna car: Chip Ganassi Racing's posted on Twitter: @jamiemcmurray will be flying around the track in a new #Cessna1 in 2016! #TeamJMac@Cessna. See an image of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(12-18-2015)

  • Sherwin-Williams to Show-Off Its Colors on #1 Chevy: Jamie McMurray will carry the Sherwin-Williams branding on the #1 Chevy this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Although Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and Sherwin-Williams have shared a partnership for more than a decade, this will be the first time that one of the CGRT race cars has displayed a full paint scheme featuring the nation's largest specialty retailer of paint and painting supplies (CGR), see images of the car on the #1 Team Schemes page.(11-12-2015)

  • Chip Ganassi Racing forms Generation Ganassi Driver Identification Program: Chip Ganassi and his Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced the creation of the Generation Ganassi (Gen G) racing talent identification program, a mentorship that will look to identify and assist North America's young and talented race car drivers. The program identifies 13-18 year old drivers as "Ones to Watch" in the world of auto racing and offers professional guidance to aid in fostering their growth within the sport of auto racing. The first recipient of the 2016 Generation Ganassi moniker is a 15-year-old driver from Canada named Devlin Defrancesco. Defrancesco has been racing karts since 2006 where he has had much success including winning the Canadian National Junior Championship in 2013, also named Vice-Champion of the CSAI Italian Championship and was third overall in the CIK FIA European Karting Championship. In 2015, he joined British racing team Carlin Motorsports to prepare for races in the FIA Formula 4 Championship.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(11-7-2015)

  • New spotter for McMurray: #1-Jamie McMurray will have a new pair of eyes in the sky at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. After 20 years on the spotters' stand, Lorin Ranier is moving on to pursue other options. Tyler Green, who most recently spotted for Aric Almirola and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, will take over for Ranier. Ranier followed his father Harry and grandfather H.B.'s footsteps into racing. Buddy Baker, Cale Yarborough, Bobby and Davey Allison all raced under the Ranier Racing banner. Baker and Yarborough both drove the #28 car from the pole to Victory Lane at Daytona for two of Ranier Racing's three 500 wins. Ranier Racing earned 24 wins over 17 NASCAR Cup seasons prior to selling the team to Robert Yates in 1988.(Motorsport)(11-6-2015)

  • Special Halo schemes at Kansas for #1 & #88: Guardians having gone gold, Microsoft's marketing efforts for the blockbuster shooter are shifting into high gear--literally. Microsoft and 343 Industries have announced that two cars in next weekend's Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR event in Kansas City will be decked out with Master Chief and Spartan Locke paint jobs. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the Chief car, while #1-Jamie McMurray rides with Locke. The Hollywood Casino 400 race takes place on Sunday, October 18. The battle between Chief and Locke is at the heart of Halo 5's galaxy-changing story. "We have many NASCAR fans at the studio--myself included--and we're excited to see both cars compete at Kansas Speedway," 343 boss Kiki Wolfkill said in a statement. This is the first event in NASCAR history that Halo has sponsored. But it's not the first time video games have showed up on the race track, as Nintendo promoted Mario Kart with a custom car, while retailer GameStop regularly sponsors drivers.(GameSpot), see images of the schemes on the #1 Team Schemes page and #88 Team Schemes page.(10-8-2015)

  • Statement from Jamie McMurray regarding the passing of his niece: "I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of the friends and fans for the thoughts and prayers to our family, following the loss of my niece Lauren [Montez], who passed away last Sunday Oct. 4. Lauren was the inspiration behind my becoming involved with Autism awareness and the work that we have done through the Jamie McMurray Foundation with Autism Speaks. My sister Trisha and our entire family appreciate the respect of privacy during this difficult time.(more info at jamiemcmurray.com.(10-7-2015)

  • Late caution saves Earnhardt, Jr's. Chase chances: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #1-Jamie McMurray had a "game seven" moment in the third race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Earnhardt Jr. outran McMurray in a late-race battle that could be the dividing point between an ultimate payday of millions of dollars. Earnhardt Jr. finished third and McMurray fourth in the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, and that one position kept Junior in the running for the championship and closed the door on McMurray. Earnhardt Jr. passed McMurray on the outside on the race's final restart and stayed in front of him the rest of the way to drive into the 12th and final Chase spot going into Race Four next weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Earnhardt Jr. and McMurray tied in points (2,098) after the first three Chase races, but Junior won the tiebreaker (best finish in the round). The last green flag flew on lap 377 (of 400) after a caution for oil on the track. Twenty laps earlier, Earnhardt Jr. got a season-saving break when #34-Brett Moffitt hit the wall and caused the race's next-to-last caution. Junior had reported a loose wheel to his pit and later said he would have had to pit under green if the caution had not flown. "The left rear was falling off," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I was a couple laps from coming in. It was shaking real bad in the corner, and it started shaking on decel(eration), and I knew it was a matter of time before it was coming off. It wasn't going to make 50 laps. We had 50 to go at that point, and I wasn't going to bash my head against a concrete wall somewhere for a damn loose wheel, so we just came in sooner than later."(USA Today)(10-5-2015)

  • Nature Made partners with Ganassi on the #1 team at Dover: When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Dover International Speedway this weekend for the AAA 400, Jamie McMurray will carry the colors for Nature Made Adult Gummies and Nature Made Kids First supplements on the #1 Chevy SS. This represents a continuation of the partnership between Target, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams and Nature Made. This will be the first time that Nature Made has appeared on the #1 Chevy with McMurray, who is making his first appearance in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. McMurray will look to make the cut-off in the final race of the Challenger 16 Round at Dover and advance to the Contender 12 Round. Nature Made will also be and associate sponsor on the #1 car throughout the month of October at Kansas Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint scheme page.(10-2-2015)

  • FLIR Partners with McMurray and CGR in New Hampshire: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced that FLIR will be on the #1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Chevrolet SS, driven by 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contender, Jamie McMurray. The No. 1 FLIR Chevrolet SS will compete in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire. FLIR is the world leader in the manufacturing of thermal cameras and imaging sensors. FLIR products are employed in a variety of capacities, including public safety, military and industrial industries. In addition to infrared imaging technologies for commercial and government applications, FLIR has extended access to those technologies to the general public with the FLIR ONE for use with hand-held devices and the FLIR FX for in-home monitoring and outdoor security. This is the first NASCAR sponsorship for FLIR and the company will be showcasing thermal images of the #1 car across its social media channels.
    · Travis Merrill, Chief Marketing Officer, FLIR Systems, Inc.: "We are excited to sponsor Jamie McMurray and the #1 FLIR Chevrolet SS at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. FLIR technology has been used to enhance the performance in motorsports for several years and we look forward to sharing this technology and our brand with NASCAR fans."
    · Jamie McMurray, Driver #1 FLIR Chevy: "I'm really looking forward to having FLIR join us on the No. 1 team this weekend in New Hampshire. Not only is it valuable for us to bring new partners to the sport, but FLIR brings powerful technology products that we can use to continuously enhance our performance."
    FLIR Systems, Inc. is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of sensor systems that enhance perception and awareness. FLIR's advanced systems and components are used for a wide variety of thermal imaging, situational awareness, and security applications, including airborne and ground-based surveillance, condition monitoring, navigation, recreation, research and development, manufacturing process control, search and rescue, drug interdiction, transportation safety, border and maritime patrol, environmental monitoring, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives (CBRNE) threat detection. For more information, visit FLIR's web site at www.FLIR.com.(CGRFS)
    See an image of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(9-24-2015)

  • Ganassi injured in bicycle accident: Car owner [#1, #42] Chip Ganassi suffered a broken clavicle when he wrecked riding his bicycle Saturday in the Pittsburgh area, the team confirmed Tuesday. Ganassi had surgery Sunday and expects to be at Richmond International Raceway for Saturday night's Sprint Cup race, the team confirmed.(NBC Sports)(9-8-2015)

  • No third team for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2016: Despite speculation that Chip Ganassi Racing would add a third car for next season, the team confirmed Friday that they will remain a two-car operation. Officials with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates confirmed Friday that the organization will field just two fulltime teams in the Sprint Cup Series next season. Ganassi currently fields cars for #1-Jamie McMurray and #42-Kyle Larson and that won't change next year despite the addition of Rob Kauffman as an investor to the organization.(Motorsport)(8-21-2015)

  • Kauffman says MWR will cease operations after 2015 season: Rob Kauffman, an amateur racer who is a highly successful businessman, said Friday he had enough of pouring his own money into Michael Waltrip Racing without seeing results and announced that MWR would cease operations after this season. Kauffman, who saved MWR from closing in 2007 by purchasing half the team from Waltrip, announced Wednesday that the team would not field Sprint Cup cars in 2016. "Michael Waltrip Racing wouldn't have existed through today without substantial and continued financial support from me," Kauffman said Friday before Sprint Cup practice at Bristol Motor Speedway. "From a business standpoint, that didn't make sense any longer. You can't have a top-10 budget and top-10 resources and not be in the top 10 for a sustained period of time. It's a performance-related business. It's all about performance. It's a great sport but a very difficult business model. From a business decision, it just made sense to not go forward with that organization, which is not commercially viable." MWR expanded from two cars to three in 2012 when it added Bowyer, but that lasted only two years after Bowyer and MWR were embroiled in a race-manipulation scandal at Richmond in the final regular-season 2013 race. "Certainly that was a pretty heavy body blow to our organization," Kauffman said. "It caused a big restructuring; 2014 was at some level a large reset year for everybody, also [on the] financial [side]. As we got into the late spring in 2015, from a performance standpoint, the company wasn't where it needed to be, and that kind of forced some decisions and thought processes over the summer." Kauffman wouldn't say whether a three-car organization would have produced better results. "My crystal ball, unfortunately, is not clear," Kauffman said. "In a parallel universe, I'm not sure what would have happened."(ESPN)(8-21-2015)

  • Sabates says no deal with Kaufman yet: When Rob Kauffman announced at the beginning of August he had purchased an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, many in the NASCAR community wondered what it meant for the future. Kauffman is also a co-owner in Michael Waltrip Racing, but it was made clear the two organizations would operate separately throughout the rest of the year. A source close to the situation indicated this weekend at Michigan International Speedway the deal between Kauffman and the Ganassi organization is far from done, something Felix Sabates confirmed to FOXSports.com Sunday morning. "Basically we're talking. We don't have anything concrete," said Sabates. "We'd like to do something with (Kauffman), because I think he can add a lot to our team. We don't have anything signed." With MWR running Toyotas and Ganassi running Chevrolets, Kauffman has a unique predicament on his hands. The source indicated MWR has already been cut off by Toyota in all areas, with the exception of providing motors. Sabates could not speak to how Kauffman will handle the manufacturer situation, but said believes Kauffman eventually will have a decision to make. "I don't think it will work for him to have both (Chevrolet and Toyota teams), but you never know," he said. Sabates said expanding to a three-car organization has no bearing on the on-going discussions with Kauffman, but the overall goal is to expand the team. "Our goal is to expand either next year or the following year," he said.(Fox Sports)(8-17-2015)

  • Kaufmann talks to the press: A brief statement by Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman raised more questions than it provided answers about the future of MWR. Earlier in the week, a statement released by MWR indicated Kaufmann was buying into Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, fueling speculation that driver Clint Bowyer and sponsor 5-Hour Energy would move to Ganassi. Standing behind the hauler of the #55 MWR Toyota driven by David Ragan, however, Kauffman gave the impression that co-owner Michael Waltrip was somehow involved in the process and that there might be synergy between the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organizations. "First and foremost, the thing that's important to realize is that Michael Waltrip and I co-own Michael Waltrip Racing together," Kauffman said. "We're business partners and great personal friends, so any idea that I'm leaving or taking anything is actually misplaced. What we're actually doing is integrating the businesses, trying to get the most competitive product on track, do the best for all of our partners-that's really our focus. It's a competitive business, as everybody knows. It's competitive on track as well as off track." Kauffman indicated there are many details still to be determined. "In terms of our plans, whether we have three cars, four cars, two roofs, one roof-that's all yet to be determined, and how we do in the 2015 season will help determine whether that happens," Kauffman said. "If we do a great job, that'll be one outcome. If we do a less great job, probably another." Kauffman stepped into the hauler without taking questions from the throng of reporters clustered outside.(NASCAR Wire Service)(8-2-2015)

  • McMurray running a colorful paint scheme at Pocono: The #1 Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray will feature the colorful paint scheme for Lexar products. Lexar is a long-standing partner of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT). Lexar products continue to help CGRT enhance the way drivers and engineers gather and analyze data from the race cars. CGRT uses Lexar products in a variety of different capacities throughout the organization with its Verizion IndyCar, TUDOR United Sports Car Championship and NASCAR XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series teams, utilizing Lexar SD memory cards, CompactFlash memory cards and Lexar USB flash drives.
    " Wes Brewer, vice president and general manager, Lexar: "We look forward to watching Jamie take on Pocono Raceway behind the wheel of the #1 Lexar Chevy. With its unique twists and turns, the Pocono track always adds an element of excitement to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we can't wait to see Jamie accomplish his goals sporting the Lexar brand."(CGR), see images of the car/scheme on Jayski.com's #1 Team Schemes page.(7-30-2015)

  • Statements from MWR, CGR, Sabates, Waltrip & Toyota:
    Statement from Michael Waltrip Racing: "Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has agreed to buy an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The companies will continue to operate separately and compete against each other for the remainder of the 2015 season. They are also currently evaluating ways to field the most competitive race teams possible to provide an excellent platform for their partners and employees for the 2016 season and beyond. More details will follow in due course".(MWR)
    Statement from Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates "We confirm that Rob Kauffman has agreed to acquire an interest in the team. Further discussions regarding the 2016 season and beyond are underway."(CGR)
    Felix Sabates Statement to SXM NASCAR "I'm not going anywhere. This is about making our team stronger, a three car team is stronger than a two car. But the rumors that Rob is buying me out are not true, my last race will be five years from September 9th. I will be 75 years old then and will be done."(SXM NASCAR)
    Statement from Michael Waltrip: "My focus is on 2015 and fulfilling the commitment we have made to our partners and Toyota which is placing our teams in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. There are a lot of details yet to be sorted regarding 2016. I will work closely with Rob Kauffman and our sponsors to formulate the best way forward."(MWR)(7-30-2015)
    Statement from Toyota on Rob Kauffman Announcement: "We've spoken with Rob Kauffman and understand he has agreed to buy an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Rob has not disclosed the plans for Michael Waltrip Racing past the 2015 racing season. Toyota and TRD remain focused on winning races and championships with our team partners this year." ~Ed Laukes, Vice President marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS)(7-31-2015)

  • MWR to Chevy? Ragan to return? What about Vickers? UPDATE 3 denied?: What in the world will Toyota Racing's Sprint Cup program look like next year? One persistent, hot rumor features a manufacturer swap of sorts, with Rob Kauffman, currently the principal owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, taking his racing interests and partnering with a Chevy team. Furniture Row Racing is currently eyeing the Toyota camp with an ardor that has progressed well beyond flirtation.
    Two potential partnerships mentioned for Kauffman are Chip Ganassi Racing and Richard Childress Racing. Ganassi absorbed Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Martin Truex Jr. into the fold back in 2009. RCR expressed interest in acquiring a minority partner after Chartwell Investments expressed a desire to sell its stake in the company in 2012. Kauffman did not offer a definitive reply when asked about a possible realignment.
    Furniture Row's Barney Visser has been more forthcoming. The Denver, Colorado-based team owner hopes to make a manufacturer decision in the next few weeks to accommodate a possible restructuring with Toyota for next year.
    Although FRR currently receives no financial support from Chevrolet, the team's move could open the door for Kauffman to enter into a technical alliance with RCR, with whom the #78 currently shares data. However, sources told Motorsport.com that Ganassi appears to be the frontrunner for Kauffman's capital at this time.
    Michael Waltrip Racing's driver lineup likely hinges on Aaron's continued support with the #55 team. Both Kauffman and Clint Bowyer, who is in the first year of a three-year contract, are high on driver David Ragan. Aaron's has been a sponsor of Michael Waltrip's since 2000 but has yet to renew with MWR. A decision on the company's involvement could come in the next six to eight weeks.
    Last week Brian Vickers expressed interest in returning to racing. Given the unpredictability of Vickers situation, Kauffman isn't sure whether they could accommodate the driver. "...The most important thing right now is his health. I haven't really had a conversation with him regarding coming back to racing and the like. It's a big medical issue that I haven't been involved with up until now.," Kauffman said. "He loves racing, so I'm sure he does (want to return), but I think it would be a challenge to try and figure something out--but I would never say never."(Motorsport)(7-23-2015)
    UPDATE: David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Tuesday that the manufacturer has its sights set on more teams making the 2015 Chase while also looking ahead to its 2016 lineup. Michael Waltrip Racing with Clint Bowyer's #15 team and David Ragan's #55 are the manufacturer's two highest-ranked drivers without wins, sitting 15th and 24th respectively in the standings. Based on points, the #15 driver is currently in the provisional Chase Grid, but if Busch makes the top 30, Bowyer will be bounced without a win. As the manufacturer attempts to add those MWR teams to this year's Chase, Wilson wasn't certain about the organization's future with Toyota.
    "We are talking to a number of organizations about the future, and certainly in the near-term, we're not sure what Michael Waltrip Racing is going to do," Wilson said. "They've yet to announce their plans. Certainly we have had a rich history in the sport together. We got our butts kicked together in 2007, our first year, and you forge very close and personal relationships when you have those trials together. Whatever they decide to do, we certainly wish nothing but the best for them."
    Wilson has acknowledged discussions with #78 Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser about the Denver-based team's potential manufacturer move from Chevrolet to Toyota. But the TRD president suggested that Furniture Row, like Toyota itself, was focused on its 2015 Chase efforts. "Regarding Furniture Row Racing, again they haven't announced their plans for next year certainly," Wilson said. "I imagine they're focusing on getting Martin Truex well-positioned in the Chase as well and competitive."(NASCAR.com)(7-29-2015)
    UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip Racing principal Owner Rob Kauffman is close to purchasing Felix Sabates' stake in Chip Ganassi Racing, according to multiple industry sources, which would cause Kauffman to drop his affiliation with MWR if the sale is completed. Kauffman, who has been with MWR for eight years, would take on Sabates' minority stake in the team, while CGR principal Owner Chip Ganassi would continue to retain majority control, according to sources. It is unclear if Sabates will hold onto a small stake to retain his affiliation with the team or if he will be dropping the affiliation entirely.
    Sources said that Kauffman would take one of the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entries at MWR - the #15 Toyota driven by Clint Bowyer - with him to CGR. Because MWR's sponsors, including 5-Hour Energy, Aaron's, Peak, AAA and Maxwell House, have yet to determine their next move, it is unclear whether the operation, which also has the #55 currently driven by David Ragan, would form an alliance or merge with another team, or pursue some other option. CGR execs had no comment; MWR did not respond to e-mails by presstime.
    Ganassi Racing currently has two Sprint Cup entries - the #1 McDonald's / Cessna Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray and the #42 Target Chevy driven by Kyle Larson. The combined three-car entity will remain with Chevrolet, which is the current supplier to CGR in the Sprint Cup Series. Kauffman also is chair of the Race Team Alliance, which was founded last year. Whether his role with the RTA will be affected is unclear.(Sports Business Daily)(7-29-2015)
    UPDATE 3: Felix Sabates, part owner in Chip Ganassi Racing's NASCAR operation, disputed a published report Wednesday by Sports Business Daily claiming Rob Kauffman was close to purchasing Sabates' stake in the team. "I am not going anywhere," Sabates said. "I am having too much fun. Plus, I have unfinished business. I need to sit at the head table in Las Vegas."(Motorsport)(7-30-2015)

  • McMurray hopeful of Chase spot...even without win: Points tabulations had entered #1-Jamie McMurray's mid-race calculus by May, as he ran mid-pack in the final 30 laps at Talladega Superspeedway. He could pull out and hope for a push, advance, possibly win what would still stand as his only victory of the season. Or he could ride, amass points, and continue pursuing his first-ever berth in the multiple variations of the Chase for the Sprint Cup that debuted in 2004. "I wanted to pull down, because you want to go win," McMurray told USA TODAY Sports. "And I came on the radio and asked, 'How many cars are on the lead lap?' And they said 32. I was like, I am not willing to give up 12 points for trying to gain five. I didn't like the risk versus the reward." McMurray chose points and still managed to follow the line to an 11th-place finish. Those points help him enter the Brickyard 400 on Sunday ninth in the standings, highest among Sprint Cup non-winners.
    Both McMurray and crew chief Matt McCall operate under the assumption that three-race winner #18-Kyle Busch will climb three more rungs to 30th in driver points and leave just five transfer spots available. That impacts their math. "Honestly, as long as Kyle Busch is 99 percent going to make the top 30, which will put him in the Chase, for the most part, if we don't have someone outside of the top 16 win a race, I wouldn't say we're guaranteed in, but I think we're really comfortably going to be in," McMurray said. "It's if you get one or two guys at a road course somewhere or maybe win a fuel mileage race, if they win outside of that, that's when it gets really tough because you'd have to be in the top 13 or 14 in points."(USA Today)(7-26-2015)

  • Ford Returning to Le Mans with Chip Ganassi Racing: Ford announced it is returning to one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world with its new Ford GT race car, based on the all-new ultra-high-performance supercar that goes on sale next year. The Ford GT race car will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans - referred to by many as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency - starting next year. Ford GT will compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class for professional teams and drivers (LM GTE Pro). The new race car is based on the all-new Ford GT supercar unveiled in January. Both the production car and race car will arrive in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ford went on to repeat its victory at Le Mans in 1967, 1968 and 1969. The new Ford GT race car will run the full 2016 schedules of the FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, making its competition debut in January 2016 in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Florida. The two Ford teams will be operated by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS). Both series teams intend to compete with a four-car effort at Le Mans. Drivers will be announced later. Joining Ford in this project are Multimatic Motorsports, Roush Yates Engines, Castrol, Michelin, Forza Motorsport, Sparco, Brembo and CGRFS.(Ford)(6-12-2015)

  • Special scheme for McMurray at Richmond: When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Richmond International Raceway (RIR) this week, #1-Jamie McMurray will sport the new colors of Energizer EcoAdvanced Batteries. As an extension of the long-standing partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams and in support of the NASCAR industry-wide Green and Sustainability initiative "Race to Green", Energizer will feature the recently introduced, Energizer EcoAdvanced batteries, on the #1 Chevty SS. Energizer EcoAdvanced is a first-of-its-kind battery made with four percent recycled battery material that delivers long-lasting power while creating less impact on the planet. Just like NASCAR teams are always looking for innovative ways to increase performance, Energizer is dedicated to creating a long-lasting battery made of recycled materials, including the continued focus to ultimately deliver a battery made of 40% recycled materials by 2025.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(4-23-2015)

  • Chip Ganassi Racing expands into Red Bull Global Rallycross: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced the formation of a two-car team in the Supercar class of Red Bull Global Rallycross with new partner Loenbro and drivers Brian Deegan and Steve Arpin. CGRT joins the vibrant and growing series and looks to continue its history of on-track success while also complementing the team's continued focus on reaching millennials as a vehicle to grow interest in motorsports. CGRT joins forces with energy services and construction company Loenbro, which serves clients throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond, to field the two-car team out of CGRT's Concord, N.C.-based shop that houses their NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series programs. Founding brothers Paul and Jon Leach are entrepreneurs who built a company on a foundation of strong core values and a tireless effort to exceed clients' expectations, and have had life-long personal interests in the world of motorsports. The 16-time X-Games medalist Deegan will pilot the #38 RockStar Energy Drink Ford Fiesta ST, with teammate Arpin in the #00 ENEOS Ford Fiesta ST. Arpin will run the full 12-race calendar, with Deegan competing in seven races. The two will also compete in X Games Austin this summer as it returns to Circuit of the Americas from June 4-7.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(3-19-2015)

  • Gordon and McMurray comment about wreck at Atlanta: #24-Jeff Gordon and #1-Jamie McMurray were victims of a late wreck on lap 256 in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Comments by Jeff Gordon:
    Gordon: "I saw the #11 (Denny Hamlin) going sideways. I had him cleared. I stood on the gas and went by him; but I guess he might have clipped the #1 (Jamie McMurray) and it turned the #1 back into me. After that I was just along for the ride. It looks like maybe the #31 (Ryan Newman) came down in trying to avoid the #11 and got into the #1 and then he clipped me in the left rear and sent me down the back straightaway. It wouldn't have been too bad except that I found that one spot where there's no SAFER barrier. I can't believe it. That's amazing to me. Anyway, hopefully soon that will get fixed. It was a pretty big impact. I hate it for this team. We were struggling. We didn't have the 3M Chevrolet that I thought we were going to have, but we weren't giving up on it. We were going to make gains and we finally got ourselves in the top 10 and I think we had a shot of getting into the top five. But obviously it's not the way we want to start our season."
    Gordon: "He (Denny Hamlin) was loose before that. He looked like he struggled on the restarts. He would go up the race track. I think he was just real loose in the beginning of a run. Guys, yeah, they are getting aggressive. I don't know if somebody got into the back of him, but they may have. He went around and at that point everybody is just trying to avoid him. You know how on those restarts it gets pretty wild down there in (turns) one and two. The later you get in the race like everywhere it gets more intense and guys start pushing harder and giving a lot less."
    Gordon: "I am very frustrated with the fact there are no SAFER barriers down there. I knew it was a hard hit. I was like 'man I can't believe...' I didn't expect it to be that hard. Then I got out and I looked and I saw 'oh wow big surprise I found the one wall here on the back straightaway that doesn't have a SAFER barrier. I don't think we can say any more after Kyle's (Busch) incident at Daytona. Everybody knows we have to do something and it should have been done a long time ago. All we can do now is hope they do it as fast as they possibly can."
    Gordon: "I saw the #11 (Denny Hamlin) get loose and come around. He was just trying to save it, and guys were trying to avoid him, and got collected. I went by the No.11 on the outside and cleared him. I thought I was in good shape then I saw the #1 (Jamie McMurray) coming fast. I tried to get by him and he clipped me in the left rear and spun us around and sent us into the wall on the back straightaway. We weren't having a great day, I thought we would be better than that. We were struggling but I'm proud of the way we were fighting through. We had gotten ourselves into the top-10 right there. We might have had a shot at a top-five but we won't know now. It's unfortunate way to start the season. We just have to dig ourselves out of this hole."
    Comments by Jamie McMurray:
    McMurray: "So, the #11 (Denny Hamlin) just got loose. It's pretty hard to pass. And you run wide-open so long that you take what you can get when you can get it. And the restarts are the best place to pass on the track; especially if you're on the bottom. That's a pretty big advantage here. You're just racing as hard as you can and unfortunately we just had an accident there. Our McDonald's Chevy was really good today. I was really proud of our whole team. The track bar adjuster was really interesting if you got to play with that and there were times you'd get your car back. I don't know that it necessarily created passing, but it saved you at times if the car got a longs way off. So yeah, interesting day."
    McMurray: "I didn't see the #11 (Denny Hamlin) spin out there. I was trying to pass the #31 (Ryan Newman) on the bottom and I honestly thought I got hit by the #31. I had to watch the replay to see that the #11 had lost it on top and came down. I don't know if he clipped the #31 or if he clipped me. I didn't see any of that coming. That was kind of out of the blue. You just try to get all you can on the restarts and he just got loose."
    McMurray: "Atlanta hasn't been very good for me, and it hasn't been very good for our group. So to run as good as we did today I think that is going to be really good for Las Vegas and some of the other tracks with a lot of grip."(Team Chevy)(3-1-2015)

  • Sabates closes Bentley dealership: For those who drive a Bentley, or hope to soon, High Point, NC is your likely destination, not Charlotte. Felix Sabates opened the first and only Bentley dealership in Charlotte in late 2013, but, as of last Friday, it's closed. In a letter dated Jan. 20, Sabates told customers, "My partners and I have decided after losing dollars above seven figures, it is in our best financial interest to discontinue the sale of Bentley automobiles in Charlotte. Bentley Motors makes great automobiles, but unfortunately a single high-end brand new car dealership cannot survive in this market, and we were limited by contract with our landlord with what brand of pre-owned cars we could sell." Sabates opened a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Pineville in 2006. Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera endorses the dealer in a series of local TV ads. An employee at the Mercedes dealership who answered the phone this afternoon said Bentleys will be repaired and maintained there. In his letter, Sabates mentions a request made to Bentley to allow him to service Bentleys in Charlotte. Bentley has had a dealership in High Point since 1963. Geoff Eade, who runs that dealership, threatened legal action against Sabates prior to the Charlotte dealership's opening. Eade opted against a lawsuit and Sabates spent $500,000 overhauling a former Mini dealership on Independence Boulevard to sell Bentleys.(Charlotte Business Journal)(2-4-2015)

  • RCR settles lawsuit with McCall over move to Ganassi: Richard Childress Racing has settled its lawsuit with former engineer Matt McCall, who left the organization after the 2014 season to crew chief at Chip Ganassi Racing. RCR had sued McCall in North Carolina Superior Court in December, and lost its request for a temporary restraining order to keep McCall from working as crew chief for driver Jamie McMurray and from using RCR trade secrets. McCall had been the lead engineer for Ryan Newman, who finished second in the 2014 standings. The two sides were scheduled to return to the courtroom Feb. 10 (three days before the garage opens in Daytona), but a settlement was confirmed by RCR in a statement released to Sporting News: "Richard Childress Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing have reached an agreement pursuant to which Mathew McCall will remain the crew chief for Ganassi's #1 Sprint Cup team," the statement said. "Both organizations believe it is important for NASCAR teams to work together to honor and protect their respective proprietary and trade secret technologies, as well as one another's contractual commitments. The terms of the settlement are designed to further that objective. The remaining terms of the agreement shall remain confidential."(Sporting News)(2-1-2015)

  • Sabates guarantees his drivers will make the Chase: Chip Ganassi Racing co-owner Felix Sabates has guaranteed that both #42-Kyle Larson and #1-Jamie McMurray will make the post-season Chase in 2015. The flamboyant Sabates took to the podium Thursday during NASCAR's pre-season Media Tour and predicted that his two-car team would secure a pair of Chase berths this season. "I've never guaranteed anybody anything in all the years I've been in racing," Sabates said. "But I'll guarantee you that both of these guys will be in the Chase."(MRN)(1-30-2015)

  • Sherwin Williams to sponsor McMurray? was sent some images of the #1 Sherwin-Williams Chevy, hearing that Sherwin-Williams will be a primary sponsor, but no idea how many races, see images of the car/scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(1-28-2015)

  • Chip Ganassi Racing wins Rolex 24 at Daytona: Scott Dixon drove a gritty and lengthy final leg Sunday to lead Chip Ganassi Racing and its "star car" to a record-breaking sixth victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The three-time IndyCar champion relieved Kyle Larson, NASCAR's reigning rookie of the year, with 3 hours, 32 minutes remaining in the twice-round-the-clock endurance race. Dixon was tasked with conserving fuel and making no mistakes in pursuit of the Rolex watch. The Iceman delivered, and made it look easy, too. He totaled more than seven hours behind the wheel of the Target/Ford EcoBoost Riley Prototype, and had teammates Larson, Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray and Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan watching with little worry as he closed out the victory. The win gave team owners Ganassi and Felix Sabates their sixth win in 12 Rolex attempts - most in the 53-year history of the race. It was the second win for Dixon, who was part of the 2006 victory with Casey Mears and Dan Wheldon. It was the first Rolex win for McMurray, Kanaan and Larson, who felt he was so underwhelming in his debut last season that he let his team down and never wanted to return to the sports car race. Instead, he drove his own impressive three-plus hour stint in the middle of the night, then put together a brief but error-free run Sunday morning to get the team into the time window to turn the car over to Dixon. McMurray joined AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti as the only drivers to win the Daytona 500 and the Rolex.(Associated Press)(1-25-2015)

  • Felix Sabates honored by Allegro Foundation: The Allegro Foundation and its board of directors will [honored] NASCAR team owner Felix Sabates at its sixth annual Ambassador's Ball Saturday night at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte. The foundation combines movement instruction with medical and educational expertise to create new techniques to teach children with disabilities and enhance their quality of life. The foundation [honored] Sabates, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, for his support for the organization over the past decade. All proceeds from the ball go directly to Allegro's free movement education programs for more than 700 children with disabilities throughout the Charlotte and Fort Mill, S.C., areas.(Charlotte Observer)(1-11-2015)

  • RCR Sues former employee: Richard Childress Racing failed to prove that an engineer who became another team's crew chief stole trade secrets, the North Carolina Business Court ruled. Matthew McCall started working for RCR as a race engineer on the Camping World Truck Series team in 2010. Two years later, RCR promoted him to similar position working on the #31 Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. McCall's contract included provisions that, if he resigned, he could not work for a competitor in a similar capacity for 12 months. During the 2014 season, McCall said several times that he would like to work as a crew chief for a Sprint Cup team. When RCR offered McCall a crew-chief spot on the Nationwide Series, NASCAR's second-ranked circuit, he resigned at the end of the 2014 Sprint Cup season. Two days later, Chip Ganassi Racing hired McCall as the crew chief for Jamie McMurray's #1 Chevy on the Sprint Cup circuit.
    RCR sued McCall in Davidson County, N.C., in November for breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets. It moved on Dec. 3 for a temporary restraining order to keep McCall from working for Ganassi or another competitor. As quoted in the Dec. 19 ruling, RCR argued that the positions were similar because McCall "routinely performed the tasks of the crew chief (and complained about doing so)," and filled in for the crew chief when he was unavailable. (Parentheses in original.) The team also noted that McCall officially served as the crew chief during the 2013 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. McCall responded that he filled in as crew chief during for just one practice session and one testing session. During the Brickyard 400, the regular crew chief was suffering from an eye injury but made the critical decisions from a trailer, where he was watching the race, McCall added. The North Carolina Business Court denied RCR's request for a restraining order. "Plaintiff has not shown, at this time, a likelihood of success on its claim that by accepting a crew chief position with Ganassi, Defendant has become employed in a 'capacity identical or similar to that in which he participated while employed by (plaintiff) and therefore as breached the employment contract," Judge Louis Bledsoe III wrote. RCR also did not prove that McCall had or would disclose its trade secrets, the court found.(Court House News)(1-1-2015)

2014 News

  • McDonald's is scheduled to be the primary sponsor for the following 17 races in 2014:
    Daytona - 2/23
    Bristol - 3/16
    Auto Club - 3/23
    Martinsville - 3/30
    Richmond - 4/26
    Talladega - 5/4
    Kansas - 5/11
    Michigan - 6/15
    New Hampshire - 7/13
    Watkins Glen - 8/10
    Michigan - 8/17
    Bristol - 8/23
    Chicago - 9/14
    Dover - 9/28
    Charlotte - 10/11, Monopoly
    Martinsville - 10/26
    Texas - 11/2

  • Cessna / Bell Helicopter / E-Z-GO / Bad Boy Buggies is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following 16 races in 2014:
    Daytona - 2/15, Sprint Unlimited
    Phoenix - 3/2, Bad Boy Buggies
    Las Vegas - 3/9, Bad Boy Buggies
    Texas - 4/6, Bell Helicopter
    Darlington - 4/12, Cessna / Beechcraft
    Charlotte - 5/25, Cessna / Bell Helicopter
    Dover - 6/1, Bad Boy Buggies
    Pocono - 6/8, Cushman / Keurig
    Sonoma - 6/22, Cessna / Hawker
    Daytona - 7/5, Cessna - stars & stripes
    Indianapolis - 7/27, Cessna / Greenlee
    Pocono - 8/3, Bad Boy Buggies
    Atlanta - 8/31, Cessna / Greenlee
    Richmond - 9/6, Cessna / Beechcraft
    Kansas - 10/5, Cessna / Monopoly
    Talladega - 10/19, Cessna

    Homestead - 11/16, Cessna

  • Bass Pro Shops is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2014:
    Charlotte, All-Star race - 5/17

  • Lexar is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2014:
    Kentucky - 6/28

  • Belkin - WEMO is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2014:
    New Hampshire - 9/21

  • LiftMaster is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2014:
    Phoenix - 11/9, Prescott Granite Mountain "Hotshots"

  • Larson, McMurray running Rolex 24 for Ganassi: Seven-time IMSA Champions and five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced the fielding of two Prototypes for the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona, featuring eight drivers that represent some of the best talent the motor racing world has to offer. Veteran Scott Pruett and new teammate Joey Hand will unite with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams' Verizon IndyCar Series race-winner Charlie Kimball and CGRT development driver Sage Karam to form the lineup in the #01 Ford EcoBoost/Target Riley, while CGRT Verizon IndyCar Series Champions and Indianapolis 500 Winners Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan join CGRFS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series reigning Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson and NSCS race-winner Jamie McMurray in the #02 Target/Ford EcoBoost Riley. The 2015 CGRFS Rolex 24 At Daytona driver roster is an impressive group of international racing champions representing two Indianapolis 500 titles (Dixon-2008, Kanaan-2013), a Daytona 500 (McMurray-2010), four Verizon IndyCar Series Championships (Dixon-2003, 2008, 2013 and Kanaan-2004), seven Prototype Championships (Pruett-2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), and four Rookie of the Year honors in their respective series (Kanaan-1999, Dixon-2001, McMurray-2003, Larson-2014). The group brings with them 144 total wins.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(12-19-2014)

  • McCall named new crew chief for McMurray: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that Matt McCall has been named crew chief for Jamie McMurray and the #1 team. McCall will assume the role effective immediately to prepare for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. McCall joins CGRFS from Richard Childress Racing where he most recently has been the race engineer for the #31 Chevy that made it to the Championship round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, ultimately finishing the season second in the championship point standings. McCall is also a former driver who has competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series. In fact, racing has been in his blood from an early age as he began racing go-karts at age nine and eventually joined the World Karting Association Dirt Series where he would ultimately win the honor of Grand National Champion. He would also go on to race in Super Sport events as well. The Denver, NC native graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a major in mechanical engineering. The 33-year-old McCall is also passionate about fitness and holds a third-degree black belt in karate.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(11-18-2014)

  • Crew chief change for Kahne?: Since #5-Kasey Kahne's struggles earlier this season, rumors have persisted that Hendrick Motorsports would make a crew chief change on the #5 Farmer's Insurance Chevy. Although Kenny Francis has guided Kahne to 16 wins and five Chase appearances, this season the team barely made the playoffs after pulling off a last-minute victory at Atlanta. After eight seasons with Francis, the success the pair once enjoyed appeared to evaporate after team engineer Keith Rodden left to join Ganassi Racing as crew chief for #1-Jamie McMurray. But if the rumor mill is right, Rodden could be returning to Hendrick Motorsports next season as Kahne's crew chief. The trio of Kahne, Francis and Rodden moved to HMS three seasons ago. Francis, who has a year remaining on his contract, would remain on in a technical director type of role. When asked about his status for next year, Francis declined comment. Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick said on Sunday morning, "I don't know what we're going to do yet. Doug Duchardt is working on some projects...nothing is done. Nothing is signed. We're looking at some options, but we're really happy with what we have." When asked whether Rodden was returning to HMS, Hendrick said, "I'm not sure." Ganassi Racing reps offered a similar reply. Long-time Hendrick Motorsports engineering director Rex Stump is moving to Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the season.(Motorsport)(11-9-2014)

  • LiftMaster to honor Prescott Granite Mountain "Hotshots" at Phoenix: The #1 LiftMaster Chevy of Jamie McMurray will carry a special look this weekend to honor 19 firefighters from the Prescott Granite Mountain "Hotshots" who lost their lives battling a wildfire at Yarnell Hill, Ariz. in June 2013. As a tribute to their heroism, the hood of the LiftMaster Chevy SS will carry the names of all 19 firefighters, as LiftMaster, Jamie McMurray and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates honor these fallen heroes and their families this weekend for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500.(CGR), see an image of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(11-7-2014)

  • LiftMaster to honor "Hotshots" with special paint scheme for McMurray: The #1 LiftMaster Chevy of Jamie McMurray will carry a special look this weekend to honor 19 firefighters from the Prescott Granite Mountain "Hotshots" who lost their lives battling a wildfire at Yarnell Hill, Ariz. in June 2013. As a tribute to their heroism, the hood of the LiftMaster Chevy SS will carry the names of all 19 firefighters, as LiftMaster, Jamie McMurray and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates honor these fallen heroes and their families this weekend for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500.(CGR)(11-6-2014)

  • Cessna & McDonald's team up on the #1 at Kansas: The #1 Chevy SS of Jamie McMurray will feature a unique look this weekend at Kansas Speedway. The two primary partners on the #1 will share the primary sponsorship at Kansas to feature both the McDonald's Monopoly Game and Cessna. One of the prizes offered in The Monopoly game at McDonald's will be the opportunity to win a chartered flight on a Cessna jet (CGR), see an image of the car on the #1 Team Schemes page.(10-4-2014)

  • WeMo featured on McMurray's Chevy at NHMS: The #1 Chevy SS driven by Jamie McMurray will sport the vibrant green colors from WeMo this weekend at NHMS. WeMo is a growing family of innovative, easy-to-use products that use mobile internet to control your home electronics, power, water, and Wi-Fi right from your smartphone or tablet. WeMo also works with IFTTT, connecting your home electronics to a whole world of online applications.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(9-19-2014)

  • CGR to Host First Ever Social Media Concert: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) is hosting an invitation-only social media concert featuring Republic Nashville recording artist and former winner of The Voice Cassadee Pope at the team's Concord, N.C. headquarters on Sept. 8. The concert for 300 social media and millennial influencers called Ganassi Sound Garage: a Digi Bash, will be hosted by the team's lineup of young NASCAR drivers Kyle Larson and Dylan Kwasniewski and INDYCAR driver Sage Karam. The event, which will be emceed by FOX Sports 1 television personality Kaitlyn Vincie, will be streamed live beginning at 8:30 pm/et. For more info and links at chipganassiracing.com.(9-8-2014)

  • Ganassi to be honored for contributions to motorsports: Multiple race-team owner Chip Ganassi on Thursday will receive the inaugural Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for his outstanding contributions to motorsports. The award will be given by the International Motor Racing Research Center at the 2014 IMRRC Award Dinner honoring Chip Ganassi presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and Watkins Glen International. Some of racing's top figures, including NASCAR President Mike Helton, will be honoring Ganassi, who fields teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Verizon INDYCAR and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series. Ganassi Racing driver Jamie McMurray, who will be competing in the weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International, also will take a turn at the podium, as will Brian Barnhart, INDYCAR senior vice president, competition, and SCCA president and CEO, Lisa Noble. The proceeds of the dinner will benefit the IMRRC, an archival library dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of motorsports, covering all series and all venues, through its collections of books, periodicals, films, photographs, fine art and other materials. The IMRRC is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.(International Motor Racing Research Center)(8-3-2014)

  • Bad Boy Buggies returns to the #1 at Pocono: The #1 Chevy SS, driven by Jamie McMurray, will carry the Bad Boy Buggies branding on the hood this weekend for the GoBowling.com 400. Bad Boy Buggies has new models and innovations that are revolutionizing the way outdoor enthusiasts use UTVs. Whether the customer is a hunter looking for the best technology to track and bag her next trophy kill, or a recreational rider seeking to tackle the trails, Bad Boy Buggies will continue to transform the way people enjoy the outdoors.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(8-1-2014)

  • Drivers on guest on TV shows (Tonight & Tuesday): Current and former NASCAR drivers make guest appearances on popular BBC America, USA Network and TBS television shows this week.
    Jamie McMurray, Rusty Wallace and Junior Johnson are scheduled to appear on Idris Elba: King of Speed on BBC America, July 14th at 10:00pm/et. NASCAR drivers help actor Idris Elba uncover the world of NASCAR racing in an episode of the BBC America original docu-series, Idris Elba: King of Speed. Carl Edwards is scheduled to make a cameo appearance on USA Network's Royal Pains, Tuesday, July 15 at 9:00pm/et. In the episode the character Divya (Reshma Shetty) treats a NASCAR crew chief (guest star Michael O'Keefe) who suffers from anxiety. Edwards gives the crew chief's daughter Ashley (guest-star Spencer Grammer), who is an up-and-coming race car driver, tips about excelling on the track.
    Brad Keselowski makes second guest appearance on TBS' Sullivan & Son, July 15th at 10:00pm/et. In the new episode entitled "Luck of The Half-Irish," Keselowski plays himself and finally breaks his losing streak. Keselowski credits his big win to visiting his favorite bar, Sullivan & Son, and the establishment declares the bar stool he sat on before the race "lucky." Keselowski first appeared on Sullivan & Son last season. He played himself and got into a fender bender with character Ok Cha (Jodi Long) when attempting to parallel park.(7-14-2014)

  • Sprint Cup teams form Race Team Alliance UPDATE: A group of nine multi-car teams participating in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) announced today they have formed a collaborative business association called the Race Team Alliance (RTA). The purpose of the organization is to create an open forum for the teams to explore areas of common interest and to work collaboratively on initiatives to help preserve, promote, and grow the sport of stock car racing. The organization intends to open up its membership to all full time NSCS teams in the very near future. In providing a vehicle for the teams to work together, the organization creates for the first time a single entity to engage with stakeholders on creative ways to market and experience the power of the sport's teams and drivers. As part of its focus, the RTA also plans to explore innovative ways to harness the combined purchasing power and scale of the teams' operations to drive efficiencies in costs. Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has been elected the first chair of the RTA.
    "With the encouragement of NASCAR and the manufacturers, the teams have met in various forms and forums over the years to explore areas of common interest. This simply formalizes what was an informal group." said Kauffman. "The key word is 'Collaboration'. We all have vested interests in the success and popularity of stock car racing. By working together and speaking with a single voice, it should be a simpler and smoother process to work with current and potential groups involved with the sport. Whether it be looking for industry-wide travel partners or collaborating on technical issues - the idea is to work together to increase revenue, spend more efficiently, and deliver more value to our partners."
    The following teams are the executive members of the RTA: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motor Sports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motor Sports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.(RTA)(7-7-2014)
    UPDATE: Statement from NASCAR: "We are aware of the alliance concept the team owners have announced, but have very few specifics on its structure or purpose. It is apparently still in development and we're still learning about the details so it would be inappropriate to comment right now. NASCAR's mission, as it has always been, is to create a fair playing field where anyone can come and compete. Our job is to support and strengthen all of the teams, large and small, across all of our series and we'll continue to do that. NASCAR is a unique community with hundreds of stakeholders. They all have a voice and always will."(NASCAR)(7-7-2014)

  • Lexar sponsoring McMurray at Kentucky: The #1 Chevy SS driven by Jamie McMurray will feature the Lexar paint scheme at Kentucky Speedway. Lexar boasts one of the most comprehensive portfolios of high-performance, award-winning products in every major flash memory category, including memory cards, card readers, and USB flash drives. The paint scheme includes an array of colorful USB flash-drives across the car. Lexar Products include industry-leading memory cards for photography and video, card readers, high-performance USB flash drives, and memory cards for mobile devices.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(6-26-2014)

  • McMurray visits Jacksonville Jaguars practice: #1-Jamie McMurray was blown away by the speed he saw on the Jacksonville Jaguars' practice field on Tuesday. "What surprised me the most is how fast these big guys are," McMurray said. "When you stand next to them and I'm probably a third of their weight, and to see how quickly they explode off the line -- it's incredible how big and strong and fast they are." McMurray was standing next to the players because he and Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood III participated in a few drills during the Jaguars' OTA at the practice fields adjacent to EverBank Field. They fielded kickoffs from the JUGS machine, did a few line drills, and ran routes and caught passes from the quarterbacks, including rookie Blake Bortles. McMurray and Chitwood were at the Jaguars' facility as part of the 56th annual Coke Zero Powered by Coca-Cola Media Day.(ESPN)(6-11-2014)

  • NASCAR discusses Dover track repair: Just before the halfway point of Sunday's FedEx 400 at Dover, a piece of concrete came up from the track. #1-Jamie McMurray hit the concrete, causing front end splitter damage. The race was red flagged for more than 20 minutes while NASCAR repiared the track. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition and Racing talked to the media about it Sunday after Dover's race.
    Q. Robin, a few drivers said over the radio that they saw problems with that this morning. Were any of those concerns brought to you or any of the NASCAR officials?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: We do a track walk after every race and in the morning, so at the time that had been a previous patch, but our staff, our crew didn't see anything wrong with it.
    Q. I was just wondering if you could talk about the decision not to let the cars work under the red flag, especially Jamie.
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: Yes. We've had issues of things like this in the past, and Martinsville comes to mind, some other things similar to that, and our policy is not to let them work on the car. You may remember when we had an equipment failure, broadcast equipment failure, sometime back, and that affected the entire field of race cars, and at that time we did red flag and we did allow the teams to fix the damage that was caused by that equipment failure. But that is our normal policy, to not allow teams to work on their cars.
    Q. Can you talk a little bit about how the actual repair was made, the materials used?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: Yeah, our teams are -- we have equipment and we have product at every facility. Facilities keep it on hand. We do bring extras in case there is a need for it, but it is an epoxy type filler that we use, and it's basically the same filler that's used any time we make a repair at the track, whether it be asphalt or concrete.(NASCAR)(6-2-2012)

  • McMurray Gunning For Charlotte Sweep: Only seven drivers have swept Charlotte "Speedweeks," winning both the all-star race and the Coca-Cola 600: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010). Five of those drivers have won one or more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. #1-Jamie McMurray already has won the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. His first career win came in the October Charlotte race, in his second career start. His last two points paying wins came in the Chase race at Talladega Superspeedway and the fall 500-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. McMurray has even won the Sprint Showdown at CMS. The only Charlotte race McMurray is missing at this point in his career is the Coca-Cola 600. McMurray's best finish in the Coca-Cola 600 came 2010, with a second place finish. He has three top-10 finishes in the Coca-Cola 600, in 11 starts. McMurray's average finish in the race is an 18.2.(NASCAR)(5-25-2014)

  • McMurray to honor fallen firefighter in Coke 600: Jamie McMurray, LiftMaster, and the #1 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) team will honor fallen Asheville, North Carolina firefighter, Captain Jeffrey Bowen, by racing with his name above the passenger side door of McMurray's car in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS). The recognition of Bowen's service to his community during Memorial Day weekend is the result of the relationship between McMurray's sponsor, LiftMaster, and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The NFFF was created in 1992 to remember America's fallen fire heroes and provide assistance to their families.
    "It is our honor to recognize Captain Jeffrey Bowen, his mother Laurel, and other members of the Bowen family during the Charlotte race weekend as part of LiftMaster's relationship with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation," said Neal Villarin, Sponsorship & Event Marketing Manger for LiftMaster. "Memorial Day weekend is a time for all of us to remember those that have given the ultimate sacrifice, and we have a feeling that Jeffrey and his family will provide Jamie and his team with some extra luck in this weekend's race." Bowen was a 13-year veteran of the Asheville Fire Department and was fatally injured while responding to a four-alarm fire in an office building in 2011.
    "As a veteran firefighter, Captain Bowen is a hero in his community because of his bravery in service, and I am proud to honor him, with his name on our race car during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway," said McMurray. "First responders such as Captain Bowen are members of our community and they go above and beyond to keep us safe. A win in the Coca-Cola 600 would be special, but it would be an honor to drive into Victory Lane with Jeffrey's name on our race car."
    The Bowen family has a full weekend of activities planned starting with the presentation of Thursday night's LiftMaster Pole Award, and before the green flag waves on Sunday, they will volunteer their time in support of the Firefighter Combat Challenge. The event is hosted during the Charlotte race weekend at the LiftMaster display and is the fifth stop on the Challenge schedule. "I'm incredibly honored that LiftMaster has chosen to recognize my son and am humbled to have Jamie McMurray and his team's support for Jeffrey," said Laurel Bowen. "This will be my first visit to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, so I'm looking forward celebrating my son with my family and volunteering for the Challenge with other members of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation." In addition to honoring Captain Bowen, LiftMaster also presented a $5,000 donation to the NFFF at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(CGR)(5-24-2014)

  • Chip Ganassi Racing signs PNC as sponsor: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. announced a new multi-year sponsorship agreement. The agreement is the second between Ganassi and PNC, which have also had a banking relationship that goes back 25 years. With the wide range of racing that CGRT participates in across three national touring series of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), the Verizon IndyCar Series and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (TUSC), the agreement provides PNC with business development and client entertainment opportunities throughout the year. The agreement will focus on the following five racing markets in 2014: Indianapolis, Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte and Richmond, Va. PNC, which has a business presence in all five regions, will use the high interest in auto racing and the CGRT relationship to offer unique events and behind-the-scenes activities to clients and prospects.(CGR)(5-23-2014)

  • Ganassi, McElreath, Mehl, Rahal, Simpson to be inducted into Auto Racing Hall of Fame: The five 2014 Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductees who will be honored on Thursday night, May 22, as part of the annual Indianapolis 500 Oldtimers dinner at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Indianapolis are as diverse as any class in recent history. And with A.J. Foyt being recognized for not only his four Indianapolis 500 wins but his win 50 years ago in the 1964 Indy 500, it is sure to be an exciting and memorable evening. The five 2014 Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductees are Chip Ganassi, Jimmy McElreath, Leo Mehl, Bobby Rahal and Bill Simpson. The first induction class was recognized in 1952, and there are now 148 members in this elite fraternity. The Auto Racing Hall of Fame is located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. A very limited number of tickets for the event are still available. If interested, contact Ellen Bireley (317) 492-6784.(IMS)(5-20-2104)

  • Jamie McMurray wins the Sprint All Star Race #1-Jamie McMurray won the Sprint All Star Race Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his first All-Star race win. McMurray led 31 of 90 laps and came off pit road 2nd after segment 4. Pole winner #99-Edwards came off pit road with the lead but finished 5th. #4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #20-Kenseth, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #99-Edwards, #48-Johnson, #15-Bowyer, #55-Vickers, #11-Hamlin and #2-Keselowski. Fan vote winner, #98-Josh Wise, finished 15th.
    7 cautions for 12 laps. 9 lead changes among 6 drivers. The average speed was 100.517 mph.
    REPORT: Streaking away from an intense battle with polesitter Carl Edwards to open the final 10-lap segment Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Jamie McMurray won the Sprint All-Star Race-and the million-dollar-plus prize that goes with the victory-for the first time in his career. McMurray held off fast-closing Kevin Harvick, who crossed the finish line .696 seconds behind the race winner. Matt Kenseth ran third, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Edwards and four-time Sprint All-Star Race winner Jimmie Johnson. Earlier in the day, McMurray's son carter had asked the driver what his plans for the day were. "He asked me what I was going to do today, so I asked him what he was going to do today," said McMurray, who has tallied two of his seven Sprint Cup victories in points races at Charlotte. "And he said, 'Oh, I'm going to play in my sandbox. What are you going to do, Dad?'
    "I said, 'I'm going to race for a million bucks, Carter.' It's so cool that we were actually able to win." The advantage McMurray opened after his breathtaking three-lap battle against Edwards gave him enough margin to hold off Harvick, who was closing fast in the final laps. "It was three or four of the hardest laps I've ever driven in my racing career," McMurray said.
    It was first-year crew chief Keith Rodden's strategy, however, that put McMurray in position to win. After a pit stop on Lap 26, McMurray didn't take four tires again until the break between the final two segments, and on that final stop, superb work by his crew got him off pit road second and in a position to challenge Edwards for the lead. "Keith Rodden made some great calls tonight," said team owner Chip Ganassi, a Sprint All-Star Race winner for the first time. "The call was really made in segment 2 (the Lap 26 stop for tires) for him to be able to win the race." That call enabled McMurray to get by with two tires or to stay out between segments until the final stop. "Keith did an unbelievable job," McMurray said. "He was a huge secret in the garage (as an engineer at Hendrick Motorsports), and I'm so glad that I get the opportunity to work with him. We've had good cars all year long. We had some bad luck. But this is one of those races that makes up for a lot of bad times."
    But before McMurray took the checkered flag, fans at the 1.5-mile track saw an action-packed race with a multitude of twists and turns.
    Halfway through the first 20-lap segment, Kyle Busch passed pole winner Carl Edwards for the lead and held it until the first scheduled caution, but that was the end of the highlights for the driver of the #18 Toyota. Six laps into the second segment, Busch tapped the rear bumper of Clint Bowyer's Camry after Bowyer blocked Busch's moved to the inside. Busch took evasive action, diving toward the apron, when Bowyer's car got out of shape, but Bowyer's Toyota clipped Busch's and the #18 spun. Joey Logano couldn't avoid Busch and plowed into the spinning car, knocking both machines out of the race. "We had a good run through (Turns) 1 and 2 and off (Turn) 2," Busch explained after the accident. "Kurt (Busch) got real bottled up on the outside and slowed down, so I knew I was clear to go to the bottom and swoop down and try to get underneath Bowyer. And when I did, he blocked me, and I hit him, and he got squirrely, and then I was still under him, and it hit me and turned me around the wrong way on the backstretch and got in the outside wall."
    After the subsequent restart on Lap 31, AJ Allmendinger's Chevrolet nosed into the inside wall on the backstretch after contact with Brian Vickers' Toyota. Kasey Kahne grabbed the lead for the first time on Lap 35 and pulled away to win the second segment. With four cars staying out between segments and two more changing just two tires, Kahne started eighth for segment No. 3, but on Lap 47 he passed Jamie McMurray (who had not changed tires) for the top spot. By the time the third segment ended, Kahne was a comfortable 1.411 seconds ahead, with Harvick giving chase. On the opening lap of the fourth segment, a mechanical failure in Jeff Gordon's car sent the #24 Chevy into the outside wall in Turn 3, collecting the Chevrolet of Martin Truex Jr. and the Ford of Greg Biffle.
    Kahne had two brushes with the wall in segment No. 4, ending his strong run with the sort of disappointment that has plagued him in points races all season long. With the best average finish in the first four segments, Harvick entered pit road first for a mandatory four-time stop before the final 10-lap dash. McMurray, who made a huge track position gain by staying out between the third and fourth segments, was second onto pit road, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Edwards. But Edwards used the No. 1 pit stall to advantage, winning the race off pit road over McMurray and Harvick. Matt Kenseth started the final segment in the fourth spot, with Johnson and Earnhardt behind him in fifth and sixth.
    Edwards, however, couldn't keep McMurray behind him, and after watching replays of the battle, the driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford was already second-guessing himself. "Jamie just did a perfect job on the start," Edwards said. "I had him cleared for a minute. If I would have pulled in front of him in Turn 1, if I would have gone high, I think we would have won that race, but I was just so reluctant to give up the bottom. Jamie just did a perfect job. He ended up sweeping around the outside of me, dragging me down, and it was a drag race. My hat is off to him. He did a great job. He earned it. I drove as hard as I could while he was on the outside and he gave me just the right amount of room to not wreck me, but still beat me. If I had it to do over again, I'd do it differently but that's racing. You've just got to make the best decision you can and move on. It's a really tough one, though."
    Though Edwards and McMurray inched ahead of each other at various junctures after then final restart, McMurray led at the finish line for each of the final 10 laps. Once he cleared Edwards three laps into the run, McMurray pulled away. The 31 laps McMurray led Saturday night were the first he had ever led in the All-Star Race.(NASCAR Wire Service)
    See race results, segment results, four-segment average to pit and more on the 2014 All Star Race page - Results section.(5-17-2014)

  • Bass Pro Shops sponsors McMurray in All-Star Race: Bass Pro Shops will salute the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) this weekend at the Sprint All-Star Race with a special NWTF paint scheme on the #1 Chevy of Jamie McMurray. Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America, spending more than $412 million to conserve nearly 17.2 million acres of habitat. The NWTF is a national nonprofit organization that is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. Founded in 1973, the NWTF is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C., and has local chapters in every state. The last time that the #1 team ran the Bass Pro Shops livery, Jamie McMurray drove the car to victory in the 2013 Sprint Unlimited at CMS to advance his way into the Sprint All-Star Race, where he started 20th and finished eighth (CGR), see images of the car on the #1 Team Schemes page.(5-16-2014)

  • McMurray discusses NASCAR's handling of Mears-Ambrose fight: Following NASCAR dishing out fines and probation to #9-Marcos Ambrose and #13-Casey Mears for their Richmond post-race scuffle, #1-Jamie McMurray was hoping neither driver would have gotten punished. "I'd hoped NASCAR would let that go...they've preached to all of us that they want us to be who we are, said McMurray. "I think it's good that you have some characters in the sport that -- I'm not calling Casey or Marcos out, but not everyone is willing to -- or is the type of guy that would punch someone, right? I think you can count on one hand the guys that would actually throw a punch. Everyone is talking about it. I'm building a house, and when I got up to the home site, that's all the guys wanted to talk about and they wanted to know if I have any inside scoop. I think it's great. I don't want to see anyone get punched, but it's been -- how many years ago has it been since someone actually punched someone? It's got everyone talking about the sport and I think it's good you see those guys' passion. I was really hoping that NASCAR was going to let it go or that the fines would be less because that's a huge -- $25,000 is massive. My opinion of that is that you won't see it happen again because I think people will think about that and be like, it's not worth it. It's not worth $25,000 for me to express exactly how I feel at this time." McMurray admitted there have been a few times where he's been in the same situation but that it's been a long time. "If it was happening every week, I think it would be different, but if they hadn't fined those guys, I don't think it would have happened again for a long time. I think it's very circumstantial with the two right guys, you know. I don't think Casey had any intentions of throwing a punch. Casey went over there and was wanting to get his point across. I don't think he had any -- when he got hit, you could tell he was like, I can't believe I just got punched, right? I don't think anyone had that mindset going into it."(PRN's Garagepass)(5-1-2014)

  • Bell Helicopter featured on the #1 at Texas: To change the way the world flies with superior vertical lift that saves lives, preserves freedom and provides customers with exceptional value. Bell Helicopter will be featured as the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. An industry leader with unmatched name recognition, Bell Helicopter was the first to obtain certification for a commercial helicopter. Over its rich history, Bell Helicopter has delivered more than 35,000 aircraft to customers around the world. Bell Helicopter is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas (CGR), see imaged of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(4-5-2014)

  • Drivers say qualifying format creates dangers: NASCAR's new knockout qualifying format has been universally hailed as more exciting and interesting than the old single-car system. But for the second week in a row, drivers also said it's extremely dangerous. Since the only legal way for teams to cool their cars is to drive slowly around the track, there's a dramatic speed difference between drivers making qualifying runs and those driving as if they're in a construction zone.
    "Riding around the bottom - we've got to do it, it's the only way to keep the engine cool - but that has got to be the most dangerous thing I've ever done in racing," #55-Brian Vickers said after Friday's session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "(#36-Reed Sorenson) went by me at 170 mph faster than I was going. Had he slipped or hit me, I'd be done. It would be so bad."
    Teams need to cool their engines between attempts at fast laps in order to keep their cars from overheating. Teams are not allowed to cool their cars on pit road in between runs because it would require opening the hood to attach a cooling box. NASCAR does not want teams to make adjustments on pit road during the knockout sessions and since policing every open hood would be difficult, it is not permitted. As a result, the disparity in speed created some dicey situations - several of which occurred again Friday.
    #15-Clint Bowyer, who qualified third, said he nearly collided with #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. during one run and called for a change due to the "dangerous" difference in speed. "We've got to stop that," he said. "...I about smoked him. That's not the guy you want to hit at a 140 mph deficit. (A collision is) going to hurt me and it might hurt Dale Jr., and that would be bad for business."
    #1-Jamie McMurray, who was among the drivers to raise the safety issue at Phoenix, said he texted NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton a few days ago and was told, "Let's give it a couple weeks and just see what plays out." [NASCAR spokesman Kerry] Tharp echoed that sentiment in a statement to USA TODAY Sports on Friday. "We're only two race weekends in with the new qualifying format," he said. "It's something new and it's something that will take time to get used to. We will continue to look at it."(USA Today)(3-8-2014)

  • Ganassi explains why 'Earnhardt' is no longer part of team name: For the first time since 1996, there will not be a team in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series with "Earnhardt" in its corporate name. The string began in 1996 when the late Dale Earnhardt formed Dale Earnhardt Inc. In less than a decade, it had become one of the premier teams in Cup competition, with son and namesake Dale Earnhardt Jr. as its on-track figurehead. But once Junior left DEI for Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, the once-feared company began by the man they called The Intimidator began to slowly disappear. Now, the Earnhardt corporate name is essentially extinct. After an ill-fated and short-lived merger with Ginn Racing in mid-2007, team owner Teresa Earnhardt lent her company's name and some of its assets to fellow team owner Chip Ganassi, forming Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in 2009. In the year before Junior left the family fold, Earnhardt's widow also lent her late husband's surname to Richard Childress Racing to form a new business - known as Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technology - designed to build motors for both RCR and other teams that would lease the engines. But as the Earnhardt name lived on with other teams, Teresa Earnhardt withdrew more and more from being active in racing. She continued to oversee the still-thriving souvenir business that memorialized her late husband and kept his name and legend alive, but that was about it.
    Now in 2014, what was Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the last five seasons has reverted back to its original name prior to joining forces with Earnhardt, namely Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. And what was Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technology has quietly become simply ECR, with a team source telling MotorSportsTalk that "the E no longer stands for anything. It doesn't stand for Earnhardt. It's just ECR now."
    Ganassi spoke to MotorSportsTalk at Daytona International Speedway on Friday about how the relationship with Teresa Earnhardt essentially disappeared with time, to the point where it no longer made sense to keep her late husband's surname as part of the team. "I wish I could explain it but I can't explain it," Ganassi said. "I don't have a good answer for you. We had a relationship and I don't know what happened. We can't get her on the phone; it's hard to try to communicate with somebody. She obviously has some other things on her plate, I guess, and that's her prerogative. She was never active in the team. I think she wanted to keep the name out there to some extent, and I don't know what Richard's (Petty) relationship is there (to Richard Petty Motorsports), but it's kinda the same thing. There's no ill will, I just don't have an answer, to tell you the truth. She just wasn't there anymore."(NBC Sports)(2-22-2014)

  • NASCAR drivers shut out in Rolex 24: After more than 2,400 miles and 23 1/2 hours of racing, the most prestigious North American sports car race came down to eight minutes and a final five-lap sprint. The first race of the unified United SportsCar Championship - the NASCAR-owned and IMSA-sanctioned series born from the merger between American Le Mans and Grand-AM - ended with a NASCAR flair. A late, full-course caution swallowed Joao Barbosa's 13-seccond lead and gave Max Angelelli a last-ditch chance to win the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Barbosa never gave him a chance, pulling away on the restart with 8:23 to race Sunday to give Action Express Racing its second victory in four years. Co-driver Sebastien Bourdais won the Rolex for the first time, while Christian Fittipaldi won for the second time.
    Ford was shut out in its debut of its new EcoBoost engine. The #01 car of Chip Ganassi Racing team [including Jamie McMurray] wasn't able to defend its race win because of a series of problems that plagued the car starting very early in the race. Ganassi's #02 entry [including Kyle Larson] was taken out of contention when it developed a flat rear tire while Scott Dixon was running second with roughly five hours remaining.
    Michael Shank Racing's entry [including A.J. Allmendinger], the 2012 race winning team, was halted by a broken gearbox.
    CORE autosport finished a lap ahead of 8Star Motorsport to win the Prototype Challenge class.
    Porsche North America claimed the GT Le Mans class with its No. 911 RSR entry.
    The crowded GT Daytona class had the most thrilling - and controversial - finish of the race. The victory initially went to Flying Lizard Motorsports when IMSA officials penalized Level 5 Motorsports for avoidable contact on the last lap. But hours after the race ended, IMSA reversed its decision and gave the victory to Level 5.(Associated Press)(1-26-2014)

  • Chip Ganassi changes team name, drops Earnhardt from NASCAR operation: When Sprint Cup testing begins Thursday morning at Daytona International Speedway, there will be one well-known NASCAR name missing among the list of team owners. Earnhardt. The #1 and #42 Sprint Cup teams, which were run the last five years under the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates banner, will now return to their former name: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The sign outside the North Carolina shop already has been changed, and stickers on the cars and patches on the driver and crew uniforms will carry the Chip Ganassi logo instead of the EGR logo. Ganassi officials confirmed the change Wednesday but had no comment on the financial structure of the current organization, which fields Sprint Cup cars for Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson. Teresa Earnhardt, widow of seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt and owner of Dale Earnhardt Inc., has not been involved in the day-to-day operations of the team and with the change apparently no longer has any financial stake in the NASCAR operation. There will be no change in the operation of the Ganassi teams, as Teresa Earnhardt has had little influence on the organization's day-to-day operations. Ganassi began using Hendrick Motorsports engines in 2013 in its two Cup cars.(in part from the Sporting News)(1-9-2014)

2013 News

  • McDonald's is scheduled to be the primary sponsor for the following 15 races in 2013:
    Daytona - 2/24
    Phoenix - 3/3
    Las Vegas - 3/10
    Kansas - 4/21
    Talladega - 5/5
    Darlington - 5/11
    Michigan - 6/16
    New Hampshire - 7/14, Monopoly
    Watkins Glen - 8/11, Monopoly
    Bristol - 8/24
    Chicago - 9/15
    Charlotte - 10/12
    Martinsville - 10/27
    Texas - 11/3
    Homestead - 11/17

  • Cessna / Bell Helicopter / E-Z-GO / Bad Boy Buggies is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following 10 races in 2013:
    Bristol - 3/17, Cessna
    Texas - 4/13, Bell Helicopter
    Charlotte - 5/26, Bad Boy Buggies
    Sonoma - 6/23, Cessna
    Daytona - 7/6, Cessna - stars & stripes
    Indianapolis - 7/28, Cessna
    Pocono - 8/4, Cessna
    Atlanta - 9/1, Bad Boy Buggies
    Richmond - 9/7, Cessna
    Talladega - 10/20, Cessna/Auburn University

  • Bass Pro Shops is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following two races in 2013:
    Auto Club - 3/24
    Charlotte - 5/18, All-Star race

  • Parade is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2013:
    Dover - 6/2

  • Race With Insulin is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2013:
    Martinsville - 4/7

  • Banana Boat is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2013:
    Pocono - 6/9

  • Hellmann's Mayonnaise was the sponsor on the following 2013 races::
    Kentucky - 6/29

  • Advil was the sponsor on the following 2013 races::
    Michigan - 8/17

  • Linksys was the sponsor on the following 2013 races::
    New Hampshire - 9/22

  • LiftMaster is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2013:
    Dover - 9/29

  • McMurray & Larson to run in Rolex 24: Seven-time and reigning GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Champions and five-time and reigning Rolex 24 At Daytona Winners Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced its season-long program for the new IMSA-sanctioned TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (USCC) in 2014, including their driver line-up for the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona. Long-time partners Telcel and TELMEX return as the primary sponsors of the #01 Ford EcoBoost Riley in the Prototype category for the USCC season-long effort piloted by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in their eighth year together, after finishing the GRAND-AM era as most-successful driving duo in Rolex Sports Car Series history.
    In addition, CGRFS will again field two Prototypes for the Rolex 24 At Daytona, featuring eight drivers that represent some of the best talent the motor racing world has to offer. Pruett and Rojas will unite with CGRFS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) teammate Jamie McMurray and reigning Indy Lights Champion Sage Karam to form the lineup in the #01 Telcel/Target/Comfort Revolution Ford EcoBoost Riley, while the Team Target trio of drivers Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Kyle Larson join sports car star Marino Franchitti in the #02 Target/Telcel/Big Machine Records Ford EcoBoost Riley. CGRFS previously announced it would utilize Ford's 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost racing engine for the 2014 USCC season.(EGR)(1-4-2014)

  • New pit coach at EGR: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing [#1 & #42 Chevy's] has hired long time Jack Man and coach Shaun Peet to coach next year. Peet is replacing coach Brett Cummings who had been at EGR the last few years. Peet brings a wealth of experience as an over the wall jack man as well as a coach. Over the last 10 or so years, Peet has spent time jacking at EGR, Red Bull Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, and now back to EGR. When he was at Red Bull with coach Greg Miller, Peet helped coach all the developmental peetathletes and has a strong background in not only coaching but in strength conditioning. The last few years have been spent at MWR as the Jack Man for the #15 of Clint Bowyer.(Pit Talks)(12-18-2013)

  • Crew chief change for the #1 in 2014? UPDATE2: hearing that current #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing crew chief Kevin Manion, will depart from the team and head to Turner Scott Motorsports in a management role. Supposedly Keith Rodden will take over as Jamie McMurray's crew chief in 2014. Rodden is currently the race engineer for #5-Kasey Kahne.(11-5-2013)
    UPDATE: Kasey Kahne engineer Keith Rodden declined last week to confirm rumors that he was headed to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing to be the crew chief for Jamie McMurray next year. EGR spokesman John Olguin said the team is still working on its 2014 plans. Chris Heroy is expected to return to the #42 team as crew chief for Kyle Larson, who is replacing Juan Pablo Montoya.(Sporting News)(11-9-2013) UPDATE2: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) announced that Keith Rodden has been named crew chief for Jamie McMurray and the #1 Chevrolet SS. Rodden will assume the role effective immediately to prepare for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season. "We are very happy to get a crew chief that is the caliber of Keith," said EGR Owner Chip Ganassi. "He brings a lot of great experience with him to our organization. We are building the foundation for what we believe will be long-term success in our NASCAR operation and Keith fits into those plans perfectly. I look forward to having him in the organization and leading the #1 team."
    Rodden joins EGR from Hendrick Motorsports where he was most recently in the role of lead engineer for the #5 Chevy. In his two seasons as the lead engineer on the #5, the team won four races and made the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in both seasons. The Denver, NC native has over 10 years of NASCAR racing experience. Rodden began his racing career as a race engineer for Andy Petree Racing. He has also worked for Evernham Motorsports, Richard Petty Motorsports and Red Bull Racing in similar positions. In 2007, Rodden served as crew chief for Kasey Kahne for multiple races while filling in for Kenny Francis.
    "I am excited and appreciative for this opportunity and can't wait to be just a small piece of an excellent team that Earnhardt Ganassi Racing is building," said Rodden. "Chip has quality people and is also building great race cars. This team has shown that they can win races and compete at the highest level of this sport and I look forward to working with Jamie and everyone on the team as we work to prepare for the 2014 season." Rodden is a graduate of North Carolina State University and with his wife Julie and their daughter Emmie, live in Kannapolis, NC.(EGR)(11-18-2013)

  • Franchitti retires from racing: Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) announced that three-time Indianapolis 500 Winner and four-time IndyCar Series Champion [and former NASCAR driver] Dario Franchitti will be unable to continue his auto racing career. The IndyCar Series legend ends his career with 31 Indy car wins (tied for eighth on the all-time list) and 33 poles (sixth on the all-time list).(CGR)(11-15-2013)

  • Allgaier and Addington to team up in 2014? hearing the Justin Allgaier will move up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to run full time in the #51 Chevy owned by Harry Scott and run for 2014 Rookie of the Year. Been told that Steve Addington will move from the #14 Stewart Haas Racing team and be Allgaier's crew chief. Current #1 crew chief, Kevin Manion will likely move from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing to be the Competition Director at Turner Scott Motorsports.(11-11-2013)

  • Lexar partners with EGR on the #1 at PIR: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) and Lexar announced an extension of their continued partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT), to be the primary sponsor on the #1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Chevrolet SS of former Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray. Lexar, a long-time partner of CGRT, began its relationship with the team back in 2001 when it became an associate sponsor. The #1 Lexar Chevy will make an appearance at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) for the AdvoCare 500 on Sunday. Lexar boasts one of the most comprehensive portfolios of high-performance, award-winning products in every major flash memory category, including memory cards, card readers, and USB flash drives. Lexar products are backed by outstanding customer support, industry-leading warranties, and an ever-expanding selection of products that are designed to meet the growing needs of quality-oriented customers. With more than 15 years of experience in the memory industry, the Lexar brand has long been synonymous with reliability and high performance. Jeff Cable, Director of Marketing, Lexar: "We're excited to extend our sponsorship with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and watch Jamie McMurray lead the pack in the No. 1 Lexar Chevrolet SS. When it comes to great performance, high speeds, and reliability, Jamie's got all three, and these are the same attributes the Lexar brand supports, which is why we're excited to team up with him and EGR this coming week."(EGR), see an image of the car/scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2013)

  • Milestone starts at Texas: #16-Greg Biffle and #1-Jamie McMurray will both make Sprint Cup Series start No. 400 this weekend at Texas. #36-J.J. Yeley will make his 200th start.(NASCAR)(10-31-2013)

  • McMurray wins Talladega: #1-Jamie McMurray won the Camping World RV Sales 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for his 1st win of 2013 and 7th career win.
    #88-Earnhardt finished 2nd followed by #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #27-Menard, #18-Busch, #34-Ragan, #38-Gilliland, #56-Truex, Jr., #39-Newman, and #15-Bowyer.
    The race ended under caution after #17-Stenhouse, Jr. got in #14-Austin Dillon on the backstretch of the final lap while Dillon was running 3rd. Dillon spun around and came back into traffic. He was hit in the rear by #13-Mears and briefly got airborne. Everyone was ok and no other drivers were involved.
    Other Chase driver finishes: #16-Biffle (11th); #29-Harvick (12th); #48-Johnson (13th); #24-Gordon (14th); #22-Logano (16th); #99-Edwards (17th); #78-Busch (18th); #20-Kenseth (20th); #5-Kahne (36th).
    Pole sitter #43-Almirola finished 21st
    #48-Johnson took over the points lead heading to Martinsville. He's up by 4 points over #20-Kenseth.
    There were 52 lead changes among 20 drivers and only 3 cautions for 10 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 178.795mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Talladega Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Talladega Penalty Report (pdf).(10-20-2013)

  • Cessna featuring Auburn University on the #1 at Talladega: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and team sponsor, Cessna Aircraft Company, announce that former Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray will carry the colors of Auburn University on the #1 Cessna Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. This weekend at Talladega the highly recognizable Auburn University logo will adorn the hood and lower rear quarter panels on the Cessna car. Auburn is a comprehensive research university with a nationally-ranked engineering program, located only about 100 miles from Talladega.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(10-18-2013)

  • Earnhardt Ganassi extends McMurray's contract: Jamie McMurray will return to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's #1 car in 2014, team co-owner Chip Ganassi said Friday. Following the announcement of Kyle Larson as the replacement for Juan Pablo Montoya in the organization's #42 car, Ganassi confirmed McMurray's contract extension. "We just re-did Jamie's contract," Ganassi said Friday in confirming McMurray's return in 2014.(Sporting News)(8-31-2013)

  • New sponsor for McMurray at Charlotte in Oct: Shorai Inc., a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of prismatic cell, lithium iron phosphate power sports batteries, announced a strategic partnership with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Having track-tested Shorai LFX batteries in their race cars for over two years, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing has signed Shorai as their official battery supplier for their two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, the #1 team of Jamie McMurray and the #42 team of Juan Pablo Montoya. "I'm glad to have Shorai LFX batteries on board with our team for the Charlotte Fall race. It is always exciting for our team to have new partners join our organization, especially those companies whose products we use and rely on for performance already," said Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 car for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.. Shorai will have their logo featured on McMurray's #1 Chevrolet SS for the Oct. 12, 2013, Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Leading the market's conversion from traditional lead-acid batteries to lighter, more efficient and higher performance lithium starter batteries, Shorai LFX" batteries can be found in thousands of dealers across the globe.(Powersports Business)(8-22-2013)

  • Sad News - Floyd Ganassi: Statement from Chip Ganassi Racing Teams on the Passing of Floyd Ganassi: "It is with heavy hearts that everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing Teams offers our condolences to Chip Ganassi and the whole Ganassi family on the passing today of Chip's father, Floyd Ganassi. Everyone that knew Floyd knew that he was beloved at racetracks all across the country and leaves a long trail of great friends. Floyd Ganassi will be sorely missed by us all." Information on arrangements will be forthcoming.(CGR)(8-19-2013)
    See full obit and service info at Pittsburgh Tribune.(8-21-2013)

  • McMurray says he will be back in the #1 car in 2014: #1-Jamie McMurray will return to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing next season. While it's company policy not to discuss contracts, McMurray told FOXSports.com at Michigan Speedway that "you're not going to see any changes between sponsors or drivers on the 1 team." McMurray, 37, is 16th in the Sprint Cup point standings. He has six-career Cup wins, including three in his past four years of his second stint with Chip Ganassi.(FoxSports)(8-20-2013)

  • Montoya will not be back with EGR in 2014: The Associated Press has learned #42-Juan Pablo Montoya will not be back for an eighth NASCAR season with Chip Ganassi. The team owner informed Montoya he will not bring the Colombian back for an eighth NASCAR season. Ganassi president Steve Lauletta announced the decision to the team Tuesday, multiple people present for the announcement told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Ganassi does not comment on driver contracts.(Associated Press)
    AND Team co-owner Felix Sabates later confirmed the move to SiriusXM's NASCAR channel. "We did not renew the contract for next year," Sabates told the channel. "It was a difficult decision. He understands. You have to move on in life sometimes. It's frustrating for everybody when you know you've got good equipment and you can't seem to put everything together still." Target is set to sponsor the #42 car next year. Several drivers could replace Montoya. Chase contenders Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman don't have contracts for next season. There are also several Nationwide drivers who could be available, including rookie Kyle Larson, who reportedly has several years remaining in a contact with Ganassi. #1-Jamie McMurray is expected to return to the other EGR car in 2014.(Sporting News)(8-13-2013)

  • Advil on the #1 at Michigan: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and the #1 team with Jamie McMurray announced their partnership with the new fast acting Advil product at Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400 taking place on Sunday, August 18. Advil, the name that millions of people have trusted for their aches and pains for more than 25 years, will be introducing a new product, fast acting Advil film coated tablets, available in stores beginning August 19.(Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(8-13-2013)

  • Monopoly on the #1 at New Hampshire: Monopoly Game at McDonald's! It's back for its 21st year this summer. This weekend at New Hampshire, #1-Jamie McMurray will drive a Monopoly Game at McDonald's Chevrolet SS to promote the start of the in-store game that runs from July 16 - August 12. There's even more reason to be excited with two $1 million cash prizes - And one lucky customer could win $1 million instantly on the Big Mac.(Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(7-11-2013)

  • Sixteen Cup teams found with modified roof flap spacers UPDATE: Sixteen teams found to have modified roof flap spacers (lighter) during NASCAR inspection. Teams listed: #1-McMurray, #2-Keselowski, #9-Ambrose, #11-Hamlin, #13-Mears, #15-Bowyer, #16-Biffle, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #18-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #21-Bayne, #22-Logano, #43-Almirola, #55-Waltrip, #56-Truex Jr. and #99-Edwards. The modified/confiscated roof-flap spacers are on display at Daytona in the NASCAR hauler. NASCAR's Kerry Tharp addressed media on confiscated roof-flap spacers - "Spacers not in compliance with those kits." The roof-flap kits are supplied to teams for #NASCAR by one company (a Roush company) and are not to be changed.(SPEED's, Dustin Long Fox/NASCAR on Twitter)
    AND Thirty-one cars, including 16 in the Sprint Cup Series, failed inspection before Thursday's practices at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR confiscated the teams' roof flaps, which are designed to keep cars on the ground during spins and wrecks at high speeds, for further inspection. Penalties could be possible. The roof-flap spacers had been illegally machined down to reduce weight. NASCAR inspectors made those Cup teams install new, unaltered roof flaps before drivers were allowed on the track for the first of two practices. Inspectors then went to the Nationwide garage and found similar issues on 15 cars. "When you find something in one garage, you communicate to the other garage," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "We looked into it and this is what we found."(Associated Press)(7-4-2013)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup teams expect widespread penalties after 16 cars were found with illegal roof-flap spacers at Daytona Thursday, but they don't know how severe those penalties might be. The teams caught scrambled Thursday to make compliant spacers, which are used to attach the hinge of the roof flaps. Teams and manufacturers get roof flaps from Roush Composites and, according to the NASCAR rulebook, "the hinged air deflectors must be installed as specified in the instruction sheet supplied with the hinged air deflector kit." But it was apparent that many teams had lightened the spacers or changed them. It wasn't clear what tipped off NASCAR inspectors to the violations, but after a sweep of the Sprint Cup garage Thursday, NASCAR went through the Nationwide garage and took pieces from 15 Nationwide teams Thursday night. A non-compliant part might just be a monetary penalty but because it dealt with a safety piece - the roof flaps pop up during a spin to try to keep the car on the ground - a points penalty is definitely possible, as well as crew suspensions. NASCAR traditionally issues penalties the Tuesday after a race weekend. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said the widespread use of the illegal spacers most likely indicates that those pieces had gotten through inspection previously. "It's probably not something that was on a normal inspection routine," Pemberton said. "The teams are told that they must assemble all that stuff using all the parts that's in the kit. Once in a while you'll find things like that and it's probably something that teams have probably done a little bit in the past." Whether the number of teams involved will impact the penalties and whether crew chiefs who are on probation will face more severe penalties will be determined Monday and Tuesday, Pemberton said. Because teams didn't have extra kits at Daytona, NASCAR allowed the teams to make spacers that were compliant.(Sporting News)(7-5-2013)

  • Stars and Stripes scheme for McMurray: The #1 Cessna Chevy SS of Jamie McMurray will carry a patriotic stars and stripes paint scheme this weekend at Daytona to commemorate the July 4 Independence Day holiday and the celebration of our nation's birthday 237th birthday.(EGR), see an image of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(7-3-2013)

  • Hellman's on the #1 at Kentucky: The #1 Chevrolet SS of Jamie McMurray will carry the colors for Hellmann's Mayonnaise this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. The paint scheme will feature the iconic Hellmann's Blue Ribbon logo with the Happy 100 Years branding. Hellmann's products have been staples in American kitchens for generations. The brand's flagship product, Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise, is the best-selling mayonnaise in the United States.(EGR), see an image of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)

  • Cessna returns to the #1 at Sonoma: Cessna Aircraft Company will be the primary sponsor once again this weekend on the #1 Chevy SS for Jamie McMurray. This marks just the second of seven races that the Cessna colors will adorn the race car.(Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(6-20-2013)

  • Banana Boat to sponsor McMurray at Pocono: Banana Boat will once again join #1-Jamie McMurray and team as primary sponsor on the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy. Banana Boat car will sport a special orange, blue and white paint scheme at Pocono Raceway. Banana Boat has you covered for all of your sun care needs. Stop by the Banana Boat Shade Station in the display area for fun games and activities and also learn about Banana Boat sun care products.(EGR), see an image of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(6-5-2013)

  • Parade Magazine to appear on McMurray's #1: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced a partnership with Parade Media Group. Parade is completely rebranding its print and digital assets, which are set to debut June 2 on the magazine and its website. The program will include primary sponsorship on the #1 Chevy of Jamie McMurray in the Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway. Through this integrated partnership, EGR offers an exclusive opportunity for Parade to capture the #1 motorsports television audience on a day that their new look is released in over 670 newspapers nationwide to more than 59 million readers in print and over 115 million across platforms. The #1 Parade Chevy will be shown on page two of the magazine with a tune-in for the race. Parade began in 1941 as a small publication with a print run of only 125,000 copies and was sold on newsstands for a nickel. With 59 million readers, Parade is now the most widely read magazine in America. The Washington Post is Parade's oldest continuous newspaper partner.(Earnhardt Ganassi PR) , see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(5-30-2013)

  • Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Form Athletic Apparel Partnership: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced a multi-year partnership with C9 by Champion, Target's exclusive brand of performance activewear, to become the official athletic apparel provider to all six of the organization's race teams across the NASCAR, INDYCAR and GRAND-AM series. The performance collection will be worn for working out in the gym and training for race days. The lifestyle pieces will be worn by drivers, crew and executive staff at the track. In addition, the C9 by Champion branding will be carried on multiple assets across all six teams and eight drivers, including race cars, team transporters, firesuits and team gear.(EGR)(5-25-2013)

  • Bad Boy Buggies to sponsor McMurray: Bad Boy Buggies will be the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevrolet SS for Jamie McMurray at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bad Boy Buggies is a leader in off-road utility vehicles for hunting and outdoor recreation. Whether the customer is a hunter looking for the best technology to track and bag the next trophy kill, or a recreational rider seeking to tackle the trails, Bad Boy Buggies will continue to transform the way people enjoy the outdoors. In 2010, the Bad Boy Buggies brand and product lines were acquired by E-Z-GO, a global manufacturer in light-transportation vehicles renowned for its expertise in electric-vehicle technology. Textron, Inc. is the parent company of E-Z-GO. The #1 team will host US Air Force Senior Airman (SRA) Kevin Jackson on race day at Charlotte Motor Speedway as part of the "Welcome Home the Troops" initiative. SRA Jackson will sit-in on the driver crew chief meeting, as well as join the #1 team for their private pre-race meeting at the team hauler, have a photo on the grid with Jamie McMurray and join the team on pit road for invocation and National Anthem.(EGR)(5-23-2013)

  • Crew chief Kevin Manion fight with gout: There's a reason why flip-flops are Kevin "Bono" Manion's favorite shoes. There's a reason why the crew chief of Jamie McMurray's #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet would cut holes in the toes of his work shoes before venturing into the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage. Manion, 40, has suffered from gout for the past 10 years, and lately he's also been fighting the mistaken perception that gout afflicts elderly persons who drink too much alcohol. At age 30, Manion began to suffer the symptoms of gout, a severe form of arthritis caused by high uric acid levels. At times, the pain was unbearable. "I've broken some bones, I've stubbed my toe, I've cut myself wide open and had plenty of stitches," Manion told the NASCAR Wire Service during an interview in the #1 team's transporter on Friday. "I've had my front teeth replaced, but (gout) is the most painful. You know when you've got it. There's no question. Literally trying to sleep at night, you're fine unless you have to put a cover on, because a bed sheet will make you scream like a baby. That's how painful it is. There's no thought of putting a sock on. I basically have cut the big toe out of my shoe so my toe wouldn't touch anything at a track over a weekend."
    Manion may have known he had gout-despite one early misdiagnosis as turf toe-but he was reluctant to acknowledge it because of the stigma associated with a disease that afflicts eight million Americans. "For two years, I was just stubborn more than anything, a guy that (said), 'Surely it wasn't gout-it couldn't be,' being my age of around 30," Manion said. "I always heard (gout afflicts) old people that drink a lot of liquor, and I don't do that. Occasionally, I'll have a beer or two, but I'm not the guy that drank too much or ate too much red meat. I'm not that old guy...You always hear, and I've heard it before, 'Oh, he's got the gout-he's a drunk.' By no means did I ever think that was what it was. I just thought I had sprained my toe. I heard it was turf toe from one doctor. Finally, it hurt so bad-and I honestly thought it was broken, that's how bad it hurt-and the doctor said, 'No, if you broke your foot, it wouldn't hurt that bad; what you have is gout.'"
    At this point, Manion has done more than just accept the reality of the disease. He is working with Takeda Pharmaceuticals to heighten awareness of the disorder and to alter the conventional wisdom about its nature and causes. "Simply, it's just a severe form of arthritis," Manion said. "If you say you have arthritis, people don't look at you funny. When you say you have the gout, people kind of look at you funny. It's the same thing. It's just a form of arthritis. The only thing I can recommend is to go to your local physician and get on a plan to manage it." Manion also encourages gout sufferers, and those who think they might have it, to visit www.gout.com, a web site that provides comprehensive information about the condition.(NASCAR Wire Service)(5-19-2013)

  • McMurray dominates the Sprint Showdown: #1-Jamie McMurray won the Sprint Showdown Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, leading all 40 laps to transfer to the Sprint All-Star race. #17-Stenhouse Jr. finished 2nd and will also transfer to the All-Star race. #31-Burton finished 3rd followed by #27-Menard, #56-Truex Jr., #42-Montoya, #43-Almirola, #93-Kvapil, #10-Patrick and #13-Mears. After segment 1, #13-Mears was the only driver not to pit and started segment 2 first, but McMurray quickly retook the lead as his team changed two tires and he came out to start segment 2 second. #42-Montoya sped on pit road and started segment 2 from the rear. After the Sprint Showdown was over, NASCAR called #56-Truex Jr., #47-Labonte and #10-Patrick to staging area after the race. It will be one of those three as the Fan vote winner.
    Fan Vote Winner: it was announced that #10-Danica Patrick won the fan vote and will race in the Sprint All-Star race.
    See results for each segment on Jayski's Sprint All-Star Race Info page.(5-18-2013)

  • McMurray to run Bass Pros Shops scheme in Showdown:
    Bass Pro Shops will salute the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) this weekend at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race [Sprint Showdown] with a special NWTF paint scheme on the #1 Chevy SS of Jamie McMurray. Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America, spending more than $412 million to conserve nearly 17.2 million acres of habitat. The NWTF is a national nonprofit organization that is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. Founded in 1973, the NWTF is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C., and has local chapters in all 50 states and Canada.(EGR), see an image of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.
    #14-Tony Stewart is also running a Bass Pro Shops / NWTF scheme in the All-Star race, see an image of that scheme on the #14 Team Schemes page.(5-16-2013)

  • VIZIO and Hulu join Chip Ganassi Racing for Memorial Day weekend: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced new sponsorships with VIZIO and Hulu which will see the brands carried on two of racings' biggest stages on Memorial Day Weekend at the Indianapolis 500 and Coca Cola 600. The programs include major associate level branding on both Ryan Briscoe's #8 NTT DATA Honda in the IZOD IndyCar Series for the 97th Running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and on Jamie McMurray's #1 McDonald's/Cessna Chevy SS in the Sprint Cup Series for the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26. The sponsors will also see primary branding on CGRT development driver Kyle Larson's #32 Chevy Camaro for the NASCAR Nationwide History 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway May 25, giving VIZIO and Hulu Plus 1,400 miles of great racing during one of the most watched racing weekends of the year.(Ganassi PR)(4-26-2013)

  • Chip Ganassi selling to John Menard? UPDATE: One of the hottest stories in the garage Thursday was intense speculation that veteran team owner Chip Ganassi may be considering selling his two-team NASCAR operation to John Menard. Menard, who owns the Midwestern home improvement chain Menards, is a long-time racer, and he is currently sponsoring his son Paul's NASCAR team, part of the Richard Childress organization. Ganassi and Childress are both Chevy men. Childress supplied Ganassi's two teams (with #1-Jamie McMurray and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya) with engines until this season, when Ganassi switched to Hendrick motors. Of the sport's top eight team owners, Ganassi this season ranks seventh in finishes. Of particular disappointment is Montoya, who is averaging a 27th place finish; Montoya's last top-10 was at Michigan last June, and his last tour win was at Watkins Glen in the summer of 2010. McMurray's seventh at Martinsville last weekend was his best finish in over a year.(MikeMulhern.net)(4-12-2013)
    UPDATE: Don't put too much stock in John Menard to buy Ganassi team rumors. Ganassi likes competing in various series and his NASCAR teams are showing a little improvement in recent weeks. That's not to say that Paul Menard couldn't end up taking his sponsorship to Ganassi, but he could pick other stronger operations to bring his money.(Sporting News)(4-15-2013)

  • Bell Helicopters sponsoring McMurray: Bell Helicopter will be featured as the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy SS this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Founded in 1935 as Bell Aircraft Corporation, Bell Helicopter sets the pace for the industry and expands the scope of vertical lift. An industry leader with unmatched name recognition, Bell Helicopter was the first to obtain certification for a commercial helicopter. Over its rich history, Bell Helicopter has delivered more than 35,000 aircraft to customers around the world. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Bell Helicopter has additional plants in Amarillo, Texas and Mirabel, Canada, with key logistics supply and service centers in Europe, Canada, and Singapore as well as in the United States.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing)(4-11-2013)

  • Ganassi not rushing Larson: Kyle Larson, who has been praised as a potential superstar by Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne, is back to work crisscrossing the country racing anywhere he can during a long break in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide Series. He spent last weekend at home in California racing at Antioch and Calistoga in Outlaws and 360 sprints, was back in North Carolina to run his kart at MMX on Wednesday, then was off again Thursday to Sacramento to repeat last week's schedule at Antioch and Calistoga again. Next week it's back to MMX for karting and then on to Texas Motor Speedway to resume racing in the Nationwide Series. So far, team owner Chip Ganassi hasn't been disappointed. But Ganassi is being cautious. It is early, after all, and Larson has just five races with Turner Scott Motorsports under his belt. Just how long Ganassi actually allows Larson to be a kid is another question. He holds options for next year on both #1-Jamie McMurray and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, who sit 16th and 30th in the Sprint Cup standings right now. His loyalty to Montoya is unquestioned, but he's admittedly frustrated that the results still aren't there as the duo heads into their seventh season together in NASCAR. If Ganassi has something already in mind for Larson as a potential replacement to one of his Cup drivers he isn't saying. He initially joked there was no firm plan for Larson, "we just, every Monday morning, we just throw a dart at the board," before getting serious about the importance of going slow with his young driver.(Associated Press)(4-5-2013)

  • Race with Insulin on the #1 at Martinsville: The #1 team will sport a different paint scheme this weekend with a predominately orange Chevy SS with touches of blue in support of "Race with Insulin". In addition to this special paint scheme on McMurray`s car, teammate Juan Pablo Montoya and his #42 Target Chevy SS will sport blue rims to help with the launch of the Race with Insulin Unites campaign. The blue rims are representation of the blue circle, which is the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) global symbol for diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 26 million people are currently living with diabetes in the United States.(Earnhardt-Ganassi), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(4-3-2013)

  • Bass Pro Sports returns to the #1 car: Bass Pro Shops will make their first appearance of the season on the #1 Chevy of Jamie McMurray. The Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats paint scheme on the #1 at Auto Club Speedway will be the first of two races in 2013 (EGR), see my #1 Team Schemes page for images of the car.(3-20-2013)

  • Cessna makes first appearance with McMurray: Cessna will make their primary sponsorship debut on the #1 Chevy SS at Bristol this weekend. This will be the first of multiple races for Cessna and the #1 team in 2013. Cessna announced a multiyear Partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams in January. Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron, Inc. company, will sponsor the cars in all three series in which CGRT competes. Sharing assets with sister Textron companies Bell Helicopter and E-Z-GO golf carts which will come later throughout the season.(Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing), see an image ofthe car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(3-13-2013)

  • EGR spends day at Fort Bragg: EGR over-the-wall pit crew members recently spent a day at Ft. Bragg (Jan 17), for a morale and team-building event with soldiers from the US Army. Activities included flying several different types of Army helicopter simulators including the Apache, Black Hawk and Chinook trainers. The team also joined US Army soldiers at the Virtual Training Facility (VTF), and learned first-hand how the Army utilizes the high-tech training equipment to prepare men and women in the US Army for combat situations by simulating conditions in areas of deployment. The final event of the day allowed the EGR crew to give back to the Ft. Bragg soldiers by hosting a pit crew competition for 10 different Ft. Bragg units. The winning team of soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, completed their four-tire change in 28.93 seconds. They will have their unit insignia placed in both the #1 and #42 Chevys at the season-opening Daytona 500.(EGR)(2-21-2013)

  • Congrats - Jamie McMurray: #1-Jamie McMurray and wife Christy recently celebrated the birth of their second child. McMurray's and son Carter welcomed Hazel Leigh McMurray into the family on Monday February 11. Hazel weighed in at 6 pounds 15 ounces, mom and baby are doing great, and will be watching from home as dad makes his first start of the 2013 season.(EGR)(2-29-2013)

  • McMurray to carry "Race With Insulin" colors at Martinsville: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and partner Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, announced that their IZOD IndyCar Series driver, Charlie Kimball (#83 Novo Nordisk Honda), of the Race with Insulin program, has gained the support of his fellow CGRT teammates across NASCAR, INDYCAR and GRAND-AM, combining for a Race with Insulin Unites initiative.
    During the weekend of April 5-7, CGRT NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) teammate Jamie McMurray (#1 Chevy SS) and Kimball will both sport Race with Insulin paint schemes at Martinsville Speedway and Barber Motorsports Park, respectively, to show that with the right management plan and "team" support, people with diabetes can start to get their diabetes on track. In addition to the special paint schemes #42-Juan Pablo Montoya's Chevy will run blue tire rims to help launch the Race with Insulin Unites campaign. The rims will emulate a blue circle, which is the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) global symbol for diabetes, to support Kimball's quest to educate more people about diabetes. "If our team can help others understand that even with diabetes, you can live life to the fullest, then we are glad to help," said Team Owner Chip Ganassi. "Charlie is an emerging talent in the race car, and he is an even better human being. A program like this speaks volumes about him."
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 26 million people are currently living with diabetes in the United States 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2011.pdf. Accessed February 13, 2013. For many patients and their families, diabetes management can be daunting. "Diabetes is one of the greatest health threats of our time," said President, International Diabetes Federation, Sir Michael Hirst. "With the support of such programs, we can begin to tackle a disease which is expected to affect 552 million people around the world by the year 2030." Now in his third season with Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing, Kimball was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during a routine physician's visit in 2007 while racing in Europe. Kimball returned to the F3 Euroseries in April 2008 and finished second in his first race back after the diagnosis. Determined to get back on the track, Kimball strategized with his doctor to create some innovative solutions for keeping him safe and healthy in and out of the race car. Along with diet and exercise, Charlie uses a pre-filled insulin pen and a continuous glucose monitor to ensure that his diabetes is properly managed, so that when he gets in the car, he can focus on racing. "I am able to live my dream and compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series because I have been fortunate to have the support of Novo Nordisk and my teammates, who are extensions of my on-track pit crew," said Kimball, who recently became an IDF Blue Circle Champion for diabetes. "Follow me at @racewithinsulin to learn how you can enter to win a chance this year to become my honorary pit crew member." Visit www.RaceWithInsulin.com for more information.(CGRT), see images of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(2-15-2013)

  • Ganassi team wins Rolex 24 At Daytona: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates was clearly the team to beat throughout the 51st running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. A couple teams, however, came close to doing just that over the final few hours of the twice-around-the-clock race around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course. In the end, however, the #01 TELMEX/Target BMW/Riley team of Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Juan Pablo Montoya and Charlie Kimball gave CGRFS its fifth victory in 10 attempts at the Rolex 24. In the process, Pruett joined Hurley Haywood - who served as the event's grand marshal - as the only drivers to claim five overall Rolex 24 victories. Finishng 2nd was Max Angelelli/Jordan Taylor/Ryan Hunter-Reay and 3rd was John Pew/Ozz Negri/AJ Allmendinger/Justin Wilson/Marcos Ambrose. Other NASCAR drivers finishes: Nelson Piquet Jr. was 8th overall, 8th in class(DP); Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip were 18th, 8th(GT); Boris Said was 28th, 18th; Max Papis was 31st, 21st; Jamie McMurray 37th, 11th; Former NASCAR driver David Donohue was part of a team that won the GX Class.(more at Grand-Am.com)(1-28-2013)

  • Cessna to sponsor McMurray in 2013: It was announced at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing shop / hanger during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour that Jamie McMurray would have primary sponsorship for ten races by Cessna in 2013. Bass Pro Shops will also return in 2013, but for two races. See images of the Cessna scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.
    UPDATE: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announces a multi-year partnership with Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron, Inc. company, to sponsor cars across all three series in which CGRT competes. The world's leading general aviation company will sponsor multiple races [10] on the #1 Chevy SS of Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) sharing assets with sister Textron companies Bell Helicopter and E-Z-GO golf carts. Each of Textron's brands can be and often are, incorporated into every race event where CGRT competes. From a team's air travel to and from the host city, helicopter transport from airport to venue and ground transportation onsite, Cessna and Textron have options for all of it. The partnership offers a new connection to an industry that relies heavily on private aircraft travel.
    · About the Partnership: In addition to the full primary sponsorships, a Textron brand will have placement on every team, race car, driver uniform and transporter, across all of CGRT's diverse reach of racing assets. Those assets including each of the seven full-time drivers; NSCS drivers McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya, IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Charlie Kimball and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series drivers Pruett and Rojas.
    Scott Ernest, Cessna's President and CEO: "We have been impressed with CGRT's scope and success across all components of racing and are partnering to demonstrate how closely the concepts of speed, precision and performance bridge both the aviation and racing industries. Just like CGRT, Cessna is a demonstrated leader and is in the market to win."
    Chip Ganassi, Owner, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams: "I am very pleased about this partnership with Cessna and Textron. It is always significant when big brands choose auto racing as a vehicle to market their products and Cessna is not only choosing NASCAR but also INDYCAR and GRAND-AM as well and we couldn't be happier. Their products are vitally important to me. I have used their airplanes for a number of years and their performance is second to none and that is the same level of performance that we expect from our race teams."
    Jamie McMurray, Driver, #1 Chevrolet: "I am really excited to have Cessna come on board with our team. I know that speed is an important part of their business, just like ours. We have a lot of excitement with the upcoming season and the new Gen 6 race cars. I am ready to get the 2013 season started, and I am looking forward to Cessna being a part of our entire organization."(EGR)(1-23-2013)

  • Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: EGR announced a new partnership with Cessna.
    Cessna wil be the primary sponsor for #1-Jamie McMurray in 10 races in 2013 and will be displayed across all Ganassi's racing platforms.
    McDonald's and Dr. Pepper also will be on McMurray's #1 Chevy.
    Bass Pro Shops, which joins #14-Tony Stewart in 2013, will remain the primary sponsor on McMurray's #1 for two races this season.
    The #1 has just four races where McMurray is not sponsored.
    All seven Ganassi drivers will race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
    Chip Ganassi says Kyle Larson is testing today. Announcements on Larson are forthcoming / Next week.(from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-23-2013)

2012 News

  • McDonald's is scheduled to be the primary sponsor for the following 13 races in 2012:
    Las Vegas - 3/11
    Bristol - 3/18
    Kansas - 4/22
    Richmond - 4/28
    Michigan - 6/17
    Sonoma - 6/24
    Kentucky - 6/30
    Watkins Glen - 8/12
    Chicago - 9/16
    Dover - 9/30
    Charlotte - 10/13
    Martinsville - 10/28
    Texas - 11/4

  • Belkin is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2012:
    Martinsville - 4/1

  • Banana Boat is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2012:
    Pocono - 6/10

  • LiftMaster is scheduled to be the sponsor of the #1 for the following race in 2012:
    New Hampshire - 9/23

  • 2013 silly season notes for #1-Jamie McMurray / Earnhardt Ganassi Racing:: McMurray signed a contract extension with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for 2013, no word if it is long-term or just for 2013. Longtime #1 sponsor, Bass Pro Shops, will move to #14-Tony Stewart's Chevy, but supposedly sponsor the #1 for a race in 2013. McDonald's will be the primary sponsor for the more then the 13 races they sponsored in 2012. Liftmaster [was the sponsor in Sept NHMS race] and Bass Pro Shops are scheduled to be primary sponsor each for a race. The team will switch from Earnhardt-Childress Racing engines to running engines leased from Hendrick Motorsports. Crew Chief Kevin "Bono" Manion is signed thru at least 2013. No word if Belkin [was sponsor in Sept NHMS race] or Banana Boat [was sponsor in June Pocono race] return to sponsor a race as they did in 2012 or if AllState Insurance returns as a co-sponsor. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(12-28-2012)

  • Montoya, McMurray running Rolex 24: Six-time and reigning GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Champions (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012) Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced its driver line-up for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas will again run a two-car effort for the 51st running of the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona, featuring eight drivers representing some of the best talent the motor racing world has to offer. Pruett and Rojas will unite with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates NASCAR teammate Juan Pablo Montoya and Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing INDYCAR teammate Charlie Kimball to form the lineup in the #01 TELMEX/Target Dinan-Prepared BMW, while Team Target Indy car pilots Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti join EGR teammate Jamie McMurray and sports car racing talent Joey Hand in the #02 Target/TELMEX Dinan-Prepared BMW.(Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates)(12-18-2012)

  • McDonald's to sponsor McMurray in more races in 2013: McDonald's will increase its sponsorship on Jamie McMurray's #1 Chevy to help make up for the departure of primary sponsor Bass Pro Shops, an Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing spokesperson said Thursday. EGR's Jeff Dowling said in an email he's "not 100% sure" what McDonald's total commitment will be, but that the team is planning an announcement on Jan. 23 during the NASCAR media tour that will outline sponsorship for the #1 car. McDonald's sponsored 13 races in 2012. Bass Pro Shops, which will sponsor #14-Tony Stewart in 18 races in 2013, is not leaving McMurray completely. According to Dowling, Bass Pro Shops is expected to remain as an associate sponsor and "hopefully be the primary on the #1 Chevy for one or more races." The team is still working on details. McMurray also had several one-off sponsors on his car in 2012, and Dowling said announcements on others will be announced soon.(As the World Turns)(12-16-2012)

  • Earnhardt Ganassi switching to Hendrick engines: The "Earnhardt" in Earnhardt-Childress Racing won't use the company's engines beginning in 2013. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will use motors leased from Hendrick Motorsports starting next season, a team representative told reporters at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday. The move is surprising considering ECR was formed as a joint engine-building effort between Earnhardt Ganassi and Richard Childress Racing. EGR has struggled over the last two seasons with drivers #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #1-Jamie McMurray, and team owner Chip Ganassi apparently felt a change was necessary in the engine program. RCR team owner Richard Childress said he wasn't surprised by Ganassi's decision to pull out of ECR and said he's been aware of the possibility for quite some time. Childress said his team will have "a couple" new customers next season - though he wouldn't say who - and also has an existing sponsor in Furniture Row Racing. ECR will retain its name because the teams "have a different relationship with the engines," Childress said.(SB Nation)(11-2-2012)

  • Jamie McMurray Foundation to Donate Greenery for Joplin MO: The Jamie McMurray Foundation announced that it will provide the greenery for homes in Joplin, MO. The homes are being built as part of the recovery efforts in the wake of the EF5 tornado that ravaged NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray's hometown on May 22, 2011. The donation is to support Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's, Joplin Challenge with Habitat for Humanity. More info on my NASCAR Charities News / Events page.(10-19-2012)

  • Jamie McMurray Foundation to Donate Greenery for Joplin MO: The Jamie McMurray Foundation announced that it will provide the greenery for homes in Joplin, MO. The homes are being built as part of the recovery efforts in the wake of the EF5 tornado that ravaged NASCAR driver Jamie McMurray's hometown on May 22, 2011. The donation is to support Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's, Joplin Challenge with Habitat for Humanity. McMurray will donate all of the shrubs and trees that will be planted around the houses in the NASCAR neighborhood in Joplin as part of this initiative. McMurray offered his support to Gov. Nixon's Joplin Challenge when he first learned of the effort to build the 35 new homes in seven neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is assigned a sponsor among the major athletic organizations in Missouri including the following: St. Louis Blues (NHL), St. Louis Cardinals (MLB), St. Louis Rams (NFL), Kansas City Royals (MLB), Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), University of Missouri and a partnership of NASCAR Unites and Kansas Speedway.
    Notes of Interest:
    " The challenge, in partnership with Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity and Missouri's major athletic organizations, aims to build 35 new homes in the heart of Joplin during 2012 to provide continued aid to the city's recovery.
    " Gov. Nixon's administration will provide a $3.6 million Community Development Block Grant to support construction and organizational management, as well as pave the way for future builds.
    " Donations to support the Joplin Challenge can still be made by visiting www.joplinchallenge.mo.gov . The Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity is also accepting in-kind donations to help build homes in Joplin during the Governor's Joplin Challenge and beyond.
    " In April NASCAR also committed through its participation in the 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge, by donating 100 trees to be planted in conjunction with its green initiatives.(EGR)(10-18-2012)

  • Liftmaster renewals partnership with EGR: LiftMaster, the world's number one brand of professionally installed garage door openers, gate operators and commercial door operators, announced recently that it will extend its partnership with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and driver Jamie McMurray through 2014. The partnership will include LiftMaster as the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy driven by 2010 Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray. In addition to the one-race primary sponsorship, LiftMaster's branding will be prominent on the #1 Chevy for the remaining NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, along with placement on McMurray's firesuit and the #1 team uniforms. To coincide with the partnership extension with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Jamie McMurray, LiftMaster renewed its alliance with JMI (Just Marketing International), their motorsports agency of record. LiftMaster will look to JMI to maximize its NASCAR assets and execute on-site activation and regional programming with LiftMaster's 4,000 independent dealers.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing)(10-12-2012)

  • Earnhardt Gannssi looking to improve: It has been a difficult season for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing. After a significant shakeup in middle and upper management during the offseason, drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya rank 20th and 21st, respectively in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points, with only five Top-10 finishes in 58 combined starts. The team has not managed a Top-5 finish yet this season, and team President Steve Lauletta said more changes could lie ahead before the start of the 2013 campaign. "There is always change," said Lauletta. "If you don't change, you're going to fall behind. But that doesn't necessarily mean changes that are visible to the fans. We're working hard on a lot of the tools that our engineers, crew chiefs and competition people are using, but we obviously haven't hit on it yet. A lot of our offseason changes were made very late," he explained. "They happened in January and February, and a lot of the new tools we've invested in have just been coming on line in July, August and September. We've got them all working individually, and now we've got to get them all working together. It takes a lot longer than we all want, but we feel like we're on the right track. The increases in performance are coming.(Godfather Motorsports)(10-7-2012)

  • Bass Pro Shops could still sponsor McMurray some: [Bass Pro Shops owner Johnny] Morris said Bass Pro Shops will not continue at the same level with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and driver Jamie McMurray in 2013, which means EGR now must find funding to replace the chief sponsor of its # 1 car. The Bass Pro relationship with EGR may not be over, though. EGR president Steve Lauletta said Friday the company is in talks to have Bass Pro remain as a primary sponsor, just in a much more limited capacity. "I anticipate you'll see the Bass Pro Shops logo on the hood of our car for a few races next year," Lauletta said. McDonald's and existing sponsors such as Liftmaster will have the chance to increase their involvement, Lauletta said, an opportunity which wasn't available before. EGR's teams have been fully sponsored for the last three seasons. In addition, Lauletta said there could be new sponsors who link up with EGR. "There's a number of new companies we've been talking to who have shown interest in doing primary races and we haven't had the ability to deliver on those - and now we will," Lauletta said. "I believe we'll get a few of those over the goal line."(SB Nation)(10-6-2012)

  • Bass Pro Shops will sponsor Stewart in 2013: UPDATE: After the smoke cleared, Tony Stewart emerged from his #14 Chevy in the parking lot of Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World to a thunderous ovation from about 600 fans who gathered to hear confirmation of what many already suspected. "I want to introduce you to Tony Stewart, new driver of the Bass Pro Shops Chevy," Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris said late Thursday afternoon. And with that, a day before complete details are revealed at Talladega, the reigning and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion had a new primary sponsor for 2013. Stewart-Haas racing was in the market for a sponsor after Office Depot announced earlier this year it was leaving the sport. And Bass Pro was in the final year of a sponsorship agreement with Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing's Jamie McMurray. Mobil One is staying as the second primary sponsor, Stewart said. Morris said Bass Pro also plans to continue as a sponsor for brothers Austin and Ty Dillon in the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, respectively, and that he appreciates the bond with Joplin native McMurray over the last three seasons.(Springfield, MO News-Leader)(10-4-2012)
    UPDATE: Bass Pro Shops, America's most popular outdoor retailer, announced it will join Mobil 1 as the primary co-sponsor of Tony Stewart and the #14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) beginning in 2013. Bass Pro Shops will adorn the hood of Stewart's #14 Chevy for 18 races, including the Daytona 500. Mobil 1, the world's leading synthetic motor oil brand, will be on the hood for 11 races. Nine primary races remain available for a brand to partner with Stewart, the three-time and reigning Sprint Cup champion. Bass Pro Shops joining the Sprint Cup team Stewart co-owns with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation - the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world - is the culmination of a more than decade-long partnership between Stewart and Bass Pro Shops. Stewart has been a brand ambassador for Bass Pro Shops since 2001, beginning with a personal services agreement that morphed into sponsorship of Stewart's dirt Late Model stock car that he campaigns at various short tracks across the country, including the annual Prelude To The Dream at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, where Stewart is a three-time winner (2006, 2008 and 2009). It continued via a primary sponsorship of Stewart's World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series team beginning in 2005, and as an associate sponsor of SHR since the team's inception in 2009.(Stewart-Haas Racing), see an image of the car on the 2013 #14 team paint schemes page and see earlier updates about Bass Pro moving on the #14 team news page.(10-5-2012)

  • Georgia-Pacific signs on as associate partner with McMurray: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announces an associate partnership agreement with Georgia-Pacific Professional and Communication Papers for the #1 McDonald's team, beginning this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Georgia-Pacific will have its logo displayed on the # 1 McDonald's Chevy of Jamie McMurray. Georgia-Pacific will also host an event with Jamie McMurray at Harrah's Casino in Joliet, IL on Saturday night and another at the race track on Sunday for the GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.(EGR)(9-14-2012)

  • EGR and the #1 team to host K9's for Warriors at Richmond: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) and #1 Bass Pro Shops/McDonald's Chevy driver Jamie McMurray will host US Army veteran Justin Madore and his service dog Cody, at the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). Justin is a recipient of the K9's for Warriors, an organization that provides service canines to returning veterans that suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injuries. Service canines are medically proven recovery aid for our warriors suffering from PTSD. Justin and Cody will also be introduced at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver/crew chief meeting at RIR.
    Notes of Interest with K9's for Warriors:
    · K9's for Warriors, pairs carefully vetted rescue dogs that are given a new LEASH on life as a service dog for a deserving American Warrior. Service canines are considered medical equipment and are recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and the American disability act of 1990
    · At the K9 Academy or DOG HOUSE, located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, every warrior is provided with a canine, training, certification, equipment, housing meals, vet care and teaching manuals all at no cost to the warrior
    · K9's for Warriors was started by Shari Duval, after her son, a veteran K9 police officer that worked as a contractor with the Department of the Army as a bomb dog handler and served two tours in Iraq, returned home with PTSD. After two years of research on canine assistance for PTSD Duval decided the best way to help deserving troops and veterans was to start a non-profit to train and give service canines to assist our American Warriors' efforts to return to civilian life with dignity and independence.
    K9's for Warriors is a 501(c) (3) charity and all donations are tax deductible. Visit www.k9sforwarriors.org for more information.(EGR)(9-6-2012)

  • McMurray re-signs with Ganassi UPDATE: #1-Jamie McMurray confirmed Saturday that he has signed a contract extension with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for 2013. "I'm set for here," McMurray said after qualifying at Watkins Glen International. "It's done. I haven't really made a big deal about it. Drivers take different approaches to that. Some like all the publicity taking about. I don't. ... But everything is set for next year and I'm excited to be back here." McMurray didn't say how long his extension runs, but he apparently didn't test the free-agent market. Ganassi officials would not confirm nor deny that McMurray signed an extension. It is Ganassi policy not to comment on contracts.(Sporting News)(8-12-2012)
    UPDATE: a quote by #1-Jamie McMurray after his accident at Watkins Glen on August 12th.
    McMurray: "It's been since May when that all went down. I haven't really talked about it. Nobody asked me and I didn't really volunteer it. You watch guys the way they handle that. Some like to make it very public and then there are others that just kind of go about their business."(Team Chevy Race Notes and Quotes)(8-13-2012)

  • No driver changes planned for EGR: [Earnhardt Ganassi Racing owner Chip] Ganassi has a lot of new people and a lot of new systems he put in place prior to this season, understanding great change was needed. He expects to struggle to some degree as most organizations do during the transition stages. He is hopeful because he sees progress within that few of us can see on the surface. "Are we where we want to be in the points? No," Ganassi says. "Are we where we want to be performance-wise? No. Are we happy with the people we have and direction we're going? Yes." EGR is in better shape than a lot of organizations on things that count. It is solid with sponsor Target for #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, and optimistic McDonald's and Bass Pro Shop will be back with #1-Jamie McMurray. EGR isn't looking to make driver changes, with Montoya already signed and McMurray close to a new deal. "We're in the middle of a process now," Ganassi says. "That process is going very well. While all things are not apparent to the eye on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, back at headquarters in Charlotte as a NASCAR team everybody is very excited about where things are going." Ganassi is asked: Can you expand on those things? "No," he says.(in part from ESPN.com)(7-27-2012)

  • Montoya & McMurray to run in Brickyard Grand Prix: Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray will make their second GRAND-AM appearance of the season in the #02 Chevron Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley, joined by two-time Indy car Champion and the 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner, Scott Dixon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) for the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard, fielding two entries in the Brickyard Grand Prix on July 27.(CGRFS)(7-25-2012)

  • EGR, McMurray support "Raise Our Flag" at Olympics: #1-Jamie McMurray and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will help support the United States Olympic Committee and their "Raise Our Flag" campaign by donating a stitch in America's flag for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. "Raise Our Flag" is an official United States Olympic fundraising program with donations providing housing, training and equipment for the most elite athletes in America. More information at raiseourflag.teamusa.org.(EGR)(7-11-2012)

  • McMurray will feature NRA Museum at Daytona: Bass Pro Shops NASCAR teams will feature paint schemes over the Independence Day weekend to highlight the new NRA Museum that is set to open at the main Bass Pro Shops store in Springfield, MO early in 2013. Jamie McMurray will drive the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy in the Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona while Austin Dillon will pilot the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The over 10,000 square foot NRA Museum will be inside Missouri's No. 1 tourist attraction, the over 400,000 square foot Bass Pro Shops store and will be home to the finest sporting arms collection in the world. This spectacular showcase will offer the unique opportunity to view some of America's most significant firearm treasures as well as learn many historic facts about the NRA.(Bass Pro), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(7-2-2012)

  • Montoya & McMurray to run Grand-Am car for Ganassi at Indy: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced a partnership with Chevron to field a second Daytona Prototype (DP) in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series' inaugural race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) July 27. The #02 Chevron Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray will return to action for the team for the first time since January's Rolex 24 At Daytona. The second entry will run alongside the season-long effort (#01 TELMEX Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley) driven by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, who hold the distinction of being the most successful driving duo in series history with 23 race wins (CGRFS/EGR)(6-24-2012)

  • Banana Boat on McMurray's Chevy at Pocono: Banana Boat joins as a primary sponsor on McMurray's #1 this weekend and will be represented with a special orange, blue and white paint scheme at Pocono Raceway. Banana Boat offers a new line of Sport Performance CoolZone continuous spray sunscreen.(Earnhardt-Ganassi), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(6-6-2012)

  • Different look for McMurray in Sprint Showdown: The #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy of Jamie McMurray will have a special look for the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Instead of the usual orange, the #1 will be white and camouflage with an orange number.(EGR)(5-16-2012)

  • Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Fan Appreciation Day: Race fans; don't miss the opportunity to meet Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) drivers, Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya for a joint autograph session on Thursday, May 24, at 10 a.m. ET at the EGR Shop located in Concord, N.C.
    Wristbands are now available for fans to reserve. You can do so by calling EGR or stopping by our gift shop. 150 wristbands will be available for reservation beginning the week of May 14 and an additional 100 will be available the week of May 21 leading up to the morning of the event. Please limit phone requests to two per person. Wristbands will be available for pick up during normal gift shop hours (8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET) beginning Monday, May 21.
    Each wristband is good for one autographed item per driver and no pictures with the drivers will be permitted at the event. Please call 704-662-9642 Ext. 1100 or visit the race shop at 8500 Westmoreland Drive, Concord, N.C., to reserve your wristband.(EGR)

  • Seeing double at Talladega: NASCAR fans may think they're seeing double during the Aaron's 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. The paint scheme that has adorned the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy moswt of the season will be shared with the Stewart-Haas Racing's Bass Pro Shops sponsored #39 Chevy driven by Ryan Newman for the Talledega race as a salute to men and women across America who enjoy the outdoor traditions of hunting, shooting sports, fishing, boating, camping and hiking. "Both Ryan and Jamie love to hunt and fish so we felt like this would be a great time to thank all the outdoor enthusiasts out there who love the outdoors and continue to pass on these traditions to future generations," stated Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. In addition, Bass Pro Shops wants to emphasize the outdoors is a great way to get away from our hectic fast-paced world and escape to the sights and sounds of nature.(Bass Pro Shops), see images of the schemes on the #1 Team schemes page and the #39 Team schemes page.(5-2-2012)

  • Ganassi honored as history maker: The Heinz History Center will honor NASCAR, Grand-Am and IndyCar team owner Chip Ganassi for his contributions to the [Pittsburgh] region and the nation at the 20th Annual History Makers Award Dinner on April 13.(Pittsburgh Post Gazette)(4-10-2012)
    UPDATE: Floyd "Chip" Ganassi Jr. received the history maker in sports award. "A fixture in the auto racing industry for more than 25 years, he has won worldwide renown as one of the sport's most successful and innovative owners. A fierce competitor with a passion for winning, he is also known as a sharp businessman and industry leader."(North Hills Patch)(4-16-2012)

  • Stewart leads in sponsor exposure through four races: Through television coverage of the this season's first four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races, defending champion #14-Tony Stewart leads in securing on-screen time for his sponsors, while #99-Carl Edwards collected the most verbal mentions for his supporting brands and #1-Jamie McMurray bested all drivers with $18.3 million of exposure value. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc.- which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 28 seasons - McMurray's appearance on the Fox set during the Sunday rain-delay portion of last month's Daytona 500 led to quality exposure for several of his brands during some of the most valuable broadcast time of the season.
    Stewart ranked number-one in camera time, as 29 of his sponsors enjoyed a combined two hours, 42 minutes, 42 seconds of clear and in-focus exposure time during live and replayed coverage of the first four races. #2-Brad Keselowski (2:28:34), #48-Jimmie Johnson (2:27:53), #17-Matt Kenseth (2:18:54) and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2:08:23) rounded out the top five in accumulated TV time. Meanwhile, #99-Carl Edwards, who led all drivers in sponsor mentions last season-either by him, or by announcers referencing his team-is off to another fast start with a Series-high 37 verbal brand mentions.
    In terms of delivering television exposure to the Series' participating automobile manufacturers, McMurray was the top exposure producer, posting $2.5 million on behalf of Chevrolet. #11-Denny Hamlin and Kenseth garnered $2.3 million for Toyota and Ford, respectively, while Keselowski gathered $1.5 million on behalf of the Dodge nameplate.(Joyce Julius)(3-31-2012)

  • Belkin sponsoring McMurray at Martinsville: The #1 Chevy will sport a new look this weekend at Martinsville Speedway with Belkin as the primary sponsor. McMurray will don green and white as Belkin makes its debut as a primary sponsor with EGR. Belkin, a recognized global leader in connectivity solutions, offers an extensive range of innovations designed to give computer and consumer electronics users seamless integration in their homes, cars and on the go.(Earnhardt-Ganassi), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(3-28-2012)

  • Allstate joins EGR: Allstate will be the co-primary sponsor on the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. The Allstate Corporation is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer.(EGR)(3-22-2012)

  • EGR will pay tribute to former Target Racing member Dan Wheldon at Vegas: The #1 McDonald's and #42 Clorox Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevys will display a decal in memory of the two-time Indianapolis 500 Winner and 2005 IZOD IndyCar Series Champion. In a joint venture between NASCAR and its teams, the decal was created to pay tribute to Wheldon. The logo depicts Richard the Lionheart, a 12th century king of England - Wheldon's home country. He once wrote, "When I first started racing, a lot of the guys said that I raced with a lot of heart, occasionally not my head, but always with a lot of heart, like the way that Richard the Lionheart fought in battle." He wore a small mural of the 12th-century warrior king on his racing helmet. Wheldon drove for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series for three seasons (2006-2008) and won six races.(EGR)(3-7/10-2012)

  • McDonalds makes first appearance on #1: McMurray and the #1 Team will carry McDonald's colors at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first of 13 races this season. The #1 car will also feature the McDonald's paint scheme at Bristol, Kansas, Richmond, Michigan, Infineon, Kentucky, Watkins Glen, Chicagoland, Dover, Charlotte, Martinsville and Texas.(EGR), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(3-9-2012)

  • EGR signs Larson as development driver: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates signed 19-year-old Kyle Larson to its roster as a developmental driver. The Elk Grove, Calif. native took the racing world by storm in 2011 - his first season competing on the national racing scene. Larson captured 22 major professional feature wins, including victories in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, all three United States Auto Club National Divisions and the American Sprint Car Series. Larson gained international notoriety last fall by sweeping the 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway -- winning in Midgets, Sprint Cars and Silver Crown cars in the same night. In addition to his role as an Earnhardt Ganassi Racing development driver, Larson, who is Japanese American, will also participate in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program in 2012 for Rev Racing in the NASCAR East Series.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing)(2-18-2012)

  • Ganassi & TSOVET Watches announce partnership: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. and TSOVET TIMING GAUGES, announced they are launching the new TSOVET "Limited Edition" Chronograph watch that commemorates the team's 14 championships and 145 wins. TSOVET has been a team partner since 2011 with logo placement on 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner Scott Dixon's # 9 Target Honda and firesuit in the IZOD IndyCar Series and 2010 Daytona 500 Winner #1-Jamie McMurray's firesuit in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(2-3-2012)

  • Former Ganassi crewmen get probation: Telling a North Carolina judge that they have learned their lesson, two former Earnhardt Ganassi Racing crewmen avoided jail and were sentenced to 18 months probation Wednesday for possession of marijuana. Trevor Lysne and Jerome Frey appeared in North Carolina Superior Court on charges stemming from their arrest Aug. 9, 2011, after authorities seized 10.62 pounds of marijuana from an apartment that belonged to Lysne. Lysne, a former EGR tire changer for Juan Pablo Montoya, and Frey, a mechanic, were charged with trafficking marijuana and possession with intent to sell and distribute marijuana. Lysne also faced an additional charge of maintaining a dwelling to sell a controlled substance. Those charges were reduced as part of a plea agreement. Frey, 28, and Lysne, 41, pleaded guilty to one felony count of possession of marijuana. The judge could have sentenced each of them to up to 15 months in jail. Lysne and Frey could return to NASCAR by completing NASCAR's Road to Recovery program, where they must complete a prescribed rehabilitation program following an evaluation by a substance abuse professional.(Scene Daily)(2-2-2012)

  • Banana Boat to sponsor McMurray: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced that Banana Boat sun care will take on the sun and the speedway for a new partnership. Banana Boat sun care will sponsor the #1 Chevy of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and 2010 Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray during the 2012 season. As part of the partnership, Banana Boat sun care will host fan experiences trackside at key races including the Daytona 500, Talladega Superspeedway and others. The sunscreen brand will provide fans with a break from the sun, offering quick relief and sun protection in its CoolZone Pit Stop. Here, fans will have the opportunity to receive a "cool-over" with the new sunscreen, play games and receive fun giveaway items.(EGR), the sposnorship is supposedly for one race, at Pocono in June, see images of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(1-24-2012)

  • Liftmaster to sponsor McMurray at NHMS: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and LiftMaster, the number one brand of professionally installed garage doors, announced that LiftMaster will be the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray at the Sept. 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Additionally, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and LiftMaster also revealed the paint scheme that will adorn the #1 LiftMaster Chevy for that race (EGR), see images of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(1-24-2012)

  • EGR - Sponsorship = Sold Out: At a time when many NASCAR teams are scrambling to find sponsorship, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has no primary sponsorship available for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season. Team-owner Chip Ganassi congratulated his sales staff as the team's key members met the media to open day two of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway Tuesday morning. The sold-out sign came after the announcement the team has added Belkin, LiftMaster and Banana Boat to its list of sponsors with each taking the primary sponsorship role on Jamie McMurray's #1 Chevy for one race, while serving as associate sponsors throughout the season.(National Speed Sport News)(1-24-2012)

  • Belkin to sponsor McMurray at Martinsville: Belkin entered the world of motorsports and announced a partnership with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, the team behind Jamie McMurray's # 1 Sprint Cup Series Chevy. Belkin's new logo and brand identity will adorn the #1 car and team assets for the duration of the 2012 NASCAR season, but take center stage as the primary sponsor during the race at Martinsville, Virginia on April 1. Belkin revealed its new brand identity and logo on a specially-designed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car at the 2012 International CES in Las Vegas.(Earnhart Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 Team Schemes page.(1-10-2012)

  • McMurray wins Kart race at Daytona: #1-Jamie McMurray has another Daytona victory on his resume. The 2010 Daytona 500 Champion won the TAG 2 Final Race Friday during WKA Daytona Kartweek events on the 0.7 mile sprint track located at Daytona International Speedway. McMurray, driving the #1 JMK Chassis, captured the pole and lead every lap in the Pre Final and the TAG 2 Final race, an event that features some of the best kart racers from around the world. The victory was especially gratifying for the NASCAR veteran as this is the first victory with a JMK chassis, which was designed and built by McMurray himself. McMurray commented after the win, "This victory is a little more special since I did this on a kart that I designed and had built here in America. Most of the kart chassis in this series are manufactured in Europe, so it was very special to put and American made chassis on the top step of the podium."(EGR)
    AND #22-A.J. Allmendinger also ran the event, having some tough luck in the TaG Parilla Leopard class when contact shuffled him back to a 16th place finish, but he went on to place fourth in both the TaG 1 and TaG 2 classes.(1-2-2012)

2011 News

  • McDonald's was the sponsor of the #1 for the following races in 2011:
    Las Vegas - 3/6
    Richmond - 4/30
    Kansas - 6/5
    Pocono - 6/12
    Infineon - 6/26
    Daytona - 7/2
    Watkins Glen - 8/14
    Chicago - 9/18
    Dover - 10/2
    Martinsville - 10/30
    others TBD

  • Widia was the sponsor of the #1 for the following races in 2011:
    Martinsville - 3/20

  • Max Jones joining Earnhardt Ganassi: UPDATE: Max Jones is joining Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Jones most recently was president and general manager at Richard Petty Motorsports but left RPM in the fall of 2010. He is expected to serve as team manager at EGR, a role previously held by Tony Glover from 2000 until he was released at the end of the 2011 season. Jones was a longtime general manager at what is now Roush Fenway Racing and before then had a successful road-racing career. He was also a former co-owner of Yates Racing.(Fox Sports)(12-20-2011)
    UPDATE: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that long-time NASCAR veteran Max Jones has been named team manager of the organization's NASCAR operation. Jones takes over the role effective immediately in preparation for the 2012 season. Most recently Jones was president and general manager at Richard Petty Motorsports for two years from 2009 through 2010 where he oversaw the transition and successful partnership between Richard Petty Enterprises and Yates Racing which would ultimately become Richard Petty Motorsports.(Earnhardt Ganassi)(12-21-2011)

  • Yates / ECR engines honored: MAHLE Clevite Inc. recently announced the 2011 MAHLE Engine Builders of the Year for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series. The Engine Builder of the Year award is presented to the top engine builder in each of the NASCAR series who has accumulated the most MAHLE Clevite points based on qualifying, laps led and finishing position.
    Doug Yates of Roush Yates Engines was awarded the 2011 MAHLE Engine Builder of the Year title for both the Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series. The award for the Sprint Cup Series was based on the outstanding performance of the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion, driven by Carl Edwards who completed the 2011 season without a single DNF and won three poles. The award for the Nationwide Series stemmed from his work on the #60 Ford Fusion, also driven by Carl Edwards. "It is a great honor to receive the MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year award, and to receive recognition for our work in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series makes me especially proud of what we've accomplished this year," said Yates. "Many thanks to MAHLE Clevite for consistently providing unprecedented technical support and quality products that continue to out-perform year-in and year-out."
    Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines (ECR) was awarded the MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series based on the performance of the #2 Bad Boy Buggies Chevy driven by Clint Bowyer. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Budeweiser Chevy accepted the award on behalf of Earnhardt Childress Racing.(MAHLE Clevite)(12-9-2011)

  • Changes at Earnhardt Ganassi: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing has confirmed that Steve Hmiel, Tony Glover and Ed Nathman have been released from the NASCAR Sprint Cup organization. Hmiel was the competition director for the team while long-time employee Glover was the team manager. Nathman was the lead engineer before John Probst was named technical director earlier this season.(FoxSports)(11-29-2011)

  • McDonalds returns to the #1: Jamie McMurray and the #1 team will carry the "Golden Arches" of McDonald's for the 13th time this season at this weekend's Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville. Most recently, McDonald's was the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy four races ago at Dover International Speedway. After the upcoming race at Martinsville Speedway, McDonald's will return to the hood of the #1 for the final time this season at Phoenix International Raceway for the Kobalt Tools 500.(Earnhardt Ganassi), see an image of the car on my #1 team paint schemes page.(10-26-2011)

  • Probst Joins EGR as Head of Engineering: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced John Probst has accepted the role of technical director to oversee all engineering for the organization's NASCAR operation. In his new role, Probst will work closely with the team's competition director Steve Hmiel. "As a race team owner, you owe it to your team, partners and the fans to bring in good people whenever you have the opportunity," said Team Owner Chip Ganassi. "So when John became available we jumped at the opportunity to bring him on board. We think he will be a great addition to this team." Probst previously spent five years with Team Red Bull, also as technical director, of their two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operation. Prior to his time at Red Bull, he spent over a decade at Ford Motor Company predominately in their motor sports division. His final role at Ford was as a vehicle dynamics supervisor for Ford Racing Technology, overseeing all of Ford's chassis development, setup engineering, software and simulations. He also held posts at Ford Electronics Racing, Jackie Stewart's Formula One program, as program manager of Ford Racing Technology's Champ Car operation and as an engineer on the Jaguar F1 team. The native of Pennsylvania earned a physics and mechanical engineering degree from Penn State University. Probst, his wife Karen and their sons Logan and Connor reside in Sherrills Ford, N.C.(EGR)(10-1-2011)

  • Pink numerials for EGR: This weekend at Dover International Speedway, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has partnered with Team Chevy to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the AAA 400, the #1 McDonald's Chevy of Jamie McMurray and #42 Target Chevy will have pink numbers on their roofs and doors, pink "Impala" branding on the front bumper and pink Chevrolet "Bow Ties" on the hood and rear bumper.(EGR)(9-28-2011)

  • Special schemes for EGR cars at New Hampshire: This weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, both the #1 and #42 Chevy's will be sporting special paint schemes for the Sylvania 300. Unilever, a world leader in consumer goods, will sponsor each of the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates entries for the second race of NASCAR's post-season.
    Jamie McMurray and the #1 team will race a specially-branded silver and black AXE Cool Metal Chevy. For this weekend, AXE is giving fans the opportunity to vote on which firesuit McMurray will wear on raceday. By visiting AXE's Facebook page, fan could like their favorite suit design and whichever has the most on Sunday morning will be the one that McMurray hits the track in for the Sylvania 300.
    Juan Pablo Montoya and the #42 team have a new black and yellow color scheme in honor of their Degree Men sponsorship. New Degree Men V12TM Juan Pablo Montoya special edition, available exclusively at Target, is designed to respond to increases in adrenaline and provide top protection when men need it most. To support the new stick, Degree Men is giving NASCAR fans a sneak peek inside the adrenaline-fueled racing life of Juan Pablo Montoya and his Earnhardt Ganassi teammates at Facebook.com/DegreeMen.(EGR), see an image of the schemes on the #42 team paint schemes page and the #1 team paint schemes page.(9-23-2011)

  • Bass Pro on 3 cars at Bristol: NASCAR fans will be seeing triple during the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol on Saturday, August 27th as the world famous Bass Pro Shops logo will be seen not just on the Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing's #1 Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray but also on the hood of Stewart-Hass Racing's #14 Chevy driven by Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman's #39 Chevy. The three Sprint Cup Cars are Bass Pro Shops way of celebrating the start of the nation's fall hunting seasons and to kick off a special promotion celebrating Bass Pro Shops three ways to shop and take care of all their customers hunting needs through their award winning destination retail stores, catalogs and online at www.basspro.com.(Bass Pro PR)(8-26-2011)

  • Realtree to sponsor four cars at Bristol: Realtree Camouflage Designer and President Bill Jordan announced sponsorship on four different Chevrolet Sprint Cup cars atthe August 27 Bristol Night Race. Look for Realtree's new Antler Logo in the primary sponsor position on Richard Childres. Racing's #29 Realtree/Bad Boy Buggies car, driven by Kevin Harvick; Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing's #1 Bass Pro Shops car, driven by Jamie McMurray; and Stewart-Hass Racing's #14 and #39 cars, piloted by Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman, respectively. "All of us at Realtree are excited to have such a big presence at one of NASCAR's most prestigious races of the year," said Jordan. "Of course, this race comes at a time of year when hunters are really getting fired up about the fall. It's amazing how many of our fans are passionate about both racing and hunting. And many of the drivers feel the same way. In fact, three of the guys we're sponsoring at Bristol... Harvick, Stewart and Newman... have hunted with me and the Realtree cameras many times, and McMurray is an avid outdoorsman too. For many years now, Realtree, Chevrolet and NASCAR have been partners in connecting fans to the outdoors, and just recently we all teamed up with Outdoor Channel to bring fans 'Realtree's NASCAR Outdoors'. The show has been a huge success. Fans really enjoy seeing their favorite drivers on hunts, and drivers and others from around the NASCAR garage are strong ambassadors for the outdoors. It really is a fun project for everyone involved, including the fans."(Realtree), see an image of the #29 scheme on my #29 Team Schemes page.(8-22-2011)

  • McMurray named quarterly award winner: Members of the National Motorsports Press Association [NMPA] have selected NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray as the second quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award. The award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are selected, and an overall winner is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership. Personally impacted by the tornados that devastated his hometown of Joplin, Mo., the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing driver was selected for his involvement in raising awareness through promotion of Convoy of Hope, then visiting the area and meeting with residents in an effort to raise spirits as well. Also receiving votes were: Wood Brothers Racing's Trevor Bayne, Stewart-Haas Racing's Tony Stewart, Hendrick Motorsports' Jimmie Johnson, Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin and Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick.(EGR)(8-9-2011)

  • Update on Shane Hmiel - Starts team: Former NASCAR driver Shane Hmiel doesn't know if he will walk again. He doesn't know exactly how he will be involved in racing again. He doesn't even know why he's alive. There's one thing Shane Hmiel believes, though: He's lucky, despite an Oct. 9 accident in a Silver Crown car that damaged his brain and spinal cord. He might not know for another four or five years how much he will need the wheelchair he currently has to use, but the 31-year-old Hmiel has an incredibly upbeat attitude about his life. See full article at SceneDaily and a video from a NASCAR Race Hub episode at SPEED.(7-30-2011)
    UPDATE: Shane Hmiel announced RW56, Inc as his newest endeavor in the world of motorsports. The ambitious project comes just months after suffering extensive injuries in a racing accident last October that left him confined to a wheelchair. Hmiel is embracing his new title as team owner, adding to his already extensive and impressive racing resume. With support coming from Steve Pruett, founder of the motorsports television program 3 Wide Life, and USAC team owners Rotondo Weirich of RW Motorsports, Hmiel will use the team and television show to build on the momentum he created before the accident in hopes of finding the next American open wheel star. In preparation for a full 2012 schedule, Hmiel and RW56 Inc, will field the No. 56 / 3 Wide Life dirt midget in the 7 remaining USAC National Dirt Midget races of 2011 beginning in Sun Prairie, Wisc. August 21. Five-time National USAC driver champion Levi Jones has been tapped to drive for those remaining races. See full post at 3widelife.(8-3-2011)

  • Indy 500 winner to present Brickyard 400 ring to McMurray: Two-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon will present the 2010 Brickyard 400 winner's ring to #1-Jamie McMurray at 9:40 am/et Friday, July 29 on the Coca-Cola Stage in the Pagoda Plaza at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. McMurray and Wheldon will be available for brief one-on-one interviews after the ceremony, which is open to the public (IMS)(7-29-2011)

  • Bass Pro Shops back on the #1: After a six week absence, Bass Pro Shops returns as the primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy team this weekend at New Hampshire. Bass Pro Shops is an outdoor retail leader in hunting, camping, nature gifts, outdoor cooking, and much more. From a simple beginning, Bass Pro Shops has become one of America's premier outdoor retailers with destination outdoor retail stores across the United States and Canada, serving over 75 million sportsmen a year.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing)(7-14-2011)

  • SPLASH Products join EGR as associate sponsor: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced an associate sponsorship agreement for the remainder of the 2011 season with SPLASH Products Inc. SPLASH a national provider of seasonal safety products based in Eagan, MN,. Will have its logo prominently displayed on several assets for the #1 team including the team's transporter, on the uniform of the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner Jamie McMurray and his #1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevy.(EGR PR)(6-3-2011)

  • McMurray to visit Joplin: #1-Jamie McMurray said not only was the house [in Joplin, MO] he grew up leveled on May 22, the tornado "took the whole neighborhood out." Also destroyed much of the high school McMurray attended. The death toll reached 132 on Friday [readjusted to 129 on Sunday]. "Everyone that I know, or at least friends talking to friends, I haven't known anyone that's lost their life," McMurray said. "I have a lot of friends that have lost their homes." McMurray said crew members and sponsors have offered to assist in the relief efforts. McMurray and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris will fly to Morris' hometown of Springfield, Mo., on Thursday to collect food and supplies from Convoy of Hope. They're then scheduled to go to Joplin and will join the mayor and chief of police on a tour of McMurray's old neighborhood. "I had a friend that lives there and has witnessed everything tell me that Joplin would recover. He just didn't know if it would recover in our lifetimes," McMurray said. "I know there will be a big effort on my part over the next years to come to help with the hospital, the schools and the families."(Joplin Globe)(5-29-2011)

  • McMurray / Bass Pro Shops to show support for tornado victims: During Sunday's race, the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy will be dedicated to bringing awareness to on-going relief efforts for the tornado-stricken families of Joplin, Missouri. The Convoy of Hope's logo will appear on the car driven by Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray. McMurray, whose hometown is Joplin, will be competing for a win in the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Memorial Day weekend. Springfield, Missouri, hometown of Bass Pro Shops founder, Johnny Morris, and headquarters for Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Marine is just 70 miles from Joplin. "We just wanted to do all we could to help," said Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. "We have seen first-hand what a great job Convoy of Hope is doing in Joplin and we want to encourage more people to help." McMurray, along with The Morris Family and the Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Marine extended family, is working in conjunction with Convoy of Hope to help bring assistance to those families whose lives were deeply affected by the EF-5 tornado that tore through Joplin Sunday, May 22nd.
    "My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to everyone who has been affected by this disaster in my hometown of Joplin," said McMurray. "I am thrilled that we have been able to come together and partner with Convoy of Hope and Bass Pro Shops this weekend. Hopefully we can raise some awareness for a great organization that has been on the ground since the first minute to offer assistance in the community. I hope that all NASCAR fans that are able to offer support will consider a donation to Convoy of Hope." Convoy of Hope responded immediately to the crisis and is on site in Joplin offering aid and supplies to those impacted.
    Those wishing to make a contribution to the Joplin Tornado Relief efforts can make a secure online contribution at www.convoyofhope.org or text the word CONVOY to 50555. A $10 donation will be added to your cell phone bill. (Standard text and data rates apply.) Convoy of Hope, founded in 1994, is a faith-based organization with a driving passion to feed the world through children's feeding initiatives, community outreaches, disaster response and partner resourcing.(EGR), see images of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(5-28-2011)

  • Some drivers to drive "Honoring Our Heroes" schemes at RIR: Lionel NASCAR Collectables, in partnership with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, unveiled a multi-car, on-track program which pays tribute to the 10th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and helps raise funds to build homes for the only three surviving quadruple amputees of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - United States Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco, United States Marine Corps Corporal Todd Nicely and United States Marine Corps Corporal John Peck.
    As part of the "Honoring Our Heroes" program, NASCAR stars Greg Biffle, David Gilliland, Jamie McMurray, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart will drive special patriotic paint schemes which feature the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation logo during the September race weekend at Richmond International Raceway.
    The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is a charitable organization founded in 2001 by the family of Stephen Siller - an FDNY firefighter. Siller was on his way to play golf with his brothers when he got the call about the attack on the World Trade Center. When he couldn't drive his truck through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Siller donned 75 pounds of firefighting gear and ran through the tunnel to the towers to help rescue his fellow Americans. Siller lost his life as a result of his heroic actions.
    A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each "Honoring Our Heroes" die-cast and associated merchandise will be donated to The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation which has earmarked these funds for the construction of customized "smart" homes for wounded United States servicemen Marrocco, Nicely and Peck.
    To bring even more attention to the Foundation's charitable efforts, David Gilliland will run the #34 Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports on Sept. 10. Front Row Motorsports has donated Gilliland's entire paint scheme to honor the legacy of Stephen Siller and to help increase awareness of the Foundation's efforts to help the heroes of the U.S. military.
    Danica Patrick will drive a special version of the #7 Go Daddy Get Your.Net Chevrolet for JR Motorsports during the Sept. 9 Nationwide Series race at Richmond. Patrick's car will feature a star-covered design and a black paint scheme. "Each star on the Go Daddy #7 Chevrolet represents a soul lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attack," said Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons. "We will always remember 9/11. I'm glad to see NASCAR supporting this extraordinary tribute!"
    During the Sprint Cup Series race on Sept. 10, Greg Biffle will drive the #16 3M Ford Fusion, Jamie McMurray will drive the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet and Tony Stewart will drive the #14 Office Depot Chevrolet - all in patriotic paint schemes.
    Following the events at Richmond, Lionel NASCAR Collectables will take part in the 2011 Tunnel to Towers Run on Sept. 25. Tunnel to Towers is an annual run in Manhattan hosted by the Foundation in which thousands of runners and walkers retrace the steps of Stephen Siller, honor his legacy and remember the fallen of Sept. 11, 2001. This year for the first time, Tunnel to Towers Runs will be held in cities nationwide on 9/11 as a way to mark the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.(Lionel NASCAR Collectables), see images of the Cup schemes on the #1 Team Schemes page, #14 Team Schemes page, #16 Team Schemes page and #34 Team Schemes page.(5-27-2011)

  • Tornado in Joplin, MO UPDATE: many readers have asked if any of #1-Jamie McMurray's family was involved in the tornado that hit the city of Joplin, MO on Sunday, killing 89 people. Per tweets from the AP's Jenna Fryer and ESPN's Marty Smith: Jamie McMurray, a native of Joplin, MO. His family is ok. and for those wondering, Jamie McMurray says his family lives in NC now, so everyone safe. Unsure of friends back in Joplin. To help out folks involved in this disaster as well as recent floods and tornados, go to redcross.org.
    UPDATE - Statement from Jamie McMurray: concerning the recent tornado in Missouri: "My heart goes out to all the people that have been affected by the devastating Missouri tornado on May 22nd, especially in my hometown of Joplin. It is difficult to put into words, the emotions I have when I see the devastation and destruction that was caused by this storm. My thoughts and prayers are extended to all the people who are dealing with so much loss. I would also like to thank all those that have reached out to me to express their concerns for my family. Although I don't personally have any family in Joplin any longer, there are still many people there that need our support and prayers." (EGR)(5-23-2011)

  • Sad News - Pop Evernham: Raymond Donald Evernham, Sr., "Pop", 80, of Mooresville, NC, passed away on Sunday, May 22, 2011, at his residence. He was born in Rumson, N.J. on March 18, 1931, to the late Raymond John and Madeline Hawkins Evernham. He is also preceded in death by a brother, Alfred Evernham and a sister, Marjorie Davidson. Evernham was a mechanic working with the railroad and with race teams. He served his country in the United States Navy on board the destroyer USS H. J. Ellison DD-864. He was a member of Grace Covenant Church, Cornelius, N.C. He is survived by his wife, MaryLou Bailey Evernham; children, Raymond Evernham, Jr. and wife, Erin, Willie Evernham and wife, Barbara, and LuAnn Evernham; grandchildren, Danelle, Donald, Willy, Ray J., Scotty and Taylor and great grandson, Christopher; sister, Caroline Nicholl and brother, Robert Evernham. Info on services at the Cavin-Cook Funeral Home site.(5-23-2011)

  • Ganassi honored: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team owner Chip Ganassi wasn't at Dover on Sunday. Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Ganassi's home town, presented the winner of last year's Daytona 500 and Indy 500 with an honorary Doctor of Science and Technology degree during its commencement ceremonies. The school noted Ganassi has been a fixture in auto racing for more than 25 years as one of the most successful and innovative owners in motorsports.(Sporting News)(5-16-2011)

  • Ganassi Earns Two Sports Business Awards Nominations: After a banner 2010 that included a sweep of America's biggest auto racing events, NASCAR race team owner Chip Ganassi and his organization are among the nominees at next week's Fourth Annual Sports Business Awards. Ganassi is the first race team executive to be nominated for Sports Executive of the Year, and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams is the second race team to receive a Professional Sports Team of the Year nomination. The awards, given by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, honor excellence in sports business and will be announced next Wednesday, May 18 in New York City. Ganassi and his racing organization operate teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the IndyCar Series. In 2010, the teams had unparalleled success, both on and off the race track.(NASCAR)(5-13-2011)

  • Shane Hmiel returns home from rehab center: Shane Hmiel went home Friday from the Atlanta rehabilitation center he's been at since Nov. 17 as he continues to recover from a devastating sprint car crash that left him with a bruised spinal chord and other injures last year. Shane is expected to return to the rehab center and that this is just a break, his father Steve said. "It's like lifting weights, you've got to let your muscles rest, so they'll heal and that's basically where he's at,'' Steve Hmiel said. Also, Shane is set to go to the Mayo Clinic in two weeks. Steve Hmiel said that Shane can move his arms and he has limited motion his hands. He can bend his knee up, tap his foot and wiggle his feet but does not have strength in his legs as he remains in a wheelchair. He's also passed all his tests measuring cognizance, Steve said. For more info and quotes, see the article at the Virginian Pilot.(4-4-2011)

  • Different look for McMurray's car at Martinsville: WIDIA colors will adorn the #1 Chevy this weekend at Martinsville as Jamie McMurray's primary sponsor. WIDIA is the industry-leading manufacturer of cutting tools. They offer thousands of milling, turning, holemaking, and tooling system products, taking pride in being the metalworking's oldest and most trusted brand (EGR), see images of the car on my #1 Team Schemes page.(3-31-2011)

  • Martinsville Marks Milestones: Longevity and performance are hallmarks in the career of #5-Mark Martin due to celebrate his 800th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Martin's signature start comes nearly to the day of his first NASCAR Sprint Cup appearance (April 5, 1981) at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway where the then 22-year-old Batesville, Ark., native finished 27th. Over the course of 29 seasons, Martin has:
    " Won 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup races and posted 96 victories across three national series, tops among active drivers.
    " Finished among the top three in NASCAR Sprint Cup points standings nine times, most recently in 2009 when he finished second.
    " Martin is only the eighth NASCAR Sprint Cup competitor to reach the 800-start plateau and likely will pass Darrell Waltrip (seventh with 809) and Kyle Petty (fifth with 829) later this year. His combined 1,055 national-series starts are second only to the 1,185 appearances of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty.
    Martin isn't the only NASCAR Sprint Cup driver celebrating career milestones at Martinsville.
    " #16-Greg Biffle and #1-Jamie McMurray will mark career starts No. 300. Biffle, a former NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, will make his 625th national series appearance.
    " #14-Tony Stewart remains one top-10 shy of career No. 250.
    Additionally, Kyle Busch could reach yet another lap-leader milestone in the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500. Busch, who celebrated his 10,000 NASCAR Nationwide Series lap led on March 19 at Bristol Motor Speedway, is 332 laps from leading his 20,000th across the three national series.(NASCAR)(3-30-2011)

  • Driver agent creates own agency, takes some big names: Longtime NASCAR driver agent Rod Moskowitz is spinning off from Motorsports Management International to create his own agency by acquiring the contracts of top drivers #11-Denny Hamlin, #4-Kasey Kahne and #1-Jamie McMurray. The new agency, which will be known as Fuel Sports Management Group, will be run by Moskowitz, who worked for MMI for 11 years, and former Ray Evernham Motorsports executives Rick Russell and David Jessey. Evernham, who at one time considered buying MMI, will be an adviser and member of the board along with Jack Giarraputo, Adam Sandler's partner at Happy Madison Productions. MMI founder Cary Agajanian will continue to represent Tony Stewart and work in NASCAR, as well as drifting and other motorsports. He expects to maintain a close relationship with Fuel Sports Management.(Sporting News/SportsBusiness Journal)(3-18-2011)

  • Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon Swap Rides: The worlds of NASCAR and IndyCar came together at Talladega Superspeedway and Barber Motorsports Park today. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray slid behind the wheel of Scott Dixon's #09 Target Honda IndyCar at Barber, and Dixon took McMurray's #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for some hot laps at Talladega. See transcript and images on the Jamie McMurray / Scott Dixon swap rides page.(3-17-2011)

  • Ganassi honored for two awards: Chip Ganassi was recently nominated in two different categories by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal and SportsBusiness Daily for the 2011 Sports Business Awards, Ganassi was nominated for the Sports Executive of the Year category along with George Bodenheimer from ESPN; David Levy from Turner Broadcasting System; Kevin Plank from Under Armour; and Pat Riley from the Miami Heat. Ganassi Race Teams also received a nomination in the Professional Sports Team of the Year category along with the New York Jets, Orlando Magic, Pittsburgh Penguins and San Francisco Giants. The 2011 nominees were selected based on their excellence and outstanding achievements in the business of sports from March 1, 2010 through Feb. 28 of this year. The winners will be announced at the Sports Business Awards Ceremony on May 18, at New York's Marriott Marquis in Times Square. (EGR)(3-16-2011)

  • Employee sues Earnhardt Ganassi over testing tunnel: Jesus Hernandez, a former NASCAR diversity driver, is suing Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, claiming in his lawsuit that he was fired from his job as a test team mechanic after questioning whether a EGR testing tunnel had proper ventilation. Hernandez filed the lawsuit after his claim was rejected by the North Carolina Department of Labor, which cited that there was not enough evidence for it to prosecute a violation under the law. Hernandez went to the tunnel three times in 2009, his suit says. He claims in court documents that he suffered symptoms consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning.(Scene Daily)(3-5-2011)

  • McMurray, Scott Dixon to swap rides: NASCAR, ARCA, INDYCAR and GRAND-AM all make stops in Alabama during April, with only one week and 30 miles separating the events. Earnhardt-Ganassi drivers McMurray and Dixon will get a chance to experience what each race offers when they take turns driving each other's cars at their respective venues - McMurray will drive Dixon's #9 Target Honda Indy car at Barber Motorsports Park and Dixon will drive McMurray's # 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy at Talladega Superspeedway. The event takes place starting at noon on March 16, but is not open to the public.(Talladega PR)(3-4-2011)

  • Forbes names most valuable NASCAR teams & highest paid drivers: The weak economy has pummeled NASCAR over the past three years, with sponsorships, merchandise sales, race winnings and subsidies from automakers falling. Fans have tuned out, sending TV ratings down 24% since 2006 and leaving more than 40,000 empty seats at some races last year. One of its longest-tenured teams, Richard Petty Motorsports, was scrambling for cash on a week-to-week basis so it could race on weekends last fall. Is NASCAR headed for a full-blown meltdown? Hardly. Yes, the value of the top 10 teams slid 5% in 2010, on average, to $136 million by [Forbes] count, as prize money dropped and sponsors dialed back their commitment, but a rebound in 2011 for the sport is a strong possibility. NASCAR's strongest and most valuable team remains Hendrick Motorsports. With a valuation of $350 million on revenues of $177 million in 2010, Hendrick is worth 56% more than the next-highest-grossing team, Roush Fenway Racing, which [Forbes] value at $224 million on revenues of $140 million last year. Hendrick earned a NASCAR-high $18 million in operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in 2010. Richard Childress Racing was third on the list, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing. Rounding out the top 10: Stewart-Haas, Michael Waltrip Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Red Bull Racing.
    AND: Despite his lack of success in recent years on the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains NASCAR's highest-paid driver, earning $29 million in 2010 thanks to merchandise sales that are the best in the sport and reportedly account for one-third of all NASCAR licensed merchandise sales. Other income streams include an annual salary from Hendrick and a 50% share of his $4.9 million in winnings and bonuses in 2010 from Sprint Cup races. Earnhardt also has a bevy of personal endorsements, including Chevrolet, Nationwide and Wrangler. Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon follows Earnhardt in the NASCAR money standings with earnings of $25 million last year. It is a clean sweep for Hendrick at the top with five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, the third-highest-paid driver at $24 million. The rest of the top 10: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth.(Forbes)(2-24-2011)

  • Chip Ganassi honored: Ganassi was recognized and honored at the 75th annual Dapper Dan Dinner & Sports Auction Feb 9 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. The evening paid tribute to Pittsburgh sports icons, including Fox Chapel resident Ganassi as he received the first ever sports leadership award, a non-annual award which recognizes a Pittsburgh icon and their leadership and success in sports.(EGR)(2-17-2011)

  • Ganassi wins Rolex 24; TRG wins touring class: America's longest endurance race came down to a one-lap sprint. No surprise, the winner ended up being the guy with more wins in the Grand-Am Series than anybody else. Three-time and defending series champion Scott Pruett drove the last leg of the Rolex 24 at Daytona and held off Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon during a final restart. Pruett's smooth restart helped him pull away from Dixon and third-place finisher Joao Barbosa after the green-white restart and clinch the Daytona Prototype class by 2.42 seconds. It was Pruett's 32nd win in the series and his fourth Rolex 24 victory (1994, 2007, 2008). It could be his most meaningful, too. This one capped the "Ganassi Slam." Ganassi became the only car owner to win the four biggest races in the United States during a 12-month period. His drivers won the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 last year. Andy Lally led TRG Racing to a two-lap victory in the Grand Touring class. Lally claimed the pole, but started in the back of the field after failing post-qualifying inspection. The team drove the final 17 hours without a clutch.()(1-30-2011)

  • Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Sponsor Announcements: During a lunch presentation on the first day of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway, officials from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) made several new announcements concerning sponsors and the 2011 season. Acting as emcee for the event, television broadcaster Larry McReynolds confirmed that Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray will again drive in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for EGR in 2011. Montoya, driving the #42 Target Chevy, marks his third consecutive season with the team. McMurray will start his second season in the #1 Bass Pro Shops/McDonald's Chevy. EGR welcomed companies WIDIA (pronounced VEE-dee-uh) and LiftMaster, both of whom are new to NASCAR competition. WIDIA, a manufacturer of precision machine tools, will assume sponsorship of McMurray's #1 Chevy when he makes his 300th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start in the April 3 race at Martinsville Speedway. Garage door-opener manufacturer LiftMaster has signed a multi-year associate sponsorship agreement with EGR for placement on McMurray's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car.(Charlotte Motor Speedway)(1-24-2011)

  • Bass Pro Shops Founder Morris to be Inducted into Ozark Area Racer's Reunion Hall of Fame: Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris will be inducted into the Ozark Area Racer's Reunion "Hall of Fame" Saturday, January 22nd during a special ceremony beginning at 7pm. The 24th annual event will be at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds E-Plex in Springfield, Missouri-a site famous for its great speedways and number of racing legends and pioneers that got their start in the Midwest. Special guests scheduled to attend the ceremony include RCR's Austin Dillon, driver of the Bass Pro Shops #3 Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and racing legends, original "Alabama Gang" members Red Farmer and Bobby Allison.
    Beginning with the first Bass Pro Shops sponsorship with Richard Childress of the #3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo driven by Dale Earnhardt in 1998, and continuing to the stellar 2010 season that saw Sprint Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray take the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400, for well over a decade Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops have been involved with NASCAR. They have partnered with some of the biggest names in racing--Earnhardt/Ganassi Racing, Richard Childress, Tony Stewart, Jamie McMurray, Juan Montoya , Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon and Steve Kinser-all in an effort to help promote the great outdoors.
    Morris will be inducted as a "Pioneer" along with Steve Long (Lebanon, Missouri) an expert machinist who is now located in the heart of racing working for TRD (Toyota Racing Development); Gerald Wilson (Bolivar, Missouri) who built cars for Larry Phillips, who became the only 5 time NASCAR short track Champion in history; and Mark Perry (Springfield, Missouri) who, as a kid watched his dad compete on the dusty tracks across the country on the IMCA circuit, then ran a family track for his parents later in life.
    "Legend" inductees include drivers Steve Schahuber (Willard, Missouri), Rex McCroskey (Springfield, Missouri) Dave Williams (Pleasant Hope, Missouri) and Bill Frye (Greenbriar, Arkansas).(RCR)(1-22-2011)

  • Latest news on Shane Hmiel: Former NASCAR driver Shane Hmiel is expected to be released from an Atlanta rehabilitation center in the next two weeks to continue his recovery from serious race-accident injuries at home. Steve Hmiel, Shane's father and the competition director at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, said Shane has shown significant improvement from the head injury he suffered in a brutal crash during a USAC Silver Crown race last October in Indiana. Hmiel suffered head and spinal cord injuries in the wreck. Swelling in his brain was brought under control, his father said, and the family hopes that his rehabilitation can continue to progress when he returns home. "The doctors say most rehabilitation gets better when you get back at home, and we're counting on that," Hmiel said Thursday. "He's going to have to learn how to walk again, first with a cane and then hopefully without it." Shane Hmiel was trying to build a new career in USAC after being banned for life from NASCAR because of repeatedly failing drug tests.(SPEED)(1-21-2011)

  • McMurray re-signs with Ganassi: #1-Jamie McMurray has finalized a multi-year deal with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, his agent confirmed on Wednesday. ESPN.com reported in July after McMurray won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis that EGR was in the process of negotiating a new deal. McMurray signed a one-year deal when he came to EGR from Roush Fenway Racing last season. McMurray's agent, Rod Moskowitz, said there never was a doubt that a new deal would be reached based on the driver's relationship with EGR and sponsors Bass Pro Shops and McDonald's. "It's obviously a formality," Moskowitz said.(ESPN.com)(1-19-2011)

  • Montoya, McMurray to run Rolex 24: On Tuesday, Grand-Am - and its fans -- got a belated Christmas gift from Chip Ganassi, in the form of a star-studded lineup for the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona, one encompassing two cars, eight drivers, three racing disciplines and a return appearance by Jamie McMurray. Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, the reigning Rolex Series Daytona Prototype co-champions, will be joined in the #01 Target/Telmex BMW/Riley prototype by Grand-Am veteran Joey Hand and Graham Rahal, the latter recently announced as a new Ganassi driver in the IndyCar Series. In the #02 Telmex/Target BMW/Riley, last year's Daytona team returns intact: McMurray, two-time Rolex 24 champion Juan Pablo Montoya and two IndyCar vets -- two-time series titlist Scott Dixon and the series' reigning champ, Dario Franchitti. Collectively, those two teams have won 12 series championships, eight Rolex 24s, one Daytona 500 and four Indianapolis 500s.(Ganassi PR)(1-5-2011)

  • Steiner leaves DEI: Jeff Steiner, who had been executive vice president and general manager of Dale Earnhardt Inc. since April 2009, has left the organization to pursue other opportunities, Steiner and the organization confirmed. DEI has not named a replacement.(Scene Daily)(1-5-2011)

2010 News

  • Races [22] that Bass Pro Shops was the primary sponsor in 2010:
    Bud Shootout - 2/6, Tracker Boats
    Daytona - 2/14, Tracker Boats
    Auto Club - 2/21, Tracker Boats
    Atlanta - 3/7, Tracker Boats
    Bristol - 3/21, Tracker Boats
    Phoenix - 4/10, Tracker Boats
    Texas - 4/19, Tracker Boats
    Talladega - 4/25, Tracker Boats
    Richmond - 5/1, Tracker Boats
    Dover - 5/16, Tracker Boats
    All-Star Race - 5/22, Natl. Wild Turkey Fed.
    Charlotte - 5/30, Tracker Boats
    Daytona - 7/3, Tracker Boats
    Indianapolis - 7/25, Tracker Boats
    Bristol - 8/21, Tracker Boats
    Richmond - 9/11, Tracker Boats
    Kansas - 10/3, Tracker Boats
    Charlotte - 10/16, Tracker Boats
    Martinsville - 10/24, Tracker Boats
    Talladega - 10/31, Dale Earnhardt Tribute
    Texas - 11/7, Artic Cat

  • Races [12] that McDonald's was the primary sponsor in 2010:
    Las Vegas - 2/28
    Martinsville - 3/28
    Darlington - 5/8, NASCAR Chairman Bill France Jr. tribute
    Pocono - 6/6
    Infineon - 6/20
    Chicago - 7/10
    Watkins Glen - 8/8
    Atlanta - 9/5
    New Hampshire - 9/19
    Dover - 9/26
    Auto Club - 10/10
    Phoenix - 11/14

  • Races [1] that GE Reveal Light Bulbs was the primary sponsor in 2010:
    Michigan - 6/13

  • Races [1] that AXE Twist was the primary sponsor in 2010:
    Pocono - 8/1

  • Races [1] that Phillips Norelco was the primary sponsor in 2010:
    Michigan - 8/15

  • Races [1] that Sauve Twist was the primary sponsor in 2010:
    New Hampshire - 9/27

  • New spotter for Truex: TriStar Motorsports #35 Nationwide Series] General Manager Keith Barnwell is leaving the team effective immediately and has accepted another opportunity within the sport. A successor will be named soon. Barnwell will also spot for the #56 NAPA Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. in the Sprint Cup Series, moving over from EGR and #1-Jamie McMurray.(12-31-2010)

  • Allmendinger/McMurray karting it at Daytona: The new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season hasn't even started yet and AJ Allmendinger is already turning competitive laps at Daytona International Speedway. For the second straight year, Allmendinger is participating in Daytona KartWeek, which showcases hundreds of karters from across the country in World Karting Association races. "We've had three off weekends now so I'm bored," said Allmendinger, who drives for Richard Petty Motorsports. "I had to get away from the house. It's time to go racing. As soon as Christmas is over, it's time to go racing." Allmendinger didn't enjoy last year's Daytona KartWeek as much as he wanted. He struggled on the track and packed up early and headed back home to North Carolina. This year, he comes ready for what is a competitive field that also includes 2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray.(DIS)(12-29-2010)

  • Ganassi honored by National Speed Sport News: For the first time in the eight-year history of the Economaki Champion of Champions presented by National Speed Sport News, a non-driver has won the award. The Economaki Champion of Champions is annually given to the North American racing champion judged to have had the best season on and off the race track. Team owner Chip Ganassi, whose teams won the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and the Grand Am Rolex Series and IZOD IndyCar Series championships, was selected by the staff of National Speed Sport News as the winner of the award, which is named for longtime National Speed Sport News Editor Chris Economaki. "While we have traditionally presented this award to a driver, we felt the time was right to honor Chip Ganassi for what was truly an amazing season," said National Speed Sport News Publisher Corinne Economaki. "No team owner had ever won the Daytona 500, Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same season and to win two championships on top of that made Chip an obvious choice for this honor. With NASCAR, IndyCar and Grand Am all part of NSSN's core coverage, Chip Ganassi and his racing teams represent a wide spectrum of competitors and racing fans."
    Ganassi joins an exceptional list of CoC winners, including two-time recipient NHRA Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher; Kyle Busch, 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion; Donny Schatz, three-time World of Outlaws champion; NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson; World of Outlaws' Steve Kinser and J.J. Yeley, who represented USAC when he won the inaugural CoC in 2003. Other finalists for the award were Scott Bloomquist (Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series), Bryan Clauson (USAC), Larry Dixon (NHRA), John Force (NHRA), Dario Franchitti (IndyCar) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR), Levi Jones (USAC), Jason Meyers (WoO), Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas (Grand Am) and Tim Shaffer (All Stars). Ganassi is recognized on the cover of the Dec. 15, 2010, year-end issue of National Speed Sport News.(National Speed Sport News)(12-15-2010)

  • Ganassi Wins Award: Legendary car owner Chip Ganassi received the first-ever International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS) Achievement Award Tuesday night during the IMIS welcome reception at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis. Chris Paulsen, owner of C&R Racing and one of the founders of IMIS, presented the award to Ganassi, who scored two championships and numerous high-profile race wins throughout the 2010 season as an owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, IZOD IndyCar Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. The Indianapolis-based IMIS show was founded by Paulsen, Tom Weisenbach, executive director of the Indiana Motorsports Association (IMA), Jeff Stoops, president of Stoops Freightliner, and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. All four are residents of Indiana.(True Speed Communication)(12-1-2010)

  • Congrats Jamie McMurray: #1-Jamie McMurray and his wife Christy welcomed the birth of their son, Carter Scott McMurray, into the world at 8:34am/et on Thanksgiving morning [Nov 25]. Baby Carter was 7lbs 12oz and 20" long. He joins seven other babies as new additions to the No.1 Team's family during the 2010 season, as several members of Jamie's team have welcomed their first or second child during this historic season. Mom and Baby Carter are doing very well.(EGR)(11-29-2010)

  • Some Spotters on the move: Silly season is just starting for NASCAR spotters.
    Keith Barnwell goes from #1-Jamie McMurray to spotting for #56-Martin Truex Jr.
    Lorin Ranier goes from the #6 Ford of David Ragan to the #1 team and McMurray.
    Brett Griffin, fomerly Elliott Sadler's sponsor on the #19 RPM team that will close, replaces Rocky Ryan as the spotter for the #31
    Chevy of Jeff Burton and is expected to continue his spotter duties with Elliott Sadler in the Nationwide Series.
    Rocky Ryan could be a possible replacement for Ranier on the #6 car with David Ragan.
    Kevin Hamlin started spotting for #33-Clint Bowyer at Texas in November.(FoxSports)(11-19-2010)

  • NASCAR hosting racing youth from Bahrain, Qatar UPDATE: NASCAR is hosting young people from Bahrain and Qatar as part of a diplomatic program of the U.S. State Department. The State Department said Friday that 11 young adults involved in auto racing would travel to Charlotte, N.C., and Miami Nov. 15-23. They are scheduled to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame and to attend races. The trip is sponsored by SportsUnited, a State Department exchange program that brings foreign athletes to the United States (Associated Press)(11-13-2010)
    UPDATE: On Tuesday, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates hosted a group of foreign racing engineers and motorsports-related students from Bahrain and Qatar at its Concord, NC race shop. As guests of the U.S. State Department, the students were in the country through SportsUnited. They visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Revolution Racing prior to the visit to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. They also will be attending this weekend's NACAR Sprint Cup Series Season Finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. While at the shop the group was treated to a discussion with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing personnel followed by a tour of the 183,000 square foot facility home to the #1 and #42 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. SportsUnited is an international sports programming initiative designed to help start a dialogue at the grassroots level with non-elite boys and girls ages 7-17. The programs aid youth in discovering how success in athletics can be translated into the development of life skills and achievement in the classroom. Foreign participants are given an opportunity to establish links with U.S. sports professionals and exposure to American life and culture. Americans learn about foreign cultures and the challenges young people from overseas face today.(EGR)(11-18-2010)

  • Final race for McDonald's in 2010: McDonald's will make its final appearance of the 2010 season as the primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray this weekend at Phoenix. McDonald's was welcomed aboard as co-primary on McMurray's #1 Chevy for the Las Vegas race in February, and continued for ten more races (not including Phoenix). The stats with McDonald's on the hood are very impressive, as McMurray has accumulated three poles (of 4 total), three top-five, four top-10, and seven top-15 finishes for an average start of 10th and an average finish of 16th. McMurray has also led 174 laps, or 50% of his total laps led, with the Golden Arches on the hood. McMurray will be visiting the Ronald McDonald House of Phoenix, Thursday, Nov 11, to have dinner and visit with the many families that take advantage of the home in Phoenix (EGR)(11-10-2010)

  • More on EGR staying with Chevy: Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing President Steve Lauletta confirmed to Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that EGR will remain in the Chevrolet camp in 2011 and beyond. "The challenge of this business is that things change so quickly," said Lauletta. "We've got everything settled down now, to a point where we can look two, three or even four years down the road and decide where we want to be. When companies come and ask about being a part of it, we certainly are willing to talk to them. But we've been very happy with both GM and Chevy, and we have to look at what's best for this company in the long term." Lauletta said the success of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines this season played a role in the decision to remain with Chevrolet. "Shutting down the in-house engine shop at Ganassi Racing a few years ago caused quite a bit of apprehension," said Lauletta, "but there has never been a single question about way we are treated by ECR. We have been extremely happy with that relationship over the years, and we are really happy with where we are right now." Lauletta also said he is "not anticipating any changes" on Jamie McMurray's #1 team next year, including driver, sponsor and crewchief (Sirius Speedway)(11-5-2010)

  • Earnhardt-Ganassi to Ford? UPDATE2 No: While Chip Ganassi brushed off the possibility of switching from Chevy to Ford as "just a rumor" last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, sources told FOXSports.com that Ford initiated discussions with the team in July, and a decision could come as early as next week at Talladega Superspeedway. Although Ganassi's NASCAR drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya failed to make the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup field, the pair has delivered four wins this year. McMurray, who won the Daytona 500 in his return to Ganassi this season, moved from Ford's Roush Fenway Racing at the end of last year. In four years at RFR, McMurray posted just two wins. Ganassi stands to benefit through the support the company would receive from Ford both on a financial and technological basis. When it comes to the pecking order at Chevrolet, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing lulls far behind Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing, who shares an allegiance with Hendrick. At Ford, Ganassi would be second only to Jack Roush. The area that would hit Ganassi the hardest would be the loss the company's partnership with Earnhardt Childress Racing Technology engines - currently one of the top programs in the garage. ECRT engines have won eight races this season. Only Mark Cronquist's engines at Joe Gibbs Racing have accounted for more (9) wins. With teams already preparing for the 2011 season, ECRT has been told a decision will come from Ganassi by Talladega. ECRT currently provides engines for Richard Childress Racing, EGR and Tommy Baldwin Racing. Furniture Row Racing will join the program next year.(FoxSports)(10-23-2010)
    UPDATE: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing officials don't deny that Ford has approached them about switching manufacturers in 2011. They also say there are no plans to leave Chevy, in part because of the long-standing relationship the Earnhardt part of this equation has with General Motors, not to mention the Earnhardt Childress Racing engines that arguably are the best in the business at the moment.(ESPN.com(10-26-2010)
    UPDATE 2: Expect a decision on Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing's possible move from Chevy to Ford by the end of this week. Sources with the team say that Ford's offer is better financially than what Chevy can provide, but that Jamie McMurray's wins in this year's Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Bank Of America 500 at Charlotte were due in large part to the dominance of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines. "The offer is on the table, and it's up to them whether or not to take it," said a spokesperson for Ford Motor Company. "If this was a strict business decision, I think Chip (Ganassi) would make the move. But racers are a pretty loyal bunch. I honestly think it could go either way."(Sirius Speedway)(11-1-2010)
    UPDATE 3: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will continue its relationship with General Motors [Chevy] and Earnhardt Childress Racing Technologies. At a lunch on Wednesday celebrating Jamie McMurray's win at Charlotte Motor Speedway, employees were made aware of the decision (FoxSports)(11-3-2010)

  • McMurray close to new contract: #1-Jamie McMurray, winner of this year's Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400, is close to announcing a contract extension with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, McMurray told Sporting News on Tuesday. "We're getting really close," said McMurray, who signed a one-year contract when he came to EGR this season to drive the No. 1 Chevrolet. "Hopefully, within the next week or so, we will be able to announce everything that's going on." As of his most recent victory on Oct. 16 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, McMurray has three NASCAR Sprint Cup victories, doubling his career total since joining Earnhardt Ganassi Racing to start the season. McMurray also has won four of his seven career poles this year. McMurray said he has tried to ignore recent reports that EGR was considering a manufacturer switch to Ford next season. EGR began discussions with Ford in late July, but given the success the organization has had with Chevy and the power of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies engines, a change would seem unlikely.(Sporting News)(10-26-2010)

  • Bass Pro Shops pays tribute to Dale Earnhardt: Bass Pro Shops and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will be honoring racing legend Dale Earnhardt's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame at this weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway. The Bass Pro Shops #1 Chevy will feature the same design and black and gold paint scheme that was first used by Earnhardt in the 1998 All Star Race and was a salute to conservation and the American outdoorsman. Bass Pro Shops driver Jamie McMurray will drive the car that commemorates the 10th anniversary of Dale's 76th and last Cup victory at Talladega before his untimely death. Dale Earnhardt fans will be excited to know that diecast cars, t-shirts, caps, and more commemorating the car and Dale are available at Bass Pro Shops stores, on their web site and in their catalogs as well as other retailers nationwide.(Bass Pro Shops), see images of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(10-26-2010)

  • McMurray's Crew Tied for 1st Following Tissot Pit Road Win in Charlotte: It was another double win for the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team with driver Jamie McMurray taking the race victory and his crew winning the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Saturday night's Sprint Cup event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was the fourth pit road victory of the season for the #1 crew, which moved into a tie for first place in the Tissot season standings with Jeff Gordon's #24 crew. Three crews - Matt Kenseth's, Kyle Busch's and Clint Bowyer's -- are one win behind with three victories each. There are five Cup races remaining in the 2010 season. Along with $5,000 going to the weekly winning pit crew, the team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver. In the event there is a tie at the end of the season for the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award championship, the tiebreaker goes to the team whose driver finishes the highest in the Sprint Cup point standings. McMurray's #1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on Charlotte's pit road during the Bank of America 500 -- 284.026 seconds. McMurray's over-the-wall crew consists of: Cory DeMarco (front-tire changer), Doug Riepe (front-tire carrier), Chris Taylor (rear-tire changer), Adam Mosher (rear-tire carrier), Tracy Duncan (jackman), Benjy Grubbs (gasman) and Eric Hoyle (catch can). The team's crew chief is Kevin "Bono" Manion.(Tissot), see standings and race by race winner on my 2010 Pit Crew News page.(10-20-2010)

  • McMurray wins at Charlotte: #1-Jamie McMurray won the Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of 2010 and the 6th win of his career. #18-Busch finished second followed by #48-Johnson, #11-Hamlin, #16-Biffle, #17-Kenseth, #20-Logano, #29-Harvick, #00-Reuitmann and #6-Ragan. Pole sitter #24-Gordon finished 23rd. J.J. Yeley finished the race in the #9 Ford as Kahne wasn't felling well after his wreck.
    There were 27 lead changes among 19 drivers and 9 cautions for 39 yellow flag laps. The attendance was reported at 103,000 down a tad from 2009 which was 105,000.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs are ESPN2, Sunday, October 25 at 2:00am/et; and SPEED, October 27 at 12:00pm/et.
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Charlotte Race Results/Awards page.
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(10-16-2010)

  • It's Chip Ganassi Day in Pittsburgh: This is "Chip Ganassi Day" in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh City Council approved the proclamation this morning, honoring Mr. Ganassi's racing team for being the first to win the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 in a single year, auto racing's so-called "triple crown." Councilman Bill Peduto also honored Mr. Ganassi, a Westmoreland County native and Duquesne University graduate who has an office Downtown, for his commitment to local charity. Mr. Ganassi, who appeared in council chamber to accept the honor, was low key. "I'm a Pittsburgher," he said. "We don't toot our horns too much." Mr. Ganassi said he's had a special career. "Mario Andretti said to me one time . . . 'None of it matters till they know about it at home.' "(Pittsburgh Post Gazette)(8-31-2010)

  • McMurray Tours Langley Air Force Base: #1-Jamie McMurray recently toured Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, VA before taking on members of the media and fans in kart racing action at G-Force Karts in Richmond, VA. McMurray's stops were in advance of the upcoming "One Last Race To Make The Chase" NASCAR Doubleheader weekend, September 10-11, at Richmond International Raceway. At Langley AFB, McMurray met with members of the Virginia Air Guard and participated in a tour of the base, which included an up-close look at an F-22 Raptor, the same jets that will be flown by the 192nd Fighter Wing during the ceremonial flyby prior to the Air Guard 400 on September 11.
    Following the visit to Langley, McMurray made the trek to Richmond where he was greeted by race fans at G-Force Karts, across the street from RIR. Members of the media challenged McMurray to a karting race on the 11-turn, indoor track, before McMurray participated in an engaging question and answer session with all of the fans assembled at the facility. After the session, McMurray returned to the track to take on several lucky fans.(RIR)(8-19-2010)

  • Norelco sponsoring McMurray at Michigan: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Philips brand Norelco announced that the new, all-in-one dual-end Bodygroom Pro groomer, will serve as the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy, driven by Jamie McMurray at the Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Along with sponsoring the #1 Chevy, Philips Norelco will host race fans, on the midway, trackside at the Philips Lifestyle Lounge throughout the weekend at MIS. The lounge will allow race fans the opportunity to test Philips innovative products that focus on people and improving the quality of their lives, including Philips Sonicare toothbrushes, Philips Norelco shaving and grooming and a selection of consumer electronics.(EGR PR), see an image of the car on my #1 team paint schemes page.(8-10-2010)

  • McMurray to sport color changing AXE Twist scheme at Pocono: This weekend the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy of Jamie McMurray will welcome a new paint scheme with AXE Twist as the sponsor. AXE Twist was developed by world-renowned fragrance experts. Twist starts with fresh hints of citrus and lime, and then over time adds more depth with earthy notes of cedar and sandalwood. AXE Twist is available in a Deodorant Bodyspray, Deodorant Stick, Antiperspirant Stick and Shower Gel. Race fans can purchase AXE Twist at most food, drug, club and mass retail outlets. The #1 AXE Twist Chevy will feature a color-changing hood when it takes the green flag on Sunday, Aug. 1 at Pocono Raceway. The paint scheme is representative of the AXE Twist fragrance itself, which changes scents throughout the day. The vinyl used on the hood uses liquid crystals that can be accurately set to show color at specific temperatures and was specifically engineered to meet the exact temperature range needed to show changing colors on the hood of a NSCS car. For more information, visit www.theaxeeffect.com.(EGR) see images of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(7-28-2010)

  • McMurray, Ganassi working on contract extension: #1-Jamie McMurray and Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing officials are in the process of negotiating a new deal for the Sprint Cup driver, sources for both sides said following Sunday's victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. McMurray signed a one-year deal when he came to EGR from Roush-Fenway Racing this season. Co-owner Chip Ganassi would not comment on negotiations, but when asked if he planned to sign the reigning Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 champion to a long-term deal he quipped, "I'm going to fire him. What do you think?" Sources said McMurray's primary sponsor, Bass Pro Shops, also is expected to return.(ESPN.com:)(7-26-2010)

  • McMurray wins at Indianapolis: #1-Jamie McMurray won the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of the season and 5th of his career. He joins Jimmie Johnson and Dale Jarrett as the only drivers to win the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year. #29-Harvick finished second, followed by: #16-Biffle, #33-Bowyer, #14-Steart, #31-Burton, #99-Edwards, #18-Busch, #20-Logano, and #2-Busch. Polesitter #42-Montoya domainated much of the race, leading the most laps, but lost the lead during a late pitstop, then hit the wall with 15 to go and finished 32nd. There were 14 lead changes among 10 drivers and 6 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps. The attendence was reported at 140,000, down from 180,000 last year.
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Indianapolis Race Results/Awards page.(7-25-2010)
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(7-25-2010)

  • Ganassi going for "triple crown" UPDATE: Chip Ganassi is one victory from one of the most cherished accomplishments in sports -- a triple crown. If #42-Juan Pablo Montoya or #1-Jamie McMurray wins the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, Ganassi would become the first team owner to win the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season. Ganassi is the first person, driver or team owner, to have a chance at the trifecta of American auto racing. With McMurray's win at Daytona and Dario Franchitti's victory at Indy, Ganassi became the first owner to win racing's two biggest events in the same season. Now he's going for the sweep.(ESPN.com)(7-21-2010)
    UPDATE: #1-Jamie McMurray's win at Indianapolis gave owner Chip Ganassi the first Daytona-Indy 500-Brickyard triple crown.(7-25-2010)

  • New sponsor for McMurray: Jamie McMurray and the #1 Chevy will welcome a new sponsor, Suave, this weekend when the team returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The partnership with the team is a follow-up from last year's program where Unilever brand Vaseline MEN served as the primary sponsor for two races with the #1 Team at Dover and Martinsville. Suave products are designed to offer the same performance as salon and specialty brands without the salon price tag. Suave's lineup includes the Suave Professionals and Suave Naturals lines of shampoos, conditioners and body washes, Suave Men products designed for the grooming needs of guys, and Suave Kids, which includes 2 in 1 and 3 in 1 shampoos and conditioners as well as body washes formulated just for kids. Suave products are available at drug, mass merchandisers, and supermarkets nationwide.(EGR)(6-24-2010)
    See an image of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(6-25-2010)

  • GE Reveal colors for McMurray at MIS: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and GE Lighting announced that the GE Reveal Light Bulb brand will be the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy, driven by 2010 Daytona 500 Champion, Jamie McMurray at the June 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Michigan International Speedway. In conjunction with GE's paint scheme on the #1 Chevy, GE will also provide Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Target Chip Ganassi Racing with new lighting fixture and bulb technologies for installation in their Concord, N.C. and Indianapolis, Ind. facilities. The #1 Chevy's bright blue design draws inspiration from the blue coloring of an unlit GE Reveal light bulb. Race fans should be sure to look for the iconic GE script logo on the hood of the #1 Chevy along with the rainbow-hued logo of GE Reveal running down the car's quarter panels.(EGR), see an image of the car on my #1 Team Schemes page.(6-9-2010)

  • Congratulations: to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Account Manager and Front-Tire carrier for the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Team, Doug Riepe and his wife, on welcoming a baby boy to the family on Wednesday, June 2nd. Henry Patrick Riepe was born at 1:36pm at a Charlotte area hospital weighing in at 7lbs 8oz and 19 inches long.(6-5-2010)

  • McMurray Makes Surprise Visit to Indy: After finishing second in the Coke 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday night, 2010 Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray flew to Indianapolis Monday morning to congratulate, Ganassi teammate Dario Franchitti on his Indianapolis 500 win and to honor his team owner, Chip Ganassi, for doing something that no other car owner in the history of auto racing had ever done; win the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 in the same season. "Honestly, my first thought was that I was happy for Chip as an owner, but I was really happier for him as my friend," said Jamie McMurray. "We certainly have been through a lot in our time together and coming back here and winning the 500 was certainly a high point for me and now with Dario winning in Indianapolis, the accomplishment for Chip of winning both in the same season is truly amazing. Chip and I have become really close and that's really the first thing I thought of was that I was just really happy for him as my friend." Both trophies were on hand to celebrate the moment - the Harley J. Earl trophy for the Daytona 500 winner and the Borg Warner given to the Indianapolis 500 winner.(EGR)(6-4-2010)

  • Bass Pro Shops looks to stay with EGR: Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris says while he's good friends with a number of owners and drivers in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, he doesn't anticipate the company's sponsorship moving from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing anytime soon. "I saw [team co-owner] Chip [Ganassi last night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame," Morris said Friday. "We don't have any contract for next year or anything, but Chip and [co-owner] Teresa [Earnhardt] ... I think they're happy. And we're happy." Morris was at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday to help unveil a special Bass Pro paint scheme to be run by EGR driver Jamie McMurray later this year, honoring NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt fielded a similar Bass Pro-themed paint scheme in the 1998 all-star race. Bass Pro, which is sponsoring McMurray's car in half of this year's Sprint Cup races, is headquartered in Springfield, Mo., and the fact that McMurray, winner of the 2010 Daytona 500, grew up in nearby Joplin "is huge back home," Morris said. "It's not been a surprise, but back around Springfield and the Joplin area, with Jamie's affiliation with Bass Pro, it's been pretty cool," Morris said.(SceneDaily)(5-25-2010)

  • RCR/ECR Employees to Distribute Donations to Nashville Relief Effort: Employees of Richard Childress Racing and ECR Engines will deliver and help distribute donated cleaning supplies May 25 for residents of the Nashville, Tenn., area who were adversely affected by last month's devastating flooding. An RCR Promotions show car trailer filled with donated cleaning supplies departed Monday from RCR headquarters in Welcome, N.C., headed for Cat Financial headquarters in Nashville. Tuesday morning, May 25, nearly two dozen RCR and ECR Engines employees will fly from Smith-Reynolds Airport, in Winston-Salem, to Nashville International Airport. The group will meet and divide the cleaning supplies at Cat Financial before making stops at United Way distribution centers in the area. RCR began collecting donations May 13 at the RCR Museum. "We wanted to do more than just drop off a trailer full of cleaning supplies in Nashville," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "People's lives were turned upside down by the flooding so we wanted to join our partners at Cat Financial to do something personal that shows how much we care. I want to thank everyone who donated and I'm very proud of all of the RCR and ECR employees who are helping distribute those supplies." Cleaning supplies collected over the past two weeks included bleach, scouring pads, dust masks, work gloves, heavy duty trash bags, paper towels, insect repellent and hand sanitizer.(RCR)(5-25-2010)

  • McMurray to run special scheme at Sprint All Star race: The National Wild Turkey Federation's flying turkey logo will appear on the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's Bass Pro Shops sponsored #1 Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the #3 Chevy Silverado driven by Austin Dillon in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. McMurray will be trying to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 22nd at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bass Pro Shops salute to the NWTF is a part of the Conservation Fund's "Racing for America's Wildlife" program. The program is designed to engage the NASCAR community in conserving America's hunting and fishing heritage through habitat protection, restoration, education, and outreach. The NWTF is an over 500,000 member conservation organization with chapters across the United States, Canada and 10 other foreign countries. The Federation has worked with its volunteers, partners and wildlife agencies to restore wild turkey populations to 49 states and in parts of Canada. Bass Pro Shops is a dedicated supporter of NWTF's Women in the Outdoors, JAKES, and Wheelin' Sportsmen outreach programs.(Bass Pro Shops/EGR). see an image of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2010)

  • McDonalds returns to the #1 at Darlington honors Bill France Jr.: For the third time during the 2010 NSCS season, Jamie McMurray and the #1 Team will sport McDonald's colors this weekend at Darlington Raceway for the Showtime Southern 500. One thing different, the #1 Chevy will run a special logo representing former NASCAR Chairman Bill France Jr.(EGR), see an image of the car and the honor on my #1 team paint schemes page.(5-6-2010)

  • McMurray going for three in a row at 'Dega: #1-Jamie McMurray and his EGR team will return to Superspeedway racing this weekend at Talladega. After an impressive February Speedweek's at Daytona coming home with the Daytona 500 trophy, the team certainly looks to be a contender at the 2.66 tri-oval. McMurray has won the last two restrictor-plate races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series having won the 2009 fall event at Talladega and the 2010 Daytona 500. His victory marked his best finish at Talladega where he also has four top-five's and five top-10's. His best start was in the 2003 fall race when he started on the outside pole.(EGR)(4-12-2010)

  • Montoya-McMurray ok...sort of: The tension between Earnhardt Ganassi teammates Juan Montoya and Jamie McMurray has abated but not entirely been brushed off the table, or at least that's the impression one could draw from Montoya's remarks. Montoya and McMurray crashed early in the Feb. 28 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Montoya excoriated McMurray afterwards. According to Montoya, it's time to move on, but he didn't seem all that forgiving. "He sent me a text saying 'la-la-la-la-la,' and he was sorry about the whole thing," said Montoya of McMurray, "and I said 'don't worry about it.' He asked if I wanted him to call me, and I said 'don't worry about it.' It happens. It's racing. Move on. Really, I was really (ticked off) at the time because we had a DNF ('did not finish') the week before with an engine problem. And (the next) week, being taken out by your teammate is something that you don't really expect, but it happens. It's part of racing and move on."(NASCAR This Week)(3-7-2010)

  • Montoya / McMurray Quotes about Las Vegas wreck:
    PABLO MONTOYA, #42 TARGET IMPALA - involved in crash with teammate Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch - Finished 37th
    "He (McMurray) runs straight into my ass. He nearly ran me into the fence in (Turn) 2 as well. I don't know. He's not doing himself any favors. I'm sure (McMurray) is going to say, 'Oh, I didn't mean that.'
    "Just Jamie (McMurray) plain and simple just wrecked us. Every time I am around him, he wants to run the shit out of me. I don't know if it is ok to say that but I just did (LAUGHS). On the restart I was inside of him, I think he got tight and never lifted, I didn't hit the fence because.....it was a miracle. Then I arced it in to three and he just plain and simple just wrecked us. I'm sure on the radio it was "Ah, I didn't mean that." He is just trying to prove to people he can drive a race car and I guess he isn't doing too many favors on this team." HOW BAD IS THE CAR? "We will get it back out. I know he is trying to prove a point and show everybody he can drive a race car, but it really ruined our day. For the Chase, this doesn't help. We had a problem last week with the motor and this week this. It is painful. He nearly ran me in to the fence out of two as well. Going in to three just plain and simple just wrecked us. Oh well but not doing himself too many favors."
    "Well, you're really frustrated. I haven't heard what he said but it wouldn't shock me that you're upset in a situation like that. We both had really good cars today and unfortunately we crashed."
    "I just got really loose and underneath him and he turned in a little bit earlier than what I was expecting and when it did it made even looser. And I just had to catch my car and unfortunately I got into him whenever I did that."
    "I don't think so, no. I don't know. No, I don't think so."
    "Oh, you're probably just frustrated for what happened on the race track, so you guys (the media) probably shouldn't put a lot of stock into what he said when you ask somebody something immediately after getting crashed. They typically don't have nice things to say."(GM / Chevy Racing transcript)(3-1-2010)

  • McMurray honored in home state Missouri: #1-Jamie McMurray continued to celebrate his Daytona 500 championship by returning to his home state of Missouri on Wednesday and Thursday this week. The driver made two stops, a surprise visit to the Bass Pro Shops General Manager's conference in Branson and to the State Capitol of Jefferson City to be honored by state dignitaries. The theme of the 2010 edition of Bass Pro Shops General Manager's conference "Crossroads" could not have been any more appropriate, as the company looks to turn the next corner in their own history so too does Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's Jamie McMurray. This very reason is why Bass Pro Shops Founder/CEO, Johnny Morris invited McMurray to be a surprise guest for their dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 24. McMurray's story of inspiration and perseverance brought this group of manager's and corporate representatives from Bass Pro Shops to their feet as McMurray revved the engine of his replica Daytona 500 winning car, driving it right into the ballroom where the manager's were seated for dinner. The Bass Pro Shops family is just that, a family, and the manager's welcomed McMurray into their family with a standing ovation. Johnny Morris then presented McMurray with a special gift from the company, not only recognizing Jamie's success on the race track but forever tying Jamie to his home state of Missouri. Jamie was presented with a set of Indian artifacts - stone axe heads, found buried on the site of what is now modern-day Joplin, MO (Jamie's hometown).
    Governor Jay Nixon and Senator Gary Nodler of the 32nd District welcomed McMurray to the state capitol on Thursday, Feb. 25 to honor him by proclaiming the day as Jamie McMurray Day in the state of Missouri. Upon arrival to the Jefferson City Airport, McMurray was greeted by Missouri State Troopers ready to escort him to the state capitol to be honored. However, this was no ordinary motorcade as McMurray and Bass Pro Shops Founder/CEO Johnny Morris proceeded to drive away in a replica of McMurray's Daytona 500 winning #1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet. Upon arrival to the state capitol, McMurray and Morris were greeted by hundreds of fans and legislators ready to honor their accomplished Missourians. Governor Nixon then proclaimed the day as Jamie McMurray day and also recognized the accomplishments of Bass Pro Shops Founder before the two were whisked into the State Senate Chamber and State House of Representatives. The gentlemen were once again recognized before each group of legislators. The two then headed off to Senator Nodler's office for a lunch reception, photos, and many an autograph signing as legislators and office assistants came to see the most recent sports hero from Missouri.(EGR)(2-27-2010)

  • McDonald's to sponsor McMurray? UPDATE: Hearing McDonald's will sponsor Jamie McMurray's #1 Chevy in some capacity in 2010. No word if they will still sponsor any of the Richard Petty Motorsports cars. McDonald's sponsored the #43 RPM Dodge of Reed Sorenson in a few 2009 races.(2-18-2010)
    UPDATE: Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray will be sponsored by McDonald's for 11 Sprint Cup races this season, beginning with Sunday's event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a source close to the situation tells ESPN.com. The source said the deal has been in the works since last year and was not sparked by McMurray's win in the 500. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing has been looking for a second primary sponsor since Bass Pro Shops, on McMurray's car for the 500, announced last season it was cutting back on the number of races it would sponsor the #1 car.(ESPN.com)(2-25-2010)

  • McMurray Enjoys Victory Tour Through San Francisco: Daytona 500 champion #1-Jamie McMurray celebrated his victory with a true taste of Northern California in San Francisco on Wednesday, complete with Dungeness crab, world-class chocolates and a bottle of Sonoma Valley wine. McMurray took the checkered flag in the Great American Race on Sunday, and arrived in the Bay Area just three days later for a San Francisco Victory Tour onboard a motorized cable car led by a California Highway Patrol escort. The appearance also marked the Official Countdown to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 18-20 (Father's Day weekend).
    McMurray and his wife, Christy, enjoyed a one-of-a-kind tour of San Francisco, crossing the historic Golden Gate Bridge and visiting Grotto #9 at Fisherman's Wharf. McMurray learned how to crack a Dungeness crab under the guidance of co-owner Anthony Geraldi. The tour continued to Ghirardelli Square where the McMurrays received a basket of gourmet chocolates and were treated to ice cream sundaes.
    The cable car ride culminated at Willie Mays Plaza, at the home of the San Francisco Giants, where McMurray greeted race fans and the Northern California media. Giants Vice President Russ Stanley presented McMurray with an official team jersey, complete with his name and car number on the back. "I have to say, New York was cool, but San Francisco has been awesome," said McMurray after the tour. "The weather is beautiful and it's so great to see the fans come out here. As a driver, you can't imagine what this means to me. It's been wonderful."
    Raceway President Steve Page also presented McMurray with a commemorative magnum of Sonoma Valley wine. "What great representatives Jamie and Christy are for the sport," said Page. "It's terrific to have someone who is a great road racer and has a good history at our track win the Daytona 500. We're really excited to see him back in Sonoma in June." Fans joined the Victory Tour onboard a fan-only cable car, which followed McMurray's lead cable car on its celebratory route. The fans purchased seats on the tour as part of a special ticket package offered by the raceway, which included a weekend ticket to the Toyota/Save Mart 350. Tickets are now available for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, including special packages featuring drivers Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson. Be sure to call 800-870-RACE or visit www.infineonraceway.com for more information.(Infineon Raceway)(2-18-2010)

  • Jamie McMurray's Appearance On Letterman: Jamie McMurray's Daytona 500 victor's celebration is complete with a trip to CBS' "Late Show." And you know David Letterman couldn't resist the pull of that vortex known as "the pothole." As Letterman congratulated McMurray, he asked about the length of the race, which was extended because of a pothole in the track. Letterman: "You have issues with potholes in the parking lot, not in the racetrack, for God's sake." At the end of the interview, Letterman asked, "Will there be potholes in future races?" McMurray replied, "We hope not." McMurray was a good sport throughout the interview.(Sporting News)(2-16-2010)

  • McMurray's Daytona 500-Winning #1 Chevy Inducted into Daytona 500 Experience: Winning the most prestigious race on the NASCAR circuit finally started to sink in Monday morning for 2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray, who celebrated with his Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team during the Daytona 500 Champion's Breakfast at Daytona 500 Experience. "It's kind of sinking in," McMurray said. "Every time we do something it's a little more real. Whether it's getting the jackets or the ring or just everything that's a part of this, it's just really, really exciting." After a late night of celebrating their coveted victory in "The Great American Race", the team handed over their #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevy to be inducted into the attraction's Gatorade Victory Lane. The winning car will be on display until next February when it will be returned to the team prior to the 53rd annual Daytona 500. Winning crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion was enjoying the surreal experience.
    "Everything's been in fast forward," Manion said. "Pictures, media center, inspecting the car, pushing the car to the trailer to come over here and then a couple hours of sleep for some of us. It's just been so exciting. (On) rain delays you stay over but winning the race and you have to stay over and have breakfast -- that's pretty cool."
    Also enjoying the festivities was co-owner Chip Ganassi, who is one of only two owners to win both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. "Jamie showed me a text from (last year's Daytona 500 champion) Matt Kenseth where he said, 'You'll never want this day to end.' I agree completely. I don't want this day to end. "You have a complete flashback of your entire racing career -- thinking about the possibility of something like this happening. You're always shooting for that and you're always trying for that. It's just so reflective right now. Every sacrifice you made and every tough meeting I've had with a crew chief or a driver - the ups and downs of this business. It all seems worth it now."
    McMurray, who also unveiled the logo for 53rd annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20th [2011], is now on a whirlwind media tour making appearances on Late Show with David Letterman [Monday at 11:35pm/et CBS] and Live with Regis and Kelly [Tuesday morning, check local listings] in New York City as well as making stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles before Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.
    Despite his hectic upcoming schedule, McMurray knows the memory he's going to take away from all of this."The thing that I'm going to remember is getting out of the car and running up and grabbing the flag and then running back down and seeing the Daytona (painted) in the infield (grass) and seeing 'Daytona 500'. I don't think I'll ever forget that. That's the memory I have burned in my head right now of the 500; that's something I'll never forget." The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return in July for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola July 1-3. For tickets, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-15-2010)

  • McMurray wins the Daytona 520: #1-Jamie McMurray held off a hard charging #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the last lap of the 2nd green-white-checker try to win the 52nd Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The race ran an extra 8 laps, for 208 laps and 520 miles. The win is McMurray's 4th of his career [1 win in a Chevy, 1 win in a Dodge, 2 wins in a Ford] and 2nd at Daytona. The race took just over 6 hours to run as there were two lengthy red flag for holes in the turn two area that needed repair. #16-Biffle, who led going in to the 1st green-white-checker, finished 3rd, followed by #33-Bowyer, #00-Reutimann, #56-Truex Jr., #29-Harvick, #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards & #42-Montoya. #24-Gordon and #7-Gordon got together on the last lap, but NASCAR let McMurray & Earnhardt race to the checkered flag. 4-time Sprint Cup champ had a rear-end go out late in the race and finished 35th. Pole sitter $5-Martin finished 12th. McMurray is the 34th different winner of hte Daytona 500 in 52 runnings. The last nine Daytona 500's have had nine different winners. There were two red flags for over two hours of downtime. There were 9 cautions for 40 laps. There were a record 21 leaders with 52 lead changes.
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Daytona 500 Race Results/Awards page
    See drivers points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(2-14-2010)

  • Most NASCAR drivers don't fare well in Rolex 24: Full-time NASCAR drivers were shut out from the winner's circle and even podium finishes Sunday at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The 24-hour race was won by the Porsche of Action Express Racing driven by Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller, Mike Rockenfeller and Ryan Dalziel. They finished 50 seconds ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing's car driven by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas as well as Germain Racing part-time Cup driver Max Papis and IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson. Ganassi's other car - co-driven by his Cup drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray as well as his IndyCar Series drivers Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon - blew an engine while leading less than nine hours into the event at Daytona. About half the field did not finish the race, including four-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson as his Bob Stallings Racing car had an oil pump issue and retired with about four hours remaining. Richard Petty Motorsports had two drivers in the field. AJ Allmendinger drove for Michael Shank Racing and was in third when his engine blew less than two hours prior to the finish and the team had to settle for seventh. Paul Menard drove for Spirit of Daytona Racing, which retired before the halfway point and wound up 32nd. Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series driver Colin Braun had the best day of the NASCAR contingent as he was part of the fourth-place Krohn Racing team. TRG Motorsports' Bobby Labonte drove one of the team cars and was leading before running out of fuel and having to be towed back to the pits with about five hours remaining. Other mechanical issues plagued the team, which finished 16th overall, ninth in the Grand Touring class. Part-time Cup driver Boris Said was part of a Turner Motorsport team that finished 15th overall, eighth in the GT class.(Scene Daily)(2-1-2010)

  • McMurray and Montoya test at Disney: Jamie McMurray flew to Orlando, Fla., Tuesday morning for a two-day test at Walt Disney World Speedway with his new teammate, Juan Montoya. It was the first stock car test of the new year for both men and Montoya's first time in a Cup car since last fall's Homestead finale. From Orlando, the pair will head east to Daytona Beach, Fla., where on-track action for the Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand-Am Rolex Series season opener begins Thursday. McMurray, who last raced in the Rolex in 2005, when he was part of a Ganassi Racing team that finished fourth, is part of a four-man ensemble with Montoya, 2009 IndyCar Series champ Dario Franchitti and former IndyCar champ Scott Dixon.(NASCAR.com)(1-28-2010)

2009 News

  • Races [2] that Rain-X is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    New Hampshire - 9/20
    Phoenix - 11/15

  • Races [2] that GE Reveal Light Bulbs is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Michigan - 6/14
    Infineon - 6/21

  • Races [2] that TomTom is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Pocono - 6/8
    New Hampshore - 6/28

  • Races [2] that Vaseline Men Body Lotion is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Dover - 9/27
    Martinsville - 10/25

  • Races [3] that Guitar Hero is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Indianapolis - 7/26
    Atlanta - 9/6
    Charlotte - 10/17

  • McMurray & Allmendinger to run Karts at Daytona: Hundreds of go-kart racers from across the country will spend their holidays at the Daytona International Speedway participating in World Karting Association races on three different courses. The Speedway's three-ring circus includes its famous 3.56-mile road course, the Sprint track in Turns 3 and 4 and the newly constructed quarter-mile dirt track outside Turns 1 and 2. For the third straight year, Jamie McMurray, is expected to return to his racing roots during Daytona KartWeek. AJ Allmendinger, who drives a Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, is also expected to compete in the karts. Meanwhile, Volusia Speedway Park is hosting the second day of its Christmas In Dixie dirt racing program. Those races are sanctioned by the American Kart Racing Association.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-28-2009)

  • McMurray to test for EGR: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will have a dress rehearsal with Jamie McMurray and the #1 Bass Pro Shops team next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at New Smyrna Speedway. EGR principal Steve Hmiel says it will give the team an opportunity to get acquainted.(FoxSports)(12-2-2009)

  • Official: McMurray to the #1 car: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that they will add Jamie McMurray as a teammate of #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, to drive the #1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevy for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. McMurray will return to Ganassi whom he raced for from 2002-2005. Bass Pro Shops will once again return for their fifth season as one of the primary partners on the #1 Chevy. The Jamie McMurray Foundation (JMF), created in 2006, was formed to promote awareness of, and raise funding for, research, education and support for individuals and families affected by autism. The JMF is dedicated to bringing the financial backing and support of the NASCAR community, together with the passion and commitment of the autism community to promote better understanding of this challenging disability. Bass Pro Shops, of Springfield, Missouri, will enter their fifth season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as one of the primary sponsors of the #1 Chevy.(Earnhardt Ganassi)(11-18-2009)

  • McMurray supposedly signs with EGR: Apparently, a one-year deal was inked last Wednesday between Jamie McMurray and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and is expected to be announced sometime on Tuesday. Kevin "Bono" Manion is expected to continue on as the crew chief.(FoxSports)(11-17-2009)

  • Starbucks makes NASCAR debut to be associate on #1: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Starbucks Coffee Company will provide NASCAR fans attending this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) event at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) a taste of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, Starbucks latest coffee innovation, through an extensive trackside sampling effort. Beginning Friday, Nov. 13, the thousands of NASCAR fans in attendance at PIR should be on the lookout for a fleet of Starbucks branded golf carts combing the race-track property passing samples of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew. Starbucks ambassadors will be ready to introduce race fans to an instant coffee that is full bodied and flavorful, just like the Starbucks coffee they have already come to know and love. As part of the promotion, both the Starbucks and Starbucks VIA Ready Brew logos will have associate sponsor placement on the TV Panel of the #1 Rain-X Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr.(EGR)(11-12-2009)

  • Rain-X to sponsor Truex at Phoenix: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and Shell Lubricants announced that the Rain-X brand will make its second appearance as the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy of Martin Truex Jr. for the Nov. 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). Rain-X made it's NASCAR debut as the primary sponsor for Truex and the #1 team for the NSCS race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 20. The #1 Chevy bright yellow and blue design draws inspiration from the yellow and blue color scheme that has become synonymous with the Rain-X® brand. Race fans should be sure to look for the Rain-X logo on the hood of the #1 Chevy along with the giant "beaded" rain drops running off the windshield and down the sides of the front quarter-panels. More info about Rain-X at www.rainx.com (EGR). See images of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(11-11-2009)

  • #1 Chevy deemed too low UPDATE: The #1 Bass Pro Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. failed a post-race inspection when NASCAR officials found the height of the car was too low. The violation was discovered because the #1 Chevy was the random car selected for inspection after the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Truex finished 14th. Any penalties for the team will be announced on Tuesday, NASCAR officials confirmed. NASCAR also is taking three cars back to the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. -- the #2 Dodge of race winner Kurt Busch, the #24 Chevy of Jeff Gordon, who finished 13th, and the #5 Chevy of Mark Martin, who finished fourth. NASCAR also will take three engines to the R&D Center -- the #2 Dodge, the #11 Toyota motor of driver Denny Hamlin, who finished second, and Gordon's. The winning car and the engines from the top two finishers always are inspected in the R&D Center.(ESPN)(11-9-2009)
    Penalties Issued For Car #1 Team: NASCAR announced penalties for the car No. 1 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a violation that occurred during post-race inspection last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. The team was penalized for violating Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (front of the car did not meet the required height specification; too low in post-race inspection). Crew chief Kevin Manion was fined $50,000 and remains on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, 2009. Car owner Teresa Earnhardt and driver Martin Truex Jr., were penalized with the loss of 50 championship owner and 50 championship driver points, respectively.(NASCAR)(11-10-2009)

  • Earnhardt-Ganassi staying with Chevy: Toyota and Richard Childress, who is part of the joint venture which currently supplies Chevrolet engines to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, gave co-team owner Chip Ganassi an ultimatum for a decision on manufacturers next year. Following several early morning meetings at Texas Motor Speedway, EGR opted to stay with Chevrolet. Ganassi spoke with General Motors Racing manager Mark Kent in a closed-door meeting inside the #1 team's transporter Sunday morning at Texas Motor Speedway and Alba Colon, GM Racing's Chevrolet program manager, camped out in front of the hauler for part of the morning. He also met with Toyota senior manager Andy Graves before making his decision. When asked for a comment after his meetings, Ganassi said "It's nobody's business."(FoxSports)(11-9-2009)

  • Earnhardt Ganassi to Toyota? So, what's the holdup in EGR's decision to remain with Chevy or move to Toyota? Perhaps it's the "E" in EGR. Can anyone really imagine the Earnhardt name associated with Toyota? Since Teresa Earnhardt is not at the racetrack on a weekly basis, that might be a tough answer to get. And with the current General Motors situation, Chevy is in no position to offer EGR a new and improved deal. Maybe Chip Ganassi believes delaying the decision will prevent the current engine builders from sabotaging the cars? But since Ganassi didn't want to answer the question of manufacturers on Sunday, what do we know? Richard Childress Racing's engine department - which supplies motors for EGR - was expecting a call on Friday from the Ganassi camp regarding their status for next season. It never came. Principals at EGR are expected to meet with Toyota again on Tuesday. EGR has had discussions with Joe Gibbs Racing about supplying engines for next season. Apparently Toyota Racing Development, which provides Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull Racing with engines, does not have the capacity at this time to be a supplier for EGR.(FoxSports)(11-3-2009)

  • New driver of #1 announced this week? An announcement on the driver that will replace #1-Martin Truex Jr. could come this week, sources close to the situation said. Jamie McMurray, who is losing his ride at Roush Fenway Racing because the organization has to reach the four-car cap, is one candidate. Bobby Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, is the other. EGR co-owner Chip Ganassi wants McMurray. Bass Pro Shops, which will sponsor the #1 for 20 races next season, isn't sure he fits the image.(read more at ESPN Insider)(11-2-2009)
    UPDATE: It's no secret that Bass Pro Shops has a contract to sponsor the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing car that McMurray is slotted to drive next year. And it's no secret that Bass Pro Shops wants to move to the #39 car with Ryan Newman. Now, this is not a knock on BPS, which has offered tremendous support to many racing programs in and beyond NASCAR. But McMurray's contract with EGR has been prepared but lacking signatures for some time. No, McMurray is not going to apply for his NRA membership any time soon, but he will go above and beyond for his sponsors whether it's Bass Pro or anyone else.(FoxSports)(11-3-2009)

  • McMurray close to signing new deal? UPDATE: hearing that Jamie McMurray is close to signing a deal to drive the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy in 2010, announcement could come the week following Martinsville.(10-21-2009)
    UPDATE: It's not etched in stone, but the speculation surrounding Jamie McMurray-to-Earnhardt Ganassi Racing isn't exactly written in chalk, either. Neither McMurray nor anyone at EGR has confirmed the move, but garage-insiders say there's a strong likelihood the driver of the Roush Fenway Racing #26 Fusion will replace Martin Truex Jr. in the #1 Chevy next year. The wild-card in the scenario is the sponsor. Bass Pro Shops would like to have an "outdoorsman" type of driver, one who'll appeal to their customer base. To some degree, Truex Jr. fulfilled that role; less so McMurray, who's not exactly the world's most passionate hunter, fisherman or camper.(Ford Racing)(10-25-2009)

  • Vaseline colors for Truex at Martinsville: Vaseline MEN Lotion returns as primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Vaseline Men made it's NASCAR debut as primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. at Dover International Raceway on Sept. 27. Vaseline will have an onsite tent manned by brand ambassadors to help educate NASCAR Fans on the importance of skin health and Vaseline Men Lotion at Martinsville Speedway this weekend.(EGR), see my #1 Team schemes page for images of the scheme.(10-22-2009)

  • 2010 #1 driver to be named soon: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing is close to naming a driver for the #1 car next season and it apparently won't be Jamie McMurray, as has been widely speculated. A source close to the situation said McMurray, whose contract at Roush Fenway Racing is up after this season, no longer is in the picture and that two people are in the mix. Rumored drivers include: Bobby Labonte, Reed Sorenson, David Stremme, David Gilliland and Casey Mears.(see full post at ESPN Insiders)(10-16-2009)

  • DJ Hero featured on Truex's #1 car: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that it has partnered with Activision Publishing, Inc. and its long-time sponsor Target to feature the highly anticipated, critically acclaimed new interactive music experience, DJ Hero, on Martin Truex Jr.'s #1 Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 17. At the race, Target invites race fans to take DJ Hero for a spin 10 days before its launch at the Target DJ Hero station located on "The Fan Midway" across the street from Lowe's Motor Speedway. Truex Jr. will test his DJ Hero mixing and scratching skills at the Target DJ Hero station on Saturday, October 17 from 3:30 - 4:00pm/et. The station, decorated to give fans a true party feel, welcomes race fans to enter and test their skills on numerous DJ Hero kiosks. For more information about DJ Hero, visit www.djhero.com (EGR), see images of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(10-16-2009)

  • Guitar Hero 5 Returns to the #1: Guitar Hero, returns to the track at Auto Club Speedway as primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. The paint scheme first debuted at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sept. 6, 2009, coinciding with the launch of the popular video game on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The video game returns as primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the seventh time this season after sponsoring Aric Almirola and the #8 Team for four races.(EGR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(10-7-2009)

  • EGR Saluting American Heroes: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will host some very special guests this weekend at Kansas Speedway. The team, in conjunction with the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes Campaign, will host: Sgt. James Wilson who was wounded in action in 2004 on his second tour, served with 1st Airmobile B 1st/27th Company, Sgt. Matt Lloyd served with C Company 67th Signal Corp in 2004 and Sgt. Mike Davis served with 20th Engineers 1st Cavalry Division.(EGR)(10-2-2009)

  • Vaseline Men Lotion on the #1 at Dover: Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer products companies, announced on July 23, 2009 that Vaseline MEN Lotion would be an associate sponsor of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. As part of that relationship, Vaseline MEN will be the primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. at this weekend's race at Dover International Raceway.(Earnhardt Ganassi PR), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(9-23-2009)

  • Truex Jr. donates 100 Dover tickets to fans in need: #1- Martin Truex Jr., always a fan favorite at the Monster Mile, has purchased 100 tickets to the AAA 400 Sprint Cup Series race for select fans who were unable to renew their September race tickets due to hardships brought on by the economic downturn or other unforeseen circumstances. Loyal Dover International Speedway ticket holders were contacted and told of Truex's special donation of tickets to the upcoming "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" race. The list was compiled from letters or personal stories shared by fans during the ticket renewal period for the Sept. 25-27 race weekend. "When we heard that Dover had a list of fans who wanted to come to the race but couldn't for one reason or another, we decided to take care of them," said Truex, driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. "The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation is always looking for new ways to help those in need in the NASCAR community, and we felt this was a great way to support fans who wanted to be at the race in Dover. Dover obviously has a special place in my heart."(Dover PR)(9-23-2009)

  • "Bono" goes Modified Racing: Kevin "Bono" Manion, crew chief for #1-Martin Truex Jr., will be pulling double duty this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Manion is bringing his Whelen Modified Car to the race track with Ryan Newman behind the wheel to race in the New Hampshire 100 on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1:00pm/et. This will be the fourth race of the year for Newman and Manion in the Modified Car.(EGR)(9-17-2009)

  • Rain-X to sponsor Truex at NHMS: The Rain-X brand will make its debut as the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy of Martin Truex Jr. for this weekend's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. For more than 30 years, the legendary Rain-X Original Glass Treatment has been dramatically improving wet weather driving visibility by causing precipitation to bead up and roll off vehicle windshields. The #1 Chevy's bright yellow and blue design draws inspiration from the yellow and blue color scheme that has become synonymous with the Rain-X brand. The Rain-X logo will be on the hood of the #1 Chevy along with the giant "beaded" rain drops running off the windshield and down the sides of the front quarter-panels. Race fans, be sure to visit earnhardtganassi.com to get exclusive behind the scenes video content from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and the No. 1 Rain-X Chevrolet. Follow along as Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team members show race fans how the team utilizes Rain-X products both on and off the race track (EGR), see an image of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(9-17-2009)

  • Bobby Labonte to the #07? #1?: Bobby Labonte's popularity has picked up considerably in the last few weeks. Apparently, his name is being presented as a possible candidate for the #07 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to sponsor Jack Daniels this week. Also hearing that he could be competition for Jamie McMurray in the #1 Chevy at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.(FoxSports)(9-13-2009)

  • McMurray looks to be headed to the #1 car: The merger between Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing all but made it official that Jamie McMurray will move to the #1 at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing next season. McMurray has been in discussions with EGR for several months after being told he would not be re-signed by Roush Fenway Racing to drive the #26 next season. Roush had to shrink from five to four cars to reach NASCAR's four-car cap rule.(See full post at ESPN Insiders)(9-12-2009)

  • Guitar Hero 5 on the Hood of the #1: Guitar Hero, returns to the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway as primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. The paint scheme coincides with the launch of the popular video game franchise's latest hit, Guitar Hero 5 on Tuesday, Sept. 1. The video game returns as primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the sixth time this season after sponsoring Aric Almirola and the #8 Team for four races, including the 2009 Daytona 500, and the #1 team at Indianapolis [and will supposedly be on the #1 car at Lowe's Motor Speedway].(EGR)(9-2-2009)

  • EGR to switch to Hendrick engines? If Team Red Bull does stay in the Toyota camp, that could open up a Rick Hendrick engineering and engine option for car owner Chip Ganassi and driver #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. Ganassi and Montoya are running Chevrolets this season, with engines supplied through Richard Childress. However General Motors' bankruptcy and racing cutbacks have left a number of issues and sponsorships up in the air.(MikeMulhern.net)(8-10-2009)

  • Ganassi to Gibbs? UPDATE2 denied: The latest rumor is that Chip Ganassi somehow will merge his Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing team [Chevy's w/#1-Truex Jr. (leaves end of 2009) and #42-Montoya] with Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota's w/#18-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #20-Logano], possibly eliminating another owner.(SPEEDtv/Jimmy Spencer)(7-23-2009)
    UPDATE: Don't believe the latest that has Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates partnering with Joe Gibbs Racing, making Juan Pablo Montoya JGR's fourth driver with Target as the sponsor. Not that there hasn't been some conversation looking at that as a possible marriage. There are conversations between almost every organization about almost everything these days. But this one hasn't been talked about enough to warrant it as a substantial rumor. It likely never will be. Ganassi is under the umbrella of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with its partnership with DEI, and he's happy with that relationship. "We have an affiliation now," he said Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We have an affiliation with Earnhardt with EGR [and] with Childress [Richard Childress Racing]. I'm very happy with that. Knock on wood. We've had no issues. The idea of what we put together at the end of the season last year, it's been mission accomplished."(ESPN Insider)(7-25-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Statement from Chip Ganassi per the Speculation about Potential Merger with Other Race Teams: "There have been numerous incorrect reports in the media over the last few days about a possible merger of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and other race teams and I can tell you that we have never had any such conversation with any team, nor do we plan to. Furthermore, as I have said many times, we are currently a FIVE-car team, we just happen to compete over three different forms of racing. We fully expect to continue to be a two car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in 2010 and beyond and have no plans of merging or downsizing at all. We are a Chevrolet team and focused solely on making The Chase for the Sprint Cup."(EGR)(7-27-2009)

  • Roush's Smith talks about 2010 plans: Sunday on "The SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Pre-Race Show", SIRIUS XM's Claire B. Lang spoke with Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith about the possible changes to the team's roster of drivers before next season.
    Geoff Smith: "If you're asking about our team plans for 2010, we're settled that Carl Edwards and Aflac, Greg Biffle with 3M, and David Ragan with UPS will be staying put and that sponsorship is going to kind of determine whether or not the #17 or the #26 are going to have to be the teams we shut down and move, if we can."
    Smith: "There are difficulties. You just can't assume that a team can transfer intact just because you want it to. There are sponsors that get to vote as to what organization they're going to sponsor. So we have to work through that, which is what I've been saying. I expect, now that the DeWalt cloud has been removed, we're going to move very quickly to lock in the sponsorship and then that sponsorship will determine [whether] the #17 stays or goes."
    Host, Claire B. Lang: "Meaning that we could see a past champion, Matt Kenseth, moving?"
    Smith: "It all depends on the sponsorships. Our objective is to keep both of those teams (the #17 and the #26) in the Ford Motor Company community. We're hoping that we don't have to keep one and then lose one out of the Ford community entirely. So if we can keep them both in the [Ford] community by shuffling the #17 we would do that. Pretty unlikely that Matt Kenseth or the #17 will move at this point."
    (SIRIUS NASCAR Radio)(7-27-2009)

  • McMurray told he is free to 'look around' for a ride; to #1 car?: Roush Fenway Racing has informed #26=Jamie McMurray he is free to talk to other organizations about next season, team president Geoff Smith said on Sunday. But Smith said that is not an indication Roush doesn't want the driver of the #26 Ford associated with the organization in 2010. Smith said Roush is willing to move any of its five drivers with sponsorship to partner Yates Racing next season if that would maintain the current Ford stable. He said most of the drivers are willing to do that, understanding they will be in same equipment with the same technology. The problem is convincing sponsors to move to what is perceived as the "B'' team. UPS, for example, is committed to keeping David Ragan at Roush. "It's not moving apples to apples,'' Smith said from the garage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    NASCAR has mandated that Roush be at the four-car cap by 2010. Roush currently has five drivers, McMurray, Ragan, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth. Although Edwards, Kenseth and Biffle signed extensions last season, Smith is not opposed to moving one if that keeps all within the Roush/Yates umbrella. "We would be open to any combination to keep them,'' he said. McMurray is considered the most likely to be moved because his contract expires after this season. Smith said it did not make sense in this economic climate to re-sign him to a long-term deal without sponsorship commitment. Crown Royal, which sponsors a portion of races on McMurray's car, has two years left on its contract. Smith didn't rule out that could be moved to Kenseth's car if necessary.
    Roush announced earlier this week that DeWalt, Kenseth's long-term sponsor, will not return in 2010. Smith said sponsorship for that car would be cleared up soon. McMurray avoided conversations with the media on Friday and Saturday. He reportedly has been contacted by Earnhardt Ganassi Racing as a candidate to fill the spot being vacated by Martin Truex Jr. in the #1 Chevy.(ESPN)(7-26-2009)

  • Ganassi plans to fill #1 ride: Chip Ganassi, co-owner of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, on replacing Martin Truex Jr., who is leaving the #1 Bass Pro Chevy for Michael Waltrip Racing next year: "We're going to fill it. Everything's fine. I'm not going out of business. We're going to have two cars (next year). You guys always ask silly questions. I wish I had great answers for you. I'm unable to make things up. All I can tell you is we're fine. We're talking to a few guys, and I'll tell you in due time.. .. I'm a bit of a gambler in that sense. I don't feel the need to announce my plans July 1 like a lot of people do. I'm not going to be dragged into that. We're going to make the best decision at the right time. We're on my calendar. I'm not on anybody else's calendar."(USA Today)(7-25-2009)

  • Ganassi: Danica should stay in the IRL: Chip Ganassi doesn't believe Danica Patrick should leave the IndyCar Series after this season to pursue a full-time ride in NASCAR. "Her IndyCar career, she's about to make a step in that career if she decides to stay there," Ganassi said before Friday's Sprint Cup practice for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "She's got one more step to make, and that's it. As much as I love what's going on here this weekend, my counsel to her is she's pretty close to making that last step in IndyCar racing and she could easily do that in the next three or four or five years and still be able to do this." Ganassi owns five teams between the IndyCar and Sprint Cup series, having won the Indianapolis 500 three times. He acknowledged talking to Patrick -- whose contract with Andretti Green expires after this season -- about driving for him in IndyCar. "If she wanted to do NASCAR on a full-time basis I would suggest there are better places for her to go and do it with [than Earnhardt Ganassi Racing]," said Ganassi, who is returning to the track for the first time in a month after undergoing eye surgery. "I don't think our team is in position to do that." There has been speculation that Patrick could compete in a handful of Nationwide or Cup events after the IndyCar season. EGR does not have a full-time Nationwide program, which many believe Patrick must compete in for a year or two before making the move to Cup. Ganassi characterized his talks with Patrick, who finished fourth in the Indianapolis 500 two months ago, as being on the pace lap level. "She's on the market right now and she's ready to make the next step in her career, wherever that takes her," he said. "I wish I could tell you I'm a lot further down the road on that. The fact of the matter is, like most of the other teams, we're in the top of the first inning on that."(ESPN)(7-25-2009)

  • New 2-race sponsor for Truex Jr.: Unilever announced that Vaseline Men Lotion will be an associate sponsor of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Vaseline Men will be the primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. at select races NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. The Vaseline Men paint scheme will make its debut on the #1 Chevy in the NSCS at Dover on September 27 and again in Martinsville on October 25. The Vaseline Men lotion range includes fast-absorbing body, face and hand lotions that give men strong, resilient skin. More info at vaseline.com. Martin Truex, Jr., Driver of the #1 Chevy: "I'm really looking forward to driving the Vaseline MEN car at Dover and Martinsville at the end of this season. They are another addition in a long line of great partners that we've had on our car this season. I got my first win at Dover in 2007 and I hope to have another strong performance there."(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing)(7-23-2009)

  • Truex debuts Guitar Hero scheme at Indy: The #1 best-selling video game, Guitar Hero, returns to the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as primary sponsor of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. This time the popular video game franchise introduces their latest hit, Guitar Hero Smash Hits. The video game returns as a primary sponsor with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for the fourth time this season after sponsoring Aric Almirola and the #8 Team for several races including the 2009 Daytona 500. This marks the first race for Guitar Hero as primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy team. Guitar Hero will once again be the featured paint scheme for Truex and team with paint schemes at the upcoming Atlanta and Charlotte events.(Earnhardt Ganassi PR), no image yet.(7-22-2009)

  • Truex to field car for ARCA race at Kentucky: NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate Jesus Hernandez will take another step forward in his career Saturday night when he competes in the ARCA race at the Kentucky Speedway. Hernandez will compete in a car entered by his fellow worker at Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Sprint Cup driver Martin Truex Jr. (#1 Bass Pro Chevy). Hernandez will pilot the #56 Chevrolet. The car will have support from lavendar Boutique and G.C. Pollex and Associates. Hernandez will be making his second career ARCA start, previously racing in this event in 2007, finishing an impressive sixth in his debut. The team, made up of many Sprint Cup employees moonlighting on this project, has made this a true grassroots effort. The team has worked for nearly eight months preparing this car for Saturday night's race. Hernandez, 27, has competed this season in the Camping World East Series and has collected three top-10 finishes, including one top-five.(Breaking Limits)(7-17-2009)

  • Truex's car too high at Chicago UPDATE Penalties announced: The #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. did not pass a post-race inspection when NASCAR officials discovered the right rear quarter panel was too high on the car. Truex finished 16th in the LifeLock 400 race at Chicagoland Speedway. The car will be taken back to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further evaluations. NASCAR officials will determine if the height problem is a violation that requires a penalty. Any announcement of the process will come later this week, likely on Tuesday or Wednesday. Similar height situations have resulted in championship point reductions and fines in the past.(ESPN.com)(7-12-2009)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced that Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #1 Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, crew chief Kevin Manion and car owner Teresa Earnhardt have been penalized for rule violations during last weekend's event at Chicagoland Speedway. Truex was penalized 25 points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver standings. Manion was fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, 2009. Earnhardt was penalized 25 points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner standings. The three were penalized for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); Section 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules) and Section 20-12.8.1C (right rear quarter panel height did not meet the required specifications; too high in post-race inspection).(NASCAR)(7-14-2009)

  • Ryan Truex passes Park to win again: After getting passed for the lead with less than five laps remaining, former Sprint Cup Series winner Steve Park had a message for fans concerning the driver that left him settling for a second place finish. "You guys better get his autograph tonight because he ain't going to be around here much longer," Park said of 17-year old Ryan Truex. After losing the lead to Park on a lap 95 restart, Truex rallied back on the next lap to retake the top spot from him and went on to win the Camping World East Series Pepsi Full Fender Frenzy 100 Saturday at Thompson International Speedway. It was the second victory of the season for the Truex, of Mayetta, N.J., the younger brother of Sprint Cup Series regular Martin Truex Jr. Corey LaJoie, the 17-year old son of two-time Nationwide Series champion Randy LaJoie, finished 19th in his Camping World East debut. LaJoie was running ninth on lap 52 when he went to the pits with motor issues and retired from the event.(Hartford Courant)(7-13-2009)

  • Manion to MWR with Truex? UPDATE: #1-Martin Truex's current crew chief Bono Manion is expected to join Michael Waltrip Racing in the future, whether that date is after Homestead or before is likely predicated on the Chip Ganassi. Manion has worked with Truex since the May Richmond race in 2003. If Truex and Manion leave EGR prematurely, Aric Almirola, who is still under contract but has not raced since Texas due to a lack of sponsorship, could jump in the car.(FoxSports)(7-8-2009)
    UPDATE: Claire B Lang interviewed Truex on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio "Dialed In":
    CBL: Can you talk at all about Bono and whether you can bring Bono over to the (MWR) operation - you and Bono have been through the war.
    Martin Truex Junior: "We've done a lot of good things together. We've had a lot of success together. You know I love him - he's like a brother to me. So I would love to have him over here. I've got a lot of confidence in him. I know he's good. I know he can do the job so we'll just have to see. You know obviously it's not my sole decision to make. I think that we need to figure out his situation and talk to him and see what he wants and you know make sure that he thinks this is the right deal for him and we'll sit down and have Ty(Norris) and everybody and if they are comfortable with it then I'd be all for it. I think it would make things a lot easier for me coming into a new place to have him on my side.((7-9-2009)

  • Truex: Too Many questions at EGR to stay: Martin Truex, who won two championships in what is now the Nationwide Series with Chance 2 Motorsports (a division of Dale Earnhardt Inc.) and then became a full-time Cup driver for DEI in 2006, said he believed the future of Michael Waltrip Racing was much more solid than that of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, the result of a merger between DEI and Chip Ganassi Racing after last season. "For me, there was a lot less in question [at MWR]," said Truex, who won one race and made the Chase with DEI in 2007. "They were able to answer more questions. It was easier to see where they were heading. The picture was just a lot more clear for me. ... It's solid."(SceneDaily)(7-8-2009)

  • MWR to make announcement on July 7th? UPDATE 3: Truex: On Friday Rowdy.com visited Michael Waltrip Racing [Cornelius, NC] which offers an amazing tour of the facility, including the fabricating shop. Even more interesting than the tour itself was this tidbit...someone in our group was asking how Ryan and Martin Truex Jr. (brothers) were related. Somehow this led to our tour guide telling us that Michael Waltrip Racing would be making a MAJOR announcement on July 7th.(Rowdy.com)(6-27-2009)
    UPDATE: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing President Steve Lauletta said no matter what happens with Martin Truex Jr., he expects Bass Pro Shops will remain with the organization for 2010. Truex, who drives for EGR, is expected to be announced as the 2010 full-time replacement for Michael Waltrip at Michael Waltrip Racing on July 7.(SceneDaily)(6-28-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Martin Truex Jr. will be named on Tuesday the newest addition to Michael Waltrip Racing, multiple sources confirmed on Saturday at Daytona. A press conference including sponsor NAPA is scheduled for noon at the team's Cornelius, N.C., shop. Truex is in the final year of his contract with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. NAPA, the long-time sponsor of team owner Michael Waltrip, will be become his primary sponsor. Waltrip will move from a full-time to part-time schedule that will include the Daytona 500 in February. He could remain in his familiar #55 with Truex taking another number, possibly the #56.(ESPN.com)(7-5-2009)
    UPDATE 3: A driving career that has spanned a quarter of a century, defined by two emotional winning performances on NASCAR's biggest stage, will be celebrated during the 2010 Daytona 500. Michael Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion, announced that he will drive a limited schedule beginning next season as he begins to focus on being one of the youngest multi-team owners in the history of NASCAR.(MWR PR)(7-7-2009)
    AND: Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced that NAPA Auto Parts has signed a multi-year contract to continue its primary sponsorship with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organization, and has named two-time Nationwide Series champion and 2007 Chase participant Martin Truex, Jr. as its driver. Starting in 2010, the car number on the NAPA Auto Parts Toyota will be the #56, a number that has been in the Truex racing family for three generations. MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip, the only full-time driver NAPA has had since joining the Sprint Cup division in 2001, will drive a limited schedule, to include the 2010 Daytona 500 driving the #55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota - an event in which Waltrip and NAPA have shared two memorable victories. Waltrip will retain the number 55. The owner points earned during the 2009 Sprint Cup campaign will be transferred to Truex's full-time effort.(MWR PR)(7-7-2009)
    AND: Some notes from the press conference: Truex says he is committed to Earnhart Ganassi for the rest of the 2009 season; NAPA's contract extension is only described as "multi-year"; Waltrip will run a minimum of 4-5 races and as many as 10-12; Waltrip could run some races in the #66 PRISM Motorsports car, owned by Phil Parsons (who gets some assistance this year from Michael Waltrip Racing); no decisons have been made on crew swaps or crew chiefs.(7-7-2009)

  • Almirola hasn't discussed #1 ride: UPDATE: Earnhardt/Ganassi could have an opening in 2009 if, as expected, #1-Martin Truex announces this week he will leave for MWR, but Almirola says he had not spoken with Ganassi about it. "That's not up to me," he said. "Those have been internal discussions that really have not involved me. Whatever happens I will be ready, race there or race somewhere else." Almirola said Ganassi has suggested he would allow him to leave if he finds work elsewhere.(St. Petersburg Times)(7-5-2009)
    UPDATE: Aric Almirola was hanging out at the #42 transporter [at Daytona] with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing president Steve "Jake" Lauletta. If I [Lee Spencer] had to bet, Almirola will be back in the #8 Chevy by the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. The race pays exceptionally well and apparently EGR is close to securing sponsorship.(FoxSports)(7-6-2009)

  • Truex to MWR as of Chicago? looks doubtful: Could Martin Truex Jr. be headed to Waltrip's outfit a little sooner than next season? It seems like a pretty good possibility. One garage source said it's a likely possibility that Truex will be behind the wheel of Waltrip's #55 NAPA Toyota Camry for the Lifelock.com 400 on July 11 at Chicagoland Speedway, with Aric Almirola taking over his current seat in the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing #1 Bass Pro Chevy. And while the Truex to MWR rumor has been floating in the pond for some time, another name was tossed into the rumor mill concerning the big Waltrip announcement. Could Richard Petty Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne be heading to a new third Toyota team with MWR? Sounds odd, but its being whispered.[Jayski Note: Kahne is signed with RPM thru 2010](Hartford Courant)
    AND The company line at Michael Waltrip Racing is that despite the expected announcement on July 7 that Martin Truex Jr. will join the fold (hearing in the #56 Toyota), he will not drive the car until next season. And Waltrip will likely continue to run a limited 10 to 12 race schedule in the #55 car in 2010. But the consensus in the garage is that Truex could be in a MWR car as early as the Chicagoland Cup race in two weeks. A press release from NAPA announcing Waltrip's brother Darrell (also a NASCAR on FOX analyst) as an honorary pit crew member for this weekend Coke Zero 400 has only fueled the speculation that it will be Michael's last race. For now, MWR Vice President and GM Ty Norris and COO Cal Wells' say that the teams will remain status quo for 2009. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing president Steve Lauletta says he expects to have Aric Almirola back in the #8 Chevy by mid-August if sponsorship can be secured. Lauletta echoed MWR's sentiments that Truex will not be departing from the #1 Chevy before season's end.(FoxSports)(6-30-2009)

  • Truex Jr. may leave EGR, but Bass Pro Shops will return: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing President Steve Lauletta said no matter what happens with Martin Truex Jr., he expects Bass Pro Shops will remain with the organization for 2010. Truex, who drives for EGR, is expected to be announced as the 2010 full-time replacement for Michael Waltrip at Michael Waltrip Racing on July 7. "I heard about that [announcement] - I have no idea [its content]," Lauletta said in the New Hampshire Motor Speedway garage. "We have not re-signed Martin for 2010." Lauletta was fairly mum on whether the team would put current driver Aric Almirola (who started the year driving for EGR in Sprint Cup and has since been driving select Nationwide and Truck races for other teams) in the #1 car or someone else. "We're not going to talk about what we're doing and what our options are," Lauletta said. "We'll keep that all internal." He said those discussions would include Bass Pro Shops. As far as his manufacturer situation, Lauletta said EGR is in a similar situation as the rest of the Chevrolet organizations as it has been asked to cut back.(SceneDaily)(6-28-2009)

  • TomTom returns to the #1 at NHMS: After riding to victory lane last weekend at Iowa with Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Dario Franchitti, TomTom will again appear on the #1 Chevy of Martin Truex Jr. This is the second time this season TomTom has appeared on Truex's car. He first piloted the green TomTom Chevy at Pocono Raceway earlier this month.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing PR), see an image of the car on the #1 Team Schemes Page.(6-25-2009)

  • EGR to Toyota? Once #1-Martin Truex Jr. announces that he's driving for Michael Waltrip Racing next month, where does that leave Earnhardt Ganassi Racing? With #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. But after GM dramatically reduced its assistance to EGR last week, is now the time that Chip Ganassi bolts to Toyota? One hot rumor swirling around the garage was a partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing to run Montoya in a fourth car similar to the situation that Marcos Ambrose has with MWR. On Sunday, JGR president J.D. Gibbs said, "No, no, no...," but the guess is his bottom line could say "yes".(FoxSports)(6-23-2009)

  • Waltrip closer to hiring Truex? Michael Waltrip hinted Friday that he's closer to a decision on his future - and that future may involve Martin Truex Jr. Waltrip reiterated his stance that he needed to run better in order to remain the driver of the NAPA-sponsored #55 car at Michael Waltrip Racing, the race team he owns. Truex, whose contract at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing expires after this season, has been frequently tied to the possible opening in the #55. "You just have to figure that he's one of the ones that no one knows where he's going," Waltrip said. "He's been a Chase guy. He stumbled in and has run up front from the beginning, so I don't know what the future holds. But he might be one of those on that list that would be better than me." Asked if he was any closer to a decision on his future on Friday, Truex smiled. "I'd love to share it with you, but I can't," he said.(Scene Daily)(6-13-2009)

  • Truex Jr. to have GE Reveal as sponsor for two races: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and GE Lighting announced that the GE Reveal Light Bulb brand will be the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy of Martin Truex Jr. for races this weekend, June 14 at Michigan and the following race at Infineon Raceway on June 21st. The light bulbs bring Clean, Beautiful Light to any space. The #1 Chevy's bright blue design draws inspiration from the blue coloring of an unlit GE Reveal light bulb. Race fans should be sure to look for the iconic GE script logo on the hood of the #1 Chevy along with the rainbow-hued logo of GE Reveal running down the car's quarter panels. For more information, consumers may visit www.ge.com.(EGR), see an image of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(6-8-2009)

  • Truex's brother wins at Watkins Glen: NASCAR Camping World Series East rookie Ryan Truex passed race leader Patrick Long between Turns 10 and 11 on the last lap and took the checkered flag in the Tioga Downs Casino 125 Saturday at Watkins Glen International. Truex, in the #00 NAPA Toyota, who was making just his fifth career start in the series for Michael Waltrip Racing, ran in the top three throughout the day.(WGI)(6-7-2009)

  • Truex Jr. discusses future contract plans: from a Team Chevy Driver Press conference transcript with #1-Martin Truex Jr.:
    DOES THE FACT THAT YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RUMOR MILL ANNOY YOU? "It is what it is, there is no way to stop it. I don't get annoyed. I think it is kind of comical sometimes. But we all understand that you all are trying to get the story and you want to get it before the next guy. It is no different than us wanting to beat the next guy. We understand all that. Hopefully, we'll be able to put all of it to an end shortly."
    HOW SOON? "Within a few weeks, I would say."
    DAVID REUTIMANN SAID EARLIER TODAY THAT THE BEST REASON FOR A DRIVER TO CONSIDER COMING TO MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING WAS THAT HE WAS THERE, BEING SERIOUS, IS THERE SOMETHING THERE TO ATTRACT A DRIVER? "That is a good answer (laughs). He did win last week. They seem like a great organization. They have come a long way. I think they have a lot going for them. We will just have to see what happens."
    DO YOU HAVE A GUT FEELING ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE GOING? "Yes, but I ain't going to tell you though. I am just not going to tell you anything. The picture is pretty clear for me right now. I am in a good place. I am pretty happy with the way things have gone and I have been having fun at the race track and things are going well right now. I think in the next few weeks, everybody will know what is going on. I have just been concentrating on racing because I the picture is kind of clear so I am not really worried too much about it too much."
    DOES YOUR BROTHER BEING AT WALTRIP HAVE ANY IMPACT ON YOUR DECISION? "Well I think with my brother being there has a big impact. I have more of an insight on how they do things which has been good."
    WILLYOUR SPONSOR FOLLOW YOU? "I don't know. That's something we'll have to look at down the road once we figure everything out. We'll see."
    HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO HAVE SPONSORS THAT IDENTIFY WITH YOU? "I think it's very important. Obviously you want to be yourself and you want to be true to your fans and real. When you go out and sell something you don't want to just say hey use this because I do. When you're promoting somebody's product you want to be sincere about it. At least I have. That's why Bass Pro has been such a great fit for me. It's a no brainer. It would be easy for me to go to their stores and meet their customer because I'm a customer of theirs and I have been. I think it's important to do that with your fans. To promote the sponsor and put 100 percent into it you need to be connected."(Chevy Racing)(5-30-2009)

  • TomTom to sponsor Truex for two races: TomTom Inc. announced that it will become an associate sponsor of Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates for both the IndyCar Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) during the 2009 racing season. TomTom will be the primary sponsor for multiple races of the #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr.in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The #1 car, as well as the driver and crew uniforms, will prominently display the TomTom logo throughout the 2009 race seasons. The TomTom logo and brand colors will also be featured as the primary paint scheme at several races throughout the year. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing driver Aric Almirola first debuted the TomTom paint scheme on the #8 Chevy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 1 of this year. The TomTom paint scheme will return to the track on the #1 Chevy at Pocono on June 7 and New Hampshore on June 28 (NSCS). "This is a great opportunity for me to represent a world-renowned brand such as TomTom," said Martin Truex Jr. TomTom will feature NASCAR and IndyCar race previews, updates, and features on its blog site, located at www.clubtomtom.com. For a complete selection of TomTom portable navigation devices online, visit www.target.com. For more information on TomTom, go to www.tomtom.com.(EGR)(5-28-2009)
    IMAGE: see an image of the car on my #1 Team Schemes page.(6-6-2009)

  • Truex Jr. to Waltrip? The word on the street is that #1-Martin Truex to Michael Waltrip's team in 2010 is a 'done deal,' but Truex and Ty Norris, the general manager for Waltrip's operation, both insist their 2010 deals are still up in the air, for at least another three weeks. "We've been hearing the same things," Norris concedes. "But we're still in discussions with NAPA and trying to figure out things (sponsorship) for 2010 and beyond. There are a lot of decisions that need to be made before we can even pursue something or get anything done. The biggest issue right now is we're in negotiations right now with NAPA and Michael, to see what the future looks like. We met a week ago and decided to give ourselves three or four more weeks, and then we'll make some decisions. So we're three or four weeks away from making the decision about what Michael and NAPA are going to do. Only after we make that decision can we look at the second decision." All that would seem to imply that Waltrip himself has to make a good case for sponsorship-driver renewal with NAPA between now and the July Fourth 400 at Daytona.(mikemulhern.net)(5-24-2009)

  • National Wild Turkey Federation logo back on the #1: The National Wild Turkey Federation's (NWTF) "Flying Turkey" logo will again appear on the #1 Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. for the Coca-Cola 600. The NWTF car made its debut last week for the Sprint All-Star Weekend festivities. The Bass Pro Shops partnership with NWTF is part of the Conservation Fund's "Racing for America's Wildlife" program. The program is designed to engage the NASCAR community in conserving America's hunting and fishing heritage through habitat protection, restoration, education, and outreach.(Earnhardt Ganassi PR)(5-20-2009)

  • Truex Jr. hopes to make decision soon: #1-Martin Truex Jr. said Friday a decision on his future with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing will be made "sooner rather than later.'' But Truex isn't revealing the options he is weighing. Truex is in the final year of his contract with the team, which came together this year following a merger between his former team, Dale Earnhardt Inc., and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. It has been a difficult transition at times and Truex, who made the playoff Chase in 2007, is 19th in points through the first 11 races this year. Teams take a break from the regular schedule this week for the All-Star Race on Saturday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "To be honest, I think we started the season probably a little farther behind than I thought we were gonna be with all that went on through the winter,'' Truex said on Friday after signing autographs at Dale Earnhardt Inc. fan day. "The Ganassi bunch has really helped us a lot with our cars. We've gotten all of our cars on the same page as far as chassis and what we're running. Ever since we've done that, it's just been real easy for us. It was really just a bunch of hardware. We pretty much welded their front clip on there and we went to running fast. So that's been pretty neat.''(Charlotte NASCAR Examiner)(5-16-2009)

  • #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy to Pay Tribute to National Wild Turkey Federation: The National Wild Turkey Federation's (NWTF) flying turkey logo will appear on the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing #1, Bass Pro Shops Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. on Saturday, May 16. Truex will be competing for a win in the NASCAR Sprint Showdown in order to earn his way into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race later that night at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC. Truex is among the Top 10 finalists for the All-Star Race Fan Vote. Bass Pro Shops salute to the NWTF is a part of the Conservation Fund's "Racing for America's Wildlife" program. The program is designed to engage the NASCAR community in conserving America's hunting and fishing heritage through habitat protection, restoration, education, and outreach.(Bass Pro Shops), see an imgae of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(5-13-2009)

  • Truex Jr. unsure of future plans: #1-Martin Truex Jr. said he'll make a decision soon on where he'll drive in 2010 and beyond. The two-time Nationwide champion signed a one-year deal last August to stay with Dale Earnhardt Inc., which merged with Chip Ganassi Racing in the offseason. Though Truex says he's "100 percent committed" to Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing and enjoys his crew, the timing and ambiguity caused by the merger - which moved Truex's #1 Chevrolet into Ganassi's shop in late December - left the team in disarray. "We just lost our way and needed time to regroup and that's why we started out slow," he said. "We sat on our hands all winter, not because we wanted to but because we were forced into doing it, and it hurt us." Truex wouldn't put a timetable on a career decision but said he has begun "laying the groundwork" for signing a long-term deal. "There's a lot of things that go into this with the economy the way it is," he said. "I need to put myself in a happy home for the next three to five years. A lot of things will drive that decision."(USA Today)(4-25-2009)

  • Drivers on CMT Cribs: Martin Truex Jr. will join Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch as the featured celebrities on CMT Cribs when the latest episode airs this Saturday, April 25th. Packed with the latest in luxury living, top of the line toys and the wildest whips on the road, this season takes us to new levels of country living. Martin's segment will focus on his new garage. Be sure to tune into to CMT (Country Music Television) this Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 4:30pm/et/pt and re-air at 7:30pm/et/pt on that same day.(EGR PR)(4-23-2009)

  • EGR looks to have a 'common chassis' soon: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing [#1-Truex Jr., #8-Almirola, #42-Montoya] is planning on a common chassis constructed using the best ideas from both elements of EGR. It might appear as early as in two weeks when the season resumes at Phoenix after next weekend's Easter break. EGR competition director Steve Hmiel said Truex and Montoya might be in "common cars" as early as in two weeks on the 1-mile Phoenix oval, or as late as the Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. "There's one done now that could go to Phoenix if they desire," Hmiel said. "We finished one Thursday morning before we came out [to Texas] and we finished another one [Friday]."(NASCAR.com)(4-5-2009)

  • Dale Earnhardt Inc. appoints two new executives: Dale Earnhardt Inc. President and CEO Teresa Earnhardt announced the appointments of two executive leaders for the company on Thursday. Jeff Steiner was named Executive Vice President and General Manager responsible for the oversight and management of DEI, the Dale Earnhardt Foundation and special initiatives relating to Earnhardt properties. Steiner began his role at the company on April 1. Chad Warpula was appointed as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for DEI. Warpula will oversee the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates NASCAR Sprint Cup team and handle all legal matters for DEI, EGR and Earnhardt-Childress Racing. Both executives will report to Teresa Earnhardt.(Scene Daily)(4-10-2009)

  • If #8 team closes, Truex could be free agent..to Gibbs? UPDATE Bass Pro Shops not leaving: The buzz in the garage has Earnhardt Ganassi Racing shutting down the #8 Chevy and sidelining Aric Almirola after this weekend if a sponsor doesn't magically appear. If that happens, three contracts are affected: #1-Martin Truex Jr., Bass Pro Shops Racing and Chevy. Truex's contract states that he must have two teammates or he can leave the team. Bass Pro Shops has a performance clause and with Truex 28th in owner points, the #1 team is in a precarious position. Finally, Chevy can alter its support to EGR if three teams are not under the roof. The hot rumor at Martinsville last week had Truex replacing Joey Logano in the #20 Home Depot Toyota. Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs insisted Sunday and again by phone on Wednesday that "Joey's our guy. We haven't had any conversations with anyone," Gibbs said. "We'd like to have someone in line by summer time, but you have to sit down, look at what partner is available, what driver is available and who would be a good fit for the team. We had [#96] Hall of Fame last year and we don't have it now. So we have room for a fourth team. We'd love to have it."
    Gibbs mentioned JGR's plans to run the #02 Farm Bureau Toyota to race later this season. An announcement was made in January that Farm Bureau Insurance was signed for six Cup races in 2009, including being the primary sponsor for two Cup races on Denny Hamlin's car at Darlington and Atlanta and on Logano's car at Martinsville. A fourth team will feature Farm Bureau as the title sponsor for the fall races at LMS, Texas and Homestead. Gibbs did not believe Farm Bureau was committed to a level where it could expand as a full-time sponsor in 2010.
    Truex said on Friday that he's committed to staying the course. "When I give someone my word by signing a contract, if they keep theirs and I keep my mind, there's no reason to ever think about doing anything else, obviously," Truex said. "Right now, my focus is on getting this car better and moving up in the points. We're back here where we shouldn't be. We've never been back this far before and we've had a tough start to the year."
    As for Bass Pro Shops, if Truex does leave. don't be surprised if the sponsor fills out Ryan Newman's program on the #39 Chevy at Stewart-Haas Racing [US Army is there for 23 races]. That deal, which is valued between $8 million and $10 million, could go down before summer.(FoxSports)(4-4-2009)
    UPDATE: SPEEDtv's Hermie Sadler reported that EGR's President Steve Lauletta said they would be meeting Tuesday to decide the fate of the #8 team and that Bass Pro Shops is signed with EGR thru the 2010 season and there is no 'out' for them.(4-5-2009)

  • Bobby Ginn says DEI owes Hendrick: Former team owner Bobby Ginn contends that he owes only 20% of the $1.5 million that Hendrick Motorsports is seeking from Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. because of the termination of Ginn's engine contract with Hendrick in 2007, according to court documents. Hendrick Motorsports is suing DEI and Ginn in North Carolina Superior Court over the termination fee resulting from the merger of DEI and Ginn in July 2007. DEI claims Ginn Racing and Ginn are responsible for a $1.5 million fee that was due Nov. 15, 2008. Ginn states in a recent filing that because a new entity was created that was 80% owned by DEI and 20% owned by Ginn, that DEI is responsible for 80% of the fee due Hendrick. In filing his response to Hendrick's and DEI's claims, Ginn states that it had been agreed that the $1.5 million fee would be paid from operating revenues of the new entity, which was named "DEI/Ginn - Team #01." If there were not sufficient revenues to pay the fee, then the responsibility for payment would be split 80/20, Ginn contends. Although not broken down in the suit, 80% of $1.5 million would be $1.2 million, with $300,000 left for Ginn to pay. The $1.5 million fee was the second of two termination fees. The first payment of $1.754 million was paid by Ginn, with a portion of the proceeds received "as part of the merger and acquisition transaction," according to Ginn's filing.(SceneDaily)(3-17-2009)

  • Truex taken to hospital due to stomach pain UPDATE 2: Despite finishing in the top 15 in both of Saturday's practice sessions at Atlanta Motor Speedway, #1-Martin Truex Jr. left the garage shortly after practice ended complaining of pain in his side. "I think it's kidney stones," said the driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shop Chevy. Truex was seen in the infield care center at Atlanta Motor Speedway and transported to a local hospital. He is slated to start 23rd in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500.(FoxSports)
    UPDATE: Truex Jr. has a small kidney stone but is not expected to miss the Kobalt Tools 500 on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a team spokesman said Saturday afternoon. Truex likely will pass the stone tonight but even if he doesn't, he should be cleared to drive. It would be a matter of pain tolerance because he cannot take strong pain medication and race or he could be in violation of NASCAR's substance-abuse policy. Truex completed both practice sessions Saturday before going to Spalding Regional Medical Center in Griffin, Ga., because of the pain.(SceneDaily)(3-7-2009)
    UPDATE 2: After suffering from sporadic bouts of intense pain during the final Sprint Cup practice session, #1-Martin Truex Jr. was taken by ambulance to Spalding Regional Medical Center in Griffin Saturday afternoon and diagnosed with kidney stones. He passed the offending stone at about 10pm/et and is ready to go racing today. Truex was examined and administered fluids while at Spalding Regional, then released shortly after 5pm/et. He passed the stone a few hours later. Driver spokesperson Amanda Jones said Truex was doing great Sunday morning and was eager to hit the track. Truex Jr. has been officially released by NASCAR to race in today's Kobalt Tools 500.(AMS Pit Notes)(3-8-2009)

  • Truex Jr. to sport Wild Turkey Federation colors at Sprint Showdown: The National Wild Turkey Federation's flying turkey logo will appear on the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Bass Pro Shops sponsored #1 Chevy, driven by Martin Truex Jr. Truex, who recently won the pole position and finished 11th in the Daytona 500, will be trying to win the NASCAR Sprint Showdown and earn his way into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race both on May 16th at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Bass Pro Shops salute to the NWTF is a part of the Conservation Fund's "Racing for America's Wildlife" program. The program is designed to engage the NASCAR community in conserving America's hunting and fishing heritage through habitat protection, restoration, education, and outreach. The NWTF is an over 500,000 member conservation organization with chapters across the United States, Canada and 10 other foreign countries. The Federation has worked with its volunteers, partners and wildlife agencies to restore wild turkey populations to 49 states and in parts of Canada. Bass Pro Shops is a dedicated supporter of NWTF's Women in the Outdoors, JAKES, and Wheelin' Sportsmen outreach programs. For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops store locations, products or special events, please visit www.basspro.com.(Bass Pro Shops PR), see an image of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(2-24-2009)

  • Teams looking for sponsors: The most important part of Sunday's Auto Club 500 was not what happened on the track but what took place in the garage, the suites and elsewhere. Some teams had prospective sponsors at Auto Club Speedway as they look to find additional funding. Teams looking for sponsors range from Roush Fenway Racing to Richard Petty Motorsports to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and others. Richard Petty Motorsports is trying to find sponsorship for #44-AJ Allmendinger beyond the nine races it has for him this season. De Cordell, chief sales and marketing officer, says the team also is looking for a primary sponsor for about six races on #43-Reed Sorenson's car and a major associate sponsor for #9-Kasey Kahne. Cordell said the team had two potential sponsors at Sunday's race, including one that came about after RPM's Daytona 500 performance where it placed three of its four cars in the top 10.
    Earnhardt Ganassi Racing continues to search for sponsorship for #8-Aric Almirola and #1-Martin Truex Jr. Steve Lauletta, team president, says Almirola has sponsorship for about 10 races. Lauletta says Truex needs to add a sponsor for about six races. Lauletta said the team received two calls about prospective sponsors this week after the Daytona 500 where Truex won the pole, and had a couple of potential sponsors at the race. The team also is planning to announce a sponsorship agreement next week between its NASCAR teams and car owner Chip Ganassi's IndyCar program. Lauletta estimates the team worked on that deal for 14 months.
    Roush Fenway Racing also is looking for future sponsorship and benefited from Matt Kenseth's victory at Daytona. While the organization has primary sponsors for all five cars, each of those sponsors are open to joining other companies on the cars, says Robin Johnson, executive vice president, business development for Roush Fenway Racing.(Roanoke Time)(2-23-2009)

  • Activision teams with EGR to sponsor #8 and #1: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced a partnership with Activision Publishing, Inc., the publisher of the top-selling Guitar Hero video game franchise, for a multi-race deal that will include primary sponsorship of multiple races with Aric Almirola and his #8 Chevy, and multiple races with Martin Truex Jr. and his #1 Chevy. In the 2009 Daytona 500, the first race to feature a Guitar Hero branded car, the #8 will race around the track with a paint scheme of Activision's latest #1 music-based video game - Guitar Hero World Tour. The orange and black car will sport the familiar Guitar Hero World Tour logo and the same graphics as the game's packaging. Subsequent races will feature the #8 or the #1 cars branded with upcoming Guitar Hero titles. Aric Almirola: Driver, #8 Chevy: "I was excited about running my first Daytona 500 to begin with, but now having the Guitar Hero brands on my car will make it even that much more fun. I can't think of another brand that I would rather have on my car. I play the Guitar Hero games all the time and to now be representing it is very cool."
    Martin Truex Jr.: "I am really looking forward to pairing up with Activision and Guitar Hero. It is one of my favorite video game brands and I can't wait to see it on my car."
    Steve Lauletta: President, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing: "I really love to see big brands come into the sport and it is even better when they are on one of our cars. I don't know if there is a bigger or hotter video game brand right now than the Guitar Hero franchise. We had an opportunity to work with them last season and now look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with Activision."(Aric Almirola site)(2-5-2009)

  • Target to sponsor Montoya, 3 cars for EGR UPDATE: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced they have moved their long-time partner Target to the #42 car of Juan Pablo Montoya. It is a reunion for Target and Montoya as he paired with Target and Chip Ganassi Racing back in 1999 and 2000 during his early open-wheel days when he took the American motorsports world by storm, earning a series championship and an Indianapolis 500 crown. The Colombia native will make his "re-debut" in Target red on Jan. 24 when he competes in his third consecutive Rolex 24 At Daytona in the #01 TELMEX car. He and his teammates have won the last two races and Ganassi's teams have won the prestigious endurance race an unprecedented three consecutive years since 2006.
    Target Celebrates 20th Season with Ganassi: The team's partnership with Target continues to rank as one of the longest relationships in motorsports. Chip Ganassi created his own one-car IndyCar team in 1990 and that same year established a partnership with Target. Today, Target remains the only full-time sponsor in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and the IndyCar Series. With the addition of Montoya and along with his IndyCar Series teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, Team Target now sports three drivers that have all won open-wheel championships and the Indianapolis 500.
    Chip Ganassi, Managing Partner: "I am looking forward to reuniting Target and Montoya. They had quite a bit of success in their last stint together and to add Juan to a Team Target that already has Dixon and Franchitti in the IndyCar Series is going to be great for them. Target is a premium full-season sponsor and Montoya is a premium driver and putting them together is the right thing to do for everyone. There is little in my racing career I am more proud of than my team's partnership with Target. We will be entering our 20th season with Target in 2009 and we could not be happier with adding Montoya to the Target mix. Juan and the whole 42 team did a lot of great things both on and off the track for Texaco/Havoline and Wrigley's last year but aligning Juan and Target was the best move for our organization."(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)
    AND Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates confirmed late Tuesday that it will campaign full-time Chevy for Juan Pablo Montoya, Martin Truex Jr. and Aric Almirola in 2009, with a fourth car entered for the Daytona 500. No sponsor has been announced for Almirola's #8 car, nor has a driver been picked for the fourth car [the #41], according to EGR President Steve Lauletta, who gave an impromptu press briefing late Tuesday during the Sprint Cup Media Tour Presented by Lowe's Motor Speedway. Target will sponsor Montoya in the #42, with former co-primary Wrigley's taking on a role as associate sponsor, Lauletta said. Bass Pros Shops will sponsor the #1 of Truex. "We kind of get the best of both worlds putting our 20-year relationship with Target on Juan. He won the Indy 500 with them before and then Wrigley's can still continue to do their NASCAR programming around Juan and remain with the team." As far as Almirola's car, Lauletta said, "We haven't announced sponsorship programming for that, but we will here pretty soon. And then our plan is to run a fourth car at the Daytona 500. We're working on some opportunities with that, and again we'll announce that at a later date." With the fourth car, its future is contingent on sponsorship. "If we can continue to run the fourth car past Daytona, we're going to attempt to do that," said Lauletta. "But as of right now, the plan is Daytona."(SPEED)(1-20-2009)
    UPDATE: Lauletta made official that longtime sponsor Target is moving from the #41 car without a driver to the #42 of Juan Pablo Montoya. The 42 had sponsorship for only half the season with Wrigley's, which will remain an associate sponsor. Lauletta said the #1 car driven by Martin Truex Jr. is sponsored for most of the season by Bass Pro Shops and that the company will extend that through the season if other sponsorship being sought falls through. He said multiple sponsors for the #8 of Aric Almirola would be announced soon along with sponsorship for the fourth car for at least the Daytona 500. There are several candidates to drive the fourth car, which will continue past the first race if sponsorship can be found. All four car numbers finished in the top 35 in points last season and will be guaranteed a spot in the 500. While the organization still utilizes the old DEI shop in Mooresville, N.C., for its seven-post machine and other technology, most of the work is being done out of Ganassi's shop in Concord, N.C. Ganassi has shut down its engine operation and the team is using engines provided by Earnhardt Childress Racing.(ESPN)(1-21-2009)

  • EGR cuts more jobs: And while this wasn't officially on the Media Tour, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing cut another 40 jobs on Monday, making it a virtual certainty that the time won't field more than two full-time cars next year.(Tom Jensen Online), see the unofficial layoff count on my Racing Jobs/School/Expos page.(1-20-2009)

  • Earnhardt-Ganassi down to two teams? When Dale Earnhardt Inc. merged with Chip Ganassi Racing last year, the plan was to run four cars in NASCAR's top series. It could be down to two. Driver #1-Martin Truex Jr. said Friday night that Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing is planning to field just three cars for next month's Daytona 500 -- with him, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #8-Aric Almirola behind the wheels. And Almirola said he has no guarantee to drive beyond the season-opening race because of sponsorship woes. "As far as I can tell, I believe three," Truex Jr. said at NASCAR's preseason tour at Daytona International Speedway. "I'm pretty sure that's what's going on. ... I believe that's it. That's about all I've got there. Montoya, me and Aric." Truex Jr. and Montoya are fully sponsored for 2009, but Almirola conceded his lack of sponsorship could be a problem this season. "Chip and Teresa [Earnhardt] have to do whatever makes financial sense to them, and hopefully for me that means run 36 races," Almirola said. "For them, I hope that's the case because that means that they'll have been able to afford to do that. Now, saying that, I don't know. I'm not privy to look at their financial statements every week or every month, so I don't know what they're going to be willing to do and not do without a sponsor. The moral of the story is we need a sponsor badly. We need sponsorship dollars to be able to take our #8 Earnhardt-Ganassi with Felix Sabbatta's Chevy to every single race that we can. We need sponsorship dollars."(ESPN/AP)(1-17-2009)

  • Siegel close to leaving DEI UPDATE 2: A NASCAR team source told ESPN's Kelly Naqi that Dale Earnhardt Inc. president of global operations Max Siegel is close to leaving the team. Siegel said he's talking to DEI chief executive officer Teresa Earnhardt about his future plans with the team, which was part of a merger and has been renamed Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. When contacted, Siegel said, "This has been a great opportunity and I have always been committed to doing what's in the best interests of the sport and the company. I am currently in discussions with Teresa about how I can have the most positive impact on the future of DEI."(ESPN.com)(1-11-2009)
    UPDATE: Max L. Siegel, former president of global operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc., is rejoining Baker & Daniels to lead an expansion of the law firm's sports and entertainment practice. Baker & Daniels says Siegel's experience as an industry insider makes him "ideally suited" to head the team. Siegel, a native of Indianapolis, represents a variety of entertainers and athletes. At Dale Earnhardt Inc., he was the highest ranking African-American executive in the NASCAR industry. Siegel served on the executive team that produced pop artists like Britney Spears, Usher and Justin Timberlake. Siegel also has worked with gospel stars Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin, and he has represented sports athletes like Tony Gwynn and Reggie White. He was last with B&D from 1992 to 1994. Two of B&D's past partners have taken new sports jobs. Jack Swarbrick and Fred Glass recently accepted athletic director positions at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University, respectively.(Indianapolis Star)
    AND Max Siegel on Wednesday announced he will step down as president of global operations at newly formed Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing to run NASCAR's diversity program. Siegel will continue to consult Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing on strategic initiatives on the business and marketing side through the new company he has started in conjunction with his former law firm, Baker and Daniels, which has offices worldwide.(ESPN.com)(1-14-2009)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR announced that Max Siegel and his new sports and entertainment marketing company, 909 Group, will be managing the industry's Drive for Diversity initiative, which seeks to develop minority and female drivers and crew members. Siegel, along with a team to be announced, will take a hands-on approach on the day-to-day operations of Drive for Diversity; increase its reach inside and outside the sport; create mainstream marketing programs for the initiative; and further involve the entire NASCAR industry, particularly top-tier teams and sponsors.(NASCAR PR)(1-15-2009)

2008 News

  • HMS Holdings suing DEI over engines UPDATE 2:: HMS Holdings, which operates the Hendrick Motorsports engine shop, is suing Dale Earnhardt Inc. for $1.5 million for the payment of a termination fee stemming from a contract to supply Hendrick engines to Ginn Racing. Ginn Racing, which also is a defendant in the suit filed Friday in North Carolina Superior Court, merged with DEI in July 2007. As part of the merger, DEI and Ginn Racing signed a termination agreement to a contract that was originally signed by Ginn in 2006. The termination agreement required payments to HMS of $1.754 million by July 31, 2007, and $1.5 million by Nov. 15, 2008, according to the suit. The first payment was made on time. The second payment has not been made, according to the suit. The original engine contract and termination agreement are not included in the suit, so it is unclear how much Ginn was paying to use Hendrick engines. HMS is asking for the $1.5 million, 12% interest and an additional $225,000. Hendrick Motorsports spokesman Jesse Essex said the company is looking forward to a swift resolution of the lawsuit. Dale Earnhardt Inc. Vice President John Story said the company has no comment.(SceneDaily)(11-25-2008)
    UPDATE - engines cost $12.8M base: If you're looking to lease engines from Hendrick Motorsports for a NASCAR operation, you'd better be prepared to open up your wallet. A legal battle being played out in North Carolina courts is offering rare insight into the usually secretive world of the sport's finances as the Hendrick operation seeks compensation from the Ginn Racing team that wound up as part of Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2007. According to a contract filed as part of the case, the Hendrick engine lease agreement with Ginn Racing called for Ginn to pay a base rent of $12.8 million in 2007 and $13.7 million in 2008 to lease engines for its three Sprint Cup teams and one team in what is now the Nationwide Series. The fee covered Cup engines for 36 race events and up to nine tests or special events and Nationwide engines for 35 events, according to the contract filed as part of a lawsuit by HMS Holdings against Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. over the termination fees resulting from the Ginn-DEI merger in July 2007.(Scene Daily)(12-20-2008)
    UPDATE 2: DEI claims that former NASCAR team owner Bobby Ginn is responsible for paying off any termination fees of Ginn Racing's engine leasing contract with Hendrick Motorsports. Both DEI and Ginn have been sued by Hendrick in North Carolina Superior Court over $1.5 million in fees that Hendrick claims is owed under the termination agreement signed when DEI bought Ginn Racing in July 2007. In its response to the suit filed Dec. 22, DEI claims that DEI and Ginn have a signed agreement that DEI would not be responsible for any claims or payments under the engine lease termination agreement. DEI asks the court to rule that Ginn is responsible for any payments. Ginn has not yet responded to the suit.(SceneDaily)(12-30-2008)

  • EGR will run Chevy's; all move to Ganassi's shop UPDATE: Director of Dodge Motorsports Mike Accavitti told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway Tuesday that Chip Ganassi Racing will race Chevrolets as part of its recent merger with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Accavitti's announcement was the first public admission of an anticipated manufacturer change by the Ganassi team. (Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway)
    AND The new Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team will run Chevrolets and work out of the Chip Ganassi Racing shop, a team spokesman confirmed. The team still has not named a driver nor a crew chief for the #41 car nor has it named a crew chief for the #8 car driven by Aric Almirola. It also still needs sponsorship for Almirola and a half-season sponsorship for #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. The new organization resulted from a merger of Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Chip Ganassi Racing, which was announced in mid-November. Neither the shop location nor the engine package is a surprise. The Ganassi team has been a Dodge organization since 2001, the first full season after Chip Ganassi bought a majority interest in Sabco Racing from Felix Sabates. Dodge had a contract with Ganassi at least through 2009, but Dodge officials had indicated that they would let Ganassi out of its commitment if it was in the best interest of the team.(SceneDaily)(12-16-2008)
    UPDATE: The newly merged Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Team is keeping busy early in the offseason with the relocation of two of its cars to another shop. The cars for Martin Truex Jr. and Aric Almirola's teams will be moving from the Dale Earnhardt, Inc. West shop to the Ganassi Racing shop in Concord, NC. "We've moved our equipment and we're going to run out of Ganassi's shop in Concord," Truex Jr. said. "Things are moving along. We'll just have to wait and see, but so far things have been going pretty well." The move will combine the DEI teams with Ganassi's #41 team and #42 team, of Juan Pablo Montoya, in the state-of-the-art 183,000 square-foot facility, which opened its doors in 2003. "Bono (Kevin Manion, Truex Jr's crew chief) and Juan Pablo's crew chief Brian Pattie are good friends, they've been for a long time and they're really excited to work together," Truex Jr. said. "I'm excited about that. So far everything seems to be going pretty smooth." Sponsorship still needs to be set for some of the cars, including Montoya's, which only has 19 races set with the Wrigley Chewing Gum company. As for Almirola, the search for sponsorship is still on after the U.S. Army departed the team to head to Stewart-Hass Racing in 2009. "We've got several sponsors that we've been talking to and we've been giving tours of the shop and wining and dining them," Almirola said. "We've got several people interested so that's good news, but, just nothing set in stone right yet." The Ganassi cars will make the switch from Dodges to Chevrolets, which is the same manufacturer DEI has fielded since its existence. The team will still utilize engines from Earnhardt-Childress Technologies. "We're continuing to get our motors from the Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies, which has been really, really awesome," Almirola said. "Our motors last year were really, really good every weekend. It's not very often you get a race car driver not complain that he wants more motor. We did not struggle for motor at all this past year."(RacingOne)(12-17-2008)

  • GM unsure EGR will use Chevy's UPDATE: General Motors has not been told whether the new Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing team will field Chevrolets next season, according to Pat Suhy, GM's NASCAR manager. Dale Earnhardt Inc., a four-car Chevrolet team, and Chip Ganassi Racing, a two-car Dodge team, announced Wednesday their plans to merge for the 2009 season. They did not announce a manufacturer, but Dodge teams seem resigned to the probability that the new four-car organization will race Chevrolets next season. "Until they tell us what it's going to be, I'm not confident of anything," Suhy said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, site of Sunday's Ford 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup season finale. "They need to make a decision based on their own needs and what kind of support they can get and what they think is in their best interests." Suhy would not comment on how much support DEI gets and whether it is based on a four-car team.(SceneDaily)(11-15-2008)
    UPDATE: Plans are in place for Chip Ganassi Racing to switch from Dodge to Chevrolet and be a part of the engine program currently used by Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Richard Childress Racing. DEI, a Chevrolet-based organization, announced on Wednesday it is merging into a four-car team with the Dodge organization of Chip Ganassi Racing in 2009. Officials from both sides said no decision has been made on whether they would be under the Chevrolet or Dodge umbrella. Richard Childress, the owner of RCR and co-owner of the Earnhardt Childress Racing [ECR] engine program, said a meeting is scheduled for Tuesday to hopefully finalize plans to bring Ganassi Racing into the ECR program. Asked if the new Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing would have to be Chevrolet to be a part of that program, he said, "I would think so. ECR will still be around," Childress said. Childress was glad to see the merger between DEI and Ganassi, saying, "It'll make them stronger for sure. If it's put together and works like ECR, it will be great. ECR has worked beyond all of our expectations." Childress didn't rule out the possibility of employees from Ganassi's engine program joining ECR. "I know he's [Ganassi] wanting to keep his engine shop going," he said. "We haven't decided everything yet."(ESPN)(11-16-2008)

  • Some more info, questions about the DEI/Ganassi merger: On Wednesday, Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced they were "launching a combination of racing operations" for 2009, collectively planning to race four cars in 2008. According to a press release issued by the two teams, Martin Truex Jr. will drive the #1 for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing next season, Aric Almirola will drive the #8, Juan Pablo Montoya the #42 and a driver to be named later will pilot the #41.
    Left unsaid were almost all the important details:
    " What brand of cars the teams will campaign.
    " Whether Ganassi's crew will supply engines or whether Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies will.
    " Whether the team will be run out of DEI's shops in Mooresville, N.C. or Ganassi's complex in Concord, N.C.
    " Who will be in charge and which executives will remain from the two teams.
    " Who will sponsor the #8, which has no announced sponsors or the #41, which has sponsorship for only half the season.
    " And, most importantly, whether Teresa Earnhardt or Chip Ganassi has the final say in the operation of the newly merged organization.
    Apparently, most of those questions remain to be sorted out. While it is expected that the new entity will, in fact, campaign Chevrolets, sources close to the situation insist that the two parties have not yet worked out many of the critical details in the agreement. So why announce it now if it isn't sorted out? Sources say that DEI's deal with Bass Pro Shops requires the team to field a minimum of three teams and that if it fails to do so, the sponsor could walk. And in this brutal economy, losing yet another sponsor is the last thing DEI could afford, figuratively or literally.(Ford Racing)
    OWNERS POINTS: another question not answered: what happens to the #15 team and #01 team OWNERS points, both easily in the top-35? No idea yet, they could be sold or transferred in separate deals. Could end up with Richard Childress Racing for the new #33 team that Clint Bowyer will drive for in 2009 as RCR will NOT be transferring the owners points from the #07 team. So no word yet what will happen to the #15 or #01 owners points....yet.(11-15-2008)

  • More on Earnhardt-Ganassi Merger: A key player in the merger was Dodge Motorsports, which gave its blessing to team owner Chip Ganassi to pursue the partnership with a Chevy organization. "Number one, we want all of our business partners to be healthy like we want to be healthy,'' said Mike Delahanty, the senior manager of Dodge Motorsports. "Under these unprecedented times there are business solutions that no one ever thought possible. The blessing is, 'Chip, we want you to be healthy and viable long-term. We want you to have a business plan that does that. Bring us a business plan that does that and we'll talk about it, even if means letting him go.''' Sources close to the situation said the teams are expected to compete under the Chevy/General Motors banner of DEI. That would leave Dodge with three cars in Penske Racing, three in Gillett Evernham Motorsports and one or two in Petty Enterprises. Martin Truex Jr. [#1] and Aric Almirola [#8] will remain the drivers from the DEI side and Juan Pablo Montoya [#42] will be kept from Ganassi. The driver of the fourth car [# 41] will be named at a future date. AJ Allmendinger, Scott Riggs and Regan Smith are among the candidates for that seat.(ESPN.com)(11-13-2008)

  • OFFICIAL - Earnhardt and Ganassi Form New Four-Car Team: Two of motorsports' biggest names - Earnhardt and Ganassi - will launch a four-car team beginning in 2009 through the combination of the motorsports operations of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI) and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Inc. (CGRFS). NASCAR stars Martin Truex Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya will drive the #1 and #42 respectively and future star Aric Almirola will be behind the wheel of the #8. The driver of the #41 will be named in the near future. "In this ultra-competitive era of NASCAR, it is necessary to build and sustain the strongest team possible and our combining with the people and equipment at Dale Earnhardt Inc. will help create a strong four-car program for years to come," said Chip Ganassi. "This is a win-win for both organizations as well as all of our partners."
    "Having a partner like Chip who is heavily involved on the competition side of the business is an ideal situation for DEI," Teresa Earnhardt said. "He has a long history of managing championship teams in the IndyCar and Rolex Grand-Am Series and I share his passion and goals of winning races and ultimately championships in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. I think this is a case where we are stronger together than we are apart." Details of the new four-car operation will be announced at a future date.
    For more information log onto www.chipganassiracing.com and www.daleearnhardtinc.com.(CGRFS PR)(11-12-2008)

  • Latest DEI/Ganassi merger news UPDATE 2: The Chip Ganassi-Teresa Earnhardt merger may be back on, with Ganassi the on-track presence for what would be a two-car DEI operation, under the Chevy banner. Earnhardt needs a second team sponsorship in order to keep her Chevrolet technology deal. However, why Ganassi would really want to merge is unclear, and how Ganassi might get out of his contract with Dodge is also unclear. Regardless of what happens with the possible merger, Ganassi is expected to pair #42-Juan Pablo Montoya with his full Target sponsorship, and DEI's #8-Aric Almirola would get the 12-race Wrigley's sponsorship. That would leave #01-Regan Smith the odd-man out at DEI.(Winston-Salem Journal)(11-12-2008)
    UPDATE: The long-speculated partnership between Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates now appears to be imminent. Sources close to the situation tell Sirius Speedway that while the deal cannot technically be classified as a merger, an announcement is expected within the next few days regarding a competitive and economic partnership between the two teams. The deal will allow DEI and Ganassi to field at least three cars next season with drivers Martin Truex, Jr., Juan Pablo Montoya and Aric Almirola. A fourth car is possible, dependant on sponsorship. There is no word on potential manufacturer affiliations, with DEI currently aligned with Chevrolet, and Ganassi in the Dodge camp.(SIRIUS Speedway/Motorsports Soapbox), am hearing Chevy will be the manufacturer of the 'team'.(11-12-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Teresa Earnhardt and Chip Ganassi will combine their slumping race teams next season, an effort to stabilize their organizations in a tough economic time. The combined team will be called Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and will field cars for Martin Truex, Aric Almirola, Juan Pablo Montoya and a driver yet to be named, two people familiar with the decision told the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal has yet to be announced. Both organizations have struggled to secure sponsorship this season, forcing the teams to pool resources. Truex and Almirola will come from Dale Earnhardt Incorporated; only Truex's car has full sponsorship for next season. Montoya has half a season of sponsorship, and Ganassi's flagship #41 has full sponsorship but no driver. DEI fields Chevrolets, and Ganassi has a Dodge contract. Details of a manufacturer switch still are being worked out as the team is expected to use General Motors.(Associated Press)
    AND hearing approximately 110 people were laid off at DEI Wednesday.(11-12-2008)

  • Logano out of the #20..before he gets in? UPDATE denied: Let's start the [ESPN] blog with a bang and throw out the latest rumor going around the Cup garage area. Will plans to have rookie Joey Logano replace Tony Stewart next season in the #20 Toyota change? Speculation is Joe Gibbs Racing officials are trying to work out a deal to get #1-Martin Truex Jr. from Dale Earnhardt Inc. to drive the #20 car next year. If JGR can't get Truex, they might make a run at #2-Kurt Busch, who wants out of his deal with Penske Racing.
    A quick warning: Rumors are rampant these days in NASCAR because of the difficult economic times. So here's another rumor: JGR president J.D. Gibbs is expected to arrive at Phoenix today and possibility address this issue to deny all of it. The Logano/Truex gossip started because of DEI's tenuous situation right now on sponsorship, and growing concerns that the 18-year-old Logano might not be ready to race Cup full-time next year. But Home Depot, primary sponsor for the #20 Camry, already has invested tons of money in a marketing campaign for Logano [as well as diecast's with Motorsports Authenics, see an image of the #20 Home Depot/Logano scheme on my 2009 #20 Team Schemes page].(ESPN blog)(11-8-2008)
    UPDATE denied: Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs reiterated on Saturday that Joey Logano will drive the #20 Toyota in 2009. "Everything he's done up to now he's done exceptionally well," Gibbs said. "When you get to this level, everybody is really good." Logano has failed to finish on the lead lap in the three Cup races he's run this season, which has left the rookie with an average showing of 37th. In last Sunday's Dickie's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, he was unable to maintain minimum speed on the racetrack. But NASCAR still allowed Logano to compete. "We threatened him within an inch of his life - just finish the race," Gibbs joked. "It's just going to take time."(FoxSports)
    AND "For God's sakes, please write that Joey Logano is driving the #20 car next year. ... Unequivocally, Joey is in the 20. Please print that and tell everyone else." Those words were uttered by a frustrated and angry Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs Sunday morning in the Sprint Cup garage at Phoenix International Raceway. Gibbs made the declaration after ESPN.com reported Saturday that Logano might be replaced next year by Martin Truex Jr. [or Kurt Busch] in the #20 Home Depot-sponsored car. Responding to the report, Gibbs said, "I don't know where it started, where it came from, but it's frustrating for everybody. You can't just say stuff like that. That's crazy talk. So for me, I would say, look, he's in the car. It's done. That's been done a long time ago. The Nationwide stuff, he's done a great job with it. Cup is harder. Hey, you're going to have your struggles. All of our guys have. He'll be fine. He's going to be in good shape."(SPEEDtv)
    AND II: The rumor that Joe Gibbs Racing wanted to postpone Joey Logano's full-time entry into the Cup series until 2010 and put Kurt Busch or Martin Truex Jr. into the #20 next season was just that -- a rumor. "I don't know where that came from," JGR president J.D. Gibbs said. "Joey Logano will be in the #20 next year." Gibbs said he spent much of Saturday afternoon and early Sunday morning explaining to reporters and sponsors that there was nothing to the rumor and that the team was completely behind the 18-year-old phenom.(ESPN)(11-9-2008)

  • Latest Ganassi merger rumor? Petty? UPDATE4 negotiations fell thru?:Trying to pin down the state of Petty Enterprises, under its new Boston Ventures' management, and the future of the Chip Ganassi operation has been tough enough the last few weeks, but now the speculation of a GM-Chrysler corporate merger has thrown things into a real tizzy. Insiders at both the Petty and Ganassi Dodge camps say there is speculation that the two struggling teams may somehow merge, and that that speculation is fueled by the sense that fellow Dodge owner George Gillett, who has majority interest in Gillett-Evernham-Motorsports, is "99 percent" certain to jump to Toyota. Ray Evernham was Dodge's mainstay in NASCAR racing, making such a move highly unusual. Dodge officials a few weeks ago denied such a change might be coming. One major complication for Dodge teams like Petty's and Ganassi's is that Gillett-Evernham has been a major Dodge engine operation. If Gillett moves to Toyota, then Dodge loses a very big player.(Winston-Salem Journal)(10-12-2008)
    UPDATE: hearing that a Ganassi-Petty Enterprises merger is still possible with Target being the sponsor for Bobby Labonte in the #43. With #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #44-Chad McCumbee as teammates and a possible 4th team with Kyle Petty running part time in the #45.(10-21-2008)
    UPDTE 2 - DEI?: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is negotiating with several organizations, including Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Petty Enterprises. "We're talking to a lot of different people," Sabates said on Tuesday. "We're keeping our options open. Obviously, the way things are going today with sponsors, unless you have the sponsors you can't run. We only have a sponsor for the 41 car [Target] and the 42 [Wrigley's Big Red/Juicy Fruit] for half a year. We're looking at all possibilities." DEI and Petty Enterprises are in similar situations. DEI has only the #1 car of Martin Truex Jr. fully sponsored for next season, with partial sponsors in line for the #8 and none for its other two cars. Petty Enterprises is looking for sponsors for the #43 and 44 that is expected to replace the #45. So how would a merger with DEI help Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates? "They have a sponsor for one and a half cars and we have a sponsor for one and a half cars, that makes three cars, doesn't it?" Sabates said. "The same thing with Petty. They've got one car. There are other people out there, too." The biggest stumbling block for DEI to merge with Ganassi or Petty may be manufacturer permission. DEI is under contract with General Motors to field Chevys and the other two are under contract with Dodge/Chrysler. The proposed merger between GM and Chrysler could help that situation, but there remain other obstacles on both sides. "Everything is up in the air," Sabates said. "We're just talking in theory. We don't know what is going to happen. We don't have anything concrete with anybody. And I'm not saying we will do anything."(ESPN.com)(11-4-2008)
    UPDATE 3: An alliance is in the works that would combine the #s 1 and 8 Chevys at DEI with the #s 41 and 42 of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates next season. The newly combined outfit would boast a lineup consisting of Martin Truex Jr., with Bass Pro Shops sponsorship, Juan Pablo Montoya, with Wrigleys sponsorship, and Aric Almirola. Ganassi still has a deal in place with sponsor Target, but it is unknown right now whether that will be for Almirola or for a yet-to-be-determined fourth driver. Ganassi could offer the presence of an at-track, hands-on owner, an important element that's been missing at DEI since the death of its founder Dale Earnhardt. Ganassi won four titles in Champ Car and two titles as an owner in the IRL IndyCar Series, including this season. Ganassi's current contract with Dodge extends through 2010. Given the economic climate and uncertainty of the Dodge program beyond 2009, the move would align Ganassi with Chevrolet for next year and beyond. Max Siegel, president of global operations declined comment on the report.(FoxSports)(11-5-2008)
    UPDATE4: hearing that DEI and Ganassi are not going to merge after meeting Wednesday and there was no deal and negotiations are off.(11-7-2008)

  • DEI and Petty merger? UPDATE 2: Talks about a possible merger between Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Petty Enterprises are under way, according to sources familiar with the situation, and Wells Fargo's sponsorship money could be key to making something happen. However, the economic chaos that is wracking the country is also playing havoc with so many suddenly struggling NASCAR teams that it's unclear how any of the various scenarios might actually play out. And just what positives might even come out of a DEI-Petty merger aren't that clear, either. Richard Petty sold a "significant" stake this summer in Petty Enterprises, the family racing operation in business since 1949, to Boston Ventures, a private equity firm. Precisely how that joint NASCAR venture might fit into any DEI-Petty merger is unclear, considering the financial problems of many Wall Street investment firms. Petty Enterprises is looking for a 2009 sponsor for Bobby Labonte, who drives the legendary #43 car. #45-Kyle Petty, the other Petty driver, has been at odds apparently with some of the team's executives, and he appears to have the option to take the Wells Fargo sponsorship with him to another team. If Kyle Petty were to leave, that would, for the moment, leave Petty Enterprises with no major sponsors.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-17-2008)
    UPDATE: Robbie Loomis said Petty Enterprises has been approached by at least three organizations about a possible alliance heading into next season. The vice president of racing operations, speaking Friday at Martinsville Speedway, would not identify them, but published reports say Dale Earnhardt Inc. might be on that list. DEI officials declined to comment. Loomis said the Pettys' deal with Dodge extends three years past this one. DEI signed an extension with General Motors/Chevrolet before this season. Loomis said Petty Enterprises is closer to naming a sponsor for Labonte, and he appears close to set on Chad McCumbee to drive the second car, which will be the #44. He said the key in all of this is continued growth of the Petty brand, which a merger with DEI may or may not allow.(ESPN.com)
    AND Officials from Petty Enterprises do not deny that they have held preliminary discussions about a possible future partnership of some sort with Dale Earnhardt Inc., but they strongly deny that anything is close to happening or even likely to happen. In fact, Robbie Loomis said that DEI is not the only group with which Petty Enterprises is discussing its future. Nor is it alone in the Sprint Cup Series garage area, where Loomis insisted all teams are scrambling to find stronger footing in difficult economic times. "The bottom line for us is that we're committed to Dodge," Loomis said. "We like Dodge as our manufacturer; Richard Petty especially. We have three more years with them as far as solid commitments. We feel good about where we're at with them."(NASCAR.com)(10-18-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Petty Enterprises appears on track to merge - somehow - with Dale Earnhardt Inc., which would turn the Petty Dodges into Chevrolets....apparently. Or maybe it's just Kyle Petty 'merging.' Richard Petty Sunday didn't have much to say about the DEI report; he didn't deny the talks, but he insisted he didn't have to panic about things: "We did our panicking last year. That's why we did the deal with Boston Ventures. We're ahead of the curve." However there appears to be considerable internal disagreement between the father and son about the next business steps to take, though #43-Bobby Labonte still has no sponsor for 2009, and Kyle Petty himself apparently is looking to leave Petty Enterprises at the end of the year and take the company's only full sponsor, Wells Fargo, with him.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-20-2008)

  • DEI working on the future: Max Siegel, Bobby Hutchens and John Story are trying to hold Dale Earnhardt Inc. together, rebuild it and find solid sponsorships for 2009 in a dismal economic climate. Siegel heard the rumors that swirled through the Lowe's Motor Speedway garage last weekend, including the one that DEI was on the verge of laying off 80 employees after losing Paul Menard and the John Menard and U.S. Army sponsorships. But Siegel says he's doing his best to put together the sponsorship deals to keep DEI running smoothly. "Since I've been with DEI, we've had to deal with perception issues," said Siegel, a two-year veteran with the operation. "But we've got great people and great facilities. Right now, today, it is an interesting dynamic. If you look at the company and our infrastructure and the people who have been there a long time, and look at how our cars have been running, we have made some impressive gains. Last year people were killing us about our engines, so we've made a concerted effort to focus on our joint engine venture (with fellow owner Richard Childress). And there has definitely been improvement."
    "We're running four team cars 'til the end of the year (with #1-Martin Truex Jr., #01-Regan Smith, #8-Aric Almirola and #15-Menard). And our intent is to run four cars again next year ... but we are going to be fiscally responsible So right now any of the deals that are out there, we're trying to put those together. And we're wide-open as to how we can sustain a healthy race program. We have some very resilient people ... but it's the end of the year, and everyone is on pins and needles, trying to figure out what the future may bring."
    Cutting 80 people? Siegel says he heard the rumors. "That's not our intent, but I was hearing it, too," he said. "Over the last two years, we've done some things and made some investments to strengthen our racing program. Sure, people tend to speculate when you see a sponsor leave." And rivals are not above creating such speculation in order to pluck off key employees. "My heart goes out to all 400 of our employees who work so hard every week," Siegel said. "And I am doing the best I can to sustain a level of confidence in our company and reassure everyone that we are doing everything we can to keep it healthy. And we have no imminent plans to lay off any people or shut down any of our race teams."(Winston Salem Journal)(10-15-2008)

  • Bono back for Truex Jr.: As the Sprint Cup Series heads to Richmond International Raceway for Saturday's Chevy Rock and Roll 400, #1-Martin Truex Jr. has another reason to be excited: the return of crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion and car chief Gary Putnam. Manion and Putnam had been serving six-race suspensions due to infractions found on the #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevy at Daytona in July. "It's going to be great having Bono and Gary back," continued Truex. "We've really missed not having them at the track and I know that they've hated not being there. Those guys are an important part of the team, and not having them at the track each weekend has been tough. The guys on the team fought through it as best they could, but that's asking a lot of them." Mike Greci served as interim crew chief during the suspensions, and Truex thanked him for his efforts. "Mike did a great job under tough circumstances," Truex said. "He went from leading our Camping World East Series efforts to working on Cup cars. Those are two different deals. He worked hard and kept us focused. I can't thank him enough."(DEI PR)(9-4-2008)

  • DEI names Hutchens VP of Competition: Dale Earnhardt Inc. has named NASCAR veteran Bobby Hutchens vice president of competition. Hutchens, who previously served as general manager of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines after a long tenure with Richard Childress Racing, will oversee all competition efforts at Dale Earnhardt Inc., including its four Sprint Cup teams. Hutchens' new position came as the result of a joint decision between DEI and RCR. The championship-winning NASCAR racing organizations have a long history of successful collaboration including, among others, ECR Engines and the RAD aerodynamics program that also included Andy Petree Racing. Hutchens, who graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1982, is highly regarded in Sprint Cup racing for his research, development and computer testing accomplishments. Hutchens has managed and developed all facets of RCR's R&D program, while overseeing RCR's engineering, engines, engine R&D, manufacturing, chassis R&D and aerodynamics programs. He was named general manager of ECR Engines when the program was put together in May 2007.(DEI PR)(8-12-2008)

  • Latest on Truex UPDATE 5 re-signs with DEI: #1-Martin Truex Jr. said he is closer to deciding whether he will be back with Dale Earnhardt Inc. next year. And that's about all he'd say about his future on Friday at Pocono Raceway. DEI plans to pick up its option on Truex for next season but they have yet to come to terms. "Yeah I'm closer [to deciding] - what else do you've got, there's got to be something we could talk about that is better than that," Truex said after qualifying. He later added, "You'll know soon. It's coming."(SceneDaily)(8-12-2008)
    UPDATE: hearing that Truex is talking to Richard Childress Racing about the 4th team ride and a deal could be reached soon.(8-3-2008)
    UPDATE2: on SPEEDtv's NASCAR Raceday, it was reported that Truex Jr. said he is getting closer to re-signing with DEI.(8-2-2008)
    UPDATE3: Richard Childress is still looking for the right driver to add to his Cup team. He said earlier this year that Richard Childress Racing plans to add a fourth Cup driver for next season, joining Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer. But the search has dragged on longer than Childress expected. "You've got to find the right person," Childress said Sunday. "You don't want to mess up the other three (teams). But we're still working on it and I think we'll get it done in the next couple of weeks." Two of the leading candidates for the RCR ride appear to be Casey Mears, who will leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season, and Martin Truex Jr., whose future at Dale Earnhardt Inc. remains up in the air.(AP/ESPN.com)(8-4-2008)
    UPDATE 4: #1-Martin Truex Jr. finalized an agreement on Wednesday to return to Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season with other longer-term plans in place, sources close to the situation said. Truex will discuss his joining forces with DEI on Friday at Watkins Glen International. The deal ends speculation that Truex would leave the company he has been with since making the move from Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Nationwide Series team in 2004. He has been linked most strongly with the #12 car at Penske Racing, #4 at Stewart-Haas Racing and #33 at Richard Childress Racing. The organization is also negotiating a long-term deal to keep Paul Menard, who has improved from 34th in the points standings last season to 28th.(ESPN.com)(8-6-2008)
    UPDATE 5 - Truex re-signs with DEI: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops. Max Siegle, President of DEI, John Story, VP of Motorsports Operations for DEI all met with the media at Watkins Glen and discussed contract renewal, the state of DEI and plans for the future, and more. The transcript in part:
    ON RE-SIGNING WITH DEI: TRUEX JR: "I'm excited and I'm glad to put an end to all the rumors and get rid of all the speculation and solidify my position at DEI. I'm looking forward to running the Bass Pro Shops #1 the rest of this year and next year. I'm looking forward to doing great things with the company and moving forward. This season has been kind of up and down for us, but I really believe in my race team. I believe in the things we're doing at the shop that we can contend to win races and get back to the forum we had last year. I'm looking forward to starting that off this weekend here at Watkins Glen. We've run well here in the past. I've always had good success here in everything we've ever driven. Last year was a really good race for us here, probably one of the best I've ever driven at this race track. So I'm looking forward to the weekend. So hopefully we'll start this thing off and have a good run this weekend and keep things going throughout the rest of the season and get prepared good for next year."
    SIEGEL: "We're very excited to have Martin back for 2009. And as he said, he's a very important part of our program and he knows how much we appreciate him and all of our drivers at DEI. We've been focused on the long-term future of the company and putting a lot of resources in the competition area. John Story and the rest of the management team have done a tremendous job at elevating all of our programs and we're excited to give him all the support that we can to compete for a championship."
    IS IT A ONE-YEAR DEAL AND CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT LED YOU TO YOUR DECISION TO STAY WITH DEI? TRUEX JR: "Yeah, it's through 2009 for right now and a little bit down the road we're going to look at doing some long-term stuff. Right now we just really want to focus on getting the performance back that we had last year and that we had at the beginning part of this year. I think a lot of it has been distraction. As much as I hate to admit it, it's been hard. It's been tough dealing with all the rumors and quite frankly, I think a lot of people have been very critical of DEI for the wrong reasons; for reasons that I don't think were fair to them or anybody that works at that company that puts their heart and soul into what they do.
    STORY: "As far as our 2009 program, obviously our goals have not changed. Four cars is our objective for next year: Certainly the #1 with Martin, the #15 with Paul Menard, the #8 with Aric Almirola, and Regan Smith in the #01. But we are all still working to round out sponsorship on the #01 car. The goal remains to run all four teams next year."(in part from a team Chevy/GM PR)(8-9-2008)

  • Latest on Truex UPDATE 4 re-sign with DEI?: #1-Martin Truex Jr. said he is closer to deciding whether he will be back with Dale Earnhardt Inc. next year. And that's about all he'd say about his future on Friday at Pocono Raceway. DEI plans to pick up its option on Truex for next season but they have yet to come to terms. "Yeah I'm closer [to deciding] - what else do you've got, there's got to be something we could talk about that is better than that," Truex said after qualifying. He later added, "You'll know soon. It's coming."(SceneDaily)(8-12-2008)
    UPDATE: hearing that Truex is talking to Richard Childress Racing about the 4th team ride and a deal could be reached soon.(8-3-2008)
    UPDATE2: on SPEEDtv's NASCAR Raceday, it was reported that Truex Jr. said he is getting closer to re-signing with DEI.(8-2-2008)
    UPDATE3: Richard Childress is still looking for the right driver to add to his Cup team. He said earlier this year that Richard Childress Racing plans to add a fourth Cup driver for next season, joining Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer. But the search has dragged on longer than Childress expected. "You've got to find the right person," Childress said Sunday. "You don't want to mess up the other three (teams). But we're still working on it and I think we'll get it done in the next couple of weeks." Two of the leading candidates for the RCR ride appear to be Casey Mears, who will leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season, and Martin Truex Jr., whose future at Dale Earnhardt Inc. remains up in the air.(AP/ESPN.com)(8-4-2008)
    UPDATE 4: #1-Martin Truex Jr. finalized an agreement on Wednesday to return to Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season with other longer-term plans in place, sources close to the situation said. Truex will discuss his joining forces with DEI on Friday at Watkins Glen International. The deal ends speculation that Truex would leave the company he has been with since making the move from Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Nationwide Series team in 2004. He has been linked most strongly with the #12 car at Penske Racing, #4 at Stewart-Haas Racing and #33 at Richard Childress Racing. The organization is also negotiating a long-term deal to keep Paul Menard, who has improved from 34th in the points standings last season to 28th.(ESPN.com)(8-6-2008)

  • Driven to the Outdoors schemes to be run: The timing for the "Driven to the Outdoors" program is the third quarter ...which aligns with the launch of hunting season. A program targeted towards the outdoors enthusiasts is a solid, strategic fit with the NASCAR fan. Four drivers will run special "Driven to the Outdoors". At Bristol three drivers will run the schemes: #1-Truex Jr., #07-Bowyer and #15-Menard. And #29-Harvick will run the scheme at Lowe's Motor Speedwat in October. See images of the schemes on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(8-5-2008)

  • Truex to re-sign with DEI? UPDATE 4: Mark Martin's new deal with Hendrick Motorsports will make it much easier for DEI to re-sign #1-Martin Truex Jr. Early Sunday morning, sources close to Truex Jr. said Martin's release from the team at the end of the 2008 season would free up more than $8 million dollars. That money now appears to be spearheaded for Truex Jr. DEI has said they have an option on Truex Jr for 2009, an option that Truex Jr has discounted. Mark Martin was being paid more than $8 million dollars to drive part-time according to sources within the DEI organization. Now that Martin has agreed to terms with Hendrick Motorsports to drive the #5 car full-time next season and part-time in 2010, this money has become available for Truex Jr. Sources said DEI and Truex Jr. are closer than ever to announcing a contract extension that would lock in the New Jersey native through 2012 in the #1 car.(Captain Thunder Racing)(7-8-2008)
    UPDATE: According to sources close to Martin Truex Jr., Dale Earnhardt, Inc.(DEI) and Truex Jr. have come to a verbal agreement on a contract extension that would ink the #1 Bass Pro Shop driver through the 2011 Sprint Cup Season. Truex Jr., according to sources, had serious conversations with new team owner Tony Stewart of Stewart HAAS Racing about joining Stewart. The money simply was not there. Truex Jr. was intrigued by teaming with two-time Sprint Cup champion Stewart, but the money DEI has now offered the young flagship driver is too much to pass up. Truex Jr. and DEI are attempting to work out the final details of the contract, which are said to be minuscule, in time for an announcement next week in Long Pond, PA.(Capt Thunder)(7-22-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Martin Truex Jr., who has been speculated as a candidate for every driver opening in the Sprint Cup garage, isn't going anywhere. The 28-year-old New Jersey native has agreed in principal to a two-year deal that will keep him at Dale Earnhardt Inc. through the 2010 season, multiple sources close to the situation told ESPN.com on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sources said an official announcement is expected any day, and that details with multiple sponsors remain to be finalized. Truex, asked if he has an agreement, said: "We're getting there, yeah. Things are going well right. I'm pretty happy. I just want to think about racing this weekend." He has been linked most strongly with the #12 car at Penske Racing,#4 at Stewart-Haas Racing and #33 at Richard Childress Racing. The organization also is negotiating a long-term deal to keep #15-Paul Menard, who has improved from 34th in the point standings last season to 26th. Max Siegel, the president of global operations at DEI, would not comment on negotiations. But Siegel has been emphatic that Truex was a driver he wanted to build the company around.(ESPN.com)(7-26-2008)
    UPDATE 3: Martin Truex Jr. said Saturday after Sprint Cup practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that a published report saying he had reached an agreement in principle to remain at Dale Earnhardt Inc. for two years was not true. Though Truex may well drive for DEI next season, his immediate reaction when asked about the story that appeared on ESPN.com was: "It's [expletive]. I don't know what the hell [the reporter] is talking about. He doesn't know what he's talking about." Truex said he has been involved in fruitful negotiations with DEI's management. "We've been talking a lot," Truex said. "Things have been going well. We're working on some stuff, and that's what I told him." John Story, DEI's vice president of motorsports operations, indicated he has been involved in every aspect of the negotiations and declined comment on the assertions in the story.(NASCAR.com)(7-27-2008)
    UPDATE 4: Dale Earnhardt Inc.s Martin Truex Jr. reportedly was involved in a raised-voice spat with DEI President of Global Operations Max Siegel Saturday night, accusing Siegel of leaking a story to ESPN.com that Truex had agreed to a two-year contract extension. Truex angrily denied the story on Saturday and reported had it out with Siegel that evening.(Ford Racing)(7-29-2008)

  • DEI names interim crew chief for Truex: Mike Greci will serve as #1-Martin Truex's interim crew chief beginning this weekend, the team said Thursday. Greci replaces Kevin Manion, who begins serving his six-race suspension after Dale Earnhardt Inc. lost its appeal this week. Grechi first worked with Truex when Truex competed in what is now called the Camping World East series earlier this decade. Manion can return at Richmond in early September.(Virginian-Pilot)(7-25-2008)

  • Gillett Evernham interested in free agent drivers: Tuesday Gillett Evernham Motorsports owner Ray Evernham spoke to Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody about the possibility of bringing Ryan Newman or any other free agent drivers to his race team for next year.
    Host, Dave Moody: "Are you now, have you ever, or do you anticipate active negotiations with Ryan Newman for a spot in your stable next year?"
    Ray Evernham: "We have not negotiated with Ryan but we have put out the feeler that we would be very interested, certainly, in talking to Ryan about the future as would probably all the other car owners but we've not spoken with Ryan or negotiated with him. But, yes, we are interested in talking to him."
    Moody: "So if your phone rings and he does [call] you back are we talking about a fourth car?"
    Evernham: "Mr. Gillett and I would love to expand to four cars. So if that's going to happen it has to happen quickly but there are opportunities to grow Gillett Evernham Motorsports. But, again, that depends on drivers and sponsors and there are sponsors available with the proper drivers."
    Moody: "Would it be safe to assume then that Ryan Newman might not be the only top notch driver in the final year of his contract that you might have reached out [to] at this point?"
    Evernham: "Yeah, absolutely, but there's no sense in doing a fourth team unless it can add to what we're already building and to start a fourth team without the proper sponsorship or a driver that can add to the program just doesn't make sense. There are a couple of drivers available and there are some sponsors out there that are talking to other teams, too, besides us to put packages together. But if we were to be able to put that package together to strengthen Gillett Evernham we'd certainly do it. The guys that are out there that have been talking to people, certainly that we have spoken to or are interested in speaking [to], are the same guys everybody else has talked to: Ryan Newman, Casey Mears and Martin Truex are the guys that are in the hot rumors right now."(Sirius NASCAR Radio)(7-23-2008)

  • Truex Penalties Upheld: On July 21, 2008, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Dale Earnhardt Inc. regarding the #1 car. The appeal concerned four penalties issued by NASCAR stemming from opening day inspection on July 3, 2008 at the Sprint Cup Series event at Daytona International Speedway. The Appellants did not contest the rules violations, but argued that the penalties were too severe for the infractions. The Appellants explained that rigorous checks and balances in the fabrication process were in place at DEI and could offer no explanation as to why the roof failed to meet the inspection templates. They argued that the infractions were minor in nature, not deliberate, and that the resulting lowered roof was a disadvantage according to their wind tunnel findings. The Commission found that the infractions were clear-cut. The roof was low across a broad area. Accordingly, the penalties that were issued are warranted. Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The periods of the suspensions are to be adjusted from the date of this hearing. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(National Stock Car Racing Commission PR)(7-21-2008)

  • Truex or Stremme to the #12? Penske has offered no hints as to who might replace Ryan Newman. Martin Truex Jr.'s name has been mentioned, but Truex's current contract with DEI is still the subject of legal debate, and it is unclear if DEI will indeed force Truex to return for another season or give him his release. Truex has been pushing quietly to become a free agent. David Stremme, who drove for fellow Dodge owner Chip Ganassi until being released at the end of last season, has been a Penske test driver this season, and Stremme could also be under consideration.(Winston-Salem Journal)(7-15-2008)

  • Truex doesn't rule out driving for Stewart: UPATE: As far as his contract status with DEI, which intends to pick up his option, Truex said those talks took a backseat after the Daytona infraction. "Certainly, last week . . . I said to myself, this isn't the first thing on my list," Truex said of his contract. "Through this week, we've had great meetings about what happened, how we want to fix it, the direction we're headed as a race team, and so hopefully this week we'll get back to talking about the rest of that stuff. It's been going well. There's just been a lot of other things on the plate as a race team to figure out." He did not rule out he could be a candidate for the second team at the newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing. "I guess if you look around the garage, anybody who doesn't have a contract signed for next year you have to look at as a candidate . . . for that deal right now," Truex said. (ESPN.com)(7-12-2008)
    UPDATE: Sources confirmed to [Captain Thunder] that Newman is a done deal and an announcement is coming soon. What [Captain Thunder] also learned, is that Martin Truex Jr. may be joining Newman and Stewart. Sources said, Stewart is now looking to field a powerhouse three-car team, and sponsors are lining up to be a part of the newly formed venture. According to sources close to the situation, the Office Depot and Old Spice deals are set, but sources also said Burger King and UPS are working diligently with Stewart to sponsor his second and third racecars, if they can convince Truex Jr. to come along for the ride with Stewart HAAS Racing. Although DEI is working very hard to re-sign Truex Jr. and are throwing some huge numbers at the driver of the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy, Stewart is trying to convince Truex Jr. to join him and Newman at the newly formed Stewart HAAS Racing in hope of forming a powerhouse racing team. And, Truex Jr. may be ripe for the picking.(Captain Thunder Racing)(7-13-2008)

  • Earnhardt Jr. not interested in buying DEI: Dale Earnhardt Jr. wanted at least 51 percent of Dale Earnhardt Inc. last season before he opted for a fresh start at Hendrick Motorsports. If the company were up for sale now? "I don't mean this in a bad way, but I would not have any interest in purchasing it," Earnhardt said following Thursday's first practice at Chicagoland Speedway. "I would not have any interest in purchasing any race team, just to have the ownership." The subject was broached because of an Internet report earlier in the week that claimed DEI owner Teresa Earnhardt had commissioned the investment banking firm Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. to locate a buyer or financial partner. DEI president Max Siegel refuted the report, saying the company is not for sale.(ESPN.com)(7-11-2008)

  • DEI to Appeal #1 Team Penalties: Dale Earnhardt Inc. is appealing at least the suspensions of #1 team crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion and car chief Gary Putnam. Manion and Putnam were working in the garage at Chicagoland Speedway today, and suspended personnel are not allowed at the track unless their penalty is being appealed. DEI Vice President John Story confirmed Thursday afternoon that the team will appeal. The appeal will be heard July 21. "We've been granted an opportunity for appeal and anything we have to say about the appeal will be done during the hearing we've been granted," said Story, who would not elaborate on the scope and basis for the appeal.(SceneDaily.com)(7-10-2008)

  • #01 car soon to be 'sidelined'? other DEI stuff: ....however Regan Smith, the promising rookie who may not have any sponsorship next season at DEI, will apparently soon be sidelined; Mark Martin is leaving DEI at the end of the season to join Rick Hendrick; Martin Truex Jr. is trying to leave DEI at the end of the year, though that legal issue is still up in the air; and Paul Menard's wealthy father John is reported talking with Ford's Jack Roush apparently about moving his financial NASCAR stake there, presumably with Paul Menard driving a Roush-Yates Ford in 2009. That only leaves DEI with newcomer Aric Almirola.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-10-2008)

  • #1 car doesn't fit templates, seized by NASCAR UPDATE2: During opening day technical inspection Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR seized the #1 DEI Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. NASCAR said that during the tech inspection the car did not fit the roof templates. The team was allowed to try again and when they failed again the car was seized and will be taken to NASCAR's R&D center for further evaluation. The team was told to bring their back up car out for inspection.(Cup Scene Online)(7-3-2008)
    UPDATE: #1-Martin Truex Jr. was furious with his Dale Earnhardt Inc. team Thursday after was car was seized by NASCAR officials because it failed to fit the critical roof templates, which are keys to the aerodynamic performance of the car. The immediate effects were obvious enough: Truex was forced to go to a backup after his primary car was taken prior to Thursday's opening round of practice for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. His DEI team could not get the car ready in time to make the first of only two rounds of practice, which put Truex far behind the other drivers. In fact, of the 45 cars entered in Saturday's race, Truex's #1 DEI Chevy was the only one that failed to make a single lap in the first practice session. And that had the Mayetta, N.J., native irked. Asked what the team told him was the problem, Truex said, "Something about the roof template. I don't know. I guess NASCAR wasn't happy with the way it fit. It's their ballgame, it's their call. They took the car. We're trying to get our backup (car) ready, they had to put an engine in it and get everything ready." And he made it clear he was not happy with his team. "Somebody made a big mistake," said Truex, who is expected to leave DEI after his contract expires at the end of 2008 [Haas/Stewart? Penske? RCR?]. "That shouldn't happen at this level of auto racing, but people make mistakes. We'll go on. Hopefully we'll make the second practice." [Happy Hour was rained out, so Truex got no practice](SPEEDtv), also expect Truec and the team to be penalized by NASCAR, usually announced on Tuesday, looking at at least a 100pt penalty, which could kill their Chase hopes as Truex is now 71 points back going into Daytona.(7-4-2008)
    UPDATE 2 - PENALTIES: NASCAR has issued penalties, fines and suspensions to the car #1 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rules infractions found last week at Daytona International Speedway. The car driven by Martin Truex Jr., was found to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-3.8A (roof of the car does not conform to the specifications) of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rule book. As a result, Truex Jr. and car owner Teresa Earnhardt have been penalized 150 championship driver and 150 championship owner points, respectively. Both the crew chief, Kevin Manion, and the car chief, Gary Putnam, have been suspended from the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, suspended from NASCAR until Aug. 27 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Additionally, Manion has been fined $100,000. The infractions were discovered July 3 during opening day inspection.(NASCAR PR), the penalty moves Truex from 14th in drivers pts, -88 out of the Chase to 18th in drivers points, 238 points out of the Chase. See revised points standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Daytona page.(7-8-2008)

  • Statement from Dale Earnhardt Inc. Regarding #1 Team Fine: Following NASCAR's announcement that it has fined the Dale Earnhardt Inc. #1 car 150 car owner points, 150 driver points and issued a $100,000 fine for crew chief Kevin Manion, as well as a six-race suspension for Manion and car chief Gary Putnam, Dale Earnhardt Inc. vice president of motorsports operations John Story issued the following statement: "We are still trying to understand how the car fit our templates multiple times at the shop, but we respect NASCAR's determination that one of our cars did not exactly conform to their template at the track. We have not decided if we will pursue our options to appeal. Under NASCAR's rules, we have 10 days to notify the sanctioning body of any appeal."(DEI PR)(7-8-2008)

  • Teresa Earnhardt Looking to sell DEI? UPDATE 2 Reports Refuted: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway is reporting today that Teresa Earnhardt has enlisted the services of Bear, Stearns and Company [actally there is no more Bear Stearns as JP Morgan aquired them] to find a buyer -- or at least a major financial investor -- for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Bear Stearns is an investment bank, securities trading and brokerage firm based in New York City, and has been charged with finding a buyer for the entire operation. Barring that, Earnhardt is said to be interested in selling at least a minority interest in the team. DEI President of Global Operations Max Siegel declined to comment on the story when contacted earlier today.(Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway)(7-7-2008)
    UPDATE: Max Siegel, President of Global Operations at DEI is currently in negotiations with major investors to buy Teresa Earnhardt out of DEI, a source close to the negotiations said Monday. It appears now that Teresa is finally willing to sell, and Siegel is working diligently with a number of potential investors to take the company over. Sources said Siegel would not just be buying a portion of DEI or a controlling interest, rather, he would be buying the entire company. Sources said, Teresa has agreed to walk away from the company entirely for the right price. That price is supposedly somewhere between $115-$130 million dollars. With one exception...Teresa would retain the rights to all "Dale Earnhardt' and 'Intimidator' rights and merchandise sales. Siegel would only be buying the DEI race teams, and real estate including all race shops and the DEI headquarters in Mooresville, NC. Sources said Siegel is very serious about the purchase and appears to have investors salivating over the opportunity to own the legendary team. In addition, Teresa has grown more frustrated with NASCAR nation following her fall-out with the sports most popular driver, and wants nothing more than to be out of the public eye for good.(Captain Thunder Racing)(7-8-2008)
    UPDATE 2 reports refuted: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. is not for sale -- right now. DEI president Max Siegel on Tuesday refuted an Internet report that company owner Teresa Earnhardt had commissioned investment banking firm Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc. to locate a buyer or financial investment partner. "We have not engaged Bear, Stearns or Goldman Sachs or anyone else," Siegel said. "We are contacted all the time by outside firms about getting involved in the sport. We are not for sale right now. Nothing is imminent. Are we constantly weighing that as an option? Does that make sense? Quite frankly, we don't know," Siegel said. "Every team is looking for a way to bring in appropriate resources. Every single one. We haven't engaged anybody. People obviously approach us -- they're approaching everybody. We're looking to be around for a long time in future. We're feeling pretty damn good about where we're going, competition-wise." Siegel was forced to approach his driving corps with assurance that the team is currently not for sale. "I have assured them it's not true," Siegel said.(ESPN.com)(7-8-2008)

  • First Daytona pole for DEI: #15-Paul Menard's Pole in the qualifying session for the Coke Zero 400 is the first by any Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver at Daytona International Speedway. In addition, the pole is the first by a DEI driver in the Sprint Cup Series at either of the two NASCAR restrictor plate tracks (Daytona or Talladega Superspeedway). Menard will start alongside Dale Earnhardt Inc. teammate Mark Martin in the race. The second-place qualifying effort is Martin's best at Daytona since 1990 and his best at a restrictor plate track since qualifying second at Talladega in 1991.(DEI PR)(7-5-2008)

  • Special scheme for Truex at Daytona UPDATE: #1-Martin Truex Jr. will run a special paint scheme at Daytona next week in the Coke Zero 400. It promotes 'Swing Vote', in theaters August 1st. In addition, Kevin Costner will be on the pit box as the honorary crew chief. See an image of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2008)
    UPDATE: Martin Truex's car will carry a special paint scheme this weekend to promote Kevin Costner's new movie, "Swing Vote", opening in theaters August 1. The actor will also serve as honorary crew chief for the #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevy. "We don't run that many special paint schemes in a season, so it's really cool to be doing this with Kevin," Truex said with a laugh. "I'll have to make a deal with him, though. I won't try to act if he doesn't try to make the calls for us on pit road."(DEI PR)(7-3-2008)

  • Truex still talking to DEI about contract: #1-Martin Truex Jr. was on the weekly NASCAR teleconference and spoke about his contract situation:
    Q. Your name has been thrown up a lot in the garage as far as your future goes - can you give us any indication right now what you're thinking about for the future?
    MARTIN TRUEX, JR.: Way to start it off. You know, I'm not sure. Right now we're working hard with DEI to put some things together for next year. Really it's just a lot of - it's taken a little bit longer than expected for both of us, both sides - on my side and on DEI's side. We're just trying to get through the details. For me, it's just trying to get comfortable and be comfortable in the position I'm in . what they're doing and the direction they're headed for the future, so I can make sure that we can be together for a long time.
    Q. What are you looking for as far as comfort? Is it the fact that you want race victories? What else are you looking for?
    MARTIN TRUEX, JR.: Well, a lot of things. You know, good direction for the future of a championship. I think obviously there are some things going on with our race cars and other teams that I'm not quite sure what's happened with them. So just a lot of things here and there. The performance hasn't been as good as it's been this year for whatever reason. We've had an okay season. We've run really well at times and we've run not so well at times. So we've had a lot of bad luck spread throughout the season, especially the beginning part of the year which has got us in this position right now. We really just need to dig deep for now and try to get a win or two before the Chase starts. We really just need to get some points and try to make the Chase and battle for that championship like we did last year.
    Q. Do you have a timetable for that decision?
    MARTIN TRUEX, JR.: No. But we're working on it every day, really, so just as soon as we can get it all ironed out.(NASCAR)(6-25-2008)

  • Truex expects to re-sign with DEI: #1-Martin Truex Jr. doesn't want to talk much about his contract, which is up after this season. But the Stafford Township, N.J., native says he wants to sign a long-term deal with Dale Earnhardt Inc. "We're just working on some stuff," he said Saturday of the negotiations. On April 28, ESPN.com reported that DEI had picked up Truex's option for the 2009 season. However, there have since been other reports stating that deal was not yet complete and that Truex remains a possible free agent. DEI president of global operations Max Siegel has said signing Truex long-term is a priority. Truex declined to talk in detail about his contract status but said it has been difficult dealing with the issue on top of the pressure of being one of the Sprint Cup series' top drivers - last year, he qualified for the 12-driver Chase for the Championship for the first time, and this year he became DEI's top driver when Dale Earnhardt Jr. left as a free agent for Hendrick Motorsports. "It's a pain," Truex said. "It's a big pain. That's why I try not to talk about it. We'll see what happens. We'll get it done, and when it's done, everybody will know."(Atlantic City Press)(6-1-2008)

  • Truex to Penske? with UPS? UPDATE UPS denies: hearing that Martin Truex, current driver of the #1 DEI Chevy, could be headed to a 4th Penske Racing team with UPS as the sponsor.(5-4-2008)
    UPDATE - UPS denies negotiating with any team: UPS officials released a statement Monday saying the company is not currently in negotiations with any specific Sprint Cup team or driver. UPS currently sponsors the #44 driven by David Reutimann. Michael Waltrip Racing Vice President Cal Wells has said that UPS has had preliminary discussions with six teams about what cars and drivers they would have open for 2009 and "UPS is doing exactly what they should be doing. We either earn the business back or we won't." But to say that UPS has started negotiations with any team is not accurate, according to a company official. "As of this date, UPS is not engaged in formal active sponsorship negotiations with any NASCAR Sprint Cup driver or race team," read the statement, attributed to UPS Director of Sponsorship & Events Ron Rogowski. With Dale Jarrett's retirement this year, UPS is looking for another face for a long-term campaign. One of the drivers often mentioned is #99-Carl Edwards, who right now is sponsored by Office Depot. Roush Fenway Racing and Office Depot currently are in an exclusive negotiating period for Edwards. "UPS went to six or eight race teams, visited them, to get all the inventory that they all had," Roush Fenway President Geoff Smith said Saturday. "And from that, they told us they would cut it down amongst the teams. There's been no negotiating."(SceneDaily.com)(5-6-2008)

  • DEI picks up option on Truex, good thru 2009 UPDATE not so fast?: When there's been talk about potential free agents for 2009, #1-Martin Truex, Jr. has had his name passed around in more than one story or conversation. There's one hitch. His current deal with Dale Earnhardt Inc is good through next season according to team president Max Siegel. "We have an option that we've picked up for 2009, so that's always reported in a confusing way. We love Martin and we're having discussions about extending it for a long-term deal, but we're good through 2009. He's important to our organization...we're giving him everything we possibly can and what he needs to win and be happy here long term." Siegel also thinks the on track performance of all four DEI cars is on the upswing. "I think we're making significant progress. The #15 team's performance on a weekly basis is indicative of how we've elevated the program. We've got to stay very patient and focused. If you look at the #1 team and the #8...we're doing great...got some consistency with our engines and the energy is just fantastic."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-28-2008)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Inc. holds an option on Truex that it wants to exercise, but Truex has to agree to the terms under the language of his existing deal.(ESPN.com/AP)(5-2-2008)

  • Important two months ahead for Truex: If free agent-to-be #1-Martin Truex Jr. is considering employment with another team, the next two months should help him make up his mind. Starting with last year's spring race at Talladega, Truex shrugged off a slow start with finishes of 11th or better in six of nine races -- including a dominant win at Dover. During that stretch, Truex rose from 20th in the standings to ninth. But Truex's situation is much different this season. He's feeling the pressure to duplicate last year's performance and is unable to sneak up on competitors. The good news is that Truex may not have to worry about finding a new employer. His performance to date has been much better than in the first eight races of last year. If Truex decides to bolt, Richard Childress Racing's new fourth car would be a step up. Truex is a good qualifier and probably wouldn't sweat too much over the first five races of next season, when he would have to qualify solely on time. Also, Truex would be joining an organization whose current drivers rank among the top eight in points. If Truex's cars don't measure up to his expectations during these next two months, the decision to leave will become that much easier. And it would leave DEI without any full-time premier drivers.(NASCAR.com)(4-23-2008)

  • Truex focused on racing - not contract: #1-Martin Truex Jr. says that he's not worried about contract talks with his Dale Earnhardt Inc. team yet [his contract runs out at end of season]. He's too busy focusing on improving his performance. These days, just five races into the season, his thoughts are on racing, not negotiations of the contract that ends this season. "I haven't even looked down that road yet," he said of any potential contract developments. "I'm so focused on winning right now with my team and giving these guys everything I've got."(SceneDaily)(3-30-2008)

  • Truex discussing re-signing with DEI: #1-Martin Truex Jr. is in a contract year, and while some preliminary discussions have been held considering an extension, he insisted Feb. 7 that he wasn't focused on that right now. Truex has spent the previous four years as part of Dale Earnhardt Inc., the first two in the Busch (now Nationwide) Series with Chance 2 Motorsports (co-owned by DEI and Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and the other two in Cup. "We've talked about it a little bit and that's as far as it went," Truex said. "We need to go out here and win races and concentrate on racing. We'll worry about that stuff later on."(SceneDaily.com), sponsor Bass Pro Shops and crew chief Kevin Manion are signed thru 2010. .

  • New sponsors for DEI: Dale Earnhardt Inc. has secured two new sponsors for the 2008 season, Steak-umm and Cub Cadet. Both deals are for mostly associate positions on DEI cars but also involve primary positions in select Sprint Cup races. Terms of the deals were not available. Steak-umm's sponsorship will involve a full season of associate sponsorship on Mark Martin's #8 Chevy, as well as a primary for the June Pocono race. In May, Steak-umm will be the primary sponsor on DEI's #01 Chevy driven by Regan Smith at Richmond. Cub Cadet, which also has status as NASCAR's official outdoor power equipment, has bought associate space on Martin Truex Jr.'s #1 Chevy with a primary planned for the Chicagoland race in July. Charlotte-based Camp Strategy represented Cub Cadet. There's also a business-to-business component, which involves Bass Pro Shops, the yearlong primary on Truex's car, possibly selling Cub Cadet equipment in its stores. .(Sporting News/Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal)(1-15-2008) Conversation

2007 News

  • #1 crew chief Manion signs 3yr deal: Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced it has signed crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion to a three-year deal that will continue his long-term tenure at DEI. "Chemistry is a very important part of any race team and I'm excited that we'll be able to continue to build on what we have accomplished over the past several years," said Manion. "We are looking forward to getting back out there on the track in January and hopefully starting to build on what can be a championship season."
    "We are very pleased to sign Kevin to a multi-year agreement," said John Story, vice president of motorsports operations at Dale Earnhardt Inc. "Kevin is a long time and loyal employee of Dale Earnhardt Inc., and his accomplishments speak for themselves. He is a proven championship caliber crew chief, and is dedicated to our Company. We look forward to him continuing to build our organization towards the future." Manion helped guide the #1 Bass Pro Shops Team and Martin Truex Jr. to a berth in the Chase for the Nextel Cup in 2007. In addition, the team notched its first win at Dover in June.(DEI PR)(12-21-2007)

  • Richie Gilmore Back at Work: Richie Gilmore has returned to work and to his new job full time. Gilmore, Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s former vice president of competition, had suffered a mild stroke in early October. He is back at work as chief operating officer of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies.(SceneDaily.com)(12-11-2007)

  • Some changes at DEI? New crew chief for Menard? UPDATE confirmed: hearing that Dave Charpentier, current Paul Menard's crew chief on the #15 Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc Chevy, will become DEI's Technical Director, overseeing the engineering support of the four Cup Teams [#01,#1,#8,#15] and development of DEI's race cars going forward. Also, hearing that Doug Randolph, current crew chief of Petty Enterprises #43 Dodge team that Bobby Labonte drives for, will become Paul Menard's crew chief of the #15 in 2008.(11-6-2007)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Inc. continued to strengthen its motorsports operation with the promotion of several key industry experts and the addition of a veteran crew chief to its roster. Dave Charpentier, current crew chief of the #15 Menards Chevy, has been promoted to technical director, and Doug Randolph, current crew chief of the #43 Petty Enterprises car driven by Bobby Labonte, will take over as crew chief for Paul Menard and the #15. Charpentier, a long-time Dale Earnhardt Inc. employee, will oversee all aspects of engineering for the four-car Nextel Cup Series operation. He was trained as a nuclear engineer during a seven-year career in the United States Navy, and since 1989 has served in an engineering capacity with multiple NASCAR teams. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in nuclear science. Randolph is a University of Tennessee graduate and served as a crew chief at MB2 Motorsports/Ginn Racing for the previous four seasons. He will join the team on November 26. Walter Giles, current race engineer on the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, was named Director of Race Engineering and Jason Anderson was named Director of Design and Project Engineering. Giles and Anderson will report to Charpentier. In addition, Rex Garrett has been promoted to Director of Motorsports Operations. The nine-year Dale Earnhardt Inc. veteran will oversee the day-to-day activities of the race shop.(DEI PR)(11-8-2007)

  • Four court cases against Ginn dismissed, settled? Former Ginn Racing drivers Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin as well as former crew chiefs Peter Sospenzo and Richard "Slugger" Labbe apparently have reached settlements with former team owner Bobby Ginn. All four cases - filed in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C. - have been dismissed, indicating that settlements have been reached. The drivers and crew chiefs were asking for the fulfillment of their contracts. The case files do not indicate how much they were paid, only that the drivers and crew chiefs have dismissed their claims. Ginn Racing merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc. in July, leaving Nemechek, Marlin, Sospenzo and Labbe as well as several other crew members without jobs. There are still two lawsuits involving other crew members pending against Ginn.(SceneDaily.com)(11-6-2007)

  • DEI's Gilmore back in hospital: Richie Gilmore, vice president of competition for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., is back in the hospital, four weeks after suffering a brain aneurysm, said DEI's Vice President of Motorsports Operations, John Story. According to Story, Gilmore was scheduled to return to work at DEI on Monday, but after a medical examination was checked into a hospital in the Winston-Salem, N.C., area on Saturday. Sunday morning at Texas Motor Speedway, Story said he had no update on Gilmore's condition or prognosis for when he might return to work. Gilmore suffered the aneurysm four weeks ago, prior to the Talladega race weekend. He was hospitalized briefly in Birmingham and then returned to his home in North Carolina.(SPEEDtv.com)(11-5-2007)

  • Chevy Renews with DEI: Chevy will continue its partnership with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. in 2008 and beyond. "Chevy enjoyed a successful relationship, including six NASCAR Cup championships, with the legendary Dale Earnhardt behind the wheel of his Richard Childress Racing Chevy, and we're proud of our longstanding relationship with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. which extends all the way back to when Dale and Teresa Earnhardt founded the business," said Ed Peper, Chevy general manager. "We're pleased to be a part of the DEI family and look forward to continued success with one of racing's leading organizations."(Chevy PR)(10-26-2007)

  • DEI workers blamed for airborne shot at Bobby Ginn: Three DEI employees who allegedly planned and paid for a derogatory banner to fly over Lowe's Motor Speedway last weekend have been fired. The banner, which read, "How much does Bobby Ginn owe you?" was pulled by a plane and flown over Lowe's before the start of last Saturday night's race. The banner was directed at the former NASCAR team owner, who allowed his organization to be acquired by DEI after just one year of ownership, leaving about 100 people out of a job. But Kasey Brooks, Mike Clark and Greg Price were hired by DEI after the merger, and are believed to be responsible for the banner. Clark and Price were fabricators at DEI, and Brooks worked in the parts department. "We addressed the situation internally, dealt with it appropriately and we're quite frankly embarrassed that this situation ever arose," DEI general manager John Story said. There have been grumblings throughout the garage that Ginn owes former employees back salaries, and drivers Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek and two crew chiefs have sued him for payment. That lawsuit is in the final stages of being settled, and Ginn sent a Sept. 27 letter to most of his former employees that promised back-owed team bonuses would be paid in full via an Oct. 3 direct deposit.(AP/Thatsracin)(10-20-2007)

  • Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Steve Hmiel Part Ways: UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Inc. and director of competition Steve Hmiel have parted company. Hmiel's responsibilities have been redistributed throughout the organization and his replacement will be named soon. "I have enjoyed a wonderful association with Dale Earnhardt Inc. over the past nine years," said Hmiel. "It is time for me to pursue other endeavors and reestablish new goals for myself."(DEI PR)(10-18-2007)
    UPDATE: Steve Hmiel says it was a difference in opinion that led to his departure from Dale Earnhardt Inc. "Just a difference in philosophy," Hmiel said of the split Friday at Martinsville Speedway. "It was a job I grew into, so there wasn't really ever a definition [of the position]. I started out doing one thing, then added things along the way and pretty soon, you find yourself doing a lot of different stuff. But I really enjoyed it. It's a different world now, a different time. Some of the things I saw chaffed against me, and some of the things I did chaffed against them. So we sat down and talked about it and thought we might ought to just go do this."(SceneDaily.com)(10-19-2007)

  • Martin Truex Jr. Announces Foundation: #1-Martin Truex Jr. announced he has started a foundation that will benefit children in need. Truex Jr. donated a check in the amount of $100,000 to the foundation in making the announcement. "I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by a loving family and supportive friends," said Truex. "They have helped me get to where I am today. When I joined Dale Earnhardt Inc. I made a promise to myself to give back to those less fortunate than me. The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation is the realization of that promise. The foundation is dedicated to providing funds to non-profit, charitable organizations that will properly impact the lives of children. It will benefit children in my hometown in New Jersey, as well as the town of Mooresville, North Carolina, and the surrounding area. There are so many kids who could accomplish things in their lives if only given the right tools. My goal is to help these kids any way I can. Our first project, "Little Bears for Little Kids", is a stuffed animal drive for children who have been served by the Dove House in Statesville, North Carolina. We have collected several thousand stuffed animals for the children in need. I need to thank everyone with all of these corporations who have helped to make this a success." The Dale Earnhardt Foundation also donated $5,000 to the fund. The Earnhardt Foundation will donate $3,000 for each victory Truex Jr. earns for the rest of 2007 and in 2008. Bass Pro Shops will also donate 1,000 stuffed bears to the Little Bears for Little Kids program. Eight hundred and twenty-seven of the bears were donated today to the Dove House in Statesville, which benefits victims of child abuse.(Lowes Motor Speedway PR)(10-15-2007)

  • Gilmore falls ill, hospitalized, released UPDATE 2: SPEED qualifying coverage reported that DEI's VP of Competition Richie Gilmore, was taken to a Birmingham, AL hospital for a possible stroke, but was later diagnosed as an aneurysm. Gilmore was released and is headed in NC.(SPEED qualifying coverage)(10-6-2007)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. vice president Richie Gilmore has been treated and released from a Birmingham, Ala. hospital after suffering what has been diagnosed as a minor aneurysm. Gilmore suffered stroke-like symptoms on Friday and was taken to Birmingham for evaluation. He is currently back home in Mooresville, NC. "I spoke with both Richie and his wife Lisa on a couple of different occasions today and Richie is doing well," said Max Siegel, president of global operations for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. "He was released today from the hospital and he's back home getting some rest. He will undergo further evaluation and precautionary testing next week."(DEI PR)(10-7-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Richie Gilmore is expected to be out at least a month after suffering a brain aneurysm last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Gilmore was released from a Birmingham, Ala., hospital on Saturday and returned to Charlotte by plane. He was hospitalized again on Monday for tests, but his blood was too thick to do a proper dye test. He underwent the dye test on Wednesday and was scheduled for two MRI's on Thursday. Hmiel said Robbie Benson has taken over Gilmore's duties heading up DEI's side of the engine program with Richard Childress Racing.(ESPN.com)(10-11-2007)

  • DEI West to house Cup cars; #01 stays: Max Siegel, president of Global Operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc., said the facility DEI inherited in the merger with Ginn Racing has been renamed DEI West. Siegel said Sunday that the #15 Chevrolet team and the #01 Chevy operation already have moved to the DEI West building. The #8 team and the #1 operation will stay at DEI headquarters until the end of the season. "We don't want to do anything to disrupt the 1 [Martin Truex Jr.] or the 8 [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] right now," Siegel said. "Those teams work really well together." Truex is DEI's one driver in the Chase. After all the Cup teams move to the new facility, current DEI headquarters will house all the administrative offices, along with the Busch Series team and Busch East operation. Siegel also said he hopes to make an announcement within two weeks on a new sponsor for the #01 Chevy. Siegel confirmed that DEI has decided to continue to use 01 as the number.(ESPN.com)(10-1-2007)

  • Truex Racing with Broken Toe: #1-Martin Truex Jr. will race this weekend at Kansas Speedway with a broken bone. It's a small bone in the "pinky" toe of his left foot. "It's all good," Truex said Friday. "I'm fine. I kicked the ottoman in my living room," Truex said. "It hurt a little to put my shoe on [Friday] morning, but since I've been walking around, it feels pretty good," Truex said.(SceneDaily.com)(9-29-2007)

  • Another Earnhardt on track at Dover UPDATE Caisse wins, Logano Champ: Fans of the Earnhardt family have another driver to cheer for at Dover International Speedway today, as Jeffrey Earnhardt will drive the #1 Chevrolet in the Sunoco 150 Busch East Series race. Jeffrey Earnhardt is the son of Kerry and the grandson of the late seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt Sr. The 18-year-old is a developmental driver for Dale Earnhardt Inc.(Delaware News Journal)(9-21-2007)
    UPDATE: Sean Caisse held off newly crowned Busch East Series champion Joey Logano to score his first win at the Monster Mile, and fourth of the 2007 season. Earnhardt finished 3rd, Jesus Hernandez finished fourth with Tim McCreadie fifth. McCreadie will attempt to qualify for the Busch Series race at Dover on Saturday. Caisse finished second to Logano in the 2007 points race. Earnhardt's car was a hand-me-down from his uncle. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ran the car at the All-Star race in May.(DIS PR)(9-22-2007)
  • Truex Jr. to sign his seat in the DuPont Monster Bridge: #1-Martin Truex Jr. will visit the Dupont Monster Bridge at Dover International Speedway for a brief press event to sign the #1 seat. Truex will sign this seat as part of a Dover tradition, with race winners of the Nextel Cup events at the Speedway being invited to sign their respective seat in the special structure.(DIS PR)(9-21-2007)

  • Marlin, Nemechek file lawsuit against Ginn Racing, DEI Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek have sued Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. for alleged breaches of their contracts, which included a base salary of $1.2 million apiece. The separate suits, filed Sept. 7 in Cabarrus County, N.C., do not specify how much they have been paid or what they exactly are owed. Also suing Ginn and DEI are crew chiefs Richard "Slugger" Labbe and Peter Sospenzo. Ginn and DEI merged prior to the Indianapolis race in July, and Marlin and Nemechek found themselves without a place in the organization. The points of the #14 of Marlin ended up moving to the #15 of DEI with Paul Menard as the driver, while the #13 Nemechek team was eliminated. "Demand for payment has been made ..., but [Ginn and DEI] have failed and/or refused to pay all or any part," the complaints state. The contracts of both drivers and both crew chiefs were filed as part of the complaints and give an insight to what the current rate is for drivers. Both drivers joined the organization when it was MB2 Motorsports. Marlin began in 2006 with a base salary of $1.1 million, and that increased to $1.2 million for 2007. Nemechek started with MB2 in 2004 and received $900,000 for 2004, $1 million for 2005, $1.1 million for 2006 and $1.2 million for 2007. Both drivers got to keep 45% of their race winnings (Nemechek, who was 27th in points in 2006, had $4,099,914 million total in race winnings last year, while Marlin, 34th in points, had $3,248,034 million) and 33% of souvenir sales. Their bonus schedules were $50,000 per win, $25,000 for a top-five, $10,000 for a top-10 and $5,000 per pole. Winning a Cup title was worth a $500,000 bonus, while second through fifth in the final standings were worth $250,000; sixth through 10th were $150,000; 11th through 15th were $100,000 and 16th through 20th were $50,000. Each received a $500 per race travel allowance, a seat on the team plane and a hotel room for each race. They also got a personal car. They agreed to 50 hours of personal appearances for a sponsor plus two days for commercials or media events as well as unlimited track hospitality visits not to exceed 30 minutes in length. They were both responsible for their own insurance. There is a morals clause in each contract stating they "shall not associate with gamblers or other notorious characters; shall not use illegal drugs; and shall not consume alcoholic beverages except in moderation but in no event within eight hours prior to driving in a race or practice."
    As far as the crew chiefs, Labbe, hired as the crew chief for Marlin in August 2006, and Sospenzo, hired as crew chief for Nemechek in October 2006, were earning $450,000 annual salaries. Labbe was guaranteed another $50,000 if his bonus money didn't reach that amount, while Sospenzo was guaranteed $25,000. Their bonuses were $20,000 for a win, $10,000 for second-fifth, $5,000 for sixth-10th, $2,500 for 11th-15th and $1,000 for a pole. A season championship was worth $100,000, second-fifth ($75,000) and sixth-10th were $50,000 for Labbe and sixth-12th were $50,000 for Sospenzo. They also got a personal vehicle as well as reimbursement for motorhome expenses. They agreed to make 10 away-from-the-track appearances. They also signed confidentiality agreements related to technical data and car setups. They also agreed that if they left they company, they would not attempt to hire any crew members for a year.(SceneDaily.com)(9-10-2007)

  • Truex Jr.'s 2007 Fan Club Gathering: The 2007 Fan Club gathering will be held on Wednesday, October 10th 2007. The event will be at Dale Earnhardt Inc. in Mooresville, NC. You must be a fan club member to purchase tickets. Fan Club members are allowed to purchase as many tickets as needed for this year's event. (If you're not yet a member you can join the fan club at www.martintruexjr.com). During the 2007 Fan Club gathering Martin Truex Jr. will be making a special announcement regarding his future foundation. Official merchandise for the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation will go on sale for the first time during this event. All proceeds raised at the fan club gathering will be donated to the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. Join us on the evening of October 10th at 6:30pm/et and be part of Martin's special announcement. The first 200 Fan Club members that purchase tickets will get a Martin Truex Jr. Autographed item. All attendees will meet & greet Martin. Come join the fun and get a goodie bag filled with some merchandise from various sponsors and vendors. During the event we will have a silent auction, raffles, door prizes and delicious Hors D'oeuvres. More info at www.martintruexjr.com and www.daleearnhardtinc.com.(9-5-2007)

  • No crew chief changes at the new DEI: There will be no immediate crew chief changes as a result of the Dale Earnhardt Inc.-Ginn Racing merger, but not all the crew chiefs will work out of the same shop. Paul Menard's #15 team will move immediately into the Ginn Racing building, where the former Ginn #01 team also will be housed, DEI Vice President John Story said Thursday. The DEI teams of #1-Martin Truex Jr. and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will remain at the current DEI shop until the end of the season. As far as drivers, Mark Martin and Aric Almirola will complete the season co-driving the #01 car. That leaves Regan Smith, who was named last week to drive the now-defunct #14 Ginn car, without a Cup ride. Having started the year as Martin's co-driver, Smith will compete in the Craftsman Truck Series race Friday night in Indianapolis. The rest of the schedule for Smith is still being evaluated. As far as crew chiefs, Dave Charpentier, who became Menard's crew chief in June, will remain as his crew chief, and Ryan Pemberton remains with Mark Martin. Former Ginn crew chiefs Richard "Slugger" Labbe and Peter Sospenzo (who worked with the now-defunct #14 and #13 Ginn teams) are in the pool of employees who are waiting to see what happens.
    Crew chiefs aren't the only ones in limbo: DEI already had two development drivers - Jeffrey Earnhardt and Trevor Bayne - in its fold. With the merger, it also now has Kraig Kinser, Jesus Hernandez and Ricky Carmichael. Story said Carmichael's program is fairly solid because it has sponsorship from Monster energy drink, and DEI currently has Earnhardt's and Bayne's cars sold for the rest of this season. As far as executives, it still is to be determined what role former Ginn Racing Chief Executive Officer Jay Frye will play in the company. "We've only just begun to discuss it," Story said. "Jay has put his heart and soul and blood and guts into this company over the years, and we really want to know what Jay wants to do. We haven't gotten to that point where we've drawn a new [organizational] chart."
    Workers in the fabrication shop know where they're headed. As part of the transition, DEI will move all of its fabrication work all to the Ginn shop, which has a seven-post shaker rig, a million-dollar piece of machinery that evaluates how a car handles. The Ginn shop has 180,000 square feet in one large room, which will allow all four Cup teams to be on the same floor and should improve communications among the teams, Story said. The two shops are at most 10 minutes apart. Story said the existing DEI shop will house two Busch Series teams in the future, as well as possibly a Craftsman Truck Series program and a two-car Busch East program.(SceneDaily.com)(7-26-2007)

  • Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Ginn Racing Merge; Official Announcement: Dale Earnhardt Inc. has become even stronger through a merger with Ginn Racing. Effective immediately, the team will feature the Chevys of #15-Paul Menard, #1-Martin Truex Jr., #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #01-Mark Martin and #01-Aric Almirola. Martin and Almirola will combine to drive the #01 Army Chevy for the remainder of the 2007 season as well as the entire 2008 season. Menard drives the Menards Chevy, Truex drives the Bass Pro Shops Chevy and Earnhardt handles driving duties of the Budweiser Chevy. All four entries are inside the top 35 in Nextel Cup points heading into this weekend's Brickyard 400. Regan Smith, who was originally slated to drive the Ginn Clubs and Resorts Chevy in the Brickyard 400, will instead compete in the Craftsman Truck Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park Friday night in the Ginn Resorts Chevy Silverado. Specific schedules for Martin, Smith and Almirola will be announced later. In addition to Nextel Cup Series competition, the company will continue to field entries in the Busch Series, the Busch East Series and will analyze its future involvement in the Craftsman Truck Series. The numerous teams of Dale Earnhardt Inc. will operate from both the original facility built by Dale and Teresa Earnhardt as well as the nearly 180,000-square-foot facility currently housing Ginn Racing's teams. The buildings are less than five miles apart in Mooresville, N.C. Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s current management team will be responsible for all day-to- day activities and transition plans have already begun to develop. John Story, vice president of motorsports operations for DEI will oversee the expansion of the company's racing efforts. In completing this merger, points on Ginn Racing's #13 car, which was 34th in Nextel Cup owner's points, have been eliminated.(Dale Earnhardt Inc PR), been told the #78 team will NOT be allowed to buy the points for the #13 car, so the #21 Ford supposedly will move up into the top 35 of owners pts and get the guaranteed spot. Bill Elliott will run the #21 car at Indy with Ken Schrader in the #49, no word yet if Schrader will return to the #21 at Pocono next week.(7-25-2007)

  • DEI, Ginn Merger to Be Announced Wednesday: Dale Earnhardt Inc. will announce on Wednesday that it is merging with Ginn Racing, effective immediately, and will acquire all Ginn assets, including its massive headquarters. Sources said the company will be known as Dale Earnhardt Inc., but that Ginn owner Bobby Ginn will remain a partner in the business. DEI president Max Siegel will oversee the operation, and Ginn CEO Jay Frye will assist DEI executives John Story, Steve Hmiel and Richie Gilmore in sorting out personnel details, sources said. DEI will field four fully-funded racecars in the Allstate 400 this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- the #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr., the #8 driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., the #15 driven by Paul Menard and the #01 driven by Mark Martin. One of Ginn's other two former cars, the #13 or 14, essentially becomes Menard's #15 team, and the other team will simply discontinue operation [rumors still say that the #78 team will get the owner points from the team]. Menard will pick up the owner's points held by Ginn's # 13 car that was 34th. DEI plans to move its entire operation to Ginn's Mooresville, N.C., facility. The organization begun by the late Dale Earnhardt has been looking for land for almost a year because there is no room to expand at the current facility. #13-Joe Nemechek and #14-Sterling Marlin were given their release last week, with rookie Regan Smith moving into Marlin's car for the remainder of the year before the merger. Smith likely will finish the season splitting the #01 with Martin. Sources said Martin is committed to running at least 22 races for DEI next season and working long-term with the developmental driver program as he was at Ginn.(ESPN.com)(7-25-2007)

  • DEI buying Ginn? UPDATE 3: hearing a deal could be announced in the next week or so, where Dale Earnhardt Inc. would buy into or outright Ginn Racing. Ginn Racing currently fields the #01-Mark Martin/Regan Smith, #13-Joe Nemechek and #14-Sterling Marlin teams.(7-16-2007)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. [#s 1, 8, 15] and Ginn Racing [#s 01, 13, 14] are working on a merger agreement that, if finalized, would meld the two organizations into a single company, multiple sources close to negotiations told ESPN.com on Monday. The deal is not done, but a decision will be made soon. Both organizations hope, sources said, to firm up outstanding details and announce a partnership immediately. This deal is an elaborate proposition that entails several obstacles, including how best to reduce from six Nextel Cup teams to the maximum four. The obvious answer, sources said, would be to eliminate Ginn's financially-strapped #13 and #14 teams.(ESPN.com)(7-16-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Tim Packman talked with Dave Moody on Sirius Speedway Tuesday afternoon and stated that Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has entered into a meger/acquisition of Ginn Racing. Reportedly, the #14 team's points will go to #15-Paul Menard and he will be locked into the field. #01-Mark Martin will drive at Indianapolis under the DEI banner, and the #13 team points will possibly be sold to Furniture Row Racing and #78-Kenny Wallace to lock him into the field. It is unknown what will happen to Regan Smith, who was scheduled to drive the #14 this weekend.(7-24-2007)
    UPDATE 3: ESPN's David Newton reported on NASCAR Now Tuesday that #01-Mark Martin, #1-Martin Truex, Jr., #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr, and #15-Paul Menard will drive for DEI this weekend at the Brickyard. Menard will be locked into the race using the #14 team's points. Ginn Racing CEO Jay Frye will stay with DEI. DEI will move it's motorsports operations to the Ginn facilities in Mooresville, NC. A determination has not been made on Regan Smith's future with the team. An announcment should come sometime Wednesday.(7-24-2007)

  • DEI interested in adding existing Nextel Cup team: Dale Earnhardt Inc. is looking to expand its Nextel Cup operation and has inquired about acquiring an existing team [#13 Ginn Racing?]. DEI vice president John Story said Monday the purchase of a team in the top 35 of car owner points would be used to shore up DEI's #15 team driven by Paul Menard. Menard is 39th in owner points and has failed to qualify for six races.(Fort Worth Star Telegram/AP)(7-11-2007)

  • Bass Pro re-signs with DEI UPDATE: Bass Pro Shops will continue as sponsor of the #1 Chevy and driver Martin Truex in 2008. Terms of the contract extension between Bass Pro and Dale Earnhardt Inc. were not disclosed.(Springfield, MO News Leader)(6-26-2007)
    UPDATE: Bass Pro Shops, America's most popular outdoor store, has signed a three-year agreement with Dale Earnhardt Inc. to sponsor the #1 Chevy and driver Martin Truex , Jr. through the 2010 Nextel Cup season. "Bass Pro Shops has been an awesome sponsor for me," stated Truex. "I have become real close with Johnny Morris and all the people at Bass Pro Shops and I wouldn't want anyone else to sponsor my race car right now. I feel like we have built a great relationship."(BassPro PR)(7-8-2007)

  • RCR-DEI Engine Debut at Daytona: Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies will debut the new common engine package this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. All six Richard Chiledress Racing [#07,#29,#31] and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI) cars [#1,#8,#15] will run the new engine.(RCR PR)(7-4-2007)

  • New York Investors Looking for Cup Teams: The buzz in the garage in New Hampshire is that at least two New York-based investment banking firms have been making the rounds among Nextel Cup teams, looking to invest in one or more teams, eventually taking a race team public with a stock offering. So far, there have been no takers among the NASCAR team owners. At least one of the investment firms has talked with multiple teams in the garage, including Robert Yates Racing [#38 & #88], Dale Earnhardt, Inc. [#1, #8, #15] and Roush Fenway Racing [#6, #16, #17, #26, #99], multiple sources said. The idea has been for the companies to make cash investments of upwards of $50 million in a team and then at some point sell their interests, perhaps by public stock offering. "We looked at their business plan and it didn't make sense to us," said Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith, who confirmed his team had been contacted by a New York-based investment fund that he did not identify by name. Robert Yates talked extensively with the potential investors and reached the same conclusion. "You sit in a room with about 20 bankers and you spend about 18 hours in there with them and you realize that they didn't contribute anything to the gross national product except maybe going to the bathroom," said Yates, who also has entertained merger and/or partnership offers from Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Robby Gordon Motorsports and Hall of Fame Racing, among others, before deciding to go it alone. Another team principal who spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday morning at New Hampshire, said the team he works with was approached by investors, but chose not to get involved with them, either. "They had a ton of money, but they didn't know anything at all about racing," he said, adding the team was not in need of a cash infusion and would only consider an outside investor if that investor could add significant value to the team.(SPEEDtv.com)(7-2-2007)

  • DEI Still Talking to Budweiser; Working on Fourth Team: Max Siegel, president of worldwide operations for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., said Saturday that the team is still talking with Budweiser, still hoping to add a fourth Nextel Cup car in 2008 and is still looking for a replacement for #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the No. 8 next year. "We still have our existing commercial relationship with Bud, talking about what's best with everybody, still engaged in conversations with potential drivers," Siegel said Saturday at New Hampshire. "Hopefully in the next four weeks we'll get something wrapped up here." Of the team's car count next year, that's still up in the air, too. "We have a couple of unique situations that could give us a fourth (car in 2008)," Siegel said. "Realistically, by '09, definitely we'll be a four-car team."(SPEEDtv.com)(7-1-2007)

  • Truex Jr. to showcase Turkey Federation scheme at Daytona: Martin Truex Jr.will be driving the DEI, Bass Pro Shops #1 Chevy, showcasing the National Wild Turkey Federation's logo during the Pepsi 400 at the Daytona International Speedway, July 7. The sponsorship is a donation to the NWTF from John L. Morris and Bass Pro Shops and is part of the Conservation Fund's "Racing for America's Wildlife" program. The program is designed to engage the NASCAR community in upholding America's hunting and fishing heritage.(nwtf.org), see images of the scheme on my #1 Team Schemes page.(6-29-2007)

  • Chevy unveils paint schemes to commemorate 50 Years of the '57 Chevy: One of the most recognizable cars in American motoring history reaches a notable milestone this year, a milestone which NASCAR, Chevy and Motorsports Authentics proudly celebrate. The 1957 Chevrolet, a car which turns 50 years old this year, will be commemorated at August 19's 3M Performance 400 Nextel Cup race at Michigan International Speedway by at least 11 Team Chevy drivers. Unveiled by Jimmie Johnson at MIS today, a Monte Carlo SS race car featuring decals with cues from the iconic 1957 design is similar to the ones Johnson and other Team Chevy drivers will race during the August event. On August 18, '57 Chevys along with many other historic vehicles will hit the streets during Metro Detroit's Woodward Dream Cruise. That same weekend, Team Chevy Nextel Cup Series drivers #4-Ward Burton, #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #14-Sterling Marlin, #01-Mark Martin, #15-Paul Menard, #96-Tony Raines, #1-Martin Truex, Jr., #78-Kenny Wallace and #18-J.J. Yeley will take to the track at MIS with their cars wearing special '57 Chevy paint schemes. To commemorate this special event, Motorsports Authentics will replicate their cars with die-cast models and offer apparel and novelty items related to the event.(GM Racing PR), see an image of the #48 Scheme on my #48 Team Schemes page.(6-16-2007)

  • Some teams looking to add 4th team: The season is not even half over and several teams say they want to expand for next season. Officials from Dale Earnhardt Inc., Evernham Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing have said they'd like to expand to four cars next year. There have been hints other teams might look add a team. How many actually do will depend on what kind of sponsorship they can find.(Greensboro News and Record)(6-16-2007)

  • Truex Jr. first Cup driver from NJ to win since 1958: #1-Martin Truex Jr. became the first driver from New Jersey [Jayski's home state, Cape May] in 49 years to win a race in NASCAR's top series by winning Monday at Dover International Speedway. According to NASCAR, 108 drivers from New Jersey have raced in the top series since 1949. Only two other drivers have won: Neil Cole, of Oakland, NJ who won at Thompson, CT on October 12, 1951 and Frankie Schneider, of Lambertville, who won at Old Dominion Speedway on April 25, 1958.(New York Times and Racing-Reference.info)(6-4-2007)

  • Truex Jr. wins at Dover: #1-Martin Truex Jr. won the rained delayed Autism Speaks 400 presented by Visa at Dover International Speedway for his 1st ever Nextel Cup Series win in his 58th career start. #25-Casey Mears was a first time winner last week, this is the first time we have had back-to-back first time winners since Jerry Nadeau won at Atlanta in the final race of 2000 and Michael Waltrip won the 2001 Daytona 500, the first race of 2001 [not Stewart/Nemechek as reported earlier]. Truex led 216 of the 400 laps. Pole sitter, #12-Newman finished 2nd, followed by #99-Edwards, #11-Hamlin, #17-Kenseth, #16-Biffle, #01-Martin, #07-Bowyer, #24-Gordon and #7-Gordon. #20-Stewart and #2-Busch got together, Stewart finished 40th after the team made repairs, Busch came to pit road and ran close to the #20 and stopped, the jackman had to hustle to get out of the way, Busch then peeled out when he left, NASCAR parked Busch the rest of the race and will meet with NASCAR at the trailer after the race. #48-Johnson was running 2nd [but was 6 seconds behind Truex] and cut down a right rear tire with 19 laps to go, finishing 15th, a lap down. There were 7 cautions for 35 laps and 6 drivers lead the race with 18 lead changes.
    Race Results on my Dover Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Dover page
    Race Rundown: see my Dover Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(6-4-2007)

  • Tryson close to a deal with DEI: Pat Tryson, who was fired by Roush Fenway Racing last week, is close to a deal with Dale Earnhardt Inc. Richie Gilmore, the director of motorsports at DEI, hopes to have Tryson signed within the next two weeks. "He's looking at a couple of other options, but right now we're at the top of his list,'' Gilmore said before Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. DEI officials also are narrowing their search for a driver to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is leaving the company his father built after this season. They have a list of five candidates and could have that narrowed even further by the end of this week. They are looking not only at drivers currently inside the Nextel Cup garage but drivers who have been champions of other series. "The testament to this organization and what the company stands for is reflected by the high level of interest from people across this entire sport,'' said Max Siegel, the president of global operations at DEI.(ESPN.com)(5-27-2007)

  • Truex Jr. wins the Nextel Open: #1-Martin Truex Jr. made a pass of #99-Carl Edwards with 3 laps to go in the Nextel Open to win the race and advance to the Nextel Challenge All-Star race. #70-Johnny Sauter made a bid for the win and held on to 2nd to also advance to the All-Star race. Edwards faded and finished 3rd and missed the race after leading 37 of 40 laps. #22-Blaney finished 4th, followed by #88-Rudd, #07-Bowyer, #14-Marlin, #36-Mayfield, #96-Raines and #26-McMurray. #78-Kenny Wallace finished 18th but was voted into the Nextel Challenge by the fans. For the race rundown, see my 2007 All-Star Page. See the results on the 2007 Nextel Challenge/Open Race Results page.(5-19-2007)

  • DEI and RCR team up to build engines: One of NASCAR's greatest partnerships - Childress and Earnhardt - has been expanded with the creation of Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies. Richard Childress and Teresa Earnhardt announced today that the joint venture partnership will combine the Chevrolet engine departments of Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI), with engine development work to begin immediately. Construction of a permanent stand-alone facility located between RCR and DEI will begin later this summer with completion expected by mid 2008. A specific site has not been announced, although a location has been identified pending zoning approval. Until that facility is complete, all work will be divided between the RCR's engine shop in Welcome, N.C. and DEI's shop in Mooresville, N.C. It is anticipated that all six RCR and DEI cars will run the first common engine at Daytona in July. Earnhardt-Childress Racing Technologies will develop and build engines for the Chevrolet Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series teams campaigned by the two companies. A long-term goal of the joint venture will include an engine leasing program for teams in NASCAR's top three divisions. The partnership also has long-term plans to diversify and expand beyond NASCAR by providing race engines to teams competing in series such as the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, various off-road and stock car series, sports car series, etc. This is not the first time RCR and DEI have worked together in a technology partnership. RAD, an acronym for the three teams owned by Richard Childress, Andy Petree and Dale Earnhardt, was formed in the late 90's as an aerodynamic consortium between the programs. The partnership was considered wildly successful with the three teams dominating the aerodynamically sensitive restrictor plate tracks Daytona and Talladega for the next few years.(DEI PR)(5-18-2007)

  • Special scheme for Truex Jr. at LMS: #1-Martin Truex Jr. will run a special paint scheme for the Nextel Challenge All-Star/Nextel Open race as well as the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The paint scheme will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Bass Pro Shops. "It's one of the coolest paint schemes I've ever seen," Truex said. "The black and silver are going to look really cool under the lights. I know there will be a lot of Bass Pro people at the races the next two weeks. It would be great to win both the all-star race and the 600 in that car. Bass Pro is a great sponsor and I'd love to put the new car in victory lane for them."(DEI site)(5-17-2007)

  • Andrews tests for DEI been told and confirmed that Tim Andrews, son of #43 crew chief Paul Andrews, tested a DEI Chevy at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, May 15th. Andrews is running a part-time ARCA and Busch East schedule in 2007.(5-17-2007)

  • Truex plans to stay with DEI: #1-Martin Truex Jr. said he was prepared for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to either stay with or leave Dale Earnhardt Inc., but he was not privy to nor was he involved in any of the negotiations concerning his teammate. Truex was widely reported to be joining Earnhardt Jr. in leaving DEI in the past few days, but he says he plans to stay with the team that gave him his Nextel Cup start and finish his contract, which runs through next season. In just his second season of full-time competition, Truex doesn't seem too worried about DEI's state of affairs at this point. "I've got to give it a fair shake," he said. "They gave me my opportunity, and I've decided I'm going to finish out the year and honor my contract because of all the things they've done for me."(SceneDaily.com)(5-12-2007)

  • DEI/RYR possible merger 'different' now: Doug Yates, co-owner of Robert Yates Racing, said talks about a merger or partnership with Dale Earnhardt Inc. are part of just once scenario his team is considering. "We're trying to do whatever we can do to get our team as strong as we can get it, so we've looked at a lot of situations, DEI being one of them," Yates said. "They've talked to us and we've talked to them, plus there is other stuff. We haven't gotten anywhere with that in particular. Actually, we're getting really close to some things that we think are going to help our team take that next step and make it strong for a long time to come. Hopefully, we can put some of that stuff together." Yates said this week's announcement that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will leave DEI at season's end changes that potential equation. "I think looking at DEI without Dale Jr. is a different situation," Yates said. "It doesn't mean that it's any better or any worse, it's just different. ...I think it's going to take a little while for everybody to realize how big a move that was for the sport and what that means to the sport and what that means to DEI and Dale Jr. going forward." Yates said that his team is committed to running Fords and he does not see that changing. If DEI would not shift from Chevrolets, he said that "is a deal breaker, I would guess."(Thatsracin)(5-12-2007)

  • Dale Jr. & Truex to JR Motorsports? press conference at 11am/et UPDATE 4: Dave Moody reported on Wednesday afternoon's Sirius Speedway that rumor has it that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will announce tomorrow [Thurs, May 10th] at JR Motorsports, that both he and #1-Martin Truex, Jr. will drive in the Nextel Cup Series for JR Motorsports in 2008. Hendrick Motorsports will provide engines for the team. A press conference is planned for 11:00am/et at JR Motorsports headquarters per a PR from the team and SPEED will interrupt regularly scheduled programming to go LIVE from the JR Motorsports race shop at 11:00am/et for a news conference with NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.(5-9-2007)
    UPDATE: Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's biggest star, has been in contract negotiations with his current employer, Dale Earnhardt Inc., and is asking for 51% ownership of the team. But the location of the press conference, at JR Motorsports, which Earnhardt Jr. owns separately from DEI, indicates his future plans might not include DEI. Earnhardt Jr., who was at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Wednesday evening for a sponsor appearance, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he planned to talk about "some ideas I've got for the future" but would not elaborate. Officials from DEI did not return phone calls seeking comment. But Earnhardt Jr., answering questions from fans at an event held by his sponsor Budweiser, indicated that his plans for JR Motorsports might not include adding two Nextel Cup cars. He said his main goal in being a team owner is to be able to help young drivers and mechanics advance their careers. "I don't want the company to get too big," he said. "I've got about 70 employees now, and I don't want to get too many more." He also seemed to squelch another persistent rumor - that he was headed to Richard Childress Racing to drive the #3 Chevrolet made famous by his late father. "'I'd like to do it for a year or two at the end of my career, when I'm 50 or 55," he said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(5-9-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt Jr. officially will say goodbye to Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Thursday morning. A highly placed source within DEI as well as additional sources familiar with the situation told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday afternoon that both Junior and teammate Martin Truex Jr. will announce Thursday morning that they are leaving the DEI camp at the end of this season and will drive for Earnhardt's heretofore Busch Series operation, JR Motorsports. Sources at Hendrick Motorsports reportedly disavowed knowledge of a pending partnership. Also, various reports have indicated that Earnhardt Jr. will announce his plans to leave DEI, but that he won't necessarily be driving for a JR Motorsports team in association with Hendrick. Sources tell Yahoo! Sports that Earnhardt Jr.'s primary sponsor, Budweiser, will follow Junior to JR Motorsports or wherever he lands. Budweiser's contract with DEI is due to expire at the end of 2008, but Yahoo! Sports sources believe there are provisions within the contract for an early exit if Earnhardt Jr. does not drive the #8 Chevrolet for DEI. There has been no comment thus far from either DEI president Teresa Earnhardt (Dale Jr.'s stepmother) or company director of global operations Max Siegel. Truex's contract with DEI reportedly runs through 2008, though '08 might be only an option year on his deal with the team. It also is possible Truex has an out tied to primary sponsor Bass Pro Shops' future with the DEI. Sources have told Yahoo! Sports that the sponsor has explored moving to a different team after this season.(Yahoo!Sports)
    UPDATE 3: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is expected to put himself on the open market as a free agent today, opening the way for a break with his stepmother and Dale Earnhardt Inc. NASCAR's most popular driver has scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. today at his own race shop, JR Motorsports, and not at DEI -- an indication he may be going his own way. Indications were strong Wednesday night that Earnhardt would not announce he's moving anywhere specifically, or even that he will definitely break with DEI. A report that Earnhardt will field his own Cup team under the JR roof, with engines and chassis supplied by powerful Hendrick Motorsports, was flatly denied by sources close to both organizations. Another report that Earnhardt is leaning toward signing with Hendrick outright was denied from within the Hendrick organization.(Orlando Sentinel)
    UPDATE 4: Statement from Teresa Earnhardt/DEI: In response to today's announcement by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., that he will be leaving DEI, Teresa Earnhardt, CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. issued the following statement. "While we are very disappointed that Dale Jr. has chosen to leave the family business, we remain excited about our company's future. Our aggressive expansion and diversification plans have not changed. This company has continued to thrive since Dale left us in 2001, and it will thrive following today's announcement. Dale and I built this company to be a championship-contender, and those principles still apply. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. will win, and we have other extremely talented drivers and hundreds of employees that are dedicated to the programs we founded. This company has a great legacy and a bright future, built on loyalty, integrity, and commitment."(DEI)(5-10-2007)
    AND Contrary to published reports, hearing that Hendrick Motorsports is not involved in the Thursday press conference at JR Motorsports.(5-10-2007)

  • Earnhardt Jr.: 'We'll be driving Chevys' UPDATE: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. nearly started laughing Friday and said, 'Nah,' when asked if it was really possible he could drive a Ford next season. Dale Earnarhdt Inc., which is in negotiations with Earnhardt Jr. for a contract extension and also must sign a new dale with Chevrolet, has had preliminary talks with other manufacturers and also has talked about a possible merger with Robert Yates Racing. But Earnhardt Jr. couldn't see himself driving anything but a Chevy. As part of his negotiations with DEI, he wants majority ownership of the team. "We'll be driving Chevys, I'll promise you that," Earnhardt Jr. said following qualifying Friday for the Crown Royal/Jim Stewart 400.(SceneDaily.com)(5-5-2007)
    UPDATE: The latest on the Dale Earnhardt Jr. saga: The "Robert Yates" NASCAR brand will remain a Ford brand, even in any merger with Dale Earnhardt Inc., according to sources familiar with the Yates-DEI negotiations. However Earnhardt, who has been the heart of DEI, insisted he will be in Chevrolets again next season, no matter what. Those two facts make the DEI-Yates negotiations peculiar, particularly since Earnhardt has been negotiating a new contract with DEI owner Teresa Earnhardt, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. demanding controlling interest in DEI. If DEI officials are negotiating a possible switch to Ford, then Earnhardt would clearly appear to be not involved with those talks. Which would mean if Yates and DEI do come to terms, it would almost certainly be a Yates-DEI merger without Earnhardt in the mix. There has been rampant speculation the past few days that Earnhardt may be moving to either Richard Childress' Chevy team or Rick Hendrick's Chevy team.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-7-2007)

  • Ford Racing Aware of DEI-RYR Merger Talk: In response to media reports from this past weekend, Ford Racing confirmed it is fully aware of merger talks that have taken place between Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) and Robert Yates Racing (RYR) officials. "Ford is fully committed to Robert Yates Racing for the long-term, and they have assured us that are similarly committed to Ford," said Kevin Kennedy, Ford Racing Technology Communications Manager. "Robert and Doug have been in contact with Ford about the nature of the discussions. We have a valued partnership with them, and they are keeping us informed of those discussions like a true partner would. We fully expect they will remain with Ford for many, many years." Robert Yates Racing and Ford have a relationship that goes back to the formation of the race team in the late 1980s, and Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology, has repeatedly stated that the manufacturer is fully committed to bringing RYR back to the top of the field. Media reports this past weekend also stated that Ford had been in discussions with DEI about a switch from Chevrolet to Ford for the 2008 season. Davis has repeatedly said that Ford is interested in adding championship-level teams to its Cup roster. "We definitely have been talking with DEI. Truthfully, we've been having informal talks with them for several years," said Kennedy. "We have not yet made a formal offer to them, but we know that their GM contract is up at the end of the year. We had some discussions with them, and we've made it clear that we'd love to have them in our program."(Ford Racing)(5-1-2007)

  • DEI to buy RYR? UPDATE 4: It was reported on SPEED's NASCAR Raceday that Dale Earnhardt Inc (DEI) is interested in buying Robert Yates Racing (RYR) and RYR is interested in joining forces with DEI. It was also reported that the teams would end up being in the Chevy camp.(4-29-2007)
    UPDATE: In attempts to strengthen its teams and expand to four cars, Dale Earnhardt Inc. [#'s 1,8,15] has had preliminary discussions with Robert Yates Racing [#38, #88] about a partnership, as well as Ford Motor Company and another manufacturer, DEI executive team member John Story confirmed Sunday morning. While the company also is in the midst of contract negotiations with NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., DEI is working toward trying to solidify its future. That means getting the finances and the technological support it needs from a manufacturer and working toward fielding a fourth team by 2008 or 2009, said Story, who oversees sales, marketing and communications activities at DEI. What would be more startling would be the potential move to Ford or another manufacturer considering Chevrolet's long relationship with team founder Dale Earnhardt. The Chevrolet deal is not contingent on Earnhardt Jr. remaining at DEI, Story said. Yates said his team would remain Ford. Story said that talks with Yates could continue even if DEI remains with Chevrolet.(in part from SceneDaily.com)(4-29-2007)
    UPDATE 2: With Robert Yates Racing and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. discussing a potential merger, how would that affect Yates-Roush Engines, which makes the motors that power all of the Ford NASCAR Nextel Cup teams? RYR co-owner Doug Yates was adamant that his team will not switch to Chevrolet power no matter what, and Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith said he hopes any deal will build up the Ford NASCAR Nextel Cup effort. "We're aware that he's marketing his teams," Smith said of Robert Yates prior to Sunday's Talladega race. "We have a joint engine business that's affected by the number of customers that we have. We want to see the Ford number of teams remain at least at its current level for the benefit of the engine business and for the competitive benefit for Ford Motor Co."(SPEEDtv.com)(4-30-2007)
    UPDATE 3: Dale Earnhardt, Inc., [DEI] will move to four Nextel Cup Series teams by 2009, be it through the acquisition of another team or the addition of a fourth team in-house, team executive John Story said Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Story said DEI has been in discussions with Robert Yates Racing for four-to-six weeks about a partnership, but cautioned that those talks are preliminary and that no documentation has been exchanged between the teams. If DEI were to acquire Yates, one of the two teams would have to forsake its manufacturer. Yates, a Ford flagship team for nearly two decades, would move to Chevrolet; or DEI, whose founder, Dale Earnhardt, won seven championships in Chevrolets, would move to Ford. "The only proposal we have right now for a manufacturer next year is from Chevrolet," Story said. "Teresa [Earnhardt] has been tremendously loyal to Chevrolet for a lot of years. We've had some conversation with a couple other manufacturers. They've called to inquire what our contract situation was. We told them, in fairness, we are going to sit down and exhaust our options with Chevrolet first, and if the opportunity came up we'd talk to somebody else. We haven't seen anything in writing from anybody else." RYR president Doug Yates said they'd rather stay in Fords, and that Ford Racing officials see a DEI merger as a way to get Ford back to prominence in Nextel Cup. But he didn't rule out a manufacturer switch. How this impacts Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s contract negotiations isn't known, but Story said a deal with Ford and RYR isn't contingent on Earnhardt Jr. staying at DEI. Earnhardt Jr. wants controlling interest in DEI, but Chevrolet officials want to keep him.(ESPN.com)(4-30-2007)
    UPDATE 4 Toyota denies talks: Toyota's Lee White says his company was not involved in any talks with DEI: "We have not had any conversations with Dale Earnhardt Jr. "There is a tremendous amount of both equity and liability involved with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet has such equity built into Dale Earnhardt Jr. and that particular race team - that equity is great for the bigger picture and the health of our sport. Right now Toyota is not ready to take on the liability that would come with that scenario."(Winston Salem Journal)(4-30-2007)

  • DEI Announces the Earnhardt Entertainment Division: Max Siegel, President of Global Operations for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., announced the formation of the Earnhardt Entertainment Division, a new entertainment division within DEI that will merge the various aspects of the entertainment industry with NASCAR. The Earnhardt Entertainment Division will develop, produce and distribute music, film and television, visual imaging and digital content, as well as special event projects. The company will announce its plans to collaborate with major entertainment partners on several exciting projects in the upcoming months.(DEI PR)(4-20-2007)

  • Earnhardt Still Wants Majority Ownership of DEI: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. has not backed down from his demand for majority ownership in his late father's company, his sister said Tuesday. "Fifty-one (percent) is the right number because that gives us control," said Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, Junior's sister and business manager. "We'll take 75 or 95 or whatever we work out. At the end of the day, 51 gives you control. "And we want control." Earnhardt is in the final year of his contract with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and has made owning a share of the company a major issue of his negotiations. He raised the stakes even higher in February when he said he actually wanted 51 percent of DEI - not just a piece of the team. Earnhardt Elledge said the ownership stake was not the breaking point of negotiations, but that time could run out for a new agreement to be reached. [DEI President Max] Siegel has said he believes a decision can be made by May, and Earnhardt Elledge said the next two months are crucial.(Associated Press)(4-11-2007)

  • DEI Engine problems appear to be solved UPDATE: Teammates #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #1-Martin Truex Jr. both suffered blown engines last Sunday at California, and it appears the engine department has solved the problem. Earnhardt Jr. said "The unleaded fuel lubricates the valve train less so we're going to have to address that by applying more oil in the left front side of the motor in the valve train. The right side of the valve train looked really, really good. Centrifugal force pushed all the oil over so we have to somehow pump more oil over to the left side of the valve train and give that more durability. That's what our company has done this past week and we should have no problems."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(3-9-2007)
    UPDATE: However, the issue might have been deeper than just lubrication. A source inside the DEI organization said a broken valve spring and a spun bearing caused the engine to fail. Neither issue was directly related to running unleaded fuels. "We tossed away a bunch of defective valve springs to solve on of the issues," said the source. As for the bearing, the failure was the result of an oiling failure no previously seen by the engine department. We looked at our process of building engines and it wasn't an issue with construction."(Circletrackplus.com)(3-10-2007)

  • DEI's Max Siegal to be honored: The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding will honor Max Siegel, President of Global Operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc., on Thursday, March 8th, 2007 during their annual New York Spring Benefit at the home of Denise Rich. During the ceremony, President Rabbi Marc Shcneier and Chairman Russell Simmons will award Max Siegel the Joseph Papp Racial Harmony Award in recognition of his efforts to promote better relations between African-American and Jewish communities. "These awards mark outstanding achievement by corporate leaders who have advanced the cause of diversity and race relations," says Rabbi Marc Schneier. Max Siegel was recently appointed to President of Global Operations of Dale Earnhardt Inc., the top motor sports franchise in NASCAR. Siegel oversees the entire organization including competition, marketing, sales, sponsorship and distribution for all DEI¹s properties including motor sports teams, licensing, promotion, business development, and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation. The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, under the leadership of Rabbi Marc Schneier, President, and Russell Simmons, Chairman, is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting racial harmony and strengthening inter-group relations. The organization is committed to the belief that direct, face-to-face dialogue between ethnic communities is the most effective path towards the reduction of bigotry and the promotion of reconciliation and understanding.(Susan Blond PR)(3-7-2007)

  • DEI hires two more executives: Teresa Earnhardt, President and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has announced the appointment of John Story to the DEI executive team. Story, a sports marketing veteran who has served as CEO and General Manager of Robby Gordon Motorsports since the company's inception in 2003, will manage sales, marketing and communication's activities at Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and will assist and report to recently appointed company president, Max Siegel, in strategic development of the company. In addition to his role with Robby Gordon Motorsports, Story has held marketing and/or communications positions with Greg Norman's Great White Shark Enterprises, International Speedway Corporation, Walt Disney World and the PGA of America. Mrs. Earnhardt also announced the appointment of Andrew Campagnone to Director of Sales. Campagnone has a long and varied sports sales career, and comes to DEI from Ganassi Racing where he served a similar role.(DEI Site)(1-24-2007)

  • Truex Jr. gets in trouble in Daytona MORE: #1-Martin Truex Jr. thought he was making a pit stop out of view, in a corner of the county's parking garage, but like a scene right out of "Seinfeld," the wrong person was watching. The bathroom break in the garage connected to the Ocean Walk Shoppes earned Truex a $208 ticket from a Volusia County Beach Patrol officer. "I got a ticket for doing something stupid," Truex said by phone Monday afternoon. It was just after midnight Friday (Jan 12th) and Truex -- in town to test for the Jackson-Hewitt Preseason Thunder Busch Series -- was walking back to his car on the third floor of the parking garage on Earl Street with a group of friends, a police report shows. When the group approached a silver Chevy Suburban, Capt. Rich Gardner noticed that Truex began urinating on the right front tire of the SUV. At that point Gardner, sitting in an unmarked patrol car, called out: "I hope that's worth 100 bucks," a Beach Patrol report states. According to Gardner; Truex then responded, "It is worth 100 bucks," and he held out a $100 bill. Not amused, Gardner told the 26-year-old race car driver that the matter was not a joke, then asked for Truex's identification. The officer also said he doesn't take bribes. "It sounds like you're trying to bribe me," Truex answered, according to the report. "You said, 'Is that worth 100 bucks?' and I said yeah. Did you say that?" After a few more words exchanged, Gardner attempted to handcuff Truex, only to meet with resistance, the report states. After telling him to place his hands behind his back seven times, and ordering him to stop resisting, Truex, cooperated with Gardner, but then offered the captain the $100 bill again, the report states. But in the end, Truex was not charged with urinating in public. Because of all the talking that was done, Gardner smelled a hint of alcohol on Truex's breath and charged him with disorderly intoxication. Truex, who is employed by Dale Earnhardt Inc., denied resisting Gardner, but he did recall urinating on the tire of his vehicle. "I had to take a leak in the corner of a parking garage where no one could see," he said. "It was a stupid mistake and I'll never do it again."(Daytona Beach News Journal)
    MORE: Statement from Martin Truex, Jr. "The incident that recently occurred in Daytona Beach, Fla. was in poor judgment and shouldn't have happened. I want to apologize to Bass Pro Shops, the NASCAR community and my fellow employees of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. After testing on Thursday afternoon, some team members and I went to a local restaurant that evening. We had a few drinks, I was not intoxicated and we had a designated driver. Afterwards, while I was standing by our SUV, a man walked up to me in the parking deck. He didn't immediately identify himself as a police officer. I was taken a little off guard, but once I realized he was an officer, I fully cooperated. There was no resistance on my part in any way. I don't feel I was being disorderly, but that doesn't make what happened right, and again, I want to apologize for my behavior."(DEI PR)(1-23-2007)

  • DEI Using Hoosier at Lakeland: A top DEI official stated Monday afternoon that the company would be using Hoosier tires on at least one car they will test at Lakeland Speedway later this week. One of the burning questions since Goodyear started leasing, instead of selling, tires to race teams was where would the teams to get tires to test with away from the seven official NASCAR test sessions. While it was widely speculated teams would turn to Hoosier for the tires needed to test, most teams had a sufficient stockpile to get them through the 2006 season. A DEI executive confirmed Monday that organization's stockpile was almost gone. In fact, it was low enough that at least one of the their teams testing at Lakeland Speedway later this week would do so on Hoosier tires. "It's working," said the executive of NASCAR's desire to reduce the amount of testing teams could do away from the official tests. "The lack of tires has forced us to rethink how we test and what we test. At Lakeland we won't be able to compare one car against another. We'll look more to establish a baseline and then gauge our improvement based on the incremental speeds after each change. How that will relate to a race set-up we just don't know yet."(Circletrackplus.com)(1-15-2007)

  • Kerry Earnhardt to work at DEI, as test driver and more: Kerry Earnhardt will join Dale Earnhardt Inc. as a full-time employee next week, serving as a liaison between the Nextel Cup and Busch programs and driving in a handful of races. "Teresa and Richie have been talking to me about coming there for several years," Kerry said of team owner/stepmother Teresa Earnhardt and director of motorsports Richie Gilmore. "I've been thinking about the company a lot in my head. It's hard to give up driving. Now I've come to a point where I realize that doing the things I'm doing is not doing me any good, just riding around and not having any decent finishes." Kerry, 37, has asked to drive in at least five Busch races and a couple of Cup races for DEI, but said his future with the company doesn't hinge on that. "I always wish I had the opportunity to be in equipment like this," said Kerry, who was 20th-fastest in the morning practice while Earnhardt Jr. honored previous commitments. "Now if I run three to five Busch races and can be successful with that maybe more things can come to me." Kerry hopes to fill part of the role of Tony Eury Sr., who has moved from team liaison to crew chief for DEI's third Cup team with Paul Menard.(ESPN.com)(1-11-2007)

2006 News

  • DEI hires a new president: Dale Earnhardt, Inc., announced the appointment of Max Siegel as President of Global Operations. In what will be an unprecedented move for the motor sports industry, the Zomba Label Group/Sony/BMG executive will oversee marketing, promotion, sales, sponsorship and distribution for all Dale Earnhardt, Inc. properties including the company's top-rated motorsports teams, airlines, licensing and auto dealership, as well as the Dale Earnhardt Foundation. Siegel brings over 15 years of deal brokering and project management experience to the company established by Dale and Teresa Earnhardt in 1980.(DEI PR)(12-14-2006)

  • DEI testing COT: UPDATE: The #1 Bass Pro Shop and #8 Budweiser Chevys are in South Georgia [South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta, GA] testing their Cars of Tomorrow. They will be testing the new cars on Monday and Tuesday [Dec 11th and 12th] as they prepare for the vehicle´s debut. The first time the COTs will be activated in Nextel Cup Series competition will be at Bristol Motor Speedway in April.(DEI Site), been told Kerry Earnhardt and Martin Truex Jr. are the drivers testing the COT's.(12-12-2006)
    UPDATE: Both cars were shaken down by Kerry Earnhardt.(12-13-2006)

  • No 4th DEI team in 2007..but: In July, officials from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. said that not only would they had a third Nextel Cup team next year, they were seriously contemplating a fourth Cup team as well. But Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway, DEI Vice President of Motorsports Richie Gilmore said the fourth Cup car won't happen until 2008. Next year, the team will expand from two cars to three, with #15-Paul Menard joining forces with #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and #1-Martin Truex, Jr. "Right now, we're focusing on the three (teams) and trying to get the fourth for '08," Gilmore said. "We didn't get the driver and everything put together. We've got some sponsor stuff that we're close on, but right now we want to focus on getting three where they need to be." Gilmore said a new building for Menard's team on the DEI campus in Mooresville, NC, will be complete in four weeks.(Speed Channel)(8-27-2006)

  • DEI to 4 Cars in 2007? UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Vice President of Competition Richie Gilmore said Friday morning that the team is mulling an expansion to four Nextel Cup cars in 2007, up from two cars now. DEI already has committed to a third Cup car in 2007 for its full-time Busch Series regular driver, Paul Menard [#15 Chevy], but Gilmore said a fourth car is an option, possibly in concert with MB2 Motorsports. "We do want to make some determinations by the end of July about how many teams we will have next year," Gilmore said. "Right now, we know we're locked in on three Cup teams ... next year. Moving that to four is a possibility for us right now. We hope to have that locked in by the end of July. We're looking at all our options right now. Space is an issue with us right now, and that's why we're looking at MB2. That was one of the biggest reasons we were looking at MB2. We could help with resources and they could help with space."(Speed Channel)(7-1-2006)
    UPDATE: DEI has asked Tony Eury, Sr., to become crew chief of DEI's fourth Cup team next season, if it happens.(Ford Racing)(7-2-2006)

  • Truex Jr. Ready For Double Duty At Michigan: #1-Martin Truex, Jr. will be competing in both the Craftsman Truck Series event on Saturday, as well Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Truex's weekend starts with Saturday's Con-way Freight 200. The two-time defending Busch Series champion will be competing in the Billy Ballew Motorsports #51 Chevy truck.(DEI PR)(6-14-2006)

  • DEI and MB2? UPDATE 3 merge denied: There's speculation that Teresa Earnhardt [who own's DEI, #1,#8,#15] is planning to buy MB2 Motorsports, with drivers #01-Joe Nemechek and #14-Sterling Marlin, in addition to the ongoing speculation that she may be planning to sell DEI to John Menard, a home-improvements czar who has long been involved in racing. Marlin, who drives for the Jay Frye-run MB2 Chevy operation, said he has heard the sale talk, but that he doesn't know what's going on. Ryan Pemberton, the crew chief for Nemechek, said he has talked with Frye about it, but he's not sure, either, what might be going on behind the scenes. Earnhardt doesn't grant interviews, and Frye isn't due here until today. So yesterday it was up to Richie Gilmore, the general manager at DEI, to try to explain the situation. "We're not selling out," Gilmore said. "Our plans right now are to go to a three-car operation next year with Paul Menard (John's son). John is a great sponsor for us, and we do a lot with Menard's, engines, and he's at our company a lot, and I guess people speculate when they see him around."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-3-2006)
    UPDATE: According to sources in the NASCAR garage MB2 Motorsports could merge with, or be sold to Dale Earnhardt Inc. MB2 still has unsold sponsorship inventory available for Sterling Marlin's #14 car, and the team's other driver, #01-Joe Nemechek, is said to be on Toyota's short list for 2007.(Ford Racing)(6-4-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Jay Frye, the general manager and part-owner of the MB2 team, said that much of the speculation about a DEI-MB2 merger is just that, speculation. "Everyone's got this four-team program idea, but we're like two and they're like two.... so how do we both do things more efficiently together," Frye said. "That's how this all got started. Our buildings are four minutes apart. So we're trying to work together on this car of tomorrow. It's not about engines; it's about car-building. Everything beyond that is purely speculation."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-5-2006)
    UPDATE 3: MB2 Motorsports officials say the team isn't for sale, but minority owner Jay Frye has had discussions with Dale Earnhardt Inc. about working together on the competition side. "Becoming more efficient is what we've talked about going into next year," Frye said Sunday. "... There's lots of different programs that are starting next year with the 'car of tomorrow' and things like that. We've talked to them about how maybe, as a group, we can do things [like build transmissions, gears or even cars] more efficiently together. It's all just ideas at this point. Nothing [concrete]. It's, 'How can we work together to make things more efficient.' Everything else has just blown out from that." Frye said the team, controlled by majority owner Nelson Bowers, is not for sale. But the fact that Frye has been to DEI's shop and Richie Gilmore, DEI's vice president of competition, has been to MB2 has sparked talk that DEI would buy MB2, with John Menard then buying DEI. Gilmore agreed that nothing is for sale. DEI has previously said that it would field a third full-time team for Paul Menard (John Menard's son) starting in 2007. DEI would like to expand, but Gilmore said there are no plans to purchase MB2. Frye said talks are still exploratory, sparked by the car of tomorrow. Teams will not only have to build versions of their current cars for 2007, but the newer car as well. Frye said the two organizations would need to form an alliance within the next two months to get a start on next season.(SceneDaily.com)(6-5-2006)

  • DEI executive urges GM to unify its engine program: Richie Gilmore, the general manager at Dale Earnhardt Inc., said that General Motors' racing executives may have to change the way they do business in order to compete against Toyota next season on the Nextel Cup tour. Toyota, a newcomer to the Nextel Cup, will be centralizing many of its key operations. Gilmore said that Chevrolet may have to do likewise, or at least make some major changes in the way that it approaches the sport. Gilmore said that Chevrolet's four independent engine-building operations may have to unify. "I really think that's something GM will have to do," Gilmore said. "We (Chevy teams) all work closely on engines, but it needs to go up another step (in centralization). We each spend a lot of money on engines, dynos and people. We have 78 people (building engines), and Hendrick has 120. I think GM is looking at that and trying to figure out the best thing to do ... because when Toyota comes in the sport, it will be strong."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-3-2006)

  • #1 Pit Crew win Pit Crew Challenge: Martin Truex Jr's #1 Bass Pro Shops Team put on an outstanding show on Wednesday night at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena en route to capturing the second annual NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge and the $70,100 prize. The #1 Team won over the #9 Team with 25.44 seconds vs. 31.71 [with penalties].(See more at RacingOne.com)(5-18-2006)

  • Special National Wild Turkey Federation on the #1 in All-Star Race: The National Wild Turkey Federation's flying turkey logo will appear on the DEI, Bass Pro Shops sponsored #1 race car, driven by 2-time Busch Series Champion Martin Truex Jr., at the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge on May 20 th at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Bass Pro Shops salute to the NWTF is a part of the Conservation Fund's "Racing for America's Wildlife" program. The program is designed to engage the NASCAR community in conserving America's hunting and fishing heritage through habitat protection, restoration, education, and outreach.(Bass Pro Shops PR), see images on my #1 Team Schemes page.(5-18-2006)

  • Dale Jr. scheme at Talladega? UPDATE OFFICIAL, IMAGES #1 also: hearing Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive a black #8 Budweiser Chevy at Talladega in the Aaron's 499 in honor of Dale Earnhardt's induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame this week.(4-23-2006)
    UPDATE: ESPN's Mike Massaro reported on ESPNEWS 4Qtrs tonight that DEI is expected to make an announcement later this week that Dale Jr. will run a black #8 Budweiser Chevy in honor of his father, 10 time Talladega winner, Dale Earnhardt. There is also a rumor that Dale Jr. would run the #3 also, but have not heard that and the image clearly shows the #8.(4-24-2006)
    UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is expected to announce that he will pilot a black Budweiser Chevy during the "three days" of on track action this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway in honor of his father's induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. More details of this special paint scheme that will resemble the famous #3 could come in Tuesday's NASCAR NEXTEL Teleconference where Earnhardt Jr. will be the guest. Earnhardt Jr. is also scheduled to appear live on QVC's For Race Fans Only from Talladega on Friday at 8:00pm/et. This could be the first time we see a die-cast version of the car.(RacingOne)(4-25-2006)
    UPDATE 3: In a unified effort, the primary sponsors of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. will pay tribute to Dale Earnhardt with special paint schemes at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. The schemes will salute Dale Earnhardt Day (April 29th), his induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and his accomplishments at Talladega. Earnhardt, a seven-time NASCAR champion is the winningest driver at Talladega with 10 trips to Victory Lane. Fittingly, his 76th Nextel Cup victory occurred at the track in October of 2000. And, he did it in Earnhardt fashion by coming from 17th to first in the closing laps. The #1 Bass Pro Shops, #8 Budweiser and #11 Menards Chevys will carry paint schemes reminiscent of the familiar black theme Dale Earnhardt ran while driving for DEI in the Busch Series. Additionally, Bass Pro Shops will sponsor Martin Truex, Jr. in Saturday's Busch Series race. Truex, a two-time Busch Series champion and two-time winner of the NBS race at Talladega, will drive the #8 black Bass Pro Shops Chevy.
    "I think this is a great tribute to Dale on such a special weekend," said Teresa Earnhardt, President and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. "To have all of our sponsors come together with this tribute and want to be a part of it says a lot about the respect they have for Dale's accomplishments." In addition to the black paint schemes, Dale Earnhardt Day and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame induction, all Busch Series teams are being asked to carry a Dale Earnhardt Legacy Logo on their cars. Fans are asked to participate from the grandstands, or wherever they are watching the race, by raising three fingers in the air on Lap 3 of Saturday's Busch Series race.(DEI PR / fingerprintinc PR), see images on the #8 Team Schemes page and the #1 Team Schemes page.(4-25-2006)

  • Why Truex Jr. 22nd and not 12th? been asked why...here is the answer: Truex given 22nd place instead of 12th after last lap, pit-road speeding penalty. When the Nextel Cup race ended at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday night, it appeared Martin Truex, Jr. and the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy team finished 12th. NASCAR, however, ruled that Truex sped coming down pit road after running out of fuel with two laps remaining. Thus, they assessed a penalty that relegated him to 22nd place as the last car one lap down.(DEI PR)(4-24-2006)

  • DE Foundation logo to appear on all DEI cars: The logo of The Dale Earnhardt Foundation is making the rounds, literally, at NASCAR races this season one lap at a time. The familiar "victory" silhouette of racing legend Dale Earnhardt is now part of the official paint scheme on all Dale Earnhardt, Inc. race cars in both the Busch and Nextel Cup series races. The logo made its debut this past week during races at Texas Motor Speedway. The Dale Earnhardt Foundation logo will be visible on the right rear "taillight" of all DEI cars, just above the car number decal. "We're very pleased that the DEI race teams are showing their support for the Foundation and its charitable efforts in such a visible manner," said Dick Baker, Executive Director of The Dale Earnhardt Foundation. "This is a creative idea that will help us to expand awareness and recognition for the Foundation with race fans and the general public alike." Dale Earnhardt, Inc. races the #11 Menard's Chevrolet driven by Paul Menard in the Busch Series. In the Nextel Cup Series, the team races the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet driven by Martin Truex, Jr. and the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Founded in 2002 by Teresa Earnhardt, The Dale Earnhardt Foundation was established to carry on Dale's name and good works through charitable causes that support Children, Education and Wildlife Preservation. For more information please visit www.thedaleearnhardtfoundation.org.(DEI PR)(4-14-2006)

  • Why #1 Crew Chief not fined: FOX Sports used the same excuse for profanity creeping into Sunday's broadcast of the Nextel Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway as CBS did for Janet Jackson's breast being exposed during halftime of Super Bowl XXXVIII. Equipment malfunction. "We've talked to FOX Sports and they told us there was a malfunction, that it wasn't deliberate,'' NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said Tuesday. "They told us there's some sort of system in play where there's a delay. For whatever reason, it didn't work. They assured us they're looking at ways to make sure that doesn't reoccur.'' The incident occurred when the in-car radio conversation between crew chief Kevin Manion and his driver, Martin Truex., Jr., was broadcast. Manion was caught using the same word that earned driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. a $10,000 fine and the loss of 25 points two years ago at Talladega Superspeedway. Hunter said Manion was not fined because "this was a glitch that occurred.''(NASCAR.com)(3-29-2006)

  • American Idol star visits DEI: "American Idol" Bo Bice and his band, Sugarland Money, paid a visit to Dale Earnhardt, Inc. on Tuesday afternoon to check out where their favorite race team builds the cars for their favorite drivers. They were en route to a gig in Spartanburg, SC on Wednesday night. Having just left Columbia, SC earlier in the day with Charlotte radio interviews on tap for Wednesday morning, Bice and his band realized DEI in Mooresville was a doable stop on the way. They pulled up in their tour bus and took a behind-the-scenes view of our facility. Joining in the tour was Taylor Earnhardt, herself. She and Bice had their picture taken by a #8 car with a large photo of her dad, Dale, in the background. She offered interesting insights about the buildings and different aspects of DEI. During his tour, Bice was easily recognized by most of the employees. He gladly stopped, talked to everyone, posed for pictures and signed autographs. Even some fans who were outside the large glass doors of the Interior Showroom recognized Bice and got his attention. During his tour, Bice and the band stopped into the #8 Budweiser shop. There, Brian Cram (Shop Foreman) talked to them in more depth about race cars, how much they weigh and how many cars the team works on at one time. He even put Bice in the primary car for the upcoming Martinsville Speedway.(DEI PR)(3-23-2006)

  • Snap-On Tools extends with DEI: Snap-on announced they have extended their sponsorship commitment with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. With this multi-year contract renewal, Snap-on will serve as an associate sponsor to DEI. "Snap-on has played an important role in our team's success through the years," said Teresa Earnhardt, president and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. "This long-term renewal reaffirms the strong relationship that Snap-on and DEI enjoy. We look forward to our continued partnership with Snap-on and its quality tools."
    "Snap-on Tools has been a part of the DEI family since my father began racing," said Dale Earnhardt, Jr. "Their products have been in our shops for decades and we rely on them to help us win races. They've been a solid partner through the years, and it's great we can continue working with them well into the future." DEI is currently comprised of four teams - the #1 Bass Pro Shops, #8 Budweiser and the #15 Menard's Chevy teams which compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. They also field the #11 Menard's Chevy in the NASCAR Busch Series. Snap-on franchisees build relationships and distribute products directly to technicians via the Snap-on van, which has remained an icon for the company since the mid 1940s. In addition, products are sold directly to consumers via snapon.com.(Ogilvy PR)(3-9-2006)

2005 News

  • More Changes at DEI: Dale Earnhardt Inc. [#1,#8,#15] is expanding and reorganizing its current campus to 160,000 square feet. DEI will house the #8 team with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. in the same building with rookie Martin Truex and crew chief Kevin Manion. The #15 Cup team will be combined with the Busch program and used for research and development with Paul Menard driving. Earnhardt and Truex will split Busch Daytona driving duties, Earnhardt driving the season opener, Truex the July race.(Sporting News)(11-28-2005)

  • DEI and RCR...merge? a merger between RCR and Dale Earnhardt Inc. is rumored to be in the works. Although DEI vice president Richie Gilmore says the partnership will involve nothing more than promotional plans, the two organizations enjoyed a beneficial aerodynamic alliance several years ago. Considering the strength of powerhouses Roush and Hendrick Motorsports, a marriage between RCR and DEI would move their programs up a level. Another benefit? Dale Earnhardt Jr. could follow in his late father's footsteps in an RCR car.(Sporting News)(9-5-2005)

  • Eury Jr. signs with DEI too: Tony Eury Sr., affectionately known as Pops, has signed his first contract with DEI. Eury led Earnhardt Jr. to two Busch titles and stepped down at the end of last season as Junior's Cup crew chief. Eury, who's under contract through 2008, is working in research and development.(Sporting News), his son, Tony Jr. recently signed thru 2008 to stay at DEI and supposedly will be Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew chief in 2006.(9-5-2005)

  • Eury Jr. to sign with DEI back with #8 UPDATE signed...but which car?: Dale Earnhardt Inc. is negotiating a contract for #15 Crew Chief [was Dale Jr's car chief in 2004] Tony Eury Jr. to become Earnhardt's crew chief [for 2006]. The deal could get signed this week.(Sporting News)(8-15-2005)
    MORE: Tony Eury Jr. was scheduled to meet with Teresa Earnhardt Monday to talk about signing a contract with DEI. Eury said has had talks with several other teams although he would not name names. "Yeah, I probably got about four or five teams and there have been some pretty impressive offers but like I told Dale Jr. I don't really have a desire to leave this company. It's just a matter of I want what the going rate is for Tony Jr. I've been there for 14 years and I've never really asked for a raise so I'm just listening and seeing what people have to say." Eury Jr. has never had a formal contract with DEI saying "Dale Sr. wanted me to sign a contract about seven years ago and me and him left on a handshake. We had that kind of trust in each other...and like I told him...you don't ever screw me around and take care of me and I'm always here. I have the same attitude toward Dale Jr."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(8-15-2005)
    UPDATE: Teresa Earnhardt, President and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and crew chief, Tony Eury, Jr., a 14-year employee of DEI, have announced that Eury Jr. will remain part of the organization for many years to come via a long-term contract that was inked today. "Having such a loyal employee and talented crew chief like Tony as part of DEI on a long-term basis was an important objective for the continuity of our program," said Ms. Earnhardt. "I couldn't be happier," Eury, Jr. said. "I've spent many years with DEI and always planned to be for a long time to come. With all the outside distractions now behind us, we can focus on winning races." For 2006 NASCAR competition, DEI plans to field the #1, #8, and #15 cars on the Nextel Cup Series circuit; and the #8 and #11 cars on the Busch Series circuit.(DEI PR), doesn't say which team/car/driver Eury Jr. will work with.(8-18-2005)

  • Menard to run at Watkins Glen in #1 UPDATE: DEI #11 Busch Series driver, Paul Menard will attempt to make his first DEI Cup start at Watkins Glen in the SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen on August 14th. Menard will drive the #1 Kraft Chevy. Menard will run in the Busch Series in 2006 with select Nextel Cup starts and plans got a full-time Nextel Cup ride in 2007.(NASCAR Scene Magazine). but been told Menard will not be in the #15 car in 2006 or 2007.(7-24-2005)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has entered Paul Menard in this weekend's Nextel Cup Series race; the Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen road course event. Menard will pilot the #1 Kraft/Ritz Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International. Since coming to DEI in July of 2004, the 24-year old native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin has won two Busch Pole Awards. In the last eight Busch races, he's earned three top-fives, seven top-10s and moved from 18th to 10th in points in the #11 Menards Chevrolet for DEI. This will be his first Nextel Cup Series race for DEI, but not his first Cup start. "I made my first Cup start in 2003 at Watkins Glen," said Menard, who started 43rd and finished 29th in that race [for Andy Petree]. In preparation for the race, Menard went to The Glen with Tony Eury, Sr, Director of Competition for DEI, car chief B. Hoover and his Busch crew chief, Dan Stillman, to test. "We tested the Cup car at Watkins Glen last week for two days and it went very well," Menard said. "It's such a fast road course and I enjoy going each time because you can really drive the car hard around there. My goals for the weekend are to run top-five in the Busch race and qualify for the Cup race. I'll just take it from there and run a clean race. Gaining respect from your competitors is a priority when you race at any level." Menard will be pulling double duty driving the #11 Menards Chevrolet in the Busch Series race on Saturday. This will be the first time the series has returned to The Glen since 2001.(DEI PR)(8-11-2005)

  • 100 Wins for DEI/Chance2: For the 100th time since Dale Earnhardt, Inc. [counting Chance2] was formed 25 years ago, there is a checkered flag flying outside their corporate headquarters. When the #8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet of Martin Truex, Jr. pulled into Victory Lane at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday night, it was his sixth of the season. But, for DEI it marked a milestone in their history. The team Dale and Teresa Earnhardt co-founded made its first visit to a Victory Lane in March 1985 with Dale winning a Busch Series race at Rockingham Speedway. There are only six drivers who can claim they contributed to the team's 100 wins earned at 33 different NASCAR venues. Dale Earnhardt [17 wins], Dale Earnhardt, Jr. [35], Ron Hornaday [27], Martin Truex, Jr. [12], Steve Park [5] and Michael Waltrip [4]. Truex, Jr. delivered a championship to the team winning the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series crown [and currently leads the points there in 2005], Earnhardt Jr. won the Busch crown in 1998 amd 1999 and Hornaday delivered two Craftsman Truck Series championships during his tenure with the team.(DEI PR)(8-11-2005)

  • So..who is in the #15 in 2006? UPDATE Menard to run #1 at Watkins Glen: with Michael Waltrip and DEI splitting, and NAPA's status with DEI or Waltrip up in the air, who, if anyone will be in the #15 Chevy? Does it go the way of the #1 team, as a part time team or a full-time gig? Been told that the plans are for DEI's #11 Chevy Busch Series driver, Paul Menard, to run one more full season in the Busch Series and run up to 7 Cup races, it could be in the #15 or a 4th DEI team if the #15 runs full time as DEI plan to do.(7-20-2005)
    UPDATE - Menard to run at Watkins Glen in #1: DEI #11 Busch Series driver, Paul Menard will attempt to make his first DEI Cup start at Watkins Glen in the SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen on August 14th. Menard will drive the #1 Kraft Chevy. Menard will run in the Busch Series in 2006 with select Nextel Cup starts and plans got a full-time Nextel Cup ride in 2007.(NASCAR Scene Magazine). but been told Menard will not be in the #15 car in 2006 or 2007.(7-24-2005)

  • DEI up for awards: The nominees have been released and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. is once again up for two awards by Charlotte Trip magazine. And, just like last year, they'll need some help from our dedicated fans to assist in the voting process. DEI is once again up for Best of Charlotte and Best Day Trip in the annual Visitor's Choice Gold Awards put together by the magazine. With your help, they won both categories last year. You can vote for DEI [or other nominee] by logging onto www.CharlotteTrip.com, voting ends on August 15 and then the final three nominees in each category are announced. The actual awards ceremony is on September 7 in Charlotte.(DEI)(7-6-2005)

  • Truex Jr. says he signed with DEI for 2006: after winning the Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway Friday night, Martin Truex Jr. squashed the rumors and said he has resigned with DEI [Dale Earnhardt Inc] to remain with them and run the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy in the Nextel Cup Series in 2006.(TNT Race Coverage)(7-1-2005)

  • Truex Jr. to the #2? UPDATE 2: on Fox's pre-race show for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, Jeff Hammond and Darrell Waltrip were asked who would be in the #6 Roush Racing Ford [to replace retiring Mark Martin] and #2 Pensek Racing Dodge [to replace retiring Rusty Wallace], for the #6 Hammond said is still up in the air [see some names mentioned on my 2006 Team Chart] and for the #2, Hammond said he keeps hearing the name Martin Truex Jr. popping up as he still has not been signed by DEI for 2006 [to drive the #1 Chevy in Cup next year](6-26-2005)
    UPDATE: when asked about the Truex rumor, Jeff Hammond says: "Anything is possible, but I do know that everybody at DEI expected to get Truex locked in by now. There's been a lot more pressure put on him, especially from the Penske organization. They've offered him a fairly lucrative contract to jump ship and go over there. When that's going on, it really challenges a guy's loyalty. DEI has been more than fair with Truex, but he's faced with a decision that could affect the rest of his career. From what I [Hammond] was told the other day, an offer had been given to Truex, and there was a decision made then not to sign the DEI contract. It puts a lot of people back in the position of almost playing poker with checking and raising. Now the onus is back on DEI and whether or not they want to raise the ante to try to keep him in their camp."(FoxSports)(6-29-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Martin Truex Jr. hasn't said why he hasn't yet signed a contract to remain with Dale Earnhardt Inc., but he did say Thursday at Daytona that he is trying to seal a deal. "It's not done yet, and we are trying to get it done," said Truex. At least two top-level Nextel Cup teams have immediate openings for the 2006 season. Truex Jr. is in the final year of his contract with DEI, and as reigning Busch Series champion, it is natural that he has found himself in the rumor mill. For his part, Truex has been mum on his talks with DEI, which are being led by his father.(NASCAR.com)(7-1-2005)

  • Eury Sr. thinks swap could had been a mistake at DEI: Cup Scene at the track and at an interview DEI's Tony Eury Sr. gave: "We got a lot of bad press at the beginning at the first of the year on why it was running bad. I guess we made a bad move over the winter and our cars down there in the 8 shop weren't as good as we thought they were. When you get behind like that, it takes time to catch up. We're getting him a fleet of cars now and getting them better. When you got something good, I guess you should leave it alone. You know we won six races with him last year maybe it should have been left alone. But that's past and we got to get him in that Chase now, so everything's behind us and we're going forward from here and building (Dale Jr.) good cars and trying to get in that chase." As for the third team: "We're still debating on a driver. We don't real know what's going to happen yet. We had a deadline and we extended it with a couple of sponsors and drivers, right now we're just kind of in the middle of everything." BUT "Martin [Truex Jr.] will be in the #1 (Cup)car (next year).(Cup Scene Report from DIS)(6-30-2005)

  • Menard and DEI? UPDATE 2 engines? been hearing that John Menard, who's son Paul, runs for DEI in the Busch Series [#11 Menard Chevy] may be buying into ownership of DEI...not sure if in part or whole....or at all.(5-20-2005)
    UPDATE: Richie Gilmore, Director of Motorsports at Dale Earnhardt Inc., strongly disputed rumors that millionaire businessman John Menard is attempting to buy the team. Talk of a potential sale was prevalent in the garage area at Pocono Raceway, where several drivers and owners from other teams confirmed that they had heard the rumor. "There is no truth to it at all," Gilmore said. "John (Menard) is a great sponsor of ours, but that's all it is. Over the years, many 'players' have tried to buy DEI. We've been contacted by owners of NFL and NBA teams about it. Teresa (Earnhardt) has no interest." Menard's son Paul drives the #11 DEI Chevy in the Busch Series.(Gaston Gazette)(6-11-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been complaining about horsepower much of the season, and now it appears that DEI will be building a new engine shop, perhaps with Menard Engineering help. Owner John Menard's son Paul drives Busch cars for DEI. Menard Engineering also provides motors for Robby Gordon.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-27-2005)

  • DEI Teams Now Sharing: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not pleased with the state of his team, which fell to 16th in the standings after last week's 33rd-place finish at Pocono. However, he is happy with the communication between his #8 Budweiser team and the #15 NAPA team of Michael Waltrip since Steve Hmiel was named his crew chief last month. "It's better than I ever remember it being," he said. "We want both DEI teams to make the (championship) chase." Waltrip's team moved up two spots to #15 with a fifth-place finish at Pocono. "We're struggling, but I know how hard we're working," Earnhardt said. "And seeing the 15 team have success gives me confidence that we'll be able to pull out of this."(The State)(6-17-2005)

  • Rondeau sticking with DEI thru 2005, Menard to run some Cup races: Dale Earnhardt Inc. director of racing Richie Gilmore Saturday said #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s former crew chief Pete Rondeau has made a commitment to the organization for the rest of 2005. Gilmore said he was not aware if Rondeau was seeking other crew chief opportunities outside DEI. Gilmore confirmed plans to place DEI's other Busch Series driver, Paul Menard, in several Nextel Cup races later this season and said Rondeau would be involved.(NASCAR.com)(6-12-2005)

  • Menard and DEI? UPDATE denied: been hearing that John Menard, who's son Paul, runs for DEI in the Busch Series [#11 Menard Chevy] may be buying into ownership of DEI...not sure if in part or whole....or at all.(5-20-2005)
    UPDATE: Richie Gilmore, Director of Motorsports at Dale Earnhardt Inc., strongly disputed rumors that millionaire businessman John Menard is attempting to buy the team. Talk of a potential sale was prevalent in the garage area at Pocono Raceway, where several drivers and owners from other teams confirmed that they had heard the rumor. "There is no truth to it at all," Gilmore said. "John (Menard) is a great sponsor of ours, but that's all it is. Over the years, many 'players' have tried to buy DEI. We've been contacted by owners of NFL and NBA teams about it. Teresa (Earnhardt) has no interest." Menard's son Paul drives the #11 DEI Chevy in the Busch Series.(Gaston Gazette)(6-11-2005)

  • Truex Jr. close to re-signing with DEI UPDATE: on Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning, DEI's Richie Gillmore said they are close to signing Martin Truex. Jr. to a 3-year deal [with a 3 year option] and the contracts are in the laywers hands and hope to have something to announce in a few weeks.(6-5-2005)
    UPDATE: If Martin Truex Jr. signs a new contract with Dale Earnhardt Inc. as a Nextel Cup driver, as DEI officials would like, Bass Pro Shops, a part-time Nextel Cup sponsor for Richard Childress, will become Truex's primary sponsor next season. DEI has offered Truex Jr. a three-year contract. Childress officials says they expect Bass Pro (privately held, with about $1.6 billion in annual sales) to remain a part-time sponsor for Childress' operation.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-6-2005)

  • New Chassis on the way for DEI: While some teams use chassis built in-house to incorporate details that make them more suitable to their driver's styles, DEI is taking a chassis it bought from a manufacturer and modifying it in an attempt to develop a feel that works best for Earnhardt Jr., Waltrip and Martin Truex Jr. The chassis has been tested at Kentucky Speedway, but DEI has yet to try it in a race just yet. Truex almost drove the chassis at Charlotte, but went with a more proven car. Earnhardt thinks it will make a big difference once the refined car becomes part of his arsenal.(ESPN.com)(6-2-2005)

  • Truex still not signed...to the #11? Speaking of DEI, the cheers for defending Busch Series champion Martin Truex were deafening during driver introductions for the Nextel Open. It's no wonder Truex was voted into the All-Star Challenge by fans. But when asked to comment on whether an announcement was expected this week on his re-signing with DEI to drive the No. 1 Chevrolet in Cup, Truex declined. Truex, who is fourth in Busch points, has also been mentioned as a possibility for #11 Joe Gibbs Racing seat.(Sporting News)(5-23-2005)

  • DEI working on contracts with Waltrip and Truex: DEI vice president Richie Gilmore says contract discussions continue with NAPA and #15-Michael Waltrip and with Martin Truex, who is expected to revive the #1 Chevrolet in Cup with Bass Pro Shops as the sponsor. Gilmore says that NAPA is looking at a one-year extension, and DEI would like a three-year deal.(Sporting News)
    AND Richie Gilmore, director of motorsports at DEI, says he's confident that Dale Earnhardt Inc. will sign Martin Truex Jr. to a new contract soon. Michael Waltrip's situation, though, is not as certain. Truex' contract expires after this season. While there is interest in the Cup garage for the defending Busch series champion, DEI has it set up for him to drive Cup cars full time next year with Bass Pro Shops as the sponsor. "Martin's dad and I talk pretty much every day. I think we'll get back together with (car owner) Teresa (Earnhardt) next week and, hopefully, we'll get something together," Gilmore said. Gilmore says that Waltrip's sponsor NAPA has an option for next season. That leaves Waltrip's status uncertain. "We talked to Michael last week," Gilmore said. "We told Michael that we're trying to get the NAPA deal and then we can sit down and talk with him about talk about the future."(Roanoke Times)(5-16-2005)

  • Yates, Evernham and DEI up to 3 teams? #38 and #88 team owner, Robert Yates, is expected to add a third Cup team in 2006, if current Busch sponsor CitiFinancial is willing to make the move. "We'd like to develop a young driver and advance him to Cup," Yates Racing G.M. Eddie D'Hondt says. Three seems to be the magic number for most Cup organizations. Evernham Motorsports (#91-Gaughan?)) and Dale Earnhardt Inc. (#1-Truex Jr.) also are expected to expand to three full-time cars next season.(Sporting News)(5-16-2005)

  • #11 Rumors out again: on Speed Channel's NASCAR Nation, NASCAR.com's Marty Smith was asked about rumors of Joe Gibbs Racing's #11 Jason Leffler being replaced. Smith said he contacted the team and was told there is no truth to the rumor, but Smith said garage gossip have possible drivers as Scott Wimmer, who currently drives the #22 CAT Dodge for Bill Davis Racing and Martin Truex Jr., driver for the #1 DEI Cup car in a limited schedule and full time in the #8 Busch Series Chance 2 Chevy.(5-4-2005)

  • Dale Jr. isn't concerned about Truex bolting; Expects Mikey back in the #15 UPDATE 2: #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn't concerned teammate Martin Truex Jr. will be driving for any team other than DEI. Truex, who is in contract negotiations with car owner Teresa Earnhardt said at Texas rumors of him looking to go elsewhere are false. Dale Jr. said "I feel real confident he (Truex) means what he says and he wants to be with us. I don't want Martin to feel slighted in any way or feel unhappy with it (his contract) so I told him to just take your time and it'll get done." Junior pointed out it took six months to get his current contract worked out. Could Truex be headed for the #15 car replacing Michael Waltrip? Dale Jr. doesn't think so. "I like working with Michael. If Teresa and Ritchie Gilmore are happy with the way he runs this year I don't see why we can't have him back. It isn't his last year I don't think...he hasn't announced his retirement to me. They've had good cars...they've had some accidents and stuff but I wouldn't be surprised at all if he'd win races aside from plate races. They should win every plate race they run and they should have a couple of more here and there because they're that good a team and I think Michael can get the job done."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show/Sporting News)(4-22-2005)
    UPDATE - More on DEI's Future: Considering that the drivers who will be available after the 2006 season are far superior to those who will be available at the end of this year, it would be advantageous for DEI and NAPA, the #15's primary sponsor, to maintain the status quo. According to Gilmore, one driver who won't be jumping into the #15 any time soon, especially if NAPA remains on the car, is Shane Hmiel. Hmiel has close ties with DEI; the company must approve any deal for him to race with another team. Hmiel wouldn't suit NAPA.(Sporting News)(4-26-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Martin Truex says he was "flattered" by the attention he received regarding his uncertain status for next season. Dale Earnhardt Inc. has not yet signed Truex for 2006, leading to speculation he would leave the organization. His buddy, teammate and owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr., spoke with Truex last week and says he's "confident" Truex will drive DEI's #1 Chevrolet as a Nextel Cup rookie next season.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(4-27-2005)

  • Yates Looking to start 3rd Team? Robert Yates is cranking up plans for a third Ford team next season, and every top NASCAR crew chief worth his salt is looking at that opportunity - particularly if Yates can snare a hotshot driver. The top two drivers mentioned so far are Martin Truex Jr. [denied he is looking, working on contract with DEI, denied by Yates] and Reed Sorenson [under contract with Ganassi]. Yates is expected to go after at least one of Chevrolet's top crew chiefs to run the team. Two men he has his eye on are Tony Eury Jr., at Dale Earnhardt Inc., and Todd Berrier at Richard Childress Racing. Yates, however, may be battling rival car owner Ray Evernham of Dodge for both driver and crew chief. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Truex's teammate and friend at DEI, said he has talked with Truex, who still doesn't have a contract. "I asked him how he felt, and I feel real confident he means what he says, and that he wants to be with us," Earnhardt said. "My contract took about six months to work itself out. You want everything done today or tomorrow, but you have to understand it takes time. It's good to be patient in this situation. I'm sure it will get done."(Winston Salen Journal)(4-26-2005)

  • Truex Jr. Comments about rumors: There have been reports that Martin Truex Jr. might leave DEI, however at Texas he tried to clear up those rumors telling PRN's Garagepass..."I don't know where these people come up with these things. You know we're in negotiations trying to get our contract signed for the next three years and I guess somebody knows about it and thinks we're out there looking for a ride...I think it's pretty stupid." When asked if he could imagine leaving DEI and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Truex said..."No I never even thought about it to be honest with you...it's just people talking."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-18-2005)

  • Truex looking elsewhere? Yates? Denied by Yates and Evernham UPDATE: Martin Truex Jr., 2004 Busch Series Champ, is reported to be working the marketplace, and one report has Dodge's Ray Evernham and Ford's Robert Yates both interested in Truex. But Yates denies he's looking at Truex. "We're set for next year (with Elliott Sadler and Dale Jarrett)," Yates said. "Now if we were going to do a third, we'd be looking around. That might be on our wish list, but it's not done yet, and I don't know that we're going to do that. And I have not talked with Martin. But I am impressed with him. Now that you mention it, that's a great idea."(Winston Salem Journal)(4-16-2005)
    UPDATE: Truex, who drives Busch cars for Dale Earnhardt Inc., is reported to be without a contract for 2006. Truex has been mentioned for rides with Dodge's Evernham, Ford's Robert Yates and Chevrolet's Rick Hendrick. Dodge car owner Ray Evernham says he is indeed trying to set up a full-time third team operation but denies that Truex might be replacing Mayfield. Truex? "I hear Robert [Yates] is after him real hard, but I don't know," Evernham said. "I'd love to talk to Martin about that (third team), but I have not. I understand he's under contract with DEI and I'm not going to get involved in another contract dispute."(Winston Salem Journal)
    However: been told that Truex Jr. is signed thru at least 2006 and is [as it was announced] moving up to Cup in 2006 with Bass Pro Shops, supposedly to the #1 DEI Chevy, but could be the #15 if NAPA doesn't return and Michael Waltrip leaves [supposedly needs to make the Chase to keep the ride](4-18-2005)

  • Fellows to Run Cup road courses: Ron Fellows will drive in two Nextel Cup races - at Infineon Raceway in California and Watkins Glen, N.Y. - for Dale Earnhardt, Inc.(Toronto Star)(2-26-2005)

  • Lunch at DEI with Teresa: Teresa Earnhardt is donating her time to the Communities in Schools Networks to help raise funds through their Lunch with a Leader auction. People can bid to have lunch with celebrities and leaders in the entertainment, sports and business worlds. Teresa is listed in the Business Leaders section and you place your bid via www.lunchwithaleader.com starting on January 18 - February 11. The winning bidder will not only get to have lunch with Teresa in the renowned Trophy Room here at DEI, but it will also include a tour of the DEI race shops.(DEI Site), for more info to bid on lunch with Teresa or with Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace, Richard Petty....... see www.lunchwithaleader.com.(1-20-2005)

  • IROC 2005 UPDATE 2 the drivers: there will be an announcement at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday, Jan. 19th to announce the 2005 IROC [International Race of Champions - www.irocracing.com] drivers and new paint schemes for the four race 2005 season. Expect 5-6 Nextel Cup drivers, the Busch Champ [Truex Jr.], Truck Series champ [Hamilton] a few IRL, WoO drivers nad maybe a surprise or two. The 2005 Crown Royal IROC Series will feature 12 drivers from different forms of auto racing in equally prepared cars. The 2005 driver field will consist of seven drivers who captured their respective series championship in 2004 [Busch, Truex Jr., Hamilton, Kanan, Kinser, Kenseth (IROC) and ?]. This year's Crown Royal IROC Series champion will take home a $1 million first-place purse. Also for info on 2004, see my 2004 IROC page.(1-17-2005)
    UPDATE the drivers: the following drivers will run the 2005 IROC Series:
    Matt Kenseth - NASCAR Nextel Cup (2004 Crown Royal IROC champion)
    Kurt Busch - NASCAR Nextel Cup (2004 Series champion)
    Mark Martin - NASCAR Nextel Cup (4-time Crown Royal IROC champion)
    Sebastien Bourdais - CHAMP CAR (2004 Series champion)
    Bobby Hamilton NASCAR - Craftsman Truck (2004 Series champion)
    Steve Kinser - World of Outlaws (2004 Series champion)
    Max Papis - Grand American Road Racing (2004 Series co-champion)
    Scott Pruett - Grand American Road Racing (2004 Series co-champion)
    Martin Truex Jr. - NASCAR Busch Series (2004 Series champion)
    Helio Castroneves - IRL IndyCar Series (2-time Indianapolis 500 champion)
    Buddy Rice - IRL IndyCar Series (2004 Indianapolis 500 champion)
    Danny Lasoski - World of Outlaws (2001 Series champion)(1-18-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) officials have announced the driver field for the 2005 Crown Royal IROC Series. The invitational series will feature 12 champion drivers from different forms of auto racing, including seven drivers who won their respective series titles in 2004. The Crown Royal IROC Series will kick off its 29th season on Friday, February 18 at Daytona International Speedway. Following the season opener, the series will shift to Texas Motor Speedway (April 15), followed by Richmond International Raceway (September 8) and conclude at the Atlanta Motor Speedway (October 29).(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(1-19-2005)
    IMAGE: see an image of the 2005 IROC car on my 2005 Paint Schemes page.(1-20-2005)

  • Truex Jr's 2005 Planned Cup Schedule: Martin Truex Jr. is scheduled to attempt [and run] seven 2005 Nextel Cup races in the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy fielded by DEI: the planned schedule: The Daytona 500, both Talladega races, Pepsi 400 at Daytona, Brickyard 400, Michigan in August, and Homestead.(Martin Truex Jr Online)
    NOTE: been told by Chance 2 that this schedule is incorrect and the only race set in stone for Truex Jr. is the Daytona 500.(1-14-2005)

2004 News

  • Enterprise to sponsor Truex Jr. at Homestead. After the NASCAR time trials were cancelled in New Hampshire, Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) assured Enterprise that it would honor its promise to enter Martin Truex Jr. and DEI's #1 Enterprise Rent-A-Car Chevrolet in a NEXTEL race this season. The race has been selected and Enterprise will finally have its NASCAR debut at Homestead Miami Speedway.(PR)(11-18-2004)

  • Truex Jr. gets Cup sponsor for limited sched in 2005: Martin Truex Jr., leading in the race for this year's Busch Series championship with three races to go, will return to that series next year and move to Nextel Cup full time in 2006 with Bass Pro Shops as primary sponsor. Truex will run with that company's backing in all 35 Busch races and seven Cup races in 2005. His tentative Cup schedule next year is to run both Daytona and Talladega races as well as events at Michigan, Indianapolis and Homestead. Bass Pro Shops will then sponsor the #1 Chevy owned by Dale Earnahrdt Inc. in Cup in the 2006 and 2007 seasons.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-31-2004)

  • Truex Jr. to attempt Atlanta: Martin Truex, Jr. will attempt his first NASCAR Nextel Cup Series start in the Bass Pro Shops/MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, October 31, 2004. Truex, Jr. will drive the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. This will be his first Nextel Cup Series start if he qualifies for the race on the 1.5-mile track. His previous attempt was at New Hampshire International Speedway in September, where qualifying was cancelled by NASCAR due to rain [Note: Truex Jr. subbed for Dale Earnhardt Jr. at NHIS in July, but was not credited with a start or points as per the rules]. "I think every driver's ultimate goal is to race in the Nextel Cup Series," Truex, Jr. said. "I would like to thank Teresa Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and Bass Pro Shops for giving me this opportunity." Currently leading the NASCAR Busch Series standings in his first full year of driving for Chance 2 Motorsports, Truex, Jr. will be carrying some very familiar colors on his car. Bass Pro Shops has been the primary sponsor for 18 Busch Series races for Truex, Jr. and the Chance 2 team this season.
    Richard "Slugger" Labbe, a Daytona 500 winning crew chief, will serve as crew chief on the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops car, with Kevin "Bono" Manion, Truex's regular crew chief on the Busch car, making calls on pit road during the race. A major catalog and Internet retailer, Bass Pro Shops, headquartered in Springfield, MO, currently has 23 locations across the United States and attracts some 66 million visitors a year. Stores in Las Vegas, NV and Harrisburg, PA are also scheduled to open this year with more locations planned for 2005 and 2006.(DEI PR)(10-19-2004)

  • Kenny in the #1 at Talladega: Kenny Wallace will no longer be driving the #00 Aaron's Chevy for Michael Waltrip at Talladega in the EA Sports 500. Wallace will instead drive the #1 Aaron's Rent DEI Chevy(Kenny Wallace site), Waltrip didn't have a car ready for the race.(9-23-2004)

  • Enterprise to sponsor for Truex Jr. in NHIS Cup race? UPDATE: hearing Enterprise Rent-a-car will be the sponsor for Martin Truex Jr.s 'official' Nextel Cup debut next week at New Hampshire where he will drive the #1 DEI Chevy. Truex Jr. subbed for #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. at New Hampshire in July when Dale Jr. was recovering from the Sport Car fire in Sonoma where he was injured, suffering burns.
    UPDATE; Dale Earnhardt Incorporated and Enterprise Rent-A-Car have joined forces to enter Martin Truex Jr. in the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race next weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway, the team announced Thursday. The Sylvania 300 will be Truex Jr.'s first start in NASCAR's premier series. The current Busch Series point leader will drive DEI's No. 1 Enterprise Rent-A-Car Chevrolet at New Hampshire , where he is a Busch North Series winner. Truex, competing in his first full season in the Busch Series, leads Kyle Busch by 95 points heading into Friday night's Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond International Raceway, with nine races remaining this season. "It's still sinking in that I'm running my first Cup race," Truex Jr. said. "Enterprise Rent-A-Car and DEI have made strong efforts to give me this opportunity. Everyone at DEI rents cars from Enterprise on the weekends we race, so I'm looking forward to representing them on the track in New Hampshire ." Enterprise Rent-A-Car is also making its debut as a primary sponsor in Nextel Cup racing.(DEI Site)(9-9-2004)

  • DEI and Hendrick teams test at NHIS: Hendrick Motorsports teammates #24-Jeff Gordon and #48-Jimmie Johnson tested at New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) on Wednesday, September 1 in preparation for the SYLVANIA 300 on Sunday, September 19. Both teams have clinched spots in the 2004 "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup". Martin Truex, Jr. tested on Tuesday, August 31 and Wednesday, September 1 in the #1 Dale Earnhardt Incorporated Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Truex, Jr. will be attempting to qualify for the upcoming SYLVANIA 300 at NHIS. For ticket and race information, please visit the Speedway online at www.nhis.com or call Speedway Guest Services at (603) 783-4931.(NHIS PR)(9-4-2004)

  • DHL to sponsor a team? UPDATE: hearing rumors that DHL could sponsor a Cup team in 2005, one rumored is the #1 DEI team. DHL would join UPS and Fed-Ex as delivery service companies joining NASCAR.(7-21-2004)
    UPDATE: DHL, the air-express company that has stepped into the NASCAR arena with a race sponsorship at Michigan International Speedway, wants to step up to a full car sponsorship, but its on-again, off-again negotiations to put together a package still appear up in the air. DHL has been speculated as a potential sponsor for a third Dale Earnhardt Inc. team, but other teams may also be in the bidding. And the driver situation is still murky.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-28-2004)

  • #1 Crew Chief takes Wiper Award: Internet voters have selected Pete Rondeau as the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race after Ron Fellows brought Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s #1 Chevrolet home second in Sunday's Sirius at The Glen at Watkins Glen International. Fellows started the race in 43rd position after the field was set by owners' points when qualifying was wiped out because of moisture on the track. Tony Eury Sr., crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s #8 Chevrolet, continues to lead the competition for the $10,000 prize that will be given to the crew chief with the most weekly wins at the end of the year.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-18-2004)

  • Biffle rumors continue: Rumors persist that Greg Biffle is looking to exit his contract with Roush Racing and the #16 Ford at the close of this year. The lead candidate to pick up Biffle is the #1 DEI Chevy.(Motorsport.com), JAYSKI Note: Biffle continues to say he is signed thru 2005 [see #16 Team page] and DEI announced that a sponsor was forthcoming for the #1 Chevy and John Andretti would drive the car in 2005 and 2006.(7-11-2004)

  • #1 team coming back...and a DEI Busch team? [gasp] AND: Within the next week, Dale Earnhardt Inc.[DEI] should announce plans to reopen its #1 Chevrolet Nextel Cup team with driver John Andretti and add a Busch Series team, DEI's director of motorsports, Richie Gilmore, said Friday. "We're real close to putting together a long-term deal with the #1 car and John Andretti. We're hoping to put some news out next week about that," Gilmore said. "This team has been the No. 1 priority this season. We didn't want to bring it back unless we could do it full time. We felt like that is what John needed and what we needed." Gilmore said the Cup deal would be for the remainder of this season, 2005 and 2006. Andretti would drive the car at least through 2005. DEI also plans to announce the hiring of Paul Menard, 23, who has been running in the Busch Series with Andy Petree Racing. Menard left that organization earlier this week. "We're trying to get that worked out. Paul reminds me a lot of Martin, especially his personality. He's a really good kid - and nothing against Andy (Petree) - but with DEI resources, I think Paul can really excel," Gilmore said. "We're looking at a long-term relationship with Paul because of his age and ability, with him and Martin (Truex Jr.) being the future of DEI."(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND the crew chief for the #1 car will be the Pete Rondeau, currently the car chief for the #15 DEI team, Tony Gibson will be the crew chief for Paul Menard and the new #11 Busch team.(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 144 - subscription required)(6-11-2004)

  • Special Coca-Cola Schemes: interesting, hearing that eight drivers will run special Coca-Cola C2 [will have half the sugar, carbohydrates and calories of regular colas] schemes at Daytona in the July 3rd, 'Pepsi 400'. The drivers? #29-Harvick, #1-Andretti, #91-Elliott, #16-Biffle, #97-Busch, #99-Burton, #21-Rudd and #20-Stewart. See images of the #29 and #1 on my 2004 Cup Schemes page.(6-4-2004)
    ADDED: #16 Coca-Cola C2, #21-Coca-Cola C2, #97-Coca-Cola C2 and #99-Coca-Cola C2 to my 2004 Cup Schemes page.(6-5-2004)

  • Fed-Ex to Gibbs? UPDATE or DEI? Federal Express, which once was in the running to be the title sponsor of NASCAR's top series before Nextel came on board, has been in talks with both Joe Gibbs Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. Word in the garage: Fed Ex will end up on a third Cup car for the 2005 season at JGR with J.J. Yeley, a Busch rookie this season, behind the wheel. But Gibbs says it's too early to commit. "Right now, we're in the process of moving through things, and we can't announce anything because the deal isn't done," Gibbs says. "We've been in conversations for a long time but right now it's just a work in progress."(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-24-2004)
    UPDATE: On the sponsorship front, Federal Express is being wooed again by both DEI and Joe Gibbs.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-29-2004)

  • Andretti to attempt the 600 with Snap-On: DEI continues to search for a full-time sponsor for the #1 car but plans on running John Andretti this week with a Snap-on paint scheme for the Coca-Cola 600.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-24-2004)

  • Fellows in a DEI car at Watkins Glen: Ron Fellows will be behind the wheel of a Dale Earnhardt Inc. NASCAR Nextel Cup Chevrolet at the Watkins Glen road course in August, The Toronto Sun has learned. The Toronto driver, who led the DEI team to its best ever finish at California's Infineon Raceway in 2003, will race just once in the Nextel Cup car this season because of a scheduling conflict with his American Le Mans Series Corvette C5-R program. "I would have loved to race both at Infineon and Watkins Glen but (ALMS) is racing in Mid-Ohio that weekend (June 25-27), and that's my first priority," Fellows said. The deal is doubled-edged in that Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- NASCAR's top driver at the moment -- will team up with Fellows to race a third factory Corvette at the ALMS event in California in July. Fellows and Earnhardt tested the Corvettes this week at Michigan's GingerMan Raceway. For Earnhardt it was his first time behind the wheel of the car in its current configuration. Also joining Earnhardt on the Corvette team will be veteran road racer Boris Said.(Toronto Sun)(5-23-2004)

  • New engine builder at DEI...from Yates? hearing former Yates engine man, Dennis Schoenfeld has left Robert Yates Racing [#38 and #88] and took the head engine builder job at Dale Earnhardt Inc.[DEI](5-11-2004)

  • Truex Jr. debut could come at NHIS: Martin Truex Jr. will likely make his debut appearance in the Nextel Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway in September, said his crew chief Kevin Manion. "Possibly (New Hampshire) might be our first Cup race," said Manion, a native of Boylston who has been working at Dale Earnhardt Inc. since 1997 and has been the Chance 2 Motorsports, a team originally started at DEI by the late seven-time champion in 1997, crew chief since 2002. Even though Truex Jr. won't test at NHIS for the Busch Series event in July, Manion noted if DEI decides to field an additional car for the September race, testing will be mandatory. "We'll test up there for sure in a Cup car because it's a total different series," said Manion.(Boston Herald)(5-7-2004)

  • Andretti looking at Indy 500 options and a possible double: John Andretti said during his segment when ask what his plans are to run the Indy 500 and possible the Coca-Cola 600 in May: "I hate not being out there every weekend, and hopefully the plan is to get back on track as soon as possible. The Coca-Cola 600 is such a great race as is the Indy 500. We were the first one to do them both, and I would love to do them again. Who knows what's going to happen? But we're working toward both of them actually at this point, and we'll see. Obviously the Coca-Cola 600 is toward the end (of the month), and right up to the end, we're looking at all of the options, but then we have the Indy 500 and there are so many activities that go on. Even though the track opens, it doesn't mean there's not an opportunity. There are three days of qualifying, and, of course, the last day of qualifying being after the Nextel All-Star Challenge."(FoxSports)(5-6-2004)

  • Gibson to Dale Jr's Busch team AND #1 car close to 12 race deal: Tony Gibson will return as crew chief for Earnhardt's Busch racing effort. Gibson will then go back to Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s #1 Nextel Cup team and John Andretti for the races July 3 at Daytona and July 11 at Chicago. Currently, DEI is working on sponsorship that would extend the team to a 12-race schedule.(Foxsports/Sporting News)(4-19-2004)

  • Andretti may run the Indy 500: John Andretti, temporarily out of a ride on the Nextel Cup circuit, said he's in negotiations with a team that would field a car for him in the Indianapolis 500, a race he's run seven times.(Tennessean)(3-28-2004)

  • Andretti's fans drive UPDATE: Several days ago, one of John Andretti's fans got the idea to try and raise enough money to sponsor Andretti in a race. Word spread quickly and people from all over began to pledge money. Andretti and radio broadcaster Dave Wilson discussed it on the air on a Tuesday night interview and Andretti expressed how impressed and humbled he was about it. As a result of this outpouring of support, Andretti's fan website, jafanpage.com are going to institute a fund drive for a charity. Details will be posted there in the next few days.(3-19-2004)
    UPDATE: John Andretti has issued a letter thanking fans trying to organize a fund-raising campaign to sponsor a Nextel Cup entry for him but urged them to abandon the plan. "I feel blessed and honored to have such outstanding individuals and families that support me even to the level of giving me their hard-earned dollars. This will never be forgotten," wrote Andretti, who has made only two starts this year in a partial campaign in Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s No. 1 Chevrolet. He urged fans to use their money to support the sponsors who back their favorite teams and added, "For those who would like to donate otherwise, we will again be hosting the Race for Riley Hospital for Children just prior to the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(3-19-2004)

  • Andretti and #1 team close to a sponsor: John Andretti said talks with team owner Teresa Earnhardt convinced him that Dale Earnhardt Inc. will have sufficient sponsorships to field him in the No. 1 Chevrolet the next few weeks. Andretti started the first two races of the season, finishing 13th at Daytona, but missed Las Vegas and Atlanta.(St Petersburg Times)(3-13-2004)
    UPDATE: John Andretti, Jimmy Spencer and Brett Bodine, all of whom are seeking full-time rides in Cup, were mingling in the garage yesterday. Andretti is optimistic about his prospects of returning to Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet, which he drove at Daytona and Rockingham. "There's a lot of [sponsorship] activity I feel good about it," Andretti said. "So many people are saying we're not getting one call. I got 10, several from CEOs or high-level marketing executives, and I'm just a driver."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-14-2004)

  • Andretti to testify in DC UPDATE statement link: John Andretti is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday during a hearing regarding a proposed constitutional amendment to allow Congress to prohibit flag burning. Andretti, who is running a partial schedule for Dale Earnhardt Inc. this season, will be joined by four others when his panel meets with the committee. Joining Andretti are Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady of Citizens Flag Alliance; Richard Parker, a Harvard law professor; Gary May, associate professor of social work at the University of Southern Indiana; and Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of defense.(ThatsRacin.com)(3-6-2004)
    STATEMENT: The following is a link to the Statement by John Andretti, NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Driver, to the Committee on the Judiciary, The United States Senate, on Senate Joint Resolution 4, "Letting The People Decide: The Constitutional Amendment Authorizing Congress To Prohibit Physical Desecration of the Flag of the United States." It was given Tuesday morning, March 10. "Good morning. My name is John Andretti. I want to thank the members of the Judiciary Committee for holding this hearing. And thank you, also, for inviting me to talk on a matter that is of importance to me and the great majority of Americans - protecting their flag from acts of physical desecration." See full Andretti statement at: Williams Company site - Andretti to US Senate Judiciary Committee.(3-10-2004)

  • Andretti at the Rock UPDATE officially entered, Gunselman withdraws: John Andretti will have a ride for Rockingham and probably the next few races, DEI officials said, and cars are being put together this week for that race, in a rapidly moving venture. That third DEI team had planned to shut down after the Daytona 500 because of lack of sponsorship.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-11-2004)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Inc. has entered its #1 Chevy for driver John Andretti in Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. The entry, which was made in time for the team to receive championship points, gives the event 45 entries after Jay Robinson Racing canceled its entry Wednesday for driver Larry Gunselman. "With the short turnaround between Daytona and Rockingham, we didn't want to sacrifice the Subway 400 because we're hoping to run the whole season," DEI spokesman Steve Crisp said. "We've got something we think may come through (sponsor for the season). So some of our valued partners: Snap-On Tools, Nilla Wafers, Nutter Butter and Chevrolet, The American Revolution came on for one race to sponsor the car."(NASCAR.com)(2-18-2004)

  • Smirnoff and DEI? Several teams were hoping for a strong showing to attract potential sponsors, including the #1 DEI Chevy with John Andretti. DEI is in discussions with Seagram's Smirnoff brand.(Yahoo Sports), however, it was recently announced that Smirnoff Ice re-signed with Matt Kenseth and the #17 Team.(2-16-2004)

  • Andretti in the #1 longer? John Andretti said the odds are good that he will be driving the third DEI car [#1 Chevy] in a number of NASCAR races this season. The decision follows the promotion of Richie Gilmore to No. 2 man at DEI, and it comes as NASCAR faces a major shortage of cars this season because of sponsorship problems. "In the most optimistic scenario we could skip Rockingham and run the entire rest of the season," Andretti said. "Things have changed. We have decided to do more races, so we want to raise that awareness. And there has been a lot of movement in the sponsorship area, which was stale for a long time. I'm real optimistic."(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND John Andretti says his #1 Chevrolet team at Dale Earnhardt Inc. likely will run at least 20 races and possibly more than 30 if a sponsor can be signed. Andretti said the new leadership team at DEI said the benefits of having a third team to help gather information during races and test sessions far outweigh the costs.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-7-2004)

  • Norris Out? UPDATE 3: hearing reports that DEI executive vice president Ty Norris has left Dale Earnhardt Inc???(1-27-2004 5pm/et)
    UPDATE: Sources close to Dale Earnhardt, Inc., told NASCAR.com Tuesday that executive vice president Ty Norris has resigned from the team, effective immediately. An announcement from the team is expected Wednesday. Sources said Norris' decision was made in reaction to Teresa Earnhardt's decision to restructure the team's upper management, thus sending Norris to a lesser role. Norris, an employee at DEI since 1996, bore the brunt of the company's executive responsibility following Dale Earnhardt's death in February 2001.(NASCAR.com), hearing Richie Gilmore will assume Norris' position or some of the duties.(1-28-2004 - 12mid)
    UPDATE 2: Sources close to Dale Earnhardt Inc., confirmed that a "blow-up" took place at the shop over the weekend, leaving Ty Norris, the organization's executive vice president, with the option of stepping down or stepping out. Team owner Teresa Earnhardt was expected to meet with teams Tuesday to discuss the developments that include a restructuring of upper management. Richie Gilmore, DEI's chief engine builder, is expected to move up to the front office. Gilmore told TSN he's looking forward to the challenge and had not yet been told what his official title would be. The general consensus in the garage during Las Vegas testing was that having "a racer" run the day-to-day business would benefit DEI significantly. Gilmore, a native of Rochester, N.H., began his racing career in Super Modifieds as a teenager. Gilmore met Ron Bouchard and moved to North Carolina in 1988 to work on his Winston Cup team. In 1991, after an apprenticeship with Keith Dorton, Gilmore joined Hendrick Motorsports and began working with Randy Dorton. At Hendrick's, Gilmore was assigned to the lease program at Joe Gibbs Racing when Dale Jarrett won his first Daytona 500. He continued with Hendrick's on Terry Labonte's team in 1995 and 1996 when the No. 5 car won the title. In 1998, he was approached by Dale Earnhardt to build engines for the No. 8 car and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was making his Cup debut the following season. When Gilmore took over the engine shop, DEI had just 19 employees and 21 engines. Gilmore helped to grow the department to 61 employees and 115 engines during his tenure as DEI's head engine builder.(FoxSports)(1-28-2004)
    UPDATE 3: Effective immediately, Richie Gilmore will direct all motorsports functions at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated. The position was previously held by Ty Norris, who resigned on Jan. 26, 2004. Teresa Earnhardt, CEO and co-founder of Dale Earnhardt Incorporated stated, "Because of close teamwork at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, Richie Gilmore has prepared to manage all motorsports responsibilities. Looking at programs he has implemented over the years, we're confident he will continue to develop our success, both on and off the track." Gilmore, a 38-year-old Rochester, NH native came to DEI in 1998 as Head Engine Builder, after an eight-year stint at Hendrick Motorsports. In addition, Dale Earnhardt Incorporated's Sponsor Services Division is being strengthened with additional personnel. Earnhardt added,"To develop new marketing strategies and fulfill the needs of our current partners we will be focusing on growth while continuing to direct primary energies toward winning the Nextel Cup and BGN championships; fulfilling the goals established for this company over a decade ago."(DEI PR)(1-30-2004)

2003 News

  • Sad News: Rina Andretti, mother of auto racing legend Mario Andretti, died early Monday at Country Meadows nursing home in Bethlehem Township [PA]. She was 90. Mario Andretti said his mother suffered from dementia, a neurological condition that can be caused by Alzheimer's disease. Mario Andretti said his mother peacefully passed away in her sleep. Rina Andretti came to the United States from Montona, Italy, in 1955 with her family after spending seven years in a refugee camp. Mario Andretti said his mother was supportive of him, his twin brother Aldo and sister Anna Marie Burley. In addition to Mario Andretti, Rina Andretti is survived by son Aldo Andretti of Indianapolis, daughter Anna Marie Burley of Melbourne, Fla., 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Funeral services and a Mass of Christian Burial are set for Friday.(Express-Times) AND In addition to her three children, Rina Andretti is survived by 12 grandchildren, including Mario's sons Jeff and Michael, and Aldo's son, NASCAR driver John, and 19 great-grandchildren. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Reichel Funeral Home,Nazareth, with a Mass to follow at 11am at Holy Family Catholic Church.(Morning Call)(12-30-2003)

  • Andretti getting looks? hearing that John Andretti has been approached by several Cup and Busch teams after the DEI Busch test at Talladega recently. Supposedly a couple of the Cup teams are ones with drivers who were not expected to be out of rides in 2004. Andretti's test opened a lot of eyes and the word got around, and now some Cup and Busch teams are at least checking his availability. He is in the #1 DEI Chevy for the Daytona 500 but DEI said they would let him out if he found a full-time ride.(12-30-2003)

  • Andretti to run some Busch? and testing: hearing that several Cup and a couple of Busch teams have contacted John Andretti about driving for them in 2004, and he is considering things now. Apparently, a couple of IRL teams have also inquired but Andretti, so far, is planning on staying in NASCAR racing.
    AND hearing Andretti will be testing Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Busch car at Talladega on Wednesday.(12-16-2003)

  • #1 and Andretti in 2004? UPDATE 3 DEI announcement: Dale Earnhardt Inc. also has been pursuing Kodak, but sources say it plans to run John Andretti in the #1 car regardless of Kodak's decision.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)
    UPDATE: am hearing that DEI is now considering a partial schedule with Andretti as driver in the #1 Chevy.(12-1-2003)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that DEI has decided to shut down the #1 team and has released many [6] of the team members. Supposedly plans are to now run a full Busch schedule with Martin Truex Jr. and to possibly run some cup races with him. Also heard the team will run a seven race schedule and Andretti would drive those races.(12-2-2003)
    AND supposedly Chance 2 Motorsports will run a full schedule in a quest of the NASCAR Busch Series championship in 2004. Martin Truex, Jr. will be the primary driver and Earnhardt, Jr. will drive a second car for superspeedway races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Also, the #1 Chevy will be run under a different marketing program next year only participating in special races. John Andretti will drive in the Daytona 500. Truex, Jr. will also participate in seven Cup Series races in 2004 to prepare for a full-time move to the series in 2005.
    UPDATE 3: For the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series seasons, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has announced changes to two of its four teams. Chance 2 Motorsports, co-owned by Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., will run a full schedule in a quest of the NASCAR Busch Series championship in 2004. Martin Truex, Jr. will be the primary driver and Earnhardt, Jr. will drive a second car for superspeedway races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Also, the #1 Chevrolet will be run under a different marketing program next year only participating in special races. John Andretti will drive in the season-opening Daytona 500. The new plan also calls for Truex, Jr. to run five - seven Nextel Cup Series races in 2004 to prepare for a possible full-time move to the series in 2005. "This is the approach we decided to take looking toward the 2005 season," said Teresa Earnhardt, President and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. "We are going to strengthen our program for the No. 1 car and get that back to the status of Earnhardt standards. From a marketing standpoint, this is a great opportunity for a company to get involved with a Nextel Cup team. And, a young driver such as Truex Jr. in our No. 1 car will be the perfect place to utilize that strategy. Truex, Jr. competed in six Busch races with Chance 2 Motorsports this season garnering two top-five finishes and three top-10s. He closed the season with two, consecutive second-place finishes. By competing in just seven races this year, Truex Jr. will be eligible to compete for Rookie of the Year honors in Nextel Cup in 2005. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has won two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and two NASCAR Busch Series championships. "I'm really looking forward to run for the Busch championship," Truex, Jr., 23, said. "After six races with Chance 2 in 2003, I was really pleased with the way things went and how we performed. Some of our finishes didn't reflect what we are truly capable of achieving on the track. But, we'll have 34 races next year to capitalize on what we learned this year together. I have the best equipment, crew chief and team anyone could ask for in the Busch garage. We ended the season on a positive note with two, second-place finishes." Teresa Earnhardt was on top of the team's pit box during the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway when Truex, Jr. finished second. "The Chance 2 team and Martin have shown they are capable of competing up to the standards we strive to achieve here at Dale Earnhardt, Inc.," Earnhardt said. "Committing to a full season in the Busch Series will better prepare us to meet the high standards of the No. 1 team in 2005."(DEI PR)(12-3-2003)

  • Fellows to have surgery: Canadian racing driver Ron Fellows, who drove the last two races of the 2003 American Le Mans Series season with a painfully dislocated shoulder, will undergo surgery Dec. 1 in Indianapolis to repair the damage. Fellows, who drives for the factory Chevrolet Corvette team in the American Le Mans Series, has won the GTS class driving title the past two seasons in the sports car racing series. He expects to be fully recovered from the surgery to begin his title defense when the 2004 ALMS season starts with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 17-20. Fellows injured his left shoulder in a rock-climbing accident on Sept. 20 near his home in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, Ont. After originally seeing a doctor in Toronto, he traveled to Indianapolis to see Dr. Terry Trammell, a noted orthopedic surgeon who has long been associated with the treatment of injured racing drivers. With Trammell's help, Fellows was able to painfully complete the minimum amount of laps required for him to earn points in the ALMS event in Miami on Sept. 27, one week after the injury, with co-driver Johnny O'Connell doing most of the driving for the team in the race. Fellows and O'Connell clinched the GTS class driving championship by finishing fourth in that race. Fellows, who has had to sleep in a special sling to prevent him from raising his arm more than 45 degrees, helped the Corvette team conduct tire tests for Goodyear last week at Sebring International Raceway, his last racing activity before the surgery. The team has another major test scheduled for early February and he expects to be able to participate. While he won't miss any racing, the surgery and resulting recovery will cause Fellows to miss a winter of playing ice hockey, one of his favorite activities, as well as spending time on the ice with his two young sons.(Speed Channel) Fellows, also driver most of the Winston Cup road course races, at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, this past season in the #1 DEI Chevy.(11-27-2003)

  • Beam leaves RCR for Wells UPDATE plus a new crew chief for the #32: Crew Chief Mike Beam has left Richard Childress Racing and the #30 AOL Chevy team to become the team manager for car owner Cal Wells' operation.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(11-19-2003)
    UPDATE: PPI Motorsports today announced it has hired former Tide Racing crew chief Mike Beam as competition director for its racing programs. Beam is joined by David Charpentier, who will serve as crew chief for the #32 Tide Chevrolet driven by Ricky Craven. Scott Miller, crew chief for the #32 Tide Pontiac in 2003, is exploring options both within and outside of the team's engineering group. Beam, a veteran NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief, returns to PPI Motorsports after serving as crew chief for Richard Childress Racing's #30 AOL Chevrolet in 2003. As competition director, Beam will help focus the organization's in-house operations toward increased performance. He will also work with Charpentier and the crew of the #32 Tide Chevrolet to ensure the team's at-track competition needs are met. Beam served as crew chief for PPI Motorsports' #32 Tide Racing program from 2001-2001 and helped lead the team to its first NASCAR Winston Cup Series win (Martinsville, October 2001), three pole positions, and seven top-five finishes.
    Charpentier, former engineering manager for Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI), entered the professional motorsports ranks after seven years in the Navy's nuclear power program and consulted for several teams, including Sabco Racing, Rudd Performance Motorsports, Butch Mock Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports. In 1999, Charpentier joined DEI and was instrumental in the team's growth from one to three successful Winston Cup teams.(PPI Motorsports PR)(11-24-2003)

  • Andretti staying at DEI? John Andretti will remain in the #1 DEI Chevrolet in 2004. Crew chief Tony Gibson says Andretti's contributions have helped the team tremendously. "He's driven so many different styles of racecars that he's learned a lot about chassis and shocks," Gibson says. "He's very car-smart."(FoxSports/Sporting News)(11-17-2003)

  • Schrader or Raines to the #30? UPDATE Andretti?: With Jeff Burton all but assured to remain at Roush Racing next season with a new sponsor [Fed-Ex? Kodak? Nat Guard?] for his #99 Fords, veteran Ken Schrader and Winston Cup rookie Tony Raines have emerged as the front-runners for Richard Childress Racing's #30 AOL Chevrolets, NASCAR sources confirmed Saturday. Burton is under contract with Roush, but his team had difficulty in securing a primary sponsor for next season. Roush apparently has a sponsor for the team, although the identity remained unclear. Burton's unavailability has forced team owner Richard Childress to consider other alternatives.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-8-2003)
    UPDATE: also hearing John Andretti is a stong candidate for the ride.(11-10-2003)

  • Kodak talking to teams: The Kodak sponsorship question is still unanswered, but company officials are expected to meet with potential car owners this weekend. Larry McClure [owner of the #4 Kodak Pontiac] has reportedly agreed to Kodak's buy-back of the final two years of his contract; however the two sides are apparently at odds over other aspects of that deal. Kodak is being bombarded with sponsorship bids, and the top two teams in the running appear to be DEI and Roush Racing. Ty Norris, DEI general manager, won't talk specifically about Kodak but says "We've had some movement in the last 10 days."(Winston Salem Journal)(10-25-2003)

  • Both Hmiels to Petty Enterprises? or Green? or Benson? A combination deal might land Steve Hmiel, technical director for Dale Earnhardt Inc., and his son Shane Hmiel, a Busch Series driver, at Petty Enterprises in 2004. Steve worked for the Pettys early in his Winston Cup career. Shane was supposed to drive the #43 Dodge in the Pepsi 400 in July at Daytona but failed to qualify. Jeff Green has run well recently in the #43 and also is a candidate to drive it. Johnny Benson, who will be released from the #10, might be in the mix because of his previous relationship with General Mills, the primary sponsor for the 43 car. "We're still looking, we're still evaluating, and we're still working in that direction whether it's Benson, Jeff Gordon, the guy sitting in the third row of the grandstands or Jeff Green," says Kyle Petty, the team's general manager. Petty says Christian Fittipaldi will drive the team's #44 if a sponsor is secured for next season.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(10-20-2003)

  • New Jersey Driver to the #1? Martin Truex, Jr.'s name has been thrown into the mix for the #1 DEI car, possibly to help draw a sponsor with his youth.(BGNRacing.com)
    AND Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s #1 is still open, but that car doesn't have a sponsor signed yet, so drivers are apparently waiting on DEI to get a sponsor before committing to that ride. Current driver John Andretti might be the leading candidate, with or without a sponsor. Or maybe a potential sponsor would want a young driver, and DEI might look in-house to Chance 2 Motorsports driver Martin Truex Jr.( NASCAR.com Buzz)(10-10-2003)

  • Riggs to Decide in two weeks: Busch Series driver [#10] Scott Riggs has given himself two weeks to make a major, and enviable, decision. Second in a tight Busch Series points race behind Brian Vickers, the 32-year-old has received "way more than 10" offers to drive in NASCAR's Nextel Cup series next year. "I still haven't whittled everything down to where I can figure out the most competitive ride and where I feel the most comfortable," Riggs said Wednesday during a trip to Tampa. "I've had a lot of calls about my future and people wanting me to be a part of theirs. I'm almost ready to make (the decision) so I can go on and focus on winning a championship." Contrary to numerous published reports, he said no offer has come from Richard Childress Racing, which fired Steve Park on Tuesday. "I've not heard from Richard Childress," he said. "I had a great opportunity with them two years ago; he offered me a chance to go Busch racing with him, but it wasn't the best choice for me because it was going to be a rookie team. I felt like as a rookie, going into a new series with an all-rookie team would be more than I could bite off, so I decided to go with (ppc Racing)."(St Petersburg Times), heaviest rumors seem to be with DEI [#1 Chevy], Evernham [#9 or #19] and a smaller team, #57 CLR, which he tested for at Lowe's last month.(10-2-2003)

  • Sponsor Rumor #1: Domino's Pizza to the #1 DEI Chevy?(10-1-2003)

  • Looks like Riggs to Cup in 2004; either Evernham or DEI? Scott Riggs [driver of the #10 ppc Ford in Busch] has been debating between Winston Cup offers from Ray Evernham and DEI, according to sources. If Riggs takes the DEI ride, as expected, Jeremy Mayfield could remain with Evernham. Doug Randolph could become Riggs' crew chief at DEI. Shane Hmiel had been No. 2 in line for the DEI ride behind Riggs until he ran afoul of NASCAR's drug-abuse policy. NASCAR has still not offered any timetable for the Richmond drug test that Hmiel took or any details of the drugs involved or what medical treatment program would be acceptable.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-29-2003)

  • Nemechek has many options: Joe Nemechek, who has lost his ride with [#25] Hendrick Motorsports after this year, is reportedly under consideration to drive a Dodge [I think teh author meant Pontiac and made a mistake, have heard nothing about Wells switching to Dodge] for Cal Wells if Wells is successful in adding a second team for 2004. Neither Wells or Nemechek has said much about the possibility, although Wells has said he is working with a potential sponsor for a second car. Wells, a highly successful owner in Indy Car racing, started a NASCAR team with driver Ricky Craven. Wells has long felt that singlecar teams are at a distinct disadvantage in Winston Cup racing and feels he needs a second team to be competitive. "I feel real good about next year," Nemecheck said. "We've got a lot of things going. I talk with Rick (Hendrick) almost every day. He's really trying to help me out. In fact, if they get another sponsor, there's a possibility something could happen here." In addition to Wells and Hendrick, Nemechek has been in contact with DEI and Richard Childress.(Lakeland Ledger)(9-28-2003)

  • Sadler wins pole at Talladega; Earnhardt Jr's and Keller's times disallowed: #38-Elliott Sadler won the pole at Talladega for the EA Sports 500 with a speed of 189.943mph, his second pole for Sadler in 2003 and his career. Rookie #42-Jamie McMurray put the special paint scheme Dodge on the outside pole. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., who ran a lap of 188.382mph which would had put him starting 11th was disallowed when inpsectors found the rear quarter panels of the #8 Chevy 5/16" too low, the tolerence is 1/4", so Dale Jr. has to use a provisional to make the field and will start 38th. The penalty allowed #14-Foyt to stay 36th and make the field and knocked #30-Steve Park out of the race. Other missing the race are: #54-Bodine; #4-Lepage; #80-Bliss; #45-Petty and #0-Leffler.
    UPDATE: also #1-Jason Keller's qualifying time/speed was disllowed for the sme infraction as Earnahrdt Jr., the rear quarter panels on their Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolets were deemed too low in post-qualifying inspection. The required height for rear quarter panels from the ground is 35 inches minimum on the right side, with a quarter-inch tolerance after their qualifying run. Keller was to start 33rd.
    For qualifying results, who used provisionals, pole progression, where the rookies are and other links to lineups at JAYSKI's Qualifying/Grid page.(9-26-2003)

  • Biffle and DEI? Biffle says he is staying at Roush UPDATE 4 - signed with Rosuh thru 2005?: an odd one I am hearing from a few sources this morning....Greg Biffle is negotiating with DEI for the #1 Chevy beginning with 2004. He supposedly has an out with his Roush contract, one apparently his lawyers found, and is getting ready to make the move. DEI is waiting for a sponsor to sign off, supposedly it could be Kraft [who sponsored the #81 DEI car at Indy and also sponsored some Roush teams in the Winston and Bud Shootout].(9-23-2003)
    UPDATE - Biffle says he is staying at Roush: "Take me out of the rumor mill," says Greg Biffle. "I have won two championships and two rookie titles with Roush Racing and for Grainger, and my hope is simply to stay here to try and win more championships for Grainger and for Jack Roush." With that statement Biffle hopes to end "silly season" speculation about his future. "I have time remaining on my current contract and we've begun negotiations for an extension," added Biffle. "At this point in the season, the rumors start to fly about which driver is doing what for next season even when he's under a contract that he intends to honor. It's way too easy to start a rumor these days. I've had a few calls about going other places, but I'm just not interested in doing so. It's very flattering to have big name teams calling me at this point in my career, but I'm driving for one of the biggest names in the industry that has a team of racing and marketing people committed to helping further my career and reach my potential."(Roush Racing PR)(9-25-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Greg Biffle's future at Roush Racing is most certainly in question. Biffle told NASCAR.com on Friday that he has no immediate plans to leave Roush, but is exploring the possibility of employment elsewhere. "There's several people who have approached me about doing something different," Biffle said just before his qualifying run at Talladega Superspeedway. "It's not set in stone I'm staying with Roush, not set in stone I'm leaving. But I'm certainly exploring my options." Biffle wouldn't elaborate on his suitors, but did say his current contract runs through the end of 2004, and that no extension has been signed. "This is probably my last career move, to go somewhere for the next five or six years, or next so many years," Biffle said. "I'm relatively happy where I'm at," he said. "We're getting better, let's say. I haven't been happy this whole year, but we're definitely getting better and happier than I have been in the past."(NASCAR.com)(9-27-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Rookie Greg Biffle reiterated Saturday that he's not looking to leave Roush Racing. He says he's just exploring his options once his contract expires at the end of next year. "Nothing has changed yet," Biffle said. "We're working on an extension beyond 2004, but I haven't signed anything. "I'm not saying I'm leaving Roush and I'm not saying I'm staying. I just want to see what's best for Greg Biffle in 2005."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-28-2003)
    UPDATE 4: Greg Biffle is sending mixed signals about his commitment to stay with car owner Jack Roush, and Biffle's name has been mentioned as a possible driver for Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season. However, Geoff Smith, who runs Roush Racing, says Biffle has a contract to drive for Roush for 2004 and 2005. That's a year longer than had been previously revealed. 'The thing that's causing the commotion,' Smith said, 'is that we are in discussions with his agent to extend that. And his agent is checking the marketplace, so they can line up their best negotiating position with us. We're talking about something that's three years off. 'Greg has an agent who's going through the garage, Fred Lexie, who is Kevin Harvick's agent. Fred, every time he walks by a trailer, it's 'Hey, what have you got for my boy?' That's his job.'(Winston Salem Journal); if Biffle is signed thru 2005, and the contract iron-clad, why is this such an issue???(9-29-2003)
    UPDATE 5: sources tell me Biffle is signed only thru 2004 NOT 2005.(9-30-2003)

  • #1 Sponsor Sort of Update: Ty Norris, who runs DEI for Teresa Earnhardt, said that things haven't changed much in the past three weeks in negotiations for a new sponsor for the #1 Chevy team. 'A lot of conversations took place over a two- or three-week stretch, and now they've taken a two or three week break,' Norris said. 'The two companies we've been in conversation with still seem to be there... but they're timing is a little slower than we thought it would be. But I'm still very confident we're going to secure sponsorship for next year.' Scott Riggs is still rumored to be the man DEI wants. 'That's for others to speculate about,' Norris said.(Winston Salem Journal). Biffle? Kodak? Kraft? Jayski?(9-28-2003)

  • Why #75 for the 4th RCR car? UPDATE Andretti and the 4th RCR team, #90 AOL [not #75]: John Andretti will drive a fourth RCR entry at Talladega, using the #75, sponsor to be announced. Why #75? The number was chosen as a nod to the late Neil Bonnett, a close friend of team owner Richard Childress. Andretti is currently in the #1 DEI chevy, but had committed to RCR before he got that ride. Jason Keller will drive the #1 at Talladega.(Winston Cup Scene page 22 - need sub to read)(9-18-2003
    UPDATE - Andretti and the 4th RCR team, #90 AOL: John Andretti will drive the #90 America Online/Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) Chevy for Richard Childress Racing (RCR) in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series' EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sept. 28. The fourth RCR Winston Cup entry will be a research and development car in preparation for the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup season. Bobby Leslie will be the crew chief and the over-the-wall crew will be RCR's #21 PayDay NASCAR Busch Series team. Legendary NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey agreed to allow RCR the use of his famed #90 for the race to tie into the recent introduction of the AOL 9.0® Optimized service, the most compelling upgrade in AOL history.
    "John's current driving situation with DEI was not in place when he committed to drive the fourth car for us at Talladega so I'm glad we were able to work this deal out," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "We're running the fourth car to get a head-start on the 2004 season so I appreciate John helping us out with the work we'll need to have done before testing at Daytona in January. Being able to tie AOL and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation together on the car is very important to me personally because of my respect and admiration for everyone in the military, and especially those in Special Operations. We're just doing what we can to help raise awareness for the group and the work they do to provide college scholarship grants and counseling for the children of Special Operations personnel who are killed in action or training exercises. I also want to thank Junie Donlavey for letting us use his #90. That number has a great history in NASCAR because of Junie, so I hope we can get a good finish for him."
    Andretti was named as the driver of the Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI) #1 Pennzoil Chevy in late August after already committing to drive the RCR entry at Talladega. He has two NASCAR Winston Cup victories, 13 top-five and 37 top-10 finishes since becoming a fulltime Winston Cup driver in 1994 and finished 18th in last year's EA Sports 500.
    . The SOWF began in 1980 as the Col. Arthur D. "Bull" Simons Scholarship Fund and was created after the Iranian hostage rescue attempt to provide college educations for the 17 children that survived the nine men killed or incapacitated at Desert One. A tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, SOWF is dedicated to providing college scholarships and educational counseling to the children surviving Special Operations personnel killed as a result of an operational mission or training accident. These services are provided throughout the United States, or overseas, depending upon where the surviving children reside. To date, 455 children of fallen Special Operations personnel are involved in the program, of which 65 are currently attending college.(RCR PR)(9-19-2003)

  • Keller tests at Talladega: Jason Keller tested the #1 Pennzoil Chevy he will run in the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. Keller won at Talladega last spring in the NASCAR Busch Series Aaron's 312 with his ppc Racing team. Keller will attempt to make the EA SPORTS 500 field during Discount Food Mart Qualifying Day on Friday, Sept. 26. Seats in the Allison Grandstand out of Turn 2 are also still available for one $60 ticket and good for all the action on the track Saturday and Sunday. For one $60 ticket, fans can watch the final two NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice sessions and the ARCA RE/MAX Series Food World 300 on Saturday and return on Sunday for the EA SPORTS 500. For fans staying on track property during the EA SPORTS 500 Weekend and interested in a reserved spot, plenty of Park sites remain, including spots in the newly built Legends Lane Family Reserved Park. Fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP or (256) 362-RACE or visit the track's official website at talladegasuperspeedway.com.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(9-19-2003)

  • Keller in the #1 at Talladega: Busch Series driver [#57] Jason Keller will drive Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s #1 Pennzoil Chevy in the Sept. 28 Winston Cup [EA Sports 500] race at Talladega, Ala., ThatsRacin.com has learned. John Andretti has been driving the #1 in recent weeks, but has a prior commitment for the Talladgea race [Richard Childress Racing #75 Chevy]. Keller attempted to qualify a DEI [#81] car at the Winston Cup race at Chicagoland earlier this season, but failed to make the field. He also filled in for Jerry Nadeau in the #01 US Army Pontiac in the May Cup race at Richmond, Va., after Nadeau suffered serious injuries in a practice session accident at the track.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-14-2003)

  • More on DEI sponsors UPDATE and #74: DEI is negotiating with Domino's [Pizza] and Best Western for sponsorship [of the #1], according to team sources.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-6-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing the #74 BACE Motorsports team is also talking to Best Western as a possible sponsor.(9-8-2003)

  • Park in the #30 at Talladega NOT Andretti: Steve Park's official web site [www.steve-park.com see the scroll] reports that Steve Park [the current regular driver] will be in the #30 AOL Chevy and John Andretti will be in a 4th Childress car NOT the #30 Chevy as reported. Am hearing it could be #03, no idea on a sponsor....yet.(9-2-2003)

  • and...more on Kodak: The fate of Kodak's NASCAR sponsorship is the topic of considerable debate at the moment, and there are reports that Jack Roush and DEI are two teams in the running for a Kodak deal, if the photo giant leaves car owner Larry McClure. However, Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, insists his company isn't interested in Kodak. And Ty Norris, general manager at DEI, says he doesn't want to discuss Kodak at all. While Jeff Burton has a new contract, he still doesn't have a new sponsor, Smith concedes. 'We have four companies we're quite active with, and each is doing due-diligence, because they're all new to the sport,' Smith says. 'Kodak is not one of them. We haven't not done anything with Kodak. But we would do something with Kodak if they're not under contract with Larry McClure. But we have heard this week that marketing companies have been contacted by people with that team asking for help looking for sponsorship. But NASCAR would be the one to tell us if that particular sponsorship is available. And we're like others, waiting to see if it opens up.'(Winston Salem Journal)(9-1-2003)

  • More on DEI and Andretti; Andretti at Talladega for RCR; DEI and Coke/Pizza Hut? Biffle to the #1 in 2004? or is it Riggs A FEW ADDITIONS: DEI has picked John Andretti to take Jeff Green's place [in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy] the rest of the season, except at Talladega, where Andretti will drive for Childress. However, DEI is still working on a 2004 deal for that team -- according to one source, the sponsor could be Coca-Cola and Pizza Hut. Busch Scott Riggs has been the front runner [see rumor below], but Greg Biffle could also be in the picture. However, Biffle is under to contract to Roush for another season and would have to buy his contract out, if Roush would even OK such a move.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND well...doubt it could be Pizza Hut AND Coke since they are owned by a PepsiCo consortium, actually I am hearing the sponsor could be Dominos Pizza, if Pizza Hut goes to another team, we could have a pizza war. Since DEI is heavily involved with Coca-Cola, can't see it being Pizza Hut.
    OR also hearing Fed-Ex could be the #1 sponsor in 2004, with Riggs in the seat.
    AND II no idea if Andretti will drive the #30 AOL car or if that will be a 4th Childress team for a race, Kerry Earnhardt will drive a race or two for Childress in the Busch Series in the #03 [see my Busch Series site for more].(8-30-2003)
    UPDATE: FSN's NASCAR This Morning reports that John Andretti will drive the #30 AOL Chevy for RCR at Talladega.(8-31-203)
    UPDATE 2: Steve Park's official web site [www.steve-park.com see the scroll] reports that Park will be in the #30 AOL Chevy and Andretti will be in a 4th Childress car. Am hearing it could be #03, no idea on a sponsor....yet.(9-2-2003)

  • Riggs to DEI #1? Andretti? UPDATE 5 OFFICIAL - Andretti in starting at RIR: hearing that Scott Riggs may be the new driver for the #1 DEI Chevy in 2004 if a sponsor is signed.(6-21-2003)
    UPDATE: Insiders continue to look for Scott Riggs to get the call to join DEI next season, if sponsors agree. DEI officials expect to have a decision on the company's third team car by Darlington in three weeks.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-11-2003)
    UPDATE 2: from a NASCAR.com conversation: Your name has come up in the rumor mill a lot lately. What's out there that we can believe and not believe?
    Riggs: You can believe that there's definitely a lot of opportunities out there that I'm very fortunate to have been contacted by a lot of people. When you have people in the Cup series interested in your future, it's definitely a praise to what your able to do and your accomplishments in your career. With all that said, there's a lot of opportunities and a lot of people I've talked to, and I have yet to make a decision one way or another that I might go next year. I'm still working with these guys here at ppc, first of all, to try to get a championship for everyone here with the Nesquik Ford. At the same time, we're also talking about the future here, too. We're working on some different things with sponsors and seeing what avenues ppc can go down. Haven't made a decision one way or another which way I'm going. I think in the next three or four weeks, some decisions will start being made, and you'll start seeing the dominos start to fall, and a lot of people will fall into place, and Silly Season will start.(NASCAR.com)(8-26-2003)
    UPDATE 3: hearing Riggs and Green may share the #1 ride after Green's contract is up after Darlington, and that John Andretti could run a race or two or more in the car.(8-28-2003)
    UPDATE 4: Sunday's Southern 500 is likely Jeff Green's last weekend in Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s #1 Chevrolet this season. Ty Norris, DEI's executive vice president of motorsports, said Friday that John Andretti, released from Petty Enterprises earlier this season, would drive the No. 1 next weekend at Richmond, Va., and for several other races this season. "John did a really good job for us at Indianapolis and we were really impressed," Norris said. Andretti qualified and drove a fourth DEI entry at Indy. We had an opportunity to see if we could improve our performance. We just talked to him about getting in the car for a while. There is no set time or agenda," Norris said. "There's no sense in locking ourselves into anything. But if John does what he did for us at Indianapolis, he really impressed a lot of people with what he did in our car there." Green was hired in May after former driver Steve Park was released by DEI. Green was signed only through the end of this month, however.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-29-2003)
    UPDATE 5 - Andretti in the #1: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has hired John Andretti to drive the #1 Pennzoil Chevy beginning with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 6, 2003. Andretti is a two-time winner in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition who brings more than 10 seasons of experience to the team. Earlier this month, he drove a DEI-supported Chance 2 entry at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; where he qualified 11th. "The racing heritage we have at DEI is unparalleled," said Teresa Earnhardt, President and CEO of Dale Earnhardt Inc. "We look forward to making this team stronger with the invaluable experience that John brings." Since the May race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Jeff Green and Ron Fellows have shared driving duties in the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet. This year, the team has earned a Bud Pole Award and two top-10 finishes. Andretti is looking forward to his name now being associated with Dale Earnhardt, Inc., as well. "I look at driving for DEI as a great opportunity," John said. "I'm excited to become a member of the team for the next few races. And, it's also nice to be reunited with Pennzoil again. I drove an Indy Car they sponsored in 1991 and 1992 and won my first race in their yellow car. This team at DEI is established in NASCAR and I'm hoping to do a good for them." In addition to his two-career NASCAR victories, Andretti has also earned four Bud Pole Awards, 13 top-five and 37 top-10 finishes.(DEI PR)(8-29-2003)
    UPDATE 6: Totally NASCAR mentioned to expect to see Scott Riggs run a race in the #1 sometime before the end of the season.(FoxSports Net's Totally NASCAR)(8-30-2003)

  • Riggs to DEI? UPDATE 2: hearing that Scott Riggs may be the new driver for the #1 DEI Chevy in 2004 if a sponsor is signed.(6-21-2003)
    UPDATE: Insiders continue to look for Scott Riggs to get the call to join DEI next season, if sponsors agree. DEI officials expect to have a decision on the company's third team car by Darlington in three weeks.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-11-2003)
    UPDATE 2: from a NASCAR.com conversation: Your name has come up in the rumor mill a lot lately. What's out there that we can believe and not believe?
    Riggs: You can believe that there's definitely a lot of opportunities out there that I'm very fortunate to have been contacted by a lot of people. When you have people in the Cup series interested in your future, it's definitely a praise to what your able to do and your accomplishments in your career. With all that said, there's a lot of opportunities and a lot of people I've talked to, and I have yet to make a decision one way or another that I might go next year. I'm still working with these guys here at ppc, first of all, to try to get a championship for everyone here with the Nesquik Ford. At the same time, we're also talking about the future here, too. We're working on some different things with sponsors and seeing what avenues ppc can go down. Haven't made a decision one way or another which way I'm going. I think in the next three or four weeks, some decisions will start being made, and you'll start seeing the dominos start to fall, and a lot of people will fall into place, and Silly Season will start.(NASCAR.com)(8-26-2003)
    UPDATE 3: hearing Riggs and Green may share the #1 ride after Green's contract is up after Darlington, and that John Andretti could run a race or two in the car.(8-28-2003)

  • More on Helton; DEI; and Horish; from Tuesday's Toronto Sun...in part......The NASCAR racing world is buzzing about a rumour that Mike Helton will pack up his job as president of the stock car racing sanctioning body and move his stuff over to Dale Earnhardt Inc. For anyone who follows the ins and outs of NASCAR in general and DEI in particular, Helton taking over the reigns at the Mooresville, N.C., based team makes absolute sense. Since the death of Dale Earnhardt at Daytona in 2001 the family firm has been run by a triumvirate -- Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, racing boss Ty Norris and shop boss Steve Hmiel. The problem is that the three vie for decision-making power, and often it ends up that nothing gets done, or when it gets done it gets done badly. A case in point was the apparent deal offered open-wheel ace Sam Hornish by Norris. Hornish, the two-time defending IRL champ, signed with Team Penske yesterday [Monday]. Norris had made a handshake deal for Hornish to join DEI to replace Jeff Green in 2004. The deal would have been a double win for DEI, as it would have have kept Pennzoil from taking its sponsorship off the #1 team. But according to sources in the garage, Norris failed to pass the deal by Teresa Earnhardt. When she got wind of it, she put the kibosh on it -- not because she didn't think Hornish was a good driver, but because it was not her idea. Now Hornish is telling people the whole thing soured him on ever racing for DEI.
    And then there's the Dale Earnhardt Jr. contract dispute. Junior holds Norris in high regard, both as a friend and team boss, but thinks that maybe Hmiel and his stepmother don't realize his value. DEI without Junior is unthinkable but many NASCAR people are saying that Helton may be the only one capable of patching things up between the 28-year-old superstar and the team.
    (see full story at the Toronto Sun) and see past news/rumors about this info on my NASCAR Personnel page(8-27-2003)

  • More on Kodak: Kodak is in its 17th year as primary sponsor for the No. 4 Morgan-McClure team, but rumors persist that it will not return after this season. Team owner Larry McClure could not be reached for comment, but Ed McClure, his brother, says the contract runs through 2005. Because most sponsor contracts contain performance clauses, Kodak likely has an out. Sources at Dale Earnhardt Inc. deny that Kodak will sponsor the #1 car next season.(Sporting News), see my #4 Team News and Links page for quotes from McClure about Kodak being good thru 2005.(8-25-2003)

  • Helton and DEI? Unlikely: There is validity to the long-running reports that NASCAR president Mike Helton's name is once again in the hat to take over Dale Earnhardt Inc., according to top NASCAR sources. Owner Teresa Earnhardt has asked Helton to take over running the company built by the late six-time Winston Cup champion, according to sources. It is unclear how interested Helton might be in such a position or how such a move might change the power structure inside the stock-car racing sanctioning body.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-5-2003)

  • Green doesn't know: Jeff Green's contract with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated runs out Sept. 1, but he's not sure what is going to happen beyond that date. Green said Saturday at Pocono Raceway that he hasn't spoken with DEI officials about his status in the #1 car beyond the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.(NASCAR.com)(7-27-2003)

  • Pennzoil gone...may stay as an assoc UPDATEs: Dale Earnhardt Inc. officials are looking for a company to replace Pennzoil as the sponsor of the No.1 car after this season, a team official said Sunday. Pennzoil's contract expires after the season, and the company will not renew that contract. Ty Norris, executive vice president of motorsports at Dale Earnhardt Inc., says that the group is talking to Pennzoil about remaining as an associate sponsor on the No.1 car along with those of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip.(Roanoke Times)
    AND DEI's No. 1 team will lose Pennzoil after this year, and Kraft had emerged as a possible replacement. Kraft already has associate deals with the three DEI teams, but team president Ty Norris said he does not expect Kraft to go too far too fast. "They step up their program every year," he said. "It's one thing to take a step, and it's another to take a running leap to a Winston Cup primary. We've talked to them about it. Right now they're pretty happy with the program they have. It makes sense for them financially, and they're comfortable with their level of spending right now." As for anything DEI might have going for the 1 car as of now, Norris said, "You look at it cold, medium, hot, I'd say we're pretty cold right now."(Speed Channel)(7-14-2003)
    UPDATE the official release: Pennzoil Products will end a six-season primary sponsorship agreement with Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and the #1 Chevrolet team at the end of the 2003 season. Pennzoil, a Houston, Texas-based petroleum products corporation, became Dale Earnhardt, Inc.'s first full-time NASCAR Winston Cup sponsor in 1998, backing driver Steve Park in the #1 Chevrolet. Pennzoil, a Winston Cup primary since 1991, claimed its only victories in NASCAR's elite division with Dale Earnhardt, Inc., winning at Watkins Glen, N.Y. in 2000 and Rockingham, N.C. in 2001. Dale Earnhardt, Inc., the company founded by the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt, is optimistic that it can produce more victories for Pennzoil and attract a primary replacement before the end of the 2003 season. "Like Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Pennzoil has been through a lot of changes since we first signed our agreement in the fall of 1997," said Ty Norris, Dale Earnhardt, Inc.'s Executive Vice President of Motorsports. "We promised to win races for Pennzoil, and we did. They promised to support Dale Earnhardt, Inc. through the growing pains of a new operation, and they did.. Pennzoil will always have a place in the history of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. We want to win before the end of the year and finish our great relationship on a high note."(DEI PR)(7-26-2003)
    MORE: quote from DEI's Ty Norris at the WSJ: 'We're very fortunate with Dale Jr. and Michael. They've been successful on track, and the sponsors are terrific, activating so well with all their promotions that they can justify it all. The way we're going to market our third team is to leverage the association with Dale and Michael. We sell our company as a package.'(Winston Salem Journal lot of interesting stuff in this column - check it out)(7-27-2003)

  • No Hornish to DEI: Dale Earnhardt Inc. has given up on trying to put two-time Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. in a stock car. DEI executive vice president Ty Norris said Hornish, whose contract with Panther Racing expires after this season, was never more than mildly interested. "I think he's real comfortable in his open-wheel career," Norris said. "We've moved on, and so has he." DEI and Panther, which share Pennzoil as a sponsor, had discussions last year about Hornish running a limited number of NASCAR Busch Series and Winston Cup events. Panther co-owner John Barnes was against the idea. "We couldn't get the release, so we dropped it," Norris said. "But I think when Sam thought about racing almost 40 weekends a year, plus 10 or 12 tests, he was happy to stay where he's at." Hornish, however, has not ruled out a shot at NASCAR in 2004. He said his future will be clear next month. Panther plans to test several drivers in September, at the least searching for a second driver to complement Hornish. Barnes said the list will include Dave Steele, Ed Carpenter, Mark Taylor, Tomas Enge and "a couple of drivers in CART." Panther also will be looking at IRL veteran Billy Boat, Barnes said(Indianapolis Star)(7-18-2003)

  • Odd Rumor; Jarrett and DEI? Denied UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Inc., is looking at Dale Jarrett [NOTE: signed thru 2006 with Yates], according to sources. Ty Norris, the general manager of DEI, said: 'If Dale Jarrett was on the market, and if DEI were looking for a driver, there's not a more experienced guy, with tons of class, who sponsors love, and who has tremendous ability ... but we're still hot and heavy in our sponsor search. And if you rated it hot, medium or cold, we're pretty cold right now. "When we have a sponsor who is ready to sit down and talk about what driver they'd like, we'll approach it then. But there's not an organization in this garage that wouldn't love to have Dale Jarrett. Dale and I are friends, and Dale is friends with Dale Jr. But I've never had a conversation with him about driving for us ... except 'who wouldn't want him to drive for you.''(Winston Salem Journal)(7-14-2003)
    UPDATE: Can You Address Jarrett's Situation? "We do the same thing to other teams. When they get down we put some pressure on them, too. Everybody would love to have Dale Jarrett drive their race car. That's natural. In a way, it's flattering to us that other teams would be interested because we think the world of Dale. Dale and I have talked and we've come a long way together as an organization. He started that 88 team and we expect him to finish out his career in that car. Our goal is to give him something good to drive and for him to give us good feedback to make it good."
    What is Dale's Contract Status? "We're working on an extension for Dale right now. We have a contract through next year with him and we're working on an extension. UPS is signed for three more years after this, so things are real solid there. It's embarrassing to us and Ford and UPS, and that's really the biggest thing. We're gonna have good and bad days, but UPS is a great sponsor and we're letting them down right now. That's what we've got to do a better job of and that's a lot of our responsibility. The big brown truck doesn't need to run in the back."(commnets by RYR's Doug Yates at Ford Racing)(7-15-2003)

  • More on Horish: Decision time is nearing for Sam Hornish Jr. as the two-time defending IRL champ determines the direction of his racing career. Hornish could stay at Pennzoil Panther Racing if his agent, John Caponigro, is able to increase his salary with the team. Or he could end up at Penske Racing, where one official admitted "anyone would be crazy not to consider Sam Hornish Jr." as a driver, depending on the type of sponsorship. And for the first time in months, Hornish actually is discussing the possibility of competing in NASCAR. "NASCAR is an option. It's definitely possible," he admitted. "I don't have any room to say anything further. Whatever my decision is in the end, it's going to be what is the best opportunity for me and my best opportunity to win. There are people within the IRL that I have talked to and there are people outside of Indy car racing that I've talked to. I'm not at liberty to say who I have talked to and who I haven't." DEI president Ty Norris said last month he did not think Hornish's heart was in a stock car career and that the driver wanted to remain in open-wheel racing. Norris had a plan of running Hornish on a limited Busch series schedule and a few Winston Cup races this season with a full-time shot at the elite series when it becomes the Nextel Cup in 2004. "I want to be in the biggest series. I want to be in the series that gets the most attention and has all the best drivers because you don't want to be a big fish in a small pond," Hornish said. "But the IRL continues to grow. NASCAR is the biggest right now, but that doesn't mean the IRL can't grow and be the biggest right now."(ESPN/Sportsticker)(7-8-2003)

  • Horish to Penske? in the IRL...not DEI? Rumors continue to circulate that Sam Hornish Jr. will join Team Penske for 2004. But the team's president, Tim Cindric, said his drivers, de Ferran and Helio Castroneves, are signed for next season and intend to return. "There are no plans to run three cars," Cindric said. "If we had wanted to run three, we probably would have done it at Indy this year." It should be noted that Team Penske essentially ran a third car in the 500, releasing one to Sam Schmidt Motorsports for Richie Hearn. Toyota Racing Development president Jim Aust said any IRL team wanting to make its program better, including Team Penske, will make a move to hire Hornish, the two-time league champion. "Undoubtedly there will be a lot of interest in Sam," Aust said. Hornish said he hasn't ruled out re-signing with Panther Racing. But part of that will depend on how the new Chevrolet-Cosworth engine deal, expected to be signed and announced within the next 10 days, works out. Chevy's current engines were the slowest six cars in qualifying Saturday at Kansas.(Indianapolis Star)(7-6-2003)

  • Jeff Green injury update; going synthetic: Jeff Green, driver of the #1 Pennzoil DEI Chevy, about his broken tailbone: "I feel very good this week. Having the past two weeks off was actually a blessing for me. I am able to do things this week that I wasn't a week ago, and a week ago I could do things that I wasn't able to before. Truly it's not an issue for me. I feel great." Green returns to action in the Pennzoil Synthetic Scheme car this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. The specialized silver paint scheme promotes Pennzoil's synthetic brand of lubricants, which protects a car's engine through extreme temperatures. This same paint scheme has previously been used during the Coca-Cola 600.(Jeff Green site), see images of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(7-2-2003)

  • Hornish to Decide by August on 2004 plans: Chevrolet might need to move quickly with its possible Cosworth engine program to keep two-time Indy Racing League champion Sam Hornish Jr. in its camp for the 2004 season and beyond. Hornish, whose three-year contract with Panther Racing expires at season's end, said his future will be shaped in August. "I'll know soon, but no sooner than the beginning of August and no longer than the end of August," he said before Saturday's SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. That's a window that coincides with a possible Cosworth debut in an IRL race. Chevy tested the engine June 19 at Chicagoland Speedway but has not applied to the IRL for a change (due to its relative lack of power against the Toyotas and Hondas). Chevy officials aren't saying what their plans are, much less what their time schedule might be. Some competitors believe a Cosworth engine or two could race by the end of July, but they doubt enough can be prepared for all five Chevy teams by the end of the season. IRL officials have said it's an all-or-nothing move for Chevy. Hornish said he knows the parameters of Panther's contract extension offer. Team co-owner John Barnes can't predict if it will be enough to keep Hornish from jumping to a Toyota or Honda team -- or even a NASCAR team -- and he's not fretting over it, either. "Sam knows what this team is about and if he wants to stay, he'll stay," Barnes said. "If he doesn't, that's fine, we'll move on. But at this point, we can't worry about it."(Indianapolis Star)(6-30-2003)

  • AT&T Squashed with Roush too UPDATE and with DEI's #1 - Riggs to DEI?: from a USA Today Q&A. Q:) How does NASCAR's new deal with Nextel affect Jeff Burton's team?
    A:) Roush Racing's #99 team is losing CITGO as its primary sponsor at the end of the year and had worked out a deal with associate sponsor AT&T to become Burton's primary sponsor next season. Although the Nextel deal has grandfathered in Nextel competitors Cingular [#31] and Alltel [#12], allowing them to remain as primary team sponsors, NASCAR now will not allow AT&T to move up from an associate to a primary sponsor for Roush. That means Roush will have to shop Burton and the team around to other potential sponsors. Smith wonders why NASCAR officials weren't able to negotiate with Nextel to allow competing cell phone companies to keep coming into the sport as team sponsors. Winston, of course, is the only cigarette manufacturer allowed to advertise in NASCAR, but Smith says that deal is outdated.(USA Today)
    AND The issue is exclusivity [with Nextel], and NASCAR's definition isn't setting well in parts of the garage. NASCAR's definition may cost Jeff Burton an AT& --T sponsorship that his team has been negotiating. "I understand the series sponsor wanting exclusivity", Burton said. "But it is confusing when Cingular is in here and Alltel is in here. What's the problem with one more, or two more or three more? That's difficult to understand. Something is either exclusive or it's not. This is almost exclusive, or exclusive to some people. It doesn't seem fair that Cingular and Alltel can be here but Sprint and AT& --T can't." Essentially, the immediate question is exclusivity. NASCAR has promised Nextel a modified version of exclusivity, because it was unable to offer complete exclusivity as R. J. Reynolds has had. But AT& --T officials are apparently not quite buying into the concept that NASCAR can allow three of the nation's six cell-phone companies - Nextel, Alltel and Cingular - access to the stock-car racing field and yet not allow the other three. AT& --T has been in negotiations to put its wireless division on the quarterpanel as sponsor either for Jack Roush or Dale Earnhardt Inc. NASCAR has vetoed those plans. However, yesterday AT& --T officials decided to 'make a stand' about their company's determination to stay involved in Winston Cup racing by expanding its sponsorship of Ken Schrader's #49 car [see PR below] for this race. AT& --T has been a part-sponsor of that team, and AT& --T, through its Comcast division, has been a part-sponsor of both the Matt Kenseth and Burton teams. Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing, has been negotiating with AT& --T to become full sponsor of Burton's team, and Ty Norris, general manager at DEI, has been negotiating with AT& --T to become full sponsor of the #1 DEI team that features Jeff Green [looks like Pennzoil is out]. 'We were in the final stages of negotiations with AT& --T Wireless,' Norris said. 'But we were quickly informed that if Nextel happens, that only the people who were already in the sport would be grandfathered in."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-21-2003)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that Scott Riggs may be the new driver for the #1 DEI Chevy in 2004 if a sponsor is signed.(6-21-2003)

  • Hornish Could End Up in NASCAR: A lot of people are taking notice [of IRL driver Sam Hornish], including some of the top teams in NASCAR. Hornish has stated he wants to stay in the IRL, but that seems unlikely now. Some Winston Cup team owners are going to offer Hornish financial deals the IRL can't match. With his Pennzoil connection, Hornish could be in line for the #1 Pennzoil Chevy of Dale Earnhardt Inc. Pennzoil officials haven't decided if they are going to continue as the major sponsor on the car, but having Hornish as the driver might keep them around. Hornish talked to DEI officials last season about driving a few races this year, but elected to concentrate on the IRL. His frustration level with his current situation may have changed his perspective. The problem for DEI is it won't be the only team bidding for Hornish's services. The racing community is a close-knit group. Everyone in NASCAR understands what Hornish has done this season in inferior equipment. A few team owners may wonder if he can transfer those skills from open-wheel to stock cars, but most of them believe the guy is so good he could sit on a riding lawnmower and finish in the top 10. Hornish is Tony Stewart without the baggage. No temper tantrums, at least not publicly. Hornish isn't the most colorful guy around, but neither is Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman or a dozen other talented drivers in Winston Cup. If you can drive, team owners and sponsors will work around your people skills. And Hornish is driving better than anybody in racing.(Dallas Morning News via the Mercury News)(6-19-2003)

  • Hornish and DEI rumor resurfaces UPDATE or is it Mayfield?: Sam Hornish's name is again being mentioned prominently as the man who could join Dale Earnhardt Inc. next season as team mate with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip. The 23-year-old Hornish, the 2001 and 2002 IRL champ, is sponsored by Pennzoil, which is the company DEI is trying to re-sign [for the #1 Chevy now driven by Jeff Green/Ron Fellows]. There is word that Hornish might get a shot at a DEI ride at Michigan in August.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-9-2003)
    UPDATE: First in line for the DEI job appears to by Jeremy Mayfield, who currently drives for Ray Evernham's #19 Dodge team.(Toronto Sun)(6-9-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Jeremy Mayfield said during an interview with XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio (Subscription Required) that he had no plans to go to DEI and hopes to re-sign with Evernham Motorsports to stay in the #19 Dodge(6-17-2003)

  • President Norris? DEI's Ty Norris could be under consideration to become a track president for one of the facilities in International Speedway Corp., according to sources. However, Norris insisted that he is happy where he is. 'I love DEI and I'll be here as long as Teresa Earnhardt wants me,' Norris said. 'They say anything in the world is possible, but I have a lot of passion for what I do.'(Winston Salem Journal)(6-14-2003)

  • Green injured but will drive at Michigan: After his Pocono wreck. #1-Jeff Green visited his personal doctor for further tests on Monday, Green was diagnosed with a fractured tailbone. "Dr. Petty ran an MRI and CAT scan on me yesterday," Green said. "Everything is fine. My neck muscles are a little pulled and my tailbone is fractured. There's nothing I can do about either one of those but grin and bear it. We are working on a special padding to put in the seat for this weekend though. That should definitely help. With how hard of a hit that was and how badly damaged the car is, I consider myself very lucky. Everything worked properly inside the race car--the seatbelts and the seat. The steering collapsed very well to keep it away from me. It was just a horrendous accident." Green will be behind the wheel this weekend as the team carries their renewed sense of confidence with them to Michigan International Speedway.(Pennzoil PR)(6-10-2003)

  • Green Ticked: #1-Jeff Green got tagged in the rear by #5-Terry Labonte while the two were battling for seventh on the final restart on lap 198 of the 200-lap race. Labonte complained that Green was mirror-driving. Green, who spent nearly 20 minutes in the infield hospital, emerged without comment as he was wheeled off in a golf cart -- his PR rep said he was too angry to say anything. Steve Hmiel, Green's spotter, came out of the hospital after checking on Green and said that his driver had clearly had his bell rung. 'He's not blinking as much as I'd like him to be, so you can tell he took a pretty good lick. It was an awfully hard lick. They need to do something about that earthen wall. You could be all mad, but it was just two cars coming together, and it's not like Terry Labonte doing anything intentional. Terry had a real good run on Jeff, and there are three laps to go, and I'm sure Terry had his foot to the floor and so did Jeff. And Terry just caught Jeff a little bit, just enough to pick him up and turn him around. But nobody wrecked anybody. Now Jeff got wrecked and I'm sure people will be upset about it. But knowing Terry Labonte, that's not how he races. It was just two objects coming together at the same time.'(Winston Salen Journal)(6-9-2003)

  • Kodak to the #1 in 2004? hearing Kodak is considering leaving the #4 Morgan-McClure Motorsports team at the end of the season [but last I heard they were signed thru 2005??] and will end up on the #1 DEI Chevy in 2004, who is possibly looking for a sponsor as past rumors [see #1 Team News and Links page] have Pennzoil leaving at the end of 2003. Current driver, Jeff Green [except for the road courses when Ron Fellows takes over] is signed thru September. Some rumors have 2-time IRL champ in the #1 in a few races late this season and maybe in 2004, but some of those rumors were wrapped around his link with Pennzoil, his sponsor in the IRL. Some rumors put Dixie Pottery as the #4 sponsor or assoc sponsor in 2004.(6-3-2003)

  • #1 to debut Synthetic Paint Scheme: The Pennzoil yellow that race fans are so familiar with will be replaced with a silver metallic paint scheme at this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Winston Cup event. The newly-designed paint scheme is set to introduce the NASCAR world to Pennzoil Synthetic motor oil. The familiar oval will be prominently displayed on the hood while the company's new promotion, "Wide Open Weekend" will be visible on the deck lid of the car. For the second consecutive year, "Wide Open Weekend" enters retail stores across the country. Pennzoil retailers will feature the two-time IRL Champion Sam Hornish Jr. case and Pennzoil No. 1 Dale Earnhardt, Inc. specialty cases of Conventional and Synthetic brand of motor oils. One lucky customer will instantly win a trip for two to the 2004 Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600. Last year's winner will be in attendance at both races this Sunday. The Green Foundation, consisting of brothers Jeff and Mark Green, will make a donation to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The funds were raised during the foundation's "Rock into Racing 2003" dinner, dance and auction. The dinner was attended by several NASCAR stars, as well as country singer, Neal McCoy and actor, Michael Rooker of "Days of Thunder." The presentation will take place prior to driver introductions for Saturday's CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Busch Series event.(Pennzoil Racing PR),see an image of the car on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-22-2003)

  • Fellows to run #1 at road courses UPDATE: Jeff Green said Ron Fellows will race the #1 car at both road course events, Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen. Green said he was a bit disappointed, but understands the decision. He will still travel with the team to help in any way he can. Fellows was slated to run a 4th DEI car, #81.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Pass)(5-8-2003)
    UPDATE: DEI will take Ron Fellows out of the Chance 2 Racing #81 Chevy and put him into the #1 Pennzoil Chevy for Cup races at Sonoma, CA, and Watkins Glen. The change is the latest fallout in the the wake of the firing of Steve Park and the hiring of Jeff Green on the #1 team two weeks ago. Green, who was released from the #30 RCR team the same weekend as Park's DEI firing, has little road-racing experience in Winston Cup. Fellows already has tested in the #1 car on a road course in Indiana last week with crew chief Tony Gibson and engineers from DEI in attendance. When Fellows made his deal with DEI earlier this year, plans were for him to drive the #81 entry --co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his step-mother Teresa Earnhardt -- on both Cup road courses. But when DEI and Park parted ways the team was left without its top road racer. Park is a past winner at Watkins Glen. "The plan for DEI to field a fourth car for me has changed a little bit," Fellows said. "We went to Infineon Raceway (Sonoma) with two brand new cars and the tests were great." Fellows bettered the California track record by four-tenths of a second. Next on the schedule for Fellows, however, is a trip to France to defend his back-to-back 24 Hours of Le Mans GTS class titles with the factory Corvette C5-R team.(Toronto Sun)(5-19-2003)

  • NHRA hires from DEI: Last week, defending NHRA Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr., brought a new research and development expert aboard. The new employee brings a wealth of racing knowledge with him -- especially in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Jim Gamache will head up Team Jeg's R&D efforts and attempt to bring a much-needed boost to their lukewarm season to date. Gamache most recently served as Engineering Manager for Dale Earnhardt Inc., where he and Team Manager Steve Hmeil supervised the engine, vehicle dynamics and powertrain elements for the organization. Gamache also brings an impressive drag racing background to the table, having worked for long-time Pro Stock engine supplier Reher & Morrison some 20 years ago.(ESPN)(5-14-2003)

  • Park and Green short timers only? Silly Season doesn't get any better than this: Steve Park and Jeff Green, released last week, were hired almost immediately by each other's former car owner. Now Park is in the #30 AOL Chevy, owned by Richard Childress, and Green is in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy, owned by Teresa Earnhardt of Dale Earnhardt Inc. So who gets the best of this embarrassing blockbuster, a trade of two drivers outside the top 30 in points? The boys in the fabrication shop at DEI -- because Green doesn't have a history of crashing cars on his own. Crunch these numbers: Since returning from a head injury last year, Park finished 20th or worse in 34 of 43 races in the #1. Green ran 20th or worse in 32 of 56 races for Childress dating to 2001. Sponsorship for both cars is in question for next season, and it would be a surprise if either driver returns. Green's contract with DEI runs through the end of September. Expect a Busch Series driver such as Jason Keller or Shane Hmiel to run the last seven races of the season. They, along with IRL driver Sam Hornish, might be candidates for the ride in 2004. Road racing ace Ron Fellows will take over for Green in the two races on road courses.(Sporting News)(5-12-2003)

  • Park Released? UPDATE 4 YES and Green in the #1 thru Sept: hearing from sources that Steve Park and Dale Earnahrdt Inc have parted ways or that Park will step out of the #1 Pennzoil ride for a few races.(5-6-2003)
    UPDATE: Steve Park has been released by Dale Earnhardt Inc., reports ESPN's Mike Massaro. No word yet on who'll replace him in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy.(ESPN), rumors I have posted in the past month (see my #1 Team News and Links page) include Jason Keller and Sam Hornish, which both have been denied.
    No word on if Park will still drive Dale Earnahrdt Jr's Chance 2 Busch Series cars which have been quite heavily marketed.
    UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has released Steve Park from his driving duties of the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet. Steve, DEI's first full-time Winston Cup driver, began driving for the team in the fall of 1996 before racing a full season in the NASCAR Busch Series in 1997. He contended for the NBS Championship that year, finishing third in the series point standings and clinched the Rookie of the Year title. He went on to compete in the NASCAR Winston Cup series beginning in 1998, where he made 157 starts and had two victories and three poles. His best finish in the points standings was 11th in 2000. "Steve was instrumental in DEI's first NASCAR Winston Cup program," stated Teresa Earnhardt. "Our loyalty to each other was hard to overcome. However, the time came where we simply had to make a change. We wish Steve the best in his future endeavors."(DEI PR)
    UPDATE 3 - Jeff Green in: Just one day after Richard Childress Racing released driver Jeff Green, Dale Earnhardt Inc. has decided to release Steve Park has names Green as his replacement.(ThatsRacin.com) AND Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced on Tuesday that NASCAR veteran Jeff Green will take over the driving duties of the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet starting with the Winston Open at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 18th. Green will drive the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet on an interim basis.(DEI PR)(5-6-2003)
    UPDATE 4: Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR's Krista Voda reported that Jeff Green will be in the Dale Earnhardt Inc. #1 Pennzoil Chevy at least until September. Green was released from the Richard Childress Racing #30 AOL Chevy on Monday.(Fox Sports)(5-8-2003)

  • Steve Park Quotes Regarding Release: "Monday afternoon I was released by Dale Earnhardt, Inc. from my contract. I wanted to let everyone know that there are no hard feelings between myself and DEI; companies make decisions like this since that is the nature of the racing business. I will always look back on my years of driving for DEI with much happiness. Together the Pennzoil team and I shared many great memories of winning races and pole positions. It will always be an honor for me that I was the first Winston Cup driver for owner Dale Earnhardt. With my departure from the team, I wish Tony Gibson and the rest of the guys on the crew and at the shop great success. I have enjoyed working with them and know I will see them at the track very soon. I would also like to thank all of my loyal fans who have stood by me through the years, and hope to get all of us back in victory lane very soon."(Steve Park Site)(5-7-2003)

  • More Green Comments: Jeff Green says he probably shouldn't have gone to Kevin Harvick's pit following.Saturday night's on-track incident in Richmond.involving his former RCR teammate, however he said. "To do it over again I'd.probaby do exactly the same thing...I don't have any regrets for it." Green says he hates it for sponsor AOL and the crew, but the way the year has gone it's been mounting. "To have teammates you gotta be able to work together and you've gotta want to help each other and some of the things I've seen.throughout the last year and half things.wasn't going that way so.it's just time for a change." .What also concerned Green was that he felt car owner Richard Childress didn't see.the 30 team as important as his other Winston Cup teams. Green says he and Childress talked and that he can see both sides of the situation and hopes Childress can see his side. Green said the two years with RCR are two years he'll always remember and be grateful.Richard Childress gave him the opportunity.(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(5-6-2003)

  • More Keller and DEI: Jason Keller has been linked to DEI's #1 Chevrolets, currently driven by Steve Park. Park has not performed well since returning from a head injury, and Keller's name has been mentioned as a replacement if Park is booted. Keller and DEI officials deny that any such move is planned, but the fact that both drivers' contracts expire at the end of the season only adds fuel to the fire of speculation. "I would love the opportunity to drive a DEI car for more races," Keller said. "If you ask anybody in this (Busch) garage, they'd tell you the same thing. I would love to do that, but I still say it's premature that people are thinking it's going to happen." DEI official Ty Norris said there has been no discussion about Keller and the No. 1 team.(Greenville News)(5-6-2003)

  • Hornish to the #1? haven't heard this one since last year....Autoracing1.com (need subscription to view/read) is reporting....Hornish to replace Steve Park: Pennzoil sponsors both Sam Hornish (IRL) and Steve Park (NASCAR). Rumors are rampant that Steve Park will lose his ride at DEI, possibly before the season is over. Sam Hornish is now rumored to be taking his place. Giving more weight to the rumor that Park is on his way out is the blatant berating he gave to the media after winning the pole last weekend at Fontana, then going out and crashing on the very first lap, taking Ryan Newman with him. Talk about making a complete and utter fool out of oneself.(Autoracing1.com -need subscription to view/read)(5-2-2003)

  • New Concussion test helps determine readiness: Concussions are a fact of life in automobile racing, where crashing into a concrete wall at high speed is relatively common. Until now, one of the most difficult decisions facing doctors who treat race drivers for concussions has been knowing when a driver is well enough to return to a race car. Now, thanks to Mark Lovell, director of the Center for Sports Medicine Concussion Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, there is a new, important tool. It's call ImPACT, which stands for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. That's a formal way of describing a computer test devised by Lovell and Pittsburgh Steelers team neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Maroon, in conjunction with several of Lovell's former colleagues at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. The test, which takes 22 minutes the first time and a little less in subsequent uses, measures memory, reaction time, mental speed, information processing, anticipation time and other functions of the brain affected by concussions. The idea is to administer the test while the subject is healthy -- at the start of the season, preferably. That sets a "baseline" with which to measure further tests after a head injury. In auto racing, CART has been using the test since last year, all the Indy Racing League drivers will take the test as part of their physical for entering the May 25 Indianapolis 500, Formula One has the software and plans to implement the program as soon as possible, and NASCAR is studying it. Gary Nelson, managing director of competition for NASCAR, said some drivers are using it on a volunteer basis. Steve Park, who missed the last eight Winston Cup races of 2001 and the first four events of 2002, flew to Pittsburgh in February to take the ImPACT test. Park said he wishes he had known about the test before a crash, at Darlington in a Busch Series car, that temporarily left him with blurred vision and slurred speech.(full story at ESPN/AP)(5-1-2003)

  • #1 Rumors abound UPDATE Park not happy with rumors; contract thru end of 2003: hearing that Steve Park could be replaced as the driver of the #1 Pennzoil Chevy before the races at Lowe's Motor Speedway, sources have Jason Keller as the possible replacement driver. Keller is slated to driver the #81 DEI car at Checiagoland in July.
    AND The LTN HOUR radio show reports that Kurt Busch, driver of the #97 Rubbermaid/Sharpie Roush Racing Ford will drive the #1 DEI Chevy in 2004. However, last reports I have are that he is signed with Roush thru 2006.(4-21-2003)
    UPDATE: Steve Park's comments after winning the pole at California on Friday: "Hopefully, this will quiet some critics a little bit," said Park, whose lap bumped Bill Elliott's Dodge to the outside of Row 1 for the Winston Cup season's 10th race. "We're fixing to start winning races." Park, who now has three poles to go along with two career Cup victories, turned defiant as he said he remains confident that he can get the job done with his team. "All the hogwash I have to read that the press puts out there, I have broad shoulders," said Park, whose best 2003 finish has been a 10th at Las Vegas. "Dish it out because I can take it all. When I am in victory lane winning races, everybody who's had bad things to say about this race team is going to bite their tongues. I don't race to finish 20th, I race to win. If I don't have the confidence in my team to win, then I need to go somewhere else. But I do have confidence in (crew chief) Tony Gibson, all of the new people we've hired, our engine shop, the whole team that we have, that we can do stuff like this. We can win poles and win races and we're not going to stop this year until we do that. That will quiet all of the critics that we have." Ty Norris, executive vice president for motorsports at DEI, said he and Park sat down about three weeks ago to discuss the team's slow start in 2003. "I said, 'You're reading a lot of things, but let's focus about what happens inside these walls,'" Norris said. "'Let's come together as a group, believe in each other, pull for each other and help each other. When that happens, no matter what anybody says outside these walls, we're not going to concern ourselves with it.'"(ThatsRacin.com)
    On top of that, the team's Pennzoil sponsorship is up in the air. Ty Norris, who runs DEI for owner Teresa Earnhardt, says last month's negotiations with sponsor Pennzoil in Texas were more of a learning experience than anything, because Shell's buyout of the company has resulted in a major corporate shakeup, and only one of the men involved in the original sponsorship negotiations with the late Dale Earnhardt is still around. How the company's new executives might view stock car racing as a marketing machine is unclear.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-26-2003)
    AND also hearing that Park recently made a new TV commercial for Food Lion featuring him and six other NASCAR drivers. Park is also featured on boxes of Milk-bone with his dog.(4-26-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Jason Keller denies rumors about replacing Steve Park, says DEI hasn't contacted him and the reports of Keller in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy as early as Richmond and no later the Charlotte are unfounded. Keller says he wouldn't leave his current Busch Series owner, Greg Pollex hanging. Keller will drive at Chicago for Dale Earnhardt Jr's Chance 2 team.(Winston Cup Scene - need subscription to read)(5-1-2003)

  • Sponsorships Up: Roush needs 4? Pennzoil looking? UPDATE: Car owners working the sponsorship marketplace are starting to put offers on the table, and the next few weeks will likely be filled with rumors of possible driver and team changes, rumors based on some contract negotiating points. Jack Roush needs to lock up sponsors for four of his five teams, and DEI's sponsorship deal with Pennzoil is up for renewal. The Pennzoil contract may be the hottest one at the moment, and it's not at all clear if the company will remain with DEI.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-14-2003)
    UPDATE: my records show that only the #99 is unknown, the #6 is thru 2005, the #16 and #17 are at least thru 2004 and the #97 us supposedly thru 2006.(4-15-2003)

  • Park Rumors Denied UPDATE: Rumors about Steve Park's job security in DEI's #1 Pennzoil Chevy were circulating even before the Cup race at Texas. But Ty Norris, vice president of motorsports at DEI isn't ready for talk of change, saying the team needs to do better and that DEI is going to keep trying to do better. Norris said Park has been real dedicated, coming by the shop and talking to the crew. The communication is open and positive. Norris had no comment when it was mentioned that Shane Hmiel's [#48 in the Busch Series] name has been tossed around as a possible replacement for Park.(paraphrased from the Winston Cup Scene - subscription required to read online)(4-4-2003)
    UPDATE: Driver Steve Park just shrugs his shoulders at the rumors over him being replaced in the Pennzoil Chevy by Busch Series regular Shane Hmiel. Park admits the performance of the team is not where they would like it to be and that's what produces the rumors. Park said, "The Inquirer and all the trash newspapers that are out there sell, so I guess bad news sells better than good news." Maybe we'll do a story on how much money Steve Park donates to charity and all the work he does away from the racetrack to raise money for different charities 'you never see anything like that' all you see is that Steve Park is out of the Pennzoil car and so we're fixin' to prove them all wrong." Since Shane's father Steve is DEI's Technical Director Park says it makes for a great story, but he's staying in the racecar.(PRN's Garage Pass)(4-11-2003)

  • #1 Team has a Nickname: Steve Park, driver of the No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet, is without a posse no longer. NASCAR fans can now add "One Mo' Posse" to cheer for at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Said Park, "Dale Jr. has his Dirty Mo Posse and Michael [Waltrip] has the Sherill's Ford Posse. Now there is "One Mo'" at DEI."(Steve Park site)(4-3-2003)

  • A Parcells hired by DEI: Jill Parcells, daughter of Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, recently was hired by Dale Earnhardt Inc., as director of operations for the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert. The concert, to benefit the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, is scheduled for June 28 at Daytona International Speedway, with Sheryl Crow, Alabama and Brooks & Dunn among the lead acts. Besides trying to move from New York to Mooresville, N.C., Jill Parcells, who worked for a sports marketing agency for 2 1/2 years out of college before spending almost eight years in the marketing department at Sports Illustrated, has spent the past month trying to learn the sport herself. She has read NASCAR for Dummies and watched every race on TV.(Fort Worth Star Telegram)(3-29-2003)

  • Park Called to the Big Red Trailer: Officials summoned #1-Steve Park to the NASCAR trailer for running into #43-John Andretti and #01-Jerry Nadeau on pit road [towards the end of the race].(St Petersburg Times), no word on the outcome or what happened.(3-10-2003)

  • Park has 2 months? AutoRacing1.com (need subscription to view) is reporting that #1-Steve Park has two months left to prove his worth to DEI. Park has been given through April to show he deserves to remain in the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet past the 2003 season. How big is the deal at Chance2 to run a limited BGN and Winston Cup schedule? Big enough they could have run a full Winston Cup schedule suggests one team insider.(AutoRacing1.com/Stan Creekmore)(2-12-2003)

  • Park - One or Two Year deal? In an interview reported on Florida Today (in part) - "It's not really a big secret that this is a make-or-break year for Steve [Park]," [Dale] Earnhardt Jr. said after testing at Daytona International Speedway. "We put a lot of thought into what to do there. That was a real tough decision. We felt we needed to give Steve a good opportunity this year and I think we have put good people into position to really make a difference on that team. The team morale was really awful last year at the end of the season. Now that's changed tremendously. So this season here, hopefully he can get some good finishes and get some confidence back, get the guys to get some confidence in him. We signed a two-year contract and hopefully he's going to give us good reason to extend that."(Florida Today)
    However: it was announced in August of 2002 that: Dale Earnhardt, Inc.[DEI] has signed Steve Park to a one-year contract extension to remain as the driver of the #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo through the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. "Steve is a talented race car driver and has continually shown his dedication and commitment to our sport, " said team owner Teresa Earnhardt. "We look forward with anticipation and expectation that this continuity will ensure that the #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo lives up to its potential." "I feel great that all we've put into re-signing with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Pennzoil has paid off," said Park, Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s first Winston Cup driver. "I'm really happy that I'll be in the #1 car for another season. Now that we have this behind us, we can concentrate on putting the #1 Pennzoil Chevy back in Victory Lane." Park, 34, has driven for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. since 1996.(Steve Park Site and Letter from Steve Park)(8-16-2002/1-18-2003)

  • Teresa Earnhardt to be on Dateline: Teresa Earnhardt will give her first interview since the death of her husband, racing legend Dale Earnhardt, to Dateline NBC, a producer for the show said Tuesday. Producer Matt Lombardi said Teresa Earnhardt will be interviewed by Katie Couric on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., and the taped segment is expected to air in mid-February. The interview "will most likely look at how she and Dale met, their years together and how she has taken over much of the responsibility of running Dale Earnhardt Inc.," Lombardi said. The segment also will touch on Teresa Earnhardt's fight to restrict access to autopsy photos, he said.(Orlando Sentinel)(1-16-2003)

  • Panasonic and DEI? hearing Panasonic could be an associate sponsor on one of the DEI [#1,#8,#15] cars in 2003.(1-15-2003)

2002 News

  • Dale Earnhardt Legacy Series logo: Action Performance announced an agreement with Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Inc. to showcase the new Dale Earnhardt Legacy Series logo on a special-edition die-cast race car. The Dale Earnhardt Legacy Series logo honors Earnhardt's winning spirit by showcasing the Intimidator at his finest - arms outstretched in victorious celebration. The Legacy Series logo is a prominent feature on the limited edition black-and-red toned die-cast. Additionally, the Legacy Series die-cast car salutes Earnhardt's signature "E" with a unique stripe mark featured on the body. Action will release the Earnhardt Legacy Series die-cast in a variety of prized collector scales. In 2003, the "E" stripe design also will be incorporated as an intricate part of every DEI race car paint scheme, including vehicles driven by the #1, #8 and #15 race teams [see my Paint Scheme Gallery for the images]. Every product released as part of the Dale Earnhardt Legacy Series will include specially designed packaging that incorporates the new logo on a hologram sticker. The agreement between Action and DEI also ensures future production of Earnhardt Legacy Series die-cast vehicle editions and other related merchandise. The Earnhardt Legacy Program will include the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, which will target various charities he contributed to during his life. Also planned is the early-2003 launch of a new official Earnhardt website, www.daleearnhardtinc.com that will have up-to-date news about the foundation, plus photos, clips and statistics pertaining to The Intimidator's career.(Action Performance PR)(12-5-2002)

  • Park Wins NMPA Spirit Award Steve Park is the winner of the third-quarter voting in NMPA's "Pocono Spirit Award." Park was picked because he overcame the injury suffered in a crash at Darlington nearly 13 months ago. Amazingly, six months after the accident, Park was not only back at the South Carolina track, but the Dale Earnhardt, Inc., driver was competing once again at the sport's highest level. A driver whose career appeared to be over didn't just beat the odds, he demolished them. The NMPA/Pocono Spirit Award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity as well as sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.(NMPA via Insider Racing)(11-5-2002)

  • NAPCM "Pit Crew Of The Week" #1 Team: Consistant performance on Talladega's pit road all day contributed to the #1 Penzoil team's march from 35th in the field to a 6th place Talladega finish. Congratulations #1 Pennzoil Crew on earning this week's NAPCM "Pit Crew Of The Week" award, sponsored by Toxabsorb(www.toxabsorb.com), "Instant non-skid pit stall prep, creating grip for faster pit stops" and "Official Spill Response Agent of the National Association Of Pit Crew Members". Check out the latest Mechanix Wear "Pit Crew Of The Year" standings and latest, NEW NAPCM member benefits, available at the National Association Of Pit Crew Members website(www.napcm.com).(10-10-2002)

  • IRWIN Rough to Finish Award #1 Team: Steve Park, driver of the No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet, topped his season best finish at Indy with a sixth place run last weekend at the EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. As a result of the team's efforts, new crew chief Tony Gibson takes home this week's IRWIN "Rough to the Finish" Award. Due to a rained out qualifying session, the field was set by points, forcing Park to start 35th. He maneuvered the Pennzoil Chevrolet to the front quietly throughout the course of the caution-free event. Gibson helped call the shots Sunday, and he led the team to lightning-fast pit stops, taking only two tires each time. The car got steadily better as the day went on, and Park was in the front pack for the entire race. His sixth place finish is his best of the 2002 season and moves him up one spot in the Winston Cup points. "I couldn't be happier how things turned out for this team today," said Gibson. "It is a credit to this team to overcome the things it has this season and turn out a performance like this. Everybody in the pits works hard each week; no one ever gives up. This award is a credit to their efforts week in and week out."
    Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Irwin, makers of professional power tool accessories like Marathon Plus saw blades and Speedbor flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team's name.. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund.. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338. In addition to the crew chief award, Irwin is also sponsoring the weekly nationally syndicated radio show, "Fast Talk with Benny Parsons", throughout the upcoming year.(Golin Harris PR)(10-10-2002)

  • Gibson already at DEI? The Buzz has learned that Tony Gibson may already be working at Dale Earnhardt Inc. as he prepares to take over the crew chief duties for Steve Park and the #1 Pennzoil Chevy team. Gibson has already been announced as the crew chief to replace the departed Paul Andrews. However, Gibson wasn't scheduled to start with DEI until the end of the season while Dave Charpentier and Steve Hmiel shared the crew chief duties for Park. Gibson has been the car chief for Jeff Gordon and the #24 Chevrolet team of Rick Hendrick Motorsports, and was believed to remain there while Gordon and team are in the hunt for its fifth Winston Cup Series championship.(NASCAR.com's Buzz)(10-4-2002)

  • Park to run a BGN car in 2003? UPDATE: hearing Steve Park will run a Teresa/Dale Earnhardt Jr owned #8 Maxwell House Chevy at Las Vegas for the 2003 BGN race there and will run another BGN race in a yet un-named sponsored #8.(9-27-2002)
    UPDATE: Steve Park will return to the BGN on a limited basis next season in a car owned by Winston Cup teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt Jr. said Tuesday that Park will drive about five races next season in the Busch car, co-owned by Earnhardt Jr. and his stepmother Teresa. Earnhardt Jr. will drive in the three events on restrictor-plate tracks, while another driver will compete in about seven races. Earnhardt Jr. said he'd like to see the team go full-time for 2004. After that? "I don't see that team becoming a Winston Cup team in the near future, but it's a good possibility down the road," said Earnhardt Jr., who has won twice in the car already. "It just depends. At this point, it's just a start-up to bring drivers and crew chiefs and crew members in and work with them and move them up the company into the Winston Cup programs."(Charleston Post and Courier)(10-2-2002)

  • New #1 Crew Chief soon? UPDATE Gibson named for 2003: Dale Earnhardt Inc. may announce a new crew chief for driver #1 Steve Park this week. It's believed the company went outside of DEI and offered a contract to Tony Gibson, who has been serving as the unofficial car chief for Jeff Gordon and the #24 Chevrolet. Word is that DEI has offered a contract to Gibson, but he's already under contract with Rick Hendrick Motorsports. Upon giving his resignation, the dilemma is whether Hendrick will be willing to let Gibson leave before the end of the year or make him fulfill his contractual commitment until the end of the season to Hendrick.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(9-24-2002)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Friday named Tony Gibson, currently car chief for Winston Cup driver Jeff Gordon's team, as the new crew chief for driver Steve Park beginning in 2003. Gibson, 37, has been a part of three Winston Cup championships, with the late Alan Kulwicki and Gordon (twice). Before being named as car chief, he worked as lead mechanic on Gordon's team. "I am really fortunate to have worked with Jeff Gordon and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports over the past five years," Gibson said. "I have always been a part of championship-caliber organizations, and this move gives me an opportunity to pursue a Winston Cup championship as a crew chief. I feel confident that the resources at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and the experience I can bring will help Steve Park and DEI win races. From there, our focus will be on winning championships." DEI officials Steve Hmiel and Dave Charpentier will continue to serve as Park's crew chief for the remainder of this season.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-27-2002)

  • Jerry Jones and DEI? The latest on the Dallas Cowboys' front is the report that Jerry Jones is interested in trying to buy Dale Earnhardt Inc. Jones, who owns the Cowboys, and car owner Andy Petree spent much of the summer in negotiations to team next season on the Winston Cup tour, but that deal fell through. During those negotiations, Jones was reported to be interested in signing a top-name driver and was willing to offer as much as $5 million to Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ty Norris, general manager for DEI, wouldn't say that there had been no talk with the Cowboys, but he did say that there was no way any such deal could go down. There have been several reports during the year about the possible sale of DEI, but each report has been officially rebuffed.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-23-2002)

  • Kenny Brack and DEI? Ganassi's current CART lineup figures to look quite a bit different in the IRL next year. He'll keep Scott Dixon and lose Bruno Junqueira, and Kenny Brack said last weekend he won't be in CART in 2003. Ganassi will probably add Tora Takagi to keep Toyota happy, while Jeff Ward remains in limbo. Brack will go back to the IRL or possibly NASCAR (it's rumored DEI would be interested in testing the '99 Indy 500 winner in a Winston Cup car).(ESPN)(9-18-2002)

  • DEI #1 Team Down to two Choices for Crew Chief: Ty Norris, the manager at Dale Earnhardt Inc., says he's down to two men for the post of crew chief for Steve Park's team. "We've got two guys we're comfortable with. I've very pleased with the interest people have shown in this position," Norris said. "It shows the team hasn't lost any of its luster." Norris says he may or may not hire one of the two within the next few weeks. "We know that Steve Hmiel and Dave Charpentier and the guys can handle the job the rest of the year," Norris says. "We just need someone to come in and get started on 2003." Tommy Baldwin is one man under consideration for the job. Frankie Stoddard is another crew chief working the marketplace. Jimmy Elledge [#55 team] is another crew chief who is on various wish-lists.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-16-2002)

  • Baldwin's contract up, to the #1? or staying at the #22? UPDATE: Tommy Baldwin's contract as crew chief for Bill Davis and Ward Burton is up at the end of the season, and there are indications that he is under consideration for a job as Steve Park's crew chief at Dale Earnhardt Inc. One hangup to a Baldwin-to-DEI move would be Baldwin's sideline BGN team [#6 Dodge with ties to Davis]. "But Tommy has assured us he has no intentions of going anywhere," Davis said.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-8-2002)
    UPDATE: Winston Cup crew chief Tommy Baldwin told NASCAR.com Tuesday afternoon that he has contracts in-hand from Bill Davis Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc., and is currently mulling over which situation is best for him in hopes of making a punctual decision.(NASCAR.com)(9-10-2002)

  • #1 Crewman to China: Conspicuously absent for the next two weeks will be Pennzoil gasman Mike "Mongo" Bodick, who embarked on a journey to China this week. Bodick and his wife, Wendie Leigh, are adopting an eight month-old orphaned Chinese girl. The Bodick family recently welcomed another family member when Wendie Leigh gave birth to 8 lb. 0 oz. Catherine Faith on August 20, 2002. Bodick, suddenly a daddy twice over, will resume his race-weekend duties at Dover.(Steve Park Site)(9-7-2002)

  • Andrews In, Stoddard out at the #99: Roush Racing announced that Paul Andrews has been hired as the crew chief of the #99 CITGO Ford, effective immediately. Andrews has been a Winston Cup crew chief since 1988 when he was teamed up with the late Alan Kulwicki. In 1992 the pair won the Winston Cup Championship in addition to racking up two wins and six poles. Andrews has achieved 12 total Winston Cup victories in addition to 74 top-five and 145 top-10 finishes. Andrews was most recently crew chief of the #1 car of Steve Park (see next story). "Paul will make a great addition to the #99 CITGO team," said Jeff Burton, driver of the #99 CITGO Ford. "The CITGO team has been running really well and we're looking to build on that with the addition of Paul. Frank has done a magnificent job helping to build a Winston Cup championship contending team," said Burton. "But after long consideration, we both think we're better served to take the next step forward by revamping the chemistry of the team, by making this change." Former Crew Chief Frank Stoddard has been offered a choice of other management positions within the Roush Racing organization, and his decision will be announced in the near future. "I'm proud to have been crew chief for a start up team that has been able to win 17 times and earn three top-five seasons' point finishes," said Stoddard. "And I think the addition of Paul Andrews to Roush Racing will be a positive one for the organization."(Roush Racing PR)(9-4-2002)

  • Andrews leaves DEI: #1 Dale Earnhardt Inc crew chief Paul Andrews has left the team effective immediately, the parting was termed mutual. Steve Hmiel and Dave Charpentier will handle the crew chief duties until a replacement can be named for the #1 team and driver Steve Park.(Fox Sports Net Totally NASCAR)(9-4-2002)

  • Crew Change at DEI during the race: Two members of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s pit crew were switched out during the race and replaced by two crew members from Dale Earnhardt Inc. teammate Steve Park's team after Park was involved in an accident. Walt Smith, who oversees the pit crew training on all three DEI teams, made the change, which involved the rear tire carrier and tire changer. (ThatsRacin.com)(9-2-2002)

  • Wallace released from DEI and... Kenny Wallace has been released from his DEI contract in 2002. Wallace was hired to first drive the #1 car for Steve Park, and be on stand-by for the rest of 2002 in case there was another need for him in any of the DEI cars. DEI decided that since it was obvious that their drivers were no longer in need of substitutes and that they were paying a full driver salary to someone that was sitting at home on Sundays watching the race on TV, that the contract could be ended, and see a full press release of the Wallace/Petree/ATT deal at Kenny Wallace Racing site.(8-30-2002)

  • Park re-signs with DEI: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has signed Steve Park to a one-year contract extension to remain as the driver of the #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo through the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. "Steve is a talented race car driver and has continually shown his dedication and commitment to our sport, " said team owner Teresa Earnhardt. "We look forward with anticipation and expectation that this continuity will ensure that the #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo lives up to its potential."
    "I feel great that all we've put into re-signing with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Pennzoil has paid off," said Park, Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s first Winston Cup driver. "I'm really happy that I'll be in the #1 car for another season. Now that we have this behind us, we can concentrate on putting the #1 Pennzoil Chevy back in Victory Lane." Park, 34, has driven for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. since 1996. The East Northport, N.Y. native, has scored three NASCAR Busch Grand National Series wins and two Winston Cup wins with the organization.(Steve Park Site and Letter from Steve Park)(8-16-2002)

  • Park Announcment at MIS? UPDATE: Ty Norris, general manager at DEI, said he may have something to announce about Steve Park next week at Michigan.(Winston Salem Journal)(8-10-2002)
    UPDATE: hearing all is well with negotiations and Park and DEI are finalizing their deal and hope to have something to announce soon.(8-13-2002)

  • IRWIN Rough to Finish Award: Steve Park and the #1 Pennzoil team recorded their season-best finish at last weekend's Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Despite the blazing temperatures and tough competition on the track, the Pennzoil crew kept Park in the hunt all afternoon, helping to earn crew chief Paul Andrews this week's "Irwin Rough to the Finish" Award. Andrew's call on the final pit stop was a big factor in the final outcome of the race. The caution came out about ten laps before the Pennzoil team was planning to pit. Andrews had planned to take only two tires, but the additional time between the pit stop and the race's end prompted him to take four instead. Park was quickly able to make up track position with four fresh tires and bring home the team's first top-10 of the season.
    Each week throughout the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Irwin, makers of professional power tool accessories like Marathon Plus saw blades and Speedbor flat bits, is partnering with Performance Racing Network to honor the crew chief who had the toughest day in the pits, but still managed to help his team to a strong finish. The IRWIN Rough to the Finish Award includes an assortment of tools for the crew chief and a $250 check donated to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund in the racing team's name.. The year-end winner of the crew chief points standings will win a $5,000 check donated to the Fund.. Race fans wanting to make a contribution to the Fund may do so by sending it to the Ellerbe, NC Educational Fund, PO Box 443, Ellerbe, NC 28338. In addition to the crew chief award, Irwin is also sponsoring the weekly nationally syndicated radio show, "Fast Talk with Benny Parsons", throughout the upcoming year.(Golin Harris PR)(8-8-2002)

  • Park and DEI close? #1-Steve Park has yet to finalize his plans for 2003. In recent weeks, he has been mulling an offer of a one-year contract extension from DEI. "We're not totally locked in yet, but Ty Norris (executive vice president of motorsports at DEI) is doing a good job of making sure that this team runs good and stays together," Park said. "We feel we turned a corner in Pocono with our setups and stuff."(ThatsRacin.com)(8-4-2002)

  • DEI and BDR switch? Park to Davis? Wallace to DEI? BUT this is different.......now comes word of a behind-the-scenes deal between Bill Davis Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. - a deal which would put Kenny Wallace in the DEI cars that Steve Park currently drives [#1 Pennzoil Chevy] and put Park in some of Davis' cars [#23 or #27], to work with Tommy Baldwin, who was his crew chief on the Busch North Series. Wallace would bring Stacker2 to DEI, and Pennzoil would go with Park to Davis. But the whole thing may be too complicated to put together. A few weeks ago Buckshot Jones made a hard run at landing a ride for next season with Davis. Then two weeks ago Kenny Wallace, with $11 million of sponsorship from Stacker2, appeared headed to Davis.(Winston Salem Journal)
    BUT Kenny Wallace appears to be the leading candidate to replace Hut Stricklin in the #23 Dodge at Bill Davis Racing. Mike Brown, team manager at Bill Davis Racing, said an announcement could come in about two weeks. He said published reports that Steve Park will be driving for Davis next season aren't true. "We've talked to Steve about driving for us, but we haven't offered him a contract," Brown said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(8-2-2002)
    UPDATE: A spokesman for team owner Bill Davis said Steve Park hasn't been offered a contract for 2002, but Davis wants him if sponsorship comes through. Mike Brown, the team's general manager, said Davis and Park have talked at length about Park replacing Hut Stricklin in the #23 Dodge. But Brown said it would be "premature" to assume the deal has been done.(Daily Press)(8-2-2002)

  • More of Park and DEI: Steve Park is mulling over an offer from DEI/Ty Norris, the general manager, to sign a one-year deal, with the possibility of extending it for another year or two in more negotiations next summer. The sticking point for Park, according to those close to him, is Norris' attempt to pin Park's salary to incentives, meaning he must run well to make money, because he would draw a small base salary. So far Park has not been pleased with what's on the table from DEI.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-26-2002)

  • Park negotiating with DEI to stay: Steve Park, driver of the #1 Pennzoil Chevy, has confirmed he's in serious negotiations again, for his future with Dale Earnhardt, Inc.(see full story at NASCAR.com)(7-23-2002)

  • Andrews Son Races at NHIS: Whelen Motorsports had Tim Andrews drive their Busch North # 31 Saturday at New Hampshire. Andrews started 15th and finished 6th in his first BGNN start. Andrews is the son of the #1 Pennzoil/DEI team and driver Steve Park, Paul Andrews, who changed front tires for his son on Saturday.(7-21-2002)

  • Park still considering staying at DEI for 2003: #1-Steve Park, who two weeks ago openly talked of leaving Dale Earnhardt Inc(DEI), says he is now open to the possibility of remaining with the organization next season. Park said he is now more "at ease" with the idea of one-year contract extension - a haggling point in recent discussions with the team. "We've talked about doing a one-year deal. I thought at first, being stubborn, I would be in the same position this time next year, so I wasn't pleased with that," Park said. "Now, I'm more at ease with stuff. Maybe that's now a possibility - keep Steve Park and Pennzoil together at DEI for the term of Pennzoil's contract." Pennzoil has one year remaining on its contract to sponsor DEI's #1 Chevy. Both Park and DEI allowed a June 15 deadline to pass that would have given DEI first opportunity to sign Park.(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND Steve Park said he's been offered a one-year deal to remain with Dale Earnhardt Inc., but he said he's "stubborn" and wants a longer contract. Park said he's waiting for Ty Norris, DEI's team manager, to decide if a two-year deal is possible. Park said he has no particular time frame, but said running for car owner Bill Davis [#23] is a possibility next season if he can't come to terms with DEI. There is also speculation Park could be moving to the Rick Hendrick [#25] operation in 2003.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-20-2002)

  • Wallace not going to the #1: on ESPN2's RPM 2 Night, Kenny Wallace said he would not be driving the #1 Pennzoil Chevy for DEI in 2003, that Pennzoil only would be back on the #1 for one more year [2003] and that his 2003 plans would depend on what his current sponsor Stacker2 would do, that he would follow and stay with them.(7-15-2002)

  • Park Not Happy: Steve Park said Friday he is not a second-rate driver and will not be "strung along" by Dale Earnhardt Inc. or any other Winston Cup team. Park's future at DEI has been clouded since his return to the series at Darlington, S.C., in March of this season. He suffered a serious head injury from a wreck in the BGN race at Darlington last September. "If they have ideas or Plan A of what they want and it don't work out, I'm not going to be around for them to fall back on. If they decide I'm good for the team and we're going to stick together and try to win races, then that's fine," Park said. Park said he is a "free agent" as far as next season goes. He said until June 15, DEI had the right of first refusal as far as signing a contract. Now, he is free to sign with DEI or another team. "They talked about a one-year deal. With a one-year deal, this time next year we'll be in the same exact boat and that don't interest me," Park said. "Either I'm the driver and you have the confidence that I can get the job done, or get somebody else." See full story at ThatsRacin.com and see A candid talk with driver Steve Park.(7-5-2002)
    UPDATE: Even though Pennzoil is coming back for another year as sponsor of the #1 car, driver Park's future is still being evaluated. Park told the Associated Press Friday that he's unhappy with his role at DEI.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(7-6-2002)

  • DEI's deadline pushed back UPDATE: Ty Norris, the manager of DEI, said he has postponed a decision on contract renewals for #15-Michael Waltrip and #1-Steve Park for another three weeks. "We had set June 15 as a target date, and we're a little behind, but it's not the world will be coming to an end," Norris said. Insiders say that Waltrip's improving performances in recent weeks have boosted his standing with sponsor NAPA considerably and could help him keep his DEI ride.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-15-2002)
    UPDATE: A Dale Earnhardt Inc. official laughed Saturday at the continuing speculation that Steve Park and Michael Waltrip may not be retained for 2003 and that the company itself is for sale for $300 million. The racing organization doesn't help the situation. A week ago, Dale Earnhardt Jr. admitted he's talked with Waltrip and told him to improve his finishes. He also said Park seems to have lost the chemistry with the rest of his teammates since returning from a brain injury sustained last September at Darlington [in a BGN race]. The contracts for both Waltrip and Park are up at the end of the season and the team originally said it would try to have new deals completed by June 15. Now that deadline apparently is being moved back a few weeks. Waltrip sounds like a driver who already knows about his future, saying he knows he will be driving a car next year - if not for DEI, for another race team.(Augusta Chronicle)(6-16-2002)

  • Nadeau at DEI? UPDATE in the #44 at Sears Point and in a Waltrip car: hearing Jerr Nadeau, recently released from the #25 Hendrick Motorsports ride, is talking to Dale Earnhardt Inc about a ride there for 2003.
    UPDATE: ESPN2 RPM 2 Night's Ray Dunlap reports that Jerry Nadeau will be in the #44 Petty Racing Dodge at Sears Point in place of regular driver Steve Grissom. Also reported that Nadeau will drive a Michael Waltrip owned car at Chicagoland and possibly some additional race.(6-12-2002)

  • Park safe for 2002: Dale Earnhardt Jr, who seems to be taking on more of a management role at Dale Earnhardt Inc., says it is unlikely Park would be fired before his contract runs out at the end of the season. But if DEI makes a change, it likely would sign Park's 2003 replacement in the next few months.(USA Today)(6-11-2002)

  • Park Expects to stay at DEI: Steve Park, worn down by the constant rumors, is looking forward to the day when speculation about his racing career ends. He's a couple of weeks from knowing his future, but confident his place in Winston Cup racing is secure. Where that place is hasn't been nailed down, but a meeting last week with team owner Teresa Earnhardt has Park more optimistic than he was a month ago. Less than a month ago, Park talked about being on the hot seat and his need to perform to keep his job with Dale Earnhardt Inc. Now he's talking contracts, either with DEI or elsewhere. In recent weeks, reports had Park out of the car by the Coca-Cola 600, had his sponsor out the door and his team on the realtor's pages. Speculation remains rampant that Park's days with DEI are numbered, but he continues to dispute those reports. "With the rumors and the gossip, that puts everybody in a position where they think A, the team's being sold, which is untrue; B, the sponsor's leaving, which is untrue; C, the driver's leaving, which is untrue; (or) D, the crew chief's leaving, which is untrue," he said. "It seems like, if you read it in the paper, it's like God spoke that." Park tried not to think about it too much. He has other things on his mind, like working out a contract. Will that contract be with DEI? Park seems to be more confident that he can turn in performances guaranteeing it. "I'm not going away," he said. "I'm going to race. Either this team is going to win with me here or I'm going to beat them. I still feel we can win. We've just got to show that. With Teresa's support of all of us, it definitely raises all of our spirits."(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read)(6-7-2002)

  • DEI and DeWalt? the LTN Radio show reports that Dale Earnhardt Inc is talking to DeWalt Tools to sponsor a team, DeWalt's contract with Roush Racing and the #17 Matt Kenseth team is over at the end of 2002. Roush is in negotations with DeWalt also.(6-3-2002)

  • Park in at Dover: All of the Steve Park fans can rest easily this week. According to Ty Norris [of DEI], Park will be in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy at Dover this weekend. That rumor was absolutely FALSE. He said that the team is looking stronger and Park is trying harder than ever. Norris is also impressed with the performance of Michael Waltrip and the NAPA team as well. He gives a lot of the credit to Waltrip and the leadership role he has taken with the team.(TeamDEI)(5-29-2002)

  • Park to Lose the #1 Ride? UPDATE 2: The Sporting News has learned that Steve Park will be released from the Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet following the Coca-Cola 600 later this month. Kenny Wallace is expected to take the seat at Dover. While Park has continued his recovery following his crash in last September's Busch race at Darlington, his results in the car are not what the team had hoped for since his return. Park's best finish this season was 20th at Texas, but his average showing is 27th. Park may not be the only driver facing dismissal at DEI. Sources say that teammate Michael Waltrip's job isn't necessarily secure either. Although Waltrip's contract is up for renegotiation, it has been inferred that Elliott Sadler, who asked for his release last Sunday night from the Wood Brothers team, will be in the car in 2003. Ty Norris, executive VP of motorsports for DEI, denied that Park will be replaced or that Waltrip's status is in jeopardy. But Norris did say that he has talked to several drivers and "there are 43 available in either (the Winston Cup or Busch) garage." He expects to have a decision by June.(Sporting News), heard from sources that DEI is adamant Park will not be released.(5-4-2002)
    UPDATE: Reports that Winston Cup driver Steve Park will be released by Dale Earnhardt, Inc. following the Coca-Cola 600 in three weeks are false, DEI executive vice president Ty Norris told NASCAR.com. "It was irresponsible reporting ... to make a ridiculous comment like that, when they asked me point blank and I said 'Absolutely no way,'" Norris said. "That rumor is very, very false." Norris also said that conversations between DEI and any future talent are focused solely on the future.(NASCAR.com)(5-4-2002)
    UPDATE 2: still hearing that Park will be out after the Coca Cola 600.(5-25-2002)

  • More on Sadler-Wood Bros, Sadler to the #1?: Expect hard feelings until Elliott Sadler and the [#21 Motorcraft Ford] Wood brothers settle their dispute over his efforts to quit ASAP. They won't come to an agreement before Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600, but Sadler would love to get it done next week. He wants to pursue a ride with Dale Earnhardt Inc. That may come early next month, when Steve Park likely will be released. When it happens, look for Sadler to go even though the Wood brothers don't want a mid-season change.(Daily Press)(5-25-2002)

  • DEI for sale? UPDATEs Speculation is increasing that a possible sale of Dale Earnhardt Inc. or parts of DEI may be under consideration, with word that owner Teresa Earnhardt may be considering a move to Florida. Finding anyone willing to finance such a sale might be difficult, particularly with the uncertainty surround two of DEI's three teams. But there are indications that Anheuser-Busch might be involved in however the situation might play out, possibly as part-owner, to protect its investment in star Dale Earnhardt Jr. It is unclear how much of a financial stake Earnhardt Jr. has in the company his father built.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-18-2002)
    UPDATE: Rumors have also cropped up that Teresa Earnhardt is looking to sell all or part of the DEI operation. Norris said those statements are false and Park concurs. "I've talked to Teresa quite a bit and there's no indication that the team's going to be sold," Park said. "I think that's part of the rumor mill we're all kind of suffering through right now. We've got Dale Earnhardt Jr. (and) Teresa Earnhardt and they plan on being around the sport for quite a long time."(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read)
    AND Dale Earnhardt Inc. may be sold. TV and several news sources are reporting that Teresa Earnhardt, widow of Dale Earnhardt, is interested in selling all or part of the three-team operation in order for her to take up a permanent residence in Florida. Two of the team's three drivers - Steve Park and Michael Waltrip - have contracts that expire at the end of the season. Only Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains a fixture. Anheuser-Busch, reportedly, is very much interested in what happens at DEI, to a point where they might buy in to protect their investment in Earnhardt Jr. and his future with the company.(Danville Register Bee)(5-23-2002)

  • Park to Lose the #1 Ride? UPDATE: The Sporting News has learned that Steve Park will be released from the Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet following the Coca-Cola 600 later this month. Kenny Wallace is expected to take the seat at Dover. While Park has continued his recovery following his crash in last September's Busch race at Darlington, his results in the car are not what the team had hoped for since his return. Park's best finish this season was 20th at Texas, but his average showing is 27th. Park may not be the only driver facing dismissal at DEI. Sources say that teammate Michael Waltrip's job isn't necessarily secure either. Although Waltrip's contract is up for renegotiation, it has been inferred that Elliott Sadler, who asked for his release last Sunday night from the Wood Brothers team, will be in the car in 2003. Ty Norris, executive VP of motorsports for DEI, denied that Park will be replaced or that Waltrip's status is in jeopardy. But Norris did say that he has talked to several drivers and "there are 43 available in either (the Winston Cup or Busch) garage." He expects to have a decision by June.(Sporting News), heard from sources that DEI is adamant Park will not be released.(5-4-2002)
    UPDATE: Reports that Winston Cup driver Steve Park will be released by Dale Earnhardt, Inc. following the Coca-Cola 600 in three weeks are false, DEI executive vice president Ty Norris told NASCAR.com. "It was irresponsible reporting ... to make a ridiculous comment like that, when they asked me point blank and I said 'Absolutely no way,'" Norris said. "That rumor is very, very false." Norris also said that conversations between DEI and any future talent are focused solely on the future.(NASCAR.com)(5-4-2002)

  • DEI Shakeup Coming? UPDATE 2: A shakeup appears to be looming at Dale Earnhardt Inc., with word that DEI boss Ty Norris is talking with Elliott Sadler about driving for the company next season, presumably replacing either #15-Michael Waltrip or #1-Steve Park. Norris says that DEI will make a decision on next year's drivers lineup by the end of May. Sponsor demands may be the key to Norris' calls. The NAPA sponsor is considered one at stake, with other car owners looking to make a bid for it. But Geoff Smith, the head of Roush Racing and the man who helped write Sadler's contract with the Woods brothers, says the decision on Sadler is up to Eddie Wood. "There have been rumors coming out of DEI about Michael Waltrip and Steve Park for some time," Smith said. "I think this is their logical time table to address change.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-3-2002)
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip said Friday morning at Richmond he intends to be back in the #15 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevy in 2003. "I fully expect that I'll be driving this car next year," Waltrip said. "That's my intention. If it's a forgone conclusion that I won't be, then I don't know about that." Dale Earnhardt Jr., now part-owner in DEI, didn't completely deny that the team was thinking about putting Sadler in a DEI car next year, and that changes wouldn't be made. "It's not the truth until you hear from us or him (Sadler)," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I don't know why everybody has to believe stuff like that. It's kind of funny. I don't know if we're looking at Elliott; we're just looking at ways to improve our team. I look at our teams myself individually as if they were stock, and we have to continue to raise the value of the team and try to improve the team as far as members, crew members, or any area that we see needs to be improved. We either try to take this guy and help him along or try to improve him or give him the things that he thinks he needs to succeed or we make a change. That's the nature of the beast. As far as Elliott goes, I wouldn't worry about posting anything until you hear it from us."(RacingOne)(5-3-2002)
    AND from NASCAR.com -DEI executive vice president Ty Norris told NASCAR.com Friday that the Nos. 1 and 15 teams need one of two things: improved results or a personnel shakeup within the organization. Norris said that DEI has a set deadline for its decision, but would not disclose that date. The current contracts for drivers Steve Park and Michael Waltrip expire following the 2002 season, and Norris said DEI is exploring the possibility of hiring other drivers. Norris said that sponsor input will play a large role in the decision, and that drivers aren't the only individuals in question. "We basically have two drivers with contracts up and the end of the year," Norris said. "So we're feeling things out, seeing who is available and what is available." Among the candidates is Elliott Sadler, who asked for his release from Wood Brothers Racing last weekend. Norris said Sadler was "very high" on his short list of possibilities.(5-3-2002)
    UPDATE: Norris - "I'm thinking by the beginning of June we'll know what we're going to do, for the end of this and for next year, because both Michael and Steve have a renegotiating deadline of June 15."(ThatsRacin.com)(5-4-2002)

  • DEI to Honor Singer: Dale Earnhardt Inc. will honor the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, of the popular R&B group TLC, this weekend at Richmond by carrying special stripes on all three of the company's Winston Cup Chevy's (#'s 1,8,15). Lopes, 30, was killed instantly in a traffic accident in Honduras on April 25. Within days, morgue photos of Lopes were circulated on the internet, striking a nerve within the Earnhardt organization. Teresa Earnhardt, wife of seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt, was drawn into extensive courtroom battles protecting the privacy of her family and memory of her late husband following his death in February of 2001. Several news organizations and a website unsuccessfully tried to obtain autopsy photos of Earnhardt following his fatal accident. "We want to express our deepest sympathy to her family, friends and fans. She has a huge following here at our shop," said Steve Crisp, Director of Media Relations for the Mooresville, NC-based company. As a trademark, Lopes, an Atlanta, GA native, often performed with a single black stripe under her left eye. The Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevys, driven by #1-Steve Park, #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #15-Michael Waltrip will each carry a similar stripe under the left headlight. In addition, over the wall pit crew members on all three teams will wear black stripes under their left eye in Saturday night's event.(DEI PR)(5-3-2002)

  • Waltrip to field a car for Kenny Wallace at Talladega? Mike Waltrip mentioned during the Fox BGN rain delay coverage that Michael Waltrip racing will field a Cup car at Talladega for Kenny Wallace that will carry Aaron's Rent sponsorship and that Aaron's will also be the title sponsor of the Cup at Talladega that will be know as the 499 not the 500. Supposedly DEI will supply the car (a backup #15) and engine, not sure what number it'll use (#81 as used in Daytona testing?). Waltrip seemed serious and Kenny Wallace was interviewed a bit later and says it is a serious effort and it is being posted on the Kenny Wallace site.(4-6-2002)

  • Wallace [Kenny] full time Cup in 2003? In an online chat on racers-chat.com Monday, Kenny Wallace said he will be in the Winston Cup Series next year. Running full-time in the BGN [#48 Stacker 2 Chevy] and the former replacement for #1-Steve Park, it appears Wallace is just waiting his time. "I will tell you the truth, I am 100 percent positive I will be full WC next year," Wallace wrote. "As of right now, I will try to win BGN races and the championship, because as we speak DEI will not let me drive any WC cars. We are still on standby for Steve. I am very excited about the years ahead of me. Things look good." (Daytona Beach News Journal)(3-27-2002)

  • Park to be evaluated? UPDATE: DEI and NASCAR officials will likely take a look at #1-Steve Park before next week's race at fast and dangerous Texas Motor Speedway. Park was sidelined six months after suffering a bruise at the base of his skull as a result of a crash during a Busch Series race at Darlington last September. The swelling in his head had given him double vision. Park returned on March 17 at that same South Carolina track. Some suggest his return is pre-mature. Park had two questionable incidents in his first race back, running into #90-Rick Mast and drifting high into the lapped car of #14-Stacy Compton. At Bristol, there were three more incidents: Park spun out running by himself between Turns 1 & 2 on lap 81 [actually got together with #44-Jones]; rear-ended #31-Robby Gordon on lap 342, and spun out again on lap 408. "The released him way too soon,'' one spotter said.(Knoxville News)(3-25-2002)
    UPDATE: Despite rumors to the contrary, NASCAR spokeswoman Danielle Humphrey said the sanctioning body will not re-evaluate Steve Park prior to next week's race at Texas Motor Speedway. Park returned to the Winston Cup Series two weeks ago after being out since September because of a head injury. There have been published reports stating that NASCAR likely would take another look at Park after he ran into Rick Mast and Stacy Compton while leading at Darlington and was involved in several incidents in last weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Humphrey said Park's doctors have cleared him to race, and no changes to his status are being considered.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(3-27-2002)

  • Shell buys Pennzoil-Quaker State: Pennzoil-Quaker State Co., the nation's largest motor oil maker and parent company of more than 2,000 Jiffy Lube oil change service stations across the country, is becoming part of Royal Dutch/Shell Group in a deal worth $1.8 billion. The agreement was announced Monday night in Houston, where both Pennzoil-Quaker State and Shell's U.S. operations are based. The deal, approved Monday by Pennzoil-Quaker's board, is expected to close in the second half of this year. It still needs the approval of shareholders and regulators.(Yahoo), no work on what, if any, effect it will have to racing sponsorships such as the #1 Pennzoil Chevy or Quaker State assoc sponsorships on the Hendrick Motorsports cars [#'s 5,24,25,48].(3-26-2002)

  • Park to test at Darlington/Wallace has another Cup ride lined up? UPDATE 4 park to return at Darlington: Steve Park will test twice this week at Darlington with hopes of being cleared to return to the #1 Pennzoil Chevy on March 17 at the same track in the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400. Though Park's doctors were present during his three previous tests, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has yet to receive formal clearance on Park's behalf. Kenny Wallace remains under contract. Ty Norris, executive vice president of motorsports for DEI, says Wallace could compete in races after Park returns "if the funding and cars become available and it makes sense for the other teams." Sources close to Wallace say he has been offered another Cup ride (not the #57) as soon as he can be released from his contract with DEI.(The Sporting News)(3-4-2002)
    UPDATE: Park tested at Darlington on Tuesday and crew chief Paul Andrews said if thing proceed well, Park could race at Darlington. On ESPN2's RPM 2 Night, Kenny Wallace said is committed to DEI for now and will stay with DEI until Park is ok and would stand by in case Park has problems in a race.(3-6-2002)
    UPDATE 2: ESPN2's RPM 2 Night reports that DEI will meet with Steve Park on Thursday to discuss plans - and that the testing at Darlington went well and that Park could be back in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy by Darlington.(3-7-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Officials from Dale Earnhardt, Inc., are expected to announce Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway that driver Steve Park will make his return to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series March 15 [qualifying] at Darlington Raceway. Park plans to be at AMS Sunday for the MBNA America 500. According to a team source, he has satisfied all concerns his doctors or NASCAR might have regarding his return to the cockpit.(NASCAR.com)(3-8-2002)
    UPDATE 4: Injured NASCAR driver Steve Park will make his return to the Cup Series at Darlington next week. Ty Norris, vice president at Dale Earnhardt Inc., made the announcement Friday about Park's return at Atlanta Motor Speedway, site of Sunday's MBNA America 500. "We knew Darlington was the target date, but we never said it we didn't want anyone to put any pressure on him," Norris said. "Darlington was not chosen because it's a good story or out of irony. It just happened that this rce fell in our time table for his comeback." Park, who was not at Atlanta, was unavailable for comment. He successfully completed several private test sessions in the past few months under the watchful eye of NASCAR, including one at Lowe's Motor Speedway with DEI teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip. Park also tested at Darlington last week. Norris said Kenny Wallace, who replaced Park in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy, might run selected races with the team during the remainder of the season.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(3-8-2002)

  • Park to race at Vegas? UPDATE 2 No Vegas/Atlanta: Steve Park could be back in a racecar this weekend at Las Vegas. Park, who has been sidelined since September 1 because of a head injury suffered when his car veered out of control in a Busch race at Darlington, tested with his teammates last week at Charlotte and will participate in a two-car test with Kenny Wallace, who has been driving Park's car, this week at Atlanta. Dale Earnhardt Inc. technical director Steve Hmiel says that Park ran more than 100 laps at Charlotte, and they intended to test him in the 500-mile range early this week. "We're going to see if we can wear him out, but I don't think that's possible with how focused he's been lately," Hmiel says. "He's well on the way to recovery." Hmiel says Park is "fine in traffic." Steve Petersen, from NASCAR's competition department, observed the session. But Park's physician must give clearance before he is able to race. As of Sunday, NASCAR had not been given the OK. Park had not been expected to return this soon, and Wallace will remain under contract. But if Park can return this weekend, Wallace is expected to turn his full attention to winning a Busch championship in his #48 car.(Sporting News)(2-25-2002)
    AND Injured driver Steve Park, out of action since September 2001, will test today and Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Gaston Gazette)(2-25-2002)
    UPDATE: FSN's Totally NASCAR reports that Park will NOT race this weekend at Las Vegas and is unlikely to race at Atlanta. Most reports seem to think Darlington will be Park's first Cup race back as long as he keeps progressing so well.
    AND ESPN2's RPM 2 Night has Kenny Wallace on and he reported that he has been guaranteed to run the next two Cup races in the #1 Chevy (Las Vegas and Atlanta)(2-25-2002)
    AND II Kenny Wallace will be in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy at Las Vegas and Atlanta. Pennzoil held a press conference Saturday at Rockingham in which Wallace very clearly stated that Steve was not even going to Las Vegas because it was too far to go watch a race.(2-26-2002)

  • Park Tests...to return soon UPDATE: Steve Park tested Thursday at Lowe's Motor Speedway, running with DEI teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr., Michael Waltrip and Kenny Wallace. Thursday's test, in which the drivers tried to simulate race conditions, was observed by doctors and NASCAR officials. RPM2Night reports that the test went so well that Park could return to action in a few weeks. Park plans to test next week at Atlanta and also at Darlington. Wallace told RPM2Night that he's pulling for Park to make a successful return, and that it's possible Wallace would still make some Winston Cup starts for DEI after Park's return. Park was injured during a September BGN race when his car darted down the track during a caution period and into the path of Larry Foyt's #14 car.(ESPN and RPM2Night)(2-22-2002)
    UPDATE: NASCAR did not charge any of the teams with one of their seven test sessions because it was done to aid a driver, a series spokesperson said. Also, a NASCAR official was present at the test.(Roanoke Times)(2-23-2002)

  • Park to test this week: Steve Park was scheduled to test a DEI Chevy for a second time the week of Feb. 18. The test, however, was not an immediate prelude to his return to Winston Cup, according to crew chief Paul Andrews. Park recently tested at Carraway Speedway and the second test was meant to see what progress, if any, Park has made in the interim. Andrew said Park's vision has improved to the point that he's almost ready to discard his glasses. When it's determined Park's close to returning, he'll run a full test at the track where he'll attempt his first race.(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read)(2-21-2002)

  • Park News UPDATE: Steve Park [driver of the #1 Pennzoil Chevy, Kenny Wallace is subbing for him] has a timetable for his return to racing, but officials at Dale Earnhardt Inc. won't reveal it in case there's any lingering effects from his severe head injury. Park, who missed the final 12 races last season, already has two tests in a car. Norris said NASCAR planned to work with the team in evaluating Park's status before he returns. One of the plans is to let Park test with teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip.(AP/Arizona Republic)(2-11-2002)
    UPDATE: Steve Park estimates he's about a month away from returning to racing as he continues to rehabilitate from the brain contusion he suffered that day. A contusion causes more damage than the worst concussion, and in Park's case, it wreaked havoc with his balance, vision and speech. It left the NASCAR community wondering if he ever would race again.(Newday)(2-13-2002)

  • Park to test Cup car: Steve Park said Saturday that he will drive a Winston Cup car this week for the first time since suffering a head injury in a crash during a Grand National race at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 1. Park will test at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC this week to measure how well his vision has returned since the crash that ended his 2001 season prematurely. Kenny Wallace finished the season in the #1 Pennzoil Chevys and has been signed by Dale Earnhardt Inc. to drive it in 2002 until Park is ready to return.(ThatsRacin.com/ESPN-AP)(1-20-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Rain delayed Steve Park's plans to test a stock car last Thursday, but crew chief Paul Andrews was optimistic after observing Park's progress behind the wheel of a roadster and a Legends car earlier in January. "It wasn't a big deal," Andrews says. "We just wanted to see how consistent he could be, if he could turn sideways and whether the motion would make him dizzy. Is he ready for Daytona? Probably not. But it's the first step of many to get him back into racing form." Andrews says Park will try to test a stock car again this week.(Sporting News)(1-28-2002)

  • Park to test at Charlotte UPDATE 2: CNN/SI's NASCAR Plus show reported on Monday's show that Steve Park, injured in a BGN accident at Darlington, will test a roadster at Lowes Motor Speedway to see how his progess is going. Park's return could return anywhere between Texas and Daytona in July(1-14-2002)
    UPDATE: Park was excited about a trip he made to Lowe's Motor Speedway at mid-month to turn laps in a Legends car under the eyes of crew chief Paul Andrews and neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty. Park said he turned laps that were only a .10 of second off the track record for that division and had no problems with vertigo or depth perception. "The test went well," Park said. "You don't know what to expect when you get back in a car, but with Paul Andrews and the doctors there, I had the confidence to go out. I think it showed Paul that I was back. "It was the best thing the last 4 1/2 month that I've had, I can tell you that." Park now wears glasses that currently correct his up close vision to 20/17 and he admits that things far away are still "just a little foggy." But after that clears, he expects to go racing again quickly.(Anniston Star)(1-27-2002)

  • Kenny and RPM 2 Night: #1 Pennzoil driver, Kenny Wallace, has signed up to be on ESPN2's RPM 2 Night every Monday night with John Kernan and be the analyst for NASCAR racing on RPM 2 Night(Kenny Wallace Racing)(1-26-2002)

  • Park to test Cup car: Steve Park said Saturday that he will drive a Winston Cup car this week for the first time since suffering a head injury in a crash during a Grand National race at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 1. Park will test at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC this week to measure how well his vision has returned since the crash that ended his 2001 season prematurely. Kenny Wallace finished the season in the #1 Pennzoil Chevys and has been signed by Dale Earnhardt Inc. to drive it in 2002 until Park is ready to return.(ThatsRacin.com/ESPN-AP)(1-20-2002)

  • Park to test at Charlotte UPDATE: CNN/SI's NASCAR Plus show reported on Monday's show that Steve Park, injured in a BGN accident at Darlington, will test a roadster at Lowes Motor Speedway to see how his progess is going. Park's return could return anywhere between Texas and Daytona in July(1-14-2002)

    UPDATE: Park was excited about a trip he made to Lowe's Motor Speedway at mid-month to turn laps in a Legends car under the eyes of crew chief Paul Andrews and neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty. Park said he turned laps that were only a .10 of second off the track record for that division and had no problems with vertigo or depth perception. "The test went well," Park said. "You don't know what to expect when you get back in a car, but with Paul Andrews and the doctors there, I had the confidence to go out. I think it showed Paul that I was back. "It was the best thing the last 4 1/2 month that I've had, I can tell you that." Park now wears glasses that currently correct his up close vision to 20/17 and he admits that things far away are still "just a little foggy." But after that clears, he expects to go racing again quickly.(Anniston Star)(1-27-2002)

  • Park Comments: Steve Park comments from the Steve Park Site - "Now for some of the rumors, this is what has been happening the past few days. I have been cleared by Dr. Buckley at Duke University. My vision is 95% and with glasses, yes glasses, it is 100%. Since the vision is cleared up, I went to Lowe's Motor Speedway and tested in several types of cars thanks to Humpy Wheeler and his staff. Paul Andrews was there along with Dr. Jerry Petty from Carolina's Medical Center. The testing went very well. There was no vertigo, no problems with depth perception, no g-force loading or unloading. I have to say it was good to be in a race car again. I look forward to getting back in the Pennzoil car and testing in a week or two. Our goal is to go to Daytona, but if we don't make that race, it will be shortly thereafter."(1-17-2002)

  • Park's Vision still not 100% UPDATE: Paul Andrews, crew chief for the #1 Chevys owned by DEI, said Monday the team's regular driver, Steve Park, is still experiencing double vision from an accident in September during the BGN race at Darlington, SC. Park has not raced since then and Kenny Wallace has been driving in his place. Wallace reported to Daytona Beach this week for the three-day preseason test. Park remained in Charlotte and has another doctor visit planned. "His vision is the biggest holdup and it's just not 100 percent yet," Andrews said. "If he wasn't going to the doctor, he would probably be here at the test with us. It's been good progress, just a little slow."(That's Racin')(1-7-2002)
    UPDATE: "My vision is about 95 percent healed," Steve Park said. "The last five percent is coming back to me stronger each day. Heck, doing those eye exercises every day for an hour or so is finally paying off. The double vision is gone and the only part that still bothers me is when I look from the horizon down. That still gets a little blurry sometimes, but it's a lot better than it was a few weeks ago." Park is planning to attend the second Winston Cup test session at Daytona next week. Park has driven his personal vehicle for two months -- his reaction and coordination tests have all come back with no indications of lingering effects.(NASCAR.com)(1-9-2002)

2001 News

  • Kenny's Cruise: A look at the Kenny Wallace Fan Club Cruise #6 - 2001(12-15-2001)

  • Park Not Ready? Wallace to Stay? 4th DEI car? UPDATE 3 Kenny signs with DEI but: There's nothing official yet, but it appears that Steve Park may not be ready to run in next year's season-opening Daytona 500. Ty Norris, who runs Dale Earnhardt Inc. with Teresa Earnhardt, isn't saying much about Park, who was injured at Darlington in September, but insiders said that this week's scheduled announcement in Atlanta could be to say that Kenny Wallace will continue running the DEI car for Park next spring and that when Park does come back, it will be in a second Pennzoil-sponsored car.(Winston Salem Journal) AND Though team representatives have said that Park's recovery is proceeding well if somewhat slowly, there is still no clear idea if Park will be able to drive the car in Daytona next February. As a result, Dale Earnhardt Incorporated has set a deadline of this week to come to a decision about who will be driving the car at the start of next season. A spokesman for DEI said Sunday that an announcement will be made later this week in Atlanta. Kenny Wallace, who has two top-10 finishes in his past three starts in place of Park, is expected to be named to drive the car until such time as Park is able to return(CNN/SI)(11-12-2001)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to announce 2002 plans for the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet on Friday, November 16 at 9:30am/et at Atlanta Motor Speedway(Pennzoil PR)(11-15-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Kenny Wallace has signed a 1 year contract to drive with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI) and Pennzoil. Wallace will compete in the 2002 season with the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet until Steve Park returns to DEI. At that point he may run selected or all the events in a fourth DEI car. Kenny Wallace and IMI will compete in the 2002 BGN series, running 22 races the #48 Chevrolet.(Kenny Wallace Racing Site)(11-16-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Norris said that Wallace is guaranteed a ride in a DEI car only in the season-opening Bud Shootout at Daytona and that if Park is ready to return when the 2002 season opens the team would not field four Cup cars on a full-time basis.(That's Racin') AND The contract guarantees Wallace nothing except a ride in the 2002 Budweiser Shootout, but he will be paid handsomely. The money and a shot at winning convinced Wallace not to accept a two-year deal to drive for another team, apparently A.J. Foyt's.[#14](Gaston Gazette)(11-17-2001)

  • Wallace has a car for the Budweiser Shootout: Kenny Wallace needed a Bud Pole Award and a car in order to compete in the 2002 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Last weekend at North Carolina Speedway, Wallace not only got the Bud Pole Award in the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400, but he also got word from Dale Earnhardt Inc. that they'll supply a car. Wallace, subbing for the injured Steve Park in the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet fielded by DEI, turned a fast lap of 154.690 mph to win the Bud Pole Award. After qualifying, Wallace found out from DEI's Executive Vice President of Motorsports Ty Norris that the team will have a car for him to drive in the All-Star race. Wallace, who finished second to his brother Rusty in his only Budweiser Shootout start in 1998, becomes the record 23rd driver to date to be eligible for the Feb. 10 Budweiser Shootout. If all 23 drivers choose to participate in the Budweiser Shootout, it would set a record for most starters in the field since the inception of the event back in 1979. The previous mark was 18 drivers, set in last year's Budweiser Shootout.(DIS PR)(11-5-2001)

  • Kenny's 2002 plans UPDATE: Kenny Wallace said on Friday that he will reveal his 2002 plans at Atlanta in two weeks. Wallace did not give any indication whether his plans lie in the Busch Series or in Winston Cup. He has been driving the #1 Pennzoil Chevy since September, when Steve Park was injured at Darlington.(NASCAR.com), but has been reported on my BGN Site: Goulds Pumps will return next year to the #48 BGN car driven by Kenny Wallace in 2002, BUT NOT as the primary sponsor. Goulds will become a major associate sponsor and Innovative is currently searching for a primary sponsor for the 48 car.(11-2-2001)
    UPDATE: Kenny Wallace is facing a similar situation, and he hints he might have finally gotten his answer to the 2002 question. There are indications he could be running a Pennzoil-sponsored car again next season for Dale Earnhardt Inc., as a teammate with Steve Park when Park finally does come back.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-4-2001)

  • DEI Tests at Kentucky: DEI tested a pair of Cup cars at Kentucky Speedway on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Michael Waltrip, in the #15 NAPA Chevy, and Kenny Wallace, in the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet, rarely left their driver's seats while working over their machines on Kentucky's 1.5 mile tri-oval during the day-long test. "We're trying to find out some things, " a busy Wallace said. Kentucky Speedway is currently offering 2002 season ticket. All packages include preferred parking and can be reserved by calling 1-888-652-RACE.(Kentucky Speedway)(11-1-2001)

  • Park Speaks: from the Steve Park site - Dear Fans and Friends..... from #1 Pennzoil Chevy driver Steve Park(10-25-2001)

  • Pennzoil on the move? there is evidence that some other sponsorships may now be in play. Pennzoil's sponsorship, with Steve Park and Dale Earnhardt Inc., may be one of them.(Winston Salem Journal). But as far as I know, Pennzoil is signed with DEI at least thru 2002(10-20-2001)

  • Park visits DEI: Ty Norris, executive vice president of motorsports for Dale Earnhardt Inc., said driver Steve Park - injured in a Grand National series race last month at Darlington, S.C. - has made marked improvement in recent weeks. Kenny Wallace has been substituting for Park in the DEI-owned No. 1 Chevrolets in the Winston Cup series since the accident. Park suffered bruising of his brain and a moderate concussion and has battled double vision. Park visited DEI headquarters the Wednesday before the Martinsville race, meeting with team members and owner Teresa Earnhardt. "He really lifted everybody's spirits. He looked so good. He was himself, had his personality about him and he really got everybody excited at the shop again because obviously a lot of the stories have been going on around him," Norris said. "It's one thing to hear it from someone in a team meeting and say, `Everything is going to be fine,' but it's another thing when Steve walked in the door. It's been devastating to lose him at this time of year." Norris said Park is still struggling with double vision, but has been able conduct this physical therapy at his personal trainer's, rather than at the hospital. "He's getting better every week we see him," Norris said. "We're completely compared to not have him not race for us again until the Daytona race next year. If he's ready, he will race as soon as he's ready."(That's Racin')(10-19-2001)

  • Wallace to double dip: With the BGN and Cup series competing in different cities this weekend, driver Kenny Wallace, who continues to fill-in for injured Steve Park in the #1 Pennzoil Chevy, will make the trek between Memphis and Martinsville along with several other drivers who are performing "double duty." Wallace, who also races in the BGN in the #48 Goulds Pumps Chevy. "The plan is for me to qualify the Pennzoil car for the Old Dominion 500 on Friday and then leave for Memphis to compete in the Busch Series race on Saturday. We'll have somebody else in the Winston Cup car on Saturday just to shake it down and wear in the brakes, and then I'll be back on Sunday." "We are going to practice for qualifying and race set ups on Friday," said crew chief Paul Andrews. "We took Kenny to Caraway to practice a couple of weeks ago and that gave us some good data for Martinsville. If we're good on Friday, I feel we'll be just fine for Sunday. We have a couple of options available to us on Saturday," continued Andrews. "We may even put Kerry Earnhardt in the car to help get it ready for Sunday. We'll just have to see."(Raceworks PR)(10-11-2001)
    UPDATE: Earnhardt will practice the #1 for Wallace on Saturday(CNN/SI's Qualifying Coverage) and Shane Hmiel [Steve's son], drove Kenny Wallace 's car during BGN practice in Memphis on Friday(Roanoke Times)(10-13-2001)

  • Park? Steve Park is still on the sidelines, with more rumors swirling about his health, while recovering from a bad crash at Darlington[BGN race] last month.(Winston Salem Journal), some rumors that Park will not be ready for the Daytona 500 in Feb 2002 to rumors that Park will not be back racing at all(10-12-2001)

  • Park to the #93? here is a new one - There's also a lot of speculation around if and when Steve Park returns to the 1 car at Dale Earnhardt Inc. The Dave Blaney ride doesn't have a sponsor, and I know Tommy Baldwin, Ward Burton's crew chief for Blaney's teammate Ward Burton, would like to have Steve Park come drive for Bill Davis(FSN's Totally NASCAR)(10-10-2001)

  • Kenny in the #15? Waltrip to retire? UPDATE 2: DEI has an announcement set for Friday [Oct 5th] morning. Could it be Kenny Wallace in the 15 car for 2002?(NASCAR.com)(10-4-2001)
    UPDATE: the Oct 3rd issue of the National Speed Sport News print edition reports that "Michael Waltrip is rumored to be considering retirement. Waltrip is said to be in contact with broadcast executives about possible employment that would take him out of the driver's seat"
    AND FSN's Totally NASCAR reports the DEI is denying that Waltrip will be leaving the #15 car and that altrip still has a year to go on his two-year deal with DEI
    AND Chevrolet and Dale Earnhardt Inc. have elected to postpone Friday's media event at Dale Earnhardt Inc. scheduled at 9:00am/et(10-5-2001)
    UPDATE 2: "As of today, he [Michael Waltrip] still has a job for next year," DEI vice president Ty Norris said. "We have not talked about next year and he has not told us he wants to go into broadcasting, but with him being just 38 years old, I can't really see retirement being an option." But Norris said Waltrip has been called in three times this season to talk about on-track performance and gently reminded of the urgency to turn things around. Waltrip has another year left on his contract and the team has one more year on its sponsorship deal with NAPA.(That's Racin'/AP) AND Michael Waltrip says he has two more years on his contract with BGN sponsor Aarons [#99 Chevy], but he is unsure whether he'll drive the car. Many expect Waltrip to move into the TV booth next year(Richmond Times Dispatch)(10-7-2001)

  • Wallace signs with DEI..until Park comes back: Kenny Wallace said he has signed a contract with Dale Earnhardt Inc. to remain as driver of the No. 1 Chevrolets until the team's regular driver, Steve Park, returns. Park continues to recover from injuries sustained in a wreck in the Grand National race at Darlington last month(That's Racin')(10-6-2001)

  • Park back by Daytona 2002: FSN's Totally NASCAR reports that DEI expects driver Steve Park back by Daytona Speedweeks 2002(10-3-2001)

  • Park out 4-6 weeks UPDATE: CNN/SI reported that Steve Park, driver of the #1 Pennzoil Chevy, will be out indefinitely or as long as 4-6 weeks AND from a Pennzoil PR - Under the advise of doctors, Winston Cup driver Steve Park will remain out of competition indefinitely as he heals from the moderate concussion he suffered during the BGN race in Darlington on Sept. 1. Dr. Jerry Petty, a neurological specialist at Carolinas Medical Center, stated on Friday afternoon that Park would be unable to drive for "conservatively four to six weeks." Under the supervision of Dr. Petty, Park received further consultation and a second MRI this week revealed a bruising of the brain which needs time to heal. Dr. Petty confirmed Park will make a full recovery. Kenny Wallace, who will race in the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet this weekend in Richmond, will remain behind the wheel until Park returns. Wallace also drove the Monte Carlo during the Darlington event where he moved from 43rd to 12th before overheating forced him behind the wall. "The doctors have Steve's best interest in mind and we completely support their decision," said Ty Norris, executive vice president of motorsports at DEI. "Our primary focus is getting Steve better and we want him to be healed before getting back in the car. Steve wants to race as soon as possible but knows it's better for him to be patient." Wallace was originally scheduled to race the Loudon Winston Cup event for George deBidart but has been released from those duties. "We really need to thank George for allowing Kenny to race for us," said Norris. "We are going to work with George when he decides to put Kenny in a Winston Cup race later in the season."(Pennzoil PR)(9-7-2001)
    UPDATE: see a statement by Kenny Wallace about the situation at the Kenny Wallace Racing site(9-8-2001)

  • Kenny Wallace in the #1 at RIR: Kenny Wallace will run the Cup race in Richmond, subbing for Steve Park in the #1 Pennzoil/Looney Toons/Sylvester and Tweety Chevy(Kenny Wallace Racing). AND Steve Park will make a full recovery from injuries suffered in an accident at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 1 according to Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine in Charlotte, N.C., but will not participate in this weekend's Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway. "I'm following doctor's orders right now and if he says time is what I need right now, then that's what I'll do," Park said. "We were on top of our game when we went out and I want to make sure we're back on top of our game when I come back." Park, who returned to Charlotte on Monday, Sept. 3, received further consultation at Carolinas Medical Center from Dr. Petty, a neurological specialist familiar to the NASCAR community. Petty said time is the biggest asset to Park while recovering from his injuries. "We've found some evidence of bruising on the brain and that is what we are treating him for right now," said Dr. Petty, who did not speculate on a return date for Park. Kenny Wallace, who substituted for Park in last week's Southern 500, will assume the driving duties behind the wheel of the Pennzoil Chevrolet for this Saturday's event(Pennzoil PR), Park was scheduled to run the #31 Whelen Chevy in the BGN race at Richmond(9-5-2001)
    but Marsh Racing has no plans on running the #31 Whelen at Richmond. with a sub driver. No determination about future BGN races have been made, the team was scheduled to race in Kansas City, Phoenix and Homestead.(9-6-2001)

  • Park Released from Hospital: Winston Cup driver Steve Park, pilot of the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet, was released from Carolinas Hospital System this afternoon and has returned to his home in Mooresville, NC. Park was hospitalized after suffering a moderate concussion in an accident during the Busch race held on Saturday at Darlington Raceway. No decision has been made regarding Park's participation in the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 8th.(Pennzoil Racing PR)(9-3-2001)

  • BGN Accident Park/Foyt UPDATE 3: during the caution laps after the rain delay in the Darlington BGN race, with one lap to go, #14-Larry Foyt was driving past the lead lap cars to the front of the pack (lap down cars can restart on the inside line), as Foyt was heading towards the front, #31-Steve Park's car suddenly veered left right into Foyt's path. Foyt t-boned Park hard in the drivers side door area, Park also hit the inside wall hard. Foyt's front end was pushed back quite a bit. TNT didn't show either driver get out of the car, but Foyt's window net was not down (an indication a driver is ok) and the safety workers took 15-20 minutes to get Park out of the car. Also a blue tarp was erected around Park's car(which was a little scary). Park has been taken by Helicopter to a local hospital in Florence, SC. The Good News: TNT talked to a Darlington Raceway offcial Kathy Mock, who said Park was alert and conscious when removed from the car, no other word if there are any injuries. TNT has reported that Larry Foyt is ok, just a little 'woozy' and is getting some IV's and is under observation. NASCAR.com reports "He was moving all four extremities," Mock said, "and he was alert and talking." Park's status for the Southern 500 (or Happy Hour) is unknown at this time.(9-1-2001 - 2:40pm/et)
    UPDATE: TNT reported at 3:25pm/et that Steve Park has no serious injuries and will be held overnight for observation as he was unconscious when the safety workers reached the car. Kenny Wallace will drive the #1 Pennzoil Chevy in Winston Cup Happy Hour practice, no word on Park's status for the Southern 500 on Sunday(9-1-2001 3:25pm/et)
    UPDATE 2: TNT reported at 4:05pm/et that Steve Park has had a CAT Scan of his head and chest which reveiled a moderate concussion and a fractured or dislocated left sternoclavicular joint, still no word on Park's status for the Southern 500 but it looks doubtful.
    CNN/SI reports: Steve Park suffered a concussion, bruising to the left side of his neck and a separation of the collar bone where it meets the sternum. Park will be kept at nearby Carolinas Medical Center for observation. It was immediately reported that Kenny Wallace will drive Park's Winston Cup car in Saturday's Happy Hour, but no announcement was made on who might fill in for Park in Sunday's Southern 500. AND from SpeedVision: Kenny Wallace will stand in for injured Steve Park in Saturday's final practice and in Sunday's Southern 500. Steve Hmiel, general manager for Dale Earnhardt Inc., said before practice Saturday that he hoped Park could start Sunday's race, run one lap, then give way to Wallace. It is not known whether NASCAR officials would allow that. Park suffered a concussion, fracture or dislocation of the left sternoclavicular joint, and a bruised neck in a weird crash under caution in Saturday's race.(9-1/3-2001) and.....

  • Wallace in for Park UPDATEs: hearing from sources that Kenny Wallace will start and race the #1 Pennzoil Chevy in the Southern 500 in place of Steve Park who is too sore to race(9-1-2001)
    UPDATE: FSN's NASCAR This Morning reports that Wallace will drive the #1 Chevy at Darlington. Also of note: Park was wearing a head-and-neck restraint device AND from the Kenny Wallace Racing Site: According to the #1 team, Kenny Wallace will be driving the #1 car until Steve Park recovers from the accident. What does that mean about NHIS and the #57 car? Stay tuned Monday for details.
    AND Park is scheduled to be released from Carolinas Hospital System in Florence, SC, Sunday afternoon and the team announced Park suffered no broken bones. A Sunday morning CT scan was also negative. Park, who wears a HANS device in Winston Cup races, was wearing a similar Hutchens head and neck restraint system on Saturday.(NASCAR.com)(9-2-2001)
    Park stays at Hospital Sunday night: Steve Park remained at Carolinas Hospital System in Florence Sunday night, recovering from a concussion suffered Saturday during a bizarre accident under caution in the BGN at Darlington. He was expected to remain hospitalized at least until Monday. Park was unable to drive in Sunday's Southern 500 and may miss next week's Winston Cup race at Richmond, as well. Kenny Wallace drove Park's Dale Earnhardt Inc.-owned No. 1 Chevrolet in Sunday's race, finishing 41st Norris said he was looking into Wallace's availability for next weekend. Early speculation was a broken rear axle could have caused Park's car to suddenly veer to the left, but NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter said the axle was checked at the track and appeared intact. There may be an "issue" involving the steering wheel, but he said it was too early to say for certain.(That's Racin'), during the Southern 500 Sunday, Benny Parsons (BP) showed a steering wheel and how it 'clicks' on and mentioned that could be the possible cause. The reasoning was that Park had just got in the car after the rain delay and a wire could had gotten in the way(9-3-2001)

  • Park Eligible: Steve Park Makes People Magazine's Top-50 Most Eligible Bachelors in the Country: Who says a good man is hard to find? The July 2, 2001, issue of People Magazine (Available on newsstands on June 25th) reports in a 47-page spread, on the most eligible bachelors in the United States. Golfer Tiger Woods, 25, who's newly single after a two-year relationship, tops this year's crop of eligible bachelors from the world of sports. He's joined by New Jersey Devils hockey player Scott Gomez, 21, and NASCAR driver Steve Park, 33. Park tells People, "Driving 200mph around a track doesn't scare me. But I'm nervous on a first date."(Catchfence)..geez they forgot Jayski...(6-23-2001)

  • Andrews good at Pocono: #1-Steve Park's crew chief, Paul Andrews, has won races at Pocono Raceway with three different drivers: Alan Kulwicki, Geoffrey Bodine and Jeremy Mayfield. It was Mayfield's first career victory (1998).(Gaston Gazette)(6-17-2001)

  • Pit Crew Challenge: Steve Park's pit crew earned a $7,000 paycheck, winning the fourth annual Coca-Cola Racing Family pit crew challenge at the Food Lion Speed Street in downtown Charlotte. Each participating pit crew completed one stationary, four-tire stop on a Coca-Cola car, then raced across the finish line to stop the clock. The #1 crew earned the first-place cash prize. "I can only hope our pit stops will be this good on Sunday," said crew chief Paul Andrews. "Getting to victory lane twice would make this a great weekend." Dale Jarrett's #88 pit crew finished second, earning a $3,000 cash prize as runners-up. Competitors included pit crews from the following teams: Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Kyle Petty, Ricky Rudd, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Michael Waltrip, Steve Park, John Andretti and Andy Houston(That's Racin')(5-26-2001)

  • DEI News: The company founded by seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt and his wife Teresa, today revealed its corporate structure, still aimed at long-term development of the company and its three NASCAR Winston Cup teams. The definition of the company's structure comes after three months of outside speculation regarding the organizational future of one of NASCAR racing's most competitive operations. The structure is part of a long-term plan to develop the company well into the 21st century. Teresa Earnhardt, owner and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has named Doug Swanson to continue as Chief Operating Officer, Ty Norris Executive Vice President of Motorsports, Steve Hmiel Director of Motorsports, Joe Hedrick Vice President of Licensing and Judy Queen Director-Office of the CEO. She stated, "Dale and I had a plan for the long term growth of this company years ago. As DEI moves ahead, we're placing people in their respective roles to meet the goals that we envisioned. We have people at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated that are very dedicated to their profession and the goals we have as a company. This structuring defines the roles of specific individuals and their responsibilities that will help the company reach our potential. Based on what I've seen from our people, we'll meet our expectations and more in the next few years." Chief Operating Officer Doug Swanson, 60, brings over 35 years of business management to Dale Earnhardt, Inc. A former partner of a Big Five CPA firm, Swanson, a Greensboro, NC native, has owned his own business and served as an officer with several other corporations before joining DEI in August of 2000. Ty Norris, previously Director of Motorsports, has been promoted to the position of Executive Vice President of Motorsports. All racing-related issues at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. are the direct responsibility of the 35-year-old Norris, both at the track and at the company's 200,000 square-foot Mooresville, NC complex. The Sumter, SC native has been an integral part of the operation since 1996, when DEI claimed its first championship in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Since that time, DEI teams have claimed an additional truck series crown (1998), two NASCAR Busch Grand National Series titles (1998-1999) and six Winston Cup victories, including the 2000 Winston and the 2001 Daytona 500. Assuming Norris' former position as Director of Motorsports is Steve Hmiel, DEI's current Technical Director and longtime NASCAR Winston Cup crewchief. Hmiel's role as Technical Director will be merged with his new position, creating the title of Director of Motorsports and Technical Development. The 47-year-old, Albany, NY native has been instrumental in guiding DEI's wind tunnel and chassis development programs and he will continue to do so along with numerous other management responsibilities. In addition to overseeing daily operations at the shop, Hmiel will manage the operation of all three of DEI's NASCAR Winston Cup teams trackside. On the licensing side of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., 34 year-old Joe Hedrick has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Licensing. Hedrick's role includes the licensing of the Dale Earnhardt, Inc. brand and the Dale Earnhardt name and likeness, as well as performing similar duties for the three DEI teams and Kerry Earnhardt. Hedrick joined DEI in mid-2000 after a five-year stint at Sports Image, a company Earnhardt owned prior to selling it to Action Performance, Inc. Hedrick, a Lenoir, NC native, will be responsible for maintaining the quality and availability of all Dale Earnhardt and DEI-related apparel and collectables. Judy Queen has been named Director of the Office of the CEO, assisting Teresa Earnhardt directly. Queen, a Dale Earnhardt, Inc. employee since 1998, served as the Earnhardts' personal assistant since joining the firm. Among her duties are the networking of information relating to the CEO. In addition, Queen serves as Office Manager, overseeing administrative personnel(DEI PR)(5-17-2001)

  • #100 for Park: #1-Steve Park will start his 100th Winston Cup race this weekend at California Speedway(Pennzoil PR)(4-26-2001)

  • Park to run NHIS: Steve Park, who drives the #1 Pennzoil Chevy in the Cup series, will enter the CVS/pharmacy 200 Presented by Bayer BGN race on May 12 at New Hampshire International Speedway. It is an off weekend for Winston Cup(NHIS PR)(4-7-2001)

  • Park wins at Rockingham: #1-Steve Park won a thrilling finish, just beating 18-Bobby Labonte. The second win for DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc) in a row (#15-Waltrip won the Daytona 500). Park drove around the track clockwise (the Polish Victory lap) holding a black #3 cap out the window. Waltrip stayed out on the track to high five Park. The win is Park's 2nd career win in Winston Cup and first on an oval(Park won at Watkins Glen last August). Parks car ran out of gas on pitroad coming in and had to be pushed into victory lane. Park was very emotional in Victory Lane and jumped into his crew arms. #32-Ricky Craven, who finished 5th, had his first top five since he ran 3rd at Rockingham in Oct 1997 a span of 54 races, it was also the highest finish for a PPI Motorsports/Cal Wells owned car.
    See results at That's Racin' or NASCAR Online(2-26-2001)

  • DEI Drivers Meet The Press: DEI drivers #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #15-Michael Waltrip and #1-Steve Park made their first group appearance since last week's tragedy that claimed Dale Earnhardt, and each proclaimed their gratitude for how the matter has been treated, and then spoke about carrying on the legacy of their fallen leader. The younger Earnhardt also lashed out at those that have placed blame for the accident on Sterling Marlin, forcing the driver of the #40 Coors Light Dodge to hire extra security at his shop and at the track this weekend at Rockingham. See quotes and comments with the rest of the story at SpeedVision(2-23-2001)

  • Park adds to his Daytona Schedule: MTI Racing announced that Steve Park, driver of the #1 PENNZOIL Chevy will be driving the MTI #98 C5 Chevrolet Corvette in the 2-hour Motorola Cup season opener to be held at Daytona on Friday Feb. 2 during the Rolex 24 Hour week. This announcement means a large part of the Earnhardt Racing Team has made the move to C5 Corvettes for the Rolex 24 and Motorola Cup races. Dale and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be driving the #3 GM Factory Racing C5-R Corvette in the Grand American Rolex 24 Hour race, and now Park will be driving the #98 production-based C5 Corvette in the season opener 2-hour Motorola Cup(RaceWorks/Pennzoil PR)(1-25-2001)

  • Earnhardt/Park News: Dale Earnhardt, scheduled to attend Chevrolet's mid-afternoon news conference Friday at Daytona International Speedway, instead stayed away with a virus that has been dogging him all week. Dale Earnhardt Jr. said his father was seeking help from local sports physician Michael Fulton. AND: Steve Park has joined his car owner, Dale Earnhardt, and the other NASCAR stars here for the sportscar testing at DIS, possibly looking to compete in a Rolex 24 support race. Park is testing in a Corvette, this one entered by MTI Racing, which is vying for Motorola Cup honors awarded on the Friday before the Rolex 24 at Daytona(Speed Magazine)(1-6-2001)

2000 News

  • Andrews Fined: Paul Andrews, crew chief for the #1 Pennzoil Chevy driven by Steve Park, has been fined $7,000 by NASCAR for improperly attached weight found on Park's car in prerace inspection at Bristol(That's Racin')(9-6-2000)

  • DEI Sets Record: The three first time winners in this season matches a mark found just six years ago when in 1994 Sterling Marlin, Jeff Gordon and Jimmy Spencer won for the first time in their careers. While there have been 25 drivers, including Park, to score their initial career victories since the sport entered its "modern era" in 1972, this is the first season an owner has been able to claim two first-time winners. Both Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who scored his initial win in the 500 at Texas in April, and Park drive for the team owned by Dale Earnhardt(DEI)(TachZone)(8-15-2000)

  • Park wins his first Cup race at Watkins Glen: #1-Steve Park wins his first Winston Cup race by dominating the Global Crossing @ The Glen and holding off #6-Mark Martin and breaking Jeff Gordon's road course streak at six. Park wins in his 77th Winston Cup start. Not sure, but I think it is the first win by a Pennzoil Sponsored car(as a primary sponsor). Also, it was the first Winston Cup win by a car #1 since David Pearson did it in 1980 at Darlington (see my Winners by Car# page). #1 Crew Chief Paul Andrews has led three drivers to their first Cup wins: Alan Kulwicki in 1988, Jeremy Mayfield in 1998 and now Steve Park. There have now been 13 winners in 2000, the most since there were 14 in 1991. There have now been three first time winners in 2000, #8-Earnhardt Jr, #17-Kenseth and now #1-Park, the most since 1994. Also Park came from the furthest starting spot(18th) ever at The Glen to win the race. #13-Robby Gordon came up from starting 42nd to finish 4th, a move of 38 spots.(8-13-2000)

  • Another Earnhardt in Cup? UPDATE 2 Kerry Earnhardt, Dale Sr.'s son, is set to make his Winston Cup debut next month at Michigan(PitNow) AND ARCA driver Kerry Earnhardt is contemplating a qualifying attempt in the Winston Cup race at Michigan Speedway on Aug. 20. Earnhardt, the older brother of Dale Jr., won the ARCA race at Pocono last month(Times Dispatch) AND Kerry Earnhardt may join father Dale and younger brother Dale Jr. in the Pepsi 400 in Brooklyn, Mich., on Aug. 20. Kerry, who won the June ARCA race at Pocono, tested in a Winston Cup car recently and his speed would have been seventh fastest in the June Michigan race. "We've got three more ARCA races after this one and that's what we're concentrating on right now," Kerry said. "We'll see how everything goes from here and just see what comes up."(Times Leader). No idea what team, it does not say(7-22-2000)
    UPDATE: TNN's Raceday reports that the Cup run at Michigan by Kerry would be in a DEI car(7-23-2000)
    UPDATE 2: but RPM 2Day reported that Kerry Earnhardt will drive the ARCA car he drove Saturday at Pocono, BUT that Dave Marcis will not run at Michigan and let Earnhardt use the #71 (and owners points/provisional) and the car would be sponsored by Realtree (Marcis's fulltime sponsor and an assoc on the #3 with Kerry's father Dale). If Kerry makes the Cup race, Ron Hornady's #3 NAPA BGN crew will pit the car(ESPN2's RPM 2Day)(7-23-2000)

  • Wind Tunnel: hearing the #1 and #8 DEI Daytona Chevy's are at the Wind Tunnel in Langley, VA for testing and tweaking(6-26-2000)

  • Park in a backup: Steve Park, driver of the #1 Pennzoil Chevy, crashed his primary car in the final moments of Friday's practice session and had to use a backup to qualify(27th)(That's Racin')(6-17-2000)

  • Park and DEI to sign UPDATE 5 contract length: On ESPN2's RPM 2Night, Matt Yocum reported that the #1 Pennzoil Chevy driver, Steve Park would be signing a multi-year deal with DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc) and the announcement should come within a week(5-26-2000)
    UPDATE: Ty Norris, the head of DEI, said he expected Park to be back again next season with Pennzoil, with new contracts, and Norris says an announcement could be coming soon. But yesterday, Park seemed to leave the door open to another scenario. Park says he has not signed a new contract with Earnhardt and it is up in the air but are in heavy negotiations and that Earnhardt has made it a priority to get something in place for Park(PitNow)(5-31-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Steve Park says the first option for his Winston Cup future is to stay with Dale Earnhardt Inc., but that no new deal has been finalized. While Park said that while he still hopes to work something outthat doesn't mean he's not listening for what else is available(That's Racin')(6-2-2000)
    UPDATE 3: RPM 2Night's Matt Yocum reports that Park and DEI have agreed to a deal to keep Park with DEI and while there is some issues to be worked out, an announcement is expected at Michigan later this week(6-6-2000)
    UPDATE 4 done: Pennzoil announced Friday they have signed a multi-year contract continuing their relationship with the #1-Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) chevy team and driver Steve Park, who also re-upped with DEI, committing to a multi-year agreement to stay(NOL)(6-9-2000)
    UPDATE 5: Park signed a two-year contract, with an option year, to continue driving for DEI. Pennzoil will remain as principal sponsor, presumably under the same terms(Gaston Gazette)(6-10-2000)

  • 3rd DEI team? UPDATE: Rumor on the distant horizon: A third team for Dale Earnhardt Inc.?(SpeedVision) currently run the #1-Steve Park and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr teams. No drivers mentioned(5-28-2000)
    UPDATE: Ty Norris, head of DEI, isn't enthusiastic about expanding with a third Cup team next season, but says he can't rule it out. Michael Waltrip's name has been coming up in connection with a third Cup team and other possibilities, following Jim Smith's Ultra Motorsports merger with Mattei Motorsports. Smith, who runs Mike Wallace in the #2 CTS Ford truck, might want to put Wallace in a Cup car(PitNow)(5-29-2000)

  • No Fines: NASCAR officials have decided not to fine DEI technical director Steve Hmiel and driver Steve Park for their actions during and following last week's Winston all-star event. Hmiel made a derogatory remark concerning what he believed to be driver Joe Nemechek's Polish heritage. Park was involved in a pair of incidents with Nemechek. He rear-ended the driver in traffic and almost spun Nemechek. After he recovered, Nemechek retaliated. Park was unable to hold onto his sliding car and started a crash that took out Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. Nemechek was fined $15,000(Richmond Times Disptach)(5-29-2000)

  • Park to Dodge? UPDATE 4: hearing rumors that Steve Park may be Ray Evernham's 'young' driver for his Dodge team. Bill Elliott has already been announced as the 'Veteran' driver of Evernham's Dodge team. What about Casey Atwood? Another year in BGN with Brewco, but in a Dodge. Park's and Pennzoil's contract with DEI and the #1 team end at the end of 2000(4-7-2000)
    UPDATE: As long as no contractual agreement has been reached with Casey Atwood to drive Ray Evernham's second Dodge in Cup next year, the odds grow that the deal will never be consummated. Considerable talk in the garage area holds that Atwood may not be yet ready for a Cup ride and that Evernham might be looking elsewhere. Among the possibilities, supposedly, are Steve Park, who is in the option year of his contract with Dale Earnhardt Inc., and John Andretti, who is already slated to drive a Dodge next year with Petty Enterprises(Gaston Gazette)(4-8-2000)
    UPDATE 2: Sources tell me Andretti is not beiong considered for the 'other' Evernham Dodge ride and as reported in the past, Andretti is signed thru 2002 with Petty Enterprises. Also see the story on That's Racin': Winston Cup rumor mill is cranking up by David Poole(4-9-2000)
    UPDATE 3: Park discussed the rumors briefly on Tuesday's Winston Cup Today radio show and mentioned he has talked to a few people regarding his future, declined to name any specifics, but said he hopes to have some sort of deal in place within the next 2-3 months regarding his 2001 season and his future(4-13-2000)
    UPDATE 4: This weeks Winston Cup Scene Magazine reports that Park is talking to a few teams, none mentioned, AS WELL as talking with DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc) to stay with the #1 team. The #1 DEI team is also renegotiating with primary sponsor Pennzoil to keep that sponsorship(4-14-2000)

  • Park's Colors: Steve Park's #1 Pennzoil Chevy will have a different look at Vegas, the car has a 'Mission To Mars' movie paint scheme on it, orange and black. This one-time paint job celebrates Pennzoil Synthetic motor oil's Hollywood debut in Touchstone Pictures' new film "Mission To Mars," which is scheduled for nationwide release on March 10. Pennzoil Synthetic motor oil with Pennzane is featured in the film, which depicts a manned space mission to Mars(3-3-2000)

  • Snap-On News: I hear Snap-On Tools announced at their annual kick-off that they will be associate sponsors for Rusty Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield, Mike Skinner, Bill Elliot, and current teams of Dale Earnhardt Sr & Jr and Steve Park(1-11-2000)

  • Pennzoil Problems? Pennzoil, sponsor of both the #1 Chevy driven by Steve Park in CUP and title sponsor of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Sprint car series, terminated all of its motorsports employees on Monday, just 40 days before the start of the NASCAR racing season. The announcement comes the day before the annual Lowe's Motor Speedway Media Tour in Charlotte, NC, which highlights the coming NASCAR season. Exactly what Pennzoil's purge means is open to debate, but TNN reports that car and series sponsorships will not be affected this season. These include the WoO, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Steve Kinser (sponsored by Quaker State, which is part of the Pennzoil corporate umbrella) and Pennzoil Panther Racing of the IRL(TNN Motorsports Site)(1-11-2000)

  • Testing: #20-Tony Stewart and #1-Steve Park will conduct a tire test for Goodyear on Monday and Tuesday, Jan 10-11th, at Atlanta Motor Speedway(NOL)(1-7-2000)

1999 and before News

  • Park to BGN? UPDATE 4: hearing Ted Christopher, driver of the Ted Marsh #13 Whelen Chevy will leave the team for a 2000 full time BGN ride in 2000. Supposedly Steve Park will drive the the #13 in some short track events next year(9-7-1999) -- UPDATE hearing Steve Park will drive the #13 Whelen Chevy at Homestead, replacing Ted Christopher. Park is also rumored to be driving the #13 in a limited schedule in 2000 -- UPDATE 2: I hear that Steve Park will announce Saturday a Busch deal with Whelen as the sponsor...about 15 races but schedule wont be known until NASCAR announces BGN schedule(10-20-1999) -- UPDATE 3: I hear the car will be #84 for Park(10-22-1999) -- UPDATE 4: In a press conference Saturday, Steve Park announced he will run 15 BGN races in 2000 for Ted Marsh in the Whelen Engineering Chevy. The team will run its first race in Nov in the hotwheels.com 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway(NOL)(10-23-1999)

  • #1 Special Paint UPDATE: Steve Park is scheduled to run a special paint job at Homestead. The #1 Pennzoil Chevy will supposedly look like a shark, with the hood and trunk showing some yellow. Front will have sharks mouth and body of shark flowing across car to the back. Bottom of car will have some blue water splashing(10-6-1999)

  • Testing: On Wednesday, for the first time a NASCAR racing car was tested on Reynard Motorsport's new seven-post shaker test rig in its recently-opened Auto Research Center here in Indianapolis. Race teams can now rent the use of either the seven-post "vehicle dynamics rig" or the rolling road-wind tunnel at the Auto Research Center (ARC). The "shaker" simulates the chassis movements that the race car undergoes on the track -- but in the controlled environment of the test facility. With essentially all the variables under control, the test procedure can produce consistent and reproducible results. On Wednesday, one of Steve Park's Dale Earnhardt Inc. #1 cars was placed on the rig for a demonstration run for the media.(goracing)(8-5-1999)

  • Did ya know: #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo driver Steve Park is the only driver to race in NASCAR's top five touring series at New Hampshire International Speedway. Park's NHIS record includes four victories in the Featherlite Modifieds, one victory in the Busch North car, a second place finish in his only Busch South race, a fourth-place finish in his only Craftsman Truck appearance and a 41st-place finish in his first Winston Cup race in 1998. Park, a native of East Northport, N.Y., lived in Ellington, Conn., about a 3-hour drive from NHIS, when he drove in the modified series and considers NHIS his home track(Pennzoil PR)(7-6-1999)

  • It Resurfaces and clarification: From Saturday's Houston Chronicle: "Sources say Labonte is tired of playing second fiddle to Jeff Gordon on the Hendrick team. Labonte won the Winston Cup championship for Hendrick in the Kellogg's Chevrolet in 1996 but thinks his standing in the organization hasn't been the same since Rick Hendrick became ill and his brother took over the team last season. Hendrick has been battling leukemia. Irwin took over the Texaco Taurus last season as a rookie, replacing Ernie Irvan in a car that had its best days when the late Davey Allison was at the wheel. Irwin has been disappointing in his second season, so Yates might want a veteran such as Labonte to take over. If Labonte leaves Hendrick Motorsports, the Kellogg's Monte Carlo will have plenty of applicants for the driving job. One of them could be Steve Park, who might want to leave the Pennzoil Chevy owned by Dale Earnhardt because Earnhardt likely will be spending a lot of time helping Dale Jr. in his rookie season next year."(Houston Chronicle - not sure how long it stays up) JAYSKI NOTE: This rumor has been floating around for a year now about the Labonte/Irwin deal. Published reports and sources say Labonte is happy at Hendrick, wants to stay there, wants to retire there and has a contract with Hendrick and Kelloggs thru 2000. Also as for Steve Park, sources tell me there are no moves afoot to replace or relieve Park and he as well as Pennzoil have a contract thru 2000 with DEI. Past news on Labonte/Irwin can be seen on their respective Team Past News/Rumors/Links page I have here, see the links below to the left...(7-5-1999)

  • RAD News: Only days after NASCAR approved the Winston Cup version of the 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, the #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo team at Dale Earnhardt Inc along with two other RAD teams are working on a test car. RAD - the aerodynamics alliance of Richard Childress Racing, Andy Petree Racing and DEI - plan to model the cars it builds based on the information gathered by the test car(Pennzoil PR)(6-14-1999)

  • Park's Best: Steve Park had his best finish of his short career so far. At Michigan he came home in 6th(6-13-1999)

  • Pocono Testing: On Monday and Tuesday (6/7, 6/8), Tony Stewart, Steve Park, and Jeff Green practiced at Pocono Raceway in preparation for the Pocono races. No speeds reported on Monday, but Steve Park was rumored to be quickest of the three at a little over 168 mph on Tuesday. Also, it is reported that Tony Stewart wrecked his primary car for the June race in Turn 2 at Pocono during a Tuesday morning practice session. Tony Stewart was uninjured and continued practice using a 2nd car(Stock Car Fans Newsletter)(6-9-1999)

  • DEI Open: Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced the opening of its spacious 8,700 square foot Showroom and Retail Store to the public today. Exhibits in the Showroom include trophies from Dale Jr.'s, Steve Park and Ron Hornaday's career wins and an impressive exhibit of Dale Earnhardt's 7 Winston Cup Championship Trophies. This marks the first time any of Dale's trophies or memorabilia from his amazing racing career have been on display for the general public. Also exhibited in the Showroom is a photographic look at "Dale Earnhardt Inc.- Behind the Scenes" along with vintage trophies from Ralph Dale Earnhardt's successful racing career. Fans will also have the opportunity to view the interior showroom where a wide variety of show cars, concept cars and car's from Dale's personal collection can be seen. Through a large,glass wall, fans can also gain a glimpse of a working Engine Room or the Pennzoil Hauler when it is not on the road or at the track. One area of the showroom is dedicated to Sponsor and Product Endorsements and a video wall highlighting commercials of DEI's team of drivers will soon be an exciting addition. Fans can call 1-877-DEI-Zone for opening hours that are updated on a weekly basis. There is no admission fee(Pennzoil PR)(6-4-1999)

  • #1 Crew Update: Dave Charpentier, who left the #25 Bud team on Thursday, is now with the #1 Pennzoil DEI team and driver Steve Park. Charpentier working in the #1 pits during the Coca Cola 600(TBS Telecast)(5-31-1999)

  • RAD: The aerodynamic alliance of Richard Childress Racing(#'s 3 and 31), Andy Petree Racing(#'s 33 and 55) and Dale Earnhardt Inc.(#'s 1 and 8) - (RAD) placed all six of its Winston Cup teams in the top 15 in qualifying at Charlotte on Wednesday. Four cars occupied the top eight spots. Since its inception in December, RAD has concentrated on the 1999 Monte Carlo, but when its introduction was delayed until 2000, RAD turned its attention to the current Monte Carlos seeking improvement at high downforce tracks like Charlotte. RAD Aero Engineer Louis Duncan said Charlotte is the first test of the technology developed through computer simulations, wind tunnel work, track testing and a great deal of tweaking. Duncan has a long history in racing. His most recent assignment was providing aerodynamic support to the Ford Motor Company stock car programs. Duncan and his son Brad now work exclusively with RAD(Pennzoil PR)(5-28-1999)

  • DEI Info: Dale Earnhardt Inc has opened their souvenir and showroom area at their shop(see Team Address link to the left for the address and phone numbers)(5-25-1999)

  • Andrews hired: that didn't take long - Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced Friday the hiring of veteran crew chief Paul Andrews to serve as the crew chief on the #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo driven by Steve Park. Andrews begins his new duties on Friday as the team prepares for Saturday's Winston Open in Charlotte. Andrews replaces Philippe Lopez, who resigned on May 11(and has been hired by the #66 team). Steve Hmiel filled the crew chief role at Richmond last week, but will now resume his duties as DEI's technical director(Pennzoil PR)(5-21-1999)

  • New DEI/#1 Crew Chief: Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced today that Steve Hmiel will serve as interim crew chief on Steve Park's #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo for the remainder of 1999 Cup season. Hmiel replaces Philippe Lopez who resigned Monday(Pennzoil PR) No word on Lopez's plans(5-11-1999)

  • Neat Story: (I figured since it's an off week, and this was interesting side we don't always hear about to post it) -- Eddie Jarvis is one of about 40 professional drivers who spend most of their time at NASCAR Winston Cup racetracks across America. But you can't buy an Eddie Jarvis souvenir hat, he has no T-shirts for sale and he's never signed an autograph. Most fans haven't heard of Eddie Jarvis. But if you ask any Winston Cup driver to list some of the most important people in his life, Jarvis and his compatriots are as high on that list as friends, family, and crew members. Jarvis is the motorhome driver for #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo race driver Steve Park. It doesn't take long for Park to let anyone know his feelings for his coach driver. "Sweet Daddy is the man," laughs Park whenever asked about Jarvis whom he helped nickname. "I can't even begin to tell you what my life would be like without him. Sometimes people even mistake him for my Dad." Jarvis takes his job as seriously as any crew chief, tire changer or mechanic on the Dale Earnhardt Inc. team. "My job is basically to take care of Steve," said the silver-haired Jarvis. "That means driving to the track, setting up the motorhome, cooking, doing his laundry, making sure he gets to where he needs to be on time and anything he needs done. That's what I do." But it's more than just the work and driving 50,000 miles each year. "We are friends. When Steve broke his leg last year we got real tight. I was at his house every day for about 8 weeks," said the Paducah, Ky. native. "I'd do just about anything for him." Jarvis's typical weekend begins on Thursday when he leaves Dale Earnhardt Inc. in Park's 50-foot, red and white American Eagle motorhome. Usually he and Jimbo Diggs, Dale Earnhardt's coach driver, travel together to the track where they setup the motorhomes in a special lot set aside by the racetrack. For the next three days that lot is home for Park and most Winston Cup drivers. Jarvis's next stop is a local grocery store where he knows just what type of foods to buy for Park. After stocking the refrigerator, Jarvis arranges Park's clothes, uniforms, hats, autograph pens, and posts his weekend schedule. "Steve is a very organized person and so am I," Jarvis said. "I try to make that motorhome as much like a regular home as possible. He's got so many things to worry about during the weekend that it helps when I can take care of a lot of the details." When Park arrives Thursday night; Jarvis gives him the keys and then heads to a local hotel where he will stay throughout the weekend. But his duties aren't over. He still cleans the interior and exterior of the motorhome on Fridays and Saturday, helps Park with his scheduling, and even cooks for the second-year driver. "We kind of have a tradition where I cook Steve pasta on Saturday nights and then on Sunday I accompany him to driver introductions and stand with him at the race car," Jarvis said. When the race is over, Jarvis joins racefans in waiting for traffic to disperse then he fires up the motorhome and returns to North Carolina. He'll clean the motorhome on Monday and then take a few days off to spend time with wife Dana, and daughters Shannon, 19, and Stacey, 15. Then the schedule begins again. "It's a rewarding life. I get to go around the country and see places I never thought I would ever see," said Jarvis. "But the time away from home is tough. You have to have a good wife to do this and I do." Jarvis worked for Kenny Wallace two years before he joined Park in 1998 and worked for a souvenir company for several years driving a truck all over the country. The 41-year-old likes his life. He and his fellow coach drivers in the "trailer park" as they call it are all friendly and ready to lend a helping hand. They often travel in a convoy to the race and eagerly help the other out whenever there is a problem. "There isn't a lot of fame or glory but it is rewarding. I kind of share in Steve's ups and downs. When he hurts I hurt and when he's happy I'm happy. I told him when we started in 1998 that I'd like to be his coach driver until he retires and I hope that includes many trips for the Pennzoil car to victory lane."(Pennzoil PR)(5-4-1999)

  • RIR Testing: Steve Park had the fast lap on Tuesday with a speed of 125.757mph. Tony Stewart ran a fast lap of 123.119mph(RPM2Nite), Steve Park with two cars and Tony Stewart had a one year old Bobby Labonte Interstate Pontiac that the team will paint with the familar orange and whiite Home Depot logos shortly.(4-27-1999)

  • RIR Testing UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart will test the #20 Home Depot Pontiac at Richmond on Monday and Tuesday(Times-Dispatch)(4-26-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Stewart ran a lap of 126.227mph which would break the track record(RPM2Nite) -- UPDATE 2: Steve Park was also testing at RIR and ran a fast lap of 124.309mph, testing continues today(SpeedNet)(4-27-1999)

  • Park: what happened to Steve Park? We saw him pull off the track, then later saw him back on the track up to speed. It ended up that he had a broken gear in the distributor. Park and the #1 Pennzoil Chevy returned to the racetrack and finished the race in 37th position(Pennzoil PR)(4-26-1999)

  • DEI News: Dale Earnhardt Inc announced Thursday that #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo crew chief Philippe Lopez will miss this weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup race in Talladega while he travels to France due to an illness in the family. Steve Hmiel, DEI's Technical Director, will serve as the interim crew chief for driver Steve Park until Lopez's return next week when the team races at California Speedway(Pennzoil PR) Best wishes go out to Lopez and his family(4-22-1999)

  • DEI Changes: I hear that Engine Shop Manager of the Dale Earnhardt Inc, Mark Isler, has been released as of this past Wednesday, no replacement named(4-17-1999)

  • Black Flag: Had a few questions on why Steve Park and Mike Skinner got black flagged towards the end of the Food City 500. From David Poole of That's Racin': Mike Skinner and Steve Park were shown the black flag by NASCAR late in the race for violating rules governing how they should blend back into position with cars pitting on the frontstretch. Skinner ignored the black flag while his team, led by crew chief Larry McReynolds, questioned NASCAR officials about the decision. So NASCAR pulled the scorecard on the #31 Chevrolet. Skinner was running on the lead lap at the time the penalty was imposed and probably would have finished 12th. Skinner was originally put in 30th in the final rundown, but after reviewing the situation NASCAR moved him back up to 21st in the revised finish(That's Racin')(4-13-1999)

  • Park to Sub: Steve Park will sub for BGN driver Wayne Grubb in the #83 Link-Belt Chevy for the Texas BGN race(Pennzoil PR)(3-22-1999)

  • DEI hires: Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced Monday the hiring of longtime engine man Jeff Clark to work on the #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo driven by Steve Park. Clark began shop duties this week in the DEI engine dynamometer room and will also spearhead DEI's chassis dynamometer testing program. He will travel with the Pennzoil team to Las Vegas this week to work as the engine tuner. Clark, 31, worked 7 years for Robert Yates Racing and a year with Penske South Racing. He is the husband of ARCA driver Shawna Robinson(Pennzoil PR)(3-1-1999)

  • Part-Time Driver To Change Tires On #1 Pennzoil Car: Tom Hubert & Steve Park Cooperate To Help Dreams Come True. Steve Park dreams of driving the winning race car at the Daytona 500. Tom Hubert dreams of driving a race car. Both men will work together at Daytona this month to make their dreams come true. When Park pits the Pennzoil Monte Carlo during the race, the first man over the wall will be Hubert, a tire changing specialist who drives part time on the Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck Series. For the first few races of the season as Park's Dale Earnhardt Inc. team trains a permanent tire changer, Hubert will man an airgun during pitstops as interim tire changer. Hubert, 34, changed tires at Bahari' Racing for two years even having to ask off one weekend in 1997 so he could drive the #78 Diamond Rio car at Sears Point where he posted the 11th fastest qualifying time and finished 28th after racing on the lead lap most of the race. Hubert drove in two Winston Cup races last year. At Sears Point he drove the Roehrig Motorsports car qualifying 10th and was running 4th with 35 laps to go before breaking a rear gear. In August, the Cottonwood, California native qualified 10th at Watkins Glen in the #13 Elliott-Marino Motorsports car. Hubert was running as high as tenth before he was eliminated in another car's accident(Pennzoil PR)(1-29-1999)

  • DW and DEI? Darrell Waltrip is trying to get Dale Earnhardt to buy Buz McCall's operation(#96), according to sources close to the situation, but Earnhardt isn't very interested. Waltrip is pushing Earnhardt for help in landing a ride.(JournalNow) and Waltrip is surveying his options for next season and talking to several owners, including Joe Falk. Falk has several potential deals -- some of which involve Waltrip. Waltrip, who's leaving the No. 35 car, reportedly is trying to work out a deal with Dale Earnhardt Inc. Waltrip wants the company to purchase Buz McCall's Chevrolet so he can drive it. McCall, who has no sponsor for next year, is waiting to make a final decision on the status of his team.(Times Dispatch) and see the story at That's Racin': Waltrip wants to go out in style.(11-9-1998)

#1 Team News & Links